Monday Nitro – June 28, 1999: Yeah Nash Is Booking. Why Do You Ask?
Date: June 28, 1999
Location: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
We’ve got two shows left before Bash at the Beach and the big story tonight is Ric Flair having some sort of a big surprise for World Champion Kevin Nash. The last week of shows was better than the stuff they’ve been putting on lately, although that really doesn’t cover much. You never can tell what sort of nonsense you’re going to get on here so let’s get to it.
The Flairs arrive with the owner of the United CenterBruce McArthur. He offers to build a statue of David Flair bigger than the one of Michael Jordan.
It’s Nash vs. Flair tonight. David Flair that is.
Chris Benoit/Perry Saturn vs. Fit Finlay/Steven Regal
Fallout from Thunder where Regal returned and yelled at Finlay and Dave Taylor, who is on the floor for this one. Regal rips on America before the match starts like a good villain should. Finlay cranks on the arm to start but Benoit takes his head off with a clothesline as we take a quick break. Back with Finlay sending Regal to the floor before dropping him throat first over the top rope.
Off to Regal as we hear about a dance off later in the show. He works on Saturn’s arm for a bit but walks into a belly to belly. Regal tags in Finlay for a sleeper, only to have Saturn counter into one of his own. Regal draws in Benoit like the old villain he is, allowing him to hit Saturn in the back with the British flag pole. We get a double tag and Benoit runs Regal over with clotheslines and a suplex sets up the Swan Dive. Finlay makes a save and Regal puts Saturn in the Regal Stretch, only to have Benoit make the save, setting up a Death Valley Driver for the pin on Regal.
Rating: C+. Would you expect these four to have anything bad? Regal is every bit as awesome as he used to be with the little heel mannerisms that you only get from a veteran. It’s nice to see Benoit and Saturn get a win to help set up their match at the Bash because they probably don’t have much of a chance there.
Van Hammer comes in to see the bosses and would like a title shot. His reward: a TV Title shot against Rick Steiner at the PPV.
Gene brings out the bosses minus Piper for some reason. Why Anderson has changed his clothes since the last segment isn’t really clear. Flair rips on the crowd with the old standard sports lines before Piper comes out and does exactly the same. Piper rips on Howard Stern in his weekly story that most people don’t care about. Apparently the power structure around here won’t let Ric be the World Champion again so David is going to do it in his place. The title match is happening tonight and it’s going to be a lumberjack match.
This brings Flair to Randy Savage, who he’d like to see out here right now. Savage, Sid and the girls come out and Flair wants them all to be lumberjacks. Ric sweetens the pot a bit by offering to reinstate the elbow. Little Naitch protests and is basically told to shut up. Savage rambles a lot before accepting.
Lodi teaches Lenny Lane to paint his nails. Lenny asks when WCW is going to find out about them but Lodi says they’re not the only ones. Lodi: “You got me babe and I got you.”
Lodi vs. Eddie Guerrero
Eddie pounds away to start but Lodi sends him into the referee in less than thirty seconds. Lenny comes in and gets dropkicked down as Eddie armdrags Lodi at the same time. A brainbuster plants Lodi and Eddie loads up the Frog Splash, only to have Lenny crawl on top of Lodi. That’s fine with Eddie who splashes Lenny’s back and pins Lodi. Uh….comedy?
Torrie, David and Piper are in the back and recruit the Triad to be lumberjacks.
Here’s Hak to ask if fans want to see him get extreme. Remember that Flair banned hardcore matches on Thunder a few weeks back. Hak wants Flair out here now but gets Bigelow instead.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Hak
Bigelow jumps Hak to start and splashes him in the corner, only to run into a boot. Hak clotheslines him out to the floor but his plancha is easily caught, allowing Bigelow to ram him into the post. Back in and Bigelow keeps using the fat man offense, only to miss the top rope headbutt. Not that it matters as Hak misses the swanton but comes back with a swinging DDT. Cue the rest of the Triad but Hak nails them with the stick and gives Bigelow the White Russian legsweep. Page comes in for the Diamond Cutter to give Bigelow the pin.
Rating: D. So now it takes three people to beat HAK? I’m not sure why they bothered to get rid of the hardcore matches as it leaves guys like him to try and work a regular match which just isn’t going to happen. He hit a nice DDT and that’s about the extent of wrestling Hak seems capable of doing. Why sign him if you’re going to take away the only thing people like seeing him do?
Here’s Nash with something to say. WCW still doesn’t want him as champion and his only friend is at home in Orlando. However, he’ll put up the title tonight with the stipulation that if he wins, he gets Torrie for 72 hours. He doesn’t need a week you see because after 72 hours with him, Torrie will be ruined.
DJ Ran again.
