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Default WCW Monday Nitro: 3/5/2001

Last Week in WCW: “Ric Flair made a shocking announcement that ‘Big Poppa Pump’ would have to defend his championship at Greed against BOTH of The Insiders! Scott Steiner started playing the two off one another, saying that one would stab the other in the back over the title while he laughs his way to victory; will he be proven right? Meanwhile, Goldberg and Kronik accepted the challenge to Animal’s specialty, a Chicago Street Fight at Greed! The Natural Born Thrillers cast out one of their own, as Shawn Stasiak was kicked to the curb by the group! Will ‘Perfect’ Shawn move on, or look to come after his former companions? Find out these answers and more on WCW Monday Nitro!”

WCW Monday Nitro
Shown Live on March 5th, 2001 (Week 1)
Held at: Valley Ice Garden in Bozeman, Montana (North West)
Announcers: Tony Schiavone and Scott Hudson
Attendance: 3,500 people (sold out!)
TV Rating: 3.31

Rick and Scott Steiner open the show, Midajah carrying the WCW championship at their back. “Big Poppa Pump” takes to the microphone, saying that on Thunder last week, he started proving that he’s the smartest man in wrestling because he called it so easily that Nash and Page would turn on one another for the title. Scott claims they never trusted one another, and nothing has changed now that they’re against one another. He really works the crowd well here, bringing a lot of boos out. Scott says that it was a fluke that he got pinned on Nitro and it won’t happen again. This brings out The Insiders, with Page asking Kevin if he is hearing correctly; that Scott thinks he’s the smartest man in wrestling because two of the biggest stars of the sport – huge shock – have a bit of an ego? Nash jokes back that next, Scott will be making other big discoveries, like how wet water is. Dallas says that so far, that’s twice that he earned a match against Scott for the title in a tag match, so maybe we should see if the Steiners just can’t go anymore? Kevin says that he’s tired of hearing all the talk, so he wants to take on Steiner one on one, right here tonight! But Page pulls him aside, asking him why they don’t have a tag match again. Nash tells Page that he’ll handle it, but Dallas starts getting hot about it, asking what Nash is talking about, if he doesn’t think he can get it done? Page says that he was the one who won the match for them last week, not Nash! But before this can go on much longer, Booker T interrupts! He says that Page is right, he’s won two World title shots in the past few months by pinning Scott Steiner in a tag team match – so he wants to be in a match, any match, as long as it’s against Scott Steiner, so he can pin him and get another title shot! When Nash tells Booker that he needs to let this go and wait in line, a fight nearly breaks out between the two that DDP has to step in between! As the two are trying to get to one another, Nash pulls back and accidentally elbows Page in the face! An argument breaks out between all three of them! So now we have three people who want two in a tag match, so a situation like this calls for “The Nature Boss” Ric Flair to figure out what’s happening! Flair says that Booker is correct, Dallas got a shot like that, and he should be afforded the same chance. Scott starts getting on them, needling them about the elbow to Page, saying that Flair should make them all three fight each other. Flair starts to try and get something set up, when the three men start arguing again! Out of the back comes “The Prodigal Son” Dustin Rhodes, who tries to help break things up, saying that Scott is just trying to work them against one another and they shouldn’t let him. Rhodes says that he’s friends with both of them, and he isn’t going to let this stand. Flair gets an idea, saying that now we have four men – so he’s going to have Kevin and Rhodes take on DDP and Booker T, and the winning team faces the Steiner Brothers on Thunder! Great opening segment, the crowd are all kinds of hot for the rest of the show; DDP’s crowd control was masterful, Nash worked the crowd well, and Booker was just superb. The crowd didn’t seem to take to Dustin’s involvement, but Scott came across well and Dallas came out of this just fantastic. And we have two big matches set up, only thirteen weeks from Greed! (A)

We go to Tony Schiavone and Scott Hudson at the desk, and they talk about the wild way that Nitro opened. Tony says that this is just how Nitro happens and why fans should tune in and then drop the remote because they don’t want to miss any of the hot action! But they also take time to mention that Goldberg will be here later to talk about WCW Greed, Sid Vicious will take on Mike Awesome in a battle of power bomb masters, but right now it’s time for cruiserweight action! (C+)

Chavo Guerrero Jr. struts to the ring for a non-title match, but he’s against the veteran of the cruiserweight division, Rey Mysterio Jr. The match deserved better color commentary (maybe should’ve had Tenay come out) but the crowd were on fire and Rey did great in this high spot based matchup as he dazzled the fans and the champion with a flurry of expertise. He hits the bronco buster on Chavo but isn’t able to hit a follow-up, Guerrero goes for the brainbuster but Mysterio is able to make a small package to get a three count in 6:08! Rey just pinned the Cruiserweight champion! (C+)

