New Blood Rising
Date: August 13, 2000
Location: Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden
I’m really not sure what to say about this one. It’s borderline legendary in how horrible it is due to the levels of Russo pumped into it with one match in particular. I’ve seen this show a few times before and every time I watch it I can’t believe what I’m seeing. There’s no way around this so let’s get to it.
First and foremost: is there a reason this show is named after the New Blood when they haven’t been a thing in about a month at least?
As I load this up on the Network, I keep expecting some warning to pop up telling me it’s not worth it.
The opening video shows Jeff Jarrett breaking a bunch of guitars over various people. Then we cover the real main event of Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash vs. Scott Steiner in what is being teased as a shoot. As opposed to all the other matches which are worked shoots you see. This one is going to be a REAL shoot.
In an odd camera shot, we see the New Blood Rising logo in the corner of the arena but it’s quickly covered by pyro from one of the ring corners. Who shoots from there?
3 Count vs. Jung Dragons
This is a double ladder match for 3 Count’s recording contract as well as their gold record. Tank Abbott is with 3 Count and has a shirt with the nipple areas cut out for no apparent reason. So 3 Count wants the record because it’s theirs and the Dragons want the contract so 3 Count can never record again. I’m not even going to try to make sense out of this mess. Oh and you have to tag in a ladder match.
Jamie and Shane get things going but everyone realizes that this is a ladder match so they sprint up to the entrance to make this interesting. Shannon makes a quick save on Yang as Tony thinks he’s going for the gold record because the ladder is hung underneath it. Ignore the fact that the contract is on top of the record so he’s under both of them. Yang gets crotched on a ladder in the corner as the fans are way more quiet than they should be for a six man ladder match.
Shannon splashes Yang and covers for a second because no one understands the rules of this mess. Three straight splashes crush Yang against a ladder in the corner as Scott asks the stupid question of what label is on the contract. Yang gets up again, only to be down onto the top rope. This hasn’t been his night so far.
3 Count goes outside so Jamie can hit a huge dive for a good reaction. We get a second ladder so Shannon can pull Yang off with a sleeper drop. Shane neckbreakers Jamie off as well, leaving Evan to suplex Kaz down to put all six on the mat in a heap. Yang gets a ladder superkicked into his face but the Dragons come back with a pair of spinwheel kicks to get one of their only advantages.
Kaz charges into a powerslam on the ladder as Evan seems to have a bad ankle. Shannon does a springboard over the top to catapult the end of the ladder into Jamie and Shane’s faces. That always looks sick. Shannon is thrown back in and gets splashed by two Dragons, allowing Jamie to grab the gold record. Not that it matters as Tank knocks him out and steals it back, earning himself some homophobic chants.
Evan gets crushed between a ladder as Tony yells at Madden for not understanding the logic behind this match. Jamie powerbombs Shannon off the ladder but Tank shoves over both ladders to take out a member of each team. Evan climbs up and gets the contract for the win (I guess?).
Rating: B. Enjoy this one people because it’s the last good match you’re going to see for about two hours. These six guys would give the fans everything they could and then be asked to do it again week after week because WCW didn’t care about any of them. I know Russo’s mantra continued to be about pushing the young guys, but giving them the same matches over and over again without letting them get anywhere isn’t a push. Still though, fun stuff here, even if it was nothing compared to what Edge and Christian and company were doing at the time.
Tank leaves with the record and the contract.
The Filthy Animals want to referee the Tag Team Title match. As in four referees in an eight man match. On top of that, they want a shot tomorrow night. Rey promises to make sure Cat beats Great Muta as an incentive.
Great Muta vs. The Cat
Cat talks some trash and hits Muta in the head with the mic to get things going. Some kicks set up a dancing elbow (I love Rock but good night I wish the People’s Elbow wasn’t copied so much) but Muta grabs the arm as Hudson talks about the “legitimate heat” between these two. Tony goes on about how lame “the marquee says wrestling” line is as the fans want Bret. Cat fires off some strikes but is mesmerized by the power of Muta’s bald spot, allowing Muta to kick him back down.
