10 years. For those of us who have been watching this pseudo-sport for a long time, it is hard to imagine that it has been 10 years since the juggernaut that was WCW died with a whimper under the heel of Vincent K McMahon at Survivor Series. But at the start of 2001 we still had hopes that some strangely deluded white knight would come in and save the cash-haemorrhaging entity that was WCW. It would take a wholesale clean-out, dumping of many contracts and a complete and utter revamp, scaling back and starting anew. Some at the time were talking about a more cruiserweight styled promotion (especially with the advent of the cruiserweight tag team titles), others a promotion made up essentially of young guys, and others of just the WCW of old with a quarter the roster.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â But really, most of us still watching â€“ and who had been watching for years â€“ were just waiting for some nice nurse to come along and pull the plug, putting everyone out of our misery. And within 3 months that happened. But some jerk would not let it die, and the Frankenstein monster that was the InVasion angle reared its ridiculous head and did a final crap on everything WCW. Which, really, was all it deserved. After 1999/2000 WCW did not deserve death with dignity. It deserved to be embarrassed for putting us fans through so much utter rubbish, so many high hopes all of which were dashed, so much goddammed stupidity.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â And yetâ€¦
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2001 actually felt different to the prior two years. There was no Hogan. Flair was essentially acting as an authority figure. No Roddy Piper. No Radicalz. No Bret Hart. A lot of younger guys were getting opportunities. And the PPVs had more than their fair share of good matches.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â And sometimes itâ€™s fun to go back and watch these things again and dream about what might have beenâ€¦
Sin (January 14, 2001)
Nice 7 deadly sins opening video promo.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Tony Schiavone and Scott Hudson are the commentators.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Straight into the matches. Cool.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Cruiserweight title â€“ Sugar Shane Helms v Chavo Guerrero. I like their recap of this â€“ even now, 10 years later, I know whatâ€™s going on. And even in 2001 they still start with the cruisers to pop the crowd and get everyone hyped up. I miss that. And the crowd are into this. Well, this match is a really great way to start the final year of WCW PPVs. What Chavo is here and what he became in the WWE after the Smackdown Six went their own ways is like 2 different wrestlers. And they are already talking here about Chavo being a 10 year veteran. Good match, by the way. I like the Nightmare on Helmstreet as a move â€“ someone should steal that. The reversals at the end are great. Chavo wins with a brainbuster. Really good opening match.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Tony and Scott talk about Golderg and Sarge, Ric Flair arrives and tells Mike Tenay the mystery opponent is under lock and key, Big Vito and Johnny are interviewed and go to the ring, but only Vito appears. Did he eat Johnny on the way out?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Big Vito v Reno. Brother v brother, allegedly. This is a brawl, sort of like the WWE main event. Surprisingly good, with some impressive agility from these big guys. Seriously. This is an entertaining match and Reno wins with a Roll the Dice, which is another impressive move.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Backstage, Commissioner Sanders pays Kronik to do something. But some one else has paid them to do something else. I think the Kronik as paid mercenaries idea was a good storyline that was ruined by stupid writing (see Goldberg defeating them both in 2000).
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The Yung Dragons (Kaz Hayashi and Yang) v Jamie Noble and Evan Karagias. Matches like this are the reason I donâ€™t do play by play. Another great cruiserweight match. Some awesome synchronised work, fast, hard-hitting (even if Karagias botches a moonsault). Jamie Noble and the Yung Dragons were all underrated. Karagias hits a smooth 450 splash (the Firebird? really?). And then, after all this flippy stuff, Yang gets an inside cradle on Noble for the pin. Great match!
