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Monday Nitro – April 26, 1999

Monday Nitro #186
Date: April 26, 1999
Location: Fargodome,
Fargo, North Dakota
Attendance: 11,482
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Things are shaking up
with less than two weeks to go before Slamboree. The two people in
the upcoming World Title match have flipped sides and allegedly Flair
has flipped his lid, even though he really hasn’t done much to back
that up. I have a bad feeling about some of the stuff we’re going to
have to sit through tonight. Let’s get to it.

In Memory of Rick Rude,
which they actually spell using his real name.
We open with a recap of
the major points of last week’s show with a focus on the Piper/Flair
stuff and the ending with what I guess you would call a double turn.
Now
we’re at the mental hospital and this can’t end well. A doctor and
nurse have the most painfully scripted conversation you can imagine,
talking about how Flair is treating this place like a hotel. The
nurse tells the patients that there will be no Nitro tonight when
Flair’s music comes on. He struts in wearing his robe and University
of Florida boxers, talking about how this is his hotel. Flair
watches the TV, meaning he’s watching himself in theory. He dances
with the nurse who eventually walks away disgusted. I can’t say I
disagree.
Opening sequence.
JJ Dillon is with
Charles Robinson and says that Robinson is Vice President of WCW.
Since Flair is out of action, Robinson is in charge and above the
Commissioner. This is going to be a LONG night.
Nitro Girls.
Tenay is filling in for
a sick Heenan. He and Tony are fine after weeks of bickering before
the announce teams were split.
Here’s
Piper to get things going in the arena. Piper thinks he’s in charge
now with Flair gone so Randy Savage is reinstated and getting a US
Title shot tonight. He mentions Page which brings out the champion
to a loud chorus of boos. Piper wants Page to defend against Sting
tonight but Page doesn’t seem to thrilled with the idea. Roddy goes
to leave and then makes the match for 9pm sharp.
DJ Ran.
Konnan vs. Brian
Adams
This
is fallout from the Black and White attacking Konnan last week.
After some catchphrases, Konnan quickly takes Adams into the corner
for ten punches, only to get caught by an atomic drop and
clothesline. An elbow to the back of the head has Konnan in trouble
and a gorilla press gutbuster gets two. We hit a bad looking reverse
chinlock on Konnan. Dude at least crank on it or flex a bit. Adams
crotches himself while trying to jump on Konnan’s back but stops the
comeback with a powerslam. Konnan comes right back with the usual
and hooks the Sunrise but the NWO runs in for the DQ.
Rating:
D-.
What else were you expecting from something like this? Neither guy
was exactly a ring general and the moves they were using ranged from
sloppy to just bad looking. I guess the Black and White was trying
to prove a point but this was a rather dull way to go about it.
Video on Sting.
The announcers talk
about Page vs. Sting.
The Horsemen have
attacked Kidman and Saturn, making the next match a handicap match.
Scott
Armstrong/Steve Armstrong vs. Raven
After
ranting about fat women in operas, Raven quickly escapes a double
team attempt in the corner and bulldogs the brothers down. It’s
already chair time with both Armstrongs taking the drop toehold onto
the steel. Steve finally gets in a shot on Raven but winds up
hitting his brother a few seconds later. Both guys take ten right
hands in the corner but Scott finally nails a superkick to get a
breather. The breather is short lived though as his second superkick
hits his brother, allowing Raven to DDT Scott for two. Scott pops up
and nails Raven with the chair though and actually gets the upset
pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was short and energetic, but was there any real need to have
Raven lose here? The Armstrongs are about as low level of a tag team
as you can have in this company but they get a pin over a guy getting
a title shot in a few weeks? This is more of the odd booking this
company has been using lately.
Raven beats up the
Armstrongs again post match, making the booking even more head
scratching.
Flair calls Robinson to
yell about Piper having power. He wants the National Guard called in
to deal with this and yells at other patients to stop touching his
robe. Flair hangs up and walks off with a very muscular nurse.
We look at the same
package that opened the show.
Gene brings out Charles
Robinson for a chat. He says that Piper has no authority here but
we’ll still get Sting vs. Page tonight. This brings out Piper to
call him a leprechaun, causing Robinson to slap him in the face.
