Monday Nitro – January 23, 2001

Monday Nitro #274
Date: January 23, 2001
Location: Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone

We’re on a Tuesday this week as TNT has stopped pretending that Nitro is the ratings juggernaut it was back in the day. It’s the new era of WCW (the latest one that is) with Ric Flair in charge and evil for reasons that haven’t yet been and won’t be explained because WCW. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the pay per view and last week’s show, which night as well have Nash going TOO SWEET to make it feel more NWOesque.

Last week, the heel stable was eating chicken wings and breaking the bones in time with Sid breaking his leg. Ok that’s kind of awesome.

Tony and Scott say WCW has new owners and it’s not clear where things are going.

Here are Flair, Animal, Luger and Bagwell to get things going. Flair gets right to the point and says that Steiner, who isn’t here yet, deserves a top level opponent for SuperBrawl. That makes Flair think of one name and that would be….Alex Wright. Alex actually comes out as the heels can’t keep straight faces, only to have Kevin Nash cut him off. Wright yells (and rightfully so) and is promptly powerbombed through the stage.

Nash declares himself #1 contender with Cat coming out to say that’s correct. Flair says not so fast because Nash has to beat Bagwell first and Luger will be guest referee. Not so fast either as Luger has to face Diamond Dallas Page for the right to be guest referee in the main event #1 contenders match (my head hurts). Oh and Buff or Nash can’t interfere, because other wrestlers not being allowed to interfere is a special rule.

Mike Sanders gives Chavo Guerrero a pep talk and tells him to watch the next match closely. The Wall is here too and promises to end the legend of the Misfits tonight.

Flair tells Jarrett and Steiner what’s going on. Was there any reason to not have them be there during the talking segment?

Michael Modest vs. Christopher Daniels

Modest had one match on Nitro in March 2000 and hasn’t been seen since. Daniels is 29 here (in his mid-20s according to Tony) because he’s never been a young wrestler in his life. He does however have hair here which is quite jarring. Daniels punches away to start but gets taken down with some wristlocks that have Modest dropping to the mat as he twists. Daniels botches a springboard and almost lands on his head allowing Modest to crank on the arm a bit more.

Modest takes a kick to the shoulder which puts Daniels on the mat for reasons that aren’t clear. They head outside with Modest being sent into the barricade and eating a dropkick through the ropes, followed by a slingshot splash to the floor. Daniels seems to have shaken off whatever was wrong with him at the start. Back in and Daniels hits a slingshot moonsault (called split legged by Hudson despite the fact that Daniels’ legs were in fact unsplit) for two before getting caught in a dragon suplex for two of his own.

Daniels pops back up to the top but Modest runs across the ring and does a handstand into a hurricanrana to bring him right back down. Modest gets dropped again though and the BME gets two, only to have Modest get the same off something like White Noise. A second attempt is countered into a modified Angel’s Wings (Daniels flipped Modest onto his back instead of his face) for two more. Modest cross bodies him out to the floor and here’s Scott Steiner to destroy them both for a no contest.

Rating: C+. It was nice while it lasted but why bother letting either guy go anywhere when you can use them as cannon fodder for WCW? This would be the last appearance in WCW for both guys but at least they were able to be in the ring for a bit before Steiner got to treat them like the most worthless goons this side of The Goon. At least let someone win the match before the run-in.

Steiner uses the pipe to break both their legs before saying he broke Sid’s leg on purpose. They’ll be laying next to Sid and Nash is going to be added to the list soon.

Here are Kwee Wee and Paisley with something to say. He’s ticked off about now being part of Flair’s team and it’s clear that he’s tough enough after the beating from Rick Steiner on Monday. Kwee Wee issues a challenge to anyone in this building, including fans. For some reason he goes after a security guard and beats him down until other guards break it up. As usual this would work better minus the overly gelled hair and glitter.

Team Canada comes out with Lance Storm challenging Konnan to a one on one match with the winner being the official winner of the war between the Canadians and the Filthy Animals. Konnan comes out to accept in his own unique way.

Lance Storm vs. Konnan

They hit the mat to start where Konnan is completely out of his league. Storm grabs the Maple Leaf but gets kicked in the face for a break. Konnan hits the rolling lariat as everyone else brawls on the floor, as they should be. The faceplant is broken up and an Irish whip transitions into the Maple Leaf for the tap out in less than two minutes. Some war, but midcards never meant anything under Bischoff’s watch.

Shane Douglas wants on the team and Luger says he’s in if he can beat the Cat.

General Rection looks a little crazy as Gene asks him about everything the former Misfits have been going through lately. Lash says he’ll have Rection’s back until the end. Rection says it wasn’t supposed to be like this and asks for Lash’s shirt. He’s honorably discharged from the team and it’s time to return to their roots. Rection takes off his shirt and says Hugh Morrus is back. Uh, yay.

Lex Luger vs. Diamond Dallas Page

Winner gets to referee the #1 contenders main event. Luger stalls to start so Page knocks him out to the floor so he can stall while looking up at the ring. Back in and Luger hits an atomic drop and belly to back, burning up half of his arsenal in a few seconds. A shoulder sends Page into the corner and it’s time to stomp a lot. Page crotches him against the post and sends Luger head first into the buckle several times. The referee gets bumped so here’s Jarrett with the guitar to set up the Torture Rack for the Luger win.

Rating: D. I could go with this a little bit more if they didn’t set all this up an hour ago for a payoff half an hour from now. You could pencil Jarrett’s interference in here as soon as they said Bagwell and Nash couldn’t interfere. Again: we’ve reached the point where interference being banned is a special stipulation. How did that happen?

