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Retro Wrestle Respawn – WCW Spring Stampede 2000

They take on all comers, no matter what size, there won’t be any question when you get…Steinerized
“Steinerized” by D. Conort, M. Seitz and J. Papa

Last week we looked back at the famous “reboot” episode of WCW Monday Nitro from the 10th April 2000, where Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff both returned to the company to lead the “New Blood” faction against the veteran “Millionaires Club”.

Six days later came Spring Stampede 2000, where all of the vacant titles in the company were to be fought for. This means there’s going to be quite a lot of matches on this show, which means we’re unlikely to get much in the form of decent wrestling. Still, let’s give the show a chance to surprise us eh?

The event is emanating from the United Centre in Chicago, Illinois

Calling the action are Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson and Mark Madden (Sporting a black eye after getting assaulted by Tank Abbot on Nitro)

A video package starts us out, recapping what happened on Nitro and Thunder. Thunder appeared to have ended with another New Blood beat down, but sadly Thunder doesn’t go up to 2000 on the WWE Network as of the writing of this review so I wasn’t able to watch it myself.

Cut to Eric Bischoff in the dressing room with Vince Russo, Billy Kidman and Torrie Wilson. Apparently Hulk Hogan has checked himself out of hospital after getting attacked by Kidman and Bischoff on Nitro, and Bischoff is worried. Kidman is too busy macking with Torrie to care (And can you really blame him?) but does say that if Hogan shows up they’ll just finish the job they started with the Humvee last Monday.

Cut to the announce team, where Tony and Scott lament the odds being stacked against the veteran “Millionaire’s Club” whilst Madden makes it clear he’ll be rooting for the New Blood. Tony says that Bischoff and Russo have demanded that the referees be more lenient in regards to disqualifications tonight and notes that we’ll see “fights” instead of wrestling matches.

Opening Match
Tag Team Title Tournament Semi-Final
The Mamalukes (Big Vito and Johnny The Bull) w/ Disco Inferno Vs Team Package (Ric Flair and Lex Luger) w/ Miss Elizabeth

Before the match starts, Mean Gene Okerlund is with Team Package and Liz in the interview area. Flair says he’ll be wrestling in his street clothes tonight because he sees tonight as a street fight. Though I appreciate what they’re going for with that, I personally would prefer to see Flair in his robe and wrestling gear. Whether you like him or not, the ring gear is what helps make him Ric Flair, and him coming out in a shirt and slacks to wrestle just doesn’t look right. It makes him look like a manager or an indy worker.

Before the match can start, Vince Russo joins us to say that he thinks the odds are unfair due to Flair and Luger being “wily veterans”, so he decides to send down Ron and Don Harris to team with The Mamalukes to “even the playing field”. Tony openly admits that he doesn’t know what will happen if the heels win this now, and that makes two of us. Will both teams advance? Will they have to fight each other? Does the team who gets the winning pin/submission advance whilst the others don’t? This is the sort of stuff you need to make clear to the viewer.

Team Package gets overwhelmed four on two to start but manage to fight back. Flair fights with The Mamalukes in the ring, whilst Luger scuffles with the Harris’ outside. Flair puts Johnny in the figure four leg lock but then let’s go when he sees Luger in a spot of bother outside, which allows Big Vito to cut him off. That was not only silly but also very un-Flair like. Why didn’t he just keep the hold applied and pick up the submission win whilst Luger had The Harris’ attention?

Flair sells well for the heels, who work him over with basic stuff. Flair gets a blind tag that the referee doesn’t see, so he escorts Luger out of the ring whilst two unnamed men drag Disco away to the backstage area. No explanation is given as to who they are and the commentators don’t dwell on it. Flair makes a tag again and this time the ref sees it and allows Luger in. Johnny gets a springboard back elbow onto Luger for two, but Luger comes back to throw the two Mamalukes into each other and then puts Johnny in the Torture Wrack for the submission win.

WINNER: TEAM PACKAGE
RATING: *

That got pretty messy at the end but it was fine when Flair was selling in the heat.

Mean Gene is backstage with Mike Awesome. He says he’s taking all of Ernest “The Cat” Miller’s nine lives tonight. Bam Bam Bigelow interrupts the interview and Awesome backs down, only to jump Bigelow when he turns his back.

