New E-Book: KB’s Complete Monday Nitro Reviews Volume IV

We continue through the history of one of the biggest wrestling companies of all time with the second half of Monday Nitro and Thunder from 1998. It’s a bad time for WCW as the Monday Night Wars are starting to swing in the other direction. Monday Night Raw started winning again in April 1998 and WCW has been scrambling for a way to get back on top. However, their strategy seems to be a combination of quick fixes and going back to ideas that worked before. These methods don’t have the most successful track records in wrestling history but maybe they’ll work here.

In this book, I’ll be looking at every Monday Nitro and Thunder from July 1998 through December 1998, breaking down each show match by match and segment by segment. This is a very important time in WCW’s history and it should be interesting looking back and seeing what was working, what wasn’t working, but most importantly why it wasn’t working. As usual I’ll be providing play by play, context and analysis of every show.

The books is my longest ever at over 400 pages on a Kindle and only costs $3.99, or the equivalent in other currencies. If you don’t have a Kindle or e-book reader, there are several FREE apps you can use to read it on pretty much any electronic device. You can find those from Amazon here.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here.

From the UK Amazon here.

From the Canadian Amazon here.

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon page, just search “KB Nitro Volume 4” and my book will be the first thing that pop up.

Also you can still get any of my previous books on the WWE Championship, Monday Night Raw from 1997, 1998 and 2001, Monday Nitro from 1995-June 1998, In Your House, Summerslam, Starrcade, ECW Pay Per Views, Royal Rumble, Saturday Night’s Main Event, the WWF and WCW pay per views from 1998, Wrestlemania and Clash of the Champions at my author’s page here.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.

Thomas Hall

New E-Book: Only On Pay Per View: 1998

The Monday Night Wars is one of the most discussed periods in the
history of professional wrestling. Over the years, the WWF and WCW did
battle every Monday night for supremacy in professional wrestling. Books
have been written about it and WWE produced a long documentary series
on the subject. However, there’s another aspect of the battle that
doesn’t get nearly as much attention.

While the more publicized war was taking place on Monday night, there
was another war being waged once a month on Sunday night. Every month,
both companies produced a three hour pay per view special where the
really big matches and blowoffs to the stories took place. These were
just as important as the TV shows and had more than their share of great
matches and moments.

In this book, I’ll be looking at all twenty four pay per views from
1998, one of the most pivotal years of the Monday Night Wars. I’ll be
breaking down every match, segment and show as a whole. As usual I’ll
be providing play by play, historical context and analysis of every
show. The reviews are all new and never before seen.

The books runs over 340 pages on a Kindle and only costs $3.99, or the
equivalent in other currencies. If you don’t have a Kindle or e-book
reader, there are several FREE apps you can use to read it on pretty
much any electronic device. You can find those from Amazon here.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here.

From the UK Amazon here.

From the Canadian Amazon here.

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon page, just search
“KB Only On Pay Per View” and my book will be the first thing that pop
up.

Also you can still get any of my previous books on the WWE Championship,
Monday Night Raw from 1998 and 2001, Monday Nitro from 1995-97, In Your
House, Summerslam, Starrcade, ECW Pay Per Views, Royal Rumble, Saturday
Night’s Main Event and Clash of the Champions at my author’s page here.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.

KB

Monday Nitro – December 28, 1998

Monday
Nitro #169
Date:
December 28, 1998
Location:
1st Mariner Center, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Starrcade
is gone now and the main story coming out of the show is Nash
stopping Goldberg’s winning streak last night and winning the World
Title. Other than that we saw Bischoff beating Flair in the big
match of their feud, because Heaven forbid Bischoff’s ego not get
stroked at the biggest show of the year. We close out an up and down
year tonight so let’s get to it.

