New Blood Rising Date: August 13, 2000 Location: Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Attendance: 6,614 Commentators: Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden So here it is. This right here is considered the show that is the be all and end all of Russo’s insanity. This show is so full of ridiculousness and twists and turns and swerves that you need a scorecard to keep up with it. The main event is a rematch of Jarrett vs. Booker. We also have an ROTC (Rip off the Camouflage), a Canadian Rules match and Judy Bagwell on a Forklift. Let’s get this over with. The opening video is about Jarrett vs. Booker and Booker becoming more and more like the Rock by the week. Goldberg is a heel here too and is in a three way with Steiner and Nash. Madden says it’s going to be a trainwreck and he’s right. Some “fans” say who they think will win the triple threat. No mention of the main event at all from them. 3 Count vs. Jung Dragons This would open about 19 Thunders in a row. Tank Abbott is their Rikishi and dances with them. Ok to be fair, this was freaking hilarious. The only Dragon that is known is the masked one who would become Jamie Knoble. Three Count has one guy that meant nothing, Shannon Moore and Shane (Gregory) Helms. This is a double ladder match where the Dragons are trying to get a recording contract so 3 Count can’t record again and 3 Count is trying to get their gold record back. You have to tag here and it’s a ladder match. They stack up a ladder in the corner and do a ton of stuff with that. Both teams hit a springboard Doomsday Device as this is a fun match but you can tell nothing is ever going to go anywhere. Noble does a HUGE dive off the ladder to the floor. Oh and Yang cut his hair and became the resident redneck on Smackdown. This isn’t bad but it’s certainly is entertaining. And then 3 Count stops to dance. Jamie hits a nice rana and the other two hit a double splash off the ladders. Jamie gets the record but it’s not over yet. Abbott gets the record and we keep going a bit more. I’d love to hear the explanation to a record company that they lost their contract in a professional wrestling ladder match. Kaz and Helms sprint up the ladders but Abbott shoves both guys over. Karagis climbs up and gets the contract. Soon after Jamie would be unmasked and Karagis would team up to become a third team. Abbott leaves with the contract and record. Rating: B. Solid stuff here although it made limited sense with the whole double prize thing but that’s WCW for you. These six guys would open just about every show there was without ever getting anywhere at all for it and while the matches were solid, people just got sick of seeing them. I know I did. The Filthy Animals (Disco, Mysterio, Konnan, Juvy and Tygress) want to referee the tag title match, which already has 8 people in it. They stole the belts and will give them back in exchange for a title shot TOMORROW night on Nitro. Keep that in mind. Great Muta vs. Ernest Miller Yeah because this is worth paying to see. Muta of course has generic Asian music. The Filthy Animals guarantee Cat will win this which means interference of course. We’ve had interference in the first match already so why not go two for two? Muta works on the arm while Tony talks about how this isn’t about wrestling but about winning. I wonder how much of that line was real and how much was scripted. Muta was one of those guys that came back every now and then and we were supposed to be impressed for no apparent reason. He never had a storyline of note other than he’s Great Muta so you should like him. And here comes Tygress for no apparent reason. Cat does nothing but kick and is dominating Muta. The far more talented guy gets an ankle hold and takes over. The Moonsault misses though and Cat takes the mist. Tygress gets a chair shot to Muta for two. Fans are dead for this mind you. Cat kicks Muta a lot and then a spin kick ends it. This was totally pointless. Rating: D. Tygress looked good. That’s about all this has going for it otherwise. Cat was a guy that they wanted to make into something but I have no idea why. Muta was a special attraction so they have him go down like this. It makes perfect sense right? This was just a way to kill time and it was just bad. Buff Bagwell vs. Chris Kanyon Yep it’s Judy Bagwell on a pole. Kanyon is still imitating DDP here which must make Madden cringe. Bagwell isn’t even on a pole but rather a forklift. Do you win by pin I suppose? Kanyon is POSITIVELY Kanyon here (Page’s book was Positively Page) and if he wins then Judy has to be his Kimberly. The fans chant USA in Canada. I guess WCW managed to lower intelligences that fast. There isn’t a pole that they could get to hold up Judy. They start by fighting next to the forklift and we’re already in the audience. I don’t think the match has actually