The View From Down Here – Is TNA really the new WCW?
by Steven Gepp on April 11, 2011

Two weeks before Wrestlemania a friend gave me a copy of all the USA WCW PPVs from the year 2000. Yep, as WCW was going through its death throes, they put out these shows in order to save themselves. Now, my memory of seeing them at the time is that they were pretty ordinary, but not truly awful, and this was quite an interesting journey back more than a decade.

Now, to change tack a little, in recent times I have been one of many making not too nice comparisons between the WCW of 1999-2000 and TNA’s product since January 2010. But is this really a fair comparison? Well, now I feel I can actually look at them both and make a slightly better judgement in this regard.

So what I’m going to do is give a brief overview of the WCW 2000 PPVs as I see them now, 10 to 11 years later.

Souled Out 2000, January 16.
            I don’t remember Bobby Heenan at PPVs in 2000, but here you are. He looks bored, though. People rib on Hulk Hogan for being orange; did anyone take a look at Mean Gene? Big change – Jarrett suffered a concussion at the hands of Snuka and Benoit, and Bret Hart suffered one at the hands (or foot) of Goldberg, so the world title with Arn Anderson as guest referee was now Chris Benoit v Sid Justice.
            Billy Kidman defeated Dean Malenko in a catch-as-catch-can match when Dean rolled out to the floor. Was that a mistake? Looked confused. Two good minutes.
            Vampiro defeated David Flair and Crowbar in a triple threat match that was supposed to be a tag title match. Crowbar and Vampiro actually seemed quite the workers, watching this. David Flair was… well, let’s say, wrestling clearly is not genetic. And we get David in this show and not Ric?
            Big Vito and Johnny the Bull defeated The Harris Brothers. Not good. At all.
            Cruiserweight Championship: Oklahoma defeated Madusa. People decry David Arquette winning the World Title. I have more of an issue with this piece of shit.
            Hardcore Championship: Brian Knobbs defeated Fit Finlay, Norman Smiley and Meng in a fatal four-way. Not as good as an ECW hardcore match, but better than a WWF/E one.
            Billy Kidman defeated Perry Saturn in a bunkhouse brawl. Match of the night.
            Booker T defeated Stevie Ray when some fat guy came down and interfered. Why is it that, apart from Bret and Owen Hart (and GD Grimm and Mimic in RCW), brothers seem hard-pressed to have good matches?
            Tank Abbott defeated Jerry Flynn. This was billed as a ‘shoot-fight’ and it certainly looked stiff and all that, but was it really? Couldn’t find any actual details.
            Buff Bagwell defeated Diamond Dallas Page in a last man standing match. Dull.
            The Wall defeated Billy Kidman in a Steel cage match. Crap. Kidman was bumping in search of a match.
            Kevin Nash defeated Terry Funk in a hardcore match to become the new WCW Commissioner. No, seriously. Not good.
            World Heavyweight Championship: Chris Benoit defeated Sid Vicious. Not a classic, but one of Sid’s best matches.
            Not a horrendous show, but not a real good one either.

SuperBrawl X, February 20.
Nice video package to make the Cruiserweight Title seem important and to hype the matches. No Heenan; now we have Mark Madden. People crap on Tony Schiavone’s commentating. Madden is worse. Much worse. Tenay now sounds bored.
            Cruiserweight Championship: The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea defeated Lash LeRoux. Not bad, but dull.
            Hardcore Championship: Brian Knobbs defeated Bam Bam Bigelow. Standard hardcore match. Next!
            3 Count defeated Norman Smiley in a handicap match. Unfunny comedy match.
            The Wall defeated The KISS Demon. Crap. Next!
            Tank Abbott defeated Big Al in a leather jacket on a pole match, and he then proceeded to take out a knife and hold it Al’s throat! So Schiavone said Tanks wanted to shave Al’s beard… and Al had no beard. WTF? Oh, shit match.
            Big T defeated Booker T to win the rights to the letter T. Some one should tell Sesame Street. There was a blackout and interference, and for two shows in a row Booker was saddled with wrestling a slug.
            Billy Kidman defeated Vampiro. Not too bad a match either. Some nice spots, some awkward looking spots.
            World Tag Team Championship: The Mamalukes defeated David Flair and Crowbar in a Sicilian stretcher match. Oh dear God… Crap!
            The Cat then brings out a James Brown impersonator, the Maestro complains, then the real James Brown comes out and this is just a messy unfunny… thing.
            Ric Flair defeated Terry Funk in a Texas death match. Match of the night. Sadly.
            Hulk Hogan defeated Lex Luger. Dull and uninspired. Sigh. Afterwards Hogan whips Luger, Flair makes the save, they attack Hulk, Sting makes the save. Bleh.
            World Heavyweight Championship: Sid Vicious defeated Scott Hall and Jeff Jarrett in a triple threat match. Hall and Jarrett started before Sid arrived, it was over in less than 10 minutes. 5 referees were killed before Roddy Piper came out as ref 6. Messy crap.

