Thursday, October 16, 2014
2/18/2001 – Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee – Attendance: 4,395
Now this is going to be interesting. Here we have the second to last WCW Pay-Per-View in history. Heading into this show, if my research is correct, WCW had lost a deal with Fusient Media worth almost $70 million because once they looked into WCW, they realized the debt they were in and dropped the offer to about $6 million. Obviously we know what happened next. WCW would have their television product canceled by one of the guys running things backstage and then the Fusient deal died, leading to Vince McMahon swooping in to buy WCW. This should definitely be a cool look into a time period where I didn't watch much WCW.
The intro video plays like the start of a horror movie with magazine clippings being cut out and put together in creepy ways. It then turns to rock music that skips and we get the fireworks and such. Tony “BIGGEST NIGHT IN THE HISTORY OF OUR SPOT” Schiavone and Scott Hudson are the commentary team.
Leave it to WCW to have a six man four corners match, which probably confused a bunch of their fans. Billy Kidman was attacked before the show so he had to be replaced by “Sugar” Shane Helms, or the future Hurricane. So, this is a six man match involving three tag teams. Noble and Moore start things and have a nice little sequence. Moore tags in his 3 Count partner and tosses Noble in the air to be caught in a beautiful sitout powerbomb by Helm. Karagias sends them outside and eats a double snapmare from the Jung Dragons, who then hit stereo Asai moonsaults onto the outside. This is fast paced stuff. Kaz blocks a German suplex by landing on his feet and hits a head scissors into the buckle on Noble. Noble stops a hip toss by bouncing off the top rope and then hits a double elbow with Karagias. Seriously, this is fast paced. Karagias pretty much just grabs Yang's Wang and the crowd notices how weird it is. Karagias nails a springboard splash and tags Helms, who beats him up before getting back in the ring. 3 Count hits a nice double team neckbreaker on Yang, but he's saved by Kaz. I think they forgot that this is not a tag match. Things break down and Helms connects with a nice superplex. Every else then tries to hit a splash or moonsault and they ALL miss. They've just given up on caring about tags. Yang hits a backflip kick before Kaz gets caught with a spinning heel kick/cross arm German combo from 3 Count. Kaz slingshots into a moonsault outside before Moore hits a moonsault of his own. Noble somersaults onto them. INEEDABREATHER! Kaz could've been eliminated by a powerbomb/dropkick combo from Noble and Karagias, but they break up each other's pins. IT'S ELIMINATION GUYS! Jimmy Yang goes into ULTIMATE BOTCH MODE, as he whiffs on a kick, hits a weak leg sweep, slips on a springboard moonsault and then somehow eliminates Karagias with a terrible reverse piledriver at .
Noble then hits a Tombstone to knock off Yang thirty seconds later at . He deserves it after that performance. Moore hits a top rope Bottom's Up, which is better known as the Fameasser, which gets the duke to eliminate Noble at Shortly after, Moore does a backslide to Kaz, but the referee doesn't count, allowing Helms to hit a leg drop. They botch a double team move and Helms goes for the Vertebreaker, but Moore hits Helms with Bottom's up. Moore covers but Kaz stupidly breaks the count, kicking the referee in the back of the head doing so. Moore and Kaz end up double teaming Helms until Kaz turns on him. Moore moves Helms out of the way of a moonsault but eats the Nightmare on Helms Street for his troubles and is eliminated at The announce team has not been shy about how this will end because they've been putting over Helms the entire match. We get a series of reversals where Kaz countered Night on Helms Street into a German suplex for two. Helms hits a TKO GTS of sorts for two. After a bit more, Helms hits the Vertebreaker, which is still a favorite of mine, to win.
Fast paced and exciting, but Yang and Moore were botching left and right which lessens the score. The right guy went over and it was a good opener that got a good amount of time.
We see Road Warrior Animal talking to Ric Flair in the back, and if I didn't mention it earlier, Animal was the one who attacked Billy Kidman. Chavo Guerrero comes up to them but it's security footage, so we can't hear anything. Hugh Morris cuts a backstage promo on The Wall, mentioning that he was “General Rection” before, but Hugh Morris now. He says Rection a lot and does it with a straight face and I don't understand how.
Scott Steiner is getting massaged by his premiere freak, Midajah when Ric Flair enters with a stupid haircut. He gives Steiner some envelop and leaves. Kronik arrive at the arena and are stopped by Lance Storm. Storm was the commissioner? There's an issue that Adam Bomb isn't cleared to wrestle but he says he is, so he will go see the “Company Doctor”.
