First, A Word From Caliber: Hey guys, I want to apologize for the massive lack of updates. Sebastian and I are both working a lot of other places, thus WCW In 2000 gets pushed to the side, and for that I apologize. I’m gonna try and find some new things to review, be it Raws from 1993, or some random PPVs, regardless there will be frequent updates. Also, if you’d like to start writing for a website, I’m always happy to give some a shot. I mean, we don’t get a ton of traffic, but I’m a sexy guy to work for, and I’m cool with you writing about anything wrestling related. Dig it. Alright, now on with Mr. Howard…
Jesus, I’ve been dreading this… trying to put it off as long as possible. Doing these Nitro reviews have been a drain, and reviewing Raw and Nitro’s from 98, and even going over the current product is less soul sucking, depressing, and purely evil as reviewing these terrible 2001 Nitro’s. At least in 2000 you had SOME good stuff, Booker T as champion, Sting being semi-important [Note From Caliber: Yeah, which meant his 1025 match series with fucking Vampiro. I almost ate the business end of a shotgun having to watch that crap week in and week out], and Nash just not giving a fuck. At least those things made the show somewhat watchable, but now it seems that nothing is left but a bunch of midcarders who didn’t end up going anywhere, and the never ending push of Scott Steiner. It really was a bleak time to be a WCW fan, and it shows in the ratings as NO ONE was watching it at the time. Nitro was getting trounced by Raw, and the ppv buyrates are almost hilariously incomparable. Jeez, well let’s get on with this Hell Hole… Oh me, you want to know how I’ve been doing? How sweet of you… you cute lil’ bastards. Well I’ve been put on Probation for being an accomplice to a burglary, so I’ve been trying to just stay in my house more, and not to do anything that will make me fail my drug test, or get me in any more trouble. The hardest drug I’ve done in a couple days is my Zoloft, so I better pass this upcoming drug test. It seems like half my activities and social groups are just gone because with a lot of my friends we’d smoke weed… and besides a select few, I don’t really want to hang out with them sober. Oh, and I’m going to College at the end of this month… on the prowl for some bitch I can roofie… And that’s pretty much all that’s been going on at my end. Alright, lets delve into this horrible, world that is 2001 Nitro… Scott Steiner beats up some security guys because they don’t know where Page is. Just follow your nose Steiner, you’ll find him… Page shows up in the crowd and calls out Steiner. This is already quite a messy, trashy way to start the show. Steiner comes out to the ring, and says he can’t find Page because everyone in New Orleans is white trash. Well I can’t disagree with that… but then again look who’s talking. Page says that one of the guys Steiner proclaimed “dead,” is going to show up later tonight. Nash is coming back? And who says he’s lazy? Steiner goes throw the crowd to look for Page but Page has escaped at that point. This is ECW level trashy, and just completely disorganized in every aspect. Are Steiner or Page wrestling tonight? If so who? None of these basic, build up questions are answered, and there’s no main event announced or main event segment. Bush league stuff here. I don’t know who’s coming back tonight, and I don’t care because it’s just going to lead to more of Scott Steiner going over. I am so sick of Steiner as champion, AND the general sloppiness, un cohesiveness of this train wreck. Things were actually MORE ORGANIZED WHEN RUSSO WAS IN CHARGE!!!! We’ve got a random Crusierweight Tag Team Tournament… what?
Johnny Swinger and Jason Lee Something vs Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman Johnny Swinger is the 90s-early 00’s version of Seth Rollins. Kidman and Mysterio do some flippy stuff and beat Seth Rollins and Chris Candido. Great way to start the show, with a fucking jobber match. Later Tonight, we have Dustin Rhodes [NFC: The Man Who SAVED WCW!] vs Jeff Jarrett with Flair as the special Guest Ref. That has to be the least exciting main event EVER. Ernest Miller is coming out… dear God no. Miller is SHOOTING FROM THE HIP TONIGHT and is mad at Chris Kanyon for hitting Ms. Jones. Fuck Ms. Jones, aye she wanted to try and play with big boys, she’s going to get hurt… Miller says he’s going to give up his commissioner job which is the best news in a while. He’s giving up his job because he’s SO SERIOUS about getting Chris Kanyon. That’s… such a weird footnote, if someone wanted to find out when Miller lost his commissioner job its going to say, “Miller gave up his job so he could feud with Chris Kanyon.” Flair comes out, and Miller and Flair fight… and the ultimate embarrassment as Flair, the BEST WRESTLER EVER has to sell Miller’s bullshit offense, and loses the fucking fight. I really hate Miller… I’m kind of mad at Flair for agreeing to put Miller over that hard. [NFC: Flair was completely broken at this point. He would have put over Scott Steiner’s dick if they asked him] Flair books Miller vs Rick Steiner for later in the night, which should be extremely awful. Konnan tries to act really hip and hard in a backstage promo, but what’s weird is he doesn’t even look at the camera the entire time.