Uncensored 2000, March 19
Stupid introductory talking heads, no decent video packages. Even the ‘Luger breaks everyone’s wrist thing’ showed the same shots over and over.
            Cruiserweight Championship: The Artist defeated Psicosis. Dull. Chris Candido came out to do commentary part way through, adding absolutely nothing.
            Norman Smiley (with stupid make up) and The KISS Demon defeated Lenny Lane and Rave. Ms Hancock came out and added absolutely nothing. Total dreck.
            Bam Bam Bigelow and The Wall had a match. No idea the result. Then Crowbar and David Flair came out and attacked. Somehow Crowbar and Wall ended up in a high place and Crowbar was hurled onto a stuntman’s cardboard box safety mat. Oh, this is just stupid!
            Hardcore Championship: Brian Knobbs defeated 3 Count. Yes, three people. Crap.
            Billy Kidman and Booker defeated The New Harlem Heat. They tried hard, but Big T and Stevie seemed almost uncarryable.
            Vampiro defeated Fit Finlay. A falls count anywhere match which was just dull. They went to a toilet, leading to Madden’s best line – the best move in a men’s room is a urine-agē. Both men are better than this. Madden’s not.
            World Tag Team Championship: The Harris Brothers defeated The Mamalukes. I was unimpressed.
            Dustin Rhodes defeated Terry Funk. This was a bull rope match and despite some nice moments, it sucked.
            Sting defeated Lex Luger in a “lumberjacks with casts” match, because of Luger’s habit of breaking wrists. Luger brought out his own army and this was just a freakin’ mess all round.
            World Heavyweight Championship: Sid Vicious defeated Jeff Jarrett. Interference galore, ref bump, Hogan dropped the leg on Jarrett, Sid retained, then Steiner came in and took Hogan out with help from the Harrises. Sid came back and cleaned house. This is crap! Flair came out and we went straight to:
            Hulk Hogan defeated Ric Flair in an “Indian Strap” match. I remember thinking when I saw this first time why don’t these two just retire. 11 years ago! But the crowd loved it! Stil: Crapcrapcrap.

Spring Stampede 2000, April 16
Nice video package to explain the start of the New Blood angle and the Russo/Bischoff regime… where Russo and Bischoff took over from Hogan and Flair as the centre of the company. Not the younger, more talented wrestlers, no… And everything is reset… We are here to crown a bunch of new champions… Dear God… Oh, and Mike Tenay is gone, replaced by Scott Hudson.
            Tag Team Championship semi-final: Ric Flair and Lex Luger defeated The Harris Brothers and The Mamalukes. Yes, a handicap match in the tournament. So, of course, the oldies overcame the odds and won. Dull and uninspired and completely improbable.
            Mancow defeated Jimmy Hart. I’d call this the worst PPV match ever, bar none, except that would indicate it was a match. The introductions and entries took longer than the damn “match”! And it got its own recap video! Shitshitshit! Oh, then Kidman came out and kicked Hart while he was down.
            United States Championship quarter final: Scott Steiner defeated The Wall by disqualification when Wall chokeslammed the ref through a table. Crap. On all levels.
            United States Championship quarter final: Mike Awesome against Ernest Miller. Hang on, Bam Bam Bigelow wanted in so he beat the crap out of Miller and inserted himself. These two then actually have an entertaining match! Really! And then Miller took out Bigelow and danced and so Awesome destroyed him. Oh crap, what a waste of a match!
            Tag Team Championship semi-final: Shane Douglas and Buff Bagwell defeated The New Harlem Heat (H2k, Madden? Really?). Mediocre match, but not horrible.
            United States Championship quarter final: Sting defeated Booker T. Average match, but they just seemed off… dare I say unmotivated.
            United States Championship quarter final: Vampiro defeated Billy Kidman. This started off real well, and then Hogan came out and just beat the snot out of Kidman for a long time, slammed him through a table and Vampiro got the pin. Was this no DQ or something? What a waste of a match (for the second time).
            Hardcore Championship: Terry Funk defeated Norman Smiley. Dustin Rhodes interjected himself and it was just… there. Not awful, but nothing great. But the best match on the card is again looking like being a Funk match?
            United States Championship semi-final: Scott Steiner defeated Mike Awesome after Nash took out Awesome with a crutch. Short and dull.
            Backstage Dustin was fired and they mentioned Goldust!
            United States Championship semi-final: Sting defeated Vampiro. Dull but not awful.
            3 Count sing/lip-sync/whatever to introduce what they called a ‘Suicide Six-Way’. Yeah. So: Cruiserweight Championship: Chris Candido defeated The Artist, Juventud Guerrera, Shannon Moore, Lash LeRoux and Crowbar. Confusing and too short to mean anything. And this had the potential to be a show-stealer.
            Tag Team Championship final: Shane Douglas and Buff Bagwell defeated Ric Flair and Lex Luger after Bryan Clarke and Brian Adams (KroniK) attacked Flair and Luger. Oh, and Russo made the 3-count. Bad match.
            United States Championship final: Scott Steiner defeated Sting. Vampiro popped up through the ring canvas and dragged Sting down, and then he was back and Steiner won. My new copy actually cuts out as Vampiro appears, but I remember it. Oh, yes… Another bad match. Please end this soon…
            World Heavyweight Championship final: Jeff Jarrett defeated Diamond Dallas Page. Yeah, okay match. But only okay. Kimberley Page hitting her husband with Jarrett’s guitar was obvious. But, really, how can 269 year old Terry Funk have the best match in two shows in WCW in the year 2000!?

