I read an article the other day that mentioned a PPV program from Germany on the 16th of this month. The climax of this PPV involves Sting defending the European Cup he won against Vader all those years ago. To think WCW remembers this, yet couldn't figure out if the Humvee of 1999 was black or white. But, I'm rambling.
Anyway, there are two qualifying matches that determine who faces Sting for the Cup in the main event.
The first match is a Battle Royale featuring both members of Kronik, Mark Jindrak, Sean O'Haire, The Cat, Mike Awesome, Lance Storm, Alex Wright, Disqo, Rey Mysterio, Jr., Konnan, The Franchise, "Primetime" Elix Skipper, "Above Average" Mike Sanders, Hugh Morrus, Kwee-Wee, Fit Finlay and Norman Smiley.
The second match has the winner of the aforementioned Battle Royale facing Kevin Nash and Jeff Jarrett. Whoever wins this match goes on to face Sting in the finals.
If that doesn't define "glass ceiling" nowadays, I don't know what does.
Just thought I'd share something. Onto the report!
If I were a new WCW viewer, why would I watch their programming if I saw some guys from the stands beat the tar out of WCW wrestlers (which has to happen sometime to move the feud)? I would think that WCW guys suck if they can't win fights against their audience, wouldn't you?
And let's say the WCW contingent wins the blowoff, who cares, they beat a bunch of athletes not trained to wrestle, big deal. I appreciate that they're giving DDP, Cat, Buff and Rick Steiner something to do, but why not just feud DDP with Rick and Cat with Buff (after a heel turn, of course). It accomplishes the same goal of giving four guys feuds with each other (not involving any "unknowns") and filling thirty minutes of PPV time, and the fans can actually react accordingly because they know all four wrestlers.
While we're on the subject, let's also talk about Jimmy Hart and his challenge to radio deejays everywhere. I'll channel Gorilla Monsoon referring to "Shawn Michaels has left the building" from WM VIII who cares! Jimmy Hart lost his heat when he was stripped from the megaphone. He managed some big names in the past, great for him. But unless you do these things at house shows or before a television taping so the local fans can pop, it's a waste. Why should I, a resident of Florida, care about Opie & Anthony from New York City getting in the ring on Nitro in front of a national audience (which is the current plan)? Someone outside of the Opie & Anthony network cannot follow the full storyline, and thus loses out on what the match could offer. If WCW wants Jimmy Hart to be useful, give him back his megaphone and let him manage some up-and-comers. It may not help, but it can't hurt, either. And the heat stays within WCW, which is always a bonus.
In conclusion, I think these crossovers are losing situations for everyone in WCW because the heat ends up going to the wrong people for a short-term gain that won't benefit the promotion a year from now. WCW would be wise to avoid such crossovers and focus on getting the wrestlers over other WRESTLERS for long-term growth. Sorry for interrupting the report with this, but it had to be said.
Hoazy sends the following arena report:
Hey Bill, wanted to drop in a few tidbits from Nitro (since we had much better seats than the last pay per view in Chicago).
Since Aldo does such a solid job, I'll just mention things people at home didn't get to see (I watched Nitro when I got home to see how different it is in person.....I'm really sick, aren't I?).
Luger did get a good pop. He looks extremely impressive in person (we were actually close enough to see without binoculars this time). The crowd was awesome. Even though the house wasn't full, there was a decent amount of people even in the 3rd deck. Remember, the UC holds 18,000 for basketball, probably about 14,000 for wrestling. Everyone in our section agreed that we weren't going to suck like the crowd from last week.
Lance Storm vs. Kwee Wee was a lot of fun to watch live. It was solid wrestling and another reason why Lance is quickly becoming my favorite wrestler. Besides, he does that "Let me be serious...." spiel with such a straight face! Meng got a great pop from the crowd. I think we all got the joke of Meng and Kwee Wee becoming a team.
