Monday Nitro – February 7, 2000

Monday Nitro #226
Date: February 7, 2000
Location: Tulsa
Convention Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Attendance: 6,358
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Mark Madden
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re two weeks from
SuperBrawl and most of the card is coming in clear. Unfortunately
that means we can see what’s coming and therefore are all running for
the hills before it kills us all. Hogan is back and seems to hate
anyone young, Sid has been in back to back Thunder Caged Heat main
events and Jeff Jarrett has power because Nash has disappeared. Fun
times eh? Let’s get to it.

We open with the recap
of last week, with the NWO adding the Harris Twins and then the
completely unnecessary Caged Heat match on Thunder. What a great way
to open the show.
The NWO has surprises
for Sid and Funk. Nash is going to be back soon.
Here’s 3 Count for a
performance (things are looking up) but they stop to allow a woman to
get in the ring to dance with them. Disaster strikes though as the
music messes up and they can’t lip sync. We cut to the production
truck to see Norman Smiley screwing with things and now let’s have a
match.
Norman Smiley vs.
Evan Karagias
Madden
is on Evan’s side because the internet marks like Smiley. I’m
remembering why I can’t stand him. Evan quickly throws him outside
but 3 Count tosses Norman back inside. Is this a mutiny already?
Back in and Evan gets suplexed, only to counter the spanking dance
into a faceplant. Shannon gets on the apron but Evan is whipped into
him because 3 Count isn’t the brightest group of cats in the world.
Evan’s rollup is reversed (with the referee stopping halfway through
his count because it takes too long) into one from Norman for the
fast pin.
Norman wants all three
of them at SuperBrawl. You and every other teenage girl in the world
Smiley.
Danny Hodge is here.
He deserves better.
The announcers run down
the card.
J. Biggs has cops
search Booker’s bags and confiscate any Harlem Heat gear. This is
so, so sad.
Flair and some women
arrive.
Here’s
the NWO with something to say. Hall won’t say Hey Yo so a Harris
insults the crowd for being a bunch of morons. They’re kind of
missing the point of having them be muscle. Ron actually calls this
the Elite NWO. Steiner one ups that by calling himself the Purple
Warrior. I really don’t want to know what that means.
Last week he saw a 53
year old man (meaning Flair, though he’s not quite that old) come
out here and brag about how he’s still the man. Flair has a crooked
nose and yellow teeth, so why didn’t they bring in the original
Nature Boy Buddy Rogers? Steiner thinks it might be because he’s
dead. Last week when Flair came down the aisle, everyone changed the
channel to watch Stone Cold, a guy that Flair and his boys got fired
from here. A lot of Steiner’s insults are censored but WCW SUCKS
gets through.
Jarrett brings us back
to reality by saying Mark Johnson will be referee during the Sid vs.
Jarrett title match. Remember that he’s the referee that was paid
off last week. The match will also be No DQ, which is probably the
best option. Tonight it’s Hall vs. Sid in a non-title match, which
doesn’t seem to please Hall.
So to recap, in the
last five days, Hogan has said all the young guys are worthless and
Steiner has said the fans change the channel when Flair comes on
screen because they’re watching Steve Austin on Raw. These two are
both going to be World Champion at some point in the year.
Booker says Biggs and
company have taken his colors and music but they’ll never take his
dignity. No Booker, I’m pretty sure they have.
David Flair is going to
have an I Quit match against Terry Funk tonight and fight one of his
dad’s battles for him.
Booker vs. The Wall
There
are no flames for Booker’s entrance and he comes out to what sounds
like the theme to Leave It To Beaver. Madden gets in a line clever
enough that I’m sure he didn’t come up with it himself: Ice T. is now
just Ice and Hulk Hogan is now immoral. Booker slugs away and hits a
spin kick to start but charges into a boot in the corner.
Wall
throws him outside and stomps on Booker as he gets back inside.
Booker throws on a sleeper for a few seconds but Wall slams him down
and goes up top, only to dive into a kick. There’s the ax kick and a
Bookend but here’s J. Biggs to call Booker a criminal. In the
distraction a chokeslam ends Booker.
Rating:
D.
I’ll give them points for trying to push someone else. Wall may be a
big, mostly talentless lug, but at least he’s someone new. I don’t
have any faith in them to not screw up his push and turn it into a
big waste, but at least it’s happening. However, the fact that it’s
coming as part of this stupid story makes it even worse. But wait.
It gets better.
Booker is arrested for
assault and battery, reckless endangerment and attempted murder.
I’ve sat through a lot of nonsense in WCW, but this is a rare care
where it’s hard to watch. This is just so, so stupid.
Knobbs wants Finlay
tonight. Jarrett says ok but that it’s Knobbs vs. Bigelow with
Finlay as referee. Can we please get some fresh blood in this
“division?”
Funk asks Anderson
where he stands in the war with Flair. Anderson says he’ll answer
after he sees how Funk does against David Flair.
Lane and Idol ask for a
title shot again.
Tank Abbott vs.
Barbarian
Barbarian is in a
leather jacket because he’s a tough monster with a slick fashion
sense. They slug each other, Abbott does a kind of slam and a big
right hand ends Barbarian in a hurry.
Crowbar plays air
guitar in front of Demon’s casket until Daffney calls him away.
Torrie with the KidCam.
Here’s Ed Ferrara, who
has been put in charge of starting the women’s division. Those
“adorable” women have no place in wrestling though so first up,
they’ll all have to go through extensive medical tests, with Ferrara
present for all of them. This brings out a Dr. Jeter, who has done
procedures on a lot of women, including Madusa. Cue Madusa to kick
both of them low. Yet another stupid waste of time.
Terry Taylor has talked
to the executive committee. Mark Johnson will not be refereeing at
SuperBrawl and tonight’s match is for the title. Speaking of wastes
of time, these stipulations were announced less than an hour ago and
now they’re changed. Such a great use of TV time.
We get clips from 1989
of Funk vs. Flair in the I Quit match.
David Flair vs.
Terry Funk
I
Quit. David sends Crowbar and Daffney to the back. Funk asks if
David knows what he’s getting into and offers him a chance to go
ahead and quit now. David will have nothing to do with that and hits
Funk with a few chair shots to start. They head outside and it’s
already table time but Terry whips him into the barricade.
Funk pulls back the
mats for a piledriver….on the mats. To be fair he is crazy. David
still won’t quit so he gets piledriven on the concrete. That gets
the same result, followed by a piledriver through the table. A chair
to the back knocks David out and Funk quits, but he won’t do the same
against Ric. David, out cold, is the winner.
Rating:
D+.
I’ll give them some points for the violence and for the story they’re
going with, but at the same time this is for a feud that started ten
years ago and the best idea they’ve got is to just do it again.
Total squash of course, but David better take some time off after a
beating like that.
In the back, Arn yells
at Ric for letting that happen. Ric needs to stop being Ric Flair
and to start being David’s father. For once in his life, he’s bowing
out, because that made him sick. Anderson is still the best talker
in this company right now.
Stevie Ray vs. Disco
Inferno
Disco
tries to take him into the corner to start but gets slammed down.
The announcers are officially calling Booker just Booker now as the
Mamalukes and Big T. argue on the floor. Madden: “Didn’t this
Biggs guy used to carry a tennis racket?” I’m not sure if that
line is funny or not. Disco hits a quick Russian legsweep and the
middle rope elbow for two but tries to steal the slapjack, allowing
Stevie to hit the Slapjack for the pin. I guess Harlem Heat is
coming for the belts again?
Jarrett thinks WCW is
trying to rip the NWO apart but Hall laughs it off because the title
will stay in the family either way.
Sid doesn’t care who he
fights tonight because he’s outsmarted the NWO time after time.
That’s one heck of an insult.
Flair rants about Arn
being in over his head and leaves.
Hardcore Title:
Brian Knobbs vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Knobbs
is defending and has a broken wrist thanks to Luger. We see a clip
of it being broken and they put January 31 instead of a simple last
week. Finlay is guest referee again. Bigelow throws a trashcan at
Knobbs to start and the champ is in early trouble. He whips Knobbs
into the barricade and steps with Brian unable to use the bad arm to
stop the impact. In for the first time with Knobbs hitting a ladder
and having it fall on top of him. Knobbs makes a comeback but Finlay
hits him with a chair, followed by a fast count to give Bigelow the
title. Again, this is probably the most logical story in the
promotion at the moment.
Ernest Miller brags
about hanging out with James Brown and promises to have Brown on
Thunder. Well, Brown kind of fits in with WCW as he’s old, but at
least he’s still entertaining.
Steve Borden (yes Steve
Borden) will be on the Late Show.
Billy Kidman vs. The
Demon
This
has to be a test for Kidman to see what kind of miracles he can pull
off. Demon’s entrance is hyped up even more than usual here and we
cut to the back to see Crowbar having a great time watching it.
Demon eats a dropkick to start and tosses Kidman across the ring like
he’s nothing. A legdrop and butterfly suplex (but a DEMONIC legdrop
and DEMONIC butterfly suplex) get two for Demon but the fans are more
interested in Torrie. Kidman’s Bodog gets two and Demon gets the
same off a DDT. For some reason Demon goes up top, allowing Kidman
to hurricanrana him down for the pin. No miracle but watchable.
Luger comes to the
ring, holding a Hogan chair.
Ready To Rumble is
coming.
Jarrett tells the NWO
they can’t answer the ringing phone.
Here’s
Luger to discuss Hogan returning on Thunder. Hogan thinks he’s the
best ever but Luger has won every title there is (except the WWF
Title. Why not bring that up? They reference the WWF every chance
they can) and is the future of professional wrestling. Jimmy Hart is
ordered to come out to deliver Hogan a message, but Jimmy refuses.
Luger is just a Hogan
wannabe because he’ll never sell as much merchandise or as many
tickets as Hogan did. So Luger wants to talk about titles and
Hogan’s lackey wants to talk about attendance records? Luger beats
Hart up, Racks him and breaks his arm. I guess he’s not over Jimmy
leaving him alone at Uncensored 1996. I wouldn’t want to be left
alone there either.
WCW World Title: Sid
Vicious vs. Scott Hall
Sid
is defending and it’s already after 10pm so this isn’t going to last
long. Vicious punches him down before the toothpick throw, messing
up Hall’s mojo. The champ stays hyped with right hands in the corner
and a chokeslam less than a minute in but there’s no cover. Hall
pops up and slugs away before loading up the fall away slam. In the
worst ref bump I’ve ever seen, the referee stands RIGHT BEHIND HALL
so Sid is thrown into him, allowing Jarrett to come out. The
Outsider’s Edge connects but Jeff guitars Hall, for wanting the pin.
Either that or over Royal Rumble 1995 residuals. Sid is dragged on
top to retain.
Rating:
F.
I was tempted to not rate this one as it was barely a match. This
was just an angle disguised as a match as the NWO is splitting,
assuming you considered Hall part of it in the first place. I’m
assuming this sets up a three way at SuperBrawl, which has to be
better than just Jarrett vs. Sid.
Overall
Rating:
D.
They’re starting the build towards SuperBrawl and it’s one of the
least interesting shows I’ve seen in a long time. The Sid vs.
Jarrett feud is horrible and doing nothing to make me want to keep
watching. Other than that we have the veterans seemingly shooting on
the company and calling it out on all its screwups, despite being the
focal points of the whole show. Really lame show this week but at
least they seem to have a purpose now.
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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.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:

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Monday Nitro – January 24, 2000

Monday Nitro #224
Date: January 24, 2000
Location: Staples
Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 12,106
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s actually a big
show for once as we’re crowning a new World Champion tonight because
the idea of waiting for pay per view is a foreign concept in this
company. Kevin Nash is already in the title match but Sid has to
qualify by beating Jeff Jarrett, who I don’t think is allowed to
fight for the title. Let’s get to it.

This show is dedicated
to Bobby Duncum Jr. He had potential.
Nash,
Jarrett and Steiner arrive in separate limos with their women for the
evening, including Major Gunns and someone who looks a heck of a lot
like Victoria/Tara. Scott Hall is here too.
Cruiserweight Title
Tournament First Round: Psychosis vs. Kaz Hayashi
The finals are at
SuperBrawl, Juventud is out with Psychosis and Kaz gets a jobber
entrance. Presumably annoyed by this, Kaz shoulders him down to
start and nails a nice release German. An enziguri knocks Psychosis
to the floor and Kaz nails a plancha. Back in and Psychosis nails a
clothesline before going after the knee.
After a few kicks, it’s
back to the floor where Juvy gets in a People’s Elbow. So we have a
fake Rock and a fake Road Dogg. I wonder who they’re ripping off
next. Back in and Kaz dives right back to the floor to take Juvy
out. Psychosis goes up top but dives into a dropkick to the ribs.
Well at least they’re finally picking things up a bit. And they head
back inside where Kaz misses a spinwheel kick and gets rolled up for
the pin.
Rating:
C-.
Well the flying wasn’t bad but Juvy’s Rock impression, which still
just makes me want to watch Rock, is taking away from everything else
in the match. Psychosis, while not the best in the world, was
clearly winning here because Kaz just isn’t very exciting in the
ring. At least the division is getting some attention for a change.
Terry Funk and Arn
Anderson arrive.
Nash says Jarrett has
failed his physical and can’t go tonight, but the boss has a plan.
After a break, Nash
makes Funk vs. Bam Bam Bigelow in a hardcore match.
The Wall vs. Kid
Romeo
Squash time. We hear
about Nash putting out a $15,000 bounty on Funk. This would be
shocking, until you realize that Funk is probably the second biggest
face in the company right now. Romeo fires off dropkicks to start
and actually knocks Wall to the ropes. He doesn’t knock Wall out to
the floor as Wall jumps over the ropes to get there but at least
Romeo got him halfway. Romeo’s plancha barely works but he scores
with an enziguri back inside, only to try a sunset flip and get
chokeslammed for the pin. Wall barely had any offense until the
ending.
Sid thinks something is
afoot with the Jarrett absence.
Arn tries to talk to
Bigelow but Bam Bam would beat up his mother for $15,000. Anderson:
“It’s your funeral.”
Scott
Steiner and Hall offer the Power Plant guys a chance to fight
tonight. Their pick: Al Greene. One of the guys who didn’t get
picked was none other than Christopher Daniels, who worked a dark
match before the show.
Norman Smiley vs.
Shannon Moore
Dang I don’t know who
to cheer for. Norman, in Dodgers gear, interrupts the song,
therefore making him the instant heel. It also earns him a quick 3-1
beating until it’s just Shannon in the ring. Norman fights up and
hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and IT’S DANCE TIME! Moore doesn’t
care for the spankings and tries a rollup, only to get countered into
a front powerbomb.
It’s time to get the
rest of the boys involved but Norman is of course way too smart for
them (meaning he has an IQ higher than a squid). Shannon is back up
with an Asai moonsault to the floor though and Norman is actually in
trouble for a change. Back inside and Norman slaps on the namesake
Conquest for the submission. It’s pretty sad that this is a major
upgrade in feuds for Norman, but I’ll take what I can get.
Post match it’s time to
sing again but Moore is still down. Instead, Norman clears the ring
and dances for them.
Al Greene vs. Tank
Abbott
Abbott knees him into
the ribs, punches him in the corner, slams him down, and knocks
Greene out with a big right hand for his longest match yet.
Tank yells at his
former UFC bodyguard, who Heenan interviews after a break. The
bodyguard, who isn’t named, says Abbott is a sellout.
Here’s Ernest Miller,
now with blond hair, who promises to whip everybody as soon as he can
get back in the ring. The fat boy in the front row can sit down and
it’s dance time. How many people in this company dance at the
moment?
Greene is loaded into
an ambulance and the NWO laughs.
Terry Funk vs. Bam
Bam Bigelow
Anything goes of
course. Bigelow jumps him in the back to start and drags the elder
statesman to the arena for some choking with a well placed rope.
Some chair shots knock Funk towards the ring but he’s still able to
avoid the top rope headbutt. They’re quickly back on the floor and
Funk busts out an Asai moonsault of his own to drop the big man. Now
it’s Funk with the chair but, ever the crazy man, he tries to
headbutt Bigelow and just hurts himself even worse.
Bigelow throws it back
inside and this time the top rope headbutt connects, but here are
Finlay and Knobbs to help out their mentor (I guess?). That’s fine
with Bigelow who easily knocks both guys away and loads up another
headbutt. He’s a man of limited offense. This time though, Knobbs
puts a chair over Funk and Bigelow knocks himself cold, giving Terry
the pin.
Rating:
D.
So Funk is in a hardcore feud and a main event feud, thereby making
this company more and more like ECW every single week. The match was
exactly what you would expect from these two (both former ECW World
Champions oddly enough) and the addition of Knobbs and Finlay doesn’t
make it any better.
Funk promises
reinforcements against Nash on Thunder.
Don Harris vs. Sid
Vicious
If Sid wins, he faces
Nash for the title later tonight. Harris is replacing Jarrett
because…..I have no idea why. Sid is smart enough to go after Don
before he can even get his jacket off because you know there’s going
to be cheating here. They head outside with Sid in control, but he
takes too long throwing Don inside and the twins are already
switching. Ron clotheslines Sid out to the floor and it’s another
switch. We hit the reverse chinlock for a bit before the twins plant
Sid with a double slam. Back up and Sid grabs a chokeslam on Don,
who rolls outside for a switch, so Sid powerbombs Ron for the pin.
Rating:
D.
This is a thing that happened. I’m not sure what else there is to
say about it but I’m sure that Nash will be able to tell the twins
apart (or that he watched the match. Well in theory as not many
other people were) and it’s going to be a loophole. Boring match of
course, but did you expect anything else from the Harris Twins?
Vampiro vs. Kidman
Torrie comes out
wearing basically a zebra print bikini. Vampiro misses a kick to
start and they circle each other a bit. A headscissors doesn’t do
much good for Kidman as Vampiro throws him down with a release
powerbomb. We cut to the crowd and OH GOOD LORD NO IT’S DAVID
ARQUETTE! Please cut away from him. Please. I can’t handle it.
Kidman reverses a powerbomb as only he can but he gets planted with a
side slam for two.
Vampiro misses the top
rope legdrop and Kidman hits a big plancha to take him out on the
floor. Back up and Kidman dropkicks him to the floor, only to have a
slingshot plancha caught. That’s fine with Kidman as he slips down
the back and sends him into the post to take over again. Torrie
seems way into this. The BK Bomb gets two and Vampiro’s DDT gets the
same, much to the latter’s shock.
A little
miscommunication sets up a release Rock Bottom from Vampiro but he
gets dropkicked out of the air. That’s fine with Vampiro who
counters a hurricanrana into a powerbomb for two more. With nothing
else working, Vampiro loads up a superbomb but you can’t superbomb
Kidman (that doesn’t have the same ring to it), who hurricanranas
Vampiro down for the pin.
Rating:
B.
Again, WHY IS KIDMAN NOT DOING SOMETHING IMPORTANT??? He just got
done with three matches at one pay per view and he’s had the best
match on the last three TV shows, but he can’t get anywhere near the
US Title because that’s Jarrett’s and he can’t get anywhere near the
TV Title because it was literally trashed a few months ago. Such is
life in WCW.
Arn Anderson is on the
phone with champ. “Get your pants on. Can you be in Vegas for
Thunder?”
Nash gets a massage,
which is part of his plan to win the World Title.
Vampiro has something
to say but his mic doesn’t work.
Total Package vs.
Booker T.
Liz does an over the
top introduction for Luger, who then babbles on about Sting. Just
get him back so he can crush Luger and be done with it. No one can
compare to Luger, including Hulk Hogan himself. There’s SuperBrawl I
guess. Booker comes out and slugs away because he should be moving
up the ladder but we need a Road Wild 1997 rematch.
An early Rock Bottom
gets two on Luger and the ax kick (good looking one) knocks him silly
but Liz offers a distraction. Cue Midnight to take care of Liz,
allowing Booker to hit a big side kick, only to have Big T. sneak in
with a slap jack to knock Booker silly, setting up Luger’s Rack for
the unconscious win. So glad to see Booker getting knocked cold
again so the Rack can beat him one more time to set up the big main
event Luger vs. Hogan feud that is happening for no apparent reason.
Post match Sting’s
music comes on and we have a shadowy figure with a bat on the stage.
Smoke comes on and whisks him away however. Great. So now Luger is
feuding with Sting, Hogan and Warrior.
Vampiro thinks the WWF
sabotaged his mic and wants a rematch with Kidman.
David Flair, Crowbar
and Daffney have an idea for the upcoming Tag Team Title match.
Tag Team Titles:
Brian Knobbs/Fit Finlay vs. Mamalukes
The Mamalukes are
defending but before either team comes out, David Flair, Crowbar and
Daffney take over all three commentary spots. David takes over
Tony’s job and actually isn’t terrible considering he’s sounding
normal with a twinge of crazy. Disco is suddenly fine with being
with the Mamalukes after trying to make them lose more than once.
Daffney thinks they’re the Marmadukes and Marmalades. Crowbar: “I’m
like Bobby Eaton and you have the mat skills of Sweet Stan Lane.”
They shove each other
around to start and the challengers get the early advantage. David:
“This one time, at band camp, I hit someone over the head with my
crowbar.” Standards and Practices come out to watch but only Ms.
Hancock sticks around. The camera stays on her for a bit before we
see Vito working on Knobbs in the corner. Disco and Hancock stare
each other down and Crowbar brings up the crimson mask. Crowbar
isn’t half bad as a play by play guy. “Double ax handle to the
chest! That could cave in the upper thorax!”
Both challengers crush
Johnny in the corner as David starts dancing on the table. Hancock
leaves with David and Daffney following as Finlay hits the Regal Roll
on Johnny. Disco offers a distraction so Vito can get in a belt shot
for two as everything breaks down. Knobbs throws a chair at Finlay
by mistake (Crowbar: “A FAUX PAS!”), setting up Vito’s swinging
inverted DDT to retain the belts.
Rating:
D.
Crowbar and Hancock were the highlights of the match. There’s only
so much you can expect from these four, but they’re already better in
the ring than Flair and Crowbar, almost by default. You could barely
keep track of the match with all the shenanigans though, and that
gets old in a hurry.
Here’s Nash with
something to say, though first he has to steal a fan’s sign about
Hall being afraid of O’Doul’s beer (non-alcoholic). The fans want
Goldberg but “he doesn’t work here anymore.” He and Sid are
about to fight but since the powerbomb is so dangerous, it’s banned
from use tonight. Well Nash already beat Sid in a powerbomb match
without using a powerbomb so that really doesn’t change much. The
NWO is on it’s way to Vegas so it’s one on one.
WCW World Title: Sid
Vicious vs. Kevin Nash
Thankfully Nash just
stayed in the ring instead of leaving like so many people (including
Nash in the past) have done before. Sid shoves him to the floor to
start but Nash cheats to win a test of strength to take over. They
head outside again as the announcers actually talk about Thunder
being taped tomorrow night. I know it’s not exactly a secret but
it’s not something you hear about that often. We hit the sleeper on
Sid back inside because Nash needs to rest a bit.
Tony’s logic on the
match: a loss here makes the NWO even stronger. Sid’s arm goes up
after the second drop but he drives Nash into the referee in the
corner. A big boot and legdrop set up the hand to the ear to see if
the fans want a powerbomb. Cue Jarrett (Nash LIED???) but Sid takes
the guitar away to blast Nash, but Sid is smart enough to play possum
before crawling over military style for the pin and the title. BIG
pop for that.
Rating:
D.
As I think everyone guessed coming in, this was a slow and mostly
dull power match. The ending would have been better suited after a
10-15 minute match, but I don’t think the world was ready for Sid vs.
Nash getting that much time in the year 2000. I’ll give them this
though: the idea of Sid outsmarting someone is about as entertaining
a bit of fiction as I’ve seen in a long time.
Confetti falls to end
the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+.
This show is getting downright tolerable. Above all else they now
have a clear focus in the main event, which is more than you could
say a few weeks back. Back then there were so many focuses that it
was almost impossible to keep track of what was going on.
Unfortunately that focus is on Sid, which isn’t the most interesting
idea in the world.
Other than that there’s
a more solid undercard being developed, but it would be nice to see
some of the people move up the ladder and WAY less emphasis on the
hardcore stuff. We get it: you can hit each other with trashcan lids
and chairs and Brian Knobbs is totally interesting and worthy of
pushing at least in the general direction of the space shuttle. I’m
scared to think of who Funk is going to get as a reinforcement, but
I’m hoping it’s just Sid so we don’t have to have anyone else coming
in. Or maybe it’s Flair, which would work a bit better. Not a good
show this week, but at least it’s a few steps ahead of where they
were.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books for under:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Monday Nitro – January 17, 2000

Monday Nitro #223
Date: January 17, 2000
Location:
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 10,646
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
I have to say this way
too often around here, but everything has changed again. Benoit won
the World Title last night and that’s the last you’re going to see of
him in WCW. Unfortunately that’s also the case for Malenko, Guerrero
and Saturn, who all quit when Kevin Sullivan was announced as the
fired Vince Russo’s replacement. The Filthy tried to get out as well
but didn’t have such an easy escape. Now we get to see how
everything falls out so let’s get to it.

The NWO arrives and
Nash leaves Jeff’s hand hanging in a funny bit.
Kidman vs. Psychosis
We
immediately start with a match and Kidman gets an early advantage off
a headscissors and stops a charge by raising a boot. A high cross
body gets two but Psychosis low bridges him to the floor and hits a
big dive over the top. Thankfully the whole landing on Kidman’s head
part didn’t cripple him. Back in and a nice top rope spinwheel kick
gets two as the announcers promise to address all the major changes
after last night’s show.
They head outside again
with Kidman being sent into the barricade but he’s still able to
dropkick Psychosis out of the air back inside. Psychosis counters a
superplex into a super sitout gordbuster for two, only to walk into a
wheelbarrow suplex. That earns Kidman a DDT and the guillotine
legdrop for a very close two. YOU CAN’T POWERBOMB KIDMAN though and
the faceplant gets the pin. This would be four Kidman matches in two
days without a Shooting Star.
Rating:
B.
Off the top of my head, the best match WCW has had since the main
event of Mayhem back in November. You can immediately see the
cruiserweights being brought back to a respectable place as they were
allowed to just go out and have a good match instead of being used as
target practice for the heavyweights. They’re already off to a good
start.
Now we get the big
fallout from last night in the form of a statement from Arn Anderson.
Terry Funk got beaten up last night for doing what he believed in
and that’s what a real man does. Anderson has always tried to do
what he said and last night he promised to call the match down the
middle. Then he started watching the match instead of refereeing and
he didn’t notice Sid’s foot under the ropes when Benoit made him tap
out. Therefore the title is vacant.
To
recap our title holders, we have David Flair, Crowbar (both of whom
lost last night), Brian Knobbs and Ed Ferrara.
The Harris Brothers are
in suits again and now guarding the NWO’s locker room. I’m so glad
we had them turn a few weeks ago just to turn back already.
Booker says he hasn’t
forgotten where he came from and apparently he and Stevie knew Big T.
back in the day. They decided he was all wrong for them and Booker
didn’t know he was out of jail. That’s already more backstory than
we get for most new characters.
Here’s the new Harlem
Heat, with Stevie saying he and Big T. are willing to give Booker
another chance. Booker and Midnight come out but Stevie wants
Midnight to leave. Stevie mentions Booker borrowing his bike to go
get candy as a kid but the brawl is on. The team takes Booker down
and Stevie wants a referee in here right now.
Booker T. vs. Big T.
Both
guys are in street clothes. A quick Pearl River Plunge drops Booker
and a World’s Strongest Slam does the same. Booker comes back with a
forearm and ax kick followed by the Book End but Stevie throws in a
slap jack to knock Booker silly for the pin. This was nothing.
Vampiro
vs. Disco Inferno
The
Mamalukes are out with Disco and tell him there will be no dancing.
During the entrances, Tony basically begs the fans to come to the
Thunder taping tomorrow night. Vampiro nails a spinwheel kick to
start and another spin kick to the chest. Disco’s monkey flip
doesn’t get him anywhere and Vampiro plants him with a release Rock
Bottom, only to miss a corkscrew moonsault.
The
Mamalukes validate their paycheck by attacking Disco as this is
actually a faster pace than you would expect. It’s like they’re
actually being allowed to try for a change. A swinging neckbreaker
gets two for Disco but Vampiro avoids an elbow and hits another top
rope spinwheel kick, followed by the Nail in the Coffin for the pin.
Rating:
C.
Nothing great here but like I said, they were trying for a change.
It’s such a different atmosphere already with Russo gone for one show
and you can see the quality and effort going up. Vampiro looked
decent here and I can see why they wanted to push him, but they need
to do something with him already.
Scott
Steiner presents Nash with some women for secretary interviews,
including the yet to be named Major Gunns, Shakira and Midajah.
Steiner wants to play Twister.
Tag Team Titles: 3
Count vs. David Flair/Crowbar
We
get a 3 Count performance before the match to really make this show
feel better. Evan is the odd man out here. 3 Count dives onto the
champs to start and here are Standards and Practices to scout the
match. We settle down with David suplexing Moore and dropping him
with a belly to back for two. Daffney hisses at Evan on the floor so
David runs over for the save. Helms superkicks Crowbar down and
Shannon adds a top rope spinning splash for two. David low bridges
Shannon to the floor, allowing Crowbar to hit a reverse DDT for the
pin.
Rating:
D+.
I loved 3 Count and there’s nothing bad about looking at Stacy
Keibler but this really didn’t work. At the end of the day, David
Flair just isn’t ready for this spot. He’s trying, but it’s very
similar to Erik Watts in the early 90s: he needed a lot more
seasoning before being thrown into this spot.
We get an encore!
Nash
asks the ladies to leave so they can have some NWO business. Bret is
nowhere to be seen. They need to get rid of the Old Age Outlaws but
Arn can stick around for some reason.
Maestro vs. Tank
Abbott
No
piano, 13 seconds, one right hand for the knockout. This was a shoot
fight, because the Brawl For All didn’t teach WCW anything.
Norman Smiley comes out
to stare down Abbott but Meng shows up to give Abbott someone a real
challenge.
Most
of the midcard is coming to the arena. Since this is WCW, it takes
far longer than it should have. They couldn’t have had them come out
during the break? Nash and the Harris Brothers come out for the
first official address of the roster. Nash praises himself but says
he has goals for everyone out there. Tenay needs a personality,
Knobbs needs a brain, Abbott needs a heart and Smiley needs courage.
Nash: “I sound like Oz up here.”
The
fans cut him off with a Goldberg chant so Nash threatens to fire him.
This brings Nash to his first real act: Jeff Jarrett is officially
the US Champion again. Jeff: “HOLY SLAPNUTS!” Next up is
health, which is why there will be mandatory rectal exams before
every match with Dr. Jellyfinger. Also, everyone is going to be in
the same locker room no matter what level they’re on and no one can
look at Nash but they all must call him Lord Master.
Nash
will decide what happens with the World Title at a later date. He’s
rapid firing through these ideas. There will be no illegal
substances in the locker room, including Viagra. Nash: “Sorry
Lex!” He praises Bagwell and Page for their match last night.
Nash: “Buff, you doing Kim or what?” As for the first main event
tonight, it’s Bagwell vs. Page in a rematch from last night with
Kimberly as guest referee. They’re the NWO, they’re in charge, and
they are gods.
Kimberly comes in to
see the NWO and is given her referee outfit and asks if Page or
Bagwell was better.
Team 2000 vs.
Varsity Club
Team
2000 is Masahiro Chono and Super J (From what I can find it’s Jeff
Farmer, better known as NWO Sting). There’s actually a story here:
Rotundo was part of NWO Japan but left to reform the Varsity Club.
Yeah this match is actually getting a story over a Japanese faction
that most people didn’t know existed.
It’s
a brawl to start until Chono starts driving knees into Mike’s ribs to
take over. Off to Steiner but Chono wants Rotundo back in, which the
fans find boring. I can’t say I blame them as there’s no reason to
care about this story. Steiner suplexes Chono down and easily takes
J to the mat. Steiner whips him into the barricade and Rotundo has a
lame slugout as this just keeps going.
Rotundo
chinlocks J as Steiner and Chono brawl in the aisle. Back in and
Rick gets double teamed for a bit but they’re quickly back on the
floor to keep up the brawling. A big boot to the face out of the
corner blasts Rick again but Chono dives into a belly to belly.
Everything breaks down again and the referee misses a small package
from Rotundo to Chono. J comes in and rolls it over to FINALLY give
Chono the pin.
Rating:
D.
This is one of the first major cases of the show having to throw in
ANYTHING else besides Benoit/Guerrero/Malenko/Saturn. There was no
reason for this to be a nine minute match and the fans might have
been on to something with the boring chant. It wasn’t the worst
match in the world, but like I said, there’s no reason to care about
these teams fighting. The match wasn’t good enough to overcome that
problem and it dragged on and on as a result.
Sid
Vicious vs. The Wall
Sid
runs him over to start and Wall bails to the floor for a breather.
Wall is thrown over the announcers’ table as this is full squash mode
so far. That’s it for the play by play right now as we cut to Disco
and the Mamalukes coming in to say they’ll get the NWO anything they
need. Nash asks if they’ve ever heard of Vinnie Vegas. Their
assignment: go beat up Sid. Then get some grinders. We cut back to
the ring to see Sid chokeslamming Wall for the pin.
The
Mamalukes come out but eat powerbombs.
Scott
Steiner, in a Michigan jersey and flanked by Midajah and a girl in a
Michigan cheerleader uniform, comes out and beats up the Ohio State
(Michigan’s big rival) mascot. Steiner does his usual stuff about
how all the women want him and tells them to take a number and wait
in the back. Michigan beating Ohio State was easy, just like the
women in Ohio. An Ohio State fan argues with him from ringside and
gets beaten down. Security quickly takes the bloody fan away as
we’re firmly in the Scott is nuts phase.
Total
Package vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Luger
is finally out of the Sting attire. Bigelow elbows him out to the
floor and pounds in some big forearms to the back. Back in and
Bigelow slugs away, eats the metal forearm, and continues slugging
away. The top rope headbutt connects but Liz distracts Bigelow to
break up the Greetings From Asbury Park. Cue Kanyon but Bigelow
nails him, only to take a champagne bottle to the head from Luger for
the pin.
Rating:
D-.
Is there a point coming to this Bigelow vs. Kanyon feud anytime soon?
They’ve been feuding, with Bigelow consistently coming out on the
losing end, for weeks now and there’s no real progression to the
story. This was another match that didn’t do anything for anyone and
was just there to fill in time.
Diamond Dallas Page
vs. Buff Bagwell
Kimberly’s
referee outfit is exactly what you would expect it to be. Page
starts fast with a shoulder and spinning Rock Bottom but Kimberly
takes her sweet time counting. Buff comes back with a clothesline
and they fight to the floor then into the crowd. Time for the ECW
phase of the show it seems. A trash can shot knocks Page back to the
barricade and they head back inside.
Bagwell
nails a hot shot onto the turnbuckle but he stops to hit on Kimberly.
Page gets back up and crotches Bagwell against the post. The
Diamond Cutter is blocked by grabbing a rope (and it actually works
unlike last night) and both guys are down again. The double arm DDT
from Buff (well maybe an arm and a quarter) gets another very slow
two count.
Back
up and they fight over a backslide before the Diamond Cutter connects
but Page can’t cover. Instead Buff gets up and loads up the
Blockbuster, only to get crotched down. Page’s superplex attempt is
countered with a low blow and now the Blockbuster connects. Kimberly
“accidentally” collides with Buff and knocks herself down,
allowing Page to get up and hit the Diamond Cutter for a slow pin.
Rating:
D+.
This is another feud that is just meandering along with little
development in sight. It’s no longer about whether Kimberly slept
with Bagwell but rather if she’s going to leave her husband for him.
That’s about all there is as far as advancement goes, but it’s not
enough to validate the boring matches that come with the feud.
Kimberly bolts from the
ring and Page follows to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C-.
Suddenly Russo is out of power and this feels like a wrestling
program again. It’s certainly nothing great but we had storyline
progression that you could follow, some watching wrestling getting
time (three matches broke six minutes and with ten more seconds on
the opener they all would have broken seven) and nothing
horrible/insulting to my intelligence. In other words, it’s a middle
of the road wrestling show.
That’s the key though:
this show still isn’t really good. A lot of the wrestling was
uninspired at best and the stories were only ok. Nash as the power
mad yet entertaining boss has potential and the lack of the focus on
the mostly retired crew helped a lot. Unfortunately, I have a
feeling the bottom is going to fall out very soon because they’re
going to have to find something to fill in the void left by all the
people leaving, and it’s not NWO Japan.
This is where the
problems are going to crop up and there isn’t much WCW can do about
it. The Radicalz leaving at once was like taking the walls out from
a building. No matter what was going on, you could count on those
four guys to put on a decent wrestling match if you gave them the
chance. Now that they’re gone, there isn’t much left to take their
places.
What’s supposed to make
up for those guys missing? Page and Bagwell having lame matches?
More Varsity Club? Ahmed Johnson? Jeff Jarrett cutting the same
promo with the same slap nuts line every single week? WCW has lost
the meat of their company and there isn’t much they can throw in
there to fill in the gaps. That brings me to the big point here: the
Radicalz leaving was the point of no return for WCW.
Now here’s the thing:
WCW was going to die no matter what. In the long run, there was too
much money being burned and too much of a mess to possibly fix the
place. Somewhere along the line it was going to go under and Vince
would be left smiling. However, as long as you had those four guys
(or at least a young core group of wrestlers who could one day take
over), there was always a hope. It may have been just a glimmer, but
it was there.
However, all that went
away when they left. Those four leaving took the hope away from WCW
fans. Any chance they had to see something fresh come in and take
the company back from the Good Old Boys network at the top was gone
and the hope was destroyed. Now there’s just the old guys hanging
around at the top, collecting their paychecks and putting on the same
pitiful matches that no one wants to see except for the diehard fans.
Benoit finally got to
the top last night and it felt like yet another Dusty Finish. Yeah
he got there, but never mind because we need to take the title away
from him and just let it sit around until we find some other old guy
to put it on so he can talk about having some big match but never be
able to live up to those promises. The fans have no reason to
believe it’s possible now and once that happens, the faint chance
that WCW could turn it around was gone.
WCW was already a very
wounded animal before those four left, but there was always the
chance that they could tape themselves up, get on their feet and nail
one big right hook to knock the WWF back and have one more chance in
this fight. Instead, and no one knew how bad it was going to get in
just a few weeks when they showed up on Nitro, WWF just cut off WCW’s
arms and punched them with their own fists. WCW may appear to still
be alive and trying to come back, but at this point, without the core
talent that they built up being around anymore, there is no more
hope. WCW is dead.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Thursday Nitro

Hi Scott,

Just thought, I know that at a certain point Nitro became unwatchable period. But, hypothetically, if, say around summer '99, WCW just decided to quit the Wresting Wars and move to, say, Thursday, would that have made a difference as far as their longevity was concerned.

I mean, WCW had a built in audience that was giving them a 4.0 no matter what Raw was doing. If they could move that audience to another night and not be tainted by the loser stink of admitting defeat in the Wars, I feel like maybe they could rebuild their portion of the audience who were amenable to watching Nitro but were, for whatever reason, watching Raw.

​Yeah, but the problem with all these fantasy scenarios is that WCW had a kill switch on it of March 2001 no matter what.  Even if WCW was still drawing decent ratings (which they were) and carrying a reasonable audience with them, Jamie Kellner wanted wrestling off Time-Warner's networks.  Period.  The only hope of survival would have been another company buying WCW and moving it to a competing network​, like USA.  They couldn't move to a Turner network and they couldn't move to Viacom due to the WWF deal, so pretty much it was USA or FOX or dead.  And without TV, WCW was worthless except as the library that Vince bought.  

Monday Nitro – January 10, 2000

Monday Nitro #222
Date: January 10, 2000
Location: Marine
Midland Arena, Buffalo, New York
Attendance: 8,990
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

How can this already be
the last Nitro before Souled Out? With all the nonsense that goes on
around here these days, it’s very hard to keep up with the time
frame. It doesn’t help that they keep changing things around as
Russo continues to lose influence. Oddly enough that loss has power
has coincided with my headaches subsiding after these shows. Let’s
get to it.