Mamalukes vs. Shawn Stasiak/Mark Jindrak

The Thrillers jump Johnny at the bell so he has to kick Stasiak’s head off for a breather. It’s off to Vito who helps with a double belly to back suplex on Shawn. The Mamalukes take over on Jindrak as well, including a double back elbow for two. Stasiak comes in again and misses a charge in the corner as this is completely one sided so far.

Shawn finally gets in a jumping back elbow to the jaw before bringing in Jindrak for one off a moonsault. Vito takes a double elbow of his own, which is finally enough for Johnny to come in without a tag as everything breaks down. Vito kicks Stasiak and Jindrak clotheslines Johnny for two each, only to have the rest of the Thrillers come in for the weak DQ.

Rating: D+. As illogical as it was for the Thrillers to come in there, you kind of had to know that was going to be the ending. That’s how most matches end around here these days because so many people are in some kind of a faction. The Mamalukes continue to be perfectly acceptable jobbers to the stars and that’s all they need to be.

Stasiak and Jindrak aren’t happy that they just lost a match due to interference. My goodness that actually makes sense.

Post break the Thrillers are still arguing with Sanders not being able to calm them down. Flair pulls Sanders off to the side and tells him to outsmart the rest of the team.

Shane Douglas vs. The Cat

If Shane wins he’s on the team. We get the usual Shane insults to the crowd to start because that’s his big thing. That’s not to say it doesn’t work well enough though. Cat isn’t ready to go yet as he has to make Jarrett vs. Page for SuperBrawl. He also wants to make this for the US Title but Flair comes on screen to say it’s non-title. Instead, the Commissioner’s job is on the line.

Douglas jumps him from behind to start and Flair makes it No DQ to insure a messy ending. Something like a bridging Indian Deathlock has Cat in trouble before a poke to the eye cuts him off again. Shane gets slammed off the top and sent into the buckle ten times as the match warps back to 1987. Cat keeps up the Hogan offense with ten right hands to the head in the corner, only to get poked in the eye again. Cue Mike Sanders followed by the Thrillers to take Cat out but Rick Steiner makes the save, allowing Cat to superkick a chain out of Douglas’ hand for the pin to keep his job.

Rating: D. Somehow that wasn’t as messy as I was expecting it to be, which is saying a lot. Keeping Cat short like this (under five minutes) is the right idea and the match could have been a lot worse. If nothing else Cat is great proof of how charisma is far more important than in ring abilities and almost always will be.

Post match Cat does his dancing and Rick actually joins him for a bizarrely entertaining visual.

Hugh Morrus/Lash Leroux vs. A-Wall/Chavo Guerrero Jr.

It’s a brawl to start and no one can stop Wall (or A-Wall as he’s still being called here, even though he’s out of the team) until Morrus grabs a slam, only to tag off to Leroux by mistake. Morrus says that was just a high five and Wall uses the distraction to make the tag off to Chavo. Wall chokes Lash in the corner a bit as Morrus tries to get in as this breaks down into a more standard tag match.

Lash gets in a quick tilt-a-whirl slam and scores with a clothesline for two, only to get caught in a Gory Special for a few seconds. Back up and Chavo accidentally hits Wall because you have to have heel miscommunication. Chavo doesn’t seem to mind and dropkicks Lash for two with Morrus coming in to break it up. Wall goes after Morrus to start a brawl, allowing Chavo to grab a rollup on Lash for the pin.

Rating: C-. This worked better than it probably should have but above all else it was a good sign that Chavo wound up getting the pin instead of having another champion get beat. Morrus is still being treated as a big deal and it’s nice to be able to go with the stupid name instead of the really stupid name. Lash still isn’t all that great in the ring and is really just a guy in wrestling gear but he could be worse.

Morrus beats Chavo up post match. Sore loser.

Kevin Nash vs. Buff Bagwell

Lex Luger is guest referee and if Nash wins he gets the title shot at SuperBrawl. Totally Buff wastes some time as Luger promises to call it right down the middle. Nash starts with a knee to the well toned abs and chokes in the corner with the boot, drawing some harsh criticism from Luger. Thankfully the whole fair referee thing doesn’t last long as Luger grabs Nash’s foot so Buff can crotch him on the way back inside. However, Lex counts very slowly for Bagwell with Nash kicking out before one, causing Bagwell to yell at Luger.

Bagwell’s chinlock keeps things so slow that it’s Nash being the one on his feet to speed things up with a side slam. Of course it’s another slow cover and Snake Eyes gets the same speed, only to have Luger cut off the count at two instead of screwing around with the pretext. It’s time for a chair with Luger holding it up so Bagwell can knock it into Kevin’s head.

The Blockbuster doesn’t work though as Nash ducks to send them crashing into each other. Of course this is treated as some heroic comeback because WCW announcers are easily entertained. Cue Diamond Dallas Page to hit the Diamond Cutter on Luger. Nash gets up and Jackknifes Bagwell to set up the Austin/McMahon count with Nash grabbing the unconscious Luger’s hand to count the pin.

Rating: D-. This was every crooked referee match you’ve ever seen because there isn’t much you can do to change this gimmick. Nash was obviously getting the title shot and somehow this was the better choice than Nash vs. Luger with Bagwell as the referee. Unfortunately Luger and Bagwell are still some of the top heels in the company and this is about as high speed as they’re going to be able to go.

Post match Scott Steiner, Kronik, Animal and Jarrett come out for the big brawl to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. So to recap, this whole show took two hours to set up Steiner vs. Nash at SuperBrawl. One of the matches was to set up a guest referee for a match to establish Nash as the #1 contender. Just like back in the NWO days, there’s the issue of having so much of the show revolve around that one story, which isn’t very good in the first place. There are other stories on the show to help things out a bit but a lot of them are tied into the Flair super stable stuff in some way. It’s another show full of bad wrestling and focused around one tired story, which is an idea that has barely ever worked but WCW kept doing it.

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