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/12 April 2000

WCW Thunder




How come I'M the voice of reason at WrestleLine?

It is INCREDIBLY embarrassing to click onto the staff ratings and see that EVERYBODY fell into lockstep doling out high marks for Nitro. Many of them EVEN attempt to simultaneously talk out of both sides of their mouth by decrying the lack of wrestling on the show and STILL giving out a 7, or an 8, or a 9.

The fact that Bull Buchanan and Big Bossman were in the competing show's main event should NOT affect Nitro's rating. But it sure seemed to affect some of those staff ratings, didn't it?

Who wrestled Monday? Page, Luger, Sting, Vicious, Jarrett, Hennig, Flair, Douglas, Page (again) and Sting (again). Do you STILL want to give Nitro an 8?

Hey, of those five matches, how many involved a run-in and screwjob? Whoa - five! Do you STILL want to give Nitro an 8?

The fact that so many on this very staff (not to mention some of you who have emailed me over the past 48 hours) are so quick to discount the entirety of "wrestling" in favour of "storyline" greatly worries me.

I stand by what I said Tuesday morning - I'm not ready to jump on that bandwagon just yet. There is just as much reason to think that we're headed for the same old crap as there is that this fed is set to be turned around. Let me repeat that and emphasize it so it sinks in with you. **There is just as much reason to think that we're headed for the same old crap as there is that this fed is set to be turned around.**

I tell you this: tonight's Thunder, when added to Nitro, will probably go a long way towards setting the tone for the way you and I - okay, maybe just me - perceive the future of WCW television - Spring Stampede as well. WILL it be a turning point - or Halloween Havoc II? That's enough rambling - let's get it started!

WCW logo - TV-PG-DLV

Nitro highlight package - close captioned logo - lotsa bleeping - Mike Awesome clips ARE included - we end with a still of Bret Hart fading to black and white...

"Earlier Today," a black Porche 911 pulled up to the arena - and Eric Bischoff (driving) and Vince Russo (Yankees jersey) walked out. Yes - you heard me - they're WALKING!

Opening credits haven't changed - yet - still got that long shot of Oklahoma in 'em, too - ugh

HIT THE PYRO - THIS IS THE RUSSO/BISCHOFF ERA! The Thunder set is gone, replaced with three square scaffolding arches and the giant "star" curtain and a large Jumbotron. We are in the World Arena in Colorado Springs, CO 12.4.2K (taped 11.4) and WOW! DAVID ARQUETTE is in the front row! HE'S not a wrestler either!

