Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the time traveling, whirling dervish we call Cewsh Reviews! Tonight we have a special treat for you as we set the clock back to the year 2000 to take in the splendid aroma of WCW’s New Blood 2000 PPV. Now we’ve traversed these dangerous waters before, with our review of WCW Superbrawl a few months ago, but WCW at the end was something that can’t be summed up in just one installment. Oh no. To do a decent reckoning of the biggest train wreck to ever contain the words “professional” and “wrestling” (not necessarily in that order) we had to go back and give ourselves over to the sheer experience of Vince Russo’s mad whims. 12 matches? Why not?! Two KroniK matches? Bring ‘em on! Judy Bagwell on a pole? YEA…wait, what? Seriously?
Fuckhumping McJesus. What have we done?
So without any further ado, let’s do a motherfucking review!
Cewsh: THIS. IS. SO. BAD.
It’s not just that the technology and presentation here looks dated, anything would ten years after it comes out. It’s the fact that the whole thing looks like it was sent through every single default filter in the most basic film editing program known to man, to the point where every in the video is almost completely impossible to make out. This might be for the best, however, as the top feud appears to be between Rocker T and Jeff “I Have No Idea How To Dress Myself” Jarrett, followed closely by Kevin Nash, Goldberg and Scott Steiner vying to see who can cut a promo while appearing to care the least about being on any kind of wrestling show anywhere at all.
Honestly, I might prefer not to see things clearly.
Cewsh: For this one time only, I’ll be unveiling a brand new way of reviewing the matches on this show. Due to the unique nature of this show (and my likely response to it) I’ll be breaking the match down in three categories. First I’ll discuss the History (the back story behind the match), then the Match itself, and then my Thoughts. This way we’ll be able to process this show with maximum affiance and hopefully avoid me staring at the screen in hopeless disbelief at what I have seen with idea of how to commit it to words. Ready? Let’s try it out.
Ah, 3 Count and the Jung Dragons. Both teams of three came about as a result of an overall search for new, fresh talent around the time Vince Russo took over WCW. 3 Count is comprised of Gregory Helms and Shannon Moore (who you may remember as The Hurricane from WWE and The Prince of Punk from TNA, respectively) and Evan Karagias (who you may remember having served you bread sticks at Olive Garden recently). They were a boy band, ala N Sync and The Backstreet Boys, who sang their own songs and constantly talked about all the albums they were selling despite never actually having released any sort of album. So they were selling other people’s albums maybe? Well however they managed it, they somehow obtained a gold record, which their manager, the surly former MMA fighter Tank Abbott was often known to prance around with as he danced to the music of his charges. All of this is entirely serious. Like seriously. Seriously serious.
The Jung Dragons, on the other hand, are comprised of Kaz Hayashi, Jimmy Yang, and James Gibson (Jamie Noble from WWE for you kiddies) under a mask because he had the unfortunate distinction of being white in a group comprised of Asian guys. Rather than just make them a tag team, or get another Asian guy to fill the gimmick, they felt the mask was sufficient as long as he had a tan. Again, I’m not clever enough to invent these things from the sky.
The premise of this match is that the Jung Dragons are the good guys who want to make it so 3 Count can’t record albums anymore. So 3 Count’s record deal will be suspended from the rafters, and if The Dragons get it, they can tear it up or, conceivably, use it to become an a capella band named “The Asian Sensation And Jamie’s Here Too We Guess.” For some reason 3 Count’s gold record is ALSO on the line and being suspended up there in the lights as well, and you have to grab them one at a time. Once you’ve grabbed one you actually have to climb to the bottom of the ladder and then climb back up and win again. Because otherwise it would just be mean to 3 Count, since they have NOTHING TO WIN HERE.
Also, this is a ladder match, and these guys have watched the WWE TLC matches about 7 billion times each. Bet on it.
