I’m a bit cranky and tired writing this, so the review may come out a little sloppy, or irritable. Though most of my reviews come out like that anyway but still….
Now, lately I’ve been rummaging around the old IWC, and reading some early, early 2000-01 stuff just to see what people were saying about WCW and WWF at the time. While it was pretty much universally agreed that the WWF was better than WCW at the time, while looking through the old reviews, and commentary during the actual 2000 WCW shows…. I found out some people actually liked what WCW was putting out at the time… or at least some of it. And this isn’t some dumb mark who loves Scott Steiner or anything, it’s written by a respected member of the IWC, and his points are intelligent and logical. It makes me wonder if perhaps I was being too negative on the show, or maybe I’m just getting sick of the show itself. I’m definitely not going to re-watch 2000 WCW to find out if I was being a bit too negative, but it does make me wonder, that if I was watching it as more of a casual thing than sitting through each episode… if it would be more enjoyable as a whole.[Note From Caliber: You have to remember, some people just like crap. We were not being negative. WCW In 2000 was TERRIBLE. There were a few high-lights. Keyword being “few”. Feuds started and abruptly started, things were over-done with wads blown early, the title switched twice a month, the wrong guys were heels, there were constant DQs, far too much hardcore crap, lame characters, pathetic “this is REAL!” type of angles. I could go on all damn day about how terrible it was. I mean, Tank Abbot vs Big Al is all that needs to be said.]
Here’s the article in question. You could argue Hyatte’s points, that The Insiders/Natural Born Thrillers feud was too over booked, and trashy. That the Goldberg re-streak, and Vince Russo’s Pimpmobile were pathetic attempts to get attention. And that Scott Steiner, no matter what personality he has, should never, ever have the World Heavyweight Champion, and that he wasn’t trying to build anyone up but himself. We COULD go into all these critical realms, and make a logical argument, but looking at it from a casual viewer, or someone who would just pop in on Nitro when Raw was boring, or maybe tape it but skip through to certain things, I can see why the product would work for him. My point being that, even though Caliber and I have harped on these things, looking back I can see what aspects of them do work, and why, even if I don’t like them, they COULD work. So WCW… even though it’s a weird, overbooked mess with the only goal in sight lately is to push Scott Steiner…. Looking back on the year 2000 as a whole, you can definitely see some positives, and why they were still getting way higher ratings than Raw today. This also accomplishes another thing, to have me go in with a less critical attitude and try to look for the positives. Not saying that the review is going to come out any different, but Hyatte has at least, inspired me to try. And if someone can make a compelling case for 2000 WCW… well they’re a pretty good writer. [NFC: Anyone could make a case for WCW in 2000, because there are high-points, but overall, that shit was a fucking mess, man. Remember how many times Sting & Vampiro fought? How Vampiro would “kill” Sting, then taunt him for months, at which point Sting would come back on a Nitro and just beat the shit out of him, completely getting his revenge, and then have 5 more matches. No, WCW in 2000 was the absolute worst, man. The only reason it got better ratings than Raw today, is because that’s how hot wrestling was at the time. You have to remember, yeah, they were getting 2s and 3s, but Raw was getting anywhere from 6 & 9s. Double & tripling WCW’s ratings, because that’s how bad they sucked. WWE’s buyrates today KILL what WCW was doing, which was literally at TNA buyrate levels, and that’s for a national company. That’s how bad it was. ]
This column is also going to be experimental for me as I’m going to try to take the Play by Play out of the reviews, and do a more laid back style. I already tried the new version over at my new article on Renegade Cinema and I think it came out pretty well. Basically, I’m just going to put in some commentary and observations throughout the match, and then talk about the match… or segment as a whole at the end. If I end up liking it I’ll stay doing it this way instead of the PBP. I am going to miss the play by play though… in its own way it’s very fun…. And challenging to write. It feels like you’re putting in a hundred percent, and you have to try your hardest to make it funny, and at the same time, have legitimate opinions on the match. So I’m going to miss it, but nobody really likes play by play anymore anyway, and I get to be lazier so that’s a plus.
