Monday Nitro – February 22, 1999

Monday
Nitro #177
Date:
February 22, 1999
Location:
Arco Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance:
13,921
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko

Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
FINALLY past SuperBrawl and things couldn’t be much lower for WCW if
they handed all the wrestlers shovels and told them to dig their own
graves. Hogan is still World Champion, Windham and Hennig are Tag
Team Champions, Scott Hall is US Champion, Scott Steiner is TV
Champion, and Rey Mysterio doesn’t have a mask. We’ve got three
weeks before Uncensored, so hopefully things can improve a bit
tonight. Let’s get to it.

We
open with stills of the main event from last night with the Blonde
interfering, setting up the masked David Flair to stun Ric and keep
the title on Hogan.
The
announcers introduce the show with Tony talking about how they’ve
seen the Blonde for the last few weeks. You could have fooled me as
they never MENTIONED her but apparently they did see her.
There’s
an interview room set up in the back for David and Ric to have a
sitdown meeting later.
There’s
a Nitro Party at the University of California Berkeley as part of the
countdown to Spring Breakout in five weeks.
Video
on the Nitro Girls at Cal Berkeley.
Nitro
Girls.
Stills
of Goldberg vs. Bigelow.
Jerry
Flynn vs. Mike Enos
Are
they serious? They air the show they aired last night and now we get
to sit through what is likely going to be a Jerry Flynn squash? This
show is already getting on my nerves. Who looks at Jerry Flynn and
sees someone that wrestling fans want to see winning matches? We’re
coming off a pay per view with major ramifications and instead of
seeing fallout, we get ten minutes of stills and Nitro Party stuff
and now a jobber vs. jobber match. This company deserved everything
it got in 1999.
Enos
shoves him into the corner to start but gets kicked in the face and
knocked to the mat. Flynn comes back with more kicks because he’s
Ernest Miller with a mullet and no charisma. Enos throws Jerry
outside and hits a clothesline off the apron followed by a slam.
Back in and Jerry puts on an ankle lock but Enos easily gets up.
Some kicks in the corner set up a cross armbreaker to make Enos tap
out.
Rating:
D. A Jerry Flynn match that
consisted of a lot of kicking followed by some bad looking submission
holds? But now he’s winning instead of getting beaten up by
Goldberg. The match wasn’t horrible but it was just so uninteresting
that there was nothing worth paying attention to.
The
Blonde makes sure David is ready to talk to his father face to face.
Booker
T. is ready and promises a lot of people will get the Harlem
Hangover. Tonight he has Bret Hart and Gene says that surely the
winner gets a US Title shot. Bret
better be ready to go all night long.
Back
to Cal Berkeley for more festivities. I have a bad feeling about the
next month.
Scott
Norton is back from Japan and Vince tells him that he (Vince) is now
in charge of the Black and White. Norton
doesn’t seem impressed but goes along with it.
Video
on Mortal Kombat: The Series
with Wrath as a guest star.
Video
on Page vs. Steiner from last night. Tony tells us that the
stipulation of Steiner getting Kimberly for thirty days if he won
wasn’t official. Of course he tells us this NOW because he was too
busy last night.
Van
Hammer vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
A
loud GOLDBERG chant starts before the match and
Hammer actually takes over early on. Bigelow is sent to the floor
and Hammer just stands in the ring, probably as bored by the show as
the rest of the fans. Back
in and Bam Bam hammers away as Tony tells us to watch the replay of
Starrcade, and I quote, “To see one of the most disheartening
moments in the career of Ric Flair.”
We
hit the chinlock for a bit before Van Hammer fights up and hits a
flying shoulder, though Bigelow doesn’t seem to notice and it’s back
to the chinlock. A headbutt
gets two for Bigelow and a small package gets the same for Hammer.
Back to the chinlock as this match just keeps going. Bigelow lets go
as the announcers talk about Hak, followed by the fourth chinlock in
eight minutes. A running
clothesline gets two on Hammer and Bigelow avoids a running boot in
the corner (Hammer: “BUMMER!”), setting up the Greetings from
Asbury Park for the pin.