Have you ever watched one of the legendary ladder and TLC matches between the Hardy Boys, Edge and Christian and the Dudley Boys and thought to yourself “Man, this match is great, but I’d like it a lot more if these guys were less experienced, less graceful, and if there were a fat guy with no teeth dancing on the ring apron the whole time? Well if you have, then boy do I have the match for you!
Right from the start the stage is set for this clumsy masterpiece. The match starts with everyone throwing bad punches at each other and then separating so they can set up some incredibly choreographed ladder spots. I’m not kidding when I say that the first 5 spots are all botched and look genuinely painful to the wrong person. The whole thing is kind of a mess, until Jimmy Yang, all 89 pounds of him, puts on his “Save The Match” cape and starts busting out awesome moves all over everyone’s faces.
After being awesome for awhile, he actually climbs one of the ladders and grabs the gold record! Holy shit! Progress! He climbs down the ladder and poses with it for a second before Tank Abbott yanks it out of his hands and dances around with it while 3 Count beat up Yang. Can you do that? Just take away the victory? That seems kind of mean. But then, we still have to retrieve the recording contract.
More shenanigans ensue with skinny people flying all around while Tank practices his two step and leers from the ring apron (does he think this is a tag team match?) At some point Kaz Hayashi disappears to the outside of the ring and then reappears clutching his ass like it’s going to escape unless he holds onto it.
Somehow, through all of this craziness, Tank stays focused, and when one of the Jung Dragons goes to climb the ladder to win the match, Tank drops the record (which anyone could take now) and then pushes their ladder over. Good work Tank! Except that he also, for no known reason pushes over another ladder that a member of 3 Count is climbing, keeping them from winning.
Then he picks up the gold record and goes back to dancing, satisfied in his contribution. Legend. Eventually Evan Karagias (fantastic name by the way) grabs the record contract, sealing a clean sweep for 3 Count. So they win….except that Tank Abbott steals both items for himself and then runs away, stopping to dance every few feet. So…Tank wins? Sure, why not.
I’m burnt out already.
64 out of 100
This prompts Ernest “The Cat” Miller, proud steward of World Championship Wrestling that he is to dance into the room and demand to know what is up. The Animals mean no disrespect, they just want to be the special guest referees for the tag team title match later on. Yes, ALL of them want to be the referee. Together. Miller wants to know what is in it for him, so they say they’ll help him win his match.
This is a fair offer, but he says he doesn’t want their help, and instead just wants “to see what’s goin’ down” and then gives everyone a fist bump (except Disco) and puts his sunglasses on, conceivably to foreshadow a Corey Hart cameo later on in the show (which I would mark out for).
This match features The Great Muta (probably one of the ten best wrestlers of all time) and Ernest Miller (probably one of the ten best wrestlers with leopard print for ring attire). Miller is a legitimate karate instructor, and Muta is a fake, pro wrestling karate expert. As a result, this match involves a shit ton of kicking. Also, since real karate isn’t meant for show, Miller’s versions of said kicks look terrible but seem actually painful, and Muta’s look great and probably don’t hurt at all.
Funny how that works.
In fairness to Miller, he is the first guy on this show who the fans actually seem to like, and he was nice enough to talk to Muta before the match:
Miller: Great Muta, I know you can’t speak English, so let me make this real easy for you to understand.
Miller (Unhelpfully Still In English): You’re the Great Muta, AND I’M GONNA KICK YOUR GREAT ASS.
The question that this begs is whether or not he’s saying that Muta has a fat ass, or that Muta is awesome, but Miller is going to beat him up anyway, which would be rather mean of him. Muta seems to take it in stride, though, and they spend ten minutes kicking each other. Then Tygress (the valet for the Filthy Animals, remember) comes out and interferes with the weakest chair shot in the history of professional wrestling. Muta sells this like death, but kicks out anyway. Then the match randomly goes on for like 10 more minutes before Miller beats him with the Trouble In Paradise (possibly he didn’t call it that). Hooray.
The Great Muta just lost to Ernest Miller clean. I’m a sad Cewsh.
66 out of 100
Cewsh: Thank god he’s not talking.
