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Horrible / WCW

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"If, as the saying goes, an infinite number of monkeys, given an infinite amount of time, could sit at an infinite number of typewriters and eventually write Shakespeare's Hamlet, then two of them, in a half an hour, could book Nitro and Thunder."
DDT Digest on WCW Monday Nitro, May 9, 1999

WCW was once the second-most popular wrestling/sports-entertainment promotion in the United States (and even beat its chief rival, WWE, for a decent stretch of time). When you're that hot, you can do no wrong. But pride comes before a fall, and the sheer amount of terrible angles, nonsensical matches, backstage politics, bad financial decisions, bi-yearly fatalities, and appearances by Vince Russo led to a company worth $500,000,000 and backed by Ted Turner becoming, in a few short years, a hollow shell of a promotion bought by Vince McMahon for just $3,000,000. The rise and fall of WCW was so sudden that Figure Four Weekly and WrestleCrap co-wrote a book about it, The Death of WCW.

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    Championships 
  • The WCW International World Heavyweight Championship. This "title" was created from the ashes from WCW's ill-fated partnership with the NWA. When they broke up, the current NWA Champion Ric Flair was stripped of the title, but retained the belt since WCW actually owned it. So "WCW International", a completely fictitious subsidiary, was created and Flair was recognized as its "World Champion" (not to be confused with the actual WCW World Championship, held at the time by Vader). The whole thing was a mess, and while the International title did have some top-caliber champions (Sting, Flair, Rick Rude), it was mercifully ended in 1994 with a unification match with the WCW title.
  • Ready to Rumble. To promote the movie, WCW allowed actor David Arquette to win their heavyweight title, keep it for a good clip of time, then turn heel (with the overzealous Tony Schiavone calling it "the ultimate swerve!!"). For those who don't feel like reading, Smeghead talks about everything that happened in Part 2 of his review for the aforementioned movie.
    • Arquette's win would've been fine if they had reversed it the next week for not pinning the legal man. Arquette courageously entered the ring and awkwardly speared Eric Bischoff as Jeff Jarrett clobbered Diamond Dallas Page with the belt. This match was filled with tomfoolery and could hardly have been considered an athletic contest. Arquette was given no legitimacy for the win. He spent the next two appearances apologizing to DDP (as DDP was the champion going into that match, meaning that Arquette had accidentally taken Page's title when he won), trying to give the belt back and generally acting like he was scared to death he might have to defend it in a match against actual wrestlers. But they actually ran with it, turned David heel, and had him purposely lose the title to Jarrett. The entire company was made to look like a joke in order to pop ratings and tie in with a movie that most fans (at the time) thought was worse than No Holds Barred.
    • Even Arquette (a lifelong wrestling fan himself) fought against it since he knew it would annoy the fans, but he was contractually obligated. He quietly donated his paychecks to the families of Owen Hart, Brian Pillman, Bobby Duncum Jr., Brian "Mark Curtis" Hildebrand (all deceased), and Darren "Droz" Drozdov (paralyzed from the waist down following an in-ring accident), so at least some good came of it.
    • After the match, Kanyon came out in an attempt to save DDP from a beatdown, only for Kanyon to be tossed off the second tier of the cage onto the entrance ramp. This was an amazing bump, close to Foley's in terms of awesomeness. It occurred in the final 10 seconds of the PPV, and there were zero replays of it. So, basically, Kanyon almost died for 7 seconds of footage. Bonus Russo Points for doing it in the same arena Owen Hart died in.
  • Eric Bischoff himself held the WCW Hardcore Championship at one point. He gave it up a day later, but he defeated Terry Funk to win it in the first place. And in case you're asking, yes, it was inducted into WrestleCrap.
  • Amazingly, we had not yet reached rock bottom as Vince Russo, WCW World Heavyweight Champion (won from Booker T, no less), was soon to follow. Russo gave himself the title not long after he gave it to David, getting speared through a steel cage wall and winning via "escaping the cage" stipulation. The one good thing about Arquette and Russo's title runs were that they were mercifully short: Arquette held the belt for 12 days, and Russo only held it for a week. Russo did vacate the title, but still it's worth mentioning that after Goldberg dropped the belt at Starrcade 1998 there were 32 title changes in two years; Jerry Lawler himself would have to shake his head. And at least he traded titles with people who met at least two qualifications (athletic and over).
    • Just as an example: Russo's friend, Jeff Jarrett, became a four-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion in the span of a month and a half. Ric Flair beats Jarrett (2nd reign) to win the title. One week later, Russo strips Flair of the title and gives it back to Jarrett (3rd reign) on Nitro. Nash beats Jarrett to win the title on Thunder, the following Monday Nash hands the title to Flair who then turns around and loses it back to Jarrett (4th reign) the same night. The title changed hands five times in 14 days.
  • Of almost equal importance was the fate of the WCW World Television Championship. True, it was secondary silver in the championship hierarchy, but it had an uninterrupted history of over 25 years dating back to the company's NWA days, longer even than the WWE's own Intercontinental Championship title. Aside from that, the title had also served as a heat-building device in allowing heel wrestling champions to escape with it via a time limit draw of either 10 or 15 minutes from within a wrestling match, and its list of champions was a who's who of names that became legends of pro wrestling.note  The title itself was unceremoniously abandoned on November 29, 1999 by Scott Hall, who literally threw it in a dumpster after he decided onscreen that it was not worth defending. Granted, WCW had already reduced its value to that of scrap metal, but never before has a title belt been treated literally as garbage. It was fished out of the garbage by "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan a few months later, since he defended it a few times on WCW Saturday Night, but the title itself would soon be deactivated following WCW's reboot.
