Monday Nitro – December 27, 1999

Monday Nitro #220
Date: December 27, 1999
Location: Houston
Astrodome, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,640
Commentators: Bobby
Heenan, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re finally done with
this year and it’s not a moment too soon. While Thunder was better,
last week’s Nitro may have been the worst show I’ve ever seen. The
NWO is on top again but, due to Goldberg punching a limo, they don’t
have a top opponent to deal with so things are a big complicated.
Let’s get to it.

We open with a clip
from Thunder of Goldberg clearing out the NWO.
The NWO walks through
the back until the director tells them it’s clear.
Opening sequence.
Tenay tells us about
Goldberg shredding a tendon in his arm and already undergoing
surgery.
If
that’s not enough, here’s a major update: WCW Senior Executive Vince
President Bill Busch is sick Ferrara and Russo’s direction (Tony uses
their real names here) and if Scott Hall doesn’t show up by 7pm
tonight, the Tag Team Titles are vacated. That time has come and
gone, so the Powers That Be have booked (his word) a Lethal Lottery
Tag Team Title tournament to start this week and end next week. So
the big boss is sick of the booking but is letting the bookers keep
going. Makes as much sense as anything else around here.
Apparently Scott
Steiner has had another back surgery and his career is probably over.
That sounds like a swerve.
Brian Knobbs vs. Bam
Bam Bigelow
Kanyon
is at ringside and has a wireless mic on. Bigelow goes after him to
start but Knobbs gets in a trashcan shot to take over. The
announcers ask Kanyon about a title belt he had with him on Thursday
as Bigelow and Knobbs fight into the crowd and we hit the ECW
production style. Kanyon tells the marks in the crowd to move as he
follows them, which is in no way, shape or form like the time Road
Dogg did this for Al Snow vs. Big Boss Man in a hardcore match in the
WWF. You can’t see a thing going on but apparently Knobbs pins
Bigelow. Seriously you could see their arms and that’s about it.
Sid
arrives with Benoit.
There’s a monster truck
in the back.
The
NWO has JJ Dillon in a chair and Nash throws the Tag Team Title on a
table. Bret knees JJ in the ribs and that’s it.
The
NWO looks at the monster truck, which has an NWO logo on the side.
They walk a few feet away and find Sid’s still running car.
Here’s
Sid to yell about the NWO. Sid knows that he, Goldberg and Benoit
have to watch each others’ backs with the NWO around stabbing
everyone in the back. I can barely understand what Sid is saying but
I think he wants to beat up all four members of the NWO. What
happened to Goldberg is unfortunate, but it’s time for Sid to step up
to the plate and go after the World Title. Sid promises to powerbomb
Bret through the ring at Souled Out so I guess that’s the main event.
Benoit comes out to
join Sid (with a much clearer voice) and talks about wanting to get
his hands on the Chosen One Jeff Jarrett. The last few weeks have
made Benoit lose all respect for Jeff Jarrett and at Souled Out,
Benoit will let out some of the frustration. He wants something
called Triple Threat Theater, which means a 2/3 falls match with
different rules for each fall.
Up
first is a Dungeon Rules match, meaning pinfall or submission only
with no rope breaks and if you leave the ring, you lose the match.
Second would be a Bunkhouse Brawl, or street fight. Finally, it’s
Caged Heat, which means the Cell. Jarrett is the Chosen One to be
lead to the slaughter. Cool idea actually.
We cut to the back
where the NWO has spray painted Sid’s car, complete with Bret’s
caricature of Sid on the hood. He’s not a bad artist.
ZZ Top is here.
Sid and Benoit find the
car and aren’t happy.
Tag
Team Title Tournament First Round: Buzzkill/Mike Rotundo vs. Dean
Malenko/Konnan
Buzzkill
is now a full on Road Dogg knockoff, complete with the same hook to
open his song. “It’s me, it’s me, it’s that B-U-Double Z.”
Also, WE’VE GOT WACKY TAG PARTNERS!!! Dean and Mike get things going
and hit the mat for what could be an entertaining exchange. It’s
quickly off to Konnan vs. Buzzkill with Konnan taking over, only to
have Dean deck his partner. Everyone gets in a fight as Jim Duggan
comes in to lay out Dean with the 2×4 to give Buzzkill the pin to
advance.
Jarrett and Hart pull
the power to the production truck and the feed cuts out. Ok then.
Back
with the picture a bit snowy and a white limo arriving, containing
Scott Steiner who is met by Rick Steiner with a wheelchair.
The NWO destroys
catering. Is there a point to this coming anytime soon?
Tank Abbott vs.
Shane
Shane
is in dress clothes and gets knocked out in less than a minute. He
must have tried to get $20 out of Tank for a posed picture.
