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, 26 March 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Bash at the Beach 2000

WCW Bash at the Beach - Event poster
July 9, 2000
Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, Florida

Throughout his time in World Championship Wrestling, Hulk Hogan's biggest and most game-changing moments had occurred at Bash at the Beach.

No one who was around at the time could ever forget Hogan being revealed as 'The Third Man' and pledging his allegiance to Scott Hall and Kevin Nash at Bash of the Beach 1996.

Two years before that, Hogan had made his in-ring debut for the company at the first-ever Bash at the Beach PPV, dethroning Nature Boy Ric Flair for the world heavyweight championship.

So it was perhaps entirely appropriate that tonight, Hogan would make his last on-screen appearance for WCW at would prove to be the last ever Bash at the Beach.

Talk about things coming full circle.

In 1994, there was no Bash at the Beach and no WCW Hulk Hogan. After tonight, there would once again be no WCW Hogan nor Bash at the Beach.

Here then, is a look at the fitting conclusion to Hogan's WCW run.






The Cat Has NO Time for The Young Dragons

WCW Bash at the Beach - WCW Comissioner Ernest Miller arrives at the venue
Earlier in the evening, WCW Commissioner Ernest 'The Cat' Miller arrived in a limousine and told his lackey to go pass a message on to the Misfits in Action and The Filthy Animals. The lackey did as he was told, leaving The Cat to be confronted by The Jung Dragons.

Kaz Hayashi, (Jimmy) Yang, and Jamie-San (a masked Jamie Noble) stood around like something out of a goofy Kung Fu comedy, with The Cat insisting that he didn't have time to play with them. Undeterred, the Dragons attacked Miller anyway.

Quite why they did this was never explained.

Pyro, camera shots, and a welcome from Tony Schiavone followed, after which he and his colleagues Scott Hudson and Mark Madden got ready to call all the action.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Lieutenant Loco vs. Juventud Guerrera

WCW Bash at the Beach - Juventud Guerrera lifts the cruiserweight title
As per the message from Ernest Miller, the Misfits in Action and Filthy Animals were barred from ringside for this one, but that didn't stop both factions initially coming down to ringside so that Konnan could cut his usual pre-match promo (complete with nerdy white boy hype from Disco Inferno) and so that we could all get a look at Major Gunns perfect backside.

I should also point out that Lieutenant Loco was the champion but Juventud Guerrera came out with the title belt because this was WCW and the company LOVED that gimmick so much.

With all that nonsense out of the way, what we were left with was a perfectly acceptable cruiserweight title match. Both men would have better outings with other opponents, but this was decent enough in its own right.

At various points, both men's stables tried to come out wearing Halloween masks as a means of (poorly) hiding their identity but were seen off by the officials, leaving Chavo to get the win over Juvi.
Your Winner and Still WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Lieutenant Loco

Out in the back, Commissioner Miller was seen talking to a beaten-up Yung Dragons, insinuating that he had escaped their clutches and beaten them up.

WCW Bash at the Beach - Jeff Jarrett confronts Comissioner Ernest Miller while Screamin' Mimi sings in the background
The Comish told them that they had done a good job previously, but that his contract with them was over. Because they were foreign, they didn't really understand him, and could only smile at the words 'good job.'

They were interrupted by WCW Champion Jeff Jarrett, who marched into Miller's office accompanied by a woman dressed as the valkyrie Brünnhilde from Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. I've no idea what that was about, but I'm assuming it had something to do with the line "it ain't over until the fat lady sings."

Anyway, Double J wanted to know why his scheduled opponent, Hulk Hogan wasn't here yet, but all Miller could say was that the Hulkster would definitely be taking part in tonight's show.

World Championship Wrestling Hardcore Championship Handicap Match
WCW Hardcore Champion Big Vito vs. Screamin' Norman Smiley & Ralphus

Before the bell, Big Vito claimed that his original opponent was supposed by his own partner, Johnny The Bull. The Bull, however, was out of commission, so Terry Funk was supposed to be his opponent, but Vito had destroyed him on Nitro, leaving Ernest Miller no choice but to book him against a 'Mystery Opponent.'

WCW Bash at the Beach - Hardcore Champion Big Vito faced Norman Smiley and Ralphus
That opponent turned out to be not much of a mystery at all - it was literally the only other guy left in the hardcore division: Norman Smiley.

Since Vito was in such a good mood, he announced that he'd take on both he and Ralphus in a handicap match. Not that it made much of a difference.

Much as he had done back at Slamboree 2000 in Smiley's match against Funk, the former head of Jericho Personal Security kind of just wandered around aimlessly, occasionally coming in to tap his opponent on the head with a trash can.

At one point, Ralphus was about 20 feet away from the action and still managed to fall on his ass and cut his head open. This isn't one of those times when I exaggerate to get across how fake a move looked. I mean, Ralphus was so far off in the background that he was almost off-camera, and yet he still managed to fall and bleed.

Poor Ralphus, he really was a disaster of a human being.

You have to feel bad for the guy too, because it was he who ended up costing his team the match. Vito sent Smiley away in an elevator then found Ralphus at ringside, beat him up and then propped up a table and rested the big guy against it. He splashed him from the top rope through the wood and this one was, mercifully, over.
Your Winner and Still WCW Hardcore Champion: Big Vito

WCW Bash at the Beach - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Kevin Nash
Out in the back, Big Bad Bill Goldberg arrived with Scott Hall's contract in his pocket.

That contract was on the line in a match against Kevin Nash.

Across the way, Nash cursed his way through a sombre promo with Mean Gene Okerlund in which he reminded Goldberg that he was the only man to ever really beat him.

With a wry Smile, Nash promised to do it again tonight.

David Flair is a Two-Timing Lowlife

Next, we got a video package looking at the feud between Daffney and Miss Hancock. The two had been feuding because David Flair was a two-timing low-life and had been cheating on Daffney with Hancock.

The two would compete in a 'Wedding Gown Match' next.

Wedding Gown Match
Miss Hancock (w/ David Flair) vs. Daffney

WCW Bash at the Beach - Ms Hancock (Stacy Keibler) faced Daffney in a wedding gown match
I never thought I’d say this about anything that involved Stacy Keibler taking her clothes off, but my goodness this was next-level awful.

Dressed in a wedding suit, David Flair got involved very early on. As did referee Slick Johnson. The result was that we got four people chasing each other around the ring and occasionally grabbing each other.

Daffney and Stacy ripped off Flair and Johnson’s pants. Crowbar got involved to help Daffney and took his own pants off.

‘This is pretty funny.’ said Tony Schiavone.

It wasn’t.

It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t entertaining, and it certainly wasn’t sexy, not even when Miss Hancock cost herself the match by saying screw it and putting on a striptease.

The only funny moment was Slick Johnson, Crowbar and David Flair all sat down in the corner of the ring, enjoying the show.
Your Winner: Daffney

Afterward, everybody threw cake at each other and made a big mess. I mean, bigger than this pile of garbage already was.

Out in the back, The Cat wandered through the corridor, voicing his concerns about Hulk Hogan being AWOL.

Oriental music played and The Jung Dragons were seen hiding in the background.

That wasn’t funny either.

Where is Hogan?

As the ring crew tried unsuccessfully to clean up the cakey mess at ringside, the announcers expressed their own concerns about Hogan and gave us the same bit about Hogan’s links with Bash at the Beach that I’d given you at the start of this review.

