Monday Nitro – September 6, 1999

Monday
Nitro #204
Date: September 6, 1999
Location:
Miami Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 8,623
Commentators: Bobby
Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s
one of those rare weeks where WCW has given us the slightest glimmer
of hope coming off this past week’s Thunder. They actually let
Saturn escape with his life against Sid and the Revolution got to
stand tall to end the show. We’re coming up on Fall Brawl this
Sunday though, and that means it’s time to crush the hopes and dreams
of fans so the main event talent can carry the day again. Let’s get
to it.

Clips from last week.
Opening sequence.
With
new music, here’s Bret Hart in his medium return to WCW. He thought
it was a good idea to come down to Miami and show up back here after
a lot of time off to think. After all that time, it occurs to him
that he hasn’t accomplished his goal of making a difference here in
WCW. This isn’t about titles, but he wants to face Hogan. Even if
the title isn’t on the line, he can’t move forward with his career
until he gets that one match. That’s quite the random challenge
without much of a reason. Glad to see Bret is fitting right in.
Here
are Riki Rachman and Kimberly for the first round of the Nitro Girl
search. There are two finalists and the fans get to vote on WCW.com.
Kimberly wraps it up by telling us how hard it is to be a Nitro
Girl. I’m sure it is. The saving grace of this segment: Rachman to
the crowd: “SAY OH YEAH!” Crowd: “NO!” When WCW’s fans
reject you, get out while you can.
Lodi vs. Evan
Karagias
Just
a matter of killing times until the Clowns and Vampiro show up.
Lenny offers an early distraction so Lodi can throw Evan outside.
Back in and Evan hits a quick dropkick for two, followed by a Sky
High for the same. The champ tries another distraction but this time
gets send running back to the floor.
A powerslam and
neckbreaker get two each on Lodi and Evan dives onto Lane before he
can get on the apron again. They start brawling and it’s nice to see
Lenny actually fight for a change and show a backbone. Lodi
accidentally dives on his brother and here come the Clowns for a
distraction, allowing Lodi to grab a quick DDT for the pin.
Rating:
D.
My goodness this company is falling fast. It’s nice to see the
backbone of the company getting bigger stories, but we’re opening
shows with a guy famous for carrying signs vs. the pretty boy of the
week. How is this supposed to make me want to keep watching? A
mostly dull and short match with Lodi winning isn’t exactly the most
thrilling thing in the world.
DJ
Ran y Las Chicas Nitro.
Here’s
Hogan with something to say. Thankfully he keeps it short here,
saying he has no idea why Savage and George were in his locker room
or what Luger’s agenda is. He even clarifies that he has a black
Hummer instead of the white one in the picture. I still can’t
believe that was a plot point they had to address. Hogan can’t wait
for his six man cage match with Sting and Goldberg against
Page/Sid/Steiner. You would think that match would be mentioned
earlier in the night but WCW wants to keep us guessing you see.
Barry
Horowitz vs. Al Greene
If
Sid doesn’t come out during this…….It’s a very bad sign when a
match doesn’t seem good enough for a taped Thunder but that’s what
we’ve got here. Feeling out process to start with Barry raking his
eyes because if there’s anyone you can buy as a heel, it’s Barry
Horowitz. An armdrag and dropkick put Greene down and Barry chokes
him on the ropes. For another match that should have been announced
earlier, Tony promises a battle royal with the final two men having a
regular match for a World Title match next week.
Suddenly
we have piano music playing and cut to a man with bleached blond hair
playing the piano being lowered from the ceiling. That would be the
Maestro, who we’ll get to know more in the future. As this is going
on, Sid comes out and powerbombs both guys for the no contest. Tony
declares him 77-0, despite that being his record at the start of
Thunder. I would say this is a big rib, but I don’t think WCW has
the intelligence to pull that off. However, I can give it to WCW to
have Sid, Tony screwing up, a piano being lowered from the ceiling
and the debut of a new guy in a Barry Horowitz (as a heel for some
reason) match.
Sid
promises to break Goldberg’s record. I think we’ve gotten the point
by now.
The
West Texas Rednecks are getting ready for the battle royal without
Duncum, who will be out two to three months. The door swings open
and there’s a cowboy silhouette, complete with tons of smoke.
Instead of someone interesting, it’s Vincent, now dressed like a
cowboy, offering the Rednecks his help. Since the Rednecks aren’t
that bright, they take him up on his offer. Curt’s nickname for him:
Curly Bill. Sure why not.
Here’s
Harlem Heat with something to say. Gene asks them about their title
match on Sunday and Booker says he’s here to turn this mother out.
He knocks the microphone out of Gene’s hand and just takes it from
him next time. As usual, Gene really doesn’t have a reason to be
here. Stevie says they will be the nine time, nine time, nine time,
nine time, nine time, nine time, nine time Tag Team Champions. Now
Booker wants to burn this mother up but we’re out of time.