Slamboree 2000, May 7
A recap of the Wednesday night WCW show. Why? Then a bus turns up. And then the hype video is shown and it makes it look good… except…
            David Arquette! World f’n Champion! He said he didn’t deserve it; he knew it was a bad idea back stage; he donated his earnings to the families of dead and injured wrestlers. But still… David Arquette! World f’n Champion!
            I like the long entrance ramp leading to the ring. Nice touch.
            Cruiserweight Championship: Chris Candido defeated The Artist. They missed spots or stood there waiting for spots, and there was a catfight between Tammy and Paisley. Even the ending was botched. Total crap.
            Hardcore Championship: Terry Funk defeated Norman Smiley and Ralphus in a handicap match. Nice “abuse of Funk” video package to start. And my favourite wrestling quote ever: “Déjà vu, just a different crapper.” And then they ‘wrestled’. Funk won with a roll-up. Oh God, crap again!
            Arquette arrived in a stretch limo. Orange Gene interviewed him.
            Shawn Stasiak defeated Curt Hennig. The new Perfect One apparently. Dull crap.
            United States Championship: Scott Steiner defeated Hugh G. Rection. Yes, Hugh Morrus now has the name of a penis, as he informs everyone before the match, because apparently “Hugh Morrus” was a “brain fart”. Oh, and Steiner doesn’t like Russo touching him. They had a match? Yeah – dull, tedious crap. Booker T saved Rection from Steiner afterwards. Sigh…
            Mike Awesome and Kanyon were having a great match, potentially WCW’s match of the year, until everyone ran into the ring and we had a huge brawl and it’s just the NWO vs WCW all over again, isn’t it?
            Video package about owning Liz. Ahh, WCW, where women were less than objects. Lex Luger defeated Buff Bagwell. There was posing involved. After the match, Chuck Palumbo attacked Luger, as he is the New Total Package. New Perfect, New Package, Same old Shit. Oh, dull match. Crap match. Didn’t I already type that?
            Shane Douglas defeated Ric Flair because David Flair, dressed as Sting, hit his dad with a baseball bat. Crap! Hang on, Flair has five minutes with Russo. But… but… Stop it! Stop it now! And we say Flair’s pissing his legacy away nowadays!? It started a long time ago. And now Vince Russo, David Flair and Daffney leave Ric Flair and Kevin Nash, two multiple time former world champions, lying unconscious. WTF?!?!
            Sting defeated Vampiro. Okay match with a great video package.
            Hulk Hogan defeated Billy Kidman. Match was Kidman bumping in search of a match. (Haven’t I typed that before somewhere?)
            World Heavyweight Championship: Jeff Jarrett defeated David Arquette and Diamond Dallas Page in a Ready to Rumble Cage match. I haven’t seen the film. Yet. (But I will… I’m sad, I know.) Actually not a bad match, even if Arquette turning on Page made it two PPVs in a row where Page is betrayed. Awesome got up on the cage to help beat up Page, Kanyon came to save him and Awesome threw him through the long entrance ramp. Stuntman bump. Oh, David Arquette’s entrance music was the most wimpy version of ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ ever. It’s like Hilary Duff recorded it.
            Final thought: Oh, how I miss Heenan and Tenay…

