Monday Nitro – August 23, 1999

Monday
Nitro #202
Date: August 23, 1999
Location: MGM Grand
Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance: 8,940
Commentators: Bobby
Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s the KISS show!
Yes indeed. After all this time, it’s the most hyped up event WCW
has had in months. The band will be performing tonight and this is
supposed to be the big weapon to fight back against the fallout from
Summerslam 1999. Now to be fair we also have Sting vs. Hulk Hogan
for the World Title, which is a major ratings draw. I’m sure that’s
why they’re going it for free with one week’s notice instead of at
the pay per view. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of
Sid’s path of destruction. He’s off to a good start too as he’s
basically crushed the cruiserweight division in just a few weeks.
KISS video.
There will be a new WCW
President announced soon.
Chase Tatum vs.
Mikey Whipwreck
Mikey hammers away in
the corner but gets his head taken off by a clothesline.
Chase….well I can’t say hits because only one foot connected and it
was nothing resembling a dropkick, so we’ll say Chase does a
disservice to dropkicks everywhere. Thankfully Mikey hits a decent
one….and Sid comes out for the powerbombs.
This
time is different though as Sid has a guy with signs, counting up the
wins on the streak. He winds up being 68-0 by the end of the
segment. The worst part is this could be an interesting story but
it’s freaking SID doing this stuff.
Kidman runs into
Kimberly in the back and apologizes to her for last week’s issues.
Kimberly says she’ll calm Page down.
Goldberg
arrives and sees Page attacking Kidman, only to have a staredown with
the Triad. I thought he was feuding with Sid.
Here’s
the Triad for a chat. Page praises Kanyon for helping train him and
says Kidman can’t breathe the same air as Kimberly. He wants
Goldberg tonight though, because why bother hyping up a match like
that? Page promises to blow the roof off of Goldberg. I’m not sure
what that means but I have a feeling it’s going to be a letdown
compared to Halloween Havoc from last year.
Sting
comes out with something to say. He thanks Hogan for the title shot
tonight because he’s back in black. Hasn’t he been in black for like
three years now? Cue Lex Luger for the first time in months after
that brief return in the spring or whenever it was. Luger talks
about Sting being there for him when he was recovering from a
motorcycle wreck and how Sting is the bedrock of WCW. Everyone is
clapping that the red and yellow is back but Luger isn’t buying Hogan
being friends with everyone again. Sting thinks Luger should
understand this after 14 years: he’s taking Hogan on no matter what.
A handshake ends this worthless return.
Tenay is in the parking
lot when Bischoff pulls up in a Hummer. Mike asks if Bischoff is
going to be the new President but Bischoff laughs him off and asks if
Tenay got that rumor off the internet.
Cat vs. Buff Bagwell
Because
this needed a rematch. Feeling out process to start with Buff
slamming Cat down and dropkicking him to the floor. Back in and
Miller kicks him down before hitting his dancing elbow. To really
mix things up, Miller tries another dancing elbow bus misses this
time. See, he’s versatile! A low blow puts Bagwell down again and
throws him to the floor for some Sonny kicks. This brings out Lex
Luger of all people to scare Onoo off, meaning we miss the
Blockbuster to give Bagwell the pin. Why can’t Sid come out and
powerbomb these guys for a change?
Berlyn is coming.
DJ Ran/Nitro Girls.
Goldberg vs. Diamond
Dallas Page
This
is quite the first hour main event. Bigelow comes out with a
trashcan and the Triad starts triple teaming Goldberg early on, only
to have Kanyon get ripped in half by a spear. Bam Bam eats a spear
as well, sending Page running off. Goldberg challenges him for next
week and there’s no match.
Video for the new West
Texas Rednecks song Good Old Boys. It’s Jeff Jarrett’s 1996 music
with lyrics, which makes me wonder why they didn’t put Jarrett with
the Rednecks when he showed up. If a guy from Minnesota can be from
West Texas, why not a guy from Nashville?
Nitro Party video.
Those are still a thing?
Cruiserweight Title:
Lenny Lane vs. Juventud Guerrera
Lane
won the belt last week on Thunder and crawls around on all fours to
start, because he’s strange you see. Lenny goes behind him to start
and thrusts his hips so Juvy kicks him low, because everything for
this character has to be related to sex in some way. Some Lodi
interference fails so Juvy dives onto him, only to get taken down by
a very nice corkscrew dive from the champ. Back in and
Lenny….plays with his pigtails and skips around before covering.
We get the idea already
WCW. A pair of shoulder breakers and a powerslam get two for Lenny
and it’s time for Lodi to get in some shots. The fans think Lenny is
gay, which really is the only thing we know about him so what else
are they supposed to chant? He plants Juvy with a running Liger Bomb
and celebrates with his brother/lover, drawing a much more offensive
chant from the fans. Back up and Juvy hits a quick Juvy Driver and
loads up the 450, only to have to dive at Sid for the DQ.
Rating:
C-.
Stop it, please. I mean that on both counts if that’s not clear.