NWO vs. West Texas Rednecks
Sure why not. That would be Stevie/Vincent/Brian Adams/Horace. It’s Barry vs. Adams to start with Windham slapping him in the face. An armdrag sets up a DDT from Barry but Adams presses him into the air, only to have Barry slip out and roll him up for two. Off to Hennig vs. Stevie with the big man running over Curt and stomping away in the corner.
Kendall comes in and takes a clothesline before it’s off to Vincent for a stomping of his own. Off to Horace who is quickly caught in the Redneck corner. Hennig comes in for his running kneelift before Barry nails a top rope clothesline. Bobby kicks Horace in the face but Adams trips him up, allowing for the hot tag (?) to Vincent. Everything breaks down and a double bulldog to Vincent is enough for the pin.
Rating: D. Who books an eight man all heel tag match? The NWO hasn’t wrestled together in months and I have no idea why they’re even a thing anymore. The Rednecks are an interesting idea and the song is incredibly catchy, even though booking them as heels isn’t a good idea. It helps that we didn’t have to hear Master P. shouting like an idiot this week though.
Time for a dance contest between Disco Inferno and Ernest Miller. The Nitro Girls are the judges to try and make this not horrible. Scratch that as we’re going by fan applause, making the Girls pure eye candy. Miller says he could beat Jerry Flynn too, likely setting up a run in. Ernest does his usual routine, Disco does his usual routine, Miller jumps Disco and we’ve got a match.
The Cat vs. Disco Inferno
Disco is in trouble to start but makes a quick comeback with an atomic drop and dancing middle rope elbow. Cat comes back with chops and kicks before sending Disco outside for kicks from Sonny. Back in and Disco hits a Chartbuster out of nowhere but takes forever to cover, allowing Sonny to come in. That goes badly for Cat too as Sonny hits his man but slips him the red shoe. Miller knocks Disco sillier but Jerry Flynn runs out for the no contest.
Flynn wants a kickboxing match with Miller next week. We just spent five minutes setting up kickboxing with Jerry Flynn. This show is done.
Tag Team Titles: Buff Bagwell/Dean Malenko vs. Jersey Triad
Flair and company come out to the announcers’ table and announce Anderson as referee for the main event tonight because he’s still not over the NWO parody of his retirement. Bigelow starts on the floor as Malenko rolls up Page for some fast two counts. Off to Bagwell vs. Kanyon with Kanyon mocking Buff’s dance in a funny bit. Buff nails a quick atomic drop and a swinging neckbreaker before it’s back to Dean. Malenko sunset flips Kanyon but Page gets a blind tag and nails Dean to take over.
Bigelow comes in for a 3-1 beatdown with Kanyon hitting a middle rope legdrop for two. Page gets the same off a tilt-a-whirl slam and we take a break. Back with Page clotheslining Malenko for two, only to have Dean escape a tilt-a-whirl slam and make the hot tag to Buff. Bagwell cleans house on the legal Kanyon but Bigelow grabs his leg to break up the Blockbuster.
Bigelow and Kanyon take turns on Buff before it’s off to Page for an elbow drop. Buff crawls around the ring but finally grabs a sunset flip for two. Malenko tags himself in but the referee goes down quickly. Everything breaks down and Buff Blockbusters Kanyon, only to have Bigelow come in for the double Diamond Cutter to pin Dean.
Rating: C-. Take pretty much every Triad match so far and you have the same thing here. The young team gets beaten down again, the old guys rule the day and the fans are punched in the ribs again. That’s basically WCW in a nutshell at this point, as the young guys continue to look like nothing next to the veterans.
We get the world premiere of the I Hate Rap video. This is still awesome and Curt Hennig is still the only West Texas Redneck from Minnesota.
Sid Vicious vs. Scott Putski
I really don’t see this going well. Sid has Savage and all three girls with him and takes nearly two minutes to get to the ring. The bell rings and there’s no contact for over a minute. The girls get on the apron and the guys haven’t touched each other in the first ninety seconds. The girls keep rubbing Scott’s back from the apron until Sid FINALLY hits him after nearly two minutes.
In the span of another minute, Sid hits him about five times while the fans are very bored. A snapmare puts Putski down and the chant turns to Goldberg. The chokeslam plants Scott but Sid would rather walk around than cover. The powerbomb finally ends it after nearly five minutes.
Rating: F. If they were going out there and trying to tick the fans off, they’ve succeeded at something for the first time in months. This was a match that should have lasted thirty seconds but instead Sid stood around and yelled for minutes at a time after having the longest entrance this side of Undertaker. Why even bother with the match at this point?
Post match Savage and Sid say Nash is next and Randy drops an elbow on Putski. Somehow from the time Scott’s music hit to the time they went to a break was ten minutes long. Does that look like a ten minute segment to you?
