Monday Nitro #216
Date: November 29, 1999
Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're less than three weeks away from Starrcade and usually that would mean some of the matches should be clear. At the moment though, the field is almost wide open and given who is in charge, I'm not sure if we should expect to get any development this week either. Last week's main event was at least a calm match for a change. Let's get to it.
This episode is dedicated to Hiro Matsuda, who trained Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, Scott Hall and Ron Simmons among others.
We open with Goldberg making his full entrance and taking his sweet time in doing so. Goldberg gets right to the point: he's not cool with the Outsiders playing comedy games most of the time and then hitting him with a chair last week. Goldberg liked the chair though and he's ready for some payback. He has Nash tonight and Hall better stay away from the ring. Cue the Outsiders to say they have five words for Goldberg: don't sing it, bring it. They make it to the middle of the aisle, but Sid comes out and says he's the new babyface in town. The brawl is quickly broken up by security, which is more than I was expecting.
Tony and Heenan run down the card. Hang on for this one.
Nash vs. Goldberg – No DQ, no countout
Hall vs. Sid for the US/TV Titles – No DQ, no countout
Hart vs. Meng for the World Title – No DQ, no countout
Sting vs. Jarrett vs. Benoit – #1 contenders match for a title shot after Starrcade
Jerry Only vs. Steve Williams – Cage
Mud wrestling with wrestlers to be announced
THIS IS ON ONE TV SHOW WITH NO BUILDUP. Three street fights, a cage match, a triple threat and mud wrestling.
Roddy Piper arrives with some fairly big (for wrestling that is) women. One of them appears to be Rhonda Singh, who you might remember as Bertha Faye from 1995 WWF.
Luger is here in a new suit and carrying papers.
The Mamalukes are on the phone with Tony Marinara, who tells them to deal with Disco Inferno and Lash Leroux.
Tag Team Titles: Creative Control vs. Buff Bagwell/Booker T.
The twins are defending of course and have Hennig with them. Buff starts with we'll say Patrick and the twin gets cross bodied and dropkicked into the corner. Off to Gerald and Booker as Tony says Bagwell has won over five Tag Team Titles of his own, which is of course inaccurate (five reigns).
Back to Patrick for a gutwrench suplex on Booker but Mr. T. nails an ax kick, allowing for the hot tag to Bagwell, despite the match not even being three minutes old yet. Bagwell cleans house and everything breaks down. Buff mostly misses the Blockbuster but the other twin offers a distraction, allowing Hennig to hit Bagwell with a chair to retain.
Midnight comes out for the post match save.
Russo is livid that he has to book some Japanese guy named Jushin Thunder Liger. That's not me being sarcastic. Russo actually referred to him as “some Japanese guy.” If Guerrera can beat him tonight for the IWGP Light Heavyweight Title (again his words), he'll take care of Juvy's visa issues. Russo has a plan to make sure this happens. If he wants Juvy to win and take care of his visa issues, why not just take care of them?
Luger threatens to sue Liz over breach of contract, hence the papers earlier. She offers to do anything to make him drop the suit, which intrigues Luger.
Piper can't get in to see Russo but is fine with waiting if he gets the $3 million a year. Our hero everyone.
Singh and the other girl wonder what they should wear for their match tonight.
Symphony (Ryan Shamrock) receives flowers and a love letter from Maestro.
Jeff Jarrett doesn't care about angering Dustin Rhodes and blasts Tenay with a guitar. Where was he during those One Night Only shows?
Here's Brian Knobbs with something to say. That might be better than having him wrestle. He wants Norman Smiley (who he calls a woman) out here right now for a fight over the Hardcore Title. We cut to the back to see Norman cowering because he doesn't have his protective gear.
Finlay walks by to send Norman diving under a table as he goes to the ring to fight Knobbs in Smiley's place. Finlay comes out to the ring and throws Knobbs a kendo stick for a duel. This goes about as you would expect for a fight to go against Finlay, as he beats Knobbs down and cuts his hair. Finlay says if Knobbs wants to be a soldier, he can look like one.
The Mamalukes take Okerlund to a strip club. Ok then.
Russo yells at Hennig and the twins for getting beaten up by Midnight and makes Hennig vs. Midnight later tonight.
Piper is ready for the mud wrestling and cracks some bad jokes.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Juventud Guerrera
Guerrera is challenging/trying to get a work visa and neither guy gets an entrance. Ten seconds in, Buzzkill comes out carrying a Down With Big Brother sign. They run the ropes to start until Juvy hits a sitout bulldog ala Rey Mysterio. Liger is sent to the floor for a springboard dive but comes back in with a frog splash for two. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker sets up the surfboard as the fans finally wake up a bit.
