A new PPV on the WCW schedule, entitled Victory Road, could lead to new frontiers in the reborn company.
The legendary Ric Flair will challenge for the WCW title for the very last time, win or lose, when he faces Booker T. Either Flair will embark on one final run or the torch will well and truly be passed.
We’ll also have a cruiserweight showcase to celebrate a brand new hour of programming coming in 2002 and the first ever Starrcade Series finals, with the fight for those two pools heating up over the next couple of weeks.
Tonight, heads will roll in the Series as we approach next week’s Block conclusions. Who will remain within a chance of securing the main event of Starrcade?
Saturday Nitro #27: first aired on November 10; taped along with episode 26 on November 1
This week’s show started off with a bang as RVD and Billy Kidman went all-out for almost their entire 15 minutes in Starrcade Series action. Unfortunately for Kidman, he became the first man effectively eliminated from contention when Van Dam followed up a missed SSP with the Five-Star at 14:35. The two showed respect after the bell as RVD moved into the lead in Block B.
As Kidman arrived backstage, The Cat offered commiserations but also offered Kidman a consolation prize in the form of the opportunity to captain the other cruiserweight showcase match at Victory Road, opposite Elix Skipper.
Kidman, proud of remaining a flagship member of the cruiser division (and still looking for reasons to punch any member of Triple X in the mouth after they put Rey on the shelf), accepted.
Speaking of XXX, Elix Skipper successfully defended his cruiserweight title in a triangle match against Super Crazy and Tajiri thanks to his stablemates yanking Tajiri out of the ring and holding him down out of the ref’s sight after the Japanese star had Buzzsaw Kicked Crazy, allowing Skipper to pounce with the Play of the Day at 12:44.
An angered Tajiri fought back on Ki and Daniels post-match, until a Skipper baseball slide began a three-on-one beatdown, followed by one on Crazy for good measure. Skipper took the mic and said this proves that the cruiserweight division is XXX’s house.
Jamie Knoble tells Mean Gene that Evan Karagias has more guts than brains trying to get revenge on him, and warns him that he should have stayed out of the wrestling business when Knoble and Kash initially put him out. He finishes by claiming that when the two next meet, it won’t be anything like a wrestling match anyway.
The next Starrcade Series match made it perfectly clear just how focused Scott Steiner is on destroying Goldberg as he blasted Chris Kanyon with a chair just 1:37 into their Block A encounter, giving the tag champ a point and putting himself back on -1.
Post match, Steiner said once again he didn’t care about the Series and that he wants to end Goldberg’s career. The Cat came out with security and said he would make sure Scott did not ruin Goldberg’s match tonight as he just did his own. Steiner, actually, left without too much of a fuss… but warned Cat that sooner or later, he would have to give Steiner the match he wants.
Though the announcers were confused since Scott pretty much had that match two weeks ago at Havoc, Cat seemed to be a little more aware of exactly what Scott was demanding.
Backstage, Jeff Jarrett is attempting to rally his Chosen Few. However, things still seemed pretty icy between Jindrak/Torrie and Douglas, while the unit as a whole was visibly down from recent big defeats.
Jarrett says tonight, he will do the impossible and conquer Goldberg on his way to the Starrcade Series finals. He says he will see Douglas there when he finally puts Bam Bam Bigelow out of his misery tonight.
He also mentions that Cat assured him there will be a tag title rematch for Anderson and Jindrak at Victory Road, regardless of the champs’ involvement in the Series. JJ manages to get the unit to agree that tonight, they turn things around and begin to make Starrcade their show.
Shannon Moore wanted answers as he and Jason Jett teamed to face Shane Helms and Kid Romeo. However, he received none during the encounter, though the two finally traded blows at one point. As they brawled around ringside, Jett got the win for his team with the Crash Landing on Romeo in 7:15.
This week’s sit-down interview came with Chavo Guerrero, who said he saw Shane Helms snapping coming a mile off and added that he doesn’t have what it takes to handle the pressure of being top dog in the cruiser division.
