Written by: Kevin Kildenberger
I have had my say on Booker T’s more than likely early return. It does take away some of the drama of DDP being the last man standing and then once he is out it would have allowed Steiner to run ripshod for a bit unless Bischoff shut down WCW prior to its return that May. But then it would have been all the more dramatic. But the ratings were had slid down to a 2 and remained there, so they hoped to inject life into the product. But the ratings stayed there, so I guess it would have not have mattered had Booker come back or not prior to the sale. Anyway it is all speculation. WCW has been really damn good as of late. The build to the PPV has been one of their better ones and hopefully it continues. The ratings stayed exactly the same with a 2.1 as RAW received a 4.5 a fall of .6. I do want to point out that Wikipedia has the Nitro ratings a bit higher the previous two weeks with a 2.3 last week and 2.2 the week before.
Nitro has been starting in midstream as of late, probably to try and hook the viewers to stay tuned in order to find out what is going on. Rick Steiner is in the ring and he is calling out Booker T. Booker was nothing without his brother and as a champ he never beat Rick so he is a nobody. Here comes Booker and he is going to whoop Rick’s ass all over the place and he will be the US champ. He calls for a ref. Rick charges and the fight is on!
Match 1: Rick Steiner (c) v. Booker T for WCW US Title
Rick’s attack is short lived as Booker drops him and then runs him into the railing. He picks him up and drops him throat first onto the railing, measures him for a clothesline connecting with it. Rick eats the steps. He is rolled into the ring and Rick greets Booker with a few stomps and then gets two after a flurry of rights and lefts.
This is non-title according to Schiavone.
Rick runs him over with a lariat, delays the cover to bark and only gets two. He punches Booker into the corner and shoves the ref for fun. Booker is whipped into the other corner but Rick runs into a forearm and now Booker unloads on him. He mounts and pounds him and the fans count along for the ten count. Rick collapses. He forearms him, whips him into the other corner and he runs into a boot now. Booker floats over off a Steiner whip but is hit and nearly pinned after a belly to belly suplex. Booker falls on him when Rick goes for another but Booker cannot maintain any momentum as he is clotheslined. Two count. More jawing with the ref. He follows up with a powerbomb and another slow cover for two. Rick slowly makes his way to the top rope, Booker pops him and he power plexes him off as he landed on top of Rick. After the two count, Axe kick! Sinarooni and Harlem Kick! Rick recovers quickly as he blocks the Book End. Booker yanks him down though for two. He goes for the Book End again but he is elbowed. Now Scotty runs out and attacks Booker. DQ.
*** Good stuff.
DDP makes the save. Scotty was supposed to be tossed out but he bounced off the top rope before falling to the floor!
Steiner is pissed and wants DDP without any help. DDP does not buy that and wants a tag match later. Steiner is not happy and tries to get at them.
Match 2: AJ Styles and Air Paris v. Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo
We don’t know who Skipper’s partner is. He struts on out. He talks for a bit and claims we all want to know who is partner is, and it is Kid Romeo. And he is quite Alternative Lifestyle, not that there is anything wrong with that.
Paris has been in the Indy circuits outside of his brief stint here.
I am sure their tenure is about to end as I am sure Romeo and Skipper will move on.’
Jesus, AJ just got destroyed by getting run into the announce table. Paris is tossed onto him. Skipper corkscrews on top of them. AJ spins away from Skipper hammering him. Paris and then Romeo fly into the fray and bodies are fucking everywhere. Back in the ring, Romeo is doubleteamed. They pancake him and Skipper has to make the save. Now Skipper is getting doubleteamed and Paris covers him for two. AJ is in and he slams both and tags in Paris again and they dropkick both men. Romeo is on the floor and Paris somersaults planchas into him. Styles is mowed down by Skipper. Skipper leaps into the men on the floor and then Styles does the same. Back in the ring, AJ dropkicks Skipper but when he goes into the ropes, Romeo lowers the ropes and out goes Styles and he is thrust into the steps. Paris is tossed out and then powerslammed after being kicked off the apron. Back in the ring Romeo finishes him off as Chavo looks on.
***1/2 I dug the shit out of this. This is why Nitro was fun when it was three hours because if done right matches like these get a lot more time.
Haire in the back claims he will get payback when he faces Lex.
Match 3: Lex Luger v. Sean O’Haire (c)
Haire is basically carrying Luger. They are going back and forth and the match is not terrible. Haire sells a knee injury and Luger keeps after it. Palumbo comes down to help and they fight on the floor. Buff runs down and cleans the clock or knee and then head of Haire with a chair. Somehow the ref does not see it. Finally does. Palumbo is knocked off the apron. Luger is rolled up and nearly pinned. Buff is back in the ring keeping Palumbo back as Buff Blockbusts his own man! Haire goes up for the Seanton connects and wins and Luger is done for!
** Overbooked but not terrible.
Buff has taken out Palumbo and he measures Haire and strikes with the Blockbuster. Palumbo finally chases him off.
Kanyon and Douglas are talking in a limo. Not about anything useful that I can tell.
Chavo tries to act tough claiming he is not scared of Helms and he will win at the PPV.
Jarrett comes out and taunts Dusty, taunting him etc. The announcers fall for it again thinking the actual Dusty will come out. It is a dude made up to look fat and wearing a Dusty mask.
