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 Vampiro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vampiro. Show all posts

Thursday, 28 November 2019

PPV REVIEW: WCW Superbrawl 2000

WCW Superbrawl 2000 - Event poster
February 20, 2000
Cow Palace, San Francisco, California

In the year 2000, the annual WCW Superbrawl Pay Per View celebrated its tenth anniversary. Given how poorly some of the company's recent Pay Per View offerings had been, it's probably a miracle that they made it this far.

The year 1999 had been a lousy one for World Championship Wrestling, with most PPVs from that year (outside of the awesome Spring Stampede 1999) being an absolute chore to watch.

The company had started the new millennium with Souled Out 2000, and thought that was better than most of their 1999 shows, it was better in the way that standing in dog turd is better than face-planting said dog turd.

A mild improvement, but not by much.

Still, let's remain optimistic as we head to California for Superbrawl 2000.





Tonight! Live! The Superstars of WCW!

By this point in the game, WCW had fully realised that the opening video packages they always put together for their PPVs were entirely terrible, and instead resorted to just running down the card.

Here, we were told about such matches as Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk, Lex Luger vs. Hulk Hogan, and a three-way dance between Jeff Jarrett, Sid Vicious and Scott Hall.

Jarrett is the Acting Commissioner, Slapnuts

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -Mark Madden, Tony Schiavone, Mike TenayAfter an insane amount of pyro, Tony Mark Madden and Iron Mike Tenay.
Schiavone welcomed us to the show and introduced us to his broadcast colleagues

Yes, this was the first WCW PPV in years not to feature Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan on commentary. The Brain had grown so tired and uninspired in his final year with the company that he was gradually being phased out altogether. He'd already been replaced by Madden on Nitro, and would soon lose his job on Thunder by the summer, appearing only on the little-seen WCW Worldwide until his contract ended in November.

That sad little note aside, Schiavone took us to Mean Gene Okerlund, who was standing by outside the office of WCW Commissioner, Kevin Nash.

Okerlund hoped to get an update from Nash about his (Nash's) physical health, as well as a word about tonight's main event.

Instead, a bevvy of beauties were seen leaving Nash's office, followed by a rather smug-looking Jeff Jarrett.

WCW Superbrawl 2000 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Jeff Jarrett (w/ The Harris Boys
Double J told Okerlund that he had just 'rung Nash's bell' so bad that Big Sexy wouldn't be appearing tonight. Flanked by Ron and Don Harris, Jarrett then declared that, in his role as Acting Commissioner, he would be running things tonight.

His first act of business?

Remove the ban that prevented the Harris Boys from joining him at ringside.

Killing Time

It's at this point that most pro wrestling shows would give us, you know, some actual wrestling. However, this was WCW so that clearly didn't happen.

Instead, we got Schiavone, Madden and Tenay giving us another rundown of tonight's card, this time featuring all of the undercards matches too.

From there, they talked us through every match from a recent tournament to crown a new cruiserweight champion after Oklahoma vacated the belt.

By this point, we were over 10 minutes into the show without so much as a single collar-and-elbow tie-up.

Thankfully, at 10 minutes, 19 seconds, the first combatants began making their way to ringside.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Final
Lash LeRoux vs. The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iuakea (w/ Paisley)

WCW Superbrawl 2000 - Paisley (Sharmell) accompanied The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iuakea
As he made his way to the ring, the announcers told us that Lash LeRoux had been calling himself 'Y2-Cajun' and 'The Ayatollah of Shrimpolla' (or something) because WCW apparently had no original ideas left.

Meanwhile, former TV champion Prince Iuakea was doing his Prince Rogers Nelson impression with Booker T's future wife, Sharmell, playing the role of Paisley.

Before the bell, Paisley took to the microphone to thank us for supporting The Artist's creative endeavours but got a slap on the butt from LeRoux.

Enraged, The Artist attacked his foe and held him in place so that his valet could draw back her boot and land it in LeRoux's ribs, right in front of referee Charles Robinson.

It wasn't a disqualification though because for some reason wrestlers could get away with that sort of thing back in the nineties.

At first, this one looked to have all the makings of a solid match but it quickly became so sloppy that it was almost embarrassing to watch.
After a few minutes of mess, TAFKAPI hit the worst diving DDT ever committed to win the vacant title.
Your Winner and NEW WCW Cruiserweight Champion: The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iuakea

WCW Superbrawl 2000 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Brian Knobs
Out in the back, Norman Smiley was seen getting his ribs taped up in readiness for his match tonight. Smiley had suffered injured ribs at the hands of The Wall on Thunder, so it was important he get them bandaged up.

Elsewhere in the arena, Mean Gene stood by for an interview with Knobmaster Sexay, Brian Knobs.

That wasn't Knob's official name or anything, it's just that these WCW shows are getting so painful to review that I have to find a way to amuse myself.

Anyway, Knobs cut an admittedly engrossing promo in which he ranted and raved about being knocked down from the top of some metaphorical mountain. Tonight, however, 'Nasty Knobs' (that was a name he gave himself) vowed to climb back on top by dethroning Bam Bam Bigelow for the Hardcore Championship.

OK, so this was the sort of loud-and-angry promo that went out of style in the late 80s, but it somehow proved effective here.

Finally, we were shown a mysterious door labelled 'PRIVATE' which caused the announcers to speculate as to who or what it was for.

World Championship Wrestling Hardcore Championship
WCW Hardcore Champion Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Brian Knobs

WCW Superbrawl 2000 - Brian Knobs (w/ Fit Finlay) bt. Bam Bam Bigelow for the WCW Hardcore title
Despite the ever-diminishing quality of WCW shows, you could always count on their hardcore division to deliver something at least reasonably entertaining.

OK, so you were never going to get a five-star classic out of a division that featured Brian Knobs as one of its key players, but if you liked watching wrestlers beat each over the head with trash cans and throw each other through tables, you were in for a treat.

This match was no exception. It was a basic garbage brawl from the ring to the backstage area and back again, and though it paled in comparison to other hardcore matches, it was still pretty fun.

Early on, we learned that Knobs had lost the title to Bam Bam Bigelow after his mentor, Fit Finlay, drilled him over the head with a chair. Still, Knobs and Finlay were still somehow friends here, with the Fighting Irishman continually trying to get involved in the match. Knobs, however, demanded to do this one by himself and did so triumphantly by throwing a trash can lid at Bammer and pinning him on the outside.
Your Winner and NEW WCW Hardcore Champion: Brian Knobs

WCW Superbrawl 2000 - Team Package - Ric Flair, Lex Luger, and Miss Elizabeth
Out in the back, Nature Boy Ric Flair was seen getting overly excited about how good Lex Luger and Miss Elizabeth looked and declared 'Team Package' in control.

Elsewhere, we were shown the separate dressing room doors of Sid Vicious and Scott Hall. Security guards stood by both doors and discussed how nobody was allowed to go in or -oddly enough- out of either room.

Including the earlier Jeff Jarrett segment, that's four times we'd been shown a door tonight. Four shots of random doors and only two actual pro wrestling matches half an hour into a pro wrestling PPV.

I'll say no more about that one.

Handicap Match
Three Count (Shannon Moore, Shane Helms, Evan Karagious) vs. Norman Smiley

WCW Superbrawl 2000 - Team Package - Norman Smiley does the Big Wiggle on Shane Helms
This is what pro wrestling was at the turn of the millennium.

Norman Smiley was one of the most entertaining acts in the company during this time period while Shannon Moore, Shane Helms and Evan Karagious were capable of some pretty exciting stuff. Unfortunately, they did not make for a winning combination when put together.

While there were some genuinely enjoyable moments here -Shane Helms practically stopping in mid-air, Matrix-style while hitting Big Flippy Move #838 and Smiley having an impromptu dance-off with Moore and Karagious among them- most of the match seemed rather quick and to the pointless.

After a valiant effort, Smiley ate Big Flippy Move #939 from Karagious and a frog splash from Helms before finally succumbing to a Liontamer from Moore.
Your Winners: Three Count

Post-match, Smiley refused assistance from a gaggle of referees and walked out under his own power.

Elsewhere, we got "Shot of a Door Number Five" before Jeff Jarrett ordered the Harris Boys to find out what was behind Super Secret Mystery Door.

