Thunder – May 10, 2000

Thunder
Date: May 10, 2000
Location: Prairie Capital Convention Center, Springfield, Illinois
Attendance: 4,129
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay

Believe it or not, WCW had a good show earlier in the week to lead into this one. Above all else they slowed things down a bit and are finally acting like something resembling a wrestling company. We’re coming up on Great American Bash and it’s not really clear what the main event is going to be. Ric Flair was scheduled to be challenging Jeff Jarrett for the World Title but that might have been changed to Ric vs. his son David instead. Let’s get to it.

Read moreThunder – May 10, 2000

Monday Nitro – May 8, 2000

Monday Nitro #239
Date: May 8, 2000
Location: Trans World Dome, St. Louis, Missouri
Attendance: 6,545
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Mark Madden, Tony Schiavone

Sanity. I beg of you, let there be some sanity on this show. We’re FINALLY past the David Arquette title scene, meaning it’s time to start the build to Ric Flair vs. Jeff Jarrett for the World Title at the Great American Bash. Last night’s show was pretty much a disaster, which you could actually argue as a major upgrade. There might even be rules tonight! Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Nitro – May 8, 2000

Slamboree 2000

Slamboree 2000
Date: May 7, 2000
Location: Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri
Attendance: 7,165
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson

It’s time for the David Arquette pay per view with the triple cage match which has only been vaguely described on TV. Coming off this week’s Nitro and Thunder where there was barely any build for most of the matches, it’s really hard to get into this show. Maybe there will be some actual effort this time, though I have a feeling I’m going to be disappointed. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSlamboree 2000

Thunder – May 3, 2000

Thunder
Date: May 3, 2000
Location: Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee
Attendance: 3,979
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

It’s the go home show for Slamboree and David Arquette is still World Champion. They’ve done a horrible job of setting up the triple cage match as the gimmick has barely been mentioned outside of a video on it early in the buildup. Instead it’s all about David Arquette, who wouldn’t prove to be the strongest draw. Let’s get to it.

Read moreThunder – May 3, 2000

Thunder – April 26, 2000

Thunder
Date: April 26, 2000
Location: War Memorial, Syracuse, New York
Attendance: 1,269
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone

Before we get to perhaps the most humiliating moment in wrestling history, I need to know how you only get 1,200 people to a TV taping in 2000. Less than two weeks earlier, ECW drew 1,700 at the house show where Taz returned and won the World Title. The company is on the brink of a free fall and tonight it goes over the edge. Let’s get to it.

Read moreThunder – April 26, 2000

Monday Nitro – April 24, 2000

Monday Nitro #237
Date: April 24, 2000
Location: Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, New York
Attendance: 7,713
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden

I’m not sure where they’re supposed to go from here but something needs to change. Last week’s show was another mess to sit through as this era is starting off as a combination of boring and horrible with the bosses and Hogan being the featured attractions. Slamboree is in two weeks and the main event will be DDP vs. Jeff Jarrett in the triple cage. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Nitro – April 24, 2000

Monday Nitro – April 17, 2000

Monday Nitro #236
Date: April 17, 2000
Location: Metrocentre, Rockford, Illinois
Attendance: 4,345
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden

Now this is an interesting show as we’re officially into the Russo/Bischoff Era. They’ve had a week and a pay per view to set everything up so now they have no real excuses left. This is going to be the show where we see what their vision is supposed to be, complete with Jeff Jarrett and the New Blood on top. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Nitro – April 17, 2000

Spring Stampede 2000

Spring Stampede 2000
Date: April 16, 2000
Location: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 12,556
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson

It’s the night of a million tournaments because TOURNAMENTS ARE AWESOME. The company was rebooted six days ago so all titles are vacant and Russo and Bischoff are here with their latest spray painting stable with the word New in the name. The main event is Jeff Jarrett vs. Diamond Dallas Page for the World Title because the one thing from the last few boring months that needs to stick around is Jarrett in the title scene. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSpring Stampede 2000

Thunder – April 12, 2000

Thunder
Date: April 12, 2000
Location: World Arena, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Attendance: 3,118
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone

Now this is the interesting show for me as Monday was all about setting up this new world. This show is the first time where we get to see how things are going to work under the Russo and Bischoff regime. I thought Monday’s show was a disaster so maybe things can pick up tonight. Let’s get to it.

Read moreThunder – April 12, 2000

Monday Nitro – April 10, 2000

Monday Nitro #235
Date: April 10, 2000
Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 9,074
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson

It’s kind of hard to preview this show as it’s all about the company being reset. Russo and Bischoff are coming in to a bigger reception than Hogan back in 1994 because they’re writers and therefore more important than anything else. Since WCW is stupid, this is also the go home show for Spring Stampede, which has nothing set up so far. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Nitro – April 10, 2000

1993 WCW Disney tapings

As you may already know Eric Bischoff prides himself more as
a television producer than a wrestling promoter. The seeds of such thought were
planted back in the summer of 1993 during his first year as Executive Producer/Vice-President
of WCW.

