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, 19 March 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Bash at the Beach 1994

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Event poster
July 17, 1994
Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida

As most regular Retro Pro Wrestling readers will know, our attempt to cover every PPV from Wrestlemania 1 - 30 has been done mostly in chronological order since we hit the mid-1990s.

At time of writing, we're half-way through covering the year 2000,  with next week's review scheduled to be Bash at the Beach 2000.

That show is important for two reasons:

  1. It's the last ever Bash at the Beach PPV
  2. It features the last live appearance of Hulk Hogan on a WCW wrestling show.
When you think about it, that's somewhat fitting; a true case of everything coming full circle.

After all, it was six years earlier, at the first-ever Bash at the Beach pay per view in 1994 that Hogan made his in-ring debut for the company, challenging Nature Boy Ric Flair for the WCW  title in a much-publicised match.







So, this week, it felt appropriate to take time out from reviewing pro wrestling as it was at the turn of the millennium and jump back to the start of Hogan's WCW career.

With that in mind, join me as we go back to the year 1994 as the first Bash at the Beach show came to us live from Orlando, Florida.

Live From Orlando, The Match of the Century

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Gene Okerlund
Unsurprisingly, tonight’s opening video package focussed on the main event pitting ‘12 time WCW champion’ Ric Flair against ‘five-time champion’ Hulk Hogan in the match of the century.

WCW’s PPV openings get a lot of stick around these parts, but to give credit where it’s due, this was a pretty good little video by 1994 standards.

The video was followed by the ever-present voice of Tony Schiavone, who welcomed us to this historic occasion and introduced us to his broadcast colleagues Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan (or Bobby ‘The Brain’ Hernandez as my autocorrect would have it) and Mean Gene Okerlund.

Schiavone and Okerlund were hyped to see Hulk Hogan tonight but Herman, naturally, wasn’t so impressed.

Displaying the kind of passion that would be completely gone from his character by the end of his WCW run, The Brain cut a scathing promo on The Hulkster in which he promised that by the end of the evening, everyone in Orlando would be pointing at him and calling him a loser.

God bless you, Weasel, you were one of a kind.

Sensuous Sherri Injured Sting

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Daron Norwood sang the national anthem
Out in the ring, country singer Daron Norwood gave us a respectable rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner before we went back to the men with the microphones for more chatter.

This time, Schiavone, Heenan, and Okerlund discussed the fact that Sting wouldn’t be here tonight after he was injured by ‘Sensuous’ Sherri on WCW Saturday Night.

Flashing back to that show, we saw the Stinger lock Flair in the Scorpion Deathlock as Hogan sat on a chair at ringside watching on. At that point, Sherri came out dressed a bit like Charlie Chaplin and raked his eyes.

Hogan intervened, lifting Sherri for an automatic drop and copping a good feel of her bum in the process.

All hell broke loose, with Flair and Sherri escaping as Jimmy Hart, Mr T, and Mr T’s giant earrings all stormed the ring.

All this was shown to tell us that Johnny B. Badd had replaced Sting in tonight’s TV title match.

Finally, eight whole minutes into the broadcast, we got on with that match.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW TV Champion Lord Steven Regal (w/ Sir William) vs. Johnny B. Badd

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Johnny B. Badd challenged Steven Regal for the TV title
Clocking in around 14 minutes, this was as good an opening match as you were going to get in 1994.

Certainly, there was no way the WWF would ever showcase a bout like this one back at that time.

A proper wrestling match, this one had a lot to like about it and only lost this writer’s interest for a few brief moments in the middle.

After a solid, back-and-forth effort from both men, Steven Regal retained his gold with a sloppy-looking roll-up and a handful of tights.
Your Winner and Still WCW TV Champion: Steven Regal

Afterwards, Johnny B. Badd extracted a modicum of revenge for the loss by giving Sir William (Bill Dundee) by giving him a back body drop.

Yeah, that’ll show him.

Lord Regal is Sick of These Bloody Legends

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Antonio Inoki was honoured by the company but then disrespected by Steven Regal
After a word from our commentators, Mean Gene Okerlund stood in the ring to present some kind of plaque to Antonio Inoki.

Okerlund gushed over Inoki and only just stopped short of telling us that the Japanese legend was the greatest human being who ever lived. He then gave him the plaque in recognition of what an awesome dude he was.

Okerlund never actually told us what the plaque actually was. An award perhaps? An induction into a Hall of Fame? A lifetime achievement thing? We didn’t know. It was just ‘Antonio Inoki is cool. Here’s this thing.’

