Alright, it’s May and if you’re reading this blog and listening to the At Odds with Wrestling podcast you know the drill by this point in the year. Each and every week without a major wrestling event, the hosts of the show assign each other something a bit different from the rest of the world of wrestling to watch. One of those themes is the era of WCW in between Vince Russo’s booking reigns. Many people leave, are injured, and it’s a state of chaos.
Tonight’s episode of Nitro opens with “in memory of Bobby Duncum Jr” who I believe was in the West Texas Rednecks faction at some point. Also the classic Chris Jericho line, who the hell was Bobby Duncum Sr?
Live from the brand new Staples Center in Los Angeles, four limos pull up. Kevin Nash in one, Jeff Jarrett in another, and Scott Steiner in the third. But who is in the fourth one? It’s a returning Scott Hall. Each one of them has the usual nWo women who have been accompanying the group for the last few weeks.
A Cruiserweight Title tournament begins tonight for the vacant title. In the first match:
Psicosis (with Juventud Guerrera) vs Kaz Hyashi.
There are so so many signs in the arena tonight. Your announce team this evening is Tony Schivanone, Mike Tenay, and Bobby “the Brain” Heenan. Pick your own sign that stands out for any reason. I’m going with offensive and picking the “Bring Back Owen” sign. The announcers are actually giving the match some attention, and not distracted or talking about things that happened on a previous show. Psicosis whips Kaz across the ring and for some reason Kaz tumbles over the top rope to the floor. A very forced bump. Juvi interferes and gets some attention. Psicosis hits a nice top rope front suplex. This match feels very off. Slow. Not in step. Psicosis gets the win with a sudden small package roll up.
We get match graphics! Not that all of these matches actually happen, but hey let’s spend some money on making the show look nice. Terry Funk and Arn Anderson are walking. The nWo are in their locker room and Kevin Nash informs Jeff Jarrett that Double J failed his physical. How will this affect tonight’s match? Stay tuned!
The Wall vs Kid Romeo.
There’s a little bit of offense from Romeo but really the match is all Wall. It’s also too long. This should have been a squash. The Wall extends the length of the match by pulling Romeo up at the two count. Wall catches Romeo coming off the top and destroys him. “Romeo was 29.” “He’s not that old.” “Romeo was 7.” I laughed way too hard at this one. Wall finally hits a chokeslam for the pin.
Mean Gene interviews Sid Vicious.
Bam Bam Bigelow is warming up. Arn Anderson wants BBB to reconsider. Bigelow says Nash put up $15,000 to take out Terry Funk. For that amount of money Bigelow would take out his own mother. Wasn’t Bam Bam working as a bounty hunter when he died?
The nWo continue to make matches. They’re going to give some young wrestlers an opportunity. Is that a young Christopher Daniels? Is he still hanging out backstage since he got some attention thanks to Beyond the Mat?
3 Count are in the ring ready to dance and sing. “Screamin” Norman Smiley comes out. 3 Count jumps Norman and this leads into…
Shannon Moore vs Norman Smiley.
Running, big wiggle, spank, face plant. Norman fights off all 3 boy band members. Shannon hits a big Asai moonsault. Apparently this is a hardcore falls count anywhere match because a pin attempt is counted on the floor. Back inside and Norman locks on a chicken wing submission – the Norman Conquest – for the win. 3 Count brings the circles back in and wants to continue to dance. Shannon is still on the ground. Norman comes back to dance too and 3 Count takes off.
Al Green has stepped up. The nWo pumped him up. Nash and Jarrett meet with the Harris Brothers. The nWo watch the next match.
Al Green vs Tank Abbot.
Brain tries to get over “a handful” as Tank’s nickname. Couple moves happen. Big bodyslam, and Tank punches Al. The referee makes the 10 count for the knockout win. There’s some guy in the front row that Tank has words with. The nWo cheer the beating. Back to ringside and Brain interviews this guy. He was Tank’s bodyguard in the UFC and now is calling Tank a sell out. He’s apparently called Big Al. I don’t remember anything about this nor if it goes anywhere. Also, why was Bobby the one to do the interview?
Ernest “the Cat” Miller returns. He cuts a long promo, challenges some fat boy in the crowd, and dances off. Quality TV time.
The nWo sees off Al Green as he is loaded into an ambulance.
Bam Bam walks to the ring.
Terry Funk is walking but no, Bigelow jumps him backstage. This is a falls count anywhere hardcore match, and we’re told that from the beginning. Bigelow hits Funk with a chair and drags him around by a noose. There’s a sign that says CD’s Nuts. I’ll have to show that to my kid. Tell him 20 years ago people were ripping off Mr Beast’s jokes. This match is finally in the ring. Bam Bam is 325 pounds here? That seems wrong. Bigelow misses a dive off the top, Funk uses this moment to take control of the match. Funk knocks himself loopy when he hits Bigelow with a headbutt. Bam Bam off the top and then doesn’t go for the pin. He goes up top again to punish Funk. The “Hardcore Soldiers” (ugh) Knobbs and Finlay, come out to save Funk. Bigelow takes them out too. Bigelow up top. Knobbs puts a chair over Funk. This knocks out Bigelow when he comes down but hurts Funk too. The Soldiers put Funk on top of Bigelow for the pin. Funk comes to and says he will be a thorn in Nash’s side. Stay tuned for Thunder to find out more! At least they’re trying some sort of storyline continuity and giving a reason to watch Thunder. I wonder if WCW lasted if they would have done a split roster. Maybe actually make Thunder matter.