We
open with the announcers talking about the big matches from last
night and get to see Eric’s Greatest Hits, which is basically Eric
kicking Flair in the head.
Nitro
Party winner.
Here
are Miller and Onoo to talk about how he’s going to whip somebody.
This brings out Jericho and Ralphus of all people, but they’re just
here to introduce Cat’s real opponent.
The
Cat vs. Shiima Nobunaga
Jericho
and Ralphus are in Shiima’s corner. Chris: “COME ON DO SOME
KARATE!” Tony points out that Nobunaga doesn’t speak English which
makes this funnier. Miller and Jericho have mics during the match
but don’t say much of anything. Cat kicks Shiima in the face and
catches him in a powerslam. The Feliner is good for the pin in less
than 90 seconds. I’m not sure what the point of this was.
Stills
of Goldberg vs. Nash last night.
Clip
of Flair having a heart attack, even though that wasn’t a focal point
of the match at all last night.
Chavo
Guerrero Jr. vs. Norman Smiley
They
circle each other to start until Chavo goes to talk to Pepe. Norman
grabs a wristlock as the announcers talk about Nash not seeing Hall
interfere. A clothesline puts Chavo down and it’s time to dance.
Chavo comes back with a dropkick to put Smiley on the floor and rides
the horse around the ring. Back in and Norman takes him down again,
setting up the Big Wiggle. There’s the swinging slam and Norman
fires an arrow into the air. Chavo gets caught in a chinlock before
dancing out of a sunset flip.
Larry
officially christens the dance the Big Wiggle to make this show
historic. Now it’s time to dance with Pepe but that’s just going too
far and sends Chavo into a frenzy. The fans don’t mind but it’s a
nice idea at least. A middle rope bulldog drops Smiley and it’s time
for Chavo to dance. Norman runs him over and grabs the horse, asking
it who’s your daddy. Smiley gets crotched on the top rope and
slapped in the face, but the horse distraction lets Norman slap on
the Conquest for the win.
Rating:
D. For dancing of course. The
match was nothing special with the dancing taking up WAY too much
time. It’s fun to see it happen once but they hit about seven or
eight times. That’s just way too much and it stops being funny after
about two. At least Norman won though as his moderate push
continues.
Clip
of Raven leaving last week.
Booker
T. vs. Fit Finlay
Finlay
doesn’t feel like waiting and blasts Booker during the posing on the
buckles. He hammers away and they head outside where Booker nails a
quick kick to the face and whips Finlay into the barricade. Oddly
enough there’s no talk of Finlay’s match last night. It’s almost
like it meant absolutely nothing at all and even Finlay’s mom
wouldn’t have wanted to watch it. Back in and Finlay grabs a quick
slam for two and we hit the chinlock.
Booker
fights up with some elbows and a clothesline before nailing the side
kick. Some knees to the ribs have almost no effect on Finlay as he
comes back with a jawbreaker and European uppercuts. Booker
is sent into the corner but comes back with the spinning sunset flip
for two. Finlay nails an
atomic drop and sends Booker outside, only to have Booker come back
with another sidekick and the missile dropkick for the pin.
Rating:
C-. Not bad here but Finlay has
really fallen back to earth after his nearly worthless TV Title reign
over the summer. It’s the best match of the night so far though,
which is likely due to who was in the ring. I still can’t get my
head around the fact that Booker didn’t make Starrcade but Finlay
did. Finlay is definitely talented enough but it didn’t make any
sense.
Here’s
Flair with some luggage for
the first important moment of the show. He
says he doesn’t deserve this kind of a welcome because Bischoff beat
him last night. Last night he went back to the hotel, called Arn,
got drunk, then called his wife because it was over. He got on the
plane and the flight attendant asked him what he wanted. Well Flair
wanted to go to Baltimore so he’s right here tonight.
Now
Flair wants Bischoff to hear him out for the very last time. Flair
rips off his jacket and shirt, takes out another suit from the
luggage and throws it down. There’s a third suit with ties to match
but Flair is ranting about living the life of a king because the
people have allowed him to. Now he unbuckles his belt, saying it
cost him $2,000. There’s a $30,000 Rolex to match and now he’s
ripping up $100 bills.
A
shoe is launched into the crowd and there go Flair’s pants. He
struts around in boxers and drops a knee on the mat before screaming
that he isn’t leaving until he and Bischoff get something straight.
Flair offers his house, cars and every dime he has to Bischoff if
Eric will fight him one more time tonight. One
more condition though: if Flair wins, he’s in charge for ninety
days. Why wasn’t THIS the
match for Starrcade?
Flair’s
first act if he wins: detatch Eric’s head from Hogan’s censored. Ric
goes on another rant about WCW vs. the NWO before going to his last
piece of luggage. This time it’s handcuffs and he attaches himself
to the ropes. We go to a break with Flair still yelling for
Bischoff. If the camera goes off, he’ll be naked when it comes back.
Back
with the boxers still on and Flair saying WOO. He goes off on
Bischoff again and now Eric is on his way. Eric laughs at the
handcuffed Flair who can’t reach him at all. Bischoff talks about
all the things he’s done to Flair recently and takes the money from
the mat. He says Flair is
going to die of a heart attack. Flair: “When I die of a heart
attack, it’ll be on your girlfriend pal!” The challenge is
accepted for later tonight.
Nitro
Girls calendar.
Nitro
Girls.
Barry
Windham vs. Prince Iaukea
Windham
goes right after him to start but gets caught by a dropkick and some
lame right hands. That’s fine with Barry as he pops Iaukea in the
jaw and suplexes him down for two. Back up and Windham no sells some
more right hands and hits his old jumping DDT. Instead of covering
though it’s a belly to back suplex on Iaukea before Barry throws him
outside to continue the beating. Back in and Iaukea’s comeback goes
nowhere, setting up Windham’s bulldog for the pin.
Rating:
D. Total squash here with Barry
never even breaking a sweat. Iaukea has done almost nothing in a
year and is really just filling in a spot on the card. Yeah he’s a
former TV Champion, but he’s still one of the least interesting
people I’ve ever seen on a wrestling show. Barry didn’t look great
but it could have been worse.
A
security guard talks about the stun gun Hall used last night being
very powerful.
Souled
Out ad.
DDP
comes out and brags about beating Giant last night. He talks about
the two main matches from Starrcade and that’s really about it. He’d
love to work for Flair.
Konnan
is arguing with Disco Inferno when Nash and Luger come in. After
yelling at Disco even more, Nash offers Disco a deal: if he can beat
Nash’s handpicked opponent tonight, Disco is on the team. Nash
says he has to go and make things right.
Eddie
Guerrero/Juventud Guerrera vs. Billy Kidman/Rey Mysterio Jr.
This
should be good as it’s
fallout from the two Cruiserweight Title matches last night.
Guerrero, Guerrera and Mysterio are in the LWO but Rey doesn’t want
to be. Mysterio comes out
with his LWO shirt folded in his hand. Kidman
is Cruiserweight Champion. Eddie
throws Juvy into the corner just after the bell but Guerrera backs
away without fighting back. Rey
and Eddie get things going with Eddie running him over and
then suplexing Rey to the mat.
Back
up and a Japanese armdrag sends Eddie running into the corner to
cower in front of the referee. Guerrero brings Guerrera into the
ring with a slap to the face but Juvy backs away from Kidman. The
backing off doesn’t seem necessary as he clotheslines Kidman down but
Eddie doesn’t feel like coming back in. Kidman avoids a charge in
the corner though and suplexes Juvy down before tagging Rey back in.
There’s the Bronco Buster in the corner as Eddie is lounging in his
team’s corner without looking concerned.
Juvy
crawls over and tags Eddie in with Guerrero going nuts to take over.
Everything breaks down with Eddie and Juvy taking over, only to have
Rey nail a springboard dropkick to knock Juvy into Eddie, sending
both of them to the floor. Rey and Kidman hit stereo flip dives to
take everyone out. We take
a break and come back with Juvy holding Kidman in a chinlock but
getting caught in a bulldog out of the corner.
Back
to Rey vs. Eddie with the masked man taking over but going after
Guerrera instead of the legal man, allowing Eddie to get in a cheap
shot to take over. Everything
breaks down for a few seconds and Guerrera grabs a powerbomb to put
Mysterio down to get control. The match settles down again and it’s
Eddie chopping away in the corner. Something
like the Eye of the Storm into a neckbreaker gets two on Rey with
Kidman having to make the save.
In
an awesome double team move, Eddie loads up Rey in a powerbomb and
Juvy adds a springboard legdrop to drive Rey down even harder.
Somehow Rey is right back up though and whips Guerrero into
Guerrera’s boot, only to have Juvy break up a tag attempt. Eddie
is already back up and hammers on Rey, but the LWO heels collide and
Kidman comes in off the hot tag.
The
champion cleans house and holds up Eddie for a powerbomb as Rey adds
a springboard seated senton to drive Eddie down even harder than
Mysterio was driven down earlier. Juvy makes another save and
everything breaks down. Eddie’s
powerbomb attempt to Kidman goes badly (of course) but Guerrero is up
at two. The BK Bomb puts Guerrero down again and a facebuster does
the same to Juvy. Eddie throws Rey to the floor for a big dive from
Juvy, allowing Guerrero to nail the Frog Splash for the pin on
Kidman.
Rating:
B. This is one of those matches
that you couldn’t screw up. You took four guys and let them fly
around the ring for fifteen minutes while having a story involved as
well. What else was going to happen but some awesome work? Those
double team powerbomb spots were really cool looking with the
powerbomb Eddie took being a big highlight.
That
would be about it for the LWO though as Eddie Guerrero would be
involved in a car wreck on New Year’s Day, putting him out of action
for several months. There would be some closure to the team and
we’ll get to that in a few weeks.
Here’s
the Wolfpack for Nash’s victory speech. He
doesn’t seem too happy though as he’s seen the way the match ended.
Nash was there last night for money, power and respect, but
apparently money is the root of all evil. He suddenly veers off
course to say Disco is facing Bam Bam Bigelow tonight and if Disco
wins, he’s in the Wolfpack. Back to Hall, who Nash thinks was doing
him a favor. Nash respects Goldberg so much that he’s willing to put
the title on the line again next week in Atlanta. The new champion
points out that the belt still has Goldberg’s name on it, just like
it will going into their match next week. There’s
the setup.
Disco
Inferno vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Bigelow
hammers away to start and throws Disco into the corner with ease.
Another whip into the corner is followed by a splash and a big slam
but Disco avoids the top rope headbutt. The swinging neckbreaker
puts Bigelow down and Disco actually nails the Chartbuster for two.
Bigelow pops back up and hits Greetings From Asbury Park (over the
shoulder reverse piledriver) for the pin in less than three minutes.
Nitro
Girls.
Bischoff
is warming up with Curt Hennig.
Flair’s
physician says, in a lot of
medical terms, that Ric
didn’t have a heart attack, but did have toxins in his body, meaning
he may have been poisoned. This sounds like backtracking to me,
though it does explain a few things. If nothing else it makes WCW
look a lot less negligent about the health of its wrestlers.
Bischoff
calls the doctor a quack. It
sounds like he’s nervous that someone would suggest poison.
TV
Title: Konnan vs. Scott Steiner
Konnan
is defending. Bagwell runs
his mouth before the match but Konnan uses the distraction to lay out
the NWO Referee. WCW referee Scott Dickinson comes out to referee
instead but Konnan has to save him from a Steiner attack before the
bell. A quick clothesline sends Steiner rolling to the floor but
Buff gives him a pep talk. Back in and Konnan gets planted with a
release tiger bomb before Steiner takes it outside. That goes
nowhere so Scott throws him inside again and hammers away. Scott
stays on him and spits on the Wolfpack t-shirt for good measure.
Konnan
is put in the Tree of Woe so Scott can work on the leg a bit before
Buff gets in some choking of his own. A belly to belly suplex sets
up the push-ups from Steiner but Konnan counters a powerslam into a
reverse DDT. The champion hammers away and hits the X-Factor before
putting on the Tequila Sunrise. Bagwell tries to make the save but
Luger runs out to stop him. The distraction breaks the hold though
and Steiner is back up. Luger knocks Bagwell into the ropes and
causes Konnan to fall to the floor, allowing Steiner to put on the
Recliner for the title.
Rating:
D. So why in the world wasn’t
this match on Starrcade? I’m glad Jericho got on the show, but you
would think this would be a better option for the biggest show of the
year. Granted it’s not like it matters as it’s just more trading
wins between the NWO, which really gets annoying after awhile. That
awhile was roughly four months ago.
The
announcers think Luger is up to something with Steiner.
Nitro
Girls.
No
Thunder this week due to New Year’s Eve.
Brian
Adams vs. Scott Hall
Before
the match, Scott agrees with Kevin. There are three things that are
important in life: money, money and money. He handed Nash the title
and then Nash didn’t even invite him to the victory party? Hall
isn’t the man Nash used to know, but Nash isn’t the man Hall used to
know. The fans chant for
Goldberg before we get going.
Adams
decks Hall to start and hits a nice backbreaker for two. Hall
comes back with right hands but ducks his head and gets caught in
what was supposed to be a piledriver but came out more like a
pancake. Instead of covering though, Adams messes with his hair and
puts on a bearhug. A belly to belly puts Scott again but there’s
still no cover. Brian finally hits a big boot for two and we hit the
nerve hold. The fans think this is boring so Adams just lets the
hold go. Hall makes a comeback but can’t get him up for the Edge.
Instead Brian press slams him, only to pose on the corner. Scott
grabs the Edge for the fast pin.
Rating:
D-. Nothing here again but at
least Hall got a pin instead of being treated like the loser he’s
been for so long now. He’s still stuck in the middle of this never
ending story with Nash and the NWO but that’s the case for almost
every big name in WCW. It’s nice to see Adams lose like the jobber
to the stars he should be.
Ric
Flair vs. Eric Bischoff
Flair
being in power for 90 days vs. all of Flair’s possessions. There’s
no Bischoff though as we see him in the back saying no way. Eric
comes into the arena to get to an exit but the Horsemen are waiting
in his limo to carry him to the arena. Nice move. The bell rings
and Flair hits Bischoff low before chopping away in the corner.
There’s another low blow and some choking as the referee counts
especially slow. Not that it matters as Flair throws Charles
Robinson down anyway.
The
NWO tries to run in but the Horsemen are waiting for them in the
aisle. Flair drops some elbows as the Horsemen cut off another group
of NWO guys. The Giant finally comes out as the Horsemen are busy
fighting and a big headbutt drops Flair. Anderson, Booker
T., Konnan and Page come out
as a JACKED Randy Savage and a good looking blonde come out in Black
and White gear. It’s a swerve of course as Savage hits Giant low and
clotheslines him to the floor. Flair suplexes Bischoff down and
slaps on the Figure Four to become the boss for three months.
Rating:
N/A. This wasn’t a match but
the angle worked very well. This felt like a big moment and a game
changer for WCW. That being said, the question should be obvious:
why in the world did Bischoff need to get the win at Starrcade?
Either have this match last night or have it be a no contest of some
sort. This moment taking place is fine, but how many people remember
this compared to Bischoff getting the win at Starrcade?
This felt like running back to fix an error and
it worked to a degree. However,
a lot of the damage was already done due to the fans feeling like
they had been punched in the stomach the night before.
Tony,
Dusty and Larry come to the ring to celebrate as Tenay plays this up
as a huge moment. Flair puts on another Figure Four to end the show.
Heenan: “I CAN HIT HIM UP FOR A RAISE!”
Overall
Rating:
C+. This was a hard one
to grade because of the first hour. It took me out of the show after
wanting to see where things were going after Starrcade last night.
The show wasn’t terrible and the ending was especially good, but
opening with Ernest Miller followed by Norman Smiley and then Fit
Finlay just wasn’t the right way to go here and it really hurt the
opening part of the show.
On
the other hand there’s a lot of good stuff here too. Savage coming
back was a great surprise and Flair winning control of the company
was a change they needed to make. Bischoff being in charge just
wasn’t going to work and it’s nice to see WCW FINALLY getting
something to work right. The
cruiserweight tag match was good too. This would have been an
awesome two hour show if they had switched the order of some stuff,
but as a three hour show it’s just slightly
better than ok.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Starrcade 1998

