If you want to know someone to blame for the glut of PPVs wrestling fans go through every year, look to Eric Bischoff. As he took over WCW in 1993, the company only had a handful of PPVs a year, just as WWE did. Bischoff decided to amp it up more and more to the point where there were at least two PPVs a month (between WWE and WCW), if not more. Sadly, this quantity did not lead to quality. That’s especially true when it’s WCW, a company that had peaked from 1996 to early 1998 but had so many, many lows. The PPV history of WCW is a rough one as they could produce some fantastic shows that would rock you hard and be among the best you could see. Sadly, a vast majority of them were incredibly bad, even by the standards of the worst of WWE.
That’s especially true for the two main periods of low times in WCW: The early 90s, especially when Hogan arrived to toss his weight around and their last two years as the company went down the toilet. Despite having a great talent base that included some of the biggest stars in the business, WCW seemed to go out of its way to give fans some terrible shows that had demands of refunds abounding. Sometimes, a good match could salvage a bad card but too often WCW just produced shows bad from top to bottom and harmed themselves. It was worse in the Vince Russo era with his penchant for massive gimmick bouts and not even announcing a card in full before a show aired. It’s hard given all the terrible bouts but here we go with the 15 worst PPVs in WCW history and how each played a role in turning what could have been a great company into a total disaster.
UPDATE: 2023/09/19 16:30 EST BY ETHAN SCHLABAUGH
During the run of WCW, much like any other wrestling promotion, it had some amazing events take place and quite a few disasters. The final days of WCW really served as a reminder of why the promotion was struggling. Looking back on everything the company created and got fans to pay to watch, there are some absolutely horrible cards produced featuring what really could have been great matches. Whether it was decent matches plagued by weird creative decisions or stipulations ranging to just outright messy brawls that bored the audience, here are some additional PPVs that WCW produced and why they rank among the worst of the worst.
24 Slamboree 1999
Kicking off a series of four back-to-back horrible shows, Slamboree 1999 sits at a 3.66 on Cagematch.net. Ratings point to the World Tag Team title match being the best as Raven & Perry Saturn won the belts from reigning champions Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman in a triple threat team match, a trend that continues with further PPVs.
Some of the worst the event had to offer was Roddy Piper beating Ric Flair, two men well past their primes, and a no-contest between Sting and Goldberg. The main event was a typical WCW match with multiple interferences and even the decision to restart the match, seeing Kevin Nash beat DDP for the World title.
23 Great American Bash 1999
Tons of fans might recall this image of Sting being attacked by a dog, this came from the Great American Bash match between him and Rick Steiner. This match alone has one of the worst ratings seen on Cagematch.net sitting at 0.62 out of 10.
The highest-rated match was the semi-main event with Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon capturing the World Tag Team titles. Otherwise, there isn’t really anything to go back and watch on this card as seven of the nine matches involve frustrating interferences and typical dumb WCW creative.
22 Bash At The Beach 1999
Bash at the Beach 1999 saw an interesting tag team match over the WCW World Heavyweight Championship main event the PPV with Randy Savage and Sid Vicious beating Kevin Nash and Sting. Savage got the pin and the title but by Road Wild the following month, would no longer be champion and feuding with NBA legend Dennis Rodman for the show.
The other big matches featured the insane concept of the Junkyard Invitational or David Flair getting a win over Dean Malenko to retain the United States Championship. Minus the Junkyard match, nothing truly stands out on this card and is mixed in with an incredibly disappointing year for WCW shows.
21 Road Wild 1999
Hulk Hogan faced Kevin Nash in the main event for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on the line, plus the added stipulation that the loser had to retire. Nash lost and stayed retired for a full four months before feuding with Sid Vicious leading into Starrcade that same year.
Diamond Dallas Page had a good attempt at capturing the United States Championship but still paled in comparison to the 3-way feud he had with Raven a couple of years earlier. The second six-man tag of the night featuring The West Texas Rednecks and The Revolution also helps hold this PPV to a higher standard as well.
20 Uncensored 2000
Fans of Botchamania might recall the intro of the show and hearing Hulk Hogan yell something about Yappapi, well that comes from this event here where Hogan beat Flair in the main event with the stipulation being a Yappapi Indian Strap match. Prior to the match, fans were treated to the return of Scott Steiner who wasn’t on television for two months before the show.