Match Two
Jimmy Hart w/ Hail Vs Mancow

Mancow is a local DJ who Jimmy Hart attacked on the radio, thus necessitating a match between the two. This is a bit out of place in the “new” WCW, but I guess it was booked prior the reboot and they were stuck with delivering it? Hail is a big bald bloke who has come down to help Hart here because…reasons.

Hart gets on the mic pre-match and castigates Mancow for being a “Howard Stern wannabee”. Being English, I’m not really qualified to confirm whether that was an accurate thing to call Mr Cow out on. Mancow has his entourage from his radio show with him and insults Hart on the mic before jumping him to start us off.

This isn’t much of a match in all honesty, with both essentially just rolling around on the floor for a bit, but the fans seem to like it and root for Mancow as he’s the hometown boy. The ref gets bumped, so Hail runs in and presses Mancow out to the floor onto his entourage. He then leaves for some reason (Possibly to get another ref?) leaving Hart to revive the existing ref in the ring. As Hart is doing this however, Mancow comes back in and decks him with a chair to pick up the three count from the, now revived, referee.

WINNER: MANCOW
RATING: DUD

Lousy match with nothing you could honestly class as “wrestling” in any manner. The crowd didn’t seem to mind it though, so every cloud. Kidman joins us post-match to destroy Hart, as he’s a noted friend of Hulk Hogan. Where was Hail during that?

Meanwhile, Russo yells at the two New Blood teams from the opening match

Match Three
United States Title Tournament – First Round
The Wall Vs Scott Steiner

Steiner’s “Steinerized” entrance music really doesn’t fit him here at all and it wouldn’t be long before he switched to his ambulance sirens theme, which suited him much better. Steiner pounds away on Wall to start but the big man slugs back. The fans seem to be behind Steiner here, and pop when he drills Wall with a belly to belly suplex.

Wall low blows Steiner right in front of the ref and drops leg for two. Steiner comes back with a Stun Gun and the fight spills outside. Wall sets up a table on the outside but Steiner pokes him in the eye. Now blinded, The Wall grabs the nearby referee by mistake and choke slams him through the table to draw a disqualification.

WINNER BY DISQUALIFICATION: SCOTT STEINER
RATING: ½*

How come a blatant low blow isn’t a disqualification but putting the ref through the table is? What tips the scale towards a DQ? See, this is the problem with this idea of “relaxing” the rules. It’s confusing if nothing else. The match itself wasn’t abysmal or anything but it was way too short to be rated any higher.

Ernest Miller is with Mean Gene in the interview area. He gets attacked by Bigelow during his promo.

Match Four
United States Title Tournament – First Round
Mike Awesome Vs The Cat

But wait! Bigelow’s attack on Cat has apparently allowed him to enter the tournament in his stead. Remember that for later. Bammer jumps Awesome in the aisle to start, which gets him a nice “ECW” chant. Awesome fights back with a huge plancha to the outside, but Bigelow gets straight back up so they can get to the next spot. You know, a man that size doing a dive like that should be a big deal, not a spot in the early stages of the match which is shrugged off within 5 seconds.

Bigelow whips Awesome into the guardrail and Awesome can audibly be heard telling the fans to move and, would you know it, Bigelow is promptly back dropped into the front row. Awesome follows with a dive over the barricade into the crowd, which is also a very impressive looking move and, again, only does a thimbleful of damage to Bigelow as he’s up on his feet again in no time.

Back inside, Awesome gets a top rope diving clothesline for two. Awesome goes for a suplex on Bigelow but Bammer shifts his weight and falls on top for a two count. Bigelow splats Awesome with a top rope diving head butt, at which point The Cat runs in to attack him and start dancing. Unimpressed by Cat’s funky moves, Awesome promptly lays him out and follows with the frogsplash for the pin fall.

WINNER: MIKE AWESOME
RATING: *1/2

How on Earth was that a legal pin? Bigelow took the match; Cat just can’t run in and claim it back like that. What an utterly nonsensical and insulting finish! Stupid finish aside, the action was fine before the silliness kicked in.

Meanwhile, Bischoff is still pacing in his dressing room worried about whether Hogan will turn up. Russo tells him to calm down and Kidman is very confident that he can handle Hogan if he does show up.

