Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Thursday, 30 January 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF Insurrexion 2000

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Event Poster
May 6, 2000
Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London, England

From the night The British Bulldog beat Bret 'The Hitman' Hart for the Intercontinental Championship (whether he wanted to or not) in front of a sold out crowd at Wembley Arena to the night he rather unceremoniously dropped the European Championship to Shawn Michaels in front of a Birmingham crowd which happened to include this writer, the World Wrestling Federation had always been able to rely on Davey Boy Smith to help them sell-out shows on English soil.  

Yet over the last few years, the Wigan-born wrestler's star had greatly diminished without any negative impact on the company's British box office numbers.

UK fans were still more than happy to sell out arenas to see headline acts like The Rock and Triple, leaving Bulldog to play a bit-part cameo on shows which, once upon a time, would have been built entirely around him.


Tonight, Davey Boy would put in not only his final UK PPV appearance but his final PPV appearance ever, adding a somewhat somber note to an otherwise enjoyable show.

Here's what went down when the first Insurrexion event came to us live from the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, England.


Three Men, One Gold

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler
Our event this evening began with the standard WWF video package, complete with a brooding, dramatic voice-over which told us that tonight we'd see WWF Champion The Rock taking on Triple H and Shane McMahon in a triple threat match.

This was a logical development given what happened between the three men a week earlier at Backlash 2000, and the ever-impressive video package did a good job of making this match seem like the biggest deal ever.

As was the norm, the video was followed by a scan of the rabid Attitude Era crowd and a welcome from Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler, after which we went straight into our opening contest.

Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty & Grandmaster Sexay) vs. The Radicalz (WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn)

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Dean Malenko covers Scotty 2 Hotty
This was a fun, if not necessarily spectacular, opener.

Though nowhere near on the same level as the Scotty 2 Hotty/Dean Malenko clash from Backlash, it did at least deliver everything you could ask from competitors whose only job was to get the crowd pumped up for the rest of the show.

Too Cool were super over in England, while Malenko and Perry Saturn were having issues which, according to JR, stemmed from Saturn being the only member of The Radicalz not to have a WWF title.

At one point, the two got into a shoving contest and were never quite able to get back on the same page, resulting in Saturn inadvertently clotheslining the Light Heavyweight Champion and tha always-fun spot where one guy falls to the mat and accidentally headbutts the other guy's testicles.

Obviously, this all led to a win for the good guys courtesy of Grandmaster Sexay's Hip Hop Drop.
Your Winners: Too Cool

Post-match, Saturn and Malenko came to blows until they were separated by a gaggle of referees.

Meanwhile, back in the dressing room, Mae Young and The Kat talked about how they were going to work together in their upcoming match. A spooky promo for Judgement Day followed, then it was back out into the arena for a word from The Chairman.

Nothing Ever Happens in England

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Vince McMahon cut a scathing promo
Proving himself to be one of the best heels of all time, Vince McMahon was absolutely loathed by the London crowd as he stepped out onto the stage to cut a scathing promo against The Rock, the people of London, and the UK as a whole.

According to Vince, nothing of any consequence ever happened in England, and that, he claimed, was exactly what The Rock was counting on, knowing that when he lost the title here tonight, nobody would know about it.

Eliciting a loud 'ASSHOLE' chant from the Earls Court faithful, McMahon guaranteed that not only would a McMahon family member become the new champion tonight, but that he would make sure the whole world new about it.

This was awesome stuff from the boss.

Bull Buchanan vs. Kane (w/ Paul Bearer)

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Paul Bearer appeared with Kane
Up next, we were reminded that Bull Buchanan had helped The Big Boss Man attack Kane on Raw a month before tonight's show. That was as good enough a reason as any to have a match tonight.

Watching this short, explosive contest, I can't help but think that it's a shame WWE didn't do more with Buchanan. He was very athletic for his size and looked pretty decent in his offense. Unfortunately for him, simply looking good wasn't enough to win him a match.

After a brief period of being on the defense, Kane anihilated Buchanan and picked up a quick win.
Your Winner: Kane

Out in the back, Triple H fawned over Stephanie McMahon and said, almost bashfully, how happy he was that Vince McMahon had referred to him as a 'family member' when talking about our next WWF Champion.

Bursting her husband's bubble, Steph wasn't entirely sure that the 'McMahon family member' Vince had been referring to was actually The Game.

Road Dogg (w/ Tori) vs. Bradshaw (w/ Farooq)

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Tori accompanied Road Dogg to the ring
Back in the arena, Hunter's DX buddy Road Dogg made his way to the ring with Tori in tow. I said this in last week's Backlash 2000 review, but it's kind of funny that DX members Road Dogg and X-Pac weren't featured in their own titantron but HHH and Run-DMC were.

As the D-O-Double-G did his usually pre-match schtick, Tori kind of flailed about the place, trying to get in on the act. Poor girl, she looked so awkward and out of place that it was hard not to feel bad for her.

The same could be said for Roadie's opponent, Bradshaw who, taking The Acolytes' new APA gimmick to a whole new level, had clearly been spending a lot more time sitting around drinking beer than he had in the gym.

Not that it really mattered when it came to the action.

Farooq got sent to the back early on after helping Bradshaw beat down Road Dogg, leaving the two legal competitors to give us a fun, five-minute effort in which Bradshaw mostly battered his opponent. A Torri distraction allowed Roadie to get a near-fall off a roll-up and then blast Bradshaw with a match-winning pump handle slam which was a little hard to believe when you consider the size difference between the two men.

Though it was too short to really mean anything, this was nonetheless another decent bout.
Your Winner: Road Dogg

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Teri Runnels eating a bananaOut in the back, Michael Cole interviewed Terri Runnels and The Fabulous Moolah. Apparently, the former Marlena had trained for her upcoming arm-wrestling match with The Kat by sucking off a banana.

I'm not kidding.

Arm Wrestling Match
The Kat (w/ Mae Young) vs. Terri Runnels (w/ The Fabulous Moolah)

Perhaps the best thing anyone could say about this is that it happened.

Going down pretty much the same way that every arm wrestling match ever went down in pro wrestling history, this 'contest' saw Terri, the heel, stalling as much as possible.

First, she complained that The Kat's hands were greasy, then she stopped to drink some water, then she stopped to pull her hot pants off and do some stretches in a pink swimsuit which rode up her ass.

Eventually, the two got things underway, only for Terri to spit water in The Kat's face. Retaliating, Mae Young poured a whole bottle of water over Terri's head, allowing Kat to pick up the win.

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Teri Runnels faced The Kat in an arm-wrestling contest
I mean, I won't lie, Terri Runnels was always smoking hot, but yeah, this was more embarassing than sexy.
Your Winner: The Kat

Post-match, Terri yanked off The Kat's top. Unphased, Kat flashed her puppies to the entire Earls Court Arena.

Clever camera work would prevent the WWE Network from having to do any editing years later.

#WomensRevolution

Whatcha gonna do with all that ass

Backstage, The Big Show and Rikishi were seen wearing matching show-as-much-ass-as-possible gear. This was during the phase when the WWF thought that the best way to use a 7ft former world champion monster was to make him "a guy who just likes to have fun."

As he and 'Kishi waddled towards the curtain, Hardcore Champion Crash Holly was seen pointing at them and laughing his butt off.