Eventually, the ring crew said screw or and just flipped the messy ringside mats over.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW Tag Team Champions The Perfect Event (‘Perfectshawn’ Shawn Stasiak & ‘The Event’ Chuck Palumbo) vs. Kronik (Brian Adams & Bryan Clarke)

WCW Bash at the Beach - Kronik faced Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo
This match might have a few critics, but this fan is definitely not one of them.

No sir, I enjoyed the heck out of this one.

The longest and best thing on the card so far, the action here was solid. Not spectacular, not groundbreaking, certainly not must-see, but solid, decent and perfectly acceptable as a tag team match.

Best of all, it was one of the very few WCW PPV matches to occur around this time with a clean, no-BS finish.

No outside interference, no weapons (Stasiak brought in the Lex Flexor but didn’t use it), just a solid team match with a good old fashioned finishing move and a three count.

After a lengthy battle, that finishing move came in the form of a powerbomb/Doomsday Device combo courtesy of Kronik, earning Bryan Clarke and Brian Adams the gold.
Your Winners and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions: Kronik

Out in the back, Jeff Jarrett and his opera singing friend (known as Screamin’ Mimi) warned The Cat that he’d cause trouble and ruin the show if Hogan didn’t appear.

Miller was trying his best to sort things out, but once again got attacked by The Jung Dragons.

Admittedly, this was starting to get old, but it was also so ridiculous you couldn’t help but laugh.

‘Positively Kanyon’ vs. Booker T

WCW Bash at the Beach - Booker T faced Kanyon
After turning on Diamond Dallas Page at The Great American Bash, Kanyon was now doing a DDP rip off gimmick, even going so far as to wear a wig to look like Page and come down to the Self Hi-Five theme.

Meanwhile, Booker T had ditched the G.I. Brain thing and was now just good old’ Book.

The two gave us another solid match, albeit one without a clean finish.

After several minutes of compelling action, Jeff Jarrett stayed true to his word and screwed with the show by waffling Booker with a guitar.

Kanyon then hit the weakest looking Diamond Cutter ever and won.
Your Winner: Kanyon

Backstage, Mike Awesome was chatting up Screamin’ Mimi but was interrupted by Pamela Paulshock, who wanted to know about his upcoming US title match.

WCW Bash at the Beach - Pamela Paulshock tries to get an interview with Mike Awesome
Awesome didn’t care about that. He only cared about seducing the fat lady.

The joke here was that Awesome found Mimi way hotter than the smoking hot Paulshock. It would have been way more convincing had he not continually looked down at her boobs throughout the promo.

Speaking of Pamela Paulshock, can I just say how much I enjoyed her performances?

No, it wasn’t to do with the fact that she was an attractive woman (though it helps), but because she was one of the few backstage interviewers to have come along with a genuine personality, like a modern-day Missy Hyatt.

I enjoy her get-in-the-wrestlers-face approach immensely.

Also, there was this line from Madden:

"You know who the fat girl's favourite wrestler is? Shane Douglas...She thinks he's The French Fries."

Fair play, that was probably his only genuinely funny contribution to pro wrestling.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW US Champion Scott Steiner (w/ Midajah) vs. Mike Awesome

WCW Bash at the Beach - Mike Awesome gets set to pounce on Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner’s other ‘Freak’ Shakira had now left the company, leaving just his memorable pairing with Midajah.

She wasn’t the only part of Steiner’s gimmick to have gone. For vague, nefarious heel reasons, The Cat had declared that the Steiner Recliner was now a banned move.

At first, it didn’t seem to matter. Steiner ana Awesome still tore it up a wild and thoroughly entertaining brawl, giving us a match that was even better than their last outing at Spring Stampede 2000.

Towards the finish, however, The Cat came down and, after inadvertently kicking Awesome, insisted that he would strip Steiner of the title if he put Mike in the Recliner.

Stupidly, Scotty did it anyway and lost the title.
Your Winner by erm. Disqualification: Mike Awesome

That was such a dumb finish to an otherwise good match that I had to go on Wikipedia to find out what the actual result was.

Apparently Awesome won by DQ, but whether or not that made him our new champion was unclear as of that moment.

Taking out his frustrations, Steiner murdered Awesome with a wicked T-Bone suplex.

Then, after more time-killing meanderings from the announcers, we went down to the graveyard.

Graveyard Match
The Demon (w/ Aysa) vs. Vampiro

WCW Bash at the Beach - The Demon faced Vampiro in a Graveyard Match
Last seen on PPV way back at Superbrawl 2000, The Demon was no longer simply a Gene Simmons impersonator but was being billed as the personification of Dale Torborg’s dark side.

Whatever he was, he journeyed into a graveyard for a cheesy, cringe-inducing non-match with Vampiro in which the only way to win was to make it out of the graveyard and back to the arena.

Had they played this tongue-in-cheek like Matt Hardy would do years later with the Broken Universe stuff, it could have been glorious.

Had they gone all-in with the violence factor and gritty realism of say, Undertaker and Mankind’s Boiler Room Brawl at Summerslam 1996, it could have been very compelling.

As it was, they did neither.

Instead, the two just kind of staggered around the fake graveyard, hitting each other and occasionally shouting at each other.

At one point, Vampiro threw Demon into an open grave then ran off with Aysa.

Moments later, Demon caught up and found Asya rocking back and forth as though something traumatic had happened.

As he went to check on her, Vampiro pulled him into the lake for a bit of a splash about then ran off again.

Eventually, Demon caught up, but Vamp spat some Muta-like mist in his face then stuffed Mr Torborg in a casket and dumped the casket into the open grave.

With that, Vamp just kind of walked away.

Yuck. This could have been so good. Instead, it was so, so stupid.

Ok then...

A Franchise Guarantee

WCW Bash at the Beach - Mean Gene interviews Franchise Shane Douglas
Kids, if you want to be the guest manager for big bad heel Bill Goldberg at a random house show, then mail it your cable or satellite bill proving that you ordered Bash at the Beach.

Don’t want to do that? Just listen to Shane Douglas’ promo instead.

Speaking to Mean Gene, The Franchise guaranteed to defeat his former partner Buff Bagwell in their upcoming match.

I’m not certain, but this sounded like Douglas’ best attempt at cutting a babyface promo.

Buff Bagwell vs. The Franchise Shane Douglas

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t, because Douglas was definitely still a heel here.

WCW Bash at the Beach - Torrie Wilson seduces Buff Bagwell before turning on him
The story was that each man blamed the other for their failings as a tag team. The announcers sold this as though Buff and Shane were at Road Warrior or Steiner Brother levels of experience when in reality they’d probably tagged together for no more than a month tops.

Like so many of the matches World Championship Wrestling presented around this time, this was a good wrestling match ruined by a convoluted finish.

Bagwell and Douglas battler back and forth in an intense brawl until Torrie Wilson strutted to ringside with her boobs practically hanging out of her top.

At first, she slapped Douglas, but that was just a ploy to gain the trust of Buff, who she then kicked squarely in the bollocks.

Revealing her true colours, Torrie helped Shane keep his word by beating Buff Daddy.
Your Winner: Shane Douglas

Post-match, Wilson and Douglas made out.

Nobody wanted to see that.

The Chosen One is Ready for The Hulkster

Backstage, Hollywood Hulk Hogan was seen walking, ready to face Jeff Jarrett.

