Wednesday, July 7, 2021

WCW Slamboree 2000

For the uninitiated, this is the show that featured the sole main event of one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion and once big-time Hollywood actor, David Arquette.

Some background is in order; once upon a time, World Championship Wrestling had a movie called Ready To Rumble, which starred David Arquette. Someone at WCW (not mentioning names) had the bright idea to have David Arquette win the World title in an effort to drum up some much needed good press. And so David Arquette won the title in a tag-team match on Thunder by pinning Eric Bischoff, who was not the champion, but rather the (now former) champion was David Arquette's tag-team partner, Diamond Dallas Page.

Long story short - the move got one mention on some rag nobody cares about and the television ratings for Nitro continue their plummet into obscurity while the top prize in WCW - once something that mattered - meant a hell of a lot less... which, in the year 2000 where WCW was being overseen by the creative "genius" of Uncle Eric and Vinny Ru, wasn't saying a whole lot.

A lot can be and has been said about the move and I will reserve my thought for another time down the road, but for now,  we have ourselves a cage match between current champion Arquette, former champion DDP, and Jeff Jarrett.

WCW Cruiserweight Champion Chris Candido defeated Prince Iaukea... sorry, the Artist formerly known as Prince Iaukea... kids, ask your parents if they're not too busy being dicks on Twitter... to retain the title in a thing that happened... and that is probably the most I'm going to say about this match out of respect for the dead.

Hardcore champion Terry Funk defeated Norman Smiley and Ralphus to retain the title. Ralphus was the fat security guard who sided with Chris Jericho during the latter days of his WCW run and is about as much of a wrestler as Al Magz... nobody is going to get that. All I will say that any interactions between Funk and Smiley was fun stuff and the rest involving the other guy... not so much.

Sean Stasiak defeated Curt Hennig in a boring match... and that's as far as I'll go out of respect for the dead.

Scott Steiner defeated Hugh Morris... er, I mean General Hugh E. Rection... because that's his real name, apparently now... I thought it was Bill DeMott, but whatever. There's run-ins. There's ladies. There's Booker. Why the fuck am I watching this show?

The match between Mike Awesome and Chris Kanyon - the best match because Awesome is a huge monster and Kanyon can take a licking when it counts - ends in a double disqualification when a billion people make a run-in. Yeah, thanks a lot, Russo. The one match that I actually enjoy on this shitshow so far and you ruin it with a total fuck finish.

Lex Luger defeated Buff Bagwell with a submission after Elizabeth hit Bagwell with a baseball bat, allowing Lex to catch him in the Torture Rack... and then Lex gets attacked by Chuck Palumbo, who is introduced as the "new" Total Package. Oh yeah, this was a thing where you took young guys and gave them the old guys' gimmicks and that was going to turn them into stars. Sean Stasiak was supposed to be the "perfect" one and that's why he beat Mr. Perfect. My brain hurt just thinking about that.

Shane Douglas defeated Ric Flair after David Flair in a Sting costume hit the old man with a baseball bat, allowing Shane to score a pin. Match was fun, followed by a billion run-ins. How do people watch this shit again?

Sting defeated Vampiro in a perfectly acceptable wrestling match... which is more than welcome after the crud that preceded this.

Hulk Hogan defeated Billy Kidman to get the win back... because Kidman had beaten him on free TV and Hogan needed to get his win back and... fuck it, I don't care.

Jeff Jarrett defeated Diamond Dallas Page and WCW World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette in a Triple-Decker Cage Match to win the title. So, for those who don't know, I'll try and explain this thing to you folks; the cage is a three-level gimmick that was taken from the terrible Ready To Rumble movie and the goal is to climb each of the three cages and reach for the belt hanging on top of this structure. So it's essentially a ladder match with cages stacked on top of each other in lieu of a ladder.

So Arquette does little but run away to allow the two actual wrestlers to do the heavy lifting... and it's a fun little brawl in a cage. They eventually make it to the second level while Arquette makes it to the top, never making a point to just grab the belt and end the match, foreshadowing a betrayal that everyone saw coming. And of course, in the closing moments of the match, Arquette hits DDP with a guitar from somewhere and lets Jarrett grab the Big Gold Belt for the win. And then Kanyon and Awesome show up so that Awesome can toss Kanyon off the top of the cage and through the stage.

This show took place in Kemper Arena - the same place where Owen Hart fell to his death a year prior. Probably not the best time or place to be doing that sort of spot.

Whatever you want to say about the decision to give the top prize in WCW to a Hollywood actor, you cannot say that David Arquette phoned this in. The guy played his part to perfection and put in the effort. He climbed the cage, he took a couple hits, and then whacked DDP for the big swerve. Arquette was great in his role and the fact that he would want to "redeem" himself for this whole debacle years after the fact would never come as too much of a surprise.

Slamboree is a frustrating show to watch, because if you dig really deep, there is actually some decent stuff in here in terms of the brawling and stuff, but the wrestling is largely terrible and the overall booking is even worse. It's a case of wanting to like a show, but can't because it's not good.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it real and keep it clean.