We head backstage where Goldberg has entered the building! He walks to his dressing room as commentary talk about his upcoming interview segment later tonight. (B)

Our authority figures are backstage watching the show, Ric Flair and “The Cat” Ernest Miller. The two are supposed to discuss what’s coming up in the show, but without a script to follow they both fail this angle. Flair just starts rambling off in some direction, Cat and Ms. Jones start dancing with Flair joining in, the segment is held together only by the raw charisma the two have and because Ms. Jones is hot. (B)

One half of 2 Count, Shannon Moore, is out in the ring to take on the man who was gifted the “essence” of Glacier, Screamin’ Norman Smiley. This is a full-on comedy match that gives the crowd a breather, as Norman gets used to having this all new power inside him. Moore nearly puts an off-balance Smiley away with the Bottom’s Up, but Norman Big Wiggles life back into himself and comes back with (comedically thrown) martial arts style back leg side kicks before kicking Shannon in the stomach and locking in the Norman Conquest! Shannon has nowhere to go and taps out at 3:02, as our new hero picks up a big win! (D) Backstage, Shannon Moore is heckled by both Dustin Rhodes and Kevin Nash, who say he isn’t worth keeping around because his psychology is so poor that he’ll never learn how to work a main event style.

Tony says that something seems to have happened backstage, we have a camera… we see that in a dressing room beneath the remains of a table and some curtains is Fit Finlay! Scott says that we were supposed to see Finlay challenge Shane Douglas later, but it looks like he’s been attacked! Who is doing this? (C)

In another non-title match (because theoretically, this could be Freebird Rule’d) Mark Jindrak and Sean O’Haire took on men who they faced often in 2000, Kronik. Despite Adams being hammered by the two in their corner for some portion of the match, Shawn Stasiak appears from out of the crowd to cause a disruption, and that leads to Jindrak getting hit by the High Times and pinned at 6:26 by Clark! (C) Backstage, Hugh Morrus can be heard saying that Jindrak needs to learn how to sell or else he has no future.

“Mean” Gene is backstage alongside the Steiner Brothers. Rick stays mostly quiet, just keeping Gene on track as Scott rants and raves about how everyone in WCW wants a night with him worse than all the freaks in Montana do! He says that he’s gonna go out there and do some commentary for the main event tonight, so they better keep their fu***** censor button ready! Scott came out of this looking excellent with some masterful improvising, but Gene wasn’t even a decent microphone stand in this one. Maybe Scott’s swearing threw him off. (B)

Team Canada come to the ring, with Lance Storm saying that he’d like to be serious for a minute. He says that Dustin Rhodes better not lose sight of his priorities by getting too involved in his friends that he forgets about the match at Greed that he and Sid have gotten themselves into. Storm says that he isn’t telling them which of the two he will be facing, because their pitiful American minds wouldn’t appreciate the well laid plans anyways. With that, Storm asks for the Canadian National Anthem to play, but instead Sid Vicious comes out! Sid tells them that his mind isn’t what Lance should be thinking is important, because it’ll be his body doing all the damage to Team Canada! Skipper just isn’t popular enough to hang with the rest of Team Canada, but Sid looked good, getting the crowd hotter for the upcoming match. (C)

Mike Awesome stays in the ring to take on Sid Vicious in a battle of power bombers, but unfortunately this crazy brawl never sees one as Lance Storm hits a superkick on Sid as he was setting Awesome up for the powerbomb. (C)

The attack continues past the bell, as Storm, Skipper, and Awesome do a number on Sid. He tries to fight back, but three on one doesn’t work very well as Vicious is finally left on the mat, with all of them working together to “powerbomb” him through a table! Sid’s performance was fantastic here as he fought all he could but couldn’t overcome these odds. (B-)

Backstage, “Mean” Gene stands with “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash and “The Prodigal Son” Dustin Rhodes. Rhodes says that he didn’t see the last match, but he hopes Sid was able to show Mike Awesome how to throw a power bomb! He says that Team Canada are foremost in his mind, but right now, he has been given a chance to be in the main event with one of his friends, and he’s going to take it, even if it’s against another friend. Nash says that when he first heard Flair announce Dallas as being in the Greed main event, he hoped it wouldn’t come to this; but it’s starting to look like a wolf has to do what he has to do. (C+)

Elsewhere backstage, Mike Tenay stands by with Diamond Dallas Page. Mike asks Page about what happened earlier tonight that led us to our main event tonight. Page says that he’s been told for years now that he’s too old to get it done, that he’s too this, or too that, well screw that! Dallas puts out a statement to Kevin Nash, Dustin Rhodes, Booker T, Scott Steiner, Ric Flair, and anyone else who’s listening who wants to be in his way: “Quit trying to tell me that I can’t, because I will do it with a BANG!” DDP came across really well here, putting out a bold statement, but Tenay was unnecessary to the segment. (B)

Backstage, we see the dressing room door of Goldberg; he comes to the ring, next! (B)

“Da Man” Goldberg is on his way to the ring, standing in his fireworks… but just as they die down, Animal is standing behind him, and he attacks from behind with a piece of steel! The two have a huge brawl that goes down to the ring, out of the ring, and around the ring, before WCW Security are finally able to pull them away from one another! Goldberg’s performance in this was just fantastic as he showed that he could definitely stand up to the Road Warrior, and this got the crowd super hot for the Chicago Street Fight! (A* - 98!)

