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 wcw. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wcw. Show all posts

Thursday, 6 August 2020

PPV REVIEW: NWA Starrcade '83: A Flare for the Gold

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold Review - Event poster
November 24, 1983 
Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, North Carolina

"Folks, we've come a long way since Ric Flair vs. Harley Race at Starrcade '83."

That was Tony Schiavone, commenting at the end of a Bunhouse Street Fight between Jeff Jarrett and the Harris Brothers and The Filthy Animals at Starrcade 2000.

That one single line sticks out to me more than anything else that happened on that show. It stuck out partly because of how bewildered and bemused by the state of then-modern pro wrestling that was evident in Schiavone's voice.

After all, he was there at the very beginning. He'd seen it all -the good, the bad, and The Yhetti. So if anyone knew how much things had changed, it was Tony.







It also stuck out to me because it made me realise that I'd never actually seen Starrcade 1983. Not once had I sat down to witness the birth of an event that would often be referred to in later years as 'WCW's answer to Wrestlemania.'

Of course, that simply wasn't true. If anything, Wrestlemania was the WWF's answer to Starrcade, an event which proceeded Vince's annual spectacle by a good two years.

Without further ado then, let's head down to the Greensborough Coliseum for the debut of the NWA/WCW's flagship event.


Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold

Gordon Solie and Bob Caudle host the show, but there’s no opening gambit, no video package or special welcome, just straight to the ring for our opening match.

The Assassins (w/Paul Jones) vs.  NWA Mid-Atlantic Champion Rufus R. Jones & Bugsy McGraw.

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - The Assasins beat on Rufus R. Jones
If you ever find yourself in a pro wrestling trivia contest and are asked to name the participants of the first-ever Starrcade match, don’t feel too bad if you don’t remember it.

After all, there was nothing particularly memorable about tonight’s opening contest.

Sure,  NWA Mid-Atlantic Champion Rufus R. Jones and Bugsy McGraw were entertaining in their own unique way, throwing their arms around a lot and doing the whole ‘crazy babyface’ thing, but much of the actual action was nothing to write home about.

After minutes, the masked Assassins pulled a switch-a-roo to score a win that this writer did not see coming.
Your Winners: The Assasins

After the official welcome from Caudle and Solie, we went backstage to a fresh-faced Tony Schiavone. One thing I will say, I love how Solie pronounced Tony’s name as Sch-Phoney.

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Tony Schiavone hangs out backstage as Roddy Piper talks to Ric Flair and Mark Youngblood
Anyway, out in the back, the NWA/WCW mainstay told us that tonight he would be conducting exclusive backstage interviews from inside the locker room, something Schiavone claimed was a first in pro wrestling.

Whether it was or not, I couldn’t say, but I did enjoy this segment. As the company’s future lead announcer spoke, we saw Ric Flair and Rowdy Roddy Piper talking in the background.

At one point, Charlie Brown from Outa Town (Jimmy Valiant in a mask) walked by and then Ricky Steamboat came up to say hi to Flair and Piper, all showing us that the wrestlers -at least the babyfaces- all shared one dressing room.

If you ask me, that was far more realistic than pretending every wrestler had his own dressing room like the major companies would eventually do.

Johnny Weaver & Scott McGhee vs. Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin (w/Gary Hart)

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Johnny Weaver & Scott McGhee vs. Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin (w/Gary Hart)
Our second tag match of the evening was a decent contest but again, not something that anybody would remember or be in any hurry to rush out and see.

Scott McGhee played face-in-peril for a while before finally making the hot tag to Johnny Weaver, but neither man was any match for Kevin Sullivan and Mark Lewin on this night.

The nefarious heels used multiple quick tags to get the better of their opponents before picking up the win with - of all things- a flying knee to the arm courtesy of Mark Lewin.

Well, come on, it was 1983.
Your Winners: Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin

Post-match, Garry Hart gave his men some kind of spike that Sullivan and Lewin used to stab McGhee in the face multiple times until he bled like the proverbial stuck pig.

Angelo Mosca eventually made the save, but the damage had already been done.  After a brief struggle, Mosca sent the heels packing then lifted McGhee over his shoulder and carried him out of the arena like a baby.

Harley Has Done his Homework

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Tony Schiavone interviews Harley Race, with Greg Valentine and Gerry Brisco
Somewhere on the front row, Barbara Clary interviewed a family of fans who were all excited to see Ric Flair win his match with Harley Race later on in the show.

Meanwhile, out in the back, Tony Schiavone had words with the World Heavyweight Champion himself. Flanked by US champion Greg Valentine and tag team champions The Briscos, Race took his time and cut a deliberate, almost sinister promo in which he claimed to have spoken to people who knew his opponent well and had learned everything he needed to know about Flair's flaws and weaknesses.

Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah The Butcher

The announcers told us that this match had been banned in Puerto Rico, presumedly for being too violent.

To be honest, there wasn't much to this match. I've never really seen the appeal in Abdullah The Butcher and this did little to change my mind.

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Carlos Calon attacks Abdullah the Butcher
Early on, Abby got Carlos Colon in the corner and discretely stabbed him with an International Object out of view of the referee.

A little while later, Colon managed to seize control of the object and stab The Butcher repeatedly with it. It was done in such a way that we were supposed to believe he was hiding the weapon, but the referee had to be a blind idiot not to see it.