Special Main Event
The Demon vs. The Wall

WCW Superbrawl 2000 - Team Package - The KISS Demon wrestled in a special main event against The Wall
You remember this one, right? As part of their mission to put their branding on every single thing that could possibly exist, rock band KISS had signed a contract with World Championship Wrestling. The contact saw them play a much-criticised performance on WCW Nitro as well as introducing their own KISS-branded pro wrestler, The Demon. The contract also demanded that The Demon feature in at least one PPV main event.

That, of course, was a largely terrible idea, so WCW got around it by giving us this:

A 'special main event' in the first hour of the card in which The Demon would take on The Wall.

As The Demon made his way ringside, Mark Madden asked Mike Tenay whether he preferred Kiss or Three Count. An irate Mike Tenay verbally tore Madden a new one and sounded genuinely appalled that Madden would even dare mention Gene Simmons et al in the same breath as Helms, Moore and Karagious.

While we're on the subject of Mark Madden, I'd like to take a moment to point out how awful he was at trying to play a heel commentator.

I'd also like to point out that The Demon's entrance was kind of awesome. It was also the only thing about this entire match that was.

Though it wasn't necessarily terrible, it was the kind of throw-away nothingness that would have been best left for Bobby Heenan to comment on over on Worldwide.

After less than four minutes of blandness, The Wall pinned The Demon and that was the end of the whole KISS/WCW Experiment.
Your Winner: The Wall

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -  Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Ernest 'The Cat' MIller
Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund quizzed Ernest 'The Cat' Miller about the whereabouts of soul singer James Brown.

This wasn't as random as it seemed. Miller had been promising us that Brown would appear tonight, but so far he was nowhere to be seen.

Laughing his head off and clearly in a great mood, The Cat told Okerlund that instead of looking for Brown, he should have been looking for a breath mint and promised that the singer would be there.

Next, Okerlund informed The Cat that his upcoming opponent, The Maestro, had said that Miller should listen to classical music like Beethoven.

"Beethoven?" quipped The Cat. "Beethoven stole his stuff from Little Richard and Little Richard stole his stuff from James Brown!"

You know, I'm not normally a fan of Ernest Miller but this promo was joyful.

Miller looked like he was having the time of his life and was hysterical in the best possible sense of the word.

Meanwhile, Ron and Don Harris tried to get into the private room, only to find that the door was locked. They went off in search of a key, guaranteeing us all the fun of seeing many more shots of said door throughout the program.

Tank Abbott is a Bad Man

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -  Tank Abbott pulled a knife on his opponent, Big Al
Elsewhere in the arena, Tank Abbot was seen pacing back and forth in an empty room. Next, we cut to a shot of some bald guy who looked like a skinnier Harris Brother also gearing up for war. Clearly, these two men were going to compete next though why they were going to do so, or who the bald guy even was, remained a mystery.

Thankfully, we had a WCW video package to clear things up...kind of.

The video showed us various shots of Tank Abbott beating various people into a pulp and occasionally getting into a confrontation with the bald guy who always seemed to be in the audience for every Abbott match.

These shots were interspersed with shots of Abbott talking about how "he" (the bald guy) didn't know what he (Abbott) was trying to do in WCW and that the two would have a "skins match" tonight at Superbrawl.

OK, I lied. That video package didn't clear anything up at all, it only gave us more questions.

WTF is a 'skins match?"
Who is the bald guy?
What does any of this even mean?

Skins Match (Leather Jacket on a Pole Match)
Big Al vs. Tank Abbott

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -  Tank Abbott vs. Big Al
Prior to the bell, Mike Tenay informed us that the bald guy was Tank Abbott's former bodyguard, Big Al and that the match would actually see them competing for a UFC-branded leather jacket.

For his contribution, terrible announcer Mark Madden told us that he thought a 'skins match' meant the two were going to hit each other with golf clubs.

It's at this point in the show that your writer is really, really f'n confused.

Things didn't make any more sense once the match started. For unknown reasons, Big Al produced a leather belt and insisted that the two of them should be bound by the hands. So it was that they clasped hands had them wrapped together with the leather belt, leaving them with just one hand each with which to punch one another repeatedly.

After a few back-and-forths blows, Al smashed Abbott so hard with a forearm that Abbott was out cold for what felt like an eternity. During this time, Al threatened to do the old "grab an opponent's legs from the outside and smash his nuts against the ring post" thing but then decided not to bother.

Instead, he returned to the ring and stood on his opponent's face. This finally revived Abbott after about five minutes of him taking a nap. The enraged UFC fighter then battered Big Al, carried him up to the top rope and dumped him on the outside like a sack of crap.

Finally, he grabbed the leather jacket and this horrendous piece of whatever it was (I refuse to call it a match) was over.
Your Winner: Tank Abbott

Except, it wasn't.

Abbot next grabbed a knife -yes, an honest to goodness knife- from the pocket of his leather jacket, held it to Big Al's throat and yelled 'I should f***ing kill you!"

Yes, on a pro wrestling show, we got a guy threatening to stab another guy in the throat. Mike Tenay tried to cover for the incident by telling us that Abbott had a pair of scissors and was threatening to cut Big Al's beard off.

Big Al did not have a beard.

Can You Dig It, Sucka?

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -  Harlem Heat 2000 talk to Mean Gene
Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Harlem Heat. No, not Stevie Ray and Booker T, but Stevie Ray and Big T, the man better known as Fat Ahmed Johnson.

The two were joined by J. Biggs, the former Clarence Mason. As the two former Nation of Domination members stood on, Stevie Ray declared that Big T had been watching his back for years, and issued an ominous and confusing warning to Booker T about tonight's match.

This was followed by a video package recounting the recent rivalry between Booker and Stevie.

If you recall, Big T had debuted last month at Souled Out and joined forces with Stevie Ray.

The two had then hired lawyer J. Biggs to tell Booker T that he couldn't use his music, the flames on his tights, or even the letter 'T' after his name, as these were all property of Harlem Heat Incorporated.

Booker would face Big T tonight to decide once and for all who got the rights to Harlem Heat Inc.'s intellectual property, though not before we got a response from Booker himself.

Continually referring to himself as 'B', the future King decreed that he had never crossed anybody who didn't deserve it and that tonight, he would put an end to all of this once and for all.

Big T (w/ J. Biggs & Stevie Ray) vs. Booker

Winner gets the rights to Harlem Heat

Since he couldn't wear his Harlem Heat tights or use the Harlem Heat music, Booker came down wearing standard wrestling trunks and boots, a look that would actually suit him as he set off on his road to the main event. Music-wise, he got landed with some light and chirpy theme that sounded like it was pilfered from a ride at Disneyland.

It was a move meant to embarrass Booker, though it certainly wasn't any more embarrassing than the match itself. This was basically Booker trying to hold his own against Big T, Stevie Ray and J. Biggs yet continually coming up short.

Just when it looked like he might have the match won, the arena went dark and the bell tolled for Midnight. Yet when the lights came back on, it wasn't Booker's manager/valet/musclewoman who was stood there, but rather some big dude in a leather jacket.

The distraction allowed Big T to hit Booker with the Pearl River Plunge and this one was over.
Your Winner: Big T

Post-match, J. Biggs took to the mic to tell us that we were now looking at the new Harlem Heat Incorporated. He, Ray and T then embraced the big dude without ever once telling us who he was.

Maestro Wants The Cat to Be His Slave

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -  The Maestro & Symphony talk to Mean Gene
Out in the back, Mean Gene stood by with The Maestro and Symphony (Alicia Webb/Ryan Shamrock). In an awful, cringe-worthy promo, The 'Stro declared that he was so sick of Ernest Miller that he wanted to place a wager on their match tonight.

If The Cat won, then The Maestro promised to only listen to whatever kind of music Ernest Miller decided. Yet if Maestro won, then he wanted Miller to be his 'personal lackey' or you know, slave.

Yuck.

Across the arena, Ron and Don Harris had found somebody with a key to the mystery door but apparently, the locks had been changed so that was no good.

Billy Kidman (w/ Torrie Wilson) vs. Vampiro

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -  Vampiro battled Billy Kidman (w/ Torrie Wilson)
These two had a thing going on where they respected one another but didn't really get along. They'd been adversaries, they'd been tag team partners, and now they were adversaries once again.

