The Good & The Bad: WCW 2000 Part One
As of late, I’ve been checking out some matches on WCW Worldwide circa 2000. It got me thinking about some of the good and bad that WCW 2000 had going on for itself. I know, most people are going to immediately think of all the bad stuff. However, hidden throughout the bad stuff, there was some good things going on. Of course, my definition of good and bad may be different than others, which should make for a good conversation.
I’ll break this up into two parts covering half a year at a time that way there’s not too much text to get through. So, this will cover from January 1st to June 30th, 2000. Lets relive the wacky year of 2000 for World Championship Wrestling.
The Bad #1: WCW started the year with a tournament to crown new WCW Tag Team Champions. The tournament took place on January 3rd and was contested under Lethal Lottery rules. Long story short, David Flair and Crowbar won the titles last defeating Scott Steiner and Kevin Nash in the finals when Arn Anderson whacked Nash with a tire iron.
The Bad #2: Despite suffering a concussion at Starrcade in December ’99, WCW World Champion Bret Hart continued to wrestle for the company. One of his final matches was a hardcore match on the January 6th Thunder against Terry Funk.
The Bad #3: Madusa is the WCW Cruiserweight Champion. She’d be in a feud with Oklahoma (Ed Ferrera, writer for WCW) leading to a pay per view match at Souled Out.
The Good #1: To breakout of the negativity, WCW started to highlight their younger guys on the lower level television programs. They’d make an impact later in the year, but it’s a start to freshen the product up.
The Good #2: WCW United States Champion Jeff Jarrett competed against George Steele, Tito Santana and Jimmy Snuka on the January 10th edition of Nitro. This led to Snuka and Benoit both hitting splashes off the top of the cage. Snuka was 56 years old performing that move.
The Bad #4: WCW held a pay per view on January 16th, which might be one of the worst shows ever. WCW World Champion Bret Hart didn’t appear, WCW United States Champion Jeff Jarrett didn’t compete due to an injury. Dean Malenko forgot the rules to a match with Billy Kidman causing the match to end just two and half minutes into it. Big T (Ahmed Johnson) debuted and was out of shape in comparison to his WWF days. As you can see, it was just a train wreck of a time.
The Good #3: There was a decent last man standing match between DDP and Buff Bagwell. More importantly, Chris Benoit won the WCW World Championship when he defeated Sid Vicious in the main event.
The Bad #5: Chris Benoit had given his notice to the company and left less than 24-hours after the match. The title was again vacated and Benoit headed to the WWF alongside Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn. This was a big deal for WCW as the four men were the top four in-ring workers at the time, arguably.
The Good #4: Evan Karagias, Shane Helms and Shannon Moore had formed the boy band group known as 3-Count. While the gimmick was often times annoying, they were all pretty talented with Helms standing out later in the year.
The Good #5: Big Vito and Johnny the Bull won the WCW Tag Team Championships from David Flair and Crowbar on the January 19th edition of Thunder. I dug the Mamalukes.
The Good #6: It only took a week and two different matches, but Sid Vicious won the WCW World Championship by defeating Kevin Nash and Ron Harris in a steel cage match on the January 26th edition of Thunder. The match wasn’t good, but the fact there was an actual champion, that was good.
The Bad #6: As much as I like the guy, Scott Hall returned to WCW television in February 2000 losing to WCW World Champion Sid on the February 7th edition of Nitro. Hall would be inserted into a three way match involving Sid and Jarrett at WCW Superbrawl. That would prove to be his final appearance for the company.
The Good #7: Hulk Hogan made his return to WCW television on the February 14th edition of Nitro. It’s good for the name power that Hogan has, that’s about it at this point.
The Bad #7: Lord Steven Regal lost a career match against WCW Television Champion Jim Duggan. Regal would jump ship to the WWF and go on to have a successful run in the company both on camera and off camera.
The Bad #8: Tank Abbott attempted to murder Big Al at WCW Superbrawl X on February 20th. Also at the event, James Brown appeared with Ernest Miller, which wasn’t advertised as occurring prior to the show.
The Good #8: La Parka had gotten some momentum finally in his career. The focus not being on his in-ring ability, but instead for having someone do voiceover work during his promos. Often times, the mystery voice would rely a message that Parka would visually deny coming from him. Hey, something is better than nothing for the guy.
The Bad #9: Sid Vicious was forced to work a house show main event against Lex Luger in street clothes and without the WCW World Championship due to his bags being lost at the airport.
The Good #9: After weeks of building up Tank Abbott as a challenger, WCW World Champion Sid Vicious ended Tank’s main event run on the February 28th edition of Nitro. This is good because Tank didn’t actually win the WCW World Championship, which was rumored to have been a possibility.
The Good #10: WCW had a tour of England that got them the biggest crowds of the year all the shows getting 10,000+ and mostly all paid for.
The Bad #10: WCW held the pay per view UnCensored on March 19th. At the event, the Harris Brothers won the WCW Tag Team Championships despite never being over with the crowd to warrant that. Also, Hulk Hogan won a strap match, where you have to touch all four corners, but only touched three and decided to pin Ric Flair instead.
