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WCW’s Last Ditch Effort: Part Two

All the titles are vacant and WCW Spring Stampede 2000 on April 16th, 2000 is the event where new champions would be crowned. WCW Tag Team, United States and World Championships all had tournaments to crown new champions while the Hardcore and Cruiserweight Championships were figured out in a singles and six way respectively. I’m not going to exhaust anyone with the in-depth breakdown of the tournaments, but rather just an overview.

Shane Douglas and Buff Bagwell walked out of Spring Stampede as the new WCW Tag Team Champions after defeating Ric Flair and Lex Luger in the finals. Of course, they didn’t do it all by themselves and instead and help from Brian Adams and Bryan Clarke interference. Also, Vince Russo counted the pin. The victory made some sense considering Douglas and Bagwell have had issues with Flair and Luger, but don’t expect the tag titles to be a focus of the respective feuds.

Scott Steiner won the WCW United States Championship by defeating Sting in the finals of the tournament. To get to the finals, Steiner was victorious over the recently debuted Mike Awesome making Awesome submit in a three minute match after Kevin Nash got some revenge on Awesome. Sting had a really good match with Booker T, and afterward they showed respect for each other. That’s not going to sit well with the New Blood. As for the finish of the match, Vampiro pulled Sting from under the ring and attacked Sting. Of course, Sting had defeated Vampiro earlier in the tournament.

Jeff Jarrett won the vacant WCW World Championship by pinning Diamond Dallas Page in the main event after Kimberly turned on Page. This is Jarrett’s first ever WCW World Champion reign. The first of many over the course of the next three months.

Oh, Chris Candido won the Cruiserweight Championship and Terry Funk won the WCW Hardcore Championship. Funk is the only non-New Blood champion in WCW at this point.

In case you were wondering what the difference between the two groups actually is, it’s that everyone in the New Blood had never been a WCW World Champion while the Millionaire’s Club has dominated that recognition over the years. Obviously, Jarrett winning the championship changes that narrative.

Yes, Hulk Hogan appeared on Spring Stampede despite having a hummer rammed into his limo just six days prior. Hogan was involved in one of the most infamous and not talked enough segments in WCW history. Hogan confronted Bischoff after costing Kidman his match with Vampiro I the tournament and proceeded to have guns drawn on him by officers. Hogan would then be arrested. Yes, guns were drawn on a wrestler.

So, coming out of the PPV the New Blood essentially has all the power. But, how long would that power last?

The April 17th, 2000 WCW Nitro program started with the New Blood celebrating their dominance with confetti and balloons falling from the ceiling. It was completely overdone, but it fits the story. It’s hilarious that while Russo cut a promo on the Millionaire’s Club, the fans are popping balloons during the segment. They had to know that was going to happen. WCW World Champion Jeff Jarrett got his own entrance. Jarrett tells JR to kiss his ass, which is notable considering their relationship at the end of Jarrett’s WWF run. Jarrett quickly announces that at Slamboree he’s going to wrestle Diamond Dallas Page in a triple tier cage that was used in Ready To Rumble.

Eric Bischoff and Kimberly addressed what happened last night where Kimberly turned on Page, remember? Bischoff took some cheap shots at DDP’s lack of sexual performance and said that he’s going to make DDP suffer torture for as long as he can. Kimberly reveals that she was tired of following DDP’s needs and schedule. Kimberly believes that DDP knew she was the star and held her back. She’s going to be a star now. DDP arrived and took out security, which was several future TNA developmental guys (Cassidy O’Reilly, for instance). DDP attacks all the champions and the Millionaire’s Club help out under the disguise as the riot squad that was at ringside. That was actually a good reveal and segment.

There’s noticeable tension between Eric Bischoff and Booker T with Bischoff not liking Booker’s ego and attitude. Security also quits on Bischoff because they got their butts kicked. Bischoff answers the phone and Hogan is on the other end threatening to kick his ass in five minutes.

Hulk Hogan arrives to the building, but is stopped by three officers. Hogan stares at them intently and they allow Hogan to walk into the arena not wanting to have Hulkamania run wild on them. Hogan hilariously can’t find the entrance so they cut away. Hogan makes the save for Curt Hennig, who lost to Shawn Stasiak prior to Hogan’s arrival. Hogan has had a lot of time to listen to what the fans had to say for the past year. Hogan has heard the critics ask if Hogan is getting older and Hogan notes that everyone is getting older. Hogan isn’t losing a step, but has lost half a step. Okay, Hulkster. Hogan calls out anyone wanting to take his spot and suggests they need to be a different breed of wrestler to take him out. Hogan is sick of Kidman and notes that Kidman wouldn’t leave the hotel until he knew what was going on with him. (I guess we should ignore Hogan using his creative control a lot of times.) Hogan ended up leaving the ring as Kidman was seen in the parking lot with Bischoff standing behind Kidman with the white hummer. Eventually, Hogan manages to find them in the parking garage, but it took forever. Hogan has a brawl with Kidman with Hogan putting Kidman into a dumpster. Bischoff gets in the white hummer, but can’t start the car and runs away. Hogan gets in the hummer and manages to get it to start. Hogan drives into the dumpster a few times to essentially kill Kidman. Hogan drives off following the attempted murder hit and run offense. Hogan ended up finding Bischoff in the locker room, but Bischoff ran away heading towards the ring, which seems like a bright idea. Hogan kicked Bischoff in the nuts. Russo and Bret Hart came out. Hart has a chair and wants to hit Bischoff, but the show goes off the air before contact. However, it’s obvious that Hart hit Hogan with the chair because he changes his vision to Hogan just as the show ended. So, it was mistimed just ever so slightly.

