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, 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:
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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.

Look:

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:
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Thursday, 12 December 2019

EVENT REVIEW - SWS/WWF SuperWrestle 1991

December 12th, 1991
Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan

While WWE have shown more willingness to let their NXT and NXT UK stars work for other promotions in recent years, there was a long time when the sports entertainment empire weren't exactly known for getting along with other pro wrestling organisations.

So, when the company joined forces with Japanese outfit Super World of Sports (SWS) in 1991, it wasn't exactly the norm.

Not that it should have come as much of a surprise.

As proven with the recent Saudi Arabia deal, Vince McMahon will do business with just about anybody if the price is right, and the price was certainly right for this partnership.

SWS was backed by Megane Super, a company who had earned millions selling -of all things- eyeglasses. Using Megane Super's millions, SWS had built up a decent roster and had booked several cross-promotional cards with the World Wrestling Federation.






One of those shows featured the infamous John Tenta vs. Koji Kitao match in which Kitao refused to work with the man better known back then as Earthquake.


It says something about just how controversial Kitao's performance was that this was the only match anyone remembered from a card which also featured Randy Savage vs. Genichiro Tenryu, and  Hulk Hogan vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu. 

But we're not here to talk about that show today, no sir. We're here to talk about SuperWrestle 1991, the show which took place six months after the infamous Kitao/Quake shoot.

Here's what went down when that particular event came to us live from the Tokyo Dome.

Masakatsu Funaki vs. Jerry Flynn


SWS/WWF SuperWrestle 1991 - Masaharu Funaki bea Jerry FlynnThe last time Jerry Flynn made an appearance here on Retro Pro Wrestling, he was taking part in that terrible Junkyard Battle Royal at WCW Bash at the Beach 1999.

Eight years before that, however, ol' Lightning Foot look to have all the makings of a solid grappler as he locked up with a man long considered to one of Japan's greatest mixed martial artists, Masaharu Funaki.

Not surprisingly, Funaki's shoot-style came into play here, with the two combatants trading swift martial arts kicks in between periods spent trying to out-wrestle each other on the mat.

If you're the sort of fan who likes fast-paced offense, lots of drama and high spots aplenty, you might hate this opening contest.

If, however, you enjoy any bout that makes pro wrestling look like something vaguely resembling a legitimate sporting contest, you might enjoy this short-but-sweet contest very much.

After only five minutes -most of which Flynn and Funaki spent on the ground- Funaki made his opponent tap.
Your Winner: Masaharu Funaki

Post-match, the two hugged it out in a sign of sportsmanship.

Ultimo Dragon vs. Jerry Estrada

SWS/WWF SuperWrestle 1991 - Ultimo Dragon and Jerry Estrada celebrate after their match
Apparently, the booking committee looked at this card and said "you know what? This needs more Jerry!"

Enter legendary luchador Jerry Estrada, who went at it with Ultimo Dragon in what proved to be a very enjoyable contest indeed.

Much faster and much more athletic than our opener, this was everything you'd want from a Lucha-resu bout in the early 1990s.

Both men flew around the ring at breakneck speeds, flipping and twisting and tossing each other around -and out of- the ring, with the Tokyo Dome crowd hanging on their every move.

At one point, they hit a suplex spot off the apron which saw them crashing straight into the front row. It was a genuinely exciting moment that popped the crowd -and this writer- huge.

After an incredibly fun seesaw battle, Dragon reversed a pin attempt and scored the three count in what would be his first match in Japan in the Ultimo Dragon gimmick.
Your Winner: Ultimo Dragon

The sportsmanship continued as the two men celebrated together after the bell.

Inter-Promotional Tag Team Match
King Haku & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs.  Ashura Hara & Davey Boy Smith

SWS/WWF SuperWrestle 1991 - King Haku teamed with Yoshiaki Yatsu to face British Bulldog and Ashura Hara
So far, this show couldn't have been booked any more perfectly.

We started with a shoot-style matched, moved into a fast-paced, high-flying bout, and now had ourselves a tag team match with four burly bruisers knocking the hell out of each other.

