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  1. Thoughts on Spring Stampede 2000 Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff were back in charge, and they stripped the belts from all the champions. Because THAT was the problem. Mancow helped WCW draw a big crowd in Chicago, but that's what dark matches are for. Nobody cares about a Chicago morning DJ beating up Jimmy Hart, just like nobody else in the country cares about the shows that would be happening at the Omni in Atlanta in the early '90s Russo fired Dustin Rhodes after he failed to stop a non-New Blood wrestler (Terry Funk) win the Hardcore title. But first, they had to argue over who was behind the success of Goldust in the WWF. Again, WCW fans are asking "who cares?" Vince Russo literally handed the tag team belts to Shane Douglas & Buff Bagwell after throwing two extra teams (The Harris Boys and Kronik) at their opponents. Douglas was too busy beating on Ric Flair to accept the belt. ' The Wall got disqualified when Scott Steiner poked him in the eye, leading to him chokeslamming the referee through a table. Let's take a look inside the Wall's mind: "Hmmm, this smaller guy wearing a shirt is definitely Scott Steiner. Here we go!" Even though Sting got dragged to hell by Vampiro, causing him to lose the US title tournament final to Scott Steiner, Sting is the MVP for scoring clean wins over Booker and Vamp earlier in the night. Hulk Hogan attacked Billy Kidman, which did not result in Vampiro's disqualification. Russo brought in the police to arrest Hogan for going after Bischoff backstage. Mark Madden channeling Daffy Duck: "Shoot him!" Chris Candido became the new Cruiserweight champion after SUNNY showed up and help him pin the Artist. As usual, Sunny immediately overshadowed her man by having a catfight with Paisley. When I announced for ROH, our champion was Xavier. I liked him a lot and pushed him as hard as I could on commentary, but a lot of fans just didn't think he was World title materials, especially when guys like Chris Daniels, Brian Danielson, Low Ki, and AJ Styles were right there. I thought about Xavier when Jeff Jarrett was pushed to the WCW title. Triple H was benefiting from his connection to the WWF brass at the time, but the fans bought that HHH could be World champ without the system behind him. I don't think they felt that way about Jarrett. But it didn't matter, because the WCW title was about to reach new levels of irrelevancy. Since Vince Russo was back, so was the SWERVE-O-Meter, as Kimberly hit her husband, DDP, with a guitar to give the belt to Jarrett. PPV SWERVE COUNT: 6 of 4 (150%)
  2. A. The match sucked. B. As for the strapation, Hogan was whipping Flair with his weight belt even though he had a strap in his other hand. C. They couldn't decide whether the match could end by pin or touching all four corners. D. They even did a dumb angle that forced the Sid-Jarrett World title match to go on second-to-last so Hogan-Flair could be the main event. Brother.