"Theme from NWO Monday Nitro" brings out CRACKA EAZY-E, all smiles. Behind him is VIC VENOM with bat in hand, and BILLY KIDMAN (with Torrie Samuda), SHANE DOUGLAS, VAMPIRO, BUFF IS THE STUFF, THE WALL, BOOKA T, THE NEW GODFATHER OF SOUL, and BIG POPPA PUMP. These are the members of the New Blood. Who do you THINK gets the mic? Bischoff: "Oh, do we love you people - heyheyheyheyhey - was it a night last night or what? I mean, Nitro was absolutely what it was supposed to be - I mean...the story, the intrigue, the suspense, classic screwjobs, and oh yeah - those car wrecks - we love those car wrecks - hey, Hollywood, can you hear - oh no you can't hear anything, you're in a hospital bed! Billy, you had one hell of a night." "Well, thank you Eric. Because in one night, I pinned Hulk Hogan, we busted him wide open, and we took the Hummer and FINALLY ended his career - so get out your scorecard, you marks, because it's Flea Market Champion 3 and Hulk Hogan 0. Hey, you shouldn't be booing me - you should be thanking me 'cause you don't have to sit through any of his boring-ass matches! And I'm proud to say - shut up! - and I'm proud to say that the New Blood has Hogan's old blood all over our hands - and you know what? It feels great!" Russo: "You know what? By the roar of the crowd, this almost sound likes New York, Shane! But you know what? THIS ain't New York, 'cause THIS town - sucks! I mean, what kind of a person lives in Colorado Springs? What, John Denver? He's dead? Am I supposed to care? The fact of the matter is last night Ric Flair and you people learned two things about Vince Russo - #1, I am the Batman - and #2, New Yorkers have respect for nobody - and Ric Flair, I've got one thing I wanna say to you - when all is said and done, Flair, with the help of the Franchise, you will be my New York BITCH!" Douglas: "Nature Boy Ric Flair! For seven years I've called your ass out and you have finally bitten the bait! Listen here, Flair, Nature Boy, you're about to get your ass 'franchised,' because I plan on retiring your ragged millionaire ass!" Bischoff: "Hey but let's get down to business, we've got some important business here tonight. Let's talk about, first of all Spring Stampede (exclusively on pay-per-view this Sunday). All-new world champions in every divison - it will be the day the title picture changes - the way it should change. But let's talk about what we're doing tonight - keep it down, I can't hear myself - you know tonight, we gotta think about the world title situation and the only fair thing for us to do was to give Jeff Jarrett the night off because Vince Russo told me this time it has to be a level playing field. Since it is a level playing field, we're also going to give Diamond Dallas Page the night off. BUT that presents a problem, you see because you people came here to see the very best entertainment in the world - and if you ask Kimberly, Page's wife, she is the very best talent in the world, so we're going to give her an opportunity to prove that - watch what you say. Tonight, Kimberly is going to wrestle Madusa. Is that too much or what? Think about it - Kimberly - you've seen her in Playboy (at least I have), and tonight you get to see her in this ring, head to head with Madusa. But wait a minute, I got an idea, let me check this out... Page, no matter what happens, I want you to think real positive, because I know you are Positively Page - it'll be great." Hit "Smells Like Self High Five" 'cause DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE is out to offer his rebuttal. "Hey! Monkey! Yeah, I'm talkin' to you, Bischoff. I don't know what the hell you're tryin' to prove, but if you got a problem with me, I ain't got a problem with that, 'cause that'll be between me and you - but you, silverback, you leave my wife Kimberly out of this. I got an idea here, I got an idea, let's give all these people here what they'd REALLY like to see...and that's YOU, Sleazy E, in that ring against ME, D-D-P! Keep your mouth shut, I'm not done yet - kickin' your ass from one side to another." "First of all, Page, you haven't EARNED that spot yet, and secondly, it'll be a hell of a lot more fun just to see what kinda stripper outfit your old lady's gonna wear to the ring tonight." "Stripper outfit, huh? I think I come down there and kick your teeth down your throat right now - but I ain't the only one that wants a piece o' YOUR ass, Bischoff..." Before he gets down the aisle, TRIPPA B is up from behind and ALL over Page - depositing him in the ring for all sorts of boots from all sorts of folk. Out comes (THIS IS STING), TEAM PACKAGE & SID VISCOUS and it's all broken down out here. Bischoff and Russo stay outside the ring - SECURITY is out to try to break it up but it ain't workin'. Bischoff and Russo DO manage to get up the aisle, though. Let's take a break!

This portion of Thunder is brought to you by Castrol Motor Oily!

Your hosts are TONY SCHIAVONE, MIKE TENAY & BOBBY HEENAN. Schiavone all but proclaims this opening as the greatest segment in the history of Thunder. We learn that at Spring Stampede, we'll have a "Suicidal Six-Man" for the Cruiserweight title - it's like a "Fatal Four-way" but with two more people. There'll be a mini-tourney for the tag straps - the Mamalukes, Harlem Heat, Buff Bagwell & Shane Douglas and Team Package. Tonight: Flair vs. Bagwell! Package vs. Douglas! And an eight man tournament for the US title - six men are in, Sting & Sid Vicious will have "qualifying" matches tonight. The two men for the Hardcore title will be chosen...well, we'll tell you later. Meanwhile, the ring's been filling up...

