I just finished watching “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade,” and not only is it one of the best movies of the 80’s, or of all time really, but something in the movie got me thinking about wrestling. Near the end of the movie, a guy has to pick between which grail to get. There’s a lot of nice, shiny one’s that look really similar to each other, he picks the prettiest, shiniest, goldest one he can get. I mean, why not? Gold is trusted, its been around for a long time, and it looks nice so it has to work here right? He uses the grail to pick up some water, goes to drink it, and ends up becoming old and dying. Jones looks around and picks the grail that looks the lamest out of all of ’em, the grittiest, poorest, “how could this possibly be it,” grail, and gave it a chance and ended up saving his father, and killing the Nazi’s.
What in the fuck does Indiana Jones have to do with WCW in 2000 you might ask? Simple, WCW is the old guy who wanted eternal life, and found something that worked, and based the whole decision on appearance (Wolfpac), and what worked in the past(Fifty different versions of the NWO, rebooting Goldberg’s streak, etc..) , while Jones is the WWF, trying something gritty(Austin circa 97-98), and something that actually involved a lot of hard work to be made (creating new characters, making storylines that were on the verge of going too far while at the same time trying to stay in touch with their audience) rather than something that was shiny, and usually worked in the past.
You could say, by 2000 the game was completely changed from that of the mid-late 90’s, which is somewhat true. However, WCW was running out of ideas currently at the time, and refused to make anyone who didn’t have big backstage pull look credible. Booker would get his legs sawed off from under him by the likes of Goldberg, and Steiner despite him getting probably the biggest response of anyone next to Goldberg at the time. Jarrett got a major push but then was made to look like a bitch for a horrid angle with Sting, and Awesome never gets to go up against any of the big boys. It just shows that WCW was horribly out of touch with their fanbase, and still thought they wanted to see the evil guys win all the time, and that they wanted to see Goldberg squash people. Its a totally lame technique that many shows get criticized for, I think the difference is that wrestling can get away with having horrible stories because not everyone understands exactly what is happening when they watch it, and it really does take years of watching, and becoming informed to really get a grasp on wrestling.
Now let’s look at the WWF at this time, they started off the year with probably the most critically well reviewed matches of the early 2000’s… fuck of the 2000’s, with Foley/Trips, which were brutally intense matches. You also had WWF giving the go ahead to guys like Dwayne, and Kurt Angle. They also allowed for more variety on the shows as you could get comedy sketches with characters like Edge and Christan on the same show with Trips being super evil and having eighteen people attack Flex, or whatever. The point is that they made interesting characters that you wanted to see interact with each other. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think the year 2000 has to be the most overrated year for WWF ever, and I fucking hate Dwayne with a burning passion, but from a storyline perspective, and character perspective, it did a much better job than WCW.
And end rant. On to the not so short form.
We get some pictures from the show last night, that show was pretty decent so of course they show the clips of the shittiest matches from the show.Nitro has a new intro this week, and its pretty cool. It has Lance Storm on it which give me a little hope that he’ll be given something cool to do. [Note From Caliber & Bane: I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope]
1st Match: Sean O’Hare and Mark Jindrak(C) Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio for the World Tag Titles
Billy Kidman looks pretty greasy, Greasy Little Twink, if you will. Jindrak shows off and suplexes Rey because Rey weighs about ten pounds. Rey comes back with a flying headscissors, and Kidman comes in with a rana. Kidman has Jindrak in the corner but he gets out and tags in Sean. Sean goes for a powerslam but Kidman rolls out and hits a dropkick. Kidman gets caught going for a roll up but Rey comes in and hits Sean with a legdrop off the top. Sean tags in Jindrak and Rey tries to fight back with a rana but Jindrak reverses with a SICK powerbomb. What I like about this match is that Sean and Mark aren’t overselling the offense that Rey and Kidman have done to them, if you think about it a fifty pound dude doing a rana shouldn’t hurt you that much so them not acting dead, and Rey acting like he’s been shot whenever he’s hit with a big move adds to the match.
