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

Showing posts with label 2000. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2000. Show all posts

Thursday, 2 January 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Spring Stampede 2000

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Event poster
April 16, 2000
United Center, Chicago

On Monday, April 10th, 2000, six days before Spring Stampede 2000, the landscape of World Championship Wrestling changed entirely.

On that night, Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff returned to WCW Monday Nitro and launched a company-wide reboot.

The two declared war against the "good ol' boys network" of established stars such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, Lex Luger and Diamond Dallas Page, declaring a level playing field that would allow the "new blood" of WCW to finally get a fair shot at the top.

Levelling the playing field meant stripping all of the company's reigning champions of their titles and basically starting the whole company over.

Immediately contradicting themselves, the duo then booked Lex Luger, Sting, DDP an Sid Vicious in a mini-tournament to determine who would face Russo's 'Chosen One' Jeff Jarrett for the now-vacant title tonight at Spring Stampede because, naturally, the best way to stick to the old guard was to give them a WCW title shot.






WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Vince Russo rebooted WCWFinally, Nitro also featured Billy Kidman calling out Hulk Hogan, brawling with the Hulkster and pinning him. Eric Bischoff counted the three after drilling Hogan with a chair. When that didn't put Hogan away for good, they rammed his car with a hummer and put Hogan in the hospital.

After all of that, we headed into Chicago to crown new champions and see all new battles rage on as the war between The New Blood and The Millionaire's Club officially got underway.

Hulk is Alive!

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden
Our opening video package recapped the main points from that week's big Nitro reboot.

Curiously, while the Nitro broadcast had censored Vince Russo calling Ric Flair a "piece of s**t," this video did not. I don't know about you, but I'm always surprised at how much cursing they let slip on the WWE Network.

Anyway, this brought us to the arena where a worried Eric Bischoff was seen pacing up and down.

"How the hell did he check himself out of the hospital?" he asked, referring, of course, to Hogan.

Sitting on a nearby sofa with Torrie Wilson draped all over him, Kidman told Bischoff not to worry. A rather relaxed looking Vince Russo concurred.

This was followed by a second video package which spliced clips from the first one with generic shots of WCW's wrestlers beating each other up.

From there, it was pyro city and on to our announce team Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson and Mark Madden. Seriously? Why couldn't they just keep Mike Tenay on the air?

The trio told us that tonight, we'd have tournaments to decide new World, Tag Team, and United States Champions, tournaments in which Russo and Bischoff had ordered the referees to be lenient with the rules. The trio hinted that, although tonight's matches wouldn't strictly be 'no disqualification,' that's what we should expect.

With all that out of the way, it was on to our first match...almost.

Russo! Street Fight! Woooo!

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Ric Flair, Lex Luger and Elizabeth talk to Mean Gene Okerlund
With The Mamalukes already in the ring, Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Team Package backstage. I say interviewed, he asked Ric Flair why he was wearing street clothes and Flair  responded with a hyperactive and mostly incoherent promo in which he basically yelled "RUSSO! STREET FIGHT! WOOO!" over and over again.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Title Tournament - Match 1: 4 vs. 2 Handicap Match
The Mamalukes (Big Vito & Johnny The Bull w/ Disco Inferno) & The Harris Boys (Ron & Don Harris) vs. Team Package (Nature Boy Ric Flair & Lex Luger w/ Miss Elizabeth)

This was supposed to be a straight up tag match between the unfortunately named 'Team Package' and The Mamalukes, but this was WCW, where straight up matches were seemingly illegal or something. Before the bell, Russo came out and threw The Harris Boys into the mix, creating a big four-on-two rumble.

It was exciting at first, but it quickly descended into a farce. At various points, both Mamalukes took turns at climbing the ropes to attack Lex Luger from the top but were so slow that Luger just had to kind of stand there watching and waiting. When Vito climbed, he took so long that Luger literally shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes.

That's the kind of match this was.

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Bam Bam Bigelow interrupted Mike Awesome's promo
Eventually, The Harris Boys and The Mamalukes turned on each other, which gave Flair and Luger the opportunity to regain control. Luger racked Johnny The Bull for the three.
Your Winners: Team Package

Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund tried to interview Mike Awesome about Awesome's participation in tonight's US title tournament.

Before he could say much of anything, however, Awesome was interrupted by fellow ECW alum, Bam Bam Bigelow.

Not taking too kindly to Bammer calling him a 'jabroni,' Big Mike attacked Bigelow from behind and laid him out.

Jimmy Hart (w/ Hail) vs. Mancow (w/ Random Entourage people)

Sigh.

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - radio personality Mancow faced Jimmy Hart
Let's do this.

So, Mancow was a radio personality who had insulted Jimmy Hart by claiming he (Mancow) would be a better manager for Hulk Hogan than Hart. The Mouth of the South had then attacked the male bovine in his studio, leading to what I'll very generously call a "match."

Meanwhile, if you don't recognise Hail, he was mostly a WCW Saturday Night wrestler who tragically died in 2006.

That sombre note aside, man, this was f***ing dreadful.

Neither man were capable of any wrestling moves, so they just kind of rolled around on each other in what Mark Madden called a 'cat fight.'

Eventually, the referee took a tumble so Hail picked up Mancow and hurled him onto the outside where he was caught by his entourage of freaks and geeks. Hart then sent Hail away, which gave Mancow the opportunity to win the match with a well-placed chair shot.

I'd say this had no place being on pay per view, but the crowd clearly loved Mancow. So, despite it being one of the worst things on PPV ever, you can't blame WCW for booking it.
Your Winner: Mancow

Post-match, Billy Kidman ran in and beat up on Hart, presumedly to send a message to Jimmy's good buddy, The Hulkster.

Meanwhile, out in the back, an angry Vince Russo yelled at The Mamalukes and The Harris Boys for screwing up their opportunity.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship Tournament - Match 1
The Wall vs. Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner
Remember how Scott Steiner had gone straight from being one of the Steiner Brothers to being in the nWo and had stayed there ever since? That basically meant Big Poppa Pump only two themes:

The nWo theme or the cheesy, early-mid 90s 'Steinerized' theme from the WCW Slam Jam album.

Of course, being that the nWo didn't exist, they gave him 'Steinerized,' and it was totally ill-suited for him in his current Big Bad Booty Daddy gimmick.

That aside, Steiner and The Wall did give us a pretty decent match. It was hard-hitting, it was intense, and it was the first time in what felt like forever that an entire match went by without any interference or shady goings-on.

After a solid effort, Wall went to chokeslam Steiner through a table but Scotty moved referee Slick Johnson in the way. The Wall could have easily known that he didn't have hold of his opponent but didn't seem to care. He chokeslammed Johnson through the table, causing Billy Silverman to come out and immediately ring the bell.
Your Winner via disqualification: Scott Steiner

Apparently, relaxing the rules didn't extend to slamming officials through tables.

The Cat Wants James Brown

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Ernest 'The Cat' Miller talks to Mean Gene Okerlund
Out in the back, Mean Gene interviewed Ernest 'The Cat' Miller about his upcoming US title tournament match with Mike Awesome. Miller, who had enjoyed a dance-off with James Brown back at Superbrawl 2000, insisted that he didn't want Awesome, he wanted the legendary singer.

"I was told James Brown was going to be here. I want James Brown!" The Cat demanded.
"What? James Brown can't be your opponent!" replied Mean Gene Okerlund.

I don't know why, but your reviewer laughed out loud for way too long at that.

One person who wasn't laughing, however, was Bam Bam Bigelow. He came out and attacked Miller, presumedly so that he could take his place in the match against Mike Awesome.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship Tournament - Match 2
Mike Awesome vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Mike Awesome faced Bam Bam Bigelow
Unsurprisingly, Bam Bam Bigelow ran out to fight Awesome, eliciting a loud "ECW! ECW!" chant from the Chicago faithful.

