Monday Nitro #200
Date: August 9, 1999
Location: Idaho Center, Boise, Idaho
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're at a milestone show here and there's a pretty well known main event. At the moment we have the battle of the old guys with feuds ranging from Kevin Nash vs. Hollywood Hogan, Rick Steiner vs. Goldberg and Sting vs. Sid Vicious. That sounds like a reason to mix those guys up in a big match. Oh and we have country music with Chad Brock. Yeah I don't remember him either. This is also the go home show for Road Wild. Let's get to it.
Quick recap of the end of last week's show.
Tony is back on commentary with no reason given for his absence. He does however have an announcement: Dusty Rhodes is now head of the WCW Championship Committee. Wasn't he last seen as part of the NWO?
Norman Smiley/Lash Leroux/Prince Iaukea vs. Vampiro/Insane Clown Posse
Uh...yay. Raven is in the corner and has officially named the team the Dead Pool. Do they like chimichangas? Vampiro and Lash get things going with some chops back and forth. Tony is back to his old standard by randomly talking about Nash vs. Hogan. Off to the Prince for his selection of right hands but Vampiro hits a kind of throwing powerbomb. You would think Norman or Lash would have done something given that he powerbombed Iaukea out of their corner, but my guess is they're trying to figure out why the Insane Clown Posse is wrestling a match in Idaho.
Violent J. (called Jack Jeckyl by Tony. To be fair that's what it says on his jersey) hits a decent suplex before playing Neidhart to Vampiro's Hart in a Hart Attack. Shaggy comes in for a bad looking DDT but Prince sweeps the legs to take over. To make things worse, Shaggy's shorts are falling down. Norman tries to come in to help Iaukea but it just allows Vampiro to hit him low.
J. drops a leg to the chest but hurts his head with a headbutt to the Prince. At least he knows his stereotypes. They head outside with Vampiro throwing Iaukea into the steps. Back in and Shaggy misses a guillotine legdrop, allowing the hot tag to Norman. A big old spinning slam drops Shaggy and everything breaks down. The fans are actually WAY into this one. Vampiro suplexes Lash down and J. adds a moonsault for the pin.
Rating: C-. The Clowns are an interesting case as they actually have some training so it's WAY better than when celebrities have matches on Raw, but I'd still be hard pressed to call them good. They can do some very basic stuff like suplexes and the moonsault was acceptable, but they'd be lost trying to do more than a four minute match without people there to help them. Case in point, this match worked for the most part because the Clowns weren't in a good chunk of it and the wrestlers carried it. The crowd helped a lot too as they were into the match, but the wrestling was nothing great.
The Revolution is in the back with Dusty and ask him when things are going to change around here. Dusty says in due time but gets cut off by David Flair and Torrie Wilson. Dusty is called an old man so Benoit slaps the Crossface on David. Apparently the way to make things change is through violence because that earned Benoit a US Title shot. It's about time someone realized David and his dad had no authority anymore and they could get the US Title off of him in about 10 seconds.
Curt Hennig/Barry Windham vs. Public Enemy
The Rednecks have a new song called Good Old Boys, which is nowhere near as catchy. Tony starts talking about Chad Brock and actually gives us a reason for him to be here: he used to train at the Power Plant and actually was in an eight man tag on Saturday Night back in 1996. That still doesn't make me want to see him but WCW never really cared what fans thought. Hennig throws Rocco around the ring to start but eats a boot in the corner.
Off to Grunge who has the same luck as Hennig when Windham blasts him with a lariat. Kendall actually does something by tripping up Grunge to keep the Rednecks in control. We hear about Brock even more as Johnny and Curt double clothesline each other. It's a double tag as Public Enemy takes over with their usual brawling before a flip dive puts Barry through the table. Not that it matters though as Curt nails Grunge with the cowbell for the pin.
Rating: D. The Rednecks seem to be in decline as there isn't much for them to do anymore. If the best they can come up with is having Curt feud with the country singer coming in to perform, they need to just disband the team now or let Hennig and Windham be a regular tag team. It was a fun idea while it lasted but there's nothing for the team to do right now.
Little Jeanie vs. Mona
Tony tries to tell us how easy it is to order a WCW PPV as this is sounding more and more desperate every week. Jeanie never did anything that I can find. Apparently Mona was a powerlifter in her younger days, which isn't something you would expect out of someone her size. They hit the mat to start and trade some hammerlocks and armbars. Jeanie isn't half bad out there and takes a decent monkey flip to send her outside.
