Advertisements

WCW Superbrawl Revenge Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“A Path Of Destruction… A Night Of Vengeance” was the tagline attached to the next to last Pay-Per-View by World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 2001 before the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) bought them out, which ended what was widely known as the “Monday Night Wars.”

While 2000’s WCW is synonymous with storyline absurdity and embarrassment, 2001 showed graces of promise with the faint smell of overbooking evident.

Gone now were Goldberg and Hulk Hogan, but stars like Lex Luger, Ric Flair and Kevin Nash were still prominent as ever.

Flair plays the role of “evil boss” quite well actually. What also helps this show move along is the breakthrough stars like Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) and the evolution of WCW World Heavyweight Champion Scott Steiner into “Big Poppa Pump,” almost unrecognizable from his look just a few years prior.

Picture Chad Gable becoming Braun Strowman and that was Steiner in a nutshell.

This poster actually plays into Steiner’s “I rushed the legends out” heel character as he boasted victories over Sting, Booker T, Goldberg and Sid Vicious.

The last edition of Superbrawl won’t have anything you’ll find if you’re on the search for WCW’s mark on the industry, but it was a nice tease of what could’ve been had they stuck around a bit longer.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/18/2001)

The Breakdown 

– We’ll just start off with an immediate disclaimer: Anything from WCW in 2001 can’t be good. The opening video provided grainy footage of a serial killer as he put together a ransom letter with the word “revenge” spelled out. The music awkwardly cut off as Commentator Tony Schiavone introduced himself alongside Scott Hudson. The music then continued back up. He milks up the show with enticing lines like, “EVERY MAJOR TITLE WILL BE DECIDED,” because why shouldn’t that happen on EVERY PPV? Schiavone then hypes that the WCW Commissioner gig was also up for grabs and questions if Kevin Nash will make it to the show to receive his World Title shot since he was taken out by leg injury. Those last two are at least salvageable hooks. Still though, insert your best injured quad joke here.

– They cut to footage of Billy Kidman backstage, who gets attacked by Animal “moments ago.” With that, Kidman would be out of the Cruiserweights Six-Man Four Corners Elimination Match. Yes, six men in four corners. Explain that one again? Anyways, the contestants come out in full force, starting with 3-Count’s Evan Karagias (was it a play on “courageous”?), Jamie Knoble (yes, with a K), Kaz Hayashi, Yang (who did a crazy corkscrew moonsault in a replay they showed) and Shannon Moore, another 3-Count member. All of this feels like empty action and nobody could give a damn. Who’d replace Kidman now? Really could be anybody. Sigh. It turned out to be Sugar Shane Helms, Moore’s 3-Count partner. To go into the match rules for a second, any man could tag in at any time. The next PPV was Greed, which was ironically the company’s last. Helms/Moore did a double-team pop-up powerbomb. Yang/Hayashi hit Asai moonsaults to the floor. Karagias hit a springboard moonsault on Yang that overshot and he might’ve hurt himself. Yang did a wild tornado DDT on Moore. We questioned why you’d want to save anyone in this match being pinned since it’s ELIMINATION. Five guys leaped around and missed their moves off the top rope. Everybody was laid out for a second, as Commentary didn’t even know who the legal men were. That tells you all you need to know. How funny would it have been for everyone to be counted out to 10 there? Does everybody collectively lose then? Even Knoble flew around as he did a top rope somersault onto Helms. This is reminiscent of a modern-day spotfest actually. Knoble and Karagias argued over who to pin. Yang botched a springboard moonsault and pinned Karagias with a neckbreaker. Oh god. The crowd disapproved here. Knoble pinned Yang with the Tombstone Piledriver. Moore did a top rope leg drop as he pinned Knoble. 3-Count did a guillotine leg drop on Hayashi. Moore did Bottoms Up on Helms for two. Helms then attacked Moore in return. Hayashi then went for a moonsault, but Moore moved Helms away. They just attacked each other, what the hell? Nightmare On Helms Street eliminated Moore. This match became a mess quick. Hayashi with a back kick to the face for two. Helms pinned him with the Vertebreaker to get the win for a match he didn’t even know he’d be in. We get that cool fact, but that was whoa bad.

– Hugh Morrus cut a promo backstage about how “General Rection saved AWOL” in the Misfits In Action and now he was betrayed. He proclaimed tonight he was “Hugh Morrus and had nothing but hatred in his heart.” Lord. Let’s simplify it a little bit. Morrus was a midcarder that had picked up some steam before his ring name was changed to “Hugh G. Rection” and all hope was lost from there. This felt like “too little, too late” to try to get Morrus back to what he was before MIA.

