Thanks for the feedback, guys. Sorry if this show isn't up to my usual standards, work is kicking my ass right now. Talking of which, I'm running late, so excuse the lack of formatting, I'll colour it all in later
WCW Monday Nitro
Monday 15th January, 2007
A highlight package recaps last week’s show: The winners of the first-round matches, the chaotic events of the Totally Buff/Gymini/Marty Jannetty/Horsemen situations, the announcement of the cruiserweight division and the Basham’s qualification for TLC as we’re shown a detailed update on the Bischoff/Heart Throbs feud.
Nitro then kicks off with a big pyro as the Nitro Girls dance to the new Nitro theme, “Start A War” by Static-X and the crowd here in Louisville is going insane for some Nitro action! The announce team of Tony Schiavone, Don ‘Cyrus’ Callis and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler welcome us to the action and it starts off immediately as “I’m Back” plays, bringing a chorus of boos from the crowd as WCW’s Executive Producer, Eric Bischoff, makes his way to the ring, flanked by Luther Reigns, Matt Morgan and Tony Mamaluke. Notable, as they climb into the ring, is a counter interchanging with the WCW logo at the bottom of the screen; it appears to have started at the beginning of the show at 21:01:45:00 and is counting down the seconds to, well, something that will presumably occur on Nitro three weeks from now.
Bischoff signals for the music to be cut and he has a microphone; the crowd are still booing him.
“Okay, people, settle down. We’ve got a lot to get through tonight and I don’t have time to put up with your childish display of rebellion.”
They boo louder, causing all four men in the ring to pantomime their anger.
“Tonight, I’ve come out here to put the fans on the internet out of their misery by putting an end to the speculation about who I’ve been talking to on the phone these past few weeks. Since I now have all of the power in WCW, I needed someone to share the workload. With that in mind, I’m appointing a new Commissioner of WCW to handle all of the in-ring affairs on my behalf. So, without further ado, I’d like you all to make him feel very welcome. Ladies and gentlemen, the new Commissioner of World Championship Wrestling… Jonathan Coachman!”
“Hard Hittin’” by Homebwoi plays and brings everyone’s least-favourite Bischoff flunkey to the ring. The Coach has gone with his full-on heel look; expensive shirt, dark sunglasses and ghetto cap. He has his own microphone.
“Mr. Bischoff, let me begin by congratulating you on your excellent choice of Commissioner and thanking you for the chance to once-again work for a man who appreciates the true value of the Coach as an employee. As your new WCW Commissioner, I want to say how proud I am to be able to preside over the remaining matches in the WCW World Heavyweight Title Tournament. I’d also like to start by making some changes.
“Mr. Bischoff, last week you announced that we’d be having a six-pack challenge at Souled Out for the World Cruiserweight Title, and that we’d be having a six-man tag team match tonight to preview that. I’d like to let everybody know that those matches have been cancelled.”
The crowd boos loudly, they were looking forward to that.
“Instead, I’ve decided that we’ll be having an eight-pack challenge match at Souled Out for the World Cruiserweight Title and that, tonight, we’ll have an eight-man tag team match as a preview for that match.”
The crowd pops for this.
“The reason for the change is that while I was negotiating my way out of my contract with the WWE, I managed to persuade two of Vince McMahon’s finest cruiserweight talents to join me at a place where cruiserweight wrestling will actually be appreciated. I managed to persuade Shannon Moore and Mikey Whipwreck that WCW is the place where they can further their careers.”
Another pop. Coach is going to want to do something before he turns himself face. Before he can turn it around, though, “Heart Throb” begins to play and brings the Heart Throbs to the ramp.
“Coach, I know it’s your first night, but I’ve got far more important business for you than the Cruiserweight Division. I know that you’re aware of the situation between ourselves and Eric Bischoff, and I know you want to make a big impact on your first night, so we’re going to give you the chance to do that right now.”
“Eric Bischoff, we’re out here to issue you a challenge; You had your lackeys conspire to kidnap Shane McMahon two weeks ago and, well, we want him back So if we have to step into the ring to do that, we will. We’re challenging you to put your boys up against us in a five-on-five tag team match at Souled Out.”
“Well, you know that’s not going to happen. And besides, there are only two of you. The math doesn’t work.”
“We’ve got three friends of Shane McMahon’s with us tonight who are willing to make up the numbers, Eric. All we need is for you to grow yourself some cojones and accept our challenge.”
Bischoff pulls Coach to him and whispers conspiratorially.
“Mr. Bischoff has informed me that he’s willing to accept your challenge on two conditions: The first is that your three ‘friends of Shane McMahon’ agree to accept a match with Morgan, Reigns and Mamaluke tonight.”
The crowd pops. They approve.
“The second is that, if you lose at Souled Out, you leave WCW forever. If you, The Heart Throbs, lose, you will retire.”
“Those are my terms, boys, Are you really willing to put your careers on the line to save Shane McMahon?”
The crowd roars as The Heart Throbs look at each other, telepathically conferring.
“You’re on, Eric.”
“Then I guess the only question is this: Who are the three idiots who are dumb enough to cross me?”
“Eric, that’s for us to know…”
“… and you to find out!”
The crowd pops huge as Bischoff looks a little embarrassed at having been outsmarted and disrespected by the Heart Throbs. He starts to argue with Coach as “Heart Throb” plays and we go to the interview zone, where Mark Lloyd has got Terry Funk with him.
“Terry Funk, last week we watched as you found out the truth from Dustin Rhodes - that he’d helped you to beat Orlando Jordan - causing you to ban him from ringside during your matches. Tonight you find yourself with the challenge of facing the leader of the Horsemen, CW Anderson, in the Quarter-Finals of the World Heavyweight Title Tournament. How do you feel about recent events and your chances tonight?”