The Great American Bash, June 11
The opening is all about police and Goldberg and… oh dear God. Already I want this to end…
            Cruiserweight Championship: Lt. Loco (formerly Chavo) defeated Disco Inferno. There were so many oddly dressed extras around it was like the Sydney Mardi Gras. Short, but not too bad, especially after the past few months of cruiser action… And then some old guy had a ‘heart attack’, various people ran in, the referee was more stupid than usual and somehow Chavo won. Then a brawl. Then Major Gunns and the old man… God. This does not bode well…
            If I admit that I ordered GAB I get a Hulk Hogan inflatable raft… Wow!
            KroniK defeated The Mamalukes. Actually, not a bad match. (I would like to point out now I was a bit of a KroniK fan – I liked their mercenary personae, and thought their matches were not too bad.)
            Back stage interview. Who was that blonde bimbo who struggled to put a sentence together while ‘interviewing’? Pamela something? Christ, she’s awful! Why did they give her a microphone?
            Mike Awesome defeated Diamond Dallas Page in an ambulance match when Kanyon (special guest in a wheelchair after his fall from the top of the cage last PPV) turned on DDP. Three PPVs in a row some one turned on him! Does Page kill kittens or something? Match sucked, by the way, thanks for asking.
            GI Bro… no I refuse to use that name. Booker T defeated Shawn Stasiak in a boot camp match, which is where one man can’t make a ten count. You know, a last man standing match. But called a boot camp match. Stasiak’s partner Palumbo came down, they beat up Booker, he defeated them both and won after 14 hours… minutes, sorry. Yes, he defeated the tag team champs alone. Sigh. Match was dull. Stasiak had a, shall we say, limited moveset…
            Kanyon described why he did what he did, we saw DDP get out of the ambulance… and we saw Goldberg’s monster truck despite being banned from the arena, putting the police on ‘red alert’. Ugh.
            Shane Douglas defeated The Wall in a best of 5 tables match. Douglas went through 2 tables quickly, they climbed a ladder, Douglas hit Wall with something, and he fell through 2 conveniently placed tables, which was called 3, but I think the stage was also a table… anyway it was over. Thank God. Crappo!
            Scott Steiner defeated Rick Steiner and Tank Abbott in a handicap asylum match. Rick’s involvement was announced after the match started. This was SHIT!
            Flair arrived… and Goldberg’s truck was still there! Good work, cops!
            Hulk Hogan defeated Billy Kidman. Torrie turned on Kidman. Kidman was trying to make Hogan look like he is relevant in the 21st century, but failed. Dull crap.
            Ric Flair defeated David Flair. Okay match, and match of the night. Flair is indeed a miracle worker.
            Vampiro defeated Sting in a human torch match. Sting climbed a scaffold. Vampiro reluctantly followed. Crappy lighting effects also followed them. Vampiro set Sting (yes, Sting! Really! Would WCW lie to us?) on fire before he fell from the scaffold in a stuntman dive to a nice soft landing mat. This is the WORST PPV match ever. Ever.
            World Heavyweight Championship: Jeff Jarrett defeated Kevin Nash after Goldberg turned up in a monster truck and speared Nash, and this after Nash had fought off like twelve other men! Crapcrapcrap!
            Okay… THREE heel turns in one freakin’ night! This show sucked ass. When the best match of the night featured David f’n Flair and a 50-plus year old man, this whole PPV sucked crap and liked it. AUGHH!!
            Break time! I’m getting bitter…

Bash at the Beach 2000, July 9
This is pretty infamous for one particular speech, but… well, yeah.
            Cruiserweight Championship: Lt. Loco defeated Juventud Guerrera to retain. Sports Entertainment cruiser match. Not too bad.
            Hardcore Championship: Big Vito defeated Norman Smiley and Ralphus in a handicap match. Oh God. Crap. Next!
            Daffney defeated Ms. Hancock in a wedding gown match. All the males ended up pantsless, and Ms Hancock removed her own dress to lose, a wedding cake was trashed. No, my mistake last month – this is the WORST PPV match ever. Ever.
            World Tag Team Championship: KroniK (spelt Kronic on-screen) defeated Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo. Some botches, but not too horrendous. Really. I’ve certainly seen worse. And recently.
            Kanyon defeated Booker T after Jarrett interference. Not too bad at all, either.
            United States Championship: Mike Awesome defeated Scott Steiner by DQ after Steiner used the apparently suddenly banned Steiner Recliner. Disappointing match with a retarded ending.
            Vampiro defeated The KISS Demon in a graveyard match. Sorry, this is the WORST PPV match ever. Ever. I even miss Mancow v Jimmy Hart.
            Shane Douglas defeated Buff Bagwell. Dull.
            World Heavyweight Championship: Hulk Hogan defeated Jeff Jarrett when Jarrett lay down for him at Vince Russo’s behest. WTF?
            Vampiro turned up and was declared the winner of his “match”.
            Now the infamous bit as Russo goes off on a rant and fires Hogan and reinstates Jarrett as a champion and it sounds great and all that… now. At the time, I had no freakin’ idea what was going on. I didn’t read the backstage stuff on the ‘Net because I didn’t know where to go back then. I read WWF’s website, WCW’s website and the Australian wrestling boards. So this was plain weird. And at the time I remember thinking: This was just stupid. Oh, and the commentators try to say it was real, off script, whatever. They even wave the ‘script’ at the camera! Oh Christ! Stupid, stupid crap.
            Goldberg defeated Kevin Nash. Afterwards Scott Hall’s contract was torn up, even though the highlight package showed Goldberg eating it, so it must have gone… it must have come out… Eww. This was what it was.
            World Heavyweight Championship: Booker T defeated Jeff Jarrett. Not too bad a match, actually. These two could easily have carried WCW through a few years had there been a WCW left to carry. Nice way to end the show.
            This whole show was just… weird. Which makes it one of the better PPVs so far this year.

