Monday Nitro – June 19, 2000: Blessed Be The Patron Saint Of Lost Causes

Monday Nitro #245
Date: June 19, 2000
Location: Metropark Arena, Billings, Montana
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson

Now after last week’s mess, I’ve been told that the next few shows aren’t as bad. I’m curious to know what that means. You could smear warm mayonnaise on yourself and bake in the sun before throwing coconuts at a pack of hyenas and put on a better show than Russo has done in the last few weeks. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Thunder. After the show went off the air, Scott Steiner put Russo in the Recliner. Ah yes, he’ll take a beating as long as it’s off camera.

The New Blood arrives and Cat says Russo isn’t here because of his injuries. The sec….hang on. Rewind that a bit.

.no gnah….ces ehT. .seirujin sih fo esuaceb ereh t’nsi ossuR syas taC dna sevirra doolB weN ehT.

The New Blood arrives and Cat says Russo isn’t here because of his injuries. Excuse me for a second.

HALL-E-LUJAH! HALL-E-LUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!

Those people were right. This is instantly better.

Anyway Cat is told of a situation in the ring.

Horace Hogan is in the ring in a chair and holding a bat. Well…..technically it is better. Horace is here to defend his honor against a greedy man named Goldberg. Instead he gets Cat, who says Goldberg is too busy for Horace. He certainly should be. Cat, now officially the Commissioner, has a rule for the night: NO OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE. We’ve reached the point where people being banned from interfering for a night is considered something special. That alone sums up almost everything you need to know about WCW at this point.

If Steiner interferes tonight, he’s fined and suspended for thirty days. This brings out Nash, Steiner and Midajah, which Tony says is booking on the fly. Nash gets Horace vs. Goldberg made tonight but Steiner can’t find Bischoff (he changed the letters around a bit and said something the censors don’t bother cleaning up anymore). Since Eric isn’t here, Steiner will just beat up Cat instead.

Cat offers a shot at Jeff Jarrett and the World Title instead because Jeff Jarrett is the kind of guy you just throw out there and torture like that. Nash isn’t done yet though because he wants Scott Hall’s contract and is going to beat it out of Cat tonight. Horace shoves Cat towards Nash and Steiner and the match is made for later tonight, sending Cat bailing into the crowd.

The announcers talk about this breaking news.

Palumbo and Stasiak tell the production guys to play a tape. They leave the truck and get beaten down by Rick Steiner and Tank Abbott.

Jeff Jarrett and Mike Awesome come in to yell at the Cat over what he just did. Cat’s only consolation is to make Awesome the referee for the match.

3 Count vs. Jung Dragons

It just keeps getting better. Before the match, Shannon promises a new single this week on Thunder. I’m all tingly. The Dragons break up the song and Kaz starts with Shane, only to have Shannon come in to help with a double neckbreaker. Shane’s top rope sunset flip gets two and a big gutwrench suplex drops Kaz as well. I usually get annoyed at the token wrestling before they go nuts but this isn’t bad.

Kaz finally gets over for the tag to Yang who cleans house with the martial arts. He has to stop a swing at the referee though and now everything breaks down. Kaz and Yang go up for a double splash but Shannon crotches them both, leaving Jamie-San all alone for a quick assisted wheelbarrow slam and the pin by Shane.

Rating: C+. These teams just worked well together and there’s little more than needs to be said about them. Sometimes you fine a combination that gels with each other and that’s what WCW had here. The difference though is that when WWE found such a combination with Edge and Christian, the Hardyz and the Dudleyz, they treated them like stars and brought them up into the midcard and then even higher later on. These six guys will be in the same spots for months, popping the crowd and running in circles.

Post match Lance Storm (who had been main eventing an ECW pay per view about a month earlier) runs through the crowd and takes out 3 Count with superkicks and a good looking flip dive before running away through the crowd again. He would actually debut on Raw the same way, minus the flip dive.

David Flair is looking for Daffney. Why he doesn’t just sit next to the women’s locker room isn’t clear.

Horace says he’s never been more determined about anything in his life. Last week he was put through a table and tonight Goldberg can flex his muscles all he wants. You could hear a lot of Hulk in that voice.

Hardcore Title: Big Vito vs. Johnny the Bull

Vito is defending and swings a kendo stick to start. Johnny gets stalked up the ramp as Vito still has the belt on. They slowly head backstage as Johnny has had no offense yet. Vito sends him through a table and hits him with a laptop, scaring a guy working backstage half to death. Johnny finally reverses a whip into some steel poles and breaks a mop handle over Vito’s back. They climb a scaffold and Vito hits his implant DDT through a table to win, I guess becoming the sole champion.

Rating: D. This was a squash with Vito being on offense for all but maybe thirty seconds. I liked the idea of the Mamalukes co-holding the belt for a bit but putting it on one of them and pushing him as a guy with skills in this style is a better plan. Vito is getting a push out of it and that’s more than most people can say.

Cat finds Scott Hall’s contract, which I guess he just carries everywhere he goes.

Johnny is helped up and Terry Funk shows up to say he wants to help him.