“First of all, Mark, I want to say that I feel betrayed above all else. Betrayed by my friend, Dustin Rhodes, who helped me despite my asking him not to. Betrayed by WCW, as not one person in this company saw fit to tell an old man the truth. Most importantly, Mark, I feel betrayed by my body. For the past forty years, I’ve always gone above and beyond expectations: My own expectations, my families expectations and my fans’ expectations. I’m sixty-two years old, Mark. This is my last chance to do something with my career and maybe I don’t have much of one, but you can rest assured that I’ll do everything I can to win the title, which means you can guarantee I’ll be giving this match tonight everything I have. CW Anderson is a tremendous young athlete and a big challenge for me, maybe the biggest of my career. But there’s still fight in this old dog, and tonight I’m going to leave it all in the ring.”
“Terry Funk, thank you.”
Elsewhere backstage, we’re in the New Horsemen locker-room. Everyone is there, all fully-suited with the exception of David Flair, who’s ready for action.
“Just remember what we talked about; don’t worry about the victory, David, this match doesn’t matter. Just go out there and try to hurt your opponents, cut down the field and take those guys out. We’re going to be at ringside if you need us, so just make sure you get the job done.”
Flair nods, the instructions are clear...
“Alright, let’s go and get this done.”
They leave the locker-room, united and ready for victory. In the parking lot, it’s time for a gratuitous limo shot as Scott Steiner and Midajah arrive. Their limo parks up next to another, heavily guarded by suited Japanese bodyguards; it’s safe to assume this is the Kyo Dai limo even before Francoise emerges from it. She catches Scott Steiner’s eye but Midajah knows him too well and drags him away.
We’re back with Terry Funk, who’s back in his locker-room taping his wrists when Dustin Rhodes walks in.
“What the hell do you want?”
“Look, Terry, I came to apologize. I should never have helped you win that match against your will, okay? But I’m here to offer you my help.”
“I don’t need your damn help.”
“You do, Terry, just not in the ring. Let me get some guys to help keep the Horsemen out of the ring, okay? I promise you that we’ll stay out of the ring.”
“You’ll stay out of the ring? You make sure you do.”
Rhodes goes to leave…
“Oh, and Dustin…? Thank you.”
Rhodes does a little cowboy nod and leaves to assemble the guys. Back inside the arena, it’s cruiserweight time as “I’ll Do Anything” plays and brings ‘The Prince Of Punk’ Shannon Moore to the ring. He does his best to play heel but, frankly, he’s switched so many times over the years the fans are unsure what to make of him.
“Bawitdaba” plays next, bringing the ever-popular bad-boy of wrestling, Kid Rock to the ring. He gets a mixed reaction from the fans - heel from those who remember his WWE run, face from those ECW fans in attendance. Either way, his talent is clearly appreciated.
The Four Horsemen theme is next over the speakers and now the crowd begins to boo, with the already-much hated figures of Flair, Anderson, Watts, Angle and Weber walking down to the ring together. Flair is the only one dressed to wrestle, as you’d expect, and he takes his place in the ring as the others line-up on the outside. CW takes a seat at the commentary booth and starts talking trash about Marty Jannetty.
Next, “Imperial City” plays and Tajiri makes his way to the ring solo. Clearly, Francoise has decided this match isn’t important enough to warrant him being seconded by his Kyo Dai stablemates. The booing for Tajiri is steady, but it had died down a little from the noise the appearance of the Horsemen elicited.
“Runnin’ Away” begins to play and it’s time for the babyfaces to appear. There’s a big pop for the appearance of Lash LeRoux after a two-year absence from the big stage; clearly he’s still as popular as he always was.
“Loser” floods through the sound system and there’s a small pop for the song before it’s owner, Mikey Whipwreck, even appears. When he does, there’s another small pop for the red-haired cruiserweight legend from the people in the audience who are familiar with the former ECW Triple Crown Champion.
“You Look Fly Today” plays and brings Grandmaster Sexay to the ring, accompanied by his long-time friend and sometime tag partner Rikishi. There’s a huge pop for these two as they make their way to the ring; they’re perennial crowd favourites but sadly they have no time to dance tonight.
Finally, “You Can Run” blares through the speakers and there’s a huge pop as WCW legend Billy Kidman makes his in-ring return to the promotion. Many fans will have hoped to see him sooner than this but they’re certainly relieved to see him appear here tonight. With all eight men in the ring, the referee is ready to get this match underway.
Billy Kidman, Grandmaster Sexay, Lash LeRoux & Mikey Whipwreck (w/Rikishi) vs. Tajiri, David Flair, Kid Kash & Shannon Moore (w/CW Anderson, Erik Watts, Eric Angle & Amy Weber)
This match was exactly what Nitro needed to kick things off in the ring and showed everybody what the show has been missing from the undercard, as all eight men came out at full pace with some rapid and high-impact action to get the crowd on their feet. With everyone seemingly trying to outdo one another, it was no surprise that everybody seemed to spend a lot of time outside of the ring as dives to the floor excited the crowd at regular intervals. Even David Flair, not usually a flier, got in on the action with a plancha to the floor.
It was obvious throughout that Flair’s remit was to try and injure his opponents as he went all-out with some big moves and taking every opportunity whilst out on the floor to use the guard rails, announce table, ring posts and apron as weapons, even managing to sneak in the occasional chairshot when the referee’s back was turned. But these cruiserweights are tougher than they look and nobody was going to let such nefarious tactics stop them. At one stage, all four Horsemen set to work on trying to injure Grandmaster Sexay only to rethink the idea when Rikishi came to his aid.