As two of the more talented performers competing in WCW back in 2000, it's no surprise that Billy Kidman and Vampiro delivered what was -by far- the best match of the night so far.

It could have been a  lot better too if the crowd had actually thought to care. Unfortunately, they were so bummed out from an hour's worth of crap that they failed to respond to anything Kidman and Vampiro did, which was a shame.

Alas, the two gave it a good effort and finally brought this one to a close when Kidman reversed a Nail in the Coffin with a neckbraker for the one, two, three.
Your Winner: Billy Kidman

On a somewhat related note, future WWE Hall of Famer Tori Wilson looked gorgeous here.

Interview Time

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -  Terry Funk with Dustin 'Fat Daddy' Rhodes
Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Terry Funk. With Dustin Rhodes standing behind him, The Funker vowed to kick Ric Flair's ass in their upcoming match.

We then got a short video package looking at the rivalry between David Flair, Crowbar and The Mamalukes. The video package was apparently long enough for Okerlund to get rid of Funk and Rhodes and bring in Big Vito and Johnny The Bull.

The two claimed that Flair, Crowbar and Daffney had made them so upset that Johnny The Bull couldn't finish his cheese sandwich, which was apparently a crime worse than death.

As such, the tag team champions promised to destroy their upcoming opponents in a Sicilian Stretcher Match.

Mean Gene was high in demand tonight. Before these two promos, we also saw Sid Vicious leave his dressing room and demand that one of his security guards bring Okerlund to him.

Sicilian Stretcher Match for the World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW Tag Team Champions The Mamalukes (Johnny The Bull & Big Vito w/ Disco Inferno) vs. David Flair & Crowbar (w/ Daffney)

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -  The Mamalukes talk to Disco Inferno
For the uninitiated, a Sicilian Stretcher Match was basically the same as a regular stretcher match except that the person on the stretcher had to be wheeled all the way to the back.

Sicilian or not, this one was actually a lot of fun, and was probably one of the best things you'll ever see with David Flair in it.

I grant you, that's not exactly a huge compliment, but I stand firm in my resolve that this was a fun match with lots of brawling and a few high spots, most of which involved Crowbar crashing through tables.

In the end, the champions strapped Flair and Crowbar to stretchers and sent them backstage before also strapping Daffney to a wheelchair and sending her out.

Speaking of Daffney, the Scream Queen was a riot here and actually made the whole thing way more entertaining than it would have been otherwise.
Your Winners and Still WCW Tag Team Champions: The Mamalukes

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -  Sid Vicious talks to Mean Gene
Out in the back, the security guard had tracked down Okerlund and brought him to Sid's locker room. Sid stepped out and proceeded to cut a hushed, psychotic promo in which he promised to take out Jarrett and Hall, and vowed that he would powerbomb anyone who got in his way straight to hell.

How can you not love Sid? The Master and Ruler of The World was amazing.

James Brown is Here

Looking to make good on his promise, Ernest 'The Cat' Miller came down and introduced a James Brown impersonator, claiming him to be the real deal.

This brought out The Maestro and Symphony. The 'Stro demanded that Miller stop messing around and go carry his bags, to which Miller responded by bringing out the real James Brown.

Yes, the genuine Godfather of Soul came to the ring with a huge entourage and joined The Cat in a dance-off.

This didn't really contribute anything to the show, but it was kind of fun to see a genuine legend like Brown show up, and it was clear The Cat was having the best day of his life, which made it all the more enjoyable.

Scott Hall Can Go

Out in the back, a weary-looking Scott Hall told Mean Gene that when he broke into the business you didn't have to schmooze up to the bookers if you could still go and he, Hall could still go.

According to the nWo founder, Jarrett and Sid would find that out later tonight.

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -  Meaaaaaaaaaan WOO! BY GOD! Gene!
Up next, we got a video package for Terry Funk vs. Ric Flair.

This was followed by a Ric Flair promo in which he told Mean Gene that even though he didn't like Texas Deathmatches or 'any of that dirty stuff,' he was still The Dirtiest Player in the Game and would kick Funk's ass tonight.

Flair got himself worked up into a right state here and was, as always, incredibly compelling on the microphone.

Texas Deathmatch
Terry Funk (w/ Dustin Rhodes) vs. Nature Boy Ric Flair

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -  Ric Flair battled Terry Funk in a Texas Deathmatch
Back at Wrestlewar 1989, Terry Funk had turned on Ric Flair, starting a rivalry which apparently was still going on to this day.

Eleven years later, Funk and Flair worked terribly, terribly hard to try and recapture some of the magic they'd had back in that 1989 rivalry but sadly it didn't quite hit the mark.

Flair got the win after a lengthy battle that failed to live up to the expectations you have to believe both men had.
Your Winner: Ric Flair

Backstage, an angry Hulk Hogan talked to Mean Gene about how his rival Lex Luger had broken both his (Hogan's) and Jimmy Hart's arms.

Promising to draw upon the nasty evilness of his former Hollywood persona, the man in Red and Yellow vowed to break Luger's arm in retaliation and then claimed that he would break Miss Elizabeth in half and feed her to The Total Package.

This was a classic, old-school Hogan promo with an extra touch of viciousness and it was highly effective.

The Total Package Lex Luger (w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. Hulk Hogan (w/ Jimmy Hart)

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -  Sting saved Hulk Hogan from a beat down by The Total Package
This was exactly what you'd imagine a Hulk Hogan vs. Lex Luger match would be like.

Hogan clobbered Total Package for a bit. Luger clobbered Hogan for a bit. Hogan Hulked-Up and hit the big boot, yet rather than dropping the leg, he asked for his weight belt from Jimmy Hart. Luger hit a low blow, but Hogan bounced back, dropped the leg anyway and won.

This wasn't the worst thing in history but it was, you know, Hogan vs. Luger, so I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
Your Winner: Hulk Hogan

Post-match, Ric Flair ran in and he and Luger attacked Hogan and Hart until Sting ran down to the rescue.

Prior to the main event, we were shown that the Super Secret Mystery Private Door had been opened and whoever had been inside it had now left, but we had no idea who that person actually was.

No Disqualification Match World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sid Vicious vs. Scott Hall vs. WCW United States Champion Jeff Jarrett (w/ The Harris Boys)

WCW Superbrawl 2000 -  Sid Vicious defended the WCW title against Scott Hall and Jeff Jarrett
You know, it was only a month earlier that Sid had battled Chris Benoit for the vacant WCW title. Benoit had won that match, claimed the title and then immediately dropped it and absconded to the WWF.

As such, Sid had found his way to the championship and was back tonight to defend it in a three-way against Jarrett and Hall. The latter did the bulk of the work here while Sid spent most of his time brawling with The Harris brothers on the outside.

It was a strategy that proved effective in keeping this main event short and sweet.

At one point, Jarrett beat up four successive referees before a fifth, Slick Johnson came to the ring. Apparently, Jarrett and Johnson were in cahoots, which explains why the crooked official refused to count to three after  Hall hit Jarrett with an Outsiders Edge.

Ensuring foul refereeing wouldn't ruin the match, Rowdy Roddy Piper came down in a referee's top, with Tony Schiavone insisting that Piper had been behind the door all along.

Returning to the ring, Sid turned the match into a chokeslam party and retained his title in a match that was far more enjoyable than it looks on paper.
Your Winner and Still WCW Champion: Sid

Sid celebrated with his title as the show went off the air, but the real story here was Scott Hall.

After returning to WCW back in 1996, Hall had played a pivotal role in the company becoming the hottest thing in pro wrestling thanks to the New World Order but now his time with the company had come to an end. After tonight, The Bad Guy would be ceremoniously dumped from the company within a few weeks and would never appear on WCW television again.

For fans of Hall, that meant we'd have to wait another two years for him to reappear in the WWF.





I tried really, really, really hard to like this show. I'm not a masochist. I'm not the sort of person who feels better about themselves by criticising others. If I can praise something, I genuinely will, but my goodness World Championship Wrestling made it so very, very incredibly hard to say anything nice about them.

There was some decent stuff here. The main event, the stretcher match and Kidman/Vampiro were the highlights, but even those matches only really looked good compared to all the crap that surrounded them.