  3. Thoughts on Uncensored 2000 Psicosis had a chance to succeed without his mask like Rey Jr. and Juventud before him. However, he got distracted by Paisley and pinned by The Artist in a Cruiserweight title match. Chris Candido showed up to do commentary, seeming out of place among the cruiserweights. Lenny & Lodi rejected Miss Hancock as their manager, so she said their new team name (XS) stood for Extra Small. Well, they walked right into that one. Even though she danced with Norman Smiley & The Demon after their win, she said her new tag team would be Silver King & El Dandy. The Wall was suddenly the deranged protégé of Bam Bam Bigelow and he put his mentor through a table. But before we could be too concerned about Bigelow, Wall chokeslammed Crowbar off a scaffolding through the stage. Crowbar got loaded into an ambulance, so I guess Bam Bam just had to walk it off. FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE - Vampiro is the MVP. He beat Fit FInlay, who said that Vampiro earned his respect. Later ... LUMBERJACKS WITH CASTS - ... he stuck around ringside after the other lumberjacks fought to the back and helped Sting gain revenge on Lex Luger. Hey Tank Abbott, why did you walk down to ringside during the lumberjack match just to punch out Doug Dillinger? "Because I can!" The huge guy in Harlem Heat's corner was called Cash. I still prefer "Even Bigger T." Speaking of Luger, Ric Flair knew him for 12 years but still couldn't help but be impressed by him. "6-foot-5! 275 pounds!" Flair even called their partnership "Team Package" even though he was, you know, Ric Flair. Best fan sign: "THEY TOOK MY SIGN" BULLROPE MATCH - Terry Funk's friendship with Dustin Rhodes couldn't last, and Funk threw out a fresh batch of Dusty insults. This bout featured a chicken, a guy dressed as a chicken, and Funk trying to change the rules to an I QUIT MATCH. The ref said no, and Dustin got the pin after a Cowbell Driver. NO-DQ - Some of these gimmick matches were rather uninspired. The Harris Boys won the tag team belts from the Mamalukes. Then the nWo music started playing. Since when were they in the nWo? WCW still couldn't make "fetch" happen with Jeff Jarrett. He had the Harris Boys and three nWo girls in his corner, and he beat up the referee until he got the one he wanted. Hulk Hogan rode to Sid's rescue and single-handedly won Sid's match with the legdrop. STRAP MATCH - And of course, the main event is Hogan-Flair. In the grand tradition of not caring about the rules of the Uncensored main event, Hogan touched three of the four corners and then pinned Flair with the leg drop. I shouldn't have given Hogan so much credit for not hogging the spotlight at last month's show.
  4. Flair and the commentators would often say what title reign he is on. That's the best way to keep track. I'm watching early-2000 WCW, and Flair is a 14-time champ. They are counting his two WWF titles.
  5. I would really love to coach them on commentary. Lesson 1: The Code of Honor.
  6. Thoughts on SuperBrawl 2000 Hey, it's Mark Madden! My old Steel City Wrestling partner replaced Bobby Heenan on the commentary team, adding the pro-heel perspective that Heenan moved away from in his latter years on the mic. Oklahoma thankfully gave up the Cruiserweight belt, but poor Psycosis was unable to continue in the tournament because he couldn't get back into the US. This opened the door for The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea to win the title by beating Lash LeRoux in the finals. The new champ's Prince impression wasn't as good as his finisher: jumping off the ropes and hitting a DDT. The Demon's match with The Wall had to be billed as a "main event" due to a contractual agreement with KISS. Sure, the main event always goes on fourth! Why did Tank Abbott need a bodyguard if he was a UFC fighter? After dumping Big Al off the top to the floor to win the Jacket on a Pole match, Tank pulled a knife on Al. I'd say this Tank guy can handle himself just fine without a bodyguard. PPVs On A Pole 2000: 2 of 2 (100%) Big T (Ahmed Johnson) beat Booker after a distraction by Even Bigger T (Theodore Reade). I didn't remember this guy at all as a member of J Biggs' Harlem Heat Inc. faction. With Benoit, Eddy, Saturn and Malenko in the WWF, Kidman and Vampiro took their places as "great technical wrestlers" with a best-of-three series. Madden envisioned these two fighting each other in the future for the US or World title, but that day would never come. The Mamalukes (who preferred to be called the Paisans) looked great in retaining the tag team belts over David Flair & Crowbar in a Sicilian Stretcher match. After both opponents went off on a stretcher, they even took away Daffney in a wheelchair. This match would have been perfect for Uncensored if they could have waited another month. WCW had such success with the "rap vs. country" feud that they started a "funk vs. classical" feud between Ernest Miller and The Maestro. The Cat won handily when JAMES BROWN came out to dance with him. The Godfather of Soul didn't produce any PPV buys because he was a surprise, but he did give his robe to The Cat, which earned Miller the MVP award. If you've just given Ric Flair a piledriver through a table, your next move would be "go for the win" ... unless you're Terry Funk, in which your first instrict is "do it again!" The second try failed, and Funk lost. TIL (Today I Learned) that Dory Funk Sr. was the original King of the Death Matches. For some reason, Dustin Rhodes was in Funk's corner, but he didn't help. If someone repeatedly called my dad an "egg-sucking dog," I wouldn't help him, either. Hulk Hogan beat Lex Luger with the leg drop in 2000. But you know? I'm okay with that. The fans were happy, and he wasn't hogging the World title or the main event. Welcome to the era of WCW where everything is about Jeff Jarrett. He was the US champion, Acting Commissioner, and World title challenger all in the same night. Even with the Harris Boys helping him and beating up all the referees until he got the one he wanted, he still couldn't beat Scott Hall or Sid Vicious, who retained the title. That's because Roddy Piper came out as the special referee as the answer to the "who's behind that door" mystery that was going on all night. At least Piper got to call the match the way he wanted this time.
