Monday Nitro – March 1, 1999

Monday Nitro #178
Date: March 1, 1999
Location: Student
Activities Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Attendance: 17,852
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Maybe this will be a
better month. With two Nitros to go until Uncensored, we don’t have
anything set for the show. Given how short the time span between the
shows, I’m assuming we’ll be getting a lot of rematches at
Uncensored. That’s fine in theory and hopefully we get the right
endings this time, but the damage has already been done. Let’s get
to it.

We open with an In
Memory Of graphic for Rick Wilson, more commonly known as the
Renegade. The bell tolls in his memory.
David
Flair and the Blonde are in a limousine where David plays messages
from Ric, asking to see him. They play four or five messages and Ric
gets more serious each time as David and the Blonde laugh. David
says it’s time Ric retire. The fact that this is over fifteen years
old and Ric is still running around makes my head shake.
Tony
tells us that Ric has a huge announcement tonight.
Clips of Scott Steiner
vs. Goldberg last week and Rick Steiner returning.
Tony
thinks we’re going to this week’s Nitro Party at the University of
North Carolina but instead Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell come out.
After saying Page isn’t here tonight, Steiner talks about his
physique as the fans chant for Goldberg. Bagwell says we’re in UNC
country, but he and Steiner are Duke fans (UNC’s big rival).
Tonight, they’re calling out Rick Steiner and Goldberg.
Off
to the party at UNC.
Clips of WCW doing
stuff at UNC this week.
Opening
sequence, now featuring Booker T.
Here’s
the Wolfpack with something to say and Liz is holding a shirt. Luger
talks about his arm injury and Larry gets in a good line by saying
Luger only suffers from narcissism. Now for the announcement: Nash
is offering Rey Mysterio a spot in the Wolfpack. There’s no
Mysterio, so Nash calls him on a cell phone but Rey declines the
offer.
Video
on Booker T. pinning Bret Hart last week. Booker gets a US Title
shot at Uncensored.
Cruiserweight Title:
Psychosis vs. Kidman
Kidman
is defending and takes him down with a hurricanrana. Psychosis nails
a clothesline and the fans aren’t pleased. Another hurricanrana
sends Kidman outside and a baseball slide knocks him into the
barricade. Back in and Kidman backdrops Psychosis over the post and
to the floor, followed by a huge dive to take him down again.
Psychosis nails a shot to the ribs and we take a break.
Back
with Kidman being sent ribs first into the ropes with a drop toehold.
The guillotine legdrop to the back sends Kidman to the floor and
into a cameraman for a nice crash. Kidman comes back with a
clothesline and a springboard off the barricade into a hurricanrana.
Back in again with Kidman slipping while trying a superplex and
settling with a slam off the top. The BK Bomb gets two and a bulldog
out of the corner gets the same. Kidman counters a powerbomb (of
course) and the Shooting Star retains the title.
Rating:
B.
This was REALLY good with Psychosis continuing his roll. I can
understand why you don’t give him the title at this point but he had
a great performance in trying. Kidman is looking unstoppable at this
point and is firmly in the top level of cruiserweights. He still has
to deal with Mysterio though.
We look at
Benoit/Malenko attacking Windham/Hennig last week.
Arn Anderson comes in
to see David Flair and the Blonde. She says Flair and the Horsemen
couldn’t get someone like her but Arn says he wouldn’t get down in
the gutter with her. Anderson reminds David of the problems he
warned David of when he started wrestling and says the NWO is just
using David. This is called jealousy and David says the Horsemen are
all old.
Hogan gives Vince
permission to knock Stevie Ray out if he complains anymore.
More UNC party stuff.
They’ll be at Brown University next week.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs.
Rey Mysterio Jr.
They circle each other
to start until Bigelow LAUNCHES him across the ring ala Spike Dudley.
Bam Bam misses a charge in the corner and Mysterio hammers away,
only to get caught in something like a World’s Strongest Slam.
Bigelow picks him up and throws Mysterio onto a bunch of security
guards. Back in and the slow destruction continues with a big boot
putting Rey down.
