If you’ve not noticed yet, I love going back in time and checking out how certain long-running wrestling shows got their starts. In the past, I’ve done inductions for the debut of Raw, the first-ever Wrestling Challenge, and the first Raw following a WrestleMania.
Today I’m going to flip the script, and review the final episode of a wrestling series.
Not just any show, but one that had been around for more years than even Raw has been!
You may be shocked to hear this, but at the time of this writing, WCW Saturday Night was on the air for one more year than WWE’s flagship show, hanging around for a whopping 29 years. Yes, TWENTY-NINE YEARS. It began in 1971 and was flushed down the crapper on April 1, 2000.
And if you’re saying, “April 1, 2000? Isn’t that the day WrestleCrap came into existence?” then step right up and claim your prize!
No doubt this show looked absolutely nothing like how it did in the early days of the SuperStation when it was known as Georgia Championship Wrestling. I can only imagine, say, Ole Anderson’s reaction to seeing this headache inducting intro. Guessing it would rhyme with “it’s the pits” but with a healthy dose of fecal-related profanity.
And that’s not even getting into the music, which is 100% rave and 100000000000% horrible.
Still, I won’t lie – the idea of being at a rave hosted by Larry Zbyszko and Scott Hudson is the kinda fever dream I expect to have tonight after I write this induction.
And let it be known that Larry and Scott give zero flips about offending anyone in the company on this here show, no doubt seeing the ship heading straight into the iceberg at this point as this would be the last Saturday Night before Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo were going to ride over the hill as the latest last chance to save the company.
Strap yourselves in, kids – we have a lot to unpack here.
In the storied history of this show, there were tons of great tag team matches. They heyday of the program would feature such tandems as the Midnight Express, the Road Warriors, the Rock & Roll Express, and so many others. So it is only fitting that we’d get a tag team encounter to start the show.
What was not fitting was that it was Los Fabulousos (El Dandy and Silver King) taking on Tommy Rogers and Jeremy Lopez. Rogers was of course part of the Fantastics, Silver King was a legend in Mexico. And of course only a fool would ever doubt El Dandy.
But who on earth is JEREMY LOPEZ?
Right, you said it.
And look, kid, I know you’re already saying you’re not coming back to wrestling…but couldn’t you just corner your husband for like one match?
Or, you know, strong arm Turner into dumping the Cody and Brandi show and making it about you and Punk instead?
We’d all like that.
While the match isn’t much, it did give us the first ever appearance of a very famous AEW finisher, as Los Fabs pull out an honest-to-goodness BTE Trigger! Why I can just picture young Nick and Matt Jackson tuning into this show and thinking, “We are so totally stealing that in a couple decades!”
As all this is going on, Hudson keeps asking where Miss Hancock is, as apparently she was the manager of Dandy and Silver King.
I gotta admit – I have zero, ZERO, recollection of her being with these guys.
And you’d think I could keep tracking of a super ridiculous in her prime Stacy Keibler.
What a smoke show.
In the middle of the match, we also get Lash LeRoux on the entrance ramp doing caricatures.
I’m not making this up, nor do I have any clue why this is happening. Maybe I should bone up on my Lash LeRoux history.
Larry has the question guessing a lot of folks inside the company were asking: “What, did the check bounce?”
Have I mentioned that Larry and Hudson are just saying whatever the heck they want yet?
After a victory by Los Fabs, we go back to the studio and Hudson and Larry give their analysis of the incoming Bischoff-Russo era. “I can’t see these two working together, so I don’t know if that’s good news or bad news!” exclaims Larry.
SPOILER ALERT: It was most definitely bad news for everyone involved. It was a disaster for Bischoff, it was a disaster for Russo, it was a disaster for the company in general, and more than anyone, it was a disaster for fans.
Sad thing is I think everyone knew it wasn’t going to work from the get go.
I mean crap, even LARRY saw this coming!
To that end, Larry waxes philosophical about nuclear power and how it could help us but in the end, it’s going to blow up the world.
I mean, I know folks don’t like Bischoff and Russo, but comparing them to NUCLEAR ANNIHILATION seems a bit severe.
I’d also like to mention that the video I have of this show isn’t from the WWE Network, but rather directly from the original TBS airing…so here’s to hoping we’re in for some incredible commercials as I go through this. First one up is for Weekend with the Duke, a John Wayne movie marathon. Three things:
- I may joke about being an old geezer on here, but even I wasn’t around for John Wayne
- We often talk about how old WWE’s audience is these days, but if this ad is any indication I gotta believe the only people watching WCW Saturday Night at this point were primarily residents of Shady Acres
- One word: Pilgrim
In addition to old western bingefests, we also get ads for 1-800-CALLATT, which are promoting the upcoming release of the WCW blockbuster Ready to Rumble. And get this – you can win tickets to upcoming WCW events!
