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[2000-05-07-WCW-Slamboree] Billy Kidman vs Hulk Hogan

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Order Slamboree and you get a free Buff Daddy Pennant. Nice. Typical bullshit but hardcore Hogan is adding a new wrinkle to his incredibly stale character and I think the crowd reaction for him is more genuine than it has been since he probably lost the belt to Sting at Starrcade 97. Bischoff is a crooked referee to the surprise of no one. Some of the strikes and belt shots here look brutal and Kidman going toe to toe with Hogan is an nice reputation bump for him. Hogan blocks the big legdrop and Hogan pops him to a legit big pop. Hogan uses a chair on both and goes outside looking for a table. The crowd is really roaring as Hogan brings the table in. Hogan busts a chair over Hogan and pins him visually for the three count. Bischoff does a slow count that Hogan kicks out from. Bischoff gets powerbombed through the table to another big pop and Hogan is busted open pretty good. Hogan brings in a third table. Kidman blocks the attempt with a low blow as the crowd chants Hogan. Kidman goes for the big splash but misses. Horace Hogan comes in and counts Bischoff's hand for the three. I dug this, so sue me. ***

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This is so overbooked it's hard to even evaluate it as a match.

 

Hogan does have a nice edge to him that was much-needed. Kidman is working hard here and this feels like it would have been better if Hogan had given Kidman just a tad more. All the fixings are here with the plunder and referee shenanigans but I just feel like it became a bit too much. The crowd was right there with them and way into it but I don't think Kidman got enough of a close nearfall.

 

As matches like this go I liked it and gonna say **1/2. It just didn't feel very conclusive of the story they had set up. At least not when it came to elevating Kidman in any meaningful way.

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Backstage interview and Mike Tenay says how Kidman is about to face the biggest challenge of his career when he takes on ‘the Immortal’ Hulk Hogan. Kidman tells him to stop kissing Hogan’s ass and he’s already proved that he’s anything but ‘immortal’. As for him being his biggest challenge, he’s beaten him three times already, and with Eric Bischoff wearing the pinstripes, he can’t lose. ‘Easy E’ claims he’s going to call this right down the middle... right down the middle of Hulk Hogan’s yellow back! It’s going to be a great night for Billy Kidman and a great night for the New Blood!

 

Hulk has his nephew Horace accompanying him and they’re wearing matching ‘FUNB’ jackets. Bischoff exerts his authority early and sends Horace to the back before this even has a chance to get underway. Kidman has retreated to the outside with Torrie, and Bischoff continually stops Hogan from going out after him until he’s finally had enough and shoves him out the way. He chases Kidman around ringside and into the ring, although that works against him, as with Kidman in there first, when Hulk slides in himself he starts to stomp a mud hole in him. Hogan reverses an Irish whip, Kidman ducks a couple of clotheslines, but Hulk then botches a ‘Boss Man slam’. He struggles to execute a bodyslam (which Kidman ends up countering into a small package) and I can’t tell if he’s selling a back injury or he’s just completely messed the spot up. Hulk blocks a sunset flip and grabs Kidman around the neck, before lifting him up and crotching him on the top rope. Hogan grabs a chair from ringside, but Bischoff warns him about using it, so instead sets it up in the ring, presses Kidman and drops him ribs first onto it. Whip to the corner, and a charging Hogan runs into a Kidman big boot. Huracanrana on ‘the Hulkster’ and a dropkick sends him to the outside. Hulk drags Kidman out with him and hurls him into the metal guard rail. He uses Torrie as a shield to protect himself, before pushing her at Hogan and then sucker punching him. Back inside and ‘the Hulkster’ with a lariat. He takes off his weightlifting belt and whips Kidman with it until Bischoff snatches it off him. The distraction gives Kidman the opportunity to attack Hulk from behind, and ‘Easy E’ can’t wait to hand that belt over to him in order to dish out a bit of retribution. The match continues to ebb and flow with Hogan hip tossing Kidman over the top rope and to the arena floor. Hulk makes a cover, but Bischoff is more concerned about making sure that his shirt is tucked in! Belly to back suplex, another cover and now Bischoff is just walking around the ring. “Asshole, asshole” chant from the crowd! As Hogan confronts him, Bischoff claims he knows how to count, he just didn’t see it! A big boot and now Bischoff cuts off Hulk, standing in the way as he’s about to deliver the legdrop. Hogan slugs ‘Easy E’ and drops the leg on Kidman. Bischoff picks up a chair, but Hulk sees him coming and gets in first with a boot to the mid-section. Chair shot across the back of Bischoff and one for Kidman too. He collects a couple of tables from under the ring and is about to powerbomb Bischoff through one of them, when he gets clobbered in the back by a chair swinging Kidman. He then clocks him over the head with it, but Bischoff is down and unable to make the count so he does it himself for the visual three. By the time ‘Easy E’ has come back around, Hulk’s recovered sufficiently and kicks out of the pin at two. It transpires Hogan was busted open by that chair shot, and as they’re about to hit him again, he kicks the chair into Kidman’s own face. Powerbomb on Bischoff through the table! Kidman with a chair shot across the back of Hulk before laying him on one of the tables. He heads upstairs, but Hogan moves and he crashes through the table. Cover, Horace Hogan rushes out, and with Bischoff still KO’d, picks up his hand and slaps it to the canvas three times to give ‘the Hulkster’ the win.

 

This was going along just fine until the closing stretch, which was a cluster with all the table breaking and chair shots. There was so much happening that it started to dilute things for me. Kidman worked really hard here in probably the biggest match of his career, taking some ridiculous bumps (press slam on to the chair, the bump to the arena floor while crotched on the top rope, the hip toss over the top to the outside). Finish, with Hogan almost surely exercising his creative control, was plausibly the best they could do in that scenario with Bischoff as the official. Overall a fun match which I enjoyed, but that closing stretch should’ve been trimmed and limited the table bumps to just the powerbomb on Bischoff.

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