The SmarK Retro Repost – Slamboree 2000


“Déjà vu, just a different crapper”

Terry Funk, just before the hardcore match.

– Live from Kansas City, Missouri.

– Your hosts are Tony, Mark & Scott

– The Millionaire’s Club arrives in a bus, which would be fine except that everyone in it already cut promos IN THE ARENA during the pre-game show.

– Opening match, Cruiserweight title: Chris Candido v. Prince Iaukea. Well, at least we can get the Artist out of the way. Prince gets a german suplex off a feeling out sequence to start. Candido takes a manly bump to the floor and they brawl. Candido tries a tope but gets caught coming down. Back in for a crappy wrestling sequence. Remember when this belt used to be contended in GOOD matches? Prince ends up on the apron and suplexes Candido to the floor. Back in, Prince hits a horrible powerbomb, but Candido blocks the jumping DDT. Thank god, given the spot-blowing shown here, he’d have killed Candido with that move. Candido tries a top rope rana but blows the move, then Prince comes off the top with what was supposed to be a flying rollup, but HE blows the move. The crowd starts chanting “You suck!” at both of them. Man, good thing this wasn’t an ECW show, the crowd would be eating them alive. Candido goes up again, but gets Samoan dropped off. Catfight erupts just to ensure we don’t get a clean finish, and Tammy hits Prince with a chair by mistake (well, in as much as she was aiming for Paisley) and Candido gets the pin. No, wait, the ref seems to think it’s two, so Candido goes up and hits the swandive headbutt for the redundant pin to retain at 7:58. Whatever. Match would have been decent if any of the spots had hit. *

– Hardcore title: Terry Funk v. Norman Smiley & Ralphus. Terry supplies us with the quote above, and we’re underway. Funk finds Ralphus in the bathroom and gets jumped by Smiley. Norman actually sheds his ridiculous “screamin'” personality and beats the hell out of Funk, which provides the good moments for the match. Then we swing 180 degrees in the other direction, as Ralphus throws cardboard boxes at Funk and delivers some of the weakest garbage can shots this side of Three Count’s reign. Man, if they had cut the Ralphus stuff out, this would have been a hell of a match. As it is, it’s just hell. Funk gives Norman some stiff shots on the table, then drags Ralphus out to the ring. Ralphus’ tights get yanked down and we’re blessed with the sight of his ass. To quote Scott Hudson: “Where’s standards & practices when you need them?”. Norman makes the save and wipes out Funk with a ladder, then Wiggles. Funk then recognizes the weak link (only took him 10 minutes, too) and pounds on Ralphus with a chair. Norman tries to protect him, and gets rolled up and pinned at 10:22. The Smiley-Funk parts were worth close to ***1/2, while the Funk-Ralphus parts were -**, so we’ll spilt the difference and call it *1/2. It was certainly perversely entertaining, though.

– Sean Stasiak v. Curt Hennig. I really hope that Hennig jumps back where he belongs in August and shows Sean the REAL way to do the Perfect gimmick. Benoit-Hennig, anyone? Big long stall session to start. Curt seems totally uninspired here, probably because he knows he won’t win another match in WCW. He’s pretty over, though. Brawl outside, back inside where Sean gets a flying lariat and a sleeper. And that kills off a few minutes. The camera pans to the Misfits in the front row but we can’t see them, because of the camouflage uniforms they’re wearing. Well, maybe if they were planning on invading Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory then the purple, orange and bright green outfits might hide them, but otherwise I’d say it’s time to fire the tailor. Small note: Van Hammer is wearing the orange suit while Lash LeRoux has green. Wouldn’t it make more sense for the red-headed Lash to wear the orange one? GOOD GOD, WHAT IS THIS BORING MATCH DOING TO ME??? Okay, shake it off, Scott. Hennig makes the comeback with some chops, but makes his usual fatal error: Slapping him around in the corner. And indeed, as anyone who’s watched more than, oh, two Hennig matches knows, the best way to beat him is to slingshot him into the ringpost, because he NEVER gets up from that. And indeed, Hennig is knocked silly and his very own Hennigplex puts the finishing touches on him at 7:53. Oh, Irony, what a cruel mistress are thee. Enjoy job-duty for the next three months, Curt. ¼*

