Backstage News & Notes
Sunday 21st January 2007
Well, it’s Sunday and that means another edition of Backstage News & Notes exclusively on WCWFans.com
. A whole new timeslot for this episode of Nitro
but hopefully some of you stayed up to catch what proved an exciting night.
The World Heavyweight Title Tournament continued and we now know the identities of the final four men in the running for the title: Terry Funk, Diamond Dallas Page, Scott Hall and Scott Steiner. The company have yet to announce the semi-final matches, with insider sources telling us that they’re going to be drawn live on Monday night. The ‘smart’ money seems to be on Scott Steiner, who many feel the only man worthy of the belt, but there’s a groundswell of support for the living legend Terry Funk to get one more run with the belt. It’s been ten years since he shocked the world by winning the ECW belt and now fans seem determined that he’ll add to his collection.
We also found out who the third team to enter TLC will be, with Totally Buff overcoming their nemeses Gymini and advancing to Souled Out
. The qualifying for that match concludes this week as Maven and Al Snow take on the reunited force of The Impact Players. Al Snow and Maven have had their issues recently as Snow battles the bottle, much to Maven’s frustration. To make matters worse, Maven was beaten down by The Dicks this week while trying to save the Nitro Girls from their advances.
The Heart Throbs hatched a plan to get Shane McMahon back by challenging Eric Bischoff and his boys to a 5-on-5 match at Souled Out
, claiming they had three friends of Shane in the back willing to fight alongside them. Bischoff agreed to the challenge on the condition that those three friends face Matt Morgan, Luther Reigns and Tony Mamaluke on Nitro
. When the match came around, the Heart Throbs’ partners were revealed to be the Mean Street Posse! Bischoff’s boys made light work of then men from the Greenwich, leaving them in hospital, according to WCW.com
. What does this mean for the Heart Throbs and Souled Out?
Dustin Rhodes was ejected from the World Heavyweight Title Tournament due to the interference from a vengeful Orlando Jordan. A furious Rhodes demanded a match with OJ next week but was instead given two; this week on Nitro
he’ll team with Marty Jannetty to take on Orlando Jordan and his partner CW Anderson. Whichever man ends up on the winning side will get to pick the stipulation for their one-on-one contest at Souled Out
The problems between Jannetty and Anderson also came to a head this week when Jannetty was part of Terry Funk’s back-up to counteract the Horsemen. After a brawl between the two sides he took the liberty of launching himself over the top rope and taking out the Horsemen with a big crossbody. We presume tensions between the two will mount on Nitro
and expect for them to interact somehow on PPV.
Finally... The cruiserweights returned and it was a pleasure, as always, to see them in action. An outstanding highflying contest saw the babyfaces pick up the win and all of us here at WCWFans.com
are extremely excited to see them go at it at Souled Out
is just eight days away and as things stand, we have the following matches confirmed:
WCW World Heavyweight Title
Any two from Terry Funk, DDP, Scott Hall & Scott Steiner
For Shane McMahon's Freedom:
The Heart Throbs & (presumably) The Mean Street Posse vs. Matt Morgan, Luther Reigns & The FBI (Tony Mamaluke, Tony DeVito & Big Guido w/Trinity & Eric Bischoff)
WCW World Tag Team Titles - TLC Match
The Legion Of Doom vs. The Basham Brothers (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Totally Buff vs Maven & Al Snow or
The Impact Players
Grudge Match - Stipulation TBD on Nitro
"The Lonestar" Dustin Rhodes vs. Orlando Jordan
WCW World Cruiserweight Title - 8-Pack Challenge
Billy Kidman vs. Tajiri (w/Kyo Dai) vs. Kid Kash vs. Mikey Whipwreck vs. Lash LeRoux vs. Grandmaster Sexay vs. David Flair (w/The New Horsemen) vs. "The Prince Of Punk" Shannon Moore
Things appear to be shaping up nicely for the show, with only a couple more matches expected to be added tomorrow night to round off a great card.
In backstage news from last week, there was apparently a big debate about one or two of the quarter-final matches. Heyman and Bischoff were seen arguing about the outcomes of both the DDP-Tanaka and Anderson-Funk matches. There seems to be a little dissension about the pushes the younger guys are getting from Bischoff, but Heyman has ultimately won out by asking Easy E to trust him.
There have also been heated discussions between Heyman, Bischoff and DSW director Tom Pritchard. Pritchard has reported that The Great Khali has become problematic in Atlanta by being unwilling to learn or improve in the ring, while Heyman is reluctant to call him up to the main roster until he improves in the ring. Bischoff has been playing the role of mediator in this one, as he understands the concerns of both men. From a business perspective, it’s better for the company to try and develop Khali as a wrestler, though rushing him onto television has the obvious benefit of them being able to hype a former WWE World Heavyweight Champion on the show. This battle will surely continue.
The decision to bring in Jonathan Coachman as WCW Commissioner has been reported by our sources to be Bischoff's idea. The two men became good friends whilst working together in the WWE and Bischoff is said to be extremely excited at Coach's potential in the role.
To the ratings, not that they matter without the two companies being head-to-head. Nitro
did a 1.03 in it’s graveyard timeslot to Raw
’s 6.94. Interesting to note that the WWE still lost viewers, despite being unopposed. Obviously, that 1.03 won’t include any PVR recordings and you’d expect that many fans recorded the show due to being at work/school the following morning. WCW insiders tell us they hope to be back in a more sociable timeslot in the near future.
A couple of signings to talk about this week. As many will have deduced from the introduction of the countdown on Nitro
this week, it’s believed that an agreement was reached with Chris Jericho. The nature of the agreement is unknown, and could just be to promote the use of his single. Either way, by my calculations, the countdown runs out in the final quarter of the Nitro
after Souled Out. Take that for what it’s worth.
In other news, we’re told negotiations are at an ‘advanced stage’ with a member of TNA’s roster. The star in question has links to WCW and is coming to the end of his contract, but that’s all the information we have at this time.
Developmental news, now, as DSW ran a ’super’ show out of Marietta, GA this week in front of a crowd of 400. Results as follows:
1. Mitch & Johnny of Team Spirit d. The Major Brothers
2. David Young & Lance Hoyt d. Idol Stevens & KC James
3. Balls Mahoney d. Oleg Prudius in a hardcore match
4. Candice Michelle & Angel Williams d. Beth Phoenix & Shantelle Taylor
5. MVP d. Lance Cade
6. Claudio Castagnoli & Dan Rodimer d. Henry Godwinn & Brad Armstrong
7. The Miz (managed by Matt Striker) d. Cody Rhodes
8. The Un-Touchable (w/Cherry Pie) d. Urban Assault to retain the DSW Tag Team Titles
9. The Great Khali d. Elijah Burke to retain the DSW Heavyweight Title
The Miz is now being managed by Matt Striker, with the two said to be one of the most obnoxious pairings in recent history; many in the company want to see if the pairing is good enough to go to television for the long-term, so keep your eyes peeled. MVP debuted in what many called an ‘excellent match’ against Lane Cade and, again, the company is looking to get both men on television soon.
Khali’s victory over Elijah Burke was said to have been a ‘close contest’ until Burke was attacked by Kevin Thorn. Thorn cut a promo in which he referred to their shared past in WWECW as his motivation for the attack.
That’s all the notes we have right now, but we’ll be back next week with more Backstage News & Notes.