Mean Gene is with Shane Douglas and Buff Bagwell in the interview area. I always thought they were a strange pairing to be honest. Why not team Douglas up with former stablemates from his ECW days, such as Chris Candido or Bam Bam Bigelow? Buff says Harlem Heat is just a roadblock on their way to the tag titles, whilst Douglas declares that Space Mountain will be closed forever tonight.

Match Five
Tag Team Title Tournament – Semi-Final
Harlem Heat 2000 (Stevie Ray and Ahmed Johnson) w/ Cash and Mr. Biggs Vs Shane Douglas and Buff Bagwell

Cash is a big 400 pound bodyguard for the Heat, who I don’t think went on to do much in wrestling following this. Ahmed was gigantic during this period, and it wasn’t due to muscle either. Buff gets a neck breaker on Stevie but then walks into an Ahmed spine buster. Buff fights back with a pump splash on Ahmed and both men tag out.

Douglas takes a double pump kick from the Heat, whilst Buff gets attacked outside the ring by Cash. Douglas mule kicks Ahmed (What is it with all the low blows on this show?!) and then gets the Pittsburgh Plunge on Stevie to pick up the abrupt fin fall victory. Stevie made sure to kick out at 3.1, which only made the finish look even less impressive.

WINNERS: DOUGLAS AND BAGWELL
RATING: ½*

Too short to be any more, which is a trend for this show thus far. There wasn’t really a clearly delineated heat segment either. Both teams just did some moves and then they went home. There appears to be tension amongst the Heat following the match.

Mean Gene is with Booker T in the interview area. He says he hasn’t seen eye to eye with Bischoff in the past, but he’s in the New Blood to seize the opportunity it represents.

Match Six
United States Title Tournament – First Round
Booker T Vs Sting

Sting is one of the most popular guys on the show, which should be a surprise to no one. Booker is ostensibly New Blood but isn’t getting on with any of them, thus teasing an eventual face down the road. We actually start with, get this, some wrestling as they do the international, which finishes with Sting getting a hip toss. Booker slugs his way back into things but Sting replies with a body slam and then clotheslines Booker outside.

Sting beats on Booker outside but gets flapjacked onto the commentary table to put a stop to that. Back inside the ring, Booker gets a two count from a back elbow and then goes to a chin lock. Sting fights out but Booker maintains control and takes Sting back down with another chin lock. Booker manages to get the axe kick but Sting is able to kick out at two.

Booker gets a flapjack and the Spinarooni, but Sting dodges a side kick attempt and gets a DDT for two. Sting gets a Stinger Splash but Booker kicks him out of the air when he goes for a second one. Booker goes for a suplex but Sting counters that into a Scorpion Death Drop, which is enough to bag him the three count.

WINNER: STING
RATING: ***

Wow, an actual wrestling match with a 7 point structure and everything! A bit on the short side tonight (along with everything else thus far) but I’m so happy to see a proper match with a satisfying clean finish that I’m willing to be generous. Booker calls his opponent back into the ring after the match and offers a fist bump to the Stinger, much to Madden’s disgust.

Mean Gene is in the interview area with Bischoff, Kidman and Torrie. Bischoff looks nervous about Hogan showing up but Kidman is full of bravado.

Match Seven
United States Title Tournament – First Round
Billy Kidman w/ Torrie Wilson Vs Vampiro

Torrie has a good heel sneer on the way to ring with Kidman to be fair to her. Vamp hammers away on Kidman to start and gets an overhead belly to belly suplex followed by a top rope clothesline for two. Kidman counters a powerbomb with a rana and starts punching him in the corner. Undeterred, Vamp eats a few punches before grabbing Kidman and LAUNCHING him into the air with a big powerbomb. Kidman might have had icicles on him by the time he came down to hit the mat!

Vamp goes to the well again for another powerbomb but this time Kidman turns it into a face buster because…

Thanks, Cenk

Kidman gets a springboard leg drop for two. There’s been little to no selling here, just a procession of moves. The moves have looked cool at least, so I’ll give them that. Vamp blocks a suplex with one of his own and gets a Uranage Slam for two. In a weird moment, Kidman throws Vampiro outside but then does nothing outside the ring and just throws him in again. What on earth was the point of that?