started yet. Kanyon does his usual good stuff as no one cares about this. Seriously there’s a woman on a forklift match. I can’t believe I’m watching this. Kanyon gets the turnbuckle pad off and the referee is just fine with it. Kanyon could do some solid stuff in the ring if nothing else. He really was innovative. Madden gets on DDP of course. Does he owe Madden money or something? Kanyon works on the neck of Bagwell which was broken like a year ago. Bagwell gets a hot shot onto the exposed buckle for two. Kanyon Kutter gets two and here comes the real DDP…never mind it’s David Arquette. He hits Bagwell in the back with a construction hat for two. Buff hits a double Blockbuster, which is a front flip neckbreaker off the middle rope on both guys, with Arquette just getting smashed in the face by a forearm instead of a neckbreaker. This ends it and Judy is saved off the forklift. Oh and this is sports entertainment, not wrestling. Kanyon hits the Kutter on Arquette after the match, getting cheered despite being a heel. Rating: D+. As idiotic as this was, the wrestling was watchable I suppose. At this point you couldn’t treat WCW as realistic from a wrestling standpoint so this was about as good as the midcard stuff would get. For the rating I’m factoring out the whole insanity because it meant nothing anyway. I can’t believe they brought Arquette back AGAIN. This was somehow watchable and I don’t know why. Lance Storm is here, getting a huge limo to bring him. Goldberg might not be here because of a motorcycle accident. You can start writing the swerve now. Tag Titles: Misfits and Action vs. Mark Jindrak/Sean O’Haire vs. Perfect Event vs. Kronik The Filthy Animals are all referees here so we have four referees and 8 wrestlers, plus Konnan on commentary. Rey and Juvy have the tag title belts here. Perfect Event is Stasiak and Palumbo. Kronik are the actual champions coming into this. Something tells me this is going to be horrible. MIA is Hugh Morrus and Corporal Cajun (Lash Leroux). Disco grabs a mic and says he’s the in ring referee and the other guys and Tygress are enforces. If they touch Disco or any of the others they’ll be suspended I guess. The referees were added like 30 minutes ago so it’s not like this was advertised. I think I know why. One fall to a finish here. Adams and Palumbo start us off. Konnan at least is funny. Stasiak goes to the floor and the “referees” beat him up. Leroux vs. Jimdrak at the moment as Konnan makes incest jokes. The wrestling is ok but at the same time there are FAR too many people in there at once. The fans chant ECW for some reason. O’Haire kicks the hell out of Clark’s head and it looks great. He was talented for sure. The referees do Bronco Busters on Morrus. End this NOW. This match is such a joke that it’s painful to watch. What’s annoying is that if you made this a regular tag match it could have been pretty decent. Disco counts slowly for Cajun. He does the same for Stasiak. It’s weird to think that three of these guys worked for WrestleZone for awhile. Everybody, including the referees beat up on Morrus. Stasiak hits a NICE jumping back elbow. This is just a total mess again as we get a Tommy Young reference. Sean hits a PERFECT Swanton. Palumbo is set in High Time but Muta and Vampiro run out to give us FOURTEEN PEOPLE in this thing. Apparently everyone else got bored as it’s just Kronik and Palumbo in the ring. Disco won’t count the three off a pumphandle slam. Chavo Guerrero runs down and steals the referee’s shirt and counts the pin as the sixteenth person involved in this match (8 wrestlers, 5 filthy animals, Chavo, Vampiro, Muta). Konnan is pissed that they have to fight Kronik the next night. Rating: F. A tournament has 16 people, not a single match. I don’t think anything else needs to be said here. Also, why did Chavo count the pin for Kronik when members of his own stable are in this match? Jarrett, in a lime green shirt, says he wants to know if Pamela Paulshock (freaking HOT) is there because Gene is worn out from last night. This was pointless. Shane Douglas vs. Billy Kidman This is a strap match. Naturally we talk about the three way dance off the Jarrett interview. Torrie is with Shane here so I’d bet on a swerve. Yes Shane Douglas was getting pushed in 2000. There was allegedly a Kidman/Torrie sex tape which set this up. This is just pinfall so there’s some sanity here. Shane had issues with performance if you get what I mean. Torrie turned on Kidman at BATB, the previous PPV. Neither guy is in wrestling attire here and why should they be? This isn’t wrestling according to Tony so that explains everything. The guys try to insinuate Torrie is fat. They can’t even get basic vision right. Torrie keeps distracting Kidman and it I can’t say I blame him. She’s the most interesting thing going on in this. Shane does a very