Elsewhere, The Rock arrived at the venue.

The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & Devon Dudley) vs. Showkishi & Rikishi

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Bubba Ray Dudley with Rikishi's glasses
Though this was never going to be a five-star classic, this could at least have been a fun and entertaining tag match.

It wasn't.

OK, so it wasn't exactly terrible or anything, but it just wasn't very interesting.

I think part of the problem was that everyone -this writer included- was just waiting for the inevitable moment when Rikishi and Showkishi both hit simultaneous stinkfaces on their opponents.

Even when it happened, it was just kind of "meh, yep, there it is."

Towards the finish, Edge and Christian ran in. Edge speared Bubba Ray Dudley, Big Show landed a chokeslam and this one was over.
Your Winners: Rikishi and Showkishi

Afterwards, Too Cool returned to the ring and invited The Dudleyz to dance with them.

In a cool moment, Bubba Ray and Devon Dudley only accepted Too Cool's trademark yellow dancing shades if Too Cool accepted *their* trademark Dudley glasses. You know, the ECW-style ones.

This whole bit was far more entertaining than anything that happened in the ring.

Angle Does London

Up next, we were shown an entertaining video package of Kurt Angle wandering around London, introducing himself to bemused onlookers as their Olympic hero. Angle would take on Chris Benoit tonight, and The Crippler was in a foul mood.

Sporting a black eye after a brutal match with Chris Jericho on Smackdown which saw Y2J capture the Intercontinental title, Benoit cut a menacing promo in which he stated that Angle was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit

Making his way to the ring, Angle took to the microphone to insult the good people of England, insisting that our children were weak and uneducated, and that we would all be better off ditching the English language and learning American instead.

Benoit was out next, but before the two could lock up, Crash Holly stormed to ringside to do commentary. This was distracting. The Hardcore Champion forced Ross and Lawler to focus their attentions on him and his quest to 'fight an Englishman,' rather than on the match at hand.

This was a shame, because, as you'd well expect, Angle and Benoit delivered the goods here. Certainly, this wasn't the best match the two would ever have. Angle was still relatively new into his career here and lacked the big-match experience that would make his future bouts with The Crippler such classics.

Still, it was a fun, hard-hitting contest that saw The Olympic Gold Medalist pick up the win with an Angle Slam.

One small, little detail that really made this more enjoyable was the way Angle pinned Benoit. Earlier in the bout, he'd gone for two cover attempts, only for Benoit to grab the ropes each time. After the Angle Slam, however, Kurt made sure to not only hook the leg but also hold Benoit's arm in place, preventing him from getting the ropes.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle

Out in the back, Shane McMahon told Michael Cole that yes, Vince was supporting him in tonight's main event.

Another creepy Judgement Day promo followed, after which Crash Holly got his wish of fighting an Englishman when Wigan's own Davey Boy Smith made an unexpected return to the World Wrestling Federation.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship
WWF Hardcore Champion Crash Holly vs. The British Bulldog

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - The British Bulldog won the Hardcore title in his last PPV appearance
The match itself was fine. Like almost everything on the undercard so far, it was short and inoffensive with very little of note happening.

What was noteworthy was this would prove to be The British Bulldog's last ever PPV appearance.

After beating Crash with his trademark powerslam to win the Hardcore title, Davey Boy would meander around on Smackdown and Sunday Night heat for about a week before leaving the company altogether and ultimately passing away two years later.

What makes it sad is just how far Smith's stock had fallen. This is the guy who main evented Summerslam 1992 with Bret Hart and who, at the height of the Hart Foundation's popularity, also headlined One Night Only back in 1997 as Britain's returning hero.

Now he was involved in a throw-away spot on a card in London with zero fanfare, treated like just another run-of-the-mill midcarder.

I know not everybody will care or have the same sentimental attachment to this as I do, but I share a hometown with the Bulldog so he's always been one of my favourites.

Thanks for the memories, Davey Boy.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Hardcore Champion: The British Bulldog

Earlier in the day, WWF Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian were seen charging fans a fiver for autographs. Michael Cole turned up just as the two were asked for a photograph by a fan.

Cole held the camera as the tag champs posed with the fan, but at the last possible moment they both blocked the fan out of the shot so that it was just a picture of the two of them.

Trust me, it was funnier than I just made it sound.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Christian puts a hurting on Jeff Hardy
Though both teams would go onto have better matches with one another, this was still nonetheless a good match that saw all four men work hard.

At one point, Jeff Hardy played face in peril which required some dubious officiating from referee Jimmy Korderas. Comically, King & JR decided to rag on Jimmy, not for his questionable refereeing, but for being 'follically challenged.'

After a solid outing, all hell broke loose, disintegrating into a four-man brawl which only ended when Edge ran in with the ring bell and killed his opponents.
Your Winners via Disqualification: The Hardy Boyz

Post-match, The Dudley Boyz ran down and destroyed the tag champs, even putting Edge through a table.

The European Champion Hates His Title

Before the next contest, Eddie Guerrero and Chyna came to the ring to generate as much heel heat as possible for Guerrero.

Foreshadowing Brexit by almost 20 years, Latino Heat talked about how Britons didn't really like being a part of Europe. That was fine by him, he said because he didn't like being the champion of Europe anyway.

Guerrero was the consummate heel here and played his role to perfection, riling the crowd up so much that there was practically a frenzy when his opponent, Y2J arrived on the scene and told them -in his best British accent- that they could "bloody well piss off."

Before locking up, referee Tim White flipped a coin to determine whether Jericho's IC title or Eddie's European belt would be on the line. Yes, this the exact same thing the WWF did seven months earlier at Rebellion 1999 when European Champion D'Lo Brown faced Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett.

Back then, the company made the curious decision not to have the European title defended in Europe. This time, however, they got it right, with Guerrero putting his gold on the line.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chyna) vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Chris Jericho faced Eddie Guerrero
A lot had changed since these two last met on PPV back at WCW Fall Brawl 1997.

Though neither man was quite at the zenith of their careers, they were certainly much bigger stars than they'd been during their time in WCW's cruiserweight division. Take their heightened star power, a few years of extra experience, and add it to the already stellar ring-work the two had displayed at Fall Brawl, and you had the recipie for another fantastic performance from two all-time greats.

A really good showing that delivered everything you'd expect from a Jericho/Guerrero encounter, this tremendous match ended when Chyna kept the referee and got a flying dropkick to the mush for her troubles courtesy of Y2J. The distraction allowed Eddie to blast his rival with the title belt -a finish that had really been overplayed as of late- and retain his title.
Your Winner and Still WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero

In the build-up to our main event, we got a flashback to Backlash 2000 and The Rock's big world title win, followed by another compelling video package hyping tonight's three-way main event.

Naturally, all of this led to a backstage promo from the champion himself.

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Finally, The Rock...Has come back to LondonFinally, The Rock has Come Back...to London

Shushing Michael Cole, The Great One was his usual ultra-charismatic self, cutting a captivating promo in which he claimed that the McMahons were all in-bred and didn't really trust each other.

Tonight, The People's Champion would overcome the odds and leave London still our WWF Champion, if our nostrils sensed what he was preparing for dinner.

