…It was an innovator like no other…
…a story, wrapped inside a story…
…filled with action, cutting edge material, returns & revivals, and betrayal…
…a once dominant faction rose to power again, as a new faction formed behind the scenes…
…an old era became new, as chaos ensued…
…old clashed with new, past rivalries rekindled, but all was left unsaid…
…the unsaid becomes told, and the decay from within consumes us all…
…for The Trio Ownership has returned…
It’s baaaaaaaaaaaack~! WOO~!
With the split between me and Wolfy having ended, an inspirational conversation with Legend, and a desire to return to what I do best and a desire to give The Trio Ownership the ending it deserves. I have posted this lengthy recap before, all of like 1 show ago, but hey, I am posting it again to make life easier for everyone. Mayhem, the November PPV, is the next show to be posted, but I will express now, it won’t be a classic PPV. 4 of the 7 matches are written in full, and while I am fond of them, I never had the desire to write the other 3 matches, so they are recapped. Most of the promos are recapped too, but some are in full, including a killer Sting promo I wrote. Seriously, when I wrote that promo eons ago, it gave me chills. So yeah, the flow for the PPV will probably be out of whack, and I apologize for that if it is, but I hope ya’lls still enjoy it anyways. With that said, here’s the big ass recap… OF DOOM~!... of WCW from the start of the BTB, up until now.
Oh, and for the readers who loved the backstage segments and were disappointed with the lack of them, or anything exciting with them, get your hearts ready to fall in love. There will be an excellent backstage story over the months, starting with the post-Mayhem backstage segment. If you thought the Fall Brawl explosion storyline of the secret Jeff Jarrett and Ric Flair alliance being discovered was great, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
World Championship Wrestling. 2001.
A year that has started off, well, terrible. A regime of the “old guard” were in power backstage, booking the company through more angles that were getting them nowhere, mainly The Magnificent Seven. Ric Flair, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, Rick Steiner, Lex Luger, Buff Bagwell, and the Road Warrior Animal were running amuck in WCW, and taking out its top stars, including Sting, Goldberg, Sid, Kevin Nash, and then finally, Diamond Dallas Page. However, the angle was a flop, just like everything else WCW had to offer. It was a down period.
As the first three moths were terrible on-screen, with ratings and buy-rates reaching all time lows, backstage, the scene was in even more turmoil. Ted Turner, the owner of WCW, was quickly being ridden out of power in his own company. When the AOL-Time Warner merger occurred, the new Vice President of the company, Jamie Kellner, wanted this new company to have nothing to do with WCW, a “silly wrestling program” which he despised. With Turner unable to stop the company from being forced off the air, the company was put up for sale. Eric Bischoff tried to land the company with Stephen Greenberg and Brian Bedol, two executives of the Fusient Media Ventures company. The purchase of WCW was about to be completed, but when Eric Bischoff was informed that WCW would have no TV time whatsoever, Fusient backed out of the deal, and all was apparently lost for WCW. Vince McMahon, the owner of the WWF, had thrown his name in the hat, and was on the verge of purchasing WCW, when the triple alliance was formed. From right under McMahon’s nose, WCW was purchased by “The Trio Ownership”, “Sting” Steve Borden, and two of the biggest rivals WCW has ever known, Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff. The company took a hiatus at the end of March after producing a “Night of Champions” edition of Monday Nitro, but nevertheless, WCW was saved. A big time upgrade.
As a company, WCW was only on hiatus for roughly a month, but there was still a lot going on backstage. The new Trio Ownership had to try and get all of the WCW talent to sign onto the new WCW, instead of sitting out their AOL-Time Warner contracts. A lot of talent did come onto the new WCW, but some still did not, creating several snags for WCW. Also, some secret politics were going on backstage, despite this “new” WCW being one without all of the bullshit politics. Since he would be taking a significant pay cut if he joined the “new” WCW, Kevin Nash tried to work out an agreement with Eric Bischoff that would guarantee him a World Heavyweight Title reign. To make a longer story short, Bischoff told him to fuck off, and a friendship was seemingly ruined. They would later patch things up, and Nash was brought back into the company at the October PPV, Halloween Havoc. Also, Jeff Jarrett tried to do the exact same agreement with Ric Flair… and was successful. As an incentive to sign on, he was guaranteed by Flair a World Heavyweight Title reign. This agreement was kept secret between Flair and Jarrett, something that would rock the backstage foundations of WCW.
So WCW returned at the beginning of May, debuting on the USA Network with Monday Nitro, competing almost directly with WWF RAW is War (8-10 PM, as opposed to RAW’s 9-11 PM). The product wasn’t overly bad, definitely much better than what the old regime was offering. After three shows, WCW held its first PPV in two months, and it went a little something like this.
~Shane Helms pinned Evan Karagias in 9:07 to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Title in a triple-threat match that also involved Shannon Moore. Helms pinned Karagias after his innovative finisher, the Vertebreaker.
~Rick Steiner defeated Jim Duggan in 4:54 in an incredibly sloppy and stiff match. Steiner no-sold Duggan’s offense and stiffed him with many blows. This incident ended up taking Steiner out of a major storyline, replaced by Mike Awesome, and has not appeared for WCW in quite some time because of it.
~KroniK defeated Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire at 9:33 to win the WCW Tag Team Titles; Brian Adams pinned Sean O’Haire after both men fell to the High Times.
~Lance Storm pinned Hugh Morris at 13:19 to win the WCW United States Title, after rolling Morris up and grabbing a hold of his tights. After the match, Storm declared himself the Canadian National Champion, not the US Champion. This would continue the feud between the two wrestlers, and countries.