The match stalls for a bit as they trade places, only to have Jeanie choke a bit on the way back in. Mona gets two off a sunset flip and the fans give her a good reaction. Granted it likely has something to do with the short skirt flipping over but a pop is better than nothing. Back up and a dropkick to the head sends Jeanie into the corner. For a sweet ending, Mona puts on an Indian deathlock but grabs Jeanie's shoulders and rolls her over, bridging the legs into the air for a pin.
Rating: C+. Shockingly good match here and I'm surprised Jeanie never did anything else. She needed some work but with more experience and some polish she could have been something decent. Mona of course would have her success in the near future and it's easy to see why off this match. This was a big, nice surprise.
Brandi Alexander, a chick that Mona beat up before, comes in but takes a clothesline from Mona.
Video on Hogan vs. Nash.
Hogan is in the back when his son Nick comes in. Hogan is in the NWO gear and Nick wants to know why his dad didn't wear the red and yellow that Nick packed for him. We hear a noise though and Hulk runs out of the room, only to get laid out by Nash, Sid and Steiner. They beat him out to the ring but Sting and Goldberg make a quick save.
This is apparently enough for Hogan to put his career on the line on Saturday and makes a challenge for a six man tag. Nash says it's on, but Sting wants Nash's career on the line too. That's cool as well, but Goldberg tops them all. He says Steiner doesn't have anything to put on the line at Road Wild so he'll just have to beat Steiner up.
Is there any question why the title was retired soon after this? I mean good grief it's one thing to not acknowledge that someone is a champion but to flat out say that the belt is worthless? The worst part: you know Goldberg never got any flack for that backstage. Why would he anyway? The title has been dying a brutal death since Steiner became champion and just brutalized everyone he's fought in meaningless matches.
That belt could be used for people like the Revolution, Booker T., Bagwell, even Disco Inferno or Cat. But instead it's being held by a guy no one cares about while Goldberg says the belt doesn't matter. Stupid decisions like this are among the biggest reasons WCW went under: they didn't care about anyone but the old guys and they think people care about guys like Rick Steiner because he was a big deal nine years ago. I really can't get over that stupid line. I agree Goldberg is above the TV Title, but did he have to point out that it's worthless in general?
US Title: David Flair vs. Chris Benoit
Maybe this can make me feel better. Heenan's tongue is falling out of his mouth over Torrie's outfit. Little Naitch is ejected as referee and Nick Patrick will be taking over. Isn't he almost just as corrupt? Flair immediately bails to the floor and tries to leave, only to be thrown back in by Malenko and Saturn. Douglas was there too but he was too busy reminding us of how great he was in ECW to actually help.
David bails again but is surrounded on the floor. A snap suplex sends the champ flying and Benoit slaps him a few times. Benoit is just toying with him here. Kanyon tries to do a hilarious looking run in (the look on his face was priceless as he looked like he was trying to save a baby from a burning building) but gets stopped by Saturn, allowing Benoit to drop the Swan Dive for the pin and the title.
Rating: B. This is a hard one to grade as it's clearly not about the wrestling but they did exactly what they were supposed to out there. Benoit FINALLY wins a singles title and gives David exactly what he deserves. Granted it's about three months too late for it to have the impact they were going for but at least it finally happened.
Page comes in and Rock Bottoms Benoit but thankfully the Revolution runs in for the save before Page can ruin the moment. Benoit issues a challenge for Saturday in a No DQ match.
Here's Savage to reveal who is going to guard George on Saturday, who also drove the Hummer. Gene introduces George as being with him but Savage is alone. After a quick President plug, he promises to kill Rodman on Saturday. Gene gets to the point by asking about the Hummer driver.....and Savage ignores him. One more line about Saturday and we're done. As I ask myself every week, why do I even bother watching Thunder if they're going to tease stuff like this and then never follow up?
Chris Adams/Dave Taylor vs. Eddie Guerrero/Rey Mysterio Jr.
It's Eddie and Taylor to get things going, but first they have to see who the fans are behind. The stalling continues as we're nearly two minutes into the match with barely any contact. Taylor actually snaps off a headscissors and dropkick to send Eddie to the floor, drawing some solid booing. You would have thought Eddie would start that way but instead he headscissors Taylor down to take over.
Off to Rey, who is in an orange prison uniform because for some reason in the 90s, that was considered cool. Adams runs him over with a shoulder and a powerslam gets two. He misses a top rope splash though and Rey hits a Lionsault, on the same night that Chris Jericho was debuting on Monday Night Raw. Adams pops back up with that sweet superkick of his for two before catapulting him into the wrong corner.