Rey gets a hot tag to Kidman and Kidman is a house of fire with a bunch of dropkicks, and a bulldog off the ropes. Ten count punch by Kidman but Jindrak catches him in a kind of Angle Slam for two. Rey breaks it up and they throw Sean to the outside, and whip Jindrak into the corner but Jindrak jumps over them with a fucking backflip (!) and takes them both out with clotheslines. Kidman and Rey get the advantage and Rey hits the legdrop on the balls for two. All story and pace has went out the window at this point and Disco Inferno runs and attacks Kidman, costing them the match.
2.0/5.0 The play by play for this match was more a summary than anything else and the reason for that is that the match didn’t take any time to breathe what so ever. It was ridiculously fast paced to the point of running the build up to the hot tag, and the selling I mentioned by Rey earlier was totally thrown out of the window. The match didn’t really help anyone as Jindrak and O’Hare look they can’t even beat up two small guys, and the two small guys got beat up for most of the match by really un-threatening, buff dudes. If the match hadn’t been rushed, and had some time to build up to the end, and had taken time to tell a story, and allow for everyone to sell it could’ve been very, very good. As it stands it had a promising start but ended in an overblown spot-fest.
Steiner bullies Sanders backstage, and says he wants a re-match from last night.
2nd Match: Kee-Wee vs Reno (C) Hardcore Match
Kee-Wee’s song reminds me of, “What Is Love,” which in turn reminds me of, “Night at the Roxbury,” which is a really good movie. Why the hell am I watching this when I could watch Night at the Roxbury? Or any movie really would be better than this. Honestly, the only reason I do this is because Caliber has some embarrassing photos of me and a horse that he promised not to release if I wrote for this site. Bastard.[NFC: It’s true. It’s a photo of Sebastian barely winning the 2013 Kentucky Derby. It’s embarassing because Sebastian insists on winning by a large amount, and barely scoring the victory is a tarnish on the good name that is Sebastian]
Kee Wee actually attacks Reno right away. He’s all pissed because Reno beat up his girly on Thunder. Kee Wee attacks Reno on the outside to start, and has the advantage untill he goes for a piledriver that Reno reverses. Reno pressslams Kee Wee into a trashcan, and the fans are chanting for tables. The thing is, wrestling is an interactive art between viewer and performer, and you really should, at the very least, respond to the chants of table. Not saying they should throw the structure of the match of whack by doing a table spot, but maybe yelling, “You’re going to get it,” or something like that. Kree Wee gets the advantage and whips Reno into the guardrail. Kee Wee bashes Reno in the head with some trashcans, and a kendo stick. These hardcore matches have been surprisingly good lately, and the crowds getting pretty into this so I wouldn’t be too shocked if this ended up getting good. And as soon as I say that Mark Jindrak and Sean O’Hare come out, and attack Kee Wee. They fuck up Kee Wee on the outside, and then toss him, from the outside of the ring, into the ring in a pretty cool spot. Reno hits Rolling Dice for the win.
1.0/5.0 Match was starting to build some momentum, and the crowd was getting into it so of course it had to be cut off at the legs. RUSSO’S BACK BAAAAAAAAAAABY!
Mean Gene introduces Rection who has the title. The crowd is so apathetic toward him I can’t see straight. Rection says that MIA has to be here for his interview along with Major Gunns. The fans chant USA because they’re fucking morons, and Rection takes off the Canadian sticker on the belt because it is now the United States title. Holy shit, that is the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard. If an American wins a Canadian Title, it still has a history of being a Canadian title, it should still be considered a Canadian title because of its history. Even if after a couple years it does become primarily a United States Title, it should still in the end, be considered, or at least have the history of being a Canadian championship. So after Mean Gene blows Rection verbally he starts clapping, and then every face wrestler goes down to the ramp, and claps for Rection. WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING HERE!? Who cares about Hugh Morris? Him winning a secondary belt with a bunch of interference does not constitute him getting Shawn Michaels retirement treatment. Rection was given zero big star treatment prior to this,and I’m going to assume most casual fans would have no idea who he is. Goldberg cuts this lame ass promo acting like he’s been a huge fan of Rection for the longest time, and that him winning was a big deal to everyone in the back.