~The Filthy Animals defeated the Yung Dragons at 8:33 to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Titles, after Rey Misterio Jr. pinned Kaz Hayashi with a springboard hurricanrana. After the match, however, KroniK appeared, and viciously assaulted the Animals, but mainly Misterio, injuring him and knocking him out of action.
~Ric Flair pinned Jeff Jarrett at 17:47 with a roll-up. The match was arguably the MOTN, and after the match, after it appeared that the two shook hands in respect, Jarrett attacked Flair afterwards, laying him out with a Stroke onto a steel chair.
~In the main event, Booker T pinned Diamond Dallas Page at 15:58 to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Title in a triple-threat match that also featured Scott Steiner. Booker pinned Page after a Book End, but the night was not over yet…
~In a shocking turn of events, Bill Goldberg showed up after the main event, took out all three wrestlers, and declared that Booker T was next. Goldberg had returned to WCW, and he was after the WCW World Heavyweight Title.
And just like that Slamboree had ended, and things looked to be on the way up for WCW, when tragedy struck. Just like that, in the blink of an eye, the USA Network pulled the plug on Monday Nitro, canceling the show, effective immediately. This sent WCW into a downward spiral as their next PPV had to be cancelled; the TV tapings had to be cancelled, as did other future bookings. Plus, the roster suffered a huge blow. “The Trio” held a full-scale meeting with all of the employees of WCW to discuss its future, and at that meeting, the man who had just returned to WCW, Bill Goldberg, called WCW a “fucking hell hole” and a “sinking ship”, and then walked out of the meeting, and the company. Furthermore, Ron and Don Harris, Terry Funk, and the Road Warrior Animal all also walked out of WCW after the loss of Nitro on USA, and then one more sinking blow was delivered. Diamond Dallas Page handed in his resignation from the company, walking out to sign with the WWF, due to his uncertainty in WCW’s future. And as if that all wasn’t bad enough, a man that WCW had just gotten a verbal agreement from to come to the company, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, also backed out of coming to WCW once he learned the USA Network dropped WCW in just three shows. And just as WCW appeared to be on the up, they were right back down again, and could possibly never recover.
However, WCW did indeed rebound, going on hiatus until they struck a deal in mid to late June with NBC. The deal was a 52-week contract between the two companies, that would feature the debut of WCW Wednesday Nitro, from 10-11 PM EST. And so on July 11, 2001, WCW returned to action, along with the beginnings of a red hot angle to help try and turn WCW around again. While the idea was sort of red hot, it was recycled material. It brought in ratings, but couldn’t be counted on for too long…
On the return of Wednesday Nitro, after feigning a fight, Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner aligned themselves together, in an attempt for Jarrett to win the World Heavyweight Title from Booker T in the main event. The match ended up as a no contest, but afterwards, Ric Flair came to the save of Booker T, and the beginnings of a 2 v. 2 feud looked to be in the works. A tag team match occurred the next week between the two sides, but Steiner and Jarrett revealed a third partner, Mike Awesome. Three men took out Booker and Flair, and the war continued on between both sides. However, over the weeks, ‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson returned to WCW to help manager Flair, and promised to bring him a new enforcer, his nephew, Cal Anderson (CW Anderson of ECW fame). However, Anderson wasn’t debuting until Souled Out, WCW’s PPV on August 26, 2001. Before Anderson debuted, an icon returned to WCW, to help aid a former rival, but now friend. On the August 15, 2001, edition of Wednesday Nitro, The Stinger returned in full force to WCW to help Booker T, Ric Flair, and Arn Anderson drive off the faction of Jeff Jarrett, Mike Awesome, and Scott Steiner. Also, Eric Bischoff was somehow brought into the equation, as Jarrett, Steiner, and Awesome called Bischoff out several times for showing favoritism to the faces. So at Souled Out, Booker T was scheduled to defend the World Heavyweight Title against Scott Steiner, and Jeff Jarrett and Mike Awesome would team up to take on Ric Flair and Sting, with Eric Bischoff serving as the referee for the contest. At the end of the day, Souled Out went down like so…
~Shane Helms pinned Chavo Guerrero Jr. at 11:39 to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Title after hitting the Vertebreaker.
~Totally Buff defeated Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire at 7:02 after Lex Luger made Palumbo tap out to the Torture Rack. That match was a stink dive, but it went down for some reason anyways.
~In his WCW debut, Cal Anderson pinned Alex Wright at 6:26 after successfully executing the Anderson Spinebuster.
~In a match to unify the WCW Tag Team Titles and WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Titles, KroniK defeated the Filthy Animals (Billy Kidman and Konnan) at 14:49 when Bryan Clarke pinned Kidman after the double-team High Times finisher. Before that though, a masked Rey Misterio Jr. made his return to WCW, and in a swerve, attacked the Filthy Animals, costing them the match, and starting a Misterio heel run that would never fully get over with the crowd.
~Lance Storm defeated Hugh Morris at 18:13 in a ladder match to become the WCW North American Championship, a Title that came to be to settle the dispute of Lance Storm claiming to be the Canadian National Champion, and Hugh Morris the rightful United States Champion. Despite being an ultra-heel, the match was in Philadelphia, and Lance Storm was heavily cheered by the crowd, while Morris was booed. This would help start a slow chain reaction that featured Storm starting to get cheered more and more by the fans.
~Booker T pinned Scott Steiner at 12:18 to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Title after pinning him with the Book End.