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion The Rock vs. Shane McMahon (w/ Vince McMahon) vs. Triple H (w/ WWF Women's Champion Stephanie McMahon)

Well, this was awesome.

WWF Insurrexion 2000 - The Rock vs. Triple H vs. Shane McMahon
Up until the inevitable moment when the two heels miscommunicated and turned on each other, it was essentially a handicap match, albeit a very entertaining one.

At one point, Shane O' Mac did his trademark, Ali-style shuffle. Not to be outdone, Triple H also floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee.

It was uncharacteristic of The Game, but it was sure was funny. Later, when things broke down, McMahon went for a moonsault on Triple H, missed, and landed on his feet. While that might not sound like much by today's standards, this was non-wrestler Shane McMahon, and it looked pretty cool.

Eventually, as most WWF main events did at the time, this one broke down into an overbooked mass of joyfully entertaining chaos. Referee Mike Chioda got squashed by Shane in the corner, Hunter hit the Pedigree on Rock, and Gerald Brisco ran in to make the count.

Before we got a new champion, however, The Rock made a last-minute kick out that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Irate, The Game drew back his fist and laid out Brisco before smashing the champion with Pedigree number two. Fraught, Vince McMahon himself hit the ring and struggled to squeeze his jacked-up frame into the referee shirt belonging to a much smaller Gerald Briscoe.

This is one humerous thing I've always loved about the WWF rulebook. Apparently the only thing you need to be a match official is the right attire. You could be ringside for an entire match and have no authority to count a fall, but as soon as you slip into the zebra stripes, you suddenly get Super Referee Powers.

Sadly for Vince, he wouldn't get to use his powers as Earl Hebner rushed to the ring and yanked Vince out of it. Vinny Mac went to punch Hebner, but the plucky official moved and The Chairman struck the ring post in what looked like a legitimatley painful spot.

Back in the ring, The People's Champion made the comeback we'd all been waiting for and destroyed Shane O' Mac with The People's Elbow. Hebner counted the three, and that was all she wrote.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: The Rock

With the show at an end, The Great One celebrated with the people of London while a ticked off Triple H stormed angrily backstage with Stephanie in tow.






There was a point, about an hour into Insurrexion 2000 when I thought this was going to go the way of most WWF UK shows, being nothing more than a glorified house show with better production values. From One Night Only to Capital Carnage and Rebellion, most events of this type featured throw-away bouts which, while not terrible, didn't exactly give you much to get excited about.

Everything about the first hour of this show seemed as though it was going the same way. Then, Benoit and Angle came out and things got better from there on in. OK, so the Bulldog/Crash Holly bout which was sandwiched in there wasn't exactly a show-stealer, but apart from that, everything from Benoit/Angle more than delivered.

The Eddie/Jericho bout and main event, in particular, were a lot of fun to watch. Those matches, along with The Hardyz contest and erm, a nice shot of Terri Runnels' bum, all contributed to what was the best WWF UK event since Summerslam 1992.




For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
Other WWE UK events
    Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

    Thursday, 23 January 2020

    PPV REVIEW: WWF Backlash 2000

    WWF Backlash 2000 - Event poster
    April 30, 2000,
    MCI Center in Washington, D.C

    For a decade between 1999 and 2009, WWF/WWE Backlash was the one night of the year when all the fall out from that year's Wrestlemania would finally be settled.

    Which is just as well given just how much fall out there had been in the wake of Wrestlemania 2000.

    Having betrayed The Rock at the aforementioned 'Mania, Vince McMahon had now joined forces with his daughter Stephanie and her husband, WWF Champion Triple H, despite waging an all-out war with Hunter back at WWF Armageddon 1999.

    With D-Generation-X now playing the role of HHH's lackeys, the unified McMahon-Helmsley Faction ( boring name if ever there was one) were now fully at war with The Great One, who had earned a rematch for the title on tonight's show.

    Just to make things more interesting, Stone Cold Steve Austin -last seen getting mowed down at Survivor Series 1999- had recently made his return and was now inexplicably in The Rock's corner for tonight's show.

    Could The Brahma Bull trust The Texas Rattlesnake?

    Would the McMahon-Helmsley Faction be able to keep the belt around Hunter's waist?

    Let's find out as we head to the MCI Center in Washington D.C for WWF Backlash 2000.





    All Hell Breaks Loose

    WWF Backlash 2000 - Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler hosted the event
    We began tonight's show with the obligatory opening video package recapping everything we've just discussed.

    The video also featured an Austin in which he claimed that while he may physically be in The Rock's corner, the only side he was really on was his own.

    Cue intense pyro, a crowd with a thousand times more energy and enthusiasm than you'd find at today's WWE shows, and a greeting from none other than Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler.

    Debra is Your Special Guest Ring Announcer

    Much like her real-life partner, Steve Austin, Debra hadn't been seen since the previous year's Survivor Series.

    Tonight, she and her puppies made their long-awaited return to the World Wrestling Federation, much to the delight of the perpetually horny Jerry Lawler.

    At this point in her career, she was in the same position that Sunny was in before her ill-advised partnership with the LOD. That is, creative wanted her on camera, but since she couldn't actually wrestle, they had to scramble around to find her stuff to do.

    Much as they did with Sunny, they put Debra in a Special Guest Ring Announcer role for our upcoming contest.

    World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
    WWF Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian vs. D-Generation-X (Road Dogg & X-Pac w/ Torri)

    WWF Backlash 2000 - X-Pac w/ Tori
    I could be wrong, but I swear that Debra introduced the Road Dogg as "Go-Go Jesse James."

    Sadly, a helicopter did not appear out of Roadie's helmet, nor did rollerskates pop up from his shoes.

    Talk about disappointing.

    Speaking of disappointing, I kind of felt bad for X-Pac and Road Dogg - their titantron featured lots of shots of Triple H and lots of shots of Run DMC (who sang the updated DX theme), but not one shot of them.

    Fortunately, the one thing that didn't disappoint was this match.

    After Roadie got the crowd worked up, he and X-Pac locked up with a tag team championship team who were INSANELY over.

    Despite slowly transitioning into a heel role, Edge and Christian got a huge ovation as they battled their more experienced rivals in a very enjoyable opener.

    Usually, when you got Road Dogg in a tag team match, he played face-in-peril for half a century and sucked the life out of everything, but as a heel, he was in a much better position to contribute towards a very good bout.

    After a lot of back-and-forth action and a red hot finishing sequence, Christian took one step closer to being a true heel by blasting X-Pac with the ring bell behind the referee's back.

    A three-count later and this one was over.
    Your Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian

    Post-match, a dazed-looking X-Pac sported a nasty gusher on his forehead.

    Meanwhile, out in the back, The Rock arrived at the venue.

    World Wrestling Federation Light Heavyweight Championship
    WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. Scotty 2 Hotty

    WWF Backlash 2000 - Scotty 2 Hotty challenged Dean Malenko for the Light Heavyweight Championship
    If I was Scotty 2 Hotty, I would definitely rank this Light Heavyweight Championship match up there as a career highlight.

    Given how popular the whole Too Cool schtick was with the dancing and the ridiculous but stupidly over Worm, it's easy to forget that Scott Taylor was a good wrestler in his own right.