What? WHO FUCKING CARES? Its not like Storm was this evil tyrant who was beating up everyone, or that Rection had a long history of almost winning the title, and not getting it. This whole set up is just so fake, and the crowd could not care less unless they’re chanting for Goldberg, or USA. Storm comes up on the Titantron and asks for a rematch, Rection says he’s already gotten it set up. Storm says he’s going to take the title back and make it Canadian which of course gets boo’s. Goldberg’s all, “Kid, do us all a favor and shut this punk up.” And this is another perfect example of WCW being out of step with their booking, Storm could’ve been an absolutely great face, with wrestling ability on the level of Shawn Michaels circa 96, so of course they make him, the smart, funny, entertaining guy, the heel and make a guy who yells America, and is named after a boner, LITERALLY NAMED AFTER A BONER, the good guy. And we’re supposed to care that he won the title? Why? This whole segment was just SO forced, and non-sensical. Rection was a comedy wrestler in the mid-card who was never taken seriously, and now all of a sudden its a huge deal that he won the Canadian Title. It would be the equivalent of Santino beating Dolph Ziggler for the US Title, and all of the WWE superstars coming down to the ring to congratulate him. NO ONE FUCKING CARES! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS!?
There’s a limo outside and whoever’s in it is the new Commissioner. What if, of course in Kayfabe view, if WCW got a camera shot of the wrong limo, like one that someone already came out of, and was just focusing on it all night, and the Commissioner’s just walking around outside all, “Why does no one pay attention to me?”
David Flair comes out with the test results from Bagwell’s sperm, [NFC: I thought it was his blood? Or did they have another, much gnarlier “DNA” match that I never want to see?] and it turns out that Bagwell’s not the father. David’s pissed, and then M. I. Smooth comes out (guy who gives out information and has a groovy theme song). Smooth says he’s going to show David who his Dad is as he’s taking off his pants. Heh heh. Impromptu match.
3rd Match: David Flair vs M.I. Smooth
I was pretty busy eating pizza for this match but it was a squash with Smooth killing David in about three minutes. I don’t know why David’s been made to look like such a bitch lately, I kinda like the new story were he’s just so paranoid and crazy. He was getting a monster push at the start of the year when he totally sucked, and his gimmick was that he was, “crazy,” but now that he’s entertaining he starts getting squashed. Sweet.
Disco Inferno and Alex Wright come out, and Disco can’t figure out why he’s in the ring. He says he can’t figure out if he wants to thank him, or if he wants to compliment him on his abs. Disco’s pretty great here, and Goldberg comes out, so Disco acts like he’s about to piss himself. Goldberg throws both guys out of the ring like the dickwad bully he is and starts cutting a promo. this should be interesting. Goldberg says he used to not know himself, but now he knows who he is, and so does Kronik. What the fuck are you talking about? What does your past self-doubt have to do with you beating two guys last night? Then he says everyone in the back is next (which is literally impossible, they can’t all be next, they might be the next after the next after the next, etc… but they can’t literally be next unless you’re literally going to wrestle them next).
Commercial break, and Goldberg’s gone, and Sanders walks out. I just wanted to say, I am really, really fucking tired watching this show as I’ve been up since 9:00 AM, and its 12:30 AM, and this show is doing absolutely nothing to keep my interest. Sanders cuts some boring promo about how he won the boxing match last night, and then adds Steiner to the match with Booker T and Mike Awesome tonight. LAME! Sanders says the new COO is going to be his little bitch and the only running he’s going to be doing is to get him coffee. AND THEN RIC FUCKING FLAIR COMES OUT!!!!!! YES, HE’S HERE TO SAVE ME FROM THIS NITRO!!!!