The two put on what looked to be the best match of the night so far. It was a terrific contest that made Awesome look like a star in what was his official WCW debut match.

Not content to leave it at that, however, WCW just had to screw it up.

They had Ernest Miller run out and attack Bam Bam, then put on his red shoes to dance. Awesome clotheslined Cat hit him with a wicked frog splash and win the match.
Your Winner: Mike Awesome

Look, I get why this happened, but seriously, if they'd just left it alone, that could have been golden.

Douglas and Buff are New Blood

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Shane Douglas and Buff Bagwell competed for the WCW tag team titles
Backstage, Vince Russo and Billy Kidman urged Eric Bischoff to stop worrying about Hulk Hogan.

Elsewhere in the arena, Mean Gene Okerlund stood by with New Blood representatives Buff Bagwell and Shane Douglas. Before you ask, I don't know how veterans Bagwell and Douglas were considered 'new blood' either.

Bagwell put over the new regime in WCW while Douglas talked about his favourite subject in the world:

Ric Flair.

The Franchise called Flair a 'piece of s**t,' making it the third time we'd heard that word on tonight's show after the opening Nitro recap video and Mancow's earlier pre-match promo.

This was not good stuff from either man.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship Tournament - Match 2
Harlem Heat 2000 (Stevie Ray & Big T w/ J. Biggs and Kash) vs. The New Blood (Buff Bagwell & Shane Douglas)

For the second pay per view in a row, Stevie Ray and Big T wrestled a match that was better than you'd expect it to be.

That's not to say it was great by any means, but since it was kept to only about two and a half minutes, it wasn't given enough time to actually suck.

After a quick bit of fairly inspired brawling, Douglas hit Stevie Ray with a crappy looking suplex and got the three.
Your Winners: Buff Bagwell and Shane Douglas


WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Booker T talks to Mean Gene Okerlund
Afterwards, Kash and J. Biggs had to stop Stevie Ray and Big T. from getting into a heated argument about their loss.

Backstage, Stevie's brother, Booker cut a decent promo in which he told Mean Gene that while he was on the same page as The New Blood, he wasn't really aligned with them.

This was a smart move that allowed Booker to continue being seen as a babyface without actually aligning with The Millionaire's club.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship Tournament - Match 3
Booker  vs. Sting

Booker still wasn't using the 'T' at the end of his name after losing that right to Harlem Heat 2000. Ray and Big T had also taken his music, so Booker had some rare theme that I don't think I've ever heard before.

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Booker T faced Sting
Here, he locked up with Sting in what proved to be easily the match of the night, at least to this point anyway.

Though fairly short, the match saw both men worked solidly to give us the kind of straight up, no-nonsense singles match that was such a rarity in WCW at this time.

After a thoroughly compelling contest, Sting got the win over Booker with the Scorpion Death Drop.
Your Winner: Sting

Post-match, Booker demanded that The Stinger returned to the ring. He looked angry, but it turned out all he really wanted was to fist-bump him in a sign of respect.

Kidman and Bischoff aren't Scared

Backstage, Mean Gene interviewed Billy Kidman and Eric Bischoff. With the ever-gorgeous Torrie Wilson on his arm, Kidman joined Bischoff in insisting that there was no way at all Hogan would show up tonight, all but telegraphing the fact that he would.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship - Match 4
Billy Kidman (w/ Torrie Wilson) vs. Vampiro

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Hulk Hogan destroyed Billy Kidman
These two had an enjoyable match back at Superbrawl 2000, so it's no surprise that they once again delivered the goods here.

The two worked hard to give us the best match they were capable of and the results were very enjoyable.

Halfway through, however, a car arrived backstage and out jumped Hulk Hogan. Sporting heavy bandaging on his shoulder after getting attacked by the hummer on Nitro, The Hulkster stormed to the ring and destroyed Kidman, beating him up and twice putting him through the announce table.

For some reason, this wasn't a disqualification even though Lil Naitch was stood right there watching the whole thing go down. His work done, Hogan tossed Kidman back in the ring and demanded that Robinson make the count.

Vampiro covered his fallen adversary and advanced to the next round for a match against Sting.
Your Winner: Vampiro

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - The cops pulled a gun on Hulk Hogan
Post-match, Hogan took to the mic and told "that son of a bitch" Eric Bischoff that he was coming for him. Backstage, Russo urged Bischoff to stay put while he (Russo) went to take care of it.

Sure enough, Hogan stormed through the backstage area and found Eazy E, pinning him up against the wall and threatening to kill him. Before he could do any damage however, Russo came in with a barrage of cops who forced Hogan to back off by pointing their guns at him.

Ah, pro wrestling.

As Hogan was being hurled away in cuffs, he promised to "eat [Bischoff's] ass alive." I don't think anybody had quite explained to Hulk what that phrase actually meant.

Out in the corridor, The Hulkster was being escorted off the premises as Terry Taylor looked on. Taylor was stopped by Terry Funk who wanted to know where Screamin' Norman Smiley was. After being told that his opponent was hiding in catering, that's where the Funker went.

World Championship Wrestling Hardcore Championship
Terry Funk vs. Screamin' Norman Smiley

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Terry Funk faced Norman Smiley for the hardcore title
I must admit, I like the way they seamlessly transitioned between the two matches with the whole backstage stuff.

Funk went into catering and, when asked where Norman was, was directed to the bathrooms. Funk walked in and asked, "Norman Smiley, you in here?"

Instead of staying quiet and pretending he wasn't, Screamin' Norman screamed loudly. It was a genius move that was way more hilarious than I can do justice to here.

Like most things involving Norman Smiley, this one was a lot of fun.

As they battled for a Hardcore Championship that had been vacated by Brian Knobs on Nitro (by order of Russo & Bischoff), Funk and Smiley battled around the arena finding all kinds of ridiculous and creative ways to hurt each other. At one point, Smiley climbed a ladder that had been propped up against a wall. When Funk kicked the ladder down, Smiley hung on to a pipe on the ceiling for dear life, then went crashing down through a table after getting waffled by a chair.

Screamin' Norman mounted a comeback. He and Funk waged a fun little war all the way to the ring where, despite a brief run-in from Dustin Rhodes which threatened to suck the life out of the whole thing, the entertainment factor continued.

Funk lifted up a ladder and threw it over the top rope onto the outside, crashing down on Smiley. A three count later and we had our new Hardcore champion.
Your Winner and NEW WCW Hardcore Champion: Terry Funk

Out in the back, Vince Russo demanded that Booker T do him a favour. The mystery continued...

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship Tournament - Semi-Final 1
Mike Awesome vs. Scott Steiner

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Scott Steiner faced Mike Awesome
This started off really well. It was another hard-hitting contest that looked to have all the makings of a really good match. Yet before either man could take it up a notch, Kevin Nash arrived on the scene.

Looking for revenge after Mike Awesome attacked him on Nitro, Big Sexy waffled the former ECW star with a crutch.

Scotty then locked on the Steiner Recliner and this one was over.
Your Winner: Scott Steiner

Backstage, Vince Russo fired Dustin Rhodes for failing to prevent Terry Funk from winning the hardcore title. Using Booker as his back-up, Russo claimed that the only time Rhodes was any good was when he was Goldust.

"And I created Goldust!" he yelled.
"Yeah, well I went out there and did it!" replied Rhodes, offering the weakest comeback of the century.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship Tournament - Semi-Final 2:
Vampiro vs. Sting

Sting and Vampiro would have a long feud throughout 2000. If this match was anything to go by, fans could expect that feud to feature matches which, while nowhere near terrible, hardly set the world on fire either.

Though both men were capable of good stuff on their own, this one somehow fell flat.

