Monday Nitro – February 15, 1999

Monday
Nitro #176
Date:
February 15, 1999
Location:
Entertainment Hall, Tampa, Florida
Commentators:
Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s the last
Nitro before SuperBrawl and things are starting to get a bit more
insane. The main stories coming out of last week are Roddy Piper
winning the US Title and Hollywood Hogan being especially evil. Also
of note is the Tag Team Title tournament, which has a lot of teams
left and only two shows to go before the finals on Sunday. Let’s get
to it.

We open with
a recap of Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page with Steiner going
after Kimberly and throwing her out of a running car last week.
The
announcers tell us that Kimberly is recovering at an undisclosed
location.
Nitro Girls.
Tony updates
us on the tag team tournament. For Benoit and Malenko to win,
they’ll have to win five times in a row this week. Hennig and
Windham are already in the finals on Sunday.
Arn Anderson
destroys Disco Inferno in the back but security takes him out in
handcuffs.
Eric Bischoff
is a chauffeur this week. Flair and some businessmen like his little
hat. Bischoff has to open the door for them.
Opening
video.
We look at
Piper winning the US Title last week.
Jerry
Flynn vs. Saturn
Saturn is
still in the dress. Tony keeps talking about the tournament. Benoit
and Malenko will face Dave Taylor/Fit Finlay with the winners facing
Mike Enos/Bobby Duncum Jr. later tonight. They trade hammerlocks to
start until Flynn fires off some kicks to take over. Saturn comes
back with a modified ax kick for two before putting on a leg lock,
sending Jerry running into the ropes. Off to a modified ankle lock
but Jerry makes it to the ropes again. Saturn doesn’t let go so
Jerry crawls up the ropes and kicks Saturn in the head to escape.
They slug it
out until Saturn kicks him down again but can’t follow up. A
legsweep puts Saturn down again and Jerry puts on a cross armbreaker.
Saturn stands up to break it and the fans still aren’t all that
interested. A springboard cross body gets two for Saturn but he gets
caught by a spinwheel kick in the corner. Saturn hammers away in the
corner but Scott Dickinson gets on the apron for a distraction.
Jericho comes in with a kendo stick, only to walk into a suplex.
Flynn spin kicks Saturn down for the upset pin.
Rating: D.
Why is this feud still going and why in the world am I supposed to
care about Scott Dickinson? The match was more of Flynn using all of
his kicks and not being interesting and then it’s about a crooked and
suspended referee. Why is that supposed to be interesting? I’d love
an answer to that question. WWF
is coming off Rock vs. Mankind in a last man standing match and Big
Show debuting to break up Austin vs. Vince the previous night, and
WCW stars with a freaking referee story while having Saturn wear a
dress and fight Jerry Flynn. This company makes my head hurt.
Speaking
of stories that haven’t died for some reason, Bischoff is still being
tortured by bad acting from the “businessmen”. This is used as a
tie-in to Will Sasso from MadTV wrestling Bret Hart tonight. Flair
gets a call about Arn getting arrested. With
the privacy screen up, Bischoff calls his “guys”, saying he’ll be
there soon.
Clip
of Mongo getting blinded last week.
Clip
from MadTV, which we saw last week.
Juventud
Guerrera/Psychosis/Blitzkreig vs. Super Calo/El Dandy/Hector Garza
Lucha rules,
meaning rolling to the floor counts as a tag. Larry doesn’t like the
rules changing but Tony says rules don’t matter anyway. Blitzkreig
works on Calo’s arm to start but Calo sidesteps a moonsault and
elbows him in the face. Tony tells us about Rey Mysterio getting
beaten up by Lex Luger before the show came on the air as the fans
chant for Goldberg.
A double tag
brings in Garza to face Psychosis with Hector nailing a nice
superkick. Garza misses a top rope cross body but reaches out and
grabs Psychosis for an armdrag. It might have been an armdrag all
along but it looked awesome. Juvy and Dandy come in to trade slaps
before Dandy takes over with a hard right hand. Juvy comes right
back by rolling up Dandy’s body into a faceplant as everything breaks
down for a few seconds. In the melee, Calo gets in a cheap shot to
Guerrera, allowing Dandy to hook a chinlock.
