Monday Nitro #273
Date: January 15, 2001
Location: Allen County Coliseum, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson
We’re past Sin and heading towards SuperBrawl with the big story being Scott Steiner retaining the World Title after Sid Vicious broke his leg. However the interesting thing (work with me here) was the Mystery Man being revealed as Animal, who sided with Steiner and Jeff Jarrett. Oh and Goldberg is retired. Forever. Let’s get to it.
Of note: this is the first TV show under the new Eric Bischoff regime. He had some influence on last night’s pay per view but I’m not sure if it was full control or not.
Quick recap of the World Title match and Goldberg’s loss.
We see some exclusive footage from after the show with Ric Flair hugging Steiner as Buff Bagwell and Lex Luger watch on. So yeah, Flair is the big villain again.
The announcers recap the big stories of last night and show us the HORRIBLY graphic footage of Sid’s leg being snapped like a twig. That still makes me cringe.
Here are Luger and Bagwell in suits to what sounds like a funeral march. A group of jobbers follow them out with a coffin and we get an In Memory Of graphic for Goldberg. The announcers continue to act all shocked that Flair was behind it. HE’S RIC FLAIR. HE’S EVIL. Why does this continue to surprise you? Bagwell cries as the casket is opened to reveal…..a copy of Goldberg’s book, a spear and a jackhammer. The fans are absolutely livid over this stuff so points for getting the fans to boo.
Luger thinks Goldberg would have wanted this outpouring of emotion because they were great friends. The music is still playing as Bagwell tries to get the fans to keep chanting GOLDBERG. Luger asks if anyone has a special Goldberg story and would like to let us hear it so here’s a crying Jarrett to put a guitar on top of the casket. Jarrett has one memory above all others and eventually gets around to talking about how Goldberg never beat him. Goldberg is a long list of adjectives slap nuts and Tony freaks out that no one can stop this from continuing.
Now it’s time for Scott Steiner to come out with Midajah, who is wearing a veil for a bizarrely creepy look. Steiner takes credit for getting rid of Sid before switching over to Goldberg. Scott didn’t hurt him but at Fall Brawl, he gave Goldberg the worst defeat of his career. Goldberg just wasn’t man enough to stay on top so there’s no rematch. For a genuinely awesome evil moment, Steiner spits in the coffin….and there’s Goldberg’s music.
We cut to his locker room door and it’s Ric Flair and Animal coming out. After a break (oh yeah this is going on for a LONG time) Flair is in the ring to say this is the NEW WCW. Flair goes on about how awesome a collection of talent we have here and how he was behind the Tag Team Title change, the demise of Goldberg and Sid’s injury. The announcers are still shocked that Flair did this.
Flair talks about all the great wrestlers they have and how any of them could destroy anyone at any given time. Tony brings up an important question: WHY DID FLAIR DO THIS??? He’s been talking for a good while now and there hasn’t been an actual explanation for why he did all of this. It doesn’t get any better as Flair says he’ll be interviewing everyone all night long and gets to find out their stance: they can either become one of the group or be handed over to them.
Cue Kevin Nash to say he left Big Sexy back in Indianapolis and brought the killer here instead. Nash is sounding far more intense than usual here. Tonight he wants to face Steiner before he comes to kill Flair. Nash isn’t alone either as here are Diamond Dallas Page and Rick Steiner (great) to help even things up a bit. Kevin says he wants a title shot against Scott tonight but Flair says he makes the matches.
Cue Commissioner Cat to say not so fast because the title match is on, FINALLY ending this segment at nearly half an hour. Good grief people. I know it’s a new regime but we shouldn’t be a fourth of the way into the show after one segment, especially when we didn’t even get a reason for why Flair did all this. Nash and Page as the top faces make sense as there’s the simple problem of there being no one else around to fill the spots. I’m fine with the latest NWO story but this could have been cut WAY down.
After a break, Flair asks Crowbar if he’s going to be a team player. Crowbar says he’s always been a loner so he’s going to keep doing that way. Apparently Flair is going to give him a chance to prove his skills right now.
Cruiserweight Title: Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Crowbar
Chavo is defending and I’m oddly intrigued by this. Feeling out process to start before the champ getting in a kick to the face, followed by a top rope hurricanrana. The announcers keep wondering how Crowbar is going to be able to fight without trashcans. So are chairs just not good enough for them anymore? Chavo dives off the apron to take Crowbar down again but that means the fight heads outside where Crowbar is in better shape.
