Rebooking WCW: WCW Monday Nitro: (03/26/01)
This is it! The final broadcast of World Championship Wrestling’s Monday Nitro live on TNT! In this “Night of Champions” episode, every single championship is up for grabs. In a title-for-title situation for tonight’s main event, who will be the final World Heavyweight and United States Champion, Booker T or “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner? All that and more will be decided in this send-off show, closing a monumental in Professional Wrestling history…
WCW MONDAY NITRO “NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS” (03/26/2001)
Panama City Beach, Florida (Broadcasters: Tony Schiavone & Scott Hudson)
– Home viewers are brought to the WCW commentary table. Tony and Scott welcome viewers to Nitro live from Panama City Beach, Florida. Tony says that tonight is the “Night of Champions” for World Championship Wrestling, as every single title will be up for grabs! After a pause he also says that, unfortunately due to a lack of financial support, this will be WCW’s final telecast on TNT. Both men talk about not knowing what they are going to do next Monday night without the company. Not getting a paycheck anymore and having to get real jobs is a major fear for both men. Scott points this night out as the end of a wild ride and the end of an era of professional wrestling. Tony assures the fans that World Championship Wrestling will go out with a bang though, like only they can! With that said, we head in to our first contest of this historic night!
Winning team faces the Crusierweight Tag Team Champions later on in the night: Yung Dragons (Kaz Hayashi & Yun Yang) versus 3 Count (Moore & Karagias) versus The Filthy Animals (Rey Mysterio, Jr. & Billy Kidman): This was a chaotic match with each team hitting huge high-flying moves on opposing members. Many double-team moves are hit by each team, showing great chemistry and innovation between all combatants involved. After feverish activity in and out of the ring, Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio, Jr. won the match. Rey was able to capture the pin fall on Moore after a top-rope legdrop while Moore was straddled on the middle rope.
– Highlights from Monday Nitro last week show Bam Bam Bigelow and Shawn Stasiak exchanging words back and forth in the ring about Stacy and Shawn being a coward. Toward the end, Bam Bam Bigelow challenged Shawn Stasiak to a ‘tattoo match’ for this week on Nitro. So, coming up next, If Stasiak loses tonight, he must get an embarrassing tattoo done!
If Shawn Stasiak loses, he must get a tattoo: Shawn Stasiak w/Stacy Keibler versus Bam Bam Bigelow: Stacy Keibler entered the ring and began to address live fans on the mic. “How many of you young, tan, college hunks want to see me dance right now? You want to see me… take it off? Well, sorry, I’m not here to dance tonight! I’m here to once again introduce you to the Shawn and Stacy Show! And now, the man that… rocks my world, the Mecca of Manhood, Shawn “The Star” Stasiak! Shawn Stasiak entered and took the mic after kissing Stacy. “Shut up, listen, and learn…” He is cut off by Bam Bam Bigelow’s music and Bam Bam is seen coming out with the tattoo equipment box in hand. Bam Bam makes it to the ring but is jumped on by Stasiak immediately. The bell starts the match and Stasiak takes total control from there. Bam Bam Bigelow would rally back with some furious offense. Keibler interfered and was able to save Stasiak from receiving a Greetings from Asbury Park. Capitalizing on this, Stasiak was then able to hit the hangman’s noose neckbreaker on Bigelow for the cheap victory. No tattoo for Shawn tonight!
WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship match: Primetime & Kid Romeo © versus The Filthy Animalz (Rey Mysterio, Jr. & Billy Kidman): Both teams entered and once the bell rang, Primetime immediately began on Billy Kidman. The two teams were all over the ring, trading offense back and forth without much tag format. After a good rally, Mysterio, Jr. kept Primetime at bay for Kidman hit the Kid-Crusher to pick up the win. World Championship Wrestling has their new and final WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions!
– Highlights from WCW SIN (01/14/01) shows “Sugar” Shane Helms defeating Chavo Guerrero, Jr. for the WCW Crusierweight Championship. Then, highlights from WCW SUPERBRAWL: REVENGE (02/18/01) shows Chavo Guerrero, Jr. defeating “Sugar” Shane Helms to win the championship back. Highlights from Nitro earlier this month (03/12/01) show Chavo Guerrero, Jr. defeating Helms again to retain the championship. Finally, highlights from WCW GREED (03/18/01) are shown with “Sugar” Shane Helms defeating Chavo Guerrero, Jr. for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship! Coming up next, the two bitter rivals battle for the title one final time!
WCW Cruiserweight Title match: Chavo Guerrero, Jr. versus “Sugar” Shane Helms ©: Chavo Guerrero, Jr. made his way to the ring to decent cheers. Then, The Sugar Babies danced while the WCW Cruiserweight Champion, “Sugar” Shane Helms, entered. The bell rand and a fast-paced match erupted. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. was very aggressive throughout the title bout tonight. After trading momentum a few times, Shane Helms hit a Sugar Smack Superkick then a Vertebreaker for the pin to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. “Sugar” Shane Helms retained his championship one last time against his bitter enemy.
– An interview from earlier today in Panama City is shown, featuring Diamond Dallas Page. “In the words of The Greatful Dead, what a long, strange trip its been. But I gotta’ tell ya’, I’ve loved every second of it. I wouldn’t trade it for nothin’! Tonight, on this historic eve, I thought I needed to thank all the wrestling fans around the world for lettin’ a kid from the Jersey Shore, Page Joseph Falkinburg, Diamond Dallas Page, the guy they said would never make it, make it… That only proves one thing. If you want it bad enough and you’re willing to work for it, anything’s possible. It’s not really the promoters who decide who’s over, it’s the fans. So, not to just thank the fans in general tonight, but the WCW Wrestling fans, and my wife Kimberly for believing in me and helping me live my dream. Is that dream over? Pshh, I don’t think so. I think, now, its time to take it to another level… Thank you. Bada boom, bada Bang!
