Reliving A Title Run #3: Scott Steiner As WCW World Heavyweight Champion In ’00 – ’01
On November 26th, 2000 Scott Steiner won his first and only WCW World Heavyweight Champion. Steiner had been one of WCW’s most over heels dating back to early 1999. However, that was at a time when Hogan, Flair, Nash and Bret Hart were all playing a political game. By November 2000, Hogan was gone from WCW forever, Flair wasn’t active, and Bret Hart was on the sidelined with his career ending concussion. There weren’t a lot of options for WCW.
Scott Steiner probably should have gotten a run with the championship much sooner, but he had to settle for his run to happen when WCW was widely considered to be a joke. Join me as I relive his title reign in WCW.
At Mayhem on November 26th, 2000 Steiner was able to beat his longtime rival Booker T to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. For much of the summer Steiner was looking to get his hands on the championship. He wrestled Booker T the previous month at Halloween Havoc, but lost the match after hitting Booker with a lead pipe.
Prior to winning the championship, Steiner had wins over Goldberg (Fall Brawl) and knocked Sting out of action on the November 20th edition of Thunder. It was safe to say that Steiner was a dominate force in WCW prior to winning the championship. Steiner put Booker T on the shelf during their match at Mayhem Who could possibly set up and challenge Scott Steiner?
The next night on Nitro, Scott Steiner would have a title defense against Booker T’s brother, Stevie Ray. Ray would put his career on the line and Steiner would end his career. That brings the total up to three for Steiner. Steiner continued put people on the disable list after he beat Buff Bagwell on Thunder. However, Sid Vicious made his return to give the fans hope that he would be the man to put an end to Steiner’s reign.
On the next Nitro (December 4th), Steiner wanted to get his hands on Sid. Instead, he had to settle for WCW United States Champion Hugh Morrus. Steiner would win the match and afterward would put Arn Anderson in the Steiner Recliner. Sid would appear but they still wouldn’t get their hands on each other.
The following week on Nitro (December 11th) Steiner would finally get his hands on Sid. After successfully defending the WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Sgt. AWOL (Yeah, that happened), he would have a parking lot brawl with Sid Vicious. Then, on Thunder, Steiner would do something that was rare to happen in WCW. He was able to make Meng submit to the Steiner Recliner. Sid would appear again and this time he would drop Steiner with his trademark chokeslam.
They finally meet at Starrcade on December 17th, 2000. Could Sid Vicious dethrone Scott Steiner after under a month as a champion? Nope. Steiner was able to lock in the Steiner Recliner and retained the championship. To close out the year 2000, Steiner would retain his championship by forcing Ernest Miller to submit to the Steiner Recliner on Thunder. Scott Steiner enters 2001 looking like an unbeatable monster!
As 2001 started it was clear that the CEO of WCW, Ric Flair, wanted the WCW World Heavyweight Championship off of Scott Steiner. He wanted that to happen so badly that he set up a four corners match at WCW Sin on January 14th. The match saw Scott Steiner defend the championship against Sid Vicious, Jeff Jarrett and a mystery man. This was the show where Sid Vicious suffered a broken leg after leaping off the middle rope. Steiner would prevail as the winner and the mystery man actually helped Steiner retain the championship. Ric Flair was now on the side of the champion.
The next night on Nitro, Kevin Nash was next to try his luck against Scott Steiner. He would get a title shot on the show, but only won by disqualification. Nash had his own army of guys consisting of Diamond Dallas Page, Rick Steiner, and the Cat. There was a war starting to develop.
On February 5th, 2001 Rick Steiner turned on Kevin Nash to rejoin his brother Scott Steiner. It would appear that everyone was joining the champion as he looked to keep the championship for a long time. Kevin Nash would get his chance for the gold at WCW Superbrawl Revenge against Scott Steiner. Ric Flair changed the rules of match after Nash pinned Steiner by making it a two out of three falls match.
Steiner ended up putting the Steiner Recliner on Nash and forces Nash out of WCW forever as a result. So, now Steiner had been responsible for taking out Sting, Booker T, Stevie Ray and now Kevin Nash.
Steiner would turn his attention to Diamond Dallas Page for his next feud. On February 26th, things just got worse for the champion as Booker T made his return to WCW television. Booker T made his return a memorable one as he was able to pin Scott Steiner on the program. Still, DDP was the next man to get a title shot. He would get his shot at Greed when he competed against Scott Steiner in a falls count anywhere match. Steiner used a lead pipe on DDP and was able to defeat the bloody DDP by knockout.
The following night on Nitro, Eric Bischoff revealed that Scott Steiner would defend the WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Booker T on the last Nitro to ever take place. Unknowingly to Bischoff, it was the last Nitro that he would ever be part of. The next week on Nitro Booker T would reclaim the championship he lost in November 2000 pinning Steiner on the first match of the last Nitro to ever take place. That ended Steiner’s reign as the champion.
In my opinion, Scott Steiner was one of the few bright spots for WCW during it’s dying days. They waited way too long to put the championship on Steiner and by the time they were smart to do it the reign was rather disappointing. The Sid feud was really not entertaining for the most part. The idea behind having Steiner take out all the top faces was good in theory, but without any real depth it left Steiner with very few, if any, credible challengers to have a program with.
Yes, I was a Scott Steiner fan but this championship reign was just poorly booked and poorly executed. Once Steiner got the championship his appeal seemed to diminished for me. Nonetheless, Steiner winning the title was a memorable moment and should have had happened over a year before it actually occurred. I think had he won the championship sometime in 1999, his reign would have been a lot better and would be remembered fondly.
Thanks for reading.