Monday Nitro #218
Date: December 13, 1999
Location: New Orleans, Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
How is this already the go home show for Starrcade? Goldberg vs. Hart feels like a midcard match instead of the main event. Based on the amount of time given to each match, it would seem that the Mamalukes vs. Disco/Lash is headlining the card. I'm not even sure what all is on the card at this point. Let's get to it.
We open with Benoit winning a fight against Jarrett in the back.
The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea vs. Maestro
Between the piano being lowered to the stage (with Symphony back) and Iaukea's slow artsy entrance, we're ready to go at nearly ten minutes into the show. Maestro throws him to the floor to start before planting him with a spinebuster back inside. The girls get into it and Prince grabs a rollup with a handful of tights for the pin.
Post match, here's Jarrett with the guitars to knock out both guys. Jeff wants a Bunkhouse Brawl (another name for hardcore of course) with Benoit tonight.
Nash is looking for Hall.
Evan Karagias hits on Spice but Madusa comes up to get in a catfight.
Here's Bret Hart with something to say. He talks about how much he respects Goldberg, but guarantees a win this Sunday. Cue Goldberg, complete with the full security entrance. How did they know to knock on the door at that point? Goldberg wasn't scheduled for a match, so did Dillinger just think “he might want to respond here?” He thinks Bret is going to be next on Sunday. I'm so glad it took two minutes to get to that point. This brings out the Outsiders who want their Tag Team Titles back. Hall wants to fight now but Nash has to go finish his coffee.
Gene looks down at Madusa's chest as she promises to hurt Spice tonight. This is another of those jokes that are only funny to Russo and Ferrara so we're getting it on national TV.
Terry Taylor tells Luger that he has a tag match against Diamond Dallas Page/Sting with David Flair as his partner. This was announced earlier in the night, which explains why Luger is so surprised. I wouldn't watch the show either.
David Flair chases off a delivery man for reasons of general insanity.
Madusa vs. Spice
Madusa quickly takes her down to start and hammers away but Evan comes in to say calm down. Spice is helpless as Madusa wants Evan to slug her, but Evan won't do it. Madusa gets in a cheap shot and covers Madusa (with two limbs in the ropes) for the pin. Your #1 contender everyone.
Post match Madusa kisses Evan and suplexes him.
Hennig is ready for Bagwell tonight. Those two are fighting again? Rhonda Singh comes in and Russo makes fat jokes. He won't talk to her unless she has an agent.
Jim Duggan comes out to say he has three mystery partners on Sunday. He survived surgery to fight for this country and spend time with his wife and children. The lights go out and come back on to reveal Duggan out cold.
Roddy Piper is going to referee Bagwell vs. Hennig. Russo tells him to do the right thing.
Curt Hennig vs. Buff Bagwell
Roddy Piper is guest referee and makes it a No DQ match just because. Buff throws Hennig down a few times and poses before planting Curt with a slam. This leads to Hennig arguing with Piper for some reason, allowing Buff to grab a rollup for two. Buzzkill is in the crowd and wants to save baby seals. Again I ask, why is this supposed to be funny?
Curt comes back with right hands and chops, followed by the namesake neck snap. Piper counts slowly to start another argument. He begs Curt to slap him but the distraction lets Buff fight back with a swinging neckbreaker. Buff's splash hits knees, but Piper and Hennig get in a fight, allowing Buff to grab a rollup for the pin with a very fast count.
Rating: D. What is this storyline? Russo and Piper hate each other because Piper has to be on TV (because he was big in the 80s you see) and now Piper is on TV as a referee but he's being told to do the right thing, which sounds like Russo speak for let his guys win, but I think Piper is rebelling against him? Oh and Piper seems to be schizophrenic because he keeps talking to the voices in his head.
An unhappy Creative Control is on stage.
Luger goes in to see David Flair and is scared by what he sees in the locker room.
Chris Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett
Bunkhouse match, meaning a come as you are street fight. Jeff brings a cowbell, a guitar and a bar stool so Benoit comes out with a ladder. The brawl starts in the aisle with Jeff getting the better of it and getting the cowbell because cowboys are awesome. They're like boys, but with cows. Benoit comes back by choking with the bullrope and taking Jeff inside for two off a backbreaker. It's ladder time but Jeff baseball slides it into Benoit's face.
A whip into the ladder has Benoit in even more trouble but he throws Jeff into it as well to make things even. Benoit pulls him off the ladder but Jeff pulls him down with the rope. Cue Dustin Rhodes but Charles Robinson breaks up Shattered Dreams. There's a guitar to Dustin, at the exact same time he kicks Jeff low. Benoit goes up top but Dustin is shoved into the ladder to send Benoit down in a crash to give Jarrett the pin.
Rating: D+. There were some decent spots here but the ending was, of course, a mess. I don't know why Dustin Rhodes is here as the man in black, especially when he's fighting because they've moved on from the idea of Dustin fighting because the Powers That Be fired Dusty. Instead it's just Dustin Rhodes being Dustin Rhodes which isn't interesting.