– Backstage, Flair entered Steiner’s locker room, complete with chains and Midajah (what kind of name is that though?) as we learned that the CEO had an envelope that would come into play later. Steiner also promised his boss that Nash’s career would be over tonight. We would hope he’d promise that.

– To what could nowadays be confused for Nash and an unmasked Sting, KroniK got to the building before Commissioner Lance Storm stopped them. Brian Clark claimed he was cleared to wrestle, but Storm encouraged him to see the “company doctor” to get any real clearance. We assume that means that Clark will be kept from the ring.

– The Wall-Morrus match had backstory (a few bullet points up above) as Wall repeatedly attacked Morrus in his matches. Damn, that cutaway noise is annoying as hell. It sounds like a fragment of the nWo song. Schiavone makes several references throughout the show to “new owners taking over soon.” Oh, such hope in his voice. News flash – Fusient Media wouldn’t be WCW’s savior as initially thought. Morrus kicked the steps into Wall’s head on the mat outside and then drove them onto his back. The hard camera crowd chanted for tables. They mentioned that there were only seven matches left. Oh god. The Wall makes a cooler stable name than it does a ring name. On top of his bland name, he didn’t have the most crisp spinebuster either. Was that a blatant low blow we just saw? Looked like Morrus tried to throw Wall over the top rope, but failed miserably. You can really tell it’s 2001 because they throw around the word “concussion” on commentary like it’s an accomplishment in a match. Such a different point in time. Morrus hit the No Laughing Matter moonsault for three and then hit one more for good measure. Apparently, the match was about “being right all along,” according to Schiavone. Whatever that means. “I think The Wall has been entered, but Morrus isn’t interested” was another diamond line from the booth. What did these guys smoke?

– Backstage, Animal was confronted by Konnan because of his attack on Kidman, so naturally, he attacks him too. They never really follow up on this, so we assume they’re still somewhere brawling as you read this.

– The WCW World Tag Team Championship match between Mark Jindrak/Shawn Stasiak and Champions Sean O’Haire/Chuck Palumbo started with a promo from the challengers about how they’ve beat up the Champs. Of course, Jindrak/Stasiak were introduced with O’Haire/Palumbo’s graphics, so anybody watching them for the first time ever would be completely confused. Palumbo’s response promo was actually decent here. The storyline basically involved the question of who the true leaders of The Natural Born Thrillers were. We also learned that Konnan was now escorted out of the arena, on orders from Flair. We love the NBT name (one great thing from such a sucky era) but looking at it nowadays, it didn’t fit the members. Everybody was called “the four men of the future,” but ironically, this is probably where they peaked. The story of the match was that O’Haire was restrained from coming in while his partner was constantly double-teamed. Stasiak dove off the top rope and Palumbo rolled away, though it was obvious that Stasiak would’ve overshot it anyways. Finally – a hot tag. Palumbo landed the Wild Kick on Stasiak and then O’Haire hit the “SeanTon Bomb” to get the three. Probably the best thing on the show so far, albeit for a formulaic tag team contest.

– Backstage, Dustin Rhodes spoke about Flair unflatteringly (“no love lost,” how many times have we heard that term in wrestling?) as he blamed him for originally getting him out of WCW before he earned his reinstating. This hyped his upcoming match against WCW United States Heavyweight Champion Rick Steiner where the belt would be on the line. Actually a good promo. We liked plain Dustin Rhodes when they had the right intentions.

– The WCW Cruiserweight Championship match between Rey Mysterio Jr. (unmasked by the way) and Champion Chavo Guerrero Jr. could be good from ring work alone. Mysterio sported devil’s horns and overalls, so we can’t take him seriously already. Apparently, Mysterio had pinned Chavo as “El Nino” on a past show. Mysterio hit a huracanrana as a counter for a sunset flip powerbomb attempt off the apron. They chanted “Eddie” at Chavo of course. Gory Special into the Gory Buster for two. Mysterio went for a springboard maneuver and was met with a stiff kick on the way down. Guerrero grabbed a Mysterio mask from a front row fan and put it on Mysterio, who looked like he helped him make it stay on at one point. Well, that’s just silly now. By far the best match so far ring-wise, but it still has that “creative stank.” Guerrero grabbed the belt from the announce table just as Mysterio came flying at him in a somersault from out of view, which came across really cool. Mysterio then tried a springboard moonsault and botched it, make that the second time on this show. Screw these ropes. Mysterio did a huracanrana to the floor as he had to jump on the rope twice to actually pull it off. Guerrero bounced off the mat on impact. Damn. Guerrero hit him with a chair from the apron as the Referee took away a different chair. A Brainbuster later and Guerrero retained. You can tell they worked hard with the limitations they had. This also sets up a Helms-Guerrero match for the Cruiserweight Championship at Greed.

