Each and every Thursday I will look back at a different pay-per-view event from the past via the WWE Network. Want to see a certain event covered? Send your suggestions to @VaughnMJohnson on Twitter.
Last week, I covered WCW Spring Stampede 1999. Next week, we'll look back at ECW December to Dismember. God help me.
WCW Slamboree 2000
Date: May 7, 2000
Venue: Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Mo.
Some random notes
This was the eighth and final Slamboree event. As most of you reading this already know, World Championship Wrestling closed its doors in March of 2001 after being sold to Vince McMahon and WWE.
This particular edition of Slamboree took place in the early stages of the feud between The New Blood and The Millionaires Club. The New Blood was a collection of young/fresh talent that hadn't quite reached the upper echelon of WCW such as Billy Kidman, Vampiro and Jeff Jarrett. Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo led the group.
On the opposite end was The Millionaires Club, which was comprised of legendary figures such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Sting that were fending off the young lions of The New Blood.
For some reason, WCW made The New Blood the bad guys in this situation and The Millionaires Club the good guys. In my opinion, the story works much better when the roles are reversed, when the young guys are fighting to make a name for themselves, but the older generation isn't quite ready to give up their spot at the top of the heap.
TNA Wrestling did a similar storyline with the Main Event Mafia going against the young lions of TNA. TNA doesn't get everything right, but it at least had the older wrestlers of the Main Event Mafia, which consisted of Sting, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, Booker T and Scott Steiner, play the role of heels. It later added Samoa Joe, but we won't get into that sad chapter at all.
This event also served as hype for the film Ready to Rumble, which was a movie based around WCW that hit theaters on April 7, 2000. It starred David Arquette. We'll have more on him later.
To help promote this film, the main event was a triple cage match, which was used as the climactic match in the movie. We'll get to that later on as well.
It didn't do well at the box office either, bringing in a little more than $5 million in its opening weekend and grossing a little more than $12 million overall. That wasn't good, considering the film cost an estimated $24 million to make. All of that was according to the Internet Movie Database.
I liked it when it first came out, but I was 11 and I pretty much liked anything that was about wrestling. Now that I am a grown man with mature culture and taste, I don't like it nearly as much.
From what I could see there were a lot of empty seats at Kemper Arena. It didn't look like there were any fans in the upper deck and there were a lot of empty seats in the lower bowl. It was bad times for WCW.
And finally, rules simply didn't matter in WCW. I saw multiple low blows and weapons used right in front of the referee's faces and there were no disqualifications.
The announcers tried to explain this by saying that the rules were being relaxed for this particular event, but I've seen multiple shows where this was the case.
Now, let's get to the matches.
WCW World Cruiserweight championship – Chris Candido def. The Artist
If you didn't recognize The Artist, you're probably not alone. If you're a die-hard wrestling fan or simply did a quick Google search, you realized that The Artist was formerly known as Prince Iaukea. He started using the Prince gimmick about four years after it was relevant. Prince changed his name to that funky symbol in 1993.
He must have watched this show because he changed his name back to Prince nine days after this took place. He was probably disgusted with WCW's use of his likeness.
You might have recognized Paisley, who was none other than Sharmell Sullivan-Huffman, better known to wrestling fans as Queen Sharmell. She is of course the wife WWE Hall of Famer Booker T.
As for the match itself, both The Artist and Candido worked hard. The fans in Kansas City just didn't seem to care that much.
The fans began caring after a pretty bad production flub. Candido hit The Artist with a chair and pinned him, but The Artist narrowly kicked out. Assuming he didn't kick out, the people in the production truck played Candido's music and the timekeeper rung the bell.
The referee had to wave off the finish, which ended the music.
That was probably supposed to be the finish, but The Artist kicked out, forcing Candido to perform a diving head butt and then pick up the win.
WCW Hardcore championship – Terry Funk def. Normal Smiley
There is a lot to cover in this match, so let's buckle up.
Firstly, this was when Norman Smiley was afraid of everything so he would just scream and run away a lot instead of fighting. As for Terry Funk, he was already 55 years old by this point and should not have been wrestling in hardcore matches.
Not only was he wrestling in hardcore matches, he was WCW's Hardcore champion. WCW was clearly trying to rip off WWE with its hardcore title by the way.
The match began in a bathroom. Not in the ring, but in the bathroom. Smiley attacked Funk from behind in the bathroom to get the match underway. Smiley was wearing a Royals uniform for some reason.