Flair goes down to the ring and tells him who he is and that he’s retired, but then says that he’s become the new COO. Flair says that he likes Sanders but that Sanders has gotten out of control. He also brings up the fact that he was the champion when Sanders was ten and knows a lot more about wrestling than Sanders does. Flair says that Sanders has to follow the rules, and talks about how great the talent is. Flair really does give me hope here that he’s going to straighten out WCW, and that we’re not going to have all this interference, DQ bullshit but I’m not going to get my hopes up that high. Sanders is too much of a pussy to say anything, and goes to leave when Flair stops him and makes a rematch between Sanders and The Cat. LAME! Sanders isn’t really built up as an evil bad guy we want to see get it, he’s just there so this angle doesn’t mean that much.
Flair pimps the talent saying its the greatest “anywhere,” and that he’s going to make it number one. Flair apologizes to Bagwell last night as the reason that he was attacked last night was because Flair asked Luger to make sure David would be okay, and he’s going to give Luger his job back. When the fuck did Luger lose his job? Jarrett comes out…. and there’s a botch with his mic were it takes a couple seconds to turn on. Jarrett says its a joke that Flair is the COO of the company, and then makes fun of how old Flair is. Yeah, Flair coming back in 2000 is ridiculous but bringing back Sting eighteen thousand times and Hulk Hogan is okay. Flair tells Jeff he’s the COO and there’s nothing he can do about it. Jeff tells Flair that if Flair gets in his way he’s going to take him out, Flair tells Jarrett he’s a great wrestler and that he’s retired… but he’s also the boss. Pretty interesting, setting up Flair as an authority who won’t stand for the bullshit that’s been going on lately, and won’t stand down to someone who’s been as dominant as Jeff Jarrett, while also teasing him getting back in the ring. The only problem is Flair wasn’t gone long enough for us to really miss him, but still, I’m really glad he’s on this show.
Different segment, and Luger comes out. Luger talks about how he should always have the spotlight or some stupid narcissistic shit like that, and then takes off his shirt. You look a bit more than five percent body fat now Luger. Luger says that Flair reinstated him for saving David Flair last night, and then lists off his accomplishments. He’s also all, “Buff, its not personal, its business so don’t feel bad,” and just expects Bagwell to brush it off. Luger also sets up a challenge to Goldberg saying he’s next when Bagwell comes out. I mean, Luger can’t be so dense to think that Bagwell’s going to be okay with Luger attacking him just because it wasn’t personal. Bagwell says he’s going to kick Luger’s ass. Luger says he’ll wrestle Bagwell later tonight so he can put on his tights but Bagwell wants to do it right now… so we’re getting a match with both guys in street clothes.
4th Match: Lex Luger vs Buff Bagwell (In Street Clothes)
Bagwell gets the advantage and goes for the Blockbuster but hits the Referee. Luger takes it to the outside and starts working over Bagwell with a chair. God, Luger looks flabby. Luger throws Bagwell back in and hits the Rack for the win.
DUD What the fuck is the point in bringing Luger back in the year 2000? [NFC: Has everyone seen the “rebirth” of Lex Luger segment from an October 1999 Nitro? If not, do look it up] He’s not a draw at this point, and to put him over a fresh guy like Bagwell in a two minute match is just so counter-productive. The writers really are quite out of touch as Bagwell is really great with the crowd, is much more charismatic, and is way better in the ring at this point…. and to have him do the J-O-B to Luger is LAME. This is actually one of the bigger problems of WWE booking from 2001-2003, they just tried to rely on nostalgia with bringing back things like the NWO, Steiner, and Goldberg, instead of putting anyone new over.
Nash gets spanked by Pamela, the interviewer chick.