He says he has declined to be part of this AirTime showcase at Victory Road, stating that Chavo Guerrero isn’t some bit part player, he’s the shining star of the company and won’t be shuffled into a pack.
He talks about how the Misfits In Action showed him that, and he won’t make the same mistake twice. He says everything he did for Shannon Moore was for his own good as he was a ‘misfit’ himself, who needed someone like Chavo to show him the way. He says Shannon got his just desserts at Havoc for what he did.
He finishes by saying the name ‘Guerrero’ is synonymous with wrestling greatness and he’ll remind people of this if it’s the last thing he does.
In the Starrcade Series, Bam Bam Bigelow gained revenge on Shane Douglas by eliminating him from contention with Greetings From Asbury Park in 10:09. These two have been at war most of the year in a variety of stips but to put the Franchise out of the title challenge will have inflicted as much pain as a chain or a table or a cage.
Nobody from Chosen Few interjected themselves, either, and Douglas headed backstage screaming Jarrett’s name after the loss, seemingly expecting some sort of help.
Backstage, Douglas asked Jarrett where he and the Few were. Jeff explains that it looked like Shane was in control and before they could realise it was time to make a move, he’d lost.
A furious Douglas almost blows up with Jarrett there and then, but for Mike Sanders and CW Anderson cooling things down while Jindrak and Torrie nonchalantly linger in the background, not particularly caring. Jarrett assures Douglas that they will all have their way despite this setback.
Mike Awesome beat DDP by count-out after 8:02 in the Series when Torrie ran down to distract the ref, allowing Anderson and Jindrak to hop the rail and beat Page down while the two participants were brawling ringside. Awesome rolled in at seven while DDP remained outside to claim one point.
Commentary noted the irony that the Chosen Few were far more alert to help occasional associate Awesome than actual member The Franchise, who could perhaps be seen as the biggest threat to Jarrett’s leadership of the faction. So much for nobody being bigger than the group!
We see footage of Leia Meow berating the Jung Dragons for their lack of success in recent months. They look like they’ve about had it with Meow’s browbeating and lack of actual worth to the team, but once again comply with their apparent ‘boss’.
Dustin Rhodes teamed with Sean O’Haire and Chuck Palumbo in O’Haire’s return to action, in which they defeated Shawn Stasiak and the Mamalukes with Rhodes getting the duke on Johnny The Bull via his flying bulldog at 7:43.
Backstage, Cat is dressing down Anderson and Jindrak for spoiling the DDP-Awesome SS match. The former champs say they don’t care and that they want their rematch at Victory Road, so they’ll make sure the tag champs have no other obligations at the PPV.
Cat says, despite their efforts, Page still has a chance to go to the finals but here’s what he’ll do: Anderson and Jindrak will face two of DDP, Kanyon and Bam Bam Bigelow, allowing the old Jersey Triad rule to ensure one combination is free to defend the belts at the PPV.
Oh, and they’ll also be facing the Mamalukes, who earned a shot. Oh, and O’Haire and Palumbo, who were robbed of their last shot vs the Few. It’ll be a four corners elimination tag at Victory Road, and Anderson and Jindrak aren’t pleased! Cat warns them not to mess with his plans again.
Goldberg and Jeff Jarrett faced off in a SS match with huge implications. Late on, Jarrett waved to the back and out came Shane Douglas… only for the Franchise to decide to actually head backstage after all, despite Sanders desperately trying to talk him out of bailing.
Goldberg went full blast from there, prepping Jarrett for a Spear only for JJ to roll outside. When Bill followed, Jarrett engaged him in a brawl and clung onto his opponent to ensure a double countout after 11:19, which gives each man a point each and leaves Jarrett with a slender advantage over Goldberg heading into the last week of Block contests!