At first, this didn't seem like it was going to be all that interesting, but it soon heated up into another enjoyable performance, with all four men putting in a strong effort in every sense of the word.

Though not the best bout on the card, it was still a fun watch right up to the point that the British Bulldog rolled up Haku for the pin.
Your Winners: Ashura Hara & Davey Boy Smith

Alas, there was to be no display of sportsmanship here. Haku and Yoshiaki Yatsu beat up on the Bulldog after the match and dropped him with a wicked tiger-bomb/elbow-drop combo.

After a cut-away, Davey Boy and Ashura Hara were shown standing tall once again, this time sporting some kind of mysterious trophy.

I've scoured the web but I've still no idea what that trophy was actually for. What I do know, is that it certainly wasn't the infamous Royal Samovar Trophy the Bulldog had won two months earlier at the Royal Albert Hall.

We're Gonna Need a Montage

Apparently, there was no room on the broadcast/recorded version of this show to include the first three matches so, instead, we got a musical highlight montage.

The three matches included:

Great Kabuki, Takashi Ishikawa, Samson Fuyuki vs. Kendo Nagasaki, Shinichi Nakano, Tatsumi Kitihara in a six-man tag
Minoru Suzuki taking on Wellington Wilkins Jr in another UWF-rules shoot fight
Goro Tsurumi, Apollo Sugawara, Fumihiro Niikura vs. Kenichi Oya, Don Arakawa, Akira Katayama.

Disappointingly, the Kendo Nagasaki mentioned above wasn't the British star fans might remember from World of Sport, but rather the version of the character played by Kazuo Sakurada.

The Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels) vs. George  & Shunji Takano

We joined this match in progress with Marty Jannetty and George Takano trying to take each other apart in the middle of the ring.

Jannetty worked the majority of the contest, with Shawn Michaels tagging in whenever he could and throwing superkicks around like confetti.

I'll rarely have less than glowing praise for anything involving The Rockers, but this just sadly wasn't half as good as you might have hoped it would be.

OK, so it was far from terrible, but having already been spoiled by a couple of very good undercard matches, this one somehow just fell short.

In the end, Jannetty scaled the top rope but was taking his time at diving off, so Michaels gave him a push.

The move backfired. Jannetty was caught with a big boot by Takano and quickly ate the pin.
Your Winners: George & Shunji Takano

Afterward, an irate Michaels berated his partner, urging him to 'use [his] head.'

Fair play to The Rockers, they were committed to their break-up storyline even in what was essentially a non-cannon show.

The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase (w/ Sensational Sherri) vs. The Texas Tornado Kerry Von Erich

SWS/WWF SuperWrestle 1991 - Texas Tornado Kerry Von Eric squared off with Ted DibiaseThis was a World Wrestling Federation exhibition bout, with Earl Hebner taking the place of the Japanese referees who had officiated most of the proceeding bouts.

Though not a technical masterpiece, the two told a very good story in which Kerry Von Erich kept trying to lock Ted Dibiase in the Iron Claw, only for Dibiase to continually escape.

It was a simple story perfectly told, especially as the Japanese faithful went crazy every time the Tornado even gestured that he might apply the claw.

The highlight of the match came when the two brawled to the outside, where the Million Dollar Man blasted the Texas Tornado with a couple of wicked chair shots.

Clearly preparing himself for the Attitude Era, Hebner turned a blind-eye to such blatant cheating and allowed the match to continue. That gave Von Eric the perfect opportunity to mount a comeback and finally put the diabolical Dibiase in the claw.

Sensational Sherri came to her man's rescue, so Kerry slapped the claw on her instead. The distraction allowed Dibiase to level his opponent from behind, hit a DDT that would make Jake Roberts proud, and scored the three count.
Your Winner: Ted Dibiase

Super World Sports Light Heavyweight Championship

(Match to determine the inaugural champion)

Rick 'The Model' Martel vs. Naoki Sano

SWS/WWF SuperWrestle 1991 - Naoki Sano faced Rick Martel to determine the first SWS Light Heavyweight Champion
Yes, he was a model, and yes, Rick Martel was excellent in this short, compelling match with Naoki Sano.

