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WCW's Second Chance

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It was January 2001 and Vince McMahon had made an un-ignorable offer to Ted Turner for the rights to World Championship Wrestling. Since 1995, when WCW Monday Nitro debuted on the air head-to-head with the already established WWF Monday Night Raw, the two multi-million dollar franchises had battled, in honorable competition and with dirty underhanded tactics. Finally, after a series of poor bookers in WCW and mistake after mistake made by the likes of Eric Bischoff, Vince Russo, Ed "Oklahoma" Ferrara and Kevin Sullivan, WCW had it's grave dug, coffin built, headstone engraved and hearse sitting in front of the house.

Ted Turner had several long meeting with his bigwigs in TNT, Time Warner and WCW and nothing could be done to financially revive WCW. But as the meeting took place, one man, looked particularly upset by the whole situation, Eric Bischoff. Bischoff had taken WCW in the early 90s, taken it to prime time, taken it worldwide, taken it to 83 consecutive ratings victories over the WWF and made it to an international institution for wrestling fans. Now, he felt, that all his work was for nothing, that was it, WWF had won, and now he, and WCW would sink into obscurity and be forgotten. Despite his feelings, he could not think of a way to turn WCW around financially and make it profitable again, especially if they were to continue running against WWE, which was hot from Steve Austin's return, the Brothers of Destruction alliance, Triple H's unmatched heel ability, the phenomenal TLC feud and more. The meeting ended and it was agreed that Ted Turner's agents would make the calls tomorrow and WCW would be sold to Vince McMahon.

Eric Bischoff didn't sleep that night, he couldn't let his nemesis idley purchase what he had poured his heart and soul into for the last decade. Eventually after tossing and turning, and hours of thinking, he reached an idea. It was a longshot, but a longshot was better than pouring the last ten years of his life down a drain in Hartford, Connecticut.

At 8am the following morning, he called up Ted Turner and told him to hold all calls to the WWF, and give him one more day. Turner grudgingly agreed and Bischoff hung up and immediately called up a friend of his who worked with Fusient Media Ventures. After four hours of holding the line, negotiating and being forwarded from executive to executive, he convinced Fusient Media Ventures to purchase World Championship Wrestling and make him President.

He called Ted Turner back up and gave him the news in an elated state. His elation was soon dropped down a few pegs with the words..

"Eehhh, that's great news, uh, Eric, but you know you won't have, uh, TV time, right?"

In his happiness and finding a solution, he had completely forgotten details like TV time. Despite trying to convince Ted Turner, Turner wouldn't entrust his precious TV time to a media corporation he'd never even heard of. He told Eric to run somewhere else and maybe one day he could have his Monday Night slot back. Eric was less than pleased, but finalised all the purchase details and said his final goodbyes to Mr. Turner.

Eric then made some phone calls to get some contacts but was hastily shot down by the likes of NBC, ABC, TBS, MTV, CBS and The USA Network. He knew he couldn't try TNN or UPN as they aired WWE, so he started looking at smaller channels reluctantly, he made some calls but while speaking to HBO, he got an incoming call and asked them to hold.

"Hello, Eric Bischoff."

"Evening, Mr. Bischoff, this is the CEO of Fox enterprises. Look I've heard you're looking for somewhere to air a sports entertainment show, right?"

"Yeah...yeah that's right."

"Well, I may be doing this for the wrong reasons, but I've just had a lot of arguments and bad press from the guys at TNN, and, I want to put you on the air, providing you run against WWF programming."

"Well, that would have been the plan anyway, so prime time Monday, prime time Thursday and early evening against Sunday Night HeAT right?"

"I can give you Monday and Sunday but the guys at UPN, some of them are friends of mine, I can't give you Thursday."

"Okay, okay well that's great for now, let me just get some details...."

And so, between Eric Bischoff, Fusient Media Ventures and Fox Broadcasting, WCW was up and running once again, with a fresh start and with high hopes. Can WCW once again become the #1 promotion in the world? Who knows? I'm just here to tell the story...

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Hmm... interesting. The facts are mostly correct, although there's a few discrepancies. I was thinking of doing one of these diaries myself, so I'll be following this to see how you handle it.

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After a couple of months of preparation by Fusient, and a couple of months leaving process by Turner, WCW was all ready to completely change hands as March came to a close. On the final Nitro, Booker T was crowned World Heavyweight Champion and Sting and Ric Flair had one more epic contest to usher out the Turner/WCW saga.


Along with his new venture, Eric Bischoff of course now had the chance to get rid of anybody that he didn't feel added to the promotion, whether it be staff or wrestlers, without risk of Turner executives looking over his shoulder frowning.

And so, Vince Russo and Kevin Sullivan were immediately dropped without hesitation, Russo was a good friend of Bischoff's but Bischoff decided to ignore all friendships during this pivotal stage and do what was best for WCW. He kept on Bill Banks and also, strangely kept Russo's partner-in-crime Ed Ferrara. Bischoff knew that Ferrara had good ideas, as did Russo, but Ferrara was less strong-willed and always just a supplement to Russo and Bischoff thought he could bring out the best in Ed, while knowing he had full power to filter out anything he didn't like. Along with Banks, Ferrara and himself he signed up two others for the booking committee in unknowns, Richard Herring and Katy-Jane Myers.

He also made some cuts around the wrestler front with MI Smooth, long-time employee Wayne DeBruce, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Stevie Ray, Kwee-Wee/Paisley and Major Gunns all being left behind. As well as this, Mark Madden and Scott Hudson would both be left behind. Tony Schiavone would now be accompanied on Nitro by "The Cat" Ernest Miller who Bischoff decided he didn't want in a storylined role any more, and on WCW Sunday Night, Mike Tenay would lead the announce table, accompanied by Dusty Rhodes, who also would be relieved of any storylined roles. At pay-per-view events, Tony Schiavone and Mike Tenay would share the load.

Initially, Bischoff was quite pleasantly surprised at the aftermath of his releases, with Brian Knobbs being a bit annoyed at the loss of his friend, Jim Duggan, but other than that, no complaints......and then he got home. He had an answer machine jammed full of messages and more than one e-mail from his World Champion and United States Champion, Booker T. Booker was less than impressed at real life brother, Stevie Ray, and real-life wife, Paisley, being dropped. Bischoff sat and thought long and hard, eventually he came to the conclusion..."with a new start, could come a new champion", and he politely replied to Booker T saying that his mind was made up about Stevie Ray and Paisley, and if he was so angered, Bischoff would happily allow him out of his contract with no repurcussions.

Bischoff had some dinner then made some calls informing his fellow bookers about his decision, and then returned to his computer to find a reply from Booker T, accepting Bischoff's offer. WCW had a vacant World Championship and a vacant United States Championship. After Meng re-signed with WWF in January, and WCW had more pressing matters than lowercard brawlers, the Hardcore Title was vacant anyway, and so Bischoff decided, that on the first Nitro under his control, he would vacate all titles and put them up for grabs again to signal the dawn of a new era.

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At the first booker's meeting, the committee unanimously agreed that it would be acceptable to drop any feuds and angles that they saw appropriate, and thus, any matches planned for Spring Stampede were thrown out the window and the anti-climactic, destination-less Magnificent 7 were ditched altogether. At the end of the meeting, the team produced and photocopied a list of the roster, the titles and tag-team/stable combinations, as well as making a note if any of the top workers had been out of in-ring action for an extended period. Bischoff then asked everybody to head back home, consider who the new champions should be, consider anybody that needs pushing and consider future feuds and angles for a new WCW.

Main Eventers

Bill Goldberg - F - Out of action since January 8th 2001

Sid Vicious - F - Out of action since January 10th 2001

Sting - F

Ric Flair - H

Scott Steiner - H

Upper Midcarders

Kevin Nash - F - Out of action since February 12th 2001

Diamond Dallas Paige - F

Dustin Rhodes - F

Lex Luger - H

Jeff Jarrett - H

Buff Bagwell - H - Out of action since February 26th 2001

Mike Sanders - H - Out of action since January 8th 2001

Road Warrior Animal - H - Out of action since February 19th 2001

Rick Steiner - H


Big Vito - F

Rey Mysterio Jr. - F

Billy Kidman - F

Konnan - F

Hugh Morrus - F

Alex Wright - H

Brian Adams - H

Bryan Clarke - H

Chris Kanyon - H

Chuck Palumbo - H

David Flair - H

Disco Inferno - H

Don Harris - H

Lance Storm - H

Mike Awesome - H

Ron Harris - H

Sean O'Haire - H

Shane Douglas - H

Shawn Stasiak - H

Lower Midcarders

Crowbar - F

Lash LeRoux - F

Norman Smiley - F

Shane Helms - F

Terry Funk - F

Bam Bam Bigelow - H

Brian Knobbs - H

Chavo Guerrero Jr. - H

Chris Candido - H

Elix Skipper - H

Johnny The Bull - H

Mark Jindrak - H

Reno - H

The Wall - H


Air Paris - F

AJ Styles - F

Kash - F

Evan Karagias - H

Jamie Noble - H

Jason Jett - H

Kaz Hayashi - H

Kid Romeo - H

Shannon Moore - H

Yang - H

Managers/Valets (Clients)

Stacy Keibler - F (None)

Torrie Wilson - F (Shane Douglas)

Jimmy Hart - H (Brian Knobbs)

Leia Meow - H (Kaz Hayashi, Yang)

Midajah - H (Scott Steiner)

Miss Elizabeth - H (Lex Luger)

Tammy Sytch - H (Chris Candido)


Air Raid (AJ Styles and Air Paris) - F

Filthy Animalz (Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman) - F

The Harris Boys (Don Harris and Ron Harris) - H

The Jung Dragons (Kaz Hayashi and Yang) - H

KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clarke) - H

Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire - H

Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo - H

Team Canada (Mike Awesome and Lance Storm) - H

Three Count (Shannon Moore and Evan Karagias) - H


Filthy Animalz (Konnan, Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman)

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This week on the brand new debuting WCW Sunday Night, the no-nonsense Sicillian slugger Big Vito will go one on one with the rookie sensation, Chuck Palumbo. Chuck Palumbo has the slight weight and height advantage here but Vito easily has the experience and pound-for-pound toughness advantage!

Plus... Gene Okerlund will talk to WCW superstars about the big WCW shake-up announced on WCW.com and what they think the shake-up is and how it will effect them.

And... KroniK, Sean O'Haire, Crowbar and Reno all set to be in action!

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After the pyro clears, the cameras pan around the arena, full to the brim (well almost) with screaming WCW fans. The angle then switches down to the announce table where the WCW Sunday Night announcers, Mike Tenay and "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes sit.

Tenay: "Well what a night, not only is this WCW's first appearance on Fox, it's the first ever edition of WCW Sunday Night! Welcome folks!"

Rhodes: "Not only that, Tenay, but WCW.com has told the fans that tomorrow night on Nitro, Eric Bischoff will make an announcement that will change WCW forever!"

Tenay: "That's right, Dusty, I..I have no idea what this announcement could be that is so epic, do you?"

Rhodes: "Not a clue, Tenay, but what I do know, is that we have some young stud in the ring and Reno is making his way out!"

