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, 27 February 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF Judgement Day 2000

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 Event Poster
May 21, 2000,
Freedom Hall, Louisville, Kentucky.

In the official history records (or at least on Wikipedia), Judgement Day 2000 is noted as being the first annual Judgement Day PPV.

While it's technically true that this was the event that kicked off a nine-year run for the franchise, it wasn't the first-ever Judgement Day PPV.

That took place back in October 1998 and featured The Rock competing in a throw-away match against his former Nation of Domination team mate Mark Henry as he moved one-step further to cementing his status as one of the company's biggest stars of all time.

Two years down the line, that's exacty what he was, a breakout superstar who would eventually transcend pro wrestling altogether and become one of the biggest movie stars in the world.

Tonight, one of The People's Champion's all-time greatest rivalries continued as The Great One went one-on-one with Triple H for the WWF title.

Here's what went down when Judgement Day 2000 came to us live from Louisville, Kentucky:

In One Hour, Everything Changes

Did you know that in one hour, 14,849 babies are born but 5,936 people die?

Did you know that in that same hour, 8,378 planes would take off in the US, causing 1.23 million passengers to 'contemplate disaster'?


Well, you would if you watched WWF Judgement Day 2000 because tonight's opening video told us all these fascinating statistics as a way to introduce tonight's main event - a one-hour iron match between Triple H and The Rock.

In that one hour, according to this awesome video, those two men would see their life flash before their eyes as they duked it out in the ultimate battle for supremacy.

Epic pyro and a welcome from Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler followed, and with that, it was on with the show.

A Busy Night Ahead

WWE/ WWF - Mr McMahon, WWF Hardcore Champion Gerald Brisco, HHH and Stephanie McMahon
Out in the back, Vince McMahon gave a pep talk to his McMahon-Helmsley Faction, which was just himself, his kids, and DX.

As the boss got excited about each Faction member's match tonight, WWF Hardcore Champion Gerald Briscoe arrived on the scene, sticking around just long enough to inform McMahon that Pat Patterson had missed his flight and wouldn't be at the show.

"Missed his flight? How can we have a show without Patterson?" said McMahon, in a line that was way funnier than it probably meant to be.

Briscoe was sent out to get the group's coffee order, but, in a scene that would become oh-so familiar with the launch of the 24/7 title 19 years later, the champion got attacked by a bunch of random, nomark midcarders.

Elsewhere in the arena, Shawn Michaels, the special guest referee for tonight's main event, strutted down a corridor.

Kurt Angle and WWF Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian vs. Rikishi & Too Cool (Grandmaster Sexay & Scotty 2 Hotty)

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Edge doing a Five-Second Pose as a Hillbilly
Judgement Day got off to a fine start with this tremendously fun contest.

The first half was played mostly for laughs. Kurt Angle came out first to claim that teenage girls everywhere thought he was "all that," before his partners, Edge & Christian joined him in a new Five Second Pose.

The three of them donned false teeth, strummed banjos and stomped their feet as a Jug Band.

It was hilarious.

Later, Too Cool did a bit where Grandmaster Sexay's pants fell down and Scotty 2 Hotty laughed at him for having a small penis.

Nope, not making that up.

Eventually, things segued into more of a proper wrestling match and were all the better for it.

All six men had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands in what was pretty much a flawless opener.

After some wonderful back-and-forth, Christian clocked Rikishi with the ring bell, but referee Teddy Long was too busy having palpitations in the corner because of how much he loved tag team matches.

That gave Grandmaster Sexay the chance to hit the Hip Hop Drop. 'Kishi covered edge, and this awesome opener was over.
Your Winners: Rikishi & Too Cool

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Michael Cole interviews special guest referee Shawn Michaels
Post-matched, the babyfaces gave us their obligatory dance routine.

Out in the back, Michael Cole questioned whether Shawn Michaels was going to remain impartial in tonight's main event.

Michaels, whose last referee gig on PPV ended in controversial fashion at Summerslam 1997, insisted that despite Triple H being 'his boy,' he was going to do the job Linda McMahon hired him to do - be an unbiased referee.

Earlier, On Heat...

WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero and Chyna arrived at the arena, only to be confronted by Dean Malenko.

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Dean Malenko confronts Eddie Guerrero and Chyna
The Radicalz had all but disintegrated by now, and Malenko was ready to take Eddie's title. The Ice Man warned Chyna to stay out of tonight's European Championship match, but she and Eddie were too loved-up and goofy to take him seriously.

Bless, it was kinda nice to see the two looking genuinely happy working together.

One person who wasn't happy, however, was Perry Saturn, who confronted Malenko to declare that it would be he who came up trumps in the upcoming match.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chyna) vs. Perry Saturn vs. WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko

By all accounts, this was a fun, eight-minute match with some of the best actual wrestling you were going to see on WWF TV during this time period.

Unfortunately, the Kentucky crowd didn't seem to care.

Brian Christopher flashing his undies? They went wild for that.

Eddie Guerrero busting out hurricanranas and top-rope arm-drags?

Meh, not so much.

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Perry Saturn gets ready to leap onto Eddie Guerrero
Despite the lacklustre crowd response, the three men worked hard to deliver an enjoyable performance that came to a head when Chyna got involved with a lead pipe disguised as a bouquet of roses.

Malenko stole the roses from Mamacita, but she tripped him up and he smacked headfirst onto them, and thus onto the pipe.

A quick Guerrero roll-up later, and this was all over.
Your Winner and Still WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero

Flashing back to that week's Smackdown, we were reminded that Gerald Briscoe became our Hardcore Champion by pinning Crash Holly as Holly slept.

Back live, Briscoe was seen hiding out in the men's room trying to avoid a beat down. The poor Stooge was so on-edge that his own reflection in the mirror caused him to scream in fright and fall to the floor.

It was stupid, but it was also really funny.

Which Way Did He Go?

This was followed to a look back at the building rivalry between Shane McMahon and The Big Show.

This all started when Shane O' Mac backed Show in the main event of Wrestlemania 2000, only for The Big Nasty Bastard to be the first eliminated.

This caused a rift between the two that led to Shane mocking Big Show with his "Which Way Did He Go?" line.

For the life of me, I can't figure out where that line actually stemmed from, but if you were around at the time then you probably remember it.

Anyway, that match was next.

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Shane McMahon vs. The Big Show

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - The Big Show man handles Shane McMahon
This wasn't nearly as enjoyable as you might've hoped it would be.

Sure, it was great to begin with - Show charged out to the ring and spent the first two-thirds of the match just destroying McMahon in delightfully violent fashion.

Evening the score, McMahon had The Big Boss Man, Test, Albert, and even Trish Stratus come out and wail on Show, only for the big man to destroy them too.

Working their way up the ilse, Show destroyed McMahon some more before Bull Buchanan arrived on the scene. He and Shane dumped an enormous speaker on Big Shows legs, then Shane smashed his opponent over the head with a breeze block and this one just kind of fizzled out.

Blah. Could've been better.
Your Winner: Shane McMahon

Post-match, a hobbling Big Show was helped to the back by Sgt. Slaughter and Tony Garea and loaded into a waiting ambulance.

Meanwhile, Gerald Briscoe tried to find some respite by hiding out in the officials' locker room. I like the idea that the WWF cared so little about their referees that their dedicated space was just a sparse, empty room with a couple of chairs.

Who Likes Short Shorts?

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Triple H and Shawn Michaels discuss HBK's short shorts
Across the arena, DX founders Triple H and Shawn Michaels enjoyed a quick catch up.

Hunter wanted to know about Shawn's wife and kid, but what he really wanted was to make fun of HBK's super tight shorts which, to be fair, did look ridiculous on a grown man.

Submission Rules

Next, we were reminded of the awesome, ongoing rivalry between Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit which had seen the two trade the Intercontinental Championship.

Tonight, the two would finally look to settle their differences in a submission match. This would happen with the added twist that Bob Holly had recently destroyed Benoit's knee with a steel chair after the two had tagged up to face Jericho and Val Venis on Smackdown.

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

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Chris Benoit puts a hurting on Chris Jericho
Back at Backlash, these two waged war on one another in a brilliantly brutal, stiff-as-hell matches that served as a highlight of the entire evening.

Tonight's encounter was more of the same - vicious, violent, and about as good as you were going to get from two master craftsman with only 15 minutes to play with.

The two battered each other in every which way, including Jericho busting out a tarantula a full year before Tajiri would join the company.

Unfortunately for Y2J, that wasn't enough to get the win.

As he went for the Walls of Jericho, Benoit took hold of his knee brace (removed earlier by the other Chris) and smashed it over his opponent's skull.

That allowed him to slap on the Crippler Crossface and hold it on until Jericho passed out.
Your Winner and Still WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit

One other thing of note from that match. At various points, we saw Bob Holly and Val Venis watching on from separate monitors. Val, who hadn't appeared on a WWF PPV since Royal Rumble 2000, would face the winner of the match for the title on the following night's episode of Raw.

