Monday Nitro #255
Date: August 28, 2016
Location: Pan American Center, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Commentators: Mark Madden, Tony Schiavone
I’m sitting here trying to write an introduction for this show and I honestly can’t remember anything from the last two shows. I watched Nitro a week ago and Thunder three days ago and I have no idea what happened. The big matches are Booker T. vs. Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner vs. Goldberg, but none of the details or any of the other details are coming to me. So little of this has any staying power whatsoever and feels like they’re flying from story to story with nothing in between. Let’s get to it.
We actually open with an NWO video. As in the Outsiders/Jarrett/Hart. Why in the world is this airing and why do I have a chill running up my spine at the possibilities?
Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett and Vince Russo get out of a limo.
Dark Carnival vs. 3 Count
It’s Vampiro and the Clowns here, leaving Muta of all people to do commentary. This goes as well as you would expect it to as Madden “translates”. The band dives onto the Carnival a few times to take over I’m pretty sure Muta’s voice is overdubbed here and you can almost feel the racial overtones from here. The Clowns are knocked to the floor and a double suplex drops Vampiro. Muta screams for some reason and Tony asks Mark what he said. Madden: “He said AAAHHHHHH!!!!” Back in and Vampiro hits a Nail in the Coffin to Moore, setting up a guillotine foot drop from Shaggy for the pin.
Post match Tank Abbott comes out to destroy 3 Count. The Carnival and 3 Count beat Tank down until Demon makes the save. Muta gets in with the mist to Demon, only to have Sting come out for the real save. That would be three people running in, mist and a ball bat as fallout from a 2:40 match. Sting, Tank and Demon pose in a very odd visual.
Here are Russo, Nash, Jarrett, Steiner and the Natural Born Thrillers with something to say, though I have a feeling Nash and Russo will do most of the talking. Russo tells us to cheer him because this is the elite group of WCW. Wasn’t this the same group that wanted to kill each other at New Blood Rising? Now the Band is back together and Goldberg is in trouble. All Goldberg had to do was sign his release but now it’s going to become New York ugly.
Jarrett says he has all the stroke around here no one can touch them. Some of the people here might find it odd that Nash is back on the team. However, Jarrett wants to talk about something personal, like Mike Awesome. Mike cost him the US Title last week so Jarrett wants him in a Bunkhouse Brawl at Fall Brawl. Steiner got his revenge last week and Goldberg found out what payback was. He could walk backwards and look better than Goldberg’s girlfriend and that’s about it.
Nash says he should have called himself the Puppet Master instead of Big Sexy. Every few months he suckers people in so they’ll buy his merchandise but now that it’s all sold out, you get the real him. He doesn’t care about any of the fans and he never will. The people can’t get him title shots or watch his back but the people in this ring certainly can. The fans start chanting for Booker but Nash promises to take the title in Buffalo at Fall Brawl. Russo says not so fast though because Nash isn’t getting the title shot at the pay per view. Instead, he’s getting the shot tonight with Jarrett as referee and Steiner as outside enforcer.
Cue Booker to tell Nash to shut up and to tell Russo to pick a buddy to get beaten up. This brings out the Cat and Ms. Jones with the former wanting his karate gi to give someone else a beating. The Thrillers let the two of them walk by and Cat gets in the ring to tell Russo to get out of town because he’s not the boss. Nash and company beat Cat and Booker down so here are the Filthy Animals to go after the Thrillers.
They get through the line and are destroyed by the big names as well before Russo and company go up the ramp. Goldberg appears on screen in the desert, digging a hole. He promises to come back tonight and take care of all the goons though before bringing Russo to the desert and burying him in the sand. In other words, Russo is next.