Given less than eight minutes to do their thing, neither man held anything back, going toe-to-toe in what proved to be a thoroughly explosive contest.

Leaving it all on the line, Martel and Sano went at it hard and fast until the latter hit the former with a beautiful German suplex to become the first -and only- SWS Light Heavyweight Champion.

The company would fold just six months later.

Sano would hold onto the title the entire time.
Your Winner and NEW SWS Light Heavyweight Champion: Naoki Sano

Post-match, Sano was presented with the title belt and a special trophy.

Koji Ishinriki vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara

SWS/WWF SuperWrestle 1991 - Koji Ishinriki vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara
Up next, it was the turn of SWS to have their exhibition match.

For some bizarre reason, former sumo star Koji Ishinriki entered the ring to The Beatle's Eleanor Rigby, while Yoshiaki Fujiwara beat Daniel Bryan to the punch by a good twenty years in opting for Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries.

Like the earlier Dibiase/Tornado bout, this was more about the story than anything else, with the plucky, inexperienced Ishinriki looking to get the upper hand against the grizzled old veteran, Fujiwara and getting increasingly more frustrated when he couldn't do so.

The two kept to a simple pattern here. They'd lock up, wrestle a bit, Ishinriki would get the better of Fujiwara, Fujiwara would no-sell the offense and hit a big move of his own. The crowd would go absolutely crazy for Fujiwara, and the whole thing would start again.

As things progressed, the Ishinriki's frustration became all the more evident as he switched from trying to out-wrestle his opponent to simple kicking and chopping the raging bejeezus out of him.

Alas, it didn't work. Fujiwara sold practically nothing and eventually locked his foe in a submission hold for the win.
Your Winner: Yoshiaki Fujiwara

It was a strong showing, though I understand why it might not have been everyone's cup of tea.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions The Legion of Doom (Road Warrior Hawk & Road Warrior Animal) vs. The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon w/ Jimmy Hart)

SWS/WWF SuperWrestle 1991 - Legion of Doom faced The Natural Disasters
Playing off their existing popularity in Japan, Earthquake was billed as 'Earthquake John Tenta' while Hawk and Animal were introduced as 'Legion of Doom, The Road Warriors' and entered the ring to their iconic Black Sabbath Iron Man theme music.

The match was everything you'd expect a Legion of doom/Natural Disaster match to be.

It was far from terrible, but apart from one small spot where everybody went outside and began blasting each other with chair shots (again, with no repercussions from referee Earl Hebner), nothing much happened.

Still, at least everyone cooperated and actually worked.

After a passable tag team title match, the champions hit Typhoon with the Doomsday Device to retain their gold.
Your Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: The Legion of Doom

More trophies were handed out to the Road Warriors after the match.

Seriously, I don't know much about Japanese pro wrestling, so if somebody reading this does, and could enlighten me as to the significance of the trophies, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Genichiro Tenryu vs. Hulk Hogan

SWS/WWF SuperWrestle 1991 - Hulk Hogan wrestled Genichiro Tenryu in the main event
If your only experience of The Immortal Hulk Hogan is from his time at the top of the WWF and WCW, then you might be surprised to see him bust out a few actual wrestling holds rather than just relying on the whole kick-punch routine.

In fact, though this might not have been the best match on this particular card, it was probably one of the best Hulk Hogan matches you're ever going to see in terms of actual, honest-to-goodness wrestling.

He and Genichiro Tenryu started off trading holds and submissions before eventually getting p'd off with one another and resorting to chops and punches.

From there, it was more of the kind of Hogan match most of us are probably used to, albeit without all the Hulking Up and usual shenanigans.

A good main event to end a good show, this one came to the end after Hogan busted out his trademark Ax Bomber (his go-to finisher in Japan) and won the match.
Your Winner: Hulk Hogan

Post-match, Hogan helped Tenryu to his feet and the two embraced before Hogan did his usual crowd-pleasing routine to end the show.