Back inside, Vamp catches Kidman with a spin kick for two and then goes to an arm bar, which seems out of place in what looks to be the finishing sequence. Suddenly all of this stalling makes sense, as we cut to the backstage to see a car pull up, which Hogan bursts out of. Both guys must have thought the run in was coming sooner, hence why everything got so disjointed following the Uranage.

Anyway, Hogan stomps down to ringside and lays a major whooping on Kidman. He tries to body slam Kidman through the commentary table, but it doesn’t break, so he decides to do it again. Both of those bumps looked brutal on poor Kidman. Hogan throws Kidman’s carcass into the ring and demands Vamp pin him, which he subsequently does. Apparently it’s okay for a wrestler not involved in the match to put one of the participants through a table but not for a blinded wrestler to put a referee through one. Oh look, all the worms that came out of that can over there are wriggling away…

WINNER: VAMPIRO
RATING: *1/2

Hogan’s never ending beat down on Kidman lasted almost as long as the match did. The match itself was just a collection of moves, which were performed well but without selling and match structure they had no emotional impact.

Hogan grabs a mic and says he’s going to find Bischoff. Bischoff is terrified in his dressing room, but Russo has a plan. It turns out that plan is cops with guns, who show up just in time to stop Hogan pummelling Bischoff. Did we really need to have guns? Was that really necessary? So Hogan gets arrested, whilst yelling threats in Bischoff’s direction. Shouldn’t the cops have at least QUESTIONED Bischoff about the fact he tried to kill Hogan with a Humvee on Nitro?

Anyway, this angle segues surprisingly smoothly into Terry Taylor and Terry Funk looking for Norman Smiley for the upcoming Hardcore Title match. What is this, an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus? So Funk makes his way to catering and asks everyone where Norman is, and they all immediately stooge him off and point to the toilets. Okay, that was pretty funny. Funk storms into the cubicle to attack Norman and thus officially start the following;

Match Eight
WCW Hardcore Title
Norman Smiley Vs Terry Funk

Funk attacks with a fire extinguisher and then beats Norman all over catering. The fight spills into the kitchen, where Norman hits Funk with a trash can and a cookie sheet. Into the corridor we go, where Funk hits Norman with a laptop for two. Who’s stupid enough to leave a laptop out in the corridor unattended? I guess this is WCW, so I shouldn’t be so shocked at such incompetence.

Norman climbs up to a pipe on the ceiling and hangs on like a koala, only for Funk to clobber him with weapons until he falls off the pipe through a table. Both men now brawl into the arena, where Norman wears out Funk with a steel chair. Funk at least gets his hands up and Norman is clearly holding back with the swings, but man, that’s a lot chair shots to take regardless.

We finally get into the ring and Norman does the Big Wiggle, which allows Funk to come back with two chair shots of his own. Outside the ring we go, where Funk brings out a ladder. This is Dustin Rhode’s cue to run down and attack The Funker (They were feuding at the time) but his attack goes awry and Funk is able to fight him off. Funk smashes Norman hard with the ladder and pins him outside the ring to claim the title.

WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: TERRY FUNK
RATING: **

I do love Funk’s WCW Theme it must be said. This was essentially just a brief comedy break, but it was fun as a sort of pallet cleanser. Norman was always entertaining in this role and these sorts of matches helped to hide the fact that Funk was physically caput by this stage in his career.

Backstage we see that Vince Russo is yelling at Booker, telling him that Bischoff is pissed off at him. He enlists Booker’s help in doing something, but doesn’t say what it is.

Match Nine
United States Title Tournament – Semi-Final
Mike Awesome Vs Scott Steiner

Steiner actually uses some amateur wrestling technique in the early stages by taking Awesome down and working him over, before dishing out some classic pro wrestling with a big lariat and some push ups. Awesome comes back with a springboard shoulder block and follows with a standing splash for two. Awesome heads up top and delivers a clothesline for another two.

Steiner snaps off a belly to belly suplex and then clubs away in the corner, but Awesome comes back with a springboard back elbow for two. Awesome heads up top again but Kevin Nash comes out and smacks him with a crutch, which allows Steiner to lock in the Steiner Recliner for the victory.

WINNER: SCOTT STEINER
RATING: *1/2

Watching two big men throw each other around with reckless abandon was quite fun, but the match was way too short and it was disappointing to see it end so early.

