Welcome to Connor’s Retro Rewind. I’m Connor McGrath, your guide to the miscellania of WWE Network. Today, I’m looking back at WCW’s second to last pay per view, SuperBrawl Revenge. 2001 WCW is always fascinating to me. They seemed like they were finally making a sincere effort at righting the ship, only the roster was too obliterated and the damage inflicted by the idiocy of Bischoff & Russo too heavy to fix things. I watched the first hour of Nitro and saw a lot of promise but not enough promise to buy the pay per views. And since WCW didn’t release their last six pay per views on home video, I didn’t have the chance to catch up…until now!
WCW SuperBrawl Revenge
February 18th, 2001
Live from the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee
Announcers: Tony Schiavone & Scott Hudson
Alright, before I even press play, not off to a great start as four out of five of the guys on the poster for this show do not appear on this card because they were “retired” (or in the case of SID, suffered a gruesome career ending leg injury) in storyline. Card subject to change and all.
Opening video package is lame as some unseen psychopath makes a collage targeted towards evil WCW CEO Ric Flair. Tonight, the stars of WCW get Revenge at SuperBrawl Revenge!
Tony Schiavone & Scott Hudson welcome us to the show, emanating from the “capacity” Nashville Municipal Auditorium (it does look a decent crowd by last days of WCW standards so I won’t fault them TOO MUCH) . MAJOR Card change as Kidman was brutally assaulted on the pregame show by Road Warrior Animal. Animal was a weird late addition to the WCW roster. I mean, not weird when you consider the guy running WCW at the time was his real life brother, John
Laryngitis Lauranitis. Kidman won’t be appearing in our opening six man cruiserweight match.
Six Man Elimination Match for a shot at the WCW Cruiserweight Title at Greed featuring; Shannon Moore, Yun Yang, Evan Karagias, Jamie Noble, Kaz Hayashi, and Shane Helms
This is four corners rules. Any man can tag any man but this is not a tag team match. Only one man can win! Tony says there is a replacement for Kidman but we don’t know who it is. Everybody in this match’s theme outside of Shannon Moore’s is generic as hell. “Can’t Get You Out of My Heart” was a legit pretty decent pastiche of ’00s boy band pop.
Who’s the mystery replacement for Kidman?
It’s Shane Helms, who lost a qualifier for this match to Kaz Hayashi. Shannon Moore looks pissed! I don’t think Two Count had technically broken up at this point but were about to. Shane Helms also seems to be acting more like a fiery babyface than singing/dancing doof heel. The Jung Dragons, Two Count, Noble & Karagias are all working together but only one man’s getting a shot at the Cruiserweight Title Shot! It seems like these guys opened up a lot of these later WCW PPVs and it’s honestly, a smart move. These guys make up for their lack of experience with a lot of energy.
Tony points out that Chavo doesn’t want to face Shane Helms since they had a tough match at Sin last month. Man, the PPV names for these last few WCW shows were dumb. Even the classic SuperBrawl had an unnecessary “Revenge” added to it.
This match seems a little more cohesive/better than their previous clusterfucks (which were decent enough), There’s a spot where everyone whiffs on moves off the top. Referee Scott James (Future crooked ref/former job guy Scott Armstrong) doesn’t know what to make of this! Fans are enjoying this spotfest. Noble & Karagias are the first team to EXPLODE trying to decide who gets the cover. Yang eliminates Evan Kargias with a… hm? I don’t know. Tony calls it a neckbreaker.
(checks Graham Cawthon’s site)
“a series of botched moves”
OK, then. Crowd’s pissed. Jamie Noble pins Yang seconds later with a pile driver. Two Count is the last cohesive team in. Shannon Moore eliminates Jamie Noble with a Bottoms Up (Rocker Dropper) off the top. It’s down to Three Count and Kaz Hayashi. Shannon hits the Bottoms Up on Shane. Scott Hudson wants to know what’s going on here!? TWO COUNT EXPLODES! Kaz and Shannon double team Sugar Shane. Kaz doesn’t have this for very long before he wallops Shannon.