After a mediocre outing, Sting locked Vamp in the Scorpion Death Lock to advance to the US tournament final against Scott Steiner.
Your Winner: Sting

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - DDP and Kimberly talk to Mean Gene
Out in the back, Mean Gene interviewed Diamond Dallas Page about his upcoming world title fight with Jeff Jarrett.

Page insisted that while he was looking forward to becoming the three-time, three-time, three-time champion, he was more looking forward to letting Kimberly get revenge on Double J for hitting her with a guitar.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship Six Man Match
Shannon Moore (w/ Shane Helms) vs. Chris Candido vs. Crowbar (w/ Daffney and David Flair) vs. Lash LeRoux vs. Juventud Guerra vs. The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea (w/ Paisley)

Prior to the bell, Shannon Moore and Shane Helms told us that while they were the only two members of Three Count on hand tonight, they were still better than anybody else.

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Tammy Sytch made her WCW debut managing Chris Candido
From other reports, I believe that the two then performed whatever Three Count's big hit was, but the WWE Network edits that out and has all five of their opponents rush to the ring for this match.

The Artist had been a solid if unspectacular champion since February but had been forced to vacate the title during the big reboot and would have to fight for it again here.

For a while, it looked like he'd regain the title too. After a fun little spot fest, The Artist battled Chris Candido in the ring, yet just when it looked like he was about to put Candido away, Tammy Sytch made her WCW debut, pushing Iaukea off the top rope and giving her man the win.
Your Winner and NEW WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Candido

Post-match, Paisley and Tammy got into a catfight that was eventually broken up by Candido.

Backstage, Jeff Jarrett spent the majority of his allotted promo time threatening to beat up Gene Okerlund rather than focussing on his match with DDP.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship Tournament Final
Team Package (The Total Package Lex Luger & Nature Boy Ric Flair w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. The New Blood (Shane Douglas & Buff Bagwell w/ Vince Russo)

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Lex Luger & Ric Flair (w/ Elizabeth) faced Shane Douglas and Buff Bagwell
Honestly, I think this match was better than a lot of people give it credit for.

Though it frequently descended into a bit of a mess, it followed your basic tag team structure with all four men playing their roles well.

Continuing the theme of excess swearing, Tony Schiavone -of all people- called a very loud 'BULLSH*T!' on commentary before Shane Douglas backed Naitch into the corner and yelled his own very loud "F**K YOU, FLAIR!"

Elsewhere, Luger got a big pop when Flair finally made the hot tag, and even looked to have the match won at one point. However, Vince Russo pulled referee Nick Patrick out of the ring and stole his referee's jersey.

At that point, Kronik made their WCW debut as a team and slammed Luger. Russo made the three count, and that, apparently, was official enough to give us new champions.
Your Winners and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions: Shane Douglas & Buff Bagwell

Prior to the US title tournament final, both Scott Steiner and Sting gave promos to Mean Gene. Steiner vowed that he didn't represent The New Blood, he represented himself, while Sting talked about how Russo and Bischoff couldn't run from himself and The Millionaire's club because they had WCW in their blood.

Neither man seemed to mention the other much at all.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship Tournament Final
Scott Steiner vs. Sting

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Scott Steiner beat Sting to win the vacant US title
Here's something I find myself saying more and more as we go through these last dozen WCW shows:

This wasn't bad.

Honestly, that's the best compliment anyone can give Steiner vs. Sting at Spring Stampede 2000. I know it doesn't sound like much, but saying "this didn't suck" about a WCW match in the year 2000 was a high compliment indeed.

The match itself was basically Sting hitting Stinger splashes everywhere and Scott Steiner spending most of his time arguing with the fans until Vampiro popped up from under the ring and dragged Sting 'Straight to hell' much as The Undertaker had done to Diesel back at the 1996 Royal Rumble.

As Mark Madden tried to convince his that actual Hades was underneath the ring, Sting was apparently busy blading before Vamp shoved him back in the ring, bloody and beaten.

One Steiner Recliner later and we had our new champion.
Your Winner and NEW United States Champion: Scott Steiner

Finally, after another look back at the big Nitro Reboot, it was on to our main event

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
Diamond Dallas Page (w/ Kimberley) vs. Jeff Jarret

WCW Spring Stampede 2000 - Jeff Jarrett celebrates his WCW title win with The New Blood
From bell to bell, Page and Jarrett worked hard to deliver a very solid performance that was 100% worthy of being tonight's main event.

No, it wasn't the greatest match in history. It wasn't even the best match on this card (that was Sting vs. Booker) but it was still good, especially for 2000-era WCW.

With referee Charles Robinson allowing a lot of leniciancy in the rules, both men battled through the crowd and around ringside before making it back between the ropes for an increasingly dramatic finale.

Page managed to survive a figure four before surprising Jarrett with a role up. The Chosen One kicked out, but Page once again gained control. Then, as Eric Bischoff (who had made his way ringside halfway through) grabbed hold of Robinson, Kimberley entered the ring with Jarrett's guitar.

Just when you thought she was going to get revenge on Double J, however, she blasted her husband with the guitar.

Three seconds later, The Chosen One had done it.
Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Jarrett

Post-match, Kimberly and Bischoff and embraced. Bagwell, Douglas, Steiner, Candido and Sytch all came to the ring to join in Jarrett's celebration.

The New Blood had arrived.





I'm never a fan of shows with tournaments. There are always too many matches and it seems like the show takes forever to review. Still, on the plus side, this was one of World Championship Wrestling's better pay per views of the past twelve months. That's not to say it was great or anything, but compared to some of the absolute crap WCW had been putting out, Spring Stampede 2000 was at least a solid effort.

Track down Sting vs. Booker, maybe watch the Hardcore title match for a laugh, but otherwise, take my word for it, you're not missing much by skipping WCW 2000 altogether.



For other 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
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Thursday, 26 December 2019

PPV Review: WWF Wrestlemania 2000

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - Event poster
April 2, 2000
Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, Anaheim, California.

One of the main reasons why WWE's current product lacks appeal is that very little seems to change from one year to the next.

For the past few years, you could pretty much bank on there being some form of universal title match featuring Brock Lesnar, on seeing Roman Reigns in a prominent position and on having an undercard full of guys who would enjoy zero career development from one year to the next.

Yet back in the 1990s and early 2000s, things were very different.

Consider the fact that, at Wrestlemania 14, Triple H was wrestling Owen Hart for the European title. At Wrestlemania 15, he was turning heel so that he could begin his ascent to the top of the mountain and here, at Wrestlemania 2000, he was heading into the show as our WWF Champion.

Meanwhile, Stone Cold Steve Austin had headlined the last two Wrestlemanias but was out of action due to an injury, and a whole bunch of wrestlers who weren't even with the World Wrestling Federation back at Wrestlemania 15 were now booked in high profile matches.






Yes, it's fair to say that things moved much, much quicker back in the day and, if you ask this long-time fan, they were much more exciting because of it.

On that note, let's head to California for Wrestlemania 16.

Lilian Sings the National Anthem

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - Lillian Garcia sang the American national anthem
After a brief shot showed us the outside of the arena on a bright and sunny Californian evening, Howard Finkle introduced us to the WWF's own Lilian Garcia.

Microphone in hand, Lilian got the show underway by singing a stirring rendition of the American National Anthem.

For those of you still having nightmares of the time Rockin' Robin tried to sing it back at Wrestlemania V, let me assure you, this was nothing like that.

Garcia belted out a truly stunning rendition in what was easily the best singing performance ever seen on a pro wrestling show. The crowd, quite rightly, loved it.

Her performance was followed by the obligatory opening video which quickly looked back at the 15 preceding Wrestlemanias before telling us all about tonight's main event - a fatal-four-way elimination match in which Triple H would defend his WWF title against The Rock, The Big Show, andMick Foley  .

