Monday Nitro – July 20, 1998

Monday
Nitro #146
Date:
July 20, 1998
Location:
E-Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
There
isn’t much of a main story at the moment other than the Wolfpack is
done feuding with comedy heels and is going after the Black and White
again. We’re moving closer to Road Wild but the show hasn’t even
been mentioned yet. It would appear that we’ll be getting Hogan vs.
Page and Goldberg vs. Hennig, even though we already saw that match.
Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Hall attacking Nash during the big brawl with
the NWOs.
Opening
sequence.
Nitro
Girls.
Here’s
Hall to get things going. There’s no point for a survey tonight
because Salt Lake City is here to see the NWO. The fans don’t seem
to agree but Hall ignores them and goes into a Gilligan’s Island
metaphor. Apparently Hall is tired of laying on the top bunk and
doing all the work while Skipper Nash lays on his back. Nash can’t
lead the Wolfpack since he isn’t even a man, unlike Hogan. A Too
Sweet takes us out.
Tonight
it’s going to be Hart vs. Page for the vacant US Title, even though
Hart hasn’t exactly beaten anyone of note in WCW.
We
go back to Nitro last week for a look at all the Black and White
drama, from Hogan challenging Hall to the match itself to Page
running in and getting beaten down to the Nash stuff.
Stevie
Ray vs. Johnny Boone
Boone
is a jobber who would become a referee. Stevie doesn’t have the belt
tonight because he left it with Booker and his attorney. Total
squash with Ray kicking Boone around like the jobber that he is. Cue
Chavo Guerrero with his Lone Ranger mask and the TV Title as Stevie
Slap Jacks Boone for the pin.
We
look back at Hogan shoving Bagwell out of the wheelchair last week.
Back
from a break and we get an extended version of Hogan and Bagwell.
Here’s
Rick Steiner to talk about what happened to Bagwell last week. When
Gene says talk about Bagwell, Rick goes into a challenge to Scott
Steiner for Road Wild. Here’s Buff in a wheelchair and Rick
immediately apologizes for what happened last week. Rick apologizes
for Bagwell’s injury and says there was no bad intent at all.
Bagwell
says he was mad at Rick to begin with but the injury has changed him.
He loves every single fan and forgives Rick for what happened. They
hug but here’s Scott Steiner with a chair to Rick’s back. Buff pops
up and takes the chair to blast Rick as well. He takes off the neck
brace and his shirt, revealing a Black and White shirt. Buff is
another guy that could have been a big deal with his look and story
with the injury but they just threw him back into the NWO to get lost
in the shuffle.
Back
from a break with more talking but at least it’s Jericho. He talks
about the mental anguish he’s suffered at Malenko’s hands, such as
being attacked and tormented over the memory of his dead father (who
appeared on Thunder a few weeks before). Jericho offers Dean a title
shot next week, but it’s Malenko’s last shot. If he loses, Dean can
just go back to Harry’s Burgers in Tampa and give up on wrestling.
Hall
pops up at the announce table and throws a toothpick in Larry’s face.
He talks about hanging with Hollywood and learning a lot about the
movies. Hall doesn’t want to see Nash’s performance in the sequel to
Terms of Endearment, referring to the sitdown interview with Tenay
that we saw on Thunder.
We
see a parking spot out back labeled “star of the show” but the
car in front of it is wrecked with with windows all cracked and
shattered.
Steve
McMichael vs. Sick Boy
Hey
look a match. Tony tells us that the wrecked car is a reference to
Jay Leno, who always drives a different car to the Tonight Show.
Tony: “That’s all it could be.” Lodi and Sick Boy jump Mongo on
the floor and a clothesline gets two for Sick Boy. Mongo comes right
back with a three point clothesline and the tombstone for the pin in
about a minute.
We
look back at Arn Anderson telling Malenko to let the Horsemen be over
from Thunder.
Nitro
Party winner.
Time
for Bischoff’s talk show, which is now called NWO Night Cap. The
bandleader intros the show again and at least Liz looks good in a
leather dress. Bischoff has a full set now which looks a lot like
the Tonight Show set. The entrances take nearly two minutes before
Bischoff makes some bad jokes about the heat wave, stomach ailments,
Secret Service testimony, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and chickens.
These
are all accompanied by Eric complimenting himself and the band
laughing hysterically. Tony FREAKS OUT because apparently these
jokes are ripped off from the Tonight Show. Eric makes fun of Leno’s
chin and talks about Leno being a disgrace to bikers. This ate up
seven and a half minutes.