Reno vs. Johnny Jeter

Reno and Jeter lock up and Reno shoves Jeter down. He poses and Jeter gets back up, they go to lock up again but Reno boots Jeter in the stomach and throws him into the corner. He follows in and lays into Jeter's stomach with some punches then drags him out and blasts him with a suplex. He goes for the cover and Jeter just escapes at '2'. He picks him up again and gives him a bodyslam in the middle of the ring, then comes off the ropes and drops a big elbow. He pulls Jeter up by the hair and gives him a sidewalk slam and goes for the cover again. 1....2....Jeter escapes again. Reno is getting annoyed. Reno picks Jeter up and gives him a big club to the back and then goes to whip him out of the corner. Jeter reverses! Reno reverses again, Jeter runs into the corner, springs up onto the middle rope and goes for a moonsault, Reno catches him on his shoulder, drops him down onto his feet and hits the Roll Of The Dice, 1....2...3!

Winner: Reno

After this match we go to a shot of a corridor backstage with a big WCW logo on the wall. Gene Okerlund is standing ready with a microphone.

Gene: "Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to welcome my first guests for the evening, these young men who refer to themselves as the Filthy Animalz!"

The crowd pop as Konnan, Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman walk into shot.

Gene: "Konnan, what are your thoughts on this big announcement Eric Bischoff has set for tomorrow's Nitro?"

Konnan: "K-Dawg thinks.....K-Dawg thinks it don't matter what Bischoff's announcement is, because he's already pushed the Filthy famillia too far! Tell 'em Rey-Rey."

Rey Jr.: "All I know, is that me and Billy, we got phone calls telling us we needed to hand over our Cruiserweight Tag-Team titles, with no questions asked. We had a visit today from a WCW agent who reclaimed our titles without a word but 'thank you' when he left. Now, as far as I'm concerned yo, unless WCW are taking all the belts off for shining, Bischoff is not down with Rey, and is not down with the Animalz, yo."

Kidman: "Bischoff, just you remember, punk, you might have the belts, but you don't have the titles. If you are stripping us of the Cruiserweight Tag-Team belts, for whatever reason, that don't mean a thing, because you know, we know, and all these people know, that me and Rey, here, we're the Cruiserweight Tag-Team Champions, and there's nothing you can do about it!"


The Animalz leave the screen to a big pop.

Gene: "Interesting comments there from Konnan and the Cruiserweight Tag-Team Champion, or should I say former champions? I just don't know! Back to you, Mike Tenay!"

Tenay: "Well....I don't know what to say, Dusty, what could this mean?"

Rhodes: "I...I just don't know Tenay, it sure is going to be an interesting night tomorrow Nitro!"

Tenay: "Well, folks, we've got some more action for you now as Crowbar is making his way to the ring!"

Crowbar vs. Colt Cabana

Crowbar and Colt tie up and Crowbar goes into a headlock. He switches tound into a hammerlock, into a waistlock, and then drops down and takes out Cabana's ankles, sending him face first onto the mat. Crowbar gets up and drops a leg across the back of Colt's head. He picks him up, sends him off the ropes and knocks him back down with a big dropkick and then picks up his legs and rolls through into the jacknife pin. 1...2...Cabana gets a shoulder up. Crowbar goes to lift Colt up but he gives him a forearm to the stomach and stands up. Cabana sends him off the ropes but Crowbar springboards off the middle ropes and twists into a crossbody pinning Colt. 1....2....Colt just gets his shoulder up. Crowbar lifts him up and sends him off. Colt ducks a clothesline and comes back with one of his own but Crowbar ducks that, Colt turns round into a textbook standing hurricanrana. With Cabana down, Crowbar heads to the top rope and lands a big moonsault. 1....2....3

Winner: Crowbar

The screen goes backstage again where Gene Okerlund is waiting.

Gene: "Well, I regret to announce this, but my second interviewee is the man who is apparently the Chosen One of WCW, ladies and gentlemen, Jeff Jarrett."

Jarrett grabs the microphone.

JJ: "You damn right I'm the Chosen One, Okerlund. Now you look here slap nuts, I want every single person in this arena to know, you, those degenerate Filthy Animalz, Mike Tenay, Dusty Rhodes, all the boys in the locker room and all these fans, I have been in contact with Eric Bischoff, and I know exactly what his announcement is, and his announcement means another step to immortalisation in the career of the Chosen One. Now Okerlund, I suggest you run along and find those Filthy Animalz and remind them who the hell they're talking about, and inform them, and anyone else who wants to be a loudmouth, that the next person to disrespect Mr. Bischoff will be hearing some Jarrett Brand music, slap nuts."

Jarrett touches the guitar rested on his shoulder and then walks off screen. Okerlund shakes his head as the cameras to go the announce table.

Tenay: "Well, damn it, Dusty, why am I not surprised. Looks to me like Eric Bischoff and the Chosen One, Jeff Jarrett are in cahoots. I've spoken to nearly everyone in the back today, to try and find out about this announcement, and not one of them knew, but the damn Chosen one seems to!"

Rhodes: "Don't be too hasty, Tenay, I think we've all learnt by now not to trust Jeff Jarrett at face value, and we all know he'll do anything or say anything if it gets him ahead even an inch. Damn, Jeff Jarrett would pawn his own mother's wedding ring if it got him a main event match."

Tenay: "Well, I sure hope they're not in cahoots, Dusty, because favorable treatment towards Jeff Jarrett is never a wise move."

Rhodes: "Let's hope Bischoff realises this, Tenay. Now, Sean O'Haire is heading out!"

Sean O'Haire vs. Ace Steel

Sean O'Haire runs straight in and starts mauling Ace Steel in the corner. He pulls him out and gives him two straight shin-kicks to the chest followed by a spin-kick to the sternum. He sends him off and blasts him with a big diving shoulder block and then drags him back to his feet. He climbs to the middle turnbuckle and leaps off blasting Steel in the face with a spinning heel kick. He sends him off the ropes and superkicks him in the upper chest which leaves him stumbling groggy, O'Haire lifts him up onto his shoulder and hits the Cruel Intentions, which shakes the ring. 1....2....3

Winner: Sean O'Haire

Tenay: "Well what a dominating force Sean O'Haire is becoming, Dusty...though may I note..when he came out, did you notice....he wasn't carrying his half of the WCW World Tag-Team Championship."

Rhodes: "I did notice that, Tenay, could be personal preference, I guess we'll have to wait and see if Chuck Palumbo brings his out in the main event tonight."

Tenay: "I guess so, Dusty, but something strange is going on around here. Back to the action. Here's KroniK!"

KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clarke) vs. Jason Cross and Joel Maximo

Clarke and Joel start off as Clarke locks up and pushes Joel into the corner with ease. He gives him a couple of boots to the stomach and then chokes him with his foot. As he stumbles out, Clarke picks him up in a military press. He walks over to his corner and Adams tags in. Adams gets on one knee and Maximo gets dropped gut first onto Adam's outstretched knee! Adams drags Maximo up and slaps him then throws him over towards Jason Cross. Cross tags in and runs at Adams to receive a big boot. Adams chokes Cross on the floor and tags Clarke back in. Maximo tries to help Cross but gets caught and receives the Meltdown from Bryan Clarke. Joel rolls out. KroniK then pick up Cross and give him the KroniK Double Chokeslam and Clarke pins Cross for the easy victory. 1.......2....3

Winners: KroniK

We go back to Okerlund on the big screen.

Gene: "Ladies and gentlemen, my final guest today that I will be interviewing about tomorrow's events, please welcome, Sting!"

Sting steps into shot and the crowd go wild.

Gene: "Sting, what do you think Bischoff has to say tomorrow?"

Sting: "WWWWOOOOAAAHHHHHH!!!! Y'know Gene, I don't know, but what I do know, is that whatever happens to WCW tomorrow, whether it be good, whether it be bad, whether it's earth-shattering or whether it's barely acknowledgeable, I know, that come Tuesday, THE STINGER WILL STILL BE HERE, GENE! I don't care WHAT Bischoff says, I don't care WHAT kind of knowledge Jeff Jarrett thinks he has, because in the grand scale of things, Gene, it's all about the Stinger, WOOOOAAHHHH!!!"

The crowd go wild as Sting leaves.

Gene: "Back to the arena..."

Tenay: "Well, that's lightened my evening a bit, Dusty!"

Rhodes: "Me too, Tenay, y'know Wall Street can crash, an earthquake can tear American in half or we could be invaded by Martians and Sting would still be here in WCW!"

Tenay: "Well it's time for our main event and here comes Chuck Palumbo.....who isn't carrying his gold, Dusty."

Rhodes: "No, he is not, this is really weird, Mike."

Chuck Palumbo vs. Big Vito

They lock up and trade holds back and forth until Palumbo wrenches Vito's arm then whips him off the ropes. He goes for a clothesline but Vito ducks. He goes for a reverse elbow but Vito ducks again and comes back with a big flying clothesline of his own. The fans go wild. Palumbo clambers up and receives a bodyslam followed by a big leg drop across the throat. Vito goes for the cover. 1...2...Palumbo kicks out. Vito picks him up and underhooks his arms signalling for the Luca Brotzi. Palumbo blocks and breaks out and delivers some forearms to Vito. He whips him off the ropes and hits a powerslam and goes for the cover. 1...2....Vito escapes. Palumbo gives him a boot to the head and takes control of the match. After a couple of minutes of Palumbo wearing down Vito with body shots and chops in the corners, and choking him on the ropes, Palumbo whips him into the corner and signals for the superkick as he stumbles out. He steps in but Vito ducks the kick, Palumbo turns round and receives a big Luca Brotzi double underhook DDT in the middle of the ring. Vito crawls over for the cover. 1....2....3.

Winner: Big Vito

Tenay: "Well, Dusty, it's been quite a night and it's only 24 hours until we find out exactly what Bischoff's announcement is!"

Rhodes: "It should be quite a night tomorrow on Nitro, Tenay! See you all next week!"

Overall show rating - 61%

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This Monday, absolutely no matches are confirmed as WCW is in suspended animation anticipating Eric Bischoff's announcement. WCW.com has vaguely suggested that all the top WCW superstars will be on hand at Nitro but nobody at WCW.com and none of the WCW staff have any idea what will occur on Nitro and how it will change the future.

Jeff Jarrett has claimed that he knows what Bischoff's bombshell is but how truthful is this?

Sting has promised that whatever occurs on Nitro, Sting will be forever, is that going to be a wise decision?

The Filthy Animalz, Konnan, Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio Jr. are not at all happy with the early stages of Bischoff's big plans, but they, like everyone else, have no idea what it's all leading to!

WCW Monday Nitro will be an unmissable pinnacle event in wrestling history!

Edited by RavensTheSaviour
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The WCW opening video ends and we see no pyro, no fan pan, no announcer's table segment, we go straight to the ring where Eric Bischoff is standing waiting. Bischoff pauses as the fans sit in silent suspense.....

Finally he brings the microphone to his lips, and WCW changes forever.

Bischoff: "Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, everybody in the crowd will witness the complete turnaround of World Championship Wrestling. The company that ran in grungey run-down arenas, lost money every event and was absolutely no competition for the World Wrestling Federation, until I stepped in and took WCW to shocking heights and for 83 consecutive weeks, beat the WWF in the ratings war. I turned WCW round once, I can do it again.

