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Well, I hope you and yours shall have a terrific Thanksgiving. Mine is essentially going to be a cross-pollination of being silent, not drinking cups of cider offered to me and reading conservative existentialism pieces from the early 20th century in between sessions of Chrono Trigger. Stay tuned for my upcoming Christmas edition of The Rocktagon, in which I replace religious ethos and genetic congregation with more obscure references to Phantasy Star and nominalism!

While we are on the subject, let's talk about heritage, shall we? Now, I've never really vested that much interest in familial pursuits, and the notion that, as of last count, I'm responsible for the destruction of FIVE families thus far in 2008 pretty much proves that I'm the penultimate individualist. Therefore, to truly soak up the fraudulent belief that we are intermeshed in interpersonal complacency, I have to revel in our communal past. And if anything is a reminder of the drunken patronage of obscure figures from one's past, it would be deathbed era WCW.

For whatever reason (and as always, I choose to blame Der Jude), people liken millennial WCW to the wrestling equivalent of the Dark Ages, essentially an ass-backward regression in time that stands as an exemplary of the absolute worst wrestling has to offer. OK, nobody's disputing the fact that the product sucked, but was it truly as god-awful as the Intranet remembers, and what lessons can today's current promotions learn from Ted Turner's foibles? Well, it sounds like we need to flip on the Way, way back machine to World Champion Wrestling's last ill gasps.

I present unto you, the January 15th, 2001 edition of WCW Monday Nitro!

Tonight's show kicks off with a recap of the previous night's Sin PPV. For some reason, the WCW hierarchy decided that the formal monikers used in prior years just weren't "cutting edge" enough for the new demographic they were targeting. Thusly, instead of utilizing goofy portmanteaus such as "Slamboree", the new initiative was to name each and every WCW show by the most esoteric and pretentious handle imaginable. And believe you me, things could've gotten really retardiculous if the company had chugged along for a few additional months: word has it that the company's final PPV was supposed to be called "The Big Bang Theory". Sadly, the powers-that-be never had the opportunity to re-christen Starrcade as "Mid-Winter Solstice: For Our Father Has Perpetrated Many A Lies, And Tonight, Our Retribution Is Justified: The Reckoning". Sigh, what could've been.

So, you missed that show, huh? Well, you're the lucky one. Goldberg ended up getting "retired" because some kid doused him with pepper spray and Road Warrior Animal (dressed as Jason Voorhees' homosexual doppleganger) stabs Sid, thusly costing him the WCW World Title. In other words, it was like watching your decrepit grandfather shit himself on his deathbed.

We are coming to you LIVE from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Our hosts for the evening are Tony S. and Scott Hudson, and they spend no time before lugubriously pining about the current state of WCW. Cue the following terms: "swerve", "worked", "the boss", "it's over". Mayhap they aren't talking about the in-ring product? Anyway, Tony sells Goldberg's "retirement" as if he had fallen from the rafters on PPV, and the dynamic duo mope like a prepubescent, emo mall couple. Next up, cue Sid's legendary injury in which his leg snaps like many a Slim Jim under the jurisdiction of Randy Savage. You know, a lot of people say that Sid is a horrible worker, but after watching that performance, I'd have to say that I've never seen a wrestler sell so well. I totally bought the notion that he was critically injured!

Lex Luger and Buff Bagwell strut to the ring in funeral attire. Out come about ten or so pallbearers carrying a casket as a funeral dirge plays over the arena PA. Scott and Tony continue to blame all of the company's ills on Ric Flair. So THAT'S the reason the company went under! While discussing Sid's mishap, Hudson uses his position to publicly decry backyard wrestling. Well, he just lost my vote. Buff and Lex prop open the casket, revealing a spear, a jackhammer and Goldberg's ghost written tome from about ten years back.

OK, I remember this show now. Sadly, my VHS copy cut out the opening vignette of the evening, which featured a memorial to Goldberg as triumphant music played over a static trailer park image. Actually, that WAS kind of funny. You don't get to say that often about WCW's attempts at humor..

Lex begins talking, and I begin mentally blocking out his utterances. Time for the unintentional humor: some troglodyte in the crowd holds up a Goldberg-tinged street placard.upside down. He quickly corrects this faux pas and proceeds to play the signage like a guitar. Long story short, that's how Bush got elected. Lex, whose face occupies roughly only one quarter of his overall frontal tissue, hands the mic to Buff. That's like complaining about stubbing your toe only to get your foot severed moments later. To distract myself, I focus in on this one guy in the front row, whom is easily the fattest thing I've ever seen. Watching his sausage-like fingers tinker with his newfangled digital camera is akin to viewing Jabba The Hut assemble Lincoln Logs.