~In the main event, Jeff Jarrett and Mike Awesome defeated Ric Flair and Sting at 21:01 when Jarrett pinned Flair and Sting. This came about after appearing to be on the same side with Ric Flair and Sting, Eric Bischoff broke a guitar over Flair’s head, leading to Sting being double and triple teamed until both men were incapacitated. After the match, the new alliance of Jarrett, Steiner, Awesome, and Bischoff further assaulted Flair and Sting, and then also took out Arn Anderson, Cal Anderson, and Booker T, when they tried to help Flair and Sting.
Souled Out came and gone, and instead of Nitro being cancelled by NBC, both sides announced that starting the first Nitro of September, Nitro would be primetime, from 8-10 PM. And to end the month of August, the Nitro following Souled Out was the angle that everyone knew was coming. After the faction of the four men again assaulted Sting, Arn Anderson, Cal Anderson, and Ric Flair, Eric Bischoff cut a promo, making sadistic references to Adolf Hitler and Nazi’s, Bischoff declared the reformation of the New World Order, consisting of himself as the helm (and still WCW President), Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner (and his valet Midajah), and Mike Awesome. WCW was starting to pick things up again, and ended the summer in true hot fashion.
September started with the primetime premiere of Wednesday Nitro on NBC, and from the get-go, WCW continued to stay red hot. On one side, the New World Order booked Jeff Jarrett versus Booker T versus Sting versus Ric Flair for the World Heavyweight Title in the main event, and also was making it a lumberjack match; the lumberjacks featured the nWo members, and other heels. But on the WCW side of things, Ric Flair cut a dramatic speech in which he called out Bischoff, Jarrett, the New World Order, and also made the challenge for the nWo to face WCW in the War Games match at Fall Brawl. But not only that, Flair promised to bring back the one man who he was sure could help him defeat the nWo… the original creator of it, Hulk Hogan! In the main event, Booker T had to run a gauntlet, first defeating Ric Flair, then defeating Sting, yet all the while, the three men bonded to fight off the lumberjacks at certain times too, until finally, it was Booker and Jarrett at the end of the gauntlet. Jarrett had the numbers advantage with the lumberjacks always helping him out, but eventually, Flair, Sting, Arn Anderson, and Cal Anderson showed up and all fought off the lumberjacks, and resulting in Booker able to defeat Jeff Jarrett after a Book End. However, right after the match, Curt Hennig made a return to WCW after a long absence, taking out Booker T, joining the nWo, and Booker being tagged in white spray paint by the faction.
Throughout the rest of the month, Ric Flair continued to challenge Bischoff and the New World Order to a War Games match, despite Bischoff refusing to accept the challenge. But while this was going on, both Flair and Bischoff were also arguing over whether or not Hulk Hogan was truly coming back to WCW, and if he was, whose side would he really be on. Eventually, and by that, the September 19 edition of Nitro, Ric Flair wrestled Jeff Jarrett in a steel cage match, with the stipulations being if Flair won, the War Games match was on, but if Jarrett won, Flair would have to leave WCW forever! Before the time could come for the cage match, Hulk Hogan appeared on Nitro via satellite to tell Eric Bischoff that he thought this new nWo was a wannabe version of what Hulk created in 1996, and that he could be coming to WCW to kill off this cheesy variation. And then in the main event, after a hard fought contest, Ric Flair broke a guitar over Jeff Jarrett’s head before pinning him, getting the victory, and the WCW vs. nWo War Games match at Fall Brawl. But just to spoil the fun of the event, Bischoff added a stipulation that said whoever scored the submission victory in the War Games match, would become the WCW World Heavyweight Champion, in an attempt to cause tension between WCW, and try and get the World Title on an nWo member. And then finally, on the very last Nitro before Fall Brawl, alongside Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan returned to WCW, in the red and yellow, and ran down to the ring to chase off the New World Order as they tried to deliver a beat down to Booker T, Sting, and Cal Anderson. The road to the PPV had ended, and something huge was about to happen… both on-screen and off…
Before we get to Fall Brawl, let’s go back to some backstage history. As The Trio Ownership were struggling to sign some of the big name guys to new contracts, Ric Flair sought out to talk to Jeff Jarrett in order to get him to sign to WCW. During those talks, Jeff demanded for a guaranteed World Heavyweight Title reign, and fearing that if he didn’t get it he wouldn’t sign, Flair caved in, giving Jarrett the agreement, figuring Jarrett would become Champ in time anyways. The deal was kept secret from everyone, including Bischoff and Borden as well. At first, Flair didn’t push for Jarrett to win the Title that much at all, but as time eroded, he became paranoid, afraid that the secret agreement would be revealed, and he’d be exploited… so he started to push for Booker to drop the World Heavyweight Title in the Trio’s meetings. Throughout the company’s second hiatus, and mainly the entire summer months, Flair pushed for Booker to drop the Title to someone new, like Scott Steiner, or preferably, Jeff Jarrett. In due time, Flair convinced Borden and Bischoff that a new Champion was needed, and it would be either Scott Steiner or Jeff Jarrett. However, Flair became even more paranoid that it would be Steiner, not Jarrett, becoming the next World Champion, so Flair kept pushing for Jarrett to win the Belt in the meetings. Flair was constantly bringing up Jarrett’s name in the meetings, talking about his star power, his charisma, in-ring talent, marketability, etc., as well as how worthy he was to be Champion. Flair was blind to the fact that he was doing this, but Borden and Bischoff both saw it, and over time, were convinced there was some sort of conspiracy going on between Flair and Jarrett. And at Fall Brawl, it was booked that Jeff Jarrett was going to become the World Heavyweight Champion, winning the Title in the Super Cage match by making Jeff Jarrett tap out to the Figure Four. However, Bischoff and Borden put their game faces on, and went to town to swerve Flair and Jarrett separately, so they could catch them in the lies and conspiracy…
