Monday Nitro #212
Date: November 1, 1999
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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.
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:
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.
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