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  1. Slobberknocker Central Monday Night Recap #279
  2. March 19th, 2001
  3.  
  4. The Opening Word:
  5.  
  6. WCW is dead.
  7.  
  8. I wish I could be shocked or outraged or overly saddened to say that, but I
  9. can't. It's been too long in coming. I feel like the guy in disaster movies
  10. who keep saying there's a calamity coming, but no one believes him. Then,
  11. rather than feeling smug about being right when it all goes down, the guy
  12. rolls up his sleeves and helps pull survivors out of the rubble. Smug I
  13. won't be either, but I haven't decided yet if I have the will to keep on
  14. going now that everything has fallen apart.
  15.  
  16. Come Tuesday, March 27th, WCW as we know it will cease to exist. Thunder has
  17. been canceled after this coming Wednesday, and Nitro will air for the final
  18. time on TNT on March 26th.
  19.  
  20. The long and short of what killed WCW is AOL Time Warner has decided to no
  21. longer air professional wrestling on their networks. That decision
  22. officially killed the previous ongoing negotiations by Fusient Media
  23. Ventures to buy the company. Without the cable TV timeslots guaranteed, all
  24. anyone buying WCW would be getting is a name on a piece of paper.
  25.  
  26. Right now that name isn't worth anything.
  27.  
  28. There is an effort being made on the part of Fusient to secure a deal with
  29. FOX to air wrestling, probably either on the fX network or FOX Sports. If
  30. that deal can be made then they MAY buy the rights to the WCW name, figuring
  31. the brand name of WCW will give their new wrestling promotion a better
  32. chance at succeeding.
  33.  
  34. There are also RUMORS that the WWF or someone else may step in and offer to
  35. buy WCW, but like Fusient they would merely be buying the rights to the
  36. name. Somebody could try to make a deal to continue Nitro on TBS, but that's
  37. a longshot, and if the WWF buys it they would be just doing so to stage an
  38. "interpromotional feud" between the two companies.
  39.  
  40. The question all these potential suitors will be asking themselves in the
  41. days to come is "is it worth it to buy the WCW name?" As it stands now most
  42. everyone who can be released outright by WCW will be. WCW may retain a few
  43. of the top names in hopes of using them as leverage to sell the company
  44. name, but if no buyer comes forward they will be forced to buy out (or try
  45. to, anyway) the contracts of those top stars. Anyone wanting to sign a Hulk
  46. Hogan or Goldberg or Scott Steiner needn't buy WCW. All they need to do is
  47. wait for WCW to breath its last breath, then sign the free talent. (That's
  48. what the WWF did with ECW.) The WWF could sign all those guys and stage a
  49. WCW "invasion". They just have to decide if it's worth it to pay a few
  50. million to be able to say "WCW" on their TV. Being realistic, it probably
  51. isn't.
  52.  
  53. There's no real incentive for anyone to buy WCW except to own the name. That
  54. way when they start their new company they can claim it's really a
  55. continuation of the previous company, the same way Ted Turner did when he
  56. originally bought it from Jim Crockett in 1989, claiming that NWA history
  57. all the way back to 1905 or whenever. Wrestling fans may amuse themselves in
  58. debating whether it'll be the same WCW or not, but what does it really
  59. matter--the point is WCW as we know it has died.
  60.  
  61. Where do we begin in sorting through the rubble? The first sad fact to
  62. absorb is that after more than two decades there will no longer be any
  63. wrestling on a Turner-owned network. Mull that over. There's not much to add
  64. to that. It's maybe the saddest part of all this.
  65.  
  66. WCW going under has turned the entire wrestling world upside-down. The WWF
  67. is now the lone name remaining in the business. There is no other promotion
  68. anywhere in the world close to challenging their position in the industry.
  69. The upside for the WWF from here on out is that they have a monopoly on the
  70. business. The downside, and it's a pretty big one, is that they have zero
  71. competition to fuel their business. Without competition it's going to be
  72. next to impossible to keep from reaching a point where fans will declare the
  73. product stale. Unless the WWF can luck upon an angle or character that
  74. captures the public's imagination, there is really nowhere for them to go
  75. but down.
  76.  
  77. Vince McMahon has finally become the undisputed King of Wrestling, but it's
  78. of a kingdom that's going to shrink day by day.
  79.  
  80. What happens to all the wrestlers now on the market? The WWF already has a
  81. full roster, and has just signed several former ECW wrestlers. Now they have
  82. the entire WCW roster to deal with. Who do they pick up, and who already in
  83. the WWF is going to be let go to make room for them? I'm sure the WWF isn't
  84. going to complain, but there's going to be a lot of fans out there of
  85. certain wrestlers who are going to be waiting in vain for them to ever reach
  86. the top of the ladder.
  87.  
  88. One would have to say the odds are good that a new company will rise from
  89. the ashes of WCW. If Eric Bischoff and Fusient don't do it, someone else
  90. will. But will that company succeed? The odds are pretty slim. More likely
  91. there will be a number of challengers to come and go before the WWF sinks to
  92. a level where they will be vulnerable to someone out there with a new, fresh
  93. approach to the business.
  94.  
  95. History will repeat itself. It's not just a cliche to say wrestling is by
  96. its nature a cyclical business. The WWF will fall, someone else will rise,
  97. and some day the battle will begin anew.
  98.  
  99. So the countdown begins for the end of this Monday Night Recap that I do. I
  100. honestly can't say how much longer I'll be interested in doing it. Come
  101. April 2nd it'll no longer be a "Monday Night Recap", but a "RAW is WAR
  102. Recap". If Eric Bischoff can get a new group started soon, or the WWF does
  103. stage a "feud" with WCW, that might be enough to keep me around for a while,
  104. but I can't see myself writing just about the WWF forever.
  105.  
  106. For those few who are hoping against all odds that this is all part of some
  107. grand work on WCW's part to swerve the fans into thinking the company is
  108. dead, and that the reality is that the deal was secretly completed and will
  109. be revealed at the last hour, all I can say is this ... if that were to be
  110. the case, then I'm done with them. Period. I can't imagine spending a second
  111. more of my life devoting attention to a company so willing to lie to its
  112. fans for the sake of getting an angle over. I can stand being worked, and
  113. I've been lied to before, but just thinking about how deep this lie would
  114. have had to have been on WCW's part makes me sick. It's not as if the
  115. average wrestling fan out there in the real world has been picking up the
  116. newspaper or turning on their TV set and following this story (until this
  117. week, anyway). This is something that Internet fans almost solely have been
  118. privy to. For this to be an angle means WCW has looked us squarely in the
  119. face and said "we do not care about or want you as a fan of our product." It
  120. would be a betrayal, and an unprecedented amount of disrespect leveled at a
  121. specific group of fans. Perhaps that was why I disliked Nitro so much last
  122. week: knowing that the WCW bookers were taking such a serious matter and
  123. turning it into a stupid, pointless angle to boost ratings. Most WCW fans
  124. have no idea what the company is talking about when they say "the new
  125. owners" on TV. Internet fans do, and that angle last week was specifically
  126. meant to draw us in, then pull the rug out from underneath us. It raised the
  127. notion that the disaster about to befall WCW was really an angle.
  128.  
  129. But, sadly, WCW's demise is not an angle. It's all too real.
  130.  
  131. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  132.  
  133. WCW Monday Nitro:
  134. Live/Taped: Live.
  135. Length: Two Hours.
  136. Location: Gainesville, Florida.
  137. Hosted By: Tony Schiavone & Scott Hudson.
  138.  
  139. HOUR ONE:
  140.  
  141.  - Taps plays, as a picture of Diamond Dallas Page is shown, superimposed
  142.    over footage of a trailer park.
  143.  
  144.  - The announcers have been informed that Eric Bischoff will be phoning into
  145.    the show later to make a huge announcement. Why do I have an image in my
  146.    head of Slim Pickens sitting on a bomb and yelling "whaa-hoo!"?
  147.  
  148.  - Scott Steiner, Midajah, Ric Flair & Animal hit the ring. Steiner says the
  149.    usual about putting DDP out like all the others. Flair then says he and
  150.    Jeff Jarrett won their match at the PPV, and that he's waiting for Dusty
  151.    Rhodes to kiss his ass. Tony Schiavone assures the fans that Flair &
  152.    Jarrett actually lost that match. Dusty & Dustin Rhodes appear on the big
  153.    screen. Dusty says he talked to someone earlier and that person is ...
  154.    Booker T, who comes out and immediately rips off one of Chris Jericho's
  155.    catchphrases. Steiner makes a crack about beating Booker so bad he forget
  156.    where his barber shop is. Booker says he came back to WCW to win the
  157.    World Title, and that he's been talking to "The Man", who will have
  158.    something to say to Steiner about it in an hour. The announcers assume he
  159.    means Bischoff. You know, Ric Flair used to be "The Man". How goddamn
  160.    wonderful that Bischoff was able to take away yet something else from
  161.    Flair.
  162.  
  163.  - Footage from after the PPV of DDP being loaded into an ambulance.
  164.  
  165.  - This week Buff Bagwell has a cameraman running the Buff-Cam. He and
  166.    Animal think Lex Luger is behind the mystery attacks on the Magnificent
  167.    7. The cameraman is ordered to follow Luger around.
  168.  
  169.  - DISQO INFERNO (w/ Mike Sanders) vs. JASON JETT
  170.    Nice to see a regular on the booking committee get some TV time on the
  171.    next-to-last Nitro. Sanders is now Disqo's "best friend", and looks about
  172.    as pleased with that as you'd imagine. Jett, I'm not wild about those red
  173.    garters of his, but this guy rocks in the ring. Lots of great, innovative
  174.    offense. By the time he gets the pin he's actually gotten the crowd into
  175.    the match.
  176.  
  177.  - The Buff-Cam snoops on Flair & Jarrett, and after a few moments of not
  178.    being able to hear what they're saying, the cameraman says we shouldn't
  179.    be seeing this.
  180.  
  181.  - "Sugar" Shane Helms comes out to his new big entrance. He's wearing black
  182.    trunks and white boots now, and looks about ten times better than he did
  183.    in those baggy 3 Count pants. He challenges Billy Kidman to a match,
  184.    saying he needs to prove to himself and everyone that he's better than
  185.    him. Helms needs a lot of work behind the mic.
  186.  
  187.    "SUGAR" SHANE HELMS vs. BILLY KIDMAN
  188.    A second really good match, which Helms wins after a brutal Vertebreaker
  189.    knocks Kidman senseless. I don't think that's just selling there. Helms
  190.    dropped him right on his head. Chavo Guerrero does a run in, followed by
  191.    Elix Skipper & Kid Romeo. Rey Mysterio makes the save, and a very wobbly
  192.    Kidman helps out as much as he can. Billy looks pretty messed up--he
  193.    actually collapses in the corner and the camera gets off him quick.
  194.  
  195.  - Next week's Nitro is being billed as the "season finale". Whatever.
  196.  
  197.  - The Buff-Cam finds Luger laid out. And the plot sickens ...
  198.  
  199.  - Bam Bam Bigelow would like another crack at Shawn Stasiak.
  200.  
  201.  - Luger has no idea who laid him out.
  202.  
  203.  - SHAWN STASIAK (w/ Stacy Kiebler) vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW
  204.    Stacy comes out before the match and pouts because she didn't like the
  205.    fan reaction. Vince should sign this girl, because she's got legs.
  206.    Talent! I mean, talent. I'm guessing this is pretty close to their PPV
  207.    match, except this time when Stacy's bottle of hairspray gets involved
  208.    Bam Bam gets it. He tosses it to Stasiak, then plants him with the
  209.    Greetings From Asbury Park. Stasiak immediately begins whining about the
  210.    loss, saying Bigelow cheated. End result: a rematch next week, and if
  211.    Bigelow wins again he gets to tattoo something on Stacy. Scratch
  212.    that--tattoo something on Stasiak. Who cares?
  213.  
  214.  - A table has been set up in the ring by the Red Rooster. Scott Steiner
  215.    comes out. Booker T comes out. After the setup and a delay, we are
  216.    greeted by Eric Bischoff via telephone. Bischoff's "huge announcement"
  217.    turns out to be that he and his investors have encountered some "brick
  218.    walls" in their attempts to buy WCW, and that while he still has the
  219.    ability to do so (huh?), he's making Nitro next week a "Night of
  220.    Champions". Every title will be on the line, capped off by a Title vs.
  221.    Title match between Steiner and Booker T. Since next week's show is
  222.    pretty much the end, Bischoff invites any past WCW Champion to join them
  223.    on the show, and that they should bring their gear and be prepared to
  224.    wrestle. Bischoff then notes his rocky relationship with Ric Flair
  225.    (asshole), and advises Flair it would be in his best interest to kiss
  226.    Dusty's ass. Bischoff himself will be on the show next week, meaning
  227.    those deluded few who still think this is all an angle will continue to
  228.    do so for another week. I mean, there's hoping for the best and all that,
  229.    but c'mon ...
  230.  
  231. HOUR TWO:
  232.  
  233.    Steiner and Booker T sign the contract for the match next week, and of
  234.    course a fight breaks out, Steiner whacking Booker in the knee with his
  235.    lead pipe. About twenty security guys then run in, one at a time, and
  236.    Steiner takes them all out, chokeslamming the last one through the table.
  237.    Booker T then comes back, pipe-bashed knee just fine, and he sends
  238.    Steiner packing.
  239.  
  240.  - Another backstage moment with the Buff-Cam. The Steiners are becoming the
  241.    main suspects in the Magnificent 7 attacks. Call me stupid, but what
  242.    subatomic plot point did I miss that established it MUST be a member of
  243.    the Magnificent 7 responsible for these attacks? Aren't DDP, Kevin Nash,
  244.    Goldberg, Sting, Hulk Hogan, and any of a hundred other people more
  245.    likely suspects? And why are we wasting so much time on this angle when
  246.    WCW is but five hours of TV time away from ceasing to exist? It's like
  247.    it's time to say goodbye, but WCW's still trying to figure out who the
  248.    Hummer driver was.
  249.  
  250.  - KANYON vs. M.I. SMOOTH
  251.    Kanyon pins Smooth following a run-in by Animal, Ernest "The Cat" Miller
  252.    coming out too late to stop it. Traditional setup for a tag team match on
  253.    Thunder (boy, doesn't that make you want to watch).
  254.  
  255.    Dustin Rhodes brings Dustin a big plate of burritos. See, he's going to
  256.    eat them, which will cause him to fart a lot, maybe even shit himself,
  257.    and Ric Flair's gonna have to kiss his ass. Between this and Rikishi
  258.    there's just too much fixation on big, smelly asses in wrestling right
  259.    now. By the way, they've already said "ass" on this show (unbleeped) more
  260.    than on a year's worth of any WWF show.
  261.  
  262.  - RICK STEINER vs. KONNAN
  263.    Konnan dresses like a 70 year old man. Ugly, slow match which doesn't
  264.    amount to anything when a run-in by Shane Douglas brings about a DQ, him
  265.    hitting Steiner with a cast on his arm. Hugh Morrus comes out to help
  266.    Konnan. God, Morrus vs. Rick Steiner either on Thunder, or Nitro next
  267.    week.
  268.  
  269.  - The M7 boys bust in on Rick Steiner and accuse him of being behind the
  270.    attacks. Rick isn't amused. Ooh ... he called Bagwell "Mark". It's a
  271.    shoot!
  272.  
  273.  - Lance Storm (with Mike Awesome in the background) delivers an interview
  274.    to a indeterminate point to the immediate left of the camera.
  275.  
  276.  - Another commercial?
  277.  
  278.  - Flair's not gonna kiss Dusty's ass. Jarrett is sick of hearing about
  279.    it. I'm sick too, because the goddamn cameraman can't hold the friggin'
  280.    camera still.
  281.  
  282.  - MIKE AWESOME/LANCE STORM vs. CHUCK PALUMBO/SEAN O'HAIRE
  283.    What is so frustrating about the death of WCW is that they've had the
  284.    talent, like the guys in this match, to do great matches and angles and
  285.    storylines and such, but so often they were misused. Just think back to
  286.    how many times Storm and Awesome have had to feud with the likes of
  287.    "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, the Misfits in Action, and Ernest Miller. So now
  288.    the company is dead and what do they do? Throw four of the better workers
  289.    in the company together, and damned if they don't deliver a great match.
  290.    I don't know if I've ever seen Chuck Palumbo look better in the ring.
  291.    Awesome pins Palumbo following a chairshot and running Awesomebomb. This
  292.    could have been a great feud, but instead we had to sit through Palumbo &
  293.    O'Haire feuding with Luger & Bagwell, the payoff to that being a temper
  294.    tantrum thrown by aging stars, and their refusing to even wrestle the
  295.    guys at the PPV. They basically just laid down and let them pin them.
  296.    Luger & Bagwell, I hope I never see them in a wrestling ring again. These
  297.    four guys, though, I hope they can make it into the WWF.
  298.  
  299.  - Ric Flair & Jeff Jarrett hit the ring. Dustin then comes out, followed by
  300.    Dusty, leading a white mule with "Dusty's Ass" written on its rear. Ah,
  301.    the ass ate the burritos, and Flair is supposed to kiss the ass' ass.
  302.    Ass. Ass, ass, ass. ASS. Oh yeah ... ass. Flair tries to make Jarrett do
  303.    it, they get into a staged shaving match, attacking Dustin, which draws
  304.    Dusty to the ring to do the Flip Flop Fly and such. All four end up down
  305.    the aisle where the ass awaits, and Flair & Jarrett's faces are shoved
  306.    into the ass.
  307.  
  308.    And so goes the last remaining shred of Ric Flair's dignity, much to the
  309.    delight, I'm sure, of Eric Bischoff. Asshole.
  310.  
  311.    But at least he kept his pants on ...
  312.  
  313.  - This Wednesday: The Final Thunder.
  314.  
  315.  - Next week: Spring Break-Out. Season Finale. Night of Champions. The End
  316.  
  317.  
  318. Comments:
  319.  
  320. One down, one to go.
  321.  
  322. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  323.  
  324. WWF RAW is WAR:
  325. Live/Taped: Live.
  326. Length: Two Hours+.
  327. Location: Albany, New York.
  328. Hosted By: Jim Ross & Paul Heyman.
  329.  
  330. WWF RAW:
  331.  
  332.  - After a highlights package, we see the Rock awaiting the arrival of
  333.    "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
  334.  
  335.  - THE BIG SHOW vs. RAVEN
  336.    It's squash city for Raven, until Kane comes out to tangle with the Big
  337.    Show (legal because the Hardcore Title is on the line). Kane eventually
  338.    levels Big Show with a flying clothesline, and Raven covers for the pin,
  339.    regaining the Hardcore belt. Raven runs away. Why haven't we seen Tori
  340.    since she was unmasked as the Ninja Woman on Heat a few weeks ago?
  341.  
  342.    Shane McMahon is in the back.
  343.  
  344.    Jonathan Coachman tells the Rock that Austin's plane has been delayed.
  345.    The Rock orders the Coach to go to the airport and tell Austin that he's
  346.    waiting for him.
  347.  
  348.  - Shane McMahon makes his way to the ring. There he talks about his father
  349.    Vince, and how he grew up watching him do whatever he wanted, regardless
  350.    of the consequences. Until recently Shane was close to his father. People
  351.    like Steve Austin, the Rock, Mick Foley and Ted Turner have all tried to
  352.    stop Vince, but failed. He brings up the Bob Costas interview, and the
  353.    line there by Vince about Bob wanting to play, and how Vince was ready to
  354.    play. Well, Shane says he's ready to play too, and challenges Vince to a
  355.    match at WrestleMania! Shane has a contract all ready to sign.
  356.  
  357.    Here comes Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. She begs Shane to reconsider. The
  358.    family already has enough problems. Shane should think about his
  359.    inheritance.
  360.  
  361.    Vince McMahon & Trish Stratus join the party. Vince asks Shane what kind
  362.    of human being he is to challenge his own father? He says Shane has
  363.    challenged him before. Vince sends Trish down to the ring to fetch the
  364.    contract. Once he has it he looks it over, signs it, then suggests they
  365.    get it on right there. Shane doesn't exactly play the smartest McMahon,
  366.    as we go through the expected advancement by Vince, the staredown, Vince
  367.    taking off his jacket--all to set up a run-in from behind by Triple H.
  368.    Triple H stomps on Shane. Vince suddenly stops him, only to order him to
  369.    give his son the Pedigree! "I will never, EVER forgive your mother for
  370.    giving birth to you!" Vince says he's going to wheel the comatose Linda
  371.    McMahon to ringside at WrestleMania so she can watch Vince kick her son's
  372.    ass. It's going to be so cool when she gets up out of that chair, Vince
  373.    gulps, and she does whatever to help Shane win that match.
  374.  
  375.  - For the love of god, they're still beating Shane up outside. Triple H
  376.    bounces him around like a ping pong ball, eventually tossing him in the
  377.    back seat of a limo. Shane hangs his head out the window. Vince then lays
  378.    in a chairshot that catches more car roof than Shane's head.
  379.  
  380.  - THE HARDY BOYZ (w/ Lita) vs. EDGE & CHRISTIAN
  381.    The story here is that the Dudley Boyz were supposed to get the title
  382.    shot, but they're apparently on the same delayed flight as Steve Austin.
  383.    Edge & Christian offer to fill the slot, and quickly the match is
  384.    underway. In short order it looks like the Hardyz are going to win this
  385.    one, with Edge falling victim to both a Twist of fate and Swanton Bomb.
  386.    Suddenly, out of the crowd, ECW Heavyweight Champion Rhino runs in and
  387.    gores Jeff Hardy! The ref, bumped a bit earlier, recovers as Edge makes
  388.    the cover. Edge, Christian & Rhino celebrate on the ramp. Paul Heyman is,
  389.    of course, going nuts, while Jim Ross is all like "what the HELL?!" Man,
  390.    Rhino is a little guy. He looked like a monster in ECW, but here he's
  391.    smaller than Christian!
  392.  
  393.    The Undertaker roars through the back on his bike, black coattails
  394.    billowing behind him like giant bat wings. Cool.
  395.  
  396.  - Edge & Christian tell their buddy Rhino (wearing an ECW t-shirt) to go
  397.    back to the hotel. Rhino--it looks like his character isn't going to be
  398.    too bright. He's got kind of a Sabu/George "The Animal" Steele thing
  399.    going on.
  400.  
  401.  - WWF commissioner William Regal, escorted by four policemen, serves a
  402.    restraining order on the Undertaker, barring him from getting within 25'
  403.    of Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. Is this because he kidnapped her once?
  404.    Ugh--I hate "restraining order" angles.
  405.  
  406.  - An update from the airport informs us that Austin's plane will arrive
  407.    shortly after Nitro is over.
  408.  
  409.  - William Regal--remarkably relaxed in his office in the minute or so
  410.    that's passed since we saw him talking to the Undertaker--has a talk with
  411.    Triple H. The Game would like to kick some ass tonight. Regal suggests
  412.    Chris Jericho, but Triple H suggests Test, as a way of revenge for the
  413.    besmirchment Regal suffered in losing the European Title to him. Regal
  414.    agrees.
  415.  
  416.  - Now it's Triple H's turn to get around quickly, as he's off in a hallway
  417.    somewhere talking to the Big Show, suggesting that the way to get back at
  418.    Kane is to get the Undertaker.
  419.  
  420.  - STEVEN RICHARDS (w/ Right To Censor) vs. TAZZ
  421.    No match to speak of, as the other RTC members interfere, then the match
  422.    is brought to a screeching halt when the Rock suddenly comes out charging
  423.    the ring. The RTC members are dispatched, as is Tazz, who eats a
  424.    spinebuster. The Rock grabs a mic and throws out a few comments directed
  425.    at Stone Cold. Between that, and his laying out Tazz, the Rock comes off
  426.    pretty much as a heel here, so maybe he's doing the turn for
  427.    WrestleMania.
  428.  