The day of Fall Brawl came about, and the original plan was for Hulk Hogan to swerve WCW, turning on them and siding with the New World Order. With Hogan’s assist, the nWo would dismantle WCW, and Jeff Jarrett would slap on the Figure Four Leg Lock to an already unconscious Ric Flair, and thus win the match due to knock-out, and therefore, the World Heavyweight Title. However, during a meeting between the Trio, there was a “change” in the plan. Instead of Hogan being the man to swerve WCW, Bischoff and Borden convinced Flair that Sting should be the guy to defect to the nWo, not Hogan. While Bischoff continued to swerve Flair with the idea, Steve Borden hunted down Jeff Jarrett, and told him the “change” to the match as well. His story, however, was different than what was just told to Flair. Borden first told Jarrett that the original plan of the match was for Jarrett to make Booker tap out to the Figure Four after Jarrett broke guitars over Booker’s head and Hogan’s head, but there was now a “change”; for the record, Jeff never did know the original ending to the match, but just said he did to sound more important, and figured Borden knew Jeff was going to win the Title anyways after he called Jeff “Champ”. Instead, to put over Jarrett as a huge heel, he was going to make Hogan submit to the Figure Four, and those two would have the ‘money’ feud into Starrcade. And just like that, Jeff Jarrett, had been swerved as well.
Later on, Flair and Jarrett met in a janitor’s closet, of all places, to talk about everything. When Flair went to tell Jeff the ending had changed, Jarrett was asking if it changed again. Jarrett told a puzzled Flair the ending that Steve Borden told him, while Flair informed Jarrett of the ending Bischoff and Borden told him. A paranoid Flair went back to his locker room where his briefcase was; Flair had been keeping the briefcase very close to him at all times usually because it held the secret agreement between he and Jarrett. When Flair returned to the locker room, to find Borden already in the locker room, waiting for him. The Stinger confronted Flair about a conspiracy going on between Flair and Jarrett, and after threatening to tell Bischoff and all of WCW what Flair and Jarrett did, Ric confessed, explaining he did it out of desperation to sign Jeff to WCW. An argument broke out furthermore though, as Flair pleaded with Borden to let Jeff win the Belt still, and everyone could move on. Borden, however, was insistent on Jeff not winning the Title, and said he’d rather have Hogan win it over Jarrett now. The argument ended with Borden yelling out, very loudly, that Jeff wouldn’t be winning the World Title. The argument could have possibly gone on, but afterwards, Eric Bischoff came into the room, wanting to know what was going on. Flair left immediately, while Bischoff talked with Borden, wanting to know if he got Flair to confess about the agreement or not, especially after he heard Borden shout. Surprisingly, Borden lied to Bischoff, telling Eric that nothing was going on between Ric and Jeff, and they were wrong. Borden didn’t want any backstage drama between Bischoff and Flair that would conflict with the company, and because of that, the lie was made by Borden.
…And so the plot thickened, and Fall Brawl occurred, with a main event that no one knew how would truly go down. However, this is how Fall Brawl ended up.
~Shane Helms defeated Super Crazy in eleven minutes to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Title after a Vertebreaker. Crazy pushed Helms to his limits, and caused lots of frustration for Helms throughout the match.
~In the biggest dud of the night, Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire defeated KroniK and Totally Buff to win the WCW Tag Team Titles. Palumbo pinned Buff Bagwell after seven minutes, and Totally Buff no-sold absolutely everything throughout the match, making it suck so badly.
~Backstage, it was revealed that Hulk Hogan was assaulted backstage, and an nWo shirt was left at the scene of the crime. Hogan’s status for the War Games match was left unknown.
~Cal Anderson continued his undefeated streak, pinning The Wall after eight minutes of action with the Anderson Spinebuster.
~Lance Storm defeated Hugh Morris in twelve minutes to retain the WCW North American Championship. This match was labeled as an “American Brawl”, and despite the advantage supposedly going to Morris, Storm pinned Morris after a steel-chair assisted leg drop from the top turnbuckle to earn his third straight PPV victory of Morris.
~It was announced that Hulk Hogan would not be able to compete in the War Games match tonight, and that Eric Bischoff would not allow WCW to have a replacement for Hogan.
~Billy Kidman defeated Rey Misterio by count-out in a fifteen minute match, that was looked at as very excellent. Both men put on a classic performance, but in the end, Misterio simply walked out of the match, getting himself counted-out, and claiming that he had already proven he was better than Kidman. This of course, happened though, right after Kidman almost finished Rey off with his finishing maneuver.
~Just before the War Games match started, an ambulance left the arena that had Hulk Hogan in it.
In the War Games, The nWo (Curt Hennig, Scott Steiner, Mike Awesome, and Jeff Jarrett) defeated Team WCW (Booker T, Sting, Ric Flair, and Hulk Hogan) in roughly 27 minutes after Ric Flair “passed out” to Jeff Jarrett’s Figure Four. The nWo dominated WCW throughout the match with the numbers advantage, but towards the every end of the match, several minutes after he would have entered in the match, Hulk Hogan showed up in the arena. He marched down to the ring, scaring the nWo team into the opposite ring as all of the fallen WCW members were in. And then, in the swerve, Hogan gave each member of WCW the Leg Drop, and revealed his true colors of the New World Order. Jarrett applied the Figure Four to the unconscious Ric Flair, earning the “submission” victory, and thus, becoming the new WCW World Heavyweight Champion.
