Great American Bash 2000
Date: June 11, 2000
Location: Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson
The company is in a very bad place right now and it seems like it can only get worse. At this point the company is all about Russo and Bischoff plus a few older wrestlers who can beat up huge groups of young talent in a matter of seconds. The main event here is Nash vs. Jarrett for the title, even though Nash has given away the World Title twice in the last year and a half. Let’s get to it.
By the way, this arena is a home base for WCW. To give you an idea of what they’ve fallen to, this same arena held Superbrawl 1995 with a double main event of Hogan vs. Vader II and Savage/Sting vs. Avalanche/Big Bubba Rogers. That show drew 13,390 people, or just shy of double what this had. Randy Savage and Sting vs. Big Boss Man and Earthquake as the second biggest match on the card drew over 6,000 more people than one of WCW’s longest running shows. Amazingly enough a match where you light someone on fire didn’t draw well in an old NWA stronghold.
We open with a recap of Goldberg, who was presumably arrested after Thunder went off the air. Yeah WCW brought him back and then didn’t bother to advertise him for this show because TV is more important than pay per view.
The regular opening video focuses on Flair vs. Flair, Hogan vs. Kidman and Sting vs. Vampiro. The hype for the World Title match: “Kevin Nash and Jeff Jarrett will square off for the World Title.” And it’s wedged between the Sting/Vampiro and Hogan/Kidman promos.
Here are the Misfits in Action for roll call. Lieutenant Loco’s mission is to defend the Cruiserweight Title so he pulls out a grenade. Rection yells at him for playing with toys so Loco just threatens to kill the Filthy Animals if they interfere.
Cruiserweight Title: Lieutenant Loco vs. Disco Inferno
Loco starts fast with a cross body as Madden calls the Animals WCW’s resident degenerates. Disco comes back with a knee to the ribs and makes sure to mock the Misfits. That’s fine with Loco who headscissors Disco to the floor for a beatdown because the Misfits are a bunch of cheaters. Loco gets knocked to the floor and takes a beating from the Animals until the Misfits run over for the save. The Animals didn’t save Disco earlier, likely because they didn’t like him very much.
Cue Rection’s dad to hit on Tygress but Rey shoves him down, seemingly into a coma. Juvy sneaks in during the melee but misses the People’s Elbow. The distraction works though as Disco scores with the Last Dance, only to have Corporal Cajun come in with a Russian legsweep neckbreaker to give Loco the pin to retain. The referee had no issue with Cajun putting Loco on top for the pin.
Rating: D. That ending took away anything good the match had built up, which wasn’t much in the first place. There’s too much going on here for me, including the ridiculous Papa/Pops Rection (of course that’s the joke Russo is going for) stuff. The match didn’t get any time and the ending made my head hurt, making this a bad start for a show I wasn’t happy with coming in.
Post match Gunns has to give Pops mouth to mouth. In an amusing bit, he sees who is waking him up and passes out again.
Cops guarantee Bischoff that he’s safe.
The Mamalukes are ready for Kronik and argue over who is the Hardcore Champion.
If you order this show, you can get a Hulk Hogan RAFT. Yes as in an inflatable raft that you can use to float in the water. WHY DO I NOT HAVE ONE OF THOSE???
Kronik vs. Mamalukes
Winners get a title shot at some point in the future. Kronik clears the ring to start and the Mamalukes make sure to polish the Hardcore Title. Clark and Johnny start as Vito is wearing the title on the apron. A release Rock Bottom (called a uranage suplex by Hudson, which might be accurate) plants Johnny and it’s off to Vito for a double ax handle to Clark’s shoulders.
That’s about it for Vito, who is likely tired from wrestling with a metal title belt on, so it’s back to Johnny who takes a full nelson slam from Adams. A LOUD Vito Sucks chant starts up as he breaks up a cover. Either that was piped in or the fans really don’t want this match to keep going. I could believe either actually. It’s back to Vito for a running clothesline in the corner but he misses a charge to let Adams take over again.
The belt is finally ripped off and Clark throws it to the floor. Hudson calls that disrespectful but that’s probably the best treatment the thing has gotten in months. A big F5 plants Vito but he gets up at two and kicks Adams in the face. Johnny comes back in with a good looking powerslam on Clark as Vito goes over to check on the belt. Clark avoids a top rope cross body and the High Times puts Johnny away while Vito polishes the title.