SHANNON MOORE (with Shane Helms) & LASH LeROUX & CROWBAR (with Daffney & David Flair - already in the ring) v. "HARD KNOX" CHRIS CANDIDO and JUVENTUD GUERRERA and THE ACRONYM (with Paisley) - Candido and Guerrera are already arguing. Crowbar and LeRoux doubleteaming Artist - duck, double press and drop. Moore on him now, punching, whip is reversed, up in the air, dropkick on the way down. Candido and Guerrera arguing over who will come in (what, it's lucha rules?) while in the opposite corner, THOSE three men are arguing over who wil be the legal man. Crowbar takes advantage of an errant beach ball to amuse himself - and us! - while LeRoux and Candido lock it up - off the ropes, LeRoux with a shoulderblock, off the ropes, up and over, leapfrog by Candido, LeRoux ducks under, but is caught in a powerbomb - Paisley on the apron (why?) - Candido bumps HER accidentally and she drops into the arms of David Flair - and is QUITE grateful - and now he's dancing. Meanwhile, LeRoux catches Candido in a backdrop suplex moments after standing arm-in-arm with him and admiring the show on the floor. Daffney is over with her golden crowbar and hooking Flair by the 'nads. Paisley slapping Flair for letting his woman control him like that (I guess). Bayou Blues clothesline by LeRoux - Guerrera gives Candido a shot, and apparently that's as good as a tag. This is completely missed by our astute commentary team, of course. Moore tagged in on the other side - Guerrera ducks a clothesline, knife-edge chop, chop, chop, in the corner, climbing up for a Ten Punch Count Along. The elbowpad is off - whip is reversed, Moore drives a knee into the gut - JUICE DOOBE DOO.... on Guerrera's tights? Rocker Dropper by Moore! Tag to Crowbar, who elbowdrops the mat repeatedly - Guerrer wails away on him but Crowbar ducks a clothesline and puts him in a waistlock - Guerrera flips up and out - HE'S got a waistlock - standing switch - back elbows by Juvi, Crowbar ducks and hits a SWEET Northern Lights suplex with a bridge - but only gets 2. Right hand. Knife-edge chop. Another chop. Into the ropes, Guerrera with a flying head scissors, and Crowbar goes outside. Flair is over to put him back in the ring, but Crowbar stops him and punches him with a straight right. Candido with a top turnbuckle plancha on Crowbar. Candido holding Crowbar for Artist - but his through the ropes baseball slide hits Candido when Crowbar moves away - also, Artist ends up crotching himself on the bottom rope - oops. Artist outside with no ill effects - Candido and Artist punching away on each other - commentators failing to talk about ANY of the strife between all three supposed partners - must not be in their job duties or something - Crowbar with a somersault plancha that FLATTENS Candido. LeRoux's turn - running pescado on Crowbar and Candido! Guerrera in the ring all alone - Moore in to join him - into the ropes - Moore up - over to the apron - the other four apparently waiting for him to jump onto them - Guerrera off the ropes - Moore DUCKS the leap and Guerrera ends up hitting a tope con hilo onto Candido and the rest of the pile - Moore wants a piece of this lucha train wreck action - and there's a top-rope Asai moonsault onto the pile! Referee "Blind" Charles Robinson looks around and thinks about putting on a count - Crowbar and Moore (keep in mind, they're partners) are back in the ring and brawling away. Helms getting into it with the Artist. For the FIRST time, Tony notes that partners are fighting. Moore with a neckbreaker - Helms up to the top - but Flair crotches him, and now it looks like we're going to see the Frankendaffney! THE FRANKENDAFFNEY! Hey, Daffney's been trying to work off that giant ass of hers - good for her. NOW we've got Crowbar and Guerrera in the ring - Guerrera slips an attempt and puts on the Juvi Driver - 1, Candido breaks it up and tosses him. Right for Crowbar, Crowbar with a right to the gut and a jawbreaker! Artist over to save - double DDT - Candido covers - Artist breaks it up. So Candido clocks him. Swandive hedbutt for Crowbar - AGAIN Artist breaks it up. Artist with his "will-he-won't-he" jumpin' DDT off the second rope. And then...he leaves. Crowbar with a front suplex on Candido - 1, 2, 3. (6:32) Hey, this show's ALREADY better than Nitro!

Backstage, GENE O. works tonight! And he's promising that Kimberly's match "ain't happening" tonight. Page promises "Jersey-style" for Bigelow - I don't know what that is, but it involves a lotta "badda's."

With the magic word "action" lingering in the air (oh for the love of...) we cut to J. Biggs and Harlem Heat waiting in an office (complete with Thunder logo) - Bischoff and Russo enter, with Russo slipping "Tony" some skin. Bischoff to Big T: "Hey, we've never had a chance to meet, and you're in my chair." Russo: "'snot a good thing, Tony. It's Eric Bischoff right there - this ain't New York, brother." T stares a hole in Bischoff, who doesn't appreciate it. The business tonight is all about Sid...tonight is an opportunity to take out Sid. "Do me a favour - and do not disappoint us."

>From the "Ready to Rumble" premiere, Sting gives us a description of "Ready to Rumble." Probably not HIS description, but a description nonetheless. "'Dumb and Dumber' - 'Beavis and Butthead' - wrestling and 'Wayne's World' - all combined into one." Hey, who's the woman with him?

Kings/Lakers Friday on TNT! Billones and Doomsday can EAT ME! The Kings might not be able to beat anybody else, but by God they've GOT THE KINGS' NUMBER!! (Also, I'm dreaming. The Kings are C-H-O-KING)

With 1-800-CAL-LATT, Jimmy Barron phones it in - still got good seats available for Spring Stampede - especially with all the refunds from people thinking it would be Sid vs. Hogan (ha!) spot - neither new nor improved

Sean Stasiak tells the makeup lady he needs to look PERFECT tonight and sends her off to get some oil - then Curt Hennig sneaks in and beats him down. Stasiak is apparently calling himself "the Perfect one," now. And YOU thought Russo and Bischoff didn't bring any new ideas to the dance!