The Good #11: The following night on Nitro, WCW World Champion Sid Vicious turned on Hulk Hogan in a tag match against Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner. Sid was jealous of the reaction Hulk was getting from the crowd and pinned Hogan with a choke slam.
The Good #12: WCW rebranded themselves on the April 10th edition of Nitro. The focus of the show was the creation of the New Blood feuding the Millionaires Club. The leaders of the New Blood were Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff.
The Bad #12: However, most of the guys in the New Blood were old themselves, though the premise was that none of the members had ever been WCW World Champions.
The Good #13: Mike Awesome, the current ECW World Champion, made his debut attacking Kevin Nash on the April 10th edition of Nitro.
The Bad #13: However, Mike Awesome wasn’t released from his ECW contract and was forced to compete on the April 13th house show where he lost the title to Taz. WCW ended up paying ECW $500,000 for the ordeal.
The Bad #14: WCW held Spring Stampede where every title was vacated. With the promotion of younger talent breaking through, the following men won titles with their age at the time. Terry Funk (55), Chris Candido (28), Shane Douglas (36), Buff Bagwell (30) , Scott Steiner (37) and Jeff Jarrett (32), Funk was the only non-New Blood member to win a title.
The Bad #15: By this point guys like Vampiro and Billy Kidman were full fledge heels feuding with Sting and Hulk Hogan respectively. The Kidman/Hogan feud was not believable since Kidman was largely a Cruiserweight performer suddenly getting momentum over Hogan. The Sting/Vampiro feud would just be one of the goofiest feuds in WCW history.
The Bad #16: The night everyone remembers and it just so happens to have happened in my hometown… David Arquette won the WCW World Championship in a tag match where he teamed with DDP against Jeff Jarrett and Eric Bischoff. Arquette won the title by pinning Eric Bishcoff. This was done to get press, which it did, but it didn’t impact ratings.
The Bad #17: David Arquette would successfully defend the WCW World Championship against Tank Abbott on the May 1st edition of Nitro.
The Good #14: Mike Awesome got a pin fall victory over Hulk Hogan on the May 1st episode of Nitro. Gotta make those new stars, Hulkster!
The Bad #18: At the Slamboree event, Chris Kanyon took a bump off the top of a triple cage where he was tossed off of by Mike Awesome and crashed through the ramp way. This happened in the same building, Kemper Arena, that Owen Hart had died less than a year prior to when he fell to his death in a stunt gone wrong. Vince Russo was the writer for WWF at the time, and was the writer in WCW at this point, too.
The Good #15: Jeff Jarrett won the WCW World Championship in a triple cage match involving David Arquette and Diamond Dallas Page. Arquette turned heel turning the match costing DDP the match.
The Bad #19: From May 15th to May 29th, the WCW World Championship changed hands on five occasions. The series of events saw Flair get stripped, Jarrett being awarded, losing to Kevin Nash, who gave the title to Flair, who lost the belt to Jarrett on May 29th.
The Bad #20: On May 22nd, Daffney won the WCW Cruiserweight Championship when she pinned Crowbar. This was the second time a female held the Cruiserweight Championship, effectively killing the division for quite sometime.
The Good #16: Vampiro earned a pin fall victory over Hulk Hogan on May 22nd edition of Nitro. Of course, there was help from Kidman, but still.
The Bad #21: By the end of May, Booker T returned to an old gimmick known as GI Bro. Luckily, it was short-lived.
The Good #17: Goldberg returned to WCW on the June 5th Nitro where he defeated Tank Abbott.
The Bad #22: Vince Russo of all people defeated Ric Flair in a steel cage match. Kevin Nash would beat five New Blood members by himself in a gauntlet match. These also happened on the June 5th episode of Nitro. Oh, and Eric Bischoff won the WCW Hardcore Championship from Terry Funk.
The Good #18: Chavo Guerrero won the WCW Cruiserweight Championship from Daffney in a match that included Disco Inferno.
The Bad #23: While nothing overly awful happened at The Great American Bash on June 11th, one of the more baffling decisions did take place. WCW had been teasing something huge to happen at the event. What ended happening? They turned their biggest babyface, Goldberg, heel by joining the New Blood stable. The defection didn’t make much sense for what the New Blood was trying to accomplish.
The Bad #24: Ric Flair lost a handicap match against Vince Russo and David Flair on the June 12th Nitro. The loss would force Flair into retirement and his hair was shaved off.
The Good #19: Lance Storm made his surprise debut on the June 19th Nitro.
The Bad #24: In an attempt to get Goldberg over a heel, he destroyed cancer survivor Jim Duggan on the June 26th edition of Nitro. The most tasteless aspect of the beating was Goldberg viciously pounding Duggan’s kidneys, which was the affected area of the cancer.
What are some moments you thought were good or bad? Any disagreements with what I wrote? Feel free to share those thoughts below.
Thanks for reading.