Other highlights didn’t have much besides a horrible otherwise, but good for this show, match between Billy Kidman and Booker T vs. Harlem Heat 2000. Another weird stipulation saw Dustin Rhodes face Terry Funk in a Bullrope match which Funk tried to change into an “I Quit” match before the start.
19 Spring Stampede 2000
This show saw three concurrent tournaments happening for the World title, the United States title, and the Tag Team titles. Most matches were quite short so that the winner wasn’t low on energy before their next match later in the night. The finals of each tournament saw Shane Douglas and Buff Bagwell capture the Tag Team titles against Ric Flair and Lex Luger, Scott Steiner beat Sting for the United States title, and Jeff Jarrett pin Diamond Dallas Page for the World Championship.
While still an incredibly low-rated show compared to any other WCW PPV, this did mark one of the highest ratings for any WCW PPV in the year 2000, with only three events getting better reviews on www.CageMatch.net. The worst-reviewed match on the card was the Tag Title finale and the best-rated was the main event of DDP and Jeff Jarrett, sadly by not a large difference though.
18 Great American Bash 2000
Great American Bash 2000 saw two title matches on the entire 10-match card, those being the Cruiserweight and World Heavyweight titles in the opener and main event. Otherwise, fans were treated to stipulations like the Boot Camp match between GI Bro and Shawn Stasiak or the Human Torch match with Sting and Vampiro.
This event would be the final Great American Bash held by WCW before WWE purchased the company and revived the concept in 2004.Kevin Pantoja of 411Mania and former writer for TheSportster rated the show a 1.0 out of 10 stating that, “When the best match involves David Flair, you know your show is in trouble.”
17 Mayhem 2000
As has been mentioned and will continue later on, 2000 was a very bad spot for WCW and their shows. Many fans were tuning out and instead watching WWE with big matches like The Rock vs. Triple H and the rise of WCW’s former midcard stalwarts like Chris Jericho. WCW started to put all its eggs in the hands known of Scott Steiner and Booker T as they looked to the future.
Both men were amazing, but it was far too late for the company after multiple years of holding names back in order to keep stars like Hulk Hogan or Kevin Nash at the top. Mayhem was another 2000 event headlined by either Steiner or Booker, in this case, both men, while other big matches featured Goldberg vs. Lex Luger and Jeff Jarrett vs. Buff Bagwell.
16 New Blood Rising 2000
The first and only New Blood Rising event took place August 13th, 2000, and was named after the faction in the promotion, one that fully dissolved prior to the show taking place. Every match was held under the no-disqualification rule despite not being promoted as such and some of the major matches on the show were things like Sting vs. The KISS Demon and the ever-so-infamous Judy Bagwell on a Forklift match.
The final two matches featured Kevin Nash beating Scott Steiner and Goldberg in a triple threat, despite Goldberg not showing up until halfway through the match and then proceeding with a worked shoot of walking out and refusing to take the Jackknife Powerbomb. The main event saw Booker T retain the World title against Jeff Jarrett, a rematch from the infamous Bash at the Beach 2000 event.
15 Bash At The Beach 2000
As mentioned earlier Bash at the Beach 2000 easily goes down as one of the most controversial WCW PPVs, even earning itself a Dark Side of the Ring episode. The show held two different World title matches between Jeff Jarrett and Hollywood Hogan before having Jarrett drop the title again to Booker T later that night.
The situation between Hogan and Jarrett saw the champion lay down for Hogan before Hogan yelled to the back complaining to writer Vince Russo about the state of the promotion. Russo then came out later and fired Hogan on-air and declared Jarrett the champion once again. Other matches saw Goldberg beat Kevin Nash and thus end Scott Hall’s contract with WCW and Chris Kanyon beat Booker T earlier that night.