SID VISCOUS v. HARLEM HEAT (with J. Biggs) in a qualifier for the United States Heavyweight tournament - The six men already in are Steiner, Wall, Vampiro, Booker, Cat and Kidman. Later tonight, Sting takes on three Villanos (three?) while Sid gets a thousand pounds of opposition. It ain't pretty, folks. Big T messes up a clothesline, for crying out loud. Still, the double bicycle kick is pretty sweet. Also a nice double spinebuster. Kash wants in on it - FAT ASS SPLASH. 1, 2, shoulder up?? Biggs in the ring to argue it with referee "Blind" Nick Patrick. Now BOOKA is out - Kash charges and Booker low-bridges him to take him to the outside. Standing side kick for Ray - spinebuster for T - uranage for Raw - Sid with a gutshot and the Millennium Bomb - 1, 2, 3! (2:44) So Booker is...well, I'M confused. Post-match THE WALL is out - have a chair, Sid!

We cut to the office where Russo and Bischoff complain about Booker messing up their plans. Bischoff says "I'll fix this - I'll fix it."

Back to the ring, where the Wall's music plays and Sid is as mackerel. CRACKA EAZY-E powerwalks to the ring. People flipping him the bird are airbrushed out (oh, so we're still doing THAT, are we?) as Bischoff pokes Sid to make sure he's still out. "All right, I'm going to make an executive decision - due to outside interference, this man is disqualified. Harlem Heat is your winner, and when Sid wakes up, tell him he doesn't have to be in Chicago this Sunday - he can go back to West Memphis and watch his pigs breed. I got business to take care of." Commentators tell us it was a "no DQ" match, which makes this decision ESPECIALLY ironic. I note that we get a happy pixelation which indicates that we've zoomed in to keep an offensive sign out of the picture...they edited out the sign, but I still hear producers saying "action." Oh, you've heard it all before...

WCW comes to Peoria Saturday, Chicago for Spring Stampede, Rockford Monday for Nitro, and tix on sale Friday for Nitro in Birmingham, and on sale Saturday for Thunder in Memphis!

Jimmy Hart is WALKING! And he's looking for Eric Bischoff...

Meanwhile, Bischoff berates Booker in front of the boys - "what in the HELL were you thinking? This is an opportunity - don't you - get it?" Bischoff tells Booker to wipe the look off his face lest he hire someone to do the wipe it off for him."

"THE FRANCHISE" SHANE DOUGLAS v. THE NARCISSIST (with Liz) - Let Us Take You Back to Douglas' shocking reapperance - and a snippet of Luger posing (oops - remember, they PROMISED better production values for their television programs). Package breaks from his routine in mid-strip to jump Douglas at the start. Blinding array of big punches and big kicks. Big rake across the top rope. Big choke with his pull-apart pants. Big neckbreaker. Tonight - DDP v. Triple B! Into the corner hard. Another big face rake on the top rope. Into the ropes, big clothesline. Big clothesline. Big Ace toolbox elbow! 1, 2, NO!!! Into the corner, Douglas puts up a boot, clothesline, right, right, right, right, right, right, and so on. Belly-to-belly! People FEAR IT! Well, I read that once. Douglas to the top - Package up, hitting him in the 'nads, and bealing him across the ring. Douglas rolls out. Heenan says this is a smart idea, to "take the twenty count." Did they take Heenan off the medication? Luger out to follow - and whipping him into the barricade. Big clothesline! Hey, those barricades look like they've been wrapped in garbage bags, don't they? Douglas' head repeatedly rammed into the apron. Back in the ring we go. Big kick to the abdomen, but whip, head down, kick by Douglas - off the ropes with a clothesline. Luger ducks a flying jalapeno and referee "Blind" Billy Silverman gets a taste. Douglas' trick knee acts up with the ref out. Double axehandle, stomp, stomp, stomp, THE MAN is running out and he's on Douglas. Chop! Left, right, left, right, left, right, chop, chop, eyepoke, chop, whip is reversed, reversed back - Golota - Package motioning for the Rack - and he's got him up! Silverman up, completely ignoring the fact that Flair's in the ring - and calls for the submission. (3:45)

Backstage, Jimmy Hart has caught up to Eric Bischoff - he needs to talk to him, but Bischoff is more interested in making jokes.

The Wendy's Monterey Ranch Chicken replay is Flair working over Douglas and the Package's Human Torture Rack. This is a BIG win for the Millionaire's Club!

Our commentators (and the TV-PG-DLV) reveal to us that Ric Flair is irate. There are now some stipulations in the upcoming Bagwell/Flair match - if there's any kind of interference by the Total Pacakge, both members of Team Package will be suspended without pay for six months. Talk turns to the attack of Hogan Monday.

