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, 26 March 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Bash at the Beach 2000

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

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

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

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

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

Talk about things coming full circle.

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

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






The Cat Has NO Time for The Young Dragons

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

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

Quite why they did this was never explained.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Flair is a Two-Timing Lowlife

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘This is pretty funny.’ said Tony Schiavone.

It wasn’t.

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

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

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

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

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

That wasn’t funny either.

Where is Hogan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Positively Kanyon’ vs. Booker T

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also, there was this line from Madden:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As it was, they did neither.

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

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

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

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

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

With that, Vamp just kind of walked away.

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

Ok then...

A Franchise Guarantee

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

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

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

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

Buff Bagwell vs. The Franchise Shane Douglas

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post-match, Wilson and Douglas made out.

Nobody wanted to see that.

The Chosen One is Ready for The Hulkster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The irony was that this whole thing actually was planned.

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

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

But first, more Vampiro.

The Dark Circle Has Been Completed

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

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

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

Sting himself wasn’t so sure of that.

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

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

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

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

Goldberg Wants to Destroy The Outsiders

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

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

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

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

Vince Russo Kills Hulk Hogan’s Career

Here’s that promo in full:

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Booker T Will Take His Opportunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

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





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

Thursday, 5 March 2020

PPV REVIEW: The Great American Bash 2000

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - event poster
June 11, 2000
Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland

Say what you will about Vince Russo's reputation as a booker, with the oft-reviled writer at the helm, World Championship Wrestling spent the first half of 2000 enjoying their best run of PPV shows in years.

Sure, the horrible finishes and blatant disregard for standard pro wrestling tropes had made the previous month's Slamboree 2000  a frustrating and perplexing experience, but much of the in-ring action had been solid and the show as a whole left you with the smallest amount of hope that the company might yet be able to turn things around.

Of course, it speaks volumes about the state of WCW at the time that the show -featuring WCW World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette in the main event- had so many things wrong with and yet was still better than a lot of the company's recent output, but honestly, at this stage in the game, being able to say anything positive at all about the company was nothing short of a miracle.





Would Russo and WCW be able to continue their hot streak, or would it be back to nonsensical, frustrating, terrible business as usual?

Let's head to the Baltimore Arena to find out as World Championship Wrestling presents The Great American Bash 2000.

Goldberg is Back...But Also Not Booked

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone, and Mark Madden called the show
What do you do if you're WCW and you have your hottest homegrown star, Bill Goldberg, returning to action after an injury?

Book him in a high-profile PPV match in order to generate interest and PPV buys?

Of course not, that would be logical and sensible.

If you're WCW, you have him return to much fanfare and save former rival Kevin Nash from a Rick Steiner/Tank Abbot beatdown. You then book Nash in the PPV main event for the world title and run an angle where Goldberg, the red hot star, is not only not booked in a match but is banned from the arena.

#BecauseWCW.

Tony Schiavone reminded us of all this nonsense before we cut live to the arena, where wimpy-looking policemen stood by, ready to arrest Big Bill if he dared show up.

This segued into our opening video package which told us about tonight's matches. Besides the Nash/Jeff Jarrett world title fight, we'd also see Ric Flair promising to retire forever (lol) if he lost against son David Flair, and Vampiro taking on Sting in a 'Human Torch' match in which the only way to win was to set your opponent on fire.

Pyro and crowd shots followed, accompanied by our official greeting from Schiavone and fellow announcers Scott Hudson and Mark Madden.

With that, it was right onto our opening contest.

World Championship Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Leuitenant Loco (w/ General Rection, Major Stash, Corporal Cajun, and Major Gunns) vs. Disco Inferno (w/ Konnan, Rey Mysterio Jr., Juventud Guerrera, and Tygress)

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Konnan and Disco Inferno of The Filthy Animals
This was about as chaotic a mess as you could possibly get in four short minutes.

Prior to the bell, General Hugh G. Rection (Hugh Morrus), had his men Major Stash (Van Hammer), Corporal Cajun (Lash LeRoux), Major Gunns, and Cruiserweight Champion Leitenant Loco (Chavo Guerrero) fall in line. Chavo took to the microphone and pulled out a toy grenade that he threatened to use in his match.

Geddit? Cos he was loco!

Sigh.

