Monday Nitro – May 1, 2000: The One Where It Turns Into A Sitcom

Monday Nitro #238
Date: May 1, 2000
Location: Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex
Attendance: 3,635
Commentators: Mark Madden, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

We’re officially in the David Arquette era here and people are talking about it in USA Today! Unfortunately they weren’t watching the show as this week’s ratings dropped down half a point but why should something like that get in the way of Russo’s grand vision? It’s also the go home show for Slamboree, which may or may not be an even bigger disaster than Spring Stampede. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Thunder’s title change. It says a lot when we’re a week removed from a World Title change and it’s already old news.

Opening sequence.

Page, Kanyon and Arquette arrive at the building but the New Blood is waiting on them. Cue Hogan in his car, which is driven into the side of the New Blood’s limo. A brawl ensues. This is another example of WCW trying to turn Hogan into Austin despite the two being about as different as any two people can be.

The announcers discuss the new World Champion with Madden burying the whole idea. I’ve never agreed with him more.

David Arquette is on the set of 3000 Miles to Graceland where his wife Courtney Cox tells him to stop pretending to be a wrestler. David: “Is that any way to talk to the heavyweight champion of the world?” Shoot me now. Or make me watch Ready to Rumble. I’m not sure which is worse.

Crowbar vs. Norman Smiley/???

Smiley has a fat mystery partner here and he stays a mystery by wearing hockey gear. Crowbar goes after Smiley to start and the partner stands there, making me think it’s Ralphus (there are only so many people with that kind of a gut). They fight over a trashcan before going outside with Crowbar getting in some trashcan lid shots to keep control.

As this exact same weapons match that we’ve seen a dozen times continues to bore the crowd to death, Tony and Scott argue over whether or not the mystery partner is the Shockmaster. Tony sounding sick at his stomach at Shockmaster’s name being mentioned is funny stuff. Crowbar goes after the mystery partner, allowing Norman to get in some shots with a trashcan lid. Norman gets it kicked back into his face though, allowing Crowbar to drop a splash from the apron for two.

Back inside and Crowbar’s suicide dive hits a chair. See, that’s totally different than a trashcan lid because it’s a different kind of metal weapon. Totally not the same thing. Norman’s Big Wiggle is broken up with a low blow so Crowbar does the Wiggle behind the mystery partner.

Smiley hits Crowbar in the back with the kendo stick, knocking Crowbar into a suggestive position behind the mystery partner, of course setting up the Big Wiggle from Norman. SEE! IT’S FUNNY! Back in and the mystery partner tries to do something, only to get kicked in the stomach. Norman crotches Crowbar on top though and tries a belly to back superplex, only to have Crowbar roll over for two. Crowbar grabs a rollup but Norman rolls through into a rollup of his own for the pin

Rating: D-. So far on this show, we’ve had Hulk Hogan as a crazy driver trying to kill people, a discussion of David Arquette winning the WCW World Title and ANOTHER lame hardcore match between comedy wrestlers because “well it worked in the WWF so let’s do the exact same thing here!”. I’m sick of this stupid division with its horribly repetitive nonsense and now we’re having matches not even for the title. Why do I have a feeling this show is only going to get worse?

The announcers talk about Arquette winning again with Tony calling it a great moment in sports entertainment. I know this is covering a lot of ground, but that might be the dumbest thing that Tony Schiavone has ever said.

Back to Arquette and Cox from presumably earlier today. David isn’t worried when Kurt Russell comes up. He and Courtney need to go off and do their adult  love scene. Kurt laughs off the idea of David being the World Champion so Arquette goes after him with a chair. Courtney: “YOU’RE NOT A WRESTLER!”

Shawn Stasiak is in a gym shooting a basketball. Tonight he’s going to prove he’s more than just a wrestler…….by breaking a free throw record. So, YET AGAIN, this is something that makes no sense if you weren’t watching the other company about ten years ago. Otherwise, you’re looking at a wrestler who hasn’t done much in this company proving that he can shoot a basketball.