Afterwards, Jericho got up and staggered about the ring as his music played while JR talked about how Chris Benoit was the king of this particular ring on this particular night.

Naturally, that led us into a commercial for next month's PPV, staring 1997 King of the Ring winner, Triple H.

Gerald Briscoe - Hardcore Legend

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Michael Cole interviews WWF Hardcore Champion Gerald Brisco
The King of the Ring commercial was followed by a recap of Heat when The Headbangers attacked Gerald Briscoe but were unsuccessful at capturing the hardcore title.

Back live, the reigning champion was interviewed by Michael Cole about how hard it was holding the most sought-after title in the WWF.

As he was doing this, two "catering vendors" (clearly beefed-up indie workers) were spotted in the background, pointing at Briscoe and conferring with a referee.

Before they could strike, however, Briscoe turned around and beat the hell out of the two men who were about 30 years his junior.

Gerald Briscoe, ladies and gentlemen, hardcore legend.

Across the way, The Rock told a clearly disinterested HBK that there'd be trouble if he didn't call tonight's main event right down the middle.

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Tag Team Table Match - Road Dogg & X-Pac (w/ Tori) vs. The Dudley BoyzTables Match
DX (Road Dogg & X-Pac w/ Tori) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley)

This was a decent match that could have been a lot better had they gone with the tornado-style rules used for the Dudleyz/Hardyz match back at the Royal Rumble.

Instead, they started out with a traditional tag match, which really made no sense considering there were no rules beyond "put your opponents through the wood."

That kind of took the shine off things a little, but it was still a perfectly serviceable match. Not the best, sure, but certainly nothing terrible.

Towards the end, Road Dogg and Bubba Ray were the only members of their respective teams not to have gone through a table. The two duked it out and got so fed up of the referee trying to break up their brawl that they both grabbed him and launched him through a table propped up in the corner.

That would come back to bite The Dudleyz on the ass, as even though they next put Roadie through the table, the referee was out cold and didn't see it.

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Bubba Ray gets ready to put Tori through a table
The wood-loving duo next turned their attentions to Tori, but before they could tablize her too, the man of the hour, Gerald Briscoe popped up and rescued her. X-Pac then hit Bubba with a top-rope X-Factor, Briscoe revived the official and this one was declared over.
Your Winners: DX

Post-match, Briscoe made the questionable decision to get in the ring and crotch chop the Dudleyz. Obviously, the two sent him through a table with a 3D.

This was followed by an ominous video featuring creepy kids playing hopscotch. Was that a variation of The Undertaker's theme music playing in this video?

The Sixty-Minute Men

A final, compelling video package for tonight's main event came next, after which it was down to the ring for the first WWF iron man match since Wrestlemania 12.

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

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - The Rock and Triple H face off Special Guest Referee: Shawn Michaels

The man who had competed in that last iron man bout, Shawn Michaels, made his way out first to officiate, wearing those stupidly ridiculous pants.

Triple H was out next, with Vince, Shane, and WWF Women's Champion Stephanie McMahon in tow.

Not that the McMahons would stick around. When they reached the ring, Hunter asked them to go backstage so that he could do this by himself. Quite why he couldn't have had this conversation backstage before the match is anyone's guess.

Finally, The Rock came back to Kentucky, and this utterly magnificent iron man match was underway.

It's been a long time since this fan found myself on the edge of my seat, desperately cheering on a wrestler, praying to whatever God there may be that he could fight back and pick up a victory. It's been even longer since I felt so utterly drawn in by a match that took place over 20 years ago, but I did so with this match.

Seriously, if you're feeling disheartened, disappointed, and disillusioned with modern pro wrestling, I urge you to go back to Judgement Day 2000 and watch The Rock vs. Triple H for the WWF title.

Watching this match, I was reminded of exactly why I became a fan in the first place. It's the joy, the passion, the drama, the excitement and the intensity, all of which Rock/HHH delivered in spades.

At various points, Jerry Lawler made reference to their Summerslam 1998 ladder match, which -as I've mentioned multiple times- happens to be one of my favourite matches ever and which -as Lawler was keen to tell us- was the longest match either man had been involved in up to that point in their careers.

This captivating iron match surpassed even that bout, and would have been nigh on flawless were it not for the screwy finish.

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - The Rock and Triple H battle with referee Shawn Michaels looking on
After trailing behind for almost the entire match, The Rock managed to even the score by hitting HHH with a Pedigree onto Lawler & JR's announce table to earn a count-out, then make it five falls apiece thanks to the People's Elbow.

With two minutes left on the clock, Vince, Shane, Steph, Road Dogg and X-Pac all ran into the ring to decimate The Rock, inadvertently knocking HBK off the apron in the process.

As all this was going on, the creepy, hopscotch playing kids from earlier popped up on the titantron, signalling the arrival of American Bad Ass Undertaker.

Last seen on PPV way back at Summerslam 1999, 'Taker rode to ring on a Harley and destroyed everyone in sight. He lifted Triple H for the Tombstone, but Michaels saw it and called a DQ right at the very second that the bell sounded to end the match.

That gave HHH a dodgy 6-5 victory and his fourth WWF Championship:
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: Triple H

I'm not the only one who thought the ending was BS. The crowds showed their disgust by pelting the ring, and the new champion, with garbage as the show, went off the air.

That questionable ending aside, Judgement Day 2000 was an awesome show from start to finish. Sure, the Big Show/Shane match wasn't to my taste, and sure, the DX/Dudleyz table match wasn't exactly enthralling, but everything else delivered quality action from bell-to-bell.

The six-man match was undoubtedly one of the hottest openers you'll ever see in terms of crowd reaction, the European three-way and the Benoit/Jericho match delivered, and that main, that main event was something else.

It feels like a long time since I've said this, but I highly recommend tracking down this show.

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

    Thursday, 20 February 2020

    PPV REVIEW: WCW Slamboree 2000

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Event poster
    May 7, 2000
    Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri

    There's a reason why there's been no WCW reviews on this blog for over a month: 

    By the early 2000s, the shows were getting so bad that it was actually becoming a chore to watch.

    Trust me, this blog is supposed to be a fun hobby for me, but reviewing World Championship Wrestling was turning into the worst job I've ever had.

    The whole David Arquette - WCW World Heavyweight Champion storyline -which came to a head at Slamboree 2000- was only one of the reasons why.

    Mediocre wrestling, frustrating finishes and ridiculous booking were running rampant around this time, leaving very little to enjoy.

    Still, I've started, so I'll finish.

    So, without further ado, let's head down to Kansas City, Missouri for the first pro wrestling PPV to emanate from the Kemper Arena since Over the Edge 1999, the night Owen Hart died.

    The New Blood vs. The Millionaires Club - The War Wages On

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone, and Mark Madden were the announcers for the event
    We began tonight's proceedings with a cold open, a flashback to that week's Nitro in which Ric Flair, leading The Millionaire's Club, had challenged The New Blood to a battle royal, with a world title shot at The Great American Bash up for grabs for the winner.

    Flair had gone onto win that match, which had also featured a surprise cameo from Macho Man Randy Savage.

    This was great and all, but since Flair's title shot wouldn't be until the following month, this didn't do much for tonight's show.

    Out in the parking lot, The Millionaire's Club were shown arriving on their tour bus while The New Blood all gathered around a TV in the locker room to watch them do so.

    We then got the standard sub-par WCW video package which reminded us that Sting and Vampiro hated each other, that Billy Kidman and Hulk Hogan were at war, and that yes, Courtney Cox's husband was our world champion.

    Out in the arena, pyro blasted, and Tony Schiavone welcomed us to Slamboree. As the cameras scanned the crowd, Schiavone introduced us to his broadcast colleagues, Mark Madden and Scott Hudson, leaving this writer to pine for the glory days of Mike Tenay and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan.

    World Championship Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship
    WCW Cruiserweight Champion (w/ Tammy) vs. The Artist (w/ Paisley)

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Tammy Sytch accompanied Chris Candido to the ring
    Before the bout, Tammy took to the microphone to insist that since Missouri was the 'Show Me State,' she should show us what she had under her robe.

    Chris Candido's valet, whose voice was at least a couple of octaves deeper than it ever had been the last time we saw her as Sunny, then stripped off her robe to reveal a silver dress which made her look like one of The Godfather's hos.

    The match then commenced and was a good effort from both men.

    Though this was nowhere on par with the kind of cruiserweight classics we'd once seen from the likes of Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis, and Rey Mysterio Jr, it was a solid outing that was only spoiled by a couple of blown spots and a botched finish.

    That came about when Paisley confronted Tammy to stop her distracting the referee's attention. The two women -who had come to blows at the previous month's Spring Stampede 2000- got into a staredown which resulted in Paisley grabbing Tammy by the hair and dragging her to the ground. In retaliation, Tammy grabbed a chair and managed to take out both Paisley and The Artist at the same time.

