Monday Nitro – June 5, 2000

Monday Nitro #243
Date: June 5, 2000
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 13,487
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson, Mark Madden

It’s the go home show for the Great American Bash and they finally have the main event set as Kevin Nash is going to get a shot at Jeff Jarrett’s World Title. Tonight’s big match is the long awaited Goldberg vs. Tank Abbott showdown. Given that it’s a Russo run show, you never know what changes we might see so let’s get to it.

We recap Abbott vs. Goldberg in a failed attempt to make us believe that Abbott has a chance.

Here are Russo and Bischoff to open things up with Eric professing his LOVE for the crowd. If this show is as bad as I’m expecting, he needs to work on how he professes his affection for people. Bischoff brags about Luger being out with a broken face and Liz being too scared to come out of her dressing room. Wait if Luger isn’t here why did Liz show up?

Tonight Nash is running the New Blood gauntlet and if he loses, he’s out of the title match on Sunday. Also, Jarrett will defend the title against Sting. If they love Jarrett so much, why are they always putting him through this stuff? Russo whines about being forced out of New York and having nothing left to do but come down here to Atlanta. Tonight he’s going to destroy Space Mountain inside the big cage (a Cell instead of a regular cage) and give Flair the brain damage he deserves.

Bischoff promises to take the Hardcore Title from Terry Funk tonight. He’s not kidding is he? Eric rants about Goldberg messing up the plans to take out Nash last week and threatens to suspend him, only to have Goldberg himself come out. Russo says Goldberg has never dealt with a New Yorker and tells him to SPEAR THIS and does a crotch chop. So he wants…..never mind. Goldberg charges through security but the bosses escape.

After a break we look at what just happened and DJ Ran can be heard in the background. At least he’s not up in my area anymore.

Bischoff and Russo yell at the New Blood. Torrie can be seen storming off as this goes on. Good for her.

Tag Team Titles: Kronik vs. Chuck Palumbo/Shawn Stasiak

Rematch from Thunder where Stasiak/Palumbo took the belts via DQ. It’s a brawl to start until we get down to Palumbo charging into Clark’s elbow as the other two fight on the ramp. Shouldn’t Stasiak be destroyed by Adams in a straight fight? All four wind up in the ring and Clark plants Palumbo with a quick Meltdown. Remember when that was a big move and not just a transitional one for a guy in a tag team?

To make sure it’s clear how low that move has sunk, Adams throws Chuck (still legal I believe) to the floor to work on Stasiak, who seems to be legal by default now. Cue the Cat as Stasiak punches back on Adams but Palumbo has to come in to break up a piledriver attempt. A neckbreaker from Shawn brings Palumbo back in but Stasiak comes right back in with a high cross body.

Adams is tired of his hair being messed up and grabs a backbreaker on Shawn, setting up the tags to Clark and Palumbo. Clark cleans house but the Cat gets in the ring and threatens the referee. Palumbo and Clark fight into the crowd and Adams drops Stasiak onto the steps. With everyone on the floor, Cat grabs the referee and demands a count right now. Adams throws Stasiak in and Cat counts a very fast eight nine ten to retain the titles.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t the worst match but you knew we were getting a screwy ending. Here’s the problem with this show: the ending here makes sense as Palumbo and Stasiak can’t hang with Kronik in a straight match so the heel boss is cheating. That’s standard operating procedure and makes sense here. However, when you have some kind of shenanigans of some sort in every match, something good like this has no impact.

Kronik goes after Cat but the champs make the save and take the beating themselves.

Kidman yells at Torrie (in a bikini with a skirt) for some reason until Major Gunns of all people makes the save, earning her some swearing.

Nash doesn’t have much to say about the gauntlet match but chuckles at being the last man in the building. “My gimmick’s alive!”

Video on Kidman vs. Hogan.

Gunns cries to the Misfits about what Kidman said to her. G.I. Bro promises to take care of things.

Goldberg chats with Nash and Steiner.

G.I. Bro vs. Kidman

So why would Russo and Bischoff grant Bro this match and what else did they have planned here? Booker is wrestling in his hat and clotheslines Kidman down to start. Some right hands in the corner have Kidman in even more trouble but Booker calls Gunns in for Shattered Dreams but here’s Kidman to hit him low instead. As usual, the referee doesn’t care about interference so Booker gets the pin off a Rock Bottom.