Security comes down to arrest Piper and Robinson fires him for good
measure. The match with Flair is still on at Slamboree of course.
WCW World Title:
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Sting
Page
is defending. Sting is wearing white wraps on his feet and a
necklace of all things. The champion is quickly shoved down to start
but he comes back with a big right hand. Sting easily wins a slugout
and knocks Page back to the floor for a breather. Back in and Page
drives in the shoulders but Sting sends him outside again. This time
Sting goes after him and rams Page face first into the announcers’
table.
Back
in and the Stinger Splash connects but Page makes the ropes to avoid
the Scorpion. Page bails again and gets some water before heading
back inside where Sting hammers away. The champ slows things down
with a hammerlock and a big clothesline. They head outside and up
the aisle with Sting dropping him throat first across the barricade.
A slam in the aisle has Page in trouble but the referee reminds Sting
that he can only win the title in the ring.
Sting
takes him back inside for some right hands in the corner but a low
blow and hot shot stops Sting cold. A belly to back suplex drops
Sting again but he comes back with the shoulder block and falling low
blow. Page is up first though and rakes the paint off Sting’s face.
Some slaps fire Sting up again but Page grabs a swinging neckbreaker
for two. The champ hits a low blow of his own and chokes away in the
corner.
Page
wraps the knee around the post but Sting kicks him into the
barricade. Now things speed up with Sting’s shots to the face and
bulldog followed by the top rope splash for two. They head outside
again with Sting being sent into the barricade. Page grabs something
like a Diamond Cutter across the top rope but Sting comes back with
ten face rams into the buckle and the last one onto the mat.
A
sitout powerbomb gets two for the champion and a big lariat drops
Sting again. Back up and Sting grabs a piledriver but kneels down
like a tombstone for two. Now he tries a regular tombstone and
finally plants him for a VERY close two. The fans are totally behind
Sting here. Page comes back with a jumping floatover DDT for two
more but Sting blocks the Diamond Cutter out of the corner and grabs
the Death Drop for the pin and the title.
Rating:
B+.
This took awhile to get going but the last few minutes of this were
awesome. As is almost always the case, there’s no substitute for a
long, good match and that’s what we got here. This is actually a bit
ahead of the Goldberg match for Page which is quite the
accomplishment. Really good stuff here and the best main event style
match WCW has had in forever. Also, how nice was it to not have any
commercials in this?
More
Flair yelling at Robinson with Ric telling him to make Sting vs.
Goldberg for Slamboree. One of the inmates is now called AAA.
Cruiserweight Title:
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psychosis
Psychosis
is defending for a change. The champ grabs a headlock to start and
takes Rey down to the mat, only to miss a Stinger Splash in the
corner. Psychosis counters a headscissors by dropping Rey throat
first across the top rope. He lifts Rey up for a powerbomb and drops
his face onto the top turnbuckle in a vicious looking crash. A
reversal suplex drops Rey over the top rope again and a dropkick
sends him to the apron.
Psychosis charges at
him but they both fall to the floor with Rey taking over for the
first time. Rey’s superplex is countered into something like a
falcon’s arrow. The Horsemen come out to grab the Tag Team Titles
but Rey dives on both of them. Psychosis gets in a cheap shot to
take over but Rey comes back with a tornado DDT out of nowhere for
the pin and the title.
Rating:
C-.
What in the world was the point of this? Rey is now a five time
Cruiserweight Champion and Psychosis’ seven days as champion is the
only break from Mysterio, Kidman and Guerrera as champion since
August. It’s ok to let someone else in there for a change and I
don’t see why Psychosis had to lose the belt this fast. Let him beat
a few low level guys to give the division a chance to breathe a bit.
The Horsemen destroy
Rey post match.
Nash comes out and says
he’s been told his title shot at Slamboree has been turned into
Goldberg vs. Sting. That’s not cool with him but he’d like a four
way tonight with Page, Goldberg and Sting, winner takes all.
Flair
calls Robinson and says make the four way. He hits on the nurse a
bit more and they try some amateur wrestling stuff until the nurse
from earlier comes up to glare at them.