The fat has been cut and WCW is set for heights that we didn't even reach in the mid-90s, WCW is set for immortalisation as the greatest sports entertainment production in history.

After certain disagreements, WCW and the former World Heavyweight and United States champion, Booker T have parted ways. As you know, the WCW World Hardcore Title has been sitting on the shelf for the past three months, and so I took this great opportunity to strip Shane Helms, Sean O'Haire, Chuck Palumbo, Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman of their respective championships, making every single WCW championship vacant.

By Spring Stampede at the end of this months, all champions will be crowned once again. Three titles I have already decided fates for. An 8-man knockout tournament has been set for the World Heavyweight Championship with the finals main eventing Spring Stampede. As for the Cruiserweight Tag-Team Titles, a three way tag-team match will take place this week, and another next week, the two victorious teams will compete at Spring Stampede in a high altitude, high risk, high flying tag-team ladder match to crown the new champions. The third belt I have considered is the World Hardcore Title, and later tonight you will see a 10-man Hardcore Invitational Battle Royale featuring WCW's most brutal and violent competitors, the victor will be the first newly crowned champion!

As for the WCW World Title tournament, the four first round matches will take place tonight, as I said. These matches will be, the 'Chosen One' Jeff Jarrett vs. Sting, Diamond Dallas Paige vs. Scott Steiner, Lex Luger vs. a mystery opponent hand-picked myself and right now, Lance Storm vs. the returning Kevin Nash!"

Bischoff hands the microphone back to Dave Penzer as the crowd go wild for this huge news and Lance Storm makes his way out.

Schiavone: "Well, Cat, what on Earth do you make of that?"

Miller: "That, Tony, is a truly shocking announcement and I can't to see how this all unfolds, in just a few weeks, all the WCW champions will be recrowned to suit a brand new era!"

WCW World Heavyweight Title Tournament

First Round

Lance Storm vs. Kevin Nash

They lock up and Lance Storm gets shoved down. He gets up hastily, brushes himself down and locks back up. Same again. Storm jumps back up and they go for the lock up again but Storm ducks and goes into a waistlock. He starts clubbing the back of Kevin Nash. He pushes him back against the ropes and goes for the whip but Nash reverses and takes Storm down with a big clothesline. Storm jumps backs up and gets another clothesline. A third. This time he gets up and receives a huge bodyslam. Storm scarpers to the outside to re-group. The referee starts counting him out. He gets on the apron and demands the referee make sure Nash is back away from him. Storm jumps back in and runs at Nash! Nash swing hims up onto his shoulder and drops him face-first on the top turnbuckle with the snake-eyes. Storm turns round holding his jaw and receives a sidewalk slam. Nash covers. 1....2.......Storm kicks out. Nash starts picking him up but he kicks Big Kev in the knee and then hits a big back heel kick, levelling the big man. He heads to the top rope and hits a missile dropkick as Nash regains verticality, making it brief. Storm leaps up and tries to apply the Maple Leaf. Nash fights it struggling from side to side, and eventually kicks Storm off. Lance falls back against the ropes. Nash gets up and starts punching him in the ropes and then sends him off and blasts him with a big boot. Storm stumbles to his feet and straight into the Jacknife Powerbomb. Nash lifts him but Storm slides over the back, drops to his knees and delivers a brutal low-blow, then rolls Big Sexy up and grabs a handful of tights for leverage, 1.....2.....3!

Storm scores the upset and immediately makes his hasty way backstage before Nash exacts his revenge.

Winner: Lance Storm

Schiavone: "Well, Cat, what an upset! Not an honest upset, but an upset nonetheless!"

Miller: "That's shocking. Lance Storm steals another one for Canada!"

Schiavone: "Well the action never stop here, Cat, Brian Knobbs is on his way to the ring!"

WCW World Hardcore Championship

10-Man Invitational Hardcore Battle Royale

Terry Funk vs. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. David Flair vs. Brian Knobbs vs. Mike Awesome vs. Big Vito vs. Crowbar vs. Johnny The Bull vs. Dustin Rhodes vs. Norman Smiley

As expected, this match brawls all over the arena, into the crowd, onto the stage, down at ringside, everywhere! David Flair is eliminated first after Vito blasts him with the Luca Brotzi on a stop sign in the middle of the ring. Flair is followed by Johnny The Bull when Terry Funk pulls up the mats and piledrives him on the concrete floor at ringside! Dustin Rhodes leaps off the apron and catches Norman Smiley in a bulldog, driving his face into a stray trash can and covers him to eliminate him. A big chair shot from the top rope courtesy of Mike Awesome polishes off the big man, Bam Bam Bigelow. Big Vito takes Knobbs to the mat with a Sicillian Leg Sweep and then places a steel chair on his chest. Air Funk moonsaults onto the chair, crushing Brian Knobbs and Funk pins him. An Awesome Bomb out of the ring through a table spells the end for the unorthodox Crowbar. Funk, Vito and Rhodes start to team up on Awesome but he battles back and throws Funk and Rhodes out to the floor where they brawl resulting in Rhodes blasting Funk with the ring bell and busting him open. In the ring, Awesome and Vito trade some Singapore cane shots with Awesome getting the advantage. Vito stumbles back and then in a spurt of hope, comes off the ropes and swings the cane at Awesome with great velocity! Awesome ducks it and catches Vito in a massive spinebuster which he manages to direct so Vito's spine lands full force on a steel chair. Awesome covers and Big Vito is eliminated. Rhodes climbs back in the ring along with his cowbell and takes out Awesome. He covers him, 1.....2......Awesome just kicks out but now he's bleeding! Meanwhile a recovering Funk has slid a table into the ring. Rhodes kicks Funk in the head as he tries to slide under the bottom rope and then slants the table in the corner. He drags Awesome up and lies him on the table and gives him a couple of right hands for good measure. Rhodes runs in but Awesome leaps forward and lariats Rhodes to hell! Funk grabs a cane and cracks Awesome in the spine. He lies him back on the table and runs in attempting a spear. Awesome steps forward and catches Funk's head between his legs! He lifts him up, turns round and Funk is on the receiving end of a huge Awesome Bomb through the table. Awesome covers and the hardcore legend is out of there. Rhodes grabs a trash can and stuffs it between the top and middle turnbuckles and goes to whip Awesome into it. Awesome reverses and Rhodes hits the steel can hard, he stumbles forward into a brutal chair shot. Awesome picks up shards of the splintered table and covers Rhodes in them and then scales the top rope and hits a massive Awesome Splash! 1.......2......3! Mike Awesome wins the vacant title!

Winner (and new WCW World Hardcore Champion): Mike Awesome

Schiavone: "What a match! I don't think I've ever seen anything like that, Cat!"

Miller: "Me either, but I'm more concerned about the WCW Hardcore Division. If Mike Awesome remains this impressive they best all consider life insurance pretty damn soon."

Schiavone: "No doubt, Cat. Well, I hear we are going backstage....."

The cameras go backstage where we see Ric Flair in Eric Bischoff's office.

Flair: "C'mon Eric, don't put this guy in the title tournament, he doesn't deserve it."

Bischoff: "Ric, it's all set, the calls have been made and he's here, alright?"

Flair: "Why don't ya put me in there instead? I'm the Nature Boy!"

Bischoff: "Look Ric, I've made my decision, Luger has his opponent, what's your problem anyway?"

Flair: "I just...don't want this guy back in the same company as me again. We don't get on."

Bischoff: "Well you'd better learn to or you can settle in the ring with him."

Flair: "You just don't listen to reason, Eric!"

Flair storms out and slams the door.

Schiavone: "Well, what was that about? Who could possibly be Lex Luger's opponent tonight in the World Title tournament?"

Miller: "I don't know, Tony, but we do know that whoever it is, Ric Flair is not the chairman of the fan club."

Schiavone: "It would seem so. Well, it's time for our second first round match in the WCW World Heavyweight Title tournament, here comes the Big Bad Booty Daddy."

Miller: "This guy might just be my pick to win it, Schiavone!"

WCW World Heavyweight Title Tournament

First Round

Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Paige

They lock up and tussle back and forth with Steiner ultimately forcing DDP into the corner. They go for a clean break when Steiner boots Paige in the gut and gives him a vicious knife-edge chop across the chest. He whips him to the opposite corner and runs in with a big clothesline. DDP moves and pushes Steiner chest-first into the top turnbuckle and then rolls him up! 1....2....Steiner escapes. Paige comes off the ropes and takes Steiner down with a clothesline, and another, he grabs Steiner and sends him off the ropes. He bends down in preparation for a back body drop but Freakzilla telegraphs it and gives him a swift kick to the chest followed by a side belly-to-belly suplex. Steiner covers. 1......2......DDP kicks out. Big Poppa Pump pulls Paige up and holds him in the air with a text book stalling vertical suplex before dropping back sending DDP crashing to his back. Pump gets up and drops an elbow to DDP's chest and goes for another cover. 1....2....Paige kicks out again. Steiner drags him up and sends him off the ropes, he picks him up for a military press, Paige slides off over his back, spins him round and grabs the 3/4 chancery, he goes to drop but Steiner shoves him off into the ropes. Steiner shoulder blocks DDP down, then turns him over and attempt to apply the Steiner Recliner. Paige fights it and struggles out behind Steiner, spins him round, goes for the Cutter again, Steiner blocks, goes to lift Paige for the Steiner Screwdriver, Paige slides out, DIAMOND CUTTER! DDP covers 1....2....3! DDP is heading to the semi-finals with Lance Storm.

Winner: Diamond Dallas Paige

Miller: "Damn, Tony, that was my pick."

Schiavone: "Never underestimate the People's Champion. You never see it coming!"

Miller: "Well apparently not, Tony!"

Schiavone: "We are going backstage now, where Gene Okerlund is with Stacy Keibler."

We head backstage and Gene Okerlund is standing in front of a door with a blank nameplate. Stacy Keibler is sitting cross legged on a chair beside the door.

Gene: "Miss Keibler, could you please tell me who it is that's behind that door?"

Keibler: "That's Lex Luger's opponent for tonight."

Gene: "Well yes, but who?"

Keibler: "Oh I couldn't say, Mr. Bischoff gave me strict orders to tell absolutely nobody, even Gene Okerlund he said, who it is that's behind that door."

Gene: "Well damn it I'm going to take a look for myself."

Okerlund tries to go in but the doors locked.

Keibler: "Sorry Mean Gene, no access."

Gene: "Well, I guess the mystery still remains, who will be Lex Luger's opponent tonight in the WCW World Title tournament?

Schiavone: "Well, the plot thickens, Cat! I have no idea who that could be!"

Miller: "Me either, Schiavone, but right now we have the first of our three way matches for entry into a tag-team ladders match at Spring Stampede for the Cruiserweight Tag-Team Titles."

