The SmarK Retro Rant for WCW Nitro – 04.26.99
This show was posted to the blog via the YouTubes recently, so I figured, what the fuck, I’ll just review it and be done with it.
By the way, Jon Jones is LUCKY. He should buy those judges a beer. 49-46? Really?
Rick Rude gets the tribute treatment to really put this show on a pleasant note to start.
And we start in the MENTAL HOSPITAL, where Ric Flair currently resides. There are just too many jokes to make and three hours of this show is not enough time to make them all.
Meanwhile, Charles Robinson assumes the office of the President in place of Flair. Oh yeah, I forgot, this was during Nash’s tenure where he was experimenting with putting almost no wrestling in the first hour just to show people would watch anyway.
Finally, we are LIVE from Fargo, ND. Yo, G, you peep that huge new WCW logo on the stage? You can feel the ratings turning around as we speak! The kids LOVE spiky logos!
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Mike Tenay
Roddy Piper joins us, and he is the commissioner, not to be confused with the President (Flair) or the Vice-President (Little Naitch) or whatever JJ Dillon was at this point. So Piper points out that he’s the ONLY person in charge and he’s got decisions to decide. So Randy Savage is reinstated and faces Scott Steiner for the US title. Then he brings out DDP and books him to defend the World title against Sting. This crowd is amazingly pumped. You never see this kind of energy from RAW crowds now.
DJ Ran gets all up in our areas.
Brian Adams v. Konnan
Adams is wearing nWo colors and honestly I literally would not be able to keep track of who was supposed to be representing which faction without a scorecard. Adams attacks, but gets bulldogged and dropkicked. I know there was baggage and shit with Konnan, but really they should have brought him into WWE in 2000 and let him join DX to revitalize the group, because he could have been dropped right in there. I mean, it’s FUNNIER that they told him to fuck off, but my own personal amusement isn’t always best for business. Anyway, Adams comes back with a press slam as this obviously coked up crowd goes crazy for this horseshit match for some reason. Adams with the world’s least devastating chinlock, but Konnan makes the comeback and gets a rollup for two. Adams with a powerslam for two, but Konnan hits the carpet muncher into the half-crab, which gives us the nWo run-in finish at 5:00. Oh yeah, that’s right, this was the B-Team era, with Steve Ray as the leader. ½* They sure managed to kill the “nWo Elite” gimmick right out of the gate, didn’t they?
Scott & Steve Armstrong v. Raven
This was supposed to be a tag match, but Saturn got jumped by the Horsemen. Raven goes it alone and takes Scott into the chair with the DROP TOEHOLD OF DEATH for two, and then the same for Steve to put the poor chair out of its misery. Raven keeps evading the Armstrongs and uses the No Mercy divide-and-conquer strategy for dealing with handicap matches before walking into a superkick from Scott. Scott superkicks his own brother and Raven DDTs him for two, but Steve hits Raven with the chair and Scott pins him at 4:09. **
Meanwhile, Charles Robinson calls Flair at the mental hospital, and then joins us in the ring to confirm that he is in fact the man in charge, not Roddy Piper. Ah, for the days of 1999, when pro wrestling figurehead was such a growth industry that people were fighting over it. Robinson’s facials are just tremendous reacting to Piper, as he is obviously a devoted student of Flair. Piper gets fired and hauled off in handcuffs. They should put Robinson in charge of RAW now, he’d be awesome.
WCW World title: DDP v. Sting
They slug it out and Page loses that battle, and they fight to the floor, then back in for clotheslines from Sting and the Stinger splash. Scorpion deathlock, but DDP makes the ropes and escapes again. Back in, Sting keeps pounding on him, but Page takes him down with a hammerlock. Sting fights up and Page puts him down with a clothesline, but Sting tosses him. So they brawl up the aisle, Sting further kicks his ass, and they head back in where Page finally goes low to slow him down. So DDP takes over with a backdrop suplex, but they collide and Sting does the goofy headbutt to the crotch spot. Page remains in control with a DDT and chokes him out in the corner, then slugs him down for two. Page goes to work on the knee and tries the Diamond Cutter, but Sting blocks with the ropes and comes back with a jawbreaker. Sting to the top with a flying splash that gets two. They head out and Page catches him with a necksnap on the way in, but Sting runs him into the turnbuckles (loudly calling a spot on camera) and Page gets the rotation powerbomb for two. Page misses a charge and Sting rolls him up for two, but Page comes back with a lariat. Sting with a small package for two and he hits a clothesline for two. Sting with an awkward piledriver for two. He tries a tombstone, and they each reverse until Sting hits it for two. Page with another DDT for two. Sting with a backslide, but Page goes low to block that. Page tries the Cutter, but Sting counters with the deathdrop to win the World title at 20:00. I was kind of losing the vibe at the beginning, but by the time they got to the counters and trading piledrivers at the end, it was a hell of a deal. ****
Cruiserweight title: Psychosis v. Rey Mysterio
I totally don’t remember Psy ever getting that belt. Were this match to occur today, it would be non-title and Rey would be attempting to get “back in the hunt” for a title match by beating the champion. I’m confused because the dude introduced as Rey Mysterio doesn’t have a mask, thus robbing the promotion in millions of merch dollars from mask sales, which would just be stupid. Psy takes over with a release powerbomb into the turnbuckles, and a suplex onto the top rope. Rey fights back with a rana off the apron that looks really dangerous, and speaking of dangerous, here comes Benoit and Malenko. Back in, Rey reverses a faceplant into a carpet muncher, and both guys brawl outside and disrupt the Horsemen promo. Psy with a powerbomb for two. Rey reverses another attempt into a DDT, and regains the title at 5:20. That’s probably why I didn’t remember Psychosis ever being champion, since it only lasted for a week. This was kind of a trainwreck. ** Benoit and Malenko put a pretty epic beating on Mysterio for fun.
