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WCW Nitro 5 Yrs. Ago: Scott Steiner & Jarrett vs. Sid & Hogan, Sting vs. Flair, Booker, Hennig

Mar 21, 2005 - 2:23:00 PM
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Torch Newsletter back issues from five years ago and ten years ago are republished at the Torch VIP website (www.pwtorch.com/members) every week featuring full reviews of Raw, Nitro, other TV shows, and PPVs, plus the Torch cover story, WWF Newswire, WCW Newswire, ECW Newswire, ETC Newswire, "Torch Talk" interviews, columns, and more. The following is an excerpt of that feature with a full review of WWF Raw from five years ago this week.

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Torch Newsletter Archive
By Jason Powell, Torch assistant editor
March 20, 2000 - WCW Nitro review
Originally published: Pro Wrestling Torch Weekly newsletter #595
Cover dated: March 26, 2000


2.5 rating overall; 3.0 first hour unopposed; 2.1 second hour vs. Raw

(Live from Gainesville, Fla.)...[Qi: 2.9]... Highlights aired from Uncensored... Tony Schiavone and Mark Madden introduced the show... Gene Okerlund interviewed Sid in the ring. Jeff Jarrett and the Harris Twins walked onto the stage and down the aisle. Jarrett blamed Hulk Hogan for costing him the title at the PPV. Jarrett challenged Sid to a tag match on behalf of himself and Scott Steiner. Steiner walked out with a piece of tape covering his mouth which read, "Censored." Steiner ripped off the tape and cut a promo on Sid. Sid introduced Hulk Hogan as his partner. Hogan cut a promo with Sid accepting the heels' challenge... Backstage, Team Package hyped Lex Luger's match against Vampiro... [C]

[Qii: 2.9]... Pre-taped highlights aired of Riki Rachtman hosting another lame Nitro Party with Three Count and the Nitro Girls... Backstage, Okerlund interviewed Chavo Guerrero Jr. who stole his wallet... (1) "Hard Knox" Chris Candido beat Lash LeRoux at 3:04. The Artist and Paisley sat in on commentary. As usual, Paisley did all of the talking for the Artist. In the end, Candido hit a top rope headbutt and scored the pin. A decent match... Backstage, Miss Hancock warned Lane & Rave to be ready for Los Fabulosos... [C]

[Qiii: 3.0]... (2) Fit Finlay beat LaParka at 2:21. Before the match, LaParka held a mic to his face as someone cut a promo for him in English. This time around, LaParka objected to what the Engish speaking voice was saying about Finlay. In the end, Finlay finished off LaParka with a rollover slam... Backstage, Booker talked with Kidman and Torrie Wilson... [C] Backstage, Vampiro cut another bad promo and ripped the cast off his arm... Still shot photos aired of Wall vs. Bam Bam Bigelow... David Flair and Daffney came out for an interview with Okerlund. On his way out, David set up a table at ringside. David said Bigelow and Crowbar are in the hospital and called out Wall. Wall came to the ring and grabbed David by the throat. Wall set up to chokeslam David, but Daffney sprayed a fire extinguisher at him. Wall no-sold the fire extinguisher and chokeslammed David through the table...

[Qiv: 3.0]... [C] The announcers hyped Torrie's centerfold in this month's WCW Magazine... (3) Booker & Kidman beat The Harris Twins by DQ at 2:11. After a couple of minutes of decent action that woke up the crowd, one of the Harris Twins hit Booker with a tag belt for the DQ. Afterward, Torrie jumped on the back of one of the Harris Twins, who threw her off... Backstage, the Mamalukes demanded Disco get them a rematch for the tag titles... [C]

[Q1: 2.3]... (4) Lex Luger beat Vampiro at 5:20. After Vampiro dominated the bulk of the match, Ric Flair ran out and slid a bat into the ring. Luger took the bat and hit Vampiro with it while the referee was caught up in worrying about Flair. Luger put Vampiro in the Torture Rack and got the win. Afterward, Sting ran out and helped Vampiro clear the ring... [C]

[Q2: 1.8]... Backstage, Okerlund interviewed Dustin Rhodes about his match against Curt Hennig. Dustin ripped on Hennig and took scripted shots at Dallas Page, Roddy Piper, and Hulk Hogan... Highlights aired a hokey press conference following Uncensored. "Reporters" asked Sid kayfabe questions about his match against Jarrett. In a too close to home scene, Hogan walked into the room, stole the spotlight, and congratulated Sid... (5) Hugh Morrus beat Norman Smiley at 2:42. Morrus dominated the match and passed up a couple of chances to pin Smiley. In the end, Morrus hit No Laughing Matter and scored the pin. A squash. Afterward, Demon ran in for the save, but was beat up by Morrus... Backstage, Okerlund interviewed Hennig about his match against Dustin... [C] (6) Curt Hennig beat Dustin Rhodes by DQ at 1:44. Dustin attacked Hennig and ripped the cast off of his arm for the DQ. Afterward, Hogan ran out chased away Dustin...