Rey Mysterio and the Artist beat up Chavo in the back until GI Bro makes the save.

Post break, Bro yells at the Misfits and refers to Rection as General.

Here’s Kanyon, doing every Page bit that he can including the Diamond Cutter sign and sitting in the corner. You have to read his new book two times two times two times and if you like it, you can give yourself a self high five (that’s a flashback for you). This brings GI Bro to the ring for a beatdown, sending Kanyon running. Bro takes off the fatigues to reveal…..plain white trunks. I’m assuming he’s Booker again, meaning I can call him Booker again in good conscience. I mean, I called him Booker otherwise but now I don’t have to feel guilty about it.

David finally finds Daffney and gets slapped in the face.

Horace Hogan vs. Goldberg

Before Goldberg comes to the ring, we cut to the back to see Nash and Steiner saying they might just come to the ring anyway. Horace kicks him in the face to start and he gets his head taken off with a clothesline, drawing the pop of the night so far. Some hard right hands knock Horace silly and they head outside. Goldberg hits the barricade by mistake and Horace pounds away with a chair……and can’t even knock him down. A big boot does the job back inside but it’s the spear and Jackhammer to end Horace in less than three minutes. If you watched this with no sound, you would have no idea Goldberg was the heel.

Goldberg keeps beating Horace up and even Madden has to acknowledge that the fans are cheering everything Goldberg does.

Nash and Steiner aren’t impressed.

The Cat vs. Kevin Nash

For Scott Hall’s contract, which is in a briefcase. So if Nash wins, does he own Hall? Like can he send Hall out to get him donuts and conditioner? Cat even calls Nash out again and is way too confide……pause for dancing…..nt going into this. Before Nash comes out, Cat goes outside and handcuffs the briefcase to Madden, keeping the key around his (Cat’s) neck. I don’t like Madden but he plays terrified really well. Tony: “Don’t worry. You’ll do good.” Madden: “I’LL DO GOOD??? IT’S NOT HANDCUFFED TO YOU YOU SIMPLETON!”

Nash easily pounds Cat down so Cat calls someone down. Cat tries to find any microphone he can to waive the outside interference rule. That makes me wonder: is there such a thing as inside interference? Like, if someone gets inside the ring, does it still count as outside interference? Or can someone in the match interfere? Cat comes back with some kicks so Nash hits him in the face and the Jackknife is good for the easy pin.

Nash opens the briefcase but finds pictures of the Cat. That’s not cool with Big Kev so he goes after Cat, only to be called off by Goldberg on screen. He has the contract and offers to put it up at Bash at the Beach. Goldberg then eats the contract. So there’s no outside (or inside) interference but we do have a bait and switch.

Post break, Nash says he’s the only person to beat Goldberg. Bash at the Beach happens to be his birthday and he has a place down on the beach. Scott Hall just happens to live 40 minutes from there. Nash leaves and Steiner says he could be the Chosen One.

Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. The Artist vs. Lieutenant Loco

Chavo is defending and Hudson gets in one of his only funny lines ever by dubbing Disco Inferno the Dim Shady. Konnan goes on about the Misfits not having a leader since GI Bro left them. Wait I thought Rection was the leader. Juvy is on commentary which I’ll take over Tygress and her OW OW stuff. The champ gets double teamed in the aisle to start and Rey gets two off a running legdrop.

Artist Batista Bombs Mysterio but Chavo comes in with a frog splash for two. Rey and Artist go outside as the three women are about to fight. Back in and Chavo gets crotched on top, leaving Rey to Bronco Bust Artist in the corner. Or did he Bust Artist’s Bronco? That’s a confusing name for a move. Rey goes to hurricanrana Chavo but gets crotched on the ropes, leaving Chavo to tornado DDT Artist and retain.

Post match Gunns, Paisley and Tygress almost get in a fight.

Daffney is having an interview but David comes up with flowers as a peace offering. He sings to her and that’s enough to get Daffney back.

Post break, David puts Daffney in the car and has to go get something. That something is Miss Hancock, but Daffney has gotten out and sees them kissing on a monitor.

Tag Team Titles: Perfect Event vs. Rick Steiner/Tank Abbott

Palumbo and Stasiak are defending and yes, Perfect Event is the best thing they could come up with. That’s up there next to Pretty Wonderful. Tank grabs a spinebuster on Stasiak to start and brings in Rick for some heavy stomping. A Steiner Line and belly to belly knock Stasiak senseless but he’s able to get a boot to the ribs and tags in Chuck. Rick does his belly to belly powerslam on Palumbo as Abbott is into the crowd chasing after a plant.

As Steiner gazes out into the people (“They actually PAID for this show?”), the champs jump him from behind and double team him for a few moments, only to have a double Steiner Line take over again. Rick steals the exercise bar from Palumbo and suplexes him again, only to have Chuck nail him with the bar to break up the bulldog. A double flapjack retains the titles.