Elsewhere in the arena, Jeff insinuated to ‘Jurassic Slap Ass’ Mean Gene Okerlund that Hogan had made a lot of enemies during his WCW tenure and this would somehow come into play tonight.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan

WCW Bash at the Beach - Hollywood Hogan had his last on-screen WCW appearanceThough I don’t really remember them, apparently all kinds of rumours were floating about around this time that something dodgy would go down involving Hogan and Jarrett.

If you hadn’t already caught wind that something was up, the fact that a Hulk Hogan world title match was plonked at a place in the card with an hour left to go should have given you a clue.

We even got Michael Buffer calling this our ‘main event of the evening.'

Buffer called out Jarrett first. The champion took forever to come out and, when he did so, he was following behind Vince Russo.

Hogan came out next, by which time Jarrett had walked back up the ramp. Taking to the microphone, Hogan demanded that The Chosen One get in the ring so that he could powerbomb him in tribute to his buddy, Kevin Nash.

Jarrett did so, but instead of locking up with Hollywood, simply lay down for him.

Yep, this was like the Fingerpoke of Doom all over again, except, you know, without the actual finger poke.

Looking confused and bewildered, Hogan took to the microphone and uttered the last words he would ever utter on WCW TV:

‘Russo, is this your deal? You know, this is why this company is in the damn shape it’s in, because of bulls**t like this.’

Looking dejected, Hogan put his foot on Jarrett and Slick Johnson counted the three.
Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan

WCW Bash at the Beach - Jeff Jarrett lay down for Hulk Hogan in the infamous worked shoot
That was it. A six-year run was over. From Bash at the Beach 1994 to Bash at the  Beach 2000, Hulk Hogan’s WCW career had come full circle.

The last shot of him on WCW TV was of him waking backstage while some kids carried the title belt and Vampiro walked into the arena, ignoring Hogan entirely.

All the while, the announcers fumbled over themselves trying to explain that this wasn’t how the match was supposed to go down without actually coming out and saying ‘you know it’s all fake, right?’

The irony was that this whole thing actually was planned.

The idea was that he would return later in the year claiming to be the real champion and go up against whoever the heel champion happened to be at the time.

That, of course, would never happen, and we’d have Vince Russo‘ upcoming promo to thank for it.

But first, more Vampiro.

The Dark Circle Has Been Completed

WCW Bash at the Beach - Vampiro
Vampiro came to the ring, winning his graveyard match in the process, and cut a spooky promo about how ‘The Dark Circle’ had been completed.

No, I’m not sure what that meant either.

The fans chanted for Sting, but Vamp claimed that, just like Dale Torborg, Sting was now dead.

Sting himself wasn’t so sure of that.

Taking a play directly from The Undertaker’s book, Sting had several Druid-like creatures wearing Sting masks and hoods wheel a coffin down to ringside.

When the coffin opened, somebody who clearly wasn’t Sting but who the announcers lied and told us was Sting popped out of it.

The lights went dark, the opening riff of Metallica’s Seek & Destroy played and was quickly replaced by Generic Creepy Music 124.

When the lights came back on, Vamp was having a nap in the coffin.

Goldberg Wants to Destroy The Outsiders

WCW Bash at the Beach - Mean Gene interviews Bill Goldberg
Two years after Starrcade 1998, Bill Goldberg finally looked to get revenge on Kevin Nash and Scott Hall for the outcome of his match with Nash on that show.

Tonight, he promised to beat Nash from pillar to post and then destroy Scott Hall’s contract right in front of him.

The funny thing was, Scott Hall hadn't appeared on WCW TV since that February’s Superbrawl 2000 show and had already left the company months ago following an incident on the company’s March European tour.

Fun fact - I was at one of the shows on that tour.

Vince Russo Kills Hulk Hogan’s Career

Here’s that promo in full:

"Three weeks ago, I left WCW and quite frankly I didn’t know if I was gonna come back. And the reason I didn’t know if I was gonna come back or not is because, from day one that I’ve been in WCW, I’ve done nothing, nothing, but deal with the bulls**t of the politics behind that curtain. 

"The fact of the matter is I’ve got a wife, I’ve got three kids at home and frankly, the fact of the matter is I don’t need this s**t. 

"But let me tell you the reason why I did come back. I came back for every one of the guys in this locker room that week in and week out busts their ass for WCW. I came back for the Booker Ts. I came back for every single guy in MIA. I came back for the Animals, I came back for Jarrett. I came back for the guys behind that curtain who give a s**t about this company. And let me tell you who doesn’t give a shit about this company that god damned politician Hulk Hogan. Because let me tell you people what happened out here in this ring tonight. 



"All day long I’m playing politics with Hulk Hogan because Hulk Hogan tonight wants to play his creative control card and to Hulk Hogan that meant that tonight in the middle of this ring, when he knew it was bulls**t, he beats Jeff Jarrett. Well, guess what- Hogan got his wish, Hogan got his belt and he went the hell home. And I promise everybody else or else I’ll go in the god damn grave you will never see that piece of s**t again.

"But I also... I sat out there in the people just like you and I know you paid good money to be here tonight and nobody is gonna be ripped off here tonight. 

"So Hulk Hogan now has the WCW belt. And Hulk let’s refer to it as the Hulk Hogan memorial belt cause from here on in that belt don’t mean s**t. Because there will be a new WCW belt and as far I’m concerned that belt still belongs to the one guy that busts his ass week in and week out in the middle of this ring and you people can love him and hate him and he don’t screw anybody back there and that’s Jeff Jarrett. 

"Now hold on a minute- Jeff Jarrett is still the official WCW champion but he will defend in this ring tonight. And he will defend that title against the son of a bitch back there who for fourteen years has been busting his ass for WCW and can’t get a god damn break because of the Hulk Hogans and I’m talking about Booker T. Booker T and Jeff Jarrett are the two reasons why I’m in this damn stinkin' business to begin with. So tonight in this ring for the WCW Title two deserving guys Jarrett and Booker will compete for the WCW belt and they’ll tear this god damned house down. And Hogan you big bald son of a bitch- KISS MY ASS!"

The most noticeable thing about this passionate, profanity-laden speech from Russo is that it was genuinely one of the best promos to feature on WCW programming in ages.

Personally, I could have done without all the swearing, but if wrestlers back then -or even now- could have delivered a promo with even a tenth of that intensity and believability, it would have made for awesome viewing.

If you couldn’t be bothered watching the video, the other noteworthy thing was that Russo booked Jarrett vs. Booker T for tonight.

Kevin Nash vs. Goldberg
Scott Hall’s Contract on the Line

WCW Bash at the Beach - Kevin Nash faced Goldberg
It occurs to me that after what went down with Hogan, Nash was now the only member of the original nWo still standing in WCW.

As he made his way from the locker room, Big Sexy stopped to ask one-time nWo member Scott Steiner is he’d watch his back.

Steiner refused, being too busy getting his freak on with Midajah, but then he and his woman came out to ringside a few minutes into the match.

Honestly, you could smell the heel turn a mile away.

The actual Nash/Goldberg action wasn’t half bad and was more or less exactly what you’d expect from the pair of them.

Predictably, however, Steiner turned on his long-time friend. Goldberg hit a spear and a Jackhammer, and Scott Hall’s WCW career was officially over months after he’d already left the company.
Your Winner: Goldberg

I say that, but when you think about it, this was a smart way to actually explain why we’d never see Hall again on WCW TV rather than having him do that mysterious thing that so many wrestlers before him had done and just randomly disappearing, never to be mentioned again.