Starrcade
1998
Date:
December 27, 1998
Location:
MCI Center, Washington, D.C.
Attendance:
16,066
Commentators:
Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s
the biggest show of the year and I don’t know how many people know
about it. I don’t remember the same show feeling so different just a
year later. Last year Starrcade felt like an event rather than just
a wrestling show. This year it feels like it could be a Clash of the
Champions TV special instead of the biggest show of the year. I have
a very bad feeling about what could be coming here, especially now
that I have a fresh memory of how the buildup went. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video is all about Goldberg vs. Nash, even though it’s
arguably not even the main event.
Tony
and company tell us that the Horsemen have been banned from the
building tonight as per Eric Bischoff’s orders. They talk about the
rest of the card for a bit to kill some time.
First
up tonight: a commercial for a QVC special later in the week.
Call
the Hotline!
Cruiserweight
Title: Billy Kidman vs. Juventud Guerrera vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Kidman
is defending and has been trying to defend the title against Mysterio
for weeks, only to have the LWO interfere. Juventud is there as the
former champion wanting a rematch and LWO leader Eddie Guerrero’s
hand picked challenger. Rey stomps on his LWO shirt on the way to
the ring. Juvy gets double teamed to start, much to the fans’
delight. He tries to fight back against Kidman but gets caught in a
tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Mysterio. Kidman whips Rey into the
Bronco Buster, even though Juvy was a foot in front of the buckle and
had the back of his head driven hard into the corner.
The
good guys start slugging it out before nailing Juvy at the same time,
only to go at it again. Juvy misses a top rope cross body, allowing
Kidman to slam Rey onto Juvy’s chest for two. Guerrera comes back
with Mysterio’s sitout bulldog to both guys at the same time before
telling the cameraman he’s got it. Mysterio can’t hook a German
suplex on Juvy but Kidman clotheslines Guerrera down for two instead.
Kidman
is sent to the floor and Juvy backdrops Rey on top of the champion,
setting up a big dive to take out both guys. The fans didn’t seem
interested for some reason. Back in and Juvy dives again, only to
get double dropkicked out of the air. Heenan talks about Bill being
here tonight. Tenay: “Clinton?” Heenan: “No Bill Schwartz, an
old friend of mine from Cincinnati.” West Coast Pop gets two on
Juvy but Kidman comes back with a headlock takeover out of the corner
on Juvy with a dropkick to Rey at the same time.
Mysterio
is still down as Kidman dives into Juvy’s boots to the face, allowing
Rey to pop up and get two on the champion off a slingshot moonsault.
Juvy is stood on the apron, allowing Rey to hit a hurricanrana off
the top to put both guys down on the floor. Back in and Kidman gets
two on Juvy with a layout powerbomb. Juvy hooks an over the shoulder
backbreaker for the same on Mysterio before he seds Juvy and Kidman
out to the floor. Rey hits a HUGE top rope Asai Moonsault to take
both guys down but he can barely follow up.
Juvy
gets taken down by a springboard hurricanrana from the masked man but
walks into a bad looking Juvy Driver for two. Kidman makes a diving
save before planing Juvy with the BK Bomb for two. Mysterio is the
only one on his feet but he takes Juvy to the floor with another
hurricanrana. Kidman has to keep up with the others, hitting a great
looking Shooting Star to the floor, taking out both guys in the
process. Eddie Guerrero comes out to the ring and pushes Juvy
forward to counter a sunset flip. Rey comes in and dropkicks Juvy
back into the sunset flip, giving Kidman the pin to retain the title.
Rating:
B. Awesome opener here as all
three guys were going nuts out there. That Shooting Star looked
great and the other two were their usual awesome selves. Eddie
getting involved makes me think a fourway would have been a better
option, but there’s nothing wrong with three guys flying all over the
place and firing up the crowd to open up a show.
Post
match Eddie yells at Rey and Juvy, saying they’re not LWO material if
they can’t beat a creampuff like Kidman. Eddie shoves Juvy down and
keeps ripping into Kidman. The champion comes out and offers Eddie a
title shot RIGHT NOW. Eddie says let him go get his gear on but
Kidman doesn’t want to wait. The match is on, making me wonder what
was going to get this spot originally.
Cruiserweight
Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Billy Kidman
Eddie,
in street clothes, decks Kidman to get things going and hammers away.
A powerbomb gets two on the champion and we hit the abdominal
stretch with Juvy helping from the floor. Mysterio breaks that up
twice in a row, drawing Eddie to the floor for a jawing session with
Rey. Kidman comes back with a slingshot ankle scissors for two
before dropkicking Guerrero down.
Eddie
nails a chopblock to take over again and puts on a modified leg lock
while pulling on Kidman’s arm at the same time. Kidman makes a rope
and Rey tries to give him a pep talk. It works well enough as Eddie
is sent into the barricade to give the champion a breather. Back in
and Kidman hits a quick bulldog before hammering away in the corner.
Kidman is on instinct and fumes here, allowing Eddie to counter a
weak sleeper with a jawbreaker.
The
referee goes to talk to Rey for some reason, allowing Eddie to take
off his boot and blast Kidman in the head for a delayed two. The
brainbuster looks to set up the Frog Splash but Kidman pops back up
with a superplex. Guerrero is up first and dropkicks the knee out
again, setting up a leg lock which doesn’t put much torque on the
knee. Mysterio and Juvy get in a fight on the floor over Eddie’s
shoe and the distraction makes Billy break the hold.
Kidman
fights out of a powerbomb and stomps Eddie as hard as he can. A
slingshot legdrop gets two but Eddie counters a top rope
hurricanrana. Now it’s Eddie putting Kidman on top, only to get
shoved down. Eddie’s bodyguard distract the referee, allowing Juvy
to crotch Kidman down. Rey does the same to Eddie though, setting up
the Shooting Star to retain the title.
Rating:
B. Another awesome match here
with the story coming through much stronger than in the opening
match. Kidman fighting out of desperation was an awesome story with
Eddie not being able to back up his months of talk making it even
better. All four guys looked good in their matches, but it’s eaten
up a lot of time.
Nash
vs. Goldberg video. This
brings us to one of the biggest problems of the evening: time. We’re
at forty minutes into the show, leaving us with about two hours to go
and only three announced matches left. Keep that in mind as this
show is about to start its downward spiral.
Norman
Smiley vs. Prince Iaukea
Yes
on Starrcade, in a rematch of something we just saw on Nitro twice
this month already. Norman was getting a push around this time but
that doesn’t mean you give him a match against the same guy he’s
beaten twice in less than three weeks on PPV. Iaukea takes over to
start and sends Norman to the floor for a dive off the apon. The
announcers ignore most of the match to talk about Flair vs. Bischoff,
making this match seem all the more pointless.
Back
in and Norman takes control with his amateur stuff and works on
something resembling a Kimura. Off to a short arm scissors as Tony
talks about Flair’s promos (his word) and the recent heart attack.
Smiley drops him ribs first over the top rope but stops for the Big
Wiggle. There’s the swinging slam for two before he dances too long,
allowing Prince to get a sunset flip for two.
The
fans think this is boring so Norman double stomps Iaukea and puts on
a seated abdominal stretch. That goes nowhere so Norman dances on
the mat a bit. A delayed butterfly suplex gets two on Iaukea and
it’s back to the arm. More dancing follows and Prince suplexes the
distracted Smiley down for two. Norman puts on a series of freaky
looking arm holds before hitting another double stomp.
Prince
comes back with what might have been a low blow but Norman rakes the
eyes. More dancing ensues and Prince springboards in with a cross
body, only to have Smiley roll through for two. Neither guy can get
a backslide so Norman slips behind him and puts on the chicken wing,
now dubbed Norman’s Conquest, for the submission.
Rating:
D-. Smiley was his usual fun
self but this belongs on Thunder or Saturday Night. It got nearly
TWELVE MINUTES, or more than Eddie’s match got. Norman is a rising
star but what good does it do him to have a boring match that he’s
won twice already this month? Somehow, this isn’t the oddest choice
of a match so far.
Here’s
Hall with something to say. I’ve heard he was scheduled to face
Bigelow on this show. That makes sense given what happened recently
on Nitro, but I never heard it announced on television. Unless it
was announced on Saturday Night, that might have been a rumor or
dirtsheet announcement. Either way, Hall comes out with an Outsiders
shirt on and the fans seem very pleased with the idea.
Scott
talks about how 1998 has been a bad year for him in and out of the
ring. Tonight his old buddy Kevin Nash has a shot at the biggest
title in wrestling. The two of them used to ride the roads together
and talk about what that would mean. A little while back, Nash told
him to prove himself to Big Kev. Hall doesn’t think he should have
to do that, but he does have to prove something to himself. 1999 is
going to be his year.
Video
on Bam Bam Bigelow, who isn’t wrestling tonight either. This
transitions into a video on the threeway betweeo Bigelow, Nash and
Goldberg. We’re over an hour into this show now and this is the
third video on the main event.
Perry
Saturn vs. The Cat
This
one isn’t so much strange as they’ve been feuding for awhile now, but
who in the world wants to see this match? Miller of course has to
give his usual speech and Saturn of course jumps him. Cat runs to
the floor for some stalling before teasint walking to the back. He
tries to slide back in to go after Saturn but falls at Saturn’s feet
instead. Now the beating is on but Miller bails to the floor to
stall again. Back in and Cat sweeps the leg and chokes a bit as the
fans are dying in a hurry.
Saturn
can’t hook the Rings so he wrestles Miller down to the mat. That
also goes nowhere so Miller kicks him in the face and walks around a
lot. Saturn comes back with a pair of suplexes for two and a
swinging neckbreaker for the same. A top rope ax handle misses and
Saturn gets kicked in the face for no cover. Back up and Miller
kicks him again but asks Sonny Onoo to come in. Sonny kicks Miller
by mistake, allowing Saturn to hit the Death Valley Driver for the
pin.
Rating:
D-. I’ve watched a lot of
wrestling in my day but I will never understand some things about
WCW. For one, why in the world did Sonny Onoo keep a job for so
long? Miller could at least talk and got decent later on, but why is
he getting this spot on this show? At least Saturn won, finally.
Gene
brings out Flair to talk because we haven’t wasted enough time yet.
Flair says he’s going to
beat up Bischoff and lists off what he’s going to do to every body
part.
This
sets up a LONG video on Bischoff’s history in WCW since the NWO
arrived, his abuses of power and his feud with Flair. Again, we’ve
already paid for the show so why do we need to get fired up for the
matches? This eats up over three minutes and I believe is the exact
same video we saw on Nitro.
Scott
Steiner and Buff Bagwell come in and threaten Konnan but Lex Luger
makes the save. Luger vs. Steiner was another rumored match for this
show like Hall vs. Bigelow.
And
now, perhaps the most random wrestling match in the history of pay
per view.
Brian