WCW World Tag Team Championship match: Team Canada (Lance Storm & “Canadian Killer” Mike Awesome) versus Sean O’Haire & Chuck Palumbo ©: Lance Storm entered with Mike Awesome and started by getting on the mic. “If I could be serious for a minute… Last week, we started our road to the Tag Team Titles. Well, that road ends tonight! All rise for the new Tag Team Champions, and our Canadian National Anthem!” The Canadian National Anthem then indeed played. Sean O’Haire and Chuck Palumbo entered directly after this with a clear mission in mind. Team Canada laid in some good offense in the beginning. After a major momentum swing, Sean O’Haire was able to hit the Seanton Bomb on “Canadian Killer” Mike Awesome for the win and a successful title defense! The champs celebrated to cheers from the live audience and exited for the final time.
– A World Championship Wrestling history montage is played, showing past Heavyweight Champions of World Championship Wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance. Great stars of their time all the way up to the present, with the likes of Booker T and Kevin Nash are shown. The package is finished off with both Tony and Scott agreeing that champions never die and neither will the history of WCW.
Title-for-Title match: WCW World Champion Scott Steiner versus WCW United States Champion Booker T: The World Champion, Scott Steiner, entered with his “Number One Freak” Midajah. The US Champion, Booker T entered and was in the zone. Booker T was noticeably hyped up and Steiner played it very strong against him. Booker T hijacked the match and was all over Steiner. Midajah slapped Booker on the outside to swing the momentum. Steiner then missed an attempted attack with the lead pipe. Booker T dodged this bullet and mounted a comeback. The crowd began to really rally behind Booker! Steiner reversed the Book End into a Northern Lights suplex pin combination on the US Champion for a near-fall. Later on, Booker T reversed a powerbomb into a surprise Book End, finishing Scott Steiner off for good. Booker T captured the WCW World Heavyweight Championship to became a dual championship holder. The live crowd erupted as an emotional Booker T celebrated with both championships in hand!
– An interview with the new WCW Heavyweight Champion, Booker T was conducted. Booker T says that emotions are running though him and he feels that tonight, this chapter of World Championship Wrestling and his business with Scott Steiner, are over. He makes clear that there are many, many more pages left in his book though, saying from this point on, he promises to prove to be the best this business has to offer. Booker then warned that if anybody wanted to test him, that they step to him like a man and he’ll prove he is the best to each and every one of the suckas who do so. He closes with “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”
– “Nature Boy” Ric Flair’s music abruptly played and out her came to greet the crowd. Getting into the ring he grabbed a microphone and began to address the viewers at home. He talked about WCW not ever laying down for anybody and about its past. He claimed WCW as the greatest wrestling organization in the world today. After tremendous cheers, he began again. “We’re not going anywhere because we’re WCW!” With thar, Ric Flair shockingly announced his absolute purchase of World Championship Wrestling, as of noon earlier today. He said he acted much against the word of his financier, but he didn’t give a damn about that. “The Nature Boy” assured fans and the boys in the back that there were no useless yes-men or run-around answers any longer! World Championship Wrestling would be turning to a new chapter in its book. Ric Flair also announced that due to his new, vastly important, formal, corporate position, he would be having his final in-ring match right here tonight, in Panama City Beach! After going through his career briefly, he arrived at Sting. Flair states that his greatest opponent in WCW was Sting and that he wants to go out on a high note and wrestle him for his last match tonight! “To be the man, you gotta’ beat the man!” Flair bows an appreciative crowd and exited the ring to go and get ready.
– We are brought to the broadcast both and Tony reminds viewers that Sting hasn’t been seen since December. Both he and Scott are barely able to speak as they are blown away with what Ric Flair just confirmed!
– A Sting promo is shown with Sting talking somewhere backstage. “Surprise, surprise! The Stinger is back… of course, did you think I would miss this night? Not for nothing would I miss this night! This is a historic night! One more dance with the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, we started it years ago, Ric! You obviously remembered! Tonight ‘Nature Boy”, we’re going to end it once and for all! And for all you fans out there who are wondering what the future holds for Sting, well, the only thing for sure about Sting… is nothing’s for sure! Its show time, folks!” With that Sting disappears, headed for the ring.
“Nature Boy” Ric Flair versus Sting: Ric Flair made his entrance to the ring for a standing ovation from the live audience. Sting’s entrance theme then began and he made his way to the ring to great applause as well. The bell sounded and Sting started off strong, overpowering Flair. Flair made a decent comeback. Later on, out of desperation, he hit a low blow on Sting after Sting briefly began to build momentum. Sting was then able tp reverse and escape a Figure Four Leglock. Sting would catch Ric Flair with a superplex and an immediate application of the Scorpion Deathlock, forcing the “Nature Boy” to tap out. Sting helped up Flair and the two shook hands and hugged. Before exiting, they raised each other’s hand and celebrated together.
– Nitro is closed with Tony and Scott reiterating that WCW doesn’t really know what to expect with Ric Flair as the new principal owner going forward. But, boy, what a show. What a HISTORIC and MONUMENTAL show! They make clear that they have no idea what to really expect next week on Monday Nitro but, are very glad to be having a place to go next Monday Night. They end the show by telling the viewers that they can’t wait to see them next week and that a brand new chapter in WCW history is sure to unfold! Tony Schiavone delivers “An epilogue has been averted for World Championship Wrestling!” for the final line of the telecast!