14 Fall Brawl ’94
It’s not just the quality here, it’s what it represents and that’s when WCW moved from its classic roots to the Hogan show. Hogan himself, the World champion, wasn’t present, he and Flair doing a “video face-off” where Hogan was booed heavily. Johnny B. Badd beat Steven Regal for the TV title off a backslide while Kevin Sullivan beat Cactus Jack, Foley’s farewell to the company. Ricky Steamboat was forced to forfeit the U.S. title to Steve Austin due to injury with Austin then losing it in 30 seconds to Jim Duggan. Pretty Wonderful kept the tag titles over Stars and Stripes in a poor match while Vader beat Guardian Angel and Sting (the most over guy in the company) in a ridiculously complicated three-way match.
The main event had Dusty and Dustin Rhodes with the Nasty Boys against the Stud Stable in what’s probably the lamest War Games match of all time, with no blood, messy action, and no stakes. In one show, WCW moved from being the antidote to the cartoonish actions of WCW to embracing that style, marking a very bad transition.
13 Road Wild ’98
This show was created simply so Bischoff could hang out with bikers, and tickets were comped, so WCW made no revenue at the gate. Rey Mysterio and Psychosis did a surprisingly terrible match with some blown spots while Jericho and Juventud was a good battle. But then we had messes like the Scott/Rick Steiner match called off and the messy fights of Brian Adams/Steve McMichael and Chavo/Stevie Ray. A massive battle royal between the nWo factions was won by Goldberg no-selling a Giant chokeslam and beating everybody.
The main event is infamous as Jay Leno and DDP faced Hogan and Bischoff with Hogan actually selling for the host. Any show with that main event deserves a place among the worst and even more with the rest of the card taken into consideration so makes sense it was before a non-paying crowd.
12 SuperBrawl 9
This show was a sign of what would be a horrific year for WCW. Booker T and Disco Inferno had a surprisingly good opener but Saturn and Chris Jericho was ruined by Saturn just walking out. Kidman and Chavo Guerrero were also good, but that was quickly followed by a lot of bad. Hall and Nash beat Rey Mysterio and Konnan to force Rey to unmask, which ruined him in WCW.
Hall would then beat Roddy Piper in a horrible fight for the U.S. title. Scott Steiner beat down DDP for the TV title and DDP was taken out on a stretcher. Goldberg and Bam Bam Bigelow had a very slow battle that did little for the dying crowd. Finally, the main event had Hogan and Flair for the World title where David Flair turned on his dad with a taser to allow Hogan to win, and the tired sight of the nWo celebrating to end the show. A clear sign of how rough 1999 was going to be for WCW.
11 Halloween Havoc ’00
WCW was sinking by now and this makes it very obvious. We actually got a good open Natural Born Thrillers winning a triple threat tag title match but from then on, it was utter garbage. Reno and Sgt AWOL got 11 minutes for a Hardcore title match while Misfits in Action against Perfect Event was a waste. Torrie dressed as Wonder Woman was the only bright spot to Filthy Animals against her and Shane Douglas. Buff Bagwell beat David Flair in a First Blood match while Mike Sanders beat Ernest Miller by countout in a kickboxing match. General Reaction won the U.S. title thanks to Major Gunns while Mike Awesome beat Vampiro.
Jeff Jarrett then beat Sting in a match involving multiple guys dressed like Sting which the fans loathed. Booker T’s World Title defense against Scott Steiner was only the semi-main with Steiner dominating before Booker pulled off a fluke win by DQ and Steiner destroying the refs. The real main event was Goldberg beating Kronik in a three-minute squash match.
10 Starrcade ‘99
Russo was in charge of WCW and boy, did it show. Madusa won the Cruiserweight title while the Hardcore championship was an ugly brawl. Jim Duggan and the Varsity Club lost to the Revolution while Vampiro was pushed over both Steve Williams and “Oklahoma” in two bad bouts. Harlem Heat and female partner Midnight lost to Creative Control, Jeff Jarrett beat Dustin Rhodes in a “Bunkhouse Brawl,” DDP beat David Flair in a “Crowbar on a pole” match while the Sting/Luger battle was best known for Sting seeing a turn from Elizabeth coming as her “mace can” had silly string instead. The Nash/Sid Powerbomb battle was one of the worst on the show.
The main event had Bret Hart against Goldberg for the title with Russo recreating Montreal with Bret in the Shawn Michaels role while receiving the kick that would end his career. Only fitting that WCW closed out the ‘90s with such an atrocious show.