Adams/Scott Norton vs. Jerry Flynn/Fit Finlay
During
the video, Tony has been given word that the main event will be No
DQ. Adams throws Finlay around to start but Fit nails him in the
ribs. Off to Norton who snaps off a powerslam on Finlay and a double
clothesline to both opponents. Flynn kicks him in the chin and it’s
back to Adams to slow things down. Adams kicks him down and stomps
away but gets kicked right back, allowing Finlay to come back in and
hammer on Brian.
Adams
pops back up with a piledriver as the fans are just SILENT. Norton
comes back in and cranks on the neck before hitting a splash in the
corner. The NWO takes turns on Finlay with the only interesting move
being a gorilla press gutbuster from Adams. Fit makes the ice cold
tag to Flynn and everything breaks down. Flynn is distracted by
Vincent, allowing Norton to powerbomb him in half for the pin.
Rating:
S. For Starrcade, not Saturday
Night. Get your shows right for your nine minute squashes.
Here’s
Bischoff for ANOTHER FREAKING INTERVIEW. Eric says hi to the
Clintons and imitates a Bill Clinton speech by saying how profoundly
sorry he is for the pain he’s caused the Flair family. He feels
sorry for Flair’s heart attack but the reality is Ric has to fight
tonight because he can’t save a dime. Flair
paid for all those jets and limos but Bischoff got his boss to pay
for his limos and jets.
TV
Title: Konnan vs. Chris Jericho
Konnan
took the title from Jericho in November but Jericho stole the belt
itself on Monday. Jericho
gets in a few decent jokes about Konnan not keeping his pants up. He
also calls himself the man’s regret, every woman’s pet, the man with
the voice and the Jericholics’ choice. We’re
treated to part of Konnan’s rap video before we’re ready to go.
Feeling
out process to start with a shoulder putting the champion down.
Konnan comes right back with a seated dropkick but walks into a
regular dropkick from Jericho. Chris goes up top but Konnan grabs
his own crotch for a distraction. They head outside with Jericho
sending Konnan into the barricade to take over. Back in and Chris
poses a lot before getting two off a suplex and the Arrogant Cover.
We
hit the chinlock on the
champion for a bit before
Jericho goes up top and dives into the boot. The rolling lariat and
a jackknife cover get two on Jericho before Konnan throws him out to
the floor. Jericho is sent ribs first into the steps for two but
Jericho counters the X Factor into a Liontamer attempt. The referee
gets bumped and Jericho hits Konnan with the belt for two. That goes
nowhere so Konnan hooks the Tequila Sunrise for the submission to
retain.
Rating:
D. This felt like they were
painting by numbers, going through the motions or whatever other term
you prefer for a match that was as basic as you could ask for.
Konnan was all talk at this point and the matches just weren’t
backing it up at all. Jericho knew he was leaving in 1999 at this
point and really didn’t care at all.
Giant
is ready for Page tonight and threatens Lee Marshall with violence.
Ric
Flair vs. Eric Bischoff
Bischoff
immediately heads to the floor but Flair gets his hands on him
against the barricade. The beating is on quickly and they head
inside for some choking in the corner. There’s the knee drop to the
head and a right hand, which Flair says is for his wife. Ric
goes after the knee in the corner but Bischoff gets in a kick to the
head that knocks Flair all the way to the floor. He sends Flair into
the barricade as Tony gets in the semi-infamous line about how anyone
that follows tournament karate knows that Bischoff is a force in that
sport.
Flair
is busted open as Eric hammers away in the corner. Ric Hulks Up but
another kick to the head puts him right back down. It’s nothing that
a low blow won’t stop though as Flair takes over. Two more low blows
put Eric in the corner and Ric chops away before shoving the referee
down. Shattered Dreams has Bischoff screaming and a pair of suplexes
make it even worse. The Figure Four goes on but here’s Curt Hennig
to nail Flair with an object, giving Bischoff the pin, thereby
killing the audience deader than dead. I
mean they go SILENT.
Rating:
F. For failure. That’s what
this match was: a complete failure. This match went against the
basic idea of wrestling: the villain runs his mouth and then gets
beaten down by the hero at the end of the day. How does this help
anyone other than Eric Bischoff? It ticks the fans off, doesn’t make
the villain look right, and makes Flair look stupid. That’s fine
once in awhile, but it’s the problem for WCW: the hero almost never
got his day. It was always a screwjob of some form and the hero was
supposed to fight another day. Eventually the fans got tired of
waiting though and these moments stopped meaning anything.
As
for the match itself, there’s really no logic to it either. Bischoff
had WAY too much offense here as a single kick was enough to knock
Flair all the way out to the floor. Last year Larry Zbyszko was
staggered by some of his kicks but didn’t go out to the floor as a
result. The heart attack angle was mentioned in passing by Tony and
nothing more, making that almost entirely pointless. But hey, people
think Eric Bischoff is a tough guy so everybody is happy right?
We
recap Giant vs. Diamond Dallas Page, which is really just an offshoot
of Page vs. Hart. Page of course has bad ribs coming in, due
to a chokeslam off the stage a few weeks back.
Diamond
Dallas Page vs. Giant
They
spit at each other to start before
Page drives in some shoulders. An early Diamond Cutter attempt goes
nowhere but Page does clothesline him out to the floor. The offense
is short lived though as Giant clotheslines DDP down with ease. A
headbutt puts Page into the crowd but he finds a trashcan to blast
Giant in the head. Again the advantage is short lived though as
Giant whips him into the steps and then the post.
Giant
throws him back inside and Page bangs his knee up on the landing.
The big man lays on the leg to slow things down as the fans just do
not care after the result of the previous match. Page
rakes the eyes to escape but gets crushed in the corner to stop his
comeback cold. We hit the
bearhug as this match is dying right in front of my eyes. Giant
plants him with a powerslam but pulls Page up twice in a row. Back
to the bearhug for a bit before Giant picks him up for a double choke
backbreaker.
Giant
still won’t cover though and gets caught in a running DDT to put both
guys down. The referee gets bumped as well, drawing out Bret Hart
who hits Giant with a chair by mistake. That’s only good for two as
Giant easily kicks out. Page scores with a pair of top rope
clotheslines, only to dive
into a choke. Giant takes him to the corner for the super chokeslam,
but Page dives at him into a swinging Diamond Cutter for the pin out
of nowhere. Page’s shocked look when he hit it is great.
Rating:
C-. The match was boring but
the ending helped it a lot. That jumping Diamond Cutter is one of my
favorite endings ever in WCW and it still holds up really well. I’m
not sure why this wasn’t Page vs. Bret for the title, but to be fair
we had seen that match several times before so it was kind of nice to
see something new.
Yet
another Goldberg vs. Nash video.
WCW
World Title: Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash
Goldberg
is defending and it’s No DQ. Nash won the shot by winning World War
3. They’re treating this like it’s a big showdown ala Hogan vs.
Warrior in 1990 but it just doesn’t work with these guys. They
pose at each other to start with the fans pretty split. A lockup
takes both guys into the corner and the referee splits them up. They
circle each other some more until Goldberg ducks a right hand and
suplexes Nash, sending him out to the floor.
Back
in and Nash takes him into the corner for all of his usual stuff but
Goldberg just shoves him down. The champion chokes away but Nash
tries a freaking cross armbreaker of all things. Goldberg laughs his
way out of that and tries his ankle hold, sending Nash to the ropes
for another reset. Goldberg knocks Nash to the mat with right hands
but gets pulled face first into the middle buckle.
The
spear connects out of nowhere but Goldberg can’t pick him up for the
Jackhammer. The delay allows Nash to hit him low and both guys are
down again. A bad looking side slam gets two for Nash and he hammers
in forearms to the back. The swinging neckbreaker puts Nash down
again and there’s the superkick for good measure. Goldberg muscles
him up into a powerslam for two but here’s Disco Inferno to distract
the champion. That goes as well as you would expect so here’s
Bigelow to get beaten down as well. Scott Hall of course sneaks in
with a tazer to Goldberg’s chest, setting up the Jackknife to give
Nash the title.
Rating:
D+. The match wasn’t the worst
thing in the world but it feels like such an anti-climactic way to
end the Streak. After all that, it’s an ending that doesn’t make a
ton of sense and almost makes Nash look like a heel, even though the
fans popped for the ending. I’d assume it’s because it’s a big
moment but they still liked Nash no matter what. It felt like a
pro-Nash pop rather than an anti-Goldberg one as the fans weren’t
booing Goldberg throughout the rest of the match.
Nash
isn’t sure what happened. He didn’t see Hall do what he did and Hall
was out of there immediately after.
Overall
Rating:
D-. Where
do I even start? While last year’s show was decent with a bad
ending, this one was just bad for the last two hours. This show
ranged from bad to downright stupid at times, with some of the most
random matches I can ever remember seeing on a major pay per view.
Consider the following list of people who either didn’t wrestle or
appear on the show.
Bret
Hart, Scott Steiner, Booker T., Scott Hall, Chris Benoit, Dean
Malenko, Lex Luger, Wrath, Bam Bam Bigelow, Kanyon, Raven, Buff
Bagwell
All
of those guys have gotten significant television time in the weeks
leading up to the show, but none of them could get on the card.
Instead we had guys like Jerry Flynn, Scott Norton and Prince Iaukea
wrestling instead. The opening two matches are good, but there’s
really no reason for one midcard story to eat up forty minutes of an
under three hour card. That leaves you two hours for six matches,
but then they wasted even more time on the constant videos and
interviews.
That’s
all before the booking of the show. I can understand the Nash move
as the streak had to end somewhere. I don’t care for it for the most
part, but there could have been far worse ideas for them to go with.
Nash winning the title isn’t a stretch as he’s been one of the
biggest starts in the company since the day he debuted. Yeah he
booked himself to be champion, but at the end of the day it’s not
like Glacier just broke Goldberg’s streak.
Then
there’s the white elephant in the room. I really don’t know how you
can argue that Bischoff should have gone over Flair no matter how you
look at it. That should have been the biggest layup of the year but
instead it’s the exact opposite of what it should have been. Yeah
things would change in the near future, but the idea of getting the
win later doesn’t matter. It should have been at Starrcade with the
two having been built up for months. Instead it made Bischoff look
good with Flair coming off like a raging lunatic that can’t get the
easiest win in the world anymore.
Overall
the show was only a step above a disaster. The worst part is that it
wasn’t even all that bad, but it was painfully dull. Most of these
matches just don’t line up with the stories they’ve been showing on
television and it feels like we’re supposed to get to the big show
later on. It’s not even that the show is bad, but it just doesn’t
work at all, save for two pretty meaningless matches to open the
show.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Monday Nitro – December 21, 1998