Pimpin' Ain't Easy, B*tches

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - Ice T performed The Godfather's theme from WWF Aggression album
Next, Finkle introduced us to rapper Ice T.

Having performed a remixed version of the Godfather's theme on the recent WWF Aggression album, T accompanied Godfather and a pimped-up D'Lo Brown to the ring, all while performing that theme and taking any opportunity he could to yell "B*TCHES!" at the top of his lungs.

It was an interesting performance, and one that was finished off by Godfather taking to the mic to do his own 'Pimpin' Ain't Easy' speech without uttering The B-Word.

The Godfather & D'Lo Brown (w/ The Hos) vs. The Big Boss Man & Bull Buchanan

It was only a few weeks ago, at No Way Out 2000, that The Big Boss Man had been paired up with Prince Albert. Now, apparently, Albert was out of the picture and newcomer Bull Buchanan was in.

Buchanan (formerly Recon of The Truth Commission) looked impressive here as he and Boss Man isolated D'Lo from his partner and took control of what proved to be a decent yet unspectacular match.

Despite mounting a comeback in the dying moments, D'Lo and Godfather were bested by Boss Man and Buchanan in the first Wrestlemania match of the new millennium.
Your Winners: The Big Boss Man & Bull Buchanan

Post-match, Boss Man and Buchanan chased off The Godfather's hos.

The McMahon-Helmsley Era is in Charge

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - Ice T performed The Godfather's theme from WWF Aggression album
Backstage, WWF Champion Triple H and his wife, WWF Women's Champion Stephanie McMahon were seen enjoying some cuddle time with their respective title belts.

Hunter boasted about how good it was that The McMahon-Helmsley Era were in control of Wrestlemania tonight, leading Jim Ross to question whether The Game should have really been so relaxed considering what was at stake.

The Rules of Hardcore

From there, Ross and Lawler took us back to that night's episode of Sunday Night Heat. On that show, we saw wrestlers such as Hardcore Holly, Bradshaw, Taka Michinoku and Tazz gathered together in a room with WWF Hardcore Champion Crash Holly and referees Tim White and Jimmy Korderas.

With Crash standing front and centre, White went over the rules of tonight's hardcore title battle royal. Essentially, this was a pre-cursor to the Championship Scramble matches. There would be a 15-minute time limit during which the title could change hands many times. The person left holding the title at the end wins the match.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship Battle Royal~
Featuring WWF Hardcore Champion Crash Holly, Tazz, Viscera, Pete Gas, Joey Abs, Rodney, Hardcore Holly, Taka Michinoku, Funaki, Mosh, Thrasher, Farooq, Bradshaw

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - Hardcore Holly won a Hardcore Battle Royal
For the first five minutes, this hardcore battle royal looked to be a total washout. All the competitors merely hung around ringside waffling each other with trashcan lids and giant baking trays. It was a cluttered mess that gave no opportunity for anything meaningful to happen.

Even when the title went from Crash to Tazz to Viscera, none of it was very interesting. Then, Big Vis decided to climb to the top rope and The Acolytes through him off in what was genuinely a cool spot. They took out the interim champion and dumped Kai En Tai on top of him. A three count later, and Sho Funaki was the man to beat.

He ran backstage with the championship with only a few men giving chase. From there, things picked up slightly with highlights including:
  • Pete Gas bleeding like a stuck pig
  • Thrasher blindsiding interim champion Joey Abs by slamming a cart into his ribs
  • And erm, OK, that's it.
Towards the finish, Tazz won the title again but forgot how the rules worked so kept trying to pin people even though doing so wouldn't benefit him in any way.

It was confusing, but not as confusing as the finish.

Tazz dropped the title to Crash Holly but then slapped him in the Tazmission as the clock ran down. In the final few seconds, Bob Holly hit the ring, blasted Tazz with something and pinned his cousin Crash. Clearly, the idea was that Holly would make the cover and the time would run out just before Tim White could count to three, but somebody's timing was slightly off.

White didn't count to three even though he had time to and Crash didn't kick out. Then the bell rang and despite Crash walking away with the belt, his cousin Bob was declared the winner.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Hardcore Champion: Hardcore Holly

Even Howard Finkle seemed confused and reluctant to declare Hardcore the winner.

Man, that was not a good match.

Head Cheese in the Bathroom

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - Al Snow and Steve Blackman in the mens toilets
After a look back at the weekend's Axxess fan convention, we went to a bathroom where Al Snow was seen talking to some unknown person hidden in a toilet cubical.

At that point, Snow's tag team partner, Steve Blackman arrived on the scene and warned him not to try anything stupid because this was, after all, Wrestlemania.

From there, we cut to an extreme close-up of Trish Stratus' boobs as she led her men, Test and Albert, through the arena.

Those two teams would meet next.

Steve Blackman & Al Snow vs. T&A (Test & Albert w/ Trish Stratus)

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - Trish Stratus made her Wrestlemania debut managing T&A
Before the bell, Al Snow kept up his attempts to get him and Blackman over as a team by introducing their new mascot, Chester McCheese..or something like that. Basically, it was a little guy dressed up like an actual block of cheese.

If you think that was bad, you should have seen the actual match.

I kid you not, this was one of the dirt worst things you've ever seen. I don't just mean it was bad by Wrestlemania standards, I mean it was so bad that even WCW wouldn't have allowed it on their shows.

It just seemed like the two teams had no chemistry together nor any plan of what they were actually trying to do. At various points, guys just kind of stood around looking at each other as if to say "what the heck are we doing?"

I mean, it was so bad, Jim Ross spent most of the match talking about how terrible it was.

Eventually, T&A won and put us all out of our misery.
Your Winners: T&A

Post-match, Snow and Blackman took out their frustrations by beating up on the guy in the cheese costume.

The Kat is Naked

Out in the back, The Kat was shown getting ready for whatever it was she was doing tonight, all while talking to her buddy, Mae Young. The twist here was that she was completely naked, but strategically placed objects, camera angles and movements prevented us from seeing any bum, boobs, or erm, you know...

Thou Shalt Not F*** With The Dudleys

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - Michael Cole interviewed The Dudleys
Meanwhile, Michael Cole was standing by for an interview with The Dudley Boys. Addressing their upcoming three-way ladder match with Edge, Christian, and The Hardys, D-Von Dudley claimed that he didn't like ladders. In fact, he was even scared of heights, but that wasn't going to stop he and his partner from making history in tonight's match.

D-Von then invited Bubba Ray to testify, and testify he did with gusto. Speaking with a certain sense of passion, Bubba vowed that tonight, the two would take violence to a whole new level because thou shalt not F- with The Dudley Boys.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship Three-Way Ladder Match
WWF Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - Bubba Ray Dudley with a ladder
There's no other way to say this:

This match was incredible.

It was creative, it was chaotic, it was brutal and it was brilliant.

All six men worked hard to deliver an absolute masterpiece, destroying each other -and a whole bunch of furniture- in the process.

The match was packed with big, jaw-dropping spots that had you convinced it would all soon be over, but then a wrestler or two would get pushed off the ladder or hit with another's finishing move and the drama would continue.

What made it all the more captivating was Jim Ross' announcing. Every call was full of passion and emotion and it made the match itself feel like an epic.

Finally, after the better part of half an hour, everybody died except for Edge and Christian, who scaled a makeshift platform comprised of a table set atop two ladders and grabbed their first of many tag team titles.
Your Winners an NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian

Backstage, Kevin Kelly stood by with Linda McMahon and Mick Foley. If you recall, Foley had lost a retirement match only a few weeks ago at No Way Out 2000, but Linda McMahon had brought him back so that he could face The Rock, Triple H and Big Show in a main event that was being sold more on the fact that it featured 'a McMahon in every corner' rather than on the action itself.