Stop the ridiculous gay story with these two and stop having Sid
destroy the cruiserweights because they’re nothing more than target
practice. We get the idea, but does he have to beat up former and
current champions? You can’t have him beat up jobbers or really low
level guys instead? Of course not, because this is WCW where ONLY
old heavyweights matter.
Sid
is the man, powerbombs a go-go, 71-0, thousands of remotes change the
channel.
Here
are the Rednecks to perform Good Old Boys live. Hennig takes a few
shots at KISS, because they’re trying to turn their stupid musical
performances and guests into a story.
Nitro Girls.
Dean Malenko/Perry
Saturn/Shane Douglas vs. Hugh Morrus/Barbarian/Brian Knobbs
Malenko
dropkicks Morrus to start, followed by Shane coming in for a double
back elbow. It’s quickly off to Barbarian, who charges into a boot
in the corner and eats a middle rope clothesline. Since no one can
stay in this match for more than thirty seconds, here are Knobbs and
Malenko to keep the slow pace going.
We
actually stick with Dean getting beaten up for a bit with everyone
hitting some clubbing, yes CLUBBING I SAY, forearms to the back.
Knobbs dives into a raised boot and the hot tag brings in Saturn.
It’s a superkick and t-bone for Knobbs, but Rick Steiner comes in,
walks RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE REFEREE, and bulldogs Saturn to give
Knobbs the pin.
Rating:
D.
So now Steiner is costing the Revolution a match against the First
Family. As in the low level stable that should be cannon fodder for
Goldberg. I know WCW’s answer is that they gave Benoit the US Title,
but do they really need to give the Barbarian and Brian Knobbs a TV
win over a team like the Revolution? Again, I’d pay so much to hear
them validate this stuff.
Benoit
runs out and challenges Steiner for later tonight.
Berlyn is still coming.
Insane Clown Posse
vs. Billy Kidman/Rey Mysterio Jr.
Shaggy
hammers on Kidman to start but eats a dropkick to put him to the
floor. A whip into the barricade keeps 2 Dope (I feel so stupid for
having to type that) in trouble and it’s off to J. vs. Mysterio. Rey
destroys him with ease and hits a quick Bronco Buster on Shaggy, only
to get jumped by J. Shaggy gets two off a guillotine legdrop with
Kidman making the save. J. heads outside and Rey tries a big flip
dive, only to have J. be WAY out of position, leaving Rey to mostly
crash. Vampiro breaks up the Shooting Star but Kidman sends Shaggy
into Vampiro for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Not bad for the most part here and thankfully they didn’t have the
Clowns go over the former World Tag Team Champions. This was every
major complaint I’ve had about the Clowns wrestling since they
debuted and I don’t see it getting better any time soon. Thankfully
they kept it short though, which is the best thing you can say about
one of these matches.
Eddie
comes out for the save.
Here’s Hogan for the
big push towards his match with Sting. He doesn’t know why Luger
doesn’t trust him and promises to never swerve his family, including
Nitro Nick. This was a waste of time.
US Title: Rick
Steiner vs. Chris Benoit
Benoit
is defending, likely because Steiner isn’t even carrying his belt.
Well to be fair, it is worthless remember. Rick slugs him down to
start but eats a German suplex to put him down. Serves him right for
disgracing a title like that. Benoit dives right into another suplex
though and Rick starts his choking/raking the face offense.
The champ (as in the
guy who actually wears a belt) is sent ribs first into the buckle but
gets his boots up in the corner, setting up some Rolling Germans. He
heads up top but Steiner pulls him in the way of the Swan Dive,
drawing in Saturn to go after Rick. This brings out Sid to lay out
Saturn, because cruiserweights just aren’t enough for him anymore.
Benoit chases them off and I guess the match is thrown out.
Rating:
C.
I’m happy whenever I get to see Steiner dropped on his head over and
over as I keep hoping it might beat some sense into him. Thank
goodness they didn’t make him a double champion here, which was an
actual worry I had during this match. Oh and thank goodness Sid is
now involved in I think a fourth story because we just weren’t
getting enough of him.
Benoit challenges Sid
and Steiner to a match against himself and Saturn for Thunder. Two
things:
1. That match was
already set up on Thunder.
2.
That match will be going head to head with the debut of Smackdown,
featuring HHH vs. the Rock for the WWF World Title. Therefore, yes,
WCW does think that Sid and Steiner are big enough draws to compete
with the WWF’s main event guys. I didn’t want to believe it but
somehow, that seems to be the case.
Tag Team Titles:
Harlem Heat vs. Barry Windham/Kendall Windham
Stevie
reiterates his hatred for fruit booties. Harlem Heat is defending
and Booker cranks on Kendall’s arm to start. It’s quickly off to
Stevie who gets taken into the Windham corner as Heenan seems to
think Barry is Bobby Duncum Jr. Booker comes back in for some double
team punching to Barry’s head. There is no energy to this match,
likely because the Windhams are such heatless challengers.
