After the large number of views and complete apathy in the comments section, my last look at the year 2000 – 20 years ago! – seemed to go down quite well. Some nice feedback on Twitter and no abuse is always a positive in this space, and so I am back.
On the wrestling front at this stage in my life, I was still without a local promotion to go and see, but that would change come April, and so I was watching wrestling television. I did not watch WWF on TV because, well, it sucked back then (and sucks today…) and I preferred WCW. But why did I prefer WCW? If I missed a Nitro I did not care by this point in time.
Televised wrestling was awful.
But we still had the PPVs, right? Right?
No ECW PPV this month. Thus we begin the second month of the year on the twentieth!
WCW SUPERBRAWL 2000/SUPERBRAWL X
– Yes, there were two names for this, depending on who was talking, and/or where it was being advertised. You know, that should tell right away just what you’re going to get.
– The entire stupid president/commissioner/WCW champion/nWo thing is recapped. If I hadn’t been watching it at the time, I would look at this now and go… “WTF?”
– And we start the PPV with Mean Gene waiting outside Commissioner Kevin Nash’s office where Jeff Jarrett, the bald Harris twins and too many rent-a-girls come out. Apparently Nash is dead. Oh well.
– It then takes the idiots on the desk 7 minutes to go over the matches, trying to make this seem like you have not wasted your money on a WCW PPV. (They’re wrong, btw: you – and by you, I mean I – did waste your – my – money.)
– Now we go over the Cruiserweight tournament after Oklahoma gave up the title… No. I refuse to recap the Oklahoma thing again. Let’s just say the second worst champion EVER. And, no, David Arquette is NOT the worst.
– 13 minutes in entrances begin… Just saying.
– Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Final: Lash LeRoux v The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea
Remember when WCW opened with exciting cruiserweight matches to get the audience pumped? Well, this is the exact opposite. A dull, boring match that lasted 6 minutes and that was 6 minutes too long. TAFKAPI wins with his stupid jumping DDT thing. The signs are not good.
– Want to know how you can tell your finisher is stupid? 20 years later, and no-one has even stolen it as a transition move.
– Norman Smiley suffered a “brutal beating” so they’re taping his ribs… Look, I’m only a biomechanist, but even I know that the ribs are the top part of the torso and what Smiley is having taped is his tummy.
– Brian Knobbs gives a Brian Knobbs promo. You know, one left over from 1986. Shame it’s the year 2000.
– Now let’s talk about a private room out the back. No, seriously.
– Hardcore Title Match: Bam Bam Bigelow (c) v Brian Knobbs
Knobbs’ mentor Fit Finlay cost him the title. And Luger broke Knobbs’ hand (that was Luger’s schtick at the time – he pilmanised people’s hands). Finlay comes out to help Knobbs. What? He cost Knobbs the title! And that line of thought is more interesting than a standard WCW hardcore match. Not actively bad, just… dull. Knobbs wins and gets the title back. And he and Finlay are mates again. Yay?
– Flair the elder gives Luger a pep talk. Liz looks great.
– Security is in front of the rooms of Scott Hall and Sid Vicious. And no-one gets in, not even the President. Apparently.
– Handicap Match: 3-Count v Norman Smiley
3-Count tell the crowd they are not going to sing tonight. That goes down really well. They try to make this match as Smiley being the plucky fighter. Smiley loses to a lion-tamer. I just lost 4 minutes of my life.
– The door again!
– Jarrett wants to know what’s behind the
Green White Door.
– Special Main Event: The (KISS) Demon v The Wall
I’d explain The (KISS) Demon but I regard my sanity a little more highly than that. Is this match for rights to the word “The”? Stupid, boring match. The Wall wins.
– Mean Gene is with Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller. They talk about James Brown.
– The Harrisses try to open the mysterious door. They can’t. They go away.
– Tank Abbott and Big Al are getting ready.
– Leather Jacket On A Pole Match: Big Al v Tank Abbott
The match was awful. No, I mean truly an abomination. But this match is infamous for the ending, when Tank pulls a freakin’ knife on Al, holds it to Al’s throat and threatens to “fucking kill you right now”. And Tony says he is threatening to shave the clean-shaving Big Al. The match was so, so, so terrible, but you need to see then ending to see what happens when you don’t train people and tell them to be sports entertainers.
– Mean Gene with the New Harlem Heat. Dull interview. Video recap of the feud. Booker T interview and he says nothing of note.
– Rights To Harlem Heat Incorporated Match: Big T v Booker (no T)
Booker looks like he’d rather be anywhere else than here. And rightfully so. The only positive I can find for this match is that was better than the two it followed. Another bad match in a string of them tonight. Big T wins and Booker loses the T, Harlem Heat, a brother and I think the will to live. Shit match. Booker tries so hard, but even he couldn’t carry this slug to a decent match.