Overall, a decent effort, but not a show I'll be in any hurry to watch ever again for the rest of my life.




For other 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
For more WCW Superbrawl events see:


  • WCW Superbrawl VI (1996)
  • WCW Superbrawl VII (1997)
  • WCW Superbrawl VIII (1998)
  • WCW Superbrawl IX (1999)


  • Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

    Thursday, 21 November 2019

    PPV REVIEW: WCW Souled Out 2000

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Event poster
    January 16, 2000
    Firstar Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Anyone who regularly follows Retro Pro Wrestling will know that reviewing World Championship Wrestling's 1999 PPVs just about killed me off.

    The company had started the last year of the decade pretty well but, by December, they were in a creative mess. One by one, each successive pay per view somehow got worse and worse.

    Throughout the year, most of the company's top stars mentally checked out. The majority of the matches ranged from mediocre to atrocious, and many of the booking decisions were either dumb, nonsensical, or completely frustrating.

    Honestly, watching them was just a trying experience that I almost gave up on this blog altogether.

    Still, it's the start of a new year, so maybe, just maybe, the company could turn it around for one last creative hoorah before they shut up shop a year or so later.

    Of course, we all know that they didn't.






    WCW's last full calendar year of shows has been universally panned as one of their worst ever.

    Still, if I'm ever going to survive, I need simply to live in denial about this and hold on to the hope that somewhere, among all the garbage, there's a few gems.

    Off to a good start

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Mike Tenay, Tony Schavione, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan
    Even at their creative peak, WCW's opening video packages had always been pretty terrible, so it was a good sign that Souled Out 2000 didn't have one. Instead, we got a cold open that took us straight to the announce table.

    Even more good news came in the form of Mike Tenay, who was back where he should have been, taking his rightful place next to Tony Schiavone and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan after being replaced by the mediocre Scott Hudson at last month's Starrcade 1999.

    The trio told us that the card had changed slightly due to injuries to Bret 'The Hitman' Hart and Jeff Jarrett. Those two had been taken off the card and their respective opponents, Sid Vicious and Chris Benoit would now face each other for the vacant WCW title.

    The injury to The Hitman, was, of course, the one that would bring his career to an end that year, though for now, even news that The Best There Is... was hurt couldn't ruin the optimism that this just might be a good show.

    Sadly, there was one thing that could:

    A look at the card.

    With each match represented by a crappy graphic that looked like your technology-illiterate grandma had knocked it up on Microsoft Paint, we were told to look forward to such highlights as Tank Abbott vs. Jerry Flynn, Madusa vs. Oklahoma and Kevin Nash vs. Terry Funk.

    Still, at least the opening match looked promising:

    Triple Threat Theatre: Match 1 - Catch-as-Catch-Can
    Billy Kidman vs. Dean Malenko

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Billy Kidman faced Dean Malenko in the opening match
    Triple Threat Theatre basically meant that Billy Kidman had three separate matches tonight. However, these weren't one after the other, gauntlet style, because that would make too much sense.

    Instead, they would be split up throughout the show, with a different stipulation for each one.

    The stipulation here was 'catch-as-catch-can,' or in Plain English - actual wrestling.

    As part of catch-as-catch-can rules, one stipulation was that you couldn't leave the ring. If both feet touched the floor, you lost the match. The announcers told us that this was to stop Kidman running away, even though he was the babyface.

    At any other time in the company's history,  Dean Malenko vs. Kidman could have been a classic, but in January 2000, it was barely a match at all.

    After about a minute and a half of action, Billy caught Dean with a flurry of offence. Reacting on instinct, The Man of 1,000 Holds obviously forgot the entire concept of the match and bailed to the outside.

    When he returned, referee Charles Robison called for the bell.
    Your Winner via Disqualification: Billy Kidman

    Post-match, both Kidman and Malenko looked furious and stormed off backstage. I'm normally a believer that everything I see on a pro wrestling show is a work, but this was clearly two men who were irate that the finish of their match had been screwed up.

    Vampiro hates David Flair

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Masahiro Chono randomly interrupted Vampiro's promo
    Prior to the next bout, we were shown a video package which recapped Vampiro's feud with David Flair, Crowbar and Daffney. The video package was supposed to help us understand the story between them, but alas, it made about as much sense as, well, as anything else in WCW at the time.

    Out in the back, Scott Hudson tried to interview Vampiro about the rivalry, but instead Masahiro Chono, of all people, randomly arrived on the scene and began ranting in Japanese to the camera.

    Vamp confronted Chono, but before the two could come to blows, we cut to another part of the arena where Mean Gene Okerlund was standing by with David Flair, Crowbar, and Daffney.

    Say what you want about Flair, he had his whole 'sick and demented' thing down to a tee here as he vowed to break Vampiro's bones. Crowbar added that he would then tear Vampiro's flesh and Daffney, that crazy little goth princess, vowed that she would simply pick apart what's left.

    That match was next

    Three-Way Dance
    WCW Tag Team Champion David Flair (w/ Daffney) vs. Crowbar (also w/ Daffney) vs. Vampiro

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Vampiro faced David Flair and Crowbar
    It would have made more sense to call this a handicap match, which is probably the exact reason why WCW didn't do it.

    Regardless as to what you call it, this was at least a pretty entertaining contest that worked by keeping Flair's contributions to a minimum and having the talented Crowbar (Devon Storm) tear it up with Vampiro.

    At one point, Flair did get involved to slap the figure four on Vampiro while his partner catapulted over the ropes and splashed him (Vampiro), but a jealous David prevented Crowbar from getting the fall.

    The two almost came to blows, but instead, Flair proved himself to be his father's son by stopping for kisses with Daffney.

    Not long after, he succumbed to Vampiro's Nail in the Coffin and this one was over.
    Your Winner: Vampiro

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Disco Inferno and The Mamalukes
    Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund was standing by for an interview with The Mamalukes, although apparently they didn't like that name and it wasn't officially what they were called.

    Anyway, Tony Marinara said he had better things to do, and so simply left it up to Big Vito to generally talk up the team ahead of their next match. In a fairly average segment, Vito claimed that, with Disco Inferno in their corner, he and Johnny The Bull had nothing to worry about in their match with The Harris Boys.

    Disco, however, wasn't so sure he could help.

    The Harris Boys (Ron & Don Harris) vs. Big Vito & Johnny The Bull (w/ Disco Inferno)

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - The Mamalukes battled Ron & Don Harris
    The story here was that Disco was a reluctant member of WCW's resident Italian mobster family and didn't really want to help out at all.

    So he simply stood by and watched as Big Vito and Johnny The Bull engaged in a respectably decent tag team contest. This one was never going to set the world on fire, but it did at least hold it's own as a serviceable mid-card bout.

    In the end, Vito climbed to the top rope and Disco pushed him off, hoping to cost The Mamalukes the match. Instead, he pushed Vito right onto Ron or Don Harris. A three count later, and Vito genuinely believed Disco had helped him win the match.
    Your Winners: Big Vito & Johnny The Bull

    Afterwards, Vito embraced a dumbfounded Disco Inferno and claimed to have a new member of the family.

    Out in the back, Madusa talked to her new valet/friend/random person Nitro Girl Spice about how badly she was going to beat Oklahoma for the Cruiserweight Championship.

    World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship
    WCW Cruiserweight Championship Madusa (w/ Spice) vs. Oklahoma

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Oklahoma defended the cruiserweight title against Madusa
    Over the years, the Cruiserweight Championship had given us many an epic battle. Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio Jr., Ultimo Dragon, Juventud Guerrera, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero and others had all given us so many incredible matches for the title but now, now the Cruiserweight Championship had been reduced to playing an unnecessary role in a joke that nobody found funny.

    Madusa had beaten her ex-lover Evan Karagious for the title last month at Starrcade and was still technically the champion, but Oklahoma had the belt because if history has taught us anything, it's that WCW couldn't go more than 90 days without repeating the "heel steals the face's title belt" story.

    Prior to the bell, Oki got on the microphone for some cheap heel heat by declaring that even though he wasn't an athlete, he was a man, and since males were the superior and dominant species, he would easily whoop Madusa.

    If they'd just had Madusa come out and quickly destroy the challenger for a big pop, this could have been tremendous. Instead, they tried to work a competitive match which wasn't offensively bad or anything but was more than anybody wanted to see.