Career retrospective on
Scott Steiner.
Rick
wheels Scott out to the ring to the old Steiner Brothers theme. Can
we just get to the swerve that WE NEVER SAW COMING already? A
tearful Scott tells a story of his doctor telling him that his back
will never heal and he’s going to have to retire. Scott cries about
never being able to wrestle his brother again and asks for the fans
to say a prayer for him.
Before
the Steiners can leave, here’s the NWO. Bret wants a washed up
nobody like Scott out of the ring, but to be honest, Scott was never
that good anyway. You would think Rick would come out to protect his
brother here. There are things more important than Scott Steiner,
like the fact that Bret still has his belt. Jeff pretends to cry
over Steiner’s announcement so Nash takes over the talking. A tech
guy tries to send them to a commercial so Jarrett blasts him with a
guitar.
Back
with the NWO still in the ring because that’s what this show is about
anymore. Nash isn’t cool with someone taking their bats. On top of
that, they’re not cool with Bill Busch trying to interfere, so stay
in your office and let them handle the wrestling stuff. He promises
that Nash will be here tonight to wrestle in Houston. As for
Goldberg, the game is about to become deadly. Bret thinks it’s 4-0
Hitman over Goldberg so Goldberg can consider himself stopped.
That brings Bret to
Sid, who will be destroyed even worse than his car. Jarrett rips on
the town a bit as this segment just keeps going. Benoit is on for
his Triple Threat Theater at Souled Out….and here are Sid and
Benoit in the car with ball bats. This brings in Curt Hennig of all
people to get beaten down by Benoit and Sid as the sacrificial lamb.
Sid throws him onto the hood of the car.
Hennig is put in an
ambulance after a break.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: Harlem Heat vs. Midnight/Lash Leroux
What
are the odds??? Booker and Lash get things going with Leroux getting
two off a victory roll but walking into a Rock Bottom for the same.
Stevie comes in and hammers Lash with a vengeance before slamming him
down. Off to Midnight and it’s time for something resembling a
showdown. Stevie runs Midnight over with a clothesline and looks
away, leaving Midnight to nip up.
A snap suplex to Stevie
is treated like Hogan slamming Andre and Booker tags himself in.
Booker can’t bring himself to kick Midnight in the face and they do a
very light sequence with Booker not wanting to hurt her. Midnight
takes a backbreaker and Stevie is livid. He pulls out the slapjack
and nails all three people in the match with Lash falling on Booker
for the pin. That would be two matches with a weapon shot and
brawling partners.
Rating:
D-.
Another storyline disguised as a match. I’m not sure why we needed
to see yet another Harlem Heat split. More importantly than that
though, this was a clear indication that we’re going to be sitting
through wacky tag partners and screwy finishes for all eight matches
tonight because that’s all Russo knows how to book. These sort of
things can be done well with Starrcade 1991 as proof, but Russo isn’t
good enough to figure out something as simple as “let them
wrestle.”
The Scream mask guy
attacks Chavo.
The Revolution is at
the Washington Monument and Shane wants to ask an average American a
history quiz. Shane rips on the guy for not knowing that it’s the
anniversary of the Monument going up. I’m not sure what the point of
this was supposed to be.
Some
Power Plant students are in the front row. Chuck Palumbo, Elix
Skipper, Mike Sanders and Reno among others are visible.
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Jerry Flynn
Flynn
is in street clothes because it’s more realistic or something. No
announcement or teasing a World Title match and it’s given the
treatment that a TV Title match might receive. Tony announces Bill
Busch deciding that the title can change hands on a DQ at Souled Out.
Bret hammers him into the corner to start and runs the eyes across
the top rope.
They head outside with
Jerry whipping the champ into the barricade, drawing out Jarrett and
Nash. Back in and Jerry fires off kicks in the corner but eats a
DDT. Another spinning kick drops Bret but Nash distracts the
referee, allowing Jarrett to come in with a ball bat to set up the
Sharpshooter to retain the title.
Rating:
F.
Jerry Flynn in street clothes just gave Bret Hart a run for his money
in a bad match with the NWO having to save the title in an
unannounced match in the middle of the second hour of the show. This
company really doesn’t have any idea what they’re doing do they?
Flynn
gets the NWO treatment. He might have worn the street clothes so he
doesn’t have any paint on his skin. The NWO leaves but Tank Abbott
comes out and knocks Flynn out again. Your would be WCW World
Champion a month from now people.