Rating:
D. They managed to fit four
chinlocks into an eight minute match. You would think Bigelow would
squash someone to get back on the winning streak after losing to
Goldberg, but that would make too much sense and might be
entertaining so we got this match instead. Again, who thought this
stuff was going to make me want to stick around? Yeah the Flair
sitdown interview sounds interesting and some of the fallout from
last night might be good, but sitting through these matches isn’t
worth it.
We
go back to California where Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell are
getting off a Nitro bus. They go to a gym and see some decent
looking women working out. One offers them to come see her later and
gives Buff her address. They go and find a drag club where they’re
given a note saying “race you to Raleigh”, which
is near next week’s Nitro.
This took all of thirty seconds and came off like a comedy bit.
In
the arena, Scott Steiner yells at Goldberg during a photo shoot.
These were separate segments.
Stills
of Piper vs. Hall last night. Tony
says Piper used a lot of great moves to get the advantage, “such as
the atomic drop.” Is it 1973 all of a sudden?
Bret
Hart vs. Booker T.
Winner
gets a US Title shot at some point in the future. This
makes me wonder: why is Bret wrestling on this show but not on pay
per view? Feeling out
process to start as this might actually get some significant time.
Booker cranks on a wristlock
to start but Bret nips up off the mat, only to be elbowed out to the
floor. Back in and Booker
grabs a headlock before an armdrag puts Bret on the floor again.
Hart
comes back in and stomps away in the corner for his first advantage.
We hit the chinlock on Booker but he fights up with some clotheslines
in the corner. The ax kick connects for two and the fans are WAY
into this all of a sudden. Booker puts on an armbar and we go to the
back to see Disco messing with a guy in the satellite truck. At
about 11pm, the NWO is going to take over the satellite feed and
offers to triple the guy’s pay to take over the feed.
Back
with Bret in control. How did he do it? Well he might have put on a
grass skirt and done a rain dance as
a sacrifice to the wombat god to make Booker fall over in a pool of
orange juice. I know that
sounds unlikely, but for all we know it happened because we were
watching Disco talk to a satellite guy. Why
couldn’t they do this before the match or if it’s SO important, do it
during Bret’s chinlock or on a split screen?
Anyway,
Bret drops an ax handle on Booker’s back and
starts the Five Moves of Doom but sends Booker to the floor after the
middle rope elbow. Booker tries to fight back but gets hit in the
ribs with a chair. Back in
and Bret stomps at the ribs but an elbow to the jaw stops Bret and a
clothesline puts him down. Tony
leaves to go moderate the Flair meeting as Bret suplexes Booker down
and drops some legs. A belly to back suplex drops Booker but he
rolls Hart up to escape a Sharpshooter attempt.
Instead
Bret puts on the Figure Four but Booker survives for over a minute
before making it to the rope. Back up and the flying forearm out of
nowhere puts Bret down. There’s
the spinning kick to the head as Booker’s leg is perfectly fine. He
spins up and heads to the top but gets superplexed down. Bret gets
the Sharpshooter on but Booker is right next to the ropes. Back up
and Hart tries a sunset flip but Booker channels his inner Davey Boy
Smith and falls down on Bret for the pin.
Rating:
B. Booker’s lack of leg selling
aside, this is one of the best WCW matches in a long time. It makes
Booker look WAY more important and shows that maybe he’s getting a
push for a change. The wrestling was good and more than that, Booker
won completely clean with a nice counter. You can’t ask for more
than that, except for maybe less Disco.
As
we come back from a break, we get an ad for WCW Magazine. One of the
featured articles is about the most mysterious man in wrestling,
whose eyes are blacked out. You can see long curly hair though and
the phrase WHAT ABOUT ME underneath the picture. This sort of thing
never ceases to amaze me.
Stills
of Mysterio/Konnan vs. the Outsiders from last night.
Kaz
Hayashi vs. Disco Inferno
Tony
is back on commentary. Hayashi
comes out in the Glacier attire he purchased on Thunder a few weeks
back. Before the match
Disco says that this match has an international competitor so he
wants to sing the National Anthem. He gets most of the way through
before his mic is cut off. Disco isn’t pleased and attacks Hayashi
for a fast two. Kaz is quickly thrown to the floor but comes back
with a kick to the head.
