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

Thursday, 9 January 2020

PPV REVIEW: Heroes of Wrestling 1999

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Event logo
October 10, 1999
Casino Magic Hotel and Casino, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Heroes of Wrestling has often been regarded as one of -if not the- worst wrestling Pay Per Views of all time.

Back in the day, The Wrestling Observer called it the worst major wrestling event of 1999 and since that time this one-off show has largely been used as the benchmark against which all other bad wrestling shows are judged.

Yet surely no single show could be that terrible...

...could it?

For years, this writer had no idea.

Heroes of Wrestling was one of those mythical shows that I'd often heard about but never actually come across until, a few months ago, I discovered that somebody had uploaded a really poor quality version of it for us all to enjoy endure.

Without further ado then, let's head to the Casino Magic Hotel and Casino in Bay St. Louis, Missippi and find out if this really was the worst of the worst.

Yoko Hates Bundy

We began tonight's broadcast with King Kong Bundy being interviewed about tonight's event, only to be interrupted by former two-time WWF Champion, Yokozuna.

For some unexplained reason, Yoko was very angry with Bundy and tried to attack him, only to be pulled away by a gaggle of officials.

Welcome to Casino Magic

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Dutch Mantell and Randy Rosenbloom called the event
We were then welcomed to Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi by our lead play-by-play man for the evening, Randy Rosenbloom.

IF you've never heard of Rosenbloom, he's a sportscaster and actor from Southern California who stepped in at the last minute as a replacement for the legendary Gordon Solie.

Solie had been heavily advertised for the show but had unfortunately succumbed to the very same throat cancer which would tragically take his life just a few months later.

His stand-in, Dirty Dutch Mantell gave us a rundown of the card which included such high-profile bouts as Too Cold Scorpio vs. Julio Fantastico and 'Sweet' Stan Lane vs. Tully Blanchard.

With that out of the way, it was down to ringside for our introductions.

Tonight, somebody's gonna get their ass whooped in here tonight

No, that isn't a reference to Mark Henry, but rather to our ring announcer for the evening, Crisper Stanford.

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Crisper Stanford was the terrible ring announcer
Little -in fact, nothing- is known about Stanford. The only reference to him online relates to this event.

What I can tell you though, is that the man was seven shades of cringe.

This is genuinely, word-for-word what he said to get the crowd excited and open the show:

"Welcome to the Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi where tonight, legendary grudge matches will be settled once and for all."

So far, not too terrible, right?

Just wait, it gets worse.

"So, throw down your toys and get out of the sandbox, play time's over because tonight, somebody's gonna get their assss-whipped tonight in here."

Seriously, it was like a bad Michael Buffer impression from a guy who had clearly been watching too much Spinal Tap.

The Samoan Swat Team (Samu & Fatu w/ Sika and Paul Adams) vs. "Rocker" Marty Jannetty & Tommy Rogers

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - The Samoan Swat Team with their manager Paul Adams
Yes, Marty Janetty really was billed as "Rocker," and no, the Fatu here isn't Rikishi, who I believe was doing his thing with the WWF at the time.

Rather, it's Rikishi's brother, Sam Fatu, better known as Tonga Kid/Tama, who Retro Pro Wrestling readers will have last met teaming with Haku as the Islanders all the way back at the first-ever Royal Rumble in 1988.

Before Fatu and Samu could lock up with their opponents, their manager, Paul Adams, took to the microphone.

If you've never heard of Adams before, don't worry neither has anybody else. He was basically an indie wrestling version of Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, albeit with all the charisma and personality surgically removed.

Give Bateman  Adams his due though, he did manage the rare feat of speaking for a full five minutes without actually saying a single thing.

The basic gist of Adams' promo was that nobody in the audience would dare face Samu and Fatu, but it was delivered in the most wooden, cringe-worthy fashion ever, so nobody seemed to care.

The match itself wasn't all that much better.

The sole highlights were Fantastic Tommy Rogers hitting the Samoans with a double DDT and Marty Jannetty diving over the top rope, but to even call those highlights is being polite.

Speaking of Jannetty, I spent most of the match trying to figure out if he was wearing cut-off jean shorts instead of actual ring attire because he was trying to be edgy and alternative (such was the culture during the Attitude Era period), or because he simply couldn't be bothered to get dressed properly.

