Monday Nitro – January 11, 1999

Monday
Nitro #171
Date:
January 11, 1999
Location:
Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee
Attendance:
13,024
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Tonight
we should be finding out some of the matches for Souled Out. Why
should it be tonight? Well that’s because tonight is the go home
Nitro for the pay per view. In its infinite wisdom, WCW had
Starrcade, then Flair winning power the next night, then the
Fingerpoke of Doom the next week, then Souled out less than two weeks
later. The only match announced so far is David/Ric Flair vs.
Hennig/Windham. Our big story at the moment is Nash vs. Giant to be
the real big man of the NWO. Flair also promises to deal with the
team tonight. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Hogan announcing Nash vs. Giant for tonight.
One might think putting this on the pay per view would be a good
idea, but why do that when you can do it for free with four days’
build?
Here’s
Flair for the opening chat. Gene asks him about the match at Souled
Out and Flair lets out a huge MEEEEEAN WOO! BY GOD GENE because
Bischoff hates it. Flair talks about he and his son coming to get
some of Windham and Hennig on SUnday. This brings us to Hogan, who
is signed up through 2001, so he’s not going to Hollywood or the
White House. Good to see Flair keeping his sworn enemy around for
two years.
Flair
also brings out JJ Dillon as the Chairman of the Executive Committee,
along with more money, a new car and a female limousine driver. JJ
makes his first match: Hogan defending the title at SuperBrawl
against someone to be named by WCW. On Sunday, we’re also getting
Goldberg vs. Hall in a shock stick above the ring match for the main
event.
Ric
has one more piece of business to tend to: the LWO. They come out
minus a few members (Gene: “Que Pasa?”) and Flair calls them the
most talented people in the world. He knows Eddie is in the hospital
right now with a broken leg and knows the NWO had something to do
with it. That’s something I miss in wrestling. Why do we have to
know the real reason someone is hurt or injured? Blame it on someone
else and make a story out of it.
So
what if the real story is online? Is it that much harder to believe
than some of the other gaps in logic/stories you hear on TV? Look at
the injury to Daniel Bryan (in 2014 in case you’re reading this in
like 50 years). Instead of having him announce his broken neck and
then get beaten down by Kane, don’t have him mention anything and
have Kane attack him. Kane looks like a monster, Bryan gets off TV,
everyone wins.
Anyway
Flair tells them to take the shirts off and join the WCW bandwagon.
They’re promised money, cars, women, or whatever else they want.
Most of them take the shirts off and Flair promises to go to Tijuana
with Juvy next week. Rey won’t take off the colors ironically
enough, but who needs Rey Mysterio when you have a Villano and
Damien? We’re STILL not done though as Flair knows we’re a match
short so he puts himself in a match with Curt Hennig.
Video
on Flair and tradition. He gets to list off people like Jack Brisco
and Wahoo McDaniel because that’s what half of his promos are about.
The
announcers talk for a bit and hint at Eric Bischoff having a new
assignment.
Clip
of the LWO getting beaten down on Thunder.
Gene
brings out Saturn because we don’t have enough talking to open this
show yet. Saturn talks about how great Flair is before saying he got
ripped off. He wants a rematch with Jericho and gets both Chris and
Ralphus. Jericho says the record books show two straight fair wins
over Saturn and now Perry is out here caterwauling like a ten year
old.
Saturn
is crying so much he should be wearing a dress. That’s a good idea
and Jericho pitches a third match and if Saturn loses, he wears a
dress for the rest of his career. Saturn says no but Jericho runs
his mouth long enough to get the deal made. Chris is worried that
Saturn doesn’t have the legs to make the dress work.
The
Cat vs. Perry Saturn
Scott
Dickinson is referee because this story won’t die. Miller tries a
sneak attack to start but gets suplexed down and hammered on in the
corner. A ticked off Saturn pounds away with right hands but
Dickinson physically pulls him off. The announcers try to tell us a
history between Saturn and Dickinson but they lose me as soon as I
remember it’s about a mostly bald referee.
