Tonight is the night that the Starrcade Series finals are decided. Two men will advance to Victory Road to battle for a WCW title match at Starrcade.
Several competitors with a very small chance of finishing top or in a play-off scenario already have a match at the PPV, which Commissioner Cat says he will address if the need arises.
Also, can we expect payback from Ric Flair after the ‘dirtiest player in the game’ was taken down by World champion Booker T at their contract signing last week?
Saturday Nitro #28: first aired on November 17; taped along with episode 29 on November 14
The Cat opens the show from inside the ring and hypes the conclusion of the Starrcade Series blocks. He says tonight we see who goes to Victory Road – and if either of the two Blocks are tied, play-offs will happen next week on Nitro during PPV weekend.
He also says tonight he has ordered Billy Kidman and Elix Skipper to confirm their final five-man line-ups for the AirTime showcase – though Shannon Moore and Shane Helms will go 1-on-1 at Victory Road and thus cannot be picked, and that since Skipper defended his belt before the PPV and since Ki and Daniels like to be involved in title matches, they’ll defend their belts tonight against Jason Jett and Shannon Moore.
Kidman at least finished his unsuccessful SS campaign with a win in a good David v Goliath battle vs Bam Bam Bigelow, which in turn took Triple B out of the running himself. An impressive, Rey-esque victory roll on the larger man got him a final two points at the 5:54 mark.
After the bout, Kidman took the mic and looked set to address his team for Victory Road when Triple X interrupted. Skipper introduced his final two partners, Kid Romeo and Air Paris.
The five heels then headed for the ring, but as they reached the apron Kidman said if it’s a preview they want, that’s fine by him as he also brought his friends, introducing four men he says hates these five as much as he does: AJ Styles, Jason Jett, Super Crazy and… Tajiri!
They run down and clear the ringside area, with the crowd reacting particularly to Crazy and Tajiri working in unison against their now common enemy, Triple X.
In fact, all 10 men remained as Shannon Moore came out and joined Jett for their shot at Ki and Daniels. Unfortunately for them, as chaos broke out late on between the two sides at ringside when Skipper tried to cheat, it allowed Helms to sneak in wearing street clothes and lay out Moore for Ki to get the pin and retain at 8:10.
Lance Storm came out for his must-win Series match vs Scott Steiner. However, Steiner’s music hit and there was no sign of him. The bell rang, the referee counted to 10 and the official word was that Storm won via count-out while Steiner would be deducted ANOTHER point for failing to show up at all.
Storm took the mic and said he’s not happy that this all but removes him from the Series, but points out that he is on an unstoppable run of form and that a title shot will come his way at this rate, sooner rather than later.
He says he will continue his hot streak at Victory Road and doesn’t care who he faces. With that, the music of Sting hit! Sting entered the ring and said if Storm wants to prove himself as the hottest act going, he can try to prove it at the PPV against the Stinger. Storm accepts and attempts to throw a cheap shot, but it’s countered and Sting decks Lance before the Canadian retreats.
Glenn Gilbertti’s faction of Simon, Swinger and the FBI, defeated AMW, Norman Smiley and Johnny B Badd when Gilbertti held down Smiley’s foot for a Marinera pin at the 6:34 mark. Alex Wright came out and tried to get his hands on Gilbertti after the bout, to no avail as the heels escaped with the win.
As Gilbertti and his goons arrive backstage, The Cat confronts him and says he’s going to have to atone for his sins. Cat makes a rematch of that eight-man for the PPV, and says his two teams can have one more crack at the two sets of tag titles if they win. However, if they lose, Cat says immediately after the bout there’ll be a one-on-one match between Wright and Gilbertti!
A petrified GG refuses, until his clients needle him into accepting the chance at more tag title shots, just like he has been promising them. The agent, however, is clearly none too pleased with the stakes.
Jamie Knoble defeated Lash Leroux with a tiger bomb in a brisk 4:36. Afterwards, he takes the mic and says he is certain Evan Karagias is in the building since he’s been stalking Knoble as of late. He dares his old partner to come out right now and settle this once and for all. The old music of Three Count eventually hits, but Karagias sneaks out through the crowd again in street clothes and chopblocks Knoble’s knee, going after it until he’s tackled by security.
Jeff Jarrett approaches Dustin Rhodes backstage and offers him a world title match after Starrcade if Rhodes does whatever it takes to ensure Goldberg doesn’t overtake Jarrett tonight. Rhodes says he would rather get his ass kicked than deliberately help someone like Jarrett, but that he has pride on the line and has no intention of just letting Bill run through him… even if giving his all could help Jarrett.
The Series match between eliminated Shane Douglas and very-much-in-contention Mike Awesome almost lasted a matter of seconds as the two discussed something mid-ring, shook hands and Douglas prepared to lay down for his opponent! As Awesome went for the cover, the sound of Cat’s voice on the mic stopped the ref from making the count as the commish came onto the stage and warned that any such shenanigans would result in -1pt for each man, that he’s sick of their co-conspiring and that they better fight if they want to get anything out of this.
