I left Grey Dog Software in December of 2018, in-game August 2001. From there, I took to WordPress. But it just wasn't the same. For those who followed me there, this will start off as reposting what I had there. For those who didn't (or are just joining!), the shows that took place before August 2001 will be shown as condensed, event-to-event monthly recaps, and after those I shall begin doing things on a show-to-show basis.
Our scene is a Christmas party, a rich man’s party. Champagne and caviar flows freely, as well dressed guests chatter amongst themselves about stocks, bonds, rental properties, vacations, and other general things that the “one percenters” care about most. One finely suited guest, the man throwing this entire shindig, floats around the room shaking hands and small talking as he moves past his fellow business owners. He then notices a man sitting alone at the in-house bar, not in a fine suit but clad in a leather jacket and blue jeans – which doesn’t suit the gray haired man wearing them.
But this is the man who was sent an invite, despite how many people said that it wasn’t a good idea. Our host walks over to him, watching him sip at a bottle of beer, before greeting him.
“Hey there, Eric; you look like you need some company.”
Eric looks up from his beer bottle briefly to glance at his new drinking companion, offering the old man only a weak smile and a defeated look in his eyes.
“What am I even doing here? I barely work for the company anymore, and once the merger goes through, I’ll be out the door even more; Hell, we probably all will be on our asses.”
“Well that’s why I invited you! Because you were the man who made it happen. You turned my baby into a profitable man for years, and I think you could do it again.”
“That’s just a pipe dream now. Vince is breathing down our necks. We won’t last until April at this rate. I spoke to that Kellner at the party earlier, and as soon as the merger goes through, he’s kicking us off the air.”
“It isn’t that bad. Our last shows were pretty good! The fans can come back, we just need to keep with what’s working.”
“With what? We barely have two dimes to rub against one another at this point.”
“That’s where I can come in, one final time, my friend.”
“What are you talking about? I thought your whole amount was tied up in legalities?”
“The company is still mine at this point, I don’t care what they keep pushing on the news. And that means I can still sell a part of it off if I want to, especially a part that they don’t want. Kellner knows some of the other guys, and they’re a little shady… I don’t want them to have the fate of my baby. You go home, and on Monday, stop by the offices. Come right into my office. I’ve had a paper drawn up for months now, just waiting for your signature. It won’t promise any money, but what it does promise is three months of hope.”
“I can’t pay anything for it. My investors aren’t guaranteed yet.”
“Don’t worry about it. Just come on Monday.”
“But why would you do this, when you can make more money by selling?”
“Eric, I’m getting to be an old man. My company is being merged out of my hands. Jane sleeps in a separate room, I think she wants a divorce. And the last thing I want to see is Vince’s faces on my networks ever again. What I want is to be able to sit down at the end of a long Monday and watch some ‘rasslin’.”
The fire is in Eric’s eyes, the defeated man gone, as he listens to the speech.
“I don’t want to lose my baby without having a say in it. So come on, Eric; make me some good ‘rasslin’ again.”
The date is Monday, December 25th, 2000.
A secret board meeting has just happened. There were only three people in the room.
Ted Turner, Eric Bischoff, and Sophie Burns, the secretary, as a witness.
As Eric heads back home, his signature on legal documents that sell him World Championship Wrestling as of January 2nd, 2001.
And all he had to give for it was one dollar and a promise.
That he would take the company and continue making good ‘rasslin’ for Ted Turner.
“Let’s get back to work.”
The date is Monday, January 1st, 2001.
Vince McMahon is just biding his time, waiting for WCW executives to call him.
But the call has never come.
The ratings have been declining slowly, not enough to be a problem yet but also just enough to be a concern. He has cranked up the McMahon drama to unseen levels, knowing that is what the crowd wants for sure. That’s what he can count on. The crowd just doesn’t know it yet.
Why in the Hell hasn’t Kellner called yet? Heyman has already been on the phone, the deal is about as done as it can be without ink on paper yet. My monopoly is so close to being completed, but the major player hasn’t showed his hand yet.
The show for tonight has already been taped, and there is no new Nitro to oppose it. If fans want wrestling tonight, they’ll watch. And then next week, we can start building for the Rumble. That always brings them back around. And then WrestleMania, my baby, my greatest creation! They always come in droves for WrestleMania!
But why in the Hell hasn’t Kellner called yet? Vince appeases himself by sitting back and thinking about the past year.
WCW Live Pay-Per-View Events Held Live at Primetime on Time Warner Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson, and Mark Madden (who was recently released)
WCW Monday Nitro Held Live on Mondays at Primetime on TNT Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson, and formerly Mark Madden
WCW Thunder Shown on Wednesdays at Late Evening on TBS Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Stevie Ray
WCW Worldwide Shown on Saturdays at Afternoon on Syndication Announcers: Mike Tenay and Scott Hudson
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Current Champion: “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner Held Since: November 26th, 2000 (WCW Mayhem) Previous Champion: Booker T
WCW World Tag Team Championships Current 2-Time Champions: The Insiders: Kevin Nash (7) and Diamond Dallas Page (4) Held Since: December 17th, 2000 (WCW Starrcade) Previous Champions: The Perfect Event
WCW United States Championship Current 2-Time Champion: General Rection Held Since: November 26th, 2000 (WCW Mayhem) Previous Champion: Lance Storm
WCW Hardcore Championship Current 2-Time Champion: Terry Funk Held Since: December 17th, 2000 (WCW Starrcade) Previous Champion: Crowbar
WCW Cruiserweight Championship Current 2-Time Champion: Chavo Guerrero Jr. Held Since: December 4th, 2000 (WCW Thunder) Previous Champion: Mike Sanders
On-Screen Authority Figures WCW CEO: “The Nature Boss” Ric Flair WCW Commissioner: “Above Average” Mike Sanders
Active Roster Alex Wright “The Beast from the East” Bam Bam Bigelow Buff “The Stuff” Bagwell Chavo Guerrero Jr. Crowbar, with Daffney “The Sarge” DeWayne Bruce Diamond Dallas Page Ernest “The Cat” Miller with Ms. Jones Evan Karagias The Filthy Animals: Konnan, Billy Kidman, and Rey Mysterio Jr., with Tygress “The Man” Goldberg The Harris Brothers: Big Ron and Heavy D Jamie Knoble “The Chosen One” Jeff Jarrett “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan The Jung Dragons: Kaz Hayashi and Yang, with Leia Meow “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash KroniK: Brian Adams and Bryan Clark Kwee Wee with Paisley “The Total Package” Lex Luger The Mamalukes: Big Vito and Johnny the Bull “The Monster” Meng The Misfits in Action: General Rection, Corporal Cajun, and Sgt. A-WALL The Natural Born Thrillers: “The Main Event” Chuck Palumbo, “Perfect” Shawn Stasiak, Mark Jindrak, Sean O’Haire, and Reno, with Mike Sanders “Screamin’” Norman Smiley “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner with Midajah “The Franchise” Shane Douglas Sid Vicious Terry Funk Three Count: “Sugar” Shane Helms and Shannon Moore Team Canada: Lance Storm, “Canadian Career Killer” Mike Awesome, and Elix Skipper, with Major Gunns
WCW Broadcast Team “Mean” Gene Okerlund “Iron” Mike Tenay Scott Hudson Stevie Ray Tony Schiavone
WCW Officials Billy Silverman Charles Robinson Nick Patrick Scott Armstrong
Backstage Road Agents Arn Anderson (occasionally seen on-screen with Ric Flair) Johnny Ace Terry Taylor
Absent from Television Booker T (injury) Disqo (injury) Dustin Rhodes (suspension) Eric Bischoff (leave of absence) Glacier (being promoted after a long absence) Kanyon (leave) Madusa (leave) Rick Steiner (leave) Stacy Kiebler (between storylines) Sting (storyline injury) Vampiro (injury)
The World Championship Cluster%@(# At WCW Mayhem, Scott Steiner finally achieved what people had been saying he should have had for years: The World’s Heavyweight championship. “Big Poppa Pump” put Booker T on the shelf in the process, as well as having put Sting on that same shelf. He felt that he had disposed of Sid Vicious at Starrcade as well, but reports say that Sid is not as injured as the champion would believe. “The Nature Boss” Ric Flair, in the interest of setting up a world class title match for WCW Sin, has announced a special three way dance for the World title. Steiner’s somewhat ally, “The Chosen One” Jeff Jarrett, won his way into the bout with a one-night tournament victory, but the third participant only Flair knows. Who is the mystery man? Can Steiner overcome these odds? And is Jarrett really in the match to help Scott as he claims, or is he out to win his fifth World championship?
The Streak Redux When Vince Russo was in charge of WCW, he made Goldberg an ultimatum: if he can once again gain his 176-0 streak, then he will be given a shot at the WCW World championship, but if he loses along the way and he must leave WCW! This has led to plenty of men coming along to try and put down “The Man” so they can be the one who retires the former champion. Currently, “The Total Package” Lex Luger has laid his claim to trying to eliminate Goldberg, and he nearly did so at Starrcade with the help of a turning Buff Bagwell. Now, Totally Buff are pooling their resources to achieve their goal, and are doing so by placing Goldberg in an almost no-win situation: forcing him to team with his old Power Plant trainer “The Sarge” DeWayne Bruce at Sin against the two world class athletes! Standing now at 33-0 after a match on the final Thunder of the year, can “The Man” get through these incredible odds to get to the WCW World championship again?
Inside the Thrillers Kevin Nash had been the coach of the Natural Born Thrillers, but when they turned against him, he knew that he had to look to his past to get through the onslaught in his future. Joining forces with Diamond Dallas Page, “Big Sexy” and he won the WCW World Tag Team championships from The Perfect Event and have been keeping ahead of the Thrillers since. However, Commissioner Mike Sanders has proven to be a thorn in their sides, wanting the belts back around his men’s waists. Ric Flair overruled Sanders trying to simply place his stablemates into contention, instead forcing them into a tag team battle royal, but Sanders stopped the match when it was O’Haire, Jindrak, Palumbo, and Stasiak remaining, and said that he will not reveal which two will take on Page and Nash until Sin. Mystery surrounds the evening as The Insiders have no idea which of these four young, hungry studs they will have to face off against!
Blame Canada? Blame Yourself! Team Canada have just gotten a huge shot in the arm as of the final Thunder of 2000 when they dumped Jim Duggan and picked up Mike Awesome! Awesome, shedding his “70s Guy” persona, has dubbed himself the Canadian Career Killer, and he wants to get back all the time he wasted. The Canadians have been having some problems with the Filthy Animals, but this problem has just escalated with the addition of Awesome.
Misfits No More? The Misfits in Action, after Lt. Loco left them, seem to be in the brink of collapse. General Rection, the reigning WCW United States champion, is trying to keep Corporal Cajun and Sgt. A-WALL banded together, but “The Franchise” Shane Douglas isn’t helping matters as he routinely attacks Rection. Douglas is simply after the championship gold, but he could help to tear the MIA apart in the process!
Who’s Hardcore? Terry Funk won the WCW Hardcore championship from Crowbar at Starrcade. Crowbar, who was joined with Mike Awesome in the 70s getup, threw all that away the next night as he attacked Meng with a wrench in order to ensure that Funk would retain the belt until he got a shot at it! The old crazy Crowbar is back along with “The Scream Queen” Daffney, and they are looking to put that title right back around his waist! But… what about Meng?
The Rematch Clause “Sugar” Shane Helms and Shannon Moore co-won the tag team ladder match at Starrcade, only for Helms to defeat Moore in singles action the next night on Nitro to secure himself the WCW Cruiserweight championship match at Sin. Or did he? Crafty champion Chavo Guerrero Jr. has made it clear that if he loses the belt between now and Sin, then Helms is out as Chavo would use his rematch clause to get his match back! Helms is now in a do-or-die situation, as he is forced to assist his opponent so that he doesn’t lose his hard-earned title shot!
Brotherly Bonds When Johnny the Bull decided to turn on Big Vito, Vito brought in his brother, Reno, for backup against the Natural Born Thrillers. But it ended up all being a ruse, as Reno turned on Vito to join the Thrillers also! Johnny then turned right back against the NBT, rejoining Big Vito to reunite the Mamalukes, but one thing is left: showing Reno that if you mess with family, you sleep with the fishes!
Blood Runs Colder Everyone has laughed as vignettes have begun to occasionally run again to redebut Glacier, now dubbed as “Blood Runs Colder”. Everyone, that is, except for “Screamin’” Norman Smiley, who feels that this is what WCW needs: a real hero!
Looking over all the information that he had gathered, Eric Bischoff shook his head. The days of the New World Order, of Hogan and Savage and Piper and Hart bringing in money and ratings hand-over-fist were long gone. Even the days of the exciting matches put on night after night by Benoit and Guerrero and the like were gone. Ugh, thanks a lot, “Taskmaster.” Hope you’re enjoying your miserable life on the unemployment line.
“Let’s face it… Vince won this battle.”
He sighs, sitting back in his chair and running his hands over his face. He had made a few stars over the years, but not many; they didn’t need to make new stars before, because why should they when they were promoting the legendary icons of wrestling? New stars were the people that those guys went over to stay on top! Or at least that’s what Terry and Kevin had instilled in him. Russo had his faults, but at least he gave new people a chance. People like Jarrett and Booker may not be the full answer right now, but at least they were talented enough to put on some interesting main events. And that’s what all the dirt sheet and internet whiners said, that main events in WCW were never any good because the main eventers were too old and broken down to put on good matches. Maybe we did let them coast on their name value a little too much, but there’s something to be said for known commodities. However, it’s a new day. Our ratings may stink, but Raw is slipping. Just like in 1995, that sort of slip could be just what we need to jump up and try to overtake them again. And this time there are not as many cooks in the kitchen from Turner to hold us back.
“He may have won this grueling five year battle. But the war is still coming.”
Thunder for the third of January was long ago taped and sent to TBS, there’s no way we could change anything about it. But Eric began jotting down notes and ideas on his personal roster sheet, crossing names and scratching arrows here and there with people who can start feuding. He looked at the clock to see that it was almost 2 AM, and at Loree who was long ago in bed. Tomorrow he needed to make a few calls to some people. He may not be able to change the world in one night, but the Xcel Energy Center was only a short drive away from home.
And he planned to have a brand new booking sheet ready to go for some people who are going to be very surprised to see his face show up backstage.
“Hey there! Glad to see ya drop by. You never call, you never write. How will we ever make this relationship work?!?”
I’m almost immediately greeted by Kevin Nash as I got my entry into the backstage area, with him of course making a joke out of things. I greet him as well, but before getting chummy with everyone, I ask to be pointed toward Johnny. I have some business to attend to, and he’s the man I have to talk to first.
Behind Closed Doors
When I get into his office, his raspy voice greets me politely as he asks me if I’m here to talk to some of the boys and watch the show.
He has no idea the bombshell that I drop in his lap.
“I’m sorry you had to find out about it this way, but it had to be kept a secret until after the first of the year.”
“So what, you’re just stepping in and pulling the rug out from under me? Gonna redo things like you and Russo did last year? Because that worked so well for the company!”
“John, calm down! We aren’t changing or rebooting anything. The only thing that changes as far as this goes is that I’m in charge. That shouldn’t be a whole lot of change compared to what we’ve worked with before.”
“Well, no, but what about Turner and his money?”
“Ted gave me the company, but unfortunately we don’t get any more money from him. Which really bothers me about what we’re doing running the Xcel tonight. John, why are we even here? WCW are so far in the red it’s not funny right now! Why are we running in a building we literally can’t afford and have next to no chance of filling?”
“It was set up at the end of last year, Eric! We couldn’t change it.”
“Well, we need to call the next arenas after Sin and tell them that we can’t run there. We need to downsize, and fast.”
“They won’t give back our deposits-”
“Johnny, come on! That’s unfortunate, but we gotta do things different. We won’t run far from there, but we gotta fit people into close yet smaller, and more importantly cheaper, venues. It certainly doesn’t seem like we’re selling enough tickets to make it worth our while. Just tell everyone their tickets are being honored at the new location, like Vince did a that one shitty Wrestlemania.”
“Eric, what are we going to do without Turner’s money? That’s all that kept this company afloat for the past few years, and then every year before that!”
This was one thing I knew how to answer.
“Survive, John. Survive on our own.”
He sighs, shaking his head.
“That’ll be way easier said than done. I hope you aren’t expecting all of the boys to be happy to see you.”
“I’m not. But I hope I’ll be able to convince them that it’s better than the alternatives.”
With Ace’s help, I got a secret meeting called for all the staff; wrestlers, agents, if their name was on a WCW contract they were to attend. A buzz could be heard from all around the room as John called everyone to order. I had given him a short speech to read off, telling about how the AOL/Time Warner merger would have meant all of their jobs would have ended up down the toilet. Telling them that we no longer were operating under TBS’s braintrust, and that we only had three months of television coverage left on these stations before we were getting kicked off and had to find our own path. I made sure to make it sound as bad as possible, that there was almost literally no way that the company was going to survive. I was feeling a little nervous as he got closer to the end of his speech.
“But one man has decided that this company and all you in this room are worth stepping in to save. And that man has bought WCW and all it’s contracts directly from Turner himself. That man… is Eric Bischoff.”
As I stepped in front of everyone, Ric Flair’s voice rang out over everyone. He nearly stampeded me as he got in front of the pack.
“Are you f***ing kidding me?! You? You?! I thought we were finally done with you! You’re one of the biggest reasons we are in the mess that Ace was just telling us about, and now you’re gonna come in here and turn things around? Is Hogan back here somewhere too? I’m sure he wants to drop a leg on Scott and wear the belt around some more! How about Master P? Is he gonna be around too? What World Order are we about to turn into?”
I had maybe this one chance to diffuse this situation before it became hostile.
“Ric, please! I know I’ve made some huge mistakes, most of them involving you! But I never thought that I would see the day that WCW was in this shape. I thought we would have won the war by now, but I was blind, okay? All that was before I was forced to leave. Now I have a second chance, another shot to change my fate, all of your fates, by being the sole owner of the company. I’m not asking you to trust me right now. I’m just asking that you give me a chance.”
