Monday Nitro #209
Date: October 11, 1999
Location: Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We've coming off a genuinely great wrestling match last week and something tells me that it's going to go downhill from here. The main event is Benoit/Hart teaming up against a team to be announced. Other than that, we might get to see more car hijinks between Sid and Goldberg in the parking lot. Let's get to it.
We open with an In Memory Of graphic for Gorilla Monsoon. That's quite the tribute considering he never wrestled there. Monsoon is still one of the fondest remembered names ever in wrestling and it's nice of them to do this.
Benoit and Hart arrive and are met by Luger and Elizabeth. The latter thinks we need immigration and it seems Luger will be one of their opponents tonight.
Sid gets out of a cab. Continuity!
We go to Tony and Bobby, who have some kind words about Monsoon. Heenan gives a very heartfelt tribute to his friend, saying that the pearly gates of Heaven will now be known as the Gorilla Position. He has to look down to hide his tears. That's a very touching tribute.
Malenko asks Saturn what happened last week. Saturn was there to stop Shane and attacked Mysterio in self defense but Malenko doesn't seem convinced.
Perry Saturn vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Saturn apologizes to Mysterio but again, Rey doesn't buy it. He armdrags Saturn down off a handshake and we start fast. A headscissors and dropkick send Saturn to the floor and Rey follows him out with a big flip dive. He does that as well as anyone not named Guerrera that I've ever seen. Back in and a hurricanrana is countered into a Liger Bomb from Saturn, another move that never gets old. We hit an armbar on Mysterio and go to a break. Saturn hits the springboard spinning legdrop and a release belly to belly suplex to send Rey flying.
Mysterio avoids a charge in the corner and hits the Bronco Buster but walks into a reverse powerbomb to put him back down again. A legdrop misses though and Mysterio springboards right onto Saturn's shoulders but he gets out of the Death Valley Driver. Back up again and they crotch each other trying simultaneous dropkicks. That's quite a painful looking spot actually. Saturn gets up first and goes all the way to the top but Rey pops up and hits a huge super hurricanrana. Cue Douglas to attempt some interference but Malenko cuts him off. This brings out Kidman for protection but he hits Saturn, drawing the DQ.
Rating: C. This wasn't bad but and I could have gone for more of it. Saturn may not have been a top star or anything, but he was capable of having an entertaining match with the right opponent. Mysterio certainly fits the bill too as he was busting out the high flying stuff. Unfortunately, none of these guys have anything to fight over because Benoit is suddenly in the main event scene (and it's about time) but the US Title is way out of reach, Disco Inferno is Cruiserweight Champion, and the Tag Team Titles, which would fit this feud well, are still being defended against the First Family. The action is there, but the priorities aren't.
Kidman wants a tag match later tonight, because setting it up for next week would just be lunacy.
Video on Meng. He's a monster you know.
Arn Anderson and Ric Flair are watching the video with cans of Surge next to them and Anderson brushing his teeth. They declare Meng the real deal and that's it. As usual, this was random and served no bearing on the show otherwise.
Cruiserweight Title: Disco Inferno vs. Kaz Hayashi
Disco, now wanting to be known as D.I., is defending. Kaz takes him down with a flying headscissors so Disco comes back with right hands. Those just earn him another headscissors and a dropkick as they're actually setting up a simple premise already. The champ bails to the floor but takes a suicide dive. Somehow, his hair is still immaculate.
Back in and Disco hits a good running clothesline (wow he can still his arm out AND has perfect hair) followed by the middle rope forearm and neckbreaker for two. Four moves of gloom maybe? A sunset flip doesn't get Kaz anywhere as Disco rakes the eyes and plants him with a DDT. They head outside for nothing so Disco misses another clothesline and gets caught in a hurricanrana. Kaz counters a powerbomb into a sunset flip but walks into the Chartbuster to retain the title.
Rating: D+. This is similar to the old days of the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship. Back at Starrcade 1984, the title was defended between two guys very similar to Disco: people who may have been under the weight limit but who wrestled like any average heavyweight. There's no reason to have a Cruiserweight division if the wrestlers aren't doing anything out of the ordinary. Kaz did some high flying but it's nowhere near enough to save a match like this.
Meng vs. Konnan
Konnan does his catchphrases and even a monster knows how stupid they sound. He kicks Konnan down and no sells a faceplant (good stereotype) before trying an early Death Grip. Instead he nails Konnan in the back of the head and chokes away in the corner as this is full squash mode. Meng no sells some clotheslines but actually does sell a bulldog. That earns him another superkick and a lot of yelling. Konnan tries a sunset flip out of the corner and gets caught in the Death Grip for the win.