Shannon goes for the Bottoms Up on Kaz but Sugar Shane stops this and hits Moore with the Nightmare on Helms Street to eliminate the future Brickface from the match. Shane Helms wins with the Vertaebreaker, a ridiculously cool looking move that’s so dangerous that I can’t believe that a major promotion would let anyone use it. WCW was in its death throes so they probably were just like “Whatevs”. Shane Helms won a WCW Cruiserweight Title Shot! He wasn’t supposed to be in this match! Really, fun energetic opener. ***1/2
Tony & Scott bring up how close Helms was to winning the Cruiserweight Title last month.
We get HIDDEN SECURITY FOOTAGE of Ric Flair, Animal, and Chavo Guerrero Jr conspiring. This was right before the pre-show. Ric Flair has a lot to answer for.
Hugh Morrus Vs (It’s) The Wall (, brother!) is next. Hey! Here’s a feud I don’t remember. Morrus makes a lot of “Rection”/Direction puns. And this guy rags on other people’s promo skills on WWE Countdown. Hugh Morrus has nothing but hatred in his heart for The Wall
Ric Flair pays a visit to Scott Steiner’s dressing room and hands him an envelope.
Commissioner Lance Storm (I don’t remember that angle either) stops Kronik. Bryan Clarke isn’t cleared to wrestle. Brian Adams will have to wrestle solo.
Hugh Morrus Vs The Wall
Hugh Morrus is back to his question mark tights. He also comes out to a knockoff of Scorpions “The Zoo” that I think he was using before MIA. Morrus and The Wall would have died for each other a few months back and now they want to kill each other. This is a not very good brawl. A lot of the dudes laying on the mat selling. Watching this, I think of a phrase Bret Hart used to describe later Hulk Hogan matches in his book; “It looked like two elephants fighting over a waterhole.” Hugh Morrus finishes this with the No Laughing Matter. * Hugh Morrus’ hatred is so deep that he hits a second No Laughing Matter after the bell!
Backstage, Konnan wants to talk to Ric Flair but he gets stopped by Road Warrior Animal. Konnan and Road Warrior Animal get into a brawl that gets broken up by security. Road Warrior Animal & Konnan…now that’s an odd pairing.
We get a video package about the Natural Born Thrillers EXPLODING! I don’t remember a Natural Born Thrillers breakup angle either! Guess I wasn’t watching WCW that much during this era.
WCW World Tag Team Titles Match: Sean O’Haire & Chuck Palumbo (c) Vs Mark Jindrak & Shawn Stasiak
Shawn Stasiak cuts a heel promo, calling out the Titans who had just lost the Super Bowl a month earlier. Sean O’Haire tells him to SHADDUP! Neither of these guys can really cut a live promo. Sean O’Haire’s got good intensity. Can see why Bischoff wanted to make him the face of WCW in ’01. This is a lot like the opener. These guys are green but they’re energetic and really eager to get a chance to shine on a major stage. Like the opposite of a lot of WCW mid-card matches in ’99-’00. This is just a simple, well worked tag match where they let four young dudes do what they do best. Tony mentions that O’Haire has been in the business for less than two years at this point.
Checked Wikipedia. O’Haire debuted eight months before this and was already a tag team champ, rapidly ascending up the card. Damn. Shawn Stasiak is the veteran, having three years of experience. They do a good job of putting O’Haire over as a beast. He really was a once in a life time prospect and it’s really too bad that his personal demons derailed a promising career. Seanton Bomb wins it for the O’Haire & Palumbo. ***
Dustin Rhodes, looking like someone who’d hang out with one of my uncles, cuts a promo on evil CEO Ric Flair.