    Candido covered the artist, referee Mickey Jay counted to three and the bell rang, only for Jay to claim that he didn't count to three after all and that the match must continue.

    Rather pointlessly, Candido then hit a piledriver and diving headbutt to score the actual three count.
    Your Winner and Still WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Candido

    Afterward, Paisley ripped off Tammy's prostitute dress. This would have been sexy had Tammy not been wearing an ugly hotpants-and-crop top number.

    Terry Funk is Middle-Aged and Crazy

    Before the next match, Tony Schiavone and his fake tan told us that one of the cages in tonight's Triple Cage match would be a 'hardcore cage' while another would be -and I quote- "a guitar cage."

    Schiavone, Hudson, and Madden then segued into talking about Terry Funk, who would be competing in our next match.

    This led us into a video package which showed The Funker getting his ass kicked in various ways, because if you want to get a guy over, then naturally the best way to do is to show him getting destroyed by half the roster.

    World Championship Wrestling Hardcore Championship Handicap Match
    WCW Hardcore Champion Terry Funk vs. Norman Smiley & Ralphus

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Norman Smiley (w/ Ralphus) does the Big Wiggle on Terry Funk
    Honestly, I don't think I've ever laughed so much watching a pro wrestling match in all of my life.

    I'm also not entirely sure that this was actually supposed to be that funny. Norman Smiley had been billed as competing with a 'Mystery Partner,' a big fat guy wearing a hockey mask to reveal his identity.

    Later in the match, Terry Funk would blast away that hockey mask to reveal that the big fat guy was actually Ralphus, who we last saw on PPV accompanying Chris Jericho back at Uncensored 1999.

    That wasn't the funny part though, the funny part was that Ralphus had absolutely no idea what he was supposed to be doing.

    Rather than helping Smiley in any way, he kind of just wandered around aimlessly. At one point, Funk covered Smiley as they brawled through the backstage area. Rather than break up the pin attempt, the big lug just stood there, watching and holding a trash can. Not long after, he decided to use said trash can to give Funk a gentle little love tap.

    It was such a pathetic attempt at offence that Funk deliberately no-sold it, grabbed the trash can and waffled Ralphus with it.

    All the while, Schiavone, Hudson, and Madden made such fun at Ralphus that you couldn't help but laugh out loud.

    Seriously, if you wanted a quality hardcore match then this wasn't the one for you, but if you wanted a so-bad-it's-freakin-hilllarious comedy of errors, get on this one.

    Eventually, this absolute trainwreck made it to the ring where Smiley put the big wiggle on the hardcore champion. Looking to emulate the move, Ralphus stood behind Funk and basically dry-humped him. Not one to take too kindly to getting bummed in by a toothless fat guy, Funk picked up a chair and murdered the former Jericho Personal Security man. Smiley tried coming to his partner's aid, allowing The Funker the opportunity to roll him up and retain the title.
    Your Winner and Still WCW Hardcore Champion: Terry Funk

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews David Arquette
    Out in the back, David Arquette turned up in a limousine to be confronted by Mean Gene Okerlund.

    Rather than asking him anything about tonight's main event, Mean Gene wanted to know about Arquette's wife earning a million dollars per episode for her role as Monica in Friends.

    Unsurprisingly, Arquette didn't want to talk about that, but was willing to admit that he was scared about his role in the big triple cage match.

    I know that the whole David Arquette - World Champion thing gets ripped on, but at least WCW didn't present the actor as though he was a credible threat or anything. Throughout this whole story, it was treated as though his world title win had been a fluke, that his position as champion was outrageous, and that even the man himself knew he had no business holding the gold.

    Shawn 'The Perfect One' Stasiak vs. Curt Hennig

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Shawn Stasiak takes control of Curt Hennig
    Poor Curt Hennig looked like crap here but still managed to carry Shawn Stasiak to what was probably the best match Stan The Man's son would ever have.

    That's not to say it was a classic or anything, but it was certainly a decent enough match when you consider that one man was a rookie and the other was a knackered veteran who was clearly past caring.

    The story here was that Stasiak had decided to piss off Hennig by stealing the 'Mr. Perfect' gimmick, right down to the knock off theme music. This wouldn't have been so bad if Hennig had ever used that gimmick in WCW. As it was, it was purely a WWF gimmick, and Hennig hadn't even used it in that company for at least four years.

    Horrible backstory aside, this was a decent match which ended when Stasiak catapulted Hennig into the corner and blasted him with the PerfectPlex, adding insult to injury in the name of victory.
    Your Winner: Shawn Stasiak

    Backstage, Scott Steiner was shown getting pumped up in The New Blood locker room as Vince Russo told him it was time to go to the ring. Yes, Scott Steiner, who made his professional wrestling debut in 1986, was part of The New Blood in May 2000.

    World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
    WCW US Champion Scott Steiner (w/ Shakira & Midajah) vs. Hugh Morrus  Hugh G. Rection

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Hugh Morrus changed his name to General Hugh G. Rection
    OK, let's do this.

    Before the match, Hugh Morrus got on the microphone and declared that he never wanted to be called that name ever again. The name Hugh Morrus, he said, was given to him by Eric Bischoff in order to look stupid. So, to make himself not look stupid any longer, he was now going to go by his 'real name' of Hugh G. Rection, or Captain Rection for short.

    Yep, cos that's totally not stupid at all.

    I mean for f***'s sake.

    "Captain Rection, he's working stiff in there, I'll tell you that," quipped Madden as this one got underway, proving that anything the former Hugh Morrus did from here on in would be overshadowed by penis jokes.

    That was a shame because this was a surprisingly good match that saw Hugh G. Rection take a pounding only to consistently fight back and occasionally come close to picking up the three count.

    Towards the finish, Rection reversed a tombstone into a piledriver of his own, but when he went for the No Laughing Matter moonsualt, Steiner rolled out of harm's way. Unfortunately, he didn't roll far enough and took a nasty kick to the head as Rection landed. Curiously, Madden told us that the No Laughing Matter had been renamed 'The Raging Climax.' I'm not sure how Madden was supposed to know this when Morrus had only changed to his 'Walking D**k Joke' gimmick at the start of this match.

    Anyway, Steiner got to his feet and put his opponent in the Steiner Recliner. Hugh G. Rection went limp, and this one was over.
    Your Winner and Still WCW US Champion: Scott Steiner

    After the bell, Steiner clamped the Steiner Recliner back on. Rection's Misfits in Action cohorts Van Hammer, Chavo Guerrero, and Lash LeRoux got up from their position in the front row (where they'd been sitting after supposedly being 'fired from WCW') and tried to attack, but Eric Bischoff & Vince Russo's hired security team of low-rent indie workers ran in to hold them back.

    In the midst of all this fracas, Booker T triumphantly ran to the ring in his shirt and slacks and took out Big Poppa Pump.

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Chris Kanyon promised to have DDP's backKanyon Has DDP's Back

    Out in the backstage area, Chris Kanyon spoke to Mean Gene Okerlund about his friendship with Diamond Dallas Page and how that made him a natural enemy of The New Blood.

    Kanyon would take on New Blood member Mike Awesome next.

    Mike Awesome vs. Chris 'Champagne' Kanyon

    This very quickly turned into the best match of the night so far, and then they hit the finish and absolutely ruined it.

    With the crowd chanting "ECW! ECW!" Mike Awesome battered Kanyon from pillar to post and utterly destroyed him. Proving his worth, Kanyon refused to stay down and always found a way to fight back no matter how much punishment he had to endure.

    It was completely gripping, the kind of match that really takes you by surprise with just how excellent it is and forces you to sit up and take note, even if that's only so you can see how badly WCW botched it up.

    Towards the end, Mike Awesome rolled back the protective matting from around the ringside area and set Kanyon up to powerbomb him onto the concrete floor from atop the elevated entrance way leading to the ring. Before he could do that, however, Kevin Nash's music hit and Big Sexy stormed to the ring.

    Nash played into Awesome but was soon surrounded by members of The New Blood. Ric Flair and Sting ran in for the save, and this one was just kind of over.
    No Contest

    Yep, the official result is that this was a no-contest, even though Nash hit Awesome so technically he should have won by DQ.

    Russo owns Elizabeth

    Next, we were shown a video package of the rivalry between Vince Russo and Lex Luger, stemming from Russo's claim that he owned Elizabeth's contract, and therefore, owned her.

    Somehow, that meant we got a match between Luger and Buff Bagwell here tonight.

    Back live, we were taken to The New Blood's lockerroom, where Russo insisted that Liz go change her dress because he owned her and didn't like what she was wearing.

    Can you imagine any major wrestling company getting away with a storyline like this today?

    The Total Package Lex Luger vs. Buff Bagwell

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Buff Bagwell strikes a pose before facing Lex Luger
    I've always been a fan of The Total Package, but even I have to admit that this was a pretty tedious match.

