Thursday, 18 June 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Mayhem 2000

WCW Mayhem 2000 - event poster
November 26, 2000,
U.S. Cellular Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

In November 1999, World Championship Wrestling ditched their annual World War 3 PPV in favourite of a new event called Mayhem. 

Created to tie in with the launch of the WCW Mayhem video game, that show featured a tournament to crown a new world heavyweight champion after the previous champion, Sting, was stripped of the title due to stupid booking decisions.

12 months down the line, that stupidity was still very much evident in WCW.

Sure, the year 2000 had started optimistically for the Atalanta-based organisation, but by the fall, the company was in a bigger creative and financial mess than ever before.

Don't believe me?

Just check out Mayhem 2000 to see what an absolute disaster World Championship Wrestling was in its final months.







Earlier today...

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Stevie Ray, Tony Schiavone, and Mark Madden called the show
In a break from the norm, WCW Mayhem 2000 began not with the usual opening video, but with a flashback to earlier in the day when both WCW World Heavyweight champion Booker T and number one contender Scott Steiner had arrived at the arena in anticipation of their big showdown later on the evening.

Booker T was all smiles as a group of bad actors pretending to be fans surrounded him and begged for his autograph. Scott Steiner, however, was...well, he was Scott Steiner, which meant he was angry, unhinged and generally a law unto himself.

As he entered the arena, road agent Fit Finlay handed him a pen and asked him to sign in at security. Instead of doing that, Steiner produced a baseball bat from nowhere and smashed the security table -including two laptop computers- to pieces.

We then got a brief introduction from Tony Schiavone before the obligatory opening video finally arrived.

Mayhem /ˈmeɪhɛm/ (noun): violent or extreme disorder; chaos.

Said video interspersed variation definitions of the word 'mayhem' with a look at our key matches tonight - Goldberg vs. Lex Luger, Kevin Nash and Diamond Dallas Page vs. The Perfect Event, and, as we'd already seen, Booker T vs. Scott Steiner.

Returning to the arena, Schiavone greeted us once again with a Thanksgiving reference the likes of which you'd only ever hear on a professional wrestling show:

"You've seen the family, you've had the turkey, now get ready to bash some heads live.."

Right you are, Tony.

WCW Mayhem 2000 - WCW CEO Ric Flair called the shots
Nature Boy is in the House

In a storyline I've somehow completely forgotten about, a short-haired Ric Flair had become the World Championship Wrestling CEO.

Before any of the action, we were shown a pre-broadcast promo from the Nature Boy in which he addressed the crowd and promised and promised everyone lots of great matches.

World Championship Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Mike Sanders vs. Kwee-Wee (w/ Paisley)

About twenty seconds later, Flair's promise was immediately broken.

I try not to use too many curse words in these reviews, but sometimes reviewing WCW makes me want to drop F-Bombs all over the place. that's how frustrating their booking decisions can be.

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Kwee Wee w/ Paisley (Sharmell) challenged Cruiserweight Champion Mike Sanders
Back in the glory days of the cruiserweight division, you could always guarantee that, no matter how much crappy wrestling and ridiculous overbooking took place later in the card, the cruiserweights would always deliver a solid, no-nonsense opener.

Those days were long gone.

Kicking things off, Mike Sanders took to the microphone and called Kwee-Wee a biatch, earning himself a royal ass-kicking from the challenger.

Not long after, Sanders' allies, The Natural Born Thrillers all descended en masse and attacked Kwee-Wee. This prompted Paisley (who, for the record, looked stunning), to go backstage and bring out Meng of all people. The Tongan badass attacked the Thrillers, which brought out Ric Flair and a bunch of security guards. This whole chaotic scene -mayhem for sure- completely distracted from whatever was going on in the ring.

Like seriously...why not just let the two men have a f***ing wrestling match?

When all the carnage had dissipated, they did at least try to do that, but it was too little, too late. Sanders vs. kwee-Wee had started off pretty good, but, post-fracas, it was dull and uninteresting.

Sanders won. Whatever.
Your Winner and Still WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Mike Sanders

Backstage, Ric Flair told Mean Gene Okerlund that unless a wrestler or manager was directly involved in a match on tonight's show then they wouldn't be allowed "on the floor." In other words, there'd be no interference for the rest of the show.