We see that the task Russo wanted Booker for was to be his protection whilst he chews out and fires Dustin Rhodes for what happened earlier. Rhodes and Russo yell at one another and Booker prevents his future tag team partner from doing anything, albeit in a peaceful and non-violent manner.

Match Ten
United States Title Tournament – Semi-Final
Vampiro and Sting

Vamp and Sting had been teaming for a month or so as the “Brothers in Paint”, but with the reboot taking place they now find themselves on different sides of the divide. Sting rushes the ring and the fight is on. Sting no sells some Vamp strikes and precedes to pinball him around the ring. Sting gets a body slam and then heads up to the top and comes off with a splash for two.

Outside we go for more brawling and Sting puts Vampiro up against the guardrail before going for a Stinger Splash, but Vamp moves and Sting hits the railing because…

Thanks, Cenk, again

The next time Sting hits that will be the first. If nothing else, that spot shows Sting to be an eternal optimist. Vamp drops a leg inside for two and then gets a back suplex for another two. Vampiro heads up top and tries a dropkick, which I think Sting was supposed to counter with a powerbomb, but he didn’t really get a good grip and it looked very messy. With Vamp down selling…whatever that was supposed to be, Sting picks him up and delivers the Scorpion Death Drop before going to the Scorpion Deathlock for the submission victory.

WINNER: STING
RATING: *1/2

Botched finish aside, this match was quite watchable, if too short. This would appear to blow off the Sting/Vampiro story line, as Sting beat him clean as a sheet after hitting both of his finishing moves without much of a struggle.

Mean Gene is in the interview area with Diamond Dallas Page and his wife Kimberly. Kimberly was just outrageously good looking back then, well done to DDP there, top marks son! DDP says he’ll be a three time World Champion tonight and Kimberly will get revenge for Jarrett hitting her with a guitar on Nitro. Seemingly every promo tonight has had swearing in it, possibly in an attempt to appear “edgy”.

Match Eleven
WCW Cruiserweight Title
Shannon Moore w/ Shane Helms Vs Lash Leroux Vs Crowbar w/ David Flair and Daffney Vs The Artist w/ Paisley Vs Chris Candido Vs Juventud Guerrera

The opening stages of this match are an utter mess, with everyone hitting moves on everybody else. Finally the match seems to settle down into a six pack challenge, with two in the ring whilst the other four wait on the apron to be tagged in. there’s far too much going on to do accurate play-by-play here.

Basically, two guys get in the ring, do some spots, one wrestler hits a big move, another wrestler comes in to attack him, rinse and repeat. Daffney comes in to try and give Juvy a rana, but he moves and she ends up getting Crowbar instead. Everyone takes turns diving to the outside, whilst Flair and Helms start fighting in the ring.

Artist crotches Candido on the top rope and goes for a superplex, but Candido shoves him off and goes for a swandive head butt, which Artist is able to dodge. Artist gets a Samoan Drop and heads up top, at which point Tammy Sytch (Candido’s real life girlfriend) makes her WCW debut and pulls him by his hair off the top rope to the mat, which allows Candido to pin him.

WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: CHRIS CANDIDO
RATING: *

Just a collection spots with no rhyme or reason and a really ugly looking finish to boot. A lot of nasty things are said about Tammy from this era, and yes she wasn’t even close to her WWF hotness peak, but she looked fine here. If you were on a night out in an average bar she’d be one of the better looking people in there for sure. In the overly cosmetic world of wrestling though, she didn’t really match up to the Torrie Wilson’s and Kimberly Page’s of the world during this timeframe.

Paisley and Tammy get into a scuffle, as Mark Madden steals Joey Style’s “CAT FIGHT!!!” line and even manages to work in “snoochie boochies” as well. Did Madden seriously have any material of his own? Anyway, Candido drags Tammy to safety once Paisley gets the upper hand in their cat fight and it’s clear that this issue ain’t over.

Mean Gene is with Jeff Jarrett in the interview area. Jarrett says he is The Chosen One and tonight he’ll become The Chosen Champion.