This is a moment where the most basic question about wrestling booking should be asked: how is this going to make someone want to watch our next show or buy a ticket to come see us? We’re watching someone shooting a basketball, a minute after two actors made fun of the World Champion for not being a wrestler. How is this supposed to make me want to keep watching this show? Because it was something Curt Hennig did in a series of vignettes in another company ten or eleven years ago? If this is the best they can come up with, quit now.

Here are Arquette, Page and Kanyon with something to say. Arquette is so thankful for the fans’ reception (ignore the booing I guess) but he doesn’t deserve the title and is going to vacate it so Page and Jarrett can fight for it on Sunday. This brings out Jarrett, Bischoff and Russo, with Liz, with Jeff saying Arquette doesn’t get to just drop the title like that.

Bischoff says that Arquette became a sports entertainer (yes a sports entertainer) when he got in the ring on Thunder. So what was he when he got in the ring with Bischoff last Monday? Or can Bischoff not remember that far back? This Sunday, it’s a three way in the cage, because DAVID ARQUETTE is now the big draw instead of a triple cage, which has been ignored for most of the build towards the pay per view.

Cue Luger to go after Russo to get Liz back because this segment doesn’t have enough going on yet. Bischoff isn’t done yet either and makes Arquette vs. Tank Abbott for later tonight. Tank comes out and wants to fight now but Page gets in his way. They brawl until Tank challenges Page to a fight tonight. If he wins, he gets Arquette. Page says deal.

Luger is still looking for Russo.

Stasiak is still shooting. Alone, as in most attempts at a record.

Bischoff puts Hugh Morrus in a three way with Scott Steiner and Jeff Jarrett. If any of Hugh’s Misfits in Action interfere, they’re all fired.

The Wall vs. Horace Hogan

It’s a tables match just because. They slug it out to start but here’s Miss Hancock to watch the match. To be fair she’s more interesting than anything in the ring. Horace actually gets the better of it with a neckbreaker and DDT, as he does in almost all of his matches that he’s going to wind up losing. It’s already table time but Kidman comes out for a distraction, allowing Wall to chokeslam Horace for the win.

Post match Hulk comes in but Mike Awesome jumps him from behind. Kidman and Wall come back in for a 3-1 beatdown and it’s table time again. So soon? Hogan gets off the table (off camera because WCW) and loads up Awesome for a superplex, only to be sunset bombed through the table instead.

Vampiro is in a graveyard and asks Sting to come and play. Curiosity killed the scorpion after all. My curiosity is why Hogan’s music could be heard in a graveyard, especially when it wasn’t playing in the arena.

Russo drags Liz to the ring and challenges Luger to come face him later. Luger is the Total Package, but that doesn’t compare to being the TOTAL MAN that Vince Russo is.

Hugh Morrus vs. Scott Steiner vs. Jeff Jarrett

Non-title. Steiner stops to yell at a fan who has a Big Papa Pump Sucks sign. It’s a big beatdown on Morrus to start and Steiner adds the spinning belly to belly. Jeff covers but Scott breaks it up and starts an argument. The Stroke is broken up and Steiner suplexes Jeff, only to be clotheslined down by Morrus. No Laughing Matter misses and it’s time for the Steiner Recliner, only to have Jarrett bash Scott with the guitar. Jeff stops to pose, allowing Morrus to drape an arm over Steiner for the pin.

Lash and Chavo come out to celebrate as the New Blood…..lets them.

Sting goes walking through the graveyard as Morrus’ music plays. How he knew which graveyard to go to or how he got there in about ten minutes isn’t explained.

Bischoff fires the Misfits in Action except Lash, who is too stupid to know what fired means. Ok then.

Back in the graveyard and Sting has found Vampiro. Vampiro hits him with a shovel and knocks him into a grave. He loads up a tombstone (as in an actual stone) but stops when Sting asks what Vampiro is. Vampiro says he’s the monster Sting should be and hits him in the head with a tombstone. Vampiro adds a wheelbarrow and leaves. Sting’s hand pops out of the grave about five seconds later, because Russo can’t even wait on DEATH.