Another weird move was that Smiley was allowed to have a mystery partner, who was also wearing a Royals uniform, but also had catcher's gear on to boot.
The mystery partner was completely useless. He mostly stood and did nothing there while Funk beat the daylights out of Smiley. He occasional hit Funk with a trashcan or something, but Funk didn't even sell it.
Color commentator Mark Madden thought the mystery partner might have been Bubba the Love Sponge, but ruled him out because he would have been with Hogan. The timing of current events could not be better.
Eventually, the mystery partner turned out to be Ralphus, who used to be Chris Jericho's personal security. He was just as useless then.
This match was very weird, even by hardcore standards. At one point, the referee handed Funk a steel chair to use.
However, the weirdest moment came when Ralphus' pants fell down, revealing his entire butt, which resembled Limburger cheese. His shirt came off, too, revealing his weird-looking navel. It was a really horrific scene.
He even did Smiley's big wiggle dance, which was weird on its own, to Funk — WCW in the year 2000, ladies and gentlemen.
After all of this mayhem and shenanigans, the match ended with Funk rolling up Smiley. That has to be the most anti-climactic finish ever. Smiley and Ralphus didn't care. They still danced after the match anyway. What a debacle.
Shawn Stasiak def. Curt Hennig
Stasiak, a member of The New Blood, was attempting to do Curt Hennig's own gimmick better than him.
Hennig, a member of The Millionaires Club, was Mr. Perfect during his days in WWE. However, Stasiak was going by the "Perfect One" and even used a remix of Hennig's iconic WWE theme.
There wasn't much to speak of with the match other than Stasiak beat Hennig with his own move, the perfect-plex.
WCW United States Heavyweight championship – Scott Steiner def. Captain Rection (Hugh G. Rection)
Rection announced before the match that he no longer wanted to be called Hugh Morrus. Instead, wanted to be known by his "real name," Hugh G. Rection or just Captain Rection for short.
Of course his really real name is Bill Demott and he eventually became the head trainer at the WWE Performance Center.
Here was another match that wasn't anything special. I spent most of the match thinking about everything Steiner could have done to become so massive. I mean he was huge. There's no telling what this guy did.
Near the end, Rection missed a moonsault, but Steiner didn't get out of the way in time and got kicked right in the back of the head. He still managed to put Rection in the Steiner recliner for the win.
Rection's Misfits in Action buddies, who were fired, tried to stop Steiner from doing more damage after the match, but security stopped them. Booker T, who received a huge reaction (no pun intended), came in and made the save.
Booker T was originally scheduled for the match, but an injury apparently kept him out.
Mike Awesome vs. Chris Kanyon went to a no-contest
This was a match between two very talented performers, which makes it sad to watch in hindsight, as both of these men are no longer with us due to taking their own lives.
Kanyon — born Christopher Klucsarots — committed suicide in 2010 after struggling with bipolar disorder and being public about being homosexual. He was 40 years old.
Awesome — born Michael Alfonso — committed suicide in 2007 at the age of 42.
During the course of the match, Awesome dropped Kanyon right on the back of his head with a vicious power bomb. Other than that one scary moment, this was a pretty good match. Both of these guys had a lot of talent.
Eventually, Nash of The Millionaires Club came out to attack Awesome, who was in The New Blood. Kanyon was also in The Millionaires Club despite fitting in more with The New Blood, but whatever.
The New Blood came out to attack Nash, but The Millionaires Club came out to fend them off.
The Total Package def. Buff Bagwell
Don't be confused. The Total Package was indeed Lex Luger. Why he began going by that name is unknown to me.
At this point, Vince Russo had control over Miss Elizabeth, who was with Lex — I mean The Total Package — at the time.
Miss Elizabeth was supposed to be sitting backstage with Russo, but she tossed him out of his chair and hit him in the knee with a baseball bat that was clearly made out of rubber. She took off to the ring with the bat.
When she arrived at the ring, Bagwell got hold of the bat and used it on Luger — I mean The Total Package — right in front of the referee and there was no disqualification. Elizabeth eventually got hold of the bat again and hit Bagwell with it, allowing Luger — I mean The Total Package — to use the torture rack for the win.
Chuck Palumbo, wearing Luger — I mean The Total Package's — gear, attacked The Total Package after the match.
A lot happened during the course of this match, but it also felt like a lot of nothing.