With everyone else brawling on the outside, the end of the match came when Shannon Moore found himself alone in the ring with Lash LeRoux. Shannon went looking for the Halo off the top only to find Lash had ducked under it; Moore sprang to his feet but it was a bad move as Lash hit the Whiplash 2000! The referee counted three and this one was in the books.
Billy Kidman, Grandmaster Sexay, Lash LeRoux and Mikey Whipwreck
The babyface team celebrated as CW ordered Flair to the back before instructing Watts and Angle to beat down whoever they could get their hands on. They grabbed Mikey and Lash and started beating them down, only to be attacked by Kidman and Sexay. With a four-on-two situation, eventually Watts and Angle succumbed to the numbers and the crowd got their big pop moment when Kidman and Sexay both went to the top; Kidman with the Shooting Star press on Watts, Sexay with the Hip-Hop Drop on Angle and they began to celebrate again as we headed backstage.
In the interview zone, Chris Kanyon is talking to Rue DeBona.
“Chris Kanyon, tonight sees you in the Quarter-Finals of the WCW World Heavyweight Title tournament after your excellent First Round showing against Tajiri. However, tonight’s match sees you facing arguably a different calibre of opponent as you’ll face many people’s favourite to win the tournament, “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner. Can you upset the odds?”
“You know what, Rue? All my life, I’ve had people trying to tell me that I’m not good enough to be on the big stage, that I’m not good enough to be the World Champion. Well, tonight we’ll see whether those guys are wrong or right, because Scott Steiner is the biggest star in World Championship Wrestling and that makes it a make or break night for me. Yes, he’s a former World Champion. Yes, he’s the biggest star in WCW right now. But he’s not unbeatable and now he’s got to face the ‘innovator of offence’ - Chris Kanyon. So Scott, be prepared to bring your ‘A’ game because once again I’m going ask the question: ‘Who betta than Kanyon?’”
Kanyon walks away and we go to the backstage area, where Maven is trying to talk some sense into a hungover-looking Al Snow.
“Look, Al.. I appreciate you’ve been going through some things, man… but you need to stop getting drunk and focus on the task at hand - we’ve got a chance next week to qualify for the TLC match at Souled Out, to win a shot at the World Tag Team Titles. And I want those titles, Al. So you and I are going to go back to the hotel, we’re going to lock ourselves in a room and we’re going to scout all of our opponents, is that clear?”
“Whatever you say, boss.”
There’s screaming from down the corridor as the Nitro Girls come running past, looking scared again. Maven manages to stop Harmony.
“What the hell is going on?”
“Those damn Dicks keep walking in on us!”
She leaves hastily as the Dicks show up, clearly giving chase; Maven steps into their path.
“Guys, this stops now. This is not a game. It is not cool.”
The Dicks stare him down.
“And if we don’t?”
“You do not
want to find out.”
“And what are you going to do about it?”
“Me and Al here will have to beat some sense into you. Right, Al?”
He looks around.
Al has gone. The Dicks laugh at Maven and beat him down, leaving him in a crumbled heap on the floor.
“Let that be a lesson to you, kid. Mind your own business.”
Chad gives him a solid kick in the ribs and they walk away. We move to the Gorilla Position ready for the next match, where Terry Funk is warming up for his match. Dustin Rhodes turns up with the rest of Funk’s ‘back-up’ for tonight - Marty Jannetty and Vader.
“I am now.”
Inside the arena, the Horseman theme is playing for the second time tonight and we’re ready for our first Quarter-Final match as CW Anderson makes his way to the ring accompanied by the rest of the Horsemen. Neither Watts or Angle looks in the best shape, but they’re gutting it out to be by their leader’s side. The crowd boo them without mercy.
“Man With A Harmonica” plays and the crowd pops huge for the appearance of the living legend himself, Terry Funk, as he comes to the ring accompanied by Rhodes, Jannetty and Vader. CW Anderson does not look pleased to see Marty Jannetty will be hanging around ringside.
WCW World Heavyweight Title Tournament - Quarter-Final
Terry Funk (w/Dustin Rhodes, Marty Jannetty & Vader) vs. CW Anderson (w/David Flair, Erik Watts, Eric Angle and Amy Weber)
It’s an ECW fan’s dream in this match as two of the now-defunct (except for the crappy WWE ‘brand’) promotion’s legends face-off one-on-one for the first time in their careers. The bell rings and it’s on as the two men brawl in the ring. Having learned from previous mistakes, Funk is pacing himself a little more in this match and seems happy to give a lot of the action to Anderson in the early going as the two men’s entourages stare each other down on the outside of the ring.
Half-way through the match and this has basically turned into a lumberjack match as an increasingly confused referee keeps finding himself distracted by something on the outside as one of the two competitors is tossed to the opponent’s associates. If the match weren’t so important, he’d no doubt have thrown this one out by now but until someone gives him a blatant excuse for a disqualification, his hands are tied.
As the match drew to a close, CW was on top once again, having still managed to dominate the match despite the neutralisation of his back-up. At it’s climax, Anderson signalled for the end and whipped Funk to the ropes before lifting him for the Spinebuster… but Funk counters with the knee smash! Anderson is dazed and confused and Funk knows this is his last chance. He delivers the boot to the stomach of Anderson and sets him up… Piledriver! Terry Funk brings the crowd to their feet with a huge Piledriver! The referee is down to make the count as Jannetty, Rhodes and Vader scramble to drag the Horseman from the apron: 1...2...3!
