Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label Hugh Morrus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hugh Morrus. Show all posts

Thursday, 3 September 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Superbrawl: Revenge (2001)

WCW Superbrawl Revenge 2001 - Event poster
February 18, 2001 
Nashville Municipal Auditorium,  Nashville, Tennessee.

By far the most frustrating thing about World Championship Wrestling wasn't all the dumb and terrible things they'd done over the years, it was how much better the company started getting towards the end of their run.

Sure, all of that dumb stuff had caused irrevocable harm and there was no way they could ever truly come back from all the damage that had been done, but from a creative stand point at least, WCW were starting to look good again.

Scott Steiner's reign of terror as WCW champion made for intriguing television -if not necessarily excellent matches- as he took credit for taking out all of the company's biggest stars one by one.

The cruiserweight division was getting a second wind with Chavo Guerrero at the top of the hierarchy, and though there was still plenty of WCWness about the whole company, a lot of their more idiotic decisions were behind them.

So, while all of that may have been too little, too late, it did make watching the company's final months far less painful than the torturous ordeal than the task of watching their 1999/2000 efforts.







Don't believe me? Here's what went down when the last ever Superbrawl show came live from Nashville, Tennessee.

Revenge

WCW Superbrawl Revenge 2001 - Tony Schiavone & Scott Hudson called the event
Tonight’s opening video looked like something straight out of a horror trailer, with a pair of hands clinically cutting out words from a newspaper to form a ransom-style cut-and-paste note.

This being WCW, we never saw what the note said, but as it was being made, words like ‘psycho’ and ‘ego’ flashed on the screen.

Live in the arena, it was fireworks galore and a greeting from Tony Schiavone and Scott Hudson as the cameras panned over what was obviously a very small crowd, at least compared to WCW’s heyday.

Animal Hates Kidman for Some Reason

Schiavone and Hudson took us back to the Superbrawl pre-show where Road Warrior Animal inexplicably beat up Billy Kidman for no known reason.

Six-Man, Four-Corners Elimination Match
Evan Karagias vs. Jamie Knoble vs. Yang vs. Kaz Hayashi vs. Shannon Moore vs. Shane Helms

WCW Superbrawl Revenge 2001 - Shane Helms won the opening match
The backstage attack was just a way to write Kidman out of this match and replace him with Shane Helms.

With the other five competitors in the ring, the announcers speculated who the sixth participant was going to be as if it was ever going to be anybody other than Shane Helms.

Honestly, these six men had opened up a large number of WCW PPVs over the past six months. Sometimes it was in a ladder match such as at Starrcade 2000, other times it was a straight-up three-team tag, but it was always these same six men opening the show in some way other another.

Most of those matches had been exciting, lightning-fast spotfests that were a thrill to watch despite not having much to them beyond lots of interesting flips.

This was more of the same, but it fell short when compared to its predecessors because there was an insane amount of botching going on that made it look sloppy and uncoordinated.

At one point, Yang screwed up three moves in a row and made himself look ridiculous. Fortunately, Jamie Knoble tombstoned him a few seconds later and put him out of his misery.

The final moments came down to Yang’s partner Kaz Hayashi and Shane Helms who, to their credit, gave us the most solid and gripping part of the match.

Helms got the win with a Vertebraker after the better part of 20 minutes, ending a contest which was still pretty good, but spoiled somewhat by all the screw-ups.
Your Winner: Shane Helms

Post-match, the announcers showed us some security camera footage of Chavo Guerrero approaching, and apparently striking a deal with, Road Warrior Animal and Ric Flair.

It was suggested that maybe Animal has taken out Kidman to help Chavo, though quite why that would be nobody knew.

The Misfits Are Over and Its No Laughing Matter

WCW Superbrawl Revenge 2001 - Hugh Morrus cut a backstage promo on The Wall
In some pre-recorded comments, Hugh Morrus talked about General Rection as if he was a different person.

Morrus had nothing but hatred in his heart after Rection had taken The Wall into the Misfits In Action only for the temporarily named Sgt. AWOL to turn his back on him and join fellow defector, Chavo.

The MIA was over and Morrus wanted revenge.

More Backstage Stuff

My lord, they were back to cramming a thousand ‘tween-match segments into 90 seconds again.

WCW Superbrawl Revenge 2001 - Ric Flair consults Scott Steiner with Midajah standing by
After the security footage and the Morrus promo, we saw a tuxedo-clad Ric Flair interrupt the shoulder massage that Scot Steiner was getting from Midajah.