A
headscissors puts Disco on the apron, only to have him suplex Hayashi
over the top and out to the floor. Disco heads outside but Kaz
slides back in for a suicide dive. Back in and we hit the chinlock
on Inferno, but he avoids a dropkick to take over again. The middle
rope elbow gets two for Disco and he hooks a chinlock. Back up and a
powerbomb is countered by a Kaz spinebuster but he misses a
backsplash. The Chartbuster gives Disco the pin.
Rating:
C-. Not a great match but FAR
better than you would have expected. The Glacier stuff comes off
more like a joke than anything else as it’s literally just for the
entrance and then it’s the same Kaz Hayashi. Disco
is getting somewhere but he’s still presented as the same goof that
he’s always been.
Brian
Adams tells Norton that HE is the new leader of the Black and White.
Norton’s confusion continues. Again, DOES NO ONE WATCH THE SHOW???
Nitro
Girls in the arena.
Nitro
Girls at Cal Berkeley.
Bobby
Heenan has been named WCW Announcer of the Year by WCW Magazine.
Here
are Buff Bagwell and Scott Steiner, with
the TV Champion continuing his Rick Rude bit (he
even calls the fans Sacramento scumbags)
by bringing in a girl to fawn
all over him. Page isn’t here tonight because of the beating Steiner
gave to him last night. Steiner brings up the 30 days stipulation
which doesn’t exist, though to the best of my knowledge the live fans
have no way of knowing that isn’t true. The
music starts but Steiner isn’t done yet. He’s hurt everyone else and
tonight there’s someone else he wants to go after: Goldberg.
Stills
from Benoit/Malenko vs. Hennig/Windham last night. If
you look at the frozen images, you can see how stupid it is step by
step.
Chris
Jericho vs. Hugh Morrus
Ralphus
is now in a blue dress with a bit lower neckline. Before
the match, Jericho implies that Saturn is gay because he wears the
dress despite not having to anymore. They
hit the floor for a chase right after the bell before Morrus slams
Jericho down. A delayed gorilla press puts Jericho on the mat again
as Steiner vs. Goldberg is official for later.
Morrus
misses a top rope elbow and goes outside, allowing Jericho to nail a
top rope cross body to take out Hugh and Jimmy Hart. Some
flowers to Morrus’ back put him down and we hit the chinlock inside.
A slap to Morrus’ chest
wakes him up and Heenan is in full comedy mode about Ralphus. Morrus
does the Jericho strut but Chris kicks the leg out.
Back
up and Morrus counters a hurricanrana with a powerbomb before nailing
a running splash in the corner. Jericho
avoids a charge in the corner and rolls him up for two with his feet
on the ropes. Ralphus tries Morrus but Saturn comes out and strips
the dress off the toothless wonder. Saturn goes in and hits Jericho
with a Death Valley Driver, allowing No Laughing Matter to give
Morrus the pin.
Rating:
D+. This is a recent change to
WCW and it’s getting annoying: long matches to set up a quick finish.
I like long wrestling matches when they’re entertaining, but I can
do without nine minutes of Chris Jericho vs. Hugh Morrus when we know
Saturn is comingout due to Jericho’s earlier comments. The
same thing was true of Kaz vs. Disco. It wasn’t entertaining but we
had to sit through it forever anyway. I shouldn’t be able to make a
sandwich during a Kaz Hayashi match.
Morrus
gets in Saturn’s face post match and is shoved away. Saturn gets in
the ring and tells Morrus to bring it. Referees break it up.
Hennig
and Windham talk about how great they are until Benoit and Malenko
show up and whip them with belts.
Kevin
Nash vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Before
the match, Nash says Hall might have cheated a little bit last night
and the NWO is always standing for fair play. If Mysterio wants a
match with Big Kev, come down and get one. Rey comes out and says
that’s exactly what he wants. The bell rings and Nash offers a test
of strength.
Instead
it’s a knee to Rey’s ribs but he comes back with kicks the knee and a
spinwheel kick puts Nash down. The Bronco Buster connects and the
fans are going nuts….until Rey jumps into Snake Eyes. Nash throws
him around the ring and loads up the Jackknife but Rey hammers on
Nash’s head to knock him down and gets the huge upset. The look on
Nash’s face is amazing.
Here’s
Konnan’s new music video.
