When I watched The 2000 Great American Bash, I ended with the following line:
I have no idea what I am going to watch next, but it can’t really be much worse than this.
Well, be careful what you wish for.
I watched the Nitros leading up to this show and the opening video package really confused me more than those shows did. There’s a bunch of stuff about who the commissioner is, and Hogan vs. Luger, and Ric Flair not being a pimple on Terry Funk’s ass. Just a bunch of confusion and quick cuts.
Mean Gene is outside the locker room of WCW commissioner Kevin Nash. A bunch of women, led by Tylene Buck, the future Major Gunns, come out of the locker room. Jeff Jarrett follows them out and claims that he beat up Nash and so he is now the comish. So now The Harris Twins can be ringside with Jarrett. That must have been something decided upon on Thunder, since the WWE Network can’t be bothered to upload those shows. They show another opening video. Sure, why not? The announcers, Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and the always awful Mark Madden, run down the card. They state that Luger could be facing a deadly combination of Hollywood Hogan and Hulk Hogan that we have never seen. Like he wears yellow but uses makeup to color his beard? Or he wears the black and white with no beard? This whole run down takes FOREVER. We already bought the show. Just get on with it already.
Now a quick recap of the cruiserweight tournament: a bunch of not really good smaller guys had matches to get to the final. This sure isn’t the 1996 version of the division, that’s for sure. I mean, the finals of this tournament is Lash Leroux vs. TAFKAPI. The only redeeming factor of TAFKAPI is that Sharmell is out there with him. This whole thing is very 205 Live. Two smaller guys having a match just like the match the bigger guys have. The match starts and The Artist holds Lash so Paisley can kick him. Shouldn’t that be a DQ? My favorite sign of the night has appeared right away: I want my release. This show is the first PPV after the departure of Benoit, Malenko, Guerrero and Saturn to WWE and other guys, like Konnan and Shane Douglas, asking for their release as well. All that is more interesting than this match. The Artist controls Lash with very basic boring offense. And it’s all sloppy as shit. The Artist has been around since 1996 I think and he still seems SUPER green. Paisley is up on the ring apron like she is waiting for a tag. No idea why. I think she literally has no idea what she should be doing out there. Oh lord, there is an exchange here that is first week of wrestling school bad. If The Artist seems green, Lash is freaking neon here. Paisley prevents Lash from delivering a top rope rana and The Artist hits a DDT from the top for the win. AWFUL match. One of the worst matches I’ve seen in a long time. Just no flow, both guys were awful, and the people could not have cared less.
Backstage with Norman Smiley getting his ribs taped up after a brutal beating from the Wall. He’s wrestling Three Count in a handicap match later.
Brian Knobbs yells and spits about his match with Bam Bam Bieglow later. Seriously. He just YELLS AND YELLS!!! HARDCORE!!! NASTY KNOBBS!!! SLOBBER!!!!! I wish I could have been hired to carry Hogan’s bags.
Bam Bam Bigelow is the WCW hardcore champ and he is facing the man he beat for the belt, Knobbs. This is going to be two fat guys hitting each other with trash can lids and bullshit like that. Knobbs has a cast on his right hand because Lex Luger broke his hand on Nitro. The “Luger arm breaking” angle is one of the only good ones in WCW at this time. So, they start by chasing each other around the ringside area. Fit Finlay is out to help Brian Knobbs. Two weeks ago, on Nitro, they were feuding. And there’s no explanation here as to why they might be helping each other. Knobbs and Bigelow brawl up to the concourse area, and now Finlay is nowhere to be seen.
Whoops, now he is back. The Cow Palace is a dump, in case anyone cares. I’ve been there a handful of times and it is always awful. Knobbs tells Finlay he doesn’t want his help. This was after Finlay nailed Bigelow with his cast. They stumble back to the ringside area. The announcers basically say how stupid it is for there to be a table under the ring. Knobbs sets the table up in the corner, but Bigelow ends up throwing Knobbs through the table. Mark Madden says these are the two best hardcore wrestlers in the promotion. That’s like being the smartest guy in prison. You are still in fucking prison. Bigelow hits his finish, but of course he doesn’t try to pin him. He goes up top for something, but Finlay distracts Bigelow, which allows Knobbs to knock him over the top rope to the floor. Knobbs…basically falls on Bigelow and wins the belt. Another awful match. This show is two for two on awful wrestling.