Anyway, Mrs Personality Linda McMahon insisted that she was happy for Mick, who responded with a decent promo in which he promised that fairytales would come true for him tonight.

This wasn't Foley's finest hour on the mic, but as one of the best ever, even his worst was still pretty good.

Cat Fight
Terri (w/ The Fabulous Moolah) vs. The Kat (w/ Mae Young)

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - The Kat faced Terri in a cat fight
Special guest referee: Val Venis

Apparently, Moolah and Mae Young had fallen out and were now leading Teri and The Kat into battle against one another in a Cat Fight.

The rules here were simple:

You had to throw your opponent to the outside of the ring.

Anticipating just how bad it was going to be, Jim Ross warned us not to expect any actual wrestling and told us that if were planning to judge this "on a star system" then we shouldn't bother.

Ross was right. This 'match' had no redeeming qualities outside of The Kat wearing an outfit that showed off her bum. The two ladies both tried to get special referee Val Venis on their side by snogging him, then went after one another with basic hair drags and erm, you know, cat fighting.

Speaking of Val Venis, he wore a T-shirt which, on the front, just said: "I'm cocked."

On the back, it said "Locked and ready to unload." The whole thing was written in a font that was clearly meant to be a man's love milk. Please tell me nobody on earth actually bought that.

And if they did, please tell me nobody actually wore it in public.

Back to the match, Kat threw Terri to the outside twice but each time, Venis was distracted by Kat's own corner woman, Mae Young. The first time, Val had to stop her getting her puppies out, and the second time, she was eating his face in the corner of the ring.

Eventually, Terri got Kat out, Val turned around and this one was over.
Your Winner: Terri

Except it wasn't. Afterwards, Kat ripped Terri's pants off while Mae Young set up Fabulous Moolah in the corner for a bronco buster. Yuck.

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - The Radicalz backstage Latino Heat

Backstage, Eddie Guerrero was all excited by how much he thought Chyna wanted his 'Latino Heat.' His teammates Perry Saturn and Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko warned him to stay focused on the upcoming match.

Elsewhere in the arena, Chyna and Too Cool had just watched that segment. Chyna thought Eddie was disgusting, but Too Cool warned her not to worry, they'd take care of it in the ring next.

Six-Person Tag Team Match
The Radicalz (WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero and Perry Saturn) vs. Chyna and Too Cool (Scotty Too Hotty & Grandmaster Sexay)

Though this was a six-person match, it was clear from the outset that it was designed to make just one person -Eddie Guerrero- look like a star.

And if it wasn't designed that way, then it was a happy accident that Guerrero shone brighter than anyone else here and looked legitimately like a top player both in terms of his charismatic personality and his actual wrestling.

The whole story was Guerrero simultaneously flirting with Chyna and yet trying to avoid getting beaten up by her when she chased after him. So, it was a fitting end that -after a short yet very enjoyable contest- The Ninth Wonder of the World finally got her hands on Latino Heat and powerbombed him into oblivion.

So far, the radicals were 0-2 on WWF PPV.
Your Winners: Chyna and Too Cool

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - Shane McMahon and The Big Show
Out in the back, Shane McMahon declared that The Big Show's size and strength were the reason he'd be taking home the WWF title tonight. Agreeing with Shane O' Mac, Show swore to unplug The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment, retire Mick Foley, and declare 'game over' for Triple H.

Sometimes, I wonder if Hunter didn't call himself The Game just so that all of his opponents could use the 'Game Over' line for years to come.

Next, we were shown a video of a contest winner who won a private jet to California and front row tickets to Wrestlemania. After that, we went to the back, where Eurocontinental Champion Kurt Angle was seen trying to persuade a security guard to give him extra security for his post-match celebrations in exchange for a few autographs.

We were also shown a segment from Heat in which Angle put Bob Backlund in a chicken wing as punishment for Backlund encouraging officials to make Angle defend both his titles tonight
.

Angle's match was next.

Triple Threat Two Falls Match for the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental and European Championships
WWF European and Intercontinental Champion Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - Chris Jericho hurts Chris Benoit
The first fall decides the Intercontinental Championship, the second fall decides the European Championship

When you look back at how good Kurt Angle became in his career, you have to imagine that competing in matches like this really helped him develop that main event level talent.

Here, he went up against Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho in a match that was every bit as good as you thought it would be.

After a solid battle, Benoit pinned The Olympic Gold Medalist to capture his first championship in the WWF.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit

Yet the match was far from over. Instead, it went on and got better and better with each passing minute.

Towards the end, referee Tim White got knocked out. While White was taking a nap, Jericho tapped to Benoit's crossface but was able to get up and attack when The Crippler went over to demand the referee wake up. Y2J slapped on the Walls of Jericho but got a title belt to the face for his troubles courtesy of Kurt Angle.

That got Angle a two count before Benoit made the save. Shortly after, Jericho took out Benoit to strip Angle of his second title.

Man, that was a lot of fun.
Your Winner and NEW WWF European Champion: Chris Jericho

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - Michael Cole interviews Vince McMahon
Out in the back,  Vince McMahon told Michael Cole that despite being in The Rock's corner tonight, The Great One was focussed on winning the WWF Championship with or without McMahon's help. Wrapping up his promo, McMahon did leave us with the ominous warning that he would 'put things right' by the end of the night.

Cutting to another part of the arena, we saw Triple H getting angry at McMahon's warning. No longer the cool, calm and collected champion he had been at the start of the show, The Game promised Stephanie that he would win tonight because he was that damn good then stormed off, leaving his wife all turned on.

D-Generation-X (X-Pac & Road Dogg w/ Torri) vs. Rikishi Phatu & Kane (w/ Paul Bearer)

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - X-Pac
I think this may have been the one and only PPV where the former Headshrinker was billed as Rikishi Phatu, but that's mostly by the by.

Here, he teamed up with Kane to help The Big Red Machine settle his score with X-Pac and Torri once and for all. The Road Dogg was along for the ride too, and I'm assuming the lack of Billy Gunn meant that ol' Bad Ass was injured for some reason.

The match itself was exactly what it should have been: Short and fun and ending with Kane finally tombstoning 'Pac to put the whole rivalry to rest once and for all, though not before the predictable stink face to Torri.
Your Winners: Kane and Rikishi

Post-match, Too Cool ran out to dance with Rikishi. The two were followed by a man in a chicken suit who everyone, including Kane and Paul Bearer, believed to be Pete Rose.

The Big Red Machine stood by and allowed the chicken some time to dance with Rikishi and Too Cool, but then grabbed the chicken by the throat and pushed him into the corner.

As if you couldn't have seen this coming from a mile away, Pete Rose then ran out with a baseball bat, revealing that he wasn't in the chicken suit after all.

Not that the swerve did him any good. Kane got hold of him and, for the third Wrestlemania in a row, chokeslammed the baseball star straight to hell.

Rose then got a stinkface for good measure.

Finally, The Rock has Come Back to Wrestlemania

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - The Rock shuts up Kevin Kelly
One year after dropping the WWF Championship to Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 15, The Rock had come back to Wrestlemania and told Kevin Kelly that tonight, he was going to lay the smackdown on everybody and take back the championship. Most of all, he was going to do it for the millions...

...and millions of The Rock's fans.

Compelling stuff as always from The People's Champion

By the way, I'm not saying the main event is going to be a long match or anything, but by the time The Rock was done with his promo, there were still 50 minutes remaining on the WWE Network version of this event with only that match to go.

No Disqualification Fatal Four-Way Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Triple H (w/ Stephanie McMahon) vs. Mick Foley (w/ Linda McMahon) vs. The Big Show (w/ Shane McMahon) vs. The Rock (w/ Vince McMahon)

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - The Rock, Triple H and Mick Foley
Some lengthy matches are so utterly captivating that they seem to fly by.

