Friday, November 25, 2016
As noted before, WCW in 2000 was one of the worst things in history. I’ve reviewed three shows from this year and have given them scores of 4, 2.5 and 0. Yes a zero. That was the previous month’s Souled Out, which would be the last show for the group that would defect to the WWE and become the Radicalz. They would do a huge rating in their debut while WCW continued to fall further and further behind. WCW was definitely in major trouble and their resolution? Bring Hulk Hogan back. This would be the 10th of 11 Superbrawl events.
Oh my god, the video package hypes Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk. How is this the year 2000? Anyway, since WCW has no clue how to start a Pay-Per-View, we instantly go backstage to Mean Gene. Jeff Jarrett comes out and says that he took out Kevin Nash, so he’s back in control. Commentary is Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Mark Madden. They run down most of the card, and the poor live crowd is probably already dead since they see nothing going on right now.
Still no match as we get highlights of a tournament to determine a new Cruiserweight Champion after Oklahoma gave up the gold. Somehow, of all of the cruiserweights in the world, they ended up with these two.
Before the bell, Lash LeRoux slaps Paisley on the ass. Someone is not gonna like that SUCKA! They allow her to get a shot back, but there’s no DQ called. Things are sloppy quickly with them messing up some near falls and an Irish whip. It seems like Paisley is going to cheat but she literally just slaps Lash on his boot. I don’t think that’s going to have an effect on him. Prince beats on Lash outside for a bit but they go back in soon. Lash goes into his comeback but the crowd gives zero fucks. Paisley is on the apron nearly the whole time, like she’s a tag partner or something. Lash tries for an ugly top rope rana but Prince holds on and he crashes. He nails a diving DDT to win the gold.
Well, the crowd did not care about that at all. I don’t blame them though as neither guy really did anything to earn their applause. This was sloppy, didn’t make much sense and had little to no heat. It’s better than last month’s Madusa/Oklahoma title match but a far cry from the division’s heyday.
Backstage, Normal Smiley gets his ribs taped up before we cut to an interview with Brian Knobbs. He’s in Dudleys like attire but is hype for his upcoming match. There is also a door labeled PRIVATE that commentary speculates about.
Along with Brutus Beefcake, Brian Knobbs is one of the biggest beneficiaries of being Hulk Hogan’s friend. He has no right having a job in 2000. Fit Finlay, Knobbs’ mentor despite them being about the same age, helps distract Bigelow. They fight backstage and I’m not sure on the timeline, but this may have been how they had the idea for WCW Backstage Assault! Finlay gets involved but Knobbs wants to do it on his own. They fight back to the ring where Knobbs goes through a table in the corner. Bigelow hits Greetings from Asbury Park but wants to do more so he goes up top with a chair. Instead of using it, he throws it at Finlay and Knobbs is up. Knobbs hits him with a poor looking trash can lid shot and wins back the title.
Wait, why is Brian Knobbs still winning singles matches, let along singles titles? The WWF’s hardcore division wasn’t amazing, but it was at least fun. This sucked in nearly every imaginable way. Where the hell is Screaming Norman Smiley to save this?
We see the outsides of Scott Hall’s and Sid’s locker rooms. Their security teams say that nobody is allowed into the rooms in some of the most wooden acting scenes I’ve ever seen. John Morrison looks more comfortable speaking on camera than these guys.
Normal Smiley is fantastic and starts the match hot, but falls victim to being down 3 on 1. Tony Schiavone points out that 3 Count isn’t targeting the injured ribs of Smiley. Is it really a good idea to call that out? CESARO SWING from Smiley! Big wiggle time! That alone is going to earn this match the highest score on the card so far. Norman goes for the Norman Conquest (cross face chicken wing) but it’s broken up. 3 Count then beat on him until they win.
This wasn’t good, but was comical at times, which made me enjoy it more than anything else on the card so far. Normal Smiley and 3 Count were two of a limited number of acts that I liked in this era but didn’t click well against each other.