    Here, he proved that in a long and dramatic war with Dean Malenko that had the crowds on the edge of their seat from start to finish.

    The two had recently traded the title back and forth, with Scotty beating The Ice Man for it on Raw before Malenko stole it back on the following week's Smackdown thanks to a ropes-assisted pin.

    Here, Dean was once again a step ahead of his opponent, spending a large portion of the match working over Taylor's knee and generally getting the better of him at every turn.

    Despite this, the Too Cool member more than held his own and came close to winning with several gripping near falls.

    In the end, however, Malenko reversed a superplex into a beautiful top rope DDT to put an end to what was a surprisingly awesome match.
    Your Winner and Still WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko

    Out in the back, Vince McMahon was hanging out with Hunter, Stephanie, and The Stooges.

    Shane McMahon, the referee for tonight's main event, stopped by to show off his new referee's shirt while Vince double-checked that Pat Patterson and Gerald Briscoe were really on board with his evil plan.

    All the while, Stephanie flashed her legs, which was just about the only thing this writer could focus on.

    Big Boss Man & Bull Buchanan vs. The Acolytes (Farooq & Bradshaw)

    WWF Backlash 2000 - The Acolytes faced Bull Buchanan and Big Boss Man
    After two thrilling matches that really got the crowd worked up, Backlash 2000 needed something that could slow the pace down and allow the D.C faithful to catch their breath.

    This was the perfect match for it.

    On the face of it, Big Boss Man & Bull Buchanan vs. Farooq & Bradshaw was a perfectly serviceable tag team match.

    All four men played their roles well and Buchanan in particular with some impressive athleticism for a man of his size.

    Yet as solid as this might have been, it never felt like anything more than filler, or a way to deliberately cool down the crowd.

    After a decent all-round effort, Buchanan jumped off the top rope and hit Bradshaw with the match-winning scissor kick.
    Your Winners: Bull Buchanan & Big Boss Man

    Out in the back, The Hardyz agreed that even though they were brothers, they would have no problem fighting each other in the upcoming hardcore title match should the need arise.

    Across the way, Hardcore Holly told Crash Holly that even though they were cousins, he would have no problem beating his ass all over the arena.

    The younger Holly tried to convince Cousin Bob to work together, but got a wicked slap across the face for making such a suggestion.

    World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship Six-Man Match
    WWF Hardcore Champion Crash Holly vs. Tazz vs. Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Bob Holly vs. Perry Saturn

    WWF Backlash 2000 - Crash Holly defended the WWF Hardcore title
    This was a lot of fun with a brilliant story.

    Poor Crash Holly got his ass handed to him from start to finish. All five of his opponents took turns to beat him, body slam him, suplex and generally kick his head in, yet whenever anybody tried to pin the defending champion, another competitor broke it up.

    Though the match started to drag a little towards the end, it was a good effort with a finish that made this writer laugh out loud.

    After spending most of the match being dead, Crash got put in the Tazzmission, but Perry Saturn came in and blasted Tazz with the largest stop sign in the world.

    Before the former Eliminator could capitalize, however, he was dragged to the outside.

    Tazz and Crash both lay dead in the middle of the ring, then Crash got in what was literally his only offensive move of the entire match - draping an arm over a fallen Tazz to retain his title.
    Your Winner and Still WWF Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly

    Out in the back, Shane McMahon promised interviewer Johnathan Coachman that he would be an impartial referee in the upcoming Rock/Triple H match.

    R.I.P Paul Wight's Career

    In the 14 months since he had made his WWF debut at St. Valentine's Day Massacre, In Your House, The Big Show Paul Wight had never truly been presented as the kind of credible main event threat that a man of his stature and status should have been.

    Putting the final nail in the coffin of his credibility, Show had gone from headlining Wrestlemania 2000 into a terrible angle where he dressed up as midcarders like Val Venis and Godfather and pretended to be them.

    At one point, Show was so wrapped up in pretending to be a Scotsman that he cost himself and Kurt Angle a random shot at the WWF tag team titles.

    Naturally, this angered the Olympic Gold Medalist, who vowed to beat some sense into the former Giant when the two met on tonight's show.

    Kurt Angle vs. The Showster (Big Show)

    WWF Backlash 2000 - Big Show dressed up as Hulk Hogan to become The Showster
    As was his tradition, Kurt Angle came out talking smack about how he was the greatest thing since sliced bread and how he was going to wipe the floor with his opponent.

    Offering a response, The Big Show came down doing his best Hulk Hogan impression, complete with wig and Real American blaring through the PA.

    Credit where it's due,  Show's impression was spot on as he took to the microphone to go through the whole "Whatcha gonna do, brother?" routine.

    Once the bell rang, Show stayed in character, no-selling Angle's offense, Hulking up and planting him with the Leg Drop of Doom for a near fall.

    The crowds ate it up and a loud Hogan! Hogan! chant broke out through the arena.

    "There's more people chanting for Hogan than there has been in years," said Jim Ross, a man who could never resist getting in a cheap pop at the competition.

    Angle mounted a comeback, but eventually, Big Show snapped out of his silliness, dismantled the Olympic athlete in the corner then put him away with a chokeslam, ending the match in less than three minutes.

    OK, so this was tremendous fun and Big Show was hilarious, but I'd still rather see him be utilized as the monster that he was.
    Your Winner: The Big Show

    Prior to the next contest, we got a look back at the rivalry between The Dudley Boyz and T & A.

    Honestly, it was the kind of rivalry that could have only existed in the Attitude Era.

    WWF Backlash 2000 - Michael Cole interviews Trish Stratus
    As the story went, Bubba Ray Dudley had some kind of fetish for putting women through tables. Over the previous weeks, he had slammed Terri Runnels, Mae Young, and Lita through the wood, but every time he tried to do the same to Trish Stratus, she would either flirt with him or kiss him, sending Bubba into some kind of trance.

    Trish had flaunted this by writing around on a table in her undies talking about how much tables made her horny.

    I bet she was great fun at Ikea.

    She was fun here too, as she gave a backstage interview to Michael Cole while Test and Albert stood by.

    Trish teased Cole while talking about how she had the ability to make men lose their minds.

    As a perfect example of her hypnotic powers, Bubba Ray was seen staring at the Trish/Cole interview on a TV screen, completely in a trance.

    Of course, he was snapped out of it by Devon Dudley, who gave his half-brother a good talking to before tonight's match.

    WWF Backlash 2000 - future NWA owner Billy Corgan was in the crowd Despite All His Rage, He Is Still Just a Fan of T & A

    Before the competitors made their way out, we were shown Billy Corgan and Smashing Pumpkins sitting at ringside.

    This all makes a lot of sense now.

    Corgan was such a big fan of Test and Albert that, fifteen years later, he would try to buy the wrestling company named after them.

    The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D'Von Dudley) vs. T & A (Test & Albert w/ Trish Stratus)

    Like the earlier Acolytes/Boss Man & Buchanan bout, this was a straight-up big man brawl, but it worked brilliantly.

    WWF Backlash 2000 - Bubba Ray Dudley glares at Trish Stratus
    Though it was far from the best tag team match of all time, both teams played to their strengths to keep this at an acceptable level from start to finish.