Garza goes to
the corner but gets slammed down, triggering another triple teaming
to the fans’ delight. Blitzkreig comes in and avoids a splash in the
corner as we take a break. Back with Psychosis holding Calo in a leg
scissors on the mat. Juvy comes back in with some dropkicks but he
knocks Calo into his corner for a tag to El Dandy. The jam-up guy
goes after the leg before it’s off to Garza for more of the same.
Hector misses
a charge into the corner and it’s off to Blitzkreig who stomps Garza
into the corner for a tag to Calo. Psychosis comes in as well and
takes Calo down, setting up a powerbomb with Juvy adding a
simultaneous guillotine legdrop for two. Calo rolls to the floor so
it’s back to Garza who ges Stunned across the top rope, followed by a
springboard missile dropkick for two. Dandy is knocked to the floor
but Guerrera botches Air Juvy.
Garza dives
onto Dandy for no apparent reason before Psychosis dives onto Garza
and Guerrera, allowing Blitzkrieg to hit a springboard spinwheel kick
for two on Calo. Bliztkrieg is sat on the top rope but Calo falls
off the corner. Back in and Calo hurricanranas Blitzkreig out of the
corner but Blitzkrieg doesn’t flip and just jumps down to the mat
while Calo goes flying. A Phoenix Splash from Blitzkrieg is enough
to pin Calo.
Rating:
D. What the heck was THAT?
This match ran nearly twenty minutes and might as well have been a
1970s six man tag for the first fifteen or so minutes. The ending
started to pick up a bit when they weren’t hitting their own partners
or botching spots. Why in the world would you have luchadors do a
bunch of mat wrestling? It’s like hiring LeBron James to paint your
house. You’re wasting the talent. Also the lucha rules were used
like twice. This was a mess and more confusing than anything else.
We’re
in the hotel where the Blonde is in a towel and asks the cameraman to
get her fresh towels and lunch. She’s much less sweet here.
A
helicopter spotlight is on a limo, presumably carrying Flair, the
businessmen and Bischoff. Some Hummers are following the limo but
Flair tells the businessmen that it’s fine. The limo pulls over and
two men in black clothes and ski masks (one is tall with long perfect
hair sticking out of the back, meaning it’s probably Nash) carrying a
pipe come up to the door. Another guy, clearly Hogan, tells the
businessmen to get out. Flair hits Hogan but backs off from Nash
with the pipe.
The
spotlight is on them as the Hummers circle around them. Hogan gets
back up and nails Flair as five other guys all in black get out and
beat up Flair. Hogan whips Flair with the NWO weightlifting belt as
some of the other guys hold him. They all put their fists together
and Hogan says Flair isn’t making it to SuperBrawl.
One
of the guys takes off his mask to reveal Buff Bagwell. Nash holds
Flair so Hogan can hammer away as Stevie Ray and Vincent have taken
off their masks too. The beating just keeps going and Hogan has hurt
his hand. Everyone gets in a shot and Nash puts on Flair’s tie.
More whipping ensues and Hogan again says Flair isn’t making it to
SuperBrawl. Flair is left laying after this went on for over ten
minutes.
Nitro
Girls. The announcers make no mention of what we just saw, which is
the rule of thumb anymore with these segments.
Same
video on the tag team tournament. This includes talking about teams
that have already been eliminated. The SuperBrawl graphic at the end
also says that the show is “tomorrow, February 21.”
Tag
Team Title Tournament: Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Fit Finlay/Dave
Taylor
The
winners face Mike Enos and Scotty Riggs tonight and the losers are
eliminated. Yes Scotty Riggs, as the tournament has been changed
again. Assuming the winners of that face Adams and Horace on
Thunder, Van Hammer and Kaz Hayashi have been eliminated with just
one loss. Finlay drives a shoulder to Benoit’s ribs in the corner to
start before cranking on somehting like a Crossface.
Benoit
fights back with a headlock before hiptossing the Irishman down. A
double tag brings in Malenko vs. Taylor with absolutely nothing
happening before it’s back to Benoit who gets his arm worked on even
more by Dave. Back to Finlay who drops Benoit throat first across
the top rope and out to the floor where Taylor gets in some shots of
his own. Malenko comes back in and suplexes Finlay down. It’s
strange to have the commentators not mentioning what happened before
the match started.
We
take a break and come back with Taylor suplexing Dean for two.
