Monday Nitro #201
Date: August 16, 1999
Location: World Arena, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Road Wild has come and gone and thank goodness for that. It was three hours of bad wrestling with nothing happening and a bunch of celebrities not making enough of a splash to validate taking the spots from the other guys. We're heading towards Fall Brawl now and I can't imagine that show being any worse than Road Wild. Somehow I have a feeling I'll be surprised though. Let's get to it.
Tony is immediately praising Hogan for his glorious win Saturday. He also throws in that Sid is now 55-0 since returning. I'm guessing the idea is parodying Goldberg's streak going so high so fast, because why shouldn't they mock something they came up with and got over so strong? Sid gets a World Title shot tonight.
Stills of Sid beating Sting at the PPV, leading into this match.
Juventud Guerrera vs. Lash LeRoux
They trade crowd reactions to start and I don't think most of them know who LeRoux is. Feeling out process to start with Lash dropping down into the splits and nailing Juvy with a clothesline. As thrilling as this is, the announcers mention that we're getting Rick Steiner vs. Brian Knobbs for the TV Title tonight. There are no words. Anyway Juvy loads up a hurricanrana but gets countered into a powerbomb which is countered into a pinfall reversal sequence. I won't bother telling you who gets the last near fall as Sid comes in to chokeslam Juvy and powerbomb Lash twice.
Sid wants a double cheeseburger with onions. Or maybe Goldberg. You never can tell with his interviews.
Steve Regal vs. Scotty Riggs
Regal knocks him back with a European uppercut, Riggs knees him into the corner, Sid comes down for the usual power moves for the no contest.
Hogan vs. Nash video.
Mike Enos vs. Cat
Miller guarantees victory in less than four minutes. I see no computer or Terri to say that's correct so I don't buy this stat. Instead of running away to prove Cat wrong, Enos goes right after him with a clothesline and a very nice powerslam. Despite being a heel, he asks if the fans want to see him punch Miller in the face, allowing Cat to nail him in the throat. Now I know this might shock you, but Cat fires off a bunch of kicks and Enos comes back with a series of generic power moves, including a clothesline and press slam. Sonny offers a distraction and Miller hits a big kick for the pin at 3:39.
Rating: D. Sid run-in, Sid run-in, Cat match. That's their big way to make us care after the mess at Road Wild. Also, no Bagwell for his revenge after Miller attacked him after their match on Saturday. I do however like Enos as a power guy who does a simple job but does it well. He isn't going anywhere of course, but he's a good choice for a match like this, which went about as high as it was going to.
Berlyn is coming.
We cut to the back where Sid is beating up Silver King and La Parka, including powerbombing La Parka onto a bag of popcorn.
Cruiserweight Title: Lenny vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Mysterio is defending for the first time in months. No contact for the first minute and Lenny keeps dancing at Mysterio to play some mind games. He offers Lodi a hug and the champion nails him with a forearm. A reverse powerbomb gets two for Lenny but Rey sends him to the floor and takes Lodi out, only to have Lenny go up for a big corkscrew dive. The fans are actually shocked as that might be the first time Lenny has ever hit a big move. They're also stunned that Sid comes in AGAIN to lay out all three guys, giving Rey the DQ win.
Sting comes out for the save with Hogan limping behind him. The superheroes clean house and Hogan says Sting can have a title shot next week if he retains the title tonight.
Public Enemy vs. Insane Clown Posse
We're officially in ECW. We have to be. No other major company could possibly think this is an acceptable idea to air on national television. Raven (in his last television appearance with WCW before walking out when Bischoff offered anyone a release) wants to know where his pyro is. The Clowns jump Public Enemy while they're stacking tables but are easily knocked to the floor. It's Shaggy in trouble first with Grunge elbowing him low before a double tag brings in J. and Rocco.
The Violent Clown elbows the Flyboy (I feel like an idiot typing that) before it's back to Grunge. Raven grabs Johnny's foot so J. can.....well Tony called it a clothesline but it looked more like Luger's running forearm smash. Grunge comes back with a double clothesline and the hot tag brings in Rocco to really clean house. A top rope hurricanrana plants Shaggy and it's table time. Of course Rocco overshoots the table and barely drives Shaggy through it, almost completely missing the bottom table. Not that it matters as the referee gets taken out, allowing Vampiro to Nail Grunge in his Coffin, giving J. the pin.
Rating: D-. Public Enemy isn't the best team ever. I don't think it's a stretch to call them one of the least technically sound mainstream tag teams of all time. The key thing though is they're actual wrestlers. They've been trained and have some experience, but still aren't all that great. However, they make the Clowns look like the Steiner Brothers circa 1991 because the Clowns aren't wrestlers. They're as qualified to be wrestlers as 7 year olds pretending to be police are qualified to patrol the streets. At least the Filthy Animals could carry a match, but this was horrible.
DJ Ran is back. Joy.
Nitro Girls. A bit more actual joy.
Here's Harlem Heat in street clothes for a chat. They're back together after Stevie got tired of being with four “fruit booties who couldn't get the job done.” An open challenge is issues and Booker promises to “turn this mutha out.” I really think this speaks for itself.
