Monday Nitro #210
Date: October 18, 1999
Location: First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the go home show for Halloween Havoc but more importantly, Russo and Ferrara are officially in charge tonight. That's going to lead to some very rapid changes around here and that's not a good sign before the pay per view. In theory it would make sense to do Halloween Havoc and then let them take over, but this is WCW after all. Let's get to it.
We open with Sid arriving in a limo and wearing a suit, flanked by attorneys. Oh yeah Russo is in charge.
Juventud Guerrera vs. Evan Karagias
Evan gets dropped by a quick shoulder but scores with a dropkick and clothesline to send Guerrera to the floor. Back in and Evan shrugs off some chops but charges into a boot in the corner. They're not exactly cranking things up here. A headscissors and cross body get two on Evan....and here's Bret to get in the ring and just start talking. The match just stops because....well why not?
Bret says that he wasn't allowed to have an interview tonight and he left the WWF for two reasons. He's here to fight Hogan and win the World Title but WCW won't let him do either of those things. This brings out Sting to say Bret needs to join the real world. Juvy is just walking around the ring as this goes on. They talk about being screwed (censored) and Bret is offered a title shot tonight. Is there a reason why Sting's paint is already chipped off at the top despite not having any physicality so far?
The announcers talk about Russo and Ferrara being hired as writers. Tonight: an evening gown match. So this is why we've had a “division?” As in the three girls that have matches once a month?
Sid is advised not to speak. Score one for Russo and Ferrara!
Goldberg arrives. Why is wrestling so lenient about performers being late?
Back to Sid, who now talks about Goldberg breaking the stipulation of not touching him before the match. Nothing here other than acknowledging what happened last week.
Vampiro vs. Disco Inferno
Non-title with Lash Leroux on commentary. Lash appearing offers a distraction and Vampiro kicks him in the back of the head to take over. Another kick to the chest drops Disco and it's off to a shot of the commentators. Back in and Vampiro gets one off a suplex but the Chartbuster connects for our second fast ending of the night.
Lash comes in and gives Disco Whiplash. That's a very heelish move.
Goldberg promises to Jackhammer Sid.
Dustin Rhodes video with him talking like Yoda.
Madusa refuses to perform in an evening gown match because it's beneath her.
Nitro Girls search stuff and FINALLY Stacy Keibler shows up. However, Buff Bagwell cuts them off and says the internet has been talking about how he's taking WCW to the top. See, he heard that Russo and Ferrara were high on him during an internet interview. This is the kind of breaking the fourth wall stuff that I can't stand and Russo loves for whatever reason, ignoring the fact that it's almost never drawn a dime. But hey, I'm sure he'll have a 300 page book explaining why this was SO hard on him.
Mona has never had an evening gown match but she's wrestled several matches wearing an evening gown.
Kimberly is looking for David Flair. I think we're in the soap opera portion of the show.
Goldberg and Sid reiterate the same things they said earlier.
Tag Team Titles: Harlem Heat vs. Rey Mysterio Jr./Kidman
Harlem Heat is defending and Booker is now in trunks. Stevie elbows Rey in the face and throws him way into the air on a backdrop. Rey comes back with the not yet named 619 but gets clotheslined out to the floor for his efforts. Cue Kidman and Eddie arm in arm with Torrie Wilson as it's off to Konnan vs. Booker. Konnan scores with a quick DDT and Mysterio adds a Lionsault. This is already the longest match of the night at about two and a half minutes.
Stevie fights out of the Tequila Sunrise and Booker plants Konnan with a Rock Bottom. Eddie and Kidman join commentary and brag about how hot Torrie is. Well you can't argue that. We see the First Family watching in the back as Stevie bearhugs Konnan. Off to Booker for a kick to the face and a double suplex for two, followed by an even harder kick from Stevie. Well you can't say they're not thinking along the same lines.
Rey breaks up a cover off a powerslam and is promptly sent outside. Everything breaks down and the commentators offer a distraction to Booker, allowing Rey to hit the springboard seated senton on Stevie. Konnan adds a trip and holds Ray's legs for the pin and the titles.
Rating: D+. So we sat through weeks of the First Family vs. Harlem Heat to give the Filthy Animals the titles in an unannounced match that will probably be one of the longest matches of the night? SWEET! It may make have been several wasted weeks, but I'll take Konnan and Mysterio as champions any day, as Harlem Heat has just outlived most of their usefulness. They're still watchable and could be far worse, but at least Konnan and Rey are some fresh blood.