Steiner had cut some scathing, obscenity-laden promos against Flair in the past but they were now friends and Flair had an envelope that would help Steiner end Kevin Nash’s career.

Then, Commissioner Lance Storm stopped Kronik as they entered the arena and ordered Bryan Clark to go and get checked over by a doctor before he was cleared to wrestle.

The Wall vs. Hugh Morrus

This started as a fairly enjoyable big-man brawl, but it didn't have enough about it to keep it engaging for very long.

After almost ten minutes, Morrus hit the No Laughing Matter on The Wall to get the win after a mediocre contest.
Your Winner: Hugh Morrus

Morrus hit a second moonsualt after the bell and was surprisingly very over with the live crowd.

Konnan Wants Revenge

Get it? Because the show was called Superbrawl: Revenge so everyone was out for revenge, including Konnan.

He wanted revenge on Flair and Animal for the attack on Kidman, but could only get to Animal, who despite being an all-time legend was now just Flair’s muscle.

The Road Warrior and the K-Dog got into a brawl which was then broken up by security.

A video package followed showing us that the Natural Born Thrillers had broken up after Shawn Stasiak & Mark Jindrak got sick of being the lesser team compared to tag champions Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire.

There was no mention of where Mike Sanders was in all this.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire vs. Shawn Stasiak & Mark Jindrak

WCW Superbrawl Revenge 2001 - Chuck Palumbo & Sean O'Haire
Before the bell, Stasiak got himself some cheap heat by taking to the microphone and insulting the local sports team. He followed this by saying ‘note to self,’ then adding ‘the next time we walk into this town you should all get on your knees and worship the ground we walk on.

That was clearly a note to the audience, not himself, but fair play to the lad for trying.

As the tag champs made their way to the ring, Jindrak revealed a microphone of his own and cut a cringe-inducing promo telling the challengers that they would be the ones to get on their knees when they kissed their asses goodbye.

When the match got underway, it turned out to be a decent outing, albeit a little rushed.

I’ve often thought that if WCW had never gone under and was still active today, we would have seen all four of these men pushed towards the main event eventually.

I’m not saying that’s a good thing or that I necessarily agree with it, but from the way they were portrayed, it seemed kind of inevitable.

Palumbo spent the majority of the match getting his ass beat, which was a bit of a stretch given the size of him, but to be fair, both teams were still relatively new and didn’t have the experience to give us anything that the basic tag team formula.

After a long while, O’Haire got the hot tag, cleaned house and hit a Seanton Bomb on Stasiak for the win.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire

Backstage, Dustin Rhodes claimed that Ric Flair had tried to keep him out of WCW and somehow this meant that Rhodes would now challenge Rick Steiner for the US title.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

WCW Superbrawl Revenge 2001 - Rey Mysterio Jr. challenged Chavo Guerrero for the cruiserweight title
No Tygress. Presumedly she was a victim of WCW’s cost-cutting measures.

Also, it’s worth pointing out how badass Chavo’s theme music was. It was basically Eddie Guerrero’s old LWO theme albeit with an awesome lead guitar mixed in.

The music wasn’t the only awesome thing.

As close as you were going to get in 2001 to the great Cruiserweight classics of the mid-90s, this was the best match Rey Mysterio had been involved in for some years, at least since he lost his mask. It was also one of Chavo Guerrero’s finest performances.

At this stage of the game, the best you could usually hope for from a WCW PPV match was that it would be decent, but this was on another level and was probably the best WCW PPV bout since the turn of the millennium, it not before that.

After an enthralling see-saw battle, Guerrero waffled Mysterio with a chair behind the referee’s back then hit a brainbuster to retain his title.
Your Winner and Still Cruiserweight Champion: Chavo Guerrero

Out in the back, Commissioner Storm warned Brian Adams that Kronik’s match was up right after our US title match. Adams didn’t want to compete without his partner but Storm didn’t care and booked it anyway.

A video package then showed us that Dustin had got this title shot after Kevin Nash held David Flair hostage and demanded it. The video also showed us that Mike Sanders was part of Flair’s stable, so that answers my earlier question.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion Rick Steiner vs. Dustin Rhodes

WCW Superbrawl Revenge 2001 - Rick Steiner defended the US title against Dustin Rhodes
This was OK. Nothing more. It looked as though Dustin was trying hard, but he was in there with Rick Steiner, who hadn’t really tried hard in years.

The good news is that this rather average match didn’t last long. The bad news is that it had almost exactly the same finish as the last match.