Here's a Special Video Look from a camera inside the limousine, which begs two questions - why's there a camera inside the limousine, and where would Hogan be in this picture? That said, it's a neat look. Oh, Tony says it was a "security camera." I guess there's a lot of those in limousines all around the country. Hogan will be hospitalized for two weeks, we are told, so don't look for him at Spring Stampede.

We cut to a shot of JAMES HART walking to the ring with mic in hand. "You know, I've been chasing Eric Bischoff all over this building all day long. Eric, I need some answers. I need for you to come out here right now. You need to come out here, man, I'm telling ya, I'm not gonna leave the ring 'til you come out here. I need to know *why* you did what you did to Hulk Hogan on Nitro. Eric, for six years when you tried to get Hulk Hogan in here, I was the one that made the negotiations. Any time you and Hulk Hogan had a problem, I was the one that you called that smoothed everything over. Eric, how could everything that was so good go straight to hell?" The music flares up and BILLY KIDMAN & CRACKA EAZY-E come out. After a brief consultation, Bischoff sends Kidman to ringside - and off he sprints. "Eric, don't send a flea market champion to do a man's job--" and he's quickly cut off as Kidman KICKS HIS ASS. The shirt is pulled up and the spray paint is pulled out. "NB" is painted on his back - hmmm, spraypaint - I haven't seen THAT one before.

Kimberly suits up in a dressing room - and says something but we miss it. Page gets muted and says there's no way he'll let her get in the ring with Madusa. Kimberly says she needs to do this - step up to the plate and deliver. Page says she got kabonged Monday and he doesn't want her to work hurt. She says that doesn't work when SHE says it to HIM. Then she asks him to be positive. Woooohoohoohoohaaaahahahaha... "Positively Page!" AHHHHHHHHahahahahahaha

It's time for the Thunder Ringside Release - brought to you by LucasArts' "Star Wars Episode 1: Jedi Power Battles!" Oh, wait - it IS LucasArts' "Star Wars Episode 1: Jedi Power Battles!" Thanks, but I've ALREADY "ignited my saber" tonight and had a "solo battle" of my own. (Hyatte said I could use that one until *he* started recapping Thunder, so I feel pretty safe getting away with it THIS week)

BOOKA v. THE WALL (with a table) v. 4 MORE in a Colorado Collision match - it's a mini-Royal Rumble, with the rest coming out in one minute intervals. Is Booker out first as punishment? The six men in the US tourney not named "Sid" or "Sting" are in this match. Booker all over Wall with punches to start - Wall reverses it and kicks and punches. And stomps. Yup. Whip is reversed, reversed back - Wall eats a boot, Harlem side kick, right, into the ropes, reversed, Booker holds on - uranage! Rock E Rock E Rock E - kick, axe kick coming up. Breakdancing back up - but Wall is slowly staggering to his feet. The last ten seconds come up as the minute actually ends - well the NEW GODFATHER OF SOUL is out a bit earlier than the clock. Booker clotheslines Wall out of the ring - Cat blindsides Booker with a superkick and HE'S out. Oh, I guess this isn't a Rumble - referee "Blind" Mickie Jay is counting out Wall and Booker - Wall with the chokeslam through the table. Jay hits ten. (COR 1:35) Cat has the mic and warms up the crowd. The clock comes up as Cat puts on his red slippers. Cat's music is hit as BIG POPPA PUMP is out REALLY late. Steiner behind Cat - Cat breakdances around and eats a Steinerline - Cat is relieved of his shoes - and they're thrown on him. In the corner, knife-edge chop, chop, into the ropes, Cat ducks - SUPERKICK! The clock is up again as Cat hits his Funky Elbow, then his uppercut from the splits. BILLY KIDMAN (with Torrie Samuda) actually gets music as he comes out - he decides to let the two in the ring slug it out. Steiner comes to and hits a backbreaker - then a belly-to-belly overhead suplex. Steiner poses on the ropes while Kidman comes in to pin Cat. (Call 4:11) Steiner turns back around, sees what's happened and gives Kidman a Steinerline. Press - and drop. The clock is up for the last time as Steiner pins Kidman after a belly-to-belly (4:44). The last man is VAMPIRO. We see Kidman and Cat brawling out on the floor. (THIS IS) STING is following Vampiro - Scorpion Death Drop! Steiner turns around - and decides maybe he'll just put Vampiro in the Steiner Recliner. Vampiro - this is the NEW era! - jobs...I mean gives it up. Your winner is Big Poppa Pump. (5:33)

Madusa - IS - WALKING!

Meanwhile, Kimberly - IS - WALKING! She says to the cameraman, "hey Eric - this one's for you!" And she removes her coat to reveal one o' them old Nitro Grrl tops with the headlights and the.....I'll be right back

Promotional consideration paid for by Slim Jim (Savage), Geico, Geico (again), Pizza Breaks from Hot Pockets, and America (ha!) Online

Gene O. stands with Team Package - Flair asks Russo to learn to love it - he's taped up - and he's Mickey Mantle in his lifetime. Woooo!