  7. Thoughts on Souled Out 2000 WCW started the millennium just like the last one ended: making things too complicated and shooting themselves in the foot. Kidman-Malenko would have been a great match if it hadn't been halted before the three-minute mark when Malenko forgot that he wasn't allowed to leave the ring. Disco wasn't happy to be in the corner of the Mamalukes, but I guess it was better than being killed by their boss. Disco tried to cost the Mamalukes the match but accidentally helped them beat the Harris Boys. The Cruiserweight title went from Madusa to Oklahoma. Remember when it was the prize for great wrestling matches? Brian Knobs decided that Fit Finlay was his mentor and got a haircut like him. Knobs won the four-way hardcore title match over Fit, Meng and Norman Smiley. Harlem Heat explodes! Booker T told Midnight to head to the back while he settled things with his brother, but she wouldn't have been able to stop Ahmed Johnson from attacking him and forming Harlem Heat 2K. Tank Abbott was impressive in his UFC-style win over Jerry Flynn. This was the best use of Tank, so of course WCW eventually made him a comedy character. DDP hit Buff Bagwell with the Diamond Cutter, but Bagwell got to his feet first to win the Last Man Standing match. Worst fan sign: DDP IS A HICK --- He's from Jersey! Terry Funk lost the commissionership to Kevin Nash, who would have had to disband the nWo if he had lost. Instead, we had the nWo in a position of power at the same time Triple H and his outlaw faction had taken control of the WWF. Chris Benoit is the MVP for beating Sid with the Crossface to win the vacant WCW title. With Bret, Sting, and Goldberg sidelined with injuries, Benoit winning the title to begin the millennium could have been interesting, but before Benoit could defend the belt at SuperBrawl, he had already defected to the WWF.
  8. They just said Coach and Aiden English will be the announcers.
  9. John Morrison could have come to the ring as our very own @John E. Dynamite.
  10. Thoughts on Starrcade 99 Disco Inferno teamed up with Lash LeRoux to face Tony Marinara's goons, who happened to be professional wrestlers instead of guys who will break your legs or shoot you. Disco accidentally gave his partner the stunner, lost the match, got stuffed into a body bag and kidnapped. This match should have ended with the phone number for Gamblers Anonymous. Spice came to the ring with Evan Karagias, but it was a SWERVE~! Spice gave Evan a low blow and helped Madusa win the Cruiserweight title. Norman Smiley wisely went into his Hardcore title defense against Meng wearing a full Washington Redskins Champ Bailey football uniform. He won after Brian Knobs and Fit Finlay attacked Meng during the match. There was no 24/7 rule here, so why did they get involved? Hacksaw Jim Duggan needed help against the Revolution, so he brought in the VAHSITY CLUB, with Kimona from ECW as their cheerleader. However, it was another SWERVE~! as they turned on Duggan, forcing him to denounce the USA on Nitro the following night. Who knew that Kevin Sullivan was not to be trusted? This show had more man-on-woman violence than any WCW PPV ever, by a wide margin. Evan Karagias hit Madusa, the Varsity Club beat up Asya, and Creative Control and Curt Hennig attacked Midnight. The Oklahoma joke shouldn't have lasted longer than one night. Here, we had to suffer through his live commentary during the Vamp-Dr. Death match and then his own match that he was forced into when Doc