Let’s pause here for a second and recap. Here’s a list of people involved in the first segment:
3 Count (Karagias, Moore, Helms)
Dark Carnival (Vampiro, Muta, Insane Clown Posse)
Here’s a list of people involved in the second segment:
Natural Born Thrillers (Reno, Sanders, Jindrak, Stasiak, O’Haire, Palumbo)
Filthy Animals (Konnan, Juvy, Mysterio, Disqo)
To recap, TWENTY EIGHT PEOPLE were involved in the first two segments. We’re not even a fourth of the way into this show and we’ve nearly had enough people to run a Royal Rumble. You think they might be overdoing it a little bit???
Cat is taken away in an ambulance.
Russo tells his buddies to keep an eye on him because Goldberg might bury him alive. Jarrett has someone coming in to deal with Goldberg while they get ready for later. So in other words, Russo and Goldberg is the big story instead of the World Title. Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Goldberg calls Russo (thank goodness he knew his number and could get to a phone in the desert) and says he’s on his way.
Tygress vs. Major Gunns vs. Paisley
Paisley kicks Gunns in the back and leaves as Tygress rolls her up for the pin in 20 seconds. The referee says it was only a two so Paisley and Tygress beat Gunns up even more before leaving with no cover. I don’t even know how to call this stupid.
The Animals beat up the Thrillers and Konnan makes fun of Russo. So yeah, again it’s all about Russo.
Jarrett has a truck full of guitars. Ok that’s actually funny.
Mike Awesome is now a fan of the 1970s. I knew this was coming and it really doesn’t help. He just came in for an interview and is wearing a blue leisure suit with disco playing in the background. Awesome wants Rick Steiner in a Bunkhouse Brawl as a warmup later tonight.
Kronik vs. Harris Twins
This is a House of Pain match, meaning a cage where you have to handcuff your opponents to the cage wall, because that makes sense. It’s a slugout to start with the camera jumping around way too often. Clark suplexes Ron and drops a middle rope elbow and Adams plants Ron with a full nelson slam. With enough wrestling having been done so far, Adams throws Ron through the cage wall and they brawl on the floor with Don beating up a fan for no apparent reason. The match, a cage match, is thrown out in less than two and a half minutes.
Preview of The Way of the Gun, an upcoming movie.
Here’s Team Canada to issue a challenge to MIA for a Prisoner of War match. In other words, the winner gets to kidnap a member of the other team and keep them for an undisclosed period of time. Cue the MIA, with Rection saying their name now stands for Made in America. The match is on, as long as it can be a tables match.
Lance Storm vs. Sgt. AWOL
Non-title. AWOL takes him down to start and they’re quickly on the floor with Storm getting kicked in the face. Storm gets back in and Skipper hits AWOL with the flag, allowing Storm to dropkick AWOL off the apron and through the table.
Storm grabs Gunns and bails.
Sting (with the announcers being heard off camera) accepts Muta’s challenge. When did he make that challenge?
Mike Awesome vs. Rick Steiner
Bunkhouse Brawl, meaning no holds barred. Thankfully Awesome is in his regular gear here. Steiner jumps him to start but Mike clotheslines him to the floor and hits a big old dive over the top. Awesome throws in a table but Jeff Jarrett runs in with a pipe, allowing Steiner to German suplex Awesome through the table for the pin.
Ok, stop for a second. To recap, we’ve just finished our fifth match, which has consisted of a six man tag, a triple threat, a gimmick cage match, a tables match and a hardcore match. Total match time: 8:23. That should be the first hour and a half of a pay per view and we haven’t even had nine minutes of action. How in the world did we get here?
WCW World Title: Booker T. vs. Kevin Nash
Booker is defending, Russo is on commentary, Jarrett is inside referee and Steiner is outside referee. This is your first half main event, meaning that indeed, this show is more about Goldberg and Russo. Nash kicks him in the face to start and they head to the floor with Jarrett actually counting them both out.