Stasiak vs. Reno was exactly what's wrong with WCW. I understand why they did it (especially after watching Thunder, but no spoilers, I promise), but we sit through a good match, get all wound up, then go to commercial. We come out of commercial and wait for a match that doesn't take place. Then we go back to commercial. Kind of sucks when your paying $50-$100 for tickets and parking (not counting the UC's pricey food & drinks).
Ric Flair got a nice pop, but I was really hoping for more. It was my first time seeing The Nature Boy live and I didn't think the crowd gave him his due. Decent set up for Mayhem. I don't know if it's going to be anything special, but they sure are making it sound like it will. Booker also got a decent pop, but honestly they need to look at moving someone more over into the title, even if just for a while. He's a great worker and one of my favorite wrestlers, but only the 4th or 5th best pop (at best) every show.
Aldo said the Jimmy Hart & Battle Dome thing perfectly. My friend and I had to inform our section who those guys were and why they were there. Although Mancow got a decent pop, I can't imagine anyone outside of Chicago caring. I know I'm inside Chicago and didn't care (well, except that it was nice to see him get his ass kicked by Helms & Moore).
The 3-way tag match was cool, but hard to get into. I think 3 Count has potential, but with everyone in the ring all the time you didn't have a chance to really enjoy a move. The crowd missed some of the best moves. The Thrillers were very impressive physically, but still no heat. I want to like those guys, but just haven't been able to find a reason too. Oh yeah, Leia looked incredible.
Finally, the night starts to move! DDP comes out to what is easily the best pop of the night. He's good on the mic, and easily my favorite wrestler. The crowd popped to the Kat and Steiner, but Buff was definitely their favorite of those 3. We all wanted to see them go at it with "the queers from Battle Dome" (Buff's words). Of course, this immediately goes back on what I said about Aldo's rant. Sorry, call me fickle.
Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner (w/ Midajah) vs. Buff Bagwell and Sting. Good pop for all 4 wrestlers. I thought this was the best match of Nitro for the crowd. We were able to stay in it the whole time. Those guys all know how to sell their big moves and keep the crowd going in between. Sting is so over, I can't believe they don't use him more effectively.
The Wright vs. Morris bout was OK, but the coolest thing was Disqo running through the crowd. He really tore up the steps right by us and ran (almost full speed) through the curtains into the food area. A lady came back with her 4 year-old after the match and said he almost ran over both of them. She said "What the Hell's wrong with you, you son of a.....Disqo!". We all cracked up. Morrus is just like Booker, you feel like you should like him, but it's just lukewarm (most of the crowd seemed to agree with me).
Goldberg vs. Bam Bam was about what you'd expect. The place was really loud for Bill, and he gave us exactly what he usually does. A mediocre match with the big finish. It was cool to see him slam BBB, it amazed me how much smaller Goldberg is than some of the other guys. After the finish he hung around the entire commercial brake talking to fans. Some guy handed him his daughter (3 or 4 year old) and Bill held her for a picture. It surprised me because he was the only wrestler I've seen do that besides Page. Most of the guys seem to be in a big hurry to get to the back and put their feet up.
Last, and probably least, was the waste of a main event. If they didn't tape Thunder immediately afterwards, I would have been pissed off. Everyone knew Stasiak was going to do that. With Nash being more limited than usual (I heard he needs knee surgery) and Stasiak interfering, it was a real downer.
After that, they gave us about a 15 minute intermission before they started Thunder. I'll send that later in case any of this is interesting.
The good.....Goldberg hanging out with the fans, DDP is back....BANG!, Lance Storm who always puts on a good match (well, except for last Thunder), and finally getting to see Flair live.
The bad.....Bill G. really has to learn how to work 3-5 minute matches. Otherwise, why not come out and just spear the guy for his first move? With a few good ideas, I'm sure he could keep the fans on their feet for that amount of time (although to be fair, he was favoring his leg, and at least he gave us a show).
The ugly....Seeing Mancow on the screen. He's a self-promoting, lying, two-faced fraud and it sucks to see WCW kiss up to him. Next he'll start telling Hart about the black helicopters or the guys in sun glasses who warn him to stop telling the truth (stop me, I'm going to hurl).