Cue Tygress (fans: “WE WANT PUPPIES!”) as Cat kicks Muta out to the floor. Back in and they hit each other a few more times until Muta snaps off a dragon screw leg whip to take over. Muta misses the moonsault but sprays green mist at Cat. This isn’t a DQ for whatever reason, allowing Tygress to hit Muta with a chair for two. Instead Cat fires off a bunch of kicks for the pin.
Rating: D-. Standard Nitro match here (yeah a D- is pretty standard these days) with Cat showing why he should almost never be in the ring. He’s a great talker but that doesn’t mean he’s anything more than a guy who kicks a lot. Muta continues to look bored and I still don’t know why they brought him back in.
So we’re just under half an hour into the show and it’s been quite watchable to this point. That’s about to fall apart.
Buff Bagwell can’t find his mom.
Buff Bagwell vs. Positively Kanyon
This is Judy Bagwell on a pole, which means Kanyon drives her in on a forklift. See because she’s a bit overweight. For reasons that I’ll never understand, Kanyon wanted Judy to be his Kimberly. Kanyon calls her a battleax a few times until Buff finally figures out that his mom is on a freaking forklift in the arena.
Buff runs out to throw Kanyon over the barricade to start the fight in the crowd. I’m assuming you win by pin here but I doubt Russo ever got past “so we put her on a forklift.” They get back to the ring for the opening bell and Kanyon grabs a middle rope Russian legsweep for two. Kanyon cuts off the turnbuckle pad because this doesn’t have enough going on yet.
Buff jumps into a sitout Alabama slam for two and we hit the chinlock. The Kanyon Cutter is broken up and Buff drops him forehead first onto the exposed buckle for two. Now the Kanyon Cutter connects for two…..and here’s David Arquette, who hits Buff with a hard hat for two. A double Blockbuster is enough for the pin on Kanyon, winning Judy back for Buff…..I think?
Rating: F. The match itself was watchable at times but they brought David Arquette back for a two minute cameo. This was like watching a movie with a gorilla in a top hat and tails standing in the corner doing nothing. Judy on the forklift was such a distraction and really didn’t change anything, making the match a combination of boring and WHAT AM I WATCHING. In other words, the Russo Special.
Arquette gets a Kanyon Cutter post match.
Lance Storm arrives with a police escort. You would expect Storm to arrive on time.
Goldberg isn’t here due to a motorcycle accident. And so it begins.
Tag Team Titles: Kronik vs. Perfect Event vs. Misfits in Action vs. Sean O’Haire/Mark Jindrak
Kronik is defending, Rection and Cajun are representing the Misfits and the Filthy Animals (as in Mysterio/Disqo/Tygress/Juvy are ALL guest referees). Konnan sits in on commentary to give us a ridiculous thirteen people involved with one match. Before the match Disqo threatens everyone, saying he has the authority to have them wrestling polar bears in Nome, Alaska if they step out of line.
Palumbo and Adams start things off as Disqo is the in ring referee. Chuck is quickly sent to the floor so it’s off to Stasiak, who walks into a full nelson slam. Cajun vs. Jindrak now with Mark taking over via some technical stomping as the fans loudly chant…..something. O’Haire comes in to punch Clark, followed by a nice spinning kick to the head for two. A hard slam drops O’Haire but Disqo counts slow.
Rection comes in and gets a slow count as well as there are far too many empty seats opposite the hard camera. Tygress gives Rection a Bronco Buster but the General raises his boot to block Rey’s attempt. We get the Sting falling headbutt/low blow spot on Stasiak before it’s back to Cajun for the dancing punches. That means another slow count as the announcers have no idea whose side the Animals are on.
Rection comes in and starts cleaning house as everything breaks down. Palumbo’s great right hands stagger Rection and it’s off to a sleeper. Disqo checks the arm twice and slaps Rection in the face to wake him up. Palumbo superkicks Rection back down as the fans want Bret again. It’s off to Cajun who is quickly sent outside as everything breaks down again.