    At one point, Aysa came down to exact some revenge on Oklahoma for an incident that had occurred on Nitro. Yet just when it looked like the challenger was outnumbered by three women, he managed to tug on the weird skirt thing Madusa was wearing and roll her up for the pin.
    Your Winner and NEW WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Oklahoma.

    Yes, you really did just read that.

    Afterwards, Spice and Aysa both held the new champion in place while Madusa poured barbeque sauce over his face and down his singlet, leaving Oklahoma and battered and messy disgrace.

    The Student Has Become The Master

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Brian Knobs
    Out in the back, new WCW Hardcore Champion Brian Knobs gave credit to Fit Finlay for his recent career resurgence but also promised to destroy Finlay in the upcoming Four the Hard Way match because the student, according to Knobs, had now become the master.

    This promo was about a thousand times better than hearing Knobs talk about how nasty he is.

    Four the Hard Way match for the World Championship Wrestling World Hardcore Championship
    WCW Hardcore Champion Brian Knobs vs. Screamin' Norman Smiley vs. Fit Finlay vs. Meng

    'Four The Hard Way' was basically a cute-but-dumb name for a fatal four-way hardcore match. Get it? Because there was four of them and 'four' sounds like 'for' and 'for the hard way,' is erm...something, I guess?

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Brian Knobs successfully defended the WCW Hardcore title against Meng and Norman Smiley
    Hilariously, Screamin' Norman Smiley -always a highlight of the Hardcore Division- came out in full police riot gear. Unfortunately, his choice of attire would prove to be the former's champion's downfall.

    After a fairly average match devoid of any real high spots, Meng was dragged out of the ring after knocking Knobs out. That left the champion as easy pickings for Screamin' Norman. He hit Brian with a low blow then scaled the top, only Knobbs to recover and meet Smiley coming off the top with a full riot shield square in the face.

    One three count later and it was all over.

    This match was proof that more isn't always better. Quite often, one-on-one hardcore matches in WCW were a lot of fun because the combatants could go walking around the arena looking for creative ways to beat each other up. Here, we essentially had five minutes of four men aimlessly wandering around ringside and hitting each other with a trash can.

    the results left a lot to be desired.
    Your Winner and Still WCW Hardcore Champion: Brian Knobs

    Afterwards, Meng embraced Screamin' Norman then threw him out of the ring.

    Triple Threat Theatre: Match 2 - Bunhouse Brawl
    Billy Kidman vs. Perry Saturn

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Perry Saturn faced Billy Kidman in Kidman's second match of the night
    Up to this point, this was the best match on the card by a mile.

    Heading into his second match of the evening, Kidman tore it up with Perry Saturn in a thrilling contest that delivered from bell-to-bell.

    It was well-paced, it was exciting, it was captivating...

    But it wasn't a Bunkhouse Brawl.

    Apart from one single spot in which Saturn sent Kidman sailing over the top rope through a table, nothing about this match would have you believe that it was anything more than a standard singles contest.

    Not that I'm complaining. This was still a tremendous effort and probably better than it would have been had the two tried to have an actual Bunkhouse Brawl.
    Your Winner: Billy Kidman

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Stevie Ray
    Up next, we were shown a video of Stevie Ray wandering through the ghetto, pointing at a homeless person's makeshift shelter and hugging random people who all wanted to know where Booker T was.

    This was all to help Stevie drive home his point that Booker T wanted to forget where he was coming from and wasn't proud of his roots, which was apparently enough for Harlem Heat to break up and the two brothers to have a match tonight.

    Back in the arena, Stevie told Mean Gene that Booker would always be his little brother, but that tonight, he had to go beat him up.

    Booker T (w/ Midnight) vs. Stevie Ray

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Booker T (w/ Midnight) faced Stevie Ray
    Prior to the bell, Booker T took to the microphone to claim that it was actually Stevie Ray who had forgotten where he'd come from. Not that it mattered to Booker. According to him, he was done with his brother and ready to get it on.

    When they did get it on, the resulting match was...well, it was about as good as you might expect a match between Booker T and Stevie Ray to be.

    In other words, it wasn't awful or anything, but it wasn't exactly setting the world on fire either.

    Just when it looked like Booker had put his brother away, an out-of-shape Ahmed Johnson arrived on the scene, making his WCW debut by jumping the rail and helping Stevie Ray attack Brother T.
    Your Winner via Disqualification: Booker T

    With Midnight seemingly too cautious to get back in the ring and help Booker out, Stevie and Fat Ahmed Johnson hit Booker with their finishing moves before Stevie took to the microphone to tell us that the man last seen on a PPV back at WWF No Way Out of Texas 1998 was actually called Big T and that the two were now the new and improved Harlem Heat.

    Ever the eloquent articulator, Johnson Big T took to the microphone to garble some gibberish about fish and how Booker T was going to get fried.

    It was kind of dumb.

    Sid Vicious is Ready for War

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Sid Vicious is interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund
    Out in the back, Sid Vicious told Mean Gene that despite Bret Hart and his version of the nWo doing all the could tarnish the World Heavyweight Championship, he and Chris Benoit were going to have "a hell of a war" for the vacant title.

    To do that, Sid insisted that he and Benoit would have to temporarily throw their friendship out of the window because apparently, the two were friends now.

    Tank Abbott vs. Jerry Flynn

    Jerry Flynn had been in WCW for a couple of years now but this was only his second ever PPV match. Last time we saw him on a PPV, he was facing Ernest Miller back at Uncensored 1999.

    Here, he went up against former UFC star Tank Abbott in what would be Abbot's first WCW PPV.

    I mention that because it's more interesting than anything that happened in this short, shoot-style match.

    After about a minute of grappling, Abbot punched Flynn a bunch of times then knocked him out with a punch and simply walked off, not even bothering to wait until the referee had declared him the winner via knockout.

    Kudos for doing something different, but this wasn't very interesting.
    Your Winner: Tank Abbott

    Up next, we were shown a recap of the recent Diamond Dallas Page/Buff Bagwell feud.

    This had started over rumours that Kimberly Page was having an affair with Buff, but had disintegrated to Bagwell and Page quite literally having a "my d*ck's bigger than yours" argument in the middle of the ring.

    The two would square off here at Souled Out 2000, supposedly to determine who had the bigger penis.

    Last Man Standing
    Diamond Dallas Page vs. Buff Bagwell

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Buff Bagwell faced DDP
    This was billed as "no rules, no referee," although a referee would obviously have to be present to declare a winner.

    I kid you not, this was probably the best match Buff Bagwell would have in his career. Though it wasn't the greatest Last Man Standing Match of all time, it was definitely the greatest match of any kind to include Bagwell, who lay it all on the line to go one-on-one with DDP in a tremendous contest.

    The two wasted no time in taking the match to the outside, brawling through the crowd and to the entrance way, where they both tried to simultaneously destroy each other with monitors from the WCW.com 'Internet Location.'

    Getting back to the ring, the two continued to lay each other out, allowing referee Slick Johnson the fun of getting the crowd involved for a few ten counts.

    At this juncture, Bagwell gained the upper hand and eventually won what turned out to be a brilliantly fun match.
    Your Winner: Buff Bagwell

    Afterwards, Kimberly Page came down and just kind of looked at Buff Bagwell, allowing DDP to attack him from behind.

    Triple Threat Theatre: Match 3 - Cage Match
    Billy Kidman vs. The Wall

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - The Wall faced Billy Kidman in a cage match
    As Kidman stood in the shiny new roofed cage that made this look a bit Hell-in-Cellish, Shane Douglas came down to insult the crowd by calling them all welfare recipients before introducing Kidman's mystery opponent, The Wall.

    Like the majority of this show, the resulting action wasn't exactly terrible, but it was far from gripping. The two worked as basic a big-man/little-man match as you could possibly find, with the cage structure playing so little a role that it might as well have not been there at all.

    After a few minutes of pretty uneventful action, The Wall caught Kidman coming off the top, chokeslammed him and pinned him.

    Yes, the big pay off to Kidman wrestling three times in one night was that he'd get beat in about five minutes.
    Your Winner: The Wall

    Prior to the upcoming Terry Funk vs. Kevin Nash match, we got a brief video package recapping the rivalry between the two.