They have the audacity to bill this as a “special main event”. Seriously? When the Wall doesn’t show, Demon goes to find him and is attacked from behind. Wall is dressed like a giant Right to Censor member. The fight moves to the ring but it’s clear that nobody cares. They plod around the ring, just hitting awful looking offense on each other while the crowd chants “boring.” It’s not a good sign to hear that being chanted two minutes into a match. Demon slams Wall from the top and nearly breaks his neck. Wall still gets up and Chokeslams Demon from the top to end this.
How can a match that goes less than four minutes manage to drag on and feel super long? This sucked and had zero redeeming qualities. Absolute trash.
Who the fuck is Big Al? Apparently, he was Tank’s bodyguard. Why did a bad dude like Tank need one of those? Al stole Tank’s leather jacket or something to lead to this. For some reason, they tie their hands together with a belt. It just looks like they are holding hands. Al knocks him out and then just stalls. Tank is out for a long time so this just goes on for too long. Tank gets up, places Al on the top, knocks him off and grabs the jacket. What the fuck?
Why? This was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. I don’t really give out negative stars but man, I was close to doing it for the first time here.
After the match, I’m pretty sure Tank Abbott tries to murder Big Al. He takes a knife out, puts it to his throat and says “I could fucking kill you right now”. The camera cuts away instantly and Tony Schiavone tries to play it off as if he was going to cut Big Al’s facial hair.
Booker lost the “T” and this is for the name “Harlem Heat”. Booker gets some terrible theme music since he can’t use the Harlem Heat one. Big T has gained a ton of weight since his time as Ahmed Johnson. Booker changing his look is actually for the best because the Harlem Heat attire looked ridiculous at times. Booker gets in shots on both Big T and Stevie Ray. He hits his signature offense, including the Scissors Kick, and goes up top. He nails a missile dropkick and the referee counts but the lights go out. IS IT SABU? THE UNDERTAKER? Nope, it’s a random black dude on the apron. The distraction allows Ahmed to hit an ugly Pearl River Plunge for the 1-2-3.
Oh my, is there going to be a good match on this show? Big T was in terrible shape and it made for a bad match. I feel so bad for Booker. He deserved the World Title runs later in the year after dealing with this.
Billy Kidman’s WCW theme was excellent. They start quickly until Vampiro hits a backbreaker. He makes the mistake of trying to powerbomb Kidman. YOU CAN’T DO THAT! Kidman reverses with a rana to the outside. Vampiro comes back with a scary looking second rope gutwrench suplex for two. He tries to powerbomb Kidman again, which fails again. Torrie gets on the apron and just stands there, completely telegraphing that she would be knocked off the apron. She gets back up, stopping Vampiro from using a chair. Kidman dropkicks it into his face but it looks like shit. Inside, they again mess up a spot when Vampiro goes for a flying kick and botch it. Mark Madden claims next year, they’ll meet for the US Title and 2 years from here, it’ll be for the World Title. That didn’t quite work out for WCW. Vampiro shuts me up by actually hitting two powerbombs! They go up for another top rope move and both it as Kidman just kind of pulls him down to the mat for the 1-2-3.
I wanted to like this so much more since they were two of the more enjoyable acts in WCW during this timeframe. They had some really good ideas and worked hard, but they botched three or four big spots that really hurt this score. However, it is still the match of the night.
Backstage, Sid steps out of his dressing room and just shouts at this security guards. It’s a highlight of the show.
All four men just brawl at the bell. Disco doesn’t bother to manage his team, instead choosing to commentate. Daffney gets involved, hitting a hurricanrana that brings Disco in. She quickly sprays him in the eyes with something. A table gets brought in and Crowbar takes a powerbomb through it. Disco no sells the mace or whatever and is back on commentary. Oh wait, he’s at least saying he can’t see as he misses a nice leg drop from Johnny the Bull. David Flair gets taped to the stretcher and carted off to the back, leaving Crowbar alone. He ends up on a table and Vito splashes him through it on the outside. Crowbar is taken away, but not before they tape and gag Daffney to a wheelchair. That ends things.
