Jessie and I came up with this project after we were both working on different pieces for the blog. Over lunch one day and an e-mail exchange, we came up with the “Television Time Remaining” project. Here’s how this works, a year of TV will be looked at and the main event of each episode will be covered here. If there is a double main event, then both matches will be reviewed. The title of the project comes from back in the day on territorial TV where the ring announcer would say as he was introducing the main event “scheduled for one fall or television time remaining”. I'll be looking at WCW Saturday Night 2000, the final year of the once historic show. Shows with original matches only ran through April, so that’s what will be looked at here. Hopefully this project will unearth some hidden gems.
David Flair/Crowbar vs. Lord Steven Regal/Dave Taylor (1/8/00) – 6
Opening move of this match was awesome as Flair walked up to Taylor and just got blasted with one of the stiffest uppercuts I’ve ever seen. Flair looks like a slob, wrestling in a Nitro Grill t-shirt and jeans. Crowbar’s offense was just nuts, diving off the apron and throwing people into guardrails. Nice top rope double underhook suplex from Regal. Finish looked kind of goofy with Taylor visibly checking to see where the other two were and then giving Flair a suplex a landing in such a way that it was clear Crowbar was going to hit him with a pipe. Aside from that, I really liked this match as it had just about everything.
Hardcore Match: Norman Smiley vs. Bobby Eaton (1/15/00) – 2
Yes, Bobby Eaton was still around WCW during this time which just goes to show that you never know who will pop up on Saturday Night. There wasn’t much to this one as the show was pressed for time and Eaton worked Smiley over with really awful looking broom shots. Finish was odd as they had to wrap it up and no one had any clue how to do so so Norman just covered Eaton randomly for a three count.
David Flair/Crowbar vs. PG-13 (1/22/00) – 5
This started off really wild with Flair and Crowbar attacking PG-13 in the aisle and Crowbar doing a wild dive. Wolfie tried a senton backsplash that missed but he got some huge air on. Crowbar is just completely nutty, stacking up PG-13 and then doing a moonsault on top of them. Wild finish with a huge brawl between the four, JC Ice hitting Crowbar with a hubcap and then Flair hitting Ice with a crowbar (the physical object, not his partner).
The Mamalukes vs. Ashley Hudson/Kory Williams (1/29/00) – 3
This felt flatter than a month old open bottle of Coke (or Pepsi if you prefer). Hudson and Williams were nothing really but cannon fodder for the tag champs. In defense of this, I will say that this was more competitive than I expected. Hudson definitely showed more fire than his partner, who just sort of stood on the apron wondering about whether or not the payoff for working this match would cover the mortgage payment. Vito did pretty much all of the work here with Johnny the Bull coming in for a brief spurt of offense.
Sid Vicious vs. Al Green (2/12/00) – 1
Exactly what would be expected from a Sid Vicious match on a C-level show. 30 seconds is all this went as it was over after a chokeslam and a powerbomb. Post-match shenanigans from Jeff Jarrett and The Harris Brothers were longer than the actual match itself.
Lex Luger vs. Van Hammer (2/19/00) – 3
Somebody call the missing persons department, we’ve had a Van Hammer sighting ... not that anyone really missed him anyway. Both guys just sort of bumbled through this with Hammer dishing out powerslams and shitty punches and Luger flatbacking for every bump. I dig the all black with neon green trunks Luger has though. The hardest hit of the match was when Elizabeth hit Hammer full force with a bat right in the ankle.
Career vs. Title Match: Lord Steven Regal vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (2/26/00) – 6
The first half of a double main event and this is as big as it got on C-level WCW TV shows in 2000. Duggan here was defending the TV Title that he found in a trash can the previous week against Regal, who was putting his career on the line. Duggan looked completely sloppy wrestling in a janitor outfit that was about two sizes two big. As usual Regal’s selling and facials were great and helped make the match more enjoyable. Regal worked some brief mat offense to counter Duggan’s constant brawling and punching. Duggan hit an awful looking charge and polished off Regal. A fun match and one of the better matches I’ve seen during this project.
PG-13 vs. The Mamalukes (2/26/00) – 4
And here’s the other half of the aforementioned double main event. This was going along at a pretty good clip until it hit the end which has about as much heat as an Alaskan winter day. J.C. Ice did not play a very good Ricky Morton with the face in peril segment and Johnny the Bull showed he was about as compatible with wrestling as a Rock Band 3 drumset is for Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. As I mentioned, ending was heatless and convoluted with Disco running around interfering with a pinfall attempt and shoving Wolfie D off the top rope. Maybe the caffeine from the Surge he was drinking during the match kicked it all of a sudden? Best thing I liked was Wolfie D laying out Johnny with a hubcap.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Fidel Sierra (3/4/00) – 3
Sierra was all over the AWF project and I wasn’t really impressed with him. Here he started off by hitting Duggan from behind with one of the weakest belt shots on record. I figured the match would be more hard hitting than what was presented. Sierra was throwing bad punches and flat backing every single bump. Duggan’s simplistic offense of clotheslines and punches wasn’t much either.
Jeff Jarrett vs. The Demon (3/12/00) – 3
This was for the U.S. Title. Yes, you read that right, The Demon got a U.S. Title shot! Couldn’t really get into this as it only went about 5-6 minutes. Jarrett controlled the whole bout and Demon got a mugging from the Harris Brothers at ringside. I wonder who thought Demon was a viable contender for such a prestigious title? I wonder if that person was unemployed soon after? Move along, nothing to see.
Billy Kidman/Torrie Wilson vs. The Artist/Paisley (3/18/00) – 4
It was perfectly obvious that the girls were nowhere near ready for in-ring combat. Kidman and The Artist picked up right from where they left off the previous week with some decent ring work. Finish was a mess with some of the worst ref distracting I’ve ever seen and interference from Juvi and Psychosis who looked like they were completely out of it after doing some lines in the back. Perfectly fine main event for a show of this caliber.
Flag Match: Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Fidel Sierra (3/25/00) – 4
This was marginally better than their match at the beginning of the month. Stipulations here were that the loser could never wave his flag again. We get some brawling on the outside and then Sierra working a weak chin lock. Match had a built-in story which was nice. Finish came from out of nowhere with Duggan dropping the knee. Some okay work but still, not a great effort by any means.
6-Man Hardcore Battle Royal w/ Brian Knobbs, Norman Smiley, Adrian Byrd, Rick Fuller, Dave Burkhead, and The Dog (4/1/00) – 5
Quite the odd roster of participants in this match. Typical of any hardcore match with lots of trash cans, metal lids, and ladders but everyone was just laying in the shots hard here. I thought it was weird that you had to climb a pole to get the belt but then again WCW 2000 is pretty weird. Byrd showed up dressed in Adidas gym clothes, like he just rolled off the couch to run and grab some drive-thru and got suckered into this. Burkhead got a stiff, stiff ladder to the face. I enjoyed this match much more than a lot of stuff I saw recently and provided a fun way to cap off the final episode.
Some final thoughts on these. Saw some fun matches early on but February and March provided some very lean content. Lots of random people popped up throughout the year as well such as Barry Horowitz, Chuck Palumbo, Robert Gibson, Shark Boy, Silver King, El Dandy, Los Villanos, and Tommy Rogers among others. For hardcore WCW fans, this would be an interesting watch. For fans who haven’t seen much WCW, I think I’d start with a run of Nitro or something. Yearly grade: C.