New Blood Rising, August 13
Good opening package yet again… and then they let fans ‘talk’. Dear God. Hello, stereotypical wrasslin’ followers… Tony seems uninspired now. I’m sure Madden would do that to anybody.
            3 Count defeated The Jung Dragons in a ladder match for a gold record or recording contract. Duh? Tank Abbott, boy band roadie… oh, Christ, he’s wearing a t-shirt with nipple holes and he’s singing. Hey, a fun cruiser match to open the show! They remembered what worked in 1997! Awesome! No, really – WCW PPV match of the year so far!
            Ernest Miller defeated The Great Muta by punches and kicks and a chair shot from Tygress. Great Muta was so good once… Sigh. Dull.
            Buff Bagwell defeated Kanyon. This was a Judy Bagwell on a pole match… sorry, a forklift. I can’t make this up. David Arquette got involved. Oh God… crap. Still, nice double blockbuster.
            World Tag Team Championship: KroniK defeated Shawn Stasiak & Chuck Palumbo, Sean O’Haire & Mark Jindrak, and The Misfits In Action. The Filthy Animals were the officials, Great Muta & Vampiro joined in part way through and this was a boring, dull mess.
            Billy Kidman defeated Shane Douglas in a strap match. Mediocre. Then Douglas hung Kidman, some one saved, some one else attacked, and I don’t care.
            Major Gunns defeated Ms. Hancock. A mud wrestling, strip your opponent match. I’m not even going to go into the stomach / “miscarriage” angle. Bleh. Almost the worst PPV match ever. The fact it was not even the worst WCW PPV match of the year 2000 says an awful lot.
            Sting defeated The Demon in like a minute and a half. Huh? Vampiro and Muta attacked Sting after. Ugh. KroniK made the save. KroniK then made a title match.
            United States Championship: Lance Storm defeated Mike Awesome. Canadian Rules, so the rules changed all throughout. Despite that, not a bad match.
            World Tag Team Championship: Vampiro and The Great Muta defeated KroniK. Harrises interfered. Crapcrap.
            Kevin Nash defeated Scott Steiner and Goldberg in a triple threat match. Goldberg turned up late and then walked out early and abused Russo. The “this is real” thing they were going for sucked ass. Crapshit.
            World Heavyweight Championship: Booker T defeated Jeff Jarrett. Oh God, another ref bump match. Not too bad, though.

Fall Brawl 2000, September 17
Straight into the matches!
            Cruiserweight Championship: Elix Skipper defeated Kwee Wee. Another good opener. I liked Skipper.
            The Misfits In Action defeated 3 Count. Cool spotfest match. I liked this one. Two decent matches in a row!
            Harris Brothers defeated KroniK. A chain match, with a suddenly added first blood stip. Crap.
            United States Championship: Lance Storm defeated General Rection after Jim Duggan turned and went Canadian. Huh, duh? Not too shabby, though.
            A big 7-on-7 elimination tag match was next. It was a mess and ended when Paul Orndorff was legitimately injured. I was not that into it, but it was not horrible and had some nice spots. Just meh.
            Shane Douglas and Torrie Wilson defeated Billy Kidman and Madusa in a scaffold match. I hate scaffold matches. Madusa’s bump looked painful. No, I mean, really, really painful. Still – crap.
            Sting defeated The Great Muta and Vampiro in a 3-way match. The Insane Clown Posse were there. Crapcrapcrap.
            Mike Awesome defeated Jeff Jarrett in a bunkhouse brawl. Some footballers came out, Jarrett hit Gary Coleman with a guitar, Sting hit Jarrett. A mess. And crap. So if Jarrett and Nash ever became a tag team it would take the entire NFL, AFL and half of NATO to defeat them? Or just Sting with a baseball bat?
            Scott Steiner defeated Goldberg. No DQ match. Russo came in to beat up Goldberg. Another mediocre offering, but not awful. But let me repeat – Russo beat up Goldberg! Russo – you are a tool.
            World Heavyweight Championship: Booker T defeated Kevin Nash in a cage match. And without interference! Not too shabby, though quick (less than 10 minutes).
            PPV of the year so far.

Halloween Havoc 2000, October 29
Bizarre opening package. We have Stevie Ray on commentary instead of Hudson. Oh goodie. Just keeps on getting better.
            World Tag Team Championship: Mark Jindrak & Sean O’Haire defeated Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio Jr and Disco Inferno & Alex Wright. Hey, this wasn’t too bad, especially once the spotfest started.
            After beat-downs, this bled into Reno defeating Sgt. A-Wall for the Hardcore Championship. Useless crap, and ending with a Natural Born Thrillers – Misfits In Action confrontation.
            They talked about Goldberg being injured.
            Lt. Loco and Cpl. Cajun defeated Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo. Dull but not terrible or anything.
            Konnan and Tygress defeated Shane Douglas and Torrie Wilson. Shit. Next!
            Buff Bagwell defeated David Flair in a DNA match. See, it’s like a first blood match, but you have to collect some of your opponent’s blood. Crap. Oh, hang on, Luger turned up and beat up Buff. Yay. (Note: by Jan of 2001 they were a tag team… I’m watching the 3 2001 WCW PPVs even as I edit this…)
            Mike Sanders defeated Ernest Miller in a kickboxing contest. Dear God… why? Sanders was now Commissioner. This was SHIT!
            Some more Goldberg stuff.
            Mike Awesome defeated Vampiro. Highlight – while brawling through the crowd some audience member attacked Awesome. He gets killed for his troubles. Mediocre match, dull and plodding, but not terrible.
            United States Championship: General Rection defeated Lance Storm and Jim Duggan. A handicap match. Dull crap.
            Jeff Jarrett defeated Sting. Oh, dear God! This is the infamous “Stings from the Past” Match! And it sucks worse than I remember! Madden called one of them a Sting from the future (the year 2525… like that song by Zaegar and Evans). I cannot make this up! These two should be able to go out there and tear the house down! Instead we get… this! And yet Jarrett still won! This was some of the worst SHIT ever! Now, I should call this the worst PPV match ever because these two should have known better.
            World Heavyweight Championship: Booker T defeated Scott Steiner. DQ win. Dull match but, again, not terrible.
            Goldberg defeated KroniK in a handicap elimination match. At least it was short. Crap!
            Dear God… and I watched these way back when and thought things were going to get better?

