Backstage, Buff Bagwell is doing a sneaky camera bit, trying to get into Ric Flair’s office. In the office is Road Warrior Animal of all people. He doesn’t wrestle on this show. He’d turn up in WWE a few years later to unconvincingly job to RVD and Kane and then have a disappointing singles run and an even more disappointing tag team with Heidenrich. Ric Flair cuts a promo about how the heels on the show are going to win and the faces will lose. A lot of unnecessary stuff is happening in this segment, but it’s at least more entertaining than a Roman Reigns promo.
Shawn Stasiak vs Bam Bam Bigelow
Stacy Keibler introduces ‘The Mecca of Manhood’ Shawn Stasiak. Shawn Stasiak’s dad was a former WWWF champion called Stan ‘The Man’ Stasiak and Shawn had a run in WWF prior to his WCW run as ‘Meat’, but was fired for recording backstage conversations secretly. In WCW he’s treated as somewhat of a big deal, even getting the rub (no pun intended) as Stacy Keibler’s boyfriend. After WCW he’d go back to WWE where he’d mostly be used as a jobber. He had a few bright moments as an early tag team partner of Brock Lesnar, but his role was mostly to show that Lesnar could win despite Stasiak. He’s now a chiropractor, so good for him, I guess. I won’t introduce Bam Bam Bigelow except by saying he is undeniably 100% too good for this feud. That said, he cuts a decent promo with a simple message: him = good, fans = fat; bald, toothless.
This is barely a match, anyway. Stasiak spends 5 minutes cowering from Bam Bam. Bam Bam destroys him, but Stasiak gets the cheap win with Stacy’s help.
Winner: Shawn Stasiak
They cut to a backstage segment of Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller looking for Chris Kanyon. I hope this amounts to something later. Then there’s a segment with Kid Romeo and Elix Skipper helping each other put their newly won belts on. They hug, realise how homoerotic this is and shake hands. Quite why they would write in such deep and fulfilling character growth 8 days before the company’s shut down I do not know, but there it is.
Lance Storm and Mike Awesome vs Hugh Morris and Konnan
Mike Awesome’s ludicrous cavalcade of gimmicks is something cherished in WCW Lore. Quite how WCW were able to take a prospect like Awesome and systematically ruin him is anyone’s guess. But putting the non-Canadian Awesome in a Canadian themed tag team kind of demonstrates what we’re working with here. Hugh Morris is currently a trainer and has the honour of being Bill Goldberg’s first opponent. He’s been accused of some less than cricket things in NXT.
The impetus behind this match is that both teams have been attacking each other. There’s no more reasoning given than that, but that’s good enough. This match, aside from a few botches, is vanilla enough. Konnan (the Cuban) gets worked over by the America hating heels to USA chants. Awesome drops Konnan with a filthy piledriver. This was back in the days where that move wasn’t nearly as tabboo as it is today. Konnan manages to get Hugh in for the hot tag, but Hugh is soon overtaken and hit with Awesome’s frogsplash finisher. In what has become a pattern, this could have ended the match, but the competitors fight on until Mike Awesome hits a crucifix powerbomb for the win. It wasn’t the greatest tag match in the world, but at least no one used the phrase ‘Uso Crazy’. So another point to WCW.
Winners: Lance Storm and Mike Awesome
In the back, more security footage shows Dustin Rhodes (Goldust) and Dusty Rhodes getting ready for a match. Dusty Rhodes ordered 240 burritos for some reason. Then, for no reason we join Buff Bagwell and Rick Steiner as they talk about how Rick is going to beat Booker T. They eat snacks and hype the main event. After this we get a THIRD BACKSTAGE SEGMENT, this time featuring the team of Sean O’Haire and Chuck Palumbo. At this stage in their careers, neither could talk well or wrestle well, but they looked like wrestlers, so it’s surprising they weren’t scooped up by Vince earlier. Their opponents are Lex Luger and Buff Bagwell. None of these men will wrestle very well. Moving on.
Chavo Guerrero Jr vs Sugar Shane Helms
Technical issue as the people in production show the Cruiserweight Tag Team Tournament graphic instead of the singles match graphic. Shane Helm’s music also glitches, but he comes to the music with his own troupe of cheerleaders. Shane’s entire gimmick is centred around his finisher, which was a trend in WCW.
They start the match with a long drawn out headlock before really getting into the fast paced cruiserweight action that would make Vince McMahon throw up. “Damn Millenials”, Vince would say, about these two wrestlers wrestling 14 years ago. Chavo focuses on a series of intelligent submissions to wear down Shane, whereas Helms focuses on crowd pleasing fancy moves. “We’re seeing two men actually wrestle” Schiovane says in disbelief at a wrestling show. Everything thus far has been nice and safe – these two, unlike most of the cruiserweights, weren’t necessarily high flyers. It’s clear that neither wrestler was taught to wrestle in a fixed ‘style’ like say the ‘WWE-style’, because this match feels unique to the matches that preceded it. Helms reverses a Gory Special into a Vertebreaker, in a finish that you should go out of your way to see. Three of Helm’s dancer’s come out to celebrate with him which begs the question – what happened to missing one? This mystery would not be solved in the 8 days that WCW had left.
Winner: Sugar Shane Helms