Match 4: Jeff Jarrett v. Fake Dusty
As bad as it sounds. Mercifully it ends quickly.
Dustin runs out and destroys JJ and I am not sure this is a match. Flair is the one dressed as Dusty and the announcers again play dumb and act shocked after he had already unveiled himself. They dismantle Dusty.
Hudson and Schiavone have kittens as the real Dusty comes out and clears the ring. Flair is an angry bear. He screams wondering what Dusty is doing in his building (Greenville SC) and demands he leaves. Dusty slowly drawls while he is here and tells a rambling story about Flair and women. He continues and calls JJ and Flair an extra after calling Flair fat. They are riled and get in the ring and get destroyed again. Flair leaves again and tells the fans to shut up and claims the Rhodes’ don’t work here and if he does then Dustin needs to bring his dad to the PPV and there will be a tag match. Dusty is going to get his big fat ass into his pickup truck and make his way to Jacksonville and kick Flair’s and JJ’s ass.
Helms gets new music and dancers….A rap called:Vertabreaker. It is not a good song.
Match 5: Chavo v. Helms
Chavo assaults him right when he gets in the ring. Helms comes back, tosses him to the floor and then leaps into him. Romeo and Skipper ambush Helms and Chavo leaps into him now. Back in the ring he stomps away. They go at it in the ring, Helms has him with backslide but the ref was distracted. Chavo cannot fend him off and eats a thrust kick. Helms gets two, hammers him some more and then springs into Skipper and Romeo. He takes care of them. He knocks Chavo back from the apron, hits a crossbody from the top but the other two intervene again and the ref does not call for the bell even baffling Hudson. Brainbuster and match.
** This was good but at the same time the ref not seeing the interference was just pretty terrible.
More AOL springbreak stuff.
They showed Kanyon in the hospital room with Ms. Jones but then it went right to commercial…
After the break the announcers are discussing what happened.
Match 6: Mike Awesome v. Hugh Morrus
They are going at it. Awesome getting in some extended offense before being tossed to the floor. Back in the ring, Awesome comes back getting two after a powerbomb. Awesome slowly goes up top and headbutts Morrus away from him. He gets two after a flying lariat. Morrus comes back and Storm runs out to attack Morrus but is clotheslined. Morrus gets back in the ring, and turns into a slingshot shoulder block. Awesome takes an hour to stand up top. He misses the splash. DDT from Morrus and Awesome is pinned via No Laughing Matter, which took an hour to unfold…Jesus.
**1/2 Fun match but I would rather see Awesome win obviously.
Storm puts Morrus in the Leaf but the save is made by Konnan who clears the ring.
This springbreak shit is just horrible. It is so canned with crappy music, and participants yelling AOL. I mean come on.
Match 7: Steiners v. DDP and Booker T
Rick does his catchphrases. He challenged Booker To to a solo match. Scotty taunts DDP for always running through the crowd and mingling with the white trash. He mocks him for having bad teeth and being a bitch etc.
They show DDP and Booker walking in the back and they come out after the break. Booker is fine with the match as long as it is for the belt and at the PPV where DDP will win too: Don’t hate the player, hate the game!
They charge down and the fight is on! Scotty is clotheslined over the top rope, hitting his head on the apron on the way down. DDP slingshots into him as Rick is kicked to the floor. Scotty takes care off DDP and then knocks Booker to the floor. DDP flies in and attacks Scotty. Rick grabs the ankle and now DDP is getting dismantled, hung upside down in the corner and stomped. Rick is in and he stomps DDP who fires back. Here comes Booker and he gets two after a suplex. Scott lowers the rope and out goes Booker and he is thrust into the railing and then belted with a chair. Booker is now getting dismantled. Rick is helping, and now Scotty nails him with a belly to belly, does some push ups and then tosses him to Rick on the floor who rails him and the short-clotheslines him. Booker is brought back in and he is hammered some more. He tries to fight back but Scotty knees him. Rick is in and he continues to hammer him but he manages to fend him off, and the hot tag is made. Both Steiners are run over. DDT on Rick and Scotty has to make the save and he plants DDT with a belly to belly. Booker pulls Scotty to the floor and runs him into the railing and they fight up the aisle. Rick is standing on DDP after clotheslining him. But DDP is up and he fights back as the other two fight towards the back. Steiner Bulldog though as Booker is ambushed and swarmed in the back. DDP kicks out. And he is hit with a release German. Rick mocks the DC sign. DDP though battles and they tussle, DDP nuts him and finishes him off with the Cutter!
*** Good match. Faces are certainly winning a lot more now.
DDP is about to say that he is still standing while in the crowd but gets ambushed and mugged by Steiner from behind!
***1/2 Not as good as last week. But still decent. They had plenty of wrestling and the only thing holding it back was JJ’s Dusty promo. We have seen it all before and it gets a bit old as JJ tends to drive things into the ground through repetition but it was nice to see Dusty again. The heels seem to be on the run more but I guess that was the case with Nash preparing to face Steiner. DDP is not the last one standing but oh well. The main event was easily one of the better and longer Nitro ones in quite some time and the ending was great. That alone, the last ten plus minutes elevated the show that half star as did the Cruiser tag match. The refs being dumber than normal did not help and the show lost a lot of steam for a bit but overall it was fun and fast paced.