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.
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