Apparently in this particular point in WCW history, Buff Bagwell is, against all logic, a good guy. A good guy who loves his mom and spends all of his time with her. Chris Kanyon is, at this point, working at Diamond Dallas Page's lackey, and seemingly has developed the hots for Buff Bagwell's mom. Therefore he has kidnapped her and stuck her on top of a forklift and is willing to fight for the right to keep her.
Did you read any part of what i've written so far? BUFF BAGWELL'S MOM IS SUSPENDED ON A FORKLIFT and her son and a gay man are going to fight for the right to possess her.
This isn't just a bad match concept, it's the summary on the back of some disturbing hillbilly pornography. With all of that going on, who could even notice the match itself? I mean Kanyon tries his best, but he's working with some truly nonsensical bullshit, and god knows it's not like Buff Bagwell is making people forget about Ricky Steamboat with his ring work As a result what we get is a definitive lesson in what the Vince Russo era of booking WCW was and wasn't.
It WAS ludicrous, and it WASN'T entertaining.
JUDY BAGWELL ON A POLE FOR FUCK'S SAKE.
56 out of 100
Well the idea here is that the Filthy Animals want to have the titles, and they really don't want KroniK to have them. I have no idea who had them to start with here, since none of the team actually came out with the titles, but it's basically KroniK up against the Powerplant All Stars here, and The Animals get the winners the next night on Nitro.
This is a total clusterfuck. Everybody is clotheslining each other and KroniK is basically just squashing everyone else over and over for like 15 minutes. The only thing stopping them from winning the match in less time than it takes to say “Why is Carrot Top here?” is the fact that no less than FIVE people are acting as entirely corrupt and evil referees out to fuck them. Naturally, though, they manage to win anyway when Chavo Guerrero Jr. a member of the Misfits In Actions, runs down, throws on a referee shirt and counts the pinfall.
Yes. Chavo wearing a shirt made him legally an official capable of deciding a title change and not one single person questioned this in the slightest, not even his partners in the fucking MIA who were standing there watching him do it! Then KroniK celebrates a squash well done and everybody goes for ice cream.
56 out of 100
Cewsh: Jeff Jarrett is backstage and while he's interviewed he makes a few things clear.
- He has no idea how to dress himself.
- He thinks that he looks totally awesome.
- He is exactly the same here that he would be if he turned heel tomorrow.
- He really, REALLY, wants “Slapnut” to get over as a catchphrase.
- He's a meany face.
- He is also foreshadowing a Corey Hart cameo by wearing his sunglasses at night. They're going to devastate me if they don't come through with that.
Billy Kidman is (or was at this time) married to Torrie Wilson in real life despite looking like a cast off from a Jersey Shore reunion special: The Kids Edition. She began accompanying him to ringside as his manager and on screen girlfriend, until she turned heel on him for some reason and joined with Shane Douglas. Now they're a fussin' and a feudin'
This being a strap match, you can well expect to find people hitting each other with straps here. However there's is a staggering difference between strap matches that are good (see Shad vs. JTG for a modern example) and strap matches that are bad (most of them). This strap match is bad because there is not one single ounce of inventiveness or effort at work here. These guys aren't trying, and the end result is 20 minutes of guys hitting each other weakly with a strap, which isn't nearly as interesting as it would be if the object were a strapON, but I digress.
After an eternity of nothing in particular, Kidman starts spanking Torrie with the strap, an action which causes Shane Douglas to grab him with the strap and literally hang him while standing on the top rope. Like Kidman's feet are off the ground and the strap is around is neck and he is turning purple. He is being hung.
Then Big Vito shows up and chases Douglas off, until a man with the worst hair that I have ever seen in my entire life shows up and starts fighting with Vito before Vito fights him off too, because Vito is apparently John fucking Cena and can take on the whole goddamn roster at once.
Then he tea bags Billy Kidman and gives him a hug.
