Monday Nitro #191
Date: June 7, 1999
Location: CSU Convocation Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the go home show for the Great American Bash which hopefully means we're finally getting some new main stories instead of the drek we've been sitting through so far. The big old vs. new story needs to get going and hopefully we can get there after this coming Sunday. Or at least to something other than Nash vs. Savage. Let's get to it.
We open in the back with Savage and the girls getting out of a white limo. He opens the trunk and gets out a bucket full of some very unpleasant looking stuff. Savage is looking for Nash of course.
Hak vs. Prince Iaukea
Just what I always wanted. Hak smoking a cigarette freaks Tony out. JJ comes out and says they can't have a match until the cigarette is out. That gets him smoke in the face so Bischoff gets off commentary and gets in the ring. Bischoff gets the same treatment as Dillon so he calls off security and smacks Hak himself as the bell rings. Bischoff says let the match start and the Prince hammers away for one.
A Samoan drop is broken up by a fire extinguisher blast from Chastity and it's table time. Eric: “Hak can't throw two punches before he gets winded!” Hak puts Prince on the table for a Swanton but the table doesn't break. He whips Iaukea into the table in the corner but it STILL doesn't break so he just covers for the pin.
Morrus and Knobs come in for the beatdown on Hak but Kidman makes the save and goes after Hak until Morrus stomps Kidman down. Brian beats Hak with the stick and everyone brawls around the arena. What a waste of nine minutes.
We look at the septic tank stuff from last week.
Bischoff: “The guy under the hood's initials are VM.” This was the night of the Higher Power reveal. This would be more historic if anyone was watching Nitro at this point.
Master P. might be here later.
Lenny Lane vs. Scotty Riggs
Bischoff spends the intros mocking Sable's lawsuit against the WWF. I'd be shocked if 2% of the audience had any idea what he's talking about. Riggs gets annoyed at Lane trying to use his mirror and jumps him, allowing Eric to babble about Paul Orndorff using a mirror. Eric: “Be original.” Lane comes back with right hands in the corner and drops Riggs with a bulldog as Lodi comes down the aisle. Riggs gets taken down by an airplane spin, but it makes Lane so dizzy that he does the Sting fall onto the crotch. Dang it WCW you have to tell me when I'm watching a comedy match.
A hot shot gives Riggs control and he throws Lenny out at Lodi's feet. Back in and Riggs drives a knee into Lane's ribs before slapping on a chinlock. Riggs stops to look at the mirror and gets rolled up for two but avoids a dropkick to keep himself in control. He ducks an enziguri but gets caught in a reverse powerbomb of all things for two. I've always thought that would be an awesome looking move. Not that it matters as Riggs comes right back with a Fameasser for the pin.
Rating: D+. Scotty Riggs is not interesting, no matter how many times WCW tries to push him on their shows. The narcissistic gimmick has taken him about as far as it can, which should tell you everything you need to know. As for Lenny and Lodi, I know what's coming, and it's one of those things that we need to just get through as fast as possible.
Flair is in the back, trying to convince Benoit to be a Horseman again. He's ready to pass the torch to Chris but Benoit isn't sure. Flair talks about the feud he and Anderson had a few years back (wasn't that faked?) and Benoit says he'll think about it. Saturn comes in and says he and Kanyon want their rematch tonight, but Flair says he was going to give himself and Benoit the shot at the titles. Benoit reluctantly agrees and hugs Flair.
Here are Savage and the girls with the bucket. We'll ignore his bright pink feathery coat. Savage knows Nash isn't in the building tonight and issues an open challenge to anyone that is man enough to face him. This brings out Sting who says he's back in black even though Savage is pretty in pink. The match is on for later, even though Sting says Savage is on Viagra. Savage: “NOW YOU'RE GONNA GET IT!” I really don't want to see that if I can avoid it.
Septic truck stuff again.
Here's Kevin Nash wheeling a bag to the ring. He says Savage isn't here yet because he can't smell Macho yet, if you know what he's spewing. His gear is in the bag (now sitting in a chair) and he's heard Savage saying he doesn't like looking ridiculous, but he still comes out here looking like he does. Fair point actually. If Savage wants him, come get him.
Cue Savage with the bucket and the girls. He says he has a present for Nash because no one has ever treated him like that last week. Savage wants Nash to admit that he's a monkey who made a mistake and isn't on his level. Nash: “I only brought one bag down and you brought three.”
Nash bails to the floor and says if Savage wants him, put down the bucket. Macho complies but Nash wants the girls to hold open the ropes. Now he asks Savage to get on his knees and beg, which Savage kind of does. With Savage's back to the ring, the bag starts to move. A girl gets out of the bag and empties the bucket over Savage's head. It's a stupid segment, but well done on the surprise with the bag.
Tag Team Titles: Diamond Dallas Page/Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Ric Flair/Chris Benoit
The Jersey boys are defending and Anderson comes out with the challengers. Page and Benoit slug it out to start with the Canadian getting the better of it. He slugs Bigelow to the floor and dives through the ropes to take him down as well. Back in and Flair hammers on Bigelow as well with Benoit snapping Page into the Crossface but it's right next to the ropes. Off to Flair for the Figure Four and he's able to avoid a headbutt from Bigelow at the same time.