Hour
#2 begins. To recap, WCW used their unopposed hour for three and a
half minutes of wrestling, about ten minutes of recaps, a challenge
for a Cruiserweight Title match, and Bischoff’s talk show.
We
see Nash’s sitdown interview from Thunder. The tape cuts out in the
middle and we cut to the production truck with Hall leaving. Nash
walks up and a fight breaks out. They head outside but the Black and
White comes out of a trailer to beat Nash down. The Wolfpack runs in
to help and the huge brawl is on. Enough of that though as we need
to go back to the announcers.
Hart
shows up at the announcers’ table and wants Page right now. We cut
to the back where Konnan is screaming for help and standing over
Page’s writhing body. The trainer comes to check on Page as Bret
heads to the ring. JJ Dillon comes out as well and says the match
will have to be later.
Yuji
Nagata vs. Saturn
Saturn
takes him over with a quick northern lights suplex for two followed
by a quickly broken armbar. Some kicks in the corner drop Nagata but
he comes right back with a release northern lights suplex. Yuji goes
after the leg, only to get caught in a German suplex. We’ve had a
tag title match made for later: Nash/Sting defending against
Giant/Hall. Nagata misses a running knee in the corner and gets
suplexed down for two. Sonny Onoo gets on the apron as Raven runs in
with the Even Flow to Saturn, allowing Nagata to put on the Nagata
Lock for the pin since Saturn can’t tap out.
Rating:
D. This was just there to
announce the tag match and announce the tag title match. Nagata
continues to be one of the least interesting guys you’ll see in this
company throughout its entire run so thankfully this is his last
appearance with the company. He just never gave us a reason to care
about him in the year or so he was around.
Post
match the Flock comes in to lay out the Flock until Kanyon makes the
save. Kidman gets a sick looking middle rope piledriver. Saturn
gets up and hits a Death Valley Driver on Kanyon for his unwanted
help.
We
look at Bret costing Rick Martel a match last week and attacking
Mysterio and Guerrera on Thunder.
Nitro
Girls.
Heenan
is on commentary now.
Tag
Titles: Giant/Scott Hall vs. Sting/Kevin Nash
Nash
and Sting are defending. The Outsiders get us going as Tony talks
about Jay Leno. Hall backs into the corner and tags in Giant for the
big lockup with Giant sending Nash into the corner for a clothesline.
Nash pounds back on Giant and everything breaks down with the
Wolfpack quickly cleaning house. Back in and Sting clotheslines Hall
down as we take a break.
We
come back to see Giant on the floor before coming in for a tag from
Hall. Giant gets in Sting’s face but gets slapped, enraging him
enough that he misses a charge into the corner. A Stinger Splash
hits a boot though and Giant takes over again. Giant can’t hit a
clothesline but Sting’s cross body literally bounces off the big man.
Back to Hall for some right hands and a two count followed by an
abdominal stretch. The Black and White finally gets caught cheating,
which doesn’t change anything but Sting hiptosses out of the hold
anyway.
A
hot tag brings in Nash to clean house for real and finally get his
hands on Hall. Scott escapes Snake Eyes but gets his head kicked off
as everything breaks down again. Sting hits Giant low and bulldogs
him down before getting the hot tag from Nash. Hall is almost in the
Scorpion but here’s Bret Hart to break it up. The distraction lets
Scott hit the Outsider’s Edge for the pin and the titles.
Rating:
C-. The match was nothing of
note but at least Bret is FINALLY doing something. The bad thing to
come out of this though is we get to deal with the Leno promotion.
It’s going to dominate the next few weeks of commentary but there’s
nothing that can be done about it. Nash and Sting losing the titles
is a good thing though as they never made sense as champions in the
first place.
The
announcers recap the show so far. Tony: “I think Diamond Dallas
Page was attacked by Bret Hart.” Insert your own joke about
stating the obvious. We get a clip of the events from earlier.
Alex
Wright/Disco Inferno vs. Masahiro Chono/Great Muta
Tony
makes up for the obvious statement earlier by calling Wright and
Disco the Dancing Dodos. Wright gets jumped from behind to start but
comes back with a spinwheel kick to take Chono down. Disco comes in
and stomps him in the corner, only to walk into the Mafia Kick. Off
to Muta for some strikes to the face but he gets caught in a swinging
neckbreaker for two. Muta comes right back with the dragon screw leg
whip and a leg bar for the submission on Disco.
Post
match Scott Norton comes out to destroy the dancers even more.
