Monday Nitro – March 29, 1999

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Monday Nitro #182
Date: March 29, 1999
Location: Air Canada
Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Attendance: 16,195
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Nitro makes it’s
Canadian debut here as we’re getting closer to Spring Stampede.
We’re pretty much in the same place we were last week as Thunder
meant nothing, though there was the development of Arn Anderson
walking away from Ric Flair. I’m curious to see how far they can
take this promotion down in the next few months. Let’s get to it.

David Flair and
Samantha are in a hotel room in black and white with David talking
about his dad ducking Hollywood Hogan. She tells him not to worry
about Ric.
Tony hypes up a
sweepstakes where you can win a Volkswagen Beetle.
The announcers try to
talk over the WE WANT BRET chants.
We recap Bret saying he
could beat Goldberg in five minutes last week.
Konnan music video.
Again.
Konnan vs. Vincent
Konnan
rants about Disco until Vincent interrupts him for the start of their
match. Vincent gets rammed into the buckle to start and Konnan
stomps away. The seated dropkick has Vincent in trouble but he low
bridges Konnan to the floor to change control. Back in and we hit
the chinlock on Konnan for a good while until he fights up with a
belly to belly suplex. A jawbreaker staggers Konnan again but he
nails Vincent again. Stevie Ray comes out to distract Vincent,
setting up the X Factor and Tequila Sunrise for the submission.
Rating:
D.
Can we please just end this story already? It stopped being amusing
a few weeks ago and I have no idea why it’s continuing. They clearly
ran out of places to go with it a long time ago but it’s just kept
going anyway. Stevie is the only interesting person in the whole
thing but for some reason we keep hearing from Vincent.
Samantha
and Hogan laugh about David wanting Hogan to be his dad. Hogan talks
about the Fingerpoke of Doom like it was a huge battle because that’s
still a thing.
Here’s
Hogan to a BIG face pop. He talks about his history here in Toronto
and wants to know where his title is. Hogan told the customs agents
that he’s going to beat up Ric Flair tonight and wants a title shot.
He keeps going for awhile and says the same thing over again. The
only interesting point: one of the agents said they saw Sting in
Toronto earlier today.
60
seconds with Goldberg.
The
announcers talk a bit more.
Tenay
had a sitdown interview with Diamond Dallas Page over the weekend.
Page says Kimberly is doing fine but he has a herniated disc in his
back that has been messing with his legs. He doesn’t care that he
was double teamed at the pay per view. Tenay brings up the thirty
day stipulation that Steiner mentioned and then was dropped after the
match was over and Page says it didn’t count. Little things like
that were telling signs about WCW being a mess backstage. Either
have the stipulation or don’t bring it up in the first place. It was
so confusing that they’re still clarifying it two months later. Page
is coming for Steiner.
Kenny Kaos vs. Wrath
The
announcers talk about the interview instead of the match and for once
I’m fine with that. Feeling out process to start with Kaos taking
Wrath down to the mat, sending Wrath crawling for the ropes. Back up
and Kaos hits a nice delayed vertical suplex for two but Wrath nails
him in the face with a bicycle kick. A dropkick puts Kaos on the
floor and they do some weak brawling outside. They head inside again
with Wrath choking away before nailing a clothesline.
Tony goes on a big rant
about how he spent forever talking about tradition but, based on the
crowd reaction, maybe the NWO had the right way of thinking. Somehow
this doesn’t come off as a heel turn but rather WCW catching up to
reality. We hit the chinlock on Kaos as Tony says that Monday Nitro
will take the air at 9pm. They’ve said this before but there’s never
been anything about a different name for the first hour. Kaos slams
Wrath down for a top rope legdrop. Wrath shrugs it off and hits the
Rock Bottom and Meltdown for the pin.
Rating:
D.
This was long and not all that great. The one thing that stands out
to me here is that Kaos was the only one of these two guys to win a
title in WCW. You have one half of a bad tag team and a guy that was
built up as a possible challenger to Goldberg and the former got a
title. In case you can’t tell, there really isn’t much to say about
this match.
