Written by: Arnold Furious
We’re in Jacksonville, Florida. Hosts are Fat Tony and Scott Hudson (Mark Madden had been fired, thankfully, by this point). Main event is Scott Steiner v DDP in an increasing string of Steiner vs Top Babyface matches.
Jason Jett v Kwee Wee
Jett is EZ Money. Not sure what was wrong with his stripper name. Of all the WCW talent he got screwed over the most by WCW tanking when it did. He was a future star in the company and never got a chance. Kwee Wee jumps ahead of the bell leading to a brawl on the floor. Jett flips about and hits a superkick. He goes back inside – PLANCHA!! Leg jam gets 2. Reverse Boston crab into a Pendulum swing and an elbow gets 2. Kwee Wee hair biels him over the ropes. Whoa. Kwee Wee goes for a crappy looking tope and misses completely. Jett does the Matt Hardy backdrop onto the ropes from the floor into a DDT. Back in – AFTERBURNER! Back flip splash gets 2. Charge in the corner and Jett is backdropped to the floor. Whoa. They are bumping big time here. Jett takes a few more huge bumps on the floor. Kwee Wee goes back inside for 2. Kwee Wee hits the Thesz press. Fists of fire. Stonecold Kwee Wee gets 2. Vertical suplex gets 2. To the ropes and Jett goes after the SUPERBOMB REVERSED INTO A RANA for the double KO. I preferred the way it looked when Kid Kash did it better but it was still good, for 2. Tilt-a-whirl wheelbarrow bomb from Kwee Wee gets 2. Kwee Wee calls for the piledriver but Jett low blows out. HANDSPRING BACK ELBOW from Jett but Kwee Wee avoids the Crash Landing (drop suplex). Piledriver is blocked again into standing switches into a Kwee Wee Northern Lights suplex for 2. They bump heads in the corner and Jason Jett PLAYS POSSUM and encourages the crowd to keep quiet about it. Cool. Kwee Wee tries for an elbow and of course, Jett moves. CRASH LANDING and this is over at 12.16. ***1/2. Great way to start the show. EZ Money looked to be headed places but the WWF didn’t pick him up when they bought out contracts. The wrestlers were clearly trying to make themselves look good for the buy out as the effort is there not only here but the throughout the show. Both these guys finished up in TNA. Jett returned to his EZ Money gimmick while Kwee Wee adopted the “Bruce” persona.
Clips of the WCW cruiserweight tag team tournament.
Cruiserweight tag belts – Rey Mysterio Jr/Kidman v Elix Skipper/Kid Romeo
Rey is wearing a weird half mask here but takes it off before wrestling. Kidman-Romeo to start. Kidman hits a neat slingshot headscissors. Romeo hits a release powerbomb and tags Skipper. He wheelbarrow bombs Romeo on Kidman for 2. Flip up powerbomb from Skipper is blocked into a rana (because you can’t powerbomb Kidman). Rey gets the tag with a slingshot springboard guillotine legdrop for 2. Skipper retorts with a forearm to the head so Rey does a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Rana to the floor from Rey. Kidman drop slides outside and we have a brawl out there. Skipper takes a hip toss off the ramp. REY AND KIDMAN DIVE OFF WITH A SHOULDERBLOCK AND AN ALLEY OOP. Back inside and it’s now Kidman-Skipper. Babyfaces double team for 2 but Kidman gets kneed out to the floor. Romeo beats him up out there and tags in. Kidman battles back with the front turnbuckle lariat. Romeo blocks a back suplex into a bulldog however. GOURDBUSTER from Romeo for 2. Skipper in and he chokes on the ropes. Prime Time goes out to argue with the fans and whip Kidman into the rail. To the ropes and Kidman reverses into a Rydien bomb off the buckles. Tags and Rey flies in with a crossbody. Swinging DDT and Rey stops to batter Skipper as well. The fallen Romeo takes a hilo and Rey keeps moving to hit a tope on the outside to Skipper (tremendous how fluid he made that look). Romeo is up and he hits a plancha. Kidman is up – SHOOTING STAR PRESS TO THE FLOOR. Back inside and on the ropes. Rey-Skipper. SUNSET FLIP BOMB from Rey gets 2. Skipper goes to the sleeper reverse takeover but Kidman breaks the fall. Romeo attacks him and gets reverse brainbustered for 2. Skipper hits a Tiger Suplex and Romeo LEG JAMS Rey while he’s in it for 2. Kidman runs in with the swinging bulldog on Romeo. Powerbomb on Romeo w/flying splash for 2. Poetry in ELBOW from Rey. Broncobuster on the now screwed Skipper. Kidman and Skipper go outside. Rey does the 619 fake but the quebrada press is caught into the SNOW PLOW by Romeo and the heels take the belts at 13.44. ****. Non-stop action. It’s this kind of match that TNA based their X division on. I marked it down for the lack of actual tag action in a tag match and some needless chinlocking early on. Still you can’t criticise the incredible effort here. As you probably know Kidman and Rey ended up in the WWE. Skipper was signed as well but never called up from OVW and he went on to TNA. Romeo made a couple of appearances in TNA but has since disappeared.
