Monday Nitro – May 15, 2000: Russo Is Right
Monday Nitro #240
Date: May 15, 2000
Location: Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi
Commentators: Mark Madden, Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson
The shows had been picking up for a bit until this past Thunder was another disaster with everything being all screwy and focused on Russo. It’s not clear what we’re getting for a main event at the Great American Bash but in theory it’s going to be Flair vs. Jarrett for the title. Then again the most logical option at this point would be Russo vs. Terry Funk as those two have been some of the most featured names on the roster in recent weeks. Let’s get to it.
Vampiro vs. Sting
We’re opening with a match. Of course it’s not a wrestling match though because why do that when you can have a GIMMICK MATCH? This is the House of Pain, which is a cage match but you have to handcuff all four of your opponent’s limbs to the ropes to win. At least the cage has a roof on it to make it a bit cooler. Sting climbs to the top of the cage to start and pounds a hole through the roof to get in. Well that’s different. Vampiro grabs a Saito Suplex to take over as I try to figure out why he didn’t grab the BASEBALL BAT that Sting dropped as he was climbing into the cage.
Vampiro stomps him down and screams a lot before kneeing Sting low. A nice spinning kick to the face drops Sting again but he pops back up with a bunch of clotheslines (Hudson: “POWERBOMB AFTER POWERBOMB!”) and a whip into the cage. Vampiro gets shackled face first against the cage but Sting would rather hit a bunch of Stinger Splashes to Vampiro’s back. The match just ends with no bell as Sting walks out.
Rating: D. Normally I would ask why this wasn’t the pay per view match but there’s no mystery here. This has Russo written all over it as he took a match which didn’t need to take place yet and put a big gimmick on top of it to open a show with no warning. I like the idea of opening with a match, but as usual it’s one step forward after fourteen steps back while stopping for a swerve along the way.
The cage starts rising up with Vampiro attached. The lights go out and Vampiro is gone when they come back up.
Shane Douglas attacks Brian Clark in the parking lot. The Goldberg truck is seen in the background.
Captain Rection gives the Misfits a pep talk and gives them their new names: Chavo Guerrero Jr. is now Lieutenant Loco and Van Hammer is Major Stash. They have a new recruit named Major Gunns, who used to be one of the NWO girls.
Kronik comes out with the Tag Team Titles and they’re introduced as champions. Wait when did they win the belts? I thought Bag….never mind as I don’t want to hear the explanation. They want Douglas and Bagwell out here right now. Shane comes out and says Bagwell has been suspended for thirty days but he has backup for this title match.
Tag Team Titles; Shane Douglas/The Wall vs. Kronik
It’s a brawl to start (of course) with Clark chasing Douglas to the back. Wall chokeslams Adams but Clark takes him to the floor for some clubberin. A belly to back suplex puts Clark through a table and splashes Adams through another one. Kronik pops back up and chokeslams Wall onto (not through) the announcers’ table for a pin back inside.
Rating: D. That was a match? I still have no idea if Kronik are really the champions or not but to be fair I don’t think WCW really knows either. Wall looked good and there’s no shame in getting beaten up by two monsters like Kronik. Whatever gets the belts off the dead team of Douglas and Bagwell is a good idea though so why not Kronik.
Wall beats up the paramedics.
Disco tries to join the New Blood but Bischoff blows him off. Terry Funk comes in and still won’t hand over the Hardcore Title. Ernest Miller jumps him and Bischoff goes on about his business as the beating ensues in the back.
Norman Smiley and Ralphus are in the parking lot and in need of a job. The Goldberg truck looms.
Hardcore Title: Terry Funk vs. Filthy Animals
Funk is defending of course and it’s Juvy/Mysterio/Konnan here. Miller attacks Funk on the way to the ring because just three on one isn’t enough of a challenge for him. The trio starts fast and thankfully Miller leaves so it’s not as one sided. A bunch of weapon shots put Funk down and Rey takes a chair to the top for Sabu’s Atomic Arabian Facebuster. Cue the Misfits in Action to attack the Animals but Disco Inferno runs in to help the Animals. Booker T. runs in and cleans house before draping Funk’s arm over Juvy for the pin to retain. Funk hadn’t moved for the last minute and a half.
Rating: F. STOP WITH THE TERRY FUNK STUFF! At this point, Funk is arguably the strongest pushed face on the roster as he keeps winning over these impossible odds and is one of Bischoff’s main targets. That’s really the best thing they can come up with? This wasn’t a match of course but that’s how it goes around here anymore.