Both groups come in for the brawl and the Animals dominate.

Hardcore Title: Eric Bischoff vs. Terry Funk

Funk is defending and Bischoff has the Cat with him to make this a bit less painful. Cat kicks a chair into Funk’s face, allowing Bischoff to demonstrate his nunchucks. Funk comes back with a trashcan and shields himself from Bischoff’s shots over and over. The villains run away and Funk chases them to the back…..and that’s it for now I guess.

The announcers chat so here’s Miss Hancock to dance. Before she can get anywhere, here are Kimberly and Awesome (with new music). Kimberly accuses Hancock of stealing her spotlight and doing it very poorly. Apparently the stripping secretary look was out in 1993 and isn’t doing anything for Hancock today. Kimberly hits her with the clipboard and leaves, but Hancock calls Kimberly fat (likely not allowed on TV today) and tells her to get back here. They’ll fight later apparently.

As they leave, Funk wheels Bischoff back to ringside (with Awesome looking at them without stopping) but we cut to the back (segment #4 in this match) to see Russo sending in the Mamalukes. Funk loads up a Stinkface but the Mamalukes come in and lay out Funk in less than two minutes, giving Bischoff the pin and the title.

Rating: F. Why let a wrestler do this when you can have a writer do it for you? The whole idea has been throwing challenger after challenger at Funk and he somehow escapes each time. Now for some reason the big ending is Bischoff taking the title instead of the Mamalukes, who haven’t done anything in months other than be more names on a long list of New Blood members. Let them be the ones to take the title instead, because this was all about giving Bischoff the spotlight because he hasn’t gotten enough of it yet. Such is life in WCW.

The Flairs are here.

US Title: Scott Steiner vs. Vampiro

Steiner is defending and talks about meeting up with some woman in Atlanta earlier today. For reasons that likely connect to Russo’s view on women, the Freaks are very pleased by this story. Vampiro has the gas and blow torch with him. The champ pounds away in the corner to start and throws Vampiro around with ease. A hard clothesline sets up the bicep elbow and they head outside.

Steiner blasts him in the back with a chair and slams him through a table as this is totally one sided so far. Vampiro pops back up and sends Scott into the barricade before throwing him back inside for a top rope spinwheel kick. There’s a blow torch to the face, only to have Midajah come in off the top with a high cross body. Vampiro chases her up the ramp with the gas and torch but here’s Sting for the save. Again, NONE OF THIS IS A DQ so Steiner suplexes Vampiro again and puts on the Recliner to retain.

Rating: D. So Steiner squashes Vampiro, Vampiro can only get back in it by cheating, then a baseball bat to the ribs isn’t enough for a DQ. There was no mention of Steiner’s title defense on Sunday because I’d be surprised they remember that he actually has a match on the pay per view. This wasn’t a bad squash until it got all zany with the fire stuff.

Tank Abbott vs. Goldberg

Tank chills on the floor for a bit until Goldberg catches him with a superkick….and it’s Rick Steiner coming in with a chair. Two shots and the big right hand from Tank get two and we’ve got Nash coming through the crowd (smart) for the save. Goldberg spears Abbott and hits the Jackhammer for the pin. This was exactly what I was expecting: a segment instead of a match, even though they could have done exactly the same thing in a two minute squash.

Kimberly yells about Hancock.

WCW World Title: Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett

Sting is challenging and again this is in the middle of the card. Jeff jumps him during the entrances but Sting comes right back with a hot shot. Jeff’s dropkick is blocked by a powerbomb and he has to kick away from a Deathlock. Sting takes a chair to the back and they brawl around ringside for a bit. A clothesline puts the champ back inside and we get the sunset flip with the referee kicking Jeff’s hands away spot. Back up and Sting grabs a rollup for the pin and the title out of nowhere, beating Jarrett in less than two and a half minutes.