This wasn't one of them.

In a sense, it was like watching three-act play, and while all three acts were individually enjoyable, made for an exhausting experience when putting one after the other.

In the first act, Hunter, Rock, and Foley all ganged up on The Big Show for a while before HHH and Foley spilled to the outside for a brawl. Mick got the upper hand, grabbed a chair and waffled Big Show from behind with it. The show stumbled into a Rock Bottom and his time was over in the space of about five minutes.

In the second act, we got a long, weapon-filled three-way between Foley, HHH, and Rock which ended when The Game twice pedigreed Cactus onto a steel chair to send him into retirement for good.

Not wanting his career to end on a down note, Foley returned to the ring and drilled Triple H with a barbwire-covered 2x4 then left the ring for our final act; a one-on-one showdown between long-time rivals Triple H and The Rock.

The two battled around the ring, through the crowd and back again before taking each other out completely in the middle of the ring. While the two combatants took a nap, The McMahons took centre stage. Vince attacked Triple H, but Shane McMahon ran out and smashed his dad in the head with a TV monitor.

It was enough to bust Vince open, but not enough for him to stay down for too long as he got up and took the fight back to Shane O' Mac.

Seizing control, The Chairman hit the ring and turned on The Rock, hitting him twice with a chair. Seizing the advantage, Triple H got the pin to become not only the first heel to win in the Wrestlemania main event but also the first WWF Champion to successfully defend his championship in the Wrestlemania main event since Hulk Hogan beat Andre The Giant at Wrestlemania 3.

Overall, this was a good match, but it did go on for far too long and got really tiring to watch at times.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Triple H

Afterwards, Stephanie McMahon embraced her father. The way it played out, it wasn't as though the two had been in cahoots the whole time, but rather as though Stephanie was pleasantly surprised at her father's change of heart. Shane McMahon came into the ring, but before he and Vince could settle their issue, The Rock returned to the ring and hit all three of them with a Rock Bottom.

"The entire McMahon family has been Rock Bottomed!" yelled Jim Ross as The Great One threw off his elbow pad and drilled Stephanie with a crowd-pleasing People's Elbow.

Finally, The Rock had come back to Wrestlemania, and though he didn't win the title, he was the only man left standing as Wrestlemania 2000 went off the air.





You know, I've read a lot of great things about how the year 2000 was one of the World Wrestling Federation's best from a creative, in-ring standpoint. Yet if all you had to go off was Wrestlemania 2000, you certainly wouldn't believe that to be the case.

While the main event was pretty good and you had some fairly entertaining contests like Radicalz vs. Too Cool & Chyna and the Kishi/Kane vs. DX stuff, a lot of this card wasn't spectacular.

However, there were two matches that do deserve special praise.

Angle/Benoit/Jericho is definitely worth a watch and as for the triple-threat ladder match, that is genuinely one of the best things I've ever seen in all my years writing Retro Pro Wrestling reviews.

If you're a completist looking to watch all of the Wrestlemanias, then you can at least enjoy the knowledge that Wrestlemania 16 is better than many of the others that you'll be watching, but otherwise, I'd recommend you just watch the two matches mentioned above.




For other 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
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Thursday, 19 December 2019

PPV REVIEW: WCW Uncensored 2000

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Event poster
March 19, 2000
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida

World Championship Wrestling's Uncensored PPV series had a history of giving us some questionable (read: terrible) creative decisions over the years.

Whether it was the infamous Doomsday cage match at Uncensored 1996 or the time Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan bled like stuck pigs in their First Blood steel cage match at Uncensored 1999 only for the match to eventually end in a pinfall.

So it comes as a bit of a relief to know that tonight, at Uncensored 2000, we would be seeing the last ever installment of the show.

However, something tells me that this wouldn't be the last time we'd see some questionable decision making on the part of the WCW brain trust.

Here's what went down when Uncensored 2000 came live from Miami, Florida.





Everyone Arrives in Miami

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Sid Vicious and Hulk Hogan talk backstage
Tonight's opening video package wasn't one of WCW's worst. It was simple, short, and basically told us about tonight's three big marquee matches:

* Sting vs. Lex Luger for the last time ever
* Sid vs. Jeff Jarrett for the WCW heavyweight championship
* And Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair in the infamous yapapi Indian strap match
From there, we cut backstage where 'Team Package' (Luger, Flair and Miss Elizabeth) were shown entering the arena, all geared up about tonight's show.

Elsewhere, Wrestlemania 8 opponents Hulk Hogan and Sid Vicious were seen talking about how they had each other's backs tonight, while Jeff Jarrett was shown entering the arena with The Harris Brothers.

Ron or Don asked Double J about his mystery 'insurance policy' which, sure enough, led us to a shot of an ominous black limousine pulling up outside of the arena.

Out in the arena, pyro exploded, the fans roared, and Tony Schiavone welcomed us to the 2000 edition of WCW Uncensored before sending it to the ring for our opening contest.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion The Artist (w/ Paisley) vs. Psicosis (w/ Juventud Guerrera)

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Psicosis faced The Artist
Before both men could lock up, an unfamiliar theme played and 'Hard Knocks' Chris Candido made his WCW debut.

Heading straight to the commentary booth (where somebody had to show him how a headset worked), Candido addressed the recent rumours about him coming to the company before spending the majority of tonight's cruiserweight title match putting himself over.

He was joined in the Chris Candido fan club by announcers Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden and Iron Mike Tenay. Together, all four men ignored most of what went on in the ring and instead talked about how Candido had been through a tough life and how, having done so, he was more than capable of kicking ass in World Championship Wrestling.

Look:

I've always been a fan of Chris Candido and I'm glad that the company decided to try and get him over right from the start, but this was completely distracting and made it hard to follow what was going on in the ring.

For the most part, it looked like The Artist and Psicosis had a pretty decent match, but it was hard to tell with all the focus being on Candido.

Towards the finish, Psicosis looked to have the match won but was confronted by Paisley.

Psicosis' second, Juventud Guerrera looked to stop Paisley being a factor in the match by giving her a big snog, to which the future Mrs Booker T responded by literally raping Juvi.

I'm not joking. She gave him a slap with Juvi over-sold by staggering around and falling to the floor. Paisley then jumped on him, ripped his shirt off, and was busy unbuckling his jeans when the camera cut away to the ring.

There, Psicosis still looked to be in control, but Paisley got done with her raping and distracted him so that The Artist could leap off the top with a flying DDT and win the match.
Your Winner and Still WCW Cruiserweight Champion: The Artist

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Bam Bam Bigelow
Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Bam Bam Bigelow about his upcoming match with The Wall. Bam Bam had been revealed as The Wall's mentor and the man responsible for bringing the big guy to WCW, despite the fact that Wall had originally debuted with Berlyn.

Apparently, however, The Wall had been going around deliberately injuring people, which is not what Bigelow had taught him. As a result, a somber-toned Bam Bam promised to teach his student one more lesson tonight.

XS (Lane & Rave) vs. The Screamin' Demons (Norman Smiley & The Demon)

I don't think "The Screamin' Demons" was the official team name of Norman Smiley and The Demon, but Mike Tenay said it a few times and it sounded so much fun it just had to be included here.

The two had formed an unlikely alliance as of late and had been watching each other's backs in a feud against Lane and Rave of XS.

If those last names don't sound familiar to you, maybe these will:

Lenny Lane and Lodi. The two had dropped their homosexual gimmick following a number of complaints. They'd then had a short run as 'Standards and Practices', a Right to Censor style gimmick that also involved Stacy 'Ms. Hancock' Keibler.

Prior to the bell, Hancock came down to the commentary booth but was nowhere near as distracting as Candido had been earlier.