Everything breaks down with the Horsemen chopping everyone in sight. There's a low blow to Page and it's off to Benoit. Page rolls over and tags Bigelow who comes in with some falling headbutts for two. A big suplex gets two on Benoit and Page draws in Flair, allowing the champs to double team. They start going after the knee as Bischoff lists off why he hates Flair and Page. Flair comes in without a tag and slugs it out in the corner with Page but gets dropped with a low blow.
Things settle back down and Page rubs Benoit's face in the mat. Off to a front facelock as things slow down a bit. Benoit lifts Page up three times in a row but can't drive him to the corner. A fourth time gets him even closer but Bigelow comes in to block the tag. Bam Bam misses the top rope headbutt and Benoit crawls over.....as Flair walks out. Well of course he does.
Anderson is livid so he takes his shirt off and gets on the apron as a replacement. Bigelow has Benoit in a reverse chinlock as Saturn runs out to get on the apron, kind of making this a handicap match. Benoit dives over and tags in Saturn as house is cleaned. The Death Valley Driver to Page out of nowhere gives Benoit and Saturn the titles.
Rating: C. Of course it's not going to stand because Benoit and Saturn are young and over but it was a nice moment while it lasted. The match was all about the run-in finish and Flair turning on Benoit after turning towards him about an hour earlier. I can't stand those kind of stories as they could be stretched out to build up the drama for weeks and instead they do it this fast. Almost every company does it and it gets old fast.
Kanyon runs out post match and nails Saturn with a Flatliner, setting up a three on two beatdown.
Ciclope/Damien vs. La Parka/Silver King
Bischoff is off commentary. This is a hardcore match for no apparent reason. It's a brawl to start with Silver King kicking a chair into Damien's face. Ciclope nails King with a trashcan and whips La Parka into it for good measure. There's another can brought in and wrapped around La Parka's head for Poetry In Motion from Damien. La Parka bails to the floor but gets caught with a baseball slide with a chair to knock him silly. Not that it matters as he picks up a chair and nails a diving Ciclope in the head with the same chair in an awesome visual.
Damien dropkicks La Parka off the chair and goes outside, only to have to throw the chair at a diving Silver King. La Parka puts Damien in the chair and takes him down with another suicide dive before Silver King throws a trashcan out of the ring and over Ciclope's head. He follows it up with an Asai Moonsault to take everyone out in a cool spot. Damien takes La Parka back inside and takes a chair to the head followed by a trashcan lid for a bonus.
La Parka sets up a chair and tries a superplex on Damien, but has to settle for just throwing him face first onto the chair for two. Ciclope NAILS La Parka with a trashcan lid to break up a top rope hurricanrana attempt, swinging so hard that it flies to the announcers' table and into Schiavone's hands.
Ciclope gets backdropped to the floor as Damien is setting up a table. It doesn't last long though as Silver King tornado DDTs Ciclope through the table for another big crash. Damien's middle rope hurricanrana is countered into a powerbomb through another table for two. Tony: “He kicked out!” Heenan: “WHY???” La Parka sets up two chairs and powerbombs Damien onto them (with the chairs not giving an inch) for the pin.
Rating: B. WHERE IN THE WORLD DID THIS COME FROM??? This was an outstanding brawl with all four guys hitting each other as hard as they could for some awesome bumps and spots. It's a seven minute match that had me wanting to see more, even though I'm not a fan of most of the guys involved. I have no idea where this came from or why it wasn't done more often, but it's worth checking out. Really good stuff.
More DJ Ran as he talks some trash about Hennig.
Norton yells at the Black and White for his loss last week. They don't have much to say in response.
Here's the Cat for another of his open challenges. Miller is in full on James Brown mode now, which is a big upgrade for him and his lame karate character. He brags about shaking up the world until he finally gets an opponent.
Cat vs. Horace Hogan
Horace jumps him from behind but Miller comes back with kicks and dancing. A running clothesline in the corner has Cat in trouble again but an Onoo distraction lets him get in a crowbar shot for the pin.
Cat runs from the Black and White post match.
Here's Roddy Piper with something to say. He sucks up to the Cleveland fans and thinks it's time we stir things up, which he'll do by winning control of the company back on Sunday. Unless I missed it, that's the first time that stipulation has been mentioned. Piper has been hearing a lot of the young kids in the back saying they should be in the main event. Well he's tired of all the complaining and wants Buff Bagwell out here right now.
Piper asks how many years Bagwell has been wrestling (eight) and if Buff has ever wrestled in Madison Square Garden. Buff says he hasn't, so Piper calls him Buffy. Bagwell says it's not 1975 anymore and his name is Buff. He'd do anything to get to the top, so Piper offers him a match with Flair. They shake hands and that's that.
We go to the parking lot where the girls are in the limo. They try to get Nash to join them for a night on the town. He reluctantly agrees and gets in....as Savage is revealed as the driver. A white Hummer crushes the car. It rams the car a few more times and leaves as we see Nash's arm sticking out of the window and falling. That's a nice callback to Nash's tremendous role in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II of course. We never saw who was driving the Hummer.