We open with a recap of
Terry Funk getting beaten up over and over by the NWO. Suddenly Ric
Flair is the smartest man in wrestling.
Terry Funk, Larry
Zbyszko, Arn Anderson and Paul Orndorff arrive. This is really their
big solution to Goldberg’s injury? A lineup of wrestlers who were
veterans eight years earlier?
Tag Team Titles:
Dean Malenko/Perry Saturn vs. Kidman/Konnan vs. David Flair/Crowbar
Flair
and Crowbar are defending. Falls count anywhere, likely due to this
being close to ECW territory. The Animals and Revolution start
brawling before the champions get out here so David and Crowbar are
late to the fight. With Shane sitting in on commentary and demanding
to only be referred to as the Franchise, Crowbar lays Kidman out with
a sitout gordbuster.
It’s time to get the
weapons and they might as well start piping in the ECW chants
already. Flair and Crowbar take over with their weapons as the
Revolution destroys Rey in the aisle. In the insanity, Douglas and
Malenko put Mysterio on a table so Saturn can channel his inner New
Jack for a splash from the balcony. Saturn is broken in half (though
nowhere near as badly as Rey) so David comes over and pins him to
retain.
Rating:
E.
I think you know what that stands for. Let’s see: no wrestling in
sight, a bunch of weapons, falls count anywhere, a huge dive out of
the balcony through someone on a table. As usual, WCW has no idea
what it’s trying to be so it just rips off another promotion’s ideas
step for step.
Tony tells us that
Terry Funk is booking the show on the fly tonight so they have no
idea what the matches will be. I actually kind of like the idea as
they often make matches throughout the night so why not just admit
that you’re doing it?
Recap of Harlem Heat
splitting. That would be the 2000 split in case you’re confused with
all the other splits they’ve had over the years.
The NWO gives Scott
Steiner some women of questionable character for a birthday present.
We look back at the
ending to the opener. Mysterio leaves in an ambulance, along with
the Animals.
Steiner goes into a
room with three of the women, promising the rest will have a turn
later.
Here’s
Oklahoma to continue his anti-woman crusade. Oh geez can we go back
to the New Jack imitations? He insults women and wants them all to
stay in the kitchen where they belong, except for an open challenge
right now.
Oklahoma vs. Asya
Well
who else was it going to be? She shoves him down and knocks off his
hat so Oklahoma nails her from behind, knocking it out to the floor.
Asya slams him down and here’s Madusa, with blue hair, as Oklahoma
nails Asya with a bottle of barbecue sauce. Madusa takes a broom to
the head and Oklahoma takes the belt.
Juventud Guerrera,
Psychosis, Kidman, Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko, Lenny Lane, La Parka.
There’s no reason I’m listing these names off. They just happened to
come to my mind.
Here
are Funk, Zbyszko, Anderson and Orndorff with something to say. Funk
says Nash’s powerbomb on Thunder is nowhere near enough and he pulled
these three men off the unemployment line to help him fight this
battle. They’re the Old Age Outlaws (egads) but they’re more than
young enough to take care of the NWO.
Arn talks about wanting
to get some revenge the old fashioned way, Zbyszko bores the crowd by
talking about tradition and Orndorff talks about the talent from the
Power Plant that he helped train. Why the Power Plant guys aren’t in
this spot isn’t exactly clear. It’s also not clear why this story
continues as the crowd is eerily silent.
Cue the NWO to make the
obvious old jokes. Nash is looking forward to being the Commissioner
on Sunday but Funk says he’s still in charge tonight. Like for
instance, tonight Jarrett, in a Tennessee Titans jersey for some
cheap heat, is going to be in three matches: a regular match, a
Bunkhouse Brawl and a cage match. The title won’t be on the line or
anything, but I guess that’s out of respect for Benoit. Speaking of
Benoit, he’ll be refereeing all three matches, which will be against
some of Funk’s close friends.
As for the rest of the
NWO, Hart will defend against Nash and if they don’t fight, both guys
are suspended for a year. Hart and Nash don’t mind the threat and
say they’ll take the year off. You know, because they don’t care
about wrestling. Steiner swears a lot, but since he isn’t cleared to
wrestle, Funk is going to wash his mouth out with soap.
Let’s stop and take a
look at this for a bit. Here’s what we have in this story:
NWO
Bret Hart – Debuted
in the WWF in 1985, fifteen year veteran on the national stage
Kevin Nash – Debuted
in WCW in 1990, ten year veteran on the national stage
Scott Steiner –
Debuted in WCW in 1989, eleven year veteran on the national stage
Jeff Jarrett –
Debuted in the WWF in 1993, seven year veteran on the national stage
Now let’s look at the
old guys.
Old Age Outlaws
Terry Funk – 54,
debuted in 1965, lost the NWA World Title twenty five years ago
Arn Anderson – 41,
debuted in 1982, retired as a regular wrestled three years ago
Paul Orndorff – 50,
debuted in 1976, retired as a regular wrestler four years ago, hit
his peak thirteen years ago
Larry Zbyszko – 48,
debuted in 1973, retired as a regular wrestler five years ago, hit
his peak twenty years ago
So we have Terry Funk
as the only active wrestler, with Larry Zbyszko probably being the
healthiest as he retired from active competition in 1994 and has
wrestled three matches since. Anderson and Orndorff can’t wrestle
and Zbyszko didn’t, so we’re left with Terry Funk, who first retired
in 1983, fighting the entire NWO. This is their main event storyline
with Benoit as the young guy fighting the midcard champion instead of
fighting for the World Title.
How is this supposed to
appeal to younger fans? I get how the older generation would appeal
to older fans or really big time fans, but even they can only hang
with this for so long. The younger fans though see these old guys
hogging the spots that the younger guys should be having.
Orndorff mentioned
training eight people at the Power Plant. Why not bring them up?
You have one of the best talkers of all time in Arn Anderson and two
very good talkers in Funk and Orndorff. What WCW needed was a fresh
batch of main event talent. You might even say they need a
revolution to take over that part of the card.
Instead,
guys like Benoit, Malenko, Saturn and Douglas are busy chasing
Janitor Jim Duggan around and trying to make him denounce America
because they view themselves as a sovereign nation and hate this
country while Oklahoma is chasing the Cruiserweight Title and a
freakshow tag team like David Flair and Crowbar holding the Tag Team
Titles because David is nuts after something about his dad sleeping
with Kimberly. Booker T. on the other hand is busy splitting up with
Stevie Ray again.
There
is no one to cheer for right now and the best solution is to bring in
people who used to be over and have them give the rub
to….themselves. Yeah Benoit is around and they mentioned him, but
you don’t see them working together or helping each other out because
the solution is to just have them talk about tradition, much like
Vince McMahon did in the early days of his war against Steve Austin.
That’s WCW’s big solution to get people to cheer: act like one of the
greatest heel characters of all time against the cool heels. It’s
like they’re taking every possible bad idea and running with it.
Post break, Funk tells
Arn to go find someone.
Arn looks into a limo
but finds Kimberly instead of whomever he was looking for.
Video on Page vs.
Bagwell.
Gene calls out Page and
Bagwell but the control room can be heard telling him that they need
a bit more because the intro didn’t go long enough. Is that some
massive rib that I just don’t get? That stuff only started when
Russo arrived and I have no idea how it’s supposed to be interesting
or how the production team could possibly be that inept. Anyway,
Gene asks them to be civil for five minutes and we have a countdown
clock on the screen.
They talk a lot of
trash and Buff insists he and Kimberly are just friends. Apparently
Buff and Kimberly have great sexual chemistry (Buff’s words) but Page
has been hearing that Buff has been telling the boys that Kimberly
has a sexy birthmark. That’s for Page’s eyes only, but Buff says
everyone has seen it. That earns him a right hand to the jaw so Buff
pulls out a police baton that he just happened to have with him. So
much for the countdown clock.
Nash and Bret insist
that they won’t sit down. I’m sure there won’t be a swerve
whatsoever.
Arn finds another car.
Jeff Jarrett vs. ???
Benoit
is guest referee and this is a Bunkhouse Brawl because this show
can’t remember the match order Funk made fifteen minutes ago. The
mystery opponent is…..George Steele, age 61 and with five
nationally televised matches since 1988. Steele brings weapons to
the ring and swings away to keep Jeff from getting in. George stops
to eat a turnbuckle but gets guitared in the head. Not that it
matters as Arn Anderson comes in and plants Jeff with a spinebuster
to give George the pin. As in a single spinebuster is enough to pin
the United States Champion. Benoit served no purpose here.
After a break, Jarrett
tells Nash to throw Hart off the team.
Here’s
Stevie Ray to tell Gene to leave so he can do the interview himself.
He talks about the history of the team and how Booker won the TV
Title because that’s all WCW wanted him to have (huh?). Stevie wants
to fight his brother one on one on Sunday because the show is already
named after Booker. This brings out Booker and Midnight with Booker
saying he’ll never fight his brother. That earns him a slap to the
face and Booker agrees to the match.
Arn goes to another
car. I’m assuming these are Jarrett’s opponents.
Jeff Jarrett vs. ???
It’s
Tito Santana, a spry 46 here and just six and a half years from
wrestling on a major national stage, in El Matador gear. This is a
Dungeon Match, meaning it’s pin, submission or your opponent leaving
the ring. Jeff beats up Orndorff on the way to the ring and mocks
the Buffalo Bills.
Tito takes over to
start with a nice dropkick and the flying forearm before going after
the knee. Jeff kicks him away and Tito has to try three times to
jump over the top rope to the apron. I love Santana but this is just
pitiful. Benoit and Jarrett argue before Jeff nails Santana with the
Stroke, only to stop to argue with one of the Bills. The distraction
lets Orndorff hit the piledriver (great looking one too) to give Tito
the pin.
Here’s
Tank Abbott to call out Doug Dillinger. ARE YOU SERIOUS??? It’s bad
enough that we have to put up with this goon who Russo loves for no
apparent reason but now we get the big showdown with the head of
security? Abbott tells Dillinger to take a shot, Doug does, Tank
drops him and Jerry Flynn comes out for the save.
I’m sure you already
know the story of what’s going to happen to the World Title situation
in the next few days. Tank Abbott was Russo’s big idea to get the
World Title, straight off a feud with Doug Dillinger and Jerry Flynn.
Putting Rick Steiner over Ric Flair back in 1988 looks BRILLIANT
now.
Jimmy Snuka arrives.
To save some space in the match, 56 here and other than a one off
appearance at Survivor Series 1996, last appeared with a major
national promotion (ECW was still regional during his run) in 1991.
The youngest opponent for Jarrett tonight is a 46 year old who hadn’t
wrestled in the WWF or WCW since 1993. The Revolution, the Filthy
Animals, Booker, and any other young and talented wrestler aren’t
important enough for this story.
Benoit is out cold in
the back.
Jeff Jarrett vs.
Jimmy Snuka
In
a cage. Jeff hammers away to start and sends Snuka into the cage a
few times. Cue referee Benoit but Jarrett shoves him away from the
cage door. That earns Jarrett some chops and a whip into the cage
but Jeff sends him into the buckle. Jeff goes outside and gets the
guitar but Zbyszko and Orndorff come in to clean house. Snuka and
Benoit go up to the top of the cage for a Superfly Splash and swan
dive, giving Jimmy the pin.
Rating:
N/A.
This was a segment disguised as a match and yeah the dives looked
cool, but Jeff’s concussion wasn’t so great. This would knock him
out of the US Title match on Sunday, but at least we got three WWF
legends out there in their old territory so Russo could relive his
childhood. Having the US Champion lose three times in one night to
three guys who won’t be there next week while getting beaten up by a
bunch of guys who can’t/won’t wrestle a match is just the price you
pay for Russo’s entertainment.
WCW World Title:
Kevin Nash vs. Bret Hart
Bret
is defending, but first of all we have to cut to the back where Funk
actually does wash Steiner’s mouth out with soap. How Zbyszko and
Orndorff managed to restrain Steiner isn’t clear. I’m so glad we got
to see this segment. It just made the entire show. Bret is in an
NWO shirt, tennis shoes and jean shorts. And he’s known for five
moves? Dang who knew Cena stole so much from Bret?
Nash
goes after him to start and drives knees in the corner but Bret comes
back with right hands. This is already one of the longest matches
Nash has had in weeks. A lot of choking ensues until Bret gets in a
kick to the leg. Snake Eyes stops him again for two but a low blow
puts Nash down again. Bret misses the middle rope elbow and both
guys are down. The side slam plants Bret and Nash bails to the floor
for a chair. Cue Arn with a steel pipe and a referee shirt to nail
Nash in the back, which I think means a no contest.
Rating:
D+.
And that’s it for Bret as his concussions were so severe that he
wouldn’t wrestle another match for over ten years. In true Bret
fashion though, he carried Nash to a watchable match and worked at
the leg a bit before the non-finish. This actually wasn’t terrible
and was by far the longest main event in a few weeks.
Post match here’s Sid
(remember him?) as the cage is lowered. Bret is planted with a
chokeslam and powerbomb so Arn can do a fast three count. Funk comes
out with a flaming branding iron to burn Nash right on the singlet to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
F.
This show comes down to how do you like your bad booking. You can
have total insane booking that makes absolutely no sense and goes so
far off the rails that you forget you’re watching a wrestling show,
or you can have the booking that appeals to the over 50 audience
without a good payoff and the US Champion getting pinned three times
in an hour and a half.
This
show didn’t make me want to see Souled Out, as the majority of this
episode was to build up two stories for Sunday, one of which will
comprise three matches. The fact that it’s going to be two out of
three falls wasn’t mentioned, but why should a little detail like
that get in the way of seeing the US Champion lose three falls in a
night? This company is in a creative free fall at the moment, but
they seem to think they’re going the right way and everyone else is
crazy.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Monday Nitro – January 3, 2000

Monday Nitro #221
Date: January 3, 2000
Location: BiLo Center,
Greenville, South Carolina
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s a new year and in
the best present WCW could give us, the show is back to two hours
instead of the usual three. The big story this week is the rest of
the Tag Team Title tournament with all the random and wacky teams and
the rest of the field being filled out by regular teams who were
“randomly” paired together. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of
last week. Why must I be forced to think of that mess again?
A
jet landed at the airport today. I’d assume a lot of those land
every day but for some reason this is supposed to be interesting.
Tag Team Title
Tournament Quarterfinals: Harris Brothers vs. Buzzkill/Mike Rotundo
Sullivan
makes Leia Meow jump on a trampoline for obvious reasons. Rotundo
goes after let’s say Ron to start and eats a powerslam and
clothesline for his efforts. Off to Buzzkill for a forearm, but Ron
comes back with a big old side slam. It’s big enough that it almost
knocks Buzzkill’s hair off. Don comes in to hammer away as Standards
and Practices come out and get rid of Leia, drawing the Varsity Club
out to the floor. The H Bomb ends Buzzkill in a short match.
We
look back at the monster truck stuff last week which has damaged
Sid’s neck.
A motorcade is leaving
the airport.
There’s going to be a
new commissioner tonight.
Nash thinks Tom Zenk is
getting the job.
Bret arrives and gets
beaten down by Sid, wearing a neck brace.
Diamond Dallas Page is
ready for his match against Buff Bagwell but Curt Hennig comes up and
tells him the Powers That Be want him in the ring tonight. PG-13 is
in the ring right now and that’s fine with Page.
Tag Team Title
Tournament Quarterfinals: PG-13 vs. Scott Steiner/Kevin Nash
Steiner
is Hall’s official replacement because there are a lot of people
named Scott in this company. PG-13 is in the ring doing their rap,
so here’s Page to lay them both out with Diamond Cutters. Here’s the
NWO with Nash dropping an elbow on Wolfie and pulling the tights for
the pin. It’s going to be one of those kind of shows, but at least
it’s two hours.
Here’s the NWO to
complain about now getting any respect and having to be attacked by
Sid. Jarrett: “Slappy New Year!” Jeff isn’t worried about
Triple Threat Theater with Benoit and doesn’t have much to say about
it. Nash warns the new commissioner that the NWO is going to keep
breaking the rules as they always have. Steiner jokes about his
retirement and thinks all his fans are Wall Street types. This
actually wasn’t that bad.
The motorcade arrives.
Tag Team Title
Tournament Quarterfinals: David Flair/Crowbar vs. Lash
Leroux/Midnight
Lash
does a cross sign at Daffney in a funny bit. The bad night continues
for Lash as Midnight appearing in the ring freaks him out even more.
David and Lash get things going with Stevie Ray sitting in on
commentary. Flair is easily knocked around the ring because he’s
just not that good. It’s off to Crowbar who eats a drop toehold to
send him to the floor, only to have him slide back inside where he
accidentally baseball slides David.
Stevie tells Lash to
tag Midnight in and gets what he deserves, thereby lowering Lash’s
sucka levels for the rest of the match. Midnight throws Lash onto
Crowbar and nails a nice dropkick, only to have Stevie pull Midnight
out to the floor. Cue Disco, Tony Marinara and Disco as we now have
more people interfering than in the match. Booker yells at his
brother and takes a Slapjack to the head as Leroux hits Whiplash on
Crowbar. As the referee yells at Harlem Heat, Vito and Johnny come
in and lay out Lash, giving Crowbar the pin.
Rating:
D-.
Here’s a spoiler for the rest of the show: this match, which ran
5:15, is the longest match on the entire show. Also, in a match just
over five minutes long, six people interfered, giving us three
stories (Mafia vs. Lash, Harlem Heat splitting, the match itself) in
one match. I know we get on Russo for overbooking but come on man.
Calm down for like a minute please.
Lash yells at Disco in
the back but Disco says he has to deal with the Family, who come in
and attack Lash as Disco has to look on.
Here’s
Luger Luger, still dressed as Sting and yes, this is really WCW’s
best idea to fight Raw. Luger talks about Sting being afraid of him
and wants the no name wrestler to come out here and face him.
Total Package vs.
Tank Abbott
Stalling by Luger leads
into the mace from Liz for the DQ in less than a minute. But
remember, Luger is a veteran and therefore still a draw.
Jerry Flynn comes out
and beats up Abbott with less than no one caring.
The NWO takes their
ball bats to the limo.
Rob
Garner of the WCW front office comes out to talk about the “writers”
“swerving” WCW and how Sting and Goldberg are currently out of
commission. Therefore, let’s bring in someone new to help fight the
NWO. That brings us to the new commissioner: Terry Funk. Yes, the
big solution to the NWO is to bring in a guy who first retired about
sixteen years earlier.
Now
don’t get me wrong: Terry Funk is awesome and one of the best
wrestlers and performers of all time, but this is not the right move
in this spot. This needed to be someone young who could be a future
for WCW, not another legend who shows up, basically in the same role
as Piper.
Anyway,
Funk says he loves wrestling and wants to get rid of these fat hogs
at the trough. To do this, he needs an enforcer, and who better than
Arn Anderson? Anderson gives his usual great speech about putting
the heart back in wrestling, but the WE WANT FLAIR chants almost
drown him out. Cue the NWO so Hart can offer Funk a spot on the
team. Terry shrugs it off and makes some new stipulations for Hart
vs. Goldberg. Wait didn’t they officially cancel that last week? It
wouldn’t be the first time they lied about a match they had coming up
so why not do it here too?
The
match will have Arn as guest referee and the title can change hands
on a DQ. As for tonight, it’s Jeff defending the US Title against
Sid in a powerbomb match. Oh and Nash and Steiner will indeed get
screwed in their matches tonight. Nash threatens David Flair and
we’re done here.
Tag Team Title
Tournament Quarterfinals: Buff Bagwell/Chris Kanyon vs. Norman
Smiley/Asya
Buff
and Kanyon argue over how awesome this town is because Kanyon thinks
it’s not Hollywood. Kanyon offers him some champagne so Buff, the
hero that he is, breaks the bottle over Kanyon’s head. That’s a
great way to advance in a title tournament Buff. Norman is dressed
as a mascot of the local baseball team, complete with a three foot
long tail, which is shaken in Buff’s general direction.
Buff doesn’t take
kindly to Norman mocking his strut and nails him with a clothesline,
only to have Asya knee him in the back. We get the spanking dance
from Norman before it’s off to Asya, who is quickly suplexed down by
Bagwell. Everything breaks down and Asya hits Buff low, only to have
Norman accidentally hit her with the mascot head. A Blockbuster
sends Buff on his own (presumably) to the semifinals.
Rating:
D-.
Comedy ladies and gentlemen! This is what you get when you have no
reason for these teams to be fighting and you just throw them
together and have no chemistry or time to go anywhere. It doesn’t
help that neither team even tried to do more than comedy spots to get
to the ending. Couple that with Kanyon not even being in the match
and what were you expecting here?
The Revolution comes in
to beat up Buff, drawing down Duggan for a failed save attempt. The
Filthy Animals come out for the real save.
The old guys and the
NWO look for David.
Funk and Anderson find
Daffney in the boiler room.
Tag Team Title
Tournament Semifinals: Kevin Nash/Scott Steiner vs. Harris Brothers
You
know, in a decent company, this could be a watchable power match.
Again Steiner sits in on commentary and lets Nash do the match
himself. The twins double team Nash until he gets a ball bat. They
obviously run away from the combined force of the bat and the hair,
only to have the Varsity Club come in and chair them down. Sullivan
throws Don back in and Nash pins him in less than a minute and a
half.
Jarrett kidnaps
Daffney.
Tag Team Title
Tournament Semifinals: Buff Bagwell/Chris Kanyon vs. David
Flair/Crowbar
Kanyon comes out for no
logical reason, only to get jumped by Bam Bam Bigelow and slammed off
the stage. This brings out Vampiro, who is apparently going to be
Buff’s partner whether Bagwell likes it or not. Vampiro starts with
some spinning kicks to put Crowbar down but Buff tags himself in.
Cue Anderson and Funk to talk to David because he’s not doing
anything important right now.
Vampiro superplexes
Crowbar down and Buff tells Vampiro to stay in for the finish.
There’s a Ligerbomb to Crowbar but Vampiro stops to argue with
Anderson because it’s the least logical thing possible right now.
Funk punches Vampiro in the face and Buff adds a Blockbuster to his
partner, again for no apparent reason, allowing David to get the pin
to go to the finals.
Rating:
F.
This was a circus with the partners basically saying screw the tag
belts because we want to do stupid stuff instead. I’ve completely
lost track of what’s going on with Bagwell (feuding with Page I
believe), Vampiro (feuding with no one that I know of) and almost
everyone else in this company. The sad part: I really don’t care
what they’re doing either.
The NWO drags Daffney
out so Steiner can call her ugly.
Flair and Crowbar can’t
find Daffney.
US Title: Jeff
Jarrett vs. Sid Vicious
Powerbomb
match and Sid is in a neck brace. He shoves Jeff away to start and
kicks away, only to have Jarrett go right for the neck. A backdrop
puts the big guy on the floor and Jeff rams him into the barricade.
Back in and a high cross body gets two for Jeff but Sid powers out
and nails a big boot, followed by the chokeslam. The champ shoves
the referee down of course and Sid hits the powerbomb, only to have
Bret come in with the ball bat for the DQ.
Standard beatdown and
spray painting follows.
Tag Team Titles:
Kevin Nash/Scott Steiner vs. David Flair/Crowbar
Steiner
and Nash clean house to start and I have no idea who to cheer for
here. There’s no referee to start and Steiner sits in on commentary
to say the opponents suck. Nash slams Crowbar off the top and pokes
him in the eye as this has been completely one sided so far. A
double noggin knocker puts Flair and Crowbar down again but here come
Terry Funk and Arn Anderson in a referee shirt. Crowbar gets
jackknifed as security and Funk yell at Steiner. The distraction
lets Crowbar hit Nash with a crowbar, giving David the pin and the
titles.
Rating:
F.
It’s the slip on the banana peel ending as this was just a beating
until the wacky ending. In other words, Russo probably thought it
was great and the wrestlers loved it too as they didn’t have to do
much. This wasn’t a match and that really shouldn’t surprise me at
this point.
Post
match Jeff Jarrett drags Daffney to the ring as David hits Anderson
with the crowbar. The new champs stumble away and the NWO swarms
Funk. Bret and Jeff kidnap Anderson and throw him in the trunk of a
car to end the show. The new champs were complete afterthoughts
here.
Overall
Rating:
F.
So tonight we had seven tournament matches. Those matches combined
to run less than nineteen minutes, for an average of about two
minutes and forty seconds each. If you take away the marathon match
that ran over five minutes, you’re looking at six matches taking less
than fifteen minutes combined. There were two other matches on this
show: Tank Abbott in a match with literally no wrestling and a two
minute powerbomb match which ended in a DQ. They’ve taken the
wrestling out of this show and now I’m really not sure what Nitro is
supposed to be. At least it’s shorter now I guess.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Monday Nitro – December 27, 1999

Monday Nitro #220
Date: December 27, 1999
Location: Houston
Astrodome, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,640
Commentators: Bobby
Heenan, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re finally done with
this year and it’s not a moment too soon. While Thunder was better,
last week’s Nitro may have been the worst show I’ve ever seen. The
NWO is on top again but, due to Goldberg punching a limo, they don’t
have a top opponent to deal with so things are a big complicated.
Let’s get to it.

We open with a clip
from Thunder of Goldberg clearing out the NWO.
The NWO walks through
the back until the director tells them it’s clear.
Opening sequence.
Tenay tells us about
Goldberg shredding a tendon in his arm and already undergoing
surgery.
If
that’s not enough, here’s a major update: WCW Senior Executive Vince
President Bill Busch is sick Ferrara and Russo’s direction (Tony uses
their real names here) and if Scott Hall doesn’t show up by 7pm
tonight, the Tag Team Titles are vacated. That time has come and
gone, so the Powers That Be have booked (his word) a Lethal Lottery
Tag Team Title tournament to start this week and end next week. So
the big boss is sick of the booking but is letting the bookers keep
going. Makes as much sense as anything else around here.
Apparently Scott
Steiner has had another back surgery and his career is probably over.
That sounds like a swerve.
Brian Knobbs vs. Bam
Bam Bigelow
Kanyon
is at ringside and has a wireless mic on. Bigelow goes after him to
start but Knobbs gets in a trashcan shot to take over. The
announcers ask Kanyon about a title belt he had with him on Thursday
as Bigelow and Knobbs fight into the crowd and we hit the ECW
production style. Kanyon tells the marks in the crowd to move as he
follows them, which is in no way, shape or form like the time Road
Dogg did this for Al Snow vs. Big Boss Man in a hardcore match in the
WWF. You can’t see a thing going on but apparently Knobbs pins
Bigelow. Seriously you could see their arms and that’s about it.
Sid
arrives with Benoit.
There’s a monster truck
in the back.
The
NWO has JJ Dillon in a chair and Nash throws the Tag Team Title on a
table. Bret knees JJ in the ribs and that’s it.
The
NWO looks at the monster truck, which has an NWO logo on the side.
They walk a few feet away and find Sid’s still running car.
Here’s
Sid to yell about the NWO. Sid knows that he, Goldberg and Benoit
have to watch each others’ backs with the NWO around stabbing
everyone in the back. I can barely understand what Sid is saying but
I think he wants to beat up all four members of the NWO. What
happened to Goldberg is unfortunate, but it’s time for Sid to step up
to the plate and go after the World Title. Sid promises to powerbomb
Bret through the ring at Souled Out so I guess that’s the main event.
Benoit comes out to
join Sid (with a much clearer voice) and talks about wanting to get
his hands on the Chosen One Jeff Jarrett. The last few weeks have
made Benoit lose all respect for Jeff Jarrett and at Souled Out,
Benoit will let out some of the frustration. He wants something
called Triple Threat Theater, which means a 2/3 falls match with
different rules for each fall.
Up
first is a Dungeon Rules match, meaning pinfall or submission only
with no rope breaks and if you leave the ring, you lose the match.
Second would be a Bunkhouse Brawl, or street fight. Finally, it’s
Caged Heat, which means the Cell. Jarrett is the Chosen One to be
lead to the slaughter. Cool idea actually.
We cut to the back
where the NWO has spray painted Sid’s car, complete with Bret’s
caricature of Sid on the hood. He’s not a bad artist.
ZZ Top is here.
Sid and Benoit find the
car and aren’t happy.
Tag
Team Title Tournament First Round: Buzzkill/Mike Rotundo vs. Dean
Malenko/Konnan
Buzzkill
is now a full on Road Dogg knockoff, complete with the same hook to
open his song. “It’s me, it’s me, it’s that B-U-Double Z.”
Also, WE’VE GOT WACKY TAG PARTNERS!!! Dean and Mike get things going
and hit the mat for what could be an entertaining exchange. It’s
quickly off to Konnan vs. Buzzkill with Konnan taking over, only to
have Dean deck his partner. Everyone gets in a fight as Jim Duggan
comes in to lay out Dean with the 2×4 to give Buzzkill the pin to
advance.
Jarrett and Hart pull
the power to the production truck and the feed cuts out. Ok then.
Back
with the picture a bit snowy and a white limo arriving, containing
Scott Steiner who is met by Rick Steiner with a wheelchair.
The NWO destroys
catering. Is there a point to this coming anytime soon?
Tank Abbott vs.
Shane
Shane
is in dress clothes and gets knocked out in less than a minute. He
must have tried to get $20 out of Tank for a posed picture.
Career retrospective on
Scott Steiner.
Rick
wheels Scott out to the ring to the old Steiner Brothers theme. Can
we just get to the swerve that WE NEVER SAW COMING already? A
tearful Scott tells a story of his doctor telling him that his back
will never heal and he’s going to have to retire. Scott cries about
never being able to wrestle his brother again and asks for the fans
to say a prayer for him.
Before
the Steiners can leave, here’s the NWO. Bret wants a washed up
nobody like Scott out of the ring, but to be honest, Scott was never
that good anyway. You would think Rick would come out to protect his
brother here. There are things more important than Scott Steiner,
like the fact that Bret still has his belt. Jeff pretends to cry
over Steiner’s announcement so Nash takes over the talking. A tech
guy tries to send them to a commercial so Jarrett blasts him with a
guitar.
Back
with the NWO still in the ring because that’s what this show is about
anymore. Nash isn’t cool with someone taking their bats. On top of
that, they’re not cool with Bill Busch trying to interfere, so stay
in your office and let them handle the wrestling stuff. He promises
that Nash will be here tonight to wrestle in Houston. As for
Goldberg, the game is about to become deadly. Bret thinks it’s 4-0
Hitman over Goldberg so Goldberg can consider himself stopped.
That brings Bret to
Sid, who will be destroyed even worse than his car. Jarrett rips on
the town a bit as this segment just keeps going. Benoit is on for
his Triple Threat Theater at Souled Out….and here are Sid and
Benoit in the car with ball bats. This brings in Curt Hennig of all
people to get beaten down by Benoit and Sid as the sacrificial lamb.
Sid throws him onto the hood of the car.
Hennig is put in an
ambulance after a break.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: Harlem Heat vs. Midnight/Lash Leroux
What
are the odds??? Booker and Lash get things going with Leroux getting
two off a victory roll but walking into a Rock Bottom for the same.
Stevie comes in and hammers Lash with a vengeance before slamming him
down. Off to Midnight and it’s time for something resembling a
showdown. Stevie runs Midnight over with a clothesline and looks
away, leaving Midnight to nip up.
A snap suplex to Stevie
is treated like Hogan slamming Andre and Booker tags himself in.
Booker can’t bring himself to kick Midnight in the face and they do a
very light sequence with Booker not wanting to hurt her. Midnight
takes a backbreaker and Stevie is livid. He pulls out the slapjack
and nails all three people in the match with Lash falling on Booker
for the pin. That would be two matches with a weapon shot and
brawling partners.
Rating:
D-.
Another storyline disguised as a match. I’m not sure why we needed
to see yet another Harlem Heat split. More importantly than that
though, this was a clear indication that we’re going to be sitting
through wacky tag partners and screwy finishes for all eight matches
tonight because that’s all Russo knows how to book. These sort of
things can be done well with Starrcade 1991 as proof, but Russo isn’t
good enough to figure out something as simple as “let them
wrestle.”
The Scream mask guy
attacks Chavo.
The Revolution is at
the Washington Monument and Shane wants to ask an average American a
history quiz. Shane rips on the guy for not knowing that it’s the
anniversary of the Monument going up. I’m not sure what the point of
this was supposed to be.
Some
Power Plant students are in the front row. Chuck Palumbo, Elix
Skipper, Mike Sanders and Reno among others are visible.
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Jerry Flynn
Flynn
is in street clothes because it’s more realistic or something. No
announcement or teasing a World Title match and it’s given the
treatment that a TV Title match might receive. Tony announces Bill
Busch deciding that the title can change hands on a DQ at Souled Out.
Bret hammers him into the corner to start and runs the eyes across
the top rope.
They head outside with
Jerry whipping the champ into the barricade, drawing out Jarrett and
Nash. Back in and Jerry fires off kicks in the corner but eats a
DDT. Another spinning kick drops Bret but Nash distracts the
referee, allowing Jarrett to come in with a ball bat to set up the
Sharpshooter to retain the title.
Rating:
F.
Jerry Flynn in street clothes just gave Bret Hart a run for his money
in a bad match with the NWO having to save the title in an
unannounced match in the middle of the second hour of the show. This
company really doesn’t have any idea what they’re doing do they?
Flynn
gets the NWO treatment. He might have worn the street clothes so he
doesn’t have any paint on his skin. The NWO leaves but Tank Abbott
comes out and knocks Flynn out again. Your would be WCW World
Champion a month from now people.
The
Revolution is at the Library of Congress and Saturn pulls out his
copy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Nash is on the phone
with Hall but theme music muffles the chat.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: PG-13 vs. Rick Steiner/Berlyn
PG-13
is wearing Houston Oilers jerseys (team that recently left town) and
rap about how they don’t care if people don’t like them. Rick shakes
his head to start as Berlyn spinwheel kicks Wolfie. Tony reads out
the most beautiful announcement I’ve ever heard: Nitro returns to two
hours next week. PG-13 double teams Berlyn and stomps him in the
middle of the ring as I’m just waiting on the WACKY way someone will
advance. Rick gets the hot tag and cleans house with Steiner Lines
before planting both of them upside down on the buckles. Berlyn
walks out and a belly to belly is enough to pin Wolfie.
Rick keeps beating them
up and the decision is reversed. In other words, the newcomers are
left laying but advance on a technicality. As stupid as WCW has
become, it’s good to know that some things never change.
Saturn
comes up to Duggan and says they’re teaming together tonight against
Norman Smiley and Asya. Apparently it’s mutually beneficial if they
win. Well yeah that’s normally how a tag match works. I can’t do
this line justice, so here’s Saturn’s statement verbatim: “Besides,
brother, as optically challenged as we are, there’s no way that
jacked up hootchie or that sissy in a football uniform can blindside
us if we stand side by side.” Again, Saturn is the best part of
this show and fits in perfectly because he makes just as little sense
as the booking.
The Revolution rants
about the White House and Bill Clinton and kidnap a guy in a Clinton
mask. Somehow this is more effective than their last few weeks of
material.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: Asya/Norman Smiley vs. Perry Saturn/Jim
Duggan
Duggan’s
family is at ringside as he beats up Saturn before the match starts.
Norman gets in some easy shots, including the swinging slam. The
spanking dance connects but Saturn breaks up the Big Wiggle with a
suplex. Saturn slams him down and drops the top rope elbow onto the
chest protector to hurt his own arm. Asya is tagged in and shoves
Saturn from behind, followed by a low blow and clothesline. A
superplex drops Saturn and Duggan drops a knee on his partner
(complete with counting his own pin for reasons of dumb), allowing
Norman to get the pin to advance.
Rating:
D-.
Can we go back to the part where the Powers That Be literally had the
fourth wall broken and screw up everything in sight? I’m starting to
think it might be easier to sit through than the night of the wacky
tag team partners. This was another bad match with a screwy finish
because that’s all we have here.
Duggan, the loser,
brings his family in to celebrate.
US Title: Kidman vs.
Jeff Jarrett
Kidman
is challenging and gets jumped from behind to start. A hotshot stops
Kidman’s comeback and the announcers ignore the match to talk about
Triple Threat Theater. Jeff turns around and eats a Bodog and
dropkick, only to catapult Kidman out to the floor to stop him again.
Cue Nash and Hart because you think we can go a full half hour
without the NWO? Kidman rolls through a high cross body for two but
gets caught in a quick sleeper. Say it with me: Kidman reverses into
one of his own for a few arm drops, followed by the BK Bomb for two.
That’s about it for the
NWO not being the focus of the match though as Nash low bridges
Kidman to the floor, only to have the Filthy Animals run in to lay
out Jarrett with a crutch. It’s only good for two, but it draws one
of the loudest reactions of the night. Jeff tries a powerbomb and
gets the standard counter. Heenan: “I’ve never seen anything like
that!” Kidman goes up top but takes a ball bat to the ankle,
setting up the Stroke for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was one of the better matches of the night, but my goodness it’s
ok to let a champion look strong instead of needing help all the
time. It’s nowhere near as bad as the Jerry Flynn mess but at least
let Jeff do his own cheating to win. Watchable match, partially due
to getting some time, but it was too bogged down as usual.
Gene
brings out Luger and Liz for a chat but Luger is dressed as Sting and
comes out to Sting’s music. Luger imitates Sting and talks about how
awesome Luger really is and how severe the beating Luger gave him
was. The lights go out and come back on to show black roses in the
ring. So yeah, this feud is CONTINUING.
Nash gives Hall
directions over the phone.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: Ron Harris/Don Harris vs. Meng/Fit Finlay
I’m
not even going to bother calling this stupid. Finlay and Meng fight
so the Twins, ever so brilliant, attack them both. Just let them
beat each other up then pin the scraps. Why is that so complicated?
A double big boot puts the hardcore guys on the floor and they fight
until it’s a countout to advance the Twins. This was, again, a waste
of time.
David
Flair and Daffney call themselves Natural Born Killers. That was a
disturbing movie.
Here’s 3 Count to pick
things up. They do their dance but Vampiro comes in and cleans
house. As luck would have it, he and Evan are up next.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: Evan Karagias/Vampiro vs. David Flair/Maestro
Scratch
that last team as Crowbar, who debuted last week, attacks Maestro in
the aisle and takes his place. Sure why not. Ignore the fact that
he worked at a gas station and has no wrestling license or training
as far as WCW knows. Anyway he starts with a German suplex on
Vampiro (good looking one too) before it’s off to David for a suplex
(not so good looking one) of his own.
It’s
so lame that Vampiro pops up and plants both psychos (yeah Vampiro is
the sane one here) with a double DDT. A Rock Bottom to Crowbar
allows Vampiro to make the hot tag to Evan, who is promptly knocked
off the top and down onto Crowbar. Back inside with Vampiro
“hitting” a top rope clothesline for two on David but the other 3
Count members get in to go after Vampiro. The partners implode but
Vampiro fights both of them off with ease, setting up the Nail in the
Coffin on David. No referee though as Crowbar nails Vampiro with a
crowbar, giving David the pin.
Rating:
F.
This was the sixth match of eight tournament matches tonight and
they’re now six for six in having at least one team implode. I know
I say Russo only has a few ideas in different forms, but he’s done
the same idea six times in less than three hours. Suddenly Oklahoma
makes so much more sense.
3
Count loads up the song post match but Flair and Crowbar clean house.
This brings out Lenny and Lodi as Standards and Practices, complete
with the yet to be named Miss Hancock (Stacy Keibler) in a skirt
shorter than your local vanilla midget. They promise to take Flair
and Crowbar off TV if this violence keeps up. This of course earns
them more violence.
Jarrett
is told not to worry about Hall not being here yet.
Tag
Team Title Tournament First Round: Disco Inferno/Big Vito vs. Buff
Bagwell/Chris Kanyon
The
Italians have Johnny the Bull and Tony Marinara with them. Everyone
but Disco head to the floor to start before Kanyon slides back in,
earning him some knees to the back. A Russian legsweep drops Disco
but Kanyon heads back outside to get the Italians away from the
girls. Kanyon leaves with the girls to split up ANOTHER tag team.
Buff fights back but Vito nails him with a great looking superkick to
take over again. Disco gets caught in a neckbreaker but there’s no
partner (Tony: “Chris Champion Kanyon”) to tag. Disco
accidentally hits Vito with a chain, setting up the Blockbuster for
the pin.
Rating:
D-.
They’re seven for seven in teams splitting and almost half have had a
weapon spot. I would ask if this was the best they could do, but
yes, this really is the best they can do: the same match over and
over and over. In a weird way, I’m actually hoping they manage to do
it again one more time in the last match because it would be one of
the most amazing things ever to see them do the exact same plot point
eight times in one night.
Buff gets laid out post
match.
Here’s
the NWO to say Hall isn’t here yet but his arrival is imminent. Nash
asks for a brief delay to let him get here.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: The Wall/Sid Vicious vs. Outsiders
Remember
that Sid and Wall seemed to form a friendship last week. Nash gets
in on his own and does a Hogan shirt rip to start against Wall.
Kevin slugs away but Wall punches him down and scores with a belly to
back suplex. Wall hits a big boot but Bret nails him in the back
with a bat to let Nash take over. Sid chases Bret and Wall is
suddenly putting Nash in a chinlock. He no sold a ball bat shot from
the World Champion? Sid comes in and shoves the referee down before
cleaning house, only to have Bret nail Wall with the bat for the pin
to advance Nash.
Rating:
F.
He no sold a baseball bat shot. A shot from Liz put Sting out for
months but Wall is back on offense fifteen seconds later? How can
anyone actually think that’s acceptable? This was more NWO
interference dominating the entire match with no one having a chance
against the heel stable. And now I’m disappointed with the lack of
the partners fighting. I was looking forward to that.
Benoit
comes in to save Sid from a powerbomb but here comes a limping Scott
Steiner (presumably the Scott that Nash has been meaning all night.
I was hoping for Riggs) with a ball bat of his own….and of course
he’s NWO because what else would he be? As usual, there’s no value
to a scam that was set up and paid off in the span of two hours. NWO
propaganda falls from the ceiling and an NWO banner is lowered. Sid
car is brought out and Sid is put in the back. They drive him to the
back where the monster truck crushes the car to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
F.
Somehow, this is miles better than last week’s show. The wrestling
was nothing special (Kidman vs. Jarrett was decent before it fell
apart), the booking has been covered already, the ending was stupid,
and this whole show was a mess. You can tell Russo has lost some
authority though and that’s the best thing that could possibly happen
to this company.
That’s
it for WCW in 1999 and I don’t think there’s a need to explain all of
the disasters in this company over the year. Here’s the most telling
part though: the Fingerpoke of Doom is looking more and more like a
high point every day. I’ll leave you with this: I’m fairly certain
I’m right when I say this was the worst calendar year in the history
of any wrestling promotion ever.
Remember to follow me
on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete Monday
Nitro Reviews Volume III at Amazon for just $3.99 at:
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author page with cheap wrestling books at:

New E-Book: Complete Monday Nitro (and Thunder) Reviews Volume III

When we last left WCW, they were the
undisputed kings of the Monday Night Wars and that’s certainly still the
case as they come into 1998. Things were so good that they decided to
more than double the amount of television they were airing per week. To
say this might have been too much too soon is an understatement but WCW
had done stupider stuff before.
In this book, I’ll be looking at every episode of
Monday Nitro and Thunder from January through June of 1998. This is the
time where the Monday Night Wars finally started to get competitive
again after nearly two years of being completely one sided. Having two
shows a week was a fresh idea as well, making this a very important time
in wrestling history. As usual I’ll be providing play by play,
historical context and analysis of every show.
Also remember that I’ve already covered 1995-1997
Monday Nitro in case you don’t want to jump right into the later stuff.
Both books are available from my Amazon author page.
The books runs over 300 pages on a Kindle and only
costs $3.99, or the equivalent in other currencies. If you don’t have a
Kindle or e-book reader, there are several FREE apps you can use to read it on pretty much any electronic device. You can find those from Amazon here.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here.

From the UK Amazon here.
From the Canadian Amazon here.
Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon
page, just search “KB Nitro 1998” and my book will be the first thing
that pop up.
Also you can still get any of my previous books on
the WWE Championship, Monday Night Raw from 1998 and 2001, Monday Nitro
from 1995-97, In Your House, Summerslam, Starrcade, ECW Pay Per Views,
Royal Rumble, Saturday Night’s Main Event, the WWF and WCW pay per views
from 1998 and Clash of the Champions at my author’s page here.
I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.
Thomas Hall