Rating: D+. Not the worst match in the world here but my goodness did they really need to have the Hardcore Champions lose here? You can’t switch that back later or have another heel team in there instead? Also: it had a clean finish! Extra clean if you count Vito polishing the belt!
DDP says he has special motivation against Mike Awesome and he hopes Kimberly sticks her nose in this one.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Mike Awesome
Ambulance match. Page wheels Kanyon out and yeah I’m sure you know what’s coming here. They slug it out to start and the referee gets decked fifteen seconds in. Both guys grab chairs and it’s time for a duel. Tony: “Like a samurai warrior!” First of all, wouldn’t it be two samurai warriors? And not in a wrestling ring? And in Japan? Awesome comes back with a clothesline and a splash as the referee is awake.
Tony thinks Awesome is going for a table. He might have been tipped off by Awesome pointing under the ring and shouting TABLE. Tony is getting better as you would have expected him to think shouting TABLE would mean it was time for two ladders and a Bastion Booger cameo. A powerbomb through the table means the EMTs come out to put Page on a stretcher and take him to the ambulance. Are the wrestlers now lazy enough that they won’t carry someone to the entrance?
Page gets up so Mike hits back to back Awesome Splashes but misses a third because two Awesome Splashes wake people up. That’s a wrestling thing in general so I can’t complain too much. Cue Kimberly with a pipe (yet another phallic weapon) to hit Page in the back. Tony: “She broke his back!” Miss Hancock comes out to take Kimberly to the back, leaving Page to hit Awesome low and Diamond Cut him off the top. That’s quite impressive for someone with a broken back.
They head to the stage with Awesome on the stretcher so here’s Bischoff to threaten Kanyon with a chair. Page makes the save and Kanyon gets out of the wheelchair to Kanyon Cut Page off the stage. He’s New Blood and puts Page on the stretcher as Bischoff’s music starts playing again. Awesome wins and they’re nice enough to play his music instead.
Rating: D. IT’S JUST SO SHOCKING! I mean, when Kimberly turned on Page at Spring Stampede, it was surprising. When Arquette turned on him at Slamboree, it was jarring. But this, the third straight pay per view where someone Page loves turns him on in a swerve that NO ONE, CERTAINLY NOT ANYONE PAYING ATTENTION AT LEAST, saw coming, it was just so shocking. Bad match of course, but that’s acceptable when something is shocking. Did I mention this was shocking? I know it’s three sentences in a row with that same idea, but if it works for turning on Page it can work for this too.
Now we get to my favorite part of a Russo show: the announcers trying to figure out what just happened. So here we have two options:
1. Bischoff talked to Kanyon in the hospital and convinced him to turn on Page, likely due to Page being a bigger star and getting Kanyon to believe that he deserved the spotlight.
2. Kanyon never was hurt and was convinced to be THROWN OFF THE TOP OF THE CAGE for a big swerve because just hitting Page with a chair was too complicated.
The first one is much more logical, but I have a strong hunch that we’re going to get the second one instead because it’s a bigger swerve. Shocking you see. Always shocking.
GI Bro vs. Shawn Stasiak
Boot Camp match, which means last man standing, based on a single match on Thunder from a few weeks back. Booker repels in from the ceiling and Stasiak has camouflage paint on his face. There’s some loud screeching noise as he talks about being the perfect soldier of fortune. It sounds like a crow getting its feathers pulled out and I have no idea where it’s coming from.
They brawl in the ring and quickly head outside with Booker in control. Back in and a top rope ax handle (I think? Booker only grazed him on the side of the head.) gets five. Shawn comes back with a hot shot and a back elbow to the jaw for eight (that’s a lot so early on). A trip to the floor makes it even worse for Booker and Shawn takes him back inside for a top rope clothesline for nine.
They head into the crowd with Shawn in full control and hitting Booker in the back for our first weapon shot nine minutes into this thing. We hit a sleeper on Booker as the fans think this is very boring. The hold may be boring, but at least it gives Tony a chance to screw up his timeline by saying Stasiak and Palumbo won the titles within the last week.
