New Book: KB’s Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Volume VI

A comprehensive look back at every episode of WCW Monday Nitro and Thunder from July – December 1999. This is a rather bad time for WCW as everything is starting to fall apart due to a combination of horribly boring wrestling and some rather questionable booking choices. With the good old boys no longer doing the trick, the solution was to bring in the star of WWF Creative: Vince Russo, meaning it’s all downhill from there. In this book, every episode of both shows in the second half of 1999 is reviewed in full, complete with analysis, ratings and complete content included.

The book is available on Amazon both in a physical paperback for $10.99 or an e-book format for $2.99. In case you don’t have a Kindle, there are plenty of FREE apps you can get from Amazon for pretty much any electronic device, all of which are available at this link.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here.

From the UK Amazon here.

From the Canadian Amazon here.

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon page, just search “KB Nitro VI” and it should be the first thing to come up.

Also you can still get any of my previous books on the WWE Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, Monday Night Raw from 1997, 1998, 2001 and the first half of 2014, Monday Nitro from 1995-1998, In Your House, Summerslam, Starrcade, ECW Pay Per Views, Royal Rumble, Saturday Night’s Main Event, the WWF and WCW pay per views from 1998, Wrestlemania, WWE Grab Bag and Clash of the Champions at my author’s page here.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.

Thomas Hall

New E-Book: KB’s Complete Monday Nitro/Thunder Reviews Part V with Special Price

nitro-v

A comprehensive look back at every episode of WCW Monday Nitro and Thunder from January – June 1999. WCW is in trouble and there’s not much of a better way to put it. They’re being defeated by Monday Night Raw in the Monday Night Wars, but as any wrestling historian can tell you, that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. Monday Night Raw was crushed for the better part of two years so maybe WCW can come back as well. In this book, every episode of both shows in the first half of 1999 is reviewed in full, complete with analysis, ratings and complete content included.

Normally this will be selling for $3.99 but for the next ten days (as in thru Sunday November 27) it’s going to be at a sale price of $2.99. Pick it up cheap while you can!

In case you don’t have a Kindle, there are plenty of FREE apps you can get from Amazon for pretty much any electronic device, all of which are available at this link.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here.

From the UK Amazon here.

From the Canadian Amazon here.

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon page, just search “KB Nitro V” and it should be the first thing to come up.

Also you can still get any of my previous books on a ton of wrestling topics here.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.

Thomas Hall

WCW Road Wild 1999 Review

Hi Scott

I hope you and the family are doing well

I must be honest and say that I kind of wanted The Cav's to win the series,
as I liked the story of LeBron coming home and carrying an average team to
the title, but I enjoyed your goading in the recent Nitro thread 😉

LeBron's a bad Kopite anyway

My search to try and find a review style that works has led me to trying
this one out

I think this works a bit better than the previous style I used for New
Years Revolution 2005

Could I please ask you to post this to the blog so I can get some feedback
from the Doomers?

They really helped me out last time and I tried to take some of their
feedback on board and put it into practice

Not much of a show this one of course, but then WCW wasn't much of a
company by this point either. The writing was probably already on the wall

The first bit is me complaining about how rubbish WCW was at releasing
Videos in the UK (WCW being run ineptly

​​

in a commercial way? Perish the
thought!) but the rest I think is alright

Take care anyway mate

Mikey

http://thisandthatmikey.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/this-and-that-wcw-road-wild-1999-review.html

​God I hated the buildup to that show so much.  Nash loses the title and THEN puts his career on the line against Hogan, who's already won the title back?  Just so bad.  ​

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.
Remember to follow me
on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete Monday
Nitro Reviews Volume III at Amazon for just $3.99 at:
And check out my Amazon
author page with cheap wrestling books at:

Thunder – December 23, 1999

Thunder
Date:
December 23, 1999
Location:
Wicomico Civic Center, Salisbury, Maryland
Attendance: 4,000
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Scott Hudson
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
On
Monday, this company replaced wrestling with some weird shoot style
which involves whatever Russo and Ferrara feeling like throwing out
there being presented as the new reality. The big story was the
reformation of the NWO because…..normally I would complain here but
it was probably the most logical thing all night. I have no idea
what I’m about to watch but let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of
Monday’s main story. The two minute version doesn’t make it any
better than the three hour edition.
Tenay promises to prove
that Thunder is special again.
Here’s
the NWO to open things up and Tony is RIGHT THERE to tell us how
strong the NWO really is. Bret brags about all the gold and says
they couldn’t make this any more black and white. This has been in
the works for over a month and the stupid wrestling fans never saw it
coming. We see some clips of the Outsiders helping Bret out over the
last few months with Bret conveniently never seeing a thing.
This is the one and
only one thing I can give Russo some slack on: the big conspiracy
stories don’t hold up if you know what to look for, so tying all this
together probably did work a lot better when this show was airing
live. Basically the NWO lead Goldberg and Benoit along so the four
of them wound up with all the belts and it was a big swerve all
along. It still doesn’t make up for Monday’s debacle or the holes in
the logic, but at least it’s there. On the screwjob at Starrcade,
Bret: “That was better than Shawn Michaels!”
Nash rips on the fans
for only cheering the Outsiders because they wanted to be hip.
They’re a bunch of $5 an hour workers who have no idea what it takes
to be this great. They’ve never needed the people but they don’t
mind taking the money. Hall says a bunch of stuff that has to be
censored but Jeff cleans it up by declaring this crowd the first
annual slapnuts convention. Again he declares himself the chosen
one, which makes me wonder why he isn’t the World Champion.
Jeff: “No one saw it
coming!” Hall: “I didn’t know where we were half the time.”
This NWO is only going to be the elite, because once you’ve had the
black, you never go back. That line is SO out of place from Jarrett.
Cue Goldberg, who is quickly told he sucks. He’s going to rip the
NWO’s hearts out and it’s not going to be who’s next but who’s left.
The
announcers eat up time by running down the card. Tenay is lead
announcer and Tony is playing second fiddle. That’s quite odd to
see.
Token footage of Leia
Meow stretching.
Two helmeted bikers
arrive.
Benoit says he prefers
life’s hard decisions because they require sacrifice. He modeled
himself after Bret for living his life the way he believed it should
be lived. That ended Monday, so tonight he’s taking Bret’s heart.
PG-13 vs. Varsity
Club
Steiner
and Rotundo here but first, a rap from PG-13. Leia is forced to
exercise before the match and I’m sure you get the idea here. PG-13
gets beaten down to start and Steiner runs over JC Ice. Sullivan
says the Varsity Club is too smart to get conned like Goldberg. A
combination of clotheslines and Steiner Lines knock PG-13 into
oblivion but the referee throws it out. Tenay says it’s a double DQ,
even though PG-13 literally had no offense.
Wolfie
D. is put in the Tree of Woe for a low blow from Meow. Who in the
world thought these teams needed to be brought in?
David Flair beats up a
fast food worker for not getting his order right.
Russo is yelling at
Hennig in his office, which has been put back together but still has
the damage from Piper. So they dragged the broken walls to the arena
and set them back up? Hennig didn’t seem to know what was going on
in the big scheme but here are the bikers to interrupt. It’s the
Harris Twins who turn over Russo’s table and yell at him for screwing
with their lives.
Here
are the Filthy Animals and Jim Duggan with something to say. Eddie
says the Animals are a lot of things but above all else, they’re
Americans. The Revolution left them by the roadside but they’re back
to knock the Revolution down. Kidman and Konnan say the same thing
as Eddie, albeit in very, very different methods of speaking. Rey
promises to beat the Revolution like the dogs they are.
Duggan of course says
HO and USA. He wants to make the Revolution his personal HO so
here’s the Revolution with Dean ranting about the flag of the
Revelation (yes the Revelation because Dean doesn’t even care what
stable he’s in). Saturn starts talking about Fred Flintstone never
realizing that the rack of ribs is too big for his car, making him by
far the most entertaining thing in this story. Shane wants to break
Duggan’s neck and complains about Americans. The fans are the ones
that suck off the government programs and Duggan’s comeback is just
him being an idiot. Apparently there’s a match tonight.
Russo sends Hennig and
Jarrett after Creative Control.
Tank Abbott vs. La
Parka
A
right hand puts La Parka down and Tank hammers away in the corner.
La Parka hits him with the chair and gets knocked out cold for a no
contest.
Tank knocks Doug
Dillinger out too.
Norman Smiley hides
from Goldberg. Why is Goldberg having issues finding the NWO? Why
didn’t he just wait for them to come through the curtain earlier?
The
Artist still has issues recording his music but still won’t speak.
Paisley gets on the producer for questioning the lyrics.
Hardcore Title: Fit
Finlay vs. Norman Smiley
Smiley
is defending but Finlay knocks him into the weapons cart to get
things going. They fight into the crowd and into the back as we hit
the hardcore requirement from the WWF. Knobbs shows up and helps
beat Norman up in the concession stand. They lower a metal door and
try to crush Norman but Meng makes the save. Norman is thrown on top
of Finlay for the pin.
Meng
gives Norman the Death Grip post “match”.
Jeff Jarrett finds a
paper.
Goldberg chokes Jarrett
against a wall and says he’s coming for the NWO when they least
expect it.
Creative
Control comes out to say they’re no longer Creative Control. Now
they’re Ron and Don Harris because I guess that’s supposed to make us
care about them. They and their country accents are coming for the
Powers That Be. Side note: if they’re the Powers That Be, why do we
never hear another voice?
Ron Harris/Don
Harris vs. Curt Hennig/Jeff Jarrett
And
there’s no Jarrett, so the heel is now in a handicap match. Hennig
tries to fight back as Tony tries to keep the Twins straight. The
Twins throw Hennig around and a side slam gives we’ll say Ron the
pin. Total squash in less than two minutes.
The NWO comes out gives
the Harris the NWO treatment, complete with spray paint.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs.
Maestro
Kanyon
comes out to do commentary for reasons of storyline development and
immediately starts a BRING BACK JUVY chant. Well it’s a one man
chant but you get the idea. Maestro goes right at Bigelow to start
but gets thrown away when trying a bulldog. Symphony comes in to
prevent the diving headbutt so Bigelow dives at her anyway, sending
Symphony running away. The distraction lets Kanyon hit Bigelow with
a champagne bucket to give Maestro the pin.
Diamond Dallas Page
says there’s nothing between Buff Bagwell and his wife. He’s booked
against the Wall but won’t fight him until he gets a match with
Bagwell.
Recap of Madusa and
Karagias.
Evan
is in the ring and YES! IT! IS! TIME! Evan says it’s time for a
comeback and introduces us to his friends Shannon Moore and Shane
Helms. Their collective names: 3 Count. They may not be N’Sync or
the Backstreet Boys but they’ll charm the pants off everyone’s
girlfriend. Now hit the music. We get a music video for the yet to
be named single, spliced together with the guys singing the song (I
Can’t Get You Out Of My Heart). The tasteless fans hate the song and
here’s a now serious Chavo Guerrero to clean house with dropkicks.
I know they’re not the
best remembered team but I loved these guys and thought they were a
great idea. Boy bands were huge back then so why not go with a
gimmick based on them? It’s certainly better than Evan being the
schnook who keeps getting beaten up by women every other week.
David
Flair shows up at a gas station and runs into a guy named Crowbar.
The Misfits show up and beat the two of them down for no adequately
explored reason.
Konnan/Kidman/Jim
Duggan vs. Revolution
Saturn/Malenko/Asya
here with Shane on commentary. Konnan hammers on Malenko to start
and Kidman comes in with a slingshot legdrop. Off to Saturn who eats
a Bodog and a high cross body for two. Asya gets knocked off the
apron as well but Saturn suplexes Kidman in half.
Back to Malenko for two
off a suplex, followed by Saturn’s top rope elbow for the same.
Duggan gets the hot tag and cleans house with his variety of right
hands and slams. He goes to hit Asya but takes a low blow from
Saturn. Shane wants Duggan to denounce America and everything breaks
down. The hobbling Rey distracts Dean and Saturn, setting up a
sloppy double sunset flip to give the Animals the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Boring match but somehow this was the first one tonight to break
three minutes. Duggan (why is he still the janitor?) doesn’t fit in
this story and there’s no reason for the Animals vs. the Revolution
to keep going other than they have nothing else to do. At least they
gave this match something close to time.
The Revolution gets in
some crutches shots to make themselves feel better.
Kevin Nash vs. The
Wall
It’s
Hall’s turn to be on commentary. Nash takes him into the corner for
some knees to the ribs to start but Wall comes back with right hands
to the head. A clothesline and big boot put Nash down and it’s Hall
coming in with the pipe for the DQ.
Wall
gets spray painted and beaten up even more.
Post break, Wall gets
off a stretcher.
As Nash gets in the
shower, Hall finds Goldberg in his room. Back to the shower, where
Nash doesn’t seem to notice the camera, and Goldberg is there too.
Is he multiplying or something? We see both Outsiders out cold. Is
it possible to like, SLOW DOWN on having him go through the NWO?
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit
Benoit
is challenging of course and erupts on Hart in the corner to get
things going. They fight over to the announcers’ table with the
champ getting control. Back inside with Bret dropping a leg and an
elbow, followed by a DDT for two. Benoit fights back with a kick to
the ribs and elbow to the jaw for two of his own. The champ nails a
low blow as the fans are just silent. Benoit reverses him into the
corner and grabs the Crossface, drawing in Jarrett for the DQ.
Rating:
D.
Just a punch and kick match until the finish with no one believing
that Benoit was going over here. That silence for Bret tells you
everything you need to know though: this storyline is just a
disaster. Monday was too much for the fans to take and there’s no
reason to care. They weren’t even booing, but rather just sitting
there in silence. That’s a bad sign after your big angle of the
year.
Cue Goldberg to spear
Jarrett and chase Bret to the back. Bret gets away in a car but
Goldberg sees the Powers That Be’s limo. One right hand through the
window and see you in June Goldberg. By the way, for those of you
that have never seen it, that injury is what Nash said killed the
Fingerpoke of Doom fallout story with Goldberg rising up through the
ranks to get Hogan. You read that right.
Overall
Rating:
F.
You know the amazing thing about this show? That Bret vs. Benoit
match took place after the show was supposed to end. Why is that
amazing? That match (the longest of the night at 4:54) took us to
our grand total of less than 21 minutes of wrestling. In other
words, in the two hours Thunder was scheduled to be on the air, the
total time spent on wrestling (and that’s including Norman vs. Finlay
in the back) was 15:41. If you add in the World Title match, the
total time was 20:35. It took overtime to break 20 minutes of
wrestling on a two hour show. That is unacceptable.
Now
onto the good. This show wasn’t the abomination that we saw on
Monday. It was a disaster and one of the worst wrestling shows I’ve
ever seen with almost no action, mostly worthless matches and a story
that ran in two hours instead of two to six months, but it was NOT
this past Monday. They reigned things way back in tonight and it
made the show tolerable, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s good.
I think I can live with it like this, but there are far more changes
needed here than WCW has time for.
The
show isn’t airing next week due to a college football game so that’s
it for Thunder in 1999.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Monday Nitro – December 20, 1999