Monday Nitro – December 20, 1999

Monday Nitro #219
Date: December 20, 1999
Location:
Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Attendance: 8,915
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re just past
Starrcade and……I have no idea what we’re supposed to do now
actually. Bret is still World Champion, Sting is out of action again
and the rest of the show was pretty much a big waste of time with
short matches that went nowhere or that only Russo and company care
about. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Piper calling for the bell on Goldberg to end
the title match against Bret. Yes, that’s their big idea: Montreal
part 58.
So you might be asking
how the big fallout show starts. After last night, we’re ready to
start on the new road forward for WCW. I promise, I’m not making
this up. This is really how this show began.
Here
are Madusa and Spice for a chat. Madusa brags about being the first
female Cruiserweight Champion and how the women of WCW are taking
over with their T&A. Right now she wants any man in the back to
come out here so she can neuter him. As luck would have it, Buzzkill
is in the crowd campaigning for equal rights, so Madusa calls him to
the ring for a title match right now.
Cruiserweight Title:
Madusa vs. Buzzkill
Madusa takes the sign
and blasts Buzzkill in the head, followed by the missile dropkick for
two. The German suplex is blocked though and Buzzkill dropkicks her
down. The Russian legsweep should have the title won (because it’s a
Russian legsweep) but Spice has the referee. In the distract, Spice
throws in a foreign object and Madusa knocks Buzzkill silly, setting
up the German suplex to retain.
I
need a minute here. After last night’s disaster of a Starrcade,
Vince Russo, the man who actually takes credit for the Attitude Era,
decided that the big idea was to open Nitro with a match between a
comedy character and Madusa, who is flat out saying she has one of
the most popular titles (well at least it used to be) in the company
because of how she looks. That’s their big way to open the
post-Starrcade Nitro. Imagine if the night after Rollins cashed in
Money in the Bank or after Bryan overcame the Authority, we opened
with a Nikki Bella promo and match. That’s basically what they did
here and it’s making my head hurt.
The announcers talk
about Goldberg getting screwed last night. I’ll set the over/under
for use of that word in this story at about 6,000.
Russo tells Curt Hennig
to get rid of Hugh Morrus tonight. Why Russo has issues with Morrus
isn’t clear, but I’d bet it’s a nuance of a plot point that I missed
in Russo’s 19 segments a night. Creative Control is sent to find
Piper.
Speaking of Piper, he
arrives with his assistant and son because of reasons I don’t want to
be told. The kid tapes Piper’s wrists and Creative Control comes to
collect him.
Hugh Morrus vs. Curt
Hennig
Before
we get started, it’s time for an another angle that no one will care
about but we need to force it in there anyway. This time it’s Shane
being beaten down by a guy in a Scream mask with what looks like a
pipe. As for the match, here’s Tony’s take on it: “I’ve never been
so confused coming out of a WCW pay per view.” I can’t believe I’m
saying this, but preach it Tony. Morrus slugs Hennig into the corner
to start as the announcers don’t explain Hugh’s issues with the
Powers That Be, likely because they don’t exist.
After a big running
splash in the corner, Morrus gets distracted by some old guy in a
hospital gown who wanders from the crowd to the ramp. For the love
of……JUST HAVE A WRESTLING MATCH! Morrus goes outside and helps
the man he calls Pop to the ramp so he stays out of harms’ way.
Hennig gets in a few shots as Pop comes back down to ringside. In
the distraction, Hennig hits the PerfectPlex for the pin.
Rating:
D-.
I would ask why this is happening and what this is supposed to mean,
but I really, really don’t care. Hugh Morrus is getting a story now?
Apparently about his father who just wanders around ringside after
leaving a hospital? As usual, Russo doesn’t get that you have to
make us care about a person before you just throw them into a story
that makes no sense on the surface. I don’t care about Hugh Morrus
because he’s never done anything worth caring about. Therefore, I
don’t care about his Pop or whatever they’re doing with him. Again,
just let them wrestle and THEN come up with a story.
Pop
checks on his son, who is still down after a devastating suplex.
Piper is in Russo’s
office where Russo talks about Piper making some sort of deal with
the devil, meaning Piper can’t touch Russo. It’s not over though
because Piper has to go out there and tell everyone that he sold out
and that Russo had nothing to do with it. So who did he sell out to
if Russo wasn’t involved? That question is immediately wiped from my
memory as Russo says that Piper will take his heat. Piper talks
about going out there to “shoot on the marks” and how he and
Hogan built this sport. The audio screws up so I can’t hear the rest
of it but do I really need to?
So to recap: Russo is
the mastermind behind screwing Goldberg out of the title and gave
Piper something in return for ending the title match last night and
now Piper has to go and take the rap for it. This is going to be a
SHOOT, because all those times where Piper was evil and made his big
name were just him acting and we should believe how much he cares for
wrestling? Can we go back to Hugh and Pop?
And
now, a word from Tony Schiavone about how Vince McMahon screwed Bret
Hart out of the WCW Title. Russo worked for McMahon at that time, so
rumors are speculating that Russo scripted the ending to that match.
I don’t even know how to respond to that so we’ll move on to Tony
talking about how Kevin Nash is defending Goldberg in the locker
room. You know, the SHOOT locker room.
This
brings out Kevin Nash, who talks about living by a code in wrestling.
There are certain rules you have to live by no matter what happens.
Yes people, KEVIN NASH is talking about ethics in wrestling. Just go
with it and maybe it’ll be over soon. There are two groups of people
behind the curtain: the boys and the office. The boys are all a
fraternity and the office doesn’t care about any of them. Nash
doesn’t care about Goldberg, but what happened last night was…..a
word they don’t actually censor. TV-14 it is I suppose. Hart
screwed one of the boys and now he has to pay.
Creative
Control says Nash is the biggest politician in the locker room. So
yeah, it’s clearly a big worked shoot (in case it wasn’t obvious
before) and the audience, after sitting through Madusa vs. Buzzkill
and Hennig vs. Morrus/Pop gets to hear a lot of stuff that is
probably going over their collective heads while Russo jerks off to
this nonsense because it makes him feel so much smarter than everyone
else. I understand what they’re talking about and it’s just so dumb.
Tank
Abbott vs. Jerry Flynn
No
holds barred of course. They trade slaps/punches before shoving the
referee, drawing out security to break it up. Flynn is put in
handcuffs and Tank knocks him out cold. This didn’t last a minute
and the fans are rightfully booing it out of the building.
Goldberg
arrives.
Here’s
the Revolution for what is actually the most interesting part of the
show so far. Douglas talks about how the Revolution was proven right
at Starrcade, but we pause for a word from Saturn about Tootsie Pops.
He calls out Jim Duggan to denounce America, but Jim doesn’t want to
do it. Instead, Duggan says he lied and gets beaten down. The
Revolution goes to burn the American flag but the Filthy Animals
(minus Eddie) return for the save. Great. It’s this feud again.
Shane’s look of shock when the Animals came out (walking at about
half a mile an hour) is great.
Here’s
Piper for his big explanation as Goldberg and Hart watch from
backstage. Piper lists off some of the evil things he’s done in the
past before going into a mini rant against Russo’s writing. Couldn’t
they just call it like, match making? Anyway, Piper knows people
just want to see the wrestlers fight. After listing off his
accomplishments from the 80s, Piper says he’s a real fighting and
quits. His son comes out to walk to the back with him, but Goldberg
comes out to block their way.
Goldberg
has stayed up all night trying to make sense of this (now THAT is
probably a shoot comment). He’s looked up to a few guys all his life
and until last night Piper was on that list. Piper made the wrong
decision last night but Goldberg doesn’t think Piper would ever sell
out. Roddy apologizes and things seem to be a bit better until Bret
comes out to pick it up all over again. As far as he’s concerned,
there’s no point in blaming Piper and the title is vacant. Bret goes
to the back to tell the Powers That Be what they can do with their
title. Keep shooting people. You’ll hit something eventually,
though it’s likely your own foot.
Post
break, Hart yells at Russo, but the boss says that was an attempt at
making up for Montreal. Yes seriously, THAT’S THEIR BIG STORY. Bret
throws the belt at Russo so he makes Hart vs. Goldberg for tonight.
Nice to see them continue their tradition of airing the same match
the night after Starrcade. I mean, it’s gone so well before.
Meng/Norman
Smiley vs. Fit Finlay/Brian Knobbs
Hardcore
of course. So why would Meng want to team with Smiley here? My
question is quickly answered as Meng goes after Smiley before their
opponents come out. Knobbs and Finlay come out to watch as the
announcers try to explain the psychology. Apparently Knobbs and
Finlay want Norman to keep the Hardcore Title so they can take it
from him with less of a fight.
Therefore,
we’re supposed to ignore the two of them knocking Smiley out cold
with a pipe so Norman could pin him with one hand last night, proving
that they could beat Meng with ease. As for the match, Norman gets
chased through the crowd, objects are thrown, a bathroom is invaded,
Norman’s head is put in a toilet and Knobbs gets the pin.
Rating:
F.
We’re over an hour into this show and this is the second best match
of the night so far. I’m not sure if it’s good or horribly stupid
that they’re trying to add psychology to this division. Yeah there’s
an idea to it, but the idea is stupid. The joke isn’t funny though
and Meng was just kind of there most of the “match” as everyone
else was “fighting.”
Piper tells his kid to
wait in the limo and gets a ball bat.
Video
of the Artist Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea’s recording session
where he doesn’t actually sing. Somehow this sounds like one of the
more logical things on the show.
Hart is walking and
runs into Piper. Bret tries to talk but Piper is back to babbling to
himself.
Maestro vs. Evan
Karagias
It’s
a flashback to the NWO days as the announcers ignore what’s going on
in the ring to talk about the backstage stuff. Maestro runs him over
to start but Evan hits a springboard spinning cross body. Evan rains
down right hands in the corner until he gets dropped throat first
across the top rope. We get a bit of a tease as Maestro loads up a
chinlock but slaps Evan in the face with both hands instead.
The
announcers talk about Montreal with Tony saying it’s unbelievable
that Russo wants to make up with Hart. Evan fights up and counters a
hurricanrana into a powerbomb. Symphony gets shoved onto the apron
but Evan has a quick change of heart to check on her. The
distraction lets Maestro hit a knee to the back for the pin.
Symphony is of course fine. Tony: “She sold that knee.”
Rating:
D.
Total mentions of Evan losing the title last night: zero. Then again
it’s fairly clear that there’s no future to the title so losing the
belt might have been the best thing possible for Evan. Maestro and
Symphony are a nothing pairing but at least they’re not victims of a
stalker anymore.
Piper
literally destroys the Powers That Be’s office. Piper: “How about
Adrian Adonis and Gorilla Monsoon?” And yes, he breaks the fourth
wall.
Chavo Guerrero tries to
sell Evan a book on how to pick up chicks. Thankfully, this ends in
a beating.
Chris Kanyon vs. Bam
Bam Bigelow vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Kanyon
says this isn’t Hollywood and talks about destroying the Triad.
Bigelow and Page come out and double team him with Page hitting a
Rock Bottom and Bigelow adding a headbutt. A clothesline and another
headbutt have Kanyon reeling but Page and Bigelow argue about which
finisher should end Kanyon. Page offers a handshake but pulls
Bigelow into a Diamond Cutter. It’s angle time though as Page drops
to the floor, kisses a fan, and leaves. J. Biggs throws Kanyon a
briefcase but the referee cuts him off, allowing Kanyon to hit
Bigelow with a champagne bottle for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Well that happened. They spent the entire summer building up the
Triad and then the blowoff (I guess?) match takes four minutes with
no announcement on a Nitro? Sounds appropriate to me. At least
Kanyon has a new character and he’s getting as close as he can to
thriving in it.
Bigelow is busted way
open and Kanyon is bleeding from the hand. Were they stupid enough
to use a real bottle???
Creative Control vs.
Kevin Nash
There’s
no referee so I don’t think this is a match. Actually that makes
sense given how things worked earlier. Hall accompanies Nash on
crutches. Since this isn’t a match (no bell), the twins tag. Nash
slugs away at Patrick in the corner and kicks Gerald in the face as
the tagging part is already done.
The
numbers catch up with Nash and Gerald takes him down for a cover but
there’s no referee. Heenan praises Nash for having the guts to say
what he said earlier in the night. They start going after Kevin’s
knee and the tagging starts up again. Hall gets bored and comes
inside for some crutch shots to the twins. Creative Control walks
out to end whatever this was.
Luger
and Liz are amused at Sting having a broken jaw. Why they’re in the
rafters and why Luger is dressed as Sting isn’t clear but I don’t
think I want to know.
US Title: Chris
Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett
Another
ladder match with Benoit defending because there’s no reason not to
do it again twenty four hours later. At least it was good last night
so maybe it works again here. They slug it out to start and Benoit
takes over with a pair of dropkicks. Benoit ties him in the Tree of
Woe for a running dropkick but Jeff crotches him against the post to
take over. Back up and Benoit is the first to the ladder but he has
to side step the baseball slide.
Benoit throws him into
the chair in the corner before nailing the back and knee with the
same chair. Jeff stays on the floor and holds his leg as Benoit
breaks the ladder by stepping on the rungs. Tony: “Someone has
gimmicked this ladder!” Tenay: “You know who it is!” Heenan:
“Kidman?” The other side’s rungs break as well and it’s a guitar
shot to Benoit as Jeff’s leg is fine. He grabs a fresh ladder and
wins the title because SCREW YOU BENOIT FANS! YOU’RE GETTING JARRETT
WHETHER YOU CARE OR NOT!
Rating:
D+.
They said the word gimmick for the ladder about ten times in two
minutes near the end as the levels of obnoxiousness get higher and
higher every single week. Benoit winning the title last night and
being in the main event of a pay per view last month already seem to
be nothing but memories.
After
a bunch of replays, Curt Hennig tells Jarrett that the Powers That Be
need to see him.
Sid Vicious vs. The
Wall
Sid
kicks him in the face to start and takes it outside for some right
hands to Wall’s face. Back in and Wall hits him right back, only to
eat a chokeslam. Cue Berlyn for a distraction, allowing Wall to load
up a chokeslam of his own. Not that it matters as Berlyn missile
dropkicks Wall for the DQ.
Sid
powerbombs Berlyn and shakes Wall’s hand to complete the face turn.
Russo
tells Jarrett that it’s going to happen tonight.
Disco offers to pay the
mafia but Tony Marinara’s dad tells him he can join the Family or
spend the rest of his life in a coma.
Harlem Heat vs.
Varsity Club
Rotundo/Steiner
here with Sullivan on commentary, where he spends the whole match
referring to Rick as Robbie (Rick’s real name) because SHOOTING IS
COOL AND HIP AND MAKES US SMARTER THAN YOU SO HA! Stevie quickly
runs Rotundo over to start before it’s off to the partners. Booker
kicks him in the face a few times but it’s too much to ask Steiner to
sell so it’s a big clothesline to put Booker on the floor. Things
get a bit confusing as the Varsity Club decides they’re the Freebirds
(they’re from the right time period) and start changing places with
Rotundo going to commentary.
That
lasts all of eight seconds before Mike runs back in and misses a
charge, allowing Booker to plant him with a Rock Bottom. Stevie
comes in off the hot tag and cleans house but there go the lights
because it’s Midnight. Ever the genius, Stevie yells at her,
allowing Mike to roll him up for the pin.
Rating:
D.
More mindless brawling here with Booker doing everything he could to
make it a match. I still have no idea why the Varsity Club is back
as Rick was the only one doing anything, even though he’s one of the
least likeable people on the roster. I’ll give them this though: at
least this felt like a match, even with the screwy ending.
PG-13 runs in and
attacks the Varsity Club. They can’t be serious.
The
yet to be named Daffney is getting a Surge when the Misfits come up
to hit on her. For reasons of crazy, she knees Jerry Only low and
runs off.
Here’s
David Flair for a chat but he beats up David Penzer first. Flair
calls out Vampiro, who says he has no problem with David. Vampiro
yells at Daffney but eats a crowbar shot. Jerry Only comes out and
takes a beating as well, leaving David and Daffney to kiss.
Buff
Bagwell comes out with something to say. He’s had a good career in
WCW but now he wants some gold around his waist. Gene goes way out
in right field and asks about rumors regarding Bagwell and Kimberly
Page. Buff pushes the mic away and whispers to Gene, but Okerlund
says that sounds like an admission of guilt. Bagwell admits that
Kimberly is a knockout and if Page wasn’t a factor, he would, and I
quote, “put his stuff all over Kim.” He mentions his bed and
Page comes out to jump Bagwell.
Piper
says goodbye to the locker room and calls Sid a kid. He rambles on
about how hard wrestling has been on him and wants the boys to fight
back against the Powers That Be.
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Goldberg
The
title is officially vacant coming in and Jeff Jarrett is watching on
a monitor in the back. Goldberg hammers him in the face to start and
chokes with a boot in the corner. They head outside with Goldberg
hammering away even more as Bret has been on defense almost all
match. Back in and a powerslam drops Hart but he grabs the ropes to
break up a leg lock.
Bret
starts going after the leg with kicks to the knee before wrapping it
around the ropes. The referee goes down because of course he does
and Bret slaps on the Figure Four. Cue the Outsiders with ball bats
to beat up Goldberg. Bret lets go of the hold and beats on Goldberg
as well so Piper comes back to try and protect Goldberg as the
referee calls for the bell. There was a cover in there somewhere and
Bret has won the title.
Jeff
Jarrett comes out with spraypaint and……THE BAND IS BACK TOGETHER!
Bret tries to say something but his mic doesn’t work. Everyone
celebrates with their new titles to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
W.
That’s W for waste. I’ve watched a lot of wrestling shows in my day
(upwards of 4,000 last I checked). In the course of my time as a
fan, I don’t remember a show that felt like a waste of my time. That
has changed after this show. I can live with a show where nothing
happens. I can live with a show full of bad matches. I can live
with a show where the company loses its way for a night.
That’s not what
happened on this show. This show was about eliminating every single
concept and idea of logic and common sense from what used to be World
Championship Wrestling. I’m not going to go into the long, long list
of things this show did that made no sense, as A, I don’t have that
much memory on this computer and B, I don’t think my blood pressure
can take it.
Let’s sum up the major
flaw in logic on this show. The idea is that Russo and company are
in charge of booking the show and have turned it into a shoot.
Ignoring how absolutely stupid that is to point out (from a kayfabe
perspective, wrestling is always supposed to be a shoot), let’s go
with Russo’s theory (I’ll ask for forgiveness later). Let’s say that
Russo has complete authority and is writing himself into this
position.
If
that’s the case, why have any of his guys ever lost a match and why
did we need some big conspiracy? Why didn’t Russo just book his boys
on top the second he debuted? Why are we having some big conspiracy
with Jarrett having to win the title back? Why am I supposed to
believe anything that happens if Russo is just in charge of the whole
thing? Did he book Nash to fight back against his authority or is
Nash going into business for himself?
I
get that it’s what Russo is going for, but it leaves so many
ridiculous holes in the story and makes the whole thing so completely
illogical that you can’t buy into anything going on in this company.
Ninety percent of the show is scripted but THIS RIGHT HERE is real?
Why should I believe that? At the end of the day, this is wrestling.
I shouldn’t need a scorecard and a flow chart to keep track of
what’s going on, nor should I have to hear all these insider terms.
This is the definition of too much going on and making things way too
complicated.
This stopped being
wrestling and became Russo having fun and deciding to make this show
his big personal playground. He’s removed logic and common sense
from this show in order to turn it into some insider fest. I know I
say this a lot, but I literally do not think it can get worse than
this. They’ve taken away any the basic core principles of wrestling
and made this a B movie. There is however one bright spot to this
whole mess: Jim Cornette suddenly makes so much more sense to me.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Monday Nitro – December 13, 1999

Monday Nitro #218
Date: December 13, 1999
Location:
New Orleans, Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
Attendance: 6,835
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
How is this already the
go home show for Starrcade? Goldberg vs. Hart feels like a midcard
match instead of the main event. Based on the amount of time given
to each match, it would seem that the Mamalukes vs. Disco/Lash is
headlining the card. I’m not even sure what all is on the card at
this point. Let’s get to it.

We open with Benoit
winning a fight against Jarrett in the back.
Opening sequence.
The Artist Formerly
Known As Prince Iaukea vs. Maestro
Between
the piano being lowered to the stage (with Symphony back) and
Iaukea’s slow artsy entrance, we’re ready to go at nearly ten minutes
into the show. Maestro throws him to the floor to start before
planting him with a spinebuster back inside. The girls get into it
and Prince grabs a rollup with a handful of tights for the pin.
Post match, here’s
Jarrett with the guitars to knock out both guys. Jeff wants a
Bunkhouse Brawl (another name for hardcore of course) with Benoit
tonight.
Nash is looking for
Hall.
Evan Karagias hits on
Spice but Madusa comes up to get in a catfight.
Here’s
Bret Hart with something to say. He talks about how much he respects
Goldberg, but guarantees a win this Sunday. Cue Goldberg, complete
with the full security entrance. How did they know to knock on the
door at that point? Goldberg wasn’t scheduled for a match, so did
Dillinger just think “he might want to respond here?” He thinks
Bret is going to be next on Sunday. I’m so glad it took two minutes
to get to that point. This brings out the Outsiders who want their
Tag Team Titles back. Hall wants to fight now but Nash has to go
finish his coffee.
Gene looks down at
Madusa’s chest as she promises to hurt Spice tonight. This is
another of those jokes that are only funny to Russo and Ferrara so
we’re getting it on national TV.
Terry Taylor tells
Luger that he has a tag match against Diamond Dallas Page/Sting with
David Flair as his partner. This was announced earlier in the night,
which explains why Luger is so surprised. I wouldn’t watch the show
either.
David
Flair chases off a delivery man for reasons of general insanity.
Madusa vs. Spice
Madusa
quickly takes her down to start and hammers away but Evan comes in to
say calm down. Spice is helpless as Madusa wants Evan to slug her,
but Evan won’t do it. Madusa gets in a cheap shot and covers Madusa
(with two limbs in the ropes) for the pin. Your #1 contender
everyone.
Post match Madusa
kisses Evan and suplexes him.
Hennig is ready for
Bagwell tonight. Those two are fighting again? Rhonda Singh comes
in and Russo makes fat jokes. He won’t talk to her unless she has an
agent.
Revolution recap.
Jim
Duggan comes out to say he has three mystery partners on Sunday. He
survived surgery to fight for this country and spend time with his
wife and children. The lights go out and come back on to reveal
Duggan out cold.
Roddy Piper is going to
referee Bagwell vs. Hennig. Russo tells him to do the right thing.
Curt Hennig vs. Buff
Bagwell
Roddy
Piper is guest referee and makes it a No DQ match just because. Buff
throws Hennig down a few times and poses before planting Curt with a
slam. This leads to Hennig arguing with Piper for some reason,
allowing Buff to grab a rollup for two. Buzzkill is in the crowd and
wants to save baby seals. Again I ask, why is this supposed to be
funny?
Curt comes back with
right hands and chops, followed by the namesake neck snap. Piper
counts slowly to start another argument. He begs Curt to slap him
but the distraction lets Buff fight back with a swinging neckbreaker.
Buff’s splash hits knees, but Piper and Hennig get in a fight,
allowing Buff to grab a rollup for the pin with a very fast count.
Rating:
D.
What is this storyline? Russo and Piper hate each other because
Piper has to be on TV (because he was big in the 80s you see) and now
Piper is on TV as a referee but he’s being told to do the right
thing, which sounds like Russo speak for let his guys win, but I
think Piper is rebelling against him? Oh and Piper seems to be
schizophrenic because he keeps talking to the voices in his head.
An
unhappy Creative Control is on stage.
Luger
goes in to see David Flair and is scared by what he sees in the
locker room.
Chris Benoit vs.
Jeff Jarrett
Bunkhouse
match, meaning a come as you are street fight. Jeff brings a
cowbell, a guitar and a bar stool so Benoit comes out with a ladder.
The brawl starts in the aisle with Jeff getting the better of it and
getting the cowbell because cowboys are awesome. They’re like boys,
but with cows. Benoit comes back by choking with the bullrope and
taking Jeff inside for two off a backbreaker. It’s ladder time but
Jeff baseball slides it into Benoit’s face.
A
whip into the ladder has Benoit in even more trouble but he throws
Jeff into it as well to make things even. Benoit pulls him off the
ladder but Jeff pulls him down with the rope. Cue Dustin Rhodes but
Charles Robinson breaks up Shattered Dreams. There’s a guitar to
Dustin, at the exact same time he kicks Jeff low. Benoit goes up top
but Dustin is shoved into the ladder to send Benoit down in a crash
to give Jarrett the pin.
Rating:
D+.
There were some decent spots here but the ending was, of course, a
mess. I don’t know why Dustin Rhodes is here as the man in black,
especially when he’s fighting because they’ve moved on from the idea
of Dustin fighting because the Powers That Be fired Dusty. Instead
it’s just Dustin Rhodes being Dustin Rhodes which isn’t interesting.
Luger doesn’t have much
to say about the tag match but David Flair has a headless teddy bear.
A
sports car arrives.
Piper goes into Russo’s
office with a ball bat but Hennig nails him with a chair. So Curt is
La Parka?
Meng vs. Tank Abbott
Oh
sweet merciful goodness. This is a hardcore match because would you
want to see them try to wrestle? They slug it out to start as this
is designed to look like a shoot. Abbott takes him to the mat and
they fight to the floor for a quick double countout. This is the guy
Russo wanted to put the World Title on a month later?
Kanyon
was in the car and seems to now be a pimp.
Police stop Piper from
going after the Powers That Be.
Meng and Abbott are
still fighting in the back.
Revolution vs.
Harlem Heat/Midnight
Before
the match we get the usual “we hate America” jazz. Dean: “We’ve
got heat tonight.” Saturn: “Yeah listen to these people.”
Dean: “No. Harlem Heat.” I’m not sure how to feel about that
exchange. The lights go out for Midnight and come back with Saturn
going after Malenko, presumably out of confusion. Booker takes Dean
down to start and it’s already Spinarooni time. Off to Stevie for a
slam but Booker tags himself back in.
That’s
not cool with Stevie as he wanted Midnight to get the tag for reasons
not entirely clear. The Revolution quickly takes over with Saturn
stomping away in the corner and tagging in Dean, who walks right into
the Bookend. Stevie gets the tag but Booker tags himself back in
after just a few seconds. Saturn hits Asya by mistake as Stevie tags
himself back in to fight Dean and Saturn at the same time.
Everything breaks down and Midnight injures her knee on a leapfrog.
Booker checks on the knee, leaving Stevie to get rolled up for the
pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was an angle instead of a match but I’m glad we’re starting the
latest Harlem Heat split. There’s nothing left for the two of them
to do together and it means we might get to the long overdue Booker
push. The match was nothing special but at least we got more man vs.
woman.
Stevie
yells at his brother.
Luger says Liz won’t be
there with David tonight because Liz works for him alone. So we have
female property.
Rhonda
Singh asks Kanyon’s agent (J. Biggs, Clarence Mason from the WWF) to
represent her. It turns out she can sing and dance. The agent isn’t
interested, but Chavo comes up to sell Singh dancing gear. I don’t
see this ending well.
Paul Orndorff is here
and summoned to see the Powers That Be.
The Nitro Girls dance
when Rhonda joins them in glittery attire. She’s horrible of course
and shrugs off an attack by the Girls. So in the span of ten
minutes, we have man vs. woman, Liz as Luger’s property and now this.
How long until Russo gets fired?
Finlay is still
training Knobbs on how to be hardcore.
Norman Smiley and Jerry
Flynn fight in the boiler room. That goes nowhere until Meng and
Abbott wander in. Norman and Meng get out while Abbott and Flynn
fight.
Orndorff is in the
office, where Russo fires him for training Midnight. Paul yells, so
he’s put in a match with Creative Control.
Sid
has a kid named Seth who he calls his coach. Seth says Sid is his
favorite wrestler in the world. I think the kid has Downs Syndrome.
If he does, I have no issue with this segment whatsoever.
Steve
Williams vs. Sid Vicious
Oh
man. Imagine this one in 1989 with JR on commentary. Instead it’s
1999 with Oklahoma. Before the match, Oklahoma says the Powers That
Be have made this a suplex vs. powerbomb match, which I assume means
the first person to hit that finisher wins. Dr. Death jumps Sid as
he’s sitting the kid down at ringside because he’s really evil. Back
in and Williams hammers away as Oklahoma lists off the resume. Sid
blocks some suplexes and hammers away but Oklahoma slips his boot to
Williams. He knocks Sid out but Vampiro appears to chase Oklahoma,
allowing Sid to powerbomb Williams for the win.
Post
match the Outsiders run in and lay out Sid to make sure the kid
doesn’t get to smile any longer than he should. Sure the kid has a
horrible disease, but is that any reason for the Outsiders to not
look good?
Post
break, Sid is looked at by a doctor and the Outsiders think it’s
funny.
David Flair/Total
Package vs. Diamond Dallas Page/Sting
Did
Page turn face again and I missed it? I know he’s been going after
David but heel vs. heel is hardly unheard of under Russo. David has
the headless bear with him but takes a Stinger Splash in the first 45
seconds. Sting tags Page in with a right hand to start a fight
between the two of them. Now it’s Page taking a splash but Luger
sneaks in with a running clothesline to Sting, followed by some
crowbar shots. Liz sneaks in to take the crowbar away before laying
over Sting to stop some chair shots. David hits Luger with the
crowbar so Liz puts Sting over Luger for the pin (from the referee
who saw ALL OF THIS). What a mess.
Singh
comes up to Champagne Kanyon and the agent in the back and asks if
they liked her dance. This goes nowhere so Bam Bam Bigelow comes up
and gets in Kanyon’s face. The agent offers a distraction so Kanyon
can beat him down. Kanyon: “Triad that!”
After a break, Bigelow
comes to the ring and demands Kanyon come out here for a match.
Kanyon vs. Bam Bam
Bigelow
Before
the match, Biggs wants to talk about legal ramifications and gets
shoved to the side so Bigelow can punch Kanyon in the face. Some
biting and stomps to the head have Kanyon in even more trouble but he
comes back with a swinging neckbreaker. A suplex sets up a World’s
Strongest Slam to Kanyon and there’s the top rope headbutt a bit low.
Kanyon is up and fine ten seconds later with the Flatliner (now
called That’s A Wrap) connecting for a clean pin.
Rating:
D.
Did…..did that match just end clean? Did I just see a match
without any interference or cheating? You always hear about these
things but you never expect to actually see them happen. It was
boring stuff though and the ending came out of nowhere with Kanyon
just popping up and hitting his finisher for the pin.
Norman
hides from Meng.
The Mamalukes have a
body bag for Lash.
Piper babbles about his
chair match later.
Lash Leroux vs. Big
Vito
This
is a body bag match, which I’m assuming is like a casket match. Lash
sucks up to his hometown to start. Vito pounds away to start and
nails a superkick for two. Back up and Lash nails a backdrop
followed by an elbow to the jaw to send Vito into the corner. A side
slam and legdrop get two more, followed by a Disco Inferno style
middle rope elbow drop. Disco and Johnny fight on the floor as Lash
nails the Whiplash. He puts Vito mostly in the bag which is enough
for the win, even though you can see Vito’s head and shoulders.
Rating:
D+.
Was there any point to this being a body bag match? I certainly
don’t think so, but I’m just a wrestling fan and therefore don’t
understand such nuances. Nothing match here as the tag match is
still set up, even though it’s not likely going to be anything
special to see. At least this story has gotten some consistent TV
time though and I can see what they’re going for.
Post
match the Mamalukes destroy Lash and put him in the bag, eventually
taking him out to their car.
Paul
Orndorff vs. Creative Control
So
yeah, Orndorff is back and in a match. I’ll set the over/under on
run-ins here at 5.5. Paul kicks Patrick in the knee to start and
puts him down with a knee lift. Gerald gets suplexed for trying to
come in and an elbow drop gets two. Orndorff chokes him with a rope
but Patrick makes the save to start the obvious beatdown. Cue
Anderson (you remember him Paul. He’s the guy that broke your neck
and ended your career) and Zbyszko to help beat up the twins,
allowing Orndorff to piledrive Patrick for the pin.
Rating:
D-.
I’ve never been the biggest Paul Orndorff fan (I don’t dislike him
but I never got the massive appeal) but you just had him hold his own
and beat last week’s Tag Team Champions. Yeah he had help, but the
Harris Brothers should have a lot less trouble beating up two guys
who retired due to neck issues and a commentator who has wrestled
like four times in three years.
Slick Johnson reverses
the decision and names Creative Control the winners by DQ. Good for
them I suppose.
The Mamalukes open the
body bag and find….Norman Smiley. Their reactions are actually
funny.
Curt Hennig vs.
Roddy Piper
Chairs
match and another pairing that would have rocked in 1989. Piper
apparently has a torn bicep so Hennig goes right after the arm.
Roddy comes back with some chair shots and Hennig leaves after about
70 seconds. I see zero point to this match existing.
Bret
Hart has been attacked and Goldberg checks on him.
Tag Team Titles:
Bret Hart/Goldberg vs. Outsiders
Hall
and Nash are challenging. Goldberg comes out to fight alone and does
just fine to start with the superkick dropping Nash and a right hand
sending Hall to the floor with him. Back in and Hall officially
starts for the team with a wristlock but gets put down with the AA’s
second cousin. A pumphandle slam sends Hall running to the corner
and it’s off to Nash. Kevin tries his luck by running the ropes but
walks into a powerslam for two.
The
numbers game starts catching up with Goldberg though and Hall’s cheap
shot lets Nash take over. The running crotch attack to the back gets
two on Goldberg and Hall plants him with a chokeslam. Hart limps
down and slugs away for the save. Nash gets caught in the
Sharpshooter but Hall makes the save. Everything breaks down with
Hall getting kicked down, right before Nash brings in the title belt.
Bret punches him down but his knee goes out, despite Nash not
touching him, allowing Nash to get the pin and the titles, just
before Goldberg Jackhammers Hall.
Rating:
D.
Angle instead of a match here, but thank goodness they managed to get
the World Champion pinned six days before Starrcade and give Hall a
second (or third if you consider the TV Title still around) title.
This is the problem with having the World Title match participants as
champions, but giving it to them for four days made it even dumber.
Trash fills the ring to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
F+.
Well let’s see: #1 contender for the Cruiserweight Title loses to a
non-wrestler, Sid gets beaten down again, the World Champion gets
pinned, Jeff Jarrett still isn’t interesting and Hennig and Piper set
up and blew off an angle in one night with a match barely breaking a
minute. Somehow, this is their go home show (Thunder hasn’t meant
anything in ages) for the biggest show of the year. Russo booking
Starrcade scares the heck out of me and this didn’t do anything to
make it better.
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

Nitro 96 Questions

Hey Scott: Just finished up Nitro 1996 on the Network and would love your insight on a few questions I had.

– What was the plan behind Giant's heel turn? Why have him turn the turn again a few months later? 


They wanted Bulldog as the fourth guy in the nWo but he signed a new deal with the WWF and so Bischoff panicked and turned the Giant instead.  As for why he turned back, because WCW.  

– Why did Sting attack Jarrett and Steiner? Was he trying to say Jarrett couldnt be trusted?


They were making it all up as they went along.  

– What was the deal with all the Sullivan promos on Benoit? I know all the Nancy/Benoit stuff but did they ever pay this off? 


They had a million falls count anywhere matches all through 1997 until no one gave a shit about either guy any more, so that was KIND of a payoff, I guess.  

– What happened with Glacier? I thought he was pretty unique and was getting over for a few weeks but then he disappeared. Do you think he could have been big?


I think the original idea of using Bryan Clarke or someone else with some name value in the featured role would have fit better than Ray Lloyd did.  By the time we proceeded through Glacier, Mortis and then Ernest Miller, the concept was pretty much doomed to fail.  Glacier looked like the gym teacher he was, not a top level martial artist ninja or whatever the hell.  

– Did they have any long term plans for guys like Eddie, Benoit or Jericho or was it just go out there and have a good match?

If you weren't joining the nWo, opposing the nWo, or or forming your own faction of the nWo, there were no long term plans for you.  


Thank you sir!

Monday Nitro – December 6, 1999

Monday Nitro #217
Date: December 6, 1999
Location:
Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 7,250
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The
big question this week is can WCW somehow manage to make the shows
even less coherent than they already have. Last week’s show had its
moments, but for the most part it was all over the place to the point
where I can barely remember what happened just a week later.
Starrcade is thirteen days away and we’ve barely touched on the card.
We actually have a title match announced from Thunder as Bret will
defend against Luger. Let’s get to it.

We
open with Gene bringing out Jeff Jarrett for an interview. Jeff
doesn’t need Slapnuts Okerlund and will do the interview himself.
Jarrett also doesn’t need the Powers That Be or the Outsiders but he
does need the WCW World Title. The fans start swearing at him and
the attempted beeping out is laughably awful. He wants to get rid of
Dustin Rhodes for screwing up his destiny and he’ll do it in a
Bunkhouse Stampede match at Starrcade.
This brings him to Mike
Tenay, who won’t come near him anymore. Jeff threatens Gene with a
guitar shot but Tenay comes out and says he’ll take matters into his
own hands. Jeff doesn’t care and puts Tenay in the Figure Four until
Goldberg runs in for the save. Hopefully that ends the Tenay angle
but I doubt it does.
The Mamalukes and Tony
Marinara arrive with Tony yelling at them for letting Disco and Lash
get the better of them. Tonight, they meet the boss.
Curt
Hennig brings Curly Bill in to see Russo with a new gimmick in mind:
Shane. Russo says it’s as bad as Vincent but at least he’s thinking.
Shane is hired. Hey, I’m not sure if you knew this, but there are
people named Vince and Shane in the WWF. It’s not clear why
mentioning them is supposed to be amusing or entertaining, but those
people do in fact exist. Rhonda Singh comes in and asks for an
opportunity.
Fit Finlay has Brian
Knobbs in the woods, training him to be a REAL hardcore wrestler.
This has potential, but Norman would be far more entertaining.
Hardcore Title:
Norman Smiley vs. Rhonda Singh
What
is the deal with Russo having men fight women? It happens almost
every week. Before the match, Smiley says he would take Finlay apart
if he was here tonight. The fat jokes begin as Singh throws weapons
into the ring and nails Norman with a trashcan. She tells him to be
a man and hits another trashcan shot, followed by a splash in the
corner. Norman comes back with a fire extinguisher blast and sends
Singh face first through a table in the corner to retain.
Rating:
F.
I feel sorry for women who sign up with WCW, thinking they might be
able to do something serious on the show. Instead, they’re there so
Russo can either have them treated as sex objects or there to be fat
and stupid. As usual, this show is Russo’s playground and the idea
of it being anything resembling a wrestling show is purely
coincidental.
Maestro
is complaining that his piano is out of tune. He looks inside so
David Flair can come up, slam the lid on his head, and kidnap
Symphony. This is the stupid stuff that is dragging this show down.
We’ve spent about a month explaining that David Flair is a psycho who
keeps kidnapping/stalking women, and NO ONE HAS DONE ANYTHING ABOUT
IT. On top of that, this doesn’t seem to be leading to a match or
any kind of storyline resolution, but it keeps happening week after
week like a bad TV show. If it sets up a match then fine, but stop
wasting my time otherwise.
Psychosis
and La Parka are in Russo’s office. Apparently Juvy has hurt his arm
and can’t defend the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title in his rematch
against Liger tonight. One of the two of them will take Juvy’s
place, and it’s going to be whoever gets out of the office first.
Psychosis nails Parka and leaves first. This is what Vince Russo
thinks of cruiserweights.
Luger comes up to Liz’s
door with champagne and says this is the night that defines their
careers.
Disco and Lash invade
Marinara’s dressing room with promises of pizza.
IWGP Junior
Heavyweight Title: Psychosis vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
This
is the second time in a year that Psychosis is defending a title he
didn’t win. Feeling out process to start with Liger taking over with
a headscissors. A backdrop sends Psychosis to the floor but let’s
stop to look at Buzzkill in the crowd. Liger nails a plancha but
Psychosis snaps his throat across the top for a breather.
Psychosis
hits a missile dropkick for two and yells at Charles Robinson for the
near fall. Back to the floor with Liger being whipped into the
barricade, setting up a top rope hurricanrana to give Psychosis two
back inside. A quick Liger Kick stuns Psychosis and Liger throws him
into the ropes for a crash. Out of nowhere, a majistral cradle gives
Liger the title back.
Rating:
C.
The fans didn’t care, but a lot of that is likely due to most of them
not being familiar with Liger or the title. Both Liger and the title
have been thrown out there two weeks in a row with no real
explanation of who they are or why they’re here. I’m sure some fans
remember Liger from his occasional appearances, but the majority seem
to think of him as just another guy fighting for a title that isn’t
the Cruiserweight belt.
La Parka chairs
Psychosis post match to make sure Liger gets zero focus.
The Nitro Girls play
cards when the Mamalukes come in and make it a strip poker game.
Liz will have nothing
to do with Luger’s apologies.
Maestro looks for
Symphony.
Gene keeps staring at
Mona’s chest, prompting Mona to say she’s more than T&A, unlike
Madusa.
Evan Karagias vs.
Mona vs. Madusa
If
either girl wins, they get a title shot at Evan at Starrcade. If
Evan wins, he gets Starrcade off. The girls shove Evan away and go
at it themselves with Madusa kicking her in the face for two. Evan
sits in on commentary because EVERY MATCH NEEDS COMMENTARY. Mona
comes back with a cross body and missile dropkick but Evan throws her
down, only to get small packaged by Madusa for the pin in like 80
seconds.
Jeff Jarrett comes out
and guitars Madusa because men beating up women is funny right? He
challenges Goldberg for later.
Lash and Disco have
tied Tony up and promise him a surprise.
Liz pours champagne on
Luger’s head.
Maestro is still
looking for Symphony and doesn’t notice when he walks past David.
Vampiro and Jerry Only
are going to take out Dr. Death tonight.
Oklahoma/Steve
Williams vs. Vampiro/Jerry Only
Oklahoma
has a wireless mic on, no shirt, and is going to call the match as he
starts with Vampiro. To the shock of no one, Oklahoma runs away from
the threat of violence and tags in Dr. Death for some three point
tackles. We hit the spinning toehold before it’s back to Oklahoma,
who can’t do the same hold. Vampiro comes back with a kick to the
head, which makes me smile far more than it should.
Off to Williams vs.
Only with Jerry getting caught in the running press slam. Oklahoma
gets in a chair shot to Jerry as Williams hits the Stampede but pulls
Vampiro up. That goes well for Vampiro as he superkicks Williams
down, only to have Oklahoma nail him with a boot. Williams
clotheslines Vampiro down and it’s off to Oklahoma for a bottom rope
elbow and the pin.
Rating:
F.
The unfunny parody beats the wrestler the fans want to see in a match
where the musician doesn’t have to look bad. It’s another case of
WCW having no idea how their priorities should work and the show
being about making the writers laugh instead of delivering what the
fans might want to see.
The
Nitro Girls cheat to beat the Mamalukes in the poker game.
Disco
and Lash get ready to tar and feather Marinara. In the middle, Disco
draws what looks to be a Hitler mustache on Tony.
The
Outsiders are ready for their matches tonight.
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Total Package
This
is the opener of the second hour because the REAL main events are
still to come. The champ jumps Luger during the removal of the pants
and takes the fight outside. Hart goes after the back and then the
knee as we continue this brief resurrection of the old Bret Hart
style. Luger goes after the eyes for an escape and here are Sting
and Liz. Sting yells at Liz and asks who she’s going to represent.
The distraction lets Bret hit a quick Russian legsweep followed by
the Sharpshooter to retain.
Rating:
D.
I love seeing Bret work the body parts like he did in the old days,
but can we get a World Title match to close the show instead of
giving it less time than the Oklahoma match? I’m sure I just don’t
get the appeal of the comedy stylings of Oklahoma and that I’m over
thinking the importance of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship,
which has been reduced to a plot point in the Sting vs. Luger feud.
Here’s the
Hennig/Shane/Singh segment from earlier. Not a repeat mind you, but
the same segment which is presented like first run footage.
Russo
offers La Parka the position of Chairman, meaning he’s supposed to
chair anyone that stands in front of Russo. Harlem Heat comes in and
are given a title shot at Starrcade, but La Parka nails Booker with a
chair and Creative Control comes in for the beatdown.
Roddy
Piper is here. Tonight he’s refereeing Creative Control vs. Roddy
Piper. That’s not a typo.
David
Flair talks to the voices in his head as Symphony wonders why she
took this job.
Jerry Flynn issues an
open challenge for the Block.
Asya vs. Midnight
These
two might be the exception to Russo’s horrible treatment of women.
The Revolution is now in full black attire with Shane ranting about
how people tell him he can’t desecrate the flag. The fans’ chants
have to be censored again and it’s another failure. Shane displays
the Revolution flag and Saturn says they’re like the Black Panthers.
The far bigger Midnight attacks to start and gets two off a dropkick.
Asya gets two off a suplex but gets caught in Ricky Steamboat’s
double chicken wing. A delayed vertical suplex gets two for Midnight
but the Revolution comes in for the quick no contest.
Jim
Duggan comes out for the save but gets beaten down and covered with
the Revolution flag.
Larry
Zbyszko talks to Mike Graham about an upcoming meeting with Russo and
company.
We
get the return of the Nitro Party tapes, but this one includes a
“fan” (soon to be known as Daffney), saying that David Flair is
really cool.
Creative Control vs.
Roddy Piper
Piper
is guest referee. Before the match, they have to do everything he
says. Why don’t they have to do everything he says during the match
as well? Or am I looking too deeply into this. Piper pats them both
down and grabs one’s crotch (Piper: “I’m having a ball!”). This
is an I Quit match, so the first rule is you win by making someone
say they quit. The second rule is a kick between one of the twins’
legs, followed by the bell ringing.
Piper’s hand lock has
no effect so the twins hit a pair of double gutbusters. Piper won’t
give up so they load up a spike piledriver, drawing out Goldberg for
the save. He botches the Jackhammer as Piper chokes the other one
with a tie to win. So Bryan stole it from Piper? Also, nice job of
having the Tag Team Champions lose.
Tony Marinara is tarred
and feathered. He offers threats of his father.
The Mamalukes offer a
winner take all hand in the poker game.
Maestro finds
Symphony’s shoe.
Dustin Rhodes vs.
Meng
Meng
vs. Smiley for the Hardcore Title is announced for Starrcade. I’ll
skip Meng no selling the offense and get to the meat of the “match”:
Jarrett runs in, Meng is sent to the floor, Outsiders run in, Meng no
sells a guitar shot, Nash kicks Meng to the floor and powerbombs
Rhodes. This has been another non-match.
Larry
is in Russo’s office. Russo: “Why does Thunder suck now?” Well
at least someone finally said it. Larry blames it on the lack of
A-list stars on the show, so Russo says they’ll be there from now on.
He’s firing the announcer though. This makes Larry insult Hennig
because the script says he should, setting up a loser leaves town
match for later with Zbyszko vs. Hennig. If Larry wins, Russo is
gone but if Curt wins, Larry is gone.
Prince
Iaukea is now dressed as the Artist Formerly Known As Prince.
Curt Hennig vs.
Larry Zbyzsko
Larry
comes out to the Nitro theme but Hennig has Shane with him. This is
quite the showdown. Larry starts (on time!) with his basic wrestling
stuff and gets two off a swinging neckbreaker. The referee goes down
and Hennig starts a comeback (a minute and a half into the match)
with knee lifts and an abdominal stretch. Larry counters the
PerfectPlex into his guillotine choke but Shane makes the save. Cue
Arn Anderson to lay out both bad guys (I guess that’s the closest
thing we’ll get to an Enforcers reunion), giving Larry the surprise
pin.
Rating:
O.
For oh of course it’s not going to stand. The match was nothing to
see of course but that’s what you have to expect these days. The
only other note here: people often forget Larry’s age. He turned 46
the day before this match and was still in good shape so it wasn’t
the biggest stretch. It’s weird to think of him in his mid 40s when
he was the old veteran during the NWO’s heyday.
Creative Control comes
out and shows Robinson the replay so the finish is reversed, meaning
Larry is gone.
Disco and Lash put an
apple in Marinara’s mouth. The Mamalukes see this, throw on their
clothes, and go after them.
Chris Benoit vs.
Kevin Nash
Hall,
carrying a ladder, comes out with Nash and sits in on commentary.
Nash takes Benoit into the corner to start and elbows him in the
head. As Nash walks around, Hall sits on top of the ladder for a
better view. Benoit stomps him down in the corner and cannonballs
onto Nash’s leg. They head to the floor with Nash no selling the leg
work and sending Benoit into the steps. Back in and the side slam
gets two for Nash (Hall: “SUCK ON THAT BENOIT!”) but Chris
dropkicks the knee out and cranks on the leg.
Benoit slugs away in
the corner but charges into a boot to the face. There go the straps
and Hall gets off the ladder, only to see Benoit slap on the
Crossface. Hall decks the referee and throws in the ladder but
Benoit dropkicks it into Nash’s face. A cross body off the ladder
puts Hall down and Benoit hammers away until Nash gets up with the
Jackknife. Hall loads up the Edge onto the ladder until Sid comes
out to make the save. No contest.
Rating:
C-.
I liked this better than I was expecting to. Nash is underrated as a
big power guy as he can make his offense look damaging while also
having someone like Benoit break him down. This wasn’t a great match
and of course got bogged down by all the nonsense, but I had a better
time with it than I was expecting to.
Sting tells the
Outsiders to bring it.
Here
are the Mamalukes to call out Disco and Lash but gets the girls from
the club last week. Vito rants about how he didn’t want to sleep
with them, but Disco and Lash sneak up on them and attack. This
brings out the tarred and feathered Tony Marinara to nail them with a
pipe, allowing the Mamalukes to take them away.
The Mamalukes throw
Disco and Lash into a car but the car drives off without them. What
is
Russo’s obsession with this story? It gets as much airtime as
anything else on the show.
Maestro staggers into
the boiler room to find Symphony but gets beaten up by Jerry Flynn.
So Jerry is the modern day Mankind? Jerry goes to a door, finds
David and Symphony, and eats a crowbar to the face.
Nick Patrick says
everyone is banned from ringside unless they have business out there
because it’s time for the referees to take power back. Normally I
would complain about aline like that but a lot more structure around
here would be an incredibly welcome sight.
Liz has a contract in
her hands.
Scott Hall vs. Sting
Non-title,
which might have something to do with Hall not bringing the belt with
him. Liz comes out with Sting and Nash jumps in on commentary. Hall
finds the toothpick throw hilarious but Sting would rather hit him in
the face to take over. They quickly head outside with Nash choking
Sting with a cord, allowing Hall to get in some cheap shots.
Back in and we hit the
abdominal stretch on Sting, followed by a sleeper so neither guy has
to do much other than stand there. A belly to back suplex finally
gets Sting out and he slugs away, including ten punches in the
corner. Sting gets all the way up to twenty but Scott pokes him in
the eye for a breather. Liz gets on the apron to pepper spray Hall,
setting up the Deathlock for the submission.
Rating:
D.
I guess it helps that Hall didn’t lose clean, but maybe you could
like, not have a champion lose on TV. It was nice to have something
resembling a clean match until the ending, which felt tacked on, but
somehow that’s an upgrade in the Russo era. To be fair though, at
least the title doesn’t mean anything these days anyway so it can’t
be hurt too badly.
Here’s
David Flair to his dad’s music and holding Symphony by the hair.
Maestro has ten seconds to come out here and get her, but here’s Page
instead. A crowbar shot misses and Page lays him out with a Diamond
Cutter before telling the Powers That Be to make this a pay per view
match. Oh and contrary to rumors, he’s NOT going to the WWF because
he’s loyal to what brought him here. Thanks for that totally
unnecessary name drop, but to be fair they are closing the ratings
gap. Last week they lost by 3.4 points and this week it would only
be 3 even, meaning Raw doubled Nitro up. Page calls out Sid and
their match is on.
Sid
Vicious vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Sid
shoves him out to the floor to start and drops Page throat first
across the barricade. Back in and Page grabs a quick neckbreaker but
Sid launches him off at two. A top rope clothesline puts Sid down
again but he breaks up the Diamond Cutter by, say it with me,
knocking Page into the referee. There’s the powerbomb to Page but
the Outsiders run in for the beatdown. This brings out Benoit to
help fight back but Jeff Jarrett comes in for the save until Bret
Hart runs in to make it even. Page walks out and the match is a no
contest because of course it is.
As
everyone brawls, Nick Patrick grabs the mic and says the referees and
security haven’t been in charge all night so the main event can be a
lumberjack match because they’re out of here. So yeah, they’re not
even trying to call it wrestling anymore as there won’t be any
referees. It hasn’t been a wrestling show in weeks so it’s nice to
see them finally confirm it.
Back
from a break with the Outsiders, Jarrett and now Creative Control
still destroying everyone until Goldberg comes out for the save. The
four good guys stand tall and Jarrett says no way, so here’s Roddy
Piper to say he’ll referee and everyone else can be lumberjacks.
Jeff tries to leave again so the Green Bay Packers show up to stop
him, allowing Dustin Rhodes to throw him back in.
Jeff Jarrett vs.
Goldberg
A
big shoulder gets two for Goldberg and he starts hammering Jeff in
the face. Jeff tries to jump over him in the corner but gets caught
in a powerslam as this is one sided so far. Jarrett rolls outside
and gets beaten up by the lumberjacks. He rolls back inside and gets
caught in an armbar, so it’s right back to the lumberjacks. Everyone
outside gets in a brawl so Jeff sneaks in a chair to take over behind
Piper’s back. A high cross body gets two for Jeff and it’s time for
the sleeper as the fight has finally calmed down.
Goldberg
fights up and slams out of the sleeper because he’s Goldberg and it
was just a sleeper. Both guys collide and go down, which looks way
off as you wouldn’t expect Goldberg to go down off a Jeff Jarrett
shoulder block. Piper counts to ten without anyone getting up and
nothing changes as a result. Nash grabs Goldberg’s foot to break up
the spear and pulls him to the floor for a beatdown. In the melee,
Bret brings the belt in and nails Jarrett (mostly off camera),
setting up the Jackhammer for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Well they tried. This match was the attempt to make Jeff Jarrett
seem like a legitimate main event guy but it really didn’t work. The
insanity of the match held it down because we can’t just have
Goldberg and Jarrett have a match where Jeff outsmarts him before
falling to the Jackhammer, but that might be asking for too much.
Overall
Rating:
D.
This show was all over the place, as has become WCW’s custom. First
and foremost, what is with the obsession over the mafia story? That
angle got more time than anything else all night with David Flair and
the Maestro in second place. The wrestling was what you would expect
from WCW with the longest match not even breaking eight minutes.
There’s stuff going on for sure, but you have to take notes to
remember why people are doing what they’re doing with only thirteen
days left until Starrcade. Oh and Thunder sucks and is apparently
going to be a plot point going forward. How nice.
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

Monday Nitro – November 29, 1999

Monday Nitro #216
Date: November 29, 1999
Location:
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 12,881
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re less than three
weeks away from Starrcade and usually that would mean some of the
matches should be clear. At the moment though, the field is almost
wide open and given who is in charge, I’m not sure if we should
expect to get any development this week either. Last week’s main
event was at least a calm match for a change. Let’s get to it.