– Backstage, Brian Adams was told by Commissioner Storm that his match was next up, with Brian Clark’s status unknown.

– The WCW United States Heavyweight Championship match between Champion Steiner and Rhodes had a decent personal edge in its backstory, as Rhodes was reinstated to get this match after Nash held Reid Flair hostage. We guess The Undertaker saw how effective kidnapping Reid was in the future. Poor guy. Keeping with WCW tradition, “The Dog Faced Gremlin” dropped his own Title during his entrance. Glad the story was decent, because the match sucked so far. Rhodes was over with this crowd though, so that helped. Rhodes was about to get some revenge with a chair, but that was swiftly confiscated. Steiner ripped the turnbuckle off and played possum so that he could drop Rhodes on it head first to get the pin. Post-match, Steiner had his “If you don’t like me, bite me” catchphrase over. Rhodes attacked back when Steiner tried to go for more. That turnbuckle punt looked ouchies.

– Backstage, Storm was approached by Flair, who demanded that Rhodes be escorted alongside anyone “not on his team” out of the arena. We also found out a new stipulation for a tag team match coming up where the winners would get a future shot at the Tag Titles. “Crazy boss Ric Flair” works on this show.

– Backstage, Diamond Dallas Page hyped The Cat up for his match later. Yes they devoted time to this.

– Totally Buffed came out as they put themselves over for their muscles, as Lex Luger claimed they were part of “The Magnificent Seven.” Chants for Goldberg rained down on their promo, but they used it to brag that he was fired now. Finally, KroniK came out, Clark included. Match itself was eh with nothing newsworthy until Mike Awesome was revealed as Clark in disguise, which was actually convincing. Buff Bagwell hit the blockbuster to pin Adams. We just wish not every angle would be devoted to “political shifting BS.” On the other hand, this did set up a Greed Tag Title match between TB and O’Haire/Palumbo.

– Backstage, Storm informed KroniK that it was time to go, which didn’t “go” over so well. See what we did there?

– The “Battle For Commissioner” between Commissioner Storm and The Cat had obvious company ramifications. If Cat won, he’d be new Commish, but effective by midnight. Storm did his “serious promo” schtick and put himself over some more. The Cat interrupted him before the Canadian national anthem could be played. He played the man of the people and called Storm a “fake power ranger.” He also made sure to tell Storm he sucked as Commish, in fact, he did it twice. They competed for applause following this. Storm was straight-through in his offensive approach and targeted the leg. The Cat did muster some jazzy offense. The Former Commish came out, but was laid out by Ms. Woods. Cat pinned Storm and would be new Commish. This was a thing. Unfortunately, this meant nothing as Flair had Cat removed from the building too.

– The Jeff Jarrett-DDP match started with a Jarrett promo, as he reminded DDP that he had “unfinished business” and rolled brutally remixed footage of DDP saying he’d take on Chris Kanyon “anytime, anywhere.” Little bait and switch. Kanyon emerged from under the ring and did a stomp (Showstopper) onto the steps that cut DDP open. Kanyon then did a suplex over the ropes. Another Showstopper for two. DDP connected with a uranage for two. Kanyon with a sit-out powerbomb for two. Good battle of near-falls so far. DDP hit his own for a two. “Kanyon Cutter” for two. Jarrett came down to the ring, but was knocked off the apron. DDP almost got the pin. With the Ref down, Jarrett administered The Stroke. Add that with a flatliner from Kanyon and DDP was pinned. Another overbooked finish. Post-match, Kanyon asked the crowd “Who better than him” and they responded, “Everybody.” Funny. This then apparently led to the next match, signed off by Flair. More on that below.

