This isn’t a PPV. No, this is much worse. This is the beginning of the darkest times in WCW. It is the “Nitro Reboot.” Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff were brought back to try and right WCW’s sinking ship. The problem? They went about doing it the completely wrong way. You will see that as we get into the show.
The entire roster is out there. Van Hammer is out there. How did that man still have a job in 2000? What dirty pictures did he have at his disposal? And why did he come out with the second round of people that were considered the stars of the New Blood?
Jeff Jarrett takes the mic. If this is a reboot then why is he talking to start the show? He introduces Vince Russo. Russo goes on about how there was a change in direction and he was canned by the Good Ole Boys Network. Russo pretty much says that if he wasn’t fired, Benoit, Guerrero etc. would have stayed employed. That’s a laugh. Some fans actually paid money to buy signs and write “RUSSO” on them. That’s a waste of their allowance.
Eric Bischoff comes out and pretends to have tension with Russo, but the two hug. Bischoff says he realized his mistakes from the past. He also rips the good ole boys Network for the changes they made. He then goes to rip on guys like Sid, DDP, Sting, Luger and Hogan. All of those guys come out, minus Hogan. Bischoff gets a good line in and asks Sid if he didn’t have a softball game today.
Russo then calls out Ric Flair. Russo says Flair is nothing more than a piece of shit on the bottom of his shoe. Why is Russo stepping in shit? Did he not see it on the ground? Russo then collects all of the belts. Bischoff goes to get Sid’s. Bischoff gets another good line in and asks Sid if he has his scissors on him. Sid finally hands Bischoff the title and the segment ends. I understand they took a week in between off, but doing that is just stupid. Like, a full reboot like this is dumb. Why not just start pushing younger talent and mix them with the old guard instead?
Sting goes to tell Hogan about Bischoff, so Hogan leaves to find him,
Apparently there will be a mini four man tournament and the winner faces Jeff Jarrett for the Title at Spring Stampede. Scott Hudson says Jarrett is the number one contender by being U.S. Champion, even though he was just stripped of it. Imagine gifting Jarrett a Title shot as a way to get people to keep watching your product.
Diamond Dallas Page vs Lex Luger
This is one of the first matches. Both guys music gets cut halfway through their entrances. Oh man they are shooting on the veterans brother! Luger looks like a goof as he poses with no music.
Two minutes in Mark Madden says these guys are wrestling a great match, which might be the biggest lie of the night so far. Buff Bagwell comes out and gets a full entrance with pyro and it distracts Luger. Mark Madden says Bagwell personifies the New Blood, even though he has been there as long as both guys in the ring. Bagwell hits on Elizabeth which again distracts Luger. DDP hits a Diamond Cutter and the match is over. DDP wins.
Hogan knocks on doors backstage looking for Bischoff. How does he not know where Bischoff is?
Out comes Tank Abbott. He says he isn’t a wrestler, he is a shoot fighter. And he says he is here for Bill Goldberg. He says it isn’t a coincidence that Goldberg left hurt when he first arrived. Tank says he is going to beat the hell out of innocent people until Goldberg comes back. Tank goes over to the announce table and paint brushes Mark Madden and beats him up a bit in the ring.
Hogan finally finds Bischoff and he tells Bischoff what Sid and Sting told him. Remember when Sid put a $500,000 bounty on Hogan’s head two weeks ago. Bischoff pulls Hogan into his office and explains everything to him.
-Billy Kidman comes out to the ring. He calls out Hulk Hogan. He says he has heart and talent, which Hogan doesn’t. Kidman says he has been held down for too damn long by people like Hogan. Kidman says Hogan may have said that he can’t draw flies, but who is better at drawing flies than a piece of shit like him. Kidman calls him out and says it is time to see if Hogan’s balls are as big as his bald spot. Apparently there was an interview online where Hogan said guys like Kidman shouldn’t be even headlining flea markets or bingo halls. Russo must have seen that and jacked off to it.
Hogan comes out and tries talking sense into Kidman. Hogan says if Kidman was in his league and wasn’t so concerned with his woman, and Kidman decks him. Kidman lays the boots to Hogan and throws him to the outside. Kidman dives but Hogan side steps him and takes advantage. Eric Bischoff comes out and has a chair with him. Bischoff pretends he is with Hogan, but then clocks Hogan with an awful chair shot to the head. Not awful as in it is a head shot, but awful as in it looked like shit. Kidman pins Hogan and Bischoff counts a three.
I like Kidman, don’t get me wrong. But Kidman should not have been forced into a feud with Hogan like this. But Russo saw something on the Internet and just HAD to use it. At least the announcers did a good job of selling shock with Bischoff turning on Hogan, even though it was pretty obvious.
Hogan is throwing shit around backstage. They say this was after the last segment, but it could easily be after he was told earlier in the day he has to feud with Kidman.
-Ric Flair comes out. Flair says that just because John Elway isn’t the Broncos QB anymore doesn’t mean he isn’t still the man. Flair said he didn’t get hold, he got great. Flair said at least Bischoff has the guts to go up to Sid. He calls Russo out to meet him face to face. Out comes Scott Steiner instead. Steiner says Flair is boring him to death. Steiner brings up his shoot from a few weeks ago and how Flair tried to get him fired. Steiner brings up the guys in the WWF that are top stars now that used to here that Flair forced out. Steiner puts in a pair of fake teeth and mocks Flair. Suddenly Shane Douglas attacks Ric Flair from behind before security pulls him away. Oh good, time for some “DICK FLAIR” promos.