Eventually, the official got knocked down by Carlos and inadvertently squashed by Abby. Colon applied a figure four, but future WWF Spanish Commentator Hugo Savinovich ran in and hit him in the head with something.

One three-count from a groggy official later and this was all wrapped up.

As I say, there wasn't much to this match and I can't really rate it all that highly, but to give them their credit, something these two did really got the crowd fired up.
Your Winner: Abdullah The Butcher

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Angelo Mosca cuts an angry promo about Kevin Sullivan and Mark Lewin
Backstage, Angelo Mosca was nursing a wound he suffered while rescuing Scott McGhee from the hands of Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin.

With a battered, bloody McGhee slumped by his side and looking like he might die at any moment, Mosca cut an impassioned promo in which he scolded Lewin and declared that even if he had only one arm, he'd still be on hand to referee tonight's tag team championship match.

Out in the crowd, Barbara Clary interviewed two young women with awesome 80s haircuts. Both girls were looking forward to seeing Ric Flair take the title later on in the show.

Dick Slater & Bob Orton Jr. vs. Wahoo McDaniel and Mark Youngblood

If you like tag team matches, this is the show for you. We're currently on three tag matches out of four matches total, and there's at least one more to follow in the form of the tag team title match.

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood faced Dick Slater and Bob Orton Jr.
Fortunately, this one was far superior to the other two and proved to be highly enjoyable from beginning to end.

Not from the very beginning, you understand - at the very beginning, the ring announcer decided that this was the most appropriate time to tell us that Dusty Rhodes was in the house, but his mic cut out so it was all kinds of awkward and weird.

But after that, the two teams went at it in a really solid bout.

Mark Youngblood did almost all of the work for his team, throwing dropkicks around like candy and playing face-in-peril before making the crowd-popping hot tag to Wahoo McDaniel.

Alas, his efforts were for nought.

Dick Slater and Bob Orton Jr. -both of whom looked awesome throughout this match- got the win when Orton drilled Youngblood with a second-rope superplex.
Your Winners: Dick Slater & Bob Orton Jr.

Afterwards, Slater and Orton took turns attacking McDaniel's arm like the dastardly heels that they were.

Flair is Ready for Race

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Ric Flair chats to Jay Youngblood and Ricky Steamboat backstage
Backstage, a sombre Ric Flair told Tony Sch-Phoney that he was ready for Harley Race before wishing his friends, Jay Youngblood and Ricky Steamboat, luck in their upcoming tag team title match.

In response, Jay Youngblood mumbled his way through an ill-advised promo in which he talked about training with Flair at Steamboat's gym.

This was not good at all.

Dusty Rhodes Says it All...


...well, at least he tried to.

Out in the crowd, Barbara Clarey attempted an interview with The American Dream only for the show to suffer audio difficulties once again.

Dusty didn’t care one bit that nobody could hear him. He went off on what looked like a very impassioned promo, but honestly, you couldn’t hear a word of it.

‘Dusty Rhodes said it all there,’ said Sollie said with a level of sincerity that made the whole thing hilarious before adding... 'well, if you can read his lips, you can tell what he’s saying’

Title vs. Mask Match for the National Wrestling Alliance World Television Championship
NWA World TV Champion The Great Kabuki (w/ Garry Hart) vs. Charlie Brown

True story:

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - The Great Kabuki defended the TV title against Charlie Brown
Once upon a time in the early 90s, I found an old VHS tape on a market stall that featured a few NWA matches. Many years later, the only wrestler I remember being on that tape besides Ric Flair was Charlie Brown from Outa Town.

If you’re not familiar with Brown, he was better known as Jimmy Valiant doing a Masked Rider/Mr America ‘everybody-knows-who-I-really-am-but-I’m-denying-it’ gimmick.

The story was that The Great Kabuki’s manager, Gary Hart wanted to prove that Brown was Valiant, so he put Kabuki’s TV title on the line against Brown’s mask for the first fifteen minutes of the scheduled sixty-minute time limit.

The actual match was pretty captivating in a way that you don’t see all that much of these days.

The challenger spent the first half of the match applying sleeper holds to the champion. Every time he did, Gordon Solie would remind us how ironic this was because the sleeper was invented in Kabuki’s home country of Japan.

In the second half of the match, the man from the Orient clamped a claw on his masked nemesis and held it there for as long as possible.

Nothing much happened, but both the competitors and the announcers sold each hold like it meant something important, and that was enough to get this fan fully invested.

After a decent contest, Charlie Brown from Outta Town hit a basic elbow drop on the legendary Great Kabuki to capture the TV title.

Ah, the 80s. Such a simpler time.
Your Winner and NEW TV Champion: Charlie Brown

Cutting to the announcers, Bob Caudle interviewed some guy from the radio who I’m pretty sure they said was called Dude Walker.

Dude Walker. Seriously.

Anyway, like everyone else on the show, the dude abided by the script and told us he was sure Ric Flair would win, though Sollie was adamant that we couldn’t count out Harley Race just yet.

After all, said Sollie, he was the only man in history to be a seven-time world champion.

Meanwhile, Flair was only a two-time world champion. What a chump.

Race Reveals His Game Plan

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Tony Schiavone hangs out with Harley Race, Bob Orton, and Dick Slater
Out in the back, Tony Schiavone interviewed Dick Slater, Bob Orton, and Harley Race.