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Bagwell and Luger turn up backstage in ZZ Topâ€™s car painted purple, then discuss how theyâ€™re going to get Goldberg fired.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Commissioner Sanders now comes out to run down the Cat and the crowd with an accent we in Australia associate with drinking corn mash and wearing bib overalls. At weddings. Unfair stereotype, I know, butâ€¦ meh.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Mike Sanders v The Cat. This is for the commissionership, possession of Miss Jones (because in WCW women were merely commodities), the love of the people and the money. Cat has a microphone and sucks up to the crowdâ€¦ and they love it. Seriously. Another brawl, WWE main event style. The crowd are so into this they must have pulled the guys up because this is not a bad brawl. Natural Born Thrillers come out and attack the Cat, but Kronik come out and chase them off, then stuff Sandersâ€™ money in his mouth so the Cat can pin him. So the Cat paid off more to Kronik than Sanders. Fun match.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Backstage again, where Goldberg and Flair watch footage of Bagwell and Luger arriving. Hang onâ€¦ they can do that? Why doesnâ€™t that happen to stop every misunderstanding ever in televised wrestling? Well, because of this, Flair makes the match no-DQ, and then Goldberg greets the only fan in the entire back stage area.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Mean Gene interviews Jeff Jarrett. He says nothing of note. Ten years on and Jarrett is stillâ€¦ Jarrett. Nice character development!
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Penalty Box match: Lance Storm , Mike Awesome & Elix Skipper v. Rey Mysterio , Kidman & Konnan. Jim Duggan is the special guest referee. The rules of this match seem to be that thereâ€™s a pair of penalty boxes â€“ like ice hockey, I suppose â€“ outside the ring, so that when someone does something naughty, they get sent to their box, so giving the other team a person advantage for a minute or so. Team Canada arrive in an old bus, while the Filthy Animals think they are dancing when they rock up. Duggan explains the rules quite well, actually. And, more than that, he is bigger than everyone involved except Awesome. Makes it look like a midget match with the ref towering over everyone else. Suddenly itâ€™s 3-on-1 for the faces. And then again. Hang on. I know the way this works. Arenâ€™t the heels supposed to have the advantage? Some good stuff here, nice wrestling, clean moves, but it gets messy quickly. Look, I like 5 of the 6 wrestlers here (sorry, Konnan), but this was just odd. Now 3-on-1 for the heels as they beat up Konnan a bit while the women (Tygress and Major Gunns) attack each other, so theyâ€™re in the penalty box as well! Yeahâ€¦ okay. Then it gets really messy and there are people in and out of the penalty box and it isâ€¦ well, a mess. Lance Storm hooks the maple leaf submission on Kidman for the win after all that
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Sanders and the rest of the Natural Born Thrillers make vague threats.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Hardcore Title: Crowbar v Terry Funk v Meng. Terry grabs Daffney from the audience to start and it goes backstage quickly as WCW tries desperately to regain the innovation of the Benoit/Sullivan brawlâ€¦ including fighting in the toilets. At one point Crowbar does something cool to Funk, but all we see on screen is some oneâ€™s elbow. Once they get out of the backstage area it becomes the sort of entertaining hardcore match ECW was doing better four years earlier. And when it reaches the ring it becomes quite the entertaining if mindless brawl. Not too shabby, all-in-all. Meng wins with the Tongan death grip on Funk for the three-count to be the champ. Historical note: The following week â€“ exactly one week later â€“ Meng rocked up at the Royal Rumbleâ€¦ technically still champ, I guess.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Backstage and Flair congratulates the Cat, then Mean Gene interviews Sid Vicious (who gives the most coherent interview tonight so far… and, no, that’s not a typo nor is it sarcasm), and then the tag team title situation is recapped rather briefly.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Tag Team Championship: Chuck Palumbo and Sean Oâ€™Haire v Kevin Nash and Diamond Dallas Page. Sanders brings out the rest of the Thrillers and basically says he can do whatever he wants, Flair comes out with security to send them to the back. *Sigh.