– The DDP-Jarrett match with a two-hour time limit helped build sympathy for DDP from the start, seeing what he just battled through. Commentary said the previous match was “10, 15, 12 minutes long.” Yeah. So, they took things into the crowd. There was a sign in the garbage that we tried to read, but couldn’t get a good look at. DDT onto the announce table looked weak. Commentary then said on a PPV, “We’ll stay with this as long as we can.” Really? DDP fell onto Schiavone’s lap. That was about right. Now we’ve seen everything. Nice discus lariat by DDP as he spun around. Sleeper by Jarrett for two. DDP fought out of it and landed a jumping DDT. This all only works because it’s DDP. He almost pinned Jarrett before Kanyon pulled him out of the ring. DDP took a chair to the head from Jarrett and even that was a two. Kanyon inadvertently was hit with the guitar, which led to Jarrett getting the Diamond Cutter for the three. Probably pop of the night so far. We’ll even say that was great.

– The WCW World Heavyweight Championship match between Champion Steiner and Nash began with Flair’s music hitting. He joined commentary and wouldn’t answer questions on what that envelope contained. He inauspiciously placed a chair seated in between the ring and the announce table. Michael Buffer did the ring announcing until Steiner told him to leave. The heel Champ then took credit for Sid Vicious’ leg breaking at Sin, which then led to us watching it yet again. Yikes. Flair announced that the loser of the match would leave WCW forever. That doesn’t sound so dramatic nowadays. They began to count out Nash, who had yet to show. Once it hit five, his music hit and he came out being pushed in a wheelchair by two nurses. There are so many quad jokes running through our brain, but we’ll do the classy thing and not address those. “YOU DON’T GET MY SIMPY AT ALL,” screamed Steiner in his Steiner voice. Nash took the towel off to reveal a gimmicked leg. Funny way to stick it to the heels. Nash followed with the Big Boot to pin Steiner and win the belt, all while forcing him out of the company too. That’s a hell of an ending. Unfortunately, that wasn’t only how it went down. Flair screamed, “Whoa!” repeatedly, which was hilarious because it sounds like “Woo.” The CEO then announced that this was now a Best-Two-Out-Of-Three Falls match. They cut to DDP walking backstage until he was attacked by Luger and someone else. They stuffed him in an ambler case. Steiner knocked Nash out with a lead pipe on the floor and couldn’t lift him up. He begged Flair to make it Falls Count Anywhere. With that, it was official and Steiner made the pin to tie it at one. Flair was then saying on commentary that the first fall never counted. Um, what? We’re all for the heels changing the rules as they go along, but don’t outright do something and then say it never happened. If Flair has such power, couldn’t he just fire Nash on the spot without this match to justify it? Silliness. What do we believe now? Flair slipped Steiner a chair, as he used it to hit Nash over the head. Nash came back with a chokeslam and pinned him. We assume this was where Midajah was supposed to stop the count at two, but she badly mistimed that. This came across comically. Nash hit a powerbomb and she MISSED breaking the fall on time again. With that, Nash took her out with a sidewalk slam. He pinned Steiner again but before three could be counted, Flair struck the Ref. Steiner landed a low blow on Nash as he got his hands on Flair. The chair shot to the head on Nash finally finished him off and his WCW career. Sour ending. We also didn’t like that that there was no show of resistance from all the babyfaces escorted out of the building earlier in the show. We figured someone would appear here. Ah well.

 

 

 

 

 

Results

  • Six-Man Elimination Match To Determine Who Gets WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match At Greed – Shane Helms def. Evan Karagias, Kaz Hayashi, Jamie Knoble, Shannon Moore and Fun Yang via pinfall 
  • Hugh Morrus def. The Wall via pinfall 
  • WCW World Tag Team Championship – Sean O’Haire/Chuck Palumbo (Champions) def. Mark Jindrak/Shawn Stasiak via pinfall to retain 
  • WCW Cruiserweight Championship – Chavo Guerrero Jr. (Champion) def. Rey Mysterio Jr. via pinfall to retain 
  • WCW United States Heavyweight Championship – Rick Steiner (Champion) def. Dustin Rhodes via pinfall to retain 
  • 2-On-1 Handicap Match – Totally Buffed def. Brian Adams via pinfall 
  • Winner Becomes WCW Commissioner By Midnight – Ernest Miller (w/Ms. Jones) def. Lance Storm (Commissioner) via pinfall 
  • Chris Kanyon def. Diamond Dallas Page via pinfall 
  • Diamond Dallas Page def. Jeff Jarrett via pinfall 
  • Loser Must Leave WCW, Two-Out-Of-Three Falls Match – WCW World Heavyweight Championship – Scott Steiner (Champion) (w/Midajah) def. Kevin Nash 2 falls to 1 to retain 
Advertisements

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 25 year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently Freelancing for The Bensonhurst Bean website in Brooklyn, he has also been published on sites such as Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on February 7, 2018, in Throwback PPVs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: