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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 115



WCW goes off the air, promises exciting finale Monday; 'Raw' features ECW talent

The Wrestling Report

Ed De La Garza

"I've been working with a group of people whose goal it was -- and is -- to acquire World Championship Wrestling, and to grow it once again to become a competitive, dominant wrestling organization worldwide. But recently, we've hit a couple of roadblocks that may be in fact, brick walls."

-- Eric Bischoff

Those ominous words were spoken by Bischoff on Nitro. It was the first statement he or anyone associated with the company made about World Championship Wrestling's situation.

WCW announced its sale to Bischoff and Fusient Media Ventures in January. But that was before the deal was finalized. It was also before Turner Broadcasting System Inc. (TNT and TBS included), now owned by Time Warner AOL, decided to give wrestling the boot.

Without guaranteed exposure, Fusient supposedly backed out of the deal, though it is still attempting to come to some sort of agreement provided a new television deal is secured.

New reports have surfaced that Vince McMahon could be back in the hunt to buy the troubled company. McMahon, who definitely has deeper pockets than Fusient and Bischoff, would run it as a separate federation.

There is also a possibility Bischoff and Fusient could buy the WCW name only and begin a brand new promotion.

But Monday's Nitro will in fact be the final show to air on TNT. Today's Thunder will be the last appearing on TBS. Bischoff announced Nitro would be a "Night of Champions," with all belts being on the line. He invited all former champions to show up, basically hinting at the return of Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Sting and Goldberg.

Though WCW was in dire straits, no one expected it to just shut down. While it doesn't have a TV home, there's been no mention of its permanent demise. It could be more hope than reality.

Now more than ever, the WWF has a stranglehold on the wrestling market.

'Greed is good'

If WCW's Greed was the last pay-per-view in the company's history, it finally did a few things it should have been doing all along.

Scott Steiner successfully retained the World Title in his match against Diamond Dallas Page, Booker T. wrestled the U.S. Title away from Rick Steiner, and "Sugar" Shane Helms defeated Chavo Guerrero to win the Cruiserweight Title.

Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire held on to the Tag Team Titles in a squash match vs. Lex Luger and Buff Bagwell. Luger and Bagwell actually dropped in under one minute.

Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo won the Cruiserweight Tag Titles in their match against Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio Jr.

In other matches, Dusty and Dustin Rhodes defeated Ric Flair and Jeff Jarrett. It was an ode to a classic feud, with the erstwhile Jarrett squared off with the "fruit of Dusty's loins." But it was the elder statesmen that stole the show. It wasn't a great match, but it made you remember when the Bionic Elbow was the most electrifying move in wrestling and "Whoo!" meant something.

Also, Lance Storm and Mike Awesome defeated Konnan and Hugh Morruss, The Cat defeated Kanyon, Shawn Stasiak pinned Bam Bam Bigelow and Jason Jett defeated Kwee Wee.

ECW invades the WWF

Though it didn't need to, the WWF featured hotshot booking on Raw. Edge and Christian won the Tag Team Titles with help from a debuting Rhino. The Extreme Championship Wrestling World Champion ran in from the audience.

This was followed by a run-in by Spike Dudley that allowed the Dudley Boys to win the belts later in the show.

The main event, pitting The Rock and Chris Jericho against Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle and William Regal. Steve Austin showed up at the end only to be on the receiving end of a Rockbottom. The WWF also teased a Benoit/Angle match for Wrestlemania.

Speaking of the flagship of all PPVs, next week's Wrestling Report will feature an in-depth look at Wrestlemania X-Seven, to be held at the Reliant Astrodome on April 1.

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