In both bouts, the referee stopped the babyface from using a chair which gave the heel a chance to cheat. The only difference was that Chavo used a different chair while Steiner used an exposed turnbuckle, dropping Rhodes face-first into it to win the match.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: Rick Steiner

Post-match, Dustin got his Superbrawl: Revenge by propping Steiner in the corner and kicking him swiftly in the bollocks.

Pointless Backstage Stuff

Out in the back, Lance Storm was busy preparing for his match when Ric Flair came and told him to make sure that anybody who wasn’t in their stable was booted out of the arena after their match.

Flair also wanted Storm to ensure that the winner of the upcoming Totally Buff/Kronik match got a tag team title shot.

Across the arena, Storm’s scheduled opponent, Ernest Miller was getting pumped up with Diamond Dallas Page giving him a pep talk and insisting that he had to get the Comissionershio back because Flair had gotten rid of everybody else and now it was down to just the two of them.

Totally Buff (The Total Package Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell) vs. Kronik (Brian Adams & Bryan Clarke)

WCW Superbrawl Revenge 2001 - Lex Luger and Buff Bagwell - Totally Buff
Before the match, Totally Buff cut a really long and largely terrible promo in which they spoke for about fifty hours without actually saying anything of note.

The whole promo told us stuff we already knew:

  • They were part of Ric Flair’s stable
  • Bryan Clarke wasn’t cleared to compete.
  • The winners of the match got a tag title shot.

We’d already been told all of this, so why Luger and Bagwell had to spend so long going over it again is anyone’s guess.

Anyway, despite not being cleared to compete, Bryan Clarke seemingly came down to help his partner regardless but was immediately taken out by a Buff Bagwell chair shot.

The rest of the match was a decent though unspectacular handicap match in which Bagwell and Luger mugged Adams until his heroic comeback. It was at that point that Bryan Clarke turned on his partner and drilled him with a German Suplex...

...Except he didn’t really because it was revealed that it was actually Mike Awesome doing a Bryan Clarke cosplay.

One Buff Blockbuster later and this was over.
Your Winners: Totally Buff

Afterwards, the real Bryan Clarke consoled his partner.

The two then went backstage where a Lance Storm ordered that they be thrown out of the building. Security tried to act, but Adams & Clarke destroyed them all.

As we went back to the arena, Schiavone and Hudson told us that Kronik were being ejected and that Konnan and Dustin Rhodes had already been thrown out.

Battle for the WCW Commissionership
WCW Commissioner Lance Storm vs. Ernest Miller (w/ Miss Jones)

WCW Superbrawl Revenge 2001 - Lance Storm 'If I can be serious for a minute"
It seriously feels as though Ernest Miller spent every single PPV since the turn of the millennium winning and losing the role of WCW Commissioner.

It was only back at WCW Sin that he regained the role for the nine millionth time after beating Mike Sanders but he’d since lost it again to Lance Storm and now had to try and get it back once more.

Before the bell, Lance Storm called himself the greatest technical wrestler in the sport which was surely a dig at Chris Benoit, who the WWF were calling the best technical wrestler.

Before he got to have his Canadian National Anthem played, however, The Cat interrupted him and called him a Power Ranger, which for some reason always makes this fan laugh out loud. The crowd were firmly behind Miller, who was amazingly really over in WCW’s final months.

He was also starting to get better as a wrestler and had perhaps the best PPV match of his career here against Storm. OK, so the bar wasn’t set terribly high to begin with, but this was still a fun little match.

Towards the end, Mike Sanders came out for no reason but got clocked by the ever-lovely Miss Jones.

That reminds me: No Major Gunns here, which is sad for obvious reasons.

While Jones beat up Sanders, Cat cracked Storm with the Feliner and regained the Commissioner role for the second time in as many PPVs.
Your Winner: Ernest Miller

Cat and Miss Jones celebrated after the match with their weird dancing.

After a video for our next match, Schiavone told us that Cat only resumed power at midnight so Ric Flair had him ejected from the building.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Kanyon

Of note, DDP was no longer using his Smells Like Teen Spirit theme and had Generic Jobber Theme #5579 instead.

WCW Superbrawl Revenge 2001 - Jeff Jarrett puts Diamond Dallas Page to sleepHe was supposed to face Jeff Jarrett, but since he’d challenger Kanyon to a match ‘anywhere, any time,’ Jarrett and Kanyon had decided that the place was here and the time was now.

What followed was a really enjoyable match with lots of unique spots from Innovator of Offence Kanyon and a nasty blade job from Page.