got disqualified. Jim Ross must have rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, considering how often he was humiliated in the WWF and mocked here in WCW. Still, WCW put way too much attention on the other company's announcer instead of their own wrestlers. The Misfits were allowed to interfere liberally in both of Vampiro's matches. Why not? Give 'em a break ... they're Misfits! Jeff Jarrett beat Dustin Rhodes after excessive interference from Curt Hennig. Jarrett later came back and hit Sid with a guitar to help Kevin Nash win the powerbomb match. Oh wait, I guess it was a "tell the ref that you powerbombed your opponent - he'll believe you!" match. WORST FAN SIGN: "WWF SUX" -- You're going to hold up that sign after that finish? DDP beat David Flair in a Crowbar on a Pole match. David got the crowbar but walked right into the Diamond Cutter. DDP was about to smash him in the junk with a crowbar (just like he did to Ric Flair), but David's crazy superfan, Daffney, saved the day. If the person you're trying to swerve isn't fooled by the swerve, is it really a swerve? Lex Luger and Elizabeth pretended to be on the outs to sucker Sting in. But Sting said, "Fool me 538 times, shame on ME." He switched Elizabeth's mace with a can of silly string. So the answer to the previous question is YES, it is a swerve, but Sting did the swerving! Even though Liz ended up blasting him in the head with a baseball bat, Sting is the MVP for finally wising up and executing a Super Double Secret Mega Meta-SWERVE~! on a show full of swerves. PPV SWERVE COUNT: 5 of 3 (167%) Chris Benoit delivered a Sting-like "I don't want to just be handed the US title - I want to earn it in the ring" speech. He issued an open challenge for a ladder match. Now after everything that had happened throughout 1999, the only acceptable person to walk through that curtain would be Dean Malenko. So of course, Jeff Jarrett showed up for the third time. The last two pay-per-views ended with BILL GOLDBERG and Bret Hart on top, respectively, so the Goldberg-Bret main event of Starrcade made sense. Now, there are three endings for this match, like the Clue movie. Which one was the real ending? GOOD ENDING: Bret Hart somehow beats Goldberg to end the millennium, proving once and for all that he is the best there is, etc. Of course, there was no future with this ending because Goldberg delivered the CAREER KILLER Kick during this match. GREAT ENDING: Goldberg beats Bret Hart, showing that the young, phenomenal WCW champion is superior to the older longtime WWF champion. Goldberg starts 2000 with successful title defenses against Nash, Hall, Luger and Sting before facing guys like Booker, Benoit, and Scott Steiner. WORST ENDING EVER: Piper mopes to the ring in a referee shirt, calls for the Montreal Screwjob parody ending in favor of Bret, and literally nobody is happy. This was the third and final "FU" that WCW gave its fans in 1999, with the others being the Fingerpoke of Doom and Hogan laying down for Sting at Halloween Havoc. Even though the company lasted another 15 months, WCW succeeded in running its fans off to the WWF or away from wrestling for good.
  11. I was there! My brother and I were wandering around during intermission when Honky popped up right in front of us to cut a promo challenging Hulk Hogan for the WWF title after running away from his top three IC title challengers. It was glorious, although we were also distracted by a huge fight that was going on in the upper deck.