The PPV as a whole was mildly successful. The cruiserweight division was top notch with Shane Helms at the helm, and the Misterio/Kidman feud were producing hot matches, despite Rey not getting over as a heel. The main event was exciting, but fans criticized Hulk Hogan turning heel to join the nWo, and the screw-job style finish to give Jeff Jarrett the World Title. However, if the fans were angered by what happened in the main event, they should have saw what happened moments after the PPV ended..
During the War Games match, Eric Bischoff went into Ric Flair’s briefcase and started searching for something, anything, that would lead him to there being an agreement between Jarrett and Flair, as Eric did not believe what Borden told him in the slightest. Eric went through the very large stack of papers in Flair’s briefcase, but found nothing. However, once everything was out of the briefcase, Bischoff shook the briefcase upside down, and a cut in the interior was visible. Not just a regular cut, but a manmade cut… to hide something. Bischoff tore open the cut, and there it was, the written agreement between Ric Flair and Jeff Jarrett that guaranteed Jarrett a World Heavyweight Title reign. Bischoff went on-camera to celebrate with the nWo at the end of Fall Brawl, but afterwards, dragged Flair (who was trying to clean up and stop his flow of blood from his forehead) and Sting (who was trying to peel dry paint off of his face) into a hallway, and ripped into both of them. Bischoff was loud, rude, and crude, and it gathered the attention of just about every wrestler backstage at Fall Brawl. Bischoff yelled out about how Flair, Borden, and Jarrett lied to him, and fucked him over, as well as everyone else in WCW, to give Jarrett a guaranteed World Heavyweight Title reign. Bischoff and Flair both started to yell at each other, exchanging low and personal remarks towards one another, until finally, Bischoff sucker-punched Flair right in the face, starting a scuffle in front of the entire WCW roster. The two were separated, but the damage had been done. The Eric Bischoff/Ric Flair rivalry was restored, and the roster was blown apart by the fact that a huge scandal occurred behind their backs.
The Nitro after Fall Brawl featured Eric Bischoff making shoot comments at Flair for the fiasco, as well as men such as Booker T, Rey Misterio Jr., Shane Helms, Hugh Morris, and Super Crazy all boycotting the show, refusing to partake in it. The last four men have all made peace with WCW, Flair, and Jarrett, but to this day, Booker T is still frustrated with his spot in WCW, and has a very poor morale as to how the company is being ran. Booker felt cheated by Flair and Jarrett with their deal, as he was the rightful World Champion until Jarrett won. And yet, despite this controversy and conspiracy, it was determined that Jarrett would remain as Champion, although Bischoff and Borden had to scrap all of the current plans for new ones, but concluded they needed to make Jeff look like a bitch, more or less, numerous times to let him know who was running this company.
And because of that, the first Nitro of October was rocked by the departure of Scott Steiner from the New World Order. Steiner demanded a Title shot from Jarrett because of an earlier promise made back in July by Jarrett. Jarrett promised to give Steiner the first Title shot when he won the Title from Booker T. Steiner called out Jarrett and Hogan both during an in-ring promo with the nWo, and eventually got his Title match. However, after refusing to lay down for Jarrett and then attacking him in the match, Steiner was booted from the nWo, and screwed over in the World Title match. Steiner had Jarrett about to tap out to the Steiner Recliner, but Mike Awesome came out of nowhere and broke a guitar over Steiner’s head. Steiner was then beaten down after the match, and tagged by the nWo, kicking him out form the group officially.
With Steiner’s departure from the group, the nWo seemingly was on the look-out for new members, offering spots to the WCW Tag Team Champions, Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire. However, after questioning whether or not they wanted to, KroniK attacked the Tag Champions, and were inducted into the nWo instead! What also followed, was an effective tweener position for Scott Steiner. Steiner received immediate face reactions after his departure from the nWo, but to stay neutral, bad mouthed both the nWo and WCW, and refused to join the side of WCW in the fight against the nWo, instead setting his sights on winning the WCW World Heavyweight Title instead. As WCW rolled into their next PPV, Halloween Havoc, Booker T returned back to the company after a quick two-week absence, and challenge Hulk Hogan to a match after Hogan more or less cost Booker the World Title at Fall Brawl. Ric Flair was trying to get one more match against Jeff Jarrett, this time for the World Heavyweight Title, Scott Steiner was crossing paths with WCW, but mainly, the nWo, and Lance Storm was now also getting thrown into the war between the two sides. The war between World Championship Wrestling and the New World Order stayed hot and stayed strong, and Halloween Havoc ended up looking like this…
~The Flying Harts (Teddy Hart and Jack Evans) defeated Shane Helms and Super Crazy at 11:39 when Jack Evans pinned Super Crazy after an updated version of the Hart Attack double-team finisher. The Flying Harts had debuted in WCW just mere weeks before the PPV, as cocky young heels, who were ready to take the Hart family name to a whole other level with their style of wrestling.
~After the match, Shane Helms told Super Crazy to get lost and that he wanted nothing to do with him. This, among other things, was the slow start of Shane Helms turning from the lovable baby face Champion, into that of a very cocky and arrogant Champion.
