Published on 28 June 2024 at 14:07

With up-and-running, I’ve decided to institute a weekly column every Friday, discussing the next generation of performers that WCW attempted to establish in its final year of existence. 


On the April 10, 2000 edition of Nitro, which was billed “The Night The World Changed” under the guidance of Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo, the New Blood took shape and began their first steps towards becoming the future of World Championship Wrestling.


Thus, I’ve decided to call this weekly piece THE NEW BLOOD OF THE FINAL DAYS.


The first person I would love to cover was someone who made his WCW debut on 4/10/00 and made it to the final Nitro on 3/26/01. His journey throughout these eleven-plus months saw a boatload of character development and true dedication to his progression. He had the look, the body, and the potential to be a major player.


That man was Shawn Stasiak.




Shawn Stasiak began his career as the next generation to a legendary performer. 


His father, Stan “the Man” Stasiak, was a former WWWF Champion, holding the belt for nine days from December 1, 1973, defeating Pedro Morales and dropping it on December 10, 1973, to the “Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino in Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. 


The master of the “heart punch”, Mr. Stasiak had a very successful run, winning several championships in the National Wrestling Alliance and Stampede Wrestling, including three reigns as North American Heavyweight Champion, over a twenty-seven year career.


Sadly, Mr. Stasiak passed away in June of 1997 at the age of 60 due to heart failure. 


Six months later, Shawn was signed to a WWF Developmental Contract and sent to the Memphis territory, while still training under the watchful eye of the masterful Tom Prichard. Fifteen months later, Stasiak made his debut in the WWF a few weeks after WrestleMania XV.


Stasiak debuted as Meat, the boy-toy of the Pretty Mean Sisters tandem of Terri Runnels and Jacqueline. The Meat persona lasted for six months, including being a part of the WWF WrestleMania 2000 video game for Nintendo 64. 


After PMS evaporated in the Fall of 1999, Meat reverted back into Shawn Stasiak and began his slow ascent up-the-card.


For history’s sake, Stasiak will always be remembered for being the first televised opponent of Kurt Angle in the WWF at Survivor Series 1999.


After being let go in December 1999, Stasiak signed with World Championship Wrestling in the beginning of 2000. Furthering his abilities under the great “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff at the WCW Power Plant, Stasiak prepared himself for his next opportunity.




During a match between “the Chosen One” Jeff Jarrett and Curt Hennig, in which the winner would receive the main event match for the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Spring Stampede 2000, a familiar theme hit the PA system.


As Hennig looked befuddled, hearing his old “Mr. Perfect” theme song for the first time in eons, out walked Shawn Stasiak, shirtless and jacked to the gills. 


As the referee was distracted with Jarrett, Stasiak delivered a Perfect Plant, which could be best described as a precursor to the F5, to Hennig, leaving him prime for “the Chosen One” to pick up the win.


In this aspect of the story, Hennig, who was the right-hand man in The Powers That Be when Vince Russo came into WCW in October 1999, was replaced by a younger, stronger version of himself within the New Blood in April 2000.


The following week on Nitro, “the Perfect One” Stasiak was able to showcase his tenacity in-between the ropes, shocking WCW fans by defeating Hennig on April 17, 2000, laying him out with brass knuckles to the melon, followed up with his Perfect Plant for the three. 


A few weeks later, during a rematch at Slamboree on May 7, 2000, Stasiak pinned Hennig again, this time using Hennig’s own Perfect Plex to achieve victory.


“PerfectShawn” was here.


Weeks later, Stasiak would link up with “the Main Event” Chuck Palumbo, who was the New Blood’s answer to “The Total Package” Lex Luger, to form the tandem known as The Perfect Event. 


On May 30, 2000, in a match where a disqualification would cause a title change, the cocky and arrogant Palumbo and Stasiak would face the WCW World Tag Team Champions Brian Adams and Bryan Clark of Kronik.


As Stasiak was dead-to-rights with a High Times double chokeslam, Palumbo entered the ring with a Lex Flexer. Adams caught Palumbo in time, stripping “the Main Event” of his weapon and using it on him instead. Referee Billy Silverman caught Adams in the act and called for the bell.


Stasiak and Palumbo were the World Tag Team Champions!

The Perfect Event were fighting champions, defending their belts against all comers. During their first reign, which lasted forty days, Stasiak and Palumbo defeated Kronik in a rematch via countout, the Misfits In Action of General Rection and GI Bro, Rick Steiner and Tank Abbott, and 3-Count of “Sugar” Shane Helms and Shannon Moore.


Even in the middle of their reign, Stasiak was able to compete in singles competition, fighting valiantly in a losing effort against GI Bro in a Boot Camp Match at The Great American Bash on June 11, 2000.


Stasiak and Palumbo ran into a brick wall, finally getting upended by Adams and Clark at Bash At The Beach on July 9, 2000 to regain the Tag Team Titles. 


Over the next month, the Perfect Event found themselves in a four-way tag team rivalry with the MIA, the Flilthy Animals, and Sean O’Haire & Mark Jindrak to determine the rightful #1 contenders to the World Tag Team Championships. At New Blood Rising for the WCW World Tag Team Titles, Kronik would successfully defend against the Perfect Event, O’Haire & Jindrak, and the MIA of Corporal Cajun & Lt. Loco.


