Monday Nitro – July 24, 2000 (2015 Redo): The Rube Goldberg Machine of Wrestling
Date: July 24, 2000
Location: CSU Convocation Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson, Mark Madden
The shows have been a lot better lately but you know the bad has to be coming at some point. In this case the big story has been Scott Steiner going insane, along with the return of Kevin Nash. New Blood Rising is coming soon enough and I’m sure you’ve all heard of the reputation that show has attained. Let’s get to it.
No recap from last week this time as it’s Lance Storm kicking things off. We get O Canada with the Canadian flag being lowered above the ring. Storm gets in a few jabs at America for being weak and promises to defeat Mike Awesome again at New Blood Rising. He needs to be at his best for that match so let’s have a warmup right now. This brings out Hardcore Champion Big Vito, who I guess is now a face. Vito wants a fight but Storm wants to make it title vs. title. Terms accepted and Storm hits him before the bell.
US Title/Hardcore Title: Lance Storm vs. Big Vito
Storm takes over to start but Vito grabs a Japanese armdrag and clotheslines Lance down. We get the cone between Storm’s legs and it’s already table time. Vito takes too long though and gets superplexed for two as Madden continues to cheer for Storm. A quick arm trap suplex (and a good looking one too) sends Storm flying and Vito’s top rope elbow gets two. The implant DDT (not jumping Tony) gets a delayed two, which is even more impressive when you consider Vito just grabbed the leg and wasn’t over Storm’s chest. They trade superkicks but Storm grabs the Maple Leaf for the submission and both titles.
Rating: C. Not a bad match here as Vito is totally fine when you have someone there to walk him through everything. Storm being a double champion is interesting and it’s a good sign to see someone showing up and getting pushed to some early gold. Also, how nice is it to start with a match instead of a bunch of talking?
Here’s Booker T. with something to say. He thanks the fans for having his back because without them, he wouldn’t be the World Champion. Booker is tired of hearing about Jeff Jarrett running around in the back talking about how he should be the champ, so at New Blood Rising, he’s taking Jarrett to school. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. I still don’t really get how that applies to most of his promos.
Instead of Jarrett, here’s Goldberg to a big face pop because it was really stupid to turn him heel. Last week Booker put his hands on him (it was his foot actually) so tonight, Booker is next. Booker says it’s on so here’s the Cat. It’s not so simple as just handing the title shot to Goldberg, because we’re going to put the vote up to the fans, who can go to WCW.com and vote for Goldberg or Sting. Goldberg lays out the Cat but Booker makes the save, drawing out security. In case you didn’t know who WCW wanted in the title match of course. Cat promises that he owes Goldberg some payback now.
We go to the commentary table, where Mark Madden is billed as “TV’s Best Looking Man.” Kidman is here for some reason and he’s one of TEN options to face Booker for the title tonight. Here are the options:
Miss Hancock/David Flair vs. Lieutenant Loco/Major Gunns
Kidman is on commentary for no apparent reason and has a birthday present for Torrie Wilson: a sex tape of the two of them together. Why he’s here during this match isn’t clear but he promises to play the tape later tonight. The guys start as the announcers change the rules of the ROTC match by making it a Boot Camp match in the mud. I don’t even want to know how that is supposed to work. Hancock slides in a chair so Gunns chases her around the ring as Loco stomps Flair down in the corner. Everything breaks down and Hancock cross bodies David by mistake. A lot of yelling allows Gunns to roll her up for the pin.
Gunns loads up mouth to mouth on Loco but David pulls her away so Hancock can rip off Gunns’ top. Loco gets up to make the save.
Jarrett comes in to Cat’s office and demands that he get his title shot tonight. Cat tells him to get out so Jeff knocks stuff off the desk. Jeff gets a title shot but against Kronik.
Sting, still under a mask, says it’s really him (and it certainly sounds like him). He doesn’t care what the booking committee says because the mask is coming off tonight. Dang it Sting you’re better than that.
Goldberg is sure the fans will pick him but if not, their pick is leaving in a body bag.
Brian Adams is ready to go to the ring but a thud is heard and Brian Clark is found with a guitar broken over his head.
Tag Team Titles: Jeff Jarrett vs. Kronik
Jarrett is challenging and is out here very quickly if he was the one to hit Clark. In other words, this is a singles match for the Tag Team Titles, at least to start. Tony: “We’re going to see action.” Madden: “No. We’re going to see Torrie Wilson DOING IT DOING IT DOING IT!” Jarrett goes right after him to start but Adams punches him down with ease. A very fast piledriver gets two on Jeff but they’re quickly to the floor where Adams is sent into the steps.