There’s celebration in the ring as Funk pulls off a miraculous victory, beating CW Anderson cleanly one-on-one to advance to the Semi-Finals. Funk turns to Rhodes, who kept his promise to stay out of things, and shakes his hand. Jannetty, on the other hand, is distracted. He’s spotted the Horsemen regrouping in the aisle and gone to the top rope… Huge crossbody from Jannetty wipes out the Horsemen and the crowd roars their approval as we head backstage.
We’re right in the bowels of the arena as we’re apparently about to be greeted by an early sermon from Sean O’Haire.
“Resurrection and insurrection… You might well ask what those two things have in common. On the surface, the two ideas couldn’t be more unrelated but both acts are born from an inciting incident. Resurrection is caused by death, by a desperate need for something or someone to return for a greater purpose. An insurrection is inspired by tyranny, when a small group of men finds himself being held down by the forces above his head. Why is that important? Let me explain…
“WCW isn’t the only thing going through a resurrection. I’ve seen the reports, I’ve heard the crowds and I’ve seen the discussions all across the internet. You’re all beginning to recognize a new form of resurrection, a second coming. Right here, right now, you are witnessing the second coming of your new lord and saviour, of the most dominant man in this business today. Sean O’Haire, the one man insurrection is coming to punish the people who choose to hold him back. I’m coming to punish all of you. Next week, you will see the greatest demonstration of my power, the greatest demonstration of my status as the future of World Championship Wrestling. Next week, I will make the greatest statement that sports entertainment have ever seen. Next week, you will all witness the beginning of my legacy. But hey… I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.”
He laughs manically and fades into the darkness.
In their locker-room, The Heart Throbs are giving a pep-talk to their unseen partners.
“Listen, guys, I know you really want to get Shane back and that you weren’t prepared for a match tonight, but now’s the time to suck it up and really make an effort to scare them. You guys have known each other for years, you’ve teamed for longer than Morgan, Reigns or Mamaluke have been in this business. Make the experience count.”
“This isn’t going to be easy, boys. We’ve had our asses handed to us by them more than once but tonight is your night. Make an impact, make a name for yourselves and let Shane know that help is on the way. Now, are you ready?”
“I said ’are you ready?’”
A weak ‘yes, sir’ comes from the guys in the room.
“Let’s get ready to…”
Romeo taps him on the shoulder to interrupt him and shakes his head.
Back inside the arena and Schiavone is speculating as to the identities of the Heart Throbs partners. ‘You know whose catchphrase that is?’ is asked over and over again before being rebutted by Lawler that ‘it can’t be.’ Ever the cynic, Cyrus points out that the guys who use that catchphrase ‘still work up north.’
As they speculate, “Holla If Ya Hear Me” is heard throughout the arena and there’s big heat for ‘Big Poppa Pump’ Scott Steiner and his ‘Number One Freak,’ Midajah. He parades her down the aisle as they make their way to the ring. Stephen DeAngelis is very careful to get his announcement right as he lists Steiner’s achievements: Former World Champion, two-time US Champion, two-time Television Champion, seven-time World Tag Team Champion. Steiner grabs the microphone from him as we make time for everyone’s favourite part of Nitro: Steiner’s roid rage ramble.
“When I got to the arena tonight, I was shocked to discover that my opponent was Chris Kanyon. Kanyon, you call yourself the ‘innovator of offense’ but the truth is that you’re just another fat, useless wannabe like all the rest. Lucky for you, Chris, I like you. I respect ya. I know what you can do and I know that you got a big future ahead of ya, so I’m going to offer you a way out - an escape. You get to keep your dignity, you get to walk away and, most importantly, you get to be on my good side. So what’s it gonna be, Chris? You can forfeit the match and walk away, or take your chances against the man with the largest arms in the world and the man who gets all the girls. Big Poppa Pump is your hook-up… Holla if ya hear me!”
“Who Betta That Kanyon?” is cried out by the sound system as the music of the ‘innovator of offense’ plays, but there’s an awkward silence as the music plays and nobody appears. Steiner grins smugly in the ring, pleased to have gotten his way and an easy ride to the Semi-Finals. But as the camera focuses on him, he goes down - Kanyon has ambushed him by coming in through the crowd! Kanyon is on the attack as the referee panics and rings the bell…
WCW World Heavyweight Title Tournament - Quarter-Final
Chris Kanyon vs. “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner (w/Midajah)
Getting the jump on Steiner was definitely a smart move as Kanyon begins with the advantage in the match and Steiner tries desperately to defend himself. Eventually, his anger gets the best of him and Steiner sneaks in a low blow behind the back of the referee to get himself some respite. Steiner goes on the offensive and immediately his power is too much for Kanyon, who forces himself to try and ground the ‘Big Bad Booty Daddy’ any way he can.
Despite an even match as the two men try to mix-up their brawling and technical styles to get the advantage over one another. A distraction from Midajah on the outside turns out to be the turning point, as she catches the eye of Kanyon and manages to get his attention by flirting with him. Obviously, she’s not his type - in joke - but that’s enough to give Steiner the time to hit him with the Belly-to-Belly suplex and lock Kanyon in the Steiner Recliner. Kanyon taps, the bell rings but Steiner refuses to let go until he’s pulled away by the referee.
Steiner continues to beat down on Kanyon until the referee and Midajah persuade him to stop. He spits on Kanyon and leaves the ring as we cut to the back. We’re in Bischoff’s office where he’s stood behind his desk facing Morgan, Mamaluke and Reigns, giving a last-minute ‘pep-talk’ to his team.