The Seanton bomb nails Clark but here’s the Dark Carnival to break up High Times to Palumbo. Clark gives Palumbo the Meltdown for the slowest two count yet so he yells at Disqo. High Times plants Palumbo again but here’s Lieutenant Loco to steal Disqo’s shirt and count the pin, thereby screwing over the Misfits in the process to keep the titles on Kronik.
Rating: D-. What in the world did I just watch? Instead of anything resembling a regular match, this was a bunch of quick segments with Disqo tying everything together (work with me here) until Chavo ran in for the completely illogical ending. I get the idea that Disqo wanted to give the Animals the easiest match possible tomorrow night but this was just WAY too much for what they were going for.
Jeff Jarrett accuses Pamela of wearing Okerlund out last night. He’s been looking for Booker all day long and the champ better have eyes in the back of his head.
Shane Douglas vs. Kidman
Strap match with wins via pinfall. Before the match, Shane says Kidman isn’t man enough to keep up with Torrie all night long (which is nothing like the story of X-Pac vs. Kane with X-Pac using the exact same line about Kane and Tori in a storyline that aired earlier in the year). Kidman ties up the legs to start and Shane is rather irritated. A legdrop gets one for Kidman as Madden goes over the benefits of having a shirt on here.
In one of the funniest and at the same time saddest moments of the show, the announcers try to make fat jokes about Torrie based on that video from Monday. How do you even keep a straight face on a line like that? Shane crotches him with the strap and chokes a bit, followed by the reverse Hennig neck snap (which is actually a cool move). Torrie gets in some choking of his own and it’s off to a knuckle lock of all things.
Since it’s just a knuckle lock, Kidman comes back with a hurricanrana out of the corner and the Low Down gets two. Kidman finally gets smart and takes Shane’s shirt off, meaning they can actually start using the strap for a change. Torrie accidentally hits Shane in the face with a shoe for a near fall, followed by the Pittsburgh Plunge to Kidman for the same. A quick Kid Crusher (Killswitch) gives Kidman the pin.
Rating: D. Another match where there was no need for a gimmick because Russo doesn’t get how to actually run matches. Kidman getting the win was good but the Torrie factor is really starting to drag. The stuff where she used to be with Kidman was fine but I’m supposed to care that she used to be overweight? It doesn’t quite work when she’s a bombshell and one of the best looking women ever in wrestling.
Kidman spanks her with the strap so Shane hangs him in the corner, drawing Vito out for the save. Reno sneaks in from behind and gets beaten up by Vito as well.
Booker arrives and Jarrett attacks him by slamming Booker’s knee in the car door.
Miss Hancock vs. Major Gunns
Rip off the Camouflage and of course there’s mud. An early slap starts the catfight and Hancock does a Muta handspring elbow. Madden gets right to the point and says he wants to see these two naked. Gunns gets a jackknife cover for two in the ring because the rules are still all over the place. Hancock rips off the top to reveal more camouflage and I’m sure you get the idea here.
After a facebuster gives us the upskirt shot, Hancock loses the bottom half of her dress to reveal camouflage shorts. A cross body gets two for Hancock but she charges into a foot to the stomach. Hancock misses a cross body and goes to the floor holding her stomach. Oh here we go.
Gunns gets posted and Hancock rips off the shorts to reveal a swimsuit bottom. They head up the aisle with Hancock losing her top. Gunns gets sent into the mud and drags Hancock with her as Madden is calling himself daddy. Hancock gyrates a bit and goes down holding her stomach again, allowing Gunns to get an easy pin.
Rating: F. Do I really need to explain this one? The women looked good in their outfits but they’re horrible in the ring and the ending made it even worse. This stuff stopped being interesting a long time ago because EVERYTHING is an angle. You get numb to this stuff after a while and we passed that point nearly eight months ago with Russo.
