WCW Monday Nitro: Night of Champions aired on March 26th as the final broadcast of Nitro where viewers were treated to one of the strangest nights in wrestling history.
WCW wrestlers were filmed openly discussing their new owners, and the show had moments where segments were simulcast on both TNT and the USA Network to keep every person tuning in up to date about what would happen to WCW now that Mr. McMahon was in charge. Fans were shocked. WCW wrestlers seemed a bit put-off. Even WCW commentator Tony Schiavone broke script a couple of times to spout out a couple of barbed jabs against the WWF (and oddly enough, William Regal).
The final match of the night had Sting and Ric Flair face each other in a match done purely as fan service to longtime WCW loyalists where both wrestlers hit all their signature spots with Sting getting the win with a Scorpion Deathlock. Both Sting and Flair hugged afterward and played to the live crowd before the show ended with the news that Shane McMahon was the REAL owner of WCW. The Young McMahon grasped control of the company from underneath his own father’s nose (oh no!):
Unfortunately, Vince McMahon really did own World Championship Wrestling and WCW Monday Nitro was dead for good. Ted Turner was forced out of the wrestling business. Wrestling still to this day has never returned to either TNT or TBS. Even though the World Wrestling Federation had plans to keep the World Championship Wrestling brand alive, it was never meant to be. Instead, we all got to suffer through The Invasion angle where Shane, Vince and even Stephanie McMahon were showcased as the key owners of WCW, the WWF and ECW and every wrestler in each faction were nothing more than soldiers for each one of their respective McMahon family member. In hindsight, we were all tipped off about what the WCW buyout would truly become just by looking at the cover of WWF Magazine after the smoke cleared:
No mention of World Championship Wrestling anywhere on it, just the small portion of Shane McMahon, the storyline owner of WCW, reflecting off of the eyeballs of Vince. No Lance Storm, Booker T, Diamond Dallas Page or any actual WCW wrestler involved here — just two McMahons.
The entire final WCW Monday Nitro card in its entirety:
- WCW World Heavyweight Champion Scott Steiner vs WCW United States Champion Booker T in a Champion vs Champion match
- 3 Count (Shannon Moore and Evan Karagias) vs The Jung Dragons (Kaz Hayashi and Yun Yang) vs The Filthy Animals (Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman) to determine #1 Contenders for the WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship
- WCW Crusierweight Championship Shane Helms vs Chavo Guerrero Jr
- WCW World Tag Team Champions Sean O’Haire and Chuck Palumbo vs Team Canada (Mike Awesome and Lance Storm)
- Shawn Stasiak vs Bam Bam Bigelow in a Loser Gets Tattoo’d Match
- WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions Kid Romeo and Elix Skipper vs The Filthy Animals (Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman)
- Sting vs “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
38-year-old World Championship Wrestling fanatic/collector/hoarder. Safety officer by day, scanner of wrestling magazine by night.
He’s got posters on the wall, his favorite rock group’s KISS.
It was actually a pretty solid card, with a decent enough main event considering Sting and Flair were both kinda banged up. The sad thing is WCW was actually starting to turn a corner. From Starrcade moving forward, the shows were improving and they had some solid young talent. Steiner was not nearly as good as he used to be, but was still good enough that with his wild persona, it made for a fun title run.
Haven’t watched it in years, even though my original VHS copy of it is sitting right here on my shelf. Would be a fun trip back in time to watch it in its entirety.
I remember also thinking Nitro was turning a corner as well but never could tell if I was kidding myself or if I noticed it. Sin would end up being the last PPV I ended up buying as I was DONE with spending money where an out of shape Road Warrior Animal ends up being the HUGE SECRET SURPRISE.
I still adore Steiner’s title run during this period. However, when WCW started featuring the likes of Animal, Rick Steiner, and Dusty Rhodes in their Magnificent Seven angle, I could tell that the game was pretty much over.
I watched WCW till the end without ever missing a show. After McMahon screwed up the invasion I quit watching wrestling on a regular basis. I would just monitor from afar. I started watching regularly again 4 years later but I quit doing that last year. The minute that Triple H buried Sting and listening to JBL bury WCW 14 years after its death was the nail in the coffin for me. It was a huge slap in the face to all the WCW fans. Screw WWE. Even in its dying days WCW was better than WWE is today.
Have never revisited that match and when I originally watched, the sound was real low. I don’t think I ever knew about JBL burying WCW during the match…
You have a great website here. I just discovered it the other day while searching the web. I have lots of content to look through. I enjoy every minute of it.
It’s an abomination of commentary. I couldn’t stand to listen to it with the volume up. Clearly, Vince was in JBL’s ear.
I absolutely love the Ric Flair promo that starts this show.
“Did I…did I….WOOO!”
It’s also weird to hear Flair, who has always been very critical of WCW, defend the company against Vince. I have a feeling Flair is really defending the spirit of the NWA, though, and not necessarily WCW.