  429.  - The Coach bumps into the Dudley Boyz, who have just arrived at the
  430.    airport. It seems somebody messed with their reservations and they ended
  431.    up on a late flight. They're gone before the Coach can tell them they
  432.    already missed their titleshot.
  433.  
  434. WWF WAR ZONE:
  435.  
  436.  - TRIPLE H (w/ Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. TEST
  437.    The match is barely underway when the Undertaker comes out onto the
  438.    stage. As he's staring at Helmsley the Big Show comes out behind him,
  439.    wielding a chair. Right behind him is Kane. Kane yanks away the chair and
  440.    blasts Big Show. The Undertaker then sends Kane after Stephanie. She runs
  441.    away through the crowd. That leaves the way clear for the Undertaker to
  442.    go after Triple H. He's just about to chokeslam him when a recovered Big
  443.    Show enters the ring. Undertaker sets Triple H down to deal with him,
  444.    allowing Triple H to flee. The Taker nails the Big Show. Big Show and
  445.    Triple H end up backing up the ramp, making the usual "we'll get you!"
  446.    faces. Test, forgotten in all this, gets a little too close to the
  447.    Undertaker and eats that chokeslam meant for Helmsley.
  448.  
  449.  - Somewhere in the bowels of the arena Kane has caught up to Stephanie. He
  450.    has her hoisted above his head, high up on a concrete staircase. The
  451.    Undertaker watches from below. William Regal demands they let her go, and
  452.    they do, but only after Regal agrees to book Kane in a match against the
  453.    Big Show at WrestleMania, as well as the Undertaker vs. Triple H.
  454.  
  455.  - X-PAC/JUSTIN CREDIBLE (w/ Albert) vs. GRANDMASTER SEXAY/STEVE BLACKMAN
  456.    X-Pac & Credible have new entrance music that's less annoying than
  457.    Justin's was. A by-the-numbers deal here, with Albert interfering and
  458.    X-Pac pinning Sexay.
  459.  
  460.    The Dudleyz are ready for their Tag Title match. Regal gives him the bad
  461.    news, but they convince him that it's in his best interest to give them a
  462.    shot anyway.
  463.  
  464.    Meanwhile, in Regal's office, Chris Jericho ducks behind a curtain with
  465.    the commissioner's teapot. Tinkle tinkle tinkle. Oh god.
  466.  
  467.  - Regal has settled in and is just pouring himself a cup of pee when Harvey
  468.    Whippleman bursts in, trying to warn him. Regal tells him to bugger off,
  469.    and samples the brew. "Ooh ... rather tart!" At least he didn't say it
  470.    had a little wang to it.
  471.  
  472.  - Ivory comes out for a promo in the ring that lasts about three hours. She
  473.    belittles a cardboard cutout of Chyna for not having the guts to sign a
  474.    contract for a match against her at WrestleMania. As she's beating up the
  475.    cutout the real Chyna comes on (yowza--looking hot). Chyna gets her hands
  476.    on the contract and signs it, then gets away before the rest of the RTC
  477.    can catch her.
  478.  
  479.    Regal has found out that he's been besmirched again, and books a match
  480.    between himself and Jericho at WrestleMania. He also adds himself and
  481.    Jericho to tonight's main event, which had been scheduled to be a
  482.    handicap match with the Rock against Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit. Jericho
  483.    will team with Rock, while Regal joins the Canadian Crippler and Olympic
  484.    Gold Medalist.
  485.  
  486.  - Funny that a man with knees as bad as Austin would walk down all those
  487.    steps instead of taking the escalator which is RIGHT THERE. The Coach
  488.    tells Austin and Debra that the Rock is waiting for him at the arena.
  489.    Austin tells the Coach he just got the Rock's ass kicked, then orders him
  490.    to get his bags.
  491.  
  492.  - THE DUDLEY BOYZ vs. EDGE/CHRISTIAN
  493.    Fast forward to the Whazzup?! Nutbuster, and D-Von getting the table. A
  494.    baseball slide by Edge smashes the table into D-Von's face, while Buh-Buh
  495.    gets a Slop Drop from Christian. Christian has a chair when ... Spike
  496.    Dudley(?!), another refugee from ECW, comes in and drop-kicks the chair
  497.    into Christian's face. Headlock, run up the turnbuckles, and Spike
  498.    delivers an Acid Drop onto the chair! Edge is totally flabbergasted, and
  499.    by the time he turns around the Dudleyz are waiting with the 3-D. Cover,
  500.    and we have our second Tag Title change of the night. The Dudley Family
  501.    celebrates on the ramp. Paul Heyman is, of course, going nuts, while Jim
  502.    Ross is all like "what the HELL?!" Cool angle. Does this mean Jerry Lynn
  503.    is coming in as the third Hardy Boy?
  504.  
  505.  - Kurt Angle tells Chris Benoit to use the Crippler Crossface ("that thing
  506.    you do where you put your, you know, hands across their nose ...") on the
  507.    Rock to set up Angle's anklelock submission. Benoit doesn't look thrilled
  508.    to be told to set up anything for Angle.
  509.  
  510.  - Eddie Guerrero is at WWF New York. Eddie faces Test for the European
  511.    Title at WrestleMania.
  512.  
  513.  - KURT ANGLE/CHRIS BENOIT/WILLIAM REGAL vs. THE ROCK/CHRIS JERICHO
  514.    Jericho asks what Regal's favorite letter is, and as he rattles them off
  515.    in order, the crowd loudly yells "NO!" every time he pauses ... until he
  516.    reaches "P". Funny stuff. Decent match, but not as good as other recent
  517.    RAW main events. The finish sees Benoit slaps the Crippler Crossface on
  518.    the Rock, while Angle goes after the ankle. Jericho saves the Rock, but
  519.    himself falls victim to a championship belt shot from Regal, who then
  520.    covers for the pin. Regal, Benoit & Angle all turn their attention to
  521.    stomping on the Rock.
  522.  
  523.    Here comes Steve Austin, blowing the roof off. Austin first goes after
  524.    Angle, then sets his sights on giving the Rock a Stunner. Angle comes
  525.    back for more, and Austin disposes of him, but by this time the Rock has
  526.    recovered and he waffles Austin with the championship belt! Regal and
  527.    Jericho are going at it, leaving Benoit, who the Rock punches out of the
  528.    ring. The Rock turns, and there's Austin. A Rock Bottom lays the
  529.    Rattlesnake flat out on the mat. The show ends with the Rock standing
  530.    over the unconscious Austin.
  531.  
  532.  - This Thursday: Nothing announced.
  533.  
  534.  - Next week: Nothing announced.
  535.  
  536. Comments:
  537.  
  538. An unpredictable show, which went a long way towards fleshing out the
  539. WrestleMania undercard. They must have touched on seven or eight different
  540. matches throughout the show. Good show, but the mediocre quality of matches
  541. this week made it a step down from the last couple of weeks.
  542.  
  543. Maybe it was just Albany, but the fans really seem to be siding with Austin
  544. more than the Rock.
  545.  
  546. I'm damn surprised that they debuted two new wrestlers before WrestleMania.
  547. I'm not sure how good Rhino's chances are of getting over, but I think Spike
  548. Dudley will be a hit (though most of the crowd here seemed to have no idea
  549. who he was). They should really show some ECW footage to give the fans some
  550. idea who these guys are.
  551.  
  552. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  553.  
  554. The Bottom Line:
  555.  
  556. The latest on WCW coming out of these shows is that Fusient has completely
  557. halted efforts to buy the company, as stated in a press release sent out by
  558. them on Tuesday. Looks like Bischoff couldn't put together a TV deal
  559. anywhere else quick enough to make them risk buying the company.
  560.  
  561. In Fusient's place the WWF has reentered the picture. With airing WCW on TNT
  562. or TBS no longer being an option, the obstacle that prevented the WWF from
  563. buying the company earlier this year (opposition from Viacom) has now been
  564. removed. If the WWF buys WCW it looks like they may take a shot at keeping
  565. the company running, airing a show on one of the Viacom networks. They are
  566. in the process of examining all of WCW's assets, basically in the position
  567. Fusient was in roughly two months ago when they first publicly announced the
  568. sale. We should know in the next week or two if a deal will be made, though
  569. the odds of it happening this time around are probably much greater, since
  570. the WWF doesn't have to worry about the opposition from Viacom. Were it not
  571. for that they probably would have already bought WCW. They only thing that
  572. could kill the deal this time around is if the WWF changes its mind and
  573. decides they don't want it. Even if someone else steps in and tries to
  574. outbid the WWF, if Vince McMahon wants WCW bad enough, he'll probably get
  575. it. Fusient knew that, and with no TV deal anywhere to make buying WCW a
  576. safe investment, they pulled out.
  577.  
  578. We'll have to see how this plays out, but for a while at least it looks like
  579. there's going to be something for me to keep writing about.
  580.  
  581. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  582.  
  583. "Slobberknocker Central" and "Monday Night Recap" are copyright 2001 by
  584. John Petrie, and all opinions expressed therein are his own, and not those
  585. of "USLink". Check the "Slobberknocker Central" main page for info on how
  586. to receive the "Recap" free via E-Mail every week.
  587.  
  588. Volume One, Number 279 of the "Monday Night Recap", March 19th, 2001.
  589.  
  590.  
  591.  
  592. ~~~~~
  593.  
  594. Slobberknocker Central Monday Night Recap #280
  595. March 26th, 2001
  596.  
  597. The Opening Word:
  598.  
  599. WCW lives.
  600.  
  601. Sort of.
  602.  
  603. I wrote about the rumors last week, and a day or two later they all came to
  604. fruition, with Vince McMahon buying WCW. There's not a lot more to say about
  605. it than that, so lets get on to tonight's historic shows ...
  606.  
  607. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  608.  
  609. WCW Monday Nitro:
  610. Live/Taped: Live.
  611. Length: Two Hours.
  612. Location: Panama City, Florida.
  613. Hosted By: Tony Schiavone & Scott Hudson.
  614.  
  615. HOUR ONE:
  616.  
  617.  - Vince McMahon is standing in front of the chain link RAW is WAR interview
  618.    set. He says it was just a matter of time before he bought WCW. He says
  619.    later tonight, on the final Nitro ever on the Turner networks, in a
  620.    special simulcast (with RAW), he will address the fans and superstars of
  621.    WCW. Vince holds their futures in the palms of his hands.
  622.  
  623.  - Is this a new opening video? Isn't it a bit late for that?
  624.  
  625.  - It's weird to hear Schiavone and Hudson talk about "Mr. McMahon".
  626.  
  627.  - Ric Flair comes to the ring. This is the long-awaited Spring Break-Out
  628.    show, and is being held outdoors next to a multi-story nightclub. The
  629.    crowd is very small, though it looks like are still filtering in (so to
  630.    speak). Flair talks about the great names in WCW's past, and how Vince
  631.    McMahon can't hold all of that in his hands. More great names from the
  632.    past are mentioned. Flair says they were all the equal of the WWF,
  633.    running neck-in-neck with McMahon for years. Flair drops an anecdote
  634.    about Vince's father, how when he was the head of the WWF and part of the
  635.    NWA, he voted for Flair to be NWA Champion. He asks when Vince Jr. worked
  636.    every day on the road, bleeding, wrestling for an hour, etc. Again he
  637.    says Vince can't hold all that in his hands. The camera shows some
  638.    anti-WWF and anti-McMahon signs in the crowd. Flair closes by saying his
  639.    greatest opponent ever in WCW was Sting, and that if they're going to end
  640.    Nitro it should be with them in their final match. Flair lost the crowd
  641.    there towards the end, and it was probably too inside, but it was
  642.    nonetheless an awesome promo on his part. This is the end of WCW, and
  643.    they're going to do their damnedest to go out the way WCW fans would want
  644.    them to.
  645.  
  646.  - Schiavone reiterates that this is the final WCW show ever on TNT.
  647.  
  648.  - SCOTT STEINER (w/ Midajah) vs. BOOKER T
  649.    There was serious doubt as to whether Steiner was going to show up
  650.    tonight, much less be able to wrestle Booker. Steiner is suffering from a
  651.    pinched nerve which is making one of his legs nearly useless. Steiner's
  652.    lack of mobility is very evident, in this match which mostly goes through
  653.    the motions until a very good finish. Ghetto Blaster by Booker. Into the
  654.    ropes, Steiner is slammed to the mat face-first. Spinnerooni! Harlem
  655.    Sidekick. Book End, but Steiner spins out of it, and hits a Northern
  656.    Lights Suplex. Booker gets the shoulder up. Powerbomb attempt by Steiner,
  657.    but Booker escapes and hits the Book End. Cover, and Booker wins the WCW
  658.    Heavyweight Championship. Nice. Booker T celebrates with both the World
  659.    and United States Title belts. They said the two were being unified, so
  660.    that could be it for the U.S. Title. I give Steiner a tremendous amount
  661.    of credit for being able to do this match at all, and doing the right
  662.    thing.
  663.  
  664.  - Spring Break-Out ... 1-800-COLLECT ... girls in bikinis ...
  665.  
  666.  - Vince, on the phone with someone, belittles WCW for choosing to do their
  667.    final show at some redneck bar. Talk about drawing the battle lines. Not
  668.    that this wasn't what WCW fans wanted, as all last week they lamented the
  669.    end of "southern" wrestling.
  670.  
  671.  - 3 COUNT vs. THE JUNG DRAGONS vs. THE FILTHY ANIMALS
  672.    The winner here gets a shot at Elix Skipper & Kid Romeo later tonight for
  673.    the Cruiserweight Tag Team Titles. A pure spotfest evolves into high
  674.    spots alternating with pin attempts. The finish, weakly executed, sees
  675.    Rey Mysterio get Shannon Moore dangling backwards in the ropes. Mysterio
  676.    takes too long going to the top, and loses even more time slipping on the
  677.    ropes, but he eventually comes off with a guillotine legdrop, which
  678.    secures the pin.
  679.  
  680.  - Vince, still on the phone, is joined by Trish Stratus, who has champagne
  681.    and two glasses. Vince sets them aside and says he has a better idea. The
  682.    two start groping  each other. I'd give anything to see Schiavone's face
  683.    right now.
  684.  
  685.  - CHAVO GUERRERO, JR. vs. "SUGAR" SHANE HELMS
  686.    Helms gets the clean win with the Vertebreaker, coming off a nice series
  687.    of reversals leading up to it. The babyfaces are sure going over so far
  688.    tonight.
  689.  
  690.  - Booker T cuts an emotional promo (staring off into space--*grrr*), saying
  691.    he wants to prove he's the best in the business. He challenges anyone to
  692.    come in and face him. I take that as a cue that Booker will be fending
  693.    off a stream of WWF challengers. My personal wish: I'd like to see Chris
  694.    Benoit come in and stake a claim to the belt, since he left the company
  695.    as champion without ever losing it in the ring. Booker T beating him
  696.    would give the WCW Title tons of credibility.
  697.  
  698.  - Lance Storm & Mike Awesome come out, cut a promo, then they go back to
  699.    commercial break.
  700.  
  701.  - Michael Cole asks Vince McMahon about WCW's fans and employees, who are
  702.    worried about the company's future. McMahon asks Cole about *his* future,
  703.    and Cole nervously leaves. These typical RAW segments feel so out of
  704.    place in this incarnation of Nitro. It's a little like when Vince Russo
  705.    brought Crash TV to WCW.
  706.  
  707.  - Schiavone & Hudson are doing a great job getting this all over,
  708.    especially given the circumstances. They're definitely not phoning it in.
  709.  
  710.  - SEAN O'HAIRE/CHUCK PALUMBO vs. TEAM CANADA
  711.    Close to a squash, with O'Haire pinning Awesome with the Seanton Bomb in
  712.    just a couple of minutes.
  713.  
  714. HOUR TWO:
  715.  
  716.  - BAM BAM BIGELOW vs. SHAWN STASIAK (w/ Stacy Kiebler)
  717.    The WWF must not have thought much about this one, as the whole thing is
  718.    wrapped up in about a minute, with Stasiak quickly pinning Bigelow
  719.    following a neckbreaker.
  720.  
  721.  - WWF commissioner William Regal shows McMahon his WrestleMania x-Seven
  722.    shirt (BLATANT PLUG). Regal calls WCW a "bloody awful place."
  723.  
  724.  - The WWF is being pretty smart in not putting on too much against the
  725.    start of their own show.
  726.  
  727.  - Diamond Dallas Page, in a pretaped segment, talks about the long ride
  728.    he's had in WCW. He, speaking for himself and Kimberly, thanks the WCW
  729.    fans. Is it over yet? "I don't think so!"
  730.  
  731.  - A nice video package airs showing past WCW (and NWA) champions. For those
  732.    wanting a final nostalgic look at the past, this would have to do.
  733.  
  734.  - Vince says "it's just about that time ..."
  735.  
  736.  - Regal must have really touched a nerve with Schiavone, because during the
  737.    next match Schiavone gripes about WCW having to do some crazy things,
  738.    such as "putting your ass over on TV!" Me-OW!
  739.  
  740.  - THE FILTHY ANIMALS vs. ELIX SKIPPER/KID ROMEO
  741.    Our string of good but short matches continues, with Kidman pinning
  742.    Skipper with the Kid Krusher to win the Cruiserweight Tag Team Titles.
  743.  
  744.    Sting, surrounded by a bunch of baseball bats hanging from the ceiling,
  745.    says "it's SHOWTIME!"
  746.  
  747.  - Vince is walking through the back of whatever arena RAW is at.
  748.  
  749.  - Flair makes his entrance as Schiavone hypes Flair's fourteen World Title
  750.    reigns. He notes that the gold belt Booker T has was originally made for
  751.    Flair.
  752.  
  753.  - STING vs. RIC FLAIR
  754.    If you've seen it once, you've seen it a hundred times, and it's pretty
  755.    much good each time. Hudson notes that when it was in vogue to jump to
  756.    the WWF, Sting, who came in from the UWF, stayed loyal to WCW. Okay, I'll
  757.    admit that I'm a mark for hype ... I'd like to see Sting hang around for
  758.    a bit longer. Sting secures the win with the Scorpion Deathlock. The two
  759.    men then put a fitting end to their feud with an embrace and a handshake.
  760.    This is allowed to last a few moments, then we cut over to the simulcast
  761.    feed from RAW, which I'll recap below.
  762.  
  763. Comments:
  764.  
  765. In its own way this was probably among the best shows WCW has put on in
  766. recent memory (which admittedly isn't saying much). Disassembling the show,
  767. none of the matches really stood out as great, but they were all solid
  768. enough to leave WCW fans feeling somewhat okay about the legacy of the
  769. company. And the big angle certainly made it memorable. It said goodbye, and
  770. thanks, and did so with all clean matches with mostly babyfaces going over.
  771. Given the circumstances they put on about the best show they could have for
  772. WCW fans. WWF fans were probably pretty bored by the show. I expect some WCW
  773. fans to trash it because the WWF was in charge, even though most of the show
  774. was still typical WCW fare.
  775.  
  776. My thoughts on the big angle and more are below.
  777.  
  778. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  779.  
  780. WWF RAW is WAR:
  781. Live/Taped: Live.
  782. Length: Two Hours+.
  783. Location: Cleveland, Ohio.
  784. Hosted By: Jim Ross & Paul Heyman.
  785.  
  786. WWF RAW:
  787.  
  788.  - Vince McMahon is standing in front of two television sets, one showing
  789.    RAW, one showing a shot of Jeff Jarrett in WCW. McMahon says Jarrett
  790.    should spell his name "'G', 'double-O', 'double-N', 'double-E'".
  791.    "Goonnee"? Vince has bought WCW, and there's gonna be some changes.
  792.  
  793.  - Tonight: Steve Austin and the Rock have to team up to face the Undertaker
  794.    & Kane.
  795.  
  796.  - Paul Heyman says the war is over, and tonight is Vince McMahon's victory
  797.    party.
  798.  
  799.  - Kurt Angle comes to the ring. There's a big question on everybody's mind,
  800.    and Kurt Angle says that's who is Angle going to face at WrestleMania?
  801.    Even the Gobbledygooker has a match at WrestleMania, but not Angle. Enter
  802.    Chris Benoit. Benoit says the good news is he doesn't have an opponent
  803.    at WrestleMania ... and the bad news is he doesn't have an opponent at
  804.    WrestleMania. "It's true, it's true!" The challenge made, Angle says he
  805.    would never tap out to the Crippler Crossface. "Prove me wrong!" Suddenly
  806.    they exchange blows. Benoit tries the Crossface, but Angle escapes, goes
  807.    for the Anglelock, but Benoit escapes that and hits the Crossface. Angle
  808.    taps. Edge & Christian then run in to make the save for Angle, laying out
  809.    Benoit.
  810.  
  811.    Vince, looking at the WCW feed, says the "Lex Express" (Lex Luger) has
  812.    run out of gas, while Buff (Bagwell) has been stuffed.
  813.  
  814.  - Debra blows off a question from Michael Cole.
  815.  
  816.  - TAZZ vs. VAL VENIS
  817.    The Acolytes, Jacqueline and Right To Censor surround the ring, this
  818.    being a Lumberjack Match. Mere seconds in everyone on the floor starts
  819.    fighting. Val misses the Money Shot off the top, and Tazz hooks in a
  820.    suplex for the win.
  821.  
  822.    Now Vince casts aspersions on Road Warrior Animal, to the amusement of
  823.    Trish Stratus. It's hard to ignore that none of these guys were on Nitro
  824.    tonight. McMahon then wishes William Regal good luck in his match
  825.    tonight.
  826.  
  827.  - Jim Ross talks about the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania, while Paul
  828.    Heyman shakes his head. This is accompanied by a shot of Doink(!) out in
  829.    the crowd.
  830.  
  831.  - William Regal hits the ring. As a tuneup for his match against Chris
  832.    Jericho at WrestleMania, tonight he will face ... Molly Holly. Crash
  833.    Holly tries to stick up for Molly, but Regal takes him out, then locks
  834.    the STF on Molly. STF on Crash. Suddenly Doink the Clown charges the
  835.    ring! Flying forearm by the clown. Walls of Doink! It's Chris Jericho!
  836.    Regal is sent packing, having again been besmirched by Jericho.
  837.  
  838.    Vince takes a look at Dustin Rhodes, formerly Goldust. He ridicules him,
  839.    saying Goldust once wanted to wear a pair of breast implants. Vince then
  840.    looks at Trish's implants and loses his train of thought.
  841.  
  842.  - Regal tells the Coach that Jericho has to face the Big Show later tonight
  843.    in a non-title match.
  844.  
  845.  - Edge & Christian introduce Angle to their old friend, Rhyno. Angle: "What
  846.    is THAT?!"
  847.  
  848.  - An Austin/Rock promo is shown, followed by clips of the sitdown interview
  849.    between the two conducted by Jim Ross on SmackDown! last week. I'm
  850.    assuming they're showing this to allow the Sting/Flair match to finish up
  851.    over on Nitro.
  852.  
  853.  - The Coach gets blown off by Debra just like Cole. We then hear "out!",
  854.    and Coachman goes from his TV Face to his Working Backstage Face. Damn,
  855.    Vince bought WCW's production goofs too! Cut over to Vince, who's getting
  856.    ready to make his simulcast.
  857.  
  858.  - Vince McMahon heads to the ring. The final match on Nitro is just
  859.    finishing up, so Vince kills a little time by forcing Lillian Garcia to
  860.    introduce him again. As he's coming down the ramp for a second time Nitro
  861.    picks up the feed. There's a bit of a lag between the two network feeds,
  862.    making it a bit disorienting if you flip back and forth between the two.
  863.    The only difference between the two is TNT has the Nitro logo in the
  864.    corner, while TNN has their network logo in the corner.
  865.  
  866.    Vince says only he could make history like this tonight. He mistakenly
  867.    calls TNT "TNN". He says Time Warner couldn't get anyone else to buy WCW.