~Lance Storm pinned Curt Hennig in 20:48 to retain the WCW North American Championship with a sit-out brain buster, in a triple-threat match that also included Cal Anderson. The match was a sure-fire MOTN, and possible MOTY contender, that helped put Lance Storm closer and closer to that of a face.
~The Young Lions (Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire) defeated KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clarke) at 9:13 to retain the WCW Tag Team Titles. Palumbo pinned Adams after an O’Haire Seanton Bomb.
~Scott Steiner defeated Mike Awesome at 13:22 in a tables match. After both men going through tables that weren’t valid to end the match, Steiner hit an overhead belly-to-belly suplex from the apron, with Awesome in the ring, that sent both men crashing to the outside floor and through a table.
~In a surprise moment, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash showed up to the Wolfpack music. The Outsiders cut a promo that blasted the New World Order, as well as WCW, and solidified The Outsiders as neutral in the war between the two factions.
~Sting defeated Scott Hall at 10:39 by disqualification after Kevin Nash interfered, and The Outsiders attacked Sting. After the match, The Outsiders did so again, leaving Sting down and out in the ring.
~In another MOTY contender, Billy Kidman defeated Rey Misterio Jr. at 21:06 by disqualification, in a no-count out match. The action was very intense, and saw spots from the entrance ramp to the floor, and spots in the crowd. However, Misterio attacked Kidman with a chair to disqualify himself, when he was on the verge of losing. After the match, Misterio continued to attack Kidman with the chair, but Konnan made the save for his fellow Filthy Animal member.
~Jeff Jarrett defeated Ric Flair at 17:58 to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Title, after heavy interference from the nWo, “Team WCW”, and The Outsiders. Ric Flair fought the odds and went toe-to-toe with Jarrett throughout all of this, but in the end, The Outsiders showed up and attacked both Jarrett and Flair, but Flair ended up taking most of the offense, with a guitar shot to the head leaving him down and out. Jarrett recovered first from the attack and made the cover, winning the match.
~In a match that surprisingly saw zero interference, Booker T pinned Hulk Hogan at 14:12 after hitting the Harlem Side Kick, Book End, and Harlem Hang Over to finally put Hogan down for good. The match was labeled as a huge upset for Booker T, and a career-defining moment for him as well.
On-screen, Halloween Havoc had to come off as a successful show. The cruiserweights in WCW were really starting to show quality matches (Cruiser Tag Match, and Misterio/Kidman), and plus, the Kidman/Misterio was getting its own storyline/feud without a Title involved, despite being cruiserweights. The Outsiders return to WCW was a very shocking moment, and the two thankfully weren’t put into the nWo, which many had to expect at first. The North American Title match was a great MOTY contender, and helped Cal Anderson continue to get over with the fans, and continued to showcase Lance Storm’s wrestling ability, and a huge reason why fans were starting to cheer him. Scott Steiner was getting insanely over as a tweener, although mainly as a face than heel. And finally, Booker T pinned Hulk Hogan cleanly, hopefully proving that the politics are truly done in WCW. However, backstage, things were definitely still a mess, although it was trying to be kept under the rug. Bischoff and Borden had resolved their conflict, and while Flair and Bischoff were still working together (somewhat) cohesively, there was a very noticeable hatred amongst the two. Bischoff loathed Flair for lying and going behind his back, while Flair loathed Eric just as much for refusing to accept his apology when after all, Bischoff had pulled shit like this before as well. However, it was obvious Flair never truly meant his apology, and still seemingly thinks his decision was right, while potentially morally wrong. And plus, Jeff Jarrett was rapidly becoming one of the most hated men in WCW because he held onto the World Title at Halloween Havoc, and Booker T, one of the locker room leaders, was noticeably depressed and had low morale with the company still. Booker felt cheated out of the World Title, and that Flair and Jarrett went behind his back just as much as they did Bischoff and Borden. But still, the situations backstage were mostly kept quiet, but it can only last so long, until there’s a crack in the ice…
With Halloween Havoc said and done, the focus shifted towards the upcoming PPV, Mayhem, the vastly-approaching Starrcade, the company’s flagship PPV, and finally, the match that would headline Mayhem and determine the main event of Starrcade, the Super Cage. The Super Cage is a match with three cages, one stacked on top of another and another. The first cage (or really a cell) is the size of a Hell in a Cell cage. In the center of the first cage, there is a trapdoor on the roof of the cage that leads into the smaller second cage, which is filled with various ‘hardcore’ weapons. To the eastern end of the second cage (towards the entrance ramp/stage), there is a door that leads to outside of the second cage, which is also the roof of the first cage. To continue on the path, the wrestler must climb up the side of the second cage, which will take them to the roof of the second cage, where the third cage is. The wrestler can either enter the door to the third cage and grab a specific weapon, or merely climb up the third cage to its roof, and the very top of the Super Cage. At the top of the Super Cage, an object will be suspended in the air from the ceiling, and once the item is obtained, the match is over. The cages wrap all the way around, so the action can occur on the eastern side of the Super Cage (by the entrance ramp), northern, western, or southern side.
As we learned on a Wednesday Nitro, there would be four contestants in the match, and the object suspended roughly 50 feet into the air would be a briefcase. This briefcase would hold a contract that gives the winner the right to wrestle for the World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of Starrcade. The WCW President, and nWo leader, Eric Bischoff, had very little control of the match being put in place, and had no control over who would enter the match; the WCW board of directors made it so. The board immediately chose Booker T, Sting, and one of The Outsiders, Scott Hall or Kevin Nash, to be three out of the four participants in the Super Cage match. The fourth was left undetermined, but Eric Bischoff, to soothe Jeff Jarrett’s fear, demanded it not be Scott Steiner. However, Scott Steiner came out to the ring and stole the World Heavyweight Title at the conclusion of the Nitro after Halloween Havoc, and then was chased by police officer’s the next week on Nitro, but Steiner escaped “the fuzz”. At the show’s conclusion, Eric Bischoff returned to his empty nWo locker room to find the World Heavyweight Title belt on his couch. The Bisch thought the cops had retrieved it from Steiner, only for Scott Steiner to walk out of hiding in the locker room, and tell Bischoff how he successfully hid from the cops and the nWo, and snuck into the nWo locker room when they all went out to the ring. After severely threatening Eric Bischoff, Steiner was put into the Super Cage match as the fourth participant, getting Big Poppa Pump his wish. Once this decision was made, Steiner hit Bischoff in the face with a lead pipe, just for the fun of it. Also, Scott Hall would be The Outsider in the Super Cage. Hall entered the Super Cage while Kevin Nash went straight after Jeff Jarrett, and the WCW World Heavyweight Title, so both of The Outsiders could main event Starrcade for the World Title. However, Kevin Nash and Jeff Jarrett wrestled for the World Heavyweight Title on the most recent Nitro, but Jeff Jarrett ended up the victor. This occurred though, after Kevin Nash pinned Jarrett to win the Title after using a guitar shot to the head to secure the win. However, the match was restarted, and Jarrett defeated Nash after some assistance from fellow nWo member, Hulk Hogan. However, Nash will get another rematch at Mayhem.
In that World Title scene that was briefly discussed about, here’s some more to it. Ever since Jarrett won the Title at Fall Brawl, he has been made to look weak because of the backstage fiasco, and when on-screen, he played a cowardly heel. He openly showed and expressed fear in Ric Flair, but even more so in Scott Steiner. Jarrett had no problems taking matches with easier opponents than more-elite wrestlers to show his and the Belt’s prestige, and also liked to have his fellow nWo stable mates interfere and help him. At Halloween Havoc, that is exactly what happened in his World Heavyweight Title match with Ric Flair. Eric Bischoff, as well as Mike Awesome, Curt Hennig, and KroniK, all interfered in the match at one point or another, and Bischoff also had the match changed to a no-disqualification match to better suit Jarrett in the match. However, The Outsiders interfered in the match later on, attacking both Jarrett and Flair, although Flair did take the brunt of the attack. However, Jarrett has felt that his pride was challenged and he was humiliated by The Outsiders and has somewhat showed a competitive streak because of it, calling The Outsiders out, and challenging either one of them to a match, with the Title even being put on the line as an incentive for them to face him. When Kevin Nash faced off with Jarrett for the Title, it seemed we would see the more competitive Jarrett, but in the end, he tried to use his guitar to cheat to win, but it backfired, and Nash broke the guitar over Jarrett and scored the win instead. However, the match was restarted after Bischoff threatened to fire the official, and thanks to interference from the nWo members to distract the official, Hulk Hogan snuck into the ring and broke a guitar over Nash’s head to aide Jarrett in retaining the Title. As said though, Jarrett will defend his WCW World Heavyweight Title against Nash at Mayhem.
One man in WCW who has really been getting a lot of spotlight since Halloween Havoc has been the WCW North American Champion, Lance Storm. Storm performed excellently at Halloween Havoc in the MOTY contending triple threat match, and after that, was offered a spot in the New World Order, and that the time to decide whether he was with them, or against them, was now. The next week, Storm came down to the ring, sporting a new attire that resembled the nWo colors, and cut a promo that was very heart felt. Storm talked about his Canadian heritage, and how he himself held himself down by being so fixated on it, instead of focusing on his wrestling ability and performing well enough to become a Champion. Storm called himself out on his mistakes, and openly said he was ruining his career by caring so much about Canada. When it seemed like he would side with the nWo, Storm talked about what he was taught by men like Bret Hart, and said that no matter how cold and calculating he was in the ring, he’d always be proud of his roots, his Canadian heritage and pride, and told the nWo to stick it, finally climaxing on his face turn. That inspiring promo occurred at the 11/07 Nitro, and since then, Storm has been booked with Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire, the WCW Tag Team Champions, to face Mike Awesome and KroniK, all of the New World Order, at Mayhem, with both the North American and Tag Team Titles on the line. The Young Lions and KroniK have seemingly been feuding off and on ever since the WCW restart in May, and continue to do so now, as the Tag Division has been absolutely weak in depth.
Ric Flair has seemingly always been an enemy of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. And within the two to three months, the hatred has been renewed. Eric Bischoff sided with Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, and Mike Awesome at Souled Out in August, breaking a guitar over Flair’s head, and reforming the New World Order. To try and fight the nWo, Flair brought Hogan back to WCW, only for Hulk to swerve Flair and WCW, turning on them at Fall Brawl, in the War Games match. Hogan donned the nWo black and white colors again, and Flair was betrayed, again. Flair didn’t deal with Hogan’s betrayal right away, instead quickly wrapping up a long, off-and-on, feud with Jeff Jarrett. But once Ric was unjustly defeated by Jarrett at Halloween Havoc, Flair decided to let bygones be bygones, and called out Hogan, saying it was time for Hulk to pay the piper for what he did to WCW, and himself, at Fall Brawl. After the two legends traded jabs and insults, Flair was able to persuade Hogan to accept his challenge for a match at Mayhem. However, Flair still has a bone to pick with Eric Bischoff as well, and after more fast-talking and verbal-jabbing from the Naitcha Boy, Bischoff declared the match at Mayhem would now be Ric Flair versus Hulk Hogan and
Eric Bischoff… but this came at a price. If Flair loses, he will be fired from WCW!
In the cruiserweight scene, the lightweights of WCW are starting to be taken more and more seriously it seems. In the Title scene, Shane Helms has been a dominant Champion ever since winning the Title at the Greed PPV on March 14, 2001. Helms has defeated his former 3-Count partners, Evan Karagias and Shannon Moore, as well as Chavo Guerrero Jr., Super Crazy, and many other cruiserweights throughout his reign. However, because of all of this success, it seems Helms’ is starting to get a very large ego. Helms has talked very highly of himself as of late, and has had a very unneeded conflict with Super Crazy. Helms and Super Crazy have both been targeted by The Flying Harts, Teddy Hart and Jack Evans, in the past month, and while Super Crazy has been very willing to help Shane Helms, Helms has not returned that willingness. Instead, after the two lost at Halloween Havoc to The Flying Harts, Helms told Super Crazy to stay away from him, as well as making a few racial comments directed at Crazy and his Mexican ethnicity. At Mayhem, Shane Helms will now have to defend the WCW Cruiserweight Title against Teddy Hart, as well as Super Crazy. As Helms continues to show this new-found arrogance, the question looms, how long can he hold onto the Title, with guys like Super Crazy and The Flying Harts chomping at the bit for the Belt?
However, Shane Helms isn’t the only cruiserweight getting a good portion of TV time; Rey Misterio Jr. and Billy Kidman both have been enshrouded in a feud since Souled Out, in August. Rey Misterio Jr. was put on the shelf at the May PPV, Slamboree, when he was attacked by KroniK after Rey and Kidman had just retained the WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Titles. Kidman and Konnan tried to avenge Misterio’s attack, and the two men faced KroniK at Souled Out, in a match that unified the two Tag Team Championships. In the match itself, Rey Misterio Jr. returned towards the end of the match, running down to the ring and not only taking out both members of KroniK with a steel chair, but then Billy Kidman and Konnan as well, turning on The Filthy Animals! From there, the newly re-masked Misterio Jr. has feuded with Kidman, claiming Kidman held him down for years, and that he is going to defeat Kidman and show the world who the better man is. However, at Fall Brawl, Kidman defeated Misterio by count-out; Billy was on the verge of winning the match, and Rey simply walked out, claiming he had showed everyone he was the real victory. At Halloween Havoc, after more cat and mouse games by Misterio, Misterio again lost to Kidman, in a no-count out match, this time by disqualification. Again, Misterio was seemingly on the verge of losing, and used a chair to purposely get himself disqualified. Misterio tried to further attack Kidman with the chair, but Kidman’s fellow Filthy Animal member, Konnan, came out to make the save, running Rey off. With The Filthy Animals fully united again in the battle against Rey Misterio Jr., Misterio recruited help to deal with the two men. As The Filthy Animals attempted to run-off Misterio after he once again attacked Kidman from behind, Chavo Guerrero Jr. attacked The Filthy Animals from behind, and formed an alliance with Rey. Chavo claimed that Rey has been the constant victim of 2 on 1 attacks, and attacks from behind, by The Filthy Animals, despite Rey being the coward in the feud. Nevertheless, at Mayhem, The Filthy Animals will face-off against Misterio and Guerrero, and the question still remains, will Misterio ever live up to his word and defeat Billy Kidman, or on the other side, will Billy Kidman ever be able to cleanly defeat Rey Misterio Jr.? Looks like only time will tell, and Mayhem may just be the answer.
And so folks, there you have it; a detailed recap of everything that has happened, both on-screen and off, from the beginning of this BTB until now. The last month I have recapped in much more detail, and for those with fuzzy memories, yes I have posted this recap before… all of I think 1 show earlier
. Hopefully all of the matches/storylines have been explained enough for the new readers, and the readers of old who are having trouble remembering things. Anyways, you can click on the links that I will provide below, that will take you straight to Halloween Havoc, as well as the Nitro’s leading up to Mayhem. Hopefully those last 4 shows, and this recap, have done a good enough job to educate you all on the greatness, and mishaps, of WCW 2001: The Trio Ownership. And now, once again, the life, of The Trio Ownership. So ladies and gentlemen, may the return of arguably, the most successful WCW BTB in the history of WF BTB, commence.
October 31, 2001, Wednesday Nitro Preview
October 31, 2001, Wednesday Nitro
November 7, 2001, Wednesday Nitro Preview
November 7, 2001, Wednesday Nitro
November 14, 2001, Wednesday Nitro Preview
November 14, 2001, Wednesday Nitro
November 18, 2001, Mayhem Preview
November 18, 2001, pre-Mayhem News & Notes
Yay . Very excited to bring this back, and give it the ending I always wanted to. So hopefully I can, and hope everyone who was a big fan of this before can get back into it, and new readers can get into the groove of things, if not at first, then after the first couple o' shows. And finally, I know I have not waited the month, but Reney approved it. He's a TTO mark, just like the rest of you. And if you aren't, just smile and nod... I'm self-conscious like that. Also, big ups to all the guys who made those banners throughout the duration of The Trio Ownerships' lifetime. That's every banner ever used for this BTB, with the last one being made by WF's very own, Crazian. Every other banner was made by non-WF guys, excluding London Calling's Halloween Havoc banner.