…And now for the review.
1st Match: Dustin Rhodes vs Rick Steiner
This match just started right off the bat with no segment or Nitro entrance or anything. We get like a minute of Golddust stomping some ass, when Ric Flair comes out with like, 100 security guards to fetch Razor Ramon’s Admirer. Dustin wants to fight back, but Flair threatens to sue him if he does. This was just the dumbest fucking angle… Dustin is not exciting enough, or even charismatic enough for you to care about anything that happens to him. It almost seems like they were trying to go for a Steve Austin/McMahon angle here but no one cares about Dustin Fucking Rhodes.[NFC: See, this is what I’m talking about. Ric Flair literally said he was bringing Dustin in to help SAVE THE FREAKING COMPANY! This is the second time he showed up in WCW in a couple years, as prior he was Se7en, and then cut a “shoot” promo about what crap it was.]
Flair brags about all the power he has, when Ernest Miller comes out, and says he reinstated Dustin Rhodes. Miller is wearing the dumbest fucking glasses I’ve ever seen… but that chick with him is pretty fine. Anyway, Flair makes Miller vs Storm, for the commissionership and the special Ref is Mike Sanders. I swear to God, if Storm loses this…. This show would become ten times more entertaining if Storm was the Commissioner. Storm at least is a bit unpredictable, and would probably use it to his own needs, whereas Miller does the same shit every week! All he does is come out, reverse what Flair says, and makes some really lame threats. He is so stale it’s sickening.
2nd Match: Ernest Miller vs Lance Storm w/ Special Guest Referee Mike Sanders
This match perfectly highlights everything wrong with Miller. Not only is his offense overly cartoony and unbelievable, but he pretty much beats both guys for two minutes straight. Storm eventually gets the half crab, and Sanders does the Montreal Ending, AND STORM IS THE NEW Commissioner!!!!! Fuck yes!!!!! Flair comes out with his squadron of heels, and goes to beat up Miller WHEN KEVIN FUCKING NASH SHOWS UP ON THE SCREEN!!!!!
Nash tells Flair he’s forgetting something, but Flair doesn’t believe him and won’t stop bragging. The camera zooms out, and Nash has David Flair tied up to a chair. Ric is pretty scared for his kid, and Nash makes some demands. [NFC: Ugh. Yeah, worried about the same kid who was putting his dad in the figure-4 all the time, trying to help Russo against him as much as possible, saying he hated him, and then the next night he loves him without any explanation] Storm vs Miller for the Commissionership at Superbrawl, Dustin Rhodes gets a match, and if he wins he’s reinstated, and also if Dustin wins Nash gets a title match with Steiner. These demands are killing me with how over complicated they are, however I really do like the intensity of Nash here. He is so pissed, and tired of being fucked over by Flair and Friends, and he really does look like he’s going to fuck up David if Flair doesn’t listen to his demands. I also think that’s a pretty clever way of getting demands, and well, pretty damn dark. Also, Ric comes across as legitimately concerned here.
Dustin Rhodes is being a bad boy, and doesn’t want to wrestle Rick Steiner later tonight just to fuck with Flair. Ooooh, you’re so cool Dustin…[NFC: Well, he does have cool red leather pants!]
3rd Match: Jericho Rip Off vs Yung Dragon #?
I was reading a theory that Russo was trying to rip off Flex when he was pushing Booker T, calling him the People’s Champion, giving him the urnage as a finisher, etc… I honestly think that WCW was trying to do the same thing with Lash Leroux. I swear to God they were trying to make this guy Chris Jericho. He has a similar body type, the same facial hair, similar tights, very similar offense…. The only difference is that Lash is worse at wrestling, and Lash has long curly hair, instead of Jericho’s beautiful long, gold locks.
Lash looks pretty limited here as Yang dictates most of the match. Lash looks pretty awkward on offense here, as he takes long pauses between each move. He’s also ripped off Jericho’s shoulderblock off the apron spot. Asshole. God, this guy even moves like Jericho. The only this could be more obvious is if he yelled, C’MON BABY!!!! Yang ends up winning with a corkscrew moonsault pretty much out of nowhere.