We
hit the chinlock followed by a Dominator and headbutt but Bigelow
pulls up at two. Bam Bam misses a top rope headbutt and Rey nails a
missile dropkick. A middle rope X-Factor gets two but Bigelow
crushes him with a clothesline. We return to a stupid idea of
setting off fireworks to start the second hour when a match is going
on. Rey gets sent into the buckle and falls head first between
Bigelow’s legs. Mysterio goes up and grabs a victory roll for the
surprise pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was a way to continue Mysterio being the giant killer, which is
fine for an idea, except for one thing: Mysterio is the greatest
cruiserweight in WCW history and it shouldn’t be the biggest upset in
the world when he beats a big guy. This theory that cruiserweights
are nothing compared to heavyweights doesn’t hold up but WCW kept
going with it for years.
Mysterio says he’s
standing up for all the small people when Luger comes up for a
distraction. Nash sneaks in and jumps him while shouting about Rey
wasting the chance of a lifetime earlier.
Bigelow, Raven and Hak
have a hardcore brawl in the back.
Ric
Flair arrives in a long white limo and we go to a commercial. We
just went to a commercial after the brawl!
The Wolfpack tells
Stevie Ray to beat up Vince. DOES NO ONE WATCH THE SHOW???
Nitro Girls.
Here’s
Jerry Flynn with something to say. Seriously. He’s tired of Ernest
Miller issuing all these challenges and wants to challenge Miller to
a fight right now. We cut to the back where Scott Norton tells
Miller that Flynn is calling him out.
Ernest Miller vs.
Jerry Flynn
Miller
comes out to James Brown music with Glacier’s lasers. He dives at
Flynn but hits the referee’s feet instead, allowing Jerry to hammer
away in the corner. A running spin kick staggers Miller but he trips
Flynn down and chokes a lot. Miller misses a charge and hits the
post before they trade some more kicks. Flynn gets the worse of it
and Miller puts on a chinlock. The fans think this is boring and the
guys head outside with Miller still in control.
Flynn kicks him into
the barricade before they go back inside for a big kick from Ernest.
A superkicks puts Flynn down for two but he comes back with kicks and
a belly to belly for two. Then they kick each other at the same time
and are both down. The referee decides that the first person to his
feet is the winner, so Miller distracts the referee while Sonny Onoo
kicks Flynn down to give Miller the win.
Rating:
F.
When the referee is so bored by a match that he’s willing to end a
match that quickly, you can tell it’s a failure.
Flynn chases both guys
off post match.
Video on Steiner vs.
Page at SuperBrawl.
Hugh Morrus vs.
Perry Saturn
Saturn
hammers away to start but Jimmy Hart trips him up to give Morrus
control. Tony announces Hak vs. Raven vs. Bam Bam Bigelow and
Windham/Hennig vs. Malenko/Benoit for Uncensored. Morrus charges
into a boot in the corner and Saturn suplexes him down. A Fameasser
puts Hugh down but another Hart distraction lets Morrus nail a
clothesline. Back in and Morrus gorilla presses him down for two
before cranking on a chinlock.
A clothesline gets two
more for Morrus as the fans are just dead here. Back to the chinlock
for a bit before Morrus goes up, only to jump into a northern lights
suplex for two. There’s a t-bone suplex to put Morrus down but Chris
Jericho comes out with I think a chain to lay Saturn out. No
Laughing Matter gives Morrus the pin.
Rating:
D.
What a dull match. I have no idea why they started doubling the
length of TV matches but it’s very annoying when they have boring
matches like this filling in all that time. This really didn’t work
as about three minutes were spent in a chinlock. The Jericho vs.
Saturn feud needs to die already.
Bagwell and Steiner are
still trying to make it to Spring Break.
Konnan music video.
More Nitro Party stuff
from UNC.
Clip of Meng on Mortal
Kombat the series.
We see Hennig/Windham
refusing to defend against Malenko/Benoit. This is pointless as the
rematch has already been announced.
Chris Benoit vs.
Bret Hart
I
think this might pick things up a bit. Bret takes over with some
forearms to the back and a running clothesline before taking Benoit
into the corner for some right hands to the jaw. Benoit elbows him
to the floor before taking Bret down with a chinlock. Thankfully it
doesn’t last long and Chris gets two off a clothesline. A DDT gets
two for Hart and a piledriver gets the same. Bret is definitely in
full heel mode here as he’s taking his sweet time between moves.
Benoit reverses a
suplex into a small package for two but Bret stomps him down again.
A backbreaker gets two for Bret and we hit the chinlock. Benoit
fights up with a belly to back suplex but the Swan Dive only hits
mat. There’s the Sharpshooter but Benoit counters into the
Crossface, only to have Bret make the ropes. Sweet sequence.
We take a break and
come back with Benoit making a rope to escape a Figure Four. The
middle rope elbow gets two for Hart and he hammers away in the
corner. Benoit wakes up and kicks Bret in the ribs before driving a
knee into the stomach. A big running elbow drops Hart and the Swan
Dive connects but Benoit can’t cover.
He finally gets two
before they clothesline each other down. It’s Benoit up first with a
sleeper but Bret suplexes both of them out to the floor in a SCARY
crash. They both get up and Bret heads inside but Windham and Hennig
come out to nail Benoit with a title belt. Bret puts on the
Sharpshooter and Benoit makes the rope, but Hart doesn’t let go,
drawing a DQ.
Rating:
B.
Remember people: WCW thought Scott Hall vs. Roddy Piper was a better
option on pay per view than this. The match took a little while to
get going but eventually started cranking up with about ten minutes
to go. There was almost no way this wasn’t going to be an awesome
match and it didn’t disappoint.
Windham and Hennig go
after Benoit but Malenko makes the save.
Nitro Girls.
Here’s
some of the NWO for a chat. Hogan talks about David Flair slicking
his hair because he’s got the flair. He heard Ric begging for mercy
and asking Hollywood to not do anything else to him. As he’s
talking, Stevie Ray and Vincent get in a fight. Nash breaks it up
and Hogan keeps talking about how Flair is going to retire tonight.
Gene
brings out Ric Flair for his big announcement. Flair says he’s going
to let his one build for awhile. He’s been sitting at home for two
weeks and hearing everyone ask how David Flair could do this. Ric
talks about how everyone is in the NWO before going on about a blonde
that he met in Charlotte twenty years ago that changed his life. Now
she’s at home waiting on Daddy.
Flair
reminds us that we’re LIVE in North Carolina tonight. He’s the
President for twenty eight more days and now his target is Hogan.
It’s ending at Uncensored with the title on the line inside a fifteen
foot high steel cage with no door and barbed wire on top. After
Uncensored, people will want to be like the Nature Boy instead of
Mike.
Rick
Steiner/Goldberg vs. Scott Steiner/Buff Bagwell
Rick
and Buff get things going with Bagwell nailing a dropkick. Rick no
sells a suplex and powerslams Buff down. It’s off to Goldberg so
Bagwell crawls over to tag in Scott. They lock up against the ropes
before Goldberg easily runs him down with a shoulder. Scott nails
him with a hard elbow to the face before hammering on Goldberg in the
corner. That’s fine with Goldberg as he gorilla presses Scott over
his head for an insane seven reps before dropping him to the mat.
Rick
comes in to face his brother but Buff trips him up, allowing Scott
nail a suplex. Buff comes in legally and hammers away as Scott cuts
the turnbuckle pad off. Rick is sent into the steel a few times
before Scott nails him with a clothesline for two. Choking ensues as
you can feel the hot tag to Goldberg coming. A low blow keeps Rick
in trouble and it’s back to Buff for a clothesline. Scott cranks on
the leg but Buff’s splash hits knees. There’s the hot tag to
Goldberg and house is thoroughly cleaned. Everything breaks down and
a double Steiner Line drops Buff and Scott. The spear and Steiner
Bulldog take care of Bagwell.
Rating:
C.
This was your standard main event tag match and that’s fine. I like
that they let the heroes stand tall for a change as it’s barely
happened since the end of last year. Rick Steiner is decent as a
power guy and seeing him vs. Scott is always interesting since we
couldn’t get a clean match between the two of them. This was a nice
way to send the fans home happy.
Overall
Rating:
C.
If not for the Flynn and Morrus matches this would be a lot higher.
This had two REALLY good matches on it which goes to show how WCW can
do things right when they’re given the chance. Flair’s announcement
wasn’t anything mind blowing but it gives WCW a chance to make up for
some of its disasters. This show flew by and was really easy to sit
through, which is the first such episode in a long time.

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