This
episode is dedicated to Hiro Matsuda, who trained Hulk Hogan, Lex
Luger, Scott Hall and Ron Simmons among others.
We
open with Goldberg making his full entrance and taking his sweet time
in doing so. Goldberg gets right to the point: he’s not cool with
the Outsiders playing comedy games most of the time and then hitting
him with a chair last week. Goldberg liked the chair though and he’s
ready for some payback. He has Nash tonight and Hall better stay
away from the ring. Cue the Outsiders to say they have five words
for Goldberg: don’t sing it, bring it. They make it to the middle of
the aisle, but Sid comes out and says he’s the new babyface in town.
The brawl is quickly broken up by security, which is more than I was
expecting.
Tony and Heenan run
down the card. Hang on for this one.
Nash vs. Goldberg –
No DQ, no countout
Hall vs. Sid for the
US/TV Titles – No DQ, no countout
Hart vs. Meng for the
World Title – No DQ, no countout
Sting
vs. Jarrett vs. Benoit – #1 contenders match for a title shot after
Starrcade
Jerry Only vs. Steve
Williams – Cage
Mud wrestling with
wrestlers to be announced
THIS
IS ON ONE TV SHOW WITH NO BUILDUP. Three street fights, a cage
match, a triple threat and mud wrestling.
Roddy
Piper arrives with some fairly big (for wrestling that is) women.
One of them appears to be Rhonda Singh, who you might remember as
Bertha Faye from 1995 WWF.
Luger is here in a new
suit and carrying papers.
The
Mamalukes are on the phone with Tony Marinara, who tells them to deal
with Disco Inferno and Lash Leroux.
Tag Team Titles:
Creative Control vs. Buff Bagwell/Booker T.
The
twins are defending of course and have Hennig with them. Buff starts
with we’ll say Patrick and the twin gets cross bodied and dropkicked
into the corner. Off to Gerald and Booker as Tony says Bagwell has
won over five Tag Team Titles of his own, which is of course
inaccurate (five reigns).
Back to Patrick for a
gutwrench suplex on Booker but Mr. T. nails an ax kick, allowing for
the hot tag to Bagwell, despite the match not even being three
minutes old yet. Bagwell cleans house and everything breaks down.
Buff mostly misses the Blockbuster but the other twin offers a
distraction, allowing Hennig to hit Bagwell with a chair to retain.
Midnight comes out for
the post match save.
Russo
is livid that he has to book some Japanese guy named Jushin Thunder
Liger. That’s not me being sarcastic. Russo actually referred to
him as “some Japanese guy.” If Guerrera can beat him tonight for
the IWGP Light Heavyweight Title (again his words), he’ll take care
of Juvy’s visa issues. Russo has a plan to make sure this happens.
If he wants Juvy to win and take care of his visa issues, why not
just take care of them?
Luger threatens to sue
Liz over breach of contract, hence the papers earlier. She offers to
do anything to make him drop the suit, which intrigues Luger.
Piper can’t get in to
see Russo but is fine with waiting if he gets the $3 million a year.
Our hero everyone.
Singh and the other
girl wonder what they should wear for their match tonight.
Symphony (Ryan
Shamrock) receives flowers and a love letter from Maestro.
Jeff Jarrett doesn’t
care about angering Dustin Rhodes and blasts Tenay with a guitar.
Where was he during those One Night Only shows?
Here’s
Brian Knobbs with something to say. That might be better than having
him wrestle. He wants Norman Smiley (who he calls a woman) out here
right now for a fight over the Hardcore Title. We cut to the back to
see Norman cowering because he doesn’t have his protective gear.
Finlay
walks by to send Norman diving under a table as he goes to the ring
to fight Knobbs in Smiley’s place. Finlay comes out to the ring and
throws Knobbs a kendo stick for a duel. This goes about as you would
expect for a fight to go against Finlay, as he beats Knobbs down and
cuts his hair. Finlay says if Knobbs wants to be a soldier, he can
look like one.
The Mamalukes take
Okerlund to a strip club. Ok then.
Russo
yells at Hennig and the twins for getting beaten up by Midnight and
makes Hennig vs. Midnight later tonight.
Piper is ready for the
mud wrestling and cracks some bad jokes.
IWGP Junior
Heavyweight Title: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Juventud Guerrera
Guerrera
is challenging/trying to get a work visa and neither guy gets an
entrance. Ten seconds in, Buzzkill comes out carrying a Down With
Big Brother sign. They run the ropes to start until Juvy hits a
sitout bulldog ala Rey Mysterio. Liger is sent to the floor for a
springboard dive but comes back in with a frog splash for two. A
tilt-a-whirl backbreaker sets up the surfboard as the fans finally
wake up a bit.
Liger gets two more off
a belly to belly and Juvy taps, which means nothing in this case for
reasons not explained. They fight over a backslide as Buzzkill wants
them to give peace a chance. Tony actually brings up Buzzkill’s
matches against Liger back in the early 90s but Buzzkill doesn’t
acknowledge him. Eh points for trying I guess. Juvy hits a Stunner
over the top rope but Liger escapes the Juvy Driver and grabs a
German suplex. Buzzkill offers a distraction though, allowing Juvy
to hit Liger in the head with a bottle of tequila for the pin and the
title.
Rating:
D+.
I wasn’t shocked to find out that New Japan didn’t acknowledge this
title change for years. Russo has deemed a worthless hippie
character (the character, not the wrestler) more important than one
of the best cruiserweight wrestlers of all time. This shouldn’t
surprise you, as Russo clearly has no respect for wrestling
whatsoever. The match was nothing to see as it barely broke five
minutes and the guys were just doing moves until we got to the stupid
ending.
Chavo
Guerrero has taken over the interviews for the night and offers to
sell us some fine china for $39.99. Oh and Dr. Death and Oklahoma
(his official name now) are going to destroy Jerry Only.
Symphony gets another
gift from Maestro.
Gene is getting drunk
at the club. Because GENE OKERLUND needs a story.
Chavo
tries to sell the Outsiders a home security system before asking when
he’s going to start defending the TV Title. Well that would be
tonight if you listened to Tony earlier. Hall is annoyed that he
hasn’t gotten to meet any TV stars or received any free TV dinners so
he throws the title belt to Nash, who throws it in a trash. That
makes two titles trashed either literally or figuratively in less
than an hour. To be fair though, that thing died during Steiner’s
first reign.
Here’s
the Revolution with an American flag, which they immediately throw
down and step on. Douglas brags about taking out the Filthy Animals
from the inside and now the Animals are gone. The Revolution isn’t
cool with a Canadian like Hart holding the World Title and doesn’t
like the fans cheering him. Malenko was booed when he eat a Canadian
last week so he’s fed up with America.
The
Revolution is declaring themselves a sovereign nation and they all
have snake names. Malenko will be the Python, Shane will be the
Rattler, Asya will be the Boa and Saturn will be……the Trouser?
This of course brings out Jim Duggan to talk about America and swing
the 2×4, which clearly twists around in his hands because it’s made
of foam. I had one of those when I was a kid. The Revolution beats
him down and does the Iwo Jima pose over him with the American flag.
Benoit finally makes the save like a good Canadian. You can add the
Revolution to the list of things Russo didn’t understand. Oh and put
WOOD on there too.
Speaking
of Russo, he wants Piper in his office.
The Wall issues an open
challenge for the Block, which is a SHOOT in a boiler room.
Piper can’t come in to
see the boss because he has to go to the bathroom to take a Vince
Russo. So if he can say Russo’s name, why can’t anyone else?
US Title: Sid
Vicious vs. Scott Hall
Street
fight. This would be a bait and switch on the TV Title no? Heenan
rips on Sid’s talking abilities on the way to the ring. Nash sits in
on commentary and his first line is to call the TV Title a piece of
garbage. Sid hammers on the champ but gets distracted by the shine
on Nash’s hair, allowing Hall to rake the eyes to take over.
The Outsider’s Edge
doesn’t work so Sid grabs a chokeslam, only to bump the referee.
There’s the powerbomb but Nash comes in, only to get kicked in the
face. Jarrett runs out with a guitar to break up the powerbomb on
Nash before putting Hall on top to retain. That would be worthless
street fight #1 of the evening.
Goldberg comes out (in
a t-shirt for some reason) and hits Jarrett with the worst spear I’ve
ever seen from him.
Gene
is still at the club and dancing with what appear to be strippers.
Is there a point to this anytime soon?
As expected, the women
will be in the mud later.
The Nitro Girls get in
a food fight and the mud wrestler starts choking. Juvy runs in with
the Heimlich for the save. It’s as random as it sounds.
Jerry Only vs. Steve
Williams
Escape
only. Williams pounds on the singer to start and scores with a
powerslam as Oklahoma is in on commentary. Heenan: “Why do you say
everything three times?” Oklahoma: “It’s my gimmick son.”
Williams stays on Only but Vampiro and the Misfits jump the barricade
and cover Oklahoma in barbecue sauce. The Oklahoma Stampede (running
powerslam) plants Only but Williams throws him through the door to
give Jerry the win. The announcers treat this as nothing of
interest.
Quick
sidebar on Oklahoma: why is this supposed to be funny? He doesn’t
say anything outlandish other than talk about barbecue sauce, which
is hardly wild stuff. The football obsession is nothing new. What
is the joke here supposed to be? What good is it to mock a guy by
calling moves? Isn’t that what he’s supposed to be doing? Ross is
known for being over the top, so the parody is acting a lot like him
but as a comedic guy? It’s more like a caricature than a parody,
which again isn’t funny.
Guerrera
says he saved the choking girl with mouth to mouth. Russo calls her
a wildebeest. Here’s the thing: yeah she’s bigger than say Lita or
Stacy Keibler, but the commentators are basically calling a fat cow.
She has a fairly pretty face and is far from fat, but since this is a
Russo company, all women have to range from evil to fat to stupid to
property of some man to just a sex character.
Luger has an idea.
Bret Hart knows he has
a tough fight in Meng but he’s ready to fight. Chavo says the shine
in Bret’s hair is due to the hair care product Chavo sold him. Wait.
You have HAIR product and you pitched a security system to KEVIN
NASH??? No wonder you bombed as a salesman. Know your customers!
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Meng
No
DQ, no countout, which isn’t mentioned during the introductions.
Bret hammers away to start and gets clubbered down for his efforts.
More right hands from the champ are countered by a backhand punch to
the face. A running boot to the face gets two and Meng plants Hart
with a shoulder breaker. Bret comes back with the Five Moves but
Hall comes in and the referee goes down. Meng puts Hall in the
Tongan Death Grip but Nash slides in and goes off on Meng with a
kendo stick. They go after Hart but Benoit comes out with a stick of
his own to beat up the Outsiders. Bret goes back in and puts on the
Sharpshooter for the TKO.
Rating:
D.
The match was nothing, but I liked Bret’s promo (minus Chavo) before.
It was old school Bret where he praised his opponent but said he was
just that much better. That’s Bret’s bread and butter and it still
worked here. I’ll even give them points to building Meng over the
last few weeks and then giving him a match like this. The booking of
the match went down hill, but this was a logically built match with a
decent pre-match promo.
However,
at the same time, the curse of Russo strikes again. The problem with
Russo is simple: if you’ve seen one of his grand conspiracy
storylines, you’ve seen them all. There are little signs here and
there and once you know what to look for, it becomes really obvious.
Now that being said, it had only been seen once in 1999 so it wasn’t
such a problem. What it means though is the story worked back then
and doesn’t hold up as well now.
Now
Symphony gets a bear.
Luger has an idea to
pop the ratings. Would that involve Luger taking a long vacation?
Tygress and Spice fight
again with Tygress being thrown into a shower.
Madusa is in Evan’s
locker room and talks him into a Cruiserweight Title shot at
Starrcade with the power of the lips and silicone.
As expected, Luger
tells Russo that Liz will be in the mud.
Chavo is interviewing
Sting when Liz comes up to beg him for help. Just like last week,
Sting doesn’t care.
Chris Benoit vs.
Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett
One
fall to a finish and the winner gets a World Title shot at some point
after Starrcade. Jeff wins a slugout with Sting to start but Benoit
suplexes Jarrett down for two. All three beat on each other for near
falls until Jarrett comes out on top of it and punches Sting up
against the ropes.
Benoit
flips out of a belly to back suplex but Sting splashes him by
mistake. Well in theory as you can’t tell anyone’s motivation these
days. The Stroke is countered into a Crossface but Sting breaks it
up. Cue Liz for a distraction so Luger can hit Sting with a chair,
but Jarrett hits Benoit with the guitar. This brings Dustin Rhodes
through the crowd with I think the bell to knock Jarrett out, giving
Benoit the pin.
Rating:
C-.
Oh yeah Benoit won but it only took three people running in, a chair,
a guitar and the ring bell with Benoit getting the pin while being
unconscious for a title shot somewhere down the line. Thank goodness
on that one as they were getting close to making someone look strong.
The
Mamalukes leave the club with some girls, meaning Gene is on his own.
Symphony goes up to see
Maestro but it’s David Flair in a wig. Oh good grief. He makes her
go over to the piano and opens it up to find Maestro inside. So now
David Flair some kind of criminal mastermind stalker. Of course he
is.
Goldberg vs. Kevin
Nash
No
DQ, no countout again. Goldberg does his entrance but stops to beat
up Hall. Your US Champion ladies and gentlemen. Nash comes out and
goes after Goldberg as Sid is locked in a room. That lasts all of
ten seconds and it’s a four way brawl as the music keeps playing.
They fight out into the arena and into the ring for the opening bell.
Goldberg cleans house until Hall chairs the referee and Goldberg
down. Sid comes back in but Hart sneaks in and steals the chair away
to blast Nash. Goldberg gets back up and spears Nash, setting up the
Jackhammer for the pin in 100 seconds.
Three
street fights, three ref bumps, one broke three minutes. That’s the
triple main event.
Roddy
Piper keeps ranting about mud.
The Outsiders want Sid
and Goldberg in a cage tonight.
Rhonda Singh vs.
Elizabeth
Piper
is refereeing. Singh comes out to stripper music but there’s no Liz.
We go to the back where Liz says she doesn’t care about the lawsuits
and walks away. Singh slaps Piper and pulls him into the mud, where
he rides her like a horse and spanks her a bit. No Russo doesn’t
have issues with women. Why do you ask? Creative Control gets muddy
as well and Piper covers one of them for a pin.
The
Mamalukes are cooking dinner in the girls’ apartment. This is what,
the fifth time we’ve seen these guys tonight?
Arn Anderson is upset
about being fired so here’s Hennig to offer him a spot on the team.
Anderson just walks away.
Chae gets in a fight
with Skye.
The Wall vs. Jerry
Flynn
Boiler
room brawl, called the Block and billed as a shoot. They fight, they
kick, they punch, they choke, they ignore the fans booing, they can
barely breathe, Berlyn comes in and hits Flynn with a pipe, Wall
chases Berlyn off with the pipe and it’s another no contest. Heenan:
“I don’t get it.” END THIS SHOW ALREADY.
Chavo
is in the back when Piper comes up. Roddy talks about the wars he
had with Chavo Sr. and tells Chavo to stand up for himself. The
Outsiders come in and get in a fight with Piper.
Curly Bill asks Hennig
for a job.
Russo
yells at Luger, who promises to get Liz muddy before the end of the
night. Creative Control is already cleaned up and wearing new suits.
Midnight vs. Curt
Hennig
Hennig
headlocks her down to start but Midnight nips up. A shoulder drops
Hennig and stuns him at the same time. Hennig chops away in the
corner and puts on an abdominal stretch, where he continuously slaps
Midnight’s chest. So we can add sexual harassment to Russo’s time in
charge. The lights go out and Stevie Ray returns to beat up Curt for
the DQ.
The lights go out again
and Curly Bill appears to beat on Stevie, but then the lights go out
again so Arn Anderson can beat up Hennig. Even the Horsemen music
can’t save this mess.
The girls tie the
Mamalukes to the bed, allowing Disco Inferno and Lash Leroux to come
in and pour spaghetti sauce on them. And that’s the big payoff for
the night.
Luger
brings Liz out and throws her in the mud, followed by pouring a
bucket of mud over her. He takes off the jacket but Sting comes out
and shoves him into the mud, ruining most of the suit. Liz appears
to slip badly getting out of the pit.
The
Mamalukes are still in bed. Thanks for coming back to that.
Goldberg/Sid
Vicious vs. Outsiders vs. Chris Benoit/Bret Hart
In
a cage with one fall to a finish and muddy Piper refereeing. It’s a
brawl to start as you would expect with a lot of punching all over
the ring. Both Outsiders get double teamed in the corner and the
fans chant for Goldberg. Nash gets fired up again and punches Sid
down in the corner but Tony talks about sauce (both kinds, because
Russo felt the need to have three people covered in two types of
sauce in one night).
Things
slow down as the match is already three minutes old as even more
punching abounds. Since a triple threat cage match with the Swamp
Thing as referee isn’t enough, cue Jeff Jarrett with a cart full of
weapons. Guitar shots all around of course and it’s time for the
handcuffs with Hart being chained to the cage. Hall gets knocked out
so Benoit, I’m guessing out of boredom, goes up and hits the Swan
Dive on Hall for the pin.
Rating:
D.
I can’t say it fails after that dive but my goodness this was dull.
It was a bunch of standing around and punching with Piper offering
nothing interesting or important to the match. I’m really not even
sure why these people are fighting, but it’s probably better to be
confused than to ask.
Jarrett and the
Outsiders beat up Benoit, Goldberg and Sid, seemingly not bothered by
the loss.
Overall
Rating:
F.
This is the stuff people talk about when Russo is discussed. We have
gimmick matches, unfunny jokes, women being treated a hundred times
worse than the Divas of today are treated, matches being made on the
fly and stories that make no sense. Oh and a bunch of mud for some
reason and titles being destroyed because there’s no point to having
them around.
I
lost count of how many gimmicks we had all night as well as the ref
bumps, the guitar shots and the women being treated as either stupid
or sex objects. That’s a good way to sum up Russo: there’s so much
of the same kind of stuff going on that you can’t tell where anything
is going. It’s definitely easier to sit through than one of the
boring shows, but my goodness the quality goes through the floor.
Horrible show here as Russo just burns through everything he has in
record time.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

WCW Nitro: February 24, 1997

One year ago this week: Kimberly and Johnny B Badd share their last carriage ride together before he heads off for browner pastures on the 02/24 Saturday Night. Love is a fickle matter, because by the 02/26 Nitro, she traded in her Frisbee for Booty Shorts, making eyes at Ed Leslie. And, most importantly, over on the 02/26 Prime, Cobra did battle with James Earl Wright, in the war of the feds vs. the state. Click through, enjoy, I’ll still be here when you’re done.
fg76Angry about Hogan winning the way he did. Just wasn’t what it should have been. This should have been the moment the yellow and red Hogan showed up and destroyed Piper or Piper beating the weak heel Hogan. What happened was garbage and I was a Hogan fan.
While I was busy being angry about the Savage turn like it was 1997 all over again, completely lost is the fact that Piper beat Hogan clean as a sheet, in front of the watchful eyes of Mark Curtis. The WCW referees were a class of bumbling idiots, but Mark Curtis always seemed above the rest of them. The guy was exceptionally observant, and keen eyed fans could see his enthusiasm for everything he did. It is positively mind-boggling that this guy, who watched Hogan’s arms drop just 6 inches from his face, somehow let himself be manipulated into believing that hmmm, maybe Hogan’s leg WAS under the rope. I mean, wrestlers wouldn’t lie, would they? If they wanted to pull this garbage they may as well have assigned Nick Patrick to do the job. Instead, WCW looks dumber and dumber with every passing moment.

What’s left for us now? Piper, fighting for his son’s name, got completely betrayed by WCW’s ineptness. Randy Savage, the wild eyed lunatic who was as likely as anyone to put a screwdriver in Hogan’s skull is now his best friend. DDP is fantastic, but as a world title contender? To quote himself, I don’t think so. The Giant’s been done to death. Hacksaw Duggan is too busy searching for “Terry” to be bothered with Hogan. Sting got another knife in the back, so he’ll probably be wiping his tears in the rafters for another 6 months before doing anything about it. The Horsemen and Dungeon of Doom can’t stop obsessing about each other for 5 minutes. It comes back to the same person it’s always been, but that WCW seems hesitant to move on: Lex Luger. Luger has been the hottest babyface in the company for nearly a year now, and in that timeframe he’s had exactly 1 major title shot (Great American Bash). He never loses, the fans are treating him like the second coming of Hulk Hogan, and he’s the only WCW superstar in the company that they haven’t hurt with repeatedly one-sided booking. I think it’s safe to say he’s gonna be stripped of the tag-team titles tonight, and the logical route to take is to bully Bischoff into a World Title shot, with the Giant acting as his bodyguard against any potential shenanigans. Run with this through Uncensored or even Spring Stampede, and you’re printing money.
This is unless, of course, they decide put the rocket on Meng and the Barbarian, in which case I’m done with Lex Luger.
One night removed from a fantastic pay-per-view completely ruined by an awful main event, THIS is Nitro! TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO try and get us up to speed through the popping pyro, but we have no time for Tony to even bring us a single still shot from last night’s show, because the ring is already filling with bodies.
THE PUBLIC ENEMY (4-1-0) vs. JEFF JARRETT and MONGO MCMICHAEL (with Debra McMichael)
Last night, Jarrett pinned Mongo and as a result he’s officially a Horseman, apparently. I still have no idea how the hell this came to be, or how it makes sense. Mongo’s wife is clearly in love with this guy who desperately wants to become best friends with Mongo himself, except nobody likes him, but now Mongo will put up with him because of a match stipulation. Get it? Got it? Good. Rocco starts with Mongo, and he throat punches the big man a few times. Both guys trade out, and Jarrett takes a neckbreaker from a dancing Johnny Grunge. Mongo finally has enough and blindsides Rocco when he steps a little too comfortably near the heel corner, and the Horsemen take over. Jarrett hits a drop toe hold, and Mongo follows with a legdrop. Teamwork from the mortal enemies? Debra’s got a smile so wide that I’m shocked she’s not trying to cool down with a cigarette. 3 point stance gets a big thumbs up from Jarrett, and Jeff hits a powerbomb for 2. Debra hands the Haliburton to Mongo, and he HAPPILY accepts it, immediately waffling Jarrett and the Public Enemy get the win and 4:36. Debra is livid, but Mongo happily owns his actions here. *1/2
ARN ANDERSON and RIC FLAIR join the boys in the ring with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Mongo said he’s been told to treat Jarrett like family, so he’s taken him in like a little brother. And, like all annoying little brothers, he needs to be slapped around. Flair, who’s absolutely pimpin’ tonight, reminds Mongo that he promised if Jarrett could win, he was in. Being a Horseman means being a team player, so he wants these guys to remind everyone why they’re the symbol of excellence. Arn’s even more desperate, reminding us that “The Dungeon is getting stronger” (REALLY?!? THIS is where their attention is?!?), and wants a hand shake right now. Mongo smiles, and tells Jarrett that he might mess with him, but nobody else will, he promises. Fingers in the air!
GALAXY vs. JIM DUGGAN (3-0-1)
Now THIS is the kind of Worldwide match up that really gets my juices flowing! … Unfortunately this is Nitro, and this is kind of ridiculous. I dislike wasted TV time during your most popular show; and this just feels like space to talk about Macho Man, even though we have TONS of time to do that. Duggan beats Galaxy from pillar to post, including a slam on the exposed concrete. Duggan’s always been a giant cheater, and he hides behind the American flag as if to justify himself. Your thumbs up and three-letter catchphrase aren’t fooling me, Jimbo. Galaxy tries a moonsault, but misses by 12 feet, and Duggan goes into the 3 point stance. The taped fist, DIRECTLY in front of the referee is NOT called for a DQ, and Duggan screams “HOGANNNNNNNN” before issuing the punch and getting the win at 3:23. DUD
Duggan continues to carry on like, well, Roddy Piper after a week in Alcatraz, and “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants a word. He’s still pretty angry about “Terry”. This is the second time he’s brought this guy up, this guy must have REALLY wronged him. And now, Savage has shown he has a Black Heart. Does that come with a bigger package? Duggan vows never to come through Hogan’s back door (thank goodness for THAT), but he may just be seeing him soon.
JOE GOMEZ  (0-1-0) vs. HUGH MORRUS (7-3-0)
This was actually a dark match last night, and CRZ, who was in attendance that night, reports on what was pretty memorable action: Wikipedia says there were two dark matches which I totally don’t remember.
It’s going to be hard for them to top that kind of response tonight, but let’s see what they bring. Gomez gets completely man-handled, pounded down in the corner with nowhere to go. He eventually manages a leapfrog, and he sneaks in a small package. Larry carries on about the human game of chess being played by Kevin Sullivan. Is this like a LARP thing?
Morrus drops Gomez with a clothesline, and Larry encourages Gomez to Use His Science. Since Gomez is not a chemist, but a Desperado, he immediately falls victim to No Laughing Matter at 3:16.
LA PARKA (2-2-0) vs. ICE TRAIN (2-0-1) (with Teddy Long)
8 months ago, WCW began a series of Latino imports that changed the face of the mid-card for good. Gone were the days of trying to fill space with the never-ending Alex Wright push, and instead, we were treated to numerous high flying aerial displays the likes of which we’d never seen. And now, as highlighted with the Galaxy match earlier, we are entering the next stage of its evolution: Squashing them like bugs against plodding midcarders. Stage 3 will see the imports moved exclusively to Worldwide, to get squashed there instead. Parka throws everything he’s got at Ice Train, who stands there laughing at our favorite skeleton. Then he starts throwing powerslams and pumping his fist. Parka shocks him with a spinning heel kick off the top, but he kicks out and throws Parka across the ring to remind us He’s Much Bigger. Parka hits a jawbreaker, and follows with another pair of spinning heel kicks. Teddy takes a second to talk his man up, and Train turns around just in time to eat a 360 plancha. Back in, Parka tries a springboard Crossbody, but he gets caught, slammed and hit with the Train Wreck at 3:57. *
CHRIS JERICHO and EDDIE GUERRERO vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (4-2-1) (with Jimmy Hart)
Breathe, Chris, breathe. I’m so damn giddy I can barely control my bodily functions. The fans boo the Faces of Fear because they don’t know what’s good for them. Barbarian misses an early Kick of Fear, and Jericho, realizing the mistakes these guys make are few and far between, dropkicks the man and hammers with everything he’s got. Then he turns things over to Guerrero, because he has no desire to die. Barbarian throws Eddie in the air like a game of Angry Birds, and Guerrero crashes nose first into the mat. In comes Meng, and Eddie hilariously throws punches that causes Meng to stare at him like “you’re kidding, right?” Then he throws a man-sized headbutt and powerbombs Guerrero with enough force to knock the earth off its axis. Back to Jericho, and Team Wiener hits a double backdrop,  before a short senton gets 2. Meng just gets up and gives Jericho a backdrop suplex right to the back of the neck, and Barbarian wants a piece. His fantastic overhead release superplex nearly clears the whole ring, and Barbarian gets 2. Jericho goes for a small package. Why do you insist on upsetting them? It’s like dealing with a bear, just play dead and get it over with. Meng comes in, walking into a springboard crossbody, and he stands up PISSED off, pounding Jericho right into the mat and choking him out while waving his head around like Willow Smith. Eddie gets angry, and the distraction allows an illegal switch – but I don’t think they needed the distraction. If you were refereeing would YOU tell these guys what they are and aren’t allowed to do? Meng backdrops Jericho into the happy arms of Barbarian, and Chris eats a powerbomb. Barbarian sticks out his tongue to remind us he has more charisma in his mouth than you’ll have in your lifetime. Both guys fly off the top like missiles, delivering the double swandive, and only a desperate Eddie Guerrero stops this from ending. Jericho says something to Eddie, and I have to figure it’s “dude, seriously, stop. I can feel the life escaping my body, please just let them pin me!” Barbarian cuts off the ring, and when Jericho tries showing a little fire, Barbarian rakes him in the eyes. Meng tags in and takes his sweet ass time, which has to be like torture for Jericho – not knowing what’s coming next. Meng whips him into the ropes, and Jericho hits a surprise Lionsault. Meng tries to drop an elbow and break his head open like a melon, but Chris rolls away and tags in Eddie. Guerrero throws himself at Meng, who doesn’t budge, but screams to the heavens like a warrior ready to perform a human sacrifice. Eddie dropkicks him, which buys just enough of a distraction for Jericho to come off the top with a crossbody. A double dropkick sends Meng back to his corner, so he just tags in Barbarian. Coleslaw for brains on Team Wiener, I tell you. Barbarian runs over Jericho with a clothesline, but since they’re cheating and keeping 2 guys in the ring, Guerrero dropkicks him from behind. Jericho dropkicks Meng off the apron, and a double suplex has Barbarian down for a second. Jericho goes for the Lionsault, but Meng pulls his dumbass to the floor for a legendary beating. Eddie goes for the Frog Splash, but DEAN MALENKO rushes down for a little payback from last night, shoving Eddie into the awaiting Kick of Fear from Barbarian, and even though they didn’t need the help, the greatest tag-team in the history of the galaxy pick up the win at 7:43. I’m not allowed to post Youtube links on Blogger anymore, but you guys are self-sufficient enough to track this down. ****
Since the US Champion is usually the default #1 contender to the World Title, and since Barbarian just pinned the US Champion, he should be getting a title shot, no? This would make as fine a main event for Uncensored as anything I can imagine. Hogan trying to Hulk Up while Barbarian stands there in complete contempt for the stupid side show before kicking his head into the upper deck would get me to pay $30 to watch it every time I viewed the clip. Infinite money. I’d never be able to retire.
The second hour brings “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN and MIKE TENAY into Tony’s circle of friends. The conclusion from these brilliant minds is that Sting is probably working with the nWo.
JUVENTUD GUERRERA (0-3-0) vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (7-3-2)
Mysterio is the rightful TV Champion right now, having been handed it by the unworthy Prince Iaukea last night, but Mysterio wanted to “win it” by “pinning him”. A forfeit’s a forfeit, yo, just take it. Juvi DDTs Mysterio and nails a springboard dropkick to knock Mysterio down. Remembering he just had knee surgery, Juvi locks on a grapevine, but Mysterio fights out.  Both guys nearly pin each other simultaneously, and bridge up at the same time for the easily delighted crowd. Both guys trade chops, before Juvi grows bored and just smashes Mysterio’s face with his forearm. A moonsault gets 2, but Juvi doesn’t miss a beat, putting on a chinlock less than a half second after the kickout. Juvi tries to follow up, but Rey spins around his body before hitting a rana with enough force to send Juvi sliding to the floor. Heenan: “It’s like wrestling a helicopter!” Juvi blocks a baseball slide, but Rey just whips his body through with a headscissors takeover that sends the Juice into the guard rail. Back in, Mysterio goes up to finish, but Juvi cuts him off and hits a super powerbomb for 2! Juvi dropkicks him back to the floor, and tope suicida connects! Back in, Juvi goes for a springboard senton backsplash, but Mysterio catches him on the way down and turns it into a powerbomb! The West Coast Pop is academic, and Rey takes it down at 5:37. Juvi probably deserves a lot better, but as long as he keeps putting on fantastic matches with his opponents, his win/loss record is secondary to me. ***
GOLDBERG PAT TANAKA (0-1-0) vs. PRINCE IAUKEA (3-1-0) (for the WCW world television title)
I’ve been hard on the poor Prince. After all, it’s not his fault that WCW is run by a group of legendary chowderheads. As a result, in an effort to try and appreciate Iaukea a little more, I drew up a pros and cons list to see if we can learn to accept him.
Tony continually refers to Prince as a “youngster”, which comparatively to the main event scene is probably true – clocking in at a spry 32. Heenan covers Iaukea’s decision to try and give the TV title away last night: “This guy’s got brains made of coconut!” Iaukea knocks down Tanaka with a karate chop, but he fails to follow up, and takes a leg whip. Iaukea comes back with a clothesline, and does his ridiculous karate poses in an attempt to establish a personality. Tanaka’s having none of it, and powerbombs Prince for 2. Iaukea comes back with a Samoan drop, and follows with a top rope crossbody for the pin at 2:55. “You hit a move, and then I hit a move!” Who needs selling? DUD
THE ULTIMATE DRAGON (8-1-0) (with Sonny Onoo) vs. DEAN MALENKO (9-2-2)
After some chain wrestling, Malenko offers Dragon the hand of friendship. Dragon doesn’t believe him, but Malenko insists, refusing to let it go … and he immediately clotheslines the doof as soon as he accepts. Dragon gets kicked in the back of the head repeatedly, but he manages to avoid a pinfall. Malenko lets him up, and that’s a mistake, because Dragon lays in his rapid fire kicks in retaliation. A dropkick is planted right on the nose, but Dean sweeps out the legs and pounds away on Dragon’s face. A brainbuster rattles Dragon’s cage, and Malenko works a chinlock, driving his knee into Dragon’s spine for extra effect. Dragon throws him off by moving forward, and holds on to rock Malenko backwards in an upside down surfboard. The hold is released, but he just turns it around to work an Indian deathlock! Dean won’t tap, so Dragon releases and just takes to kicking him in the kidneys instead. Malenko backdrops Dragon to make him go away for a second, and he finds the energy to powerbomb Dragon for 2. Dragon smashes Malenko’s face into the buckle, and sends him to the floor. A swinging dropkick makes a nice clapping noise on impact, and Dragon then comes off the top with a crossbody – appearing to hurt his own knee in the process. Back in, Malenko goes for a powerbomb again, but this time Dragon turns it in mid-air and uses a Frankensteiner into a roll up for 2! La Majistral gets 2! Fast and furious now. A handspring back elbow is blocked, and Malenko throws him with an overhead release German suplex! Malenko, frustrated, chokes the hell out of Dragon, and the announcers figure he’s simply lost it over last night. Sonny tries to get involved, but Malenko piefaces him to the floor and goes back to trying to choke the life out of Dragon – getting himself DQed at 8:58. This was about the floor as far as these two guys go, still a *** match.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants answers about Malenko’s behavior, since he’s typically the “consummate professional”. Dean says he’s sick and tired of the lack of respect he’s been getting, and he hasn’t forgotten about Syxx. His bigger issue, however, is that Guerrero is someone he fully trusted, and since he decided to get in his business, he’ll be giving him the business going forward.
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE (7-1-0) vs. DAVID TAYLOR (2-1-0)
The master of the European uppercut! My god how I’ve missed you! Now, in the defense of the Squire, he’s been on the search for Dr. Livingstone for the better part of a month now. You can tell he’s still not completely back to his civilized self, because he mistakes the front row for a pride of lions and prepares to defend himself accordingly.
Page might be picking up a ton of momentum, but he hasn’t faced the wrath of our world traveler. Taylor goes right to the European uppercuts because he is not a man who messes around. Page is rocked with two of them, and it’s bordering on impossibility that he’s actually still on his feet. Page tries a Diamond Cutter, but as a former shark fighter, he summons his training and pokes Page in the eyes. THE OUTSIDERS come out to admire Taylor’s incredible ringwork, as Page picks up Taylor in a fireman’s carry. Out of this move, he hits a Diamond Cutter, and seeing as how Taylor had no counter, I have to believe that’s a completely illegal shoot hold, because otherwise there is no chance he could have connected it against this beast. Before Taylor can kick out, Nash and Hall prevent Page from even trying the pinfall – which is good, we don’t need his finisher killed. Taylor leaves the boys to their business, because he still has uncharted jungle to map out.
RANDY SAVAGE sneaks in behind Page while he’s distracted with the Outsiders, and attacks from behind. Savage shares a little love with his new friends, while A FAN gets the brilliant idea to run in and ask everyone for an autograph. All 3 nWo guys take turns teeing off on the moron, who decides to tuck tail and head for the hills – SECURITY hot in pursuit. Savage tags Page with the spray paint, and puts on his brand new shirt. An elbowdrop cements his spot in the group, and everyone shares Wolfpac signs.
The inconsistencies here are completely wild. Savage, god bless him, has always been more like a Diamond Dallas Page than anything. He’s more or less an independent, not interested in a lot of friends. Watching him “sell out” to the nWo lacks in any kind of believability from what we’ve been taught to know about him over the years. Hogan makes total sense, he’s always surrounded himself with people who bow to the power of Hulkamania. Savage never needed that … or any of them. He made friends with Hogan only once the Hulkster started acknowledging him as a top guy; and the minute he felt threatened, he tore him apart. The story they’re running with is that Savage did this in order to get his job back with WCW, but I’m not buying this. If that were a plausible scenario, Savage should be as uncomfortable as Elizabeth, or at least as “accepting” of his new spot as Mongo is with Jarrett. In a perfect situation, had the agreement been that he helped Hogan retain, and Savage happily agreed (with the intent to seek and destroy immediately afterwards), we would have had a heck of an intriguing storyline. Would the fans have accepted the “sell out” Savage, trying to use the ends to justify the means? Or would they have given him the Lex Luger treatment of last year? Would the WCW guys have been able to trust him moving forward, or would he be on an island unto himself, forced to take on all comers in the name of remaining employed? There were a million directions to take this. Instead, they chose the laziest path available. And this was just the beginning of the “lazy” turns. Strap yourselves in, there’s a million more on the way.
After a commercial break, the trio is still in the ring, where Hall is welcoming the audience to nWo Monday Nitro. Savage is introduced as the newest member, and Hall brings out “another icon” to join them, welcoming HOLLYWOOD HOGAN. Hogan sucks up to the locals (another big problem with this group – constantly fluffing the fans to ensure they picked up all the heat, good and bad). Macho is given his introductory present – a smiling ELIZABETH, with TED DIBIASE and ERIC BISCHOFF. Okay, here’s MORE inconsistencies. Just last year, this lady was running with Ric Flair, tossing Savage’s money into the crowd left, right, and center. Then, out of nowhere, she re-develops her feelings for Savage, and joins the nWo to get a movie role – actions that are counter-productive to each other. Savage, having nothing but hate for the woman, starts crying over her on Nitro to the point you don’t think he’s actually going to be able to fight Hogan because he’s so downtrodden, until he shows up at the pay-per-view and none of this is even brought up. 4 months later, all’s good – and they can be a couple now because they wear the same t-shirts. Maybe I expect too much from my shows, but as recently as Last Summer, they were working their asses off to ensure everything tied together. The Bischoff as the nWo boss stuff was positively brilliant, dropping subtle hints for months until we were clued in. The DDP as possible nWo backer, until it was revealed it was actually DiBiase was a fantastic red herring. And all those commercials to let us know Glacier was Coming really came together when he finally arrived. Now that they’re the runaway clear #1 game in town, it almost feels like they just stopped trying.
HARLEM HEAT (8-2-2) (with Sista Sherri) vs. LEX LUGER and THE GIANT (1-0-0) (for the WCW world tag-team titles)
At this point, it’s probably because I’m already in a mood and nitpicking to high hell, but why are Harlem Heat getting the title shots after Public Enemy won the #1 contender’s match last night? ERIC BISCHOFF runs down to ringside before we get underway, and before he makes his impending announcement, he invites THE NWO to join him as back up. nWo Sting and Masa Chono are missing, but otherwise, the gang’s all here. Bischoff reminds Luger he wasn’t cleared last night, and as a result, they are not the tag-team champions. Shocker. It’s bad when even Tony Schiavone sniffed this one out last night, because he doesn’t catch on to *anything*. Luger refuses, saying he’ll need to be removed on a stretcher before he gives the title belt. Unless – he’s willing to agree to one match. Luger wants every single belt on the line at Uncensored, World, Tag-Team, Cruiserweight, all of them. Bischoff agrees, as long as they hand over the gold immediately.
STING walks out from the back while both sides jaw with each other, and he marches right up into the ring. The ring parts like the red sea, and Sting coldly looks at everyone, before settling on Hogan. He burns a hole through Hollywood, and Hogan responds by giving Sting a big bear hug. Sting steps back … and poses with the nWo. Oh Christ almighty, really?!? Really?!? REALLY?!?!?! Tony speaks for all of us – “I can’t take this anymore, goodnight!” As the credits fade to black, Bischoff can audibly be heard, clearly wearing a loud smile, “Oh I LOVE this!!!”

I bet you do, Eric.

Monday Nitro – November 22, 1999

Monday Nitro #215
Date: November 22, 1999
Location:
Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Attendance: 11,449
Commentators: Bobby
Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re past Mayhem now
and Bret Hart is the new WCW World Champion, actually winning the
title mostly clean over Chris Benoit in the Sharpshooter. The next
big night for the company is about a month away at Starrcade, meaning
it’s time to see what Russo considers a big idea. This would be
different than a small match with only four run-ins, a ref bump and a
weapon being used. Let’s get to it.