Miller
kicks him in the leg and poses a lot before we hit the chinlock. A
dropkick to the knee puts Perry down again (Tony calls it a knee to
the ribs because he’s stupid in 1999) but Saturn comes back with a
quick suplex. He hits a frog splash but Dickinson is with Sonny
Onoo, allowing Jericho to come in and hit Saturn with a shovel. It
knocks Saturn into Dickinson though and that’s a DQ.
Rating:
D. Did Saturn run over
Bischoff’s dog or something? He’s plummeted through the floor since
the biggest push of his career and it seems like it’s just going
further and further. I don’t know why I’m surprised, but I don’t see
why the Dickinson stuff is needed at all. This same story could be
told with just Jericho.
Jericho
puts Saturn in a dress.
We
see Flair ranting about Bischoff on Thunder.
Opening
sequence, about 40 minutes into the show.
Nitro
Girls.
Time
for more not wrestling as we see Bischoff arriving in Atlanta for a
meeting with WCW and Turner brass. Bischoff’s security card doesn’t
work so he has to call the receptionist to get in. It’s funny you
see. He has to sign in and this is humiliating I guess. Security
guard: “Mr. Bischoff….” Eric: “Do you know who I am?”
Security guard: “No sir.” Eric is shown waiting presumably for
hours for Flair and ranting to the new receptionist.
Ric
will finally see him and apparently the secretary has a new house and
stock options. Flair is in Bischoff’s old office, complete with a
robe hanging from the coat rack. Bischoff liked a few moments of
last Monday and claims no responsibility for what happened with the
NWO. Flair promises to spend ninety days (isn’t it like 80 now?)
making Bischoff as miserable as he can. Ric gives Bischoff all of
the personal stuff he left in the office and assigns him to the ring
crew. Bischoff gets to ride in the truck down to Knoxville. This
ate up over eight minutes for one joke. Tony promises more on this
later.
Now
it’s back to Gene who has a cake. He brings out Chavo Guerrero Jr.
and of course Pepe…..for the horse’s birthday. We get a huge HAPPY
BIRTHDAY sing a long until Norman Smiley comes out to bring some
sanity to this show. Actually scratch that as he’s upset about not
being invited and wants to make amends with the horse. Smiley of
course attacks Chavo, sends him into the cake and does the Big
Wiggle. This still isn’t done though as Norman takes Pepe outside
and throws him in a conveniently placed wood chipper.
Hour
#2 begins with us looking in on Raven playing Backgammon with James
(Sandman). Raven asks to see his high school yearbook and is told
it’s in the garage. He goes to find it but instead finds a folded up
picture of Roddy Piper. James asks what that is but Raven quickly
brushes him off.
The
NWO motorcade arrives and the Black and White wants to know why they
didn’t get such a nice entourage. Hogan, thankfully without the
flannel shirt, walks to the ring flanked by the Hell’s Angels. The
bikers rev their engines a lot then leave so Hogan can talk.
Hollywood talks about being under contract and winning the title in a
hard fought battle. He’ll still be president of course.
Nash,
a former Tennessee Volunteer, promises to show the world who the real
giant is. Scott Steiner says he’ll beat up Diamond Dallas Page and
threatens to hurt Schiavone if he calls Page the People’s Champion
again. He promises to show Kimberly what it’s like to be with a real
man. Hogan thanks the Angels and that’s it. This interview proved
one thing: we’re not getting an explanation for the NWO’s merging are
we?
Kaz
Hayashi vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
A
quick headscissors puts Kaz down and gets sent to the floor for a big
old flip dive over the top. Back in and a slingshot headscissors
drops Hayashi again but here’s Lex Luger to attack Kaz for the DQ
after less than two minutes.
Luger
wants to know why Rey didn’t take the shirt off and decks the
“helpless” Rey (Tony’s word as Rey was standing there looking at
Luger when Lex jumped him, because there’s no way a small guy could
ever fight a big one). A quick comeback is thwarted by Luger as the
announcers make it sound like Rey is 12 years old and worthless.
Konnan
calmly walks down for the save but doesn’t attack Luger. Instead
Konnan says there’s no point to attack Rey because he’s no threat to
the NWO and doesn’t have a title they want. Luger says he (Luger)
wasn’t in Konnan’s video so they don’t have to do everything
together. Nash comes in and the beatdown is on. Hall zaps him a few
times and Konnan is off the team. The fans want Sting but get no
one.