The
Revolution is at the Library of Congress and Saturn pulls out his
copy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Nash is on the phone
with Hall but theme music muffles the chat.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: PG-13 vs. Rick Steiner/Berlyn
PG-13
is wearing Houston Oilers jerseys (team that recently left town) and
rap about how they don’t care if people don’t like them. Rick shakes
his head to start as Berlyn spinwheel kicks Wolfie. Tony reads out
the most beautiful announcement I’ve ever heard: Nitro returns to two
hours next week. PG-13 double teams Berlyn and stomps him in the
middle of the ring as I’m just waiting on the WACKY way someone will
advance. Rick gets the hot tag and cleans house with Steiner Lines
before planting both of them upside down on the buckles. Berlyn
walks out and a belly to belly is enough to pin Wolfie.
Rick keeps beating them
up and the decision is reversed. In other words, the newcomers are
left laying but advance on a technicality. As stupid as WCW has
become, it’s good to know that some things never change.
Saturn
comes up to Duggan and says they’re teaming together tonight against
Norman Smiley and Asya. Apparently it’s mutually beneficial if they
win. Well yeah that’s normally how a tag match works. I can’t do
this line justice, so here’s Saturn’s statement verbatim: “Besides,
brother, as optically challenged as we are, there’s no way that
jacked up hootchie or that sissy in a football uniform can blindside
us if we stand side by side.” Again, Saturn is the best part of
this show and fits in perfectly because he makes just as little sense
as the booking.
The Revolution rants
about the White House and Bill Clinton and kidnap a guy in a Clinton
mask. Somehow this is more effective than their last few weeks of
material.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: Asya/Norman Smiley vs. Perry Saturn/Jim
Duggan
Duggan’s
family is at ringside as he beats up Saturn before the match starts.
Norman gets in some easy shots, including the swinging slam. The
spanking dance connects but Saturn breaks up the Big Wiggle with a
suplex. Saturn slams him down and drops the top rope elbow onto the
chest protector to hurt his own arm. Asya is tagged in and shoves
Saturn from behind, followed by a low blow and clothesline. A
superplex drops Saturn and Duggan drops a knee on his partner
(complete with counting his own pin for reasons of dumb), allowing
Norman to get the pin to advance.
Rating:
D-.
Can we go back to the part where the Powers That Be literally had the
fourth wall broken and screw up everything in sight? I’m starting to
think it might be easier to sit through than the night of the wacky
tag team partners. This was another bad match with a screwy finish
because that’s all we have here.
Duggan, the loser,
brings his family in to celebrate.
US Title: Kidman vs.
Jeff Jarrett
Kidman
is challenging and gets jumped from behind to start. A hotshot stops
Kidman’s comeback and the announcers ignore the match to talk about
Triple Threat Theater. Jeff turns around and eats a Bodog and
dropkick, only to catapult Kidman out to the floor to stop him again.
Cue Nash and Hart because you think we can go a full half hour
without the NWO? Kidman rolls through a high cross body for two but
gets caught in a quick sleeper. Say it with me: Kidman reverses into
one of his own for a few arm drops, followed by the BK Bomb for two.
That’s about it for the
NWO not being the focus of the match though as Nash low bridges
Kidman to the floor, only to have the Filthy Animals run in to lay
out Jarrett with a crutch. It’s only good for two, but it draws one
of the loudest reactions of the night. Jeff tries a powerbomb and
gets the standard counter. Heenan: “I’ve never seen anything like
that!” Kidman goes up top but takes a ball bat to the ankle,
setting up the Stroke for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was one of the better matches of the night, but my goodness it’s
ok to let a champion look strong instead of needing help all the
time. It’s nowhere near as bad as the Jerry Flynn mess but at least
let Jeff do his own cheating to win. Watchable match, partially due
to getting some time, but it was too bogged down as usual.
Gene
brings out Luger and Liz for a chat but Luger is dressed as Sting and
comes out to Sting’s music. Luger imitates Sting and talks about how
awesome Luger really is and how severe the beating Luger gave him
was. The lights go out and come back on to show black roses in the
ring. So yeah, this feud is CONTINUING.
Nash gives Hall
directions over the phone.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: Ron Harris/Don Harris vs. Meng/Fit Finlay
I’m
not even going to bother calling this stupid. Finlay and Meng fight
so the Twins, ever so brilliant, attack them both. Just let them
beat each other up then pin the scraps. Why is that so complicated?
A double big boot puts the hardcore guys on the floor and they fight
until it’s a countout to advance the Twins. This was, again, a waste
of time.
David
Flair and Daffney call themselves Natural Born Killers. That was a
disturbing movie.
Here’s 3 Count to pick
things up. They do their dance but Vampiro comes in and cleans
house. As luck would have it, he and Evan are up next.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: Evan Karagias/Vampiro vs. David Flair/Maestro
Scratch
that last team as Crowbar, who debuted last week, attacks Maestro in
the aisle and takes his place. Sure why not. Ignore the fact that
he worked at a gas station and has no wrestling license or training
as far as WCW knows. Anyway he starts with a German suplex on
Vampiro (good looking one too) before it’s off to David for a suplex
(not so good looking one) of his own.
