Relive the feud between Jeff Jarrett and Booker T over the WCW World Heavyweight Championship that lasted from July 2000 until October 2000.
For roughly six years, Booker T was either in a tag team with Stevie Ray winning tag team championship after tag team championship or was in a singles role trading the WCW Television Championship and United States Championship on a monthly basis with other upper midcarders in the promotion. He was seen as a top guy for WCW in the future, but as long as Eric Bischoff was in charge, he wasn’t going to get that chance.
Luckily for Booker T and fans, Vince Russo entered the scene. Yeah, I actually just wrote that sentence. Booker T benefited from Russo’s arrival in WCW. For Booker T, July 9th, 2000 would be the biggest night of his career. He would win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from Jeff Jarrett and was quickly inserted into the main event scene and first main event program.
The next night on Nitro would see Jeff Jarrett quickly claim the number one contendership when he was able to beat Goldberg, Scott Steiner and Kanyon in a fatal four way after pinning Kanyon. That meant Jarrett would face Booker T at New Blood Rising on August 13th, 2000.
Well, actually Jarrett had to put that spot on the line on the August 12th edition of Thunder against Kanyon, who had pinned Booker T the same night he won the championship. Jarrett kept his spot by beating Kanyon with the Stroke.
Jarrett would send a message to Booker T on the July 18th edition of Nitro by smashing a guitar over Stevie Ray’s head. Ray, for those who don’t know, is Booker T’s brother. Booker and Stevie would team to take on Jeff Jarrett and Rick Steiner on the July 19th edition of Thunder. Booker would pin Jarrett but would suffer a guitar shot afterward for doing so.
They couldn’t wait until August 13th to get their hands on each other. So, they would square off in a bunkhouse match on the July 26th edition of Thunder. Jarrett was able to win the match with the figure four after hitting Booker’s injured knee with a guitar.
On the July 31st edition of Nitro, Jarrett would attack Booker with a chair and put the figure four on the champ around the bottom rope. That wasn’t the main issue of the segment, though. Jarrett decided to pull Booker’s wife (not Sharmell) over the guard railing and smashed a guitar over her back. This feud was getting quite personal. Jarrett, Vampiro and his cronies would hang Booker from the rafters by his leg so Jarrett could hit the champ with his guitar again.
They would square off on August 13th at New Blood Rising with the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on the line. Jarrett failed to win the championship as he lost to Booker T following a Book End. They would meet again the next night on Nitro, but there wasn’t a finish to the match thanks to Goldberg getting involved.
The feud between Jarrett and Booker would stop rather abruptly. Booker would go on to work with Kevin Nash for a month or so. They would compete again on the October 2nd edition of Nitro where Booker beat Jarrett to win the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship since Vince Russo gave up the championship he had won. That would be the end of their rivalry in WCW.
It seemed like the feud was rather quick and rushed. I mean, Booker T’s push to the main event scene came an hour after he lost to Kanyon in a midcard match at Bash at the Beach 2000. Their matches during the month and half that they were fighting on a regular basis were good, but nothing overly special.
The feud would’ve been better had Jarrett’s run with the championship had been a lengthy on. But, at this point WCW would hot shot title changes every two weeks. That same thing would happen to Booker T a couple of times in 2000.
I actually decided to look back at this feud because it’s one of the feuds I remember most for some reason. I think it’s because Booker was one of my favorites in WCW and seeing him get a title reign since he was fantastic in the undercard from 97 – 99. I actually purchased New Blood Rising (my only WCW pay per view purchase) to see these two go at it among other matches.
Overall, I thought the feud was decent but could’ve been really good had they dragged it out for the rest of the year. But, I think Jarrett wasn’t seen as a main event guy for long term.
Feel free to share your thoughts on this feud below. Thanks for reading.