Monday Nitro – January 10, 2000

Monday Nitro #222
Date: January 10, 2000
Location: Marine
Midland Arena, Buffalo, New York
Attendance: 8,990
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

How can this already be
the last Nitro before Souled Out? With all the nonsense that goes on
around here these days, it’s very hard to keep up with the time
frame. It doesn’t help that they keep changing things around as
Russo continues to lose influence. Oddly enough that loss has power
has coincided with my headaches subsiding after these shows. Let’s
get to it.

We open with a recap of
Terry Funk getting beaten up over and over by the NWO. Suddenly Ric
Flair is the smartest man in wrestling.
Terry Funk, Larry
Zbyszko, Arn Anderson and Paul Orndorff arrive. This is really their
big solution to Goldberg’s injury? A lineup of wrestlers who were
veterans eight years earlier?
Tag Team Titles:
Dean Malenko/Perry Saturn vs. Kidman/Konnan vs. David Flair/Crowbar
Flair
and Crowbar are defending. Falls count anywhere, likely due to this
being close to ECW territory. The Animals and Revolution start
brawling before the champions get out here so David and Crowbar are
late to the fight. With Shane sitting in on commentary and demanding
to only be referred to as the Franchise, Crowbar lays Kidman out with
a sitout gordbuster.
It’s time to get the
weapons and they might as well start piping in the ECW chants
already. Flair and Crowbar take over with their weapons as the
Revolution destroys Rey in the aisle. In the insanity, Douglas and
Malenko put Mysterio on a table so Saturn can channel his inner New
Jack for a splash from the balcony. Saturn is broken in half (though
nowhere near as badly as Rey) so David comes over and pins him to
retain.
Rating:
E.
I think you know what that stands for. Let’s see: no wrestling in
sight, a bunch of weapons, falls count anywhere, a huge dive out of
the balcony through someone on a table. As usual, WCW has no idea
what it’s trying to be so it just rips off another promotion’s ideas
step for step.
Tony tells us that
Terry Funk is booking the show on the fly tonight so they have no
idea what the matches will be. I actually kind of like the idea as
they often make matches throughout the night so why not just admit
that you’re doing it?
Recap of Harlem Heat
splitting. That would be the 2000 split in case you’re confused with
all the other splits they’ve had over the years.
The NWO gives Scott
Steiner some women of questionable character for a birthday present.
We look back at the
ending to the opener. Mysterio leaves in an ambulance, along with
the Animals.
Steiner goes into a
room with three of the women, promising the rest will have a turn
later.
Here’s
Oklahoma to continue his anti-woman crusade. Oh geez can we go back
to the New Jack imitations? He insults women and wants them all to
stay in the kitchen where they belong, except for an open challenge
right now.
Oklahoma vs. Asya
Well
who else was it going to be? She shoves him down and knocks off his
hat so Oklahoma nails her from behind, knocking it out to the floor.
Asya slams him down and here’s Madusa, with blue hair, as Oklahoma
nails Asya with a bottle of barbecue sauce. Madusa takes a broom to
the head and Oklahoma takes the belt.
Juventud Guerrera,
Psychosis, Kidman, Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko, Lenny Lane, La Parka.
There’s no reason I’m listing these names off. They just happened to
come to my mind.
Here
are Funk, Zbyszko, Anderson and Orndorff with something to say. Funk
says Nash’s powerbomb on Thunder is nowhere near enough and he pulled
these three men off the unemployment line to help him fight this
battle. They’re the Old Age Outlaws (egads) but they’re more than
young enough to take care of the NWO.
Arn talks about wanting
to get some revenge the old fashioned way, Zbyszko bores the crowd by
talking about tradition and Orndorff talks about the talent from the
Power Plant that he helped train. Why the Power Plant guys aren’t in
this spot isn’t exactly clear. It’s also not clear why this story
continues as the crowd is eerily silent.
Cue the NWO to make the
obvious old jokes. Nash is looking forward to being the Commissioner
on Sunday but Funk says he’s still in charge tonight. Like for
instance, tonight Jarrett, in a Tennessee Titans jersey for some
cheap heat, is going to be in three matches: a regular match, a
Bunkhouse Brawl and a cage match. The title won’t be on the line or
anything, but I guess that’s out of respect for Benoit. Speaking of
Benoit, he’ll be refereeing all three matches, which will be against
some of Funk’s close friends.
As for the rest of the
NWO, Hart will defend against Nash and if they don’t fight, both guys
are suspended for a year. Hart and Nash don’t mind the threat and
say they’ll take the year off. You know, because they don’t care
about wrestling. Steiner swears a lot, but since he isn’t cleared to
wrestle, Funk is going to wash his mouth out with soap.