Because Jarrett can’t wrestle tonight, Sid has to defeat one of the Harris Brothers to earn the right to face Nash for the vacant world title.
Sid Vicious vs a Harris Brother.
Sid jumps a brother and beats him up. Usually that sentence is said about Ron or Don. Sid throws one into the crowd and then fights the other in the ring. That’s not how twin magic works. There’s a to be expected two on one beat up. Whichever Harris is in the ring applies a long headlock to Sid. Harris says “I’m going to be the new champion.” That’s not how this works. Sid hits a chokeslam. The Harris Brothers learn how to use twin magic. Doesn’t matter though because Sid hits a powerbomb for the pin.
Kidman (with Torrie Wilson and WOW) vs Vampiro.
David Arquette and Courtney Cox are hanging out in the front row. Vampiro with a wide miss on the guillotine leg drop. Kidman jumps over the cameraman to land on Vampiro on the floor. Good angle. Brain is lusting over Torrie and this is the distracted from the actual match commentary I was expecting earlier in the evening. There seems to be way too many dives and action on that one side of the ring this evening. Kidman kicks out of a good DDT. There’s a lot of near falls and spots but nothing is clicking. These two are not good against each other. Rock Bottom or whatever Vampiro calls it for a two. A powerbomb only gets two as well. Vampiro tries to climb the ropes for a super powerbomb but Kidman reverses it into a hurricanrana for the pin. This match should have been better but these two had no chemistry with each other.
Arn Anderson is on the phone with someone. I swear he said he saved some “desert dust.” What the hell? Arn is calling in some back up. “Put your pants back on.” I don’t need pants to talk on the phone. Speculation begins for who is coming back on Nitro to help them.
Nash gets a massage, Jarrett tells him to take his match seriously.
Mean Gene tries to interview Vampiro but the mic doesn’t work.
Total Package (with Elizabeth) vs Booker T (with Midnight eventually).
“What does this guy eat? Air?” Brain is on fire tonight. He’s on something for sure. Elizabeth introduces Package. He cuts a long promo on Sting. Lots of talk takes place speculating who Arn was talking to but not a whole lot of talk about the match. Liz distracts the ref. Midnight scares her off. Stevie Ray then appears and also distracts the ref. Big T comes in and hits Booker from behind. Package gets Booker up for the Torture Rack. Booker is already out and Package gets the win. Booker was already checked out for the evening and ordered his DoorDash. The lights go out and “Sting” appears as a shadowy figure points the bat.
Mean Gene tries again to interview Vampiro. Gene says WWE sabotaged the mic. I forget what Vampiro said.
David Flair, Crowbar, and Daffney come out and scare away the announce team. The three of them will now call the next match.
Finlay and Knobbs vs the Mamalukes (WCW tag team champions, with Disco Inferno).
Crowbar is great doing his best Gordon Solie on the play by play. How is David the worst of the three on the mic as well? “Technical skill set of Stan Lane.” Ms Hancock comes out to take notes. Standards and Practices make a cameo. The match does not matter at all. David dances on the table. Ms Hancock seems amused and smiles. Did David and Daffney date in real life at all? Hancock leaves. David and Daffney follow. Now they come back. Crowbar carries the call all along. Why did he never transfer into commentary? Knobbs accidentally hits/throws a chair at Finlay. Big Vito takes advantage and pins Finlay. I’m losing it over Daffney calling them the “Marmadukes”.
Jarrett and Nash go for a walk.
Kevin Nash comes out for his match and talks a lot. He says to make the match fair, the powerbomb is banned. He also says the nWo is on their way to Vegas to get the party ready.
Kevin Nash vs Sid Vicious for the vacant World title.
Tenay starts wondering who the surprise will be on Thunder. There are 7 minutes left on the show and the match finally starts. Tony says the nWo is in the building, which is not what Nash just said. This big man vs big man match isn’t working here. Very interesting to see the two of them size each other up, especially before the test of strength. But aside from the visual there’s not much. Now Tenay wonders where the nWo has gone. Nash tosses Sid into the front row. Good crowd work. That’s what you learn on the road. Nash locks on a sleeper on Sid. What the hell? There are three minutes left. Sid’s one arm drops three times but he raises the opposite arm. So I guess that counts. Sid and Nash squish the referee. Sid is in control but there’s no ref. Two minutes left. Jarrett runs out, Sid takes him down. Sid hits Nash with Jeff’s guitar. Sid drops like he was hit with the guitar. The referee comes to and can’t figure out what happened, so no one gets DQ’ed for using the guitar. This is actually really smart. Sid slowly crawls over for the pin. There’s only a minute left of this show. Sid pins Nash and is finally officially the new champion. The confetti rains down in celebration.
We’ve watched so much wrestling this is just a nothing episode. It’s not bad, but it’s not good. It just exists. Sid is finally the champion, and that’s important but there’s nothing else of note for the show. Sometimes I think it’s Monday afternoon and the writing team just throws what they can out there to get through the week. Better luck for something more captivating or a good match next time.