After a very fun contest, Jarrett’s interference helped Kanyon get the win via Flatliner.
Your Winner: Kanyon

Kanyon then took to the microphone to serve as ring announcer and reveal that Jarrett vs. Page would still go ahead.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Jeff Jarrett

Though it was neither as fast nor as furious as the last match, this was still a very good effort.

The end saw more interference, this time from Kanyon. It backfired, however, and resulted in Jarrett inadvertently blasting Kanyon with a guitar.

A Diamond Cutter later and Page was your victor.
Your Winner:  Diamond Dallas Page

Before the main event, CEO Ric Flair came out to join the commentary team.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Scott Steiner (w/ Midajah) vs. Kevin Nash

WCW Superbrawl Revenge 2001 - Ric Flair presents WCW Champion Scott Steiner & Midajah
It’s amazing that WCW had lost so much money and were cutting costs left and right but still paid Michael Buffer to do the main event announcements. Either that, or he was paid directly by Time Warner.

As part of Steiner’s entrance, Buffer declared that Steiner was responsible for ending the careers of Sting, Booker T, and Sid Vicious,  none of whom had been seen since facing Big Poppa Pump.

Of course, Sid was gone because he horrifically broke his leg in a freak accident, but oh well.

Scotty didn’t appreciate being put over by Buffer and ordered him out of the ring so that he could talk about ending those men’s careers for himself.

Steiner then had the production crew play a clip of Sid breaking his leg over and over again. It was crass and tasteless and had this writer looking away from the screen until it was over.

I have no desire to ever look at that sickening sight.

WCW Superbrawl Revenge 2001 - Kevin Nash got no sympy from Scott Steiner
Ric Flair then entered the ring and told us that not only was the title on the line, but the loser would be forced to leave WCW.

Finally, after being attacked by the heels on Nitro, Kevin Nash was pushed to the ring in a wheelchair by two women dressed as sexy nurses.

“Kevin Nash, you come out here trying to get the sympy of the people,” said Steiner, noticing the leg cast Nash was wearing. “But you don’t get my sympy at all.”

From his wheelchair, Nash just looked at Steiner with a confused look on his face as if to ask ‘dude, WTF is sympy?’

Nash then revealed he wasn’t hurt at all (obviously), hit Steiner with the belt and won the title.

At least he appeared to until dastardly heel Flair made it two out of three falls.

On the outside, Steiner murdered Nash with a lead pipe but despite being a generic freak couldn’t lift Big Sexy snd get him back in the ring. To help him out, Flair then made it falls count anywhere and announced that Nash’s first fall didn’t count.

The actual wrestling part of the match was OK but there’d been so much overbooking and interference from Flair and Midajah the whole thing just came off as garbage.

Steiner eventually won by making Nash pass out to the Steiner Recliner, but the damage was done.
Your Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Scott Steiner

This was probably the worst WCW PPV main event since Hogan/Warrior or maybe that First Blood fiasco between Flair and Hogan.

It was beyond awful and really ruined what was otherwise a decent show.







I mean that sincerely, despite a few blips, Superbrawl: Revenge had a lot of bright spots.

OK, so it was nowhere near as good as Starrcade 2000 or January’s Sin Show, but the Chavo/Mysterio match was a thing of beauty, the opening few matches were good and Page/Kanyon was a blast.

But that main event, man was it ever bad.

I started this review saying the most frustrating thing about WCW was that they started getting much better toward the end but I take that back. The most frustrating thing was sitting through that abomination of a main event.

Watching that and knowing WCW would soon be out of business, I have no sympy for them at all.



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

Thursday, 20 August 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Sin 2001

WCW Sin 2001 Review - Event poster
January 14, 2001,
Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

Back in the day, there was a rumour floating around that World Championship Wrestling wanted to run a PPV series based on the seven deadly sins. 


Unfortunately, we'd never get to witness Tony 'Big T/Ahmed Johnson' Norris returning from his run in Harlem Heat 2000 to collide with Abdullah the Butcher in a Cheeseburger on a Pole street fight at WCW Gluttony. Nor would we ever see the inevitable moment in which Kevin Nash headlined WCW Sloth.

WCW would be closed for good just days after kicking things off with WCW Greed, but before that the seeds were planted with this:

The one and only WCW Sin pay per view.

Today, the event is infamous more for Sid Vicious' horrific broken leg than any of the actual matches, so why don't we head down to Indianapolis, Indiana and see what else went down besides that injury?







This is Sin

After all these years, WCW finally figured out how to make a good PPV opening video with just a few months left to go.

WCW Sin 2001 Review - Tony Schiavone and Scott Hudson called the event
Tonight's opening package was set to a haunting choral soundtrack and featured shots of World Championship Wrestling's biggest stars interspersed with graphics displaying the names of the Seven Deadly Sins.

