Tuesday, July 8, 2008

WCW Monday Nitro - January 2000

This is a new series where I will be taking a look at each of the seasons that I own, month by month. We're going to kick it off with WCW Nitro in January of 2000.

WCW Monday Nitro – 1/3/00

1) Buzzkill & Mike Rotundo vs. The Harris Boys – 1
2) PG-13 vs. Kevin Nash & Scott Steiner – 0
3) David Flair & Crowbar vs. Lash LeRoux & Midnight – 1
4) Buff Bagwell vs. Norman Smiley & Asya – Handicap Match – 2
5) Kevin Nash & Scott Steiner vs. The Harris Boys – 0
6) Buff Bagwell & Vampiro vs. David Flair & Crowbar – 2
7) Sid Vicious vs. Jeff Jarrett – Powerbomb Match – 2
8) Kevin Nash & Scott Steiner vs. David Flair & Crowbar – 2

This show had so much shit going on all the time I don’t even know where to start. The whole episode was based around two things, the lethal lottery tag team tournament and the announcement of a new commissioner.

First out of the gate, we get Buzzkill, who is nothing but a Road Dogg rip-off, teaming up with Mike Rotundo against the Harris Boys. The end saw Standards and Practices haul away Leia Meow who was jumping on a trampoline during the match and the Harris Boys get the win. Next up was PG-13 who got randomly destroyed by DDP before the match even started. Nash and Steiner casually walked up and got the pin to send PG-13 back for a re-rating. The third tag match had a lot of problems. First, Stevie Ray did commentary, talked crap about Booker T and Midnight, and then brawled with them. While the brawl took place on one side, Vito and Johnny the Bull came out and cost LeRoux the match with a run-in. The quarterfinal round of the tournament closed out with Norman Smiley, who was dressed in a giant dog costume, and Asya, battling Buff Bagwell and Kanyon. However, before the match, Bagwell decked Kanyon with a champagne bottle and went at it alone and won.

Next up was the announcement of the commissioner, which turned out to be Terry Funk. The fans were clearly chanting “We Want Flair!” and Funk came out to no response. He then announced Arn Anderson as his second in command and then they cut a promo on the n.W.o. (Hart, Nash, Jarrett, and Steiner) which was then interrupted by the aforementioned baddies. Nash threatened to kidnap David Flair (hint, hint!) for some reason.

Next up, Nash and Steiner came back out the face the Harris Boys. Right after the bout started, the Rotundo and Rick Steiner ran out and whacked the Harris’ and then Nash got a quick pin in a nothing match. The other semi-final bout looked promising on paper but, as was the tone of the night, became riddled with interference. Arn and Funk, who were looking for David so they could keep him out of the hands of the n.W.o., realized he was in the ring so they tried to talk some sense into him. Vampiro took exception and was unceremoniously decked by Funk and Flair and Crowbar got another fluke win.

The powerbomb match was a pile of crap with more interference and just plain douchebaggery. The finals of the tournament saw Arn run down with a ref shirt and screw over Nash and Steiner. The best thing about it was that Steiner was just sitting at the commentary table, talking nonsense, and wasn’t paying attention to anything and was utterly shocked when Schaivone shouted “Arn just hit Nash!”. Flair and Crowbar got a win and the tag titles. Afterwards, Arn got kidnapped and stuffed in a car trunk.

WCW Monday Nitro – 1/10/00

1) Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn vs. Billy Kidman & Konnan vs. David Flair & Crowbar – Falls Count Anywhere Match – 3
2) Jeff Jarrett vs. George “The Animal” Steele – Bunkhouse Match – 1
3) Jeff Jarrett vs. Tito Santana – Dungeon Match – 3
4) Jeff Jarrett vs. Superfly Jimmy Snuka – Steel Cage Match – 2
5) Bret Hart vs. Kevin Nash – 5

The three way match was painfully short and was the only match in the first 45 minutes of the show. Given more time, the three teams involved could’ve had a good match but, alas, twas not to be. The highlight was Saturn doing an elbow drop from the top of the seats on to Rey Jr. (who wasn’t even involved) and through a table that had obvious padding under it. This was followed up by a segment with Terry Funk and his gang (Zbyszko, Arn, and Orndorff) and the n.W.o. where Funk had no clue what he was talking about and neither did anyone else. The only purpose it served was to set up the remaining matches for the show.