We get a look back at the feud leading up to Chavo Guerrero Jr and Rey Mysterio Jr’s match for the Cruiserweight Title. At one point during this, Road Warrior Animal squashed Kidman & Rey Mysterio. Sure, I don’t see why you would not feed your top cruiserweights to a tag team wrestler that’s a mere ten years past his prime. Why did this company go out of business!?
WCW Cruiserweight Title Match: Chavo Guerrero Jr (c) Vs Rey Mysterio Jr
I really liked Chavo Guerrero Jr during this era and thought he was coming into his own as a singles guy. He played the role of conceited, entitled bully of the cruiserweight division well, with kind of a plodding, methodical style. And they really played up him being a longtime second banana (with Eddie and then later, the MIA) coming into his own. Chavo did the same bully gimmick/style in WWE (particularly the WWE version of ECW) but it didn’t work nearly as well because he was working with guys larger than him or the same size as him (plus he was six or seven years older). It plays really though with a smaller guy like Rey Mysterio Jr (who seems a little bit off his game but still insanely talented) and they have a really good match here. Two things reminded me how quickly time moved on in WCW. One, the crowd chanting “Eddie” at Chavo and two, there was a spot where Chavo took a Rey Mysterio Jr mask from him and forced it on Rey’s head (and then Rey fought back and put his mask on Chavo’s head). Eddie & Chavo’s partnership and Rey wearing a mask had only happened a few years before but with how fast WCW moved, it felt like ancient history.
I really like this Scott Hudson-Tony Schiavone team as Hudson actually did a good job of keeping Tony focused. They do a good job of selling the long term rivalry between Mysterio and The Guerreros and Mysterio’s quest to solidify himself as the greatest Cruiserweight of all time. I feel like Tony got thrown off his game working with every comical color commentator he worked with except for Jesse Ventura. Having another play by play like Hudson there also helped out because Schiavone, like most people on WCW’s on air talent over the age of 40, had sort of checked out.
Anyway, Chavo Guerrero Jr wins with the Brainbuster after thwacking Rey Mysterio Jr with a chair. Damn good match. ****. Chavo kind of got lost in the shuffle because he was working in the shadow of his uncle and some of the best workers of the era if not all time in the first half of his career and he was put over some more deserving wrestlers in the second half but this match reminded me he was a pretty good worker in his own right.
Lance Storm tells Brian Adams that he’s got to prepare for his match later so Adams’ match with Totally Buff is next. Adams flips out. He can’t fight without a partner!
We see a video package highlighting Dustin Rhodes’ return to WCW. Dustin Rhodes has an interesting career arc. This last WCW run was awful and Rhodes seemed completely washed up. Then he went to WWE and his career seemed rejuvenated. Then he went to TNA and seemed cooked again. Went back to WWE, he’s good again then goes back to TNA again and looks old. Now he’s back in WWE and having one last, nice little run. Point is really, really hope Dustin just retires with WWE.
WCW United States Title Match: Rick Steiner (c) Vs Dustin Rhodes
I’m really disappointed Rhodes comes out to generic rock instead of his early ’90s “The Natural” theme. Rhodes is playing a badass, rebellious babyface which seems like a weird role for him… then I remembered he sort of did that gimmick in WWE as Goldust against The Authority a year and a half ago, it was good!
Speaking of washed up, Rick Steiner during this era is one of my least favorite wrestlers of all time. He had the personality of a mean old pitbull. Which I guess was the point of his gimmick? I think he just got pushed because he was willing to roughhouse workers that had fallen out of favor with the office (in storyline and in real life. Man, WCW liked doing that a lot towards the end…) I just feel like after Scott’s abilities diminished, he reinvented his character in a really fun way and Rick just reinvented his gimmick in a really dull way. Dustin was also in a weird state. He obviously couldn’t do his Goldust gimmick (and any attempt in TNA or WCW to do a Goldust-esque was disaster) but he also couldn’t do the plucky “Natural” gimmick. So he was just a generic veteran babyface. This is a pretty dull brawl. Like the Hugh Morrus-Wall match except for even slower and less intense. Steiner wins after dropping Rhodes face first into an uncovered turnbuckle. 1/2* After the match, Steiner Steinerlines Rhodes and then tells the Nashville fans to come, get some.
