We are roughly three weeks away from the Show of Shows™ and so far we have somehow only four booked matches - one of which I would classify as "out of nowhere" in AJ Styles & Omos challenging The Hurt Business The New Day for the WWE Raw Tag Team titles. Yes, the tag titles are the only titles AJ hasn't won in WWE yet, but really? And why the hell can't the Hurt Business have #allthegold for more than a minute?
Beyond that we have the two Royal Rumble-based title matches in Bianca Belair vs Sasha Banks and Edge vs Roman Reigns (or technically Daniel Bryan, but not likely) along with the recently made Drew McIntyre vs Bobby Lashley match. That's it? What about Asuka? Asuka demands satisfaction.
But, we're not going to vent about that today. Like last month with our Elimination Chamber preview and the anniversary of Quixo's last NXT Live show, we're going to spend our Maron looking at another anniversary: next week on March 26th is the twentieth (!!) anniversary of WCW shutting down and Vince McMahon purchasing the same company that nearly ran him out of business.
For anyone not watching wrestling back in 2001, I'm not sure if I can adequitely explain how much of a mind-fuck this was. From 1995 to 2001, WWF Raw and WCW Nitro aired concurrently on USA and TNT respectively, trading viewers and building the audience to the likes it didn't even see back in the Hulk Hogan days. Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon (though McMahon would always frame his enemy as Ted Turner, even in the clip above, because Bischoff wasn't a known quantity outside of wrestling) would pouch talent, counter-program eachother, and in Bischoff's case even reveal results of taped-Raw episodes live on air to get the viewer to stick with them. Every week there was the idea that anyone could show up anywhere, and you had to watch to see who. We had the Internet, but it wasn't what it is today.
While I watched both and dutifully switched channels throughout the night, I was (and still am) a WCW guy. While I had dabbled in WWF before (I remember watching WWF SummerSlam 1994 for the Bret Hart vs Owen Hart cage match with my grandparents, but then having to go home before the Undertaker vs Undertaker match started because it was getting late), it oddly was the Diamond Dallas Page/Hollywood Hogan celebrity feud that fully brought me in. At WCW Bash at the Beach 1998, DDP teamed with Karl Malone (!) to take on Hogan and fellow-nWo member Dennis Rodman (!!) literally a month after the Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz in the NBA Championship (!!!). And the next month at WCW Road Wild 1998, Hogan teamed with Erich Biscoff to tak on DDP and Jay fucking Leno (?). So while many, including myself, will mock whenever Big Wrestling tries to step out of its zone and bring in celebrities from other walks of life to gain extra eyeballs, just remember - it works. God help me, it works. Thank you, WWE Hall of Fame 2021 inductee Eric Bischoff.
Fast forward to 2001, and WCW was literally on its last legs. ECW, the #3 promotion at the time and the innovater of many of the things both WCW and WWF stole to propel their own brands, held its last show on January 13th, 2001 before its assets were purchased by WWE on January 28th, 2001. Of the big three, that's one down. Ted Turner, the main reason why WCW was still even around since no one else within Turner/Time Warner liked it being on their schedules, lost his position during the merger of Time Warner and America Online. Eric Bischoff along with start-up Fusient Media Ventures tried to raise funds to purchase WCW, a fact that was even aluded to by Bischoff on air in the last several WCW Nitros. However, once the AOL/Time Warner merger was solid enough, it was quickly decided at the corporate level that WCW Nitro and WCW Thunder would not continue on TNT and TBS respectively, tanking the value of the brands and Bischoff/Fusient's ability to purchase without a ready-to-go place for the property to air. In swooped WWE, fresh off their ECW-assets purchase, to purchase the assets and video library of WCW for a measly $4.2 million dollars. For the record, AEW Revolution 2021 (which we didn't get around to previewing, sorry!) made apprixmately $6 million dollars. Yes, there's inflation and all that, but that's one pay-per-view. WCW wasn't even worth a pay-per-view.
The last WCW Nitro saw WCW United States champion Booker T defeat WCW World champion Scott Steiner to win the title (and bring both titles to WWE that summer), WCW Cruiserweight champion Shane Helms (aka the Hurricane!) retain his title against Chavo Guerrero Jr, WCW Tag Team champions Chuck Palumbo & Sean O'Haire retain their titles against Lance Storm and Mike Awesome, Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio Jr (after earlier in the night beating Evan Karagias & Shannon Moore and Kaz Hayashi & Yang) defeat Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo to win the WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team championship (which was not brought to WWE that summer), Shawn Stasiak defeated Bam Bam Bigelow (what?), and Sting defeat Ric Flair as the final WCW Nitro match, because yes, that's what it had to be. And then, because WWE had bought WCW and it was all about WWE, the show ended as a segment in the Vince McMahon/Shane McMahon feud with Shane McMahon being revealed as the new owner of WCW, not Vince. Tune in to WWF WrestleMania X-Seven to see how that goes!