And here was another thing - an interruption by Lord Steven Regal. With confetti from Johnny B. Badd’s confetti gun plastered to his sweaty back, Regal returned to the thing to bemoan these bloody legends like Inoki getting all the recognition while he got none.

The TV Champion claimed to have been in Japan recently and beaten all of the top stars but didn’t see Inoki anywhere in sight.

Feeling disrespected, Inoki took his jacket off and stalked Regal around the ring, only for the Englishman to take a powder at the urging of Sir William.

This was kind of pointless, but at least Regal was his usual entertaining self.

Killing even more time, we returned once again to the announce table where Bobby Heenan has been replaced by Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura.

Vader (w/ Harley Race) vs. The Guardian Angel

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Big Van Vader (w/ Harley Race) faced The Guardian Angel (Big Boss Man)
The Guardian Angel stood for law and order. We know this because Schiavone told us about 15 times.

Apparently, he also stood for respecting copyright, which is why Ray Taylor had ditched all other aspects of his Big Bossman gimmick.

This was a weird one because it was not a bad match, but Angel made Vader look like a total chump.

You know Vader, right? Big, huge brute of a monster heel? Yeah, well Guardian Angel picked him up and threw him about the place as if he were Duane Gill.

Vader mounted a comeback, of course, but after he squashed Angel with both the Vader Bomb and his famous moonsault, Angel got up again a second later and continued fighting like it was nothing.

The finish was silly too. The referee took a tumble, so Harley Race gave Vader a nightstick. Guardian Angel stole it and teased hitting his opponent with it but never actually touched him.

The referee came to, saw Traylor merely holding the stick, assumed the worst and called for the bell.

Man, that was so disappointing.
Your Winner by Disqualification: Vader

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Jesse Ventura joined Schiavone to call a few matches
On the plus side, it was awesome to hear Jesse Ventura on commentary again. The last time I reviewed a show with Jesse on it was Wrestlemania VI, and I wrote that seven years ago, so it’s nice to hear him again.

After a brief shot backstage of Chris Cruise and a chubby Mike Tenay manning the WCW hotline, Ventura and Schiavone introduced us to a video which recapped the feud between Dustin Rhodes and the team of Bunkhouse Buck and Terry Funk.

To be honest, I didn’t really follow it, but it had something to do with Funk going after Dustin because he couldn’t get to Dusty Rhodes, and the future Goldust asking Arn Anderson to be his partner so he could face them.

Then, because this show was all about wasting as much time as possible, we were shown a clip from the pre-show shenanigans.  A female wrestler called Molly McShane beat two radio guys in what looked like an awful match with Jimmy Hart as referee.

Finally, we were ready for some more action, and about time too. We were 45 minutes into the show by now and we’d seen, at most, 20 minutes of actual wrestling over two matches.

Bunkhouse Buck & Terry Funk (w/ Col. Robert Parker & Meng) vs. Dustin Rhodes & Arn Anderson

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Bunkhouse buck puts a hurt on Dustin Rhodes
All that time-wasting was worth it because this was great fun.

Dustin Rhodes wrestled the entity of the match for his team, putting up a valiant effort against the two wily veterans and, of course, paying tribute to the American Dream by dropping bionic elbows with gusto.

Yet the real star of the show was Terry Funk. Middle-aged and crazy as ever, the Funker got knocked goofy in the early going and sold it for the entire match, flopping around the place and generally acting like he had no idea where he was at any moment.

It was the kind of commitment to selling that you just don’t see these days, and it was a thing of beauty.

As for Arn Anderson? Well, if you didn’t see his inevitable heel turn coming from a mile away, you must have been blind.

After watching his partner wrestle the whole of the match, Anderson finally tug in and planted Dustin with a DDT. He dragged a fallen Funker on top of the young Rhodes and this brilliant bout was over.
Your Winners: Bunkhouse Buck and Terry Funk

Post-match, Funk and Buck joined Double-A in a Dustin Rhodes beat down until Doug Dillinger came down with Randy Anderson and Greg Gagne to break it up.

Mean Gene called Anderson’s then one of the most disposable things he’d ever seen, but Double-A said he’d only talk to him if he joined them at the party they were heading to.

To Be the Man...

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Ric Flair and Sensuous Sherri
After a quick interview with baseball legend Hank Arron in which he claimed to be rooting for both Hogan and Flair, Schiavone and Heenan wasted more time with their tween-match banter before throwing it back to Mean Gene.

Standing backstage with Sensuous Sherri and World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair, Okerlund asked Flair for his comments on tonight’s main event.

Sadly, we didn’t get a ‘Mean WOO Gene’ from Flair, but we did get one of his usual stellar promos.

The Nature Boy was elated to see his buddy Arn Anderson back on the right side of the heel/face divide, but he was even happier to be facing Hogan tonight.

