Monday Nitro – February 7, 2000

Monday Nitro #226
Date: February 7, 2000
Location: Tulsa
Convention Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Attendance: 6,358
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Mark Madden
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re two weeks from
SuperBrawl and most of the card is coming in clear. Unfortunately
that means we can see what’s coming and therefore are all running for
the hills before it kills us all. Hogan is back and seems to hate
anyone young, Sid has been in back to back Thunder Caged Heat main
events and Jeff Jarrett has power because Nash has disappeared. Fun
times eh? Let’s get to it.

We open with the recap
of last week, with the NWO adding the Harris Twins and then the
completely unnecessary Caged Heat match on Thunder. What a great way
to open the show.
The NWO has surprises
for Sid and Funk. Nash is going to be back soon.
Here’s 3 Count for a
performance (things are looking up) but they stop to allow a woman to
get in the ring to dance with them. Disaster strikes though as the
music messes up and they can’t lip sync. We cut to the production
truck to see Norman Smiley screwing with things and now let’s have a
match.
Norman Smiley vs.
Evan Karagias
Madden
is on Evan’s side because the internet marks like Smiley. I’m
remembering why I can’t stand him. Evan quickly throws him outside
but 3 Count tosses Norman back inside. Is this a mutiny already?
Back in and Evan gets suplexed, only to counter the spanking dance
into a faceplant. Shannon gets on the apron but Evan is whipped into
him because 3 Count isn’t the brightest group of cats in the world.
Evan’s rollup is reversed (with the referee stopping halfway through
his count because it takes too long) into one from Norman for the
fast pin.
Norman wants all three
of them at SuperBrawl. You and every other teenage girl in the world
Smiley.
Danny Hodge is here.
He deserves better.
The announcers run down
the card.
J. Biggs has cops
search Booker’s bags and confiscate any Harlem Heat gear. This is
so, so sad.
Flair and some women
arrive.
Here’s
the NWO with something to say. Hall won’t say Hey Yo so a Harris
insults the crowd for being a bunch of morons. They’re kind of
missing the point of having them be muscle. Ron actually calls this
the Elite NWO. Steiner one ups that by calling himself the Purple
Warrior. I really don’t want to know what that means.
Last week he saw a 53
year old man (meaning Flair, though he’s not quite that old) come
out here and brag about how he’s still the man. Flair has a crooked
nose and yellow teeth, so why didn’t they bring in the original
Nature Boy Buddy Rogers? Steiner thinks it might be because he’s
dead. Last week when Flair came down the aisle, everyone changed the
channel to watch Stone Cold, a guy that Flair and his boys got fired
from here. A lot of Steiner’s insults are censored but WCW SUCKS
gets through.
Jarrett brings us back
to reality by saying Mark Johnson will be referee during the Sid vs.
Jarrett title match. Remember that he’s the referee that was paid
off last week. The match will also be No DQ, which is probably the
best option. Tonight it’s Hall vs. Sid in a non-title match, which
doesn’t seem to please Hall.
So to recap, in the
last five days, Hogan has said all the young guys are worthless and
Steiner has said the fans change the channel when Flair comes on
screen because they’re watching Steve Austin on Raw. These two are
both going to be World Champion at some point in the year.
Booker says Biggs and
company have taken his colors and music but they’ll never take his
dignity. No Booker, I’m pretty sure they have.
David Flair is going to
have an I Quit match against Terry Funk tonight and fight one of his
dad’s battles for him.
Booker vs. The Wall
There
are no flames for Booker’s entrance and he comes out to what sounds
like the theme to Leave It To Beaver. Madden gets in a line clever
enough that I’m sure he didn’t come up with it himself: Ice T. is now
just Ice and Hulk Hogan is now immoral. Booker slugs away and hits a
spin kick to start but charges into a boot in the corner.
Wall
throws him outside and stomps on Booker as he gets back inside.
Booker throws on a sleeper for a few seconds but Wall slams him down
and goes up top, only to dive into a kick. There’s the ax kick and a
Bookend but here’s J. Biggs to call Booker a criminal. In the
distraction a chokeslam ends Booker.
Rating:
D.
I’ll give them points for trying to push someone else. Wall may be a
big, mostly talentless lug, but at least he’s someone new. I don’t
have any faith in them to not screw up his push and turn it into a
big waste, but at least it’s happening. However, the fact that it’s
coming as part of this stupid story makes it even worse. But wait.
It gets better.
Booker is arrested for
assault and battery, reckless endangerment and attempted murder.
I’ve sat through a lot of nonsense in WCW, but this is a rare care
where it’s hard to watch. This is just so, so stupid.
Knobbs wants Finlay
tonight. Jarrett says ok but that it’s Knobbs vs. Bigelow with
Finlay as referee. Can we please get some fresh blood in this
“division?”
Funk asks Anderson
where he stands in the war with Flair. Anderson says he’ll answer
after he sees how Funk does against David Flair.
Lane and Idol ask for a
title shot again.
Tank Abbott vs.
Barbarian
Barbarian is in a
leather jacket because he’s a tough monster with a slick fashion
sense. They slug each other, Abbott does a kind of slam and a big
right hand ends Barbarian in a hurry.
Crowbar plays air
guitar in front of Demon’s casket until Daffney calls him away.
Torrie with the KidCam.
Here’s Ed Ferrara, who
has been put in charge of starting the women’s division. Those
“adorable” women have no place in wrestling though so first up,
they’ll all have to go through extensive medical tests, with Ferrara
present for all of them. This brings out a Dr. Jeter, who has done
procedures on a lot of women, including Madusa. Cue Madusa to kick
both of them low. Yet another stupid waste of time.
Terry Taylor has talked
to the executive committee. Mark Johnson will not be refereeing at
SuperBrawl and tonight’s match is for the title. Speaking of wastes
of time, these stipulations were announced less than an hour ago and
now they’re changed. Such a great use of TV time.
We get clips from 1989
of Funk vs. Flair in the I Quit match.
David Flair vs.
Terry Funk
I
Quit. David sends Crowbar and Daffney to the back. Funk asks if
David knows what he’s getting into and offers him a chance to go
ahead and quit now. David will have nothing to do with that and hits
Funk with a few chair shots to start. They head outside and it’s
already table time but Terry whips him into the barricade.
Funk pulls back the
mats for a piledriver….on the mats. To be fair he is crazy. David
still won’t quit so he gets piledriven on the concrete. That gets
the same result, followed by a piledriver through the table. A chair
to the back knocks David out and Funk quits, but he won’t do the same
against Ric. David, out cold, is the winner.
Rating:
D+.
I’ll give them some points for the violence and for the story they’re
going with, but at the same time this is for a feud that started ten
years ago and the best idea they’ve got is to just do it again.
Total squash of course, but David better take some time off after a
beating like that.
In the back, Arn yells
at Ric for letting that happen. Ric needs to stop being Ric Flair
and to start being David’s father. For once in his life, he’s bowing
out, because that made him sick. Anderson is still the best talker
in this company right now.
Stevie Ray vs. Disco
Inferno
Disco
tries to take him into the corner to start but gets slammed down.
The announcers are officially calling Booker just Booker now as the
Mamalukes and Big T. argue on the floor. Madden: “Didn’t this
Biggs guy used to carry a tennis racket?” I’m not sure if that
line is funny or not. Disco hits a quick Russian legsweep and the
middle rope elbow for two but tries to steal the slapjack, allowing
Stevie to hit the Slapjack for the pin. I guess Harlem Heat is
coming for the belts again?
Jarrett thinks WCW is
trying to rip the NWO apart but Hall laughs it off because the title
will stay in the family either way.
Sid doesn’t care who he
fights tonight because he’s outsmarted the NWO time after time.
That’s one heck of an insult.
Flair rants about Arn
being in over his head and leaves.
Hardcore Title:
Brian Knobbs vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Knobbs
is defending and has a broken wrist thanks to Luger. We see a clip
of it being broken and they put January 31 instead of a simple last
week. Finlay is guest referee again. Bigelow throws a trashcan at
Knobbs to start and the champ is in early trouble. He whips Knobbs
into the barricade and steps with Brian unable to use the bad arm to
stop the impact. In for the first time with Knobbs hitting a ladder
and having it fall on top of him. Knobbs makes a comeback but Finlay
hits him with a chair, followed by a fast count to give Bigelow the
title. Again, this is probably the most logical story in the
promotion at the moment.
Ernest Miller brags
about hanging out with James Brown and promises to have Brown on
Thunder. Well, Brown kind of fits in with WCW as he’s old, but at
least he’s still entertaining.
Steve Borden (yes Steve
Borden) will be on the Late Show.
Billy Kidman vs. The
Demon
This
has to be a test for Kidman to see what kind of miracles he can pull
off. Demon’s entrance is hyped up even more than usual here and we
cut to the back to see Crowbar having a great time watching it.
Demon eats a dropkick to start and tosses Kidman across the ring like
he’s nothing. A legdrop and butterfly suplex (but a DEMONIC legdrop
and DEMONIC butterfly suplex) get two for Demon but the fans are more
interested in Torrie. Kidman’s Bodog gets two and Demon gets the
same off a DDT. For some reason Demon goes up top, allowing Kidman
to hurricanrana him down for the pin. No miracle but watchable.
Luger comes to the
ring, holding a Hogan chair.
Ready To Rumble is
coming.
Jarrett tells the NWO
they can’t answer the ringing phone.
Here’s
Luger to discuss Hogan returning on Thunder. Hogan thinks he’s the
best ever but Luger has won every title there is (except the WWF
Title. Why not bring that up? They reference the WWF every chance
they can) and is the future of professional wrestling. Jimmy Hart is
ordered to come out to deliver Hogan a message, but Jimmy refuses.
Luger is just a Hogan
wannabe because he’ll never sell as much merchandise or as many
tickets as Hogan did. So Luger wants to talk about titles and
Hogan’s lackey wants to talk about attendance records? Luger beats
Hart up, Racks him and breaks his arm. I guess he’s not over Jimmy
leaving him alone at Uncensored 1996. I wouldn’t want to be left
alone there either.
WCW World Title: Sid
Vicious vs. Scott Hall
Sid
is defending and it’s already after 10pm so this isn’t going to last
long. Vicious punches him down before the toothpick throw, messing
up Hall’s mojo. The champ stays hyped with right hands in the corner
and a chokeslam less than a minute in but there’s no cover. Hall
pops up and slugs away before loading up the fall away slam. In the
worst ref bump I’ve ever seen, the referee stands RIGHT BEHIND HALL
so Sid is thrown into him, allowing Jarrett to come out. The
Outsider’s Edge connects but Jeff guitars Hall, for wanting the pin.
Either that or over Royal Rumble 1995 residuals. Sid is dragged on
top to retain.
Rating:
F.
I was tempted to not rate this one as it was barely a match. This
was just an angle disguised as a match as the NWO is splitting,
assuming you considered Hall part of it in the first place. I’m
assuming this sets up a three way at SuperBrawl, which has to be
better than just Jarrett vs. Sid.
Overall
Rating:
D.
They’re starting the build towards SuperBrawl and it’s one of the
least interesting shows I’ve seen in a long time. The Sid vs.
Jarrett feud is horrible and doing nothing to make me want to keep
watching. Other than that we have the veterans seemingly shooting on
the company and calling it out on all its screwups, despite being the
focal points of the whole show. Really lame show this week but at
least they seem to have a purpose now.
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Monday Nitro – January 31, 2000

