Happy Saturday Everyone!
It’s been 22 years to the day since this infamous event took place, so I decided to set the way back machine to the summer of 2000 and give it a review. The big storylines coming into this one were a newly Heel turned Goldberg taking on Kevin Nash for Scott Hall’s contract, whilst Jeff Jarrett defended the World Title against Hollywood Hogan.
The latter match ended up being quite newsworthy…
The event is emanating from Daytonaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Beach, Florida on the 9th of July 2000
Calling the action are Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson and Mark Madden
WCW Commissioner The Cat arrives with MI Smooth and bans guys from ringside in the Cruiserweight Title match later, sending Smooth away to tell those involved. Cat had paid off The Jung Dragons of Kaz, Yang and Jamie-San on Thunder to attack him ala Kato in the Pink Panther movie so as to keep him in a state of feline like readiness, and he gives them a kicking in the car park before heading in.
The opening video package tells us very little about the show, although the quality Fifth Generation Video Game menu music is something to behold.
WCW Cruiserweight Title
Champ: LT Loco Vs Juventud Guerrera
Juvy had stolen the belt to set this one up. I think The Filthy Animals of Juvy, Konnan, Disco Inferno, Tygress and Rey Mysterio Jr were Heels, even though they hype up the crowd to start, with Disco being the lame white guy and being funny in the role. I think they are supposed to be the bad guys whilst The Misfits in Action stable of Loco (Chavo Guerrero Jr), Rection (Hugh Morrus), Cajun (Lash LeRoux), Major Gunns and Stash (Van Hammer) are the babyfaces, but who the heck even knows when it comes to Vince Russo’s SHADES OF GREY BRO booking?
All of the stablemates do indeed leave ringside before the match starts, leaving us with a 1 Vs 1 match-up. Loco shines on Juvy to start, sending the challenger to the floor with a clothesline, which leads to Juvy stalling outside the ring. Well at least Loco and Juvy got the memo on what roles they are supposed to be playing, as Juvy has been a clear cowardly Heel thus far and the crowd have been into both the action and the story being told of Loco being the fiery babyface and Juvy being the weasel villain.
Eventually The Filthy Animals join us in horror movie masks, with the idea being that they’re in disguise and thus it allows them to get around the “no stablemates allowed at ringside” rule. The referees amazingly see through that cunning ruse and send them to the back, but the distraction is enough for Juvy to cut off Loco and start working some heat. Juvy took some nice bumps in the shine and Loco does a good job selling in the heat, as they’ve tried to mix a more traditional American match structure with some Cruiserweight style in-ring action and it’s mostly worked, although some of it has been a tad sloppy.
Juvy drops the Juicy Elbow (he was ripping off The Rock at the time) but that’s the cue for The Misfits to join us in masks, but they also get sent to the back. The silliness with the run-ins is threatening to spoil what has been a decent opener. Heaven forfend Vince Russo just let two good wrestlers have a good wrestling match on a wrestling show without a load of bunkum getting added to it to spoil things. We get some near falls after The MIA are sent away, with Loco eventually winning it with a Tornado DDT.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: LT LOCO
This was a bit sloppy in parts and the stuff with the stables was annoying, but the actual wrestling was decent and it ended up being a good match in spite of itself
Cat tries to tell The Jung Dragons to quit attacking him, but they don’t understand him. WCW World Champ Jeff Jarrett shows up with a large operatic Viking woman, who is here to serenade the end of Hollywood Hogan’s career, because WCW. Anyway, Jarrett is annoyed that Hogan isn’t here yet.
WCW Hardcore Title
Champ: Big Vito Vs Nor-Man Smi-LAY and Ralphus
The story here was that Vito had been teaming with Johnny The Bull but the team had split up once Vito had won the Hardcore Title. They were doing a storyline where Terry Funk was trying to mentor Johnny, but Johnny then did a ridiculous leg drop from inside the ring to the floor and tore his urethra. As a result they needed someone else for the match whilst Johnny was out recovering and gave the gig to Smiley, who had currently been doing a storyline where both he and Ralphus were fired and had to wrestle kids in backyard companies just to make ends meat.