51 out of 100
Cewsh: We see Booker T arriving in his car (in broad daylight, naturally, despite it being 9 at night in Canada) and the announcers talk up how his knee is damaged as he limps about in his incredibly 90s suit and his high top fade. Then his situation gets way worse when the spikey haired slapnut himself shows up and slams the car door on Booker's leg about 30 times, all the while yelling about how he is the chosen one.
So yeah, Jeff Jarrett is kind of a dick. But in his defense, Booker's pants were asking for it.
Let me relate this situation to you. Two women, named after large breasts and hand jobs respectively, have a match where you have to strip your opponent down to her bra and panties and then pin her. But, see, before the pin can happen they are contractually obligated to enter the mud pit and dance around. That is not my interpretation, the announcers inform us, very seriously, that it is written into their contracts that they have to get half naked and muddy.
Then, once they are half naked and muddy beyond any actual recognizability, much less sexiness, Ms. Hancock clutches her stomach and falls over as the announcers inform us that she has had a miscarriage (Tony Schivone M.D.) This prompts Major Gunns (I got stupider just typing that again) and David Flair to “break kayfabe” by rushing to her aid. Then she gets stretchered out as the announcers call her by her real (read, not real, just less obviously fake) name in an attempt to make us believe that this is real and she really did just lose a match because her baby died.
Then, following this horrific and once in a lifetime event, they completely forget about it and never mention it again for the rest of the show.
Are there adequate words? I've seen people lose matches due to fireballs, gravity, forklifts and squid, but this is an entirely new category. I will go so far as to say, right here and right now, that this is the worst finish in wrestling history. That's right. This is the worst end to a wrestling match EVER, that I have been made aware of.
Congratulations to all involved.
7 out of 100
Cewsh: I'm flabbergasted at what is standing in front of my eyes right now.
This is a vampire luchadore wearing clown makeup so he can fit in with the single most ridiculously terrible music act in the history of recorded sound. Standing next to him is the Great Muta, who is so out of place in this situation he may as well be a giant spoon with comically oversized glasses. Which would probably be better at rapping than the Insane Clown Posse.
In fairness, it couldn't actually be worse.
If you are a self professed “Juggalo” then stop reading this and go buy some more chains for your wallet (which is an ICP wallet, naitch) and pick up some Mountain Dew. You are not welcome here.
Well, The Demon (which is WCW's KISS marketing tie in) is trying to earn his place as a member of the Dark Carnival, and Vampiro totally hates Sting. You may have become aware of this when, a month before this, Vampiro SET STING ON FIRE. Which kept him out for about a week before Sting was totally all better, and here Sting doesn't seem to be be overly interested in Vampiro or anything. The Demon, for his part, is a big ol' nobody who would disappear from WCW and turn up later in TNA as the most legendary wrestler in that company's prestigious history. But here, not so much.
This match is about 12 seconds long. Sting just hit him with the Scorpion Deathdrop and got attacked by Vampiro and Muta, who themselves got attacked by KroniK (?). This apparently sets up a tag team title match between KroniK and Vampiro and Muta later on tonight, giving the fans what they so desperately crave.
Another bathroom break. OH!
“Hey can you pass me the chip....WHERE DID THE MATCH GO?”
60 out of 100
Up until this match, Lance Storm was on a roll the likes of which have rarely been seen in wrestling history. He won the WCW Hardcore title, the WCW Television title and the WCW United States title and renamed them after cities in Canada, and glued little Canadian flags on the titles. He accomplished all of this in about two weeks. So he's getting over huge as a heel with the fans, and now Mike Awesome has appeared to stand in his way and stop the Calagarian Juggernaut. Oh, and one other thing. On this night? They're in Canada.
The match starts off with Lance Storm coming to the ring to enormous cheers from the crowd, who have about 8 jillion signs for him. He praises them for not being Americans, and then announces that the special guest referee to enforce the Canadian Rules of this match will be none other than the Mountie himself, Jacque Rougeau! Jacque comes out to an ovation of his own and stands next to the ring announcer with a book that helpfully reads “Canadian Rule Book”. Then we get down to business.