Erik
Watts vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Please make it quick.
Thankfully there aren’t any weapons in sight for this one. Bigelow
misses a charge in the corner and gets caught in a springboard
bulldog. Erik tries a hurricanrana but winds up backdropping Bigelow
instead. It’s somehow worse than it sounds. Bigelow pops up with a
big clothesline followed by the Swan Dive and Greetings From Asbury
Park for the pin. At least it was short.
Sting comes out sans
belt but with fresh paint. He’s up for a four way tonight.
TV Title: Booker T.
vs. Meng
Booker
is defending. A hard shoulder puts the champ down but he comes back
with a forearm and dropkick. Booker shrugs off some forearms and
slams Meng a few times, only to walk into a powerslam for two. That
gets Meng nowhere as Booker nails his pair of kicks but the side kick
sends Meng into the referee. This brings out Stevie Ray as the ax
kick takes out Meng. Booker crotches himself on the ropes after
missing another kick. There’s the Tongan Death Grip but Stevie nails
Meng with the slap jack, giving Booker the pin.
Rating:
C-.
This didn’t have enough time to go anywhere but Meng was just there
to give Booker someone to beat up to retain the title. The Stevie
Ray and Booker T stuff needs to go away. The team is done and Booker
is on his way to becoming something big in the singles division.
Stevie is just kind of dragging Booker down at this point and that’s
not good.
Post match Rick Steiner
of all people comes out and beats on Stevie until Booker pulls him
off. Booker and Steiner yell at each other, likely setting up
Booker’s next challenger.
Video on Nash.
We get a special look
at Hogan’s knee surgery. Bischoff had to talk him into getting it
done because Hogan wants to beat up Page.
Video on Goldberg.
Back
to the hospital where Flair tells Robinson to make Steiner vs. Booker
T. for Slamboree and make the main event tonight No DQ. Flair
teaches some patient to dance….and here’s Scott Hall in patient
clothes to throw a toothpick at Ric. Naturally, no one talks about
this or ever brings it up again.
Brian
Knobbs vs. Hardcore Hak vs. Horace vs. Mikey Whipwreck
This
is hardcore and the winner of this gets Bigelow at the PPV. Everyone
has a kendo stick and Hak stays on the floor to start. He finally
gets in and all three guys beat him down with the sticks. Knobbs
brings in a ladder to splash onto Hak for two. We actually take a
break in this match and come back to see Horace hitting Knobbs with a
Surge barrel.
Brian
nails Hak with a ladder but Hak knocks him to the floor. A table is
set up on the floor but Knobbs uses the weapons cart on Hak. Back in
the ring and Horace kicks Mikey in the face as Knobbs chairs Hak.
Mikey drops a leg onto a chair onto Brian’s head as the table has
been bridged between the apron and barricade.
The
Surge container comes back in and Hak slides in another table.
Horace beats on Hak with the weightlifting belt on the floor as
Chastity sprays someone with the fire extinguisher. Hak dives over
the top but only hits table but pops right up to nail Knobbs with a
stick. Not that it matters as Knobbs sends Hak to the floor and
drops the ladder on Mikey for the pin.
Rating:
F.
When half of the people in your match have jobs because of Hulk
Hogan, you can tell it’s not going to be much to see. This was the
usual hardcore mess with nothing interesting save for some product
placement from Surge. These are getting less and less interesting
and it’s going to get even worse in the future.
US Title: Randy
Savage vs. Scott Steiner
Steiner
is defending and has something to say before the match. He doesn’t
like a lot of what Piper does but he does like this match with
Savage. Randy comes out with an unnamed woman in a gown wearing a
sash like a beauty pageant contestant. Steiner wants one more
stipulation though: if he wins, he gets to spend some time with
George. Robinson is refereeing in most of a suit. They circle each
other and do a lot of pointing for a minute or so before finally
locking up. Steiner shoves him into Robinson….and that’s a DQ.
Post match the three
girls strip Robinson down to his University of Florida boxers, just
like Flair.
Video on George
training. This is exactly what you would expect.