    It was 50% chinlock, 25% posing, and 25% half-way decent wrestling that just didn't capture the imagination.

    Towards the end, we randomly cut to the back just in time to see Elizabeth hit Russo with a baseball bat and then run to the ring.

    Moving between the ropes, she had the bat stolen from her by Buff Bagwell, who used it on Luger in plain view of the referee.

    The gormless official simply ignored it, just as he ignored Liz finally hitting Buff with it as he scaled the top rope for the Buff Blockbuster.

    The blatant and unchallenged interference allowed Lugr to slap on the Torture Rack and win the match:
    Your Winner: Lex Luger

    Afterward, Chuck Palumbo came down wearing Lex Luger's gear and put The Total Package in a torture rack.

    Apparently, Vince Russo was pretty big on gimmick stealing gimmicks at the time. First Shawn Stasiak, now Chuck.

    Shane Douglas Hates Ric Flair

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Mean Gene interviews Shane Douglas
    When the history books are written, Shane Douglas' career will be defined by two things:

    1: That time he threw down the NWA title
    2: His real-life hatred of Ric Flair.

    That long-standing grudge was on display here as Douglas ranted and raved to Mean Gene Okerlund about how much he hated The Nature Boy.

    Admittedly, this was a decent promo from Douglas, who ended things by claiming that Flair's ass would get Franchised, which apparently was a thing.

    Shane Douglas vs. Nature Boy Ric Flair

    If Vince Russo interferes, Flair gets five minutes alone with Russo

    By this point, Flair had clearly stopped caring, and couldn't even be bothered to dress properly for his match, coming down to face The Franchise in his slacks, shoes and t-shirt.

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Ric Flair cuts an angry promoThankfully, the legendary grappler still had a little fire in his belly, and used it to great effect to cut a compelling promo, calling Douglas a 'dips**t' and promising to kick his 'ECW ass.'

    The match itself was actually very good. Rather than making it difficult for the two men to work together, their real-life animosity adding an intensity to proceedings that made this a much more enjoyable watch than your writer thought it might be.

    Apart from a couple of sloppy-looking rolling suplexes from Douglas, there was almost nothing to complain about least not until the finish.

    Frustratingly, we got another match which just *had* to end with interference.

    As Flair took control, Buff Bagwell and a man dressed as Sting who everybody (Naitch included) believed to be Vince Russo ran out to the ring.

    The Russo-Sting blasted Flair with a baseball bat, allowing Douglas to get the roll-up and the three.
    Your Winner: Shane Douglas

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - David Flair and Vince RussoFired up, Flair took to the microphone to demand his five minutes alone with Russo. When the man in the Sting mask refused, Lex Luger came out, battered Buff Bagwell and hurled Sting-Russo into the ring.

    Predictably, that turned out not to be Russo at all but David Flair, who joined The New Blood leader in taking out his pops.

    When Kevin Nash came to the rescue, Dafney ran in and blasted him in the bollocks, the result of which was that a sixteen-time world champion and a seven-foot-tall monster of a man were overpowered by a scrawny writer from New York, a small woman, and David Flair.

    Vampiro is a Freak

    In more New Blood vs. Millionaires Club action, we saw a video package highlighting the bizarre and creepy feud between Sting and Vampiro, including the moment when Vampiro had Sting covered in blood and hanging from a noose.

    I don't recall that, but man it looked genuinely like something out of a horror movie.

    Vampiro vs. Sting

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Vampiro faced Sting
    One of the better matches Sting had been involved in for a while, this one began with Vampiro waiting on the ramp for Sting to arrive, only to get his backside handed to him when The Stinger did show up.

    For a good few minutes, the WCW mainstay did his best to destroy Vampiro, only for his demented opponent to make a comeback in a fun bout loaded with action and intensity.

    The only drawback was the lax officiating.

    Apparently, there were no such things as countouts or DQs in WCW anymore. As such, both men were free to whack each other with a lead pipe in plain view of referee Mickey Jay, who did nothing more than look mildly surprised.

    After a short, explosive contest, Sting countered Vampiro's corner attack with a low blow and an awesome powerbomb from the middle rope, destroyed him with two Scorpion Death Drops, and gave us one of the very few clean finishes on the show.
    Your Winner: Sting

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - DDP addresses World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette
    Backstage, Mike Tenay was relegated to interviewer role when he really should have been calling the show.

    His first job was to hold the microphone while Diamond Dallas Page told a frightened David Arquette that if he just did everything Page told him, everything would work out.

    His second was to interview Billy Kidman, who was standing by with Torrie Wilson, Eric Bischoff, and Kimberley Page.

    Kidman cut a cringe-inducing promo in which he claimed that, with Bischoff as the special referee, there was no way he could lose to Hulk Hogan tonight.

    In between these two promos, we saw Kevin Nash wandering around backstage, apparently looking for Vince Russo.

    Afterwards, we were told that if you really wanted a Buff Daddy pennant (which I'm pretty sure nobody did), you should send in your cable bill to prove that you'd purchased Slamboree 2000.

    Billy Kidman (w/ Torrie Wilson) vs. Hulk Hogan
    Special Guest Referee: Eric Bischoff

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Hulk Hogan beats up Billy Kidman
    Much as with the Sting/Vampiro match, I enjoyed this one way more than I thought I would.

    By this point, Hogan had ditched his trademark Hulkamania yellow in favour of black denim, with a cut-off shirt that read "F.U.N.B" (F-U, New Blood) on the back.

    Tonight, he marched to the ring with nephew Horace Hogan to watch his back, but biased referee Eric Bischoff sent Horace packing.

    From there, we got a widely entertaining match in which Kidman bumped about the place as though his life depended on it and took a good battering from The Hulkster.

    Naturally, Evil Eric refused to count any pin attempts for his former friend and did everything he could to prevent Hogan scoring the win.

    Eventually, Hulk got fed up and knocked Eric out then began to stumble and fumble about the place in the name of setting up some tables in the ring.

    Bischoff got powerbombed through one while Kidman went sailing through the second after his brief comeback resulted in jumping off the top rope only for Hogan to move out of harm's way.

    Hulk made the cover, Horace returned to the ring lifted the hand of a groggy Eric Bischoff and used Eric's hand to count the fall for Uncle Hulk.
    Your Winner: Hulk Hogan

    I know there'll be some people who will complain that this did nothing to help Kidman get over, but I'd argue that sometimes just putting on an entertaining match is more important than getting someone over, and this certainly achieved that.

    Backstage, Vince Russo ran from Kevin Nash, dragging his 'property,' Elizabeth with him. He tried escaping in a bus, but Lex Luger was waiting for him. I'm assuming Lex rescued Liz because when Russo next commandeered a car and drove off, she wasn't with him.

    Jeff Jarrett is The Chosen One, Slap Ass

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - Mean Gene interviews Jeff Jarrett
    With only the main event to go, a video package brought us up to speed with how David Arquette had become the World Heavyweight Champion. Poor Dave had tried to relinquish the title, but pro wrestling logic meant that he had no choice but to defend it in a triple cage match here tonight.

    Having heard from Arquette and DDP earlier, it was then Jeff Jarrett's turn to give a few words to Mean Gene Okerlund.

    Those few words were, of course, the same ones Jarrett always used at this point in his career:

    1: Chosen one
    2: Slap ass
    3: slap nuts.

    In between those words, the future TNA leader said nothing of note, other than that he was going to be our next champion, slap ass.

    World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship Triple Cage Match
    WCW World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Diamond Dallas Page

    WCW Slamboree 2000 - World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette
    Not unlike the climax of the Ready to Rumble movie, the deal here was that the ring was surrounded by a triple-stacked cage match. The 'ground level' had the ring and a bunch of ladders to help you make your way to the second tier, which the announcers dubbed 'hardcore hell.' This had a bunch of chairs, tables and the ever-original kitchen sink attached the cage walls that the competitors could pull off and blast each other with.

    The top-level was 'The Guitar Room' and, obviously, had a bunch of Jarrett's guitars in it. The idea was to climb to the top of The Guitar Room and retrieve the belt, which Jeff Jarrett did after a stupidly entertaining and bloody brawl.

    For the most part, Arquette stayed out of harm's way and allowed Page and Jarret to destroy each other in a very enjoyable fashion.

    At one point, Mike Awesome came out to attack Page, but quickly got knocked on his butt, leaving Dallas free to race Jarrett to the top of the guitar room.

    While all of this was going on, however, Arquette climbed to the top and stood by, with the announcers surmising that he must have been waiting to knock Jarrett down should The Chosen One be the first to make it to the top. Instead, the dastardly actor blasted Diamond Dallas Page with a guitar, allowing Jarrett to retrieve the gold.