Slater and Orton bragged about previously taking Flair out on orders of the champion, but now that the Nature Boy was at Starrcade, Race revealed that he was gunning for the champion’s neck.

I don’t know about you, but I would’ve kept that information to myself so that my opponent didn’t have time to plan a defence, though I’m not a seven-time champion so what do I know?

Rhodes Wants the Winner

Elsewhere, they tried again with Barbara Clarey interviewing Dusty Rhodes and this time got a better result.

In a short promo, the ever-charismatic ‘Dream predicted a win for Race and declared that he was coming after the champ’s title once Starrcade was over.

Dog Collar Match
NWA US Champion Greg Valentine vs. Roddy Piper

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Greg Valentine hurts Roddy Piper in their classic Dog Collar Match
There’s a reason why this match is so legendary:

It was really, really good.

You know how some matches look a bit too polished with spots which, though they look impressive, are clearly well-choreographed?

This wasn’t one of those matches.

This was two men who hated each other battering one another to a bloody pulp until neither one could stand.

It was violent, it was brutal, and the creative use of the chain linking the two dog collars made it all the more engrossing.

By far the best match on the card up to this point, this one came to an end when Piper smashed his opponent’s face in and got the three count.
Your Winner: Roddy Piper

Afterwards, Valentine avenged his loss by beating Piper senseless. At least he kept his belt as this was a non-title match.

Flair is Ready

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Another Ric Flair promo, this time with Wahoo McDaniel
Backstage, we got another interview with Ric Flair because why not?

I get that they were going all out to make the main event a big deal, but two promos a piece from champ and challenger seemed excessive, especially when neither man had much to add in their second segment.

To be fair to Flair (TM Bobby Heenan), he did address a beat-up Wahoo McDaniel who was sitting next to him and thanked Daniel for helping get him ready for tonight because, if you didn’t already know, he really was ready.

Out in the crowd, Barbara Clary interviewed former tag team champion, Don Kernodle, for his tights on the upcoming tag team title match.

Kernodle also predicted a win for Flair.

National Wrestling Alliance World Tag Team Championship
NWA World Tag Team Champions Jack & Gerry Brisco vs. Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood

Special Referee: Angelo Mosca

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Jack Brisco takes down Ricky Steamboat
If you’re only familiar with Gerald Brisco as a figure of fun from the Attitude Era, this one might surprise you.

He and his brother Jack Brisco were great wrestlers who put on an absolutely excellent tag team title match with Steamboat and Youngblood.

I know I complained earlier about there being too many tag team matches on the show, but honestly, when they’re this good, it’s not a chore at all.

No frills, no fancy gimmicks, just a solid back-and-forth wrestling match that ended with a win for Youngblood and Steamboat.

Very good indeed.
Your Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions: Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood

Post-match, the booking committee once again ran the heel-attacks-the-face angle they’d run after like 80% of tonight’s matches.

This time, however, the good guys prevailed and proceeded to indulge in a lengthy celebration with their newly-won titles.

As the champs paraded through the crowd, the credits came up on the screen with Gordon Sollie trying in earnest to put over each member of the production crew.

It was kind of sweet, but also strangely very funny.

Of interest, one of the cameramen listed was none other than future WCW Head of Security, Doug Dellinger.

A Word With the Victors

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Tony Schiavone interviews new TV Champion, Charlie Brown From Outta Town
Out in the back, Nature Boy Ric Flair paced up and down while Schiavone interviewed some of tonight’s winners.

First up, Charlie Brown raved like a wild loon about how good it was to be the new TV champion.

In a complete contrast in tone, Piper then talked about Greg Valentine busting up his ear before challenging Valentine for the US title.

Finally, Youngblood and Steamboat addressed their unprecedented (for the time) fifth tag team championship reign.

Jay Youngblood had way more charisma than his brother Mark, cutting a convincing promo about his and Steamboat’s success.

He was even more charismatic than Steamboat himself, who tried his best to inject a little passion into his speech about competing with the best in the world and coming out on top.

Hey Look, It's Dusty Again

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Barbara Clary interviews Dusty Rhodes with some fans
I don't have too many legitimate complaints about Starrcade '83, but this insistence on constantly interviewing the same guys was getting pretty old.

Race had two promos, Flair had two promos, and now Rhodes had three promos and he wasn't even booked in a match.

This time, Barbara Clary interviewed him while he hung out with three girls who predicted that Flair (who else?) would take home the gold. After that, Dusty cut another promo in which he excitedly said his own name a lot and not much else.

Look, I love 'Dream as much as the next fan, but this was unnecessary.

After that, a performer called James 'Tiny' Weeks sang the National Anthem.

Steel Cage Match National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race vs. Nature Boy Ric Flair

Though it looked slow compared to the modern fast-paced-workrate-rules-all style of pro wrestling and featured none of the insane spots you'd probably find in a cage match today, this was a classic old-school battle which more than deserves its legendary status.

NWA Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold - Ric Flair battles Harley Race in their classic cage match
After some grand entrances that made this one stand out as a really huge deal, and after both men received a somewhat overly long address from the referee and former world champion Gene Kiniski, champ and challenger went at it in an intense, bloody war for the ages.

Flair started off wrestling methodically, taking the champion to the mat and attempting to wear him down. Reversing a front face lock into a suplex (or *suplé* if you're Gordon Sollie), Race then took control and stayed true to his word, beating down on his opponent's neck with brute force.

