Date: January 18, 2001
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson
We’re down to three WCW pay per views to go and the build to this one hasn’t exactly instilled me with confidence. The main event is a four way for the World Title with a mystery man included. Based on everything else WCW has done with their attempts at surprises in recent years, I really can’t imagine this going well. Let’s get to it.
The opening video lists off the seven deadly sins with shots of people in the major matches. I’d think WCW has had far more than seven sins, such as bringing in Russo, keeping Russo, David Arquette and I could probably go on for a long time.
Cruiserweight Title: Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Shane Helms
Chavo is defending and Shane asks his partner Shannon Moore to let him do this on his own. They hit the mat to start with Shane grabbing a Fujiwara armbar to send Chavo over to the ropes. A hammerlock does the same and it’s time for Chavo to fire off some chops. That earns him an armdrag down, followed by a fireman’s carry into a facebuster on the knee.
It’s off to the floor with Chavo being sent into the barricade as this has been almost all Shane so far. As expected I spoke too soon as Chavo comes back with an Alabama Slam for two which Tony says is part of Chavo’s new attitude. We hit the chinlock for all of three seconds before Shane fights up and grabs a running neckbreaker. The X Plex (not a dragon suplex Tony) gets two on the champ but Chavo sends him outside for a big dive off the top.
Shane is right back up and sends Chavo outside for something like a frog splash cross body to drop Guerrero. A Samoan drop gets two for Shane but the Vertebreaker is countered. Shane settles for the Nightmare on Helm Street for a very close two. Back up and Shane tries it again, only to be reversed into a tornado DDT attempt. That’s countered as well but Shane still can’t hit the Nightmare, allowing Chavo to grab a brainbuster to retain.
Rating: B+. I really dug this one as they were just hitting each other with one big spot after another until Chavo won a wrestling sequence because that’s his bread and butter. Shane is clearly a star in the making though and the division is really looking up with all the other names around to have great matches with Chavo or whoever has the title in the near future.
The announcers talk for a bit because the opener was entertaining so we need to slow things down before the crowd has too much fun.
Earlier today, Ric Flair arrived but still won’t reveal the Mystery Man.
Big Vito and Johnny the Bull are ready for Reno because this is what Vito stands for.
Reno vs. Big Vito
They’re brothers who are fighting over Reno picking the Thrillers over family though this feud hasn’t been talked about much in recent weeks. Johnny has disappeared between the backstage segment and coming to the ring with no explanation of why he’s not here. Just have Vito say “I’m handling this one myself” or don’t have Johnny, who didn’t say anything, there for the promo.
Reno powerslams him down to start and stomps away for two. It’s time to go outside with Vito being sent into various metal objects until he comes back with a clothesline to get his first offense. There’s a superplex for two on Reno but he stays on his feet after an enziguri. Instead Reno sends him shoulder first into the post so the pounding can continue. Vito finally comes back with a Mafia kick and a top rope elbow for two. The inverted DDT is broken up though as Reno throws him down with a t-bone. Back up and Reno reverses a backdrop for Roll of the Dice and the pin.
Rating: C-. Not bad here but nothing I’m interested in watching. Vito has gone from someone showing promise to being just another guy on the roster who loses most of the time. Reno is someone who looks like he has potential but there doesn’t seem to be anything under the surface.
Mike Sanders talks to Brian Adams like he’s an idiot but pays him off anyway. Bryan Clark comes up with money of his own for a better job.
Jung Dragons vs. Noble and Karagias
Bonus match. Evan and Kaz slug it out to start until Kaz lifts him up for a German suplex. Everything breaks down and a double dropkick lets the Dragons clear the ring, followed by a double moonsault as a bonus. Back in and Kaz throws Evan off the top to break up a superplex, only to be dropkicked out of the air (mostly at least as Evan wasn’t quite on target).
Karagias side slams Kaz so Jamie can add a top rope legdrop for two, followed by a hard cross body for two more. Evan loads up Kaz for a gorilla press but gets countered into an attempted tornado DDT, only to have that reversed into a spinebuster to plant Kaz. Jamie comes in and blasts Yang off the apron to prevent the tag so Kaz kicks him in the head to put Noble down.
