Special Tuesday Edition of Monday Nitro – July 18th, 2000 – Caliber

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We get a recap of the horror that is Scott Steiner. The show then opens up with Scott beating the hell out of a car, after which he fights Ryu. Actually, the car belongs to Booker, and we know this because Stevie Ray is on commentary, due to Scott Hudson being sick.

This is a special Tuesday Nitro. The Nitro Girls are here, and I don’t think there’s one girl who’s a recognizble. There’s also a blond one who’s super-long lashes, and or sequein eye make-up is getting into her eyes, because she keeps digging into them.

Cat follows, and says he’s having a one night tourney for the US Championship. Apparently one of the matches is going to be Vampiro vs The Great Muta. Seriously? Well, alright. Steiner comes out and demands a title shot, prompting Booker to run out and save the Cat’s ass. He gets some heat on Scott, but that brings out Rick, which brings out Stevie. You gotta love the fact that Stevie loves Booker again, with absolutely no mention AT ALL of Harlem Heat 2000. Security breaks it all up, and Cat says he ain’t giving a Steiner a title shot, he’s giving him Goldberg.

They cut to the announce team, and as they’re chatting, Jarrett shows up from the crowd and smashes Stevie Ray with the guitar. He says this is a warning shot to Booker.

Kanyon vs Mike Awesome
Kanyon is no longer wearing a wig, as he officially has a dye job. Awesome is now a face instead of a destructive heel. He’s also officially the Fat Chick Thriller. Russo, if you, or anyone who knows you is reading this, FUCK YOU. Buff comes out with his mom, Judy Bagwell, for commentary. The match doesn’t last in the ring long, as Awesome takes Kanyon to the outside and prepares to powerbomb him through a table. However, Kanyon hits a Kanyon Kutter through the table. Instead of trying to throw Awesome back in the for the pin, he aims to mess with Judy, and all that earns him is a Blockbuster from Buff, which the ref doesn’t see. The match goes on a bit after that, in order to give Awesome a definitive win with a Running Awesome Bomb. A shame that the match didn’t go on longer, because what we got was pretty great. It’s also nice that the match didn’t end due to outside interfernce. Russo must still be gone.
Awesome wins with a running powerbomb at 5:27 | **

Lance gives a promo in which he states that he’s from Calgery, Alberta, and it’s time to get serious.

Buff Bagwell vs Lance Storm
As Buff comes out for his enterance, at first only one round of pyro goes off, prompting Buff to look at the screen and say “they LOVE to bury me here!”. I can’t believe that Storm looks like this naturally. He could have been a Mr. Olympia, no doubt. Buff literally kicks Lance’s ass the entire match until we see some backstage footage of Smooth, Cat’s assisstant, preventing Judy Bagwell from leaving the arena, as Buff had previously asked. At this point, Lance rolls up Buff in the Canadian Maple Leaf [a half Boston crab] and Buff quits in order to go backstage.
Buff taps to the Leaf at 2:15 | *

We get some backstage antics of Yung Dragons beating up the Cat before Stevie Ray makes the save. Cat explains that the Dragons are his friends, something I don’t understand whatsoever. Stevie Ray is displeased with Jarrett. He wants, and receives a match.

We see that Kanyon of course gave Judy Bagwell a Kanyon Kutter. Good stuff.

Elsewhere, Steiner is waiting by the door with a steel pipe in order to waste Goldberg upon his arrival.

The Great Muta vs Vampiro
Vamp comes out with ICP & The Demon. Muta must be star struck. He’s also clearly balding. The match is a bit clunky, as Vamp & Muta just don’t gel very well, especially since Vamp is a cheap knock-off. Muta’s style is one that needs to be meshed with wrestling which is why he had a great amount of matches with Sting. But putting him in there with a guy who’s trying so hard to emulate him does not a great match make. Muta wins with the moonsault.
Muta hits the moonsault for the pin at 3:56 | *

Backstage we see Steiner beat the hell out of Norman & Ralphus as they enter the building.

Shane Douglas w/ Torrie Wilson vs Kidman
Shane does the Francine routine with Torrie. They both talk shit about how Franchise is the man. The match itself, is a lot like Awesome & Kanyon, in that if they’d just let the guys have more time they’d really deliver. This match is damn decent, with a lot of great near falls. They both trade momentum, with some great moves including Fanchise attempting a Gorilla Press Slam that Kidman reverses into a bulldog on the way down. You tack on a descisive end to that which has Shane hitting the Franchiser, and I’m fine & dandy like sour candy.
Kidman eats a Franchiser and a pin at 3:48 | **

Backstage we see 3 Count head towards the ring with a ladder, and Goldberg arrives. Hopefully this arena is like every other arena in the World in that it only has one door to enter. Because if there’s the SLIGHT, and I do mean slight, chance that it has 2 doors, well, he could enter the one where Steiner isn’t laying in wait.

