Vince's Enemies: History of WCW 2001-
The WWF started the month in London, England for the first of two ppv's in May. At the event titled Insurrextion The Undertaker defeated Steve Austin and Triple H in a handicap match for the World Title. Steve Austin would remain champion because of a stipulation that meant the Undertaker had to pin Austin to become Champion. Undertaker ultimately ended up pinning Triple H to win the match thus not becoming WWF Champion.
A few weeks later the WWF held another PPV this time in California called Judgement Day. The highlight of the night was Kurt Angle winning a best two out of three falls match over Chris Benoit 2-1. The main event saw Steve Austin retain his World Championship against The Undertaker in a no holds barred match.
Meanwhile Vince McMahon having aquired ECW was looking to use this as a strategy to finally put WCW under. On the eve of WCW returning for their PPV Big Bang Vince was starting to realise he may have made a mistake. Yes it would have finicially destroyed him for many years taking on the AOL TW contracts but he would have held a monopoly over wrestling. In 3 or 4 years he would have reaped the profits by taking over WCW's market.
Vince had another plan that if he executed well could be better than his Plan A. Knowing the struggles of WCW and that Bischoff wouldn't be able to offer WCW guys big contracts when there current ones expire, he was going to go all out. Vince was firstly going to secure the signings of former ECW wrestlers like RVD and Rhino who Eric had his eye on (and Vince knew it). Then wait as Goldberg, Booker T, DDP and others contracts ran out then offer big.
If WCW lost all its star names how would Eric be able to cope?
May 6th finally arrived and for WCW fans it couldn't come sooner enough. WCW was alive for at least one more event honouring an existing agreement with its PPV operator.
A new red and black World Championship Wrestling logo greets viewers to open the show. It was followed by a video showing Bischoff addressing the wCw fans via telephone on the March 18th episode of Nitro, where he sounds de-pleaded as the buyout was looking like collapsing.The video continues onto the March 26th episode when the commentary team was trying to make sense of what was looking like the last ever episode of Nitro. We see the conclusion of the Sting, Nature Boy fight and Tony Schiavone calling it a fitting end. Eric Bischoff then delivers his message at the end of Nitro explaining how he has brought World Championship Wrestling.
Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Scott Hudson are in place as the commentary team and hand over to Dave Penzer who introduces viewers to the new WCW Owner Eric Bischoff.
Eric Bischoff was to come out to a mixed reaction from the crowd but mainly positive for the man who saved the company. The ring was covered in a red carpet and a table is in the ring, Bischoff enters the ring and soaks in the noise made by the capacity crowd. He starts by talking up the Fusient partnership and how they have all the resources to bring wCw back to the top. He says there was no chance in hell he was letting Vince McMahon get his hands on this company which he has put so much blood and tears into. He says he has hits the reset button on wCw which means all titles have been vacated.
He calls out the Cruiserweight Tag Champions first, Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman comes down and reluctantly place their titles on the table. After they leave Bischoff takes them off the table and apologises then pulls out a bin from under the table and drops the belts in essentially retiring the newest titles in wCw.
Sugar Shane Helms is called out next and he places the Cruiserweight belt on the table and then Sean O'Haire and Chuck Palumbo do the same with the Tag Team Titles. Eric Bischoff then turns his attention to the current United States and World Heavyweight Champion Booker T who gets a massive cheer from the wCw crowd.
Booker T comes out and holds the two titles up in front of Eric Bischoff who smiles and then acknowledges he knows how Booker must feel. Booker T gets right in the face of Eric Bischoff and then says he believes a champion should be beat for his titles, Bischoff responses “I know, I know”. Booker then leans into Bischoff and says “I hope you know what you are doing bro”. Booker takes the World Title and US Title and places them on the table as the fans boo.
Eric Bischoff stops Booker from leaving the right and tells him not to worry and that he has a chance of winning back his title tonight. He announces an eight man tournament and reveals Booker T as the first man. He then introduces the rest who make their way out and stand by the entrance. Lance Storm, Scott Steiner, Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash and DDP are all called out and stand on the ramp. seventh entrant is announced as Sting and the fans go wild. The lights go out and when they return Sting is by the entrance making his big return other than his appearance on the March 26th episode.
Eric Bischoff then names Bill Goldberg as the final man. The fans go wild again but as his music plays there is no sign of Goldberg. Bischoff calls him out once again but again as the music plays there is no sign of Goldberg. Bischoff gives Goldberg until his first match to show his face or he is gone from wCw.
Booker T and Scott Steiner hang around for the opening match of the evening and surprisingly it is Scott Steiner who advances. Booker T had thought he had the match won after hitting the Book End but after an earlier referee bump Scott Steiner manages to kick out. Booker T starts to grow frustrated and ignores the referee Rudy Charles instructions to stop striking Steiner in the corner. Booker T reacts by shoving Rudy Charles to the canvas and Rudy has no choice but to disqualify Booker T handing the match to Scott Steiner who advances to the semi final.
The second quarter final sees a returning Kevin Nash take on Diamond Dallas Page. Kevin Nash uses his strength throughout to dominate the match but DDP will not be put away. Eventually after ducking a big Kevin Nash boot DDP nails the Diamond Cutter and grabs the cover and also advances.