Now the hot tag brings in Yang to speed things WAY up, which is quite surprising given how fast it already was. Evan springboards down onto Kaz and Yang counters Noble’s hurricanrana into a super Batista Bomb for two of his own. A 450 gets another near fall on Yang but Kaz springboards in with a DDT. Yang COMPLETELY misses Yang Time (as in Jamie didn’t even need to move) so he has to grab a small package to pin Noble instead.
Rating: B+. Sweet goodness they’re working hard tonight. This was an excellent cruiserweight tag match but do you really expect anything else from any combination of these two and 3 Count? They just know how to put on entertaining matches with high spot after high spot. Really fun match here that didn’t overstay its welcome, which is so important in a match like this.
Totally Buff arrives in an old purple car. Their backup plan with Goldberg is to have someone run in to get him disqualified so he’ll be fired. Why has no one else ever thought of that?
Mike Sanders vs. The Cat
This is for the commissionership and the services of Ms. Jones, who is supposed to be with Sanders here but comes out with Cat. Sanders says he wants to keep the job for the money and nothing else. Cat is bald for a change of pace. Yeah Sanders is here for the money but Cat is here for the people. We actually get a fan poll to waste a few seconds until Sanders jumps him from behind to take over. Mike is now in trunks with his Thrillers muscle shirt for a really weird look. Cat chases him to the floor for a bit but Sanders keeps pounding away as this is going nowhere to start.
Some right hands in the corner have Mike in trouble so he low blows Cat for a break. A high sunset flip doesn’t work on Cat as he crotches chops and then hits Sanders in the head. Mike tries a chair but Jones takes it away and kicks him in the back. Cue the Thrillers to beat up Cat as the referee is yelling at Jones, only to have Kronik come out and save him, revealing who paid the higher amount. Clark shoves the money in Sanders’ mouth (Why?) and Cat gives him the Feliner to become Commissioner again, basically guaranteeing that Flair goes evil soon. Somehow the referee didn’t see or hear ANY of that because of course.
Rating: D. Yeah it’s the worst match of the night but it’s not even six minutes long and was entertaining enough. Neither guy is worth much in the ring so it’s a good idea to have one of them being a talker instead of a full time wrestler. Cat is a fun enough guy so this was fine for what it was, which to be fair wasn’t much.
Flair and Goldberg see Totally Buff arriving and talking about the DQ. Ric makes it No DQ and then introduces Goldberg to a friend of his whose son is a fan. Goldberg signs an autograph and takes a picture……which seems to lead nowhere. Ok then.
Jeff Jarrett says Scott Steiner can trust him but no one else. Oh and Gene will be back in the retirement home if he doesn’t stop spreading these rumors. The announcers make sure to point out that Jarrett sounded defensive.
Team Canada vs. Filthy Animals
This is a six man tag with a penalty box, meaning if you break a rule you’re out for a designated time period. Jim Duggan is guest referee. Team Canada (Lance Storm, Mike Awesome and Elix Skipper with Major Gunns) come out in the Team Canada bus. Storm accuses Duggan of being in the Animals’ back pocket. Duggan reads off the list of things that could draw a penalty to really drag things out.
Storm and Mysterio start with Rey (with Kidman and Konnan here) headscissoring Lance into the corner. Rey gets crotched though so Storm brings in Skipper but the referee says that wasn’t enough of a tag. Awesome complains too and bumps Duggan, meaning he’s in the box for one minute. So Storm gets triple teamed for a bit with Konnan powerbombing Rey on top of him for no cover.
Skipper gets back in and gets planted by a Kidman suplex. Awesome pulls Kidman down from the apron and gets penalized with storm being thrown in for a pull of the hair a few seconds later. Konnan scores with a rolling lariat on Skipper before putting on something like a Koji Clutch crossed with a Kimura on the mat (actually called a Mr. Salty).
