Monday Nitro #203
Date: August 30, 2015
Location: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're two weeks away from Fall Brawl and I don't think we've had any matches announced yet. What we do have though is Sid Vicious as the focal point of the company and Sting, Hogan and Goldberg suddenly as best friends against the combination of Sid and Rick Steiner. I keep thinking this show can't get worse but they keep surprising me. Let's get to it.
Disorderly Conduct vs. Dave Taylor/Steven Regal
Yes we're starting with a match and just bring in Sid already. Mike jumps Regal to start but gets taken down by a drop toehold. It's off to Taylor vs. Tom with Dave hooking a butterfly suplex....and here he comes.
Four powerbombs to Mike and Tom later and Sid is still ranting about being the Millennium Man.
Lenny and Lodi aren't allowed in the building until Lenny reminds security that he's the Cruiserweight Champion. It's not funny or interesting when you watch it either.
Recap of last week's major events.
Time for a Sid discussion as Tony compares his streak to Goldberg's. Goldberg won the US Title in his 75th match, even though Sid is now up in the 80s. Thankfully that means they won't be stupid enough to have him beat Benoit for the title or anything like that......right?
The Demon will be here later.
Here's Luger to say he doesn't buy Hogan's turn around. Tonight he'll show irrefutable evidence that Hogan is lying.
Berlyn arrives with security and his version of Lana.
Video on KISS and the Demon.
Scotty Riggs vs. Lash LeRoux
Riggs takes him up to the ropes and smacks Lash in the face as the mind warped fans want Sid. Scotty nails that great dropkick but gets monkey flipped over for his efforts. A jawbreaker and running knee keep Lash in trouble as it's clear to see why neither of these guys went anywhere. Lash gets two off a sunset flip but takes a pair of clotheslines. Cue Vampiro and the Clowns to watch as Lash gets two more off a northern lights suplex, only to eat a Fameasser for the pin.
Rating: D-. So they interrupt Regal and Taylor after about two minutes but this match gets twice that long? Neither of these guys give me any reason to keep watching, which is exactly why they're on in the unopposed hour designed to make people stick around when Raw comes on. WCW really needed some major roster cuts around this time to get rid of a bunch of these guys.
Vampiro says Riggs owes him something.
Here's the Revolution, now with their own shirts. After a lame attempt to get the crowd to care from Shane, Saturn issues a challenge for the TV Title at Fall Brawl and Benoit issues an open challenge for the same show. I really don't see this ending well for either guy.
Kaz Hayashi vs. Lodi
Lenny's Cruiserweight Title now has a bow and tassels. He also seems to have a thing for Kaz, which Lodi is totally cool with. Lodi accidentally clotheslines Lenny to the floor, allowing Kaz to botch a headscissors. A slingshot DDT looks far better and gets two with Lenny putting the foot on the ropes. With the match starting to go well, we get a split screen countdown clock for the Mayhem video game, which comes out in October. This will stay up for about half the match.
That earns him a big dive from Hayashi but Lodi gets up and dives onto both of them. Could this be, dare I say, a sign of things to come for Lodi? Back in and Lodi powerslams him for two but Kaz escapes a German suplex and scores with a quick brainbuster. Kaz goes up but Lenny crotches him down, setting up a middle rope bulldog for two more. Lenny comes in.....and gets small packaged for the pin? Sure why not.
Rating: C. So let me make sure I've got this straight: they managed to job the Cruiserweight Champion in a match he wasn't even in? Even WWE can't pull off that kind of nonsense. The match was actually entertaining with Lodi more than keeping up with the high flier Hayashi. It would seem that Kaz is going to challenge for the title next. That's fine based on his skills, but this is a pretty big downgrade from Kidman, Mysterio, Guerrera and Guerrero.
Lenny and Lodi lay Kaz out post match.