Horace,
Norton, you know the deal.
Hennig
and Windham come out and say the belts are the difference between
being good and being great. Windham doesn’t think the Horsemen
should get a title rematch and Hennig calls them sore losers.
Norton
finally goes to Hollywood and asks what’s going on. Hogan says
they’re looking for a leader and declares Norton the boss.
Nitro
Girls.
Here’s
Ernest Miller, who
has bought Glacier’s entrance which starts halfway down the aisle.
Before the match, Miller
complains about the music and wants his James Brown song. As is now
the norm, we got to the Black and White’s locker room where Disco
tells Norton that Miller called him out again. Miller actually does
it this time and we’ve got a match.
Ernest
Miller vs. Scott Norton
Miller
accidentally kicks Norton down to start and puts on a quickly broken
cobra clutch. Scott hammers away but gets kicked in the chest.
Another kick drops Norton but he pops up and powerbombs Miller for a
fast pin with his fingertip.
Goldberg
vs. Scott Steiner
Non-title.
Bagwell ensures us that
there’s no Goldberg and
Steiner talks trash before Goldberg’s music hits.
They stare each other down
until Steiner pounds on his back but Goldberg no sells a ram into the
buckle. A superkick drops Steiner and Goldberg hammers away.
Steiner is lifted into the
air for some gorilla press repetitions
as we take a break. Back
with Steiner asking for timeout but Bagwell offers a distraction so
Steiner can clothesline Goldberg down.
Steiner
sends him into the steps and then back into the ring for trash talk
and pounding. The elbow
drop gets two and a belly to belly suplex plants Goldberg. Bagwell
cuts the turnbuckle pad off again and dumps the referee. Goldberg
reverses a whip to send Steiner back first into the exposed buckle
before spearing Bagwell down. Steiner and Bagwell walk out but Rick
Steiner returns to nail them both. Goldberg wins by DQ.
Rating:
C. This was a decent power
brawl and I like that they had a DQ instead of a champion getting
pinned. Steiner vs. Goldberg would be a great power brawl once Scott
had actually gotten over. The fact that Goldberg was actually on
defense for awhile here made things much better.
The
Black and White comes out and are easily dispatched.
Here’s
a minute long video on the Nitro Girls’ swimsuit calendar.
Disco
yells at the satellite guy who isn’t ready to hijack the feed.
Tony
is in the meeting room (which looks like a living room, complete with
couches, a coffee table and a large TV) where David and the Blonde
are already on the couch. We cut to the back where Ric arrives.
Hogan and Nash are shown watching on a monitor.
We
cut to an NWO produced video parody of the sitdown meeting. David
tells Disco Okerlund that he’s the new Space Mountain. Nash reprises
his Arn Anderson impression to talk about spots as Vince is dressed
as a bear (Mongo) in the background. Scott Hall comes in dressed as
Piper but doesn’t try an accent. Hogan is Flair (complete with a
fake nose) and takes off his clothes while ranting about how amazing
Hogan is and how expensive his clothes are. Hogan fakes a heart
attack and Disco says call the Hotline for more. Disco was great,
but I thought he was Schiavone at first.
Overall
Rating:
D. As usual, a few good
matches are dragged down by the stupid overdoing it of the rest. The
Flair interview was hyped all night long and then they do the false
advertising again which is going to tick off fans. The best part
about it: they did this to their highest rating in a week where both
Raw and Nitro aired in six months. Next week’s rating dropped over
10%. It’s the same stupid stuff where WCW tries to be cute and winds
up shooting themselves in the foot.
There
is good stuff on this show though, with Booker FINALLY getting a
serious win over a big name and Mysterio pinning Nash clean. However
there was a lot of bad going on as well, with long dull matches that
are there to fill time and the really bad ending. The Black and
White stuff is really growing on me though, as it’s clearly building
to something. Having the segments be thirty seconds instead of three
minutes like they were on Thunder a few weeks back makes all the
difference in the world.
Overall
this show felt like a modern day Raw: if it was an hour shorter and
cut out so much of the pointless filler, it’s FAR more entertaining
and easier to sit through. Also it would be nice if they didn’t hype
something up for three hours then do a parody. That kind of stuff
could work when they were way out front but now it’s going to catch
up with them.
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