Shane Douglas def. Ric Flair
This match was interesting because Shane Douglas and Ric Flair legitimately didn't like each other. Douglas spent years defaming the character of Flair during his time in Extreme Championship Wrestling despite the fact that Flair was never in the promotion.
Flair might as well had been in ECW at this point, as he didn't even wear his wrestling gear. Instead, he wore a black shirt, black slacks and a pair of black penny loafers. The announcers said that Flair was being not trying to be flashy at the moment. This was personal for him.
It sure sounded personal before the match, as Flair took the microphone and called Douglas a word that rhymes with dipstick. Despite wearing a pair of loafers, Flair still worked a very good match with Douglas.
Eventually, Bagwell and a man in a Sting mask assumed to be Russo helped Douglas win. Douglas and Bagwell began beat down Flair after the match.
Flair immediately popped up and demanded that he got his five minutes in the ring with Russo, but the man in the Sting mask wasn't Russo. It was Flair's son David, who hit his father with a miniature Statue of Liberty over the head.
The real Russo jumped into the ring and demanded the five-minute clock be started, but this brought out Nash again. Just when it looked like Nash was going to power bomb Russo, Daphne (remember her?) ran in and delivered a low blow to Nash.
Those last two matches had a lot going on.
Sting def. Vampiro
On the surface, Sting going up against Vampiro seemed like a very cool pairing. There were a lot of directions WCW could have taken this rivalry creatively. I don't remember this feud all that well, but because it was WCW in the year 2000, I'm going to assume this feud went in the wrong direction.
There was a heavy dosage of weapons during this match, specifically Vampiro's lead pipe. The lead pipe, however, was clearly made out of rubber and the two combatants used it way too much. One, maybe two, shots with a lead pipe should be effective enough. There were probably a dozen between both men when it was all said and done.
Hulk Hogan def. Billy Kidman
Hogan didn't wear his iconic red and yellow colors or the black and white of the New World Order. Instead, he was in all black and had some edge to him. He even had the letters "F.U.N.B". on the back of his shirt. I can tell you the last two letters stood for New Blood. I may lose my job if I put what the first two meant.
Hogan eventually went for a couple of tables that were under the ring, but one was already broken before he could use. So WCW.
So was Horace Hogan using Bischoff's hand to count to three to give Hulk Hogan the win. Two years prior, Steve Austin used Vince McMahon's hand to give himself a win over Dude Love. I guess it was the only way out for WCW.
Overall, the match was decent, but I can't the image out of my head of Hogan tossing Kidman into a dumpster. That wasn't good.
WCW World Heavyweight championship (Ready to Rumble cage match) – Jeff Jarrett def. David Arquette & Diamond Dallas Page
Coming into this match, Arquette was the WCW World Heavyweight champion. I repeat, an scrawny actor was the WCW World Heavyweight champion.
Yes, the same title that had was held by numerous legendary figures was being held by the stupid cop from the Scream movies. His ring gears was stupid as well. He won the title a little more than a week prior to this event.
It wasn't Arquette's idea. In fact, he wanted nothing to do with being world champion. It was apparently Russo's idea simply to get mainstream exposure for WCW. Let's just say it didn't work out the way Russo had hoped.
Arquette's was Page's friend, but was supposed to simply get out of the way while Page went at it with Jarrett. He was also supposed to lend Page an assist or two if needed.
The legendary Michael Buffer was used once again for the ring announcing. WCW probably couldn't afford the expensive Buffer by this point, but decided to use him anyway.
Like I mentioned earlier, WCW made this a triple cage match mostly because it was used in the end of Ready to Rumble. It wasn't the first time WCW had used the triple cage concept. I specifically remember it being used at The Great American Bash back in 1988.
Even still, three cages stacked on top of each other was always a little bit much. One cage should be plenty to get fans excited. WCW tried to triple that. Imagine a Hell in a Cell with a lot more space around the ring and with two smaller cages stacked on top of it. That's essentially what you got here.
The match was as brutal, as you would expect from a match that has three cages. Page and Jarrett did all of the work with Arquette standing by looking stupid.
Eventually, Awesome came out of nowhere to help his New Blood brethren in Jarrett. Page fended him off, but Arquette inexplicably betrayed him by hitting him over the head with a guitar, allowing a bloody Jarrett to pick up the win.
After the match, Kanyon showed up and tried to help his friend Page, but Awesome threw Kanyon from off the top of the first cage onto the ramp.
The announcers acted as if Kayon had broken every bone in his body while the fans chanted something rather unholy.