Sunday, June 24, 2018

WCW Superbrawl 2000

Bonne fete nationale, mon fellow Quebecois. Here's my musings on an old World Championship Wrestling PPV event from the year 2000. Have fun, sti.

(And if you're in the mood for a GOOD WCW Pay-Per-View write-up, you can check out the Superbrawl III musings, which featured the awesome White Castle Of Fear strap match between Vader and Sting... I'm not being cute, either. It's a damn fine match.)

WCW started the year 2000 in a bit of a slump. Former WWF writer and credited Attitude architect Vince Russo was in charge of creative and has produced mixed results in terms of reactions and ratings. Eventually, he was turfed (for the short term) and it fell to Kevin Sullivan and friends to right the ship. Problem was that a number of midcards cried foul and jumped ship to WWF... and so WCW Superbrawl 2000 is the first PPV to emerge from that period of chaos.

I previously wrote some musings on the Souled Out PPV ages ago and this is the first time I'm watching this Superbrawl PPV. In hindsight, I wish I held off writing about this show until Saturday, but we've got plenty of Saturdays and Superbrawls left to pull off that little gag. Let's get started.

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea (with Paisley) defeated Lash Leroux to win the vacant WCW Cruiserweight title. The Prince was adopting the whole Prince gimmick from when he was known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince (he went by a symbol as his name; don't ask) and this Prince Iaukea fellow was chosen to be the sports-entertainment equivalent of that. Apparently, this was done to make people care and it didn't work. Iaukea was barely interesting was he was known as that and I don't recall much about Lash Leroux.

Anyway, the match was just there. Nothing truly amazing or anything. Just there.

Brian Knobbs defeated WCW Hardcore champion Bam Bam Bigelow in a hardcore match to win the title. I had almost forgotten that WCW had a Hardcore division... and then I remember that one hardcore match that took place in a junkyard and remember why WCW had a forgettable hardcore division. I'd write about my thoughts on this match, but it was hardly worth remembering the details because it wasn't all that interesting. You'd figure one of the easiest things to make interesting would be a hardcore match because you could come up with creative and wacky means of getting shit done, but that's not what happened here.

3 Count (Shane Helms, Shannon Moore, and that Evan fellow) defeated Norman Smiley (the screaming Wiggle Man and current WWE trainer) in a 3-on-1 handicap match. I'm sitting here watching this and I'm wondering why anyone thought this was a good match to put on a $30 PPV. If it were on Nitro or Thunder or even WCW Saturday Night, that's one thing... but this is a PPV. That time could've been spent on something else and instead we get this. And on top of that, the match is just boring. It takes a wiggle from Norman for the 3 Count boys to prey on his injured ribs and win the match after a few minutes of action. There was never a point where I didn't think "Yeah, Norman's fucked."

The Wall defeated The Demon in a "special main event." Because WCW acquired the rights to dress one of their wrestlers up like Gene Simmons' KISS gimmick and the stipulation for this stunt required that the Demon would partake in main event matches. So instead of living up to that contractual obligation by having him main event shows, he's put in lower-midcard matches that are dubbed "special main events" that last about three minutes. And then he loses. The KISS Demon is not something you can blame on Vince Russo (who is a noted KISS fan), but rather on Eric Bischoff who thought people would care about a wrestler cosplaying as a guy from KISS. It clearly didn't work.

On the flip side, the Wall looked decent. If I recall correctly, he was supposed to be the bodyguard for Berlyn (the latest Alex Wright repackage... more on that down the line, I suppose) before they gave up on Berlyn and made the Wall a bigger deal. I'd imagine if WCW hung around a little longer, the Wall would've been a big deal and from what I've seen, I wouldn't have minded.

Tank Abbott defeated Big Al in a "Skins" match... which is essentially a Leather Jacket On A Pole. This is the infamous match where Tank Abbott beat the crap out of some guy, pulled a knife on him, and tells him he could "fucking kill" him, while WCW announcer Tony Schiavone tries to save face by saying Tank was merely trying to shave Al's beard. Unfortunately for Tony, Big Al is a clean-shaved fellow and not the hapless Tool Time co-host who's fond of wearing flannel.

Nobody is going to get that.

Big T (the former Ahmed Johnson from WWF who had really let himself go) defeated Booker to win the rights to Harlem Heat. Yes, this was the feud where Booker was feuding with Stevie Ray and not only lost his theme music and his Harlem Heat rights, but also lost the rights to the letter T. And then people wonder why WCW went out of business. Anyway, this match

Billy Kidman defeated Vampiro in a match... nothing to say here, folks. Let's keep moving.

The Mamalukes (Vito and Johnny The Bull) defeated the team of David Flair and Crowbar in a match... and then they take Daphne away because she was screaming too much or something. Again, nothing to see here, folks. Let's keep moving.

And the show grinds to a halt as Ernest "The Cat" Miller comes out and brings out a James Brown impersonator, then some doofus called the Maestro comes out to talk shit, and then Miller brings out the real James Brown and they dance and stuff. At the time, people would criticized this segment in the sense that they should've advertised James Brown ahead of time in a vain attempt to try and get some more buys. I'm wondering why anyone thinking that would think anyone who is a fan of James Brown would want to watch three hours of lousy wrestling just to get ten minutes of the man himself. James Brown isn't much of a selling point no matter how hard you try to convince the masses otherwise. And this whole segment was a waste anyway.

Ric Flair defeated Terry Funk in a slow-paced Death Match that made me wish I was watching their I Quit match from over a decade prior. Look, in terms of watching two senior citizens beat the piss out of each other in a vain attempt to relive their classic match, this was mildly entertaining fair. But at the end of the day, these guys did better when they went at it at one of the Clashes.

Speaking of old timers, Hulk Hogan defeated Lex Luger in a typical Hulk Hogan match. So if you like Hulk Hogan and his style of matches, you'll probably enjoy this one. Flair then comes in to help Lex beat up Hogan, but then Sting shows up to help Hogan out because... sure, why not? Something worth noting is that the last time Hogan and Sting shared a ring was at Halloween Havoc 99, where Hogan laid down for Sting and dropped off the face of the Earth afterwards. The chances of that being brought up and built upon are about as slim as anything as

WCW World champion Sid defeated Scott Hall and Jeff Jarrett in a triangle match that involved a billion ref bumps, ten quadrillion runs, and zero fucks given to retain the title. Holy fuck, this was terrible and I'm not going to dignify this match any further with any more words. It was BAD.

And this is WCW without the workhorses as it were. Dreadfully boring matches, dreadfully confounding segments, and just dreadful all around. There's no way to sweetening this thing up; this show was awful. At least when you had Benoit and the boys, you had folks who gave enough of a shit to put on the best matches they could... and while I don't want to shit on the talent completely, I have to think that most of them were on cruise control on this show and it certainly felt like it.

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