Dave finally charges into a boot in the corner and the prison enthusiast rolls over for the hot tag to Eddie. Everything breaks down and Eddie dives through the ropes to take out Taylor. Adams is all alone, setting up a Mysterio top rope hurricanrana, followed by the Frog Splash for the pin.
Rating: C+. What is with this show tonight? They've been nailing the wrestling all night with everyone clicking in the ring. Mysterio and Guerrero being a good tag team isn't a surprise given how much they've worked together in the past. Adams and Taylor were fine in this role as two guys that can work well with anyone. If this was what Nitro was like until a big main event, I'd have far fewer complaints.
Speaking of complaints, cue the Dead Pool to jump Mysterio and Guerrero, only to have Kidman make the save. Six man on Saturday it seems.
Gene brings out the Rednecks, who imply they were with the Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain last night. Apparently they were scheduled to perform Good Old Boys live but Chad Brock has replaced them. Seriously, this is the best thing they can come up with? Ignore the fact that the fans booed Brock's name in general but cheered when Hennig promised to beat him up. Why do I have a feeling this was translated as “See??? THE FANS RESPONDED TO HIS NAME! MORE CELEBRITIES!”
Kidman vs. Disco Inferno
Over halfway through the show, Tony sends out get well wishes to Scott Hudson. Gee that's nice of him. Did we ever get a reason why Tony was gone in the first place though? Kidman starts fast with a dropkick and the slingshot headscissors, potentially causing lethal hair damage. Disco pops back up and throws him over the top before grabbing a Russian legsweep back inside.
The chinlock is broken in about five seconds and Kidman nails a quick clothesline. Disco continues his hot pace (maybe he has a fever?) with a swinging neckbreaker and a hot (I've got something here!) shot for two. Kidman comes back with a Sky High, which is a move I really would like to see someone use as a finisher full time. And I mean someone that matters, not Titus O'Neil.
Kidman ducks his head though and eats the AWESOME jumping piledriver. I know he was a comedy guy but he always had one of the best piledrivers I've ever seen. It's only good for two though so, in another recurring theme tonight, he tries it again, only to have Kidman faceplant him. The Shooting Star is ready but Vampiro runs in for the DQ.
Rating: C. Disco looked great here and continues to be one of the most underrated WCW guys in the ring. Vampiro coming in makes sense and keeps setting up their match on Saturday, though they could have spaced the matches out better on the card. By having them back to back, it runs the risk of overloading people on one feud, and you know there's a big crowd to see wrestling clowns.
Vampiro plants Kidman with a super Nail in the Coffin. I'm not a Vampiro fan but that looked GREAT, especially Kidman's head flying up after impact and falling back onto the mat. Disco actually tries to make the save but eats a superkick, drawing out Eddie and Rey for the real save. Disco offers Rey a handshake but Rey is a hugger, sending Disco running away in fear. If a small man in a prison uniform tried to hug me, I'd be a bit nervous too.
The announcers chat about Saturday's main event.
Scott Norton vs. Buff Bagwell
Vicious runs Delicious over to start and shoulders him to the floor. A clothesline misses though and Buff hits some dropkicks (clearly inspired by his match with Riggs on Thursday) to knock Norton outside. Back in and Bagwell actually uses a dragon screw leg whip. Well that's some psychology at least.
Norton shrugs it off though and hits his shoulder breaker as we see Cat putting on the red shoes up on the ramp. Bagwell fights out of a neck crank and a cross body actually works. Cue Cat to distract the referee so Onoo can nail Bagwell with the briefcase, giving Norton two. That's enough to make Miller call his Mama, or come into the ring for a DQ. Ignore the lack of actual contact of course.
Rating: D. Well the good match streak had to die somewhere. This was about as bad as you would have expected as Bagwell just isn't there in the ring. It makes sense that he was great as a tag guy because he can talk well enough to get on people's nerves and then hit the Blockbuster for a good looking finish.
Speaking of the Blockbuster, Onoo takes one as Norton chases Cat to the back.
Now for the REAL main event in any event in the country (except whatever the Rosemont Horizon was called at this point because they're smart enough not to have this nonsense over in that company), here's.....A SINGER THAT DOESN'T EVEN GET AN INTRODUCTION! Yeah we come back from a break and the song is starting. You know those musical acts that are said to not need an introduction anywhere in the world but for some reason they're introduced anyway? As in like Elvis, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen etc? Well apparently Chad Brock is important enough to not actually introduce whatsoever.
He sings, people don't care, Hennig comes out and jaws with him, the Rednecks and the Revolution come out for a staredown, I'll never got those seven minutes of my life back.
