The first PPV of 2001. Scott Steiner defends in a four way against Sid, Jeff Jarrett, and a mystery opponent, Goldberg’s career is on the line in a tag match against Lex Luger and Buff Bagwell, plus lots more!
1. Shane Helms vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. - 6
We open up with the cruiserweight title on the line. Some feeling out to start and then it started to really pick up. Scott Hudson on commentary really oversells a headscissor take over by asking if Chavo lost an ear or is still conscious. Chavo kept things pretty grounded and brought some subtle aggressiveness by throwing some hard crossfaces and smashing Helms face with a forearm on a pin attempt. Helms got a good nearfall off a German suplex, to which Hudson said Chavo got folded up “like a pair of pleated pants.” Both guys hit huge cross body blocks from the top rope to the floor, Helms got a nearfall on a super sunset flip from the top rope. Really good ending sequence with Helms reversing a tornado DDT, a counter exchange, and then Chavo getting the win with a brainbuster. Really good match to kick off the show and there was more good stuff that I didn’t even cover. Neither guy really got an advantage throughout the match and it was a constant back and forth.
2. Big Vito vs. Reno - 6
The story here is a grudge match between two brothers and it’s a giant brawl from the start. Reno just dominates with punching and kicking and Vito comes back with a vicious clothesline. Huge superplex from the top rope just rocked the earth with its impact. These two have just absolutely destroyed each other thus far with hard hitting blows and it came across and a complete hate-filled, hard hitting fight. Vito hit a mafia kick that just wrecked Reno’s night. Reno controlled the majority of the match but Vito came back with a big double underhook suplex and a top rope elbow which got him a good nearfall. These two were just worn out a gassed by the end and it was very visable. Reno got the win off a Roll of the Dice. This was a fun match with these guys going full bore into each other for seven minutes.
3. The Jung Dragons (Kaz Hayashi & Jimmy Yang) vs. Evan Karagias & Jamie Noble - 6
Lots of history between the Dragons and the former Three Count. Noble was once the masked man of the Dragons while Karagias was formerly a part of Three Count. Plus, this is an unadvertised bonus match! The flying started early with the Draongs hitting a big double Asai moonsault. Kaz Hayashi tried a dive from the top rope and was met with a dropkick in mid-air by Karagias. All four of these guys work really well together and even the random pairing of Karagias and Noble works really well. Kaz just absolutely KO’ed Noble with a brutal kick to the face. If this was UFC, the kick was so brutal that the ref would’ve called it off. There was a nice cool down section right in the middle but for the most part this was nothing but action from start to finish. Yang got a big nearfall off a sit-out powerbom from the top rope. Hudson reference Karagias using a “firebird splash” for a nearfall. Yang completely over shot Noble on what looked like it could’ve been the finish but quickly countered into an inside cradle. Quite the fun little match and so far I’ll say this show is 3 for 3.
4. Mike Sanders vs. The Cat - 3
This is probably the 15th match for the commissionership in the last three months. Before we even begin, there’s a bunch of useless talking. Sanders has decided to wrestle in a sleeveless “Natural Born Thrillers” shirt. I think that all Sanders knows how to do is basic offense as he did a lot of punching, clubbing blows to the back, and generic heel stuff. The sunset flip he attempted looked really awkward. Theres some intereference from Jindrak and Stasiak who are then jumped by Kronik. Kronik then blatany jumps in the ring and gives Sanders a double powerbomb that Cat follows up with a giant kick for the win. Not a whole lot notable here, more story than match, but it was entertaining.
5. Penalty Box Match: Rey Mysterio Jr., Billy Kidman, & Konnan vs. Lance Storm, Elix Skipper, & Mike Awesome - 4
Jim Duggan is the special referee here based on the fact he turned on Team Canada late in 2000. The stipulation is that if someone breaks a rule, then they are thrown in the penalty box. Tony calls Konnan’s shades “like something out of Mad Max” as he looks like he just came off the street cruising around in his low rider. Duggan explains the rules and we’re off. Awesome and Skipper are the first in the penalty box for bumping the referee and interference, respectively. So far, while the action has been good, it feels like the penalty box stipulation is hampering this. Skipper hit a few nice offensive moves while in with Konnan including a walking top rope dropkick and dodging a clothesline Matrix style. The scrap between the ladies on the outside felt really forced. Kidman and Storm had a nice exchange with Kidman getting a nearfall on a sit-out powerbomb. Awesome has spent more time in the penalty box than actually wrestling, but in the mean time he managed to destroy Mysterio with a sick Awesome Bomb. Storm got a tap-out from Kidman to pick up the win. As was mentioned earlier, this was really hampered by the stipulation and the special referee. There were numerous times were Duggan would stop the action mid-stream to issue a penalty, which in turn would kill the momentum. Not a whole lot here that was interesting.