* Good fight to start while DDP is in there. But, seriously, Nash enters and everything slows. Oâ€™Haire tries to force the pace up, but even an impressive bit of agility (back sault off the top rope over Nash into a superkick) can do little. (Iâ€™ve started to wonder why people only fall over the second rope only when fighting Rey Mysterioâ€¦ well, they fell when fighting Nash as well so he could then drape a leg over their shoulders and sit on them.) Then the rest of the Thrillers run out, Luger comes in with a chair, DDP chases him off, Bagwell hits Nash with a wrench, Oâ€™Haire hits his great Seanton bomb, and the Thrillers are the new tag team champions. WTF? I really didnâ€™t mind the Thrillers becoming champs, but the way they did it made them look weak â€“ it took like all of them to beat Nash, plus Bagwell and Luger â€“ when that was not what WCW needed at the time.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The Thrillers are then interviewed by Tenay. Sid still has the most coherent promo. Oh, and thatâ€™s not a good thing.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Nice little package about the US title.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â US Title: first blood, chain on a pole, ladder match (no, I am not making this up): Shane Douglas v General Rection/Hugh Morrus. A lot of useless brawling, inside and outside the ring. Morrus gets the chain, but Douglas has his own and draws blood, so wins the US title. Crap match.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Mean Gene interviews Steiner, and Sid *still* has the most coherent promo. Then we see Morrus whingeing about losing. Video package about Goldberg and his streak (where if he lost he was fired) and how Sarge got involved.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Buff Bagwell and Lex Luger v Goldberg and Sarge. I was a Goldberg fan, but in the last 4 years of WCW Luger seemed to have given up and I donâ€™t know what the deal was with Bagwell. Well, this match sucked. I mean, the kid who Goldberg signed an autograph for earlier maces him. There are chairs and movements so slow glaciers were telling them to get on with it. And then Goldberg lost! The crowd was stunned, but of course no one believed the stip â€“ that he would never step foot in a WCW ring again. Well, guess what? He never did.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Next we have a video package about the world title match.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â World Heavyweight Title: Jeff Jarrett v Sid Vicious v Scott Steiner v the Mystery Man. Pretty infamous match, actually. Starts as a sort of handicap match with Jarrett and Steiner against Sid. Dull match (although the double suplex by Sid was impressive). But then the first of two things happened â€“ Sid comes off the second rope and breaks his lower leg. And then the Mystery Man comes out and it was just Road Warrior Animal. That leg break still looks nasty.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Okay, what did we have here? 5 good matches, 2 okay matches, and 3 not so goodâ€¦ but one of them was the main event. Thatâ€™s a pretty good strike rate, all in all.
Superbrawl Revenge (Feb 18, 2001)
No real opening package, just a bizarre CSI-like jump-cut video ending with the word Revenge. Most odd. And we have Tony and Hudson again.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Evan Karagias v Jamie Noble v Kaz Hayashi v Yang v Shannon Moore v Shane Helms (replacing Kidman after Road Warrior Animal beat him up). 6-man 4-corners elimination match for the number one cruiserweight contendership. Again, this is why I donâ€™t do play by play. A few botches at the beginning, but it just goes by so fast. The constant references to Jamie Noble as the former masked third man in the Yung Dragons get annoying real fast, by the way. I like the spot where everyone missed their top rope moves, but then they hit them going to the outside. Karagias out first, pinned by Yang after a reverse piledriver. Jamie Noble then pins Yang with a tombstone piledriver. Shannon Moore pins Jamie Noble after a top rope Bottoms Up. Those eliminations were quick. Now itâ€™s Kaz v 3-Count. But Shannon hits Helms with a Bottoms Up, but Kaz kicks him and the ref. Then it breaks down a little. Helms pins Moore with a Nightmare on Helms Street. Kaz and Helms then have a great little match for two exhausted wrestlers. Helms finally hits a vertebreaker and wins the match. 23 minutesâ€¦ great! WWE, TNA â€“ look at this!
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â General Rection/Hugh Morrus (he should have stuck to one name) gives a pretty good promo about Wall. Flair and Steiner conspire. Kronik are hassled by Commissioner Lance Storm. Acting!