As if that's not enough, KISS is coming in two weeks.
Nitro Girls. They haven't been around as much lately. You know who has been though? Chad Brock.
Kanyon vs. Booker T.
For history's sake, the Millennium Clock ended right about now. All respective partners are out here with them. It's Booker in control to start with a back elbow to knock Kanyon to the floor so Stevie can get in some cheap shots of his own. He doesn't have this whole face thing down yet.
Back in and Kanyon extinguishes half of the Heat with a knee to the ribs and we hit the chinlock. Booker fights up with the usual as they're clearly flying through this. The barrage of kicks set up the 110th Street Slam but Kanyon pulls the referee in front of a clothesline. The rest of the Triad stops Stevie, allowing Kanyon to nail Booker with the belt, setting up the Flatliner for the pin.
Rating: D+. The match went so fast that there was only so much they could do out there. I'll let you make your own complaint about Brock taking up their time. This was little more than another way to set up the Tag Team Title match on Saturday, which is about all you can do for a match like that. I've seen worse though.
Here's Rodman to Voodoo Child, so maybe we'll find out who was driving the Hummer here. Rodman says that this Saturday, George is going to learn that she's his BEEP. You mean the woman that Rodman, in theory the face in this feud, as in the guy that has kidnapped George and attacked from behind, kidnapped and may have raped? Savage runs out and Rodman, your hero and mine, runs away in fear.
Sting/Goldberg/Hollywood Hogan vs. Rick Steiner/Sid Vicious/Kevin Nash
Nash's team comes out to the Wolfpack theme but Nash has a Black and White logo on his shirt. I'M SO CONFUSED! Remember that if Nash's team loses, his career is on the line Saturday. Goldberg comes out to Crush Em, which I like but it doesn't have the same impact as his old music.
Now we get the big, famous moment here though as Hogan returns to the red and yellow for the first time in over three years. Tony loses his mind as you would expect him to. To their credit, the fans go NUTS in one of the final legitimate shows of emotion you'll ever find in WCW. I take no shame in admitting that it gave me a big smile too as I grew up a Hulkamaniac and he belongs in the red and yellow. Also, has there ever been a better three man face team in WCW?
Hogan and Steiner get things going and the worthless champion is shoved down. The big boot connects about a minute in and even Heenan is fired up to see Hogan. Some more right hands drop Steiner and the giants take punches of their own. Hogan beats up all three villains on his own and they take a breather on the floor. With Hogan dominating, the fans chant for Goldberg. You know, the guy in a match with someone that has nothing to put up on Saturday.
Goldberg gets the tag and the pop of the night as Nash comes in to face him. Nash hammers away but eats a superkick and suplex as the fans get even louder. You can see Hogan saying “Yeah they popped louder for me brother. I heard them chanting HO-GAN too.” Sid walks into a powerslam and it's off to Sting, who seems almost out of his league for once. He lays Sid on the top rope for the Stinger Splash but the top rope version gets two to stop the crowd dead.
The referee gets in the way of Nash's Snake Eyes as someone has exposed the buckle. That earns him a ref bump and Sting hits a pair of Stinger Splashes into the exposed buckle and a third into a more modest buckle. Steiner comes in with a chair but there's the spear. Hogan takes the chair and cleans house, including knocking Nash willy. Another referee comes out to say Nash is out for the win, putting his career on the line Saturday.
Rating: B-. It's a very fun match and Hogan coming back in the red and yellow is a big moment. We had a top level WCW face team against the three top heels (since Flair has disappeared) and the crowd went nuts. That brings me to my one big issue with the match: wouldn't this have made more sense next week?
Next week's main event would be Hogan vs. Sid for the title, so couldn't they have swapped that to this week and had the six man after the PPV? With this, whatever they do on Saturday is going to feel like a letdown from this and you get Hogan putting on the red and yellow again after he defeats his “biggest challenge” (work with me here) thanks to the power of the Hulkamaniacs. This took away the drama because you know Hulk Hogan isn't losing to Nash in this kind of a match. Still though, good moment and a really fun main event.
Overall Rating: B-. Easily the best Nitro in months, but this company is clearly running on borrowed time. The main event scene is dying for some fresh blood and putting Hogan in the old colors is only going to keep him going for so long. Benoit getting the title is a bright spot and at least a sign of hope, but I'm still stuck on that TV Title line. It's going to take some time to get that back to credibility and Rick Steiner holding it isn't going to help that. Midcard title problems aside, this show was solid action (mostly) in front of a red hot crowd. They still need to cut back to two hours, but not being horrible is a good start.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at: