Rob Bonnette takes a stroll down memory lane to an oft-overlooked time in pro wrestling: WCW in 2000! How bad did it get? Read on and see!
This may seem like a weird topic, but several times this year I’ve some really hot takes comparing the WWE in 2019 to WCW in 2000. The implication is that WWE is messing up really bad and WCW 2000 is one of the shining examples of a major wrestling company doing bad so there people go. The only problems with that analogy are that if you actually look at WWE on substance this year and not on stupid Twitter takes or dopey podcasts it’s not bad at all. Perfect? Of course not, but unless you have on AEW colored glasses there’s been plenty to enjoy this year. The other problem with that analogy is that you’ve got to have no idea just how awful things were in WCW from summer of 1999 through the fall of 2000 to equate the WWE this year to that. Don’t believe me? Let’s just look at the first half of 2000 and I’ll prove it to you.
WCW in January 2000
We start the year with no WCW World Champion thanks to Goldberg shoot kicking Bret Hart in the head and concussing him into oblivion (as much as I defend Goldberg as a performer, he’s on his own for that one). No worries, they’ll just have a match between two of the top contenders, Chris Benoit and Sid Vicious, to fill the title. Benoit wins…….and leaves the company immediately afterwards, completely unexpected. Not only that, but Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn go with him! Now last time I checked no one won either the WWE World or Universal Title on a pay per view this year and signed with AEW the next day. Imagine if whoever wins between Jericho and Hangman Page at All Out says ‘screw this title’ and shows up at RAW on Monday along with all three members of SCU. That’s what happened in WCW!
But that’s only beginning…..
WCW in April 2000
The company did a hard reboot of all storylines on camera and vacated all the titles to start over. Again, this was all done on camera and not in the booking room. Then, with a roster of guys including Hulk Hogan, Sting, Goldberg, Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Kevin Nash, and even former champions Diamond Dallas Page and Sid they decide to put the World Title on……wait for it……..Jeff Jarrett. The same Jeff Jarrett who was the poster child for unsuccessfully trying to make fetch happen in both the WWE and WCW. Imagine WWE bypassing Reigns, Rollins, Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Kofi, Braun, and Randy Orton and bringing back Alberto Del Rio to crown instead. Or Ring of Honor saying never mind to Marty Scurrl and crowning Matt Taven at their biggest show ever…..oh wait, that did happen.
But wait, there’s more!!!
You cannot talk about WCW in 2000 without mentioning one man in particular. This man was not just a celebrity who got in the ring for a gimmick match. No, this man was booked in a title match and walked away the WCW World Champion. That man was David Arquette. Imagine if the Fox Sports anchor who won the 24/7 title from R-Truth, Rob Stone, instead won the WWE World Title. People got mad enough at Jinder Mahal, imagine if it had been a barely trained B-list actor instead. WCW did that, and it killed most of the little credibility they had left at that point. Again you have not seen anything on WWE television as abhorrent as that was in 2000.
WCW in July 2000
Bash at the Beach. Hulk defeats Jarrett for the WCW Title when the booker Vince Russo tells Jarrett to lay down and take the loss. Russo fires Hogan on camera, Hogan walks off with the belt, and then Russo declares Jarrett is still champion and would have a new title match with Booker T! While that did give us Booker T, WCW World Champion, the circumstances were absolutely ridiculous. Again, imagine Vince telling Brock to lay down for Seth at SummerSlam, then firing Seth and saying Brock is still champion then randomly calling out Ricochet to have a match with Brock for the title which Ricochet wins. Can you imagine the fallout across social media and on every podcast afterwards?
So no, there isn’t a thing Vince has done this year that even holds a candle to the choices made by his competition in 2000. It’s a bad analogy and not steeped in any level of verifiable facts. So why say it? Well, you and I both know that it’s been open season as far as pot shots towards WWE in 2019 so anything and everything that can be hot taked will be. So it’s good to take a look at just what these people are talking about before you run with anything they have to say. And in this case, they’re dead wrong. Again.