Monday Nitro – January 29, 2001: The Moral Of The Story
Date: January 29, 2001
Location: Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone
It’s always weird to me when we reach the last every episode in a given month but this is the final ever episode of Monday Nitro in January. Ok so maybe this is just a way to fill in an opening because there isn’t much to talk about at the moment other than Nash vs. Steiner coming up in a few weeks. Let’s get to it.
Elix Skipper vs. Yang vs. Shannon Moore vs. Jamie Noble
One fall to a finish. The big story for this match: WCW is bringing back TIME LIMITS. Noble and Yang do a wrestling sequence to start until Yang grabs a neckbreaker to send Noble outside. Skipper dives out onto him and it’s Shannon vs. Yang inside. Bottoms Up (Fameasser) drops Yang but Skipper has to break up Noble’s German suplex attempt on Shannon. Yang gets crotched on top, followed by Noble front suplexing Skipper for no cover.
Moore is sent outside and all three hit dives in a nice sequence that you only get in cruiserweight melees. Yang drops all of them with an Asai Moonsault and it’s time for a breather. Back in and Shannon slams Skipper off the top for two as Yang makes the save. Noble amps things up by tombstoning Yang on the floor before shoving Skipper off the ropes. Jamie tries a superplex on Shannon but gets reversed into a super Bottoms Up to give Moore the pin.
Rating: C+. What else were you expecting here as you have four talented guys getting to fly around the ring for a bit. Unfortunately they only had a few minutes, which is an annoying reality of this new era. These guys are on more shows but their time has dropped significantly. You can only get so far with four people involved in a five minute match but at least it’s fun while it lasts.
Here are Ric Flair and Animal for a chat. First of all we get the required Baltimore Ravens insults despite them winning the Super Bowl the day before. Anyway, Flair thinks the Cat might be out of office soon and accuses Page and Nash of showing up drunk on Thunder. We see a shot of them knocked out in the locker room, presumably due to an attack by Ric Flair and/or various other villains.
Therefore, Nash has to qualify for the World Title match at SuperBrawl again tonight by beating Totally Buff in a handicap match. Nash is annoyed in the back and it gets worse as Flair says he has a new contract for another incoming star. I could go for a Tommy Rogers cameo but I was always a Fantastics fan.
We see a bit more complete clip from Thunder with the heels leaving Nash’s locker room.
Jeff Jarrett doesn’t want to wait until SuperBrawl to face Page.
A guy bumps into Midajah so Scott Steiner breaks his leg. Does no one understand the concept of a lawsuit around here?
Here are the Cat and Miss Jones for some dancing before Cat says he wants to fight someone. Cue Shawn Stasiak and Mark Jindrak with the latter of them being sent to the back (And called Beetlejuice for some reason. I don’t see the Art Barr resemblance but I don’t have my glasses on.).
Stasiak implies that he’ll be Commissioner if he wins and says first up is going to be a Tag Team Title shot against Palumbo and O’Haire.
The Cat vs. Shawn Stasiak
Jones kicks him in the chest and it’s time for Cat to choke a lot. Cat goes up but dives into an elbow to the jaw, allowing Stasiak to send him outside. A few whips send Cat into the announcers’ table and the post before he clotheslines Cat back inside. Cat actually uses a headscissors before crotch chopping his way out of a sunset flip. The Feliner puts Stasiak away.
Rating: D-. This is a good example of two guys who need backup help to put in a good match and it’s really sad to see them get stuck out there with such a horrible match. Cat defending the Commissionership isn’t an interesting idea, especially when there’s no way someone as worthless as Stasiak is going to take it away from him.
The Wall is outside of Chavo’s locker room when Hugh Morrus comes in and beats the tar out of him.
Mike Sanders tells Crowbar that he has Lance Storm tonight.
Diamond Dallas Page was at a book signing earlier today when a fan started running his mouth and got in a fight. Page broke it up and that’s about it.
A black Humvee arrives.
Luger and Bagwell have a partner for Chavo tonight.
Jeff Jarrett is ready for DDP at SuperBrawl.
Chavo Guerrero Jr./Road Warrior Animal vs. Rey Mysterio/Billy Kidman
…they’re going to squash Mysterio and Kidman aren’t they? Kidman and Guerrero start things off but Chavo wants Mysterio. It’s just a ruse though, allowing Guerrero to get in a few kicks to the ribs to start off. That’s fine with Kidman who takes over and brings in Rey for something like a double sitout chokeslam. Kidman comes back in and it’s time for a baseball slide between the legs, followed by the Bronco Buster.
Rey’s middle rope moonsault connects but he lets Chavo makes the tag. The destruction is immediate as Rey and Kidman literally bounce off of Animal, who throws them both around like nothing. Some double dropkicks have Animal down though but a powerslam to Kidman and a powerbomb to Rey allow Chavo to pin Mysterio with ease.
Rating: D. So to recap, Mysterio and Kidman beat up the Cruiserweight Champion for about two and a half minutes before Animal, a grizzled veteran who had barely wrestled in years, destroyed them both at once with ease. That’s life in WCW people and it’s a big reason why you don’t see them around anymore.
The Humvee doors open.
We see part of Flair’s speech earlier.
Here’s Ric Flair to reveal the big new talent which is……Dustin Rhodes. Raise your hand if this actually surprises you. The announcers treat this like a huge deal as Ric thinks Dustin should be in a suit instead of cowboy boots. Dustin wants to know what’s wrong with being a cowboy. Well nothing until you’re about eight and then you kind of look dumb. They yell at each other a bit and Dustin turns down the offer to be on the team and the contract as well.