  868.    Vince says he's bought WCW--that is he WILL buy WCW, but only on one
  869.    condition that he's now revealing for the first time. He says the only
  870.    way he could compete with a billionaire like Ted Turner was to become a
  871.    billionaire himself. Time Warner has signed the deal to sell WCW, but
  872.    Vince won't sign it until WrestleMania, and only when Ted Turner brings
  873.    the contract to the ring himself. Vince will then invite Ted to sit at
  874.    ringside and watch Vince kick his son Shane's ass. Vince will also be
  875.    accompanied by his daughter Stephanie, Trish Stratus, & his invalid,
  876.    wheelchair-bound wife Linda.
  877.  
  878.    Vince says there's a lot he could do with WCW. He could just "put it on
  879.    the shelf," and sit at home watching all those old WCW tapes, laughing at
  880.    the likes Hulk Hogan and how WCW thought they could beat Vince. "He who
  881.    laughs last, laughs best."
  882.  
  883.    Vince says he could also turn WCW around, because the WWF knows how to do
  884.    that. But who should be a part of that? He asks for a reaction from the
  885.    crowd, and starts rattling off some names. Hulk Hogan gets a mixed
  886.    reaction. Lex Luger gets a negative reaction. Buff Bagwell gets a
  887.    positive one, surprising Vince. Booker T gets one too. The crowd really
  888.    pops for Big Poppa Pump, really surprising Vince. The fans then start
  889.    chanting for Goldberg. Vince asks about Sting, and they pop. He says
  890.    Goldberg, and they REALLY pop big. Vince looks worried about that one.
  891.    Vince moves on, saying he could have flown down to the "redneck Riviera"
  892.    to face the WCW fans and wrestlers, and tell them "YOU'RE FIRED!" Vince
  893.    says that's exactly what's going to happen, as WCW is buried. He's
  894.    putting it on the shelf. That's what happens to anyone who opposes Vince
  895.    McMahon. The crowd starts calling him an "asshole!"
  896.  
  897.    Cue "No Chance In Hell", as we see Shane McMahon on the Titan-Tron. He's
  898.    not in Cleveland, though, he's in Panama City! Shane enters the WCW ring.
  899.    On Nitro the audio doesn't match the video, but it's just fine on TNN.
  900.    Hmmm. He says there is indeed a "McMahon" on the documents to buy WCW,
  901.    but it's not "Vince McMahon", it's Shane McMahon". Shane has bought WCW
  902.    from Time Warner! And just as WCW kicked the WWF's ass in the past, Shane
  903.    McMahon is going to kick Vince's ass at WrestleMania.
  904.  
  905.    The transition over to the WWF then becomes complete, as both networks
  906.    air a promo for WrestleMania.
  907.  
  908. WWF WAR ZONE:
  909.  
  910.  - THE HARDY BOYZ/CHRIS BENOIT (w/ Lita) vs. EDGE/CHRISTIAN/KURT ANGLE
  911.    Our long night of short matches continues. Benoit makes Edge tap out to
  912.    the Crippler Crossface. Rhyno then runs in and gores Lita.
  913.  
  914.  - A clip is shown of Triple H making a bloody mess of the Undertaker on
  915.    SmackDown! Back live, the Undertaker shows Kevin Kelly the sixteen
  916.    staples in his forehead.
  917.  
  918.  - TEST vs. X-PAC (w/ Albert)
  919.    X-Pac didn't get yet another new entrance theme, did he? Maybe it's the
  920.    one he had last week--I can't remember. Eddie Guerrero is the guest
  921.    referee, so you can guess how this one comes out. Guerrero favors X-Pac,
  922.    so Test slugs him. A second ref comes in to count a pin cover for Test,
  923.    but Guerrero pulls the ref out. Albert then gives Test the ... Baldobomb?
  924.    ... and X-Pac gets the pin.
  925.  
  926.    Now Michael Cole gets blown off by Steve Austin.
  927.  
  928.  - Hey, it's Mick Foley! Foley hits the ring to plug his new book, "Foley is
  929.    Good", in stores May 8th. After getting a cheap pop from the crowd, Foley
  930.    says WrestleMania wouldn't be WrestleMania without him. He says he's
  931.    involving himself in a match at the PPV, at which point he's interrupted
  932.    by Vince McMahon. McMahon says he's in no mood to play around, and
  933.    threatens to have Foley forcibly ejected from the building. Foley begs to
  934.    differ, saying that back before McMahon fired Foley from the WWF, on
  935.    December 5th, 2000, Foley (who was still WWF commissioner) signed a
  936.    number of WWF contracts. A video clip is shown (purportedly taped
  937.    December 5th). Among the contracts he signed was one granting Foley the
  938.    right to be a referee in any WrestleMania match of his choosing. Foley
  939.    has decided to exercise that contract, and will be the referee in the
  940.    Street Fight between Vince & Shane McMahon. Vince is livid, having been
  941.    outsmarted again tonight. This really came out of nowhere, and doesn't do
  942.    anything for me in wanting to see WrestleMania more.
  943.  
  944.  - Vince is so angry he's speechless.
  945.  
  946.  - CHRIS JERICHO vs. THE BIG SHOW
  947.    Kane runs in to take out the Big Show, but Raven runs in to attack Kane,
  948.    while William Regal interferes by attacking Jericho, so the Big Show ends
  949.    up scoring the pin. Judging either show tonight based solely on the
  950.    in-ring product is going to be pointless. Everything's happening too
  951.    fast.
  952.  
  953.    The Rock acts very heelish backstage, doing his "it doesn't matter!" bit
  954.    with some guy for no reason.
  955.  
  956.  - The Dudley Boyz, at WWF New York, vow to retain the Tag Team Titles in
  957.    the "Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match II" at WrestleMania.
  958.  
  959.  - The Rock tells Austin that they can coexist tonight if they don't mess
  960.    with each other.
  961.  
  962.  - THE ROCK/"STONE COLD" STEVE AUSTIN (w/ Debra) vs. THE UNDERTAKER/KANE
  963.    It's a clean sweep for short matches on the night, as Austin pins the
  964.    Undertaker following a run-in by Triple H, who hits the Undertaker in the
  965.    back with a chair. Postmatch Austin starts to celebrate the win, taking a
  966.    drink from a can of beer, only to turn and receive a Stone Cold Stunner
  967.    from the Rock! Austin spews beer as he goes down. The Rock signals for a
  968.    beer, opens it, then gingerly sets it next to Austin's head. He then
  969.    heads up the ramp, and as Debra looks on in confusion, the Rock cracks
  970.    another beer open and salutes the still-unconscious Stone Cold.
  971.  
  972.  - This Thursday: Nothing announced.
  973.  
  974.  - Next week: Nothing announced.
  975.  
  976. Comments:
  977.  
  978. This obviously wasn't the usual show, so it's hard to judge it by those
  979. standards. If I did, it would have to be rated rather poorly. Okay, so there
  980. was the big angle, and frankly that's all there was to this show. There was
  981. maybe two minutes of wrestling in the first hour, and only one real official
  982. match. Hour two was just aftershocks and hype for WrestleMania. I thought
  983. the big angle was tremendous, but the remainder of the show was really weak.
  984. But like I said, you can't look at this and really compare it to the usual
  985. RAW. Neither show really can be looked at that way, given the impact of the
  986. story that had to play out tonight.
  987.  
  988. Not that WCW fans tuning in would look at it that way, mind you. Those who
  989. watched Nitro and were actually curious to check out RAW had to have been
  990. dismayed. Not only was there nothing done to assure them of WCW's future
  991. (aside from the assumptions one would come away with watching the big
  992. angle), there wasn't much of any wrestling close to the caliber of what WCW
  993. is (sometimes) capable of. With more of the same being likely for
  994. SmackDown!, the WWF is going to have to buckle down next Monday and deliver
  995. a wrestling-oriented show to impress those WCW fans. That is, assuming the
  996. WWF cares about them. I sure hope they do.
  997.  
  998. I was disappointed that they didn't go back to the WCW announcers on Nitro
  999. for one final goodbye.
  1000.  
  1001. All those backstage clips with Vince & others must have been pretaped.
  1002. Unfortunately the order in which they aired on the two shows didn't always
  1003. make sense. At one point there were two different ones running against each
  1004. other!
  1005.  
  1006. It's not hard to guess who the WWF is interested in keeping and who they'll
  1007. be getting rid of. Those who appeared on Nitro are clearly the ones being
  1008. looked at. Those who weren't were the ones McMahon made fun of on RAW.
  1009.  
  1010. I expect an announcement to be made about the new WCW shown on RAW next
  1011. week. The fact that no announcement was made tonight probably means the WWF
  1012. is still talking to TNN about it. Rumors are the WCW show, presumably still
  1013. called Nitro, will be on TNN late Friday or Saturday nights. I'd personally
  1014. rather see a one hour show replace Superstars Sunday mornings than a two
  1015. hour show on either of those nights that I myself would always have to tape,
  1016. because I work nights.
  1017.  
  1018. I like the way the big angle with Vince & Shane played out. It's not what I
  1019. would have done, but it worked, setting the stage for the future without
  1020. having to commit itself to heavily to any one thing (no doubt done that way
  1021. because so many details of the change of ownership are still being worked
  1022. out). The dynamic of the future storyline is simple: Vince wants to bury
  1023. WCW, which is what he's been trying to do for years, while Shane has come to
  1024. the company's rescue, hoping to use it show his father up in their ongoing
  1025. battle of wills. The WCW fans are allowed to stay WCW fans, rooting "their
  1026. guys" on against the inevitable invasion of WWF guys, sent down by Vince
  1027. McMahon to crush Shane and WCW. It's really just a continuation of what WCW
  1028. has been about for so many years.
  1029.  
  1030. The question is how long will this all last, and will WCW be allowed to be
  1031. perceived as being at the same level as the WWF? We'll have to wait and see.
  1032. Obviously nothing lasts forever. Eventually one side is going to win, and
  1033. you have to figure that will be the WWF. They could play this out long
  1034. enough so that Shane and Vince end up swapping sides, with Shane in charge
  1035. of the WWF, and Vince going to WCW in a last-ditch effort to beat his son.
  1036. You'd think the goal at that point would be to get fans to root for Shane &
  1037. the WWF to put Vince & WCW out of their misery for good. (Of course that's
  1038. assuming Vince will some day, once and for all, "pass the torch" to Shane.)
  1039.  
  1040. This thing is just beginning, and we still have a lot of questions regarding
  1041. WCW.
  1042.  
  1043. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1044.  
  1045. The Bottom Line:
  1046.  
  1047. Here is the card for WrestleMania X-Seven:
  1048.  
  1049.  * The Rock vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin for the WWF Championship.
  1050.  * Triple H vs. the Undertaker.
  1051.  * Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit.
  1052.  * The Dudley Boyz vs. the Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian. "Tables,
  1053.    Ladders & Chairs Match II" for the Tag Team Titles.
  1054.  * Vince McMahon vs. Shane McMahon. Street Fight. Mick Foley guest referee.
  1055.  * Chris Jericho vs. William Regal for the Intercontinental Title.
  1056.  * Raven vs. Big Show vs. Kane for the Hardcore Title.
  1057.  * Test vs. Eddie Guerrero for the European Title.
  1058.  * Ivory vs. Chyna for the Women's Championship.
  1059.  * Gimmick Battle Royal.
  1060.  
  1061. The PPV has a four hour window this year, and any time at the end not taken
  1062. up by matches will be used to air a post-show wrap-up.
  1063.  
  1064. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1065.  
  1066. "Slobberknocker Central" and "Monday Night Recap" are copyright 2001 by
  1067. John Petrie, and all opinions expressed therein are his own, and not those
  1068. of "USLink". Check the "Slobberknocker Central" main page for info on how
  1069. to receive the "Recap" free via E-Mail every week.
  1070.  
  1071. Volume One, Number 280 of the "Monday Night Recap", March 26th, 2001.
  1072.  
  1073.  
  1074.  
  1075. ~~
  1076.  
  1077. Slobberknocker Central Monday Night Recap #164
  1078. January 4th, 1999
  1079.  
  1080. The Opening Word:
  1081.  
  1082. Too much happening this week to waste time jabbering here.
  1083.  
  1084. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1085.  
  1086. WCW Monday Nitro:
  1087. Live/Taped: Live.
  1088. Length: Three Hours.
  1089. Location: Atlanta, Georgia.
  1090. HOUR ONE Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Larry Zbyszko.
  1091.  
  1092.  - Dramatic footage of Kevin Nash versus Goldberg opens the show. Tonight
  1093.    they have their rematch. The Nitro Girls warm up the 40,000+ crowd. A
  1094.    new announcer for WCW (I can't be bothered to learn his name) is up in a
  1095.    skybox at the big Nitro Party Video Winner Party. Incredibly enough the
  1096.    winner is some guy from Atlanta. Imagine that. During the opening hype
  1097.    Tony Schiavone (the most hated man in the world) reminds us that Eric
  1098.    Bischoff and the NWO broke Randy Savage's knee. One assumes this would
  1099.    lead to something, but I'll spoil the surprise now and reveal that
  1100.    Savage doesn't appear tonight. Sorry. Also, "Hollywood" Hogan is in the
  1101.    building.
  1102.  
  1103.  - GLACIER vs. HUGH MORRUS
  1104.    Morrus is bald now, and looks about 50 pounds heavier because of it. He
  1105.    wins with the moonsault.
  1106.  
  1107.  - A LENGTHY video segment recounts what took place between Ric Flair and
  1108.    Eric Bischoff last week. Forget about us poor saps at home, I wonder
  1109.    how the 40,000+ at the arena felt having to sit there for the five or
  1110.    six minutes this lasted. This clip marks the only appearance of the
  1111.    Giant tonight, I should note. (The opening sequence follows, and the
  1112.    Giant has been replaced by Goldberg. I guess that about seals it.)
  1113.  
  1114.  - Ric Flair, his wife and kids, and the other Four Horsemen head to the
  1115.    ring. Dean Malenko is on crutches, having hurt his ankle at a house show
  1116.    over the weekend. They all hit the ring and Flair is interviewed by
  1117.    "Mean" Gene Okerlund. To save a lot of time I'm just going to list the
  1118.    highlights:
  1119.  
  1120.    * Flair calls out Bischoff--orders him to join the announcing crew.
  1121.    * Brings out referee Randy Anderson--gives him his job back.
  1122.    * Announces he will be facing Curt Hennig and Barry Windham at the PPV.
  1123.    * David Flair asks to be his partner. Arn says the kid is ready.
  1124.  
  1125.    This all took forever. I know it was supposed to be emotional and all
  1126.    that, but this wasn't even as interesting as the average Flair
  1127.    interview.
  1128.  
  1129.  - Konan's music video starts to play, but it is in fact part of a new
  1130.    commercial for a Konan t-shirt.
  1131.  
  1132.  - Bischoff is in the announce booth, but he will refuse to say anything
  1133.    for the majority of the following two hours. Instead we get hours of
  1134.    Schiavone telling him to say something, then threatening to "report him"
  1135.    to Flair.
  1136.  
  1137.  - BOOKER T. vs. EMERY HALE
  1138.    Squash.
  1139.  
  1140.  - NORMAN SMILEY vs. CHAVO GUERRERO, JR.
  1141.    As he walks out I realize that Smiley has a set of nice, firm, supple
  1142.    breasts. Excuse me now while I go and kill myself.
  1143.  
  1144.    ...
  1145.  
  1146.    ...
  1147.  
  1148.    ...
  1149.  
  1150.    Seems I didn't reload after those potshots I took at some Girl Scouts
  1151.    selling their damn cookies this past fall. Oh well, let's just move on
  1152.    and never discuss this again.
  1153.  
  1154.    These two wrestled last week. Chavo blows a springboard moonsault by
  1155.    slipping off the ropes. Smiley just stands there looking lost as Chavo
  1156.    hangs on the top rope, deciding what to do next. He then lands on his
  1157.    feet on the apron and leaps back into the ring, but that too is flubbed,
  1158.    and he catches Smiley low around the midsection. My brother and I were
  1159.    too busy laughing for the rest of the match to notice much else. Chavo
  1160.    wins, but Smiley then beats on him with Chavo's stick horse, Pepe. WCW,
  1161.    realizing how dumb this all looked, cut away to a commercial.
  1162.  
  1163.  - HORACE vs. CHRIS BENOIT
  1164.    Benoit doesn't even get a ring entrance, and Horace is just entering the
  1165.    ring as they come back. With the Warrior now gone Horace is probably the
  1166.    worst wrestler in WCW (with the Disciple and Lex Luger close behind).
  1167.    Benoit wins with the Crippler Crossface. WCW couldn't pay me to watch
  1168.    matches like these (so it goes without saying that I'm not going to give
  1169.    much of a damn watching for free).
  1170.  
  1171.    Cut to the back, where Goldberg is being arrested. Goldberg, in
  1172.    defending his innocence, sounds like he's borrowed all his speaking
  1173.    skills from Diamond Dallas Page. The police don't bother to tell him
  1174.    what he's being arrested for.
  1175.  
  1176. HOUR TWO Hosted By: Schiavone, Tenay and Zbyszko.
  1177.  
  1178.  - Goldberg is being loaded into a squad car. Kevin Nash comes out to see
  1179.    what's up. If this were "Murder She Wrote" or "Matlock", Nash would
  1180.    immediately be our number one suspect. Suspect number two arrives as
  1181.    "Hollywood" Hogan strolls in the building. He's having a good chuckle at
  1182.    Goldberg's predicament. In passing we see Miss Elizabeth talking to a
  1183.    couple of police detectives, so that rounds out our mystery cast with
  1184.    suspect number three. (And there's always Bischoff, who we all know
  1185.    tried to murder Ric Flair by poisoning him a few weeks ago.)
  1186.  
  1187.  - PERRY SATURN vs. CHRIS JERICHO (w/ Ralphus)
  1188.    Good match, I think, but I didn't pay much attention to it. Jericho wins
  1189.    with a bogus referee's decision (this being the same referee Saturn has
  1190.    had problems with in the past).
  1191.  
  1192.    Goldberg is being booked at the police station, which is supposedly only
  1193.    a short distance away. An officer informs him that he's being arrested
  1194.    for "aggravated stalking"--charges filed by Miss Elizabeth. Goldberg
  1195.    denies the charges.
  1196.  
  1197.    How am I supposed to react to an angle that prevents a healthy
  1198.    competitor from actually WRESTLING in a match? I could see if they
  1199.    needed to explain an absence due to injury, but this ... ? Explain to me
  1200.    why I shouldn't just see this as WCW screwing us out of a match they
  1201.    mega-hyped for a week? (Of course if we get a replacement match then we
  1202.    can't complain, right?)
  1203.  
  1204.  - Things are getting rowdy up in the Nitro Party box.
  1205.  
  1206.  - The cops are in the back grilling Elizabeth, getting the details
  1207.    regarding Goldberg stalking her. I'm sure the women's victims rights
  1208.    groups love this angle. Aren't there like "shield" laws which would
  1209.    prevent them from identifying Elizabeth, and showing her being
  1210.    interrogated?
  1211.  
  1212.  - Some nonsense involving Eddie Guerrero and the Latino World Order
  1213.    follows. Eddie and the guys take a bunch of "mamcitas" to a cheesy
  1214.    Mexican restaurant. Eddie then hits on all the girls while ordering
  1215.    around the other LWO members. Everyone talks like characters in a Cheech
  1216.    & Chong movie. This is all kind of ironic considering that Eddie was
  1217.    wiped out in a car crash on New Year's Eve. Broke his hip and messed up
  1218.    his liver from what I hear, and will be out for quite some time. WCW
  1219.    doesn't mention the accident.
  1220.  
  1221.  - KIDMAN/REY MYSTERIO, JR. vs. JUVENTUD GUERRERA/PSYCHOSIS
  1222.    Another possibly okay match which I blew off. Schiavone announces that
  1223.    this is a "Tornado Match", but someone forgot to tell the wrestlers.
  1224.    Psychosis pins Mysterio following a legdrop off the top.
  1225.  
  1226.    The cops have been watching the show, so they have a few details to
  1227.    question Goldberg on. Goldberg says has been where he's been because
  1228.    that's where WCW puts him (hotels and such). Liz had mentioned seeing
  1229.    him following her at a gym. Turns out Goldberg owns that gym, which is
  1230.    why he was there. I'd swear I saw this same plot on an episode of
  1231.    "Baywatch" once. Goldberg is no David Hasselhoff, though.
  1232.  
  1233.  - "Mean" Gene interviews Kevin Nash. Nash says this whole Goldberg thing
  1234.    stinks of Hogan, and he demands a match between he and Hogan later
  1235.    tonight, World Title on the line. Ric Flair comes out and announces that
  1236.    since Hogan is still under contract to WCW he must face Nash tonight.
  1237.  
  1238.    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where this is heading.
  1239.  
  1240.  - They replay the Nash/Goldberg video which opened the show, which is
  1241.    pretty pointless since that match has now been scrapped.
  1242.  
  1243.  - The cops are still questioning Liz. She's acting all defensive, and
  1244.    changing the details of her story. The two detectives excuse themselves
  1245.    to confer. Of course this is all nonsense, as Liz would have had to have
  1246.    provided all these details, in great depth, before the warrant could
  1247.    have been sworn out for Goldberg's arrest in the first place. If Liz had
  1248.    called them in advance, then they'd have gotten her statement in full
  1249.    before even going to Goldberg. And if Liz just called them around the
  1250.    time the show was starting, then they would be questioning her (like
  1251.    we're seeing), but they wouldn't just arrest Goldberg and remove him
  1252.    from the building. They'd be off in another room getting his statement,
  1253.    just like they're doing with Liz. The only way they'd remove him from
  1254.    the building is if she claimed he posed some kind of immediate threat to
  1255.    her. That would most likely involve an outright accusation of assault or
  1256.    physical intimidation. Without that the police don't just arrest people
  1257.    for "stalking"--not until the investigation is complete and charges are
  1258.    going to be filed in court, at which point it's out of Elizabeth's hands
  1259.    and in the hands of the district attorney. I'm not a legal expert, and I
  1260.    know I shouldn't be obsessing over these details, but I suspect that the
  1261.    reason this bugged me so much is that fundamentally speaking what's
  1262.    happening isn't what would happen in real life! You don't just claim
  1263.    "he's stalking me!" and get someone arrested. It's just not that easy.
  1264.  
  1265. HOUR THREE Hosted By: Schiavone, Tenay and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
  1266.  
  1267.  - "Mean" Gene interviews "Hollywood" Hogan. Hogan says the world of
  1268.    professional wrestling still revolves around him. He teases that he's
  1269.    chosen a running mate for his presidential campaign, but instead changes
  1270.    the subject and talks about Goldberg and Nash. He says he owes his fans
  1271.    one final retirement match, accepting Nash's challenge.
  1272.  
  1273.    Tony Schiavone, in a moment that has raised the ire of most wrestling
  1274.    fans (WWF ones, anyway, on the Internet), reveals that Mick Foley wins
  1275.    the WWF Championship over on RAW. Rather mockingly he adds "Oh, that's
  1276.    going to put butts in the seats." I won't fault him for giving away the
  1277.    results--that's the peril of being taped (and the WWF itself gave away
  1278.    the results last week on their website). I do have a problem, though,
  1279.    with Tony mocking a guy who bled, sweat and gave an ear for WCW. More
  1280.    on this later.
  1281.  
  1282.  - They show a pretaped clip of Chris Jericho sucking up to the referee who
  1283.    gave him the win earlier tonight, They probably should have showed this
  1284.    before THAT match.
  1285.  
  1286.  - Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell come out. Steiner does the same damn old
  1287.    interview, while Bagwell does an imitation of Atlanta Falcons coach Dan
  1288.    Reeves, who recently had heart bypass surgery. The crowd is not amused.
  1289.  