Let’s stop and take a
look at this for a bit. Here’s what we have in this story:
NWO
Bret Hart – Debuted
in the WWF in 1985, fifteen year veteran on the national stage
Kevin Nash – Debuted
in WCW in 1990, ten year veteran on the national stage
Scott Steiner –
Debuted in WCW in 1989, eleven year veteran on the national stage
Jeff Jarrett –
Debuted in the WWF in 1993, seven year veteran on the national stage
Now let’s look at the
old guys.
Old Age Outlaws
Terry Funk – 54,
debuted in 1965, lost the NWA World Title twenty five years ago
Arn Anderson – 41,
debuted in 1982, retired as a regular wrestled three years ago
Paul Orndorff – 50,
debuted in 1976, retired as a regular wrestler four years ago, hit
his peak thirteen years ago
Larry Zbyszko – 48,
debuted in 1973, retired as a regular wrestler five years ago, hit
his peak twenty years ago
So we have Terry Funk
as the only active wrestler, with Larry Zbyszko probably being the
healthiest as he retired from active competition in 1994 and has
wrestled three matches since. Anderson and Orndorff can’t wrestle
and Zbyszko didn’t, so we’re left with Terry Funk, who first retired
in 1983, fighting the entire NWO. This is their main event storyline
with Benoit as the young guy fighting the midcard champion instead of
fighting for the World Title.
How is this supposed to
appeal to younger fans? I get how the older generation would appeal
to older fans or really big time fans, but even they can only hang
with this for so long. The younger fans though see these old guys
hogging the spots that the younger guys should be having.
Orndorff mentioned
training eight people at the Power Plant. Why not bring them up?
You have one of the best talkers of all time in Arn Anderson and two
very good talkers in Funk and Orndorff. What WCW needed was a fresh
batch of main event talent. You might even say they need a
revolution to take over that part of the card.
Instead,
guys like Benoit, Malenko, Saturn and Douglas are busy chasing
Janitor Jim Duggan around and trying to make him denounce America
because they view themselves as a sovereign nation and hate this
country while Oklahoma is chasing the Cruiserweight Title and a
freakshow tag team like David Flair and Crowbar holding the Tag Team
Titles because David is nuts after something about his dad sleeping
with Kimberly. Booker T. on the other hand is busy splitting up with
Stevie Ray again.
There
is no one to cheer for right now and the best solution is to bring in
people who used to be over and have them give the rub
to….themselves. Yeah Benoit is around and they mentioned him, but
you don’t see them working together or helping each other out because
the solution is to just have them talk about tradition, much like
Vince McMahon did in the early days of his war against Steve Austin.
That’s WCW’s big solution to get people to cheer: act like one of the
greatest heel characters of all time against the cool heels. It’s
like they’re taking every possible bad idea and running with it.
Post break, Funk tells
Arn to go find someone.
Arn looks into a limo
but finds Kimberly instead of whomever he was looking for.
Video on Page vs.
Bagwell.
Gene calls out Page and
Bagwell but the control room can be heard telling him that they need
a bit more because the intro didn’t go long enough. Is that some
massive rib that I just don’t get? That stuff only started when
Russo arrived and I have no idea how it’s supposed to be interesting
or how the production team could possibly be that inept. Anyway,
Gene asks them to be civil for five minutes and we have a countdown
clock on the screen.
They talk a lot of
trash and Buff insists he and Kimberly are just friends. Apparently
Buff and Kimberly have great sexual chemistry (Buff’s words) but Page
has been hearing that Buff has been telling the boys that Kimberly
has a sexy birthmark. That’s for Page’s eyes only, but Buff says
everyone has seen it. That earns him a right hand to the jaw so Buff
pulls out a police baton that he just happened to have with him. So
much for the countdown clock.
Nash and Bret insist
that they won’t sit down. I’m sure there won’t be a swerve
whatsoever.
Arn finds another car.
Jeff Jarrett vs. ???
Benoit
is guest referee and this is a Bunkhouse Brawl because this show
can’t remember the match order Funk made fifteen minutes ago. The
mystery opponent is…..George Steele, age 61 and with five
nationally televised matches since 1988. Steele brings weapons to
the ring and swings away to keep Jeff from getting in. George stops
to eat a turnbuckle but gets guitared in the head. Not that it
matters as Arn Anderson comes in and plants Jeff with a spinebuster
to give George the pin. As in a single spinebuster is enough to pin
the United States Champion. Benoit served no purpose here.
After a break, Jarrett
tells Nash to throw Hart off the team.
Here’s
Stevie Ray to tell Gene to leave so he can do the interview himself.
He talks about the history of the team and how Booker won the TV
Title because that’s all WCW wanted him to have (huh?). Stevie wants
to fight his brother one on one on Sunday because the show is already
named after Booker. This brings out Booker and Midnight with Booker
saying he’ll never fight his brother. That earns him a slap to the
face and Booker agrees to the match.
Arn goes to another
car. I’m assuming these are Jarrett’s opponents.
Jeff Jarrett vs. ???