Booker fights up with an Angle Slam and a Rock Bottom but here’s Palumbo with the workout bar. An ax kick puts him down but Stasiak gets in a shot with the bar. Booker clotheslines both of them down and hits Palumbo in the face with the exercise bar, which of course doesn’t even knock him out for half a second. Another shot to Shawn’s face is good for the ten count to give Booker the win.
Rating: D-. Gah they were so close to just a boring match here when they had the Tag Team Champions get beaten down by one guy. This really should have been a regular match and is a good example of a match that was hurt by the gimmick. As a regular match it would have been more acceptable (not good mind you), but as a last man standing match it’s horrible. For the life of me I don’t get the appeal of Stasiak. The guy is passable in the ring and that’s the extent of his appeal. It’s no surprise to me that he was retired by 2002 because there just wasn’t much upside to him.
A minor trivia note: clips from the previous two matches and from a recent Thunder were used in a game on an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway.
Kanyon says Bischoff came to the hospital and told him that all he had to do to be a star was put Page out. We see Page getting out of the ambulance before it left the arena. However, since we’re in Russo land, they wedge another angle into this with Goldberg’s monster truck being seen in the parking lot. Kanyon is positive that Page is gone. In fact he’s positively Kanyon.
Let’s go back to that truck arriving. I understand the idea of wanting to make things seem realistic and that worked here: Page is in the parking lot and the camera happens to see the Goldberg truck in the same parking lot. However, again it feels like there’s too much going on at any given time. This was something else forced into the show that doesn’t need to be here, or at least not at this exact time. Let the Page shot be its own thing so it looks like something we should care about.
Shane Douglas vs. The Wall
Before the match, Shane has something to say. Well at least it keeps us from seeing him wrestle. He promises to define his career at the Wall’s expense while the New Blood is getting rid of Hulk Hogan and “Dick Flair.” Hudson: “It’s Ric Flair.” Shane wants to make it a best of five tables matches (I think so at least. He starts by saying best of five table matches (as in five table matches) then goes to saying five tables will be broken, which would make it best of nine and then switches to best out of five). Tony says it’s the first to go through five tables is the loser but then calls that person the survivor. I’m lost but Wall agrees.
So I think it’s the first to put your opponent through three tables because you have to go by what they mean and not what they say. There are tables around the ring to save some time. Wall gorilla presses him down and shoves Shane away off a swinging neckbreaker attempt. Hudson says it’s best of nine again and my head keeps hurting. Shane comes back with a running knee to the face and a clothesline to put Wall on the floor.
A few rams into the barricade don’t do much to Wall so he chokeslams Shane through the first table. Shane goes through the second a few moments later and now we’re told it’s first to three. It astounds me that they didn’t WRITE THIS STUFF DOWN IN ADVANCE but that might not be totally realistic, which is what you’re shooting for in a match built around putting people through tables. A low blow has little effect on Wall. Hudson: “That’s what we call no selling.” Actually that’s what we call it Scott. You’re supposed to be smarter than that. It’s why you have a job.
They head up to the entrance where there just happens to be a ladder with three tables stacked on top of each other next to it. Both guys climb the ladder and Shane nails him with brass knuckles, causing Wall to jump through two and a half of the three tables but we’ll count it as three anyway.
Rating: F. The match ran just over eight minutes and they didn’t know the rules for the first five or six. I….yeah move on to the next match. It makes the show move faster and means I don’t have to think about the fact that not only can WCW not book a show properly, but they also can’t count.
Hogan arrives an hour and fifteen minutes into the show. Unless I missed it, he left a nice Dodge Charger in the middle of the parking lot and didn’t take the keys with him. Does anyone in this family know how to take care of cars?
US Title: Tank Abbott vs. Scott Steiner
Scott is defending and this is inside the mini Asylum cage. The bell rings without the cage being lowered so Penzer says that since the Asylum is Scott’s signature match, let’s make it a handicap match with Rick Steiner on Tank’s side.
US Title: Tank Abbott/Rick Steiner vs. Scott Steiner
The fans chant for Goldberg and the cage is finally lowered. Not all the way to the mat or anything of course, but who doesn’t want the cage to move around the ring during a match? The Freaks get on the apron to cheer for Scott and Tank accidentally hits Rick with a chain. Rick might have shoved Rick out of the way to take the bullet but we need to get on to Scott hitting Tank with the chain and putting on the Recliner to retain.