What followed was a brilliant seesaw battle in which both men got progressively more violent as time ticked on.

Of course, given that the whole show was built around Flair as the hero, the outcome was never really in question, but it sure was a joy to watch it unfold.

After an excellent match, Flair scaled the top rope and hit Race with a crossbody block. Referee Kiniski had taken a tumble and was on all fours, waiting for Flair to knock Race and Race to go tumbling over him, school-boy style. However, somebody was out of position so it didn't quite come off right, but it still led to the cover, the count, and the fall.

I'm not certain, but I wonder if that's the only time Flair has gone to the top and not been immediately thrown off. Still, given that it earned him a world title in one of his most legendary matches, it's no wonder Nature Boy would spend the rest of his career trying to hit that move again.
Your Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Ric Flair

Post-match, the babyface locker room spilt out into the ring to lift Flair on their shoulders and celebrate with the new champion as a defeated Harley Race looked on in shock and frustration.

After a kiss from his wife, Flair took to the microphone to address the crowd and thank them for their support.

Usually, this is where a show would end, but this was the NWA in 1983, so we got another ten minutes of promos.

First, we went to the back, where Ricky Steamboat congratulated the new champion. Flair was grateful for Steamboat helping him train and promised that if Ricky ever needed anything, he'd be there. It was interesting watching these two be such close friends after reviewing the epic battle they'd have at Wrestlewar '89 a few years later.

Dusty Rhodes then arrived on the scene and warned Flair that he was coming after his title. Unperturbed, Nature Boy insisted that he wasn't going to worry about that right now, and was only focussed on celebrating his big victory.

Then, after a lengthy summary from the announcers, we went to Harly Race's dressing room. With Barbara Clary holding the mic, the fallen champion insisted that despite losing the title, he wasn't going away.

Funnily enough, that's exactly what he did. Race would leave for the AWA the following year before showing up in the WWF in 1986 so that he could pretend to be a king and have that ridiculous brawl with Hacksaw Jim Duggan at the 37th Annual Slammy Awards.

Still, at the time, Harley insisted that he was gunning for his eighth world title and told the new champion to enjoy it while it lasted.

After more chatter from Caudle and Sollie, we went back to the babyface locker room once again were two funny things happened.

1: Flair said that tonight wasn't just about him, but was about people like "Roddy Piper Jimmy Valiant, and everyone who participated in this event" - thus blowing Valiant's 'Charlie Brown' cover.

2: The babyfaces had a champagne celebration. In the background, Jay Youngblood clearly got some champagne in his eye or had some other unfortunate incident and was seen stumbling around and having a bad time. I can't tell you why, but I found that hysterical.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the first-ever Starrcade, a great show that was a far cry from the last event some 17 years later.







I mean that, too.

Although the first half of the show was nothing too special, the last three matches alone make Starrcade 83: A Flare for the Gold must-see viewing.

It's a testament to Piper and Valentine that in an age when we've seen just about every act of violence and creative spot under the sun, their barbaric and bloody dog collar match remains as compelling today as it ever did.

The tag team title match was a pure joy to watch, featuring some of the crispest, solid wrestling you're likely to come across.

Then, there's the main event. Often regarded as a passing of the proverbial torch from Race to Flair, this was an utterly gripping title match that more than earned its legacy.



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Thursday, 30 July 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Starrcade 2000

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Event poster
December 17, 2000 
MCI Center, Washington, D.C.

Before there was Wrestlemania, there was Starrcade. 


Originally promoted by Jim Crocket Promotions as a National Wrestling Alliance event and was one of the first major events of its type, pre-dating the WWF's use of closed-circuit TV by a good 18 months.

Headlined by a brutal and bloody steel cage match between seven-time World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race and his arch-rival Nature  Boy Ric Flair, the show had been a critical success and was heralded as their premier event ever since.

17 years later, the company that had become World Championship Wrestling had been in a rapid decline for some years and was now just a few short months away from closing its doors, but not without presenting Starrcade just one last time.







Here's what went down when the last ever WCW Starrcade show came to us live from Washington, D.C.

Tonight’s the Night

And so the last ever Starrcade got underway with a rather unremarkable video package highlighting some of the ten matches we’d see on tonight’s show.

Heading into the arena, we got fireworks galore and a greeting from Tony Schiavone, all of which did at least try and make the show sound like it was a big deal.

Cruiserweight Time

Cameras then panned to an envelope suspended from the rafters which the announcers told us contained a guaranteed shot at Chavo Guerrero’s Cruiserweight championship.

On cue, that awesome theme music Eddy Guerrero used to use came on and his nephew Chavo sauntered to ringside to do commentary.

Triple Ladder Match
3 Count (Sugar Shane Helms and Shannon Moore) vs. The Jung Dragons (Kaz Hayashi & Yang w/ Leia Meow) vs. Jamie Noble & Evan Karagious
Winner Receives a Cruiserweight Title Match

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Leia Meow led The Jung Dragons into battle against 3 Count and Knoble & Karagias
This was a spotfest with over-complicated booking, a few blown spots, and a few timing issues, but despite all that, it was awesome.

It was complicated in the fact that it was a three-team match with a shot at a singles title but it was never explained if the three teams were supposed to work together or if it was every-man-for-himself.