The two begrudgingly attempted a sporting contest but tempers soon flared and each man started to get increasingly physical. At one stage, Douglas produced his chain but was caught. As the referee confiscated it, this allowed DDP to yank Awesome out of the ring and drop him with a Diamond Cutter on the floor. Suddenly, Douglas was a winner by count-out after 6:58, just as Awesome benefitted from one over Page.
Page was stopped by Mean Gene backstage, and when asked if he did that to boost his own chances, DDP says he will be in charge of his own destiny but after last week, an eye for an eye appealed to him.
He says tonight, he has 15 minutes to take down RVD and force a rematch between the two next week for a spot in the finals, and reminds Van Dam that it only takes one Diamond Cutter outta nowhere to end it three seconds later.
O’Haire and Palumbo fought to a no-contest with Anderson and Jindrak when the Mamalukes jumped their recent rivals after only 3:37. None too pleased with the interruption, the Chosen Few duo attacked the Italians in turn and a three-way melee took us to the next commercial break.
During the break, it emerges that OH&P have challenged the Mamalukes to their own Sicilian Street Fight for next week, just 24 hours before the four-way tag title match.
Bill Goldberg defeated Dustin Rhodes to re-take the Block A lead. A good all-babyface encounter ended with the Spear and Jackhammer in 8:54. However after the bout, just before the two could shake hands, Scott Steiner hopped the rail and blasted both with a lead pipe, attacking Goldberg further until he was dragged out of the building by a dozen or so guards.
After laying out his next challenger last week, Booker T came out to Ric Flair’s music, dressed in a vintage Flair robe, and proceeded to mock the legend knowing he wasn’t there this week. He gloats that everyone thought Flair would be here to get some revenge on the champ, but he wouldn’t be surprised if Ric no-showed the PPV altogether.
Sting rushed out to confront the champion and defend his friend’s honour, but was blindsided on the walkway by the man he just challenged for Victory Road, Lance Storm. A quick two-on-one stomping concluded the segment.
Jeff Jarrett is in the Starrcade Series finals after pinning Chris Kanyon in 10:39. Anderson and Jindrak ran down (no Douglas) but Bam Bam Bigelow prevented their direct involvement. This merely allowed Jarrett to nail Kanyon with the guitar for the three-count to finish top of Block A.
Norman Smiley was the subject of the weekly sitdown, during which he goes back through his career and how he ended up becoming a shock hit in WCW. He says after he hangs up the boots, he wants to be a part of training the next generation of stars and loves how WCW is finally building for a bright future rather than sacrificing everything for a prosperous present. He concludes by saying he cannot wait to see his friend Alex Wright knock Glenn Gilbertti’s lights out at Victory Road.
Backstage, Rob Van Dam tells Mean Gene that he has had an incredible 2001 so far in WCW and would love to cap it in style by challenging for the world title at Starrcade. He says he knows DDP is one of the best around but hints that while Page has to beat him, he doesn’t have to beat Page and says 15 minutes is just a warm-up for an athlete as talented as… Rob…Van…Dam.
Finally, it was time for the last Starrcade Series match before the final. RVD vs DDP to decide who meets Jeff Jarrett at Victory Road, though in Page’s case a pin or submission win would merely entitle him to do it all again the following week in a play-off.
This laid out the story of the match, as Van Dam tried to lure Page into mistakes by slowing him down and provoking his urgency, while DDP came close to hitting a Cutter out of nowhere more than once to gasps from the crowd. As the bout approached the final five minutes of the time limit, things intensified in a run of near falls and when DDP finally hit a Cutter as Van Dam springboarded off the middle rope, it caused RVD to coil back and drop off the nearby apron. Page dragged him in and got a long two with 30 seconds left.
He quickly tried to drag RVD up for another Cutter as the seconds ticked, but RVD sprang with a quick prawn hold for the win at 14:44 to finish with an impressive eight points from 10. A heartbroken Page nonetheless wished RVD well afterwards before Jeff Jarrett’s music hit. Jarrett stared down his Victory Road opponent from the stage as the show ended.
Victory Road card so far:
- WCW World title: Booker T vs Ric Flair (this will be Flair’s final shot at the title)
- WCW World tag titles: DDP and Kanyon vs O’Haire and Palumbo vs Anderson and Jindrak vs the Mamalukes
- WCW US title: Shawn Stasiak vs Dustin Rhodes
- Starrcade Series final: RVD vs Jeff Jarrett
- Sting vs Lance Storm
- AirTime Cruiserweight 10-man elimination showcase: XXX, Kid Romeo and Air Paris vs Kidman, Jason Jett, Super Crazy, Tajiri and AJ Styles
- America’s Most Wanted, Norman Smiley and Johnny B Badd vs Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger and the Full Blooded Italians (if GGE win, they receive tag title shots. If they lose, Glenn Gilbertti must fight Alex Wright immediately)
Final Block Standings
Starrcade Series Block A:
Jarrett 7pts, Goldberg 6pts, Storm 4pts, Kanyon 3pts, Rhodes 2pts, Steiner -2pts
Starrcade Series Block B:
RVD 8pts, Awesome 5pts, DDP 4pts, Bigelow 4pts, Kidman 4pts, Douglas 3pts
Next time: the go-home show before Victory Road 2001!