He abruptly off in a huff. Arn joins him, and the door slams shut behind them. Silence echoes around the room, as if waiting for someone else to step forward and air their grievances. But it doesn’t come; instead, Nash and Dallas come to my side, shaking my hand and congratulating me on getting the company. Before any more of the group disperses, I address them all again.
“It won’t be easy though. All of the things that John said are true. We are horribly in the red. We will be forced off of Turner broadcasting at the end of March. If we can even keep the banks off our ass by then. But we have a good thing going here. We aren’t finished yet. And as long as we can keep getting fans to keep watching and keep putting money toward us, then just maybe we can still turn this around. The company was offered to Vince McMahon, and he didn’t even want it. Are we going to stand for that? Are we going to be made to feel less than second rate by an asshole like Vince McMahon?! Well I’m not! And you shouldn’t be either! We may not be winning the war tomorrow or the next day, but if we all can work together, we can come back from this, I swear!”
The guys all seemed a little excited, I guess just knowing who to report to may be new for some of them. I will have to deal with Ric and Arn personally later, but for now, it’s on to other business. I posted up a brand new booking sheet for tonight and Thunder, and it left a lot of guys excited. They weren’t to get TV time before, but now they’re set to be featured right away on Nitro.
Behind the scenes, one of the first things I had to do – unfortunately – was go further into debt. However, it will save us in the long run. I toned down our production qualities; not so much that Turner’s execs were going to start breathing down our neck, but just enough to save money in the long run… and hopefully not so much that it will become a problem in three months when I have to have a new home for our programming. I had to buy off members of the staff who were being let go so we could bring our production value down to a professional level, move our live event experience to a large crew, our broadcast quality to simply an in-house crew instead of Turner’s people, and our music to smaller yet still licensed bands. If we are running enough shows to make our wage bill worth it, we are going to need all we can get. It was thirty grand that we really didn’t have the ability to spend, but it will come out in the long run. Also, and I hope this one will not come back to bite us on the ass, but I had to do away with drug testing. At least for now, because we just cannot afford the costs that come with doing it. Fortunately for me, being out of the Turner umbrella made the pending lawsuits disappear – but it sure didn’t help our company’s bottom line, as we are already struggling as the poorest of the poor as wrestling companies go in the entire world. That is quite a change from a few years ago, and is a first for WCW. We haven’t been this badly in debt since Crockett ran things. But there will be no rich man coming to save the day. With little money to myself to put into the company, there is no way I can throw cash around like I used to. Big money contracts are going to have to disappear. I just hope that the people who hold onto them will understand and stick around to rebuild the company.
I realize that I may be in way over my head. But we can’t just let Vince win.
It’s time for Nitro.
Alright, so that’s all of my quote-unquote “backstory” posts. Nitro will be posted in the next day or so. I hope this doesn’t seem too far-fetched; I know it would have been easier to just go with no real backstory at all, but I felt that Eric stepping into power would almost require a lot of things like this big backstage meeting. Hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all will enjoy the start of my own shows!
One of the main storylines leading into WCW Sin was about “The Nature Boss” Ric Flair, CEO of World Championship Wrestling, who has brought in a mystery man to take part in a triple threat match for the WCW World Heavyweight championship. Flair has been trying ever since the start of Steiner’s title reign to give him increasingly more difficult challengers in order to force “Big Poppa Pump” to be regarded as one of the greatest World champions we have ever seen. At the start of the month, this match featured champion “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner and “The Chosen One” Jeff Jarrett, but on the first Thunder of 2001, Steiner and Jarrett tried to set up Sid Vicious when Flair booked Jarrett to put his spot on the line against “The Millennium Man.” After the attack caused a disqualification in Sid’s favor, Flair knocked Jarrett out of the match, making it into Steiner defending against Sid and against the mystery man.
The other main story was Totally Buff trying everything they can to defeat Goldberg. When he was in power, Vince Russo decreed that Goldberg must recreate his impressive 178 win undefeated streak before he can get another shot at the World title, and if he lost a single match until then he would be forced to retire from professional wrestling. “The Total Package” and Buff Bagwell joined forces last month to try to get him out of WCW, and had their best chance when they were awarded a tag team match against Goldberg and his old trainer, “The Sarge” DeWayne Bruce, and either Goldberg or Bruce losing would cause the retirement of Goldberg. They teamed up to break “Sarge’s” arm on the first Thunder of the month, but that led to their “easy” night being thwarted as Goldberg found former the Road Warrior, Animal, to become his new partner!
Other feuds included The Insiders defending the WCW World Tag Team championships against a mystery duo from the Natural Born Thrillers; Team Canada against the Filthy Animals, who are joined by Jim Duggan; “The Franchise” Shane Douglas chasing General Rection’s United States championship into a Chain on a Pole match; Crowbar and Meng both wanting Terry Funk’s WCW Hardcore title, which Funk turned into a Hardcore Invitational; Chavo Guerrero Jr. frustrating “Sugar” Shane Helms all the way through Shane’s turn at being the number one contender for the Cruiserweight strap; and brothers Big Vito and Reno in a blood feud.
(Was not actually the PPV theme, but that one got dropped from youtube, so this is a decent replacement.)
Held at: Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana (Great Lakes) Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Scott Hudson Attendance: 9,339 people PPV Rating: 0.23 Show Rating: B- This show increased our popularity in 10 regions.
Lance Storm, Elix Skipper and Mike Awesome defeated Konnan and The Filthy Animals (Rating: B-) Team Canada close in on Jim Duggan, and Awesome powerbombs him through a table! (Rating: C-) Gene interviews Flair, who talks about tonight’s triple threat match (Rating: B) Commentary discussion (Rating: C-) Gene interviews Totally Buff, who unveil a surprise: Madusa! (Rating: C+) General Rection defeated Shane Douglas in a Pole match to retain the WCW United States Heavyweight title (Rating: C) As the MIA celebrate their victory, Jeff Jarrett and the Harris Brothers crash the party! (Rating: C-) Gene interviews Sid ahead of our main event (Rating: C+) Shane Douglas won a Hardcore Invitational for the WCW Hardcore title (Rating: D) Douglas cuts a promo on being the true icon of hardcore! (Rating: D+) Gene interviews the Insiders, who are ready to take on the NBT (Rating: C+) Video: Goldberg vs. Totally Buff (Rating: B) Goldberg entrance (Rating: B-) Goldberg and Road Warrior Animal defeated Totally Buff by DQ when Animal turns on Goldberg (Rating: C+) With Madusa and Animal’s defections cemented, they and Totally Buff beat on Goldberg! (Rating: B) Gene interviews Sanders, who doesn’t shed any light on who will be in the Tag title match (Rating: C) Chavo Guerrero Jr. defeated Shane Helms to retain the WCW Cruiserweight title (Rating: C-) Gene interviews Scott Steiner, who is going to do what he does best tonight: win! (Rating: B) Ric Flair talks to his mystery man, who is off-screen (Rating: B) Gene catches Jarrett and the Harrises, Jeff saying he’ll take the US title to get back at Flair! (Rating: C) Big Vito defeated Reno in a Parking Lot Brawl (Rating: E) Commentary discussion (Rating: C+) Video: The Insiders vs. The Natural Born Thrillers (Rating: C) Palumbo & O’Haire defeated The Insiders for the WCW World Tag Team titles (Rating: B-) Sanders hosts the NBT celebration, but he seems a little harsh on the two who weren’t victorious (Rating: C+) Scott Steiner and Sid Vicious are on their way to the ring in a split screen (Rating: B) Video: Scott Steiner vs. Sid Vicious vs. Flair’s Mystery Man (Rating: B-) Scott Steiner defeated Sid Vicious and Rick Steiner in a Triple Threat match to retain the WCW World Heavyweight title as the Steiner Brothers join forces and Mark Johnson does a screwy referee call (Rating: B-) The Steiner Brothers celebrate the tainted victory to close out Sin (Rating: B)
The remainder of January saw the build begin for SuperBrawl: Revenge, namely the huge return of the former WCW champion Booker T! But more about that next month for the SuperBrawl report!
Off-screen, it was a far more dysfunctional time. With the return of Eric Bischoff to the helm of WCW, it was very quickly apparent that the company was barely treading water financially. The huge contracts left over from the Turner years saw WCW lose over six million dollars in January itself! Eric also couldn’t cut short anyone’s already agreed upon leaves of absence, meaning he was left without huge stars like Sting for the next few months. Ric Flair is also out of the ring, but he’s putting on most of the best segments WCW can get as the on-screen authority figure, throwing barbs back and forth with champion Scott Steiner. At the end of the month, a few new faces had begun appearing in the company, as Harley Race, Paul Orndorff, and Tully Blanchard joined the road agent staff, while Sharmell, Daffney, and Leia Meow were given extensions to their contracts. Mark Johnson came back to WCW, while Reno and “The Sarge” DeWayne Bruce left to join NWA: Wildside. Meanwhile, Meng and Terry Funk were bid farewell, as they left the company in January.
Here’s looking forward to February, and SuperBrawl!
The Christmas presents are all unwrapped and the New Year has begun, which means there’s only one thing left to be excited about in January: it’s time for the Royal Rumble!
Leading up to the show, we had seen a lot of huge twists and turns. Mr. McMahon had practically gifted “Stone Cold” Steve Austin a WWF World Heavyweight championship match against champion Kurt Angle, but it proved to be another man’s trap as “The Cerebral Assassin” Triple H made his return after to heal up some nagging injuries for several weeks. He used the match to attack a weakened Austin, and on the following episode of SmackDown!, Mr. McMahon made Triple H the man who would face “The Olympic Hero” at the Royal Rumble with the championship on the line. And just to make sure Triple H and Austin didn’t maim one another until the show, if they so much as touched one another then Triple H would lose his title shot and Austin would be forced out of the Royal Rumble match! Austin and Triple H were also made tag team partners once in a match of mismatched partners to take on The Rock and Kurt Angle. This type of treatment led to a furious Austin going on a rampage by hitting anyone who got in his way with a Stunner, including Mr. McMahon, Kurt Angle, and The Rock! At the WWF Royal Rumble, Kurt Angle may have retained his championship gold, but it was not without assistance; “Stone Cold” came to the ring while referee Earl Hebner was incapacitated, and he laid a brutal assault on “The Game” en route to Angle rolling over him for the win. Kurt Angle moves on to a new challenger next month, but it looks like these two bitter rivals are primed to destroy one another!
This year’s Royal Rumble match was completely up in the air, but a few big names definitely had their sights set on the victory. The Rock was looking to repeat his win from last year, men like Rikishi, The Undertaker, and Kane wanted their first victories, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin wanted to get back into position to win the WWF World Heavyweight championship that he feels he should still have. There were a few surprises, as the Honky Tonk Man, Big Show, and Haku all made big returns to the WWF to try and stake their claim at the main event of WrestleMania. No one could have seen the great run of Kane coming, however, as he single-handedly eliminated eleven men, lasting the longest in the entire match to go to the final elimination. That elimination happened at the hands of Steve Austin, who cemented his spot at WrestleMania 17! But with No Way Out looming in the future, who knows what could happen to Austin and Angle until then?
Also on the show, The Dudley Boyz won the WWF World Tag Team championships from Edge and Christian. E&C had laid down a brutal attack on Bubba Ray and D-Von a week before the pay-per-view, which left a huge question mark about their condition. But one 3-D later, and we were looking at brand new champions!
In one of the more scary moments of the evening, Chyna tried to come back from her horrific neck injury to take the WWF Women’s title away from Ivory. Chyna looked as though she was firing on all cylinders, until she suddenly dropped to the mat. With friend Billy Gunn looking on, Chyna was stretchered out of the building, her career even more in jeopardy than it was previously. Steven Richards and Ivory laughed maniacally, feeling as though they had won the war… and, unfortunately, for now they may have.
The recent hostilities between Chris Benoit and “Y2J” Chris Jericho came to a head in a breath-taking ladder match for Benoit’s WWF Intercontinental championship. Jericho had been attacked by three of The Radicalz (Benoit, Malenko, and Saturn) within the previous seven days of the match, as they dropped a garage door on his ribs! But “Y2J” fought through it, finally achieving his goal of retrieving the title to begin his third reign with the belt!
The next time that the WWF will be on pay-per-view will be on February 25th, 2001. One thing is for sure: the final stop on the road to WrestleMania is bound to be full of surprises! Be sure to tune in to WWF Raw is War and WWF SmackDown! to find out what all of your favorite – and least favorite – superstars will be fighting against when they have No Way Out!
The Dudley Boyz defeated Edge & Christian for the WWF World Tag Team titles. (Rating: B)
Michael Cole interviews Stone Cold and Debra, where he talks about both Triple H and his entry into the Royal Rumble. (Rating: B)
Chris Jericho defeated Chris Benoit in a ladder match for the WWF Intercontinental title. (Rating: B)
Vince McMahon is uninterrupted tonight with Trish Stratus, save for when she will accompany Kurt Angle to the ring. (Rating: C+)
Coach interviews Triple H and Stephanie, with him not caring about her petty squabble with Trish so long as he wins the WWF title so he can hold it over Austin’s head! (Rating: B+)
Ivory defeated Chyna by stoppage to retain the WWF Women’s title. (Rating: C-)
Billy helps Chyna be stretchered out of the arena as Steven and Ivory laugh at her! (Rating: C-)
Kurt Angle defeated Triple H to retain the WWF World Heavyweight title when Steve Austin beats up Triple H, leaving him easy prey. (Rating: B)
Stephanie goes to complain to Vince, but catches him practically in the act with Trish! (Rating: B+)
Steve Austin wins the Royal Rumble for the third time by last eliminating Kane. (Rating: B)
Austin celebrates with beer as he is now going to the main event of WrestleMania! (Rating: B+)
“I feel like a broken record in saying that another week goes by, but it did. This time we had a few pretty good decisions made, I think. One of the bigger things was that we brought Dustin Rhodes back to television, working as a partner along with DDP. I did that to play off Page’s real life friendship to Dusty. We also wrote off Stevie Ray for the time being, because I couldn’t stand hearing him drag down every segment he was commentating on anymore. Plans are in place to get a solid color commentator pretty directly. Booker T told me at the beginning of the month that he feels ready to get back into the ring, but I still plan on keeping him out of the ring for at least most of the month, playing off the attack he suffered on Thunder. He will be on air, just not wrestling until SuperBrawl. In good news, I don’t plan on having any matches featuring surprise wrestlers at SuperBrawl; I think that gimmick is played pretty thin at this point. While I feel that it is still useful on television like how we brought Dustin back, if we use it too often then it will just ruin the idea of a surprise. At this point, I have three weeks to button up booking of six more matches, so that will be pretty easy to handle for such a forward thinking, award winning writer like myself.
“The signing of Harley Race has paid immediate dividends. Goldberg was backstage at Nitro telling people that he refused to join guys like Norman Smiley, Evan Karagias, Shane Helms, and their like – the mid and lower card type of guys – for a few drinks after the show. “Handsome Harley” jumped him about it, telling Bill in no uncertain terms that he needs to remember that he’s got less years in the sport than they do even if he has more World titles, and that he would not only join them but pay their entire tab. Reports of Goldberg having no respect must not be completely true, because not only did he do it but he seemed to have a better behavior after the talking-to. Tully Blanchard mentioned to me that he felt Mark Jindrak is going to be a star and needs pushed hard. Scott Steiner was far less flattering to the Thrillers however, when he said that Shawn Stasiak wouldn’t know charisma if he found it in a paper bag, saying he should be fired so I can hire someone better. But that isn’t the worst of Shawn’s news at the moment, as he suffered a broken collar bone, and he’ll be out of the ring for nearly all of February. After Thunder, I had more visitors. One from Booker T, who said that he didn’t think Big Ron needs to learn how to work because he can’t sell worth a damn. I took it into consideration, but at the same time, he’s already been showing that he’s on the down side of his in-ring career; nobody is going to teach him anything now. Dustin Rhodes, on his first day “officially” back on the roster, decided to let me know that Lash LeRoux doesn’t get “it” and should be cut loose. That one I could take into account, because if there’s any people out there who understand what “it” is like, it’s a Rhodes. Scott Steiner said in no uncertain terms that I could just drop Jimmy Yang because he has no charisma, and that sentiment was surprisingly shared by Goldberg. He said that Jimmy just doesn’t connect with fans.
“I did it again, getting two guys talking and forming a more permanent bond. This time it was with the Filthy Animals team of Rey and Billy. Their newfound strong friendship should not only help my backstage from potentially being chaotic, but maybe it’ll even keep them looking out for one another better during their tag matches.
“Buff didn’t want to put Bryan Clark over cleanly like I had wanted, but while he was complaining he saw both Adams and Clark standing by with an increasingly intimidating look on their faces. He quickly quieted down and did what was asked of him.
“On Thunder, good news came from the strangest places. Kwee Wee showed off a brand new “hope spot” during his squash match against Animal, some sort of rebounding clothesline off the ropes. In the right hands, a move like that could get over, but I doubt he’ll do much with it.
“Our ratings came in this week, and it was about as well as usual. Even when not going against Raw, we drew a 2.40 rating on TNT. Which, granted, is slightly higher than it was the week before and the week before, but we are growing that number only by inches rather than yards. But when the ratings for Raw look like 14.84 because they added together the ratings from TNN, TSN, Sky Sports, and Foxtel, it doesn’t look good. Thunder then drew a 2.06 rating on TBS, with Worldwide getting a
“While I know I’m supposed to try saving money, I felt that Glacier needed some more time with us, so I extended his contract. He is still splitting time between us and Dusty’s TCW, but I did get him talked down by almost $200 per appearance… so I’ll take what I can get there. But I do need to save money; which was why I didn’t offer a new contract to Meng, who immediately jumped at the WWF’s offer to be Haku again and feud with Undertaker and Kane. I also didn’t offer a new deal out for Terry Funk. I feel bad letting such a legendary veteran go, but I saw little use in keeping him around in this particular moment. There are definitely no hard feelings about it for now, and I would be happy to bring him back once we are a little more stable.