Kimberly sticks her chest out at David Flair and gives him her motel key because Page is out of town and she's lonely.
The Filthy Animals celebrate the win but the First Family comes up and demands their title shot on Sunday.
Hugh Morrus vs. Meng
Time for a guy getting a title shot on Sunday (in theory) to get squashed. Morrus hammers away but stupidly tries a headbutt. Meng rakes the eyes and no sells a spinwheel kick of all things before chopping Morrus around like he's nothing. A boxing match goes badly for Morrus and here are the Outsiders through the crowd. Morrus scores with a slam and hits a pair of top rope elbows but stops to talk to Jimmy Hart, allowing Meng to no sell again and Death Grip Morrus for the win. So long logic. It was nice knowing you. Well at least it was years ago when WCW was actually logical but this is a step down even for them.
Here are Sid and the lawyers, complete with a piece of paper. It's the contract for Halloween Havoc but Sid rips it to pieces after the spear last week. Cue Goldberg to clean house and spear an attorney, only to get kicked in the head and powerbombed. The lawyer is up in about ten seconds as Sid says he'll see Goldberg at Halloween Havoc. Sid and company leave so the Outsiders laugh at Goldberg, earning them punches to the face. Just get them back in the ring already. The Outsiders are ejected.
Bret Hart promises to give Hogan a title shot if he wins tonight. Sting comes in and jumps Bret but security breaks it up.
Hall and Nash can't get back in the building.
Goldberg is looking for Sid.
Berlyn vs. Rick Steiner
So.....Rick is a face here? Berlyn stomps away in the corner to start, already with more offense than almost anyone else ever. A big Steiner Line takes Berlyn down and Rick barks like a good dog. Berlyn gets sent outside but Brad Armstrong comes in for a distraction. The bodyguard swings a chair and hits Rick (not clear who he was aiming for), giving Berlyn the fluke pin.
Rick beats up Armstrong post match and takes him into the back.
The Outsiders sneak in, high on cough syrup. Seriously.
Kimberly is at the hotel and strips down to her lingerie, only to find Ric instead of David. More hijinks later I'm sure.
Goldberg runs into the Insane Clown Posse (dang it!) and beats them up for not knowing where Sid is. Good Goldberg.
Luger is worried about facing Goldberg.
Madusa starts packing while Mona gets ready for their match.
David Flair vs. Kidman
Torrie is with Kidman and kisses him before the match. David charges right at Kidman and is promptly beaten into the ground. A HORRIBLE looking shoulder drops Kidman (imagine the way people would bounce off Vader but with David running instead of someone running at him) and a suplex gets two. Kidman nails a dropkick and a middle rope legdrop. David fights up but Torrie opens her rope to reveal some rather fetching lingerie of her own, allowing Kidman to hit the BK Bomb and Shooting Star for the pin.
The Filthy Animals hit the ring and beat David up. They're good guys you know.
The Outsiders offer Gene cough syrup. If there's a point to this I'm not seeing it.
Ric is back (about fifteen minutes at most after we saw him) and looking for the Filthy Animals.
Madusa vs. Mona
Evening gown match which Tony credits to the new creative team. This is a New York evening gown match, whatever that means. Tony tries to call this a Nitro moment, whatever that means. For some reason I seem to be saying that far too often tonight. Mona goes right for her to start and snaps off a suplex followed by a high cross body.
Madusa hooks a suplex of her own and hammers away in the corner. A kick to the head takes out the referee because a freaking evening gown match needs a ref bump. Madusa blasts Mona in the back with a chair but goes after the announcers for no apparent reason, only to have Mona rip her dress off. We'll say that's a win, even though Mona walks to the back before we have a decision.
Madusa yells about “everyone behind here” and tells them what they can do. It's censored but I think you can put the idea together yourself.
WCW World Title: Sting vs. Bret Hart
Sting is defending, six days before he defends against Hogan. For some reason Bret comes from the side of the entrance instead of right down the middle. During Sting's entrance, we see a sign saying “Owen we miss you.” My goodness it makes me sad to think about that Bret vs. Benoit match after this mess tonight. Bret hammers away to start and pounds the champ down in the corner before they're quickly on the floor. You expected a match to last long in the ring?