Jeff Jarrett is in the
back and ranting about how he’s the chosen one.
Opening sequence.
Here’s
Bret to open things up with a very shiny title. He’s finally here
after a long two years but it was all worth it and this title is for
his father Stu. As for things around here, what happened to Goldberg
hasn’t been cool so Bret thinks he should give Goldberg a title shot
at Starrcade. Cue the Outsiders with Hall mocking everything Bret
says, as you would expect him to.
Maybe Bret should take
some lessons from the Outsiders because they took WCW to where it is
today. That joke easily writes itself. They want a match against
Bret and Goldberg tonight and Bret says of course, but Jarrett sneaks
in and blasts Bret with the guitar. Like any good heel, he leaves
with the belt.
Curt Hennig is in the
back and says he can’t wrestle, but he can say goodbye to everyone.
He turns around and sees the Maestro playing the piano. Nothing else
happens, and Maestro will be playing there all night long. Why?
Because that’s what Maestro does I suppose.
Konnan
tells Kidman to stop worrying about his missing camera.
Tony
Marinara is with the Mamalukes, better known as Big Vito and Johnny
the Bull. Vito wants a cheese sandwich, and he says it so
convincingly that I want to buy him a sandwich. They plan on putting
a horse’s head in someone’s bed, then realize they don’t know whose
bed it is. Marinara threatens to call his father the Don and reminds
them that it’s Disco.
Luger is with the
Powers That Be and tells them that he can book Liz in matches due to
owning her contract. They agree, so tonight it’s Liz vs. Meng. I do
enjoy them pretending that this is going to be a match instead of an
angle.
Liz is horrified. Me
too. What a stupid story.
Tag Team Titles:
Konnan/Kidman vs. Creative Control
Whoa!
A match! The twins are challenging. Kidman gets launched into the
air for two to start before the other twin plants him with a slam.
Gerald gets dropkicked down though and the hot tag brings in Konnan
to clean house. We cut to the screen to show Eddie and Torrie in the
locker room talking. Kidman freaks out and runs to the back, even
though they were just casually talking. The monsters don’t really
need the help though as a spinning belly to back suplex gives them
the titles.
Rating:
D-.
Well so much for the Filthy Animals, as they’ve gone from Russo’s
favorite toy to seemingly about to split in the span of about a
month. I can’t say I’m complaining though as they were one of the
most annoying acts I’ve ever seen. The wrestling was fine but my
goodness their talking got old fast.
Kidman
goes after Eddie, but Heenan points out the correct observation: they
were just talking and laughing a bit. Nothing implied that something
was going on.
Goldberg and Hart
aren’t sure how to deal with the Outsiders and Jarrett in the same
night. Goldberg says he’ll fight the Outsiders on his own and Bret
can go after Jarrett. It won’t necessarily be a handicap match
either.
Skye can’t talk Spice
out of fighting Tygress tonight.
With the piano music
still playing, Hennig and Buff agree that there are no hard feelings
about the whole forcing Curt into retirement thing.
Here’s
Hardcore Champion Norman Smiley. He’s the REAL hardcore man around
here. When you look up the definition of hardcore in the dictionary,
you see his tough mug. This morning, he drank a glass of milk that
was TWO DAYS PAST EXPIRATION! It’s open challenge time and here’s
Fit Finlay to scare the milk out of Norman. He kicks Smiley low and
puts on his football helmet for a headbutt. The Regal Roll leaves
Smiley laying despite being the funniest guy in the company in a long
time.
The
announcers recap the show thus far.
Liz can’t talk Luger
out of putting her in this match. Maestro is still playing and has
barely been acknowledged all night.
Hall thinks he’s
figured out Goldberg’s plan. He can’t confirm it, but it might
involve spears and Jackhammers.
Chavo Guerrero is
selling the Mamalukes some gold chains when Disco comes in, freaks
out, and leaves.
Tenay tells Jarrett
that he has a match with Bret coming up tonight so Jarrett throws him
out. Well, he’s got the jerk role down.
Evan Karagias vs.
Saturn
Non-title.
Evan stops to kiss Madusa at the start and gets suplexed out of his
shoes for his efforts. The Death Valley Driver is countered into a
sunset flip for two as we have a hippie coming over to commentary.
It’s Brad Armstrong in yet another new gimmick called Buzzkill
(Heenan: “How do you do Mr. Kill?”) because he needs a
personality. Saturn throws Evan again and puts on the Rings of
Saturn for the quick win. Some champion.
Kidman
yells about Eddie going beyond Filthy Animal business and wants a
match with him later tonight. That could be good.
Eddie reads off a cue
card (some of the most obvious I’ve ever seen) about Kidman not
understanding what’s going on and proving it in the ring tonight.
Vampiro vs. The Wall
Ferrara
and Williams come out for commentary. Well one of them anyway.
Vampiro slugs away to start and knocks Wall to the floor but the big
man kicks him in the ribs to take over. You can imagine what Ferrara
is talking about. The Misfits help their buddy out but Wall shrugs
it off and beats on Vampiro inside. Vampiro’s kicks put him down but
Berlyn comes in with a chair for the DQ.
Wall
isn’t pleased and the Germans come to blows, breaking up the long
standing partnership after all of two months. After they leave,
Williams beats up the Misfits but eats a spinning kick to the face
from Vampiro.
Liz jumps inside a
shark cage because they just have one around.
A limo arrives.
WCW World Title:
Jeff Jarrett vs. Bret Hart
Jeff
is wearing the title after stealing it earlier in the night. Of
course this main events the first hour instead of the entire show.
Bret slugs away to start and takes Jeff into the corner for right
hands and a boot choke. Outside now with Jeff going into the
barricade before they head inside where Bret gets crotched on the top
rope. Back to the floor again as they can’t make up their mind.
Jeff slams him head first onto the announcers’ table as this
wrestling thing just doesn’t do it for either guy these days.
They get back inside
for a sleeper on the champ but he suplexes his way out to put both
guys down. The Five Moves get some near falls and Jeff gets the same
off a middle rope clothesline. Jeff kicks him to the floor and
Creative Control swarms Bret, drawing in Dustin Rhodes to clock
Jarrett with the title. Bret didn’t see a thing and covers to
retain.
Rating:
D+.
I really wasn’t feeling this one as they were all over the place out
there and brawling instead of wrestling like these two could do in
their sleep. But then again, why should either of them care at this
point? Bret’s heart clearly isn’t in it and they’ve wasted him this
long, so why should be believe it’s going to get any better?
The
Mamalukes come up to the Maestro, who has the former Ryan Shamrock
next to him, and ask for some Sinatra. Karaoke is performed in one
of the only times all night that Maestro has been acknowledged.
Luger
is trying to get Liz to come out of the cage. This girls in cages
idea has to be some Russo fetish. She finally gives it up but Luger
says the match is still on. Eh points for making him even more evil.
On the other hand, points taken away for leaving her locked inside
the cage and saying he’ll put it in the ring. After a break, Liz
tries to get Sting to help her but he says to lay in the cage she’s
made.
Kidman vs. Eddie
Guerrero
Torrie
is in a blue swimsuit top and matching blue pants with her hair tied
back. You can imagine the reactions. Why she changed since we saw
her with Eddie earlier isn’t clear. Konnan comes out with Eddie but
Kidman dives over the top to take Eddie down before the bell. They
head in for the first time with Eddie getting hammered in the corner.
That goes as far as it can so Guerrero suplexes Kidman over the top
and out to the floor in a big crash.
After
a whip to the barricade, Eddie takes him back inside for some knees
to the ribs. The camera keeps focusing on Torrie and throwing the
announcers off. I can cut them some slack on this one. Kidman gets
hit low trying a leapfrog and the match slows down quite a bit. The
Revolution comes out to jump Konnan to pick things up and because
that feud just won’t die. The distraction lets Kidman come back with
right hands to Eddie, setting up the Shooting Star but Torrie asks
him for help, allowing Eddie to superplex him down and nail the Frog
Splash for the pin.
Rating:
C.
That wasn’t bad but I could go for anything but the Revolution vs.
Filthy Animals going forward. Hopefully this leads to the Animals
breaking up though as I can’t take much more of their stupid
catchphrases and slang that makes no sense. Or the whole being
thieves that I’m supposed to cheer.
Creative
Control is asked which is Patrick and both point to the other. Quick
one line jokes are Russo’s strong suit. Their next assignments are
to find Duggan (“Big goof, one kidney”) and find out who is in
the limo.
Skye
asks Spice not to fight tonight but Spice has to do what a girl has
to do.
Meng
vs. Elizabeth
Liz,
still in the shark cage, is brought in on a forklift. Meng of course
attacks the cage but can’t break through. Luger offers him the key
and gets put in the Tongan Death Grip as a result, drawing out Sting
with the bat to lay out the monster. He unlocks Liz and they leave
after a non-match. Or did Meng win by DQ?
Jim
Duggan asks Maestro to play Chopsticks.
Lash Leroux vs.
Disco Inferno
Disco
is so scared of the mob guys that he doesn’t even dance and starts
the match quickly. They trade hammerlocks and armdrags to start as
Disco keeps looking over his shoulder. Cue the mob guys to scare
Disco even more, but Johnny accidentally trips Lash, allowing Disco
to take over. Disco stomps away but Lash pops back up with a sunset
flip and Whiplash for the pin.
The mob comes in to
stomp Disco, only to have Lash make the save. Marinara tries to come
in but gets put to sleep and thrown into a white body bag.
Creative
Control tries to see inside the limo to no avail. After a break, the
twins say they have nothing to do with the limo’s car alarm going
off. It should be their limo though since they’re the champs now.
The Powers yell at
Duggan for messing up the bathroom last week, so Russo has been
eating prunes all day. Duggan gets to clean the toilet with a
toothbrush.
Tygress vs. Spice
Let’s
get this over with. Spice is dressed as a schoolgirl and Tygress is
in a leopard print body suit. Tygress easily takes her down and the
fans are dead. Back up and Spice hits a kind of running tackle and
we’re in catfight mode. A snapmare puts Tygress down and the
announcers of course freak. Cue Skye (Stacy, in a leather skirt that
might be nine inches long) with a makeup bag to knock Spice out.
Skye and Tygress put
makeup on Spice. I can’t imagine this story continuing.
We go to the back to
talk to…..MENG? As the Maestro keeps laying just because, Meng
speaks (!), saying he wants Sting in a No DQ match tonight with Sting
using the bat. So Meng is ok with someone hitting him in the head
with a bat. Why would you EVER take him up on that? I know Sting is
stupid but my goodness. Speaking of my goodness, MENG DOES NOT TALK.
This is just a step below WWE ECW having Sabu speak. You just don’t
do it.
Here’s
Hennig for his big farewell. After a hug to Heenan, Curt can barely
speak. He keeps trying but a PERFECT chant cuts him off and he
leaves with tears in his eyes.
We see the limo again.
Duggan finds Russo’s
toothbrush and cleans the toilet with it. You know this is coming
back later.
Cue
Roddy Piper of all people for the first time in about four months.
He rips into writers, ranting about how they put in all these women
and T&A and having a bunch of stupid entrances. This is actually
exactly what you would expect him to say. The mic is quickly cut
off, so Piper grabs a camera guy and takes him to the back to meet
with the Powers That Be.
After kicking the door
in, Piper is stunned to see Russo (well, despite them flat out saying
it was Russo since he debuted, how could Piper know? Did he really
expect there to be a body there instead of just an arm?) and tells
the boss that he has a contract, guaranteeing that he appears on TV.
Russo says Piper has a bad hip and is almost 50 so he needs to go
join Ric and Hulk in Florida. Piper can be on TV though, but it’s
going to be as a referee. Piper fumes about it, then walks to his
limo saying “Yes sir” over and over. Somehow, this fits him
perfectly.
Buff Bagwell vs.
Booker T.
Booker
gets taken down by a nice armdrag to start and it’s time to dance.
They lock up and Creative Control is out before we can even get a
minute into the match. Buff clotheslines him down and they head to
the floor for….nothing. Ok then. Back in and Booker nails the
kicks and the Spinarooni, only to have to nail one of the twins
instead of covering. The distraction lets Buff nail a Blockbuster,
but the other twin distracts the referee so the first can stomp
Bagwell. Cue Hennig to talk to the twins….and then stomp Bagwell.
One of the twins covers Buff and the bell rings because of whatever
their reason is this week.
Rating:
D.
So Hennig spent weeks getting beaten up by whoever Russo threw at him
and then joined them anyway. I’m so glad we’ve moved past that NWO
era and are now getting the same thing from a yet to be named group
led by the Powers That Be. Is there any team Hennig hasn’t joined
since he’s been in WCW?
Midnight comes out for
the save.
The Powers welcome
Hennig to the team. If you can’t beat em, join em you see, even
though he won several of the matches.
Liz offers to manage
Sting against Meng tonight.
Asya vs. Madusa
This
could be gloriously horrible. They’re already fighting on the floor
before the bell finishes ringing. Asya drives her into the barricade
but Madusa gets in some kicks to the ribs. Back in (assuming they
were in there in the first place) with Madusa lifting her up in an
electric chair before firing off even more kicks. Asya slams her off
the top and puts on a leg choke for the submission while Saturn beats
up Karagias on general principle.
Malenko doesn’t like
seeing Canadians fighting for an American prize. Tonight he’s going
to show Benoit how much he cares about Canada with a blowtorch. The
anthem is changing from O Canada to BURN CANADA BURN. This is going
to hurt isn’t it?
Chris Benoit vs.
Dean Malenko
Double
flag match, which is close enough to a pole match that I’m
considering it one. Benoit pulls Dean’s hockey jersey over his face
hockey style, setting up some knees to the ribs. The fans of course
chant USA. I have no idea which flag they need to pull down and
Heenan is too busy making hockey jokes. Benoit heads outside and
grabs…..gasoline. Oh geez this isn’t ending well is it?
Malenko saves himself
from being set on fire (just go with it) with a low blow but Benoit
chops him in the corner. Is that like a Canadian defense mechanism
or something? Benoit stops Dean from getting the Canadian flag and
puts him in the Tree of Woe for a good looking baseball slide. He
whips Malenko in but Dean drops to his knees to beg for mercy. Oh
come on now. Thankfully Benoit dropkicks him in the face, only to be
sent throat first into the bottom rope, allowing Malenko to get the
Canadian flag for the win. Tony makes it even worse by saying you
had to get your own flag but I really can’t bring myself to care.
Rating:
D.
This wasn’t much of a match but Benoit’s dropkicks looked good. It’s
just so depressing watching Malenko have to put up with this nonsense
which he clearly hates doing. At least it was fast though and it’s a
sad day when you have to say that about a Malenko vs. Benoit match.
The
Revolution comes in with a barrel and throw in the Canadian flag.
That’s not enough though as they throw in the American one as well,
but thankfully Bret runs in for the save. He hands Benoit the
Canadian flag and waves the American one because why not. See, this
is where the Revolution dies right in front of you. Russo seemed to
think they were paramilitary or something similar so that’s what
we’re getting: people who hate Canada and the US as well. I’m not
sure how we got here from guys tired of the older generation hogging
the main event and honestly, I’m not sure I want to know because it
might scare me.
The
Powers call Juventud Guerrera into their office to ask about an
expired work visa. Juvy offers the Powers some tequila and Russo
spits it out. He’d like his toothbrush please (you knew it was
coming), despite clearly just being an arm with a voicebox attached.
Meng vs. Sting
No
DQ and Sting is in a t-shirt again. Meng goes right after him to
start, possibly worried that the poly/cotton blend might chafe
Sting’s toned chest. Liz comes out to watch as Sting finally gets
out of the jacket, revealing leather pants. Huh? Sting avoids an
elbow but turns down Liz’s offer of the mace can. The Stinger Splash
has Meng in trouble but here’s Luger. Sting grabs him, possibly to
ask for hair tips, setting up the Tongan Death Grip to give Meng the
win, which I’m sure is totally leading somewhere right?
Liz checks on Sting
post match.
Nash shouts for someone
to come on….but Hall is in the other direction. I don’t see this
ending well.
Goldberg asks his
partner if he’s ready.
David Flair FINALLY
breaks up Maestro’s piano with the crowbar, probably turning into one
of the biggest faces in the promotion as a result. Well assuming the
fans can actually see these segments.
Outsiders vs.
Goldberg/???
Nash
gets to wear the TV Title, which you would think is way beneath him.
Somehow this is the first time Tony explains that Hall is the US and
TV Champion. You would think that would have been brought up earlier
in the night, but we had piano issues to discuss. Now the
stupid/shocking move here would be to go with Sid as Goldberg’s
partner in an act of respect for all the hard fou…..oh of course
it’s Sid so I’m not even bothering with the sarcasm here. They’re
acting like best friends now of course and don’t have the slightest
bit of animosity.
Hall
and Goldberg get things going but Scott throws the toothpick at Sid
to draw him in. The referee actually does his job for once and it’s
off to Sid. Hall is casually shoved across the ring and Sid does it
again for good measure. Tony tries to pass this off as a big respect
thing but it’s just not working.
The Outsiders have to
fight out of a double chokeslam attempt and it’s off to Nash for some
big right hands. A running boot to the face drops Nash though and
it’s time for the Starrcade rematch. Nash gets put with a superkick
and I can’t believe this has held together so long. Some good old
fashioned cheating gives the Outsiders a breather but Goldberg just
plants Scott with a powerslam. Another cheap shot slows Goldberg
down so Sid hits one of his own (with the bandaged arm) on Hall to
even things out.
Nash comes in for the
standard corner offensive package and it’s back to Hall for a front
facelock. Old school missed tag to Sid gets us nowhere so Goldberg
clotheslines both Outsiders at the same time. Sid comes in to clean
house and chokeslams Hall, followed by a big spear. The powerbomb
connects but Nash sneaks in while the referee is with Goldberg and
drops an elbow (just a regular elbow) on Sid to give Hall the fluke
pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was……shockingly watchable actually. The cheating end was as
tame an ending to a Russo main event as there has been yet and this
was a really by the book, standard tag formula power match. I mean,
it wasn’t anything good but for a TV main event in this era to
actually be calm and follow the rules is stunning.
Goldberg and Nash fight
until security pulls them apart to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D.
It’s a slightly better show this week with a few less things to get
annoyed at, but the Maestro thing got annoying in a hurry. I’m still
trying to get over that main event though as it was a totally calm
and rational match without a bunch of insanity throughout. It’s nice
that they’re focusing on Starrcade already but the stuff in the
middle is going to hurt them in the long run. I mean, do we need to
see the Revolution trying to burn flags or the Hennig nonsense? It’s
also annoying that Luger and Sting have one of the most logical
stories on the roster while everyone else is a mess. Fix that and
the show will improve.
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

Monday Nitro – November 15, 1999

Monday Nitro #214
Date: November 15, 1999
Location:
Barton Coliseum, Little Rock, Arkansas
Attendance: 10,435
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s the go home show
for Mayhem so tonight we get the tournament down to the final four.
The big question this week though is what genre of direct to video
movie are we getting? Last week it was thriller with Kimberly vs.
David Flair, mixed in with the comedy of Kevin Nash as the Grand
Wizard. Heaven help me but let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.
There’s a cage over the
ring. Of course there is.
Norman Smiley vs.
Jimmy Hart
Hardcore,
meaning Smiley comes out in football pads and Jimmy in…..a suit of
armor. Well that’s kind of Genius of him. Jimmy brings in some
weapons and actually doesn’t die at first because Norman can’t see
through his helmet. The weapons shots have no effect on Hart so
Norman just takes him down by the legs. Hart comes back with some
powder to the face and Norman has to take the helmet off to cry.
The fans loudly chant
NORMAN, but I’m sure that’s just because of the weapons and not the
effort or comedic skills he’s displaying right? Jimmy gets in some
weapons shots but Norman gets up, drawing out Knobbs with a chair to
the head. Brian loads up a table but Jimmy misses a dive through it,
giving Norman the easy pin.
Rating:
D+.
This is one of those matches where the guys tried and were having
fun, but they firmly hit the roof of what they were capable of doing.
It doesn’t help that this is to set up the epic showdown between
Knobbs and Smiley, when it seems like there’s something entertaining
in having Hart as a hardcore guy if you keep him in the armor.
Knobbs
beats Smiley down post match.
Here are the tournament
brackets.
Bret Hart
Kidman
Total Package
Sting
Chris Benoit
Scott Hall
Buff Bagwell
Jeff Jarrett
If
Curt Hennig can beat Goldberg tonight, he gets a new contract. And
what stops the Powers That Be from saying he’s fired from that one if
he loses?
Kimberly talks to Terry
Taylor. Why is she in the building after last week?
Tonight,
Nash is dressed like Sid, complete with some pretty good prosthetic
makeup. Well at least he isn’t Slick.
AC
Jazz is out of the Nitro Girls so Fyre and Tygress jump Spice. Next.
Here
are the Outsiders with Nash as Sid, with a chin that is far bigger
than the real version. Keeping in mind that Sid is from Arkansas,
the fans aren’t thrilled with this. Nash says he rules the world
about five times but stops to remind us that he’s stupid. Cue Sid,
who has had enough of these two. We get the famous line of “you
are only half of the man that I am, and I have half the brains that
you do” which has Hall nearly doubled over in laughter. Sid is
already in a match tonight, but he wants to get Nash out of
retirement on top of that. Nash says no so Sid calls him a shell of
his former self and Nash says……nothing.
Tonight,
Booker has to face Creative Control, officially named Gerald and
Patrick. Why having the Harris Twins have the same names as the
Stooges is supposed to be funny isn’t clear but I’m sure Russo gets a
chuckle out of it. Booker says Midnight will strike.
Kimberly tries to see
the Powers That Be but the Twins stop her.
Post break, Kimberly is
in the Powers’ office and Russo puts her in a match with Asya.
There’s going to be a special referee.
Nash comes into Russo’s
office.
Booker T. vs.
Creative Control
Before
he can get to the ring, Booker is stopped by Chavo for an Amway
pitch. After that comedy spot goes nowhere, Booker goes after we’ll
say Patrick but gets whipped into Gerald’s boot. Tony stops talking
about the match to say the Powers That Be have rescinded Nash’s
retirement stipulation. Tony: “It was a lame angle anyway.”
Every show I watch, I understand Cornette’s rantings and ravings just
a bit more.
The
Twins start double teaming him and take it outside where Booker can
only fight one at a time. Back in and Booker manages a dropkick to
put both guys down, setting up the ax kick and a missile dropkick for
two with Gerald making a save. The H Bomb gets the pin on Booker a
few seconds later.
The
gong strikes and Midnight appears to knock out both Twins. This is
after she got laid out by Jarrett last week so the effect isn’t all
there.
Post
break, Russo threatens to make Creative Control into bikers again.
They’re banished to go find the luchadors and Torrie.
Evan Karagias vs.
Johnny Boone
Yes
referee Johnny Boone who is wrestling in jeans here. Madusa comes
out with Karagias, who gets jumped as the bell rings. Evan easily
shoves him back because he’s a referee as Madusa goes to commentary.
They slowly go after each other because Boone, while a trained
wrestler, isn’t much above average and that leaves Evan Karagias to
carry things. Boone gets a boot up in the corner so Madusa rams his
face into her cleavage. He’s out cold and Evan gets the easy pin.
Keep in mind that Evan is challenging for the Cruiserweight Title
this Sunday and this is his big warmup.
Madusa
kisses Evan post match.
Russo
has a bunch of luchadors in his face and makes them a deal: he’s
going to put a $10,000 check inside a pinata and hang it from a pole.
As luck would have it, Juvy is carrying a pinata. They’ll all be
given a stick to hit each other with too. You can see the lawsuits
from here.
Dr. Death Steve
Williams and Ed Ferrara as JR show up.
Creative Control keeps
looking for Torrie.
Villano V vs.
Juventud Guerrera vs. El Dandy vs. Silver King vs. Psychosis
It’s
a brawl to start and the pinata falls down fifteen seconds in. King
moonsaults onto Dandy as Williams and Ferrara come to ringside.
Ferrara gets on commentary and does his JR impression, listing off
football stats, telling Tony to speak in soundbytes and shouting
PINATA over and over. Juvy gets the pinata (PINATA! PINATA!) but
the match just keeps going with the camera on Ferrara. Guerrera does
the elbow drop and shakes the pinata as candy flies everywhere. Dr.
Death gets in the ring and beats everyone up for the no contest,
after almost everyone had the pinata at one point.
Rating:
F.
Well let’s see. It was a bunch of racial stereotypes, the pinata
didn’t last twenty seconds, Juvy didn’t win for no explained reason,
the sticks didn’t go anywhere, it was all about Dr. Death cleaning
house at the end, and they spent the entire match ripping on JR after
ripping on Sid earlier, Grand Wizard last week and Vince the week
before. Pick any two of those reasons and you’ll get why this is a
failure.
Dr. Death takes the
check from King as the bell rings roughly 857 times.
Goldberg doesn’t care
about anything.
Nash
is back in his usual clothes and says he took some time off when WCW
sucked. Now that Hall is back, things are fun again. Well of course
it is. He barely has to do anything but comedy and gets a huge
check. Pay no attention to the company, and therefore the checks,
dying before his eyes.
Goldberg vs. Curt
Hennig
Goldberg is coming out
of his locker room when Hennig slams the door on his head. Unlike
Flair with the WarGames door, Goldberg no sells it and they brawl in
the back with Goldberg getting the better of it. They fight to the
aisle and the bell rings with Hennig getting knocked to ringside and
looking like he’s running scared.
Curt finally gets in
some knees to the head as they go inside. The Robinsdale Crunch sets
up a stepover toehold for well over a minute, with the referee
ignoring Goldberg’s shoulders being down the entire time. Goldberg
finally punches him in the face and puts on a leg bar for the
submission, meaning Hennig keeps his job.
Rating:
D.
So Hennig can lose by anything but pin and keep his job. Why would
the Powers That Be want to keep him around if he never wins because
he keeps submitting or getting counted out? This was another of
those mostly hardcore matches which don’t make people care because it
doesn’t last five minutes and it’s part of a story that makes no
sense.
Kimberly
is on the phone with Page when the lights flicker. She panics at the
fear of bad writing but Jim Duggan comes up with a flashlight and
says the fuses in this place are horrible. I hate to admit it, but
this was kind of funny. Ignore the fact that Jim Duggan apparently
has a working knowledge of the fuses in an arena in Little Rock,
Arkansas.
Creative
Control tells the Filthy Animals that they’re fired if they don’t
produce Torrie. The Animals heed the threat and go find her. Wait
why isn’t she with them in the first place?
Chavo Guerrero sells
Duggan some fuses.
Vampiro/Misfits
vs. Berlyn/The Wall
The
Misfits almost have to be better than the Clowns. The Bodyguard is
officially the Wall, which is more punny delight. Three are three
Misfits and one is named Jerry Only. Berlyn goes after Vampiro to
start and sends him flying with a belly to belly. He misses a
dropkick though and it’s off to the Misfits vs. the Wall. The trio
is chokeslammed with ease but Vampiro comes in and kicks the Wall in
the face.
The
fans are way behind Vampiro here but Berlyn kicks him down, setting
up a missile dropkick/suplex combo but the Germans argue over the
pin. Wall steps aside so Vampiro can hit a quick Nail in the Coffin
but Berlyn counters a top rope hurricanrana into a powerbomb. This
time it’s Wall breaking up the pin but Vampiro breaks it up, only to
eat a chokeslam for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Most of that is because Wall hit some good looking chokeslams and the
Misfits were little more than cannon fodder. This might have been
the most logical match of the Russo Era so far with Berlyn getting
annoyed at Wall for taking the glory, even though Berlyn is a waste
of a roster spot at this point. Wall looks like someone they could
push as someone interesting, meaning he’s doomed from here.
Berlyn whips Vampiro
post match.
Torrie has been brought
to the Powers’ office and Russo throws her a referee bikini, because
“it’s all about the ratings.” Why did he have one of those
handy?
TV Title: Rick
Steiner vs. Sid Vicious
Rick
is defending even though he didn’t bring the belt with him. We
continue a running theme tonight with the guys brawling in the aisle
but this time Sid is sent over the barricade and into the crowd.
Steiner slams him down on the concrete but Sid fights back, only to
put on something like a chinlock near the stage. That goes nowhere
so Rick is dragged up to the stage for a low blow, setting up a
powerbomb through the stage. Sid walks away and they never actually
got into the ring. No match it would seem.
Post
break, Rick is taken out on a stretcher. This goes on for the better
part of ten minutes and Sid rambles about not wanting to do this to
his friend. He’s ready for Nash tonight.
Nash
is taping up.
We go to the boiler
room for Jerry Flynn vs. Barbarian in something resembling a match.
Remember when Mankind and Undertaker did this? Or Big Show and
Mankind? Well now it’s Jerry Flynn beating up Barbarian, kicking him
up against the wall and I guess knocking him out. Tony brags about
how great this is going to be for the ratings and how it’s going to
make people watch the show.
Benoit says Scott Hall
isn’t standing in the way of getting to the World Title.
Asya vs. Kimberly
Torrie
is guest referee and wearing a bikini. Well at least they’re not
hiding what they’re doing anymore. Asya and Torrie get in a lame
catfight until Kimberly jumps on Asya’s back with a sleeper. The
Animals come out to cover Torrie up and get her out of there. Cue
David Flair with the crowbar and wearing a referee shirt, sending
Kimberly running off. David and Asya fight with David shrugging off
a low blow but the Revolution comes out to clear the ring. So a
minute long non match had two guest referees (I guess?), and I
believe five people interfering?
Sting
is given some flowers with a card from Luger. Liz and Luger are
shown hoping that he likes them, but Sting doesn’t think he can trust
them.
Goldberg has a chilled
beverage.
Kimberly runs from
David.
WCW World Title
Tournament Quarter-Finals: Chris Benoit vs. Scott Hall
Bret
Hart comes out to be in Benoit’s corner to counter Nash. So he’s
Hogan to Nash’s Andre? Hall throws the toothpick at him and finds it
hilarious. That earns him some fluid from Benoit’s nose and they
trade some arm holds. Now Hall wants the test of strength, only to
pock Benoit in the eye. That’s fine with Chris who trips Hall down
and dropkicks him in the side of the head.
The
Outsiders have a breather on the floor as this might be the longest
match we’ve seen in Russo’s Era without any shenanigans. Back in and
they trade chops in the corner with Benoit taking over and getting
two off a snap suplex. Nash can’t help it any longer and nails
Benoit in the back of the neck, allowing Scott to nail a clothesline
for two. Scott gets into his routine and the fall away slam is good
for two.
We
hit the sleeper on the Canadian but Chris suplexes out to put both
guys down. Benoit fights up and plants Hall with a backbreaker
before dropkicking him to the floor. Nash goes after Benoit but Hart
makes the save. In the melee, Sid comes in and powerbombs Hall,
setting up the Swan Dive for two. Nash makes another save but Benoit
Crossfaces Hall to go to Mayhem.
Rating:
B-.
Here’s the interesting thing about the match and the key to the whole
idea: the fans reacted when Sid came in and laid Hall out. Now why
is this time different from all the other matches ending with
interference? For me it’s one simple reason: they allowed the match
to build up before doing the angle. The only thing out of the
ordinary was a single clothesline from Nash, which is minor by
comparison. It’s a good match on its own and the angle is far more
acceptable when they have a good build to get there. This is the
Russo style that worked in the WWF because it had the time to work,
though that’s not the case in WCW.
Bagwell says Jarrett
isn’t going over him.
WCW World Title
Tournament Quarter-Finals: Bret Hart vs. Kidman
Rey
gets in on commentary. Bret takes him down with an elbow to the back
of the head and nails a hard clothesline as this is looking one sided
so far. Kidman slips out of a slam so Bret catapults him over the
top and out to the floor. Back in and a Bodog gets two on Bret but
we’ve got Outsiders. They hit on the robed Torrie but Eddie goes
over for the save as Rey cheers him on from commentary. Back inside,
Bret counters a hurricanrana into the Sharpshooter.
Rating:
D.
This didn’t have time to go anywhere but at least Bret didn’t crush
Kidman. It also helped that they kept things moving quick enough and
the interference didn’t really change much. Mysteiro was kind of a
jerk but the Animals are the worst face group in the history of
wrestling so it’s understandable.
Luger
and Liz get some brownies. We’re approaching bad sitcom territory.
Jeff
Jarrett is the chosen one.
WCW World Title
Tournament Quarter-Finals: Jeff Jarrett vs. Buff Bagwell
They fight on the floor
with Buff taking over and heading inside. Bagwell uses his standard
offense including a good dropkick and an atomic drop until Creative
Control comes out for a distraction. It doesn’t work immediately
though as Buff nails a powerslam, but the referee stops to tie his
shoe. Creative Control comes in and breaks up the Blockbuster, only
to have Buff nail the other with Jeff’s guitar. The referee just
can’t stop looking at his shoes though and Jeff nails the Stroke for
the pin from the suddenly alert referee.
Jeff
and the referee hug because we needed an angle on a match that didn’t
break 130 seconds. Dustin Rhodes comes out for the save and
celebrates with the loser.
Goldberg
headbutts a Surge machine and gets a free drink.
Liz and Luger put
laxatives in the brownies.
The Revolution is ready
for the House of Pain match, but Saturn wants to talk about Everlast
boxing gear and the music video for Jump Around. Saturn asks Dean to
jump for him and staring abounds. I could get into this new
character.
Duggan intercepts the
brownies and says he deserves something like this.
Eddie
Guerrero/Konnan vs. Perry Saturn/Dean Malenko
This
is a House of Pain match, meaning it’s inside a cage and you win by
handcuffing both opponents to the ropes. Saturn superkicks Konnan
before he can get inside, leaving Eddie to get double teamed. Tony
cuts Heenan off and goes on a rant about internet marks thinking they
can do his job. Oh I don’t know Tony. I’ve seen a lot of internet
marks that can sound every bit as stupid as you do.
The Revolution double
teams Guerrero in the corner and pretty easily gets him most of the
way chained up. Konnan comes in with some shots of his own but eats
a spike piledriver. They complete shackling Eddie and Konnan gets
the same just a few seconds later. Total time of a pretty big
gimmick match like this: 2:57.
Rey
comes in and gets laid out by a clothesline from Asya. The
Revolution hangs him upside down from the top of the cage by the
knee, allowing Malenko and Saturn to just destroy Rey’s leg. His
next match won’t be until May. Well that explains why he didn’t help
Eddie earlier.
WCW World Title
Tournament Quarter-Finals: Total Package vs. Sting
The
winner gets Bret on Sunday. Luger (the announcers have forgotten the
whole DON’T CALL HIM LEX LUGER schtick already) hides in the corner
to start as he thought Sting would eat the brownies. Sting kicks him
in the allegedly injured leg and stomps Lex down in the corner to
take over. He takes it to the floor and stays on the leg (Luger:
“HELP ME BOBBY!”) before Lex gets inside to hide in the corner.
An atomic drop does nothing to Sting but a clothesline gives Luger
his first advantage.
Tony starts talking
about how Sting and Luger have been friends for years in this sport
before correcting himself by calling it a business. The Stinger
Splash connects but Luger trips the referee while in the Scorpion.
Liz maces Sting and the Torture Rack goes on, only to have Meng come
out for a Tongan Death Grip (revenge for getting maced last week) to
Luger. Meng puts Sting on top to send him to Mayhem.
Rating:
D-.
I’m getting tired of giving these matches the same grades over and
over but they keep being the same bad, only slightly watchable
matches with some kind of interference and overbooked finishes. This
was in the same category as it wasn’t long enough to go anywhere but
the guys know each other well enough to sleepwalk to a few acceptable
moments.
Here are the final
four:
Bret Hart
Sting
Chris Benoit
Jeff Jarrett
Jim Duggan feels the
effects of the brownies.
Kevin Nash vs. Sid
Vicious
Street
fight. As has been the case almost all night, they start brawling in
the aisle with Nash taking it into the crowd and hitting Sid low.
They head back over the barricade and Nash hits the framed elbows in
the corner. A quick clothesline sends Sid to the floor but he hits
Nash low to take over again.
Back in and Sid slams
Nash down and drops a leg for two. A leg between Nash’s legs is our
third low blow in four minutes. Sid calls for the powerbomb as the
fans call for Goldberg. Cue Hall to break up the powerbomb and the
Outsiders go after Sid. Goldberg comes out to clean house and the
bell rings for a no contest in a street fight.
Rating:
D-.
So now we can’t even get a finish in a match designed to not have a
clean finish? I guess we’re setting up some kind of a tag match in
the future, but that hasn’t been announced for Mayhem or any other
show. On top of that, it would mean ignoring the months of Sid vs.
Goldberg, which is one of those things in wrestling that always
drives me insane. I’m sure in this WCW though, it’s cutting edge TV.
Overall
Rating:
D.
Here’s the thing: for probably the first time since Russo took over,
this show felt like it had a point. They have most of the big stuff
set for Mayhem and gave you a reason to check out the show. That
alone puts it ahead of almost anything else WCW has done in weeks.
However, that brings us to the problem with the show.
Other than Hall vs.
Benoit, this was one of the worst wrestling shows I’ve seen in a very
long time. The wrestling ranged from too short to mean anything to
just flat out bad. However, it did have the best match Nitro has
offered in weeks which somehow makes this a better show. I hate to
say it, but this bad show is somehow an improvement.
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

WCW Nitro: February 17, 1997

One year ago this week: Fit Finlay’s moustache gave Brad Armstrong a beating so vicious his calories were fed to him intravenously for a month, on the February 17th edition of Saturday Night. Wait, does Brad have an alibi the night Fit Finlay went missing? James Earl Wright may have to re-open the investigation. On the February 19th Nitro, Arn Anderson beat Hulk Hogan for a second time. I would gently remind the readers of this fact every 8 words for the next 6 months. Somehow, this led to the birth of the Booty Booty Booty Man. Over on the February 19th Prime, Sting and Craig Pittman wrestled for 12 minutes, so you can probably skip this one. Click through those, and come back when you’re ready.
We are one week away from Superbrawl – and going head to head against a live two-hour RAW for the first time, WCW better be prepared to load up the boot and give the competition the KICK OF FEAR they so richly deserve. Speaking of, I have finally moved all of my content over to my website, KickOfFear.com. I’ll try to remember to plug it periodically since the entire point was to have an easy to access archive of all the Faces of Fear love one can handle in just 250 easy to read pieces. I haven’t “officially” launched it, however. I toyed with the idea of backfilling the January-July 1996 Worldwide archives to kick off the site, before settling on what I assume will be the more popular option of doing a written recap of Bash at the Beach 1996. But rest assured, this was a much more difficult choice than you could ever begin to imagine.

Anyway, THE NEW WORLD ORDER shows up, sans Hollywood Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Masa Chono, or nWo Sting. I don’t know why the elite team always has to isolate themselves. The boys walk together as a team, but someone’s fallen behind. These precious few seconds are ample time for Big Bubba to lie on the ground unconscious, as First Responded Kevin Nash looks him over. How’s his blood count? Are his blood sugars out of control? Blood pressure should be checked, and I don’t want to start rumors but I think he might want to consider peeing on a stick or conducting an ultra-sound. Anemia can’t be ruled out. And what of vertigo? Is Dr. Harvey Schiller here? We need a professional.
LIVE from Tampa Bay, Florida, TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO maliciously accuse Scott Norton of being the fallen soldier.
REY MYSTERIO JR. (4-2-2) vs. SUPER CALO (1-5-0)
Tony Schiavone excitedly announces that we’re taking a field trip to Alcatraz later! Roddy Piper is a special attraction on the island, having locked himself in solitary confinement for his training. And no, I am not making any of that up. I don’t appreciate WCW paying such little heed to a wrestler’s record before booking a match. Calo seems outmatched in every way except the hat and sunglasses department. In what initially looks like a fun spot, Calo tries an over the top rope sunset flip on Mysterio who’s chillin’ on the apron, but as he goes for the powerbomb, he spots a foot short from the actual delivery to pick Rey back up – presumably because he meant to hit a rana. So on take two, Rey snaps at the legs, but Calo lets go, and Rey tumbles backwards. Someone’s been greasing his toque, I reckon. Calo hits a slingshot somersault plancha, and rolls Rey back in for 2.
Backstage, BIG BUBBER is rolled into an ambulance. M WALLSTREET takes the enviable task of riding in the ambulance for morale support, because it means he won’t be sent out for job duty. Tony promises to keep a breast on this story.
Back in the ring, Rey is casually doing his business, hitting a little springboard senton backsplash like it ain’t nothing but a g thang. Calo gets strung out between the ropes, and Rey murders him with a legdrop off the top, crushing his head like a peanut. Of course, this is 1997, so it gets 2. Rey goes up to finish, but Calo crotches him and hits the super headscissors for 2. Tony blames the lack of pin on cockiness. He went right for it – what more do you want? West Coast Pop is academic, and Rey takes ‘er down at 6:02. ***
HUGH MORRUS (7-2-0) vs. MONGO MCMICHAEL (0-1-0) (with Debra and Haliburton)
Tony alertly updates us that the Steiner Brothers were in a car accident over the weekend, but we don’t know the details. Well hell, they promised us updates on Sunday morning, does ANYONE watch WCW Pro? As it turns out, YES, as Kick of Fear correspondent CRZ sent us, courtesy of solie.org, courtesy of 18 years ago:
The report at the top of the program is that there still isn’t much information available about the automobile accident involving the Steiners. Of course this is a taped program (as was the one yesterday)…they seem to be looking for a way to take them out of SuperBrawl.
That should answer everyone’s questions. Meanwhile, Mongo is beating the tar out of Morrus. A pair of 3 point stances have Morrus crippled, but he is expected to make a full recovery within 8 seconds. A missed elbowdrop has Morrus threatening to feel up Debra, but because cameras are rolling, he doesn’t follow through. If this was the Power Plant, he’d be having his way with her in the back while telling Mongo repeatedly he’s a Fat Angry Guy, and other inappropriate acronyms. Morrus heads up for No Laughing Matter, but Mongo drops him with an electric chair. Morrus slams Mongo again, so Debra distracts the referee as she slides the Haliburton to Mongo. No Laughing Matter flies right into the steel, and Mongo rolls him over for the pin at 4:23. 1/2*
Over in the announce booth, Tony reminds us that he cannot pull off powder blue.
DEAN MALENKO (7-1-2) vs. ROBBIE BROOKSIDE (no data in 1997) (in a non-title match)
Malenko sucks up to the locals, reminding us Syxx was trained just up the road by his father, and by god if he has his way on Sunday, he’ll prove you should never steal other people’s property. This was delivered with exactly the range and energy you’d expect from Dean Malenko. And that’s all the attention I’m paying to this drek. Robbie Brookside has a time and a place, and that’s WCW Worldwide, where Bobby Heenan is free to make fun of the lanky hippie to his heart’s content. I probably SHOULD care since he’s apparently a hell of an NXT trainer; but just because Rafael Belliard might be one hell of a first base coach, it doesn’t mean I want to see him and his .390 OPS ever again. Texas Cloverleaf at 2:54. DUD
SYXX grabs a microphone and wants to settle the score with Malenko. He says he had plenty of respect for his father, but he’s dead and buried, and with it the respect, because he never liked Dean anyway. Dean responds by staring blankly and doing nothing at all. This feud is PERSONAL!
After a break, Syxx returns with THE OUTSIDERS, going straight for the announce booth. Hall: “Wow, Larry Zbyszko. I thought you’d be bigger. You and Schiavone gossip like a couple of broads sitting around a hair salon.” They deny any involvement in the Steiners auto accident this past weekend. In fact, they’ve acquired a MYSTERIOUS VIDEO TAPE! Random VHS tapes are like Tony’s Christmas, so while he starts daydreaming about all the potential this tape may hold (spoiler: Roddy Piper’s German music video), Scott Hall finally pushes Larry to the brink and he wants to fight! Hall rips off his shirt and tells him to bring it, but Larry realizes the danger of seeing the two other guys lurking right beside him and backs off, to a massive “LARRY!” chant. That was one of those moments that came across as a genuine burst of emotion, and it’s exactly why it worked.
THE AMAZING FRENCH CANADIANS (1-4-0) (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. THE PUBLIC ENEMY (2-1-0)
THE FACES OF FEAR have taken a seat in front of the guardrail tonight, meaning they’re getting wiser and realize they don’t actually have to buy tickets in order to scout their opponents. As is tradition, the Canadians ask the fans to join them in a rousing rendition of O Canada. That’s right – ask, not demand. That’s the Canadian difference right there. Americans, not used to this level of politeness, boo all over their emotion laden effort, and even Tony can’t just SHUT UP. Also, HARLEM HEAT and SISTA SHERRI are also sitting ringside. Of course, they have coleslaw for brains and purchased their seats. The Enemy gets dumped early, allowing the Colonel to stomp on Johnny Grunge’s jelly rolls. Rougeau slams Ouellette on Grunge, while Tony announces that they will NOT up and stop this match to air the mysterious VHS tape. I’d praise them for their progressive approach, but I’m not convinced they won’t up and stop a much more interesting match later instead. Grunge gets the hot tag, but the referee was busy with the Colonel, and he won’t allow it. The Quebec Crash misses (how in the hell do you miss a move where one guy is slamming another?!?), and Rock gets tagged in for real. He sends Ouellette to the floor, where Grunge tries to set him on the table. Ouellette fights free, but Rougeau in an attempt to make everything better inadvertently hits his friend in the face with an International Object. Rock hits the senton through the table, and Ouellette is rolled back in for the easy win at 4:43. I don’t like either one of these teams, but I liked this. What I like even more is the post-match word from the Faces of Fear, in which they passionately point out a great many things; but they do it in Tongan so as to keep it under their proverbial hats. **
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE and “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND bump into each other on the ramp-way. He asks if DDP knows who Pearl Harboured Big Bubba Rogers (first appearance of the Rogers name in … what, 2 years?). Gene actually seems angry about this. nWo Stooge! I hope Gene exposes himself on the 900 line. DDP feigns total innocence, and says he’s now deeply concerned about his wellbeing (while showing all the emotion of one Dean Malenko). He plays with his Battle Bowl Ring awkwardly and eventually wanders backstage to watch the “Pee Wee Herman and Nick Patrick” matchup.
PRINCE IAUKEA (0-1-0) vs. STEVEN REGAL (3-1-3) (for the WCW world television title)
Regal stops for a quick chat with Gene, who still hasn’t moved from his position. He asks Regal if he’s planning to make an example out of Prince Iaukea to set the mood for his Superbrawl defense against Rey Mysterio Jr. Regal reminds us he’s been a fighting champion from the minute he took the gold from Lex Luger, and vows to continue to defend his title against anyone, anywhere, anytime. And then he immediately defeats Prince Iaukea and remains TV champion forever.
You don’t believe me, do you? To be fair, I made this assumption because I didn’t actually want to watch this match. I mean, Iaukea? He’s not worth my time right? And nobody in their right mind could possibly be stupid enough to book this match any other way?
For the sake of completeness, I’m going to face this. I’m going to do it for you. But understand, this hurts me more than you could ever realize. My heart is already racing, I’ve broken out in a cold sweat, and my head is pounding like bongo.
Tony mentions they are working hard to play that nWo tape, but because it’s a VHS-C, they need to find an adaptor. I love the 90’s so much. Who didn’t love trying to record an Important Life Event and have to decide which parts of it weren’t important enough to merit the record button in an effort to save time (you had all of 30-40 minutes tops), and battery life (you had all of 3-5 minutes tops). The concept of a Smart Phone probably would have put me in a coma just trying to think about it. Yes, I’m stalling. Just like the man, Lord Steven Regal, TV champion extraordinaire! Iaukea hits a shoulderblock and makes various Island Martial Arts poses. Regal should just stomp on his feet repeatedly for being stupid enough not to wear shoes, but I imagine WCW would tell us those calloused Island Feet don’t feet pain or something. Regal takes over, and beats the snot out of Prince. Somehow Prince fails to understand how to sell a front suplex, and falls backwards while Regal tries to put him on the top rope. Regal repeats the spot, and launches the dumbass off the top with a butterfly superplex. REY MYSTERIO JR. wanders on to the stage, while Regal pretends his heart is bleeding. After a little more pounding, he lays on Iaukea like a hammock while taunting Rey … and Iaukea pulls him back crucifix style for the pin and the kickoff of the rapture at 3:33. Regal rightly freaks out, completely horrified that this just happened. For some reason, TEDDY LONGEDDIE GUERRERO, and THE PUBLIC ENEMY rush down to celebrate with the new champion. That’s … quite the collection of people who have nothing in common.
So you’re probably, rightfully, asking just what the fuck? Prince Iaukea? And that’s exactly what Eric Bischoff wanted. To counter the WWF’s new surprise Hawaiian champion, Rocky Maivia, somehow WCW took one look at Prince Iaukea and said “yes, that’s the same”. Forget the fact that you have a SUPER marketable foreign superstar already lined up for a title shot with a world of credibility and rabid fanbase (‘sup Rey Jr.), and if you really wanted to get cute you could try something creative like Glacier (I don’t like it but at least he’s over), La Parka (despite a handful of appearances, dude’s got killer charisma), or hell, just make ME happy and let Meng, Barbarian, and Regal fight in three way matches from now until the end of time (RIP WCW 2001). In a series of bad booking decisions in 1997 (and we’re only mid-February), this one is the absolute worst of the year to date. And this is a company that had Eric Bischoff mack with a 70 year old on pay-per-view! I can’t look at this objectively, and I don’t care. -*****
MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN join Tony, while Larry heads off to talk smack about the WWF in the hopes they put him in the hall of fame someday.
NICK PATRICK vs. RANDY ANDERSON
Showing how seriously these men are taking this match, neither guy bothers to change out of their referee garb. Mike Tenay tells us that Randy Anderson was actually a fantastic amateur in college, and was never pinned in his 5 years of competition. Where the hell does he find this stuff out? Just as the match starts, referee JIMMY JETT pats down Anderson, and slips him a pair of brass knucks. Patrick winds up the old windmill, but Pee Wee decks him in the face and gets his job back at 0:37.
An absolutely livid ERIC BISCHOFF storms down to ringside, and demands answers immediately. He says as a former referee, he knows better that to use illegal objects. “You just won a permanent vacation, and YOU are fired.” I guess we’re down to … Mark Curtis, Randy Eller, and Scott Dickenson? I think Brady Boone moonlights on occasion, but that’s it. Dickenson doesn’t have the tenure to pull a powerplay, and Mark Curtis is probably just thrilled he’s going to get more ring-time. But Randy Eller’s got a once in a lifetime chance to make some real coin. The demand for straight officials is at an all-time high, and the money is flowing like champagne in the Turner offices. Hold that sum’bitch up! I know you can do it, Randy Eller!
ROAD BLOCK (2-1-0) vs. CHRIS BENOIT (4-3-0) (with Woman)
I can feel the RSPW knee buckling orgasmic response to this matchup, even 18 years later. It’s nice to see Benoit finally treated with the type of competition he deserves. Also thrilled, is a stone faced GEORGE STEINBRENNER, sitting with who I presume to be one of his AWFUL GRANDCHILDREN. And before anyone asks (over and over for the next 8 months, not that any of you folks would ever do such a thing), no, I have no proof or personal anecdotal evidence to prove the Grandchild is awful. It just is. Also, Tony tells us the “great” Brian Boehringer is here. And to be fair, if you want to point out that he did successfully lower his ERA by 8 runs per game in 1996 down to much more flattering 5.44, then yes, he’s incredible. In fact, if he can show that kind of improvement in 1997 and force his opponents to give up 3 runs a game, I’ll become a hall of fame lobbyer with more drive than Jayson Stark’s campaign to get Tim Raines elected. Roadblock stops everything to talk smack to Woman, but she proves she’s afraid of NO ONE and slaps him across the face! He gives chase, but Benoit nails him with a tope and beats him down right in front of a delighted George Steinbrenner! Benoit rolls the big man back in and finishes with the swandive at 2:25. I’m pretty sure Road Block actually kicked out. Maybe Randy Eller IS crooked after all. You know Randy, I used to believe in you (as recently as one paragraph ago). I’ll never trust again. *
Meanwhile, Craig Leathers has found a VHS-C adaptor. We’re taking an amateur road trip with THE OUTSIDERS, while the camera is held by an unseen SYXX. They spy THE STEINERS at a gas station, and start to follow them. The Steiners show no regard for the law, refusing to come to a complete stop at three separate stop-signs. Nash shows us how it’s done, before gunning it through a school zone to keep pace with them. A bumper to bumper French kiss gets their attention, and Scott Steiner throws a coffee cup at the nWo car. They wind up side-by-side with them, and a nudge sends the Steiners flying off the side of the road, flipping the car completely. The edit to change to a stunt car was impressive actually; it looked like one fluid motion; but the beauty of VHS for this type of stuff is that fast movement causes blips in the tape, and they used that to make the swap. I’m not sure how I feel about vehicular homicide being introduced to my professional wrestling – but high praise for the editing tricks.
Back live, Tony demands that someone check in on the Steiners – deeply concerned for their wellbeing! Of course, we learned about the crash on Saturday Night, so he’s got the reactionary skills of a catatonic in-patient.
KEVIN SULLIVANJACQUELINE, and JIMMY HART want a word with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND because this angle won’t ever die. Sullivan battles Benoit at Superbrawl. It was a year ago that Pillman quit, and Sullivan turned his attention to Chris, and yet this is STILL going. Hart tells us that Sullivan and Jackie are 2 Legit 2 Quit. Kevin’s mad that Nancy forced him to move out of the ‘hood, but now with his freedom back he’s gone back to his roots. Gene accused Jackie of being a home wrecker (WHAT?!?), and she brags about happily taking Nancy’s place. Also, Nancy has a Big Fat Butt. Oh Christ.
KEVIN SULLIVAN (5-1-0) (with Jacquline and Jimmy Hart) vs. DOC DEAN
Oh sure, Sullivan gets to run wild over a legitimately fantastic European star, while Regal’s off jobbing to useless Samoans. Tenay somehow completely ignores Doc’s resume, while Sullivan and Jackie take turns teeing off on him. This just makes me sad. Tree of woe, double stomp, let’s move on at 3:19. DUD
KONAN (6-2-1) vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (6-3-2) (for the WCW United States title)
Dudes, we just did this on Saturday Night. And because I like to pick and choose which matches deserve re-matches and which don’t, you can guess which side I land on when it comes to anything featuring Konan or Eddie Guerrero V1.0. Apparently Konan has been on an anti-Eddie crusade lately, as a fake Latino because he never lived “on the streets”. These guys need Valets, they’d be the AAA version of Benoit/Sullivan. No, Maxx and Chavo don’t count. Konan comes off the top, but takes a dropkick to the gut. Eddie takes a snake eyes, but Konan can’t keep him down. Tenay says that Konan has become the Arn Anderson of the Dungeon – and if this is true, can HE retire too? Eddie hits a brainbuster, but before he hits the Frog Splash Konan cuts him off. Eddie shoves him off, and nails the Frog Splash, drawing in THE FACES OF FEAR for an ass whoopin at 6:09CHRIS JERICHO runs in to save Eddie, single handedly taking on the Faces of Fear. He manages to clear the ring, and has earned himself another year of vitriol from myself. *1/2
The Shank of the Evening comes startlingly late in the program, but “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND has finally found time to talk to THE FOUR HORSEMEN with DEBRA and WOMAN. Good to see Arn back on Nitro. Flair brags about the scent of excitement in the air because he’s in town. It smells like champagne and Cialis. WOOO! Arn addresses Mr. Bischoff (showing respect because he IS still the boss, good man), telling him that the character of the men he hired to work in WCW hasn’t changed. They’re still men. And, one of the nWo guys is in the hospital, Jimmy Jett did the right thing, he sees WCW turning things around. Where Randy Anderson is concerned; he figures he’s got a spare $100,000 lying around and as an old friend, he’s welcome to it any time. Mongo heels it up, trashing the Bucs, before turning things to Jarrett. He demands to know where Debra’s head is at. She says Jarrett’s a winner, with strength, endurance, and intelligence. She still sees him as a Four Horsemen in training. Meanwhile, Benoit promises to kick down the door of Kevin Sullivan’s “neighborhood” and take him out for good. Throughout the interview, I was actually watching Benoit and Nancy intently, and I noticed that he gently squeezed her waist and held her exceptionally close throughout the interview. It’s subtle, but it’s the kind of intimate closeness you don’t see with most wrestling “couples”; and with a comfort this pair has never shown on television to this point. The shades of grey are getting darker, and knowing what we do now, it’s fairly obvious that lines have been crossed and the angle is no longer just an angle.
THE GIANT (3-0-2) vs. TOP GUNN and JOHNNY SWINGER (in a handicap match)
Normally, I would demand that jobbers know their place – but the return of Top Gunn has me so bloody excited that I’m blind to the fact that this is Nitro. Sadly, my happiness is short lived via a Chokeslam to both guys at 0:42. Just perfect booking for him right now, it’s the same deal as Luger, just feed him losers and let the fans lose their shit while they bide their time before their next shot at Hogan. And lose their shit they did, the response here was incredible for an absolutely pointless match. Giant spraypaints “Hall” and “Nash” on the backs of the job squad.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND and LEX LUGER (with his arm in a cast) come down to celebrate with The Giant. Giant is cool facing the Outsiders all by himself this Sunday, but Lex has a curveball. He has a doctors release to wrestle this Sunday as long as his arm is in a protective device, and promises that Chokeslams and Racks are going to be all the rage this weekend. ERIC BISCHOFF, ever the blue-baller, tells Luger he’s 167 hours late with the release, and the company has deadlines it needs to abide by. As a result, Luger can’t wrestle. Lex says Bischoff can’t control everything, and he’ll happily buy a plane ticket, rent a hotel room, and buy a ticket to get in the building. Bischoff tells him if he keeps it up, he’ll happily fire him.
Meanwhile, over in Alcatraz, RODDY PIPER has been locked in a cell. He asks Hogan if he’s ever asked himself why Roddy was on the street at 13. He says he was dead inside; and Hogan’s managed to push him back to that point. “You are the most low-life piece of snake I’ve ever seen, telling people I hide behind my little boy.” Piper asks what happened to the vitamins and the prayers. I can’t even do justice to the rest of the rantings here, because none of it makes *any* sense. He’s gone completely off the rails, going on about how Hogan took his hip replacement away or something. He promises to stay locked up for the next 7 days, where he’ll train and wait to get his hands on Hogan. They were on totally the right track with Piper as a family man, needing that last shot at Hogan as a means of revenge for trying to humiliate him, but they should have played it straight and kept him as Just A Guy looking for his moment (which Terry Funk has played to a tee on The Other Channel).  This Alcatraz stuff just doesn’t fly with me.
CHRIS JERICHO (6-1-0) vs. JEFF JARRETT (8-0-0)
We’re long past 10pm at this point, but we’re showing no signs of quit. DEBRA MCMICHAEL makes her way to ringside to root Jarrett on, as he hits Jericho with a slingshot suplex. A sleeper is countered with a backdrop suplex. La Majistral gets 2. Jarrett takes back over to Debra’s delight, but MONGO MCMICHAEL joins us now to tell her to get the hell away from the ring. Jericho hits a short powerbomb, and heads up to finish, but stops to listen to Debra’s pleas not to hurt Jarrett. He ignores them, but the distraction gives Jarrett enough time to avoid the senton, and a Figure Four is slapped on. As the referee tells Debra to piss off, Mongo smacks Jarrett with the Halibuton, and Jericho ends Jarrett’s winning streak at 2:32. Debra’s livid, but Mongo reminds her that he has to wrestle Jarrett in a week and to get the hell over it. *