Here's Hogan to a massive New York reaction. I'll give the old WWF towns this: they're the most loyal fans in the world. If you're ever over there, you will be until the end of time. It was his son that made him believe in the power of Hulkamania again brother and he would NEVER stab Sting in the back. He can't wait to see this proof from Luger, so he'll be sitting in the back, eating fruit (his words) and waiting. Luger better not try to frame him either.
Hogan and Flair have new home videos. I only mention this because a piano starts playing, distracts them, and then stops abruptly.
La Parka/Blitzkrieg vs. Rey Mysterio Jr./Eddie Guerrero
Eddie's stoic look during Rey's high energy entrance makes me chuckle. La Parka's skeleton is red and he starts with Mysterio. First up though, it's time to dance. Rey slaps La Parka in the face and sends him to the floor, bringing in Eddie to throw his partner to the floor for a tornado DDT. Blitzkrieg takes Eddie down and hits a rolling senton followed by a moonsault for two, only to walk into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for the same. Back to Mysterio for a Lionsault on Blitzkrieg before he pulls La Parka down by the mask. A chop puts Rey down and a Hart Attack with Blitzkrieg kicking Rey instead of clotheslining him gets two.
Vampiro and the Clowns come out again as heel miscommunication allows the hot tag to Eddie. Everything breaks down and Eddie hits a gorgeous top rope hurricanrana to Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg misses a handspring into a moonsault and gets caught on the top, allowing Eddie to launch Rey into another hurricanrana. Eddie tosses Rey over the top onto La Parka, setting up the Frog Splash to Blitzkrieg for the pin.
Rating: B. Really, really fun tag match here which somehow didn't even make it four minutes. This continues the trend of letting talented high fliers get into the ring and jump around for a little while. That hurricanrana from Eddie was absolutely perfect and some of the high flying looked great. And somehow it's all designed to get the Clowns over, because WCW.
Berlyn video, followed by Berlyn and his Lana (Uta Ludendorf), flanked by security. Through the interpreter, Berlyn brags about Germany being awesome and says his wrestling is art. Fan: “WE WANT ALEX WRIGHT!” It's so loud that everyone in the ring looks over at him. A consortium of German businessmen have turned him into the perfect wrestler and his first victim is Buff Bagwell.
Buff represents everything bad about America and will be a good first victory. The interpreter acknowledges that Berlyn speaks English and has indeed been here before, but that language is beneath him. She forgets her line and says losing is.......it is not acceptable! She's no Lana.
Fall Brawl video, featuring Savage, Nash, Hart and Steiner.
A banged up Luger comes out and says someone in red and yellow attacked him and went through his bags. No word on if the evidence was taken, or why Lex Luger is in a major storyline in 1999.
Tag Team Titles: Kendall Windham/Barry Windham vs. Prince Iaukea/Kenny Kaos
This would be the WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE THEY THINKING AND WHERE IS THE REMOTE match of the week. Kendall takes Prince up to the ropes as Tony describes the champs as a new duo. That's up there with Gorilla Monsoon calling Carlos Colon a youngster. Iaukea fires off a quick dropkick but eats a boot to the face. A jumping DDT knocks Prince silly and Kendall throws him outside. Back in and a knee drop retains the titles. No one ever made a tag.
Post match Barry says the champs have no competition, including Harlem Heat. This brings out Booker and Stevie for a lot of kicks, one leading to the referee counting a pin on Kendall. The Rednecks come out and beat down Harlem Heat, including hog tying Booker. The feud continues for some reason.
Here are Luger and Sting to present Lex's evidence. The evidence is a picture of Hogan standing next to a white Hummer, proving that he was the one that tried to kill Nash. We're still on that story??? Hogan comes out and says the obvious, that this doesn't prove anything. Sting believes Luger and questions Hogan, but here's DDP to nail Hogan before running off. Sting asks Hogan why he should believe him.