The announcers talk about Shane Douglas not being employed. But then they go to the back and have Mean Gene interview him in front of the Nitro interview set. Douglas goes on about having to watch Flair all his career make a mockery of this sport. The announcers at least cover for this by saying they guess Russo and Bischoff’s opportunity extends to former employees.
Bret Hart is shown in the crowd, as is Kevin Nash walking in.
Sid vs Sting
For some reason Sid still gets his pyro and full entrance, as does Sting. Sting hits a quick Stinger splash. Sid recovers and lays the boots to Sting on the outside. Sid applies a sleeper so he can slow down the pace five minutes in. Sting comes back. Out comes the Wall with a table. Ref bump. Sid hits a powerbomb. Wall delivers another awful chair shot. Wall chokeslams Sid through a table. The ref gets back up and counts out Sid.
Ric Flair comes back out. Flair says Douglas made a lifetime out of trying to be him. That’s a pretty accurate statement. Flair challenges Douglas to a fight.
Hogan is still looking for Kidman and Bischoff. Why is he so bad at finding people backstage? It has been almost an hour now. How big is the backstage area?
They show clips from the Ready to Rumble premiere. David Arquette smashed a guitar over Jarrett there. Arquette probably drew more dimes in his career than Jarrett did.
Jeff Jarrett vs Curt Hennig
If Hennig wins, he gets Jarrett’s shot at the Title at Spring Stampede. The two brawl on the ramp and by the announce table to start. Hennig breaks a sleeper hold. Hennig’s WWE music plays. Out comes Sean Stasiak, who the announcers said was Meat in the WWF. Might not want to bring that up if you want to push the guy. The ref gets knocked out. Stasiak hits an AWFUL move on Hennig. If that was his finisher it looked like shit. Jarrett then hits the Stroke for the win. Yaaawwwwnnnnnn.
Hogan is now looking in random sky boxes looking for Bischoff. Was he not told the specific box? Why is he harassing innocent people and scaring them going into their box?
Ric Flair vs Shane Douglas
They are fighting in street clothes. The announcers bring up Flair refusing to work with Douglas last year. Ooooo backstage stuff. You just know Russo is getting off to that backstage. There are guys in the crowd with signs that say “I’m On TV and Your Not.” Maybe they should have grammar checked those. Both men brawl for a few minutes before Russo comes out with a bat and hits Flair. They bring up the name “Millionaires Club” for the first time. Russo and Douglas lay the boots to Flair as Russo grabs Flair’s watch and leaves. Look at that Russo, he is a star!
-Kevin Nash comes out and Hudson brings up the Kliq. Is he trying to get us to think that Shawn Michaels or Triple H is showing up? Ha, okay Hudson. Nash calls Russo and Bischoff jag-offs. That must have been popular in 2000 or something. Nash asks what happened to the sweet wrestling show they used to do every Monday. I don’t know Kev, you did book this show when stuff started going to hell. Nash talks about saving Russo from beatdowns by HBK in WWF then says if it wasn’t for him and Hall, Bischoff would still be serving Vern Gagne’s coffee. Out comes Mike Awesome, who attacks Nash. I always liked Mike Awesome, and wish he could have been booked as a top star in WCW.
Hogan is in his limo, talking to his lawyer. All of the sudden, the White Hummer returns and rams the limo a couple times. Eric Bischoff comes out of it with Kidman. Kidman sprays “NB” on Hogan’s shirt.
DDP vs Sting
Jeff Jarrett comes out to do commentary, if we didn’t get enough of him tonight. I’m at my wits end with this show. There is some fighting. Jeff Jarrett goes to Kimberly and talks to her. This pisses off DDP so they fight. Vampiro comes out and hits the nail in the coffin on Sting. Okay. DDP hits the Diamond Cutter and gets the win. So didn’t that just backfire on Jarrett then? The announcers question why Vampiro attacked Sting. Hey remember, you guys wiped out all previous storylines! Jarrett goes to hit DDP with the guitar, but DDP ducks and he hits Kimberly. She puts her hands up early so you knew she was getting it.
OH GREAT RUSSO AND BISCHOFF TELL JARRETT TO GO BACK OUT THERE. Oh great, you want him to talk. That’s the only thing worse than his wrestling. The only Jarrett check mark we didn’t hit was “slap nuts.” DDP comes out and attacks Jarrett. Steiner comes out, then Luger, then Bagwell/Bischoff/Wall. Out comes Sting. Booker T and the Kat for the New Blood. The crowd chants for Goldberg but the New Blood stands tall. Russo and Bischoff stand on the stage, and it ends with Bret Hart just staring at them.
See, here is the problem with this reboot:
-It was done six days before a PPV. There is only one match announced. Why should I buy it?
-Kidman gets thrust into a feud with Hogan with zero build.
-For a company that is trying to rebrand itself, it sure brings up the WWF a lot. You are pretty much giving them free publicity with it and making it look like you want to be them.
-The focus is STILL mostly on Russo/Bischoff and the old stars. In actuality, the “Millionaires Club” still got a lot of the spotlight. Kidman looked like a third wheel to the Bischoff/Hogan story.
-Everyone gets stripped of the Titles, despite the “New Blood” holding all but the World Title.
I could go on and on. But I’ve said since I started reviewing these shows: the new guys should have been slowly integrated with the veterans to build them up. And you know what is funny? It was starting before this. Vampiro was teaming with Sting. The Wall had a match with Hogan. They were getting there, but they stripped things down and ruined it. WCW wasn’t recovering at this point, and this to me hurt matters more than helped it.
Until Next Time,
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