Monday Nitro – February 21, 2000: I’ll Take Silver Linings Where I Can Get Them

Monday Nitro #228
Date: February 21, 2000
Location: Arco Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 9,408
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden

It’s the night after SuperBrawl and almost nothing has changed. That’s about as close to the truth as you can get here as no titles changed hands, unless you count a tournament final for a new champion. The big story continues to be Hogan/Sting vs. Flair/Luger as we’re back in the earliest days of this show, minus Randy Savage. Let’s get to it.

Quick recap, with clips instead of stills. Yeah even WCW knows no one was buying the replay.

The NWO, all three of them, arrive. Jarrett promises to get the title by the end of the night but doesn’t even have the US Title on him.

Gene tries to bring out Hulk Hogan to start but here’s Luger instead. Luger calls out anyone that cares about this business to match his physique and yells about the lack of respect. He keeps ranting about Hogan’s arm being broken so here’s Hulk with something to say. Hulk was tired about hearing Luger wanting a next time, so how about that next time being tonight? Oh and there’s a cage above the ring in case someone wanted a challenge, so the rematch is on.

The announcers run down the card for tonight. I can get this on a TV show, but the pay per view version still makes no sense.

Here’s the NWO as the announcers talk about James Brown. That’s still a sore subject guys. Jarrett is tired of being screwed but has a contract saying he’s guaranteed a rematch in case he didn’t leave SuperBrawl with the title. Jarrett says Nash signed that contract, which might be due to the concussion from the guitar shot last week. One last thing: the Harris Brothers are going to be going after anyone Jarrett picks tonight. Great. Another boring team running rampant all night. Can you really still call these guys the NWO when none of them wear NWO gear?

Sid arrives, sans bags or title.

Kidman can’t find his camera.

Madusa looks at the card for tonight and is annoyed that she isn’t on it. She rants about Oklahoma because we need a recap and breaks the board as she shouts about wanting a women’s division. Apparently this is all Oklahoma’s fault.

Kidman vs. Lash Leroux

They trade some flips to start as the announcers debate if Jarrett’s document is valid. It’s going to be one of those stories isn’t it? Speaking of one of those, it’s one of those nights as the Twins come in and destroy Kidman and Leroux. I’m so glad to see Kidman being rewarded for his awesome work recently.

Whoever has stolen the KidCam films Buff Bagwell hitting on Symphony and ripping on Maestro. She turns him down so he says this never happened.

Vampiro vs. Fit Finlay

During the entrances, Tony shills the WCW Magazine, featuring a profile on NWO 2000, complete with Nash and Bret. Finlay blocks an early spinwheel kick and hits Vampiro with his cast. They head outside as Tony promises a ruling on the Jarrett situation next segment. I wait with bated breath. On top of that, the cage match will be last man standing. Heaven forbid Luger take two falls in two days.

Finlay hits him in the throat with a chair and of course the referee is fine with it. Back in and Finlay puts on a half crab of all things but he’s no Lance Storm, meaning Vampiro easily escapes and hits a top rope spinwheel kick, followed by Finlay missing a charge into the post to give Vampiro the rollup pin.

Rating: D. Why do we even have referees at this point? A cast shot and a chair to the throat aren’t enough to draw a DQ? Vampiro does seem like someone who is getting a push, which makes me wonder why he didn’t go over Kidman last night. At least he’s walking after that semi-botched reverse tornado DDT or whatever it was.

Maestro jumps Buff and we’ve got a match for later.

Madusa whispers something to La Parka. He says si.

Booker is upset that he’s lost so many things in his life but he wants Stevie Ray to know that it’s over.

Booker vs. Big Vito

Before the match, Disco has an offer for Booker: he can fight a handicap match for the Tag Team Titles. A right hand seems to be a yes and we’re on.

Tag Team Titles: Booker vs. Mamalukes

The team takes over on the outside until it’s Vito taking over inside, only to have Booker kick both of them down. The Spinarooni sets up the side kick but Disco crotches Booker on the top for the DQ. What in the world was the point of the handicap match if that’s how it was ending?