    • A few months before that skit, Benoit was on FAN 590 (original call letters of CJCL, owned by Rogers Media; now titled Sportsnet Radio 590-The FAN) in Toronto and was asked if he thought that there was a conspiracy to destroy the company from within. He said, "It appears that way".

    Pay-Per-Views 
Perhaps part of the reason fans have so much nostalgia for WCW is that a lot of them never bought a single PPV. If they had actually spent money on any of the following PPVs, they'd probably be furious.

  • The Great American Bash '91, which had the entire Baltimore audience switching back and forth between two reactions: sitting on their hands, and chanting "WE WANT FLAIR!" (including during the main event). They were protesting Ric Flair's firing just days earlier. Note that kayfabe was far from dead at the time, and Flair was the biggest heel in the company. Flair, meanwhile, would join the WWF, taking the NWA World Heavyweight Championship with him (since he wasn't paid back the $25,000 deposit he put down on the belt when he received it for the first time). Flair kept calling himself the "Real World's Heavyweight Champion" to antagonize then-champ Hulk Hogan...but everyone knew the Take That! was really meant for Jim Herd, who was running WCW at the time. As a result, the main event featured Barry Windham and Lex Luger in a steel cage, fighting for Dusty Rhodes' old PWF belt with a plate bolted over that read "WCW WORLD CHAMPION", since the new belt wasn't finished yet. It was capped off with the first of many unnecessary heel turns by Luger.
  • While most of the first World War 3 was at least okay at best, the titular Main Event gimmick match was an absolute mess in every sort of way.
    • The World War 3 gimmick itself. It's basically a Battle Royal with three rings and 60 wrestlers, 20 in each ring to start. Just like in a normal Battle Royale, you're eliminated when you're thrown out over the top rope, but otherwise you can go under the ropes and freely travel between the rings. Once enough wrestlers are eliminated from two of the rings, the rest must go to the main ring and it turns into a standard Battle Royale. All of this sounds simple, and from a live audience standpoint might be actually fun to watch. But then you realize you're also doing this live on TV and it starts to fall apart. Just to show all the action at once required three Picture-in-Picture feeds with two commentators each, which not only made it hard to follow any of the action due to the small size of the screens or even which commentator is on which feed, but not even the feeds could keep consistent, at one point two of the feeds were on the same ring just showing two different angles of a bunch of wrestlers trying to eliminate Hogan. It was a chore keeping track who was being eliminated and any good spots.
    • The whole clusterfuck that was WCW advertising "a giant in each ring", which tied into another clusterfuck known as The Yeti (aka "THE YETAY!"). The idea behind having "a giant in each ring" was to make sure Hulk Hogan had to face a giant no matter which ring he was in. The end result was Hogan being billed as one of the giants despite being the shortest of the Outsiders. How did this happen?
      • This all began with The Yeti, who was being built up in the weeks prior to Halloween Havoc '95. The original plan was to have him be played by Giant González (yes, the same Giant González who had stank up WrestleMania IX in one of the worst matches in history). However, González had visa issues and couldn't make it in time, so they instead had Ron Reis being wrapped up like a mummy to come out to do the spot in the main event, hoping to later unwrap him to reveal Giant González. Then Ron turned the Yeti into a joke with the double bearhug spot that both he and The Giant had inflicted upon Hogan, so they had to scrap the character and repackage Ron into Super Giant Ninja for World War 3...while still advertising The Yeti as part of the giants.
      • González still had visa issues leading to him being dropped entirely. So Plan B was this: Giant, Yeti, and The One Man Gang...the latter of whom was mysteriously dropped despite doing the promos for it, not to mention One Man Gang still appearing at the World War 3 battle royal. Plan C for this slowly-disintegrating mess was Giant Haystacks as "Loch Ness", a British wrestling legend who was way past his physical and athletic prime at that point. And that too fell though due to scheduling conflicts. Thus, due to already advertising three giants, they had to bill Hogan as a giant.
    • Then came one of the biggest reasons (apart from WrestleMania IX) on why you should never give Hogan any influence in booking. The original plan was for The Giant to eliminate Hogan by throwing him over the ropes, with Randy Savage winning the World Heavyweight Belt clean. However, Hogan got cold feet and changed the outcome, instead having The Giant throw him under the ropes, either to create controversy via a ref error or to just prevent Savage from getting the belt. So when did Hogan get cold feet? HALFWAY THOUGH THE DAMN MATCH. The result was Savage winning the belt...and Hogan once again stealing his thunder by bitching in the ring and trying to get the result changed by showing he went under the ropes. The crowd had none of it and this was truly and undoubtedly the start of the end of Hulkamania.
  • Every Uncensored PPV installment. The recurring concept of the event was that, in storyline, the (fictional) WCW Board of Directors washed their hands away from it, thus each match on the card was ostensibly unsanctioned, meaning they were not subject to the normal rules of WCW-sanctioned wrestling matches. In reality, it was a lackluster WCW show, albeit one with a tendency to feature more gimmick matches than usual...and not good ones.
    • The 1995 edition. When not just one match from it, but the entire pay-per-view gets inducted into WrestleCrap, you know you're having a rough time.