Vito apparently loved being Hardcore Champ, so much so that he was genuinely annoyed when they told him he was dropping it to Lance Storm and he argued to try and keep it. Imagine going out of your way to try and keep the frigging HARDCORE Title of all things. Like, I get it if you’re the US Champ or something, but the lower card comedy belt? That’s your hill to die on? Anyway, Vito is originally supposed to just fight Smiley here, but he wants some of Ralphus as well and makes it a handicap match.
This is the usual Hardcore match, as they immediately fight backstage and hit one another with plunder. It’s entertaining for what it is, with Ralphus’ whole thing being that he doesn’t really do much damage as his offence is very low impact. As a comedy break it works fine, although you could argue that making hardcore brawling a comedy attraction then makes it less effective when the top stars use it in their matches.
Vito manages to trap Smiley in a lift backstage and then drags poor Ralphus down to the ring, where he gives him a battering. Sadly when Vito tries to use a table one of the legs goes out, lessening the resulting splash from the top somewhat. That’s still enough for Vito to get the three count though as Smiley tries to make it back but doesn’t get there in time.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: BIG VITO
This was fine and mostly inoffensive
Goldberg arrives, and he has Scott Hall’s contract, even though he once ate it on Nitro. Yes, Goldberg ate a contract. Because WCW. It seems to have magically survived Goldberg’s digestive system though, so hurrah!
Kevin Nash is backstage with Mean Gene Okerlund. Nash cuts a sombre promo about how he’s going to defeat Goldberg tonight so that he can have fun with his buddy Scott Hall again.
We get a video package to hype up Daffney Vs Miss Hancock. Both of the women were into David Flair, so they are going to have a wedding gown match as they both want to marry David.
Wedding Gown Match
Miss Hancock w/ David Flair Vs Daffney
You have to rip off the wedding gown of your opponent to win. They have a wedding cake at ringside, which usually means only one thing in wrestling. Hancock and Flair were together in real life at the time I believe, hence them being together in storyline because Vince Russo is all about reality. Flair has brought some hair clippers with him as he wants to cut the hair of his ex-bird Daffney. Gothic Daffney is in black here whilst Hancock is in white, although Daffney is the babyface.
This match is terrible, as both women’s offence looks bad and neither one of them can really bump or sell. Referee Mark Johnson and Flair have their trousers pulled off to leave them in their underwear, although Daffney forgets to give Flair the follow up low blow and he has to stand there waiting for it in a gormless manner. Flair’s former tag partner Crowbar joins us and gives us the only genuinely funny spot in the match, as he makes the save and then realises all of the men have their trousers down, so he does a “Oh, we’re doing that are we? Fair enough” reaction and then takes off his jeans.
Eventually Hancock decides she’s had enough of the match and voluntarily rips off her dress whilst dancing to give Daffney the win. Cowbar and Johnson both sit down to watch Hancock dance in the second funny part of the match. It’s not enough to save the match as a whole though. This one had to be in contention for Worst Match of the Year. If not then I shudder to think how bad the matches that finished above it were.
LOSERS: THE REST OF HUMANITY
We have the big Animal House styled food fight following that, with everyone getting covered in cake. Sadly we don’t get John Belushi doing his impression of a zit.
The Cat is pondering what to do if Hollywood Hogan doesn’t show up, even name dropping Ox Baker as a potential opponent for Jarrett. We see that The Jung Dragons are still stalking him.
The commentary team don’t know where Hogan is. Tony thinks Hogan could just be playing mind games. This is all just to kill time so WCW’s crack stage hands can try and clean up the cake stained mats at ringside. They do a typical WCW job, in that it’s wildly subpar.
WCW World Tag Team Titles
Champs: The Perfect Event (Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo) Vs KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clarke)
Stasiak had been sacked from the WWF due to taping conversations with guys but had landed in WCW with a Mr. Perfect styled gimmick, whilst Palumbo was fresh out of the Power Plant training school and had been given a Lex Luger styled gimmick, complete with Lex-Flexer. Adams and Clarke had formed a team earlier in the year and had quickly gotten over as babyfaces due to them running through most of the teams they faced.