He couldn’t wait to walk that aisle, style, and profile and remain our world champion.

For her part, Sherri reminded us that to be the man (woo) you had to beat the man and that tonight, Hogan was the one with everything to prove.

This was good stuff from both.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion Stunning Steve Austin vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat


WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Ricky Steamboat challenged Stunning Steve Austin for the US title
Sadly, Ricky Steamboat didn’t have that cheesy theme song from Slam Jam Vol. 1 that was all about what a great guy he was for not cheating on his wife.

He did, however, have the whole breathing-fire-and-wearing dragon wings to the ring with him.

Meanwhile, Stunning Steve Austin came down using a theme that would later be used for Marty Jannetty, Greg Valentine, and a bunch of others.

The two men locked up and gave us a match that was so, so good.

Stunning Steve was a brilliant smarmy, devious heel, trying every dirty, underhand trick in the book to get the better of his opponent.

It also helped that both he and Steamboat were excellent wrestlers. Together, they gave us a long, compelling match that was a joy to watch.

After trading the advantage several times, the dastardly Austin reversed a Steamboat pin attempt and got the three by putting his feet on the ropes.
Your Winner and Still WCW United States Champion: Stunning Steve Austin

Out in the back, we were shown Pretty Wonderful speaking to Chris Cruise about their upcoming title match for the WCW Hotline.

Elsewhere in the arena, Hotline lover Mean Gene accepted his invite to Bunkhouse Buck and Terry Funk’s party. Along with Anderson and Col. Robert Parker, the group glugged champagne that looked awfully like cheap beer and gloated about getting one over on The Natural Dustin Rhodes.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan (w/ Dave Sullivan)  vs. Pretty Wonderful (Pretty Paul Roma & Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff)

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Pretty Paul Roma teamed with Paul Orndorff to challenge Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan for the WCW tag team titles
Neither of these duos may have been the greatest tag teams of all time, but they did achieve something pretty special here:

Helping to redefine the very meaning of the word ‘tedium.’

Whereas the previous encounter had been a tour-de-force of exceptional pro wrestling, this tag team title match was a snore-de-force of lifeless mediocrity.

At one point, things became so dull that the crowd started entertaining themselves with repeated, area-wide Mexican waves.

This wasn’t just something you happened to spot in the background, either. The cameras opted to focus on it and the announcers opted to talk about it because it was a thousand times more interesting than the ‘Cactus Jack Fifty-Hour Armbar Extravaganza’ going on in the ring.

Around the same time, cameras also cut to WCW President Bill Shaw ignoring the match and having a chat with Hank Aaron.

Seriously, the match was so boring that not even the president of the company had any interest in it.

Pretty Wonderful won and not a single person in the crowd looked as if they cared.
Your Winners and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions: Pretty Wonderful

At this point in the show, there are still 43 minutes on the clock with Schiavone and Heenan telling us it was time for the main event.

Seriously?

A few minutes were killed with Michael Buffer introducing WCW Commissioner Nick Bodkwinkle and Shaquille O’Neal to the ring to lend an air of gravitas to the occasion, but otherwise, this thing was on.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/ Sensuous Sherri) vs. Hulk Hogan (w/ Jimmy Hart & Mr T)

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Hulk Hogan made his WCW in-ring debut, capturing the world title from Ric Flair
On a somewhat related note, I think this might also be the WCW debut of Michael Buffer, though I wouldn’t want to put money on that.

He spent so long introducing everyone and going off on some random tangent about the moon landings that we only had half an hour left to watch Hogan and Flair wrestle.

The two only used twenty of those minutes for actual wrestling, but oh how they used them well.

Hogan will always have his detractors (from an in-ring standpoint and otherwise), but this was an incredibly fun main event.

Sure, it was mostly just Hogan and Flair playing their greatest hits coupled with an abundance of Sherri Martel interference and a single instance of Hogan busting out the kind of technical wrestling he usually reserved for Japan, but all of that combined made for a great performance in front of a red hot crowd.

The best Hulk Hogan match in years by a good mile, this 21-minute encounter ended predictably with a win for The Hulkster, but man, did we get a lot of good stuff before then.
Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 - Brian Pillman crashed Hulk Hogan's celebratory promo
After the usual Hogan post-match celebration, we found him walking down the corridor where he bumped into his buddy Ed 'Brutus' Leslie and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

Hogan and his boys then went into a room for a big celebration. Speaking to Mean Gene Okerlund, Hogan cut a big, long promo in which he said that "everything that was once old is now new" and basically gloated about being our new champion.