Save money on phone calls AND go to crappy wrestling shows?
Where do I sign up?
Brian Knobbs is out next, currently the WCW Hardcore champion of the world.
Also currently not a big enough star for WCW to bother spelling his name correctly. It is KnoBBs right? That’s my version so we’re going with that the rest of this article.
Knobbs heads to the ring, giving us a soft-spoken, well-thought out soliloquy.
Sheesh, tough crowd.
His appearance does provoke Hudson to note “I always gets so nervous when we give Brian Knobbs interview time!”
As well you should, kid!
So Knobbs blah blahs about whatever and we get a phoney baloney censor beep over a supposed curse word. Legit have no idea what it was supposed to even be. He also challenges everyone in the company to a hardcore battle royal later in the show, so yeah, that would be your main event.
Can’t imagine folks wouldn’t want to stick around for that!
Before we get there, though, we get more commercials, including the creepiest 10-seconds of Slim Jim advertising you ever did see…
And this time there’s not even a Randy Savage appearance to redeem it.
Apparently this one was so rare that I couldn’t find it on YouTube so I had to rip it and post it myself. That may be the first thing I’ve posted to my YouTube page in like 15 years.
I should really do more of that, this one already has a whopping ONE-HUNDRED VIEWS!!!
Thankfully to wash the nasty jerky taste out of our mouths we get a spot for WCW PowerSlam Wrestlers featuring, with the Good Lord above as my witness and I am not making this up, Sid Vicious as King Kong!
That’s not hyperbole – he’s literally climbing up the Empire State Building!
I see that and I question how on earth this company EVER went out of business.
I mean crap, just air that commercial on a loop for two-hours every time Turner had you on the schedule and you’re still with us in 2021, no question.
We get women’s action next, as Little Jeannie takes on Mona.
You may remember Mona best as Molly Holly in WWE, but her first major appearance in wrestling was in WCW as one of Randy Savage’s…uhhhh…harem I guess you would call her.
So here we get super early footage of her wrestling and even here she’s already pretty good. What is weird is I really do not remember Molly wrestling barefoot, like, ever. Did she do that all time and I’ve just blocked it out? Surely one of you weirdos out there with a foot fetish can let us know in the comments below.
Larry continues his run of on the nose commentary by talking about what a kind soul young Mona is, noting “she is almost too nice. This isn’t a business for nice people.”
Something something Dark Side of the Ring something…
Mona gets the win with the most complicated pinning combination I have ever seen.
Pretty sure solving a Rubik’s cube would be simpler than putting that on an opponent.
Out next it’s Kid Romeo! I remember he was supposed to be a huge star in the business and he got incredible reviews for his appearances on these Saturday Night shows…but not gonna lie, I remember nothing else about him at all.
He’s taking on ANGRY Allan Funk, whom I do remember, and you might also remember as Kwee-Wee, which I am pretty sure took place before this. I’d go back and look but, eh, I’m not going to.
Living up to his reputation, Romeo looks good (as does Funk), hitting a few impressive big moves. As Romeo is in the process of picking up the win, we get further discussion of Russo and Bischoff coming in together, which Larry likens to the PR campaign of the launching of the Titanic.
Please keep in mind, this is BEFORE they ever showed up!
And as if on queue, as this discussion is happening, we get a BARRY HOROWITZ run-in.
Maybe he’s here to teach Larry to pat himself on the back for being so perceptive?
Throughout the show, we get quickie interviews with various wrestlers being asked what they think about Bischoff and Russo’s imminent arrival. Lenny Lane notes that in the two years he worked in WCW, Eric never so much as said hello to him.
Lodi then tells us that Russo had promised him the world…but they’re still just ham ‘n eggers.
That’s not me channeling my hero Bobby Heenan, it’s quite literally what the man said.
Happy days are here again?
We get a Lash LeRoux appearance next, taking on Frankie Lancaster.
Wait, wasn’t he doing caricatures earlier? Did I just imagine that? What is happening on this show?
I won’t bore you with the details of the match, other than to tell you he gets the win with the WHIPLASH 2000, as apparently the older version wasn’t so great so he reinvented it.
I will also tell you there has only been one thing ever to have a “2000” slapped on the end of it that was any good at all, and that would be Tempest 2000, which is no joke my favorite video game of all time.
Up yours nerds, take out a second mortgage and buy a Jaguar.
You can tell me I’m right later.
A stupid Juicy Fruit commercial follows.
I mean, I know that this era of commercials was all about ramping up the weird for laughs, but PLEASE TO EXPLAIN in what universe anyone would rush out to buy chewing gum after seeing this.
Seriously, look at that creep and tell me you don’t want to shove your fist through whatever device on which you are reading this.