Luger
and Sting go into a locker room to find Bret and Hogan. Sting wants
to talk to Hogan, who agrees….and there go the lights. Sound
effects ensue and we come back with Sting out cold. Luger and Hogan
blame each other for doing it. Didn’t we see this same storyline
with the roles reversed back in the early days of Nitro? As in with
the same exact people?
There’s
more to that battle royal than announced earlier. There are twelve
people in the battle royal and the first four will be eliminated.
The next six out will face each other in singles matches later
tonight, and the final two will have another singles match with the
winners facing each other for a title shot next week. Those first
three singles matches don’t seem to be for anything other than a way
to torment us. Thankfully WCW has a graphic for this because the
idea of Tony or Bobby remembering this would have been a disaster.
Battle Royal
First Family,
Revolution, West Texas Rednecks
Battlebowl
1996 might have had a better lineup than this. Somehow they can’t
even promote a match like this properly as Hennig stays on the floor,
making it an eleven man battle royal, in theory meaning the first
three are officially eliminated. Everyone brawls to start with
Saturn choking Barbarian before moving over to Barry. The First
Family seems to have the most continuity as the Revolution is on the
other end with everyone fighting for themselves.
Shane
backdrops Knobbs out and Benoit dumps Bill. Barbarian goes up top
like the lunkheaded savage he is and gets dropkicked out, leaving us
with eight. Benoit and Saturn chop on Morrus in the corner as Hennig
keeps walking around on the floor. Shane backdrops Kendall out but
Kendall grabs Douglas from the floor and pulls him out as well. I’m
assuming that’s a match later. Benoit throws Barry out and Saturn
dumps Flynn, leaving us with Morrus, Saturn, Benoit and Malenko.
Morrus gorilla presses Saturn out, only to walk into a double
clothesline to give us Malenko vs. Benoit for the title shot later
tonight.
Rating:
D.
Gah we’re in for a very, very long night with what could be a great
match to cap it off. This was a really boring battle royal with a
bunch of low level guys and the US Champion and pals in there to take
over near the end. I’m not sure why I would want to see Kendall
Windham vs. Shane Douglas, Jerry Flynn vs. Barry Windham or Hugh
Morrus vs. Perry Saturn (ok that could be decent) but if WCW can
waste our time with stuff like this, why not?
Ad
for Cat-Bo, a parody of Tae-Bo. See, this is the kind of stuff that
can actually be entertaining, though it only kind of accomplishes the
goal. The problem here is that it’s only kind of funny and comes off
more like a really badly made serious version of what they’re making
fun of. I mean, it’s a bunch of out of shape people moving around
and exercising with a professional athlete leading them. That’s not
really funny and is pretty much exactly the point of Tae-Bo in the
first place. In other words, WCW had something resembling an idea
but managed to screw it up.
Johnny
Swinger vs. Prince Iaukea
Is
the main roster on vacation or something? Swinger hides in the ropes
to start and takes a shoulder to put him down. Prince hammers away
in the corner and backflips over Swinger into a rollup for two. My
goodness why is this not a dark match? Johnny hammers away in the
corner as Tony brags about the huge audiences watching the show.
There’s actually something to that as Nitro was within very close
striking distance of Raw for a few weeks around this time. Granted
by next week they lost by two points but they were there at this
point.
Swinger hammers away
even more because he doesn’t know how to do much besides punch. The
fans again want Sid but instead get Iaukea missing a dropkick before
making his comeback. Cue Vampiro and the Clowns again with Violent
J. tripping Swinger, allowing Vampiro to give him the Nail in the
Coffin so Iaukea can get the easy pin.
Rating:
F.
I mean…..dang man. They really are pulling out all of the horrible
ideas here to make sure no one wants to keep watching this show.
Yeah they tried to push something here with the Clowns recruiting
people, but who in their right mind would recruit Prince Iaukea?
This is clearly another episode where they’re not trying and expect
the fans to just suffer through whatever they’re given and stick
around for the main event stuff, despite that plan not working in
about a year and a half.
Earlier
today, Buff Bagwell was signing autographs when Berlyn came up and
spoke German. Bagwell doesn’t take kindly to someone speaking
anything other than AMERICAN and goes after him to no avail.
Berlyn video.
Steve Regal vs. Buff
Bagwell
Buff
starts a USA chant to keep up his xenophobic run. Feeling out
process to start as they trade arm control with Regal clearly not
going at full speed. A backdrop and clothesline put Regal on the
floor, allowing Buff to do some high quality posing. Back in and
Buff wins a slugout until Regal drives a knee into the ribs. Dave
Taylor loads up the flag shot despite his buddy being in control,
only to hit Regal by mistake, which sets up the Blockbuster for the
fast pin. So our American hero got beaten up for most of the match
and won due to some failed cheating. USA indeed.
