by Ervin Griffin
Expectations were running high for this PPV as it was the first in the Eric Bischoff/Vince Russo era. The theme tonight was that new champions would be crowned in all divisions of WCW. Rather do it by match by match, I'll do this one by tournament with the report on the WCW World title match being last. Also on this card, the DQ's was very laxed as Russo and Bischoff wanted to see winners and losers.
WCW U.S. Title Tournament
Scott "Big Poppa Pump" Steiner Vs. The Wall - In this match, the rookie monster took on the muscular experienced veteran (how Scott Steiner could be considered a "New Blood" is beyond me since he's about as old as Sting and Luger). Anyway, the match went back and forth with both men giving each other a stiff but hard hitting match. The end came when The Wall tried to give Steiner one of his chokeslams through a table. Steiner prevented this by poking the eyes. As The Wall was blinded, Steiner deviously put the referee in front of The Wall. The Wall, thinking it was Scott, chokeslammed the ref through the table!! Another referee came out and DQ'ed The Wall and gave Steiner the win!
Mike Awesome Vs. Ernest "The Cat" Miller (and Bam Bam Bigelow) - Mike Awesome, in his first WCW PPV appearance (and fresh of the loss of his ECW title to Tazz), pretty much took on two men as Bam Bam Bigelow (who was attacked at the beginning of the PPV by Awesome) knocked out Miller before the match and took his place! This was a power-game all the way with agility going in favor of Awesome. Late in the match, BBB took over and was ready to put Mike away when "The Cat" came down and (essentially) took back his spot by side-kicking BBB out of the ring. Then, unbelievably, he demands for his music to play and dances just as Awesome was getting up! Awesome leveled Miller with a clothesline and squashed him with his verson of the frog splash!! The ref, deciding that Miller was the original participant in the first place, counted down Miller as Awesome advanced in the tourney.
Booker T Vs. Sting - This match, as expected, was a back and forth struggle between these explosive performers. Sting, despite getting up there in age, showed that he can still go when he wants to but against Booker T., he wasn't a shoe-in. A few years ago, he would've been but not now. Still, this was great contest with Booker countering the "Stinger Splash" with a Harlem side kick in the guts in mid-air! Later, Booker went for a suplex but Sting countered it with a "Scorpion Deathdrop" for the three count. Afterwards, the two men "bumped" fists in a show of sportsmanship (much to the shagrin of Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff).
Vampiro Vs. Kidman - We've seen this match before but it hasn't ceased to amaze yet. These two young studs were trading moves back and forth with neither man keeping an extended advantage. Then, in the middle of the bout, Hulk Hogan showed up and laid a good a**-whipping on Kidman! This included Hogan standing on the steel steps, picking Kidman up by the throat with both hands and chokeslamming him through the announcers table! Hogan then threw Kidman back into the ring and Vampiro covered him for the win. Hogan then got on the mic and threatened Bischoff and stomped off after him (more on that later).
Scott Steiner Vs. Mike Awesome - In this second round match up, Awesome was surprisingly dominant and actually had the match won when "Big Sexy" Kevin Nash came down and nailed Mike with a crutch to the back of the head! Steiner, wasting no time, locked on The "Steiner Recliner" camel clutch on Awesome and Mike was forced to submit. Steiner moved on to the championship round.
Sting Vs. Vampiro - There was heat for this bout as Vampiro on Monday Nitro cost Sting a chance to be in the WCW World Title match up. This match was heated as this looked like two of "Hell's Angels" duking it out. You know with all that paint and everything. Anyway, the match ended when Sting executed his Deathdrop but followed it up with a Scorpion Deathlock!! Vampiro quickly gave up as Sting now meets an old opponent in Scott Steiner.
FINAL ROUND - U.S. TITLE
Sting Vs. Scott Steiner - Contrary to what WCW may tell you, these two are no strangers to each other as they have meet in both single and tag team competition over the years. While BPP may not have the moves and agility that he had years ago, he still knows enough moves to put on a match and his character keeps the crowd into it. He certainly was giving Sting a run for his money! Still, Sting made his usual comeback but squashed the ref during an attempted Stinger Splash on Scott. Then, Vampiro came from up under the ring and dragged Sting down with him!! Vampiro then put Sting back into the ring with Sting's mouth covered in blood. Steiner, seeing opportunity, locked in the "Steiner Recliner" but Sting was already out and couldn't continue. Scott Steiner is the new U.S. Champion (a belt, if I recall, he never actually lost as it was stripped from him last year).
WCW World Tag Team Title Tournament
Team Package Vs. The Mamalukes - Before the bout, Vince Russo decided to make it an even playing field (yeah right) so he let the Harris Boys into the tourney, making this match actually 4 Vs. 2!! The veteran team of Ric Flair and Lex Luger (sorry but I can't just call him The Total Package) was on the run for most of the contest but then it broke down into madness as Luger managed to get in a quick "Tourture Rack" for the submission victory on Johnny The Bull. Luger and Flair moved on to the finals of the tag team tournament.