This is actually a pretty fun match, as KroniK are over with the crowd and the Champs play the Heel role well, so the match has good heat. Johnny Ace had come to WCW from All Japan around this time, and you can tell that somewhat with the way this one is put together, especially when the match hits the finishing stretch and there are some nicely executed near falls. KroniK get the extended babyface shine to start, as they bump both of the Champs around, with the Champs taking some nice bumps for them.
Eventually Palumbo is able to low-bridge Adams before hitting him with a chair whilst the ref is distracted, which is enough for the cut off and the heat segment. It’s not like Adams is known for his great selling prowess, but he does just fine in the heat here and the crowd gets behind him, whilst Palumbo especially looks good on offence. You can see why WWE tried pushing Palumbo as often as they did when they brought him in because he had the required size and he was an agile decent worker for the most part. He was just lacking some personality and pizazz. Stasiak has the body and not much else, but he worked well in this tandem.
Eventually Stasiak and Adams bonk heads, which leads to a double down and the hot tag to Clarke, who runs wild on the Champs, although it’s a little sloppy in parts. As previously mentioned, they do some good counters and near falls once they enter the closing stretch, with the crowd biting on quite a few of them and the action being okay for the most part. It’s hardly Midnight Express Vs Fantastics, but for two relatively green guys on the Heel side and two bigger dudes on the babyface side who were never really known for being great workers, it’s more than adequate.
Adams actually busts out a prototypical version of the F-5 on Stasiak at one stage, although the execution wasn’t really there. KroniK’s finisher is a double Uranage called the High-Times, and they deliver it to both of the Champs before getting a big powerbomb/clothesline combo move on Stasiak in order to pick up the three counts and the belts.
WINNERS AND NEW CHAMPIONS: KRONIK
Decent effort from both teams there, with just the odd bit of sloppiness letting it down
The Cat is in his office on the phone, leading to Jarrett storming in and demanding Hogan show up ASAP. Cat is then attacked by the weapon wielding Jung Dragons.
Positively Kanyon Vs Booker T
Kanyon was doing a gimmick here where he dressed up as DDP and carried around a hollowed out book with a brick in it. This was because Kanyon had been flung off a cage by Mike Awesome at the Slamboree pay per view when he showed up to help DDP, leading to him becoming bitter and turning on DDP before aping his gimmick to mock him. Booker is really over with the crowd here and the two guys have a good match, with Booker getting the big babyface shine to start and Kanyon bumping all over the place for him in impressive style.
Booker actually finds the brick in Kanyon’s book, which leads to the referee throwing the brick away so that Kanyon can’t use it later. Hey, a babyface that isn’t a total idiot, and in 2000 WCW no less, that’s up there with finding a golden ticket in a Wonka Bar in terms of rareness! Kanyon does eventually manage to low-bridge Booker to the floor however and then sends Booker into the ring steps for good measure in order to get the cut off. Booker sells well in the heat, whilst Kanyon works well as an annoying Heel who you want to see get clobbered.
This probably won’t be a hot take, but I think WWE could have done far more with Kanyon than they did. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he would have ever been World Champion or anything like that, but he could have definitely been a solid US/IC Title contender or belt holder on the Heel side. The Raw brand in particular could have really used him in 2003. Kanyon gets some very impressive moves in the heat, including Brian Cage’s superplex from the apron back into the ring at one stage, as well as Colt Cabana’s Billy Goats Curse hold. Man, Kanyon really was the Innovator of Offence!
Booker manages to fight out of that last hold and makes a comeback, whipping Kanyon into a chair in the corner at one stage. This was during a period where WCW wasn’t doing DQ’s, unless the booking called for a DQ, because WCW, so the ref stops Booker using the chair. This allows Kanyon to use the now brickless book, but of course it doesn’t really do any damage and Booker is able to Spinaroonie and get the Book End for two. Jeff Jarrett joins us following that and clocks Booker with his guitar (probably not drawing a dime in the process) which allows Kanyon to get a Kanyon Cutter for three.
Interesting finish considering how the rest of the show was going to go. The match itself was great, as both men were good workers and had good chemistry together to boot
Mike Awesome is flirting with Jeff Jarrett’s big Viking lass, starting off his gimmick of being The Fat Chick Thrilla. I’m ashamed to say that Madden actually gets a good line by saying that the Viking lass’ favourite wrestler is Shane Douglas because she thinks he’s called “The French Fries”.
