Monday Nitro – October 23, 2000: Your #1 Contender

Monday Nitro #263
Date: October 23, 2000
Location: Alltel Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Stevie Ray, Mark Madden

We’re stateside again and it’s the go home show for Halloween Havoc which actually has a pretty solid looking card. Of course I don’t expect WCW to actually make that work but at least the build hasn’t been the worst. Unfortunately you never can tell what the final push for something like this is going to be. Let’s get to it.

We open with a montage of events from Australia.

Opening sequence.

Perfect Event vs. Harris Brothers

Kevin Nash is on commentary. Stasiak slugs away at Don to start and stomps away in the corner. The announcers are stunned that he’s doing anything right so Don clotheslines Shawn down to take over. Palumbo comes in and gets beaten down as well, only to run the corners to dropkick Don off the apron. At least that looked good. An ankle scissors out of the corner looks good as well but Palumbo gets in an argument with Stasiak so Shawn drops to the floor. The H Bomb ends Palumbo in a hurry.

Post match Nash gets in the ring so Stasiak gets in his face, only to have Nash drive him into the corner. No punches are thrown but Nash takes his hat off and gives Stasiak a serious look. Stasiak leaves so Nash gets on commentary again to promise tough love.

Mike Sanders is ready for his kickboxing match on Sunday and has a three round exhibition set up for tonight. This could go so many bad ways I don’t even know how to laugh at it.

Gene brings out Booker T. for a chat. Booker knows that people think he’s crazy but he’s out doing this for his fans and his family every single night. When he came down the ramp tonight, it was like a light bulb went off over his head because this is what it’s all about. Booker doesn’t think much of Scott Steiner and just like everyone else, Scott is going to have to kill him to take this title. Steiner better be ready to take a beating because Booker is going to have all these fans in his corner.

Cue Steiner and Midajah, hopefully to breathe some life into this thing. Steiner talks about Ebonics and welfare before saying Booker is only holding the title until Scott knocks him out. The brawl is on in the aisle but Jeff Jarrett jumps Booker from behind to put the champ down. There go the lights and it’s Sting with the save, probably setting up a main event. The locker room comes out to break it up, which always feels better than referees and goons. Awesome and Steiner point at each other a lot to tease something for later. This started slow but the pull apart brawl helped it a lot.

Post break, Steiner says he wants Awesome tonight and makes sheep noises.

Here’s Sanders in head gear for his kickboxing exhibition but first he says that he’s from Badstreet USA. The further down you go the worse it gets and he lives in the last house on the left. Thankfully the announcers are all over the Freebirds ripoff as the opponents are revealed as the Jung Dragons.

Before the match, Sanders puts something on his gloves before Jamie-San starts it like a wrestling match. A shot to the eyes blinds Jamie and a right hand is enough for the knockout. The same thing happens to Yang but Kaz gets in a few good shots, including sending Mike into the buckles a few times. That earns Kaz a shot to the eyes as well, setting up a kick for the third knockout. Leia Meow comes in for a low blow but Mike is wearing a cup. Sanders threatens her with the cup but here’s Ms. Jones to interrupt, allowing Cat to sneak in to KO Sanders. I’m not calling it a match but total waste of TV time.

Here’s Kronik to say that this thing with Goldberg started as business but now it’s personal. Goldberg may want the money but they’ve got a lot more to prove. If Goldberg wins, he beats two monsters and looks awesome. That’s not happening though because that’s not how it works in the real world. We’re not done yet though as Kronik has some new clients in 3 Count. Apparently they’ve hired Kronik to make sure no one interrupts their performance tonight. Clark doesn’t want to hear the music though so it’s time for a match.

Kronik vs. 3 Count

Well by match I mean a squash lasting 56 seconds before High Times puts Evan away.

Nash has a test for Stasiak tonight. In addition to that, Nash isn’t in a good mood tonight because Scott Hall received his walking papers last week. This Outsiders gimmick isn’t a work though so they’ll run again.

Here are the Misfits in Action dressed as Team Canada for the parody promo. Loco is the former 100 Ounces and Under Champion, AWOL, with his ten foot board, is Jigsaw Jim Jughead (Did the Clowns give him nickname lessons?) and Cajun makes a lot of lame Canada jokes, all of them capped off with an “eh?”. Loco goes on about being Wine Time and implies he was the water boy in the Canadian Football League. Rection finally ends this and says he’s taking the title and they’re taking Major Gunns back because that story is STILL going.

That 70s Guy hits on Pamela and would be glad to face Steiner tonight. Just let him be the monster that he’s perfect as instead of this goof. Thankfully he gets serious and promises to give Steiner a beating before he wins the title next week.

Here are Nash and the Thrillers with Kevin talking about the Outsiders again. They were a real team but Stasiak needs to learn the concept.

Goldberg vs. Shawn Stasiak

This is the test and it’s over in 40 seconds. We’re three matches in and have seen less than five minutes of wrestling.

Goldberg says he’ll take care of Kronik on Sunday.

Filthy Animals vs. Boogie Knights vs. O’Haire/Jindrak is official for Sunday. That could be good if they don’t make the champions look horrible again.

Billy Kidman vs. Alex Wright vs. Mark Jindrak

Before the match, Disco promises that he and Alex are launching an official investigation into finding out who let the dogs out. See, there are a lot of drunk drivers in Little Rock and Disco wants the dogs to be safe. Jindrak gets double teamed to start as Stevie picks Alex to win this. A German suplex gets two on Mark with Kidman making the save. That earns Kidman a torture rack neckbreaker but Alex dropkicks Mark for two more. Everything breaks down on the floor and Kidman gets launched into the ring and he grabs the Kid Crusher to put Alex away in another way too short match.