Though it lagged a bit in the middle, SWS/WWF SuperWrestle '91 was mostly a really good show.

That Ultimo Dragon/Jerry Estrada match served as the standout match of the show evening but had some stiff competition from the Light Heavyweight title match.

Though not every match could reach those lofty standards (looking at you, tag team title match), there was nary a dud insight here and, on the whole, this made for a very enjoyable two hours.

If you want to see Ultimo Dragon early in his career, or need an example of what Hulk Hogan was capable of when he actually bothered to wrestle, go hunt down this show.


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Thursday, 5 December 2019

PPV REVIEW: WWF No Way Out 2000

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2000 - Event poster
February 27, 2000,
Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, Connecticut.

The first time the World Wrestling Federation held No Way Out back in 1998, the company had tacked on the words "Out of Texas" to stop people thinking of the initials NWO and thus their biggest competition, World Championship Wrestling.

Two years down the line, having pulled themselves back from the brink of non-existence thanks to their game-changing Attitude Era, the WWF were so far ahead of their competition that they no longer needed to bother worrying about such things.

Instead, they came to us live from their own back yard in Hartford, Connecticut as the Road to Wrestlemania 2000 brought us to No Way Out 2000.

Here's what went down.





Cactus Jack has one goal left

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2000 - Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler called all the action
Our show tonight began with an engrossing video package in which Cactus Jack told us that after winning countless championships and being involved in countless wars, there was only one thing he hadn't done in his career:

Main event Wrestlemania.

Now, there was only one thing standing in his way:

World Wrestling Federation Champion, Triple H.

If Foley could beat Hunter inside Hell in a Cell tonight, he would become our new champion and go on to defend the title at 'Mania.

Shortly after, as we cut to the arena, announcers Jerry 'The King' Lawler and Jim Ross told us that if Cactus Jack lost, however, his career would be over.

On that ominous note, it was on to our opening contest

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho (W/ Chyna) vs. WWF European Champion Kurt Angle

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2000 - Kurt Angle battled Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship
I've said that Chyna was "with" Chris Jericho here, but Jericho didn' even acknowledge her once. This despite the fact that Ross and Lawler told us the two were now friends.

Once bitter rivals, they'd apparently developed a mutual respect for each other after Y2J beat The Ninth Wonder of the World for the Intercontinental Championship at Royal Rumble 2000. Chyna was still super popular, however, so she got a separate entrance to come down and watch this match from ringside.

Speaking of super popular, now-babyface Chris Jericho was incredibly over with the Hartford crowd and received the kind of ovation usually reserved for the likes of Stone Cold and The Rock.

Prior to the bell, he took to the mic to lambast his challenger, Kurt Angle, though not before Angle went into heat-seeking mode by cutting a promo on the local sports team.

Once the two locked up, it developed into the best match Angle and Jericho could have had at this stage in their respective careers.

That's not to say it was the best match they'd ever be capable of having, but Angle was still only a few months into his WWF run after debuting at the 1999 Survivor Series and was still finding his feet. Jericho, meanwhile, had gotten off to a rocky start in the company but was gradually adjusting to the WWF style.

Put together though, the two did delivery an entertaining opening contest with plenty of exciting back-and-forth action.

Towards the finish, Kurt Angle began growing frustrated that he couldn't put Jericho away and first tried to blast him with the European title.

When that failed, he went to the outside to try again with the Intercontinental Championship, only to be confronted by Chyna.

This gave Jericho the opportunity to attack Angle from behind, though this inadvertently knocked The Olympic Gold Medalist into Chyna, who took a nasty spill into the ring steps.

Jericho didn't seem to give two sh*ts about his so-called friend. He completely ignored her and took the fight back to the ring, where he attempted to bring things to an end with a Lionsault. As he came into landing, however, Angle blasted him in the face with the European Championship, a move unnoticed by referee Tim White who had been tending to Chyna on the outside the whole time.