And Jeff Jarrett enters the frame. Hudson utilizes a PG version of the archaic "I wouldn't piss on him if he were aflame" chestnut. And to complete the course, here's Scott Steiner.

Cue Bill's theme. SWERVE! It's actually Ric Flair and Road Warrior Animal mocking Goldberg's entrance. Commercial break, and Flair is in the ring. I actually desire utilization of my aural capacities now that Ric is on the stick.

As the Nature Boy continues to droll, the restless fans chant for some Goldberg, but to no avail. Well, fuck, why give the fans what they want to see? It's not like they'll stop watching in droves and send the company spiraling into bankruptcy. Let's utilize the WCW approach in a different industry, shall we?

Customer at Drive-Through: Wow, I'm really hungry, can I have some fries and a shake?

World Championship Burgers: NO! Wouldn't you rather watch our executive managers talk about starting up the fries and argue about the proper grease trap temperature, instead? And then, the lead manager leaves, and comes back and SHOOTS on the burger chef, LIVE in front of the customers!

Customer at Drive-Through: Uh. . . no. I just want some fries and a shake.

World Championship Burgers: Fuck you! For the price of those fries, you can watch a well-known celebrity EAT a TRIPLE-TIERED Cheeseburger, and right before he finishes the final bite, he SWERVES us all but saying that he was never hungry to being with! Bwa-ha-ha!

(Customer speeds off to eat at World Burger Federation instead).

After, and I shit you not, TWENTY minutes of this, out comes Kevin Nash, looking like an overstuffed pillowcase filled with bee-stung Spam.

Symbolism? Not in WCW, pal. Nash says he's going to quite literally KILL everyone in the ring. He then brings out his new allies, Diamond Dallas Page and Rick Steiner. Flair and Nash continue to jaw about the legality of Ric's decision making, which brings out Ernest Miller, whom authorizes a Nash \ Steiner title bout for later in the night.

Break, and Flair is backstage chatting it up with a giant nose attached to Crowbar and a bubble-blowing Daffney. We all know about my weakness for the Goth chicks, so consider me attentive at the moment. The world then comes to an end when Flair offers a spot in his newfangled mega-stable to Crowbar. Out of all of the guys in the company, that's the first person you try to recruit? That's like using a first round draft pick to select a punter.

Anyhoo, at damn near the thirty-minute mark, we have our first purported sighting of actual in-ring activity. Cruiserweight champ Chavo Guerrero, Jr. makes his way to the ring, followed by his adversary good old Crowey.

Chops from the 'Bar, a tilt-a-whirl by Chavo to gain the offensive leverage. Corner chops from Chavo, culminating with a hurrancanranna. Dump to the outside and Crowbar eats an outside body splash. Back in the ring, Crowbar takes the upper hand, landing a springboard moonsault. More chops are exchanged, and Crowbar lands a pussified Burning Hammer for a two count. Crowbar instantly negates any kind of push he may have undeservedly been considered for when he royally fucks up a hurrancanranna. That is some blooper-reel quality shit right there. Crowbar throws off a Tornado DDT attempt from Chavo. Weird spot ensues in which Chavo tries to land a springboard fist drop which is countered into a snap Supplex for the nearfall. Chavo takes a bizarre rope bump. An elbow sends Chavo flying to the outside. Body splash, mounted punches, and Chavo gets rolled back into the ring. Crowbar "reverts" to his hardcore sensibilities and grabs a chair. In a neat spot, Chavo dives to the outside and lands a cool looking face buster on the seating arrangement. Brainbuster, and Chavo gets the three.

Winner: Chavo Guerrero, Jr., The notion that not everything in WCW sucked at the time

After a commercial break, the Mega Faction attempts to recruit Bam Bam Bigelow. Based merely on the incentive that he gets to "kick some butt", he decides to join. I really think he should've pondered the health coverage plan, though.

Tony S. shills the WCW merch. Who doesn't want a shirt that reads "Choke on that, Slap Nuts"? [\everybody]

The next bout is betwixt 3 Count and the Filthy Animals. In layman's terms, that means it's Billy Kidman and an unmasked Rey Mysterio, Jr. battling Shannon Moore and Shane Helms. I have no basis on this statement, but something tells me there may or may not be flips of some kind in the ensuing bout. Call it a hunch. Dear God, this bout is so spotty that it makes your typical X-Division match-up look like Misawa\Kawada by comparison. Moore and Helms are sporting neon lime britches, and the highlight of the bout comes when Moore lands a pretty fluid swanton to the outside that he sticks better than most Olympic gymnasts. Mary Lou doesn't have shit on Shannon's form. Mysterio says "Bullshit! That's my line!" and makes the outside congregation eat corkscrew plancha. Who's that jumping out the sky? S-H-A-N-E Helms, here we go.uh, fuck. Shane gets crotched, out comes the Hurrancanranna (or as must always be referenced in WCW-land, the Frankensteiner), but it only nets a two. Pretty awesome finale en tow when Shane feigns the Vertebreaker, only to have it reversed into a Kid Crusher after a Mysterio kick. So.you have a pretty talented roster that's capable of putting on an entertaining product, so the focus of programming should be.