Ric Flair, Lex Luger, and Elizabeth are backstage and Flair is yelling about Team Package rocking.
Scott Hall and Sid Vicious don’t want anyone coming into their locker rooms. This had to be shown to us.
Three Count is out and they bring their green circles to perform into the ring. Another great sign: Who’s Next…to leave? Maybe the same guy as the first sign? Good for him. Three Count says they aren’t here to sing, they are here to kick ass. Smiley is out in a Jerry Rice jersey. They reshow a terrible bump that Smiley took from the ring apron through a table thanks to the Wall. Awful bump. Very loud “Three Count Sucks” chant. So at least the people are reacting to something. The one on one matches that Smiley had with Helms and Moore leading to this were both very good. Helms tries a twisting Swanton and BARELY gets around. That almost ended bad. Norman delivers a big swing and Three Count dances, which leads to a wiggle from Norman. This is a SUPER fun match so far. The fans boo the shit out of Three Count when they take the Jerry Rice jersey off Norman. It’s really too bad that the third member of Three Count wasn’t someone better than Evan Karagias. Three Count finally takes control and Evan hits a twisting splash to the taped-up ribs, Helms hits a Frog Splash to the taped-up ribs, and Moore locks in a Lion Tamer to get the tap out victory. The story here was the Three Count wasn’t doing any bullshit today and they were there to win and they did that. Not a great match, but I really enjoyed it and would watch it again.
Jarrett is backstage with the Harris twins. Summer is drying her hair so I can’t hear them. It’s probably for the best because the segments with Jarrett and the Harris twins on the Nitros leading to this PPV have all been awful.
If they could have put the Demon gimmick on someone that could work, I think it could have been pretty damn cool. The entrance with the spiked casket and the fire was awesome, and the outfit is pretty cool as well. Unfortunately, Dale Torborg was an awful pro wrestler. Supposedly a pretty nice guy, so that’s good. He’s wrestling The Wall here, so we see highlights of The Wall choke slamming dudes. The Wall vs. The Demon. I can’t believe someone thought to book this. The Wall’s music plays, and he doesn’t come out. So, Demon goes to look for him, and The Wall attacks him from behind. More mediocre crowd brawling. Aside from the one time Low Ki wrestled in a suit at the Tokyo Dome, has anyone ever been good when they wrestle in slacks and a shirt and tie? IRS is the most boring wrestler of all time. The Harris Twins are awful. Mr. Hughes was awful. The Wall is atrocious here in a shirt and tie. There’s been guys that have done spots in a suit and what not, but wrestling a match in business attire is almost always code for “you should probably skip this match if you want good wrestling.” Demon actually hit a pretty good drop kick. The announcers keep going on and on about James Brown being here. You know what the best part is? If he is there, there was NO mention of it in the build to the PPV. So why bother having him there if you aren’t going to push that he’s there. Wall hits a chokeslam off the top for the win. What a completely non-descript match. Demon was a complete loser here. The match wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be, but it wasn’t good either.
TO THE BACK with Mean Gene and Ernest Miller. Miller tells Mean Gene that his breath smells like old neckbone. The Cat says that James Brown will be there. Apparently he is wrestling the Maestro tonight. The only appearance of the Maestro in the build to this show was getting knocked out in 30 seconds by Tank Abbott.
Speak of the devil, it’s time for Tank Abbott vs. Big Al! Big Al is supposed to be an old friend of Tank Abbott who is offended by Tank being in pro wrestling. In order to settle their blood feud, they are going to hang a jacket from a pole and fight for it. This is called a skins match, but it’s a jacket on a pole match. And Russo isn’t even booking this. The jacket has a HUGE UFC logo on the back of it. The jacket is also super high. This has train wreck written all over it. Big Al is out first in jeans and a leather vest. Looks like your dad trying to look like a tough guy. Tank is out second in sweat shorts. This is the #2 pro wrestling company in the world at this point. The crowd is really starting to get behind Abbott at this point, with loud pops for his victories over the past few weeks. That’s because they were all one punch knock outs, not matches where he needed to climb a pole. Big Al uses a belt to strap the two of them together. They do this and yell “BRING IT” at each other. And they hit terrible looking punches to one another. Big Al knocks Tank down and does nothing. He eventually teases that he is going to crotch Abbott, but he doesn’t. Now Big Al stands on Tank’s face. This is the dumbest fucking thing. Tank finally gets pissed off and starts laying into Al with some awful worked punches. Someone in the crowd yells “lay into his ass!” I agree. Tank puts Al on his shoulders and starts climbing to get the jacket. This ends poorly as he drops Al from the top rope all the way to the floor. That was terrifying. He climbs down, punches him, goes back up and gets the jacket. Tank pulls a knife and says that he should “fucking kill” Big Al. What the hell? And Madden points this out while Tony and Tenay desperately try to cover and pretend he is holding ANYTHING else to his throat. They even said something about Tank threatening to cut Al’s beard, which is amazing because Al does not have a huge beard. Another all-time bad segment for this PPV.
Speaking of all time bad, this feud between Stevie Ray and Booker T over the ownership of the Harlem Heat name and the letter T is in that same bucket. Big T, for those who don’t know, is a fat, out of shape Ahmed Johnson. Clarence Mason, under the name J Biggs, is the attorney for Harlem Heat Inc, which is what Stevie Ray and Big T are calling themselves. Booker T also cannot use the normal Harlem Heat music, so he comes out to some kind of Leave it to Beaver theme. So, Big T waddles his fat ass out to the ring. The angle here is that Booker T can’t be called Booker T anymore, so he’s only Booker. The announcers have such a damn hard time with it. They have to keep calling him Booker, but of course they say Booker T, and they have to apologize. Just to recap the stakes here, if Booker wins, he can wear flames again and call himself Booker T and use the theme music. If he loses, he lost to a terrible wrestler and has to use the shitty music and can’t be called Booker T. The T thing should have extended to every wrestler on the roster. Terry Taylor would be Erry Aylor. Sco Hall. Jeff Jarre. No? Ok.
Watching Big T sell and try to get up or run the ropes is one of the funniest things ever. Why on earth did anyone think brining in Ahmed Johnson was a good idea? Let alone this Ahmed Johnson who is 90 pounds overweight. Every time Booker goes outside, Stevie and Biggs beat him up. Booker does come back on Big T and hits the scissor kick and the side kick. Booker hits the Book-End. During this comeback, he also takes out Biggs and Stevie Ray. He climbs to the top and delivers the Harlem Heatseeker, but the lights go out. The bell rings that usually signifies Midnight coming out, but when the lights come out there’s another fat black man on the ring apron. Booker seems surprised by this and turns around into a Pearl River Plunge, which Tenay calls the Big T bomb, for the win. Big T beat Booker T. In pro wrestling. Biggs says that this is the new Harlem Heat Inc. Wonderful. Stevie Ray is the best worker on your team. STEVIE RAY. That should never be the answer to the question “Who is the best worker on your team?” EVER. Jesus. Another awful match to add to the pile. This show is really reaching all time bad levels here.
Gene is backstage with the Maestro and Symphony, who you might know as Ryan Shamrock. Gene is a complete pervert here checking out Symphony’s ass. The Maestro delivers an awful promo. Hokey as shit.
The Harris Twins are yelling at some geek to open a door. He can’t do it, so they beat him up.
A video package for Kidman vs. Vampiro. They had a really good match on Nitro a few weeks ago, and apparently, a rematch on Thunder and they split the two, so this is the tie breaker. The booking of Kidman during this period that I have been watching is really strong. He only loses one match, and that was a tag match with Vamp as his partner and Vamp waked out. Of course, it was against La Parka and The Artist, so him losing at all was a terrible idea, but still. It’s like they figured that they lost all the talented little guys so they needed to pick a new talented little guy to push hard and went with it. The whole Vamp vs. Kidman feud was pretty well done leading to this match. Looking forward to it. I refuse to believe that they will find a way to ruin this.
Kidman is out first with Torrie Wilson. Shocking to think that they would screw any momentum Kidman could build in a few months once they put him with Hogan. He came across as a big star during this period. Vamp has a real star aura here as well. Good entrance, carries himself well. The announcers (well, Tony and Mike) do a good job of telling the story early on that Vamp is stronger and Kidman is faster, so each guy has to try to find a way to play to his strength. Mark Madden calls Vampiro Vamp and Tony practically yells at him. “We don’t want to have to tell you that again.” That’s a very odd thing to get worked up about. Early going is all Vampiro with power moves and Kidman getting a flurry here and there. Even Madden is calling this like a regular match and is doing a good job. Ugh. Freaking Torrie gets on the ring apron and Kidman knocks her off. Why? Why the hell did they need to do this shit? Now Vamp is threatening to hit Torrie with a chair, but Kidman cuts him off and dropkicks the chair into Vamp’s face. All that shit totally took the wind out of the crowd’s sails. And now they are right back in having a match, so no reason for any of that. Kidman hits one of the best top rope frankensteiners in the industry. He gets a two. Oh man!
Vampiro actually powerbombs Kidman!! TWICE!! The crowd is getting back into this match, which is 100% on the guys in the ring and the effort they are putting in. Kidman hits a move off the top and wins. I hope they show a replay, because I really don’t know what it was. If they would have gotten rid of that segment with Torrie, this would have been a really great match. It was still very good, but that segment in the middle was just atrocious. Also, this was really short. Just over 7 minutes. If they would have gotten rid of some other crap on this show and given these guys 15 minutes to have a long, building match, it could have been great. The move he used was like a twisting, reverse DDT off the top. Pretty awesome.
Gene is with Terry Funk and Dustin Rhodes to talk about Terry’s upcoming death match with Ric Flair. Funk promises that he is going to kick Ric Flair’s ass.
Sid comes out of his locker room and yells at the security guards.
David Flair, Crowbar, and Daffney are fucking around with a stretcher backstage.
Oh lord. A stretcher match is next. A tag team stretcher match. The Mamalukes vs. Crowbar and David Flair for the WCW tag team titles. An interview with Disco and the Mamalukes. They do a poor Soprano’s tribute act. Vito is a pretty talented guy, and the Bull was a hell of an athlete, but I don’t like the odds of them having a good match, with this gimmick, against Flair and Crowbar.
On the Nitro before this, Crowbar and Flair beat the hell out of the Mamalukes with a crowbar and a pipe. Like, really bad. An attack that should have put these guys on the shelf for months. And here they are not selling and itching for a fight. Well, they just have a wacky brawl right from the start. They should have just put Crowbar and Vito in the ring and let them wrestle while Johnny and Flair just brawled outside. I think a Crowbar vs. Vito singles match could be really fun. Instead, these four guys just hit each other and try to wheel the stretcher up to the top of the ramp. This is the second show in a row I’ve watched with the awful stretcher gimmick. Just a bad idea for a match. To make this match worse, Disco Inferno is on commentary. Daffney interferes, because there wasn’t already enough going on in this match. “This one may go on for a while.” Fuck you, Madden.
Daffney’s screaming gimmick is on my list of terrible things in wrestling history. Now Crowbar gets a table. For the second time tonight, the guy that got the table ends up going through it. Daffney sprayed Disco with mace at some point, so now he is on commentary just saying “was that good for us?” Johnny the Bull hit an awesome twisting leg drop off the top rope and the crowd loved it. The Mamalukes taped Flair to a stretcher. He gets taken to the back, so I guess he is out of the match? It’s no DQ though, so can’t he just come back? The bell starts ringing for no reason. I assume it was Daffney? The announcers just say “someone got their bell rung.” This just won’t end. Johnny the Bull hits Crowbar with a pipe. Crowbar gets put on a table and Vito comes off the top with a big splash to put Crowbar through a second table this match. Tenay says “how did Crowbar get up from being put through the first table?” Because no one sells shit in these matches, Iron Mike. The Mamalukes FINALLY tape Crowbar to the stretcher and take him to the back. But they stop half way. Oh. They grab Daffney and put her in a wheel chair. They finally shove something into her mouth to stop her from screaming. Crowbar is wheeled to the back and this match finally ends. What a fucking mess.
Jeff Jarrett and The Harris Twins are talking about something.
Mean Gene interviews Sid. Sid whispers and says that he earned being the champ and he is going to leave the champ, regardless of Jarrett’s scheming or Hall’s friends in high places. Pretty great insane promo.