They tried to make this a chaotic brawl that was a ton of fun but instead it fell kind of flat. I mean, it was chaotic and they did brawl, but it was more of a mess than anything.
Ernest Miller is out and he supposedly has James Brown with him. Hilariously, even though his music is dubbed over, you can still partially hear it in the background. He runs down the fans before a fake James Brown dances out to the ring. The Maestro comes out to complain about this which brings out the real James Brown. Wait, so why bring out the fake one? Maestro faints and James dances with Ernest. I’m not sure why this was needed.
They mention that Terry Funk’s dad once had a four hour Deathmatch. Jesus. When Funk causes Flair to regroup, Mark Madden questions the legality of his taped fists. It’s a Deathmatch dude. Things grow in physicality, with suplexes on the outside and a guardrail spot. Flair’s selling of “OH SHIT” as he takes a suplex is great. Funk covers him for three, and now Flair gets a count of ten to get to his feet. I don’t think the fans fully understand the rules. Flair gets up and goes after the knee, making Funk submit to the Figure Four. He answers the ten count. Funk gets three on a piledriver on the outside. As if he knows Flair will get up, he brings a table into play. Funk actually gets a microphone, asking Flair if he quits, in a callback to a classic they had in 1989. He piledrives him THROUGH A TABLE! Flair somehow is up from that and pulls Funk through table shortly after for three. Funk is unable to get up from that.
Considering I saw a piledriver though a table, that was one hell of an anti-climactic finish. They told a pretty good story, building to the bigger spots and calling back to their history, so kudos there. The crowd was incredibly dead throughout though, which killed some of what they did.
I believe this was the main event of the second ever Nitro. This is part of Hogan returning because the young guys are taking the main event spots, even though Luger has been a main event layer for a decade or so. He pounds on Luger relentlessly inside and outside of the ring. Luger gets on the offensive for maybe two minutes before Hogan starts using his cast as a weapon. Hogan was always such a heel. Elizabeth tries to use a bat but Jimmy Hart appears to take it from her. Hogan Hulks up, to which Mark Madden says we’ve seen “millions of times”. Instead of going for the Leg Drop, Hogan wants a belt from Jimmy, allowing Luger to low blow him. It was right in front of the official, but it is ignored. Then Jimmy Hart hits Luger in the back with his cast and Hogan wins with the Leg Drop.
As you would expect between these two, this wasn’t very good. I get the idea that Hogan just wanted to beat Luger up, which was fine, but it all just came off as boring. Plus, the finish was strange.
Ric Flair runs out as he and Luger double team Hulk Hogan. That is, until Sting appears! He cleans house and it all happens really fast. Sting’s appearance is one of the few things the fans have been hype for.
Jeff Jarrett is the reigning US Champion. He is also introduced as a five time World Champion. That’s nuts considering he only won four in WCW and all came after this show. Hall attacks Jarrett before Sid even shows up, but when he does, he dominates quickly. Sid nearly wins with a double Chokeslam and then Jarrett hits him with the belt for two. The crowd gives next to no reaction for these things. Jarrett just decides to start beating up referees because he has a friend that’s an official, Slick Johnson. He shows up as the FIFTH referee. Hall hits the Outsider’s Edge but Johnson doesn’t count the three. Jarrett comes close to winning but Roddy Piper shows up in a referee’s shirt to stop him from winning. Sid Chokeslams Jarrett and powerbombs Hall to retain.
Classic WCW overbooking reigned over this match. However, with it being so short, that meant things moves relatively quickly and it stopped things from being boring. It still wasn’t a good main event by any means, but it being short was a positive.
Overall: This was better than the atrocity that was Souled Out the prior month, but JUST barely. I mean, this is awful. Only two matches reach two stars and that’s the ceiling for this show. Before the Vampiro/Kidman match, this was in worst show in history territory. The second half proved to be bad but not pitifully bad so that saved it from a zero. The next is scheduled to be