Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: November 26, 2000
Location: Wisconsin Center Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Stevie Ray, Mark Madden
These dying days of WCW are a scary place. Things are about as bad as they’ve been since Russo left, including a rather uninteresting main event of Booker T. defending his World Title against Scott Steiner (again) in a match that really isn’t the biggest secret. Let’s get to it.
We open with Booker arriving and being mobbed by the fans that are always allowed backstage near where the wrestlers enter the building.
Steiner arrived and destroyed a table for no logical reason.
The opening video focuses on Booker vs. Steiner (with the latter in a straitjacket), Goldberg vs. Luger and Nash/Page vs. the Perfect Event.
Earlier today, CEO Ric Flair promised us great wrestling tonight. That lying scumbag. Madden: “I don’t trust him.”
Cruiserweight Title: Kwee Wee vs. Mike Sanders
Sanders is defending after Kwee Wee won a six man match to earn the title shot. The entrance really shows how tiny the title belt is. That thing looks like a cheap toy. Sanders slaps him in the face before the match and eats a Thesz press. Tony: “He’s going to fight Angry Alan instead of Kwee Wee here!” Stevie: “He’s going to fight WHO???” Tony: “That’s his alter ego! Don’t you pay attention?”
Sanders gets knocked to the floor in frustration so here are the Thrillers for a cheap shot. Stevie doesn’t understand how the referee didn’t care that Kwee Wee was laid out when Sanders was in front of the referee’s eyes. We get the double beal into a powerslam from Sanders (sweet spot) so here’s Meng (accompanied by Paisley in a Meng afro wig) to go after the Thrillers, who can’t beat him down.
Ric Flair brings out security to pull Meng off as the match continues to be completely ignored while this goes on. We actually pay attention again with Sanders dropping a dancing knee for two. Off to a chinlock as Madden says Paisley is out here because of the size of her chest. Kwee Wee springboards into a sunset flip for two as we hit the lame comeback. Madden: “This never happens to Paul Tagliabue.”
Kwee Wee actually tries a sunset bomb over the top tot he floor but gets hurricanranaed (kind of) for a counter. Paisley slaps Mike in the face so he rips off her afro, earning himself a handspring elbow and not a DQ for no logical reason. The referee sends her out, allowing Mike to get in the 3.0 (Orton’s backbreaker) to retain.
Rating: D. WAY too much going on but what else are you supposed to do when you have a match that no one is interested in and two guys who aren’t the best workers in the first place? Sanders is a fine talker but he’s killed that title worse than anyone I’ve seen in a very long time. Just bad in general here and not a great way to fire up a crowd.
Flair says no wrestlers are allowed at ringside unless you’re in the match, valets excluded of course.
The Boogie Knights try to buy Kronik AGAIN but Disco doesn’t have enough money. They’re in the ballpark though so Kronik will work for half of a fifteen minute match, which Disco thinks is eight minutes. Apparently it was going to be a handicap match but since Konnan isn’t here and Disco is hurt, we’re getting Rey Mysterio/Kidman vs. Alex/Kronik. So was it originally Konnan/Mysterio/Kidman vs. the Knights? That’s what they booked?
Evan Karagias sounds like a moron but it turns out that he used to date Jamie Noble’s sister.
Crowbar arrives with two women and sings some Bee Gees. Someone has sent him flowers and promises to be watching. No word on why the Hardcore Title was in his dressing room before he arrived.
Noble and Karagias vs. 3 Count vs. Jung Dragons
3 Count is left in the ring while the other four brawl in the aisle before Noble and Karagias are stuck on the floor while the Dragons fight with 3 Count. It’s time for a dance off because of course it is and Madden isn’t sure if he should cheer for Evan or not. We settle down to Evan chopping Kaz before it’s off to Jamie for a wristlock on Helms. Moore comes in for a spinwheel kick to help Shane’s German suplex.
Jamie pops back up with a powerbomb though and Yang tags himself in for a quick double team on Shannon. It settles back down to Kaz beating on Moore before we trade some rollups which the referee misses. I’m not sure what the point of that was but it was long enough to be a segment of the match. Kaz kicks Shane in the head and brings in Yang to clean house.
Shannon plants Yang with a sleeper drop for two as everything breaks down. Noble tombstones Yang but the Nightmare on Helm Street gets two on Jamie with Evan making the save. Now it’s time for the dives with Leia diving on five guys at once. Jamie pulls out a ladder because of course he does but it gets left outside as Noble crotches Yang on the top.