Jeff Jarrett has the tough task of taking on Sting. Earlier in the night however Jeff Jarrett acquires the services of the Harris Brothers to interfere in the match. With Sting on top and hitting the Scorpian Death Drop the Harris Brothers come charging down to distract Sting. Sting takes them out but then gets caught with a roll up by Jeff Jarrett who manages to steal the win.
In the final quarter final Lance Storm comes out and demands Nick Patrick declare him the winner after Goldberg no shows during his entrance. Nick Patrick starts the count when Eric Bischoff comes out and there is confusion ringside. We go backstage where Goldberg is arriving in the arena which does not go down well with Lance Storm. After a good match Goldberg comes out on top following the spear and jack hammer.
The semi finals sees Diamond Dallas Page up against Scott Steiner and Jeff Jarrett up against Goldberg. Diamond Dallas Page is first to head into the main event following the Diamond Cutter after he had earlier suplexed Steiner off the top turnbuckle. In the other semi final the Harris Brothers again come out to cause havoc and Jarrett hits the Stroke on Goldberg but he manages to kick out at the last minute. Jarrett is stunned and as he drags Goldberg back to his feet Goldberg fights back and lands the spear and the jack hammer ultimately follows.
The main event therefore pits Goldberg against Diamond Dallas Page. DDP nearly gets the win when Goldberg spears the turnbuckle after Page avoids him at the last second, Goldberg however manages to kick out late. In the end DDP goes for the Diamond Cutter but Goldberg pushes him off and as he bounces back off of the ropes Goldberg hits the spear. Goldberg then lands the Jack Hammer and grabs the cover to become WCW Champion.
Eric Bischoff comes out smiling holding the Big Gold Belt and hands it to Goldberg on the ramp. He holds Goldberg's hand in victory but Goldberg pulls his hand away quickly then storms past Goldberg. Bischoff shouts after Goldberg as Goldberg leaves the arena with the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Goldberg jumps in his car and drives off as Bischoff looks confused, the commentary team discuss tonight's event as we go off air.
Following the Big Bang PPV, Eric Bischoff had several key meets with television networks and one was to be significant. The following year WWF moved to TNN meaning the USA Network had no wrestling programming. Eric Bischoff played on this and said it was a partnership that would benefit both parties. Eric however was not able to get a Monday Night slot as Brian Bedol and the USA Network agreed WCW would not be able to compete with the WWF. They were however given a late night slot on a Saturday for two hours which at least brought Nitro back to the air waves. It was not an ideal agreement for WCW as it was certainly not a primetime slot but for the time being it was a major step forward for the business.
Eric Bischoff then travelled to Las Vegas Nevada and WCW.COM reported on Monday 14th May that the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas would become the new home of WCW. Eric was pictured outside the Hard Rock Cafe just days before their second big announcement. On the 16th May WCW.COM and the USA Network officially announced their partnership to the world. The USA Network began to air an advertisement featuring Diamond Dallas Page for the return of Nitro on Saturday 2nd June.
A second advert began airing the week before the first show in which Eric Bischoff is seen sitting in his office bragging about the return of Nitro. He then says that at Big Bang Goldberg walked out with the World Title but has not been heard of since. He hypes a big main event between Scott Steiner, Jeff Jarrett and DDP and says the winner will become the Number 1 Contender. He then says Goldberg has until the end of Nitro to show his face or the winner of that match will be awarded with the Championship Belt.
Nitro was just days away and the come back was on but finically WCW could not compete with the WWF with major money being spent on the takeover and buyout of AOL TW contracts. Eric finished the month by bringing in Jason Hervey as Executive Producer.
Major Joint Announcement from Fusient and the USA Network
Saturday Nitro Preview:
*Goldberg has until the end of the show to show his face or he will be stripped of the WCW Title.
WCW Nitro Returns!!!!
In the year of 1995 a show started which revolutionzed professional wrestling forever. World Championship Wrestling brought Nitro into living rooms around the global every Monday Night. They were to embark on a war with another wrestling show also broadcast every Monday on the USA Network.
The wrestling industry was on top but fate was soon to change for both the USA Network and World Championship Wrestling. In September 2000 the USA Network lost it's wrestling programming and in March 2001 WCW went off air for the final time.
Now on July 6, 2001 WCW and the USA Network join forces as wCw Nitro returns every Saturday Night 8ct.
*Main Event: DDP vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Scott Steiner - Number 1 Contender Match
*Lethal Lottery Tag Team Championship Tournament Begins
*Cruiserweight Championship Qualifiers Begin
*An Announcement From Rey Mysterio
Big Bang PPV (May 6th, 2001)
Scott Steiner def. Booker T by DQ - World Title Tournament
Diamond Dallas Page def. Kevin Nash - World Title Tournament
Jeff Jarrett def. Sting - World Title Tournament
Goldberg def. Lance Storm - World Title Tournament
Diamond Dallas Page def. Scott Steiner - World Title Tournament
Goldberg def. Jeff Jarrett - World Title Tournament
Goldberg def. Diamond Dallas Page - WCW World Title
NEW WCW CHAMPION - GOLDBERG