Liger gets two more off a belly to belly and Juvy taps, which means nothing in this case for reasons not explained. They fight over a backslide as Buzzkill wants them to give peace a chance. Tony actually brings up Buzzkill's matches against Liger back in the early 90s but Buzzkill doesn't acknowledge him. Eh points for trying I guess. Juvy hits a Stunner over the top rope but Liger escapes the Juvy Driver and grabs a German suplex. Buzzkill offers a distraction though, allowing Juvy to hit Liger in the head with a bottle of tequila for the pin and the title.
Rating: D+. I wasn't shocked to find out that New Japan didn't acknowledge this title change for years. Russo has deemed a worthless hippie character (the character, not the wrestler) more important than one of the best cruiserweight wrestlers of all time. This shouldn't surprise you, as Russo clearly has no respect for wrestling whatsoever. The match was nothing to see as it barely broke five minutes and the guys were just doing moves until we got to the stupid ending.
Chavo Guerrero has taken over the interviews for the night and offers to sell us some fine china for $39.99. Oh and Dr. Death and Oklahoma (his official name now) are going to destroy Jerry Only.
Symphony gets another gift from Maestro.
Gene is getting drunk at the club. Because GENE OKERLUND needs a story.
Chavo tries to sell the Outsiders a home security system before asking when he's going to start defending the TV Title. Well that would be tonight if you listened to Tony earlier. Hall is annoyed that he hasn't gotten to meet any TV stars or received any free TV dinners so he throws the title belt to Nash, who throws it in a trash. That makes two titles trashed either literally or figuratively in less than an hour. To be fair though, that thing died during Steiner's first reign.
Here's the Revolution with an American flag, which they immediately throw down and step on. Douglas brags about taking out the Filthy Animals from the inside and now the Animals are gone. The Revolution isn't cool with a Canadian like Hart holding the World Title and doesn't like the fans cheering him. Malenko was booed when he eat a Canadian last week so he's fed up with America.
The Revolution is declaring themselves a sovereign nation and they all have snake names. Malenko will be the Python, Shane will be the Rattler, Asya will be the Boa and Saturn will be......the Trouser? This of course brings out Jim Duggan to talk about America and swing the 2x4, which clearly twists around in his hands because it's made of foam. I had one of those when I was a kid. The Revolution beats him down and does the Iwo Jima pose over him with the American flag. Benoit finally makes the save like a good Canadian. You can add the Revolution to the list of things Russo didn't understand. Oh and put WOOD on there too.
Speaking of Russo, he wants Piper in his office.
The Wall issues an open challenge for the Block, which is a SHOOT in a boiler room.
Piper can't come in to see the boss because he has to go to the bathroom to take a Vince Russo. So if he can say Russo's name, why can't anyone else?
US Title: Sid Vicious vs. Scott Hall
Street fight. This would be a bait and switch on the TV Title no? Heenan rips on Sid's talking abilities on the way to the ring. Nash sits in on commentary and his first line is to call the TV Title a piece of garbage. Sid hammers on the champ but gets distracted by the shine on Nash's hair, allowing Hall to rake the eyes to take over.
The Outsider's Edge doesn't work so Sid grabs a chokeslam, only to bump the referee. There's the powerbomb but Nash comes in, only to get kicked in the face. Jarrett runs out with a guitar to break up the powerbomb on Nash before putting Hall on top to retain. That would be worthless street fight #1 of the evening.
Goldberg comes out (in a t-shirt for some reason) and hits Jarrett with the worst spear I've ever seen from him.
Gene is still at the club and dancing with what appear to be strippers. Is there a point to this anytime soon?
As expected, the women will be in the mud later.
The Nitro Girls get in a food fight and the mud wrestler starts choking. Juvy runs in with the Heimlich for the save. It's as random as it sounds.
Jerry Only vs. Steve Williams
Escape only. Williams pounds on the singer to start and scores with a powerslam as Oklahoma is in on commentary. Heenan: “Why do you say everything three times?” Oklahoma: “It's my gimmick son.” Williams stays on Only but Vampiro and the Misfits jump the barricade and cover Oklahoma in barbecue sauce. The Oklahoma Stampede (running powerslam) plants Only but Williams throws him through the door to give Jerry the win. The announcers treat this as nothing of interest.