Rating: D. I dig Meng doing his monster stuff but it's similar to Scott Norton: you can only set this stuff up so many times before the effect wears off, especially if Goldberg is going to be the one beating him later on. Total squash here though and it's nice to see Konnan getting shut up for a change.
Berlyn and the bodyguard jump Brad Armstrong but Brad steals Berlyn's cane and fights back. My goodness just let them fight tonight and get it over with already.
Hall and Nash come to their seats again and say they're not coming back. After wishing Dusty Rhodes a happy birthday, they'll be back in July 2012 when he's the right age for a WCW main event. Nash co-main evented a WWE show in December 2011 and was in the 2014 Royal Rumble, so somehow this isn't too far off from the truth.
Goldberg vs. Horace Hogan
Sid stares Goldberg down during the entrance but Goldberg doesn't do anything. Did anyone check the parking lot though??? One thing I've always wondered: why did someone as tough as Goldberg need a police escort? Shouldn't that be a heel thing? Horace actually comes out second here for some reason. Heenan criticizes the term “uncrowned champion”, despite referring to Andre as that back in the day. Goldberg shoves Horace down with ease and hits the gorilla press powerslam.
An AA into a cross armbreaker has Horace in trouble but he makes the ropes. Did Goldberg ever win a match with that hold? They head outside with Goldberg being sent into the steps. Tony: “That could have knocked him out!” Heenan: “It could have broke the steps!” Horace gets two off a top rope splash but it's spear and Jackhammer for the fast pin to complete the squash.
Gene brings out Hogan for a talk. Apparently the internet isn't happy with Hogan getting another title shot but the internet makes Hogan sick. Red and Yellow will be running wild at Halloween Havoc. Yes and the ratings will be running through the floor.
Sting vs. Hogan video.
Torrie wipes lipstick off Kidman's face right in front of David Flair. Torrie: “Go talk to your dad or something.”
Brian Knobbs vs. Stevie Ray
Everyone, including the seconds, have weapons here. Knobbs kicks Stevie in the ribs to start but misses an early middle rope trashcan splash. A big chair shot to the head knocks Knobbs silly but Stevie would rather kick a trashcan on his head than cover him. Another kick to the head puts Brian outside but Morrus gets in some shots to take over. Thanks a lot Booker.
Back in and Knobbs hits his splash for two but Stevie hits him low to block the Pit Stop. Then Stevie and Knobbs do the Charleston and debate French literature. For all I know that's what happens as the camera stays on Hall and Nash for a good bit. Booker and Morrus get in a fight at ringside as Stevie kicks a trashcan into Knobbs' face for two. Jimmy Hart sneaks in a trashcan shot of his own (with as much impact as you would expect) to give Knobbs the pin.
Rating: D-. Jimmy Hart just knocked a Tag Team Champion silly to give Brian Knobbs a pin, furthering the feud before Knobbs and Morrus get a pay per view title shot in less than two weeks. There comes a point where there's nothing left to do and WCW is reaching that point. What are you supposed to do when this is the kind of nonsense you have to deal with?
We look at the Revolution's issues from last week.
Here's Shane Douglas to address his issues with the team. Shane calls out the rest of the group to air their dirty laundry. He blames Malenko for Saturn not getting a pin earlier tonight and wants to know why Benoit is teaming with Hart tonight. Benoit: “If there was no Hart Family, there would be no Crippler, and if there were no Crippler, there would be no Revolution.” PREACH IT BROTHER!
He throws his Revolution shirt at Douglas and leaves. Saturn goes off on Douglas for setting up a tag match when Shane isn't cleared to wrestle. Malenko steps in and agrees to team with him tonight and says they'll get the Revolution back where it should be. Shane is left alone and hopefully is thrown off the team for good, as he never should have been a part of it in the first place.
Brad Armstrong vs. La Parka
La Parka does the Thinking Man pose on his chair. The mileage he's gotten out of that one simple idea is incredible. He spends too much time dancing though and eats a clothesline as Armstrong starts fast. The referee stops Brad in the corner though and La Parka gets in some cheap shots to take over.