– Post-match an even bigger fat black man comes out. Booker should be happy he is not associated with the trio of suckage the Brand New Harlem Heat has become.
– Mean Gene is with the Maestro, talking about James Brown and the Cat.
– The Harrisses beat up a security guard/janitor who cannot unlock the special magic door of destiny.
– Video recap of Kidman and Vampiro makes it seem a lot more exciting than I remember it being… although it was the best feud on Nitro at the time.
– Billy Kidman v Vampiro
Not a bad match, I just guess I was expecting something a bit more exciting. Having said that, best match pf the PPV so far. Kidman wins after not enough time. Madden’s comment about Abdullah the Butcher’s pencil with a razor blade was interesting… Abby has hurt people for less.
– Mean Gene with Terry Funk (with Dustin Rhodes). I forgot Dustin had time off from being Goldust. Funk delivers the promo of the night.
– Sid threatens security/a janitor.
– Video recap can’t make the tag team title match exciting. The promos are also… well, they’re shit.
– Italian Stretcher Match: WCW Tag Team Titles: David Flair and Crowbar (with Daffney) v The Marmalukes (c)
I won’t bore you with the rules of an Italian Stretcher Match. I also won’t bore you with this match. Again, not bad, and not even dull, just… there. And confusing. And all over the place. The best thing in the match was Daffney. Man, I would love to see that character (and as she proved in TNA, she can wrestle) in today’s WWE women’s landscape. Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, this match. The Marmalukes retain.
– Jarrett and the Harrisses have a plan to open the door. Wow.
– Sid asks to speak to Mean Gene and then says nothing of note or consequence. Although it was one of his best promos. And he mentions the mystery door?
– The Cat brings out a James Brown impersonator. The Maestro comes out to call Cat on it. The real James Brown comes out with a 152-person entourage. Cat and Brown “dance”. This lasts 15 minutes. On a PPV. Where matches were less than 5 minutes long.
– Recap of Flair v Funk a decade after it meant anything. Flair promo follows.
– Death Match: Terry Funk v Ric Flair
Actually not a bad match. Maybe a little slow, but a decent brawl from these two. And they show a young Charlotte Flair in the audience! There’s decent selling, tables get broken, they look like they don’t like one another and they sell properly. Flair wins after 15 minutes that was not too bad at all!
– The door now has had more screen time than The (Kiss) Demon.
– Hulk Hogan interview with Mean Gene and Jimmy Hart. Another 1980s promo. In the year 2000.
– Co-featured Main Event: Lex Luger (with chair and Miss Elizabeth) v Hulk Hogan (with broken arm)
Crap. What? You want more? Why? Look, Hogan wins, Flair comes out and he and Luger beat Hogan down, Sting comes out and makes the save. And that’s more than this deserves.
– We see people leaving rooms, then a video package that doesn’t make anyone excited. And “slapnuts” and “slapass” were such puerile insults.
– The mystery door is open!
– WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Jeff Jarrett v Scott Hall v Sid Vicious (c)
And the parade of crap continues with a main event that was… well, crap. 6 ref bumps. SIX! Then the seventh ref comes out and it’s… oh, that’s right… Roddy Piper with a completely shattered elbow. That was the mystery man. Piper as a ref. And Sid wins and retains.
That was WCW. And the best match of the 11 (ELEVEN!) featured 56 year old Terry Funk v 51 year old Ric Flair. Think about that. The participants in match of the night had been alive for a combined age of more than century.
A week later, it’s the 27th.
WWF NO WAY OUT
– Mick Foley video package opens the show.
– Intercontinental Title Match: Kurt Angle (European Title Holder) v Chris Jericho (c) (with Chyna)
Angle delivers a promo on his way to the ring, then Jericho does the same thing. This ended up being a decent match with a great finishing sequence involving the title belt. These two let it all hang out for 10 minutes, and damn if I wasn’t entertained. Angle is now the Intereurocontinental Title holder.
– Interview with the Dudley Boyz… when they were still looking like the ECW Dudleys. Not bad.
– WWF Tag Team Titles: The New Age Outlaws (c) v The Dudley Boyz
The NAO do their singalong opening schtick. 5 minutes of… stuff. Basically, this was an extended squash for the Dudleys to show the future of the tag team landscape in WWF. And for a while WWF really did have a great tag division. No, really. The mid 1980s through to the late 2000s they had some great tag teams. I know you don’t believe me, but they did! Anyway, this was a match to showcase the Dudleys and they won to become new champs.