Shane Douglas/"Buff" Bagwell Vs. Harlem Heat 2000 - This newly formed duo of Douglas and Bagwell teamed up to take on Stevie Ray and Big T (who haven't been teaming that long themselves). Before the match, Douglas declared that Flair's "jet-flying, limosine riding" bulls*it was over!! This almost cost them this match because H2K was laying it on. Still, it was the tag team experience of Douglas and Bagwell (not together but from other teams over the years) that proved to be the difference as they took advantage of a misque from H2K. Douglas quickly applied a form of the "Pittsburg Plunge" on Stevie Ray for the three count. Afterwards, there was a bit of friction between Big T and Stevie Ray that settled down but you have to wonder if it will develop into a feud.
FINALS - WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Team Package Vs. Douglas/Bagwell - As expected, the heat for this match was high. Vince Russo came down during this match as well to ensure that Douglas and Bagwell win. That plan almost went down the tubes as Bagwell accidentally put the "Blockbuster" neckbreaker on Douglas when he was going for Flair!! During this, Byran Adams and Brian Clarke (Formerly known as Crush and Wrath respectively) came down and executed a double-chokeslam onto Luger and put Bagwell on top. Russo, who had just decked the ref, put the referee shirt on and counted Luger down. Bagwell (for the fifth time in his career) and Douglas (for the second time in his career) had won the WCW World Tag Team Championship!
WCW Cruiserweight Match (Six Man Suicide bout)
Juventud Gurrerra Vs. Chris Candido Vs. Shannon Moore Vs. TAFKAPI Vs. Lash Laroux Vs. Crowbar - This match was crazy so I am not going to even attempt to describe the bout. The match came down to TAFKAPI and Candido. The Artist was going for his "leaping DDT" but then from nowhere came Tammy Lynn Sytch!! She pushed The Artist off the ropes and put Candido on top for the cover and the win! Afterwards, we saw a catfight between Tammy and Paisley, complete with testicular claws on Shannon Moore and referee Charles Robinson!
WCW Hardcore Match
Terry Funk Vs. "Screamin'" Norman Smiley - This bout started in the men's room of the brunch area in the United Center! The bout was brutal as Smiley actually showed some b*lls for once and was fighting Terry Funk pretty good. Still, the more experienced Funk took over as the match spilled into the ring. Dustin Rhodes tried to interfere for Smiley but it backfired as Funk took a ladder and slammed it on Norman for the win and the Hardcore title!!
WCW "Joke" Match
Jimmy Hart Vs. Mancow - This match actually was the second bout on the card. This was a "joke" match to say the least. Anyway, it ended when Mancow decked Hart with steel chair to the back. Mancow covered Jimmy and got the win. Afterwards, Kidman assaulted Jimmy again for the second time in four days.
WCW World Title Match
Jeff Jarrett Vs. Diamond Dallas Page - Before the match, Mark Madden was calling DDP "DDMe" (for what reason I don't know, show me a wrestler that isn't a bit selfish). The match was pretty good with Jarrett attacking Kimberly a few days earlier adding some heat to it. However, and you can check Solie's Newsletters for this, I predicted that a split would happen between DDP and Kimberly and that's what went down!! DDP actually had the match won with the "Diamond Cutter" when Kimberly said that she wanted to nail Jarrett with the guitar shot. As DDP held him up, Kimberly nailed DDP with the guitar and Jarrett quickly applied "The Stroke" to DDP for the win!! Afterwards, all of the "New Blood" who had won titles earlier, came out to celebrate with Jarrett as Kimberly embraced Eric Bischoff!!
Now, getting back to the Hogan angle, Hogan went backstage and found Eric Bischoff. Before he could do any damange however, Russo came in with the police and had Hogan arrested!! They even pulled the guns on him! As they dragged him away, Hogan was screaming "I'll see your ass at Nitro Bischoff." I have a feeling that Monday night is going to be interesting.
Well, that's it from here. See ya!!
Ervin Griffin is one of Solie's resident historians and was the very first contributor to join the Solie's team back in 1996. Other articles by Ervin can be read by visiting the Articles section of the web site.
My first web page...
Just a short comment this time as I have been essentially out of touch for the better part of a week and a half. I did manage to catch some of the programs on video, hence the Saturday report I published (actually on Friday) this week.
I had taken a wait-and-see attitude toward this whole WCW makeover, unlike a lot of my internet cohorts who mostly predicted one more dismal failure. I was cautiously optimistic, but maintained a neutral facade while waiting to see what would develop. I can say confidently that I can't remember seeing any predictions which actually matched the outcome. Expectations were seriously low for the "New Nitro" and so the actual program came off that much more spectacularly then anyone thought it would.
I notice that Nitro scored only a very slightly elevated rating (3.1 from what I hear) - but the big story this week was the ratings for Thunder. Also in the 3.1 range - but that is substantially better (by a full percentage point) than the program has been doing lately and points to the probability that the buzz created by Nitro brought more people in to see what WCW would do to sustain the interest level. It will be very interesting to see what happens to the numbers for tonight, especially if the program continues to throw surprises at us.
It would seem like WCW has made a good start and the test will come in the next few weeks to see whether they can continue to deliver fresh programming with compelling storylines.
At least that's the way I see it...
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