For the first time, Nitro leads into a PPV 24 hours later.
WCW’s rebirth is in full swing but the threat of the Magnificent Sev.. erm, Six, looms large.
Slamboree contains several key contests pitting WCW stalwarts against the somewhat-diminished heel faction, with Animal seemingly taken out and Ric Flair having serious doubts about where his heart lies.
Several built-up matches that didn’t make the PPV card are also set for the evening, and further glimpses into Slamboree’s title showdowns are on tap too.
We kick off the show with Elix Skipper getting another pinfall over one half of the cruiser tag champs, Billy Kidman, in 8:18 thanks to a cheap shot from partner Kid Romeo. The heels pose with their foes’ belts ringside before being chased off by Rey Misterio.
The Cat announces from his office that tonight’s main event will pit four stablemates together when Lex Luger, Buff Bagwell and the Steiner Brothers face Booker T, DDP, Goldberg and a partner of their choosing.
Shawn Stasiak won a return bout from the early stages of the US title tournament against Johnny B Badd. Stacy Keibler hopped onto the apron when it appeared Badd was on course for victory only to receive a literal ‘kiss that did not miss’ for her troubles. The distraction was enough for Stasiak to sneak up behind Badd with a Hangman’s Neckbreaker for the pin at 5:51. Photos of the happy couple rained down afterwards.
Jason Jett teamed with recent opponent Lash Leroux plus Air Raid to defeat the Jung Dragons and the Full Blooded Italians after Leia Meow ordered her men to abandon the match following a mis-communication, leaving Marinera to suffer Leroux’s Whiplash at 7:28.
Glenn Gilbertti, the former Disco Inferno and self-proclaimed agent to the stars, watched the second half of the match from the stage and attempted to hand the Dragons business cards as they walked past, earning him a smack from Meow’s whip.
A video package neatly charts the animosity between Goldberg and Lex Luger in particular since November, plus Buff Bagwell and the Magnificent Seven’s roles in Bill’s temporary departure.
CW Anderson made it two wins from two in his fledgling WCW career with victory over Norman Smiley. After extracting another armbar submission at 6:01, CW looked ready to send a message to the entire roster when he fetched a steel chair and trapped Smiley’s hurt arm in it, only for Crowbar to rush down with his namesake weapon and convince Anderson to take a walk before he could potentially end Smiley’s career.
Backstage, Gene Okerlund did his best to preside over a face-to-face between Sean O’Haire & Chuck Palumbo and their challengers, Kronik. Adams and Clarke showed a little respect to the new hot act in town but mocked their relative inexperience and said they’ll learn a valuable lesson tomorrow. The champs kept their rebuttal short and sweet, but promised to turn the former champs into another footnote.
Jamie Knoble and David Kash attacked Shannon Moore and Evan Karagias during their pre-match dancing – and this grudge tag bout was one sided as the new duo kept Moore at ringside for the most part while viciously wearing down the leg of Karagias.
Knoble scored the tap-out with a leg grapevine at 3:41 and kept it on for a little while after the bell while Kash came off the second rope with a stomp to the knee, leaving Evan screaming in pain. It appears Knoble’s hatred for his former partner has been unleashed in the most damaging manner possible.
Next up came the third weekly sit-down interview, this time with WCW legend Ric Flair.
In response to opening questions about being ‘torn’ between his history with Sting/dedication to the company and his running roughshod with the M7, Flair admits that his entire career has been a wild swing between upholding tradition, breaking the rules and back again.
He says the business will swallow you up if you aren’t ruthless, and you cannot take a stand for what’s right when the time comes if you’ve been swallowed up.
He says he respects Sting for being one of the few to have spent as long as he has giving his all for WCW, but the two always end up opposing each other in that ring. He says everyone in his faction cares about wrestling just as much as he does or Sting does, but they’re not afraid to make enemies to get ahead.
He particularly praises Jarrett and says he sees a lot of himself in him. As for officiating at Slamboree, he says he doesn’t want to be a ref but he’ll do his job because he won’t need to do much other than count 1-2-3 because Sting and Jarrett can handle their own business.
He’s asked about how close WCW was to going under and admits the boys thought it was over in March. When asked if his moment with Sting only happened because he truly thought it was the end, Flair doesn’t answer.
Just then, Dusty Rhodes comes onto the set and asks Flair if they can talk once this is over. Flair says it’s over now, and instructs the cameraman to shut his equipment down as Dusty sits opposite his longtime rival. We don’t see what follows.
The Mamalukes won their dispute with the Harris Boys when an attempt by the twins to pull their ‘switcharoo’ backfired when fresh man Ron was caught by a surprise small package from Vito for the three in 6:55. The furious and embarrassed Harrisses blindsided their foes after the bell and once again left them laying.
Chavo Guerrero set up a ladder in the ring and sat atop it to cut a promo on Shane Helms. He says he will beat Helms in his own favourite match to regain his title. Helms comes out to retort, and in doing so actually scales the same ladder to face off with his rival but gets cut off by powder to the eyes and takes a beatdown including a suplex onto the flat ladder.
In a US title tournament preview, Lance Storm and Chris Kanyon beat Dustin Rhodes and Rob Van Dam when Storm made Rhodes submit to the Maple Leaf in 14:47 thanks to some old fashioned cheating from Kanyon.
Jarrett and Sting had a confrontation in the ring prior to their showdown the following evening, arguing mostly about Flair and whose cause is in the right. It ends with a brawl and Jarrett smashing his guitar over Sting’s head.
As the combatants for our main event made their entrances, we found out who would partner with the three babyfaces – Booker T’s brother, Stevie Ray!
Finally, the eight-man went to a wild no-contest after 10:11. The referee was unable to enforce tags or any sort of law and order from the beginning. Scott Steiner took out Stevie Ray’s leg with the lead pipe as he did to Nash, leaving Booker T to help him to the back and a four-on-two beatdown remained.
Luger and Bagwell left Goldberg laying while the Steiners assaulted DDP. T ran back down for the save but didn’t last long in what was now a four-on-one. The heel faction ended the final Nitro before Slamboree looking every bit the force they were in the first quarter of 2001.
Next time: Slamboree 2001!