Monday Nitro | November 13th 2000 | London Arena, England | TV Rating 2.6
Twenty-one years ago WCW crossed the pond to the UK for what would be their last tour over here EVER. As well as the usual house shows, Nitro (London) and Thunder (Manchester) were taped for a worldwide television audience. Matthew Roberts hops into the TWM Time Machine to check out Nitro, from London, in the old London Arena!
We kick things off with the WCW Roster coming out to the ringside as Tony Schiavonie says that he has an enveloped that can’t be opened until Ric Flair is here. Cue The Nature Boy, to a great reaction from the crowd. He pumps up the crowd and puts over the roster, although his claims that the WCW Roster is the greatest ever assembled or some such nonsense are as laughable now as they were twenty-one years ago.
Flair rambles on about Mike Sanders and the Cruiserweight Title, giving him 48 hours to defend it, and then there is the usual logic gap in wrestling authority as Sanders is the Commissioner but Flair can overrule him at any time. Anyway, Flair is really out here to announce tonight’s London Lethal Lottery where four teams battle it out and the winning team then faces each other on Thunder where the winner of that gets a shot at the WCW World Title on the Nitro following the upcoming Mayhem PPV.
Flair announces the teams of Mike Awesome/Bam Bam Bigelow, Booker T/Lex Luger, Alex Wright/Disco Inferno and Sting/Scott Steiner. So a “random draw” gives us three teams of partners who are feuding with each other and one full time team. What are the chances?
This prompts Flair to realise Scott Steiner isn’t at ringside so he calls him out. Scott gets in Flair’s face which sets off an almighty brawl.
Backstage, The Natural Born Thrillers arrive at the building, Big Vito tells Crowbar that it was his actions that helped Crow win the Hardcore title next week and Mike Sanders books Lance Storm Vs General Rection for tonight. Oh and Scott Steiner agrees to go to anger management classes.
Crowbar Vs Big Vito – Hardcore Title
If you’ve seen one WCW Hardcore Title match where they do exactly the same sort of routine that the WWE Hardcore division gave us but without any one involved being over to any great degree then you’ve seem them all. This one shockingly goes into the crowd, involves someone being sent flying through a table of fish and chips and all the usual shots. There’s even a ref-bump, which seems utterly pointless in a Hardcore match. There’s also a run-in as Reno hits Vito with a bat but Crowbar doesn’t see it and a superplex through a table later Crowbar retains. This went seven minutes. It felt like seventy.
Backstage Mike Awesome and Bam Bam Bigelow don’t want to team with each other but kind of agree that the chance for a World Title shot should be uppermost in their minds for now. This won’t end well will it.
The Natural Born Thrillers make their way to the ring to say a whole lot of nothing. The likes of Palumbo, O’Haire, Stasiak and Jindrak all had the “look” that could have made them stars in WWE in years to come but it’s perhaps indicative of WWE’s mistrust of WCW that the most memorable thing about the quartet’s career in the E is either Jindrak not getting the Batista spot in Evolution or Palumbo pretending to be gay with Billy Gunn. Anyway, the Thrillers taunt Kevin Nash which brings him out on to the ramp. Nash says he’s twice as dangerous now and will beat them all up. So Sanders books Nash against Stasiak, Palumbo and O’Haire for tonight. Nash no sells this and says he’ll beat them all up. Especially Stasiak.
Backstage Sting tells Mean Gene he’s willing to work with Scott Steiner tonight to get a shot at the World Title. elsewhere Elix Skipper hits on Ms. Jones but she’s very dismissive. The Cat walks by and a match is made for later.
Mike Awesome & Bam Bam Bigelow Vs Sting & Scott Steiner
Gee, I wonder who is going to win this one? That said, this is WCW so I might be wrong. Steiner is so worried about the opposition that he attacks them before Sting is even making his way in. Sting comes in and joins in the fun before he and Steiner nearly come to blows. This gives Awesome a chance to fight back but it’s predictably all for naught. Recliner on Awesome settles a three and a half minute epic. Post match Bam Bam attacks Awesome.