Hour
#3 begins.
The
Nitro Girls dance but the trainer comes out and takes Kimberly away
due to something in the back.
Tokyo
Magnum vs. Ultimo Dragon
Tokyo,
usually the dancing idiot, comes out to traditional slow Japanese
style music. Dragon jumps him to start and takes Magnum into the
corner for the rapid fire kicks. The announcers talk about how the
teacher is beating up the student as he kicks Magnum in the back.
Magnum slams him off the top but dives into a dropkick, setting up a
brainbuster and the Dragon Sleeper. Basically a squash in Dragon’s
last WCW match.
We
look at the ending to the tag title match which shows Bret telling
Sting that the Scorpion is his hold.
Jim
Powers vs. Scott Norton
Norton
drives him into the corner to start and powerslams Jim down for no
cover. He chokes Powers in the corner, misses a charge, catches Jim
in a Samoan drop and powerbombs him down for the pin.
Video
on Hogan’s evil deeds since he joined the NWO.
Here’s
the Black and White en masse with something to say. Hogan brags
about the new tag team champions and asks for a round of applause for
their victory. He also admires the dedication of Scott Steiner and
Buff Bagwell as they help in the NWO conquering wrestling. That
brings him to Goldberg….but first let’s praise Muta and Chono.
Instead of talking about the world title, Hogan talks about Bischoff
being the funniest man in television and how Eric is going to take
over late night. Bret is going to take the US Title tonight and Page
will know how awesome Hogan is and that’s about it.
We
look back at the end of the tag match main event of Thunder where
Hennig and Hall beat DDP and Konnan. Apparently this is supposed to
make us care about the next match.
Eddie
Guerrero vs. Konnan
Konnan
has Antoine Carr of the Utah Jazz with him. Eddie takes him down to
start and the fans think he sucks. Konnan comes right back by
LAUNCHING Eddie into the air for a huge crash. A gorilla press slam
has about the same result so Eddie goes to the floor to yell at Carr.
Back in and they run the ropes a few times until Konnan monkey flips
him into the ropes for two. An X-Factor gets the same on Eddie as
this is one sided so far. Cue Chavo dressed like Konnan and shouting
his catchphrases with the distraction allowing Eddie to suplex Konnan
down. Eddie grabs Chavo’s stick horse and that’s a DQ despite a lack
of contact.
Rating:
D+. This was more of an angle
than a match but Eddie’s insane height on the throws makes up for it.
Chavo vs. Eddie doesn’t seem to have an end in sight and that could
become an issue soon. I’m not sure where they can go with it now but
it’s not a problem yet.
Lex
Luger vs. Curt Hennig
Luger
shoves him into the corner and pops the pecs a bit. Hennig has
already lasted longer than last week so we’re on the right track. A
hip toss sends Hennig out to the floor but he snaps Luger throat
first across the rope to take over. Hennig goes after the ribs to
keep Luger in trouble and snaps the neck for two. Some choking on
the ropes leads to a sleeper on Luger to put Lex down. A belly to
back suplex breaks the hold and Luger hits his atomic drops and
clotheslines. The referee gets bumped in the corner but Rude comes
in and gets a Rack. The distraction lets Curt hit the PerfectPlex
for the pin (with Rude holding the foot).
Rating:
D+. Total paint by numbers
match here which doesn’t really accomplish anything. The Wolfpack
civil war doesn’t do anything for me anymore as it just keeps going
without actually having an end in sight. That’s the mantra for all
of WCW at this point: there’s no idea to this but it fills in time.
US
Title: Bret Hart vs. Diamond Dallas Page
The
title is vacant coming in. There’s no DDP to start though as we’re
running out of time. After a few moments, here’s a very bandaged
Page with no music and a bad limp to try to make this work. Bret
goes right after the bad leg to take Page down before working over
the bad ribs. The Russian legsweep takes Page down and there’s the
Sharpshooter but Page is right next to the rope. A second attempt
goes on and Page gives up to give Hart the title. This wasn’t a
match.
Page
is taken out on a stretcher as the NWO comes to the ring to celebrate
to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D. This show is a good
example of what’s wrong with WCW around this time. Where were
Goldberg and the world title? Who is the next challenger for the
belt? I have no idea, because none of that matters when Hollywood
Hogan has something going on. That’s what happened when Sting won
the title and it’s happening again here. It’s just them going from
one Hogan story to another as he fights celebrity after celebrity.
That might have made them some money in the short term but it’s
speeding towards a cliff in the long term.
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