Big Ron and Heavy D have a match that they take full control of, it looks like a complete squash, which calms the rowdy crowd down a little after the previous segment… but General Rection gets involved, he hits Ron with the US title behind Charles Robinson’s back, which leads to a roll-up and pinfall at 3:45! It’s a big loss for The Harris Boys, but a huge win for Air Paris and AJ Styles! (E+)

General Rection gets a microphone after telling Styles and Paris good luck in WCW after that big win. Hugh says that he did that to send a message to Jeff Jarrett, because Jeff thinks he’s some big king crap, “The Chosen One”, because he wore the US title and then won the World title, and now he’s “gracing” us common midcarders by facing us again? Rection’s take is that Jeff couldn’t cut it on top, so now he thinks he can walk back down the ladder and take over, but he’s got another thing coming! “I just proved that miracles can happen in WCW, and I’m going to do it again at Greed, by walking up the ladder and knocking your face off – when we put my title fifteen feet above the ring and competing for it in a ladder match!” (C)

WCW’s Hardcore champion comes to the ring, “The Franchise” Shane Douglas laughing all the way as Crowbar and Daffney follow. Douglas says that it looks like he dodged a bullet tonight by what happened to Finlay earlier, so now he won’t have to defend his title tonight. Crowbar starts poking Douglas in the shoulder, but Shane tells him to go sit down. He does so, sitting down in the corner as Douglas goes back to talking – until “The Cat” comes to the stage! Miller tells Douglas that he better not rest up too much, because he will indeed be wrestling, and he better call his mama, because his opponent is right there in the ring with him – Crowbar! (C-)

Crowbar jumps at the chance that he’s been given, and he starts attacking Douglas with everything he’s got! Shane calms him down when he gets a breather, telling him that he is his protege, they can do this as a regular, down to basics match. After that, they calm down and have a decent little match. It’s heel vs. heel, and the crowd were hotter than expected so they didn’t need worked. The end of the match comes when Douglas pulls a chain from his boot and hits Crowbar with it though, getting the pinfall at 3:11 by taking advantage of his protege’s trust. Is there any other way? (D+)

Booker T is joined backstage by Stevie Ray, and the two discuss Booker’s involvement in tonight’s main event. Booker says that he isn’t getting caught up in their business, they can save the drama for their mama; he just wants Scott Steiner. (B-)

We go backstage to “Mean” Gene, Ric Flair, and The Cat again, with Ms. Jones sitting with Miller. Okerlund asks them about what we can expect for the first pay-per-view of their shared reign of WCW, and they talk about some of the matches that are set up for Greed. Nothing segment really, Flair and Gene play off one another like usual and Ernest isn’t able to keep up, but Ms. Jones stays sexy on his side, all it does is fill some time by hyping Greed. (B-)

During the previous segment, Scott Steiner joined commentary, and now it’s time for our main event. DDP and Booker T seem like odd partners, but they both have a lot to prove; Kevin Nash and Dustin Rhodes have some excellent chemistry between them, but they are in opposing thought processes as opposed to when they teamed against Team Canada. Steiner does a pretty weak job on color, maybe because they have to blank out a lot of his commentary. But the crowd are hot, especially toward the end of the match when The Insiders are in the ring against one another. Nash shoves Page off of a Diamond Cutter attempt, hitting him with a sidewalk slam on the rebound, but only gets a two count. Dallas rocks Nash with a discus clothesline, but when Page dashes after Nash in the corner, Kevin picks him up and drops Page on the turnbuckle post! Did he mean to drop him on the post or was that an accident? Scott Steiner says it was on purpose, especially when Nash follows up by planting the dazed Page with the Jackknife Powerbomb! Nash doesn’t look very pleased about how it went, but he makes the cover to end the match at 12:21. (B)

Kevin starts checking on Page, who is still pretty dazed as he starts shoving Nash away. Scott Steiner stands up from the commentary desk and starts yelling “See?! See?! You don’t care, not at all!” as Nash looks between Steiner and Page. Nash comes across well, as his concern for his friend looks legitimate… but at the same time, he’s the person who hurt him in the first place here. We only have a week and a half until we find out just who has the most Greed! (A)

Show Rating: B+
This show raised WCW’s popularity in 10 regions.
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