The Harris Twins come in and clean house.

Terry Funk, with Dustin Rhodes behind him, says you can’t keep him down when he has someone like Rhodes in his corner. Dustin is tougher than his dad and tonight they’ll take care of, who else, the Harris Twins. Rhodes says he would bet on the two of the and tonight the Twins bite the dust. Even if they do, it won’t be a disqualification.

Main event stills.

Sid is livid about something he saw.

Harlem Heat, with Big T. all in pink for reasons I’m not interested in, says that’s what happens to someone like Booker when they turn their back on everyone. Biggs says they have all the royalties now. The new member, formerly known as 4×4, is dubbed Cassius. This would be a better reveal if Madden hadn’t said the name in a throwaway line earlier.

Cruiserweight Title: La Parka vs. The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea

The Artist is defending and Oklahoma is on commentary. I’m not even going to wait on this one: La Parka is Madusa. You know it, I know it, and thankfully they make no attempt to hide it. More importantly than that though, I really don’t want to know what Madusa agreed to in order to get that suit, or what La Parka looks like in Madusa’s gear, which he must be wearing at the moment.

Oklahoma gets in the ring and rips the mask off to shock no one. She slaps at Oklahoma because she’s forgotten she knows martial arts, but here’s the real La Parka to hit Oklahoma with a chair. That earns him a middle rope DDT from the pin from the Prince because somehow, that was still a match.

Flair rants about Hogan as Luger warms up.

Terry Funk/Dustin Rhodes vs. Harris Brothers

They’re a team now for reasons. Jarrett jumps in on commentary as the Twins take over to start. Ron slugs Funk down and gets two off an elbow drop as Dustin plays cheerleader. At least he’s not in the 99 Goldust attire at the time. A slam gets two more as I’m thinking having the Twins just run in and hurt people is better than sitting through them wrestle.

The Twins start switching as they’re wearing the same clothes and does it really matter? Well, it does if you’re fighting for the World Title but we won’t hear about that on TV anyway. Terry takes over on Don and puts on the toehold but a Jarrett distraction breaks it up. Sid comes out to chase Jeff away, but not before he knocks out a security guard. We follow the chase to the back and come back to Dustin coming in and turning on Funk. That’s enough of the match so we cut to Jarrett getting in the car. Back to Rhodes wearing Terry out with a chair and that’s the DQ.

Rating: D-. This is going to be the Harris Twins’ show and that wouldn’t fly even in Memphis. Rhodes vs. Funk is as close as we’re going to get to a young guy getting a rub right now so I guess I should be happy, but Dustin on his own is one of the least interesting characters in wrestling. You can see the bullrope match coming from here.

Dustin wears him out even more until the referees break it up.

Buff is ready for Maestro and basically blames the match on Symphony.

Dustin beats up Terry again and steals the ambulance.

Gene says Dustin is on the same route Jarrett is in. I know Gene is good but being able to tell where Jarrett went when he pulled out of a parking lot is impressive.

Sid comes out and says he’ll give Jeff the rematch at Uncensored. He treats this as far more serious than he should.

Kidman and Booker want to fight the Twins.

Ric thinks Dustin did the right thing and wants to send a message to Hogan.

Buff Bagwell vs. Maestro

Maestro, the angry one, gets beaten up to start and the fans seem to approve. Buff slugs him to the mat and runs outside to hit on Symphony, but Maestro knocks her over by mistake. Maestro doesn’t seem to mind as he hammers away, only to have Cat come out for a distraction, allowing Bagwell to hit the Blockbuster for the pin.

Miller isn’t done yet though as he comes to the ring and talks about the bet that Maestro set up. Due to Brown being there, Maestro has to listen to whatever music Miller picks, which is some loud rap music. Maestro goes nuts and beats up Billy Silverman until the music goes off, which calms him back down. I haven’t mentioned it yet but Maestro is the nephew of the original Gorgeous George and you can see the talent there. It really is hit and miss with different families.