All Bret as he takes Sting back inside and kicks him in the “lower abdomen”. Sting avoids a charge in the corner and hits a Warrior splash for two. Back to the floor for more brawling with Sting choking with a cord. That's one of the first heel things he's done since he turned over a month ago. Back in and another splash hits Bret's knees before a DDT gets two on the champ. A swinging neckbreaker and suplex get two each for Bret but Sting comes back with the Stinger Splash for no cover.
Bret gets crotched against the post a few times (as usual the referee is fine with this) and we hit the chinlock. A knee to the ribs stops his comeback and the big elbow actually hits. I'm not sure how to respond to that as I'm in total shock. Has that EVER hit? The chinlockery continues before Sting misses a dropkick. Heenan thinks both guys could go for their leg locks but Bret opts for a piledriver and two instead.
Now the hold goes on but Sting gets over to the ropes. Back up and Sting is limping, so Bret hammers on the lower back. What exactly does the Sharpshooter hurt anyway? Sting gets in a shot to the face to get a breather but the knee gives out on a suplex attempt. The champ throws on a sleeper but Bret suplexes his way out.
It's Sting up first but his top rope splash hits knees. Cue Elizabeth as Bret starts in on the five moves of doom. Now we have Luger with the bat but Bret nails him coming in. The distraction (plus Liz on the apron) has Bret in trouble and Luger nails him in the knee with the bat, setting up the Scorpion to retain the title.
Rating: B. See, this is called a wrestling match. You had two guys wrestling each other (mostly) for about twelve minutes before the screwy shenanigans began. Screwy shenanigan are fine, but let us have some wrestling to get us there. Bret vs. Sting could have been a major PPV headlining match, but instead let's just throw it away here with an hour and a half build. Such is life in 1999.
Ric yells at David for some reason but David says Kidman beat him up. Papa Flair doesn't buy it.
The Outsiders have stolen the Villanos' masks. Sure why not.
La Parka vs. Buff Bagwell
This is actually fallout from Thunder where these two teamed together for no apparent reason. Literally, La Parka just ran out and helped Bagwell and they teamed up in the main event that night. Buff walked out on the match though and La Parka got beaten up instead. La Parka now has chains on his outfit. You would think he would get a push already, and somehow he's more likely to under the new regime. Buff walks out instead of dancing so I guess he's officially a heel. He casually shoves La Parka away and they trade arm work.
They're playing up the idea that Buff's heart isn't in this. Buff hiptosses him down and stands in the corner. La Parka hammers away in the corner but misses a running dropkick. Bagwell gets all fired up but stops to pose, telling La Parka to kick him in the head. La Parka does what Buff asks and gets the pin. Oh yay. We're SHOOTING again.
The locker room celebrates Buff's loss for no apparent reason.
Buff gets on the mic and asks if Russo did a good job for him and wants to know who else is going to beat him. Ah so that's what they were going with. I thought it might be something a bit more interesting like Buff not needing to try because he was the chosen one. Why do that when we can SHOOT though?
Anyway, Jeff Jarrett runs out and blasts Bagwell with the guitar in his big return after holding up Vince McMahon for money (totally smart move at the time, but bad long term) at last night's No Mercy PPV. Jeff asks how he could be on a pay per view last night and here now. He has the stroke and it's right between his legs.
The Outsiders can't get past security and Nash vomits.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Perry Saturn
This could be interesting and it's under elimination rules. No one actually gets an entrance though and the interest is already dying down. Shane Douglas is on commentary. The relatives shake hands but Eddie goes after Saturn. Chavo grabs a quick rollup for two but Saturn starts suplexing Guerreros. A Lionsault gets two on Eddie and Chavo's cross body gets the same on Saturn.
Eddie suplexes his nephew to the floor but turns around for a superkick. As you would expect, the announcers ignore the match to talk about the Revolution and how awesome Shane is. Chavo stays on the floor as Saturn beats up Eddie, only to go after the younger Guerrero for a change. Eddie hits a big dive to take them both out and they fight on the floor to fulfill the Russo requirement.
