Monday Nitro – January 8th, 2001 – Caliber
You see, over these past years, I’ve been studying the brilliant Vince Russo, and have learned a myriad of things. Of the most important is that if you want to surprise someone, simply state you’re NOT going to do something, and then do it. Make sure you beat it into the ground, and make a huge production about how you’re not gonna do it. Then you do it! Just like I did! I wish I could see all your faces, as I sit here in my Russo-esq Caliber-mobile.
Seriously though, we aren’t going any where. We’re gonna cover WCW through 2001, then we’re going to cover the entire InVasion angle. After all that, we’ll decide where to go.
Thanks to everyone who’s continued to read & support us here, Sebastian and I truly appreciate it. Speaking of which, he’s now back where he belongs and will be up and running along with me soon.
Alright, on with the show…
Live from St. Paul, Minnesota
Your hosts for the evening are Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone, and The Disco Inferno
Flair comes out, and says that Mike Sanders has to defend his job against The Cat at Syn. Apparently, Jarrett & Sid fought last Thunder for Double J’s spot in the Triple Threat Match, but Steiner interfered, so he’s unsure of what to do. After him & Double J jaw at one another, Flair says he’s dropping the 3 way dance at Sin. It’s now a 4-way! Oh snaps, that’s a square. A SQUARE DANCE! Flair tries to show Scott that Double J isn’t a friend of his, and soon announces that tonight the main event will be Scotty vs Jeff. Argh.
Goldberg arrives, and is looking for Kronik, with the promptness. Apparently on Thunder, they were hired to take him out while Totally Buff broke Sarge’s arm.
Backstage, Sanders books Ron Harris in a match against The Cat.
Franchise confronts Flair and says he’s want in on the Square Dance at Syn. Flair tells him if he beats Sid tonight, then perhaps he’ll consider it.
Shannon Moore vs Chavo Guerrero © – Crusierweight Championship
Initially a non-title, Chavo says he wants to make this for the strap, because he’s a fighting champ. He’s set to face Shane Helms at Syn, who’s currently hanging with the announcers. Pretty well paced match, with Shannon delivering a pretty solid underdog performance. At one point he botches a top-rope hurricarana, and thankfully makes zero attempt to recreate the spot, which is the most God-awful thing a wrestler can do. Despite his close calls, Shannon ends up eating a Brain Buster from Chavo, followed by the pin. This was a fine match, and exactly the sort of things WCW needed to be doing. It helped establish some of the younger talent as actual wrestlers, no goofs, and put over everything involved; from Chavo, to Shannon, the title, and the title match at Syn. I think this is the first time they have me looking forward to a title match. Amazing.
Shannon is pinned after a Brain Buster at 5:49 | **3/4
We get a shot of Ric Flair talking with Totally Buff, about what, we do not know.
Some people in the front row hold up a giant sign that says “WWF SUCKS!”. Wow. If they think that the WWE sucked in 2000, then there’s no way they could ever enjoy wrestling. 2000 was almost as good as WCW in 1997. I would absolutely love to hear what they think rocks. I mean, are they on the edge of their seats reguarding Goldberg’s second run at an undefeated streak? Do they bust a gut when Mike Awesome comes out to disco music? I must know.
Mike Sanders attacks Kweewee backstage for no reason, causing Vito to show up and help him.
The Cat vs Ron Harris
Not much to report here, as Cat does his thing, then the ref is distracted so they could deliver the H-Bomb, and pin the cat.
Cat receives the H-Bomb and the pin at 2:40 | *
Backstage, Mean Gene questions The Cat’s ability to face Sanders at Syn. The Cat responds by dancing up a storm.
Afterwards, he’s interviewing Sanders and the gang, who says he doesn’t appreciate being jumped by Vito & KweeWee, so he set up a match where they are gonna go up against randomly selected opponents. Also, anyone who interferes is getting the book thrown at them.
We then find out that Totally Buff talked Flair into booking Goldberg & Sarge in a match against Kronik. I, for one, love Totally Buff, and want them on my screen a lot more.
Team Canada comes out, at which point I learn that Mike Awesome is now part of Team Canada. This must have happened on Thunder, and of course we’re not brought up to speed. Team Canada is now beefing with The Filthy Animals, which bums me out. He announces that at Syn, it’s Team Canada vs Filthy Animals in a Penalty Box Match. Well, the world had been clamoring for another after it caught fire in Smokey Mountain with the Thrillseekers vs Heavenly Bodies.