Hugh Morris has a generic version of what I believe was Mike Awesome's ECW theme. Their feud has mostly been held on Thunder, so I have no clue how this made it to a Pay-Per-View. This starts as a brawl and Morris sells headbutts from Wall well. They go outside and Morris dropkicks the steel steps into Wall's head. How is that not a disqualification? They go inside and Morris hits a top rope elbow but can't put the Wall away. Wall chops Morris in the corner and then goes to put him in a stranglehold sleeper but Morris blocks it. Wall still leaps off the top, which I did not expect, but Morris moves out of the way. Wall hits a sloppy looking spinebuster but can't make the cover. This crowd must watch WWE as a “we want tables” chant starts. Morris answers by trying to lift Wall, who falls awkwardly, but then hits the EDDIE GILBERT hot shot anyway! Hugh Morris (what? Your name is Hugh Morris? What? Is that funny? Is that humorous?) hits a flapjack and both guys are down again. After a bit more stalling, Morris hits an impressive German suplex and barely nails the No Laughing Matter moonsault to win.
Someone was stupid enough to give these two nearly ten minutes. Hugh Morris tried but the Wall was pretty terrible.
Hugh Morris goes right back up top and hits a second moonsault for good measure. Cutting to the back, Konnan wants to see Ric Flair but ends up brawling with Animal, who is guarding the door. That literally is a 50 second clip or so. We now see a promo for the rivalry between the former Natural Born Thrillers, leading to the Tag Title match.
I loved the Natural Born Thrillers name. Quick note, giving Sean Stasiak and Mark Jindrak a variation of Mr. Perfect's theme music is terrible. Also, in true WCW form, they put up the wrong name graphic for the challengers. Stasiak gets cheap heat by dissing the Tennessee Titans. Sean O'Haire retaliates with an awkward promo back as the Champions come out. The contest starts with a brawl until it breaks down to just Stasiak and O'Haire. Jindrak gets the tag and stomps on Stasiak by mistake. O'Haire hits the EDDIE GILBERT hot shot and now the Champions do some double teams. Palumbo nails a nice back suplex to counter a hip toss and the Champions look like the better team here. I think it's cool that the guys on opposing teams used to also be tag team champions. The heels work over Palumbo for a bit. Jindrak hits a nice tilt-a-whirl slam, and it's crazy to think that he was supposed to be in Evolution. O'Haire gets the hot tag and hits about eight straight clotheslines. O'Haire uses the momentum to hit his Seanton Bomb and they retain.
Decent and there's not much else to say. This was something I'm not used to in WCW as it had no screwy finish or anything like that.
Dustin Rhodes cuts a promo on Ric Flair backstage.
Oh WCW. Have Rey Mysterio lose his mask because you thought it wasn't marketable. That worked out great didn't it? They replaced the mask with stupid horns. Some fast paced stuff happens instantly and Chavo goes for a sunset flip outside but Rey counters with a hurricanrana. Chavo comes back with a pop up gut buster and the crowd chants “Eddie” at Chavo. Rey ends up in the tree of woe but wriggles free and gets a sunset flip for two. Chavo applies the Gory special but Rey gets out, only to end up back in it and into the Gory Buster for two. Rey blocks snake eyes and hits a sloppy looking tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He springboards right into a dropkick though and this isn't clicking the way it did years later in the WWE. They brawl outside and Chavo takes a Rey Mysterio mask from a fan and puts it on Rey. DONT DO THAT, THE MASK IS LIKE A SUPERPOWER! Rey crotches Chavo in the corner and puts the mask on him before hitting a top rope hurricanrana that comes off weak. Rey hits West Coast Pop and completely botches a springboard moonsault. He just flat dies in the ring as the botches continue. Chavo brings in a chair, Rey stops him and hits a springboard this time, but barely lands on Chavo's shoulders. Chavo EDDIE GILBERT hot shots him and sets up the chair in the corner. Rey fights back and slips on two more springboard attempts before hitting a hurricanrana to the outside. Rey gets the chair and the referee stops him, allowing Chavo to use a chair behind his back. He then connects with a brainbuster to win.
Rey Mysterio was in botch mode but Chavo did his best to make this awesome. The ropes did seem slipper so it's not all Rey's fault.