Right away Mike Awesome starts kicking Lance Storm's ass. Not exactly to KroniK level specification, but he's clearly in control as the minutes tick by and Rougeau starts to look more and more nervous. Finally Mike Awesome rolls up Storm for the three count and the referee awards the match to....OBJECTION! Jacque grabs the ring announcer and forces him to state that under Canadian rules, all pinfalls must go to 5 instead of 3!
Now Jacque makes it clear that in Canadian Rules, there can be no submissions, only pinfalls. Now Awesome knows for sure that the fix is in and Storm blind sides him. They go back and forth for awhile (while I try to get used to people kicking out at 4 and ½) until Awesome sets up a table in the ring, and a mishap sends both of them crashing through it. Then Jacque leaps into the ring and declares that the first man to reach his feet before the count of ten wins the match, under the Rules of course. They both laboriously try to get to their feet, but despite Lance's best efforts, Mike appears to be rising quicker until Jacque taps the ref on the shoulder causing him to look away and clocks Mike Awesome directly in the face with the rule book. The ref doesn't see it, and Lance rises to his feet, winner and still champion.
Before anyone can truly process any of this, Bret fucking Hart's music hits, and the crowd comes completely unglued. He makes his way to the ring, stares at Storm and Rougeau for a moment, and then embraces the both of them to deafening cheers from the crowd.
Going into this match, I had heard nothing but scorn leveled at it. People say that Storm was a credible contender before this, and having him basically “lose” so many times killed his legitimacy, and revolving around this is the fact that the very next night Mike Awesome became the Fat Chick Thrilla and Lance Storm's push quickly died off for no good reason. But none of those things can tarnish the sheer fun of watching this match, as Rougeau and Storm collaborate to perform one of the greatest examples of heel dickery that I have ever seen. Every successive interruption was more heelish than the last and was met with more cheers from the Canadian crowd than the last, and this really felt like the beginning to an enormous, enormous push for Lance Storm that could not fail. Naturally WCW managed to kill it themselves, but on this one night, in front of this crowd, these guys put on a show.
Mike Awesome may have had the last non-ironic mullet on national television.
84 out of 100
Cewsh’s Seal of Approval
KroniK: Part Deux. This time, it’s even roidier.
Here we have KroniK, who just won the tag titles like an hour ago, and Muta, who just lost to fucking Ernest Miller, with some Vampiro thrown in. This match came about like ten second ago because Vampiro was a meany face, and KroniK weren’t doing anything, what with it being several hours before 4:20, so they went ahead and decided to wrestle for the title.
Makes as much sense as anything else.
KroniK, for those who are unfamiliar with their brawny brilliance, are comprised of WWE Legends Crush and Adam Bomb. This combination of the most roided up wrestlers of 1994 was a lock to be a huge success. All they needed was a gimmick that reminded WCW's core fanbase of people too stoned to change the channel about how much they loved weed and PRESTO.
Well Muta was in it, that's good.
Muta and Vampiro win the match and titles thanks to the Harris Brothers interfering for some reason. So that's two title changes in an hour, and I honestly have no idea who had the titles to begin with. The Filthy Animals? No, they're the number one contenders. Except that somebody else got this title match and won, so do KroniK and that other team get rematch clauses? So are the Filthy Animals the number three contenders? What does that mean for their guaranteed title shot on NitrAH MY BRAIN IS COMING OUT OF MY NOSE!
44 out of 100
Three big dudes decide they don't like each other. Match ensues.
Well the first thing to note is that Goldberg doesn't actually show up until about halfway through this match. He comes out with his ribs taped and a very angry expression directed at Nash. We don't get any explanation for this in any way. Then he wrestles for a minute or so, totters around looking vaguely injured, and just as he's going to get Jackknifed he leaves the ring in a huff much to the confusion of Nash. Because this isn't in the script you see. Then Vince Russo comes out and yells at him for not following the script and taking the powerbomb. Goldberg ignores him. See, Nash's powerbomb has been built up for months as a killer move, and the idea here is that Goldberg is refusing to take it or do the job, because he's a dick and is breaking kayfabe. Later, Russo will praise SCOTT STEINER as a company man for taking the move and following orders in one of the more inventive uses of batshit insanity in Russo's catalog.