5th Match: Kronik vs The Perfect Event
Adams and Shawn start off, Shawn rams Bryan into the corner but Bryan comes back with a clothesline. Kevin Nash is on commentary, and the fans refuse to pay attention to the match with a really loud, “We want Scott Hall,” chant. Also, Nash was put on the twenty best physiques on some magazine, oh c’mon, what about Trips? In 2000 he was in REALLY good shape. Clarke in and eats a dropkick from Palumbo. Adams in and Clarke whips Shawn into the guardrail on the outside. Holy shit this match sucks, the crowd is so dead for it and the guys just can’t build a story due to it, also the camera guys keeps on focusing on Kevin Nash and the commentators. Shawn walks away, and Kronik make short work of Palumbo.
DUD And more tension gets added between two guys we don’t care about in Shawn and Palumbo, I can’t wait to see who, and how they lose next week. This could be a good angle if it was with two people we actually cared about and if the story was going somewhere.
Cut backstage and Nash is walking backstage with a baseball bat, looking for Shawn. Cut to Booker T in an interview, he talks about Steiner bullied himself into the title match whereas Awesome actually earned it. He says that Steiner’s a tough guy but couldn’t win the title last night, and that Awesome wants to beat Steiner just as badly as Booker does. Looking forward to the main event, my only fear is that it could devolve into the lame tripe threat formula that a lot of tripe threats do.
6th Match: Mike Sanders vs Ernest Miller
Holy shit, this has to be one of the least interesting, worst Nitro’s in a while. I’m forgetting how to do play by play because there’s been NO WRESTLING that’s gone on for more than say five minutes except for the first match. And the SE portion, besides Flair and Disco Inferno, has been fucking horrid. Ernest Miller grabs a microphone and says he saw Mark Madden in the shower, and that it grossed him out because of his ass pimples. Well, now we can conclude that Miller watches other men in the shower and judges how good they look naked. Shit, I’d rather watch Madden naked than this match, it would be one of those so gross that you can’t turn away things, which would be a lot more interesting than this Nitro.
Ernest starts off hot but Sanders drags Ernest on the ropes. They do the lame sleeper spot and Ernest does a kick but Sanders does a nice sunset flip which Ernest… humps out of for some reason, and then drops an elbow. Ernest throws Sanders into the ropes and kicks him for the win.
DUD Holy shit, this is the worst Nitro ever. It took me a while to actually review this show because I was procrastinating, and I was actually looking forward to it because the PPV was so good, this show is horrible and I am going to totally procrastinate for the next show. Ugh. Shane Douglas comes up on the screen and hits Ms. Jones, Ernest Miller’s woman, with a backbreaker. LAAAAAAAAAAME, the problem with these beating up the Wife angles is that we never care about the wife, and usually the guy does one move to her, so we know she’s not in any real peril, and its going to set up one of those stupid WAY TOO SERIOUS angles that are never fun.
Main Event: Scott Steiner w/ Madaja vs Mike Awesome vs Booker T (C) for the World Heavyweight Championship
Scott says that Booker is ashamed of himself because Scott killed him last night, and that Booker knows that Scott should be champion. He also says that when he put Booker in the Recliner, Booker screamed like a little bitch. And if Steiner has to he’ll kick Booker’s ass every night, including tonight. There was some stuttering, but that was actually an effective promo against Booker, trying to hint that Booker could have some self doubt because, even though Steiner cheated, Steiner still beat up Booker one on one, and maybe Steiner is better than Booker (kayfabe).
Booker goes to the ring first and Awesome’s not there as Steiner attacks Booker as he’s getting in the ring. Steiner puts the boots to Booker but Booker dodges under a clothesline and hits a sidekick. Booker with a punch and a clothesline. Booker with punches in bunches to Steiner. I love these guys together, Booker puts his head down and gets elbowed. Powerbomb by Steiner. Steiner brings Booker into the corner, and hits some stiff looking chops which Booker sells pretty well. This match thus far has been a lot faster paced than their PPV outing which is understandable. Awesome comes in and hits Steiner with an electric chair, and dumps Steiner to the outside. Awesome attacks Booker and hits a shoulderblock for two.