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The Wall v Hugh Morrus. Power match. Goes outside early, and these two actually look like they donâ€™t like each other. Adds something when that suspension of disbelief kicks in. Deteriorates into a standard brawl, which is a shame because Morrus always impressed me with his agility. But not this match. Five minutes in and theyâ€™re acting like theyâ€™ve been out there for 30 minutes. Lots of laying around. They mess up a hotshot, so repeat the move. So slow. Disappointing match. Morrus hits the No Laughing Matter moonsault for the pin. Then does another one for good measure, which hits really awkwardly, like on Morrusâ€™ head.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Meanwhile, backstage, Konnan and Animal go at it.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Nice video package describes the break-up of the Natural Born Thrillers.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â World Tag Team Titles: Shawn Stasiak & Mark Jindrak v Chuck Palumbo & Sean Oâ€™Haire. Interestingly, both teams came out with the names Palumbo/Oâ€™Haire on the screen. Okay, can of worms time: these guys put on a good match. Old fashioned tag teaming. No run-ins, no ref bumps, no stupidity, just two teams putting on a great match. Nice double team moves, good selling, everything else. Iâ€™d forgotten how much potential these guys had. And judging by this match, all of them had potential. Palumbo has a great looking punch. Jindrak can move for a big guy. Stasiak certainly is no slouch. And this match made Oâ€™Haire look like an absolute killer. And Charles Robinson showed that he really was an awesome ref. You know, with young guys like this on the roster, there was a real future for WCW. At least, thatâ€™s how it felt. Oâ€™Haire & Palumbo win in what was a really good match.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Dustin Rhodes talks aboutâ€¦ somethingâ€¦ to some one to the right of camera, which is just as well because the camera man was apparently drunk and couldnâ€™t hold the damn thing still.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Cruiserweight title: Rey Mysterio v Chavo Guerrero. Another really good cruiser match. Where did this Chavo go when WWE bought WCW, thatâ€™s what I want to know. He hits a Gory Buster so cleanly. One botch â€“ an armdrag on thin air that still flipped Chavo over. What theâ€¦? But this was still a really good match. Chavo wins with the brainbuster after a Greco-Roman chair shot to the head.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Commissioner Storm hassles Kronik again.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Recap of the epic Steiner/Rhodes feudâ€¦ and thatâ€™s Rick and Dustin. I almost forgot about Nash threatening to beat up David Flair in order to get what he wanted. Cool.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â US Title: Dustin Rhodes v Rick Steiner. Oh, dear God. Rhodes certainly looked game, but Steiner looked lost after 30 seconds. This was a bad match. Steiner wins after dropping Rhodes on an exposed turnbuckle. Steiner continues to beat him up afterwards, yells into the mike, and then Rhodes hits the old Goldust shattered dreams. That almost redeems this match. Almost. Next!
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Flair and Storm have a chat backstage. DDP and the Cat inspire each other.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Lex Luger and Buff Bagwell v Kronik. Luger and Bagwell waffle for 5 minutes beforehand. The crowd turns on them, and not in a â€œyouâ€™re a heel, boo!â€ way, more in that â€œget out of my face and go home, you jerkâ€ way. Brian Clarke is attacked before the match, Luger and Bagwell beat up Bryan Adams, Clarke comes back, but itâ€™s really Mike Awesome in a decent disguise, and he drills Adams for the Luger/Bagwell win and a tag title shot. That was more effort writing about than this match deserved.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Backstage Kronik beat up security.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Lance Storm v The Cat. For the commissionership. Again? Match was okay, but bored me. At least Storm worked a body part. Cat won after a bunch of interference and run-ins. Next!
