Thursday, September 02, 2004

The WCW Nitro Grill 1999-2000

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1999 was a good year to be a pro wrestling fan. The Rock and Mick Foley wrestled as the 'Rock and Sock Connection', the 'Mean Street Posse' faded away and for a brief shining moment fans could choose from TWO wrestling themed restaurants.

The WWF New York restaurant in Pittsburgh (just wanted to see if you were paying attention) and the WCW Nitro Grill.

It seems only right that the two federations would have competing eateries. At the time they competed EVERYWHERE. On Thursday night the WWF presented Smackdown! and the WCW presented Thursday Night Thunder. On Mondays it was WWF's Raw Is War against WCW Monday Nitro.

So, it was only logical to make the restaurant an extension of the Nitro program.

The Nitro Grill opened in Spring 1999 inside the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. On March 24, 1999 Monday Nitro aired highlights of the opening party. Many of the WCW superstars were on hand for the party. Sting (the wrestler, not the singer) showed up without his usual face paint. He said he hoped a menu item would bear his name.
Ever the card, Kevin Nash said there would be a lima-bean casserole named after
Sting (the wrestler, not the 1973 movie.)

Here is Kevin Nash's recipe:

Kevin Nash's Krazy Lima-bean Casserole

1. lima-beans
2. casserole

Preparation: Put lima-beans in casserole. Injure yourself picking up the bowl. Brag to nurses about playing Super Shredder in a Ninja Turtles film. Overhear nurses mock you behind your back. Cry yourself to sleep.

After the big opening party, WCW Nitro Grill welcomed it's first customers. "Where the Big Boys Eat" was the slogan, and eat they did. Moderately priced, dinner costing around $20, the food was mostly American with hamburgers and the like. One dish was a hamburger named after wrestler Bill Goldberg, The Goldburger.

In addition to food, a full sized gift shop stood inside the restaurant. Everything from Nitro aprons to a water bottle shaped like Sting (the wrestler, not what happens when a bee injects poison through the base of it's abdomen into your body.)

Sixteen months after it's opening, WCW Nitro Grill closed it's doors forever. Many excuses were given for the lack of customer interest. For one thing, it was at the south end of 'The Strip' in an area that gets little foot traffic. Also, WCW's popularity had already begun to dip at that point.

Mostly, though, it's lack of customer interest was probably due to the lack of lima-bean casserole.

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