“Listen up. I don’t care who the Heart Throbs are hinting at being their partners - you have one job tonight: Beat them. Hurt them, cripple them, main them. I know they’ve been dropping hints about having those degenerates in the building but I’ve spoken to security and they’ve seen no sign of any of them. So whoever it is, they’ve managed to keep it a secret and sneak them into the arena. Who they are doesn’t matter; Morgan, Reigns, you guys are two of the biggest athletes in the world today and you can put these guys on the shelf for life if you want. Mamaluke, you may not have the size, but you have that sick, twisted, devious mind and I expect you to use it. That being said, it’s time. Be ready.”
He leads them out the door, all fired up.
Elsewhere backstage, a random lackey has found Al Snow asleep in the back of an equipment truck.
He stirs a little. The lackey gives his shoulder a shake and his eyes snap open as he takes a drunken swipe at the offender. Taking the time to let his eyes adjust to the light, Snow fixates on the lackey.
“It’s Maven, Al. He’s on his way to hospital. I thought you should know.”
Snow gets up and staggers across the parking lot to his car. He climbs in, starts the engine and reverses straight into another car. The lackey comes running.
Lackey: “I’ll call a cab.”
He notices Al holding his neck.
“And the trainer.”
Back in the arena, “I’m Back” is playing and Eric Bischoff comes to the ring with Morgan, Reigns and Mamaluke in tow. It’s an odd combination, but the fans hate them all equally anyway. He grabs the microphone from Stephen DeAngelis and waits for the crowd to die down. They don’t.
“Will you all just shut up?”
“I said ‘shut up’ and I don’t have all night.”
The noise doesn’t die down, but he’s got to press on.
“Earlier tonight those damned Heart Throbs came out here and made the mistake of challenging me and my boys to a match at Souled Out. Well, now it’s time to play your hand, Heart Throbs. Time to show the entire world who the other three members of your team are. I don’t care if they are a bunch of degenerates, the time has come to put your cards on the table and let the whole world see what you’ve got.”
“Heart Throb” plays and brings the Heart Throbs themselves out to the ramp to a massive cheer. They have microphones of their own with them.
“Now, Eric, are you sure you want to do this? You’re sure you want to make this match happen?”
“I’m sure. And what’s more, I’m sure you’ll want it to be a fair fight, so I’m going to be banning you both from ringside. If either of you so much as appear at the top of the ramp between the bells, you lose your match at Souled Out. Do I make myself clear?”
“Loud and clear, Eric.”
“And one last thing. Shane’s going to be watching, so make this good.”
Shane McMahon appears on the Jumbotron, tied up, bloody and watching hopefully.
“Okay, Eric, you asked for it.”
They step aside as “Greenwich Mean Streets” plays. The fans are confused, they expected some version of D-X but instead they’ve got… Pete Gas, Joey Abs and Rodney - The Mean Street Posse. The four-time WWF Hardcore Champions shake hands with their friends as they leave before marching purposefully towards the ring. Bischoff and his crones are in fits of laughter.
“These are your team mates? Hahaha! This should be quick, but I‘ll give you a fighting chance: In this match, there will be no disqualifications. Referee, ring the bell.”
No Disqualification Match
The Mean Street Posse (Joey Abs, Pete Gas & Rodney) vs. Matt Morgan, Luther Reigns & Tony Mamaluke
As expected, the Mean Street Posse dive into the ring and are immediately set upon by the heels. Officially, it’s a tag match, but with no DQs, there’s nothing the ref can do about this assault. The match is over almost immediately, and it’s not two minutes before all three MSP members are dazed and confused, if not unconscious. But Bischoff is at ringside and he’s very specific about not ending the match yet. They continue to beat down on the three fallen friends of Shane as Mamaluke directs traffic.. Despite being forced to watch, he can barely look himself as his lifelong friends are being decimated in the ring.
Finally, Mamaluke, Reigns, Morgan and, most importantly, Bischoff have had enough of this. He begins to throw chairs into the ring and Mamaluke explains what they’re going to do with a demonstration. He drags Pete Gas to the ring, traps his ankles and wrists in folded chairs and goes around, one by one, dropping his knee on the chairs and breaking them. Morgan and Reigns take the chairs and do the same to Abs and Rodney. Satisfied, Bischoff orders them to end this horrific, chilling assault and they cover. The referee reluctantly counts three and this one is over.
Matt Morgan, Luther Reigns and Tony Mamaluke
As Bischoff and his boys survey the damage, The Heart Throbs come running to the ring surrounded by an army of EMTs with stretchers. Bischoff leads his boys back up the aisle as harsh words are exchanged between the two sides.
Backstage in the interview zone, Scott Hudson is with Dustin Rhodes. Rhodes looks agitated, like he has a lot on his mind.
“Scott Hudson here, and you join me backstage with a man who’s found himself the centre of some controversy here in WCW, “The Lonestar” Dustin Rhodes. Dustin, first of all I want to ask you about the recent goings-on between you and Terry Funk. Two weeks ago on Nitro we saw you go against the wishes of Funk and assist him in his match against Orlando Jordan and, since Mr. Funk found out about your assistance last week, things have been a little rocky between you. I’m sure the two things the fans would like to know are your reasons behind helping him, and what the relationship between the two of you is like now?”
“Scott, let me address those questions in order. I helped Terry because he’s my friend and because he’s a legend of this sport. These days, nobody respects the legends, nobody gives them a second thought and nobody has any faith in them. All I wanted to do was restore some of that faith, to show the people that legends have a place in this business and it backfired. I realise now that in trying to get the people to respect Terry, I showed him none myself. As you saw tonight, Terry Funk can still hang with the very best of them and even scored a clean win over CW Anderson of the New Horsemen.