I'm willing to bet this doesn't last long.

Backstage Shennanigans

WCW Mayhem 2000 - The Boogie Knights struck a deal with Kronik to get their help
Across the hall, Alex Wright and Disco Inferno paid Kronik for precisely seven and a half minutes o their time to help them win a match against Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio Jr.

We then cut to another pre-recorded promo in which Okerlund interviewed Jamie Noble and Evan Karagious. Okerlund told us that the two men had formed a team out of necessity, but Karagagious was more interested in saying "North Cackalacky" a lot and dry humping thin air, pretending to be some kind of playboy. It was cringe of the highest order.

The joke here was that he and Noble came from the same place and Karagious once dumped Noble's sister or something. I don't know, the whole thing was too horrible for words.

Elsewhere in the arena, Hardcore Champion Crowbar had a new pimp daddy gimmick and was seen strutting backstage with two honeys and a cane.

My goodness, reviewing this show is going to be hard work.

Three-Way Tag Team Match
3-Count (Sugar Shane Helms & Shannon Moore) vs. The Jung Dragons (Yang and Kaz Hayashi w/ Leia Meow) vs. Jamie Noble and Evan Karagious

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Leia Meow accompanied The Jung Dragons for their match against 3 Count and Noble & Karagious
We hadn't seen Leia Meow on PPV since Starrcade 1999 when she accompanied the reunited Varsity Club as their cheerleader, but man, did she look good here.

Fortunately, she wasn't the only good part of this match.

3-Count (now technically 2-count) started the match by cutting a promo about Evan Karagious having a small penis. That was embarrassing, but the rest of the match was nothing but a pure thrill-ride from start to finish.

If you want expert psychology, old-school logic and a Triple H-styled epic, this isn't the match for you. If you like watching a bunch of dudes flying about the place and dolling out the creative offence by the truckload, you might love this.

Sure, it was essentially an eleven-minute spot fest, but it sure was fun.

3-Count won the match, but that wasn't as important as WCW proving that they were capable of giving us a straight-up wrestling match with no stupid and unnecessary extras.
Your Winners: 3-Count

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Jimmy Hart about his match with Mancow
Sadly, WCW wasn't capable of giving their 'tween-match segments any time to breathe.

Within the space about 90 seconds, we got no less than four segments, all of which came across as meaningless.

  • In the back, Bam Bam Bigelow had put That 70's Guy Mike Awesome through a table - Sergeant AWOL came to his rescue but then just stood over a prone Awesome
  • Pamela Paulshock interviewed Boogie Knights and Kronik. Kronik reiterated that they would only help Alex Wright fight Rey and Billy for seven and a half minutes, a fact we'd just established ten minutes ago and had no reason to repeat.
  • Backstage, The Natural Born Thrillers discussed something and Reno agreed to do something. This whole thing was moving so fast that I didn't even note what that something was, nor do I care at this stage.
  • Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Jimmy Hart about his upcoming match with Mancow. God, not this again. Hart had a cast on and was claiming to be injured. Okerlund quipped that Hart's cast was as real as Major Gunns...I'm guessing he meant her hair colour.

Jimmy Hart vs. Mancow (w/ his entourage)

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Mancow was a thing
They did this back at Spring Stampede 2000 and it was awful, so why they felt the need to do it again is beyond me.

Things started with a rambling, nonsense promo from the Mancow thing. At one point, he started talking about interviewing Goldberg then trailed off mid-sentence and called Mark Madden a fat piece of s**t instead.

Jimmy Hart then came down, still feigning injury.

Not surprisingly, the whole thing was a set-up. Hart blasted Mancow with his crutch and got beat down by the radio personality's henchmen.

This brought out 3-Count because f**k the 'no interference rule' that had just been established 30 MINUTES AGO.

Mancow ended up winning. Everybody who had to sit through this atrocity lost big time.
Your Winner: Mancow

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Pamela Paulshock interviews The Filthy Animals
More rapid-fire backstage stuff:
  • Mike Awesome got put on a stretcher. Pimp Daddy Crowbar checked on him
  • Lance Storm was talking to Bam Bam Bigelow but we couldn't hear what they were saying
  • The Misfits in Action were backstage, bemoaning the no interference thing which clearly didn't matter anyway. Ric Flair came in and asked for a private word with Sgt. AWOL
  • Pamela Paulshock interviewed The Filthy Animals who noted that Konnan wasn't with them because he'd scored with two women the night before. They didn't need him anyway for their match against Alex Wright and Kronik.
I'm honestly starting to think WCW 2000 is bad for my mental health.