  1290.  - KONAN vs. SCOTT STEINER (w/ Buff Bagwell)
  1291.    Another return match from last week, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna
  1292.    watch. Bagwell interferes, the ref throws the match out, Steiner
  1293.    clobbers him, and the NWO ref comes in to declare Steiner the winner. Of
  1294.    course we'll probably have to see this one again at the PPV.
  1295.  
  1296.  - WRATH vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW
  1297.    Before the match Wrath takes the mic and says there's no competition in
  1298.    WCW, and challenges anyone to come out and face him. Bigelow comes out
  1299.    (which means that WCW can't claim he isn't "officially" in WCW any
  1300.    more). The fat guy runs into the tall guy for a few minutes, until the
  1301.    ref throws the match out (DQ on Bigelow, I guess).
  1302.  
  1303.    Bischoff, during the above match, calls Goldberg a "punk"--the first
  1304.    thing he's said all night.
  1305.  
  1306.    The detectives point out all the holes in Liz's story. Warning her the
  1307.    penalties for lying, she says she must have been mistaken and drops the
  1308.    whole thing.
  1309.  
  1310.  - BRIAN ADAMS (w/ Vincent) vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE
  1311.    Page takes almost ten minutes to hit the Diamond Cutter for the won.
  1312.  
  1313.    The cops finally tell Goldberg that he's free. For some strange reason
  1314.    he's been handcuffed all this time. If he was really under arrest
  1315.    wouldn't they have just stuck him in a cell an hour earlier? Goldberg
  1316.    orders them to drive him back to the Dome, which they cheerfully agree
  1317.    to, since the police have nothing better to do than play taxi driver.
  1318.  
  1319.  - KEVIN NASH (w/ Scott Hall) vs. "HOLLYWOOD" HOGAN (w/ Scott Steiner)
  1320.    Michael Buffer does the introductions, and the combined entrances kill
  1321.    several minutes. Hogan comes out dressed like Tommy Dreamer. Hall is
  1322.    wearing a Wolfpac shirt, like Nash, and the two hug.
  1323.  
  1324.    Hogan and Nash circle, killing a minute or so. Nash gives a light shove.
  1325.    Hogan responds with a tap to the chest. Nash drops like a ton of bricks.
  1326.    Hogan covers and 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... there's a new WCW/NWO World
  1327.    Heavyweight Presidential Champion.
  1328.  
  1329.    What a load of crap.
  1330.  
  1331.    Hogan, Hall, Nash and Steiner all embrace.
  1332.  
  1333.    Goldberg then runs in. Instantly surveying what has taken place (maybe
  1334.    he heard the match on the radio--*snort!*) he takes out Steiner with a
  1335.    spinning kick. He gives Hall a suplex. He drops Nash with a kick to the
  1336.    chin. Hogan nails him with the belt, but Goldberg just snorts and shakes
  1337.    his head. Hogan tries a few punches, but Goldberg takes him down with a
  1338.    half-assed spear.
  1339.  
  1340.    Lex Luger then comes in and, after initially seeming to root Goldberg
  1341.    on, nails him from behind! Everyone then pounds on Goldberg down on the
  1342.    mat. Luger puts him in the Torture Rack for a few seconds, then they
  1343.    handcuff him to the bottom rope. Hall zaps him again with the shock
  1344.    stick (with Bischoff making a funny sound effects). As the rest of the
  1345.    NWO comes out they spray their logo, in red paint, on Goldberg's back.
  1346.  
  1347.  - This Thursday: Live, but nothing announced.
  1348.  
  1349.  - Next week: Nothing announced.
  1350.  
  1351. Comments:
  1352.  
  1353. Don't you hate it when bad rumors come true? That's what happened here.
  1354. Almost everything that went down here had been rumored to be taking place
  1355. this Monday: some rumors going back almost a month. I'm not just talking
  1356. about "rumors of everything possible happening and thus what did happen was
  1357. covered". No. I'm talking about solid, specific rumors, on all the big
  1358. wrestling news sites, saying that Hogan was coming back, would replace
  1359. Goldberg in the main event, win the title, and he, Nash and Hall would
  1360. re-form the original NWO. There were other rumors involving other wrestlers
  1361. which didn't pan out, but in regards to Hogan, Nash, Goldberg and Hall,
  1362. sites like 1Wrestling.Com and WrestleManiacs nailed it right on the head.
  1363.  
  1364. Not that anyone's crowing about being right. Most of these rumors were
  1365. reported in a negative manner. I'm not sure anyone (other than Bob Ryder)
  1366. wanted to see this all come about. Most reported the planned scenario like
  1367. "can you believe this is what WCW is actually thinking of doing?!"
  1368.  
  1369. Kevin Nash spent the better part of the last year telling us how bad Hogan
  1370. was. Now he's rejoined him, handing the World Title over to him. The
  1371. Wolfpac was supposed to show how lame the NWO was in comparison. Now the
  1372. Wolfpac has returned to the NWO fold. Lex Luger had been a bitter nemesis
  1373. of Hogan's ever since he turned bad back in '96. Now they're buddies. I'm
  1374. sure there's an explanation for all this (Nash and Luger will probably say
  1375. they did it for the money), but all the explanations in the world aren't
  1376. going to cover up how dumb this all was. I've already seen a few people say
  1377. this "breathes new life" into the NWO. To be honest, I'm trying to figure
  1378. out how reviving something you spent that last two years beating into the
  1379. ground can be considered "breathing new life" into anything. If it's
  1380. cliches were talking about, my pick here would be "beating a dead horse".
  1381. At best they've just returned to square one. That may be better than the
  1382. NWO we've had to deal with lately, but it's hardly an original or
  1383. innovative move.
  1384.  
  1385. So basically the last five or six weeks have meant nothing. Nash being in
  1386. charge of things didn't amount to much, and his first reign as World
  1387. Champion has been completely forgettable. He didn't even defend the belt in
  1388. a meaningful match (lazy bastard). Either he (and Luger and Hall) went
  1389. completely mental and decided to go back to Hogan (who had--news flash--
  1390. retired, last I heard); or we pretty much now have to assume this was the
  1391. plan from the moment Hogan "retired". In character and story terms it
  1392. doesn't make sense. But in real life, things are a bit clearer.
  1393.  
  1394. WCW's first wrestling special for NBC will take place February 14th. NBC
  1395. has, by all accounts, made it clear that they want Hogan involved in a big
  1396. way. For WCW this meant bringing Hogan back from his self imposed
  1397. retirement and handing him the keys to the car. That pretty much rolls the
  1398. clock back to where WCW was this past summer, when they were being beaten
  1399. handily in the ratings and delivering a show that even their diehard fans
  1400. had a hard time enjoying. WCW is spiting their existing fans, in a huge
  1401. gamble to draw in new fans with the increased exposure being on NBC will
  1402. give them.
  1403.  
  1404. Moving on to the other scintillating aspects of the show, how lame has Ric
  1405. Flair's reign as "WCW President" started? He drops the energy level to do a
  1406. "serious" speech, then goes on to an executive decision which would make
  1407. Roddy Piper look like a genius. How stupid do you have to be to sanction a
  1408. World Title match for Hulk Hogan, knowing Goldberg is out of the building
  1409. and the NWO is there in full force? He didn't even bother to bar anyone
  1410. from ringside. At least Mick Foley was holding Shane McMahon hostage, which
  1411. forced Vince McMahon to make the stupid decisions he made (see below). I
  1412. realize this is just all part of the story, but I wonder if Flair realizes
  1413. how stupid this all makes him look. Roddy Piper, when he was "Acting
  1414. Commissioner", used to announce all these matches and match stipulations
  1415. which always backfired against the good guys. Flair is following right in
  1416. his footsteps.
  1417.  
  1418. And how much of a punishment is it to make Bischoff be an announcer? Damn
  1419. Flair is hardcore!
  1420.  
  1421. Randy Anderson was gone? I'd swear he's been out there refereeing every
  1422. week for the past year. I'd check an old tape, but that would, you know,
  1423. require effort.
  1424.  
  1425. Like him or not, Goldberg gave the WCW Title some credibility by being a
  1426. fighting champion. So of course Hogan comes along and wins it back in an
  1427. effort deficient non-match. WCW is stuck with either having big name stars
  1428. who don't defend the belt (Hogan & Nash), or a nobody rookie (Goldberg)
  1429. defending it against other jobbers. (Okay, that was a bit harsh.)
  1430.  
  1431. So now we get to wrestle with the question of whether or not Konan will
  1432. join his Wolfpac friends in rejoining the NWO, or will he stick it out on
  1433. his own? Randy Savage has yet to be heard from. There's still Sting to
  1434. contend with too when he comes back. Does the Wolfpac still exist? What
  1435. will the NWO's official colors be now?
  1436.  
  1437. Basically a rehash of all the various plot elements we saw in '96 and '97.
  1438.  
  1439. A surprise that wasn't, two okay matches, no main event, and a whole lot of
  1440. filler. That about sums up what WCW hyped as the "GREATEST NITRO EVER!"
  1441. When are you WCW fans going to call WCW on the carpet for crap like this?
  1442. Aw, what's the point. Who cares what I think? It's not as if I'm upset
  1443. about it or anything. Hell, I just thought this week's show was boring, and
  1444. didn't care much about anything that happened. I'll just let those who
  1445. really felt they were screwed over do the complaining.
  1446.  
  1447. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1448.  
  1449. WWF RAW is WAR:
  1450. Live/Taped: Taped 12/31/98.
  1451. Length: Two Hours+.
  1452. Location: Worcester, Massachusetts.
  1453. WWF RAW Hosted By: Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler.
  1454.  
  1455.  - One of those videos where they show everything repeatedly from 40
  1456.    different angles opens the show. As they're recapping Shawn Michaels'
  1457.    career the video is interrupted by Vince McMahon, who makes his way to
  1458.    the ring. Vince says that Shawn, despite comments he made on Sunday
  1459.    Night Heat, will be a no-show here on RAW tonight. McMahon is
  1460.    accompanied by the rest of the Corporation: Shane McMahon, the Bossman,
  1461.    Ken Shamrock, Test, Kane, Pat Patterson and Jerry Brisco. McMahon says
  1462.    that anyone who was remotely connected with Mankind beating Shane two
  1463.    weeks ago will be dealt with.
  1464.  
  1465.    The Titan-Tron picks up a live feed of Michaels entering the building.
  1466.    McMahon tells his Corporate hit men to dismember Michaels when they see
  1467.    him. Shawn comes out to the stage and reveals that he's brought "the
  1468.    cavalry" with him: DeGeneration X. (I guess they got over Shawn hitting
  1469.    them with chairs and screwing them out of titles.) Shawn says his
  1470.    lawyers have poured over his WWF contract and found it to be ironclad.
  1471.    McMahon can't fire Michaels from his role as Commissioner. Shawn then
  1472.    reminds us that Vince gave him full power over all WWF competitors
  1473.    except for Steve Austin. Playing a clip of McMahon having his Royal
  1474.    Rumble number drawn, Shawn says that once Vince entered the Rumble, he
  1475.    became a WWF competitor under Michaels' control. Accordingly, Shawn
  1476.    changes McMahon's number of entry from #30 to #2 (just after Steve
  1477.    Austin). Michaels wraps things up by promising to leave and return with
  1478.    a surprise for McMahon which will drive him "Stone Cold Crazy".
  1479.  
  1480.  - KEN SHAMROCK vs. STEVE BLACKMAN
  1481.    Non-title match. Dan Severn--in neck brace--comes to ringside to watch.
  1482.    He eventually winds up on the apron. Shamrock shoves him back down. The
  1483.    ref is then tied up keeping Severn out of the ring, at which point Billy
  1484.    Gunn runs in on the other side and plants Shamrock with a Rocker Dropper
  1485.    legdrop. Blackman covers for the pin.
  1486.  
  1487.  - Shamrock and Gunn are brawling in the broke. Referees pull the two
  1488.    apart.
  1489.  
  1490.  - Mankind comes out to cut a promo. After some funny comments about Pat
  1491.    Patterson's testicles and saying "please" before "suck it!", he calls
  1492.    for Vince McMahon to come out, to give him a title shot against the
  1493.    Rock. McMahon appears and rips into Mankind for even suggesting that
  1494.    he's due another shot at the title. He calls him a "disfigured monster",
  1495.    and says he is where he is today because he listened to the fans, not
  1496.    McMahon. The best McMahon can do for him is offer him a Royal Rumble
  1497.    qualifying match against Triple H. Shane McMahon will be the guest
  1498.    referee.
  1499.  
  1500.    Chyna is in the back talking to some, err, lady.
  1501.  
  1502.  - "SEXUAL CHOCOLATE" MARK HENRY vs. GOLDUST
  1503.    The usual Goldust match of late: he has the momentum, but loses by DQ
  1504.    for delivering the Shattered Dreams (kick to the gonads). Chyna and that
  1505.    woMAN she's with come out to tend to Henry's busted plumbing. Chyna
  1506.    tells Mark that he's too much man for her, and that she and her new
  1507.    friend "Sammy" are going to help him "take a load off your mind". Henry
  1508.    falls over in a dead faint.
  1509.  
  1510.  - They show a few clips of Jesse "the Body" Ventura being sworn in as
  1511.    Governor of Minnesota. They then plug their Ventura video.
  1512.  
  1513.  - Dennis Knight, who was kidnapped by the Acolytes a week or two ago, is
  1514.    tied up in a dungeon somewhere. Huh?
  1515.  
  1516.  - THE GODFATHER (w/ 4 Ho's) vs. TEST
  1517.    Test has generic blues/rock theme music. Ugly looking match, which comes
  1518.    to an end when Val Venis comes out to fight with Test. No winner.
  1519.  
  1520.    Shawn is in the back sharing a laugh with the rest of D-X.
  1521.  
  1522. WWF WAR ZONE Hosted By: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.
  1523.  
  1524.  - MANKIND vs. HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY (w/ Chyna)
  1525.    Not good, not bad, just short. Triple H, after going to the floor, tries
  1526.    to come back in over the top rope, hitting Mankind with a Sunset Flip.
  1527.    Mankind holds onto the ropes, but Shane kicks him loose. Triple H rolls
  1528.    him up and Shane makes a super-fast three count. Triple H will now be in
  1529.    the Royal Rumble. He tells Mankind that this is all just business, no
  1530.    hard feelings. He then kicks Shane in the gut and lays him out with the
  1531.    Pedigree! "Happy New Year!" Helmsley leaves Shane alone in the ring at
  1532.    the mercy of Mankind. Mankind slaps on an armbar hold. Shane starts
  1533.    screaming as Vince and crew come out. "I changed my mind ... I want a
  1534.    title shot TONIGHT!" McMahon agrees. Mankind asks for the further
  1535.    stipulation that the match be no DQ. A twist on Shane's arm forces
  1536.    McMahon to agree to that too. As Vince is helping his son back up the
  1537.    ramp he's confronted by the Rock, who wants to know what the hell this
  1538.    all means.
  1539.  
  1540.  - EDGE vs. D-LO BROWN
  1541.    A good match, spoiled by the WWF storyline machine. D-Lo and Edge are
  1542.    trading planchas and powerbombs and such, when Terri Runnels and
  1543.    Jacqueline come out. Terri climbs the apron and starts badmouthing D-Lo
  1544.    for no reason. D-Lo advances on her and she backs down the stairs,
  1545.    slips, and takes a tumble to the floor. For the next couple of minutes
  1546.    she hold her stomach, crying about her unborn baby. D-Lo stands by
  1547.    looking distraught. She' loaded onto a stretcher and carted away. After
  1548.    the break they show a doctor checking on her. He doesn't seem to think
  1549.    she's pregnant.
  1550.  
  1551.    Give me a break. Terri narrowly edges out Elizabeth for worst acting job
  1552.    of the evening.
  1553.  
  1554.  - Patterson, Brisco and Shane lead Kane to the ring. Brisco has hung a
  1555.    "Brisco Brothers Body Shop" sign on Kane's back. Shane is still selling
  1556.    his injured shoulder. He announces there will be a special handicap
  1557.    match, and Kane's opponents will be ... Patterson and Brisco!
  1558.  
  1559.  - KANE vs. PAT PATTERSON/JERRY BRISCO
  1560.    Vince McMahon reminds them of his edict that anyone involved in Shane
  1561.    getting hurt will pay. Kane destroys the two stooges, while Shane cheers
  1562.    him on over the mic. Kane then grabs Shane (the monster's outta
  1563.    control!) but Vince orders him to let go or he'll wind up back in the
  1564.    insane asylum. Patterson and Brisco blame each other for the for their
  1565.    hard times.
  1566.  
  1567.  - The Acolytes tell Knight that "he is ready for you." I had assumed the
  1568.    "he" was the Jackyl, but word is that the WWF let him go.
  1569.  
  1570.  - AL SNOW vs. "ROAD DOGG" JESSE JAMES
  1571.    Al, still wearing the blood stained shirt which caused him to snap two
  1572.    weeks ago, comes out and plants the Head on the stage, then hides
  1573.    behind the curtain. Road Dogg then comes out and picks up the head, and
  1574.    is blind sided by Snow. From there the two brawl all around the ring,
  1575.    doing spots with tables, chairs, etc. Into the crowd they go and they
  1576.    wind up backstage, where they continue to beat on each other with
  1577.    anything not tied down. Snow chokes the Dogg with a rubber hose, and
  1578.    sprays water on him. He also hits him with a box of toilet paper, busts
  1579.    a broom across his back, nails him in the face with a potted plant, and
  1580.    pokes him with a metal pole. The Dogg rallies back, reversing a whip and
  1581.    sending Snow into a stack of empty beer kegs. He slams him into a metal
  1582.    rail, then wallops him with an empty fire extinguisher. Out the fire
  1583.    exit they go (setting off the alarm) to the parking lot. Snow is waffled
  1584.    with a snow shovel, then dumped into a wheelbarrow, which is wheeled
  1585.    through the slick snow covered ground into a steel shuttered door. Snow
  1586.    fights back, sending the Dogg into a chain link fence, then hitting him
  1587.    with a traffic pylon (Lawler: "Hey, that's a Snow Cone!") The Dogg comes
  1588.    back with a kick to the midsection, then piledrives Snow through a stack
  1589.    of wooden pallets. He covers for the pin, then runs all the way back
  1590.    into the arena to the ring to celebrate.
  1591.  
  1592.    Not a five star match by any means, but still damn fun to watch.
  1593.  
  1594.    More nonsense with Knight and the Acolytes.
  1595.  
  1596.  - Shawn Michaels says goodbye to his D-X pals, headed off to get whatever
  1597.    surprise he has in store for Vince McMahon. Triple H hands him the keys
  1598.    to his car, then gives him a goodbye hug. Shawn says he'll see them
  1599.    later and leaves. "Maybe ... maybe not," mutters Helmsley. "What goes
  1600.    around comes around," adds X-Pac. Uh-oh.
  1601.  
  1602.    Shawn tries to unlock the car door, but the key doesn't work. He heads
  1603.    back over to the door leading into the arena, but that too is locked.
  1604.    Shawn slumps his head, realizing what's about to happen. "Hey, Shawn!"
  1605.    someone calls him from behind. Shawn turns as they cut to commercial.
  1606.  
  1607.    (Isn't this how Joe Pesci got it in "Goodfellas"?)
  1608.  
  1609.    Back from the break we see Shawn laid out on the hood of a car, his face
  1610.    smashed into the windshield! He's covered with blood as paramedics try
  1611.    to free him and place a neck brace on him. A replay gives us an idea of
  1612.    what happened as Shawn is rushed by a group of figures. The cameraman
  1613.    goes down and we hear, but not see what is happening. Vince McMahon can
  1614.    be heard issuing the attack orders. (Checking the tape in slow-mo
  1615.    reveals his attackers to be the Bossman, Test, Kane, and Ken Shamrock.)
  1616.    Shawn is loaded into an ambulance and carried off.
  1617.  
  1618.  - MANKIND vs. THE ROCK (w/ the Corporation)
  1619.    D-X comes out to be at ringside. Cole and Lawler take a few potshots at
  1620.    the "other league" during the match, noting that their match started
  1621.    with more than two minutes left in the show, that these guys will
  1622.    actually fight a match, that there will be a winner and not just a big
  1623.    run-in no-finish, stuff like that.
  1624.  
  1625.    The match being no DQ, Shamrock gets in a few shots on Mankind early,
  1626.    but the Rock waves him off. The Rock does his bit where he wears the
  1627.    announcer's headset while beating on Mankind. Mankind then takes control
  1628.    and does the same. The Rock pastes him with the ring bell, getting a
  1629.    nice *ding!* The announcer's table is then demolished when the Rock puts
  1630.    Mankind through it with the Rock Bottom! Back in the ring they go
  1631.    through a series of near pins where the Rock does a move, covers for the
  1632.    pin, but Mankind kicks out. Even the Corporate Elbow fails to put him
  1633.    away. The Rock hits him with the belt (behind the referee's back,
  1634.    forgetting it's no DQ), but fails to get the pin.
  1635.  
  1636.    Shamrock then comes in and hits Mankind with a chair. That brings in
  1637.    Billy Gunn, who tackles Shamrock. A brawl erupts between D-X and the
  1638.    Corporation.
  1639.  
  1640.    Then the glass breaks, and out comes "Stone Cold" Steve Austin! Austin
  1641.    grabs the chair Shamrock dropped and pastes the Rock with it. He rolls
  1642.    Mankind onto the Rock, leaves, the ref comes over and 1 ... 2 ... 3 ...
  1643.    new World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Champion! McMahon is
  1644.    disgusted, and assures the Rock he'll get his belt back, while Mankind
  1645.    dedicates the win to his children. The show closes with Mankind running
  1646.    a victory lap around the ring.
  1647.  
  1648.    Now THAT is how you crown a new champion.
  1649.  
  1650.  - Next week: Nothing announced.
  1651.  
  1652. Comments:
  1653.  
  1654. Now the countdown begins to the Royal Rumble, where one must assume the
  1655. Rock will win the belt back (though at this point I wouldn't bet the farm
  1656. on it. Not just yet). Until then we get a couple weeks of the hardest
  1657. working man in wrestling getting his due as the World Champion. Not
  1658. everyone gets there, but nothing can now take away the fact that Mick Foley
  1659. did it.
  1660.  
  1661. A good show. Not great, but certainly a memorable one, enjoyable all the
  1662. way through save for a few rough spots (Terri's "injury" in particular).
  1663.  
  1664. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1665.  
  1666. The Bottom Line:
  1667.  
  1668. RAW beat Nitro in the ratings again this week: 5.75 (hours of 5.7 and 5.8),
  1669. to 5.0 (hours of 5.5, 4.6 and 4.8). In the head-to-head hours Nitro only
  1670. had a 4.7. Both show's ratings were up this week, perhaps because the
  1671. "Monday Night Football" season is over. This was RAW's highest rating ever,
  1672. and I believe was the highest overall rating for either show. Tony
  1673. Schiavone's comments about Mankind may have had the desired affect, though,
  1674. as Nitro had more viewers than RAW in the five minute overrun. I think the
  1675. WWF would be content to concede that five minute overrun if it continues to
  1676. mean that RAW still clobbers Nitro every week, as they have virtually every
  1677. Monday for the past five or six months. WCW doesn't seem to understand that
  1678. just building to a big finish without having a good show leading up to the
  1679. end isn't going to help them win anytime soon.
  1680.  
  1681. That's assuming WCW cares about beating the WWF. If they don't, then
  1682. pleasing their fans, while still being profitable, should be their top
  1683. priority. I'll leave it up to you all to decide if that's what they're
  1684. doing right now.
  1685.  
  1686. [Ratings courtesy 1Wrestling.Com.]
  1687.  
  1688. Sorry this is so late. It's about 15 below zero here in Minnesota, and I've
  1689. spent the better part of the last two days helping people start cars and
  1690. working extra time to cover for late co-workers. I've had to type this up
  1691. in interrupted bits and pieces.
  1692.  
  1693. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1694.  