We
see Hogan making Giant vs. Nash tonight.
Here’s
Giant with something to say. Giant admits that he was suckered in by
Macho Man (who hasn’t been seen since that one appearance) and he’s
sick of Hogan complaining about it. Tonight, he’s fighting to get a
piece of Nash and then a piece of Hogan. He’s about to unwrap
himself from the wrong things he’s gotten caught up in.
Booker
T. vs. Lenny Lane
This
is what we’ve waited for? Feeling out process to start with Booker
grabbing a headlock and easily taking Lane down. A running forearm
puts Lane on the floor and Booker rams him into the barricade. Back
in and Lane scores a boot to the jaw and a bulldog but stops to
showboat. T. shrugs them off and it’s a side kick, the ax kick, the
spinebuster and another side kick to pin Lane.
Rating:
D+. This was nothing special
and there wasn’t all that much to it. At the end of the day, we’re
an hour and a half into this show and this is the longest match we’ve
gotten so far and the rest has been a lot of talking. Booker
continues to fight his way through the card and is getting no
recognition for it. Is
there any shock that so many people left?
We
get an NWO produced sitdown chat between Hogan and Nash talking about
how awesome their match was. Tony brings up a good point: Why did
Flair allow this to be on the show?
Recap
of the Hell’s Angels being here and not doing anything earlier.
TV
Title: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Scott Steiner
Steiner
is defending and Page has walking pneumonia. Scott
shoves Page into the corner a few times but gets caught by the
driving shoulders and some right hands. Page
fights off both Steiner and Bagwell to finally fire up this crowd.
Bagwell breaks up a superplex attempt and Page is in trouble. The
beating begins as Steiner throws him to the floor and stomps away
before sending Page into the barricade.
Back
in and a running kick to the head has Page in even more trouble as
the crowd is already dead. The spinning belly to belly gets two and
Scott yells at the referee for counting slowly. Off to a chinlock
for a few moments before a hard clothesline sets up Scott’s pushups.

Bagwell
gets in some cheap shots on the floor but Page nails Steiner with a
discus lariat for a quick two. Steiner charges into a boot in the
corner and Page makes his comeback with right hands and clotheslines.
The Pancake connects but Vincent comes in for a distraction so
Steiner can shove Page into the referee. Bagwell
throws powder into Page’s eyes so Vincent
takes a Diamond Cutter. Page
thinks it’s Steiner, even though Vincent is wearing a shirt,
allowing Steiner
to hit
some bad chair shots to set up the Recliner for the three arm drops.
Rating:
D. I waited this long for a
match this bad? It wasn’t so much the action but that it’s the same
NWO formula we had for so long but with an ending instead of the lame
run in. I feel sorry for this crowd as they’ve sat through a very
boring show and now they get this match as one of the features on
this show. Also what was the point of the powder? They could have
done the exact same thing without Page being blinded.
Goldberg
talks about Starrcade being a big mistake when he thought Nash would
have a faie match. He won’t make that mistake again. Ignore the
fact that it wasn’t cheating as there were no disqualifications.
We
see Bischoff setting up the ring earlier. This is supposed to
entertain us somehow. Seriously it’s just several minutes of the guy
in charge of the ring yelling at Bischoff for being slow and Bischoff
insulting him.
Another
clip of Nash winning the title and
the end of last week’s show because
we have to fill this show with as many replays, videos and interviews
as we can.
Now
it’s a REPLAY OF BISCHOFF PUTTING UP THE RING. Just…..wow.
Scott
Hall vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
The
fans aren’t interested in the idea of Goldberg getting shocked again.
Bigelow runs him over to
start and stops the driving shoulders with a clothesline. A poke to
the eye has Bigelow in trouble and Hall slowly hammers away in the
corner. Another clothesline puts Hall down and a delayed vertical
suplex gets the same. Disco Inferno comes out for a distraction as
Wrath shoves Bigelow off the top. Inferno slides Hall a taser which
the referee somehow doesn’t hear, even though the cameras pick up the
sound, allowing Hall to fall on top for the pin.
Rating:
D-. This was somehow even less
interesting than the previous match with punches and clotheslines
before two run-ins and an electric stick got the pin in a four minute
match. I’d guess this sets up Wrath vs. Bigelow at the pay per view,
which puts us at I believe
four matches for the show.