BACKSTAGE Buff Bagwell has his own cameraman. He chats with Ric Flair who details how the Magnificent Seven are going to win everything.
Shawn Stasiak v Bam Bam Bigelow
Stacy Kiebler is out here because her guy, the Mecca of Manhood, Shawn Stasiak is involved. We get promos from both. Stasiak rips off Jericho’s entrance before ripping off Rick Rude’s promo. Stasiak distributes glossy 8×10’s of himself to the fans at ringside. Lots of stalling and Bigelow dominates with power. Stasiak gets his only offence in by cheating. Bigelow drops the Flying Wolverine for 2. Stacy interferes allowing Stasiak to cheat some more and hit a neckbreaker for the win at 5.55. DUD. I’d suggest fast-forwarding this one. You won’t miss anything. Bigelow has since retired with injuries. Stasiak went to the WWE and was fired, again.
BACKSTAGE The Cat tells Miss Jones to stay backstage. Kid Romeo and Elix Skipper put their cruiserweight tag belts on and hug.
Team Canada (Lance Storm/Mike Awesome) v Hugh Morrus/Konnan
Morrus doesn’t wait for Konnan before starting this with a brawl. When it settles down it’s Storm v Morrus. They trade in the corner before Morrus hits a powerslam for 2. Awesome saves and tags in for a big boot. Awesome pounds on Morrus before tagging Storm in for a double clothesline. Konnan gets the tag and runs through his basic stuff before Awesome decapitates him. Awesome clubbers him and hits a running splash for 2. Storm comes in and hits a back elbow for 2. Awesome back in and Storm cheap shots allowing a 2 count. Inside cradle from Konnan after I watch him call the spot as slowly as possible…for 2. Awesome in and he flies off the top with a shoulderblock for 2. Storm in with a dropkick for 2. Konnan is looking particularly lazy and sloppy here. The referee misses the hot tag, which leads to Konnan getting a shoeing. Awesome hits a piledriver on him for 2. Storm comes off the ropes but gets booted for a double KO. Konnan tags Morrus in and the crowd don’t care. Morrus hits a spinning heel kick for 2. Morrus calls for something or other and Storm superkicks him. Awesome hits the frog splash for 2. Standing switches and Morrus hits a German suplex. He climbs for the No Laughing Matter but Storm interferes. Awesome recovers and nails the RUNNING AWESOMEBOMB for the finish at 11.26. *1/4. Nothing much doing here. Konnan dragged the match down. I never understood the lack of push for Awesome or Storm. They were clearly one of the few solutions to the main event problems they were having and yet they got buried in dumb midcard feuds forever. They both went to the WWE in the buy out but Awesome got canned. He’s now splitting his time between TNA and Japan. Konnan is in TNA and Mexico while Morrus is jobbing for the WWE somewhere.
BACKSTAGE we see the Rhodes dressing room. Dustin asks his old man to get ready and Dusty’s training involves eating 240 burritos. Something to do with a “kiss my ass” match later. Buff’s documentary continues with him interviewing Rick Steiner. Also backstage Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire cut a promo into a wall. What? Are they afraid of camera’s or something? Someone shouts “clear” off camera. Professionalism, there’s nothing like it and this is nothing like professionalism.