It’s a big brawl post match with the Animals clearing out the ring.

Crowbar, again in the 70s gear, hits on Pamela until Jimmy Hart comes in to say Crowbar has a match.

The announcers talk about the pay per view.

Video on David Flair going insane trying to find out who fathered Stacy Keibler’s baby.

Video on Sunday’s three big matches.

Vampiro vs. Crowbar

For some reason Vampiro has nunchucks and takes over very quickly with some hard shots. A hard whip into the barricade cuts off Crowbar’s comeback because the shots with a deadly weapon didn’t do enough damage. They get inside for the first time and chop it out as Madden calls Vampiro an angry Count Chockula. Crowbar comes back and sends Vampiro to the floor for the apron splash. With nothing else working, Crowbar drives his fingers into Vampiro’s eyes. Madden: “He’s not a bowling ball!”

Some good looking right hands knock Vampiro into the barricade and Crowbar drives him HARD into the steps. Vampiro actually suckers him in to take over again as the announcers try to figure out why this match is taking place. It’s very telling that the idea of “they’re fighting because the company put together a show instead of some authority figure” is unthinkable. Back in and Vampiro sends him flying with something like a belly to belly superplex to give the fans a sends of genuine excitement.

Crowbar starts no selling chair shots and pelts the chair at Vampiro to break up something off the ropes. Vampiro kicks the chair into Crowbar’s face for two but Crowbar crotches him off the ropes, setting up a slingshot flip legdrop onto the chair. They fight over to the DJ Ran booth (I’ll give you a minute to take in the fact that DJ Ran is still a thing in October 2000) where two druids set up a pair of tables. Crowbar fights off the druids but gets chokeslammed through the tables (Tony: “As only a vampire can!”) for the knockout win.

Rating: B+. This was a heck of a fight as these guys just beat the heck out of each other for nearly ten minutes. If there’s a better hidden gem in WCW than Crowbar I have no idea who he is because Crowbar continues to be awesome every time he’s in the ring. I had a really good time with this as they were giving it everything they had instead of doing anything resembling a match. On a side note, it’s really sad to get excited over a match nearly breaking ten minutes but it’s so rare for TV these days.

Post match Vampiro says this is all on Mike Awesome, who put him out two months ago. Vampiro wants to fight Mike this Sunday because that’s what Vampiro does best. Vampiro: “Be there or be square.”

Crowbar gets stretchered out.

Konnan vs. Shane Douglas

Actually hang on because Shane has a bad arm. Torrie has been a nervous, medicated wreck all week because her man can’t take care of her. Konnan offers her a facial and I’m going to hope you don’t know what that can mean. For some reason Shane keeps calling him Carlos but Konnan says he’s heard it’s a legitimate injury so they won’t fight.

Shane jumps him anyway but gets taken down onto the arm. Konnan slaps on a freaky submission where he wraps his leg around Shane’s head and cranks on the arm which is quickly released for no logical reason. The bad arm is sent into the steps, only to have Torrie slip in a chain. A left hand and the Franchiser put Konnan away quick to make sure that he looks even more worthless.

Scott Steiner vs. Mike Awesome

During the entrances, Tony offers his condolences on the passing of Yokozuna. However, Steiner cuts off the feelings by bringing out A TIGER. As in the tiger comes down to ringside and then leaves about five seconds later. I have no idea why that happened but it certainly got my attention. Booker comes out as a surprise commentator, or as much of a surprise as you can be while your video plays over Awesome’s music. Awesome takes over to start and gets two off a slingshot splash.

The Awesome Splash gets the same as Booker talks about wanting to face Mike next week. Midajah, in her five inch heels, comes in and kicks Awesome over the top. Back in and a suplex (not a fall away slam Tony) allows Steiner to do some pushups. Mike breaks up a superplex attempt and gets two off a top rope clothesline. The Awesome Bomb is loaded up but Midajah grabs the boot, allowing Steiner to get in a pipe shot. A top rope Angle Slam sets up the Recliner to put Awesome away. There’s your #1 contender people.

Rating: D+. This is a case of the horrible booking overtaking the decent action. Of all the people they have in this company they had to job the guy who is getting a guaranteed World Title match in a week? There was NO ONE else around? Like, Sting for instance? He and Jarrett didn’t get any real focus tonight so why not have Jarrett do the distraction so Steiner can beat him and set up two things at once? Too logical I guess but it would have been better than Awesome losing here.

Booker looks a little scared to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. You really can feel the lack of Russo’s influence around this time as you can understand the stories throughout the show and even get some decent action in there. Unfortunately you also get five matches that add up to about nine minutes of wrestling. There comes a point where you just need some good wrestling and I really can’t imagine that’s going to be the case at the pay per view. They’re on the right track but they need a lot of effort to make this whole thing work again.

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3 comments

  1. Jay H (the real one) says:

    Wasn’t Johnny Ace booking WCW by this point with Russo gone again? Also this is where they start doing both Nitro & Thunder in the same City.

    malcolm shields Reply:

    yeah, Johnny Ace was made booker shorty after Russo was sent home

    Heyo Reply:

    If I remember right, he was only allowed to book the finishes at this time. People pushed for him to be the head booker but it never happened. Supposedly, if Bischoff bought out WCW in early 2001 like he wanted to, he would have made Johnny Ace the new booker.