And then there was the whole Invasion angle, but that may be a future Quixo-WWE fantasy article, so it is a story for another time, dear reader.
Was WCW a hot garbage fire? Yes. Was WCW constantly making stupid mistakes and misusing talent long before social media created the idea of "LOLTNA" as TNA dutifully held that mantle for WCW? Yes. (next time I'm randonmly tweeting while watching some old WCW Nitro episodes, I'm definitley using "LOLWCW") And did WCW due to years of mismanagement disserve to be sold off by AOL Time Warner after the two consolidated and pushed Ted Turner out, the only person in the company who enjoyed WCW because he had built the whole Turner media name off WCW (and both Georgia Championship Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions before it) and Atlanta Braves games? Unfortunately, yes.
Here's to you, WCW. You truly were too sweet. LOLWCW.
If you are at all interested, I highly recommend both Bryan Alvarez's and Randy Reynold's The Death of WCW as well as Guy Evan's NITRO: The Incredible Rise and Inevitable Collapse of Ted Turner's WCW. The Death of WCW takes more of a look at the creative-side of WCW's demise while NITRO is far more into the business-side of things with lots of interviews with Turner corporate. If you listen to 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff, you already know that he recommends NITRO far and away above Death of WCW, but I enjoyed both.
Let's check the standings for the Quixotronic's Wrestling Shame Challenge™ which in no way will end with the loser having to face the killer doll Chucky in combat. But no promises.
Previously on Fanboy Wrestletronic…
Standings going into WWE Elimination Chamber 2021
First Place: Kyle 63% (92-53)
Second Place: Tim 57% (55-41)
Third Place: Ryan 29% (21-52)
WWE Elimination Chamber 2021 results:
Elimination Chamber Match: Baron Corbin vs Cesaro vs Daniel Bryan vs Jey Uso vs Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn
Your Winner: Daniel Bryan
Kyle: Daniel Bryan (1-0)
Ryan: Kevin Owens (0-1)
Tim: Jey Uso (0-1)
WWE Universal Title Match: Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns ©
Your Winner, and STILL WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns
Kyle: Roman Reigns (2-0)
Ryan: Roman Reigns (1-1)
Tim: Roman Reigns (1-1)
WWE United States Title Match: Keith Lee John Morrison vs Matt Riddle vs Bobby Lashley ©
Your Winner, and NEW WWE United States Champion: Matt Riddle
Kyle: Matt Riddle (3-0)
Ryan: Keith Lee or Matt Riddle (1-2)
Tim: Matt Riddle (2-1)
WWE Women's Tag Team Titles Match: Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler ©
Your Winners, and STILL WWE Women's Tag Team Champions: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler
Kyle: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (4-0)
Ryan: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (2-2)
Tim: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (3-1)
WWE World Title Elimination Chamber Match: AJ Styles vs Jeff Hardy vs Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton vs Sheamus vs Drew McIntyre ©
Your Winner, and STILL WWE World Champion: Drew McIntyre
Kyle: Drew McIntyre (5-0)
Ryan: Drew McIntyre (3-2)
Tim: Drew McIntyre (4-1)
WWE World Title Money-in-the-Bank Cash-In: Miz vs Drew McIntyre ©
Your Winner, and NEW WWE World Champion: Miz
Kyle: n/a (5-0)
Ryan: n/a (3-2)
Tim: n/a (4-1)
And now the conclusion…
New standings after WWE Elimination Chamber 2021
First Place: Kyle 65% (97-53)
Second Place: Tim 58% (59-42)
Third Place: Ryan 31% (24-54)
Who will survive!?
If you want to watch WWE Fastlane live on Sunday, you’ll want to subscribe to Peacock because the WWE Network is being sent to a lovely farm in the country where it will be able to stream all the episodes of WCW Saturday Night that it wants. But you can watch it on the Network this time if you still have it. But switch to Peacock. Until then, here’s your Quixotronic preview of the show.