Tony goes to wrap things up, but HOLLYWOOD HOGAN isn’t ready to close the show without saying hi. He’s flanked by SCOTT NORTONBUFF BAGWELLM WALLSTREETELIZABETHVINCENTTED DIBIASE, and ERIC BISCHOFF. There’s all of 2 minutes left, so I’m not sure we’re gonna get anything constructive out of this. Hogan masturbates furiously while Bischoff intently tells him what he wants to see, until STING and RANDY SAVAGE appear at the top of the ramp. Hogan just ignores them, and because they aren’t getting any attention, they just head backstage, disappointed, without saying a word. I’ve seen that look before. My 4-year old nephew does that when nobody answers his pleas to check out his new Thomas the Tank Engine. Satisfied, Hogan stops now, and Eric wishes the fans a goodnight. 

Monday Nitro – November 8, 1999

Monday Nitro #213
Date: November 8, 1999
Location: Conseco
Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 8,134
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
With less than two
weeks to go until Mayhem, we have a long stretch of tournament
matches to still get through. The question now is can any match
break ten minutes. I don’t remember the last time we reached that
point, but it’s a very rare sight in Russo Land. Hopefully things
start to make a bit more sense but I wouldn’t get my hopes up. Let’s
get to it.

We open in the
production truck with Sid telling a production guy to play a tape
when he gives him a cue.
Here’s
Sid in the arena with something to say. I can’t see this ending
well. The Outsiders think he’s dumb, but he’s not as dumb as he
looks. This brings him to Goldberg, who quit at Halloween Havoc.
The tape is cued up and we see Goldberg beating on Sid as Sid shouts
I QUIT. That’s it. Seriously, that’s it. This brings out the
Outsiders with Hall carrying the US Title.
Wait a minute. Hall
took the belt from Sid, who wasn’t champion when he took it from
Bret. So does that make Bret Bad News Barrett, Sid R-Truth and Hall
Dean Ambrose? Suddenly my life makes so much more sense. (That’s a
Wrestlemania XXXI reference if you’re reading this ten years from
now).
Hall brings up beating
Sid last week but Sid says Hall was supposed to lay down. Hall
doesn’t lay down for anyone, because that’s how the Kliq works. Nash
wants Sid to call out Bret, but Hart saves Sid the trouble.
Apparently Bret thinks Goldberg is the real US Champion and he’s
going to give Goldberg his belt back tonight. Cue Goldberg to spear
Sid and challenge him to an I Quit match. Goldberg also challenges
the Outsiders to a game of hide and seek. They hide, he seeks and
destroys. Isn’t that the name of Sting’s theme song?
Here are the updated
brackets. Sting and Luger have both advanced due to injuries.
Bret Hart
Perry Saturn
Norman Smiley
Kidman
Total Package
Sting
Chris Benoit
Madusa
Scott Hall
Lash Leroux
Buff Bagwell
Vampiro
Curt Hennig
Jeff Jarrett
That is one lame
tournament.
Sting
isn’t sure he can trust Luger and thinks Lex has a lot of splaining
to do.
Luger and Liz arrive in
Indiana Pacers gear and try to sneak into the building without being
noticed. The camera on them doesn’t help this.
We look at Kimberly
running David Flair over last week.
Kimberly
arrives and tells Doug Dillinger that David has been harassing her
all week. So why is she here? Dillinger gives her extra security.
Kevin Nash has his
security license and that’s all we hear as we go to commercial mid
sentence.
The
Filthy Animals are in the ring for all their sex based catchphrases
because Russo thinks they’re like DX. The insults bring out the
Revolution, with Dean challenging Rey to a mixed tag with Torrie and
Asya. Rey says it’s on.
WCW World Title
Tournament Second Round: Norman Smiley vs. Kidman
Norman
is officially Screamin Norman Smiley. As he comes to the ring, Tony
announces Hall vs. Sid vs. Hart vs. Goldberg in a Texas tornado
ladder match for the US Title. This would be different from all
those ladder matches where you have to tag. Since Norman is hardcore
now, Brian Knobbs and Jimmy Hart come out for commentary. Kidman
rips off the helmet Norman is wearing and it’s fighting time.
Norman can’t quite take
his gloves off though so Kidman takes him to the ropes for a
spanking, only to get kicked low. Something like an inverted
powerbomb gets two on Kidman and Norman does his spanking (what is
with Russo’s obsession with spanking?) dance while Kidman screams for
Torrie. There are so many connotations there, I don’t know where to
start. Knobbs sneaks in with a hockey stick to lay out Norman,
giving Kidman the pin in barely two minutes.
To recap, Kidman is now
in the final eight of the World Title tournament after needing the
help of Brian Knobbs to defeat Norman Smiley in a two minute match
that saw both men being spanked. This is the brilliant Vince Russo’s
grand solution to Rock, HHH, Austin, Angle, Undertaker and company.
Sting searches for
Luger.
David Flair is lurking
around with his crowbar.
Kevin Nash is getting a
rainbow turban put on. Nash as the Grand Wizard would be….well it
would be stupid actually.
Here’s
an angry Sting to call out Luger. He gets Liz instead, who, after
tripping on the ramp because of her heels, says that Luger would
never do anything to hurt their cherished friendship. Sting puts his
arm around her and says she can be the female Total Package. Now
Luger comes out and says he’s here in friendship and apologizes for
what happened last week. Sting chokes him against the ropes and says
he’ll rip his throat out if that ever happens again. As we’ve known
for years, Sting can be a bit of a psycho.
Kimberly goes into her
dressing room when the lights go out. David Flair’s voice says she
won’t feel a thing. What am I even watching anymore?
WCW World Title
Tournament Second Round: Chris Benoit vs. Madusa
Madusa
actually puts on a hammerlock but Benoit calmly brushes it off. He
tells her to leave and talks to the referee but Madusa fires off some
kicks and a hurricanrana. That’s it for Benoit as he rips off a chop
to put Madusa on the mat. Cue Evan Karagias to get in a fight with
referee Johnny Boone, who easily holds his own against Evan. Jeff
Jarrett runs in and lays out Benoit for the DQ, because this isn’t
the WWF and we don’t hit women.
Madusa freaks out on
Jarrett for costing her a shot at the title.
Chavo Guerrero Jr.
comes in to ask the Powers That Be for his opportunity for winning
the battle royal on Thunder. Russo tells him that the opportunity
around here is selling Amway, so get out of his office. So yeah, no
reward and the battle royal was a waste of time.
Jim Duggan is cleaning
toilets.
TV Title: Rick
Steiner vs. Disco Inferno
Steiner
is defending and Disco is Cruiserweight Champion. A quick
Steinerline sends Disco to the floor, where the kid who has been
hanging around Disco is carrying a bucket. He’s officially named
Tony Marinara and says he’s been carrying Glenn since they were kids.
Tony says he wants his money and it turns out the bucket is full of
concrete. Rick takes it away and hits Disco in the head with it,
setting up a German suplex for the pin. We’re getting a mafia angle
aren’t we?
Nash
is indeed the Grand Wizard of Wrestling and has powder, chloroform
and brass knuckles. He and Hall are ready for Sid and they have riot
police following them around.
We see the Nitro Girls
finalists do a mini routine until AC Jazz comes out and throws out
all the Nitro Girl wannabes. They’re skanks and various other
insults so here’s Spice to call AC a ho, triggering a fight. Who
looks at the Nitro Girls and says they need a story? Who looks at
the Nitro Girls and says they need to exist actually?
Kimberly
is hiding in the boiler room. David is there with her and says his
master needs another bride. In case you’re wondering, we’ve had
about five and a half minutes of wrestling time so far but this is
the third or fourth bit about these two.
Here’s
Dustin Rhodes as Seven for his debut promo. With the floor covered
in smoke, he flies to the ring with the help of some not very well
covered wires. “I want everyone here to take a good long look at
this crap I’m in.” He rants about leaving the WWF because of
gimmicks like Goldust, which completely sucked. It nearly ruined his
wrestling career and he wanted to come back home and just be Dustin
Rhodes. The Powers That Be think Dustin is boring though, so he’s
dressed up as Uncle Fester. “My new name is Seven by the way.”
He won’t have any of
this or Goldust and they know where they can shove it. Last week,
WCW fired Dusty Rhodes so now his mission is to make the Powers That
Be, WCW and TNA all suffer the consequences. You will never forget
the name of Dustin Rhodes. To recap, Russo came up with this
character and now has written a promo where he calls it stupid. He’s
already bored of burying the talent so he’s going to bury himself I
guess.
David is still on the
hunt.
Luger and Liz have a
plan to make up with Sting.
Sting vs. Goldberg
Just
a match and Goldberg’s first match of the night. After a two minute
entrance, Goldberg slugs Sting up against the ropes but gets caught
in a sleeper. Cue Luger and Liz as the referee goes down. They mace
Sting (clearly intentional) and it’s the spear and Jackhammer for the
pin in 2:13. These two should have been the biggest match all year
and Russo has run it twice in fifteen days in 5:21 total. That’s
borderline criminal. Also, in case you have hope for the future,
this is their last singles match ever.
And now, after that
huge match, the Outsiders offer Sid the riot squad when Rick Steiner
comes up and demands Sid make time for him tonight. So Rick is the
clingy ex?
Luger and Liz see
Duggan mopping floors and steal his “wet floor” sign.
Kimberly finds a
security guard and, say it with me, it’s David Flair. What happened
to the extra guards she was given earlier?
Vampiro is now a full
on member of the Misfits. Well sweet goodness I totally want to
watch the show, buy the merchandise and order the pay per views now.
This totally changes my perspective on the company and wrestling as a
whole and I can’t put into words how excited I am to have seen this
thrilling turn of events.
WCW World Title
Tournament Second Round: Vampiro vs. Buff Bagwell
The
Misfits jump Bagwell during his entrance and the referee has no issue
ringing the bell during a 5-1 beatdown. Vampiro takes him inside for
a running clothesline but completely misses a top rope flip attack.
Bagwell fights off all of the Misfits but the referee gets poked in
the eye and Vampiro hits a missile dropkick. I don’t see why we
needed a ref bump for that but I’m still reeling from the
announcement that Vampiro has joined the Misfits so I probably missed
the subtext. Berlyn comes down and nails Vampiro with a chain,
setting up the Blockbuster for the pin. Five people, a ref bump and
a chain. Match time: 82 seconds.
The
Bodyguard beats up the Misfits post match. Creative Control comes up
and beats Berlyn down as well. As terrifying as this is to me, I’m
starting to understand these stories.
Luger is on the
bathroom floor holding his knee. After a break, the EMT says there’s
nothing wrong with it.
WCW World Title
Tournament Second Round: Bret Hart vs. Perry Saturn
Bret’s
knee seems to be fine and Shane Douglas is on commentary. Hart goes
after the arm first but gets caught by a forearm to the face. Saturn
gets smart and kicks at Bret’s recently injured knee which Bret
quickly remembers to sell. A t-bone suplex drops Bret but he avoids
the Lionsault. Must be the Canadian instinct.
We hit the Five Moves
of Doom (Shane: “I’ve seen this before!”) but Asya distracts the
referee as Bret puts on the Sharpshooter. Shane gets up and hits him
in the head with a cast, setting up the Death Valley Driver for a
surprising kick out. Saturn throws him outside so Malenko can get in
some cheap shots but Benoit runs out for the save. Bret gets thrown
back in but escapes a sunset flip and puts on the Sharpshooter for
the win to advance.
Rating:
C-.
Another potentially good match ruined by too much overbooking. Hart
kicking out of the Death Valley Drive surprised me a bit, even though
I know how this tournament ends. The bad side of that is I fully
expected there to be a screwy finish if Bret was eliminated because
that’s the standard operating procedure around here these days: be
screwy for the sake of being screwy.
Kimberly asks Creative
Control for a meeting with the Powers That Be.
Nash does Johnny
Carson’s Carnac bit, meaning he gives the answer to a question and
then reads the question. The answer is 316 and the question is how
many times Undertaker and Austin have worked a pay per view against
each other. Oh get over yourselves WCW. That shouldn’t be hard
given how low you are in the ratings.
Here’s
Booker T. with something to say. He’s alone this week as Stevie Ray
has been suspended. Booker has three things on his mind: Jeff
Jarrett and Creative Control. He wants all three of them out here
right now for a Harlem street fight.
Booker T. vs.
Creative Control/Jeff Jarrett
Jeff sits on commentary
because Creative Control can handle Booker on their own. Booker
backdrops one of them to the floor and forearms the other so Jarrett
comes in with the guitar for a threat, allowing Creative Control to
hammer on Booker. Cue a woman who looks like a black Chyna….and
gets hit with a guitar a few seconds after she gets in. That’s the
end of the so called match as Jarrett and Creative Control walk out.
The Powers That Be tell
Luger that he has to face Sid or he’s out of the tournament.
Asya/Dean Malenko
vs. Torrie Wilson/Rey Mysterio
Torrie
is in a swimsuit top, the bottom half of a dress and very high heels.
She tries to take the dress off but Rey stops her for some reason.
Asya handcuffs Torrie to the ring five seconds in and Rey gets double
teamed. Torrie was really that big of a threat? A suplex gets two
and it’s off to Malenko for two more off a clothesline but Rey comes
back with a one legged dropkick. He knocks Asya off the apron but
Dean kicks him in the knee, only to get sent hard into Asya. Rey
misses the Bronco Buster, setting up the Cloverleaf for another fast
ending.
The Animals come in for
the save as Tony says this was a grand plan. There was nothing grand
about this Tony. Well except Torrie.
Kimberly goes into the
shower and David is waiting for her. Good grief just leave the arena
already. Then again David seems to have superpowers tonight so it
might not matter.
Sid Vicious vs.
Total Package
Liz
wheels Luger down and Lex says his knee is too banged up to compete,
but he’ll be fine for the tournament match next week. This brings
Sting out to beat Luger up and throw him in to face Sid. Sid hammers
away but has to move Liz to get at Luger again. Luger actually sells
the knee (still wrapped in ice) as Sid stomps on it. A big boot puts
Luger down and the riot squad comes out. They stop an invading
Goldberg, then step aside so he can come in and spear both guys for
the no contest, even though it should have been a DQ on Luger since
Goldberg got speared first.
Brian Knobbs vs. Bam
Bam Bigelow
Hardcore
of course and the winner will face Norman Smiley for the Hardcore
Title. Norman comes down to do commentary and asks if Bigelow has
dental insurance because he’s been missing that tooth for years.
He’s already the funniest commentator this company has. After some
trashcan shots they fight into the back with Norman playing Road Dogg
as roving commentator.
They knock each other
into a wall and Norman wants to know where Doug Dillinger is when you
really need him. Knobbs hits Bigelow with a chair and drives him
through a table as Norman screams a lot. Kimberly shows up and has
Bigelow come with her, meaning Knobbs wins by countout. Backstage.
In a hardcore match. This was a way for Kimberly to get some
protection but Norman continues to be hilarious.
Norman beats up Knobbs
and Jimmy and throws them in trashcans.
Kimberly and Bam Bam
Bigelow are looking for David. Bigelow: “If you want to pick on a
girl, pick on me!”
WCW World Title
Tournament Second Round: Scott Hall vs. Lash Leroux
Nash
is with Hall and in the Grand Wizard garb. The riot guard is with
them as well to really overbook things. Heenan thinks the guest
referee for the ladder match is going to be from another
organization. We start with a toothpick throw and Lash is tossed
into the corner. Hall drives in the shoulders and puts on an armbar
to slap Lash in the back of the head. Back up and Lash scores with
some forearms and a dropkick as Tony is really putting Lash over.
The Outsiders have a meeting on the floor and Nash offers chloroform.
Back in and Scott
offers a test of strength and pokes Leroux in the eye. Tony talks
about the tournament and Heenan says he sounds like Dick Vitale.
Tony: “Really?” Heenan: “No.” A chokeslam sets up the Giant
imitation, because it makes sense to mock someone who left nine
months ago. Tony tries to cover for him by saying it’s climbing a
ladder, which is better than most ideas he’s had before.
Hall puts on an
abdominal stretch and lifts Lash’s leg to make it even worse. As
Lash makes his comeback, Tony promises a recap of everything that’s
happened earlier in the night. The fact that that’s a featured
attraction tells you how messy this show has been. Hall stops the
comeback with a discus punch and the fallaway slam. The Outsider’s
Edge is good for the pin.
Rating:
C.
You know what? This wasn’t half bad. Maybe it’s my shock that they
had a match end clean, but this was a totally acceptable six minute
(longest of the night) match. It’s nothing great and nothing I’ll
think about by the time this show is over, but this was such a nice
change of pace from the other “matches” all night that it was
pretty entertaining.
Nash
calls the riot squad into the ring and one of them is Goldberg. You
can figure the rest out for yourselves. Before the double spear,
Nash tries to throw powder in Goldberg’s face. I’m sure Nash had a
plan to get it past the helmet and visor.
Recap of Hennig having
to avoid getting pinned to keep his job. We still have no idea why
this stipulation has been put into place.
WCW World Title
Tournament Second Round: Curt Hennig vs. Jeff Jarrett
Hennig
jumps him in the aisle to start and they head inside with Jeff
grabbing a quick small package for two. They head right back outside
for a slugout with Jeff going after the knee as is his custom. Cue
Creative Control to watch from the stage as Hennig kicks out of a
Figure Four attempt.
Curt fights back and
naturally we get a ref bump. You can feel the ratings triple as fans
just know the referee has gone down in a five minute match and the
excitement cannot be contained! The PerfectPlex doesn’t matter
because no one is there to count, allowing Creative Control to beat
Curt down. They slam him through the announcers’ table and it’s a
countout, meaning this stupid angle MUST CONTINUE!
Rating:
D+.
Somehow this might have been the second best match of the night. I’m
already getting bored of telling Russo that there’s no need to have a
match this overbooked when you have two talented guys in there, but
this was more of the same problems over and over again. Boring match
but at least they had some time to set something up.
Jeff gives Curt the
Stroke post match.
Here are the updated
brackets:
Bret Hart
Kidman
Sting
Total Package
Chris Benoit
Scott Hall
Buff Bagwell
Jeff Jarrett
Kimberly comes to the
ring and says she’s tired of running from David, so come get her.
This brings out David but Bam Bam Bigelow jumps him. David hits him
low and gets in a crowbar shot though, sending Kimberly running away
again.
Post
break, Kimberly is trying to get in her car with David Flair behind
her. She drops her keys but gets in anyway, only to have David break
out a window. Creative Control comes up and chases him off, saying
the Powers That Be will see her now. Why she hasn’t CALLED THE
FREAKING POLICE all night is never made clear.
US Title: Sid
Vicious vs. Goldberg vs. Bret Hart vs. Scott Hall
Ladder
match with Goldberg defending. During the entrances, Tony recaps the
evening and my goodness it sounds even worse. Hall and Sid start
fighting before the other two get there and it’s clear that Sid could
easily reach up and pull down the title without a ladder. Bret and
Goldberg come in with no music as we’re reminded about the special
referee. We could also use a ladder, so here comes Nash with a
ladder and a referee’s shirt.
Goldberg and Hall slug
it out in the aisle and we’re told it’s Kimberly vs. David Flair at
Mayhem. So it’s Kimberly vs. a man stalking her and potentially
trying to rape her earlier. No, of course Russo doesn’t have issues
with women. All four get inside as the fans chant for Goldberg but
they get Rick Steiner instead. He plants Sid with the bulldog and
slugs it out with Goldberg. Hart pulls down the belt but Nash hits
him in the bad leg with a pipe and picks up the belt. Hall climbs
one rung and is handed the belt to make him the champion.
Rating:
D-.
Why did I expect anything else here? It was an overbooked ladder
match and that’s the best idea they could come up with, but at least
Hall is the champion now and….what exactly does that change?
Nothing of course, because titles mean nothing in this company and
are nothing more than a plot point. That’s one of those Russo ideas
that has stayed around, despite the fact that it’s rarely made things
even better.
Overall
Rating:
F+.
At what point did this stop being a wrestling show? Somewhere
recently this turned into a bunch of direct to video movies spliced
together. Kimberly was all over this show more than the Filthy
Animals had been recently, which makes for good scenery but some
STUPID moments. She had no reason to be there tonight as she quit
the Nitro Girls and Page is allegedly hurt, but she showed up for the
sake of the plot. Bad show with some watchable matches when they
were given time, but we needed more shenanigans with Luger’s knee or
Kimberly being stupid. Standard WCW fare in other words.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon authors page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Monday Nitro – November 1, 1999

Monday Nitro #212
Date: November 1, 1999
Location:
Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attendance: 8,362
Commentators: Bobby
Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s still tournament
time and tonight we get the other half of the first round. Some of
the matches were already announced on Thunder, but I’d actually be
surprised if they remembered those matches after four days. Other
than that I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of the Filthy Animals vs. the
Revolution, which hopefully means more of Torrie. Let’s get to it.

The Outsiders are
drinking in their locker room when Bret comes in to yell at them for
interfering last week. They handed him the US Title but Bret wants
them to stay out of his business. You can see it coming from here.
After
the usual intro, here’s Bret on crutches with something to say. He’s
seen the tape from last week (now there’s something you don’t hear
every day) and doesn’t want to be associated with screwjobs. As far
as he’s concerned, Goldberg is still the US Champion. This brings
out Sid to say it’s his because he has proof Goldberg said he quit at
Halloween Havoc. They tell each other to screw themselves but here
are the Outsiders to break up a powerbomb. Nash hands Sid the belt
but tells him to go to the back. They yell at Bret as this is
already confusing.
There’s a cage above
the ring.
Here are some more
brackets for the tournament.
Chris Benoit
Dean Malenko
Madusa
Evan Karagias
Scott Hall
Sid Vicious
The Cat
Lash Leroux
Buff Bagwell
Stevie Ray
Vampiro
Berlyn
Disco Inferno
Curt Hennig
Booker T.
Jeff Jarrett
Double Madusa. Oh joy.
Saturn and Torrie
arrive on a motorcycle but Asya is right there to prevent her from
running off. That’s one of the more logical things I’ve seen on this
show in weeks.
Quick look back at
Savage’s speech last week about finding someone to hand the torch to.
WCW World Title
Tournament First Round: Vampiro vs. Berlyn
Berlyn
takes him down with a headlock to start but Vampiro does the same to
him. In a match between two people who could be World Champion, the
announcers talk about Torrie. Back up and Berlyn scores with a kick
to the ribs but charges into a powerslam for no cover. Cue the band
the Misfits to surround the ring as Berlyn hits a spinwheel kick.
Vampiro kicks him down as well but the referee gets bumped. The
bodyguard comes in with his loaded glove but the Misfits take him
out, allowing Vampiro to hit him with a chair. Vampiro dives into a
dropkick but the Misfits trip Berlyn to give Vampiro the pin.
Rating:
D.
Someone take away Russo’s caffine. It’s a four minute and eleven
second match but there was a ref bump (I’ll go low and say the first
of three tonight) and FIVE people interfering. I’m fine with Vampiro
pinning Berlyn, but you can easily do the same thing and get to the
same post match stuff with WAY more extra stuff. Does Russo really
think fans aren’t going to stick around for this match if the Misfits
and the bodyguard don’t interfere during a ref bump? I know he’s
delusional but come on.
Post match Berlyn says
screw this character and walks off.
Kevin
Nash says he can’t be Scott Hall’s manager tonight so he’ll be his
promoter instead.
Shane Douglas has
Torrie in a cage because that’s how you treat filthy animals. “Is
this how Billy likes it?” This is Russo’s version of porn isn’t
it?
After
a recap of the Revolution kidnapping Torrie last week, here’s the
Revolution for a chat. Shane calls out the Filthy Animals because he
has an offer for them. Saturn has the key to the cage, so he
challenges Eddie for…….wait for it…….you know it’s
coming……..A KEY ON A POLE MATCH!!! I’m stunned it took Russo
this long to get to one. Malenko rips on Benoit so here’s Chris to
say we should make their match a cage match. And thank goodness
there’s one above the ring.
Kevin
Nash is in a makeup chair.
The Filthy Animals
aren’t allowed into the building so they beat up the security guards.
Mike Tenay is in the
back with the Nitro Girls. Kimberly says Page is so injured that she
has to leave the team to take care of him.
WCW World Title
Tournament First Round: The Cat vs. Lash Leroux
The
now blond Miller is here against doctor’s orders though the injury
isn’t specified. He slaps Lash in the face to start and punches his
way out of a sunset flip attempt. Somehow being injured has really
opened up his offense. Lash Irish whips him across the ring,
Miller’s knee gives out, Lash grabs a basic leg lock and Cat gives
up. This didn’t even last a minute and the announcers were too busy
talking about Nash’s makeup to notice the match until it was over.
Hart
says either the Outsiders or Sid are going to pay.
AC Jazz and Spice argue
over who is going to lead the Nitro Girls. Why do they need a
leader? Ah that would be because EVERYTHING HAS TO BE AN ANGLE
around here.
The Filthy Animals are
filming Luger and Elizabeth, with the former wanting to know what
Elizabeth is going to do to help in his matches. The audio is out of
sync and the camera crew is shown directing the scene. I’m assuming
this is more breaking the fourth wall, but it might be something a
bit better, like horrible production and not knowing how to run a
show.
Larry
Zbyszko has gone to Scott Steiner’s house to talk about Scott’s
recent back surgery. Scott hurt his back about a year ago and then a
shoulder injury made it even worse. The medicine didn’t help so he
had surgery and starts rehab in 21 days. This didn’t mean much but
an update is nice.
The Nitro Girls get in
a fight during their routine. My goodness just let them be
cheerleaders.
Tenay tells Buff
Bagwell that the Powers That Be have a new surprise for him. Buff
says that’s two for him and zero for them.
Nash is on the phone.
We recap the Nitro
Girls fighting. Wrestling? Anyone? Soon perhaps?
They fight again in the
back. Egads that’s four segments in the first hour. Add “patience”
to the list of words Russo doesn’t know.
WCW World Title
Tournament First Round: Buff Bagwell vs. Stevie Ray
Wait,
this isn’t ready to go yet either. Stevie says the Powers That Be
have made this a strap match. He chokes away in the corner as Heenan
thinks Nash’s makeup reminds him of a former employer. We’re getting
Kevin McMahon aren’t we? More choking ensues until Buff throws him
over the top to hang Stevie. Cue the Harris Brothers to jump Buff
and that’s a DQ. So the Powers want to screw with Buff by having him
advance in the tournament?
Buff gets away so they
go after Stevie, only to have Booker come out for the save.
Jeff Jarrett is annoyed
people still think he hit Elizabeth with a guitar. What’s funnier to
me is that she hasn’t mentioned it yet.
Here’s
Kevin Nash as Vince McMahon. I guess this is the long awaited
response to the Billionaire Ted skits? Nash says he does everything
for the fans in his best Vince voice, which really isn’t all that
great. He’s the most powerful man in sports entertainment and he
built this place single handedly. In a pre-emptive move tells the
fans not to chant insults at him. He’s a billionaire due to the
stock options but he categorically denies anything going on.
Here’s
his future World Champion who he’ll push as a babyface until people
are sick of him. He’s clean, he’s sober, he’ll work in the main
event against Jeff Jarrett, and he has more than one catchphrase:
Scott Hall. Scott brings Nash a wig and says he can’t follow this
because the Powers That Be told him he’s gone if he has one more
strike and he doesn’t want to burn bridges up north. Hall asks who
picks out Vince’s clothes and thinks they’re from JC Penny. To all
the boys in New York, the attitude is down here.
Hokey freaking smoke
this was horrible. That’s in addition to being stupid, completely
missing the point, ticking off the audience, and being the last thing
they should be doing when they haven’t won a night in the ratings in
a year now. The imitation wasn’t even funny, especially given that
Vince is basically a walking cartoon character. How many of those
jokes do they think the common fan understood? The worst part, I
don’t think they care how many the fans understood, because this was
just for the writers to laugh at and had nothing to do with the
audience, because that’s what WCW is about these days.
Luger
comes up to Meng and tells him that Jeff Jarrett is making fun of him
in the back. I’m assuming this is about Liz getting attacked? Jeff
has been giving out bananas because Meng likes them, so Luger gives
Meng one. Meng eats the banana without peeling it. I could turn
this show in as a psychology project and get an A just for finding
something this insane.
Hennig isn’t going to
retire anytime soon and will beat Disco tonight.
WCW World Title
Tournament First Round: Disco Inferno vs. Curt Hennig
Curt’s
dad Larry is in the crowd and hugs his son. Disco tries to get a hug
as well but Curt nails him from behind and takes him inside for a
nice running dropkick. Some chops put Disco on the floor where Larry
gets in some shots of his own. Back in and Hennig charges into a
boot in the corner, setting up a swinging neckbreaker from Disco.
The offense goes nowhere but Disco blocks the PerfectPlex. Can we go
back to the Larry stuff? The Chartbuster is blocked as well and
Disco heads outside to talk to the yet to be named fan (ECW’s Tony
Mamaluke)…..and gets counted out.
Rating:
D-.
And that man is a champion ladies and gentlemen. The best part of
this match really was Larry Hennig getting a reaction from the crowd
who remembers the days when wrestlers wrestled instead of imitating
the owners of other promotions in not funny comedy bits. If there’s
a reason behind this Curt gets fired if he loses bit, I’m not seeing
it. Finally, there was no mention of Mamaluke being the same guy
that used to be Lodi’s biggest fan.
The
Filthy Animals want Torrie back and Konnan issues an open challenge
for the Tag Team Titles.
Norman Smiley is
wearing catching gear and dancing.
Nash
is “getting into character. Get it?” It makes no more sense on
screen.
Meng vs. Barbarian
vs. Norman Smiley
Hardcore
match. Apparently Madusa is back in the tournament because it wasn’t
fair to have her fight Meng with no warning. Smiley is wearing the
catcher’s gear to the ring which would eventually become football
pads. The monsters fight in the corner but Meng stops to beat him
up. Tony thinks this is hilarious. The former Faces of Fear double
team Smiley with weapons shots until Barbarian hits Meng in the head
with a mop. They do the same sequence again but with a trashcan
instead of a mop.
Norman
keeps trying to fight back but Meng knocks him into the corner and
dropkicks Barbarian down. Meng takes off Norman’s catcher’s mask and
knocks him to the floor where Jimmy Hart rips off the chest
protector. Back to more double teaming of Smiley in the ring and a
stretcher comes out to save Norman. However, it’s a ruse as Norman
sees both guys down in the ring with Meng face first between
Barbarian’s legs. Somehow that’s not a cover from Meng so Norman
runs in to pin Barbarian.
Rating:
D-.
Oh for goodness’ sake. Somehow this match was the longest of the
night at a whopping six minutes and thirty one seconds. I guess this
is supposed to pass for comedy now as you have Norman go from nothing
to being the hardcore idiot, which is better than what he was doing
in theory. Somehow this is going to get even worse I’m sure, but
just let it be shorter. Please?
Norman
does the Big Wiggle on the announcers’ table.
Jeff Jarrett says it’s
time for his public apology.
Jim Duggan talks to the
Powers That Be and says he’s lost a kidney but he can have a bigger
impact in the few years he has left than he’s had in the last twenty
years. A voice (Russo) asks if Duggan is asking for an opportunity.
That’s all Duggan wants, but Russo asks how that will help the
ratings. He’ll think about it.
Sidebar
for future reference: the only people who care about ratings are
either people who work for a wrestling company or people with WAY too
much time on their hands. Stop using them as a plot device, because
almost no one knows or cares what the heck you’re talking about and
it just sounds dumb. Wrestlers fight for championships or to settle
scores, not for the ratings. Also, you lose the right to talk about
ratings after that Nash skit earlier.
Hall and Nash are in
the back and say if Sid gets screwed, it’s because Sid screwed Sid.
Can we at least get a reference to something not almost two years
ago?
Luger
talks to Meng again but Meng doesn’t seem to understand.
Here’s
Jeff Jarrett, who demands Luger come out here and apologize for
accusing him of attacking Liz last week. Jarrett: “This isn’t the
WWF and we don’t abuse women here.” Luger and Liz come out and
admit that they’re not sure it was Jeff, so they’re sorry. However,
Luger thinks it might have been Meng, who Jeff calls a giant ape.
Cue Meng to chase Jarrett off, allowing Liz to mace Meng so Luger can
beat on him with a tire iron. Couldn’t he have done this in the
back? Or during the hardcore match when Meng was out cold? Too
logical I’m guessing?
Sid doesn’t answer when
the Outsiders knock on his door.
Luger asks Sting to
team up with him to go after the Tag Team Titles.
Perry Saturn vs.
Eddie Guerrero
Pole
match with Torrie in a shark cage on a fork lift, wearing a dress cut
lower than this show’s ratings. Eddie is on Saturn from the bell and
takes him outside for a whip into the barricade. The early attempt
at the key doesn’t work though as Saturn comes back in and suplexes
Eddie instead. Eddie pops back up though and nails a SWEET
springboard tornado DDT, but this time it’s Shane stopping the run
for the key.
After a crash onto
Kidman, Eddie runs back in to stop Saturn as I ask the obvious
question: WHY ARE THEY CLIMBING A FREAKING POLE??? I know Russo
hates wrestling but what’s up with the pole thing? Anyway Saturn
superplexes Eddie down and plants him with a piledriver but drops a
headbutt instead of going for the key. Eddie gets back up and sends
him into the cage, where Torrie reaches through to choke Saturn.
With the other Animals going holding back the Revolution, Eddie
climbs the pole and (eventually since the pole is greased. Yes
grease on a pole) gets the key.
Rating:
D.
I’m so glad we built up this story last week and blew it off with a
five minute pole match instead of some big fight between the two
groups to win Torrie’s freedom. Instead, Eddie climbed up the pole
and got the key to the shark cage to get her off the forklift.
Somehow, a week is a long build up for Russo. That sums up so many
of his problems.
Torrie
is freed and that’s that.
The Outsiders are in
the back and “McMahon” tells Sid to trust him. Sid goes into a
rant about getting screwed when he left the WWF so Nash takes off the
wig and Sid starts laughing. For the far too many-th time tonight,
what in the world are they talking about?
Luger is now focused on
the Tag Team Title shot.
Tag
Team Titles: Konnan/Kidman vs. Sting/Total Package
Sting
and Luger are challenging. Tony’s horrible sense of timing continues
as he says last week’s 13 second Sting vs. Knobbs “match” was
about two minutes long. Package starts by posing but Sting cleans
house instead. We finally settle down to Kidman vs. Luger with Lex
laughing at him until a dropkick puts him down. Luger tries to get
up but grabs his knee. He crawls over to Sting for a tag as Konnan
comes in to clean house. It’s so bad that Mysterio and Guerrero come
in for the DQ beatdown of Sting. Another angle instead of a match.
The
Animals destroy Sting and beat him down with the bat. So is Sting
back to being a face like he should have been all along? That might
be the first thing Russo has gotten right. The Animals leave so
Sting yells at Luger.
Hall
says he’ll lay down for Sid tonight. Nash says he did these skits
because he’s the only giant left (remember that he’s saying this to
SID) and has no booking power.
Sting
looks for the Animals, because somehow they’re a main event level
group all of a sudden.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Booker T. vs. Jeff Jarrett
Jeff
goes after him in the aisle but the referee takes the guitar away,
allowing Booker to come back with some right hands. They fight into
the ring where Booker nails a spin kick and spinning forearm, only to
get sent outside for some whips into steel objects. The Harris
Brothers are on the stage as Jeff clotheslines Booker down and puts
on a sleeper.
Booker escapes and hits
his usual finishing sequence, only to have the bald guys throw in a
guitar. With one of them offering a distraction, Jeff nails Booker
with the guitar. Despite seeing the guitar come in, being maybe two
weeks from the guitar hitting Booker in the head and DIVING OVER THE
BROKEN PIECES, Robinson counts the pin.
Goldberg is on the set
of Slam (the name of Ready to Rumble, even though Tenay used the name
Ready To Rumble earlier in the night) and wants to kill Sid and the
Outsiders.
The Nitro Girls are
still fighting so Nash comes in and says save it for the pay per
view.
Evan Karagias wants to
be Madusa’s friend after their match tonight.
WCW World Title
Tournament First Round: Madusa vs. Evan Karagias
Madusa
gropes him to start but then shoves his hat off. Evan grabs her from
behind but rubs her legs. She lays down but Evan pulls her up, only
to get kissed down to give Madusa the pin in another nothing angle
disguised as a match.
David Flair talks to
his crowbar.
WCW World Title
Tournament First Round: Chris Benoit vs. Dean Malenko
In
a cage. Malenko (who got a jobber’s entrance. IN A CAGE MATCH?)
chokes him down in the corner to start but Benoit comes back with
shots to the ribs and a powerbomb, sending Malenko head first into
the top of the cage for a bonus. Benoit chops away and dropkicks him
into the cage, only to miss another dropkick so Malenko can catapult
him into the steel.
A few battering rams
send Benoit head first into the cage, but he escapes a third one and
plants Malenko with a tombstone in a nice counter. Chris slits his
throat and goes up, only to have Malenko pop up and superplex Benoit
off the top. Cue Saturn with a chain, but Benoit intercepts the pass
to Malenko and knocks Dean cold (like ice man). With no real need to
other than to finally wake up the crowd, Benoit goes up top and nails
a HUGE Swan Dive from the top of the cage for the pin.
Rating:
C+.
90% of that is for the Swan Dive alone. Thankfully they let this
have some time (four and a half minutes is time in Russo World) as
Benoit and Malenko could have a good match in their sleep. I’m glad
to see Benoit rising above the rest of the midcard and he deserves
this more than Malenko (not that he doesn’t deserve a push of his
own).
Cue
the Revolution to chain Benoit to the cage. Before they can get much
further though, the Filthy Animals come out for the save but David
Flair comes out to crowbar all of them down. Konnan tries to get out
but Sting comes in to beat him down. Patience Russo, patience. I
assure you it won’t hurt anything and you can get all your nonsense
in every week.
David
Flair leaves and gets run down by a car. Kimberly gets out and pokes
him before getting back in and driving away. I think the whiplash
I’m getting from these fast angles is worse than whatever is wrong
with David.
Nash
is down in the back and says Bret did it. Russo trope: someone being
down when we didn’t see the attack.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Sid Vicious vs. Scott Hall
Sid
has the US Title on. They talk trash until Sid pokes him in the
chest to put Hall down. Sid covers but Hall tries a small package
for two. The bigger guy is ticked off and pounds Sid against the
ropes before getting two off a backbreaker. Sid chokes even more as
the fans want Goldberg. The cobra clutch has Hall in trouble but
Hall fights back with right hands. A chokeslam drops Hall again but
the referee goes down because we need to fill the quota. Bret comes
out and breaks his crutch over Sid’s back, allowing Hall to cover for
the pin.
Rating:
D-.
At least the show is over and at least this story makes something
resembling sense. The fact that I can map out the story from
beginning to end and (if I ignore the Vince stuff) make sense of it
tells me that it’s probably the best story on the show. Now if only
we can get a match to go five minutes.
Hall gets the title to
end the show.
Here
are the updated brackets, assuming they don’t switch things up:
Bret Hart
Perry Saturn
Norman Smiley
Kidman
Total Package
???
Meng
Sting
Chris Benoit
Madusa
Scott Hall
Lash Leroux
Buff Bagwell
Berlyn
Curt Hennig
Jeff Jarrett
Overall
Rating:
D-.
Yet somehow, this was a step in the right direction from last week.
They cut down on some of the stupid stuff, but at the same time
cranked up some of the other problems. The Vince McMahon stuff
wasn’t funny, didn’t lead anywhere and seemed to be there to make
Russo laugh. That MIGHT have gone over better today since Vince has
basically turned into an insane man from time to time, but this was
just one big inside joke that got TV time.
The
wrestling sucked tonight but that goes without saying on a Russo
show. This tournament is a mess, but next week will only (in theory
at least) have half the matches of the first two weeks. Multiple
tournament matches were turned into gimmick matches, because
apparently I’ll care about Stevie Ray vs. Bagwell in a strap match.
At
least there are a few stories taking shape, even if they’re not very
good. Unfortunately for every Revolution vs. Filthy Animals, there’s
a Buff Bagwell REAL LIFE story. These “shoot” stories are
getting old fast but Russo seems to think they’re the greatest thing
since sliced bread (that would be sliced bread #1 in case that’s not
clear). Horrible show this week and I see no reason to keep coming
back, especially with two weeks before Mayhem.
Remember to pick up my new book of 1998 pay per view reviews from Amazon at:
And head over to my Amazong author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

Monday Nitro – October 25, 1999

Monday
Nitro #211
Date:
October 25, 1999
Location:
America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Attendance:
9,630
Commentators:
Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
finally past Halloween Havoc and as usual with pay per views, a lot
has changed. First up would seem to be Goldberg coming out as both
United States and World Champion, but only the former is for sure.
After Hogan laid down against Sting for no apparent reason, Goldberg
beat the champ in an open challenge, which may or may not be for the
title. Tonight we should find out what’s going on so let’s get to
it.