Rating: D. So much for rebuilding the tag team division. Steiner and Abbott didn’t work because one is a maniac and a wrestler in name only who lives off his past glory and that doesn’t make a good partner for Tank Abbott. I’m sure this leads to a thrilling fight at one of the next TV shows (please not on pay per view) and then the Steiners reunite again because….wait didn’t they do that already on Thunder?

Asya throws the Demon costume at Dale Torborg and says to get rid of “him”. Vampiro is shown watching, very pleased with what’s going on.

Here’s Vampiro for his weekly Raven impression. He talks about the similarities he has with the Demon and asks him to come out for a going away party since Asya is ruining the fun. Torborg comes out instead with Asya next to him. Then the lights go out and Asya is gone. They go out again and Vampiro is gone. Vampiro pops up on screen, driving away in a hearse. So Vampiro wins the feud with Sting and his reward is the Demon? No wonder he has no good memories of WCW.

Chris Candido/Bam Bam Bigelow/Shane Douglas vs. Buff Bagwell/Kronik

What’s ECW again? This is fallout from a brawl on Thunder where Kronik saved Bagwell from a beatdown. Before the match Shane says they want titles with Candido (whose arm is in a sling) and Bigelow want the Tag Team Titles. Shane issues a challenge for Bash at the Beach and Bagwell can pick whatever kind of match he wants. Tony: “You cannot get much more power than Bagwell, Adams and Clark on the same team.”

Clark and Douglas get things going with Douglas nailing a dropkick but getting slammed off the top rope. The release Rock Bottom plants Shane again and Adams adds a full nelson slam. Shane runs from Bagwell (I get the idea of running like that, but he’s cool with fighting Kronik?) and brings in Bigelow for the clubbing forearms. It’s quickly off to Shane for the stomping on a defenseless Bagwell as the fans continue their FRANCHISE SUCKS chant.

Shane hits Three Amigos (with a delay on the third) for two but Bagwell comes back with a double arm DDT. The hot tag brings in both members of Kronik to clean house but Bam Bam DDTs both of them. High Times (THUD) plants Bigelow but Candido hits Clark with something, sending Kronik chasing him off. The Blockbuster ends Bigelow a few seconds later.

Rating: D+. That chokeslam was quite the landing but the rest of the match wasn’t much to see. They did a decent job of building up Shane vs. Bagwell in the span of a week but it’s still a stretch to use it as a gimmick match. Kronik vs. Bigelow/Candido on the other hand doesn’t quite work when Candido has a broken wrist and there’s just no one else to put in his spot because then it wouldn’t be the same team from ECW.

Shane gives Bagwell the Pittsburgh Plunge but has to run from Kronik.

WCW World Title: Scott Steiner vs. Jeff Jarrett

Jarrett is defending and I’ll only refer to him as champion. Mike Awesome is guest referee. Notice that when Russo is gone, the World Title is on last. Only Midajah this week, which I think is the norm going forward. Cat is on commentary. Steiner offers some stipulations but Jeff jumps him from behind to start fast. A tilt-a-whirl slam puts the champ down and the Push-Up elbow gets two.

Steiner clotheslines him out to the floor but Jeff comes back with some chair shots to take over. Jarrett makes the mistake of going after Midajah (the announcers get on Cat for the interference part here, which is really heelish of them) and Scott goes sane (that’s more out of the ordinary for him than going nuts), only to get hit low. The belly to belly is broken up by some thumbs to the eye and we hit the sleeper.

Steiner suplexes out (Cat: “He’s pulling hair again!”) and gets a powerslam for a fair two count. A belly to belly gets the same and Scott puts on the illegal Recliner (It’s actually getting worse. I didn’t think that could be done.). Cat demands that the hold be broken so Mike hits Steiner with a chair. Jeff gets two but Steiner fights back up and puts Awesome in the Recliner. The guitar knocks him cold though and Jeff retains.

Rating: C-. They kept the shenanigans to a minimum here (I can live with a few chair shots here and there) and it really helped things. Steiner getting a title shot should have been a bigger deal but they’re just building Jeff up for Hogan at this point. It’s strange to see the World Title treated like the TV Title but at least this was the main event.

Post match Cat comes in to go after Steiner and Goldberg has to come in for the save. Cue Nash and Goldberg bails to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. If you EVER need more proof that Russo is killing WCW, watch last week’s show and this one back to back. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a bigger change between two weeks of shows. This week had an idea they were building towards, set up matches for the pay per view and was WAY more coherent than anything WCW has done in so long.

Above all else, I never once got mad or ranted and raved about what they could be thinking. That’s because it was always clear what they were thinking. It might not have been the most interesting stuff, but you could see exactly what they were shooting for here and it made the show feel like wrestling again instead of the freak show that Russo has made it into.

Now all that being said, this is still not a great or even good show. Scott Steiner and Kevin Nash as the heroes isn’t going to work (oh and no Hogan this week helped a lot too) as neither is interesting enough at the moment, but at least Booker seems to be rising up the card in a hurry. The wrestling was a bit better with some of the matches getting some time, but it still doesn’t fix a lot of the problems. WAY better show this week though with the major problem being removed and changing everything.

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