Monday Nitro – July 31, 2000: That’s Some High Level Background Noise
Date: July 31, 2000
Location: FirstStar Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson
I made the mistake of believing that things might be turning around and this is what I get for it. The whole place has gone nuts again with Russo’s ideas turning it into more of a circus than a wrestling show and no one seeming to know the difference anymore. The main event tonight is Sting challenging Booker T. for the World Title. Let’s get to it.
We open with an In Memory Of graphic and a ten bell salute for Gordon Solie. That’s always a bit sobering.
Video on Booker becoming champion and having to fight all comers. Jeff Jarrett has injured Booker’s knee and beat him in a hardcore match on Thunder because WCW does stupid things like running the World Title match on Thunder before the pay per view. Or pushing Jeff Jarrett as a World Title contender.
Earlier today, Booker came to work.
Here’s a limping Booker to open things up. He talks about his wife being here and she doesn’t seem to like him saying that he’ll die before he gives up the title. The people here are the reason he got the title shot because they would not be silenced. Last week the fans voted for Sting vs. Booker T. but Bill Goldberg interrupted. Tonight however, the fans are getting what they wanted to see. That’s what they’re getting tonight because it’s time for war. Actually I’m pretty sure it’s because Cat booked it on Thunder but no one watches that show.
This brings out Jeff Jarrett because we haven’t been bored enough yet. Jarrett: “Let me drop the bomb on your mom!” Jeff doesn’t think there’s going to be a title match tonight so Booker corrects the catchphrase and starts the fight in the aisle. They get in the ring and Jeff gets in a shot to the bad knee and a chair shot to the head. We get a JARRETT SUCKS chant from what sounds like a crowd roughly three times the size of the audience here as Jeff puts on the Figure Four over the apron.
Sting comes in for the save with the ski mask on, which he thankfully pulls off after throwing Jarrett out. He helps Booker up and says he’ll take that title shot if Booker is still ready later in the night. Jeff says we’ll have Slapnuts Theater and blasts Booker’s wife with the guitar. Again: THE MATCH WAS ALREADY BOOKED! Stop acting like this is some spontaneous thing.
Post break Sting tells Booker to go to the hospital while he deals with Jeff.
Buff Bagwell vs. Big Vito
Judy comes out with Buff as they continue to set up the Judy Bagwell on a Pole match, which has been officially set. I keep wanting to think that’s a bad dream that I’ll wake up from one day but it’s really happening. Judy is even sitting in on commentary here to make things even better. Buff starts fast with his normal offense, including a dropkick and swinging neckbreaker.
Vito gets in a cheap shot as Buff looks at his mother because Buff is dumb enough to keep bringing her out here. They head outside for a bit and Buff thinks a production guy is Kanyon in disguise. That just earns him a Mafia kick back inside but Buff pops back up with the double arm DDT for two. An innocent cameraman goes to get a shot of Judy so Buff goes for the save, allowing Vito to get a breather. Back in and Buff’s sunset flip is countered to give Vito the pin.
Rating: D. This is another Russo trope: stories that don’t work unless one of the people involved is just plain stupid. There is no reason for Judy Bagwell to be out there as she could just stay at home but in order for this story to work, she has to be here every week. Nothing match here but it’s nice to see Vito do something other than hardcore nonsense.
Kwee Wee asks Cat for the match but completely snaps when he gets turned down. Cat gives him the match to get rid of him, calming Kwee Wee right back down.
Kanyon wants Judy Bagwell as his valet so she can be his Kimberly. If she’s good, she can be a Nitro Girl. He loads up a Kanyon Cutter on Pamela but Gene Okerlund of all people tries to make the save, only to take the cutter himself (off camera of course).
After a break, Buff runs in and finds Kanyon, giving him a double arm DDT on the floor. For once, a wrestling move actually makes sense.
The Artist vs. Kwee Wee
Artist is in a t-shirt and jeans to prove his manliness to Paisley. It’s a brawl in the aisle to start as Madden makes unfunny jokes about Kwee Wee’s non-existent wife. Artist pounds him down to start but Kwee Thesz presses him down and fires away. A nice dropkick and backdrop put Artist down and it turns into a slugout. Artist lifts him up by the hair and drops him back down, only to have Kwee pound away again. Madden: “This Kwee Wee is like a flamboyant Lou Thesz!” A tilt-a-whirl into a sitout faceplant is enough to put Artist away.
Rating: D. That’s it for Artist in the ring and I don’t think many people are going to miss him. The story never worked and the wrestling wasn’t much better, making him one of the lamer people WCW had on its roster for a long time. Kwee Wee ranges somewhere between stupid and offensive (much closer to the former) but this was a very different time and in Russo’s mind, this was comedy.
Post match Kwee Wee, in a much deeper and more serious voice, says people won’t like him when he’s angry.