A
paintless Sting is walking through the back (I’m been skipping a lot
of these segments as they’re literally just people walking) and
shouting for JJ Dillon while throwing things all over the place.
Opening
sequence.
Sting
heads to the ring and calls out JJ Dillon, because last night he
issued a challenge for a fight, not a title match. Dillon comes out
and Sting repeats most of what he already said but throws in that he
was trying to bail them out of a bad situation with Hogan. Why do I
have a bad feeling that’s the extent of Hogan information tonight?.
The title was never on the line, so Sting wants his belt back. JJ
agrees that the title wasn’t on the line, because WCW never
sanctioned that match. Therefore, the title is vacant due to Sting
attacking the referee after the match.
Oh
come on. That’s some very convenient enforcing of the rules given
what half the roster gets away with on a regular basis. Also ignore
the fact that it wasn’t even in a match so why should it have any
impact on th…..never mind. I’m staying out of the quicksand that
is WCW/Russo logic. There’s going to be a 32 man tournament and
Sting can be a participant. That earns Dillon a beating until
Goldberg comes out for the save.
Here
are the brackets.
Bret
Hart
Goldberg
Perry
Saturn
Eddie
Guerrero
Norman
Smiley
Bam
Bam Bigelow
Kidman
Konnan
Total
Package
Rick
Steiner
Diamond
Dallas Page
David
Flair
???
Madusa
Brian
Knobs
Sting
I’m
sure we’ll see the other half later, because I’m sure it’s completely
prepared at this point. Also Madusa is now a man? JJ specifically
said 32 MAN tournament.
The
Outsiders are here with a cooler but Mike Graham comes up and tells
them they have to wrestle tonight. Nash’s retirement isn’t addressed
because that’s in the old regime or something.
Norman
Smiley says last night’s match was amusing and thinks Bigelow is
tough. Oh and he likes to dance. If Russo being in charge means
more short interviews for people who don’t often get TV time, maybe
he’s not all bad.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Norman Smiley vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Norman
is terrified so Bigelow decides this is going to be a hardcore match.
Bigelow throws in weapons as Norman hides behind the referee, only
to get hit in the head with a broom. He puts the trashcan on
Norman’s head but Norman kind of headbutts him and falls with a low
blow ala Sting. It’s time to dance before Norman quickly covers
Bigelow for the pin. This was a mess and didn’t even break ninety
seconds.
Hall
and Nash are in the back and Nash says he can’t work. Hall says he
can’t comment until the top of the hour. He won’t listen to Mike
Graham either.
Recap
of the Filthy Animals vs. Ric Flair.
Here
are the Filthy Animals with Torrie sporting a shiny silver outfit
that Kidman really seems to enjoy. Eddie talks about how WCW will
never be able to break the team up. Now Ric Flair has been coming
after them, so look at this tape to see what happened. The video
show Ric being dragged away to what looks like the desert and being
buried in sand. Egads this is really happening.
Kidman
says Flair is done and Harlem Heat is next. Mysterio cuts him off
from swearing and gives the mic to Konnan for some bad catchphrases,
one of which involves the Filthy Animals being in heat. Cue Malenko
and Saturn to destroy the Animals, but Torrie runs off, only to get
caught by Shane Douglas and Asya. Well they tried to murder Flair so
I’m not sure I can sympathize with them when one of their members is
kidnapped.
Curt
Hennig doesn’t like the Powers that Be and if he gets pinned he’s
fired. Why you ask? The better question is why would you ask “why
you ask?” You should know by now that you’re never getting a clear
answer to most of the logical questions this show brings up.
The
Outsiders drink coffee, potentially to sober Hall up.
Curt
Hennig vs. Lash Leroux
If
Hennig gets pinned he’s fired. Hennig hammers away in the corner to
start and hiptosses Lash across the ring for two. Disco Inferno
comes out to praise Lash on commentary but gets interrupted by Curt
ramming Lash into the table. They head back inside with Hennig
getting two off a knee lift as this is a total squash so far, meaning
you can expect a swerve soon. Lash comes back with some right hands
and dropkicks before loading up Whiplash, only to have Hennig hit the
referee for the DQ. Well he didn’t get pinned.
Hennig
lays out Lash and Disco with a chair.
The
Filthy Animals are looking for Torrie.
A
limping Bret Hart arrives.
Here
are the Nitro Girls for the Nitro Girls search stuff but Jeff Jarrett
comes out to interrupt. Jeff threatens to stroke each one of them
and says this tournament is a big work. See, he’s the next champion
and if Luger disagrees, he can take the Lex Express out of town.
Amazingly enough, no one responds to the five year old reference. Oh
and he didn’t hit Elizabeth last week. Their big plan to get Jarrett
over as a heel is to break up the Nitro Girls stuff? He’ll be out
popping Goldberg in two weeks at this rate.
Sid
says the war with Goldberg is far from over.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Perry Saturn vs. Eddie Guerrero
Saturn
threatens to make Torrie disappear if the Animals interfere. The
Animals leave but Eddie jumps him from behind for the early
advantage. He goes after the leg as the fans are entirely behind
him, because I guess they see kidnapping Torrie as a good thing.
Guerrero uses his wrist tape to tie the leg to the ropes for some
hard kicks but Saturn quickly rips it off.
A
hot shot and gutbuster change control though and Saturn cranks on an
abdominal stretch. Eddie’s ribs are draped over the top rope before
they head outside with Saturn whipping him into the barricade.
They’re flying through this as you can almost feel the shenanigans
coming. Cue David Flair with a crowbar to nail Eddie in the ribs,
setting up the Rings of Saturn to give Saturn the win.
Rating:
C. That’s the match of the
night isn’t it? At the end of the day, you need more than four
minutes to get anything special going and even guys like Saturn and
Guerrero can only only do so much. The David Flair stuff makes sense
as he would be upset at Torrie and doesn’t want her to be rescued,
but it’s another case of throwing so much into one show that you
can’t process it all.
Saturn
runs from the invading Animals.
Hall
and Nash don’t want to fight so they come up with ways of shutting
down the show. Nash’s
best idea: strip naked in the ring.
The
Revolution has Torrie held hostage in a secret location. Does anyone
ever think of just flagging down the cameraman and asking where they
just came from? Malenko
walks out of the room but Benoit jumps him behind and lays wastes to
him, clearly swearing without being censored.
Here
are the Outsiders, potentially for stripping. Hall does the Survey
and says they’ve been partying in Vegas, but had to come here for the
real party. Nash says no
one is going to tell them what to do, but Goldberg pops up to
threaten them with violence later in the night. The Outsiders jumped
Goldberg before the Sid match last night so we have Goldberg’s next
feud. We don’t have an explanation for Nash’s retirement before
forgotten but you can’t have everything. Or anything around here
these days actually.
Here
are Randy Savage and Gorgeous George, clad in sparkly red attire
because it makes George look good and Savage look…..well like
Savage actually. Savage
says it’s been awhile but Russo and the rest of the vultures in the
back aren’t going to see him hang himself on live TV. However,
George is right when she says he’s well hung.
You
can’t kill off the Macho Man like
you did Hogan and Flair. The
yellow and red and Space Mountain have played themselves out but
Savage is still legit. It’s
time that he passes the torch to the next superstar to win World
Titles, set ratings records
and be even better than he was. I
don’t think he would be seen for another six months.
The
Animals find the Revolution’s dressing room (hint: it was labeled
REVOLUTION) but there’s no Torrie.
The
Revolution tries to get Malenko to chill.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Madusa vs. ???
And
it’s Meng. I’m assuming there’s a joke here that I’m not smart
enough to get. Madusa fires off punches and kicks which are sold as
well as an air conditioner at the North Pole. Meng goes after her
but stops to look at her chest, earning him an eye poke. So this is
a comedy match? Some choking and a missile dropkick have no effect
on Meng so she jumps on his back, gets flipped over and the Tongan
Death Grip is good for the win.
Evan
Karagias of all people comes out to check on Madusa, but Dean Malenko
comes out to challenge Benoit to a last man standing match tonight.
There’s no connection between Malenko and Karagias. Russo just
doesn’t know what it means to wait a second.
Nash
is taping up.
Curt
Hennig and Brad Armstrong are backstage. Brad has been told to leave
until he finds a personality and the Powers that Be suggest he call
his little brother. I’m getting a headache and we’re not even
halfway done with this mess.
Bret
has his leg looked at.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Total Package vs. Rick Steiner
Please
keep up the short trend here. We get the full monty of WCW’s bad
production here as Tony asks for stills of Bret vs. Lex, has to stall
for about 45 seconds before they come up, has to ignore Rick
Steiner’s music starting and stopping during the stills, and then we
miss the opening of the match because of Benoit vs. Steiner stills.
I mean dude, even TNA has their stuff together better than this.
Luger
hammers on him to start with his usual array of kicks and forearms as
Jarrett comes out to do commentary. Steiner fights back and sends
Luger into the buckle as Jeff talks about how he didn’t attack Liz
last week because he isn’t that kind of a man. Tony brings up the
WWF but Jeff says these are different days. Jeff goes after Liz but
Luger makes a save, only to have Jarrett’s guitar shot hit Steiner by
mistake. Liz freaks out so Luger checks on her, only to drop her so
he can beat the ten count back in to win another short (sweet) match.
This would be about three weeks’ worth of story crammed into a few
minutes.
Liz
isn’t happy.
Konnan
threatens to hurt the Revolution if they harm Torrie and also speaks
on cheese.
Benoit
tapes his hands.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Konnan vs. Kidman
Time
for a stable battle. Konnan takes over quickly and snapmares Kidman
down, setting up a basement dropkick. That’s not cool with Kidman
and they slug it out until Konnan hits the rolling clothesline. The
X Factor is countered with a BK Bomb for two but the referee is
bumped, as per Russo requirement. Cue Harlem Heat to lay out both
guys with finishers, though Stevie doesn’t actually go off his feet
on the Slap Jack. Mysterio and Guerrero try to make a save but
Kidman rolls over onto Konnan to advance. This looked like a back
door out of having partners fight, but more than likely Russo had no
idea what he booked.
Eddie
has to calm Konnan and Kidman down post match. Konnan agrees and
wants a Tag Team Title shot tonight against “these two mark punk
busters.”
The
Outsiders are wondering who they’ll be facing in their big, and I’m
sure totally serious, match. Maybe the Bushwhackers or the
Kangaroos?
Quick
look back at Bagwell being annoyed at having to job last week.
Seriously, that appears to be the story they’re going with.
Here’s
Bagwell for a chat. He’s going to start breaking all the rules and
doesn’t care about all the sacred things in this business. Last week
was the last time he’ll do a job (oh here we go) for the two idiots
in the back writing this nonsense. Cue the Harris Brothers in the
soon to be named Creative Control gimmick to beat Bagwell down. This
would be the worked part after the real stuff you heard from Buff.
There are a lot of problems with this, but if you don’t know what a
job is in wrestling terms, doesn’t it sound like Bagwell just quit?
Dean
Malenko vs. Chris Benoit
Last
man standing for reasons that aren’t really explained and
both guys are
in street clothes. They
slug it out to start and tumble out to the floor with Benoit being
sent into the barricade over and over. That
goes nowhere so they get back inside, only to have Benoit crotch
Malenko against the post. That’s not something Benoit would normally
do.
Chris
chops away in the corner before a belly to back suplex sends Malenko
down. They’re both up at six so Benoit rolls some Germans, only to
get kicked low. Dean tosses
him over the top and out to the floor for
more whips into the barricade. Back
in and Benoit suplexes him down again for a short count before a
double clothesline puts both guys down but only Benoit beats the
count.
Rating:
C-. This is Vince Russo in a
nutshell: a last man standing match announced with maybe half an hour
notice that gets seven minutes and ends with a clothesline because we
need to get on to all the other AMAZING things he has planned for us,
like three minute nothing matches. How did adding a gimmick to this
match help? Benoit and Malenko can have a good match with each other
in their sleep but they have to add in a last man standing gimmick
for the sake of adding one in, thereby making it look like a less
important gimmick going forward. Well done in just seven minutes.
Post
match the Filthy Animals come out but Douglas (with his arm in a
cast) and Saturn show up on stage with Asya holding Torrie. Shane
babbles about hurting Torrie and Dean is allowed to leave. The
Animals chase after him and get to the parking lot where both groups
speed away. I guess this is action adventure or something? Also,
no explanation for why Malenko did what he did last night. I’m not
expecting any reason after this point.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Sting vs. Brian Knobs
Two
ball bat shots to the chest for the pin
in thirteen seconds. Yeah
that’s going to keep Sting a heel. To
recap, the brackets said Sting vs. Knobbs, Tony said Sting vs.
Morrus, Sting actually fought Knobbs. Conclusion:
Tony Schiavone is incompetent.
The
Outsiders talk strategy for later.
Bret
Hart has a hairline fracture but is going to fight Goldberg anyway.
Tag
Team Titles: Harlem Heat vs. Kidman/Konnan
Harlem
Heat is defending. Stevie
hammers Konnan down to start and stomps Kidman on the apron. All
hail King Stevie. More
pounding ensues until Konnan clotheslines both champs down for a
breather. Off to Kidman but he eats a clothesline as well to give
Stevie control again. It’s
quickly back to Konnan with Booker taking over with right hands and a
side slam. The champs start
double teaming Konnan as
I guess they’re heels tonight, despite the fans being all over the
Animals earlier in the night.
Stevie
knees him down and cranks on an armbar. Back
to Booker who misses the ax kick, allowing the hot tag to Kidman. A
quick Dudley Dog staggers Booker but Stevie comes back in to set up a
Hart Attack with a Harlem Side Kick instead of a clothesline. Konnan
gets back up and goes after Booker, allowing Kidman to load up
another Dudley Dog, only to have Stevie counter with a bridging belly
to back suplex, but Kidman raises his shoulder for the pin and the
titles.
Rating:
D+. Well
that happened. Was there any reason to not just give Kidman and
Konnan the belts last night? Other than a “shocking” title
change that is? The match was nothing to see, again mainly due to
time, even though this was one of the longer matches of the night at
just over five minutes. Sign
of the Russo times: that’s the third title change, not counting the
belts being vacated, in eight days.
Goldberg
says he’s always been brutal and the match with Sid was just showing
that side.
WCW
World Title Tournament First Round: Diamond Dallas Page vs. David
Flair
Kimberly
grabs the mic and starts up the catchphrases in that great acting
voice of hers. Page wants Flair out of the ring and grabs him by the
neck before kissing him on the cheek. He
makes the mistake of turning his back on the crazy man though,
allowing David to get in some crowbar shots. Kimberly gets in to
call David off and he leaves as Page is looked at by medics. No
match.
Outsiders
vs. ???
The
Outsiders are in street clothes. Cue
the Harris Brothers…..who step aside so a bunch of porn chicks can
come out, one of which
appears to be smuggling basketballs in her shirt. The
bell rings and my goodness they’re actually doing this. Tony:
“The Powers that Be are looking for ratings and they’re going to
get them!”
Hall
starts with the blonde but doesn’t know where to put his hands. She
headlocks him into her chest and this is dying before my eyes. More
“comedy” ensues and Hall does the Flair Flop, earning him a
spank. The fans clap for
the hot tag and Nash is all fired up for the other blonde. He
gets the laughably enhanced brunette but both Outsiders lay down for
a double pin. You think I’m rating this?
Goldberg
comes out to clean house before the brunette can take her top off.
US
Title/WCW World Title Tournament First Round: Goldberg vs. Bret Hart
This
is for Goldberg’s US Title for no apparent reason. Bret
limps down to the ring because of the leg injury over the last few
weeks. Goldberg takes him
into the corner and gives a clean break. Instead
it’s the gorilla press into a powerslam to plant Bret but Goldberg
doesn’t want to follow up.
A
leg lock has Bret in trouble but he’s right next to the ropes. Bret
gets dropped again as this is coming off like an angle instead of a
match. Goldberg stomps away
in the corner and pulls Bret out by the leg. Another
leg lock makes Bret scream so Goldberg lets go and demands that the
referee stop it. Bret says keep going so Goldberg throws him back
to the mat.
Goldberg
charges into the good foot in the corner and Bret puts on a sleeper.
That goes as well as you
would expect with Goldberg throwing Bret onto the referee. Hart
is thrown outside so cue the
Outsiders and Sid (in his gear due to reasons of insanity) to
lay Goldberg out. Somehow
the referee looks at this and doesn’t call for a DQ, allowing Bret to
crawl back inside for the pin, even though Goldberg was sitting up
when Hart got back in.
Rating:
D+. This was kind of a mess but
not as bad as it could have been, again due to having more time
(nearly EIGHT minutes!).
However, it does make the events of last night seem like a big waste
of time. Was there any reason to have Luger make Bret give up if
Bret is winning the US Title here? Or to have Goldberg win two
titles in one night and then lose both twenty four hours later? What
a mess, but this was one of the less messy messes of the night.
Also, this is another
potential Starrcade main event thrown away for free on TV. Yeah
there would be a rematch, but this wasn’t really making me want to
see them again.
Here
are the updated brackets for the first half of the tournament.
Bret
Hart
Perry
Saturn
Norman
Smiley
Kidman
Total
Package
Diamond
Dallas Page/David Flair (no winner so it’s not clear)
Meng
Sting
What
a glorious set of options.
Overall
Rating:
F. When the best things
I can think of on a show are Torrie and Kimberly looking good, you
can tell it’s been a waste of three hours. The
title matches ranged from a
series of quick ways out of having a match to adding angles to
matches so Russo can cram every single thing he can think of into the
show. It’s been said that
Russo wants nothing to do with wrestling and that was never more
clear than here.
One
thing he does love though is the Filthy Animals, who were all over
this show. Their story made
sense for the most part, but it’s very clear that the audience is
already having problems with who they’re supposed to cheer for.
That’s the shades of gray idea that Russo likes to use, which still
doesn’t seem to work 90% of the time.
This
was a huge mess with WAY too much stuff going on to keep track of
anything. I watched this show over the span of about twenty four
hours and I’m struggling to remember half of what happened on it.
None of the things you see
has the chance to stick with you because they have to get on to the
next idea. There was a line from HHH when he was on Austin’s podcast
that would really serve Russo well: there’s always next week. It’s
ok to let something play out on one show and do something next week
(or on Thunder to make that show actually mean something for a
change).
Here’s
the thing: yeah the WWF is pretty lame right now with all the sports
entertainment nonsense, at least it made sense and had the charisma
to carry things through. This
show feels like someone watched Raw and said “I CAN DO THAT!” and
got a job running a wrestling comp……oh dear goodness that’s
pretty much what happened isn’t it? Maybe this is Russo getting his
first ideas out of the way early and it’ll get better later, but for
now though, the Russo Era is terrifying.
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

WCW Nitro: February 10, 1997

Before I jump in, InVerse took a little exception to my glossing over Ron Powers’ victory over Bunkhouse Buck, instead opting to talk about poop: Wait, how are you just throwing this out there with no commentary at all? At first, I figured it was a typo, either you were actually talking about Jim Powers or else you just spaced out who won the match, but ProFightDB confirms this outcome. It’s also the only victory that Ron Powers has on record. Ron Powers beat a 62 time champion! This is bigger than the time Mitchell Rose handed Butterbean his first loss in what was the only victory of Rose’s entire career! Bunkhouse Buck is a former NWA Alabama Heavyweight Champion! He’s held the NWA Rocky Top Heavyweight Championship! He’s held tag team titles with 18 different partners, including Keith Hart and Brian Lee! This has to be the biggest upset on WCW Saturday Night since March 28th, 1987, almost a decade earlier!
I need to apologize, this was THE oversight of the year on my part. Ron Powers has everything I look for in a jobber: he’s awful, and he never wins. His victory over the former 62-time champion is something that should not have been taken lightly, and should have been celebrated as the first steps towards seeing Ron capture the World Tag-Team titles with his now-brother Jim. I’ll make sure to keep round the clock updates on all Ron Powers related happenings moving forward. I am thoroughly embarrassed.
With fireworks exploding and the comforting voice of the strangely confident but eternally confused TONY SCHIAVONE coming at us, it’s clear that Nitro is LIVE from Jacksonville, Florida! LARRY ZBYSZKO retains his completely undeserved seat. And, are those cheerleaders I spy at ringside? Yes, it appears to be the first on-camera appearance of the NITRO GIRLS, though it only comes as an overhead shot of the entire arena. The dancing will have to wait.

An irate DEAN MALENKO comes to the ring, and you can tell he’s upset because he’s wearing a poker face. He has managed to deduce that Syxx stole his Cruiserweight title, and gives him a chance to show up and face him like a man. So of course, we’re instantly greeted by someone else.
DEAN MALENKO vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (for the WCW United States heavyweight title)
This is a rematch from Saturday Night, where we were unable to get a clear winner before the show ran out of time. Eddie Guerrero is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, but let’s be clear: THIS Eddie Guerrero is NOT. He has done absolutely nothing for US title, which is entering Year #2 of being a shell of its former self. There was a time you put this belt on the guy who wasn’t far off from competing for the World Title, but ever since Kensuke Sasaki defeated Sting last December, it’s just been passed around in mid-card hell; even getting completely written off and ignored for months when The Giant walked away with it one day and treated it as a prop on nWo Saturday Night. If they’re not going to move forward with Lex Luger as the WCW guy to face Hogan, he’d be as fine a choice as anyone right now. Lord Regal might be nearing that point, Chris Benoit is starting to look like a legit player, and this is all assuming the Faces of Fear just don’t decide they want it themselves. Bland Eddie Guerrero whose entire WCW career to this point can be summed up as “that guy on the receiving end of many racist jokes” is probably not the answer … at least not yet. I know this is a blasphemous opinion on the Internet, and I await the impending rapture. Malenko hits a hard backdrop suplex coming out of a headlock, and the pair start trading leg holds that nearly sees both guys counted down simultaneously. Eddie tries an Oklahoma roll, but Malenko pulls him up in a wheelbarrow, and then propels him up and over with a German! SYXX sneaks down to ringside as both guys start trading finishers, while SOME FAN nearly comes to blows with Syxx when he tries to steal the Cruiserweight title back on Malenko’s behalf! You go, random fan! Syxx is trying to steal the US title again, but Eddie hits the floor and defends his turf. Syxx takes off as Eddie gets counted out in a ridiculous decision at 5:00. There was a time, just 4 months ago, when nWo appearances meant stopping everything so WCW could defend themselves. Now they’re just part of the show; an annoyance that ruin more matches than Larry Zbyszko’s commentary. *1/2
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE arrives with a chair in hand. It’s not your typical steel chair, but a nicely padded seat, because it looks like he’s planning to stay awhile. He says he’s tired of running, and calls out the nWo to settle the score. STING and RANDY SAVAGE answer the call, oddly, coming in through the now manic crowd. Together they circle Page like sharks, and he looks a little worried. Savage smacks his chair with the bat, and kicks it away. Sting shoves him in the chest repeatedly with the bat, and goes to hit a home run over Page’s head. Page covers up, expecting the absolute worst … but Sting backs off. He hands the baseball bat to Page, and both guys turn their backs. Page doesn’t move a muscle, so Savage snatches the bat away and they head back into the sea of fans. Page, confused, returns to the back. These Sting segments are getting a little convoluted and overdone, but I don’t hate the idea of a group of silent vigilantes (not to be confused with THE VIGILANTE Sting). I just wish it would lead to wrestling.
BOBBY EATON vs. KONAN
Konan starts in with his “methodical” offense, and you can use your powers of deduction to figure out what that means. The Cradle DDT finishes at 1:21. No more Konan. DUD
RON POWERS vs. LEX LUGER
Now here’s a man brimming with confidence after his huge win this past weekend, and he’ll take his 3rd crack at Lex Luger over the last month or so. Luger’s sporting a cast, because the nWo broke his forearm apparently. ERIC BISCHOFF stops Lex on his way to the ring, and asks if his arm is broken. Luger reminds Eric that WCW’s where the Big Boys Play, and he’ll wrestle through it. Bischoff tells him to forget it, he’s not risking Luger’s long term health. Unless he’s given a release tonight, he not only won’t be given a match tonight, nor will he wrestle at Superbrawl. Luger stomps off, while Bischoff turns to the camera to give us a PSA about wrestlers’ safety and health. The fans pop huge, and Bischoff thanks them for their support, not realizing THE GIANT has lumbered down. Bischoff takes off immediately, and an irate Ron Powers pleads his case not to have to fight here; and he shouldn’t have to! He was promised Luger, Luger pussed out, so he wins – end of story. Ron Powers, future champion, doesn’t deserve this.
THE GIANT vs. RON POWERS
Giant misses a Stinger Splash, and Powers lays in, a house o’ fire! Big Ron goes for a boot to the midsection, but Giant blocks, and runs him over with a clothesline. Powerslam, ROARRRRR, Chokeslam, 1:47, sigh. My rating: one sad emoticon.
MIKE TENAY (Mike Tenay?!?) hits the ring to chat with Giant. Giant admits that he’s a real fire-breathing Giant. I think he’s confused his Giant fairy tales with the Dragons. That, or he’s been training with Glacier’s sensei, Dhalsim, and he’s acquired this fine new skill. LEX LUGER powerwalks to the ring, and The Giant asks Luger if he’s going to let anything stop him in his quest to capture a little gold. Luger says no way Jose, and Giant feels the same. So even if he’s forced to fight the Outsiders alone in San Francisco, he’ll do just that, and he’ll hand the other belt over to Luger, his new best friend. That’s hot.
A limousine arrives, and inside are nWo besties, THE OUTSIDERS and BIG BUBBER? Bubba asks the boys if he’s granted permission to take out DDP, and Hall happily gives his blessing.
HIGH VOLTAGE vs. THE STEINER BROTHERS
Scott’s upper body is starting to look ridiculous, his already jacked frame has put on about 30 pounds of muscle in the last 6 months alone. HARLEM HEAT with SISTA SHERRI watch this one from the top of the ringsteps, while Scotty’s overhead belly to belly sends Rage flying from corner to corner. THE FACES OF FEAR wander out to look on, reminding me how much I’d love to see them take on the Steiners in a long tag-team war. Rick about kills Kaos with a fireman’s carry slam, while THE PUBLIC ENEMY slide in to watch Scott tie Kenny to the tree of woe. Rage comes in to face Roid Rage, and that’s a no contest. Rick heads in as Rage tries a springboard Thesz press, but Steiner turns it into a powerbomb mid-move that nearly kills the poor guy. Kaos goes to save, so Scotty destroys him, before they finish Rage off with the super bulldog at 4:00. This was a fantastic squash, with the fans just going mental for every movement. These guys are clearly the cream of the tag-team crop, and WCW would be wise to push the ever loving shit out of them and ride this for as long as they can. **
ERIC BISCHOFFTHE OUTSIDERSSYXX, and NICK PATRICK chase Schiavone and Larry away; with Larry happy to retreat early to “get paid to order room service”. Man has a point. Bischoff relays that his secretary had a special guest in house who really wanted to talk to him, and so he brings out …
RANDY ANDERSON, accompanied by HIS WIFE and TWO KIDS. His children are dressed in their best clothing, and Anderson pleads for his job back, pointing to the pain his entire family felt after he was canned. Bischoff asks what the names of his children are, so Randy introduces Montana and Chase, along with his wife Kristie. Bischoff asks the family to step forward, beckons the children, leans in closely and softly tells them “would you please tell your daddy that he’s STILL fired? Would you do that for me?” Montana: “Please Mr. Bischoff?” Anderson: “Please, Eric, I’ll do anything. I’m trying to be professional for WCW.” Bischoff: “Wah wah wah, everyone here has responsibilities, you need to learn to deal with adversity.” Eric asks them they really want to see Randy Anderson get his job back, he’s giving him one shot … next week, if he wrestles Nick Patrick. Kristie tells him absolutely not, given that he’s in cancer remission. However, seeing as how he’s got a family to support, he agrees.
THE OUTSIDERS (with Syxx) vs. THE EXTREME (for the WCW world tag-team titles)
Bischoff orders Zbyszko to re-join him in the booth, and Larry’s happy as hell to lay in to the Outsiders. “Here’s a 7 foot tall coward! These guys aren’t worthy competitors. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall are two big strong thugs who have sold their individuality, wrestling like pack rats, they’re cowards who attack Luger with pipes, that’s who they are.” Nash defeats Storm with the Rack while Hall chokeslams Ace at 1:20. Syxx congratulates them on another four star MOTYC. Nash vows to stay 2 Sweet 4 Life, while Hall brings out the big guns, calling the Giant a dork.
Hour #2 sees Tony return to his post alongside MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN.
REY MYSTERIO JR. vs. “LORD” STEVEN REGAL (for the WCW world television title)
This match has been prepped for weeks, but Rey’s knee injury delayed his opportunity. Regal doesn’t appear to be particularly concerned of facing the little guy, even asking the referee “really?”, while measuring his height. In fact, of bigger concern are the rowdy fans at ringside, whom Regal takes a couple of moments to lecture and threaten to slap the shit out of. Rey tries to do an armdrag, but Regal picks him up and gives him a hammerlock backbreaker. With Rey selling the arm, Regal’s head starts moving like a bobblehead, feeling good. Rey tries a headlock, but you’re not gonna outwrestle Regal who shoves him off easily. Rey goes to what he knows, the springboard dropkick, and Regal sells it like the ring is made out of ice, slipping and sliding around in the corner unable to find his footing and looking horrified. Rey charges again, right into the thumb of the Lord – but the thumb just HAPPENED to be there, it wasn’t intentional or anything. Rey takes a series of knees to the face, and Regal dances like Ali. In fact, he drops to his knees, pretending to be in tears, before wrapping Rey’s arms around his own neck, choking himself. Rey shoves him forward, and dropkicks a shocked Regal to the floor. His Lordship hits the apron, Rey charges … again right into the thumb, hah! A quick jawbreaker over the top rope puts the champ back in charge, and Regal literally starts tooting his own horn.
Regal goes for a rough clothesline, but Rey ducks and hits a rana. Regal shows Rey a little lucha libre, putting on La Majistral for 2. Rey comes back with a headscissors take over for 2. Another attempt gets Rey caught in a wheelbarrow, but Rey slides down the back and time expires as Rey gets the 3 at 6:56, which is tonight’s official time limit. The fans have had just about enough of Regal’s cheating ways, but the Lord is happy to keep his belt through whatever means necessary, celebrating his greatness as we head to break. ***
KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jacquelyn and Jimmy Hart) vs. MAVERICK WILD
This is Wild’s debut, but the future New England Pro Wrestling 2010 Hall of Fame inductee doesn’t fare particularly well on the national stage, getting beaten up by Jackie on the outside, and Tony blows his load, amazed that she knows how to do a lariat. “WE NEED TO SEE THAT AGAIN! A LARIAT, BRAIN!” Wild is sent out to the floor a second time and this time takes a body slam, and I’m fairly sure Tony’s head just exploded in amazement and wonder. Back in, it’s the usual, tree of woe, double stomp, and Sullivan wins at 2:16. I’m sick to death of this formula, but I guess I can take solace in the fact that Sullivan typically isn’t putting himself anyone notable, an occasional Arn Anderson job aside. 1/2*
MIKE TENAY stops the Dungeon, while one audible fan overpowers the interview by shouting “TASKMASTER, YOU SUCK!” Sign that guy to a contract, ASAP! Sullivan says “Paul E” called him last night, and he was disgusted at how Kevin’s life has deteriorated. He said Paul thinks the world of both Woman and Kevin, and wonders how King Curtis might feel about this mess. You know what, I ALSO want to know what King Curtis thinks about this – can we teleport back to the dungeon and ask him ourselves? He rambles about the fact he’s a man of the hood, and that Nancy’s a fraud because she’s not as tough as she pretends to be. He’s completely lost his mind, none of this makes any bloody sense. Jackie gives us a little sass, and the upshot is that they want to whoop “Nancy” or something. Jesus H Christ make it stop.
Tonight’s edition of Monday Nitro is brought to you by Selsun Blue. Are you a total flake on Mondays? Grab a bottle!
HUGH MORRUS vs. ALEX WRIGHT
I get that WCW is unopposed tonight, but Maverick Wild? The Extreme? Alex Wright and Hugh Morrus? All in the second hour? This is just flat out laziness and arrogance. More of the same from Morrus, big fat angry offense, laughing like a hyena, racial epithets. The Arian Nation battles back with European uppercuts, and he trips on the top rope and botches whatever the hell he had planned. Morrus powerbombs him into tomorrow, nails No Laughing Matter, and he picks up a squash victory at 2:29. I’m downright shocked actually, I guess they’ve finally given up on the Alex Wright experiment after nearly two and a half years. 1/2*
CHRIS BENOIT and MONGO MCMICHAEL (with Woman and Debra McMichael) vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR. and JEFF JARRETT
Jeff’s chosen an interesting partner, to say the least. I’m amazed that even the lower tier Chavo didn’t look at him and go “yeah, I’d love to, but I was thinking about going in a different direction”. Benoit takes an asskicking from both Chavo and Jarrett for the first minute, but the second Jarrett starts strutting, Mongo pounds him in the back of the head and Benoit goes at him so viciously I’m shocked he didn’t leave a bible next to his body. Mongo powerslams the pain in the ass, and Benoit chops him to pieces. Chavo comes in, trading blows with Benoit. He manages to take out both Horsemen in quite possibly the Least Believable Hot Tag Ever. Debra heads over to check on Jarrett, while Chavo nearly pins Benoit off a sunset flip. While Debra goes through Jeff’s suspenders, Mongo ends Chavo’s night with a tombstone at 4:01. Debra sends Jarrett to the back, and goes back to posing with her man. *1/2
ARN ANDERSON and RIC FLAIR join the rest of the Horsemen crew, as does the versatile MIKE TENAY. Anderson calls Jarrett right out, saying he might have caught Debra’s eye, but the last guy that did that wound up in a hospital room asking “how many of them were there?” Flair, who hasn’t had a bad day in his life, is all smiles as usual, reminding the world that whether they like it or not, they best learn to love it, because the Horsemen are the best thing going today. Flair kills me; these guys could be rolling around the mat trying to kill each other, and he’d be dancing and offering everyone champagne to make it all better. Benoit tells Sullivan to keep trying to play his mind-games, but he’s playing a game he can’t win. Meanwhile, Mongo trolls the Jaguars for awhile, before turning to his wife and asking Debra what the hell the deal with Jarrett is. She says Jeff should be a Horseman, but she’s not doing it to hurt Steve, she just believes in him. She was so upset after last week, actually, that she didn’t even go shopping. Mongo says if Jarrett can beat him at Superbrawl, which he figures is roughly a 1-1,000,000 chance, he can join the Horsemen because they could use a few good men in their war against the nWo. Their war against the what? They haven’t paid them any attention in months – and THIS IS THE PROBLEM.
RODDY PIPER heads down for this week’s main event, blowing the roof off the building. HOLLYWOOD HOGAN joins us by split screen, on satellite. Piper screams at Hogan to get his ass to the arena, he’s here because Hogan had said last week he actually wanted to fight. He had promised his son he was quitting for good, until the bald headed geek came out and made him break his promise. Hogan asked if he also lied to his kid that he was able to beat him? What happened to keeping his promises, like retiring when he said he would? He said the nWo doesn’t hide behind their kids, “you puke”. Piper promises to do like OJ, only when he’s finished with Hogan, there’s gonna be no doubt about his guilt. Before Hogan can respond, Piper slams the mic and walks off set as Nitro heads off the air.

I stand by what I said last week – if they don’t pull the trigger on World Champion Roddy Piper, they’re nuts. This is a once in a lifetime chance to capitalize on a man who is more over than everyone else on the roster; and the heat is going to be off the charts at Uncensored when Hogan cheats to get his title back en route to Sting in December.

Monday Nitro – October 18, 2015

Monday
Nitro #210
Date:
October 18, 1999
Location:
First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance:
7,413
Commentators:
Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the go home show for Halloween Havoc but more importantly, Russo and
Ferrara are officially in charge tonight. That’s going to lead to
some very rapid changes around here and that’s not a good sign before
the pay per view. In theory it would make sense to do Halloween
Havoc and then let them take over, but this is WCW after all. Let’s
get to it.