Van Hammer vs. Buff Bagwell
The bell rings and that means it's time to pose. Buff grabs an armdrag and we've got Germans. The distraction lets Hammer choke Bagwell (to be fair though, anything shiny, including Berlyn's head, is going to distract him) but Buff scores with a hiptoss and clothesline. Buff goes up top and gets slammed down from the top by the neck. That's quite the painful looking move. They head outside for a quick beating from Hammer before we hit the chinlock. Our hero hits Hammer low and gets two off a cross body, setting up the Blockbuster for the pin.
Rating: D. So let me make sure I have this straight: we're supposed to care about a guy who used a Blockbuster to win a boxing match beating a guy who used to be a peace loving hippie to set up for his match against what might be a Neo Nazi and used to be a dancer. This is one of those stories that you don't want to see, and then when you explain it, your head starts to hurt.
Clip of Nash being crushed by the Hummer, nearly three months ago.
Insane Clown Posse CD ad.
Mike Enos vs. Evan Karagias
For some reason Evan wears jeans to the ring and takes them off to wrestle. Evan scores with a pair of dropkicks to start and a third sends Enos to the floor where Karagias hits a fourth dropkick. His springboard dive is caught in midair though and Mike throws him over the shoulder to walk him up the steps and back into the ring. That kind of power display is always impressive. Granted it's not as impressive as knowing how many seconds there are until Mayhem comes out.
The fans are begging Sid to come out and end this match. Well Enos was in the match when Hall jumped the railing to debut so why not have Sid do it here? Evan hammers away and gets countered into a big powerbomb followed by a powerslam. Mike picks him up off the cover though and hits a wicked piledriver. Good grief Vampiro and the Clowns are back. The Clowns distract the referee, allowing Vampiro to kick Mike in the head, giving Karagias the pin.
Rating: D+. The match wasn't even that bad but my goodness I don't want to see Vampiro and the Clowns any more. They've been out here three times now and we had to see them plug their CD. At the end of the day, they're not wrestlers and they're not driving the ratings through the roof, so why does WCW insist on driving them down our throats and give them all this TV time?
Vampiro gets in his face and says Evan owes him. Cue the Demon, who says this isn't the time for Vampiro. Do they even know what this is supposed to mean?
Hugh Morrus/Brian Knobbs vs. Dean Malenko/Shane Douglas
Because this feud needs to keep going. Knobbs calls the Revolution a bunch of crybabies and you know it's time for a fight. The First Family takes over and give Douglas the Pit Stop. Morrus and Knobbs hit running splashes in the corner until Dean comes in, presumably out of boredom. Everything breaks down and Malenko puts Brian in the Cloverleaf, only to have to deal with Jimmy Hart. Morrus and Knobbs take Dean down on the floor but Hugh misses No Laughing Matter to Douglas. Shane even dives off the top to take out all the heels but it winds up being a double countout.
Rating: D. WHY IS THE REVOLUTION FEUDING WITH THE FIRST FREAKING FAMILY??? You have the Windhams as the Tag Team Champions (which is an even bigger headscratcher) talking about how they have no competition, but Malenko and Douglas, one of the only face teams on the roster not names Harlem Heat, is busy going to double countouts with Brian Knobbs and Hugh Morrus. We could also have Mysterio and Guerrero challenge for the titles, but they're busy fighting a pair of non-wrestler Clowns. The more I step back and look at this company, the more my head throbs.
They keep fighting to the back and I hope this doesn't go on to Fall Brawl.
Gene brings out Hogan to continue this thrilling story about him standing next to a car at some point in his life. He mentions his son (who should never be allowed near a car) and promises to deal with Luger next week. Instead, he wants to deal with DDP calling him out every week. He's right you know. Starting with this show, Page has.....actually he didn't call him out as much as hit him from behind. Hogan is a liar. Anyway, Goldberg is supposed to face Page tonight but Hogan wants to take his place in the match. Goldberg comes out and suggests a handicap match, which Page comes out to accept. Another bait and switch.
TV Title: Disco Inferno vs. Rick Steiner
Before the match, Disco says he's living la vida loca and is pretty fly for a white guy. Dang 1999 was a weird time. Rick comes out and decks Disco with a Steiner Line before ripping at his face. The German suplex sends Disco flying and the Steiner Bulldog ends this in a hurry.