Russo is off commentary to yell at Jarrett for throwing Booker back inside, only to have Jeff shove him back to the booth. Back in and Booker hammers away in the corner as Jeff seems to be calling it down the middle. I’m sure that’s going to last until the end of the match too. Nash drops the champ with a clothesline for two. Russo freaks out as Steiner hits Booker in the back, sending Jarrett outside while Nash covers Booker. Jeff shoves Russo as Nash slowly beats on Booker with Russo threatening to fire the referee.
There’s a superkick to Nash, followed by the side kick for no cover. The ax kick sets up the Spinarooni and the missile dropkick. Steiner comes back and we hear the production team doing an audio test. Of course we do. Booker drops Steiner but Jeff hits the champ with a guitar because we needed a swerve of a group set up twenty minutes ago in a seven and a half minute match. Nash gets up and Jackknifes Booker for the pin and his fifth title.
Rating: D-. This is a classic case of WHAT WAS THE POINT. Like I said, the group was announced maybe half an hour ago at most but we had a swerve, teasing issues between them. Then they get to say it’s all a swerve and laugh after Russo acted all freaked out for about three minutes. Again I ask: what was the point? I’m sure it’s more of Russo’s brilliant writing that went over my head, which happens way too often on these shows. Just let the fix be in from the start next time and stop making things complicated.
Tony: “This is the worst thing to ever happen to the WCW World Title. And we’ve seen a lot of bad things happen to it.”
Russo and company celebrate but they still need to worry about Goldberg.
Booker leaves as Goldberg arrives, which gets him to stick around.
Shane Douglas and Torrie Wilson are in the crowd with Shane saying he left Kidman alive at New Blood Rising. That’s not a mistake he’ll make again because he wants a scaffold match at Fall Brawl. Of course he does. Cue Crowbar to go after Shane for whatever reason but Daffney is down under the balcony for an unintentional distraction, allowing Shane to throw Crowbar off the balcony and through a well placed table.
Shane goes down after him and shoves Daffney (there’s your required violence against a woman) before heading to the ring with Torrie. That was just a warmup so if there’s a man who wants to give him a real test, come out here now. Cue Goldberg to dispatch Shane with the usual. So we have a match set up, a random Crowbar appearance, a big bump to likely write Crowbar off TV, a woman being shoved, and Goldberg destroying Shane so no one remembers what Shane did. This show makes me need oxygen.
Nash goes into the shower (complete with the censored stuff) but Booker jumps him from behind.
Russo panics so Steiner goes to deal with Goldberg. Why doesn’t Russo go with him?
We get a wedding invitation from David Flair and Miss Hancock (in Charlotte) for two weeks from tonight.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Big Vito
Madden makes Italian jokes and Tony talks about Russo as Vito powerslams Jeff for two. A loud right hand drops Jeff again but Jarrett comes back with some right hands of his own. There’s the Mafia Kick and a legdrop for two on Jarrett as Vito continues to be far more adequate in the ring than you would expect him to be. A top rope elbow gets two more on Jarrett as Madden is freaking out. Jeff’s enziguri looks to set up the Stroke but Vito counters with a good looking belly to back. Vito drops a top rope headbutt for two more but the Big Vito Special (Impaler) is countered into the Stroke for the clean pin.
Rating: C. Write this down because I don’t think there’s going to be another clean finish in this company for probably weeks. This worked far better than it had any right to be with Vito more than hanging in there against the more talented Jarrett. Like so many people on the roster though, Vito can do as much as he wants but with this basic of a gimmick, the glass ceiling is going to leave one heck of a bump on the back of his head.
Jarrett goes outside to get more guitars but Mike Awesome is waiting under the pile and takes Jeff out. Again, that was clever.
Natural Born Thrillers vs. Filthy Animals
This is a ten person elimination tag with Stasiak as the odd man out and Tygress in the ring for the Animals. Palumbo and Guerrera get things going with Juvy kicking at the legs and taking him over with a nice suplex. Juvy tries to go up but gets caught in midair for a fall away slam. Stasiak brings up Paul Orndorff as their trainer but doesn’t seem to think too much of him. Reno comes in to pound on Mysterio but it’s quickly back to Juvy to counter a powerbomb, allowing Rey to drop a springboard legdrop. A suplex puts Rey down and Jindrak comes in for a no hands Lionsault.
