Monday Nitro – July 10, 2000

Monday Nitro #248
Date: July 10, 2000
Location: Jacksonville Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
Attendance: 5,257
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Mark Madden, Tony Schiavone

We’re done with Bash at the Beach and that means a lot has changed in WCW. First of all, Booker T. is World Champion after a surprise change in last night’s title match. This change came about due to what seemed to be an overly complicated work/shoot which also saw the return of Vince Russo. We’re back to that old Russo style after a few weeks of false hope that the company might be getting better. Let’s get to it.

The opening video talks about Booker becoming the new champion and gives us a quick history of Booker’s career in WCW. This was a really good way to make Booker look like a star but there was no mention of Hogan whatsoever. It really is Halloween Havoc 1999 all over again.

Tony recaps things as well and only mentions Russo making an impromptu title match due to some circumstances.

Here’s Booker for his first appearance as champion but the announcers are busy talking about things that they legally can’t talk about. The fans chant for Booker and it’s one of the few genuinely emotional moments in years around here. Booker says this is him speaking from the heart but above all else, he wishes his mom was here to see him win the title. Well that’s already a better moment than almost anything we’ve had in a long time.

Booker thanks the fans for being behind him every night and he’s always tried to give everything he can every single week. He thanks all the fans in Dayton Beach last night (silence from the Jacksonville fans for that one) and to all the people in the back who doubt him, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Above all though, Booker wants to talk about Goldberg.

Booker says Goldberg has been out with an arm injury but has spent months complaining about everything. Goldberg is nothing but a mark for the business and himself (more terms the fans don’t get). Booker has one more thing to say and brings his wife (not Sharmell) into the ring to thank her for her patience when he was gone all those times. Before Booker leaves, here’s Stevie Ray to interrupt.

Stevie remembers growing up with Booker and everything he did for him over the years. Then one day Scott Casey (the wrestler that trained them) saying Booker had what it took to go to the top. Now his brother is on top of the world and Stevie is so proud. They hug but here’s Midajah to interrupt as well. She yells at Booker’s wife about Scott Steiner being the only real man here and here’s Scott with a ball bat to take out Booker and Stevie. Booker is already a more interesting champion than we’ve had this whole year.

Jeff Jarrett blames the Cat for the title loss because he wasn’t ready to defend, though I believe Russo booked the match. Jarrett wants his rematch tonight but Booker already has a match thanks to the Cat. Cue Scott Steiner again to lay out Jarrett and wreck the interview set.

Shane Douglas vs. Crowbar

Before the match, Shane brags about how gorgeous Torrie is. Well you can’t argue that one. Torrie says Bagwell was in the wrong place at the wrong time and calls Kidman Little Billy. Crowbar hits the ring and gets an early two off a sunset flip before sending Shane to the floor for a plancha. Torrie is nice enough to step between them, allowing Shane to take over.

Back in and Shane gets Two Amigos of all things until Crowbar spins out, only to have Torrie trip him up so Shane can get in another shot. Cue Daffney for some screaming and it’s time for a quick catfight. Crowbar throws him back in for a slingshot legdrop and a Lionsault for two. Shane pops right back up and grabs the Franchiser for the pin.

Rating: D. Well you can’t complain about Torrie in a skin tight green dress and Daffney in jeans but the match was your usual Shane Douglas affair. He’s good at making you want to punch him in the face but the matches really aren’t the most interesting things you’re going to see. Crowbar continues to be totally fine in the ring but getting stuck either jobbing or having nothing better to do than mess around with David Flair.

Post match Buff Bagwell comes in and beats up Shane.

Kidman, in a Bash at the Beach shirt, says Torrie is a dime a dozen but he’s more interested in his career anyway. This brings in Jarrett to shove Kidman away, triggering a brawl.

Smooth shows up carrying a gold record. Tank Abbott, in the top half of a tuxedo and shorts, and 3 Count (in full tuxedos) are in his limo.

Cat gives Jarrett Kidman instead of a title match.