MADUSA v. KIMBRRLY - Kim comes out to "Smells Like Self High-Five" and uses her ass to cue pyro. Hooray! Fishnets and ass-hangin'-out shorts! Kimberly asks her to bring it on - both women take turns poniting to each other's racks. Madusa tells her to just go to the back - Kimberly shoves her - Madusa shoves her HARD. "Why do you want to wrestle me? You are not a wrestler! You're a..." well, I didn't hear it but she makes some stripper pantomimes as we look back to see DDP watching on a monitor. And now Madusa's rubbing her face in the mat - oooh! She hit her in the boobies! Well now DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE is out to be a killjoy - pushing of Madusa and checking on his wife. Whoops, his back is to her - Madusa over with a series of martial arts kicks to Page's ribs and back. Page puts her in a front face - Diamond Cutter. Referee "Blind" Charles Robinson decides that perhaps NOW is a good time to call for the bell (DQ 1:25). Kimberly doesn't seem too pleased but hell, we're all looking at her nipples, not her facial expression. I mean...oh, sorry.

Oh boy! Another Flintstones movie! I bet Rosie O'Donnell tells us that HERS was better! Repeatedly!

1-800-CAL-LATT/"Ready to Rumble" ad. Isn't there a very real chance that by the time they arrange the "special screening," the film will no longer actually be playing anywhere?

Advance Auto Parts presents "This Week in WCW Motorsports!" Looks like Blaise Alexander got the black flag - hmmm, involved in a crash, too...but they hung on for that all important "top thirty finish!" Woof!

Sting may be a member of the Millionaire's Club - but he still like to charge things by carrying the power of the card. Hey, what's that "NWO" on that one card?

FIT FINLAY & BRIAN KNOBS (already in the ring) v. THEMONSTERMENG & WHO? HUGH! MORRUS (already in the ring) v. TERRY FUNK and SCREAMIN' NORMAN SMILEY in a three-way Hardcore tag Contenders' match - the winning team, we are told, will split up - and be the two competitors Sunday for the Hardcore title. Smiley is the new catcher for the Rockies. Tony Schiavone: ", let me say this: there are many pay-per-views in sports entertainment out there throughout the entire year. And I know you gotta spend your dollars wisely, but I wanna tell you this: this coming Sunday is the one to get if you get none of them the rest of the year, for the sheer fact of answering the question - 'what the hell's gonna happen next?' We don't know!" Meng and Knobs brawl out through the crowd, taking referee "Blind" Mark Johnson with them. Morrus and Smiley go up through the aisle, taking referee "Blind" Mickie Jay with THEM. In the ring, Funk and Finlay brawl with referee "Blind" Billy Silverman keeping a watchful eye over THEM. All three pairs engage in crap brawling and none are worth mentioning. Over to the stage, where Morrus has Smiley on a table. Getting a running headstart off the stage....holy shit, he TOTALLY MISSED the table, only catching the corner on his way down. I don't think Heenan knows the pun he makes when he says "talk about a Crash landing!" Meanwhile, Meng and Knobs are up in the concourse - oh boy, concessions a-comin'! Have a cold one, Meng! HAAAAhahahahahaha - trash can - pizza tray. Meng puts him in the condiments. Sign broken over his back. Meng spears a standup poster of Goldberg! Knobs with the fire extinguisher! And now they're outside...Meng at the railing - Knobs charging - Meng sidestepping it and Knobs OVER THE RAIL! Apparently, it's a thirty foot drop - Schiavone gets all "serious" on us. Meanwhile, back to Morrus and Smiley - over to Finlay and Funk - over to Morrus and Smiley - Norman's screaming - yuk yuk yuk. Chair here, crutch there, Smiley whipped into a...giant lion's head, I guess. Hey, that's not a horn, it's a tooth! Finlay with a DDT on Funk on the exposed floor. Say, Funk's no longer commissioner, right? What? We didn't think about that? Oh. Finlay setting up a table - Funk with a Golota and a whip into the table. Funk ready to piledrive Finlay on what's left of the table. DUSTIN RHODES is out and going after Funk - I guess the "reset button" missed this feud, right? Golota for Funk, right, right, set up for Shattered Dreams - three points. Finlay giving a chair to Rhodes - WHACK! Head to the chair, again, again, again, Finlay out to find another table - Smiley back out to the ring...prodding Funk with his foot, no he's not moving - Smiley covers him...1, 2, 3! (7:20) ...the HELL? So you can pin your own partner?