We
open with Sid arriving in a limo and wearing a suit, flanked by
attorneys. Oh yeah Russo is in charge.
Juventud
Guerrera vs. Evan Karagias
Evan
gets dropped by a quick shoulder but scores with a dropkick and
clothesline to send Guerrera to the floor. Back in and Evan shrugs
off some chops but charges into a boot in the corner. They’re not
exactly cranking things up here. A headscissors and cross body get
two on Evan….and here’s Bret to get in the ring and just start
talking. The match just stops because….well why not?
Bret
says that he wasn’t allowed to have an interview tonight and he left
the WWF for two reasons. He’s here to fight Hogan and win the World
Title but WCW won’t let him do either of those things. This brings
out Sting to say Bret needs to join the real world. Juvy is just
walking around the ring as this goes on. They talk about being
screwed (censored) and Bret is offered a title shot tonight. Is
there a reason why Sting’s paint is already chipped off at the top
despite not having any physicality so far?
The
announcers talk about Russo and Ferrara being hired as writers.
Tonight: an evening gown match. So this is why we’ve had a
“division?” As in the three girls that have matches once a
month?
Sid
is advised not to speak. Score one for Russo and Ferrara!
Goldberg
arrives. Why is wrestling so lenient about performers being late?
Back
to Sid, who now talks about Goldberg breaking the stipulation of not
touching him before the match. Nothing here other than acknowledging
what happened last week.
Vampiro
vs. Disco Inferno
Non-title
with Lash Leroux on commentary. Lash appearing offers a distraction
and Vampiro kicks him in the back of the head to take over. Another
kick to the chest drops Disco and it’s off to a shot of the
commentators. Back in and Vampiro gets one off a suplex but the
Chartbuster connects for our second fast ending of the night.
Lash
comes in and gives Disco Whiplash. That’s a very heelish move.
Goldberg
promises to Jackhammer Sid.
Dustin
Rhodes video with him talking like Yoda.
Madusa
refuses to perform in an evening gown match because it’s beneath her.
Nitro
Girls search stuff and FINALLY Stacy Keibler shows up. However, Buff
Bagwell cuts them off and says the internet has been talking about
how he’s taking WCW to the top. See, he heard that Russo and Ferrara
were high on him during an internet interview. This is the kind of
breaking the fourth wall stuff that I can’t stand and Russo loves for
whatever reason, ignoring the fact that it’s almost never drawn a
dime. But hey, I’m sure he’ll have a 300 page book explaining why
this was SO hard on him.
Mona
has never had an evening gown match but she’s wrestled several
matches wearing an evening gown.
Kimberly
is looking for David Flair. I think we’re in the soap opera portion
of the show.
Goldberg
and Sid reiterate the same things they said earlier.
Tag
Team Titles: Harlem Heat vs. Rey Mysterio Jr./Kidman
Harlem
Heat is defending and Booker is now in trunks. Stevie elbows Rey in
the face and throws him way into the air on a backdrop. Rey comes
back with the not yet named 619 but gets clotheslined out to the
floor for his efforts. Cue Kidman and Eddie arm in arm with Torrie
Wilson as it’s off to Konnan vs. Booker. Konnan scores with a quick
DDT and Mysterio adds a Lionsault. This is already the longest match
of the night at about two and a half minutes.
Stevie
fights out of the Tequila Sunrise and Booker plants Konnan with a
Rock Bottom. Eddie and Kidman join commentary and brag about how hot
Torrie is. Well you can’t argue that. We see the First Family
watching in the back as Stevie bearhugs Konnan. Off to Booker for a
kick to the face and a double suplex for two, followed by an even
harder kick from Stevie. Well you can’t say they’re not thinking
along the same lines.
Rey
breaks up a cover off a powerslam and is promptly sent outside.
Everything breaks down and the commentators offer a distraction to
Booker, allowing Rey to hit the springboard seated senton on Stevie.
Konnan adds a trip and holds Ray’s legs for the pin and the titles.
Rating:
D+. So we sat through weeks of
the First Family vs. Harlem Heat to give the Filthy Animals the
titles in an unannounced match that will probably be one of the
longest matches of the night? SWEET! It
may make have been several wasted weeks, but I’ll take Konnan and
Mysterio as champions any day, as Harlem Heat has just outlived most
of their usefulness. They’re still watchable and could be far worse,
but at least Konnan and Rey are some fresh blood.
Kimberly
sticks her chest out at David Flair and gives him her motel key
because Page is out of town
and she’s lonely.
The
Filthy Animals celebrate the win but the First Family comes up and
demands their title shot on Sunday.
Hugh
Morrus vs. Meng
Time
for a guy getting a title shot on Sunday (in theory) to get squashed.
Morrus hammers away but
stupidly tries a headbutt. Meng
rakes the eyes and no sells a spinwheel kick of all things before
chopping Morrus around like he’s nothing. A boxing match goes badly
for Morrus and here are the Outsiders through the crowd. Morrus
scores with a slam and hits a pair of top rope elbows but stops to
talk to Jimmy Hart, allowing Meng to no sell again and Death Grip
Morrus for the win. So long logic. It was nice knowing you. Well
at least it was years ago when WCW was actually logical but this is a
step down even for them.
Here
are Sid and the lawyers, complete with a piece of paper. It’s the
contract for Halloween Havoc but Sid rips it to pieces after the
spear last week. Cue
Goldberg to clean house and spear an attorney, only to get kicked in
the head and powerbombed. The lawyer is up in about ten seconds as
Sid says he’ll see Goldberg at Halloween Havoc. Sid and company
leave so the Outsiders laugh at Goldberg, earning them punches to the
face. Just get them back in the ring already. The
Outsiders are ejected.
Bret
Hart promises to give Hogan a title shot if he wins tonight. Sting
comes in and jumps Bret but security breaks it up.
Hall
and Nash can’t get back in the building.
Goldberg
is looking for Sid.
Berlyn
vs. Rick Steiner
So…..Rick
is a face here? Berlyn stomps away in the corner to start, already
with more offense than almost anyone else ever. A
big Steiner Line takes Berlyn down and Rick barks like a good dog.
Berlyn gets sent outside but
Brad Armstrong comes in for a distraction. The bodyguard swings a
chair and hits Rick (not clear who he was aiming for), giving Berlyn
the fluke pin.
Rick
beats up Armstrong post match and
takes him into the back.
The
Outsiders sneak in, high on cough syrup. Seriously.
Kimberly
is at the hotel and strips down to her lingerie, only to find Ric
instead of David. More hijinks later I’m sure.
Goldberg
runs into the Insane Clown Posse (dang it!) and beats them up for not
knowing where Sid is. Good Goldberg.
Luger
is worried about facing Goldberg.
Madusa
starts packing while Mona gets ready for their match.
David
Flair vs. Kidman
Torrie
is with Kidman and kisses him before the match. David charges right
at Kidman and is promptly beaten into the ground. A
HORRIBLE looking shoulder drops Kidman (imagine the way people would
bounce off Vader but with David running instead of someone running at
him) and a suplex gets two.
Kidman nails a dropkick and a middle rope legdrop. David fights up
but Torrie opens her rope to reveal some rather fetching lingerie of
her own, allowing Kidman to hit the BK Bomb and Shooting Star for the
pin.
The
Filthy Animals hit the ring and beat David up. They’re good guys you
know.
The
Outsiders offer Gene cough syrup. If there’s a point to this I’m not
seeing it.
Ric
is back (about fifteen minutes at most after we saw him) and looking
for the Filthy Animals.
Madusa
vs. Mona
Evening
gown match which Tony credits to the new creative team. This is a
New York evening gown match, whatever that means. Tony
tries to call this a Nitro moment, whatever that means. For some
reason I seem to be saying that far too often tonight. Mona
goes right for her to start and snaps off a suplex followed by a high
cross body.
Madusa
hooks a suplex of her own and hammers away in the corner. A kick to
the head takes out the referee because a freaking evening gown match
needs a ref bump. Madusa
blasts Mona in the back with a chair but
goes after the announcers for no apparent reason, only to have Mona
rip her dress off. We’ll say that’s a win, even though Mona walks to
the back before we have a
decision.
Madusa
yells about “everyone behind here” and tells them what they can
do. It’s censored but I think you can put the idea together
yourself.
WCW
World Title: Sting vs. Bret Hart
Sting
is defending, six days before he defends against Hogan. For some
reason Bret comes from the side of the entrance instead of right down
the middle. During Sting’s entrance, we see a sign saying “Owen we
miss you.” My goodness it makes me sad to think about that Bret
vs. Benoit match after this mess tonight. Bret hammers away to start
and pounds the champ down in the corner before they’re quickly on the
floor. You expected a match to last long in the ring?
All
Bret as he takes Sting back inside and kicks him in the “lower
abdomen”. Sting avoids a charge in the corner and hits a Warrior
splash for two. Back to the floor for more brawling with Sting
choking with a cord. That’s one of the first heel things he’s done
since he turned over a month ago. Back in and another splash hits
Bret’s knees before a DDT gets two on the champ. A swinging
neckbreaker and suplex get two each for Bret but Sting comes back
with the Stinger Splash for no cover.
Bret
gets crotched against the post a few times (as usual the referee is
fine with this) and we hit the chinlock. A knee to the ribs stops
his comeback and the big elbow actually hits. I’m not sure how to
respond to that as I’m in total shock. Has that EVER hit? The
chinlockery continues before Sting misses a dropkick. Heenan thinks
both guys could go for their leg locks but Bret opts for a piledriver
and two instead.
Now
the hold goes on but Sting gets over to the ropes. Back up and Sting
is limping, so Bret hammers on the lower back. What exactly does the
Sharpshooter hurt anyway? Sting gets in a shot to the face to get a
breather but the knee gives out on a suplex attempt. The champ
throws on a sleeper but Bret suplexes his way out.
It’s
Sting up first but his top rope splash hits knees. Cue Elizabeth as
Bret starts in on the five moves of doom. Now we have Luger with the
bat but Bret nails him coming in. The distraction (plus Liz on the
apron) has Bret in trouble and Luger nails him in the knee with the
bat, setting up the Scorpion to retain the title.
Rating:
B. See,
this is called a wrestling match. You had two guys wrestling each
other (mostly) for about twelve minutes before the screwy shenanigans
began. Screwy shenanigan are fine, but let us have some wrestling to
get us there. Bret vs.
Sting could have been a major PPV headlining match, but instead let’s
just throw it away here with an hour and a half build. Such is life
in 1999.
Ric
yells at David for some reason but David says Kidman beat him up.
Papa Flair doesn’t buy it.
The
Outsiders have stolen the Villanos’
masks. Sure why not.
La
Parka vs. Buff Bagwell
This
is actually fallout from Thunder where these two teamed together for
no apparent reason. Literally, La Parka just ran out and helped
Bagwell and they teamed up in the main event that night. Buff walked
out on the match though and La Parka got beaten up instead. La
Parka now has chains on his outfit. You would think he would get a
push already, and somehow he’s more likely to under the new regime.
Buff walks out instead of
dancing so I guess he’s officially a heel. He
casually shoves La Parka away and they trade arm work.
They’re
playing up the idea that Buff’s heart isn’t in this.
Buff hiptosses him down and
stands in the corner. La
Parka hammers away in the corner but misses a running dropkick.
Bagwell gets all fired up but stops to pose, telling La Parka to
kick him in the head. La Parka does what Buff asks and gets the pin.
Oh yay. We’re SHOOTING again.
The
locker room celebrates Buff’s loss for no apparent reason.
Buff
gets on the mic and asks if Russo did a good job for him and wants to
know who else is going to beat him. Ah
so that’s what they were going with. I thought it might be something
a bit more interesting like Buff not needing to try because he was
the chosen one. Why do that when we can SHOOT though?
Anyway,
Jeff Jarrett runs out and
blasts Bagwell with the guitar in his big return after holding up
Vince McMahon for money (totally smart move at the time, but bad long
term) at last night’s
No Mercy PPV. Jeff asks how
he could be on a pay per view last night and here now. He has the
stroke and it’s right between his legs.
The
Outsiders can’t get past security and Nash vomits.
Eddie
Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Perry Saturn
This
could be interesting and it’s under elimination rules. No one
actually gets an entrance though and the interest is already dying
down. Shane Douglas is on commentary. The relatives shake hands but
Eddie goes after Saturn. Chavo grabs a quick rollup for two but
Saturn starts suplexing Guerreros. A Lionsault gets two on Eddie and
Chavo’s cross body gets the same on Saturn.
Eddie
suplexes his nephew to the floor but turns around for a superkick.
As you would expect, the announcers ignore the match to talk about
the Revolution and how awesome Shane is. Chavo stays on the floor as
Saturn beats up Eddie, only to go after the younger Guerrero for a
change. Eddie hits a big dive to take them both out and they fight
on the floor to fulfill the Russo requirement.
They
head back inside and go up top for a Tower of Doom, but Chavo flips
backwards instead of falling flat, landing on his head instead of his
back for a SCARY botch. Cue the Animals to yell at Douglas but
Saturn dives onto Kidman, only to hit the chair in Kidman’s hands.
Chavo throws Saturn back inside for a frog splash from Eddie for the
elimination, followed by a quick tornado DDT to give Chavo the win.
Rating:
C. This was entertaining enough
(terrifying botch aside) but it was more background noise while Shane
furthered the feud with the Filthy Animals. Is the Revolution even a
thing anymore though? They seem to have split several times now,
meaning I’m sure there will be an even bigger swerve on Sunday.
Also, make sure to have Chavo, who isn’t even on the show Sunday, get
the win over the people in a story. Keep up that CRAZY booking
Vince.
Recap
of Sid vs. Goldberg tonight.
Horace
Hogan vs. Norman Smiley
Hardcore,
because that was big in the WWF at the time. Horace
jumps him in the aisle and makes Norman scream with the threat of a
trashcan shot. They get
inside where Norman stops a charge by kicking the can into Horace’s
face. More screaming ensues. Horace
hammers away a bit more but gets sent into the steps. That
goes nowhere as he hot shots Norman onto the barricade and takes him
back inside for a superplex. Now
Norman is crying. It’s
table time but Norman collapses, sending Horace charging through the
table instead, giving Norman
the pin.
Rating:
D. Well that happened, and
unfortunately this is going to be what Norman is best remembered for.
Yeah he’s a talented wrestler and a solid trainer, but the thing
he’s most well known for is screaming and crying. Unfortunately this
is going to get even worse for him in coming months, but to be fair
it’s funny at times.
Here’s
Ric Flair to yell about Eric Lindros and the Filthy Animals. He’s
been in this sport for a long time now and knows David can be great
if the Animals will just leave him alone. Cue
the Animals to beat up Ric, as well as David on a save attempt. The
Animals rip Ric’s clothes off and steal his jewelery because they’re
heroes.
Elizabeth
is out back with a guitar next to her head. I bet she did it.
Total
Package vs. Goldberg
Goldberg’s
trunks say Team Obake on the back, which is apparently an MMA thing.
It’s a brawl in the aisle to start with Goldberg getting the better
of it, as you would expect. They head inside with Luger scoring with
some ax handles to the back but Goldberg no sells a suplex. A big
superkick drops Luger as this is starting to resemble a match.
Goldberg throws him over with a half butterfly suplex but misses the
spear in the corner. Luger keeps the offense going with a running
clothesline as I’m amazed that some of his matches with Flair were
only eleven years earlier.
An
elbow drop gets two but Goldberg nails a flying shoulder to take over
again. More heavy forearms have Luger in trouble but the referee
gets bumped because what would a wrestling match be without that?
Here are the high Outsiders again to keep up an unfunny angle
(security around here sucks) but Sting runs down with the bat to lay
out Goldberg. Cue a limping Bret to nail Sting with the bat but he
breaks it over the ring post. Bret and Sting get inside with Hart
putting on the Sharpshooter as I feel like I’m watching Raw.
Everything breaks down and it’s the spear and Jackhammer to end
Luger.
Rating:
D-. Luger is the definition of
a wrestler who has his position because he used to be good at this.
At least Hogan was easy to
hate. Luger on the other hand is just a guy with big muscles who
hits people in the back and occasionally uses a torture rack. The
cough syrup thing continues to be a waste of time but that’s the case
with a lot of Russo ideas. The
match was your usual bad brawling before we got to the angle for
another Russo signature.
Tony
promises that this is just the beginning to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D. Oh
sweet goodness we’re in for a long ride. You
can see Raw here but minus people like Rock, Austin, HHH, Edge and
Christian and the Hardys and with shorter matches and less logic than
the Corporate Ministry. I didn’t even mention the shots of people
walking in the back, which is a trend that continues to this day.
Why do I need to see someone walking through the back? Just say
what’s coming next and save some time.
This
is still in the transition phase between booking plans, but instead
of letting the transition happen naturally, the old stuff was ripped
up and put in its new pot. That makes for a very awkward show and
you can see the fans dying from exhaustion about an hour into the
show. I’ll give them this though: it was NOT boring. It didn’t make
sense half the time and felt like a parody of a bad wrestling company
than a show trying to compete, but it was not boring.
On
top of that, the pay per view was barely mentioned outside of Hogan
vs. Sid. I have almost no idea what the card is for Sunday, but I
have a feeling that’s universal in WCW. Finally,
WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THE OUTSIDERS BEING HIGH ON COUGH SYRUP???
What a bizarre show, but
it’s going to get much, much worse.

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

WCW Nitro: February 3, 1997

Last week: Tony Schiavone lost his luggage at the airport, and was forced to dress like this:
Will he right the ship tonight? Nitro is NEXT!
LIVE from Memphis, Tennessee, home of tomato based BBQ, sad country music, and Jerry Lawler’s criminal history, THIS is Nitro!

 HOLLYWOOD HOGANTED DIBIASE, and VINCENT arrive. One of them is playing air guitar and strutting around like a gimp; but I’ll leave it to you to guess which orange colored sea creature is doing that. Wolfpac kisses all around. Really Vincent, is this what you spent all of 1991 fighting for? Martin Luther King Jr. is spinning in his grave. Hogan claims to be on a mission from God (….), and he’s a little annoyed that Piper’s allegedly been following him around the country. If they weren’t a travelling company, Hogan might have a case for stalking. Hogan demands Piper show up and admit that he (Hogan) is the better man, and he’s even willing to put up the belt to force the issue.
Your hosts are TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO, and Tony has in fact located his sports coat. Our long national nightmare is over.
RAY MENDOZA JR. vs. THE ULTIMATE DRAGON (with Sonny Onoo)
Ray Mendoza Jr. just sounds like the name of a prospective serial killer. I’m not comfortable with his presence if my wild allegations are true, but I AM intrigued about letting his story play out. Mendoza is the second of the Villanos to start working in WCW unmasked, but let’s make no mistake about it, there’s a reason they wear hoods. Someone needs to go roll Bobby Heenan out from underneath his bottle of Peach Schnapps and tell him there’s a million ugly jokes just waiting to be heard. During a leapfrog, Mendoza doesn’t get enough air, and if not for a quick thinking Dragon, he may have lost his opportunity to produce Villanos VIII through XII. Sonny counts along with every near pinfall, doing a better job of being the Diamond Doll than the Diamond Doll. Mendoza hits his first offensive move about 2 minutes in; the clothesline. 20 years of experience, and he delivers a clothesline. His next move comes by dropping down on a leapfrog, getting a 2 count. Dragon has a near impossible time lifting the sandbag to the top rope, but they get there eventually. Dragonsteiner, Dragon Suplex, goodnight – 3:14. Intriguing serial killer or not, let’s part ways with Ray Mendoza Jr. 1/2*
BILLY KIDMAN vs. GLACIER
See, now Kidman vs. Dragon would have been a perfectly acceptable opener. Did Bischoff owe a favor to one of the first four Villanos? We’ll see if Kidman’s able to get anything out of Glacier and his 3000 year old helmet. Of course, first we have to get through his 3000 year-long entrance. Even the Undertaker knows to pick up the pace better than this guy. A running forearm karate chop thingy excites Tony (“lariat!!!”), and otherwise he throws kicks and goes through an elaborately stupid karate posedown routine. The fans have finally had about enough of him, and turn completely on this match. Kidman comes off the top, right into the Cryonic Kick at 2:08. Glacier Wins. DUDality.
ICE TRAIN (with Teddy Long) vs. LA PARKA
I’m starting to think there wasn’t a lot of thought put in to tonight’s undercard. It’s clearly time to start the Parka push, and Ice Train is as fine a specimen as any to play victim #1. Of course, starting by taking a huge clothesline and running avalanche probably isn’t how we want to keep Parka looking strong, but I’m keeping the faith. Parka comes back with a spinning heel kick and he heads up top. Super spinning heel kick is on point, and Train hits the floor. Of course, paying attention to any Mexican wrestler is rule #1 of being on the floor, but Train doesn’t, and gets nailed with a slingshot corkscrew plancha. They head back in, and Train catches Parka off a springboard crossbody, powerslamming him. Of course, none of this matters, because …
THE OUTSIDERS, wielding pipes, stand over a fallen LEX LUGER. Tony and Larry IMMEDIATELY jump to the conclusion that they’re responsible without once stopping to think it’s possible they are the first on the scene, having just come from the bathroom where they finally fixed the leaks caused by Chris Benoit and Kevin Sullivan’s general disregard for public property.
Back to action, which features Parka being beaten up some more. The Train Wreck finishes at 5:16. Eat a dick, WCW. 1/2*
It’s a little early for the Shank of the Evening, but since “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is calling out RIC FLAIRCHRIS BENOITMONGO MCMICHAELWOMAN, and DEBRA, my clock must need adjusting. The lack of Arn Anderson is a sad reminder that every show moving forward will feature a lack of Arn Anderson. Benoit refers to this period of the Horsemen as a “transitional period”, which is usually sports code for “we’re bottoming out”. Woman calls out Jackie, reminding her “you got my leftovers, girl”. Snap snap snap, mmm hmmm. Mongo declares his loyalty to the Horsemen, and asks for the right to replace Lex Luger tonight in his match against Jeff Jarrett. That sounds horrible! Debra reveals a bombshell: She’s won 318 pageants, and has an IQ of 145. Finally, we turn to Flair, and he remains a ray of sunshine, declaring everything fine in the Horsemen, and excitedly talks about how much sex they’ll all be having.
HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri) vs. THE STEINER BROTHERS
Harlem Heat’s gone straight up OG tonight, donning their retro street-rags. A darn shame they went to all that trouble to be job fodder for the Steiners. THE FACES OF FEAR (wearing white Nitro shirts – dudes, come on!!!) and THE PUBLIC ENEMY have somehow acquired front row seats to watch this one. The Steiners get the DDP treatment, giving some silver lining to the nWo dominance by seeing some new stars slowly emerge as top level heroes. Booker rakes the eyes of Scotty and nails the Harlem sidekick, and he gets some quality heat for his shenanigans. Scott responds by picking Booker up over his head and throwing him to the outside, and both Steiners pose to a god-like reception. Stevie Ray and Rick pair off next, and Stevie’s come out firing tonight, adding a new move to his limited arsenal: the removal of the opponent’s head gear. Rick takes him down, and Scott enters the ring in a foul mood, applying a Steiner Recliner and threatening to break his neck. Break it doesn’t, and Rick comes in, walking straight into a bicycle kick. Booker tags in, hitting a beautiful Harlem sidekick for 2. Unfortunately for him, the leapfrog is blocked with a catch, and Rick powerslams his ass with some serious force. Scott enters, and hits Stevie with a butterfly suplex. At this point, we are given a lesson. And that is, you can’t turn a savage into a lackey. The most savage warriors in the history of mankind jump the barricade and beat the living daylights out of everyone in the ring at 5:00. Public Enemy joins in because they’re followers, and you have no idea what I wouldn’t give to see Rocco Rock take the Tongan Death Grip for the next 45 minutes. Both of the teams who interfere wind up fighting each other all the way to the dressing room, while the Steiners and Heat argue with Marc Curtis over which of them were truly the winners. *1/2
MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN replace Larry, who has gone off to try and qualify for the PGA tour.
MIKE ENOS vs. DEAN MALENKO (in a non-title match)
It’s really something that they insisted on putting the belt back on Malenko so fast, considering all they want to do with him is fight guys who aren’t within the weight boundaries of the division. Enos reminds Malenko he is Far Smarter, and displays those brains by finding himself on the mat and tied up like a pretzel. I’m not one to argue his smarts. After all, it takes a whole lot of something to dress like this:
Enos continues to point to his head as he misses an elbowdrop, and nearly gets taken down with a backslide by a guy who weighs a little less than a newborn sea turtle. Malenko starts to work over the left arm, and Enos responds by grunting and squealing like he’s visiting a Czech Hostel. Enos rolls out of the way of an elbowdrop, and the fans come alive because SYXX is coming through the crowd. He grabs the Cruiserweight title right off the lap of DAVE PENZER who isn’t a very convincing bodyguard, and heads back through the crowd with the gold. Enos hits a powerslam while Syxx parades around, showing off his newly captured prize. A vertical suplex is blocked with a small package, and Malenko scores the win at 7:10. Yes, 7 minutes for Mike Enos on Nitro. *
Malenko is informed of his lost title, and he reacts by looking exactly the same as he did before he was told.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND decides to hear from KEVIN SULLIVANJACQUELINEJIMMY HART, and KONAN, which make up the bulk of the sad looking Dungeon at this point. Poor Maxx was forced to adhere to his curfew again. Sullivan calls Jackie the light in his tunnel. Hart, so emotional that he takes off his sunglasses, screams that he hates women in professional wrestling. Konan vows to take care of Sullivan’s unfinished business with Benoit, so that Sullivan can take care of his unfinished business with Jackie. Jackie brags about her all natural body, and promises to beat Nancy “like you stole somethan.”
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. THE RENEGADE
It’s nice to see that WCW remembered they have a number one babyface in Page and have decided to actually book him tonight. This is a rematch from Fall Brawl 1995, where Page needed 8 minutes and an assist from Maxx to capture the TV title. Something tells me, he may have an easier time now. Page bitchslaps Renegade around, and winds up taking a corner clothesline and handspring back elbow. Renegade goes to finish up top, but Page dives at the ropes to crotch him and hits the Diamond Death Cutter at 2:04! 1/2*
THE OUTSIDERS stand at the top of the ramp, still armed with pipes, and dare Page to come at them. Page nervously looks around for an out, which just so happens to be the moment that STING and RANDY SAVAGE turn up in the upper concourse. Page uses the distraction of them to grab a steel chair and arm himself. Sting and Savage disappear into the night, and the Outsiders decide to save their attack for another day. This whole scene felt like a standoff, and there was a serious nervous tension in the air. Perfect segment, it doesn’t get any better than this.
SUPER CALO vs. ALEX WRIGHT
One of the biggest misses of this WCW era was the lack of focus on the people behind the wrestlers. We can spend days on end talking about Kevin Sullivan’s relationship with Nancy, but we can’t get a 3 minute segment dedicated to Calo’s love of unmovable hats and sunglasses? Was he involved in a tragic Kraz-E Glu accident as a child? Does he carry his lunch under his toque? Is it at all related to the disappearance of Fit Finlay (may he rest in peace)? Catherine White REALLY should have been assigned to this; the lady spent weeks following around Cactus Jack on a dock in Cleveland, that chick’s relentless. Fans burst into a Boring chant, but I like to tell myself it’s a specific chant of frustration aimed only at Alex Wright. Of course, Calo lets me down by trying to climb the turnbuckle and slipping off the middle rope, drawing a chorus of laughs from this snarky group of Memphis folk. Fear not; the hat remains affixed. He goes to the well a second time, and hits the springboard crossbody this time. After he does his springboard armdrags (which make up 90% of his moves), Wright comes back with a spinning heel kick and belly to belly hammerlock suplex for 2. Wright gets knocked outside the ring, and Calo goes loco with a top rope plancha. Bobby and Tony finally notice that the hat and sunglasses never move, and with Bobby on board, you KNOW this is finally getting the attention it deserves. Tenay continues to call the action while they discuss the ridiculousness of his ring gear. Calo gets knocked out of the ring, and falls right into A FAN in the front row. Just as the dude gets to his feet, Calo runs into him a second time sending him sprawling, and the fans are eating that up. Buddy loses his shit, screaming at Calo, while Wright hits a plancha. With no further focus on the guy, was that all unplanned? If so, I dig it, because that guy was positively livid. Calo comes back in and hits a superplex off the top, but Wright kicks out at 2. Next, a super headscissors takeover knocks Wright down, but he misses a somersault guillotine. Heenan: “And his hat is still on!” Missile dropkick from Wright finishes at 6:38. Someone needs to call an audible and send in Gene to get a quote from the guy in the front row. This was at least seven stars; one for each day over the next week that I’ll think about this match and smile.
KONAN (with Jimmy Hart) vs. CHRIS BENOIT (with Woman)
Alright Chris, now would be a fine time to show us why you’re the Crippler. Konan hits his stupid tumbleweed clothesline and screams about Mejico. Seeing as how he’s the Hulk Hogan of Mexico, and seeing as how I have never seen any of Hogan’s overseas footage, is that how the Hulkster behaves overseas? Knocks a guy down with a punch and screams “AMERICA!!!” to a chorus of Japanese respectful silence? The first person to confirm Yes, this is a fact, gets to point me to their favorite international Hogan match for my own education. Benoit suddenly goes nuts, putting Konan on the top rope and chopping the ever loving shit out of his undershirt. A superplex connects, but it’s Konan who recovers first, and Konan nails Splash Mountain for 2! He goes for a second one, but Benoit slides off the back and nails a German suplex! Benoit calls for the finish, and as it turns out, the finish is JACQUELINE carrying a strap down to ringside, and the referee immediately calls a DQ at 4:16 before anything even happens. Chris rushes to Nancy’s safety and steals the weapon from Jackie. Jackie starts digging around under the ring for anything she can find, but comes up empty. How is that POSSIBLE? I’ve seen tables, chairs, ladders, sledgehammers, stop signs, fire extinguishers, a bucket of Curt Hennig’s poop, a bowling ball, kendo sticks, The Undertaker, handcuffs, baseball bats covered in barbed wire, and an entire courtroom of midgets under the ring, and you’re telling me that she can’t find ANYTHING? I’d encourage using the bucket of poop, but Curt Hennig neither works for WCW at this stage, and having a black wrestler throw poop at someone is probably all kinds of racist. *1/2
JEFF JARRETT vs. MONGO MCMICHAEL (with Debra McMichael)
Honest to god, if they could bottle Mongo’s energy and give it to a GOOD wrestler, they’d have a mega-star on their hands. I can’t believe I’ve reached a point where I’m retroactively defending Mongo in a wrestling capacity, but the other guys really could have learned a ton from him, on how to work a crowd. So, months of frustration have boiled over to this point, and Mongo’s pretty much getting the Goldberg push at this point, leading to Jarrett getting his ass whooped all over the ring. Only a missed elbowdrop (which Mongo sells like it’s been amputated) gets Jarrett back in this, and he flattens McMichael with a clothesline. A top rope crossbody gets 2, and Mongo kicks out with enough force to send Jarrett 4 feet backwards. Jeff responds with a dropkick that knocks Mongo over the top rope, and he’s seeing stars; but it turns out those are just the sparkles on Debra’s enormous breasts. Debra doesn’t want Steve back in the match, but Mongo tries shoving her off. She won’t say no, and because he won’t do anything to harm his wife, he winds up getting counted out at 2:20. Debra gives Jeff a wink and a smile, and Jeff pours gas all over that fire by telling him “you just couldn’t get it done, could ya Mongo?” *
That was your main event, because “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND hits the ring with only a few minutes left. RODDY PIPER comes down to ringside with ONE OF HIS KIDS. Piper’s in a great mood tonight, and the fans give him a lovefest. He isn’t sure why the company is giving him a title shot, because he’s already defeated Hogan. Nobody plays the Superbowl twice, and he’s already proven what he needs to prove, so he declines. Right on cue, brings down HOLLYWOOD HOGANERIC BISCHOFFTED DIBIASE, and VINCENT. Roddy begs “Terry” not to do this to him, and from the bottom of his heart, just leave him alone. Hogan laughs at his cowardness, and threatens to do something “real bad” to Piper and his family if the fans don’t stop booing. Piper’s son seems genuinely shaken, he can’t be more than 5, and Piper gently covers his ears and holds him closely. Hogan demand that Piper admit that he beat him like a drum. Piper appeases him, and asks again to leave. Hogan refuses until Piper also admits that he’s The Icon. Piper agrees, just to get him to shut up. Hogan tells him that it’s one thing to be a yellow bellied pansy, but to hide behind a kid is the sickest thing he’s ever seen. As Piper leaves, Hogan starts paintbrushing him. Piper gently moves his kid to safety … and it’s on like neckbone. Piper rips off his belt, and whips Hogan like the lowlife piece of garbage that he is. Bischoff grabs a chair, but won’t get close enough to Piper to do anything. Piper steals the World Heavyweight Title, and accepts the challenge, holding the belt high above his head. And you know what? As much as Piper’s driven me nuts … he looks good with the belt.

Sting is clearly the longterm plan; but if the rumors are true that Bischoff wants to hold off until Starrcade, a quickie run with Piper from February through, say, April might not be the worst move they’ll ever make. The fans aren’t going to accept nWo shenanigans forever, and a good will gesture on their part may be just enough of a carrot to stretch us out through December.

Monday Nitro – October 11, 1999

Monday Nitro #209
Date: October 11, 1999
Location: Mississippi
Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi
Attendance: 9,000
Commentators: Bobby
Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’ve coming off a
genuinely great wrestling match last week and something tells me that
it’s going to go downhill from here. The main event is Benoit/Hart
teaming up against a team to be announced. Other than that, we might
get to see more car hijinks between Sid and Goldberg in the parking
lot. Let’s get to it.

We open with an In
Memory Of graphic for Gorilla Monsoon. That’s quite the tribute
considering he never wrestled there. Monsoon is still one of the
fondest remembered names ever in wrestling and it’s nice of them to
do this.
Benoit and Hart arrive
and are met by Luger and Elizabeth. The latter thinks we need
immigration and it seems Luger will be one of their opponents
tonight.
Sid gets out of a cab.
Continuity!
We
go to Tony and Bobby, who have some kind words about Monsoon. Heenan
gives a very heartfelt tribute to his friend, saying that the pearly
gates of Heaven will now be known as the Gorilla Position. He has to
look down to hide his tears. That’s a very touching tribute.
Malenko asks Saturn
what happened last week. Saturn was there to stop Shane and attacked
Mysterio in self defense but Malenko doesn’t seem convinced.
Perry Saturn vs. Rey
Mysterio Jr.
Saturn
apologizes to Mysterio but again, Rey doesn’t buy it. He armdrags
Saturn down off a handshake and we start fast. A headscissors and
dropkick send Saturn to the floor and Rey follows him out with a big
flip dive. He does that as well as anyone not named Guerrera that
I’ve ever seen. Back in and a hurricanrana is countered into a Liger
Bomb from Saturn, another move that never gets old. We hit an armbar
on Mysterio and go to a break. Saturn hits the springboard spinning
legdrop and a release belly to belly suplex to send Rey flying.
Mysterio avoids a
charge in the corner and hits the Bronco Buster but walks into a
reverse powerbomb to put him back down again. A legdrop misses
though and Mysterio springboards right onto Saturn’s shoulders but he
gets out of the Death Valley Driver. Back up again and they crotch
each other trying simultaneous dropkicks. That’s quite a painful
looking spot actually. Saturn gets up first and goes all the way to
the top but Rey pops up and hits a huge super hurricanrana. Cue
Douglas to attempt some interference but Malenko cuts him off. This
brings out Kidman for protection but he hits Saturn, drawing the DQ.
Rating:
C.
This wasn’t bad but and I could have gone for more of it. Saturn may
not have been a top star or anything, but he was capable of having an
entertaining match with the right opponent. Mysterio certainly fits
the bill too as he was busting out the high flying stuff.
Unfortunately, none of these guys have anything to fight over because
Benoit is suddenly in the main event scene (and it’s about time) but
the US Title is way out of reach, Disco Inferno is Cruiserweight
Champion, and the Tag Team Titles, which would fit this feud well,
are still being defended against the First Family. The action is
there, but the priorities aren’t.
Kidman
wants a tag match later tonight, because setting it up for next week
would just be lunacy.
Video
on Meng. He’s a monster you know.
Arn
Anderson and Ric Flair are watching the video with cans of Surge next
to them and Anderson brushing his teeth. They declare Meng the real
deal and that’s it. As usual, this was random and served no bearing
on the show otherwise.
Cruiserweight
Title: Disco Inferno vs. Kaz Hayashi
Disco,
now wanting to be known as D.I., is defending. Kaz takes him down
with a flying headscissors so Disco comes back with right hands.
Those just earn him another headscissors and a dropkick as they’re
actually setting up a simple premise already. The champ bails to the
floor but takes a suicide dive. Somehow, his hair is still
immaculate.
Back
in and Disco hits a good running clothesline (wow he can still his
arm out AND has perfect hair) followed by the middle rope forearm and
neckbreaker for two. Four moves of gloom maybe? A sunset flip
doesn’t get Kaz anywhere as Disco rakes the eyes and plants him with
a DDT. They head outside for nothing so Disco misses another
clothesline and gets caught in a hurricanrana. Kaz counters a
powerbomb into a sunset flip but walks into the Chartbuster to retain
the title.
Rating:
D+.
This is similar to the old days of the NWA World Junior Heavyweight
Championship. Back at Starrcade 1984, the title was defended between
two guys very similar to Disco: people who may have been under the
weight limit but who wrestled like any average heavyweight. There’s
no reason to have a Cruiserweight division if the wrestlers aren’t
doing anything out of the ordinary. Kaz did some high flying but
it’s nowhere near enough to save a match like this.
Meng vs. Konnan
Konnan
does his catchphrases and even a monster knows how stupid they sound.
He kicks Konnan down and no sells a faceplant (good stereotype)
before trying an early Death Grip. Instead he nails Konnan in the
back of the head and chokes away in the corner as this is full squash
mode. Meng no sells some clotheslines but actually does sell a
bulldog. That earns him another superkick and a lot of yelling.
Konnan tries a sunset flip out of the corner and gets caught in the
Death Grip for the win.
Rating:
D.
I dig Meng doing his monster stuff but it’s similar to Scott Norton:
you can only set this stuff up so many times before the effect wears
off, especially if Goldberg is going to be the one beating him later
on. Total squash here though and it’s nice to see Konnan getting
shut up for a change.
Berlyn and the
bodyguard jump Brad Armstrong but Brad steals Berlyn’s cane and
fights back. My goodness just let them fight tonight and get it over
with already.
Hall
and Nash come to their seats again and say they’re not coming back.
After wishing Dusty Rhodes a happy birthday, they’ll be back in July
2012 when he’s the right age for a WCW main event. Nash co-main
evented a WWE show in December 2011 and was in the 2014 Royal Rumble,
so somehow this isn’t too far off from the truth.
Goldberg
vs. Horace Hogan
Sid
stares Goldberg down during the entrance but Goldberg doesn’t do
anything. Did anyone check the parking lot though??? One thing I’ve
always wondered: why did someone as tough as Goldberg need a police
escort? Shouldn’t that be a heel thing? Horace actually comes out
second here for some reason. Heenan criticizes the term “uncrowned
champion”, despite referring to Andre as that back in the day.
Goldberg shoves Horace down with ease and hits the gorilla press
powerslam.
An
AA into a cross armbreaker has Horace in trouble but he makes the
ropes. Did Goldberg ever win a match with that hold? They head
outside with Goldberg being sent into the steps. Tony: “That could
have knocked him out!” Heenan: “It could have broke the steps!”
Horace gets two off a top rope splash but it’s spear and Jackhammer
for the fast pin to complete the squash.
Gene
brings out Hogan for a talk. Apparently the internet isn’t happy
with Hogan getting another title shot but the internet makes Hogan
sick. Red and Yellow will be running wild at Halloween Havoc. Yes
and the ratings will be running through the floor.
Sting vs. Hogan video.
Nitro Girls.
Torrie wipes lipstick
off Kidman’s face right in front of David Flair. Torrie: “Go talk
to your dad or something.”
Brian Knobbs vs.
Stevie Ray
Everyone,
including the seconds, have weapons here. Knobbs kicks Stevie in the
ribs to start but misses an early middle rope trashcan splash. A big
chair shot to the head knocks Knobbs silly but Stevie would rather
kick a trashcan on his head than cover him. Another kick to the head
puts Brian outside but Morrus gets in some shots to take over.
Thanks a lot Booker.
Back
in and Knobbs hits his splash for two but Stevie hits him low to
block the Pit Stop. Then Stevie and Knobbs do the Charleston and
debate French literature. For all I know that’s what happens as the
camera stays on Hall and Nash for a good bit. Booker and Morrus get
in a fight at ringside as Stevie kicks a trashcan into Knobbs’ face
for two. Jimmy Hart sneaks in a trashcan shot of his own (with as
much impact as you would expect) to give Knobbs the pin.
Rating:
D-.
Jimmy Hart just knocked a Tag Team Champion silly to give Brian
Knobbs a pin, furthering the feud before Knobbs and Morrus get a pay
per view title shot in less than two weeks. There comes a point
where there’s nothing left to do and WCW is reaching that point.
What are you supposed to do when this is the kind of nonsense you
have to deal with?
We
look at the Revolution’s issues from last week.
Here’s
Shane Douglas to address his issues with the team. Shane calls out
the rest of the group to air their dirty laundry. He blames Malenko
for Saturn not getting a pin earlier tonight and wants to know why
Benoit is teaming with Hart tonight. Benoit: “If there was no Hart
Family, there would be no Crippler, and if there were no Crippler,
there would be no Revolution.” PREACH IT BROTHER!
He throws his
Revolution shirt at Douglas and leaves. Saturn goes off on Douglas
for setting up a tag match when Shane isn’t cleared to wrestle.
Malenko steps in and agrees to team with him tonight and says they’ll
get the Revolution back where it should be. Shane is left alone and
hopefully is thrown off the team for good, as he never should have
been a part of it in the first place.
Brad
Armstrong vs. La Parka
La
Parka does the Thinking Man pose on his chair. The mileage he’s
gotten out of that one simple idea is incredible. He spends too much
time dancing though and eats a clothesline as Armstrong starts fast.
The referee stops Brad in the corner though and La Parka gets in some
cheap shots to take over.
A
powerslam gets two on Brad and the masked man mostly hits a top rope
flip dive for two. Armstrong comes back with right hands but here’s
Berlyn. The referee gets bumped and the bodyguard lays out La Parka
with a chair. The distraction lets Berlyn hit his bad neckbreaker on
Armstrong, but Brad on top of La Parka for the pin.
Rating:
D.
STOP PUSHING THIS STUPID FEUD! Good freaking grief this thing is
getting more time than Goldberg vs. Sid and no one cares. It’s such
a lame feud between a lame character and a guy who really doesn’t
deserve a push like this at this point. You couldn’t have Eddie or
someone like that beat up Berlyn, just to give him something
interesting to do?
Curt
Hennig is talking to Torrie when David comes up. Hennig beats him
down for fun. Again, more stuff that could be used on more important
people.
Norman
Smiley vs. Berlyn
Norman
promises to get jiggy with it. Somehow that line works. Berlyn
throws him down with a hiptoss to start as the USA chants begin,
presumably in support of the British wrestler. Eh no one ever said
Mississippi was brilliant. Norman speeds things up with a hiptoss of
his own and some clotheslines, sending Berlyn to the ropes to hide.
Unfortunately it doesn’t send him to the unemployment line where he
belongs, but it’s almost impossible to get fired from this company.
A
belly to back suplex plants Smiley but Berlyn does the “I’m diving
into your boot on purpose and there’s nothing else I could possibly
be doing up here” spot. The wind up slam plants Berlyn twice in a
row and it’s time to dance. You would think Berlyn would like that
spot but instead he hits a running knee to the chest and a
neckbreaker for the pin.
Rating:
D.
Berlyn isn’t very good and it’s becoming more and more obvious every
single week. I have no idea why they couldn’t just leave him as the
dancing heel, but I’d assume it’s because WCW doesn’t know how to do
something as simple as not screw up a simple character. Smiley
continues to be WAY too good for the role he’s in.
Here’s
Ric Flair with something to say. He’ll be facing DDP at Halloween
Havoc but he wants to talk about “Mr. Perfect…..Curt Hennig.”
A challenge is issued for tonight, but as for Page, maybe Kimberly
would rather try the FOURTEEN TIME FOURTEEN TIME FOURTEEN TIME champ.
Another week, another big enough match set up before it has the time
to build properly.
Dean
Malenko/Perry Saturn vs. Kidman/Rey Mysterio Jr.
Unfortunately
Shane is at ringside. Malenko and Kidman get things going and head
to the mat with Malenko taking over. Dean throws him down and nails
a nice dropkick, followed by a leg lariat to send him outside. Now
the drama begins as Douglas goes after Kidman but Malenko makes the
save. Instead Dean tags Saturn in for a belly to belly, sending
Kidman right back to the floor. Douglas and Malenko argue over
attacking Kidman again, but Saturn uses the distraction to send
Kidman into the steps as we take a break.
Rey
comes in but charges into a powerbomb with Saturn adding a top rope
cross body for something like a Doomsday Device. Malenko isn’t cool
with Saturn coming in off the blind tag though and breaks up the
cover.. Mysterio moonsaults onto Saturn’s shoulder and sends him
into the buckle, setting up the Bronco Buster but Saturn raises his
boot for the stop. Incredibly fast pace so far. A belly to belly
gets two for Saturn and it’s back to Malenko.
Rey’s
sunset flip goes nowhere and Dean takes his head off with a
clothesline. Saturn tags himself back in and Dean isn’t cool with
that, allowing Rey to grab a rollup for two. Dean yells so Saturn
tags him back in on the chest. A big belly to back gets two for
Malenko and it’s back to Saturn for some arrogant walking around in
between offense. Saturn hits a spinning springboard forearm to the
head for two more before nailing Kidman on the apron.
The
always awesome gutbuster from Malenko sets up the Cloverleaf but
Saturn tags himself in while the hold is on. Saturn’s top rope elbow
scores but Malenko tags himself back in just like Saturn did. A
superplex plants Rey but Dean is so shaken up that he has to tag out.
Kidman comes back in and cleans house, including throwing Rey into
the air for a hurricanrana on Saturn. Everything breaks down and
Shane breaks up the Shooting Star, throwing Saturn the chain in the
process. A big knockout shot is enough to pin Kidman.
Rating:
B-.
Fun match with a lot of story development in it, but that doesn’t
mean the story development is interesting. I’m really not a fan of
having the Revolution implode and fight each other, because it’s
going right back to the same idea that we’ve done for years now
without anyone getting up the ladder. Benoit is to an extent, but
everyone else is just stuck in the midcard while Sid powerbombs
people and Rick Steiner exists for reasons that aren’t exactly clear.
Malenko
puts the Revolution shirt on, sees the replay of the ending, and
takes the shirt back off. He promises to be his own revolution from
now on.
US Title: Sid
Vicious vs. Van Hammer
Sid
is defending if that wasn’t really clear. He stomps Hammer in the
corner and stares at the fans for chanting Goldberg. Granted he
stares blankly most of the time so you can’t really tell if he’s
upset or not. Hammer trips him down and hits what looked like a low
blow. That goes nowhere so Sid chokes away in the corner and slowly
kicks again. We get a ref bump so Rick Steiner can come down for a
cheap shot on Hammer, setting up a double powerbomb for the pin.
Rating:
F.
Van Hammer vs. Sid needs a ref bump??? I’m not the biggest Goldberg
fan in the world but suggesting he and Sid are the same level is
ridiculous. Sid is a fun character but as soon as that bell rings,
all the fun goes away and it becomes clear that he should have
retired about seven years ago.
Mike Tenay joins the
commentary booth to talk about Bret vs. Benoit from last week.
Phantom of the Opera
Dustin Rhodes puts his hand on the kid’s window and the kid’s eyes
turn black. Of course they do.
Curt Hennig vs. Ric
Flair
Remember
when these two had a great match on Raw six and a half years ago?
Well now Virgil is in Hennig’s corner and is named Curly Bill.
Hennig dances around to start, earning him a slap in the face and a
loud WOO. That’s very violent behavior reminiscent of a father
wanting to avenge his son, who tried to destroy his life earlier in
the year but that’s beside the point. More chops have Curt in
trouble and they head outside. Hennig gets in some shots of his own
and scores with a suplex back inside as we take a break.
Back
with Flair chopping Curly on the floor. Jack Brisco, Harley Race,
Dusty Rhodes, Sting, and CURLY! Hennig chops to take over and slams
Flair off the top, but Ric casually takes out the knee and puts on
the Figure Four. Hennig is right next to the ropes though so Flair
pokes him in the eye and nails a belly to back suplex. Both guys are
dazed but it’s Hennig up first and going after Flair’s knee. That
goes nowhere though and they trade chops in the corner again with
Hennig on the losing end.
Ric snaps Hennig’s neck
across the top rope and goes after CURLY again, allowing Hennig to
roll him up for two. That doesn’t work so Hennig puts his feet on
the ropes for two more. Curly even holds Hennig’s feet for some more
near falls. Somehow the referee, who is two feet away from Curly,
sees NONE OF THIS. David Flair comes out to take out Curly (for the
love of all things good and holy, do not let them have a match),
allowing Ric to roll Hennig up for the pin with his feet on the
ropes.
Rating:
C-.
Not a terrible match but you expect more out of these two.
Thankfully the Rednecks are becoming Curt and Pals instead of a
normal stable, which makes their matches a lot easier to sit through.
The Flairs being back together is a bit annoying but I’m much
happier with the regular Ric instead of the insane boss.
Total Package/Rick
Steiner vs. Chris Benoit/Bret Hart
Remember
when Luger came back to save Sting from the Steiners and a big tag
match was teased? Even better, remember their classic at the first
SuperBrawl? It’s a brawl to start as I’m assuming Benoit vs. Steiner
for the TV Title is happening at the pay per view. Hart beats up
Luger on the floor and chases Liz off before sending Lex into the
post. Rick has Benoit in trouble back in the ring and cranks on an
armbar.
Bret
rams Luger into the apron as Benoit grabs the Crossface on Rick, only
to have Lex dive in for the save. Naturally Steiner no sells the
pain from the hold and suplexes Benoit, but Bret clotheslines both
Americans down to take over. Luger puts Bret in a full nelson so
Steiner can hammer away but Benoit makes a save. The Swan Dive
connects on Steiner but Sid comes in for the DQ.
Rating:
D.
Oh yeah Russo is starting to take over. This was your standard big
brawl main event disguised as a match that didn’t even get four
minutes from bell to bell. This match also exposes a major problem
in WCW: the main event heels are horrible. You have Steiner and Sid
who can’t do anything and Luger who can only do really basic power
stuff, combined with Sting who doesn’t act like a heel whatsoever.
Who am I supposed to boo without falling asleep?
Luger
racks Bret but Goldberg comes out for the save. Sid tells Goldberg
he can’t touch him or the match is off, so Goldberg spears him anyway
to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+.
You can really taste the Russo effect, but it’s not in full force
yet. This is that weird transition stage where he’s trying to
breathe life into the stale angles WCW had going before he arrived
and it makes for a very awkward mix. There’s some fresh blood in the
stories, but the stories themselves are still pretty uninteresting.
The wrestling is also getting worse, which is another sign of the age
of Vinny Roo. Things will at least get more interesting once we hit
the full Russo effect, but until then we’re in for some dull stuff.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
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