WCW World Title:
Sting vs. Diamond Dallas Page vs. Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash
Sting
is defending after having won the title earlier tonight. The match
begins after a break with Page off in the crowd, leaving Goldberg and
Sting to beat on Nash in the corner. Now it’s Goldberg getting
double teamed before the champion has to fight off both monsters.
Goldberg suplexes Nash but Sting breaks up the cover. Page is back
at ringside as Goldberg has knocked both guys down. A powerslam
drops Sting for two as Page still hasn’t come in.
Goldberg
loads up the spear but Page breaks it up from the apron and comes in
with a neckbreaker for two. Nash DIVES to break up the pin and
thankfully there isn’t a quad laying on the mat as a result. Sting
gets jumped from behind by Nash but comes back with right hands to
the jaw. Goldberg and Page are both down until Page goes to the
corner, earning himself a Stinger Splash. The other two get Splashes
of their own and Sting is the only man standing.
Nash
pops back to his feet and cleans house by booting them all in the
face. Goldberg breaks up a Jackknife on Page before choking Page on
the mat. He sends Page to the floor but gets taken down by Sting.
The champ hammers away on Nash in the corner until Page comes back in
with a low blow for the save. Now it’s Goldberg slamming Page but
taking a Stinger Splash. Nash keeps trying to steal pins in a smart
move.
There’s
a side slam to Sting for two and Goldberg superkicks Page down to
give Nash the same. Goldberg dives at Page but rams his head into
Page’s knee to scramble his brains. Nash chokes Sting in the corner
but misses a big boot. He gets caught in the Scorpion but Sting lets
go, only to get speared down by Goldberg. The Jackhammer plants
Sting but Savage breaks it up for no apparent reason. Savage throws
Page some knuckles to knock Nash out before a Diamond Cutter (Nash
turned to the side so it was half Cutter and half neckbreaker) gives
Page the belt back.
Rating:
C+.
Dang it’s a good thing Savage joined up with Page. We almost had
more than two top good guys in the whole company (I don’t think Piper
counts when seemingly no one can stand him). This was energetic with
Nash doing more work than I’ve seen him do in years. Page winning
the title back is odd but it’s pretty tame given some of the stuff
WCW has done in recent weeks.
Page runs through the
crowd to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+.
Much like last week, the wrestling is more than good enough to make
this a watchable show. However, the stories are so out there that
they drags things back down. Basically we’re right back where we
were when Nitro came on the air last week, other than Flair being in
a mental hospital with Scott Hall. Mysterio has the title back, Page
is still champion, and we’re still looking at Page vs. Nash for the
title at Slamboree.
That’s
why these title changes make me shake my head at WCW. They had an
idea that could have drawn a good rating with Page vs. Sting and it
makes sense to put it on right when Raw starts. What doesn’t make
sense is giving that match about fifty minutes of build. That could
have easily headlined a big PPV but instead they decided to give it
less than an hour?
If
that’s not enough, we have a big gimmick match for the title which
also could have headlined a PPV, so it gets about ninety minutes of
build and most people probably didn’t hear about it. This impatience
is maddening when you could build this stuff up for weeks instead of
minutes. They’re pouring away what could be millions of dollars in
PPV money for the sake of maybe beating Raw for one night. The fact
that this show had a bigger gap than the week before or the week
after should have been a hint but WCW never seemed to learn.
Let’s
go back to something mentioned earlier: Ric Flair is currently in a
mental hospital and happened to run into Scott Hall. Nothing is
mentioned of this again, Scott didn’t say a word, and I highly doubt
we’ll see Scott again for several months. That’s not something you
should be able to just see and walk past, but WCW apparently doesn’t
feel the need to address this and thinks we’ll just kind of go along
with it. It comes off like a joke and that’s not the kind of thing
you should be seeing on national TV in a segment that is stupid
already.
Overall this was a good
show, but the stupid stuff is REALLY stupid and drags down the rest
of the show. This also needs to be an hour less which is standard
for almost all wrestling shows. They just do not need to be three
hours and the extra hour always hurts things. You make this two
hours and have Flair at the arena in a suit instead of being in a
hospital and the show is about twice as good.
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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