“As for our relationship right now, I realise that I have work to do to regain his trust but I know that I’ll never lose the faith in Terry Funk again.”
“Your attempt to help Mr. Funk has, in turn, incensed Orlando Jordan. Obviously, to help one man you had to - and pardon my editorialising here - screw another. It’s very clear that Orlando Jordan is angry, that he wants revenge, and that he’ll stop at nothing until he’s satisfied. Any words for Mr. Jordan?”
“OJ, I understand your anger. I understand that what I did harmed your career and I apologize. But your actions since then are not the actions of a man. You’re angry? You want me to apologize? You don’t need to attack me to get my attention, you just need to come to me, like a man and ask for an apology. Until now, you’ve done me a great courtesy by not involving yourself in my matches and I appreciate that. But last week, you didn’t just attack me, you attacked Terry Funk. Hopefully, you’ve got your anger out of your system. Hopefully, you can be a man, accept my apology and move on with your life. But if you can’t, OJ… If you can’t accept that, if you don’t move on, if you attack me again… I will not be responsible for my actions.”
“And finally, tonight you find yourself in the Quarter-Finals of the WCW World Heavyweight Title Tournament and your opponent is none other than a man most believe to be the greatest never to hold a World Title, Scott Hall. How do you see this one going down?”
Rhodes grabs the microphone from Hudson to answer this one.
“The greatest never to hold a World Title, huh? Well, Scott, you just made this match a little more personal than it was. It was supposed to be about pure competition, two veterans going face-to-face for a shot at the biggest prize in out sport. But now, Scott Hudson, you’ve raised the bar. People are really calling Scott Hall the greatest wrestler never to hold a World Title? Well guess what, Scott? I’ve never held the World Title either. And now you’ve laid down the gauntlet: Dustin Rhodes. Scott Hall… Who is really the greatest wrestler never to hold a World Heavyweight Championship? I guess we’re going to have to find out.”
Dustin thrusts the microphone back at him, gives him an angry stare and walks away. It seems Scott Hudson just poured fuel on this fire.
The director cuts away to our latest MMA video package. This one focuses on Sylvester Terkay as various former opponents and his trainers discuss his ‘awesome’ pedigree. Gary Goodridge praises his MMA skills, Eric Angle talks about his amateur wrestling background - specifically his fabled NCAA Division I Tournament final loss against his brother Kurt. He’s also discussed at length by his pro wrestling trainer, Rick Bassman and his former ECW manager, Elijah Burke. Tony Mamaluke and Tatanka also weigh in.
After that, it’s back to the interview zone as Mark Lloyd catches up with Orlando Jordan. He’s causally dressed in street clothes, unsurprising as he’s not on the card tonight.
“OJ, we just heard from Dustin Rhodes as he apologized for his actions and asked you to ‘be a man,’ accept his apology and let the past be the past. Your response, sir?”
“First of all, my name is Orlando Jordan. You are not my friend, and you will not refer to me as OJ. Second, Dustin Rhodes, if you think I’m going to just accept your apology, walk away and forget anything ever happened, you must be the craziest man in professional wrestling. It’s not like you tripped me in the hall or spilled my coffee - you cost me my shot at the World Heavyweight Title. You cost me a place at the top of the mountain. You think an apology will fix that? I don’t care who you are, I don’t care who your daddy is, I don’t care about your reasons or what you’ve achieved. The fact here, Dustin, is that you need to learn tat your actions have consequences and there comes a time when you have to pay for your mistakes in blood.
“Watch your back, Dustin.”
He laughs and walks away, taking us back into the arena where that familiar sound fills the sound system: “n-n-nWo... 4 life!” - the nWo theme plays, bringing Scott Hall out to the arena to a fairly decent cheer. No matter how hard he tries, he’ll never truly be a heel in front of a WCW crowd. He uses a little Latin swagger on the way to the ring, flicks his toothpick at the camera and climbs over the ropes, throwing the ‘wolfpac’ hand signal in the air as he does. He grabs the microphone form Stephen DeAngelis, who at this point may as well just hand it to everybody, and prepares to talk.
The crowd pops. It’s a cheap pop at this point, but what are you going to do?
“Two weeks ago, Scott Hall returned to WCW for the first time in six years and immediately made an impact by beating D’Lo Brown. Before that match, I talked about being ‘for life’ - something my brothers don’t appear to understand. I see them walking around here - and I’m talking to you, Eric Bischoff, Scott Steiner and DDP - afraid to represent. Well, tonight, I’m going to continue to do what you boys have failed to do - I’m going to represent the black and white. And I’m going to do it all the way to the World Heavyweight Title.”
“Lonestar” plays, bringing Dustin Rhodes to the ring. He’s alone, but definitely ready for action. The anger he’s been carrying since talking to Scott Hudson is apparent and his eyes are fixed on the task at hand: Beating Scott Hall and restoring his reputation.
WCW World Heavyweight Title Tournament - Quarter-Final
“The Lonestar” Dustin Rhodes vs. Scott Hall
The bell rings and the two men lock-up for a test of strength. There’s a real big-match feeling to this match among the crowd as they’ve heard Dustin Rhodes’ backstage comments. Dustin wins the test of strength, forcing Hall back into the corner, but he takes a kick in the gut when he gets there and this match is on as Hall begins his assault. They mostly brawl inside the ring; the respect between the two men is such that they never follow each other to the floor, preferring to settle this one in the ring.