Three Way Tag-Team Match

Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo vs. The Filthy Animalz (Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman) vs. Jung Dragons (Yang and Kaz Hayashi)

Billy Kidman and Elix Skipper start off trading some holds to applause. They go again with Kidman gaining the advantage after a dropkick sends Skipper flying out of the ring. Skipper slides back in and they lock up again. Elix pushes Kidman into his corner and tags Kid Romeo. Romeo gets in and tehy both put the boots to Kidman. Romeo goes to whip him but Kidman reverses and Romeo gets sent into the corner of the Animalz. Kidman runs in and dropkicks Romeo who slumps down in the corner. Kidman tags Mysterio who jumps in, runs the length of the ring and hits the Bronco Buster on Romeo! Romeo crawls hastily out of the corner and tags Hayashi. Hayashi and Mysterio stare each other down and then lock up. They trade holds until Hayashi pushes Mysterio back against the ropes, sends him off and blasts him with a spinning heel kick. He lifts him up and gives him three snapmares in succession followed by a dropkick to the back of the neck. He grabs Rey in a front facelock and tags in Yang. They double whip him off the ropes and go for a double flapjack but on the journey back down, Rey grabs both their heads and plants them with a double DDT! Hayashi bails out and Yang gets to his feet and walks straight into a deep armdrag followed by a high dropkick. Rey climbs the top rope and goes for a flying crossbody but Yang sidesteps and takes him down hard in a Fujiwara armbar. Rey is writhing in agony until Kidman runs in a breaks it up. This sparks off Hayashi to run in and help Yang. Yang and Hayashi simultaneously whip Kidman and Rey Jr., Rey and Billy both duck clotheslines, they both duck back elbows, they run back and both wrap their legs around their opponents in wheelbarrow body scissors' then flip up and bring Kaz and Yang down nose first with bulldogs! Kidman and Rey pull them up and go to whip them both off but they reverse, Skipper and Romeo pull the top rope down and Rey and Kidman fly to the outside. Skipper and Romeo get down off the apron and brawl with the Filthy Animalz at ringside until Hayashi hits a diving somersault plancha taking out everyone! As they finally regain stability, Yang runs, leaps to the top rope and hits a big corkscrew body press, taking everyone back down! Ultimately, order returns with Rey and Yang back in the ring. Rey sits Yang on the top rope and signals for a Frankensteiner but Hayashi holds onto his foot and he can't jump. Yang shoves Rey off and goes for the spectacular Yang Time, but Rey moves! Clasping his frontal torso, Yang stumbles to the corner and tags in Elix Skipper. Skipper runs at Rey who leafrogs him and dropkicks him in the back. Rey tags Kidman and they perform a double team where Kidman back suplexes Rey but he flips and ultimately lands in a body press on Skipper! Kidman signals for the Shooting Star Press and Romeo, Yang and Hayashi all hit the ring, so does Rey! Rey hits a springboard dropkick knocking down Hayashi, who clambers to the outside. Kidman grabs Romeo and blasts him with the Kid Krusher. He bails out too. Yang quietly climbs the top rope but Rey and Kidman notice him. Kidman stands by the corner and Rey runs at him, Kidman pushes him up and he leaps and gives Yang a Frankesteiner! Kidman scales the other corner and hits the Shooting Star Press on Skipper! 1.......2.......3!!

Winners: The Filthy Animalz (Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman)

Schiavone: "What a breathtaking match, Cat, and there will be another one of these incredible three way tag-team cruiserweight matches next week, and then at Spring Stampede, the two winning teams will compete in the high risk tag-team ladder match for the WCW World Cruiserweight Tag-team Championships!"

Miller: "These cruiserweights really are incredible and I sleep well knowing that they are the future of WCW."

The cameras cut backstage where Konnan greets and congratulates Kidman and Rey on their victory. Kidman seems distracted and keeps looking down the corridor.

Konnan: "Arriba la raza famillia! Tonight we part-ay!"

Rey: "Billy, you comin' homes?"

Kidman: "Yeah....yeah I'll, uh, I'll catch you up."

Rey: "Whatever homes."

Rey and Konnan heads of and as soon as they're out of sight, Kidman heads down the corridor. The cameras follow him. As we get closer we can see what caught his eye. Torrie Wilson is stood in lingerie outside a locker room.

Torrie: "Hey, Billy, that was reaaaaaallly impressive."

Billy: "What do you want, Torrie?"

Torrie: "Oh, Billy, honey, chill out, come on, I wanna show you something."

Torrie parts Billy's hair, looks into his eyes and then starts taking his white vest off. He can't help but oblige.

Torrie: "Follow me, babes."

They go inside the locker room.

Torrie: "Look Billy! Actual size Shane Douglas cardboard cut-outs are available from WCW.com now! Would you believe it?!"

Billy looks like he's going to cry and runs out of the locker room as Torrie turns round and starts undoing her top.

Torrie: "Shane, honey, I'm back."

Schiavone: "My God, Cat, what a nasty, sadistic side to Torrie, I've never seen that before!"

Miller: "Me either Tony, she's never been anything but nice."

Schiavone: "That's that damn Franchise getting to her. Well anyway, it's time for our third of four title tournament matches, folks, this is a big one!"

WCW World Heavyweight Title Tournament

First Round

Sting vs. "The Chosen One" Jeff Jarrett

This match starts off with a bang when Jarrett cheapshots Sting from behind when he's saluting the crowd on the middle rope! Jarrett puts the boots to him on the floor and then chokes him over the bottom rope. He pulls him up and starts delivering vicious uppercuts in the corner. He bends down and drives his shoulder into Sting's gut repeatedly and then whips him to the other corner. He runs in with a big knee to the stomach and then dishes out three nasty knife-edge chops. He pulls Sting onto the ropes and whips him off. He goes for a clothesline but Sting ducks to a massive pop. Sting comes off the ropes and takes down Jarrett with a diving shoulder block! Jarrett stumbles up and gets a clothesline back down, and another, and another, and then Sting heaves him up for a huge bodyslam that shakes the ring. Sting lets out a big "WWWOOOAAAHHHH!!!" and the crowd return it. Sting comes off the ropes and goes for a big elbow drop but Jarrett rolls out of the way and then jumps up and goes straight to work on the leg kicking it unrelentlessly. He drags Sting over and rests his ankle on the bottom rope. He steps up onto the ankle and uses it to push himself up and come down full weight on Sting's knee. He drags him back into the middle of the ring and drops three consecutive elbows to the inside of the leg and after the third he cranks the shin up to torque the knee. Jarrett goes to apply the Figure-Four Leg-Lock but Sting pushes him off and he goes chest first into the corner. He stumbles out backwards and a limping Sting grabs him and hits the Stinger Deathdrop. He goes for the cover. 1....2.......Jarrett just gets his foot on the rope. Sting picks Jarrett up and kicks him in the gut then whips to the opposite corner. He runs in for a Stinger Splash but just before he connects, Jarrett pulls the referee in front of him! Sting tries to revive the referee and Jarrett grabs his guitar. He awaits Sting. Sting gets up and Jarrett swings the guitar but Sting ducks and lands another Stinger Deathdrop! He covers. The referee wakes up. 1....2.........3!!! Sting advances.

Instead of Sting's music, the music of Eric Bischoff hits. Bischoff walks out onto the stage with a microphone.

Bischoff: "Referee, referee! Charles Robinson is it? Look, things are going to be different around here now, and one thing I won't stand for is blatant misuse of a referee. And so........Sting! You have not won because you willingly assaulted a WCW official!"

Sting looks confused and the referee clearly doesn't agree with what Bischoff is saying either. Sting turns round to talk to the referee and gets a face full of guitar! Jarrett pins Sting.

Bischoff: "Referee, restart the god damn match!"

The referee counts 1........2........3

Winner: "The Chosen One" Jeff Jarrett

The referee bails out as a fuming Sting gets back to his feet. Sting grabs a microphone.

Sting: "Jarrett! Bischoff! You'll both pay for this!"

Bischoff: "Sting, I understand that you're upset. Remember, this is an equal opportunities place of employment, and any suggestions or complaints you may have are more than welcome to be made to my.........Gross Mis-Conduct Department!"

Sting: "What the hell are you talking about, Eric?"

Bischoff: "Why don't you speak to the head of the department?"

Sting gets spun round and a brutal Cruel Intentions is delivered by Sean O'Haire! Sting is writhing on the canvas as O'Haire scales the turnbuckle and hits a textbook quality Seanton Bomb, finishing Sting off.

Bischoff: "Sting, welcome to the new Program of WCW. Please feel free to drop in an application form some time."

O'Haire grabs a microphone.

O'Haire: "Y'know what, Sting. You've spent the last five years doing your lone crow B.S., Sting you have no idea what torment or suffering is. You make me sick coming out every week masquerading as an enigma, you're no enigma Sting, all you are is just another pile of rubble in my path of destruction. Watch your back, because Cruel Intentions will strike you when you least expect them. Sting, get with The Program."

"The Program" of Eric Bischoff, Jeff Jarrett and Sean O'Haire leave as a couple of referees come down to check on Sting.

Schiavone: "Dear God, Cat, what have we seen occur here tonight? The Program? Well we know Bischoff is the chairman, apparently Sean O'Haire is the department of grievances, what the hell is Jeff Jarrett?"

Cat: "Coffee Boy?"

Schiavone: "Well I fear for Sting, and I fear for anyone else who Bischoff has a distaste for because with Bischoff's power and cunning, Jeff Jarrett's incredible wrestling credentials and Sean O'Haire's brute force and malice. This could be an unstoppable force."

Cat: "It doesn't look good at all, Schiavone."

Schiavone: "Without question. Well folks it's time for our main event, it's the last of the first round matches in the World Title Tournament, and we know one of the combatants is Lex Luger, but his opponent remains a mystery."

WCW World Heavyweight Title Tournament

First Round

"The Total Package" Lex Luger vs. ?????????????

Luger awaits in the ring with the lovely Miss Elizabeth at ringside. The arena is silent in suspense. Luger starts to get wound up at the wait when the music cuts in and the entire arena gets on their feet as Curt Hennig heads out! Luger looks shocked at the return of Hennig. Hennig slides straight under the bottom rope and kicks the match off with a flurry of punches directed at Luger!

Hennig beats Luger into the corner and then pulls him onto the ropes, sends him off and takes him down with the perfect dropkick. Luger hits the mat and then sits up, which was a bad move as Hennig came off the ropes and hit the rolling neck snap shooting pain down Luger's spine. Luger got to his feet and Hennig slammed him to the mat. He got up again and received a hiptoss then got up a final time and got suplexed! Luger rolled out of the ring and started heading backstage with Elizabeth! He got half way up the ramp when Hennig grabbed his ponytail, walked him back down to the ring and threw him in. Hennig slid in after him but Luger had got up and put the boots to Curt. Luger lifted him up, whipped him off and hit a powerslam. Luger hooked the leg, 1.......2........Hennig kicked out. Luger lifted him back up and gave him a vicious club to the back followed by a back suplex. He covered again, 1....2........Hennig kicked out. Luger dragged him up, whipped him off and went for a big clothesline, Hennig ducked and rolled Luger up! 1.......2.........Luger just escaped! Hennig went to grab him when Luger swung a nasty low blow while Elizabeth distracted the referee and Hennig dropped to his knees. Luger cockily lifted Hennig up, put him a front facelock and then lifted him up into a stalling vertical suplex. But he arrogantly held it a little too long as Hennig came to his sense, struggled down to his feet and hits the HennigPlex! 1........2.........3! Hennig advances to the semi-finals with Lance Storm, Diamond Dallas Paige and Jeff Jarrett!

Winner: Curt Hennig

Schiavone: "Well what a night folks, what a new era for WCW. Things will never be the same again!"