Booker T Will Take His Opportunity

Backstage, Booker T claimed that he didn’t really know what was going on, but would take his opportunity when he could get it and walk out with the gold tonight.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. Booker T

WCW Bash at the Beach - Booker T beat Jeff Jarrett to win his first WCW title
Yes, Jeff was still technically the champion because Russo had declared the result of the earlier debacle to be null and void.

It was interesting to note the number of empty seats on the hard camera side of the ring by this point. Clearly, plenty of people had just about had enough of WCW's nonsense and gone home. A shame, really, because they missed a really good main event.

Sure, it began with something of an ominous cloud hanging over it, a certain sense of "this is only happening because something controversial went down earlier," but Jarrett and Booker worked hard to move past that and give us the best match of the night by a thousand miles.

It was dramatic, it was captivating, and even though it had an unnecessary ref bump, it was everything you'd want from a high profile title match.

In the end, Jarrett came off the top with the guitar, but Booker blocked it and hit a Book End. Slick Johnson ran in because Billy Silverman had been KO'd in the corner, and three seconds later we had the best 'new world champion' moment any company had produced since Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 14.
Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Booker T

I mean seriously, this was such a feel-good moment. The remaining crowd all raised the roof for Booker, the champ himself was overwhelmed with emotion and almost cried, and your writer, watching at home, got goosebumps.

Whatever else had happened at Bash at the Beach 2000, that's how you close a show - with a deserving champion standing tall after a tremendous, tremendous effort.






Speaking of tremendous effort, that's mostly what WCW had produced here. Not that it was a flawless show. It was more like A+ for effort, C+ for execution. For all the decent wrestling, for all the moments like Booker T winning the title and that incredible Vince Russo promo, there were dumb Graveyard matches, too many run-ins, and David Flair dropping his pants.

This, ladies and gentlemen, was the last ever Bash at the Beach show, and for better or worse, the world of professional wrestling would never forget it.





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

Thursday, 19 March 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Bash at the Beach 1994

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Event poster
July 17, 1994
Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida

As most regular Retro Pro Wrestling readers will know, our attempt to cover every PPV from Wrestlemania 1 - 30 has been done mostly in chronological order since we hit the mid-1990s.

At time of writing, we're half-way through covering the year 2000,  with next week's review scheduled to be Bash at the Beach 2000.

That show is important for two reasons:

  1. It's the last ever Bash at the Beach PPV
  2. It features the last live appearance of Hulk Hogan on a WCW wrestling show.
When you think about it, that's somewhat fitting; a true case of everything coming full circle.

After all, it was six years earlier, at the first-ever Bash at the Beach pay per view in 1994 that Hogan made his in-ring debut for the company, challenging Nature Boy Ric Flair for the WCW  title in a much-publicised match.







So, this week, it felt appropriate to take time out from reviewing pro wrestling as it was at the turn of the millennium and jump back to the start of Hogan's WCW career.

With that in mind, join me as we go back to the year 1994 as the first Bash at the Beach show came to us live from Orlando, Florida.

Live From Orlando, The Match of the Century

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Gene Okerlund
Unsurprisingly, tonight’s opening video package focussed on the main event pitting ‘12 time WCW champion’ Ric Flair against ‘five-time champion’ Hulk Hogan in the match of the century.

WCW’s PPV openings get a lot of stick around these parts, but to give credit where it’s due, this was a pretty good little video by 1994 standards.

The video was followed by the ever-present voice of Tony Schiavone, who welcomed us to this historic occasion and introduced us to his broadcast colleagues Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan (or Bobby ‘The Brain’ Hernandez as my autocorrect would have it) and Mean Gene Okerlund.

Schiavone and Okerlund were hyped to see Hulk Hogan tonight but Herman, naturally, wasn’t so impressed.

Displaying the kind of passion that would be completely gone from his character by the end of his WCW run, The Brain cut a scathing promo on The Hulkster in which he promised that by the end of the evening, everyone in Orlando would be pointing at him and calling him a loser.

God bless you, Weasel, you were one of a kind.

Sensuous Sherri Injured Sting

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Daron Norwood sang the national anthem
Out in the ring, country singer Daron Norwood gave us a respectable rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner before we went back to the men with the microphones for more chatter.

This time, Schiavone, Heenan, and Okerlund discussed the fact that Sting wouldn’t be here tonight after he was injured by ‘Sensuous’ Sherri on WCW Saturday Night.

Flashing back to that show, we saw the Stinger lock Flair in the Scorpion Deathlock as Hogan sat on a chair at ringside watching on. At that point, Sherri came out dressed a bit like Charlie Chaplin and raked his eyes.

Hogan intervened, lifting Sherri for an automatic drop and copping a good feel of her bum in the process.

All hell broke loose, with Flair and Sherri escaping as Jimmy Hart, Mr T, and Mr T’s giant earrings all stormed the ring.

All this was shown to tell us that Johnny B. Badd had replaced Sting in tonight’s TV title match.

Finally, eight whole minutes into the broadcast, we got on with that match.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW TV Champion Lord Steven Regal (w/ Sir William) vs. Johnny B. Badd

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Johnny B. Badd challenged Steven Regal for the TV title
Clocking in around 14 minutes, this was as good an opening match as you were going to get in 1994.

Certainly, there was no way the WWF would ever showcase a bout like this one back at that time.

A proper wrestling match, this one had a lot to like about it and only lost this writer’s interest for a few brief moments in the middle.

After a solid, back-and-forth effort from both men, Steven Regal retained his gold with a sloppy-looking roll-up and a handful of tights.
Your Winner and Still WCW TV Champion: Steven Regal

Afterwards, Johnny B. Badd extracted a modicum of revenge for the loss by giving Sir William (Bill Dundee) by giving him a back body drop.

Yeah, that’ll show him.

Lord Regal is Sick of These Bloody Legends

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Antonio Inoki was honoured by the company but then disrespected by Steven Regal
After a word from our commentators, Mean Gene Okerlund stood in the ring to present some kind of plaque to Antonio Inoki.

Okerlund gushed over Inoki and only just stopped short of telling us that the Japanese legend was the greatest human being who ever lived. He then gave him the plaque in recognition of what an awesome dude he was.

Okerlund never actually told us what the plaque actually was. An award perhaps? An induction into a Hall of Fame? A lifetime achievement thing? We didn’t know. It was just ‘Antonio Inoki is cool. Here’s this thing.’

And here was another thing - an interruption by Lord Steven Regal. With confetti from Johnny B. Badd’s confetti gun plastered to his sweaty back, Regal returned to the thing to bemoan these bloody legends like Inoki getting all the recognition while he got none.

The TV Champion claimed to have been in Japan recently and beaten all of the top stars but didn’t see Inoki anywhere in sight.

Feeling disrespected, Inoki took his jacket off and stalked Regal around the ring, only for the Englishman to take a powder at the urging of Sir William.

This was kind of pointless, but at least Regal was his usual entertaining self.

Killing even more time, we returned once again to the announce table where Bobby Heenan has been replaced by Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura.

Vader (w/ Harley Race) vs. The Guardian Angel

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Big Van Vader (w/ Harley Race) faced The Guardian Angel (Big Boss Man)
The Guardian Angel stood for law and order. We know this because Schiavone told us about 15 times.

Apparently, he also stood for respecting copyright, which is why Ray Taylor had ditched all other aspects of his Big Bossman gimmick.

This was a weird one because it was not a bad match, but Angel made Vader look like a total chump.

You know Vader, right? Big, huge brute of a monster heel? Yeah, well Guardian Angel picked him up and threw him about the place as if he were Duane Gill.