2.5/5.0 As much as Lash rips off Jericho, he didn’t seem that bad out there with Yang, and Yang ended up winning so it was okay. Honestly, I couldn’t focus too much on the match quality because I was just so amazed by how much Lash was ripping off Jericho.[NFC: Are you sure you’re talking about Lash? Isn’t he with MIA? Are you sure you’re not talking about Lenny Lane?]
OH MY GOD!!!! Now they’re trying to rip off the fucking Rock!!!??? This blonde guy wears sunglasses, takes them off, tells Gene his mind if full of monkey crap… I mean I suppose on paper this doesn’t sound too incriminating but I swear to God this guy is doing the Rock’s mannerisms, and talking exactly like him. It’s pathetic. [NFC: Don’t you remember Juvi calling himself “The Juice”, and completely ripping off The Rock’s catch phrases?]
Backstage Dustin agrees to wrestle Rick Steiner if he can get a title shot at Superbrawl, if he wins tonight. Sanders doesn’t get it approved, but tells Dustin he does anyway because Flair’s threatening to have Animal kill Sanders if he doesn’t. I kind of like that backstage stooges deal, where he has to deal with big powers, and is just the middleman trying to keep his head above water. Pretty cool idea, and I’ve never seen it before.
4th Match or 1st Match Part 2: Dustin Rhodes vs Rick Steiner
Jesus…. I didn’t even want this match the first time. Now I have to watch it twice?
This match should be pretty bad, but it’s actually surprising me. Rick and Dustin are both just so intense in this match, and make it a really stiff brawl. I’m getting pretty into the story of Dustin trying to come back from the more powerful, scary Rick.
Last week Ernest Miller called Scott Steiner, Big Poppa Dump. On this Nitro, there’s a huge neon sign that says Big Poppa Dump. That’s… pretty cute actually.
Dustin almost wins with a roll up, but the Referee gets taken out. Dustin hits a bulldog and has the match won, but BY GOD ITS ANIMAL!!! THAT SICK SON OF A BITCH!!! DUSTIN TAKES HIM OUT WITH A RIGHT BUT RUNS INTO A BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX FROM RICK!!! NO NOT LIKE THIS!!! THAT COLD HEARTED BASTARD!!!! WAIT, WHAT IS THIS!??? ITS SHANE DOUGLAS, AND OH MY GWAD HE HIT RICK STEINER WITH THE BRASS KNUCKS!!! HE KILLED HIM, HE KILLED HIM, THAT MAN IS DEAD!!!!
So yeah, Shane Douglas hits Rick with the brass knucks giving Dustin the win.
3.5/5.0 I was really surprised by how good this match was. Rick really worked well as a monster heel, just stomping all over Dustin whenever he tried to come back, and Dustin was actually compelling enough for me to become invested in the match. The ending was a tad ridiculous though, if you’re trying to get Dustin over why not have him win a match, y’know, cleanly?
Elix Skipper comes out with a mic, and the most obnoxious theme song in the history of theme songs. Elix tells everyone this is his house, he’s great, and he’s Canadian. The camera cuts to some fat, drunk dudes who are really pissed off by Elix’s… not really that offensive promo.
5th Match: Elix Skipper vs Billy Kidman
Elix is pretty stiff here, and just keeps on planting Kidman down. He’s also getting some major heat here which is pretty cool. Nice corkscrew cross body to the outside onto Kidman from Skipper.
Something no one talks about anymore is Kidman’s selling. Kidman was actually a really good seller, he really looks sad getting his ass kicked, and you want him to come back and win the match.
Kidman gets his ass kicked the whole match but comes back with a sick faceplant off the top rope for two. They then go into a bunch of signatures and near falls, and Elix Skipper is looking really good here. I’m impressed by both guys here, and how fast and hard they’re going. The crowd is really only half into it the whole time though, which kind of sucks.[NFC: Elix went on to due pretty well in TNA, and even had part in what I consider to be the greatest tag-team match of all time. Triple X vs AMW in the cage.]