      • The most infamous bout from that show was Dustin Rhodes vs. Blacktop Bully (Barry Darsow, also known as Smash from Demolition and the Repo Man) in a King of the Road match, which was a match taking place in an open-air, moving semi truck full of hay with several chain link barriers set up. The winner would be the first one to ring a bell at the front of the truck. The entire match was slow and (due to the mobile nature of the match) it was hard to get good camera angles, which was compounded by filming this two minutes before sunset with cameras that had no white balancing, so half the match was in darkened shadows, and the wrestling was barely visible. This is not a match you should open a PPV with. To cap it off, both Rhodes and Darsow would be fired from the company immediately afterwards for blading during the match (which was against WCW's "no-blood" policy at the time).
      • Other matches would include Meng vs. Jim Duggan in a karate match, Johnny B. Badd vs. Arn Anderson in a "boxer vs. wrestler" match, and by those we mean "wrestling matches that look like karate and boxing matches", and Hulk Hogan vs. Vader in a strap match where A) Hogan's title was inexplicably not on the line and B) he pinned Ric Flair (who ran down to interfere) to win.
    • The 1996 edition:
      • The most infamous of all its matches was the Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage) vs. the imaginatively-named "Alliance to End Hulkamania": Two of The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair and Arn Anderson), the Dungeon of Doom (Lex Luger, Meng, The Barbarian, The Taskmaster), Z-Gangsta (portrayed by the same guy who played Zeus in No Holds Barred), and the Ultimate Solution (portrayed by the same guy that played Bane from Batman & Robin). Things got off to a bad start before the event even began: Ultimate Solution was originally named Final Solution until they realized that was a term for the Nazis' plan to exterminate Jews. The first 15 minutes of the match itself were basically them on top a triple-decker cage (like Hell in a Cell), and they had to fight their way through trap doors to the ring. It's incredible because nobody at all (including the commentators) knows what constitutes an actual victory, and you can tell who the actors are because they have no idea how to sell. Hogan and Savage, two men, somehow go over eight men. You could watch this match 50 times and still have no idea how they won...and one suspects they don't either. note  Bobby Heenan's attempts to sell the match fell flat, to say the least.
        Bobby Heenan: THIS IS GREAT TELEVISION HISTORY! THIS SURPASSES A SUPER BOWL, A WORLD SERIES, ANYTHING YOU WANT TO NAME! THIS IS TREMENDOUS!
      • That edition also featured a weird man-vs.-woman match between Col. Robert Parker and Madusa (setting up the lame wedding skit with Parker and Sherri Martel) and a boring street fight between The Road Warriors and the team of Booker T and Sting, where it soon becomes clear that the Road Warriors only have about 2 minutes of gas in them, Konnan defeating Eddie Guerrero to retain the WCW United States title (bringing the question of why a title is being defended on an "unsanctioned" show), and two matches, one between the Steiner Brothers and The Nasty Boys and the other between The Belfast Bruiser (Fit Finlay) and Lord Steven Regal (William Regal), which ended in a no-contest finish for the tag team match and a disqualification win for Bruiser, respectively (again, in what's supposed to be an "unsanctioned" show).
  • Slamboree '96. Not only was this the first Slamboree to exclude a Legends' match, but they also brought back the ill-fated "Battlebowl" concept (used at Starrcade '91 and '92, as well as its own pay-per-view in 1993) for its "Lord of the Ring" Tournament, where the winner would earn a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match at The Great American Bash '96.
    • First of all, unlike the previous Lethal Lotteries, there were two rounds of matches, with the winners of the first round advancing to the second round, and the winners of the second round advancing to the Battlebowl Battle Royal. Also, unlike the previous Lotteries, where the teams and matches were drawn on the day of the show, the teams were pre-drawn. The sixteen teams and opening round matches were as follows—Road Warrior Animal & Booker T vs. Road Warrior Hawk & Lex Luger, The Public Enemy (Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge, one of the few teams to remain together) vs. Chris Benoit & The Taskmaster, Rick Steiner & The Booty Man vs. Sgt. Craig Pittman & Scott Steiner, V.K. Wallstreet & "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. The Blue Bloods (Lord Steven Regal & Squire David Taylor; incidentally, Taylor was a substitute for The Belfast Bruiser, who was injured), Dick Slater & Earl Robert Eaton vs. Disco Inferno & Alex Wright (this was years before Disco and Wright became an official tag team known as the Dancing Fools aka the Dancing Idiots and Boogie Knights later on), Diamond Dallas Page (who had just been reinstated to WCW the week earlier) & The Barbarian vs. Meng & "The Laughing Man" Hugh Morrus, Fire & Ice (Scott Norton & Ice Train) vs. Big Bubba Rogers & Stevie Ray, and Ric Flair & Randy Savage (who were feuding at the time) vs. Arn Anderson & Eddie Guerrero.
    • In the very first match, Animal & Booker faced off against Hawk & Luger. Neither of the Road Warriors locked up against each other. In fact, both Road Warriors turned on their respective partners for the night, resulting in a double count-out and all four men being eliminated. What a way to start your tournament! In the other matches, Public Enemy beat Benoit & Taskmaster (which would lead to the Benoit/Sullivan feud), Rick Steiner & Booty Man beat Scott Steiner & Pittman (though both Steiners did face each other briefly), Wallstreet & Duggan beat The Blue Bloods, Slater & Eaton beat Disco & Wright, DDP & Barbarian beat Meng & Morris, Fire & Ice beat Bubba & Stevie, and Flair & Savage beat Arn & Eddie (where Flair and Savage attacked each other at every opportunity and Arn turned on Eddie during the match).
    • In the second round, the teams redrew opponents, but due to the very first match ended in a double count-out, one team at random was automatically drawn to the Battlebowl Battle Royal, which ended up being the team of Fire & Ice. In the first match, Slater & Eaton beat Wallstreat & Duggan. The next match had Flair & Savage facing The Public Enemy, which never even got started as Flair and Savage got into a brawl with each other, resulting in the ref declaring Public Enemy the winners by forfeit, and the last match had DDP & Barbarian beating Rick Steiner & Booty Man.