Rating: F. The cage match itself lasted maybe a minute and a half and had a highlight of Shakira and Midajah in some rather fetching outfits. Rick and Tank look like even bigger losers than they have in the past, there’s no recap of why these guys are fighting (I think they brawled a few weeks ago on Nitro? Maybe?) and the Asylum is stupid. Next please.
Ric Flair and company arrives, an hour and twenty minutes into the show. He looks like Doc Brown Goes Hawaiian.
We recap Hogan vs. Kidman with Horace as referee. Hogan thought Kidman couldn’t headline a flea market (first mentioned on TV about six weeks into the feud) so Kidman got some unofficial pins on him, only to lose on pay per view. Tonight it’s Hogan’s career vs. a title shot next month.
Regarding Horace, Hollywood says blood is thicker than New Blood.
Kidman vs. Hollywood Hogan
Kidman’s on again/off again partner and Hollywood’s nephew Horace Hogan is guest referee. They circle each other before the bell because this has to be dragged out as long as they can. Some right hands sends Kidman outside early, followed by a big boot to put him outside again. Back in again and Hulk does his horribly outdated choking. Kidman gets in a few kicks and that’s enough selling for now, meaning it’s weightlifting belt time.
They’re outside for the third time in five minutes and Kidman dropkicks a chair into his face to get his first advantage. How nice of Hogan to let him do that. Kidman tries a DDT but the camera clearly shows that Hogan’s head never comes near colliding with anything. A top rope splash gets two for Kidman but it’s time for more right hands to get Hogan back in control.
Outside again with a hiptoss putting Kidman through the table (did dust fly off the table when he hit it?), revealing Tony’s blue jacket, green pants and tennis shoes. Egads man. Anyway here’s Torrie to hand Hogan brass knuckles but Kidman knocks Hulk into Torrie, knocking her off the apron. Kidman hits Hulk with the knuckles for two and punches out Horace for counting slowly, only to have Torrie hit Kidman low. Another punch from Hulk with the knuckles puts Kidman away and sends Hogan to Bash at the Beach.
Rating: D-. How gracious Hogan was to let Kidman beat him up for all of a minute and a half. It’s another wasted match with Hogan going over by cheating and a guest referee who didn’t change a thing. I actually forgot that Horace was even in this for the most part, again proving that the gimmick didn’t add anything.
Hulk and Horace hug. Uh….yay?
Bischoff is panicking because Goldberg might show up. The cops ensure him that perimeter is secure.
Quick recap of Vince Russo vs. Ric Flair though they lie and say it’s David fighting his father. Basically Ric is the worst father ever and David called him out on it. Then Russo beat Flair inside the Cell because he’s a man and Ric is a boy.
David and Russo say Ric is retired tonight.
Ric promises to do the same things he’s promised to do for twenty years.
The Flair Family comes to their seats.
Ric Flair vs. David Flair
Ric takes his son into the corner and taps him on the jaw as the announcers talk about Russo being able to do things that no one has ever been able to accomplish. They head outside with Ric being sent into the barricade to give David control. A sleeper breaks up David’s suplex and it’s time for the chops. David clotheslines him to the floor and Russo gets in some ball bat shots before he handcuffs Ric’s hands together. We hit a bad Figure Four until Ric makes the ropes.
Russo chokes Ric so Reid jumps the barricade (WAY too common recently) and gets shoved down. Reid hits him low and steals the handcuff keys but David shoves him into the corner. Ric gets the keys and uncuffs himself, leaving Ashley (Charlotte, who looks almost the same as she does now at 14 years old here) to take Russo down and cuff him, likely fulfilling ANOTHER sick Russo fantasy that I really don’t need to think about.
Russo swears at the 14 year old (after shoving the 12 year old) and Ric thrusts his hips at him. A slam brings David off the top and the Figure Four makes David tap in two seconds, thereby proving the Russo is in fact more than 35 times tougher than David as he survived seventy seconds without tapping on Monday.