Rhodes is able to fight off a Steiner belt shot and then hits the Shattered Dreams on the Dogface Gremlin.
Ric Flair talks to Lance Storm. He wants Dustin Rhodes out of the building and he wants Kronik-Totally Buff to be for a shot at the Tag Team Titles.
Backstage, DDP gives The Cat a pep talk. They’re the only guys left who can stop Ric Flair! Cat’s gotta beat Lance Storm!
Winners Receive a WCW World Tag Team Titles Shot at Greed: Kronik Vs Totally Buff
Buff and Luger gloat about being the best looking team in the history of pro wrestling. They’re part of the Magnificent Seven, Flair’s group of cronies with Road Warrior Animal, Jeff Jarrett, and the Steiner Brothers. Crowd chants “Goldberg” at them and Luger yells that Goldberg’s been retired. The angle where The Magnificent Seven retired the top babyfaces was poorly timed. Not a bad idea in theory but with WCW about to shut down, it really just seemed like rats jumping off a sinking ship.
Hey wait! Bryan Clarke is in the house. I guess he’s been cleared after all but he gets knocked out with a steel chair immediately! This is more or less an extended squash with Buff Bagwell and Lex Luger double teaming Adams. Adams launches a comback but gets attacked by Bryan Clarke. No, wait! That’s not Bryan Clarke! It’s Mike Awesome dressed as Bryan Clarke. The real Bryan Clarke limps out in street clothes and brawls with a wig and fake mustache. Totally Buff wins with the Torture Rack and Buff Blockbuster on Adams. Bad match, good finish. *1/2
Backstage, Lance Storm tells Kronik to scram. Kronik responds by beating up WCW Security. Lance Storm’s gotta get to the ring for his match so he hightails it. Konnan, Dustin Rhodes, and Kronik have been thrown out out of the building. Lance Storm is stacking the deck in favor of the Magnificent Seven!
Winner Becomes Commissioner of WCW: Lance Storm Vs The Cat (with Miss Jones)
Lance Storm says he’s gonna stay Commissioner whether the fans like it or not. He wants the idiot fans to stand for the Canadian National Anthem. The Cat isn’t having any of it. Hey, neither of these guys had entrance music. I forgot that Cat had the “Somebody call my mama!” catchphrase in WCW. I thought that was a thing he started saying in WWE. The Cat, like Hugh Morrus, is one of those guys who I think was pushed towards the end purely because of company loyalty. Although thankfully WCW put Cat in a role where he could wrestle part time. He’s a guy that I think that was better off as a manager or authority figure. Lance Storm carries him to a fine enough garbage match though. It’s weird. I can’t think of many guys who wrestled in WWE, WCW, and ECW that had their best run in WCW. Especially during this era! They did a really good job of playing to his strengths and minimizing his weaknesses. If WCW had lasted another year or two, I think he might have gotten a cup of coffee in the main event.
As it is here, he jobs to the Cat after Cat hits the Feliner. Hrm. **
We get a video package hyping DDP’s match with Jeff Jarrett. I remember their feud from a year earlier but not this one. Jarrett unfairly had DDP arrested for some reason.
Tony Schiavone informs us that The Cat’s not commissioner until midnight and Ric Flair had him removed from the building. Flair’s gone mad with power. DDP runs through the crowd. He’s the last man standing against The Magnificent Seven because we don’t even know if Kevin Nash will be here!
Jeff Jarrett says DDP’s gonna have to hold on a minute before facing him because DDP issued a challenge to Kanyon to fight him anywhere, anytime on Nitro. Kanyon thinks now is the time and place. Jarrett layers on some lame effects on DDP’s challenge that reminds me of the Talkboy in Home Alone 2.
