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, 2 January 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Spring Stampede 2000

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hulk is Alive!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russo! Street Fight! Woooo!

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

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

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

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

That's the kind of match this was.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cat Wants James Brown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Douglas and Buff are New Blood

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

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

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

Ric Flair.

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

This was not good stuff from either man.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kidman and Bischoff aren't Scared

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, pro wrestling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neither man seemed to mention the other much at all.

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

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

This wasn't bad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The New Blood had arrived.

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

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

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

PPV REVIEW: WCW Uncensored 2000

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everyone Arrives in Miami

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not that it made much difference.

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

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

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

Kidman has Booker's Back

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

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

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

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

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. The Wall

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

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

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

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

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

Wonder why that never happened.

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

Mean Gene interviews Brian Knobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Fit Finlay vs. Vampiro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Texas Bullrope Match
Dustin Rhodes vs. Terry Funk

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

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

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

So here's this one in a nutshell:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sting faces Luger one last time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The World Title Match is Next

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For other 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
More WCW Uncensored reviews:
Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

PPV REVIEW: WCW Superbrawl 2000

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

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

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

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

A mild improvement, but not by much.

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

Tonight! Live! The Superstars of WCW!

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

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

Jarrett is the Acting Commissioner, Slapnuts

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

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

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

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

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

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

His first act of business?

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

Killing Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'll say no more about that one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Special Main Event
The Demon vs. The Wall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tank Abbott is a Bad Man

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Except, it wasn't.

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

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

Big Al did not have a beard.

Can You Dig It, Sucka?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner gets the rights to Harlem Heat

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

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

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

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

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

Maestro Wants The Cat to Be His Slave

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

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


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

Billy Kidman (w/ Torrie Wilson) vs. Vampiro

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

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

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

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

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

Interview Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James Brown is Here

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

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

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

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

Scott Hall Can Go

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.