Stevie clotheslines
both rednecks and everything breaks down. The Windhams nail their
stable mates by mistake and Booker ax kicks Kendall, followed by the
missile dropkick. There’s no referee though Curt comes in with that
stupid cowbell and knocks Booker silly to give Kendall the pin and
the titles.
Rating:
D-.
I’m not sure if I hated the match or the booking more. The match was
really dull stuff because Barry doesn’t care and Kendall is Kendall.
That being said, who thinks this is a good idea? You reform Harlem
Heat and have them drop the belts just a few weeks later, of course
with Booker taking the pin because we can’t have Stevie get pinned
right?
Vampiro vs. Eddie
Guerrero
Tony mentions an
upcoming search for a new Nitro Girl which will give us a pretty well
known blonde. Eddie gets hammered into the corner to start and
thrown across the ring with a good looking release belly to belly
suplex. Back up and Guerrero just explodes in the corner with chops
and punches away. I’m still trying to figure out why these two are
fighting. I know they’ve been fighting for weeks now but I have no
idea why and commentary is busy hyping up whatever they can think of
to talk about instead of talking about the match.
A spinning kick to the
chest drops Eddie again but he comes back with a superplex. He loads
up the Frog Splash but we’ve got Clowns. Insane ones at that, and
Eddie is so annoyed at them being on the show that he slips off the
top instead of diving at them. With J. offering a distraction,
Vampiro sends Eddie head first into Shaggy for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Can you blame Eddie for leaving soon? He comes back from a major car
crash that put him out for months and gets to job to Vampiro for the
sake of appeasing some niche celebrities like the Insane Clown Posse?
The match wasn’t bad with Vampiro, as in the wrestler instead of the
wrestling imitators, getting to show his skills, only to have a lame
ending with Eddie going down thanks to Shaggy. Yeah, all those years
and the classics with Mysterio but he gets to lose to a guy named
after a Scooby-Doo character.
Kidman and Mysterio
come out for the save.
Nitro Girls.
WCW World Title:
Hulk Hogan vs. Sting
Hogan
is defending of course and this means KISS will be main eventing the
show. They shake hands to start because these two have never had a
single issue ever. Neither guy can get an advantage off a lockup but
they shove each other away and start jawing with each other. Hulk
(still called Hollywood by Tony) grabs a wristlock but Sting counters
into one of his own. They’re mirroring each other very well so far.

A test of strength
gives Hogan control but Sting small packages him for two. Sting
fires off right hands in the corner but misses the big elbow that
always misses. Both guys head outside for a brawl with Hogan being
sent onto the announcers’ table. Sting is being way more aggressive
here than usual, which would seem like plans for a heel turn. I
can’t help but laugh at this, because turning Sting heel would be
like trying to make fans boo the Easter Bunny.
They take it back
inside and Sting gets two off a Vader Bomb. Somehow Hogan sells it
more than he ever did when Vader himself did it back in 1995. We hit
the chinlock for a bit until Hogan Hulks Up, only to miss the big
leg. The Stinger Splash connects but a second hits boot. The third
hits buckle and Hogan is ready to go, only to have Sid and Steiner
come in for the DQ.
Rating:
C.
The worst part of all this is the match was actually getting good
(well as good as these two can get in 1999) until the ending. It
wasn’t like the match was over and they ran in to prevent the
obvious. In theory this sets up a tag match next week, because we
haven’t seen enough of those lately.
This
brings up the problem at the moment: Goldberg is feuding with Sid
(and apparently the Triad), Steiner is feuding with the Revolution
and Hogan doesn’t have a big challenger. In theory it would be Sting
challenging at the PPV, but that’s what we just saw here. The
non-conclusive ending leaves an opening for a rematch, but I’ve never
liked a TV match setting up a major pay per view rematch.
Goldberg
and Luger come out for the save, because you need four former World
Champions to deal with Sid and RICK STEINER. Hogan offers Sting one
more title shot, likely at Fall Brawl.
It’s
time for the real main event and Tony promises a brand new KISS
inspired wrestler debuting before the end of the show. Schiavone is
apparently a huge KISS fan and gets to do their introduction, right
around the time that HHH is pinning Mankind to become WWF World
Champion. They perform God of Thunder and a spiked coffin is brought
out on stage. It opens up to reveal…..Brian Adams in KISS
attire. I’ve heard this is the lowest drawing segment in Nitro
history and the lowest overall rating for the show since a one hour
episode in May 1998.
Overall
Rating:
D.
More Sid, more offensive booking, more referees not needing to be
there, more focus on celebrities and not wrestling, more hot shotting
of big matches, more young guys getting beaten up by old guys that
should be jobbers. In other words, it’s everything wrong with WCW
rolled up into one show.
Good
Old Boys is a really appropriate name for the entire show. It’s all
about pushing the guys that used to be big names because screw anyone
that wants to get a push around here. I mean, BARRY WINDHAM as a two
time champion in 1999? There are a few interesting things here and
there, but I have zero desire to sit through all these horrible
things to get the glimmer of hope that WCW won’t destroy them all. I
know the destruction is coming, but it’s nice to believe that there’s
a chance something might get better.

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