Diamond Dallas Page Vs Kanyon
Kanyon sneaks out from underneath the ring and tries to sneak attack DDP but it backfires and DDP kicks his ass. Kanyon’s jacket is comically oversized. He looks like a kid trying on his dad’s jacket. Another great idea during the last few months of WCW; putting DDP back in the role of defiant babyface fighting the odds against a powerful heel stable, the role that catapulted him into the main event four years earlier. I forgot how impressive some of Kanyon’s offense is. He does a Fameasser on DDP onto the steps then suplexes him off the 2nd rope back into the ring. This is a pretty good intense brawl. The Jersey Bros had some good in-ring chemistry. DDP’s busted open. I think hardway because he’s bleeding from the side of his head. Kanyon Cutter only gets a two. Jarrett comes out again but it backfires and he collides with Kanyon on the apron. Double J shakes it off and hits the Stroke on DDP. Kanyon hits the Flatliner on DDP for the win. Finish was overbooked but I really enjoyed that match overall. ***1/2 Genuinely surprised Kanyon got the pinfall win, even if it was a cheap finish.
Kanyon grabs the mic and decides to do ring intros for the next match. I remember him impersonating DDP but not David Penzer. Jeff Jarrett being a four time WCW World Champion really sums up how crappy ’00 WCW was. I’m not even a Jarrett hater. I think he’s a perfectly good midcarder. Hell, I think he’s a fine upper midcard heel but when he’s one of your top guys and you’re not a Southern promotion, I think it’s a bad sign.
Jeff Jarrett Vs Diamond Dallas Page
Jarrett jumps DDP and brawls with him into the stands. Schiavone somewhat unnecessarily mentions Jarrett being a Nashville native. I guess this match is No DQ even though it hasn’t been announced as such. DDP goes for a Diamond Cutter onto the announce table but Jarrett shoves him off and DDP lands on Schiavone’s lap and knocks him over. Schiavone semi no-sells it and just wears a “I’m too old for this shit” facial expression. LOL. Kanyon runs in just as DDP’s about to get the win. Tony wants to see Kanyon with a baseball bat. Chair shot on DDP behind the ref’s back but it only gets a two. Jarrett goes for the guitar but Kanyon accidentally gets whacked with it. Diamond Cutter finishes it to give DDP the win. Another good match! ***1/2 Gotta love DDP for being the one main eventer in the last few years of WCW to still give a damn. He was working as hard as he did during the peak of the Monday Night Wars for a fraction of the audience that he had during those days. Too bad DDP’s body wore out (and he was a victim of backstage politics) before he could really get a substantial run in WWE.
Also worth pointing out that this is the second time in a seven month span that Kanyon got a pinfall win over a main event guy (he beat Booker T moments before Booker T won his first World Title at Bash at the Beach ’00) and they ended up doing pretty much nothing with him after. Month after this, he jobbed to the Cat. Even in the last months of WCW, poor Kanyon couldn’t get a cup of coffee in the main event.
Video package for the main event between Scott Steiner and Kevin Nash. Nash wants to beat Steiner and make things right in WCW. Oh the irony of NASH wanting to make things right in WCW.
WOO! CEO Ric Flair is out to guest commentate on the main event. Flair’s spiky hair in the early ’00s was almost as silly as his bowl cut in the early ’90s.
WCW World Heavyweight Title Match: Scott Steiner (c) (With Midejah and Ric Flair) Vs Kevin Nash
I’m surprised Buffer ring announced PPV main events until the end of WCW. He would have been one of the first things I would have cut when WCW was sacling back his budget. Maybe Buffer had a good agent. Buffer talks about Steiner’s massive peaks. OK, maybe he was worth it. Steiner talks about breaking SID’s leg and we get repeated footage of SID’s legbreak from last month. YUCK!