Mayhem 2000, November 26
Interesting opening package. Ric Flair’s in charge apparently.
            Cruiserweight Championship: Mike Sanders defeated Kwee Wee. The action outside was more exciting than in the ring. Dull.
            Backstage Wright and Disco buy Kronik for 7 and a half minutes.
            Shane Helms & Shannon Moore defeated Evan Karagias & Jamie Knoble, and Kaz Hayashi & Yun Yang. Really good spotfest match. I miss these insane cruiser matches.
            Back stage, Bigelow takes out Awesome, his opponent for tonight.
            Mancow defeated Jimmy Hart. This was on a PPV? Again? Crap! (And not even close to the worst PPV match of the year… sigh!)
            Hardcore Championship: Crowbar defeated Reno and Big Vito. These things never change. Dull.
            Rey Mysterio Jr and Billy Kidman defeated Alex Wright and KroniK. Kronik left after their time ran out. Apparently the entrance was counted in the 7 ½ minutes. What was the point? Crap.
            Ernest Miller defeated Shane Douglas. Shit.
            Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Sgt. A-Wall. Mediocre. I’ve seen worse. I’ve seen worse tonight. The stretcher thing was the worst taste.
            United States Championship: General Rection defeated Lance Storm. Okay match, and I’m going to ignore the Bigelow on a stretcher bit.
            Jeff Jarrett defeated Buff Bagwell. Dull, but not awful. And why can’t referees see the guitar bits laying everywhere?
            World Tag Team Championship: Kevin Nash and Diamond Dallas Page defeated Chuck Palumbo and Shawn Stasiak. Not a bad match! And the biggest surprise in it? Nash didn’t turn on DDP!
            Goldberg defeated Lex Luger. Boring crap.
            World Heavyweight Championship: Scott Steiner defeated Booker T in a steel cage (more a Hell in a Cell cage) with a straight jacket involved. Uh-huh. Apart from that, a pretty good match to close the show.

Starrcade 2000, December 17
Another good opening package and Scott Hudson’s back on commentary. Schiavone sounds a little more enthused this time. “Which maniac will be the WCW world champion?” Indeed.
            Same three team cruiser match as last show, except there’s to be one winner, to be number one contender for the Cruiser title. Helms and Moore win to be joint number one contenders. I don’t mind. Really good match to open.
            Backstage stuff. KroniK in a steam room. Yeah… right.
            Lance Storm defeated The Cat. Afterwards Team Canada beat up Jim Duggan and Miller saved him. Average match, but not awful. Storm’s pre-match political talk is actually pretty cool, even ten years later, especially the crowd reactions.
            Buff Bagwell does backstage interviews. He’s better than that blonde idiot. Seriously.
            Hardcore Championship: Terry Funk defeated Crowbar. Standard hardcore match. Tony’s comment about Funk’s first retirement match being 17 years before was just a sad indictment on all involved. Next.
            KroniK fought Big Vito and Reno. Result? Dunno. Because Reno pinned Vito. Yeah… right. Messy crap.
            Mike Awesome defeated Bam Bam Bigelow. This was an ambulance match. Bigelow went through the roof of the ambulance. Yeah… right. Sigh. Crapcrapcrap.
            United States Championship: General Rection defeated Shane Douglas. DQ win. Crapcrapcrap.
            Jeff Jarrett and the Harrises defeated the Filthy Animals. This was a bunkhouse brawl, street fight thing. Which is a synonym for mess, I think. Anyway – a mess.
            Diamond Dallas Page and Kevin Nash defeated Chuck Palumbo and Shawn Stasiak. Same match as last month. And Nash still didn’t turn on DDP! Next!
            Goldberg defeated Lex Luger. Crap. That is all.
            World Heavyweight Championship: Scott Steiner defeated Sid Vicious. Not terrible, but boring.

And that’s the lot of them. Whew! So, what conclusions can be drawn? What similarities can be seen?:
* The upper card dominated by old guys? Check, although we have had Hardy and Anderson in there as champs in TNA (and at this point, sorry everyone, RVD is an old guy in wrestling).
* Flair pissing his legacy away? Check.
* Flair and Hogan involved in everything? Check. (After 11 years? Seriously?)
* Russo writing incoherent storylines? Check.
* Misusing a potentially great wrestler (IMO)? Check. WCW had Mike Awesome, TNA has Samoa Joe. So much waste.
* Women hired for looks and to be embarrassed? Ahh, well, no, not really. In TNA, they can actually wrestle and many wrestle reasonably well.
* A guy so old he remembered Flair being a no-time champion having the best matches on the card? In TNA, no… thank God. Look, Terry Funk’s a legend, but to twice have the best match on a PPV card in the year 2000 was just sad.
* Constant title changes? Not really in TNA. There’s been a few, but not like every other week.
* At least one really good match per PPV? Well, TNA yes. Normally a tag or AJ Styles match… and WCW 1996-1998 sure, because the cruisers would do it, or Eddy or Benoit. But WCW in 2000? Look at SuperBrawl X. The best match featured two combatants whose combined age was more than a century. And even that was not brilliant. By the end of the year, though, WCW got their groove back in this regard.
* Shocking swerves? Sure, TNA has them, but 2000 saw this – David Arquette, WCW World Champion. Yeah. Think about it.