    This wasn't exactly one of Russo's patented swerves, either. The whole build-up to this match had seen DDP insisting that Arquette stay out of the way because he wasn't cut out to be a wrestler. Yeah, no wonder the dude turned on him.
    Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Jarrett

    After that fun main event, Chris Kanyon came out to help page fend off another attack from Mike Awesome and Jarrett, but instead Awesome threw Kanyon off the stage and he went plummeting to his demise on the rampway below. Looking on it 20 years later, it did look like a cool spot, but you do kind of wish WCW had done this spot in any arena other than the Kemper.

    It says a lot about the state of World Championship Wrestling that this one of their best shows in a long time despite having so many problems. Most of the actual in-ring action ranged from passably decent to wildly entertaining, but the screwy finishes, multiple instances of interference and the fact that the rules were seemingly non-existent all tarnished what could have otherwise been a great show.

    Though there's nothing here that is an absolute must-see, Slamboree 2000 does make for curious viewing and is certainly a thousand times better than anything the company had done during their terrible run of 1999.

    For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
    Other WCW Slamboree reviews:
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      Thursday, 13 February 2020

      MOVIE REVIEW: Ready to Rumble (2000)

      To a large contingent of the professional wrestling fandom, World Championship Wrestling's later years are remembered like a really bad case of teenage acne.

      At the time, it was terrible, embarrassing, and made us ashamed to go out in public. Sure, it cleared up eventually, but even now, decades later, we can't help but cringe and feel slightly awkward when we remember just what a bad time it was. 

      Like the one particularly prominent zit on the bulbous, Triple H-sized nose of wrestling history, the company's foray into the motion picture business was particularly traumatic. 

      It was thanks to Ready to Rumble that we got the whole David Arquette: World Champion debacle.  Sure, that would all be settled when Arquette practically handed the title to Jeff Jarrett at Slamboree 2000, but even twenty years on, many fans still haven't quite come to terms with the fact that it happened in the first place.

      Then there's the movie itself; an attempt at a pro wrestling buddy comedy which many fans felt painted them in a particularly poor light. 

      On the face of it, you can hardly blame them for being a little miffed.

      Ready to Rumble portrays protagonists Gordie Boggs (Arquette) and Sean Dawkins (Scott Caan) in particular -and wrestling fans in general,  as hopeless oafs who are so dumb and clueless that they don't realise pro wrestling -their only escape from their terrible, nothing-happening lives- is a work.

      If you're one of those fans who hated Ready to Rumble because of the way it depicts wrestling fans, allow me to offer a counter-argument:

      If the characters of Boggs and Dawkins were depicted as confident, successful, high-flying geniuses, there would be no movie. 

      This isn't a film about all wrestling fans. It's a film about two particular fans for who whom WCW and it's headline act Jimmy King (Oliver Platt) represent the one positive thing they can hold onto as they struggle with the monotony and drudgery of their day-to-day existence. 

      And to that end, I say Ready to Rumble works. 

      It tells a simple -somewhat too simple, perhaps- story about a couple of down-on-their-luck dudes who seek an escape in the over-the-top world of professional wrestling and get involved in all kinds of wacky hijinks as they find themselves becoming more and more a part of that world.

      This isn't supposed to be a serious, dramatic portrayal of the gruelling, gritty reality behind the glitzy, glamorous facade of professional wrestling. If you want that, go watch The Wrestler.

      This isn't even supposed to be high-brow humour.

      This is supposed to be the kind of low-brow, immature humour that was so popular during the 90s. This was supposed to be the Mallrats, American Pie or Road Trip of professional wrestling. 

      Sure, some of that humour is a little too immature and low-brow. The main characters are depicted as sewage workers whose main responsibility seems to be porta potty maintenance. Naturally, this leads to a few scenes which take lavatorial humour to new depths and do leave you rolling your eyes.

      Yet for every "LOL Poop" scene, there are a few genuinely funny moments and even a few sentimental moments that can be enjoyed if you overlook the fact that this is a film in which pro wrestling is depicted as legit.

      So yes, it's kinda dumb. Yes, it depicts a world in which, despite having the likes of Diamond Dallas Page and Goldberg on their roster, the WCW title is held by a short, dumpy man who lives in a trailer. Yes, it's a film about porta potty attendants who somehow become pro wrestling superstars, but if you were expecting anything more than a dumb, over-the-top comedy, you're clearly watching the wrong movie. 

      Ready to Rumble never tries to be something that it's not. It's a silly comedy that is good for passing an hour with some cheap chuckles, and with that in mind, this fan really enjoyed it...

      ...Even if it did lead to David Arquette holding the Big Gold Belt.

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      Thursday, 6 February 2020

      PPV REVIEW: WWA The Inception 2001

      WWA The Inception 2001 - Event poster
      Sydney Super Dome, Sydney, Australia,
      October 26, 2001.

      When Vince McMahon bought out World Championship Wrestling in March 2001, he effectively created a monopoly of the pro wrestling industry that other companies have been trying to break ever since. 

      Almost immediately, one of the first companies to take a shot at filling the WCW-shaped hole in the wrestling landscape was Andrew McManus' World Wrestling All-Stars, and by all accounts, it looked to have a pretty good shot.

      With a roster made up of ex WCW and WWF wrestlers, the company certainly had plenty of star power and enough guys capable of putting on decent matches.

      With that in mind, The Inception seemed to have everything it needed to be a very good show.

      But was it enough to position the company as a viable contender to the World Wrestling Federation's throne?

      Let's head Down Under to the Sydney Super Dome in Sydney, Australia to find out.

      Please Stand for the Australian National Anthem

      Hoping to lend the event an air of gravitas, Jeramy Borash introduced little-known Australian quartet Ajaqua, who were on hand to sing the Australian National Anthem.

      A short opening video package followed, after which it was on with the show.

      The Hitman Has Never Been Beaten

      WWA The Inception 2001 - Bret 'The Hitman' Hart reveals the WWA Championship
      "...Scheduled for one fall!" came the voice of Jeramy Borash through the PA system. Borash clearly realized he had the running order wrong and quickly shut up, allowing Bret 'The Hitman' Hart to make his way out.

      Brandishing the WWA championship (which looked like a relic from the 70s), The Excellence of Execution started off with a dull, lifeless speech about how much he loved Australia and was grateful to them for looking after him when he got stuck there in the aftermath of 9/11.

      Things got more interesting when Bret turned his attentions to tonight, somehow making the tournament for the WWA title all about himself.

      First, he took a moment to trash both WCW and the WWF which was surprising. After all, it's not like Hart has a reputation for being bitter or anything.

      Next, he claimed that nobody had ever beaten him in either company.

      "Not Goldberg, not The Rock, not Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chris Benoit, or even that piece of sh*t Vince McMahon," had even defeated him, at least according to the Hitman.

      Of course, Yokozuna beat him at Wrestlemania 9, Shawn Michaels beat him at Wrestlemania 12 and even Bob Backlund beat him at Survivor Series '94. So, even if you strike Montreal from the record, that's still a bunch of people who definitely beat The Hitman for the gold.

      Anyway, Bret claimed that as a result of this undefeated streak, he was basically giving his world title to the winner of tonight's tournament.


      I'm a big Bret Hart fan.

      I've loved watching and reviewing his matches here on Retro Pro Wrestling, but my goodness that promo was dull.

      It lasted about three minutes but felt like it went on for 30 years.

      If You Like Stipulations, You'll Love This Show

      WWA The Inception 2001 - Jerry 'The King'  Lawler and Jeremy Borash called the event
      It was at this point that things started to get really weird.

      With Bret gone, we went to our announce team of Jerry 'The King' Lawler and Jeramy Borash.

      Sticking with tonight's theme, the two rambled on a bit about being in Australia and how every match in the 'Seven Deadly Sins' tournament was a gimmick match of some kind.

      As they ran through the card, it quickly became apparent that most of the time, that gimmick would be "hardcore match."

      Borash and Lawler also told us about other matches not included in the tournament, such as Devon Storm vs. Norman Smiley and a 'Black Wedding Gown' match between husband and wife duo Luna Vachon and Vampire Warrior.

      According to Lawler, Vachon and Warrior were due to celebrate their first wedding anniversary on Halloween but were now getting divorced instead and had, like many a married couple, chosen to settle their differences not in a courtroom but in a pro wrestling ring.

      Of course, this being the inaugural WWA show, we had no idea why the pair had broken up. We just had to take WWA's word for it that they had.

      However, that wasn't the weirdest part.

      No Sir, that honor went to the way WWA decided to pump Borash and Lawler's commentary through the arena PA system so that everyone in the audience could hear it.

      It was strange, and, even watching it at home, would detract from the in-ring action for the rest of the show.

      Speaking of which, let's get down to our opening match.

      Seven Deadly Sins Tournament Match 1:
      Ladder Match for the Vacant WWA International Cruiserweight Champion

      WWA The Inception 2001 - Juventud Guerrera beat Psicosis for the WWA Cruiserweight title
      Psicosis had originally won the company's cruiserweight title at a house show event but had been stripped of the gold on the rather unfair grounds that his victory got in the way of tonight's booking plans.