Bobby Duncum Jr. vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Why exactly is Rey Cruiserweight Champion again? Mysterio comes out in a gas mask for no apparent reason. Konnan and Hennig are both on commentary though Konnan is at DJ Ran's booth instead of ringside. Oh this is going to be a long match. Rey gets right in Duncum's....well chest but it's as close as he can get. Bobby slams him out of the corner to take over but Rey comes back by just nailing him in the face over and over.
A springboard moonsault gets two and a headscissors sends Bobby out to the floor. Thankfully he's down long enough for Rey to stop and tie his shoe. Back in and Rey misses a charge into the corner and gets caught in a shoulder breaker for two. Mysterio slips out of a second attempt and dropkicks Duncum into the corner for the Bronco Buster. Rey is in control but Hennig just gets up and nails him for the DQ.
Rating: D+. The match didn't have enough time to go anywhere and the ending was stupid. It didn't help that Konnan was only on commentary so he couldn't stop Hennig from interfering, which makes the decision all the stranger. This culture clash feud isn't bad, but the rappers need a better talker. Or at least one that doesn't make me want to saw off my ears with a cheese grater.
Tony and Heenan talk seriously about Nash getting crushed. The cameramen in the limo aren't mentioned even though they're probably dead too.
DJ Ran AGAIN.
The Steiners come out, say catchphrases, imply that Luger is gone, and say they're at the top of the food chain. Somehow this takes five minutes.
Recap of the girl in the bag. You really can't talk about a comedy segment after THREE PEOPLE JUST GOT KILLED IN A CAR CRASH.
Here's Disco to complain about Bagwell. Buff had the chance to look Piper in the eye and say what he really thought of him but Bagwell didn't go through with it. “No wonder you got thrown out of the Wolfpac.” Actually didn't he get thrown out for saying what he really thought of Steiner? Anyway, if Buff is really a man, he'll come out here right now for a match. Buff comes out and says at least he was in the Wolfpac. You know it's on now.
Buff Bagwell vs. Disco Inferno
Disco jumps him from behind to start but Bagwell fights back with his wide array of punches, clotheslines and slams. A big slam lets Buff pose but Disco nails a running knee lift of his own, followed by a middle rope elbow for two. We come back from a break with Buff fighting out of a chinlock. He gets dropped with a clothesline but this time avoids the middle rope elbow. Buff makes another comeback and they trade swinging neckbreakers, only to have Buff slam him down and hit the Blockbuster for the pin.
Rating: C-. Not bad here as they try yet again to rebuild Buff. Granted this would be a bit easier if he hadn't lost in his big showdown with Steiner, but we can't have something crazy like a Steiner losing a match now can we? Disco is an interesting choice for a soldier in the young man army, but I'm not sure how far he can go.
Randy Savage vs. Sting
Sting charges to the ring and Savage runs off. George jumps on Sting's back to give Savage a shot and Macho hammers away in the corner to start. They head outside with Sting being dropped throat first across the barricade, allowing Madusa to get in a few kicks. Back in and Savage hammers away even more as he still has his sunglasses on.
More choking and punching ensues before it's back to the floor to continue the brawling. Sting goes into the barricade again before heading back inside for some powder to his face. Madusa distracts the referee but Miss Madness gets shoved off the top. Savage piledrives the referee as this mess is thrown out.
Rating: F. Sting did not get in a single bit of offense, Savage did nothing but brawl and throw powder, and the girls had too much offense again. The main event scene is getting worse all the time, and somehow we have Savage vs. Nash coming up to keep things as low as they can be.
Sting makes his comeback after having no offense during the match. He stomps on Savage in the corner but Rick Steiner comes out to beat Sting down. Scott Steiner comes out with a belt shot to the face but Luger makes the save with the ball bat to end the show.
Overall Rating: D. Some of the wrestling was better tonight, but the stories have gone off a cliff. Stuff like Tank Abbott attacking Sting, Goldberg in general, Piper being fired, Bischoff somehow having authority again and other stuff I'm sure I've forgotten are either dropped or just gone sans explanation. On top of that there's the old vs. new story, which has been talked about for weeks but somehow hasn't been started yet. Maybe they're waiting for the Bash or the night after, but could we get some actual action on it instead of just people saying they're frustrated?
It's like this company is being run by different people week to week and no one has told the other what we're supposed to be seeing. The ideas are the same in general, but no one has ever gone over any details. Either that or no one has any idea how to pace a story. Look at Nash vs. Savage for example. They went from Savage putting makeup on Nash to Nash covering Savage with the stuff in the bucket to ATTEMPTED MURDER in the span of a week. All of this is setting up a match on Sunday where Nash likely won't even sell these injuries.
Then there's Bischoff, who can't shut up long enough to let any points get across. It's like he's sitting there trying to riff on the show but no one is getting half the jokes he's saying. If he wants to make amends, why is he spending two hours a week ripping on most of the talent? The jokes are going over fans' heads of just confusing them, given how Bischoff doesn't seem to be on any side. Other than the non-smokers' side I guess. Bad show here, but check out that hardcore tag match.
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