dangerous move and with Kidman on his stomach he gets a running start and grabs Kidman’s head and snaps his neck back. Freaking OW man. We’re in a strap match and Shane is working on the arm. Kidman hits a nice rana and the strap is completely pointless here. The strap is WAY too long and they really can’t do that much. Shane gets his balls strapped. Torrie blasts Shane in the head with her shoe for a two. Is there a point to foreign objects if they don’t get a pin? Torrie just walks into the ring to turn over a small package which means nothing. Kidman hits an Unprettier for the pin. Torrie gets her ass smacked post match. Shane hangs Kidman for it and Vito makes the save. Now why couldn’t they get fired for this like Danielson did? Reno comes down and beats down Vito. He never meant much but I think they wound up being partners. Vito beats him up. Rating: F+. Not bad I guess, but for a strap match this was horrible. If this had been a regular match it would have been ok but when you throw something like this in for the sake of having a stipulation it doesn’t work at all. This is one of those instances and the hanging thing is just stupid to top it off. Booker is here, an hour and 15 minutes into the show. Jarrett jumps him and slams his knee in the car door a bunch of times. His knee was already hurt. Major Guns vs. Ms. Hancock This is the ROTC match. Oh and there’s a mud pit. Guns’ music starts when she’s already in the ring. Stacey in a one piece camouflage dress with her hair pulled back…WOW. She was 20 at this point so brand new. They do some painfully bad stuff here and Guns kicks her in the stomach. Remember that. In a Rip off the Camouflage match, there are covers. Guns gets her top ripped off and Stacey (It’s Stacey Keibler in case that wasn’t sinking in. She’s Ms. Hancock) gets two. This is mainly about how many upskirt shots can we get. Stacey gets her shorts ripped off and has more camo underneath it. Stacey shakes her ass and hits a horrible cross body from the middle rope. She does a nice nip up but gets kicked in the stomach again. The selling of these people is a far cry from Willy Lowman. Stacey misses another cross body and holds her stomach. Guns gets her shorts ripped off to reveal more camouflage. Same thing happens to Stacey’s top. And they’re in the mud. Doesn’t that make it harder to see? Stacey starts holding her stomach and gets pinned. David Flair, Stacey’s fiancé, runs out and is worried about her. We get a stretcher and you can see it from here. Rating: F. Yeah the girls were hot. The ending makes this all the stupider, and we’ll get to that in a bit. This was a freaking joke. When Debra is having better “matches” than you are, there’s a big problem. The Dark Carnival (Vampiro, Muta and the KISS Demon) say they’ll finish Sting tonight. Tony “breaks character” and insists this isn’t part of the show and is completely real. Of course they have a camera on her which would likely be a violation of privacy rights of some sort. And yes, they imply she was pregnant like I was afraid of. Yeah, I’m sure that THIS shoot is real among all the other fake shoots. The Demon vs. Sting I believe I ran through the Demon character last time, but in short he was supposed to be part of a cross-promotional thing with KISS and that went nowhere so they just made him into the Demon instead of the KISS Demon. Sting repels from the ceiling and is back on PPV, despite being on the previous PPV. Quick brawl in the aisle, quick brawl around ring side, Stinger Splash and Death Drop ends this in less than a minute. Vampiro and Muta come out to beat up Sting and try to hang him. Two hangings in one night. That’s not bad. Kronik makes the save and they beat the Dark Carnival in the ring as the fans boo the hell out of this. Sting just leaves without even thanking the saviors. Brian Adams (Crush) gets on the mic and challenges Muta and Vampiro to a tag title match while being the champions. Just hand the Carnival guys the belts now. Booker gets his knee looked at and throws the camera out. US Title: Mike Awesome vs. Lance Storm Let’s see here. This is in Canada so Storm is the hero. He’s the US, Hardcore and Cruiserweight Champion at this point but would give away two of them soon. Now the cool entrance is about the end of the cool aspects of this match. The US Title is the Canadian Title, the Hardcore Title is the Saskatchewan Hardcore International Title (Get it?) and the 100kg and Under Title. Storm cuts a short promo and might as well be the second coming. Both of these guys left ECW earlier this year. Storm got this, Awesome got the gimmick of That 70s Guy and the Fat Chick Thriller and never won a title in WCW. Storm was just absolutely awesome at this point and this is his big reward for it. Part of the gimmick Storm had his own rule book and had his own rules. He invokes one of