Tye-Dye Steve Armstrong is out next, taking on Hugh Morrus. Hudson goes full-bore into “entertain myself” mode, talking about how Hugh Morrus is just like Mona (?????????) then rolling into a debate with Larry about front chanceries while noting that he’s very worried about losing “whatever audience we have left.”
And honestly, despite their best efforts, they are about to lose me as well as this show has been boring to an absurd level.
No wonder ratings were tanking.
How much time is left on this show?
It’s barely HALF OVER???!!!!
I feel like I’ve been watching it for at least four weeks!
Pick up the pace, guys!
We get a promo for the Nitro Girls website next, where in Stacy Keibler tells us she is Skye.
Wait, didn’t they mention Miss Hancock earlier on this show?
Was she pulling double duty just to see if anyone was paying attention?
OH! And if you want to know more about that site, I am pretty sure I did a Deadsites induction on it a while back. Let me take a look…by golly, yep, here it is! I should really do another one of those soon, they’re fun to do.
I mean, more fun than this death ride of a final Saturday Night is anyway.
As soon as I say that, a ray of light hits the screen, as a Three Count appearance always makes me laugh. Whether that’s due to their ridiculous theme song (where you can blatantly hear Jimmy Hart on lead vocals!) or the fact that at one point Hurricane Helms was considered a sex symbol is open for debate.
What is not open for debate is the fact that Shark Boy makes everything better! Way cool to see him on here as I did not remember him in WCW at all. That tends to happen though when you have like 200 wrestlers on your roster and they’re quarantined to the D-show.
We get a really good match with tons of action. I can only imagine the reaction Three Count would get if they came around twenty years later and showed up in AEW with their completely goofball gimmick. Heck, they even got interest in the dying days of WCW paired with Tank Abbott! And then they get the win with an absurd triple team move that would have even the Young Bucks saying, “You know guys, that’s probably a bit too over the top.”
Time out, real quick. I have a joke for you guys.
(This is where you say “who’s there?”)
Yep, Braden Walker!
And by Braden Walker, I mean Chris Harris, the man who portrayed the extreme master of the knock knock joke. Remember earlier when I said WCW had 200 guys under contract?
Probably should have said 300.
He’ll be taking on a very young and fresh out of the Power Plant Chuck Palumbo, who looks like he hit up Spirit Halloween for a Tarzan outfit prior to the show.
Was Spirit Halloween a thing back in 2000?
These are the things I ask in an attempt to keep my brain going throughout this show, which is filled with rather dull matches with guys you know aren’t stars.
I mean, by this time I was thrilled to see Lash come out and finish up his sketch.
When I discovered it was Jimmy Hart going nose-to-nose with Mancow, not so much.
And my goodness, poor Lash…even Hudson is burying his art noting “Jimmy Hart hasn’t looked that good since 1972!”
Isn’t that the point of a caricature?
We then get a super weird and most likely botched finish where Palumbo flies 9/10 of the way across the ring with a…shoulderblock?
Falling down Tarzan tope?
Not sure but it looked bad enough to pull the ol’ WrestleCrap logo out and slap it on the GIF, that much I can tell ya.
We get an actual star on the show next, in the form of Jimmy Hart, who shows up with his monster HAIL.
Ah good old Hail, the man who was supposed to be a major player for the company but things just never worked out.
Shocking, I know, that something would flop in WCW.
In fact, what he was likely known best for was a legendary match with DDP in which he was not billed as Hail, but rather, a fellow you may have heard of called THE MACHINE.
Yes, as in THAT Machine.
WCW had some awesome moments, but somehow their terrible ones were far superior in my book.
Hail wins a squash…
…and then the Mamalukes win a squash…
…before we get our “main event”, the hardcore title battle royal.
No doubt you look at that image and while you understand why there is crap all over the ring, you are questioning why the title belt is on a pole. Well, it wasn’t because of Russo – again, he wasn’t there yet (and I confirmed as much on a recent Joker’s Mustache – The Batman 66 Podcast I do with him). The answer we are given as to why it is up there is because “Knobbs has taken too many chair shots!”
Wait, I thought no one knew about concussions until like five years ago?
You mean people knew that that getting hit in the head repeatedly was actually bad news?
Shut the front door.
Adrian Byrd, Dave Burkhead, Rick Fuller, Norman Smiley, and The Dog are the other competitors in this colossal championship wrestling match. And yes, it’s every single hardcore match you ever did see, with chair shots, kendo sticks, ladders, and trash can lids.
And if you’re asking who won the final match in the illustrious 29 year run of Saturday Night…
…well, it doesn’t get much WCW than this does it?
That, children, was the end of WCW Saturday Night. The show would continue on in some form for a few more months, but only as a recap show with no new matches.
I know I can’t be the only one that had fond memories of this show (meaning the prior 29 years of it, not this particular one) so if you do, leave them in the comments below!