Three the Hard Way for the World Championship Wrestling Hardcore Championship
WCW Hardcore Champion Crowbar vs. Big Vito vs Reno

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Crowbar, Big Vito and Reno battled in a hardcore title match
At Souled Out 2000, WCW had promoted a four-way hardcore match which they dubbed 'four the hard way.'

It was kind of dumb, but at least the play on words made sense.

Now, many months later, they were running a three-way match which Mark Madden told us was called a a "three the hard way" match. Honestly, even the Yapapi Indian Strap Match laughed it's ass off at what a stupid name "three the hard way" was.

Hardcore matches were usually highlights of the WCW undercard.

Though they were never going to set the world on fire, you could normally rely on this division to deliver some wacky, over-the-top fun.

That wasn’t the case here.

Instead, what we got was a mess of a bout in which all three men took turns hit to me each other with random objects.

At one point, Crowbar and Reno decided to team up on Vito but either forgot the spot they were supposed to do or...well, I have no idea what they were supposed to be doing, but it looked as though they just stood in the middle of the ring holding hands with him for a while.

It was really weird.

The non-action eventually spilt backstage where some girl called Marie begged Reno not to hit Vito. This allowed Crowbar to smash Reno with a chair and retain his title.
Your Winner and still WCW hardcore champions: Crowbar

Backstage:

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Mean Gene interviewed The Cat and Miss JonesBuff Bagwell went looking for something. He laughed his ass off the whole time but the audio was terrible so who knows -or cares- what that was about?

Kevin Nash was so concerned about his upcoming match that he sat around casually reading GQ magazine. As he did so, his partner, DDP mumbled something about somebody being ‘s**t outa luck’ and gurned at the camera as if he were Jim Halpert.

Dirty Old Man Mean Gene Okerlund tried to get into Ms Jones’ pants and claimed she needed a shot of ‘Vitamin Gene.’ Okerlund was there to interview The Cat, who promised that if he lost to Shane Douglas, he would kiss The Franchise’s feet and leave the country for seven days.

Handicap Match
Kronik (Brian Adams & Bryan Clarke) and Alex Wright (w/ Disco Inferno) vs. The Filthy Animals (Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio Jr. w/ Tygress)

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Brian Adams locks Kidman in a full nelson
This was dumb.

If you paid Kronik for seven and a half minutes of their time, wouldn’t you have them work the whole seven and a half minutes to destroy your opponents and then pick at the scraps once the damage was done?

Not Alex Wright. The dancing buffoon kept tagging in so that he and Disco were paying Adams and Clarke to do nothing.

Eventually, time ran out and the former Crush and Adam Bomb left, leaving Wright to get his ass beat.

The match itself wasn’t bad,  but that was some strange booking.

The sole highlight for this writer was Tygress. The former Nitro Girl joined the commentary team and proved -as she had done on many a PPV around this time- that she was one of the few female performers in the company with any personality.
Your Winners: The Filthy Animals

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Mean Gene interviews Steiner and Midajah
Backstage, we got another completely unnecessary segment with the Natural Born Thrillers. Mike Sanders promised his men that he would ‘set it off,’ whatever that meant.

Elsewhere, Mean Gene interviewed Scott Steiner with Midajah’s enormous breasts in the background.

Okerlund told us that a straight jacket would be hanging above the ring in tonight’s main event while Steiner boasted that he performed best when out of his mind and that most people couldn’t function at his level of insanity.

Steiner was off his nut and was all the better for it.

Shane Douglas (w/ Torrie Wilson) vs. Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller (w/ Miss Jones)

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Shane Douglas faced The Cat
Douglas had cost Miller his WCW Commissionership back at WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 and thus they had a match tonight.

Though it wasn’t terrible or anything, it just felt like mid-card filler.

The best part about it was getting to see Torrie Wilson and Ms Jones, both of whom looked stunning.