Kevin Nash is out to remind us that NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT HIM, and thus he needs to do something about it. So since he’s due for a World title shot at the PPV and won’t get it now, he challenges Sting, DDP and Goldberg to a World title match TONIGHT.
Meanwhile, Flair continues commenting on the proceedings from the mental hospital. Of very minor note is the introduction of Asya as his nurse.
DJ Ran continues mixing hip-hop beats for a group of people with mullets and Metallica t-shirts watching wrestlers who all use generic cock rock themes. Yes, WCW used to spend thousands on marketing and surveys and then ignored EVERY SINGLE THING they learned from it.
Erik Watts v. Bam Bam Bigelow
Watts takes Bigelow down with…something…and Bigelow is like “fuck this” and destroys him with the diving headbutt and Greetings From Asbury Park to finish at 1:00.
Sting is out to accept Nash’s challenge for tonight.
World TV title: Booker T v. THE MONSTER MENG
Meng overpowers Booker, but runs into a forearm, and Booker gets a dropkick for two. Meng throws chops in the corner and gets a powerslam and choking, but Booker comes back with the axe kick and the ref is bumped. This brings out Stevie Ray as Meng gets the TONGAN DEATH GRIP, but Stevie helps his brother out with a slapjack to retain at 5:34. ½* Rick Steiner comes out to brawl with Stevie for some reason, and this leads to tension between Rick and Booker that leads to Steiner winning the TV title at the god-awful Slamboree PPV.
Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan gets knee surgery. Don’t worry, he’d be back to get the World title from Randy Savage a few weeks later.
I was really into this show for the first hour but there’s just so much crap and filler since the title change, with DJ Ran and the Nitro Girls and Flair booking matches from the crazy house, it’s really kind of a drag.
HARDCORE MAYHEM: Brian Knobs v. Mikey Whipwreck v. Hak v. Horace Hogan
Everyone has kendo sticks for some reason. Knobs quickly grabs a ladder and puts everyone down with it, while yelling “Nasty” every couple of minutes so you know he’s the heel. And even after all that filler, we still have to take a break in the middle of this match. Back with more pointless mayhem, including Hak hitting people with a giant bottle of SURGE. Hey, whatever happened to Chastity? She kind of disappeared off the face of the earth after WCW died. She’s kind of floating around ringside here and I don’t even remember who she was supposed to be seconding. Hak? More stuff happens. I should note that I found ECW One Night Stand 2006 (Cena v. RVD) in a DVD bargain bin tonight for $4 and figured I might as well pick it up, and I totally forgot that Barely Legal was included as a bonus disc! Be good and you might get a redo of that rant next week. So this collection of wacky hardcore spots continues and Knobs wins at 12:30 because, you know, Hulk Hogan. * His victory promo alerts us that we should prepare to taste the nasty sensation due to the gates of Nastyville being opened. Is that like code for a root canal?
US title: Scott Steiner v. Randy Savage
This show is turning into a trainwreck comprised of circus cars flying over a cliff and landing on a pile of dynamite with pieces of exploded clown splattering everything. Charles Robinson assumes refereeing duties and possibly fines Billy Silverman for flying first class as well. You’d think that Scott Steiner v. MACHO MAN and his harem of women would have been the easiest feud in the world to book, but they just never went there. Good god, the promos alone would have been legendary. Savage accidentally bumps into Robinson off the lockup and he calls for the DQ at 1:00. TRAIN FULL OF CLOWNS GOING OFF THE CLIFF AND BLOWING UP, I SAY. Little Naitch gets stripped to his boxers by Gorgeous George and he’s a stronger man than I for not getting a chubby on national TV as a result.
Meanwhile, Medusa and the future Molly Holly train George in what would probably be the setup for a porn video in most other circumstances.
WCW World title: Sting v. DDP v. Goldberg v. Kevin Nash
We’re joined in progress after the break, as DDP is wandering around the crowd while the other three fight. Goldberg fights off both Sting and Nash, hitting Nash with a suplex for two. Sadly, at this point Nitro is so terrible that even YouTube can’t deal with it, and the video quality degenerates to sub-ROH levels and I have to shut it down. DDP regains the belt, only to lose it to Nash at the PPV for some reason. Oh yeah, Nash was the booker, that was the reason.
I was really into this show for an hour, but then the ghost of WCW took over again and I was reminded why I hated this show so, SO much. Expecting them to have enough good ideas and attention span to fill more than an hour is expecting a lot, I know. Holy crap did this show suck around this time, though. And we haven’t even made it to the Hummer and Dennis Rodman and the return of yellow Hogan and all that bullshit yet!
Tags: DDP, goldberg, kevin nash, SmarK Rants, Sting