Vader mounted a comeback, of course, but after he squashed Angel with both the Vader Bomb and his famous moonsault, Angel got up again a second later and continued fighting like it was nothing.

The finish was silly too. The referee took a tumble, so Harley Race gave Vader a nightstick. Guardian Angel stole it and teased hitting his opponent with it but never actually touched him.

The referee came to, saw Traylor merely holding the stick, assumed the worst and called for the bell.

Man, that was so disappointing.
Your Winner by Disqualification: Vader

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Jesse Ventura joined Schiavone to call a few matches
On the plus side, it was awesome to hear Jesse Ventura on commentary again. The last time I reviewed a show with Jesse on it was Wrestlemania VI, and I wrote that seven years ago, so it’s nice to hear him again.

After a brief shot backstage of Chris Cruise and a chubby Mike Tenay manning the WCW hotline, Ventura and Schiavone introduced us to a video which recapped the feud between Dustin Rhodes and the team of Bunkhouse Buck and Terry Funk.

To be honest, I didn’t really follow it, but it had something to do with Funk going after Dustin because he couldn’t get to Dusty Rhodes, and the future Goldust asking Arn Anderson to be his partner so he could face them.

Then, because this show was all about wasting as much time as possible, we were shown a clip from the pre-show shenanigans.  A female wrestler called Molly McShane beat two radio guys in what looked like an awful match with Jimmy Hart as referee.

Finally, we were ready for some more action, and about time too. We were 45 minutes into the show by now and we’d seen, at most, 20 minutes of actual wrestling over two matches.

Bunkhouse Buck & Terry Funk (w/ Col. Robert Parker & Meng) vs. Dustin Rhodes & Arn Anderson

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Bunkhouse buck puts a hurt on Dustin Rhodes
All that time-wasting was worth it because this was great fun.

Dustin Rhodes wrestled the entity of the match for his team, putting up a valiant effort against the two wily veterans and, of course, paying tribute to the American Dream by dropping bionic elbows with gusto.

Yet the real star of the show was Terry Funk. Middle-aged and crazy as ever, the Funker got knocked goofy in the early going and sold it for the entire match, flopping around the place and generally acting like he had no idea where he was at any moment.

It was the kind of commitment to selling that you just don’t see these days, and it was a thing of beauty.

As for Arn Anderson? Well, if you didn’t see his inevitable heel turn coming from a mile away, you must have been blind.

After watching his partner wrestle the whole of the match, Anderson finally tug in and planted Dustin with a DDT. He dragged a fallen Funker on top of the young Rhodes and this brilliant bout was over.
Your Winners: Bunkhouse Buck and Terry Funk

Post-match, Funk and Buck joined Double-A in a Dustin Rhodes beat down until Doug Dillinger came down with Randy Anderson and Greg Gagne to break it up.

Mean Gene called Anderson’s then one of the most disposable things he’d ever seen, but Double-A said he’d only talk to him if he joined them at the party they were heading to.

To Be the Man...

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Ric Flair and Sensuous Sherri
After a quick interview with baseball legend Hank Arron in which he claimed to be rooting for both Hogan and Flair, Schiavone and Heenan wasted more time with their tween-match banter before throwing it back to Mean Gene.

Standing backstage with Sensuous Sherri and World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair, Okerlund asked Flair for his comments on tonight’s main event.

Sadly, we didn’t get a ‘Mean WOO Gene’ from Flair, but we did get one of his usual stellar promos.

The Nature Boy was elated to see his buddy Arn Anderson back on the right side of the heel/face divide, but he was even happier to be facing Hogan tonight.

He couldn’t wait to walk that aisle, style, and profile and remain our world champion.

For her part, Sherri reminded us that to be the man (woo) you had to beat the man and that tonight, Hogan was the one with everything to prove.

This was good stuff from both.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion Stunning Steve Austin vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat


WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Ricky Steamboat challenged Stunning Steve Austin for the US title
Sadly, Ricky Steamboat didn’t have that cheesy theme song from Slam Jam Vol. 1 that was all about what a great guy he was for not cheating on his wife.

He did, however, have the whole breathing-fire-and-wearing dragon wings to the ring with him.

Meanwhile, Stunning Steve Austin came down using a theme that would later be used for Marty Jannetty, Greg Valentine, and a bunch of others.

The two men locked up and gave us a match that was so, so good.

Stunning Steve was a brilliant smarmy, devious heel, trying every dirty, underhand trick in the book to get the better of his opponent.

It also helped that both he and Steamboat were excellent wrestlers. Together, they gave us a long, compelling match that was a joy to watch.

After trading the advantage several times, the dastardly Austin reversed a Steamboat pin attempt and got the three by putting his feet on the ropes.
Your Winner and Still WCW United States Champion: Stunning Steve Austin

Out in the back, we were shown Pretty Wonderful speaking to Chris Cruise about their upcoming title match for the WCW Hotline.

Elsewhere in the arena, Hotline lover Mean Gene accepted his invite to Bunkhouse Buck and Terry Funk’s party. Along with Anderson and Col. Robert Parker, the group glugged champagne that looked awfully like cheap beer and gloated about getting one over on The Natural Dustin Rhodes.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan (w/ Dave Sullivan)  vs. Pretty Wonderful (Pretty Paul Roma & Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff)

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Pretty Paul Roma teamed with Paul Orndorff to challenge Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan for the WCW tag team titles
Neither of these duos may have been the greatest tag teams of all time, but they did achieve something pretty special here:

Helping to redefine the very meaning of the word ‘tedium.’

Whereas the previous encounter had been a tour-de-force of exceptional pro wrestling, this tag team title match was a snore-de-force of lifeless mediocrity.

At one point, things became so dull that the crowd started entertaining themselves with repeated, area-wide Mexican waves.

This wasn’t just something you happened to spot in the background, either. The cameras opted to focus on it and the announcers opted to talk about it because it was a thousand times more interesting than the ‘Cactus Jack Fifty-Hour Armbar Extravaganza’ going on in the ring.

Around the same time, cameras also cut to WCW President Bill Shaw ignoring the match and having a chat with Hank Aaron.

Seriously, the match was so boring that not even the president of the company had any interest in it.

Pretty Wonderful won and not a single person in the crowd looked as if they cared.
Your Winners and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions: Pretty Wonderful

At this point in the show, there are still 43 minutes on the clock with Schiavone and Heenan telling us it was time for the main event.

Seriously?

A few minutes were killed with Michael Buffer introducing WCW Commissioner Nick Bodkwinkle and Shaquille O’Neal to the ring to lend an air of gravitas to the occasion, but otherwise, this thing was on.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/ Sensuous Sherri) vs. Hulk Hogan (w/ Jimmy Hart & Mr T)

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Hulk Hogan made his WCW in-ring debut, capturing the world title from Ric Flair
On a somewhat related note, I think this might also be the WCW debut of Michael Buffer, though I wouldn’t want to put money on that.

He spent so long introducing everyone and going off on some random tangent about the moon landings that we only had half an hour left to watch Hogan and Flair wrestle.

The two only used twenty of those minutes for actual wrestling, but oh how they used them well.

Hogan will always have his detractors (from an in-ring standpoint and otherwise), but this was an incredibly fun main event.

Sure, it was mostly just Hogan and Flair playing their greatest hits coupled with an abundance of Sherri Martel interference and a single instance of Hogan busting out the kind of technical wrestling he usually reserved for Japan, but all of that combined made for a great performance in front of a red hot crowd.