WWE Fastlane 2021
Drew McIntyre vs Sheamus
The Background: Drew McIntyre and Sheamus have been best friends forever since shortly after Sheamus moved over from Smackdown to Raw during last year's draft. You know what that means. After McIntyre made it past Goldberg at the WWE Royal Rumble 2021 (something The Fiend couldn't even do!), Sheamus congratulated his buddy by turning on him on the February 1st Raw. The two should have gone on to WWE Elimination Chamber 2021 and had a singles match where the beat the shit out of each other, but Shane McMahon spoiled that by announcing an Elimination Chamber match with four other competitors on the February 8th Raw. I mean, I guess it's in the name? But still. McIntyre made it through the Chamber match only for Bobby Lashley to kick the crap out of him in preparation for the Miz's Money-in-the-Bank cash-in - and it was successful. Miz went on to lose the title almost immediately to Lashley on the March 1st Raw while McIntyre and Sheamus have resumed kaiju-fighting each other without the championship. McIntyre won a singles match on that March 1st Raw while the two fought to a no contest on the March 8th Raw. The two re-incorporated WWE World champion Bobby Lashley and the Miz back into the mix on the March 15th Raw when McIntyre challenged Lashley to a WrestleMania match (fuck Fastlane!) and then beat the shit out of the Miz while Sheamus fell to fellow-hoss Lashley. Now the two best friends will fight again.
Fanboy Fantasy: The show opens with this match with no stipulation - just a normal singles match. McIntyre and Sheamus go for only a few minutes before Sheamus blatantly clocks McIntyre with a chair, ending in a DQ win for McIntyre. Multiple referees have to break the two apart and force them to the back. After the next match, we get a bit backstage where McIntyre requests Adam Pearce make the match again, but a no holds barred match. Sheamus interrupts the segment as the match starts right there and the two fight their way through the innards of the Thunderdome. At one point Sheamus finds handcuffs and hooks McIntyre to a scaffold, but McIntyre is able to rip the handcuff off and pose while we get a shot of Kevin Owens looking embarrassed in the background. They fight on and run into the 24/7 division as always chasing R-Truth - Sheamus is able to scare all of them away but R-Truth tries to stand his ground. Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick knocking R-Truth into McIntyre and pins R-Truth on top of McIntyre for the win - and the 24/7 title. Another match or two happen, and then we cut to the back where Sheamus is fighting off the 24/7 division and holding his own until McIntyre flies from off-screen into a Claymore and pins Sheamus and wins the 24/7 title - McIntyre posses and scares the division away again. Another match or two happen, and then Sheamus is now teaming with the Miz and John Morrison and the three fight McIntyre back towards the ring. R-Truth shows up to help but isn't able to turn the tables. Miz and Morrison are able to to put McIntyre through the announcer table right before Damian Priest is able to show up and even the odds - he and R-Truth (or Bad Bunny, I guess, but let's stick with R-Truth) are able to clear Miz and Morrison away just as Sheamus sweeps in to pin McIntyre again - but he's stopped by a suplex from announcer Samoa Joe! Joe looks at McIntyre who's still laying in his damaged work space, looks at the downed Sheamus, and finally at the referee monitoring McIntyre. Joe literally looks to the camera, shrugs, and pins McIntyre for the 24/7 title. Throughout the main event we get the other announcers asking if Joe is returning to active duty while Joe does his best to brush the question off while also (off-screen, mind you) making punching noises as he fights off occasional 24/7 challengers.
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Drew McIntyre - you gotta keep the challenger strong before a big WrestleMania match. Plus if you've read even one of these, you know we, as an organization, don't like to bet against the Scottish Psychopath.
Tim: Drew McIntyre
Braun Strowman vs Shane McMahon
The Background: After being left out of Raw's elimination chamber match at WWE Elimination Chamber 2021 that was booked by Shane McMahon, Braun Strowman showed up on the February 22nd Raw demanding a title shot. For his troubles, McMahon said he had to go through Bobby Lashley for a chance to be inserted into Lashley's title match against the WWE World champion Miz the next week - and Strowman failed. Instead of a WWE World title shot on the March 1st Raw, Strowman was teamed with Adam Pearce for a shot at the WWE Raw Tag Team titles against the Hurt Business members Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin - and Strowman failed after Pearce tagged in on McMahon's order and ate a pin from Benjamin. Strowman challenged McMahon to a match on the March 15th Raw, but a match never started because Strowman was slimed. Not Slimer-in-Ghostbusters slimed, but You-Can't-Do-That-On-Television slimed. Now the two will fight (?) at Fastlane instead. Or maybe not as it appears to have been removed from promotional material but I already wrote this preview so you're welcome?