A powerslam gets two on Brad and the masked man mostly hits a top rope flip dive for two. Armstrong comes back with right hands but here's Berlyn. The referee gets bumped and the bodyguard lays out La Parka with a chair. The distraction lets Berlyn hit his bad neckbreaker on Armstrong, but Brad on top of La Parka for the pin.
Rating: D. STOP PUSHING THIS STUPID FEUD! Good freaking grief this thing is getting more time than Goldberg vs. Sid and no one cares. It's such a lame feud between a lame character and a guy who really doesn't deserve a push like this at this point. You couldn't have Eddie or someone like that beat up Berlyn, just to give him something interesting to do?
Curt Hennig is talking to Torrie when David comes up. Hennig beats him down for fun. Again, more stuff that could be used on more important people.
Norman Smiley vs. Berlyn
Norman promises to get jiggy with it. Somehow that line works. Berlyn throws him down with a hiptoss to start as the USA chants begin, presumably in support of the British wrestler. Eh no one ever said Mississippi was brilliant. Norman speeds things up with a hiptoss of his own and some clotheslines, sending Berlyn to the ropes to hide. Unfortunately it doesn't send him to the unemployment line where he belongs, but it's almost impossible to get fired from this company.
A belly to back suplex plants Smiley but Berlyn does the “I'm diving into your boot on purpose and there's nothing else I could possibly be doing up here” spot. The wind up slam plants Berlyn twice in a row and it's time to dance. You would think Berlyn would like that spot but instead he hits a running knee to the chest and a neckbreaker for the pin.
Rating: D. Berlyn isn't very good and it's becoming more and more obvious every single week. I have no idea why they couldn't just leave him as the dancing heel, but I'd assume it's because WCW doesn't know how to do something as simple as not screw up a simple character. Smiley continues to be WAY too good for the role he's in.
Here's Ric Flair with something to say. He'll be facing DDP at Halloween Havoc but he wants to talk about “Mr. Perfect.....Curt Hennig.” A challenge is issued for tonight, but as for Page, maybe Kimberly would rather try the FOURTEEN TIME FOURTEEN TIME FOURTEEN TIME champ. Another week, another big enough match set up before it has the time to build properly.
Dean Malenko/Perry Saturn vs. Kidman/Rey Mysterio Jr.
Unfortunately Shane is at ringside. Malenko and Kidman get things going and head to the mat with Malenko taking over. Dean throws him down and nails a nice dropkick, followed by a leg lariat to send him outside. Now the drama begins as Douglas goes after Kidman but Malenko makes the save. Instead Dean tags Saturn in for a belly to belly, sending Kidman right back to the floor. Douglas and Malenko argue over attacking Kidman again, but Saturn uses the distraction to send Kidman into the steps as we take a break.
Rey comes in but charges into a powerbomb with Saturn adding a top rope cross body for something like a Doomsday Device. Malenko isn't cool with Saturn coming in off the blind tag though and breaks up the cover.. Mysterio moonsaults onto Saturn's shoulder and sends him into the buckle, setting up the Bronco Buster but Saturn raises his boot for the stop. Incredibly fast pace so far. A belly to belly gets two for Saturn and it's back to Malenko.
Rey's sunset flip goes nowhere and Dean takes his head off with a clothesline. Saturn tags himself back in and Dean isn't cool with that, allowing Rey to grab a rollup for two. Dean yells so Saturn tags him back in on the chest. A big belly to back gets two for Malenko and it's back to Saturn for some arrogant walking around in between offense. Saturn hits a spinning springboard forearm to the head for two more before nailing Kidman on the apron.
The always awesome gutbuster from Malenko sets up the Cloverleaf but Saturn tags himself in while the hold is on. Saturn's top rope elbow scores but Malenko tags himself back in just like Saturn did. A superplex plants Rey but Dean is so shaken up that he has to tag out. Kidman comes back in and cleans house, including throwing Rey into the air for a hurricanrana on Saturn. Everything breaks down and Shane breaks up the Shooting Star, throwing Saturn the chain in the process. A big knockout shot is enough to pin Kidman.
Rating: B-. Fun match with a lot of story development in it, but that doesn't mean the story development is interesting. I'm really not a fan of having the Revolution implode and fight each other, because it's going right back to the same idea that we've done for years now without anyone getting up the ladder. Benoit is to an extent, but everyone else is just stuck in the midcard while Sid powerbombs people and Rick Steiner exists for reasons that aren't exactly clear.
Malenko puts the Revolution shirt on, sees the replay of the ending, and takes the shirt back off. He promises to be his own revolution from now on.
