WCW One Night Stand: The WCW Reunion Show That Never Happened
It’s been over 15 years since the deaths of WCW and ECW at the time of this writing, and during the time since, there have been a LOT of ECW reunion shows. We had One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming, Extreme Reunion/Rising, and Hardcore Justice, and every time we think that’s going to be that, somebody else comes along to revive the company that died over 15 years ago and hasn’t stopped moving yet.
ECW is obviously held in high regard, but the fact remains that they were the distant third place company even in their heyday. WCW, which perished only months after the final ECW show, was the real main competitor to the WWF, yet they haven’t had anywhere close to the same reverence paid to their own legacy.
Granted, WWE buries WCW’s reputation every chance they get, but with all due respect to ECW, WCW (or Jim Crockett Promotions as it was previously known) had a much deeper history than ECW ever came close to achieving, drew a hell of a lot more money, and produced a product of a much higher quality than WWE wants you to know.
In order to give WCW their just due, I imagined what we might have gotten if WWE had decided to book a truly respectful WCW reunion show as they did when they ran ECW One Night Stand in 2005. I got inspired, put pen to paper, and came up with a card of matches I would have booked if WWE lost their mind and asked me to put together a WCW reunion show, which I’ll be lazy and just call WCW One Night Stand.
For the purposes of this feature, and to try and put it somewhat within the realm of reality, let’s assume this show takes place before the big WCW names got too old, around 2004 or 2005 like ECW One Night Stand. Also, since we’re pretending this happened in the real world, that means that dead people and people with career ending injuries like Arn Anderson or Ricky Steamboat can’t participate.
Ric Flair vs Randy Savage
In my opinion, this was the greatest feud in WCW history to never have a true blowoff. What made it even better was that it built on the extremely heated feud they had in the WWF in 1992, when Flair claimed to have had Elizabeth before Savage did to try and get in the Macho Man’s head. As low as that sounds, Flair cranked the Evil Jerk Factor up about a million notches when they picked back up in WCW in 1995, attacking Savage’s 80-somthing year old father Angelo Poffo and putting him in the figure four leglock.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Flair went even further the next year when he stole the WCW World Title from Savage thanks to interference from Elizabeth, who really HAD turned on Savage and gone with Flair this time around. And just to give Savage that last little nudge over the edge, he and Elizabeth spent the next several months spending the Macho Man’s money (which Elizabeth still had access to) on lavish dinners and other luxuries. Savage blew his top so badly that WCW suspended him and sent him to a psychiatrist (in storylines, of course) because of the fear of him hurting himself or someone else (like Flair).
Unfortunately, the Savage-Flair feud ends there because the NWO invaded before they could get back in the ring with each other. With everyone in WCW forced to unite to battle the NWO, Flair and Savage were unfortunately never given the opportunity to have their big, final showdown. Because of that, this match would not only be practically required to be on the WCW reunion show, but I would even make it the main event.
Sting, Lex Luger & Diamond Dallas Page vs Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall & Kevin Nash
Speaking of unresolved feuds, the NWO invasion was obviously the storyline by which WCW became defined, but it never had a big, climactic blowoff either because the NWO fizzled out and drifted apart before some hero had the chance to deal them a deathblow that would destroy them forever so he could wave the WCW banner for all to see.
Because of that, I will blow off the feud with the same match that started the whole thing at Bash At The Beach 1996. Well, almost. Obviously, nobody knew Hogan would be the third man on the NWO team in 1996, but we’d all know where he stands going into this one. Also, even though Savage was on the original WCW team and was the guy who took the Legdrop Heard ‘Round The World, his match with Flair takes precedence. Since DDP later became one of WCW’s top soldiers in the war with the NWO, he gets the nod as the “replacement” third member of the WCW team.
Vader vs Bill Goldberg
There’s no real background to this one, they were never in WCW or WWE at the same time, and have probably never even met each other, but I put this match together because they were essentially the same type of character at different points in WCW history. Vader was the indestructible heel who not only couldn’t be beaten for the WCW World Title during his 18 months as champion in 1992-93, but usually put anyone who tried in the hospital with his brutal offense.
Goldberg came along later on and wound up on the babyface side, but was equally indestructible, and also known to get excessively violent with people he had a grudge with. Vader and Goldberg would face off for the first, and most likely only, time in a battle to determine the baddest monster in WCW history.
Lord Steven Regal vs Fit Finlay
I could watch these two wrestle each other all day. Seriously, they know each other inside and out, they obviously love working together, and they both seem to get a real enjoyment out of trying to knock each other’s lights out. They were both still in great shape and could really go at this point, so it’s an easy call to book a match between these two and watch the fun begin.
Chris Benoit vs Booker T (Best 2 of 3 Falls)
Though these two had always been recognized as exceptionally talented wrestlers, their best of seven series in 1998 elevated both of them to a point where people saw them as potential future main eventers. They revisited the feud here and there over the years, but when you say Benoit vs Booker T, these are the matches people think of, so I’d put them together in another “best X of Y” situation, only in a single match instead of a series.
NWO Battle Royal (NWO Sting, Vincent, Big Bubba Rogers, VK Wallstreet, Konnan, Syxx, The Giant, Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton, Stevie Ray)
I know what you’re thinking: this is the WCW version of the gimmick battle royal. You’re kind of thinking along the right lines because you can look at who’s in it and see that there aren’t many people who meant much to the grand scheme of things, but I wanted to throw it in to pay homage to the colorful array of folks who, because somebody somewhere though it was a good idea at the time, wound up in an NWO t-shirt.
Dustin Rhodes vs Barry Windham
Another feud that was never settled: Windham turned on Rhodes following their loss of the WCW World Tag Team Title in late 1992, but they never got around to feuding because Dustin got the US Title, Windham got the NWA Title, and they concentrated on those instead of each other. I don’t know that anyone was dying to see this match and I don’t know how good it would have been given age and injury considerations at the time this show would take place, but I think it would be a cool bonus for longtime fans like me who don’t like loose ends.
Eddy Guerrero vs Dean Malenko vs Rey Mysterio, Jr vs Chris Jericho
Though history and the matches I’m including in this fantasy card both tell you that the NWO was the biggest thing to ever come to WCW, the Cruiserweight Division was right behind them. WCW pushed the division very hard from the moment Nitro launched, and the athleticism we saw in Cruiserweight matches was heavily featured as a way of setting WCW’s stars apart from the more character-driven WWF roster.
Many men (and some women) held the Cruiserweight Title over the years, but the four who I put in this match mattered the most since they were the ones whose work gave the division its identity. I played around with different combinations of these four guys before deciding that a four way, elimination-rules match would be the best way to determine the greatest Cruiserweight in WCW history.
Rick & Scott Steiner vs The Great Muta & Masahiro Chono
I was kind of stuck when trying to come up with a match for the Steiners, since none of their potential mega-opponents were available at the time this show would have happened. Harlem Heat wasn’t available due to Booker T wrestling singles, the Road Warriors were out because Hawk was dead, Arn & Tully were both retired (or close enough to it), no Midnight Express anymore, and the Outsiders were already in the WCW vs NWO six man.
I finally got my answer the other night while watching Bash At The Beach 1997, where the Steiners faced Muta & Chono, the top members of NWO Japan, in one of a series of great, physical matches that were forgotten against the background of the NWO storyline. These teams had three or four really good, hard hitting matches that ended up setting the Steiners back on the road to the tag title (and eventually their split as a team), and I think that in the absence of other viable opponents, I could do way worse than to put these two teams together one last time.