Lance Storm vs Kidman
Surprise to no one, but Kidman & Storm had a great match, and because they’re two of the best that WCW has to offer, they only got 4 minutes. The ending was clean, much to my surprise, as Kidman hit Storm with the Unprettier, after Team Canada broke up a previous pin attempt. Well, it only took WCW, what, a year to realize Mike Awesome is better suited as an ass-kicker, and not a guy who has a fetish for fat girls?
Kidman hits Storm with the Unprettier, and the pin at 4:05 | **1/2
Shane Douglas vs Sid
Wow. They actually left me wanting more. Much to my complete surprise, these guys went out there and had a very basic, hard-hitting, good match. Sure, if it actually had gone on longer I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much, but for what we got, I really dug it. Douglas tried to use a chain in order to secure his win, but Sid used his half a brain, as after being slugged with the length of metal, he blocked the Belly to Belly, and delivered a chokeslam, followed by a powerbomb.
Douglas eats a powerbomb and a pin at 3:17 | **1/2
Afterwards, Steiner & Jeff beat Sid down before throwing him into the crowd.
Backstage, Mean Gene is interviewing Flair, and asks him about the Pen, to which Flair says he has just the ref, Hacksaw! Naturally, Jim Duggan comes in, being classic Jim. He simply runs down Team Canada in order to establish he’s just no longer with’em. Fine by me.
Funk comes out, and seriously delivers a promo that has me thinking Sid ghost wrote it. He’s rambling, incoherent, and seriously embarrassing himself. Even the crowd starts booing him because of how shitty his mic work is. Thankfully, Crowbar comes out, which I couldn’t care less about, but he has Daffney, and that’s Jim Dandy. Meng then comes out, and is fucking awesome by giving Funk a Tongan Death Grip, and then as Crowbar rushes him with a wooden chair, Meng punches through it and gives him a Tongan Death Grip through it, which is beyond awesome.
We see a backstage clip of a mysterious hand replacing the “random names” envelope for the Minnesota Massacre match that was in Sanders jacket.
Kronik vs Goldberg & Sarge
Wow, this is a real nail biter, considering Goldberg beat both of these guys by himself. We now learn that Goldberg’s record is at 34-0. He’s soon at 35-0, as he once again defeats Kronik all by himself. They beat the crap outta his little buddy Sarge, then when he tagged in, Goldberg crushed both of them after pretty much no-selling their offense. Thankfully, Totally Buff are now out, beating up everybody. Awesome.
Adams takes the JackHammer and the pin at 3:50 | 1/2*
Mike Sanders, Chuck Paulumbo, Sean O’Haire, DDP, Kevin Nash – Minnesota Massacre Match
It’s either a handi-cap match, or a 5 way match. It’s still unclear. So, they all fight for a bit, then Sanders and O’Haire get thrown out, at which point Vito & KweeWee attack them, then Nash & DDP deliver Diamond Cutters & Jackknife Powerbombs to the rest, which means they’re the winners. Sure, why not.
DDP & Nash are the last men standing at 3:21 | *
Scott Steiner © vs Jeff Jarrett – WCW Heavyweight Championship
JJ & Scott actually went out there’s and put on a decent match, far more than what I was expecting. Scotty was crisp, with little to no botching, and keeping things on the power side without being redundant, as he’s known to do. It really starts to show that the Syn PPV could have simply been them as the headline and been alright, but then we wouldn’t have the stupid mystery man who walks around like he’s wearing car tires or something, and bringing the intensity of combing a unicorn. Sid shows up to draw the DQ, and this brings out the mystery man, as we get a taste of the Syn main-event, sans a broken leg, and with that we’re out.
Sid draws the DQ for us at 5:08 | **
Summary: This was another very competent show. Almost every match ended clean, they pushed the PPV, they pushed the matches, and did all of this in a fairly sane, and understandable way. Hell, I’d even say, that for the most part, I had fun watching this. Of course, any time I get the feeling things may change for the better, I learn that it was all a dream, as things come crashing back to reality. Alright, see you guys next week for SYN. And that’s Syn with a Y, people.