Not that it mattered.

After a few minutes, Samu drilled Rogers with TKO and this dull, uneventful contest was over.
Your Winners: The Samoan Swat Team

Cutting to a pre-tape, we saw George 'The Animal' Steele and Sensational Sherri Martel checking into a hotel. With Martel fawning all over him, Steele literally tore off her dress as the two went into a hotel room.

Yes, we were supposed to believe that Sherri found The Animal sexy and wanted to do the nasty with him. Maybe it would have been more convincing if Mantell and Rosenbloom didn't talk over the whole thing.

As it was, this came off as a weird segment that totally telegraphed the ending of the next bout.

George Steele is Insane

Back to the show, Sherri gave an interview to our backstage reporter, Michael St. John.

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Michael st. John interviews Sensuous Sherri Martel and her man, George 'The Animal' Steele"You know, in the pro wrestling business you get to the top by your body count," said Sherri. "And George Steele is CERTIFIABLY INSANE!"

I'm sure there was a link between those two points, but Martel never mentioned it.

Instead, she just showed off her cleavage a bit until Steele himself arrived, proving how insane he was by wrapping his arm around his manager and shouting FIGHT! FIGHT!

In the earlier hotel segment, Steele was shown to be a calm, collected dude capable of holding a conversation with Sherri, but now, the very act of arriving to a wrestling show had turned him into a MAD MAN!

My goodness. I've been a big fan of Sherri's ever since I first started watching wrestling over 25 years ago and I feel bad that she had to put up with this garbage.

Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine vs. George 'The Animal Steele (w/ "Sensuous" Sherri Martel)

'Sensuous' was the name Sherri had first used in WCW when the Turner-backed company realised 'Sensational' was copyrighted by Vince.

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine faced George 'The Animal' Steele
Before the bell, Greg Valentine took to the microphone and told us that his father, Johnny Valentine had been feuding with Steele for years, but now that pops had retired, it was up to The Hammer to settle the score once and for all.

The veteran promised to put his rival in the figure four and walk out with Sherri.

Give the guy his credit, he was true to his word, kinda.

Sherri turned on her 'lover' within the first two minutes of the match, but Steele didn't realise it because he'd stupidly got his shirt stuck over his head. The heel turn was so predictable that the live crowd didn't even react to it.

After getting his vision back, Steele lumbered around and found an International Object and jabbed his opponent with it. Not realising his manager didn't actually like him, he then handed it to Sherri, who -not surprisingly- passed it to The Hammer.

Barely passing as actual pro wrestling, more atrocious inaction followed until Sherri leveled George with a chair, allowing Hammer to pick up the three count.

Seriously, that was Adrian Adonis/Uncle Elmer at Wrestlemania 2 level of terrible.
Your Winner: Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine

Keeping his promise, The Hammer left with Sherri in tow, then returned to the ring to attack Steele as the CERTIFIABLY INSANE legend ate the turnbuckle. This time, Steel no-sold a chair shot and chased Valentine back to the locker room.

Julio Fantastico is Wrestling's Greatest Superstar

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Michael St. John interviews Julio Fantastico
Out in the back, Michael St John interviewed Julio Fantastico, the man you probably recognise best as Julio Dinero from ECW or possibly TNA.

You know when people who aren't actually involved in wrestling do an impression of a pro wrestler by ranting and throwing in a bunch of cliches? That's what Fantastico sounded like here.

In a cookie-cutter promo, Fantastico claimed to be Wrestling's Greatest Superstar and vowed to win every match he ever wrestled in, starting with his upcoming bout against Too Cold Scorpio.

When St. John suggested that the rookie Fantastico was underestimating his veteran opponent, Fantastico dismissed him and once again asserted his belief that he was the greatest of all time.

Julio Fantastico vs. Too Cold Scorpio

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Scorpio vs. Julio Fantastico
This was the best match on the card up to this point, but that's really not saying very much.

Scorpio came to the ring brandishing a replica of The Big Gold Belt which was never explained by anyone. I like to think Scorpio just thought 'f- it,' and decided he was the champion.