The Cat catches up to Dustin Rhodes backstage and says that while the last result leaves Dustin leaving a miracle to reach the Series finals, he feels he deserves a reward for winning the brutal I Quit match at Havoc and, since Awesome got a US title shot after winning the Ambulance match in August, he’s going to set up Rhodes v Stasiak for the belt at Victory Road.
If Rhodes somehow pulls off reaching the Series finals, he’ll find a new United States title contender. Rhodes thanks Cat for the opportunity.
Finally, the contracts were signed in-ring for Booker T vs Ric Flair for the WCW World title. Flair, after much hesitation, signed away his rights to ever again challenge for the title he’s held more than anyone.
T mocked his challenger saying it’ll be a pleasure to end the championship era of Flair, and things soon got heated and a brawl broke out. However, Sharmell got involved to ensure her man got the upper hand and a Book End through the contract table closed the show.
Victory Road card so far:
- WCW World title: Booker T (c) vs Ric Flair (this will be Flair’s final shot at the title)
- WCW World tag titles: DDP/Kanyon/Bigelow (c) vs O’Haire and Palumbo vs Anderson and Jindrak vs the Mamalukes
- WCW United States title: Shawn Stasiak (c) vs Dustin Rhodes
- Starrcade Series final: Block A winner vs Block B winner
- AirTime Cruiserweight 10-man elimination showcase: XXX and 2 others vs Kidman and 4 others
Starrcade Series Block A:
Jarrett 5pts, Goldberg 4pts, Storm 3pts, Kanyon 3pts, Rhodes 2pts, Steiner -1pt
Starrcade Series Block B:
RVD 6pts, Awesome 5pts, DDP 4pts, Bigelow 4pts, Kidman 2pts, Douglas 2pts
(Everyone has one match remaining)
All final Block contests take place in a week on Nitro 28; should first place in either Block be tied by two or more competitors, sudden-death play-offs will be held on Nitro 29 – 24 hours before Victory Road.
Permutations (Block A)
- Jeff Jarrett will advance to the final if he pins or submits Chris Kanyon, and could be involved in a play-off in a number of scenarios.
- Goldberg will advance to the final if he pins or submits Dustin Rhodes and Jarrett fails to beat Kanyon; Goldberg could also be involved in a play-off in a number of scenarios.
- Lance Storm will advance to the final if he pins or submits Scott Steiner, Goldberg fails to beat Rhodes and Jarrett does something to have a point deducted. Storm could also be involved in a play-off in a number of scenarios.
- Dustin Rhodes needs to pin or submit Goldberg, hope Storm fails to beat Steiner and that Jarrett does something to have a point deducted to stand a chance of being involved in a play-off.
- Scott Steiner has been eliminated from the Series.
Permutations (Block B)
- RVD will advance to the final if he pins or submits DDP, or if he avoids being pinned or submitted by DDP and that result is equal or superior to Awesome’s result vs Shane Douglas. Van Dam could also be involved in a play-off in a number of scenarios.
- Mike Awesome will advance to the final if he pins or submits Douglas and RVD is defeated by DDP; or if he earns one point vs Douglas and RVD does something to have a point deducted AND Bam Bam Bigelow fails to pin or submit Billy Kidman. Awesome could also be involved in a play-off in a number of scenarios.
- DDP will have to fight for a play-off since his final opponent, RVD, is two points ahead of him. He could be involved in a play-off in a number of scenarios.
- Bam Bam Bigelow will advance to the final if he beats Kidman, Awesome fails to beat Douglas AND RVD does something to have a point deducted vs DDP. Bigelow could also be involved in a play-off in a number of scenarios.
- Billy Kidman has been eliminated from the Series.
- Shane Douglas has been eliminated from the Series.
Dave ‘Fit’ Finlay’s 250k pa deal expired November 15 2001 and he will now work as a trainer and agent for an employee’s salary.
Next time: We aim to confirm the Starrcade Series finalists! Or, will we need sudden-death play-offs?