them and says there’s going to be a special referee. We immediately eliminate the chance of it being Bret Hart since a HUGE Bret chant breaks out. It’s Jacques Rougeau, as in The Mountie. We get the Canadian National Anthem and Storm could more or less murder a thousand babies and still get cheered at this point. There’s a Juggalo here for no apparent reason. Rougeau is the outside referee and there are two titles held up. Pay no attention to whatever the other one is as it’s not mentioned. Awesome dominates early on, hitting a leg drop as a tribute to his far more famous uncle, Hulk Hogan (How many of you knew that one? Awesome’s aunt is married to Hogan’s brother so they’re like step uncle and step nephew or whatever but screw all the technicalities). We hit the floor and it’s table time. Well they are from ECW to be fair. Madden: “This isn’t wrestling!” Tony: “Of course it’s not!” I still want to know how much annoyance there was in Tony’s statement there. Awesome goes up top and just slips off. Well it happens to everyone I guess. Awesome hits a SWEET Liger Bomb to more or less end Storm. Then I’m not sure what happens as there’s a three count but Storm gets his arm up at more or less the exact same time. I’m legit not sure if Storm was supposed to kick out there and just didn’t get up in time or if this was part of the upcoming angle. Given the idiocy of this show and the skill of Storm, we’ll say it was intentional. Johnson raises Awesome’s hand to have the crowd on the verge of rioting. HOWEVER, according to Canadian Rules, you have to get a 5 count to win a title. Awesome gets an Alabama Slam for three and then hooks a Dragon Sleeper. Storm taps out to lose the title again. Oh you know what’s coming. This time it’s you can’t win by submission. Storm gets two off a suplex as we start one more time. The crowd has gone from white hot to DEAD by the way as they’ve seen Storm get pinned and tap in like 6 minutes. Awesome gets a five count off a Frog Splash and I can’t believe what I’m watching. Storm has a ten count to get up after the original five count. So the US Champion has now lost three times in about ten minutes perfectly clean and they’ve killed one of the hottest crowds I can remember in WCW’s history. The table is in the ring and Awesome clearly slips on the same corner (maybe they should be cleaned guys?) and they both crash through a table. Rougeau says first man up gets the title and he punches Awesome in the jaw to make sure Storm looks inept. The crowd pops fairly well and just to absolutely cap off the idiocy, BRET HART IS HERE. You know, the guy the crowd was BEGGING for? So let me get this straight. WCW was too STUPID to get that in Canada, where Bret is pretty much the biggest athlete that isn’t a hockey player in the history of the country (apparently there was a poll done in 2004 where the Greatest Canadians, as in any Canadian ever and not just athletes were ranked. Bret was #39) and where they had him under contract, that instead of using HIM, they paid the Mountie to come in and get the paycheck for the refereeing job while the fans chanted for BRET. This company deserved to go out of business. The Canadians all hug. Rating: F-. Seriously, was this supposed to be good or something? Am I supposed to be entertained here? I know Russo doesn’t like titles, but if you’re going to kill them at least do it in America where you go more than once. This was just completely idiotic and one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. Nash says he expected Goldberg to not be here. And yes, another shoot angle is upon us. Tag Titles: Kronik vs. Dark Carnival You know there’s going to be a screwjob. You just know it. Tony points out that this wasn’t promoted or anything, thereby showing how freaking stupid this was. Also Kronik looks stupid by putting the belts up here and knowing that there’s a title match the next night on Nitro. What was the appeal of Vampiro? I liked him when I was 12 but now I just don’t get it. Muta stands in the middle of the apron for a bit for no apparent reason. The challengers kick a lot. Yeah I’m stunned too. Muta’s handspring elbow gets caught in a full nelson slam. Tony is just picking the thinking of this show apart by just doing basic commentary. Madden makes pot jokes as I wonder what the point was to having then do a weird kind of stoner thing. Vampiro gets cheered and he tries to calm them down, making them cheer more. Crowd is fairly dead here. Clark gets the lukewarm tag and hits the Meltdown on Vampiro. There’s the mist to the referee of course and let’s cue the run-in. Muta almost take High Time….and it’s the Harris Brothers. Oh this doesn’t go well. They hit their move on Clark and a moonsault ends it. They would lose to the Filthy Animals the next night. Rating: F+. Somehow this was a breath of fresh air for the show. They