– US title match: Scott Steiner v. Hugh G. Rection. Yes, Vince Russo has found a way to work his first naughty pun into a wrestler name, as TAFKA Hugh Morrus announces his “real name” before the match. And you all thought “Uranus” would be the first candidate for that sort of joke. Apparently this has gone from non-title match to title match between the pre-game show and this point, which pretty much gives away the finish. Wrestling sequence goes nowhere until Scott jumps on Hugh G. Rection and beats him. While this name is good for people such as myself to utilize, I can’t see Hugh G. Rection rising to the main event this way. Hugh G. Rection comes back with power stuff but the nWHos trips him up and Hugh G. Rection goes limp. Scott flattens Hugh G. Rection with an elbowdrop and a suplex. Scott stalls. And stalls. And argues with ringside fans. Next he goes into the bearhug, squeezing Hugh G. Rection for all he’s worth. Steiner stops and argues with some more fans. More stalling. Hugh G. Rection makes a comeback and rams into Scott in the corner, twice. Scott catches Hugh with a lariat on the third try. He tries a tombstone, but Hugh G. Rection is too heavy and causes Steiner to fall backwards, and Hugh hits a K-Driller (OwenDriver ’97, Austin-Killer, whatever) and goes for the moonsault. Hugh G. Rection goes up, but the hos come in and fiddle with Hugh G. Rection, and he misses his mark. Scott hooks the REAR CHINLOCK OF DOOM and pulls back on Hugh G. Rection until the submission at 9:22. Booker pulls Steiner off Hugh G. Rection before permanent damage is done. * Remember kids: DICK JOKES ARE NOT A TOY! Only professionals should be using them.

– Mike Awesome v. Kanyon. Slugfest to start and Kanyon hits the floor. Awesome follows with the tope con hilo. Kanyon rams him to the post, then follows with a somersault off the apron. Nice. Back in, Awesome gets the flying lariat and tosses Kanyon, then delivers some sweet chairshots and they brawl into the crowd. Back in, Awesome hits a slingshot splash for two. He goes up but gets crotched and neckbreakered off the top. Spinning neckbreaker gets two for Kanyon. Bodypress attempt is rolled through for two. Pancake drop gets two. Awesome comes back with a SCARY powerbomb on Kanyon, landing him right on his head. He goes outside to set up the mats and give Chris a chance to recover, then hits a slingshot shoulderblock on the way in. German suplex follows, and they go out to the ramp and Big Poochie meanders down, followed by all of the New Blood and Millionaire’s Club for a big double-DQ at 12:10. Oh, man, that was the best match of the night and they RUINED it! ***

– Buff Bagwell v. Lex Luger. The Idiots still aren’t sure if the Kronick are the tag champs or not. Hey, here’s a thought: Why doesn’t someone FIND OUT? Anyway, this is every Buff-Lex match from 1996 (which sucked then) played back at half-speed. Pose, pose, chinlock, chinlock, and Liz comes out with the foam baseball bat and nails Buff, allowing Lex to get the rack at 9:30 (!) for the submission. Then Lex gets attacked by the New Blood’s secret weapon: Chuck “The New Total Package” Palumbo. Hey, that’d be cool if we hadn’t just seen the same gimmick in the Stasiak-Hennig match. DUD

– Shane Douglas v. Ric “I will never do a job for Shane Douglas” Flair. Wrestling sequence to start. They exchange chops, then Flair goes up and gets slammed off. Mark Madden steals my joke about Flair always getting slammed off. Douglas goes to the figure-four and Flair escapes, then hits a ballshot with MUSTARD. Ever see “Hot Shots: Part Deux” where Charlie Sheen hits the Asian brawler so hard that walnuts come out of his mouth? We’re talking that kind of pain here. Brawl to the floor. Back in, Shane pulls his trusty chain out of his boot, and even goes to the trouble of hiding it from the referee. Silly boy, there’s no more DQs in WCW anymore. Unless the storyline calls for them, of course. Flair comes back with chops, and another pair of VICIOUS ballshots. Man, his muscle tone may have disappeared, but if you gotta hit a guy in the can so hard that his eyes pop out, there’s still only one man to call for the job. Flair does some token work on the leg, but Buff and “Sting” come out and nail him with the baseball bat on the figure-four attempt and Douglas gets the pin at 8:56. Way to build up Flair for that title shot next month. Match was decent. **1/4 Flair decides that “Sting” is obviously Russo, so it’s obviously not. And in fact it’s David Flair, who jumps his father along with Russo and they beat him up. I guess this is the 5-minute “match” because the clock is ticking. Kevin Nash comes out to save Ric, but Daffney jumps *him* and the Three Least Threatening People in Wrestling leave Flair and Nash laying. On the upside, at least Russo is beginning to grasp the whole “heel beatdown” concept. I just wish it wouldn’t have to involve him actually doing the beating down.

