1994 – Jason defeats Mikey Whipwreck for the ECW Television Title in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1998 – Bret Hart defeats Lex Luger for the WCW US Heavyweight Title in Fargo, North Dakota, ending Luger’s reign after only three days, and starting his own second run with the belt.
1999 – The Dudleys (Buh Buh & D-Von) defeat Spike Dudley & Balls Mahoney for the ECW World Tag Team Title in Cleveland, Ohio, starting their seventh run as ECW tag champs.
2000 – WCW held their “New Blood Rising” Pay-per-view, which included the start of the ridiculous “Ms. Hancock is pregnant” storyline. That storyline would end with Stacy Keibler (she started using her real name during the angle) giving birth to… well nothing. She just showed up one day, not pregnant, with a baby carriage full of 8×10 pictures of Sean Stasiak, her new charge. No, I didn’t make that up either. Here is Tim Whitehead’s original report on the show:
WCW’s New Blood Rising, 8/13 from the Pacific Northwest Exhibition Center in Vancouver, was a mix of good and bad, essentially balancing out at average. There was a great opener and a strong main event, but all the stuff in between was all over the map, and included some matches and angles that were pretty bad. The crowd heat was mostly okay, as was the commentary. The worked-shoot angle concept got another workout as they did supposed “shoot” incidents with both Goldberg and Miss Hancock. These angles work occasionally but to use them every show negates their effectiveness. People watch wrestling because they want to pretend that it’s real. Having a supposedly real incident occur, and explaining it as a real incident, as opposed to the usual fake wrestling incident, undermines people’s escapist desires. When I was a kid watching Star Trek I knew it was “fake”, but wanted, for an hour at least, to get lost in the sci-fi illusion. I wouldn’t have wanted Mr. Spock to get injured during a battle with Klingons, and then for Capt. Kirk to “explain” that the injury is real and it’s not in the script like the other fake injuries they’ve had on the show and in this case the injury is to Leonard Nimoy, not to Mr. Spock. What purpose would that serve?
If there are still people out there who think wrestling is real, leave them alone and let them believe. For the millions who know it’s a work, leave us alone and let us suspend disbelief for a few hours a week.
THREE COUNT defeated THE JUNG DRAGONS in a ladder match in 11:30. Great opener! Three Count’s gold record and recording contract was hanging from the ceiling and the team to retrieve them would win. Shane Helms started off against Jamie-San. They all ran for the two ladders and brawled their way back to the ring with them. They did some neat spots, including one where all three Dragons were dumped on a ladder in the corner. They started trying to climb and took some great bumps off the ladders. Ying Yang took a neckbreaker off one ladder. Evan Karagias suplexed Kaz Hayashi off another one. Jamie-San did a crazy dive off the ladder from the ring onto Three Count on the floor. Helms and Shannon Moore legdropped a ladder onto Yang. The Dragons began throwing kicks until Karagias slammed Yang on a ladder, which looked very painful. Jamie-San got hit in the face with a ladder on a teeter-totter spot. Kaz and Yang did splashes off the ladder. Jamie-San climbed up and got the record but Tank Abbott took it from him before the ref could see it. The Dragons used a ladder to wallop Tank and Three Count. They all began trying to climb again and took some more bumps. In one instance, Tank caused Moore to bump off as well as Kaz. Finally, Karagias made it up and got the contract and the ref awarded Three Count the win. Tank ran off with both the record and the contract with the commentators acting like he was stealing them for himself.
The Filthy Animals went to Cat’s office. He threw them out, but not before cutting a deal where they agreed to help him win his match against Great Muta in return for a tag title shot on Nitro.
CAT beat GREAT MUTA in 6:45. Cat hit Muta with a microphone. It was pretty bad, with Cat just throwing his kicks and Muta trying to use martial arts moves. Tygress came out for the Filthy Animals. Cat choked Muta with a cable. Muta missed a moonsault attempt and then accidentally sprayed the mist on the ref (he was aiming at Cat, who ducked). Tygress hit Muta with a chair but by the time the ref recovered he only scored a two. Scott Hudson said Tygress wasn’t just out there for her looks. Actually, she was. Cat hit a bunch of kicks and then simply pinned Muta. I guess this puts him in line for an IWGP Title shot at the Tokyo Dome. Let’s see….our guys go to Japan and are treated with respect and have good matches, which are never mentioned over here. Their guys come here and job in gimmick matches which no one over there wants to see.