The three encounters that Jarrett had with the legends were all reffed by Benoit, who was supposed to be Jarrrett’s opponent at the Souled Out pay-per-view. The bunkhouse match was shit with the only notable thing being Tony Schaivone marking out over Steele eating a turnbuckle. Santana looked good in his match but the finish was almost the same as the Steele match. One of Funk’s cronies ran-in, Benoit didn’t do anything about it, and Jarrett does the job. Lastly, the cage match with Snuka wasn’t bad when they were actually wrestling. However, just like the previous two bouts, the finish had Benoit beat up Jarrett, a Funk cronie came in, and there was a sick double spot from the top of the cage from both Benoit and Snuka.

Of all the Bret/Nash matches I’ve seen, this one has to be at the bottom of the list. Not because of the work, which was good, but because of the context of how the match was set-up. The reason they were fighting was because Terry Funk said that they would. Ok, great. Then the match was made into a title match. Umm, not so sure about that. When you have your champion (Bret) defending against one of his n.W.o. comrades six days before a big match at a pay-per-view, you know you’ll get some kind of screwy finish, which is exactly what happened. The work in the match was fine. Bret was working over Nash’s knees and Nash spent the whole match trying to fight back. Ultimately, the match was ruled a no-contest when some people ran-in (I want to say it was Jarrett and Steiner breaking up the fight but I can’t exactly remember). It received a “5” based on the ring work and most likely would’ve gotten a “6” had it not been for the screwy finish in what turned out to be Bret’s last match ever.

WCW Monday Nitro – 1/17/00

1) Billy Kidman vs. Psychosis – 5
2) Big T vs. Booker T – 2
3) Vampiro vs. Disco Inferno – 4
4) Shane Helms & Shannon Moore vs. David Flair & Crowbar – 4
5) The Maestro vs. Tank Abbott – 0
6) Mike Rotundo & Rick Steiner vs. Masa Hiro Chono & Super J – 4
7) Sid Vicious vs. The Wall – 3
8) Lex Luger vs. Bam Bam Bigelow – 3
9) Diamond Dallas Page vs. Buff Bagwell (Special ref: Kimberly) – 5

The night after the disastrous “Souled Out” pay-per-view and we jump right into the action. Kidman and Psychosis was a fun opener. I remember a fantastic guillotine legdrop from Psychosis and some good work by Kidman. The announcers were putting Kidman over huge from his three matches the night before. The Booker and Big T match was an impromptu brawl. Big T is the former Ahmed Johnson and came out sporting a fanny pack with Stevie Ray. Booker fought the bout in street clothes but lost when Big T pulled out a foreign object from the fanny pack. Vampiro and Disco had a completely acceptable match but interference from Vito and Johnny backfired and cost Disco the match. The first tag match started off super hot. Helms and Moore were flying all over the place in the first minute or so of the match. The finish saw Evan Karagias, who was at ringside, chase Daffney, and the Flair hit Evan with a crowbar (the tool, not the wrestler). Afterwards, is a Tank Abbott/Maestro match that goes all of ten seconds. Then Norman Smiley ran down to face Tank but then backed into Meng who stared down Tank.

Kicking off the second half of the show was a “State of WCW” address by Kevin Nash, who had defeated Terry Funk the night before to become the commissioner. He laid down a series of ridiculous “rules” that were nothing but a bunch of insider jokes. Steiner looked seriously gassed after only two minutes in and had trouble completing anything more complicated that a clothesline. Chono and Super J (the former n.W.o Sting) made a formidable team that could’ve had a better match against opponents who weren’t aging, although Rotundo looked halfway decent. Sid and The Wall was a fun match and would’ve gotten a better score had they not cut to the back in the middle of the match! Nash sent Disco, Vito, and Johnny the Bull to beat up Sid after the match but it didn’t work as everyone but Disco was summarily destroyed. Bigelow and Luger had a decent bout but nothing out of the ordinary. The main was DDP and Bagwell with Kimberly as the ref. The main focus of the DDP/Bagwell storyline was Kimberly and the question of the match was “who would she side with”? There was a standard, pointless crowd brawl and a few random hardcore spots but I actually somewhat enjoyed the match. Oh, and that question about Kimberly, it never was answered.