Luger is posing in front of a mirror and Flair worships him ala Heenan at Wrestlemania IX.

Tank Abbott vs. Diamond Dallas Page

Page gets punched a lot to start but survives a big right hand. They fight to the floor with Tank dominating, but let’s cut to the back because that’s what we do around here. In this case it’s Kanyon and Arquette locked in their dressing room, leaving them unable to come and help Page. Back in the arena and Jarrett sneaks out of the crowd to hit Page with a bottle. Tank hits Page in the back of the head with a right hand…..and that’s a knockout on the floor with no count. So you don’t even need a ring to win a wrestling match these days.

Page is stretchered out.

Hogan brawls with Awesome.

Here’s Kidman to soak in the praise for beating up Hogan. Hulk is all old and washed up, just like Kevin Nash. He promises not to talk anymore but then issues an open challenge. Nash is in the back and gets a pep talk from Terry Taylor of all people, meaning it’s time to go to the ring. Well Nash was in the Red and Black and Taylor was the Red Rooster so they must be related somehow.

Nash comes down to the ring and knocks Kidman across the ring with a single knee to the ribs. The big elbows have Kidman rocked in the corner but here are Konnan and Rey Mysterio to take out Nash’s knee. Kevin fights off the lowly cruiserweights and chases Konnan and Rey to the back. They jump into a waiting truck…..which can’t go anywhere because fans are waiting on them. Nash pulls them both out and beats them up again.

Russo brings Liz out again and promises to interfere on Sunday so he can beat up Flair. If Luger wins their match tonight, Luger can have the key to Liz. So she’s a door or a treasure chest? Luger and Flair come out but Bagwell and Douglas take Ric out. Security goes after Luger and maces him, allowing the Tag Team Champions to lay him out even more. Liz hits Russo with the bat and runs away, leaving Kronik to come out and destroy everyone.

Arquette wants to give the title back but Kanyon says it doesn’t work. Kanyon goes off to take care of something.

Nash is still beating up Mysterio and Konnan but stops to break the truck’s window with a crowbar.

Kronik is arrested.

Here’s Vampiro in the ring because BURYING A MAN ALIVE isn’t enough for one week. He talks about being the monster that Sting should have been but the lights go out. A crow is in the entrance but Sting repels down and beats up Vampiro with the bat.

Stasiak is still shooting.

Russo yells at Liz so she slaps him. That means she won and Russo leaves. So Russo is a MAN who likes strong women? Who will likely join him later on so Russo can get the girl?

WCW World Title: Tank Abbott vs. David Arquette

We’re really here. This isn’t a dream, it’s not a nightmare (ok it is), and this is supposed to be their big idea to get people to care, despite the fact that it looks like a recycled Friends plot…….and oh my goodness it is. One time on Friends, Monica’s (played by Courtney Cox-ARQUETTE) boyfriend fought TANK ABBOTT in a UFC fight. When I typed up the recycled Friends part, I meant it as a joke but that’s what they’re really doing. This isn’t a similarity. This isn’t close enough that it could be seen either way. This story is a copy of a Friends plot that aired three years earlier. So not only is Russo horrible, but he’s also plagiarizing.

Kanyon tries to slip David some brass knuckles but gets ejected. Tank throws Arquette into the corner and grabs him by the neck but lets him go. Abbott slams him down again and punches out the ref for no logical reason. Page’s music comes on and we see Bischoff sending Jarrett to the ring. Back in the ring and we see Page Diamond Cutting Abbott to keep the title on Arquette. Build Abbott for weeks, feed him to David Arquette. Somehow, that might not be the least insane thing on this show.

We cut to the back to see that Steiner has knocked Jarrett out.

Hennig breaks up the free throw record with one shot to go. Much like with the graveyard: how did Hennig know which gym to go to?