Luger doesn't have much to say about the tag match but David Flair has a headless teddy bear.
A sports car arrives.
Piper goes into Russo's office with a ball bat but Hennig nails him with a chair. So Curt is La Parka?
Meng vs. Tank Abbott
Oh sweet merciful goodness. This is a hardcore match because would you want to see them try to wrestle? They slug it out to start as this is designed to look like a shoot. Abbott takes him to the mat and they fight to the floor for a quick double countout. This is the guy Russo wanted to put the World Title on a month later?
Kanyon was in the car and seems to now be a pimp.
Police stop Piper from going after the Powers That Be.
Meng and Abbott are still fighting in the back.
Revolution vs. Harlem Heat/Midnight
Before the match we get the usual “we hate America” jazz. Dean: “We've got heat tonight.” Saturn: “Yeah listen to these people.” Dean: “No. Harlem Heat.” I'm not sure how to feel about that exchange. The lights go out for Midnight and come back with Saturn going after Malenko, presumably out of confusion. Booker takes Dean down to start and it's already Spinarooni time. Off to Stevie for a slam but Booker tags himself back in.
That's not cool with Stevie as he wanted Midnight to get the tag for reasons not entirely clear. The Revolution quickly takes over with Saturn stomping away in the corner and tagging in Dean, who walks right into the Bookend. Stevie gets the tag but Booker tags himself back in after just a few seconds. Saturn hits Asya by mistake as Stevie tags himself back in to fight Dean and Saturn at the same time. Everything breaks down and Midnight injures her knee on a leapfrog. Booker checks on the knee, leaving Stevie to get rolled up for the pin.
Rating: D+. This was an angle instead of a match but I'm glad we're starting the latest Harlem Heat split. There's nothing left for the two of them to do together and it means we might get to the long overdue Booker push. The match was nothing special but at least we got more man vs. woman.
Stevie yells at his brother.
Luger says Liz won't be there with David tonight because Liz works for him alone. So we have female property.
Rhonda Singh asks Kanyon's agent (J. Biggs, Clarence Mason from the WWF) to represent her. It turns out she can sing and dance. The agent isn't interested, but Chavo comes up to sell Singh dancing gear. I don't see this ending well.
Paul Orndorff is here and summoned to see the Powers That Be.
The Nitro Girls dance when Rhonda joins them in glittery attire. She's horrible of course and shrugs off an attack by the Girls. So in the span of ten minutes, we have man vs. woman, Liz as Luger's property and now this. How long until Russo gets fired?
Finlay is still training Knobbs on how to be hardcore.
Norman Smiley and Jerry Flynn fight in the boiler room. That goes nowhere until Meng and Abbott wander in. Norman and Meng get out while Abbott and Flynn fight.
Orndorff is in the office, where Russo fires him for training Midnight. Paul yells, so he's put in a match with Creative Control.
Sid has a kid named Seth who he calls his coach. Seth says Sid is his favorite wrestler in the world. I think the kid has Downs Syndrome. If he does, I have no issue with this segment whatsoever.
Steve Williams vs. Sid Vicious
Oh man. Imagine this one in 1989 with JR on commentary. Instead it's 1999 with Oklahoma. Before the match, Oklahoma says the Powers That Be have made this a suplex vs. powerbomb match, which I assume means the first person to hit that finisher wins. Dr. Death jumps Sid as he's sitting the kid down at ringside because he's really evil. Back in and Williams hammers away as Oklahoma lists off the resume. Sid blocks some suplexes and hammers away but Oklahoma slips his boot to Williams. He knocks Sid out but Vampiro appears to chase Oklahoma, allowing Sid to powerbomb Williams for the win.
Post match the Outsiders run in and lay out Sid to make sure the kid doesn't get to smile any longer than he should. Sure the kid has a horrible disease, but is that any reason for the Outsiders to not look good?
Post break, Sid is looked at by a doctor and the Outsiders think it's funny.
David Flair/Total Package vs. Diamond Dallas Page/Sting
Did Page turn face again and I missed it? I know he's been going after David but heel vs. heel is hardly unheard of under Russo. David has the headless bear with him but takes a Stinger Splash in the first 45 seconds. Sting tags Page in with a right hand to start a fight between the two of them. Now it's Page taking a splash but Luger sneaks in with a running clothesline to Sting, followed by some crowbar shots. Liz sneaks in to take the crowbar away before laying over Sting to stop some chair shots. David hits Luger with the crowbar so Liz puts Sting over Luger for the pin (from the referee who saw ALL OF THIS). What a mess.
Singh comes up to Champagne Kanyon and the agent in the back and asks if they liked her dance. This goes nowhere so Bam Bam Bigelow comes up and gets in Kanyon's face. The agent offers a distraction so Kanyon can beat him down. Kanyon: “Triad that!”