Sean O’Haire and Chuck Pulambo vs Lance Storm and Mike Awesome
This match seems like it would be pretty good, but two minutes into the match, Luger’s music comes on which distracts everyone… and then Chris Kanyon comes out and takes out Sean O’Hare on the outside. The Rat Bastard Canadians pick up the win. While Storm and Awesome are taunting on the stage, Konnan attacks The Canadians. So fucking lame that we couldn’t actually get to see them wrestle, as it would’ve been a damn good match.
Page says he’s going to break Steiner down mentally, because Steiner’s really dumb.I don’t see how pissing him off is going to help Page get the win at Greed, but I’ll go along with it… which is kind of my whole attitude to this show at this point.
Rick Steiner vs Ernest Miller
What I like about the Pulse reviews is that because I’m not doing official reviews for a review site, you know it’s my column, if there’s a match I don’t want to sit through.. I don’t have to. I can just do something else for ten minutes, or write about whatever’s going on in my mind. Unfortunately, because Caliber wants somewhat professional reviews for the Nitro’s I have to actually review everything. Every… thing… on… the… show. [NFC: Damn right, and one day I may start to feel particularly dick-headed and make you review Thunder as well.] And with a show like this, it starts to have negative effects on the brain… Steiner throws around Miller, and hits him with a big boot for two. Rick goes into Chinlock City for a bit… Miller tries to fight out but eats a knee. Steiner does the CM Punk knees to the head thing, but only gets two. As much as I hate Rick Steiner, it is pretty fun to watch Miller just get the shit kicked out of him. And as soon as I say that, Miller comes back with a low blow (but that’s a DIRTY move, not a clean move!! He’s going to lose momentum… been playing too much SVR lately..) Steiner cuts him off with a clothesline but gets two. Miller does his shitty comeback… and it goes to the outside. Miller starts choking out Steiner, but BY GWAD ITS TOTALLY BUFF!!! BUT BY GWAD ITS HUGH MORRUS!!! Hugh Morrus takes out Lex and Bagwell, and Miller wins with a kick. Scott Steiner comes in, and shit gets serial, Steiner puts Morrus in the Recliner… but oh shit, here’s DDP. Page comes out, which was a really dumb assed idea considering that all the faces were down. BUT HOLY FUCKING SHIT ITS BOOKER T!!!! YES, THANK YOU GOD ITS BOOKER FUCKING T!!!!!!! The faces magically revive when Booker comes out and take out the heels. Fucking great to have Booker back, but they’re not really going to do anything important with him until, literally the last Nitro were he finally gets to go over Steiner. Booker talks some shit to Steiner, and we’ve got a six man tag match!
Booker T, Ernest Miller, and DDP vs Steiner, Bagwell, and Lex Luger
Bagwell gets th[e advantage over Miller, and does his cute little taunt and Page COMES OFF THE TOP ROPE and hits him with a clothesline! Pretty sweet spot. Page in, but Bagwell gets him with a guy punch [NFC: What on Earth is a ‘guy punch’?] , and Luger’s in. Crowd wants Booker T to come in really badly. Page hits a clothesline, and gets the tag to Booker. Booker makes the mistake of going after Steiner… who runs away, and Luger gets the advantage. Booker comes back with a kick, and tags in the Useless Miller. Luger takes Miller out with a clothesline, and Steiner in. Steiner with the douchy elbow, and pushups to Miller. Steiner puts Miller in the tree of woe, in his corner, so the heels work him over. Bagwell in, and makes fun of Booker by doing his raise the roof taunt. It gives me a funny image of Bagwell at a club trying to dance with some black chick, but being really awkward about it. Heels throw Miller to the outside, and Steiner hits Miller with a pretty sick chair shot to the head. Steiner can only get a two though, so he tags in Luger. Miller gets a tag to Booker, but the heels distract the Ref so no go. What I like about this match.. it’s not an overly great match, but it’s the importance and suddenness of it. Booker coming back actually did exceed my expectations of the comeback being lame because Booker is the shit, and super important. I like that they just made the six man tag on the spot, giving the show a very sloppy, but still important can’t miss anything atmosphere. If this match had been announced beforehand I don’t think it would have the same effect as if they had announced it earlier in the night. So I guess I have to retract my statement earlier, bitching about them not announcing any matches (though I still think it’s a bush league way of doing things, they could’ve announced a Scott Steiner or DDP match and then done the six man tag, which would have added some structure to the show, and made Booker T’s comeback seem like a bigger deal in a “main event” match, rather than just coming back in the middle of a mid card match between Miller and Rick Steiner). [NFC: Dude, that has to be the longest thing ever said in parenthesis ever] Booker in, but Steiner takes over right away and hits him with a belly to belly for two. Damn… I really hope they don’t just bury Booker here… that would be a really dumb decision, and also kill the excitement the show had built up to this point. [NFC: Well, thankfully it’s not WCW you’re talking about here] Booker hits a dropkick, and a pancake… spinarooine, but Luger runs in and takes out Booker. Everyone takes each other out… and the match devolves into a giant pier six… and holy shit, BOOKER BEATS STEINER WITH THE SCISSORS KICK!!!! YESSSSSSSSS YEAH BABYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY 3.5/5.0 A very unstructured, sloppy match with only small semblances of a story peeking through but when the story did come through it was great. Just the ending though, of Booker coming back and going over Steiner bumps the match up, and the fact that this was Booker’s first match back.