Oh, and I learnt one major thing – if I ever want to be a boss, I just have to get the guy who holds the job into a wrestling ring and beat him senseless, pin him for a three-count and that’s it! I’m the boss. Even in to 2001, the commissionership of WCW changed in the ring so often it was almost the hardcore title.

So, let’s be serious. As much as people love to rag on TNA at the moment, they are still not a patch on the sheer insanity, resetting, confusion and complete bullshit of WCW in the year 2000, and that is just from watching the 12 USA PPVs (there was a Europe-only one as well, apparently). So, sure, TNA is doing some mind-blowingly stupid things and at times is hard to watch. But I just watched around 35 hours of WCW. I’ve seen stupid and I’ve seen crap. Please, TNA, learn from the past.

So, TNA, I’m sorry. You’re crap at times, granted, but you’re not this crap.

At least, not yet.

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Steven Gepp

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  • CB

    Thanks for forcing me to remember the glory DAZE of WCW :-)

  • cjo

    re: your comparisons…

    11 years later I think we can rotate Flair into the Terry Funk ’15 years past 1st retirement’ slot… an argument could be used for Hogan but Flair seems to still be an active wrestler

    Moving into the Flair pissing away their legacy spot, I think we can slot Sting in at this point, maybe Steiner but I don’t think he has much legacy left…

  • CB

    I actually think Steiner is still funny as hell. In fact, giving Steiner a live mic for 2-5 minutes every episode would be a way to keep me interested every week in that segment.

  • Michael L

    I remember WCW in 2000, a year in which just about every major (and quite a few minor) decision seemed to be oriented towards the destruction of the company. They kicked the year off in rare form, by replacing Russo with the one guy (Sullivan) that the future of the company couldn’t stand, and thus lost four key players (Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, Saturn). They would have lost more, but the WWF didn’t want them.

    Then Sullivan goes insanely old-school in his booking, re-pushing Hogan and Flair, and the end result was a boring product.

    Things almost looked up when Bischoff and Russo teamed up, and they had an interesting angle going on with the Millionaire’s Club v. the New Blood. But Russo’s ADD kicked in, with rapid-fire title changes that pretty much killed Jarrett’s and later Booker’s image as a world champion. Even worse, the face/heel alliances that seemed stark at the outset of the angle became blended. And let’s not forget the “worked shoots” that became prevalent.

    The real shame is that in early 2001, Russo was gone and the booking committee seemed to get a handle on the product, giving a new emphasis to the CW division, which was pushing new stars like Shane Helms & Chavo Guerrero. They also developed consistency at the top of the card, with Steiner having the most successful world title run in quite a while. And they had an interesting angle with the Magnificent 7 (Flair, both Steiners, Bagwell, Animal, and I forget who else) running over the company, building to the return of top faces such as Sting, DDP and Goldberg. Bischoff’s buyout of the company could have lead to something truly special, but the AOL/Turner exec Jamie Kellner killed the deal by canceling Nitro because “wrasslin'” no longer fit the image of the company.

  • Mike Gojira

    I’m so sorry you had to relive that year, Steve. I personally gave up on WCW the night of the Finger Poke of Doom, which was WCW essentially telling me that this was all a joke and I was an idiot for showing interest in the product. I left that day and never looked back, stopping only to read results and chuckle at the inanity. Even the mystique of Arquette as champ wasn’t enough to get me even SLIGHTLY interested in seeing where they were going with it. The last time I watched Nitro was on its final night.

  • Steven Gepp

    Thanks for reading what was a long article, everyone. I watched the 2001 PPVs (all 3 of them!) and they were a shed-load better than this; 2000 seems to be the crap year of all crap years for WCW.

  • Mark Allen

    Thanks for the memories Steven. Good stuff.

  • Steven Gepp

    In response to an email, and I want to put it here, in the public domain: Yes, I did use the words “crap” and “sh*t” an awful lot. YOU try watching 35 hours of WCW and not using those words!

  • incognito

    Thanks for the funny memories, Steven. Michael L. pretty much expressed my sentiments about WCW 2000-2001. I actually recently (well, early last year) started watching all of the WCW pay per views from 1995 on, either from my own tapes or other sources – except for 2/3 of the year 2000 shows, which I knew weren’t going to be worth bothering with. I actually think Slamboree 2000 is a very fun, if severely flawed show to watch. The Awesome/Kanyon match ending was infuriating, but par for the course that year, and the main event was better than it had any right to be with David Arquette involved.

    I switched from being a major WCW fan to an occasional viewer a little before Great American Bash ’99 (and renting the video of that lousy show back then did nothing to change my mind) but I did still order Starrcade 2000…which I regretted.

    My only consolation upon reliving these memories is that TNA at its worst does not get as bad as WCW in 2000. Even their most ridiculous booking doesn’t involve things like a guy pinning his own tag partner in a tag match and the decision standing.