Cue Animal to help beat Dustin down until Dusty Rhodes makes his return (after turning his back on WCW last time) to clear the ring. So to clarify: Animal can destroy Rey Mysterio and Kidman but Dusty Rhodes can clear him out in a few seconds. To make it even better, Dusty talks about how Flair has been holding back talented people to push his friends. The Rhodes Family is here to clean up WCW and the fans seem very pleased with the idea.
Lance Storm vs. Crowbar
Before the match, Storm says Team Canada supports Flair and company. Ever the troublemaker, Crowbar jumps Storm during the national anthem. The other Canadians help Storm with a superkick and it’s an early beatdown for Crowbar in the corner. A comeback via clotheslines is cut off with a knee lift and we’re already in the chinlock. Crowbar fights up and tries a Tombstone (becoming too common of a move) but has to settle for a reverse DDT for two instead.
A belly to back suplex sets up a slingshot splash for two on Lance, followed by a moonsault out to the floor. Is there a reason Crowbar never got a run near the Cruiserweight Title? It’s not like he can’t fly around and he has more charisma than half of the division. Storm comes back with some German suplexes but gets caught in a northern lights suplex. They head up top with Crowbar trying a hurricanrana, only to get countered into the Maple Leaf for the quick submission.
Rating: C+. Not bad here and I’m sure the fact that it’s the longest match of the night so far has nothing to do with that. I’d love to see Crowbar actually go somewhere beyond just jobbing like this but I really can’t imagine that happening. I mean, the guy used to work in a gas station and it’s not like can just give him a new character and backstory or something like that.
Flair gives Storm the Cat at SuperBrawl for the Commissionership. Now that’s better as you could imagine Storm actually pulling that off.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Actually not so fast as Page is arrested for assault due to breaking up that fight at his book signing. Apparently Page accidentally bumped into a kid during the incident and the kid is the one pressing charges.
Flair thinks this is awesome.
Rick Steiner vs. Shane Douglas
Non-title. Steiner is here to do Cat’s dirty work so Shane made sure the title wasn’t on the line here, which translates to Steiner is going over. Schiavone thinks Steiner is one of the best WCW performers in the last ten years. Douglas gets in a few shots to the back to start before Rick just beats him down like he was Dean Douglas all over again.
Douglas begs off before throwing the referee at Steiner for a breather. The distraction lets Shane grab an Indian Deathlock though he’ll be lucky if Steiner even bothers to limp. I would appear to be right as Steiner pops up and grabs a suplex before…..I think a headlock takeover is botched as Shane tries to do something like a rollup.
Shane grabs a rollup with his feet on the ropes for two before the Pittsburgh Plunge gets the same. Hudson: “Rick’s brother Scott would be proud.” Of what? That the brother he doesn’t like at the moment kicked out of the US Champion’s finisher? The chain is easily broken up as the Steiner Line sets up the bulldog, followed by a Death Valley Driver to make the champ job.
Rating: D. Rick Steiner is not very good and there isn’t much of another way to put it. The booking here continues to baffle me as Rick gets pushed like this every single time he comes back. I’d be stunned if he doesn’t wind up with the US Title out of this because he just needs it so badly and is clearly a draw because he’s reached the age where you become one without having to actually, you know, wrestle well in the slightest.
Kevin Nash vs. Totally Buffed
Before the match, Luger and Bagwell rip on the Raven. Apparently winning the Super Bowl doesn’t count because the real Baltimore team moved to Indianapolis so this is a sham. I’m not sure what they were going for there but it really didn’t work as the fans almost cheered. Nash comes out and pulls Buff to the floor in an attempt to make it 2-1, only to have Buff come back in.
It’s Kevin Nash though so he clotheslines them both down and chokeslams Buff, only to have Luger hit him low. A lot of choking ensues until Nash sends Buff outside and hits Snake Eyes into the Jackknife on Luger. So to recap: Goldberg spends three months fighting Luger and Nash can hit his finisher on him in three minutes with Buff Bagwell in the same match.
Bagwell pulls the ref so here’s Alex Wright of all people in a referee shirt. Wright stops to dance though, earning himself a beating. Another Jackknife to Bagwell allows Cat to come in for two with Wright pulling him out. Guys it’s a short Nitro main event and we’re at two run-ins and three referees. Not that it matters anyway as Cat ducks Wright’s punch and slides back in to count the pin on Bagwell.
Rating: D. As mentioned, this was more about all the shenanigans than anything going on during the match because Bischoff and company think that’s how you build someone up. This was much more about Nash than anyone else as you want him to look strong but you shouldn’t have two of your top heels losing this badly. In other words, just let Nash beat Luger, assuming Nash is old enough to do that yet.
Post match Nash wants Steiner but we’re out of time.
Overall Rating: D+. You really can see the line between the generations here as the old guys suck while the young guys are working as hard as they can with the limitations they’re put under. They don’t get time and they’re often there as cannon fodder for the old guys (Kidman and Mysterio getting treated that way by ANIMAL was disgusting) but they’re putting in as much effort as they can.
That’s probably a big reason why Mysterio is a multiple time WWE World Champion and Kidman had a very nice WWE run before getting a job as a producer. In other words: no matter how little time you’re given out there, someone is going to see it at some point and if you’re good enough and work hard enough, you’ll get a break somewhere down the line.
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