BUFF BAGWELL defeated KANYON in 6:45. For this match, Judy Bagwell was supposed to be on a pole, but Kanyon said there wasn’t a pole big enough to hold her and settled for a forklift to hold the “big fat battleaxe”. This was a decent match. They brawled through the crowd at first. Kanyon removed the padding from one of the turnbuckles but, as usual, was the one rammed into the exposed steel. Kanyon scored several twos, including a near fall with a Kanyon Kutter. Out came David Arquette, the former WCW World Champion (nice of them to remind us). They should bring in Eva Save-A-Lot. At least she’s a babe. Arquette hit Bagwell with a construction hardhat but Kanyon only got two. Bagwell then lariated both and did a double Buff Blockbuster (that was cool) on both and scored the pin. Buff rescued his mom. Kanyon gave Arquette a Kanyon Kutter for a pop afterward.
Lance Storm arrived like a major VIP in a limo with a huge entourage.
The announcers said that Bill Goldberg had been injured in a motorcycle accident in Sturgis, SD and had not arrived. He was in a minor accident but was in fact in the building at the time.
KRONIC defeated SEAN STASIAK & CHUCK PALUMBO and CAPT. RECTION & CPL. CAJUN and SEAN O’HAIRE & MARK JINDRAK in a four way match to retain the WCW World Tag Titles in 12:20. The Filthy Animals were out there as special refs. Konnan did his usual shoot-style color commentary, Disco Inferno was the in-ring ref, while the other Animals were out-of-ring refs. Rey Mysterio Jr. appears to be growing antlers. Oh wait, those were his devil horns. Disco read all the participants the riot act before the match. This match had some good spots scattered throughout but overall it ran too long and was confusing. Disco kept slow counting every pin. It would have made some sense, given that the Animals get a shot at the winners, for Disco to be biased towards the team they would most like to face and against the team they most fear. But instead, he was biased against every team and slow counted every pin attempt from every team. The out-of-ring Animals kept interfering with no particular goal apparent. O’Haire & Jindrak look to have potential. O’Haire hit his Seanton move, which looks cool. Cajun was good when he was in. The rest weren’t all that good when they were in. Kronic cleaned house and had Palumbo up for the High Tide but Vampiro & Muta attacked them. Kronic tossed everyone out and then hit the Meltdown on Palumbo but Disco wouldn’t count the pin. Lt. Loco then ran in and slugged Disco and took over as ref, counting the pin when Kronic nailed Palumbo with the High Tide. It made no sense for a member of the Misfits to aid Kronic when there were two Misfits (Rection & Cajun) also in the match. But then, not much made sense in this match.
Jeff Jarrett did a promo and said Booker T had better have eyes in the back of his head.
BILLY KIDMAN beat SHANE DOUGLAS in 8:22 in a strap match. Douglas said Kidman wasn’t man enough to handle a gal like Torrie Wilson. He had the nerve to bring up that issue after being the only male under the age of 97 who couldn’t be aroused by her? Kidman started off tripping Douglas with the strap. They went to the floor and Douglas got posted. Torrie distracted Kidman and Douglas took control. Douglas whipped Kidman with the strap. Kidman came back with a Frankensteiner. He ripped Douglas’ shirt off and strapped him. Kidman scored some twos. Torrie swung at Kidman with her high-heel shoe (Mark Madden said she turned heel, which was funny) but hit Douglas. Kidman only scored a two, so that proves Miss Elizabeth’s high-heels were more effective. Douglas dropped Kidman on the ropes, though he actually missed them. Douglas got two with the Pittsburgh Plunge. Douglas then collided with Torrie in a real weak collision and Kidman pinned him with the Kid Krusher. Afterward, Kidman was spanking Torrie’s butt with the strap but Douglas saved her and “hung” Kidman from the corner with the strap. Big Vito made the save but then Reno ran in and attacked Vito, with the announcers wondering why.