    • There were also three title matches that took place from within the pay-per-view. The first was Dean Malenko defending the Cruiswerweight Championship against Brad Armstrong. The second was Konnan defending the United States Championship against Jushin Thunder Liger. The last, and the main event of the pay-per-view, was The Giant defending the WCW World Title against Sting. All three champions successfully retained their respective titles and all three matches were simply okay, but relatively unimportant.
    • So, the Battlebowl Battle Royal came down to DDP, Barbarian, Ice Train, Johnny Grunge, Scott Norton, Dick Slater, Bobby Eaton, and Rocco Rock, one of whom would be the number one contender for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship...or so we thought. The winner had ended up being DDP, who would then unexpectedly end up losing his title shot the next night on Nitro after it was revealed that Page was thrown over the top rope with one foot hitting the floor. So, who ends up getting the title shot? Lex Luger, who was one of the first men eliminated from the tournament! Therefore, the Battlebowl Battle Royal, and by extension the "Lord of the Ring" Tournament at the pay-per-view itself, was absolutely pointless! The Battlebowl concept was never done again after this show. Fortunately though, one week later after this entire debacle had took place, Scott Hall made his WCW return, and the rest is history.
  • Roddy Piper's WCW run. The storylines made him look dumb, his replacement hip ensured all his matches were terrible via limited mobility, and he worked with Hogan who didn't care about anything but avenging the minuscule number of losses he'd taken in WWF, the epitome of this being: Why was the Piper vs. Hogan main event at Starrcade '96 a non-title match, despite it having been stated on Nitro that Piper set the stipulations for the match himself? Had to be some serious Hogan shenanigans to lose, but still keep, the belt in what is supposedly the biggest match of the year. (It was never stated that it was a non-title match, which had some people believing that Piper won the title.) This was not helped in the least by the following PPV...
  • Souled Out '97, aka the tipping point of Bischoff's mania. Riding in on garbage trucks for 10 minutes, with no voiceovers or music. Wrestlers in dad-jeans. All-black everything and the fisheye lens shots. Fake live bands. Eric Bischoff attempting to be cool. The "Miss nWo" contest. Jeff Katz and his silly questions. Poor Nick Patrick having to ref every match. Poorly-thought out production ideas ("Let's interview people in front of giant speakers, hyuck!"). Calling Eddie Guerrero a "Mexican Jumping Bean". It was a neat idea. If you can find the video of "Bryan and Vinny" reviewing the show, it's thoroughly entertaining, especially when it comes to the Miss nWo contest. It did 170,000 buys, which is the lowest WCW would do until 1999 and not really a shock when you don't have a full card going into the show. (Also not surprising that Eddie and Syxx can't be bothered killing themselves in a ladder match for 5,000 people in Cedar Rapids.)
    Dave Meltzer: Bischoff spent more time trying to get over that he knows karate and Scott Hall invented ladder matches than build drama into a damn good match [...] the show was about as much fun to watch as three hours of somebody masturbating. In fact, I'm not sure that isn't what we were watching.
    • Souled Out 2000 had Billy Kidman and Dean Malenko competing in a "Catch-as-Catch-Can" match which could be won by pinfall, submission, or both feet touching the arena floor. About two minutes in, Malenko actually forgot about that stipulation and went out of the ring like normal, meaning they had to end the match right there.
  • Starrcade '97. Many call the Finger Poke of Doom the beginning of the end, but for many it was really this match and what followed it.
    • No one was hotter than Sting in '97. The three biggest stories in the history of wrestling came to a climax that night: Sting's redemption, nWo vs. WCW, and Bret Hart's first PPV since the most infamous night in wrestling history. What everybody wanted was for Sting to go over Hulk Hogan cleanly, win the World Heavyweight Championship, and end the nWo once and for all. That's the one night in his whole career that Hulk Hogan needed to take a clean loss. They have a slow, plodding match (with fans chanting "Boring!" during it), Hogan hits the big boot, the leg drop, and...wins with a perfectly legit three-count from referee Nick Patrick. Before the bell can ring, however, Bret Hart comes out to prevent an "injustice", kicks out Patrick, and becomes the impromptu referee for a match that is still continuing, and Sting wins...we think? Who approved this? How is this allowed? Why? It made Sting look weak for losing clean to Hogan, and it made Hart look stupid for saying it was a fast count, sinking his post-WWF career. If you can't make a decision this simple and easy, there's no way you can compete with Raw.
    • The story which gets told is that Hogan paid the ref off. In Patrick's words (in a PWInsider interview), he had one side telling him to count fast and one telling him to count normally. We can assume the "sides" being Bischoff and Hogan. So to compromise, he counted medium-fast.
    • On Ric Flair's podcast, Bischoff claimed that Sting didn't come back in as good a shape as Hogan wanted (although adding he didn't have a tan is a bit much), so they had to improvise. Bischoff also alluded to the fact that Sting was fighting a bunch of personal demons at the time (drugs/alcohol/marriage) and wasn't all there mentally, hence him not contributing to the planning. Hogan had creative control and it looks like he was wielding it.
    • The rest of the show wasn't exactly better: Kevin Nash vs. The Giant didn't happen because Nash no-showed (he was pissed that Hogan had refused to defend the belt for over a month). Raven vs. Chris Benoit didn't happen because Benoit was hurt. Eric Bischoff vs. Larry Zybysko was a mess because the metal plate in Bischoff's shoe flew out early in the match, so everyone was left standing there like an idiot. Scott Hall attempted to do a run-in...only to receive a Sharpshooter from special referee Bret Hart. Hall tapped out, making Zybysko the winner...?