WCW World Champion Jeff Jarrett revealed there will be an open contract posted for anyone that is not a millionaire. So, he wants to wrestle someone in his own stable already? It seems like the angle is already losing focus, but then again, there’s not enough millionaires to combat a team of thirty wrestlers in the New Blood. When Jarrett sees the contract later on, he’s not happy with the name of the contract. Russo will try to get Jarrett out of the match. In the main event, it’s revealed that WCW United States Champion Scott Steiner signed the contract to wrestle Jarrett. Steiner had the Steiner Recliner on Jarrett, but Booker T hit Steiner with a scissor kick and told Jarrett “You’re Welcome, punk.”

WCW Hardcore Champion Terry Funk successfully defended the championship against the Wall in a match that featured Funk hitting a top rope moonsault to the floor. It was actually an enjoyable match for the brief time it was taking place.

Remember when Brian Adams and Bryan Clarke helped the New Blood at Spring Stampede? Well, they did that because Russo promised them a tag title match and they wanted it on Nitro. Instead, Russo punked them out and told them to wait. Kronik went from being badasses to looking like clowns in a matter of ten-seconds. Shortly after that, Kronik attacked the Harris Brothers backstage. They took out the Mamalukes and proceeded to cut a promo on Vince Russo and the men in the back being cowards and being scared of them.

Vampiro cut a promo regarding his actions towards Sting the previous night at Spring Stampede and said that Sting knows nothing about pain. Vampiro made it clear that he’s going to wrestle Sting at Slamboree in three weeks and that he saved a little bit to end Sting officially. The crowd didn’t sound to be overly into the promo. The lights went out and Sting came down from the rafters to attack Vampiro, which popped the crowd. Sting got a microphone and says he’s in the mood for some graveyard destruction. Sting beats on Vampiro with a baseball bat while naming the various wrestlers that he’s wrestled over the years. Sting leaves Vampiro laying with the Scorpion Death Drop.

Mike Awesome and DDP had a match that didn’t last to long because Kanyon got involved. Kevin Nash attacked Awesome from behind and put Awesome through a table in the ring with the Jackknife powerbomb.

Tank Abbott continued to call out Goldberg for a match and ended up attacking Chicago Blackhawks owner Bruce MacAruther by ramming him gut first into the apron. Luckily, a Blackhawks player entered the ring to make the save.

Buff Bagwell got involved in Lex Luger’s singles match against Shane Douglas. Bagwell ended up going for Elizabeth on the floor allowing a ‘Sting fan” to attack Douglas with a bat, but it was revealed to be Ric Flair in a disguise.

There wasn’t a Thunder this week. I have to say this was a bad week for the New Blood as they were made to look weak against every single Millionaire’s Club member. Every segment was putting over a Millionaire Club member. I’m not sure how that effectively pushes the younger talent in the New Blood. Sure, Stasiak won his match against Hennig, but he’s not going to move the needle in a positive way. To have Jarrett, Vampiro, Mike Awesome, Kidman, Douglas, Bagwell and the Wall all get zero momentum is rather baffling to me.

New Blood has a lot of dissension between them with Booker T screwing over Steiner, but also seemingly wanting a piece of Jarrett. I think it’s way too early to be having the group already showing cracks. Personally, I would make sure to keep Steiner, Booker, Jarrett and Awesome strong as that would be my core four against the Millionaire’s Club.

I’m not a fan of the hummer driving into the dumpster to likely cripple Kidman. It’s a repetitive angle since they did it to Hogan just last week, but it’s also going to be pointless because Kidman will likely appear next week and hardly have a scratch or even sell such a moment. It’s an example of doing something for the immediate shock, but not having the patience to effectively deliver on the angle.

Vampiro getting made to look extremely weak against Sting was the most frustrating segment on the program. He needs to be built up strongly and be more of a challenger to Sting. The segment this week really set him backwards. Prior to this angle, Vampiro seemed to be destined to be the next babyface in paint to eventually replace Sting, but thus far his heel run feels like it’s being a bit fumbled.

A major positive is that they’ve promoted key matches to be taking place in three weeks at Slamboree. Jarrett vs. DDP in a triple cage, Hogan vs. Kidman, and Douglas vs. Flair. I’m glad they don’t waste for the last minute. Hopefully next week the New Blood will regain their steam and not look like a bunch of losers.

What have you thought of the angle thus far? Are you reliving it on Peacock? Maybe you should!

Thanks for reading.

Bob Colling Jr. View All

31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.

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