Rating: D. To quote the Gorilla: WILL YOU STOP??? This was every Russo problem rolled into one as there was WAY too much going on, but above all else it felt like some sick idea that only Russo wanted to see. “Here’s what I’m seeing: I beat up the 12 year old who looks just like the kids that beat me up every day, then the 14 year old blonde mounts me like none of them ever would back in high school because I liked this stupid wrestling stuff that I have to write now because I’m cursed to be made a millionaire.”
Russo has already had a woman kidnapped a dozen times or so and now he’s got this. How is any of this stuff supposed to make anyone but Russo look good? David gets beaten up but Russo already got to be all manly in the Figure Four Monday night when he beat Ric. I’m shocked that he doesn’t have Miss Hancock bowing down and worshiping him already, but then he might have to write even more columns and books about how hard this was on him and how it broke his life or whatever “FEEL SORRY FOR ME AND MY MANLINESS” nonsense Russo still gets people to pay for.
Russo lets Ric chop him once before swearing revenge tomorrow on Nitro. So yeah: this meant nothing, Russo is still fine, and the battle will continue with Russo coming back stronger than ever. Ric, Reid and Beth do crotch chops at Russo, who swears to retire Ric tomorrow night. He’s going to beat Flair again tomorrow isn’t he?
We recap Vampiro vs. Sting which is about Vampiro wanting to burn Sting alive because it was interesting when Kane wanted to do it to Undertaker and let’s just do it again here.
Sting vs. Vampiro
There’s a torch hanging by the entrance and you have to get your opponent up there and light them on fire to win. There are firemen, cops and an ambulance waiting in the back. We can add “keeping civil servants busy” to Russo’s amazing list of accomplishments from this show alone. Sting appears on top of the video screen and tells Vampiro to come up here. Vampiro is scared of heights though because Russo writes characters with depth you see.
Never mind as Sting comes down and we start an actual match. Well as close to an actual match as this is going to get. Madden quotes 8mm by saying “You dance with the devil, the devil don’t change. The devil changes you.” but treats it like his own line. Vampiro pours gasoline over Sting and they fight up the ramp. Both guys climb the structure but Sting gets kicked off and through part of the set.
It isn’t enough to keep him down though and they climb to the top of the structure above the video screen where the torch is hanging. The lights start going nuts and they slug it out for a good while. Vampiro DDTs him down and the lights go completely out. Vampiro finally gets the torch and lights Sting on fire. Sting is so scared that he’s lost a few inches of hair and has learned how to take a stuntman fall off a high video tower.
Rating: N/A. As Scott Hudson would say after the match, this isn’t wrestling anymore. This is about doing a big stunt like we’re in a Michael Bay movie. On top of that, a long stretch of this “match” was spent punching each other on top of a big video screen. How is anything supposed to follow this? Jeff Jarrett vs. Kevin Nash? That’s supposed to interest me after this big ending?
Firemen and agent cover the stuntman with fire extinguishers so you can’t see that it’s not him.
The announcers treat this all seriously (as they should) but then the replays ruin the whole thing by showing that the fire was out before Sting hit the crash pad.
Pamela Paulshock asks Bischoff about the big surprise but Bischoff says it’s not happening because of Goldberg.
WCW World Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Kevin Nash
Nash won his shot in a tag match after giving the title to Flair, who had been trading it back and forth with Jeff in an attempt to build a years long legacy in five weeks. After Nash comes out, here’s the Cat to introduce the celebrities, including the bale (yes bale) ringer Konnan, timekeeper Rey Mysterio, belt keeper Disco Inferno and ring announcer Juventud Guererra. Oh and Cat himself is guest enforcer referee. Well to be fair, Nash has beaten like ten people at once multiple times now so this is probably in his favor.
Nash punches the Animals down before going after Jarrett in the corner. In a weird moment, some noise from the entrance stops the match cold and everyone looks up that way but it winds up going nowhere and Nash clotheslines Jeff to the floor. Snake Eyes puts Jeff on the announcers’ table and they brawl into the crowd, which is at least a faster way to kill time than letting them do moves in the ring (I’m not sure about calling what Nash does wrestling).
The Animals beat Nash down at ringside and Jeff gets in a few chair shots. The fans chant for Goldberg as the old school leg work continues. Imagine any old Ric Flair match, slow it down by 40%, and cut off some of Ric’s hair if you want to picture what’s going on here. The Figure Four lets Nash lay around even more until he grabs the ropes. Konnan adds a bell shot for two and Disco throws in the belt, only to have Nash intercept it and knock Jeff cold.