Monday
Nitro #168
Date:
December 21, 1998
Location: TWA Dome, St. Louis, Missouri
Attendance:
29,000
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the go home show for Starrcade and the top part of the card is set.
Unfortunately even after Thunder, I’m pretty sure only four matches
have been announced. The main idea for tonight will probably be just
tying up loose ends before we get to Sunday, meaning there isn’t
likely to be much of note tonight. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a LONG recap of the NWO forming and Bischoff joining them a
few months later. This sets up Flair vs. Bischoff at Starrcade.
The
announcers do their thing.
Fit
Finlay vs. Scott Putski
Feeling
out process to start with neither guy really wanting to do anything.
Finlay takes him down to the mat and cranks on a headlock with Larry
pointing out how the forearm is right in Putski’s jaw. A hard back
elbow is enough to put Putski down again and Finlay cranks on an
early chinlock.
The
announcers talk about how Flair has Bischoff running scared. The
heart attack isn’t mentioned at all, making me think it’s going to be
completely wasted and forgotten about in just a few weeks. To be
fair that’s probably not the worst thing in the world. Finlay shifts
over to a leg lock and we take a break. In this match? Seriously?
Back
with Putski fighting back with some forearms but being taken down
again with a knee to the ribs. We hit the headlock again as this
match has already been going far longer than I would have expected it
to. If nothing else the announcers get to ignore the match even
longer than they would have in normal circumstances.
Putski
fights up again and starts his real comeback. He nails a nice middle
rope dropkick and a running clothesline as the announcers actually
pay attention here for a few moments. This match has to be ending
soon as it’s been going for over ten minutes already. I can’t
remember the last time a main event got that long. As I say that,
Putski misses the Polish Hammer and walks into the tombstone to give
Finlay the pin.
Rating:
D. We’re coming up on the
biggest show of the yere, there are four matches announced for the
show, and the first commercial break is during what is probably the
longest match Scott Putski ever had on TV. Who in the world thought
this was something we needed to see?
Recap
of Flair vs. Bischoff.
Here’s
Ernest Miller to run his mouth about the same stuff he always runs
his mouth about, but Santa Claus is in the aisle with presents.
Chavo
Guerrero Jr. vs. Kaz Hayashi
Kaz
jumps Chavo at the bell but Chavo easily sends him into the corner
and stomps away to take over. Some forearms in the corner sets up an
armbar from Guerrero. Hayashi fights back with a quick dropkick but
misses a charge into the corner and gets taken down by the tornado
DDT for a fast pin.
Video
on Goldberg vs. Nash vs. Bigelow from last week.
Nash
comes out for the hard sell on Sunday, which isn’t something he’s all
that great at but hey, he’s booking the company so it must be the
right move. He talks about being World Champion for a year and
defending the title 197 times in that span. While Goldberg is out
doing movies and TV Guide, Nash has been getting ready. On Sunday,
he’ll become the man by beating the man (yes he acknowledges it’s a
Flair line).
Kanyon
tells Gene that Raven has been in therapy for years. Raven thinks
his mom was here last week to get fifteen minutes of fame like Judy
Bagwell and hits Kanyon for making fun of him. This brings in
Raven’s mom who finally convinces Scotty (Raven) to come home and get
some help.
Here’s
Bischoff to run his mouth. He says his usual stuff about Ric and
Flair’s family, but we cut to the back to see the Horsemen beating
down Scott Norton with a pipe. Flair heads to the ring and Bischoff
takes off. Ric says he’ll kill Bischoff if he gets his hands on him
tonight. The fans were WAY into this.
Video
on Page vs. Giant.
Wrath
vs. Lizmark Jr.
Wrath
shoves the luchador down to start and easily shoves him into the
corner for some knees to the ribs. Lizmark’s dropkick has no effect
as he gets caught in a side slam for two. A back elbow puts him on
the floor and Wrath follows him out to continue the beating. We hit
a chinlock for a few seconds before Wrath misses a charge into the
corner. Not that it matters as he comes back with a Rock Bottom and
the Meltdown for the pin.
Christmas
Nitro Girls.
Nitro
Party.
Rey
Mysterio Jr. vs. Eddie Guerrero
Eddie
rants a bit more about Rey screwing with the rest of the LWO. They
start fast with Rey monkey flipping Eddie into the ropes and
dropkicking him out to the floor. Rey tries a dive but flies into
the barricade to give Eddie control. Eddie whips him hard into the
steps before taking it back inside to yell at the fans. We hit the
Gory Stretch as Tenay tries to figure out why Eddie keeps Rey in the
LWO.
A
neckbreaker drops Rey again and Eddie puts on a modified Sharpshooter
while also pulling on Rey’s arm. Rey reverses a suplex to take Eddie
out to the floor but Eddie comes back with a top rope hurricanrana.
The crowd is almost dead here for some reason. We hit a camel clutch
with Eddie ripping a hole in Rey’s mask around the eye. The referee
makes him break so Eddie nails a great looking release German suplex.
Rey
comes back with a springboard headscissors to send Eddie to the floor
but a shot to the bad knee puts him right back down. Eddie wisely
goes to the knee and cranks on it with a basic hold. We hit an STF
from Eddie before taking a break. Back with Rey reversing an
inverted Gory Special into a cradle for two but Eddie reverses into
one of his own for the same.
The
brainbuster looks to set up the Frog Splash but Eddie has to roll
through when Rey gets to his feet. Mysterio avoids a charge in the
corner to make Eddie crotch himself against the steel. A big dive
sends Eddie into the barricade but he’s able to sidestep a
springboard missile dropkick back inside. They slug it out in the
corner with Rey taking over off a double leg Fameasser. A top rope
hurricanrana sends Eddie to the apron and a baseball slide into an
ankle scissors drags him to the floor.
The
announcers are actually talking about the Cruiserweight Title match
on Sunday if you can believe that. Back in and Eddie takes over with
a flapjack and a stiff powerbomb for two. A second attempt is
countered and another headscissors gets two on Guerrero. The referee
is knocked to the floor and here’s the bodyguard to the apron. Rey
avoids a dropkick to send the guard to the floor as well but here’s
Kidman on the apron. He loads up a forearm on Eddie but hits
Mysterio by mistake, giving Guerrero the pin.
Rating:
B. This is one of those
pairings that is going to work no matter what they’re doing together.
It even worked here here
where they slowed things down a bit due to Eddie wanting to hurt Rey
for all the problems Mysterio has caused and
Mysterio having to fight back with whatever leverage move he can. On
top of that we get some build for Sunday. Good stuff here.
Here’s
Scott Steiner to brag about being in the state of St. Louis,
Missouri. He’s here to recruit Mark McGwire to the NWO and brings
out….Bagwell dressed as McGwire. I think you can figure out this
one for yourselves. Bagwell says he loves the NWO, takes some andro
(a then legal substance that McGwire took in the year he broke the
single season home run record) and says he’d be nothing without it.
Steiner burns the Cardinals hat and jersey while insulting the city.
Total filler.
Norman
Smiley vs. Prince Iaukea
Oh….joy.
Iaukea goes right after Smiley to start and grabs a rollup for two.
Norman comes back with an elbow and it’s time to dance! The Prince
rakes his eye and hits Norman rather low before getting two off
something resembling an Angle Slam. Not that it matters as Norman
comes back with the crossface chicken wing for the fast submission.
Nothing much here.
Barry
Windham vs. Van Hammer
Windham
takes over with chops in the corner followed by a suplex but here’s
Flair before things go too far.
Ric
fires away chops of his own and knees Windham low to put him down.
Barry is thrown to the floor and into the barricade before another
low blow puts him down again. Ric goes after the eyes and hits
Windham low two more times. He fishhooks Barry’s mouth and hits him
in the head before taking it back inside. Flair loads up Shattered
Dreams but has to deal with Vincent. This brings out Arn Anderson to
help out and stomp Vincent to pieces. Benoit and Malenko stop Horace
and Adams and they all brawl to the back. Security mace and cuff
Benoit and Malenko but leave the NWO guys alone.
Back
in the arena Flair is all fired up and has a mic. He rants (would
you expect anything else?) about Bischoff trying to break his career
and life, but then one day Flair’s son Reid asked why Flair didn’t
just beat Bischoff up and wrestle again. This brings out Bischoff
who is acting apologetic, causing Anderson to almost have to hold
Flair back. Security stops Flair and handcuffs him, but Flair still
promises to kill Bischoff on Sunday. The heart attack stuff was
barely mentioned at all here.
Booker
T. vs. Jerry Flynn
I
don’t see this being very competitive. Booker nails a quick forearm
to start but eats a spin kick. Flynn hits a knee and elbow, only to
walk into the ax kick. That modified spinebuster sets up the
Spinarooni and the missile dropkick is enough to pin Jerry in less
than two minutes.
Lex
Luger vs. Kenny Kaos
Kaos
doesn’t have his title belt with him. Seriously, why put it on him
in the first place? Luger hiptosses him down to start but walks into
a hard slam and some posing from Kenny. Back up and Luger grabs a
slam of his own, only to be raked in the eyes. Kenny hammers away
with basic offense before a middle rope legdrop gets two. Tony
finally mentions that Kaos is half of the Tag Team Champions as Luger
makes his comeback with the usual stuff. Rage comes out and
distracts Rage, which makes absolutely no difference as Luger was
about to Rack him anyway for the submission.
Rating:
D. They don’t even remember to
bring the title belt out while the jobber champion is getting
squashed. There’s so much wrong with that statement that I don’t
even know where to start. For the life of me I do not understand the
thinking behind putting the title on Kaos. I could probably come up
with two dozen people that would make more sense and be a better
option than he was and somehow that’s not an exaggeration
High
Voltage argues post match. Again, why in the world did Kaos need to
be a Tag Team Champion?
TV
Title: Konnan vs. Alex Wright
Konnan
is defending so we get to see part of his rap video. Before the
match we’ve got Disco Inferno coming out and warning Konnan that
Wright is crazy. Konnan says get out of his face before being taken
down by Wright with an arm wringer. That goes nowhere so they trade
some rollups for two each, followed by armdrags from Konnan and a
break.
Back
with Wright in control and working on the leg. That goes nowhere so
Konnan is sent to the floor, only to come back in and throw Wright to
the floor. Back up and Konnan hits the rolling clothesline and the
low dropkick as the fans are really bored with the match. The X
Factor sets up the Tequila Sunrise to retain Konnan’s title.
Rating:
D-. This was just bad as the
two didn’t connect at all. Wright didn’t do any of the interesting
stuff he was capable of doing and Konnan was keeping it in cruise
control the entire match here. Also I don’ think the fans bought the
idea that the title was going to change this close to Starrcade.
Wright
snaps post match and pounds on various things with a chair ala Chris
Jericho right before he turned heel a year and a half or so back.
Speaking of which, here’s Jericho to blast Konnan in the back of the
head with the TV Title. He puts the belt on Konnan’s head for the
Lionsault and poses over top of him. “ARRIBA LOS JERICHOS!”
Here’s
Disco Inferno in a Wolfpack shirt to call out any member of the Black
and White. “Maybe Horace?” That’s not quite who he gets.
Disco
Inferno vs. Giant
Giant
no sells everything Disco tries to start and knocks him to the mat
with a big right hand. Disco keeps trying to fire away to even less
effect before Giant headbutts him down with ease. The Chartbuster is
thrown away and a chokeslam off the top gives Giant the easy pin.
Post
match Giant calls out Page, who will be a dead man at Starrcade.
Page is in the crowd, scum is discussed and that’s about it.
Goldberg
vs. Scott Hall
Non-title
of course. The entrances combine to take nearly four minutes so we
barely have any time left. A lockup goes nowhere so Hall grabs the
arm for the driving shoulders. Goldberg puts him down with a
fireman’s carry and a shove to put Hall on the mat. Nash comes out
to the ring as Goldberg counters a slam into a powerslam. Goldberg
is distracted by the shine of Nash’s hair, allowing Scott to jump in
from behind. The fall away slam has no effect and there’s the spear,
but Nash pulls Hall to the floor as Bigelow comes in to jump Goldberg
as the show goes off the air.
Overall
Rating:
D. What in the world
was that supposed to be? It wasn’t a go home show and it wasn’t a
regular episode of Nitro. Just what was this supposed to be? The
show ends with an attack by someone not even on the card on Sunday?
There are still four matches announced for Starrcade and one of them
should be a five minute squash.
There’s
no Thunder on Thursday due to Christmas Eve so this was their final
chance (save for Saturday Night) to get people to care. I have no
idea what this show accomplished, other than a very good Mysterio vs.
Guerrero match. Starrcade has the potential to be an absolute bomb
and I don’t expect much more at this point.
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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Thunder – December 17, 1998