Post match Major Gunns bounces to the ring to take off her top and give Funk mouth to mouth.
Ric Flair arrives.
Norman and Ralphus get jobs selling popcorn.
Ric charges into the New Blood’s office to find Russo but Bischoff says he doesn’t know where Russo is. Flair leaves and Bischoff sends Miller to warn Russo.
Chris Candido and Tammy come out and issue an open challenge to any other couple for a mixed tag for the Cruiserweight Title.
Cruiserweight Title: Chris Candido/Tammy vs. Daffney/Crowbar
The guys slug it out to start as Tony acts like this is a perfectly logical decision on all sides. Cue Miss Hancock to watch and continue a story that has somehow gone backwards after all these months. Candido superplexes Crowbar down and drops the top rope headbutt for two with Daffney making the save. Everything breaks down and Crowbar tries to suplex Tammy as Candido holds Daffney back. Yes that’s backwards and no, the announcers don’t mention that it’s backwards.
Tammy actually counters into a small package for two before taking Crowbar down with a swinging neckbreaker. Crowbar doesn’t seem to mind as he slingshots into a splash on Candido for two before taking him outside for a Vader Bomb off the barricade. Tammy baseball slides a chair into Crowbar’s face and everything breaks down again.
Daffney gives Tammy a Bronco Buster but it’s time for Hancock to dance, which she says is for Tony. In the distraction, Crowbar gives Candido a sitout gordbuster on the ramp, allowing Daffney to roll Tammy up for the pin and the title. It’s not clear who champion is now, meaning the Cruiserweight Title is in the same place as the Tag Team Titles.
Rating: D-. This is the definition of Russo having fun instead of doing something that makes sense. Let’s look at this for a second. Candido came up with this match on the fly and we just happen to have a couple (as in one of what, three on the roster?) come out and fight for the Cruiserweight Title. Then, after stupid stuff like Candido holding Daffney back from saving Tammy for reasons that make no sense, Crowbar and Daffney win the title (I guess?) in a WACKY moment. Russo gets to laugh and another title gets to be treated like a joke.
Daffney and Crowbar both hold the title and seem to argue over who is the real champion.
We don’t have time to figure out what’s going on here though as Ric Flair comes out and beats up Crowbar, just in case the Cruiserweight Title was going to seem important for a few moments. Apparently this is over something that happened in Flair’s house over the weekend which we’ll get to see later. At least there’s a story to it.
Flair demands that Russo get out here right now but Russo is in the truck telling someone to play the tape when he tells them to. After a break, Russo is still demanding that Russo get out here.
Now we cut to Sting, who is going to his car but finds it on fire.
Back to Flair (that Sting bit was interjected with no intro or exit and it was right back to the arena) and the tape airs. It’s David driving a nice car up to Ric’s house with Daffney in the trunk and Russo in the front seat. David says the limo out front is for when his stepmother goes to get the groceries. They go inside and David looks at a portrait of him with his brother Reid and sister Ashley (now known as Charlotte), who he says put unfair expectations on him.
They go into Ric’s bedroom so Daffney can bounce on the bed before looking at the pool. David says his pool is a muddy creek, which Russo says is shark infested. Russo steals a robe out of the closet and then takes him into Reid’s room to complain about Ric never coming to David’s games. David claims that he had to sleep in an unfinished basement but Beth, Ashley (who looks like a blonde Stephanie McMahon) and Reid show up. Russo yells at all of them and leaves wearing the robe.
Back in the arena, David and Daffney come to the stage. Ric tells David to come to the ring and David actually does it. Tonight, David is going to grow up. Ric talks about watching David yell at Arn Anderson on Wednesday but David erupts about having to be Ric’s son for all these years. Daffney sticks her tongue out at Ric as he talks about earning a World Title shot at the Great American Bash. Instead, he’s having that match tonight and wants to face David at the pay per view.
Ric says we’re not going to talk about family business on TV because they’ll fight at the Bash. David wants Ric to be ready but Ric gives is standard promo about Dusty Rhodes, Sting and Lex Luger trying to take him out over the years. Ric says he’ll retire if he loses at the Bash and calls David an embarrassment to the family. Jeff Jarrett sneaks in and hits Ric with the guitar. He slaps on the Figure Four and David beats on Ric for a bit.