Not that it made much difference.

It was always a joy to watch Norman Smiley in the ring, particularly as he dressed up like The Demon tonight, Gene Simmons makeup and all. Yet even he couldn't save this from being a sloppy mess of a match.

After a short outing, Smiley slapped on the Norman Conquest and won the match for his team.
Your Winners: The Screamin' Demons

Post-match, XS tried storming off with Ms Hancock but got beat up by Demon and Smiley. The face-painted duo then brought Ms Hancock back to the ring where she did 'the big wiggle' on Smiley to the delight of the live audience.

Kidman has Booker's Back

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Booker T confronts Billy Kidman and Torrie Wilson backstage
The theme of tonight's show seemed to be people having one another's backs. So, out in the backstage area, a fired up Booker T told Billy Kidman that if he was going to have his back tonight, he should have it, if not, to basically go away.

I don't know how these two came to be paired up, nor do I really care to find out.

Meanwhile, David Flair and Crowbar were seen sporting neckbraces after taking a beating at the hands of The Wall on Thunder. David made Daffney promise that she wouldn't "go out there" when The Wall was in the ring. The Scream Queen promised, but then, after Flair and Crowbar left, giggled her head off and revealed that she'd had her fingers crossed the whole time.

Leaving your writer confused since we were told The Wall would be facing Bam Bam Bigelow, cameras cut back to the arena for that match.

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. The Wall

WCW Uncensored 2000 - The Wall destroyed Bam Bam Bigelow and Kanyon
Wasting no time in laying waste to one another, The Wall and Bam Bam looked to be developing a pretty solid Battle of the Giants. Yet before it could really hit its stride, this one was over.

The two brawled towards the stage where a random table with some computer monitors had been set up. Predictably, The Wall put Bammer through said table with a chokeslam. The referee called for the bell, awarding the match to Bigelow via disqualification though if we were playing by that logic, surely he should have counted both men out?
Your Winner via Disqualification: Bam Bam Bigelow

Post-match, Bigelow did the stretcher job while David Flair and Crowbar came out for a brawl with The Wall. The dominant Wall took out David Flair then battled Crowbar up to the top of a large structure and chokeslammed his rival off it.

Crowbar went sailing through the air and crashing through the stage with force while The Wall -who was being hyped as a sick and sadistic machine- laughed on wickedly.

It was, to be fair, a pretty awesome spot. More's the point, it made The Wall look completely indestructible, dominant and, more importantly, popular with the live crowd. All in all, it was the kind of spot that made you convinced we had WCW's next main event player on our hands.

Wonder why that never happened.

Selling the devastating impact of the fall, Crowbar was wheeled into an ambulance while various WCW wrestlers such as Booker T and Lash LeRoux looked on, concerned.

Mean Gene interviews Brian Knobs

Out in the back, Brian Knobs yelled to Mean Gene about how Crowbar and Bam Bam Bigelow were two of the gutsiest performers he'd ever seen. In his typical "angry, shouty 80s promo" style, Knobbs dedicated his upcoming Hardcore title match to The Wall's latest victims.

World Championship Wrestling World Hardcore Championship Gauntlet Match
WCW World Hardcore Champions Three Count (Shane Helms, Shannon Moore, Evan Karagious) vs. Brian Knobs

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Brian Knobs talks to Mean Gene Okerlund
All three members of Three Count had piled on top of Brian Knobs in a recent hardcore title match on Nitro, thus beating the Nasty Boy for the title and becoming co-holders.

Tonight, Knobs would have to pin all three men to regain the gold.
Somewhat predictably, he did so with gusto in a match which seemed to lack the usual energy and entertainment value of WCW's hardcore matches. Typically, these kind of bouts were formulaic yet fun. This one was merely formulaic with none of the fun.

After a so-so match, Knobs put away remaining Three Count member Shannon Moore to reclaim his title.
Your Winner and NEW WCW Hardcore Champion: Brian Knobs

Backstage, Mean Gene stood by with Harlem Heat 2000. By now, the team was a four-man crew consisting of Stevie Ray, Big T (Ahmed Johnson), J. Biggs (Clarence Mason) and Kash (4x4 of the No Limit Soldiers), the latter of whom had joined them at last month's Superbrawl 2000.

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Harlem Heat 2000 talk to Mean Gene Okerlund
Stevie and Big T cut a really horrible promo in which they basically promised to beat up Booker and Billy Kidman.

The bad promos continued with Vampiro. After a brief shot of the mysterious limo that had arrived earlier, he was seen in the back, hanging out by a ladder and surrounded by eerie lighting. The effect was cool, but the way Vampiro mumbled his way through a promo where he said things like "I think about bad things and I don't want to do bad things" was certainly not cool.

He sounded like a timid child trying to give a presentation in front of his class. It was awful.

Booker & Billy Kidman (w/ Torrie Wilson) vs. Harlem Heat 2000 (Stevie Ray & Big T w/ J. Biggs and Kash)

Surprisingly, this match wasn't as bad as it could have been.

I mean, it certainly wasn't great, but for saying two of the combatants were Stevie Ray and Fat Ahmed Johnson, it could have been a lot worse.

Harlem Heat 2000 held the advantage for the majority of the bout before Kidman caught Big T with a sunset flip. Booker kicked T in the face, Kidman got the three count and this one was over.
Your Winners: Booker and Billy Kidman

It's sad that this was the match of the night so far.

Meanwhile, as Finlay made his way out, Mike Tenay told us that Bigelow and Crowbar had received concussions and serious injuries at the hands of The Wall. The announcers would not let that spot go all night.

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Fit Finlay vs. Vampiro

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Fit Finlay faced Vampiro in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
I've seen other reviewers crap all over this match, but this fan at least thought it was a lot of fun. After a little bit of back-and-forth action in the ring, Vampiro and Finlay took the match out through the crowd and into the concourse. There, they almost messed up by setting off for the women's bathroom before realising that was a bad no no and heading to the mens' room instead.

A brief mens' room brawl ensued before the fight went back out into the concourse were the weird red lighting and rabid fans gave the whole thing a unique aesthetic more akin to a real brawl. After knocking the hell out of each other, Vampiro took down Finlay and got the three count.

I change my mind. That was the best match on the show so far.
Your Winner: Vampiro

Out in the back, Mean Gene interviewed WCW tag team champions The Mamalukes and their manager, The Disco Inferno.

Though fairly generic, this was actually pretty entertaining stuff from the champions. Far more entertaining, in fact, than anything they'd do in the ring tonight.

World Championship Wrestling World Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Mamalukes (Big Vito & Johnny The Bull w/ Disco Inferno) vs. The Harris Brothers (Ron & Don Harris)

WCW Uncensored 2000 - The Mamalukes faced The Harris Brothers
Back in my teenage years, I was actually a pretty big fan of The Mamalukes. I thought they were the best team WCW had at the time and that Disco Inferno was far better suited as a manager than he ever was as a wrestler.

Fast forward 19 years, and I still mostly enjoy watching Johnny The Bull and Big Vito, though even my fan bias can't stop me from talking about how tedious this match was.

It wasn't outright horrible as some people have claimed, but I'll certainly agree with others that there was nothing enjoyable about it.

In fact, it was so dull that I admittedly stopped looking and played with my phone.

After a bit, The Harris brothers won the titles. Nobody cared.
Your Winners and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions: The Harris Brothers

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Team Package running wild
After another shot of the mysterious limousine, Fit Finlay cut an intense backstage promo in which he claimed that Vampiro had finally earned his respect, effectively settling their feud once and for all.

Out in the back, Mean Gene interviewed Luger and Flair. With Elizabeth looking on, the two promised to destroy their upcoming opponents, Hogan and Sting. Though both men had very different promo styles (Luger the calm, cocky heel, Flair the raving maniac), this came across very well.