The shots of the wrestlers didn't seem to have anything to do with the actual words on the screen, however. For example, Gluttony was immediately followed by a shot of Sid Vicious laughing like a maniac.

Whether this was a thinly-veiled dig at Sid for putting on some weight in the last year is anyone's guess.

I will say one thing though, they missed a trick by not showing a shot of Bryan Clarke when 'Wrath' came up on the screen.

Given that this PPV was called Sin and we'd have 'Greed' in March, I do wonder if the plan was to rebrand a bunch of other PPVs with the seven deadly sins, but I guess we'll never know.

Let Me Do This Alone

Anyway, after a greeting from our announcers Tony Schiavone and Scott Hudson, we went backstage where Shane Helms encouraged his 3 Count partner Shannon Moore not to get involved in the upcoming cruiserweight title match.

Moore agreed, and it was on with the show.

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

WCW Sin 2001 Review - Chavo Guerrero defended the Cruiserweight title against Sugar Shane Helms
You know, I can't remember the last time I watched a WCW cruiserweight PPV title match that didn't include a bunch of overbooking, mad stunts and run-ins.

Though the company still had talented performers who could work in the cruiserweight style, the division itself had -like almost everything else in the company- gone dramatically downhill.

So it was absolutely refreshing to see Chavo Guerrero defend his title against Shane Helms in a straight-up one-on-one match with no BS or wackiness.

It was an awesome match too, maybe not an all-time classic, but certainly a thrilling bout with lots to enjoy, including a gripping reversal-of-a-reversal-of-a-reversal finish that saw Chavo retain the gold with a Brain Buster.

Even though he won, there were many moments when it looked like Helms really could be our new champion, making this one of those occasions when a wrestler really did get more over despite losing.
Your Winner and Still Cruiserweight Champion: Chavo Guerrero

After Chavo's obligatory celebration, Schiavone and Hudson took some time to speculate on the identity of the mystery man who would be competing in tonight's main event.

If you're wondering where their usual partner, Mark Madden was, he had recently been fired for basically telling the truth about what a dismal state the company was in.

WCW Sin 2001 Review - Mike Tenay interviews Nature Boy Ric Flair as he arrives at the arenaTo be honest, I'm not complaining. The guy may have his fans, but this writer isn't one of them. Between him being a grown man making Jay & Silent Bob references to his repeated attempts to get himself over, there wasn't a lot to like about him.

Still, why they only had a two-man booth when the ever-awesome Mike Tenay was right there is anyone's guess.

Tonight, Tenay was relegated to waiting around backstage for CEO Ric Flair to arrive and then questioning him about the mystery man when he did so.

Unsurprisingly, Nature Boy wasn't letting anything slip, but insisted he'd reveal the mystery man when the time was right.

Vito is Ready for Reno

Yes, this feud was still going on.

Backstage, Mean Gene Okerlund caught up with Big Vito who had apparently reunited with his former partner Johnny The Bull.

Cutting a decent promo, Vito declared that it didn't matter what Reno and the Natural Born Thrillers did to him, he was going to get revenge tonight.

Big Vito vs. Reno

WCW Sin 2001 Review - Big Vito faced Reno
This was a surprisingly good match which surpassed all expectations.

Ok, so neither man had ever sucked, but they weren’t exactly known for stealing the show either, so it was a treat to see them go at it in such a fast and furious fashion.

Make no mistake about it, something had lit a fire under these two which meant they bust hump to give us the best match they were capable of.

In the end, Reno won with his Roll of the Dice finisher, but before that, there was a lot to enjoy here.
Your Winner: Reno

Finally, it seemed WCW had gotten out of the annoying habit of cramming 20 backstage segments into 90 seconds of pre-match time.

Here we just had one.

Mike Sanders offered Brian Adams some money to do a job for him (remember, the Acolytes were doing an APA gimmick), but after Sanders left, Bryan Clarke revealed that they’d been paid more money by somebody else to do a different job.

WCW Sin 2001 Review - Evan Karagias and Jamie Noble faced The Jung Dragons

The Jung Dragons (Yang & Kaz Hayashi w/ Lea Meow) vs. Knoble & Karagias (Jamie Knoble & Evan Karagias)

I just typo’d and accidentally wrote ‘The Hung Dragons.’ Something tells me that would have been an entirely different tag team.

Anyway, this was a lot of fun - a frantic Cruiserweight showdown with all the flips, flops, and flying you could ask for.