David Flair dives into the mud to check on Hancock. To get this over with as quickly as we can: yes she was supposed to be pregnant and yes Russo was probably going to be revealed as the father because in Vince Russo’s WCW, he gets to sleep with Miss Hancock. Of course this is treated in the serious voices and made to be something real. Yes really real.
The Dark Carnival wants Demon to prove himself.
The announcers are all serious again and use Hancock’s real name to make sure this is as shooty as possible.
Sting vs. The Demon
Sting repels in from the ceiling and wins with the Death Drop in less than a minute, which included a brawl in the aisle.
Vampiro and Muta come in to beat down Sting. Kronik comes in for the save as Demon walks by the brawl. For no logical reason, Kronik offers to put the titles on the line tonight.
Booker’s knee is being worked on.
US Title: Mike Awesome vs. Lance Storm
Storm, with a bit of a mouse under his eye, is defending and gets the big Goldberg entrance. You can see that Storm is really proud to be here as he talks about getting to wrestle in the greatest country in the world tonight. The extra security is due to his hatred in America and he’s worried about a terrorist attack in the back. It’s not his fault that he threatens the American illusion and he defeats another American hero tonight. As for this match, he’s using rule 32B of the Canadian rule book to appoint a special referee: Jacques Rougeau! As in the Mountie! And not Bret Hart!
After a full rendition of O Canada (which is a big deal here and “not a work” according to Tony), we’re ready to go with Madden in tears. Rougeau will be the outside referee as Awesome hammers away, only to be sent shoulder first into the post. They head outside and Awesome loads up a table, drawing the required ECW chants.
Storm drives him into the barricade for a break but Awesome snaps off a belly to belly back inside. Mike slips off the top to a lot of jeering but quiets the fans down with a wicked sitout Awesome bomb for the pin and the title. That was a VERY close pin and Rougeau says no, which actually seems fair in this case.
We’re not done yet though as Rougeau has the Canadian rule book, which says you need a FIVE count. I didn’t know King Kong Bundy was Canadian. Tony: “Did this happen when we were in Toronto last year?” Awesome slams him for three before grabbing a dragon sleeper of all things for the tap out. I think you know where we’re going here.
The book says a title match is pinfall only so the match continues. Mike throws him down with a release German suplex and a slingshot shoulder gets four. You can imagine how screwy this must be for everyone involved. The Awesome splash gets give to give Awesome the pin (and Storm’s third job in about eight minutes) but this is Texas Death rules (in Canada?) so after a pin, Storm has until ten to get to his feet.
Mike throws a table in but gets chaired in the back for four. In theory wouldn’t you want the five count so you can have another eight or nine seconds to get up? Both guys go up and something like a belly to belly superplex puts both of them through the table. Rougeau rules that the first person to their feet by ten (huh?) wins. Mike is almost up first so Rougeau punches him out at seven to keep the title on Storm.
Rating: C-. I actually didn’t hate this as you could clearly see the idea they were going for. Now it was stupid to have Rougeau as the referee (Heidi would have actually made more sense) and to have the champ job that many times in one night, but there was at least an idea here. The bigger problem here of course is that Awesome didn’t cheat so Storm keeps losing over and over, but the live crowd was going to eat it up anyway. It’s over thinking as always, though it’s nowhere near as bad as it could have been. The action itself worked too so this was actually easy to watch.
Oh and here’s Bret Hart after the match for the Canadian pride moment. You know, because BRET HART would totally go for something like this. I’ve always thought that’s why he didn’t do the referee job here. Can you imagine Bret standing for something this stupid?
Nash doesn’t buy Goldberg’s motorcycle story and says he’s going over Steiner and getting the title back.
Tag Team Titles: Kronik vs. Dark Carnival
Kronik is defending in case you didn’t see them enough earlier tonight. Tony brings up Canadian rules and Madden slips up by saying Vampiro is from Canada, making the whole thing even screwier. Clark shoulders Vampiro for two to start and a big powerbomb gets the same. Muta gets choked in the corner and it’s back to Vampiro to get powerslammed for two.