Angle made the cover, White returned to the ring and this one was over.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion: Kurt Angle

Post-match, our new Eurocontinental Champion celebrated with his new goal as senior official Earl Hebner came down to try and talk sense into Tim White about the finish. White though was having none of it, and simply stormed off, exasperated.

Thou shalt not mess with The Dudley Boyz

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2000 - Michael Cole interviewed The Dudley Boys
Out in the back, Michael Cole reminded The Dudley Boyz that they had been given a tag team title shot against the New Age Outlaws.

D-Von Dudley refuted this, claiming that they hadn't been given anything, but rather had taken what they deserved, just as they would take the titles in our next match.

For his part, Bubba Ray promised that he and D-Von had two words for the champions...3D.

Technically that's one number and a letter, but ah well.

World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg Jesse James & Bad Ass Billy Gunn) vs. The Dudley Boyz (D-Von & Bubba-Ray Dudley)

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2000 - The New Age Outlaws defended the WWF Tag Team title against The Dudley Boys
Unlike some New Age Outlaws matches which dragged on forever so that Road Dogg could play face-in-peril for half a century, this one was kept short and sweet and was all the better for it.

The D-O-Double-G still received his regular ass kicking, and the crowd still popped big time when he made the inevitable hot tag to Billy Gunn but the whole thing didn't last long at all.

Instead, after a couple of minutes of relatively entertaining action, Bubba Ray took out Billy Gunn on the outside with a lead pipe then returned to the ring to help D-Von hit a 3D on Road Dogg.

A three count later, this one was over.
Your Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz

Out in the back, Kurt Angle celebrated his victory with fans over at the concession stand, giving JR an excuse to once again remind us that The Olympic Gold Medalist had only won by blasting his opponent in the face with a title belt.

Ross and Lawler also reminded us that Viscera had recently hit a big splash on a 'pregnant' Mae Young, prompting Young's lover, Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry to attack Big Vis earlier on Heat.

Yes, that meant we'd have to sit through a Henry/Viscera match next.

Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry vs. Viscera

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2000 - Viscera faced Mark Henry
Fortunately, this one was kept even shorter than the previous match.

Viscera basically threw Mark Henry around like a rag doll -no easy feat in itself- and took him to the outside where he sent him crashing violently into the upturned ring steps twice.

Just when he was about to finish off The World's Strongest Man once and for all, however, Mae Young ran down.

Unsurprisingly, the old lady could do little except get pushed to the ground by the evil Viscera, but at least the distraction gave Henry time to recover.

He met Vis' with a shoulder tackle and a big bodyslam then got the fall.

The match wasn't quite as terrible as you think it might have been, though that's about the best I can say about it.
Your Winner: Mark Henry

Out in the back, Chris Jericho told Lilian Garcia that there was no tension between himself and Chyna since Chyna had nothing to do with the finish of his match. He did, however, still have a problem with 'Kirk Angel' and warned the new champion that if he didn't stop running around the arena celebrating he (Jericho) would make him stop.

Elsewhere in the arena, Billy Gunn sold the lead pipe to the shoulder attack from earlier by wincing in pain and telling EMTs that he couldn't lift his arm.

The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy w/ Terri) vs. Edge & Christian

Winner earns a tag team title shot at Wrestlemania

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2000 - Terri turned on The Hardy BoysBefore the match, the newly-rechristened Acolyte Protection Agency came down after being paid by Hardy Boyz manager Terri to protect her in case the Dudley Boyz tried to put her through another table.

The match then got underway and, while it wasn't the highlight of the Edge & Christian/Hardyz rivalry, it was still pretty good in its own right.

The longest match on the card so far, this one built up to a dramatic finale that looked to have Matt & Jeff go over. At the last minute, however, that dastardly little she-devil Terri pushed Jeff off the top rope and gave Matt a slap.