    After a decent ten minute outing, Trish shook her sexy self against the ring ropes to distract Bubba Ray, allowing her men to attack and pick up the three count.
    Your Winners: T &A

    Post-match, The Dudleyz battered Test and Albert. Trish tried to kiss her way out of getting put through the wood, but this time it didn't work, allowing Bubba to finally get what he wanted, drilling Trish through a table.

    I have to say that all of the other times he did this with women, it looked like he fully protected them, but not this time. Man, he slammed Trish hard through that table.

    That said, even though they had to stretcher her out of there, I'm sure Trish didn't actually mind. After all, she loved her some table.

    Latino Heat is Back from Prom

    With Trish firmly on the stretcher, a bunch of referees and Sgt. Slaughter escorted her backstage into a waiting ambulance. This was a perfect excuse to take a camera backstage in time to catch Eddie Guerrero and Chyna arriving back from Eddie's prom.

    Apparently, Latino Heat had just completed his GED and had been to prom to celebrate with The Ninth Wonder of the World.

    Jack Doan ran up to tell Eddie that his match was next, and if he didn't get to the ring immediately, he'd have to forfeit his European title.

    Not wanting that to happen, Eddie shrugged his shoulders and drove his car to the ring, the first instance of a gimmick that would become his trademark for the rest of his career.

    World Wrestling Federation European Championship
    WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chyna) vs. Essa Rios (w/ Lita)

    WWF Backlash 2000 - Eddie Guerrero & Chyna
    As Eddie was stripping out of his tuxedo (he wrestled in suit pants and a bow tie, which looked awesome), a video played which informed us how this match came about.

    It started when Chyna admitted that, following months of trying to woo her, Eddie's Latino heat had proven too much for her to handle.

    Then, the pair had somehow gotten tangled up with former Light Heavyweight Champion Essa Rios and his manager, Lita, leading to a tag team match pitting Eddie and Essa against The Dudleyz.

    Lita ended up costing the team the match, causing Chyna to toss her to The Dudleyz for the table spot mentioned earlier and, ultimately, causing tonight's match.

    I won't lie, I was excited about this one. Although he mainly competed on Sunday Night Heat, I had a soft spot for Essa Rios back in 1999 - 2000, and I was wondering if he'd ever show up on one of these PPV events.

    Thankfully, this one didn't disappoint.

    Clocking in at just shy of nine minutes, this was a fast-paced, high-flying affair with plenty of captivating spots that did more than enough to keep this fan entertained.

    An exceptional effort on both men's part, this very enjoyable bout ended with Eddie lifting Essa up for a Gory Special but then spinning him around and planting him with a neckbreaker instead.
    Your Winner and Still WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero

    WWF Backlash 2000 - Eddie Guerrero & Chyna
    Afterward, Essa dropkicked Eddie into Chyna, allowing Lita to strip Chyna out of her prom dress and down to her underwear.

    Jerry Lawler nearly had a braineurysm, yelling "BRA AND PANTIES! BRA AND PANTIES!" so excitedly that you'd be forgiven for thinking it was the first time the then-50 year-old had ever seen such things.

    Chyna was mortified at first.

    Then she lightened up and posed for the crowd, much to the delight of Latino Heat.

    Stone Cold May Not Show Up

    Out in the back, Jonathan Coachman interviewed Triple H, who said nothing interesting but did remind us that he was The Game.

    Turning his attention to Vince McMahon, Coach asked the Chairman what his 'big surprise' was going to be for tonight.

    Vince couldn't say, but did allude to the fact that Stone Cold Steve Austin hadn't arrived yet, and insinuated that he may have had something to do with Austin suffering from 'transportation issues' that would prevent him from appearing.

    Chris Benoit Has Emotions

    Elsewhere in the arena, Michael Cole interviewed WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit about his upcoming match with Chris Jericho.

    "Chris Jericho likes to compare me to a robot," said Benoit. "But the difference between me and a robot is that I have emotions, and tonight I'm going to express my emotions all over Chris Jericho."

    Right you are then.

    World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
    WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho

    WWF Backlash 2000 - Chris Jericho puts the Walls of Jericho on Krispin Wah
    Before the two locked up, Jericho cut a promo on "Chris Ben-oyt," likening him to a politician and promising to beat him up. Though it may not have been Jericho's finest moment on the mic, he was, naturally, very entertaining.

    Then the bell sounded, and the two had their first PPV singles since WCW Fall Brawl 1996.

    Four years after that encounter, the two held nothing back to deliver an incredible match which, up to this point in the show, stood out as Match of the Night.

    That's really saying something when you consider just how high the bar had been set by some of the earlier matches on this show, but trust me, this was excellent.

    Working pretty stiff, the two traded strikes, submissions, and the occasional aerial move. They chopped one another, they chain wrestled one another, and they even gave us a wicked brawl on the outside.

    Almost everything about this match was perfect, apart from the finish.

    Referee Tim White got knocked down, so The Crippler picked up his IC belt and smashed Jericho in the face with it. He dragged White over and got the nearest of near falls, then scaled the ropes for his patented head butt.

    However, as Benoit came into landing, Jericho smashed him in the face with the belt, prompting White to call for the bell.
    Your Winner via Disqualification and Still WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit

    Man, that was awesome. Even the DQ finish wasn't so bad when you consider it gave the two Canadians a perfectly valid excuse to do battle again further down the line.

    The Wrath of Jericho

    One person who wasn't happy with the finish was Y2J himself. After the bell, Jericho snapped and slapped Tim White in the Walls of Jericho, prompting a gaggle of officials to rush to his rescue.

    Jericho looked like a maniacal man possessed here. White looked like he'd never even seen the Walls of Jericho, selling the move awkwardly and unconvincingly. Still, I suppose we should cut him some slack since he wasn't actually a trained performer.

    Austin 3:16 Said I Just Wrecked Your Bus

    WWF Backlash 2000 - Michael Cole interviews The Rock
    Before the main event, we got another look back at the rivalry between The Rock and WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin.

    The video package recalled everything we discussed at the start of this review, though there were two details I forgot to mention:

    1: The reason why Stone Cold was in The Rock's corner is that Linda McMahon -the only babyface member of the McMahon clan- had decreed it so.
    2: After being teased for weeks, Austin finally made his return on the pre-Backlash Smackdown and used a crane to drop something heavy on DX's tour bus, prompting Michael Cole to yell "Austin 3:16 says I just wrecked your bus!"

    Speaking of Cole, he was standing by with The Rock for a pre-match promo.

    The Great One guaran-damn-teed to make history with Triple H tonight and walk out of Washington D.C as our new WWF Champion if our noses were capable of detecting what The Rock had in the oven.

    World Wrestling Federation Championship
    WWF Champion Triple H (w/ WWF Women's Champion Stephanie McMahon & Vince McMahon) vs. The Rock (w/ Stone Cold Steve Austin)

    Special guest referee: Shane McMahon

    WWF Backlash 2000 - The Rock beat HHH for the WWF Championship
    The WWF Champion was the first to arrive on the scene, his 'My Time' theme music blaring through the PA with its anti-McMahon lyrics while Vince himself stood next to The Game.

    Brandishing a copy of the night's event program, Vince brought our attention to the old 'Card Subject to Change' caveat, earning a rousing chorus of boos for announcing that Stone Cold Steve Austin wouldn't be there after all.