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Video package about Diamond Dallas Page v Jarrett. Short and to the point.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â DDP vâ€¦ hang on. No, of course. DDP v not Jarrett. Kanyon instead. Christâ€¦
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â DDP v Kanyon. Hey, a really good match! Kanyon â€“ another underrated wrestler. And it looks like DDP refound his working boots after no longer tagging with Nash. To me it looked like DDP stopped trying in the ring after losing the world title the first time, deciding instead that catchphrases were the way to go, but this match shows otherwise. DDP takes some great punishment and Kanyon hits some sweet moves (sit-out whiplash slam, for example). And crowd is into this. Then the ref is bumped, Jarrett comes out and hits the Stroke, and Kanyon wins with the Flatliner. Sports Entertainment ending to a good match. Kanyon announces the next match:
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â DDP v Jeff Jarrett. They fight and this one goes outside pretty quick. Now, look, I know DDP had just had a pretty intense 10 minute fight, but this match was dull. Not horribly bad, just dull. And being some one who watches TNAâ€¦ I have now seen this match countless times. Has Jarrett ever changed?! I think the best match I have seen him in was against Eric Embrey at SuperClash III where he sold the shoulder like a legendâ€¦ and that was more than 25 years ago. Seriously, in a quarter of a century, he hasnâ€™t been able to better that one? Sure, he had a good ladder match with Benoit, a decent match with Scott Hall, a decent match with Booker T, a sort of decent match with Kurt Angleâ€¦ but 4 good matches over the course of 25 years? Seriously? Vastly overrated wrestlerâ€¦ especially by himself. This match? Yeah, rightâ€¦ sorry. Kanyon gets hit with the guitar, Jarrett gets hit with the diamond cutter and DDP wins.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Video package about the Nash/Steiner epic coming up! Includes injuries and conspiracies and David Flair getting beaten up.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â WCW World Title: Scott Steiner v Kevin Nash. Flair declares this match a loser is fired match as well. So Nash comes out in a wheelchair, but heâ€™s faking, and hits Steiner with the title belt, and wins in like 15 seconds. WTF?! Hang on, Flair declares it 2 out of 3 falls. Oh Christ, not one of these. Iâ€™d forgotten all about this crap. Backstage DDP is attacked by Luger and Bagwell. What? Where did that come from? Back to the ring. Now itâ€™s declared falls count everywhere and Steiner gets the second fall. And now it slows down. I meanâ€¦ reallyâ€¦ slowsâ€¦ downâ€¦ I check to make sure the speed is right on the VCR. Steiner uses a chair, then puts Nash in the Steiner Recliner, but Nash still fights out. SuperNash! Jack-knife powerbomb. Midajah attacks the ref. Christ! Flair gets involved. Double Christ! Nash is out, Steiner Recliner, hand falls three times. Way to make your champion look like a chump! Bad match.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â What about this PPV, all up? 4 good matches, 1 okay, 4 bad. Not as good as last month, but still passable for a struggling company.
Greed (March 18, 2011)
DDP opening montage â€“ well done.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Straight into the opening match. I really like that! (Take note, WWE!)
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Kwee Wee v Jason Jett. I never got the whole Angry Allan thing with Kwee Wee. Great opening match, fast paced and with a lot of nice moves. One or two small botches, but too fast to make an impact. Best ending ever, by the way. Kwee Wee is outside, Jett gets up from some move, looks around the audience, hushes them, and then lies down to play possum, which works. And the crowd buys into it. Jett wins with a Crash Landing Suplex (a sort of thrown suplex thing). Great openerâ€¦ and whatever happened to Jett? Potential to burn there.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Recap of the cruiserweight tag team title tournament. I love this concept. What a shame it was so short-lived.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Cruiserweight tag-team championship: Elix Skipper & Kid Romeo v Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio Jr. Okay, another match that makes me glad I donâ€™t do play by play. Great match, and easily the best WCW PPV match of the year. These guys let it all hang out with some good old fashioned tag team wrestling, some slick double team moves and the standard insanity of the cruisers. The fact this division doesnâ€™t exist anymore is a shame. To the match. Kidman hits the Kidmanhaze â€“ SSP from the top rope to the floor. His best SSP ever. So damn high and spot on accuracy. End comes with Rey trying an Asai moonsault, but Romeo catches him and hits a Northern Bomb suplex for the 3-count. Wow! Great, great match! Go out of your way to find this!