Monday Nitro #219
Date: December 20, 1999
Location:
Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Attendance: 8,915
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re just past
Starrcade and……I have no idea what we’re supposed to do now
actually. Bret is still World Champion, Sting is out of action again
and the rest of the show was pretty much a big waste of time with
short matches that went nowhere or that only Russo and company care
about. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Piper calling for the bell on Goldberg to end
the title match against Bret. Yes, that’s their big idea: Montreal
part 58.
So you might be asking
how the big fallout show starts. After last night, we’re ready to
start on the new road forward for WCW. I promise, I’m not making
this up. This is really how this show began.
Here
are Madusa and Spice for a chat. Madusa brags about being the first
female Cruiserweight Champion and how the women of WCW are taking
over with their T&A. Right now she wants any man in the back to
come out here so she can neuter him. As luck would have it, Buzzkill
is in the crowd campaigning for equal rights, so Madusa calls him to
the ring for a title match right now.
Cruiserweight Title:
Madusa vs. Buzzkill
Madusa takes the sign
and blasts Buzzkill in the head, followed by the missile dropkick for
two. The German suplex is blocked though and Buzzkill dropkicks her
down. The Russian legsweep should have the title won (because it’s a
Russian legsweep) but Spice has the referee. In the distract, Spice
throws in a foreign object and Madusa knocks Buzzkill silly, setting
up the German suplex to retain.
I
need a minute here. After last night’s disaster of a Starrcade,
Vince Russo, the man who actually takes credit for the Attitude Era,
decided that the big idea was to open Nitro with a match between a
comedy character and Madusa, who is flat out saying she has one of
the most popular titles (well at least it used to be) in the company
because of how she looks. That’s their big way to open the
post-Starrcade Nitro. Imagine if the night after Rollins cashed in
Money in the Bank or after Bryan overcame the Authority, we opened
with a Nikki Bella promo and match. That’s basically what they did
here and it’s making my head hurt.
The announcers talk
about Goldberg getting screwed last night. I’ll set the over/under
for use of that word in this story at about 6,000.
Russo tells Curt Hennig
to get rid of Hugh Morrus tonight. Why Russo has issues with Morrus
isn’t clear, but I’d bet it’s a nuance of a plot point that I missed
in Russo’s 19 segments a night. Creative Control is sent to find
Piper.
Speaking of Piper, he
arrives with his assistant and son because of reasons I don’t want to
be told. The kid tapes Piper’s wrists and Creative Control comes to
collect him.
Hugh Morrus vs. Curt
Hennig
Before
we get started, it’s time for an another angle that no one will care
about but we need to force it in there anyway. This time it’s Shane
being beaten down by a guy in a Scream mask with what looks like a
pipe. As for the match, here’s Tony’s take on it: “I’ve never been
so confused coming out of a WCW pay per view.” I can’t believe I’m
saying this, but preach it Tony. Morrus slugs Hennig into the corner
to start as the announcers don’t explain Hugh’s issues with the
Powers That Be, likely because they don’t exist.
After a big running
splash in the corner, Morrus gets distracted by some old guy in a
hospital gown who wanders from the crowd to the ramp. For the love
of……JUST HAVE A WRESTLING MATCH! Morrus goes outside and helps
the man he calls Pop to the ramp so he stays out of harms’ way.
Hennig gets in a few shots as Pop comes back down to ringside. In
the distraction, Hennig hits the PerfectPlex for the pin.
Rating:
D-.
I would ask why this is happening and what this is supposed to mean,
but I really, really don’t care. Hugh Morrus is getting a story now?
Apparently about his father who just wanders around ringside after
leaving a hospital? As usual, Russo doesn’t get that you have to
make us care about a person before you just throw them into a story
that makes no sense on the surface. I don’t care about Hugh Morrus
because he’s never done anything worth caring about. Therefore, I
don’t care about his Pop or whatever they’re doing with him. Again,
just let them wrestle and THEN come up with a story.
Pop
checks on his son, who is still down after a devastating suplex.
Piper is in Russo’s
office where Russo talks about Piper making some sort of deal with
the devil, meaning Piper can’t touch Russo. It’s not over though
because Piper has to go out there and tell everyone that he sold out
and that Russo had nothing to do with it. So who did he sell out to
if Russo wasn’t involved? That question is immediately wiped from my
memory as Russo says that Piper will take his heat. Piper talks
about going out there to “shoot on the marks” and how he and
Hogan built this sport. The audio screws up so I can’t hear the rest
of it but do I really need to?
So to recap: Russo is
the mastermind behind screwing Goldberg out of the title and gave
Piper something in return for ending the title match last night and
now Piper has to go and take the rap for it. This is going to be a
SHOOT, because all those times where Piper was evil and made his big
name were just him acting and we should believe how much he cares for
wrestling? Can we go back to Hugh and Pop?
And
now, a word from Tony Schiavone about how Vince McMahon screwed Bret
Hart out of the WCW Title. Russo worked for McMahon at that time, so
rumors are speculating that Russo scripted the ending to that match.
I don’t even know how to respond to that so we’ll move on to Tony
talking about how Kevin Nash is defending Goldberg in the locker
room. You know, the SHOOT locker room.
This
brings out Kevin Nash, who talks about living by a code in wrestling.
There are certain rules you have to live by no matter what happens.
Yes people, KEVIN NASH is talking about ethics in wrestling. Just go
with it and maybe it’ll be over soon. There are two groups of people
behind the curtain: the boys and the office. The boys are all a
fraternity and the office doesn’t care about any of them. Nash
doesn’t care about Goldberg, but what happened last night was…..a
word they don’t actually censor. TV-14 it is I suppose. Hart
screwed one of the boys and now he has to pay.
Creative
Control says Nash is the biggest politician in the locker room. So
yeah, it’s clearly a big worked shoot (in case it wasn’t obvious
before) and the audience, after sitting through Madusa vs. Buzzkill
and Hennig vs. Morrus/Pop gets to hear a lot of stuff that is
probably going over their collective heads while Russo jerks off to
this nonsense because it makes him feel so much smarter than everyone
else. I understand what they’re talking about and it’s just so dumb.
Tank
Abbott vs. Jerry Flynn
No
holds barred of course. They trade slaps/punches before shoving the
referee, drawing out security to break it up. Flynn is put in
handcuffs and Tank knocks him out cold. This didn’t last a minute
and the fans are rightfully booing it out of the building.
Goldberg
arrives.
Here’s
the Revolution for what is actually the most interesting part of the
show so far. Douglas talks about how the Revolution was proven right
at Starrcade, but we pause for a word from Saturn about Tootsie Pops.
He calls out Jim Duggan to denounce America, but Jim doesn’t want to
do it. Instead, Duggan says he lied and gets beaten down. The
Revolution goes to burn the American flag but the Filthy Animals
(minus Eddie) return for the save. Great. It’s this feud again.
Shane’s look of shock when the Animals came out (walking at about
half a mile an hour) is great.
Here’s
Piper for his big explanation as Goldberg and Hart watch from
backstage. Piper lists off some of the evil things he’s done in the
past before going into a mini rant against Russo’s writing. Couldn’t
they just call it like, match making? Anyway, Piper knows people
just want to see the wrestlers fight. After listing off his
accomplishments from the 80s, Piper says he’s a real fighting and
quits. His son comes out to walk to the back with him, but Goldberg
comes out to block their way.
Goldberg
has stayed up all night trying to make sense of this (now THAT is
probably a shoot comment). He’s looked up to a few guys all his life
and until last night Piper was on that list. Piper made the wrong
decision last night but Goldberg doesn’t think Piper would ever sell
out. Roddy apologizes and things seem to be a bit better until Bret
comes out to pick it up all over again. As far as he’s concerned,
there’s no point in blaming Piper and the title is vacant. Bret goes
to the back to tell the Powers That Be what they can do with their
title. Keep shooting people. You’ll hit something eventually,
though it’s likely your own foot.
Post
break, Hart yells at Russo, but the boss says that was an attempt at
making up for Montreal. Yes seriously, THAT’S THEIR BIG STORY. Bret
throws the belt at Russo so he makes Hart vs. Goldberg for tonight.
Nice to see them continue their tradition of airing the same match
the night after Starrcade. I mean, it’s gone so well before.
Meng/Norman
Smiley vs. Fit Finlay/Brian Knobbs
Hardcore
of course. So why would Meng want to team with Smiley here? My
question is quickly answered as Meng goes after Smiley before their
opponents come out. Knobbs and Finlay come out to watch as the
announcers try to explain the psychology. Apparently Knobbs and
Finlay want Norman to keep the Hardcore Title so they can take it
from him with less of a fight.
Therefore,
we’re supposed to ignore the two of them knocking Smiley out cold
with a pipe so Norman could pin him with one hand last night, proving
that they could beat Meng with ease. As for the match, Norman gets
chased through the crowd, objects are thrown, a bathroom is invaded,
Norman’s head is put in a toilet and Knobbs gets the pin.
Rating:
F.
We’re over an hour into this show and this is the second best match
of the night so far. I’m not sure if it’s good or horribly stupid
that they’re trying to add psychology to this division. Yeah there’s
an idea to it, but the idea is stupid. The joke isn’t funny though
and Meng was just kind of there most of the “match” as everyone
else was “fighting.”
Piper tells his kid to
wait in the limo and gets a ball bat.
Video
of the Artist Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea’s recording session
where he doesn’t actually sing. Somehow this sounds like one of the
more logical things on the show.
Hart is walking and
runs into Piper. Bret tries to talk but Piper is back to babbling to
himself.
Maestro vs. Evan
Karagias
It’s
a flashback to the NWO days as the announcers ignore what’s going on
in the ring to talk about the backstage stuff. Maestro runs him over
to start but Evan hits a springboard spinning cross body. Evan rains
down right hands in the corner until he gets dropped throat first
across the top rope. We get a bit of a tease as Maestro loads up a
chinlock but slaps Evan in the face with both hands instead.
The
announcers talk about Montreal with Tony saying it’s unbelievable
that Russo wants to make up with Hart. Evan fights up and counters a
hurricanrana into a powerbomb. Symphony gets shoved onto the apron
but Evan has a quick change of heart to check on her. The
distraction lets Maestro hit a knee to the back for the pin.
Symphony is of course fine. Tony: “She sold that knee.”
Rating:
D.
Total mentions of Evan losing the title last night: zero. Then again
it’s fairly clear that there’s no future to the title so losing the
belt might have been the best thing possible for Evan. Maestro and
Symphony are a nothing pairing but at least they’re not victims of a
stalker anymore.
Piper
literally destroys the Powers That Be’s office. Piper: “How about
Adrian Adonis and Gorilla Monsoon?” And yes, he breaks the fourth
wall.
Chavo Guerrero tries to
sell Evan a book on how to pick up chicks. Thankfully, this ends in
a beating.
Chris Kanyon vs. Bam
Bam Bigelow vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Kanyon
says this isn’t Hollywood and talks about destroying the Triad.
Bigelow and Page come out and double team him with Page hitting a
Rock Bottom and Bigelow adding a headbutt. A clothesline and another
headbutt have Kanyon reeling but Page and Bigelow argue about which
finisher should end Kanyon. Page offers a handshake but pulls
Bigelow into a Diamond Cutter. It’s angle time though as Page drops
to the floor, kisses a fan, and leaves. J. Biggs throws Kanyon a
briefcase but the referee cuts him off, allowing Kanyon to hit
Bigelow with a champagne bottle for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Well that happened. They spent the entire summer building up the
Triad and then the blowoff (I guess?) match takes four minutes with
no announcement on a Nitro? Sounds appropriate to me. At least
Kanyon has a new character and he’s getting as close as he can to
thriving in it.
Bigelow is busted way
open and Kanyon is bleeding from the hand. Were they stupid enough
to use a real bottle???
Creative Control vs.
Kevin Nash
There’s
no referee so I don’t think this is a match. Actually that makes
sense given how things worked earlier. Hall accompanies Nash on
crutches. Since this isn’t a match (no bell), the twins tag. Nash
slugs away at Patrick in the corner and kicks Gerald in the face as
the tagging part is already done.
The
numbers catch up with Nash and Gerald takes him down for a cover but
there’s no referee. Heenan praises Nash for having the guts to say
what he said earlier in the night. They start going after Kevin’s
knee and the tagging starts up again. Hall gets bored and comes
inside for some crutch shots to the twins. Creative Control walks
out to end whatever this was.
Luger
and Liz are amused at Sting having a broken jaw. Why they’re in the
rafters and why Luger is dressed as Sting isn’t clear but I don’t
think I want to know.
US Title: Chris
Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett
Another
ladder match with Benoit defending because there’s no reason not to
do it again twenty four hours later. At least it was good last night
so maybe it works again here. They slug it out to start and Benoit
takes over with a pair of dropkicks. Benoit ties him in the Tree of
Woe for a running dropkick but Jeff crotches him against the post to
take over. Back up and Benoit is the first to the ladder but he has
to side step the baseball slide.
Benoit throws him into
the chair in the corner before nailing the back and knee with the
same chair. Jeff stays on the floor and holds his leg as Benoit
breaks the ladder by stepping on the rungs. Tony: “Someone has
gimmicked this ladder!” Tenay: “You know who it is!” Heenan:
“Kidman?” The other side’s rungs break as well and it’s a guitar
shot to Benoit as Jeff’s leg is fine. He grabs a fresh ladder and
wins the title because SCREW YOU BENOIT FANS! YOU’RE GETTING JARRETT
WHETHER YOU CARE OR NOT!
Rating:
D+.
They said the word gimmick for the ladder about ten times in two
minutes near the end as the levels of obnoxiousness get higher and
higher every single week. Benoit winning the title last night and
being in the main event of a pay per view last month already seem to
be nothing but memories.
After
a bunch of replays, Curt Hennig tells Jarrett that the Powers That Be
need to see him.
Sid Vicious vs. The
Wall
Sid
kicks him in the face to start and takes it outside for some right
hands to Wall’s face. Back in and Wall hits him right back, only to
eat a chokeslam. Cue Berlyn for a distraction, allowing Wall to load
up a chokeslam of his own. Not that it matters as Berlyn missile
dropkicks Wall for the DQ.
Sid
powerbombs Berlyn and shakes Wall’s hand to complete the face turn.
Russo
tells Jarrett that it’s going to happen tonight.
Disco offers to pay the
mafia but Tony Marinara’s dad tells him he can join the Family or
spend the rest of his life in a coma.
Harlem Heat vs.
Varsity Club
Rotundo/Steiner
here with Sullivan on commentary, where he spends the whole match
referring to Rick as Robbie (Rick’s real name) because SHOOTING IS
COOL AND HIP AND MAKES US SMARTER THAN YOU SO HA! Stevie quickly
runs Rotundo over to start before it’s off to the partners. Booker
kicks him in the face a few times but it’s too much to ask Steiner to
sell so it’s a big clothesline to put Booker on the floor. Things
get a bit confusing as the Varsity Club decides they’re the Freebirds
(they’re from the right time period) and start changing places with
Rotundo going to commentary.
That
lasts all of eight seconds before Mike runs back in and misses a
charge, allowing Booker to plant him with a Rock Bottom. Stevie
comes in off the hot tag and cleans house but there go the lights
because it’s Midnight. Ever the genius, Stevie yells at her,
allowing Mike to roll him up for the pin.
Rating:
D.
More mindless brawling here with Booker doing everything he could to
make it a match. I still have no idea why the Varsity Club is back
as Rick was the only one doing anything, even though he’s one of the
least likeable people on the roster. I’ll give them this though: at
least this felt like a match, even with the screwy ending.
PG-13 runs in and
attacks the Varsity Club. They can’t be serious.
The
yet to be named Daffney is getting a Surge when the Misfits come up
to hit on her. For reasons of crazy, she knees Jerry Only low and
runs off.
Here’s
David Flair for a chat but he beats up David Penzer first. Flair
calls out Vampiro, who says he has no problem with David. Vampiro
yells at Daffney but eats a crowbar shot. Jerry Only comes out and
takes a beating as well, leaving David and Daffney to kiss.
Buff
Bagwell comes out with something to say. He’s had a good career in
WCW but now he wants some gold around his waist. Gene goes way out
in right field and asks about rumors regarding Bagwell and Kimberly
Page. Buff pushes the mic away and whispers to Gene, but Okerlund
says that sounds like an admission of guilt. Bagwell admits that
Kimberly is a knockout and if Page wasn’t a factor, he would, and I
quote, “put his stuff all over Kim.” He mentions his bed and
Page comes out to jump Bagwell.
Piper
says goodbye to the locker room and calls Sid a kid. He rambles on
about how hard wrestling has been on him and wants the boys to fight
back against the Powers That Be.
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Goldberg
The
title is officially vacant coming in and Jeff Jarrett is watching on
a monitor in the back. Goldberg hammers him in the face to start and
chokes with a boot in the corner. They head outside with Goldberg
hammering away even more as Bret has been on defense almost all
match. Back in and a powerslam drops Hart but he grabs the ropes to
break up a leg lock.
Bret
starts going after the leg with kicks to the knee before wrapping it
around the ropes. The referee goes down because of course he does
and Bret slaps on the Figure Four. Cue the Outsiders with ball bats
to beat up Goldberg. Bret lets go of the hold and beats on Goldberg
as well so Piper comes back to try and protect Goldberg as the
referee calls for the bell. There was a cover in there somewhere and
Bret has won the title.
Jeff
Jarrett comes out with spraypaint and……THE BAND IS BACK TOGETHER!
Bret tries to say something but his mic doesn’t work. Everyone
celebrates with their new titles to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
W.
That’s W for waste. I’ve watched a lot of wrestling shows in my day
(upwards of 4,000 last I checked). In the course of my time as a
fan, I don’t remember a show that felt like a waste of my time. That
has changed after this show. I can live with a show where nothing
happens. I can live with a show full of bad matches. I can live
with a show where the company loses its way for a night.
That’s not what
happened on this show. This show was about eliminating every single
concept and idea of logic and common sense from what used to be World
Championship Wrestling. I’m not going to go into the long, long list
of things this show did that made no sense, as A, I don’t have that
much memory on this computer and B, I don’t think my blood pressure
can take it.
Let’s sum up the major
flaw in logic on this show. The idea is that Russo and company are
in charge of booking the show and have turned it into a shoot.
Ignoring how absolutely stupid that is to point out (from a kayfabe
perspective, wrestling is always supposed to be a shoot), let’s go
with Russo’s theory (I’ll ask for forgiveness later). Let’s say that
Russo has complete authority and is writing himself into this
position.
If
that’s the case, why have any of his guys ever lost a match and why
did we need some big conspiracy? Why didn’t Russo just book his boys
on top the second he debuted? Why are we having some big conspiracy
with Jarrett having to win the title back? Why am I supposed to
believe anything that happens if Russo is just in charge of the whole
thing? Did he book Nash to fight back against his authority or is
Nash going into business for himself?
I
get that it’s what Russo is going for, but it leaves so many
ridiculous holes in the story and makes the whole thing so completely
illogical that you can’t buy into anything going on in this company.
Ninety percent of the show is scripted but THIS RIGHT HERE is real?
Why should I believe that? At the end of the day, this is wrestling.
I shouldn’t need a scorecard and a flow chart to keep track of
what’s going on, nor should I have to hear all these insider terms.
This is the definition of too much going on and making things way too
complicated.
This stopped being
wrestling and became Russo having fun and deciding to make this show
his big personal playground. He’s removed logic and common sense
from this show in order to turn it into some insider fest. I know I
say this a lot, but I literally do not think it can get worse than
this. They’ve taken away any the basic core principles of wrestling
and made this a B movie. There is however one bright spot to this
whole mess: Jim Cornette suddenly makes so much more sense to me.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Starrcade 1999