Hulk Hogan vs. Mike Awesome

Hogan attacks to start as the announcers hype up the idea that this is Terry Bollea. A big clothesline puts Hogan on the floor and Mike hammers away up against the barricade. Back in and a top rope clothesline gets two. That’s enough selling for Hogan as he comes back with a lame chair shot to the head and another one to the back. He chokes Mike with the weightlifting belt, followed by Awesome choking him against the barricade.

Hogan suplexes Mike on the floor and chokes even more as the announcers are admitting that this isn’t wrestling. Awesome’s chair shots stagger Hogan and they go inside for Mike’s slingshot splash for two. Hulk no sells it again and hammers away but Kidman comes in. That earns him a chair to the back as well, which draws in Bischoff. Kidman chairs Hogan off the top and Hogan puts his hand to his forehead and rakes a razor over the skin in the most obvious bladejob in the history of this business. Back in and Awesome gets the pin.

Rating: D. Why does Hogan keep getting the longest matches on Nitro? Is it in his contract or something? They were very smart to keep this as a brawl instead of making us sit through another Hogan “wrestling” exhibition. I can’t imagine Awesome’s career gets much higher than this in WCW as he’s already won a major match and that’s enough for some young diamond level prospect.

Hogan beats up Kidman, Awesome and the referee with the chair. A fan runs in but the bloodbath falls on Hogan, drawing in the New Blood for the beatdown to end the show.

Overall Rating: F. In addition to the plot revolving around a free throw shooting record (which you can apparently tie in about an hour and a half), Ralphus as a hockey mascot, Nash destroying the returning Konnan and Mysterio in short order, a burial that lasted about an hour, the recycled Friends plot line (I can’t get over that) that saw Tank Abbott get pinned by David Arquette and most of the matches not even breaking three minutes, a good chunk of Sunday’s card wasn’t touched on.

Sunday’s card has ten matches. Five of them got time tonight: Funk vs. Crowbar/mystery partner (that’s a stretch), Stasiak vs. Hennig, Sting vs. Vampiro, Hogan vs. Kidman and the three way for the title. The other five range from not enough time to fit onto the show to not announced yet to dropped for the sake of an unrelated story involving Vince Russo.

This show failed on almost every imaginable level. Russo is somehow getting worse week by week and it’s getting even more difficult to sit through these things. I’m not even sure what the main story is supposed to be. Is it Kidman and company vs. Hogan or Russo and Bischoff’s shenanigans or maybe the World Title feud? I’ve lost track of anything this company might be doing and I’m really not sure how they’re supposed to, but in this case it might actually get a bit better in a week once the title changes hands. For the fourth time in three weeks.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete 1997 Monday Night Raw Reviews at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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6 Responses

  1. meka3000 says:

    That whole rant about Russo ripping off the plot to Tank Abott’s guest star episode on friends might be the funniest thing you’ve ever done. Kudos!

    • Thomas Hall says:

      I’ll take the thanks but it wasn’t meant to be funny.

      • meka3000 says:

        I know, but sometimes being pissed off adds to the hilarity in my opinion.

        • Thomas Hall says:

          Yeah that can be true. With this it was more shock. Like…..THEY STOLE A PLOT FROM FRIENDS. I’m still not over that.

        • Jay H (the real one) says:

          It really amazes me how people complain about WWE today but pine for this crap to come back so it can be TV 14 again. I see some people defend Russo for this garbage too because lord knows we need him to rip off Friends and the Company where he had his only success. Only because of a filter named Vince Mcmahon.

  2. MikeCheyne says:

    The utter lack of entertainment and/or logic is what is really painful about this period, and what makes even what comes before or after stand out. At least jumping back to the dreary Sullivan era, things were logically being booked. The Wall is no great shakes, but was being booked as a monster. Vampiro was the plucky babyface. Jump ahead a little more when everyone has basically given up and at least things are slightly more entertaining–Kanyon is Positively Kanyon, Stasiak is part of the Natural Born Thrillers, etc.

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