Oh never mind as Bischoff comes out and says he changed his mind because that wasn’t a title match. Jeff tries a belt shot but Sting ducks and puts him in the Deathlock on the ramp as Hudson talks about a Dusty Finish. Sting clocks Jarrett with the guitar and goes after Bischoff. Spoiler for later: save for Jarrett being taken away in an ambulance, neither Sting nor Jarrett will be seen for the rest of the show. The World Champion just got pinned clean in less than three minutes in the middle of a show six days before he defends the title in the main event of a pay per view. By the way, here are the recent ratings for Raw and Nitro:

May 22 – Raw: 7.1, Nitro: 3.0

May 29 – Raw: 6.4, Nitro: 3.0

June 5 – Raw: 5.9, Nitro: 2.8

June 12 – Raw: 6.8, Nitro: 3.0

Yeah keep going with that burying your champion after changing the title 18 times in five months. Maybe if you work hard, Raw will only double your numbers.

Jeff is put in an ambulance.

Here are Awesome and Kimberly to deal with Hancock. Before Hancock comes out though, Awesome talks trash about Page and introduces the women. Kimberly is ready to go but Hancock insists that Kimberly sign a release for the beating she’s about to get. Kimberly signs it so Hancock flashes the Diamond Cutter sign. Cue Page, but Kimberly brings up the restraining order. CAN YOU PLEASE JUST GET TO A MATCH??? As I’m sure you can guess, Kimberly just signed away the restraining order and it’s time for a mixed tag.

Kimberly/Mike Awesome vs. Diamond Dallas Page/Miss Hancock

The girls start but Kimberly poses instead of doing anything. Hancock goes after her and Kimberly calls that pathetic. Now it’s time for Hancock to dance before she rips the M off the ME on Kimberly’s top. We’re still waiting on anything to actually happen. Kimberly tries to slap Page but he gets his hand up.

They catfight for a bit until Hancock slaps Awesome and runs over to Page for an actual wrestling match. Page speeds it up with a jumping clothesline and starts a brawl. That goes nowhere so Page tries a backslide, only to take a low blow to give Awesome control. Awesome sends Page flying with a nice German suplex but Page is right back up to send him into the buckle.

That’s enough wrestling (all minute and a half of it that we actually got) so they head outside with Awesome setting up a table. Back in and Awesome lands a frog splash as Hancock looks like she’d rather be anywhere else. Mike loads up the powerbomb over the top but Hancock pulls up her skirt for a distraction, allowing Page to grab a Diamond Cutter for the pin.

Rating: F. I know it’s hard to consider something a failure when it has Hancock and Kimberly in the same match but dear goodness this was a waste of time. This might have been fine on a house show but I’m supposed to believe that Awesome is this career killer and he’s in a glorified comedy mixed tag? Total waste of time.

Pamela tells us that Hulk isn’t fighting tonight.

Horace Hogan vs. Hulk Hogan

For some reason the cage is halfway down. Before the match, Bischoff says Jeff is going to be fine and tells Horace not to bother putting up a table because Hulk isn’t going to be here. So instead here’s Hollywood Hogan because this is different I guess. Hollywood asks for the cage to be completely lowered and it’s time for a Cell match because that’s what this match needed.

Hollywood starts in on the beating and it’s already weightlifting belt time. Horace bails to the floor where the beating continues but he kicks a chair into his uncle’s face to get a breather. Some chair shots hit the post though and Hollywood fights back, setting up the legdrop onto the chair onto Horace’s face for the pin.

Kidman comes in but gets beaten down as well.

Ric is ready for revenge. Yeah I’m sure.

Vince Russo vs. Ric Flair

Let’s get this over with because you know where this is going. Remember that this is in the Cell cage instead of a standard version, likely so we can have multiple interferences. Ric has Reid and Beth with him, meaning they’ll likely be kidnapped again. Russo looks terrified, albeit in a perfectly manly way. Vince grabs a headlock to start and shoulders Ric down. So he’s now on the list with names like Sting, Hogan and Luger.

Ric pops back up and goes for some chops but Russo kicks him low. Thankfully Flair is right back to his feet for some chops and a low blow of his own. This is probably more than Russo has sold since he’s been back. Ric suplexes him down and drops a knee because this is a wrestling match and not Russo’s total destruction because he’s the star of the show and therefore can’t take a beating like that. A few whips into the cage and chops have Russo in more trouble so here’s David Flair from under the ring to give Russo a chance.