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Backstage and we get the first of the bad guys (Ric Flair, et al) with their own cameraman apparently making a â€˜documentaryâ€™, directed by Buff Bagwell. I couldnâ€™t make this up if I tried. I guess the idea was to have an excuse for the camera to be there, which is fine in theory (and at least some one was thinking about that), it’s just that the execution was, shall we say, dodgy. Oh, and nothing of interest is said. At all.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Shawn Stasiak v Bam Bam Bigelow. We start with Stacey waffling in the ring about Stasiak for too long. The match is not too terrible or anything, but just long and a little dull with way too many rest holds and laying down. End comes when Stacey lets some hairspray out of her hair (yes, a can was hidden in it), Stasiak sprays it in Bigelowâ€™s eyes, hits the hangmanâ€™s noose neckbreaker for the 3-count.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â More backstage shenanigans and then Skipper and Romeo put each otherâ€™s belts on and rub themâ€¦ Ooookay.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Mike Awesome & Lance Storm v Konnan and Hugh Morrus. We start as usual with Lance being serious for a minute. I donâ€™t get where people say he was lousy on the mic. He spoke in the monotone that befitted his character, his promos made sense, and you could understand what he was saying. Unfair criticism, Iâ€™d say. And his facials were cool. Especially his â€œpissed-offâ€ face. Hugh Morrus comes out and jump starts the match before Konnan even comes out. Brawl to start. Standard brawling match here. I still think Awesome was underrated. This was an okay match. Nothing great, but not terrible or anything. This was just there. Ending comes when Awesome hits the running Awesome Bomb on Morrus for the win.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Now weâ€™re backstage in the Rhodesâ€™ dressing room via roof-mounted security cam (another realistic excuse for a camera to be there)â€¦ and Dustyâ€™s ordered a tray of burritos. *Sigh!* And we have the documentary camera when nothing is said again, this time between Bagwell and Rick Steiner. The tag champs talk to some one right of cameraâ€¦ and their segment ends when an off-stage director yells â€œClear!â€ so everyone can hear. *Sigh! Sigh!*
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Cruiserweight Title: Sugar Shane Helms v Chavo Guerrero. Helms comes out with dancing girls. Another good cruiserweight match. Maybe not quite as good as the two earlier in the night, but still quite good. Helms was underrated (I keep typing thatâ€¦) and I still think it was a different Chavo that was in the WWE after the demise of the Smackdown Six. Some good moves. Not as flippy as most cruiser matches, with some power moves and some technical wrestling as well. Some nice submission holds used as well. Chavo tries a Vertebreaker, but Helms reverses to his own Vertebreaker for the win and the title.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Back to the documentary back stage camera and even less is said, this time between Jarrett and Flair. Now we cut to Booker T spouting catchphrases. Then we get a tag team video package.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â World Tag Team Title: Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell v Sean Oâ€™Haire & Chuck Palumbo. Luger and Bagwell have a micâ€¦ and say nothing. Thereâ€™s a lot of that going on tonight. And in 50 seconds â€“ less time than the Luger/Bagwell mic time â€“ Palumbo superkicks both of them, then Oâ€™Haire hits two Seanton bombs, and its a double pin. Too quick to mean anythingâ€¦ BUT if WCW had done this with the young guys over the old guys from the word go, then maybe they could have kept their audience and sort of saved the company. This match still makes me laugh. I liked it, watching Luger andÂ Bagwell treated like glorifiedÂ jobbers,Â but match was really only okay.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Scott Steiner yells at a camera. The Kanyon/Cat rivalry is sort of explained.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â We return to the ring and Luger and Bagwell are still unconscious in the ring. I am laughing again. So sue me, I liked watching the young guys embarrass these two egos. I seem to remember a story at the time of them throwing a hissy fit about having to job, and this was their punishment. If only that had happened 24 months earlier to a number of the other older guys as wellâ€¦
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Kanyon v The Cat. This match seems off. Something did not quite click. It was okay â€“ again, nothing terrible â€“ but it was dull and just there. Again. Ending comes whenÂ Miss Jones kicks Kanyon in the head and the Cat gets his Feliner kick for the 3-count. Afterwards Kanyon takes Cat out, goes after Miss Jones, but MI Smooth makes the save. Who? Okay, I forgetâ€¦ Tony says heâ€™s a limo driver. That makes sense. Iâ€™d run from a limo driver as wellâ€¦