The best part of all this was the random appearance of Brian Pillman, who edged ever closer to the Hulkster as the promo went on, permanently smiling like somebody who had no clue what was going on.

Or, who knows, maybe he was just a big fan of WCW's newest and biggest superstar.






And so, Hulkamania had well and truly arrived in World Championship Wrestling and the organisation would never be the same again. As for Hogan's debut, it had been a great start, that's for sure. Wrestling his best match in years, Hogan had gotten his WCW run off in a much better way than it would eventually end at this very same event six years later.

The rest of the show wasn't bad, either. Sure, the tag team title match was atrocious and the Vader/Guardian Angel lacked a little something, but combine a hot main event, a decent opener, and the Austin/Steamboat classic, and what you're left with is a pretty good show.

The greatest WCW event of all time? Absolutely not, but if you're bored and looking for something to watch, you could do far worse than the first WCW Bash at the Beach PPV.




Other 1994 pro wrestling reviews:



Other WCW Bash at the Beach reviews
Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

PPV REVIEW: King of the Ring 2000

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Event poster
June 25, 2000
Fleet Center in Boston, Massachusetts

The World Wrestling Federation as a habit of promoting the King of the Ring tournament as one that could make a man's career.

Win the annual knock-out competition and, if the advertising hyperbole was anything to go by, you were essentially guaranteed an instantaneous main event career, world titles, and ever-lasting superstardom.

But let's be honest:

That simply wasn't true, was it?

Yes, previous King of the Ring winners Bret 'The Hitman' Hart, Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin had all been WWF Champion, but The Hitman had already main evented Wrestlemania and was essentially the company's top, full-time babyface when he won the competition.

Years later, Stone Cold had followed his iconic 'Austin 3:16' victory speech by wrestling mid-card bouts against Marc Mero and waiting for The Hitman to return to the company and give him a leg-up into the main event. It wasn't until two years later, at Wrestlemania 14, that Austin finally cemented his mega-star status.







Likewise, Hunter Hearst Helmsley would win the 1997 version of the competition and take almost two years before he was a fully certified main eventer.

That's to say nothing of former winners Billy Gunn, Ken Shamrock, who never moved past their current station, nor of Owen Hart and King Mabel, both of whom did challenge for the title at Summerslam the year they won the competition but then swiftly moved back down the pecking order.

So, no, the King of the Ring was not the one-way-ticket to superstardom that the WWF wanted us to believe it was, but may be for tonight's winner, it would give him a welcome boost on his already inevitable rise to the top of the card.

Here's what went down when King of the Ring 2000 came live from Boston, Massachusetts.

A Royal Occasion

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross called the show
As with every WWF PPV, this one started with a compelling and well-produced video package. Tonight's into began by reminding us about the prestige of the King of the Ring tournament but quickly segued to putting all the focus on tonight's main event:

A six-man tag pitting The Rock, The Undertaker, and Kane against WWF Champion Triple H, Vince McMahon, and Shane McMahon. If either of the babyfaces could pin either of the heels, they would become our new WWF Champion.

Out in the arena, pyro exploded, cameras panned across the enthusiastic, sold-out crowd, and Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcomed us to the proceedings.

As Ross was giving us the usual intro, Too Cool's music hit, and this one was officially on.

King of the Ring Quarter Final: Match 1
WWF Intercontinental Champion Rikishi vs. Chris Benoit

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Chris Benoit struggles to put RIkishi in the Crippler Crossface
Last Thursday, on Smackdown, Rikishi Banzai Dropped his way to an Intercontinental Championship victory over Chris Benoit. Afterwards, The Crippler had proved himself to be a sore loser by whacking Big Kish over the head with a chair a couple of times.

Tonight, the two looked to take their rivalry to the next level in a short, explosive contest.

This was an enjoyable match while it lasted, especially when Benoit lifted Rikishi over his head for an awesome belly-to-belly suplex.

It's just a shame it didn't last long.

Unable to control his temper, Benoit got a chair from the outside and destroyed his opponent with it.

Mike Chioda called for the bell, and that was that.
Your Winner by Disqualification: Rikishi

Post-match, Benoit kept up his attack, even going so far as to lock Rikishi in the Crippler Crossface and blast him with a top rope headbutt while Sgt. Slaughter, Tony Garea and a gaggle of officials tried to stop him.

Vince McMahon is Joe Cool

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 -  Vince McMahon promises his family that he will keep his cool
Earlier, on Heat, the ever-stoic Linda McMahon told Michael Cole that she had come to the show tonight in order to confront her husband.

Back live in the dressing room, HHH, Shane, and Stephanie McMahon all expressed their concerns, knowing how much Vince ‘lost his cool’ whenever he was confronted by the McMahon matriarch.