    No Disqualification Match
    Kevin Nash vs. Terry Funk

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Kevin Nash faced Terry Funk
    If Funk wins, the New World Order is disbanded. If Nash wins, he comes WCW Commissioner.

    Although it doesn't look like much on paper, this one was actually an incredibly fun match because both men played their roles perfectly.

    Nash met Funk on his way to the ring and proceeded to destroy him, beating him to a pulp then powerbombing him through the announce table. At that point, Nash took to the mic and told a battered, bloody and beaten Funker that if he could crawl back in the ring, he could keep his commissioner's job.

    Funk did indeed climb back in the ring, only for Nash to reveal that he was -and I quote- "a lying son of a bitch."

    Mr Middle Aged and Crazy made a brief comeback, but this was basically the dominant Nash obliterating his smaller, older opponent before powerbombing him through two chairs to become our new commissioner.
    Your Winner: Kevin Nash

    Out in the back, Chris Benoit and Sid Vicious were seen warming up for tonight's main event in separate locations.

    Elsewhere in the arena, Scott Hudson interviewed special guest referee, Arn Anderson. Anderson beautifully sold Kevin Nash becoming Commissioner as though it were the worst rise to power since Hitler, speaking in a sombre tone as he told us that WCW would change forever with Nash in charge.

    He then turned his attention to tonight's main event, telling us that there would be no losers even though that blatantly wasn't true.

    World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
    Chris Benoit vs. Sid Vicious

    Match to determine the vacant title
    Special guest referee: Arn Anderson

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Sid Vicious faced Chris Benoit for the vacant WCW title
    You know how WWE Network avoids mentioning Chris Benoit for obvious reasons? Well on this show they tell us that this is "Arn Anderson in a WCW World Title Match," which is pretty funny.

    To give WCW their credit, they made this one seem like a huge deal with super special Michael Buffer introductions and the entire WCW locker room coming out to watch the match from the entrance way.

    Benoit and Sid gave them one heck of a show too, the latter man having his best performance ever outside of his Survivor Series 1996 effort against Shawn Michaels.

    It was a long, valiant effort that would have been the perfect main event if it weren't for the finish.

    Sid got a cover on Benoit, but Anderson rightly pointed out that The Crippler's foot was underneath the rope, breaking the fall.

    Benoit then turned around and slapped on The Crippler Crossface. A second later, Double-A called for the bell despite the fact that Sid's foot was underneath the bottom rope even further than Benoit's had been.

    It was a screwy finish, but at least it would come in handy when the title would once again be declared vacant the following evening.
    Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Chris Benoit

    WCW Souled Out 2000 - Kevin Nash confronted Chris Benoit after Benoit's world title victory
    Out in the back, Benoit gave a heartfelt promo to Mean Gene Okerlund, first putting over Sid as a tremendous competitor before talking about how a childhood trip to see Dynamite Kid compete in Edmonton had inspired his life-long passion for pro wrestling.

    The Crippler was congratulated by Anderson before being interrupted by Kevin Nash.

    Big Sexy told the new champion that he was going to make his life hell and referred to Benoit as "a little turd."

    "Yeah?" quipped Benoit. "Well from a little turd to the big turd...Best of luck."

    With that, Chris Benoit walked out of a WCW show, never to return.

    In his final WCW appearance, The Crippler had finally smashed through the glass ceiling to become the new World Heavyweight Champion, but it was too little, too late if WCW had wanted to keep him among their ranks.

    After tonight, he'd be gone from the company and would join Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero in the World Wrestling Federation just a few weeks later.





    So, were WCW able to put their terrible 1999 behind them and start 2000 with a better show?

    Kind of.

    The truth is that Souled Out 2000 was better than at least the last six months of 1999, but not by a great deal.

    Most of the roster looked unmotivated to deliver anything of substance, and out of 12 matches, only three Kidman/Saturn, Bagwell/Page and Benoit/Vicious were actually watching.

    The rest of the card, while not exactly terrible, was mediocre at best.

    Not a great start then for what would prove to be World Championship Wrestling's last full year of existence.



    For other 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:



    For more WCW Souled Out Reviews see: 
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    Thursday, 7 November 2019

    PPV REVIEW: WCW Starrcade 1999

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Event poster
    December 19, 1999
    MCI Center in Washington, D.C.

    For years, World Championship Wrestling had touted Starrcade as their flagship event. It was the place where feuds that had been raging throughout the calendar year would come to an end, where old grudges were settled and new stars were born.

    Then the 1997 Sting/Hogan event happened and, well, Starrcade was never quite the same again.

    Still, at least on this cold, December night a few days before New Year's Eve, World Championship Wrestling could rightly lay claim to promoting the last ever pro wrestling pay per view of the entire millennium.

    While that may not be enough to give Starrcade 1999 the same gravitas and prestige of earlier events, it does at least go some way to making it a marginally important note in the turbulent history of WCW.

    On that note, let's head to Washington, D.C for the last Starrcade before the turn of the century.





    Strap yourself in for this one

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan called the action
    Before the show got underway, Scott Hudson talked us through all of the matches on tonight's card.

    To be honest with you, the first time I saw this opening video, I turned the show-off and couldn't face coming back to write this review for several weeks.

    Honestly, it looks dreadful, but we've come this far in our journey through the Monday Night Wars that I'm determined to see this through, no matter how painful it might be.

    After that video, we got a second video looking at the two biggest feuds going into the show - Kevin Nash vs. Sid Vicious and Bret 'The Hitman' Hart vs. Goldberg for the title.

    Tony Schiavone then welcomed us to the 17th annual Starrcade and introduced his colleagues, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and Scott Hudson. Quite why we had to have Hudson instead of the awesome Mike Tenay is anyone's guess, but there you go.

    Thankfully, the new WCW bosses had done away with having the announcers spend ages talking about the show before we got any action. Instead, we got straight down to our first match of the evening.

    Disco Inferno & Lash LeRoux vs. Johnny The Bull & Big Vito (w/ Tony Marinara)

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - The Mamalukes faced Disco Inferno and Lash Leroux
    Though the show may have looked terrible on paper, this opening contest proved to actually be not half bad.

    Johnny The Bull and Big Vito hadn't yet been christened The Mamalukes yet, but still looked pretty impressive in their debut PPV match.

    If you don't remember them, they were a couple of goons from a stereotypical New York Italian crime family.

    They also had a manager who was only called Tony Marinara because apparently just flat-out calling him Tony Spaghetti Sauce would have been too obvious.

    That aside, they worked well with Disco Inferno and Lash LeRoux to put on a reasonably entertaining contest with a somewhat silly finish.

    Beaten into a daze, Disco didn't bother to look behind him when he felt another wrestler approach him and instinctively hit the Last Dance (Stone Cold Stunner) on them, only to reveal that he'd actually hit his own partner.

    Big Vito planted LeRoux into the mat, and this one was over.
    Your Winners: Big Vito & Johnny The Bull

    Post-match, The Mamalukes did their best Undertaker impression by knocking Disco out with ethanol then stuffing him into a body bag, only to carry him backstage and immediately let him out of it again so that they could stuff him into the trunk of a limo and drive away.

    Good old' WCW.

    The Crippler Issues an Open Challenge

    Cutting back to the announce team, Tony Schiavone told us that tonight's scheduled ladder match for the United States title between champion Scott Hall and challenger Chris Benoit would not be taking place due to Hall suffering a knee injury.

    Not only would it not be taking place, but Hall had been stripped of the title and Benoit had been awarded it due to forfeit.

    The Crippler's music then hit and he marched down to ringside.

    "Chris Benoit is not scheduled to come out right now," said Tony, as if we were supposed to believe that it was an absolute total coincidence that he'd arrived at the same time they were talking about him.

    Taking to the mic, the new US champion declared that titles should be earned, not given and that as far as he was concerned, the title was vacant.

    However, he knew we'd all come to Washington to see a ladder match, and thus he issued an open challenge to anyone in the back to face him in one for the title later.

    Credit where it's due, this was actually one of Benoit's better promos where he actually showcased some personality.