Starrcade
1999
Date:
December 19, 1999
Location: MCI Center, Washington
D.C.
Attendance: 8,582
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott
Hudson, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We
have arrived. We have reached the biggest show of the year for WCW.
It’s the final pay per view of the year and the final Starrcade of
the 1990s. Over the years this show has been a showcase for legends
like Sting, Ric Flair, Lex Luger and Hulk Hogan. There have been
great matches, moments and shows in general, many of which have been
some of WCW’s best shows of all time. Now, forget everything I just
said, because this is going to be one of the biggest disasters in the
history of……I would say professional wrestling but that has
nothing to do with what I’m about to sit through. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a Scott Hudson narrated highlight package to preview the
card. Up first in the package: the Revolution vs. Jim Duggan/his
mystery partners. I’m pretty sure every match gets some time here,
but my goodness they aren’t off to a rousing start by making me think
about all of the impending disasters.
Now
we get a standard opening video, focusing on the powerbomb match and
then the World Title match.
Disco
Inferno/Lash Leroux vs. Big Vito/Johnny the Bull
Disco
lost a lot of money gambling (which I don’t think he ever paid back)
to the Mafia so Don boss Tony Marinara sent Big Vito and Johnny the
Bull after him. Lash helped Disco out and basically started a war
against the mob, setting up this tag match. It’s also probably the
match that has gotten the most build on the card. Normally I would
ask why a match like this is opening the show, but the more I think
about it, what else do they have?
It’s
a brawl to start with Vito punching Lash down early on. A nice
suplex drops Lash again and Vito nails a good looking superkick.
Heenan gets in another of his lines that are open to interpretation
as he wonders why the people in the back are so quiet. Off to Johnny
who eats a dropkick from Lash and a clothesline from Disco for one.
Disco
stomps away in the corner but Johnny sweeps the leg (because he’s the
best in town) to take over. Vito scores with a hard running
clothesline and Johnny’s swinging neckbreaker gets two. We hit the
chinlock for a bit before something like a double powerbomb plants
Disco again. Vito spends too much time mocking the crowd on the
ropes though and hits the mat, allowing the hot tag to Lash.
Everything
breaks down and the goons are dropped with clotheslines. A gorilla
press drop puts Lash down but he avoids a top rope spinning legdrop.
Disco hits a top rope splash for two but Vito comes off the top to
break up the save (granted the really slow count made it a bit
easier). Vito reverses a whip from Lash and sends him into the Last
Dance from Disco by mistake, setting up Vito’s spinning DDT for the
pin.
Rating:
C. Totally acceptable tag match
here, but I have a feeling we’ve just seen the match of the night.
It’s the old power vs. speed formula which has worked for the better
part of ever and worked here as well. The story made sense and was
actually different for a change, but this could have been on almost
any given Nitro. Still though, totally acceptable.
Post
match Disco gets beaten up and thrown in the body bag, along with a
bottle of ether. The mob takes him back to the parking lot and throw
him in their car to take them away.
Goldberg
vs. Hart is No DQ. If that was the stipulation beforehand, I haven’t
heard of it.
Scott
Hall is out of the US Title match due to a knee injury so Benoit is
the champion.
The
announcers run their mouths to fill time on a show with 13 matches.
Keep in mind that this is
coming after a backstage segment. Not only is it boring for the PPV
audience, but it’s letting the crowd come down after a decent opener.
Cue
Chris Benoit to say he doesn’t want the title this way, so it’s
officially vacant. However, he’ll still have the ladder match
against anyone that wants to face him for the title.
Cruiserweight
Title: Madusa vs. Evan Karagias
Evan
is defending and Madusa offered sex to get this show. After she
earned the shot, Evan dumped Madusa for Nitro Girl Spice, making this
just another title match but with man on woman violence because Russo
is obsessed with this idea. Madusa dives off the top to take out
Evan and Spice before sending him into the barricade. They head
inside where Evan slaps her in the face and plants her with a
powerslam, only to miss a Lionsault.
Madusa
dropkicks him down but gets slammed off the top. A powerbomb puts
Madusa down for two so Madusa powerbombs him right back. They head
outside with Evan diving onto Madusa, but Spice gets on the apron to
distract the champ. It’s just a ruse for the worst low blow ever,
setting up Madusa’s German suplex for the pin and the title.
Rating:
D-. So not only did they have a
swerve, they had only the bare bones of a match as this was nothing
more than a spot fest with no flow to it. Yeah Mysterio and Guerrera
would do a bunch of spots, but at least they knew how to make them
exciting. This was less than four minutes long and more about the
fact that Madusa is a woman. In other words, they were trying to
recreate Chyna without putting in the effort of building her up in DX
all those years. That’s Russo’s philosophy: just go to the end goal
without putting in any of the work and then blame the fans for not
caring.
On
the storyline front, let’s recap what just happened to Evan: he was
duped into giving Madusa the shot by the offer of sex, then Madusa
won the title shot again in a triple threat, then Evan got pinned on
Thunder for no apparent reason, then the other woman, who was
involved in this story to distract Evan, turned on him to give Madusa
the title for no reason other than to mess with Evan, who made the
mistake of being a champion and going after a pretty girl who seemed
interested in him. Oh and Madusa hit cheated to win the title. I’m
not sure if she was the face or the heel here, but I’m sure WCW
didn’t know either.
Norman
Smiley is dressed up like a Washington Redskin for his match with
Meng. He certainly isn’t scared and ignore the scream when the
producer tries to count him out of the interview. Sudden moves like
that just are not necessary when Norman is a coiled spring ready to
explode! Ignore the fact
that the Hardcore Title is practically identical to the ECW Title.
Hardcore
Title: Meng vs. Norman Smiley
Norman
the coward is defending. They
throw weapons at each other to start before Meng shoves the cart full
of weapons runs Norman over. It’s
in the back without Norman ever making it to the ring and Norman
blasts him in the head with the chair for almost no effect. Norman
runs away through catering before Meng slams him through a table.
Meng
throws a cinder block at his head but Norman avoids the whole death
thing. Smiley dives behind some boxes to hide, allowing Finlay and
Brian Knobbs to come up and beat Meng down. Well
kind of as Meng no sells the chair and trashcan shots until Finlay
NAILS him with a lead pipe to knock Meng silly. Norman comes out and
covers to retain.
Rating:
D. Norman is a guy that tries
so hard but can’t get out of this hardcore nonsense. This was your
standard hardcore match with Meng dominating and Norman screaming a
lot but somehow escaping for the title. In other words, it’s your
standard TV match being held at Starrcade because Russo doesn’t know
the difference between the shows.
Meng
beats up Nick Patrick for reasons.
David
Flair has a gold crowbar delivered to him and seems very happy.
Oklahoma
and Steve Williams are ready. There’s nothing more to this segment.
Oh
wait there is, as we cut back to see the Misfits kidnap Oklahoma.
We
recap Jim Duggan vs. the Revolution, which is based around the idea
of the Revolution thinking they’re a sovereign nation and wanting to
deface the American flag. Bringing Duggan in makes sense there, but
the Powers That Be says there’s nothing to his love of America and
made him a janitor because that’s funny or something.
Jim
Duggan/??? vs. Revolution
It’s
Asya/Saturn/Malenko/Douglas here and we have no idea who the partners
are here. If Duggan wins, the Revolution has to be the janitors for
30 days, but if Duggan loses, he has to denounce
America. Duggan’s partners
are…..the Varsity Club, a team which hit its peak in 1988/1989. In
case you’re like, young or something, it’s Rick Steiner/Kevin
Sullivan/Mike Rotundo with Leia Meow (ECW’s
Kimona)
as their cheerleader.
Shane
sits in on commentary to make it a handicap match. Dean
and Duggan start things off but Saturn comes in less than ten second
in. The Varsity Club gets in some cheap shots in the corner before
Duggan hammers away with forearms to the back. Dean
comes in again for an elbow to the face and a slam, followed by the
three point clothesline for two.
Saturn
gets the same off a missile dropkick as Heenan points out that Duggan
hasn’t tried to tag out. Just get to the swerve we all know is
coming from here. Saturn
misses a middle rope splash but Dean hits Jim in the head with a
flag. Everyone comes in
with the Varsity Club cleaning house, including tying Asya in the
Tree of Woe for Sullivan’s running knee. Then they turn on Duggan
because what else were they going to do here? Shane runs in for the
pin as the Varsity Club keeps beating up Saturn on the floor.
Rating:
F. This is STARRCADE 1999 and
they bring out the Varsity Club? If they were going for some kind of
nostalgia/history thing here, they completely missed the point as the
Varsity Club’s biggest moment was when they were fighting each other,
assuming anyone remembered/cared about that in 1999. As
it is, this is just another four minute match capped off by a
beatdown to make it a Jim Duggan story. What is the mass appeal here
and who thought the one thing this show needed was MORE people
running around?
Shane
tells Duggan he has 24 hours before he has to renounce America. They
drape the Revolution flag over him, only to take it right back off.
The
Misfits have Oklahoma in a shark cage to make sure he stays out of
the Vampiro match.
Vampiro
vs. Steve Williams
If
Vampiro wins, he gets five minutes with Oklahoma. The
Misfits wheel out Oklahoma in the shark cage but he has a headset on
and can still do his Jim Ross jokes because…..screw the sarcasm.
This whole thing is stupid. Vampiro
dives off the cage to take Williams out and the brawl begins on the
floor. They head inside with Oklahoma yelling at the commentators.
Williams fires off a chop so
Oklahoma shouts CHOP over and over.
Some
three point tackles take out Vampiro’s legs followed by some chops,
but Oklahoma gets bored saying chop over and over. A
belly to belly superplex sends Vampiro flying but brings in the
Misfits. Williams cleans house with ease and suplexes Vampiro down
again. He hammers on Vampiro but shoves the referee down (how have
we not had a ref bump tonight?) for a DQ, setting up Vampiro vs.
Oklahoma.
Rating:
D. So their solution to make us
care about Vampiro is to have him get beaten up until the referee
gets knocked down while Oklahoma gets to do his same joke over and
over and over and over and over. I feel like iTunes on repeat (who
uses records anymore?) saying this but STOP USING THE SHOW FOR YOUR
OWN STUPID JOKES THAT AREN’T EVEN FUNNY IN THE FIRST PLACE!
The
five minute clock starts immediately.
Oklahoma
vs. Vampiro
Security
gets Williams out of here as we’re still waiting on Oklahoma to get
out of the cage. Oklahoma
gets in after about two minutes and kicks Vampiro in the head. More
slow stomps connect before Vampiro hits a single chop, only to have
Oklahoma nail two straight low blows. A
quick Rock Bottom drops Oklahoma and the Misfits come in for some
shots, which the referee doesn’t seem to mind. The
Nail in the Coffin ends this mess.
To
recap, Vampiro needed the help of a punk rock band (how many of the
fans actually know who they are?) to beat Oklahoma, who beat the tar
out of Vampiro for most of the “match”. Again,
the announcers are getting the push at the sake of someone like
Vampiro, who may or may not be entertaining but he’s an actual
wrestler.
Russo
tells Hennig/Shane/La Parka/Creative Control that he has something
big planned for tonight so he can’t quite focus on their match.
Thanks for letting us know
about this an hour into the show instead of building it up for a few
weeks, but they probably didn’t know a few weeks ago.
Stevie
Ray tells Booker he won’t have his back tonight.
Harlem
Heat/Midnight vs. Curt Hennig/Creative Control
The
winning tag team is #1 contenders so
Hennig and Midnight are just kind of here to fill in the roster,
because Heaven forbid we just have a regular tag match. My goodness
there are suddenly a lot of empty seats across from the cameras. I
couldn’t have missed those earlier.
There’s no Stevie so it’s a
handicap match with more man on woman.
Gerald
stomps Booker into the corner to start before
no selling a spin kick to the face. So much for this one changing
the tide of the show. We look at the ladder for later and come back
with Midnight in without seeing what happened in between. I’m
betting Gerald lost a Canasta game and had to allow the hot tag.
It’s
quickly back to Booker who gets beaten down again but quickly gets
over to tag in Midnight for some dropkicks. Hennig
clotheslines her out to the floor and the heels take over again.
Back in and Creative Control
takes over on Midnight as Hudson talks about the big events of the
night: the return of the Varsity Club and Disco being thrown into a
car. We get the old
“referee doesn’t see the tag” spot as Stevie Ray comes out, only
to be sent to the back by Booker.
Midnight
gets slammed down and Patrick drops some elbows for two. He misses
the middle rope elbow though and Midnight gets over for the hot tag.
It doesn’t count as Nick Patrick was “talking to Stevie Ray.”
That’s true, but THEY WERE LOOKING AT THE TAG. As in Nick clearly
realized he wasn’t supposed to see it and you can see him try to snap
his head away in time so it doesn’t look that bad but it doesn’t
work. Hennig sneaks in with
a foreign object to knock Booker silly for the pin and a delayed
bell.
Rating:
D. As
usual, this was an angle disguised as a match. On top of the match
being boring for the most part and yet another woman being in there
for the sake of being in there (Midnight was fine but the announcers
spent the whole match talking about how awesome it was to have a
woman in there, which just puts more attention on the fact that she’s
nothing special), the gaffes like Nick seeing the tag made this a
huge mess. Above all else though, I just do not care because I
haven’t been given a reason to care. These people are just
characters with little development so it’s really hard to get
interested.
We
recap Jarrett vs. Rhodes. Basically Dustin returned as something
resembling a child abductor but he decided he wanted to be Dustin
Rhodes because THAT has such a great track record for him. Jeff
thought it was funny that Dustin’s dad got fired so the feud began
again and of course it turned into a bunkhouse match to make it about
cowboys and hardcore.
Dustin,
wearing a Dusty Rhodes
shirt, talks about the match
but Jeff jumps him to start.
Jeff
Jarrett vs. Dustin Rhodes
Jarrett
runs Dustin’s knee over with a wheelbarrow and hits him in the throat
with a kendo stick. They
slam each other into the wheelbarrow before heading inside for the
first time with Jeff taking a cowbell to the head. Well you knew the
bullrope and cowbell were going to be involved somehow. Some
bell shots knock Jarrett onto the announcers’ table but hitting him
in the head with a metal bell doesn’t sound as good as throwing
powder in Jeff’s face.
Dustin
pulls out a whip and nails both Jarrett and the referee before duct
taping the referee to the ropes. Jeff
shrugs off a shot with some chaps (you think I care enough to react
to that at this point?) and kicks Dustin low as Curt Hennig comes out
to untape the referee. We
hit the sleeper as Jarrett tries to make this wrestling for reasons I
don’t understand.
Dustin
finally suplexes his way out and gets two off a Boss Man Slam.
Shattered Dreams connects
but Hennig pulls the referee
out at two. That earns Curt
some Shattered Dreams of his own and
all three head up to the entrance. Dustin plants Hennig with a
bulldog but Jeff climbs the ladder and blasts him with a guitar for
the pin.
Rating:
D. Ok. What
else do you want me to say here? Two guys who are feuding over
someone not even working for this promotion anymore had a long (by
this show’s standards) match and the heel had someone else come in to
basically make it a handicap match. The good guy fought back and
then the two beat him without anything overly interesting happening.
Jeff
Jarrett continues to not by over but gets pushed to the moon (dig
that huge win over DUSTIN RHODES!) because he beat up a woman in the
WWF and that’s clearly like porn to Russo. These
guys weren’t really putting in a ton of effort though and it’s clear
that no one has anything special without some kind of character
behind them. It’s just two old school style guys having a boring
match and that’s not something I want to watch for eleven minutes.
David
Flair makes the headless teddy bear stroke the golden crowbar.
Somehow, there isn’t a single bit of innuendo in that entire
sentence. Why David is
wearing a Halloween Havoc shirt isn’t clear.
Page
says his hands will have a crowbar in them tonight and then those
same hands will give Flair a bang.
Diamond
Dallas Page vs. David Flair
IT’S
A CROWBAR ON A POLE MATCH!!! This is like Russo’s hit parade if I
had to pay $30 to see it. This match is due to David stalking
Kimberly after Kimberly slept with Ric Flair instead of David. So
yeah, we have sex, insanity, illogical stories and a thing on a pole.
Like I said, the hit parade rolls on. The
crowbar is pitifully low as anyone of average height could reach it
from the mat.
David
sneaks up from behind with the gold crowbar (different from the one
on the pole) but Little Naitch (who should be in David’s corner in
theory) takes it away, because even if you’re insane and carrying a
crowbar, you MUST follow the rules! The
referee checks on Page and says the match will be a forfeit, but Page
shoves Penzer away and wants to go.
We
get the opening bell and David hammers away because how else was this
going to be competitive? David
counters a sunset flip and punches Page in the face for two. A
clothesline gets the same as we’re still waiting on any attempt at
the crowbar. Flair hits a
low blow and puts on a Figure Four but Page turns it over for the
break. Flair gets the crowbar, misses a swing and eats the Diamond
Cutter for the pin.
Rating:
F. Remember when Chris Jericho
would lose and then go insane and beat the post with a chair? That’s
how I feel here. There was no reason for this to be on pay per view
or for this to be a gimmick match other than to make the match more
believable. In other words, they can’t have a good match without
making it a gimmick and the match can’t be good because it’s a
gimmick. Who other than
Vince Russo could book a sub four minute match into a paradox while
almost completely ignoring the gimmick that causes the paradox in the
first place?
Page
gives him a middle rope Diamond Cutter post match and it about to hit
him with the crowbar but the yet to be named Daffney runs in to cover
Flair up. Page leaves instead of hit the crazy chick.
Heenan
wants a beer. I don’t drink but can someone get me a hammer to crush
my own skull?
We
recap Luger vs. Sting, which has seen Luger treat Liz like garbage
(more anti-women porn for Russo), which sent her running off for
Sting to help him. At the same time, Luger “inadvertently” cost
Sting some matches and kept trying to make it up to him, only making
it worse in the process. Their match tonight is for Liz’s freedom,
which she totally and completely wants of course.
Total
Package vs. Sting
In
the back, Sting gives Liz “super high octane” mace. The
STEROIDS chant begins and Luger quickly sends Sting outside. Some
whips into the barricade have Sting in more trouble before some
elbows get two. Sting no
sells a ram into the buckle and Luger gets caught between slaps from
Sting and Liz. A double
clothesline puts both of them down because of those two and a half
DEVASTATING minutes of action.
Liz
comes in to check on Luger and sprays the mace at Sting, but it’s
silly string because Sting actually outsmarted someone!!!!! Even
the announcers acknowledge how shocking this is. Sting
makes his comeback and hits a top rope splash for two. A
pair of regular Stinger Splashes look to set up the Deathlock but Liz
comes in with the ball bat for a very loud sounding shot to the jaw
for the DQ.
Rating:
D+. I’m upgrading this because
of the bat shot and the string. Other than that, this was a big mess
with the whole thing not even breaking six minutes despite it being
one of the bigger matches on the card. This changes nothing as Liz
is freed from Luger but apparently wants to stay with him, making
this whole thing a big waste of time. Imagine that.
Luger
Pillmanizes Sting’s arm post match. Remember
two years ago when Sting was in the biggest match in WCW history?
How was that just two years ago?
To
recap, that was the tenth match of the show and, assuming you count
Madusa as a heel, the third match where the heel didn’t either win or
get the last laugh after the match. Those three are Vampiro and the
Misfits beating up Oklahoma (who dominated the “match”), Page
over David Flair and Norman Smiley over Meng where Norman was treated
like a goon all match. Is
there any doubt why so many fans are leaving their seats halfway
through the show?
We
recap Sid vs. Nash in the powerbomb match. I’ve watched the shows
setting this match up and now I’ve watched the video and I’m still
not exactly sure why they’re fighting. They’ve
fought a few times but I’m not sure why they started in the first
place. Again though, I doubt WCW does either other than “hey,
they’re both big!”
Sid
Vicious vs. Kevin Nash
You
win by using a powerbomb instead of a pin or a submission because
we just couldn’t have either guy do a real job for the sake
of…..probably some legal deal actually. Nash
takes over to start and hits the framed elbow and a side slam for
two. A low blow breaks up
Sid’s powerbomb attempt and it’s time to go outside so they don’t
have to wrestle. Sid hits
him in the back with a chair but stops to tell the fans to shut up.
Good grief dude at least know what you’re supposed to be doing out
there. Back in and Sid
tries to start a powerbomb chant but the fans are mostly silent.
Well to be fair that’s what Sid wanted.
The
referee FINALLY GETS BUMPED, right before Sid hits a powerbomb. Cue
Jeff Jarrett with
a guitar to knock Sid out cold. The referee slowly gets up and Nash
loads up a powerbomb but his back is out. Now the referee turns
around as Nash is holding his back and Sid is down. Nash: “Yeah I
powerbombed him.” Referee: “WELL OK THEN!” Nash wins. Scott
Hudson: “I refuse to refer to Nash as the master of the powerbomb!”
Oh dang man. No Scott Hudson endorsement? This is a sham of a
reign as powerbomb master!
Rating:
F. Failure, freaking stupid,
for the love of all things good and holy, for goodness’ sake, fire
them both. Pick any two and that’s what the F stands for here. I
actually had to get up and walk around for a bit before I started
talking about this. They somehow booked a match built around one
finisher and then they couldn’t even do that finish because Nash
didn’t want to do the powerbomb.
From
a kayfabe perspective, how freaking horrible do the referees in this
company look? Ranging from staying down for five minutes off a
single shot to not being able to see a tag literally three feet in
front of them to saying “yeah, sure I’ll believe you when you say
you powerbombed him. You would never lie”, these are the worst
referees I’ve ever seen. Oh and then there’s Roddy Piper who has a
young boy doing his work for him and who hears voices in his head. I
would do a Randy Orton joke there but Orton is too good for this
show.
Benoit
says the open challenge is still, uh, open.
US
Title: Chris Benoit vs. ???
Ladder
match and the title is
officially vacant coming in The
mystery opponent is……Jeff Jarrett, because why have two Jarrett
segments when you can have three??? And
my goodness did he change from jeans to gear in a hurry. It’s
a brawl in the aisle to start with Benoit chopping Jeff into the
ring. Something like an Irish Curse drops Jarrett and a superplex
allows Benoit to go get the first ladder.
Jarrett
gets up and hits a baseball slide to drive the ladder into Benoit,
but Chris whips him into the ladder in the corner a few times to take
over again. Benoit gets
crotched against the ladder
for something like a Russian legsweep out of the corner. Chris is
busted open
but still able to tie Jeff in the Tree of Woe in the standing ladder,
only to find out that it’s hard to climb a ladder with someone
hanging from the other side.
Both
guys go up until Jarrett gets knocked down, followed
by both guys going up and getting knocked over for nice crashes. In
the best spot of the match, Benoit goes up but Jarrett dropkicks the
ladder out from underneath him, sending Benoit down for a huge crash.
Benoit is up first and
dropkicks the ladder onto Jarrett but Benoit would rather drop a Swan
Dive off the top of the ladder instead of grab the belt. Now he goes
up and gets the belt for the win.
Rating:
B. That
might be high but anything above horrible would be ten times better
than everything else on this show. Best
match of the night here by about 19,000 years and naturally it only
has ten minutes because we needed to give Oklahoma two matches and
have the really stupid David Flair match instead of giving this
another eight minutes. There isn’t much to say here other than the
guys were doing big spots and making them look good. In other words,
the polar opposite of everything else tonight.
We
recap Goldberg vs. Hart, which started over Hart wanting to give
Goldberg a title shot, and then became an Outsiders story involving
the Tag Team Titles. Other than a few one off promos, these two have
barely addressed each other.
Bret
says he’s winning whether Goldberg likes it or not.
WCW
World Title: Bret Hart vs. Goldberg
No
DQ and there must be a winner with Bret defending. Instead
of asking if we’re ready to rumble, Buffer tells us we’re ready
because the fans would probably boo such a question out of the
building for making this last even longer. You
know how most of the time at Wrestlemania the main event eats up like
40 minutes? The bell here rings with just
over thirteen minutes to go
in the show. For some reason it would feel wrong if the main event
of the biggest show of the year had more time than that.
They
shake hands and we’re ready to go. Goldberg
shoves him down out of a lockup to start but Bret takes him down with
a headlock. That goes
nowhere so Goldberg gorilla presses him into a powerslam for two.
Goldberg tries that rolling
leglock but Bret turns it into an early Sharpshooter attempt as only
he could do. They fight
outside with the referee getting bumped. It’s
not even a big deal at this point.
Robinson
comes out as a replacement and an overly excited (and likely drunk)
fan is dancing badly in the front row. A big boot puts Hart down
back inside but Robinson gets bumped on a hiptoss. Goldberg spears
the turnbuckle as the third referee comes down to see Bret put on the
Figure Four around the post. Back
in and Bret starts in on the leg and puts on a regular Figure Four.
The turn sends Bret running for the ropes so he wraps the leg around
the middle rope in the corner.
Goldberg
reverses and hammers away but referee number three goes down.
There’s the Bret Killer
superkick to set up the spear but a dejected Roddy Piper comes out to
be the fourth referee. Bret, apparently having shrugged off the
spear kicks Goldberg in the knee and MONTREAL STRIKES AGAIN as Piper
calls for the bell before Bret turns the Sharpshooter over. Hudson:
“NOT MONTREAL ALL OVER AGAIN!” Yes
it’s Montreal all over again, because THAT’S THE DUMBEST THING THEY
COULD POSSIBLY DO!
Rating:
D-. The match was watchable but
between the whole ending Bret Hart’s career and going back to a fake
Montreal over two years later with Bret on the good end this time is
one of the worst possible ideas they could have come up with. If you
want Bret to keep the title on a screwjob then have someone lay
Goldberg out from behind or whatever, but good night don’t do it like
this. I mean, if this is the best they can think of, just close the
doors now because Russo is clearly not what he’s cracked up to be (oh
gee what an understatement) and they need to find ANYONE else to give
the reigns over to immediately.
Piper
hands Bret the belt and walks off to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
No. No no, no no no,
no no, no no. This is flat
out not acceptable as the biggest show of the year for any promotion,
or as a show for any serious promotion actually. Where
in the world do I even start? Well let’s start at the ending
actually, as the main event was the longest match of the night at
12:07. This past week’s
episode of Raw had two matches longer than that and that’s a run of
the mill TV show.
Above
all else, this felt like it could be any given filler pay per view
where they’re not trying. I know WCW had mixed feelings about how
big of a deal Starrcade really was, but at least they would usually
give lip service to the fact that it’s the biggest night of the year.
This felt like Fall Brawl or Uncensored instead of Starrcade and
that’s a feeling that you can’t shake off no matter what.
Starrcade
1999 was Vince Russo with time to come up with his best possible
ideas. Somehow he’s managed to produce the one of the worst
Wrestlemanias and the one of the worst Starrcades of all time, IN THE
SAME YEAR. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to do that in
the span of about nine months? So
much of this can be blamed on the writing and booking too. When you
have thirteen matches in a show that runs less than two hours and
forty five minutes, there’s very little the
wrestlers can do to make the
thing work.
The
Mamalukes vs. Disco/Lash was the best match of the night until Chris
Benoit and a ladder took their top spot. That’s almost inconceivable
that a totally average tag match was as good as this show could do
for about 80% of the card. These
stories are thrown together with no real rhyme or reason to most of
them and at some point the fans just gave up. Yeah, it worked back
in the WWF in 1999, but
it’s the same argument made about TNA now: why would I want to watch
a lite version of the same stories with lesser and older talent doing
the work?
There
comes a point where you have to show your audience some respect or
they’re going to turn on you. That’s where Russo doesn’t get the
point: he thinks the fans are going to follow whatever he does
because they’re watching a wrestling show and therefore aren’t that
smart. That means he can throw some big series of swerves at us and
expect us to just go with it with an explanation of “YOU DIDN’T SEE
IT COMING!” and then somehow blame us for not getting it. I know
this is rambling but after watching this disaster there’s no way to
have any sort of coherent thought process.
It’s
just one big surprise after another, but the problem is you can start
to see the surprises coming about half an hour into the show. If you
train your audience to expect a big swerve, it stops being a swerve
and becomes part of the plot. Piper coming out at the end of the big
swerve would have worked better if we didn’t have so many people
turning on each other or one big surprise after another for two and a
half hours leading up to it.
It
doesn’t help that Piper is a legend and hasn’t had a good match in
about seven years at this point but he’s being featured as a major
plot point for a story that people don’t care about. The build for
this show didn’t make me want to see it and then the show itself was
horrible, making me have no desire to keep tuning in.
What
is there that’s left untied here? Nash wins to show Sid is
worthless, Hall is probably going to come back and take the title
from Benoit, and we get to see more Jeff Jarrett. The big
cliffhanger here is “WHY DID PIPER SCREW BRET???” If that’s the
big question going into Nitro tomorrow, I have zero desire to keep
watching this promotion, but I’m sure it’s my fault for not
supporting Russo like he deserves for putting on all this EXCITING TV
for me. Total disaster of a show and more like hitting a rock wall
instead of starting some new chapter in the company’s history as the
year is coming to a close.
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Thunder – December 16, 1999

Thunder
Date: December 16, 1999
Location:
Mobile Civic Center, Mobile, Alabama
Attendance: 3,889
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Scott Hudson, Juventud Guerrera
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s the final show
before Starrcade and the big question is how can WCW screw this up
even further. In theory we’re getting big stars again tonight, but
as we saw last week, that means nothing if the longest match is like
four minutes and nothing comes from it. Also, how many big names
lose heading into the biggest show of the year? Let’s get to it.

Here
are Sid and Benoit to open the show, apparently having forgotten Sid
destroying Benoit at Fall Brawl three months ago. Sid talks about
the war with the Outsiders and guarantees that it’s a war they can’t
win. There are no escapes or retreats, but plenty of surrenders.
Actually there won’t be because you made sure it was a powerbomb
match so neither guy has to job.
Benoit talks about
Hall’s history in ladder matches, while making sure to name drop the
WWF as many times as he can. This Sunday, Benoit becomes the new
king of the ladder. A challenge is made for a tag match tonight but
here are Hennig/Creative Control/La Parka/Shane. Curt says the
Outsiders are busy fighting Goldberg/Hart in a House of Pain match
tonight, so Benoit and Sid can fight each other or be suspended for
six months without pay. Who gave Hennig authority?
Juventud Guerrera comes
out for commentary and does two Rock lines before the segment is
over. I get the idea here but it’s just not that funny.
Sting
jumps Diamond Dallas Page for the attack on Monday. Page looks for
Sting after a break.
Vampiro vs. Buff
Bagwell
For
the first time, we hear about Vampiro getting five minutes with
Oklahoma if he beats Dr. Death on Sunday. A bad shoulder puts
Vampiro down and here’s Oklahoma to watch. Vampiro strikes away in
the corner but gets slammed down off the top. Buff counters a
hurricanrana with a powerbomb but let’s look at singer Aaron Neville
in the crowd along with the less than 2000 people who paid to get in.
A superkick puts Buff on the floor but Vampiro has to glare at
Oklahoma, which brings in Jerry Only and Williams for a standoff. As
they fight, Oklahoma gets in a barbecue bottle shot, setting up the
Blockbuster for the pin.
Rating:
D.
This was another waste of time with the match just being there as a
backdrop for the Oklahoma/Williams/Misfits nonsense. But at least we
got to see the barbecue spot, and that’s funny because it’s something
Jim Ross done and Jim Ross being himself is funny in some way I
guess. Right?
Vampiro
gets covered in barbecue sauce to continue the unfunny joke.
Prince
Iaukea and Paisley don’t have much to say. Literally, Prince’s new
thing is he doesn’t talk.
The Artist Form of
Prince Iaukea vs. Evan Karagias
Non-title
and Evan now has Spice with him. Well that’s an upgrade. Juvy says
this will be the jabroni match of the week. Jot that down: a
champion is a jabroni. Prince points at Evan so Evan twists the
finger back. Some right hands set up a springboard cross body for
two on Prince but Iaukea dropkicks him out to the floor. Cue Madusa
to fight with Spice because this show can’t have a five minute match
without someone coming to the ring. Paisley gets beaten up as well
as Evan hits a missile dropkick on Prince. He tries to break up the
girls though and Iaukea grabs a rollup for the pin, three days before
a title defense.
Madusa
slaps Evan post match so he leaves with Spice.
Page and Sting go at it
in the back when another Sting comes up to go after the original
Sting. It’s clearly Luger, but in case it wasn’t obvious enough,
Page shouts LUGER as the fake Sting leaves.
Jim Duggan/Midnight
vs. Asya/Perry Saturn
Shane
sits in on commentary. The guys start things off with Duggan
cranking on the arm and putting on a chinlock maybe 45 seconds into
the match. Back up and Duggan starts a clubberin before
clotheslining Saturn into the corner. It’s off to the girls with
Midnight dropkicking her down so it’s off to Saturn for MAN ON WOMAN
VIOLENCE! Where would we be without that?
Saturn
hammers away in the corner and scores with a suplex as Harlem Heat
comes down. The girls collide and it’s back to the guys with Duggan
coming in for his old 80s offense. Everything breaks down and
Midnight is sent to the floor, but Stevie throws her right back in.
Shane comes in and clotheslines Saturn by mistake so Dean brings in
the 2×4, only to have Duggan take it away and nail Saturn for the
pin.
Rating:
C-.
Somehow, that’s 7:20 worth of wrestling but even worse, it’s probably
as good as this show is going to have. The amount of time helped it
a bit, but the problem this company has isn’t the lack of good
wrestling but the lack of wrestling period. It’s very telling that
I’m so starved for actual wrestling on these shows that a thirty
second run from Duggan, who was a total brawler for most of his
career, was one of the best parts of either Thunder or Nitro this
week.
The
Revolution beats down Duggan but Aaron Neville and Booker T. make the
save. Was Neville really necessary there? WWF had Mike Tyson the
year before this, but WCW has some country singer in his late 50s at
this point.
David Flair screams at
Gene Okerlund for no logical reason.
Sting swings his ball
bat and looks for Luger.
Hardcore Title:
Norman Smiley vs. David Flair
Norman,
in Alabama football gear, uses a trashcan to block an early crowbar
shot. They trade trashcan shots, followed by Norman’s spinning slam.
David breaks up the spanking dance with a trashcan lid to the head
but Meng comes out and destroys David’s teddy bear, sending Norman
running away for…….wait for it…….a countout in a Hardcore
Title match. Since that’s against the rules, doesn’t that mean that
this match is still going on over fifteen years later?
Smiley runs from the
arena.
Sting
wants Luger out here right now because he knows it was him under that
mask. Cue Luger, still dressed as Sting, for a beating from the real
version. Juvy thinks it’s Ric Flair (Black Scorpion reference?) as
Luger blocks the third Stinger Splash by raising a boot. Liz pulls
the bat away from Luger, allowing Sting to Rack him (there’s a
rarity). That knocks Liz down though, allowing Luger to get in some
cheap shots with the bat on Sting before running away.
Post break, Sting
doesn’t want medical help.
Luger drives away.
Bye.
The Wall vs. Steve
Williams
Oklahoma
jumps in on commentary because what else is he going to do? Wall’s
shoulder block is stopped by the powers of AMERICA before Williams
hammers away with right hands and a slam. Williams charges into a
boot and let’s cut to Chavo Guerrero selling stuff in the crowd. The
fans chant for Chavo as Berlyn chases Oklahoma off and nails Williams
with some foreign object for the DQ.
Rating:
D.
So not only are we seeing Ferrara as the Jim Ross impersonator, but
now we have to sit through Steve Williams getting matches on TV?
He’s fun to watch for a power guy, but you would think there are
other people who could perform the role just as well. Like, the Wall
for example?
Wall and Berlyn argue.
Nitro recap.
Buzzkill has fans sign
a petition. He doesn’t actually say for what, but hopefully it’s his
release so he can go be Brad Armstrong in the indies.
Curt Hennig vs.
Dustin Rhodes
Before
the match, Dustin calls Jeff Jarrett slap happy and promises to be
his daddy Sunday night. Hennig jumps him to start but Dustin slams
him right back down. This brings Shane inside but he gets caught in
the corner for Shattered Dreams. Curt hammers away again and there
go the lights. JUST LET THEM WRESTLE! Some guy dressed like Seven
flies to the ring with a guitar and nails Dustin for the DQ. My
goodness. You have Curt Hennig and Dustin Rhodes and think they need
a screwy finish? Those two could wrestle a passable match in their
sleep but they get two and a half minutes and a run-in? Really?
Jarrett (like it was
going to be anyone else) and Hennig destroy Dustin post match.
After
a break and some ads, Jeff Jarrett calls the Rhodes Family a bunch of
slapnuts.
Chris
Benoit/Sid Vicious vs. Creative Control/Curt Hennig/Shane/La Parka
Sid
wants the Powers That Be to come out here and fight like men. The
twins go after Benoit to start as Sid mauls the other three. Benoit
comes back on the twins as Sid beats Hennig up on the floor. The
twins get beaten up by Benoit’s ladder but Gerald saves Patrick from
the Crossface. Curt gets back in and nails Benoit with the ladder
and that’s a DQ. Nice two minute seven man handicap match.
Sid and Benoit get
beaten down. What this has to do with or makes me want to see Sid
vs. Nash and Benoit vs. Hall is beyond me. But at least the heels
get to look strong and heels are cool right?
Piper is going to be
the gatekeeper for the cage match tonight. Oh yay.
Kanyon vs. Diamond
Dallas Page
Why
this isn’t on Starrcade instead of Page vs. David Flair is another of
life’s great mysteries. Guerrera calls Kanyon Shampoo instead of
Champagne. The Champagne character works fine as Kanyon being in a
movie and letting it go to his head makes sense, especially when you
consider how minimal his contribution was (he was a stunt man)
compared to all of the wrestlers who starred in the movie and don’t
act all stuck up. Now of course that wasn’t intentional in this
company, but it’s a nice touch. Anyway, Page comes out to talk trash
of his own but gets gum spat in his face to get things going.
Biggs
does commentary as Page hits a neckbreaker but can’t hit an early
Diamond Cutter. A Rock Bottom gets two for Page until Kanyon comes
back with a lot of choking. Kanyon loads up a tilt-a-whirl but Page
busts out a headscissors of all things to take Kanyon down. That’s a
new one for him. The announcers babble on about green cards as
Kanyon stomps away in the corner. Page comes back with a clothesline
and some punches but Biggs gets up on the apron, only to hit his
client by mistake. There’s the Diamond Cutter but David Flair comes
in with the crowbar to knock Page silly and give Kanyon the win.
Rating:
D+.
Not a horrible match but the run-in continues to screw with whatever
good stuff this show could have going for it. At least Kanyon has a
new character which works well enough for him, but what has happened
to Diamond Dallas Page recently? The guy has gone from World
Champion to just there in about eight months.
Bam Bam Bigelow runs in
but gets laid out by a champagne bottle.
Piper beats up Creative
Control with a pipe.
Bret walks to the ring
until the director yells CUT.
Nash can’t find Hall.
Uh oh.
Starrcade ad.
A medic runs into the
Outsiders’ locker room, apparently due to an attack on Scott Hall.
Tag Team Titles:
Outsiders vs. Goldberg/Bret Hart
The
Outsiders are defending and this is a House of Pain match, which
means a cage with a roof on it but you win by handcuffing your
opponents to the cage. In other words, it’s a way to keep people
from having to job. Roddy Piper is gatekeeper but Creative Control
and Jeff Jarrett beats him down during the entrances. Nash and Hart
fight in the ring as Goldberg runs out and attacks Jarrett and the
twins as Piper shrugs off a beating, including a series of lead pipe
shots, to clean house.
Goldberg rips the cage
door off so he and Piper (now with the lead pipe) can come in. Jeff
follows them in with guitars for Goldberg and Piper but Goldberg
shrugs it off and spears Jeff down. Nash gets the pipe and hits
Goldberg, allowing Jeff (fine ten seconds after the spear) to help
chain Goldberg and Hart to the cage, presumably retaining the titles.
Piper gets chained as well and Nash and Jarrett attack with the pipe
before leaving. Goldberg rips the handcuffs from the cage to end the
show.
No
match of course but WOW. Nash just beat the main event of Starrcade
in less than three minutes. Piper no sold pipe shots, Goldberg no
sold a guitar shot, Jarrett no sold a spear, and then Goldberg no
sold a beating with a pipe and ripped the handcuffs off. The World
Title match wasn’t mentioned throughout this mess and basically the
entire thing was a way to blow off a meaningless TV angle instead of
focusing on the main event of Starrcade. Finally, well done on
bringing that cage in. I’m so glad WCW spent the money to have it
shipped over for a five minute appearance.
Overall
Rating:
F-.
We are three days before Starrcade. Think about that as you look at
the card and you’ll understand why this is a failure. Vince Russo
has turned this company into a show where I’m looking forward to
Janitor Jim Duggan appearances because I might get thirty seconds of
brawling disguised as wrestling. That’s what I’ve sunk to after all
these messes over the last few months and now I get to see the
Granddaddy of Them All dragged through the mud. It can’t……it
can’t…….it’s going to get worse isn’t it?
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Monday Nitro – December 13, 1999

Monday Nitro #218
Date: December 13, 1999
Location:
New Orleans, Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
Attendance: 6,835
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
How is this already the
go home show for Starrcade? Goldberg vs. Hart feels like a midcard
match instead of the main event. Based on the amount of time given
to each match, it would seem that the Mamalukes vs. Disco/Lash is
headlining the card. I’m not even sure what all is on the card at
this point. Let’s get to it.