Laughing it off, Vince boasted that he was always able to put Linda back in her place and that tonight, he was so cool he might as well be Joe Cool.

Vince swaggered off, leaving Hunter and Shane to look at each other and, in a somewhat funny moment, agree that Vince was not going to keep his cool before chasing after him.

The Crippler Does What He Wants

After a brief flashback to the finish of our opening contest, we went backstage to Michael Cole, who was standing by with Chris Benoit.

In an effort to explain his actions, The Crippler explained that he was already the greatest technical wrestler in the world and thus didn’t need to win King of the Ring.

What’s more, said Benoit in his usual menacing fashion, he did what he wanted, when he wanted, and now Rikishi and all of us knew it.

King of the Ring Quarter Final: Match 2
WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chyna) vs. Val Venis (w/ Trish Stratus)

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 -  Eddie Guerrero and Chyna
This was Val Venis’ first involvement in any kind of PPV match since he took part in the 30-man battle royal at Royal Rumble 2000.

In the time since we’d last seen him, Val had seemingly adopted a more serious approach, taken on Trish Stratus as his manager, and dumped his memorable theme in favour of a generic dance music number.

The only way Eddie Guerrero has changed since we saw him at last month’s Judgement Day 2000 was that he’d cut off his signature mullet.

That aside, this was a great effort from both men, and probably one of the best matches Venis would have on a major stage.

Though it may not have stolen the show, it was still a compelling watch that came to an end courtesy of a Val Venis fisherman suplex.

Having never seen this event before, I’m surprised by the outcomes here.

Let’s not give people a Benoit/Guerrero stormer in the semi-finals but a Rikishi/Venis match instead.

Still, I’m not complaining. Two matches in and this has been a good show despite the questionable booking decisions.
Your Winner: Val Venis

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 -  Pat Patterson confronts the wardrobe lady about his outfit for the upcoming Evening Gown hardcore match
Out in the back, a flustered Pat Patterson was seen going through the potential outfits WWF’s wardrobe department had picked out for his regrettable Evening Gown match with Gerald Briscoe.

Dismissing all of the available options, Patterson demanded something that made him look slim and sexy.

‘Pat, I’m good,’ said the wardrobe department lady stood with him. ‘But I’m no miracle worker.’

How’s that for a burn?

Rikishi is Ready for Val

Across the arena, Michael Cole interviewed Rikishi.

No-selling the effects of Chris Benoit’s attack, the Intercontinental Champion said that what The Crippler did to him was nothing compared to what he was going to do to Val Venis in the semi-final.

After a brief shot of the outside of the arena and a word from our sponsors, it was back to the action.

King of the Ring Quarter Final: Match 3
Crash Holly vs. Bull Buchanan

This wasn’t the best match we’d seen so far, but it was still kinda fun for what it was.

As Crash Holly made his way to the ring, the announcers showed us how the WWF’s answer to Elroy Jetson has fluked his way into the quarter-finals, first by surprising Albert with a roll-up, then by beating cousin Hardcore Holly by DQ after Gerald Briscoe whacked him with a 2x4.

This was pretty much the same thing.

Crash got his backside handed to him by Bull Buchanan, only to steal victory from the jaws of defeat courtesy of a roll-up.

A shame, really, because I always enjoy a bit of Bull Buchanan.
Your Winner: Crash Holly

Backstage, Vince McMahon finally came face-to-face with his wife, Linda.

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 -  Vince McMahon confronts Linda McMahon
Vince wanted to know whether she’d come to undermine his authority again such as she’d done by putting Mick Foley in the main event of Wrestlemania 2000, reinstating Stone Cold Steve Austin and Dave Hebner (I think he meant Earl), and making Shawn Michaels the spokesperson of the WWF.

Ever the bundle of charisma and effervescence, Linda replied that she wasn’t here to do any of that. No, she’d flown all the way from Connecticut to Boston just to question her husband’s manhood and ask whether he, Shane, and Hunter were capable of getting the job done in tonight’s main event, or whether they needed a host of outside interference.

Naturally, Vince was unhappy at having his intestinal fortitude questioned and insisted that yes, he and his men would get the job done tonight.

This was great stuff from Vince. Linda, not so much.

King of the Ring Quarter Final: Match 4
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho

And now, the match you’ve all been waiting for...

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Kurt Angle pins Chris Jericho in their quarter-final match
Yep, this was about as good as you probably thought it would be.

Things started with Kurt Angle getting the cheap heel heat by insulting the local sports teams. Eventually, Chris Jericho arrived on the scene with a few insults of his own for ‘Kirk Angel.’