Instead of the darker, papered crowd atmosphere in Macon, GA
or Dothan, AL Bischoff wanted to put bright lights, glitz, and glamour on WCW’s
television programming. For instance, from January to April of 1993 WCW
Worldwide was taped 9 times in seven different locations. The programs, while
entertaining, looked bland and boring compared to the higher production values
of WCW’s competitor, the World Wrestling Federation.
From July 7-10, WCW taped FOUR months of WCW Worldwide in
front of a papered (mostly tourist) crowd at the Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando,
FL.
Here is a list of the current champions heading into the
Disney tapings:
WCW World Heavyweight champion: Big Van Vader
NWA Champion: Barry Windham
US Heavyweight champion: held up after a controversial match
between “Ravishing” Rick Rude and Dustin Rhodes
World TV champion: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
WCW World tag team champions: The Hollywood Blonds
(“Stunning” Steve Austin and “Flyin’” Brian Pillman)
Let’s break down the highlights day by day:
Day 1 (7/7/1993):
For the August 28th episode Arn Anderson and Paul
Roma were taped as WCW World Tag Team champions in spite of the fact they had
not yet won the titles. Their title victory would take place on August 18 at
the Clash of the Champions as Lord Steven Regal had to be substituted for Pillman
due to an ankle injury.
Additionally, for the September 4th episode “Nature
Boy” Ric Flair was involved in a match as the NWA champion against Big Sky. In
actuality, he won the belt at the Beach Blast PPV over Windham on July 18.  This would not sit well with the NWA.
For the September 11th episode Ricky “The Dragon”
Steamboat was featured as the World TV champion against Denny Brown although he
was not yet the champion. He won the belt at the August 18 Clash.
Day 2 (7/8/1993):
During the September 18th episode Dustin Rhodes
was featured as the US Heavyweight champion in a tag match with Sting against Orndorff
and Chris Benoit. Rhodes actually won the belt against Rude on August 30 in
Atlanta, GA.
On the September 25th episode Regal defended the
World TV title against Keith Cole.  He defeated
Steamboat for the belt on September 19 in Houston, TX.
Also featured on that show were the WCW World tag team
champions the Nasty Boys. They won the titles from Anderson and Roma on
September 19 in Houston, TX.
On the October 2nd episode the Hollywood Blonds
were featured in a tag match but did not bring their title belts to the ring.
On the October 9th episode Rude was featured as
the new World Heavyweight Champion (formerly NWA champion) in a match against
David Dee.
The importance of this match derives from the withdrawal of
WCW from the NWA in September. The NWA felt that these tapings were a breach of
kayfabe. WCW withdrew their affiliation from the NWA making the belt worthless
in the process.
Day 3 (7/9/1993):
However, in an attempt to legitimize Rude’s championship,
WCW renamed the title the International World champion on its October 30th
episode. Rude would defeat Brady Boone on this show.
For the November 6th show Regal successfully
defended his not-yet-his TV title against Johnny B. Badd.
Day 4 (7/10/1993):
Also on the November 6th episode Rude won a
non-title match against Frankie Rose. While describing the match Tony Schiavone
recognized Rude’s title as a World title rather than just a “Gold Belt.”
On the November 13th episode despite being the
current TV champion Orndorff won a match while not showcasing the title since
Regal would be champion by this point. Furthermore Steamboat won a match but
did not possess a belt in spite of winning and losing the belt between the times
this match took place and when it would finally air.
For the November 20th episode the Nasty Boys were
featured again as WCW World tag team champions.
So, in spite of three PPV and two Clash of the Champions
broadcasts, WCW gave away months of booking plans within this 4-day span.
Although I cannot locate the specific instance, it has been documented that Sid
Vicious was taped as WCW World Heavyweight Champion. This video was supposed to
air after Starrcade ’93; however, on September 19 Sid and Arn Anderson were
involved in an infamous late night brawl overseas involving safety scissors.
Subsequently Sid was fired after several wrestlers threatened to quit. Flair
was inserted in Sid’s place.
While money was saved in the process of filming these shows WCW
had two problems on their hands. The first problem was fulfilling the title
changes. The Regal substitution on August 18 stands out as a glaring example of
what can go wrong. The second problem was the wrestlers’ attitudes after the
tapings. Since title plans were already put into place during the tapings, the wrestlers
who would not hold titles held grudges instead and their work ethic in matches
suffered. At the very least WCW would learn from this mistake and not tape wrestlers with titles for Worldwide in the future.
WCW lost $23 million in 1993 not because of the Disney
tapings but due to overestimated revenue. Having seen the extremely low
attendance figures for the house shows I can safely say that WCW lost money
whenever they stepped into a gym or an arena.  Amazingly, they even cancelled a show at the
Omni on July 3 dubbed “The Great American Bash.”

Wrestling in 1993 was no longer a mainstream product. The
positive mainstream attention wouldn’t resurface until 1996; however, the
negative stigma was due to the WWF steroid trials. With such a black mark on
the industry it was difficult for WCW to make a profit. The Disney tapings only
served to facilitate further losses. 
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