      His opponent, Juventud Guerrera came to the ring to a knock-off of The Macarena while Borash referred to the time he (Juvi) got kicked out of Australia a year earlier for going on a drug-fuelled rampage.

      Speaking of Borash, he was also tonight's ring announcer, so he just introduced the wrestlers from the announce desk and then went back to having his conversation with Lawler broadcast across the entire arena.

      "Finally...The Juice...Has come back, to Australia!" declared Juvi in a brief pre-match promo which was pretty terrible.

      Fortunately, he made up for a bad promo with a fun opening contest against long-time rival Psicosis.

      The last time we saw them competing against each other on PPV was in a four-way match which also included Rey Mysterio Jr and Billy Kidman at WCW Souled Out 1999.

      Now it was just the two of them, and they did a great job in putting on a fun spot fest with a couple of jaw-dropping moves.

      Not that this was a perfect match.

      At one point, Juvi had a ladder the corner and stood on it, ready to jump off onto Psicosis.

      However, he took so long to get up there and pose for the crowd that Psicosis had to stand around gormlessly, just waiting to take the move.

      Talk about killing suspension of disbelief.

      As if it wasn't bad enough that, after all that, Juvi didn't even land the move properly, the ladder fell down and cracked both the combatants and the referee.

      While it was enough to keep Juvi and Psicosis out of action for a few moments, the referee decided to no-sell it completely, making him look like the toughest dude in the right.

      Despite that, this was a very enjoyable opener that ended when Juvi scaled the ladder and grabbed the gold.
      Your Winner and NEW WWA International Cruiserweight Champion: Juventud Guerrera (advances in the world title tournament)

      In his post-match celebration, Juvi suddenly started selling a rib injury that he hadn't bothered with at all during the match.

      Horny Old Men Lech After Some Women

      WWA The Inception 2001 - The Starrettes were WWA's answer to The Nitro Girls
      With Juvi gone, Borash introduced us to The Starettes, the WWA's answer to The Nitro Girls.

      Just like The Nitro Girls, the Starettes came out on stage and busted out a dance routine while flashing some big smiles. Unlike The Nitro Girls, however, the Starettes had the commentary team leching after them over the PA.

      Lawler and Borash came across like a randy, old version of Beavis & Butthead as they oggled the dancing women and picked out their favorites.

      I mean, seriously, can you imagine if the WCW Nitro camera panned onto a shot of Spice or Skye and Mike Tenay suddenly blurted out "I'll take her!" over the PA?

      Because that's what Borash did. To be fair to the future TNA announcer, he wasn't as bad as the horny old King, but this was still pretty terrible.

      Backstage Shennanigans

      WWA The Inception 2001 - Lenny Lane & Lodi in a backstage skit
      Out in the back, an Australian comedian called Rove McManus arrived in a limousine with Nathan Jones in tow.

      The two stepped out of their limo, took one look at Lodi & Lenny Lane (back doing their gay gimmick), and left.

      Meanwhile, Disco Inferno arrived, complaining about the lack of security. He then handed his credit card to a crew member and sent the guy off to get him two suits.

      Quite how a shirt and tie were going to provide him with adequate security is anyone's guess.

      Seven Deadly Sins Tournament Match 2: Dog Collar Match
      Konan vs. Road Dog Jesse James

      If there was ever going to be such thing as a WWF vs. WCW dream card at the height of the Monday Night Wars, this is probably one of the matches we would have had on the undercard.

      WWA The Inception 2001 - Road Dogg vs. Konnan
      Two guys who, at the time, were better known for their pre-match banter with the crowd than for their in-ring prowess, finally locking up after being on opposite sides of the aforementioned war.

      Proving that little had changed since those days, Konnan rapped his way to the ringside and got all bowdy-bowdy with the audience.

      Road Dog too brought a microphone with him, doing his whole 'Oh, you didn't know' routine to a knock off of the familiar New Age Outlaws routine. Yet when he tried to go through his usual Michael Buffer impersonation, K-Dog cut him off and attacked.

      Pulling a 'Mexican Heavyweight Championship' belt from out of nowhere (it looked suspiciously like the same belt as the company's world title), Konan lifted it in the air and attempted his own version of Roadie's pre-match promo, but managed to flub it up.

      "Ladies and gentlemen," he began. "The WWA boys and girls, children of all ages, the WWA proudly presents your Mexican Heavyweight Champion of the World!"

      We weren't done there.

      With Road Dog lying in the corner, Konan took the time to mock him for being the only member of D-Generation-X not gainfully employed. I'm not sure if, by this, K-Dog was insinuating that WWA wrestlers didn't get paid, or whether he was insulting his employers by suggesting that wrestling for them wasn't a real job.

      Finally, Konan, who hadn't worked for the World Wrestling Federation since 1992, told his opponent that the WWF had two words for him.

      The match eventually got underway and was, to be perfectly honest, a bit of a mess.

      Dog collar match rules were the same as your average strap match in that you had to touch all four corners consecutively to win. Jerry Lawler revealed that Bret Hart had also decreed that the match could end by pinfall, but neither man so much as attempted a cover, so why this was even brought up is beyond me.

      The two got the crowd involved with some interesting spots, but it was all very sloppy and uncoordinated. The action had to be paused on at least three separate occasions as Konan's dog collar kept falling off.

      After a few short and uninspired minutes, Road Dog tied up Konan using the chain, bent him over, pretended to have anal sex with him, then casually walked to all four corners of the ring while K-Dog just lay there, looking like an idiot.

      Yes, this was probably the first 'touch all four corners' match in wrestling history not to use the Stone Cold/Savio finish from In Your House: Beware of Dog.
      Your Winner: Road Dog

      WWA The Inception 2001 - Queen Bea stretches backstage
      Before the next contest, Lawler and Borash took the time to tell us all about the upcoming 'Skin to Win' match featuring a bunch of scantily-clad 'Penthouse Pets.'

      Once again, the duo gave us their horny Beavis & Butthead impressions as they lusted after a group of moderately attractive models.

      The joke here was that both King and Borash both had the hots for one 'girl' with a nice ass who turned out to be a dude.


      Hardcore Match
      Devon Storm vs. "Screamin'" Norman Smiley'

      Devon Storm was billed as hailing from "the other side of sanity," because he was crazy.

      WWA The Inception 2001 - Devon Storm vs. Norman Smiley in a hardcore match
      Here, he locked up with Screamin' Norman Smiley in a bout akin to the kind of thing we saw Smiley do all the time in WCW.

      The big difference was that Norman was far less camp and comedic than we'd previously seen him be in matches such as his Starrcade 1999 effort against Meng.

      I mean, sure, he did the Big Wiggle on storm twice, giving us no less than three simulated sex acts in the space of twenty minutes,  but other than this, Smiley came across as a competent performer in what was a riotously entertaining hardcore bout.

      If you like the CZW -or even ECW- brand of ultraviolence, you might not enjoy this one, but if, like me, you liked the kind of over-the-top hardcore bouts that were commonplace during the latter half of the Monday Night Wars, you'll likely find a lot to enjoy here.

      The two battered each other with kendo sticks, threw chairs and trash cans at one another, and even took us for a little walk backstage, inadvertently revealing plenty of empty seats in the process and showing us how poorly this show had drawn.

      The end came after Storm took half a lifetime to stack two tables on top of one another on the stage, a process which, as in the earlier cruiserweight match, made the suspension of disbelief rather difficult.

      When he finally had the props in place, Storm lifted Smiley on top of the top table and climbed the scaffolding surrounding the WWA tron.

      After throwing a trash can onto his opponent, the former Crowbar dove off, sending both himself and Smiley crashing through both tables to the floor.

      It was an awesome spot that looked a lot better than I've described it here.

      It also ended the match, though not in the way that you might imagine.

      Storm had practically destroyed himself with that move and was unable to make the cover. His rival, however, was. Despite being just as broken as Storm, Smiley learned over, draped an arm over his chest and scored the pinfall.
      Your Winner: Norman Smiley

      WWA The Inception 2001 - The Fruits in Suits
      Out in the back, Disco Inferno walked down a corridor, fresh from a brief cameo during the backstage portion of the previous match.

      Disco approached the crew member he spoke to earlier, who was standing by with two guys in badly-done Bananas in Pyjamas outfits.

      "What the hell is this?" asked Disco.
      "It's exactly what you asked for," replied the stagehand. "Two fruits!"

      Irate, the former WCW TV Champion knocked down the bananas and stormed off-camera yelling "TWO FRUITS? I SAID TWO SUITS!"

      Sadly, this would not be the last time the terrible 'two fruits' joke would rear its ugly and unfunny head tonight.

      WWA The Inception 2001 - Jeff Jarrett vs. The Front RowOut in the arena, Borash and Lawler ran through the seven Deadly Sins tournament brackets as they stood so far.

      Juvi's ribs had been so badly injured in the first match that he was no longer able to compete. His replacement wasn't announced.