Match Twelve
Final of the WCW Tag Team Title Tournament
Team Package w/ Elizabeth Vs Shane Douglas and Buff Bagwell

Vince Russo comes out with the New Blood team and joins the commentary desk. Buff wants a handshake to start, but Luger doesn’t buy it and the fight is on. Luger gets the better of things so Buff goes to the eyes and tags in Douglas. Douglas works over Luger but The Total Package fights back with a big press slam, which causes Douglas to roll outside, where Flair is waiting.

Flair attacks Douglas both outside and in with chops, but Buff cuts him off and it appears to be the heat on Flair. Flair gets worked over for a while and is unable to successfully perform the famed Flair Flip in the corner. Douglas lets out an audible F-Bomb whilst punching Flair in the corner and they go to the Flair Flip again, which Flair nails this time. Buff clotheslines Flair on the apron but Douglas gets too close to Luger and ends up taking a clothesline as well for a double down.

Flair makes the hot tag to Luger and he runs wild with clotheslines on the heels, but Buff is able to give him a low blow. Buff goes for the Blockbuster on Flair, but misses and ends up delivering it to Douglas instead. Flair covers Douglas but Russo pulls out the referee at two. Russo argues with the ref, which allows Brian “Crush” Adams and Bryan “Wrath” Clark to make their return to the promotion and hit Luger with a double choke slam. It appears that Russo attacked the ref during this somehow, although we never saw it, and steals his ref shirt to count the pin for the heels to give them the titles.

WINNERS AND NEW CHAMPIONS: DOUGLAS AND BAGWELL
RATING: **

Decent enough, as all four men know how to work the formula and Flair plays a good face in peril.

Mean Gene is with Scott Steiner in the interview area. Steiner says he represents himself, not the New Blood, and that tonight he’s going to destroy Sting.

Match Thirteen
Final of the WCW United States Title Tournament
Scott Steiner Vs Sting

I do like how Sting won both of his previous two matches clean whilst Steiner won all of his by questionable means. Bravo if that was intentional, as it’s a good bit of storytelling and actually makes you want to root for Sting.

Sting has a quick promo with Mean Gene whilst Steiner makes his entrance. He says Bischoff and Russo have a war on their hands, and Steiner will simply be the next casualty. Sting gees up the crowd before the match starts but gets clobbered by Steiner right out of the gate. Sting manages to deliver a dropkick, which causes Steiner to roll outside, and then follows with a dive. Back inside, Sting finds nothing but knee on a top rope splash attempt and Steiner delivers a military press slam.

Steiner gets a clothesline and then drops an elbow for a two count, at which point he rolls outside to tell at ringsiders. Sting fights off a superplex and starts his comeback with clotheslines. Sting goes for the Stinger Splash, but Steiner pulls the referee in the way and he’s out. Sting goes for another Stinger Splash, but Vampiro comes up from under the ring and drags him down. After a few moments, Sting comes up bleeding from the mouth, and Steiner locks in the Recliner for the win.

WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: SCOTT STEINER
RATING: *

Why was there any need to bump the referee there? If Hogan and Nash coming out and blatantly attacking people in front of the referee isn’t a disqualification, why would Vamp coming up from under the ring be one? Who sits back there deciding the severity of these offences?

This was barely a match and wasn’t an especially satisfying conclusion to the tournament. They could have at least let them have a proper match first before the silly finish. Looks like the Sting and Vampiro feud MUST CONTINUE!!!

We have a hype video for the main event, as they’re at least trying to make it seem important.

Main Event
WCW World Title
Jeff Jarrett Vs Diamond Dallas Page w/ Kimberly

We get the “watch both men walk from the locker room to the ring” entrances to make this seem like a big deal, but it’s Jeff Jarrett Vs DDP. I like both guys, but come on, this was a TNA Main Event even back in 2000. They haven’t even bothered to fly Michael Buffer in for this. Some of the DDP signs at ringside are so ridiculously generic that I have to assume they were handed out before the match.

DDP gets the better of things early on and gets a jumping DDT for two. The fight spills outside and DDP holds Jarrett so that Kimberly can slap him. Into the crowd we go, but the camera man can’t work his way through the crowd to film the brawl, so we get a long wide shot instead. Ah WCW, never stop WCW’ing you magnificent bastards!