Back in and Jeff keeps control by poking an eye (I miss that so much) and gets two off a faceplant. The full nelson slam plants Jeff but Adams opts for a big boot and legdrop (Madden: “That move never wins!”) for two instead. Adams goes after the referee for no apparent reason, allowing Jarrett to poke him in the throat with the guitar.
That’s only good for two though and Adams gets the same off a gorilla press into a gutbuster. Cue Clark with a broken guitar to lay out Jarrett, followed by the Meltdown. Clark isn’t done though as he wants High Times through the table. The referee says no so he takes it instead, drawing the no contest/DQ, whichever it is when the referee is out cold.
Rating: D. Yeah imagine that: Jeff Jarrett vs. Crush isn’t the best match in the world. I thought they were going somewhere with the mystery attacker on Jarrett unless they’re going to pull something else later tonight. I’m not sure what the point was in having Jarrett get back out there so quickly but the match didn’t work. Thankfully they didn’t change the titles though.
Vampiro surprises Cat in his office and wants to take out Great Muta. They’ll do it together because Cat is a ninja.
Torrie admits that the tape is real.
We get an update on the poll: Sting has 35%, Goldberg has 30% and Vampiro is the only other person in double figures with 10%.
Vampiro vs. Great Muta
Cat is referee after Muta sprayed mist in his eyes on Thunder. Vampiro kicks the Cat down so Cat beats up the Insane Clown Posse. Muta kicks Cat and we’ve got a heel stable. Demon runs out and helps in the beating. The Cat fights up and beats up the Clowns because no one can look bad in this company.
Booker promises he’ll retain.
WCW World Title: Booker T. vs. ???
The challenger is…….Sting. Well in theory at least as Goldberg jumps Sting in the aisle and gives him the Bret Killer kick. Sting is stretchered out and Goldberg says he wants the shot. Booker is in and gets taken down by an early clothesline and World’s Strongest Slam. The champ bails outside and gets kicked in the face again, followed by a ram into the steps to bust him open. A cross armbreaker sends Booker bailing to the ropes but here’s Stevie Ray to throw in the towel. Goldberg throws it out before the referee sees it so Cat comes out and says Goldberg gets the win. The title doesn’t change though since Goldberg didn’t beat him.
So Goldberg just destroyed Sting in ten seconds and squashed the World Champion in three minutes. No he didn’t give up or get pinned, but this was totally one sided with Goldberg not giving up a thing. Booker is still champion because he didn’t give up, but he looks like the biggest lame duck in history. Well done WCW. It only took that much to get GOLDBERG over again. Oh and well done again on dangling a carrot in front of the fans with the poll and then saying HA! We still get what we want! Why do the poll then?
Post break Booker tells Cat to restart the match or he’s out of the company. Cat actually agrees.
Buff Bagwell vs. Positively Kanyon
Buff has his mom with him AGAIN. Why do you think this is a good idea? Even Mark Madden (now saying “sex tape” in almost every sentence) thinks it’s stupid to keep doing this. No Kanyon for some reason so Judy swears about wanting him to come out here. Buff declares himself the winner but the cameraman jumps him, revealing himself as Kanyon in a good looking wig. No match, again.
Buff fights him off at first but walks into a Kanyon Cutter. Kanyon chases Judy to the back (she’s not as fast as you would think) and throws her in the back of a car before driving away.
Post break, Bagwell gives chase.
Kidman brags about the tape again.
Shane Douglas vs. Mike Awesome
Before the match, Shane says he and Torrie (Looking great again this week. Like better than she usually does.) are used to the finer things in life so they’re getting out of this town as fast as possible. Mike brings three of his women with him to even things out. I’m not sure how the math works on that but most of WCW doesn’t work at this point. Mike clotheslines him a few times to start and goes to the top for a springboard shoulder out to the floor. Madden: “Break out the Oreos girls! Mike wants to party down!”
Torrie rakes the eyes to give Shane a breather and we hit the neck crank because Shane is already out of offense I guess. It doesn’t last long Awesome fights back and hits the splash (not the Awesome splash but just a splash from Awesome) for two. Now he loads up the Awesome splash (which is also a splash from Awesome) but Torrie grabs the leg, allowing Shane to get in some chain shots to the ribs. He loads up something off the top but it’s time for the sex tape on the big screen. In the distraction, Awesome hits him with a weight (where did he get that?) for the pin.
Rating: D-. Weights, Oreos, Mike’s gimmick and a sex tape. How did we get from Shane Douglas to Mike Awesome to all those things in a single match? This would be another good example of the entertainment (allegedly) overtaking the wrestling (which wasn’t the best in the first place) and neither working.
Kidman comes out with a pair of Torrie’s underwear.
Shane attacks a production guy over the tape.