“Something I decided to do was take a closer look at our merchandise. I’m not sure how much it will save us on money by the end of the month to cut out a lot of our merchandising and only produce merch for the people who sell the absolute best, but it’s worth a shot. I think once I get out of our Turner deals, we may actually start making some better headway, because we are getting nowhere with our television and pay-per-view deals right now. I think when I have us all on our own, out from under the umbrella one hundred percent, then I can cut some deals all over the world that will get our name out there like it’s 1997 all over again. Right before the end of January, I brokered a deal that sold off the entirety of the WCW Power Plant. As sad as it was to close the doors, it gained us a little over $300,000 to help out this month… which was not going to be a good month financially no matter what. I knew that going in. Hopefully we can manage to make back what all we have lost in the future, and more… but at this point, I’m not sure how long that may take. All of those big money contracts that I signed people to in the past are coming back to bite me in the ass, and hard. I guess this is karma coming back to get me after all.
“Almost time to go live. With Dallas in our first main event of the month, we are ready to begin February with a bang.
“That was a horrible joke, and I should never tell it again.”
As was noted last time, Booker T was chosen by “The Nature Boss” Ric Flair to step in and try to take the World championship away from “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner. But now that Steiner’s older brother, Rick, has Scott’s back completely, it is certainly an uphill battle for the former champion to climb. On the final Nitro of January, Booker interfered in a triple threat tag team match that made Diamond Dallas Page get a title shot on the first Nitro of February; but on the final Thunder of January, retribution was swift as the Steiner Brothers brutally assaulted Booker in the parking lot of the arena! Steiner and Booker play mind games with one another as Flair doesn’t let Booker wrestle until SuperBrawl, notably when Booker is a referee and is forced to proclaim “Big Poppa Pump” as the winner. When Booker loses his cool and attacks a member of security, he’s nearly arrested. Steiner brags about this, leading to Tully Blanchard challenging Steiner to a fight, as the two had been having words for a few weeks. With Booker’s assistance, Blanchard actually “wins” the fight, and that sent Scott Steiner into a rampage! The Steiners destroyed Stevie Ray, and that led to Booker attacking Rick Steiner, right as we entered into the night when each man goes for Revenge!
One of the biggest shocks of WCW Sin was Road Warrior Animal turning on Goldberg. Animal explained that he turned on Goldberg because he had grown tired of hearing people compare Goldberg to the path of destruction that the Road Warriors once laid out across the world. Animal upped the ante by destroying one of Goldberg’s prize motorcycles with a heavy biker chain, and then decimated Goldberg with that same chain the next week. This led to their bout for SuperBrawl: Revenge becoming a Chain match, where the two mighty bruisers would be chained together by the wrist.
After Sin saw the team of Sean O’Haire and Chuck Palumbo take away the WCW World Tag Team championships from the Insiders, Page and Nash sought out their rematch immediately. Threatening commissioner Mike Sanders, O’Haire agreed to the bout, but no one could have foreseen how the title stayed in the Thrillers camp: it was due to outside interference from Team Canada! When questioned about it, Lance Storm said that what happened wasn’t personal, it was just a matter of getting WCW to take notice of them, nothing more. However, later that night, Elix Skipper and Major Gunns laid Kevin Nash out with a piece of steel to the knee, while Storm and Awesome drove DDP through a table. The Insiders followed this up by bringing in Dustin Rhodes to help them, with Rhodes calling himself “The Prodigal Son” and joining up with Page and Nash to take on Team Canada at SuperBrawl: Revenge! A series of broken tables left in both teams’ wake led to their six man being a Tables match, which should make this one of the most violent matches WCW has ever seen!
Sid Vicious was on the warpath for Mark Johnson’s head, feeling that he – along with the Steiner Brothers – had screwed him over in the Sin main event. Johnson constantly claimed innocence, saying that all he did was end the bout, operating as any official would, but never admitting any wrongdoing despite blatant video footage to the contrary. Johnson is being protected by being a registered official of WCW, but Sid has him in his sights and claims that if he catches him doing wrong, Johnson has a Powerbomb coming his way!
KroniK, upset at how Totally Buff have been costing them money, and jumped at the chance to take them on at SuperBrawl: Revenge. Luger and Bagwell claim to not be afraid of the hired guns, but the amount of times they run away when the odds are two against two show a big difference from their words to actions!
The Natural Born Thrillers appear to be having some internal issues. Reno disappeared after Sin, and after constant blown interference, mostly by Shawn Stasiak, there were definite problems brewing. Sanders did what he could to hold things together, but as the Filthy Animals become the number one contenders, there is a lot of concern over how long these hot headed youngsters can keep it on the same page!
Speaking of the commissioner, he put the Thrillers against the Animals nearly all month long, but never wrestled himself except for taking on Tygress. He also made sure that “The Cat” was in action all month long, as he was set to take on Ernest Miller at SuperBrawl: Revenge with the commissioner role on the line against the services of Ms. Jones. One of the final hurdles for Miller to get past was the returning Disqo, who claimed that he had undergone some training under a new self help guru. Miller may not have won every match on his path, but that was never a requirement; can he overcome those odds and win back the position of power he once held? Or have the constant matches left him too beaten to take down “Above Average” Mike Sanders?
“The Chosen One” Jeff Jarrett and his Harris Boys bodyguards have hounded the remaining Misfits in Action, with Jarrett wanting to take the United States championship away from General Rection in order to stick it to Ric Flair. Meanwhile, Corporal Cajun becomes the next challenger for Chavo Guerrero Jr.’s Cruiserweight championship. The quick thinking and sleazy Guerrero weasels his way into teaming with his former MIA troop to make a six man tag team match at SuperBrawl: Revenge, not only giving the MIA a third man to compete against Jarrett, Big Ron, and Heavy D, but then avoiding having to defend his title. General and Corporal seem to know that the former “Lieutenant Loco” is going to turn on them, but will he? Or is he legitimate in wanting to help them?
New WCW Hardcore champion “The Franchise” Shane Douglas sent Terry Funk out of WCW with the assistance of his new protege, Crowbar. With Daffney at their side, Crowbar began doing the bidding of “The Franchise” and with Shane occasionally leaving matches to his pupil. Shane runs afoul of the Full Blooded Italians, and they will meet in tag team hardcore action at SuperBrawl with the title on the line!
3 Count had already broken apart in the end of 2000, but allegiances shifted again as Evan Karagias joined back up with Shannon Moore, which left “Sugar” Shane Helms and Jamie Knoble in the cold. This led to a tag team match at SuperBrawl: Revenge between the jilted partners against the new rechristened 2 Count.
WCW SuperBrawl: Revenge
February 18th, 2001
Held at: The Centennial Garden in Bakersfield, California (South West)
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Scott Hudson
Attendance: 8,641 people (sold out!)
PPV Rating: 0.28
Show Rating: B-
This show increased our popularity in 10 regions.
Ric Flair opens the show to pump up the crowd, with Scott Steiner interrupting him to talk about the main event; Booker T comes out and insults Steiner! (Rating: A*)
Shane Helms and Jamie Knoble defeated 2 Count (Rating: C-)
Gene talks to the Natural Born Thrillers, with Sanders proclaiming big victories (Rating: C)
Konnan hypes the Filthy Animals; arriba la raza! (Rating: C+)
The Filthy Animals defeated Palumbo & O’Haire by DQ due to Shawn Stasiak’s interference; Palumbo & O’Haire retain the titles (Rating: C+)
Gene talks to Totally Buff and Animal about their matches tonight (Rating: B-)
Totally Buff defeated KroniK after Madusa intereferes (Rating: C+)
Jeff Jarrett talks, but the MIA say that this is the land of the Misfits (Rating: C-)
Jeff Jarrett and The Harris Brothers defeated General Rection, Corporal Cajun and Chavo Guerrero Jr. when Chavo leaves his partners behind (Rating: D+)
Shane Douglas and Crowbar defeated The Mamalukes in a Hardcore match (Rating: D+)
Video Recap: Team Canada vs. The Insiders and Dustin Rhodes (Rating: C-)
Team Canada want the national anthem played, but the Insiders interrupt it (Rating: B-)
Dustin Rhodes and The Insiders defeated Lance Storm, Mike Awesome and Elix Skipper in a Tables match, Nash finally eliminating Storm to end the match (Rating: C+)
O’Haire is out for Stasiak’s blood, but Sanders pulls his boys together again (Rating: B-)
Video Recap: Goldberg vs. Animal (Rating: B-)
Goldberg makes a big entrance (Rating: B-)
Animal makes a big entrance (Rating: B)
Goldberg defeated Animal in a Chain match (Rating: B-)
Goldberg is attacked by Totally Buff and Animal, who then also lay out Kronik! Officials break it up (Rating: B+)
Video Recap: Mike Sanders vs. “The Cat” Ernest Miller (Rating: D)
Mike Sanders brings out his trump card: Mark Johnson! (Rating: C+)
Ernest Miller defeated Mike Sanders after Ms. Jones assists (Rating: C-)
With The Cat’s blessing, Sid powerbombs Mark Johnson! (Rating: C)
Video Recap: Scott Steiner vs. Booker T (Rating: B-)
Booker T is visited by Stevie Ray in his dressing room; “Go get ‘that sucka!” (Rating: B-)
Scott Steiner went to a 45 minute time limit draw with Booker T to retain the WCW World Heavyweight title (Rating: B)
After the match, Steiner attacks Booker, but Book is able to drive him away (Rating: B-)
Gene talks to Ric Flair and Arn Anderson, Flair reacting to the end of the main event (Rating: B-)
Commentary wonder what the future holds, since even Ric Flair doesn’t know what’s happening (Rating: C)
Gene gets words from Scott Steiner post-match, who says there will be no rematches for Booker! (Rating: B)
Commentary are shocked that Steiner refuses to grant Booker a rematch as after the end of that bout, he likely would have lost the title (Rating: C)
As we end the show, Gene interviews a heartbroken Booker T backstage (Rating: B)
Next month, WCW is overtaken by immense feelings of Greed! Who will take home all that they want?
Backstage, Eric Bischoff didn’t have a lot to have to deal with. The locker room stayed fairly docile, but he did have to sell off the WCW Power Plant and all it’s assets in order to save some money. He also has made up his mind to go to either Kevin Nash or Diamond Dallas Page in order to talk to them about restructuring their contracts in order to pay them less money, but for a longer period of time. Johnny the Bull was taken under Scott Steiner’s wing as a protege, which could have big ramifications in the future for the Full Blooded Italian. “Uncertainty” is currently the name of the game, as Turner suits have let Bischoff know that under no circumstances will WCW remain on their channels past the end of March; which means no more Nitro on TNT, no more Thunder, no more pay-per-view events. (Technically Worldwide was on syndicated channels, which wouldn’t have been affected; but it was also ending at the same time, and it was doing nothing for the company but costing money that they don’t have.) It is quickly becoming time for Eric to get on the ball about the future of the company.
WWF No Way Out was presented from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Vegas odds were in the favor of the fans who witnessed this incredible show!
The show opened hot with the WWF Intercontinental championship on the line in a fatal four way match, as champion “Y2J” Chris Jericho defended against Radicalz brothers Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero as well as the man who has been leading the new group of X-Factor, X-Pac. With Perry Saturn, Albert, and Justin Credible having wrestled on the live pre-show Sunday Night Heat and Dean Malenko defending his title later, this match kept to the four men who were in the ring, there was no outside interference. The problems that have been brewing between Benoit and Guerrero ever since Eddie’s return to the WWF from injury came to a head as the two took one another out from a failed double team maneuver, and that left X-Pac prey for Jericho to slide a quick roll-up and retain the prestigious Intercontinental title!
After that match was over, WWF Hardcore champion Raven came to the ring. He told everyone that his “Raven Effect” will wash over everyone, no matter how big or small they may be. Those were some prophetic words given his opponent was the massive Big Show, but midway through the bout little Crash Holly tried his luck at winning the 24/7 championship back. But there was no stopping The Big Show, who hit big chokeslams on both men before pinning Raven to win the belt that he had been chasing for the past few weeks. Who will try to win the title from him?!
After we saw Trish Stratus sneaking into Vince McMahon’s office, we saw Triple H backstage in a dark room. Tonight, he would do battle with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in a Three Stages of Hell match, and he looked certainly deranged enough to take a match like this as he spoke threats toward Austin while staring at his weapon of choice, the sledgehammer!
The WWF Tag Team championships followed, as The Dudley Boyz took on The Hardy Boyz in a tag team tables matchup. Despite the great action we saw between these teams with a lot of respect for one another, it had to end in a no contest due to interference from former champions Edge and Christian. E&C felt proud of their actions, until both teams got back up in the ring and challenged E&C to a match next month at WrestleMania – a second Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match!
We headed backstage again to see Trish Stratus engaged with Vince McMahon in a very “suggestive” conversation. She had stuck around managing Kurt Angle after the Royal Rumble, loving the extra attention that comes from managing the World champion, but tonight he was set to battle The Rock. Trish said that she would make it “worth [Vince’s] while” if he made sure that Angle retained the belt tonight, and Vince was very easily swayed to action when she whispered an idea into his ear!
The Right to Censor had been gloating constantly how they had put Chyna out of the WWF since the Royal Rumble. This led to a series of matches with Chyna’s friend “The One” Billy Gunn, especially since Gunn picked up the WWF European championship from William Regal on the last Raw of January. Gunn had successfully vanquished each member of the RTC (including Steven Richards by disqualification, who took a match against Billy just to set him up for a four-on-one attack) except for Val Venis, who never stuck around to finish a match or get his comeuppance from “The One”. Billy had finally had enough, and put the title on the line in order to get Venis into a strap match so he could not leave. In this situation, Gunn prevailed, but it came after Chyna made her shocking return to chase Ivory away from the ring! When the match was over, Chyna took the microphone and told Ivory that her neck was still in bad shape and doctors were warning her against it, but she will be ready to go again – by WrestleMania!
Next was the Three Stages of Hell match, where Triple H vowed to “break Austin’s pride in a straight wrestling match, break his bones in a street fight, and cripple his ass if I have to in a steel cage!” The two had cost one another World title matches throughout January, but once they were forced to stop attacking one another by order of Vince McMahon, Hunter reached out to both he and Vince’s contacts list and seemingly brought together X-Factor between X-Pac, Justin Credible, and Albert, who had helped out Mr. McMahon through Trish Stratus before she seemed to leave him behind. Austin had to fight off the trio, but had some help from Chris Jericho as he was also targeted due to having the Intercontinental title that X-Pac wanted. Now that we were finally here, the two men tore into one another, with “Stone Cold” finally picking up the first fall. Triple H took the second, leading us to the cage match. Finally, the two hit one another with weapons, causing them to fall into a heap – with Helmsley on top of the pile, forcing the official to count the Royal Rumble winner down in a huge shock. What will this mean for Austin’s guaranteed title match next month at WrestleMania 17!
Al Snow and the APA were seen at WWF New York, with Snow trying to get more signatures for his petition to become the new WWF Commissioner instead of Mr. McMahon’s apparent choice of William Regal. The Acolytes had signed a few weeks ago, and were on hand to protect Al and his petition, as Snow went table to table getting fans to sign the form. After that, we had a rare intergender championship match-up, as Dean Malenko defended his Light Heavyweight championship against the high flying daredeviless Lita. Dean had given up his pursuit of a date with Lita, but she used the attention that he had focused on her in order to find herself in this position to wrestle for the title. While she certainly put up a strong fight, in the end she wasn’t prepared for what Malenko brought to the table, as he showed he was not against slamming her face against an exposed turnbuckle to steal the victory, unnecessarily locking her in the Cloverleaf to get the bell sounded and retain his championship.
The Undertaker and Kane had reformed a brotherly bond after the Royal Rumble, brought on by the attack of the team calling themselves the Brotherhood, Rikishi and Haku. All the attacks and fights between the two teams led up to this no disqualification matchup, where it was a brawl from start to finish. Finally a stereo chokeslam on both men drew the close of this bout, as Undertaker pinned Rikishi to put this match away.
Kurt Angle had been pestering The Rock with attacks and interference during his matches ever since Rock was named number one contender for No Way Out, using his friends Edge and Christian as well as Trish’s contacts through Vince McMahon to get men like Albert to assault The Rock. Stratus had tried to get McMahon to bring some extra insurance for this match, but the Dudleyz and Hardyz had chased E&C out of the building and when Vince tried to get William Regal to help, it appeared Regal was stuck in a snowstorm and could not get to the building! But now it was time for the match itself, and despite Vince himself trying to interject himself into the match, it saw The Rock fight back against all manner of the Three I’s in order to finally put Angle away with the Rock Bottom in order to win his sixth WWF World Heavyweight championship! The Rock celebrates with the title in front of all his People as Vince McMahon looks on, visions of whatever Trish had promised him now only a pipe dream. But the story didn’t end there, as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin emerged from the entrance curtain and simply stared down the aisle toward the new champion – the man he would now be set to face off against next month at the Houston Astrodome at WrestleMania!