Lance Storm tells Brian Clarke that he has to go out by himself tonight because Adams hasn't been cleared yet.
Rick Steiner was the United States Champion? They brawl as soon as the bell rings and Dustin busts out a DDT for a near fall. I will never understand why Rick Steiner got pushed like a did in WCW. Dustin misses a cross body, and I have no clue why he tries it, so he falls outside. STEINERLINE gets two. They act like nobody ever kicks out of the STEINERLINE...I mean, there was a theme song based on it so I understand. Rick hits a belly to belly and actually puts on a half Boston crab. Mind you, he hasn't worked the leg at all. He breaks the hold for no reason also. Dustin gets a near fall with a backslide but runs into another STEINERLINE! Nobody gets up from two of those...BUT DUSTIN DOES! He takes a stiff looking back elbow before hitting the RHODESLINE and both men are down. Commentary decide to call the match “stiff” because this was during the time that WCW enjoyed saying “insider terms” on television. Inverted atomic drop from Dustin and then another RHODESLINE for two. Dustin nails a bulldog and Rick rolls outside. Dustin tries to use a chair, which is stupid if he wants to win the title. The referee stops him while Rick removes the turnbuckle pad. This sounds awfully familiar if you watched the last match. Rhodes does ten punches in the corner but Rick pulls him down into the exposed buckle. He covers for three with his feet on the ropes.
This sucked. No psychology, a dusty finish and Rick Steiner is still champion. Not good.
Rick Steiner hits a Death Valley Driver and then says his catchphrase. Dustin Rhodes is up quickly and Rick tries to hit him with the belt but the referee stops him for some reason, allowing Dustin to shatter his dreams. More meaningless backstage segments as Ric Flair hypes up Lance Storm while DDP pumps up The Cat.
I won't lie, even though I'm not a fan of either guy, the idea of Totally Buff was totally cool to me. So Clarke and Adams, even though one is not cleared, run out for the match anyway and it starts as a brawl. Clarke gets laid out with a steel chair and Buff hits Adams with a low blow. Totally Buff use the handicap advantage to stay in complete control. Also, in a last minute decision, the winners of this earn a Tag Team Title shot on the next Pay-Per-View. Clarke is pretty much dead outside as he is still laid out under a chair. Luger is doing some posing in the ring, which costs him. Adams rallies with a gorilla press slam but the numbers game is too much for him. He does end up rallying anyway until Clarke gets in and hits Adams with a German suplex! The real Clarke appears on the stage hurt, as the cameras missed the German and we only saw it on the tron. It turns out that it was Mike Awesome dressed as Clarke. Buff finishes the match and they win.
That was six and a half minutes, but felt like fifteen. It was a glorified handicap match and with these guys, it wasn't very good.
Kronik is ejected from the building, which makes them join Konnan and Dustin Rhodes. Basically, every face is getting thrown out so that the main event can have all of the heel shenanigans in the world. Lance Storm comes out, cuts a promo and asks for the Canadian national anthem to play. The Cat interrupts, which is rude.
The Cat is with a chick that I don't remember. Short wrestling sequence to start things and the Cat gets the better of it by kicking Storm in the face. They go outside and Cat hits Storm with a cup of water from a fan. Tony Schiavone talks down on Storm for underhanded tactics and the Cat chokes Storm with cables, so of course, Schiavone ignores that. Storm starts to take out Cat's leg due to his martial arts ability. Inside, Cat fights back but his leg gives out. For being a match between two guys that aren't brawlers, this has A LOT of outside stuff. Storm gets a sunset flip in the ring but Cat stops him from pinning and then dances before hitting an elbow. He dances some more and hits an uppercut but Storm gets him in the Maple Leaf! Cat is too close to the ropes though and reaches them. Cat nails an enziguri, and “Above Average” Mike Sanders shows up. The lady is Miss Jones according to commentary and she kicks Sanders. The distraction leads to Cat kicking Storm and winning.
Good leg work, but too much outside brawling for two guys that aren't good brawlers.
So, because Cat doesn't officially become commissioner until midnight, Ric Flair also has him ejected. DDP comes out for his match with Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett appears on the stage and replays DDP saying “Yo, Kanyon, anytime, anyplace.” It's a funny remix, and it basically means that Kanyon will wrestle DDP right now.