Disco Inferno then came out wearing an LA Lakers uniform and accompanied by The Filthy Animals, who had taken in Disco Inferno for reasons which weren't really made clear.

The resulting match could have been a good one but with eight people at ringside, there was too much going on to really tell.

At one point, some crazy old man in an old-school military uniform came down to the ring and "had a heart attack" when Konnan yelled at him.

Back in the ring, Juvi -now doing his impersonation of The Rock- got up in the ring and tried to hit Loco with a People's Elbow. He missed, giving Corporal Cajun to get in the ring, blast Disco and drape Chavo's arm over Disco in full view of the referee.

The referee didn't care and counted the fall anyway.
Your Winner and Still WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Leutnenant Loco

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Major Gunns with her major gunsYuck. The only good thing about that match was Major Gunn's ass.

Speaking of whom, the Misfits in Action beauty stripped down to her bikini top in the post-match so that she could give the crazy old man mouth-to-mouth and revive him from his heart attack. As a thank you, the geriatric lunatic got up and sexually molested her.

Meanwhile, out in the back, policemen assured Eric Bischoff that the area was secure and everything was going according to plan. Ernest Miller was also there but did nothing of note.

Mean Gene Annoys the Mamalukes

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews The Mamalukes
Backstage, the s**t-stirring Mean Gene Okerlund caused trouble among Big Vito and Johnny The Bull.

First, he offended them by calling them The Mamalukes (they wanted to be known as the Paisans), then, after giving the two a brief moment to talk about their upcoming tag match against Kronik, he caused trouble by questioning which one of them was really the WCW Hardcore Champion.

Big Vito wore the belt, but Okerlund wondered whether it was really Johnny The Bull who should be recognised as the champion.

This was entertaining enough, though didn't really add much to the show.

The Mamalukes (Big Vito & Johnny The Bull) vs. Kronik (Brian Adams & Bryan Clark)

This one started off as a reasonable effort match but soon disintegrated into a mess.

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Big Vito refused to take off the Hardcore Championship belt for The Mamalukes match with Kronik
Despite Big Vito caring more about the hardcore title (which he refused to take off), he and Johnny The Bull held their own against the veteran team of Bryan Clark and Brian Adams until Clark tossed Vito's title out of the ring.

The big man left the ring to get it, leaving Johnny The Bull to botch his way through a sloppy closing segment in which he looked completely lost and messed up a top rope moonsault.

Not that it mattered. Kronik soon planted him with their High Times finisher (a double chokeslam) and this one was done.
Your Winners: Kronik

This meant that Adams & Clark were now the number one contenders to the tag team titles currently held by Shawn Stasiak & Chuck Palumbo.

Page Has Something Special for Mike Awesome

Backstage, Diamond Dallas Page spoke to Pamela Paulshock's boobs about his upcoming Ambulance Match with Mike Awesome.

DDP, who I think was supposed to be the babyface here, called Paulshock a bimbo before disputing her claim that Awesome was a career-killer. Tonight, the Master of the Self High-Five promised that he had something special in store for Awesome.

Ambulance Match
Mike Awesome vs. Diamond Dallas Page

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Pamela Paulshock interviewed Diamond Dallas Page
Yes, this was in retribution for Awesome throwing Chris Kanyon off the top of the cage back at last month's Slamboree 2000. Yep, Awesome had 'killed' Kanyon's career.

Naturally then, Page's "something special," was Kanyon himself, who wore a halo and had to be pushed out onto the stage in a wheelchair. He stayed there while Dallas went to war with Awesome in what was a decent but by no means spectacular brawl.

At one point, Page's ex, Kimberley came to the ring and bashed Dallas across the back with a lead pipe, but she was dragged to the back by Miss Hancock for reasons which were never explained.

DDP made a comeback, giving us the highlight of the match when he hit the Diamond Cutter on Awesome from the top rope. The former ECW star was placed on a stretcher and wheeled up the ramp, but before he could be put in the ambulance, Eric Bischoff's music hit and he levelled DDP with a chair. While all this was going on, Kanyon made a miraculous recovery, standing out of his wheelchair, throwing off his halo and hitting DDP with a better-looking Diamond Cutter off the stage than the one Page himself had just used.

The #BecauseWCW of it all the continued when Kanyon helped the man who had 'killed' his career win the match by loading Page onto the stretcher.