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â More of this documentary camera, this time focusing on Luger and Bagwell arguing. Then weâ€™re back with security camera footage of the Rhodes family. Fart jokes abound. And we have a US Title recap.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â US Title: Booker T v Rick Steiner. Booker T tried hard, but when fighting some one who clearly thinks selling moves is something only other people do, he was fighting a losing battle. Steiner was useless out there. Booker was the World Champ, and now heâ€™s forced to fight this useless twit. Steiner hits a lot of restholds. I mean, a lot. And he was still out of breath. Ref is bumped, Shane Douglas comes in hits Steiner in the head (still virtually no sold â€“ he was hit by a plaster cast, for God’s sake!), and Booker gets the Bookend for the three, the win and the Title.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â More camera stuff, with Animal standing over a prone Buff Bagwell, and Luger appears and makes insinuations andâ€¦ Acting! Now we have a recap of the Rhodes/Flair situation.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Jeff Jarrett & Ric Flair v Dusty & Dustin Rhodes. Animal comes out to try and interfere, but Charles Robinson somehow grows a set and refuses to let him come out. The crowd is hot for this. Dusty should not be in the ring, Flair is wrestling in a Hawaiian shirt, Jarrett is Jarrett and poor Dustin looks like he wishes he was covered in gold paint and based somewhere further north. Jarrett does his Jarrett match. Look, it was okay. Not great, but, again, not too terrible. They looked like they were having fun for the most part. Jarrett and Flair tried stereo figure 4 leglocks, but were pushed into one another and Dustin sort of pulled, forced Flair down for an awkward looking pin. And Jarrett gets a Dusty Rhodes stinkface for good measure. Was what it was.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â And Jarrett sells it like every good ten year old everywhere as he runs to the back â€“ holding his nose and making comments about smells.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Good video package about the World Title match-up. And I finally discover that the Flair group is called the Magnificent 7. Iâ€™d forgotten that (thanks, Hudson!). We also discover pinfalls count anywhere for the title match. Oh, and I do still miss Michael Bufferâ€™s over the top introductions.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â World Title: Diamond Dallas Page v Scott Steiner. This was a good match. DDP, when he was motivated, could pull a good match out of anyone. His match against Goldberg was Goldbergâ€™s best ever. They start WWE main event style and it never really lets up. But then they rip off the Austin-Hart Wrestlemania 13 bit with Page covered in blood and screaming. The â€œleadâ€ pipe gets a work out, Steiner recliner finishes for Steiner. And so the last ever WCW PPV match was a good one. Not a great one, but certainly one of the better main events the companyÂ produced in that last 2 and a half years.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â So, letâ€™s look one last time. 1 bad match, 5 okay, 3 good, 1 great. Again, a pretty good strike rate.
So, what did we have? 3 Pay Per Views. 8 and a half hours. 29 matches. One was really short (but okay because Luger and Bagwell were embarrassed). The rest were given at least 6 minutes to play out. We had 1 great match, 12 good, 8 okay and 8 bad. That is a really strong strike rate, especially when compared to 2000.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â But thus WCW as a separate being was no more. They finished with a sort of a whimper on the last Nitro, but these final 3 PPVs were definitely more entertaining than the 2000 offerings. They once more had an awesome cruiserweight division that ultimately meant nothing. They still had some slugs at the top, but DDP found his working boots and Scott Steiner looked motivated. They had some really good young guys coming up. They had some good technical wrestlers again. They had the nucleus of what could have been a viable company.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â But it wasnâ€™t to be. The rampant egos, the insular culture and the guaranteed contracts had already managed to destroy what could have been. The potential was there, the spirit (at least in part) was willingâ€¦ but, ultimately, everything else was weak.
RIP WCW â€“ 10 years ago.
(Here’s James Alsop’s take on the following Invasion angle: Part 1, Part 2)
Tags: DDP, jeff jarrett, kevin nash, Lance Storm, Mike Awesome, PPV, Rhodes, Ric Flair, Scott Steiner, WCW