The botched and timing issues took you out of the moment temporarily, but there was always something more exciting and elaborate to immediately sweep you back into the action.

Though I get that not everyone is a fan of these type of stunt shows, this writer found it to be a gloriously fun opener that everyone involved in should be immensely proud of.

After the better part of twenty minutes, Shane Helms and Shannon Moore both retrieved the contract, much to the chagrin of guest commentator Guerrero.
Your Winners: 3 Count

As was becoming the norm in WCW, we got multiple backstage segments crammed into about 45 seconds:

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Jeff Jarrett confronted Commissioner Mike Sanders backstage
A sombre-looking Hacksaw Jim Duggan was polishing his 2x4 (seriously) when Lance Storm came in and told him that the office had been thinking of firing Duggan before he joined Team Canada. Besides, claimed Storm, the American fans would never take Hacksaw back after he turned on them at Fall Brawl 2000, so sticking with the Canadians was his only option.

Jeff Jarrett complained to Mike Sanders that while his opponent wanted a street fight, he wanted a bunkhouse match. Double J then convinced Sanders to combine the two into one match even though they were pretty much the same thing anyway.

Finally, Kronik for some reason had brought a camera to film them sitting naked (except for a towel) in a steam room.

The two agreed that the job they’d been hired for tonight was so special that they wouldn’t even demand cash up front.

“Man, am I baked,” said Brian Adams.

And people wonder why this company went out of business three months later.

Lance Storm (w/ Major Gunns & ‘Prime Time’ Eli’s Skipper) vs. The Cat (w/ Miss Jones)

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Lance Storm cuts a pre-match promo before facing Ernest 'The Cat' Miller
Lance Storm was awesome so, naturally, WCW completely misused him.

Back at Mayhem, Ernest Miller cost Storm the US title and the two had been feuding ever since. Meanwhile, Duggan -a member of Team Canada- had cost his teammates a mixed-tag against Miller and Major Gunns.

Tonight’s match was surprisingly good, though more so because of the rampant overbooking and general chaos than any of the actual wrestling.

At one point, they teased having Major Gunns and Miss Jones go at it in the ring, but this went nowhere.

After more chaos, Hacksaw came down and reluctantly cost The Cat the match after what was overall a fun encounter.
Your Winner: Lance Storm

Post-match, Storm snd Elix Skipper thanked Duggan by beating him up until Miller came back and saved the man who’d just cost him the match.

More Backstage Stuff

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Buff Bagwell interviews The Filthy Animals
Out in the back, Buff Bagwell revealed himself to be WCW’s new interviewer. Please don’t tell me this means no more Pamela Paulshock. I really liked her.

Anyway, after proving that he had so little value to the company that he wasn’t even booked in a match, Bagwell interviewed The Filthy Animals.

With Tygress and Rey Mysterio Jr. standing by, Konnan and Billy Kidman insisted that they weren’t scared about the upcoming Bunkhouse match because they didn’t even know what it was.

Way to make that seem important, guys.

Elsewhere, Reno and his former-rival-turned-partner Big Vito were walking backstage with a woman named Marie when The Natural Born Thrillers confronted Reno and mockingly urged him to rejoin them.

This went nowhere.

World Championship Wrestling Hardcore Championship
WCW Hardcore Champion Crowbar (w/ Daffney) vs. Terry Funk

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Terry Funk challenged Crowbar for the Hardcore title
Could it be? Was WCW’s last show of 2000 really shaping up to be the best one of the year?

OK, so the bar was so incredibly low for the company that even their best wasn’t all that great, but if you got rid of all the annoying backstage stuff, this was shaping up to be a fun show.

Not fun in the sense of watching an all-time classic, you understand, but more in the same way that you might consider watching a mindless half-hour of Family Guy to be kind of fun.

Anyway, this match was a blast.

It started backstage, where Daffney criticized Crowbar’s 70s gimmick for making him soft.

Before he could properly respond, the Hardcore champion was attacked by Terry Funk.

The two proceeded to beat the crap out of each other throughout the backstage area, even hopping up onto the back of a truck for an enjoyable few spots.

After a somewhat lengthy (by Hardcore standards) battle, the two made their way to the ring where Funk hit the champion with a piledriver on a discarded car door to claim the title.

As with everything on this show, it wasn’t amazing, but it sure was enjoyable.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Terry Funk

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Team Canada
Backstage, Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Team Canada.

Lance Storm told Gene that Hacksaw’s dismissal from the group had been a long time coming before horny old man Okerlund invited Major Gunns to raise her flag up a different pole.

Ahem.

Elsewhere in the arena, Lex Luger started to get ready for his No DQ match with Goldberg and revealed that he was packing a set of brass knuckles, just in case.

Big Vito & Reno (w/ Marie) vs. Kronik (Brian Adams & Bryan Clarke)

Reno and Vito were both stocky bald men so that made them brothers in WCW’s eyes.

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Big Vito & Reno (w/ Marie) faced Kronik
They came out with their sister Marie, an attractive young woman who Brian Adams accused of paying them to take out her brothers.

Marie protested this, and pretty soon it turned out you had to be as gullible and naive as a pro wrestling announcer not to realize who was the real mastermind.

Vito wrestled almost the entire match, playing the race in peril for a really long time. When he finally made the hot tag, Reno turned on his brother and rejoined The Natural Born Thrillers because HA! SWERVE!