Kidman ends the match by hitting a lucky Unpretter for the win. Which makes both guys look good, and makes it look like Kidman just barely won due to some luck.
3.5/5.0 I think it’s pretty weird that I’m giving the same rating to this as Dustin/Rick Steiner, but this match was pretty sweet. It felt a little sped up, and the match could’ve been great instead of just good, with some more time, but as it is, it was still really fun. Skipper looked really good for the first in any Nitro I’ve ever reviewed, and Kidman was really compelling. Kidman’s selling is more subtle than say Shawn Michaels, and he really does look like he’s in a lot of pain. Poor baby…. Anyway the match ended with Kidman just barely getting the lucky win, which makes both guys look at the same level, and means that in a rematch Kidman might not get the win. I do kind of wish that Skipper would’ve won this though, because Skipper’s new gimmick is pretty cool, and it’s the first time he’s actually seemed interesting.
There’s a really weird commercial about how Jesus died for your sins, so you shouldn’t do heroin. What? [NFC: It was probably just another promo about the return of Glacier.]
6th Match: Sean Stasiak vs Chuck Palumbo – BROTHER VS BROTHER MATCH… BROTHER!!!
Both guys look pretty awkward out of their normal tag team environment. A lot of standing around and taunting, as neither guy knows exactly what to do, or how to advance a singles match.
Sean does an early CM Punk move, were he hits the clothesline and goes into a bulldog. Pretty cool spot, but it’s followed by taunting and awkward standing around. You can tell that neither guy knows how to advance a singles match yet. I’m thinking maybe giving them this much time was a bad idea, or even giving them a singles match this early was a bad idea.[NFC: Well, that’s pretty sad on Stasiak’s part, since he’d been wrestling for going on 5 years at this point.] I think a triple threat would’ve been a better idea so they could start to feel what their strengths are as singles wrestlers, and have someone else in there to stop the awkward pacing.
Palumbo hits a sick shoulder-block off the top halfway across the ring. He goes for the superkick but Sean reverses into a roll up… and then a really bad spot were Sean grabs the ropes but the Ref’s right there… and both guys don’t really know what to do… so they repeat the spot and Sean wins. That was a BAD botch.
2.5/5.0 Palumbo works pretty good as a face here, but Sean needs some polishing. He was way too out of it here as a heel, and just didn’t know what the fuck he was doing. The match couldn’t quite get the story they were going for, and both guys looked pretty lost out there. [NFC: How on Earth is this match only a point less than the other two supposed great-ones earlier? I gotta call poppycock on that.]
3000 Miles to Graceland looks fucking awesome.
Page comes out with a Sopranos shirt for some reason. Never got into that show, it’s a bunch of dumb assed Italians knocking each other off. And it has a shitty ending. Fuck that, I’ll just watch Wiseguy. [NFC: Sopranos is a great show.]
Page says that Kaynon is ripping him off…. But yeah dude, that was literally his whole gimmick. Why are you just now angry about this? Kanyon’s been ripping Page off since Jan 2000… are you telling me it took Page a whole year to pay attention to Kanyon? Page didn’t watch Nitro for a year straight? I mean, I guess that’s not too hard to believe.[NFC: Let’s not forget that Kanyon is the one who put DDP out for a while. Then when he came back, after Kanyon did MONTHS of taunts, he never mentioned it. It’s as if this episode is littered with reasons as to why WCW 2000 sucks simply because you dared to question it’s awfulness.] Jeff Jarrett comes out, and is all I’M THE CHOSEN ONE, AND I’M WHITE TRASH AND BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!! Page is all, COME DOWN HERE YOU LIL BITCH!!!! And Kanyon tried to attack Page, but Page takes him out with a Diamond Cutter. Page stops to taunt, but eats a Guitar Shot from Jeff. That literally sums up every Jeff Jarrett, TNA feud ever.