9 Uncensored ’96
Just months before Hall and Nash would change the company, WCW put out this horrific card. Konnan and Guerrero for the U.S. title was a good opener, but the rest was bad. Finlay beat William Regal in a rough brawl before Robert Parker defeated Madusa in an intergender match, The Giant beat Loch Ness in a match that felt longer than its two minutes and Ed Leslie (as the Booty Man) got 17 minutes to take down DDP when Kimberly joined him as The Booty Babe.
Sting and Luger against the Road Warriors looked promising only to turn into a Street Fight that lasted a half hour. The main event was one of the worst ever as Hogan and Savage faced off against eight guys in a triple-deck cage match that was horribly shot, mired with interference and a lousy finish. Remarkable to see the change in WCW just months later when they were putting this out.
8 Slamboree ’00
David Arquette was the WCW World champion. That tells you all you need to know as to the state of the company. The undercard was made of ugly bouts like Terry Funk against Norman Smiley in a Hardcore match, Scott Steiner over Captain Reaction, Luger over Buff Bagwell only to get beaten down by Chuck Palumbo, and Shane Douglas beating Flair when David Flair dressed as Sting hit his dad with a bat. That’s not to mention Hogan beating Kidman in a dragged-out match where Hogan tried to sell himself as the hero.
The main event was a “Tower of Doom” cage match where Arquette attacked DDP to let Jeff Jarrett win the title. The epitome of the Russo era in all its “glory” and why WCW fell apart at this time.
7 Souled Out ’00
Just days before, this entire card was thrown into chaos when Bret Hart, then the World Champion, had to bow out due to a concussion. Likewise, Jeff Jarrett, scheduled for a best-of-three series, also was out with injury. Russo wanted a battle royal with Tank Abbott winning the title, an idea so dumb that it led to his firing. The show began with Billy Kidman and Dean Malenko with the stipulation that you couldn’t go to the outside…which Malenko did, forgetting the rules, so the match was called off early.
Kidman also faced Perry Saturn and the Wall on the card. Vampiro won a match against David Flair and Crowbar, Oklahoma won the Cruiserweight title off of Madusa, Booker T over Stevie Ray in a bad match, Tank Abbott went over Jerry Flynn in a minute and Buff Bagwell beat DDP in a rough Last Man Standing bout while Nash beat Terry Funk in a “Commissioner’s job” match.
6 Halloween Havoc ’95
An infamous show in so many respects. Johnny B. Badd won the TV title off of DDP in an overlong match while Randy Savage beat Zodiac in just a minute. Lex Luger and Meng also had an overlong bout while Sting and Ric Flair against Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman ended when Flair turned on Sting and Luger and Savage faced off in another bout. What’s remembered is Hogan and the Giant going at it on the roof of the building in a Sumo Monster Truck match which Hogan won and then knocked the Giant off the roof.
The Giant showed up for the match with no sign of injury and a very ugly bout followed that included Luger turning heel and the Yeti (who looked like a mummy) attacking to grind on Hogan and Hogan lost the belt by DQ when manager Jimmy Hart turned on him. Nothing sums up the garbage of 1995 better than this and amazing only a few months before Hall & Nash would change everything.
5 Starrcade ’97
This was supposed to be the show that allowed WCW to put WWF down and take its place as the lead promotion. Instead, it was the beginning of their end. The opening of Guerrero vs Malenko was quite good, but the rest was downhill as the supposed “WCW revenge” angle never took off. Scott Norton, Vincent and Savage beat the Steiners and Ray Traylor in a six-man bout while Goldberg beat Steve McMichael.
Buff Bagwell beat Luger in an overlong battle and while DDP got the U.S. title off of Curt Hennig, it wasn’t a top-notch match. Then, atop-notching out millions to get Bret Hart fresh off the Montreal Screwjob, WCW had him be the referee for Larry Zbyszko the beating Bischoff. That led to the main event where, after over a year of build-up, WCW managed to blow the big Hogan-Sting encounter by having Sting be cleanly pinned by Hogan, the match restarted, so he won, but the damage was done. One show that would end up changing the course of the Monday Night War dramatically and WCW was never the same.