Evan ducks a dive which hits Shannon instead, setting up a double two count. Well it was called a double two, even though only Kaz kicked out and the referee should have counted a fall on Shannon. Thankfully Stevie is right there to rip on the referee for being so horrible, as he’s been doing all match. Back up and 3 Count grabs a Samoan drop/swinging neckbreaker combo on Yang for the pin.
Rating: B. There’s your match of the night and it wasn’t even anything all that great. WCW clearly wants these guys to be their Edge and Christian/Dudleyz/Hardyz but instead of elevating them, these six guys are stuck in an eternal hamster wheel of having the best match on the show but going nowhere. At least this was fun though and at least it didn’t open the show, even though it probably would have been a better option.
The announcer suggest that 3 Count deserves a Tag Team Title shot (they do but of course that would never happen) but instead we cut away to Bam Bam Bigelow beating down Mike Awesome.
Alex Wright insults Pamela and we recap the Boogie Knights buying Kronik for seven and a half minutes. In other words, the story hasn’t changed in the last fifteen minutes.
Jimmy Hart insists that he has a bad leg. Okerlund: “That cast looks about as real as Major Gunns’……” Jimmy: “It’s real!” Somehow this is a rematch from earlier in the spring because of reasons.
Reno says he’s got the Hardcore Title on his own tonight.
Mancow vs. Jimmy Hart
Mancow seems to have some fans here tonight and he’s allowed to have his sidekicks around tonight because this isn’t a sanctioned match. We get a quick recap (Hart insulted Mancow on his radio show) and Mancow says Jimmy is the Al Gore to his George W. Bush. Of course the injury is a fraud and Jimmy hits him in the back with a crutch. Cue 3 Count to make a save for no logical reason, allowing Mancow to take off the cast and hit Jimmy for the pin. I wonder who didn’t make the show for the sake of this mess.
Mike Awesome is taken away by medics.
The Misfits want to help General Rection tonight but he says Flair has banned them. They do however get new shirts as a consolation gift. Flair comes in and asks to talk to Sgt. AWALL.
Bam Bam Bigelow and Lance Storm are talking about something.
The Filthy Animals aren’t worried about Kronik.
Hardcore Title: Crowbar vs. Big Vito vs. Reno
Crowbar is defending. Vito and Reno slug it out to start and here’s Crowbar (apparently with an injured abdominal muscle) to join them a few moments later. Vito throws the champ through the ropes and onto Reno before busting out the kendo stick. Of course Vito has his own bag of Italian flag themed weapons to beat on both guys as this is already going nowhere.
Everyone beats on everyone as Madden thinks you should just bring a gun in. Stevie: “The way the referees are working around here that might work.” Reno and Crowbar start double teaming Vito before Reno baseball bats him in the back. Tony wonders what goes through your mind when you swing a bat at a man’s back. All three fight backstage with Reno powerslamming Vito through a table. Cue Reno’s sister Marie to break up a chair shot, allowing Crowbar to hit Reno with a chair of his own to retain.
Rating: F. Either get rid of the division or let Crowbar and Smiley do goofy stuff with it because this serious stuff (including Reno vs. Vito) is just so freaking boring. It’s just brawling with nothing interesting going on and an attempt at a story which goes nowhere either. Get rid of the thing or try something interesting because this is the worst stuff they’re doing with actual wrestlers.
Buff Bagwell arrives. For some reason this is a big deal.
Kevin Nash and Diamond Dallas Page actually explain what SOL means.
Gene is with the Cat and Miss Jones, the latter of whom he calls delicious. Cat says he’ll leave the country for thirty days if he loses tonight. Gene: “Ms. Jones, I could rock your world sweetheart!”
Rey Mysterio/Kidman vs. Alex Wright/Kronik
Tony confirms that yes, this was going to be three Filthy Animals vs. the Boogie Knights. Remember that Kronik is only out here for seven minutes and thirty seconds. Tygress sits in on commentary to drive me crazier than Mancow ever could. Disco is at ringside to violate Flair’s rules.
Kidman headlocks Adams to start and is immediately launched across the ring. An armdrag puts Adams down as Disco is at the announcers’ table plugging WOW Magazine where he’s listed as WCW’s Wrestler of the Month. Kidman grabs a sleeper as Tony says there’s a WCW Magazine to plug instead. The full nelson slam plants Kidman and Alex tags himself in for two. It’s off to Rey vs. Clark with Mysterio being tossed into the corner for a beating from the orange giant.