  12. I'll never forgive TNA for not letting me take the Gut Check Challenge.
  13. Thoughts on Mayhem 99 Disco Inferno lost the Cruiserweight title to Evan Karagias and failed to earn $25,000 to pay off his gambling debts to Tony Marinara. He was probably also in debt to Bobby Alfredo and Petey Pesto. Shouldn't this have happened last month in Vegas? Curt Hennig lost his career by dropping a match to Buff Bagwell. He had narrowly escaped this stipulation for a month. Why was Hennig singled out for this treatment? He shouldn't have worried. Kevin Nash had retired in August, and he came back in October. Jeff Jarrett thought he would win the vacant WCW title since he was the "chosen one" of Vince Russo, who booked the WWF title tournament that The Rock won a year earlier. While Jarrett made it through the first three rounds on TV, he lost to Chris Benoit in the semifinal on PPV. Vampiro and Berlyn had an atrocious dog collar match, with The Wall and Jerry Only interfering, and Berlyn and The Wall not agreeing on who was even supposed to be in the match. Even worse, Dr. Death Steve Williams and a Jim Ross impersonator came out to the commentary table and ruined the match. Announcers should never overshadow the action in the ring. Even if I'm the best play-by-play announcer in wrestling , I'm never more important than the wrestlers. Best sign of the night: I HATE SIGNS Scott Hall was suddenly the belt collector, as he had the US and TV titles. Since he made an open challenge, Booker T naturally accepted, since he won so many belts in WCW. Not on this night, because Jeff Jarrett and Creative Control were running around screwing things up in order to impress Vince Russo after losing to Benoit. Russo was already on TV for his second PPV, as he was playing the mostly unseen Dr. Claw from the Inspector Gadget cartoons. All he needed was a cat. Norman Smiley was such a great technical wrestler that it was ironic for him to be the reluctant WCW Hardcore Champion. During the Sting-Bret Hart match, Lex Luger came out to help Sting, but it was a SWERVE~! He attacked Sting and helped Bret make it to the finals. PPV SWERVE COUNT: 2 out of 2 (100%). So with a Bret-Benoit all-Canadian final for the WCW title in Toronto, the last person in the world who you'd think would screw up this technical wrestling showcase was Dean Malenko. He paid a fan to hit him with a Canadian flag earlier in the night, just so he could come back dressed as that fan so he could attack Benoit with the flag. Of course, security kicked him out immediately. What a great plan! This opened the floodgates of interference, including Hall, Nash and Goldberg. When things finally settled down. Bret won the title with the Sharpshooter. It took two years and a change of companies, but aside from losing his brother, all was right in Bret's world again as the WCW champion and the MVP.
  14. Thoughts on Halloween Havoc 99 The Vince Russo era on PPV began with Disco Inferno dancing out to the ring as the Cruiserweight champion to face Lash LeRoux. The champ wins with the Stunner ... that's familiar. But how about the babyface rookie responding to his clean loss by attacking the champ and hitting his finisher on the belt? Shades of gray, bro! The Filthy Animals were stripped of the tag team titles due to an injury to Rey Jr, but they weren't literally stripped of the belts, because Konnan & Kidman wore them to the ring for the street fight against Harlem Heat and Brian Knobs & Hugh Morrus. Heat won the belts for the third straight PPV and for the 10th time overall. Ric Flair had a great night and a terrible night, all in the same night. He beat up The Filthy Animals with a crowbar, kissed Torrie Wilson, reclaimed his stolen Rolex watch, and bragged about spanking Kimberly 14 times. On the other hand, Flair lost a strap match to DDP, who then hit Flair in the junk with a crowbar. Flair was taken to the back on a stretcher, where the Filthy Animals attacked him and kidnapped him in an ambulance. It's the circle of liiiiiiffffe..... Brad Armstrong won a match! In 1999! He didn't even need to hit an offensive move. He blocked Berlyn's Rude Awakening attempt and scored the pin. Best fan sign: BERLYN IST EIN DUMMKOPF Time to practice my baseball announcing: And now, here to throw out the first swerve, Dean Malenko! He came to the ring to help Benoit in his TV title defense against