That goes nowhere so Rey drops a leg as the other Canadians come in. I mean, it’s not like the penalties have meant anything here but they’ve been happening. Skipper tries to Matrix up but gets taken down with a reverse DDT for two. A missile dropkick puts Konnan down but Elix lands on his feet like Koko B. Ware used to do.
Konnan headscissors and Rey tries a Bronco Buster, only to be sent to the box because Awesome is on the ropes. Kidman is sent with him for no apparent reason, allowing the women to get into it over a water bottle. That means both of them are sent into the box as Skipper puts on a chinlock, much to Storm’s chagrin. Konnan finally puts Storm down and the hot tag brings in Kidman to clean house. A powerbomb plants Storm again and the now legal Rey backdrops Kidman over the top to take Lance out again.
Everything breaks down and Skipper is thrown in the box somewhere in there. Awesome tries to cut Kidman’s hair for some reason and goes to the box as well. Tygress adds a Bronco Buster to Storm and gets boxed as well. The Kid Crusher gets two on Storm with Awesome making the save. An Awesome Bomb plants Rey and Kidman taps to the Maple Leaf for the win.
Rating: D. What a freaking mess. Not only was there no sense of logic in the penalties (yes they were called straight but that’s not how something like this is supposed to go) but the match was all messy with the penalties not really meaning anything since the wrestlers in trouble wouldn’t have been able to tag out anyway. There’s too much going on here and having the heels in the box most of the time defeats the point of the match.
Sanders says the Thrillers are ready to get the Tag Team Titles back.
The Insiders are getting ready.
We recap the Hardcore Title match which saw Terry Funk coming back and destroying Crowbar at Starrcade to take the title. Crowbar decided he wasn’t being serious enough and went back to his roots, only to have Meng come in and beat both of them of to make it a three way feud.
Hardcore Title: Meng vs. Terry Funk vs. Crowbar
Funk is defending but Meng comes in with the title. Daffney is in the aisle so Funk grabs her by the hair to draw Crowbar out for some chair shots to the champ’s head. They fight into the back and we get the women’s restroom raid. Meng finally joins them and puts Funk in a trashcan for a quick beating. They leave the restroom with Funk throwing a trashcan at Meng’s head to little avail.
Funk has his head rammed into a metal door and starts punching at the air before helping Crowbar throw a pile of tables on top of Meng. They go back into the arena with Crowbar putting Funk on a table and climbing up onto some tarped off seats (Tony: “Those are reserved seats.” Reserved for who? Elvis?) for a double legdrop.
Meng comes back and hammers on Crowbar before kicking him down the ramp. Funk is back up and hits Meng in the head with a snow shovel (thankfully sold) before slamming Crowbar through a piece of barricade (which just happened to be standing in front of the regular barricade).
Crowbar comes back (of course) and starts in on Funk’s knees as Tony makes vague references to Beyond the Mat. A Figure Four on Funk is broken up as Meng comes in off the top (!) with a splash. Funk and Crowbar take turns beating on Meng with chairs until he goes down. That’s it for them working together though as Crowbar chairs Funk, allowing Meng to blast Crowbar in the face. The Tongan Death Grip gives Meng the title.
Rating: D+. This was entertaining enough and that’s exactly what it needed to be. Having someone like Meng as champion was probably the best idea they could have gone with as the person who finally knocked him off would look like a much bigger deal as a result. The weapon stuff was fine here but more than anything else it helped to have someone so different in there. You can only watch people hit each other with chairs for so long before it loses all appeal.
Flair gives Cat and Miss Jones the rest of the night off.
Sid, still in street clothes with less than an hour and a half in the show, is ready to win the title that belongs to him.
We recap the Tag Team Titles. The Insiders won the belts twice but the Thrillers won a tag team battle royal so tonight it’s a match with any two Thrillers getting the show.
