The Starrcade Series is underway and we are on the road to finding out the main event for the flagship PPV at the end of a rollercoaster 2001 for WCW. The winner of the Series will meet the WCW Champion. That is currently Booker T, but the icon Sting will be knocking on his door come Halloween Havoc.
Meanwhile, Goldberg and Scott Steiner’s blood feud has been resumed by a raging Big Poppa Pump, who claims WCW isn’t big enough for both men. They’re on collision course in the Series so it’s a matter of when, not if – provided Steiner can avoid any further disciplinary action.
And though Lance Storm couldn’t dethrone Rob Van Dam for the United States titles, he settled for costing RVD the belt and crowning what many regard as the most undeserving US champ since David Flair, ‘Mecca of Manhood’ Shawn Stasiak. The self-obsessed poser and his lady Stacy Keibler are delighted with the title win, but the RVD-Storm issue appears far from over.
Saturday Nitro #24: first aired on October 20; taped along with episode 25 on October 17
We begin with title action, as Elix Skipper regained the cruiserweight championship from Jason Jett to start his third reign. Daniels and Ki of Triple X tried to sneak ringside towards the end of a good, back-and-forth athletic contest only to be neutralised by their own next challengers, York and Matthews. In the confusion at ringside, however, Elix was able to load up a foreign object and KO Jett for the pin and the title at 15:46. XXX are back to holding all the gold in the cruiserweight division.
Backstage the Cat addresses Goldberg’s challenge to Scott Steiner from last week. He admits that the two will indeed meet in the Starrcade Series but that after Scott’s actions last week, and considering how much Goldberg wants to tear him limb from limb, he’s facing a huge struggle to keep this as an actual contest within the confines of the Series.
So, to increase the chances of these two actually fighting for a title shot and not to the death, he’s making an exception to the ‘all on Nitro’ nature of the block matches and is moving Goldberg v Steiner to Halloween Havoc, where there will be enhanced security thanks to the company’s deal with the MGM in Las Vegas which survived the company transition. Tonight, he says the two have their second block matches against other opponents.
A battle royal was set up to determine a cruiserweight title challenger for Havoc, what with Jett-Skipper II taking place earlier. Involved were Billy Kidman, Super Crazy, Tajiri, AJ Styles, Air Paris, Shane Helms, Shannon Moore, Chavo Guerrero, Kid Romeo, Lash Leroux, Jamie Knoble, both members of the Jung Dragons and both FBI members.
Kaz went first thanks to a double-team by the FBI stemming from last week; Yang quickly dropkicked out Marinera but was then sent packing by Maritato in short order; this allowed Kidman to fireman carry Maritato out onto the three men on the outside; Styles finally got his hands on Paris only to be blindsided and dumped by Knoble; Kidman dropkicked Leroux out; Chavo Guerrero lured Kidman into a low bridge to dump him; Helms eliminated Paris; Romeo dumped Crazy as he foolishly went for moonsault three of his triple moonsault onto Chavo; Tajiri hit a striking flurry on Romeo before dumping him only to be quickly pushed straight over after him by Chavo, leaving a final four of Helms, Moore, Chavo and Knoble.
Guerrero and Knoble had the two former Three Counters reeling until they rallied and Moore was able to eliminate Jamie, only to see Helms and Chavo struggling with each other on the ropes and send them both over at 10:27 to earn a surprise cruiserweight title shot! Moore’s hot run post-Chavo continues! As Guerrero stormed off afterwards, an also-upset Helms was offered a truce by Moore. After some hesitation, Helms again shook Moore’s hand, seemingly understanding that this is the nature of battle royals.
Goldberg made it two wins from two and set himself up as an immediate SS front-runner by defeating Kanyon with the Spear and Jackhammer in 4:02.
Backstage, AJ Styles says Air Paris needs to start taking responsibility for his actions. Paris does what he did to his own tag partner then avoids contact with him at all costs? He says he’s going to ask Cat for Paris one-on-one at Halloween Havoc.
Shane Douglas defeated DDP in the Starrcade Series with a sneaky spinebuster assist from CW Anderson at 8:53 while Mike Sanders had the ref tied up – though notably, no Jindrak or Torrie. Anderson badmouthed Page afterwards, noting how Page thinks he and Bigelow can take the tag champs. Bigelow himself came out and ran Anderson and Douglas off.
The Mamalukes, complete with their new attitude, defeated Alex Wright and Johnny B Badd (w/ Norman Smiley) with their double team hiptoss-bomb onto Smiley in 5:22. Glenn Gilbertti came out afterwards and taunted Smiley, Wright and Badd. He ran before Badd could get his hands on him, though.
Another international sit-down interview complete with interpreter this week, as we speak to Tajiri. Tajiri says no matter where he fights Super Crazy or how heated it gets, he’s always respected his abilities. He says he’s upset that he lost the ⅔ falls match at Fall Brawl but that it was one of his best ever contests and he’ll always remember that. He says his goal going forward is to, like Super Crazy, get his first WCW gold (albeit, preferably, before Crazy) and to follow the likes of Muta, Chono and Sasaki into the folklore of WCW’s Japanese stars.