SCOTT STEINER IS LOOKING FOR NASH!!!! OH SHIT!!!! There’s an advertisement for the Ooohma Soomers. IS THAT SECRETLY A WWF ADVERTISEMENT!!???? THOSE BASTARDS!!!!
I looked up 3000 Miles to Graceland but it has horrible reviews. There’s some commercial for a phone service or something, and this chick rips off Buffy. Look, Buffy’s okay and everything, but it’s all about that other bitch. SHE IS SO FINE IN THOSE EARLIER EPISODES, WILLOW!!!1 OH MY GOD!!!1 BABBBBYYYYYY!!!! Also, Buffy is a pretty great show.
Main Event: Kevin Nash vs Scott Steiner© for the WHC
Nash walks David to the ring, and punches him around. Ric walks out, and tells Nash to give David back to him because he’s done everything he’s asked him tonight. But Nash is like, NAWWWWW and powerbombs him! Sweet! BIG DADDY COOL IN THE HOUSE!!!!!!
Scott Steiner’s investigative work lead to absolutely nothing because he was going to end up wrestling Nash anyway.
Watching Nash just toss Steiner around like a rag doll is great. Nash is just destroying Steiner, and we cut backstage to Ric. Now that Ric’s got his son, Ric tells everyone to go kill Nash. Back to the match, and Steiner gets the advantage with a belly to belly for two.
Flair’s friends go to attack Nash but KRONIK IS HERE!!!! YES!!!![NFC: Alright! The guys with long hair & nicely manicured facial hair with leather pants and tight silk shirts are here to save the gay! I mean, day!]
Nash does the firey comeback and hits a big boot! OH MY GWAD IS NASH GOING TO WIN THIS!!??? Its powerbomb time, but oh shit, Flair is out here (Ric). Nash sets Steiner up for the powerbomb but Flair ends the match with a DQ by attacking Nash. Nash isn’t affected, and kills Flair with a powerbomb. Steiner gets the pipe and kills Nash with it.
3.5/5.0 Pretty good, if a tad generic Steiner/Nash match. This match had me pretty sucked in and I really wanted to see Nash win, but Ric Flair, the rat bastard had to ruin everything. And I was also pretty pissed off that Steiner got the advantage over Nash with the pipe. So this match did everything to perfectly set up Superbrawl, and I’m actually pretty excited to see the show, and the main event. So good work all around.[NFC: Dude, no way. You were just trying to make good on your whole ‘I need to be more fair’ declaration. I mean, the highest rating we’ve ever given any 2000-01 WCW match on this site was 4 stars, and you mean to tell me that this show had THREE matches that were a mere half a point away from the all time record? I don’t think so. Not to mention they give away the fucking main event a week before the PPV? Brilliant. Now, Sebastian got me wondering about this match, so I found it on youtube, and did a mini-review below]
Kevin Nash vs Scott Steiner
Nash gets the advantage at first with a combination of rights & lefts, clotheslines, and knees, before the action spills outside. Steiner turns things back to his favor after smashing Nash into the ring post. Back in he maintains the momentum with his usual onslaught of suplexes & clotheslines before Nash comes back with a side-walk slam. He hits a big boot, but before he can nail the Jackknife, Ric Flair comes in and draws the DQ. He ends up paying for that by being the one who gets the Jackknife, and while distracted, Steiner is able to take out Nash’s knee with a lead pipe. He continues beating on it as we fade to black.
Steiner is DQ’ed at 5:15 when Flair jumps in | **
C’mon, Sebastian. ***1/2 for a match that was barely 5 minutes, and contained less than 10 moves? There was nothing outwardly awful about that match, it was your basic, generic TV match, and nothing more. At least as far as I’m concerned.
END OF CALIBER’S MINI-REVIEW. NOW BACK TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED REVIEW.
Final Thoughts: A pretty solid show this time. The Nash abducting David Flair was pretty great, and it led to the pretty cool, exciting main event. There were also some good undercard matches, and the Dustin Rhodes angle wasn’t half as bad as I thought it was going to be. So yeah, a decently solid show all around. Let’s see if they can keep up the momentum going into Superbrawl.