Seizing the advantage, Edge hit the Downward Spiral on Matt Hardy to win the match for his team.
Your Winners: Edge & Christian

Afterwards, Edge and Christian seemed more bewildered than pleased about Teri's betrayal of the Hardyz while Matt and Jeff themselves were, understandably, pretty pissed off.

The two went to confront their new former manager, only for Farooq & Bradshaw to earn their payday and kick some Hardy butt.

As it would turn out, Terri wasn't hiring protection against The Dudleyz at all, but against The Hardyz. That no-good sexy she-devil.

Out in the back, Christian told Michael Cole that while he knew he and Edge were going to win the match, he didn't expect to win it like that. Edge, meanwhile, didn't seem too concerned. He was just happy that he and Christian were heading to Wrestlemania to compete for the tag team titles.

The Big Show has a point

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2000 - Lillian Garcia interviewed The Big Show
Back at The Royal Rumble, The Rock had technically won the Rumble match by hanging on to the ropes when The Big Show tried to eliminate him, sending Show to the floor. However, a replay would show, quite clearly, that Rock's feet actually touched the floor first.

Big Show had rightly been claiming that this meant he was the real winner of the Rumble and thus should be challenging for the WWF title at 'Mania. Here, he once again proved his point to Lilian Garcia before vowing to beat The Rock one-on-one tonight and take what was rightfully his.

The Big Boss Man (w/ Prince Albert) vs. Tazz

After getting attacked by Big Boss Man and Prince Albert earlier on heat, Tazz stormed to the ring and tried to destroy Boss Man, but after about a minute, Albert ran in for the DQ.
This was barely even a match.
Your Winner via disqualification: Tazz

Post-match, Boss Man and Albert beat up on Tazz, but the Human Suplex Machine kept coming back for more until a gaggle of officials came in to break it up.

The post-match beat down lasted about three times longer than the match itself.

Meanwhile, out in the crowd, Kurt Angle had found a megaphone and was preaching to the crowd about how great he was.

No Holds Barred
X-Pac (w/ Torri) vs. Kane (w/ Paul Bearer)

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2000 - X-Pac and Torri
A lot had changed since these two last met in a cage match back at Armageddon 1999. Torri had turned her back on Kane and was now X-Pac's girlfriend. Kane had gone mental and been institutionalised but Paul Bearer had busted him out and was now back by his son's side.

Tonight, Kane and X-Pac looked to settle their rivalry once and for all in a tremendously fun effort which proved to be the best thing on the show so far.

Featuring a hilarious bit in which Paul Bearer beat up X-Pac then chased Torri around the ring, the real highlights were simply the two combatants laying waste to each other however they could.

After a relatively short but hugely entertaining contest, Kane drilled Torri with a tombstone, got waffled in the face with the ring steps by X-Pac. 'Pac then kept the steps on Kane's chest as he covered him for the three count.
Your Winner: X-Pac

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2000 - Michael Cole interviews The Radicalz
Out in the back, recent WWF arrivals The Radicalz told Michael Cole that they weren't nervous about making their WWF PPV debut and that they would defeat their upcoming opponents, Too Cool and Rikishi.

Sporting a sling for his recent injury, Eddie Guerrero revealed a small lead pipe that he planned to use later.

Rikishi & Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty & Grandmaster Sexay) vs. The Radicalz (Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn w/ Eddie Guerrero)

Just a few weeks earlier, Chris Benoit had won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at WCW Souled Out 2000. At that same PPV, Dean Malenko had botched the ending of his final WCW PPV and Perry Saturn had enjoyed an entertaining match with Billy Kidman.

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2000 - The Radicalz Head into Battle
Now, all three former members of Shane Douglas' Revolution stable were here with Eddie Guerrero on their first WWF PPV.

At first, it looked like Rikishi and Too Cool were just there to be warm bodies for the three ex-WCW stars to throw around in order to look impressive.

That's mainly because they did look very, very impressive. Yet this soon developed into much more than a one-sided squash match.

Instead, it was a fun back-and-forth battle that saw two different styles of wrestling combine to keep the crowd hot and this writer thoroughly entertained.