After all kinds of big-time moves and breakneck wrestling, a simple roll-up earned Kaz Hayashi & Yang the win.
Your Winners: The Jung Dragons

Post-match, the losers beat up The Jung Dragons because that’s what heels do.

Meanwhile, backstage, Totally Buff (Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell) arrived in a purple hot rod and started complimenting each other’s appearance.

Mike Sanders vs. Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller (w/ Miss Jones)

If Miller wins, he becomes commissioner. If Sanders wins, he gets Miss Jones

WCW Sin 2001 Review - Ernest 'The Cat' Miller and Miss Jones
Since both men were arguably better on the microphone than in the ring, it made sense for them to each have some pre-match promo time before locking up.

Sanders began things, reminding us of the match stipulation and insisting that the WCW Commissionership was a role worth having because it paid well.

That’s probably about the only real reason anybody would want the job since it was basically meaningless now that Ric Flair was running things as CEO.

Ernest Miller, however, thought differently. Proving himself to be very over with the live crowd, The Cat insisted he could beat Sanders as long as he had the people behind him and was going to use the Commissionership to help WCW ‘get back on top.’

Ah, there’s nothing like a company openly admitting that they were failing live on air.

What didn’t fail was this match. Though it may be hard to believe, this was a very entertaining little match.

A rematch from their kickboxing encounter back at Halloween Havoc 2000,  Sanders and Miller put their best foot forward to deliver a bout that was made all the more enjoyable thanks to how beloved The Cat was by the audience.

Towards the finish, Sanders’ Natural Born Thrillers henchmen Shawn Stasiak and Mark Jindrak ran in to beat up Miller, but that’s when Kronik arrived.

The hired guns saw off Sanders’ goons then approached the commissioner himself, refunding the money he’d paid them by stuffing it in his mouth.

Miller hit the Feliner and became our new Commissioner.
Your Winner: Ernest Miller

Afterward, Miller and Miss Jones danced and celebrated their big win.

The Time for Talking is Over

WCW Sin 2001 Review - Bill Goldberg and Ric Flair watch a monitor
Backstage, Ric Flair and Goldberg watched the earlier arrival of Buff Bagwell and Lex Luger on a monitor. The CEO made the upcoming match between the three of them a No DQ match as if that actually meant something.

In the previous match we saw Sanders hit a blatant low-blow on Miller and Miss Jones kick Sanders in the back of the head all in front of the official, but sure Ric, make Goldberg vs. Totally Buff No DQ.

With that done, Ric had Goldberg go over to a couple of fans to sign an autograph and take a picture. It seemed like a weird thing to show on camera...

Elsewhere in the arena, Mean Gene interviewed Jeff Jarrett about tonight’s fatal four-way main event. Jarrett insisted that he had Scott Steiner’s back and was mad at Okerlund for suggesting otherwise.

‘The time for talking is over,’ claimed Gene as the segment came to an end, even though there’d be more interviews still to come.

Team Canada (Lance Storm, Elix Skipper and Mike Awesome w/ Major Gunns) vs. The Filthy Animals (Konnan, Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman w/ Tygress)

WCW Sin 2001 Review - Team Canada (from L-R: Elix Skipper, Major Gunns, Lance Storm and Mike Awesome)
Special referee: Hacksaw Jim Duggan

I’ve been wondering recently why  Juventud Guerrera was no longer in the Filthy Animals, then it occurred to me that this must’ve been around the time he got canned for going crazy on an Australian tour.

Meanwhile, Hacksaw Jim Duggan was the special referee here after turning his back on America, joining Team Canada, then changing his mind about the whole thing and getting booted out.

In other words, Duggan’s heel turn bombed and nobody wanted to boo him, so they made him face again.

As a replacement, of sorts, Team Canada had Florida native Mike Awesome join them.

Before the bell, Lance Storm introduced the penalty box rule, telling us that anybody who broke the rules would get sin-binned.

The gimmick added an interesting aspect to what could have been a great match in its own right but, ultimately, it ended up making the whole thing confusing and hard to follow.

Sure, much of the in-ring action was pretty good, but with people constantly coming in and out of the penalty box it just got too much.

Storm won thanks to the Canadian Mapleleaf, ending a match which sounded great in theory but was shoddily executed.
Your Winners: Team Canada

Backstage, Mike Tenay interviewed The Natural Born Thrillers.

WCW Sin 2001 Review - Mike Tenay interviews Mike Sanders
“Well Mike Sanders, it looks like you won’t be needing that fancy commissioners’ office any more," said Tenay, who had clearly been taking lessons from Mean Gene on how to be a smug prick interviewer.