    Then again, if you want to see some crappy matches and booking, go look up the highest ever rated episode of Monday Night Raw and watch it. I’ll post the results for everyone else in another comment.

  • incognito

    Billy Gunn vs. Kane went to a no contest. Road Dogg and X-Pac attacked Billy Gunn.

    Big Show vs. Paul Bearer went to a 3 minute no contest.

    Sable lost the Women’s championship to Debra by reverse decision in a bra and panties match. The decision was reversed by guest commentator Shawn Michaels, who said that the woman who got stripped should win. Yes, a guest commentator had the authority to reverse title decisions on a whim.

    Big Bossman beat Test in a nightstick on a pole match. He used a second nightstick he had snuck into the ring.

    Cactus Jack beat Viscera and Mideon in a hardcore handicap match.

    Bradshaw vs. Farooq in a lumberjack match ended in another no contest at about 2 minutes.

    Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco beat the Mean Streets Posse in a loser-leaves-WWF match in about 2 minutes.

    Jeff Jarrett beat Val Venis with interference from Debra.

    Ken Shamrock vs. Chyna ended in the fourth no contest of the evening.

    In the main event, Steve Austin, The Rock and Vince McMahon beat Undertaker, Triple H and Shane McMahon in under five minutes.

    Highest rated episode ever…

    Impact isn’t really as bad as everyone says, even when its bad.

  • Steven Gepp

    @incognito. Wow… I mean, wow. I had no idea. And I think that’s something a lot of us lose sight of – TNA sucks and is bad, but those of us who have been watching wrestling for longer than the past few years remember when it was *really* bad. Just reading this RAW results sheet makes me think Impact is not that bad at all. Maybe we should start cutting them a little more slack… 2 minute PPV main events notwithstanding.

  • Futureal

    I think you actually underrated a lot of those matches, especially compared with what other reviewers have already written about these shows. I have seen people give ***1/4 to Jarrett vs. DDP from Spring Stampede – and I feel that’s deserved. Sting vs. Vampiro in my opinion was always “pretty good” rather than “pretty dull”. Vampiro vs. Finlay is certainly not a classic but it’s a really fun wild brawl. Chavo vs. Juventud from Bash At The Beach got ***1/2 from Scott Keith. Steiner vs. Goldberg from Fall Brawl is widely regarded as a minor miracle, rated something like ***3/4 in the Torch.

    All in all, I tend to enjoy most of the PPVs that WCW put out in 2000. The worked shoots and most of the storylines were frustrating but – with the exception of the horrible Halloween Havoc show – you always had some solid wrestling from guys like Booker, Kanyon, Vampiro, Awesome, Jarrett, the Misfits…something I always liked abpout Russo: he gave hungry midcarders new gimmicks and a chance to prove themselves, I loved what he did with Booker T and even the US Title push for someone like the very motivated General Rection. Sure, he is never able to follow up properly, so there is no progress made = bad booking. But watching these events 11 years later out of context they are fun.

  • Steven Gepp

    @Futureal – I try not to read other reviewers if I’m going to review something. However, these are my opinions, and I felt a lot was dull – not bad. I think my biggest issue in doing this is that I watched these over 4 days, giving me almost 9 hrs a day of WCW.

    I didn’t really enjoy these PPVs, though. I have found that I enjoyed the 2001 offerings, though. And I still stand by my point that TNA is not as bad as this.

    I do agree with you that Russo – in WWF and then WCW – did give the midcarders personalities, so much better than WWF/E has since he left.

    Thanks for the feedback, and thanks for having a discussion and not an abuse. Much appreciated!

  • CB

    @incognito: Holy s*** that Raw episode sounded so awful. Wow, just goes to show that 1) ratings don’t tell you everything; and 2) WWE could do anything during that era and people would watch.

    Actually, point 2 is also still in play now, 11 years later.

    WCW towards the end was very hard for me to watch. The huge amount of turnover after they ran out of money and/or great ideas didn’t help either, nor did the WWF/E defections of Jericho, the Radicalz, etc.

    You know what I appreciate even more now than I did when I was younger? WCW before the invasion of Hogan and all the big WWF names. WCW Saturday Night was one of my favorite go-to shows, every week at 6:05 pm on TBS in NY.

    Come to think of it, I also miss TNA before the invasion of Hogan too. They had a lot of positives going for them, and all they had to do was stick with a slow and steady build with logical booking, and instead they went for the gold medal before they even could reach the podium.

  • Brian McLoone

    I was a HUGE WCW fan back in the day. The fingerpoke of doom while it annoyed me I still stuck around but started watching RAW more and more. I can’t remember which one but one of these early 2000 PPVs turned me off for good. I popped Nitro on every once in a while but never ordered another PPV. . It’s sad that they took a pretty big fan of WCW and turned them against the company.

    Anyway, really good column, I liked going back and reliving these angles/matches. I also liked the TNA comparison, it shows while the product is bad it could be so much worse.

  • Trisha

    Now I know who the brainy one is, I’ll keep liokong for your posts.

  • rvuehmdgxe

    h7nm27 xobbxklirtft

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