Thursday, 17 September 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Greed 2001

WCW Greed - Event poster
March 18, 2001
Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida

In some respects, it's entirely fitting that the final ever World Championship Wrestling Pay Per View was titled Greed.

For years, stories of bloated egos and excessive contracts had followed WCW through the good times and bad and, with the benefit of hindsight, many were quick to point to such excess as one of the many reasons why the company eventually went under.

Still, after years of mismanagement, awful booking and something called a Doomsday Cage Match, at least WCW were going out on a high.

OK, so they were never going to recapture the magic of their mid-90s, nWo-fuelled glory days, but over the course of the last few months of their existence, their on-screen product was getting consistently better.

Don't just take my word for it, however. Let's go to Jacksonville, Florida for Greed, the last WCW PPV ever.







Last Man Standing

Since becoming World Heavyweight Champion, Scott Steiner had not only defeated everybody who stood in his way but had sent most of them packing from WCW altogether.

Sting, Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Sid Vicious, they were all gone thanks to Big Poppa Pump. Even Booker T had been on something of a hiatus after falling victim to the Steiner Recliner.

Now, only one man remained:

Diamond Dallas Page.

Cutting a promo in our opening video, Page hyped his upcoming title match, ending by saying "Tonight, Scott Steiner's gonna get banged."

Ahem.

We got the usual crowd shots and greeting from Scott Hudson and Tony Schiavone, the latter of whom welcomed us to "the first-ever Greed."

Oh Tony, nice try.

Kwee Wee vs. Jason Jett

WCW Greed 2001 - Kwee Wee battled Jason Jett
Formerly known as EZ Money in ECW, Jason Jett had only debuted in WCW that week (they were seriously still hiring?) and had made such a big impression they thrust him into a PPV opener with Kwee Wee.

As openers go, this was a lot of fun even if it was a little sloppy in places.

Jett had some cool offence and both men seemed to work hard which made the whole thing pretty enjoyable.

OK, so there was one potentially hazardous spot where Kwee Wee reversed a top-rope powerbomb into a 'rana and looked in danger of landing on his neck, but otherwise, there was a lot to like about this.

After a good back-and-forth battle, Jett hit his 'Crash Landing' finisher to score the three count.
Your Winner: Jason Jett

Up next, we got a look at a recent tournament to crown new WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions. Fair play to WCW for still trying to do something creative at this stage of the game.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship
Kid Romeo & Elix Skipper vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. & Billy Kidman

WCW Greed 2001 - Kid Romeo and Elix Skipper beat Kidman & Rey Mysterio to become Cruiserweight tag team champions
And fair play to everyone involved in this one for working hard to deliver a quality match even though this whole Cruiserweight tag team division never got a chance to launch.

Like the earlier singles match, this was far from flawless but had some entertaining spots and a good energy to it that made it an enjoyable watch.

Following a riveting contest, Kid Romeo caught Rey Mysterio Jr. coming off the ropes and slammed him headfirst into the mat like he wanted him dead.

One three count later and the first Cruiserweight tag team champions were crowned.
Your Winners and NEW Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions: Kid Romeo & Elix Skipper

Mysterio and Kidman would actually win the titles on the final Nitro but then we’d never hear of those belts again.

Everybody is On Drugs

WCW Greed 2001 - Ric Flair acted like he was on all the cocaine in the world at this show
Backstage, Buff Bagwell revealed that he had hired his own camera crew then took them into a room to chat with Ric Flair, Jeff Jarrett and Road Warrior Animal.

Everyone spoke at a thousand miles an hour like they’d just taken all the cocaine in the world so it was hard to make out what they were talking about, but it pretty much came down to ‘our group is the best and we’ll win our matches tonight.’

A flashback to Nitro then showed us that Stacy Kiebler had now had her baby after she discovered that she was pregnant back at New Blood Rising. Not only was she back, but she had also aligned herself with Shawn Stasiak.

Shawn ‘The Star’ Stasiak (w/ Stacy Keibler) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

WCW Greed 2001 - Shawn Stasiak and Stacy Keibler were a thing
Before the match, Stacey introduced us all to what she called ‘The Shawn & Stacey Show,’ and, of course, to the star of that show, Mr Shawn ‘The Star’ Stasiak.

Stasiak then came down doing a narcissist gimmick, referring to himself as a ‘The Mecca of Manhood’ and insisting that all the fans were ‘Bam Bam Bigelow wannabes'.

Stasiak then threw a bunch of 8x10s of himself into the crowd before entering into a mediocre contest with The Beast From The East.

While this certainly wasn’t terrible, coming right after two thrilling Cruiserweight matches really made it feel more boring than it probably was.

After a few minutes of nothing much, Stacey distracted Billy Silverman and tossed her man a can of spray which he used to temporarily blind Bigelow before hitting him with the match-winning neckbreaker.
Your Winner: Shawn Stasiak

Afterward, Stasiak threw more pictures of himself around the place then snogged Kiebler’s face off. That right there was probably the best moment of his career.