  1695. "Slobberknocker Central" and "Monday Night Recap" are copyright 1999 by
  1696. John Petrie, and all opinions expressed therein are his own, and not those
  1697. of "Internet Access, Inc". Check the "Slobberknocker Central" main page for
  1698. info on how to receive the "Recap" free via E-Mail every week.
  1699.  
  1700. Volume One, Number 164 of the "Monday Night Recap", January 4th, 1999.
  1701.  
  1702.  
  1703.  
  1704. ~~~~
  1705.  
  1706. Slobberknocker Central Monday Night Recap #230
  1707. April 10th, 2000
  1708.  
  1709. The Opening Word:
  1710.  
  1711. No point in delaying the inevitable. Let's get to the big show ...
  1712.  
  1713. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1714.  
  1715. WCW Monday Nitro:
  1716. Live/Taped: Live.
  1717. Length: Two Hours+.
  1718. Location: Denver, Colorado.
  1719. Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson & Mark Madden.
  1720.  
  1721. HOUR ONE:
  1722.  
  1723.  - No changes so far, as the company logo is still the same. The opening is
  1724.    actually the previous version featuring a Nitro Girl or two who are no
  1725.    longer with the company.
  1726.  
  1727.    Now we're in the arena. WCW's gotten itself a Titan-Tron of its own, and
  1728.    a very RAW-esque pyro display. Big crowd for the grand unveiling, though
  1729.    as usual a third or half the arena is cut off by the large entryway.
  1730.  
  1731.    Numerous WCW wrestlers have gathered in the ring, in their street
  1732.    clothes, bringing to mind the Nitro not too long ago where Jeff Jarrett
  1733.    announced he was the new WCW Commissioner. (That's the show where the
  1734.    announcers made fools of themselves by saying nothing like that had ever
  1735.    happened, when the exact same thing had happened the week before on RAW,
  1736.    as the McMahon-Helmsley Era kicked off.) The Wall has a new look. Why is
  1737.    Rick Steiner out there with all these (presumably) young guys? Jeff
  1738.    Jarrett, the Chosen One, gets to speak first. Slap nuts and so forth. He
  1739.    introduces "The Power That Is," Vince Russo. Those who've seen Russo
  1740.    before ... see Russo again. Those who haven't get their first like at the
  1741.    guy: one of those types who somehow manages to be skinny yet have a beer
  1742.    gut at the same time. Russo's theme music is "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath
  1743.    (or a reasonable facsimile thereof). Russo starts off by re-writing a
  1744.    little history, saying that soon after he took over in WCW they were back
  1745.    in the game (with the WWF). Then he "shoots" by saying he was held back
  1746.    by a "good old boy" network afraid of change and intent on holding him
  1747.    back. Russo talks about how the young guys there in the ring were held
  1748.    back by the older stars afraid to give up their spots. I should note that
  1749.    from word one the crowd is booing Russo, even though he's mostly saying
  1750.    the truth and talking about the old stars in the way we all think of
  1751.    them. Man, talking about doing things bass-ackwards! Russo mentions all
  1752.    the guys that have left, or were suspended by previous WCW regimes. Russo
  1753.    addresses the troops, saying this is their chance to shine.
  1754.  
  1755.    "Are you done yet?!" Out comes Eric Bischoff, who gets a slight pop.
  1756.    Everyone expects him to speak for the old fogies not present. Instead
  1757.    Bischoff and Russo embrace. Bischoff says he and Russo have a lot in
  1758.    common, like being screwed by the good old boys. (Huh?) He then starts
  1759.    badmouthing the old stars such as Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Sting, Diamond
  1760.    Dallas Page and Sid Vicious. Eric says his biggest mistake was listening
  1761.    to Hulk Hogan. Backstage we see some of those stars watching on a
  1762.    monitor. Bischoff offers Russo his full support.
  1763.  
  1764.    Out come the old stars, who are getting big pops because they've all been
  1765.    made babyface by this angle. Eric lays into them, and I'm starting to
  1766.    feel really bad because the heels have become the babyfaces and the
  1767.    babyfaces--the future of the company--have been made heels.
  1768.  
  1769.    Russo really rips into Ric Flair, which really draws him heat from the
  1770.    crowd. He calls him a "piece of shit on the bottom of my shoe!" and
  1771.    promises to flush him down the toilet. Russo then asks all the WCW
  1772.    titleholders to hand their belts over, as they will "level the playing
  1773.    field" and start totally fresh. Well, this makes no sense, as the Tag
  1774.    Team, United States and Cruiserweight Titles are already held by Russo's
  1775.    guys. Jarrett has to be convinced to give his belt up. The crowd chants
  1776.    for Goldberg. Sid tells Bischoff to come get it if he wants it. Bischoff
  1777.    faces off with him, and a threat of firing later, Sid hands the belt
  1778.    over. A "scissors" reference by Bischoff no doubt fools a few smarts into
  1779.    marking out for him.
  1780.  
  1781.    The collective term for all these guys is the "New Blood."
  1782.  
  1783.    Hulk Hogan enters the building.
  1784.  
  1785.  - Why is this ad for DDP's book airing if he's an old fart the new regime
  1786.    doesn't care about?
  1787.  
  1788.  - Sting tells Hogan that Bischoff is up to no good. Hogan says he'll take
  1789.    care of it.
  1790.  
  1791.  - DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE (w/ Kimberly) vs. LEX LUGER (w/ Elizabeth)
  1792.    This, and a match later between Sting and Sid, are part of a mini
  1793.    tournament to choose a contender to face Jeff Jarrett for the World Title
  1794.    at Spring Stampede. Madden says giving the old guys a chance at the belt
  1795.    is his way of dividing them up, which only half makes sense. Why even
  1796.    give the old guys another shot at any of the belts? (Hell, why not just
  1797.    fire them outright?!) DDP and Luger both have their entrance music cut
  1798.    off prematurely, and Luger gets his spotlight cut when he tries to pose.
  1799.    Buff Bagwell comes out during the match to hit on Kimberly and Liz. I
  1800.    guess Buff is "New Blood," even though he's been in WCW as long as DDP.
  1801.    God, DDP looks old. DDP wins with the Diamond Cutter. (And of course
  1802.    Bischoff's best pal is back in the World Title scene! Was there any
  1803.    doubt?)
  1804.  
  1805.    Hogan is looking for Bischoff.
  1806.  
  1807.  - Curt Hennig asks Russo why he's been left out of the World Title
  1808.    Tournament, what with him being the right hand of the "Powers That Be"?
  1809.    Russo offers to make it up by giving Hennig a match with Jarrett tonight.
  1810.    If Hennig wins, he goes on to face the tournament winner at Spring
  1811.    Stampede.
  1812.  
  1813.    Hogan is still looking for Bischoff.
  1814.  
  1815.  - Tank Abbott comes out, and says the same stuff he's been saying for
  1816.    months. Bottom line: he wants Goldberg. He then starts looking for a
  1817.    target at ringside. Mark Madden helpfully points out all kinds of people
  1818.    Tank could beat up. Unfortunately for him it turns out Abbott grabs
  1819.    Madden! THIS IS THE GREATEST NITRO EVER! Tank tosses Madden in the ring.
  1820.    GOOD LORD--HIS SHIRT IS OFF! I'M BLIND ... I'M BLIND! OH VENGEFUL WRATH
  1821.    OF GOD FOR STRIKING ME DOWN THIS WAY. I swear, Madden's blubber actually
  1822.    jiggles in different directions every two inches. The word "corpulent"
  1823.    comes to mind. Madden is easily the second fattest man in all of
  1824.    professional wrestling, just behind Viscera. His gut is, of course,
  1825.    shark-belly white, with scrubby blotches of hair. The last time I saw
  1826.    something this fat and hideous, Princess Leia threw a chain around its
  1827.    neck and choked it to death!
  1828.  
  1829.    Jarrett is upset with Russo for having to wrestle tonight. Man, Russo
  1830.    can't act.
  1831.  
  1832.    Billy Kidman is intent on doing something, despite the protests of Torrie
  1833.    Wilson.
  1834.  
  1835.    Hogan is, yes, still looking for Bischoff. Terry Taylor says he's two
  1836.    doors down the hallway.
  1837.  
  1838.  - ... and it only took Hogan the whole commercial break to walk that far.
  1839.    Bischoff invites Hogan into the room to talk things over.
  1840.  
  1841.  - Kidman hits the ring. Uh-oh, here it comes. Kidman calls out Hogan for
  1842.    all the stuff Hogan has said about him lately. No crowd support for
  1843.    Kidman here. Hogan eventually is shown exiting the room in the back.
  1844.    (Gee, given how long it took him to find it, it should only take him an
  1845.    hour to reach the ring). In something slightly less than an hour Hogan
  1846.    comes out. Words are exchanged, and after Hogan says the wrong thing
  1847.    about Torrie, Kidman attacks! Oh man, I'm actually rooting for Hogan
  1848.    here. I know I shouldn't be, but Kidman's coming off totally as the
  1849.    whiner Hogan says he is. Hogan quickly gains the upper hand and destroys
  1850.    Kidman. Eric Bischoff then comes out with a chair. No surprise here--Eric
  1851.    whacks Hogan with the chair. Hogan is busted open. Kidman covers Hogan
  1852.    and Bischoff makes a three count. Enjoy it while it lasts gang, cuz Hogan
  1853.    won't likely give Kidman much more of a rub than that.
  1854.  
  1855.    Ric Flair arrives. I wonder who'll get to humiliate him? Shane Douglas?
  1856.  
  1857.    And what about some matches?
  1858.  
  1859. HOUR TWO:
  1860.  
  1861.  - Hogan's blade job is obvious as hell on the replay.
  1862.  
  1863.  - Hogan's tearing up the joint backstage.
  1864.  
  1865.  - Flair, coming off much smarter than Hogan, actually watches a replay of
  1866.    the start of the show so he knows what's going down. Whose side is Terry
  1867.    Taylor on there?
  1868.  
  1869.  - Now Flair hits the ring, where he proceeds to "shoot" all over Russo, the
  1870.    gist of things being that guys like himself, Sting and Hogan may be old,
  1871.    but they're still great. Out comes Scott Steiner. Good lord, they're
  1872.    going to turn every irrelevant backstage story into an on-screen angle,
  1873.    aren't they? Steiner does some shooting of his own, eventually sticking
  1874.    in a pair of false teeth and doing an imitation of Flair. FINALLY, Shane
  1875.    Douglas blindsides Flair, as the announcers make a big deal about him not
  1876.    working in WCW anymore. Steiner said "shit" a lot, so that means he was
  1877.    REALLY SHOOTING, BAY-BEE! Yeah.
  1878.  
  1879.    Kevin Nash arrives, on crutches, all ready to get his ass kicked by some
  1880.    "New Blood" too.
  1881.  
  1882.  - Bret Hart is in the crowd.
  1883.  
  1884.  - Flair's looking for
  1885.  
  1886.  - "Mean" Gene interviews Shane Douglas, starting with some nonsense about
  1887.    Douglas asking for and getting his release. No, Gene, WCW fired him.
  1888.    Let's just lie to all the smarts who are supposed to be lapping this up
  1889.    whole. If you're going to "shoot," why not be consistent and use the
  1890.    whole truth, not this bastardized version that the target audience knows
  1891.    isn't correct. Ah, I'm just quibbling, but it annoys me to know that WCW
  1892.    thinks they're doing fans like us a big favor by "giving us what we
  1893.    want," when the reality is that they're not. Anyway, Douglas cusses a
  1894.    lot, so I guess that's something.
  1895.  
  1896.  - STING vs. SID VICIOUS
  1897.    It's funny, Sid was supposed to have the title taken from him because
  1898.    he's injured. He looks okay here. Healthwise, I mean--his wrestling
  1899.    stinks. Am I the only one noticing the irony in a show which is supposed
  1900.    to be all about the "New Blood" featuring only matches between the
  1901.    old timers? The Wall, who now has dark hair and dresses like a slob, comes
  1902.    out with a table. Referee Nick Patrick gets bumped. The Wall taps Sid
  1903.    with a steel chair, takes him outside, then chokeslams him through a
  1904.    table. The ref wakes up and counts Sid out. Damn, I half expected Russo
  1905.    to come out here and complain about the old guys not doing clean jobs!
  1906.  
  1907.    Flair hits the ring and calls out Douglas.
  1908.  
  1909.    Hogan, meanwhile, is still rampaging backstage.
  1910.  
  1911.  - Hogan beats up a couple teenagers. Oops--it's 3 Count. My bad. I really
  1912.    do think the swearing is starting to get a bit gratuitous now.
  1913.  
  1914.  - Clips from the Hollywood premiere of "Ready to Rumble." I'm surprised
  1915.    they'd even mention the movie, considering how poorly it did at the box
  1916.    office. Of course old Bischoff crony Jason Hervey is one of the
  1917.    "celebrities" shown attending the premiere. Hervey, Chucky, Arli$$,
  1918.    Dennis Rodman, KISS, Master P, Chad Brock, Megadeth ... is any of this
  1919.    stuff coming back to you yet?
  1920.  
  1921.  - JEFF JARRETT vs. CURT HENNIG
  1922.    Some brawling on the floor precedes the action in the ring. Nothing of
  1923.    note is happening, when suddenly Shawn Stasiak comes out ... to Curt "Mr.
  1924.    Perfect" Hennig's music no less. Stasiak mimics Hennig by carrying a
  1925.    towel and batting his chewing gum out of the air as he spits it out.
  1926.    Stasiak goes in and gives Hennig the shittiest Death Valley Driver I've
  1927.    ever seen. The ref ... bumped? ... comes to and counts the pin for
  1928.    Jarrett, after the Stroke is applied. For those of you who don't know (or
  1929.    remember, or care), Stasiak used to be "Meat" in the WWF, where he was
  1930.    fired after the company learned he was secretly tape recording the other
  1931.    wrestlers during car rides. The fact that he'd failed to get over with
  1932.    the fans didn't help things either. I can't see why WCW would hire him,
  1933.    other than Bischoff desperately needed a former WWF star to put on the
  1934.    show. The crowd reaction for this was a collective "huh?!"
  1935.  
  1936.    Flair's coming back out.
  1937.  
  1938.  - Nash looks to be talking to Scott Hall on the phone.
  1939.  
  1940.  - "Mean" Gene interviews Sting.
  1941.  
  1942.  - RIC FLAIR vs. SHANE DOUGLAS
  1943.    It was funny to watch the debut of XPW on America One this past Saturday,
  1944.    and see Douglas shoot all over WCW for firing him. Funny, because there
  1945.    he was with Chris Candido, who like a week after the footage was taped
  1946.    jumped to WCW, while holding XPW's Heavyweight Title. So Douglas turned
  1947.    on Candido, vowing to bring the title belt back to XPW. Now Douglas has
  1948.    joined Candido back in WCW. Shane's interviews are interesting and
  1949.    electrifying, but damn--how many times is the guy going to sell out for
  1950.    the almighty buck, and still expect to believe his rhetoric?! Not that I
  1951.    blame him, mind you. He is getting up there in years.
  1952.  
  1953.    Douglas punches, Flair low blows and chops. That's the whole match. Vince
  1954.    Russo then comes out and whacks Flair with a rubber baseball bat. Russo
  1955.    then steals Flair's Rolex. Will they bury him out in the desert next?
  1956.  
  1957.    Oh, the old guys are now known as the "Millionaires Club."
  1958.  
  1959.    Nash looks damn excited to be there. Yeah. I'm betting Vampiro gets to
  1960.    beat *him* up.
  1961.  
  1962.  - Schiavone thinks the tide has turned in the favor of the New Blood. Gee,
  1963.    you think? Hogan busted open, Flair hospitalized, Luger, Madden, Hennig
  1964.    and Sid beaten and humiliated. Yeah, I'd say the New Blood has a slight
  1965.    edge this week. Hudson mentions Nash, who is now on his way out, was once
  1966.    part of the Clique, insinuating that Shawn Michaels is the next guy we'll
  1967.    be seeing tonight. To show you how screwed up things are, Nash cracks a
  1968.    joke about the Dog, and the fans bark! Nash says Scott Hall is clean and
  1969.    sober and pissed off--and presumably on the road back. Nash takes credit
  1970.    for keeping Shawn Michaels from killing Russo in the WWF. He also takes
  1971.    credit for making Nitro a hit, and rattles off that old joke about
  1972.    Bischoff getting Vern Gagne's coffee. You know how you can tell he's
  1973.    shooting? SCHIAVONE ACTUALLY SAYS SO. (Memo to fans: if it's scripted, it
  1974.    ain't a shoot.) I believe I'm all shoot-speeched out tonight, m'kay?
  1975.  
  1976.    Here comes ... Mike Awesome? Awesome clobbers Nash with his own crutches.
  1977.    looks like ECW was able to keep Awesome from trashing their title belt,
  1978.    like WCW wanted. They do make sure to point out that he's the current ECW
  1979.    Champion, though. The crowd gives him a big "asshole!" chant, though I'm
  1980.    pretty sure few knew who he is. Awesome says he had to come check this
  1981.    party out once he heard Bischoff & Russo were back. I have no feeling
  1982.    about Awesome one way or the other, but check the online reaction and
  1983.    you'll see Awesome is, this week, pretty much the least liked guy in the
  1984.    business because of what he just did to ECW.
  1985.  
  1986.    Cut to Hogan, trying to reach his lawyer on his cell phone. He spots the
  1987.    cameraman and tells him to beat it, closing his limo door. Cut to another
  1988.    angle, where we see a white Hummer bearing down on the limo! Oh for
  1989.    the--now they're just messing with our heads! The Hummer crashes into the
  1990.    limo repeatedly. Eric Bischoff climbs out of the driver seat. Har har.
  1991.    Kidman was along for the ride as well.
  1992.  
  1993.  - Hogan, wearing a neckbrace, is being strapped down on a stretcher. Kidman
  1994.    sprays "NWO"--I mean "NB" on Hogan's chest. Umm, shouldn't there be
  1995.    someone there ARRESTING Bischoff & Kidman for vehicular assault?
  1996.  
  1997.  - STING vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE (w/ Kimberly)
  1998.    We finally get a semblance of a normal match here. Jarrett comes out to
  1999.    do color commentary. He eventually goes after Kimberly. DDP, knocked to
  2000.    the floor, goes after Jarrett, with the referee following. If there's any
  2001.    doubt that the New Blood are supposed to be heels, Vampiro comes in and
  2002.    gives Sting the Nail in the Coffin. DDP goes back in and covers for the
  2003.    pin. Then, inevitable now that Russo is back in charge, Jarrett smashes
  2004.    his guitar over Kimberly's head.
  2005.  
  2006.  - Bischoff & Russo congratulate Jarrett, then send him back out to annoy
  2007.    the fans. Slap nuts and so forth. Here comes DDP. Then Scott Steiner.
  2008.    Then Lex Luger. Buff Bagwell. Vampiro. The Wall. Sting. Booker T. Ernest
  2009.    Miller. The New Blood stands triumphant. Bischoff & Russo stand in the
  2010.    entryway, observing their handiwork.
  2011.  
  2012.    Hey, there's Bret Hart, and even though we've gone way over the usual
  2013.    time, NOW they suddenly have to cut away.
  2014.  
  2015.  - This Wednesday: Nothing announced.
  2016.  
  2017.  - Next week: Nothing announced.
  2018.  
  2019. Comments:
  2020.  
  2021. I can already see WCW getting positive reviews for this show. I guess it's
  2022. nice to be excited when a show as bad as Nitro has been finally shows some
  2023. improvement. This show was a change from the stale WCW of the last eighteen
  2024. months. But how much of a change was it? Here's a quick question to ask
  2025. yourself: what will WCW do next week?
  2026.  
  2027. Err ... umm ... uhh ...
  2028.  
  2029. Yeah, I thought so.
  2030.  
  2031. If ever a show defined the term "hot-shotting" this was it. You can't
  2032. reintroduce Bischoff & Russo again next week. You can't strip all the title
  2033. belts again next week. You can't keep digging up guys you've fired or
  2034. suspended to bring back. There's only so many guys WCW can *steal* from ECW
  2035. (and don't fool yourself, that's exactly what they did--check the big news
  2036. sites). There's only so many WWF cast-offs out there you can bring in. Eric
  2037. can't crash a Hummer into Hulk Hogan's limo each week. All of these things
  2038. were hot angles, and made for an action-packed show, but what about the
  2039. longterm direction of WCW? Look past all that stuff that WCW can't do every
  2040. show, or even every once in a while, and ask what WCW did to change to
  2041. foundation of the company?
  2042.  
  2043. Err ... umm ... uhh ...
  2044.  
  2045. Yeah, I thought so.
  2046.  
  2047. All the old guys are still on top--don't let the angle fool you. The guys
  2048. who should have been heels have been made faces, and will get the big
  2049. babyface wins over the younger heels, whose "rubs" off those bigger stars
  2050. won't amount to much if they don't get in the final word. Does anyone truly
  2051. believe Hogan won't come back and crush Kidman? Or that Ric Flair will have
  2052. his way with Shane Douglas? I know some of you are thinking the end result
  2053. is what we've all hoped for anyway, that we're finally seeing some of these
  2054. dream storylines (like the Douglas/Flair feud, happening now a good five
  2055. years too late) but I'm not quite convinced things are going to end up the
  2056. way they should. We're not talking about giving people the rub here, we're
  2057. talking about WCW desperately needing to get rid of certain guys, and the
  2058. way things stand now, those very guys are the ones who will come out on top
  2059. down the road--AND THE FANS ARE CHEERING THEM ON!
  2060.  
  2061. God, I hope Kidman and Vampiro and Booker and some of the others can use
  2062. this to elevate their stock, but I'm still not convinced it'll happen.
  2063. Especially not if they're all being booed by the average fan, who just wants
  2064. to see a good guy he can cheer for. Right now Hulk Hogan is that good guy.
  2065.  
  2066. I'm still trying to figure out the logistics of a feud that has 50 guys AND
  2067. the two guys running the company as heels on one side, and a half dozen
  2068. aging babyfaces on the other. Why didn't Bischoff and Russo send that ring
  2069. full of guys after Sid, Sting, DDP and Luger right at the start, stomping
  2070. them into little puddles? Or, as I mentioned above, just give them their
  2071. walking papers?
  2072.  
  2073. Even if we suppose a miracle happens and all those old guys have decided to
  2074. bow out (hah!), putting the younger guys over for good. What then? I'd
  2075. assume the "New Blood" would all start feuding amongst themselves, with half
  2076. of them turning babyface, creating the, you know, MATCHES we're supposed to
  2077. tune in and see every week. Of course this is what WCW has to do to assure
  2078. their future, but it only really works if those old guys are truly jobbed
  2079. out. Somehow I doubt that's gonna happen.
  2080.  
  2081. So at best he hope for "the rub" on a few of the guys to take, and that WCW
  2082. thinks up some new and fresh angles to keep things going. To be honest,
  2083. there were no signs of that kind of improvement this week. The show was all
  2084. shoots and swerves and booking for the Internet fans. Alas, Bischoff & Russo
  2085. don't seem to know how to do a simple storyline, one that's interesting and
  2086. entertaining and doesn't rely on a wink to the smart fans to get over. Or
  2087. any of those WRESTLING matches the kids seem to like.
  2088.  
  2089. Of all the "new eras" WCW has started in the last year, this was the best.
  2090. Hell, it was at least entertaining, if you could ignore the fact that they
  2091. were doing everything wrong. Let me repeat: the show was entertaining.
  2092. That's the first time in months I've been able to say that. I can't say any
  2093. of it was surprising, though, as everything played out the way we've all
  2094. been assuming for the past three weeks (which, I guess, is in its own way a
  2095. surprise, since Bischoff & Russo kept telling us we'd have no idea what they
  2096. were going to do. Turns out the Internet had the whole show pegged pretty
  2097. well). Even the surprise returns and debuts were all old news on the
  2098. Internet by the start of the show. But still, it's something to look at
  2099. positively, I guess. Too bad all those problems that has sunk WCW lower and
  2100. lower are all still there. Don't kid yourself, they're still there.