It’s off to Adams and the villains start in on the leg….which goes nowhere as it’s quickly back to Clark for the Meltdown. For some reason there’s no cover so Muta mists the referee by mistake. Vampiro breaks up High Times but the Harris Twins of all people return to give Clark an H Bomb, setting up the moonsault for the pin and the titles.
Rating: D-. Good grief I can’t stand Vampiro. Every time I see him in a match, cutting a promo or just being there in general I can’t stand him. Now he gets a title, though given how insane this division has been lately, I can’t imagine him holding onto it for that long. The worst part here is the Harris Twins vs. Kronik, which could set a new standard for horrible.
Booker says Jarrett will have to kill him to take the title. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. As usual, this is a feud that is totally fine and has told a completely acceptable story of the old champion getting annoyed as the new star. The knee injury is find for a plot point to advance the story as well. However, almost no one remembers this because of how ridiculous the rest of this show is, which is really a shame.
Quick recap of the triple threat match, which is designed to look like a SHOOT. Not a “shoot”, but a SHOOT. They’ve been arguing over who has to do the job (using that term) and it’s going over the heads of 99% of the audience who just wants to see people fight.
Kevin Nash vs. Scott Steiner vs. Goldberg
The winner gets the title shot next month. No Goldberg to start due to the motorcycle accident. Tony tells us to pay extra attention to see if there’s anything out of the ordinary. Nash takes him outside to start and sends Steiner hard into the barricade. Here’s a taped up Goldberg about a minute in to go after Nash with a chair. With Nash down on the floor, Steiner clotheslines Goldberg and drops an elbow for two.
Goldberg comes back with a flying shoulder and the Bret Killer kick, drawing Nash up from the apron for a big staredown. Hudson tells stories about Starrcade 1988 (yes 1988) when Nash was on the booking committee and put himself over Goldberg. Steiner comes back in to save Goldberg and gets two off a belly to belly. Tony interprets Steiner yelling at the referee as him not being on the same page with everyone else.
Goldberg suplexes Steiner down but Nash clotheslines them both. A big boot drops Goldberg but the Jackknife is broken up. It looked like a simple counter but IT’S A SWERVE because it’s really him not following the script. Russo, in his MANLY sleeveless shirt, tells Goldberg to get back in but Goldberg walks to the back.
The announcers freak out that this is Goldberg not following the script, even though it looked like a pretty basic counter to the powerbomb. I love how we’re supposed to buy Kevin Nash and SCOTT STEINER as the professionals here. Tony: “What are they going to do now? Improvise?” This is just so bizarre to hear because it’s clear that they’re trying to sound like they’re shooting. There are shows where you can hear the raw audio and it sounds NOTHING like this, mainly because the announcers aren’t very good actors.
Midajah comes out as Steiner takes Snake Eyes. The referee goes down and Midajah hits Nash low to give Scott two. Nash fails at a DDT and goes after Midajah so Steiner grabs a sleeper. That goes nowhere so Nash kicks him in the face and the Jackknife is good for the pin. And that’s a shoot of course.
Rating: F. I can’t get mad at this. I’m trying and I just can’t do it. Stuff like the Hogan stuff last month and the Russo destroying Flair nonsense makes me angry but this was just……dumb. This felt like seeing a kid do something he wasn’t supposed to do and then listening to the ridiculous explanation that they come up with to try and get out of it. Instead of getting mad at them, it’s almost amusing to see them trying so hard to be clever and leaving so many holes in the story along the way.
I don’t think I have to explain why this was stupid and why it completely defeats the point of professional wrestling in the first place, but I really can’t get mad at it. Maybe it’s the shoot interviews that set it up or maybe I’ve just reached the point where Russo isn’t worth getting annoyed at anymore. It’s one thing to yell and rave about something stupid when it’s clearly for one person’s (namely Russo) benefit. Instead, this felt like Russo actually thought he had a good idea but he’s too stupid to realize how bad it was.