Chris Jericho defeated Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and X-Pac in a Fatal Four Way match to retain the WWF Intercontinental title by flash pinning X-Pac while Benoit and Guerrero fought. (Rating: B) Raven says before his match that “The Raven Effect” stops for no man, no matter how large! (Rating: B-) The Big Show defeated Raven in a Hardcore match for the WWF Hardcore title, Crash Holly tried to run in and win the title but Show laid them both out. (Rating: C-) Trish Stratus is seen sneaking around backstage, thinking nobody sees her she slips into Vince McMahon’s office! (Rating: C+) Triple H cuts a promo threatening Stone Cold, while talking to his sledgehammer. (Rating: B+) The Dudley Boyz defeated The Hardy Boyz to retain the WWF World Tag Team titles, despite attempted interference from Edge and Christian. (Rating: B-) The Dudley Boyz and Hardy Boyz unite to challenge Edge and Christian to another TLC match at WrestleMania! (Rating: B) Trish Stratus tells Vince McMahon that if he makes sure Angle keeps the title, he’ll get “rewards” from her! (Rating: B+) Billy Gunn defeated Val Venis to retain the WWF European title when Chyna surprisingly appears to chase Ivory away! (Rating: C) Chyna says that her neck has been feeling ready to go again, at WrestleMania! (Rating: C) Triple H defeated Steve Austin in a Three Stages of Hell match, 2-1, by falling on top of Austin for a pinfall during the cage match. (Rating: B+) Al Snow and the APA are at WWF New York getting Al’s petition signed by fans. (Rating: B-) The Rock is interviewed by Michael Cole, Rock saying he’ll win the WWF title and go on to WrestleMania with it. (Rating: B-) Dean Malenko defeated Lita to retain the WWF Light Heavyweight title by hitting her with a low blow before locking in the Cloverleaf. Lita was blamed afterwards for giving Dean a fractured cheekbone. (Rating: C-) A frantic Vince McMahon tries to call William Regal in to help do Trish’s bidding, but he’s stuck in a snowstorm and won’t make it to the building! (Rating: B-) The Brothers of Destruction defeated Rikishi and Haku in a No DQ match. (Rating: B) The Rock defeated Kurt Angle for the WWF World Heavyweight title, despite Vince McMahon, Trish, Edge, and Christian trying to interfere. (Rating: B) The Rock celebrates with his title, taunting Mr. McMahon, but “Stone Cold” Steve Austin awaits him at WrestleMania! (Rating: A*)
(WCW Greed originally posted on September 15, 2017)
March 2001: WCW Greed
“The Nature Boss” had big plans for the Heavyweight champion of the World as we headed into WCW Greed, naming not just one but TWO number one contenders: Diamond Dallas Page and “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash, The Insiders! A triple threat match was set in motion, and to make sure that big brother Rick Steiner couldn’t interfere in the proceedings, Flair set him up against Booker T! Scott Steiner is all alone in his crusade to retain the championship, but he found an unlikely hook in turning the championship goals of Nash and Page against one another! After some miscommunications, the two longtime friends and tag team partners quickly found one another unwittingly playing right into Steiner’s mind games as Greed loomed closer.
“Da Man” Goldberg has been out for Animal and Totally Buff, but this month he gained some allies in Kronik! Adams and Clark were chasing after Luger and Bagwell over some payments that they skipped for their services, and they set up a six-man tag team Chicago Street Fight for Greed! The veteran heels held an advantage on most episodes of Nitro and Thunder as they continually attacked their opponents from behind, but when it’s face to face at Greed, who will come out on top?
“The DFG” Rick Steiner was attacked before SuperBrawl: Revenge by Booker T, and Steiner was not happy about missing his brother’s title defense! Likewise, Booker was incensed by the decree that he would not get an immediate title rematch after the heartbreaking time limit draw. Booker spent much of the build up continuing to go after Scott and trying to find his way into the World’s Heavyweight championship match, but this one had all the appearance of a brutal street fight! After the two have an extended brawl around the arena, it’s determined that their battle will be a Falls Count Anywhere match.
With his partners from SuperBrawl: Revenge moving into the WCW World championship picture, “The Prodigal Son” Dustin Rhodes felt that he had to continue the fight against Team Canada. To do this, he enlisted the assistance of Sid Vicious! Vicious has taken offense to Mike Awesome’s Awesome Bomb, feeling that he is the one, true master of the powerbomb, and the two are poised to make sure that everyone knows it. The wrench thrown into their plans is that Lance Storm refuses to have another six man tag team match, and also refuses to tell Dustin and Sid who they will be facing. Storm tries to take a page out of Scott Steiner’s book and sew distrust between the partners by orchestrating a three-on-one attack upon Vicious while Dustin was occupied elsewhere, but it doesn’t work, and they look to face a unified team at Greed!
The Natural Born Thrillers have been having some issues. “Perfect” Shawn Stasiak hasn’t been living up to his nickname as he kept accidentally costing his partners matches, leading to them losing their preferential treatment as Mike Sanders lost the commissioner’s role to “The Cat” Ernest Miller. Sanders has disappeared, which has left a power void at the top of the NBT – one that Sean O’Haire sealed up quickly by rallying Mark Jindrak and Chuck Palumbo and beating Stasiak out of the group! Shawn has vowed revenge, saying that he has a partner to take on O’Haire and Jindrak at Greed!
After his victory in the six man tag team match at SuperBrawl: Revenge, “The Chosen One” Jeff Jarrett has been chasing General Rection for his United States Heavyweight title. The General has been having enough problems with his crumbling Misfits in Action, as Chavo Guerrero Jr. is set to defend his Cruiserweight title against Corporal Cajun, but he still sneaked a few digs in on Jarrett, like costing his Harris Boys a match against youngsters Air Paris and AJ Styles. Jarrett is out to take the title to show up Ric Flair, while Hugh is out to prove that he hasn’t been a poor champion. Who will come out on top at Greed?
“The Franchise” Shane Douglas had been avoiding matches by throwing his pupil, Crowbar, into the bouts in his place numerous times. But Crowbar finally snapped, and turned against Douglas, vowing to take the Hardcore championship away from him at Greed!
Someone has been attacking people backstage, and no one can tell who it was! “K-Dawg” Konnan, upset that this mystery person targeted his Filthy Animal brothers, is going to call the mystery attacker out at Greed!
March 18th, 2001
Held at: UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois (Great Lakes)
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Scott Hudson
Attendance: 6,959 people (sold out!)
PPV Rating: 0.27
Show Rating: B
This show increased our popularity in 10 regions.
Dustin Rhodes and Sid Vicious defeated Mike Awesome and Elix Skipper with Sid pinning Elix after a Powerbomb (Rating: B)
Gene Okerlund interview: Ric Flair hypes the show (Rating: B)
Stevie Ray interview: Booker T is ready for anything the Steiners can throw at him tonight (Rating: B-)
Chavo Guerrero Jr. defeated Corporal Cajun to retain the WCW Cruiserweight title by placing his feet on the ropes for leverage during the pinfall (Rating: C-)
Shane Douglas defeated Crowbar in a Hardcore match to retain the WCW Hardcore title (Rating: C-)
Shane Douglas boasts, until The Cat tells him that he will be defending again tomorrow on Nitro! (Rating: C+)
Jeff Jarrett and Harris Boys promo about taking the title to show up Flair, but Flair throws the Harris Boys out of the arena so that Jeff has to wrestle on his own! (Rating: B-)
Jeff Jarrett defeated General Rection in a Ladder match for the WCW United States Heavyweight title (Rating: C+)
Gene Okerlund interview: Kevin Nash is ready for the main event (Rating: B-)
Konnan calls out the mystery attacker – it’s Kanyon! (Rating: C)
Kanyon defeated Konnan after a Flatliner (Rating: B-)
The Steiner Brothers cut a promo on their opponents from backstage (Rating: B-)
Booker T defeated Rick Steiner in a Falls Count Anywhere match with the Book End on the concrete floor (Rating: B-)
Feud Recap Video: The Natural Born Thrillers split (Rating: C)
Lance Storm comes out – and he’s Stasiak’s partner! (Rating: C+)
Shawn Stasiak and Lance Storm defeated Palumbo & O’Haire for the WCW World Tag Team titles (Rating: B)
The new Team Canada lays out all of the Natural Born Thrillers! (Rating: C+)
Feud Recap Video: Goldberg and Kronik vs. Totally Buff and Animal (Rating: B-)
Gene Okerlund interview: Totally Buff and Animal are ready for the Chicago Street Fight (Rating: B)
Goldberg and KroniK defeated Animal and Totally Buff in a Street Fight match with Goldberg pinning Animal with the Jackhammer (Rating: B)
Feud Recap Video: Triple Threat for the WCW championship (Rating: B)
Scott Steiner defeated Kevin Nash and Diamond Dallas Page in a Triple Threat match to retain the WCW World Heavyweight title after laying out both men with a steel pipe and then forcing Page to pass out in the Steiner Recliner (Rating: B-)
Ric Flair congratulates Scott Steiner for his title defense, urges him to rest up to face Nash in a steel cage match on the series finale of Nitro! (Rating: B+)
Commentary close out the show, goodnight everybody! (Rating: C+)
Eric Bischoff had decided to speak with Kevin Nash about renegotiating his contract. Nash had been operating under a contract that would last to the end of the year to the tune of $300,000 a month, with full creative control of his character. Eric decided to break that contract up by making Kevin a ten year contract for roughly $30,000 a month, giving him the same amount of money over a longer period. But he did not expect how quickly Nash can “put on his negotiating hat” as Nash immediately saw through Eric’s deal and started making demands. Noticing there were no clauses that he could exploit, he dangled the upcoming WrestleMania against Eric, saying he could leave and get a spot on that show in a heartbeat thanks to his connections with Triple H. Knowing that Eric is desperate for star power to compete with the WWF, Nash made him a deal: he will sign the new contract in a temporary capacity, and will sign the ten year deal once Bischoff signs Scott Hall back to WCW. Hall would be working in New Japan Pro Wrestling until June, so the temporary deal that Nash signs would keep him in WCW at the reduced price tag until July. Agreeing to this, Eric begins trying to get in touch with Hall.
The other big happening at the beginning of March is that Eric gets a late night call from a strange source: Shane McMahon! The son of Eric’s rival comes to him with a proposal, a loan that would put WCW’s finances back to positive figures, in exchange for paying back the loan but also some ownership stock in World Championship Wrestling! His reasoning is because he’s seeing the writing on the wall, that he is getting pushed aside in favor of Stephanie and Hunter, and he wants to have stake in a wrestling company that he can call his own. Eric has to think about it, and Shane leaves the offer open for now.
After one particularly explosive week where first Tony Schiavone played a tasteless rib on the locker room and then the Steiners and Johnny the Bull were harassing Shane Helms, Eric got another big phone call; this time from Sting! Sting so far into the year had been nursing some injuries and taking time off from WCW and moving his home. Sting agrees to show up in a few weeks, which is going to severely help the star presence of the show.
Rey Misterio Jr. put on some weight at Eric’s request, bulking himself up to a more lightweight frame. A lot of working out? Potential issue with steroids in the future? We aren’t sure right now. Midajah lost a few pounds to make her frame appear more skinny, and Terry Taylor is growing a little more average in his middle age.
The worst blow to Eric was that Diamond Dallas Page had found out from Nash that Eric was looking to restructure a contract to save money. This gave Dallas the idea to leave WCW, despite having a year left on his deal as well. To do this, Page paid off his contract so that he could leave WCW and strike it out on his own in the WWF, citing that he wasn’t getting any younger and wanted to find his own way in the twilight of his career. Hence, the final match in WCW (for now) of Diamond Dallas Page was in a losing effort at Greed.
Now the end of March is coming fast, and with that comes the end of WCW on Turner networks. With only two episodes of Nitro and one of Thunder remaining on their deals, WCW needs a saving grace. But where can that come from? Tune in next time to find out what Eric has in store for the “Night of Champions”!
(WCW Nitro: Night of Champions was originally posted on October 22, 2017)
March 2001: The Final Nitro
With only three major shows left for World Championship Wrestling on Turner Broadcasting networks, Eric Bischoff set about putting together the future of the company. It’s time to make big moves for the future, but first that means finishing off “The Turner Era” for World Championship Wrestling!
WCW Nitro on March 21st capped off Greed the night prior, with “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner and “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash hyping their cage match on the series finale of Nitro next week. Lance Storm and Team Canada rebranded themselves as “The World” stating that America’s opposition isn’t based only on holding down Canadian talents. Disqo’s “self help guru” was revealed as Simon Diamond, and alongside his bodyguard C.W. (and some outside interference from Disqo) they defeated the Mamalukes. The Natural Born Thrillers were attacked by The World a week away from their rematch for the World Tag Team titles, while General Rection defeated the former Lt. Loco with a No Laughing Matter. Crowbar turned against Shane Douglas against Daffney’s wishes, and in a triple threat match for the Hardcore title which also featured Norman Smiley, Daffney cost Crowbar the match. Finally, despite a strong showing from Lance Storm, Sid Vicious was victorious in a ten man over the top rope battle royal that guaranteed him a future WCW World Heavyweight championship match after WCW came back.
The series finale of WCW Thunder started with Booker T and Lance Storm arguing, as Storm had eliminated Booker from the battle royal on Nitro. Storm said that at the end of Thunder, fans would not remember Booker T, they would only know that Lance Storm stood tall. The Problem Solvers defeated The Mamalukes again, this time in six man tag action as an Italian Street Fight. Disqo joined his guru as Reno rejoined his Italian brothers, but C.W. put him away with a Spinebuster. “Big Poppa Pump” said that he will be the leader of the new era of WCW because no one dares stand against him, leading to Goldberg getting in his face until security broke things up. Despite wrestling in a losing effort against “The Cat”, Kanyon delivered a vicious Flatliner to Ms. Jones on the concrete floor, showing how vile he has become after his return. And finally, Lance Storm and Booker T were in the final Thunder main event, which saw Booker’s recent shoulder troubles come to haunt him as Storm locked him in an armbar that he couldn’t escape without tapping out! As predicted, Lance Storm stood tall at the end of WCW on TBS!
A segment that didn’t seem like much at the time but has spiraled into something big was on WCW Worldwide that week, as Vampiro appeared out of the darkness after having been away for the past few months. He told Tenay and Hudson that he felt WCW should have died for it’s sins, but seeing as it hasn’t, then he will make those who stand up for WCW and those sins pay for them.
WCW Monday Nitro: Night of Champions
March 26, 2001
Held at: Club La Vela in Palm Beach, Florida
Announcers: Tony Schiavone and Scott Hudson
Attendance: 6,000 (sold out!)
TV Rating: 3.24
Card Rating: B+
This show increased our popularity in 10 regions.
Ric Flair gives an impassioned speech about WCW, challenges Sting tonight! (Rating: A*)
Lance Storm and Shawn Stasiak talk about wanting to hold the titles into the new era, and Storm brags about defeating Booker on Thunder (Rating: C)
As Storm’s Canadian National Anthem plays over the arena, we see backstage that Mike Awesome and Elix Skipper are putting Chuck Palumbo through a table! Sid runs them off, but the damage is done. (Rating: B-)
Mark Jindrak & Sean O’Haire defeated Lance Storm and Shawn Stasiak to win the WCW World Tag Team titles with O’Haire pinning Storm after a scissors kick from Booker T and the Seanton Bomb (Rating: C)
With Rick Steiner trying to keep him focused, Scott Steiner goes on a rant about everyone he can think of in the moment. (Rating: B)
Shane Douglas asks “The Cat” who he’s facing, it’s General Rection! But as Hugh is making his way to the ring, Kanyon attacks Miller! (Rating: C)
Shane Douglas defeated General Rection in a Hardcore match to retain the WCW Hardcore title (Rating: C-)
Crowbar wants answers from Daffney, but in a supernatural twist involving a mirror, he gets a bloodbath from Vampiro! Crowbar is last seen in a room that’s being filled with blood. (Rating: C)
The Problem Solvers get to the ring and Simon hypes up Disqo… but how good is hype when you’re facing Goldberg?! (Rating: C)
Goldberg defeated Disqo easily with the Jackhammer. (Rating: C-)
Sting appears, posing the question “Riddle me this, riddle me that; who’s afraid of the big black bat?!” Sting lets Ric Flair know that on the final Nitro on TNT, it’s Showtime! (Rating: B)
Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Chavo Guerrero Jr. for the WCW Cruiserweight title (Rating: B-)
Big Sexy is in the house, and he dedicates this match to DDP and “Scott in Tokyo” (Rating: B)
Jeff Jarrett and the Harris Boys demand Jeff’s opponent come out… it’s AJ Styles! (Rating: C)
Jeff Jarrett defeated AJ Styles by count out to retain the WCW United States Heavyweight title (Rating: C+)
Tony and Scott show us stills of what happened at Greed in the main event, which is what led us to the cage match tonight. (Rating: B)
Scott Steiner defeated Kevin Nash in a Cage match to retain the WCW World Heavyweight title by reversing a Jackknife Powerbomb into a Frankensteiner! (Rating: B)
Ric Flair is coming out to face Sting, when the Steiners assault him! Sting makes the save! (Rating: A*)
Goldberg charges out to attack the Steiners, when Eric Bischoff appears and announces himself as the new owner of World Championship Wrestling! He announces that WCW returns to pay-per-view on April 13th, making a huge main event for The Big Bang: the Steiner Brothers vs. Sting and Goldberg! (Rating: B+)
(WrestleMania X-7 was originally posted on October 23, 2017)
March 2001: WWF WrestleMania X-7
Houston, we have a problem… It is time for the biggest pay-per-view event of the year, WrestleMania! Nine huge matches took place at the show, thrilling and shocking the sold out Astrodome in Houston, Texas!
Former friends and partners went at it in the opening contest, as the Radicalz collided in a fatal four way match. After No Way Out, Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero had each called themselves “leaders” of the group, and their in-fighting bled over to Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn. Malenko and Saturn had been a well-oiled machine of a tag team, but decided they didn’t want involved in Benoit and Guerrero’s battles anymore. In this hot opening contest pitting four of the best talents in the world against one another, Chris Benoit came out on top by making Guerrero tap out to the Crossface.
The WWF Hardcore championship changed hands multiple times throughout March, as it tends to do; but the men fighting for it have only gotten bigger and scarier as The Big Show and Kane set their sights on the title! Raven kept sneaking in and taking it away from their hands, leading to this triple threat match for the title. This match started in the ring before heading all around the backstage and back out to ringside again, before Kane finished things with a big elbow drop off the stage onto Big Show to claim the championship for his own!
A feud that doesn’t seem to end so much as go silent at times was in the forefront next, as “Y2J” Chris Jericho found himself defending the WWF Intercontinental championship against “The Game” Triple H. This started when Jericho made Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley cry, and quickly turned into Triple H and Stephanie making Jericho’s life hell, utilizing the Island Tribe of Rikishi and Haku to punish him. Motorhead made a special appearance at WrestleMania to play “The Game” for Triple H’s entrance, but Jericho was undeterred as he laid into Hunter with all the crowd pleasing maneuvers in his base. But it was an assist by Stephanie from the outside, sliding “The Game” his faithful sledgehammer, that allowed him to wrest the title away from Jericho, making Triple H a three time Intercontinental champion!