Berlyn is here in two weeks.
We get what's left of the Black and White for the first time in a good while. Horace accepts the challenge for tonight, which actually makes sense for a change. Norton promises to take care of Stevie Ray. Adams says he and Vincent will challenge Harlem Heat tonight....and the team beats him down for no apparent reason, ripping the t-shirt off his back.
Okerlund brings out Kidman for a chat and calls him a chick magnet. Gene Okerlund should not know what a chick is. Kidman says that he, Konnan, Guerrero and Mysterio are a bunch of filthy animals that love to party and chase the chicks (it sounds better coming from him). In a TOTALLY spontaneous line that is in no way designed to set up the next match, Gene asks if Kidman has seen the Nitro Girls pay per view. Of course he has and Kimberly is his favorite Nitro Girl. Cue DDP to start spelling respect before he slaps Kidman in the face and plants him with a spinning Rock Bottom.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Kidman
A snapmare sends Kidman across the ring and Page slowly stomps away. An elbow drop with some shouts to the fans (the People if you will) gets two for Page but Kidman snaps off a headscissors. That's the extent of his offense for now though as Page kicks the knee out to kill the crowd again. The helicopter bomb plants him again but Page pulls up at two. Tony forgets the name of the referee Page laid out at Road Wild and just trails off in the middle of his sentence. That might be better for all of us. Page loads up a fireman's carry for the Diamond Cutter but Kidman spins out into a rollup for the pin.
Rating: D. This was an angle instead of a match but they still managed to be dull in the process. Kidman was treated like a guy way out of his league here, continuing this stupid idea that cruiserweights are nothing compared to the bigger guys. I'm assuming this leads to the Triad vs. the Animals, which wouldn't be the worst idea in the world. It's not a good idea mind you but it could be worse.
Page Diamond Cuts both guys to negate the upset. Kimberly has to come out and call Page off.
Here's the Disco Inferno to declare himself a superstar, a sex symbol and an icon. The Filthy Animals have been calling him every day because he's the future of this company. Cue Benoit to say prove it.
US Title: Chris Benoit vs. Disco Inferno
Benoit immediately takes him down with a hard chop and the big belly to back suplex. A dropkick puts Disco down again and Benoit is on a roll. The Crossface sends Disco running to the floor and the fans are all fired up for the first time all night. Back in and Disco nails his swinging neckbreaker and clothesline, followed by the middle rope elbow and Russian legsweep.
They head outside with Benoit going into the steps, but Disco stops to dance. You can't say he isn't dedicated. He sends the champ into the barricade and gets in a bit more dancing. Back in and Benoit flips out of a belly to back suplex before planting him with a German suplex. Disco's Last Dance is countered and the Three Amigos knock Disco sillier (but doesn't mess with a bit of that hair). Benoit Swan Dives him to retain the title.
Rating: C+. As usual, when you give Disco the right opponent, he can pull off a pretty decent match. I was hoping for one of those jumping piledrivers to really make this close, but what else can you ask for from a five minute match on a show featuring celebrity clowns? It's also nice to see Benoit survive his first title defense as this company wouldn't shock me if they jobbed him out immediately.
Goldberg vs. Barry Windham
All of the Rednecks but Hennig are out with Barry. Goldberg beats up all of the seconds and pins Barry in thirty seconds with the usual. Well he's back.
KISS is still coming. They're seriously going through with it.
Horace/Vincent/Scott Norton vs. Harlem Heat
Non-title. Stevie throws Vincent around to start but botches a press slam, nearly dropping Vincent on his face. It's off to Norton vs. Booker with Stevie staying in for a double back elbow. That's it for Flash as he brings in Horace. You know, I remember about three years ago when Hall, Nash and Hogan were taking over the company and wrestling world. Somehow that's evolved into this trio fighting in a dull tag match and getting beaten up 3-2. Booker drops Horace with kicks but goes after Vincent to give Horace a breather.
That's enough of the talent though so it's back to Stevie who kicks Horace in the face. Why overcomplicate the offense? The cheap excuses for the NWO get in some cheap shots from the apron, allowing Horace to take over with a DDT. A big shoulder sends Stevie down and the NWO starts taking turns. Norton loads up the powerbomb but here's Brian Adams for the save. The referee, not even distracted, doesn't do anything about the interference as Adams cleans house. In the melee, Booker missile dropkicks Horace to give Stevie the pin.
Rating: D+. So let me get this straight. Booker T. and Stevie Ray, perhaps the most successful WCW tag team of all time, freshly reunited and the new Tag Team Champions, needed help to beat Horace, Vincent and Norton? Also, we're supposed to care about Brian Adams all of a sudden? At least this should lead to the end of the Black and White. They just need to be put out to pasture at this point anyway. By this point I mean a year and a half ago of course.
The camera follows Adams as he gets into a limo with a KISS license plate. It's bad enough that they had to do these stupid celebrity appearances but now we have to give them stories?