Samantha asks Nash if
the Fingerpoke of Doom was real. Wrestling fans have been wondering
about that for years now sweetheart. It sounds like they’re trying
to cause a rift between Hogan and Nash, but this is what they’re
going with? A blonde saying that the Fingerpoke was “real”?
What does that even mean?
Gene
brings out Ric Flair, who is promptly booed out of the building.
Flair talks about wanting to beat up Tie Domi (Toronto Maple leafs’
enforcer) because he hates Canada. One of the biggest stars in
wrestling is here tonight to make a presentation to the President.
Flair brings out Page, making me wonder why they did that interview
on tape instead of live.
Page
wants to know why Flair is acting like Bischoff. Ric says he can do
whatever he wants with Page because he has the book. They get in a
mini argument over Flair having to call Page a superstar before Flair
says Page wants a match with Scott Steiner. The fans boo when Page
insults Steiner, sending Page into a rant about how horrible the
Canandian fans are and how they support women being thrown out of
cars. I really hope this is one night only because trying to turn
Page heel after everything Steiner put him through is as dumb as
turning Fla….they’re turning Page aren’t they?
Flair
makes Page vs. Hogan tonight which draws out Hollywood to say he has
a problem with both guys. Page doesn’t care what it takes to get to
Steiner because he’ll go through Hogan and then take Flair’s belt.
Hogan says he’ll jump through whatever hoops he has to in order to
get his belt back. Flair says he’s going to manage Page tonight.
Gene calls Page the People’s Champion but Page says don’t believe the
hype. Page doesn’t need either guy but we cut to the rafters where
Sting is looking down. Flair demands Sting come to the ring. The
character development in this segment made my head hurt.
Regular show intro
starts hour #2.
Nitro Girls.
Rick Steiner vs.
Scott Norton
Norton
takes him into the corner for some elbows to the jaw but they fire
Steiner up. A hard Steiner Line staggers Norton and another sends
him out to the floor. Back in and Rick hammers away in the corner
but Norton drops him face first onto the buckle. Rick comes back
with the release belly to belly and Scott bails again. We take a
break and come back with both guys down. A big German suplex puts
Norton down for two and they head outside again. Norton gets posted
four times in a row to knock him silly and set up the Steiner Bulldog
for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was a hard hitting power match but it was little more than a
Rick squash. I’m not sure why they build up Norton like a monster at
times but then have him lose this fast to a guy like Rick Steiner.
Then again this is WCW, where having your soul crushed means it’s
time for people to boo you so it must make sense to them.
Rey and Kidman team up
for later.
TV Title: Chris
Adams vs. Booker T
Booker
is defending of course and grabs a headlock to start. Adams comes
back with an armdrag and the champion is impressed. They trade
hammerlocks until Booker nails a great looking dropkick to take over.
Back up and they shake hands to a chorus of boos. A clothesline in
the corner sets up the ax kick for two on Adams. Chris sends him out
to the floor and nails a superkick, followed by a powerbomb inside
for two. Booker comes back with a series of kicks, finishing Adams
off with a missile dropkick to retain.
Rating:
C.
Adams got to show off here and the match was better as a result.
That superkick always looks good and the powerbomb was a nice touch
as well. I miss the matches like this one where a champion gets to
show off a little bit and defend the title against a challenger that
doesn’t have a real chance.
Nitro Girls.
We look back to last
week at Mysterio giving Kidman another match at Spring Stampede.
Chris Jericho vs.
Jerry Flynn
Jericho
talks about growing up in Canada and learning everything he knows
there. But now he’s so happy to live in the United States because
Canada SUCKS! Flynn kicks him in the face and hits another one in
the corner to drop Chris. Jericho comes back with a spinwheel kick
of his own and the fans want Bret again. A suplex gets two for
Jericho and we hit the chinlock. That goes nowhere so Flynn grabs a
leg lock. Jericho quickly breaks it up and goes up top, only to dive
into a kick to the ribs. They botch a rollup in the corner so
Jericho trips Flynn up in the other corner and puts his feet on the
ropes for the pin.