actually had about 8 minutes of horrible wrestling before the screwjob ending. The match being awful as an upgrade is a sign that sums up this entire show and era. Let’s just get to the end of this. Booker says his catchphrase. We recap Nash vs. Steiner vs. Goldberg. Goldberg and Nash are together. Well they were at the PPV. They’ve since split up since then. Goldberg vs. Scott Steiner vs. Kevin Nash This is for the #1 contender spot. They keep using the term go over. Oh dear. There’s no Goldberg to start us off and I’ll explain later on. They keep dropping hints about Steiner won’t do the planned finish and all that bullshit. More shoot comments from the guys. Steiner not being professional? Say it isn’t so! Goldberg’s music plays twice and he isn’t here. We start one on one and Tony suggest we watch this match. Sadly, that might drive up viewership. And here’s Goldberg with his ribs taped up. He beats on Nash and gets blasted in the back of the head by Steiner. Nash stays on the floor and Goldberg beats up Steiner. Nash gets up and trips over the top rope. This has stopped being funny a LONG time ago so that gets nothing out of me. Hudson: “Starrcade 98. Nash gets on the booking committee two weeks before the show. He goes over.” I hate this company at times. Not even Heyman got this stupid. In a moment that does make me laugh, Steiner covers Nash and yells at the referee to count and when he’s told it’s just two, he snaps off YOU SUCK to the referee. That’s just funny. Nash stands tall for a bit and the fans aren’t sure if this is good or not. The straps go down, Nash sets Goldberg for the powerbomb, he shoves him off, Nash calls him a motherfucker, Goldberg walks out, Russo meets Goldberg in the aisle, Goldberg asks what the fuck are you going to do about it and he leaves. And here we go. The commentators start talking about how this wasn’t the planned finish and how Nash was professional like always and that Steiner and Nash will have to plan a new finish. Tony suggests they might have to, and I wish I was making this up, IMPROVISE. Yes, Tony Schiavone has just admitted on international TV that every single match that he has hyped over the years as being this big showdown has had a planned ending that everyone in the match knew about beforehand. Where in the hell do I start? Now for those of you in the 99% of the fans that have no damn clue what the idea was here, in Goldberg’s last match which had been 13 days earlier on Nitro, he lost to Steiner. The idea here is that Goldberg, as in the “real guy” and not the character (as in the real guy playing the character Goldberg, not the REAL Goldberg. In other words, we have Bill Goldberg playing Bill Goldberg playing a wrestler. Does that make sense?), thought it would be detrimental to his character to lose twice in a row so he’s walking out of the match for what would likely be called creative differences. Basically, Vince Russo just tried to kill kayfabe. Forever in wrestling, the idea has been everyone knows it’s fake but you’re not supposed to tell anyone. In the book The Death of WCW (well worth checking out if this kind of stuff interests you), one of the authors puts it something like this (paraphrased): it’s like going to a movie. You know that nothing on the screen is real, but you get sucked into it if it’s good. For some reason, Russo thought that it was a GREAT idea to have everyone in the movie acknowledge that they’re in a movie. See what’s going on here? Naturally, just like Bash at the Beach, this BOMBED. Why did it bomb you ask? Two reasons. First of all, NO ONE KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON. Second, even fewer people gave a damn about it. They were told they were going to see Nash vs. Goldberg vs. Steiner. Ok so not a lot of people really wanted to see it, but that was the advertised match. What Russo never got was that there were actually people out there that WANTED TO WATCH WRESTLING. Would the match have been good? Not likely. Would many people have bought the PPV to see it? Not likely. But the thing is, the ones that DID pay to see it got ripped off because they didn’t get what they paid to see. This is why I get annoyed as hell when PPV matches are put on TV like the next week after a PPV: there were fans out there that paid to see a match, hence the term PAY per VIEW. You want to see this match? Give us the price we ask and you can see it. You give them the money, you see the match and the people that didn’t pay don’t get to see it. Then it’s aired on free TV. It’s a massive FUCK YOU to the people that bought the show. If I buy a PPV to see Cena vs. Orton and then the next night Cena vs. Orton is on Raw, why should I pay for the next PPV? I got to see the main event for free the next day. Why should I pay for some I can get for free if I wait a little bit? That’s what Russo