Booker reverses a whip into a sidekick, and a spinebuster for two as Steiner breaks it up and goes for pins on both guys, which each get two. Steiner dumps Awesome and hits Booker with a belly to belly for two. Steiner with a clothesline to Booker and push ups. Awesome comes off the top with a clothesline. Awesome with a clothesline to Steiner in the corner. Awesome goes up and hits a nice looking frogsplash for two. He goes for the Awesome Bomb but Booker breaks it up with kick, and a Scissors Kick to Steiner, and he pops up with the Spinarooine but eats a clothesline from Awesome. Awesome eats a belly to belly from Steiner. Steiner dumps Booker and then goes to the outside. Steiner drops Booker on the table, and stomps him. Awesome goes outside and takes out Steiner with a chairshot. Awesome whips Steiner into the ring, and into the guardrail. Awesome throws Steiner into the ring, and hits an elbowdrop for two. Awesome with punches in bunches to Steiner but Steiner comes back with a low blow… only to eat a kick from Booker.
Booker with punches in bunches so Steiner kicks Booker in the dick as well. Steiner brings Awesome to the top and hits an Angle Slam for two as Booker breaks it up. Booker with a side kick to Steiner for two. Awesome takes out both guys with clotheslines but then eats an inverted atomic drop from Steiner. This match is pretty quick and fun, and isn’t too formalistic but I’m kinda bothered because the only fucking thing Booker’s doing is hitting kicks. Steiner goes for the Recliner so Booker KICKS Steiner in the face sending him to the outside, and then Booker takes out with Awesome with the Book End for the win.
3.5/5.0 Booker/Steiner wasn’t as good as the night before as Steiner wasn’t made to look as scary but for a triple threat, and with the addition of Awesome the match was pretty good. Having another power guy added another dimension to the match, and was pretty fun. It almost seemed like Booker won on a fluke though, and he still hasn’t shown that he can beat Steiner one-on-one.
Booker cuts a promo, and tells Steiner if he wants a title shot right to come out right now. Steiner doesn’t do shit, so Booker says they’re going to meet up again, and when they do Booker’s going to win. Booker turns around to taunt as Steiner starts walking down the ramp, and the show ends. Damn, that was kinda exciting.
Final Thoughts: Very groovy last match, that again, wasn’t as good as the PPV outing, but was still very good, and I’m glad they didn’t devolve into total formula with the Triple Threat. Booker doing nothing but kicks got slight obnoxious but there was still that element of fear when he was getting man handled by Steiner and Mike Awesome, and you just wanted him to win so badly. Of course, that element couldn’t be full developed because of the style of match, so it didn’t mean as much when he came back and won. If I was to nit-pick the match I could possibly say they could’ve had more of an extended heat segment on Booker were he gets really fucked up which would’ve added a bit more suspense, rather than Booker just popping right back from everything with side kicks.
But again, a very good main event, and there were times in the match were I was thinking of going to four stars. Now as for the rest of the show, ugh. Ric Flair coming back was interesting but as for everything else, everything was such a chore to sit through, and very unmemorable. The whole Sanders angle is hopeful resolved, but now we have to sit through weeks of Ernest Miller cutting, “intense, and serious promos.” Buff Bagwell, one of the better wrestlers on the show, and great on the mic, as well as being very charismatic lost to a fucking dinosaur. The show just didn’t have any great matches except for the main, and the rest was just horrible from any kind of story writing perspective. I feel that reviewing these shows is going to turn into a kind of self-torture, but its okay because there’s a Twinkie at the end, type of deal. Where the show sucks the whole time, and is a bore to sit through, but its okay because there’s cool stuff at the end. And I don’t know, I’m not looking forward to reviewing the next show at all, Booker/Steiner has already been done, and I know part 2 will be great but it just doesn’t have the same anticipation that the first one does. I’ve heard you never remember the second time you bang a chick and that’s the best way I can think to relate this. This show didn’t do anything to really set up future episodes, and the only thing I really know I have to look forward to from the SE portion is Kevin Nash bullying Shawn Stasiak, and Lance Storm losing to a guy who’s named after a boner.
And before I go I think I should mention how fake that General Rection shit was.