10 Worst WCW ‘On A Pole’ Matches

4. Shane Douglas Vs. Billy Kidman - Nitro (July 31, 2000)

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Object atop: a bottle of viagra.

Mark Madden had a whale of a time (sorry) lacing his preamble with innuendo. "I tell you what: you can't come out limp in a match like this. You've gotta get it up right away, and keep it up."

He needn't have bothered. The story and execution was as broad as the broad art of pro wrestling gets - not that the descriptor truly applies here - as neatly symbolised by the bottle itself, which couldn't have featured larger "VIAGRA" lettering if it tried. The love triangle centred around Torrie Wilson, the virile Billy Kidman, and the impotent Shane Douglas, who was probably looking around backstage for his chalkboard before the show - either to beg the WWF for his job back, or to etch his career suicide note on it. Miserably failing to grasp its traditional wrestling audience for the umpteenth time, WCW made a mockery of the industry both in the ring and at the booth. This wasn't the first Viagra On A Pole match in history, apparently; Lou Thesz and Buddy Rogers mastered the genre decades ago. It was pure, infuriating arrogance. Those guys were dinosaurs by 2000, but they drew. Bullsh*t like this helped kill the organisation which presented it.

The actual work wasn't that bad. It was just impossible to take seriously, given the context, or invest in, given that it was all incidental to the gag. The finish, naturally, was botched; Kidman retrieved the bottle, but with the referee distracted, Douglas took it off him, breaking it and lacerating his shoulder in the process. The commentators made clear that the object of the match was to retrieve the bottle to use it as a weapon.

The referee wasn't important enough to communicate this to, so simply awarded the match to Douglas for having used the weapon - even though he was covered in his own blood.

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Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!