    World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship
    WCW Cruiserweight Champion Evan Karagious (w/ Spice) vs. Madusa

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Madusa beat Evan Karagious for the Cruiserweight title
    Last month at Mayhem 1999, Madusa and Evan Karagious were a hot couple, but they had apparently split up after Karagious won the cruiserweight title and started shacking up with former Nitro Girl Spice.

    Here, they went at it for the cruiserweight championship in what was a sloppy horror show of a match.

    I mean, honestly, it was atrocious.

    The worst pro wrestling matches are always those that look fake, and this one looked as fake as Madusa's breasts.

    After a few minutes of terrible garbage, Spice turned on Evan by hitting him with the weakest low-blow in history, allowing Madusa to hit a bridging German and pick up the win.
    Your Winner and NEW WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Madusa

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Screamin' Norman Smiley
    Out in the back, WCW Hardcore Champion Norman Smiley refuted Mean Gene Okerlund's accusation that he was afraid of upcoming challenger Meng.

    Screamin' Norman then screamed like a startled little girl at something off camera which Mean Gene told us was the TV producer counting him down.

    It sounds dumb, but it was at least kinda funny.

    "I think I soiled myself. Did I?" asked Smiley as he turned around. Ever the sport, Gene checked out Norman's rump and confirmed that yes, he had.

    World Championship Wrestling Hardcore Championship
    WCW Hardcore Champion Screamin' Norman Smiley vs. Meng

    Late 90s hardcore matches were always fun, but here you had the added comedy value of Screamin' Norman running around and screaming his head off, desperately trying to get away from Meng.

    It wasn't 'good' in the traditional sense of a pro wrestling match, but it sure did make this writer laugh.

    Towards the finish, the champion screamed as he dived over a table and hid while Fit Finlay and Brian Knobs beat up on Meng for seemingly no reason.

    After Finlay laid out Meng with a lead pipe, Smiley returned and pinned him to retain the title.
    Your Winner and Still WCW Hardcore Champion: Norman Smiley

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - David Flair received a new crowbarPost-match, Meng slapped the Tongan Death Grip on referee Nick Patrick.

    Elsewhere in the arena, David Flair had a shiny new crowbar delivered to him in a gift-wrapped box.

    Meanwhile, that dumb Oklahoma gimmick got his boy, Dr Death Steve Williams all fired up, only to be kidnapped by The Misfits.

    Prior to the next match, we got a video package looking back at the time Hacksaw Jim Duggan returned from legitimately beating cancer, only to be saddled with a dumb gimmick where he was WCW's janitor. That somehow led to a feud with The Revolution and to tonight's contest:

    The Revolution vs. Duggan and three mystery opponents. If Duggan won, the Revolution had to do Duggan's janitorial work, but if The Revolution won, Duggan had to denounce the USA...even though I'm pretty sure all of The Revolution were Americans too.

    Prior to the bell, Duggan gave a brief interview to Mike "I should be on commentary" Tenay but said nothing of note.

    The Revolution (Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, Shane Douglas and Asya) vs. Jim Duggan and The Varsity Club (Mike Rotunda, Kevin Sullivan and Rick Steiner) w/ Leia Meow

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Jim Duggan teamed w/ The Varsity Club to face The Revolution
    If you like terrible wrestling, Starrcade 1999 is the show for you.

    Duggan announced The Varsity Club as his partners to the delight and excitement of absolutely no one (not even The Varsity Club). He then proceeded to trade the slowest fists in the universe with Saturn and Dean Malenko while Shane Douglas -who was supposed to be a participant in the match- did commentary.

    Duggan wouldn't tag in Mike Rotunda. He wouldn't tag in Rick Steiner and he wouldn't tag in Kevin Sullivan, who hadn't competed on a WCW PPV since his retirement match with Chris Benoit at Bash at the Beach 1997.

    This apparently pissed off The Varsity Club, who eventually stormed the ring and beat up all of The Revolution and Duggan himself.

    Eventually, they left, and Aysa pinned Duggan to pick up the win.

    This was garbage.
    Your Winners: The Revolution

    Post-match, Douglas got on the microphone and berated a fallen Hacksaw, reminding him that he'd have to denounce the USA on the following evening's Nitro.

    Oklahoma is Locked Up

    Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund stood by with The Misfits, who had Oklahoma locked in a cage. Jerry Only told Okerlund that this was to ensure Oklahoma didn't run away if Vampiro beat Steve Williams because if Williams lost, Vampiro would get five minutes alone with the Jim Ross impersonator.

    Vampiro (w/ The Misfits) vs. Dr Death Steve Williams (w/ Oklahoma)

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Vampiro faced Dr Death Steve Williams
    I have a feeling that by the end of this review, the letters on my keyboard that spell the word GARBAGE will have worn down because that's exactly what this was.

    The Misfits wheeled out Oklahoma in his cage and Vampiro lept off the top of it onto Dr Death on the outside. That was just about the most exciting thing that happened in the whole match, and even calling it exciting is something of a stretch.

    In the ring, Vampiro and Dr Death went back and forth in an uninspired contest before Williams put his hands on referee Charles Robison, leading to the DQ.
    Your Winner via disqualification: Vampiro

    This meant that Vamp got five minutes alone with Oklahoma, but half of those five minutes were spent with Williams beating up Vampiro some more and then being escorted out of the ring by a million security men, all of whom forgot to let Oki out of the cage.

    Eventually, Doug Dillinger set him free and he attacked Vampiro, only for Vamp and The Misfits to eventually gain the upper hand.

    Eventually, Vamp drilled Oki with Nail in the Coffin and ordered Lil Naitch to make the three count. Looking confused as if to say "but this isn't actually a match," Robinson acquiesced anyway and counted the fall.
    Your Winner: Vampiro

    Honestly, I'm bored just writing that.

    The tension in the Air

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Curt Hennig, La Parka, Vincent and Creative Control
    Remember back at Mayhem when Curt Hennig lost a retirement match? Well, this was pro wrestling, so obviously he was back competing again tonight, just a few weeks later.

    Backstage, he was shown standing by with Creative Control, Vincent, and La Parka, wanting to know if The Powers That Be had any instructions for them.

    Off-camera, Vince Russo's voice was heard telling Hennig that his mind wasn't in it tonight because he was pre-occupied with something big that was about to go down.

    Elsewhere in the arena, Stevie Ray blamed the recent tensions between him and Booker T on the addition of Midnight to the Harlem Heat camp and swore that he wouldn't have his brother's back tonight.

    Apparently, the Heat would face Creative Control to determine the number one contenders to the WCW tag team titles.

    Creative Control (Ron & Don Harris) & Curt Hennig vs. Harlem Heat (Booker T, Stevie Ray, and Midnight)

    Curt Hennig and Creative Control beat Harlem Heat
    Stevie Ray no-showed, effectively making this a Booker T & Midnight vs. Creative Control & Curt Hennig handicap match.

    The resulting action wasn't bad but, like almost everything else on this show, it wasn't very good either.

    Midnight played face-in-peril for what felt like forever. When she finally got the hot tag to a super-over Booker T, Stevie Ray (who had arrived moments earlier) got up on the apron to distract Nick Patrick.

    This didn't seem to have much impact, as Patrick still counted Booker's pin attempt, so it wasn't as if they were doing the whole "referee didn't see the tag" schtick.

    At that point, Curt Hennig came in and hit Booker with a random International Object and got the win for his team.
    Your Winners: Curt Hennig & Harlem Heat

    I should point that yes, the number one contenders to the tag team titles were decided in what was -on paper at least- a six-man match.

    I'm Gonna Be Your Fat Daddy

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Dustin Rhodes promised to be Jeff Jarrett's fat daddy
    Up next, we were reminded of the time that Dustin Rhodes returned to WCW as 'Seven,' immediately denounced the gimmick and entered into a feud with Jeff Jarrett.

    This led to Jarrett challenging Rhodes to a Bunkhouse Brawl match, asking "didn't his fat daddy invent the damn thing?"

    Rhodes accepted the challenge, beating up on Double J and insisting "I'm gonna be your fat daddy."

    It's been five minutes since I watched this video and I still can't stop laughing at that.

    Having regained my composure, I continued with the show as Mike Tenay interviewed Dustin. The former (and future) Goldust claimed that WCW firing Dusty was a mistake but that tonight, he would do this for his father's honour.

    Before the interview could properly conclude, Jeff Jarrett attacked and this one was on.