A ticked off Scott Steiner breaks into Cat’s office with a pipe. Cat clears off his own desk before Cat can do it. Steiner doesn’t want to hear that Booker isn’t here so he makes a pipe match with Booker in the back for later.
Norman Smiley actually hits on Midajah and gets destroyed by Steiner. This was a five second segment.
The MIA declare war on Team Canada. Rection isn’t pleased with Loco’s war face.
Cruiserweight Title: Lieutenant Loco vs. Lance Storm
Before the match, Storm talks about hardcore wrestling being garbage. Therefore, he’s renamed the Hardcore Title as the Saskatchewan Hardcore International Title. On top of that, he wants this company to be named World Canadian Wrestling. This time O Canada is cut off by the Misfits’ theme and we’re ready to go in a hurry.
Storm snaps Loco’s throat across the top rope as Rection and Cajun join commentary. Back in and Loco grabs a quick spinning DDT (Cajun: “MISFIT STYLE!”) but tries to flip out of the corner and twists his ankle. Storm loads up a powerbomb and Loco tries to counter, only to get pulled down into the Maple Leaf to give Storm his third title.
Rating: C-. No time to go anywhere of course but the idea of giving Storm a third title is interesting. They’ve certainly made him feel like something special, but now comes the obvious problem of how to get them off him without making him look like a loser. Loco needs to get back in the title hunt though as I was digging his title reign with the safe and well done matches after months of Artist putting everyone to sleep.
Since Storm is young and successful, here’s Kevin Nash to interrupt. Storm gets in his face so Nash drops him with a big boot. Back from a break and Nash is still in the ring, making that attack completely pointless. Nash talks about two people working themselves into a shoot and brings up Goldberg’s comments about him last week. There’s only been one time in this business where he hasn’t been professional and it was the night after someone refused to lose to him in Montreal.
Yeah he played basketball and then he was a bouncer. There were some nights on the job where the NFL players came in and had to be beaten into place. When they get to Vancouver, there’s no guarantee that he’s going to be a professional. Finally, he’s going to get Scott Hall back here no matter what. Cue Scott Steiner to say he doesn’t care about Goldberg or Nash. The fight is on already and security quickly hits the ring.
Post break, Nash demands a match with Steiner. Cat just happens to have a straitjacket so go have a straitjacket match.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Sting
This is called impromptu even though they’ve been talking about it all night. Sting wins an early slugout but misses the Stinger Splash. That’s not a major problem though as he clotheslines Jeff out to the floor and follows him up the ramp with a chair. Much like all the criticism and snores from the audience during his matches, promos, appearances and everything else, Jarrett shrugs the shots off and crushes Sting’s knee against the post with the chair.
We hit the Figure Four over the apron until the referee does his job and breaks it up. Here’s Sting’s comeback until Jeff kicks the referee low and hits Sting in the head with a chair. The referee, having just been kicked low, actually counts the cover for two. Why have referees at this point? Sting flips out of a reverse suplex and grabs the Death Drop “onto” the chair for the pin.
Rating: D+. Horrific refereeing aside, that’s a loss for the World Champion and a loss for the #1 contender in the span of five days. Of course we now get even more weeks of Jarrett challenging for the title because he was hand picked as the challenger whether we’re interested in it or not. Lame match because as usual, WCW does a bunch of stupid stuff instead of letting them have a match.
Booker is back and isn’t happy that Jarrett was sent out in an ambulance.
Tag Team Titles: Kronik vs. Vampiro/Great Muta vs. Mark Jindrak/Sean O’Haire
Kronik is defending and comes out first while Perfect Event is on commentary. Jindrak and O’Haire are smart enough to let everyone else fight. The painted ones are knocked to the floor and it’s Clark vs. Jindrak to get things going. The champ takes over with a hard clothesline until Mark nails a high dropkick. Clark plants him with a Rock Bottom but Vampiro breaks up the pin and takes Jindrak’s place.
A top rope clothesline puts Clark down, leaving Muta and Vampiro to pound away at the same time for no logical reason. Clark fights them off again and makes the hot tag to Adams so house can be cleaned. Muta goes after Adams knee but Clark hits him in the back with a chair to break it up. Everything breaks down and O’Haire drops the Swanton on Vampiro, only to have Adams get in a quick pin on Muta a half second before, keeping the titles on Kronik.
Rating: D+. It’s another mess of a match as is so often the case in WCW but at least the ending was pretty hot. There are way too many teams going after the belts at this point though and it’s getting to be too much to take. Just let them fight one at a time and put the titles on whoever you want to put them on.
Muta and Vampiro mist the champs and take the belts.
Cat gives Shane Douglas a Viagra on a pole match against Kidman tonight.
Jindrak and O’Haire say this isn’t over.