      Meanwhile, the winner of an upcoming battle royal would face the winner of Jeff Jarrett vs. The Front Row...

      Yeah...That's what I thought.

      Apparently, 'Front Row' was the nickname of Nathan Jones and not the actual front row.

      Anyone Can Enter the Battle Royal

      Backstage, WWA reporter Stevie Ray asked Commissioner Hart about the upcoming battle royal.

      The Hitman made the big reveal that the battle royal was open to absolutely anybody that worked for WWA, including cameramen, the t-shirt seller, even the bus driver and yes, to answer Big Stevie's inquiry, even him.

      Seven Deadly Sins Match 3:
      Battle Royal featuring Buff Bagwell, Disco Inferno, Stevie Ray, Jerry 'The King' Lawler, Jeramy Borash, Norman Smiley, Devon Storm, Some Referees, a Cameraman, a Random Woman, and The Fruits in Suits

      WWA The Inception 2001 - Stevie Ray doesn't want to look like a roody poo fruit booty
      Yep, this happened.

      Things started normally enough, at least as normal as it gets in pro wrestling.

      Disco Inferno started the match with Disco Inferno, Stevie ray got involved, then Norman Smiley, then Devon Storm.

      Jerry Lawler also decided that both he and Borash should enter the fray.

      At one point, Lawler held Stevie in place while Borash drilled a bunch of weak-looking fists into the WCW legend's mid-section. It looked so ridiculous it was laughable, especially when Stevie simply picked Borash up and dumped him outside.

      As Borash died for a while, Devon Storm -fresh from being eliminated- decided that he was going to do commentary, talking about how he was 'sporting the proverbial crimson mask' after his match with Smiley.

      Then things got even sillier.

      A cameraman and two referees got involved, followed by a random woman in a gold dress.

      The poor woman didn't last long and actually eliminated herself from the competition after deciding that this was preferable to getting sexually molested by Jerry Lawler.

      Yes, that happened.

      Undeterred, Lawler took out his sexual frustrations on Norman Smiley by doing the Big Wiggle on him for Pretend Anal Sex Situation Number Four.

      Just when you thought things couldn't get any more ridiculous, 'The Fruits in Suits' turned up.

      Yes, that's what Borash called the 'two fruits' from our last segment, presumedly to avoid a copyright claim from the Bananas in Pyjamas.

      The duo eliminated Disco, but only after he hit the most bizarre finishing move of all time:

      The Village People's Elbow.

      Yes, that's exactly what it sounds like.

      He hit the move, the bananas dumped him outside of the ring, then got dumped by Buff, and this one was over.
      Your Winner: Buff Bagwell

      WWA - The Inception 2001 - Randy McManus and Nathan Jones
      Battle Royals are normally not that interesting, but at least that one was kind of funny.

      Out in the back, the girl in the gold dress had recovered from getting dry-humped by Jerry Lawler and was now interviewing Rove McManus and Nathan Jones.

      I feel bad calling this woman 'the girl in the gold dress.' I honestly did Google around to try and find her name, but it seems that the only mentions of her on the Internet are as "some girl" or "Interviewer chick."

      Sorry lady, I tried.

      Anyway, the nameless interviewer held the microphone while McManus talked about how Nathan Jones's opponent, Jeff Jarrett, would end up masturbating alone in his hotel room after the sow.

      Again, that's not a lie. That's genuinely what he said.

      Seven Deadly Sins Tournament Match 4: Guitar on a Pole Match
      Jeff Jarrett vs. Nathan Jones (w/ Rove McManus)

      According to the laws of pro wrestling, I'm not allowed to review an 'Object on a Pole' match without referencing Vince Russo, even though his only contribution to this show was recommending Jeramy Borash as booker.

      WWA - The Inception 2001 - Jeff Jarrett faced Nathan Jones in the first round of the WWA title tournament
      Still, the outcome of this one was so ridiculous that it was clear Borash had been to the Vinny Ru School of Pro Wrestling Booking.

      Things started out well enough.

      Jeff Jarrett came to the ring and got heat by cutting his usual promo about being the chosen one and his love of slap nuts.

      Jones and McManus then came down and got the big pop the WWA were hoping for.

      As an Australian, Nathan Jones was presented as the proverbial home town hero, the one wrestler the crowds could call their own.

      He was huge. He looked like a monster. He even had a famous Australian celebrity cutting a pre-match promo for him.

      In short, he had it all.

      And then he was beaten in about five minutes by Jeff Jarrett.

      To be fair, Double J carried the inexperienced star to a decent little match. Unfortunately, he then ruined the whole thing with a stupid ending.

      Nathan Jones went to get the guitar from the pole by climbing up to the ropes even though he was tall enough that he could have just reached up and grabbed it.

      This would have proved to be a better option. As it was, the seven-foot star was so bad at climbing the ropes that his opponent was able to just saunter over and throw him off.

      Jarrett grabbed the guitar for himself, but before he could blast Jones with it, Rove McManus rushed into the ring. The Chosen One blasted the comedian with the guitar in what was genuinely a sweet looking spot before Jones kind of walked into Jeff Jarrett's stroke.

      One three count later, and WWA had disposed of their most popular babyface in about five minutes.
      Your Winner: Jeff Jarrett

      WWA - The Inception 2001 - Jerry Lawler confronts the Fruits in Suits
      In the ring, Jerry 'The King' Lawler called out The Bananas in Pyjamas  Fruits in Suits so that he could find out whey they eliminated his friend, The Disco Inferno, from the earlier battle royal.

      The duo came to the ring but basically just stood there while Lawler made jokes about how 'fruits' was a derogatory term for homosexuals.

      Speaking of whom...

      The West Hollywood Blondes came out to interrupt the promo, with Lawler pronounce the name of Lenny Lane's partner as "Low Dye."


      Their arrival allowed Jerry Lawler to make the one joke this whole thing had been leading to:

      "Hey, now we've got four fruits!"

      Because, you know, ripping on homosexuals is funny.

      Rounding out the party, Bret Hart returned to the scene to demand that the two fruits leave the ring.

      "Which two?" asked Lawler, making the usually super-serious Bret Hart laugh out loud for the first time in his career, if not in his entire life.

      "The fruits...the bananas" laughed The Hitman, before announcing that Lodi and "Lonny" would replace the injured Juventud Guerrera in a three-way dance against Road Dog.

      Yes, it's weird that the babyface Commissioner decided to stick it to fellow babyface Road Dog by placing him in what was a handicap match against two heels, but heck, it's not like anything else on this show made any sense either.

      Seven Deadly Sins Semi-Final 1: Three-Way Dance
      Road Dog vs. Lenny Lane vs. Lodi

      WWA - The Inception 2001 - Lenny Lane and Lodi faced Road Dog
      Despite being nothing more than a four-minute gay sex joke, this wasn't too terrible.

      The West Hollywood Blondes naturally double-teamed the former DX member. Early on, Road Dog moved out of harm's way when his rivals tried to trap him in the corner. This caused Lenny to fall onto all fours and Lodi to fall onto his knees behind him, making it look like he was doing him up the bum.

      Simulated sex count: Five

      Lenny and Lodi continued to dominate (Road Dog, not each other), but couldn't agree on who would get the pinfall and ended up coming to blows.

      Eventually, Lenny hit a sweet moonsault onto Lodi, pinning him in a 69 position. Roadie recovered from an earlier beating dropped a knee onto Lenny's head and pinned the pair of them in a 69, making for six occasions of simulated sex on a pro wrestling show.

      Apart from all the sex stuff, this wasn't the worst match ever, but it only lasted four minutes which is too short to really count for anything.
      Your Winner: Road Dog

      Post-match, Lenny and Lodi made up with a hi-five, hip bump, and a hug. Jerry Lawler reacted to the two men hugging as though he'd just seen them fellate one another in the middle of the ring because homophobia = lol apparently.

      T*ts, Whips, and Buff

      WWA - The Inception 2001 - Stevie Ray interviews Buff Bagwell
      Backstage, Stevie Ray stood by for an interview with Buff Bagwell.

      Before they got started, however, Stevie made Buff hold his microphone so that he could put his hat and glasses back on.

      "Let me do this, I don't wanna look like a fruit booty," said the former WCW tag team champion.

      That's exactly what I always think of when I see a hat-less Stevie Ray. There goes Stevie without his hat again. Man, what a fruit booty!

      Anyway, as if this show couldn't get any weirder or more sexual, Buff announced that his upcoming match with Jeff Jarrett would be -and I quote- "a T*ts, Whips, and Buff match."

      Unfortunately, neither Bagwell nor anybody else bothered to explain exactly what that meant.

      Seven Deadly Sins Tournament Semi-Final 2: T*ts, Whips, and Buff Match
      Jeff Jarrett vs. Buff Bagwell

      WWA - The Inception 2001 - Buff Bagwell strikes a pose before facing Jeff Jarrett
      As the two combatants made their way to the ring, it became obvious what the stipulation was all about.