WCW United States Title
Champ: Scott Steiner w/ Midajah Vs Mike Awesome
Steiner was the babyface and Awesome was the Heel I believe, but 2000 WCW was a place where such terms were usually meaningless. They immediately head into the crowd in this one, with Awesome getting a plancha into the front row at one stage, and it’s a fun brawl. It continues to be fun when they get back in the ring, as both men are big strong guys who are happy to throw down and fling one another around. The crowd enjoys it as well, making good noise for the match and Steiner especially.
The ref is happy to let a lot of the weapon shots go when both men fight outside the ring, including chair shots and shots with the ring bell. The Cat and Steiner weren’t getting on at the time, with Cat banning Steiner’s camel clutch Steiner Recliner move, leading to Cat telling Steiner off every time he tries to go for it. Awesome gets some near falls on Steiner thanks to the distraction, including the always impressive big splash from the top rope.
The ref ends up getting bumped, which leads to Cat trying to kick Steiner, but he ends up getting Awesome instead by accident in order to give Steiner a two count. Why would you need to bump the ref there when he’s already let chair shots go earlier? Steiner decides to lock in the Steiner Recliner on Awesome, but Cat says that he’s stripping Steiner of the belt. It looks like Awesome has won by DQ but he doesn’t get the belt as Cat has vacated it.
WINNER BY DQ: MIKE AWESOME
Horrible finish aside, that match was heaps of fun, as both Steiner and Awesome came to Daytona with their working shoes on and beat the roast chicken out of one another in a very enjoyable mean guy match
Steiner gives Awesome a terrifying half nelson suplex post-match and then clobbers The Cat in the aisle, not really caring about losing his US Title that much, which is annoying. At least care that you’ve lost the belt there Scotty.
I believe they’d hold a tournament for the US belt and Lance Storm would end up winning it, defeating Awesome in the Final to set up a feud between them.
Vampiro Vs The KISS Demon w/ Aysa
See, she’s called Aysa because she’s bigger than Chyna. Oh WCW, you absolute rascals you! I’d give you a playful noogie if you weren’t dead. Vamp was trying to recruit Demon to his side so they could be all evil whilst wearing face paint and what have you, but Demon wasn’t interested. Vamp had set Sting (well, a stunt man dressed as Sting) on fire at the previous pay per view so Sting is currently out of action as a result. I’m amazed they didn’t have Sting come out the next night on Nitro after the pay per view and fling Vamp down a bottomless pit considering Russo’s famous lack of patience and restraint.
To win you have to escape the graveyard. We get some top level acting from Demon and Aysa when he tells her to leave but she demands to stay. That acting could grace any school play anywhere in the country. Vamp eventually leaps out of a tree, but Demon is able to dodge it. This “match” is terribly lit and acted, although the brawling is okay. Vamp spends most of the “match” trying to get Demon to join him, with Demon refusing. Vamp eventually uses Aysa as bait to lead Demon into a trap. Demon still refuses to join his side, so Vamp knocks him into a coffin and leaves the graveyard to win.
This was never going to work when they lit it so horribly and the acting was so cheesy. Had they lit it better and focused more on having an intense brawl in a graveyard rather than all the additional nonsense then it might have been okay, as the rare moments they just let them fight were watchable
Demon did end up joining Vampiro in the end, although I don’t think it lasted very long and Sting ended up beating Demon in seconds at New Blood Rising the next month.
Shane Douglas has promo time with Mean Gene. Tonight he takes on former tag team partner Buff Bagwell. They’d only teamed up for a couple of months prior to this of course, so the fact they were already feuding took away from the drama here somewhat as it’s not like they were even that established as a tandem. Douglas cuts a decent promo and guarantees victory.
Shane Douglas Vs Buff Bagwell
Buff is the babyface here I think, which would have marked something like his sixth turn since 1998. Amazingly he would turn AGAIN later in the year, and despite all that he remained over enough for WWF fans to cheer for him at the thought of him getting signed on the simulcast Raw where WWF bought WCW, which was enough for him to get a brief WWF gig that he eventually ruined by getting into a fight with Shane Helms and missing shows.