Once the bell rang, the two went at it with what started out as decent wrestling but soon disintegrated into a half-arsed, by-the-numbers routine that looked scripted and was devoid of any actual emotion.

At one point, Fantastico went to dive onto Scorpio on the outside but somehow messed it up so badly he ended up skinning the cat instead. It looked ridiculous, especially when he backed up and clearly just did the spot over.

More back-and-forth happened until Scorpio hit Fantastico with two Tumbleweeds from the top rope and scored the three.
Your Winner: Too Cold Scorpio

Captain Lou Albano had joined the commentary for this match. After Scorpio's win, Rosenbloom produced a document which announced that Captain Lou was the new Commissioner of Heroes of Wrestling.

The legend was so overwhelmed by this announcement that he practically started weeping on Dutch Mantell's shoulder while calling Heroes of Wrestling 'The Greatest Organization Around' and 'The Greatest Production of All Time.'

Man, how much were they paying this guy?

King Kong Bundy is Irate

Since his last attempt at a promo was interrupted by Yokozuna, King Kong Bundy got a do-over,  promising that he was going to hit Yoko with the Avalanch and pin him for the five count.

It was a fairly generic 'Angry Big Man' promo, but at least it was effective in generating interest about their match.

The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Nikita Brezhnikov) vs. Luke & Butch

Man, this is getting painful to watch.

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Nikolai Volkoff sings the Russian National AnthemAs the former Bushwackers made their way to the ring, Randy Rosenbloom called them "Luke and Dutch."

This was far from his only cock-up of the evening. In the earlier Scorpio/Fantastico bout, he called a dropkick and 'leg drop' and made countless errors throughout the show.

Speaking of errors, whoever decided that having The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff compete in an actual match made one of the biggest errors ever committed in pro wrestling.

The two were so old and past their prime that they couldn't really do much of anything.

At one point, Koloff picked up one of the Bushwhackers and then, instead of slamming him to the mat, kind of just gently lay him down as though lying a newborn baby down in their crib.

Before any of that, however, the two foreign heels had to work the crowd a bit.

Volkoff sang the Russian National Anthem before Iron Sheik did his Persian Clubs routine and then randomly cut a promo on Hulk Hogan and Bob Backlund, neither of whom were appearing here tonight.

Naturally, the crowd responded to this with loud "USA! USA!" chants that they would keep up for the rest of the match. Once the bell rang, these pro-USA chants were encouraged by New Zealanders Luke & Butch.


This was a terrible train wreck of a match, ending with a win for the Bushwhackers when the heels messed up and Volkoff accidentally blasted his own partner with an International Object.
Your Winners: Luke & Butch

Afterward, Sheik and Koloff almost came to blows, but were encouraged to hug it out by their manager, a random dude in a Russian military outfit who was apparently called Nikita Brezhnikov.

Tully Blanchard Has a Flashback

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Tully Blanchard - Man ChardIn true Horseman style, Tully Blanchard arrived earlier in the day in a limousine. Happy to be there, Blanchard was about to give an interview to Michael St John. Yet before he could say anything, he was attacked by Sweet Stan Lane.

Later, Blanchard cut a compelling promo that proved to be the best thing on the show up to this point.

The former Brainbuster was unhappy. Now long retired, he had hoped that Heroes of Wrestling would be a bit of fun, but, like everybody watching it, those hopes had been dashed.

Getting really intense, Blanchard claimed that the attack by Lane had given him a flashback to his most violent battles with the likes of Dusty Rhodes and Wahoo McDaniel and that he was going to channel all the rage and anger built up inside him into taking out Sweet Stan.

This was very good stuff.

Tully Blanchard vs. Sweet Stan Lane

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 Review - Sweet Stan Lane faced Tully Blanchard
As bad as this show was, it, of course, makes perfect sense that the most solid match on the card was also one of the shortest.

Before the bell, Sweet Stan Lane took to the microphone to do his own ring introduction. Tully Blanchard arrived on the scene and the two went at it in a basic, no-frills kind of match which still managed to outshine just about everything else on the card.

The most hilarious thing about this match was that the company were trying to get over Stan Lane as some kind of Ladies Man Adonis type figure.

To that end, they kept cutting to the shots of various women in the crowd, but all the women looked totally bored, miserable, or just outright confused.