Random promo video where Jimmy Hart accepts a match with a radio DJ I’ve never heard of is followed by Boogie Knights selling their spot in the Lethal Lottery to Kronik. Well that is their intention but they end up paying Kronik for them to take their place. As Flair isn’t watching his own show, the Filthy Animals dob them in to the Nature Boy and after a random Booker T promo with Mean Gene gives Flair enough time to find Wright and Disco he says he’ll let the Lethal Lottery thing slide but Boogie’s will still be wrestling tonight.
The Misfits cut a promo saying they are ready for Lance Storm tonight and we get clips of the “Battledome Warriors” brawling with WCW supertars. We then see them “backstage” looking for the WCW guys when the WCW guys jump them. As the WCW guys include DDP and Rick Steiner I’m willing to lay down a lot of money that this brawl was not fought in London.
Booker T & Lex Luger Vs Kronik
This is one of those that you hope is over quick because not even Booker T can save this one. We could be kind and say it’s a storyline “match” rather than a “match” match here for action but it’s just really dull and boring. And even worse Brian Adams gets the pin on Booker T because of course the World Champion has to look rubbish and Lex has to be protected. And why is the World Champion in a tournament where the prize is a shot at the World Champion anyway?
Backstage Kronik are asked what will happen if the win tonight’s final and have to face each other on Thunder. They avoid answering that and merely say that if one of them wins the belt, both of them do.
Shawn Stasiak Vs Sean O’Haire Vs Chuck Palumbo Vs Kevin Nash
Of course this is not a four corners match but in reality a handicap match. They would have been better booking it as such upfront. I mean why wasn’t it booked / announced like that? Anyway it’s five minutes of Nash not really being beaten up and Nash adjusting his hair before every power move before Reno interferes just as Nash is about to hit the….pause to adjust my flowing locks…Jack-Knife on Stasiak. So after all that we get a DQ because not even three men can beat Nash. I mean this is really bad stuff. Post match Jindrak joins in the fun.
Elix Skipper Vs The Cat
Pure “set up a match, have it, the end” one-night filler I’m sure. About the best I can say about it that it’s probably not the worst thing we’ve seen tonight. Even though it is really bad. Cat wins with the Feliner.
Boogie Nights Vs Goldberg
It comes as little surprise that the mystery opponent turns out to be Goldberg given that he’s the only star left not working and he’s rebuilding that unbeaten streak. He comes in at 16-0 and this double win apparently puts him at 18-0. Well at least he does pin both opponents at the same time. It’s the usual Goldberg demolition job but on this disaster of a show from an in-ring point of view this feels like Flair Vs Steamboat.
General Rection Vs Lance Storm – US Title
Storm cleverly covers for the fact that WCW didn’t fly over the rest of his Team Canada buddies with a pre-match entreaty to Rection to leave his troops backstage just like he has done by coming out on his own. Imagine my surprise when the Canadians do run out to tackle the Misfits for the big mid-match brawl. This distraction allows Major Gunns to turn heel on the Misfits and help Storm. Another “angle” match rather than “match” match on a show full of them. As it was a set up all along Gunns rips off her Bombs Away shirt to reveal one with Maple leafs.
London Nitro Main Event: Kronik Vs Scott Steiner & Sting
Well of course when you’ve sat through a show devoid of any real wrestling action of any note at all what you really want to see as the main event is this. It’s made all the more pointless by the fact that no-one at all thinks Kronik might win, even though (in yet another logic gap) Steiner is in a tournament to win a shot at the World Title on a Nitro that takes place one night after he has a PPV main event shot at the World Title. Sting hits the Death Drop on one of the Brian’s to get the win after five minutes or so of interminable action.
Post match Steiner attacks Sting with a steel chair so Booker T runs in with his own chair to even the odds but he ends up knocking Sting out by mistake.
I mean what can you say about this show. It’s niche because it’s from London, the last time it would happen. Thunder is taped up in Manchester, and WCW is, of course nearing it’s natural end (although we didn’t know this at the time of the show) and has an anaemic talent roster, to say the least. But they could still have done a lot better than this (and to be fair in the weeks leading up to this show nothing they did was THIS bad) and whilst there is some entertainment around some of the storylines (as predictable as most of them are) the actual wrestling is either so bad or so inconsequential that the show as a whole is just awful. London Nitro is a strange memory British Wrestling fans will have, almost as much as the cult WWE shows Rebellion & Insurrextion.