It’s been a long road for Chyna to get to WrestleMania X-7. For months she was hounded by Ivory and the Right to Censor, after having her neck broken back in December. In January she was put out during a match at the Royal Rumble event, and after more months of insults and threats, she finally has Ivory one on one. “The One” Billy Gunn and the Acolytes were on hand to hold off the rest of the RTC, and with nowhere to run and no one to hide behind, Ivory was soundly defeated by Chyna, who claims her first WWF Women’s championship! After the bout, Chyna and Gunn finally got their hands on Steven Richards, giving him the beating that he has deserved for months!
Everyone remembers how vicious the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match was back at SummerSlam last year, and it was time to revisit that Hell for Edge & Christian, the Dudley Boyz, and the Hardy Boyz, as they squared off in TLC II, once again for the WWF Tag Team championships! It had been a month of E&C using sneak attacks to their advantage, but each team came with friends this year; Bubba and D-Von were joined by little brother Spike Dudley, the Hardy Boyz had Lita on their side, and E&C had the violent Rhyno in their camp. This match saw all three interfere at certain points, but each were taken out in time. Edge shocked everyone by delivering a Spear to Jeff Hardy as he hung from the titles, Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb onto Rhyno and Spike through tables on the outside, and everyone had their chance for glory until Rhyno propped Christian on his shoulders and lifted him up to the titles in order to see E&C retain in a match that will most definitely have shortened these young careers!
Is blood thicker than water when we spend all your time spilling it? Mr. Vince McMahon and son Shane McMahon looked to find out as they went head to head in our next bout, a Street Fight where Mick Foley was the special referee. There was a lot of baggage in this one, as Vince had been in the process of divorcing wife Linda and was having a rather blatant affair with Trish Stratus. Shane returned amid one of Vince’s finest hours, also during a time when there is no WWF Commissioner. Shane was unable to sway his sister, Stephanie, into joining his side, and rather than just allowing Vince to name William Regal as the commissioner, this match will let the winner decide who gets the power. Shane had words with Trish Stratus on the prior SmackDown!, telling her that she is talented enough to not be stuck using her body to get places, making her think about what she’s been doing in her life. Father and son had a very emotional battle where William Regal and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley tried to interfere in Vince’s favor, but Linda McMahon and a surprising turn by Trish Stratus helped Shane overcome his father, as “Shane O’Mac” places a trash can against his father and then leaps from one side of the ring to the other for a big dropkick! Mick Foley makes the pinfall, and Shane McMahon has defeated his father right here at WrestleMania X-7!
After all of that emotion, the fans were treated to a nice little Gimmick Battle Royal, which saw The Berzerker, “Cowboy” Bob Orton, The Brooklyn Brawler, Brother Love, The Bushwhackers, Doink the Clown, Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, Earthquake, El Matador, The Gobbeldy Gooker, The Iron Sheik, Kamala, Koko B. Ware, Michael “P.S.” Hayes, Nikolai Volkoff, The One Man Gang, Sgt. Slaughter, Skinner, and The Repo Man make their returns to the WWF ring for this bout of nostalgia. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan also made an appearance as he sat on commentary alongside JR. Sgt. Slaughter wins the bout, giving the fans a fun ending to a nice, calm bout. After the match, Bobby was talking to Ross about being happy to appear in the WWF again after all this time and how he was excited to see what was yet to come tonight, when Doink the Clown sneaked up behind him and dumped a bucket of water over Bobby’s back!
Our penultimate contest started with “Olympic Hero” Kurt Angle wanting to regain his WWF championship at any cost, while The Undertaker wanted a chance at the championship of his own. After Mr. McMahon asked Undertaker who he’s defeated lately to prove that he’s worth a title shot, these two’s paths kept crossing until they agreed to meet at WrestleMania X-7 in a #1 Contenders match. The crowd were rabid for these two incredibly popular superstars, but in the end “The American Badass” was able to put away Angle once and for all with The Last Ride. Undertaker would have to wait until after the main event to find out just who this win would set him against.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock are two names who can raise goosebumps on your skin just from hearing them. After Austin won the Royal Rumble, The Rock walked out of No Way Out winning the WWF championship, setting the two on this path. Mr. McMahon kept putting them in the same matches, having them take on tag team matches that saw first Austin hit The Rock with a Rock Bottom and then Rock use the Stunner to take down Austin. In a pre-taped sit-down face to face interview that Jim Ross conducted between the two, The Rock told Austin that he would make up for losing to him two years ago at WrestleMania 15, while Austin admits that he isn’t getting any younger, but that he has to win the championship back, no matter what the cost. Mr. McMahon has made this match a No Disqualifications bout, and each man left it all on the mat in their bid to defeat the other and carry the championship. The surprise at the end of the match is when Mr. McMahon comes to ringside and offers a steel chair to “Stone Cold” who takes it and lays into The Rock! With that, Austin makes the cover and regains the WWF championship – before shaking hands with the devil himself, Mr. McMahon! What a dangerous pair these two enemies will make in the future!
Chris Benoit defeated Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko in a Fatal Four Way match by making Eddie submit to the Crossface (Rating: B)
Kane defeated Raven and The Big Show in a Hardcore match for the WWF Hardcore title after Kane took a stunt bump to drop an elbow on Big Show off the stage (Rating: B-)
Motorhead make a live appearance to play “The Game” for Triple H to enter the ring to (Rating: B+)
Triple H defeated Chris Jericho for the WWF Intercontinental title after Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley interfered (Rating: B+)
We see a split screen backstage of The Rock and Steve Austin with Debra in their locker rooms, preparing for the main event tonight (Rating: B)
Video: Ivory and Chyna’s feud is detailed (C-)
Chyna defeated Ivory for the WWF Women’s title (Rating: C-)
Chyna and Billy finally get their hands on Steven, thanks to the APA holding off the RTC (Rating: C+)
Edge & Christian defeated The Hardy Boyz and The Dudley Boyz in a Tables, Ladders & Chairs match to retain the WWF World Tag Team titles; the match featured Rhyno, Spike, and Lita all interfering at points, Jeff Hardy took a stunt bump, and Rhyno helped Christian get the titles in the end (Rating: B)
At WWF New York, Michael Cole and Tazz talk with Test about what we’ve seen at WrestleMania so far (Rating: C)
Backstage, Chyna is greeted by Jacqueline and Molly Holly, who applaud and congratulate her on her comeback (Rating: C-)
Video: The McMahon Family Feud is detailed (B-)
Despite William Regal and Stephanie interfering on Vince’s behalf, Shane McMahon defeated Vince McMahon in a Street Fight match with Mick Foley as referee; Trish Stratus and Linda McMahon both attacked Vince with low blows en route to Shane delivering a Mac Terminator to win (Rating: B-)
Jonathan Coachman interviews Kurt Angle, asking him about Trish as she isn’t with him, but all he focuses on is defeating Undertaker to become the number one contender (Rating: B-)
Sgt. Slaughter won the Gimmick Battle Royal, which also featured The Berzerker, “Cowboy” Bob Orton, The Brooklyn Brawler, Brother Love, The Bushwhackers, Doink the Clown, Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, Earthquake, El Matador, The Gobbeldy Gooker, The Iron Sheik, Kamala, Koko B. Ware, Michael “P.S.” Hayes, Nikolai Volkoff, The One Man Gang, Skinner, and The Repo Man. Jim Ross did commentary with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan for the match. (Rating: D-)
Bobby Heenan was talking to JR after the match, when Doink comes up behind him and dumps a bucket of water on him! (Rating: E+)
The Undertaker defeated Kurt Angle in a #1 Contenders match (Rating: B)
Video: The Rock vs. Steve Austin, told with “My Way” by Limp Bizkit (Rating: B+)
Howard Finkel gives a great introduction for the main event participants (B)
Steve Austin defeated The Rock in a No Disqualifications match for the WWF World Heavyweight title, using a chair on The Rock that was given to him by Mr. McMahon of all people! (Rating: A)
The Astrodome and everyone watching at home is stunned as Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mr. McMahon shake hands! (Rating: B+)
(The Big Bang originally posted on November 19, 2017)
April 2001: The Big Bang
With The Big Bang coming on Friday, April 13, 2001, Eric Bischoff had a lot of ducks to put in a lot of rows. It was revealed (to the readers) that Eric had agreed to keep Kevin Nash for the next four months in WCW at a very reduced price tag with the caveat that he would sign a ten year contract once Bischoff was able to sign Scott Hall.
One of the first big maneuvers Eric made at the end of March was to fully embrace a new logo for the company. Having disliked the “star” logo that was put in place at the beginning of 1999, Eric opted to replace it with one that had already been seen plenty on the WCW Magazine covers, backstage, on t-shirts, and on action figure boxes, a somewhat plain looking, simple “WCW” that is normally red but can be easily changed to a different color to fit any situation. The “star” had barely graced shows ever since last August, and it was time to put it out of our misery.
Eric found out later that a “Vince” had been going to all the potential television stations that he could try to air Nitro on and had sabotaged him ahead of any kind of deal taking place. Was it Vince McMahon? Was it Vince Russo? Eric doesn’t know, and he doesn’t care because he knows it had to be one of them who was upset that he was in charge of WCW. But the Jarretts arrived just in time with a plan that just may be the answer to Eric’s problems, both in finding airtime and also with money.
With money seeming to be a problem of the past, Eric decided to go on a small signing binge. However, most of the names that he wanted to go after, most of them from the now defunct ECW, would end up going into a deal with the WWF instead. Also, Eric put in his notes that when the WWF turned “Stone Cold” Steve Austin heel to join with the evil Mr. McMahon, Bischoff was actually thinking about doing that in the near future as well. But Eric was able to get in touch with someone who Simon Diamond claimed to be one of Paul Heyman’s former ECW “right hand man” in Gabe Saplosky. Gabe was signed and brought a fresh perspective to who Eric would be after in the future. He also was going to have an on-screen presence under the pseudonym Chris Lovey, in order to get fans familiar with him to transition to either an announcer or interviewer role. Also moved to an on-screen role was backstage worker Jeremy Borash, who is going to have a role much more “thrown to the wolves” than what Lovey would receive. Eric decided to save his few debuts for after this show, wanting to keep things pretty basic so that long-time fans will not be threatened away by anything changing too drastically. With that out of the way, it was time for WCW to experience the Big Bang…
WCW The Big Bang
April 13th, 2001 (Week 2)
Held at: North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, South Carolina (South East)
Announcers: Mike Tenay, Scott Hudson, and Arn Anderson
Attendance: 13,295 people (sold out!)
PPV Rating: 0.28 (Comcast / Dish Mexico)
TV Rating: 0.27 (Foxtel)
The Big Bang welcomes everyone to a brand new World Championship Wrestling, headed by our new announce team of “Professor” Mike Tenay, Scott Hudson, and “Double A” Arn Anderson. Eric Bischoff started the show with a serious of high profile announcements; beginning with how he is officially the sole owner and proprietor of WCW! Eric’s biggest announcement is that next Friday night on April 13, 2001, Nitro will return as a weekly pay-per-view series live from the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, Nevada. Following that, WCW Pride will take place on April 22nd. He brings out Ric Flair, telling Ric that he will be happy to allow him to keep running the wrestling side of WCW as “The Nature Boss” so long as he keeps out of the ring. Bischoff’s final announcement to open the show was that he was deactivating the Cruiserweight and Hardcore titles, combining them into the brand new WCW X Division championship! The two holders of those titles were going against one another right now in order to determine the inaugural champion. (Rating: B+)
Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated “The Franchise” Shane Douglas with a quick roll-up at 11:47 for the WCW X Division title. (Rating: B-)
“Mean” Gene Okerlund introduces his new intern, Jeremy Borash, who is going to shadow Gene on-air to be groomed into a bigger position in the future. His first assignment starts right at the top as they interview the Steiner Brothers, with Scott and Rick ready to continue running WCW just like before the end of the prior Turner era. (Rating: B+)
Kanyon defeated Norman Smiley with the Flatliner in 3:09. (Rating: C-)
“The Cat” Ernest Miller, who still wants a piece of Kanyon for his actions against Miss Jones, wants a match against Kanyon at WCW Pride. Kanyon wholeheartedly wants the match! (Rating: C)
“Mean” Gene and Jeremy next interview Booker and the Natural Born Thrillers, who are going to take on The World in six man tag team action. (Rating: C-)
The announcers pump up that “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash has a big announcement for WCW fans, but he’s never able to make it to the ring as Totally Buff attack him from behind! They leave him laying on the floor, but was it a wise move to poke the bear? (Rating: A)
Tony Schiavone’s new role in WCW was revealed as he is the head of the WCW Worldwide Panel, a segment that would become a staple of all WCW productions in the future. The Panel consists of Tony, “Mean” Gene, Jeremy Borash, Chris Lovey, and Stevie Ray. They recap what we’ve seen on the show so far and what is yet to come. (Rating: C-)
“Sugar” Shane Helms defeated Kaz Hayashi at 3:22 following the Vertebreaker. (Rating: C-)
Despite Booker tapping out to Lance Storm earlier in the bout when the referee was distracted, Booker T and the Natural Born Thrillers defeated The World (Lance Storm, Mike Awesome, Elix Skipper and Shawn Stasiak) with Booker pinning Skipper in 17:41 after Sid Vicious distracted The World. (Rating: C+)
Furious, The World lay an assault on all of their enemies, standing tall in the end! (Rating: B-)
“Mean” Gene and Jeremy this time catch Totally Buff and Madusa backstage, who laugh about their attack on Kevin Nash. They say his announcement should be retirement, so he can get out of their way in the new WCW! (Rating: B)
Earlier in the night, Scott Hudson had a sit-down interview with Goldberg, who wants a title match against Scott Steiner. (Rating: B)
Goldberg’s partner tonight, Sting, is seen backstage getting ready for action. (Rating: B)
AJ Styles defeated Yang by DQ when Jeff Jarrett and the Harris Boys attack Styles at 1:50 (Rating: D+)
Jeff Jarrett with the Harris Boys talks about how he doesn’t understand how he was left off the card; but Ric Flair comes out and books them against General Rection and Kronik! (Rating: B)
In an impromptu Street Fight, General Rection and KroniK defeated Jeff Jarrett and The Harris Brothers at 9:03 as Hugh pins Big Ron with the No Laughing Matter. (Rating: B-)
Vampiro and Daffney take over the show to talk about the sins of WCW’s past and how he will sacrifice anyone who stands in his way. (Rating: B-)
Sting and Goldberg make big entrances to the ring for our main event! (Rating: B+)
At 12:29, Sting and Goldberg defeated The Steiner Brothers in a Street Fight with Goldberg pinning Scott after a botch by Midajah sees him get Steiner’s lead pipe and use it on him before the Jackhammer. (Rating: B)
Eric Bischoff comes to the stage to applaud the winners to close out The Big Bang! (Rating: B-)
With this show in the books, it was time to get back to the business at hand: trying to make certain that World Championship Wrestling would live on! Eric Bischoff had a few helping hands to delegate some of his day-to-day booking toward such as Jeff and Jerry Jarrett, Johnny Ace, Gabe Saplosky, and Terry Taylor up until Taylor’s contract was allowed to expire at the middle of the month. There is a lot of young, hungry talent mixed in with the names everyone knows around the world, so the future of WCW certainly looks interesting after The Big Bang!
(WCW Pride was originally posted on December 24, 2017)
WCW Friday Nitro premiered as a live pay-per-view on April 20, 2001, but the new era had a few feuds to solve from the last one. The most notable one was “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner keeping his WCW World Heavyweight championship away from “Da Man” Goldberg. Goldberg still has to deal with being forced to replicate his 1998 Undefeated Streak, but that hasn’t stopped them from being pitted against each other. Steiner opened his loud mouth and proclaimed how Goldberg’s streak would have ended in 1998 had he not been ducking him so much, to which Goldberg responded with how Steiner is ducking him by hiding behind the rules that Vince Russo made to hold him back. “The Nature Boss” Ric Flair got an idea from this, and decided to make a match where no one can run from one another: an Indian Strap match! Flair also made a huge main event for the first new Nitro, a Champions Carnival where World and US champions Scott Steiner and Jeff Jarrett (along with a partner, who ended up unsurprisingly being Rick Steiner) against the X and World Tag Team champions, Rey Mysterio Jr. and the Natural Born Thrillers! “Big Poppa Pump” ended up winning the elimination match after a great showing by Sean O’Haire, with Goldberg chasing Steiner away, but no one will be running away at WCW Pride!
Lance Storm had made Booker T tap out twice in the past month, albeit one of them behind the official’s back so he did not receive the victory over it. The two confronted each other on Friday Nitro, where they agreed to a Pride match. The bout would be submissions only, inside the confines of a steel cage. If Storm emerged victorious, then all the accolades that Booker T has won in his WCW career would be transferred to Storm; but if Booker won, then Lance would never be able to badmouth America again! These two world class athletes were looking to steal the show at WCW Pride!
Totally Buff, being unable to retire Goldberg, found a new person to terrorize in “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash. Nash is without a partner now, as we have not seen Diamond Dallas Page in the new WCW, and it appears that Luger, Bagwell, and Madusa want nothing more than to send Nash to the same hole that Page has been buried in! Nash made an open challenge at WCW Pride to face one of the two, not even caring which one it will be. Will that confidence be Nash’s downfall, or does he have a plan to enact? Find out only at WCW Pride!
“The Franchise of WCW” Sting made a big return at The Big Bang, overcoming the Steiner Brothers alongside Goldberg. Sting wanted to turn his attention toward Scott Steiner and the World’s Heavyweight title, but his path is being held up by “The DFG” Rick Steiner. The two veterans (and a long time ago, former tag team partners!) will meet at WCW Pride!