  2101.  
  2102. Maybe what really bugged me is how much this show looked like the first few
  2103. Russo put on when he initially came in. Shoots, wrestlers jumping ship,
  2104. bashing the old guys, stuff like that. The only thing we didn't get was a
  2105. liberal dose of T&A (which I suppose he's saving for next week). The only
  2106. thing that's different this time around is Russo's getting the cooperation
  2107. of the older guys--due no doubt to the presence of Bischoff. I'm sure Eric
  2108. not only showed them that it needed to be done, but as in the case of Hogan,
  2109. play your cards right and you'll still come out on top.
  2110.  
  2111. So you ask me why I'm not convinced this is the first step on the road of a
  2112. glorious comeback for WCW? Because the show looks just like it did when
  2113. Russo first took over, and look how bad that got. And the fan reaction thus
  2114. far? The same as it's was when Kevin Nash became booker, when Bischoff was
  2115. removed, when Vince Russo came in, when Russo was removed and Kevin Sullivan
  2116. took over, when Sullivan was removed ... optimism always runs rampant for
  2117. the first "new WCW" show. I'll let you know if I feel any more optimistic in
  2118. three or four weeks, once we've moved beyond the opening fireworks. WCW
  2119. hyped this show through the roof, and even I'll admit, they did deliver. Now
  2120. let's see if Bischoff & Russo can deliver on their *real* job, that being to
  2121. turn WCW around.
  2122.  
  2123. Well, let the flames begin. I'm sure that because I didn't mark out for
  2124. Bischoff & Russo, or Shawn Stasiak & Mike Awesome, that I'm biased against
  2125. WCW or something. What did I like about the show, you might ask? Well, for
  2126. the first time in almost a year there was more worth watching than not. I
  2127. enjoyed seeing Madden get his fat ass kicked. And that bit with Bret Hart at
  2128. the very end was a nice storyline twist. I liked that.
  2129.  
  2130. Goldberg would have been better, though.
  2131.  
  2132. No wait, I take it all back. Whoo-hoo, Nitro was awesome! Can I get a letter
  2133. posted on the Torch site now?
  2134.  
  2135. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2136.  
  2137. WWF RAW is WAR:
  2138. Live/Taped: Live.
  2139. Length: Two Hours+.
  2140. Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
  2141. Hosted By: Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler.
  2142.  
  2143. WWF RAW:
  2144.  
  2145.  - Good lord, it's Randy Savage! He's come out and shoots all over Vince
  2146.    McMahon. Linda McMahon sold him all her stock, so he now controls the
  2147.    WWF. Savage says he's the one who lowered the briefcase, and he ran over
  2148.    Steve Austin. Stephanie McMahon dumps Triple H and asks Savage to marry
  2149.    her. Vince McMahon swears a lot. Jim Ross says everyone's shooting.
  2150.    Savage finally announces he's passing the torch to--
  2151.  
  2152.    --or maybe not.
  2153.  
  2154.  - The Rock makes his way to the ring. He cues us some clips from SmackDown!
  2155.    This being the heart of Rock country, the Rock wants a shot at the WWF
  2156.    Championship tonight.
  2157.  
  2158.    Vince McMahon comes out. His Titan-Tron entrance video now contains "Evil
  2159.    Mr. McMahon" brand clips. Vince and Rock have a tense exchange over a
  2160.    chair McMahon is carrying. Vince says the Rock won't get a shot at the
  2161.    title tonight, but he will get a shot at earning a title match, against
  2162.    an opponent to be named later, tonight in a steel cage. Said Ominous
  2163.    Steel Cage lowers partway from the ceiling. Vince says the reason he
  2164.    turned on The Rock at WrestleMania was because the Rock, who Vince claims
  2165.    to have "made" back during their "Corporate Champion" days, never thanked
  2166.    Vince for turning him into a superstar. He says that without him, the
  2167.    Rock might have succeeded, but only as the next Doink, Gobbledygooker or
  2168.    Bastion Booger! The Rock owes all his success to Vince, says Vince. The
  2169.    Rock tells him to shove what he thinks up his ass. That prompts Vince to
  2170.    go off on a weird rant about the Rock and the anal fixation he has.
  2171.    Someone should tell Vince how to pronounce "feces." Vince says if you
  2172.    take all that feces from the fans in the arena, and stick it in an oven,
  2173.    then we'll all smell what the Rock is cooking!
  2174.  
  2175.    Out comes Triple H, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and Shane McMahon. In the
  2176.    ring, Vince tries a blindside attack on the Rock with the chair, but the
  2177.    Rock catches him and nails him with the chair instead. The others charge,
  2178.    but the Rock holds them at bay with the chair. They collect Vince, and
  2179.    the McMahon family exits up the ramp.
  2180.  
  2181.  - ROAD DOGG/X-PAC (w/ Tori) vs. EDGE/CHRISTIAN
  2182.    A short match, which sees X-Pac pin Christian after Road Dogg nails him
  2183.    with a belt. New TAGteamCHAMPIONSoftheWO--whoops--referee Earl Hebner is
  2184.    out to alert the other ref. Rather than reverse the decision per se, the
  2185.    ref does the wise thing and says the match will continue. Mere seconds
  2186.    later X-Pac is pinned. You know, my mind had so quickly acclimated to the
  2187.    notion of X-Pac & Road Dogg holding the belts that when I updated my site
  2188.    late Monday night, I actually blocked out the switcheroo and put up that
  2189.    they had won the belts. Yoiks! Now you know why people hate Dusty
  2190.    Finishes.
  2191.  
  2192.    There's the Godfather and his Ho's. I saw the documentary "Pimps Up, Ho's
  2193.    Down" again on HBO over the weekend, and am more convinced than ever that
  2194.    that's where they came up with the Godfather character.
  2195.  
  2196.  - Taped earlier in the day, Terri Runnels tries to make amends with the Kat
  2197.    by offering her an expense-free trip to the beauty salon. Oh man, talk
  2198.    about your OBVIOUS set-ups, and we'll have to sit through the whole show
  2199.    before it's done playing out.
  2200.  
  2201.  - THE GODFATHER (w/ Ho's) vs. KURT ANGLE
  2202.    Angle does this great bit where he says he was an Olympic champion
  2203.    because of abstinence. He then offers the Godfather a condom. "You can
  2204.    prance, and you can dance, but when if comes to 'relations,' keep it in
  2205.    your pants!" Too funny. Not even Angle, though, can get much of a match
  2206.    out of the Godfather. Angle with the easy win.
  2207.  
  2208.    Just as Terri & the Kat left the building, Eddie Guerrero and Chyna
  2209.    cruised in. Chyna's wearing her disco pants again.
  2210.  
  2211.    Scotty Too Hotty and Rikishi are joined by Tazz. Rikishi decides to back
  2212.    dat ass up. Lawler notes there should be a beeping sound.
  2213.  
  2214.  - The Big Show's got another goofy gimmick on tap, which he once again
  2215.    previews only for Shane McMahon. When did the Big Show become Stevie
  2216.    Richards?
  2217.  
  2218.  - RIKISHI PHATU/SCOTTY TOO HOTTY/TAZZ vs. THE RADICALZ
  2219.    Grandmaster Sexay is out with an injury, following the attack at the
  2220.    hands of the Big Show last week. Not too long into this match everyone
  2221.    pairs off into what may be upcoming PPV matches. Rikishi and Chris Benoit
  2222.    go toe-to-toe. Tazz and Perry Saturn go at it. That leaves Scotty and
  2223.    Dean Malenko in the ring, with Hotty managing to slap the Texas
  2224.    Cloverleaf on Malenko (oh, the indignity). Saturn makes the save and Dean
  2225.    covers for the pin.
  2226.  
  2227.    Triple H is up next, to defend the WWF Championship against a mystery
  2228.    opponent. I assumed it's Kane (forgetting that Kane is out with a broken
  2229.    hand).
  2230.  
  2231.    Terri & the Kat are at the beauty salon and *ugh*--just get it over with.
  2232.  
  2233. WWF WAR ZONE:
  2234.  
  2235.  - TRIPLE H (w/ Stephanie & Shane) vs. ???
  2236.    Triple H acts all concerned, until we learn this is all a joke to give
  2237.    him an easy night. His opponent is one of the members of Kaientai! Triple
  2238.    H is then genuinely concerned when he realizes that they're being
  2239.    accompanied by the Acolytes!
  2240.  
  2241.    TRIPLE H (w/ Stephanie & Shane) vs. TAKA MICHINOKU (w/ & the APA)
  2242.    Shane is upset, and a shoving match with the ref doesn't improve his
  2243.    mood. Shane is chased from rigside by Faarooq & Bradshaw. The Acolytes
  2244.    then stand at ringside, ready to fend off any outside interference. Taka
  2245.    is a house afire, taking the fight to Triple H. Chops and kicks have the
  2246.    Game reeling. The crowd is rooting Taka on! Eventually Triple H takes
  2247.    over, using his sheer size (compared to Taka) to dominate. He starts
  2248.    getting a bit rough, and referee Hebner steps in. He and Triple H get
  2249.    into a shoving match. The crowd is excited, seeing this as a sign that
  2250.    the hot-headed Hebner might just screw over Triple H. Helmsley start
  2251.    demolishing Taka down on the floor. Suddenly Funaki nails him with a
  2252.    baseball slide coming out of the ring. Triple H is sent flying into the
  2253.    Acolytes. They deliver the obligatory beatdown. Hebner, who couldn't
  2254.    possibly have missed all this, is letting it go. Back in the ring they
  2255.    send him. Funaki hits a drop-kick off the top. Taka follows with a
  2256.    moonsault. 1 ... 2 ... thr--NO! The crowd is on their feet!
  2257.  
  2258.    Here come Shane & Vince McMahon. He worms his way past the Acolytes,
  2259.    getting them turned around, setting them up for a blindside attack by the
  2260.    Big Bossman & Bull Buchanan!
  2261.  
  2262.    Taka, meanwhile, is still taking the fight to Triple H. His window of
  2263.    opportunity has passed, though, and Triple H turns a huracanrana attempt
  2264.    into a powerbomb, then puts him away with the Pedigree. Damn, but that
  2265.    was a hot match, and pretty good to boot. Too bad it'll get lost in all
  2266.    the hub-bub over Nitro this week. Taka, Funaki and the APA all get
  2267.    stomped for daring to try to one-up the McMahon family.
  2268.  
  2269.  - The WWF's Kane funny car won a race over the weekend.
  2270.  
  2271.  - Trish Stratus, in retaliation for nearly being put through a table by the
  2272.    Dudley Boyz last Thursday, leads T(est) & A(lbert) to the Dudleyz
  2273.    dressing room. T & A kick their asses.
  2274.  
  2275.  - T & A (w/ Trish Stratus) vs. THE HARDY BOYZ
  2276.    Sometimes you have to pull the plug on a gimmick going nowhere. T & A and
  2277.    Stratus may be one of those gimmicks. I seem to recall these four having
  2278.    a really good match on SmackDown! a few weeks ago. Maybe it was Edge &
  2279.    Christian instead of the Hardyz. Anyway, this one just goes through the
  2280.    motions, with Albert going down to a Twist of Fate, followed by the
  2281.    Swanton Bomb. After the Hardyz leave, the Dudleyz run in. Test takes a
  2282.    3-D ride. They set up a table, intent on putting Stratus through it, but
  2283.    Buh-Buh goes into his orgasmic trance a bit too early. Albert takes out
  2284.    D-Von. Buh-Buh is then sent through the table. Pairing the Dudleyz with
  2285.    these guys, after their competition at WrestleMania, certainly seems like
  2286.    a demotion.
  2287.  
  2288.    New Chef Boyardee ad featuring the Big Show.
  2289.  
  2290.  - VAL VENIS vs. THE BIG SHOW
  2291.    Big Show is dressed this time as Venis, complete with shaggy wig and
  2292.    towel. "Hello ladies. Now ladies, we all know it's not the motion in the
  2293.    ocean, but the size of the boat that turns you on!" That would have
  2294.    worked so better if he'd said "dinghy." He invites them to ride his
  2295.    Titanic, rather than Val's S.S. Minnow. Venis fires back that the Titanic
  2296.    sank, and that it wasn't an iceberg that did it, but the Big Show's
  2297.    dimpled ass. Awww, the Big Showbowski's feeling are hurt! Show goes
  2298.    postal on Venis, and is DQ'ed for choking him with his wig. Eh.
  2299.  
  2300.  - CHRIS JERICHO vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (w/ Chyna)
  2301.    Jericho asks who is the man in their relationship, and who has the bigger
  2302.    package? Another good match, with the crowd finally waking up from that
  2303.    slumber they've been in for the last half hour. Jericho comes damn close
  2304.    to securing the win, avoiding all kinds of cheating by Eddie, but things
  2305.    go awry when the ref goes down, and Chyna comes in to deliver a low blow
  2306.    and DDT. Eddie's pin cover is academic. You can literally see and hear
  2307.    the energy drain from the crowd. Bad finish.
  2308.  
  2309.  - The cage is being lowered. ANOTHER commercial?!
  2310.  
  2311.  - The Kat, having been handed a drugged drink by Terri when we last saw
  2312.    her, wakes up to see that she's had her hair butchered and tons of tacky
  2313.    makeup applied to her face. They even gave her a little poodle dog with a
  2314.    bad hair job. Oh yeah, that was worth waiting two hours for. One of these
  2315.    two better get naked at Backlash.
  2316.  
  2317.  - THE ROCK vs. ???
  2318.    In a way this is a well-written counterpoint to the match which started
  2319.    the second hour, but in another way it's part of an hour which, two
  2320.    matches aside, has been really boring. The Rock's opponent(s) turn out to
  2321.    be ...
  2322.  
  2323.    THE ROCK vs. THE BIG BOSSMAN/BULL BUCHANAN
  2324.    The Rock should be dead meat, and for most of this match he is. He gets a
  2325.    break, though, when Buchanan hits the Bossman with a springboard
  2326.    clothesline. Buchanan goes down to a Samoan Drop. He then goes after the
  2327.    Bossman, but the Bossman counters with a sidewalk slam. The match is
  2328.    starting to run too long now, given who's involved. The Rock is able to
  2329.    take out both men, as they've foregone cooperating. A Rock Bottom finally
  2330.    puts Buchanan away for the pin.
  2331.  
  2332.    Shane, Vince & Triple H enter the cage. The Rock is floored by Triple H,
  2333.    who is wearing a pair of brass knuckles. Total beatdown here. Even Earl
  2334.    Hebner gets knocked on his can. The Rock is busted open, and it's a
  2335.    gusher. Triple H gets right in the Rock's face and says he's through
  2336.    playing games with him. Something gets bleeped. Triple H Pedigrees him on
  2337.    a chair. Talk about your MANLY bladejobs--there's a puddle of blood a
  2338.    foot wide on the mat!
  2339.  
  2340.    The Acolytes come charging in for the save and a huge pop, but it's too
  2341.    little, too late to help the Rock. He's earned his shot at Backlash, but
  2342.    at what price?
  2343.  
  2344.  - This Thursday: Nothing announced.
  2345.  
  2346.  - Next week: Nothing announced.
  2347.  
  2348. Comments:
  2349.  
  2350. I wish to hell the WWF could have scrapped the Backlash PPV. With so little
  2351. time between it and WrestleMania you can tell the WWF has had to pull itself
  2352. back. There wouldn't have been enough time to develop a good, main event
  2353. level storyline. So instead we get a Rock/Triple H rematch, which we all
  2354. assumed would happen five minutes after WrestleMania was over. That's why
  2355. the last two weeks have seemed so boring. They're just going through the
  2356. motions, setting up something we immediately saw coming. Anything new will
  2357. have to wait until after Backlash.
  2358.  
  2359. I hope.
  2360.  
  2361. It probably couldn't have come at a worse time, what with WCW making the
  2362. waves they are. Good or bad, WCW is at least catching the people's
  2363. attention. It's obvious the WWF doesn't see them as a threat yet. Just look
  2364. at last week, and the few weeks before it. Even with ratings slightly down
  2365. for the WWF, they're still beating WCW by three or four ratings points on
  2366. Monday nights. But this Monday Night War has always been about impressions,
  2367. and there are plenty of fans out there who have the impression that the WWF
  2368. is in a slump right now, and that WCW is beginning a hot streak. Ignore
  2369. that, like the WWF seems to be doing, and the impression could become the
  2370. reality.
  2371.  
  2372. Fortunately for the WWF, WCW has problems coming up with the NBA playoffs on
  2373. TNT, which will disrupt their schedule, and hinder whatever momentum they
  2374. may be looking to gain. Hopefully once Backlash is past the WWF can kick it
  2375. back into high gear.
  2376.  
  2377. Listen to me--I sound like I'm declaring the WWF dead! Nothing could be
  2378. further from the truth. This was, overall, a pretty good show. Lots of
  2379. strong wrestling and good matches.
  2380.  
  2381. There were notable negatives, though. The opening interview, executed well,
  2382. didn't really amount to anything. These lengthy interviews have to go back
  2383. to setting up things for the show, and the storylines in general. This one
  2384. included the announcement of the main event, but the main event didn't
  2385. actually come about because of the interview.
  2386.  
  2387. Speaking of the main event, as good as it was, it was still one of those
  2388. matches most people will write off because of who was involved. I know not
  2389. everyone (not even myself) will buy the Big Bossman and Bull Buchanan as
  2390. main event material.
  2391.  
  2392. The same goes for the Triple H/Taka match. I really enjoyed that one, but I
  2393. can see a lot of people complaining about Taka in such a spot, and to an
  2394. extent I agree. Going up against the end of Nitro, and seeing all the
  2395. hot-shotting they were doing, the WWF might have been forgiven in doing a
  2396. hot-shot angle of their own there. Perhaps have Triple H lose the WWF
  2397. Championship to someone, then win it back at SmackDown! That would have
  2398. gotten the fans talking.
  2399.  
  2400. The one angle on the show which I thought was totally DOA was the running
  2401. clips of Terri & the Kat. That stuff should be saved for Heat.
  2402.  
  2403. A good show this week, but up against all the stuff that happened on Nitro,
  2404. not one likely to have made much of an impression.
  2405.  
  2406. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2407.  
  2408. The Bottom Line:
  2409.  
  2410. Spring Stampede is this Sunday. The only match we know of so far is DDP vs.
  2411. Jarrett for the WCW Heavyweight Title. Talk about choosing the lesser of two
  2412. evils--who do you pick here?! Do you go with the guy on top for WCW's lowest
  2413. buyrates ever, or do you put the belt around Bischoff's best friend, a guy
  2414. who was champ last year when WCW started sliding into the crapper?
  2415.  
  2416. Pencil in matches between Sid & the Wall, Sting & Vampiro, Flair & Douglas,
  2417. and Hogan vs. Kidman. They've also got to somehow fill all those vacant
  2418. titles. If you really feel inspired to drop $30 on this show, be warned: if
  2419. Bischoff & Russo don't like the results, they may just act like the show
  2420. never happened next Monday on Nitro!
  2421.  
  2422. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2423.  
  2424. "Slobberknocker Central" and "Monday Night Recap" are copyright 2000 by
  2425. John Petrie, and all opinions expressed therein are his own, and not those
  2426. of "USLink". Check the "Slobberknocker Central" main page for info on how
  2427. to receive the "Recap" free via E-Mail every week.
  2428.  
  2429. Volume One, Number 230 of the "Monday Night Recap", April 10th, 2000.
  2430.  
  2431.  
  2432.  
  2433. ~~~~
  2434.  
  2435. Slobberknocker Central Monday Night Recap #214
  2436. December 20th, 1999
  2437.  
  2438. The Opening Word:
  2439.  
  2440. Vince Russo is slowly going nuts.
  2441.  
  2442. I caught a bit of his WCW Live appearance last week, and read reports of the
  2443. overall interview. The most notable thing to come out of it is the fact that
  2444. he can't take any criticism whatsoever. Replying to Dave Meltzer calling him
  2445. "retarded" (which actually isn't true--Meltzer said the booking involving
  2446. Tank Abbott was retarded), Russo called Meltzer a "jackass". He then went
  2447. off on a rant about Meltzer being a mark for himself, and that he's a lowly
  2448. sheet writer, while *Vince Russo* is the head writer for WCW. Geez, talk
  2449. about the pot calling the kettle black!
  2450.  
  2451. (In an interesting side note, Meltzer's main rival Wade Keller criticized
  2452. Dave for using the word "retarded", saying "It's insensitive, classless,
  2453. and shows a real lack of vocabulary." Bob Ryder weighed in with his
  2454. thoughts as well, of course defending Russo ... overlooking the fact that
  2455. Russo called Meltzer a "jackass". Do ANY of these people actually listen to
  2456. anything they're saying?)
  2457.  
  2458. Russo went on to lay blame on WCW's sagging ratings everywhere but where it
  2459. counted--himself. He blamed most of WCW's woes on "Standards & Practices"
  2460. coming in and preventing him from doing what he'd like to do. Examples given
  2461. were no women vs. men matches, and not being able to call Rhonda Singh "fat"
  2462. for fear of offending fat people. No doubt you're thinking to yourself "how
  2463. does not being able to call Rhonda "fat" actually *hurt* the ratings?" As
  2464. Meltzer pointed out, on the show which so angered Russo, nothing Standards &
  2465. Practices has done has actually prevented an angle or storyline which would
  2466. have, you know, DRAWN VIEWERS. As if WCW is floundering in the ratings
  2467. because they don't have Lenny & Lodi on TV. The only thing "handcuffing"
  2468. Russo is his inability to come up with a storyline, angle or gimmick that
  2469. interests the fans. It's very telling that the only way Russo thinks he can
  2470. draw in viewers is with T&A and controversial angles. Clearly he's given up
  2471. on attempts at solid storytelling and good wrestling matches.
  2472.  
  2473. But if he brings in the Ultimate Warrior, that'll turn everything around,
  2474. right?
  2475.  
  2476. Responding to criticisms that Starrcade didn't get a decent build-up, Russo
  2477. said all the big storylines are going to come out of the PPV. Maybe it's
  2478. just me, but does it make sense to save everything for a show whose build-up
  2479. was so poor that you've guaranteed no one will watch it? (and then screw
  2480. over those few who do buy it by turning it into a commercial for Nitro?)
  2481.  
  2482. Bob Ryder wrote "It's easy to be a 'Monday Morning Quarterback', and I guess
  2483. everybody wants to be one these days."
  2484.  
  2485. No Bob ... all we want is a WCW that's worth our damn time to watch. Vince
  2486. Russo hasn't given us that yet, and your cheerleading assurances aside, we
  2487. haven't yet seen any sign he's capable of doing that. We were supposed to be
  2488. fair and give him six months to turn things around. Well, we're more than a
  2489. third of a way into those six months, and things aren't getting better,
  2490. they're getting worse. That's why Dave Meltzer (who I don't always agree
  2491. with) has been critical of Russo's booking. Whether it's good wrestling,
  2492. engaging storylines, interesting characters, or a simple idea that could
  2493. draw fans and business for WCW, Russo has failed to deliver on all counts.
  2494. He claims to be saving all the good stuff for the Starrcade PPV, yet
  2495. completely failed to do anything to interest fans in seeing that PPV. No
  2496. matter what he has in mind it will have to be presented to fans on a Monday
  2497. night against a red-hot WWF. ("Monday Night Football" also features a
  2498. monster game between Minnesota and Green Bay, with divisional control and
  2499. playoff survival on the line.) Russo's failure to make Starrcade a "must
  2500. see" show works more against his objectives than any "Standards & Practices"
  2501. or second-guessing from critics.
  2502.  
