The WCW Blackout Period - May
Wednesday, May 1 - With just two weeks to go until the debut of Wednesday Nitro on the UPN Network, WCW wrapped up a two-date tour in Australia with Scott Steiner successfully defending the WCW World Heavyweight Title against Mike Awesome, while Lance Storm defeated Shane Helms in an incredible match up. Younger starlets in WCW continue to feature on the cards, as young tag team Charlie and Russ Haas defeated Boogie Knights (Alex Wright & Disco Inferno), Shannon Moore defeated a man some are comparing to Rey Mysterio, the Amazing Red, and Elix Skipper defeated Air Styles.
Friday, May 3 - A former World Championship Wrestling star has inked a surprising, out of nowhere deal today, according to sources. Despite leaving the company at the start of 2001 for the World Wrestling Federation, while being the company’s Hardcore Champion, Meng has signed a 1-year contract with WCW. Meng spent under a year with the WWF as Haku, having formed a tag team with Rikishi that failed to get over. Jimmy Hart, road agent and producer for WCW and personal friend of Meng and financial backer, Hulk Hogan, is said to have brokered the deal to bring the Tongan back to WCW.
Sunday, May 5 - WCW isn’t the only one bringing talent in. With Jeff and Jerry Jarrett’s TNA Wrestling set to debut in a little over a month, the new company has signed notable wrestlers like Sandman, Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller, Bob ‘Hardcore’ Holly, and Kid Kash. The big splashes for TNA have come from Japan, inking deals with the legendary duo Keiji Mutoh and Jushin Thunder Liger, as well as Kai En Tai’s Taka Michinoku, Funaki, and Dick Togo. And in news that will surely anger PWE owner, Bob Backlund, deals have also been made with current PWE stars American Dragon, Christopher Daniels, EZ Money, Low-Ki, and Xavier. While all five men will split time between the two companies, the fear surely must be that the Jarretts might ultimately try to snatch the men on permanent deals.
Wednesday, May 8 - We promised news on the future of Tony Schiavone, and the big surprise is this: The Voice of WCW will no longer be the voice of World Championship Wrestling! Schiavone is being replaced by the recently-retired Curt Hennig in the broadcast booth, the former Mr. Perfect having impressed many with his two performances on past editions of Nitro. However, that does not mean Schiavone does not have a place in the company, as the even more shocking news is this: he’s being groomed for a managerial role! Someone in WCW world thinks that Schiavone could make for a good, obnoxious manager, in the mold of Jim Cornette. Only time can tell if this is pure genius, or utter Wrestlecrap.
Saturday, May 11 - With money still a concern for World Championship Wrestling, the company is looking at trying a new philosophy with some of its on-air roster. WCW wants to keep its core roster relatively small, especially with the company already having expensive names on the roster like Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Sting, Scott Steiner, and now Bill Goldberg, one idea being toyed around is using numerous ex-talents on rolling, pay per appearance deals. WCW has already been doing this with former talents like El Dandy, Norman Smiley, Psicosis, Prince Iaukea, Silver King, and Van Hammer. As long as this leads to La Parka appearances, there is no way this budgetary scheme can backfire.
Sunday, May 12 - The stars of World Championship Wrestling finished off their mini-tour of Europe with a final show in London, England, tonight. The main event of the show saw Hulk Hogan, in the red and yellow of Hulkamania, team up Goldberg to defeat The Outsiders, although Scott Steiner also successfully defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Booker T. Other results: Lance Storm and Mike Awesome again tore down the house with another one of their epic matches, with Storm this time coming out on top of The Career Killer; Norman Smiley, a Brit, beating Chris Kanyon for the United States Title, only to lose it back to Kanyon later in the show; The Filthy Animals retaining the Tag Titles against The Young Lions; Chavo Guerrero retaining the Cruiserweight Title against Super Crazy and Elix Skipper; Mark Jindrak defeating Konnan; Hugh Morrus defeating The Wall; and finally, The Flying Harts winning a tag team scramble match that also included Shannon Moore & Evan Karagias, Amazing Red & Shark Boy, Kaz Hayashi & Yang, Air Styles & Air Paris, and the Haas Brothers.
Sunday, May 12 - Just after the show finished in London, WCW.com announced breaking news: the company has signed hot free agent and former ECW Television & Tag Team Champion Rob Van Dam to a deal! The Whole F’n Show has been a hot commodity throughout wrestling since the closure of Extreme Championship Wrestling a year and a half ago, but constantly balked at offers from both WCW and the World Wrestling Federation. Van Dam has spent much of the past year wrestling in Japan for All Japan Pro Wrestling, but has been persuaded at the last minute to sign on with WCW. Inside sources say Lance Storm is the man who was in RVD’s ear, convincing his former colleague to join up with him in WCW. It will only be a matter of time too until the two men, as well as former ECW World Champion, Mike Awesome, put on instant classics for World Championship Wrestling.
Tuesday, May 14 - Despite still arguably being the biggest name in World Championship Wrestling, rumor has it there are a lot of concerns inside the company about Bill Goldberg. The former World Heavyweight Champion made a shocking return to the company on the very last edition of Wednesday Nitro on NBC at the beginning of March, appearing at the conclusion of the show to Spear Scott Steiner and announce that the World Heavyweight Champion was, “next.” With the end obviously teasing a feud between the two unstoppable behemoths upon the return of WCW to television, the heads of WCW are apparently uneasy to rush into a program that features Goldberg fighting for the WCW World Heavyweight Title. Goldberg left the company under controversial terms this time last year, walking out on the company after WCW was dropped by the USA Network, leaving the fate of the company looking bleak. Goldberg spent the next ten months doing much of nothing, appearing on a few television shows and wrestling for NOAH in Japan twice. Eric Bischoff and Steve Borden, rumor has it, do not want put Goldberg straight into the World Title picture because of his previous actions, as well as because of his inactivity in the wrestling world over the past year. The current rumor making the round is that it will be one of the financial backers - Hulk Hogan or Kevin Nash - to feud with Scott Steiner of the Title when Wednesday Nitro debuts tomorrow on the UPN Network.