Monday Nitro #225
Date: January 31, 2000
Location:
First Union Arena, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 7,514
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Mark Madden, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re officially in the
Madden era now, meaning things are clearly dying all around us. The
big story here is that Sid is World Champion again after winning it
back from Nash after having it stripped earlier in the night after an
off air referee’s decision. Also, Ric Flair is back. Let’s get to
it.

We get a quick clip of
the Nash vs. Sid three day saga from last week.
Nash isn’t going to be
here tonight but he’s named Jeff acting commissioner.
Here’s
the NWO to get things going complete with their girls. Jeff repeats
that Nash isn’t going to be here tonight but he’s in charge. Well
done with already changing the power. Steiner rips on the women here
in Wilkes-Barre and offers the Harris Brothers a spot on the team.
Well you had to expect that would happen. It’s back to Jeff, who
says he’s going to get the first shot at Sid at SuperBrawl. Tonight
it’s Jeff/the Twins vs. Sid/two partners of his choosing. Jarrett is
open to bribes and that’s it. They kept this short and got right to
the point so well done.
Sid, Flair and Harlem
Heat arrive in order.
Funk asks Arn to go get
Flair but Anderson tells him to go find Flair himself.
Cruiserweight Title
Tournament First Round: Lash Leroux vs. Evan Karagias
Lash
makes the mistake of going after 3 Count to start and walks into a
powerslam from Evan. The band takes him to the floor and Evan hits a
big dive to take them out again. Back in and Lash knocks him off the
ropes and does the Bourbon Street Blues (the punches into the splits)
but 3 Count makes another save. Evan’s full nelson doesn’t work but
Lash comes back with a Diamond Cutter Russian legsweep (Whiplash
2000) for the pin. Really, really dull stuff here.
The NWO sends their bad
catering to Sid.
Dustin Rhodes tells us
not to try this at home. That’s not something you often hear in WCW.
David, Crowbar and
Daffney are insane and Crowbar talks like Gordon Solie. Now this
actually sounds insane instead of some of the other modern CRAZY
wrestlers. The Mamalukes attack and the match starts fast.
Tag Team Titles:
Mamalukes vs. David Flair/Crowbar
They head outside to
start with Vito being backdropped onto a bunch of snow. That’s about
it for being outside as everyone comes inside with Crowbar carrying a
shovel. I’m going out on a limb and guessing this is a street fight.
Vito drives a trashcan lid into David’s crotch and the other two
come inside.
Cue
Ms. Hancock to watch from the aisle as Johnny slams Crowbar a few
times. Crowbar fights back with a slingshot legdrop onto a chair
onto Johnny’s face. It’s table time but Crowbar, being a bit off,
puts the table on top of Johnny instead of the other way around.
Disco breaks up a moonsault, allowing Vito to splash Crowbar through
the table to retain.
Rating:
D.
Another ECW style brawl with too many moving parts to have any really
stand out. I’m sure we’ll get one more pay per view matches out of
these teams, even though they’ve pretty definitively eliminated any
chance of the titles changing back. At least Crowbar and Flair are
entertaining with how out there they’ve gotten.
Brian Knobbs has a
bribe for Jarrett in exchange for putting Finlay in the ring against
Luger later. Jeff promises they’ll be in there at the same time.
Here’s
Booker T. with something to say but his music stops halfway down the
aisle. This brings out J. Biggs who says that music is the property
of Harlem Heat, meaning only Stevie Ray and Big T. can listen to it.
Instead, Booker can use this song instead. A generic rock song plays
and Biggs calls it a meaningless song for a meaningless man.
Now
we get to the infamous part of this story: Biggs says that the T, as
in of Booker T., is also Harlem Heat property, so Booker can’t use it
anymore, or the flames on his attire either. So yes, somehow this
feud is over Harlem Heat, which is apparently an entity instead of
just a tag team, owning the rights to a letter of the alphabet.
Harlem Heat leaves and Midnight shows up to go after Biggs, but
Harlem Heat comes back out for the save. We’re officially in one of
the dumbest stories WCW ever did and you know how much ground that
covers.
3 Count beats up Norman
Smiley.
Jarrett tells Finlay
that he’ll be in the same ring as Luger, as he referees a match
between the Total Package and Brian Knobbs.
Norman gets inside the
Demon’s casket and the lid closes. Instead of fighting for the US
Title, he’s inside a coffin to help him fight off a boy band.
Kidman vs. The Wall
Rematch
of that Cell match they had a few weeks back. Kidman slugs away to
start but gets kicked in the face. A backbreaker sets up some
choking from the Wall, before he blocks a sunset flip with even more
choking. Well no one ever accused him of being the most versatile
guy in the world. Wall plants him with a clothesline but YOU CAN’T
PUT KIDMAN ON THE TOP ROPE, as he kicks Wall away and hits a missile
dropkick. His high cross body is countered into a powerslam though
and Wall grabs him by the throat again. This brings out Vampiro to
kick Wall in the back, giving Kidman a roll up win.
Rating:
D+.
That ends the run of match of the night for Kidman but given who he
was in there with, it’s hard to argue against him being the hottest
thing in the company at the moment. Kidman is trying really hard
lately and was able to carry Wall to a passable match. That alone
makes him into a more impressive performer than most.
Here’s
Flair for his big return speech. He brags about being bigger than
the Steelers, Eagles and Pirates and lists off some hockey players
who aren’t as big a star as he is. Ten years ago there were some
people who could run with him, but Space Mountain still has the
longest line. A few weeks ago the Powers That Be asked him to be the
commissioner, but he turned them down because he’s the greatest
wrestler alive today. He came up here because the deal was right and
now he needs to say something to Terry Funk.
Flair
can’t believe that Funk has been implying that Flair would support
him, because there’s a big difference between Ric Flair and Terry
Funk. This brings out Funk, who is loudly booed. He calls Flair
banana nosed and horse toothed but praises him for all those World
Titles. However, Funk senses some jealousy in Ric’s voice. Maybe it
comes from Mick Foley saying Flair isn’t in Funk’s league in his
book? STOP PROMOTING OTHER COMPANY’S STUFF!
Anyway,
Flair needs to grow up and help in the fight against the NWO, but
then tells him to go be Governor of North Carolina and leave the
fight to himself and Arn Anderson. Flair wants to fight, even though
he’s head to toe in Armani. Funk comes in, punches him down, and
puts on the spinning toe hold until security comes out for the save.
So yeah, they’re fighting over who is a bigger legend and Flair seems
to be a heel, even though the fans booed Funk. This is one of the
top stories in the company at the moment.
Jarrett thinks Funk and
Flair will be Sid’s partners.
Sting is in some movie.
Sid isn’t worried about
the NWO.
Ms.
Hancock wants to know why Lenny and Lodi haven’t been wearing their
suits but they say they’re done. That’s not cool with Hancock, who
reminds them of the West Hollywood Blonds stunt that almost got them
fired. Lenny, and I quote: “Oh yeah, we’re REAL lucky to have a
job in WCW.” They’re sick of this stupid “gimmick” and tell
Hancock to come find them when the bun is out of her hair. So much
for the fourth wall.
Total Package vs.
Brian Knobbs
Liz
and Luger have the Sting stuff with them. Fit Finlay is guest
referee here for no apparent reason. Knobbs jumps Luger to start and
elbows him in the face. The Pit Stop is loaded up but Finlay pushes
Brian’s arm down for some reason. Knobbs responds by…..doing it
anyway. They head outside with Knobbs whipping him into the
barricade, only to have Finlay blast Knobbs from behind.
Back in and Brian,
apparently not hurt by a shot to the head, fires off clotheslines and
drops some elbows as this is the most motivated he’s been in years.
Brian goes up for a splash but Finlay stands in front of him,
allowing Liz to hit Knobbs with a bat. That’s it for Finlay as he
leaves, allowing Luger to Pillmanize Brian’s arm. We get some smack
talk about Hogan and I’m assuming it’s a no contest.
Rating:
D-.
So we have Finlay vs. Knobbs in an actually interesting feud (gah
that’s hard to say) and then Luger wanting to fight Hogan for no
reason other than the script says so. Knobbs now has a broken arm,
so maybe he’ll be off screen for a bit? Somehow this was better than
I was expecting.
Norman
Smiley comes out of a coffin dressed as the Demon. Egads.
Dale Torborg is mad
that someone has stolen his outfit. So much for staying in
character.
Shane Helms vs.
Norman Smiley
Norman
is the Demon because he’s the original Santino Marella. Helms starts
fast with a Russian legsweep but Norman pops up like a skilled guy
stuck in a horrible comedy gimmick and slams Shane down. In the
middle of this match of all things, we hear that Hogan will be on
Thunder this week. That doesn’t get a big segment of its own? Well
of course it doesn’t. Helms busts out an airplane spin but Norman
comes back with a giant swing. It’s time to dance but the other 3
Count members have to be dispatched. The Norman’s Conquest is good
for the quick submission.
Cue Torborg with the
cops to chase Norman off.
Page and Kimberly are
in the back when the Mamalukes come up. Vito gets a quick feel of
her but Kimberly thinks it was Disco, who calls her a bimbo for
accusing him. Page beats Disco up out of principle.
Diamond Dallas Page
vs. Disco Inferno
Page
drags Inferno into the arena and they get all up in DJ Ran’s area.
DJ Ran still had a job in 2000??? They fight through the crowd with
Page in control and the bell finally rings once they’re inside. A
top rope clothesline and Rock Bottom knock Disco even sillier (yet
doesn’t mess with that perfect hair) but he comes back with, what
else, a low blow. Disco’s usual neckbreaker and middle rope elbow
set up the dancing, only to have Page plant him with a helicopter
bomb. The Diamond Cutter ends this in a hurry, as it should have. I
guess Page is a full on face again.
Jeff
Jarrett/Harris Twins vs. Terry Funk/Sid Vicious/Ric Flair
And
there’s no Flair. It’s a brawl in the aisle to start with Sid
fighting the Twins and Funk not being able to keep up. Sid takes
we’ll say Ron inside and Funk throws in a chair, which the Twins
quickly throw back out. You can hear a fan complaining about his eye
hurting because the fans are that silent. Ron gets backdropped to
the floor but Don breaks up a powerbomb on Jarrett. So the powerbomb
is legal again?
Things
settle down with Funk working on Ron’s leg, only to get chaired in
the back by Don. Off to Jarrett to hammer away in the corner, only
to have Funk grab a quick piledriver for a breather. It’s off to Sid
to clean house and here comes Flair to go after Funk as we flash back
to 1989. Actually that’s a great thing. Security drags him away and
Ron gets chokeslammed with Don making a save. That earns Don a
powerbomb but Jeff comes in with the guitar to knock Sid cold for the
pin.
Rating:
D.
So is Flair a heel? Because that would be about the dumbest thing
they could do right now. Therefore, we’ll go with the idea that
Flair is a heel at the moment. The match was there so Flair could
come out and attack Funk to set up their match down the road, even
though I’m not sure how much interest there is in the two of them
fighting, as they’re a combined 106 years old at this point.
Overall
Rating:
D-.
So they bring Flair back and turn him heel, again leaving Sid and
Funk as the top faces in this company. At this point, I really can’t
bother getting annoyed anymore. Between that and Finlay and Knobbs
having one of the most developed stories on the roster, this company
really is just melting before our eyes. On top of all that, it’s
becoming clearer and clearer that Jarrett is just going to hold the
US Title without frequently, or even occasionally, defending it,
meaning a big chuck of the roster is just running around fighting for
no reason. It’s such a waste but it’s what we’re stuck with.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:

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Monday Nitro – January 24, 2000

Monday Nitro #224
Date: January 24, 2000
Location: Staples
Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 12,106
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s actually a big
show for once as we’re crowning a new World Champion tonight because
the idea of waiting for pay per view is a foreign concept in this
company. Kevin Nash is already in the title match but Sid has to
qualify by beating Jeff Jarrett, who I don’t think is allowed to
fight for the title. Let’s get to it.

This show is dedicated
to Bobby Duncum Jr. He had potential.
Nash,
Jarrett and Steiner arrive in separate limos with their women for the
evening, including Major Gunns and someone who looks a heck of a lot
like Victoria/Tara. Scott Hall is here too.
Cruiserweight Title
Tournament First Round: Psychosis vs. Kaz Hayashi
The finals are at
SuperBrawl, Juventud is out with Psychosis and Kaz gets a jobber
entrance. Presumably annoyed by this, Kaz shoulders him down to
start and nails a nice release German. An enziguri knocks Psychosis
to the floor and Kaz nails a plancha. Back in and Psychosis nails a
clothesline before going after the knee.
After a few kicks, it’s
back to the floor where Juvy gets in a People’s Elbow. So we have a
fake Rock and a fake Road Dogg. I wonder who they’re ripping off
next. Back in and Kaz dives right back to the floor to take Juvy
out. Psychosis goes up top but dives into a dropkick to the ribs.
Well at least they’re finally picking things up a bit. And they head
back inside where Kaz misses a spinwheel kick and gets rolled up for
the pin.
Rating:
C-.
Well the flying wasn’t bad but Juvy’s Rock impression, which still
just makes me want to watch Rock, is taking away from everything else
in the match. Psychosis, while not the best in the world, was
clearly winning here because Kaz just isn’t very exciting in the
ring. At least the division is getting some attention for a change.
Terry Funk and Arn
Anderson arrive.
Nash says Jarrett has
failed his physical and can’t go tonight, but the boss has a plan.
After a break, Nash
makes Funk vs. Bam Bam Bigelow in a hardcore match.
The Wall vs. Kid
Romeo
Squash time. We hear
about Nash putting out a $15,000 bounty on Funk. This would be
shocking, until you realize that Funk is probably the second biggest
face in the company right now. Romeo fires off dropkicks to start
and actually knocks Wall to the ropes. He doesn’t knock Wall out to
the floor as Wall jumps over the ropes to get there but at least
Romeo got him halfway. Romeo’s plancha barely works but he scores
with an enziguri back inside, only to try a sunset flip and get
chokeslammed for the pin. Wall barely had any offense until the
ending.
Sid thinks something is
afoot with the Jarrett absence.
Arn tries to talk to
Bigelow but Bam Bam would beat up his mother for $15,000. Anderson:
“It’s your funeral.”
Scott
Steiner and Hall offer the Power Plant guys a chance to fight
tonight. Their pick: Al Greene. One of the guys who didn’t get
picked was none other than Christopher Daniels, who worked a dark
match before the show.
Norman Smiley vs.
Shannon Moore
Dang I don’t know who
to cheer for. Norman, in Dodgers gear, interrupts the song,
therefore making him the instant heel. It also earns him a quick 3-1
beating until it’s just Shannon in the ring. Norman fights up and
hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and IT’S DANCE TIME! Moore doesn’t
care for the spankings and tries a rollup, only to get countered into
a front powerbomb.
It’s time to get the
rest of the boys involved but Norman is of course way too smart for
them (meaning he has an IQ higher than a squid). Shannon is back up
with an Asai moonsault to the floor though and Norman is actually in
trouble for a change. Back inside and Norman slaps on the namesake
Conquest for the submission. It’s pretty sad that this is a major
upgrade in feuds for Norman, but I’ll take what I can get.
Post match it’s time to
sing again but Moore is still down. Instead, Norman clears the ring
and dances for them.
Al Greene vs. Tank
Abbott
Abbott knees him into
the ribs, punches him in the corner, slams him down, and knocks
Greene out with a big right hand for his longest match yet.
Tank yells at his
former UFC bodyguard, who Heenan interviews after a break. The
bodyguard, who isn’t named, says Abbott is a sellout.
Here’s Ernest Miller,
now with blond hair, who promises to whip everybody as soon as he can
get back in the ring. The fat boy in the front row can sit down and
it’s dance time. How many people in this company dance at the
moment?
Greene is loaded into
an ambulance and the NWO laughs.
Terry Funk vs. Bam
Bam Bigelow
Anything goes of
course. Bigelow jumps him in the back to start and drags the elder
statesman to the arena for some choking with a well placed rope.
Some chair shots knock Funk towards the ring but he’s still able to
avoid the top rope headbutt. They’re quickly back on the floor and
Funk busts out an Asai moonsault of his own to drop the big man. Now
it’s Funk with the chair but, ever the crazy man, he tries to
headbutt Bigelow and just hurts himself even worse.
Bigelow throws it back
inside and this time the top rope headbutt connects, but here are
Finlay and Knobbs to help out their mentor (I guess?). That’s fine
with Bigelow who easily knocks both guys away and loads up another
headbutt. He’s a man of limited offense. This time though, Knobbs
puts a chair over Funk and Bigelow knocks himself cold, giving Terry
the pin.
Rating:
D.
So Funk is in a hardcore feud and a main event feud, thereby making
this company more and more like ECW every single week. The match was
exactly what you would expect from these two (both former ECW World
Champions oddly enough) and the addition of Knobbs and Finlay doesn’t
make it any better.
Funk promises
reinforcements against Nash on Thunder.
Don Harris vs. Sid
Vicious
If Sid wins, he faces
Nash for the title later tonight. Harris is replacing Jarrett
because…..I have no idea why. Sid is smart enough to go after Don
before he can even get his jacket off because you know there’s going
to be cheating here. They head outside with Sid in control, but he
takes too long throwing Don inside and the twins are already
switching. Ron clotheslines Sid out to the floor and it’s another
switch. We hit the reverse chinlock for a bit before the twins plant
Sid with a double slam. Back up and Sid grabs a chokeslam on Don,
who rolls outside for a switch, so Sid powerbombs Ron for the pin.
Rating:
D.
This is a thing that happened. I’m not sure what else there is to
say about it but I’m sure that Nash will be able to tell the twins
apart (or that he watched the match. Well in theory as not many
other people were) and it’s going to be a loophole. Boring match of
course, but did you expect anything else from the Harris Twins?
Vampiro vs. Kidman
Torrie comes out
wearing basically a zebra print bikini. Vampiro misses a kick to
start and they circle each other a bit. A headscissors doesn’t do
much good for Kidman as Vampiro throws him down with a release
powerbomb. We cut to the crowd and OH GOOD LORD NO IT’S DAVID
ARQUETTE! Please cut away from him. Please. I can’t handle it.
Kidman reverses a powerbomb as only he can but he gets planted with a
side slam for two.
Vampiro misses the top
rope legdrop and Kidman hits a big plancha to take him out on the
floor. Back up and Kidman dropkicks him to the floor, only to have a
slingshot plancha caught. That’s fine with Kidman as he slips down
the back and sends him into the post to take over again. Torrie
seems way into this. The BK Bomb gets two and Vampiro’s DDT gets the
same, much to the latter’s shock.
A little
miscommunication sets up a release Rock Bottom from Vampiro but he
gets dropkicked out of the air. That’s fine with Vampiro who
counters a hurricanrana into a powerbomb for two more. With nothing
else working, Vampiro loads up a superbomb but you can’t superbomb
Kidman (that doesn’t have the same ring to it), who hurricanranas
Vampiro down for the pin.
Rating:
B.
Again, WHY IS KIDMAN NOT DOING SOMETHING IMPORTANT??? He just got
done with three matches at one pay per view and he’s had the best
match on the last three TV shows, but he can’t get anywhere near the
US Title because that’s Jarrett’s and he can’t get anywhere near the
TV Title because it was literally trashed a few months ago. Such is
life in WCW.
Arn Anderson is on the
phone with champ. “Get your pants on. Can you be in Vegas for
Thunder?”
Nash gets a massage,
which is part of his plan to win the World Title.
Vampiro has something
to say but his mic doesn’t work.
Total Package vs.
Booker T.
Liz does an over the
top introduction for Luger, who then babbles on about Sting. Just
get him back so he can crush Luger and be done with it. No one can
compare to Luger, including Hulk Hogan himself. There’s SuperBrawl I
guess. Booker comes out and slugs away because he should be moving
up the ladder but we need a Road Wild 1997 rematch.
An early Rock Bottom
gets two on Luger and the ax kick (good looking one) knocks him silly
but Liz offers a distraction. Cue Midnight to take care of Liz,
allowing Booker to hit a big side kick, only to have Big T. sneak in
with a slap jack to knock Booker silly, setting up Luger’s Rack for
the unconscious win. So glad to see Booker getting knocked cold
again so the Rack can beat him one more time to set up the big main
event Luger vs. Hogan feud that is happening for no apparent reason.
Post match Sting’s
music comes on and we have a shadowy figure with a bat on the stage.
Smoke comes on and whisks him away however. Great. So now Luger is
feuding with Sting, Hogan and Warrior.
Vampiro thinks the WWF
sabotaged his mic and wants a rematch with Kidman.
David Flair, Crowbar
and Daffney have an idea for the upcoming Tag Team Title match.
Tag Team Titles:
Brian Knobbs/Fit Finlay vs. Mamalukes
The Mamalukes are
defending but before either team comes out, David Flair, Crowbar and
Daffney take over all three commentary spots. David takes over
Tony’s job and actually isn’t terrible considering he’s sounding
normal with a twinge of crazy. Disco is suddenly fine with being
with the Mamalukes after trying to make them lose more than once.
Daffney thinks they’re the Marmadukes and Marmalades. Crowbar: “I’m
like Bobby Eaton and you have the mat skills of Sweet Stan Lane.”
They shove each other
around to start and the challengers get the early advantage. David:
“This one time, at band camp, I hit someone over the head with my
crowbar.” Standards and Practices come out to watch but only Ms.
Hancock sticks around. The camera stays on her for a bit before we
see Vito working on Knobbs in the corner. Disco and Hancock stare
each other down and Crowbar brings up the crimson mask. Crowbar
isn’t half bad as a play by play guy. “Double ax handle to the
chest! That could cave in the upper thorax!”
Both challengers crush
Johnny in the corner as David starts dancing on the table. Hancock
leaves with David and Daffney following as Finlay hits the Regal Roll
on Johnny. Disco offers a distraction so Vito can get in a belt shot
for two as everything breaks down. Knobbs throws a chair at Finlay
by mistake (Crowbar: “A FAUX PAS!”), setting up Vito’s swinging
inverted DDT to retain the belts.
Rating:
D.
Crowbar and Hancock were the highlights of the match. There’s only
so much you can expect from these four, but they’re already better in
the ring than Flair and Crowbar, almost by default. You could barely
keep track of the match with all the shenanigans though, and that
gets old in a hurry.
Here’s Nash with
something to say, though first he has to steal a fan’s sign about
Hall being afraid of O’Doul’s beer (non-alcoholic). The fans want
Goldberg but “he doesn’t work here anymore.” He and Sid are
about to fight but since the powerbomb is so dangerous, it’s banned
from use tonight. Well Nash already beat Sid in a powerbomb match
without using a powerbomb so that really doesn’t change much. The
NWO is on it’s way to Vegas so it’s one on one.
WCW World Title: Sid
Vicious vs. Kevin Nash
Thankfully Nash just
stayed in the ring instead of leaving like so many people (including
Nash in the past) have done before. Sid shoves him to the floor to
start but Nash cheats to win a test of strength to take over. They
head outside again as the announcers actually talk about Thunder
being taped tomorrow night. I know it’s not exactly a secret but
it’s not something you hear about that often. We hit the sleeper on
Sid back inside because Nash needs to rest a bit.
Tony’s logic on the
match: a loss here makes the NWO even stronger. Sid’s arm goes up
after the second drop but he drives Nash into the referee in the
corner. A big boot and legdrop set up the hand to the ear to see if
the fans want a powerbomb. Cue Jarrett (Nash LIED???) but Sid takes
the guitar away to blast Nash, but Sid is smart enough to play possum
before crawling over military style for the pin and the title. BIG
pop for that.
Rating:
D.
As I think everyone guessed coming in, this was a slow and mostly
dull power match. The ending would have been better suited after a
10-15 minute match, but I don’t think the world was ready for Sid vs.
Nash getting that much time in the year 2000. I’ll give them this
though: the idea of Sid outsmarting someone is about as entertaining
a bit of fiction as I’ve seen in a long time.
Confetti falls to end
the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+.
This show is getting downright tolerable. Above all else they now
have a clear focus in the main event, which is more than you could
say a few weeks back. Back then there were so many focuses that it
was almost impossible to keep track of what was going on.
Unfortunately that focus is on Sid, which isn’t the most interesting
idea in the world.
Other than that there’s
a more solid undercard being developed, but it would be nice to see
some of the people move up the ladder and WAY less emphasis on the
hardcore stuff. We get it: you can hit each other with trashcan lids
and chairs and Brian Knobbs is totally interesting and worthy of
pushing at least in the general direction of the space shuttle. I’m
scared to think of who Funk is going to get as a reinforcement, but
I’m hoping it’s just Sid so we don’t have to have anyone else coming
in. Or maybe it’s Flair, which would work a bit better. Not a good
show this week, but at least it’s a few steps ahead of where they
were.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books for under:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Monday Nitro – January 17, 2000

Monday Nitro #223
Date: January 17, 2000
Location:
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 10,646
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
I have to say this way
too often around here, but everything has changed again. Benoit won
the World Title last night and that’s the last you’re going to see of
him in WCW. Unfortunately that’s also the case for Malenko, Guerrero
and Saturn, who all quit when Kevin Sullivan was announced as the
fired Vince Russo’s replacement. The Filthy tried to get out as well
but didn’t have such an easy escape. Now we get to see how
everything falls out so let’s get to it.