Y2J told the Olympic Gold Medalist not to worry about tonight as he was already a king:

A king of goofy-looking ring attire, a king of nerds, and a king of 30-year-old virgins.

With all the trash-talking aside, the two locked up and gave us the best match of the night so far, a solid effort in which both men were given ample opportunity to shine.

The finish saw WWF Women’s Champion Stephanie McMahon get involved in a continuation of her recent storyline with the two men.

Referee Teddy Long got in the way of an Irish whip, was tapped lightly on the nose and collapsed to the mat like he’d just been shot.

Steph ran in to hit Jericho with her women’s title, but Y2J moved. Instead, she waved the title about 30ft away from Angle’s head, and he too went down hard.

Seizing the opportunity, Jericho grabbed Steph and gave her a good snog without once bothering to ask her for consent.

That gave Angle the chance to get up, hit the Angle Slam, and win the contest.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle

Out in the back, Shane McMahon scolded his dad for losing his cool earlier with Linda.

Vince brushed it off and told Shane to remember his confidence.

‘It’s not my confidence I’m worried about,’ replied Shane. ‘It’s Triple H’s.’

‘Good point,’ confirmed Vince, ending the segment on an ominous note.

Live From WWF New York

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Mick Foley completely ignored Ivory at WWF New York
At the WWF’s Times Square entertainment complex, Mick Foley and his new short hair cut were hosting a viewing party.

Ivory was working the bar and kept trying to get his attention, even going so far as to pour him a beer, but mean old Mick completely ignored her the whole time.

I can only assume poor Ivory was talking to the side of Foley’s head that only had half an ear. Either way, I felt pretty bad for her.

All of this was more interesting than anything Mick himself had to say, which was basically ‘tonight is a good show and yes, I got thrown off the cell at King of the Ring 1998.’

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship Four-Way Elimination Match
WWF Tag Team Champions Too Cool (Grandmaster Sexay & Scotty 2 Hotty) vs. Edge & Christian vs. T&A (Test & Albert w/ Trish Stratus) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy w/ Lita)

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Edge (and Christian) riled up the crowd by mocking the local sports team
Though it may have its detractors, I say this four-team elimination match was a lot of fun.

The Hardy Boyz worked their butts off in the first half of the match, having a decent exchange with Test and Albert, eliminating them, then having an even better one with Edge and Christian.

The latter duo, who had started the match with a Five-Second Pose which ripped off the local sports team, got rid of the Hardyz to finish things up with a terrific second half against Too Cool.

The reigning and defending tag team champions were super over as they duked it out with E&C with a red hot crowd cheering on their every move.

Alas, it wasn’t to be Grandmaster Sexay or Scotty 2 Hotty’s day. After the duo hit Edge with their finisher, we got one of the screwiest finishes we’d seen in a long time.

Sexay made the cover, but numbnuts Mike Chioda was more concerned with getting Scotty out of the ring than counting the fall.

That allowed Christian to waffle Brian Christopher with the title belt, a finish which was frustrating but also increasingly common in the year 2000.
Your Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian

I should also point out that the previous match saw Lita’s first PPV interactions with BFF Trish Stratus and future boyfriend Edge, the latter of whom she gave a top rope hurricanrana too.

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Michael Cole interviews Crash Holly Kurt Angle is in Big Trouble, Mister

A commercial followed for the following month’s Fully Loaded PPV, subtitled ‘The Crap Shoot.’

I’m almost hoping that show is no good so that I can make a couple of very obvious jokes.

This led us to a backstage interview with Crash Holly.

Holly was infuriated that Michael Cole found it so surprising that he should have made it this far in the completion, and promised that when he met Kurt Angle in the semi-final, the Olympic Hero was in big, big trouble, mister.

King of the Ring Semi-Final: Match 1
WWF Intercontinental Champion Rikishi vs. Val Venis (w/ Trish Stratus)

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Rikishi beat Val Venis in the semi-final
One of the few matches I remember from this time period was a cage match between Rikishi and Val Venis that I think was for the IC belt.

This match wasn’t as good as I remember that cage match being, but it was still fairly decent for a five-or-so minute outing.

Venis and Kishi had already had a couple of violent battles on Smackdown and this was the continuation of that; a short but hard-hitting contest that came to an end when the champion caught his opponent coming off the top rope and advanced to the finals courtesy of a big ass belly-to-belly.
Your Winner: Rikishi

Post-match, Trish Stratus jumped on the Intercontinental Champion’s back, prompting JR to tell ‘Trish Stratus has mounted Rikishi!’

Ahem.

The big man threw Stratus off him and was going to Banzai Drop her until Val Venis attacked, destroying his rival with ring steps and a steel chair.