It’s
Tito Santana, a spry 46 here and just six and a half years from
wrestling on a major national stage, in El Matador gear. This is a
Dungeon Match, meaning it’s pin, submission or your opponent leaving
the ring. Jeff beats up Orndorff on the way to the ring and mocks
the Buffalo Bills.
Tito takes over to
start with a nice dropkick and the flying forearm before going after
the knee. Jeff kicks him away and Tito has to try three times to
jump over the top rope to the apron. I love Santana but this is just
pitiful. Benoit and Jarrett argue before Jeff nails Santana with the
Stroke, only to stop to argue with one of the Bills. The distraction
lets Orndorff hit the piledriver (great looking one too) to give Tito
the pin.
Here’s
Tank Abbott to call out Doug Dillinger. ARE YOU SERIOUS??? It’s bad
enough that we have to put up with this goon who Russo loves for no
apparent reason but now we get the big showdown with the head of
security? Abbott tells Dillinger to take a shot, Doug does, Tank
drops him and Jerry Flynn comes out for the save.
I’m sure you already
know the story of what’s going to happen to the World Title situation
in the next few days. Tank Abbott was Russo’s big idea to get the
World Title, straight off a feud with Doug Dillinger and Jerry Flynn.
Putting Rick Steiner over Ric Flair back in 1988 looks BRILLIANT
now.
Jimmy Snuka arrives.
To save some space in the match, 56 here and other than a one off
appearance at Survivor Series 1996, last appeared with a major
national promotion (ECW was still regional during his run) in 1991.
The youngest opponent for Jarrett tonight is a 46 year old who hadn’t
wrestled in the WWF or WCW since 1993. The Revolution, the Filthy
Animals, Booker, and any other young and talented wrestler aren’t
important enough for this story.
Benoit is out cold in
the back.
Jeff Jarrett vs.
Jimmy Snuka
In
a cage. Jeff hammers away to start and sends Snuka into the cage a
few times. Cue referee Benoit but Jarrett shoves him away from the
cage door. That earns Jarrett some chops and a whip into the cage
but Jeff sends him into the buckle. Jeff goes outside and gets the
guitar but Zbyszko and Orndorff come in to clean house. Snuka and
Benoit go up to the top of the cage for a Superfly Splash and swan
dive, giving Jimmy the pin.
Rating:
N/A.
This was a segment disguised as a match and yeah the dives looked
cool, but Jeff’s concussion wasn’t so great. This would knock him
out of the US Title match on Sunday, but at least we got three WWF
legends out there in their old territory so Russo could relive his
childhood. Having the US Champion lose three times in one night to
three guys who won’t be there next week while getting beaten up by a
bunch of guys who can’t/won’t wrestle a match is just the price you
pay for Russo’s entertainment.
WCW World Title:
Kevin Nash vs. Bret Hart
Bret
is defending, but first of all we have to cut to the back where Funk
actually does wash Steiner’s mouth out with soap. How Zbyszko and
Orndorff managed to restrain Steiner isn’t clear. I’m so glad we got
to see this segment. It just made the entire show. Bret is in an
NWO shirt, tennis shoes and jean shorts. And he’s known for five
moves? Dang who knew Cena stole so much from Bret?
Nash
goes after him to start and drives knees in the corner but Bret comes
back with right hands. This is already one of the longest matches
Nash has had in weeks. A lot of choking ensues until Bret gets in a
kick to the leg. Snake Eyes stops him again for two but a low blow
puts Nash down again. Bret misses the middle rope elbow and both
guys are down. The side slam plants Bret and Nash bails to the floor
for a chair. Cue Arn with a steel pipe and a referee shirt to nail
Nash in the back, which I think means a no contest.
Rating:
D+.
And that’s it for Bret as his concussions were so severe that he
wouldn’t wrestle another match for over ten years. In true Bret
fashion though, he carried Nash to a watchable match and worked at
the leg a bit before the non-finish. This actually wasn’t terrible
and was by far the longest main event in a few weeks.
Post match here’s Sid
(remember him?) as the cage is lowered. Bret is planted with a
chokeslam and powerbomb so Arn can do a fast three count. Funk comes
out with a flaming branding iron to burn Nash right on the singlet to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
F.
This show comes down to how do you like your bad booking. You can
have total insane booking that makes absolutely no sense and goes so
far off the rails that you forget you’re watching a wrestling show,
or you can have the booking that appeals to the over 50 audience
without a good payoff and the US Champion getting pinned three times
in an hour and a half.
This
show didn’t make me want to see Souled Out, as the majority of this
episode was to build up two stories for Sunday, one of which will
comprise three matches. The fact that it’s going to be two out of
three falls wasn’t mentioned, but why should a little detail like
that get in the way of seeing the US Champion lose three falls in a
night? This company is in a creative free fall at the moment, but
they seem to think they’re going the right way and everyone else is
crazy.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
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