The best Hulk Hogan match in years by a good mile, this 21-minute encounter ended predictably with a win for The Hulkster, but man, did we get a lot of good stuff before then.
Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Brian Pillman crashed Hulk Hogan's celebratory promo
After the usual Hogan post-match celebration, we found him walking down the corridor where he bumped into his buddy Ed 'Brutus' Leslie and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

Hogan and his boys then went into a room for a big celebration. Speaking to Mean Gene Okerlund, Hogan cut a big, long promo in which he said that "everything that was once old is now new" and basically gloated about being our new champion.

The best part of all this was the random appearance of Brian Pillman, who edged ever closer to the Hulkster as the promo went on, permanently smiling like somebody who had no clue what was going on.

Or, who knows, maybe he was just a big fan of WCW's newest and biggest superstar.






And so, Hulkamania had well and truly arrived in World Championship Wrestling and the organisation would never be the same again. As for Hogan's debut, it had been a great start, that's for sure. Wrestling his best match in years, Hogan had gotten his WCW run off in a much better way than it would eventually end at this very same event six years later.

The rest of the show wasn't bad, either. Sure, the tag team title match was atrocious and the Vader/Guardian Angel lacked a little something, but combine a hot main event, a decent opener, and the Austin/Steamboat classic, and what you're left with is a pretty good show.

The greatest WCW event of all time? Absolutely not, but if you're bored and looking for something to watch, you could do far worse than the first WCW Bash at the Beach PPV.




Other 1994 pro wrestling reviews:



Other WCW Bash at the Beach reviews
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Thursday, 12 March 2020

PPV REVIEW: King of the Ring 2000

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Event poster
June 25, 2000
Fleet Center in Boston, Massachusetts

The World Wrestling Federation as a habit of promoting the King of the Ring tournament as one that could make a man's career.

Win the annual knock-out competition and, if the advertising hyperbole was anything to go by, you were essentially guaranteed an instantaneous main event career, world titles, and ever-lasting superstardom.

But let's be honest:

That simply wasn't true, was it?

Yes, previous King of the Ring winners Bret 'The Hitman' Hart, Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin had all been WWF Champion, but The Hitman had already main evented Wrestlemania and was essentially the company's top, full-time babyface when he won the competition.

Years later, Stone Cold had followed his iconic 'Austin 3:16' victory speech by wrestling mid-card bouts against Marc Mero and waiting for The Hitman to return to the company and give him a leg-up into the main event. It wasn't until two years later, at Wrestlemania 14, that Austin finally cemented his mega-star status.







Likewise, Hunter Hearst Helmsley would win the 1997 version of the competition and take almost two years before he was a fully certified main eventer.

That's to say nothing of former winners Billy Gunn, Ken Shamrock, who never moved past their current station, nor of Owen Hart and King Mabel, both of whom did challenge for the title at Summerslam the year they won the competition but then swiftly moved back down the pecking order.

So, no, the King of the Ring was not the one-way-ticket to superstardom that the WWF wanted us to believe it was, but may be for tonight's winner, it would give him a welcome boost on his already inevitable rise to the top of the card.

Here's what went down when King of the Ring 2000 came live from Boston, Massachusetts.

A Royal Occasion

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross called the show
As with every WWF PPV, this one started with a compelling and well-produced video package. Tonight's into began by reminding us about the prestige of the King of the Ring tournament but quickly segued to putting all the focus on tonight's main event:

A six-man tag pitting The Rock, The Undertaker, and Kane against WWF Champion Triple H, Vince McMahon, and Shane McMahon. If either of the babyfaces could pin either of the heels, they would become our new WWF Champion.

Out in the arena, pyro exploded, cameras panned across the enthusiastic, sold-out crowd, and Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcomed us to the proceedings.

As Ross was giving us the usual intro, Too Cool's music hit, and this one was officially on.

King of the Ring Quarter Final: Match 1
WWF Intercontinental Champion Rikishi vs. Chris Benoit

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Chris Benoit struggles to put RIkishi in the Crippler Crossface
Last Thursday, on Smackdown, Rikishi Banzai Dropped his way to an Intercontinental Championship victory over Chris Benoit. Afterwards, The Crippler had proved himself to be a sore loser by whacking Big Kish over the head with a chair a couple of times.

Tonight, the two looked to take their rivalry to the next level in a short, explosive contest.

This was an enjoyable match while it lasted, especially when Benoit lifted Rikishi over his head for an awesome belly-to-belly suplex.

It's just a shame it didn't last long.

Unable to control his temper, Benoit got a chair from the outside and destroyed his opponent with it.

Mike Chioda called for the bell, and that was that.
Your Winner by Disqualification: Rikishi

Post-match, Benoit kept up his attack, even going so far as to lock Rikishi in the Crippler Crossface and blast him with a top rope headbutt while Sgt. Slaughter, Tony Garea and a gaggle of officials tried to stop him.

Vince McMahon is Joe Cool

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 -  Vince McMahon promises his family that he will keep his cool
Earlier, on Heat, the ever-stoic Linda McMahon told Michael Cole that she had come to the show tonight in order to confront her husband.

Back live in the dressing room, HHH, Shane, and Stephanie McMahon all expressed their concerns, knowing how much Vince ‘lost his cool’ whenever he was confronted by the McMahon matriarch.

Laughing it off, Vince boasted that he was always able to put Linda back in her place and that tonight, he was so cool he might as well be Joe Cool.

Vince swaggered off, leaving Hunter and Shane to look at each other and, in a somewhat funny moment, agree that Vince was not going to keep his cool before chasing after him.

The Crippler Does What He Wants

After a brief flashback to the finish of our opening contest, we went backstage to Michael Cole, who was standing by with Chris Benoit.

In an effort to explain his actions, The Crippler explained that he was already the greatest technical wrestler in the world and thus didn’t need to win King of the Ring.

What’s more, said Benoit in his usual menacing fashion, he did what he wanted, when he wanted, and now Rikishi and all of us knew it.

King of the Ring Quarter Final: Match 2
WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chyna) vs. Val Venis (w/ Trish Stratus)

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 -  Eddie Guerrero and Chyna
This was Val Venis’ first involvement in any kind of PPV match since he took part in the 30-man battle royal at Royal Rumble 2000.

In the time since we’d last seen him, Val had seemingly adopted a more serious approach, taken on Trish Stratus as his manager, and dumped his memorable theme in favour of a generic dance music number.

The only way Eddie Guerrero has changed since we saw him at last month’s Judgement Day 2000 was that he’d cut off his signature mullet.

That aside, this was a great effort from both men, and probably one of the best matches Venis would have on a major stage.

Though it may not have stolen the show, it was still a compelling watch that came to an end courtesy of a Val Venis fisherman suplex.

Having never seen this event before, I’m surprised by the outcomes here.

Let’s not give people a Benoit/Guerrero stormer in the semi-finals but a Rikishi/Venis match instead.

Still, I’m not complaining. Two matches in and this has been a good show despite the questionable booking decisions.
Your Winner: Val Venis

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 -  Pat Patterson confronts the wardrobe lady about his outfit for the upcoming Evening Gown hardcore match
Out in the back, a flustered Pat Patterson was seen going through the potential outfits WWF’s wardrobe department had picked out for his regrettable Evening Gown match with Gerald Briscoe.

Dismissing all of the available options, Patterson demanded something that made him look slim and sexy.