    The boos may have been loud, but it's not as though anybody took the news seriously.

    Every time The Rock was in trouble -and he was in trouble *a lot* in this match- the fans chanted not for him but for Austin.

    Was it any good?

    Yes, absolutely.

    Triple H and The Rock always worked well together, and while the first half of this match wasn't quite on par with their excellent Summerslam 1998 encounter, it was still a very good effort, with Hunter gaining the advantage thanks to biased officiating and McMahon interference.

    Then the whole thing spilled to the outside, and things took a dramatic turn from "very good" to "all-out awesome."

    Referee Shane McMahon tried to prevent The Rock from blasting Hunter with a Rock Bottom on the ever ill-fated Spanish announce table, so Rocky just grabbed Shane and killed both men with a  wicked double rock bottom.

    With Shane totally out of it, Vince gave up any pretense of this being a fair fight by joining Hunter in the ring and blasting Rock with the title.

    WWF Backlash 2000 - The Rock and Stone Cold celebrate with a beer
    At one point, Patterson and Briscoe came out in referees shirts to make the cover following a Triple H pedigree. When The Great One kicked out, The Stooges put the boot to him and held him in place ready for a Triple H chair shot.

    Inevitably, the glass shattered and Stone Cold Steve Austin stormed to ringside, taking out both Stooges, Shane, Vince, and Triple H with vicious chair shots before storming off as Linda McMahon walked stoically to the ring with Earl Hebner in tow.

    HHH had recently fired Hebner, but it seemed as though Linda had reinstated him.

    The place went crazy as Rock hit the People's Elbow, then Hebner took about five years to get in the ring and put himself in the right position to count the match-winning pinfall.
    Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: The Rock

    Finishing what had been an almost perfect main event, Steve Austin came back to the ring in his Stone Cold pickup truck, towing the damaged remains of the DX bus with him.

    He shared a beer with the new champion, and that was all she wrote for what had been one of the best WWF PPVs in years, if not of all time.






    I don't make such a statement lightly, either.

    I've seen a lot of disappointing, underwhelming, and just plain terrible wrestling shows lately, so WWF Backlash 2000 was truly a breath of fresh air.

    Though some matches were better than others, practically everything on this show delivered in one way or another.

    The opening tag team match was explosive, the hardcore match was crazy good fun, Benoit and Jericho put on a classic and Malenko/Taylor and Guerrero/Rios all proved mighty enjoyable. The main event was, naturally, on another level, not necessarily in terms of technical wrestling action, but certainly in terms of drama, suspense and compelling action.

    Overall, this was an awesome show that I highly recommend you check out.




    For other 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
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    Thursday, 16 January 2020

    EVENT REVIEW: WWF Slammy Awards 1987

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 -
    December 16, 1987
    Caesars Atlantic City in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

    Vincent Kennedy McMahon has never made a secret of the fact that when it comes to his patented brand of sports entertainment, it's the entertainment part that he's really interested in.

    So it was unlikely to come as much of a surprise when, in 1986, he sent his roster of pro wrestling superstars into the music studio to record a music album, known simply as The Wrestling Album.

    Nor was it overly shocking when he decided to promote that album by producing his own music awards, a parody of the Grammys known as The Slammy Awards.

    That whole process worked so well that, one year later, Vince decided to it all again.

    In 1987, the World Wrestling Federation released Piledriver: The Wrestling Album 2 and once again used The Slammy Awards to promote it.

    This year however, they took their unique brand over-the-top entertainment to a whole new level.

    Don't believe me, here's what went down at the 37th 2nd annual Slammy Awards.





    Welcome to the 37th Annual Slammy Awards

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 - The Hart Foundation arrive
    No, that's not a typo. The World Wrestling Federation promoted this as the 37th Annual Slammy Awards when in actual fact it was only the second.

    Why did they do this?

    Presumedly to make the whole event seem bigger than it was, even though this would have meant that the first Slammy Awards took place in 1950, two years before Vince McMahon's grandfather, Jess McMahon first founded the Capitol Wrestling Corporation that would eventually become the WWF.

    So, despite the inaccuracy, Howard Finkle's voice welcomed us to the 37th Annual Slammys then proceeded to show us all of tonight's star nominees arriving for this 'prestigious' event.

    For some unknown reason, half the wrestlers arrived in ambulances, though Bam Bam Bigelow did pull up in a pretty cool looking roadster and George 'The Animal' Steele hilariously turned on a pushbike.

    Most of the guys were wearing tuxedos, but Bam Bam Bigelow and Ultimate Warrior simply wore their wrestling attire.

    For Warrior, that meant turning up for what was essentially a black-tie event in his underpants.

    The Traditional Home of The Slammy Awards

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 - Vince McMahon cut an impassioned intro
    Keeping up the pretense, Vince McMahon walked out on stage to open up the show by welcoming us to the arena.

    This wasn't just any arena. According to McMahon, this was 'The Traditional Home of The Slammys.'

    Again, I'll remind you that there had only been one other Slammy Awards event before this one, and it took place in an entirely different venue in an entirely different state.

    Clearly getting carried away with himself, McMahon called the event 'a joyous celebration of the human potential' and -I kid you not- 'A LOVE FEST OF MUTUAL ADMIRATION AND SUPPORT!'

    Vince wasn't kidding, either. He looked deadly serious as he said all this, at times coming across like a religious preacher.

    It was hilarious.

    Giving you just enough time to stop laughing, McMahon next introduced our hosts for the evening, Mean Gene Okerlund and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura.

    The WWF Academy of Sports and Sciences

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 - Jesse 'The Body' Ventura and Mean Gene Okerlund
    Ventura and Okerlund's first job was to introduce the man who had apparently collected and tallied all the votes for tonight's event, Jack Tunney.

    We all know that Tunney was the WWF President, but did you know that his official title was 'President of World Wrestling Federation Academy of Sports and Sciences?'

    Yes, that does give you the acronym 'WWF ASS.'

    Of course, this was all a set up so that Mean Gene could say "ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce Jack Ass. I mean, Jack Tunney."

    It was a lame joke, but it could have been worse.

    He could have called Tunney a JOCK ASS!

    Tunney walked out on stage, waving and smiling to a crowd who were clearly booing him, then walked off again. It was funny, in a random and unintentional sort of way.

    Moving on, Jesse left the stage to go and get ready for something else, leaving Mean Gene to announce the first award.

    Best Performance by an Animal

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 - George Steele won 'Best Peformance by an Animal'
    'Now, historically, this category has been the springboard to even greater achievements' said Mean Gene, somehow managing to keep a straight face.

    The nominees were:
    • Damien, with Jake 'The Snake' Roberts
    • Frankie, with Koko B. Ware
    • Matilda, with The British Bulldogs
    • George 'The Animal' Steele.
    In a moment of unplanned madness, Matilda tried to attack Frankie. Apparently, nobody questioned the judgment of placing both animals so close to one another.

    'And now, the moment that animals performing all over the world have been waiting for,' said Okerlund. 'The Winner, is George 'The Animal' Steele.'

    Keeping the level of absolute ridiculousness at an all-time high, Steele got lost on his way to the stage and had to be shown the way by Hillbilly Jim.