Taylor rips at his face a bit before Finlay slams Dean face first
onto the apron. He drops Dean throat first across the barricade like
he did to Benoit with the ropes earlier. Benoit tries to come in,
allowing Finlay to get in some shots of his own. Finlay misses a
charge into the post and the hot tag brings in Benoit. Chris cleans
house with the running clothesline and snap suplex for two. Finlay
picks him up for a tombstone but Dean breaks it up with a dropkick.
Malenko comes back in sans tag and avoids a Taylor charge in the
corner, setting up the Cloverleaf for the submission.
Rating:
C-. This felt a step off the
whole way through. It didn’t help that the winners were pretty
obvious given that Windham/Hennig are waiting in the finals already.
The match was long again but these guys are more capable of filling
in a match that long. Still not great but this show has been off all
night.
Goldberg
video.
We
see Kimberly being thrown out of the car again last week.
Back
from a break with the Nitro Girls standing at the announcers’ desk to
talk all serious about what happened to Kimberly. Heenan:
“Are they going to dance?”
We
recap Bret losing the US Title last week thanks to Will Sasso. This
sets up the following.
Bret
Hart vs. Will Sasso
This
is also due to Hart “breaking character” when filming MadTV and
attacking Sasso. I’ve seen the clip a few times and I thought that
was the joke. Thankfully Tony told me what the real idea was
supposed to be because it was really badly explained. Sasso,
from MadTV mind you, is overweight and comes out with another cast
member named Debra Wilson. Bret
destroys Sasso to start and gets a chair to sit down in the middle of
the ring. Sasso gets beaten up on the floor but Wilson takes the
chair from Hart…..and turns on Sasso by hitting him with the chair.
Back in and the Sharpshooter ends this.
Rating:
F. What the heck am I even
watching anymore? What purpose did this serve? Better question: how
does this make me want to buy SuperBrawl? This was Bret Hart beating
up a fat guy with help from an actress I’ve never heard of. I don’t
remember MadTV being a big deal at this point, but did it ever
warrant this kind of time on a wrestling show?
No
one comes out to save Sasso or confront Hart, making this even more
meaningless. Unless I
missed it on an earlier show, the time and date of Bret’s appearnace
on MadTV was NEVER mentioned.
The
NWO arrives with Hogan still wearing the ski mask. They come in
through the crowd and over the barricade so Hogan can talk about
being from Hollyhood. He
sends the rest of the team to the back to have a party and finally
lifts the mask. Hogan is willing to give Flair his title shot
tonight because Flair is in the back covering up the gray in his
hair. He counts to ten and of course Flair doesn’t make it out.
At
eight though, Roddy Piper answers the count and says he’s
Hogan’s reality check. Hogan
is fighting him instead and
the match is on right now with the World Title on the line.
WCW
World Title: Hollywood Hogan
vs. Roddy Piper
One
might suggest that this is a match that should be announced more than
five seconds in advance. Then again one might suggest that this show
has been a huge mess but that’s a much bigger problem to solve. It’s
a brawl to start with Piper very slowly driving down to the mat. As
in I thought something was wrong with the video. Hogan is knocked to
the floor and Piper follows him out with right hands before sending
him into the post.
Back
in and an atomic drop has Hogan in even more trouble before a right
hands gets two for Piper. Hogan goes for the leg to take Piper to
the floor for some choking. A hard chair shot to the back has Piper
in even more trouble and Hogan whips him over the back with the
weightlifting belt. Even more choking ensues but Piper comes back
with belt shots to take over. Roddy puts on a sleeper but Hall comes
in with the tazer for the DQ.
Rating:
D. This was exactly what you
would expect from Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper in 1999. It lasted
less than five minutes and was a bunch of non-wrestling before the
NWO came in for a disqualification. That’s a great way to treat your
US Champion a week after he won the title, because Scott Hall of all
people needs the title match coming up right?
Piper
gets beaten up and Hall puts on the kilt for a little dance.
Over
an hour later, someone in a cowboy hat finds Flair in the field and
carries him to his jeep. The guy doesn’t look like anyone in WCW so
I guess we’re supposed to believe he’s just a random guy.
Scott
Steiner is suing Diamond Dallas Page for $1 million.
Luger
and Liz talk about Konnan and say nothing of note.
Video
on Piper vs. Hall.
