WCW Wednesday: Part XXIII – the Reboot Edition!

I’m not a big fan of WCW from 2000, but a very important episode of WCW Monday Nitro aired on April 10, 2000 that I cannot ignore.

Let me begin with a little background on the happenings of WCW during this time:

  • They hadn’t won a Monday night ratings battle since 10/26/1998.
  • On October 5, 1999, Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara were hired away from the WWF by WCW.
  • Supposedly, Russo wanted to book Tank Abbott as WCW World champion at Souled Out 2000 due to the injuries of Bret “Hitman” Hart and Jeff Jarrett. After the idea got squashed, Russo left and was replaced by Kevin Sullivan.
  • At Souled Out 2000, despite Chris Benoit’s, Eddie Guerrero’s, Perry Saturn’s, and Dean Malenko’s impending release the following day, Sullivan booked Benoit to win the WCW World title against Sid. Subsequently, Benoit would forfeit the title the following day.
  • Ratings from 1/17/2000 to 3/27/2000 showed that Nitro lost by margins of 2.95, 0.75, 3.75, 3.75, 0.74, 3.25, 3.9, 3.6, 3.9, 3.7, and 4.0 to RAW. So something needed to change ASAP.
  • Time-Warner returned both Eric Bischoff and Russo to replace Sullivan.

So, on April 10, with current storylines and titleholders not selling to expectations, WCW performed a reboot. Let’s see what transpired:

  • At the beginning of Nitro, Russo gave a monologue stating that the “New Blood” had been infused within WCW after Russo’s arrival in October, but the “Good Ol’ Boys” couldn’t handle it.
  • Next, he disparaged the direction WCW took upon his leave of absence noting the departures of Benoit, Saturn, Guerrero, and Malenko a.k.a. the Radicalz.
  • Suddenly, Bischoff appeared and hugged Russo.
  • Bischoff then teased Sid about softball season.
  • Russo then besmirched “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
  • Afterward, he vacated all the titles within WCW minus “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan’s World TV title. I believe it was either overlooked or insignificant.
  • Before Sid relinquished the World title, Bischoff teased him about scissors.
  • DDP pinned Luger.
  • Later on, Tank Abbott embarrassed Mark Madden.
  • Billy Kidman beat Hulk Hogan thanks to a chair shot by Bischoff.
  • Flair cut a promo in the ring and was confronted by “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner. Shane Douglas then attacked Flair.
  • Sting defeated Sid by count-out thanks to the Wall.
  • Jarrett pinned Curt Hennig thanks to Shawn Stasiak’s distraction.
  • Flair beat Douglas by DQ thanks to Russo and a baseball bat.
  • Nash cut a promo, mentioned Scott Hall, and was ambushed by ECW World champion Mike Awesome.
  • A white Hummer containing Bischoff and Kidman crashed into Hogan’s limo. CRASH TV at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.
  • DDP pinned Sting. Afterward, Jarrett nailed Kimberly with his guitar rather than DDP.
  • After Jarrett and DDP brawled, the “New Blood” fought with the “Millionaires Club” to end the show.

So where did it lead:  Nitro still lost to RAW 6.15 to 3.1. While WCW was a distant #2 to the WWF by this point, they also were in major financial trouble and would be sold within a year.

What do you think of the WCW reboot in 2000?

Please be sure to check out all of my reflections at rockstargary.com.