Ignoring The Professor, Sanders swore revenge on the ‘jacked-up muscle heads’ Kronik before Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire promised to defeat the Insiders for the tag team titles.

I guess Palumbo’s ‘Perfect Event’ tag team with the other Shawn was all over.


Across the way, Diamond Dallas Page and Kevin Nash were shown stretching in anticipation of the match. This must have been a really big deal because usually when they cut to Nash backstage before a match he’d be reading a magazine or goofing off but nope, tonight he was in serious wrestler mode.

World Championship Wrestling World Hardcore Championship
WCW Hardcore Champion Terry Funk vs. Meng vs. Crowbar (w/ Daffney)

Terry Funk was the champion but Meng carried the title down to the ring. If you’ve read any previous WCW PPV reviews on this blog you’ll already have encountered one of the many rants about how much WCW ran this angle, so we won’t go into it again today.

WCW Sin 2001 Review - Meng won the WCW Hardcore title then showed up at the WWF Royal Rumble the following week
Instead, let’s just say that at some points this was a really good hardcore match and at other times it was incredibly sloppy.

If there’s one thing we can learn from it, it’s that Crowbar really wasn’t very good at selling.

At one point, he had Terry Funk in a figure four. Meng -widely regarded as perhaps the legit toughest wrestler ever- punched him twice in the head and the former Devon Storm didn’t even flinch.

Meng then dove off the top rope -seriously- splashed the bejesus out of Crowbar and murdered him with a piledriver, and the guy got back to his feet a few seconds later.

Then, Funk made a pin attempt on Meng and Crowbar tried to break it by lightly tugging on Funk’s t-shirt. It was so ineffective that Funk could have won the match, but that wasn’t the finish so he had to stop covering Meng for no reason which looked stupid.

A few seconds later, Meng slapped the Funker in the Tongan Death Grip and became our new hardcore champion. He’d be gone from the company and in the WWF a week later.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Meng

Out in the back, Ric Flair congratulated Ernest Miller on becoming the new commissioner then proceeded to give him the night off, because that's how important the job was.

Mean Gene then interviewed Sid, who did the whole sinister, psychotic whispering promo thing that we hadn't really seen him do since his last WWF run.

To be honest, he said nothing that would come as much of a surprise:

He was in the maint and was planning to win it.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Insiders (Diamond Dallas Page & Kevin Nash) vs. The Natural Born Thrillers (Sean O'Haire & Chuck Palumbo)

WCW Sin 2001 Review - The Insiders (DDP & Kevin Nash) defended the tag team titles against Sean O' Haire and Chuck Palumbo
Before the match got started, we were shown a video that told us how Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire became the new Thrillers tag team.

Of course, it had previously been Palumbo and Shawn Stasiak and O'Haire partnered with Mark Jindrak, but then a tag team battle royal was held to determine new number one contenders to the Insiders' titles, and those four men were the last ones standing.

NBT leader Mike Sanders then made a match between them, with the last two men remaining becoming the new tag team.

Palumbo and O'Haire were it, and here we were.

Speaking of Sanders, he came down with the rest of his team and announced that he was going to make substitutions throughout the match -ultimately creating a handicap scenario- but Ric Flair came out and squashed that idea dead.

The match itself was pretty decent, with the youngsters working hard and the veterans playing to their strengths. Everything was going pretty well, but then WCW had to spoil it with an overkill finish.

Despite Flair threatening fines and suspensions if the rest of the Natural Born Thrillers got involved, they did so anyway, but this proved just to be a distraction so that Lex Luger could come out with a chair for some reason.

Page took care of Luger while Kevin Nash stood around in the ring, trying to act as though he wasn't just waiting for Buff Bagwell to run in and hit him with a monkey wrench.

O'Haire then hit the Seanton Bomb and, one three count later, this was all over.
Your Winners and NEW tag team champions: Chuck Palumbo & Sean O'Haire

Backstage, the Natural Born Thrillers celebrated their big victory while Mike Tenay stood around to get an interview.

Mike Sanders claimed that Totally Buff's involvement had nothing to do with them, while Tenay hinted that The Insiders would be going after Buff.

First Blood Match for the World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW US Champion General Rection vs. Shane Douglas

WCW Sin 2001 Review - Shane Douglas challenged General Rection for the US title
Throughout the latter half of the year 2000, Shane Douglas had two things going for him:

1: He could cut an effective heel promo
2: He had Torrie Wilson by his side.

Torrie had been released from her contract in December, presumedly as a cost-cutting measure, so now Douglas' only redeeming feature was his mic skills.