Pointless Backstage Stuff

WCW Greed 2001 - Kid Romeo and Prime Time Elix Skipper celebrate backstage
Out in the back, Miss Jones begged Ernest Miller to let her get revenge on Kanyon for whatever it was he’d done to her. The Cat insisted that he be the one to handle it.

Elsewhere in the arena, Kid Romeo and Elix Skipper helped each other strap on their newly-won tag team titles and celebrated by hugging and jumping up and down until it got a little too gay for them and they just shook hands instead.

None of this meant anything or seemed to matter.

A clip then aired to show us the story behind our upcoming Team Canada vs. Hugh Morrus & Konnan match. That story seemed to be ‘a bunch of brawling happened in the ring for no reason.’

Team Canada (Lance Storm & ‘Canadian Killer’ Mike Awesome’ vs. Hugh Morrus & Konnan

WCW Greed 2001 - Lance Storm and Mike Awesome faced Hugh Morrus and Konnan
Before the match, Lance Storm was serious for a minute and declared that he and Mike Awesome were going to win this match and go on to become the tag team champions.

Good luck with that, Lance.

He then called for the Canadian National Anthem but just got Hugh Morrus instead.

Konnan came down a second later and the match was on.

For what it was, this was a decent tag team match, even if it was instantly forgettable.

The end came when Big Mike planted Morrus with a running Awesome Bomb for the win after almost fifteen minutes of solid action.
Your Winners: Team Canada

Out in the back, we saw footage from the security camera in Dusty & Dustin Rhodes’ locker room. This was a nice touch that added a certain sense of realism and got away from the question of ‘why is there a cameraman randomly in the room?’

Anyway, Dustin was getting aggravated that his pops wasn’t getting ready for the match, but The American Dream insisted he was getting ready.

His plan?

To eat 40 burritos that he had delivered to the room on a platter. This would then give him bad gas and he’d rub his ass in Ric Flair’s face.

Dusty Rhodes, ladies and gentlemen. One of the greatest of all time.

Buff’s Documentary

WCW Greed 2001 - Chuck Palumbo & Sean O'Haire
Elsewhere, Buff and his cameraman continued to work on their documentary project.

This time, Buff wanted to talk to Rick Steiner.

First, The Dog-Faced Gremlin insisted he’d make short work of Booker T later on in the show. Then he claimed that his brother Scott would return to ‘normal’ (lol) after he figured out who was messing with him.

Finally, tag team champions Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire cut a weird promo in which they stood at an angle and addressed somebody off-camera.

‘They say that only the strong survive, and we’re the survivors,’ said Palumbo.

OK then.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero vs. Sugar Shane Helms

WCW Greed 2001 - Chavo Guerrero defended the Cruiserweight title against Shane Helms
These two first met for the title back at WCW Sin, with Guerrero getting the win.

Shane Helms then earned another title shot by beating five other men back at Superbrawl: Revenge.

Since then, he’d left 3 Count and struck out on his own, even adopting his own crew of Nitro Girl dancers called ‘The Sugar Babies.’

The match then got underway and turned into something quite tremendous.

After years of playing goofy comedy and sidekick roles, Chavo had really come into his own as a veteran heel and fighting champion, while Shane Helms impressed more and more with each high profile match.

Together, they delivered a quality match that combined the usual Cruiserweight action with some mat-based technical wrestling and a few genuine ‘holy s**t spots.’

After an excellent battle, Helms reversed Guerrero’s Gory Special attempt into a Vertebraker to capture his first title.
Your Winner and NEW Cruiserweight Champion: Shane Helms

Post-match, a jubilant Sugar Shane celebrated his big victory while the Sugar Babies danced behind him.

Kiss My Ass

Backstage, Ric Flair and Jeff Jarrett told the documentary maker that they wouldn’t be kissing Dusty’s ass but the Rhodes men would end up kissing theirs.

We then got pre-recorded comments from Booker T, who warned Rick Steiner to save the drama for his momma.

‘Tonight, Steiner, I’m coming after the US title, a title that has eluded me for eight long years,’ said Booker.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire vs. Totally Buff (Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell)

WCW Greed 2001 - Chuck Palumbo & Sean O'Haire won the tag team titles
Before the bell, Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell cut a long-winded promo in which they first bragged about their accomplishments (multiple championships between them and retiring Bill Goldberg) then admitted that they may have underestimated the tag team champions.

Totally Buff were adamant that they were back on form tonight but they really weren’t.

Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire came down and squashed the veterans in about 30 seconds thanks to a couple of Seanton Bombs.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the pre-match promo lasted longer than the actual match.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire

Out in the back, Scott Steiner finished 102 pull-ups while Midajah counted. In typical Steiner fashion, he then stumbled over a promo in which he declared that DDP was going down.

Back in the ring, Totally Buff continued selling the mugging they’d received from Palumbo & O’Haire, taking forever to get up and get to their feet.