Shannon Moore w/ Evan Kragious vs Shane Helms
Moore goes up for the ten punch, but Helms hits a powerbomb for two. Shane bitchslaps Moore to the outside… Shane goes to the outside but gets attacked by Evan, who plants Shane with a press slam on the guardrail. Shannon comes off the top with 450 splash. Moore misses a blind splash into the corner, and Helms comes back with punches, and a backdrop. Evan brings Shane to the outside, and Shannon goes for a 450 splash off the apron onto Shane, but Shane dodges and Moore takes out Evan. Evan’s almost getting a little TOO involved in this match, and its fucking with the pacing. Shane reverses Moore’s finisher into the Vertebreaker for the win. What happened to Nightmare on Helms Street? 2.5/5.0 Pretty decent match, but too short to be anything more.
Kid Romeo is the 2001 version of Adam Rose. A bunch of people that are fucked up at Mardi Gras get paid to pimp AOL. [NFC: You’re too young to remember this, but back then, man, AOL was the GIANT. Just about everyone had them.]
Kanyon vs Sean O’Hare
Some stuff happened, and then Kanyon missed a headbutt from the top. O’Hare hit an enzguiri , and then does a couple clotheslines. Suplex.. but O’Hare runs into a sit out powerbomb. Sean catches Kanyon in a Death Valley Driver, and goes up for the Senton Bomb… hits it, and wins. Considering that they’re trying really hard to push Kanyon as a big midcard heel, and O’Hare is just a fucking tag team champion, I’m thinking they definitely should’ve put Kanyon over here. [NFC: Well, at least we know where Vince is getting his ideas on how to book undercard champs and people they’re trying to push]
Main Event: Dustin Rhodes vs Jeff Jarrett w/ Ric Flair as Special Guest Referee Absolutely Nothing on the line. It was weird watching the video package highlighting the build up to this match, as they showed the promo from last Nitro where Jarrett dressed up as Rhodes and imitated him. I mean, Dusty Rhodes JUST died… oh, and Jarrett comes out and talks shit about Dusty calling him fat and stupid. Within the context its fine, but now it just comes across as weird, and pretty disrespectful. I was too burnt out at this point to do play by play, but the main story of the match is every story of the special ref heel match. Dustin pretty much beat the shit out of Jarrett, Flair helped out Jarrett, let him get away with whatever, wouldn’t count for Dustin… near the end of the match Dustin just kind of went, fuck it, and took out Flair and Jarrett. It was looking like Dustin was going to come away with beating both Flair and Jarrett for a good minute or so, but Flair took out Dustin with a low blow, and fast counted Dustin. Okay match, but it’s still very surreal and kind of awful to see them pushing Dustin Rhodes [NFC: The SAVIOR of WCW!] in the same manner as Steve Austin.
Final Thoughts: This was a much better show than usual, with some decent midcard matches, logical evolution of storylines, and Booker Fucking T coming back. The show however still doesn’t have any kind of center of stability, or cohesiveness to it. The show still seems much longer than it is, and like some torturous horrible thing to review… mostly due to that lack of focus, and cohesiveness. Nitro at this time period just didn’t know what it wanted to be, or what it was trying to do in any type of long term way. There’s a lot of good ideas floating around, the return of Booker T, DDP trying to fuck with Steiner psychologically, the all heel team, Flair as a super evil GM… but there’s no focus or clarity… or seemingly any planning. You honestly do not know what you’re going to get when you watch an episode of Nitro… and that’s not really a good thing. The comparisons to 2000 WCW and TNA… pretty much whenever are very valid when looking at it in that light (good things roaming around but no real focus). On the other hand, if you want to compare Nitro 2001 to WWE in 2015, they’re at too completely different ends of the stick. Nitro’s atmosphere is too chaotic, and disorganized… no real focus, while Raw now seems TOO organized and formulaic. I think that the best they ever did at getting the perfect balance between the two was during the late 90s days of the Monday Night Wars, and Raw in 2000-01. Nitro’s just too goddamn crazy… and yet at the same time, soul suckingly depressing and sloppy. At least when we get into the Invasion there’s going to be some center of stability…