This will be the first in several WCW 2000 themed articles, the next one will be the Top Ten Booking Mistakes of 2000, but that’s the next one. This one will focus on the top ten best feuds of 2000 and….best is a loose term. This are simply not the worst. Promos, booking choices, and match quality will all factor into these things. Now remember, a lot of these feuds aren’t great. Some are ok. One or two might be acceptable. I know this, you know this, let’s not split hairs.
Honorable Mention – Sid Vicious vs. the nWo
– This is how bad 2000 was.
10) Insiders vs. Natural Born Thrillers
– This is probably the latest of the feuds in 2000. Kevin Nash was randomly paired with them after the Russo-3 (Nash, Steiner, Jarrett) split. His arrival had him take the moniker of Coach Nash. The whole angle was built around him being instrumental in the Naturals arrival as stars on the roster, but he was there for what amounted to a cup of coffee. The betrayal was obvious, wihch lead to Nash and real life good friend Diamond Dallas Page forming a variant of legendary tag team The Outsiders, but this time calling themselves the Insiders. Page and Nash would feud with the Thrillers in several variants. Obviously the first few title changes involved the Insiders and the Natural Born Thrillers pairing of Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo, aka The Perfect Event. There were four title changes in about five weeks with these two teams until The Insiders finally got the “W” at Starrcade 2000. However, they would end up losing to Palumbo and new partner Sean O’Haire, himself a former member of the Thrillers. While they took the belts from Nash and Page in 2001, their feud with the Insiders intertwined with Mark Jindrack and Stasiak as well. The whole ordeal was proof as to the poorly booked nature of Vince Russo’s WCW.
9) Sting vs. Vampiro
– Sting and Vampiro was marred in Sting not being the worker he used to be, and Vampiro being given little if anything at all to do that made him look credible against the legend. Sting and Vampiro started their feud after a brief pairing and would be engaged in some type of match for the rest of the spring and summer of 2000. Sure there was a few weeks where Sting wasn’t around, but when Sting was there, he was going after Vampiro. Vampiro had some memorable moments for sure; costing Sting the US title at Spring Stampede, beating the Demon in a graveyard, winning tag gold with The Great Muta and of course setting “Sting” on fire. However, Sting had more wins over Vampiro and his Dark Carnival on pay per view. While I’m a Sting-fanboy through and through, even I admit that Vampiro should of been booked much better in this feud. That’s not Sting though, that’s on Vince Rusos.
8) Shane Douglas vs. Ric Flair
– Douglas dragged this feud onto this list because of his brilliant promos ripping Ric Flair. Flair is lucky that nostalgia is so powerful, because his backstage antics were so universally despised by so many, that the hatred most had for him was real. Douglas captured this raw energy and honest opinion of the legend in his promos through the spring of 2000. Flair, who was out of shape, began wrestling in street clothes, and couldn’t keep up with the younger Douglas. Douglas took two straight pay per view wins from The Nature Boy, one of which saw Douglas win the WCW World Tag Team Championships. Flair lost a step and didn’t care at this point and his performance showed. Douglas dragged what he could out of Flair but unfortunately this feud will only be remembered for Douglas’ promos and for being absolutely right about every rotten thing Flair had ever done to his fellow wrestlers.
7) The Natural Born Thrillers vs. The Filthy Animals
– The Thrillers were twice the size of every member of the Filthy Animals. They were just as quick, just as powerful and had them all by about 100 pounds. Yet Vince Russo thought the high flying, quick footed, top tier talent of Kidman, Juvi and Rey Mysterio were the right people to face off with the Thrillers from the Summer to the Fall. The Animals were never the kind of team you’d want to put rookies up against, because they’re just so good in the ring (save for Konnan and Disco), that they rookies would look bad in comparison. And that’s what happened. It doens’t help that the best match between the two groups happened to be during The Fall Brawl event, which saw the match end in a No Contest due to an in jury to Paul Orndorff. The thrillers though did showcase some strengths against the Animals and they probably helped teach them a lot for their careers but on screen the two groups never paired well. Yet they did have some good matches, but none better than Fall Brawl. I’m sure though you could find something here that lead Thriller member Mark Jindrack to find his way to lucha libre in Mexico. Jindrack, now known as Marco Corleone, is one of the top stars and Heavyweight Champion for top Mexico promotion CMLL and has even crossed over to movies and t.v. One can’t help but wonder if Jindrack found what he needed to succeed in Mexico for over a decade during his feud with the Animals.
6) Booker T vs. Jeff Jarrett
– Booker T really benefited and suffered the most out of anyone in the year. He went from losing his identity, to adapting his old G.I. Bro moniker, losing to Kanyon, and then finally winning The World Title only before dropping the belt and regaining it on several encounters. As for Jarrett, he was booked strong and well in the late parts of ’99 and start of ’00, but was essentially relegated to the midcard in favor for Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner. When the two met, it was the end of Jarrett’s main event run in the company and the start for Booker. However, despite the feud launching out of the Hulk Hogan – Bash at the Beach controversy, the feud didn’t do much for either guy. The promos were mostly fine, and the booking made very little sense. Yet, both of their main event matches were some of the better of the year. That one feat alone, the fact they had good main events, is why they’re this high.
5) Goldberg vs. Scott Steiner
– Goldberg and Steiner’s feud was muddled by being teammates , being involved with Kevin Nash in a three way, and both being technically heel at the time. For the entirety of the summer of 2000, Goldberg was squandered. Yet, when Goldberg and Scott Steiner finally hooked up after years of taunting, promos and close calls, they finally hooked up at Fall Brawl 2000. The two had arguably the most brutal match of the year, in regards to the physicality of each other. The two men held back nothing with their stiff shots and big slams. The two were beastly. While the match was wasted on Fall Brawl, when it would of served better for Starrcade, it was so good their feud was saved by it. Nothing else these two did was relevant or worth watching, but this feud was stellar.
4) Terry Funk vs. Norman Smiley
– Sometimes humor works. Sometimes it’s the best part of your show. And yet other times, it’s the only good part. That was the way to describe these two throughout the spring of 2000. Starting with the ‘reboot’ of Spring Stampede 2000, Funk and Smiley continued to carry the promotion by being the only watchable feud. Smiley and Funk had one of the best matches of the year at the event, with Funk chasing Smiley around catering all while Smiley screams in terror. Him crawling through a dish washer’s window, hanging from the ceiling shrieking, and bringing back Ralphus; all of it was perfect. Perfect for a comedy match that is….
3) Lance Storm vs. General Rection
– This was the feud that could of redefined everything. It could of made two legit stars, maybe helped curtail the downfall of WCW, and possibly tore the house down enough to get fans to stick around. Yet it didn’t, because Russo is too dumb or smart for his own good. The duo were getting going around the same time. Rection (Hugh Morrus) was starting to get traction with the M.I.A (Misfits in Action), a gimmick that deserved to get over, in the late spring. With the M.I.A, he had his first push and showed signs that he was a talent worth having. Lance Storm popped up in July, almost immediately gaining three different titles. Come the fall of 2000, Storm and Rection began their rivalry in earnest with a bit of a faction warfare. Team Canada, Storm’s team, abducted and gained the forced services of MIA’s Major Gunns. Rection went to fictional war with Team (Only One Member Was From) Canada, and had a surprisingly fun United States Championship feud. It was the first time all year the belt was used. While it was good for Rection, Storm was not only booked to be weak, but in need of constant help to even compete with Rection. Storm, with a legal partner, lost to Rection. Because reasons. The feud would of been number one with a bullet but that’s for another time. This is another example of them not being patient enough for Starrcade.
2) Booker T vs. Stevie Ray
– This is the antithesis of most every other feud on this list. Most of these feuds were either made by a match, a purpose (putting over someone) or great promos. This is on the list because it was just a regular, well booked, yet not perfectly executed feud. The few pay per view matches were fine, the Stevie Ray/Booker match at Souled Out did it’s job and their tag match where Stevie paired with Ahmed Johnson (Big T) and Booker hooked up with Billy Kidman could of been the launch to a fun tag feud as both Book and Kidman were awesome together. February’s SuperBrawl match though was a train wreck. When Booker and Big T faced off, Big T was out of shape, and unable to keep up with Booker. In fact, Stevie Ray has since spoken about the match, sharing that Ray, when he was outside to attack Booker in the match, got close and Booker told Ray while the camera’s were off them that Big T was terrible, and it caused Ray to laugh uncontrollably. When Ray pulled away on camera, you can see him covering his mouth, because Ray couldn’t believe that Big T was that out of shape. Yet the feud was salvaged to a degree by the promo work of Clarence Mason (J. Biggs), the promo where Stevie Ray took a camera crew to his and Book’s old neighborhood in order to showcase that Book left the neighborhood and never looked back. The idea of showing Booker T throwing his friends away because of fame and success was a solid idea in the ambiguity between who was at fault; Booker or Stevie? The feud won’t ever be heralded for being a trend setter, having great matches or even making careers from it; however for the fact everything else was so poor, and it did help make Booker T’s single run effective later on, it should get a high spot.
1) Jung Dragons vs. 3 Count – in all variants
– For nearly six months, these six men went to war with one another in various instances. First it started as a six man tag feud that culminated in a ladder match with Tank Abbott dancing. It was hilarious, but not the best thing they could of done. Then the Jung Dragons kicked out their member Jamie San (Jamie Noble) and 3 Count 86’ed Evan Karagias. Karagias and Noble then got together and formed a tag team, and began a triple threat feud with 3 Count and Jung Dragons, which peaked at Starrcade. Like it should of. The three teams should of been the center pieces of the Cruiserweight Tag Team Titles but they weren’t because 2001 was better, but not by much. The six men engaged in matches from August all the way through February of the next year, with various encounters on t.v. as well as on pay per view. The promo work was nonexistent, and the development in characters was minimal (Noble and Shane Helms were the only two), but they were constantly either one of the best matches or the best match on the card every time they worked together. So it’s because of the consistency alone that they’re the best feud in WCW during the year 2000.