We open with Benoit
winning a fight against Jarrett in the back.
Opening sequence.
The Artist Formerly
Known As Prince Iaukea vs. Maestro
Between
the piano being lowered to the stage (with Symphony back) and
Iaukea’s slow artsy entrance, we’re ready to go at nearly ten minutes
into the show. Maestro throws him to the floor to start before
planting him with a spinebuster back inside. The girls get into it
and Prince grabs a rollup with a handful of tights for the pin.
Post match, here’s
Jarrett with the guitars to knock out both guys. Jeff wants a
Bunkhouse Brawl (another name for hardcore of course) with Benoit
tonight.
Nash is looking for
Hall.
Evan Karagias hits on
Spice but Madusa comes up to get in a catfight.
Here’s
Bret Hart with something to say. He talks about how much he respects
Goldberg, but guarantees a win this Sunday. Cue Goldberg, complete
with the full security entrance. How did they know to knock on the
door at that point? Goldberg wasn’t scheduled for a match, so did
Dillinger just think “he might want to respond here?” He thinks
Bret is going to be next on Sunday. I’m so glad it took two minutes
to get to that point. This brings out the Outsiders who want their
Tag Team Titles back. Hall wants to fight now but Nash has to go
finish his coffee.
Gene looks down at
Madusa’s chest as she promises to hurt Spice tonight. This is
another of those jokes that are only funny to Russo and Ferrara so
we’re getting it on national TV.
Terry Taylor tells
Luger that he has a tag match against Diamond Dallas Page/Sting with
David Flair as his partner. This was announced earlier in the night,
which explains why Luger is so surprised. I wouldn’t watch the show
either.
David
Flair chases off a delivery man for reasons of general insanity.
Madusa vs. Spice
Madusa
quickly takes her down to start and hammers away but Evan comes in to
say calm down. Spice is helpless as Madusa wants Evan to slug her,
but Evan won’t do it. Madusa gets in a cheap shot and covers Madusa
(with two limbs in the ropes) for the pin. Your #1 contender
everyone.
Post match Madusa
kisses Evan and suplexes him.
Hennig is ready for
Bagwell tonight. Those two are fighting again? Rhonda Singh comes
in and Russo makes fat jokes. He won’t talk to her unless she has an
agent.
Revolution recap.
Jim
Duggan comes out to say he has three mystery partners on Sunday. He
survived surgery to fight for this country and spend time with his
wife and children. The lights go out and come back on to reveal
Duggan out cold.
Roddy Piper is going to
referee Bagwell vs. Hennig. Russo tells him to do the right thing.
Curt Hennig vs. Buff
Bagwell
Roddy
Piper is guest referee and makes it a No DQ match just because. Buff
throws Hennig down a few times and poses before planting Curt with a
slam. This leads to Hennig arguing with Piper for some reason,
allowing Buff to grab a rollup for two. Buzzkill is in the crowd and
wants to save baby seals. Again I ask, why is this supposed to be
funny?
Curt comes back with
right hands and chops, followed by the namesake neck snap. Piper
counts slowly to start another argument. He begs Curt to slap him
but the distraction lets Buff fight back with a swinging neckbreaker.
Buff’s splash hits knees, but Piper and Hennig get in a fight,
allowing Buff to grab a rollup for the pin with a very fast count.
Rating:
D.
What is this storyline? Russo and Piper hate each other because
Piper has to be on TV (because he was big in the 80s you see) and now
Piper is on TV as a referee but he’s being told to do the right
thing, which sounds like Russo speak for let his guys win, but I
think Piper is rebelling against him? Oh and Piper seems to be
schizophrenic because he keeps talking to the voices in his head.
An
unhappy Creative Control is on stage.
Luger
goes in to see David Flair and is scared by what he sees in the
locker room.
Chris Benoit vs.
Jeff Jarrett
Bunkhouse
match, meaning a come as you are street fight. Jeff brings a
cowbell, a guitar and a bar stool so Benoit comes out with a ladder.
The brawl starts in the aisle with Jeff getting the better of it and
getting the cowbell because cowboys are awesome. They’re like boys,
but with cows. Benoit comes back by choking with the bullrope and
taking Jeff inside for two off a backbreaker. It’s ladder time but
Jeff baseball slides it into Benoit’s face.
A
whip into the ladder has Benoit in even more trouble but he throws
Jeff into it as well to make things even. Benoit pulls him off the
ladder but Jeff pulls him down with the rope. Cue Dustin Rhodes but
Charles Robinson breaks up Shattered Dreams. There’s a guitar to
Dustin, at the exact same time he kicks Jeff low. Benoit goes up top
but Dustin is shoved into the ladder to send Benoit down in a crash
to give Jarrett the pin.
Rating:
D+.
There were some decent spots here but the ending was, of course, a
mess. I don’t know why Dustin Rhodes is here as the man in black,
especially when he’s fighting because they’ve moved on from the idea
of Dustin fighting because the Powers That Be fired Dusty. Instead
it’s just Dustin Rhodes being Dustin Rhodes which isn’t interesting.
Luger doesn’t have much
to say about the tag match but David Flair has a headless teddy bear.
A
sports car arrives.
Piper goes into Russo’s
office with a ball bat but Hennig nails him with a chair. So Curt is
La Parka?
Meng vs. Tank Abbott
Oh
sweet merciful goodness. This is a hardcore match because would you
want to see them try to wrestle? They slug it out to start as this
is designed to look like a shoot. Abbott takes him to the mat and
they fight to the floor for a quick double countout. This is the guy
Russo wanted to put the World Title on a month later?
Kanyon
was in the car and seems to now be a pimp.
Police stop Piper from
going after the Powers That Be.
Meng and Abbott are
still fighting in the back.
Revolution vs.
Harlem Heat/Midnight
Before
the match we get the usual “we hate America” jazz. Dean: “We’ve
got heat tonight.” Saturn: “Yeah listen to these people.”
Dean: “No. Harlem Heat.” I’m not sure how to feel about that
exchange. The lights go out for Midnight and come back with Saturn
going after Malenko, presumably out of confusion. Booker takes Dean
down to start and it’s already Spinarooni time. Off to Stevie for a
slam but Booker tags himself back in.
That’s
not cool with Stevie as he wanted Midnight to get the tag for reasons
not entirely clear. The Revolution quickly takes over with Saturn
stomping away in the corner and tagging in Dean, who walks right into
the Bookend. Stevie gets the tag but Booker tags himself back in
after just a few seconds. Saturn hits Asya by mistake as Stevie tags
himself back in to fight Dean and Saturn at the same time.
Everything breaks down and Midnight injures her knee on a leapfrog.
Booker checks on the knee, leaving Stevie to get rolled up for the
pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was an angle instead of a match but I’m glad we’re starting the
latest Harlem Heat split. There’s nothing left for the two of them
to do together and it means we might get to the long overdue Booker
push. The match was nothing special but at least we got more man vs.
woman.
Stevie
yells at his brother.
Luger says Liz won’t be
there with David tonight because Liz works for him alone. So we have
female property.
Rhonda
Singh asks Kanyon’s agent (J. Biggs, Clarence Mason from the WWF) to
represent her. It turns out she can sing and dance. The agent isn’t
interested, but Chavo comes up to sell Singh dancing gear. I don’t
see this ending well.
Paul Orndorff is here
and summoned to see the Powers That Be.
The Nitro Girls dance
when Rhonda joins them in glittery attire. She’s horrible of course
and shrugs off an attack by the Girls. So in the span of ten
minutes, we have man vs. woman, Liz as Luger’s property and now this.
How long until Russo gets fired?
Finlay is still
training Knobbs on how to be hardcore.
Norman Smiley and Jerry
Flynn fight in the boiler room. That goes nowhere until Meng and
Abbott wander in. Norman and Meng get out while Abbott and Flynn
fight.
Orndorff is in the
office, where Russo fires him for training Midnight. Paul yells, so
he’s put in a match with Creative Control.
Sid
has a kid named Seth who he calls his coach. Seth says Sid is his
favorite wrestler in the world. I think the kid has Downs Syndrome.
If he does, I have no issue with this segment whatsoever.
Steve
Williams vs. Sid Vicious
Oh
man. Imagine this one in 1989 with JR on commentary. Instead it’s
1999 with Oklahoma. Before the match, Oklahoma says the Powers That
Be have made this a suplex vs. powerbomb match, which I assume means
the first person to hit that finisher wins. Dr. Death jumps Sid as
he’s sitting the kid down at ringside because he’s really evil. Back
in and Williams hammers away as Oklahoma lists off the resume. Sid
blocks some suplexes and hammers away but Oklahoma slips his boot to
Williams. He knocks Sid out but Vampiro appears to chase Oklahoma,
allowing Sid to powerbomb Williams for the win.
Post
match the Outsiders run in and lay out Sid to make sure the kid
doesn’t get to smile any longer than he should. Sure the kid has a
horrible disease, but is that any reason for the Outsiders to not
look good?
Post
break, Sid is looked at by a doctor and the Outsiders think it’s
funny.
David Flair/Total
Package vs. Diamond Dallas Page/Sting
Did
Page turn face again and I missed it? I know he’s been going after
David but heel vs. heel is hardly unheard of under Russo. David has
the headless bear with him but takes a Stinger Splash in the first 45
seconds. Sting tags Page in with a right hand to start a fight
between the two of them. Now it’s Page taking a splash but Luger
sneaks in with a running clothesline to Sting, followed by some
crowbar shots. Liz sneaks in to take the crowbar away before laying
over Sting to stop some chair shots. David hits Luger with the
crowbar so Liz puts Sting over Luger for the pin (from the referee
who saw ALL OF THIS). What a mess.
Singh
comes up to Champagne Kanyon and the agent in the back and asks if
they liked her dance. This goes nowhere so Bam Bam Bigelow comes up
and gets in Kanyon’s face. The agent offers a distraction so Kanyon
can beat him down. Kanyon: “Triad that!”
After a break, Bigelow
comes to the ring and demands Kanyon come out here for a match.
Kanyon vs. Bam Bam
Bigelow
Before
the match, Biggs wants to talk about legal ramifications and gets
shoved to the side so Bigelow can punch Kanyon in the face. Some
biting and stomps to the head have Kanyon in even more trouble but he
comes back with a swinging neckbreaker. A suplex sets up a World’s
Strongest Slam to Kanyon and there’s the top rope headbutt a bit low.
Kanyon is up and fine ten seconds later with the Flatliner (now
called That’s A Wrap) connecting for a clean pin.
Rating:
D.
Did…..did that match just end clean? Did I just see a match
without any interference or cheating? You always hear about these
things but you never expect to actually see them happen. It was
boring stuff though and the ending came out of nowhere with Kanyon
just popping up and hitting his finisher for the pin.
Norman
hides from Meng.
The Mamalukes have a
body bag for Lash.
Piper babbles about his
chair match later.
Lash Leroux vs. Big
Vito
This
is a body bag match, which I’m assuming is like a casket match. Lash
sucks up to his hometown to start. Vito pounds away to start and
nails a superkick for two. Back up and Lash nails a backdrop
followed by an elbow to the jaw to send Vito into the corner. A side
slam and legdrop get two more, followed by a Disco Inferno style
middle rope elbow drop. Disco and Johnny fight on the floor as Lash
nails the Whiplash. He puts Vito mostly in the bag which is enough
for the win, even though you can see Vito’s head and shoulders.
Rating:
D+.
Was there any point to this being a body bag match? I certainly
don’t think so, but I’m just a wrestling fan and therefore don’t
understand such nuances. Nothing match here as the tag match is
still set up, even though it’s not likely going to be anything
special to see. At least this story has gotten some consistent TV
time though and I can see what they’re going for.
Post
match the Mamalukes destroy Lash and put him in the bag, eventually
taking him out to their car.
Paul
Orndorff vs. Creative Control
So
yeah, Orndorff is back and in a match. I’ll set the over/under on
run-ins here at 5.5. Paul kicks Patrick in the knee to start and
puts him down with a knee lift. Gerald gets suplexed for trying to
come in and an elbow drop gets two. Orndorff chokes him with a rope
but Patrick makes the save to start the obvious beatdown. Cue
Anderson (you remember him Paul. He’s the guy that broke your neck
and ended your career) and Zbyszko to help beat up the twins,
allowing Orndorff to piledrive Patrick for the pin.
Rating:
D-.
I’ve never been the biggest Paul Orndorff fan (I don’t dislike him
but I never got the massive appeal) but you just had him hold his own
and beat last week’s Tag Team Champions. Yeah he had help, but the
Harris Brothers should have a lot less trouble beating up two guys
who retired due to neck issues and a commentator who has wrestled
like four times in three years.
Slick Johnson reverses
the decision and names Creative Control the winners by DQ. Good for
them I suppose.
The Mamalukes open the
body bag and find….Norman Smiley. Their reactions are actually
funny.
Curt Hennig vs.
Roddy Piper
Chairs
match and another pairing that would have rocked in 1989. Piper
apparently has a torn bicep so Hennig goes right after the arm.
Roddy comes back with some chair shots and Hennig leaves after about
70 seconds. I see zero point to this match existing.
Bret
Hart has been attacked and Goldberg checks on him.
Tag Team Titles:
Bret Hart/Goldberg vs. Outsiders
Hall
and Nash are challenging. Goldberg comes out to fight alone and does
just fine to start with the superkick dropping Nash and a right hand
sending Hall to the floor with him. Back in and Hall officially
starts for the team with a wristlock but gets put down with the AA’s
second cousin. A pumphandle slam sends Hall running to the corner
and it’s off to Nash. Kevin tries his luck by running the ropes but
walks into a powerslam for two.
The
numbers game starts catching up with Goldberg though and Hall’s cheap
shot lets Nash take over. The running crotch attack to the back gets
two on Goldberg and Hall plants him with a chokeslam. Hart limps
down and slugs away for the save. Nash gets caught in the
Sharpshooter but Hall makes the save. Everything breaks down with
Hall getting kicked down, right before Nash brings in the title belt.
Bret punches him down but his knee goes out, despite Nash not
touching him, allowing Nash to get the pin and the titles, just
before Goldberg Jackhammers Hall.
Rating:
D.
Angle instead of a match here, but thank goodness they managed to get
the World Champion pinned six days before Starrcade and give Hall a
second (or third if you consider the TV Title still around) title.
This is the problem with having the World Title match participants as
champions, but giving it to them for four days made it even dumber.
Trash fills the ring to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
F+.
Well let’s see: #1 contender for the Cruiserweight Title loses to a
non-wrestler, Sid gets beaten down again, the World Champion gets
pinned, Jeff Jarrett still isn’t interesting and Hennig and Piper set
up and blew off an angle in one night with a match barely breaking a
minute. Somehow, this is their go home show (Thunder hasn’t meant
anything in ages) for the biggest show of the year. Russo booking
Starrcade scares the heck out of me and this didn’t do anything to
make it better.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Thunder – December 9, 1999

Thunder
Date: December 9, 1999
Location: Dane County
Coliseum, Madison, Wisconsin
Attendance: 3,953
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Juventud Guerrera
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
I
can’t believe I’m saying this but there’s a slight chance this could
be an interesting episode. On Nitro, Russo promised A-List stars on
this show. Now given how things work around here, you could have
Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and the Rock in every segment and somehow
WCW would manage to screw it up, but at least the stars would be more
interesting. Let’s get to it.

Here
are the Outsiders with a ladder to get things going. Hall sets it up
and pretends to fall off, which would be funnier if Hall wasn’t a
constant threat to have a major accident every five minutes. He
knows Benoit is just in this match for the raise and knows he can’t
handle a regular match, so he’s asked for it to be a ladder match.
Benoit should go rent a tape of the ladder match with Shawn to see
what he’s getting into.
Nash wants to talk
about all the people around here with chips on their shoulders,
including Sid. If Sid wants to walk around like a big man, Nash has
a powerbomb waiting on him. This brings out Sid to say that he’s the
man. Nash: “Is Vader booked?” Sid charges the ring and goes
after Nash, knocking the ladder over in the process. He loads up
Nash for the powerbomb but Hall nails him in the back with the
ladder. Dustin Rhodes runs out for the save, drawing out Jeff
Jarrett and Benoit with the bad guys getting the better of it and
setting up a likely six man main event.
Tenay
talks about Rhonda Singh getting a Cruiserweight Title shot tonight
but Madusa comes out to say Singh isn’t a cruiserweight. Singh is
getting a title shot over Madusa’s dead body. “Does this body look
dead to you?” Well it’s certainly in need of support.
Juventud Guerrera and
Psychosis come out with Juvi’s Rock impression getting SILENCE.
Apparently Juvy is joining Tenay in the booth for the night. Oh good
grief this is going to be a long night.
Nitro recap.
Dean Malenko vs.
Booker T.
Well
that’s better tha most matches we get on this show so maybe things
are looking up. Maybe I should stop having false hope. Before the
match, Shane Douglas challenges Jim Duggan to find three friends for
an eight man tag at Starrcade. If the Revolution loses, they’ll be
WCW’s janitors for a month, but if Duggan loses, he renounces his
American citizenship. Well sure, why not. Malenko calls Dave Penzer
a typical American and Saturn quotes Stripes.
Booker (with Stevie)
nails Dean with a forearm and the ax kick to start but Dean pokes him
in the eye and sends him outside. Saturn and Stevie get into it on
the floor as Booker goes back inside for a spinebuster. Booker loads
up another ax kick but Shane nails him in the head with the cast,
setting up the Cloverleaf on the unconscious Booker for the quick
win.
Duggan
comes out to make the save, exciting Juvy WAY too much. Yeah the
Revolution is getting more screen time, but it’s leading to a Jim
Duggan match. That’s the disconnect with Russo: he knows how to make
the buildup work, but the end result is usually a disaster.
Sid,
Benoit and Rhodes jump Creative Control and Shane outside Russo’s
office. After a break, the six man is made.
The Artist Formerly
Known As Prince Iaukea vs. Vampiro
Iaukea
comes out to a bunch of candles as we enter another Russo standard:
giving someone a really lame character which is somehow better than
the one they previously had but still stupid. Juvy calls Vampiro a
jabroni for stealing the Juvy Driver. The bell rings and let’s cut
to Oklahoma coming out instead of watching the openin…..maybe
Oklahoma is the better option here.
We come back to the
ring to see Prince blowing a kiss to Paisley (later known as Queen
Sharmell) and superkicking Vampiro down. That’s nice and all, but
let’s cut to Roddy Piper who is GETTING OUT OF A LIMO. Back to the
ring with Vampiro whipping him into the barricade but heading back
inside for a spinebuster from Prince. Oklahoma hits on Paisley as
Vampiro lands on his feet out of a monkey flip and superkicks Prince
for the pin. This match was less than two and a half minutes long
and somehow squeezed in Oklahoma’s entrance, Oklahoma hitting on
Paisely, Piper getting out of a limo and two superkicks.
Prince goes after
Oklahoma post match and gets beaten up by Dr. Death.
Russo
fires Mona for losing on Monday. Good. Go be the adorable Molly
Holly and get to actually show off a bit instead. Rhonda Singh comes
in and thanks Russo as Hennig and the twins snicker at her weight.
She has a plan to get ratings. Could that plan be to have a boss who
makes sure that every viewer knows that women are totally beneath him
and how powerful he is over them? Oh and that Singh is fat and we
should all laugh at her?
Roddy Piper and Nick
Patrick have a chat for the sake of plot convenience. There’s a new
ruling that says all referee decisions are final. When was this not
the case?
Saturn and Stevie Ray
fight in the back.
Goldberg/Bret Hart get
a Tag Team Title shot tonight and don’t have much to say about it.
Rhonda Singh vs.
Madusa
Evan
Karagias is on commentary, so I guess the title match was dropped
somewhere in the 40 minutes since it was announced. Singh shoves her
down to start and runs her over with the power of fat. Evan uses pop
lyrics to describe his feelings for Madusa, who avoids a middle rope
splash. A quick middle rope dropkick knocks Singh down as Evan gets
on the apron. Madusa kisses him but it’s just a distraction so Singh
can miss a charge and knock Karagias off the apron, allowing Madusa
to get a rollup pin.
Time
for Singh’s big ratings ploy: stripping! Juvy loves it but the
lights start flickering. You can see someone jumping Singh and
knocking her out.
David Flair starts
talking about his match in the Block (boiler room) with Jerry Flynn.
He starts saying To Be The Man but cracks up instead.
We’re about halfway
through the show. Total match time: 5:53.
Stevie nails Saturn
with a Surge container.
David
Flair goes to fight Flynn in the boiler room but runs into Buzzkill,
who wants them to give peace a chance. David tries to hit him with
the crowbar but Flynn takes him down. Cue Tank Abbott for the first
time in about six and a half months to lay out Flynn. This was
billed as a match, believe it or not.
Tag Team Titles:
Goldberg/Bret Hart vs. Creative Control
Bret
and we’ll say Gerald get things going with Hart hammering on the arm.
The twins start double teaming to take over as the fans already want
Goldberg. A clothesline gets a very quick two count from Slick
Johnson, drawing in Roddy Piper for you “wrestling isn’t enough for
you so here’s something else” entertainment. Goldberg comes in
without a tag and cleans house with a spear, setting up a double
finish with the Sharpshooter and Jackhammer to give us new champions.
Rating:
D.
Longest match of the night so far at three minutes and featured the
illegal man getting the pin, a crooked referee, a replacement
referee, and an argument between referees. Somehow that equals out
to nothing to see here other than Russo’s favorite story: wacky
partners about to fight at Starrcade. I believe this makes Hart the
first Triple Crown Champion of two companies.
Post
match Bret shakes Goldberg’s hand and says may the best man win at
Starrcade.
Stevie and Saturn fight
some more but Juvy says this doesn’t matter. Neither does most of
this show, but at least it doesn’t matter with bigger names this
week.
Saturn vs. Stevie
Ray
Stevie
starts fast with a corner clothesline but tries again and eats two
boots to the face. Snake Eyes and a t-bone suplex set up a dropkick
for two on Stevie but he comes back with a press slam. The referee
breaks up a stomping in the corner, earning him a bump in the
process. I can’t believe it but they managed to make it five whole
matches before the first ref bump. Cue Creative Control to lay out
Stevie, giving Saturn the cheap pin (with feet on the ropes like he
should be doing).
Russo tells Piper that
he’ll never work in this business again.
Sting
doesn’t care about Diamond Dallas “Trash’s” (is he related to
Hollywood Scum Hogan?) problems but approves of Liz. You stupid,
stupid man.
Total Package vs.
Buff Bagwell
Juvy
on Luger: “That’s the juice!” DDP comes out for commentary as
Buff grabs a headlock to start. Luger shrugs off some arm cranking
but misses a clothesline and gets slammed twice. Bagwell kicks him
low and gets two off a neckbreaker, sending Luger outside. Page:
“I’m going to shoot my own angle.” He gets up and gets in a
fight with Bagwell, drawing out the agents to break it up for the no
contest. We’re still waiting on a match to break three minutes
tonight (the Tag Title match was three minutes even).
Duggan asks Russo for a
match tonight but is told no one cares about him.
Jim Duggan vs. Asya
ENOUGH
OF THE MAN VS. WOMAN STUFF! It worked with Chyna but this has been
old for weeks now. And no match as Creative Control, La Parka and
Hennig run in to beat down Duggan. The Revolution comes out with hot
dogs and pies to make it a big mess. Harlem Heat comes out for the
save.
Benoit/Sid/Rhodes are
ready for the main event.
Sting vs. Diamond
Dallas Page
Liz
is with Sting. Sting hits the Splash and has the Deathlock on in
less than 30 seconds but Page makes the ropes. The referee is decked
(with Page changing directions to hit him) 50 seconds in and here’s
Luger to lay out Sting with the ball bat. Page adds a Diamond Cutter
for the pin. Diamond Dallas Page vs. Sting can’t even make a minute
and forty seconds.
Scott Hall/Kevin
Nash/Jeff Jarrett vs. Chris Benoit/Dustin Rhodes/Sid Vicious
It’s
a huge brawl to start with Jeff and Chris being the only ones left in
the ring for a slugout. Benoit hits something like an Irish Curse
before tagging in Rhodes, who is sent into Nash’s forearm. Kevin
comes in for some knees in the corner before it’s off to Hall for
some right hands.
That’s the extent of
the offense from Hall on Thunder so he brings Nash in for a single
clothesline before it’s back to Jarrett. Rhodes gets caught in a
sleeper but suplexes his way out, setting up a double tag to the
monsters. Everything breaks down and Sid clotheslines the Outsiders
down. The powerbomb is broken up by a guitar shot and Nash pins Sid.
Rating:
D-.
Oh screw off WCW. This was the longest match of the night at a
riveting four minutes and twelve seconds. They’re clearly setting up
the next incarnation of the NWO with Hall/Nash/Jarrett and my
goodness it’s not interesting. When the Outsiders are only in there
for a handful of seconds each, why am I supposed to be interested in
setting them dominate a company? Again?
Overall
Rating:
F-.
Eight matches for a total time of 19:47. Do you know how hard it is
to not have twenty minutes of wrestling in a two hour show? I can’t
remember the last time Smackdown had eight matches on a card or at
least one match breaking ten minutes. This company has decided to
just not have wrestling on its shows and that’s not going to work for
more than a few more weeks. Total disaster of a show here and one of
the biggest wastes of time I can ever remember in wrestling. Well
not really wrestling on this show but you get the idea.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