Steiner puts on the armbar but Saturn runs out to superkick the champ to the floor.
US Title: Chris Benoit vs. Jerry Flynn
Jerry wants the champ to be checked for weapons but it's a RUSE as he kicks Benoit in the head. Another kick is countered by the dragon screw leg whip because Benoit doesn't put up with cheating. He drops Flynn over the top rope to send him outside, setting up a nice baseball slide. Jimmy Hart offers a distraction to keep earning his paycheck and Flynn kicks the champ's knee to take over. He unleashes the kicks but Benoit avoids a big running boot in the corner and fires off chops. Benoit rolls some Germans but the First Family runs in for the DQ.
Rating: D+. So the Revolution vs. the First Family is more than just the tag feud? Great, the stupidity is spreading. Here's the thing: you have three members of the First Family in action tonight and they all escape without getting pinned or submitting? Including to the United States Champion? How does this make me care about seeing them again? Am I supposed to care about Hugh Morrus, Brian Knobbs and Jerry Flynn? This company's priorities are so screwed up.
The Revolution makes the save and Benoit challenges Sid for Fall Brawl. So much for the open challenge.
Goldberg/Hulk Hogan vs. Jersey Triad
Buffer does the intros and Kanyon does his usual schtick. Bigelow hammers Hogan down to start, like 1987 means nothing to him. Hulk comes back with right hands and the Triad is knocked to the floor. The fans want and get Goldberg, who gets to suplex Kanyon. A gorilla press into a World's Strongest Slam crushes Kanyon again but a Bigelow distraction lets Page come in with a top rope clothesline.
Bigelow pounds away on his back as the Triad starts taking turns. Kanyon's Russian legsweep into an elbow from Page is good for two, but Goldberg comes back with a double clothesline. The hot tag brings in Hogan to clean house as Tony acts like this has never been done before. Hogan boots and legdrops Bigelow for the pin as Page hits Goldberg with a chair and a Diamond Cutter. Goldberg pops up and Page is terrified.
Rating: D. Here's the problem with this match: did it ever feel like Hogan or Goldberg couldn't beat these three on their own? This was just a workout for Goldberg and Hogan before they can get on to something more important. It really shows the gap between the levels of competition as the main event scene is miles ahead of even former World Champions like Page. This was a glorified squash with Goldberg being nice enough to sell for about a minute.
We jump to the back where Sting is asking security if Hogan is in his locker room. My goodness I know Sting is seen as stupid at times but this is ridiculous. Anyway he goes into Hogan's locker room to find Randy Savage and Gorgeous George to end the show.
Overall Rating: D. More than any other episode, this show was incredibly frustrating and showed that WCW doesn't care about going forward as much as it cares about keeping the old guys happy. There are so many talented people locked in feuds designed to either keep them busy so they can't move up the card (Revolution) or so they can babysit niche celebrities who want to wrestle (Eddie and Rey).
On the other side of the card, there's the story of who was driving the Hummer and is Hogan really evil. That actually isn't the worst story in the world and I'm kind of interested in seeing where it goes. The problem I have with it is how Lex Luger is the only person showing the slightest bit of common sense or continuity. Hogan has screwed over every major name on the roster at some point (the Fingerpoke of Doom and beatdown of Goldberg was less than eight months ago) and no one but Luger is questioning Hogan whatsoever. That's hard to accept, at least so quickly.
Overall, the company is running out of gas and is dying for some fresh blood at the top. However, they're content with Hogan, Goldberg (who is fresh enough), Sting, Steiner and Sid as their top names while the rest of the roster is shackled to whatever stupid stories they can come up with. It's very clear that Benoit is going to drop the US Title to Sid, because Benoit's push was clearly just until WCW could find a way to get the title back into the main event talent's hands so they could “draw” with it. You can see the future coming from here and it's terrifying.
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