The Cat is making his way to the ring. He’s not dressed to wrestle. Thank God for small miracles. The music that WWE dubbed over for the cat is hilarious. Sounds like something from Sanford and Son. Miller cuts a promo stating that everyone called him a liar and didn’t believe that he could get James Brown to show up at Superbrawl. Seriously, when the hell did this happen? I’ve watched a month’s worth of Nitros and I haven’t heard the name James Brown once. Cat tells a fat lady in the crowd sit down and stop looking at him. A fake James Brown comes down the aisle. Cat is acting as if he is the real James Brown. I can’t believe I am sitting here transcribing this. The Maestro comes out next. His outfit is amazingly awful. This reminds me of the last few Wrestlemanias where they put on some filler segment three plus hours into the show. So, Maestro and Cat bicker and the real James Brown makes his way down to the ring. Let me get this straight: The Cat promised that James Brown would show up on some show that may or may not have aired. Unable to deliver the real James Brown, he brings a fake James Brown to the show. The Maestro and everyone else sees through this, but the real James Brown shows up anyways? If the real James Brown was there, why did Cat need the fake one? Why wasn’t James Brown advertised? James Brown obviously wasn’t angry, because he hugged the Cat when he came out. James Brown and Cat have a pretty fun dancing segment, but what a terrible thing to put on a PPV with no build. James Brown even does the cape thing for the Cat, which was pretty amazing. James Brown came across really well here and seemed really down to participate with the whole thing. You see a lot of celebrities who come in and half ass it, but that wasn’t James Brown here. I think if they had actually built to this at all it would be pretty fondly remembered.
Scott Hall is interviewed by Gene and says that he is going to win the belt. It was a little more inside than that, but that was the gist of it.
Time for the Terry Funk vs. Ric Flair Death Match. Apparently,this goes around 15 minutes. That could be pretty brutal at this point in the careers of these men. Flair cuts a promo in the back. Typical Ric Flair promo. Threatens to kick Funk’s ass. The end of Flair’s finger is taped, so I think we can count on some juice tonight. If you don’t know, the rules of a Texas Death Match are as follows: after you pin your opponent, they have a 10 count to get back up. If they don’t get back up, the match is over. Could be one fall, could be one hundred, but it’s not over until someone can’t answer the 10 count. Terry Funk is accompanied by Dustin Rhodes for some reason. That is probably going to come back to bite Funk in the ass. How do they start this brutal match? With a lock up, of course. No better way to express your hatred for another man than with a collar and elbow tie up. The ref is in there trying to get Funk to open up his fists and enforce corner breaks. Why? This is a death match, there really aren’t any rules. Funk’s punches are really the best.
There’s really not a lot to talk about in this match early. A lot of punching, some suplexes, chops. No real flow or anything to the match. This is more like a fight once they do away with the lock ups. The good news is that they have seemed to have done away with the “Sports Entertainment” shit on commentary. Flair gets pinned after two suplexes on the outside, but he gets up before the 10 count. Flair hauls off and kicks Funk right in the balls. I laughed and laughed. I think I will always laugh when a man gets kicked in the balls. Flair gets a chair and hits Terry’s knee a few times. They get back in the ring, and Flair locks on the Figure Four for the second fall. Terry makes it up before 10, so we are still going. This is like a slower, more depressing version of their classic I Quit match.
Funk gets a two count after a piledriver on the floor. Really? Couldn’t do a three there? Terry pulls up the mats outside and piledrives Flair. It’s supposed to be on the concrete, but he misses the concrete. Instead of covering for him, Tony just says “he missed the concrete.” Sigh. Funk gets a pin on that one, but Flair pulls himself up using the guardrail. Funk gets a table from under the ring. Funk’s chest is bleeding from the chops. Now Funk gets a mic and asks if Flair wants to quit. I think he’s suffering from Alzheimer’s here and forgot what type of match he was in. Funk piledrives Flair through a table. The table might be the best worker on the show so far for not breaking under the weight of both guys before the move was delivered. Funk pulls Flair up at two and gets another table. Funk lays Flair down on the table and heads up top for a moonsault. Flair gets up first and tosses Funk from the top, through the table. That gets three, obviously. And it gets the ten count so Flair wins. That was something. Some of the brawling was intense and good, but it was super sad to watch these two formerly great wrestlers having a match like this. Not the worst match on this show, but easily the most depressing.