The NWO arrives and
Nash leaves Jeff’s hand hanging in a funny bit.
Kidman vs. Psychosis
We
immediately start with a match and Kidman gets an early advantage off
a headscissors and stops a charge by raising a boot. A high cross
body gets two but Psychosis low bridges him to the floor and hits a
big dive over the top. Thankfully the whole landing on Kidman’s head
part didn’t cripple him. Back in and a nice top rope spinwheel kick
gets two as the announcers promise to address all the major changes
after last night’s show.
They head outside again
with Kidman being sent into the barricade but he’s still able to
dropkick Psychosis out of the air back inside. Psychosis counters a
superplex into a super sitout gordbuster for two, only to walk into a
wheelbarrow suplex. That earns Kidman a DDT and the guillotine
legdrop for a very close two. YOU CAN’T POWERBOMB KIDMAN though and
the faceplant gets the pin. This would be four Kidman matches in two
days without a Shooting Star.
Rating:
B.
Off the top of my head, the best match WCW has had since the main
event of Mayhem back in November. You can immediately see the
cruiserweights being brought back to a respectable place as they were
allowed to just go out and have a good match instead of being used as
target practice for the heavyweights. They’re already off to a good
start.
Now we get the big
fallout from last night in the form of a statement from Arn Anderson.
Terry Funk got beaten up last night for doing what he believed in
and that’s what a real man does. Anderson has always tried to do
what he said and last night he promised to call the match down the
middle. Then he started watching the match instead of refereeing and
he didn’t notice Sid’s foot under the ropes when Benoit made him tap
out. Therefore the title is vacant.
To
recap our title holders, we have David Flair, Crowbar (both of whom
lost last night), Brian Knobbs and Ed Ferrara.
The Harris Brothers are
in suits again and now guarding the NWO’s locker room. I’m so glad
we had them turn a few weeks ago just to turn back already.
Booker says he hasn’t
forgotten where he came from and apparently he and Stevie knew Big T.
back in the day. They decided he was all wrong for them and Booker
didn’t know he was out of jail. That’s already more backstory than
we get for most new characters.
Here’s the new Harlem
Heat, with Stevie saying he and Big T. are willing to give Booker
another chance. Booker and Midnight come out but Stevie wants
Midnight to leave. Stevie mentions Booker borrowing his bike to go
get candy as a kid but the brawl is on. The team takes Booker down
and Stevie wants a referee in here right now.
Booker T. vs. Big T.
Both
guys are in street clothes. A quick Pearl River Plunge drops Booker
and a World’s Strongest Slam does the same. Booker comes back with a
forearm and ax kick followed by the Book End but Stevie throws in a
slap jack to knock Booker silly for the pin. This was nothing.
Vampiro
vs. Disco Inferno
The
Mamalukes are out with Disco and tell him there will be no dancing.
During the entrances, Tony basically begs the fans to come to the
Thunder taping tomorrow night. Vampiro nails a spinwheel kick to
start and another spin kick to the chest. Disco’s monkey flip
doesn’t get him anywhere and Vampiro plants him with a release Rock
Bottom, only to miss a corkscrew moonsault.
The
Mamalukes validate their paycheck by attacking Disco as this is
actually a faster pace than you would expect. It’s like they’re
actually being allowed to try for a change. A swinging neckbreaker
gets two for Disco but Vampiro avoids an elbow and hits another top
rope spinwheel kick, followed by the Nail in the Coffin for the pin.
Rating:
C.
Nothing great here but like I said, they were trying for a change.
It’s such a different atmosphere already with Russo gone for one show
and you can see the quality and effort going up. Vampiro looked
decent here and I can see why they wanted to push him, but they need
to do something with him already.
Scott
Steiner presents Nash with some women for secretary interviews,
including the yet to be named Major Gunns, Shakira and Midajah.
Steiner wants to play Twister.
Tag Team Titles: 3
Count vs. David Flair/Crowbar
We
get a 3 Count performance before the match to really make this show
feel better. Evan is the odd man out here. 3 Count dives onto the
champs to start and here are Standards and Practices to scout the
match. We settle down with David suplexing Moore and dropping him
with a belly to back for two. Daffney hisses at Evan on the floor so
David runs over for the save. Helms superkicks Crowbar down and
Shannon adds a top rope spinning splash for two. David low bridges
Shannon to the floor, allowing Crowbar to hit a reverse DDT for the
pin.
Rating:
D+.
I loved 3 Count and there’s nothing bad about looking at Stacy
Keibler but this really didn’t work. At the end of the day, David
Flair just isn’t ready for this spot. He’s trying, but it’s very
similar to Erik Watts in the early 90s: he needed a lot more
seasoning before being thrown into this spot.
We get an encore!
Nash
asks the ladies to leave so they can have some NWO business. Bret is
nowhere to be seen. They need to get rid of the Old Age Outlaws but
Arn can stick around for some reason.
Maestro vs. Tank
Abbott
No
piano, 13 seconds, one right hand for the knockout. This was a shoot
fight, because the Brawl For All didn’t teach WCW anything.
Norman Smiley comes out
to stare down Abbott but Meng shows up to give Abbott someone a real
challenge.
Most
of the midcard is coming to the arena. Since this is WCW, it takes
far longer than it should have. They couldn’t have had them come out
during the break? Nash and the Harris Brothers come out for the
first official address of the roster. Nash praises himself but says
he has goals for everyone out there. Tenay needs a personality,
Knobbs needs a brain, Abbott needs a heart and Smiley needs courage.
Nash: “I sound like Oz up here.”
The
fans cut him off with a Goldberg chant so Nash threatens to fire him.
This brings Nash to his first real act: Jeff Jarrett is officially
the US Champion again. Jeff: “HOLY SLAPNUTS!” Next up is
health, which is why there will be mandatory rectal exams before
every match with Dr. Jellyfinger. Also, everyone is going to be in
the same locker room no matter what level they’re on and no one can
look at Nash but they all must call him Lord Master.
Nash
will decide what happens with the World Title at a later date. He’s
rapid firing through these ideas. There will be no illegal
substances in the locker room, including Viagra. Nash: “Sorry
Lex!” He praises Bagwell and Page for their match last night.
Nash: “Buff, you doing Kim or what?” As for the first main event
tonight, it’s Bagwell vs. Page in a rematch from last night with
Kimberly as guest referee. They’re the NWO, they’re in charge, and
they are gods.
Kimberly comes in to
see the NWO and is given her referee outfit and asks if Page or
Bagwell was better.
Team 2000 vs.
Varsity Club
Team
2000 is Masahiro Chono and Super J (From what I can find it’s Jeff
Farmer, better known as NWO Sting). There’s actually a story here:
Rotundo was part of NWO Japan but left to reform the Varsity Club.
Yeah this match is actually getting a story over a Japanese faction
that most people didn’t know existed.
It’s
a brawl to start until Chono starts driving knees into Mike’s ribs to
take over. Off to Steiner but Chono wants Rotundo back in, which the
fans find boring. I can’t say I blame them as there’s no reason to
care about this story. Steiner suplexes Chono down and easily takes
J to the mat. Steiner whips him into the barricade and Rotundo has a
lame slugout as this just keeps going.
Rotundo
chinlocks J as Steiner and Chono brawl in the aisle. Back in and
Rick gets double teamed for a bit but they’re quickly back on the
floor to keep up the brawling. A big boot to the face out of the
corner blasts Rick again but Chono dives into a belly to belly.
Everything breaks down again and the referee misses a small package
from Rotundo to Chono. J comes in and rolls it over to FINALLY give
Chono the pin.
Rating:
D.
This is one of the first major cases of the show having to throw in
ANYTHING else besides Benoit/Guerrero/Malenko/Saturn. There was no
reason for this to be a nine minute match and the fans might have
been on to something with the boring chant. It wasn’t the worst
match in the world, but like I said, there’s no reason to care about
these teams fighting. The match wasn’t good enough to overcome that
problem and it dragged on and on as a result.
Sid
Vicious vs. The Wall
Sid
runs him over to start and Wall bails to the floor for a breather.
Wall is thrown over the announcers’ table as this is full squash mode
so far. That’s it for the play by play right now as we cut to Disco
and the Mamalukes coming in to say they’ll get the NWO anything they
need. Nash asks if they’ve ever heard of Vinnie Vegas. Their
assignment: go beat up Sid. Then get some grinders. We cut back to
the ring to see Sid chokeslamming Wall for the pin.
The
Mamalukes come out but eat powerbombs.
Scott
Steiner, in a Michigan jersey and flanked by Midajah and a girl in a
Michigan cheerleader uniform, comes out and beats up the Ohio State
(Michigan’s big rival) mascot. Steiner does his usual stuff about
how all the women want him and tells them to take a number and wait
in the back. Michigan beating Ohio State was easy, just like the
women in Ohio. An Ohio State fan argues with him from ringside and
gets beaten down. Security quickly takes the bloody fan away as
we’re firmly in the Scott is nuts phase.
Total
Package vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Luger
is finally out of the Sting attire. Bigelow elbows him out to the
floor and pounds in some big forearms to the back. Back in and
Bigelow slugs away, eats the metal forearm, and continues slugging
away. The top rope headbutt connects but Liz distracts Bigelow to
break up the Greetings From Asbury Park. Cue Kanyon but Bigelow
nails him, only to take a champagne bottle to the head from Luger for
the pin.
Rating:
D-.
Is there a point coming to this Bigelow vs. Kanyon feud anytime soon?
They’ve been feuding, with Bigelow consistently coming out on the
losing end, for weeks now and there’s no real progression to the
story. This was another match that didn’t do anything for anyone and
was just there to fill in time.
Diamond Dallas Page
vs. Buff Bagwell
Kimberly’s
referee outfit is exactly what you would expect it to be. Page
starts fast with a shoulder and spinning Rock Bottom but Kimberly
takes her sweet time counting. Buff comes back with a clothesline
and they fight to the floor then into the crowd. Time for the ECW
phase of the show it seems. A trash can shot knocks Page back to the
barricade and they head back inside.
Bagwell
nails a hot shot onto the turnbuckle but he stops to hit on Kimberly.
Page gets back up and crotches Bagwell against the post. The
Diamond Cutter is blocked by grabbing a rope (and it actually works
unlike last night) and both guys are down again. The double arm DDT
from Buff (well maybe an arm and a quarter) gets another very slow
two count.
Back
up and they fight over a backslide before the Diamond Cutter connects
but Page can’t cover. Instead Buff gets up and loads up the
Blockbuster, only to get crotched down. Page’s superplex attempt is
countered with a low blow and now the Blockbuster connects. Kimberly
“accidentally” collides with Buff and knocks herself down,
allowing Page to get up and hit the Diamond Cutter for a slow pin.
Rating:
D+.
This is another feud that is just meandering along with little
development in sight. It’s no longer about whether Kimberly slept
with Bagwell but rather if she’s going to leave her husband for him.
That’s about all there is as far as advancement goes, but it’s not
enough to validate the boring matches that come with the feud.
Kimberly bolts from the
ring and Page follows to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C-.
Suddenly Russo is out of power and this feels like a wrestling
program again. It’s certainly nothing great but we had storyline
progression that you could follow, some watching wrestling getting
time (three matches broke six minutes and with ten more seconds on
the opener they all would have broken seven) and nothing
horrible/insulting to my intelligence. In other words, it’s a middle
of the road wrestling show.
That’s the key though:
this show still isn’t really good. A lot of the wrestling was
uninspired at best and the stories were only ok. Nash as the power
mad yet entertaining boss has potential and the lack of the focus on
the mostly retired crew helped a lot. Unfortunately, I have a
feeling the bottom is going to fall out very soon because they’re
going to have to find something to fill in the void left by all the
people leaving, and it’s not NWO Japan.
This is where the
problems are going to crop up and there isn’t much WCW can do about
it. The Radicalz leaving at once was like taking the walls out from
a building. No matter what was going on, you could count on those
four guys to put on a decent wrestling match if you gave them the
chance. Now that they’re gone, there isn’t much left to take their
places.
What’s supposed to make
up for those guys missing? Page and Bagwell having lame matches?
More Varsity Club? Ahmed Johnson? Jeff Jarrett cutting the same
promo with the same slap nuts line every single week? WCW has lost
the meat of their company and there isn’t much they can throw in
there to fill in the gaps. That brings me to the big point here: the
Radicalz leaving was the point of no return for WCW.
Now here’s the thing:
WCW was going to die no matter what. In the long run, there was too
much money being burned and too much of a mess to possibly fix the
place. Somewhere along the line it was going to go under and Vince
would be left smiling. However, as long as you had those four guys
(or at least a young core group of wrestlers who could one day take
over), there was always a hope. It may have been just a glimmer, but
it was there.
However, all that went
away when they left. Those four leaving took the hope away from WCW
fans. Any chance they had to see something fresh come in and take
the company back from the Good Old Boys network at the top was gone
and the hope was destroyed. Now there’s just the old guys hanging
around at the top, collecting their paychecks and putting on the same
pitiful matches that no one wants to see except for the diehard fans.
Benoit finally got to
the top last night and it felt like yet another Dusty Finish. Yeah
he got there, but never mind because we need to take the title away
from him and just let it sit around until we find some other old guy
to put it on so he can talk about having some big match but never be
able to live up to those promises. The fans have no reason to
believe it’s possible now and once that happens, the faint chance
that WCW could turn it around was gone.
WCW was already a very
wounded animal before those four left, but there was always the
chance that they could tape themselves up, get on their feet and nail
one big right hook to knock the WWF back and have one more chance in
this fight. Instead, and no one knew how bad it was going to get in
just a few weeks when they showed up on Nitro, WWF just cut off WCW’s
arms and punched them with their own fists. WCW may appear to still
be alive and trying to come back, but at this point, without the core
talent that they built up being around anymore, there is no more
hope. WCW is dead.
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

Thursday Nitro

Hi Scott,

Just thought, I know that at a certain point Nitro became unwatchable period. But, hypothetically, if, say around summer '99, WCW just decided to quit the Wresting Wars and move to, say, Thursday, would that have made a difference as far as their longevity was concerned.