Monday Nitro – December 6, 1999

Monday Nitro #217
Date: December 6, 1999
Location:
Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 7,250
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The
big question this week is can WCW somehow manage to make the shows
even less coherent than they already have. Last week’s show had its
moments, but for the most part it was all over the place to the point
where I can barely remember what happened just a week later.
Starrcade is thirteen days away and we’ve barely touched on the card.
We actually have a title match announced from Thunder as Bret will
defend against Luger. Let’s get to it.

We
open with Gene bringing out Jeff Jarrett for an interview. Jeff
doesn’t need Slapnuts Okerlund and will do the interview himself.
Jarrett also doesn’t need the Powers That Be or the Outsiders but he
does need the WCW World Title. The fans start swearing at him and
the attempted beeping out is laughably awful. He wants to get rid of
Dustin Rhodes for screwing up his destiny and he’ll do it in a
Bunkhouse Stampede match at Starrcade.
This brings him to Mike
Tenay, who won’t come near him anymore. Jeff threatens Gene with a
guitar shot but Tenay comes out and says he’ll take matters into his
own hands. Jeff doesn’t care and puts Tenay in the Figure Four until
Goldberg runs in for the save. Hopefully that ends the Tenay angle
but I doubt it does.
The Mamalukes and Tony
Marinara arrive with Tony yelling at them for letting Disco and Lash
get the better of them. Tonight, they meet the boss.
Curt
Hennig brings Curly Bill in to see Russo with a new gimmick in mind:
Shane. Russo says it’s as bad as Vincent but at least he’s thinking.
Shane is hired. Hey, I’m not sure if you knew this, but there are
people named Vince and Shane in the WWF. It’s not clear why
mentioning them is supposed to be amusing or entertaining, but those
people do in fact exist. Rhonda Singh comes in and asks for an
opportunity.
Fit Finlay has Brian
Knobbs in the woods, training him to be a REAL hardcore wrestler.
This has potential, but Norman would be far more entertaining.
Hardcore Title:
Norman Smiley vs. Rhonda Singh
What
is the deal with Russo having men fight women? It happens almost
every week. Before the match, Smiley says he would take Finlay apart
if he was here tonight. The fat jokes begin as Singh throws weapons
into the ring and nails Norman with a trashcan. She tells him to be
a man and hits another trashcan shot, followed by a splash in the
corner. Norman comes back with a fire extinguisher blast and sends
Singh face first through a table in the corner to retain.
Rating:
F.
I feel sorry for women who sign up with WCW, thinking they might be
able to do something serious on the show. Instead, they’re there so
Russo can either have them treated as sex objects or there to be fat
and stupid. As usual, this show is Russo’s playground and the idea
of it being anything resembling a wrestling show is purely
coincidental.
Maestro
is complaining that his piano is out of tune. He looks inside so
David Flair can come up, slam the lid on his head, and kidnap
Symphony. This is the stupid stuff that is dragging this show down.
We’ve spent about a month explaining that David Flair is a psycho who
keeps kidnapping/stalking women, and NO ONE HAS DONE ANYTHING ABOUT
IT. On top of that, this doesn’t seem to be leading to a match or
any kind of storyline resolution, but it keeps happening week after
week like a bad TV show. If it sets up a match then fine, but stop
wasting my time otherwise.
Psychosis
and La Parka are in Russo’s office. Apparently Juvy has hurt his arm
and can’t defend the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title in his rematch
against Liger tonight. One of the two of them will take Juvy’s
place, and it’s going to be whoever gets out of the office first.
Psychosis nails Parka and leaves first. This is what Vince Russo
thinks of cruiserweights.
Luger comes up to Liz’s
door with champagne and says this is the night that defines their
careers.
Disco and Lash invade
Marinara’s dressing room with promises of pizza.
IWGP Junior
Heavyweight Title: Psychosis vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
This
is the second time in a year that Psychosis is defending a title he
didn’t win. Feeling out process to start with Liger taking over with
a headscissors. A backdrop sends Psychosis to the floor but let’s
stop to look at Buzzkill in the crowd. Liger nails a plancha but
Psychosis snaps his throat across the top for a breather.
Psychosis
hits a missile dropkick for two and yells at Charles Robinson for the
near fall. Back to the floor with Liger being whipped into the
barricade, setting up a top rope hurricanrana to give Psychosis two
back inside. A quick Liger Kick stuns Psychosis and Liger throws him
into the ropes for a crash. Out of nowhere, a majistral cradle gives
Liger the title back.
Rating:
C.
The fans didn’t care, but a lot of that is likely due to most of them
not being familiar with Liger or the title. Both Liger and the title
have been thrown out there two weeks in a row with no real
explanation of who they are or why they’re here. I’m sure some fans
remember Liger from his occasional appearances, but the majority seem
to think of him as just another guy fighting for a title that isn’t
the Cruiserweight belt.
La Parka chairs
Psychosis post match to make sure Liger gets zero focus.
The Nitro Girls play
cards when the Mamalukes come in and make it a strip poker game.
Liz will have nothing
to do with Luger’s apologies.
Maestro looks for
Symphony.
Gene keeps staring at
Mona’s chest, prompting Mona to say she’s more than T&A, unlike
Madusa.
Evan Karagias vs.
Mona vs. Madusa
If
either girl wins, they get a title shot at Evan at Starrcade. If
Evan wins, he gets Starrcade off. The girls shove Evan away and go
at it themselves with Madusa kicking her in the face for two. Evan
sits in on commentary because EVERY MATCH NEEDS COMMENTARY. Mona
comes back with a cross body and missile dropkick but Evan throws her
down, only to get small packaged by Madusa for the pin in like 80
seconds.
Jeff Jarrett comes out
and guitars Madusa because men beating up women is funny right? He
challenges Goldberg for later.
Lash and Disco have
tied Tony up and promise him a surprise.
Liz pours champagne on
Luger’s head.
Maestro is still
looking for Symphony and doesn’t notice when he walks past David.
Vampiro and Jerry Only
are going to take out Dr. Death tonight.
Oklahoma/Steve
Williams vs. Vampiro/Jerry Only
Oklahoma
has a wireless mic on, no shirt, and is going to call the match as he
starts with Vampiro. To the shock of no one, Oklahoma runs away from
the threat of violence and tags in Dr. Death for some three point
tackles. We hit the spinning toehold before it’s back to Oklahoma,
who can’t do the same hold. Vampiro comes back with a kick to the
head, which makes me smile far more than it should.
Off to Williams vs.
Only with Jerry getting caught in the running press slam. Oklahoma
gets in a chair shot to Jerry as Williams hits the Stampede but pulls
Vampiro up. That goes well for Vampiro as he superkicks Williams
down, only to have Oklahoma nail him with a boot. Williams
clotheslines Vampiro down and it’s off to Oklahoma for a bottom rope
elbow and the pin.
Rating:
F.
The unfunny parody beats the wrestler the fans want to see in a match
where the musician doesn’t have to look bad. It’s another case of
WCW having no idea how their priorities should work and the show
being about making the writers laugh instead of delivering what the
fans might want to see.
The
Nitro Girls cheat to beat the Mamalukes in the poker game.
Disco
and Lash get ready to tar and feather Marinara. In the middle, Disco
draws what looks to be a Hitler mustache on Tony.
The
Outsiders are ready for their matches tonight.
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Total Package
This
is the opener of the second hour because the REAL main events are
still to come. The champ jumps Luger during the removal of the pants
and takes the fight outside. Hart goes after the back and then the
knee as we continue this brief resurrection of the old Bret Hart
style. Luger goes after the eyes for an escape and here are Sting
and Liz. Sting yells at Liz and asks who she’s going to represent.
The distraction lets Bret hit a quick Russian legsweep followed by
the Sharpshooter to retain.
Rating:
D.
I love seeing Bret work the body parts like he did in the old days,
but can we get a World Title match to close the show instead of
giving it less time than the Oklahoma match? I’m sure I just don’t
get the appeal of the comedy stylings of Oklahoma and that I’m over
thinking the importance of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship,
which has been reduced to a plot point in the Sting vs. Luger feud.
Here’s the
Hennig/Shane/Singh segment from earlier. Not a repeat mind you, but
the same segment which is presented like first run footage.
Russo
offers La Parka the position of Chairman, meaning he’s supposed to
chair anyone that stands in front of Russo. Harlem Heat comes in and
are given a title shot at Starrcade, but La Parka nails Booker with a
chair and Creative Control comes in for the beatdown.
Roddy
Piper is here. Tonight he’s refereeing Creative Control vs. Roddy
Piper. That’s not a typo.
David
Flair talks to the voices in his head as Symphony wonders why she
took this job.
Jerry Flynn issues an
open challenge for the Block.
Asya vs. Midnight
These
two might be the exception to Russo’s horrible treatment of women.
The Revolution is now in full black attire with Shane ranting about
how people tell him he can’t desecrate the flag. The fans’ chants
have to be censored again and it’s another failure. Shane displays
the Revolution flag and Saturn says they’re like the Black Panthers.
The far bigger Midnight attacks to start and gets two off a dropkick.
Asya gets two off a suplex but gets caught in Ricky Steamboat’s
double chicken wing. A delayed vertical suplex gets two for Midnight
but the Revolution comes in for the quick no contest.
Jim
Duggan comes out for the save but gets beaten down and covered with
the Revolution flag.
Larry
Zbyszko talks to Mike Graham about an upcoming meeting with Russo and
company.
We
get the return of the Nitro Party tapes, but this one includes a
“fan” (soon to be known as Daffney), saying that David Flair is
really cool.
Creative Control vs.
Roddy Piper
Piper
is guest referee. Before the match, they have to do everything he
says. Why don’t they have to do everything he says during the match
as well? Or am I looking too deeply into this. Piper pats them both
down and grabs one’s crotch (Piper: “I’m having a ball!”). This
is an I Quit match, so the first rule is you win by making someone
say they quit. The second rule is a kick between one of the twins’
legs, followed by the bell ringing.
Piper’s hand lock has
no effect so the twins hit a pair of double gutbusters. Piper won’t
give up so they load up a spike piledriver, drawing out Goldberg for
the save. He botches the Jackhammer as Piper chokes the other one
with a tie to win. So Bryan stole it from Piper? Also, nice job of
having the Tag Team Champions lose.
Tony Marinara is tarred
and feathered. He offers threats of his father.
The Mamalukes offer a
winner take all hand in the poker game.
Maestro finds
Symphony’s shoe.
Dustin Rhodes vs.
Meng
Meng
vs. Smiley for the Hardcore Title is announced for Starrcade. I’ll
skip Meng no selling the offense and get to the meat of the “match”:
Jarrett runs in, Meng is sent to the floor, Outsiders run in, Meng no
sells a guitar shot, Nash kicks Meng to the floor and powerbombs
Rhodes. This has been another non-match.
Larry
is in Russo’s office. Russo: “Why does Thunder suck now?” Well
at least someone finally said it. Larry blames it on the lack of
A-list stars on the show, so Russo says they’ll be there from now on.
He’s firing the announcer though. This makes Larry insult Hennig
because the script says he should, setting up a loser leaves town
match for later with Zbyszko vs. Hennig. If Larry wins, Russo is
gone but if Curt wins, Larry is gone.
Prince
Iaukea is now dressed as the Artist Formerly Known As Prince.
Curt Hennig vs.
Larry Zbyzsko
Larry
comes out to the Nitro theme but Hennig has Shane with him. This is
quite the showdown. Larry starts (on time!) with his basic wrestling
stuff and gets two off a swinging neckbreaker. The referee goes down
and Hennig starts a comeback (a minute and a half into the match)
with knee lifts and an abdominal stretch. Larry counters the
PerfectPlex into his guillotine choke but Shane makes the save. Cue
Arn Anderson to lay out both bad guys (I guess that’s the closest
thing we’ll get to an Enforcers reunion), giving Larry the surprise
pin.
Rating:
O.
For oh of course it’s not going to stand. The match was nothing to
see of course but that’s what you have to expect these days. The
only other note here: people often forget Larry’s age. He turned 46
the day before this match and was still in good shape so it wasn’t
the biggest stretch. It’s weird to think of him in his mid 40s when
he was the old veteran during the NWO’s heyday.
Creative Control comes
out and shows Robinson the replay so the finish is reversed, meaning
Larry is gone.
Disco and Lash put an
apple in Marinara’s mouth. The Mamalukes see this, throw on their
clothes, and go after them.
Chris Benoit vs.
Kevin Nash
Hall,
carrying a ladder, comes out with Nash and sits in on commentary.
Nash takes Benoit into the corner to start and elbows him in the
head. As Nash walks around, Hall sits on top of the ladder for a
better view. Benoit stomps him down in the corner and cannonballs
onto Nash’s leg. They head to the floor with Nash no selling the leg
work and sending Benoit into the steps. Back in and the side slam
gets two for Nash (Hall: “SUCK ON THAT BENOIT!”) but Chris
dropkicks the knee out and cranks on the leg.
Benoit slugs away in
the corner but charges into a boot to the face. There go the straps
and Hall gets off the ladder, only to see Benoit slap on the
Crossface. Hall decks the referee and throws in the ladder but
Benoit dropkicks it into Nash’s face. A cross body off the ladder
puts Hall down and Benoit hammers away until Nash gets up with the
Jackknife. Hall loads up the Edge onto the ladder until Sid comes
out to make the save. No contest.
Rating:
C-.
I liked this better than I was expecting to. Nash is underrated as a
big power guy as he can make his offense look damaging while also
having someone like Benoit break him down. This wasn’t a great match
and of course got bogged down by all the nonsense, but I had a better
time with it than I was expecting to.
Sting tells the
Outsiders to bring it.
Here
are the Mamalukes to call out Disco and Lash but gets the girls from
the club last week. Vito rants about how he didn’t want to sleep
with them, but Disco and Lash sneak up on them and attack. This
brings out the tarred and feathered Tony Marinara to nail them with a
pipe, allowing the Mamalukes to take them away.
The Mamalukes throw
Disco and Lash into a car but the car drives off without them. What
is
Russo’s obsession with this story? It gets as much airtime as
anything else on the show.
Maestro staggers into
the boiler room to find Symphony but gets beaten up by Jerry Flynn.
So Jerry is the modern day Mankind? Jerry goes to a door, finds
David and Symphony, and eats a crowbar to the face.
Nick Patrick says
everyone is banned from ringside unless they have business out there
because it’s time for the referees to take power back. Normally I
would complain about aline like that but a lot more structure around
here would be an incredibly welcome sight.
Liz has a contract in
her hands.
Scott Hall vs. Sting
Non-title,
which might have something to do with Hall not bringing the belt with
him. Liz comes out with Sting and Nash jumps in on commentary. Hall
finds the toothpick throw hilarious but Sting would rather hit him in
the face to take over. They quickly head outside with Nash choking
Sting with a cord, allowing Hall to get in some cheap shots.
Back in and we hit the
abdominal stretch on Sting, followed by a sleeper so neither guy has
to do much other than stand there. A belly to back suplex finally
gets Sting out and he slugs away, including ten punches in the
corner. Sting gets all the way up to twenty but Scott pokes him in
the eye for a breather. Liz gets on the apron to pepper spray Hall,
setting up the Deathlock for the submission.
Rating:
D.
I guess it helps that Hall didn’t lose clean, but maybe you could
like, not have a champion lose on TV. It was nice to have something
resembling a clean match until the ending, which felt tacked on, but
somehow that’s an upgrade in the Russo era. To be fair though, at
least the title doesn’t mean anything these days anyway so it can’t
be hurt too badly.
Here’s
David Flair to his dad’s music and holding Symphony by the hair.
Maestro has ten seconds to come out here and get her, but here’s Page
instead. A crowbar shot misses and Page lays him out with a Diamond
Cutter before telling the Powers That Be to make this a pay per view
match. Oh and contrary to rumors, he’s NOT going to the WWF because
he’s loyal to what brought him here. Thanks for that totally
unnecessary name drop, but to be fair they are closing the ratings
gap. Last week they lost by 3.4 points and this week it would only
be 3 even, meaning Raw doubled Nitro up. Page calls out Sid and
their match is on.
Sid
Vicious vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Sid
shoves him out to the floor to start and drops Page throat first
across the barricade. Back in and Page grabs a quick neckbreaker but
Sid launches him off at two. A top rope clothesline puts Sid down
again but he breaks up the Diamond Cutter by, say it with me,
knocking Page into the referee. There’s the powerbomb to Page but
the Outsiders run in for the beatdown. This brings out Benoit to
help fight back but Jeff Jarrett comes in for the save until Bret
Hart runs in to make it even. Page walks out and the match is a no
contest because of course it is.
As
everyone brawls, Nick Patrick grabs the mic and says the referees and
security haven’t been in charge all night so the main event can be a
lumberjack match because they’re out of here. So yeah, they’re not
even trying to call it wrestling anymore as there won’t be any
referees. It hasn’t been a wrestling show in weeks so it’s nice to
see them finally confirm it.
Back
from a break with the Outsiders, Jarrett and now Creative Control
still destroying everyone until Goldberg comes out for the save. The
four good guys stand tall and Jarrett says no way, so here’s Roddy
Piper to say he’ll referee and everyone else can be lumberjacks.
Jeff tries to leave again so the Green Bay Packers show up to stop
him, allowing Dustin Rhodes to throw him back in.
Jeff Jarrett vs.
Goldberg
A
big shoulder gets two for Goldberg and he starts hammering Jeff in
the face. Jeff tries to jump over him in the corner but gets caught
in a powerslam as this is one sided so far. Jarrett rolls outside
and gets beaten up by the lumberjacks. He rolls back inside and gets
caught in an armbar, so it’s right back to the lumberjacks. Everyone
outside gets in a brawl so Jeff sneaks in a chair to take over behind
Piper’s back. A high cross body gets two for Jeff and it’s time for
the sleeper as the fight has finally calmed down.
Goldberg
fights up and slams out of the sleeper because he’s Goldberg and it
was just a sleeper. Both guys collide and go down, which looks way
off as you wouldn’t expect Goldberg to go down off a Jeff Jarrett
shoulder block. Piper counts to ten without anyone getting up and
nothing changes as a result. Nash grabs Goldberg’s foot to break up
the spear and pulls him to the floor for a beatdown. In the melee,
Bret brings the belt in and nails Jarrett (mostly off camera),
setting up the Jackhammer for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Well they tried. This match was the attempt to make Jeff Jarrett
seem like a legitimate main event guy but it really didn’t work. The
insanity of the match held it down because we can’t just have
Goldberg and Jarrett have a match where Jeff outsmarts him before
falling to the Jackhammer, but that might be asking for too much.
Overall
Rating:
D.
This show was all over the place, as has become WCW’s custom. First
and foremost, what is with the obsession over the mafia story? That
angle got more time than anything else all night with David Flair and
the Maestro in second place. The wrestling was what you would expect
from WCW with the longest match not even breaking eight minutes.
There’s stuff going on for sure, but you have to take notes to
remember why people are doing what they’re doing with only thirteen
days left until Starrcade. Oh and Thunder sucks and is apparently
going to be a plot point going forward. How nice.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Thunder – December 2, 1999

Thunder
Date: December 2, 1999
Location: Landon Arena,
Topeka, Kansas
Attendance: 2,467
Commentators: Larry
Zbyszko, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
After
a week off due to Thanksgiving, we’re back for one of the final live
Thunders as the tapings would soon move to Tuesday nights. In other
words, this might be the last “good” show in the series’ run.
We’re less than three weeks away from Starrcade and the World Title
scene is very slowly rounding into form. Unfortunately everything
else is rounding into form and it’s not a pretty sight. Let’s get to
it.