They head back inside and go up top for a Tower of Doom, but Chavo flips backwards instead of falling flat, landing on his head instead of his back for a SCARY botch. Cue the Animals to yell at Douglas but Saturn dives onto Kidman, only to hit the chair in Kidman's hands. Chavo throws Saturn back inside for a frog splash from Eddie for the elimination, followed by a quick tornado DDT to give Chavo the win.
Rating: C. This was entertaining enough (terrifying botch aside) but it was more background noise while Shane furthered the feud with the Filthy Animals. Is the Revolution even a thing anymore though? They seem to have split several times now, meaning I'm sure there will be an even bigger swerve on Sunday. Also, make sure to have Chavo, who isn't even on the show Sunday, get the win over the people in a story. Keep up that CRAZY booking Vince.
Recap of Sid vs. Goldberg tonight.
Horace Hogan vs. Norman Smiley
Hardcore, because that was big in the WWF at the time. Horace jumps him in the aisle and makes Norman scream with the threat of a trashcan shot. They get inside where Norman stops a charge by kicking the can into Horace's face. More screaming ensues. Horace hammers away a bit more but gets sent into the steps. That goes nowhere as he hot shots Norman onto the barricade and takes him back inside for a superplex. Now Norman is crying. It's table time but Norman collapses, sending Horace charging through the table instead, giving Norman the pin.
Rating: D. Well that happened, and unfortunately this is going to be what Norman is best remembered for. Yeah he's a talented wrestler and a solid trainer, but the thing he's most well known for is screaming and crying. Unfortunately this is going to get even worse for him in coming months, but to be fair it's funny at times.
Here's Ric Flair to yell about Eric Lindros and the Filthy Animals. He's been in this sport for a long time now and knows David can be great if the Animals will just leave him alone. Cue the Animals to beat up Ric, as well as David on a save attempt. The Animals rip Ric's clothes off and steal his jewelery because they're heroes.
Elizabeth is out back with a guitar next to her head. I bet she did it.
Total Package vs. Goldberg
Goldberg's trunks say Team Obake on the back, which is apparently an MMA thing. It's a brawl in the aisle to start with Goldberg getting the better of it, as you would expect. They head inside with Luger scoring with some ax handles to the back but Goldberg no sells a suplex. A big superkick drops Luger as this is starting to resemble a match. Goldberg throws him over with a half butterfly suplex but misses the spear in the corner. Luger keeps the offense going with a running clothesline as I'm amazed that some of his matches with Flair were only eleven years earlier.
An elbow drop gets two but Goldberg nails a flying shoulder to take over again. More heavy forearms have Luger in trouble but the referee gets bumped because what would a wrestling match be without that? Here are the high Outsiders again to keep up an unfunny angle (security around here sucks) but Sting runs down with the bat to lay out Goldberg. Cue a limping Bret to nail Sting with the bat but he breaks it over the ring post. Bret and Sting get inside with Hart putting on the Sharpshooter as I feel like I'm watching Raw. Everything breaks down and it's the spear and Jackhammer to end Luger.
Rating: D-. Luger is the definition of a wrestler who has his position because he used to be good at this. At least Hogan was easy to hate. Luger on the other hand is just a guy with big muscles who hits people in the back and occasionally uses a torture rack. The cough syrup thing continues to be a waste of time but that's the case with a lot of Russo ideas. The match was your usual bad brawling before we got to the angle for another Russo signature.
Tony promises that this is just the beginning to end the show.
Overall Rating: D. Oh sweet goodness we're in for a long ride. You can see Raw here but minus people like Rock, Austin, HHH, Edge and Christian and the Hardys and with shorter matches and less logic than the Corporate Ministry. I didn't even mention the shots of people walking in the back, which is a trend that continues to this day. Why do I need to see someone walking through the back? Just say what's coming next and save some time.
This is still in the transition phase between booking plans, but instead of letting the transition happen naturally, the old stuff was ripped up and put in its new pot. That makes for a very awkward show and you can see the fans dying from exhaustion about an hour into the show. I'll give them this though: it was NOT boring. It didn't make sense half the time and felt like a parody of a bad wrestling company than a show trying to compete, but it was not boring.
On top of that, the pay per view was barely mentioned outside of Hogan vs. Sid. I have almost no idea what the card is for Sunday, but I have a feeling that's universal in WCW. Finally, WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THE OUTSIDERS BEING HIGH ON COUGH SYRUP??? What a bizarre show, but it's going to get much, much worse.
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