Tag Team Titles: Sean O’Haire/Chuck Palumbo vs. Insiders
Nash/Page are defending. Sanders comes out to say this isn’t going to be so easy but cue Flair to say everyone else is out so this is two on two. Page and Palumbo get things going with a slugout from the old man, followed by a clothesline. A spinning Rock Bottom gets two and a Cactus Clothesline puts them both on the floor.
Back in and a double tag brings in Nash to stare down at O’Haire, who moonsaults over Nash and superkicks him to take over for the first time. Palumbo comes in and takes clotheslines from both champs, only to have O’Haire nail Page from behind so Chuck can get in the Jungle Kick to drop Page. A double slingshot suplex (cool) gets two for the Thrillers as we hear about the RAGE building up in Kevin Nash.
Page reverses Palumbo’s tombstone into one of his own and both guys are down. O’Haire is tagged first but accidentally punches Page into the tag to Nash as everything breaks down. Cue the Thrillers as Nash powerbombs Palumbo. The referee goes after the thrillers as Lex Luger comes out to distract Page for no logical reason. This allows Buff Bagwell, dressed as a plumber, to come in and hit Nash with a wrench. The Seanton Bomb gives the Thrillers the titles. Tony: “Why Buff why?” Because he’s a heel you dingbat.
Rating: D+. Not the worst match here but WAY overbooked near the end. At least Nash took the fall, after a bunch of interference and a wrench to the back of the head of course. There’s something to be said about the fact that the Insiders got two title runs out of being transitional champions from one set of Thrillers to another. The match was what you would have expected of course.
The announcers talk about the Goldberg tag match.
Sanders says the Thrillers have plenty to celebrate tonight and Buff was acting on his own.
Flair, who apparently saw NONE of that, is off to get the Mystery Man. “It’s SHOWTIME!”
We recap Shane Douglas vs. General Rection. The General accidentally squashed Torrie Wilson to write her off TV but Shane wanted revenge in the form of that US Title. Rection kept the title at Starrcade so it’s time for a rematch with First Blood rules.
US Title: General Rection vs. Shane Douglas
Rection is defending and this is First Blood. That’s not enough though as there’s a chain hanging above the ring to make the bloodletting a bit easier. Rection wants Shane checked for a chain, which would be perfectly legal in a match like this. The referee finds one and takes it away because even the referees don’t understand the rules of the match. Since it’s a first blood match, Rection starts with a wristlock and armdrag into an armbar. Rection: “ASK HIM!” Ask him what exactly?
Tony tries to cover by saying it’s going to wear Shane down so Rection can use the heavy offense to make him bleed. Makes enough sense, marking a first in this match. Rection gets smart and punches at the forehead before blasting Shane with a top rope clothesline. No Laughing Matter gets Rection crotched and Shane starts in on the leg. This would be a much better match if it didn’t have the First Blood rule making a lot of this offense look questionable.
We hit the Figure Four on the champ (it’s horrible) for a few moments before they head outside for some play time. Shane hammers away with right hands in the crowd before wrapping the bad leg around the post. Back in and we hit the chinlock for a bit before Rection gets free and grabs a ladder. The chain is pulled down but the referee gets bumped. Shane finds the chain the referee took away from him and blasts Rection for the blood and the title.
Rating: D. Really lame First Blood match but a decent regular match. Unfortunately this was billed as something with a special gimmick and that’s not what we got here. The chain and ladder aspects didn’t need to be here and really dragged this one down but I’d rather have someone like Shane with the title than a guy named General Rection. There was just no way around that name.
Scott Steiner doesn’t care what Ric Flair puts in front of him.
Rection says it’s not worth it anymore.
We recap Totally Buff vs. Goldberg/Dewayne Bruce which is going on because WCW insisted on the feud continuing after Goldberg beat Luger twice. Luger went after Goldberg’s trainer and set up this match with the idea that they can beat Bruce and get rid of Goldberg by ending the Streak.
Totally Buff vs. Goldberg/Sgt. Dewayne Bruce
No DQ and Bruce is coming in with a broken arm. Goldberg and Luger start but the threat of a superkick sends Bagwell bailing out to the floor. A big old shoulder drops Luger to start and a butterfly suplex sends him over into the corner to Buff. Bagwell: “ME?” Goldberg: “Yeah you!”