Cruiserweight title – Chavo Guerrero Jr (c) v ‘Sugar’ Shane Helms
We start slow with Chavo working a side headlock. Helms reverses into his own and we counter on the mat. Chavo hits a lariat to up the pace. Helms hits a gutwrench suplex and drops a fist for 2. Nightmare on Helm Street is blocked and they counter – EXPLODER SUPLEX from Chavo gets 2. Regal Stretch from Chavo and he changes into a half Haas of Pain. Then a deathlock with bridge. Helms gets out with a headlock and Chavo back suplexes out of that for 2. They go from that into a near falls sequence into a blocked powerbomb and Chavo hits a DDT for 2. Helms is tied up in the corner and Chavo dropkicks him. Pumphandle suplex from Chavo gets 2. Standing switches again and Helms gets tossed outside. Chavo follows out with a PLANCHA. Chavo takes it back inside and pins for 2. Facebreaker from Helms and he looks for the Vertebreaker, no dice so he hits a neckbreaker. Chavo goes to the apron and Helms superkicks him to the floor. Back inside and Helms gets 2. Standing reversals into a Chavo sit out Curtain Call for 2. Tornado DDT is blocked, pumphandle is countered into the Nightmare on Helm Street for 2. Chavo takes a Flair bump to the floor. Helms climbs and hits a frog plancha. Flying crossbody, back inside, gets 2. Helms climbs but gets knocked off the ropes for 2. Back superplex is blocked so Chavo tries for a Vertebreaker, countered into a Helms VERTEBREAKER for the 3 at 13.56. ***1/2. Good match especially from a technical sense with them working the mat and the counters with a great deal of fluidity. It did lack that certain something that many fans were expecting of the match and it certainly lacked the pacing and the action of the cruiserweight tag match. Still I enjoyed it. The Sugarbabes come in to celebrate with him (not the UK pop act incidentally although they may have stolen the name from here). Both men ended up as successes in the WWE probably due to the workrate and technical expertise shown in this match.
BACKSTAGE and Jarrett leads the documentary camera in to talk to Ric Flair, again. They cut a promo about the ass kiss tag match with the Rhodes. Also backstage Booker T cuts a promo about the US title alluding him for 8 years.
WCW tag titles – Sean O’Haire/Chuck Palumbo (c) v Lex Luger/Buff Bagwell
Luger had whined and cried about losing several matches prior to this and WCW decided they weren’t going to take his shit anymore. This is his punishment. Chuck superkicks both of them and the double Seanton bomb finishes at 52 seconds. 1/2* simply for my enjoyment of Luger’s disgrace. This is the kind of message that was needed in ’98 to get this shit in line. It came somewhat late to make a difference here though. “That was a Georgia Championship Wrestling squash” – Hudson. O’Haire and Palumbo went to the WWE although O’Haire needed extensive re-conditioning to make him look like everyone else. Luger has worked mostly for the WWA but his career seems to be over after the death of his girlfriend Miss Elizabeth. Bagwell has been everywhere but still sucks.
BACKSTAGE Scott Steiner warms up and cuts an intense promo on DDP. We get a video package of Kanyon taking apart The Cat, Miss Jones and Smooth. Meanwhile the referee’s try to roll the injured Bagwell out of the ring and get “retards” chanted at them for it. I’m sure Bagwell was milking the reaction and the injury to give Totally Buff some kind of excuse, which is absolutely typical of them.