  2503. It's easy to go on the offensive against your critics when your company is
  2504. floundering, and blame some of that poor performance on said critics. I
  2505. think what WCW is overlooking, though, is that most of those critics are
  2506. just fans. Guys like myself, Dave Meltzer--in fact most of those writing
  2507. negatively about WCW on the Internet--we're all just fans. We want to see
  2508. WCW be good again.
  2509.  
  2510. Vince Russo needs to step back, take a breath, and do a little bit of
  2511. assessment. He needs to figure out who WCW's audience is, and what kind of
  2512. show he can put on to appeal to that audience. Thus far he's been trying to
  2513. take a G-rated company and put on a PG-rated show, desperately trying to
  2514. convince us it's hotter than the PG-13/R-rated WWF. I myself said, from day
  2515. one, that Russo was probably the wrong man to run WCW. His writing style has
  2516. been completely incompatible with what WCW is capable of doing. Not only has
  2517. he failed to attract WWF fans or totally new viewers, he's been slowly
  2518. alienating existing WCW fans.
  2519.  
  2520. So with all this in mind, we turn our attention to Starrcade. WCW had been
  2521. promising a home run with this show. Well, reviews have been somewhat
  2522. favorable, and a couple matches praised for the hard work of the wrestlers
  2523. involved, but in general it seemed to be an average-to-good show which
  2524. relied upon its main event to make it either "hit" or "miss".
  2525.  
  2526. In a finish straight out of the WWF's "Montreal Screwjob", "Rowdy" Roddy
  2527. Piper interjected himself in the match and declared Bret "Hitman" Hart the
  2528. winner the moment he put Goldberg in the Sharpshooter. And that was it. No
  2529. earth shattering angle, no major surprise, just a rehash of an angle that
  2530. wasn't an angle to begin with, but has been turned into an angle repeatedly
  2531. by the WWF over the last two years. It made no sense to the fans in general,
  2532. and was designed to make fans tune in to Nitro to get the explanation.
  2533.  
  2534. Was Piper acting on his own? Did he sell out to the Powers That Be? Were he
  2535. and Bret Hart in cahoots? Or was it that Piper did what he did to prevent
  2536. Goldberg from winning, because Goldberg has some dark secret yet to be
  2537. revealed? These are really the only storyline options. Which way WCW takes
  2538. it will determine how wise it was to dredge up the Montreal finish one more
  2539. time. A real feeling of ill will has been fostered on the part of the fans
  2540. here with the PPV finish. Will WCW win them back, or was this just the
  2541. latest in a long line of booking moves destined for failure?
  2542.  
  2543. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2544.  
  2545. WCW Monday Nitro:
  2546. Live/Taped: Live.
  2547. Length: Three Hours+.
  2548. Location: Baltimore, Maryland.
  2549. HOUR ONE Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
  2550.  
  2551.  - Video package from Starrcade.
  2552.  
  2553.  - Madusa and Spice make their way to the ring. Madusa doesn't merely have
  2554.    boobs--she has gazongas! Spice, meanwhile, has neither. Anyway, Madusa
  2555.    talks about the superiority of women. She then spots Buzzkill in the
  2556.    crowd and calls him in for a match.
  2557.  
  2558.    MADUSA vs. BUZZKILL
  2559.    A few moves in Buzzkill LOSES HIS WEAVE! Spice cozies up to the ref and
  2560.    throws a foreign object to Madusa. She clocks Buzzkill, then puts him
  2561.    away with the German Suplex.
  2562.  
  2563.    The Powers That Be talk about Hugh Morrus (he'll face Curt Hennig
  2564.    tonight) and Roddy Piper.
  2565.  
  2566.    Speaking of whom, Piper shows up, with his kid and hairy wife. I mean,
  2567.    oops--whoever that guys is. Looks like Bart Sawyer from Music City
  2568.    Wrestling.
  2569.  
  2570.  - Creative Control tell Piper he's wanted.
  2571.  
  2572.    Somebody in a "Scream" mask attacks Shane (Vincent) with a lead pipe
  2573.    backstage.
  2574.  
  2575.  - HUGH MORRUS vs. CURT HENNIG
  2576.    Morrus walks out of the match when his elderly, confused, hospital gown
  2577.    wearing father wanders out to the ring. WHAT THE F*@$?! Morrus is now off
  2578.    his game, and eventually falls victim to the Hennig-Plex. Morrus' dad
  2579.    comes back out to console him. Freakin' weird.
  2580.  
  2581.    Russo, in front of Piper's kid, says "I'm an asshole!", then orders Piper
  2582.    to go out and tell the fans that he (Piper) sold out. Piper launches into
  2583.    a rant, which I'd talk about, but WCW has the crowd noise cranked so loud
  2584.    that you can barely tell what he's talking about. I think he's bragging
  2585.    about how long he's been wrestling. He, Hulk Hogan and MTV made
  2586.    wrestling. (Huh?) Piper says he's going to go stick his kid out in the
  2587.    car under guard, then come back in and shoot with Russo's "condom head
  2588.    geeks!"
  2589.  
  2590.  - Schiavone actually explains what the "Montreal Screwjob" is, mentioning
  2591.    Vince McMahon and the WWF. He goes on to add a bit of fiction, saying
  2592.    some backstage feel it was WWF writer and current PTB, Vince Russo, who
  2593.    originally scripted that finish. Wow. Just how much past WWF history is
  2594.    this company going to use to sell their current storylines? They the
  2595.    speculate about Piper (and/or the Powers That Be) screwing Goldberg.
  2596.    Heenan thinks Piper sold out. Tenay says Piper is a man of integrity.
  2597.  
  2598.  - Kevin Nash comes out to "shoot". He says "the Boys" never screw one
  2599.    another (ha!). He says it's "the Boys" versus "the Office". Nash says
  2600.    "the Office doesn't give a shit about us!" and "the son-of-a-bitches
  2601.    don't even give us Social Security!" None of this is bleeped. "What
  2602.    happened at Starrcade was bullshit!" Nash says Hart "screwed one of the
  2603.    boys." "You say you're 'the Best There Is, the Best there Was, and the
  2604.    Best There Ever Will Be' ... well, you're nothing but a piece of shit!"
  2605.    His tirade complete, they "hurriedly" cut to a commercial.
  2606.  
  2607.    Ooh--swearing! That'll turn the ratings around real quick. I'll be
  2608.    interested in hearing Bob Ryder's defense of all this. (He'll probably
  2609.    just say "well, the WWF did it first.")
  2610.  
  2611.    [UPDATE: Bob says the profanity was pre-scripted, and that TNT was aware
  2612.    of this and was supposed to bleep it all out. So that makes it all okay?]
  2613.  
  2614.    By the way, this whole "shoot" is so absurd when you realize that it was
  2615.    Nash, as head booker, who did more than anything to ruin this company and
  2616.    hold wrestlers down this past summer. Maybe as one of "the Boys" he
  2617.    didn't screw the others over, but as booker and part of "the Office",
  2618.    Nash screwed guys over left and right. That's the problem with WCW's
  2619.    "shoots": the regular fans don't understand them, and the "smart" fans,
  2620.    who are supposed to be so impressed, know what's being said is all
  2621.    fictitious crap!
  2622.  
  2623.  - "During the break" footage shows Bret Hart arriving.
  2624.  
  2625.    Creative Control tell "Mean" Gene Okerlund that Nash shouldn't speak for
  2626.    everyone, and that Nash is one of the biggest politicians backstage there
  2627.    is.
  2628.  
  2629.  - JERRY FLYNN vs. TANK ABBOTT
  2630.    This is "no DQ", so the ref is almost immediately knocked out, and the
  2631.    fight is stopped because of it. Whatever. Security comes in and Flynn and
  2632.    Abbott nail them. The fans boo as security split the two apart and
  2633.    handcuff Flynn. The "match" lasted about ten seconds.
  2634.  
  2635.    Goldberg arrives.
  2636.  
  2637.  - The Revolution are out to cut a promo. Saturn says "ass". Apparently the
  2638.    wrestlers have been told to go out and swear up a storm. Douglas says
  2639.    "ass" too. Douglas orders "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan to come out and renounce
  2640.    his U.S. citizenship. Duggan comes out, but refuses to do it, saying he
  2641.    lied when he agreed to that stipulation. Duggan is stomped into the mat.
  2642.    Some of what Douglas is saying is now getting bleeped. Dean Malenko
  2643.    prepares to burn an American flag. Cue the music of the Filthy Animals,
  2644.    and they limp to the ring. Lots of crowd heat for all this.
  2645.  
  2646.    There's Roddy Piper and his son.
  2647.  
  2648.  - Piper's out. He goes into a rant about how he can no longer take part in
  2649.    the "circus" that Vince Russo is running in WCW. He basically says what
  2650.    he used to do is real, but the stuff Vince Russo has the WCW wrestlers
  2651.    doing, that's all fake. So he quits. He begins to walk out ...
  2652.  
  2653. HOUR TWO Hosted By: Tony Schiavone and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
  2654.  
  2655.    ... but Goldberg cuts him off. They have a touching moment, which is
  2656.    interrupted by the arrival of Bret Hart. Hart says he knows all about
  2657.    being screwed, and says that as far as he's concerned, he's no longer the
  2658.    WCW Champion. He'll go give it to Russo and tell him to shove it up his
  2659.    ass.
  2660.  
  2661.  - Hart confronts Russo (why bother with this "Powers That Be" nonsense
  2662.    anymore?) Calling the belt a "piece of crap", Hart (family man, Canadian
  2663.    legend and outspoken critic of the "adult direction" the WWF took) calls
  2664.    Russo a "piece of shit!" (Bret is such a whore for his career. Wait until
  2665.    he loses the belt, then he'll shoot all over WCW for being such filth.)
  2666.    Russo says he ordered Piper to end the PPV match as a way of paying Piper
  2667.    back for the Montreal Screwjob. Hart isn't appreciative of the gesture,
  2668.    so Russo orders Hart to defend the belt against Goldberg later tonight.
  2669.    Hart says something like "stick it straight up your ass, you piece of
  2670.    shit!", which is the first thing that gets bleeped.
  2671.  
  2672.    Let me just interject here that Hart has now pretty much lost all ability
  2673.    to complain about Montreal anymore. Not only have they credited Vince
  2674.    Russo instead of Vince McMahon as the driving force behind the screwjob
  2675.    (in the eyes of the general fans), Hart has also turned the whole thing
  2676.    into an angle, which loses any credibility he had with the "smart" fans.
  2677.    Vince McMahon is no longer the villain, Vince Russo is, and Hart can't
  2678.    talk about it in the negative anymore because he's making an angle of it,
  2679.    using it to further his career. It may have been a dark period of his
  2680.    life then, but he's clearly over it now (and if he isn't, he has no one
  2681.    to blame but himself for allowing it to be continually dredged up).
  2682.  
  2683.  - NORMAN SMILEY/MENG vs. FIT FINLAY/BRIAN KNOBBS
  2684.    This one goes all the way from the ring area to the bathrooms, and lasted
  2685.    forever. Smiley's womanly act is funny, but that's the only appeal here.
  2686.    Meng hasn't figured out that Norman is his partner, so he attacks him.
  2687.    Smiley has to help Finlay and Knobbs fight him. Smiley gets pinned after
  2688.    his head is stuffed in a toilet.
  2689.  
  2690.    Piper kisses his son goodbye, picks up his bat, and heads out to do some
  2691.    business.
  2692.  
  2693.    There's Prince Iaukea, recording a song or something. How am I supposed
  2694.    to react when Iaukea and WCW are both taking this incredibly lame angle
  2695.    so seriously?
  2696.  
  2697.  - THE MAESTRO (w/ Symphony) vs. EVAN KARAGIAS
  2698.    The Maestro wins here when Symphony takes a bump from Karagias. Evan goes
  2699.    to check on her, and the Maestro rolls him up for the pin. Turns out
  2700.    Symphony was faking. Evan just has no luck with women.
  2701.  
  2702.    Notice how the PTB's office always looked the same? That's because it was
  2703.    a set, which Piper destroys. Yes, all those past shots of Creative
  2704.    Control standing outside the PTB office were FAKE, as were the shots of
  2705.    people trying to get in. Just random doors in the various arenas. WCW is
  2706.    no longer a wrestling promotion, it's a TV show, and the actors are
  2707.    revolting (read that any way you like).
  2708.  
  2709.  - Chavo Guerrero offers Evan Karagias a copy of "How To Pick Up Chicks".
  2710.    Evan pounds on him.
  2711.  
  2712.  - CHRIS "CHAMPAGNE" KANYON vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE
  2713.    Kanyon's gimmick is that he now brags about being in Hollywood. DDP and
  2714.    Bigelow (who both lost in singles matches to Kanyon last week) team up to
  2715.    take him out. DDP then turns on Bigelow and plants him with the Diamond
  2716.    Cutter. Page walks out. Kanyon's manager Mr. Biggs tries to hand him a
  2717.    briefcase as a weapon, but the ref intercepts it. As he's tied up, Kanyon
  2718.    grabs a champagne bottle at ringside and bashes it over Bigelow's head.
  2719.    Bigelow is busted open. Kanyon scores the pin.
  2720.  
  2721.    There's Kevin Nash.
  2722.  
  2723.  - PPV stills of Sting being injured by Lex Luger. Sting will be out several
  2724.    weeks.
  2725.  
  2726.  - CREATIVE CONTROL vs. THE OUTSIDERS
  2727.    Scott Hall comes out on crutches. Nash takes a beating for a few moments,
  2728.    until Hall comes in and starts swinging away with the crutch. Injury or
  2729.    not, the guy looks just fine. No winner--not really even a match.
  2730.  
  2731.    Lex Luger is up in the rafters dressed as Sting. Liz is there too.
  2732.  
  2733.    There's Chris Benoit.
  2734.  
  2735. HOUR THREE Hosted By: Tony Schiavone and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
  2736.  
  2737.  - JEFF JARRETT vs. CHRIS BENOIT
  2738.    This is a "Ladder match", but they actually spend most of their time
  2739.    doing spots with a chair. Benoit quickly gets the upper hand and tries to
  2740.    go for the suspended belt, but someone has tampered with the ladder. All
  2741.    the rungs keep breaking. (At least that's what's supposed to be
  2742.    happening: actually they didn't rig the ladder well enough, so Benoit has
  2743.    to really abuse it to get some of the steps to break. I actually thought
  2744.    Benoit was breaking the ladder so Jarrett couldn't use it.) Jarrett
  2745.    clobbers Benoit with a guitar. (Benoit looks really bad here, hunkering
  2746.    down to receive the guitar shot well before Jarrett delivers it. He
  2747.    stands there looking like a turtle trying to pull its head back in the
  2748.    shell!) Jarrett then pulls another ladder out from under the ring and
  2749.    retrieves the belt, becoming the new U.S. Champion. A neat angle with the
  2750.    ladder, and the match was okay, but I can't imagine this was anywhere
  2751.    near as good as the one on the PPV, which I would think pissed Benoit
  2752.    fans off.
  2753.  
  2754.    "Mean" Gene thinks Jarrett doctored the ladder. Jarrett swears. Curt
  2755.    Hennig then appears and says Russo wants to see Jarrett in his limo.
  2756.  
  2757.  - THE WALL (w/ Berlyn) vs. SID VICIOUS
  2758.    I hate when guys split up, and we all know they've split up, but the
  2759.    promotion takes forever to make it official. Early on it's all Sid,
  2760.    beating on the Wall in and out of the ring. Berlyn distracts him a few
  2761.    times, allowing the Wall to get in some offense. Berlyn then tries a
  2762.    drop-kick, but hits the Wall instead. DQ. The Wall and Sid make goofy
  2763.    faces at each other, then shake hands. Sid's antics here are straight out
  2764.    of Hulk Hogan's playbook circa 1986. The only thing he doesn't do is cup
  2765.    his hand to his ear to listen to the fans' cheers.
  2766.  
  2767.    There's half of Vince Russo, seated in his limo and telling Jeff Jarrett
  2768.    that something big he couldn't tell him about before is coming down later
  2769.    tonight. Jarrett is shocked, but immensely pleased. Yup, someone's
  2770.    turning heel tonight.
  2771.  
  2772.  - Disco Inferno is brought before Tony Marinara's dad, played by some
  2773.    generic Italian actor. Disco can either La Familia, or end up in a coma.
  2774.    Where is this taking place, how are we seeing it, and why would the Mob
  2775.    allow their private business to be filmed and broadcast?
  2776.  
  2777.  - THE VARSITY CLUB (w/ "Leia Meow") vs. HARLEM HEAT
  2778.    "Leia Meow" is Kimona Wanalaya's imaginative new name. She's hot, but no
  2779.    more so than the twenty other women on wrestling TV right now. Kevin
  2780.    Sullivan, Rock Steiner and Mike Rotunda take turns doing color commentary
  2781.    at the desk. Rotunda looks okay in the ring, but that doesn't excuse the
  2782.    fact that I was content if I never saw the guy again. Same goes for
  2783.    Sullivan. I'd really like to hear WCW's explanation for all this, I
  2784.    really would. The match lasts forever, with Midnight showing up late in
  2785.    the match to argue with Stevie Ray. Rotunda rolls Stevie up from behind
  2786.    for the pin. They bring back the Varsity Club ... and split up Harlem
  2787.    Heat. Meltzer's right--this IS retarded. That's a joke.
  2788.  
  2789.    Then out of nowhere PG-13 attack the Varsity Club. "PG-13" is Wolfie D
  2790.    and J.C. Ice--known to most newer wrestling fans as the rappers for the
  2791.    Nation of Dmonination in the WWF. They've also been in ECW, and are
  2792.    mainstays on the Memphis wrestling scene. J.C. Ice is Jamie Dundee, son
  2793.    of "Superstar" Bill Dundee. This background info, by the way, is probably
  2794.    a whole hell of a lot more interesting than these guys really are. If you
  2795.    still don't know them, think of a cross between the Insane Clown posse
  2796.    and Too Cool.
  2797.  
  2798.    David Flair's girlfriend gets hit on by Jerry Only of the Misfits
  2799.    backstage. She knees him in the nads, then bites his nose. Vampiro and
  2800.    the others look concerned as she runs away giggling.
  2801.  
  2802.    This show has really sucked so far.
  2803.  
  2804.  - David Flair and his Gal hit the ring. There they go nuts, knock out
  2805.    announcer David Penzer with a crowbar, then call out Vampiro. Vampiro
  2806.    comes out, ostensibly to smooth things over, but then he stupidly turns
  2807.    his back and badmouths Flair. *Whank!* Jerry Only suffers the same fate
  2808.    when he tries to make the save. I'm no fan of Vampiro, but even I think
  2809.    he deserves better than this.
  2810.  
  2811.  - The Misfits go into spasms as the EMT's check them over.
  2812.  
  2813.  - "Mean" Gene is out to interview Buff Bagwell. Ah, shit, here we go again.
  2814.    Bagwell delivers a pedestrian interview. Okerlund then not-too-subtly
  2815.    moves on to the whole Kimberly thing, and Bagwell's fight backstage with
  2816.    DDP. Points to WCW for finally explaining this to the fans--minus points
  2817.    for it being such a tired angle. Bagwell acts like he doesn't want to
  2818.    talk about it, but quickly enough starts "hubba-hubba-ing" over what a
  2819.    hottie she is. Out comes DDP and the "real" fight is on. This angle has a
  2820.    problem in that DDP's role in WCW right now is so muddled. He's, at best,
  2821.    a "tweener", battling David Flair as a babyface, but also fighting Sting
  2822.    as a heel. Bagwell is a babyface the fans don't care much about, and his
  2823.    position here is the heel meddling in DDP's marriage. DDP should be the
  2824.    babyface fighting for the honor of his wife, but he's coming off as the
  2825.    heel. It's all a mess. WCW could make this work if they 1) pull DDP out
  2826.    of all the other angles/feuds he's in, and 2) have Kimberly appear on TV
  2827.    to stand by her man. Make Bagwell an outright heel too. No matter how
  2828.    they do it, though, this is all really just a rehash of what DDP did
  2829.    earlier this year with Scott Steiner.
  2830.  
  2831.    Roddy Piper is saying his goodbyes to the lockerroom. Piper The Actor
  2832.    takes over, delivering a soliloquy regarding the Writers trying to make
  2833.    phonies out of the wrestlers in WCW, and how they need to band together
  2834.    and demand higher wages and medical insurance and job security. WORKERS
  2835.    OF THE WORLD UNITE! Piper wishes them a Merry Christmas and leaves. This
  2836.    lengthy bit was just brutal on the live crowd, judging from their vocal
  2837.    reaction, clearly heard in the background as the piece dragged on.
  2838.  
  2839.    Jeff Jarrett settles in to watch the main event on a monitor.
  2840.  
  2841.  - BRET "HITMAN" HART vs. GOLDBERG
  2842.    Goldberg's entrance takes us well past the top of the hour. Whatever
  2843.    we've had to sit through this whole awful show for better happen soon.
  2844.    Hart and Goldberg lock up, and for a few minutes engage in an okay match.
  2845.    Cue the Outsiders, carrying Scott Hall's crutches. Looks like they've
  2846.    come to nail Hart, who screwed Goldberg over at the PPV. But wait ...
  2847.    they hit Goldberg instead. And Hart joins in! Hart covers, at which point
  2848.    Roddy Piper comes in. Piper lays in some weak shots on Hart, then covers
  2849.    Goldberg to save him from further damage. The ref, bumped just before the
  2850.    Outsiders came in, makes a three count, giving ... Piper ... the win?!
  2851.    Chalk it up to usual WCW incompetence, as Hart is declared the winner.
  2852.    I guess the belt was really considered vacant, so Hart is now WCW Champ
  2853.    for the second time.
  2854.  
  2855.    In comes Jarrett to deliver the redundant guitar shot on Piper. Now he
  2856.    has some spraypaint, and squiggles some incomprehensible lines on Piper
  2857.    and Goldberg's backs. Schiavone deciphers it for us: "it's the NWO!"
  2858.    "N ... W ... O" barks the PA system, and their music fires up. The NWO is
  2859.    back and better(?) than ever, holding the World, U.S. and Tag Team Titles
  2860.    (TV Title too if Hall is still recognized as the champ). We've run way
  2861.    over the usual finish time, as Vince Russo's master plan is finally
  2862.    revealed.
  2863.  
  2864.  - This Thursday: Nothing announced.
  2865.  
  2866.  - Next week: New Year's Evil.
  2867.  
  2868. Comments:
  2869.  
  2870. Well, there you go. Is it what *you* were expecting? Or hoping for? The big
  2871. change in direction for WCW is ... the return of the NWO. Not exactly an
  2872. original idea. Nor is turning Bret Hart heel for that matter. (Remember when
  2873. Hart was a member of the NWO before, but wouldn't admit it, saying he never
  2874. wore the official t-shirt?)
  2875.  
  2876. Not that this is a disaster by any means. It all played out very well, and
  2877. for the first time in a long time they were able to build up to the end of
  2878. the show. We knew something was coming, I just don't think anyone guessed
  2879. exactly what. Hart turning heel was the main assumption by almost everyone
  2880. going into the show. Myself, I though maybe Piper had screwed Goldberg
  2881. because he knew Goldberg was secretly in cahoots with the Powers That Be.
  2882. That would have been an interesting angle, in my opinion. Turns out I was
  2883. almost right, I just picked the wrong guy. WCW went the obvious route (and
  2884. probably the better one, moneywise) by turning Hart.
  2885.  
  2886. But bringing the NWO back, I dunno. Can't say as I'm excited about that at
  2887. all. We all know the NWO, well before it died a miserable, ignominious
  2888. death, was just a lame merchandising gimmick. The NWO stopped meaning
  2889. anything storywise probably more than a year before it died. The NWO also
  2890. never paid off in the storylines because no one ever really beat it. None of
  2891. the major heels of the NWO suffered significant defeats, and instead all
  2892. turned face and left the group, causing it to slowly dwindle away and die.