More
from Goldberg, saying Nash knows he can’t beat him on his own.
Luger’s turn surprised
Goldberg more than anyone else for some reason.
Wrath
and Bigelow got in a fight in the back to set up their match. Not
that we get to SEE this or anything, but here’s a clip of Nash nearly
killing Giant a year ago.
Nitro
Girls.
Ric
Flair vs. Curt Hennig
Feeling
out process to start with Flair slapping him in the face a few times.
Despite hating Hennig, Ric goes for a hammerlock and struts a bit.
A backdrop puts Flair down
and Barry Windham is at ringside less than a minute in. David Flair
comes out to even things up as well as he can and we go to a break.
Tony: “The tape machines are rolling.” Heenan: “BUT NO ONE IS
RUNNING THE MACHINES!”
Back
with Hennig eating an elbow in the corner but slamming Flair off the
top. Curt slaps on the Figure Four but Ric pokes him in the eye to
escape. Hennig sends him
outside for a Flair Flop right in front of David. They send each
other into the barricade until Flair takes him inside for a suplex to
put both guys down. Back up and they collide to put each other down
again. Ric sends him outside and Barry nails David. They get back
in and Ric puts on the Figure Four, drawing in Barry for the DQ.
Rating:
D+. I can only give it that
because it’s slightly better than the previous two matches. The
opening part of the match drove me crazy though as Ric is supposed to
hate Hennig but treated him like any run of the mill jobber at the
beginning. The idea of Ric and David wrestling a tag match together
makes my head hurt, but that could just be the migraine that this
show is giving me.
Goldberg
says the phrase is now Who’s Left. He finally says Hall is first.
Nitro
Girls.
Giant
vs. Kevin Nash
Buffer
says this is the home of the NCAA Champions of the Universe. Giant
seemed like he quit the NWO earlier but comes out to their music
here. You can’t blame them for not remembering that as their minds
are still recovering from the comedic genius of Eric Bischoff using a
wrench and carrying ropes. The
trade poses to start and a headbutt staggers Nash before Giant stomps
away in the corner. Nash avoids a charge and gets two off a big boot
and an elbow drop.
Kevin
hammers away in the corner as Tony points out that Sunday is the
first WCW Souled Out rather than the third NWO Souled Out. I’d still
love to hear the meetings where WCW thought people would care about
which organization was putting on the pay per views at any point
after the first Souled Out when it was still a new idea. Nash
hits the picture frame elbow in the corner and
Hall gets in a shot of his own.
We
get a nice power display as Nash slams Giant but the bigger man
powers out of the Jackknife attempt. Hall comes in and gets taken
down as well before splashing both of them in the corner. A double
headbutt puts them down and Hall gets chokeslammed. Nash pulls out a
wrench (apparently the same one Bischoff used earlier in the day,
which is treated as a big deal for some reason) to knock out Giant,
literally with the referee looking right at them, for the pin.
Rating:
D. And that’s it for Giant in
WCW. It’s really hard to feel bad for him when he went on to become
a multiple time World Champion and multimillionaire in the WWF, but
it’s always bothered me that Giant never got to beat Nash even once.
Giant would be 27 a month
after this and still has a
pretty high profile job fifteen years later. This is the start of a
trend for the WWF: taking young stars from WCW instead of the older
veterans. Giant would be the first of many and it would slowly chip
away at WCW’s future.
Giant
gets spray painted to end the show, giving
me a flashback to two and a half years ago.
Overall
Rating:
F. This was one of the
worst shows Nitro has ever produced. The best match of the night was
either Booker T.’s glorified squash of Lenny Lane or Flair vs. Hennig
in a nothing match ended with a run-in DQ. Other
than that it was a night of recaps, unfunny comedy bits as Bischoff
is humiliated, and videos that don’t go anywhere.
One
thing I don’t think WCW ever got: most fans really didn’t care about
the tradition that they kept talking about. Their idea of tradition
seemed like the same old people instead of the same old style, and
that just wasn’t going to work. It was an idea when the NWO was a
different offering, but now that idea has gotten stale as well. With
both options being dull, why should I watch?
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
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