Awesome and Kanyon had a great match back at Slamboree, and Page could turn it up a notch when he wanted to. Taking those two factors into consideration, this could have been a great match, but it sadly was not to be.
Your Winner: Mike Awesome

After Page was driven out of the arena in the ambulance, the announcers talked over what we'd seen so far, killing time until Booker T could zip line his way to the ring. I guess WCW were really going all out with this f**k you Owen Hart stuff, weren't they?

Boot Camp Match
G.I Bro vs. WCW Tag Team Champion 'PerfectShawn' Shawn Stasiak

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Booker T as G.I Bro faced Shawn Stasiak
I should mention here that Booker was working as G.I Bro, the gimmick he'd used when he first broke into professional wrestling and had revived here so that he could for some reason be part of the Misfits in Action stable.

Meanwhile, Shawn Stasiak was the WCW tag team champion but was fighting Booker T here for reasons which were never explained. Not content with stealing Curt Hennig's gimmick, 'PerfectShawn' dressed up in camo -face paint and all- for this boot camp match.

In case you were wondering, Boot Camp is basically Last Man Standing, beat-the-ten-count rules.

At first, the whole thing started as one of the better matches on the card but soon turned into one, long, sleeper-hold-filled snooze fest that elicited a loud "boring" chant from the Baltimore faithful.

Towards the end, Stasiak's tag team partner, Chuck Palumbo, came out with a flex bar he'd stolen from Lex Luger. The duo used it to beat up G.I Bro and got a nine-count, but apparently, the WCW tag team scene was so poor that its champions could be single-handily beaten up by one dude.

That dude was Booker T, and he won the match.
Your Winner: G.I Bro.

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Kanyon
Out in the back, Kanyon was seen rummaging through some clothes. I'm not sure if they were his, or if his recent injury meant that he'd fallen on such hard times he had to steal them from somebody else's suitcase.

Either way, we'd never find out for sure because he was accosted by Mean Gene, who wanted to know one thing:

Why?

Because Eric Bischoff visited Kanyon in the hospital more than anyone else and told him that all he had to do to get DDP's spot was to take him out. Gleefully, Kanyon gloated about doing just that, but Okerlund wasn't so sure the former Mortis had achieved his goal. After all, we were shown Page breaking out of the ambulance, punching a defenceless EMT (remember: DDP = babyface), and going off.

As he wandered into the parking lot, Goldberg made a subtle and discreet entrance in a huge monster truck with his name branded on it.

Back in the arena, Kanyon didn't seem too bothered by any of this, and declared himself to be "Positively Kanyon."

Hmm, doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Tables Match
The Franchise Shane Douglas vs. The Wall

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Shane Douglas faced The Wall in a stupid tables match
You want a straight-forward wrestling match with no gimmicks? Well, this WCW, so f*** you.

And f***  you, Baltimore, because The Franchise Shane Douglas is a heel who hates you...

...or maybe he isn't.

Before the match, Douglas cut a confusing promo in which he started off by calling the crowd 'Baltimore pieces of s**t'.

Years later, the WWE Network would leave that line intact in all its uncensored glory. Douglas then took a moment to take shots at Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan, because he was physically incapable of opening his mouth without the Nature Boy's name coming out of it.

That, however, wasn't the confusing part.

The confusing part was that Douglas then decided that this was going to be a "Best of Five" tables match, and then appealed to the audience, turning to them and asking "Would Baltimore like to see that?" with all the enthusiasm and excitement of a babyface.

Then again, this was WCW, so I don't know why I'm surprised by such nonsense, or why I'm surprised that the announcers couldn't figure out that a "best of five" match meant that the first man to put his opponent through three tables won the whole thing.

Once the match got started, Douglas mostly got his ass kicked by The Wall and was chokeslamed through two tables in a matter of minutes. Whenever he did get in some offence, Douglas played to the crowd and received the obligatory EC-DUB! chant in response. I guess the Baltimore crowd really didn't mind being called pieces of s**t.

To be fair, the spirit of ECW was strong in its former champion tonight. Having gone through two tables, The Franchise made a miraculous and almost instantaneous recovery, luring The Wall out of the ring to a spot by the entranceway where two tables had been set up with a ladder placed in front of them. It was as though it was purposefully set up so that somebody could be pushed off the ladder and crash through the two tables or something.