Here are 3 Count and Tank with the gold record and a ladder for some reason. Tank tells them to hang the record and who are they to argue with him. This brings in the Jung Dragons to shove the ladder over and beat up 3 Count, only to have Tank clean house. Cue the Great Muta of all people to spray mist at Tank, allowing the Dragons to make off with the gold record.

Kanyon thinks he should be #1 contender after beating Booker last night. Since Cat won’t do it though, he’s getting BANGED.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Kidman

Jeff tries to get in some shots to start but Kidman snaps off a headscissors. That earns him a hiptoss out to the floor and Jeff sends him into the steps for good measure. Back in and Kidman’s high cross body is rolled through for two but Kidman clotheslines him back to the floor. I’m not sure how to handle this back and forth wrestling so here’s Torrie for a distraction.

Torrie’s slap is blocked but Shane comes out, allowing Torrie to kick Kidman low. That’s only good for two so Jarrett tries a powerbomb (as is his custom), setting up the facebuster because that’s still a thing for Kidman. A Bodog is countered though and the Stroke gives Jeff the pin.

Rating: C. As usual, Kidman could have been a lot more than just a guy in the midcard but instead they just have him job to every major name they can find and put him in a feud with Shane Douglas. The Torrie stuff would be fine but sweet goodness Shane really isn’t doing it for me and is dragging Kidman down with him.

Scott Steiner beats up Kanyon.

Cat gives Mike Awesome the US Title but he wants to earn it instead. He turns around and hits on an overweight woman. Well we had to get here eventually.

WCW World Title: Mike Awesome vs. Booker T.

Booker is defending and slaps Mike in the face to start. Awesome’s right hands have Booker in trouble so it’s a spinwheel kick to put Mike out on the floor. Back in and some more right hands have Awesome in trouble in the corner but he runs Booker over with a clothesline. Since this is a Russo company, Awesome is allowed to use a chair to take over again. An Alabama Slam sets up the Awesome Splash for two. That’s enough wrestling for Mike so he sets up a table, only to be knocked through it instead. Back in and the ax kick and missile dropkick get two for Booker before the Book End retains the title.

Rating: B-. That might be high due to the level of awful I’m used to but I liked this match more than I was expecting to. Booker gets to look good over an athletic opponent and Awesome loses (again) to someone he shouldn’t be beating anyway. This was a good debut as champion for Booker, made much better due to the lack of interference. I could have done without the chair and table, but you have to expect that anymore in WCW. It’s really just part of the standard package these days.

Post match Steiner runs in to attack Booker but Awesome makes the save.

Here’s the Cat to yell about Steiner going on a rampage tonight and calls him out face to face. Steiner wants a title shot and swears a lot until Cat hits him. Scott fights back until Booker comes in for the save. This brings in Kanyon to attack Booker, which really doesn’t make a lot of sense. Jarrett comes in and goes after both of them until Booker fights them off. Cat makes a three way for the #1 contendership later tonight. We’re not done though as Goldberg comes out and wants to make it a fourway, which is quickly approved.

And now, a package on Ralphus/Norman Smiley vs. Big Vito. This really deserved time?

Norman has Ralphus in training, which has potential to be funny but I’d rather see Norman in a regular match.

Hardcore Title: Big Vito vs. Norman Smiley/Ralphus

Son of a Russo. Vito, defending here, goes after Norman to start as Ralphus stays in the ring. The other two fight into the back with Norman getting the better of it and blasting the champ with a fire extinguisher. They get back into the arena with Ralphus hiding behind a table in the ring. Vito pounds away and puts a traffic cone between Ralphus’ legs for a crutch shot. A top rope splash puts Ralphus through the table but Norman hits Vito in the back…..knocking him onto Ralphus for the pin to retain while Smiley dances.

Rating: F. So now he’s not just losing, but he’s losing because he can’t pay attention to something as simple as where his fat partner in a red shirt is laying. This division is dead but I’ve ranted enough about it already. Vito isn’t going anywhere but at least he’s not in his 50s or 60s.

The Cat beats up the Jung Dragons again because this is still a thing.

Paisley needs to get Artist’s shirt ready and asks a guy in the back if he can clean it. The guy, named Kiwi, is in neon pink and covers every stereotype of a gay model you can imagine. Paisley instantly swoons.