  2893. Egos prevented the NWO storyline from reaching a satisfactory conclusion.
  2894.  
  2895. Now it's back, and already one can see major problems ahead. For starters,
  2896. who's running it? Is Hart the leader, Nash, or will the Powers That Be be
  2897. calling all the shots? And who will put an end to the NWO? Will Goldberg be
  2898. the hero, will Hulk Hogan return to take them down, or will it be another
  2899. case of everyone leaving the group, killing it off that way, cheating the
  2900. fans of an emotional or interesting payoff?
  2901.  
  2902. Already I'm troubled by the fact that Nash has once again finagled his way
  2903. into a main event storyline. The guy just can't work, and refuses to play a
  2904. straight-up heel, so once again he manipulates the story so as to put
  2905. himself in a position where he has power, gets to act cool on TV, etc. With
  2906. this new NWO needing time to establish itself, you can damn well guarantee
  2907. he won't be doing any jobs for months. He was given the choice role this
  2908. week, doing the "shoot" interview, swerving the fans by appearing to turn
  2909. babyface, then making the show-closing announcement that the NWO was back.
  2910. Whether he's the leader or not, he's sure acting like he is.
  2911.  
  2912. And then there's Hall, who supposedly has an injured knee. Not the best idea
  2913. to push all the way to the top a guy who is injured, and barely in any
  2914. condition to work if he were healthy. He and Nash are two guys who should be
  2915. phased out, but instead they have all the titles, and are once again back on
  2916. top.
  2917.  
  2918. Hart, I see better things for him, as he comes out of this with a hot feud
  2919. with Goldberg in the making. No complaints there.
  2920.  
  2921. I enjoy the comments from some regarding how WCW turned Jeff Jarrett into a
  2922. star whereas the WWF couldn't. Well geez, it's not as if WCW has done
  2923. anything with him here. They just imported him, unchanged, with his "Don't
  2924. P*** Me Off" gimmick intact. The WCW fans popped for Jarrett because he was
  2925. a WWF superstar jumping ship. Then push him to the moon and voila--there you
  2926. are. They took a guy who was already over in the WWF, an Intercontinental
  2927. Champion, and got him slightly more over in WCW. Not that I begrudge Jarrett
  2928. anything. I liked him when I first saw him years ago. I hated his "Double J"
  2929. WWF gimmick, but enjoyed a number of matches and angles he took part in. I
  2930. was excited when he went to WCW, but he quickly went on a slide there,
  2931. getting buried in an endless feud with Steve "Mongo" McMichael. Back to the
  2932. WWF he went, and it was a rocky start, before he finally hit a stride with
  2933. the gimmick he still has today. Jarrett was slowly rising in the WWF. Maybe
  2934. he'd have reached the top, maybe not. He'd already won the IC belt, and
  2935. perhaps wouldn't have lost it to Chyna had he not announced his pending exit
  2936. from the company. For all we know, right now, he might have been locked in a
  2937. feud with Chris Jericho, which wouldn't have been all that bad a thing. And
  2938. with Steve Austin gone, and Mankind about to go, there's currently room for
  2939. advancement to the top in the WWF. So, did WCW perform a miracle with him?
  2940. Not really. Certainly part of Jarrett's push is to signal to other WWF
  2941. midcarders that if they jump, and Russo is interested in you, you can get a
  2942. decent push. But one can't take away from Jarrett his hard work of late, not
  2943. being complacent and working hard to earn the spot he's ended up in. I can
  2944. honestly say that, so long as there's a storyline there, Jarrett's one of
  2945. the few guys in WCW right now I look forward to seeing.
  2946.  
  2947. I wonder what the folks on the Internet are going to think of Benoit losing
  2948. the U.S. belt so soon, and in a match so obviously inferior to the one in
  2949. which he won it in? Benoit is the darling of the Internet. Jarrett, though,
  2950. has converted a few new fans with his solid work as of late, especially at
  2951. the PPV. Jarrett's win tonight was done so that every member of the new NWO
  2952. would have a title belt around their waist. Otherwise it would have been a
  2953. good idea to have spent a few weeks building to the rematch, giving Jarrett
  2954. the belt then.
  2955.  
  2956. Moving on from the NWO angle, you go into a massive freefall down to the
  2957. rest of the promotion. As hot as the main event storyline this week,
  2958. virtually everything else was terrible. Nothing seemed to click. Jarrett vs.
  2959. Benoit was the only good match, and that was nothing special.
  2960.  
  2961. So looking at the "New WCW", what exactly do we have. Obviously the
  2962. "handcuffs" of Standards & Practices has been removed, allowing for some
  2963. harsh language and edgier content, in an effort to give the promotion the
  2964. illusion of "attitude". Bret Hart has turned heel, and the NWO is back. I
  2965. credit WCW for injecting a real storyline, finally, into their main event
  2966. tier, and for doing it in an interesting way this week. Not that this was a
  2967. good show, mind you, but the finish was fairly hot.
  2968.  
  2969. But what about next week? They can't do all this again, so whatever big
  2970. rating they pop this week (and I think they're going to do well) can't be
  2971. duplicated next week. Next week we're back to business as usual, with the
  2972. only change from last week to next week being that Hart turned heel. They
  2973. should be able to build to a hot main event at the next PPV. The rest of the
  2974. company, though ... ? Some may say I'm looking ahead too quickly, and that I
  2975. should just bask in the moment. What moment?! Hart turned heel, and somebody
  2976. spraypainted "NWO". It's not as if we haven't been down this road before,
  2977. many times. The only real change that will begin next week is that the top
  2978. heels in the company will have matching t-shirts. That's it. And is no one
  2979. else depressed that WCW has now opened the door for Hulk Hogan to make his
  2980. "triumphant" return? Had it been Bischoff or Nash doing this angle a lot
  2981. more people would have seen it for the desperation move it really is.
  2982.  
  2983. I'm still looking for that sign from Russo that he can do anything with WCW.
  2984. What's going to bring the company back from the brink? Russo had his big
  2985. shot this week and all he could do was turn up the raunch a bit and bring
  2986. back some old angles. Russo still hasn't shown any of the creativity he's
  2987. supposedly famous for.
  2988.  
  2989. I dunno ... I didn't hate the show this week, but didn't care much for it
  2990. either. They tried, and I give them credit for that, but I'm still not sold
  2991. that this company has any ideas.
  2992.  
  2993. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2994.  
  2995. WWF RAW is WAR:
  2996. Live/Taped: Live.
  2997. Length: Two Hours+.
  2998. Location: Houston, Texas.
  2999. WWF RAW Hosted By: Jim Ross and Michael Hayes.
  3000.  
  3001.  - Triple H and Stephanie Helmsley are backstage, dressed in Christmas
  3002.    regalia, in a room decorated in the same manner. No Vince or Shane
  3003.    McMahon in the building means they will once again be booking the show.
  3004.  
  3005.  - TEST vs. THE NEW AGE OUTLAWS
  3006.    Stephanie really has it in for Test now that she's broken her ties with
  3007.    him. Last Thursday she DQ'ed him for using a closed fist, and the Outlaws
  3008.    re-broke Test's nose. This week he has to face them in a handicap match
  3009.    while wearing a plastic protective mask. Test fights the good fight, but
  3010.    quickly falls victim to a FameAsser from Billy Gunn.
  3011.  
  3012.    The Mean Street Posse, still trying to suck up to the Helmsleys, bring in
  3013.    Edge, Christian & the Hardy Boyz. Triple H splits the two brother teams
  3014.    up and orders Edge & Matt to take on Christian & Jeff in a tag match.
  3015.    Last Thursday all four brothers had to face each other in (really good)
  3016.    singles matches. The winners are paired here, as are the losers.
  3017.  
  3018.  - Kurt Angle is informed he has to face Viscera tonight.
  3019.  
  3020.  - EDGE/MATT HARDY vs. CHRISTIAN/JEFF JARDY
  3021.    Terri Runnels comes out with both teams and pouts. The crowd seems to be
  3022.    in a coma, which is disappointing given how good this match is. Matt
  3023.    Hardy gets a bloody nose from either a Tomikaze from Christian, or a 450
  3024.    Splash from Jeff, who scores the pin. Chalk one up to the brothers who
  3025.    lost last week.
  3026.  
  3027.    Moolah and Mae Young are brought into the Helmsley Inner Sanctum. Triple
  3028.    H plays bait-and-switch, first offering Mae a bottle of booze, then
  3029.    informing her that she and Moolah have to wrestle against the Acolytes
  3030.    and the Dudley Boyz!
  3031.  
  3032.  - Triple H & Stephanie come out to give Jim Ross a present. Last Thursday
  3033.    Ross said Stephanie was acting like a "rhymes with 'witch' and starts
  3034.    with a 'B'" ... so Stephanie slapped the taste out of his mouth. Quickly
  3035.    they bring up Vince McMahon and the Rock being listed at #5 in the
  3036.    "Entertainment Weekly" list of the top entertainers of 1999. Triple H
  3037.    says with Vince gone, it should be them in the magazine, so he offers up
  3038.    photos of himself and Stephanie, which are placed on the two small
  3039.    screens which are adjacent to either side of the Titan-Tron. (For the
  3040.    rest of the show it looks like Elaine from "Seinfeld" and Han Solo are
  3041.    looking down on the fans.) Then, as Stephanie is offering an apology for
  3042.    slapping J.R. last week, Triple H crawls behind him. A push from
  3043.    Stephanie and over he goes. Triple H then grabs onto an arm and prepares
  3044.    to break it (which he did once before, you may remember, a few months
  3045.    back).
  3046.  
  3047.    Car crash--here comes Mankind! Long story short, Triple H books Mankind
  3048.    against a mystery opponent in a "Boiler Room Brawl" later tonight.
  3049.    Stephanie then seals the deal with a slap.
  3050.  
  3051.  - KURT ANGLE vs. VISCERA
  3052.    Angle's The Man, running circles around Viscera and keeping him off
  3053.    balance with drop-kicks. Stephanie, who seems a bit too interested in
  3054.    Angle, keeps an eye on the match. Steve Blackman comes out and nails
  3055.    Viscera with a kendo stick. Angle's finisher only gets Viscera about
  3056.    three feet off the mat, but it's enough to get the pin.
  3057.  
  3058.    Triple H isn't too pleased with these developments, but Stephanie plays
  3059.    innocent.
  3060.  
  3061.    There's Mae Young & Moolah.
  3062.  
  3063.    There's the Dudley Boyz.
  3064.  
  3065.    There's the Acolytes.
  3066.  
  3067.  - MOOLAH/MAE YOUNG vs. THE DUDLEY BOYZ vs. THE ACOLYTES
  3068.    The Dudleyz actually pound on Moolah and Mae, which seems so mean. From
  3069.    there the Acolytes run in. Buh Buhb Ray is held, and the ladies deliver
  3070.    blows, none of which Buh Buh feels obligated to sell. Moolah is dumped to
  3071.    the floor. I'm not sure where Faarooq. Mae winds up doubleteamed,
  3072.    receiving a headbutt between the legs, then getting pinned by D-Von. Mark
  3073.    Henry, who has been watching in the back, runs in to save Mae. That was
  3074.    ... disturbing.
  3075.  
  3076.    Triple H laughs, the Posse laughs, Triple H tells them not to laugh. The
  3077.    subject of Mankind's opponent is brought up. Stephanie unwraps a present:
  3078.    a Santa Claus doll. Triple H says that's who Mankind's opponent will be.
  3079.    Boo Bradley?
  3080.  
  3081.  - Mankind sure isn't happy to have to wrestle Jolly Old St. Nick, Mankind
  3082.    tells Michael Cole. The Posse attack, sending him into the boiler room.
  3083.    Inside awaits Santa Claus, who I think we've seen before (though darned
  3084.    if I can remember when). Mankind says he can't fight him, and adds "don't
  3085.    worry, I'll put ya over!" Suddenly he's attacked by three guys also
  3086.    dressed as Santa. Mankind makes quick work of them (they all look like
  3087.    local indy wrestlers). He starts to make his way out of the boiler room,
  3088.    but comes across two more Santa's, who are this time obviously the New Age
  3089.    Outlaws. They do a bit more damage, but Mankind is still able to dispatch
  3090.    them with the various implements of destruction laying nearby. Mankind
  3091.    grabs a pane of glass, and prepares to play "Sugar Plum Fairy" on Road
  3092.    Dogg's head, when suddenly another Santa appears and smacks the glass in
  3093.    Mankind's face with a toy bag. This one is Triple H. "I heard him exclaim
  3094.    as he rose out of sight, 'I've got two words for all ... suck it!'" He
  3095.    exits the boiler room and the ref, without a trace of humor whatsoever,
  3096.    announces "the winner: Santa Claus."
  3097.  
  3098.  - Triple H is stripping off his Santa pants as Al Snow enters. He demands a
  3099.    "Brahma Bullrope Match" with the Rock. Triple H tells him he isn't in a
  3100.    position to demand anything, but grants him the match anyway.
  3101.  
  3102.    I've forgotten to mention ... Jerry "The King" Lawler is absent because
  3103.    he's off attending the Hollywood premiere of "Man in the Moon", the Andy
  3104.    Kaufman movie which both Lawler and Jim Ross have parts in.
  3105.  
  3106. WWF WAR ZONE Hosted By: Jim Ross and Michael Hayes.
  3107.  
  3108.  - CHRIS JERICHO vs. THE GODFATHER (w/ Ho's)
  3109.    Same story as last week: Chyna comes out and low blows the Godfather,
  3110.    allowing Jericho to score the pin. I *guess* Chyna's in love with
  3111.    Jericho, and wants to help him win. I can't figure out what else this
  3112.    angle could mean.
  3113.  
  3114.    Triple H doesn't know what Chyna's up to either. Moving on, he tells
  3115.    Terri and B.B. Bush that they have to take part in the first ever
  3116.    "Topless Top-rope Match". Val Venis will face Hardcore Holly. Each woman
  3117.    will represent one of the wrestlers. Each time one man throws his
  3118.    opponent over the top rope, his woman has to remove an item of clothing.
  3119.    The first one topless loses. Stephanie isn't too thrilled with this
  3120.    match, and takes her anger out on the Posse.
  3121.  
  3122.  - VAL VENIS vs. HARDCORE HOLLY (w/ Crash Holly)
  3123.    The two women stand on the stage. Triple H comes out to direct traffic.
  3124.    Almost immediately both men go out over the top rope. Both women have to
  3125.    remove their dresses, revealing bra & panties. Poor Lawler. A minute
  3126.    later Venis is again sent over the top, Holly sliding to the floor to
  3127.    pull Val off the ropes and secure the win. I don't think triple H said
  3128.    who was with who, but Terri is excused and B.B. is ordered to remove her
  3129.    top, lest she lose her job. She mulls it over and begins to unhitch her
  3130.    mammoth brassiere. Triple H then steps in front of her, shielding her
  3131.    from the view fans with his jacket, making exclamations of wonder over
  3132.    the size of her Christmas ornaments. Major heel heat from the crowd.
  3133.    Holly, for "winning" the match gets a shot at Jericho's IC belt this
  3134.    Thursday.
  3135.  
  3136.    Clips from SmackDown!
  3137.  
  3138.    There's the Rock.
  3139.  
  3140.  - THE ROCK vs. AL SNOW
  3141.    This isn't the main event? Not the greatest action here: mostly punches
  3142.    and kicks. You know why you have to be careful when mic-ing the crowd for
  3143.    noise? Because sometimes you can pick up the calls in the ring, as
  3144.    happens here when the ref tells the two they have four minutes left.
  3145.    Oops! Three minutes later the New Age Outlaws run in. The ref, having
  3146.    been taken out by the bullrope a few minutes earlier, comes to in time to
  3147.    count the pin for Snow. Yeah, that was just about four minutes.
  3148.  
  3149.    A member of the Posse accidentally spills a flower vase full of water on
  3150.    Triple H. Triple H smiles, and says as a Christmas present he'll let the
  3151.    three of them wrestle--no, not the Acolytes--Too Cool.
  3152.  
  3153.  - Tori is sick of what the Helmsleys are doing to Kane. Well, things will
  3154.    be no better this week, as Kane goes up against WWF Champ the Big Show.
  3155.    If Kane loses, Tori has to spend the holidays with X-Pac.
  3156.  
  3157.  - THE MEAN STREET POSSE vs. TOO COOL/RIKISHI PHATU
  3158.    The Posse protest to no avail. Screwed by Triple H again. The Posse suck
  3159.    too much to be in a match that lasts this long (over five minutes). Splat
  3160.    ... pin ... dance.
  3161.  
  3162.    One last look at the Helmsleys.
  3163.  
  3164.  - THE BIG SHOW vs. KANE (w/ Tori)
  3165.    Oops--spoke too soon. Here they come to watch the match, seated in a
  3166.    La-Z-Boy on the stage. An early DQ win for Kane is overturned when Triple
  3167.    H orders the match to continue, no DQ. A minute or so later the two are
  3168.    counted out on the floor. Uh-uh, says Stephanie, no countout. "They're
  3169.    just making this up as they go along!" declares Ross. Well, duh! The
  3170.    match continues, turning out ten times better than the matches these two
  3171.    have had on PPV this year. Kane's really busting his ass, and actually
  3172.    has the match won, when out come the Outlaws to harass Tori. Distracted,
  3173.    the Big Show recovers and powerbombs Kane through the announce table.
  3174.    Cover and pin. The Outlaws carry Tori up the ramp. Triple H wishes
  3175.    everyone a "very RAW Christmas", and that's the end.
  3176.  
  3177.  - This Thursday: Hardcore Holly vs. Chris Jericho.
  3178.  
  3179.  - Next week: Nothing announced.
  3180.  
  3181. Comments:
  3182.  
  3183. A disappointing show. Good for what it was, but seriously lacking any real
  3184. punch.
  3185.  
  3186. The first hour was good, and the second started well enough. Then the Rock
  3187. and Snow stunk up the joint in their less-than-spectacular match. Things
  3188. then got worse with the poorly placed Posse/Too Cool match. The main event,
  3189. although it was decent enough, wasn't even announced until just before it
  3190. started. Actually it was a good show overall, it just didn't match up to the
  3191. big build going on over on Nitro. It was too much like last week's
  3192. SmackDown!
  3193.  
  3194. I have a feeling Vince McMahon was maybe supposed to return, but they
  3195. eventually decided to hold it off, figuring it might be wasted going up
  3196. against Russo's big angle.
  3197.  
  3198. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  3199.  
  3200. The Bottom Line:
  3201.  
  3202. The ratings are in and WCW has to have mixed feelings. Yeah, they did go up
  3203. a few tenths-of-a-point, which was to be expected because this was a
  3204. post-PPV show, but their highest rated head-to-head quarter hour was the
  3205. first one. RAW's rating dipped a few tenths from last week--the drop almost
  3206. solely attributable to a really weak opening quarter hour rating. With
  3207. "Monday Night Football" doing a hefty rating this week, both shows actually
  3208. did quite well. Nitro's gains would have probably been more significant were
  3209. it not for that (though by that same token RAW may not have seen any ratings
  3210. drop at all). The overrun for Nitro, which went really long this week, drew
  3211. higher ratings than anything they did head-to-head--though not at the cost
  3212. of RAW, as their overrun went up too. All in all it was a night of improved
  3213. ratings for Nitro, but one which saw their foes--the WWF--only take a very
  3214. minor hit in the ratings themselves. (By comparison Nitro scored bigger
  3215. ratings the night following the Mayhem PPV, while RAW had a lower rating
  3216. than they had this week.) Since Russo has taken over in WCW he's had four
  3217. shows that drew higher ratings than this show, while the WWF has had four
  3218. shows that did lower ratings than this week--all occurring the same weeks. In
  3219. other words, this was only WCW's 5th best ratings performance versus RAW in
  3220. the ten weeks since Russo took over. All this for the show Russo himself
  3221. says the company has been building up to for the last two months.
  3222.  
  3223. You can find the numbers at the usual wrestling news sites.
  3224.  
  3225. Of course the real question is can this "momentum" be carried into next
  3226. week. I put "momentum" in quotes because there really isn't any momentum yet
  3227. to speak of. They did go up from last week, just as the ratings went up when
  3228. Russo first took over, but in both instances you're comparing the improved
  3229. ratings to shows that were at an all-time low. The ratings this week are
  3230. right in the mid-range of a erratic ten week span which has seen WCW ratings
  3231. go on a slow downward slide. If the ratings go up next week then they should
  3232. be in okay shape. If they go down, though, they're in serious trouble.
  3233.  
  3234. WCW has does have an ace in the hole, however. In two weeks they shorten to
  3235. two hours. When that happens, the ratings will take a healthy jump. No
  3236. matter how bad their head-to-head hour is, their strong first hour will give
  3237. them an overall rating noticeably higher than what it is now. One strong show
  3238. and WCW could see their ratings jump up into the 4.0 range, which would be a
  3239. great improvement, but also a somewhat misleading one due to the format
  3240. change.
  3241.  
  3242. The ratings war as we know it will greatly change in two weeks. WCW will be
  3243. able to post better numbers, but so will the WWF. "Monday Night Football"
  3244. only has two weeks to go in the season. With them done for the year, and the
  3245. WWF having their second hour all to themselves in the heart of primetime,
  3246. the WWF's numbers should see an artificial inflation as well. The only
  3247. battle anyone is going to pay attention to any more is the one head-to-head
  3248. hour. WCW can conceivably be very competitive in the quarter hour segments,
  3249. and those will undoubtedly be what everyone is watching from now on. If the
  3250. WWF goes soft in their first hour they could see a weak quarter hour get
  3251. killed by Nitro, which will usually be building to their main events at that
  3252. time. Nitro's chances of beating RAW outright are slim to none, but the real
  3253. battle, as many fans will see it,  will be who won how many of those
  3254. head-to-head quarters.
  3255.  
  3256. That's not to say WCW doesn't have their work cut out for them. If they stay
  3257. at the same level of quality they are at now, higher numbers or not, they
  3258. aren't going to be very competitive head-to-head--especially if the WWF
  3259. doesn't let up.
  3260.  
  3261. Don't be fooled in two or three weeks when the WCW faithful trumpet their
  3262. ratings "resurgence". Look closely at the numbers, imagine what that would
  3263. have been spread out over three hours, then decide whether it's an
  3264. improvement or not. We'll know soon enough, in the first few weeks that
  3265. follow that, how well Nitro is doing (because the first two hour show will
  3266. set the standard by which to judge their new ratings). Just this week if you
  3267. dropped the third hour for Nitro their ratings would jump by something like
  3268. two-tenths of a point--and of course their second hour would probably have
  3269. been higher rated because it would have been a tighter, faster show building
  3270. to their main event that hour. It seems like such a simple thing to do to
  3271. help ratings, and WCW has known it for ages, but couldn't get TNT to give up
  3272. that good third hour ratings Nitro delivered for them. They've finally
  3273. convinced the network that changes were needed to make the show a monster
  3274. ratings hit again.
  3275.  
  3276. The same will be true for Thunder, which moves to Wednesday nights in a few
  3277. weeks. No competition from SmackDown! will mean higher ratings, no matter
  3278. the quality of the show. As with Nitro it will take a few weeks to see how
  3279. that show is progressing.
  3280.  
  3281. Fate has interceded on Vince Russo's behalf, essentially giving him a fresh
  3282. start in the coming weeks. His new NWO experiment couldn't have come at a
  3283. better time. If he anticipated this, and had the timing worked into his
  3284. plans, then maybe there's some promise in him yet.
  3285.  
  3286. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  3287.  
  3288. "Slobberknocker Central" and "Monday Night Recap" are copyright 1999 by
  3289. John Petrie, and all opinions expressed therein are his own, and not those
  3290. of "USLink". Check the "Slobberknocker Central" main page for info on how
  3291. to receive the "Recap" free via E-Mail every week.
  3292.  
  3293. Volume One, Number 214 of the "Monday Night Recap", December 20th, 1999.
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