Thunder
Date: December 17, 1998
Location: Independence
Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Lee
Marshall, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It hasn’t occurred to
me that there are only ten days until Starrcade and it doesn’t seem
like WCW knows either. There aren’t very many matches made for the
show yet and one of the only matches has its only wrestler sidelined
with a heart attack. It’s almost like this company isn’t thinking
for the future at all and is making this up as they go. Let’s get to
it.

We open with the
announcers talk about Flair’s heart attack on Nitro before going to a
clip of Scott Steiner offering Luger a spot in the Black and White.
Konnan vs. Kenny
Kaos
I
think this is non-title. Konnan comes out first for some reason. Oh
my goodness I had completely forgotten Kaos was half of the Tag Team
Champions at this point. Seriously, when was that last mentioned?
Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell storm the announcers’ desk and demand
to know why Luger vs. Hall is happening tonight. Steiner says he’s
here to keep an eye on Luger and to get Lex’s career back on track.
He’ll be helping Luger beat Hall tonight. The camera is staying on
the commentators for most of the match but as we cut back it’s Konnan
basically squashing Kaos. Kenny comes back with something we don’t
see and getting two off a middle rope legdrop. Konnan shrugs it off
and wins with the Sunrise.
Here’s Kaos’ regular
partner Rage with his arm still in a cast. He wants to know what’s
up with Kaos teaming with someone else but Kaos says he has to make a
living while Rage is out. None of this is on a microphone so the
fans chant about wanting Flair.
Ric Flair’s family
(minus Ric) arrives.
We see Flair having a
heart attack again with the audio screwing up.
Fit Finlay vs. Mike
Enos
Now the video is
messing up as well. Finlay hammers away with a series of strikes in
the corner, capped off by some European uppercuts. A splash gets two
and Fit nails a clothesline to set up a chinlock. We head to the
floor a bit so the beating can continue with Enos being sent into the
barricade and down onto the cement. Back inside and we hit the
sleeper on Enos before he fights out and nails a few clotheslines.
The fans are bored and I can’t say I disagree. A nice shoulder
breaker gets two for Mike and he follows it up with a nicer powerslam
but he stops to gloat and gets rolled up for a fast pin.
Rating:
D+.
The match wasn’t bad but it certainly wasn’t interesting. This is
the problem that comes with Thunder so often: these guys never do
anything of note so why would I care to watch a just ok wrestling
match between them? It’s one thing if you have Juvy and Kidman
having meaningless matches that amaze the fans but seeing two power
brawlers beat on each other for four minutes doesn’t cut it.
Enos beats Finlay down
post match.
Bischoff wishes Flair
the best in his recovery.
Here’s Hall in street
clothes with something to say. He’s ready for his match with Luger
tonight and knows Luger will bring his best because Luger is a world
class athlete. Hall is all alone with no friends or family and now
all he has is wrestling. He wants to be on top of the world and is
ready to go through Luger to get there.
Tony and pals announce
Kidman defending against Guerrera and Mysterio in a three way at
Starrcade. We get some clips showing Kidman defending against both
and dealing with the LWO.
Rey
Mysterio Jr. vs. Prince Iaukea
Before the match Eddie
Guerrero comes out and says Prince isn’t wrestling tonight. The LWO
surrounds Iaukea and the Prince is given a choice. He wisely walks
to the back instead of dealing with this horrible gimmick, allowing
Juventud Guerrera to replace him in the match.
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs.
Juventud Guerrera
Mysterio
scores with a quick shot as Juvy gets in before sending him to the
floor with a headscissors. Back in and both guys slip out of slams
before Juvy grabs the namesake Driver out of nowhere for two. A
tilt-a-whirl slam gets the same on Mysterio and they trade rollups
for two each. The announcers of course ignore the match to talk
about everything else. Juvy catches a charging Rey on his shoulder
and drops him down for Snake Eyes. Eddie is coming to the ring and
we take a break.
Back
with Juvy still in control but getting caught in a tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker from Mysterio for two. Mysterio misses a middle rope
splash and gets caught in something resembling a bulldog for two.
Juvy goes up for a dropkick but gets dropkicked out of the air in a
nice counter. Not that it matters as Juvy comes back with something
like a Liger Bomb. The distraction allows Eddie to sneak in with a
Frog Splash to give Juvy a cheap pin.
Rating:
C+.
That’s pretty much the baseline for these two but this wasn’t much
better than most of their stuff. The problem with the LWO angle is
it’s dominating the division but there’s nothing for them to fight
over as Mysterio is on the team as well, despite not wanting to be
there and causing Eddie a ton of issues.
Post match Iaukea comes
back out and tells the referee what happened. The referee buys it
for no apparent reason and Rey wins by DQ. Iaukea and Mysterio run
from the LWO before getting a bad beating.
Scott Steiner and Buff
Bagwell come in to see Lex Luger (man alive did WCW love
alliteration). They want to know what’s up with the main event
tonight and if he’s joining the Black and White but Konnan comes in
to say Lex is Wolfpack. Konnan leaves and we hear sounds of an
attack. Luger goes outside and sees Scott Hall. Lex yells at Hall
and checks on Konnan.
Shiima Nobunaga vs.
Disco Inferno
That’s
quite the random opponent. Disco comes out in a Wolfpack shirt and
howls before the match. They trade armbars to start until Shiima
hits a pair of dropkicks and cranks on an even better armbar. Disco
fights back with an atomic drop and clothesline to send Shiima out to
the floor. Shiima takes over with a Stunner across the top rope but
charges into an elbow to the jaw. The middle rope ax handle from
Disco sets up a chinlock before Shiima fights up and hits a quick
reverse powerbomb (as in Disco’s face hits the mat) for two. A top
rope cross body misses and Disco grabs the Chartbuster for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
What was the point of having Nobunaga in this one? I can’t imagine
this show had a huge audience and it’s not like there weren’t dozens
of guys that could have done this job just as well. The match wasn’t
bad but we’re at the point where Disco Inferno is winning squash
matches. That can’t be a good sign.
Remember the Flair
Family arriving earlier? Here it is again.
Jerry Flynn vs.
Norman Smiley
Great,
a Jerry Flynn match. Of course he starts by firing off kicks so
Norman grabs the leg to take over. Smart man that Smiley. The
spinning slam puts Flynn down but he comes back with a belly to back
suplex. Jerry tries a sunset flip but Norman stops to dance,
allowing Flynn to pull him down for two. More kicks have Norman in
trouble and Flynn puts on an ankle lock. A dropkick puts Jerry
outside and it’s BIG WIGGLE time! Back in and Jerry fires off more
kicks but gets caught in a sunset flip for another two count. Norman
escapes a slam and puts on the chicken wing for the win.
Rating:
D.
I like that someone talented like Smiley is getting a push, but I had
to sit through a Jerry Flynn match to get here. He’s another guy
whose consistent employment boggles my mind. He was just a step
above Glacier in ring work and had nothing interesting at all about
him, but he kept a job for years.
We see Bischoff wishing
Flair the best again. He promises to do the right thing.
Chris Jericho vs.
Perry Saturn
This should be more
entertaining. Jericho tries to get in a cheap shot in the corner and
gets slapped upside the head for his efforts. They hit the mat for
some technical stuff and Jericho gets one, meaning it’s time for an
overblown celebration. The fans think Jericho sucks and Saturn eggs
them on, so Jericho makes the referee cover his ears. Yep it’s
better than the previous two matches already.
They fight over control
again until Jericho gets tired of it and nails Saturn with a
clothesline. Another celebration allows Chris to pop up and
superkick him to the mat. The spinning legdrop gets two for Saturn
and a swinging neckbreaker does the same. Perry goes off on Jericho
in the corner but misses a charge, only to come back with a release
belly to belly suplex.
A top rope forearm
sends Jericho into the referee and you can smell Miller and Onoo from
here. Saturn hooks the Rings and here’s Miller to break them up. He
suplexes both Jericho and Miller but the numbers catch up to him,
allowing Ernest to kick him in the head. Jericho puts on the
Liontamer and the referee drops Saturn’s arm three times for the win.
Rating:
C.
The match was indeed more entertaining for multiple reasons, but the
biggest is that we’ve been given a reason to care about these two.
Rather than just having people who we occasionally see lose
elsewhere, these are two guys who have had success in the past and
it’s interesting to see them interact. Granted it was a way to push
Ernest Miller even more but you can’t win them all.
Side note: Jericho’s
eye got busted open off that forearm and there’s blood on the side of
his eye. It looks borderline terrifying.
Bischoff again. It’s
not the same promo but it’s the same idea.
The Flair Family is
brought out, Ric’s wife hugs Tony, and that’s it for them tonight.
So glad we spent so much time on this one.
Video on Nash vs.
Goldberg.
Scott Hall vs. Lex
Luger
Hall
comes out with no music as has been his custom lately. Disco comes
out to wish Luger luck but is ordered to the back. They fight over a
lockup to start with Luger easily shoving him down and flexing. Hall
grabs a headlock and here are Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell down the
aisle. Luger takes Hall down by the hair, much to Steiner’s
approval.
Bagwell
starts a Luger chant as Hall puts Luger down with a clothesline and
puts on the double arm crank. As in Hall is grabbing Luger’s wrists
and bending Luger’s arms behind his back. To really show the
stupidity of this show, Luger spins it around so that Hall’s arms are
behind his own back. Hall stays in the hold for several seconds
instead of LETTING GO OF LUGER’S WRISTS. A low blow gets two for
Hall but Lex comes back with right hands. There’s the forearm and
Luger calls for the Rack, drawing in Steiner and Bagwell to attack
Hall for the DQ.
Rating:
F.
For that arm thing alone. I can’t get over that. The match was
nothing of note.
Post match Konnan comes
out and says Steiner and Bagwell jumped him earlier. Wait, so he
didn’t tell Luger this earlier in the hallway? Luger had like 40
minutes to get ready for his match and NEVER ASKED? How stupid are
the people in this company?
Tony
calls out Reid and David Flair to close the show. He’s about to talk
to David but here’s Bischoff to interrupt. Eric says he doesn’t want
any trouble and is so sorry for what he’s put the family through. It
must have hurt David the most as the oldest son. Eric says David
wants to be a wrestler and apologizes that David’s dad had such a
weak heart. A shot to the back puts David down and sends Reid after
Eric’s leg. This brings out Brian Adams and Barry Windham to easily
hold Reid back and beat up David. Eric leaves and kisses Flair’s
livid wife before WOOing to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+.
There’s a lot to talk about here. First and foremost, I really
question the logic of having Flair taken off television this close to
Starrcade. With no Thunder next week (Christmas Eve), Monday is the
go home show for the biggest show of the year and the main attraction
of the second biggest match on the card isn’t on TV? Come to think
of it, the second biggest name wrestling at Starrcade on the show
tonight was Rey Mysterio. They’re doing a really lame job of setting
up Starrcade, especially with a main event that isn’t the hottest
thing in the world.
Second,
this is Thunder arguably at its worst. It’s not that it’s bad
wrestling as the matches certainly aren’t horrible and some of it is
actually good. The problem is that most of it isn’t interesting. Of
the matches tonight, three of them have people the fans would care
about. We’ve seen Rey vs. Juvy a bunch of times, Hall vs. Luger was
more of an angle than a match, and Jericho could have been any given
wrestler against Saturn as the match was there to further another
feud.
Finally,
and this is a mild spoiler (for a show that aired over fifteen years
ago so I think it’s ok): a lot of this stuff isn’t going to mean
anything at Starrcade. Luger, Hall and Steiner won’t be wrestling on
the show, making their entire story pretty worthless. You know who
will be wrestling on Starrcade? Jerry Flynn, Norman Smiley, Fit
Finlay and Prince Iaukea. The lack of common sense or logical
wrestling booking knowledge in this company continues to astound me.
That’s it for Thunder
this year as the next two weeks are Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Overall, Thunder in 1998 was…..pretty freaking dreadful most of
the time. There’s the occasional good match between the
cruiserweights, but more often than not it’s a totally worthless show
that adds almost nothing to WCW. Most of the guys on here are on
Thunder because they’re not important enough to get on Nitro most of
the time and their matches on Thunder aren’t much better. The show
just doesn’t need to exist and it’s not getting any better as time
goes on.
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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Monday Nitro – December 14, 1998