In the Starrcade Series, Lance Storm and Jeff Jarrett wrestled to a 15-minute time limit draw, giving both men a point apiece. It started clean and scientific before the two then looked to out-cheat the other without being caught. Nonetheless, the bell rang as Storm held JJ in the Canadian Maple Leaf and the stalemate was called.
Backstage, Booker T and Sharmell are with Mean Gene. Sharmell blasts Sting for ruining their ceremony last week and says that Cat has granted them a tag match tonight as a Havoc preview, with both Booker and Sting picking their partners.
Booker says that many top athletes are busy tonight with the Starrcade Series, but he found a man with a lot in common with himself. A fellow champion, who hates Sting as much as he does and appreciates that every great man has a great woman by his side. Booker introduces his partner for tonight… US champion Shawn Stasiak!
Stasiak says the signed photos of T and Sharmell are the only ones in nearly as much demand as the ones of Stacy and himself, and that tonight they teach Sting a lesson he has been due since July.
America’s Most Wanted and Norman Smiley vs three members of GGE doesn’t happen. Instead, all five members of team Gilbertti attacked the trio and put the boots in until Johnny B Badd and Alex Wright re-emerged for the save. This collective issue is far from over.
In their belated first Starrcade Series encounter, Mike Awesome defeated RVD. Lance Storm again tried to cost Van Dam a big match after RVD got a little revenge on Storm at the end of last week, and though RVD saw him coming and sent him flying off the apron, that left an opening for Awesome to O’Connor Roll his opponent after 8:17 for the three count and two points.
As Storm and Awesome retreat, RVD gets the mic and says this issue has to end, and he cannot think of a better time or place than Halloween Havoc in Vegas. Storm laughs this off, saying Van Dam will just find another ‘”crooked ref” to “steal a win”. RVD says how about, then, they compete in an old WCW staple at Havoc, called the ‘Iron Man Challenge’? Storm scoffs at RVD thinking he could excel in this environment over 30 minutes vs Storm, and accepts.
Sting tells Mean Gene that he saw Booker pick Stasiak, which works for him as now he gets to punch both their teeth in. When it came to picking his own partner, however, he encountered some issues.
Ric Flair, for instance, is taking a few weeks away from the ring to get back to his best. He then thought of the man who took Booker T to the limit, a man who knows Stasiak well, who he teamed with in Lethal Lottery, and the man who earned his respect at Battlebowl in Sean O’Haire. However the Mamalukes and their sneak attack mean O’Haire has also been told to take it easy for a few weeks.
When he approached Sean, though, standing right next to him was a man who has had as impressive a 2001 as O’Haire, since the two have achieved much of their good work side by side. It’s a man who also gave Booker a hell of a match himself last month and who knows Stasiak even better than O’Haire does. Enter Sting’s partner for the evening, Chuck Palumbo. Palumbo says tonight he and Sting take care of business, then after that he’ll be coming after the Mamalukes for putting his partner out.
Commentary note that Cat has asked Goldberg to leave the premises before Scott Steiner’s upcoming match against Dustin Rhodes in the Starrcade Series, which Bill has begrudgingly agreed to since his fight with Big Poppa Pump is now set in stone for Havoc.
Rhodes mounted a comeback on Steiner in their match after sustaining some punishment, only for a video loop of Dustin saying “I Quit” when he proposed the match to Mike Awesome last week to come on the screen and play nonstop. This allowed Steiner back in for a suplex and the Recliner for the win in 7:29.
Finally, Sting and Palumbo beat Booker T and Stasiak in the main event when Palumbo put down the US champ and his former tag title partner in the Perfect Event for the three-count with a Jungle Kick out of nowhere in 8:52.
Sting got a hold of both his opponents’ title belts after the fall and raised the world title to taunt Booker and Sharmell on the outside. He then handed the US belt to the man who just pinned the holder and Palumbo raised that up as well, as the show ended.
Halloween Havoc 2001 card so far:
- WCW World title: Booker T vs Sting
- WCW Cruiserweight title: Elix Skipper vs Shannon Moore
- WCW Cruiserweight tag titles: Triple X vs York & Matthews
- Starrcade Series: Goldberg vs Scott Steiner
- I Quit match: Dustin Rhodes vs Mike Awesome
- 30min Iron Man Challenge: RVD vs Lance Storm
Starrcade Series Block A:
Goldberg 4pts, Rhodes 2pts, Jarrett 2pts, Storm 1pt, Steiner 1pt, Kanyon 0pts
Starrcade Series Block B:
DDP 2pts, Kidman 2pts, Douglas 2pts, Awesome 2pts, RVD 0pts, Bigelow 0pts
(Everyone but RVD, Kidman, Bigelow and Awesome (once) has competed twice each so far)
Two Time Warner contracts have officially expired:
Ron Harris: 130k pa until October 24 2001
Don Harris: 130k pa until October 24 2001
Next time: It’s Halloween Havoc weekend with the go-home Nitro! But can the animosity between Goldberg-Scott Steiner and Dustin Rhodes-Mike Awesome make it to the PPV?