Kidman vs. Shane Douglas
Viagra on a pole. Seriously. Before the match, Shane thinks this is stupid. Well at least he still gets the obvious. Shane goes after Kidman to start but gets backdropped out to the floor, followed by a baseball slide into the steps. Back in and Shane kicks him down as Madden talks about Viagra on a pole matches from years past.
Shane rolls some suplex and puts on a chinlock as we’re waiting on the first attempt to go up. The Pittsburgh Plunge drops Kidman and Madden stays on the sex jokes. Kidman gets up though and hits a quick Kid Crusher (Killswitch), allowing him to get the bottle. Torrie offers a distraction though and Shane grabs a Franchiser, allowing him to steal the bottle for the win. I’m assuming that means he also deals with the legal issues of handing out what were probably prescribed pills.
Rating: D. As usual, this was a big mess with the pole only being an excuse to let them have a lame match. I still don’t know why I’d want to see these two fight again but the match was pretty generic stuff. These two could have a good match if you just, you know, let them, but that’s out of the question.
Booker asks Sting if they’re still on. Sting is ready and Booker says this is for the people.
Miss Hancock and Major Gunns get in a food fight in the back to start their “hardcore match”. In the ring, A-Wall beats up David Flair until the women come in. I guess this is a match now.
Major Gunns vs. Miss Hancock
Hancock throws her into the table Wall set up for a pin. I have no idea how long this actually was and I really don’t think anyone cares. Well Russo does as I’m sure this is another fantasy of his for whatever reason.
The Nitro Girls like Kidman after the Viagra match.
Scott Steiner vs. Kevin Nash
Straitjacket match meaning you put your opponent in a straitjacket and beat on them until you get tired of it. Those are Cat’s official rules. Nash gets in a quick side slam for a cover but there’s no referee as there are no covers. Instead Nash goes with the boot choke but Midajah gets on the apron, allowing Steiner to hit Nash low. The belly to belly sets up the pushups as the announcers plug an interview with VINCE RUSSO on Thunder.
They head outside with Nash being sent into the barricade (I think they’re shooting here!), only to pop up and fire off right hands back inside. Steiner takes a chokeslam and a Midajah chair shot has no effect on Nash. That earns Midajah a Jackknife (Madden: “Her head is between his legs!”) but Nash has to kick Rick Steiner in the face. Scott hits Nash with the chair and the straitjacket goes on. Scott puts on the Recliner for the win.
Rating: D-. What do you expect from Scott Steiner vs. Kevin Nash in a gimmick match with Rick interfering? They kept it short but that doesn’t mean it’s something interesting. I’m still annoyed at Nash for beating Storm down earlier tonight though so I approve of him taking a beating.
WCW World Title: Booker T. vs. Sting
Booker is defending and limps to the ring as the announcers plug Russo’s interview again. Note that Goldberg and Nash’s interviews weren’t plugged but they’re just not as important. They trade shoulders and hiptosses to start and Sting can’t get either early Deathlock attempt. It’s time to go outside with Sting sending him into the barricade, only to have his top rope splash hit knees. Thankfully Booker sells the knee, only to pop up for an ax kick for two.
They hit heads and Sting falls to the floor, only to have someone pull him under the ring. Someone who appears to be Demon (Sting’s opponent at New Blood Rising) shoves a bloody Sting back out and he elbows Booker in the face a few times. Sting gets two off a DDT but the Death Drop is countered into the Bookend to retain Booker’s title.
Rating: C. Imagine that: you give two of the most talented guys in the company a few minutes and they have one of the better matches of the night. They’re doing a really good job of building Booker up as a main event star as he’s pinned Goldberg and Sting in back to back weeks. Of course he lost to Jarrett in the middle but you can’t win them all, even if you’re World Champion.
Post match Sting goes after Demon but Vampiro makes a save. Jarrett comes out to blast Booker with a guitar before tying a rope around the knee to hang Booker upside down. At the same time, Sting is put in a coffin which Demon sets on fire with a torch. Jarrett cracks another guitar over the knee to end the show WHILE STING IS BEING BURNED ALIVE. Yeah that’s just background noise now. In WWE it sets up a Wrestlemania showdown. In WCW it sets up Jeff Jarrett attacking Booker T.’s bad knee.
Overall Rating: D. If Sting being burned alive not closing the show isn’t enough to sum this show up, I don’t think anything is going to. You couple that with the Viagra on a pole match and a food fight between the women and it’s clear that Russo is back at his Russoiest. There’s just too much stuff going on here and little of it is worth seeing. One of the few things that was worth seeing was Lance Storm but Nash literally threw him out of the way so we could set up a straitjacket match as part of the reality angle that the world is clamoring for. There’s your latest reason why WCW has less than eight months to go.
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Viagra On a Pole,Straight Jacket Match,and a Vince Russo interview plugged over Kevin Nash & Goldberg’s on Thunder. WCW 2000 in a nutshell right there. Booker T and Lance Storm were the main highlights though of the year.