They have a decent match, with them working it like a grudge match between enemies. Again, that sort of match structure would work better if they’d been teaming together for a long time and this was the final pay off after a long storyline and dramatic split, but I appreciate the effort none-the-less. Torrie Wilson ends up joining us, as she’d recently dumped Kidman in storyline and was looking for a new man.
They tease that Torrie has come down to help Buff, as she slaps Douglas (not a DQ for some reason) and then puts a smooch on Buff at one stage. However, it’s all a SWERVE, as she clocks Buff right in his Blockbuster, which leads to Douglas getting a Brittsburgh Plunge for two. Buff gets a DDT for a near fall of his own, but when he heads up to the second rope Torrie distracts him again and that leads to Douglas getting a chin breaker for the three count.
WINNER: SHANE DOUGLAS
Solid match, even if the execution didn’t really match the crowd investment
Douglas and Torrie do the Douglas/Francine act following the match, with Torrie being the new head cheerleader.
Hollywood Hogan is here!
Jeff Jarrett is with Mean Gene backstage. Jarrett says that Hogan has made a lot of enemies over the years and that will factor in to the match.
WCW World Title
Champ: Jeff Jarrett w/ Vince Russo Vs Hollywood Hogan
So you might have heard of this one before. As best I can glean from everything written about this situation, Hogan legit didn’t want to do a job for Jarrett in real life and wanted to win the belt. WCW had a plan for where the belt was going to end up at the end of the night though and that didn’t involve Hogan, so they changed the finish from Hogan losing due to Scott Steiner to Hogan winning by DQ followed by him destroying most of the Heels all by himself. On the day of the show though Hogan showed up and demanded to win despite the plans, so they came up with an alternative.
Jarrett lies down in the ring and Vince Russo throws the belt at Hogan. Hogan says that stuff like this is why WCW is in the state it’s in and implores Jarrett to stand up before reluctantly getting the pin. Jarrett immediately gets up and leaves following that, whilst the crowd and commentary team look on bemused. The idea was that Hogan would go away for a few months after this and then comeback to defend the Title he “won” here against whoever the WCW Champ was at the time, but that didn’t end up happening, and we’ll see why later.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: HOLLYWOOD HOGAN
The commentary team don’t know how to explain what just happened, as I believe only Hogan, Russo and Eric Bischoff knew what the plan was here.
Vampiro arrives at the venue just as Hogan is leaving and then comes down to the ring to cut a promo about the feud with Sting. Some druids roll out a coffin and Chris Harris in a Sting match attacks Vamp and sticks him in the coffin. I’m not sure why they didn’t just use the real Sting for that segment. This was more Vampiro silliness, as this feud ended up getting no one over and Vamp was still salty about it many years later. In some ways I don’t blame him, as he did a tonne of jobs to Sting and then managed to get one token win in an inferno match before Sting came back and promptly clobbered him a few more times. Vamp gained very little from it and his WCW career was ended straight after by Mike Awesome after a terrifying powerbomb off the top rope.
Mean Gene interviews Goldberg, who does an intense promo about how he can’t wait to rip up Scott Hall’s contract. This was a decent promo from Goldberg, especially as he didn’t cut a lot of them back in 2000.
Vince Russo joins us to explain to the fans what happened earlier. He states that Hogan refused to do a J-O-B and used his creative control clause in order to get away with it. He then states that the reason he hasn’t left WCW for good is because of guys like Booker T, so Booker T gets a Title shot. However, Russo throws some insults Hogan’s way, including some jabs at Hogan being bald, which led to Hogan actually feeling like he had really been back stabbed. Thus Hogan filed a defamation of character lawsuit and didn’t end up coming back to WCW. Russo ended up getting let out of the lawsuit in the long run though as he just said this was in character and thus he couldn’t actually defame the character of Hogan, which the court agreed to, at which point it just became Hogan Vs Turner/Warner. I think they ended up settling and Hogan did okay for himself. The gist of Russo’s promo is that Hogan isn’t actually the Champion because that match didn’t count, so Jarrett is still Champ and will defend it against Booker T later on. This was actually a decent promo from Russo, as he could be an effective on screen character sometimes.