      Buff brought a bevy of unknown beautiful women to ringside with him. The women all had whips, and if either man went outside, the beauties were supposed to whip him.

      Yes, it was essentially a lumberjack/jill match with a BDSM theme.

      Though it was silly, it would have been fine if they'd just worked the gimmick and given us a decent finish. However, like everything on this card that wasn't the opening ladder match, Bagwell/Jarrett had to take ridiculous booking to a whole new level.

      For the most part, it was fine, or at least as fine as a five-minute Buff Bagwell/Jeff Jarrett match was ever going to be, ie: nothing spectacular but nothing terrible either. The two men worked a bit in the ring, Jarrett got whipped on the outside then, when Bagwell got hurled to the outside, his women protected him and gave him a neck massage.

      So far, so predictable but inoffensive.

      Then, the finish came.

      Bagwell hit the Blockbuster, but Slick Johnson had his hands full with one of the girls, so one of the other girls counted the fall. Naturally, Johnson declared that it didn't count, but Buff was so busy celebrating that he didn't notice. Instead, he walked into a Stroke from Jeff Jarrett and lost the match.

      Your Winner: Jeff Jarrett

      As we approach the last forty-five minutes of WWA The Inception, it occurs to me that this would have actually been a really enjoyable show if they'd kept things simple.

      Cut out the ridiculous finishes, ease off on the comedy and just let these guys wrestle, and you'd have a good show on your hands.

      Luna is Mad

      WWA - The Inception 2001 - Luna Vachon was mad at her husband
      Out in the back, the interviewer lady in the golden dress asked Luna Vachon why she wanted to fight her husband.

      Hilariously, Luna declared that she and Vampire Warrior had originally come out to celebrate their anniversary, but the former Gangrel kept complaining about losing every wrestling matches he competed in so she had no choice but to kick his ass.

      Black Wedding Match
      Vampire Warrior vs. Luna Vachon

      Well, this was terrible.

      Another throw-away, five-minute match saw Vampire Warrior trying his best not to hit his wife even after she trapped his grapefruits in a pair of kitchen tongues and smashed a pumpkin into his groin.

      Yet it seemed that even a vampire could only resist a spot of domestic abuse for so long. After an irate Luna spat at her husband and threw her wedding ring at him, Vamp impaled her.

      Sorry, I should say, he hit her with the impaler. That's what'll happen if you watch a show that has more sexual references than actual wrestling in it.

      One three count later, this god awful gimmick was over.
      Your Winner: Vampire Warrior

      Remember earlier, when Lawler and Borash were shocked to discover that one of the girls in the upcoming Skin to Win match had a penis?

      Well, up next Stevie Ray tried to find out who this man/woman/transvestite was because, obviously, suckas got to know.

      At one point, Stevie lifted up the person's dress and said "look at that ass," then acted all shocked when they ran away.

      I mean, wouldn't you?

      Skin to Win Match
      Queen Bea vs. Violet Terossi vs. Adara James vs. Sharon A. Wad

      WWA - The Inception 2001 - Adara James won a "Skin to Win" match
      This was probably the worst thing I've ever seen in professional wrestling, and I've seen the Heroes of Wrestling PPV.

      Queen Bea and Violet Terossi are, or were, nude models. Adara James was an indie worker who, according to, wrestled about six matches in her career, and Sharon A. Wad was the transvestite, played by Danny Dominion who was nobody.

      To her credit, James had the makings of a good wrestler and probably could have gone on to better things had she stuck with it.

      Instead, it's her fate to be best remembered as the only good thing in what was otherwise an absolute piece of garbage.

      Danny Dominion dominated the whole thing, going around and beating up the other three women in what made for genuinely uncomfortable viewing.

      Eventually, he threw Queen Bea and Violet to the mat and removed their tops. The crowd booed loudly, not because they hated Dominion, but because the girls were wearing pasties that concealed their breasts.

      Then Stevie Ray came down, punched Dominion a couple of times, and allowed Adara James to pick up the victory by leaping off the top and planting the dude with a frankensteiner.
      Your Winner: Adara James

      Afterward, Borash began telling us about the WWA's upcoming shows in the UK, only to be interrupted by the promoter, Andrew McManus.

      McManus handed Borash a letter and told him to read it.

      It was from former WCW star Midajah, who promised to "be there" with her man.

      It was never actually explained where "there" was. Presumedly the UK shows.

      Disco Faces The Fruits

      WWA - The Inception 2001 - The Fruits in Suits strike a pose
      Killing time before the main event (because heaven forbid a match on this show go longer than ten minutes), Disco Inferno came out to interrupt a routine by the Starrettes.

      Unlike Jerry 'The Perv' Lawler, Disco was sick of seeing attractive women shaking their ass and sent them packing before storming to the ring where a cage had been set up for Road Dog/Jarrett.

      Ticked off about being eliminated from the battle royal, Disco called out the two fruits, who came out and attacked him.

      Disco fought back and ended the segment by throwing one of the bananas off the top of the cage to the outside. As dumb as it was to have Disco Inferno vs. The Bananas in Pyjamas, this was admittedly pretty impressive.

      It would have been even more impressive if the cameras hadn't shown us the giant safety crash mat which had been strategically placed at the foot of the entrance to protect the flying banana.

      Seven Deadly Sins Tournament Final
      World Wrestling All-Stars World Championship
      Road Dog vs. Jeff Jarrett

      WWA - The Inception 2001 - The WWA Championship
      At no point in tonight's show had World Wrestling All-Stars shied away from referencing the WCW and WWF careers of their roster.

      While that occasionally came off as cheesy, such a strategy should have worked in their favor for this main event cage match between two guys with a long history together, shouldn't it?

      Yes, here we had Road Dog, who had once been called The Roadie and served as Jeff Jarrett's lackey before it was revealed that it was he all along who sang Double J's big hit, With My Baby Tonight.

      From there, Road Dog had scaled new heights of popularity, becoming one of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era and arguably even surpassing his former charge's success.

      So tonight, live and for the first time ever, we'd finally get to settle the score:

      Was Double J Jeff Jarrett the bigger, better wrestler? Or was it Double J Jesse James?

      It would take thirty seconds to tell this story, but nobody bothered. Instead, we were told that Jarrett had won multiple WCW tag team titles and Roadie had won multiple WWF tag team titles.

      of course, this was entirely true, but it was nowhere near as compelling as the actual relationship between the two men.

      Not that it seemed to make much a difference.

      For the first time since the Juvi/Psicosis match, the competitors in the ring looked to be trying their hardest, busting out a good main event match which was probably the best singles match involving The Road Dog since he faced 123 Kid at In Your House 2: The Lumberjacks.

      For those paying attention, that was the same show Jarrett 'sang' With My Baby Tonight.

      Things were going well, but then this being the WWA, they had to turn all bulls**tty and ridiculous.

      According to Commissioner Hart -who had joined the commentary team- the match could be won by pinfall or submission only, so Jarrett and Road Dogg climbed out of the cage for a brawl around the ringside.

      OK, so the brawl itself was pretty fun, but what the heck was the point of the cage?

      Back in the ring, Slick Johnson took a tumble, so Jeff Jarett grabbed his guitar and murdered Jesse James with it. He then applied a sharpshooter.

      Roadie tapped, but Bret Hart refused to let the match be over. His reasons weren't exactly clear, but it came across as though Hitman simply didn't want anybody else winning with his finishing move.

      This idea was further cemented with Road Dog got up, hit a pump handle slam on Jarrett and then applied a sharpshooter of his own.

      Proving that he was non-discriminating in his bitterness, Hart refused to let Road Dog win that way either, and decided instead to just walk off with the title.

      The New Age Outlaw gave chase, stealing the belt and bringing it back to the cage where Jarrett kicked it out of his hands, dropped him face-first with a Stroke onto the title belt and won the match.
      Your Winner and NEW WWA World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Jarrett

      It had been yet another stupid finish, but at least it gave us a credible champion, right?

      Not exactly.

      Standing battered, bloody and yet triumphant, Jarrett confronted Bret Hart, only to drop to his knees and beg off. Not that this stopped The Hitman.

      He grabbed Jeff by the legs and locked him in the sharpshooter for no real reason, ending WWA The Inception by looking like a bitter old man.

      I said it earlier and I'll say it again, The Inception could have been a good show.

      OK, so Road Dog and a bunch of WCW leftovers were never going to give us five-star classics, but they were all competent performers capable of delivering a decent show had they been allowed to.

      Instead, they were all dumped in a bunch of really short nothing matches in which bad comedy, bad finishes, and bad sexual references took precedence over any actual pro wrestling.

      Get rid of the bananas, let the guys actually have a wrestling match, and WWA could have been onto something.

      Given that this was their first real event, I'm willing to give WWA the benefit of the doubt and check out some of their other shows, but honestly, there's not much to see here outside of an admittedly wonderful opening ladder match between cruiserweight stalwarts Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera.

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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.