Kanyon v Ernest “The Cat” Miller
WHO BETTA THAN KANYON?!? Miss Jones is in Miller’s corner. Kanyon goes after her from the start and we brawl outside. Kanyon has an injured hand, which Cat goes after. Miller fails to skin the cat and jumps Kanyon from behind into the Electric Chair drop. Kanyon tries for some corner punches and gets powerbombed out. Kanyon gets arm whipped into the rail and he hits knee first. Ouch. Kanyon hurts his hand getting whipped into the rail again. Back inside and Kanyon hits a flying clothesline from the ropes. Suplex from Kanyon and a slingshot elbow gets 2. Rocker Dropper off the ropes gets 2. Cat back suplexes out of a sleeper to get back into it but Kanyon switches to a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Kanyon climbs but Cat boots him into the crotch spot – SUPERPLEX…for 2. Miller dances into the James Brown elbow. Funky punch and the Big Kick gets 2. Kanyon goes low and pins with his feet on the ropes for 3 but the referee spots it and calls for the match to continue. Cat rolls Kanyon up for 2. Piledriver is blocked into Kanyon’s Boston crab. Cat gets the ropes. Feliner (Hurricane kick) from Cat out of nowhere gets 2 as Kanyon is able to get his foot on the ropes. Kanyon reverses a back suplex into a crossbody for 2. Kanyon punks out the referee while Miss Jones is distracting him. Miss Jones gets in the ring but miscues kicking the Cat. Miss Jones swings for Kanyon connecting and Cat hits the Feliner for the recovering referee to count 3 at 11.20. *. Bad match. Bad finish. Way too long for Miller. Cat celebrates with the James Brown cape and gets hit with the Flatliner for it. Smooth runs in for the save. Kanyon has become a WWE jobber while Miller is a ‘C’ string announcer for them.
BACKSTAGE and we get more documentary stuff with Bagwell and Luger arguing. Also backstage Dusty Rhodes finishes off his burrito platter.
US title – Rick Steiner (c) v Booker T
Former 3 time WCW champ Booker has been demoted from the main events in order for DDP to have his one final main event. Rick Steiner had given up selling the offence of his opponents and was working decidedly stiff. Outside to start and Booker gets thrown into row one. Back inside and Steiner lays the badmouth on Booker. Lariat gets 2. Booker tries to fire back but that’s no sold. Tiger Driver gets a delayed 2 and Steiner goes to a chinlock after 2 freakin’ minutes. Booker tries to comeback and Steiner no sells again and goes low. Booker hits a back suplex. Steiner no sells and hits a belly to belly for 2. Booker does the Brisco corner roll up for 2 and Steiner cuts him down with a lariat for 2. Please, Rick, for the love of God stop being such a prick. He goes to another lengthy chinlock. Booker elbows out and that’s no sold as well. Spinebuster and the Ghettoblaster sends Steiner down, finally. Flapjack and the Spinneroonie. Ref is bumped and Steiner hits a release German suplex. Shane Douglas runs in KO Steiner and the Book End finishes at 7.30. Yeah, a babyface former 3-time world heavyweight champion needed another guy to run in to beat a perennial midcarder heel. DUD. Only saved from minus stars because the right man went over albeit in the wrong circumstances. Rick Steiner has barely worked since, no shock there. Booker T has been in several WWE main events and won 2 more WCW titles.
BACKSTAGE, again and more documentary. Bagwell has been laid out. Luger and Animal argue about it. Recap of Ric Flair offering Dustin Rhodes a spot in his team but he rejects. Now we re-hash Flair-Rhodes.
Ric Flair/Jeff Jarrett v Dusty/Dustin Rhodes
Flair is wearing a flowery shirt, slacks and shoes as opposed to wrestling gear. Jarrett-Dustin start. Dustin uses his power and Rhodes name popularity. Jarrett gets crotched but gets his feet up on a fist drop. Flair gets the tag and chops away. Dustin tags Dusty in and believe it or not this is their FIRST meeting on PPV. Crowd is hyped although the 2 old timer’s are doing nothing. Over on the past anyone? Dusty throws a lot of elbows. Flip, flop and fly. Dustin comes back in and the crowd promptly dies off. He suplexes Flair. Jarrett is set up for Shattered Dreams but Flair goes low. Jarrett works a sleeper, reversed and Jarrett shinbreakers out. Flair comes in looking for a Figure 4 but gets rolled up for 2. Jarrett comes back in and he slaps on the Figure 4 himself. Dustin turns it and hits a back suplex. Flair gets a tag and Dusty hot tags in too. Dusty goes double funky with the elbows. Bionic elbow drop gets 2. Rhodes blind tag and clean house. Jarrett goes low on Dusty though. STEREO HEEL FIGURE 4 – blocked into a heel collision and Jarrett is rolled up at 9.57. **. Fun but not particularly good. Its one of those matches that’s enjoyable but not to be taken seriously. Dusty gives Jarrett a stinkface while Flair “sells the underwear”. Dusty went on to form Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling where I believe his son worked briefly before returning to the WWE for another run as Goldust. Dusty also worked for TNA for a while. Flair rejoined the WWE as well first as a huge onscreen character before later being demoted to HHH’s manager. Jeff Jarrett was one of the founder members of NWA-TNA and held the NWA title.
