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Monday Nitro – March 15, 1999

Monday Nitro #180
Date: March 15, 1999
Location: Firstar
Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Larry
Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re past Uncensored
and a lot of stuff has changed in WCW. Above all else, Flair won the
World Title with the help of Arn Anderson, but it seems to have taken
place with a double turn. Hogan was definitely wrestling like a good
guy but Flair was somewhere in the middle. Other than that Booker T.
is now the TV Champion and Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko picked up the
Tag Team Titles as they should have three weeks ago. Spring Stampede
is in four weeks so let’s get to it.

We open with David
Flair checking into a hotel when the Denise chick from last week
shows up. She recognizes him from TV and tries to make some small
talk but David isn’t interested.
Tony recaps last
night’s events.
Stills of Whipwreck vs.
Kidman.
We go to the University
of Cincinnati for the Nitro Party with….Lodi?
Stills of the Jerry
Flynn match. I really wouldn’t remind people that they’ll be paying
for that when they buy a pay per view.
Here’s a press
conference with Sonny Onoo and Ernest Miller. Ernest insists to only
be called The Cat from now on. He insists that he’s undefeated here
in WCW and knows he’s the greatest. This keeps going as Cat
challenges a member of the media to a fight.
Meng vs. Jerry Flynn
Meng
goes right at him and hammers away but misses a charge into the
corner. Flynn comes back with a spinning kick to the head, but since
Meng is a monster, Flynn is quickly flying through the air. A
clothesline has no effect on Meng but a powerslam puts him down.
Flynn’s ankle lock doesn’t get him anywhere and Meng gets two off a
piledriver. A shoulder breaker gets the same but Flynn comes back
with a cross armbreaker. Meng powers out of it and the Tongan Death
Grip gives Meng the win and a BIG ovation.
Rating:
D.
Thank goodness this was the end of Jerry Flynn’s push. Meng has a
way longer shelf life than Flynn could ever hope to and the match
made him look like a killer. Flynn looked so one dimensional out
there and it was really hard to sit through. When Meng is outshining
you, you know you’re in trouble.
Clip of a movie called
Ravenous.
Nitro Party stuff.
Clips of Beach Brawl on
MTV, a show with WCW wrestling and music.
Denise gets into the
elevator with David Flair and David still doesn’t want to talk.
After a break, her room key won’t work and she goes into his room to
use the phone. David is getting annoyed.
Stills of the hardcore
triple threat last night.
Raven is at the Nitro
Party and the annoying host asks about Chastity betraying him last
night. Raven understands since he set her hair on fire when she was
six. Family functions suck and he only goes for the money anyway.
He’s going to crush her and Hak like Jerry Falwell at one of Saturn’s
bondage balls.
Chris Adams vs. Rick
Steiner
They trade forearms to
start with Rick taking over via the powerslam/suplex. I’m still not
sure which it actually is. A belly to belly puts Adams down and they
slug it out again. Adams snapmares Rick into a sleeper before
nailing the superkick for two. Rick catches him in another belly to
belly followed by the Steiner Line and Steiner Bulldog for the pin.
Rating:
C.
Considering I was expecting a total squash, this was a really nice
surprise. Adams was on for this one and got to show off a little
bit, which isn’t something you see that often as he never meant
anything in WCW. Rick isn’t doing much at this point as he doesn’t
have much of a story other than wanting to fight his brother.
Tenay tells us to call
the Hotline.
Disco
Inferno comes up to the announcers’ desk and asks why he isn’t
getting a music video. He’s tired of seeing Konnan’s music video
over and over again (preach it brother) but here it is again.
However, we have a swerve: it’s a parody video with Disco dancing
badly and singing the song (off a paper and still getting it wrong).
This was actually funny.
Konnan t-shirt ad.
Back
to the hotel but with Nash and Sam watching from a remote location.
Denise tries to seduce him again but David says he’s in love with
someone already. We even get the shot of her leg on a bed and David
saying “Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?” To be fair
they did say her last name was Robinson last week. Sam seems taken
aback by David’s words so Nash gets a bit testy with her. He says he
got her out of some situation in Detroit and Torrie says she’s paid
him back for some of that. Nash doesn’t think it’s been enough.
Things never got heated but Nash was clearly annoyed.
Norman Smiley is at the
Nitro Party and tries to teach the host to dance.
Stills of Hogan vs.
Flair.
Tony
says next up is Monday Nitro Live. I have no idea what the Live
thing is supposed to be, unless Tony is bragging about the show being
how it’s been almost every week for three and a half years.
Opening sequence, so
either the first hour was taped in advance (why?) or they’re calling
the last two hours Monday Nitro Live.
Nitro Girls.
A
bandaged Ric Flair shows up, accompanied by some ladies, Arn Anderson
and Charles Robinson. They come out to the ring for a chat with Gene
and the fans seem very happy to see him. This is the start of the
second hour so at least WCW is FINALLY starting the head to head
period with something interesting.
Gene brings up the
questionable officiating but Arn cuts him off and says Gene needs to
congratulate all three new champions. As for Robinson, all he’s
doing is dressing a little bit more professionally and he called that
match like the professional he is. Gene says it was a fast count
last night, which is true to a degree but Hogan was out cold so it
didn’t make a difference.
Also, there are WAY
bigger problems with that match than the speed of the count. Like,
there being a count in general. Robinson says he called the match
fairly and Flair’s wounds were superficial. Hogan on the other hand
was a badly beaten man and Flair had given him discretion to make the
call.
Anyway,
Flair says he is the most powerful person in WCW and the sport of
wrestling because he’s both the President and the World Champion.
This brings out Goldberg of all people and Flair asks if he’s here to
congratulate him for being the champion or the boss. Goldberg says
he had Flair begging and pleading for his life last week and Ric is
looking at the #1 contender. He wants a title shot tonight but
here’s Kevin Nash to object.
Nash
says he should be the #1 contender because Flair robbed Hogan of the
title. Goldberg gets in his face but Nash says that he’s the one
loss on Goldberg’s record. Flair says cool it and Anderson says
Goldberg wouldn’t have won what he did if the Horsemen had been a
factor but Goldberg threatens him with a spear. Nash says he should
get the shot but here’s a ticked off Hogan to interrupt. He says he
got stabbed in the back last night because he should still be
champion.
Flair says he and
Anderson have a party to go to but Hogan says Flair bought his women.
Hollywood wants a shot and says Nash can slap old baldie around a
little bit. Flair tells them he’s leaving again but Nash suggests a
tag match. Goldberg and Flair stare each other down and Goldberg
nails him. Hogan throws Goldberg a mic and the monster says he’ll be
Flair’s partner to get the belt. Goldberg leaves and Flair makes the
match. This was a REALLY good segment but was screaming for the
announcement of a fourway.
Vince
yells at Horace for screwing up last night. They yell at each other
and both declare themselves the leader of the Black and White.
Cruiserweight Title:
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Kidman
Kidman
is defending and this really should have been saved for Spring
Stampede. Kidman quickly sends him into the buckle and nails a
clothesline but misses a charge, sending him out to the floor. Rey
hits a nice running hurricanrana off the apron but gets dropkicked
out of the air on a springboard attempt. They’re already back on the
floor with Kidman nailing a springboard plancha as we take a break.
Back
with Rey headscissoring Kidman out to the floor before hitting a huge
running flip dive to take the champion down. Kidman comes back in
and slams Rey down, only to get crotched on the top for a huge
Frankensteiner to give Mysterio two. A faceplant and BK Bomb get two
each for the champion but the Shooting Star misses. Rey nails a
springboard hurricanrana for a very hot near fall. Kidman comes back
with a Bodog but gets crotched when loading up another Shooting Star.
The sitout bulldog off the top gives Rey the title back.
Rating:
B+.
This was really good stuff with both guys looking like equals out
there. I would have loved this to go another five or even ten
minutes as the commercial cut out almost half of the match. Mysterio
taking Kidman down is fine as Kidman didn’t have anyone in the
division left to beat. Awesome match.
They shake hands post
match.
Stevie yells at Horace
but Horace says he’s the NWO boss. Stevie decks him and Disco comes
in, wanting to know what happened. Disco is told to find out what’s
going on from Hollywood and Stevie leaves. Horace says he wants
Stevie in the ring tonight.
Gene
brings out the new Tag Team Champions for a chat. The belts look
bigger than usual and really stiff. Benoit says their win last night
was a testament to the trust and confidence they have in each other.
Malenko says they’re ready to defend the titles tonight.
Tag
Team Titles: Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Hugh Morrus/Barbarian
Benoit stomps Barbarian
into the corner to start but Barbarian comes back with kicks of his
own. Off to Morrus as the First Family takes over on the Canadian.
Benoit will have none of that and chops away as everything breaks
down. The Horsemen double team Morrus into Benoit dropkicking him in
the face for two. Malenko suplexes him down for two and drop
toeholds Barbaian for two more.
Dean
is sent to the floor and Hart gets in a few cheap shots before it’s
back to Barbarian for a side slam. Back to Morrus who hooks a kind
of seated abdominal stretch before Barbarian comes in for some heavy
stomping. We hit the chinlock for a bit before it’s back to Morrus
for a chinlock of his own. Barbarian puts on a front facelock and we
get the referee misses the tag spot. Morrus misses a top rope elbow
and now we get the hot tag to Chris. The Crossface goes on but
Barbarian makes an early save. Dean gets taken down by a gutbuster
but Barbarian’s Kick of Fear hits Morrus, setting up the Swan Dive to
retain.
Rating:
C.
This went on a bit long but followed the tag team formula pretty
well. Malenko and Benoit piling up wins over lower level teams is a
good idea and will make them look like a dominant team as they
should. Morrus and Barbarian didn’t seem to have enough variety to
make it through a nine minute match.
The Horsemen want the
Outsiders.
Nitro Girls.
Here are Scott Steiner
and Buff Bagwell so Scott can complain about Cincinnati sports teams
being terrible. He’s the best athlete in the city and has the finest
mind to back it up. Last night, somebody made a mental error and
he’s talking to Buff. Steiner says he taught Buff how to train his
body but his mind hasn’t followed. Since Buff hurt his neck, maybe
he doesn’t hold up anymore.
Buff
says look at the crowd and see all their Buff Daddy signs. Bagwell
has been making Steiner look like a million dollars, but maybe Scott
is getting jealous. Steiner says Buff was nothing without the NWO
and will be nothing without it again. Buff tries to defuse things
and they shake hands, but Steiner suplexes Buff out of the NWO. He
nails Bagwell with a chair a few times and slaps on the Recliner. It
came off like a face turn for Buff, which should be the easiest idea
in the world after his injury. Therefore, I doubt it has much of a
chance.
Horace vs. Stevie
Ray
Horace
jumps him to start and the brawl heads outside with Stevie hammering
away and sending Horace into the barricade. The announcers debate
whether Lexington on Thursday will be as hot of a crowd on Thursday
as the crowd tonight in Cincinnati. Back in and Horace stomps away
but walks into a side slam. Vince comes out with a chair and stands
on the apron, telling Horace to ram Stevie into steel. Instead
Stevie knocks Horace into it and grabs a rollup for the pin.
Rating:
D.
Didn’t we cover this last night? What’s the point in having these
guys around if they’re just going to keep fighting over who is in
charge? Hopefully the team doesn’t last that much longer as there’s
no need to keep them around. Unfortunately Norton, the only guy that
I kind of like out of the team, is being lost in the shuffle.
Disco Inferno vs.
Konnan
You
would think this would get a longer build. Konnan starts with a
wristdrag out of the corner as Tony talks about how awesome it is
that WCW is stacking the deck against the NWO. I do love hypocrisy
in my announcers. Konnan stomps away but Disco snapmares him down
and gets two off a middle rope elbow.
A
chinlock doesn’t last long but it’s time to dance. Konnan comes back
with the 187 for two and Disco goes to the floor to check his hair.