WCW World Title: David Flair vs. Kevin Nash
Lumberjack match with Arn Anderson as referee and Savage, Sid, the girls, Ric, Piper and the Triad around the ring. David even has one of his dad’s robes for a nice touch. The announcers already start talking about how Nash is up against the wall and the lumberjacks all come in to go after him. Nash is quickly down in the corner as David bails to the floor. Arn of course has something in his eye this whole time but gets it clean as David puts on the Figure Four for a two count.
Nash wakes up and hammers away as the beating is on in a hurry. He hits all the usual stuff as the lumberjacks come in again. Nash of course fights off ALL OF THEM and takes a taser away from David. The villains are shocked and Nash kidnaps Gorgeous George as Torrie leaves willingly with Nash.
The three of them go to the back towards Nash’s limo but see a Hummer. Sting’s face can be seen in the mirror and Nash sees him before leaving in the limo with the girls to end the show.
Overall Rating: D-. So let’s look at the last half hour of this show. We have a ten minute Sid vs. Scott Putski match and Kevin Nash fighting off eight men and getting to leave with two gorgeous blondes. I’m sure the latter has nothing to do with him being the booker whatsoever. Over on Raw, Steve Austin was beating the Undertaker for the WWF Title in the highest rated match in the history of Monday Night Raw. This week felt like WCW was actively trying to lose and that isn’t a good sign as we head into the second half of the year.
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It’s idiot booking because the “Flair pulls strings for David” storyline (which should really tie in nicely with the “old v. new” story…you can’t get ahead unless you’re David, the boss is against me, it’s like Austin v. McMahon but with more basis than just “oh, that Steve Austin, he’s so cool!”) doesn’t need to be anywhere NEAR the World Title at this point. Let David “work his way up” (ha-ha-ha) by “winning” the TV title and then he can “defend” each week to keep his “streak” going.
Bonuses to this approach:
1) The World Title isn’t used for comedy purposes.
2) You get the belt off of Rick Steiner.
3) If you do it right (maybe “injure” Rick), you can turn Scott Steiner face, as the Big Poppa Pump character should be, temporarily. (Once the old trash is effectively gone…I mean, f*cking Sting and his Hummer, who CARES?…you can make Steiner the monster heel he was born to be. But at the moment, the “new kids” need more firepower than Dean Malenko.)
4) Having David rubbing his “streak” into everybody’s face regularly gives Goldberg something to do when he comes back that doesn’t mean he has to crowd right into the title picture instantly. If David matures to where he can cheat his way to victory with minimal help, you can even have him extend the first couple of matches with Goldberg long enough for Bill to lose it and get DQ’d for insane violence, making Goldberg still look awesome, David look not quite a schmuck (since you do want to use him seriously, down the road) and David to keep his “streak” going, albeit in a very painful way.
5) Keeping David away from the World Title lets Nash actually have to do some work before the PPV. Here’s an idea…since the previous PPV apparently didn’t resolve the issue with Savage (you’re not reviewing the PPVs, for some reason, but it seems as though the big deal was Sid coming back and breaking things up?), why not give us Nash vs. Sid? With Savage in one corner and Sting in the other? (Better way to set up the Main Event Tag for the Bash than this Hummer crap.) Climax is Nash power bombs Sid, Savage runs in, Nash and the ref turn to him, Sting sneaks in, brandishing a foreign object, takes a moment to look at the back of Nash’s head while Nash is facing off with Savage, but then turns and cold-cocks a recovering Sid, who’s about to get up from the floor. Sting escapes while the ref gets Savage out of the ring, Nash turns back, sees Sid trying to get up again, gives him another shot (a big elbow to mock Savage perhaps?) and gets the pin.
Your champion wins, your main heel stays fresh (and the elbow tease ties into Flair giving Savage back the top-rope elbow), the sub-heel has an excuse for getting pinned (and looked tough getting up from the Power Bomb), and the audience is left wondering if Sting will really have Nash’s back at the Bash, without having to work David Flair, superfluous girls, or freaking car wrecks into the whole deal. (And yes, the audience has no desire to emphasize with either the guy in the limo or the guy in the Hummer. Not to mention that a “car wreck” is a metaphor the show could do without.)
Also, lose the dance-offs and the Jerry Flynn push, obviously. I liked the eight-man tag, though…if the NWO feels abandoned by Hennig, it helps to make the Rednecks less heelish since they should be “bad-boy faces” at least, as you point out.
And Flair should just fire Hak, have Hak try to get in his face, and let somebody build heat as Flair’s “enforcer” (Van Hammer, maybe?) by smacking down Hak when he tries to jump Flair, thwarting Hak’s attempts to jump Flair in the coming weeks, beating him in brief matches a few times to knock him down to where he can go home for the rest of his contract and leave the enforcer to mostly glower and do run-ins, a useful figure who doesn’t really need to wrestle against top guys so much.
Am just wondering where goldberg been hiding lately?, is he making a movie or something
Yeah he is. A Universal Soldier movie I believe.