The actual match was OK at best, but the story was vaguely compelling enough just to keep you interested.

Reno then pinned his brother, but even WCW knew this was dumb and the match was declared a no contest.
No Contest
Afterwards, Reno paid Kronik while a theme tune that was a straight rip off of Limp Bizkit’s Rollin’ played.

WCW Starrcade 2000 - General Rection cut a backstage promo on Shane DouglasIt's All Kicking Off Backstage 

Backstage, Mean Gene tried to interview 3-Count but they were interrupted, and then beaten up, by Chavo Guerrero.

Across the way, Buff Bagwell wanted to know the MIA’s thoughts on their former member’s actions, but General Rection was only concerned with letting Shane Douglas know that he was no stepping stone for the Franchise.

Neither of these segments were very interesting.

Ambulance Match
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Mike Awesome

So far, this had been a decent show from an in-ring perspective, but this one really sucked the life out of Starrcade.

That’s a shame because you could tell that Awesome was trying hard to get the crowd invested, but sadly nobody cared about this match at all.

It was lifeless and uninspired, with the most interesting thing to happen coming from the announce team, who casually referenced Bam Bam Bigelow’s Wrestlemania 11 match with Lawrence Taylor.

Mike Awesome win by dropping Bigelow through the roof of the ambulance.

Blah.
Your Winner: Mike Awesome

Out in the back, Mean Gene interviewed The Natural Born Thrillers. Reno gloated about turning his back on Vito to rejoin his ‘real family,’ the Thrillers. After that, The Perfect Event gloated about how much they were going to kick ass in their match later.

Credit where it’s due, these guys were pretty good at playing the cocky young jocks.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW US Champion General Rection vs. Shane Douglas

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Shane Douglas blamed General Rection for Torrie Wilson leaving
Before the match, Shane Douglas blamed General Rection for Torrie Wilson not being by his side, but never fully explained why.

Once the bell rang, both champ and challenger worked a solid match that was met with nigh-on silence by the crowd.

That’s a shame because you got the feeling that had this been a contest between two men the audience actually cared about, it would have even the most cynical of fans giving it some kudos.

Even when Rection looked to have a bloody Franchise beaten and called for his signature moonsault, the crowd responded with little more than a half-hearted whimper.

As it happened, Douglas moved out of harm’s way and tried to blast the champion with a steel chain, but Rection blocked it and the match continued.

At that point, Chavo Guerrero came down and at first looked as though he was helping Douglas out by throwing him the chain and distracting referee Charles Robinson, though he did then alert Lil Naitch as to what was going on so that he could turn around and disqualify the challenger.

Dumb finish aside, this was a solid effort between two men who, sadly, the crowd didn’t seem to care about at all.
Your Winner by DQ and Still US Champion: General Rection

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Mean Gene interviews World Champion Scott Steiner & Midajah
Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund asked World Heavyweight Champion Scott Steiner to address his upcoming title defense against Sid Vicious. Big Poppa Pump, however, was more concerned with talking about ‘hitting switches on b**ches’ and getting it on with his freaks after the match.

A vignette then aired to hype the return of Glacier to WCW.

This time around, the gimmick would be played for laughs and was treated as little more than a comedy gimmick.

The Insiders are In Their Prime

Back in the arena, Kevin Nash goofed around with his former nWo buddy Buff Bagwell while his current partner, Diamond Dallas Page got serious.

Page stared down the camera as he addressed The Natural Born Thrillers, insisting that he and Nash had both aged like fine wine and were still in their prime and that tonight, they would reclaim the tag team titles.

Dallas looked like he was committed here, but it was quite funny to see that Nash had clearly given up any pretence of giving a damn about anything.

Bunkhouse Street Fight
Jeff Jarrett and The Harris Brothers (Heavy D & Big Ron) vs. The Filthy Animals (Konnan, Rey Mysterio, and Billy Kidman w/ Tygress)

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Jeff Jarrett puts Billy Kidman to sleep
Before the match, Jeff Jarrett once again gloated about having a bunkhouse match and a street fight rolled into one.

Even the announcers struggled -and eventually gave up on- trying to explain the difference.

The actual bout was surprisingly fun for a basic weapons-filled garbage match, the main highlight of which was Rey Mysterio Jr. getting powerbombed from the ring into a dumpster outside the ring.

After that, the referee then inexplicably began enforcing tags, turning what had previously been a tornado-style free-for-all into a standard six-man, albeit with weapons and such.

I suppose you could argue that this was the transition from bunkhouse into street fight, but you’d probably lose that argument pretty quickly.

After a fun contest, Jarrett destroyed Kidman with The Stroke to claim victory for a team Mark Madden referred to as The Nashville World Order.
Your Winners: Jeff Jarrett & The Harris Brothers

A promo video then aired to promote the company’s next PPV, Sin before Buff Bagwell tried to interview The Sarge, Dwayne Bruce.

The Power Plant Head trainer has been brought in to talk about his most successful protege, Goldberg.

Before he could say much, however, The Sarge was attacked by Goldberg’s opponent, Lex Luger.

Killing time while the ring was cleared of its plunder, we got some discussion among the announcers.

“We’ve come a long way from Ric Flair and Harley Race in 1983,” said Schiavone.