Although it’s kind of funny to hear Steiner claim that his chest is so muscular that it was responsible for SID’s legbreak. Kevin Nash hasn’t shown up. I guess he hasn’t shown up. Flair saunters in and puts WCW over as the best organization in the world. WOO! He says that not only is the World Heavyweight Championship on the line tonight but the loser of this match will retire.
Charles Robinson starts counting Nash out. Wolfpac music starts. Nash comes out in a wheelchair, being pushed by sexy nurses. Nash is crazy. Steiner isn’t fooled. Hearing Big Poppa Pump try to pronounce “sympathy” is something else. Steiner wants the refs to start counting.
IT’S A SWERVE! NASH ISNT INJURED AT ALL! Nash clobbers Steiner with the belt and pins Steiner. Nash is the new champ! Flair cries in despair. Ric Flair yells out “Woah! WOAH! WOAH!” repeatedly. If there’s not a YouTube clip of that then there should be. Flair says it’s a 2 out of 3 falls match.
A muttering DDP heads to the ring to help Nash but gets beat up by Totally Buff and locked in an equipment case. This match is just a bit overbooked. Midejah tries to distract Nash but Nash tries to chase off that JEZEBEL (Wait, I forgot this is ’00s WCW not ’00s WWF) and gets clobbered with a lead pipe. Big Naitch tells Lil Naitch that this match is Falls Count Anywhere and tells him to count. Scott Steiner wins Fall #2.
Both guys do really, really lame chintzy blade jobs.. Midejah steals brass knuckles from Nash and then Steiner clobbers Nash with a steel chair then puts him in the Steiner Recliner. Nash breaks out of it and dumps Steiner out of the ring. Hrmph. Midejah fights off Charles Robinson after Steiner kicks out of a Nash chokeslam. Huh? Feel like someone mistimed their run in. Schiavone calls her a “jezebel” Ah. There we go. Snake Eyes. Hudson tells Big Poppa Pump to get his resume ready. Jackknife Powerbomb. Midejah runs in again and Nash sidewalk slams her. Flair punches out Lil Naitch. Schiavone calls this a travesty. He’s right about that. Steiner finally ends this with a Steiner Recliner. Schiavone yells out “THIS SUCKS!” LOL. Shoot comments that aren’t mean to be shoot comments. Flair and Steiner celebrate. Flair being Big Poppa Pump’s toady was a preview of him being Triple H’s toady in the mid ’00s (which you can read about in my monthly series, Ten Years After, covering the WWE PPVs of 2005! *thumbs up*). This match was hard to rate. It was really bad and poorly booked. Nash really should have just put Steiner over cleanly instead of the goofy crap we got but I mean, Nash is Nash. At the same time though…I can’t say I was un entertained by it. I’ll go with *1/2.
These last few WCW pay per views seem to share the same traits. A few really good matches (usually involving the cruiserweights), a few really bad matches, and then one or two mediocre to decent ish matches (usually involving Jeff Jarrett). There seemed to be more of a long term plan here though (Steiner running roughshod over the top babyfaces of WCW until the stars of WCW unite and get their revenge on the big bully) rather than the fly on the wall/Crash TV style that Russo produced a year before. That plan wasn’t always well executed but it’s too bad we couldn’t see how it all shook out because of the damage inflicted by Russo (and Bischoff before him). It’s just sad that by the time WCW sort of seemed to be figuring things out, it was too late and the casket was being dropped into the ground. That being said, it’s worth going back to see what might have been.
In fact, I’ll be going back next week to review the very last WCW PPV, the ironically titled Greed!
Match of the Night: Chavo Guerrero Jr/Rey Mysterio Jr
Worst Match of the Night: Rick Steiner/Dustin Rhodes
MVP: Diamond Dallas Page
The “Oh WCW” Moment of the Night: Schiavone yelling out “THIS SUCKS!” after the main event.