A bulldog drops Clark and sets up a springboard legdrop for two. The announcers debate what Tygress calls Rey (Papi) as he’s caught in a sitout powerbomb. Again Alex tags himself in for two before kicking Rey in the face. It’s time for a tag but Kronik leaves, 6:11 into the match. The fact that they have a stopwatch makes this even dumber. Kidman and Rey beat Alex down as the announcers debate Tygress’ “stuff”. The Nutcracker Sweet puts Wright away.
Rating: D. Who was this supposed to benefit? The Knights look like they can’t win a match on their own and the Animals can only claim a victory in a handicap match. Kronik comes off looking the best here as Clark beat Rey and Kidman on Thunder by himself and now the two of them leaving changes the course of the match. They’re the ones who come out looking smart, save for that whole not being able to tell time thing.
Mike Sanders has a plan for the Tag Team Title match.
Scott Steiner says he’s out of his mind and that means he’s at his best.
The Cat vs. Shane Douglas
Shane gets kicked to the floor to start and goes after Ms. Jones, who kicks him in the head to save herself. Cat goes after Madden to continue their ridiculous feud, allowing Shane to slam Cat back inside to take over. We hit the choking and the neck crank for a bit before Cat comes back with his weak variety of strikes.
There’s the Feliner but Cat is dizzy for no apparent reason, meaning Ms. Jones has to shove him into the cover for two. The women go at it on the floor before heading inside for more brawling. In the melee, Shane finds a chain to blast Cat for two. Shane stops paying attention so Jones pulls out a briefcase containing the loaded red shoe, which knocks Shane silly for the pin.
Rating: F+. This is on a LONG list of matches you could cut to improve the show. Who in the world wanted to see this James Brown nonsense again with the Cat cheating more than Shane cheated to win? Cat is a funny guy at times but this is another feud that wasn’t interesting in the first place and then had a bad match on top of that.
All of Jeff Jarrett’s guitars have been destroyed and Bagwell may have been behind it.
General Rection (or Hugh as his teammates call him) says this is the final match with Lance Storm and whoever wins tonight wins the war. It’s not over until the Misfits say it’s over.
I kid you not: we get a GLACIER promo. Tony: “Oh no not again.” Madden: “What are we thinking doing that crap again? Then again we keep Disco around.”
Bam Bam Bigelow comes out and says he beats Mike Awesome by forfeit. Not quite though as here’s Ric Flair (Stevie doesn’t recognize the music but thinks Ric is going to fight) to say there’s a replacement. Ric: “We’ve got 10,000 people here to see you wrestle.” Shut up Ric. You’re drunk. At least we have a face boss for a bit though and it’s a nice idea.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Sgt. AWALL
Madden rants about how Bigelow should have won by forfeit but Stevie says this table can only take so much. It’s a brawl to start as the announcers debate why AWALL has a table out here when it’s not a hardcore match. Tony’s eventual answer is that “it’s his thing.” AWALL gets two off a middle rope clothesline but Bigelow spins out of a belly to back and lands on top to take over. The Greetings From Asbury Park is countered into a forearm to the chest and it’s table time. The chokeslam is countered as well and the Greetings put AWALL away, even though his head didn’t come close to the mat.
Rating: D-. Another match that could have been cut and added nothing. I like the idea of delivering on what was promised here but good night they could have done anything else but this and no one would have noticed. At least they kept this short, but again how many people are there that could have played AWALL’s part and gotten a win out of it? Bad match too, as you would expect here.
Post match Bigelow collapses and it’s treated as a big serious moment.
After that, Bagwell laughs off Jarrett not having a guitar to use tonight.
Bigelow is stretchered out as this is still treated as a big deal.
We recap Lance Storm vs. General Rection which is mainly about Major Gunns changing sides and becoming Canadian by her own free will. Unfortunately people stopped caring months ago but the feud is FINALLY wrapping up here.
US Title: Lance Storm vs. General Rection
Rection is challenging and Storm has badly taped up ribs. Oh and remember when Storm and Bigelow were talking earlier in the night? It was a swerve so Bigelow can pop off the stretcher and jump Rection, which TOTALLY required the stretcher and Owen Hart voices and couldn’t have just been done in a backstage segment.
Storm starts fast as you would expect him to and goes after the knee which is wrapped around the post. Rection kicks him away but has to get to the ropes to avoid a Mapleleaf. Storm gets crotched against the post and Rection powerslams him but Gunns breaks up the moonsault. And never mind as Rection elbows Storm off the top and “hits” the moonsault to get the title back.