Yes Tony, yes you have.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW Tag Team Champions The Perfect Event (Shawn Stasiak & Chuck Palumbo w/ Mike Sanders) vs. The Insiders (Diamond Dallas Page & Kevin Nash)

WCW Starrcade 2000 - The Natural Born Thrillers protest CEO Ric Flair's decisions
This was tremendous, not because it was a five-star workrate classic or anything, but because it was the first thing on the actual show that felt legitimately super over.

The crowd loved Page and Nash and were genuinely invested in every moment of the match while Shawn Stasiak & Chuck Palumbo were -as I said earlier- starting to nail the cocky jock heel role.

The only sore spot was Ric Flair, who came out before the match and told Mike Sanders that if he went anywhere near the ring, The Perfect Event would be stripped their titles.

He then repeated his insistence that Sanders was to go nowhere near the ring before realizing he had it wrong and changing to Sanders being allowed in the ring as long as he didn’t put a foot inside it.

It was stupid, but even that couldn’t take away from what was a thoroughly enjoyable match.

After a good show, Nash obliterated Palumbo with the Jackknife and this one was all over.
Your Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions: The Insiders

Post-match, Kevin Nash grabbed a microphone and gave us a ‘hey yo,’ an obvious shout-out to Scott Hall.

No Disqualification Match
Lex Luger vs. Goldberg
Goldberg’s career on the line

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Bill Goldberg's career was on the line against Lex Luger
This won’t be the first time I’ve said this about something on a WCW show and, with three more PPVs to go, it certainly won’t be the last,  but this was dumb.

In the opening minutes, both men gave us the best match that they were capable of giving us.

Granted, that was nothing too special, but if you were watching Goldberg vs. Luger and expecting dragon screw leg whips and tope con hilos, you were only setting yourself up for disappointment.

No, the match was as good as it could have been until The Sarge came down with Buff Bagwell trying to urge him not to get involved.

Honestly, the moment Bagwell stepped out, it was incredibly obvious that he would turn heel at any moment.

Sure enough, after first pretending to ‘accidentally’ hit Goldberg with his Buff Blockbuster, he turned on Sarge and beat him up outside the ring.

On a few occasions, Goldberg looked directly at this happening but completely ignored it and carried on while the announcers tried to convince us that he had no idea Buff had attacked Sarge.

Seriously.

An eventual jackhammer gave us the predictable result.
Your Winner: Goldberg

Afterwards, Bagwell destroyed Goldberg with a chair to cement his turn. Quite why he couldn't have done this in the actual match and helped Luger end Big Bill’s career is anyone’s guess.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Scott Steiner (w/ Midajah) vs. Sid Vicious

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Scott Steiner defended the World Heavyweight title against Sid Vicious
I don’t care what you say, I enjoyed the heck out of this match.

On paper, it looked to be a thoroughly underwhelming match, but both champ and challenger played to their strengths to give us a captivating big man match with a thrilling ending that really kept you in suspense and made it look as though either man could’ve won at any moment.

One thing I will say, people gave John Cena crap over the years for his weak-looking STF, but Scotty’s Steiner Recliner never looked like it hurt much at all.

Still, Big Poppa Pump applied it multiple times before Sid finally passed out, bringing this surprisingly awesome match to an end.
Your Winner and Still WCW Champion: Scott Steiner

Post-match, Steiner, and Midajah posed with the title to end the show.







And so, with less than four months of their existence left, World Championship Wrestling had put on one of their best shows of the year, if not the last several years.

Ok, so there was still a lot of stuff that made you roll your eyes, and none of the matches were must-see classics, but Starrcade 2000 didn’t suck, and for WCW that was a pretty big achievement in itself.

It almost seems a shame that the company were finally getting their act together so close to the end but alas, even a fun show like this one was too little, too late.



For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
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Thursday, 25 June 2020

Top 10 WCW Themes

As regular readers of Retro Pro Wrestling will know, we've spent the past few years reviewing every WCW PPV from 1996 onwards and are now getting through those ill-fated final months in the company's history.

Throughout all of that, we've heard many, many theme tunes. The good, the bad, and the so-bad-its-amazing (American Males, we're looking at you), but these -ladies and gentlemen- these are the best WCW themes to ever appear on our TV screens:

10. Hollywood Blondes / Steve Austin 



It's doubtful that there's a wrestling fan in the world who isn't familiar with the shattering glass and crunching guitar riff that makes up Stone Cold Steve's iconic WWF/WWE theme. Years before he began storming his way to ringside to the sound of that Jim Johnson classic, however, he and Brian Pillman swaggered their way to WCW rings with this scathing metal jam as their soundtrack.

Though some argue that the menacing sneer of guitars wasn't entirely suited to the Hollywood Blondes in the way that  Glass Shatters was suited to the Texas Rattlesnake, it was still a damn fine track all the same.

And yes, we'd remiss if we didn't mention the fact this got recycled many times over the years, being used for guys like Marty Jannetty, Greg Valentine, and whoever else was being trotted out to flesh out the midcard on Nitro. 

Still, even that can't take away how magnificent this theme really is.

9. Raven



Diamond Dallas Page's Self High-Five theme may have been WCW's most popular Nirvana rip-off, but let's be honest, the Jimmy Hart Version of Come as You Are was way more bad ass. 