Quick sidebar on Oklahoma: why is this supposed to be funny? He doesn't say anything outlandish other than talk about barbecue sauce, which is hardly wild stuff. The football obsession is nothing new. What is the joke here supposed to be? What good is it to mock a guy by calling moves? Isn't that what he's supposed to be doing? Ross is known for being over the top, so the parody is acting a lot like him but as a comedic guy? It's more like a caricature than a parody, which again isn't funny.
Guerrera says he saved the choking girl with mouth to mouth. Russo calls her a wildebeest. Here's the thing: yeah she's bigger than say Lita or Stacy Keibler, but the commentators are basically calling a fat cow. She has a fairly pretty face and is far from fat, but since this is a Russo company, all women have to range from evil to fat to stupid to property of some man to just a sex character.
Luger has an idea.
Bret Hart knows he has a tough fight in Meng but he's ready to fight. Chavo says the shine in Bret's hair is due to the hair care product Chavo sold him. Wait. You have HAIR product and you pitched a security system to KEVIN NASH??? No wonder you bombed as a salesman. Know your customers!
WCW World Title: Bret Hart vs. Meng
No DQ, no countout, which isn't mentioned during the introductions. Bret hammers away to start and gets clubbered down for his efforts. More right hands from the champ are countered by a backhand punch to the face. A running boot to the face gets two and Meng plants Hart with a shoulder breaker. Bret comes back with the Five Moves but Hall comes in and the referee goes down. Meng puts Hall in the Tongan Death Grip but Nash slides in and goes off on Meng with a kendo stick. They go after Hart but Benoit comes out with a stick of his own to beat up the Outsiders. Bret goes back in and puts on the Sharpshooter for the TKO.
Rating: D. The match was nothing, but I liked Bret's promo (minus Chavo) before. It was old school Bret where he praised his opponent but said he was just that much better. That's Bret's bread and butter and it still worked here. I'll even give them points to building Meng over the last few weeks and then giving him a match like this. The booking of the match went down hill, but this was a logically built match with a decent pre-match promo.
However, at the same time, the curse of Russo strikes again. The problem with Russo is simple: if you've seen one of his grand conspiracy storylines, you've seen them all. There are little signs here and there and once you know what to look for, it becomes really obvious. Now that being said, it had only been seen once in 1999 so it wasn't such a problem. What it means though is the story worked back then and doesn't hold up as well now.
Now Symphony gets a bear.
Luger has an idea to pop the ratings. Would that involve Luger taking a long vacation?
Tygress and Spice fight again with Tygress being thrown into a shower.
Madusa is in Evan's locker room and talks him into a Cruiserweight Title shot at Starrcade with the power of the lips and silicone.
As expected, Luger tells Russo that Liz will be in the mud.
Chavo is interviewing Sting when Liz comes up to beg him for help. Just like last week, Sting doesn't care.
Chris Benoit vs. Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett
One fall to a finish and the winner gets a World Title shot at some point after Starrcade. Jeff wins a slugout with Sting to start but Benoit suplexes Jarrett down for two. All three beat on each other for near falls until Jarrett comes out on top of it and punches Sting up against the ropes.
Benoit flips out of a belly to back suplex but Sting splashes him by mistake. Well in theory as you can't tell anyone's motivation these days. The Stroke is countered into a Crossface but Sting breaks it up. Cue Liz for a distraction so Luger can hit Sting with a chair, but Jarrett hits Benoit with the guitar. This brings Dustin Rhodes through the crowd with I think the bell to knock Jarrett out, giving Benoit the pin.
Rating: C-. Oh yeah Benoit won but it only took three people running in, a chair, a guitar and the ring bell with Benoit getting the pin while being unconscious for a title shot somewhere down the line. Thank goodness on that one as they were getting close to making someone look strong.
The Mamalukes leave the club with some girls, meaning Gene is on his own.
Symphony goes up to see Maestro but it's David Flair in a wig. Oh good grief. He makes her go over to the piano and opens it up to find Maestro inside. So now David Flair some kind of criminal mastermind stalker. Of course he is.
Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash
No DQ, no countout again. Goldberg does his entrance but stops to beat up Hall. Your US Champion ladies and gentlemen. Nash comes out and goes after Goldberg as Sid is locked in a room. That lasts all of ten seconds and it's a four way brawl as the music keeps playing. They fight out into the arena and into the ring for the opening bell. Goldberg cleans house until Hall chairs the referee and Goldberg down. Sid comes back in but Hart sneaks in and steals the chair away to blast Nash. Goldberg gets back up and spears Nash, setting up the Jackhammer for the pin in 100 seconds.