I get the idea of the story here, but Ric is looking like the most self centered jerk of all time. His son is clearly having a breakdown right in front of him over all the pressure his dad has put on him but Ric is too busy talking about having a World Title shot and blaming David for being manipulated by all the people in wrestling. Remember about a year ago when Ric brought David into this business and made him US Champion? Well neither does Ric because he’s too busy looking out for himself than for his son. For once, I actually get the idea Russo is presenting here, even though I doubt it’s what he had in mind.
Russo yells at Liz in the back and has some tough love for her. She gets to go inside a cage tonight.
Back from a break with the cage lowered and Russo and Liz coming to the ring. They’re fixing the roof of the cage as Russo yells at Liz for humiliating him over the last few weeks. Tonight she’s going to learn in a House of Pain match against Madusa, who Liz hit with a chair last week.
Madusa vs. Miss Elizabeth
Palumbo is watching the door so just get Luger out here already. Russo is in the cage as the bell rings and keeps yelling at Liz. He yells about Liz being from Kentucky and wants her to slap him now. Dude, we get it. You’re doing this because you’ve wanted Liz for like fifteen years now and you’ll be thinking of every single detail of this during your private time later because you got to be a big dominant man over a woman. I really don’t need to see your fantasies coming to life.
So anyway, Luger is the technician on the roof and comes in to clean house and rack Madusa. Ask your own questions about how Luger got up there in that uniform in the three minutes between Russo announcing the match and coming to the ring. Luger cleans house until security breaks the door open and maces him. It’s 12-1 until Kevin Nash makes the save. Funk and Nash need to team up as the Overcomers after they regularly beat these ridiculous odds week after week.
Security leaves Nash alone with Madusa but Mike Awesome comes in to lay Nash out. This of course means it’s time for MORE RUSSO as he comes out, only to leave with Awesome. Nash grabs the mic and wants Awesome in an ambulance match tonight. Awesome says it’s on. That would be the fifth gimmick match of the night.
Scott Steiner and his women arrive and rip up the format. Wait….this was the structured version??? He’ll be waiting out back for Tank and Rick Steiner because there are too many rules in wrestling.
Norman and Ralphus give out popcorn. There’s no story advancement here but I’ll take what I can get.
Rick and Tank go outside to fight Scott, including Rick breaking a 2×4 over his back. The Goldberg truck shows up and crushes about six cars to chase them off.
Nash is backing an ambulance into the arena.
Kevin Nash vs. Mike Awesome
Ambulance match just because. Nash hammers away as you would expect him to but Awesome comes back with a flying clothesline. It’s chair time though and Nash blasts him in the back as Tony talks about relaxed rules. That’s fine in theory but it’s a gimmick match (as is way too common anymore) with no rules. Try to keep up Schiavone.
They fight up the stage with Awesome hitting him low and setting up a table next to the ambulance. Cue Diamond Dallas Page with a Diamond Cutter to Mike on the ramp. A double powerbomb off the stage puts Awesome through the table (ugly bump as Nash couldn’t get him up and Page had to help Awesome down or he would have broken his neck) and the match is over without the ambulance being involved.
Rating: F. When you have this many gimmicks in one night, at least use the gimmicks. After the non-finish in the previous match (can you really even call it one?) they do this because Nash can’t just put him in the ambulance? There’s a chance Awesome was injured, but that could be because Nash shouldn’t be trying to do spots like that on someone as big as Awesome.
Bischoff is watching on a monitor and says he’ll do it himself.
Ralphus has popcorn stuck in his teeth. Crack jokes ensue and Norman thinks they should expand into selling drinks. Ralphus reaches down his pants and then goes into the popcorn so they’re both fired with no pay.
Here are Bischoff/Miller/Kimberly with something to say. Bischoff brags about Page’s impending divorce and says he wants to beat up Page himself. Page better bring some backup with him too. Cue Page to call Miller a pussycat before cleaning house. Kimberly hits Page in the face with a chair and Miller adds a spinning kick but here’s Sid for the first time in a month to stand on the apron. He makes Page tag him (so fitting from Sid) before he’ll come in and…..chokeslam Page. Does this really surprise anyone?
Just in case that angle is about to set in on anyone, Hogan comes out and clears the ring in about three seconds. Bischoff says Hogan is a dead man.