If you don’t remember Ms Jones, she was the former Nitro Girl who hit headlines earlier this year for plagiarising a teacher’s masters’ project.

The Cat won. It was ok but also kind of blah.
Your Winner: The Cat

Backstage, Jeff Jarrett found his guitars smashed to pieces on the floor and asked two members of the production crew who had done it.

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Pamela Paulshock interviewed General Rection
The two men first said that they didn’t know, but then in the very next breath said it had been Buff Bagwell.

Elsewhere, Pamela Paulshock interviewee General Rection and The Misfits In Action about their rivalry with Lance Storm and Team Canada.

Rection was fired up for his final match with Storm, but the biggest pop went to Corporal Cajun for calling Major Gunns a bitch.

Apparently, after being forced to accompany Team Canada to the ring for a while, Gunns had developed Stockholm Syndrome and joined their cause, even after Rection had set her free back at Halloween Havoc.

Also, there was a promo for the return of Glacier which Mark Madden laughed at and basically told us was stupid.

Speaking of stupid...

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Sgt. AWOL

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Bam Bam Bigelow faced Sgt. AWOL
This had originally been scheduled to be Bam Bam vs. Mike Awesome, but as everybody not named Ric Flair knew, Awesome had been taken out by Bigelow earlier in the show.

Before the bell, the Beast From The East announced that since Awesome couldn’t compete, he was declaring himself the winner via forfeit.

Flair, however, had other ideas. The CEO came out and said he had a ‘suspicion’ that Bam Bam had something to do with Mike Awesome being taken out.

I mean, we only saw it live on the show Ric, how much more proof do you need?

That stupidity aside,  Flair then revealed AWOL as a replacement for That 70’s Guy.

What followed was a dull, lifeless match in which nothing much happened.

At one point, they brought out a table, but the match was so boring they didn’t even bother to use it.

Bammer won with Greetings From Asbury Park.
Your Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow

Post-match, Bam Bam acted seriously hurt. Officials and EMTs spent several millennia tending to him and putting him on a stretcher.

Cervical D*cks

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Mean Gene interviewed Buff Bagwell
Backstage, Buff Bagwell wielded a broken piece of a Jeff Jarrett guitar and bragged to Mean Gene Okerlund that he had foiled Jarrett’s plan to beat him.

Gene, meanwhile, was more interested in likening Bam Bam’s kayfabe neck injury to the very real one Buff had suffered back in 1998.

Buff talked about this but goofed up, intending to say ‘cervical disk’ but instead saying ‘cervical d*cks’ and making the crowd laugh at him.

A promo video for Storm vs. Rection followed. That match was next.

World Championship Wrestling United States  Canadian Championship
WCW Canadian Champion Lance Storm (w/ Major Gunns) vs. General Rection

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Lance Storm w/ Major Gunns
These two had met at the previous month’s Halloween Havoc, with Rection finally beating Storm for the title and bringing the ever-gorgeous Major Gunns back to the MIA camp.

That had been a perfect and logical way to end that story, but this was WCW, where perfection and logic didn’t exist, and so we had to have one more match between the two.

As Lance Storm did his usual pre-match heel promo, the EMTs continued to wheel Bigelow out on a stretcher. This proved to be nothing more than a cheap way to keep Bam Bam at ringside so that he could get around Flair’s rule that you were only allowed ringside if you were competing in a match.

Bigelow lept from the stretcher and attacked Rection on his way to the ring, a move that didn’t go down too well with the audience.

The rest of the match was fine, but, like many others on this card, there wasn’t much to get excited about unless you count Major Gunns.

Rection won thanks to the big moonsault, but it was a really anticlimactic way to end both the match and the feud.
Your Winner and NEW WCW US Champion: General Rection

Backstage, Mike Sanders tried to convince Doug Dillinger to send the security team home. Dillinger didn’t seem too interested in doing so.

A promo then followed for what would prove to be the final ever WCW Starrcade.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Buff Bagwell

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Jeff Jarrett battled Buff Bagwell
Jarrett cut a pre-match promo in which he claimed not to care about Buff smashing up his guitars because he always came prepared with a backup plan, essentially giving away the ending of the match.

He also tried to call himself a ‘superstar’ but flubbed his line and called himself a ‘stupid star’ instead. The crowd crapped on him so badly for the gaffe that you could tell it completely threw him off and he ended up cutting the promo short.