Tank introduces 3 Count, which, shockingly enough, is something I find entertaining.

There’s a gold record hanging from the ceiling, and 3 Count sets the ladder up underneath it. As they preform, Yung Dragons enter the ring and things are off and running. They’ve got a ladder match at New Blood Rising, which has a chance at being half decent. I find it funny the PPV is called that, despite the fact that the New Blood isn’t even a group anymore. OK, so apparently this is actually a match, despite the fact no bell rang, and nothing was announced. Jamie grabs the record, and there we are. The whole thing was around 5 minutes, and it was like the ladder matches you saw around this time but shrunk and put inside 5 minutes.

Goldberg finally shows up, ducks the pipe, and as the brawl gets going, security and the locker room break it up.

Mike Awesome vs The Great Muta
If they give this time, we could have a great match. They trade offense, with Awesome using powerslams & clotheslines, and Muta choosing kicks & chops. It doesn’t last for long, and Muta actually does a flat out loss to the running Awesome Bomb. Something I’ve never seen. This tourny would have been a lot better on PPV, because some of these matches could have been great, if they were given time to breathe.
Muta eats a Running Awesome Bomb, giving Mike the pin at 3:33 | *1/2

We see Buff beating up on Smooth, and then Kanyon jumping in.

Now we get to see Kiwi. Ugh.

Shane Douglas vs Lance Storm
These two being in the ring earns an ECW chant. They quickly fight to the outside, at which point Shane does a pretty sweet move, whipping Lance into the guardrail, and as he bounces off, Shane throws him up in the air and rocks a kick to the hangdang. Nice. Afterwards they battle to the ring, where Franchise has the upperhand until he sees Kidman on the ramp, giving Lance his opening. He’s able to hold his momentum until they get to a pretty decent series of near-falls, and Douglas finally taps out to the Maple Leaf.
Douglas taps to the Maple Leaf at 4:31 | **1/4

Jeff Jarrett vs Stevie Ray
The bell rings, they fight for about 2 minutes, then Rick Steiner comes out to distract the ref, allowing Midajah to jump off the ropes and hit Stevie with a double axe handle, which leads to Jeff hitting the Stroke. Afterwards, everyone beats up Stevie, but Booker makes the save.
Jarrett hits Ray with the Stroke and the pin at 2:24 | *

Lance Storm vs Mike Awesome – WCW US Championship Match
Lance is all about doing the “I’m a foreign guy who insists my country is better than yours, now let’s listen to my national anthem” thing. However, I’d rather see a rehash of the Katie Vick angle than have to deal with another “evil foreign guy” character. They start off big as Lance rushes Awesome in the aisle and he responds by whipping him into the guard rail over & over. Once in the ring it’s a mix of Awesome’s powerbased offense and Lance’s technical wrestling that gives us our best match of the night, and hopefully a rematch at the PPV. I know, I’m being repetitive, but this could have been so damn good if it was given proper time. The finish sees Awesome attempting the Running Bomb, however Lance slips out, rolls up Mike and forces him to tap to the Maple Leaf. The match fits with the rest as it’s good stuff that deserved more time.
Lance forces Awesome to tap to the Maple Leaf and wins the vacated US Title at 5:07 | **1/2

Scott Steiner w/ Midajah vs Goldberg
Cat is special guest ref, and Booker is on commentary. In a feat with greater odds than the lotto, Goldberg & Steiner actually have great chemistry. The match is all of 2 and a half minutes or so, but what we got was crisp & solid. I was actually bummed the match ended so quickly, because I was getting into it. Wrestling is one of those weird places where two wrongs can make a right. Well, Steiner attacked the Cat, which prompted Booker to enter the fray on the Commish’s behalf. Pretty cool moment where Goldberg aims to spear Booker, but he leaps over him and Goldberg crashes into Steiner. Afterward, Booker delivers a boot to Bill’s face as a receipt for the attempted spear. Just then, Nash’s music hits and he heads out to powerbomb both Goldberg & Steiner for their actions at Bash. A mess of a main event, but nothing to complain about.
No ending | **

Showchase Showdown: I recently found my beloved copy of The Death of WCW and did some reading about what was going on during this period. Apparently, Russo had quit, which completely explains why the shows have been so much drastically better. Unfortunately I read that he does indeed come back, and soon starts spouting off about how much better WCW is now that he’s around, and that the WWE is losing ground.
As for the show, it’s not ground breaking, but it’s solid. Every win in the tournament was fair & decisive, while everyone looked solid whether they won or loss. Mike Awesome is a fine example of how brain-dead Russo is. As they make him look like a man by saying he won’t just accept the title, and instead wants to earn it. He kicks major ass in the tournament and damn near wins. However, all of that good will is undone in a second when he’s labeled The Fat Chick Thriller. Russo should be brought up on charges for what he’s done to people’s careers.

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