After sitting through the first two hours of this show, there are so many other things to get mad at. Like Judy Bagwell on a pole for instance. That felt much more cruel and low brow than this because it was all about Judy’s looks. The Hancock stuff is stupid because it’s not something I’m ever going to believe. This on the other hand felt like they were trying for something interesting and just failed, which is a lot harder to get mad about. It’s still stupid, but Judy Bagwell on a Pole is the far more infamous moment for a reason: that was lame and stupid whereas this was more a failure, which I can live with much easier.
Finally, this is a rare occasion where watching the TV leading up to it helps a lot. They basically said “yeah we’re going to do something stupid” for the last three weeks and then this is what we got. With the Hogan vs. Jarrett mess last month they treated it seriously and then did the stupid shoot. This time they basically advertised a screwy finish and you were watching to see how bad it was. On top of that, as lame as it was, you actually got a match. Steiner vs. Nash isn’t great but it’s better than “pin me, pay me.” It was a lame idea and didn’t work for most of the fans, but this could have been WAY worse.
Tony throws us to the recap video for the World Tag Team Title match, meaning Booker vs. Jarrett. I guess it’s the Andre the Giant coming out in him. We’ve covered this already: Booker won the title last month so Jeff is trying to get it back by injuring Booker’s knee in advance.
WCW World Title: Booker T. vs. Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett is challenging and Booker’s knee is in horrible shape coming in. Booker fights out of the corner to start and quickly takes it to the floor to send Jeff into the barricade. Back in and the champ crotches him against the post (Madden: “That’s a walk down Slapnuts Boulevard.”) but the missile dropkick hurts his knee again. You know you don’t have to ask Jeff to work on a limb twice so he wraps the knee around the post.
A chair shot crushes the knee even more and Booker gets caught in a half crab. That goes as far as a half crab is going to go so Booker grabs the spinning sunset flip out of the corner for two. A double clothesline puts both guys down and the knee is suddenly fine enough for an ax kick and Spinarooni. There goes the referee and Jeff blasts the knee with the guitar. Jeff grabs a bad looking Figure Four for WAY too long until Booker grabs the rope. The referee breaking the hold ticks Jeff off so we get a second ref bump.
Booker’s knee is fine again and they set up a table at ringside, only to have Booker do something like a Book End off the apron through said table. Jeff hits the new referee with a chair and then Strokes Booker onto the chair for two from a fresh ref. Booker tries a neckbreaker which turns into a Diamond Cutter (to be fair how often do you see a main event swinging neckbreaker?) onto the chair for two. The Book End retains the title.
Rating: C. This was fine, albeit overbooked. Booker vs. Jarrett is a good example of a pairing that really doesn’t need a lot of extras on the side and they would have been better just having a wrestling match. The ref bumps got annoying in a hurry but that’s the main event style of the time. Not a great match or anything, but it really needed to be something more simple.
The fans bail out immediately and pelt trash into the ring to end this mess.
Overall Rating: F+. I’ve heard this called one of the worst shows of all time, maybe even THE worst of all time and it just isn’t that bad. I wouldn’t even call it the worse show of the summer as Great American Bash offered NOTHING of value. This show had an entertaining opener and a totally fine main event which more than make this a better show than some of the others of this era.
Now that being said, this is another disaster on Russo’s watch because he can’t just leave well enough alone and let the show work. It’s not a good show but for the most part everything goes by fast enough (longest match is the main event at just under fifteen minutes) that it doesn’t really infuriate me. Stuff like the Judy Bagwell match and the Canadian Rules match (which at least got a really good reaction) are really more things you just roll your eyes at and move on to the next match.
The show is really bad, but its reputation is far worse than it actually is. At least with this one you have some entertaining matches and a feeling that they’re trying to do something positive instead of flipping the fans off and laughing at them for not getting behind the ideas. There are still WAY more problems here that need to be fixed and this show was horrible, but somehow it’s an improvement over some of the other stuff they’ve done this year.
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