Did I mention there were TWO tables? Of course, I did, because this was important, and also very obvious. There were two tables. Predictably, Douglas climbed to the top of the ladder. The wall chased after him with his back to the TWO tables and choked him out. As he did this, the announcers pointed out -several times- that there were only TWO tables.

Shane then produced some brass knuckles from his tights and punched The Wall with them. This caused The Wall to blatantly jump backwards and crash through the TWO tables.

That would even the score, right? Two tables a piece? Next man to put his opponent through a table wins?

Nope.

This was WCW, so f**k you, we're now going to say that The Wall went through three tables and Shane Douglas is the winner.
Your Winner: Shane Douglas

Afterwards, the people Shane Douglas had called pieces of s**t applauded him. The Wall then grabbed referee Slick Johnson by the throat and chokeslammed him through a table.

We then got a replay of the finish, with the announcers blatantly ignoring the fact that there were only two tables set up and pretending it was three.

This company, honestly.

Out in the back, Hulk Hogan pulled up in his car and headed to the arena. The Hulkster was adorned in full 'Hollywood' regalia, complete with massive black and white boas.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship 'Asylum' Match
WCW United States Champion Scott Steiner (w/ Shakira & Midajah) vs. Tank Abbot & Rick Steiner

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Scott Steiner faced Tank Abbott and Rick Steiner
By this point, I'm starting to think that WCW could have cancelled this whole show, put up a screen that just said "F-U" for three hours, and it would have still been somehow more entertaining than the show Great American Bash 2000 was turning out to be.

To begin with, I'm not even sure if this was actually for the US title. I'll go ahead and say that it was, because why not? It's not like anything actually mattered here.

Then, we were told that the 'Asylum' match was Scott Steiner's signature bout so, to make things fair, Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff had made it a handicap match, with Rick Steiner joining Scott's original opponent, Tank Abbot.

A UFC-style circular cage then descended into -not around, but into- the ring, as Tank and The Dog Faced Gremlin beat up on Big Poppa Pump.

It was tedious, but it did at least get a little interesting when Tank Abbot pulled out a chain, only for Rick to urge him not to use it. The former UFC fighter seemed to oblige but then destroyed Rick with the chain.

Scotty made a miracle comeback, blasted Abbot with the chain and locked on the Steiner Recliner for a win inside about three minutes.

This was some piece of garbage.
Your Winner and Still WCW US Champion: Scott Steiner

Out in the back, Ric Flair turned up in a limousine with his whole family (including a young Charlotte Flair) in tow. In a case of terrible continuity, Goldberg's monster truck pulled up in the background and the announcers acted like it was the first time we'd seen it.

Blood is Thicker Than New Blood, Dude

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Mean Gene interviews Hollywood Hulk Hogan about his match with Billy Kidman
After a promo recapping the intense rivalry between Hulk Hogan and Billy Kidman, Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed The Hulkster about his upcoming match. Addressing the stipulation that he would have to retire if he lost (yes, just like Flair), Hogan dismissed it and claimed that he and Mean Gene would last forever.

On the subject of his nephew, Horace Hogan, being the special guest referee, Hogan insisted that blood was thicker than New Blood, dude.

Finally, Hogan addressed his wearing of the Hollywood attire, claiming that he had to change with the times. Changing the times for Hogan meant going back to something that had worked for him four years previously.

This was pretty good, old-school stuff from Hogan, and certainly one of his better promos.

Billy Kidman vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan

Special Guest Referee: Horace Hogan

Hogan even came out to the classic nWo theme, which was pretty cool.

Meanwhile, special guest referee Horace Hogan was now friends with Kidman, despite being on Uncle Hulk's side only four weeks earlier at Slamboree.

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Hollywood Hulk Hogan attacks Billy Kidman
That aside, this was a better match than a lot of people give it credit for. Yes, it was mostly just Hogan destroying 'flea market champion' Kidman for the better part of ten minutes, but compared to the utter abomination that the rest of the show had been, it was a refreshingly straight-forward and enjoyable contest.

Throughout the match, Kidman spent half the time growing increasingly frustrated at his 'friend' Horace's commitment to calling the match down the middle and the other half getting his ass kicked. Sure, at one point he gained a brief bit of offence and even went to DDT Hogan onto a chair, but Hogan's head stopped about two feet away from the chair, making the whole thing look stupid.