Kidman comes in but eats a tilt-a-whirl slam….which he doesn’t quite sell as he pops up with a Chartbuster. The hot tag brings in Konnan to clean house as everything breaks down with a bunch of people fighting to the floor for an eight man countout. We’re down to Sanders vs. Tygress with the latter knocking Mike into the corner for a Bronco Buster. That goes nowhere and the 3.0 gives Mike the easy pin.
Rating: D. Well it was fun while it lasted, or at least the first three minutes or so before we had to get to the trick to get out of having a match go on forever. On top of that, we had another woman getting beaten up by a man so everyone wins. This was another good idea that had to be rushed through because Russo is a nitwit.
Goldberg lays out Scott Steiner.
Russo is looking for any protection he can find (because just LEAVING is out of the question) and runs into Vito. After a quick apology from Russo, Vito gives him the kiss of death.
Here’s Russo in the arena because that’s the best place he could hide. Vito actually comes out with him and you can see the swerve coming from here. What swerve? No idea but you know one is coming. Russo is all MANLY again and calls out Goldberg because this is Russo’s house and these are Russo’s people.
Cue Goldberg as Russo KEEPS TALKING, saying that Goldberg can’t touch him. Wait….he’s been running scared all night and NOW he remembers that??? Tony: “This is real life fans.” Vito blasts Russo with the stick ball bat and stomps away. Goldberg throws Vito something (keys maybe) and tells Vito to take out the garbage. Vito carries Russo off, presumably out to the grave in the desert. I’m sure Goldberg and Vito, great pals of course, talked about where it was and that Vito has a good knowledge of the New Mexico desert’s geography.
Sting vs. Great Muta
They start fighting in the aisle before the bell and we’re not going to have a match are we? Sting takes over and hits Muta with a chair, only to get kicked back. Since this hasn’t gone on long enough, Vampiro and the Clowns cut through the video screen so Vampiro can dive off and hit Sting with a kendo stick. I guess walking out was too passe. Sting fights back and they climb onto the screen. The Clowns pull him through the hole in the screen and pound him down for way longer than this needed to go.
We cut to the desert with Bret Hart of all people getting out of a car to say he hates Russo more than anyone. Bret says he’s never forgotten Montreal and he wants to help bury Russo. Goldberg, like an idiot, agrees, and hands Bret a shovel. Bret blasts Goldberg in the back with said shovel and yells about Goldberg ending his career to end the show.
Overall Rating: F. Vince Russo has lost his mind. Like, moreso than usual. This was one of those rare episodes where you sit in awe watching, not sure how to react to anything. I’m sitting here trying to come up with something to say about this show but between all those gimmick matches rolled up into one show and Russo playing the high school scream queen running away from Goldberg the slasher to THE ASSAULT IN THE DESERT (how did Hart know they were there?), I really have no idea how to talk about this.
The worst part though: this show ran unopposed. The night before, the WWF had Summerslam 2000 (Rock vs. HHH vs. Angle, Benoit vs. Jericho in a 2/3 falls match and the first ever TLC) but Raw was preempted by a dog show. Therefore, you had a hot wrestling audience with zero competition (Monday Night Football started in a week) and this is what WCW gave them.
Earlier tonight, I watched JBL interview the Road Dogg on the WWE Network. Russo was brought up with JBL mentioning the theory that Russo was sent to WCW to ruin the company. I’ve never bought that theory but if you watch a show like this, it’s really hard to believe that McMahon fought very hard to keep Russo. He had to know that Russo was insane and wanted to do stuff like this, but my goodness there was no way anyone knew it could be this bad. This is one of those shows you need to see for yourselves as it’s one of the biggest head trips that I’ve ever seen.
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