Back in and a slingshot legdrop gets two on the champ, only to have Chavo come back with chops and uppercuts. A Death Valley Driver plants Chavo for a delayed two but he blocks a top rope hurricanrana to get a breather. The tornado DDT is broken up as well and Crowbar gets a near fall off a northern lights suplex. Chavo is sent out to the floor again and Crowbar scores with his apron splash. Instead of going for the pin though, it’s time for a chair but Chavo slingshots out to drive Crowbar face first into the chair. Somehow that’s not a DQ so Chavo takes him back inside for the tornado DDT to retain.
Rating: C+. Stupid ending aside, this was still entertaining enough and that’s all it needed to be for the story. I’m assuming Crowbar isn’t going to get the invite to the new stable, which thankfully means he isn’t the nothing wrestler that WCW has presented him as for months. Good little match here as Chavo continues to get better and better every week.
Bam Bam Bigelow (He still works here?) accepts Totally Buff’s offer to be on the team.
Rey Mysteiro Jr./Billy Kidman vs. 3 Count
Again, this should be good. They start fast with some 3 Count miscommunication to give the Animals some early control. Shane hurricanranas Kidman out to the floor, leaving Rey to take a sitout powerbomb/neckbreaker combo for two. Kidman is right back in for the save and it’s a Bronco Buster for Helms.
There are no tags anywhere in sight so far. Shannon takes Kidman out with a flip dive and lands on his feet just to show off. Rey dives on both of them before Shane dives on all three of them. Back in and Kidman snaps off a top rope hurricanrana for two but eats a superkick from Shane. The Vertebreaker is broken up to prevent broken vertebrates and Kidman adds the Kid Crusher for the pin.
Rating: B. There were no tags in the entire match but sweet goodness this felt like an old cruiserweight match for the first time in far too long. It’s really cool to see Mysterio and Kidman show off how awesome they can still be in the ring while 3 Count can more than go with anyone. Really fun stuff here, even though it barely broke three minutes.
Post match Team Canada runs in to go after the Animals because this feud is still going. Storm grabs the mic and asks Kidman if he wants a hair vs. hair match against Mike Awesome. Kidman accepts, giving us what could be one heck of a match.
Cat thanks Kronik for their help last night and gives them a Tag Team Title match as a reward. No charge for this one.
Team Canada beats Kidman down.
Flair offers Chavo a spot on the team, which still seems to be called The New WCW. Chavo doesn’t seem interested but Ric tells him to go chase the Nitro Girls and have some tequila before they talk about it tomorrow. Chavo leaves and Mike Sanders comes in to suck up but Ric thinks he was just trying to make a spot. Flair makes him his new pet project to make him the new Dirtiest Player in the Game. Oh and don’t worry about Kronik getting the Tag Team Titles back.
Totally Buff goes up to General Rection because we haven’t flown through enough stuff tonight. Rection doesn’t say anything and looks a bit stunned.
Tag Team Titles; Kronik vs. Sean O’Haire/Chuck Palumbo
Kronik is challenging. Palumbo punches Adams around to start but gets thrown to the floor, allowing Clark to hit his flip dive off the apron. Tony: “HAS HE EVER DONE THAT???” Scott: “Of course he has.” It’s off to O’Haire vs. Adams with the full nelson slam planting the champ for two. Clark comes in for some chops as the announcers say any move could be your last as Sid proved last night. Palumbo gets the tag and is promptly suplexed, only to have O’Haire break up the Meltdown.
Adams tries to come in but the distraction just lets Sean nail Clark in the back of the head. A DDT plants O’Haire though and the hot tag brings in Adams as everything breaks down. High Time gets two on Sean with Chuck making the last second save. Cue Jindrak and Stasiak for a distraction though, allowing Palumbo to score with the Jungle Kick on Adams. Clark gets beaten down on the floor (Hudson: “WHERE IS THE REFEREE?”) as Adams is superplexed to set up the Seanton Bomb for the pin to retain the titles.
Rating: D+. They kept this moving to make sure people didn’t realize how weak Kronik becomes in an actual match but you knew the screwy finish was coming. Thankfully they have the titles on the best pairing as Jindrak and Stasiak are some of the least interesting guys I’ve seen in a good while.