I mean, WCW had a built in audience that was giving them a 4.0 no matter what Raw was doing. If they could move that audience to another night and not be tainted by the loser stink of admitting defeat in the Wars, I feel like maybe they could rebuild their portion of the audience who were amenable to watching Nitro but were, for whatever reason, watching Raw.

​Yeah, but the problem with all these fantasy scenarios is that WCW had a kill switch on it of March 2001 no matter what.  Even if WCW was still drawing decent ratings (which they were) and carrying a reasonable audience with them, Jamie Kellner wanted wrestling off Time-Warner's networks.  Period.  The only hope of survival would have been another company buying WCW and moving it to a competing network​, like USA.  They couldn't move to a Turner network and they couldn't move to Viacom due to the WWF deal, so pretty much it was USA or FOX or dead.  And without TV, WCW was worthless except as the library that Vince bought.  

Monday Nitro – January 10, 2000

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

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

We open with a recap of
Terry Funk getting beaten up over and over by the NWO. Suddenly Ric
Flair is the smartest man in wrestling.
Terry Funk, Larry
Zbyszko, Arn Anderson and Paul Orndorff arrive. This is really their
big solution to Goldberg’s injury? A lineup of wrestlers who were
veterans eight years earlier?
Tag Team Titles:
Dean Malenko/Perry Saturn vs. Kidman/Konnan vs. David Flair/Crowbar
Flair
and Crowbar are defending. Falls count anywhere, likely due to this
being close to ECW territory. The Animals and Revolution start
brawling before the champions get out here so David and Crowbar are
late to the fight. With Shane sitting in on commentary and demanding
to only be referred to as the Franchise, Crowbar lays Kidman out with
a sitout gordbuster.
It’s time to get the
weapons and they might as well start piping in the ECW chants
already. Flair and Crowbar take over with their weapons as the
Revolution destroys Rey in the aisle. In the insanity, Douglas and
Malenko put Mysterio on a table so Saturn can channel his inner New
Jack for a splash from the balcony. Saturn is broken in half (though
nowhere near as badly as Rey) so David comes over and pins him to
retain.
Rating:
E.
I think you know what that stands for. Let’s see: no wrestling in
sight, a bunch of weapons, falls count anywhere, a huge dive out of
the balcony through someone on a table. As usual, WCW has no idea
what it’s trying to be so it just rips off another promotion’s ideas
step for step.
Tony tells us that
Terry Funk is booking the show on the fly tonight so they have no
idea what the matches will be. I actually kind of like the idea as
they often make matches throughout the night so why not just admit
that you’re doing it?
Recap of Harlem Heat
splitting. That would be the 2000 split in case you’re confused with
all the other splits they’ve had over the years.
The NWO gives Scott
Steiner some women of questionable character for a birthday present.
We look back at the
ending to the opener. Mysterio leaves in an ambulance, along with
the Animals.
Steiner goes into a
room with three of the women, promising the rest will have a turn
later.
Here’s
Oklahoma to continue his anti-woman crusade. Oh geez can we go back
to the New Jack imitations? He insults women and wants them all to
stay in the kitchen where they belong, except for an open challenge
right now.
Oklahoma vs. Asya
Well
who else was it going to be? She shoves him down and knocks off his
hat so Oklahoma nails her from behind, knocking it out to the floor.
Asya slams him down and here’s Madusa, with blue hair, as Oklahoma
nails Asya with a bottle of barbecue sauce. Madusa takes a broom to
the head and Oklahoma takes the belt.
Juventud Guerrera,
Psychosis, Kidman, Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko, Lenny Lane, La Parka.
There’s no reason I’m listing these names off. They just happened to
come to my mind.
Here
are Funk, Zbyszko, Anderson and Orndorff with something to say. Funk
says Nash’s powerbomb on Thunder is nowhere near enough and he pulled
these three men off the unemployment line to help him fight this
battle. They’re the Old Age Outlaws (egads) but they’re more than
young enough to take care of the NWO.
Arn talks about wanting
to get some revenge the old fashioned way, Zbyszko bores the crowd by
talking about tradition and Orndorff talks about the talent from the
Power Plant that he helped train. Why the Power Plant guys aren’t in
this spot isn’t exactly clear. It’s also not clear why this story
continues as the crowd is eerily silent.
Cue the NWO to make the
obvious old jokes. Nash is looking forward to being the Commissioner
on Sunday but Funk says he’s still in charge tonight. Like for
instance, tonight Jarrett, in a Tennessee Titans jersey for some
cheap heat, is going to be in three matches: a regular match, a
Bunkhouse Brawl and a cage match. The title won’t be on the line or
anything, but I guess that’s out of respect for Benoit. Speaking of
Benoit, he’ll be refereeing all three matches, which will be against
some of Funk’s close friends.
As for the rest of the
NWO, Hart will defend against Nash and if they don’t fight, both guys
are suspended for a year. Hart and Nash don’t mind the threat and
say they’ll take the year off. You know, because they don’t care
about wrestling. Steiner swears a lot, but since he isn’t cleared to
wrestle, Funk is going to wash his mouth out with soap.
Let’s stop and take a
look at this for a bit. Here’s what we have in this story:
NWO
Bret Hart – Debuted
in the WWF in 1985, fifteen year veteran on the national stage
Kevin Nash – Debuted
in WCW in 1990, ten year veteran on the national stage
Scott Steiner –
Debuted in WCW in 1989, eleven year veteran on the national stage
Jeff Jarrett –
Debuted in the WWF in 1993, seven year veteran on the national stage
Now let’s look at the
old guys.
Old Age Outlaws
Terry Funk – 54,
debuted in 1965, lost the NWA World Title twenty five years ago
Arn Anderson – 41,
debuted in 1982, retired as a regular wrestled three years ago
Paul Orndorff – 50,
debuted in 1976, retired as a regular wrestler four years ago, hit
his peak thirteen years ago
Larry Zbyszko – 48,
debuted in 1973, retired as a regular wrestler five years ago, hit
his peak twenty years ago
So we have Terry Funk
as the only active wrestler, with Larry Zbyszko probably being the
healthiest as he retired from active competition in 1994 and has
wrestled three matches since. Anderson and Orndorff can’t wrestle
and Zbyszko didn’t, so we’re left with Terry Funk, who first retired
in 1983, fighting the entire NWO. This is their main event storyline
with Benoit as the young guy fighting the midcard champion instead of
fighting for the World Title.
How is this supposed to
appeal to younger fans? I get how the older generation would appeal
to older fans or really big time fans, but even they can only hang
with this for so long. The younger fans though see these old guys
hogging the spots that the younger guys should be having.
Orndorff mentioned
training eight people at the Power Plant. Why not bring them up?
You have one of the best talkers of all time in Arn Anderson and two
very good talkers in Funk and Orndorff. What WCW needed was a fresh
batch of main event talent. You might even say they need a
revolution to take over that part of the card.
Instead,
guys like Benoit, Malenko, Saturn and Douglas are busy chasing
Janitor Jim Duggan around and trying to make him denounce America
because they view themselves as a sovereign nation and hate this
country while Oklahoma is chasing the Cruiserweight Title and a
freakshow tag team like David Flair and Crowbar holding the Tag Team
Titles because David is nuts after something about his dad sleeping
with Kimberly. Booker T. on the other hand is busy splitting up with
Stevie Ray again.
There
is no one to cheer for right now and the best solution is to bring in
people who used to be over and have them give the rub