The commentary team gushes over Russo’s promo; with Tony outright saying it was a “shoot”. Scott even shows the format sheet and confirms that the promo wasn’t on it.
We get a video package for Goldberg Vs Kevin Nash. Goldberg’s reason for a Heel turn actually made sense, as he’d been fighting The Outsiders for years whilst they were Heels, but now that they were fighting against the Heel New Blood faction the fans had started cheering them and Goldberg was bitter about it. Even though it made sense, the fans didn’t want to see a Heel Goldberg and the turn was a bad idea. They were ready to see Goldberg to come back from injury and start wrecking bad guys and he was a babyface again by the autumn.
Kevin Nash asks Scott Steiner to watch his back, although Steiner seems busy with one of his women.
Scott Hall’s contract on the line
Goldberg Vs Kevin Nash
They only go for about 5 minutes here, which is really all you need for two big lads like this, and it’s reasonably entertaining as well. Nash takes a lot of big bumps because he’s in there with Goldberg, including one from an underhook suplex and another one from a kick. Scott Steiner eventually joins us to cheer Nash on, which helps with getting the crowd into the match as well. Goldberg ends up missing a Spear in the corner, which leads to Nash setting up for the Jack Knife Powerbomb. Steiner attacks him though to put a stop to that, which allows Goldberg to get the Spear and then the Jack Hammer to pick up the three count.
That SWERVE didn’t make much sense, but at least they didn’t go with the finish I thought they would do back in 2000 by having Hall betray Nash so that Goldberg could win. The match itself wasn’t bad, as they used the time they were given well and both men were willing to take bumps for the other
Goldberg rips up Hall’s contract following the match, and this time it doesn’t magically put itself back together like it did when Goldberg ate it.
Mean Gene interviews Booker T backstage. Booker says he’s surprised to have a Title shot but he’s going to make sure he makes it count.
WCW World Title
Champ: Jeff Jarrett Vs Booker T
They’ve done all sorts of things to the audio here, which makes me think the fans are chanting things they shouldn’t be so they’ve edited it out. Whether that was WCW or WWE who did it I couldn’t say. We get the traditional babyface shine, as Booker out wrestles Jarrett before the fight heads outside for our mandatory brawl in the crowd, because it’s a Main Event in the Attitude Era and basically all of them had one of those. They brawl back down to ringside, where Jarrett piledrives Booker on the announce table before throwing him back inside to work some heat.
Booker twice fights out of a sleeper and gets one of his own in reply, but Jarrett counters that into a knee crusher and goes for the Figure Four. Booker counters that into an inside cradle, but Jarrett kicks out at two and gets the hold on the second attempt. The crowd is in to Booker and wants him to win, so WCW at least made a star out of him thanks to this whole debacle. Booker fights out of the hold and then gets the Axe Kick before following up with the 110th Street Slam for two. Jarrett ducks a jumping side kick and the referee gets squished in the corner.
Jarrett brings in the Title belt with the ref down, but Booker takes it off him and hits him with it for two from the revived referee. Jarrett tries bringing in a chair next and props it up in the corner, but Booker sends him into it for another two. Jarrett just outright attacks the referee next by giving him The Stroke before heading up to brain Booker with a guitar (possibly still not drawing a single dime in the process) but Booker catches him with a Book End on the way down, which gets a three count from a replacement referee.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: BOOKER T
Good match, although it felt a bit rushed. Booker’s reign would hardly be booked well, but getting the belt certainly gave him a boost and worked well as a launching pad to a decent WWE career once WCW finally bit the dust.
Booker celebrates with the belt post-match whilst Mark Madden apes Tony’s line from 1996 about how Hogan can go to heck.
This show had, by my watch, four matches at *** or higher, which for a WCW show in 2000 was a darned good return. Yes, the two awful gimmick matches drag it down a bit, but overall this is a decent show and the finish with Booker winning the belt sent everyone home happy at least, which didn’t always happen in WCW.
The combination of the good matches, historical significance of the event itself and the decent mix of Heel and Face wins make this show a thumbs up when all were said and done. I’ll admit to grading on a scale somewhat, but it’s WCW in 2000 so you kind of have to.