6. Hardcore Match: Terry Funk vs. Crowbar vs. Meng - 4
Funk just shows up in the most random places at the most random times, including here in the dying days of WCW. We start off with a brawl between Crowbar and Terry Funk that wandered into the restroom. Meng brings an element of toughness and brutality to the match whereas if it was Crowbar and Funk, it may have just been a meandering brawl. Big spot of the match was Crowbar jumping off the first row of bleachers with a leg drop and putting Funk through a table. Funk found a random snow shovel and started pummeling Meng and Crowbar and then slammed Crowbar through a length of guardrail. Holy shit, did I just see Meng jump off the top rope with a splash? You’re damn right I did and it completely flattened Crowbar. First bit of this match, Meng seemed as a afterthought but once the action eventually made it back to the ring, Meng was more of a focus of the match. Ending was odd with Crowbar hitting Funk with a chair and then Meng getting the pin. Wasn’t much of a hardcore match and felt sort of aimless at times. A historical sidenote though, the appears to have been the last televised defense of the WCW Hardcore Title as the next week after this show, Meng re-debuted in the WWF as Haku in the Royal Rumble.
7. Sean O’Haire & Chuck Palumbo vs. Kevin Nash & Diamond Dallas Page - 4
Before the match, Mike Sanders tries a power play to switch out competitors in the match as he sees fit. However, Ric Flair comes out and pretty much tells him and the rest of the Thrillers to fuck off and not to interfere. DDP and Palumbo start this off and Page gets a really close nearfall off a urinage that Schiavone incorrectly called a “chokeslam”. Really enjoyed seeing Nash and O’Haire tie it up. Nash hit a stiff big boot but O’Haire got the momentum back by doing an insane parkour style move running up the turnbuckles, backflipping over Nash from the top rope, and drilling him with a side kick. Palumbo drilled DDP with a stiff elbow as Page was charging into the corner. O’Haire and Palumbo did a good job of double teaming and isolating Page. Palumbo goes for a tombstone of all things and is reversed by Page. Nash comes in and just completely destroys the Thrillers. What the fuck is Lex Luger doing out here? Then, there’s a Buff Bagwell run-in dressed as some sort of auto mechanic who KO’s Nash with a wrench. Thanks to all this bullshit, O’Haire is able to hit the Seanton Bomb for the win and gain the tag titles. Some decent stuff here and O’Haire probably looked the best out of everyone involved. Felt sort of bland in the middle as the crowd was pretty dead and only popped when Nash got tagged in. Probably could’ve done without the run ins at the end though.
8. First Blood Chain Ladder Match: Shane Douglas vs. Gen. Rection - 4
This is for the U.S. Title and what a completely horrible stipulation. You can use the ladder to get the chain that hangs above the ring but if you’re bleeding, you lose. The was just a basic brawl, nothing notable in the first part. Rection tried to bust open Douglas by repeatedly hammering hit in the head. Rection went for a moonsault and Tony theorized on commentary that Rection was going to try to jump from the turnbuckle to the middle of the ring to get the chain. Somehow, I don’t think that would be possible. Early on, felt like they were really pre-occupied with the first blood stipulation. Smart move by Douglas to work over the General’s knees to try to prevent him from climbing to reach the chain. Lame ending with Rection retreiving the chain, a ref bump, and Douglas pulling a chain out of his boot and hitting Rection with it to barely make him bleed. This probably would have been better without the wacky stipulation but it was decent.
9. No DQ Match: Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell vs. Goldberg & DeWayne Bruce - 4
In the pre-match video package, it was still never explained how or why Goldberg is teaming with the head trainer of the Power Plant and a guy who last appeared on pay-per-view six years prior as a member of jobber tag team The State Patrol in a battle royal. The stipulation here is that if Golberg’s team loses, then Goldberg must retire. Goldberg has the biggest and best reaction thus far of anybody on the show tonight. Luger gets completely mauled by Goldberg in the opening as Bagwell looks absolutely terrified on the apron. Bruce gets the tag and is nearly immediately worked over by Luger and Bagwell. Sorry to say that Bruce didn’t show any fire at all. Goldberg gets the hot tag, destroys Luger and Bagwell, and get maced by a fan. What the hell? Luger introduces a chair, lays in a few choice shots, and a sloppy looking super Blockbuster allows Luger and Bagwell to get the win. Not a great match, especially when Bruce was in and the only person who actually seemed to care was Goldberg. The crowd at the end though was in complete shock when Goldberg lost as they expected him to mop the floor with these two buffoons. Sort of a comparable reaction to when Brock Lesnar beat Undertaker at WrestleMania.
10. Four Corners Match: Jeff Jarrett vs. Sid Vicious vs. Scott Steiner vs. Mystery Man - 3
Flair comes out before the match and says the Mystery Man will show up when he feels like it. Well, alright then. I supposed it’ll be a three way match. This was essentially a handicap match as Steiner and Jarrett double teamed him. Sid’s double suplex on both guys looked absolutely awful as he dropped them both right on their heads. We get a cut scene to the back where Flair gets the Mystery Man and this is the point where Sid’s leg break happens as once they cut back to the arena, Sid is down and barely moving. A quick finish once the Mystery Man shows up as Steiner pins Sid and the Mystery Man unmasks as Road Warrior Animal. Well, that was not quite who one would expect under that goofy costume
2001: A WCW Odyssey Master List