Bischoff gives some instructions to the Villanos - beat him to a pulp! Russo says the same thing in Spanish - well, not really - more like in "New Yorker"

This - is - Sting! And he - is - WALKING!

From the big opening, Diamond Dallas Page and Kimberly tell us "Ready to Rumble" is a great movie

Promotional consideration paid for by Judge Wapner's cash scam, the city of Las Vegas, the Super Soaker CPS 2500 & 3000, and Lean Pockets from Hot Pockets

Let Us Take You Back - err, Ahead? - to a replay one of the Villanos kabonging Sting with a gee-tar and removing his mask to reveal that he's Jeff Jarrett! Errr.......

Gene O. stands with Jeff Jarrett - he's not done working tonight - if Page is gonna jump him from behind...Page ain't done working tonight, so neither is he. He promises some pain for "Mr. Cox" as well...

Here's another look at David Arquette! He's sitting next to Sting! It's Sting! Oh, wait..that's just some guy in a mask

BUFF IS THE STUFF v. THE MAN - so, like, are we not gonna see the Sting/Villanos match? Flair again comes out in street clothes because Bischoff and Russo are all about keeping a shirt on Flair. Tony says Flair is dressed this way because he's dressed to BRAWL, baby. I guess this is a feeling out process because both guys are doing a lot of's a lockup, to the corner, unclean break, Flair reverses and chops. Chop! Into the opposite corner is reversed, back body drop by Bagwell! In position for the running lariat, another, now unleashing rights on the prone flair - referee "Blind" Mark Johnson telling him to open the fist, Bagwell with a lotta words for him. They may not want to show us the Sting match, but they have PLENTY of time to video distort that sign in the crowd! Gosh, I wonder what it says? Right, right, right, Johnson telling him to open it up again and Bagwell telling him to shut up. Head to the buckle, again, again, Flair fires back with a right, chop, Bagwell knocks him down, stomping away, knee to the ribs, another one to the area damaged by the bat on Monday - Bagwell pinwheeling, but Flair gets in a knee when he returns to the match. Elbowdrop by Flair. Woooo! Video distort it! Left, right, left, right, left, right, woooo! Stomp, stomp, stomp, Flair goes outside and pulls Bagwel out. Head to the barricade - Arquette likes it - but the Sting impersonator next to him WALLOPS Flair with a bat! Then he jumps the rail - oh, it's VIC VENOM. Ring the bell! (DQ 3:09) Russo has Flair's Rolex on a necklace around his neck. SHANE DOUGLAS is out - now THE NARCISSIST is out and cleaning house on Douglas and Bagwell - until Bagwell gets a bat shot in on HIM. Russo choking Flair with the bat - and chopping his crotch. Elbowdrop by Douglas. Bagwell standing on Luger's neck. Buff's music plays again - let's take a break!

Close captioning where available brought to you by George Foreman and MEINEKE!

Jeff Jarrett T-shirt ad - too bad it's got a big ol' NWO on it

(THIS IS) STING v. LOS TRES VILLANOS - Tony Schiavone expresses his sincere condolences to Scott Hudson on the death of his father Monday - and I second that. And so do you. Now, let me look into my crystal ball and speculate that the non-stocky Villano is really Jeff Jarrett, and he'll break a gee-tar over Sting's head. Hey, look, David Arquette is sitting next to Sting! I'll bet that's not Sting - I'll bet it's Vince Russo and he'll attack Flair with a baseball bat! Sting hits a double Scorpion Death Drop to pin Villanos IV & V (1:01) but immediately after, the remaning Villano runs Sting into referee "Blind" Charles Robinson, knocking him out. Sting has his way with Jarrett - I mean, the other Villano until Villano pokes his head up, making a leapfrog by Sting quite painful. After making sure the ref's out, Jarrett - err, Villano takes Sting down with a Golota. Now he's going outside and under the ring - hey, there's a silver gee-tar with "Slap Nuts" printed on it - KABONG! Slowly, the mask is coming off - why, that's JEDOUBLEF JADOUBLEREDOUBLET! That's - that's TOTALLY SURPRISING! And now DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE is out with a Diamond Cutter for Jarrett - Sting put on top. I think Robinson saw that but maybe this is another one of them "no DQ" matches they forgot to tell me about. (2:31) Play Metallica again! Hey WCW - over and over, you were promising us better production and YOU HAD AN ENTIRE DAY OF POST-PRODUCTION TO DEVOTE TO THIS SHOW (and obviously, from all the airbrushing of middle fingers and "offensive" signs and audio tweaks and the hey hey hey) AND YOU CAN'T EVEN BE BOTHERED TO PUT THE SEGMENTS IN THE CORRECT ORDER? Well surely *THIS* is the new WCW!