Rick Steiner. But no! Malenko actually hit BENOIT with the chair. He then revealed that his tension with Perry Saturn in the Revolution breakup was a clever ruse. PPV SWERVE COUNT: 1 out of 1 (100%). Bret Hart and Lex Luger were back to playing their best roles. Hart was the humble, hard-working Canadian hero, while Luger (just called The Total Package) reverted to his Narcissist character, if you subtract the mirrors and add Elizabeth. Luger had whacked Hart with a bat six days earlier to prevent Bret from winning Sting's World title and to win this match by submission. At least Bret actually gave up this time. Hogan came to the ring in street clothes and laid down for Sting to pin him. This was the second time in 1999 that WCW said, "Our World title is meaningless ... why are you bothering to watch this show?" BILL GOLDBERG is the MVP with one of the most dominant performances in WCW history. He came to the building and beat up Sid in the back. "Let it bleed!" Sid bellowed. Then Goldberg totally destroyed Sid to win the US title. He didn't even try for a pin. He just wanted Sid to bleed buckets. Referee Mickey Jay thought, "Sid squashed me on WWF TV seven years ago, so he must be tough. Let's see if he can come back." Sid collapsed and Mickey was forced to call for the bell. Sting asked for a fight, and Goldberg came back and beat him in less than four minutes. Goldberg held up the World title belt, and all seemed to be right with the world. So Vince Russo actually did a few things right on an action-packed show. Can Vince Russo save WCW, or will everything go horribly wrong?
  15. Thoughts on Fall Brawl 99 Vampiro and ICP vs. Rey Jr.-Kidman-Eddy was the opener again, and Kidman won again with the Shooting Star Press. Unfortunately, Rey Jr. hurt his knee. Lenny Lane came off as a Dollar Store Chris Jericho, even when he and Lodi were doing the West Hollywood Blonds gimmick. When you have to yell "WE'RE PUSHING THE ENVELOPE!", you're not really pushing the envelope. The Revolution had a rough night, doing nothing to make the crowd in Winston-Salem forget The Four Horsemen. Malenko & Douglas were upset by Brian Knobs and Hugh Morrus. Then Saturn failed to win the TV from Rick Steiner. Finally, Chris Benoit dropped the US title to Sid. Best fan sign: "SID" Berlyn looked like a completely different person than Alex Wright. He didn't wrestle a high-flying or crowd-pleasing style. Too bad he was quickly overshadowed by The Wall. He was supposed to wrestle Buff Bagwell, who didn't show up for some reason. Instead, Berlyn beat Duggan and waited 24 hours to beat Buff on Nitro. Kendall Windham was an unlikely WCW tag team champion. He was invisible for most of the '90s after failing to set the world on fire in the '80s. He and brother Barry lost the belts to Harlem Heat. It was Heat's ninth tag team title and the Rednecks' fourth straight PPV loss. BILL GOLDBERG was clearly the No. 1 star in the company, but he was playing second fiddle to Hogan, beating all the top stars again on the way to another World title shot, which should have come sooner than later. DDP was the victim. Not trusting his Jersey buddies, he showed up with three foreign objects. Kanyon shattered a glass plate over Goldberg's head, but Goldberg still plowed through Kanyon and Bigelow to beat DDP with the Spear and Jackhammer. Life rarely gives you a second bite at the apple. Sting realized he was in the same position he was in at Starrcade 97, challenging Hulk Hogan for the World title. How could things work out better for Sting this time? His buddy Lex Luger walked up to him and said, "Hey, Stinger, let me teach you something called the Tatanka Trick. See, five years ago, there was this fella named Tatanka who accused me of selling out to Ted DiBiase. I said no, man! I didn't do it! You know what? (laughs) I tell you, man ... I can't believe I fell for this ... "It was actually TATANKA who sold out to DiBiase! And he beat me at SummerSlam 94! I couldn't believe it. So how about this? YOU be Tatanka. You tell Hogan that you don't trust him for all the crap he's pulled over the last three years. He'll be on the defensive and say he's a good guy now, wearing the red and yellow, brother. Then I'll come to the ring with your baseball bat. You hit him with it, and win the title!" Sting: "Okay!" MVP.
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