TV Title: Brian Knobbs vs. Rick Steiner
Again I say let's get this over with. It's a brawl to start with Steiner dropping him with an early Steiner Line. They're quickly to the choking before the brawl heads outside. Rick upgrades his choking with the dog collar before they head back inside for another Steiner Line. So far, if you count punches and kicks, Steiner is at four moves. Brian slams him down but his middle rope splash hits leg. I've always thought that would hurt the leg as much as the guy trying the splash. Hart offers a distraction with the collar but Brian is sent into him, setting up the Steiner Bulldog (hey he hit five!) to avenge Wrestlemania VII and retain.
Rating: D-. Of all the people they have in this company, BRIAN KNOBBS got a TV Title shot? You couldn't throw some low level schmuck out there who might be able to do a single decent looking move? This may be a stretch, but Brian may be a worse illustration of nepotism than David Flair. At least with Flair there might have been some potential there, but everyone knew what they were getting with Knobbs but his friendship with Hogan kept getting him work.
Nitro Girls. Tony asks why Heenan never applauds them. Heenan: “It's impossible to clap with one hand.” First, no it isn't. Second.....I need a minute.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Saturn
The big bald guy drops Saturn with some early clotheslines but gets kicked outside, setting up a great looking Asai moonsault. Back in and Bigelow just launches Saturn across the ring because Bigelow is old and therefore doesn't have to sell. He charges into a boot in the corner though and fires off right hands, only to be shoved into the referee. Saturn nails an AJ Styles style springboard forearm and nails a decent t-bone suplex. Cue Kanyon (why couldn't this be Kanyon vs. Saturn? Too entertaining a prospect?) to shove Saturn into a bearhug, but Shane Douglas comes out to shove Kanyon onto both of them, giving Saturn a pin.
Rating: D+. I know they've taken their time getting here but the Revolution finally seems to be taking hold. Benoit winning the title and getting to defend it in a pretty solid match was a good sign and they even won a match over an older guy. I have zero confidence that it's going to last, but at least it worked for one night.
Benoit and Malenko come out to save Saturn from a beatdown.
WCW World Title: Sid Vicious vs. Hulk Hogan
No word on what Sid's record is after after all those beatings but he jumps the champ at the bell. Hearing Heenan suck up to Hogan continues to disgust me. If Hogan can be the same character he was in the 80s, why can't the Brain? Well other than a complete lack of caring that it. Sid very slowly stomps on Hulk and drops a leg, sending Hogan popping back up to his feet. Ever the lunkhead, Sid stands in the corner with his back to Hulk, allowing the champ to hammer away.
Sid bails to the floor and thankfully doesn't go off to buy a hot dog and a Coke. Back in and he can't ram Hogan into the buckle but Hulk can do it to him. This riveting spectacle heads outside with Hogan nailing Sid with a chair and throwing him into the audience. For a change of pace, Sid hits Hogan with the chair and throws him onto the announcers' table. He even one ups the champ by pouring water over Hulk AND the announcers! Tony: “HE SOAKED US WITH WATER!”
Back in and we hit a nerve hold because Sid worked so hard already. The fans chant Goldberg, but the water in Heenan's ear makes it sound like Hogan. A clothesline breaks up the comeback and Sid fires off some right hands as Tony tries to explain how Hulking Up works. The chokeslam gets a delayed two and I think you know what's coming. That's right: Rick Steiner breaking up the comeback because WCW wants us all to watch Raw.
Rating: F. You know, I grew up a Hulkamaniac. In the twenty five years plus as a Hulk Hogan fan, I've sat through a lot of nonsense. Over the years, very few things have made me as embarrassed as this nonsense. It comes off like a Hogan impersonator doing all of Hulk's greatest hits on a carnival circuit, but instead it's the real thing on national TV. The matches aren't any good, the live fans respond to a degree, but the TV audience collectively does not care.
Sid doesn't make things any better either. I know he never was exactly a ring general, but this is setting a new standard for him too. He clearly doesn't care anymore and is just out there for a check, but some of the stuff he does makes you wonder if he's trying to make the matches even worse. This was two old guys (even though Sid is in his late 30s here) embarrassing themselves for a check and the company letting themselves die for whatever stupid reasons they come up with this week to validate it.
Trash fills the ring as Hogan is beaten down until Sting makes the save. Hulk covers Steiner for a three count and bell before handing Sting the belt to end the show.
Overall Rating: D. This was the Sid Vicious show and for the life of me I don't know why. I get that they're setting up Sid vs. Goldberg for the battle of the streaks, but my goodness do they have to have him mess up that many matches to get to the point? He wouldn't break up Enos vs. Miller but he can break up Regal getting to hurt Scotty Riggs? Then to cap it off they have him lose the main event via DQ? It's like they're parodying the Streak and wrecking the midcard to get there.
While this show was bad, it was a different kind of bad than recently. Lately the shows have been bad because of how horrible things were, but in this case it felt like there were a good many bright spots being dragged down by the bad. The Revolution is starting to take hold and getting rid of the Black and White is a good thing. However, we're looking towards the old guys dominating the main event for what feels like months to come and KISS next week. As usual, this company could be good if they would get out of their own way, but it just seems to keep getting worse.
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