On The Streeter – It Was 20 Years Ago… [March, 2000]

Third month in! This has been a lot more painful to do than I would have expected, but now I have watched some WWE 2020, and so I am sure I can stomach the crap being forced down our throats in the year 2000.

 

My personal wrestling journey was about to change, as I found a small advert in the local newspaper about a wrestling promotion looking for wrestlers. It had been a few years since I had last set foot in a ring (1998 to be precise, a backyard promotion – literally – that saw some-one almost impale themselves on a star-dropper), and that was why I did not immediately jump at the opportunity.

 

Anyway, enough of that!

 

MARCH, 2000!

 

All right, right off the bat, there is no WWF (WWE) match in March of 2000. Nope, none. That means all we had to entertain us was ECW and WCW.

 

And the WCW PPV was the latest incarnation of what became known as the consistently worst PPV ever in the history of PPVs. What is it? We’ll get to it, but first it’s March the twelfth!

ECW LIVING DANGEROUSLY

– My video (VHS video… sorry!) starts with James Mitchell comparing various ECW wrestlers with the Seven Deadly Sins. In the background are the sounds of workers… very unsinister. Yeah, not a horrible promo, not by a long shot, especially compared to modern WWE. But it looks like a home video recording.

– Joey Styles and Cyrus and Joel Gertner open proceedings. Been there, done that. Ends with Gertner threatening Cyrus, Cyrus backing down, and then Cyrus blindsiding Joel… Seriously. Commentators arguing. For 6 minutes. Then the titles.

– Oh, goody, Steve Corino on the mic. He abuses the crowd (after a sound snafu) and then Sandman’s family. His wife slaps Corino, she’s dragged to the ring and Rhino gores her through a table after Sandman tries to make the save. The ring is cleared and Sandman carries his missus to the back. This… okay, there’s edgy, but Rhino doing that to Mrs Man (not a wrestler) was f’n awful. It does not play well now, 20 years later. Not at all.

– And now, 20 minutes into a PPV, we have the first match. Steve Corino v Dusty Rhodes in a bullrope match. Yes, that is not a typo. Dusty Rhodes. Thank goodness this isn’t a corners match, just a tied together match. Rhodes is so unfit I swear he is going to have a coronary at any moment. There is blood (how much blood do you think would flow in a pillow fight between Dusty, Ric Flair and Abdullah the Butcher?) which is actually good. It needed something. The referee helps Dusty win. Wow. That was… bad. Sorry; real bad.

– Sandman is with his wife going to the hospital, so Sandman is out of the tournament for the TV Title. More arguing between Styles and Cyrus. Styles is so much better than this.

– Little Guido talks. About Little Guido. Music plays over it. They’ve had years to get this shit right…

– CW Anderson & Beautiful Billy v Danny Doring & Roadkill. After a lo-o-ong, unfunny, pathetic promo by Lou E. Dangerously, we have a match. Elektra turns on Doring/Roadkill and joins the New Dangerous Alliance, giving them the win. Match was there.

– The Impact Players threaten people. Standard promo from them.

– Simon Diamond v Kid Kash. But, no! Mike Awesome comes out. He tells them that they can either get out of the ring and live or stay in it and die. Simon Diamond, showing the only bit of intelligence ever by an ECW wrestler, leaves with his entourage. Kid Kash decides to die.

– Mike Awesome (ECW Champ) v Kid Kash. I think this might be for the title. In about 5 minutes Awesome just turns Kid Kash into some form of human putty. Styles says it’s not for the title. Okay. Kash gets a few high spots in. Awesome does the awesome bomb through the table from the top rope. He pins the remains of Kash for the win. Squash city.

– Jazz comes out to check on Kash, Simon Diamond and his mates beat her up (what is it with the beating up women tonight? does the booker have issues?) but Nova and Chris Chetti come in to make the save.

– And now we have, I think Nova & Chetti v Jado & Gedo. Disjointed match that was just there. Spotfest, but a sloppy one. Nova and Chetti win. Inoffensive.

– Lou E. Dangerously is talking backstage. Elektra out. Her accent is what we in Australia associate with New Joisey. And she says nothing of note. I think. I could have done with subtitles. Well, those three minutes were five minutes too long.

– TV Tournament Semi-final: Little Guido v Super Crazy. If you’re going to watch one match from this show, this is the one. This match is so much better than any other on the card tonight it is embarrassing. Yes, a table and the FBI got involved, sure, but these two just did an insane ECW match that was fun to watch and finished with Crazy defying the odds to win the match. No, I enjoyed this match. Shut up.

– There’s an edit in my tape here. What did I miss?

– Kintaro Kanemura v Ballz Mahoney. And quicker than I can type this, Ballz shakes off a chair shot and hits the nutcracker for the win. Blergh.

– Da Baldies attack afterwards. New Jack makes the save… Oh, dear God. That’s right. This thing. Vic Grimes tries to pull out of a scaffold through a table spot (missing the Goddammed tables!) in the middle of the spot and almost fuckin’ kills New Jack… By the way, I mean that literally. How they did not break their necks is the sheerest luck. I think Grimes actually concussed himself with the going through the table spot on Ballz minutes earlier. And the crowd just cheered “E-C-Dub!” and “Holy shit!” What if it had gone that one inch wrong? Would they have cheered even while these two lay dead? This was stupid and dangerous and served no purpose and watching it again, even though I knew what was coming, it made me wince big time, 20 years later.
Well, it’s certainly memorable, I guess…
No. Just… no. And when Jack got his “revenge” at a show by a different promotion… Holy fuck…
No.

– Oh, and then Styles compares that complete and utter insanity with what happened to Mrs Sandman earlier. Bull. Shit.

– ECW Tag Title: The Impact Players v Mike Awesome & Raven (c) v Tommy Dreamer & Masato Tanaka. Elimination rules. Well… this was a mess. Tanaka pins Awesome with a roaring elbow. One? To take out the ECW champ? After the wars they had? WTF? Anyway, the Impact Players hit the spike piledriver on Dreamer to get the titles again. Look, again, it was there. Not offensive.

– Cyrus in the ring to celebrate with the champs. More wasting of my time. He then announces the final match. Paul Heyman comes out and adds his two cents’ worth. And Joel Gertner adds his piece. Five minutes that could have been used for, I don’t know, wrestling?

– ECW World TV Title Tournament: Rhino v Super Crazy. That old trope of the face coming up against the odds to defeat the heel. Yes, Super Crazy won in what was a fine match. Not offensive.

– Post-match beatdown on Crazy and RVD is saved by Sandman who canes Rhino and… that’s it? No revenge killing? Maybe he only likes his wife and not actually loves her?

– This was a hell of a lot better than the last ECW PPV. Nothing brilliant, sure, but only the New Jack/Grimes thing was horrendous. Watchable, inoffensive and… just there, really.

 

A week later, it’s the 19th. Spoiler! The consistently worst PPV WCW ever inflicted upon the universe lives up to its billing.

WCW UNCENSORED 2000

– We start with a video package outlining why the matches are taking place. Fine. It helps remembering 20 years later. No complaints.

– Wrestlers walk and talk. Luger gees up Ric Flair; Hogan and Sid have a chat about watching each other’s back; Jarrett and the Harrisses walk and talk about insurance policies; a big black limousine rocks up. We have pyro. That sounds tedious, but the competitors of the opening match are coming out three and a half minutes in, so it was quick.

– Cruiserweight Title: The Artist (formerly known as Prince Iaukea) v Psychosis. For some reason Chris Candido comes out to little pop and inserts himself on commentary. Remember when the opening cruiserweight matches were put there to pop the crowd through sheer insanity? Remember? Well, WCW didn’t because this match was more like a WWE light heavyweight title match (yes, I’m old, I remember these things – deal with it) with a few high spots (very few), Paisley stripping Juventud Guerrera, and a lot of nothing else. End comes when The Artist hits his stupid jumping DDT finisher for the win.

– Mean Gene is with Bam Bam Bigelow chatting about The Wall. Just a chat. That’s it.

– XS (Lane & Rave) v The (not KISS) Demon & Norman Smiley. However, Miss Hancock comes out to join commentary. Is she actually wearing a skirt or is her top just long? Those are legs! And that is better to look at than anything in this match. What a load of crap. But Smiley was over with the crowd. He and the Demon won after too long and he dances with Miss Hancock. She was the best part of the match and she was on commentary.

– Booker T and Kidman are having words; David Flair, Crowbar and Daphne are having words. Words!

– We recap The Wall hurting people.

– Bam Bam Bigelow v The Wall. Starts off fine, then they leave the ring, Bigelow is put through a the conveniently placed in the middle of nowhere wcw.com table, Flair (D) and Crowbar attack and this is a no contest… at a PPV called Uncensored… Bam Bam was so under-rated and he almost carried the Wall to a watchable match.

– Okay, then it becomes shit. The Wall chases Crowbar up the entranceway scaffold, Crowbar tries to throw The Wall off, but The Wall throws Crowbar off, onto a stuntman’s landing – boxes and mats. Why? What purpose did that serve? Worse, it looked fake. No, just terrible. Blergh. Then the classy crowd tells The Wall to jump. Blergh.

– Schiavone looks like he is struggling not to take a crap over this as he says this could be bad. I never noticed until these re-watches, but I think Tony’s eyes are dead and he is seriously just going through the motions. He knows what he is seeing is crap, and he is struggling. Mike Tenay is being the good company guy, Mark Madden is being Mark Madden (a poor man’s Jerry Lawler knock-off with no jokes, no charisma and a personality set to lecherous), but Schiavone… I feel sorry for him nowadays.

– Mean Gene is with Brian Knobs, who dedicates his hardcore title match to Bam Bam and Crowbar (but not Flair (D)).

– Hardcore Title Match: Three Count (c) (yes, all 3 of them) (no, I am not making that up) v Brian Knobs. Three count start by dancing. Hardcore! Standard WCW hit people with household items match. Why spray guys with a fire extinguisher and not hit them with it? That would do so much more damage, surely. Knobs has to pin all three of them, so that’s different. A pin is not allowed because there is a foot on the ropes. In a hardcore match… Crowd is pissed at that. Knobs wins with a Greco-Roman trash-can shot. And, according to Mike Tenay, that means the Hardcore Title has “respectability” again. You cannot make this shit up.

– Harlem Heat 2000 with Mean Gene. Standard 1980s interview there. In the year 2000.

– Hey, look, the black limousine!

– Vampiro says stuff under a ladder, sounding like every 14 year old emo wannabe I’ve ever come across… He clearly wants to be Raven. He wishes.

– Booker (no T) & Kidman v Harlem Heat 2000. Booker and Kidman carry the untalented slugs to a watchable match. And they win. And Torrie Wilson was there, almost wearing a dress. This was fine and inoffensive. I can live with fine and inoffensive watching this show.

– Video recap of the Fit Finlay/Vampiro feud. Then we have the match. Starts fine… until it leaves the ring, goes to the bathroom and has a crappy finish on the floor that the lighting makes hard to see. Vampiro wins. Mark Madden gets the joke of the night: when the guys are in the bathroom, he says the move they should use is a urine-agē. I didn’t say it was a good joke…

– Jarrett and the Harrisses talk. Nothing is said,

– Tag Title situation is recapped. Badly. Not just the recap, but the events leading up to this match. Mean Gene is with the Marmalukes. Disco is now happy to be with them.

– The Harris Brothers v The Marmalukes, tag team title match. Apparently the Harrisses are part of the nWo… remember when the nWo was cool and edgy? Shit match which the Harrisses win. The crowd does not respond. No pop, no boo, nothing. Way to go.

– Fit Finlay pumps up Vampiro. That was… interesting.

– Mean Gene with Ric Flair and Lex Luger (and Miss Elizabeth). Standard yet short promo from these two.

– Video package of Dustin Rhodes v Terry Funk feud. Dustin is with Mean Gene. Quick little promo… and he calls himself the American Nightmare! So we can blame Dustin for that horrendous tattoo on Cody’s neck! There’s a lot of talk about Dusty here… which is odd considering Dusty was on the ECW show last week.

– Bullrope match: Dustin Rhodes v Terry Funk. Uncooked raw chickens get involved, there’s a cowbell, a guy in a chicken suit, there’s a fake “I Quit”, and in the end Rhodes wins with a piledriver. What a pile of crap this was. The less said about the noises the chicken suited person was making the better. They fight to the back… And this was not the worst match of the night.

– Mean Gene is with Sid Vicious. He says some stuff.

– Sting/Luger recap. Okay, some explanation, Luger has been ”breaking” people’s arms with a chair, pillmanizing them, and so there are lumberjacks with casts at ringside – the people Luger has injured, including a number who have already fought tonight. However, Luger’s lumberjacks also come out with arm casts to even the odds. Got that? Good. What I explained in 2 sentences the commentators struggled to explain at all.

– Lumberjack Match: Lex Luger v Sting. I… I don’t know how to call this. It was shit. The lumberjacks fought. Tank Abbott rocks up. There was more fighting on the floor and the cameras were focused there more than the actual match. Liz gets involved, Sting wins after Vampiro helps him. SHIT. But… still not the worst match tonight.

– Mean Gene with Tank Abbott. They talk about money.

– Recap of Jarrett and Sid Vicious. Didn’t need it. Jarrett was/is severely over-rated by everyone. The best match I ever saw him in was in Superclash III…

– The order’s been changed and Sid looks confused by it.

– I miss Michael Buffer.

– World Title Match: Sid Vicious v Jeff Jarrett. The Harrisses interfere, Hogan hits Jarrett with the legdrop of hipbreaking, puts Sid on top, Sid is the champ still. Somehow, this was actually worse than the match before it, yet still not the worst match tonight! Oh, and post-match, Scott Steiner (with added Roidium!) turns up to beat up Hogan (bit not help Jarrett win? WTF?), so we go straight into…

– Yappapi Strap Match: Ric Flair v Hulk Hogan. Yappapi? No, please… don’t ask. There’s Luger & Hart interference, there’s brass knucks, there’s blood, there’s a pin, then Hogan touches all four corners, and it’s over after almost 15 freakin’ minutes! And this managed to be worse than the matches it followed…

– Dear God, the best match of the night involved Harlem Heat 2000. WHAT THE FUCK WAS THIS HORSESHIT?!

 

 

2 PPVs! ECW won in an absolute canter. Even with the New Jack/Vic Grimes NDE. WCW was… yeah. It was WCW, I guess.

 

That’s March, 2000, 20 years ago this month! And let us not talk of this ever again…

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