After a break, Bigelow comes to the ring and demands Kanyon come out here for a match.
Kanyon vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Before the match, Biggs wants to talk about legal ramifications and gets shoved to the side so Bigelow can punch Kanyon in the face. Some biting and stomps to the head have Kanyon in even more trouble but he comes back with a swinging neckbreaker. A suplex sets up a World's Strongest Slam to Kanyon and there's the top rope headbutt a bit low. Kanyon is up and fine ten seconds later with the Flatliner (now called That's A Wrap) connecting for a clean pin.
Rating: D. Did.....did that match just end clean? Did I just see a match without any interference or cheating? You always hear about these things but you never expect to actually see them happen. It was boring stuff though and the ending came out of nowhere with Kanyon just popping up and hitting his finisher for the pin.
Norman hides from Meng.
The Mamalukes have a body bag for Lash.
Piper babbles about his chair match later.
Lash Leroux vs. Big Vito
This is a body bag match, which I'm assuming is like a casket match. Lash sucks up to his hometown to start. Vito pounds away to start and nails a superkick for two. Back up and Lash nails a backdrop followed by an elbow to the jaw to send Vito into the corner. A side slam and legdrop get two more, followed by a Disco Inferno style middle rope elbow drop. Disco and Johnny fight on the floor as Lash nails the Whiplash. He puts Vito mostly in the bag which is enough for the win, even though you can see Vito's head and shoulders.
Rating: D+. Was there any point to this being a body bag match? I certainly don't think so, but I'm just a wrestling fan and therefore don't understand such nuances. Nothing match here as the tag match is still set up, even though it's not likely going to be anything special to see. At least this story has gotten some consistent TV time though and I can see what they're going for.
Post match the Mamalukes destroy Lash and put him in the bag, eventually taking him out to their car.
Paul Orndorff vs. Creative Control
So yeah, Orndorff is back and in a match. I'll set the over/under on run-ins here at 5.5. Paul kicks Patrick in the knee to start and puts him down with a knee lift. Gerald gets suplexed for trying to come in and an elbow drop gets two. Orndorff chokes him with a rope but Patrick makes the save to start the obvious beatdown. Cue Anderson (you remember him Paul. He's the guy that broke your neck and ended your career) and Zbyszko to help beat up the twins, allowing Orndorff to piledrive Patrick for the pin.
Rating: D-. I've never been the biggest Paul Orndorff fan (I don't dislike him but I never got the massive appeal) but you just had him hold his own and beat last week's Tag Team Champions. Yeah he had help, but the Harris Brothers should have a lot less trouble beating up two guys who retired due to neck issues and a commentator who has wrestled like four times in three years.
Slick Johnson reverses the decision and names Creative Control the winners by DQ. Good for them I suppose.
The Mamalukes open the body bag and find....Norman Smiley. Their reactions are actually funny.
Curt Hennig vs. Roddy Piper
Chairs match and another pairing that would have rocked in 1989. Piper apparently has a torn bicep so Hennig goes right after the arm. Roddy comes back with some chair shots and Hennig leaves after about 70 seconds. I see zero point to this match existing.
Bret Hart has been attacked and Goldberg checks on him.
Tag Team Titles: Bret Hart/Goldberg vs. Outsiders
Hall and Nash are challenging. Goldberg comes out to fight alone and does just fine to start with the superkick dropping Nash and a right hand sending Hall to the floor with him. Back in and Hall officially starts for the team with a wristlock but gets put down with the AA's second cousin. A pumphandle slam sends Hall running to the corner and it's off to Nash. Kevin tries his luck by running the ropes but walks into a powerslam for two.
The numbers game starts catching up with Goldberg though and Hall's cheap shot lets Nash take over. The running crotch attack to the back gets two on Goldberg and Hall plants him with a chokeslam. Hart limps down and slugs away for the save. Nash gets caught in the Sharpshooter but Hall makes the save. Everything breaks down with Hall getting kicked down, right before Nash brings in the title belt. Bret punches him down but his knee goes out, despite Nash not touching him, allowing Nash to get the pin and the titles, just before Goldberg Jackhammers Hall.
Rating: D. Angle instead of a match here, but thank goodness they managed to get the World Champion pinned six days before Starrcade and give Hall a second (or third if you consider the TV Title still around) title. This is the problem with having the World Title match participants as champions, but giving it to them for four days made it even dumber.
Trash fills the ring to end the show.
Overall Rating: F+. Well let's see: #1 contender for the Cruiserweight Title loses to a non-wrestler, Sid gets beaten down again, the World Champion gets pinned, Jeff Jarrett still isn't interesting and Hennig and Piper set up and blew off an angle in one night with a match barely breaking a minute. Somehow, this is their go home show (Thunder hasn't meant anything in ages) for the biggest show of the year. Russo booking Starrcade scares the heck out of me and this didn't do anything to make it better.
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