Booker T arrived driving his own car. I thought the champ got a stretch limo? Anyway, Jarrett assaulted him and slammed the car door three times on his bad knee. It was a good angle.
MAJOR GUNNS beat MISS HANCOCK in 6:41. The rules were that you had to strip your opponent to win, and there was also a mud pit in the back. This actually wasn’t as bad wrestling-wise as you’d think. Hancock hit a halfway decent handspring elbow. Madden was putting the match over like crazy. Toyota vs. Shimoda it wasn’t, but it was a very small step above the usual catfight. And beauty-wise it was great, with lots of provocative camera shots. Hancock missed a cross body and sold that it hurt her stomach. They fought back to the mud pit, stripping each other more and more. Into the mud they went. Hancock then began clutching her stomach in pain and collapsed, with Gunns pinning her. I thought you won by stripping your opponent? Anyway, Hancock sold it big and the commentators acted like this wasn’t “part of the script”. David Flair ran out and was all concerned. Gunns was upset, too. Hancock was stretchered out as the commentators began referring to her by her real name (Stacy Keibler). I guess they’re going to do a pregnancy angle. If they have to copy the WWF, at least copy good angles and not tasteless angles that flopped.
STING beat DEMON in 0:51. Before the match, Vampiro warned Demon there would be serious consequences if he lost. The commentators brought up the fire angle involving Sting, which is one of those angles they should just pretend never happened. Sting repelled down from the ceiling and squashed Demon with the Scorpion Death Drop is less than a minute. So they had Sting come down from the roof for a mid-card squash. Vampiro & Muta attacked Sting afterward but Demon didn’t help his allies, and instead just left. Kronik then came out and rewarded Vampiro & Muta for attacking them earlier by offering them a tag title shot.
The doctor was shown working on Booker’s injured knee.
LANCE STORM beat MIKE AWESOME to retain the U.S. Title (which Storm calls the Canadian Title) in 11:22. This was really weird. They’ve actually done a good job building Storm up. And when he came out and ran down the U.S. in front of the Canadian crowd, he got a great reaction, even though it went on too long. Then, they basically made him look like a loser in front of the whole world, especially his Canadian fans. Storm said that according to WCW’s Rule 32-B he has a right to name a special ringside referee and to demand Canadian rules for a match in Canada. Jacques Rougeau was the Canadian ref. The match began and it was fine as far as work goes but then the angles began. Awesome dominated early. Storm hit a missile kick. Awesome slipped doing a rope spot and the fans laughed but he quickly recovered. Storm blocked Awesome from bombing him through a table. Awesome then hit a regular powerbomb and the ref counted three. Actually, Storm got his shoulder up in time but they pretended he didn’t. Awesome was declared the winner but Rougeau said that Canadian rules require a five count and overruled the ref. Madden was funny explaining that since Canada uses the metric system, five is about the same as three. So the match continued and Awesome hooked the Dragon Sleeper. Scott Hudson brought up that Ultimo Dragon, inventor of the Dragon Sleeper, had at one time held ten belts at the same time, so someone did their homework. Storm submitted but Rougeau said titles can’t change on a submission under Canadian rules. They started again and after some good action, Awesome hit a frog splash and scored a five count, but Rougeau ruled that the man pinned, under Canadian rules, also had a ten count to get back up and if he did, the match would continue. Storm got back up and the match began again. Awesome superplexed Storm through a table and both stayed down. Rougeau announced that when that happens under Canadian rules, they both have a ten count to get up and if one man beats the count, he wins. Both were getting up but Rougeau slugged Awesome so it was Storm who made it up and “won” the match. Talk about a Pyrrhic victory. Afterward, Bret Hart came out to a good pop and hugged Storm.