Monday
Nitro #167
Date: December 14, 1998
Location: Ice Palace,
Tampa, Florida
Attendance: 13,187
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyzsko, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re less than two
weeks from Starrcade and again you would think Bam Bam Bigelow was
involved in the title match and that Flair vs. Bischoff is the real
main event. To be fair though that’s a far more interesting story
than Nash trying to break the Streak. Other than that it’s time for
more NWO civil war and another three way with Nash, Bigelow and
Goldberg in the main event. Let’s get to it.

We get clips from the
fifteen second main event last week.
Nitro Girls.
Announcers intro.
Nitro Girls calendar
ad.
Scott Putski vs.
Raven
Before
the match, Raven rants about being in a place of pain and the sweet
smell of latex. He didn’t get an instruction manual for life and had
to rely on his mother’s charity. However, her reality checks were
all bouncing and she was never there for him. This brings out Kanyon
who tells Putski to leave because there’s not going to be a match
here. Kanyon says he’s sick of Raven getting all this airtime
without ever wrestling and everyone is sick of it.
Raven
says he had a miserable childhood but Kanyon has some history for us.
Raven went to an Ivy League school and has a degree in Pre-Med. He
had a $3.2 million trust fund and grew up in Palm Beach, Florida.
His parents had a Mercedes for him on his 16th
birthday. Raven says his mother didn’t love him and walks out as
Kanyon says Raven had it too easy. Kanyon asks where Raven is going
but Raven walks out.
Opening sequence.
Eddie Guerrero vs.
Villano V
Villano takes over to
start and takes Eddie down with a big armdrag and dropkick. Guerrero
bails to the floor but gets taken out by a suicide dive. Back in and
Eddie elbows him in the jaw to take over before planting him with a
suplex. The slingshot hilo (called a slam by Tony) connects and we
hit a seated abdominal stretch from Eddie.
Off to a leg lock
instead but Villano fights up and snaps off a powerslam. Villano
hooks a surfboard to the loudest reaction you’ll ever hear for a
Villano match. He goes up top but Eddie’s bodyguard crotches him
down, allowing Guerrero to hit a superplex and the Frog Splash
for….two, as Eddie pulls him up. Instead Eddie calls out the LWO
and the bell rings as they come down the aisle. No contest for some
reason I guess.
Rating:
D+.
I’m wondering why the surfboard got such a big reaction as you would
think Villano got a fluke pin. The string of no contests or DQ
finishes or whatever this was is getting annoying as you used to be
almost guaranteed clean finishes in cruiserweight matches. The match
wasn’t much but Villano was game at least.
Post match Villano
joins the LWO as Rey shakes his head.
Nitro Party stuff.
Al Green vs. Wrath
Wrath powers him into
the corner to start and hammers away until he misses a charge. Al’s
offense has about as much effect as you would expect so Wrath knees
him to the floor. A hard whip into the barricade has Green in even
more trouble before Wrath throws him back inside for a good looking
top rope clothesline. Wrath fires off a bunch of elbows to the face,
knocks him down again with a shoulder and nails the Meltdown for the
pin.
Rating:
D+.
Still not a good match as neither guy is capable of going more than a
few minutes but the fans are still into the Meltdown. I’m sure
that’s why Wrath has now been doing the same thing over and over
again with his only push towards the top of the roster resulting in
Nash easily beating him. But hey, Nash got another push to a match
that isn’t thrilling most of the fans and that’s what counts right?
Recap of Bischoff vs.
Flair.
Here’s
Bischoff to talk about how awesome he is at karate and how his right
hand hits hard but the left hand even scares him. I’ve heard some
MMA guy say that somewhere before but I can’t remember where. This
brings out Flair at a charge but Bischoff bails to the floor.
Bischoff tries to sprint up the ramp and gets away around the
announcers’ desk as Flair walks back to the ring.
Ric takes some signs
from the fans that talk about the Horsemen before dropping elbows and
knees on the mat. He rants about how important wrestling is in Tampa
and how how awesome Eddie Graham was. After some more insults, Flair
does the Flair Flip in the corner, rants some more and then falls
down, holding his left arm. Oh I forgot about this episode.
Arn
Anderson and a trainer come out with Dusty Rhodes and I believe David
Crockett of all people to check on Flair. Eventually a stretcher
comes out and he’s taken out as the announcers go into their serious
voices. Flair is taken out on the stretcher and the announcers think
it’s an arm or shoulder injury. As you may have guessed given that
this is being written about a month after Ultimate Warrior’s final
appearance on Raw, it wasn’t a shoulder injury.
Bam Bam Bigelow walks
past the ambulance and runs into Scott Hall. Scott laughs at him for
no apparent reason and gets beaten up. Nash comes in and Bigelow
wants to fight him too. Here’s Goldberg to make it a three way fight
but Terry Taylor comes in and makes a real three way match for
tonight. Like last week right?
Gene
wants to talk to Kidman. Now Kidman wants to talk to Mysterio. Rey
comes out and takes off the LWO shirt, which is enough for Kidman to
give him a Cruiserweight Title match RIGHT NOW. Mysterio of course
accepts and promises no LWO interference.
Cruiserweight Title:
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Kidman
Feeling out process to
start with Mysterio taking over off an armdrag. Rey goes up top but
Kidman is right there with him, resulting in Kidman getting crotched
on the buckle. Mysterio’s spinebuster is countered into the top rope
Sky High and both guys are down. Back up and Rey scores with a
hurricanrana to send Kidman outside, followed by a cross body from
the apron to send both guys into the crowd.
Back
in and Kidman scores with a dropkick to knock Mysterio out of the
air. They head up again with Mysterio winning again and scoring a
bulldog from the top turnbuckle. The Bronco Buster sets up a split
legged moonsault but Kidman avoids a swanton. We get an update on
Flair, saying he has chest pains and shortness of breath. A dropkick
puts Mysterio on the floor and Kidman hits a nice dive, followed by a
slingshot legdrop back inside. Not that it matters as the LWO runs
in for the DQ.
Rating:
C+.
Remember what I said about the cruiserweights getting interfered with
too often? It’s really getting annoying as it’s happening nearly
every week now with fewer and fewer matches getting to go to a
finish. That was one of the few things you could count on from WCW
and now we don’t even get that.
We see the triple
threat match being set up again.
Here are Jericho and
Ralphus with a white board. Jericho says he wants to reenact his
match against Konnan so here’s a very skinny guy in Konnan gear.
Using the board, Jericho illustrates Konnan hitting him with brass
knuckles, a chair and a shovel. After all that, Jericho’s shoulders
were counted down while he was in the ropes. Jericho claims to be
too legit to quit and beats up the Konnan imposter. It’s much
funnier than it sounds due to Jericho making jokes.
Nitro Girls, during
which Tony talks about Flair having a heart attack.
Emory Hale vs. Barry
Windham
Hale hammers away to
start but misses a charge, allowing Barry to take over with a belly
to back suplex. They head outside with Windham still in full control
and slamming Hale down before dropping an elbow. Back in and Barry
nails a big boot followed by a bulldog and the superplex for the easy
pin. Squash.
Perry Saturn vs.
Norman Smiley
They fight over a top
wristlock to start until Saturn grabs a rollup for two. An armdrag
puts Saturn down but he comes back with another rollup. Smiley gets
tired of these near falls and runs Saturn over with a clothesline
followed by some chops against the ropes. Saturn gets all ticked off
and hammers away until the referee tries to pull him off. Saturn, in
a disturbingly calm voice: “Please keep your hands off of me.”
He calls for the Death
Valley Driver but Norman bails to the outside. Back in and the
swinging slam sets up the Big Wiggle as Sonny Onoo and Ernest Miller
are here. The referee goes down as well but Miller gets up and
superkicks Saturn down. Scott Dickinson comes in as a replacement
and can see all of it, he counts three as fast as he can in
retaliation for Saturn attacking him last week.
Rating:
C-.
Not a bad match here but the Miller vs. Saturn stuff was old when it
started. These are guys that could have a good match if they have
the time and a better finish, but instead we get to have a crooked
referee dragged into the feud to make it even worse. I’d love to
know who thinks this is a good use of TV time.
Here’s Bret Hart with
something to say. Gene asks him about Flair’s condition but Hart
starts talking about all the people he’s injured recently. Despite
being injured, he’s willing to defend the US Title against Page
tonight. This brings out DDP and of course the Giant pops up behind
him to blast Page with a chair. Giant throws him through the back of
the set and chokeslams DDP off the stage in a huge crash.
TV Title: Konnan vs.
Stevie Ray
Konnan
is defending and has Florida Marlin and a Tampa Bay Buccaneer with
him. After the catchphrases from the champion, Stevie Ray calls out
to someone from the back. This brings out Booker T. who is told to
watch Stevie’s back. Stevie takes over to start but misses a charge
into the corner, allowing Konnan to hammer away.
The rolling clothesline
and seated clothesline send Ray out to the floor where he yells at
baseball superstar Wade Boggs. Back in and Stevie pounds him down to
set up the Slapjack but gets sent into the corner. Stevie blasts
Konnan in the head and loads up the slapjack (weapon) but Booker
shouts at him. The distraction lets Konnan hit a quick X Factor to
retain the title.
George
Steinbrenner is here.
Here’s a shaken looking
Bischoff to say how tonight was something real that happens in
wrestling. Bischoff says he’s sorry to Flair’s friends and family
and hopes Flair is back soon. No swerve, no punchline, just a
commercial.
Booker T. comes out
with something to say. After wishing Flair the best, he says he
doesn’t know what’s going on with Stevie Ray. This brings out his
brother, who takes credit for every bit of success that Booker and
Harlem Heat has ever had. It was Booker that made Stevie join the
NWO and there’s a place for him there. Stevie hands Booker a shirt
and leaves. Booker isn’t sure what to do.
A woman in nice clothes
is here to look for her son Scott. Since that gives her about 19
options on the roster, she clarifies that he goes by Raven. Kanyon
comes out and says he’ll take her to Raven for $50. That goes
nowhere so Kanyon takes her to find Raven.
Scott Hall vs.
Horace
The
toothpick to the face earns Hall a slap but he calmly grabs the arm
and starts in with his driving shoulders. A clothesline has little
effect on Hall as he comes back with a quick chokeslam, only to be
thrown out to the floor. Back in and Horace hits a string of basic
power moves, such as a clothesline, powerslam and splash for two.
A Hogan legdrop sets up
a sleeper but Hall quickly hits a belly to back to escape. As you
would expect, the announcers spend most of the match talking about
Flair. Hall hammers away with his usual stuff and loads up the Edge,
but, say it with me, the NWO runs in for the DQ. Were you really
expecting anything else?
Rating:
D.
My kingdom for a finish in more than two matches. Do I even need to
talk about this any more? It’s Horace vs. Hall in a match that means
absolutely nothing because the NWO war is going on and on with Hall
not even being on a side at this point. That’s what so much of this
year has been: WCW spinning its wheels and nothing important
happening at all because no one has to job.
The NWO beats Hall down
until DISCO FREAKING INFERNO runs in for a save. It goes as well as
you would expect with Norton destroying him with a powerbomb.
Scott Steiner vs.
Van Hammer
Hammer goes after Buff
for no apparent reason and gets jumped from behind. Steiner
annihilates Hammer and beats him in less than ninety seconds with the
Recliner.
Steiner puts his
sunglasses back on and calls out an elite athlete, which translates
to Lex Luger. Steiner points out all of the times the Wolfpack
hasn’t been there for Luger, including Nash eliminating him from
World War 3. He offers Lex a Black and White shirt and Luger doesn’t
seem to hate the idea. Lex leaves without saying anything though.
Goldberg vs. Kevin
Nash vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Non-title
of course. The referee just lets them fight as Nash steps into the
corner. Goldberg runs Bigelow over and superkicks him down but Nash
is right there for a save. Goldberg gets double teamed in the corner
and can’t fight out of it this time. That doesn’t last long though
as a double clothesline drops Nash and Bigelow with ease.
Nash takes both guys
down with clotheslines and gets one on Goldberg. A side slam gets
two on the champ but now it’s Bigelow dropping a headbutt on Goldberg
for two. Bill fights back with a suplex and spear to Bigelow but
Nash breaks up the Jackhammer. Goldberg spears Nash down and kicks
Bam Bam to the mat as well but here’s Scott Hall for the DQ.
Rating:
D+.
The match wasn’t horrible but it was just there. It didn’t have
anything interesting, it wasn’t particularly hard hitting and the
match doesn’t change anything. You knew Goldberg or Nash wasn’t
doing the job, so of course the answer was just to have someone run
in for a DQ/no contest because that’s only happened FOUR TIMES
TONIGHT.
Nash and Goldberg brawl
to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D.
This was the worst kind of show you can have: a dull one that changes
nothing and doesn’t set up anything for Starrcade. The interesting
thing is they’re acting like the Starrcade card is set, but there are
only three matches announced for the show with one of the being Flair
vs. Bischoff. While it’s a selling point, it’s not a very strong one
and the show doesn’t feel like it’s soon at all. But hey, at least
we got more Miller vs. Saturn stuff.
Then
there’s the Flair story. I understand what they’re trying to do and
that they’re doing it to give Bischoff a chance in the match, but
that brings about the bigger problem: Bischoff shouldn’t have a
chance. The match should be a total and complete destruction of
Bischoff, lasting about 7 minutes and ending with Flair breaking
Eric’s leg in the Figure Four. Instead, WCW is trying to make this a
story that no one is interested in, presumably so that Bischoff
doesn’t get killed. Because WCW of course.
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Thunder – December 10, 1998