We take a break and come back with Disco stomping away as Luger and
Liz come to the ring. Konnan hits the rolling lariat and an X-Factor
but Liz distracts the referee. Luger gets in a cheap shot and the
Chartbuster gives Disco the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Not much to see here and I’m not sure where Konnan goes from here.
My best guess would be a rematch with Disco as Luger is still hurt,
but it’s kind of a stupid idea to have them fight this early. It
didn’t help that the match really wasn’t all that good. Disco
getting another win isn’t the worst thing in the world either.
Nitro Girls.
TV Title: Booker T.
vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho,
sporting bad ribs, is challenging and there’s no Ralphus. Some
elbows to the jaw have Booker in trouble and Jericho runs him over
with a shoulder block. Booker comes back with an armbar before
kicking Jericho in the face. There’s a side slam as the announcers
talk for the fifth time about a party they went to with Flair last
night. Jericho sends him out to the floor and rams Booker into the
steps.
We
take a break and come back with Booker avoiding a dropkick before
catapulting Jericho face first into the buckle. Jericho comes back
with a rollup for two as the announcers talk about the territory
system and how it’s easier to win World Titles now. The Lionsault
gets two for Chris but it hurts his ribs again. A spinwheel kick
nails Jericho and there’s the spinebuster for two. The ax kick
connects but Jericho pulls the referee in the way of Booker’s missile
dropkick for the DQ.
Rating:
C-.
It’s clear that Jericho just does not care at this point and can you
blame him? He’s been doing the same stuff for months now and hasn’t
gotten any advancement after the awesome year he had in 1998. The
match was nothing special and Jericho was just going through the
motions. He would be gone soon.
Kevin Nash/Hollywood
Hogan vs. Ric Flair/Goldberg
Goldberg
comes out last and Robinson is the guest referee. Goldberg gorilla
presses Flair to start and Nash plants him with a side slam. It’s
already off to Hogan to pound on Flair in the corner. The Flair Flip
puts the champion on the apron for a big boot from Nash. After a
quick beating on the floor, Flair comes back in and tags in Goldberg
for the showdown with Hogan.
Goldberg counters a
suplex into one of his own and Hogan pops up. He runs Goldberg over
with a clothesline but it’s Goldberg back up and nailing Hogan to
take over. They slug it out and Hogan can’t seem to hurt Goldberg.
Hollywood blocks an Irish whip and hammers away but gets nailed in
the jaw.
Nash
gets in a cheap shot from the apron and now the NWO takes over. Now
it’s a ticked off Nash coming in and pounding Goldberg down in the
corner but it’s back to Hogan after maybe 45 seconds. That goes
nowhere so here’s Nash to loudly tell Goldberg to powerslam him.
Goldberg does exactly as he’s told but Flair won’t tag in. Hogan
comes back in for a belly to back suplex before bringing Nash back
in. A low blow stops a Goldberg comeback and Hogan slugs away in the
corner.
Goldberg nails a big
shoulder and Flair does the clap for a fake tag which Robinson
allows, even though Goldberg says it didn’t happen. Hogan no sells
the chops and Hulks Up to the big fan reaction. A big boot drops
Goldberg but he’s right back up with a superkick to Nash. There’s
the legdrop to Hogan but Robinson shakes his head no. Hogan lays out
the crooked referee but gets speared down by Hogan as we’re out of
time.
Rating:
C.
This was better than I was expecting as Hogan was doing his old tag
team formula very well for a change. Hogan turning face again would
be fine any other time, but he’s been done so much to Flair that the
double turn isn’t working. Then again, this is WCW where logic goes
out the window for the wrestlers’ wishes.
Overall
Rating:
B-.
If this was a two hour show, it’s one of the best Nitros of all time.
The first hour and the rest of the show drags a lot of the really
good stuff. The Cruiserweight Title match was good and the fourway
promo with Flair and company had me wanting to see them go at it at
Spring Stampede. Unfortunately there’s a lot of stuff changing
between now and then. Still though, this was a really solid episode,
assuming you forget the waste of a first hour.
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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