Speaking of “Franchises,” Shane Douglas barged in on Ric Flair to launch into a tirade upon him about how his WCW Hardcore title was taken away from him. Flair, after lambasting Douglas for his actions and his conduct that was unbecoming of a major champion, said that he was glad to finally see some fire in Shane’s guts, and granted him Rey Mysterio Jr.’s first X Division title defense at WCW Pride!
It is all about pride as “The Cat” Ernest Miller is about to face off against the new, vicious side of Kanyon. Kanyon wrote out Miller’s valet, Ms. Jones, last month, and Kanyon has said that he plans on laying out Miller as well. Kanyon enlisted the Problem Solvers to attack “The Cat” on Nitro, but who will come out as the victor at WCW Pride?
Vampiro has explained that Crowbar was punished as a sinner, punished for his greed. He introduced a disciple in the off-beat Daffney, claiming that there will be more in the future to usher in a new testament of pain, punishment, and pleasure to World Championship Wrestling. What could it all mean, I wonder?
Two debuts to WCW were also promoted on Friday Nitro, one being Kid Kash, formerly of ECW, and the other being Low-Ki, who is a young talent who comes with high praise. Kash is set to debut at WCW Pride, as he will be taking on former Cruiserweight champion Chavo Guerrero Jr.
WCW Pride was opened with a new segment, The WCW Worldwide Live Pre-Show! Tony Schiavone and The WCW Worldwide Panel showed hype videos and discussed the evening’s upcoming battles. Along with that, there were a few exclusive matches and interviews.
“The Nature Boss” Ric Flair arrived to the Reno Events Center in a stretch limousine! (B-)
General Rection defeated Alex Wright in 8:41 with the No Laughing Matter (Rating: C+)
Scott Hudson interviewed Ric Flair, who along with Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard will be watching tonight’s show closely (Rating: B-)
Mike Awesome and Elix Skipper defeated AJ Styles and Shane Helms with Awesome pinning Styles in 5:54 after Shawn Stasiak caused a distraction (Rating: B-)
Mark Jindrak & Sean O’Haire defeated The Harris Brothers to retain the WCW World Tag Team titles at 8:01 when Jindrak pinned Ron (Rating: C)
Shown Live on April 22nd, 2001
Held at: The Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada (South West)
Announcers: Mike Tenay, Scott Hudson, and Arn Anderson
Attendance: 10,000 people (sold out!)
PPV Rating: 0.18
TV Rating: 0.26
Show Rating: B
This show raised WCW’s popularity in 8 regions.
Our opening video for the show is narrated by the voice of Vampiro:
“Of all the deadly sins, perhaps the worst of them all is pride. Pride is the father of all sins, the devil’s most prominent trait. It’s pride that drives men to feel bigger and better than they really are, pride that makes them feel like higher beings than all those around them. Pride makes you fight for only yourself, to put your foot down on all others to climb above them. Selfishness leads men to the highest of highs… but also, the lowest of lows. Remember; pride goeth before a fall.” (Rating: B-)
Dustin Rhodes defeated C.W. by DQ when the other Problem Solvers attacked Rhodes (Rating: C+)
Simon has a problem… but that problem is that Dustin fights back and sends them scattering! (Rating: D+)
“Mean” Gene and Jeremy interview Sid Vicious, who says that Scott Steiner needs to watch out, because Sid is watching him! (Rating: B)
Chavo Guerrero Jr. defeated Kid Kash with a cheap roll-up with his feet on the ropes (Rating: D+)
Steiner Brothers are going to beat up Sting and Goldberg tonight (Rating: B)
Goldberg is banging around in his dressing room (Rating: B)
A brawl breaks out between the NBT and The World, they are all thrown out of the building! (Rating: B-)
Kanyon defeated Ernest Miller when Vampiro gives “The Cat” a bloodbath (Rating: C)
Kanyon joins with Vampiro and Daffney, with Vampiro announcing the start of their Dark Eden (Rating: B-)
“Mean” Gene and Jeremy talk to Booker T, who is going to shut Lance Storm up once and for all in the Pride match (Rating: C)
Hype Video: Totally Buff vs. Kevin Nash (Rating: B-)
Lex Luger defeated Kevin Nash by stoppage after Buff Bagwell interfered, and Luger held Nash in the Torture Rack (Rating: C+)
Totally Buff completely humiliate Kevin Nash, telling him he has no friends anymore! (Rating: B)
Lance Storm is interviewed by “Mean” Gene and Jeremy, as Storm says he’ll be taking everything Booker has ever worked for tonight (Rating: C)
Stacy Kiebler joins The WCW Worldwide Panel to talk about what we’ve seen so far at WCW Pride, as well as what is to come (Rating: C-)
Low Ki Training Montage (Rating: F)
Sting defeated Rick Steiner with the Scorpion Death Drop (Rating: C+)
A victorious Sting doesn’t get to celebrate as a wild Animal attacks! (Rating: A)
Hype Video: Lance Storm vs. Booker T (Rating: apparently I never wrote it down)
Booker T defeated Lance Storm in a Pride match (Rating: B-)
“Mean” Gene and Jeremy tries to get a word from Goldberg, but he only has two words: You’re Next! (Rating: B)
Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Shane Douglas to retain the WCW X Division title with a springboard hurricanrana (Rating: B)
The Filthy Animals meet backstage, congratulating Rey but Kidman saying he’ll defeat Jarrett for the US title faster than Rey just beat Douglas (Rating: C)
Jeff Jarrett defeated Billy Kidman to retain the WCW United States Heavyweight title after Jarrett hits Kidman with his guitar (Rating: B-)
The other Filthy Animals push away Jarrett and the Harris Boys, but it’s too late to win the title (Rating: C+)
Hype Video: Scott Steiner vs. Goldberg (Rating: ?)
David Penzer does the ring introductions for our main event! (Rating: B)
Goldberg defeated Scott Steiner in a Indian Strap match after two Jackhammers (Rating: B)
We are treated to The WCW Worldwide Live Post-Show then, where The WCW Worldwide Panel talk about the show and if they find out anything, report what is coming next time.
Goldberg celebrates his big win, as Scott Steiner and Midajah leave the ringside area (Rating: B+)
Flair, Arn, and Tully commend Goldberg on his win over Scott Steiner (Rating: B-)
To close, The WCW Worldwide Panel announce that this Friday, Scott Steiner takes on Sid Vicious with the WCW World championship on the line! (Rating: C-)
April was a big month for World Championship Wrestling, as the brand new WCW Friday Nitro premiered. There were also two pay-per-view events, in The Big Bang and WCW Pride. Eric did what he could to ignore Shane McMahon’s calls, but the money problems keep mounting despite the influx of revenue that the weekly PPVs should be bringing. But with a big main event set up for the second episode of Friday Nitro, and WCW Envy coming up in May, there is no time for anyone to rest on their laurels; after all, the WWF didn’t have any time off in April, and they are working to do what they can to put WCW out of business once and for all!
(WWF Backlash was originally posted on February 18, 2018)
April 2001: WWF Backlash
The Allstate Arena had better made sure it’s insurance is paid up because for every action in the WWF, there will always be a Backlash!
The opening contest of the night was all about one man’s desires, as “Latino Heat” Eddie Guerrero had been unsuccessfully flirting with various women in the WWF, getting more and more frustrated with each rejection. Al Snow stepped in to help the ladies push him away, and the feud got even more lofty when Billy Gunn and his WWF European championship got involved. The match was very hotly contested, but finally Gunn retained his championship with a small package roll-up on Guerrero. Would Chyna be as fortunate later tonight and keep the championships on “The Golden Team” or would Trish Stratus overcome her?
A lot of brawling action led into this battle between the Island Tribe and the Acolytes, as they had numerous matches in the past month that never had a conclusion due to disqualifications or count outs. Now at WWF Backlash, it was a Chicago Street Fight and everyone brought their heaviest punches! But in the end, Bradshaw was able to connect with the Clothesline from Hell on Rikishi to seal this one.
Molly Holly had found herself a victim of red paint by Terri a few weeks ago, and the women brought their men into the fray for a mixed six-person tag team match at WWF Backlash! In the end, Hardcore and Crash Holly were able to hold off Saturn and Malenko long enough for Molly to give Terri a taste of her own medicine with the Molly-Go-Round to score the victory.
Mr. McMahon has never been a good loser, and losing at WrestleMania X-7 to his son Shane McMahon has left a very bitter taste in his mouth. Vince positioned Shane in a tight spot, pitting him against The Big Show. But when Shane announced himself as the new WWF Commissioner, he showed off “the McMahon grapefruits” run in the gene pool as he purposely made the bout a Last Man Standing match! Show decimated McMahon’s old running buddies in the Mean Street Posse and Test, putting more fuel of the fire in this one. McMahon showed plenty of guts in this bout, resorting to more and more insane actions to try and chop down The Big Show. Finally it took a surprise appearance from Test, running in to deliver a big boot to Show and set him up for Shane to hit a coast to coast dropkick to put Show down for the ten count!
A storied rivalry gained another chapter as the Hardy Boyz and Dudley Boyz had a Tables match! Jeff Hardy kept going for one more big move, and it nearly cost him quite a few times, but finally he put away Bubba with a Swanton through the table to win!
WWF Hardcore champion Rhyno is always itching for a fight, and he got one when Steve Blackman and Funaki both appeared with referees to try and take the title away from him under the 24/7 rule. But Rhyno fought back to Gore both of them, keeping the championship around his waist.
Kurt Angle and William Regal have joined forces under Mr. McMahon’s banner to go after the two men they have been in battle against as of late in Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho. The two young Canadians have had their own wars in the past, and it seemed as though they would never be able to be a united front like Angle and Regal are, but as Jericho explained before this match: “I don’t have to trust Benoit, just fight alongside him!” Jericho and Benoit put their differences aside and won this bout by locking Regal in a combination Walls of Jericho and Crippler Crossface, getting an almost immediate tap out victory!
Backstage, Rhyno was looking for more violence, and he felt he found an outlet for that violence in Jeff Hardy. But Jeff was able to turn the tables on Rhyno and holds him down to pin him, becoming the new WWF Hardcore champion!
Ever since WrestleMania X-7, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley has had it out for Trish Stratus, personally blaming her for Mr. McMahon losing to Shane at the biggest show of the year. Stephanie placed Trish against Chyna, putting Chyna’s newly won WWF Women’s championship on the line in order to get the muscular woman to go into a frenzy that would spell the end for Stratus. But Chyna has no love lost for “Daddy’s Little Girl” and refused to go out of her way for Stephanie, and that led to Stephanie announcing herself as tonight’s special guest referee. Stephanie let both women go after one another, egging them on to try and take the other out at any chance. But the plan was perfect as Tori made her return to the WWF and used a steel chair to lay out both Trish and Chyna! The match was a no contest, but this definitely isn’t over!
We went backstage to the Hardy Boyz again as they were leaving the Allstate Arena, but they had a big surprise waiting in the shadows for them as former ECW star Rob Van Dam appeared and attacked the brothers! Following the move that Philadelphia knew as the Van Daminator, Van Dam pinned Jeff Hardy right in the parking garage to steal the Hardcore title!
It was finally time for our main event, which is a “Winner Takes All” match as the two men known as The Power Trip, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and “The Game” Triple H, put their WWF and Intercontinental championships both on the line against The Brothers of Destruction’s WWF Tag Team championships! This No Disqualifications match had everything on the line, and it could have gone either way numerous times. But in the end, Triple H was able to get his favored weapon, the sledgehammer, out from under the ring, and he used it to brutalize Kane before Austin hit the Stunner on him to get the win. A big brawl continued between the four men afterwards, but as The Power Trip got away, the evening ended with the ominous sight of The Power Trip holding up all the gold!
Billy Gunn defeated Eddie Guerrero and Al Snow in a Triple Threat match to retain the WWF European title by rolling Guerrero up with a small package (Rating: B)
The Acolytes defeated The Island Tribe in a Street Fight match (Rating: B-)
Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley meets with Chyna and Billy Gunn backstage, but Chyna tells her to get out because she doesn’t want her help tonight! (Rating: C+)
Molly Holly and The Hollys defeated Terri and The Radicalz in a Mixed Tag match (Rating: C-)
The Brothers of Destruction are getting prepared backstage when Right to Censor come out of nowhere to attack them! But even with the numbers advantage, RTC get laid out! (Rating: B-)
Shane McMahon is seen getting ready backstage, here comes the money! (Rating: B-)
Shane McMahon defeated The Big Show in a Last Man Standing match when Test makes a surprise appearance to help Shane (Rating: B-)
Edge is at WWF New York tonight, he gives a five second pose (Rating: B)
Feud Hype Video: The Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz (Rating: C)
The Hardy Boyz defeated The Dudley Boyz in a Tables match (Rating: B)
Rhyno is attacked backstage by Steve Blackman and Funaki, but defeats them to retain the WWF Hardcore title (Rating: C-)
The Power Trip sit backstage and discuss the evening, planning to win the Tag titles tonight no matter what (Rating: B+)
Feud Hype Video: Regal and Angle vs. Jericho and Benoit (Rating: B-)
William Regal and Kurt Angle come to the ring as a unified front! (Rating: B)
Despite coming to the ring separately, Chris Jericho says the joke is on their opponents; he doesn’t have to trust Benoit, just fight next to him! (Rating: B)
Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho defeated Kurt Angle and William Regal (Rating: B+)
An unhinged Rhyno picks a fight with Jeff Hardy, but after a scuffle Jeff walks away with the Hardcore title! (Rating: B-)
Michael Cole interview: The Brothers of Destruction don’t care who put RTC up to their attack, they’ll win the Power Trip’s titiles tonight! (Rating: B)
Stephanie McMahon meets with Trish Stratus, saying that nobody has her all figured out; since both Trish and Chyna have been so vile towards her, she’ll be the referee for the Women’s title match herself! (Rating: B+)
Michael Cole talks to the Hardyz, who are excited for their future now with Jeff as Hardcore champ! (Rating: B)
Feud Hype Video: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley has been trying to work Chyna and Trish Stratus against one another (Rating: C+)
Chyna went to a no contest with Trish Stratus to retain the WWF Women’s title when Tori made a surprise return, Stephanie allowing her to lay both women out (Rating: D+)
The Hardy Boyz are leaving the Allstate Arena, but Rob Van Dam attacks them, and wins the Hardcore title from Jeff! (Rating: B)
Feud Hype Video: Power Trip vs. Brothers of Destruction (Rating: B+)
“The Fink” announces the participants for our main event (Rating: B)
The Power Trip defeated The Brothers of Destruction in a No Disqualifications match for the WWF World Tag Team titles when Triple H hits Kane with a sledgehammer and Austin pins him (Rating: B+)
A brawl nearly breaks out, but in the end The Power Trip have all the gold as the Brothers seethe (Rating: A*)
Thanks! This is a bit of a chore reposting everything (and I have a decent way to go, as the game is posted up to almost November) but I think it is going to be worth it to have it back on a forum again. (WCW Envy was originally posted on March 31, 2018)
May 2001: WCW Envy
After “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner kept the World’s Heavyweight championship around his waist against Sid Vicious, he refused to release the Steiner Recliner from Sid. The only thing that gets Steiner to drop the hold is the appearance of Tully Blanchard, who slaps Scott across the face! Against Ric Flair’s wishes, Blanchard accepts a WCW World Heavyweight championship match for WCW Envy against Steiner! It mostly is Steiner leading this feud as he is on-screen hyping up how badly he wants to break Blanchard in half while Tully goes away for two weeks to train. On the final Friday Nitro before Envy, the Steiner Brothers get in Arn Anderson’s face, but “The Nature Boss” threatens to bench both of them for the rest of their careers if they touch another staff member. Back in February, Tully Blanchard came out on top of an unsanctioned fight between the two (with a little helping hand from Booker T) but can he do it in a World title match?
“Big Sexy” Kevin Nash took a heartbreaking loss at WCW Pride, and he was ready to decimate Totally Buff for the month of May! He teamed up with Dustin Rhodes briefly to take them on, but at WCW Envy, he decided there was no one he could trust more than himself and would be taking on both Luger and Bagwell in a handicap match! Can “Big Sexy” overcome the odds, or are Totally Buff just too much for Nash?
Another huge match coming at WCW Envy took shape at Pride when Animal assaulted Sting after his victory. The former Road Warrior explained that he felt Sting was trying to jump past him by stepping back into WCW after a long absence, and he wasn’t going to let that happen. “The Stinger” used mind games to cost Animal a match against Sean O’Haire before telling him that his soul had been tainted with jealousy and fear, that he was at a crossroads that he chose the wrong path on. In taped interviews, Animal said that he wanted Sting to know his place; Sting countered by saying that if Animal had just asked him, he’d let him get a title match first – but he took the hard road, and at WCW Envy, it is going to be showtime!
After last month’s Pride match, Lance Storm wasn’t seen much all month, but Booker T willed himself back onto television quickly. But Shawn Stasiak feels that Booker is not back to form, and vows to take out little Storm left of Booker T after Pride!
The World also had their hands full with Sid Vicious, Mike Awesome distracting Vicious when he was battling for the World championship. These two “masters of the powerbomb” are going to take one another on in a brutal Tables match!
With the success of the Pride match last month, this month features the Envy match, where six combatants wagered something important to them against the right to a title match of their choosing and winning all the things that are being wagered. General Rection and Billy Kidman both put the status of their groups on the line, the Misfits in Action and the Filthy Animals; Lance Storm held up the managerial contract of Major Gunns; Dustin Rhodes wagered a pair of cowboy boots that his father had worn to win the World title in the 80s; Sean O’Haire said that he would promise a World Tag Team title shot to whoever wins; and Rick Steiner didn’t have something to wager, but his special stipulation said that if he won, then Scott Steiner wouldn’t have to defend his World title for 90 days. These are prizes to be envious of, and only one man can win them all!