Bagwell comes in and gets gorilla pressed into a spinebuster before it’s off to Bruce for the first time. A middle rope elbow gets two on Bagwell but Sarge runs into a double back elbow to start the obvious beating. Buff gets one off the double arm DDT with Goldberg in for the save before the referee even went down for the count. Luger’s forearm gets two and Goldberg’s kick for the save clearly didn’t make contact.
Sarge reverses a suplex to take Buff down and it’s off to Goldberg to clean house. Goldberg throws Luger to the floor where he lands right in front of the kid that Goldberg signed an autograph for earlier. The kid maces Goldberg, allowing Luger to hit him with a chair while the kid stands at ringside with security just letting him hang around. A super Blockbuster lets Luger get the pin to retire Goldberg and shock the crowd.
Rating: D-. You know who should have gotten that pin? Sean O’Haire, Mark Jindrak, or one of the other Thrillers not named Stasiak. Instead though, it’s Lex Luger, because HE needed a rub. You think this is leading anywhere for Luger? Of course not, because it’s LEX LUGER. Swap Totally Buff out for the Thrillers and let them have the meaningless Tag Team Titles while the Thrillers get to have the win that actually matters. I get that Goldberg had to leave (due to needing shoulder surgery) but they really had nothing better to do than have Lex Luger fight him for three straight pay per views? This company deserves to die.
Goldberg has his eyes washed out as the announcers talk about what a tragedy this is.
We recap the World Title match which is basically Steiner vs. the World with the question of who is Ric Flair’s Mystery Man.
WCW World Title: Scott Steiner vs. Sid Vicious vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Mystery Man
Steiner is defending and this is one fall to a finish. There’s no Mystery Man to start so it’s a triple threat, as was advertised for a good while leading up to this show. Steiner goes after Flair so Jarrett has to bring him back to the ring where Sid is waiting on both of them. Sid gets double teamed and Jarrett is actually ok with letting Steiner go for the covers. The Push Up elbow gets two on Sid and Steiner hits him with the belt for good measure.
Jeff covers for two and this time Steiner is fine with it. Hudson: “Something is going on between Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner.” Sid suplexes both guys (well kind of a DDT to Steiner but close enough) and starts clotheslining. A chokeslam gets two on Jarrett and Steiner is planted with a cobra clutch slam. Jeff is whipped over the barricade and we cut to Flair getting the Mystery Man out of the limo.
We come back….and Sid’s leg is bent like a pretzel after coming off the middle rope (off camera), basically ending his full time career. Steiner does push-ups to stall while we wait on the Mystery Man before choking with his boot. Now the Mystery Man comes out (to Flair’s music) as Hudson realizes that Sid has a broken leg. The Mystery Man is in, hits Sid once, and lets Steiner pin Sid to retain.
Rating: D-. You have to forgive them for the ending as Sid’s injury took away whatever else they had planned. I’m sure the result would have been the same but it’s not fair to criticize them for having it fall this flat when Sid couldn’t move. Unfortunately you can blame them for the rest of the match with all the standing around waiting on anything interesting to happen. This wasn’t even eight minutes long and the stuff before the leg injury was barely six of that. There was no way this was going to be good and it’s made even worse with all the nonsense they packed into it.
The Mystery Man is Road Warrior Animal. Yeah, as in the guy they said was as big of a star as The Rock and Steve Austin. I’m really not sure if Tony is shooting or not as he freaks out that it’s actually Animal.
Overall Rating: D. Dang it they really can’t get out of their own way sometimes. If this show had just been altered slightly with the cruiserweight tag coming later on the show and say Cat vs. Sanders opening things up, the show would have been much easier to sit through. Unfortunately WCW has way more problems than the order of the matches though as there was just no way to get around all the horrible stuff they had to throw out there to protect the top names. It’s a bit of an upgrade but still has so many of the same problems that got them in trouble in the first place.
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