Fanboy Fantasy: Braun Strowman powerslams Shane McMahon. And then he powerslams him again. And then he powerslams him again. And then he powerslams him again. Adam Pearce shows up and tries to stop Strowman, so Strowman powerslams Pearce. And then he powerslams Pearce again. And then he turns back to McMahon and powerslams him again. And then he powerslams McMahon again. Do a quick cut or something and have McMahon replaced by a pile of slime in the middle of the ring. Strowman pins the slime for the win. The next night on Raw, Strowman confronts Pearce about his title shot just as Sheamus confronts Pearce about his title shot - since he made the first pin between him and McIntyre, I guess? And he should be pissed about never getting a one-on-one title match while McIntyre was champion. Pearce books a match between the two for WrestleMania with title implications but mostly because neither has a match now going into WrestleMania and a hoss battle is far better than more-McMahon shenanigans.
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Shane McMahon - it's WrestleMania season so that means its time to put Strowman into the most embarrassing match possible season. So far Nicholas hasn't returned but honestly I'm not ruling it out? Is this match happening anymore?
Tim: Shane McMahon
Alexa Bliss vs Randy Orton
The Background: Randy Orton won the WWE World title having defeated Drew McIntyre at WWE Hell in a Cell 2020, though he lost it back to McIntyre on the November 16th Raw. While briefly the champion, Orton appeared on Alexa Bliss's "A Moment of Bliss" talk show segment where she brought up Orton's history with her master Bray Wyatt - the two were aligned back in 2017 when Orton had won that year's men's Royal Rumble and Wyatt won the WWE World title the next month at WWE Elimination Chamber 2017. Orton relinquished his title shot because he's a good disciple (AJ Styles won a battle royal and singles match against Luke Harper/Brodie Lee to win the shot in the meantime) but then took the shot back by burning down Bray Wyatt's compound and burial spot for Sister Abigail on the February 28, 2017 Smackdown. The same Sister Abigail that is the namesake for Wyatt's finisher and current possessor of Alexa Bliss. Orton went on to defeat Wyatt for the WWE World title that year at WWE WrestleMania 33 and Wyatt didn't really recover until bonding with The Fiend personality. This obviously led to a Firefly Inferno match at WWE TLC 2020, as you do. Instead of being a cinematic match, this ring was instead surrounded by fire - so it was a "traditional" inferno match? Either way, Orton set The Fiend on fire, effectively killing both Bray Wyatt and/or The Fiend. Since then, its appeared as if Alexa Bliss is at the least still in contact with the Fiend, or at the most the new host for The Fiend, so she will take her revenge on Orton in an intergender match.
Fanboy Fantasy: Bliss and Orton meet in the ring with Bliss giving Orton a cold staring smile that doesn't break. Orton makes the motions to lock up, but Bliss simply stares and smiles. Orton starts to go for a kick but stops himself, showing that maybe he's chivalrous in some way, but Bliss instead kicks him in the balls. Bliss starts skipping around Orton while he clutches his grapefruit but he's able to will himself to get an RKO (outta nowhere) onto Bliss. We see her go down, but after the camera follows Orton back up, we see Bliss is right behind him. Orton gloats for a moment but then realizes she's not on the ground and does the classic I-know-they're-behind-me slow turn. He's able to react fact enough once seeing Bliss to hook a powerslam, but Bliss again disappears before impact and reappears at the opposite turnbuckle. At this point the Thunderdome viewer screens start glitching out as they do for The Fiend's entrance, and flames shoot out of the ring. Instead of the viewer screens going out completely, they show pictures of worms. Disgusting worms, just like at WrestleMania 33 because #continuity. Suddenly a shit ton of worms are dropped from the ceiling onto Orton, drenching him? Is that the right verb for a worm bath? How about it's a bunch of blood like the Brood would use and there's worms in the blood. That'll do, pig, that'll do. Orton finally starts freaking out when Bliss now has a comically huge mallet and pounds him like the Harley Quinn she truly is. Once he's out, Bliss lovingly pours gasoline on Orton, lights a match, and sets him on fire. Blood burns, right? This blood burns. Bliss pulls out the Fiend's mask and dips it into the blood/fire/Orton/worm combination and gently places it on one of the turnbuckles. The viewer screens finally go out completely cutting all light except for the fire when we hear Wyatt's laugh. The screens crack back on and Bray Wyatt is back in the ring with Bliss while referees finally tend to whatever is left of Orton. The resurrection is complete. The Fiend is back.