    In lieu of an actual acceptance speech, The Animal simply ripped the turnbuckle off the host's podium (which had been designed to look like the corner of a pro wrestling ring), then chased off the girl who had brought his Slammy award out for him.

    Honky Tonk Man Sings


    Forget Michaels/Taker, Flair/Steamboat, or R-Truth's 'My Bad' moment, this was the single greatest thing to ever happen in pro wrestling.

    I mean, OK, it really wasn't, but it was so over-the-top that I couldn't help but enjoy it.

    With Jimmy Hart sitting in a Cadillac, clapping along in the background and Jesse Ventura on the keys, Honky Tonk Man shook, rattled, and rolled his way through a fun rendition of his theme song, complete with dancers, backing singers, and a hysterical cameo from The Hart Foundation.

    Seriously, you've not seen funny until you've seen Bret 'The Hitman' Hart and Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart getting jiggy with it.

    Woman of the Year

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 - Miss Elizabeth won Woman of the Year
    Honky and Jimmy Hart were on double duty tonight, presenting our next award for Woman of the Year.

    Jimmy came out solo and insisted that Honky Tonk Man wouldn't set foot on the stage until he'd received a proper introduction, even though we'd just seen him on stage a few moments earlier.

    Okerlund obliged anyway, introducing The Greatest Intercontinental Champion of All Time back to the stage.

    The nominees were:
    • Sensational Sherri
    • Dolly Parton
    • The Fabulous Moolah
    • Yoko Ono
    • Elizabeth
    Dolly Parton and Yoko Onoo were represented by actresses who looked nothing like either woman. Not that it mattered anyway, Elizabeth was the obvious winner, but before she could make her acceptance speech, Macho Man Randy Savage had to run on stage and save her from the advances of The Honky Tonk Man.

    "I'd like to thank you all very much," she said sweetly. "But I'd especially like to thank the man who made me the woman I am today, the Macho Man Randy Savage."

    Best Ring Apparel

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 - Demolition looking awesome
    Savage would make another appearance in the next category as he was nominated for 'best ring apparel.'

    The award was presented by Hacksaw Jim Duggan who, proving he knew a thing or two about fashion, forwent the traditional tuxedo in favor of a t-shirt with a tuxedo print on it.

    The 1988 Royal Rumble Winner did at least bring a touch of class to proceedings by sticking a bow-tie on his trusty 2x4.

    The nominees in this category were:
    • Demolition
    • Macho Man Randy Savage
    • Honky Tonk Man
    • King Harley Race
    • The British Bulldogs
    Brilliantly, Ax and Smash wore their wrestling attire with a collar and bow-tie. I won't lie, it looked kinda cool.

    King Harley Race was declared the winner, but Duggan was so incensed by this that he refused to announce it. Instead, he had the pretty young model who was holding the Slammy Award do it for him.

    "And the winner is...King Harley Race?" she said in a fashion which suggested she'd never heard of him and wasn't sure if she was pronouncing his name correctly.

    Race's manager, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan accompanied him to the stage and declared that The King could only accept the award if it was properly presented to him.

    The Brain tried to get Hacksaw to drop to one knee in order to offer up the award. When he refused, Race attacked him.

    What is a Donkey Doing at the Slammy Awards?

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 - Donkey Doug Yo!
    The two fought their way into the dressing room for a wild and thoroughly enjoyable brawl reminiscent of the kind of backstage hardcore matches we'd see 12 years later in the Attitude Era.

    Gorilla Monsoon popped up to provide commentary for the whole fight, calling the action while at the same time expressing his absolute bewilderment that a random donkey and some chickens were hanging out backstage.

    The whole thing ended when Race, now down to his wrestling trunks and shirt, tried to hit Duggan with a flying splash but instead crashed through a table in what was probably the first instance of this spot ever happening on a WWF show.

    The whole thing was brilliantly good fun in a wacky, over-the-top kind of way.

    Vince McMahon Performs Stand Back

    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's the moment you've all been waiting for.

    Or, as Jesse Ventura put it in his introduction.

    "And now, a man who has repeatedly proven that he can't talk, and will prove that he can't sing, either."



    Vince McMahon took to the stage to strut his funky stuff and sing 'Stand Back,' in a performance which, ten years later, would famously be ridiculed by D-Generation-X.

    One often overlooked part of this performance is that McMahon wasn't alone.

    Along with his backing dancers, the WWF Chairman also had an ensemble of pro wrestlers behind him.

    Fresh from his Metallica audition, The Immortal Hulk Hogan stood tall and proud, slapping the bass like a mother. He was surrounded by a horn section comprised of Junkyard Dog, The Killer Bees, Macho Man Randy Savage, Brutus Beefcake and Jake 'The Snake' Roberts.

    George Steele was there too, playing a tambourine of course.

    Like just about everything on this show, McMahon's performance was glorious...in an absolutely ridiculous sort of way. The Chairman held nothing back, singing his heart out and throwing himself through the choreographed routine with commendable gusto.

    I don't care if DX mocked him, if I were Vinny Mac, I'd be rightly proud of that performance.

    Wait, a Llama?

    Backstage, the Hacksaw/Race brawl continued with Monsoon standing by, calling the action.

    Obviously, a random llama walked by, because why wouldn't it?

    Then Race and Heenan managed to lock Duggan inside some kind of mesh cage. Duggan shook at the cage wall, trying to get out. The cage easily opened so that Duggan could have just pushed through it, but that would have ruined the whole storyline, so he just had to pretend like he was still trapped and instead managed to push a tower of empty cardboard boxes onto his rivals.

    The Hulk Hogan Real American Award

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 - Superstar Billy Graham won the Hulk Hogan Real American award
    Up next, Hulk Hogan made his way through the crowd to the stage, accompanied by a small group of rent-a-cops who were about half his size.

    I mean, seriously, if somebody did try to attack Hogan, what were these short, flabby dudes going to do exactly?

    Anyway, The Hulkster made his way to the stage to present The Hulk Hogan Real American Award to a man he said embodied the things that made a Real American like integrity and perseverance in the face of adversity:

    Superstar Billy Graham.

    Decked out in a salmon suit with enormous earrings in both ears, Graham used a walking cane to help him get up onto the stage. There, he used his acceptance speech to put over Hogan.

    Repaying the kind words, Hulk took Graham's walking cane and snapped it over his knee before encouraging the legendary grappler to pose with him.

    You have to hope that cane was a gimmick, otherwise, that was a bit of a dick move by the WWF Champion.

    The Christmas Party is Ruined

    Backstage, Hacksaw and Harley battled into a room that had been reserved for the cast of tonight's show to enjoy a celebratory Christmas party. No random animals popped up this time, though Hacksaw did blast Heenan over the head with a giant fish which was pretty funny.

    The Jesse The Body Award

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 - Mean Gene covers up Rick Rude
    Up next, Jesse Ventura presented an award named after him to the person he declared to have the best body.

    The nominees were:

    • Ravishing Rick Rude
    • The Natural Butch Reed
    • The Ultimate Warrior
    • Sensational Sherri
    • Hercules.

    Ravishing Rick Rude was declared the winner. Clearly having the time of his life, Rude strutted onto the stage and stripped off to his undies.

    He then started to take his undies off too, but Mean Gene ran on stage and put a towel in front of him.