Kidman vs. Horace Hogan vs. Hulk Hogan
Wait didn’t the New Blood destroy Horace on Thunder? Ah yes we get a clip of that but Horace is back here and on the New Blood’s side. Well of course he is. Hudson brings up the fact that Bischoff is doing the same thing to the Hogans that Russo is doing to the Flairs. Before that can sink in though, Tony says this is a three way dance. Why would Bischoff book it as anything but a handicap match? Bischoff jumps in on commentary of course.
Horace stands in the corner as Hulk beats Kidman up. Kidman’s forearms to the back have no effect and Hulk catapults him out to the ramp. It’s time for the weightlifting belt and Bischoff wants a DQ. Back in and Kidman begs Horace for help but Hulk suplexes Kidman for two. They head outside with Hulk posting Kidman, only to come back with a low blow. Eric: “Tremendous uppercut by the Kidster!”
Back in and Hulk no sells the low shot so Kidman does it again. Horace throws Kidman at Hulk, drawing Bischoff to the apron for some yelling. Horace knocks Eric out to the floor so here are the Filthy Animals. The Hogans get chairs and clean house but cue Torrie in a leopard print dress to wink at Horace, who then blasts Hulk with a chair for the pin.
Rating: D. As usual, take fifteen angles and pile it into a five minute match. This was way too much at once and Russo and Bischoff probably thought it needed more. The Hogan feud isn’t doing anything for Kidman as he doesn’t actually win any of the big matches, but why would Hulk be interested in making someone new who could draw more money for the company and ultimately Hulk himself?
Tony doesn’t understand what’s going on between Torrie and Horace. Tony Schiavone can be really, really stupid at times.
Torrie and Horace leave together and Kidman isn’t happy. Eric comes up and says they’ll talk about this. Tony STILL doesn’t get it.
WCW World Title: Ric Flair vs. Jeff Jarrett
Jeff is defending. Nash is watching in the back and Russo is wearing Ric’s robe, plus what appear to be some of Reid’s medals. We’re even graced with Russo on commentary for more of that New Yawk accent. Of course it’s a brawl to start and Ric takes it to the announcers’ table early on. They get inside for the first time with Jeff pulling up the bottom rope for a low blow.
It’s back to the floor with Jeff driving a chair into Ric’s ribs and leg as Tony wants David to think for himself. Jeff puts on the Figure Four as Russo reminds us that Ric quit last week. That’s the first mention of that forgotten angle tonight so they almost got away with it. Ric makes the rope for the break and comes back with a low blow. Jarrett slams him off the top but Ric grabs a small package for World Title #15.
Rating: C-. He did it with a wrestling move. How about that? This is one of the few moments that makes sense as you have to give Flair SOMETHING after having him get destroyed so many times. That being said, if you want Jarrett to look like a serious main eventer, stop giving him eight day title reigns.
Russo and David beat Ric down again after the match. Vince leaves with the title but Nash comes out to take it away from him. Nash powerbombs Jarrett through the ring and stands tall because the new World Champion is just a guy. At least he hands the title to Flair.
Bischoff tells someone that they have a plan that they’ll start Wednesday morning. Shane Douglas is placed in charge at Thunder. Of all the people, you pick SHANE DOUGLAS?
Flair holds up the title to end the show.
Overall Rating: D-. This was every Russo idea stuffed into one show and cranked up to about seventeen. All night long it was cramming all kinds of stuff into a single segment, followed by people turning on each other and of course Russo. Russo here, Russo there and Russo in the background of other scenes.
Now at least they have something resembling stories going on, but the problem is there are so many ideas going on that you can’t keep up with them. Take the Liz vs. Madusa stuff for instance. They do the match, Luger making the save, Awesome coming out and then Nash coming out in the span of five minutes. There’s so much going on that I have no idea if any of them had an impact on me or not.
The one thing I’m sure of is I’m sick of Russo on camera. It’s the same I’M FROM NEW YORK stuff over and over again as the women keep getting beaten up by men or yelled at by Russo because he needs to validate his masculinity eighteen times a night. I’m tired of seeing Russo all the time because there’s no payoff for him. It’s all “I’m Vince Russo and I hate tradition but there’s nothing you can do about it because I’m from New York and smart and stuff.” Just picture that for three hours plus four or five gimmick matches a night and you have this episode of Nitro. Oh and Russo because he hasn’t been mentioned enough lately.
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