After seven minutes of decent action, Lane hit Blanchard with a belly-to-back suplex but kept his shoulders on the mat. Tully got his up at two and that meant he won the match.
Your Winner: Tully Blanchard

Lane attacked his rival afterward, but Blanchard fought back with a suplex and sent The Fabulous One packing.

Out in the back, Michael St John interviewed Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart, who had King Kong Bundy with him for some unexplained reason.

Neidhart was his usual crazy self as he insisted that he didn't really have a problem with Jake Roberts, but would fight him anyway later on in the show.

"Don't worry about that snake," said Bundy. "We'll take care of it."

One Man Gang vs. Abdullah The Butcher (w/ Honest John Cheatum)

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 - One Man Gang faced Abdullah The Butcher
This was garbage in every possible sense of the word.

Despite not being billed as one, this was a basic No DQ match in which almost nothing happened.

Prior to the bell, we were shown an angry, pre-recorded promo from One Man Gang in which he just shouted a lot without saying much of anything. He then spent half the match wrapping Abdullah The Butcher up in a chain.

The other half of the match saw Abby jabbing OMG with his trademark fork.

Both men bled a lot and then got counted out.

It was awful.
Double Countout

The two continued to brawl for a long while afterward. Gang even blasted a security guard with a chair.

When Card Games Go Bad

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 - Cowboy Bob OrtonUp next, Randy Rosenbloom told us that, despite "feuding since 1984," Cowboy Bob Orton and Superfly Jimmy Snuka had agreed to put their differences aside and play a game of cards with Captain Lou.

However, things went awry when Snuka and Albano accused Orton of cheating. To make him pay for this terrible crime, Snuka attacked Orton while Albano hurled abuse at him.

That was a pre-taped bit. Cutting back to the show, Michael St John interviewed Captain Lou and Snuka about the latter's upcoming match with Orton.

Albano ranted and raved about how badly Orton was going to get his ass kicked. Meanwhile, Superfly just kind of stood there, arms by his sides, staring off into the distance. In fact, I'm not entirely sure that he didn't have his eyes closed and was taking a quick standing power nap.

Offering a retort, Randy's dad cut a promo of his own, claiming that he hadn't cheated, but was now angry anyway and would beat sup Superfly.

Cowboy Bob Orton vs. Superfly Jimmy Snuka (w/ Captain Lou Albano)

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 - Cowboy Bob Orton faced Jimmy Snuka
I've seen other reviewers call this the match of the night and 'the least sucky thing on the show,' but I'm not buying it.

The whole thing clocked in at just under 12 minutes, at least half of which saw Bob Orton lock Jimmy Snuka in an armbar while the crowd chanted homophobic slurs at him.

The other half was just dull and uneventful.

Snuka won with a crossbody, even though it would have taken just as much effort to hit his trademark top rope splash.
Your Winner: Superfly Jimmy Snuka

Out in the back, a clearly hammered Jake 'The Snake' Roberts slurred his way through what would have otherwise been an awesome promo.

“If you're in a casino, you should gamble," he began. "Let me tell you something, Anvil, you don’t want to play cards with me, because I’ll cheat. Okay? I cheat. You want to play twenty-one, I got twenty-two.

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 - Jake Roberts cuts a drunken promo
"You want to play BlackJack? I got two of those too. You want to play Aces and Eights? Well, I got some of those too. The bottom line is this. You do not gamble with me. When you walk into a casino, when you want to gamble, the main thing you must do, is this, you must accept losing. I don’t accept losing, and neither does Damien. Damien, my friend! My friend Damien is right here.

"You don’t want to see this, do you? Let me show you something (*camera pans down to the snake in a bag on the floor*). I tell you what Anvil, go ahead and roll the dice. Mr. Cameraman, get your ass back up here. Hello? I’m talkin’ to you. Get that camera back up here. That’s what you should worry about Anvil. The bottom line is this, when the DDT comes, then the snake comes out. Worry about the DDT. DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! THINK ABOUT IT!”

Even when he was plastered, Roberts could still deliver a promo better than most of today's current roster.

Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart vs. Jake 'The Snake' Roberts

It's amazing that out of the four men involved in tonight's main event, only one of them is still alive and it's Jake 'The Snake' Roberts.