Disco makes up for it by taking out the referee at two and the GOLDBERG chants are getting even louder. Cat comes in and Nash fights off the Animals again, only to eat the Stroke for a delayed two. Jeff tries the guitar but gets chokeslammed for two as Cat has something in his eye.
There’s a powerbomb to Cat and a second to Nash but Rick Steiner comes in to go after Nash. This brings out Tank Abbott to brawl with Scott Steiner who was there to intercept Rick. Juvy gets launched into a dropkick on Nash, followed by a Bronco Buster from Rey. We FINALLY get Goldberg and yeah of course he’s New Blood. Why is he New Blood? SHOCKING! The spear (and a horrible one) lets Jeff retain.
Rating: F. Disco and Chavo, who could have a good match if they were left alone, get about five minutes and this gets over seventeen. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels had to be at their best to get seventeen good minutes out of Kevin Nash and we’re stuck with a middle of the road Jeff Jarrett to try instead?
The overbooking might have been a good idea here but the whole “let’s throw away the one last glimmer of hope we have” In case you’re wondering how this great move helped ratings, the Nitro before this got a 2.8, the next night got a 3.0 (Raw was at a 6.8) and the next week Nitro was a 2.7. Shock value continues to not work in the ratings but Russo will keep swearing by it because people talk about it. Talking doesn’t equal watching of course but Russo doesn’t equal wrestling so it all evens out somehow.
Russo and Bischoff come out of the monster truck and the heels all pose. To sum up WCW’s brilliance and how predictable Russo was at this point, Madden talks about how no one saw this coming as the camera is on a GOLDBERG IS NEW BLOOD sign. Oh and the fans are still chanting GOLDBERG because he’s still awesome and more interesting than anyone in the promotion because of how intense he can be. Trash fills the ring to end the show.
Overall Rating: S. For SHOCKING, which is the word of the night. We’re at the point where just calling these shows failures is nowhere near strong enough. I have no idea what the thinking is here other than trying to catch the fans off guard, but as that sign showed: people had figured Russo’s booking out a long time ago because it’s always the last thing you would expect/the dumbest idea they could go with.
We’re now on Hogan (#1 contender), Nash, Flair and Steiner as the top faces (the youngest of these would be Steiner at 37) vs. the combined forces of Eric Bischoff, Vince Russo, Goldberg and Jeff Jarrett, meaning the World Champion is now, at best, the fourth biggest heel on this roster (there’s a case for Vampiro being above him too). And this is supposed to make me want to keep watching.
Russo has lost what little sanity he had left and has moved on to nothing but shock value for the sake of shock value with his booking decisions. This show was built on one idea and the fans filled the ring with trash while still chanting for the new top level heel. That’s his big takeaway from this: the fans hate him and one of his top stars was burned up like he was part of a Labor Day barbecue.
There’s nothing good on this show and I don’t remember the last time I gave so many matches a failing grade. The best match was probably Kronik vs. the Mamalukes, meaning the match where a guy turned away from a chance to become #1 contender to the Tag Team Titles so he could polish the joke title that he was given off camera on Wednesday. In two and three quarter hours, I can’t think of a single thing better than a below average #1 contenders tag team match that lasted about nine minutes.
Now the World Champion looks like a joke, Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan are WAY too old to mean anything, Ric Flair is stuck in an eternal feud with a writer who already beat him in a big gimmick match and the most popular guy on the roster was just turned heel to give the heel stable a big gun. Oh and the World Champion is a lame duck waiting for Hogan to take the title again next month.
This is the rare show that feels like it’s designed to punish the audience for watching. It felt like Russo saying “SCREW YOU PEOPLE! You think you’re smarter than me with your internet saying Russo jumped the shark? I’ll show you what you can do with your little protests. ALL SWERVES THAT YOU’LL NEVER SEE COMING!” And then the fans are stuck here, watching Russo get mounted by a 14 year old who handcuffs him so he can swear at her before promising to get revenge on Ric again (which I’m sure he will because this company is his playground). Awful show that gets worse and worse the more I think about it.
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