Hardcore Title:
Norman Smiley vs. The Wall
Norman,
the champion, is in karate attire and Berlyn comes out for
commentary. There are weapons in the ring already but Norman relies
on the power of the 80s with a Crane Kick pose, earning him a
clothesline. Wall blasts Norman with some weapons shots as Berlyn is
suddenly fine with speaking English and demanding an apology from the
big guy.
Norman keeps screaming
as the beating continues but eventually kicks the trashcan into
Wall’s face. The Big Wiggle is teased but Wall hot shots him
instead. The chokeslam is loaded up but Berlyn hits Wall with the
belt, knocking him out with his hand still around Norman’s throat.
Norman covers while still being choked to retain the title.
Rating:
D+.
I love Norman. Even when he’s just getting beaten up he’s fun to
watch as he’s clearly trying, unlike so many of the other wrestlers
on this show. Wall is fine for a big man, but do you really want him
jobbing in one of his first singles matches? Just have him maul some
people, like maybe those worthless cruiserweights. Actually we can’t
because they’re getting beaten up later to further the parody of Jim
Ross. I guess we just have to make the new monster lose in a comedy
match.
Luger
isn’t happy that he’s fighting Sid tonight.
Silver King wants his
check back from Dr. Death, as apparently Williams hasn’t cashed it
for some reason. Football insults are hurled and death will come
soon for Silver King.
Kaz
Hayashi doesn’t like Maestro. Time for a transition!
Kaz Hayashi vs.
Maestro
No
Symphony here, meaning my interest quickly fades. They hit the mat
for a faster sequence than you would expect with Maestro getting two
off a rollup. Tenay is of course talking about Jeff Jarrett, because
Russo likes getting announcers involved. Kaz comes back with a
dropkick but gets sent face first into the buckle. Choking and
stomping ensue to show that Maestro is a heel. It’s actually not
clear otherwise, even with David Flair kidnapping him on Monday.
We
hit the chinlock on Kaz and here’s David with the crowbar. Kaz flips
out of a German suplex and hits a dropkick but the referee gets
bumped, bringing David inside. His crowbar hits Kaz by mistake,
sending Maestro running for the hills. The unconscious Kaz wins by
countout and is shocked when he wakes up.
Rating:
D.
Another day, another match with a stupid finish designed to get a bad
angle over instead of the wrestling. Maestro is a guy whose looks
deceive you as he had a decent match despite looking out of shape.
Kaz is solid in the ring as well and can give you a good performance
when he isn’t cannon fodder for a David Flair feud.
Disco and Lash Leroux
arrive but have to run from the Mamalukes.
Lex Luger loses his
bag, takes Jimmy Hart’s by mistake, then gets his own bag back. He
tries to leave but has flat tires because…..I have no idea
actually.
Chavo Guerrero vs.
Buzzkill
Buzzkill’s
entrance: “It’s me, it’s me, it’s that B-U-Double Z!” Chavo
tries to sell him some tyedye and a broken lava lamp, which Buzzkill
tries to turn on despite a lack of electricity. The fans are ALL
OVER this and Chavo only makes it worse by giving Buzzkill a Walkman
to make him go down on the mat to the music, but it’s only good for
two. Chavo gives up on the sale but has a shirt for the referee,
allowing Buzzkill to hit him with the briefcase for the pin.
Buzzkill is mad at
himself for cheating, but borrows money from the referee to buy the
tyedye and lamp from Chavo.
I’m pausing now and
trying to compose myself. Normally I would write up some rant about
how Russo doesn’t get wrestling and what a waste of talent this is,
but I can’t bring myself to care. That was one of the stupidest
segments I’ve ever seen I wrestling and it was painful to watch.
There’s nothing wrong with a comedy segment here and there, or even
more than one a show. However, when your entire promotion is one
comedy/stupid segment after another, you lose the benefit of the
doubt. You lose your audience too but that’s another story.
Chris
Benoit is ready for his match with Liger, who he respects very much.
For once, there’s nothing else going on in a promo. The idea of
Benoit vs. Liger is one of the only things that can bring me back
after what I’ve sat through already.
Meng gets into his
dressing room but Lash and Disco show up and swap his name plate for
theirs.
Evan Karagias is in the
back with Madusa and implies that he’s rather, shall we say, antsy.
Madusa promises him “everything” after Starrcade.
Long recap of Nitro.
That doesn’t help things, though at least it’s shorter.
Luger is still worried,
but he knows he’s the best and has nothing to worry about. But
doggone it, do people like him?
Sid
is playing with a Luger action figure as Gene tells him that he has a
powerbomb match vs. Nash at Starrcade. Gene doesn’t have the match
if that’s not clear. Nash wouldn’t take it after seeing Gene and
Hogan team up against Steele and Fuji back in 84. Sid breaks the
figure to show what’s going to happen to Luger tonight.
Luger calls a cab.
Can’t he just walk to a bar or something and wait until the show is
over?
The Mamalukes beat up
some production guy and lock him in a freezer so he can give Disco
and Lash a message.
Steve Williams vs.
Villano IV/Villano V/Silver King
This
should be short. Larry leaves the booth because Oklahoma disgusts
him so much. For once, I can’t say I disagree. The trio gets
destroyed to start until Silver King nails a dropkick. A triple
headbutt is shrugged off though and King gets press slammed. I’m
missing a good chunk of the match, though as a consolation I do get a
lot of shots of Oklahoma talking. Vampiro comes out to go after
Oklahoma, which allows Silver King to sneak down and take his check.
Williams pins a Villano off the Stampede in a quick match.
Luger
is trying to get into his cab but the Mamalukes stop him to ask for
Disco and Lash. In one of the smartest things Luger has ever said,
he recommends the dressing room with their name on it. As this is
going on, Silver King dives into the cab and leaves. Luger is
completely thwarted, because that was the only cab (or form of
transportation it seems) in all of Topeka.
After a break, the
Mamalukes are outside the dressing room door. Thankfully they’re
nice enough to not go in or do anything else until after the next
match.
Jushin Thunder Liger
vs. Chris Benoit
Please
let it go long. Please let it go long. Please let it go long.
Larry is back on commentary and annoyed at all the guest announcers
screwing up. We can’t start just yet though as Juventud Guerrera
comes out for commentary with his arm in a sling and flanked by
Psychosis and La Parka (rocking the red skeleton attire). Juvy sits
in on commentary and he’s going to be the focus of the match isn’t
he?
Liger rolls out of an
early suplex attempt and they hit the mat for a technical sequence
into a backslide attempt from Benoit but Liger powers into a sunset
flip. A stalemate gets some polite applause from the crowd as Juvy
says IT DOESN’T MATTER what the wrestlers are doing. Benoit is taken
down in a test of strength but Liger can’t break his bridge. The
Liger Kick connects as Juvy takes credit for building the
Cruiserweight division. He doesn’t mention his current reign as the
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title but why should he do that?
Tenay announces Benoit
vs. Nash on Nitro and a US Title shot in a ladder match at Starrcade.
That’s quite the schedule. Liger hooks his feet under Benoit’s arms
and takes him to the floor in a crash before putting on the Surfboard
back inside. The brainbuster gets two and Liger wins a chop off.
Benoit breaks up a tornado DDT attempt and it’s a double clothesline
to put both guys down. There’s the snap suplex and a belly to back
for two on Liger and Benoit nails him with a clothesline to the back
of the head. Liger is able to crotch him down and nail a superplex,
but the other cruiserweights come in for the double DQ.
Rating:
B-.
I want to complain about the ending destroying what could have been a
great match, but this is such a rare treat these days that I can’t
bring myself to do it. Instead, I’ll go on about what a shame it is
that they bring in Jushin Thunder Liger and use him as a way to get
over Juvy’s (albeit funny) Rock imitation, which could have been done
with almost anyone on the roster. At least we got about seven
minutes of Benoit vs. Liger though, which is better than anything
else we were going to get.
Benoit and Liger clean
house.
Buff promises to beat
Meng tonight.
Speaking
of Meng, the Mamalukes find him in the dressing room and get beaten
up as you would expect.
Luger
disguises his voice and calls the WCW offices to say he has a family
emergency and needs to leave. Terry Taylor pops in to say….I’m
assuming nice try as Buff’s music was drowning him out. I don’t know
if that kind of thing is a Russo joke or if the WCW production guys
all just stopped caring at once, because it’s been a thing for months
now and it’s really annoying.
Buff
Bagwell vs. Meng
Well
it would have to be this match after that last segment wouldn’t it?
Meng throws him around like a Tongan monster throws around a pretty
boy to start. Buff’s right hands and clotheslines have no effect but
some dropkicks stagger Meng. Apparently Buff has an easily built ego
as Buff tries ten right hands in the corner, only to get dropped on
the top rope before he gets to nine. Meng comes back with strikes in
the corner as Larry thinks there’s something up with the Outsiders
and Russo. Gee Larry, YOU REALLY THINK SO???
A
lot of choking ensues before Buff gets bent over Meng’s knee in a
backbreaker. Buff comes back with his swinging neckbreaker and a
cross body for two as we have Mamalukes. Say it with me: the ref
gets bumped, allowing the mobsters to beat up both guys for reasons
not exactly clear. Meng fights them off and Buff goes up, only to
miss Meng and hit the Blockbuster on Vito. The Tongan Death Grip
gives Meng the win.
Rating:
D.
Can we get some tougher referees? Or some wrestlers that aren’t
quite as careless and don’t hit a referee on half the matches every
show? I like that they’re keeping Meng strong, even if it doesn’t
seem likely to lead anywhere. You can always find a way to use
someone like him, but in Russo’s case he’ll probably wind up as a bus
driver with an unhealthy fear of parrots.
Meng beats up the
mobsters for fun.
Gene
is in the back with Mona and Jarrett and can’t stop looking at her
chest. Mona: “Do you see something you like Gene?” Jeff yells
at her for taking half his interview time and calls her Miss Slappy.
This Monday, Goldberg and Dustin Rhodes are on his hit list.
The
Mamalukes drink Surge to make themselves feel better, though Johnny
could go for a cheese sandwich.
Jeff Jarrett/Mona
vs. Evan Karagias/Madusa
Is
there a reason why Jarrett and Mona got together and I just missed
it? Larry: “If he’s so chosen, why is he in a match he doesn’t
want to be in?” Tenay wants Jeff fined and suspended for his
actions on Monday. Evan and Mona get things started as Jarrett walks
around ringside. He takes her down with ease to start but the camera
goes to see Jarrett and Tenay yelling at each other. I wonder if
that’s what the TNA meetings were like.
Mona
armdrags Madusa down but gets caught in a double backdrop. Now Jeff
sits on the steps (which is nothing like when Mankind did the same to
the Rock, appropriately enough against the Hollys) while Madusa
cranks on an armbar. Back up and Mona slams her off the middle rope
and crotches Evan, followed by a top rope hurricanrana. Madusa gets
back with a German suplex though, allowing Evan to hit a corkscrew
plancha for the pin.
Rating:
D.
So to recap we have a woman who is using sex to get a title shot at
Starrcade, another woman who wrestles hard but gets beaten up at the
end, but the whole thing is about Jeff Jarrett arguing with an
announcer. They really thought this was the answer to women like
Chyna?
Mona
dropkicks Jarrett post match and eats a guitar to the head. Serves
her right for trying in her match.
Long
recap of Bret’s WCW career. No real context or reason for this but
it’s there.
The Revolution talks
about having their own country. Saturn: “And our own continent!
Asya!” Get out while you can boys.
Luger is on the phone
with Russo and is told that the winner of the match with Sid gets a
World Title match this Monday.
Gene
is with Lash and Disco and recaps the Mafia angle. Wouldn’t it have
been better to do this EARLIER? They agree that they need each other
to survive and Disco asks Lash not to do the splits tonight because
dancing is his gimmick. I can’t even roll my eyes at these terms
being dropped anymore.
Disco
Inferno/Lash Leroux vs. Perry Saturn/Dean Malenko
Shane
makes fun of Disco and Lash’s accents before the match. Cue the
Mamalukes to go after Disco and Lash but the Revolution mocks them as
well, triggering another brawl. Disco and Lash are smart enough to
stand outside and watch as Asya hits the Italians low, allowing the
Revolution to clean house. Security gets them out of here so Disco
and Lash jump Saturn from behind and get two off a Russian legsweep.
Tenay
announces Evan vs. Mona vs. Madusa on Monday with the Cruiserweight
Title shot on the line. Logic would say Mona vs. Madusa in a singles
match, but why do that when it can be men vs. women? Lash beats
Saturn up even more and does the split into a punch spot, prompting
Disco to angrily tag himself in. This time it’s Disco knocking
Saturn around but stopping to dance, allowing Dean to come in and
kick Disco’s head off (yet the hair still doesn’t move). Disco
fights back with a sunset flip but Saturn kicks him again to break it
up.
The
Last Dance is broken up and Disco gets sat on top, allowing Saturn to
bulldog him out to the floor in a nice spot. Lash and Dean get tags
and the Cajun cleans house on Malenko but Whiplash is broken up by
Saturn. A superkick drops Lash to the floor where he almost gets
into it with Asya, allowing Shane to get in a cast shot. The
Cloverleaf on the unconscious Lash gets the win as Saturn holds
Disco.
Rating:
D+.
Disco and Lash are prime examples of guys that were doing nothing but
were given a unique story by Russo. Unfortunately, Russo’s
intelligence ends as soon as the matches start as they were cannon
fodder for the Revolution in their first match as a team. It doesn’t
help that they’ve gotten into a buddy comedy instead of a tag team,
but Russo thinks he’s writing B movies instead of a wrestling show
anyway.
Total
Package vs. Sid Vicious
Winner
gets Hart on Monday for the title. Bret comes out to do commentary
and doesn’t seem interested in talking about facing Sid. Luger does
a quick easy way/hard way promo but gets caught holding pepper spray.
Sid stomps him down with ease but gets hit low, allowing Luger to go
into his offensive arsenal. Cue Liz as we get a double clothesline
to put both guys down.
That’s
some clothesline as neither can get up after LESS THAN A MINUTE of
action. Liz gets the pepper spray and goes for Luger but he takes
the bottle away and sprays Sid, who powerbombs the referee, because
pepper spray takes away your abilitiy to feel a shirt. Luger grabs a
rollup (with Sid’s feet in the ropes) for the pin from a second
referee and the title shot.
Post match Sid can
suddenly see and powerbombs Luger to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D-.
Let’s recap quickly: interference – belt shot, interference –
crowbar, briefcase shot, interference (didn’t change ending),
interference – double DQ, interference – sets up pin, double
teaming, cast shot, pepper spray. The closest thing we had to a
clean finish in nine matches was double teaming in a glorified
handicap match. All night long we couldn’t a rollup for a pin or
just someone hitting their finisher to win without someone cheating
or interfering? I know there are a lot of common criticisms against
Russo, but with shows like these, they’re not exactly unfounded.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Monday Nitro – November 29, 1999

Monday Nitro #216
Date: November 29, 1999
Location:
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 12,881
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re less than three
weeks away from Starrcade and usually that would mean some of the
matches should be clear. At the moment though, the field is almost
wide open and given who is in charge, I’m not sure if we should
expect to get any development this week either. Last week’s main
event was at least a calm match for a change. Let’s get to it.

This
episode is dedicated to Hiro Matsuda, who trained Hulk Hogan, Lex
Luger, Scott Hall and Ron Simmons among others.
We
open with Goldberg making his full entrance and taking his sweet time
in doing so. Goldberg gets right to the point: he’s not cool with
the Outsiders playing comedy games most of the time and then hitting
him with a chair last week. Goldberg liked the chair though and he’s
ready for some payback. He has Nash tonight and Hall better stay
away from the ring. Cue the Outsiders to say they have five words
for Goldberg: don’t sing it, bring it. They make it to the middle of
the aisle, but Sid comes out and says he’s the new babyface in town.
The brawl is quickly broken up by security, which is more than I was
expecting.
Tony and Heenan run
down the card. Hang on for this one.
Nash vs. Goldberg –
No DQ, no countout
Hall vs. Sid for the
US/TV Titles – No DQ, no countout
Hart vs. Meng for the
World Title – No DQ, no countout
Sting
vs. Jarrett vs. Benoit – #1 contenders match for a title shot after
Starrcade
Jerry Only vs. Steve
Williams – Cage
Mud wrestling with
wrestlers to be announced
THIS
IS ON ONE TV SHOW WITH NO BUILDUP. Three street fights, a cage
match, a triple threat and mud wrestling.
Roddy
Piper arrives with some fairly big (for wrestling that is) women.
One of them appears to be Rhonda Singh, who you might remember as
Bertha Faye from 1995 WWF.
Luger is here in a new
suit and carrying papers.
The
Mamalukes are on the phone with Tony Marinara, who tells them to deal
with Disco Inferno and Lash Leroux.
Tag Team Titles:
Creative Control vs. Buff Bagwell/Booker T.
The
twins are defending of course and have Hennig with them. Buff starts
with we’ll say Patrick and the twin gets cross bodied and dropkicked
into the corner. Off to Gerald and Booker as Tony says Bagwell has
won over five Tag Team Titles of his own, which is of course
inaccurate (five reigns).
Back to Patrick for a
gutwrench suplex on Booker but Mr. T. nails an ax kick, allowing for
the hot tag to Bagwell, despite the match not even being three
minutes old yet. Bagwell cleans house and everything breaks down.
Buff mostly misses the Blockbuster but the other twin offers a
distraction, allowing Hennig to hit Bagwell with a chair to retain.
Midnight comes out for
the post match save.
Russo
is livid that he has to book some Japanese guy named Jushin Thunder
Liger. That’s not me being sarcastic. Russo actually referred to
him as “some Japanese guy.” If Guerrera can beat him tonight for
the IWGP Light Heavyweight Title (again his words), he’ll take care
of Juvy’s visa issues. Russo has a plan to make sure this happens.
If he wants Juvy to win and take care of his visa issues, why not
just take care of them?
Luger threatens to sue
Liz over breach of contract, hence the papers earlier. She offers to
do anything to make him drop the suit, which intrigues Luger.
Piper can’t get in to
see Russo but is fine with waiting if he gets the $3 million a year.
Our hero everyone.
Singh and the other
girl wonder what they should wear for their match tonight.
Symphony (Ryan
Shamrock) receives flowers and a love letter from Maestro.
Jeff Jarrett doesn’t
care about angering Dustin Rhodes and blasts Tenay with a guitar.
Where was he during those One Night Only shows?
Here’s
Brian Knobbs with something to say. That might be better than having
him wrestle. He wants Norman Smiley (who he calls a woman) out here
right now for a fight over the Hardcore Title. We cut to the back to
see Norman cowering because he doesn’t have his protective gear.
Finlay
walks by to send Norman diving under a table as he goes to the ring
to fight Knobbs in Smiley’s place. Finlay comes out to the ring and
throws Knobbs a kendo stick for a duel. This goes about as you would
expect for a fight to go against Finlay, as he beats Knobbs down and
cuts his hair. Finlay says if Knobbs wants to be a soldier, he can
look like one.
The Mamalukes take
Okerlund to a strip club. Ok then.
Russo
yells at Hennig and the twins for getting beaten up by Midnight and
makes Hennig vs. Midnight later tonight.
Piper is ready for the
mud wrestling and cracks some bad jokes.
IWGP Junior
Heavyweight Title: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Juventud Guerrera
Guerrera
is challenging/trying to get a work visa and neither guy gets an
entrance. Ten seconds in, Buzzkill comes out carrying a Down With
Big Brother sign. They run the ropes to start until Juvy hits a
sitout bulldog ala Rey Mysterio. Liger is sent to the floor for a
springboard dive but comes back in with a frog splash for two. A
tilt-a-whirl backbreaker sets up the surfboard as the fans finally
wake up a bit.
Liger gets two more off
a belly to belly and Juvy taps, which means nothing in this case for
reasons not explained. They fight over a backslide as Buzzkill wants
them to give peace a chance. Tony actually brings up Buzzkill’s
matches against Liger back in the early 90s but Buzzkill doesn’t
acknowledge him. Eh points for trying I guess. Juvy hits a Stunner
over the top rope but Liger escapes the Juvy Driver and grabs a
German suplex. Buzzkill offers a distraction though, allowing Juvy
to hit Liger in the head with a bottle of tequila for the pin and the
title.
Rating:
D+.
I wasn’t shocked to find out that New Japan didn’t acknowledge this
title change for years. Russo has deemed a worthless hippie
character (the character, not the wrestler) more important than one
of the best cruiserweight wrestlers of all time. This shouldn’t
surprise you, as Russo clearly has no respect for wrestling
whatsoever. The match was nothing to see as it barely broke five
minutes and the guys were just doing moves until we got to the stupid
ending.
Chavo
Guerrero has taken over the interviews for the night and offers to
sell us some fine china for $39.99. Oh and Dr. Death and Oklahoma
(his official name now) are going to destroy Jerry Only.
Symphony gets another
gift from Maestro.
Gene is getting drunk
at the club. Because GENE OKERLUND needs a story.
Chavo
tries to sell the Outsiders a home security system before asking when
he’s going to start defending the TV Title. Well that would be
tonight if you listened to Tony earlier. Hall is annoyed that he
hasn’t gotten to meet any TV stars or received any free TV dinners so
he throws the title belt to Nash, who throws it in a trash. That
makes two titles trashed either literally or figuratively in less
than an hour. To be fair though, that thing died during Steiner’s
first reign.
Here’s
the Revolution with an American flag, which they immediately throw
down and step on. Douglas brags about taking out the Filthy Animals
from the inside and now the Animals are gone. The Revolution isn’t
cool with a Canadian like Hart holding the World Title and doesn’t
like the fans cheering him. Malenko was booed when he eat a Canadian
last week so he’s fed up with America.
The
Revolution is declaring themselves a sovereign nation and they all
have snake names. Malenko will be the Python, Shane will be the
Rattler, Asya will be the Boa and Saturn will be……the Trouser?
This of course brings out Jim Duggan to talk about America and swing
the 2×4, which clearly twists around in his hands because it’s made
of foam. I had one of those when I was a kid. The Revolution beats
him down and does the Iwo Jima pose over him with the American flag.
Benoit finally makes the save like a good Canadian. You can add the
Revolution to the list of things Russo didn’t understand. Oh and put
WOOD on there too.
Speaking
of Russo, he wants Piper in his office.
The Wall issues an open
challenge for the Block, which is a SHOOT in a boiler room.
Piper can’t come in to
see the boss because he has to go to the bathroom to take a Vince
Russo. So if he can say Russo’s name, why can’t anyone else?
US Title: Sid
Vicious vs. Scott Hall
Street
fight. This would be a bait and switch on the TV Title no? Heenan
rips on Sid’s talking abilities on the way to the ring. Nash sits in
on commentary and his first line is to call the TV Title a piece of
garbage. Sid hammers on the champ but gets distracted by the shine
on Nash’s hair, allowing Hall to rake the eyes to take over.
The Outsider’s Edge
doesn’t work so Sid grabs a chokeslam, only to bump the referee.
There’s the powerbomb but Nash comes in, only to get kicked in the
face. Jarrett runs out with a guitar to break up the powerbomb on
Nash before putting Hall on top to retain. That would be worthless
street fight #1 of the evening.
Goldberg comes out (in
a t-shirt for some reason) and hits Jarrett with the worst spear I’ve
ever seen from him.
Gene
is still at the club and dancing with what appear to be strippers.
Is there a point to this anytime soon?
As expected, the women
will be in the mud later.
The Nitro Girls get in
a food fight and the mud wrestler starts choking. Juvy runs in with
the Heimlich for the save. It’s as random as it sounds.
Jerry Only vs. Steve
Williams
Escape
only. Williams pounds on the singer to start and scores with a
powerslam as Oklahoma is in on commentary. Heenan: “Why do you say
everything three times?” Oklahoma: “It’s my gimmick son.”
Williams stays on Only but Vampiro and the Misfits jump the barricade
and cover Oklahoma in barbecue sauce. The Oklahoma Stampede (running
powerslam) plants Only but Williams throws him through the door to
give Jerry the win. The announcers treat this as nothing of
interest.
Quick
sidebar on Oklahoma: why is this supposed to be funny? He doesn’t
say anything outlandish other than talk about barbecue sauce, which
is hardly wild stuff. The football obsession is nothing new. What
is the joke here supposed to be? What good is it to mock a guy by
calling moves? Isn’t that what he’s supposed to be doing? Ross is
known for being over the top, so the parody is acting a lot like him
but as a comedic guy? It’s more like a caricature than a parody,
which again isn’t funny.
Guerrera
says he saved the choking girl with mouth to mouth. Russo calls her
a wildebeest. Here’s the thing: yeah she’s bigger than say Lita or
Stacy Keibler, but the commentators are basically calling a fat cow.
She has a fairly pretty face and is far from fat, but since this is a
Russo company, all women have to range from evil to fat to stupid to
property of some man to just a sex character.
Luger has an idea.
Bret Hart knows he has
a tough fight in Meng but he’s ready to fight. Chavo says the shine
in Bret’s hair is due to the hair care product Chavo sold him. Wait.
You have HAIR product and you pitched a security system to KEVIN
NASH??? No wonder you bombed as a salesman. Know your customers!
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Meng
No
DQ, no countout, which isn’t mentioned during the introductions.
Bret hammers away to start and gets clubbered down for his efforts.
More right hands from the champ are countered by a backhand punch to
the face. A running boot to the face gets two and Meng plants Hart
with a shoulder breaker. Bret comes back with the Five Moves but
Hall comes in and the referee goes down. Meng puts Hall in the
Tongan Death Grip but Nash slides in and goes off on Meng with a
kendo stick. They go after Hart but Benoit comes out with a stick of
his own to beat up the Outsiders. Bret goes back in and puts on the
Sharpshooter for the TKO.
Rating:
D.
The match was nothing, but I liked Bret’s promo (minus Chavo) before.
It was old school Bret where he praised his opponent but said he was
just that much better. That’s Bret’s bread and butter and it still
worked here. I’ll even give them points to building Meng over the
last few weeks and then giving him a match like this. The booking of
the match went down hill, but this was a logically built match with a
decent pre-match promo.
However,
at the same time, the curse of Russo strikes again. The problem with
Russo is simple: if you’ve seen one of his grand conspiracy
storylines, you’ve seen them all. There are little signs here and
there and once you know what to look for, it becomes really obvious.
Now that being said, it had only been seen once in 1999 so it wasn’t
such a problem. What it means though is the story worked back then
and doesn’t hold up as well now.
Now
Symphony gets a bear.
Luger has an idea to
pop the ratings. Would that involve Luger taking a long vacation?
Tygress and Spice fight
again with Tygress being thrown into a shower.
Madusa is in Evan’s
locker room and talks him into a Cruiserweight Title shot at
Starrcade with the power of the lips and silicone.
As expected, Luger
tells Russo that Liz will be in the mud.
Chavo is interviewing
Sting when Liz comes up to beg him for help. Just like last week,
Sting doesn’t care.
Chris Benoit vs.
Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett
One
fall to a finish and the winner gets a World Title shot at some point
after Starrcade. Jeff wins a slugout with Sting to start but Benoit
suplexes Jarrett down for two. All three beat on each other for near
falls until Jarrett comes out on top of it and punches Sting up
against the ropes.
Benoit
flips out of a belly to back suplex but Sting splashes him by
mistake. Well in theory as you can’t tell anyone’s motivation these
days. The Stroke is countered into a Crossface but Sting breaks it
up. Cue Liz for a distraction so Luger can hit Sting with a chair,
but Jarrett hits Benoit with the guitar. This brings Dustin Rhodes
through the crowd with I think the bell to knock Jarrett out, giving
Benoit the pin.
Rating:
C-.
Oh yeah Benoit won but it only took three people running in, a chair,
a guitar and the ring bell with Benoit getting the pin while being
unconscious for a title shot somewhere down the line. Thank goodness
on that one as they were getting close to making someone look strong.
The
Mamalukes leave the club with some girls, meaning Gene is on his own.
Symphony goes up to see
Maestro but it’s David Flair in a wig. Oh good grief. He makes her
go over to the piano and opens it up to find Maestro inside. So now
David Flair some kind of criminal mastermind stalker. Of course he
is.
Goldberg vs. Kevin
Nash
No
DQ, no countout again. Goldberg does his entrance but stops to beat
up Hall. Your US Champion ladies and gentlemen. Nash comes out and
goes after Goldberg as Sid is locked in a room. That lasts all of
ten seconds and it’s a four way brawl as the music keeps playing.
They fight out into the arena and into the ring for the opening bell.
Goldberg cleans house until Hall chairs the referee and Goldberg
down. Sid comes back in but Hart sneaks in and steals the chair away
to blast Nash. Goldberg gets back up and spears Nash, setting up the
Jackhammer for the pin in 100 seconds.
Three
street fights, three ref bumps, one broke three minutes. That’s the
triple main event.
Roddy
Piper keeps ranting about mud.
The Outsiders want Sid
and Goldberg in a cage tonight.
Rhonda Singh vs.
Elizabeth
Piper
is refereeing. Singh comes out to stripper music but there’s no Liz.
We go to the back where Liz says she doesn’t care about the lawsuits
and walks away. Singh slaps Piper and pulls him into the mud, where
he rides her like a horse and spanks her a bit. No Russo doesn’t
have issues with women. Why do you ask? Creative Control gets muddy
as well and Piper covers one of them for a pin.
The
Mamalukes are cooking dinner in the girls’ apartment. This is what,
the fifth time we’ve seen these guys tonight?
Arn Anderson is upset
about being fired so here’s Hennig to offer him a spot on the team.
Anderson just walks away.
Chae gets in a fight
with Skye.
The Wall vs. Jerry
Flynn
Boiler
room brawl, called the Block and billed as a shoot. They fight, they
kick, they punch, they choke, they ignore the fans booing, they can
barely breathe, Berlyn comes in and hits Flynn with a pipe, Wall
chases Berlyn off with the pipe and it’s another no contest. Heenan:
“I don’t get it.” END THIS SHOW ALREADY.
Chavo
is in the back when Piper comes up. Roddy talks about the wars he
had with Chavo Sr. and tells Chavo to stand up for himself. The
Outsiders come in and get in a fight with Piper.
Curly Bill asks Hennig
for a job.
Russo
yells at Luger, who promises to get Liz muddy before the end of the
night. Creative Control is already cleaned up and wearing new suits.
Midnight vs. Curt
Hennig
Hennig
headlocks her down to start but Midnight nips up. A shoulder drops
Hennig and stuns him at the same time. Hennig chops away in the
corner and puts on an abdominal stretch, where he continuously slaps
Midnight’s chest. So we can add sexual harassment to Russo’s time in
charge. The lights go out and Stevie Ray returns to beat up Curt for
the DQ.
The lights go out again
and Curly Bill appears to beat on Stevie, but then the lights go out
again so Arn Anderson can beat up Hennig. Even the Horsemen music
can’t save this mess.
The girls tie the
Mamalukes to the bed, allowing Disco Inferno and Lash Leroux to come
in and pour spaghetti sauce on them. And that’s the big payoff for
the night.
Luger
brings Liz out and throws her in the mud, followed by pouring a
bucket of mud over her. He takes off the jacket but Sting comes out
and shoves him into the mud, ruining most of the suit. Liz appears
to slip badly getting out of the pit.
The
Mamalukes are still in bed. Thanks for coming back to that.
Goldberg/Sid
Vicious vs. Outsiders vs. Chris Benoit/Bret Hart
In
a cage with one fall to a finish and muddy Piper refereeing. It’s a
brawl to start as you would expect with a lot of punching all over
the ring. Both Outsiders get double teamed in the corner and the
fans chant for Goldberg. Nash gets fired up again and punches Sid
down in the corner but Tony talks about sauce (both kinds, because
Russo felt the need to have three people covered in two types of
sauce in one night).
Things
slow down as the match is already three minutes old as even more
punching abounds. Since a triple threat cage match with the Swamp
Thing as referee isn’t enough, cue Jeff Jarrett with a cart full of
weapons. Guitar shots all around of course and it’s time for the
handcuffs with Hart being chained to the cage. Hall gets knocked out
so Benoit, I’m guessing out of boredom, goes up and hits the Swan
Dive on Hall for the pin.
Rating:
D.
I can’t say it fails after that dive but my goodness this was dull.
It was a bunch of standing around and punching with Piper offering
nothing interesting or important to the match. I’m really not even
sure why these people are fighting, but it’s probably better to be
confused than to ask.
Jarrett and the
Outsiders beat up Benoit, Goldberg and Sid, seemingly not bothered by
the loss.
Overall
Rating:
F.
This is the stuff people talk about when Russo is discussed. We have
gimmick matches, unfunny jokes, women being treated a hundred times
worse than the Divas of today are treated, matches being made on the
fly and stories that make no sense. Oh and a bunch of mud for some
reason and titles being destroyed because there’s no point to having
them around.
I
lost count of how many gimmicks we had all night as well as the ref
bumps, the guitar shots and the women being treated as either stupid
or sex objects. That’s a good way to sum up Russo: there’s so much
of the same kind of stuff going on that you can’t tell where anything
is going. It’s definitely easier to sit through than one of the
boring shows, but my goodness the quality goes through the floor.
Horrible show here as Russo just burns through everything he has in
record time.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

