5 Worst Wrestling Matches Of 2001
Wrestling in 2001 was more or less defined by one single event: the end of the Monday Night Wars. WWE purchased WCW, complete with their tape library, intellectual property, and most of their wrestlers. With this, WWE became the unquestioned king of wrestling in North America once again.
Now as you can expect, with WWE’s roster almost doubling in size, the logical expectation would be that WWE would now be able to do their own version of the Monday Night Wars but under their own banner and unified creative direction. A logical person would expect that WWE would take all the biggest WCW stars and put them into feuds with WWE’s biggest stars, with all rivalries culminated at a WrestleMania filled with dream matches.
Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. What we got instead was an eight-month-long storyline that consisted of lower-card WCW and ECW wrestlers being destroyed by WWE wrestlers. WWE didn’t even hire the biggest WCW stars for the Invasion storyline; the biggest stars to come to WWE were arguably Rob Van Dam and Booker T. the rest of the WCW wrestlers were lower-card wrestlers that were chewed up and spat out by WWE without having even the slightest chance at winning. It even took a few WWE wrestlers ‘defecting’ to the WCW/ECW alliance to make it interesting, along with an overemphasis on the McMahon family drama.
This one-sided and uncompetitive approach led to some truly abysmal wrestling matches. A lot of them were unintended squash matches, while others were intentional one-sided squashes that simply went on for too long. Ultimately, what can be concluded is that in both WWE and in WCW during the latter’s final days, things were actually quite bad from the match quality perspective if you weren’t an absolute workhorse already…
5. Booker T vs Rick Steiner – WCW Greed 2001
WCW was on its last legs in 2001, and the few PPVs they showcased didn’t really have any outstanding matches. A lot of them felt bland and unexciting, likely due to the wrestlers feeling unmotivated due to the approaching unease of WCW going out of business.
This match was a prime example of that, as poor Booker T was stuck trying to pull a great match out of a 2001 Rick Steiner. Rick, the less-famous of the two wrestling brothers, and was very much past his prime.
He was no longer the athletic and well-conditioned athlete that dominated WWE, WCW and NJPW in the 1990s. He was slow, uninspired, and hit very few moves. Booker couldn’t do much because Rick was the one carrying the match as the defending U.S. Champion.
The only real moment of relative surprise was outside interference from someone else that helped Booker T win the title. Then again, this was WCW, so outside interference was as expected as the show being all about the New World Order.