Tonight, he used them to announce that he was going to defeat General Rection and use the US title as a stepping stone to get to Scott Steiner's World Heavyweight Championship.

Rection, however, had other plans.

He took the fight to the challenger in a mediocre match that could have been a lot better had they given a damn about the stipulation.

You see, this was a first blood match, with a steel chain hanging above the ring that they were supposed to grab and use as a weapon to bust their opponents open with. Logic would have it that both men would be eager to get the chain and win the match, but this was WCW, were logic was a dirty word.

Instead, both men completely ignored the chain and wrestled a normal match -albeit for one brief battle through the crowd- before coming to the finish, where Douglas pulled a chain out of his boot and waffled the champ with it for the fall.

Why couldn't he have just done that in the opening minute of the match?
Your Winner and NEW US Champion: Shane Douglas

WCW Sin 2001 Review - Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Scott Steiner (w/ Midajah)
Backstage, Scott Steiner gave one of his usual insane interviews to Mean Gene, claiming that he didn’t trust anybody and would go down in history as the greatest world heavyweight champion of all time.

Elsewhere in the arena, a bloody General Rection had a mental breakdown over losing the US title.

No Disqualification Match
Totally Buff (Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell) vs. Goldberg & Sgt. Dwayne Bruce

If either Goldberg or Sarge wins, Goldberg is banned from WCW for life.
This all came about as an evolution of Luger’s feud with Goldberg.

At Starrcade 2000, Buff had attacked Bill’s trainer, Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker Dwayne Bruce, forming a team with the Total Package and leading us into tonight.

Despite the No DQ stipulation, referee Mickey Jay still enforced tags and the first half of the match was played out like your basic tag team encounter.

It was OK, but not particularly great, though I will give them some credit for an interesting finish. Remember earlier when I said that showing Goldberg signing autographs for a fan was weird?

It paid off here.

Towards the end, Luger was arguing with the fan and grabbed him by the shirt. Goldberg came to the guy’s rescue but it was all a ruse. The ‘fan’ sprayed Big Bill with mace, giving Luger & Bagwell the upperhand.

Lex put Goldberg on his shoulders, Buff planted him with the Buff Blockbuster and just like that, Goldberg’s WCW career was done.
Your Winners: Totally Buff

With the match over, a defeated Goldberg struggled to get to his feet before struggling to the back, walking out of World Championship Wrestling for good.

The move was supposed to give Bill time off for shoulder surgery, but the company was bought out by the WWF two months later and we wouldn’t see Goldberg again until he turned up in All Japan Pro Wrestling in 2002.

Here on Retro Pro Wrestling, we won’t meet him again until we get to WWE Backlash 2003.

Four-Way Match for the World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Scott Steiner (w/ Midajah) vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Sid Vicious vs. Road Warrior Animal


WCW Sin 2001 Review - Sid Vicious broke his leg in a horrific accident
This had been built for weeks as Steiner vs. Sid vs. Jarrett vs. A Mystery Man chosen by Flair.

Speculation ran rampant on who it would be. A returning Sting? A defecting WWF star?

Nope, it would be a bloated Road Warrior Animal, a reveal that would have been a bit deal 10-15 years earlier, but in 2001 was really underwhelming.

Not that Animal came out at first. Flair said that he would reveal his mystery man when the time was right, making this a three-way dance and leaving your writer with a sick feeling in his stomach.

Why?

Because the moment I saw Sid wearing those denim shorts, I remembered that this was the night he horrifically broke his leg.

Ugh, I feel ill just thinking about that.

Fortunately, they cut away from that terrible moment, showing us Flair getting his mystery man and cutting back to the ring with Sid in the ring for a really really long time with a messed up leg.

For some reason, they couldn’t just take Sid out of the match and carry on, so it all had to be cut short.

The Mystery Man came out in a mask, stomped Sid once, and allowed Steiner to pin Sid for the three count.
Your Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Scott Steiner

I mean, imagine being Sid, being talked into doing a high spot by an official, breaking your leg doing it, and then having to sit in the ring in agony waiting to be pinned.







That main event was beyond awful, not because of anything that happened pre Sid’s leg, and not even because Road Warrior Animal was the biggest disappointing reveal since The Higher Power, but because of the horrible way WCW handled the injury and the finish.

Sid’s leg was a mess. They should have gotten him out of there immediately and improvised a new finish.

Instead, they kept him in the ring and even had Steiner kick him a bunch of times.

It was really hard to watch.

Other than that, this was actually a decent show with a really enjoyable undercard.

Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

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.