Maybe it's the way that the main riff sounds somehow crisper yet heavier than the Kurt Cobain classic, or maybe it's that scorching solo. Whatever it is, there's something about this one that makes it a must-pick for any list of the best WCW themes ever.

8. Lance Storm


Confession time: The only reason I decided to write this piece was so that I'd have a chance to rave about how awesome Lance Storm's theme music was. 

Though most of his WCW run was squandered in disappointing feuds with Hugh Morrus General Rection and Hacksaw Jim Duggan, there was always something especially cool about hearing that kick ass guitar riff just before Lance delivered his trademark line, "If I could be serious for a minute."

Obviously, this was even better when he had Major Gunns by his side.

By the way, as an honourable mention, Chris Jericho's Pearl Jam rip-off theme could have easily made this list, but in the end, other themes stood out as being just far too iconic to leave off.

7. Eddie Guerrero




There really was nobody else quite like Eddie Guerrero. Unfortunately, the theme for his WCW babyface run, "Generic Rock Track #1837" didn't really reflect that. 

Then he turned heel, was gifted this glorious theme tune, and had kicked off the best part of his WCW career. 

The greatest thing about this theme isn't just that the sleazy bass and scintillating guitars sound so damn good together, it's that there's some intangible quality to this track that perfectly encapsulates all of his Latino swagger and unbridled cool.

After Eddie left, Jimmy Hart remade this theme for Chavo Guerrero and added a gorgeous guitar solo to it. That version was technically better than even this one, but since Eddie's version was the more memorable and iconic of the two, it gets the nod here.

6. Ravishing Rick Rude

There was a lot of things about WCW Slam Jam - The Music Vol 1, not least of which being the fact that we never technically got a volume 2. 

This was the album that gave us the famous babyface themes for Sting and The Steiner Brothers. It also that weird song about why Ricky Steamboat was such a great guy for being faithful to his wife.

However, none of those jams compared to this most 90s-sounding ode to the 6'2" of twisted steel and sex appeal known as Ravishing Rick Rude.

A total earworm in the very best sense of the word, when I first heard this album, I spent weeks afterwards singing that ever-so catchy refrain.

Now that we're revisiting the song for this, there's no doubt it'll be stuck in my head again for weeks.

Altogether now..

"He's simply ravishing, he's happening, he knows that he's cool // All the girls go crazy, they don't know what to do. // He'll steal your girl, break her heart and leave you a fool. // He's simply ravishing, dazzling ravishing Rude."

5. Sting



There were really two strong contenders for the number five spot. The classic Goldberg theme that has become as much a part of his whole presentation as his tattoo and Jackhammer, and this, the song Sting used after he started doing The Crow cosplay and hanging out in the rafters.

If you ask me, both tunes have a similar vibe to them, but there's something about Sting's haunting epic that sends chills down the spine in a way that Goldberg's theme never did. 

4. Hulk Hogan 


Again, there's a lot of options here. Do we go with that sweet hip-hop track Konnan recorded that was used for the Filthy Animals? Give some love to the rap-hating West Texas Rednecks? Or shout out Chris Jericho's Pearl Jam rip-off?

We could have done any, but in the end it comes down to this - the best track from the otherwise terrible Hulk Hogan and The Wrestling Boot Band album.



Though it's certainly not as famous as Real American, with its huge riff and a memorable hook, American Made is arguably the better of Hulk Hogan's two main babyface themes.

3. Harlem Heat


Some themes deserve to be a on a top-ten list like this because they sound amazing. Some deserve to be here because they're iconic. Harlem Heat's WCW theme is both. 

One of the few WCW themes to be still used today whenever Booker T puts in an appearance, this classic is both memorable and utterly enjoyable.

2. The Four Horsemen


I mean seriously, just listen to that lead guitar. Doesn't it just give you chills?

Though it wasn't used as much as say Ric Flair's classic theme or the individual themes of its members, The Four Horsemen isn't just one of the best WCW themes, it's one of the best things to come out of WCW, period.

An absolute gem of a track, it was really difficult not to put this right at the number one spot.

Alas, that honor had to go...

1. New World Order


The following announcement has been paid for by the New World Order:

This is hands down the best WCW theme ever.

Earlier, I mentioned that Harlem Heat got onto this list by virtue of being both awesome and iconic

The nWo theme (also known as the porno music) soundtracked the biggest boom in WCW's history, one that just so happened to give us the most exciting time ever to be a wrestling fan.

Plus, as a mashup of multiple Jimi Hendrix, it gave us some scorching riffage that was just...too...sweeeeeeeeeeeeet.

Disagree with these picks? Let us know in the comments below or dive into the discussion on the Retro Pro Wrestling Facebook page. 

Alternatively, check out some of our other wrestling theme reviews below:

Thursday, 18 June 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Mayhem 2000

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

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

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

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

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

Don't believe me?

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







Earlier today...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right you are, Tony.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those days were long gone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Backstage Shennanigans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jimmy Hart vs. Mancow (w/ his entourage)

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

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

Jimmy Hart then came down, still feigning injury.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hardcore matches were usually highlights of the WCW undercard.

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

That wasn’t the case here.

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

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

It was really weird.

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

Backstage:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speaking of stupid...

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Sgt. AWOL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cervical D*cks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeff Jarrett vs. Buff Bagwell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honestly, I feel bad for the girl.

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

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

Lex Luger vs. Goldberg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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







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

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





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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.