Mean Gene is interviewing Hogan. Hogan has a cast on his arm, another victim of Luger’s arm breaking spree. He threatens to break Luger’s arm, and he also threatens to break Liz into pieces and feed her to Luger? Didn’t see that coming.
Buffer is there for this match and the main event. This match does not get the “Ready to Rumble” treatment. Buffer makes sure to note that Luger is the one who claims to be only 4% body fat and the most awesome physical specimen in wrestling history. He should add that when he says Nash is the best big man in wrestling. You can’t hear Buffer when Hogan comes out, so I’m not sure if he called him “The King of Hulkmania” again or not. Too bad. They brawl outside and Hogan hits Luger with a chair. Which I guess is legal? You should see Hogan trying to move around here. This match is basically what you would expect between a broken-down Hulk Hogan and a bloated-up Lex Luger. Luger looks good, for sure, but he is way too big to be effective here. Luger in 93 when he was lean as hell in WWF was pretty damn good. This is 7 years and probably 75 pounds later. Liz hit Hogan with the bat. This brings Hart down to take the bat back. These last two matches are depressing. It’s like watching that Heroes of Wrestling PPV. Maybe not that bad, but pretty damn close. Hogan hulks up out of nowhere. Luger hits a suplex and doesn’t go for a cover, so Hogan just pops up and starts his comeback routine. UGH. Luger cut him off. I thought this was almost over. Luger hits the ropes, but Hart hits him with his cast, Hogan hits Luger with his cast, hits a leg drop, and gets the win. Thank god that is over. After the match, Hogan whips Luger with his weight belt. Flair comes out to save Luger. Sting returns to save Hogan. Madden has a pretty good line when Sting and Hogan are in the ring stating that it looks like a screen actor’s guild meeting. What a horrible match this was. Two dudes just walking around, hitting each other and just not doing a whole hell of a lot.
Time for the main event. This ought to be a straight mess. All night there has been a door in the back with a “keep out” sign on it. They go to the back and now the door is open and the room is empty. Man, WCW loved a mystery. This match gets the Ready to Rumble treatment. They announce Jeff Jarrett as a five-time world champion. What? Are we counting the USWA title? I love that Michael Buffer just reads whatever these guys tell him. Hall is out second, and he starts brawling with Jarrett before Sid even comes out. Sid’s music hits, and he saunters out after Hall dumps Jarrett over the top. People are into Sid. Sid is in there beating the shit out of everyone. Hall tells Jarrett to suck it and the Harris Twins pull Sid down and crotch him on the ring post. Very slowly. Sid just lays there in the corner and when Jarrett has both guys down, he decides to pose.
Jarrett tries a sleeper on Hall, Hall tries a sleeper on Jarrett, neither works, and after some horrid fisticuffs the ref takes a bump. In a No DQ triple threat. Sid hits a double chokeslam, and Nick Patrick slides in to count two. Jarrett has the belt and he nails Sid with it. That gets him two. Hall tries a couple of roll ups on Jarrett for two. Jarrett gives Nick Patrick his move. God, fuck Russo. Oh, never mind. A Harris holds up a chair, but Jarrett ends up going into the chair. Jarrett beats up Charles Robinson. And Mickey Jay. This was all done so Slick Johnson, Jarrett’s ref of choice, could come down. Hall hits the Edge and Mark holds up at two because his shoulder is hurt. Poor guy. Sid is back in now with awful punches and a big boot. Now Sid is back out. JJ has the guitar and he waffles Hall with it. Johnson is counting three, but Roddy Piper in a ref’s shirt comes out and breaks up the count. This lets Sid get back in and chokeslam Jarrett, powerbomb Hall, and get the win. I guess Piper was the guy in the room? Cool. I hate Roddy Piper. A lot. What a terrible main event. No great action, overbooked silliness, with entirely too much going on to keep track of. At least it was short.
This was just an amazingly bad show. The best matches were the Vampiro vs. Kidman match that was good but not great and the Three Count vs. Norman Smiley match that was more comedic than anything else. Everything else was just amazingly bad. I don’t know how I am going to follow this one. If you have any suggestions, send let me know on Twitter. I am @OMGlancy.