It’s
so lame that Vampiro pops up and plants both psychos (yeah Vampiro is
the sane one here) with a double DDT. A Rock Bottom to Crowbar
allows Vampiro to make the hot tag to Evan, who is promptly knocked
off the top and down onto Crowbar. Back inside with Vampiro
“hitting” a top rope clothesline for two on David but the other 3
Count members get in to go after Vampiro. The partners implode but
Vampiro fights both of them off with ease, setting up the Nail in the
Coffin on David. No referee though as Crowbar nails Vampiro with a
crowbar, giving David the pin.
Rating:
F.
This was the sixth match of eight tournament matches tonight and
they’re now six for six in having at least one team implode. I know
I say Russo only has a few ideas in different forms, but he’s done
the same idea six times in less than three hours. Suddenly Oklahoma
makes so much more sense.
3
Count loads up the song post match but Flair and Crowbar clean house.
This brings out Lenny and Lodi as Standards and Practices, complete
with the yet to be named Miss Hancock (Stacy Keibler) in a skirt
shorter than your local vanilla midget. They promise to take Flair
and Crowbar off TV if this violence keeps up. This of course earns
them more violence.
Jarrett
is told not to worry about Hall not being here yet.
Tag
Team Title Tournament First Round: Disco Inferno/Big Vito vs. Buff
Bagwell/Chris Kanyon
The
Italians have Johnny the Bull and Tony Marinara with them. Everyone
but Disco head to the floor to start before Kanyon slides back in,
earning him some knees to the back. A Russian legsweep drops Disco
but Kanyon heads back outside to get the Italians away from the
girls. Kanyon leaves with the girls to split up ANOTHER tag team.
Buff fights back but Vito nails him with a great looking superkick to
take over again. Disco gets caught in a neckbreaker but there’s no
partner (Tony: “Chris Champion Kanyon”) to tag. Disco
accidentally hits Vito with a chain, setting up the Blockbuster for
the pin.
Rating:
D-.
They’re seven for seven in teams splitting and almost half have had a
weapon spot. I would ask if this was the best they could do, but
yes, this really is the best they can do: the same match over and
over and over. In a weird way, I’m actually hoping they manage to do
it again one more time in the last match because it would be one of
the most amazing things ever to see them do the exact same plot point
eight times in one night.
Buff gets laid out post
match.
Here’s
the NWO to say Hall isn’t here yet but his arrival is imminent. Nash
asks for a brief delay to let him get here.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: The Wall/Sid Vicious vs. Outsiders
Remember
that Sid and Wall seemed to form a friendship last week. Nash gets
in on his own and does a Hogan shirt rip to start against Wall.
Kevin slugs away but Wall punches him down and scores with a belly to
back suplex. Wall hits a big boot but Bret nails him in the back
with a bat to let Nash take over. Sid chases Bret and Wall is
suddenly putting Nash in a chinlock. He no sold a ball bat shot from
the World Champion? Sid comes in and shoves the referee down before
cleaning house, only to have Bret nail Wall with the bat for the pin
to advance Nash.
Rating:
F.
He no sold a baseball bat shot. A shot from Liz put Sting out for
months but Wall is back on offense fifteen seconds later? How can
anyone actually think that’s acceptable? This was more NWO
interference dominating the entire match with no one having a chance
against the heel stable. And now I’m disappointed with the lack of
the partners fighting. I was looking forward to that.
Benoit
comes in to save Sid from a powerbomb but here comes a limping Scott
Steiner (presumably the Scott that Nash has been meaning all night.
I was hoping for Riggs) with a ball bat of his own….and of course
he’s NWO because what else would he be? As usual, there’s no value
to a scam that was set up and paid off in the span of two hours. NWO
propaganda falls from the ceiling and an NWO banner is lowered. Sid
car is brought out and Sid is put in the back. They drive him to the
back where the monster truck crushes the car to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
F.
Somehow, this is miles better than last week’s show. The wrestling
was nothing special (Kidman vs. Jarrett was decent before it fell
apart), the booking has been covered already, the ending was stupid,
and this whole show was a mess. You can tell Russo has lost some
authority though and that’s the best thing that could possibly happen
to this company.
That’s
it for WCW in 1999 and I don’t think there’s a need to explain all of
the disasters in this company over the year. Here’s the most telling
part though: the Fingerpoke of Doom is looking more and more like a
high point every day. I’ll leave you with this: I’m fairly certain
I’m right when I say this was the worst calendar year in the history
of any wrestling promotion ever.
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