to….themselves. Yeah Benoit is around and they mentioned him, but
you don’t see them working together or helping each other out because
the solution is to just have them talk about tradition, much like
Vince McMahon did in the early days of his war against Steve Austin.
That’s WCW’s big solution to get people to cheer: act like one of the
greatest heel characters of all time against the cool heels. It’s
like they’re taking every possible bad idea and running with it.
Post break, Funk tells
Arn to go find someone.
Arn looks into a limo
but finds Kimberly instead of whomever he was looking for.
Video on Page vs.
Bagwell.
Gene calls out Page and
Bagwell but the control room can be heard telling him that they need
a bit more because the intro didn’t go long enough. Is that some
massive rib that I just don’t get? That stuff only started when
Russo arrived and I have no idea how it’s supposed to be interesting
or how the production team could possibly be that inept. Anyway,
Gene asks them to be civil for five minutes and we have a countdown
clock on the screen.
They talk a lot of
trash and Buff insists he and Kimberly are just friends. Apparently
Buff and Kimberly have great sexual chemistry (Buff’s words) but Page
has been hearing that Buff has been telling the boys that Kimberly
has a sexy birthmark. That’s for Page’s eyes only, but Buff says
everyone has seen it. That earns him a right hand to the jaw so Buff
pulls out a police baton that he just happened to have with him. So
much for the countdown clock.
Nash and Bret insist
that they won’t sit down. I’m sure there won’t be a swerve
whatsoever.
Arn finds another car.
Jeff Jarrett vs. ???
Benoit
is guest referee and this is a Bunkhouse Brawl because this show
can’t remember the match order Funk made fifteen minutes ago. The
mystery opponent is…..George Steele, age 61 and with five
nationally televised matches since 1988. Steele brings weapons to
the ring and swings away to keep Jeff from getting in. George stops
to eat a turnbuckle but gets guitared in the head. Not that it
matters as Arn Anderson comes in and plants Jeff with a spinebuster
to give George the pin. As in a single spinebuster is enough to pin
the United States Champion. Benoit served no purpose here.
After a break, Jarrett
tells Nash to throw Hart off the team.
Here’s
Stevie Ray to tell Gene to leave so he can do the interview himself.
He talks about the history of the team and how Booker won the TV
Title because that’s all WCW wanted him to have (huh?). Stevie wants
to fight his brother one on one on Sunday because the show is already
named after Booker. This brings out Booker and Midnight with Booker
saying he’ll never fight his brother. That earns him a slap to the
face and Booker agrees to the match.
Arn goes to another
car. I’m assuming these are Jarrett’s opponents.
Jeff Jarrett vs. ???
It’s
Tito Santana, a spry 46 here and just six and a half years from
wrestling on a major national stage, in El Matador gear. This is a
Dungeon Match, meaning it’s pin, submission or your opponent leaving
the ring. Jeff beats up Orndorff on the way to the ring and mocks
the Buffalo Bills.
Tito takes over to
start with a nice dropkick and the flying forearm before going after
the knee. Jeff kicks him away and Tito has to try three times to
jump over the top rope to the apron. I love Santana but this is just
pitiful. Benoit and Jarrett argue before Jeff nails Santana with the
Stroke, only to stop to argue with one of the Bills. The distraction
lets Orndorff hit the piledriver (great looking one too) to give Tito
the pin.
Here’s
Tank Abbott to call out Doug Dillinger. ARE YOU SERIOUS??? It’s bad
enough that we have to put up with this goon who Russo loves for no
apparent reason but now we get the big showdown with the head of
security? Abbott tells Dillinger to take a shot, Doug does, Tank
drops him and Jerry Flynn comes out for the save.
I’m sure you already
know the story of what’s going to happen to the World Title situation
in the next few days. Tank Abbott was Russo’s big idea to get the
World Title, straight off a feud with Doug Dillinger and Jerry Flynn.
Putting Rick Steiner over Ric Flair back in 1988 looks BRILLIANT
now.
Jimmy Snuka arrives.
To save some space in the match, 56 here and other than a one off
appearance at Survivor Series 1996, last appeared with a major
national promotion (ECW was still regional during his run) in 1991.
The youngest opponent for Jarrett tonight is a 46 year old who hadn’t
wrestled in the WWF or WCW since 1993. The Revolution, the Filthy
Animals, Booker, and any other young and talented wrestler aren’t
important enough for this story.
Benoit is out cold in
the back.
Jeff Jarrett vs.
Jimmy Snuka
In
a cage. Jeff hammers away to start and sends Snuka into the cage a
few times. Cue referee Benoit but Jarrett shoves him away from the
cage door. That earns Jarrett some chops and a whip into the cage
but Jeff sends him into the buckle. Jeff goes outside and gets the
guitar but Zbyszko and Orndorff come in to clean house. Snuka and
Benoit go up to the top of the cage for a Superfly Splash and swan
dive, giving Jimmy the pin.
Rating:
N/A.
This was a segment disguised as a match and yeah the dives looked
cool, but Jeff’s concussion wasn’t so great. This would knock him
out of the US Title match on Sunday, but at least we got three WWF
legends out there in their old territory so Russo could relive his
childhood. Having the US Champion lose three times in one night to
three guys who won’t be there next week while getting beaten up by a
bunch of guys who can’t/won’t wrestle a match is just the price you
pay for Russo’s entertainment.
WCW World Title:
Kevin Nash vs. Bret Hart
Bret
is defending, but first of all we have to cut to the back where Funk
actually does wash Steiner’s mouth out with soap. How Zbyszko and
Orndorff managed to restrain Steiner isn’t clear. I’m so glad we got
to see this segment. It just made the entire show. Bret is in an
NWO shirt, tennis shoes and jean shorts. And he’s known for five
moves? Dang who knew Cena stole so much from Bret?
Nash
goes after him to start and drives knees in the corner but Bret comes
back with right hands. This is already one of the longest matches
Nash has had in weeks. A lot of choking ensues until Bret gets in a
kick to the leg. Snake Eyes stops him again for two but a low blow
puts Nash down again. Bret misses the middle rope elbow and both
guys are down. The side slam plants Bret and Nash bails to the floor
for a chair. Cue Arn with a steel pipe and a referee shirt to nail
Nash in the back, which I think means a no contest.
Rating:
D+.
And that’s it for Bret as his concussions were so severe that he
wouldn’t wrestle another match for over ten years. In true Bret
fashion though, he carried Nash to a watchable match and worked at
the leg a bit before the non-finish. This actually wasn’t terrible
and was by far the longest main event in a few weeks.
Post match here’s Sid
(remember him?) as the cage is lowered. Bret is planted with a
chokeslam and powerbomb so Arn can do a fast three count. Funk comes
out with a flaming branding iron to burn Nash right on the singlet to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
F.
This show comes down to how do you like your bad booking. You can
have total insane booking that makes absolutely no sense and goes so
far off the rails that you forget you’re watching a wrestling show,
or you can have the booking that appeals to the over 50 audience
without a good payoff and the US Champion getting pinned three times
in an hour and a half.
This
show didn’t make me want to see Souled Out, as the majority of this
episode was to build up two stories for Sunday, one of which will
comprise three matches. The fact that it’s going to be two out of
three falls wasn’t mentioned, but why should a little detail like
that get in the way of seeing the US Champion lose three falls in a
night? This company is in a creative free fall at the moment, but
they seem to think they’re going the right way and everyone else is
crazy.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Monday Nitro – January 3, 2000