    • Sting/Hogan had a rematch on Nitro which was cut off (on purpose?). It was never made clear, but it was intended as a setup for Thunder, which was debuting the next week and would address the "title controversy". Then, Sting had his title stripped after Hogan complained to kayfabe then-commissioner James J Dillon. They had another rematch at SuperBrawl, the second PPV of the year, for the vacated WCW title. It was the same thing all over again: Hogan dominated him, so even though Sting "won" the match, it felt like a fluke almost.
  • It's odd that WCW tried to regain their lead by un-retiring someone whom WWE had already un-retired earlier, with little success: The Ultimate Warrior.
    • From a needlessly-long intro packed with iconography stolen from Batman, to his paucity of in-ring skills. All that work poured into Warrior just so they could feed him to Hogan in a shitstorm of a match at Halloween Havoc '98. (Hogan won after a cheap run-in.) Outside of a few funny moments, there's nothing to note. Hogan just needed to get his win back.
      Wikipedia: Hogan felt the contest was ruined by his botching a spot he himself devised, in which he was supposed to throw fire at Warrior: Hogan instead lit the flash paper in his own face and legit burnt his mustache and eyebrows.
    • Not only was it bad ("Minus Five Stars" according to Meltzer), but it ran long, robbing customers of an excellent Goldberg/DDP world title match as the main event. That replay is one of the highest-rated Nitro segments, with good reason. DDP said it's his favorite from his WCW years.
    • Also of note: They put a trap door in the ring for the Warrior to pop out of, and didn't tell the wrestlers. Davey Boy Smith took a bump on it and hurt his back so badly, he was hospitalized for more than six months with a severe spinal injury and a full-body staph infection (requiring a body cast). He was fired via the usual method, FedEx. While training to make a comeback in WWE, Smith became addicted to painkillers, which led to his death in 2002.
    • WCW didn't exactly have the best track record with this sort of thing. Like the time when Kevin Nash was thrown through a "breakaway" wall, which was actually reinforced with beams, and bloodied in front of his young son. Or when Mike Awesome powerbombed one of the members of the Insane Clown Posse, and he slid off the top of a school bus. Or what about when they bought the wrong kind of tables, and Fit Finlay was whipped into it, and almost lost his leg? Yeah...plan your stunts better.
  • Hog Wild / Road Wild. The whole PPV is bonkers. None of it makes sense. Up is down, black is white. The audience looks weirder than the wrestlers. The minorities, face or heel, all get booed. Big Sexy breaks the pro wrestling record for doing the absolute least amount of work possible. Jay Leno puts Hogan in a wrist lock.
    • The PPV was conceived because Eric Bischoff was (and likely still is) a huge motorcycle fan. It was held for four years in Sturgis, South Dakota to coincide with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Great main event which the horrible crowd totally drains the life out of: Since it was held outside and with the ring surrounded by motorcycles, there was no gate, meaning they lost money every year. Add in that your audience consists of hundreds of drunk bikers, many of whom didn't care about wrestling and only wanted to see people get hurt, to the point that they loudly cheered a garbage match between forgettable wrestlers Scott Norton and Ice Train, while in response to a match between Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko the bikers act like they'd rather shovel shit than watch these two guys wrestle a minute more. For that entire match, they're either silent or booing.
    • Not only was the best match of the night ruined, the bikers heaped racist abuse on Harlem Heat. Add in that for almost every bump, the bikers would rev their engines, meaning people who paid for the PPV couldn't hear the commentators. That Sturgis crowd was one of the worst in history.
    • Not to mention the reason for the name change from "Hog Wild" to "Road Wild" was that, after the first event, they were threatened with a lawsuit by the Harley Owners Group. WCW couldn't even put on a PPV without getting sued.
  • Spring Stampede 2000 is about as bad as it gets. It took place 6 days after the reboot Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo instituted after both came back as bookers, meaning that that all the storylines heading into the show had one night to build (except the Dustin Rhodes vs. Terry Funk feud, which for whatever reason was the only storyline to make it through the reboot). Since all titles were vacated, there were tournaments for the United States and Tag Team Championships, a tournament finals for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, a multi-man match for the Cruiserweight Championship with more wrestlers than time allotted, and a Hardcore Championship match. What fans ended up getting was a 14-match show with only one match going more than 9 minutes. And almost every match had interference.
    • There was also a "match" between Jimmy Hart and "Mancow" Muller, a horrible radio DJ based in Chicago who was/is ripping off Howard Stern. He was brought in solely as a ploy to sell more tickets, i.e. they promoted the hell out of WCW on his shows.
  • 51-year-old Paul Orndorff (who had retired due to injury) was a surprise team member at Fall Brawl 2000. Old wrestlers doing one-offs aren't unheard of, but by this point you can see major atrophy (from his career-ending injuries) on the right side of Orndorff's body, most notably in his arm. During an execution of a piledriver, he fell—paralyzed—to the mat, forcing Charles Robinson to call the bout early. It was announced later on in the PPV that he suffered a stinger, a temporary spinal injury. Wonder how many many people Russo injured when he was booker?
  • New Blood Rising. If someone tries to sell you on the idea that Russo is a misunderstood genius, show them this PPV. The whole thing was just over-swerved.