You Think That’s Funny, Coach?

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Jonathan Coachman interviewed Gerald Brisco about his hardcore evening gown match with Pat Patterson
Backstage, Jonathan Coachman found it hilarious that Gerald Briscoe had to face Pat Patterson in a hardcore evening gown match, but Briscoe was in no laughing mood.

‘You think that’s funny, Coach? The only emotion I have right now is revenge.’ snapped Briscoe with all the seriousness of a main event world title contender.

‘Well, technically revenge isn’t an emotion,’ replied Coachman, ever the pedant.

Undeterred, Briscoe cut a convincing promo in which he promised to win back his title tonight. Eventually, he was interrupted by a stagehand who had his evening gown ready and asked, rather sheepishly, whether Gerry wanted ‘regular panties or the crotchless kind.’

The line itself wasn’t so funny, but the way Briscoe remained super serious trough the whole thing made it hysterical.

Briscoe’s skit was followed by a commercial in which a guy was fired out of a cannon, crashed through a window and landed face-first in a fat woman’s lap as she watched TV.

Somehow, this was a relevant way of telling us that WWF.com would be relaunched the following day.

King of the Ring Semi-Final: Match 2
Crash Holly vs. Kurt Angle

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Kurt Angle beat Crash Holly in the semi-final
Looking to keep his lucky winning streak alive, Crash wasted no time going after Kurt in what turned out to be a short, sweet, no-frills kinda contest.

The action was good but not great, and came to ahead with a predictable win for the man whose entrance graphic wonderfully described him as ‘Kurt Angle, American Hero.’
Your Winner: Kurt Angle

The previous evening, the superstars of the World Wrestling Federation had performed at Madison Square Garden with future United States President Donald Trump in attendance.

The highlight video from this event showed us one shot of Too Cool dancing, one shot of The Rock making his entrance, and about twenty shots of Trump gurning in the front row.

Jerry Lawler interviewed Donald, who said that he was there mostly because he was good friends with Vince McMahon and that The Rock was his favourite wrestler.

I’m actually surprised Trump wasn’t attending WCW shows at this time. After all, we all know how much he loved The Wall.

Back in the arena, Lawler told King:

‘Donald Trump shouldn’t run for President, he should run for King of New York.’

Who Wants it More

Out in the back, Kane spoke to Michael Cole and The Undertaker, both of whom promised to be our next champion.

This led us to a recap of the Patterson/Briscoe feud. That atrocity was next.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship Evening Gown Match
WWF Hardcore Champion Pat Patterson vs. Gerald Briscoe

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Pat Patterson faced Gerald Brisco in a hardcore title evening gown match
Briscoe came down to Real American because of course he did.

Patterson came down pushing a shopping cart full of plunder and wresting a dress that I’m fairly sure he pulled from the ‘Sensational Sherri’ box at the WWF Warehouse.

Patterson was in his element here, even offering to lay down and let Briscoe pin him.

The two hugged but it was all a rouse. Briscoe hit his former friend, then attacked him with a banana and a dirty maxi-pad.

Yep. I just had to write that.

This was WCW-levels of garbage, but at least it was fairly short.

Crash Holly ran in, destroyed the two old men and pinned Patterson to win the Hardcore belt.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly

Afterwards, Briscoe chased Patterson up the aisle and continued to attack him.

Meanwhile, backstage, The Dudleyz revealed that they had a table with Tori’s name on it ready for their upcoming match with DX.

Handicap Tables/Dumpster Match
DX (X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Tori) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley)

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - The Dudley Boyz had a table prepared with Tori's name on it
For DX to win, they had to put Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley in a dumpster in the same fashion as  New Age Outlaws vs. Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie at Wrestlemania 14.

For The Dudleyz to win, they had to put all three members of DX through a table.

The company had apparently learned nothing from the last Dudleyz/DX encounter at Judgement Day and once again started things off with traditional tag team rules when a Tornado-style match would have made much more sense.

As a result, while the action itself wasn't actually bad, nobody cared about it because the crowd were all just waiting for the inevitable moment when The Dudleyz got the wood out.

Things picked up when DX put their opponents into the dumpster, only for referee Jimmy Korderas to be distracted by checking on a fallen Tori. The Dudleyz snuck out, crawled under the ring and snuck up behind X-Pac and Road Dogg, smashing both men with chairs and eventually putting them through tables.