Heroes of Wrestling 1999 - Jake Roberts drunk
The man the announcers mistakenly referred to as a former Intercontinental Championship staggered to the ring clearly in no fit state to compete.

Seriously. Roberts's appearance here makes Jeff Hardy's Victory Road 2011 low point look like the model of good sobriety.

Reaching the ring, Roberts tried to open the bag to let Damien the Snake out, but was so blitzed he couldn't do it. Instead, he stumbled backstage then stumbled out again, sans shirt, and molested a female fan at ringside.

Eventually, the Master of the DDT made it into the ring for his first appearance in a Retro Pro Wrestling review since WWF Royal Rumble 1997.

As you can imagine, the match was a disaster, but, to his credit, Jim Neidhart did at least try to carry it.

For a few minutes, he basically wrestled himself in close proximity to Roberts, but things only got worse.

After failing to open the snake bag earlier, his snake actually started to slither out unexpectedly, so Roberts grabbed it, shoved it between his legs and started to feign masturbation with it.

This in a crowd full of children.

Next, Roberts went to the mat, not entirely on purpose, and started to lick the snake's face.

As the match reached its most disastrous point, King Kong Bundy made his way to the ring. He and a Mini Bundy (a random fat dude with a bald head who looked like Bundy) conferred with Neidhart to discuss the new finish, after which Jim went to the ring and slapped Jake in a chin lock.

Not long after, Yokozuna and his enormous ass waddled out to the ring, making this a tag team match.

Yokozuna & Jake 'The Snake' Roberts vs. Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart & King Kong Bundy
Seriously, Yoko had ballooned since we last saw him at WWF Survivor Series 1996. Weighing an estimated  760 lb (345 kg), the poor guy looked so big it was amazing he could even move.

Not that he did very much.

Instead, despite apparently having a huge rivalry with King Kong Bundy, he interacted with his originally scheduled opponent for all of ten seconds then spent the rest of the time on the outside while Jake took a beating.

Seriously, they changed this to a tag team match because Jake Roberts was in no fit state to wrestle, but then he finished the bulk of the match anyway.

In the end, Jake did make the tag to Yoko, but then he fell over and King Kong Bundy pinned him anyway.
Your Winners: Jim Neidhart and King Kong Bundy

It wasn't over yet.

In the ring, Yoko got hold of Mini Bundy and held him in place while the crowd chanted for a DDT. Roberts either couldn't or wouldn't deliver, so a frustrated Yokozuna shot the guy off the ropes and hit him with a Samoan Drop.

Jake then draped his snake over the guy and the show just faded to black without a word from the announcers. When it came back on a few seconds later, it was to the tragic sight of a massively overweight Yokozuna leaning over to check on a fallen, drunken Jake 'The Snake' Roberts.

So, was Heroes of Wrestling really as bad as people say it was?

No, it was a hundred times worse.

There was very little to like about the show, and the main event was just a sad sight to behold.

If you really hate your own life, this is a good way to torture yourself, otherwise avoid it. Not even morbid curiosity makes it worth putting yourself through two and a half hours of torture.

I'm just glad Jake was finally able to get back on the road to recovery, though I think the biggest tragedy here is Yokozuna.

The guy was so overweight that something bad was bound to happen sooner rather than later. Indeed, he passed away a year later, making this atrocity of a show the last PPV he would appear on.

1999 events reviewed so far
Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

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

Thursday, 26 December 2019

PPV Review: WWF Wrestlemania 2000

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lilian Sings the National Anthem

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

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

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

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

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

Pimpin' Ain't Easy, B*tches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The McMahon-Helmsley Era is in Charge

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

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

The Rules of Hardcore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man, that was not a good match.

Head Cheese in the Bathroom

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

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

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

Those two teams would meet next.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Kat is Naked

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

Thou Shalt Not F*** With The Dudleys

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

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

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

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

This match was incredible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The rules here were simple:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - The Radicalz backstage Latino Heat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Angle's match was next.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rose then got a stinkface for good measure.

Finally, The Rock has Come Back to Wrestlemania

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

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

Compelling stuff as always from The People's Champion

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

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

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

This wasn't one of them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.