Three street fights, three ref bumps, one broke three minutes. That's the triple main event.
Roddy Piper keeps ranting about mud.
The Outsiders want Sid and Goldberg in a cage tonight.
Rhonda Singh vs. Elizabeth
Piper is refereeing. Singh comes out to stripper music but there's no Liz. We go to the back where Liz says she doesn't care about the lawsuits and walks away. Singh slaps Piper and pulls him into the mud, where he rides her like a horse and spanks her a bit. No Russo doesn't have issues with women. Why do you ask? Creative Control gets muddy as well and Piper covers one of them for a pin.
The Mamalukes are cooking dinner in the girls' apartment. This is what, the fifth time we've seen these guys tonight?
Arn Anderson is upset about being fired so here's Hennig to offer him a spot on the team. Anderson just walks away.
Chae gets in a fight with Skye.
The Wall vs. Jerry Flynn
Boiler room brawl, called the Block and billed as a shoot. They fight, they kick, they punch, they choke, they ignore the fans booing, they can barely breathe, Berlyn comes in and hits Flynn with a pipe, Wall chases Berlyn off with the pipe and it's another no contest. Heenan: “I don't get it.” END THIS SHOW ALREADY.
Chavo is in the back when Piper comes up. Roddy talks about the wars he had with Chavo Sr. and tells Chavo to stand up for himself. The Outsiders come in and get in a fight with Piper.
Curly Bill asks Hennig for a job.
Russo yells at Luger, who promises to get Liz muddy before the end of the night. Creative Control is already cleaned up and wearing new suits.
Midnight vs. Curt Hennig
Hennig headlocks her down to start but Midnight nips up. A shoulder drops Hennig and stuns him at the same time. Hennig chops away in the corner and puts on an abdominal stretch, where he continuously slaps Midnight's chest. So we can add sexual harassment to Russo's time in charge. The lights go out and Stevie Ray returns to beat up Curt for the DQ.
The lights go out again and Curly Bill appears to beat on Stevie, but then the lights go out again so Arn Anderson can beat up Hennig. Even the Horsemen music can't save this mess.
The girls tie the Mamalukes to the bed, allowing Disco Inferno and Lash Leroux to come in and pour spaghetti sauce on them. And that's the big payoff for the night.
Luger brings Liz out and throws her in the mud, followed by pouring a bucket of mud over her. He takes off the jacket but Sting comes out and shoves him into the mud, ruining most of the suit. Liz appears to slip badly getting out of the pit.
The Mamalukes are still in bed. Thanks for coming back to that.
Goldberg/Sid Vicious vs. Outsiders vs. Chris Benoit/Bret Hart
In a cage with one fall to a finish and muddy Piper refereeing. It's a brawl to start as you would expect with a lot of punching all over the ring. Both Outsiders get double teamed in the corner and the fans chant for Goldberg. Nash gets fired up again and punches Sid down in the corner but Tony talks about sauce (both kinds, because Russo felt the need to have three people covered in two types of sauce in one night).
Things slow down as the match is already three minutes old as even more punching abounds. Since a triple threat cage match with the Swamp Thing as referee isn't enough, cue Jeff Jarrett with a cart full of weapons. Guitar shots all around of course and it's time for the handcuffs with Hart being chained to the cage. Hall gets knocked out so Benoit, I'm guessing out of boredom, goes up and hits the Swan Dive on Hall for the pin.
Rating: D. I can't say it fails after that dive but my goodness this was dull. It was a bunch of standing around and punching with Piper offering nothing interesting or important to the match. I'm really not even sure why these people are fighting, but it's probably better to be confused than to ask.
Jarrett and the Outsiders beat up Benoit, Goldberg and Sid, seemingly not bothered by the loss.
Overall Rating: F. This is the stuff people talk about when Russo is discussed. We have gimmick matches, unfunny jokes, women being treated a hundred times worse than the Divas of today are treated, matches being made on the fly and stories that make no sense. Oh and a bunch of mud for some reason and titles being destroyed because there's no point to having them around.
I lost count of how many gimmicks we had all night as well as the ref bumps, the guitar shots and the women being treated as either stupid or sex objects. That's a good way to sum up Russo: there's so much of the same kind of stuff going on that you can't tell where anything is going. It's definitely easier to sit through than one of the boring shows, but my goodness the quality goes through the floor. Horrible show here as Russo just burns through everything he has in record time.
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