When they went to do the same with Tori, however, she dove into the dumpster. Pac and Dogg pushed Bubba and D-Von in after her and won the match, but not necessarily the war.
Your Winners: DX

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Tori made her last major appearance at this show
Afterward, X-Pac was confused about where his girlfriend had actually gone, not realising she was still in the dumpster. When he realised, he stood around doing nothing for six years before finally running to her aid, only to eat a 3D. Road Dogg suffered the same fate and Tori finally went through the wood after weeks, if not months, of build-up.

That was pretty much that for Tori's WWF career. Having suffered a shoulder injury the previous evening, she would take time off to have surgery and reemerge only once to give X-Pac a slapping later on that year.

A final, brief run with Raven in 2001 would follow, but all of that was mostly an after-thought to her main run.

It was a shame, really. Sure, she often looked awkward during DX's pre-match routines, but I always enjoyed seeing her around all the same.

A Word With The Finalists

Out in the back, Angle and Rikishi gave us their thoughts ahead of tonight's King of the Ring final.

Angle called this the most important tournament in the world and promised to win it. Rikishi insisted that despite the attacks by Benoit and Val Venis, he would win it too.

King of the Ring Final
Kurt Angle vs. Rikishi

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - Kurt Angle beat Rikishi in the final
As this one got underway, King and Lawler mentioned Bret Hart's 1993 King of the Ring win for about the tenth time on this show, an interesting move considering their history with the Hitman and especially considering Bret was technically still a WCW star at this stage.

The actual action here was about as good as you were going to get from Angle and Rikishi if you only gave them six minutes to play with, but that short window of opportunity meant that the two were unable to produce anything special.

Despite a couple of dramatic near falls, this came off as underwhelming and anti-climatic, ending with a predictable win for our Olympic Hero.
Your Winner and 2000 King of the Ring: Kurt Angle

Backstage, the McMahon-Helmsley Faction appeared not to be quite on the same page ahead of our main event.

World Wrestling Federation Championship Six-Man Tag Team Match
WWF Champion Triple H, Shane McMahon, and Vince McMahon (w/ WWF Women's Champion Stephanie McMahon) vs. The Rock, The Undertaker, and Kane

Whoever gets the fall becomes the champion

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 2000 - The Rock teamed with Kane and The Undertaker to face Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, and Triple H
If you want a good example of a quality WWF main event, go back and watch the excellent Rock/HHH match from Judgement Day the month prior. If you want an example of a fairly lacklustre main event that still had a few redeeming qualities to it, this is the one to watch.

The stipulation that if any of the babyfaces pinned any of the heels, the man making the cover would get the title meant that we had an inevitable point in which Rock, Taker and Kane all fell apart, with Kane and Taker, in particular, going at it hard.

Still, there were some good moments, such as Undertaker chokeslamming Shane off the top rope through the announce table on the outside. Yet even that couldn't make up for what was otherwise a disappointing end to one of the World Wrestling Federation's most disappointing shows of the year.

The end came when Rock hit Vince with a Rock Bottom to recapture the title.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: The Rock

Post-match, the new champion stood over a fallen McMahon, holding his title aloft.






I've seen people on the Internet referring to King of the Ring 2000 as 'a steaming pile of crap' and a show that was so bad that it might as well have been a WCW PPV. 

It really wasn't that bad.

The early part of the show, in particular, had some good wrestling on it and, from an in-ring standpoint at least, there was nothing that was necessarily terrible. However, dumb booking decisions certainly meant that King of the Ring 2000 failed to live up to the high standards set by some of the company's far superior shows from that year.

Not great then, but certainly not the worst thing you'll ever see.





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

Thursday, 5 March 2020

PPV REVIEW: The Great American Bash 2000

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

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

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

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





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

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

Goldberg is Back...But Also Not Booked

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

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

Of course not, that would be logical and sensible.

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

#BecauseWCW.

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

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

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

With that, it was right onto our opening contest.

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

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

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

Geddit? Cos he was loco!

Sigh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mean Gene Annoys the Mamalukes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Page Has Something Special for Mike Awesome

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

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

Ambulance Match
Mike Awesome vs. Diamond Dallas Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

Tables Match
The Franchise Shane Douglas vs. The Wall

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

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

...or maybe he isn't.

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

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

That, however, wasn't the confusing part.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nope.

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

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

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

This company, honestly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blood is Thicker Than New Blood, Dude

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

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

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

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

Billy Kidman vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan

Special Guest Referee: Horace Hogan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Word With The Flairs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Human Torch Match
Vampiro vs. Sting

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

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

That was too much for Vampiro.

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

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

Those matches are the picture of clarity compared to this.

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

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

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

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

He wasn't wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yawn.

Still 20 minutes to go.

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

Attacking Kevin Nash's legs.

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

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

Predictably, Goldberg did show up.

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

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

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






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
Other WCW Great American Bash reviews: 
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.