WCW title/falls count anywhere – Scott Steiner (c) v Diamond Dallas Page
With this being the final WCW PPV you’d think we’d go home happy, right? Well, wrong. Steiner had demolished every single top babyface WCW had drawing huge heel heat in the process. Unfortunately WCW didn’t have that Austin or Rock sized babyface to put Steiner on a par with HHH in 2000 and make this a company saving run. Midajah is not only Scott Steiner’s favourite freak but also in his corner w/lead pipe tonight. Buffer runs through the guys who Steiner shelved in the last few months of WCW – Sting, Goldberg, Sid and Nash.
DDP starts fast and hits a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Diving clothesline gets 1. Steiner takes over on the floor and clubbers DDP while jawing with the ringside fans. Steiner gets caught over the ropes on the way back in but Midajah prevents DDP coming back and we go into the fans. Steiner punks out a kid on crutches wearing a DDP shirt and uses his crutch on DDP. The kid throws the other crutch to DDP though and he lays out Steiner and puts him though a table for 2. Steiner takes something from a fan that looks suspiciously like Paul London. They exchange plunder shots for 2 counts. Inside and Steiner hits a bicep kiss elbow for 2. Impartial referee Nick Patrick doesn’t count Steiner’s push up’s. Steiner goes to work on the lower back of DDP and hits a t-bone suplex for 2. Both men appear to be slightly bloodied from the plunder shots. Steiner works a bearhug and then a belly to belly for 2. White Thunder belly to belly gets 2. They switch, standing and DDP connects with a DDT for the double KO. Back up and DDP hits a lariat and some rights. Steiner elbows and uses the ropes for 2. Belly to belly is countered into a DDT and Page is in charge again. Diamond Cutter is blocked and Steiner goes low. He hits a DDT. DDP blocks a Snake Eyes and hits the DIAMOND CUTTER but Rick Steiner comes out to remove the referee. DDP takes him out but his chance has gone. Crowd chants for “Goldberg”. Steiners collide and DDP gets a roll up for 2. Impartial referee Nick Patrick is bumped and Steiner uses the WCW title. Ref recovers to count 2. DDP is bleeding badly now. Boston crab applied and DDP does the Austin bleeding powering up to the ropes. Steiner Recliner applied and DDP fights into the ropes. Rick adds a couple of cheap shots in while Midajah distracts. Scott takes the lead pipe to DDP’s back. Steiner Recliner again and it’s over at 14.13. ***1/2. Another great match from the Steiner run in. Any time he ran into a decent wrestler he put on an awesome show. Shame his foot fell apart and left him even more of a shell of his former self. DDP ended up as Sara Taker’s stalker before retiring with a neck injury. Steiner eventually found his fitness working with the WWA and joined the WWE as an immediate main eventer only to get booed and bad reviewed back into the midcard.
Overall PPV thoughts – C+
Some good stuff mostly from the cruiserweight division but WCW could have gone out so much better than this. It’s sad almost to think this show ended their legacy. They limped over the finish line into non-existence and that’s pretty sad. A matter of weeks later Vince McMahon bought WCW and took whatever he felt he needed from them. Mostly the tape library and a limited WWF v WCW invasion feud that lasted around 6 months. So that was it. Goodnight WCW and that’s the end of my run of WCW shows. I’ll be dipping back in time to cover some NWA shows and maybe the odd bits and pieces from earlier on but most of the year coverage I’ve done will remain as is. Hope you enjoyed WCW. I’m still not sure I ever did.