Imagine an all-new, revamped World Championship Wrestling (WCW) continuing to foster the competition created in the Monday Night Wars by conducting weekly tapings out of a 3,000-square-foot Hard Rock Cafe arena in Las Vegas. That was part of Eric Bischoff's grand plan prior to the WWE buying the company from Turner Broadcasting System Inc. An ad in WCW magazine prior to its final Nitro show depicted the potential rebirth, billed as The Big Bang and scheduled for May 6th, 2001. It featured Bischoff and Goldberg, with the tagline stating, "The creation of the new WCW."
For better or worse, that PPV never happened and, instead, the Atlanta-based promotion was bought by the WWE, putting an end to the Monday Night Wars that had been dominated by the WWE. For many WCW Superstars, the sale didn't affect their careers too much as they became big names in the WWE; others, however, were used sparingly or were forced to look for work elsewhere. The majority of the company's Superstars never achieved the same success they did in the WCW. With that in mind, here's a look at the last WCW match for some of its biggest stars.
15 Diamond Dallas Page: Scott Steiner
A classic late-bloomer, Diamond Dallas Page made his WCW debut in 1991 at 36-years-old. He jobbed to numerous wrestlers such as Johnny B. Badd, Ron Simmons and The Steiner Brothers, among others, before finally earning his first victory against Mike Graham in his 16th match.
14 Scott Steiner: Booker T
Although he handed DDP a loss in the yoga practitioner's final WCW match, Scott Steiner appeared on the final episodes of Thunder and Nitro before migrating to the WWA and eventually WWE. On the March 19th episode of Thunder, Steiner and Jeff Jarrett defeated Dustin Rhodes in a two-on-one handicap match.
13 Chavo Guerrero Jr.: Shane Helms
Before launching a lengthy career in the WWE and TNA, which included a stint as Kerwin White, Chavo Guerrero was an integral figure in the WCW's impressive Cruiserweight Division. The two-time Cruiserweight Champion had an opportunity to regain the title on the last ever Monday Nitro against Shane Helms, better known as The Hurricane in the WWE.
12 Shawn Stasiak: Bam Bam Bigelow
If there was ever an appropriate Beauty and the Beast match, it was Shawn Stasiak (with Stacy Keibler at his side) against Bam Bam Bigelow. The two met in the final Monday Nitro: Night of Champions, with Stasiak coming out victorious in just over one minute thanks to some timely interference from Keibler.
11 Sting: Ric Flair
"We started it years ago Ric, and tonight, we're going to end it once and for all."
An excited Sting proclaimed prior to the last ever WCW match on Monday Nitro: Night of Champions. Arguably two of the most successful wrestlers in the promotion had won a combined 14 World Championships during their time in the WCW. They had last fought in singles competition a year ago on Nitro, but had met in numerous tag team matches since.
10 Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio: Elix Skipper & Kid Romeo
WCW simply couldn't get away with televising its final Nitro without including a tag team match featuring two of its most high-flying and exciting athletes in Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio Jr. The former Tag Team Champions earned the number one contendership for the Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship earlier in the night by defeating 3-Count (Shannon Moore and Evan Karagias) and The Jung Dragons (Kaz Hayashi and Yang).
9 Konnan: Rick Steiner
Though he had a solid run in the WCW as a member of the nWo and nWo Wolfpac and won multiple titles, Konnan wasn't included on the final Monday Nitro card; instead, the former United States champion whose reign lasted 160 days, had his final match with the company on the second last Nitro.
8 Chris Jericho: Kidman & Rey Mysterio Jr.
Before debuting in the WWE in legendary fashion and becoming an iconic wrestler, Chris Jericho was an underutilized Superstar on the rise in WCW, having only risen to Television Champion status. He was, however, a cruiserweight at the time and most of his last matches in the WCW were against Rey Mysterio Jr. In fact, his last match in the promotion came on July 21 during a house show, in which he and Eddie Guerrero lost to Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman.
7 Kanyon: MI Smooth
One-time WCW United States Champion and mediocre in-ring performer Kanyon was part of the second last WCW Monday Nitro show on March 19, 2001. For some reason, he was just beginning a feud with MI Smooth, who had previously wrestled in the WCW years earlier under the name Ice Train. Smooth, who was in just his eighth match since returning to the company (talk about bad timing), had previously interfered in Kanyon's WCW Greed PPV match against The Cat, but was beaten handily on Nitro by Kanyon.
6 Disco Inferno: Jason Jett
Like many of the middle card wrestlers on this list still with WCW when the company was bought by the WWE, Disco Inferno wrestled on the second last episode of Monday Nitro, though he only went by Disqo at the time.
5 Air Raid: The Jung Dragons
Long before he was one of the most dynamic, all-around wrestlers in the WWE and a veteran of the independent circuit, A.J. Styles began his career as Air Styles and teamed with Air Pairs to form Air Raid, an exciting tag team that only had the opportunity to compete in four matches before the WWE bought WCW. Air Paris had competed in a few singles matches on WCW Worldwide and Saturday Night in late 2000, but he was joined by the up-and-coming Styles early in 2001.
4 Jeff Jarrett: Dustin Rhodes
A little over a week ago, Jeff Jarrett won the not-so-coveted River City Wrestling Heavyweight Championship. Sixteen years earlier, however, Double J was one of the biggest draws in the WCW and a four-time World Heavyweight Champion. He was with the company during its last days, although he didn't appear on the final WCW Monday Nitro. Instead, Jarrett and Scott Steiner took on Dustin Rhodes (Goldust) in a two-on-one handicap match on the final episode of Thunder.
3 Totally Buff: Chuck Palumbo & Sean O'Haire
Totally Buff was a perfect tag team combination based on style and gimmick, though that doesn't mean they were entertaining, or even watchable for that matter. Yet, WCW felt it a good idea to pair Buff Bagwell and Lex Luger together during the company's last few months. Bagwell had won the WCW Tag Team Championship five times with four different partners, so why not give him another one?
2 Goldberg: Totally Buff
The undefeated streak, the two World Heavyweight Championships, and the undeniable intimidation factor; The man they call Goldberg was a force in WCW, but sadly and unfortunately, his last ever match with the company was a no-disqualification tag team match loss against Totally Buff, the team which later jobbed to Palumbo and O'Haire in pathetic fashion at WCW Greed.
1 Hulk Hogan: Jeff Jarrett
Hulk Hogan's final WCW appearance was similar in nature to the infamous Montreal Screwjob of Bret Hart, but infinitely more odd and confusing. Hogan, who had creative control in his WCW contract, was of the belief he was to win the WCW World Heavyweight Title at Bash at the Beach 2000, vacate the championship and ride off into the sunset, potentially to return at Halloween Havoc to claim he was the true champion. Vince Russo didn't want it that way, however.
Instead, Russo had Hogan's opponent Jeff Jarrett lay in the middle of the ring and Hogan pin him, though the title was kept by Jarrett, who later lost it to Booker T. Fans were outraged and confused, and conflicting stories about whether or not it was a shoot or a worked shoot have since become popular. Russo promised fans they wouldn't see the Hulkster in the WCW ever again and he was right.
Hogan, meanwhile, left with the following words for Russo: This is the reason this company is in the damn shape it's in, because of bullshit like this.
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