After twelve minutes of enjoyable action, Rikishi hit Dean Malenko with a Banzai Drop to ensure that The Radicalz lost their first PPV match.

Not that it seemed to matter. The group clearly shined here.
Your Winners: Rikishi & Too Cool

Post-match, an injured Rikishi tried to leave the ring, but Brian Christopher made the big guy put on the special sunglasses that always made him dance.

Miraculously, 'Kishi's injured leg healed up enough so that he could shake his big fat booty with Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty.

Meanwhile, out in the arena lobby, Eurocontinental Champion Kirk Angel was still celebrating his big victory with the fans.

Prior to the next contest, we got a video package recounting The Big Show's campaign to prove that he was the rightful winner of Royal Rumble 2000.

Winner Earns a Wrestlemania Title Shot
The Big Show vs. The Rock

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2000 - The Big Show faced The Rock
This was about as close as you were ever going to get to a boring match involving The Rock.

For the most part, this was a basic Attitude Era brawl that was saved from being completely dull by the sheer popularity of The Great One. Fortunately, the match was pulled from the brink of mediocrity by a tremendously exciting finish.

After Earl Hebner got bumped, Big Show planted Rock with a clothesline that would have had The People's Champion down for the three count had there been an official there to count it.

Realising what was at stake, Tim White rushed down to do the honours but was pulled out of the ring by Earl Hebner.

On the outside, Hebner and White resumed their argument from earlier and actually came to blows as a returning Shane McMahon raced to ringside to a tremendous ovation from the live crowd.

The crowd quickly turned on McMahon, however, when he took a steel chair and blasted Rock in the face with it.

A three count later and The Big Show had reclaimed what was rightfully his in the first place.
Your Winner: The Big Show

Out in the back, Kurt Angle was seen walking to his car, humming Queen's We Are The Champions and still wearing his wrestling gear.

Before he could stop and think 'I probably should get dressed,' he was attacked by Chris Jericho and Chyna, who shoved him into the trunk of his car.

Finally, we got a video package for Cactus Jack vs. Triple H, and then it was onto the main event.

Hell in a Cell Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Triple H (w/ Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. Cactus Jack

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2000 - Mick Foley faced Triple H inside Hell in a Cell
If Cactus Jack loses, his career is over

Mick Foley's Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker at King of the Ring 1998 may have been his career-defining moment, but this was arguably a much better match.

Building up from a basic brawl into an all-out war, both champ and challenger beat one another to a bloody pulp in a brutal, violent, and utterly captivating contest.

Inevitably, the two men ended up on the outside of the ring, where Cactus first tried to climb up the cage, only to be knocked down and sent crashing through an announce table.

Never one to stay down for long, he finally made it to the top of the cage where he set a barbed-wire-covered 2x4 on fire and smashed his opponent in the face with it.

Yet when he tried to piledrive The Game onto the evil weapon, the champion reversed it with a back body drop that sent Cactus up into the air, crashing through the cage and landing in the ring with such force that it broke the ring too.

It was a truly awesome, heart-stopping spot, but even that wasn't enough to put away the challenger.

With a never say die attitude, Cactus Jack climbed valiantly to his feet but succumbed to a pedigree and lost the match.
Your Winner and still WWF Champion: Triple H

Afterwards, a bloody and beaten Cactus Jack received a standing ovation as he refused medical treatment and walked slowly to the back as Jim Ross gave him an impassioned farewell.

It was an emotional moment and a fitting end to the career of Mick Foley.





Except, of course, that wasn't to be the end of Mick Foley's career. As we all know by now, he would be back in action just a few weeks later and would get his Wrestlemania payday moment after all.

Speaking of moments, No Way Out 2000 was full of memorable ones. From Angle becoming the Eurocontinental Champion to Terri's heel turn, The Radicalz looking awesome, Shane McMahon's return and that incredible main event, there was an awful lot to enjoy about this show.

So far, the World Wrestling Federation were having a great run of PPVs in the year 2000.



For other 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
More WWE No Way Out reviews


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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.