The resulting match was OK, but for two men of Bagwell and Jarrett’s calibre, it should have been much better.

Things went back and forth several times getting predictably better until Double J predictably pulled a guitar from under the ring and smashed it over Bagwell’s head for the win.
Your Winner: Jeff Jarret

There was also a David Flair run-in during that match, but it was so uninteresting that I forgot to mention it.

A promo video for the tag title match followed. That was next.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Perfect Event (‘Perfectshawn’ Shawn Stasiak & Chuck Palumbo w/ The Natural Born Thrillers) vs. Kevin Nash & Diamond Dallas

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo (w/ The Natural Born Thrillers) defended the tag team titles against Kevin Nash and DDP
Mike Sanders revealed that he’d gotten himself and the Natural Born Thrillers jobs as WCW security to get them out to ringside but this didn’t last long.

A few minutes into the match (which started with a loud ‘WE WANT HALL!’ chant from the crowd) Flair came down and sent the NBT packing. Sanders was allowed to stay because he had a manager’s license.

I say license. It was a cheap bit of paper that said ‘WCW: OFFICIAL MANAGER’ on it and looked like the sort of thing you might find in a child’s ‘Let’s Play Wrestling’ playset.

The match itself proved to be the best thing on the show so far, not amazing by any stretch, but a really good effort that blew everything else on the card (with the possible exception of the three-team spot fest) completely out of the water.

Nash and Page won, but it was Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo who worked the hardest.
Your Winners and NEW WCW Tag Team

Backstage, Pamela Paulshock interviewed Lex Luger. If I’ve learned anything recently, it’s that it was WCW law that if Paulshock interviewed you, you had to insult her.

Honestly, I feel bad for the girl.

Sticking to the rules, Luger called her a crap interviewer but then stumbled over his words and looked like an idiot.

The Total Package was angry that Goldberg had cost the pair of them an opportunity to compete for the world title and vowed to kick some Goldbutt.

Lex Luger vs. Goldberg

I hate to sound repetitive, but this was OK and nothing more.

Not a bad match as such, but they did nothing interesting and the crowd didn’t care at all.

Honestly, when you’ve got Goldberg in a match and the crowd are silent, you know you’re in trouble.

Near the finish, Goldberg went for a spear but Luger pulled referee Mickey Jay into harm’s way.

Rather than any shenanigans going down, however, Goldberg immediately planted Luger with the jackhammer. Another referee came out and this one was over, making the ref bump totally pointless.
Your Winner: Goldberg

After a brief video, it was onto our main event.

Straight Jacket Cage Match for the World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight champion Booker T vs. Scott Steiner (w/ Midajah)

WCW Mayhem 2000 - Booker T defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Scott Steiner in a straight jacket cage match
This was undoubtedly the best match of the night, though let's face it, there wasn't much competition for that honour.

Both men went all out to deliver the best performance they were capable of, even if the addition of the straight jacket did slow things down a lot.

Steiner recovered the straight jacket -which had been hanging from the cage roof- but Booker threw him to the mat and murdered him. Steiner was completely out of it. So out of it that he could have easily have been pinned. So out of it that Stevie Ray on commentary was practically screaming at his brother to make the pin. Booker, however, decided to use the straight jacket instead and spent about half an hour trying to put it on, Steiner.

He eventually did so, but didn't strap the arms together or anything, so he might as well have put a T-shirt on Steiner for all the good it did him.

The battle continued and Steiner found a way to fight back, eventually locking Booker in the Steiner Recliner.

Instead of doing the spot where the man having the move applied to him struggles to hold on for dear life but eventually passes out, Booker's selling let him down and he immediately passed out the second the hold was applied.
Your Winner and NEW WCW Champion: Scott Steiner

Post-match, Steiner took Booker out with a chair then blasted the referee too.







If you value your sanity, don't watch WCW Mayhem. World Championship Wrestling had produced some hot garbage in their time, but this show was right up with the very worst of the very worst.

The three-team spotfest was fun, the tag team title match was decent, and the main event was as good as you were going to get from WCW in this time period but still, do yourself a favour and avoid this one like the plague.





For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
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Retro Pro Wrestling

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