Monday Nitro #221
Date: January 3, 2000
Location: BiLo Center,
Greenville, South Carolina
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s a new year and in
the best present WCW could give us, the show is back to two hours
instead of the usual three. The big story this week is the rest of
the Tag Team Title tournament with all the random and wacky teams and
the rest of the field being filled out by regular teams who were
“randomly” paired together. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of
last week. Why must I be forced to think of that mess again?
A
jet landed at the airport today. I’d assume a lot of those land
every day but for some reason this is supposed to be interesting.
Tag Team Title
Tournament Quarterfinals: Harris Brothers vs. Buzzkill/Mike Rotundo
Sullivan
makes Leia Meow jump on a trampoline for obvious reasons. Rotundo
goes after let’s say Ron to start and eats a powerslam and
clothesline for his efforts. Off to Buzzkill for a forearm, but Ron
comes back with a big old side slam. It’s big enough that it almost
knocks Buzzkill’s hair off. Don comes in to hammer away as Standards
and Practices come out and get rid of Leia, drawing the Varsity Club
out to the floor. The H Bomb ends Buzzkill in a short match.
We
look back at the monster truck stuff last week which has damaged
Sid’s neck.
A motorcade is leaving
the airport.
There’s going to be a
new commissioner tonight.
Nash thinks Tom Zenk is
getting the job.
Bret arrives and gets
beaten down by Sid, wearing a neck brace.
Diamond Dallas Page is
ready for his match against Buff Bagwell but Curt Hennig comes up and
tells him the Powers That Be want him in the ring tonight. PG-13 is
in the ring right now and that’s fine with Page.
Tag Team Title
Tournament Quarterfinals: PG-13 vs. Scott Steiner/Kevin Nash
Steiner
is Hall’s official replacement because there are a lot of people
named Scott in this company. PG-13 is in the ring doing their rap,
so here’s Page to lay them both out with Diamond Cutters. Here’s the
NWO with Nash dropping an elbow on Wolfie and pulling the tights for
the pin. It’s going to be one of those kind of shows, but at least
it’s two hours.
Here’s the NWO to
complain about now getting any respect and having to be attacked by
Sid. Jarrett: “Slappy New Year!” Jeff isn’t worried about
Triple Threat Theater with Benoit and doesn’t have much to say about
it. Nash warns the new commissioner that the NWO is going to keep
breaking the rules as they always have. Steiner jokes about his
retirement and thinks all his fans are Wall Street types. This
actually wasn’t that bad.
The motorcade arrives.
Tag Team Title
Tournament Quarterfinals: David Flair/Crowbar vs. Lash
Leroux/Midnight
Lash
does a cross sign at Daffney in a funny bit. The bad night continues
for Lash as Midnight appearing in the ring freaks him out even more.
David and Lash get things going with Stevie Ray sitting in on
commentary. Flair is easily knocked around the ring because he’s
just not that good. It’s off to Crowbar who eats a drop toehold to
send him to the floor, only to have him slide back inside where he
accidentally baseball slides David.
Stevie tells Lash to
tag Midnight in and gets what he deserves, thereby lowering Lash’s
sucka levels for the rest of the match. Midnight throws Lash onto
Crowbar and nails a nice dropkick, only to have Stevie pull Midnight
out to the floor. Cue Disco, Tony Marinara and Disco as we now have
more people interfering than in the match. Booker yells at his
brother and takes a Slapjack to the head as Leroux hits Whiplash on
Crowbar. As the referee yells at Harlem Heat, Vito and Johnny come
in and lay out Lash, giving Crowbar the pin.
Rating:
D-.
Here’s a spoiler for the rest of the show: this match, which ran
5:15, is the longest match on the entire show. Also, in a match just
over five minutes long, six people interfered, giving us three
stories (Mafia vs. Lash, Harlem Heat splitting, the match itself) in
one match. I know we get on Russo for overbooking but come on man.
Calm down for like a minute please.
Lash yells at Disco in
the back but Disco says he has to deal with the Family, who come in
and attack Lash as Disco has to look on.
Here’s
Luger Luger, still dressed as Sting and yes, this is really WCW’s
best idea to fight Raw. Luger talks about Sting being afraid of him
and wants the no name wrestler to come out here and face him.
Total Package vs.
Tank Abbott
Stalling by Luger leads
into the mace from Liz for the DQ in less than a minute. But
remember, Luger is a veteran and therefore still a draw.
Jerry Flynn comes out
and beats up Abbott with less than no one caring.
The NWO takes their
ball bats to the limo.
Rob
Garner of the WCW front office comes out to talk about the “writers”
“swerving” WCW and how Sting and Goldberg are currently out of
commission. Therefore, let’s bring in someone new to help fight the
NWO. That brings us to the new commissioner: Terry Funk. Yes, the
big solution to the NWO is to bring in a guy who first retired about
sixteen years earlier.
Now
don’t get me wrong: Terry Funk is awesome and one of the best
wrestlers and performers of all time, but this is not the right move
in this spot. This needed to be someone young who could be a future
for WCW, not another legend who shows up, basically in the same role
as Piper.
Anyway,
Funk says he loves wrestling and wants to get rid of these fat hogs
at the trough. To do this, he needs an enforcer, and who better than
Arn Anderson? Anderson gives his usual great speech about putting
the heart back in wrestling, but the WE WANT FLAIR chants almost
drown him out. Cue the NWO so Hart can offer Funk a spot on the
team. Terry shrugs it off and makes some new stipulations for Hart
vs. Goldberg. Wait didn’t they officially cancel that last week? It
wouldn’t be the first time they lied about a match they had coming up
so why not do it here too?
The
match will have Arn as guest referee and the title can change hands
on a DQ. As for tonight, it’s Jeff defending the US Title against
Sid in a powerbomb match. Oh and Nash and Steiner will indeed get
screwed in their matches tonight. Nash threatens David Flair and
we’re done here.
Tag Team Title
Tournament Quarterfinals: Buff Bagwell/Chris Kanyon vs. Norman
Smiley/Asya
Buff
and Kanyon argue over how awesome this town is because Kanyon thinks
it’s not Hollywood. Kanyon offers him some champagne so Buff, the
hero that he is, breaks the bottle over Kanyon’s head. That’s a
great way to advance in a title tournament Buff. Norman is dressed
as a mascot of the local baseball team, complete with a three foot
long tail, which is shaken in Buff’s general direction.
Buff doesn’t take
kindly to Norman mocking his strut and nails him with a clothesline,
only to have Asya knee him in the back. We get the spanking dance
from Norman before it’s off to Asya, who is quickly suplexed down by
Bagwell. Everything breaks down and Asya hits Buff low, only to have
Norman accidentally hit her with the mascot head. A Blockbuster
sends Buff on his own (presumably) to the semifinals.
Rating:
D-.
Comedy ladies and gentlemen! This is what you get when you have no
reason for these teams to be fighting and you just throw them
together and have no chemistry or time to go anywhere. It doesn’t
help that neither team even tried to do more than comedy spots to get
to the ending. Couple that with Kanyon not even being in the match
and what were you expecting here?
The Revolution comes in
to beat up Buff, drawing down Duggan for a failed save attempt. The
Filthy Animals come out for the real save.
The old guys and the
NWO look for David.
Funk and Anderson find
Daffney in the boiler room.
Tag Team Title
Tournament Semifinals: Kevin Nash/Scott Steiner vs. Harris Brothers
You
know, in a decent company, this could be a watchable power match.
Again Steiner sits in on commentary and lets Nash do the match
himself. The twins double team Nash until he gets a ball bat. They
obviously run away from the combined force of the bat and the hair,
only to have the Varsity Club come in and chair them down. Sullivan
throws Don back in and Nash pins him in less than a minute and a
half.
Jarrett kidnaps
Daffney.
Tag Team Title
Tournament Semifinals: Buff Bagwell/Chris Kanyon vs. David
Flair/Crowbar
Kanyon comes out for no
logical reason, only to get jumped by Bam Bam Bigelow and slammed off
the stage. This brings out Vampiro, who is apparently going to be
Buff’s partner whether Bagwell likes it or not. Vampiro starts with
some spinning kicks to put Crowbar down but Buff tags himself in.
Cue Anderson and Funk to talk to David because he’s not doing
anything important right now.
Vampiro superplexes
Crowbar down and Buff tells Vampiro to stay in for the finish.
There’s a Ligerbomb to Crowbar but Vampiro stops to argue with
Anderson because it’s the least logical thing possible right now.
Funk punches Vampiro in the face and Buff adds a Blockbuster to his
partner, again for no apparent reason, allowing David to get the pin
to go to the finals.
Rating:
F.
This was a circus with the partners basically saying screw the tag
belts because we want to do stupid stuff instead. I’ve completely
lost track of what’s going on with Bagwell (feuding with Page I
believe), Vampiro (feuding with no one that I know of) and almost
everyone else in this company. The sad part: I really don’t care
what they’re doing either.
The NWO drags Daffney
out so Steiner can call her ugly.
Flair and Crowbar can’t
find Daffney.
US Title: Jeff
Jarrett vs. Sid Vicious
Powerbomb
match and Sid is in a neck brace. He shoves Jeff away to start and
kicks away, only to have Jarrett go right for the neck. A backdrop
puts the big guy on the floor and Jeff rams him into the barricade.
Back in and a high cross body gets two for Jeff but Sid powers out
and nails a big boot, followed by the chokeslam. The champ shoves
the referee down of course and Sid hits the powerbomb, only to have
Bret come in with the ball bat for the DQ.
Standard beatdown and
spray painting follows.
Tag Team Titles:
Kevin Nash/Scott Steiner vs. David Flair/Crowbar
Steiner
and Nash clean house to start and I have no idea who to cheer for
here. There’s no referee to start and Steiner sits in on commentary
to say the opponents suck. Nash slams Crowbar off the top and pokes
him in the eye as this has been completely one sided so far. A
double noggin knocker puts Flair and Crowbar down again but here come
Terry Funk and Arn Anderson in a referee shirt. Crowbar gets
jackknifed as security and Funk yell at Steiner. The distraction
lets Crowbar hit Nash with a crowbar, giving David the pin and the
titles.
Rating:
F.
It’s the slip on the banana peel ending as this was just a beating
until the wacky ending. In other words, Russo probably thought it
was great and the wrestlers loved it too as they didn’t have to do
much. This wasn’t a match and that really shouldn’t surprise me at
this point.
Post
match Jeff Jarrett drags Daffney to the ring as David hits Anderson
with the crowbar. The new champs stumble away and the NWO swarms
Funk. Bret and Jeff kidnap Anderson and throw him in the trunk of a
car to end the show. The new champs were complete afterthoughts
here.
Overall
Rating:
F.
So tonight we had seven tournament matches. Those matches combined
to run less than nineteen minutes, for an average of about two
minutes and forty seconds each. If you take away the marathon match
that ran over five minutes, you’re looking at six matches taking less
than fifteen minutes combined. There were two other matches on this
show: Tank Abbott in a match with literally no wrestling and a two
minute powerbomb match which ended in a DQ. They’ve taken the
wrestling out of this show and now I’m really not sure what Nitro is
supposed to be. At least it’s shorter now I guess.
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 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:
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author page with cheap wrestling books at:

New E-Book: Complete Monday Nitro (and Thunder) Reviews Volume III

When we last left WCW, they were the
undisputed kings of the Monday Night Wars and that’s certainly still the
case as they come into 1998. Things were so good that they decided to
more than double the amount of television they were airing per week. To
say this might have been too much too soon is an understatement but WCW
had done stupider stuff before.
In this book, I’ll be looking at every episode of
Monday Nitro and Thunder from January through June of 1998. This is the
time where the Monday Night Wars finally started to get competitive
again after nearly two years of being completely one sided. Having two
shows a week was a fresh idea as well, making this a very important time
in wrestling history. As usual I’ll be providing play by play,
historical context and analysis of every show.
Also remember that I’ve already covered 1995-1997
Monday Nitro in case you don’t want to jump right into the later stuff.
Both books are available from my Amazon author page.
The books runs over 300 pages on a Kindle and only
costs $3.99, or the equivalent in other currencies. If you don’t have a
Kindle or e-book reader, there are several FREE apps you can use to read it on pretty much any electronic device. You can find those from Amazon here.

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 1998” and my book will be the first thing
that pop up.
Also you can still get any of my previous books on
the WWE Championship, Monday Night Raw from 1998 and 2001, Monday Nitro
from 1995-97, 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 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

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

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

Nitro 96 Questions

Hey Scott: Just finished up Nitro 1996 on the Network and would love your insight on a few questions I had.

– What was the plan behind Giant's heel turn? Why have him turn the turn again a few months later? 


They wanted Bulldog as the fourth guy in the nWo but he signed a new deal with the WWF and so Bischoff panicked and turned the Giant instead.  As for why he turned back, because WCW.  

– Why did Sting attack Jarrett and Steiner? Was he trying to say Jarrett couldnt be trusted?


They were making it all up as they went along.  

– What was the deal with all the Sullivan promos on Benoit? I know all the Nancy/Benoit stuff but did they ever pay this off? 


They had a million falls count anywhere matches all through 1997 until no one gave a shit about either guy any more, so that was KIND of a payoff, I guess.  

– What happened with Glacier? I thought he was pretty unique and was getting over for a few weeks but then he disappeared. Do you think he could have been big?


I think the original idea of using Bryan Clarke or someone else with some name value in the featured role would have fit better than Ray Lloyd did.  By the time we proceeded through Glacier, Mortis and then Ernest Miller, the concept was pretty much doomed to fail.  Glacier looked like the gym teacher he was, not a top level martial artist ninja or whatever the hell.  

– Did they have any long term plans for guys like Eddie, Benoit or Jericho or was it just go out there and have a good match?

If you weren't joining the nWo, opposing the nWo, or or forming your own faction of the nWo, there were no long term plans for you.  


Thank you sir!