[Q3: 1.7]... Backstage, Sid cut a lame promo... [C] (7) Tank Abbott beat Barbarian at 1:39 by TKO... [C] More Nitro Party highlights aired with Rachtman and Disco...

[Q4: 2.4]... (8) Sting beat Ric Flair at 4:55. Late in the match, Luger ran in, but was fought off by Sting. Sting locked in the Scorpion for the apparent win as Luger pulled the ref out of the ring. Afterward, Luger and Flair beat up Sting until Vampiro made the save... [C] Introductions took place for the main event...

[Q5: 2.9]... (9) Scott Steiner & Jeff Jarrett beat Sid Vicious & Hulk Hogan at 5:25. In the end, Sid turned on Hogan and actually pinned him to give Steiner & Jarrett the win. The fans could not have cared less... [JP]

COMMENTARY

During his pre-match promo, Chris Candido broke into his old "No Gimmicks Needed" gimmick by claiming to be the only person in WCW that doesn't have or need a gimmick. That would be fine if he didn't have his "Hard Knox" name embroidered on his t-shirt. To his credit, Candido was in good shape, but didn't appear to be jacked up. His match was solid and he didn't show any real signs of ring rust. Lash LeRoux is a good opponent to debut with, but why isn't he being pushed anymore?

Why is WCW wasting Miss Hancock on the Lane & Rave vs. Los Fabulosos feud? She would be so much more effective as Jeff Jarrett's only valet. Jarrett is great at drawing heat on himself by verbally bashing his babyface valets. See Debra for an example. If WCW doesn't want to copy the WWF's formula, they should at least be smart enough to place her in top tier talent.

The first hour of the show was completely uneventful. The only people who seemed over during the entire hour were Kidman & Booker, who as usual, were given a non-finish in another two minute match.

It has taken a while, but WCW is finally doing an effective job of pushing Vampiro and Wall. Wall is being put over as a killer heel, while Vampiro is working hard and receiving major rub from Sting.

Judging from his match with Norman Smiley, it appears Hugh Morrus is in for a push. Morrus has trimmed down and appears to be in good shape for the first time in a while. However, if WCW follows through with the push, someone will need to tell Sid to quit laughing for no reason because that is Morrus's entire gimmick thus far.

Scott Steiner made a pair of references to WCW trying to suspend him which had to leave casual viewers wondering what the hell he was talking about.

The Nitro Party segments with Rachtman have to go. Rachtman comes across like a complete dork and the only wrestlers who ever appear at the parties are the unhip characters, Disco Inferno and Three Count. The parties are uneventful and cheesey. Most feature some geeky college students playing games that most kids at a junior high sock hop would be too embarrassed to partake in. The segments are pointless and defeat the purpose of trying to make the show seem hip.

When Hogan came to the ring for the main event, Madden said: "Ego-mania is running wild. Hogan has to have his own entrance music, his own entrance, his own routine, his own this, his own that. Welcome everybody to Hulk Hogan's show every Monday night on TNT. Next week, Hulk brings his entire family in and tells his life story from childhood."

No storyline reason was given as to why Sid turned on Hogan. Instead, Sid made a hot tag to Hogan who came in and cleaned up on the heels. As Hogan was about to deliver the big legdrop to Jarrett, Sid grabbed Hogan and chokeslammed him. Then, in a finish that made about as much sense as the referee counting Hogan's pinning Flair in their strap match at Uncensored, Sid covered Hogan and the referee counted the pin and gave Jarrett and Steiner the win.

Strong Point: Vampiro did a good job of waking up the crowd during his match against Luger. Believe it or not, I like that Vampiro isn't gaining victories right now, but rather is on the edge of scoring his first victory. There is plenty of time for him to rack up victories once he is established as a top guy. Until then, it is a lot more fun to watch his quest for his first victory over a top name. The next best thing about the show was that Brian Knobs did not appear on camera.

Weak Point: Sid turns on Hulk Hogan. The angle was poor enough, but the fact that Hogan was involved in another top storyline is even worse. Hogan should never appear in another Nitro main event. There is money in Hogan should he jump to the WWF, but only because of the appeal of seeing him wrestle Rock, Steve Austin, and Triple H. WCW is not the WWF. Hogan has more than had his run on top and needs to start putting over some younger talent. Why can't WCW see Hogan is not the person to continue to build around? The rest of the world seems to know it.

Overall score (2.0): Nitro appeared to be in standstill mode which makes sense if a change in management is about to occur. If that is not the reason, this show should be another clue to the brass at Time Warner that changes need to be made immediately. [JP]


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