    Bunkhouse Brawl
    Dustin Rhodes vs. Jeff Jarrett

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Dustin Rhodes is Jeff Jarrett's big fat daddy
    Finally, we got something we could enjoy here; an entertaining brawl between two pros who knew what they were doing.

    After beating each other with wheelbarrows, planks of wood and bull ropes, the two took to the ring where referee Billy Silverman tried to stop Dustin from giving Jarrett a good whipping.

    Not to be stopped, Rhodes simply duct taped Silverman to the ropes and slapped an extra piece of tape over his mouth for good measure.

    Not long after, Curt Hennig came down and set Silverman free as Double J slapped a sleeper hold on his opponent.

    From there, we basically got an unadvertised handicap match as Rhodes tried his best to fight off the attack of both Jarrett and Hennig.

    He almost managed it too until the fight went back out to the entrance way. There, Jarrett lept off the ladder intended for our upcoming US title match and smashed Dustin with a guitar shot for the three count.
    Your Winner: Jeff Jarrett

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Diamond Dallas Pae
    Up next, we got a look at the rivalry between Diamond Dallas Page and David Flair before going backstage where Mean Gene was standing by with DDP.

    Page promised Mean Gene that he couldn't wait to get his hands on Flair and, more importantly, that the couldn't wait to get his hands on Flair's crowbar that he could then beat up Nature Boy Jr. with.

    This was, as you might expect, pretty compelling stuff from Page.

    Crowbar on a Pole Match
    Diamond Dallas Page vs. David Flair

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Daffney debuted to help David Flair
    You can insert your own obvious joke about Vince Russo loving 'Things on Poles' matches here.

    Surprisingly, this wasn't actually that bad. I mean, it wasn't good either but it was relatively OK for a David Flair match.

    That is if you ignore the fact that the crowbar never actually came into the actual match.

    Sure, Flair hit Page with it before the bell, and sure that had Lil Naitch declare that Page couldn't compete, only for the former world champion to bravely climb into the ring and start the match, but once the bell rung, the crowbar was a non-factor.

    Flair reached for it and grabbed it about three minutes in, but then he was immediately hit with a Diamond Cutter and this one was over.
    Your Winner: Diamond Dallas Page

    Afterwards, Page hit Flair with another Diamond Cutter, this one from the top rope. Just when he looked set to continue his attack, however, a young woman unknown to the announce team ran in to protect young David.

    Annoyed, Dallas threatened to hit Charles Robinson with the Cutter as the woman we'd later come to call Daffney held onto Flair and laughed like a crazy person.

    A short video package highlighting the Sting/Lex Luger feud followed. That match was next.

    The Total Package Lex Luger vs. Sting
    If Sting wins, Elizabeth's contract with Luger is null and void

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Sting was on to Elizabeth trying to swerve him
    Sting and Lex Luger had been feuding for a while now, with their story taking an interesting turn at the previous month's Mayhem.

    Then, Elizabeth had attempted to blind Sting with Mace, only to "miss" Sting and hit Luger instead (she did such a poor job that she actually pointed the can right at Lex). That had led to Liz and Lex breaking up and Sting apparently protecting the beauty from The Total Package's misogynistic abuse.

    Prior to the bell, we saw Sting encourage Elizabeth not to carry her own can of Mace for her role as his valet, but to use a special 'super strength' one that he gave her.

    The gullible girl went along with it, and down we went to the ring for what was probably the best match you were going to get out of Sting and Luger at this stage in their careers.

    After a decent enough outing, the two clobbered each other with double clotheslines, after which Liz grabbed her Mace then ran in to check on Luger..revealing that she'd been on his side the whole time.

    Realising the Stinger was behind her, she slowly stood up and attempted to spray him with Super Strength Mace, only to reveal that Sting had given her silly string all along.

    The Icon looked to have the match all sewn up, even hitting The Total Package with a wicked looking Stinger Splash from the top rope.

    Alas, Elizabeth returned to the ring with a baseball bat, Sting got taken out with it, and the referee called for the bell.
    Your Winner via Disqualification: Sting

    Post-match, we found out about WCW's weird cost-cutting measures. The company could afford to bring in punk band The Misfits for a throw-away mid-card feud, but they couldn't afford a stretcher for one of their top stars to sell an injury, so Sting had to be literally carried out as if he were Julian Assange being dragged into a police van.

    Next, a look at why Sid Vicious and Kevin Nash were about to lock horns in a powerbomb match, their first one-on-one PPV encounter since In Your House 2: The Lumberjacks back in 1995.

    Powerbomb Match
    Sid Vicious vs. Kevin Nash

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Kevin Nash tells Sid Vicious to suck it
    (Only way to win is to powerbomb your opponent)

    When they wrestled in the WWF, Sid and Nash did at least try to do something. A few years later, however, the two did as little as possible, moving at snail's pace until the horrible, horrible finish.

    The ref got bumped then Sid hit Nash with a powerbomb. Naturally, the referee didn't see it so things continued with a Jeff Jarrett run-in. The Chosen One blasted Sid with a guitar, after which Nash tried -twice- to powerbomb Big Sid, only for his back to give out on him.

    Rather than try a third time, Big Sex simply revived the referee and told him that he'd powerbombed Sid.

    The official, still groggy, took Nash at his word and called for the bell.

    In the words of Randy Orton...STUPID.
    Your Winner: Kevin Nash

    Out in the back, Chris Benoit told Mike Tenay that nobody had answered his open challenge yet but when they did, they'd find out what silent-but-violent is all about.

    I love that his slogan was 'silent-but-violent' yet The Crippler talked more on this show than he had in probably the past two years.

    Ladder Match for the World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
    WCW United States Champion Chris Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Jeff Jarrett answered Chris Benoit's challenge
    As you can probably imagine, this was the best match on the show by a long shot, at least up to this point.

    In fact, it was so good that your reviewer watched it twice, just to make up for having sat through all the horrible wrestling on the rest of the show.

    Though it wasn't the greatest ladder match of all time, both men gave a tremendous effort to deliver a well-paced, bloody and dramatic match that was totally compelling to watch.

    After a captivating performance, Benoit delivered an awesome diving headbutt to Jarrett from the top of the ladder, then climbed up again and retrieved the title.
    Your Winner and Still US Champion: Chris Benoit

    Out in the back, Bret 'The Hitman' Hart gave one his better on-mic performances when he told Mike Tenay that tonight was about proving his doubters wrong and being true to his word by beating Bill Goldberg.

    Finally, it was time for our main event

    World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
    WCW World Heavyweight Champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart vs. Goldberg

    WCW Starrcade 1999 - Bret 'The Hitman' Hart defended the WCW title against Goldberg
    Never has a match been so tremendously good and yet at the same time so frustratingly terrible all at the same time.

    After an initial handshake to establish we had a face vs. face encounter on our hands, both champ and challenger waged war on each other in a thrilling battle that -along with the earlier ladder match- more than made up for all the terrible garbage that went before it.

    Then the finish happened, and it was bad in the kind of way that still has you shouting at your TV, even 20 years after the event.

    All of the referees got knocked out, so Rowdy Roddy Piper came out, walking very slowly and wearing a referee's shirt.

    Bret began to put Goldberg in the Sharpshooter, yet he barely had it synched in before Hot Rod sauntered over to the ropes and lazily rang the bell because even though it was two years later, Hitman Equals Screwjob.
    Your Winner via Screwjob and still WCW Champion: Bret 'The Hitman' Hart.

    Piper then took the belt and left the ring, seemingly hurting his hip as he did so. He walked slowly and apathetically towards the back but was caught up by Hart. Piper handed Bret the belt back and the show..well, the show just kind of ended.





    My recommendation for watching Starrcade 1999? Watch the Meng/Norman Smiley match as your undercard, then skip straight to the ladder match and watch all the way through to the point that the final referee gets knocked out in the main event.

    That should trim the show down from three hours of garbage with about half an hour of good stuff to just half an hour of pretty good stuff.

    Otherwise, avoid this one at all costs. For saying it was the last PPV of the millennium, World Championship Wrestling really didn't do anything to make this feel like mattered.

    You know the worst part of all this?

    There's still another 15 WCW PPVs left to review. God help us all.

    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.