(Obviously, if the WCW brass would've known the correct answer, they probably would've stayed in business for a little longer.)

Winner: The Filthy Animals, References to the Home Alone franchise

Post bout, Team Canada (comprised of Lance Storm, Mike Awesome and Elix Skipper) attack the Animals. Out comes WCW "security" (which, strangely, consists of a large faction of pony-tail sporting muscle heads) to ease the already contentious American lucha \ Canadian apprehensions. To settle this international quagmire, Billy Kidman and Mike Awesome agree to a hair vs. hair bout, which is the typical manner in which American\Anglican disputes have been mended. Rumor has it, the War of 1812 was resolved when George Prevost upended James Madison in a loser-must-unmask bout.

After a break, Kronik cajoles Ernest Miller's lackey into giving them a title match. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that moniker is a reference to illicit cannabis consumption.

Backstage, the Canadians stomp on Kidman like Gary Bettman has stomped on the dreams of there ever being another NHL team in the Great White North. How does the Houston Maple Leafs sound?

Ric Flair discusses matters with Chavo Guerrero, Jr., and then fraudulently claims that Mike Modest is the future of wrestling. In all seriousness, all I could focus on was the ginormous fruit plate in the middle of the shot. Even the cameramen stopped giving a shit at this point.

Lex and Buff try to recruit Hugh Morris. Luger refers to his boss as "Ric Flan". I giggle.

Back from break, and out comes Kronik with mock green dope smoke. Here come the tag champs, Shawn O'Haire and Chuck Palumbo. This should be. something. Tony reminds us that next week's show will be airing on Tuesday as opposed to Monday. Apparently, TNT needed that time slot to show The Shawshank Redemption for the ninety fifth time that week. Cue the Bryan Clark barrel roll. Neat? There are four huge ass guys in the ring, and surprisingly, all of them are pretty agile. You didn't see The Undertaker rattling off spinning heel kicks at the concurrent juncture, now did you? Basic match-up: The Natural Born Thrillers break out the kicks and more acrobatic maneuvers, Kronik does the brawling and power spots. Blasphemy, but it's not all that bad. Now pardon me as I flog the sin from my being. Jonestown spot, hot tag. High Time, Palumbo breaks up the count. Double clothesline from the Weed Warriors. Here come NBT stable mates Mark Jindrak and Shawn Stasiak. Distraction, Sean-ton bomb, and the champs retain.

Winners: O'Haire, Palumbo, the disbelief that three decent matches have transpired in succession in 2001 circa WCW

Backstage tomfoolery ensues. Apparently, Kidman can't compete tonight, so he must find a replacement. The rub? All of his allies are bald. What luck.


What the hell was that? Back from commercial break, and The NBT are patting themselves on the back. Uh-oh! I smell contention. That, and homoeroticism.

So, apparently, Konnan (with shades from the future, and by future, I mean antiquated apparel from 1994) will be taking on Mike Awesome in a hair vs. hair bout. Flair culls the shenanigans and states that if Konnan loses, Kidman gets shaved. OK. Listen to this: the fans chant USA. Umm.Konnan is Mexican, and Awesome is actually American. That's like chanting "talent!" during a Mark Henry bout, or "attractive female" at an ROH show. It just doesn't make any sense. Rolling thunder clothesline from the K sends the bout to the outside. Chairs and the metal ring steps are utilized. Awesome Air eats a soft chair shot from Konnan. Top rope leap, and K swallows boot tip. At least he didn't swallow the worm. Clothesline from Mike, Awesome Bomb feigned, and K lands an X-Factor variation (jeez, how many of those things existed circa 99-01?) Near fall. Alabama (Uh, Manitoban?) Slam, and Mike goes up stairs. Awesome splash, and Konnan kicks out. I believe there's a fervent flock of late 90s' proponents of a particular Pennsylvanian based promotion that are screaming "bullshit!" at their television screens right now. K lands a FUBAR DDT off the top rope for the victory, and Awesome gets shaved. If they really wanted to piss him off, though, they would've made him bathe. Man, WCW can't even afford electric shears at this point. Sad.