Eventually, Rhodes fought his way back into the match and the two men had the crowds on the edge of their seats throughout a gruelling battle. Rhodes eventually battled his way on top, finally hitting the Lone Star State Of Mind! Cover: 1...2...NO! Scott Hall kicks out and Rhodes can’t believe it! He’s convinced that was a three count and Hall is still down - he has no idea where he is. Rhodes is going to have to tone his argument down or he’ll get disqualified here. The referee has got angry and pushed Rhodes away, but Rhodes has snapped and levelled him with a big right hand.
“Do What I Want To” plays and it’s all eyes on the ramp as Orlando Jordan comes running to the ring. He slides inside and immediately trades punches with Rhodes. They’re brawling all over the ring as Scott Hall struggles to regain consciousness - he’d definitely have been counted out by now if the ref weren’t on the floor - and OJ has a distinct advantage over the tired Rhodes. He beats him into the corner, using the Johnson Shuffle to rock him before watching him stagger to the centre of the ring. The referee is on his feet but he’s too angry with Rhodes to stop this as Jordan kicks him in the gut: Cracker Jacker!
Jordan rolls out of the ring and watches as Scott Hall climbs to his feet. With great effort, he drags Rhodes up and lifts him… The Razor’s Edge! The referee counts, no need for a quick one here: 1...2...3!
Scott Hall celebrates as OJ climbs back into the ring to beat down on Dustin Rhodes some more, thoroughly embarrassing him and continuing the assault until Rhodes is battered and bloody. I guess that apology hasn’t been accepted.
Backstage in the interview zone, Rue has been joined by Totally Buff…
“Totally Buff… tonight is the night you’ve been waiting for as you finally get your hands on Gymini. After two weeks of their assaults, you finally get the opportunity for revenge…”
Buff snatches away the microphone.
“You know what, Rue? For two weeks those idiots have been thorns in our sides. They attack us in the weight room, they attack us in the ring, they’ve even been attacking us on WCW.com! They try and call us old and washed-up… well, boys, pro wrestling is like a Hollywood movie - no matter how old it is, the original is still better than the remake. You stepped into Totally Buff’s house one time too many and you better believe we’re going to throw you out.”
Luger grabs the mic.
“That’s right, Buff. Gymini, I hope you’ve got health insurance because Totally Buff are coming for your ass.”
Luger simply drops the mic and they walk away.
In the parking lot, two ambulances are waiting to be loaded with the Mean Street Posse. The Heart Throbs can’t apologize enough as they climb in an ambulance each to accompany the severely injured friends of Shane McMahon to the hospital.
Elsewhere backstage, we’re greeted by the exciting lead-in to the commercial break as we see Gymini in the gym hitting a few more reps before their match. As they get up to walk to the ring, we get a split screen as both teams walk toward the Gorilla Position. Jake and Lex are both using exercise bands as they walk to the ring, trying to keep themselves pumped as their partners look fully focussed. That match, Schiavone reminds us, is next!
Back in the arena and “Sticks and Stone” is playing, which brings Gymini out to the ring. These guys might be young, big and powerful but they’re also ugly as sin - any of the above reasons could be behind the crowd booing them. If they weren’t so big, they’d be nondescript.
As they wait patiently, trying their best to heel it up, “Buff Daddy” plays to a huge, roaring cheer from the fans in the building. It’s amazing that Totally Buff should draw this reaction having spent so much of their career as heels, but the fans love a “WCW Original.” They climb in the ring to face off with Gymini and the referee prepares to get this one underway.
WCW World Tag Team Title TLC Qualifying Match
Totally Buff (Buff Bagwell & Lex Luger) vs. Gymini (Jake & Jesse Gymini)
As soon as the bell rings the underlying rage between these two teams in unleashed and a brawl erupts that spills throughout the arena. As Buff takes Jesse up into the crowd, Jake and Luger spill backstage and the referee seems entirely unwilling to count this one out - after all, there must be a winner!
Eventually, Buff and Jesse return to the ring, shortly followed by Jake and Luger and the four men brawl in the ring. The rule book seems to have flown out the window as no tags are taking place but the referee is being suitably flexible with the rules. He knows what’s at stake and how much these teams hate each other. Don Callis makes a joke about ‘Roid Rage’ that he’s going to regret when he gets backstage, I’m sure.
The end finally came as Buff and Jake spilled to the outside brawling, leading this one to mercifully end when Lex locked Jesse in the Torture Rack, forcing him to tap out.
Despite the match being over, the uncontrollable brawl continues after the bell as all four men continue to brawl right up the aisle and backstage. Out cameras eventually catch up with them as they battle right past the interview zone, where a bemused Diamond Dallas Page is waiting with Scott Hudson.
“Diamond Dallas Page, just one match left in the Quarter-Finals of this tournament and it’s one of the more hotly anticipated match-ups that this tournament has produced so far; the conflicting styles as you, DDP, will take on the hard-hitting Japanese superstar Masato Tanaka. We know that you’ve got the championship pedigree, but can you really match up to a man with the combined force of Kyo Dai at his side?”
“You know what, Scott Hudson? I’m not concerned about anybody in this tournament, much less the ‘combined forces of Kyo Dai.’ You make them sound like some kind of terrorist network, Hudson… That’s highly disrespectful of you.
“Masato Tanaka, you’re a great competitor and a tremendous talent but you’ve never held the most important title belt in this sport: the twelve pounds of gold that makes up the WCW World Heavyweight Title. Now, I appreciate that you’re a revered talent among fans on the independent circuit and back home in Japan, but here in America, here in WCW there’s only one man that the fans care about and it’s me… it’s me… it’s D…D…P.