Post
match Buff grabs the mic and says he loves Miami because it’s part of
America. This Sunday, Berlyn will be fighting all of the USA. This
would be somewhere around Booking 101.
Juventud
Guerrera/Psychosis/Blitzkrieg vs. Kidman/Chavo Guerrero Jr./Eddie
Guerrero
It’s
a huge brawl to start as this is already moving fast. Juvy and Eddie
are left alone in the ring with Eddie taking a powerbomb before it’s
off to Psychosis to start some triple teaming. Psychosis crotches
Eddie on top and just lets him drop down. That’s a different method
of operation instead of like, doing something interesting. Psychosis
hits a top rope spinwheel kick (not a plancha Tony) and another
triple stomp ensues.
Eddie
finally gets a break by grabbing Psychosis’ hands and climbing the
ropes into a headscissors takeover to Juvy while wristdragging
Psychosis. Guerrero could hit that move like no one I’ve ever seen.
He tags both partners and everything breaks down Kidman dropping a
guillotine legdrop on Blitzkrieg but it’s off to Juvy for a bulldog
out of the corner. He catches Kidman on his shoulders, allowing
Psychosis to come in off the top with a missile dropkick for a big
crash.
Off
to Blitzkrieg for his overly flippy elbow drop before it’s already
back to Juvy. Kidman nails the BK Bomb but here are the freaking
Clowns again. Everything breaks down again and Juvy pulls Chavo to
the floor, only to have Blitzkrieg hit his partner with a dive by
mistake. Back inside, Psychosis can’t powerbomb Kidman (he’s no
Lenny Lane), setting up the Frog Splash for the pin.
Rating:
C.
Either do something with the Clowns or stop having them come out so
many times a show. They just stand there and then try to recruit
some low level cruiserweight to set up whatever big recruitment story
they have which isn’t going to make the Clowns any better in the
ring. Or interesting for that matter.
Shane
Douglas vs. Kendall Windham
Please
make it quick. Shane asks the fans if they want a revolution.
Kendall doesn’t seem to want one as he elbows Shane in the face, only
to eat a gordbuster. The necksnap gets two and they head to the
floor with Windham taking over. Shane is sent into the barricade and
steps before taking him back inside for a legdrop for two. Kendall
takes a quick atomic drop and Shane weakly punches him in the corner.

Here’s Curt Hennig to
nail Shane in the back as we cut to a split screen to show the
Revolution in the back. They don’t bother coming out or anything, so
Harlem Heat comes out and jumps Hennig. Stevie completely misses a
slap jack shot to Kendall, setting up Shane’s Pittsburgh Plunge for
the pin, even though all four shoulders were down.
Rating:
F.
It was boring, it was sloppy, it had three people running in and
there was no reason for these two to be fighting other than they were
both in a battle royal earlier in the night. I’m not sure what the
idea was behind the battle royal setting up matches but it feels like
they have no idea what else to do.
WCW
is giving away a million dollars next week. Given how much money
they’ve given away over the years with bad booking, that might be a
financial improvement.
Jerry Flynn vs.
Barry Windham
Flynn
takes him into the corner for a bunch of kicks and punches as he’s
doubled his offensive repertoire. More kicks and chops have Barry
looking annoyed so he rakes Jerry’s eyes across the top rope. Jerry
kicks him even more until Jimmy Hart trips Barry, causing Curly Billy
to go after Hart. The distraction sends Jerry after Bill, who blasts
him in the head with a title belt. Barry hits a quick DDT for the
pin. Thank goodness this wasn’t three minutes long as I don’t think
I could come up with a low enough rating.
Clips
of Berlyn debuting last week.
Gene brings out Berlyn
and gets frisked by one of the security guards. Berlyn’s Lana says
every stupid cliché you could imagine about how great Germany is and
promises to show America that Germany is just better. Thankfully
they kept this short.
Nitro Girls.
Hugh Morrus vs.
Perry Saturn
This
has to be better right? Morrus hammers away to start and counters a
sunset flip, only to miss his sitdown splash. Saturn sends him out
to the floor for a breather before punching Morrus instead of
accepting a test of strength. Somehow this is already more
interesting than what we’ve seen so far tonight.
Back
up and Morrus stomps and chokes in the corner but gets pushed into
the buckle and punched even more. Even more forearms and punches
have Saturn in trouble but he kicks back from the mat. That’s it for
his offense for now though as a clothesline sets up a chinlock. This
match is dying.
Back
up and Saturn hammers away, only to have Morrus bite his face. A
gorilla press sets up a top rope splash but Saturn rolls away. Some
suplexes have Morrus reeling but Jimmy Hart breaks up a Death Valley
Driver attempt. The distraction lets Morrus nail Saturn in the back,
only to have him miss No Laughing Matter. The Rings of Saturn
finally end this.