Kevin Nash cut a promo on Goldberg. Madden said if Goldberg no-shows he owes someone $300, which was a shoot reference to Brad Siegel’s ruling that wrestlers will be fined for tardiness or no-shows. The funniest part was that Tony Schiavone didn’t know what Madden was talking about.
GREAT MUTA & VAMPIRO defeated KRONIK to capture the WCW World Tag Titles in 9:04. This match was apparently arranged because Kronik didn’t want to lose the titles on Nitro to the Filthy Animals, so they dropped them to some bigger guys instead. You know things are out of whack in the locker room when Kronik has creative control. Muta did a couple of moves but otherwise this was real bad. Mostly power moves by Kronik and some low blows from Vampiro. There was no heat, even after Brian Adams did a hot tag to Bryan Clarke. Muta again misted the ref by accident. It was becoming a real mess when the Harris Boys made their return and laid out Kronik. Muta moonsaulted Adams and got the pin as the ref revived.
Booker T did a hot promo and said Jarrett would have to kill him to get the belt off him.
KEVIN NASH won a three-way over BILL GOLDBERG and SCOTT STEINER in 10:46. They played Goldberg’s music but he didn’t come out, supposedly no showing. The camera focused for a long time on a “Goldberg fears Gillberg” sign in the crowd, which was either a big mistake or an inside joke, and it could be either in WCW. Steiner and Nash brawled to the floor, but after about a minute Goldberg arrived with taped ribs and hit Nash with a chair. Steiner threw Goldberg in the ring but Goldberg sent him right back out. Nash went in and hit Goldberg in his injured ribs. Steiner then nailed Nash and scored some twos. Steiner got on the ref for supposedly not counting fast enough. The match wasn’t very good but had okay crowd heat. Nash went to jackknife Goldberg but Goldberg pushed him away with Nash acting like he didn’t understand what Goldberg was doing. The shoot-angle then began, with the commentators acting like Goldberg was “supposed” to take the jackknife but wasn’t following the script. Goldberg walked out. Vince Russo met him in the aisle and told him to get back in the ring but Goldberg used the “F” word to him and kept on walking. Anyway, Nash and Steiner continued the match with the announcers acting like they were improvising since Goldberg’s “shoot” departure had thrown them off script. Good grief! Nash dropped Steiner face-first on the turnbuckle, with Madden selling it huge as the Snake Eyes, which is what that move was called when Nash wrestled years ago as the forgettable Vinnie Vegas character. Madden was a riot throughout this show. There was a lame ref bump. Midajah gave Nash a low blow. He went after her but Steiner made the save. Nash finally won with the jackknife to earn a world title shot. Schiavone said Goldberg had refused to take the jackknife but acted like Steiner had been more agreeable and had carried the match through.
BOOKER T defeated JEFF JARRETT to retain the WCW World Title in 14:29. Schiavone mistakenly introduced this as a tag title match. Jarrett immediately went for Booker’s bad knee, which Booker sold big time. They went to the floor and Jarrett got crotched. Booker went for a missile kick but with his bad knee couldn’t get the right position and Jarrett deflected it. Jarrett wrapped the knee around the post and hit it with a chair. He hooked the sharpshooter but Booker made the ropes. Booker made a comeback and scored some surprise twos on Jarrett. Booker managed to hit an axe kick but the ref got bumped and Jarrett took the opportunity to bust a guitar on Booker. Jarrett locked on the figure four but Booker again made the ropes. Jarrett tried to hit Booker with the title belt but hit the ref instead. Booker rebounded yet again and put Jarrett through a table from off the ring apron as a substitute ref ran in. Booker could have won by count-out here, as Jarrett was selling it as a killer blow, but he wanted to win straight-up so he tossed Jarrett back in. Jarrett nailed the new ref with a chair and then gave Booker the Stroke on chair, but there was no ref for the count since (duh!) Jarrett had KO’ed him. A third ref arrived. Booker gave Jarrett a really messed up neckbreaker but came back with the Bookend (chokeslam) for the pin. Good main event.
2001 – Jeff Hardy defeats Rob Van Dam in Chicago, Illinois for the WWF Hardcore Title, starting his second reign with the belt.