To start our new Random Re-Watch series, I sat down to watch WCW Spring Stampede 2000 for the first time in around 18 years. I first watched the show after WCW closed it’s doors as I managed to pick up some old WCW VHS for cheap as the DVD market started to take over.
The show is different to any other wrestling event even by WCW 2000 standards. It’s all over the place and it seems their motto is more is better. 6 days before on Nitro, Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff restarted WCW by stripping all champions of their titles and this show was promised to crown new champions with a clean slate. The roster was split into two which would be Russo and Bischoff’s New Blood and legends led Millionaire’s club. The one thing I don’t get watching the opening sequence of that Nitro was the constant mentioning of WWF, the talent that left WCW to go to their rivals and their constant need to blend real life and the wrestling world. Why they felt the need to do this I don’t know and it felt like they tried to fix problems with bigger problems.
The show features two tournaments running at the same time. We have a four team tournament to crown the new tag team champions and a 8 man tournament to crown a new United States champion. The card has 14 matches in just over 2 and a half hours.
The Tag Team championship tournament starts with The Mamalukes facing Team Package. Team Package consists of Ric Flair and Lex Lugar, Flair decides to wrestle in a polo shirt and suit trousers. His reasoning is that if Russo wants a street fight, he’s going to dress for a street fight. Talking of Russo, his first appearance of the night comes before this match as he buries The Mamalukes saying that a normal tag team match isn’t fair. So he adds the Harris Brothers to make it 4 on 2 handicap match. According to Russo logic the Mamalukes aren’t good enough to beat Flair and Lugar.
Team Package win after being outnumbered and go on to the final to face the team of Buff Bagwell and Shane Douglas who defeat Harlem Heat 2000 in under three minutes. The final sees Russo on commentary and he would distract referee Nick Patrick so that Kronik can interfere and deliver a double chockslam to Lugar, Russo knocks down Nick Patrick and steals the refs shirt. In a comical moment Russo can’t get the shirt on and has it over his head to make the three count and crown Shane Douglas and Buff Bagwell the new WCW Tag Team Champions.
The other tournament which runs through the evening is the United States championship tournament. The first match in the quarter finals is Scott Steiner against The Wall, the match ends in comical fashion again as The Wall sets a table up. Steiner rakes The Wall in the eyes and puts the ref in front of him only for The Wall to chockslam the referee through the table. Another referee comes down and disqualifies The Wall.
The next match was meant to be Mike Awesome against The Cat but Bam Bam Bigelow attack’s the Cat and then somehow replaces him. Then confusingly The Cat comes down and starts dancing as both men are down, Awesome recovers and hits the Awesome splash on The Cat to pick up the win. Not sure what happened to Bigelow or what actually was going on. Bigelow pinned Awesome for two counts, what would have happened if Bigelow got the three? The next match was Sting against Booker T in a decent match which actually finished clean with Sting advancing.
Billy Kidman would face Vampiro in the last match of the quarter finals. Kidman attacked Hulk Hogan on Nitro and drove a hummer into another car with Hogan in. Kidman attacked Jimmy Hart earlier in the evening which is another confusing angle. Hogan is a face but Hart is a heel, but Hart is meant to be his manager. So heel Kidman attack’s heel Hart to get at face Hogan. Confused? Me too.
Hogan would show up and attack Kidman, Hogan would chockslam Kidman through the announcers table and then roll him back inside the ring for Vampiro to pick up the win. Hogan would then go on a rampage to find Bischoff only to get arrested at gun point by police. Yes the police pin down Hogan with a gun pointed in his face.
Vampiro would then lose to Sting by submission in the semi finals, in the other semi final Scott Steiner would make Mike Awesome submit thanks to Kevin Nash interfering and gaining revenge on Awesome. Awesome attacked Nash on Nitro, Awesome only debuted on the Nitro before and is already submitting making him look weak.
The final of the tournament sees Sting against Steiner, Sting would get the upper hand but all of a sudden Vampiro appears. He appears coming through the mat of the ring and pulls Sting under the ring, Sting comes back out bloodied after Vampiros’ attack and Steiner makes him submit with the Steiner Recliner to become the new WCW United States Champion.
In the middle of the tournaments there’s a hardcore battle between Terry Funk and Norman Smiley that starts in the backstage area and ends up in the ring.
Dustin Rhodes appears and hits a piledriver on Funk but Funk doesn’t give up. Funk would hit Smiley with a ladder to pick up the win and become the new Hardcore Champion. Rhodes would get fired later in the show by Russo for his actions, he also noted that Rhodes was useless and was only any good when he was Goldust, a character that Russo created. Why must they mention the WWF?
Chris Candido won the WCW Cruiserweight championship in a suicide six man match featuring Crowbar, The artist formally known as Prince Iaukea, Shannon Moore, Lash LaRoux and Juventud Guerrera. In the match we would see interference from Daffney, Paisley, Tammy (WWF Sunny), David Flair and Shane Helms.
The main event of the show is for the Vacant WCW World Heavyweight championship where The Chosen One Jeff Jarrett faced Diamond Dallas Page who was accompanied by his wife Kimberley. Both men got a long entrance walking from their dressing room to try and create the big match feeling. The match brawls into the crowd before coming back into the ring where Eric Bischoff will make his way down to the ring. Bischoff would distract the referee and Kimberley would come into the ring with the guitar looking for revenge on Jarrett after Jarrett had hit her with the guitar on Nitro. But in another twist Kimberley would hit her husband DDP and join Bischoff and his New Blood group.
This show is hectic with a lightening pace, nothing has time to breath. It goes from one storyline to another before a swerve and twist in every match. It feels like they use every swerve in the playbook in this event and you just become numb to it. So numb it becomes obvious Kimberley was going to hit her husband. This is a typical WCW show from 2000 and if you want to find out why WCW went out of business this is a perfect show to watch.