Tag
Team Title Tournament: Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Mike Enos/Scotty
Riggs
Losers
are eliminated. Riggs stomps on Malenko in the corner to start but
Dean stomps away back in the other corner. Scotty comes back with
his dropkick and a running corner splash. Off to Enos vs. Benoit
with Chris easily taking him down with a drop toehold. The Horsemen
take their turns on Mike until he drives Dean into the corner to take
over. Riggs puts on a chinlock followed by a knee to the ribs. Enos
comes back in for his own chinlock before Riggs changes without a tag
and puts on the third chinlock in about ninety seconds.
We
take a break and come back with the guy that saved Flair working on
his engine. Flair tries to get out of the truck but the driver puts
him back in.
Back
with Benoit stomping away on Riggs’ leg before it’s off to Malenko
for more of the same. Enos gets in a cheap shot to take over as this
boring match continues. Malenko goes up top but dives into a
powerslam for no cover. Instead it’s back to Riggs for the two count
and everything breaks down. Riggs gets another near fall off a
forearm to the back of Dean’s head followed by a belly to back suplex
for the same. The fans seem really bored by this. Riggs misses a
dropkick and the hot tag brings in Benoit. The Horsemen whip them
together and Benoit counters a suplex into the Crossface to advance.
Rating:
D+. The match wasn’t bad but it
was incredibly boring. At the end of the day, I need someone better
than Riggs and Enos to make me interested in a match, especially when
it’s obvious that the Horsemen are going to win. Benoit and Malenko
work well together, but I really wish we could just have a regular
tournament so they don’t have to waste so much time getting through
these horrible opponents.
The
truck keeps going. The
announcers haven’t mentioned any of these videos all night.
A
much more cheerful Blonde is in a short robe on a bed and says next
time will be better than this one.
Buffer
comes out to announce the main event, even though there are no
matches left scheduled. The NWO comes out in street clothes and
Hogan tells Buffer to get out. He says Flair is hiding in his
dressing room, but he’ll give Flair a twenty count to get out here.
The referee counts and Tony sees the truck pulling up and Flair
falling out of the door.
Ric
pulls an axe handle off the back of the truck and staggers into the
arena as Tony is completely lost. Heenan thinks Flair is drunk.
Tony actually uses his brains and sees the bruises, saying Flair
looks like he’s taken a horrible beating. Flair gets in the ring and
swings the handle until Benoit and Malenko come in and try to help.
Hogan and Bagwell beat Flair down on the floor as the rest of the NWO
subdues the Horsemen.
Hall
goes through the curtain and says “now you see how it’s done.
Don’t mess it up” before firing up the tazer to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
Agoobwa. This show was
such a mess that I have no idea how to rate it. How could ANYONE
have looked at this show and said it was a good idea? I knew things
were going to get bad but this show sent the company flying off a
cliff, bounced as it hit the ground and lit on fire, setting of an
explosion to send its crispy remains into orbit where aliens blasted
them into the sun. I don’t
even know where to start with the problems this show had.
For
one thing, WHY DIDN’T THE ANNOUNCERS SEE WHAT HAPPENED? How does
that make things more entertaining or interesting? We saw the whole
thing and know what happened (which I’ll get to later), but the
announcers have no idea? They don’t see the Blonde in the hotel
either, but at least that (presumably) isn’t stuff that’s happening
live. It doesn’t add anything because the fans live are just as
confused as they are (assuming the videos aren’t shown in the arena,
though that would add even more insanity to this) and the TV audience
knows what’s going on.
The
lack of wrestling was a major problem tonight too. There were six
matches on the entire show. Two of them were glorified extended
squashes with Benoit/Malenko having to go through two teams that had
no chance. Another match saw Hogan vs. Piper and set wrestling back
ten years. Bret Hart beat up an actor which led nowhere, Jerry Flynn
won a match and the luchadors wrestled a technical, mat based match
until the last three minutes.

How
in the world WCW thought this was a good idea or would make people
want to buy Sunday’s show is beyond me. Over on Raw, the Rock and
Mankind were having a good ladder match for the WWF Title. In case
you’re wondering, Raw beat Nitro by two full points in the ratings
for the worst drubbing Nitro had ever received when it was three
hours compared to Raw’s two. If this isn’t the worst Nitro to date,
I can’t remember the one that tops it. Absolutely horrible show that
felt nothing like how the show is normally presented and that’s not a
good thing.
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