“The Cat” Ernest Miller hadn’t been himself since after WCW Pride, the blood bath he suffered really messed with his mind. He finally challenged Kanyon to a rematch in a First Blood match, winning when Vampiro stabbed Kanyon himself with a spike? Vampiro moved on quickly, saying that the outcome didn’t matter to him at all, and that he was pitting Kanyon against the undefeated streak of Goldberg at WCW Envy! As Envy approaches, “Da Man” stands tall at 92 wins out of 176, so he will be looking to further bolster his numbers!
The Filthy Animals have been having some issues since last month, when Kidman gave a friendly nudge to Rey Mysterio Jr. about winning the United States title. When that didn’t happen, Billy felt that his fellow Animals weren’t looking out for him. While he has entered the Envy match, Konnan decided to challenge Jeff Jarrett himself for the US championship, while “Rey-Rey” has granted one final chance to Shane Douglas, with “The Franchise” using a blank contract that he found lying around to force Mysterio into a Last Man Standing match – right after he laid Mysterio out, assaulting his knees! Will The Filthy Animals be able to come out on top in all three matches, or will they lose it all in one fell swoop? What does Vampiro have to do with what is happening in the Animals? Find out only at WCW Envy!
A few lower level plots going on saw “The Prodigal Son” Dustin Rhodes announce that he wanted a World title match, and “The DFG” Rick Steiner decided to stand in his way; Norman Smiley angering Leia Meow and Yang; Alex Wright and “Sugar” Shane Helms having problems stemming from a match they had on Nitro; Simon Diamond and his Problem Solvers harassing General Rection because he declined joining them; “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka appeared and introduced us all to his son, Jimmy Snuka Jr.; Kid Kash wanting another match against Chavo Guerrero Jr., but Kaz Hayashi has been helping Guerrero to keep him at bay; and coming soon to WCW will be the young, hard hitting, rising star known as Low Ki. The WCW Worldwide Live Pre-Show saw a lot of action, along with the standard Panel discussions and hype videos.
Shane Helms and Norman Smiley defeated Yang and Alex Wright by count out when Wright left the bout and Yang tried to chase after him (Rating: C-)
“Mean” Gene and Jeremy talk to The Filthy Animals, who look to be on top of WCW tonight; Konnan tells Jeff Jarrett that he’ll leave the Animals out of their match if he leaves the Harris Boys backstage (Rating: C-)
Chuck Palumbo defeated Elix Skipper by DQ when Shawn Stasiak blatantly attacks Palumbo (Rating: C-)
Jeff Jarrett agrees that he’ll leave the Harris Boys in the back tonight against Konnan (Rating: C+)
The World succeed at laying out Jindrak and Palumbo before Booker and O’Haire can put a stop to them (Rating: B-)
Shown Live on May 13th, 2001 (Week 2)
Held at: The Pan American Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico (Mid South)
Announcers: Mike Tenay, Scott Hudson, and Arn Anderson
Attendance: 12,482 people (sold out!)
PPV Rating: 0.02
TV Rating: 1.08
Show Rating: B
This show raised WCW’s popularity in 8 regions.
Vampiro’s narration leads us into the main show: “Desire. Jealousy. Want. All these things describe something that lies dormant inside each and every person who is, was, or ever will be. No one is ever content with their position in life in comparison to those around them. And when that vile ‘green eyed monster’ rears its head, some of the worst sins can be committed. The sins of the heart beckon to those weak enough to fall prey to its siren call; but who will be Cain and who will be Abel by the time this story ends?”
Jeff Jarrett defeated Konnan to retain the WCW United States Heavyweight title in 11:45 by hitting the Stroke following a low blow (Rating: B-)
“Mean” Gene interviews The Steiner Brothers, who are ready to destroy everyone in their path tonight (Rating: B-)
Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Shane Douglas in a Last Man Standing match to retain the WCW X Division title at 17:59 after AJ Styles avenges the beating Douglas gave him on Nitro to interfere in the match (Rating: B-)
“Mean” Gene and Jeremy talk to Tully Blanchard, who says he is going to teach Steiner about respect (Rating: C)
Dark Eden talk about Kanyon facing Goldberg tonight (Rating: C)
Mike Awesome defeated Sid Vicious in a Tables match in 8:46 (Rating: B-)
Lance Storm wins the Envy match in 17:45 over General Rection, Billy Kidman, Dustin Rhodes, Sean O’Haire and Rick Steiner after an assist from Alex Wright (Rating: B-)
Booker T defeated Shawn Stasiak with the Book End at 8:58 (Rating: C)
The World attack Booker T, finally O’Haire and Sid run out to stop it (Rating: C+)
The WCW Worldwide Panel talk about The World, and hype up that our main event is still coming (Rating: C)
Sting defeated Animal at 8:44 by DQ when Animal shoves the official (Rating: C+)
Sting and Animal have a stand-off and must be held apart by security! (Rating: B-)
The Problem Solvers harass General Rection, but he’s paid Kronik to chase them away! (Rating: C)
“Mean” Gene and Jeremy talk to “The Nature Boss” Ric Flair, who talks about how he’s worried about Tully tonight (Rating: B)
Totally Buff defeated Kevin Nash at 6:57 with a modified Doomsday Blockbuster (Rating: C+)
“Mean” Gene and Jeremy talk to Kid Kash, who wants to take on Kaz and Chavo. They appear and threaten him until Jamie Knoble steps in because “We’re all redneck at heart!” (Rating: D)
“Da Man” Goldberg makes a spectacular entrance (Rating: B)
Goldberg defeated Kanyon with a Spear and Jackhammer at 4:24 (Rating: D+)
Konnan and Rey try to console Kidman, but the influence of Vampiro comes to Billy, and he attacks them! (Rating: C+)
David Penzer gives the introductions for our main event (Rating: C)
Scott Steiner defeated Tully Blanchard to retain the WCW World Heavyweight title in 12:08 with the Steiner Recliner (Rating: B)
Steiner refuses to release Tully after he passes out; after he tries to go after Arn, Ric Flair attacks Steiner with chops and a steel chair! “The Nature Boy” stands tall! (Rating: B+)
During The WCW Worldwide Live Post Show, “Mean” Gene tries to get an interview from Ric Flair, but Flair and Anderson are going to the hospital with Tully. The only words Okerlund gets is that Flair says Steiner will pay! (Rating: B-)
The biggest news of the month is only known to three people: Eric himself, a notary, and Shane McMahon. Fearing the debt of WCW spiraling out of control and killing this new era before it has a chance to grow a following, Eric signed over 10% of WCW’s stock portfolio to Shane in exchange for a twelve million dollar loan from the junior McMahon. In future months, this would mean a $5,000 repayment back to Shane, but it put the company “in the black” for the first time since the middle of 2000. In return, Shane said that since Eric has some concern about things the WWF have been putting on being eerily similar to some of the ideas he’s given to his booking partners, he would try to keep an eye on things behind the scenes in the WWF and find out if something shady is going on; and he started off their relationship by letting Eric know that there was someone that the WWF had their eyes on who they couldn’t sign right away, and Bischoff could beat them to the punch. Kevin Nash spread a small rumor that he heard Johnny Ace giving some information to someone on the phone, but nothing has come of it. Kevin is keeping an eye out for Eric, though.
Other news from May saw Kevin Nash successfully drop into a “big heavyweight” frame; the XFL closed down; Bret Hart gave an interview in Calgary where he talked poorly of his experience working in WCW; The Rock’s movie The Mummy Returns premiered in theaters; Mick Foley’s new “Foley is Good” book has released; and Chyna sitting out the rest of her WWF contract along with Jerry Lynn picking up an ankle injury has left two (admittedly minor) WWF titles effectively on the shelf.
Next month, on Father’s Day, comes The Great American Bash: Gluttony!
(WWF Judgment Day was originally posted on April 28, 2018)
May 2001: WWF Judgment Day
Sacramento’s ARCO Center is hotter than Hell as we approach WWF Judgment Day! This sold out crowd of 17,317 people were witness to some of the best action the west coast has seen in months!
The night started with what many people would call a dream match for the Hardcore championship, as former ECW star Rob Van Dam defended the title against Team X-treme’s own daredevil Jeff Hardy. Their feud had seen Van Dam constantly bragging how much better he is than Hardy, with Jeff trying to get revenge for what happened at WWF Backlash. The action was high flying and intense, and saw Hardy take a leap from the stage that RVD got away from, causing Jeff to crash through a table! “The Whole Dam Show” took advantage and covered Hardy to retain his championship!
Tensions spilled over from the past month as “Y2J” Chris Jericho took on William Regal in one on one action. These are two of the best technical wrestlers in the world, and their skills were on display here. Finally, Jericho was able to put Regal away by making him tap out in the Walls of Jericho.
A huge wrinkle was in the works for one of our bigger matches, as it appears that “The Big Red Machine” Kane was not in the arena tonight following an attack from Triple H and The Big Show on the previous Thursday’s WWF SmackDown!. This put his match for the WWF Intercontinental championship tonight in serious question!
Following WWF WrestleMania X-7, The Dudley Boyz had gone back to their ways of wanting to put people through tables, especially the women of the WWF. They had taken the month of May to focus on pure, sweet Molly Holly, drawing the ire of her cousins, Hardcore and Crash. This has also sparked a rift with the runt of the Dudley clan, Spike, as he apparently has taken a bit of a shine to Molly. At WWF Judgment Day, Bubba Ray and D-Von came out on top of their match, pinning Crash following the Dudley Death Drop, but it was after the match that saw the real sparks. Bubba took this time to go after Molly, and he very nearly put her through a table! But it was Spike who saved her, attacking his brothers and letting her escape to safety! However, he was caught up in the moment and instead of Molly, it was Spike who ended up violently put through the table!
Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit had kept up their feud since WWF Backlash, and their reputations as the best wrestlers in the World Wrestling Federation were on the line in a 30 Minute Ultimate Submission match! The two men battled valiantly, but it ended in a draw at 2-2, when Angle was unable to get Benoit to tap out in the final seconds of the match in the ankle lock.
The WWF Light Heavyweight champion Jerry Lynn joined us from WWF New York, upset that he’s finally on WWF pay-per-view with a championship around his waist, but he’s stuck at a restaurant holding a microphone.
Over the past month, The Big Show was on a quest to prove his worth to Mr. McMahon, and that quest took him to a match where he took down Matt Hardy, and then flung Lita across the ring! Matt took this attack personally, goading Show into a match at WWF Judgment Day, saying that he wasn’t afraid. The match was a handicap match, as Lita teamed with Hardy to take on the 7’ monster. Despite The Big Show not seeming to want to take on Lita, he was able to dispose of her long enough to defeat Matt with a Chokeslam.
After footage from WWF SmackDown! of the attack on Kane, Jim Ross and Paul Heyman were able to speak to “The Big Red Machine” on the phone. He confirmed that he was unable to come to the ARCO Arena tonight, and he was very upset at this, but he vowed to get revenge on “The Game” for what he has done!
Triple H comes out to brag about taking Kane out, saying that he shouldn’t have to defend his title tonight, but WWF Commissioner Shane McMahon ruined that plan by telling “The Game” that he had found him a last minute replacement challenger… and BANG! Diamond Dallas Page made a huge impact by landing the Diamond Cutter, pinning Triple H as “Shane O’Mac” counts a 1, 2, 3, awarding Page as the new WWF Intercontinental champion!
What had at one time been announced as a triple threat match for the WWF Women’s championship became a singles match between Tori and Trish Stratus, where Stratus used her Stratusfaction bulldog to defeat Tori. Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley said that in good sportsmanship, she wanted to shake the winner’s hand – but it was all a ruse, as it distracted her long enough for Tori to recover and Ivory to hit the ring, and the two leave Trish lying in the ring!
All that was left was our main event, and what a match it was set to be! The WWF championship was on the line in a No Disqualifications match between champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and challenger The Undertaker. The brawls these two have had in the past paled in comparison to what they put on display here, and The Undertaker nearly had the championship back around his waist quite a few times. But the amount of friends left in the locker room tonight played a key factor as Mr. McMahon and “The Game” Triple H interfered in the bout, with Helmsley using his sledgehammer on Undertaker. This left him wide open for the Stunner, as “Stone Cold” retained his championship once again.
Rob Van Dam defeated Jeff Hardy in a Hardcore match to retain the WWF Hardcore title; Jeff took a stunt bump during this match and RVD took advantage by rolling out of the way and then pinning Jeff (Rating: B-)
Kurt Angle talks to Rhyno and Edge about his match tonight with Chris Benoit, making sure he has “their support” during the match (Rating: B+)
Chris Jericho defeated William Regal (Rating: B)
Jonathan Coachman interviews The Power Trip, who seem to be on top of the world now that Kane isn’t even in the building (Rating: A)
The Dudley Boyz defeated The Hollys (Rating: C+)
Bubba wants to put Molly through a table, but Spike saves her; but after she is out of harm’s way, he ends up through the table instead! (Rating: B-)
Feud Recap Video: Angle vs. Benoit (Rating: B-)
Shane McMahon ruins Angle’s plans by detaining Edge and Rhyno backstage! (Rating: B-)
Chris Benoit drew 2-2 with Kurt Angle in an Ultimate Submission (30 Mins) match; Angle had the ankle lock on Benoit when time ran out (Rating: B+)
Jerry Lynn talks from WWF New York, saying that he would rather be defending his title tonight, but the WWF think he can’t work hurt, so now he’s finally on WWF pay-per-view… with a microphone, at a restaurant. He says once he’s back, he will prove that he’s the greatest light heavyweight champion of the wooooooooorld! (Rating: C-)
The Big Show defeated Lita and Matt Hardy; he didn’t want to face Lita, saying he doesn’t want to hurt a girl, but he finally throws her from the ring and defeats Matt with a chokeslam (Rating: B-)
Video Recap: Triple H assaulted Kane on SmackDown, which appears to have caused Kane to be unable to wrestle tonight (Rating: B-)
JR and Heyman talk to Kane on the phone, he’s ****ed that he can’t compete tonight but will get his revenge on Triple H! (Rating: B-)
Triple H is out to brag about taking out “The Big Red Machine” when Shane McMahon says that he, as commissioner of the WWF, has found a last-minute replacement to face Hunter.
Shocked, Triple H turns around, and BANG! Diamond Cutter! Diamond Dallas Page has come out of the crowd and laid out Triple H! He covers, and Shane McMahon himself counts the 1, 2, 3! We have a brand new Intercontinental Champion! (Rating: A*)
The Undertaker is seen backstage, wrapping up his fists (Rating: B-)
Trish Stratus defeated Tori (Rating: C-)
Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley comes out and tells Stratus that she did well tonight, shaking her hand – but it’s all a distraction for Tori and Ivory to attack Trish from behind! (Rating: C+)
Feud Recap Video: Austin vs. The Undertaker (Rating: B-)
Howard Finkel announces our main event! (Rating: B)
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin defeated The Undertaker in a No Disqualifications match thanks to interference from Vince McMahon and Triple H to retain the WWF World Heavyweight title (Rating: A)
(WCW Great American Bash: Gluttony was originally posted on May 20, 2018)
June 2001: WCW Great American Bash: Gluttony
The Great American Bash has been a staple of World Championship Wrestling since it’s inception as part of Jim Crockett Promotions’ summer tours in 1985, and this year on Father’s Day of 2001, it may just be our biggest edition yet! We returned to the home of the Bash, the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, this year the theme of The Great American Bash dealt with the sin of Gluttony.
The main event of the show was the culmination of the past few months in the career of “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Flair had been out of the ring since last year, serving as the CEO of World Championship Wrestling. He had vowed to make sure that Scott Steiner became an honored champion like in the old days by giving him big title defense after big title defense. “Big Poppa Pump” kept needling him, however, and especially when he started having problems with Tully Blanchard. Last month at WCW Envy, Steiner’s assault on Blanchard was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and Ric Flair started attacking him with chops, sending him from the ring! “The Nature Boss” had given way to “The Nature Boy” and Flair was ready for action! Despite having to wait for the championship committee to give him the okay, Flair pushed ahead, knowing that the second the bell rings, he gives up being the CEO. But some things are worth more than that, and it was time for “The Man” to make his return to the ring! In a fit of rage, the Steiner Brothers assaulted Goldberg on the final Nitro before The Great American Bash. Will Flair be able to win World championship number seventeen, or is “Big Poppa Pump” too much for the veteran to overcome?
Another battle that had been brewing for months saw The World fighting against Booker T and the Natural Born Thrillers. Lance Storm had chased Booker T for months, holding over his head that he had made Booker submit on the very last episode of WCW Thunder, but Booker put Storm in his place at WCW Pride. The Thrillers were brought into this feud when former member Shawn Stasiak threw his lot in with Storm’s Team Canada, turning O’Haire, Jindrak, and Palumbo into fan favorites as they fought against the larger group of The World. Meanwhile, Mike Awesome had been at odds with Sid Vicious as the two behemoths wanted to prove who was the master of the powerbomb. These plot threads all converged as Booker T, Sid Vicious, and the NBT made the challenge for a War Games match, bringing back the original two ring, 5 on 5, submission or surrender style of warfare at the show that it first happened, The Great American Bash! The extra wager was that the losing team would be forced to disband, meaning that the stakes are high for The Match Beyond! Tensions are high as on the final Nitro before the Bash, Chuck Palumbo and Mark Jindrak had to be held apart by their partners; will this dissension play a part in the match, as The World are one united front?
Totally Buff tried to move on from Kevin Nash, feeling that he was a non-issue, but “Big Sexy” kept them from winning the World Tag Team championships to get their attention again. Nash said that he was going to find a partner to take them on at The Great American Bash, but he wasn’t going to tell them, keeping the element of surprise. Luger and Bagwell tried to get the name out of Nash, but weren’t able to, Kevin only saying that he didn’t need to have a friend to team with him, just someone who hates Totally Buff as much as he does! Who has Nash found to team with, and will this be the key to knocking Totally Buff off their pedestal?
WCW Envy solved nothing in the fights between Animal and Sting, as well as Dustin Rhodes and Rick Steiner. “The Nature Boss” decided that while these were both matches that would be huge hits, he would make both matches even bigger by combining them into a fatal four way match, with the winner becoming number one contender to the WCW World Heavyweight title!