Here’s Kidman again (third time tonight) to say he made copies of the tape. We cut to the back where various people are watching. The Jung Dragons are having a really good time. Hudson: “I guarantee you they’re not watching Starrcade.” We cut to the truck where Shane promises to kill Kidman when he gets his hands on him. As in the Kidman currently in the ring. Speaking of Kidman, he throws the underwear to the crowd.
And now, Caged Heat is lowered. The build for this earlier in the night: Tony mentioning the cage was above the ring.
Mark Jindrak/Sean O’Haire vs. Filthy Animals vs. Perfect Event vs. Corporal Cajun/General Rection
Remember that this is inside Caged Heat (Hell in a Cell). The idea here is you have to escape the cage but it’s under elimination (I guess?) rules and the last team left in the cage is not in the four way match at New Blood Rising. Let me repeat that: it’s a four team elimination Hell in a Cell match to qualify for another four way Tag Team Title match with only one of them actually not qualifying. Normally I would make a joke here but I think this writes itself.
Palumbo goes for the door to start as Konnan talks about avocados. The Misfits clear out the ring, which would seem to put everyone else on the advantage wouldn’t it? Everyone brawls on the floor with the cameras all in extreme closeups, meaning you can only see a few people at a time. Mysterio and Juvy throw Jindrak and O’Haire out, sending Jindrak and O’Haire to New Blood Rising.
Perfect Event gets away and walks out, finally leaving us with a match that I can keep track of. Juvy breaks up No Laughing Matter so Rey can hit the Bronco Buster….as Perfect Event locks the cage. Never fear though as Konnan just happens to have bolt cutters. Does this surprise anyone? Cue Disco on top of the cage to try and break in, allowing Juvy and Rey to pull out a ladder.
The speculation is that the Animals were in cahoots with the Perfect Event……which makes no sense as the Perfect Event could have just let them out the door when they had the advantage but whatever. This also ignores the BOLT CUTTERS that could have let the Animals get out since they had the advantage. Rey and Juvy dive off the ladder instead of climbing out, only to have the Misfits get up almost immediately.
Rection and Mysterio get on the roof as Juvy and Cajun go through the door at the same time. Tony: “I think Juvy went out first so MIA won it.” Even the announcers have no idea how the rules work. Tony: “Does being on the roof count as being out? We’re completely lost.” Now Konnan sets up a table at ringside as Disco helps beat up Rey on the roof.
Cajun gets Juvy on the table as Rection teases an elbow off the cage, only to have Rey break it up. Konnan and Juvy throw Cajun through the table and the other two get back inside. Rey tries to drop off the roof into a hurricanrana but Rection catches him in a powerbomb and leaves for the win. Well co-win.
Rating: R. For Rube Goldberg Machine. I don’t remember the last time I saw something so complicated for the sake of such an easy task as “get the Filthy Animals out of the pay per view match”. This came out of nowhere and was such a mess that the announcers had no idea what was going on.
I mean……wow. They threw out a huge gimmick match with no warning, no story, no reason for this to be happening, a goal that is far easier to accomplish and a plan that has absolutely no logic behind it. This is also the longest match on the show tonight and the World Title match (as in the second one tonight, in theory at least) is going on with less than six minutes to go in the show, including entrances.
We immediately cut to Booker telling Stevie he has to do this.
With five and a half minutes to go in the show, we need to see Stevie asking Goldberg to not do this and get thrown through a window for his efforts.
Oh and then a replay.
Stevie is loaded into an ambulance with Booker by his side.
WCW World Title: Booker T. vs. Goldberg
Booker is defending for the second time tonight. Goldberg gets the full backstage entrance but thankfully Booker charges down the aisle to jump him from behind, meaning we’ll have 3:16 to go at the opening bell. Goldberg knocks him down but Booker hits a quick ax kick with a brace on his knee as they get inside. It doesn’t seem to matter as Goldberg snaps him down with a powerslam and goes after the cut on the forehead.
Cue Jarrett with a chair to Goldberg (apparently this is No DQ, which the announcers seem to think we knew coming in), earning himself a spear, which he sells almost as well as anyone I’ve ever seen. This brings out the Cat in a referee shirt to knock Goldberg down with a kick to the face (oh please) and the Book End gives Booker the pin at a whopping 2:27.
Goldberg pops up (good) and hits the two moves on Booker to end the show.
Overall Rating: F. Oh geez do you think Russo is back in charge yet? We had a match that was so complicated that I was confused before it even started, Booker vs. Goldberg twice with Goldberg getting pinned in less than 150 seconds and a string of matches that either didn’t have a finish or didn’t have time to get anywhere because we needed to give Russo’s big idea ten minutes, or nearly double what anything else had all night. So much for the string of good shows.
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