Cat: "Goodnight, and we'll see you next Monday!"

Overall Show Rating - 63%

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This week on WCW Sunday Night, the fun-loving master of The Big Wiggle, "Screamin'" Norman Smiley will go one on one with the ever-self confident master of The Flatliner - Chris Kanyon!

Plus... Sting talks out about Monday night's events and "The Program", Ric Flair has requested time to publicly state his opinions on Monday night's main event and Diamond Dallas Paige will also be in the house to talk about the WCW World Heavyweight Title tournament!

And... Three Count, Hugh Morrus, Shane Helms and Chris Candido all set to be in action!

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The pyro died down and the final fireworks soured down from the ceiling as the cameras panned down to our hosts, Mike Tenay and "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.

Tenay: "What an incredible week it has been in WCW, Dusty, and tonight will be just as hot. Great WCW superstars and interviews with Sting, Ric Flair and Diamond Dallas Paige!"

Rhodes: "Oh yeah Tenay, it's a real stacked Sunday Night here this evening and our first great contest is right now!"

Hugh Morrus vs. Jimmy Rave

Jimmy Rave tried to get an early cheap shot when he ran in and dropkicked the knee of Hugh Morrus. He started kicking it but Hugh Morrus shoved him down and gave him a huge clothesline when he got back up. He sent Rave off the ropes and gave him a sidewalk slam followed up with a big leg drop. He picked Rave up again and whipped him off, Rave gave back with a crossbody press but Morrus caught him and body slammed him hard. He dragged him back up and powerbombed him in the centre of the ring before scaling the top rope and landing the No Laughing Matter moonsault for the easy victory.

Winner: Hugh Morrus

Tenay: "Impressive win there for Hugh Morrus, Dusty."

Rhodes: "No doubt, this guys got real talent. I have never seen a guy that big hit a moonsault so well!"

Tenay: "Me either, Dusty. Well, I'm being told we're going to the backstage area where Mean Gene is waiting with DDP!"

We go to a backstage corridor with the WCW logo on the wall.

Gene: "Dallas Paige, what are your thoughts on the World Title tournament?"

DDP: "My thoughts, Gene? Well, all I wanna say is that Lance Storm, Jeff Jarrett, Curt Hennig, you all need to watch out because just like with Scott Steiner Monday night on Nitro, you never see it coming. You could beat the hell out of me the entire match, set me up for the end and BANG! Diamond Cutter. Winner DDP. It's been too long since I've felt that gold around my waist, Gene, and it's my time again, I will advance through the semi-finals, whoever my opponent may be, and at Spring Stampede I will re-claim the WCW Championship and once again be the real People's Champion.........BANG!"

Gene: "Thank you, Dallas Paige, back to you, Mike."

Tenay: "Confident words there from the master of the Diamond Cutter."

Rhodes: "Deservedly confident I'd say Tenay, DDP is an incredible superstar, and has been for many years."

Tenay: "I whole heartedly agree, I just feel sorry for whoever draws Jeff Jarrett as their semi-final opponent after all this 'Program' business on Nitro."

Rhodes: "With a guy as smart as Bischoff and a guy with such raw force as Sean O'Haire backing Jeff Jarrett, whoever takes him on had better prepare some backup of their own."

Tenay: "Well it's back to the ring for our next great contest, here's the former Cruiserweight Champion, Shane Helms."

Shane Helms vs. Chase Stevens

They lock up and trade holds with both men reaching a stalemate and getting applause from the crowd. They lock up again and Stevens puts Helms in a headlock, Helms backs up to the ropes and pushes Stevens off, Helms runs in and takes him down with a shoulder block. He drags him up and hits a suplex then springboards off the middle rope and hits a big leg drop across Chase's throat. Helms picks him back up and pushes him in the corner where he dropkicks him in the chest. Stevens slumps into a seated position and Helms runs in and gives him another dropkick. He slowly gets back up and Helms comes off the ropes and delivers a big swinging neckbreaker. Helms picks him up again and goes for a back suplex, Stevens lands on his feet and gives Helms a back suplex of his own. Stevens climbs the top rope and leaps off but only connects with the bottom of Helms' boot! He stumbles about dazed as Helms nips up and sets him up for the Vertebreaker. 1......2......3

Winner: Shane Helms

Tenay: "The former Cruiserweight Champion proving his worth there, Dusty."

Rhodes: "Oh yeah, Helms has a big future ahead of him, no doubt, I just hope Bischoff doesn't cheat him out of a Cruiserweight Title match, he never lost the belt."

Tenay: "Me too. Well it's non-stop here, Dusty, we have more action in the ring!"

Chris Candido vs. Brian Kendrick

Candido offers a handshake, and when accepted he pulls Kendrick in and boots him in the stomach and follows it up with a vicious kneelift. He drags him up by his hair and gives him a vertical suplex, a back suplex and an overhead belly-to-belly suplex in succession. He hauls him over and slumps him over the top rope. He tells the crowd to be quiet and then lights up Kendrick's chest with chops that echo around the arena. Kendrick stumbles forward, Candido picks him up, turns round and stun guns him across the top rope. He grabs him by the hair and slams his face into the turnbuckle before lifting him up onto the top turnbuckle. Candido climbs out onto the apron and heads up top as well. He sets Brian up.....Blonde Bombshell!! 1....2.....3

Winner: Chris Candido

The cameras go straight backstage where Ric Flair is pacing around his locker room.

Flair: "Oh finally you're here. Now look, I've requested this TV time so that not only do I know, not only does Eric Bischoff know, but the entire world knows what I think. Curt Hennig is the scum of the earth. Curt Hennig is a cancer, a leech, a vermin. I despise Curt Hennig and I can't believe....can't....believe....that Bischoff brought him in and he actually managed to advance. It's a disgrace. From this point forward, I want everyone to know, that I am dropping all engagements, all projects to focus on driving that son of a bitch out of WCW. I don't wanna see his face round here again! Now get the hell out of my room."

Tenay: "Well, what is that all about Dusty? I mean, everyone knows Hennig and Flair haven't been the best of friends for a long time, but what has gone on that Flair despises Hennig this much? Something has gone on here that Flair's not saying."

Rhodes: "I've known Ric Flair for near thirty years and I've never seen him as angry as he is right now, just as the thought of Hennig being in WCW."

Tenay: "Hopefully this will all be unravelled and Flair and Hennig can sort out their problems. But right now, here's more action!"

Three Count (Evan Karagias and Shannon Moore) vs. Mark Briscoe and Maximo Red

Briscoe and Red were on the turnbuckles cheering on the fans when Moore and Karagias snuk through the crowd, slid in the ring and attacked them from behind. Karagias back suplexed Briscoe and he rolled out of the ring. Moore whipped Maximo Red off and blasted him with a Cyclone Kick then climbed out onto the apron and hit a springboard leg drop on him. Karagias ran off the ropes and suicide dove through the ropes, taking out Mark Briscoe as he regained verticality. Moore whipped Red off again and went for a clothesline but he ducked and came back with a tilt-a-whirl flying headscissors, turning Shannon inside out. Red went up top but Karagias shook the top rope and red got crotched. Shannon superplexed him and then climbed another turnbuckle and landed the Mooregasm for the victory.

Winners: Three Count (Evan Karagias and Shannon Moore)

Tenay: "Fast paced action there from the resident boy-band."

Rhodes: "Moore and Karagias both full of potential as well."

Tenay: "I'm being told that Mean Gene is ready with Sting backstage!"

Gene: "Sting, how do you feel about what happened Monday night?"

Sting: "How do I feel, Gene? How do I feel? I was screwed out of advancing in the World Title tournament. I was assaulted by Sean O'Haire. I was left in the middle of the ring in agony. All I can say is the next time I get my hands on Jeff Jarrett, Eric Bischoff, or particularly, Sean O'Haire, it's gonna be more than SHOWTIME, it's gonna be a month's worth of Broadway performances, Gene. Monday on Nitro, I suggest that anybody who associates themselves with The Program be very careful because I will be watching every movement, every breath, every cough and sneeze and when the time is right.....I will strike, like a stampede on the plain or a runaway train, The Program will discover the true repurcussions of their actions. WOOOOOOOOOAAHHHHHH!!!!"

Gene: "Back to you again, Mike."

Tenay: "Understandably strong words for The Program there from Sting. If I were any member of The Program, I would be watching my back very carefully about now."

Rhodes: "The thing with Sting, Tenay, is he can dissappear, he's like a ninja, he could be listening to us right now and we wouldn't know any better. He can strike from anywhere and he can strike with as much force and vengeance as anyone I've known."

Tenay: "I hope for The Program's sake that Sting is more merciful than he appears. It's time for our main event Dusty!"

"Screamin'" Norman Smiley vs. Chris Kanyon

They locked up and neither appeared to have the strength advantage. Smiley took Kanyon into a headlock but Kanyon fought out with elbows and slipped into a waistlock. Smiley couldn't escape it, Kanyon pushed him up against the ropes and went for the rolling cradle pin but Smiley hung on and Kanyon rolled through with no payoff. He got up and ran into a back elbow from Smiley who followed the elbow up with a Wiggle! He got up again and Smiley hip-tossed him. Up again, back down with an armdrag, and the third time Smiley dropkicked him down and went for the cover. 1.....2.......Kanyon kicked out. Smiley started picking him up when he raked his eyes! He whipped him off the ropes and hit a powerslam on him and then dropped three big elbows one after the other and went for the cover. 1......2........Smiley kicked out. Kanyon picked him up and went for a body slam but he slid over the back and got a backslide. 1.....2.........Kanyon kicked out. They both got up, Smiley ran at Kanyon, and he grabbed a handful of his tights and dragged him down so he landed throat first across the middle rope where Kanyon choked him. He relinquished and went for a suplex but Smiley blocked and went for a suplex of his own. Kanyon slid over the back, dropped to his knees and low blowed Smiley from behind as the referee was adjusting a turnbuckle pad. Smiley crumpled in agony, Kanyon dragged him up straight, dropped the Flatliner and covered. 1......2........3.

Winner: Chris Kanyon

Overall Show Rating - 67%

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This Monday, on Nitro we see the first of two semi-final matches in the WCW World Heavyweight Title tournament with Curt Hennig going one on one with "The Chosen One" Jeff Jarrett!

What will "The Program", the new alliance of Eric Bischoff, Jeff Jarrett and Sean O'Haire have to say about their actions last week?

Terry Funk will go one on one with Dustin Rhodes in a Texas Weapons Match for the '1 contendership to the WCW World Hardcore Title at Spring Stampede!

KroniK, Bryan Clarke and Brian Adams have issued an open challenge to any tag-team in the world that thinks they can beat them!

The second of the two three-way tag-team cruiserweight matches for a spot in the ladder match at Spring Stampede against Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman for the WCW World Cruiserweight Tag-Team Titles will take place when Three Count, Evan Karagias and Shannon Moore take on Air Raid, AJ Styles and Air Paris and the debuting Unholy Alliance, Mikey Whipwreck and Yoshihiro Tajiri, along with their dark, tormenting manager, the Sinister Minister!

Eric Bischoff has promised to speak out on the status of the WCW World Cruiserweight Title, the WCW World Tag-Team Titles and the WCW United States Heavyweight Title!

Plus Kash will take on Lash LeRoux in a special cruiserweight exhibition match!

All this plus Sting, Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner, Lex Luger, The Filthy Animalz, Sean O'Haire and more!

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The Nitro opening video came to a close as pyro exploded out of the stage. The cameras panned round the arena showing the legions of rabid WCW fans awaiting another incredible edition of Nitro. The cameras then headed down to Tony Schiavone and Ernest "The Cat" Miller at the commentary table.

Schiavone: "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Monday Nitro, and what a Monday Nitro! We have a great line-up including the first semi-final in the World Title tournament when the man who returned last week, Curt Hennig, takes on "The Chosen One" Jeff Jarrett!"

Miller: "And how do you think this new group, The Program, will play into the situation?"

Schiavone: "I don't know, Cat, but I hope they let this match be a clean one! I have no idea how Bischoff will stand on the situation because sure, Jeff Jarrett is part of The Program, but what about Curt Hennig? Just last week Bischoff hand-picked him and re-signed him to enter the tournament!"

Miller: "Not only The Program must show interest here, Tony, but Ric Flair who pleaded with Bischoff not to re-sign Curt Hennig is in the house. On Sunday Night, Flair told the world of his pure despise for Curt Hennig and we're still not too sure why!"

Schiavone: "Well it's a stacked night, Cat and we'd better get going, here comes Lash LeRoux!"

Special Cruiserweight Exhibition Match

Lash LeRoux vs. Kash

The two red-hot cruiserweights locked up and LeRoux took Kash into a headlock. Kash backed up to the ropes and pushed LeRoux off. Kash took him down with a shoulder block and ran off the ropes, LeRoux hit the deck and Kash jumped him, he ran back and LeRoux leap-frogged over him, Kash came back and LeRoux hit an armdrag. Kash jumped up and gave Lash an armdrag of his own. They both got up and LeRoux hip-tossed Kash. Kash got up and hip-tossed LeRoux. LeRoux got up and they both went for a dropkick, both jumped up and had a stare down to applause. They locked up again and LeRoux pushed Kash back into the corner. LeRoux backed off and then ran in but Kash sat up on the top rope and got a sunset flip on The Ragin' Cajun. 1.....2....Lash kicked out. Kash started getting up and Lash sweeped his legs and went for the cover, 1...quick kick out. LeRoux gave Kash a snapmare and then ran in in an attempt to dropkick him in the face but Kash telegraphed it and gave LeRoux a drop toe hold. Kash pulled LeRoux up and blasted him with a big suplex then headed out onto the apron to go for some sort of springboard attack but he was pulled off onto the floor!

Sean O'Haire! O'Haire dragged him up and dropped him ribs first across the crowd barriers as the bell rung for a no contest.

Winner: No Contest

O'Haire slid in the ring as Eric Bischoff made his way down the aisle. O'Haire picked up Lash LeRoux and destroyed him with the Cruel Intentions then threw him out of the ring on top of Kash. Eric Bischoff got in the ring, thanked O'Haire and grabbed a microphone.

Bischoff: "I didn't like that match so I thought I'd call it off. I have more pressing matters to discuss. Everybody is asking what is going to happen with the remaining titles. The World Hardcore title has been re-decided and we all know when the World Heavyweight and World Cruiserweight Tag-Team titles will be re-assigned. As for the rest. At Spring Stampede, there will be an 20-Man Invitational Battle Royale for the World Cruiserweight Title featuring the best cruiserweights WCW has to offer, and the winner of that will be the new champion. As for the United States title, right here tonight, a 10-man gauntlet match will occur. Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner, Lex Luger and Sting will all be compensated for their losses in the World Title tournament by entered in this. Plus Hugh Morrus, "The Franchise" Shane Douglas, Buff Bagwell, Konnan, "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair, and this prime specimen, Sean O'Haire are all entered. And onto the last of the vacant titles. I told a little white lie that all belts would be crowned by Spring Stampede, because all will be, except the WCW World Tag-Team Titles. I feel the tag-team division is in inadequate here and so I have decided, after Spring Stampede there will be a Lethal Lottery tag-team tournament with random matchings of wrestlers. 32 wrestlers, 16 teams and the winning team crowned champions.

As for tonight, good luck in the main event Jeff Jarrett and ladies and gentlemen, enjoy THE PROGRAM."

Schiavone: "Wow. So right here tonight we will see a brand new United States Champion crowned in a 10-man gauntlet!"

Miller: "Not just a 10-man gauntlet, Schiavone, that match features some of WCW top superstars, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash, Sting, Ric Flair...."

Schiavone: "It's gonna be big, Cat! Well it looks like it's time for our Texas Weapons Match!"

Texas Weapons Match

#1 Contendership to the WCW World Hardcore Title

Dustin Rhodes vs. Terry Funk

Nobody was too sure what this match actually entailed but as the camera returns to the ring, there are two poles on opposite turnbuckles. At the top of one pole is Terry Funk's branding iron and at the top of the other, Dustin Rhodes' cowbell. Dave Penzer announced that if Terry Funk could get his branding iron down he could use it legally as a weapon and if Rhodes got his cowbell, he could use that, and with that the match began.

Funk and Rhodes ran towards each other and just started trading punches. Rhodes kicked Funk in the gut and then gave him a short-arm clothesline. He immediately went for the cowbell. He got to the second rope when Funk came up behind and pulled him off. He gave Rhodes a couple of punches then threw him to the outside. Funk went up for the branding iron. He got to the top rope and went to reach for the weapon when Rhodes climbed up on the apron, gave him a shot to the ribs and shook the rope so Funk crotched himself. Rhodes climbed back in and pulled Funk's head back so he was hung upside down in the tree-of-woe. Rhodes took this opportunity to hastily scramble up the opposite corner and claim his cowbell early. Funk freed himself as Rhodes climbed back down. He ran at Terry with the cowbell but Funk ducked, spun Rhodes round and gave him a DDT. He then headed back up for the branding iron. Rhodes came up underneath him and powerbombed him to the mat and went for the cover. 1.....2........Funk kicked out. Rhodes ran off the ropes and went for a big elbow drop but Funk moved out of the way and Dustin hit the mat hard. Funk dragged Rhodes up a choked him over the middle rope. As Rhodes recovered slowly from the choking, Funk headed up the turnbuckle and pulled down his branding iron. He climbed back down but by now Rhodes had crawled over and grasped the cowbell. They both turned towards each other and blasted each other with the weapons simultaneously. The referee started counting them down. 1........2.......3......4........5.......6......7.....8, Funk got to his feet and as the count neared 9, Rhodes dragged himself up on the ropes. They stumbled to the middle of the ring and traded punches with Funk getting the advantage knocking Rhodes down with a big uppercut. Funk grabbed the branding iron and as Dustin got to his feet he got cracked between the eyes with the iron bar. Funk covered. 1.......2.......3. Funk is the #1 contendor to the Hardcore Title.

Winner: Terry Funk

After the match they get up and shake hands when Mike Awesome runs in and attacks the fatigued brawlers. He blasts Rhodes with the Hardcore belt and throws him out of the ring and then kicks Funk in the stomach and gives him the Awesome Bomb. He lies the branding iron on Funk's chest then scales the top rope and hits a huge Awesome Splash onto Funk, crushing the branding iron down on his ribs. He then puts the Hardcore Title in Terry's face and shouts some trash-talk at him before leaving with a sadistic smile on his face.

Schiavone: "What a hard fought match, and the Mike Awesome's violent warpath continues."

Miller: "I would not want to be Terry Funk come Spring Stampede."

Schiavone: "Ladies and gentlemen, we're going to head backstage where Mean Gene Okerlund is ready with the man they call Sting."

Gene: "Sting, Eric Bischoff has just announced that tonight you will be in a 10-Man Gauntlet for the United States title along with the likes of Scott Steiner, Lex Luger and the man that attacked you last week, Sean O'Haire."

Sting: "That's right, Mean Gene, and tonight will be the first installment of my retaliation against The Program. Because whether it means me interfering at the beginning or fighting through to the end, I will meet Sean O'Haire in the ring and O'Haire will never be the same again. Tonight The Program will go to extended commercials because you just might not see Sean O'Haire any more. All that and I'll bag the United States Title at the same time. WWOOOAAAHHH IT'S SHOWTIME BABY!!!!"

Schiavone: "Well it looks like O'Haire could be in for the beating of a life time tonight, Cat!"

Miller: "Sting's angry but I wouldn't count Sean O'Haire out just yet, he's an incredible athlete and not only that but he has The Program backing him."

Schiavone: "That's a fact, Cat, but now it's time for the second of our three way tag-team cruiserweight matches and the winner of this match will meet Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio Jr. at Spring Stampede in a tag-team ladder match to re-crown the WCW World Cruiserweight Champions."

Three-Way Tag-Team Match

Air Raid (AJ Styles and Air Paris) vs. Three Count (Evan Karagias and Shannon Moore) vs. The Unholy Alliance (Mikey Whipwreck and Yoshihiro Tajiri)

The returning Mikey Whipwreck started off in the ring with Air Paris. They went to lock up but Mikey Whipwreck dropkicked Air Paris in the knee and then started putting the boots to him on the floor. He picked him up and pushed him back into the corner where he gave him a couple of punches and then whipped him into the ropes. As he hit the ropes, Tajiri swung a near-lethal kick up and cracked him in the back of the head. Paris dropped to his knees and Whipwreck dropkicked him in the face then tagged the debuting Tajiri. Tajiri lifted him up and gave him a suplex then Mikey got onto the apron and gave him a slingshot legdrop. Mikey got out and Tajiri continued the assault. He slumped Paris over the bottom rope and then put him in a Sharpshooter. When he turned over Paris was not only in a Sharpshooter but choked over the bottom rope! Tajiri relinquished the hold at the 4 count and dragged Paris up. He picked him up for the brainbuster but Paris slid over the back and dropkicked Tajiri in the back of the head. Paris rolled to his corner and tagged in AJ Styles. Styles hit a springboard clothesline on Tajiri and then pulled him up and ran back of the ropes, he went for a big clothesline but Tajiri ducked then swung a perfectly placed kick backwards, taking out Styles' knee. Tajiri pulled Styles up and threw him into Three Count's corner. Karagias and Moore choked him as Tajiri ran in and kneed him in the gut. Tajiri tagged to Karagias. Karagias got in and gave Styles a couple of kicks in the corner and then choked him with his foot. He whipped Styles to the other corner and ran in but Styles moved and hit a German suplex on Karagias. 1....2....Evan kicked out. Styles grabbed him by the hair and threw him out over the top rope and he landed on top of the Unholy Alliance's manager, the Sinister Minister! As Evan got to his feet Styles hit a somersault plancha taking him and the Minister back down. They all got back up and Tajiri was in the ring. He got out onto the apron and hit a picture perfect Asai moonsault onto Karagias, Minister and Styles! They got back up....Whipwreck with a suicide dive between the ropes! They all scrambled back up brawling and Air Paris leapt off the corner with a corkscrew body press. This only left Shannon Moore who ran off the ropes and hit an incredible springboard 450 splash! They were all down on the outside and the crowd were in awe. Karagias crawled up first and threw Styles back in the ring. He beat him down with kicks and punches for a while until all the competitors were back in their positions. Moore, feeling the after-effects of his death-defying attack refused the tag so Evan tagged Whipwreck. Whipwreck whipped Styles, Styles reversed, Styles went for a dropkick but Mikey held onto the ropes and dodged it. Styles clambered back up and swung a clothesline, Mikey ducked, he turned round, FRANKENMIKEY~~11!!, Tajiri got in the ring and knocked Three Count off the apron. Mikey went for the pin and Air Paris jumped in. Tajiri got in his way so he swung a clothesline at him, Tajiri ducked, Green Mist!! Air Paris is down and out. 1......2......3 Mikey pins Styles for the win! The Unholy Alliance are heading to Spring Stampede to face Kidman and Mysterio in a ladder match for the Cruiserweight Tag-Team Titles!

Winners: The Unholy Alliance (Mikey Whipwreck and Yoshihiro Tajiri)

Schiavone: "Insane. Another incredible match from these WCW cruiserweights. There is no wrestling like this anywhere else in the world!"

Miller: "No doubt, Schiavone, I have never seen anything like that series of planchas and suicide dives!"

Schiavone: "It incred...."

Schiavone gets cut off as we go to WCW SpyCam in Eric Bischoff's office. He's on his cellphone.

Bischoff: "Right, now you know what to do tonight don't you? You know why you're here and who made you be here, right? You know who pays your wage? Don't screw this up, Curt."

Schiavone: "What the hell was that?"

Miller: "Was he talking to Curt Hennig?"

Schiavone: "What does this mean? Well that doesn't sound like good news at all. Bischoff and Curt Hennig? Well, it's time for our KroniK Open Invitational."

KroniK Open Invitational

KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clarke) vs. ?????????

KroniK are in the ring, Adams grabs a microphone.

Adams: "Okay then, who thinks they can take me and Bryan Clarke out, who thinks they can take out KRONIK?!"

After a few seconds wait, some Mexican trance music hits and out come Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera!

Adams: "Well look who's back Bryan! Bring it, you're a joke."

Psicosis and Juvi hit the ring and start laying punches into KroniK. They go to whip them off but KroniK both reverse, they both swing clotheslines but Psic and Juvi duck, they come back with big running dropkicks and Adams and Clarke are down and out! They re-group at ringside when Juvi dives over the top rope and takes them both out! Juvi drags them both back up and Psicosishits a springboard somersault plancha taking them back down, they throw them both back in the ring and start putting the boots to them. They go to lift them up but they both fight back. Clarke slams Psicosis and Adams hits a short-arm clothesline on Juvi. They whip them both into the same corner then Clarke whips Adams, Adams reverses and sends Clarke towards them at high velocity and sandwiches them in the corner. KroniK laugh and drag them both up. They set them both up for powerbombs and make a signal to say it's time for the finish. Juvi and Psicosis crawl through their legs and they both roll them up! 1...2.......3!!! Juvi and Psicosis score the massive upset! Psicosis and Juvi bail out and make their way backstage to a massive pop as KroniK are fuming in the ring!

Winners: Psycho Juice (Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera)

Schiavone: "What a return for Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera!"

Miller: "That was damn impressive, don't think KroniK are too impressed though."

Schiavone: "Probably not, Cat, no. Well apparently we're going backstage..."

The cameras go backstage where The Filthy Animalz are standing by the curtain.

Rey: "You ready, Konnan, homes?"

Konnan: "Oh yeah I'm ready."

Rey: "Bring the U.S. Title to The Filthy Animalz, and at Spring Stampede, me and Billy will take the Cruiserweight Tag Titles and the Filthy famillia will be covered in gold! Ain't that, right, Billy?"

Kidman: "Um, yeah, sure, hang on, I'll be back with you...uh, soon."

Rey: "What? We're gonna watch Konnan on the moniter..."

Konnan: "What is up with him recently, homes?"

Rey: "I don't know, well I'll be watching anyway, arriba la raza, K-Dogg."


Schiavone: "What is going on with Billy Kidman?"

Miller: "I don't know but you can bet it's something to do with Torrie Wilson, he's still obsessed with the girl and she doesn't give a damn about him."

Schiavone: "This is all Shane Douglas' doing. Either way, it's time for our 10-Man Gauntlet match for the WCW United States title. 10 top WCW superstars, two of them will start off and when one is eliminated another will enter until one man is left standing, and he will be the WCW United States Heavyweight Champion. Who's your pick, Cat?"

Miller: "I've gotta go with Kevin Nash. He's the biggest guy in the match, he's a former World Champion, former Tag Champion, he has an illustrious history and he's gotta be a bit POed after Lance Storm cheated the victory over him to advance in the World Title tournament."

Schiavone: "Nash is definitely a good choice, but looking at the desire he has to get at Sean O'Haire, as well as his history, I'd say all signs point to Sting."

Miller: "But will his desire to get at O'Haire frustrate him into making a mistake?"

Schiavone: "Well we'll have to see, but it looks like the first competitor is Hugh Morrus."

WCW United States Heavyweight Championship

10-Man Gauntlet Match

Kevin Nash vs. Scott Steiner vs. Sting vs. "The Franchise" Shane Douglas vs. Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger vs. Hugh Morrus vs. Konnan vs. Buff Bagwell vs. Sean O'Haire

Hugh Morrus starts off and after a few seconds pause, his opponent turns out to be Scott Steiner.

Steiner wastes no time, kicking Morrus in the gut and clubbing him in the back. He picks him up and hits a big belly-to-belly suplex then drops an elbow and covers. 1....2.....Morrus kicks out. Steiner goes for the Steiner Recliner but Morrus crawls out through the back and puts a standing sleeper on Big Poppa Pump. Steiner elbows him, pushes him off the ropes and bends down for a back body drop. Morrus telegraphs it and hits a swinging neckbreaker then goes for the cover. 1...2....Freakzilla escapes. Morrus goes to pick him up but he forearms him in the stomach then blasts him with the Steiner Screwdriver! 1......2........3

Hugh Morrus is eliminated.

Morrus leaves, annoyed and Steiner catches his breath for the next entrant. Here comes Konnan!

Konnan slides under the bottom rope and Steiner starts putting the boots to him. He lifts him up and goes to whip him but Konnan reverses and hits a back elbow on Steiner. He lifts him up and slams him then comes off the ropes with a leg drop. Konnan goes for the quick cover. 1....2....Steiner kicks out. Konnan lifts him up again and whips him into the corner. He runs in but Steiner moves and hits a back suplex on K-Dogg. Steiner grabs his legs and tries to go into a Boston crab but Konnan fights it then releases his legs and kicks the Big Bad Booty Daddy back into the corner. Konnan gets up and gives Steiner some shoulder thrusts. He pulls Steiner out of the corner, leg trips him and signals for the Tequila Sunrise. Steiner hastily grabs onto the ropes. Konnan goes to pull him off but Steiner rakes his eyes. K-Dogg falls to his knees, Freakzilla jumps up and quickly slaps on the Steiner Recliner and cranks back. Konnan taps out and is eliminated.

Konnan heads back and Steiner starts doing some stretches and rubbing his face as "Big Sexy" Kevin Nash heads out.

Nash climbs in the ring and he and Steiner start trading big punches. Nash gets the advantage due to Steiner's fatigue and then whips him off the ropes and hit's a big boot. Nash raises his arm and makes the Kliq-Salute then drags Poppa Pump up and sets him up for the Jacknife Powerbomb. He tries to lift him but Steiner struggles. Second attempt, still no luck. The referee is adjusting a turnbuckle pad knocked out of line earlier by Steiner and Konnan and Steiner drops to his knees and low-blows Nash. Nash drops down and Steiner applies the Steiner Recliner. Nash is in agony but he won't tap. Eventually Nash powers himself to the ropes and the referee makes Steiner break the hold. Nash starts to get up and Steiner kicks him in the face then lifts him up and goes to whip him. Nash reverses and takes Steiner down with a clothesline. Pump gets up, big boot from Big Sexy! He gets up again and Nash kicks him in the stomach and delivers the Jacknife Powerbomb! 1....2....3! Scott Steiner is pinned and eliminated after a gallant showing.

Nash gets his breath and salutes the fans as "The Franchise" Shane Douglas heads out.

Douglas jumps straight in and tries to whip Nash but gets reversed and runs straight into a big sidewalk slam! Douglas bails out to ringside. He re-groups then gets up on the apron, the referee stops the count but then he jumps down again. He walks around to the other side of the ring and does the same thing. On the third attempt Big Kev heads for him. Nash swings a punch but The Franchise ducks and pulls Nash's throat down over the top rope! Nash stumbles back choking and Douglas gets in. He sets Nash up for the Franchiser but Nash breaks out and elbows him away. Douglas runs off the ropes but gets caught by a big boot! He gets up and stumbles into the Jacknife Powerbomb! 1.....2....3! Nash pins Shane Douglas and eliminates him.

Nash rubs his throat which is still hurting as "The Total Package" Lex Luger makes his way down. He runs in and Nash goes for the big boot but Luger ducks it, runs back and blasts him straight in the throat with a lariat. He drags Nash up and chokes him over the middle rope. The referee counts and he breaks on '4'. He moves Nash into the middle of the ring and drops a leg across his throat then goes for the cover. 1....2....Nash kicks out. He start to pick him up but Nash forearms him in the chest then hits a sidewalk slam. He pins Luger. 1....2...Lex kicks out. Nash pulls him up and goes for the Jacknife Powerbomb but Luger fights out, hit's a shortarm clothesline on Nash then puts him in a headscissors on the floor. Despite every attempt to escape, eventually Nash taps out to save his throat.

Luger looks decisively confident after this win and awaits his next opponent who turns out to be Sting!

Sting rushes down and lays into Luger with punches. Sting clearly wants to get however many opponents out of the way as quickly as possible to get at O'Haire. He whips Luger to the corner and runs in with a Stinger Splash. Luger stumbles out and drops to the floor, Scorpion Deathlock! After a brief attempt at escape Luger comes to the realisation there's no way out and The Total Package taps out to his former partner.

Sting doesn't wast a second and starts beckoning his next opponent down. Buff Bagwell heads out.

Bagwell warily climbs in the ring and runs at Sting with a clothesline, Sting ducks, Stinger Deathdrop, he pins, 1......2.......3! Sting pins Buff Bagwell in less than 10 seconds!

Next up comes Sting long term foe, "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair who looks calm and collected despite the enraged Sting he's about to face.

Schiavone: "Well that means Sean O'Haire has the 10th placement, I wonder who worked that out?"

Miller: "One guess, Tony."

Flair hops up onto the apron and Sting runs towards him and he hops back off thinking better of it. Sting starts hollaring "COME ON FLAIR!!" at the top of his voice. The referee says he's going to start counting Flair out. Flair waits until '5' and then slides under the bottom rope, Sting rushes for him but Flair catches him with a shot to the eyes and then rolls him up. 1....2...Sting kicks out. Sting gets straight back to his feet and runs at Flair again. Flairs begs off in the corner but Sting is more than used to his trickery and drags him up to his feet. He whips him to the opposite corner and runs in with the Stinger Splash but Flair moves out of the way and rolls Sting up again, this time he nips his feet up onto the middle rope. 1.....2.....Sting just escapes. Flair grabs his leg and starts kicking it, then drags him into the middle of the ring and calls for the Figure-Four Leg-Lock. He starts going into it but Sting pushes him off, Flair hits the turnbuckle and stumbles back, Stinger Death Drop! Sting gets up and attempts the Scorpion Deathlock. Flair struggles and tries not to roll through with it but eventually Sting rolls him over in the centre of the ring. Despite his arrogance, The Nature Boy knows when he's beaten and tapped out. Sting eliminates Ric Flair and knows full well that his bounty is about to be granted.

Flair heads off and Sting awaits Sean O'Haire very impatiently. After a good thirty seconds with no sign of O'Haire, Sting gets out of the ring and starts heading to the back to look for him. He starts to go up the aisle when O'Haire comes out from underneath the ring and blindsides him!

O'Haire throws Sting into the steel steps and then picks him up and bounces his head off of them. He throws him into the ring and gets in himself. O'Haire chokes Sting with his forearm and then picks him up and forces him into the corner. He lays a couple of punches into his gut then jumps up and kicks him in the face. O'Haire pulls Sting into the middle of the ring and puts the Scorpion Deathlock on him! Sting is in agony but holds on and eventually crawls to the ropes. O'Haire kicks him in the back and picks him up onto his shoulders for the Cruel Intentions. He goes to hit it but Sting lands on his feet and starts violently laying punches into Sean O'Haire. Sting whips him into the corner and runs in with the Stinger Splash. O'Haire tumbles out and feels the wrath of the Sting Deathdrop! Sting pins 1....2.....Sting pulls his shoulder up and shakes his head to declare he's not finished with O'Haire. He pulls him into the middle of the ring and puts the Scorpion Deathlock on. He goes to turn O'Haire over but he fights it. He tries the other way but he keeps struggling. O'Haire grabs the back of Sting's neck and rolls him over into a modified small package! 1...2.....3!!!! Sting get's pinned! O'Haire dives out of the ring, grabs the US Title and disappears as fast as possible as Sting is incensed in the ring. Sting grabs his head and half crumples in a wave of emotion. Once he's reached safety at the top of the ramp, O'Haire stops to raise the US Title in mockery of Sting then laughs and heads backstage.

Winner (and new United States Champion): Sean O'Haire

Schiavone: "Oh my God, Cat, what is this going to do to Sting?"

Miller: "Sting is fuming. I've never seen him like this!"

Schiavone: "In fairness to Sean O'Haire it was a clean pin, but I'm not going to be the one to remind Sting."

Miller: "I don't know who to be more scared for. Sting and his mental state or Sean O'Haire if he gets within a 500 yard radius of Sting!"

Schiavone: "This is by no means over, Cat, Sting's wrath will be swift and great."

The cameras catch up with Kidman who is back in the Animalz' locker room. He is slapping himself and talking to himself like he is building up courage. He opens his bag and has a wrapped posey of roses inside. He takes them out and heads off further down the corridor. He knocks on a door.

Torrie: "Well, hi, Billy, are those for me?"

Kidman: "Yeah, they are, Torrie...Torrie...I...lo..."

Torrie: "Hold that thought, honey, let me go find a vase for these."

Torrie leaves and dumps the flowers in a trash can on the way down the corridor laughing. She then carries on and goes into the coffee room where Rey is sitting. She sits down on Rey's lap.

Torrie: "Rey, I've been watching you recently, you look real good when you're out there in the ring."

Rey: "Is that a fact?"

Torrie: "Why don't you come back to my room, so I can show you something?"

Rey: "Well I really should go check if Konnans okay...."

Torrie puts her finger on Rey's lips then takes his hands and he follows her out of the door. They get a few steps down the corridor when a door swings open and Shane Douglas cracks Rey with a chair. He pulls him up and throws him against the wall then kicks him in the stomach and throws him into couple of trash cans then leaves laughing.

Torrie: "What are we gonna do about Billy, hun?"

Douglas: "Don't worry, Billy's already been dealt with."

The cameras rush back to Torrie and Franchise's locker room where Billy is beaten up on the floor and the door slams shut but the cameras can't catch who walked through it!

Schiavone: "Oh dear, what a night. Not only have we seen Sting reach breaking point, but now Shane Douglas and a mystery accomplice have decimated Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman and Konnan is no where in sight."

Miller: "There's gonna be a whole lot of emotion next week, Schiavone."

Schiavone: "Let's hope this main event can be clean and fair to put a good end to a shocking night."

Miller: "I don't wanna crush your hopes there Schiavone, but Jeff Jarrett is in this match, which never suggests fair play, and not only that, but earlier tonight, Eric Bischoff was on the phone to his opponent, Curt Hennig telling him to make sure he does his job tonight!"

Schiavone: "Well thanks for that harsh plummet to reality, Cat."

Miller: "Any time, buddy."

Schiavone: "Well here we go folks, it's the main event and it's a semi-final in the WCW World Heavyweight Title tournament. The winner of this match is guaranteed a place at Spring Stampede in the match for the WCW Championship."

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Tournament


"The Chosen One" Jeff Jarrett vs. Curt Hennig

Jarrett and Hennig are both in the ring and a battle of two traditional-style wrestlers is about to commence. They go to lock up then stop and Jarrett says something to Hennig. Hennig looks from side to side and then back at Jarrett look angrier and shouts louder so everybody hears "DAMN IT HENNIG DO YOUR JOB!!". Hennig looks down at his feet and then reluctantly lies down on the mat. Jarrett kneels down, does Hennig the courtesy of hooking the leg and then demands the referee counts. The referee looks at the timekeeper and they both just shake their heads. The referee gets down on his knees and slowly counts 1.........................2...............................................Hennig can't do it! He grabs Jarrett's head and rolls him over! 1......2......Jarrett kicks out! They get back to their feet and Hennig takes Jarrett down with a dropkick. He picks Jarrett up and sends him off the ropes and gives him a back body drop. Jarrett scrambles up holding his back and takes a clothesline, another, another and then a huge body slam! Jarrett bails out to ringside and grabs a microphone.

Jarrett: "What the hell is wrong with you, Hennig? Do your damn job or you won't have one!"

Hennig shakes his head and beckons The Chosen One to get back in. Jarrett looks reluctant but eventually gets back in when the referee starts counting him out. They lock up and Jarrett pushes Hennig back into a corner. The referee asks for a clean break but Jarrett cheapshots Curt in the gut and then chokes him with his foot. He drags him up and gives him a snapmare then applies a reverse chin lock. Hennig won't quit. Eventually, the referee checks his arm...once....twice....Hennig holds in there and fights up, he gives Jarrett a couple of shots to the gut and then hits a picture-"Perfect" ;) back suplex. Hennig hooks the leg. 1....2....Jarrett kicks out. Hennig picks him up and tries to go for the Perfect-Plex but Jarrett blocks and takes a tip from his stablemate in The Program and rolls into a small package. 1....2.....Hennig escapes. Jarrett gets a drop-toe-hold on Hennig and maneuvres round into a front face lock. Hennig won't quit and eventually starts fighting up again. Jarrett tries to crank it up further but they both get to a standing position and Hennig hits a Northern Lights suplex! 1.....2.....Jarrett kicks out. The fans are on the edge of their seat with all these near falls. They both get up, Jarrett swings a clothesline and Hennig ducks, Hennig swings a clothesline and Jarrett ducks, they both swing clotheslines and take each other down! The referee starts counting them both down. 1.......2......3......4......5......6......7.....Hennig gets to his feet and Jarrett stirs.......8......Jarrett's back up, Hennig runs at Jarrett, Jarrett sidesteps, Hennig keeps running and Jarrett prepares for a back body drop, Hennig sees it, moves to the side and hits the Perfect Kneelift! Jarrett hits the deck and Hennig pins. 1.....2.......Jarrett just kicks out at 2 and 7 eighths! Hennig lifts him up and goes to whip him corner to corner, Jarrett reverses and Hennig hits the turnbuckle hard and stumbles out, Jarrett sets him up - The Stroke! Jarrett pins! 1......2......no, Hennig kicks out of Jarrett's finisher! Double J pulls him into the middle of the ring and locks on the Figure-Four Leg-Lock. Hennig struggles to get to a rope but he's dead centre and can't reach any. Jarrett cranks it up and Hennig is in agony. Hennig tries to roll it over and gets half way but Jarrett uses all his strength and brings Hennig back to the original position, Hennig is being tortured but won't give it up. With one last hope push Hennig manages to roll the hold over and Jarrett suffers the pressure! Jarrett drags himself to the nearest rope and breaks out of the hold. Hennig gets up limping as does Jarrett. Hennig goes to lift Jarrett up but receives a swift low-blow missed by the referee. Jarrett sits Hennig up in the corner and climbs up attempting a Superplex. Jarrett goes for it but Hennig holds onto the top rope. He tries again but Hennig still blocks. Curt pushes him off and jumps down back to the canvas. Ric Flair appears through the crowd and leaps into the ring, he runs at Hennig but Hennig sidesteps and throws him out of the other side of the ring! Jarrett jumps up and runs at Hennig, he sidesteps and Jarrett runs into the turnbuckle and stumbles out.....PERFECT-PLEX! 1.........2..............3!!! Hennig advances, Ric Flair is out of the ring and Eric Bischoff's associate is out of the tournament!

Winner: Curt Hennig

Schiavone: "What a night, Cat! But Hennig is bound to pay for his actions next week if he still has a job!"

Miller: "In one way I wish Hennig didn't advance because we might never see him again!"

Schiavone: "This week's Nitro has been insane and next week's will be even more off the hook, see you next Monday, folks!"

Curt Hennig is celebrating in the ring as Nitro goes off the air.

Overall Show Rating - 66%

Edited by RavensTheSaviour
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This week on WCW Sunday Night, the warped, deranged, sadistic but fan-favourite Crowbar will go head to head with the young upstart, former Natural Born Thriller, Mark Jindrak! Crowbar has the experience advantage, but Mark Jindrak has the size advantage. Hopefully Jindrak's cockiness and inexperience won't lead to a mistake.

Plus... Lance Storm will be on hand to talk about his match the following night against Diamond Dallas Paige to decide who will meet Curt Hennig at Spring Stampede to decide the new WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and both Curt Hennig and The Program will be in the house to discuss the events of Monday Nitro!

And... Chavo Guerrero Jr., Dustin Rhodes, The Wall and Psycho Juice all set to be in action!

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- World Championship Wrestling is pleased to announce that the Power Plant training facility in Atlanta, Georgia has now been upgraded to the official wrestler developmental site. This means the Power Plant will be holding it's own mini-shows with wrestlers signed by WCW. These wrestlers will spend time in the Power Plant improving and perfecting their games before hopefully being promoted to the full WCW roster. Current wrestlers on the WCW roster who feel that they, or WCW managment feels need time to improve their in-ring weaknesses and strategies can also be demoted from the roster to take time to improve and come back better than ever. This facility will be under open contract in most cases so if the wrestlers feel the Power Plant or WCW is not the place for them they can leave, and this also means that if WCW don't see a future in WCW for a particular wrestler in the Power Plant, they can release them from their position.

This facility will be under the control of wrestling legend and former WCW World Television Champion, Arn Anderson.

Nearly 20 great potential WCW superstars have been signed already to this program and we hope to see many of them in the near future.

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