This month’s Gluttony match was a unique beast indeed. Ric Flair announced that he was going to draw two names, and they would wrestle at The Great American Bash for the prize of gluttonous luxury for the remainder of the year; private jets, limousine transport, a private, catered luxury box and dressing room at each WCW show, and a cash prize of five hundred thousand dollars! Those names drawn ended up being Kanyon and Jimmy Snuka Jr. The thus-far undefeated Snuka didn’t seem to want it, saying that he wouldn’t enjoy such a high life, but his father urged him on, that their family has deserved this kind of treatment for years and was never given it. Meanwhile, Kanyon was given a tongue-lashing from Vampiro, who said that these materialistic desires are beneath their goal in Dark Eden. Who would win the prize in the end?
Speaking of Dark Eden, Billy Kidman’s turn on the Filthy Animals culminated in his joining up with Vampiro, Kanyon, and Daffney in their mission of purification. Vampiro called out Rey Mysterio Jr. and Konnan, stating that they were slaves to their own sins, that they secretly were so jealous of one another that they could barely hold it in, leading to him challenging Mysterio to put the WCW X Division championship on the line in a triple threat match against both Konnan and Kidman. Over the course of the month, it appeared that Vampiro’s words were ringing true, as “Rey-Rey” and Konnan slowly unraveled. When the Filthy Animals meet in the ring, who will come out as the X Division champion?
Smaller feuds that saw airtime during the past month were “The Franchise” Shane Douglas vowing to hold down young talent like AJ Styles; Norman Smiley was promised a surprise by Leia Meow; “The Cat” Ernest Miller got past The Harris Boys to capture a title shot against Jeff Jarrett; the team of Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Kaz Hayashi became known as The Future, and they have been up against Rebel Pride, consisting of Kid Kash and Jamie Knoble; and Hugh Morrus has paid Kronik to team with him in a six man tag team match against Simon Diamond’s Problem Solvers.
We are, as always, welcomed to the show via The WCW Worldwide Live Pre-Show! They spent the hour watching exclusive matches and talking about the bouts that we are going to witness tonight.
The WCW Panel welcome everyone to the GAB Live Pre-Show! They talk about the history of the Bash (Rating: C)
Vampiro talks about choosing Helms to face because he exudes overindulgence (Rating: C-)
Vampiro defeated Shane Helms at 4:07 with the Nail in the Coffin (Rating: C-)
Shane Douglas and The Future talk about their match next (Rating: D+)
Shane Douglas and The Future defeated AJ Styles and Rebel Pride after Douglas threw dirt in Knoble’s eyes and pinned him with The Franchiser at 9:05 (Rating: C+)
WCW The Great American Bash: Gluttony
Shown Live on June 17th, 2001 (Week 2)
Held at: The Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland (Mid Atlantic)
Announcers: Mike Tenay, Scott Hudson, and Arn Anderson
Attendance: 14,000 people (sold out!)
PPV Rating: 0.10
TV Rating: 0.54
Show Rating: B
This show has improved our popularity in 8 regions.
Our main show opened with Vampiro’s narration of the opening video…
“The weather is warm, the days are long, and people are holding family picnics and get-togethers, they are showing more skin when going on vacations. That leads to increased eating; increased sex drives; increased travel; buying useless trinkets to show that ‘Hey, I’ve been places and done things!’ Everyone is doing everything they can before the cold of winter comes back to the world. They are all guilty of Gluttony of the highest order; they all have been found guilty as hedonistic, uninteresting creatures who will never stop desiring to have and hold more and more and more, until finally, they swallow up the Earth in their petty wants. Father’s Day is the perfect celebration of people who have done nothing yet expect praise for it, gifts and presents and cards that are as meaningless as the paper they have been printed upon. Tonight, WCW celebrates tradition by bringing back the Great American Bash to Baltimore; and all you so-called “#1 Dads” out there are going to see the biggest Gluttons of them all – tonight, when you look in the mirror.” (Rating: B)
Konnan defeated Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman in a Triple Threat match for the WCW X Division title at 15:23 with a roll-up after Mysterio was distracted by Tygress (Rating: B-)
Gene and Jeremy interview Ric Flair, who is ready for tonight, taking off his CEO suit in order to bring tradition back to the WCW World championship (Rating: B+)
Hugh Morrus and KroniK defeated Disqo and The Problem Solvers with the reappearance of Sgt. A-WALL, chokeslamming Disqo to allow Hugh the pinfall at 12:23 (Rating: C)
Jimmy Snuka Jr. defeated Kanyon in a Gluttony match at 6:48 when Vampiro ordered Kanyon to throw the match (Rating: C-)
Sting defeated Animal, Rick Steiner and Dustin Rhodes in a number one contender Fatal Four Way match by pinning Steiner with a big splash at 9:11 (Rating: B-)
Jeff Jarrett backstage tells the Harris Boys that he can’t put up with their failure anymore, they’re fired! (Rating: C)
Jeff Jarrett defeated Ernest Miller after a low blow and The Stroke at 4:25 to retain the WCW United States Heavyweight title (Rating: C-)
Gene and Jeremy talk to The Steiner Brothers, who don’t mind that Rick didn’t win earlier because Scott is going to enjoy destroying Ric Flair tonight (Rating: B)
The WCW Worldwide Panel are joined again by Stacy Kiebler, and they discuss what we’ve seen so far and what huge matches are yet to come (Rating: D+)
Booker T, Sid Vicious and The Natural Born Thrillers (Sean O’Haire, Chuck Palumbo and Mark Jindrak) defeated The World (Lance Storm, Mike Awesome, Shawn Stasiak, Elix Skipper and Alex Wright) in a War Games match at 28:36 when Storm is left unresponsive following The Book End on a steel chair (Rating: B-)
Lance Storm walks out on all of his partners, calling them all failures, including Tylene! (Rating: C-)
Norman Smiley defeated Yang in 2:50 with the Norman Conquest (Rating: D+)
Norman has defeated Yang, but Meow says he wasn’t his opponent; Tajiri is! (Rating: D-)
Yoshihiro Tajiri defeated Norman Smiley in 4:19 with a brainbuster (Rating: D+)
Kevin Nash brings out his partner: it’s Goldberg! (Rating: B)
Kevin Nash and Goldberg defeated Totally Buff with simultaneous pinfalls in 11:20. Goldberg gets win #101 (Rating: B)
David Penzer announces our main event participants (Rating: B)
With the WCW World Heavyweight championship on the line, Ric Flair defeated Scott Steiner by DQ at 32:28 for punching the official, but with a Dusty finish where Steiner was forced to tap out in the figure four before Nick Patrick called for the disqualification; Scott Steiner remains WCW World champion (Rating: B+)
The WCW Worldwide Live Post-Show focused on what we had seen happen over the course of the evening. Here are the highlights:The camera stays on the ring where various wrestlers come to the ring to celebrate Flair’s win, but Scott Steiner isn’t happy! (Rating: A)
Cameras catch up with Ric Flair behind the curtain, who talks about how he may not have won the title, but he won the match and wants a rematch (Rating: B+)
Lance Storm says he refuses to be surrounded by failure ever again, shoving Tylene away and leaving without her! (Rating: B-)
Booker T puts over the NBT as the future of our business (Rating: B+)
The WCW Worldwide Panel are signing off for the Great American Bash when the Steiner Brothers interrupt and curse out everyone! (Rating: A)
After Envy, Lance Storm and Jamie Knoble were both handed new gimmicks of Arch Competitor and gimmicky Redneck, respectively. While Storm had done well with his, Knoble was having problems making his work very well. At the end of May, Eric Bischoff spoke with Dustin Rhodes about renegotiating his contract. It was the same deal he had spoken about with Kevin Nash previously; less money for a longer running contract. Rhodes said that he wanted two things that Eric could give him before he signed the deal: one being a better gimmick, as his wholesome cowboy schtick hadn’t gone over very well, and also being allowed to go work for his father’s Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling once in awhile. Being able to set both of those actions in motion, Bischoff was able to get Dustin to sign a new four year contract that took his pay from $50,000 down to $13,070. Mike Awesome had asked for his pay to be raised, which Eric allowed him 75% of what he was asking to move his deal to $11,662 a month. C.W. was also given a 75% raise, putting him just under $3,000 a month, while Shane Douglas, Leia Meow, and Yang signed new contracts.
The person who Shane McMahon had placed Eric Bischoff in contact with debuted at the Great American Bash in Yoshihiro Tajiri. There was a snafu in the WWF being able to give him an offer, and Eric and Shane exploited that to put his name to ink on a new contract before they had a chance to straighten things out. He is going to be playing basically his same character from ECW, a crazy, evil foreigner. Another debut, Low-Ki, who has been hyped by WCW since April, finally has his debut date given, set for the June 29 episode of Friday Nitro.
Eric had some quizzical ideas moving into June, as it appeared that the WWF held a match very similar to what he was doing with the Filthy Animals, as partners entered a triple threat scenario over a championship. It didn’t help that the WWF were also advertising an episode of SmackDown for a few days before the Great American Bash, which is one of Vince’s old tactics that he used to utilize in the 1980s.
After the Great American Bash, chaos reigned supreme as Sid Vicious assaulted Goldberg during a match. Vicious had regained his taste for blood in War Games, and Goldberg was going to be who he took it out on. Goldberg, despite being battered and bruised, challenged Vicious to put his WCW career on the line against Goldberg’s Streak in a Caged Heat match on the final Nitro of June, and it saw “Da Man” come out on top to end Sid’s term in World Championship Wrestling. Backstage, Eric and Sid’s talks about renegotiating his contract had fallen out, as Sid found this new contract insulting. He was the biggest of the names to leave, but this list also included both Harris twins and officials Scott Armstrong and Billy Silverman. Tygress and Tylene agreed to appear at Bash at the Beach, but otherwise their deals were over as well. These were all noted because I reposted the updated, full rosters for both WCW and the WWF as of July 1st.
Elsewhere in pro wrestling, New-Japan gave Jushin “Thunder” Liger the win in the Best of the Super Juniors tournament, and Ian Rotten booked himself to win IWA-MS’s King of the Death Match tournament. Sadly, at the end of May, we saw the passings of both George “The Animal” Steele and Larry Zbyszko.
Losing Sid and several others completely, Eric also sent quite a few people down to work on their overall skills in NWA: Wildside. With this somewhat more streamlined roster, Eric was ready to move toward Bash at the Beach in July!
(WWF King of the Ring was posted on June 17, 2018)
June 2001: WWF King of the Ring
The Continental Airlines Arena is red hot as tonight, we crown the 2001 WWF King of the Ring!
Our opening match was one of the semi-final bouts, where “The Man Beast” Rhyno took on the high flying Jeff Hardy. Rhyno was out for blood, but Hardy was able to dodge the Gore, sending Rhyno crashing into the turnbuckle pads. From there, Hardy polished him off with the Swanton Bomb to move into the finals.
After Spike Dudley saved Molly Holly from his brothers last month at WWF Judgment Day, he and Molly formed a tenuous alliance that was looked down upon by both The Dudley Boyz and her cousins, The Hollys! This led us to tonight, where we witnessed a triple threat tag team hardcore match, where Bubba Ray and D-Von took on Hardcore and Crash as well as Spike and Molly! The action was definitely hardcore, with the sweet Molly even showing a bit of a nasty side as she used some baking sheets on her opponents! But in the end, the 3-D finished the bout as The Dudley Boyz landed it on Spike.
We saw backstage that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Debra decided to show up to the arena late, and it seemed to really irritate the rest of The Power Trip, who didn’t appreciate Austin’s cavalier attitude when there was such a big night at hand.
Over the past month, Rob Van Dam felt slighted when Jeff Hardy, rather than continue chasing after him, instead entered the King of the Ring tournament. In order to bother Jeff, RVD instead focused in on brother Matt, getting under his skin and putting the WWF Hardcore championship on the line against him tonight at WWF King of the Ring. An extra wrench was thrown into the mix when Van Dam teamed up with Eddie Guerrero to take on The Hardyz, and Rob decided to leave Eddie high and dry, abandoning the match when things started going south for them. “Latino Heat” added himself to the match at WWF King of the Ring, but in the end it was “The Whole Dam Show” who got the last laugh, pinning Matt with the Five Star Frog Splash to keep the championship around his waist.
Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho pulled off perhaps the upset of the millennium the night after WWF Judgment Day when they took advantage of a miscommunication and defeated Steve Austin and Triple H for the WWF Tag Team championships! But afterwards, Mr. McMahon decided that he needed some big, bad men to take care of this problem, enlisting The Island Tribe of Rikishi and Haku to take care of the Canadians. It was a long, brutal month of many beatdowns that “Y2J” and “The Rabid Wolverine” had to endure, but at WWF King of the Ring, they were able to overcome the odds as Jericho pins Rikishi after the Lionsault. An irritated Mr. McMahon then told the two that he wasn’t done with them, not by a long shot!
“The Big Red Machine” Kane got his chance at revenge on “The Game” for making him unable to wrestle at WWF Judgment Day, as he took on Triple H in a Falls Count Anywhere match. The bout went all around the arena, with Kane even trying the diving elbow off the stage that won him the WWF Hardcore championship back at WWF WrestleMania X-7, but this time it was for naught as Triple H got out of the way of it! After pulling Kane out of the wreckage, the Pedigree put this match away.
Raven is seen sitting at WWF New York, and he was ruining everyone’s good time at the restaurant.
In the second semi-final match of the King of the Ring tournament, teammates in Team RECK went to battle as Kurt Angle took on Edge. What would have been a good match anyways had extra drama added to it as Shane McMahon made his presence known constantly, drawing the bout out as close to the time limit as he could. This frustrated Angle, and it made him lose focus just long enough for Edge to score a big victory!
That strategy backfired for the younger McMahon, however, as up next was his Street Fight against Angle! After WWF Judgment Day, “Shane O’Mac” teased Angle about how he didn’t defeat Chris Benoit, and Angle assaulted him for it, causing him to miss television for two weeks. Shane returned to cost Angle a match, and challenged him to this Street Fight. This was a testament to brutality, which saw an enraged Angle actually suplex McMahon through the glass panes on the stage! Finally, mercifully, Kurt was able to pin Shane to end the match.
The Undertaker wanted to keep chasing after the WWF title that he felt was robbed from him, but Mr. McMahon sent hired guns after him in X-Factor, Albert and Justin Credible. While this wasn’t a “match” at WWF King of the Ring, Undertaker had said that he would call them out for a fight! He did just that, but when things were looking like a bleak, two on one situation, someone else who X-Factor had interfered in the business of, Diamond Dallas Page, came to “The Deadman’s” side! Together, they sent X-Factor scattering. This one doesn’t look to be over soon!
The finals of the King of the Ring tournament were between two men who know one another very well, as daredevil Jeff Hardy took on the obnoxious Edge. Despite there being no tables, ladders, or chairs involved in this match, it was a very good bout that fans really were on the edge of their seats for. At the end, Jeff’s high profile offense was his undoing, as Edge saw a big move coming and course-corrected himself into hitting a big Spear on Hardy that crowned him the 2001 King of the Ring!
Stephanie McMahon-Helmsely, Tori, and Ivory had been making Trish Stratus’s life miserable over the past few months, and this time she was able to bring in some backup to help out as she teamed with Team X-treme’s Lita to take on Ivory and Tori. The women were unleashed upon one another, and it took a big Stratusfaction bulldog to Tori to give Stratus the victory that she so rightly deserved. Afterwards, Stephanie was so upset that she fired Tori on the spot!
Our main event match was for the WWF championship, as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was to face off with the 7’ behemoth, The Big Show! Big Show had finally come to his senses that there was no way one could please Mr. McMahon, and laid out the Chairman of the WWF! The Big Show won the right to challenge “Stone Cold” on this night, and he spent much of the month either ruining the plans of The Power Trip because it was nearly impossible for him to become outnumbered by them. But on this night, the numbers definitely got to him, as repeated interference by Mr. McMahon, Triple H, and William Regal finally wore him down, leaving Show the victim of a Stunner to close the evening with The Power Trip still firmly in control!
Jeff Hardy defeated Rhyno in a Semi Final match (Rating: B)
The Dudley Boyz defeated The Hollys and Spike Dudley and Molly Holly in a Hardcore match (Rating: B)
Austin and Debra finally arrive, the rest of the Power Trip a bit annoyed that he took so long to get to the building tonight (Rating: B+)
Rob Van Dam defeated Matt Hardy and Eddie Guerrero in a Hardcore match to retain the WWF Hardcore title (Rating: B-)
Michael Cole interviews Steve Austin, who says he is gonna knock Big Show down to size (Rating: B)
Benoit and Jericho defeated The Island Tribe to retain the WWF World Tag Team titles (Rating: B-)
Mr. McMahon tells Benoit and Jericho that he isn’t done with them yet, not by a long shot! (Rating: B+)
Jonathan Coachman interviews Edge, saying he’s going to be a king who reeks of awesomeness! (Rating: C+)
Triple H defeated Kane in a Falls Count Anywhere match; Kane took a stunt bump off the stage (Rating: C)
Michael Cole talks to Jeff Hardy; he can’t wait to be King Hardy, also mentioning that he will be chasing RVD once that’s done (Rating: B-)
Raven is at WWF New York tonight, depressing everyone around him (Rating: B)
Edge defeated Kurt Angle in a Semi Final match in a match that featured a lot of interference from Shane McMahon as he made sure the match lasted as long as the time limit would allow (Rating: B)
Kurt Angle defeated Shane McMahon in a Street Fight match (Rating: B)
The Undertaker calls out X-Factor, and he brawls with them until DDP comes out to assist! The two send Albert and Justin out of the ring to regroup! (Rating: A)
Edge defeated Jeff Hardy in a Tournament Final match to become the 2001 King of the Ring (Rating: B+)
Trish Stratus and Lita defeated Ivory and Tori (Rating: B-)
Upset at the loss, SMH fires Tori on the spot! (Rating: B-)
In a match that featured a lot of interference from members of the Power Trip, Steve Austin defeated The Big Show to retain the WWF Championship title (Rating: B)