Rating:
D-.
Just end this show already I beg of you. This was by far the best
match of the three battle royal fallout matches so far and it’s only
because Morrus is the least horrible of the heels involved. What
does this prove? That Morrus can beat up Saturn for ten minutes
until Saturn hits a quick move for the win? It didn’t work for Randy
Savage back in 1995 and it doesn’t make me want to see Saturn fight
for the TV Title on Sunday.
Road
Report.
Chris Benoit vs.
Dean Malenko
Non-title
but the winner gets a World Title shot next week. They shake hands
hard to start before Benoit takes him down to the mat. Dean does the
exact same thing before nailing a shoulder to get us to a standoff.
A test of strength goes to Malenko but Benoit monkey flips him for
two, setting off a sweet pinfall reversal sequence for several near
falls each. Benoit is sent to the apron but gets pulled back inside
almost immediately.
Things
start getting more intense as Benoit chops away and sends Dean into
the buckle. It turns into a slugout with Benoit getting the better
of it before we hit a quick chinlock. Thankfully that goes nowhere
and they fight over a tombstone with Chris planting Malenko…..as
Sid comes out. Benoit misses the Swan Dive, drawing in Sid to
powerbomb Malenko and talk trash, giving us a no contest, which
should have been a DQ win for Benoit but WCW doesn’t understand how
wrestling works. So yes, the ENTIRE BATTLE ROYAL and all those
boring matches mean NOTHING.
Rating:
D+.
I should have known. I mean I really should have known. You knew
WCW wasn’t going to give Benoit or Malenko a crack at the top spot in
the company because that would be elevating one of these guys, when
it’s clear they only exist to make people like Sid look good. The
match was getting good until the end, which crippled it more than
jumping off the top rope did for Sid.
Video on Hogan vs.
Sting.
Video on Page vs.
Goldberg.
The
cage is lowered, complete with a top on it.
Goldberg/Hulk
Hogan/Sting vs. Sid Vicious/Rick Steiner/Diamond Dallas Page
Steiner
still doesn’t have the TV Title with him, though to be fair, Hogan
doesn’t have his belt either. Hogan comes out first and the fight
starts 3-1 with the World Champ in trouble. Goldberg is nice enough
to go through his full entrance as his partner gets triple teamed.
Apparently Bigelow and Kanyon aren’t pleased with Goldberg’s laziness
and jump him outside the cage as we’re waiting on Sting. Bigelow and
Kanyon show their stupidity by throwing Goldberg inside the cage and
he immediately starts his comeback. He fights out of a Diamond
Cutter attempt and powerslams Page before clotheslining the other two
down.
Hogan gets back up and
the villains are beaten up even worse. The trio starts fighting back
as Sting and Luger come out with Lex telling Sting not to go in.
Sting doesn’t listen to Luger (would you?) and comes in to clean
house again, sending Sid and Steiner running away and leaving Page to
get big booted and legdropped for the pin. The ending was odd as
Hogan seemed to get up at two and a half while Goldberg and Sting
just stood there with nothing to do.
Rating:
D-.
And now I’m supposed to pay for Goldberg vs. Page this Sunday? He’s
become the main event whipping boy in the last few weeks, but at
least it’s better than having the young guys doing these jobs. Not
that they would ever be allowed near Hogan, Goldberg and Sting of
course. This was another massacre with Hogan and Goldberg barely
breaking a sweat before Sting came down to take away any possible
threat. The main event heels are looking so worthless right now that
having any two parts of the holy trinity fighting each other is the
only real option they have.
Luger
gets in the ring and right into Sting’s face, saying Hogan can’t be
trusted. Sting and Luger start fighting as the show goes off the
air.
Overall
Rating:
F-.
There have been books written about what killed WCW. You’ll hear
reasons ranging from the AOL-Time Warner merger to guaranteed
contracts to a lack of elevating new stars. I however offer a new
theory: their shows SUCKED. Look at what they presented here tonight
and tell me how they were trying to put out a good product. I for
one don’t really need to see Jerry Flynn and Kendall Windham working
twice in a night but that’s just me.
What
on here would make me want to come back? Is it the boring to
horrible matches? Maybe the young guys getting crushed? Or is it
the Clowns coming out three times a show? It could be sitting
through three terrible matches and one passable one to find out that
the entire concept was just there for Sid to beat up more young,
talented guys. This show drew a 4.1 rating compared to Raw’s 4.4.
Next week’s ratings: 6.0 for Raw compared to a 3.3 for Nitro. This
show didn’t make people stick around and how can you blame them?
Total disaster here and it was clear they weren’t even trying.
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