Three days later, on Thunder, Stasiak found himself a part of a new faction.


During a match between the Filthy Animals and Jindrak & O’Haire for the WCW World Tag Team Titles (Rey Mysterio & Juventeud Guerrera won the belts on the 8/14/00 Nitro from Vampiro & the Great Muta, who had won the gold from Kronik in an impromptu tag at New Blood Rising), “Above Average” Mike Sanders, Stasiak, Palumbo, and Reno attacked the champions and brutally laid them out, including Sanders blinded the Animals’ hype man Konnan with mace.




By the Fall of 2000, the Thrillers were fully in control. With Sanders as Commissioner and Cruiserweight Champion, the group dominated everyone in their path. They repeatedly took out the Animals and destroyed everyone in their path. They were forcibly taking the top spots in WCW, and no one was safe.


On November 20, 2000, in Augusta, GA, the Perfect Event found their way back to the top of the Tag Team division, winning the World Tag Team Titles for a second time, defeating Alex Wright & Elix Skipper on Nitro. For prosperity’s sake, Skipper was a replacement for DISQO, who got hurt during the title win from Jindrak & O’Haire at Millennium Final four days earlier in Oberhausen, Germany. Then, prior to Jindrak & O’Haire’s rematch, O’Haire was taken out backstage, forcing Commissioner Sanders to insert the Perfect Event as their replacement.


However, a few days later, at Mayhem 2000, the Insiders of Nash & DDP defeated Stasiak & Palumbo to win the belts. 


Days later, Sanders actually stripped the Insiders of the gold, due to a technicality, awarding Stasiak and Palumbo their belts back. With the rematch set for Starrcade 2000 on December 17, 2000, the Thrillers tried to neutralize the Insiders at every step of the way.


But, Stasiak & Palumbo could not overcome, and the Insiders regained the gold again at Starrcade. At this point, the infighting between the group of young alpha males in the Thrillers became too much.


In a stunning upset, Palumbo & O’Haire won the belts at Sin on January 14, 2001 in Indianapolis, IN. Stasiak & Jindrak were immensely jealous and attacked the new champions shortly thereafter, subsequently ending the Natural Born Thrillers.


However, Stasiak & Jindrak’s union was short lived, losing to Palumbo & O’Haire at Superbrawl Revenge on February 18, 2001. 


Stasiak as a solo competitor, however, was on the rise.


On the February 21, 2001 edition of Thunder, Stasiak went back to basics, showing off his true arrogant side. Over the next month on Thunder, he picked up wins over Big Vito, Johnny the Bull, Norman Smiley, and Reno. 


He also began a relationship with Stacy Keibler, officially killing the pregnancy storyline she had with David Flair and started the Shawn and Stacy Show. He began addressing himself with multiple nicknames, such as “The Mecca of Manhood” and “the Star”, and even providing himself with a new entrance theme song.


At the final WCW pay-per-view Greed on March 18, 2001, in Jacksonville, FL, Stasiak, with help from Stacy, defeated Bam Bam Bigelow in a stunning upset. 


After losing a rematch the following night on Nitro. Bam Bam made an interesting challenge to “the Mecca of Manhood”. If Stasiak lost the rubber match to Bigelow the following week on Nitro, the flame-headed tattooed badass would be allowed to ink the untouched canvas of “the Mecca of Manhood’.


On the final WCW Nitro on March 26, 2001, Stasiak, thanks to a distraction from Stacy, overcame “the Beast of the East” in a Tattoo match, leaving victorious and unscathed.


With the World Wrestling Federation purchasing the assets of WCW on March 23, 2000, including Stasiak’s contract, it seemed like WCW’s future, at least from a talent perspective, would be in good hands.

In fact, Stasiak was a part of history, as he was a part of the final WCW “sanctioned” match in history on Sunday Night Heat on July 8, 2001, teaming with Kanyon in a losing effort to WCW World Tag Team Champions Palumbo & O’Haire.

Now, although Stasiak has been a big part of rumors regarding spoiling plans regarding WCW at WrestleMania X-Seven, which he confirmed decades later in an interview with Hannibal TV, I wanted to keep things to his work on television in character form.


Stasiak’s 2000-2001 in WCW was, without question, telling of their plans for him in the future, had the company survived. He was in great shape, decent in the ring, and bred with natural arrogance as a character. He was a great cog with the Natural Born Thrillers, and I felt that his tag team with Chuck Palumbo was underrated. Also, the Shawn and Stacy Show with him and Stacy Keibler had a wealth of potential. In my opinion, his sky was the limit.


However, Stasiak left WWE in 2002, months after debuting his otherworldly PLANET STASIAK persona, which I genuinely laughed at the absurdity of. He tried to make it work, but it only went so far. Stasiak left wrestling and became a doctor, specializing in chiropractic. 


He also has done tremendous work with anti-bullying, performing as his alter-ego FOBIA at various events, demonstrating younger people on facing their fears and standing up for themselves. You can read more about that at


It’s great to see Stasiak’s outside-the-ring success. It’s proof that talent can achieve success, whether in or out of wrestling. Best of luck to him and continued success.


With that said, I hope you enjoyed the inaugural edition of THE NEW BLOOD OF THE FINAL DAYS. This will be a weekly article, so I hope you enjoy a look back at talent from the final year of WCW and what could have been.


Bankie Bruce

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