‘Pat, I’m good,’ said the wardrobe department lady stood with him. ‘But I’m no miracle worker.’

How’s that for a burn?

Rikishi is Ready for Val

Across the arena, Michael Cole interviewed Rikishi.

No-selling the effects of Chris Benoit’s attack, the Intercontinental Champion said that what The Crippler did to him was nothing compared to what he was going to do to Val Venis in the semi-final.

After a brief shot of the outside of the arena and a word from our sponsors, it was back to the action.

King of the Ring Quarter Final: Match 3
Crash Holly vs. Bull Buchanan

This wasn’t the best match we’d seen so far, but it was still kinda fun for what it was.

As Crash Holly made his way to the ring, the announcers showed us how the WWF’s answer to Elroy Jetson has fluked his way into the quarter-finals, first by surprising Albert with a roll-up, then by beating cousin Hardcore Holly by DQ after Gerald Briscoe whacked him with a 2x4.

This was pretty much the same thing.

Crash got his backside handed to him by Bull Buchanan, only to steal victory from the jaws of defeat courtesy of a roll-up.

A shame, really, because I always enjoy a bit of Bull Buchanan.
Your Winner: Crash Holly

Backstage, Vince McMahon finally came face-to-face with his wife, Linda.

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 -  Vince McMahon confronts Linda McMahon
Vince wanted to know whether she’d come to undermine his authority again such as she’d done by putting Mick Foley in the main event of Wrestlemania 2000, reinstating Stone Cold Steve Austin and Dave Hebner (I think he meant Earl), and making Shawn Michaels the spokesperson of the WWF.

Ever the bundle of charisma and effervescence, Linda replied that she wasn’t here to do any of that. No, she’d flown all the way from Connecticut to Boston just to question her husband’s manhood and ask whether he, Shane, and Hunter were capable of getting the job done in tonight’s main event, or whether they needed a host of outside interference.

Naturally, Vince was unhappy at having his intestinal fortitude questioned and insisted that yes, he and his men would get the job done tonight.

This was great stuff from Vince. Linda, not so much.

King of the Ring Quarter Final: Match 4
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho

And now, the match you’ve all been waiting for...

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Kurt Angle pins Chris Jericho in their quarter-final match
Yep, this was about as good as you probably thought it would be.

Things started with Kurt Angle getting the cheap heel heat by insulting the local sports teams. Eventually, Chris Jericho arrived on the scene with a few insults of his own for ‘Kirk Angel.’

Y2J told the Olympic Gold Medalist not to worry about tonight as he was already a king:

A king of goofy-looking ring attire, a king of nerds, and a king of 30-year-old virgins.

With all the trash-talking aside, the two locked up and gave us the best match of the night so far, a solid effort in which both men were given ample opportunity to shine.

The finish saw WWF Women’s Champion Stephanie McMahon get involved in a continuation of her recent storyline with the two men.

Referee Teddy Long got in the way of an Irish whip, was tapped lightly on the nose and collapsed to the mat like he’d just been shot.

Steph ran in to hit Jericho with her women’s title, but Y2J moved. Instead, she waved the title about 30ft away from Angle’s head, and he too went down hard.

Seizing the opportunity, Jericho grabbed Steph and gave her a good snog without once bothering to ask her for consent.

That gave Angle the chance to get up, hit the Angle Slam, and win the contest.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle

Out in the back, Shane McMahon scolded his dad for losing his cool earlier with Linda.

Vince brushed it off and told Shane to remember his confidence.

‘It’s not my confidence I’m worried about,’ replied Shane. ‘It’s Triple H’s.’

‘Good point,’ confirmed Vince, ending the segment on an ominous note.

Live From WWF New York

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Mick Foley completely ignored Ivory at WWF New York
At the WWF’s Times Square entertainment complex, Mick Foley and his new short hair cut were hosting a viewing party.

Ivory was working the bar and kept trying to get his attention, even going so far as to pour him a beer, but mean old Mick completely ignored her the whole time.

I can only assume poor Ivory was talking to the side of Foley’s head that only had half an ear. Either way, I felt pretty bad for her.

All of this was more interesting than anything Mick himself had to say, which was basically ‘tonight is a good show and yes, I got thrown off the cell at King of the Ring 1998.’

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship Four-Way Elimination Match
WWF Tag Team Champions Too Cool (Grandmaster Sexay & Scotty 2 Hotty) vs. Edge & Christian vs. T&A (Test & Albert w/ Trish Stratus) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy w/ Lita)

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Edge (and Christian) riled up the crowd by mocking the local sports team
Though it may have its detractors, I say this four-team elimination match was a lot of fun.

The Hardy Boyz worked their butts off in the first half of the match, having a decent exchange with Test and Albert, eliminating them, then having an even better one with Edge and Christian.

The latter duo, who had started the match with a Five-Second Pose which ripped off the local sports team, got rid of the Hardyz to finish things up with a terrific second half against Too Cool.

The reigning and defending tag team champions were super over as they duked it out with E&C with a red hot crowd cheering on their every move.

Alas, it wasn’t to be Grandmaster Sexay or Scotty 2 Hotty’s day. After the duo hit Edge with their finisher, we got one of the screwiest finishes we’d seen in a long time.

Sexay made the cover, but numbnuts Mike Chioda was more concerned with getting Scotty out of the ring than counting the fall.

That allowed Christian to waffle Brian Christopher with the title belt, a finish which was frustrating but also increasingly common in the year 2000.
Your Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian

I should also point out that the previous match saw Lita’s first PPV interactions with BFF Trish Stratus and future boyfriend Edge, the latter of whom she gave a top rope hurricanrana too.

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Michael Cole interviews Crash Holly Kurt Angle is in Big Trouble, Mister

A commercial followed for the following month’s Fully Loaded PPV, subtitled ‘The Crap Shoot.’

I’m almost hoping that show is no good so that I can make a couple of very obvious jokes.

This led us to a backstage interview with Crash Holly.

Holly was infuriated that Michael Cole found it so surprising that he should have made it this far in the completion, and promised that when he met Kurt Angle in the semi-final, the Olympic Hero was in big, big trouble, mister.

King of the Ring Semi-Final: Match 1
WWF Intercontinental Champion Rikishi vs. Val Venis (w/ Trish Stratus)

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Rikishi beat Val Venis in the semi-final
One of the few matches I remember from this time period was a cage match between Rikishi and Val Venis that I think was for the IC belt.

This match wasn’t as good as I remember that cage match being, but it was still fairly decent for a five-or-so minute outing.

Venis and Kishi had already had a couple of violent battles on Smackdown and this was the continuation of that; a short but hard-hitting contest that came to an end when the champion caught his opponent coming off the top rope and advanced to the finals courtesy of a big ass belly-to-belly.
Your Winner: Rikishi

Post-match, Trish Stratus jumped on the Intercontinental Champion’s back, prompting JR to tell ‘Trish Stratus has mounted Rikishi!’

Ahem.

The big man threw Stratus off him and was going to Banzai Drop her until Val Venis attacked, destroying his rival with ring steps and a steel chair.

You Think That’s Funny, Coach?

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Jonathan Coachman interviewed Gerald Brisco about his hardcore evening gown match with Pat Patterson
Backstage, Jonathan Coachman found it hilarious that Gerald Briscoe had to face Pat Patterson in a hardcore evening gown match, but Briscoe was in no laughing mood.

‘You think that’s funny, Coach? The only emotion I have right now is revenge.’ snapped Briscoe with all the seriousness of a main event world title contender.