Kanyon vs. The Cat (w/ Miss Jones)

WCW Greed 2001 - Ernest 'The Cat' Miller w/ Miss Jones
Before the match, Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller promised to rip ‘that ugly-ass mask’ off Kanyon’s face. Of course, Kanyon wasn’t wearing a mask, it was just his ugly-ass face.

Oh, haha.

Bad jokes aside, this was a gripping contest that was probably one of the best of Miller’s career.

He and Kanyon were given ample time to tell their story and did so in a way that kept the crowd entertained right the way through.

Naturally, it helped that Miller was one of the most popular guys on the roster in WCW’s final days (make of that what you will), and Kanyon was such a convincing heel that the whole thing worked well.

Toward the finish, the referee got knocked out. Kanyon went after Miss Jones but that proved to be his detriment. Cat waffled him with the Feliner and that was all she wrote.
Your Winner: The Cat

Post-match, Kanyon recovered and went on the attack but was seen off by Miller’s underling M.I Smooth, a man once better known as Ice Train.

Out in the back, Buff Bagwell was upset at both Lex Luger for the outcome of their match, and at his camera guy for recording him arguing with The Total Package.

Elsewhere, Dustin Rhodes had to beg his dad not to fart after devouring the world's supply of burritos.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW US Champion Rick Steiner vs. Booker T

WCW Greed 2001 - Rick Steiner defended the US title against Booker T
It's funny how Rick Steiner was once a part of one of the greatest tag teams in the world but in his last few years with WCW he was lazy and pretty dull.

Like many on the card before him, Booker T worked hard here, but Steiner's insistence on doing as little as possible really hurt what could have been a good match.

Towards the finish, Shane Douglas came out to get revenge on The Dog Faced Gremlin for taking his title off him. He clocked Steiner over the back of the head with a cast.

Booker T hit the Bookend and finally became US champ.
Your Winner and NEW US Champion: Booker T

Out in the back, Buff Bagwell has been knocked out. Lex Luger hinted that Road Warrior Animal had done it, but Animal decided now was the perfect time to prove what a horrible actor he was and denied everything.

Kiss My Ass Match
Jeff Jarrett & Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. Dustin Rhodes & Dusty Rhodes

WCW Greed 2001 - Dusty & Dustin Rhodes
Ric Flair clearly didn’t care about any of this and came dressed for action in a Hawaiian shirt, slacks and dress shoes.

Meanwhile, I can’t figure out if WWE dubbed over Dusty’s actual WCW theme with a bad version of his old polka-dot era WWF theme or if WCW just ripped that theme off like they did with so many others.

When both teams had made their entrances, Ric Flair declared that he wasn’t going to wrestle but then got in his team’s corner to fight, making himself look like an insane idiot in the process.

After four days of stalling -including Road Warrior Animal being sent to the back- the match finally got underway and was entertaining as heck.

That was mostly because Dusty Rhodes was so damn charismatic and fun to watch that he could have strutted around the ring doing nothing for twenty minutes and still made it work.

As it was, he put some effort in and got the crowd pumped up while son Dustin did most of the grunt work.

Speaking of Dustin, he got a fumbled roll-up on the Nature Boy to win the match for his team.
Your Winners: Dustin & Dusty Rhodes

Afterwards, Dusty Rhodes dropped his drawers and rubbed his burrito-stink ass in Jeff Jarrett’s face.

Falls Count Anywhere Match for the World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Scott Steiner (w/ Midajah) vs. Diamond Dallas Page

WCW Greed 2001 - Scott Steiner defended the World Heavyweight Championship against DDP
This was a solid main event in which both men showed up to work and delivered, not a classic exactly, but certainly one of WCW's better PPV main events.

The only frustrating part is that they didn't really make a big deal out of the Falls Count Anywhere match apart from one brief trip into the crowd which was a fairly standard part of main event matches around this time period anyway.

When they did get in the crowd, there was a kid on crutches and as soon as you saw him, you knew he'd been put there specifically so that the wrestlers could use those crutches.

Sure enough, each crutch got broken over a wrestler's back then, as Page and Steiner continued to wrestle, you could see the same kid just walking around fine. It was dumb but pretty funny.

Back in the ring, we got a brief run-in from Rick Steiner before a beaten and bloody DDP fell -like so many stars before him- to the Steiner Recliner.
Your Winner and Still WCW Champion: Scott Steiner

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was your last WCW PPV match in history.







Amazingly, WCW were so close to getting fully back on track creatively in their final days. Sure, a lot of the backstage stuff was lame, but apart from a few lacklustre encounters, most of the actual in-ring action was solid and entertaining.

The three cruiserweight matches (Jett/Kwee-Wee, the cruiserweight tag titles and Guerrero/Helms) all made the show, while the Dusty Rhodes stuff was a lot of fun.

All in all, a late-era WCW PPV show that was actually worth watching.




Other reviews of 2001 pro wrestling events: 
Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

0 comments:

Post a comment

Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.