Regardless, this is a job well done, and it's welcome after some of the, ahem, less than stellar performances tonight.
Scott Steiner shouldn't be allowed to run with biceps like that. He could put an eye out.
69 out of 100
Kevin Nash Over Scott Steiner Following The Jackknife Powerbomb.
Booker T should have been one of the greatest success stories in wrestling history. Plucked out of obscurity thanks to Sid Vicious initially, he and his brother were brought into WCW to essentially portray slaves with a white owner (this wasn't Sid's idea at all, but you know how WCW is with subtlety). Over time, as Harlem Heat, they became one of the most decorated and respected tag teams of all time, putting on great matches and entertaining people on the lower card for years. Then, when Booker went singles, he started from the bottom, wrestling everybody on the roster on his way to the top and having great matches with nearly everyone (especially a best of seven series with Chris Benoit that you need to track down and watch right now). He slowly made his way up the card bit by bit.
Finally, after all of his toil and work and effort, Booker was poised to become a main eventer in 1999, but then something happened. Vince Russo happened. Suddenly the main event was emptied of all of the main event stars who could have put him over, replaced by...Jeff Jarrett. There was nobody left for him to face, and rather than building him as the trueborn son of WCW made good, they suddenly put the title on him with little to no fanfare. Then he lost and won it 4 more times within a year before the company finally closed. As far as failures of WCW go, to me the failure to allow Booker T to become the star he could have been ranks among the very highest. He never truly recovered from their waste of him. Just sad.
Fuck yeah he can, he's Booker fucking T.
Let me be clear about this, Booker T during this era was fucking fantastic. He had the moves, the connection with the crowd, the charisma, and he had become a master of selling his ass off. Throughout this entire match he never stops selling his leg, no matter what, and collapses mid kick to prove it, impressing the hell out of me. Jarrett, for his part, works over the leg and tries his very hardest to heel it up, but he has never been and never will be a natural main event heel. He's more annoying than he is dangerous, and while he knows how to wrestle a heel style, he does it very stiffly, like he has it memorized. Not ideal.
But it really doesn't matter because Booker T is such a great face here, that it makes Jarrett look like a great heel by default. Booker fights and fights and the crowd cheers and cheers, and when Booker finally pulls out the victory it is a legitimately emotional moment. Honestly, he's the kind of champion we need today, and WCW needed at the time. It's just a shame that he had to work for the one place in the world who couldn't recognize what he was and could be.
What the fuck IS a slapnut anyway?
80 out of 100
Cewsh's Seal of Approval
Booker T Over Jeff Jarrett Following The Book End.
Cewsh : Okay look, i'm as surprised as you are that i'm walking out of this recommending two matches. But if you think for one second that that makes this a good show, you are horribly, violently mistaken. This show was so fucking mind bendingly terrible that i'm typing this from the line to get a gun permit so that I can hunt down everyone that was associated with the pain that it has caused me. EIGHTEEN segments in three hours including 12 fucking matches, out of which two of them were good and one of them was on the level of IWA:MS King of the Deathmatches for fuck's sake.
I sincerely feel sorry for those of you who watched this at the time as fans who were biding their time to see if things would get better. It never did, did it? It only ever got worse. The least they could have done is organize a pension plan for your retired sanity. Then maybe there could be some peace.
Alright, boys and girls, that'll do it for us this week. We hope you enjoyed sharing the righteous indignation of the ages with us, and we hope you'll forgive our week of nothingness. I know it left a void in your life that only sorrow (or booze) could fill, but worry not, we're back on track and headed on a collision course with TNA's second biggest show of the year, Slammiversary. This is TNA's 8th anniversary and we'll shine the silverware up nice for them. In the meantime, though, we hope that you guys enjoy the summer, keep reading, and be good to one another!