A camera finally catches up with them and we see that they’re hitting each other with trash cans. Jarrett uses Kimberly as a human shield to get a cheap shot in, but DDP soon regains control. DDP heads up top but Jarrett jams the ropes and DDP ends up crotching himself on the top turnbuckle. Jarrett brings DDP down with a superplex and then goes outside to grab a chair. Jarrett hits DDP with the chair in the ring a couple of times, in full view of the ref, but isn’t disqualified for it and the ref eventually just takes it off him.

DDP has just returned from a back injury, so Jarrett targets that area with strikes but DDP gets a back elbow to buy himself some time. DDP gets a sit out powerbomb for two, which is Eric Bischoff’s cue to walk out, but he stays in the aisle way for now. The two brawl around ringside, with Jarrett ripping up a copy of DDP’s autobiography that a plant, err, I mean “fan” brought to the show with them.

Jarrett pulls DDP crotch first into the ring post, but when he tries it again, Kimberly pulls him away by his hair. Jarrett surprisingly lets that go, but the distraction is enough to give DDP some time to recover and get away from the corner. Jarrett stomps away back inside but DDP fires back with some punches and then pulls Jarrett crotch first into the post as payback.

Jarrett blocks the Diamond Cutter by grabbing the ropes and the referee takes a stray elbow to momentarily daze him. With the ref woozy, Jarrett brings the title belt into the ring and clocks DDP with it for a two count. Why even bother doing that behind the refs back when you’ve already used both a trash can and chair blatantly in front of him? This is why this “relaxed DQ” thing is so bloody stupid.

Fans react to the kick out, so they’re at least somewhat engaged in this contest. Jarrett goes to the figure four leg lock, as Kimberly grabs the guitar and Bischoff advances to ringside. The fans get behind DDP and he manages to make the ropes. It’s amazing really, put a decent match in front of a WCW crowd and they’d almost always react to it because the actual wrestling was the thing they liked the most. It always baffles me that Russo couldn’t see or understand that and instead focused on trying to “retrain” them to like late 90’s WWF Attitude styled violence and smut. Even the WWF was starting to tone itself down at this point and focus more on the in ring aspect.

DDP gets a couple of roll ups for two and then counters a second rope attack from Jarrett with a sambo suplex for two. Jarrett goes to a sleeper hold but DDP won’t stay down and counters to his own before turning it into a sort of neck breaker. Bischoff and the ref scuffle on the apron, as DDP calls in Kimberly so she can hit Jarrett with the guitar. But it’s a SWERVE and she actually hits DDP instead. I’d ask why you’d need the ref to be distracted when previous run ins haven’t resulted in DQ’s, but what’s the use at this point? Jarrett pins DDP to win the title.

WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: JEFF JARRETT
RATING: ***1/4

As per the laws of wrestling physics, Kimberly becomes roughly 63% hotter the minute her heel personality kicks in. This match was pretty good, as they gave them time to tell a proper story and the crowd was with it throughout. The New Blood celebrate in the ring with their titles as the show comes to a close.

Final Thoughts
I was never bored, I’ll certainly say that. The inconsistent DQ rules became really annoying as the show progressed though. They either needed to scrap the rules entirely like ECW or keep them as normal, because the stupid half way house seen here didn’t help anyone and only led to confusion. 14 matches in a 160 minute show was far too many as well, with most of them being overly short and sorely lacking in both heat and psychology.

Did they really need the Mancow match and the semi-finals in the tag team tournament? They could have cut those matches out and given them to the US Title Tournament to make it more enjoyable. Some of the finishes on this show were awful as well, with most matches either involving a run in or some sort of chicanery when it came to the finish. The only two matches that didn’t were Sting’s first two tournament matches which, unsurprisingly, were two of the more well received bouts from the crowd.

Just like Nitro from last week, they’re squeezing way too much into each show. They need to book less stuff and give the stuff they are booking time to breathe. That being said, the break neck speed meant that the show was never dull at least and the main event was a decent match that was actually given some time.

I can’t recommend this as a wrestling show, because there wasn’t much wrestling on it and what there was wasn’t overly great, but as a weird Dadaist art project I guess it at least held my attention.

Next week I’ll be looking at 17th April 2000 Nitro, which was the Nitro that followed this particular show. Be there and be square people!

Thanks for reading

A lot of the pictures from this review came from www.networkplaylists.com
Please head over and give them some views

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