    Interestingly, despite the fact that he'd run out to stop Rude from showing his junk, Okerlund couldn't stop looking at it. As Rude took his pants all the way off, Gene continually stared at what was going on behind the towel.

    I suppose this shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

    A few months later, at Wrestlemania 4, Gene would literally point at Brutus Beefcake's groin and yell "What a package!"

    Rude eventually made his way to the podium, where he thanked Jesse and the millions of women around the world who worshipped him. In true Rick Rude fashion, he then draped his arm around the girl holding the Slammy and walked off with her.

    Hit Me With Your Best Shot

    "When I say 'Greatest Tits' you probably think of Jesse The Body," said Ventura.

    Of course, he meant "Greatest Hits," but I'm telling you, he definitely said "tits."

    The point of all this was to introduce a video package in which clips of various wrestlers hitting a bunch of moves, all set to the song 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' by Pat Benatar.

    The Greatest Hit Award

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 - Hacksaw Jim Duggan won the 'Greatest Hit' award - tough guy!
    This video package was to set up our next award, for the 'Greatest Hit' or in other words - the best attack/wrestling move.

    The nominees were:

    • Andre The Giant (for throwing Hulk Hogan out of a battle royal)
    • Hacksaw Jim Duggan (for drilling Harley Race with a 2x4)
    • The Honky Tonk Man (for smashing Randy Savage with a guitar)
    • Strike Force (for beating up Hart Foundation)
    • Bam Bam Bigelow (for hitting a sweet slingshot splash)

    Before the nominees could be read out, however, Duggan and Race burst onto the stage for some more fighting.

    Gorilla Monsoon held Duggan back, giving Race and Heenan a chance to escape, but then Duggan was back a moment later as he was declared the winner of the award.

    Duggan's acceptance speech was short and simple:

    "HOOOOOO!"

    Manager of the Year Award

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 - Manager of the Year Award
    After a commercial break, Monsoon presented the award for Manager of the Year, an award he said would go to a man who has improved his wrestler's career the most while displaying sportsmanship.

    The nominees were:

    • Slick
    • Jimmy Hart
    • Mr. Fuji
    • Bobby Heenan.
    Hilariously, all four men made their way to up to the stage as though it was a given that they'd win.

    As it turned out, none of them won. Monsoon announced the winner to be "None of the Above."

    Get it?

    Because all the heels were so terrible that none of them deserved it!

    Naturally, this caused much outrage among the wrestlers.

    Koko B. Ware Performs Piledriver

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 - Ultimate Warrior performed as Koko B. Ware's backup dancer
    Another nominee for 'Song of the Year' saw Koko B. Ware performing the lead track from Piledriver: The Wrestling Album 2.

    Koko was joined on stage by a saxophone-playing Bam Bam Bigelow and a bunch of wrestlers including Hillbilly Jim, Davey Boy Smith, and The Ultimate Warrior all dressed up as construction workers.

    It's a shame that I couldn't find a video of this, because you've honestly never seen a man look so uncomfortable as Jim Hellwig strutting around on stage in a hard hat, pretending to have a good time.

    Best Personal Hygiene Award

    Returning from commercial, Mean Gene was up to present what he called 'the oldest and most prestigious' award for best personal hygiene.

    The nominees were:

    • Sika (for his table manners)
    • Hillbilly Jim (for creating a new cologne out of pig swill)
    • George Steel (for "his tidiness in and around the ring")
    • Nikolai Volkoff, Boris Zuchoff and Slick (for sharing a toothbrush)
    • King Kong Bundy (for doing a smelly turd, seriously).

    Volkoff, Zuchoff, and Slick won the award. Making their way to the stage, Volkoff and Zuchoff tripped over the steps and fell flat on their faces. Making a swift recovery, they flanked The Slickster, who raised the ire of the crowd by talking about how the Russians were clean and peaceful people.

    Jimmy Hart Performs Girls in Cars


    On the album, Robbie Dupree sang this song as Strike Force's theme song. Tonight, Jimmy Hart picked up the microphone to croon his way through it as girls on roller skates skated by with cardboard cut-outs of cars stuck to their sides.

    One girl apparently couldn't roller skate, so she moved across the stage on a child's tricycle instead.

    Things got weirder when Tito Santana and Rick Martel turned up on dirt bikes to steel the girls, after which a big fat woman dressed up like a school bus started to chase Jimmy Hart around the stage.

    Seriously, just writing that sentence makes me question what kind of messed up drugs were floating around backstage at the Slammys.

    Best Vocal Performance Award

    Macho Man Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth came out to present this award, though not before the pair took a moment to put over how dapper Savage looked.

    The nominees for this award were:
    • Junkyard Dog (for his growl)
    • One Man Gang (for his bellow)
    • Hacksaw Jim Duggan (for his 'howl')
    • Jimmy Hart (for his shrieking megaphone)
    • George 'The Animal' Steele (for his wail)
    And the winner was:

    Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

    Once again, Duggan gave us a big "Hoooo!" instead of an actual acceptance speech.

    The WWF Superstars perform If You Only Knew

    Finally, it was down to the last performance of the evening; the entire cast of World Wrestling Federation Superstars on stage, swaying back-and-forth and clapping their hands in a performance of 'If You Only Knew.'

    Some, like Dynamite Kid, looked clearly uncomfortable in the song-and-dance number, but others, like Bret Hart and Butch Reed, for example, looked to be having tremendous fun.

    Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase even had a smile about him as he danced on the front row, though his bodyguard, Virgil, stood stoic, arms folded, scowling the whole time, probably wishing he were at Olive Garden.


    And the Winner Is...

    All the song performances throughout the show were supposed to lead us to the big reveal of the Best Song Award winner.

    Yet when Mean Gene tried to announce it, Jimmy Hart stole the envelope and passed it around all the heels. It eventually ended up in the hands of Sika, who, naturally, ate it.

    Jesse told Mean Gene not to worry, he could always hang out with the Wild Samoan and pick up the results the following day.

    The Missing Awards

    WWF - Slammy Awards 1987 - Director - Kayfabe
    Apparently, there were some awards handed out which were cut from the broadcast I watched.

    Ted Dibiase won the Humanitarian of the Year. One Mang Gang was the obvious winner of the 'Best Group' Award, and the Bobby "The Brain" Heenan Scholarship Award was presented to all of Heenan's wrestlers.

    The was also an award for 'Best Head' presented to Bam Bam Bigelow and Mean Gene Okerlund. If you're as disappointed as I am that what was clearly a fellatio joke was cut from the broadcast, I guess there's only one person we can blame:

    The show's director, Kay Fabe.





    If you've never seen the 37th Annual Slammy Awards, here's the best way to describe it:

    Imagine the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen in pro wrestling and multiply it by a thousand.

    The Slammys was bizarre, cheesy, over-the-top, ridiculous, stupid, and gloriously, gloriously wonderful.

    If you take pro wrestling seriously, you'll probably hate this. It was intended to be a comedy show, and to that end, it worked. OK, so most of the humor was low-brow, but let's be honest, wrestling isn't exactly known for being high-concept performance art, is it?

    Overall, this is one of the weirdest and most fun things you'll ever see as a wrestling fan, and I highly recommend it.



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    Retro Pro Wrestling

    New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.