Hard cut to the back where a stake is being shaved and sharpened with the camera pulling out to reveal Nikki Cross. Cross turns to the screen and lets Bliss know that she's tired of being ignored and she wants her friend back. But more importantly: Nikki wants to play.
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Alexa Bliss - The Fiend is coming back, so I assume Bliss will win? Right?
Tim: Alexa Bliss
WWE Women's Tag Team Titles Match: Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax & Shayna Baslzer ©
The Background: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler regained the WWE Women's Tag Team titles from WWE Raw Women's champion Asuka and Charlotte Flair at WWE Royal Rumble 2021. They briefly feuded with Lana & Naomi after the two won a #1 contenders match on the February 1st Raw and successfully defended their titles against them on the March 8th Raw, and also very briefly feuded with the women's Dusty Rhodes Classic winners Dakota Kai & Raquel González and even defended their titles on the March 3rd NXT, though the ending was much shadier involving Adam Pearce stopping the match and William Regal introducing NXT's own women's tag team titles the next week. NXT women's tag division is already in better shape than WWE's women's tag division. That's because we're focusing on the WWE tag team champions' feud on Smackdown with WWE Smackdown Women's champion Sasha Banks and women's Royal Rumble winner Bianca Belair. Still. The champs already successfully defended their titles against Banks and Belair last month at WWE Elimination Chamber 2021. Since then, Belair formally challenges Banks to a WrestleMania match on the February 26th Smackdown, but then (finally) defeated Shayna Baszler in singles action on the March 5th Smackdown to keep this all going. The WrestleMania opponents then lost to Natalya & Tamina on the March 12th Smackdown with Belair eating the pin from Tamina. Way to keep the challenger strong! Sasha Banks was able to successfully defend her WWE Smackdown Women's title against Nia Jax thanks to miscommunication between Jax and Baszler on the March 19th Smackdown, while Bianca Belair and Shayna Baszler went to a no contest after Natalya and Tamina showed up and laid out everyone. Are they being added to the match?
Fanboy Fantasy: (Quixo-note: I am simply leaving my fantasy booking from last month - if they can repeat themselves, so can I) Baszler and Belair start with Baszler doing her best to lock in the Kirifuda Clutch early, but Belair is able to escape right away. The two create some of their NXT magic for a while until each tag in their partners, and Banks goes right for Jax's weak spot - her hole. A couple swift kicks to the hole followed by a tag and a hair whip to the hole sends Jax crying to the outside to regroup. With the hole-spots out of the way, the magic continues with Jax/Baszler showing why they're the champs and work like a well oiled machines. The finish sees Jax brawl with Banks on the outside while Baszler finally locks in the Kirifuda Clutch and Belair passes out for the loss. She doesn't tap, she passes out. Bayley inserts herself into the Banks/Belair mix with a new segment of "Ding, Dong, Hello!" where she tries to turn the two on each other. It doesn't fully work... right away. However Bayley is able to earn a title match with Banks at Fastlane an episode of Smackdown where she gets a DQ win after Belair accidentally interferes, thus inserting Bayley into the Banks/Belair WrestleMania match. Belair pins Banks at WrestleMania for the title, giving Bayley even more fuel to take another title shot since she wasn't the one pinned.
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler - why are we doing this again? If Natalya/Tamina are added, can I change my pick to them?
Tim: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Apollo Crews vs Big E ©
The Background: Big E defeated conspiracy victim Sami Zayn to win the WWE Intercontinental title on the December 25th Smackdown. Big E defeated Apollo Crews in his first title defense on the January 8th Smackdown, though it appeared that both had pinned the either at the same time so it was deemed to stay with Large Epsilon. The two tried again on the January 22nd Smackdown, but Zayn interfered causing a no contest. Big E successfully retained his title against both men on the February 5th Smackdown. Crews then lost a match to Shinsuke Nakamura on the February 19th Smackdown, but then attacked Nakamura post-match. Big E ran in for the save but met the same fury as Nakamura as Crews injured both men. The next week, Crews defeated Nakamura in a return match while now sporting Nigerian colors as he has now "embraces his heritage" including using his natural Nigerian accent. Boo this man, he is different than you! Crews demanded an Intercontinental title shot on the