kept doing: screwing the fans over and they just gave up. The few fans WCW actually had just stopped watching and Russo blamed them for not getting what he was doing. I had to use a book to get a lot of what was really going on here, so apparently I’m too stupid to get it too. Oh yeah we have a match to finish here. Midajah has come down to low blow Nash, which at least makes sense given that Nash beat her up recently. Nash uses a DDT of all things. Hokey smoke. We’re reminded that this is all on the fly. Nash hits the big boot and the powerbomb as we’re told about how professional Steiner was there. Get me away from this. Goldberg would be back the next night of course. Rating: N/A. There isn’t a rating low enough for this and what Russo just HAD to do so I won’t try to give it one. This would have been damaging to pro wrestling if anyone had actually watched this show. Tony hypes up the world tag team title match as we go to a video on Jarrett vs. Booker. WCW World Title: Booker T vs. Jeff Jarrett This actually has the potential to be good, which is what was most frustrating about WCW at this time: given what they had, they could have been a decent show most of the time. Madden says Booker needs to take a walk down Slap Nuts Boulevard. Well at least they’re not hiding the ripping off anymore. Hudson forgets the number of title runs Jarrett has had, going from 3 to 4 while he’s still in the aisle. And remember: this match is REAL, not scripted like the previous one. Yeah we’re just supposed to forget that whole thing. Tony suggests that Booker go for a quick win. I guess he wants to get out of here too. Booker’s knee which was bad coming into the show and injured earlier, seems just fine here. Ok he started limping a bit. That’s acceptable. Booker crotches him on the post twice but misses the Missile Dropkick to let Jarrett take over. Now did he really miss or was that scripted? Hudson suggests it’s against the rules to go for the bad knee. Jarrett goes after the knee and cracks it with a chair. They more or less had gotten rid of DQs at this point. Jarrett switches legs which is bearable I guess as it’s still hurting Booker. This is a very basically booked match and it’s working very well. Ok maybe very well is a stretch but it’s a good match. What a shock: let two talented guys have an uninterrupted match with a simple storyline like the champion has a bad leg and it’s good. The Axe Kick hits and down goes the referee. Jarrett goes for the guitar but Booker goes for the side kick. They meet in the middle and the guitar slams over his knee. The figure four goes on (TO THE CORRECT LEG TOO!) and Booker is in trouble. The referee just doesn’t see the pieces of the guitar all over the ring I guess. After being in the hold over a minute and a half he gets the bottom rope and my goodness we’re having an entertaining match! The referee goes down again and Booker hits the Book End through a table. By the I mean he more or less chokeslams him and doesn’t go down with him but the thought is there. Jarrett gets a low blow and down goes the second referee to a chair shot. Booker takes the Stroke onto the open chair. It’s a third referee that has no problem with what’s been going on or maybe he wasn’t watching like most people. Booker gets what was supposed to be a swinging neckbreaker on the chair but it’s more like a Twist of Fate. Booker’s knee is better apparently and hits the Book End to win it. The fans throw garbage into the ring and I can’t blame them a bit. Rating: C+. Well it wasn’t terrible I guess. This was a pretty decent main event match but it just doesn’t have a big spark to it at all. It’s easily the second best match tonight though after the good opener, but this wasn’t anything great. The problem these guys had was that the crowd would have been unimpressed by Flair vs. Steamboat at this point. It may not be fair but it’s reality and while the match was good it wasn’t well received. Still certainly watchable though. Overall Rating: F. Do I really need to explain this one? There are two decent matches on here. Other than that, this show is an abomination. See, today we have the benefit of time to look back on this. Put yourself in the place of fans from back then. This was the monthly PPV offering from one of the major PPV companies. You had to pay 30 dollars to see this show. Can you imagine if TNA or WWE aired something like this today? The buyrates and ratings fell through the floor around this time. The fans simply did not want to see what WCW was offering, but WCW kept right on doing it, which is why they’re not around today. Granted Rock vs. HHH having the feud of a lifetime and Taker and Austin both returning didn’t help them that much. Anyway, this is the epitome of Russo’s awfulness, but it’s worth watching for the comedy value as long as you don’t take it seriously.