Monday Nitro – November 22, 1999

Monday Nitro #215
Date: November 22, 1999
Location:
Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Attendance: 11,449
Commentators: Bobby
Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re past Mayhem now
and Bret Hart is the new WCW World Champion, actually winning the
title mostly clean over Chris Benoit in the Sharpshooter. The next
big night for the company is about a month away at Starrcade, meaning
it’s time to see what Russo considers a big idea. This would be
different than a small match with only four run-ins, a ref bump and a
weapon being used. Let’s get to it.

Jeff Jarrett is in the
back and ranting about how he’s the chosen one.
Opening sequence.
Here’s
Bret to open things up with a very shiny title. He’s finally here
after a long two years but it was all worth it and this title is for
his father Stu. As for things around here, what happened to Goldberg
hasn’t been cool so Bret thinks he should give Goldberg a title shot
at Starrcade. Cue the Outsiders with Hall mocking everything Bret
says, as you would expect him to.
Maybe Bret should take
some lessons from the Outsiders because they took WCW to where it is
today. That joke easily writes itself. They want a match against
Bret and Goldberg tonight and Bret says of course, but Jarrett sneaks
in and blasts Bret with the guitar. Like any good heel, he leaves
with the belt.
Curt Hennig is in the
back and says he can’t wrestle, but he can say goodbye to everyone.
He turns around and sees the Maestro playing the piano. Nothing else
happens, and Maestro will be playing there all night long. Why?
Because that’s what Maestro does I suppose.
Konnan
tells Kidman to stop worrying about his missing camera.
Tony
Marinara is with the Mamalukes, better known as Big Vito and Johnny
the Bull. Vito wants a cheese sandwich, and he says it so
convincingly that I want to buy him a sandwich. They plan on putting
a horse’s head in someone’s bed, then realize they don’t know whose
bed it is. Marinara threatens to call his father the Don and reminds
them that it’s Disco.
Luger is with the
Powers That Be and tells them that he can book Liz in matches due to
owning her contract. They agree, so tonight it’s Liz vs. Meng. I do
enjoy them pretending that this is going to be a match instead of an
angle.
Liz is horrified. Me
too. What a stupid story.
Tag Team Titles:
Konnan/Kidman vs. Creative Control
Whoa!
A match! The twins are challenging. Kidman gets launched into the
air for two to start before the other twin plants him with a slam.
Gerald gets dropkicked down though and the hot tag brings in Konnan
to clean house. We cut to the screen to show Eddie and Torrie in the
locker room talking. Kidman freaks out and runs to the back, even
though they were just casually talking. The monsters don’t really
need the help though as a spinning belly to back suplex gives them
the titles.
Rating:
D-.
Well so much for the Filthy Animals, as they’ve gone from Russo’s
favorite toy to seemingly about to split in the span of about a
month. I can’t say I’m complaining though as they were one of the
most annoying acts I’ve ever seen. The wrestling was fine but my
goodness their talking got old fast.
Kidman
goes after Eddie, but Heenan points out the correct observation: they
were just talking and laughing a bit. Nothing implied that something
was going on.
Goldberg and Hart
aren’t sure how to deal with the Outsiders and Jarrett in the same
night. Goldberg says he’ll fight the Outsiders on his own and Bret
can go after Jarrett. It won’t necessarily be a handicap match
either.
Skye can’t talk Spice
out of fighting Tygress tonight.
With the piano music
still playing, Hennig and Buff agree that there are no hard feelings
about the whole forcing Curt into retirement thing.
Here’s
Hardcore Champion Norman Smiley. He’s the REAL hardcore man around
here. When you look up the definition of hardcore in the dictionary,
you see his tough mug. This morning, he drank a glass of milk that
was TWO DAYS PAST EXPIRATION! It’s open challenge time and here’s
Fit Finlay to scare the milk out of Norman. He kicks Smiley low and
puts on his football helmet for a headbutt. The Regal Roll leaves
Smiley laying despite being the funniest guy in the company in a long
time.
The
announcers recap the show thus far.
Liz can’t talk Luger
out of putting her in this match. Maestro is still playing and has
barely been acknowledged all night.
Hall thinks he’s
figured out Goldberg’s plan. He can’t confirm it, but it might
involve spears and Jackhammers.
Chavo Guerrero is
selling the Mamalukes some gold chains when Disco comes in, freaks
out, and leaves.
Tenay tells Jarrett
that he has a match with Bret coming up tonight so Jarrett throws him
out. Well, he’s got the jerk role down.
Evan Karagias vs.
Saturn
Non-title.
Evan stops to kiss Madusa at the start and gets suplexed out of his
shoes for his efforts. The Death Valley Driver is countered into a
sunset flip for two as we have a hippie coming over to commentary.
It’s Brad Armstrong in yet another new gimmick called Buzzkill
(Heenan: “How do you do Mr. Kill?”) because he needs a
personality. Saturn throws Evan again and puts on the Rings of
Saturn for the quick win. Some champion.
Kidman
yells about Eddie going beyond Filthy Animal business and wants a
match with him later tonight. That could be good.
Eddie reads off a cue
card (some of the most obvious I’ve ever seen) about Kidman not
understanding what’s going on and proving it in the ring tonight.
Vampiro vs. The Wall
Ferrara
and Williams come out for commentary. Well one of them anyway.
Vampiro slugs away to start and knocks Wall to the floor but the big
man kicks him in the ribs to take over. You can imagine what Ferrara
is talking about. The Misfits help their buddy out but Wall shrugs
it off and beats on Vampiro inside. Vampiro’s kicks put him down but
Berlyn comes in with a chair for the DQ.
Wall
isn’t pleased and the Germans come to blows, breaking up the long
standing partnership after all of two months. After they leave,
Williams beats up the Misfits but eats a spinning kick to the face
from Vampiro.
Liz jumps inside a
shark cage because they just have one around.
A limo arrives.
WCW World Title:
Jeff Jarrett vs. Bret Hart
Jeff
is wearing the title after stealing it earlier in the night. Of
course this main events the first hour instead of the entire show.
Bret slugs away to start and takes Jeff into the corner for right
hands and a boot choke. Outside now with Jeff going into the
barricade before they head inside where Bret gets crotched on the top
rope. Back to the floor again as they can’t make up their mind.
Jeff slams him head first onto the announcers’ table as this
wrestling thing just doesn’t do it for either guy these days.
They get back inside
for a sleeper on the champ but he suplexes his way out to put both
guys down. The Five Moves get some near falls and Jeff gets the same
off a middle rope clothesline. Jeff kicks him to the floor and
Creative Control swarms Bret, drawing in Dustin Rhodes to clock
Jarrett with the title. Bret didn’t see a thing and covers to
retain.
Rating:
D+.
I really wasn’t feeling this one as they were all over the place out
there and brawling instead of wrestling like these two could do in
their sleep. But then again, why should either of them care at this
point? Bret’s heart clearly isn’t in it and they’ve wasted him this
long, so why should be believe it’s going to get any better?
The
Mamalukes come up to the Maestro, who has the former Ryan Shamrock
next to him, and ask for some Sinatra. Karaoke is performed in one
of the only times all night that Maestro has been acknowledged.
Luger
is trying to get Liz to come out of the cage. This girls in cages
idea has to be some Russo fetish. She finally gives it up but Luger
says the match is still on. Eh points for making him even more evil.
On the other hand, points taken away for leaving her locked inside
the cage and saying he’ll put it in the ring. After a break, Liz
tries to get Sting to help her but he says to lay in the cage she’s
made.
Kidman vs. Eddie
Guerrero
Torrie
is in a blue swimsuit top and matching blue pants with her hair tied
back. You can imagine the reactions. Why she changed since we saw
her with Eddie earlier isn’t clear. Konnan comes out with Eddie but
Kidman dives over the top to take Eddie down before the bell. They
head in for the first time with Eddie getting hammered in the corner.
That goes as far as it can so Guerrero suplexes Kidman over the top
and out to the floor in a big crash.
After
a whip to the barricade, Eddie takes him back inside for some knees
to the ribs. The camera keeps focusing on Torrie and throwing the
announcers off. I can cut them some slack on this one. Kidman gets
hit low trying a leapfrog and the match slows down quite a bit. The
Revolution comes out to jump Konnan to pick things up and because
that feud just won’t die. The distraction lets Kidman come back with
right hands to Eddie, setting up the Shooting Star but Torrie asks
him for help, allowing Eddie to superplex him down and nail the Frog
Splash for the pin.
Rating:
C.
That wasn’t bad but I could go for anything but the Revolution vs.
Filthy Animals going forward. Hopefully this leads to the Animals
breaking up though as I can’t take much more of their stupid
catchphrases and slang that makes no sense. Or the whole being
thieves that I’m supposed to cheer.
Creative
Control is asked which is Patrick and both point to the other. Quick
one line jokes are Russo’s strong suit. Their next assignments are
to find Duggan (“Big goof, one kidney”) and find out who is in
the limo.
Skye
asks Spice not to fight tonight but Spice has to do what a girl has
to do.
Meng
vs. Elizabeth
Liz,
still in the shark cage, is brought in on a forklift. Meng of course
attacks the cage but can’t break through. Luger offers him the key
and gets put in the Tongan Death Grip as a result, drawing out Sting
with the bat to lay out the monster. He unlocks Liz and they leave
after a non-match. Or did Meng win by DQ?
Jim
Duggan asks Maestro to play Chopsticks.
Lash Leroux vs.
Disco Inferno
Disco
is so scared of the mob guys that he doesn’t even dance and starts
the match quickly. They trade hammerlocks and armdrags to start as
Disco keeps looking over his shoulder. Cue the mob guys to scare
Disco even more, but Johnny accidentally trips Lash, allowing Disco
to take over. Disco stomps away but Lash pops back up with a sunset
flip and Whiplash for the pin.
The mob comes in to
stomp Disco, only to have Lash make the save. Marinara tries to come
in but gets put to sleep and thrown into a white body bag.
Creative
Control tries to see inside the limo to no avail. After a break, the
twins say they have nothing to do with the limo’s car alarm going
off. It should be their limo though since they’re the champs now.
The Powers yell at
Duggan for messing up the bathroom last week, so Russo has been
eating prunes all day. Duggan gets to clean the toilet with a
toothbrush.
Tygress vs. Spice
Let’s
get this over with. Spice is dressed as a schoolgirl and Tygress is
in a leopard print body suit. Tygress easily takes her down and the
fans are dead. Back up and Spice hits a kind of running tackle and
we’re in catfight mode. A snapmare puts Tygress down and the
announcers of course freak. Cue Skye (Stacy, in a leather skirt that
might be nine inches long) with a makeup bag to knock Spice out.
Skye and Tygress put
makeup on Spice. I can’t imagine this story continuing.
We go to the back to
talk to…..MENG? As the Maestro keeps laying just because, Meng
speaks (!), saying he wants Sting in a No DQ match tonight with Sting
using the bat. So Meng is ok with someone hitting him in the head
with a bat. Why would you EVER take him up on that? I know Sting is
stupid but my goodness. Speaking of my goodness, MENG DOES NOT TALK.
This is just a step below WWE ECW having Sabu speak. You just don’t
do it.
Here’s
Hennig for his big farewell. After a hug to Heenan, Curt can barely
speak. He keeps trying but a PERFECT chant cuts him off and he
leaves with tears in his eyes.
We see the limo again.
Duggan finds Russo’s
toothbrush and cleans the toilet with it. You know this is coming
back later.
Cue
Roddy Piper of all people for the first time in about four months.
He rips into writers, ranting about how they put in all these women
and T&A and having a bunch of stupid entrances. This is actually
exactly what you would expect him to say. The mic is quickly cut
off, so Piper grabs a camera guy and takes him to the back to meet
with the Powers That Be.
After kicking the door
in, Piper is stunned to see Russo (well, despite them flat out saying
it was Russo since he debuted, how could Piper know? Did he really
expect there to be a body there instead of just an arm?) and tells
the boss that he has a contract, guaranteeing that he appears on TV.
Russo says Piper has a bad hip and is almost 50 so he needs to go
join Ric and Hulk in Florida. Piper can be on TV though, but it’s
going to be as a referee. Piper fumes about it, then walks to his
limo saying “Yes sir” over and over. Somehow, this fits him
perfectly.
Buff Bagwell vs.
Booker T.
Booker
gets taken down by a nice armdrag to start and it’s time to dance.
They lock up and Creative Control is out before we can even get a
minute into the match. Buff clotheslines him down and they head to
the floor for….nothing. Ok then. Back in and Booker nails the
kicks and the Spinarooni, only to have to nail one of the twins
instead of covering. The distraction lets Buff nail a Blockbuster,
but the other twin distracts the referee so the first can stomp
Bagwell. Cue Hennig to talk to the twins….and then stomp Bagwell.
One of the twins covers Buff and the bell rings because of whatever
their reason is this week.
Rating:
D.
So Hennig spent weeks getting beaten up by whoever Russo threw at him
and then joined them anyway. I’m so glad we’ve moved past that NWO
era and are now getting the same thing from a yet to be named group
led by the Powers That Be. Is there any team Hennig hasn’t joined
since he’s been in WCW?
Midnight comes out for
the save.
The Powers welcome
Hennig to the team. If you can’t beat em, join em you see, even
though he won several of the matches.
Liz offers to manage
Sting against Meng tonight.
Asya vs. Madusa
This
could be gloriously horrible. They’re already fighting on the floor
before the bell finishes ringing. Asya drives her into the barricade
but Madusa gets in some kicks to the ribs. Back in (assuming they
were in there in the first place) with Madusa lifting her up in an
electric chair before firing off even more kicks. Asya slams her off
the top and puts on a leg choke for the submission while Saturn beats
up Karagias on general principle.
Malenko doesn’t like
seeing Canadians fighting for an American prize. Tonight he’s going
to show Benoit how much he cares about Canada with a blowtorch. The
anthem is changing from O Canada to BURN CANADA BURN. This is going
to hurt isn’t it?
Chris Benoit vs.
Dean Malenko
Double
flag match, which is close enough to a pole match that I’m
considering it one. Benoit pulls Dean’s hockey jersey over his face
hockey style, setting up some knees to the ribs. The fans of course
chant USA. I have no idea which flag they need to pull down and
Heenan is too busy making hockey jokes. Benoit heads outside and
grabs…..gasoline. Oh geez this isn’t ending well is it?
Malenko saves himself
from being set on fire (just go with it) with a low blow but Benoit
chops him in the corner. Is that like a Canadian defense mechanism
or something? Benoit stops Dean from getting the Canadian flag and
puts him in the Tree of Woe for a good looking baseball slide. He
whips Malenko in but Dean drops to his knees to beg for mercy. Oh
come on now. Thankfully Benoit dropkicks him in the face, only to be
sent throat first into the bottom rope, allowing Malenko to get the
Canadian flag for the win. Tony makes it even worse by saying you
had to get your own flag but I really can’t bring myself to care.
Rating:
D.
This wasn’t much of a match but Benoit’s dropkicks looked good. It’s
just so depressing watching Malenko have to put up with this nonsense
which he clearly hates doing. At least it was fast though and it’s a
sad day when you have to say that about a Malenko vs. Benoit match.
The
Revolution comes in with a barrel and throw in the Canadian flag.
That’s not enough though as they throw in the American one as well,
but thankfully Bret runs in for the save. He hands Benoit the
Canadian flag and waves the American one because why not. See, this
is where the Revolution dies right in front of you. Russo seemed to
think they were paramilitary or something similar so that’s what
we’re getting: people who hate Canada and the US as well. I’m not
sure how we got here from guys tired of the older generation hogging
the main event and honestly, I’m not sure I want to know because it
might scare me.
The
Powers call Juventud Guerrera into their office to ask about an
expired work visa. Juvy offers the Powers some tequila and Russo
spits it out. He’d like his toothbrush please (you knew it was
coming), despite clearly just being an arm with a voicebox attached.
Meng vs. Sting
No
DQ and Sting is in a t-shirt again. Meng goes right after him to
start, possibly worried that the poly/cotton blend might chafe
Sting’s toned chest. Liz comes out to watch as Sting finally gets
out of the jacket, revealing leather pants. Huh? Sting avoids an
elbow but turns down Liz’s offer of the mace can. The Stinger Splash
has Meng in trouble but here’s Luger. Sting grabs him, possibly to
ask for hair tips, setting up the Tongan Death Grip to give Meng the
win, which I’m sure is totally leading somewhere right?
Liz checks on Sting
post match.
Nash shouts for someone
to come on….but Hall is in the other direction. I don’t see this
ending well.
Goldberg asks his
partner if he’s ready.
David Flair FINALLY
breaks up Maestro’s piano with the crowbar, probably turning into one
of the biggest faces in the promotion as a result. Well assuming the
fans can actually see these segments.
Outsiders vs.
Goldberg/???
Nash
gets to wear the TV Title, which you would think is way beneath him.
Somehow this is the first time Tony explains that Hall is the US and
TV Champion. You would think that would have been brought up earlier
in the night, but we had piano issues to discuss. Now the
stupid/shocking move here would be to go with Sid as Goldberg’s
partner in an act of respect for all the hard fou…..oh of course
it’s Sid so I’m not even bothering with the sarcasm here. They’re
acting like best friends now of course and don’t have the slightest
bit of animosity.
Hall
and Goldberg get things going but Scott throws the toothpick at Sid
to draw him in. The referee actually does his job for once and it’s
off to Sid. Hall is casually shoved across the ring and Sid does it
again for good measure. Tony tries to pass this off as a big respect
thing but it’s just not working.
The Outsiders have to
fight out of a double chokeslam attempt and it’s off to Nash for some
big right hands. A running boot to the face drops Nash though and
it’s time for the Starrcade rematch. Nash gets put with a superkick
and I can’t believe this has held together so long. Some good old
fashioned cheating gives the Outsiders a breather but Goldberg just
plants Scott with a powerslam. Another cheap shot slows Goldberg
down so Sid hits one of his own (with the bandaged arm) on Hall to
even things out.
Nash comes in for the
standard corner offensive package and it’s back to Hall for a front
facelock. Old school missed tag to Sid gets us nowhere so Goldberg
clotheslines both Outsiders at the same time. Sid comes in to clean
house and chokeslams Hall, followed by a big spear. The powerbomb
connects but Nash sneaks in while the referee is with Goldberg and
drops an elbow (just a regular elbow) on Sid to give Hall the fluke
pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was……shockingly watchable actually. The cheating end was as
tame an ending to a Russo main event as there has been yet and this
was a really by the book, standard tag formula power match. I mean,
it wasn’t anything good but for a TV main event in this era to
actually be calm and follow the rules is stunning.
Goldberg and Nash fight
until security pulls them apart to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D.
It’s a slightly better show this week with a few less things to get
annoyed at, but the Maestro thing got annoying in a hurry. I’m still
trying to get over that main event though as it was a totally calm
and rational match without a bunch of insanity throughout. It’s nice
that they’re focusing on Starrcade already but the stuff in the
middle is going to hurt them in the long run. I mean, do we need to
see the Revolution trying to burn flags or the Hennig nonsense? It’s
also annoying that Luger and Sting have one of the most logical
stories on the roster while everyone else is a mess. Fix that and
the show will improve.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Mayhem 1999