    • Lance Storm. He's clearly the most popular wrestler in the building, but he's booked like a cowardly heel. And then the next night he's booked as the babyface rebelling against authority? Made no sense and hurt his push. Lance was actually one of the most-over people in the company during that period (one of the few, actually), so of course Russo decided to try to rehash the "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. Dude Love gimmick where the rules keep changing to screw with the face, and essentially had Lance lose 3 or 4 times in the same match, before winning by cheating...in Canada. (And Mike Awesome wasn't exactly setting the world on fire.)
    • What's interesting is that Sting said in various interviews that after Owen fell, he declined to do the entrance from the ceiling anymore for a number of reasons, and yet here's Russo booking it again the very next year.
    • By far the worst match of the night, and possibly the entire year, was the Rip Off the Camouflage match between "Miss Hancock" and Major Gunns aka Tylene Buck. The backstory alone is groan-worthy, as it's basically Hancock feuding over her affections for then-boyfriend David Flair. This match came about because Major Gunns tried to give David mouth-to-mouth after his (losing) appearance in a Cruiserweight title match. Right from the start, it's obvious these two have no idea what they are doing. Major Gunns clearly doesn't know how to take bumps, whereby she plods slowly towards the turnbuckle and then turns her back long before she actually connects with it. The pair make their way up to the stage where a pool of mud (naturally) just happens to be. The match takes a turn for the tasteless when MG kicks Hancock right in the stomach, which she keeps holding with a very worried face. That's right, Russo tried to make a miscarriage angle out of what should've been a silly fanservice match. This turned out to be a swerve when, months later, Hancock returned with a baby carriage which was revealed to be just a pile of pictures of Shawn Stasiak, whom she had dumped David for. Truly an abomination of both a match and a story.
    • The "Judy Bagwell on a Forklift/Pole" match between Buff Bagwell and Kanyon. Because nothing gets wrestling fans amped like watching two guys fight over Buff's mom.
  • Russo briefly lost his job when he submitted Tank Abbott's name as WCW World Heavyweight Champion. Turns out Abbott was a borderline psychopath. Check out the "Leather Jacket on a Pole" match at SuperBrawl 2000 - that wasn't so much wrestling as Tank just mauling someone and then ending the match with a knife to the guy's throat and threatening to kill him. The camera cuts away quickly, with Schiavone saying he was just going to cut off Al's beard. Al doesn't have a beard. The worst part was, Big Al wasn't actually a trained wrestler. Abbott tries carrying the guy up the stairs without using his hands, and the fall alone was savage. Big Al was lucky.
  • Bash at the Beach 2000: Along with Starrcade '97 and the Fingerpoke of Doom, this is one of those "WCW Jumping the Shark" touchstones. With the exceptions of the actual main event (Booker T vs. Jeff Jarrett) and the tag team title match, the matches that weren't outright terrible were overbooked, such as:
    • The "graveyard match" between Vampiro and "The Demon" (because for some reason, WCW paid Gene Simmons $3 million for the license. The obligation? The KISS Demon had to win some matches). Here are the rules: The match starts in a graveyard. The winner is the first wrestler to arrive to the arena and enter the ring. Not only does this stipulation make no sense, it's basically impossible to see anything. The Demon and Vampiro battle it out in a dark graveyard, somehow ending up in a pond at one point. Even the announcers have no clue what's going on because it's so dark. This match would be a lot more infamous if it weren't followed almost immediately by the Hogan/Jarrett/Russo debacle. Fun fact: Vampiro enters from backstage to the ring and is shown that he passes Hogan along the way, in what ends up being Hulk Hogan's final WCW appearance. So technically, Hogan's final WCW appearance was during the Graveyard Match.
      Tony Schiavone: We've gone to new boundaries now!
    • The "Wedding Gown Match" between Miss Hancock and Daffney: The first opponent to rip the other girl's wedding gown off wins. The backstory is that David Flair is engaged to Daffney, but has started seeing Miss Hancock on the side. This was Stacy Keibler's second match in her career, and her first singles match. It ended with Hancock voluntarily stripping herself of her wedding gown to give a lap dance to the men in attendance (David, the referee, and Crowbar, who came in to interfere in Daffney's favor) and Daffney hitting her square in the face with wedding cake as a big food fight ensues. The real funny part comes after the match, with the ring crew trying their best to clean up the cake mess at ringside, but they can't, so they just end up flipping the ring mats on the other side because a multi-million wrestling company somehow can't get a mop that worked. This match was rated -1 star by Dave Meltzer.
    • And now, the reason everyone remembers this PPV: Jarrett literally lying down for Hogan to pin, humiliating Hogan in the process, leading him to fire off his infamous line "That's why this company's in the damn shape it's in: Because of bullshit like this!" Russo claims that both men knew he had something planned, even if they didn't know the full extent. Hogan sued for defamation of character (claiming Russo went too far and actually did harm to his reputation) and things eventually settled out of court. All of which buried what should've been the night's biggest takeaway: Booker T's first world title win.
    • Wrestling With Wregret actually gave his first zero-star match ratings in his review of this show.

    Angles and Gimmicks 
  • This is arguably "so bad it's good" in a way: The Shockmaster. Oh, the Shockmaster. What was supposed to be a Big Damn Entrance turned into the ultimate farce when Fred Ottman (formerly known as Tugboat/Typhoon in WWE) instantly tripped and faceplanted on the floor, scrambling to get his helmet back on after it fell off.