WCW Monday Nitro – 1/24/00

1) Kaz Hayashi vs. Psychosis – 3
2) The Wall vs. Kid Romeo – 3
3) Norman Smiley vs. Shannon Moore – 3
4) Tank Abbott vs. Al Greene – 1
5) Terry Funk vs. Bam Bam Bigelow – Hardcore Match – 3
6) Sid Vicious vs. Don Harris – 4
7) Billy Kidman vs. Vampiro – 5
8) Booker T vs. Lex Luger – 4
9) Fit Finlay & Brian Knobbs vs. The Mamalukes – 2
10) Sid Vicious vs. Kevin Nash – 4

The first bout was the kick-off of the cruiserweight title tournament and was very sloppy. Juvi did some mic work prior to the match where he ripped off The Rock’s catchphrases and then loitered about in Psychosis’ corner throughout the bout. The Wall ended up squashing Kid Romeo after Romeo got in some offense in the middle of the bout. Bobby Heenan was cracking Shakespeare jokes as well. Smiley and Moore were thrown in for some filler. The match was somewhat competitive and could’ve been better had they not been pressed for time. Greene was sent out by Scott Hall and Scott Steiner for his “big shot” against Tank. The bout lasted all of a minute and Tank knocked out Greene to send him packing back to the Saturday night show. Afterwards, Tank punked out a guy in the crowd named Big Al. Funk, having been in the semi-main on a pay-per-view just eight days prior, was thrown into a mid-card hardcore match with Bigelow. My how the mighty have fallen. The match started in the back where they brawled and hit each other with random objects. The finish saw Fit Finlay and Brian Knobbs run-in for an unknown reason help Funk win.

The second half of matches kicked off with what was deemed a “roadblock match” between Sid and Don Harris. Sid had to beat Don to get a shot at Nash in the main event for the World Title. Sid seemed motivated and the match was decent. I remember reading about the finish in the book “Death of WCW” where Ron switched places with Don and Sid pinned the wrong brother. Kidman and Vampiro had a solid match which I would go so far as to say was the best match of the show. The near-falls were great and really got me intrigued. Luger and Booker is an interesting match-up on paper and was interesting in the ring as well. The bout was brief (5-6 minutes) but what was there was fun and different. David Flair, Crowbar, and Daffney ran off the announcers and called the tag match by themselves. I thought it took a lot away from the match as I wasn’t able to concentrate because they ended up being the main focus. Finlay and Knobbs had some hard strikes and the Mamalukes looked overmatched. The main event saw Sid beat Nash to win the vacant World Title. Jarrett ran down with a guitar after a ref bump but Sid stole it and hit Nash and then feigned as if he was hit. He crawled over with the worst acting this side of “Gigli” and pinned Nash to win the title. One episode to go.

WCW Monday Nitro - 1/31/00

1) Lash LeRoux vs. Evan Karagias – 4
2) David Flair & Crowbar vs. The Mamalukes – Bensonhurst Street Fight – 4
3) Booker T vs. Big T – 0
4) Billy Kidman vs. The Wall – 3
5) Brian Knobbs vs. Lex Luger (Special ref: Fit Finlay) – 1
6) Shane Helms vs. Norman Smiley – 3
7) Diamond Dallas Page vs. Disco Inferno – 4
8) Jeff Jarrett & The Harris Brothers vs. Sid Vicious & Terry Funk – Handicap Match – 4

Mark Madden is subbing for Bobby Heenan on this show. Damn! Lash and Evan had a fun match with Lash picking up the win. The match was nothing extraordinary but it was competitive. The street fight was a lot of fun. I really dug the spontaneity involved with the start as Flair and Crowbar were attacked during an interview and everyone brawled out into the snow. Once it got to the ring, it degenerated into a typical hardcore match with road cones, clubs, and other plunder. Booker T came out for his match but was then verbally assaulted by Stevie Ray, Big T, and J. Biggs (the former Clarence Mason) about the rights to his music and, get this, to the letter “T”. Booker assaulted Biggs with an assist from Midnight and was then beat down by Stevie and Big T. Next up, was a long, long interview from Ric Flair where he talked about returning and being offered the commissioner’s job. He called out Terry Funk and the two had a verbal sparring match where Funk pulled out some jargon he used in his 1989 feud with Flair.

Kidman and The Wall had a rematch from the Souled Out pay-per-view but it wasn’t near as good. Kidman was showing off some cool skills, though. I was actually looking forward to the Knobbs/Luger match but the story with Finlay turning on Knobbs quickly made me sour on it. Smiley came out dressed as The Demon and made quick work of Helms. Afterwards, police officers and the Demon, in boxers I might add, chased off Norman through the crowd. DDP and Disco was a very impromptu match which was a lot of fun. It started when Disco was accused of whacking Kimberly on the ass during and interview and then they just started brawling. They brawled through the curtain, into the crowd, and finally back into the ring where DDP hit the Diamond Cutter for the win. The spontaneity really had a lot to do with me liking the match. Flair was supposed to tag up with Sid and Funk for the main event but never showed up leaving it two-on-three. Schaivone was pleading throughout the match for Flair to show up and when he finally did, he went straight for Funk. The show ended with Jarrett and the Harris Brothers victorious.

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