Rating: D. Yeah after all that build and storyline, this wasn’t even six and a half minutes. Cat vs. Douglas gets eight minutes and the US Title match, which actually had a long story to get us here, can’t even get six and a half. Another nothing match and another time that the midcard champion’s name is a sex pun.
Sanders tells Doug Dillinger to send security home for the night. Dillinger doesn’t seem impressed.
The announcers promise that the main events are still to come.
Ad for Starrcade in three weeks. Can you imagine Wrestlemania getting anything less than five weeks?
Jeff Jarrett vs. Buff Bagwell
Oddly enough Jeff Jarrett drops to the midcard as soon as Russo is gone. Jarrett doesn’t have a guitar here and it really is a strange sight. Buff shoves him away to start and it’s already time to pose. A swinging neckbreaker and some right hands set up a hiptoss to send Jeff outside but he gets in a low blow to get a breather.
Madden thinks it was just a twisted nipple. Jarrett gets in a few chair shots and again, disqualifications aren’t a thing in WCW 2000. Back in and Jeff stomps away as this is rapidly dying before our eyes. We hit the sleeper because that’s a Jeff Jarrett spot, as is him missing a running crotch attack and hitting the ropes. The Blockbuster misses though so Buff has to hit a tornado DDT for two instead.
The ref gets backdropped to the floor (of course) and here’s David Flair to DDT Jarrett onto the chair in retaliation from Monday. Since David sucks as a professional wrestler though, Jeff kicks out at two. Buff’s reverse layout DDT (think Christian) gets the same but Jeff has another guitar hidden under the ring. A big shot to the shoulder is enough to put Bagwell down for the pin.
Rating: D+. That’s almost out of pity, which really isn’t the best sign for a match. This was Jarrett being uninteresting as only he can and Bagwell being the same guy he’s been for years now. I’m still not sure why these two are fighting in the first place and I doubt WCW has much of an idea either.
Again we immediately cut away to recap Nash/Page vs. the Thrillers. This isn’t a very complicated one: the Thrillers turned their back on Coach Nash and beat him down several times, which meant Nash needed help. For reasons that aren’t clear, this meant Page.
Tag Team Titles: Diamond Dallas Page/Kevin Nash vs. Perfect Event
Perfect Event is defending and Sanders comes out for commentary. As you might expect, the Thrillers come out as the security guards for the match to get around Flair’s ruling. Or they could just be Disco Inferno. The fans want Hall but of course that’s not an option right now. Nash and Palumbo get things going though I never heard an opening bell.
After a quick break on the floor, Palumbo comes back in for some hard (open hand) punches, earning himself entry into the People Kevin Nash Has Done The Same Stuff To In The Corner Club. Snake Eyes drops Palumbo and Nash gives Stasiak a left hand (that’s a new one) to put him on the floor. The Thrillers try to come in and are dispatched just as quickly but here are Flair and the real security to get rid of them.
Apparently Sanders has a manager’s license (which says “Official Manager”) which allows him to stick around. Madden: “You’re like Jim Cornette but people still remember who you are.” We settle down to Page clotheslining Stasiak and Shawn being knocked back and forth between the challengers’ fists. A quick DDT gets two for Stasiak, followed by a double slingshot suplex for two from Palumbo.
Page avoids a charge in the corner and clotheslines Palumbo down but still can’t make the hot tag. A sunset flip causes Stasiak’s trunks to come down but Page is still kept in the wrong part of town. Palumbo’s top rope shoulder gets two on Page as this is already the second best match on the show, at least partially because of the time it’s getting. You can’t tell any kind of a story in five minutes while this one has already broken ten. Palumbo trips Page in the corner and a double wishbone keeps him in trouble.
Page powers out of a front facelock and makes the tag but of course the referee doesn’t see it. That’s one of those ideas that is always going to work. We hit the sleeper on Page for the belly to back counter and the tag to Nash which really wasn’t as hot as it should have been. House is quickly cleaned and Nash Jackknifes Stasiak for two with Sanders pulling the referee out. That earns Mike a Diamond Cutter as Nash covers Stasiak again for the titles.
Rating: C-. It’s not so much that the match was good (it was ok at best) but this was pretty easily the second best match on the card so far. Nash and Page may be old and no longer draws but they’re capable of having a watchable match. Unfortunately this is probably about it for the Thrillers as they gave the veterans their best shot and got beat in the middle of the ring. What’s left for them to really do? Again: they’re the original Nexus.