Chae and Tygress dance in cages.

We see Hacksaw Jim Duggan as TV Champion on Saturday Night after pulling the title belt out of the trash. Anyone was allowed to challenge him, so Robert Gibson of all people came out and got beat. Steven Regal came out and asked for a shot after the match and Duggan accepted for next week with Regal’s career on the line. I’d be stunned if Saturday Night was ever mentioned on Nitro again.

The Wall vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

Wall jumps him from behind, which is becoming way too common these days. Bigelow is sent into the post and Wall starts on the arm of all things. They get inside with Wall kicking him in the face and stomping away on the mat. A middle rope legdrop misses though as the announcers actually talk about the match. The top rope headbutt gets two for Bam Bam and a belly to back gets the same. They’re playing up the idea that Wall won’t stay down. Another belly to back puts Wall down but he pops to his feet and chokeslams Wall off the top for the pin.

Rating: D+. The match was the junk you would expect but they’re doing a good job of setting Wall up for someone to stop. Naturally I’m expecting some old guy to get the win and the whole thing to be a waste of time, but it’s always cool to see someone getting a push like this. Of course this is assuming you ignore Jim Duggan beating him at house shows around this time.

Hogan is behind a piece of cage and screaming for Luger.

Ric wants to fight Arn Anderson. Arn just sitting there staring at him is perfect, as you can imagine Arn doing that to Ric in a thousand bars over the years.

Hogan is ready for Luger and talks about exorcisms for some reason. He still tries to say he’s a Hulk/Hollywood hybrid, but regular Hulk cheats like Hollywood did so no one can tell the difference. Hogan is very glad Sting was there last night, but tonight it’s one on one.

Luger and Flair beat up Jimmy Hart and drag him to the ring for the main event.

Total Package vs. Hulk Hogan

Last man standing in a cage. Back from a break with Luger and Flair beating Hart up at ringside. Some friend Hogan is as he waits for the show to come back to run out for the save. Hulk cleans house with a chair until Ric gets in a low blow. Luger chairs him down and we’re still waiting on them to get inside the cage. They finally get in with Luger stomping away, because that has worked so well on Hogan over the years.

As I finish typing that, Hogan gets up and punches Luger down before ramming him into the buckle ten straight times. Such total devastation! Luger sends him into the cage to take over and the fans actually boo for a change. A bunch of elbows allow Luger to mock Hogan’s posing (oh geez, MOCKING HULK HOGAN???) before hitting the same suplex that triggered the Hulk Up last night.

This time it’s enough to set up the Rack but Luger drops him down and I think you know what’s coming. Flair comes back down (he left?) as Hogan hits the legdrop. The chops that have never worked on Hogan still don’t work and the beating is on. Luger gets in a chair shot to put Hogan down and a bunch of stomping (plus breaking Doug Dillinger’s arm) ends the show. No winner, or Sting for that matter.

Rating: D. Just like last night, this was lame stuff but at least Luger did his big move before the Hulk Up. I really don’t know why this feud needs to continue but I’m assuming we’re getting Hogan vs. Flair AGAIN at Uncensored. The last man standing rule was just a way to prevent Luger from losing while Flair got down there, which could have easily been avoided by having Flair run down during the Hulking Up, but why go simple when you can go complicated.

Overall Rating: D-. I don’t know if it was just the energy but I liked this show a bit better than the last few editions. It’s still a horrible show but at least they were moving around and keeping things from getting boring. That being said, the Jarrett/Harris tandem has hit their ceiling and now we’re going to get to wait until Uncensored to get to anything new. However, speaking of new, there is one thing I like: Booker and Kidman teaming together to fight the Harris Twins. It’s nothing great, but it’s a nice step up for Kidman and ANYTHING other than the Harlem Heat feud for Booker. I’ll take silver linings where I can get them.

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