    • His entrance was hamstrung even before that, as Dusty Rhodes allegedly nailed a 2x4 about shin-high against the breakaway wall, meaning Ottman was damn near doomed (as Dusty knew full well) to trip and fall over it. The pop for the pyro that went off just before he broke through the wall immediately deflated as soon as he tripped. And nobody else on the set had any idea how to react. Sid Vicious tried to tell anyone who would listen before the segment was shot that the guy was going to trip and humiliate himself in some way (ironically, he was the one guy out of those present in the segment who did his damnedest to salvage the situation, to no avail).
      Davey Boy Smith: Right on his arse! He fell right on his fucking arse!
  • "Oklahoma", which consisted of Ed Ferrara dressing up as Jim Ross, complete with mimicking JR's Bell's palsy (and calling matches just by yelling things repeatedly). Many people within the company, including Ric Flair, were livid at Russo and Ferrara. You can actually hear Schiavone muttering "Oh, no..." with total sincerity the first time Oklahoma came out, during WCW Mayhem '99, and he seemed beside himself the whole time the mockery was going on. Even Ed has since admitted that the whole thing was in horrible taste, and when Jim Cornette spat in his face he admitted that he deserved it rather than retaliating.
  • Harlem Heat's original gimmick, as "The Posse". They were supposed to be convicts, but it was perceived as a slavery gimmick. They were managed by Col. Robert Parker, who played a sort of shrewd Southern businessman who "bought" the services of wrestlers. A white southerner who looked like he stepped off the set of a bad Civil War epic leading two black men to the ring in chains, what could possibly go wrong? Stevie was to be called "Kole" and Booker was to be called "Kane". This was tried at a house show and met with such vehemence that it never made it to TV. Booker and Stevie did initially come out as Kane and Kole with Parker alongside them (such as in the infamous "Shockmaster" segment), though thankfully without the convict/slave gimmick.
  • The infamous "Drunk Scott Hall" angle from 1998 is seen as this by many now, though the company didn't know the depths of Hall's disease before the mockery began. Lowlights included Hall juking and stumbling around like a Parkinson's patient (often while slurring promos), some very awkward "acting" from other wrestlers (especially Kevin Nash), and Hall "vomiting" all over Eric Bischoff. Hall's ex-wife went so far as to write an open letter on the subject.
  • In 1999, legendary punk rock group The Misfits appeared on WCW programming for several weeks. Not to perform or promote their album, but to wrestle. Never mind the fact the fact that none of the members had any wrestling experience and were all approaching 40. They didn't even do anything but crawl around. Interestingly, the idea didn't come from the network, but from Vampiro, who was trying to build a career as an actor/musician outside of wrestling. He had originally asked them write his new theme song, but then pitched them actually being on the show to executives... Which seemed like an incredibly forced excuse for Vampiro to pal around with his favorite band. The group stopped appearing after bassist and band leader Jerry Only was injured during a cage match with "Dr. Death" Steve Williams.
  • Originally, when WCW was bought by WWE, it was going to become a brand like SmackDown, which is why so much was invested in logos. Vince McMahon's original idea was to pit WCW and WWF against each other, despite owning both. The InVasion angle was meant to run through WrestleMania X8 and result in a brand split. Of course, the storyline was quite the turd and they ended up mercy-killing it at Survivor Series 2001. The Alliance angle became the first of many victory laps on the corpse of WCW for Vince. Between that and Austin turning heel and joining the Alliance (even though Austin was fired from WCW via phone call), it was a woeful time to be a wrestling fan.
    • Every WCW fan knows about the July 2, 2001 edition of Raw, where Buff Bagwell and Booker T were given the final 20 minutes for a match for the WCW Championship, as the moment that effectively ended any hopes of a brand split. People were chanting "boring" within the first minute. It's been said that Vince was completely on board with running both brands, but in the middle of that match he decided it would never work and said so, and WCW died right then. What's weird is Bagwell wasn't a terrible wrestler, and he did a house show prior to this. Bagwell claims that the guys in the back, Jim Ross especially, were deliberately sabotaging him. Buff's made some erroneous claims before...but he makes a fair point that they could have held the match in Atlanta. Vince wanted to see a neutral crowd reaction instead of the bias from Ted Turner's home. The crowd in Washington was not having it. It was eventually inducted into the annals of WrestleCrap.
    • The InVasion was dead in the water without Goldberg, Sting, the nWo, etc. WWF had spent many years telling us that WCW was inferior and that their talent were washed-up, not worthy of competing in the WWF. And the truth is, the talent who came in weren't on that level. It was a bunch of mid- and lower-card guys "invading" the biggest wrestling company in the world. They couldn't do anything about the guys who decided to sit out their contracts (AOL paying them millions of dollars to sit at home and do nothing). One can't really blame any of them, even if it was short-sighted.
    • DDP has said in shoots he planned to sit out his WCW contract like everybody else, but Vince pitched him on headlining SummerSlam vs. Rock for who was the "real" People's Champion. Then he ended up taking a 50% paycut so he could job to Taker's wife. Apparently he gave Vince a giant hug upon being hired, which is what sealed his fate, as Vince doesn't like to be grabbed.
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    Goldberg 
After screwing the Sting vs. Hogan storyline, including the Starrcade '97 debacle, the only thing keeping WCW afloat was Goldberg's run in '98. But they managed to botch that too:

  • The first Nitro of 1999 opened with absolutely nothing of importance in its first hour because it was not in direct competition with the WWF. As soon as Raw went live, Goldberg was arrested and charged with "aggressive stalking" towards Miss Elizabeth (it was originally going to be a "rape" charge, but Goldberg nixed that idea). The premise was that Goldberg was scheduled to face Kevin Nash in a rematch for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and that Goldberg's arrest had ended up putting the entire match at risk of being cancelled, leaving several people wondering, "Could Goldberg make it back in time to participate?" The unintentional comedy here was that every time we cut to this storyline, the announcers mention the police station is just across the street from the arena.
