Excerpts from the Pro Wrestling Observer by David Keller from April 7, 2001
Let's start off the WCW news by listing the previous WCW talent that has resigned with the new WCW. Last week we got word that Rey Mysterio Jr., Booker T, Diamond Dallas Page, Lance Storm, Dustin Rhodes, Jeff Jarrett, Billy Kidman, Sean O'Haire, Chuck Palumbo and Shane Helms have all signed new contracts. Goldberg's contract has been assumed by the new WCW as well.
Over the last week, WCW has added Norman Smiley, Mark Jindrak, Alex Wright, Disco Inferno, Billy Kidman, Psicosis, Jason Jett, Kaz Hayashi, Jimmy Yang, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Kid Romeo, Elix Skipper, Jamie Noble and Shannon Moore. La Parka is the first luchador brought back and WCW is looking at more options from Mexico to fill out the curserweight division.
The rest of the roster will be filled out with new talent from around the world, including taking on ECW talent. Rob Van Dam already appeared at the final Nitro, but we have learned that Tajiri, Simon Diamond, CW Anderson and Little Guido have all had talks and are expected to sign within a few days.
One major change coming from ECW is that Joey Styles will take over the lead announcer position. It seems Styles and head booker Dutch Mantell will be the lead voices on World Wide when it debuts on the USA Network. Scott Hudson will remain as the lead announcer of the b-show Power Hour. It is unconfirmed who will be his partner. Mike Tenay is also staying with WCW, as an interviewer and to help scouting.
Gabe Sapoloski, the new assistant booker, will also help out on scouting. He has had a hand in the ECW names mentioned above. He is also pushing for WCW to bring in Low Ki as the next star of the Cruiserweight division. Low Ki will meet with WCW next week.
Sapoloski and Tenay will help Fit Finlay, who has been named the new head of talent. He will be the head road agent and will be in charge of talent, a job similar to what Jim Ross does in the WWF.
Other news is that Eric Bischoff, even though he will be the WCW President, will not be an on air character. He will, on occasion, appear on television and will be used in a similar role to how Jack Tunney was used in the WWF in the late 80s. The on air matches will be booked by a fictional championship committee with Arn Anderson as the on air head match maker. Arn will be on each show as the voice of the committee. Arn will also be a road agent along with Finlay and Ricky Steamboat.
To end this week's report we have more info on both the World Cup and the Clash of the Champions.
The full World Cup teams will be:
Booker T & Diamond Dallas Page (USA)
Yuji Nagata & The Great Muta (Japan)
Rey Mysterio Jr. & Psicosis (Mexico)
Lance Storm & Carl Ouelette (Canada)
Norman Smiley & Doug Williams (England)
Nagata and Muta will be on loan from NJPW, as part of the new working agreement the two companies have. Williams and Ouelette will be singed for the duration of the tournament and this tournament will be used as a trial to see if they will be brought in full time.
As for the Clash of the Champions "Reborn" on the USA Network on Monday, May 7 as of last week we had the two top matches.
Rob Van Dam vs Dustin Rhodes vs Jeff Jarrett vs La Parka in an Elimination Match for the vacant United States Title
Booker T & Rey Mysterio Jr. vs The Great Muta & Lance Storm in a preview of the World Cup.
Over the last week WCW has announced that IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions El Samurai & Jushin Liger will take on WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions Elix Skipper & Kid Romeo.
Shane Helms will defend his Cruiserweight Title against his former friend Shannon Moore.
Rumour has it that Don Frye is one big talent WCW is trying to sign, if they do expect him to feud with Goldberg and to debut at the Clash.