– Sting v. Vampiro. Thankfully good taste prevails and Sting just walks out. They fight on the ramp to start. Into the ring, Sting hits a missile dropkick, and tosses him out, following with a plancha. He hits a DDT on the floor. Back in, Vampiro rallies with a lariat off the top. He finds a lead pipe and beats down Sting in full view of the referee. Ugh, I really hope we don’t have to put up with this nonsense in every important match from now on. We head down the ramp, where Vamp hits a spin kick, then drags Sting back in. That was kinda silly. Vamp tries a top rope rana, but gets powerbombed (in a manner of speaking) off the top. Although Sting dropped to his knees doing the move, so the total impact was about one foot in the air. Two Stinger splashes and two deathdrops finish it at 6:48. I could have lived without the lead pipe. **

– Billy Kidman v. “Stone Cold” Hulk Hogan. “Stone Cold Jr.” Horace Hogan gets tossed by Evil Referee Eric Bischoff before the match. Hogan tries a feeble attempt at a slam, which is reversed by Kidman into a small package for two. He crotches Kidman on the top rope, then grabs a chair and drops Kidman on it. Kidman comes back with a poorly-sold rana and a dropkick, so Hogan bails. Kidman uses Torrie as a shield, allowing him to get a cheapshot on Hogan and take over. They exchange weightlifting belt shots, then Hogan hiptosses Kidman to the floor. Back in, Bischoff won’t count. Kidman dodges Hogan’s elbowdrops, then back to the floor we go. Back in, Hogan hulks up, but Bischoff won’t let him do the legdrop. Hogan decks him, then knocks out everyone with a chair. He finds some tables and sets them up in the ring. Kidman hits him with a chair, getting two. Hulk blades. A second chairshot backfires, and Hogan powerbombs Bischoff through the table. Kidman sets up a fourth table and puts Hogan on top, but misses a splash and goes through it, giving Hogan the pin at 13:31. I don’t really see what this did for Kidman except allow him to bump all over the place for Hogan, but I’m sure some will praise Hogan’s work here. I’d rather see Kidman doing actual wrestling, but you take what you can get, I guess. **

– Main event, WCW World title, Triple cage: David Arquette v. Jeff Jarrett v. DDP. Arquette is dressed like Elvis. I haven’t seen the movie in question, and the announcers basically assume everyone watching has seen the movie, so the result is less-than-impressive in terms of trying to figure out the concept. Arquette wisely runs away while Jarrett & DDP do their usual match. Jarrett gets posted on the floor and blades. I guess you have to use a ladder to climb to the second level, because there’s a bunch of them around. One gets set up in the corner and JJ and DDP take turns bumping off that. Arquette wisely stays out of the way. DDP makes it to level 2, Jarrett follows. They fight in the “hardcore cage” and actually break through the cage wall in a scary moment. Someone gets the bright idea of setting up a table on the second level, and after 10 tries to steady it, Jarrett goes through. Arquette finally scurries up to the top level and stays there. Um, why not just grab the belt, dipshit? Either that or he’s gonna turn on DDP. Probably the latter, just to bug me. Mike Awesome suddenly appears on the second level out of nowhere, but gets Diamond Cut. Just what we needed – a run-in. Page and Jarrett hit each other with a selection of guitars from the third cage, then Page climbs to the top and Arquette turns on him, of course. Jarrett grabs the belt at 15:20 and celebrates with Arquette. So we’re now back where we were two weeks ago, except the title is now worthless. Great booking. Match was a pretty good brawl otherwise. ***1/2 Kanyon suddenly arrives on the second level (what, do they have taxi service up there or something?) and gets tossed off by Awesome through the rampway. Good god, did we HAVE to have someone taking an insane bump in THIS arena? Especially a meaningless one like that?

The Bottom Line: It ended up being a decent show despite itself – Russo is a weird mish-mash of interesting ideas while still being his own worst enemy booking-wise. If he’d only admit to his own weaknesses for once and let someone else handle the in-ring stuff, he might be all right. Sadly, WCW is having to go the ECW / WWF ’97-98 route and turning everything into a garbagy brawl because they either don’t have the talent to carry an actual wrestling match or the booker is too stupid to realize that he has actual wrestling talent who might not happen to fit his ideals of what American wrestlers should be. Another thumbs in the middle show, with bad wrestling saved by entertaining brawling, but this is not a strategy that is going to pay off in the long-term or do any favors for young guys like Kidman who don’t need to do this crap in order to get over