Kanyon comes out from under the ring to attack Page, but Page no sells and knocks him out. DDP beats him up until Kanyon hits him with a low blow and there is no disqualification called. Kanyon then hits a Fameasser onto the steel steps and again, no DQ is called. Kanyon actually steps on the second rope and hits a suplex into the ring from there which I've never seen before, so kudos to him. Kanyon slows things down and DDP is busted open from the steel steps stuff. DDP rallies and earns a near fall. Kanyon hits the sky high, YOU BETTER RECOGNIZE, for two. DDP gets up like nothing for a sitout powerbomb of his own. Diamond Cutter is countered into a backslide, but Kanyon hits a low blow and then the Kanyon Cutter. DDP kicks out so Kanyon waves Jeff Jarrett down to the ring. He gets on the apron and is knocked off. DDP does a rollup but the kick out causes him to fall on top of the referee, allowing Jarrett to enter and hit the Stroke. Kanyon hits the Flatliner and it's over.
Decent stuff, but in classic WCW form, it had to have a shoddy finish.
Kanyon gets on the microphone and introduces Jeff Jarrett for his match with DDP now. He calls Jarrett a four time World Champion, which is a sad thought.
This goes outside instantly and they fight through the crowd. DDP is fighting like he wasn't just in a match and like he didn't just take three finishers. DDP hits a DDT, which I love saying, on the announce table, but Jarrett no sells and retaliates with shots of his own. Inside, Jarrett gets a near fall before eating a discus clothesline. Jarrett hits a sloppy looking jawbreaker before applying a sleeper hold. DDP fades but gets out and hits another DDT as both men are now down. Page drapes his arm over Jarrett but only gets a near fall. DDP starts wailing away on Jarrett and gets another two count. DDP earns yet another near fall after a belly to belly suplex. Something about WCW just kind of bores me. Page sets up for a piledriver but drops Jarrett face first. He covers but Kanyon is back and he pulls DDP out. DDP gives chase but gets clocked with a steel chair shot to the head. Jarrett covers and DDP gets his shoulder up. Jarrett is handed the guitar but DDP dodges and Kanyon gets hit. Diamond Cutter is hit and DDP wins.
I feel like WCW didn't know what to do with itself unless it had the heels in control. There was so much interference and nonsense in these two matches that it hurt potentially good contests.
Scott Steiner was definitely one of the few guys that WCW did well with in their dying days. Ric Flair gets on commentary and is going to heel it up for this match, which I'm sure will have a lot of overbooking. Steiner instantly makes me a fan because he kicks Michael Buffer out of the ring. Steiner shows Sid breaking his leg on the previous PPV, which is just as disturbing to see today as it was then. Flair gets in the ring and continues to waste time. Kevin Nash is wheeled out by nurses and has a cast on his leg. The leg injury is fake and Nash enters the ring, hitting Steiner with the title. He follows with a pin in seventeen seconds. Ric Flair freaks out and makes it a two out of three falls match. “I FORGOT TO SAY THAT!” We cut backstage to see DDP walking towards the ring, but he's taken out by Totally Buff. So cutting away mid match is a dumb move. Shenanigans continue as Steiner lays out Nash with a pipe outside but can't move his body inside, so Flair makes it a Falls Count Anywhere match and Steiner pins him to even the score. Nash makes it back inside where Steiner continues to beat on him. Both men are bleeding as we get the dreaded STEINERLINE! Steiner continues to work Nash over and Nash continues to kick out. Nash rallies and hits a big sidewalk slam. Flair hands Steiner a steel chair to which Schiavone exclaims “HE'S DEAD!” Steiner Recliner is locked on but Nash gets out and hits a chokeslam. Steiner kicks out but Midajah still runs in and attacks the referee. That has zero impact on the match as Nash doesn't notice it and the referee is back inside within seconds. Nash hits the Jacknife but Midajah again runs in to stop it. I guess she did it at the wrong time first. Nash plants her with a side slam and covers Steiner again but Flair pulls out the referee and punches him. Another chair shot and a Steiner Recliner later ends it.
Forget what I said about WCW building Scott Steiner right. This was dreadful. It took Flair, Midajah, a pipe, two chair shots, two referees and the entire face roster kicked out for Steiner to win. He looked awful here and the match was terrible.
Overall: Man that show fell off a cliff. The opener, Cruiserweight Title and Tag Title matches were good but everything else was passable. The main event was terrible and was classic WCW in the worst way. It was pretty clear that, while WCW had some good plans, most of the company was awful and it's part of the reason they would close their doors about a month later. My next will be none other than