US Title: Sid Vicious vs. Van Hammer
Sid is defending if that wasn't really clear. He stomps Hammer in the corner and stares at the fans for chanting Goldberg. Granted he stares blankly most of the time so you can't really tell if he's upset or not. Hammer trips him down and hits what looked like a low blow. That goes nowhere so Sid chokes away in the corner and slowly kicks again. We get a ref bump so Rick Steiner can come down for a cheap shot on Hammer, setting up a double powerbomb for the pin.
Rating: F. Van Hammer vs. Sid needs a ref bump??? I'm not the biggest Goldberg fan in the world but suggesting he and Sid are the same level is ridiculous. Sid is a fun character but as soon as that bell rings, all the fun goes away and it becomes clear that he should have retired about seven years ago.
Mike Tenay joins the commentary booth to talk about Bret vs. Benoit from last week.
Phantom of the Opera Dustin Rhodes puts his hand on the kid's window and the kid's eyes turn black. Of course they do.
Curt Hennig vs. Ric Flair
Remember when these two had a great match on Raw six and a half years ago? Well now Virgil is in Hennig's corner and is named Curly Bill. Hennig dances around to start, earning him a slap in the face and a loud WOO. That's very violent behavior reminiscent of a father wanting to avenge his son, who tried to destroy his life earlier in the year but that's beside the point. More chops have Curt in trouble and they head outside. Hennig gets in some shots of his own and scores with a suplex back inside as we take a break.
Back with Flair chopping Curly on the floor. Jack Brisco, Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, Sting, and CURLY! Hennig chops to take over and slams Flair off the top, but Ric casually takes out the knee and puts on the Figure Four. Hennig is right next to the ropes though so Flair pokes him in the eye and nails a belly to back suplex. Both guys are dazed but it's Hennig up first and going after Flair's knee. That goes nowhere though and they trade chops in the corner again with Hennig on the losing end.
Ric snaps Hennig's neck across the top rope and goes after CURLY again, allowing Hennig to roll him up for two. That doesn't work so Hennig puts his feet on the ropes for two more. Curly even holds Hennig's feet for some more near falls. Somehow the referee, who is two feet away from Curly, sees NONE OF THIS. David Flair comes out to take out Curly (for the love of all things good and holy, do not let them have a match), allowing Ric to roll Hennig up for the pin with his feet on the ropes.
Rating: C-. Not a terrible match but you expect more out of these two. Thankfully the Rednecks are becoming Curt and Pals instead of a normal stable, which makes their matches a lot easier to sit through. The Flairs being back together is a bit annoying but I'm much happier with the regular Ric instead of the insane boss.
Total Package/Rick Steiner vs. Chris Benoit/Bret Hart
Remember when Luger came back to save Sting from the Steiners and a big tag match was teased? Even better, remember their classic at the first SuperBrawl? It's a brawl to start as I'm assuming Benoit vs. Steiner for the TV Title is happening at the pay per view. Hart beats up Luger on the floor and chases Liz off before sending Lex into the post. Rick has Benoit in trouble back in the ring and cranks on an armbar.
Bret rams Luger into the apron as Benoit grabs the Crossface on Rick, only to have Lex dive in for the save. Naturally Steiner no sells the pain from the hold and suplexes Benoit, but Bret clotheslines both Americans down to take over. Luger puts Bret in a full nelson so Steiner can hammer away but Benoit makes a save. The Swan Dive connects on Steiner but Sid comes in for the DQ.
Rating: D. Oh yeah Russo is starting to take over. This was your standard big brawl main event disguised as a match that didn't even get four minutes from bell to bell. This match also exposes a major problem in WCW: the main event heels are horrible. You have Steiner and Sid who can't do anything and Luger who can only do really basic power stuff, combined with Sting who doesn't act like a heel whatsoever. Who am I supposed to boo without falling asleep?
Luger racks Bret but Goldberg comes out for the save. Sid tells Goldberg he can't touch him or the match is off, so Goldberg spears him anyway to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. You can really taste the Russo effect, but it's not in full force yet. This is that weird transition stage where he's trying to breathe life into the stale angles WCW had going before he arrived and it makes for a very awkward mix. There's some fresh blood in the stories, but the stories themselves are still pretty uninteresting. The wrestling is also getting worse, which is another sign of the age of Vinny Roo. Things will at least get more interesting once we hit the full Russo effect, but until then we're in for some dull stuff.
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