“Masato Tanaka, Francoise, Kyo Dai… tonight, I’m going to allow you to witness the greatest sight in professional wrestling because for one night only, Diamond Dallas Page is going to demonstrate why he’s the one true ‘People’s Champion’ and why he’s the next WCW World Heavyweight Champion.
“Get ready to feel… the… BANG!!!”
He explodes the self-high five as the crowd pops huge for him.
Elsewhere backstage, we find ourselves outside the locker room of Kyo Dai and we’re greeted by a telling sight as Francoise leads her men towards the ring. Behind her, Tanaka and Sakoda walk together while Tajiri lags behind like a petulant child. Clearly he still hasn’t made the boss’ good books.
We then find ourselves in Coach’s office as he’s in the midst of apparently Fung Shui-ing the place. He’s startled by the sound of Dustin Rhodes bursting through the door in a fit of rage. He still hasn’t changed since his match and is covered in drying blood from the assault that took place earlier tonight.
“Coach, we need to talk.”
Coach turns to face him, but says nothing.
“I’ve had enough of Orlando Jordan. If he thinks he can just walk around here doing whatever the hell he likes then he’s got another thing coming. I want - I demand - a match with him next week.”
“Whoa, Dustin… First things first, okay? I’m in charge here. You don’t call the shots and you sure as hell don’t demand anything from me. You’re accusing OJ of doing whatever the hell he likes? Weren’t you the guy who attacked him and cost him his shot at the World Heavyweight Title in the first place?”
“I apologized for that, coach. It was a mistake.”
“Yeah, you know it was a mistake now that he’s kicked your ass twice in two weeks. I don’t think he wants to accept your apology, do you?”
Rhodes doesn’t look pleased at this.
“Look, I can’t just give you a match with Orlando Jordan next week, the boss will kill me. That’s a money match, for sure. But I’m willing to compromise, okay? We have another situation boiling so if you do me a favour, I’ll give you your match at Souled Out.”
“What’s this ‘favour’ Coach?”
“I want you agree to take part in a tag team match next week on Nitro. I want to impress Mr. Bischoff with a big main event on my first full night on the job… So I’m going to team you with Marty Jannetty to take on CW Anderson and Orlando Jordan. How does that sound?”
“Not bad, but not quite good enough. If I agree to this, what’s in it for me?”
“How about the winner of the match picks the stipulation for Souled Out? If you and Jannetty win, you pick the match. But if CW and OJ win…”
“That won’t happen. You’ve got yourself a deal.”
They shake hands, both men satisfied with their end of the bargain.
Back inside the arena and it’s time for our main event of the evening as “Imperial City” plays to signal the entrance of Masato Tanaka, accompanied by his Kyo Dai associates. He stops at the bottom of the ramp, turns to face Francoise and bows respectfully to her before climbing in the ring. The crowd is booing like crazy - gotta love some good ol’ redneck xenophobia.
The crowd then explodes in a cacophony of noise as “Self-High Five” plays and… nobody appears at the top of the ramp. There’s a brief lull of confusion until they realise that DDP is making his way to the ring through the crowd! He stops at the top of the final flight of stairs to ‘Self-High Five’ and shakes hands with his fans as he walks that final distance to the guard rail, jumps it and climbs triumphantly into the ring. DDP is still the ‘People’s Champion.’
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Tournament - Quarter-Final
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Masato Tanaka (w/Francoise, Ryan Sakoda and Tajiri)
The bell rings and the battle is on. Tanaka comes out aggressively, beating down on DDP who appears completely unprepared for the powerful force that is Masato Tanaka’s strong style wrestling. DDP quickly has to re-evaluate his strategy and try to defend himself. Tanaka continues to rain in the blows unmercifully to the point where even the referee takes pity on DDP and forces the break a couple of times. Page rolls to the floor to evaluate his options and it’s definitely good time to milk the ten count for the breather.
Back inside and DDP has found his mojo again as he begins to fight back with a little more ferocity. Tanaka, knowing he can’t win this as a brawl anymore, decides to start going technical an breaks out a handful of suplexes. Page will not be undone, however, as he can throw them with the best and now we have two guys jockeying for position with their evenly-matched styles. Page gets the advantage once again, locking Tanaka in an armbar to wear him down and we have a lull in the action as he reaches desperately for the ropes. He’s not going to make it but Francoise is on the apron and Tajiri and Sakoda come in to attack Page.
Page battles to his feet and starts to take them both on. He ducks a Buzzsaw Kick from Tajiri which wipes out Sakoda instead before hitting Tajiri with the Diamond Cutter. There’s a huge pop as he roll s to the outside! He turns to face Sakoda, who’s dazed and confused… another Diamond Cutter! The crowd are on their feet as he approaches Francoise, bringing her into the ring the hard way. He stalks her as she slowly makes her way to her feet and the crowd are begging him to hit her with the Cutter, but a low blow from Tanaka stops him in his tracks and she scrambles from the ring.
Page is winded as Tanaka runs to the ropes… Roaring Elbow! Cover: 1...2...NO! That was 2.9999 when Page kicked out! Tanaka can’t believe it, he’s remonstrating wildly with the referee as Page struggles to his feet. Francoise is begging him to turn around and finish the match but by the time he relents, it’s too late. Page is on his feet… Diamond Cutter! The crowd counts with the referee: 1...2...3! A huge cheer erupts from the crowd as this match ends in a big win for the People’s Champion.
Diamond Dallas Page
Page celebrates his way up the aisle as Francoise makes her way into the ring, berating Tanaka for such a poor showing. As we go off the air, the last images we see are of Tanaka begging forgiveness and Page celebrating with his fans!