The last week of new wrestling content has taken me down some strange paths. I enjoyed the Boneyard match from night 1 of WrestleMania. The latest episode of Dark Side of the Ring on Brawl for All had me looking back on some of Vince Russo’s work. Finally, my new podcast The House Show over at the Retro Network gives a reason to explore 20-25 year old matches. Due to all of these events I was reminded of the Graveyard match pitting the Demon (with Asya) against Vampiro. This match took place at WCW Bash at the Beach 2000 which is a famous pay per view for other reasons.
This era of WCW (and I’m watching another show right now for a future article) is such a last gasp for the company. Some people are trying their best, and there is lots of potential under contract. But “wrestling” is clearly a dirty word at this time and the focus is on the Jerry Springer car crash TV parts. There’s no Match of the Year contenders to be found. Looking back at this show, there is a rounded up hour and a half of wrestling time on a three hour show.
In this match, the two painted warriors clad in black will settle their feud inside of a graveyard. To win you must incapacitate your opponent long enough to return to the arena. Most wrestling arenas are built right next to cemeteries so this makes sense. The Demon is dressed like Gene Simmons, legally and on purpose. KISS signed a deal with WCW for this character. So this lanky yet muscular shirtless person is wandering through a darkly lit set/graveyard with a torch in one hand and his jacked wife on the other. Asya was brought in to WCW because she was a big muscular girl. Dubbed Asya because that’s bigger than Chyna.
Vampiro is hiding in a tree and jumps down onto the Demon. They fight across the dirt, the grass, the graves, and even into a river. It’s tough to tell what’s going on at times. Much like a Michael Bay Transformers movie. Charles Robinson tags along as the unnecessary referee for this match and he does his best Scooby Doo impression throughout. Simultaneously wanting nothing to do with being next to the Demon in this scary place but also too scared to be alone.
The match ends this part when Vampiro puts the Demon into a nearby casket and then – camera edit – dumps that casket into an open grave. And he throws the torch in there too! Asya and Charles Robinson disappear along the way. I’m guessing to get him out of the grave. Vampiro shows up at the arena a match later to claim victory. Then his ongoing feud with Sting gains another chapter and the Demon is not mentioned.
What really ruins the match and something that made the WWE’s Boneyard match great is the announcers. WCW wasn’t known for having a great announce team at the time anyways. Mark Madden being the worst of it. The three man teams were notorious for talking not only over each other but also over the in ring action. They’re too concerned with getting out their own opinions that they neither call the action nor listen to what the other ones are saying. The Boneyard match had zero commentary and let the story talk for itself. This match may have had at least some more credit without the ridiculous banter.