So Ric beats up his son for a bit as Russo sets up a ladder in the ring for no apparent reason. He climbs up and pulls part of the roof down, likely so we can have more interference. Russo gets to the top of the cage but Ric follows him, only to get poked in the eye so Russo can get the better of it. Vince climbs back into the cage but Ric stomps his hands to make him fall. Since this is WCW, the camera misses the big crash.

Ric climbs down the ladder and puts Vince in the Figure Four, which Russo survives for OVER A MINUTE until the red liquid falls from the ceiling and knocks Ric and Charles Robinson out. David puts Ric in the Figure Four and Russo pops to his feet (not even a limp) and chokes Ric until Robinson counts the pin. Russo is polite enough to collapse after walking around the ring for a bit.

Rating: F. Think back for a minute to all the matches Flair has won with the Figure Four. He’s won titles, tournaments, showdowns, pay per view main events etc. with that hold and some of the biggest names of all time have passed out in the hold. You know who didn’t pass out or give up to it after nearly seventy seconds? Vince Russo. A writer, who still hasn’t lost a match in WCW and probably never will. Ric better have gotten a medal for putting Russo over like this because it

Nash and Steiner have a meeting before the main event.

The announcers chat for a bit. I always love seeing them at a makeshift table for some reason. It sums up WCW so well.

Kevin Nash vs. New Blood

Gauntlet match. Disco is out first in an Atlanta Falcons jersey, of course leading out Russo who is still not wearing a shirt. We get some Russo acting as he says Nash loses his shot if he gets pinned or if any of the Millionaires interfere. There are about ten guys on the ramp to come after Nash and Disco is in first, only to take a side slam for a quick pin after about nine seconds.

Candido and Johnny the Bull come in at the same time and Chris takes a Jackknife. Nash goes on to Johnny but the referee counts a pin on Candido, even though no one is touching him. Johnny gets the same treatment after a Jackknife, even though there was nothing stopping Nash from throwing a boot on him for a pin. Big Vito comes in and Nash Jackknifes him almost immediately for a “pin”. Even Nash seems confused as to why he doesn’t have to cover anyone and managed to get a boot on the chest at the three count.

Mysterio eats a big boot and Nash covers him with a boot for the pin. Normally I would make fun of Nash for embarrassing Mysterio like that but at least he’s trying to do this mess properly. Six guys come in for a big beatdown but here’s Goldberg to help Nash clean house. The match is thrown out somewhere at about two minutes and fifteen seconds. Yeah Nash beat (kind of at least) five guys in about a minute and WCW wonders why these guys weren’t taken seriously.

This brings out Bischoff to say that Goldberg is going to be suspended on Wednesday. Why he’s not suspended right now isn’t clear but Goldberg cuts him off to say if Bischoff suspends him, Bischoff is next to end the show.

Overall Rating: IWW. I was wrong. Dear goodness I was wrong about thinking it couldn’t get any worse than the things they had been doing. Between Russo staying in the Figure Four for over a minute and then not even limping ten seconds later to Bischoff winning a title to Nash and Goldberg running through the New Blood inside of five minutes to the World Champion losing in a nothing match that didn’t last three minutes, this show wasn’t just bad.

This show was running in the opposite direction and seemingly trying to either be as horrible and against what the fans wanted as possible. The pay per view was secondary to pushing the writers as the real stars of the show while so much of the night was about nothing. I have no idea what was supposed to make me want to get keep watching this show because the stories are totally uninteresting and far more confusing than they should be.

It’s really saying something when a show that aired over fifteen years ago makes me want to scream but this show pulled it off. WCW isn’t just about making Russo and Bischoff look good but now there’s almost nothing else on the show that I want to see. The World Title looks to be about on the same level as the WWF European Title (held by Eddie Guerrero at this point) right now and that’s not going to be enough to carry a promotion.

This company is about Russo and Bischoff vs. Nash, Goldberg and Hogan. Aside from being another version of the evil boss vs. the stars, the major problem here is none of the villains are treated like anything special, save for Russo and Bischoff. As I’ve said before, McMahon would take a beating and lose at times to make the winners look better. Russo still doesn’t get that though and it’s making for a horrible show, only to have the atrocious booking exacerbate everything. WCW can’t be saved by one tweak at this point, but at least it could hurt less. Unfortunately it’s probably going to get worse. It always does.

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