Lex Luger is ready for Goldberg because it’s the only thing he hasn’t done in wrestling.
Quick recap of Luger vs. Goldberg, which is all about adding a big win to Goldberg’s second Streak, even though Flair basically said the Streak means nothing anymore.
Lex Luger vs. Goldberg
At least it’s Luger again and not the Total Package while everyone called him Luger anyway. Madden tries to explain that only Russo can change the Streak thing, which makes sense in theory, but it stops making sense when you have Flair saying it can be overridden at basically a moment’s notice. Goldberg works on the arm to start and pops up after a belly to back suplex.
Lex slowly stomps Goldberg down in the corner but he’s right on his feet again for some knees to Luger’s chest. Luger’s running forearm puts Goldberg down and a big clothesline sends him over the top. Back in and Goldberg hits a quick powerslam before pounding away on the mat. The spear hits Luger and the referee but Goldberg Jackhammers Lex anyway, meaning a second referee comes in to count the pin.
Rating: D-. It says a lot when Goldberg is clearly the better worker in the match but Luger was horrible here. He wasn’t doing anything beyond forearms and knees to the back and that’s just not enough in 2000. Bad match here and in this case it’s because of that stupid Streak thing as Goldberg should be getting ready for the World Title instead of squashing an over the hill goon like Luger.
The cage is lowered while Goldberg’s music is still playing.
Quick recap of Booker T. vs. Scott Steiner, which is a rematch from Halloween Havoc where Steiner got disqualified for being too brutal.
WCW World Title: Scott Steiner vs. Booker T.
Booker is defending and this is a straitjacket Caged Heat (Cell) match because a regular cage match just wouldn’t be enough. In other words there’s a straitjacket in the corner of the cage and you can use it to tie your opponent up. Steiner attacks him at the door but Michael Buffer is professional enough to complete the introductions while the beating is on.
Booker fights him off and takes off the belt, only to get pounded down in the corner. A clothesline puts Booker on the floor and it’s time for the elbow into the pushups. The spinning belly to belly gets two but Booker gets in a few kicks for a breather. That comeback is quickly stopped by a clothesline, followed by a superplex for two. A bearhug gets Steiner as far as a bearhug is going to get him as Booker fights back and gets in the missile dropkick. It’s time to get the straitjacket but Booker doesn’t exactly tie Steiner up that well.
Instead he goes outside and gets a chair to blast Steiner in the head twice in a row. Steiner, whose arms were never tied, rips the jacket apart, rendering that aspect of the match completely worthless. There’s the Recliner but Booker counters with an electric chair into a stun gun. Booker gets in a quick Book End for two but Steiner is right back to his feet. The ax kick connects but Steiner gets in a chair shot, followed by a Bubba Bomb of all things. Steiner puts on the Recliner for the knockout and the title as Stevie is devastated.
Rating: D+. Well that happened. They made no secret of the fact that Steiner was winning the title here and it was probably long overdue. The match was watchable enough but the straitjacket thing really didn’t need to be there. It also didn’t help that Steiner actually set a new benchmark for worst Recliner ever as Booker was just on his knees with Steiner’s hands in front of his throat. That looked horrible and there’s no other way to describe it.
Steiner destroys Booker’s knee to end the show.
Overall Rating: F. This isn’t as hard to sit through as the Russo shows but they’re far less interesting. The problem here is so much of this isn’t worth airing on a pay per view. You could probably cut off half the matches and air this as roughly an hour and a half show to greater results. Let’s see:
Hart vs. Mancow
Wright/Kronik vs. Filthy Animals
Cat vs. Douglas
Bigelow vs. AWALL
Jarrett vs. Bagwell
That’s half the card and how much of it would have been missed if it wasn’t around? WCW is going in circles at this point and it’s really getting tiresome. We’re three weeks away from Starrcade and I can’t even begin to imagine what we’re going to have to sit through there. Unfortunately it’s probably going to be Mayhem II, despite the show really not being good in the first place.
You can’t overlook that either: this show really isn’t all that good. You had a fun three way tag match that meant nothing and a decent Tag Team Title change which isn’t likely to mean anything either as those titles change hands so fast. Other than that the matches ranged anywhere from horrible to worthless, though at least this time there was nothing stupid enough to make me need to go on a long winded rant to calm my nerves.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2000 Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Part 1.
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The post REVIEW: Mayhem 2000: When The Cell Isn’t Enough appeared first on WrestlingRumors.net.