Lenny Lane is in the crowd with a sign that says USE ME.

Lance Storm vs. The Artist

Before the match, the fans chant USA at Storm. Lance responds by saying he’s not here for sports entertainment because he’s a wrestler from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As you might expect, this is his heel turn promo. We get O Canada (full version) as the announcers bicker over whether we should give Storm silence. Paisley joins commentary as Storm hammers away to start.

A dropkick gets two for Lance as Paisley talks about Kiwi being a potential “purple passion fruit” in the future and calls Storm a Power Ranger reject. Artist gets two off a superkick but the middle rope DDT is countered with a northern lights suplex. Storm’s sitout powerbomb gets two and a springboard missile dropkick gets the same. Artist’s Angle Slam gets two more but the half crab makes him tap.

Rating: C+. Well there’s your surprise of the night. This was actually really entertaining with Paisley making me chuckle on commentary. Storm was on a roll at this point and I’m not sure why they turned him heel here when his style is far better suited as a good guy. Then again he’s foreign and I’m sure that screams bad in Russo’s thinking.

Vampiro is here and my eyes roll.

Tag Team Titles: Kronik vs. Corporal Cajun/General Rection

Kronik is defending and Juventud Guerrera/Rey Mysterio are on commentary. Adams and Rection start things off with Brian hitting a quick full nelson slam (don’t bother trying to fight out of the hold or anything). Off to Cajun who is launched off a cover so it’s back to Rection. Cue Jindrak and O’Haire to brawl with Juvy and Rey as Rection misses a top rope elbow. It’s off to Clark to clean house as everything breaks down.

A spinwheel kick to Clark sets up No Laughing Matter but Adams makes the save. Things settle down again until High Time plants Cajun with Rection having to make a save. Kronik completely botches the powerbomb/top rope clothesline to Cajun (Adams fell backwards and Clark came off the top too fast, leaving him to collide with Cajun in the air) but it’s enough to retain anyway.

Rating: D+. So Kronik is big, strong, and 58% more likely to cause severe head trauma to people from the Louisiana Bayou. I like the fact that we had the #1 contender match last week and they actually gave us the match here, but the Misfits really weren’t the best option. The division is getting more traffic, though that doesn’t mean the quality is going up at the same time.

Post match Perfect Event runs in to lay out Kronik.

Here’s Vampiro with a coffin and something to say. He’s been through everything and will survive in the darkness where everyone here fails. The Demon pops out of the coffin and gets in Vampiro’s face. Vampiro goes on about Asya not understanding the difference between good and evil so he wants Demon to beat her down. The lights get even weaker and Sting’s music comes on. Cue a guy we can’t see with a ski mask on, nearly guaranteeing that it’s not really Sting.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Positively Kanyon vs. Scott Steiner vs. Goldberg

Winner gets the title shot vs. Booker at New Blood Rising. One fall to a finish here and Kanyon starts with Steiner. Scott drops to the floor to yell at some fans before kneeing Kanyon in the face. The bicep elbow gets no cover so Steiner hits him with a chair. Goldberg breaks up the Recliner, allowing Kanyon to get two off a sitout Alabama Slam.

Jeff tags Kanyon but Scott suplexes Kanyon down anyway. There’s a Kanyon Cutter to Jarrett but Goldberg tagged himself in and speared Kanyon in half (to one of the pops of the night). Steiner makes a save to set up the staredown with Goldberg, only to have Jeff cover Kanyon for the pin.

Rating: D. This didn’t have the time to go anywhere but it started the build to Goldberg vs. Steiner. Kanyon was just there as a fall guy to set up Jarrett’s rematch which is a rare good idea from this company. Jarrett is a good option to give Booker another title defense on the big stage, though the promos are going to be a chore to sit through.

Overall Rating: C. Again, the less Russo on a show, the better they’re doing. There was no mention of Hogan’s name tonight and the whole thing last night seems to be a big waste. The ratings were indeed up by .3 over last week, good for about half of the increase Raw had. The wrestling was much better this week as some of the matches got more time but it still wasn’t anything I’m going to remember in about ten minutes, which is yet another major problem for this company right now.

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