Then, after a video package which recalled the rivalry between Terry Funk and Dustin Rhodes, we went back to Okerlund for an interview with The Natural.

Rhodes claimed that this was Funk's retirement match (lol) and in a snarling, intense promo, promised to end the Funker for good.

Texas Bullrope Match
Dustin Rhodes vs. Terry Funk

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Terry Funk called Dustin Rhodes a chicken
There was a time that reviewing shows for Retro Pro Wrestling was a fairly simple process:

1) Watch the match
2) Write down whether or not it was any good
3) Move on.

Yet by the year 2000, World Championship Wrestling were producing such horribly convoluted shows that writing about them has become a frustrating chore that involves explaining exactly what went on.

So here's this one in a nutshell:

Terry Funk came down with a chicken, made the super original joke about Dustin's daddy being fat, then claimed to have found Dustin's baby brother. Rather than a young Cody Rhodes, however, a guy in a cheap looking chicken costume came to the ring, immediately killing off any genuine heat this match might have had.

The match itself was supposed to be a Texas Bull Rope match in which both men were tied together by a long bullrope, but the two wrestled for about five minutes, strapped themselves together for about two minutes, then took it off again.

The chicken then returned, so Dustin beat the crap out of it. It looked awful, so bad in fact that the crowd were stone dead.

Meanwhile, back in the ring, Funk took it upon himself to change the match to an I Quit match and beat up Billy Silverman when the referee declared that the match had to win by pinfall. Dustin did indeed say 'I Quit' after getting smashed in the head with a cowbell a bunch of times.

Funk then argued with the referee that the match should be over, but instead got blindsided by Rhodes and piledriven into oblivious.

You know, once upon a time Terry Funk vs. Dustin Rhodes could have been entertaining had they taken it seriously, but this was both ridiculous and terrible.
Your Winner: Dustin Rhodes

Afterwards, we were supposed to have the wild, post-match brawl that kept the fans all fired up, yet as Funk and Rhodes laid into each other, there was not one person in the arena who seemed to give a damn.

Sting faces Luger one last time

WCW Uncensored 2000 - WCW Champion Sid Vicious talks to Mean Gene Okerlund
Out in the back, WCW Champion Sid Vicious gave a short and sweet promo in which he told Mean Gene Okerlund that he was ready for the challenge of Jeff Jarrett.

This was followed by a brief look at the rivalry between Sting and Lex Luger. The two had already been feuding for a while when Luger broke Sting's arm back at Starrcade 1999. The Total Package had then gone on a bone-breaking spree, breaking the arms of many WCW wrestlers and even officials.

Though WCW did a lot of dumb stuff back in the year 2000, you have to give them credit for this story as they sold it pretty well. Wrestlers like Finlay and Vampiro, both victims of Luger, had wrestled full matches in their cast and even Doug Dillinger was seen sporting his when helping Bam Bam Bigelow onto the stretcher earlier.

It was subtle, but it was one of the best things WCW did at that time.

Tonight, Sting and Luger would face each other one last time in a Lumberjack match, with all of Luger's victims as lumberjacks.

Lumberjack Match
The Total Package Lex Luger (w/ Elizabeth) vs. Sting

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Lex Luger backs off from Sting
Stings lumberjacks were: Doug Dillinger, Jimmy Hart, Vampiro, Fit Finlay, Brian Knobs and Curt Hennig, all of whom wore casts after getting their arms broken by The Total Package.

First, Luger tried to gain favour with them by offering an insincere apology then introduced his own lumberjacks: Stevie Ray, Big T, Kash, Hugh Morrus and The Harris Brothers.

The match got underway and was fairly typical of what we'd seen in the past from these two men; not too bad, but nothing that fans would ever be clamouring to see again.

If they'd just kept it at that, even a decent effort between Sting and Luger would have been good enough to save Uncensored 2000 from being a total suckfest. But alas, this was WCW, so they had to overbook the heck out of it.

At one point, Tank Abbot randomly came down and attacked Doug Dillinger. This led to a brawl between the lumberjacks which, in turn, led to every lumberjack except Vampiro fighting their way backstage.

Elizabeth then whacked Sting with a baseball bat, but Vampiro took it off her and -as Jimmy Hart returned to forcefully escort Liz backstage, Vamp whacked Luger. At some point Ric Flair got involved too because hey, you can never have too many run-ins, right?

Anyway, Vampiro hitting Luger with the bat was the cue for Sting to hit Luger with the Scorpion Death Drop and end this thing.
Your Winner: Sting

Post-match, Sting embraced Vampiro and the two celebrated. They'd be feuding before long which this writer is fine with. Say what you want about his ring work, the crowd loved Vampiro back then, so it made sense to put him a high profile feud with The Stinger.

The World Title Match is Next

Out in the back, we were teased with a shot of the mystery limousine being opened. Before we could see who was inside it, however, we cut to a shot of Jeff Jarrett walking through the backstage area with a bevvy of beauties in tow. As he did so, the announcers acted super surprised at a "change in  Lformat" which put the world title fight next and Hogan vs. Flair in our main event.

For change in format read: Hogan had to main event.

Back in his dressing room, Sid was all surprised at being told his match was next and scooted off in a bit of a panic.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sid Vicious vs.  WCW United States Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Sid faced Jeff Jarrett for the WCW title
Again, if they'd just let these two wrestle a straight forward pro wrestling match it would have been OK. It wouldn't have been great but it would have at least been watchable.

Instead, what we got here was even more overbooked crap.

Sid and Jarrett wrestled decently, but an unnecessary run in from the Harris Brothers didn't help things, nor did inconsistent officiating. Referee Nick Patrick had no problem with the interference, but heaven forbid the challenger use a closed fist.

In the end, Jarrett laid out the referee then took out Sid with his guitar before calling on his personal official, Slick Johnson to come and make the cover. However, Hulk Hogan ran to the ring, battered Johnson, battered Jarrett, then draped Sid on top of him. Patrick made the three count and this one was over.
Your Winner and Still WCW Champion: Jeff Jarrett

Immediately afterwards, Scott Steiner made his WCW return by taking out Hogan. Before anyone could take this moment in, however, Ric Flair ran out, immediately hooked him and Hogan up to the strap, and got on with our main event.


Yapapi Indian Strap Match
Hulk Hogan (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Ric Flair

Ah yes, the infamous Yapapi strap match, famously derided by Wrestlecrap and laughed about ever since.

Despite the made-up name, this was your basic touch-all-four-corners strap match. Remember that, it'll be important in a minute.

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Ric Flair faced Hulk Hogan in a Yapapi strap match
The match itself was about as good as Flair and Hogan were capable of having in the year 2000 which is to say that it wasn't very good at all.

The two basically whacked each other with the strap and made each other bleed because that was all they could do. Even two run-ins from Lex Luger couldn't make this exciting.

At one point, Flair made a cover on Hogan. Mark Madden clearly reminded us that this was a strap match and said: "you can't pin in a strap match!"

"No," said Schiavone, "but you can always kick out!"

Hogan regained the advantage and nailed three corners, but then we got our second Lex Luger run in. Hogan took him out with a boot, leg dropped Flair and pinned him for the three count.

To his credit, Hogan did at least remember to touch the fourth corner.
Your Winner: Hulk Hogan

Yes, this was just like Uncensored 1999 all over again. Hogan and Flair had main evented that show too, and had also ended their match with a pinfall despite not being able to.





My goodness, I know I find myself saying this a lot lately, but WCW shows are getting harder and harder to sit through. Though there were a few entertaining moments, there wasn't one single "good" match on this card.

Watching it was hard and depressing, so to cheer myself up, I watched this.

I hope it makes you feel better in just the same way that it made me feel better.





For other 2000 pro wrestling reviews 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.