1-800-CAL-LATT/"Ready to Rumble" ad

From the movie premiere, Michael Buffer shills the movie, and Nitro, and WOW he's got a hot date on his arm

Here's a replay of Vince Russo giving the bat to Flair...lucky for us, this replay was actually played AFTER the events took place, so as to, you know, make sense for the viewer and such.

TRIPPA B v. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE (with Kimbrrly) - Let Us Take You Back to Earlier Tonight and segment one (I *believe* they actually MEANT it to be segment one, as well - but who can say for sure) where Page interrupted Bischoff's party and paid a price. Hey you - listen up now - new era - two shows - two main events - Page in both of them. YOU connect the dots and form your own opinion...if you can set aside your biases FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE. There sure seem to be an awful lot of "Ready to Rumble" snippets in Page's entrance video, don't there? Schiavone wonders aloud what happened with Bret Hart, as if he just shut his eyes and went to sleep after they left the air. Tenay says he caught up with Hart after the show, but got the big brushoff. Well, at least he TRIED. Lockup, to the corner, right, right, right, right, right, right, stomp, stomp, Bigelow pounds his own chest as well. Page pulls himself up and unleashes a series of rights and lefts - "Mike Awesome" is named for the first time all night. Well, Tony called him "Michael" but we'll let that go...Bigelow catches the foot, but eats a right after spinning him around. 1, 2, nope. Page outside - climbing to the top - flying clothesline! 1, 2, shoulder up! Elbows by Page, into the ropes is reversed, Samoan Drop by Bigelow! 1, 2, NO! Bigelow stomps, headbutts, headbutt again, working on the back here. Rear chinlock - almost a camel clutch here - Page tries to power out, but Bigelow sits on him. Now going to the top - TOP ROPE DIVING HEADBUTT! to the small of the back - 1, 2... shoulder up! Bigelow going for a powerbomb - err, maybe - Page punches away while hanging there and Bigelow falls - 1, 2, no. Swinging neckbreaker by Page gets 2 - trying for the Diamond Cutter, but Bigelow shoves him into referee "Blind" Billy Silverman (has anybody counted the number of ref bumps tonight?). Bigelow with a quasi-Nothern Lights bomb there - neat. Going up top one more time - headbutt MISSES - Page signalling - Diamond Cutter attempt, AGAIN Bigelow shoves him off - ready for Greetings from Asbury Park - no, Page slips out and THERE'S the Diamond Cutter. Cue the run-in, I think...sure enough, CRACKA EAZY-E is out and behind Page's back counts 1, 2....and then stands up and brushes back his gray flowing locks. Page turns around, gets to his feet - and has Bischoff in a choke - but JEDOUBLEF JADOUBLEREDOUBLET is out with one more gee-tar - KABONG! DAVID ARQUETTE storms the ring and jumps on Bischoff's back - but Jarrett is quickly over to put HIM over the top rope to the floor - then dropping him on the barricade. I sure hope Arquette isn't at Spring Stampede - and now back into the ring for the Stroke - give him credit, he doesn't really move much after taking that move. Hey! CHRIS "CHAMPAGNE" KANYON is out - wait, he was in the ring Monday...oh well. Swinging neckbreaker on Jarrett. Bischoff hs a chair - damn, that chairshot is even weaker than the one he gave Hogan! Jarrett poses and "Theme from NWO Monday Nitro" plays one more time. Out come VAMPIRO, BILLY KIDMAN, NEW GODFATHER OF SOUL, WALL, BUFF IS THE STUFF, BIG POPPA PUMP - Kidman spraypainting "NB" on Page, chokeslam by Wall on Kanyon, Bischoff blowing kisses to the crowd, credits up, one more quick shill of Spring Stampede - and we're out.

If you learn nothing else from this report, note well that **it is a GREVIOUS display of the GROSSEST sort of incompetence and laxity to let two segments air out of order** and that overshadows EVERYTHING else about this show. (And before you start composing email, keep in mind that if the WWF were to do it, I'd be JUST as hard on them.) As for the content...the angles, the angles STILL rollin', the guys on top, the guys STILL on top, the upcoming pay-per-view, the repeated reliance on run-ins, ref bumps, the LACK of decent wrestling action (with the except of the six-man)...

Oh, man, I'm starting to REALLY not like where this is going. I promise you this: if we get more of the same Monday...get ready for the gloves to come off, and you might as well get started on your pleas to WrestleLine to bring back their second Monday recapper...

Hey, WrestleLine staff: You STILL wanna give Nitro an 8? I'm thinking *I* don't...

Tomorrow: I'll bitch about the McMahons, and you probably won't notice. Toodles!

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Copyright (C) 1999, 2000 Christopher Robin Zimmerman & KZiM Communications