Mayhem
1999

Date:
November 21, 1999
Location: Air Canada Center, Toronto, Ontario,
Canada
Attendance: 13,839
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby
Heenan 
Reviewed by Tommy Hall 

It’s
tournament time with the final four participants in the World Title
tournament squaring off to find out who Russo has decided should be
his first World Heavyweight Champion. Other than that, we have a
bunch of stupid gimmick matches for stories that make next to no
sense and are likely there to make fun of the WWF and expose the
business as much as possible. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of the tournament, which for some reason had 32
people involved (or however many it was when you take out all of the
Madusas) and we hear about how the final four got here. Just so you
know what’s going on, they recap EVERY SINGLE MATCH before they get
to the important ones. Two and a half minutes into the recap, we
know the final four names.
Opening video. Wait
that wasn’t what we just watched?
The
announcers, with Tony in a snazzy suit, preview the show and try to
talk over the WE WANT FLAIR chants. I think this is the first time
we hear the card in full.
WCW World Title
Tournamet Semi-Finals: Jeff Jarrett vs. Chris Benoit
Guess
who the fans are behind here. Jeff tries to jump Benoit from the
bell but gets chopped into the corner for a tornado DDT for two. A
top rope superplex gets two for Benoit less than two minutes in as
he’s coming out swinging here. He misses a baseball slide but wins a
quick chop off on the floor. That earns him a crotching against the
post as the American takes over.
Back in and Jeff gets
two off a powerslam (that’s a rare one for him) and almost drops him
in a vertical suplex. There’s the sleeper as you can see fans posing
to see themselves on the big screen. Normally I would say watch what
you paid for, but I’d be stunned if a good chunk of that arena wasn’t
papered. Benoit reverses into a sleeper of his own but Jeff belly to
backs his way to freedom. Something like an Irish Curse (I won’t
bother saying “Canadian Curse?” as it’s WAY too easy of a joke)
sets up the Rolling Germans for two on Jeff and here are Creative
Control to prevent a good match from breaking out.
Jarrett hot shots him
to the floor but Benoit comes back in and rolls through a high cross
body for two. A belly to back sets up the Swan Dive but Creative
Control breaks it up and lays out Benoit, allowing Jarrett to hit the
Stroke. Cue Dustin Rhodes to fight Creative Control as Benoit kicks
out at two. The guitar is brought in but Benoit takes it away and
blasts Jeff (totally against his character of course) to go to the
finals.
Rating:
B-.
Dang it they almost had me there for a second. I almost thought we
were going to get a good match from beginning to end between two
talented guys who can work whatever kind of match you ask. But alas,
it took three run-ins and a weapon to make this REALLY interesting.
It was nice while it lasted though.
Benoit gets beaten down
post match and the fans think Jarrett, who isn’t even involved in the
show at this point but he used to be in the WWF and therefore
matters, sucks.
Disco
Inferno insists he cares about the title but is curious how much the
gold is worth. He’s bet $25,000 on himself tonight because there’s
NO WAY he could lose to Karagias. Jarrett and Creative Control lays
him out due to frustration.
Cruiserweight Title:
Evan Karagias vs. Disco Inferno
Disco
is defending but is also running from gambling bosses who want the
money he owes them. The banged up champion has Tony Marinara in his
corner but Evan jumps Disco in the aisle, but the referee starts the
match anyway. The bell rings and they get inside with Evan getting
two off a clothesline. Marinara joins commentary to ask why Heenan
is called the Brain. Heenan goes to answer but fugitaboutit. He’s
Italian you see. Disco fights back but Evan does some leapfrogs into
a dropkick for two. Feel the workrate baby!
A
springboard twisting cross body gets two on the champ as the fans
have died quite a bit since the opener. Imagine that. The
announcers discuss what Schiavone is paid before talking about
haircuts. Madusa offers a distraction and we get an awkward, mostly
messed up sequence into a rollup from Evan for two. A nice Russian
legsweep plants Karagias and the dancing elbow (complete with a kiss
to Madusa) gets the same.
Disco
throws him to the floor, unfortunately causing Madusa to walk towards
the camera. Back in and Evan’s splash hits knees as the fans are
REALLY not impressed. With Evan down, Disco goes outside to hit on
Madusa. That goes as well as you would expect so Marinara gets
leaves the booth to try his hand with Madusa. Evan goes after Tony,
who gets chaired in the head by Disco. Tony: “What else can go
wrong?” Oh you don’t want to ask that Schiavone. Evan hits a high
cross body for the pin and the title, plus $25,000. That makes no
sense but whatever.
Rating:
D+.
Here’s the problem: these matches aren’t cruiserweight style matches.
They’re matches that happen to have cruiserweights involved. Evan
wrestles a cruiserweight style but he’s just not very good at it.
The gambling story is interesting but as usual there’s too much going
on in the same match to keep track of it. It didn’t help that
Marinara’s HORRIBLE Italian stereotype made the commentary even more
horrible.
Bret Hart arrives half
an hour into the show.
Russo tells a bloody
Jarrett to prove himself by the end of the show or his favors are
over.
Norman Smiley is scared
of construction workers but is ready for the Hardcore Title match.
Well he’s in luck then.
Hardcore Title:
Norman Smiley vs. Brian Knobbs
The
title is vacant coming in and I believe this is for the inaugural
championship. I’ve seen this billed as a tournament final but I
don’t remember anything but Knobbs getting to face the winner of a
match. Norman comes out in Maple Leafs gear to keep the fans behind
him. Brian hammers him down with whatever weapons he could find to
start but misses a middle rope trashcan shot. Some hockey sticks
onto the trashcan onto Knobbs has Brian in trouble but he breaks up
the HARDCORE WIGGLE. That’s like the Big Wiggle, but HARDCORE.
What’s HARDCORE about it isn’t clear but it’s 1999 so you have to say
HARDCORE in a loud voice.
Knobbs finally has a
good idea and takes off some of Norman’s pads, only to get nailed in
the head with a trashcan lid. Norman goes after Jimmy Hart though,
allowing Brian to knocks Smiley into the cart full of weapons. They
stagger backstage and just happen to run into a waiting camera crew.
Knobbs sends him
through a table and breaks a crutch over Norman’s back. They fight
by the hamburger buns and Knobbs’ face is RED. Jimmy throws cans of
soup at Norman and this is finally getting to be kind of
entertaining. They fight into an elevator and the doors
close…..but unfortunately open again with Jimmy hitting Brian with
a trashcan by mistake to give Norman the pin and the loudest pop of
his career.
Rating:
C-.
See, the way to make the hardcore matches entertaining is to take
them out of the ringside area. These things are so much better when
they get creative with them instead of just doing the same weapons
spots over and over again. I mean, would you want to try to make
something out of Brian Knobbs without mixing things up a bit?
Knobbs beats Norman up
post match.
We recap the Revolution
vs. the Filthy Animals, which is built around kidnapping Torrie
Wilson. This story made little secret about it being a way to
showcase Torrie, which was one of the best ideas they could have had
here.
The Revolution wants to
see Torrie get stuck alone without help.
The
Animals speak whatever language they use. In a genuinely funny
moment, Gene stares at Konnan, so Konnan asks if it’s the hat or the
belt this time. Gene in a deadpan voice: “Hat.” Torrie is going
to use the Revolution as toothpicks or something.
Marinara is bringing
the boys to deal with Disco tomorrow. Disco thinks he’s a dead man.
Jarrett
has a 2×4 and is going to deal with someone. That would be the
fourth promo segment in 90 seconds on a pay per view.
Revolution vs.
Filthy Animals
It’s
Saturn/Malenko/Asya vs. Guerrero/Kidman/Torrie and this is
elimination rules. Kidman and Guerrero storm the ring to start fast
as Douglas sits in on commentary. That’s a very repetitive theme for
WCW these days. Eddie backdrops Dean to officially start and the
fans chant for Torrie. The guys fall to the floor so Saturn takes
both of them out with an Asai Moonsault.
Kidman
dives on all of them but a Canadian clown pokes Malenko with a
Canadian flag. They treat it like a real fan but you never can tell
around here. The girls go at it with Asya getting the better of it
but walking into a BK Bomb. Eddie checks on Torrie but shoves Kidman
into a rollup for the elimination. After about four seconds of the
Revolution’s theme music plays, the Revolution guys jump Eddie and
the Animals are in trouble. Saturn kicks Eddie in the back from the
apron as Konnan leaves as well. Some teammate.
Asya
suplexes Eddie for a round of applause, even though she would be an
appetizer for Chyna. Off to Dean who gets dropkicked into the
corner, setting up a hurricanrana from Eddie for the elimination.
Not quite Hostile City Showdown but that might be entertaining.
Saturn t-bones Guerrero down as Torrie is on the floor like a manager
due to a bad ankle injury. Heel miscommunication (another running
theme tonight) sees Saturn superkick Asya, setting up the Frog Splash
to make it 2-1.
It’s
Saturn with a northern lights suplex for two as you can see a “Who
booked this crap” sign in the front row. Eddie gets out of a
sleeper with a jawbreaker and puts on one of his own, only to get
tossed down by a belly to back (not a t-bone Tony). A tornado DDT
gets two for Eddie but he walks into the Death Valley Driver for a
near fall, sending Douglas into a panic. Saturn misses his great
looking top rope elbow but rolls through a high cross body into the
Rings of Saturn to make Eddie give up. So it’s Saturn vs. Torrie
with the girl kicking him low for two. Douglas low blows Torrie with
his cast to give Saturn the pin.
Rating:
C.
This was decent due to the talent in there and Torrie in general but
there wasn’t much of chance with how fast the eliminations went down.
What was the point of the eliminations anyway? Other than having an
unnecessary stipulation, I don’t know why they needed to put it out
there. Couldn’t they put Torrie on a pole or something?
Jarrett
and Creative Control lays out Bagwell, even though that would be
hurting his chances to get rid of Hennig, even though the Powers That
Be seem to want to get rid of Bagwell at the same time.
Curt Hennig vs. Buff
Bagwell
Loser
retires, which makes you wonder why the Powers That Be didn’t give
Hennig this stipulation from the start. Or why Buff is in this
stipulation at all. Creative Control and Jarrett come in to beat
down Hennig and the bell rings as the attack begins. Bagwell comes
out with the 2×4 to make the save but Hennig decks him anyway because
both of their careers are on the line. The fans chant PERFECT as he
takes it to the floor and walks Bagwell around ringside.
Hennig
gets in a rant that I couldn’t understand on the headset before they
head back inside. Buff knocks him right back to the floor for an ax
handle off the apron. Back inside with Buff in control, which Tony
interprets as being all Hennig. Curt takes over a few seconds later
with a legdrop between Buff’s legs for a smattering of applause. Off
to a sleeper (I believe the fifth of the night) before Hennig chokes
Buff with Buff’s necklace. That goes nowhere so it’s right back to
the sleeper.
An
elbow drop with a biceps flex gets two for Curt but Buff claims
gimmick infringement and takes control as a penalty. Heenan tries to
say this is the most important match of their careers and you can
tell he doesn’t believe a word of it. A Blockbuster out of nowhere
(seriously, they were just trading punches before it hit) makes
Hennig retire. They keep using the term “hang up his boots”,
which he’ll probably do literally before taking a pair from the
Powers and turning heel.
Rating:
D-.
I have no idea what happened in this story and it was clear that they
just gave up trying about three minutes in. I’m still not sure how
we got to this match and why the Powers want to get rid of either
guy, but the match was horrible most of the way around. Bad stuff
and why do I not believe Hennig is really gone?
Hennig gets a standing
ovation from the respectful crowd.
Sting says we may be in
Canada but it’s still Showtime.
To give you an idea of
Russo’s pace, we’re not even halfway through this show and we have
seven matches left. For a comparison, Wrestlemania XXX and XXXI had
seven matches total.
WCW World Title
Tournament Semi-Finals: Sting vs. Bret Hart
Recent
DVD releases suggest that Bret is really proud of this one. Sting
has already started wrestling in the t-shirt. They shove each other
around to start and stare each other in the face before Bret wins a
slugout. Tony: “Those have authority!” Something I’ve always
wondered: whose authority is that?
It
goes outside with Bret still in control before taking it back inside
for the Five Moves of Doom. Sting, having seen ANY Bret match ever,
is easily able to break them up. Yes, Sting was actually smart.
It’s shocking I know but it does happen occasionally. Sting sends
him into the buckle but Bret kicks him in the ribs. I guess his
horrible knee injury from a few weeks ago is just fine now. A low
blow from Sting (who seemed to have turned face again recently) puts
Bret down and we hit sleeper number 8 or so tonight.
Back
outside for some reason with being sent into the announcers’ table.
The Stinger Splash hits the table (at least it wasn’t the barricade
again) to change control and they head back inside. Sting pulls the
referee in the way of a top rope forearm because we need to get to
the interference. As luck would have it, here are Luger and Liz with
the former hitting Sting in the knee with the bat.
Bret
isn’t cool with that and puts Lex in the Sharpshooter, but that’s a
DQ win for Hart. He doesn’t want it that way though so he goes
through the Five Moves, gets kicked in the face, and counters the
Scorpion into the Sharpshooter to make Sting tap. Again, Russo has
no idea how his characters work.
Rating:
D+.
That’s what he was proud of? It was decent enough but as usual it
turned into a brawl instead because neither guy seemed interested in
doing a match. They need to pick a side for Sting, but NOT ONE THAT
TAPS OUT. Just totally against his character but why should that
matter to Russo? I mean, he’s just a wrestler. Interesting
coincidence here: the two semi-final matches had exactly the same
time at 9:27 each.
Sting
shakes Bret’s hand to turn face again I guess.
Benoit
says it would be an honor to beat Hart for the title in Canada.
Luger already has a
surgical collar on and doesn’t think he can compete tonight against
Meng.
Vampiro vs. Berlyn
Dog
Collar match just because. You win by pins or submission. In case
this isn’t enough, Dr. Death and Ferrara as JR come out with the
latter doing commentary. Berlyn hits the referee with the collar as
Ferrara lists off football stats. The Misfits are sent to the floor
as Wall beats up Vampiro. Wall misses a big boot and gets crotched
with the chain as Berlyn stomps on Jerry Only outside. That doesn’t
hurt Wall’s bricks though so Vampiro slams him down.
Berlyn
comes back in and stomps Vampiro down, only to have Wall put the
collar around his own neck. A HUGE chokeslam puts Vampiro down and
Wall covers for two. That angers Berlyn but the referee keeps
counting anyway. Wall, minus the sunglasses now, throws the collar
at Berlyn (Ferrara: “COLLAR! COLLAR! COLLAR!”) and walks away.
Vampiro hits a spinwheel kick and throws him down with a release
superplex. Now Only gets in for a double suplex, followed by a
Vampiro camel clutch with the chain to make Berlyn tap. Vampiro and
Berlyn were never attached by the chain.
Rating:
F.
Next. That’s all I’ve got. Next.
Williams beats up
Vampiro and Only, because this whole mess was there so we could have
a laugh at JR’s expense. It wasn’t a funny laugh but it was indeed a
laugh.
Rick Steiner has
forfeited the TV Title and, news to me, was scheduled to defend
against Scott Hall tonight. Therefore Hall is now a double champion
and issues an open challenge for both titles tonight.
Hennig leaves.
Kimberly is just
getting here.
Meng vs. Total
Package
Luger
is wrestling in the surgical collar. Meng hammers on him to start
and no sells a slam. That takes them to the floor with Meng
dominating, but Tony thinks the neck brace is a way to block the
Tongan Death Grip. And yes, that is EXACTLY the point of the thing.
Back in and Meng tries the Death Grip to no avail. Meng chokes in
the corner (should that work either?) and Luger screams for help.
Luger: “HELP!” See? He screamed for help.
Luger
tries a headbutt to about as much avail as you would expect and Meng
runs him over a few more times. A kick to the face gets two and Meng
chokes on the ropes, only to pull Luger up so Liz maces Luger by
mistake (same deal that started the feud). Meng takes off the brace
and puts on the Death Grip to win.
Rating:
D-.
A month ago Luger went over Bret on pay per view and now he’s jobbing
to Meng in five minutes. This was a one idea match and it made Meng
out to be a one move wrestler. I could have seen this sort of thing
on Thunder but instead we get it late in the second hour of a pay per
view. Only in Russo World. Also only in Russo World can Liz play
Jimmy Hart to Luger’s Brian Knobbs and Meng’s Norman Smiley as it’s
basically the exact same ending from an hour ago.
Bret
says he’s been here for two years and is going to win the title he
deserves. Luger can be heard shouting for Liz as he’s talking.
David
Flair is polishing his crowbar in anticipation of holding Kimberly
down against her will or making her scream that she can’t take it
anymore.
TV Title/US Title:
Scott Hall vs. ???
After
the survey, with Hall saying Nash is on his way, the open challenge
is answered by…..Booker T. Well he does deserve a big spot like
this. If nothing else, Booker is the second young guy to get a shot
at a main event star tonight. Ignore the commentators’ surprise
after his music came on for a second and then went back off. Hall is
insanely over because this is Canada and if you were over in the WWF,
you were over forever. For life you might say.
Hall
drives the shoulders in to start but Booker hook kicks him for two
and some booing. A forearm puts Hall on the floor and he has to
check for loose teeth. Back in and the chokeslam and fall away slam
have Booker in trouble and a clothesline puts him on the floor. Hall
puts on a sleeper and we’ve got Jarrett plus Creative Control. Tony
makes sure to point out that they’re Patrick and Gerald because
that’s so funny. Booker fights out and kicks both twins down but
gets caught in the Outsider’s Edge to retain the titles.
Rating:
D.
It’s a shame too as this could have been a good match had they just
let these guys fight. In theory this is just Booker getting screwed
by the Powers and not Hall being on their side, unless there’s some
grand scheme to get all the titles on a select group of Russo backed
wrestlers. Nah that couldn’t happen.
Midnight comes out for
the save.
Luger is still trying
to find Liz.
We recap David Flair
vs. Kimberly. So Kimberly tried to get David to sleep with her for
reasons not clear, but she wound up sleeping with Ric instead. That
sent David into insanity so she ran him over with a car. He was
crazy enough to no sell it and has turned into a B-movie stalker ever
since. Note that instead of Ric vs. Page in what could be a decent
match, this is the best we can get.
Kimberly
vs. David Flair
After
running scared of David for weeks, Kimberly comes out in leather
pants and a low cut backless top with a smirk on her face (she looks
great in other words). David no sells a low blow and shoves the
referee down, so Kimberly drops to her knees. You know what the fans
are chanting. She unbuckles his pants and takes out the cup he was
wearing before getting in some kicks as the fans turn on this mess.
David stands up so here are Kanyon and Page (Why was he not with his
wife all night???) to lay out Flair. Arn Anderson comes out to save
David and gets beaten up by the tire iron. That’s the, ahem, match.
Anderson
is taken out on a stretcher.
We recap the Goldberg
vs. Sid rematch from last month where the match was stopped due to
Sid’s excessive bleeding. Sid has kind of turned face since then so
this should be interesting. Horrible of course but interesting.
Sid says he won’t say
he quits.
Goldberg vs. Sid
Vicious
I
Quit match. The fans boo Goldberg to start and then INSTANTLY start
chanting his name. That’s one fickle group. They start slugging it
out before Goldberg even gets in the ring as Heenan says this is like
the Super Bowl or the World Series. It heads to the floor
immediately and the fans think Goldberg sucks. Back in and Sid’s
cobra clutch slam gets a nice reaction. He slowly chokes and rips at
Goldberg’s face and plants him with a pair of chokeslams.
Goldberg
pops back up and cranks on the arm before picking him up and
clotheslining him down a few times without letting go of the bad arm.
The fans boo this out of the building as Goldberg puts on a horrible
cobra clutch (Goldberg: “This is it.”) for the win with Sid
passing out. Well having Goldberg’s hand on your forehead and
holding your hand is indeed painful looking.
Rating:
F-.
This was supposed to be Hart vs. Austin, but that was four times
longer than this, had two competent wrestlers, and a ton of emotion.
Oh and that whole iconic image thing. Instead, as usual with Russo,
they tried to get to the ending without putting in the effort first
and it looks like a disaster instead of what they were going for.
Luger says Liz knows
she screwed up and he’ll find her.
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit
Feeling
out process to start until Bret takes him down in an armbar. A
headlock puts Bret down for one and they hit a pinfall reversal
sequence, capped off by a Crossface attempt to send Bret into the
ropes. The fans are WAY into this one as they know one of their
heroes is coming out champion.
Benoit
gets sent to the floor and the Canadian Clown from earlier jumps the
barricade to attack him with the flag. It’s Dean Malenko in
something else he probably hated doing. Bret chases him off and
piledrives Benoit for two. A belly to back gets two on Hart and both
guys are already beaten down. The tombstone and Swan Dive get two
more as we have Outsiders (late to break up the pin so Bret had to
make an awkward kickout).
They
nail the referee so Goldberg comes out to deal with them. That earns
him a chair to the back but Bret helps fight them off as we’re left
with Benoit vs. Goldberg in the ring. A new referee comes out as
Goldberg fights the Outsiders on the stage. The screen splits to
show the three of them fighting in the back while the WORLD TITLE is
being decided in the ring. Benoit goes after the leg but the Figure
Four sends Bret right to the ropes.
With
the knee suddenly fine again, Bret scores with a backbreaker followed
by a superplex. Bret starts in on the back and throws Benoit to the
floor, where Benoit is pelted with trash. Back in and Chris rolls
some Germans but can’t get the Crossface. Instead Bret sweeps the
legs and puts on the Sharpshooter for the submission and the title.
Rating:
B.
Well that was…..well it was something. It’s the best wrestling
match in the Russo Era so far, but that’s covering some very shallow
ground. The ending being clean helps this a lot and gave it the
legitimacy it was needing. However, this brings up the same question
that comes up every night: what was the need for the interference?
What did those three coming to the ring add to this match in the
slightest? They even threw in a split screen to make sure you knew
they weren’t doing anything important. Bret winning the title is a
good thing, though it should have been a year ago at the latest.
Bret’s family comes in
to celebrate and he hugs Benoit. Tony says this is just another day
in Bret’s career to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D-.
The opener and main events carry this as far as they can but the rest
drags it down through the floor, the concrete and the upper half of
the earth’s mantle. Way too much interference and nonsense
throughout the show cripples it as the stuff they have ranges from
not making sense to being there just to pad out the show in the place
of wrestling. It’s clear that they have no idea what they’re doing
on a wrestling show and somehow it’s only going to get worse. The
wrestlers are trying where they can, but they’re fighting a guerrilla
war against people that hate what they do and why they’re there.
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