In the closing stretch, Hogan hiptossed Kidman through the announce table in what was the best move in the match. That brought out Torrie Wilson, who had been having her troubles with Kidman and decided to settle their domestic dispute by handing Hogan a pair of brass knuckles.

Hopefully, they weren't the same pair that had been down Shane Douglas' tights earlier in the evening.

Kidman got hold of the International Object and took out Horace, but got a low-blow from Torrie. That allowed Hogan to put on the knucks, blast his opponent and win the match.
Your Winner: Hollywood Hulk Hogan

Post-match, Hulk and Horace reunited as the announcers reminded us that Hogan's win meant he earned a title shot at Bash at the Beach. That, my friends, would only spell trouble.

Speaking of trouble, back in the dressing room, Eric Bischoff was seen yelling at a policeman for not keeping the arena secure enough from Goldberg.

A Word With The Flairs

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Pamela Paulshock interviews Vince Russo and David Flair
Elsewhere in the arena, Pamela Paulshock got in an unexpected burn on David Flair.

"David, good luck in retiring your father Ric Flair tonight, because you're gonna need it," said the backstage interviewer, drawing the ire of both Flair and his manager/surrogate father, Vince Russo.

Doing all the talking for David, Russo ranted and raved about how badly David was gonna hurt his dad in what turned out to actually be a pretty decent promo.

Not that it was anywhere near the level of the Nature Boy's promo. Speaking live to Mean Gene  Meeeeeeean WOOOO! GENE, The Nature Boy promised to style, profile, and walk that ilse en route to destroying his eldest son.

David Flair (w/ Vince Russo) vs. Nature Boy Ric Flair

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - A young Charlotte Flair (top-right) in the audience with her family to watch Ric Flair vs. David Flair
It says a lot about this show that a David Flair match was the best thing on it, at least up to this point anyway.

Obviously, the quality was all down to Ric walking his eldest son through the whole thing as David himself was barely competent.

The two put on a decent couple of minutes that got a little weird when Russo handcuffed Ric Flair's hands together. Referee Charles Robinson allowed that but had a problem with David using the ropes for leverage in a figure four.

At that point, Reid and Ashley (Charlotte) made their PPV debuts by getting involved. Reid hit Russo with a low blow and stole the keys so that Robinson could set Nature Boy free, after which Ashley used those same keys to handcuff Russo's arms together.

Back in the ring, Ric slapped the figure four on David and this one was over.
Your Winner: Ric Flair

Afterwards, Flair chopped the bejeebus out of Russo, prompting to Russo to call Ric's kids 'bitches' and promise to end Flair's career himself on the following evening's Nitro broadcast.

A quick video recapping the Sting vs. Vampiro rivalry followed, then it was time for the two to lock horns.

Human Torch Match
Vampiro vs. Sting

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Sting lights the torch for his Human Torch match with Vampiro
Sting started the match stood atop the 'Nitrovision' (titantron) and lit a torch, telling Vampiro that if he wanted to fight him, he'd have to follow him up there.

Vamp initially refused and looked horrified at even the mere suggestion of climbing up there. Sure, setting people on fire he had no problem with, but climbing a 45ft platform?

That was too much for Vampiro.

At least it was for the first three minutes, after which he willingly climbed up there anyway once The Stinger abseiled down and got in the ring for a quick brawl.

Once both men were safely back on top of the platform, we got thunder and lightning sound effects as the arena lights flashed on and off. Seriously, you thought The Fiend's red light was distracting in 2019?

Those matches are the picture of clarity compared to this.

After a few minutes of hardly anything happening, the lights went completely dark so that Sting could trade places with a stuntman. I think that's what happened anyway. I mean, there's always the possibility that in the few seconds of absolute darkness, Sting gained about 50 lbs and had a haircut. Fake Sting got set on fire, then stood at the edge of the tron, took a deep breath, then took the fakest 'professional stuntman' dive down onto a concealed inflatable mattress below.

As I write this, I've been watching professional wrestling for 28 years and that was easily the fakest thing I've ever seen.
Your Winner: Sting

Afterward, the announce team acted as though the terrible fall by 'Sting' had all but killed him. Again, F-U, Owen Hart.

"This is not wrestling anymore," said Scott Hudson.