    • This also marked the night where Hogan, returning from his yearly football vacation, was to announce his running mate in his bid to become President of the United States. This never happened, and instead Hogan decided that if Goldberg couldn't make it, he would face "that spoon Kevin Nash."
    • Then...this is it. The injection point. After a bit of gesturing, Hogan poked Nash in the chest and Nash took what would be the biggest bump of his career. Hogan covers Nash, wins the belt, and reforms the nWo again. As they're celebrating, it's revealed that Goldberg has been released and arrives at the arena - from the police station across the street - in a car?! The logical thing to do here was to have Goldberg, who came out to a massive pop, lay waste to everyone and exact justice, which is what he began to do (and the people lit up for it). But then, of course, they buried the ever-loving crap out of Goldberg and everyone took turns humiliating him: taze him, spraypaint him, handcuff him to the corner, etc. You can pretty much be certain Nash and Hogan had a hand in the booking that night - after ripping off a massive house with the Fingerpoke of Doom while the competition is kicking ass and taking names on the other channel. It was also fitting that Hogan orchestrated his revenge to regain the world title at the Georgia Dome...the same place Goldberg beat him for the title six months prior.
    • If you watch the Fingerpoke of Doom segment, it wasn't just that they ripped off 40,000 fans in the Georgia Dome who wanted to see Goldberg vs. Nash. Also in this episode was Bischoff's attempt to reset the company to 1997, so they gave away the Raw main event. The next morning it's revealed that at the exact moment fans were told to not change the channel, around 100,000 homes switched to Raw.
  • In Summer 2000, WCW began advertising something that would happen at The Great American Bash pay-per-view that would "change the face of professional wrestling forever". What it turned out to be was turning Goldberg heel. Goldberg was the top draw at the time, and the massive loss to his credibility didn't benefit the company at all. Goldberg dragged his feet from start to last, and whenever it came time to do anything heelish (as much as could be expected of him, anyway), it paled in comparison to some of the stunts the nWo pulled, so fans weren't inclined to start booing. When Goldberg suffered an injury, the whole thing got cut short, and when he returned he was back to being a face.
  • Not the worst match on the list, obviously, but you won't find a match which violates the tenets of pro wrestling to this degree: A three-way match between Nash, Scott Steiner, and Goldberg. It was to be the semi-main event of New Blood Rising. As the announcers geared up for the match, they were audibly confused about not knowing who was going to "go over". And no, that part isn't us editorializing about Goldberg - that's what the announcer actually said. Then came what seemed to be the finish, as Nash prepared to powerbomb Goldberg for the victory. But Goldberg did something totally unexpected by (try to follow us here) not letting himself be powerbombed. The announcers were in shock, immediately blasting Goldberg for being so unprofessional. Goldberg then stomped off, leaving the other wrestlers to turn and look at each other for a bit...until the commentators signaled them to "improvise", and they wrestled each other. This is like if, while playing Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, Mark Hamill had refused to climb in an X-Wing, said, "Fuck you, George", and then the TIE Fighters began to shoot at each other. Read more about it in detail here at WrestleCrap.
  • Goldberg lost a no-DQ tag match to Buff Bagwell and Lex Luger, with the stipulation that if he lost he'd have to retire. On the following episode of Nitro, the wrestlers "laid to rest the career of Goldberg": a coffin filled with Goldberg's book, an actual spear, and an actual jackhammer. Not a bad segment overall, but it goes on for over half an hour in a two-hour show. Luger, Bagwell, Nash, Jeff Jarrett, Ric Flair, Road Warrior Animal, the Steiners, DDP, and Ernest "The Cat" Miller just talking on the stick. No action whatsoever. Mind you, this is all of three months before Vince bought out WCW for mere pennies.

    Other 
  • South Carolina was a recipient of the infamous Sting vs. Bret Hart match in October 1998. The "match" took place entirely in the back, displayed on the Titantron, and with a screwjob finish to boot. The audience rightly booed it, and many of them likely never paid $40 to see Nitro again. A shame because Columbia was a stronghold for WCW when it was still the Mid-Atlantic NWA region. Oh, and despite what Schiavone said, there would be no U.S. Title changing hands that night.
  • The year started out strong, but 1999 is a landmark in people's perception of WCW changing for the worse. The back end of '98 saw some missteps as well, but in 1999 with no streak, Schiavone sending hundreds of thousands of people to the WWF product, and a bunch of nonsense WWF imitation, fans began to tune out in droves. But even with that, their ratings (which had consistently trailed WWF since Summer '98) remained strong for the next couple of months. It was Kevin Nash's booking week-after-week which led to the ratings free-fall in '99. Meltzer provides a week-by-week account in the Observer, it's really something to read.
    • WCW stands for World Championship Wrestling, but on March 8, 1999 Nash had the brilliant idea to not book any wrestling matches for the first hour of Nitro. You read that right: He truly believed wrestling matches were passé, and that people would pay to see him and his friends banter and have a relaxing time for 60 minutes. You want a war, Vince? YOU GOT IT! (Raw slaughtered Nitro that night.)
    • The Kevin Nash gauntlet match on the June 5, 2000 Nitro. It's floating around on YouTube. They must have been running long that night, because Nash squashed THE ENTIRE NEW BLOOD STABLE (about a quarter of the roster) in quick succession, eliminating some without physically touching them. He didn't even bother to pin them; the ref slaps the mat as soon as one of his opponents is down. This segment took less than five minutes to play out.

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