‘Well, technically revenge isn’t an emotion,’ replied Coachman, ever the pedant.

Undeterred, Briscoe cut a convincing promo in which he promised to win back his title tonight. Eventually, he was interrupted by a stagehand who had his evening gown ready and asked, rather sheepishly, whether Gerry wanted ‘regular panties or the crotchless kind.’

The line itself wasn’t so funny, but the way Briscoe remained super serious trough the whole thing made it hysterical.

Briscoe’s skit was followed by a commercial in which a guy was fired out of a cannon, crashed through a window and landed face-first in a fat woman’s lap as she watched TV.

Somehow, this was a relevant way of telling us that WWF.com would be relaunched the following day.

King of the Ring Semi-Final: Match 2
Crash Holly vs. Kurt Angle

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Kurt Angle beat Crash Holly in the semi-final
Looking to keep his lucky winning streak alive, Crash wasted no time going after Kurt in what turned out to be a short, sweet, no-frills kinda contest.

The action was good but not great, and came to ahead with a predictable win for the man whose entrance graphic wonderfully described him as ‘Kurt Angle, American Hero.’
Your Winner: Kurt Angle

The previous evening, the superstars of the World Wrestling Federation had performed at Madison Square Garden with future United States President Donald Trump in attendance.

The highlight video from this event showed us one shot of Too Cool dancing, one shot of The Rock making his entrance, and about twenty shots of Trump gurning in the front row.

Jerry Lawler interviewed Donald, who said that he was there mostly because he was good friends with Vince McMahon and that The Rock was his favourite wrestler.

I’m actually surprised Trump wasn’t attending WCW shows at this time. After all, we all know how much he loved The Wall.

Back in the arena, Lawler told King:

‘Donald Trump shouldn’t run for President, he should run for King of New York.’

Who Wants it More

Out in the back, Kane spoke to Michael Cole and The Undertaker, both of whom promised to be our next champion.

This led us to a recap of the Patterson/Briscoe feud. That atrocity was next.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship Evening Gown Match
WWF Hardcore Champion Pat Patterson vs. Gerald Briscoe

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Pat Patterson faced Gerald Brisco in a hardcore title evening gown match
Briscoe came down to Real American because of course he did.

Patterson came down pushing a shopping cart full of plunder and wresting a dress that I’m fairly sure he pulled from the ‘Sensational Sherri’ box at the WWF Warehouse.

Patterson was in his element here, even offering to lay down and let Briscoe pin him.

The two hugged but it was all a rouse. Briscoe hit his former friend, then attacked him with a banana and a dirty maxi-pad.

Yep. I just had to write that.

This was WCW-levels of garbage, but at least it was fairly short.

Crash Holly ran in, destroyed the two old men and pinned Patterson to win the Hardcore belt.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly

Afterwards, Briscoe chased Patterson up the aisle and continued to attack him.

Meanwhile, backstage, The Dudleyz revealed that they had a table with Tori’s name on it ready for their upcoming match with DX.

Handicap Tables/Dumpster Match
DX (X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Tori) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley)

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - The Dudley Boyz had a table prepared with Tori's name on it
For DX to win, they had to put Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley in a dumpster in the same fashion as  New Age Outlaws vs. Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie at Wrestlemania 14.

For The Dudleyz to win, they had to put all three members of DX through a table.

The company had apparently learned nothing from the last Dudleyz/DX encounter at Judgement Day and once again started things off with traditional tag team rules when a Tornado-style match would have made much more sense.

As a result, while the action itself wasn't actually bad, nobody cared about it because the crowd were all just waiting for the inevitable moment when The Dudleyz got the wood out.

Things picked up when DX put their opponents into the dumpster, only for referee Jimmy Korderas to be distracted by checking on a fallen Tori. The Dudleyz snuck out, crawled under the ring and snuck up behind X-Pac and Road Dogg, smashing both men with chairs and eventually putting them through tables.

When they went to do the same with Tori, however, she dove into the dumpster. Pac and Dogg pushed Bubba and D-Von in after her and won the match, but not necessarily the war.
Your Winners: DX

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Tori made her last major appearance at this show
Afterward, X-Pac was confused about where his girlfriend had actually gone, not realising she was still in the dumpster. When he realised, he stood around doing nothing for six years before finally running to her aid, only to eat a 3D. Road Dogg suffered the same fate and Tori finally went through the wood after weeks, if not months, of build-up.

That was pretty much that for Tori's WWF career. Having suffered a shoulder injury the previous evening, she would take time off to have surgery and reemerge only once to give X-Pac a slapping later on that year.

A final, brief run with Raven in 2001 would follow, but all of that was mostly an after-thought to her main run.

It was a shame, really. Sure, she often looked awkward during DX's pre-match routines, but I always enjoyed seeing her around all the same.

A Word With The Finalists

Out in the back, Angle and Rikishi gave us their thoughts ahead of tonight's King of the Ring final.

Angle called this the most important tournament in the world and promised to win it. Rikishi insisted that despite the attacks by Benoit and Val Venis, he would win it too.

King of the Ring Final
Kurt Angle vs. Rikishi

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Kurt Angle beat Rikishi in the final
As this one got underway, King and Lawler mentioned Bret Hart's 1993 King of the Ring win for about the tenth time on this show, an interesting move considering their history with the Hitman and especially considering Bret was technically still a WCW star at this stage.

The actual action here was about as good as you were going to get from Angle and Rikishi if you only gave them six minutes to play with, but that short window of opportunity meant that the two were unable to produce anything special.

Despite a couple of dramatic near falls, this came off as underwhelming and anti-climatic, ending with a predictable win for our Olympic Hero.
Your Winner and 2000 King of the Ring: Kurt Angle

Backstage, the McMahon-Helmsley Faction appeared not to be quite on the same page ahead of our main event.

World Wrestling Federation Championship Six-Man Tag Team Match
WWF Champion Triple H, Shane McMahon, and Vince McMahon (w/ WWF Women's Champion Stephanie McMahon) vs. The Rock, The Undertaker, and Kane

Whoever gets the fall becomes the champion

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - The Rock teamed with Kane and The Undertaker to face Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, and Triple H
If you want a good example of a quality WWF main event, go back and watch the excellent Rock/HHH match from Judgement Day the month prior. If you want an example of a fairly lacklustre main event that still had a few redeeming qualities to it, this is the one to watch.

The stipulation that if any of the babyfaces pinned any of the heels, the man making the cover would get the title meant that we had an inevitable point in which Rock, Taker and Kane all fell apart, with Kane and Taker, in particular, going at it hard.

Still, there were some good moments, such as Undertaker chokeslamming Shane off the top rope through the announce table on the outside. Yet even that couldn't make up for what was otherwise a disappointing end to one of the World Wrestling Federation's most disappointing shows of the year.

The end came when Rock hit Vince with a Rock Bottom to recapture the title.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: The Rock

Post-match, the new champion stood over a fallen McMahon, holding his title aloft.






I've seen people on the Internet referring to King of the Ring 2000 as 'a steaming pile of crap' and a show that was so bad that it might as well have been a WCW PPV. 

It really wasn't that bad.

The early part of the show, in particular, had some good wrestling on it and, from an in-ring standpoint at least, there was nothing that was necessarily terrible. However, dumb booking decisions certainly meant that King of the Ring 2000 failed to live up to the high standards set by some of the company's far superior shows from that year.

Not great then, but certainly not the worst thing you'll ever see.





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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.