He wasn't wrong.

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Pamela Paulshock interviews grey-haired Eric BischoffThere is No Surprise

Is it just me, or does Eric Bischoff look a little like his former opponent, Jay Leno in this picture?

Here, we saw him confronted by Pamela Paulshock, who interrupted Bischoff's phone call by sticking her boobs in his face and demanding to know what the mystery surprise was that he'd been promising throughout the show.

Furious, Bischoff claimed there was no surprise after all and send Paulshock packing.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. Kevin Nash

As I write this, there are about 25 minutes left on this show. Look, I like Kevin Nash, and I don't mind the odd Jeff Jarrett match, but do I want to see them wrestling each other for 25 minutes?

WCW - The Great American Bash 2000 - Kevin Nash challenged Jeff Jarrett for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Heck no.

Thankfully, I wouldn't have to. Some of that time was wasted by WCW Commissioner Ernest 'The Cat' Miller coming out and announcing that some 'celebrities' would be involved in the match.

Those 'celebrities' were basically The Filthy Animals, who were filling in such roles as guest 'bell-ringer' and 'timekeeper' while Miller declared himself to be the 'special ring enforcer and referee.'

Yawn.

Still 20 minutes to go.

The action got underway with Jeff Jarrett taking an approach that no wrestler before him had ever thought of:

Attacking Kevin Nash's legs.

He worked over Big Sexy's giant pins for a good few minutes. Not a single person cared. This wasn't just because it was incredibly boring, but because everybody was waiting for the inevitable Goldberg appearance and spent most of the match looking out to the entrance for him.

Eventually, the combatants managed to capture the audience's attention when referee Micky Jay took a ref bump, giving us the only enjoyable part of the match with the Filthy Animals running interference and The Cat playing 'Evil Referee,' only for Nash to defy the odds and beat the hell out of them all.

Predictably, Goldberg did show up.

He hit the ring, sized up Jarrett, and then SWERVE! He hit Kevin Nash with the spear. This was also very predictable when you consider WCW's recent track record of doing the STUPIDEST THING POSSIBLE at every opportunity.

Goldberg's involvement allowed Jarrett to cover Nash. Big Bill revived Micky Jay long enough to make the count, and this was done.
Your Winner and Still WCW Champion: Jeff Jarrett

Post-match, Bill Goldberg posed with Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo to close the show.






Throughout all the years that I've been writing these reviews, I've found that the best way to approach a bad show is with humour. Mock it a little, have fun with it, make a joke about all the weird, ridiculous and awful things that happen in the name of pro wrestling.

Yet, as I've learned the hard way today, there's only so long you can do this before it stops being funny.

By the summer of 2000, World Championship Wrestling had stopped being funny.

At Slamboree, I mentioned how there had at least been some decent wrestling, even if it was overshadowed by lousy creative decision making.

However, Great American Bash 2000 didn't even have decent wrestling to save it from being one of the worst shows of all time. I don't say that lightly, either.

Since I started Retro Pro Wrestling, I've reviewed every WWF PPV from Wrestlemania 1 up to Judgement Day 2000. I've reviewed every WCW show from Superbrawl 1996 onwards, and I've even reviewed the terrible disaster that was Heroes of Wrestling 1999. Out of all those shows, I can't think of many -if any- that have infuriated me, disappointed me, and made me want to quit this whole thing any more so than this one.

Honestly, the only reason I would advise you to go anywhere near this mess is to see Charlotte Flair before she was Charlotte Flair.

Everything else basically just "because we're WCW, so f**k you.'



For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
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Thursday, 20 February 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Slamboree 2000

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Terry Funk is Middle-Aged and Crazy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shawn 'The Perfect One' Stasiak vs. Curt Hennig

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I mean for f***'s sake.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kanyon would take on New Blood member Mike Awesome next.

Mike Awesome vs. Chris 'Champagne' Kanyon

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russo owns Elizabeth

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

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

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

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

The Total Package Lex Luger vs. Buff Bagwell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shane Douglas Hates Ric Flair

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

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

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

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

Shane Douglas vs. Nature Boy Ric Flair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vampiro is a Freak

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

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

Vampiro vs. Sting

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

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

The only drawback was the lax officiating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeff Jarrett is The Chosen One, Slap Ass

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

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





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