Kidman can’t wrestle so Konnan is taking his place.
O’Haire and Palumbo yell at Jindrak and Stasiak because they didn’t need the help. Sanders and Reno come in to make peace.
Konnan vs. Mike Awesome
Hair vs. hair…..so I guess Kidman’s hair is on the line since Konnan is bald. Indeed that’s the case with Flair popping up on screen to make that clear. Konnan gets beaten down in the corner to start until he snaps off a headscissors to take over. Awesome stops a charge in the corner with a raised boot and a belly to back suplex gets two. Back up and Konnan wristdrags him out of the corner and it’s time to fight on the floor.
Awesome chairs him in the ribs but dives off the steps right into a chair shot to the head. Back in and Mike raises a boot to stop Konnan (looked horrible as Konnan had already landed when he hit the boot), only to have the Awesome Bomb countered into a faceplant (nice nod to Kidman, who can’t be powerbombed you see). A spinebuster sets up the Awesome Splash for two so Awesome goes back up, only to get caught in a super DDT for the pin and Mike’s hair.
Rating: C-. Dang it I really wanted to see Kidman vs. Awesome but instead we got Konnan’s slow offense to mess things up. Kicking out of the Awesome Splash was a big stretch, especially when you could probably have done the same thing with the splash missing but why do that when you can push Konnan harder?
Post match Konnan snips off the back of Awesome’s hair until Team Canada makes the save.
Chavo tries to talk to Rection but the General really doesn’t want to hear it.
Storm tells Awesome that they’ll get the last laugh.
Tickets go on sale for SuperBrawl: Revenge (great title) on Saturday, or less than a month before the show.
Here’s Cat to say send someone out here for him to fight.
The Cat vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Bigelow runs him over and stomps away with a belly to back getting two. The announcers talk about how important this match is as Bigelow chokes away, only to miss a charge in the corner. A chop and the dancing elbow get two on the big man, followed by the Feliner for the very quick pin.
Post match it’s dance time.
US Title: Shane Douglas vs. General Rection
Shane is defending after winning the title last night. Before the match, Shane asks how the fans like him now. Apparently the title weighs 16lbs. Good piece of trivia. Rection starts with right hands and clotheslines for two but Shane comes back with right hands of his own. That’s fine with Rection who wins a slugout and kicks Shane in the ribs. The top rope elbow misses though as Rection takes too much time getting to the top. It’s already chain time but Rection gets to his feet and press slams Shane before throwing the chain out. Cue Chavo to sneak in a chain shot so Shane can get the cheap pin to retain the title.
Post break Rection holds his head and almost cries about how much he wants to fight Chavo. He’s tired of being General Rection or Hugh Morrus but he’s going to finish Chavo’s career. Hopefully that means it’s time for a better name. Like one that’s not a pun.
WCW World Title: Kevin Nash vs. Scott Steiner
Steiner is defending and I think you know what’s coming here. Scott easily takes him into the corner and hammers away to start before Nash spins him around and does the same. A clothesline puts Scott outside and an angry Nash stays on him with the right hands. I’d be mad too if I was asked to wrestle twice in one night.
Scott gets in a shot to the ribs and a spinning belly to belly gets two back inside. The Push-Up Elbow lets the champ show off a bit and a delayed backbreaker sets up a bow and arrow hold. Nash starts fighting up and scores with the side slam but can’t cover because he’s gassed after three and a half minutes. Snake Eyes and the big boot set up the Jackknife and here come the troops for the DQ.
Rating: C. Shockingly watchable match here with both guys working hard and faster than I’ve seen in a long time. Of course the lack of any drama about the ending didn’t help things but that’s par for the WCW course. Still though, for who was in there and how the ending was going to go, this was a glorified miracle.
The remaining good guys come in for the brawl to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Yeah it was actually good and it’s a strong sign for the start of the Bischoff regime. Unfortunately it’s nothing we haven’t seen before and I have no reason to believe that WCW won’t screw this up by the time Thunder airs in two days. The new NWO isn’t going to last long with Lex Luger and Jeff Jarrett as the second and third in command but at least it’s something coherent and focused for a change, which is a far cry from the disasters that WCW tends to put on.
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