Retro column from 1999 – The debut of Dustin “Seven” Rhodes

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The following column was written by Ken Graham on (my original domain name before in 1999. This column was a review of the November 9th 1999 edition of WCW Monday Nitro which featured Dustin Rhodes making his debut as the character Seven.

Wrestling Down and Dirty with Ken Graham

Monday NITRO Thoughts

Another Russo and Ferrara NITRO in the books and again I am not impressed. We continue to see more and more interviews, backstage shots as wrestling quickly disappears. I have complained for three weeks now but I have chosen I will not continue. You all know my thoughts and comments on the current direction of WCW. So let’s leave it at that. I will start to be open minded about the program for you readers out there. Enough with the talk, let’s get started on my Monday NITRO thoughts. I am changing the format this week and I hope to stick to it. High and low points will no longer be a part of the column, instead I will go through the matches one by one. As well I will talk about interviews, current storylines etc. You know the bit. This week the WCW World Title continued and we are down to eight men. How did they advance? Let’s talk about it.

Heavyweight Title Tournament Match– Hardcore rules Kidman d. Norman Smiley

Don’t get me wrong I love the whole Norman Smiley hardcore bit but it is too early. Kidman is an up and coming star and it is great to see him in the final eight. Even though Norman took the loss his credibility was not questioned at all. Brian Knobs interfered to set up the WCW Hardcore Title match at Mayhem. A great set up, just with the wrong person. Brian Knobs is worthless and has no reason to be in a wrestling ring. I think it is time to build another hardcore contender along with Smiley. If Knobs continues to be in the Hardcore Title spotlight the division will end up much like the WWF’s division. We don’t want that.

Heavyweight Title Tournament Match Chris Benoit d. Madusa

This was a poorly played out match from start to finish. Why did Jeff Jarrett need to come in at the end? I thought this whole Jarrett/woman angle in the WWF would not overlap into WCW. On the other hand it could mean a Jarrett/Benoit feud. Which is a wrestling fans dream. Both men are great workers and hold the future of WCW. I’m looking forward to it.

WCW Mayhem Match of the Week Rick Steiner d. Disco Inferno

Evidentially the Mayhem Match of the Week is by no means the best match of the week. You can see the CW Title is losing credibility week after week. Why Rick Steiner? Why not a Juvi, or a Psychosis? This is one thing I will never like Russo and Ferrara for. They are not for the cruiserweights of WCW unless they can cut a promo. And as well all know most of them cannot. Oh yeah, the match. It was the typical NITRO match these days. Nothing special.

Goldberg d. Sting

I got a great idea. Let’s hype a big match for a full hour. Then when the time comes to deliver, why not fumble? This match was horrible and didn’t accomplish nothing except it furthered the Sting/Luger feud. A match with great potential, just given no time or any interest.

Heavyweight Title Tournament Match Buff Bagwell d. Vampiro with The Misfits

No matter how much I wanted Vampiro to win, I knew Buff Bagwell would come out on top. I myself am tired of the whole Buff Bagwell/powers that be angle. It was an opportunity to get Vampiro over or even start. Although it did set up a feud I would not mind see going down. Vampiro and Berlyn fought last week. And for the time it was given it was well played out and executed. Many don’t believe in Berlyn but he is well capable of being carried to a good match. But what is a chain match?

Heavyweight Title Tournament Match Bret Hart d. Perry Saturn with Shane Douglas and Asya

I was looking forward to this match all week long. Saturn has shown over the past months he has improved putting up many good matches. Mostly with Eddy. Great match for the time given. When Saturn hit the DVD I didn’t think Hart would kick out. The Hitman reaches the final eight.

Mixed Tag Match Dean Malenko and Asya d. Torrie and Rey Mysterio Jr.

This match continued the feud between the Revolution and the Filthy Animals. A feud I have enjoyed so far. It needed more time but it was another development in the feud. I like the Asya with the Revolution. She makes a great fourth member and adds some power to the group.

No Contest: Sid Vicious vs. The Total Package with Elizabeth and Riot Police

I like the current angle with The Total Package. It gives a reason for the fans to care about him. I just wish he would not be involved with Sting. I am sick and tired of Sting and Luger as a team. Then not far after they break up. Sting needs to be at the top while Luger deserves a low midcard spot.

Hardcore Match Brian Knobs with Jimmy Hart d. Bam Bam Bigelow

Now I am really getting excited. WWF’s hardcore formula has been brought to WCW. Go backstage, pick up something, hit your opponent over the head. Knobs still does not belong there.

Scott Hall with The Wizard (Nash) and The Riot Squad d. Lash LaRoux

The one match of the night I was impressed with. Going into the match I was thinking the regular squash with Scott Hall going up against the rookie in Lash LaRoux. Finally Russo and company decided to do something right. I am a big fan and supported of Lash. I have followed him ever since he entered WCW. Just hoping for a push. Now Lash is getting just that. Even though Lash lost the match he was given credibility by taking Hall to the limit.

WCW Heavyweight Title Tournament Match Jeff Jarrett d. Curt Hennig

Decent match. Jeff Jarrett carried Hennig throughout before the Harris twins came out and took out Hennig. Jeff Jarrett deserves the current push, just not in this manner. Good to see Hennig’s career not “end.”

Texas Tornado Ladder Match Scott Hall d. Bret Hart, Goldberg and Sid Vicious

Short match, poor ending, and didn’t live up to the hype or even made the fans go home happy. I was fooled myself when a special guest referee announced. I expected a lot more. Even though out of the four the US Title fits Scott Hall the best. It will be interesting to see what happens next week.

Other thoughts

David Flair/Kimberly

I like the new David Flair attitude and the whole skit with these two Monday night. I just do not agree with these two meeting in the ring.

Kevin Nash as the “Wizard”

Not only was it no where near funny, but who that watches wrestling these days knows who the “Wizard” is?

Woman helping Booker T

It was interesting to see the woman come in and help Booker T. With Stevie Ray suspended (Thank God) Booker T might have a new valet in a Chyna type role. I like it.

Dustin Rhodes

I loved the whole segment, well until he talked. I thought the entrance was well done and the gimmick had a great chance of getting over much like Goldust. Instead the segment was used to take a shot at the WWF and to kill the gimmick. I was disappointed.

Overall the show was not anything to get up out of your seat for. There was no match longer than ten minutes as “sports entertainment” took the night away once again. Although I got to admit I like the story development, and feuds just beginning. Let’s just hope the Pay Per View events give us wrestling fans some light. So in closing I will give the show a solid C. Until next time catch you all on the flip-side.