Winner: Konnan, manual utilization of scissors

Backstage, Chavo and Hugh Morris are chatting it up.


The fuck? Erstwhile, Awesome pines the loss of like two or three snips as if he was raped during the holocaust.

Hey, it's Ernest "The Cat" Miller, soon to be star of the upcoming Hollywood flop "The Wrestler". His opponent tonight is Bam Bam Bigelow. Instantaneous brawling ensues. Dancing, blatant patent infringement and soft-boiled kicks follow. An anti-match.

Winner: Earnestly? The Cat, filler.

No, Schiavone, nobody wants to be a "Slap Nuts"!

Cue the Midi version of "Perfect Strangers", it's Shane Douglas (AKA, Troy Martin), whom, is now currently teaching social studies at New Brighton Area Middle School in Pennsylvania. This is not a joke, Internet. Here's his official web page:


Well, it's a step up from Target, I suppose.

You know what? Who gives a shit about his bout with Hugh Morris? I'm going to give the Homework Hotline a call.

James Swift: Uh.hello?

Shane Douglas: Yes. This is Mr. Martin. What can I help you with?

James Swift: Well, I'm having trouble with the presidents.

Shane Douglas: Really? What's the problem?

James Swift: Well, I think of all the great names before me.George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, (long pause).and here today, they can all KISS..MY..ASS. (Picks up Pre-Algebra textbook). THIS is the only subject that means anything to me, and today, I declare myself THE STAR STUDENT. Now hit my fucking music!

OK, too much of a tangent. Let's recap the match, shall we? No, fuck that, can you imagine what it must be like to have a former ECW champion teaching you geography? I can envision the classroom now: As soon as Douglas walks into the room, Deep Purple plays over the in-class intercom and he begins each session by cutting a promo aimed at how much the eight grade teachers have held him under. To answer a question in class, you have to raise three fingers in the air and instead of receiving after school detention, you get belly to back supplexed for misappropriate behaviors. For some reason, all the kids in class named "Ric" or "Shawn" receive failing letters regardless of academic performance, and instead of a bell chime signaling the end of session, he punches the chalkboard with a chain-wrapped fist and yells "This class just got Franchised!"

Holy shit, that school's band instructor is named "Frankenstein". That has to be the greatest middle school in the country.

Anyhoo, shitty match. WCW budget costs downgraded prop expenditures, so Shane has to make due with a chain that more closely resembles a K-Mart necklace than an implement of malicious intent. Chavo pops Morris with a necklace-fist of his own, and Douglas picks up the ace.

Winner: Shane Douglas, economic hardships

Mike TeNAy is with Hugh backstage. His head hurts, his voice crackles, and uh, something.

Schiavone shills for WCW apparel someone may actually wish to exchange monetary funds for, a Lance Storm tee.

Cue the ambulance sirens. Here comes Nash. Massive explosives + outhouse = this match. For some reason, the crowd is absolutely hot for this abortion of a match, but there were a lot of people cheering at Hitler's rallies too, so fuck it. The Magnificent Seven interfere right before Nash can drop the Jackknife, and as soon as Rick S and DDP enter the fray.OOPS, we are out of time! See you next week!

Basic Nitro finale.

Yeah, overall, I can't say the show was a pleasing experience, but compared to the crap churned out on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights, this stuff reeks of rose petals. It's quite apparent why WCW went into the shit tank shortly after the airing; sure, you can blame the backstage politicking, the script misdirection and tumultuous mishaps with booking and acquisitions for the company's demise, but at its big, dead crushed heart, the cause of WCW's demise was good old-fashioned apathy. The guys cutting the checks stopped giving a hoot, and you could tell that the on-screen performers weren't really into it. Believe you me, passion isn't an intangible: go back and watch any 1989 NWA, 1997 ECW or fucking pick an All Japan show from the 90s and you'll see performers, scriptwriters, bookers and personnel that care about what they are presenting, and it shows in the on-camera product. Put guys in your companies that lack heart for the business, and you're pretty much picking your own burial plot. Paying attention World Entertainment Entertainment, Serialized TNA and Sans- Sapolsky ROH?

Anyhoo, that's a wrap for this week's iteration. Enjoy the ensuing Giving of Thanks, unless you're Canadian, which truthfully, means you have very little be gracious about to begin with. What's that about sending me inflammatory hate mail? Well, might as well drop it over at http://www.myspace.com/xxjswxx. Oh, and just because: Guadalajara Chivas FTW. It's in the Bible.


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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).