Rating:
D.
There was more energy to this one than last week but there’s only so
much Jericho can do with someone like Jerry Flynn. The match wasn’t
the worst ever but Jericho is clearly not caring as he’s about to
leave. Then again, can you blame him when this is what he’s stuck
with?
Gene hits on Nitro Girl
Spice as they plug the Beetle sweepstakes.
Here’s
Bret Hart with something to say. He talks about how people seem to
be worried about the ratings, but instead of worrying, let’s sing O
Canada. Well it’s more reciting but close enough. “Hey Bischoff,
put that in your pipe and smoke it.” He’s been in WCW a little
over a year and he’s a five time World Champion, but he can’t get a
match with anyone. You have Flair and Hogan taking the top spots,
even though Hogan is afraid of him. Bret came to WCW to prove a
point so let’s cut to the chase. He calls out the big chicken named
Goldberg and isn’t going anywhere until he comes out here to face
him.
Bret
brings up Goldberg’s challenge to Steve Austin (first mention on
Nitro), but Bret beat up Austin every time they fought. He takes off
his Calgary Hitmen jersey to show off a Maple Leafs jersey, saying
this is hockey country. This brings out Goldberg for a spear….and
he’s out cold. Bret slowly gets up while Goldberg isn’t moving. He
turns Goldberg over and counts a three count before taking off the
jersey to reveal a steel plate attached to his ribs. That’s still an
awesome moment and showed off Bret’s intelligence. Bret grabs a mic
and tells Bischoff he quits. Tony, of course, doesn’t seem
interested.
During the break,
Bischoff came out but Bret walked right past him. I believe this was
a way to write Bret off for groin surgery.
Another video on Buff
Bagwell and Scott Steiner splitting up.
Buff Bagwell vs.
Norman Smiley
Buff
says he and Steiner are no more and that he loves the fans just as
much as they love him. Bagwell takes him down a few times and struts
a lot. Heenan randomly starts talking about Page and Tony
transitions into a discussion about Sting’s appearance. Smiley comes
back with some shots in the corner and teases the Big Wiggle. A
backdrop and dropkick send Norman outside before hitting some very
basic stuff on him back inside.
Smiley
blocks a splash with knees though and plants Bagwell with the
swinging slam. He rips off Buff’s dance as the announcers get into
about the 19th
argument of the match over how to pronounce Norman’s name. We hit a
chinlock on Bagwell but Norman switches to a neck crank to keep him
down. Buff comes back with a sunset flip (including a pull of the
trunks) for two. Bagwell makes his comeback with right hands and a
dropkick followed by the Blockbuster for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
The match wasn’t great but my goodness is Buff easy to like as a
face. He’s got the look, he’s got the story, he’s got a flashy
finisher. No he won’t light the world on fire but the fans like him
based on his neck injury and the sympathy is right there. Why did it
take so long for WCW to realize that?
The announcers talk for
a bit.
Tag
Team Titles: Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Rey Mysterio Jr./Kidman
Benoit
runs Kidman over to start and chops him up against the ropes. Kidman
makes the mistake of trying a German suplex so Benoit ducks behind
him and punches Kidman in the back of the head. Something like a
powerbomb gets two on Chris and it’s off to Malenko vs. Mysterio,
wearing blue and gray camouflage overalls. The champions take over
on Rey in the corner and the double teaming begins.
Benoit
chops Mysterio so hard he breaks one of the suspenders. Rey counters
what looked to be a powerbomb attempt but his hurricanrana is
countered by Dean coming off the top with a clothesline, added to
Benoit’s powerbomb. Rey is still able to kick Dean away though and
tags in Kidman to keep things fast paced. Everything breaks down and
Kidman gets crotched on top, setting up Dean’s super gutbuster (love
that move) for two.