– Post-match, the NOA have a “discussion”.
– Kurt Angle is seen celebrating with fans.
– We recap… do I have to? Really? Shit, okay. Viscera splashing Mae Young, aged 77 and (No. I won’t. Really? I have to? Fine.)… aged 77 and pregnant. With Mark Henry’s offspring. Which would end up being a fucking hand. For those not around back then, that is not a misprint. A fucking HAND!
– Mark Henry v Viscera
Shit. Shit in a way that only truly bad wrestling can be. 4 minutes of turds. Mae Young gets involved. Jerry Lawler: “Mae remembers Eve when she was just a rib!” Henry wins. Positive – it was better than Abbott/Big Al. Just. Next!
– Jericho whines backstage.
– Billy Gunn is crying about a boo-boo on his shoulder.
– The Hardy Boyz (with Terri [no longer Runnels]) v Edge & Christian
The Acolytes come out to stop the Dudleyz from attacking Terri. Sort of a template for the insanity that would become the norm for these teams over the next few years. A decent tag match that Edge & Christian eventually win after Terri turned on the Hardyz.
– Post-match Terri tries to hook up with Edge & Christian but they reject her (wise move, guys), the Hardyz go after Terri and the Acolytes kill the Hardyz with some nasty looking botched moves. The Acolytes were seriously over-rated.
– Edge & Christian interviewed backstage. They say nothing.
– Big Show is interviewed, whingeing about Rock’s Royal Rumble win.
– Big Bossman (with Prince Albert… the wrestler, not the piercing) v Tazzzz (how many ZZ’s was he using at this point in time?)
Tazz decimates Bossman, Albert comes in for the DQ (Tazz wins by DQ) after a minute. Long beatdown ensues. Crap.
– Angle is still celebrating.
– Video package makes the Kane v X-Pac match not interesting. It’s a soap opera. It’s shit.
– No Holds Barred Match: X-Pac (with Torri) v Kane (with Paul Bearer)
Mediocre. Not great, not bad, just there. Torri is tombstoned. X-Pac kicks the stairs into Kane and wins. Meh.
(Seriously, the Funk/Flair match was better than this.)
– The Radicals are interviewed. Not too bad.
– Rikishi & Too Cool v The Radicals
Despite Rikishi and Too Cool being in this match, it was not bad at all, really. Seriously, Benoit, Malenko and Saturn could carry anyone to a decent match back then. Obviously, because this is the ONLY decent match Too Cool were EVER involved in. If I was a person who gave stars to matches, this one would automatically lose 2 because they used the freakin’ WORM. Worst. Move. Ever. Anyway a decent and watchable match (WORM aside). The Radicals lose because, you know, WCW has to look like shit.
– Post-match, there’s dancing. I think I mentioned last month how I did not like the Attitude Era? Yeah, this dancing shit is one of the many, many reasons why. The WORM is 4 more of the reasons why.
– Recap of the Rock winning the Royal Rumble and everything after it. Actually a decent story-line set-up for a match, but the execution was… not good. (Although the window was cool.)
– The Big Show v The Rock
This match is for the word “The”, right? Not a good match. Shane McMahon comes out to hit The Rock with a chair so The Big Show wins and is going to Wrestlemania to face the champion. Hang on, what? Oh well… come April we’ll see how that turned out for everyone. (Hint: Like Shit.)
– Video package advertising the Hell in a Cell, merging into how this match came about.
– Jericho and Chyna shove Angle into the boot of a car.
– WWF Heavyweight Title v Career, Hell in a Cell Match: HHH (c) v Cactus Jack
This match gets a lot of love. And, look, it is certainly the best match of the night and the best PPV match of the month, but I find it a little long and HHH’s offence dull too often. Not my favourite HiaC match… and I will say here that not one HiaC match appears in my top list of favourite all-time matches. However, I will repeat, it is a very good match and definitely worth catching at least once. And Cactus Jack lost, so we never ever saw Mick Foley wrestle ever again.
Really? He won the TNA world title 4 years later? Wow! Who would have thunked a wrestler’s retirement would never hold.
All right, WWF definitely won the month. One thing I think you should notice is that quite a few of the WWF’s 9 matches had some length to them and the backstage stuff was drastically less.
And they didn’t waste time with James Brown.
WCW was dying before our eyes, but WWF still did not do it for me. But the Radicals signalled the beginning of the end for the Attitude Era as the WWF transitioned into the WWE and the Ruthless Aggression Era, which I did like in general (thank-you Smackdown 6… or Smackdown 5 and no-one else as they are referred to nowadays).