We
take a break and come back with Kidman getting sent into the corner,
followed by a delayed vertical suplex from Dean for two. Benoit
comes back in and goes after Kidman’s sore ribs by draping them over
the top rope. Kidman is sent outside so Dean can drive him into the
apron. Back inside and Kidman nails a dropkick to take down both
Horsemen at the same time and the hot tag brings in Rey.
Everything breaks down
and Benoit is thrown to the floor. Rey throws Kidman over the top to
take out Benoit and snaps Dean’s throat across the top rope. Here
come Raven and Saturn as Dean counters a hurricanrana into the
Cloverleaf. Raven comes in and Evenflows Malenko, giving Rey the
pin. Wait this was a title match??? Nice job of pointing that out
announcers. I had to rewind to see if the referee held them up and
he did, but the camera was on a wide shot.
Rating:
C+.
It’s a good match but man alive what a waste of the Horsemen. They
were on fire during the tournament but they’re yet another victim of
the “eh let’s just turn them heel” booking. I’d assume it’s
because they’re mindless followers of Flair, which is yet another
reason to hate Ric’s heel turn. Benoit spent years getting ready to
become a champion and he can’t even hold it for three weeks. I can’t
blame either guy for leaving when they did.
Spring Break recap
video.
Nitro Girls.
Hollywood Hogan vs.
Diamond Dallas Page
The
fact that these two never had a one on one match on PPV astounds me.
Flair is managing Page against DDP’s will. The announcers play up
Page dropping the People’s Champion moniker. They slug it out in the
corner to start with Hogan taking over via a clothesline. Page tries
to come back but gets clotheslined out to the floor as we take a
break.
Back
with them fighting at the announcers’ area and Page taking over.
They head to the stage and Hogan being rammed face first into the big
WCW letters, eventually knocking over the right set. Back to the
ring and they whip each other with Hogan’s weightlifting belt. Flair
tries to help Page and gets punched in the face by his client. Page
gets two off a swinging neckbreaker as Flair is going to the top.
The distraction lets
Page take over again and he gets two more off a suplex. Hogan pops
up and drops elbows to a surprisingly calm reaction. We go
submission for a bit with a cross armbreaker on Page, even though
he’s face down which would take away a lot of the pain. That goes as
far as you would expect and it’s Page coming back with a clothesline
for two.
The referee gets bumped
in the corner so Hogan hits the big boot but misses the legdrop.
Charles Robinson comes in as a replacement but it’s Hulk Up time.
Flair accidentally hits Page with one of the worse chair shots I’ve
ever seen. Hogan no sells chops and kicks Flair to the floor. He
drops the leg but Robinson won’t count. That earns him a beating as
the other referee wakes up to count the pin on Page.
Rating:
D+.
Well that happened. It was a total mess and overbooked like you
would expect it to be but it did in fact happen. The booking
continues to confuse me and I have a feeling it’s not just because
they’re in Canada. So Flair is a heel because he’s crazed with
power, Hogan is a heel because he feels like it and Page is leaning
towards being a heel…..why? Because he didn’t give up to Steiner?
What sense does that make? So now we seem to be heading for Hogan
vs. Flair III but Sting might be a factor as well, while Goldberg and
Nash have just been dropped from the whole thing. It’s something,
though a very confusing something.
Hogan
says he’s got a title shot now and tells Big Kev that the Wolfpack is
in the house to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+.
Much like with the main event, they seem to be trying but it’s really
not paying off. This is another show that really needed to have an
hour cut out of it so we didn’t have to sit through whatever that was
with Samantha (just have her stand around in revealing outfits and
she’ll be fine), boring matches like Steiner vs. Norton and Wrath vs.
Kaos, and whatever this overly complicated booking is. I’ll give
them this though: this stuff may not make perfect sense, but I’ll
take confusing over boring every day.
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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