Thunder
Date: December 10, 1998
Location: Mid-South
Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Lee
Marshall, Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s a taped show
because I must have done something horrible in a past life to earn
this punishment. We’re getting closer to Starrcade but most of that
won’t mean anything here as they can’t let anything significant
happen on a taped show. There is actually an announced match though
as Rey Mysterio will face Juventud Guerrera for a shot at the
Cruiserweight Title at Starrcade 1998. Let’s get to it.

The announcers talk
about how awesome the Mysterio vs. Guerrera match will be. We also
get Black and White vs. Black and Red tonight! Be still my beating
heart.
Chris Jericho vs.
Bobby Duncum Jr.
Bobby
runs him over to start as the announcers talk about Ralphus more than
for the rest of his career combined. A chinlock has Duncum in
control as we take a way too early commercial. Back with Jericho
getting his head taken off by a hard clothesline out of the corner
but he catches Bobby with a drop toehold to send him throat first
into the ropes.
Now it’s Jericho with a
double arm crank but Bobby turns it around, only to have Jericho flip
forward and kick Duncum in the chest in the process. Nice counter.
Off to a backbreaker from Jericho as he bends the Texan over his knee
in a rare power display. The Lionsault misses and Bobby scores with
a hard slam for two. Instead Jericho grabs a rollup and puts his
feet on the ropes for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Much like most feuds that go on for too long, we’ve seen all of this
before and I had no desire to watch it again. Duncum could have been
something interesting if used better, but having him fight Jericho
over and over wasn’t going to get him there. Jericho was going to
steal the spotlight from anyone he worked with through sheer talent
and that’s what’s happening here.
Post match here’s
Konnan to tell the referee what happened so the match restarts.
Jericho tries a rollup but Konnan hits him in the head with the belt
to give Duncum the pin.
Video on Bischoff vs.
Flair.
Glacier vs. Saturn
The ice dude takes over
with a quick kick to the ribs but won’t follow up, which is enough to
make Heenan stop talking about Goldberg for a second to complain
about Glacier. They hit the mat for a decent wrestling sequence
before Saturn goes after the leg with a few holds. Can’t blame him
for bad psychology at least. Back up and Saturn fires off chops in
the corner and Glacier heads to the floor, only to be sent hard into
the barricade.
Back in and Sonny Onoo
is here in a neck brace to help Glacier because what would WCW be
without him. Glacier takes over with a suplex and elbow to the jaw
for two before totally missing a kick to the face. Saturn sells it
anyway and we hit the chinlock. Saturn fights up and hits a nice
t-bone followed by a middle rope knee for another near fall as Onoo
is freaking out in a bad stereotype. They trade standing switches
into the Rings of Saturn, drawing in Sonny for the DQ.
Rating:
D+.
The match was acceptable but good night can we please have Sonny sent
ANYWHERE else? He’s been doing the same schtick for like three years
now and is just annoying. I can see why he sued WCW over his
character as well given how it’s as stereotypical of a Japanese
tourist as you can get.
Post match Saturn beats
up Onoo while avoiding an attack from Glacier. He suplexes Ice Boy
to the floor and stands….not very tall actually.
Kaz Hayashi vs.
Norman Smiley
Norman
stalls to start before easily taking Hayashi to the mat with a
headlock, meaning it’s DANCE TIME. Back up and Hayashi punches
Norman in the face and takes him down with a headscissors. Kaz’s
offense is short lived though as Smiley launches him into the air and
lets Kaz crash down to the mat. A bunch of stomps in the corner set
up the spinning slam followed by a butterfly suplex for two.
Smiley is acting far
more heelish than I remember him doing recently, including stopping
to yell at some fans. Kaz gets caught in a belly to back suplex
followed by a surfboard before Norman sends him to the floor.
Instead of following up though, it’s time for more dancing. Back in
and Hayashi scores with a kick in the corner followed by a nice dive
from the top. They trade some rollups but Smiley grabs the crossface
chicken wing for the submission.
Rating:
D+.
Norman is another guy that could have been something interesting for
the TV Title but too bad because there’s no way it’s getting out of
the NWO anytime soon. Hayashi was a good enough guy in the ring but
there were too many people who could do what he did much better than
he could.
We
see part of the main event on Nitro which was barely a match in the
first place.
Here are Ernest Miller
and Sonny Onoo with something to say. Miller brags about how awesome
he is at karate and challenges any fan to come try him. Sonny is
annoyed at him for not being there when Saturn attacked him on
Monday. They tease fighting before Miller goes to the back to get
Saturn. Just let them fight already so Saturn can move on to
anything else.
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs.
Juventud Guerrera
They
lock up to start until both guys hit the mat for a bit. The feeling
out continues as Juvy takes Rey down with a shoulder block before
scoring with a Rocker Dropper. Rey is taken into the corner for some
chops and whipped into the ropes, only to come back with a
headscissors for his first advantage. Juvy bails to the floor and we
take an early commercial break.
Back
with Rey hitting a splash in the corner and stomping away before
hitting the Bronco Buster. Mysterio hammers away in the corner but
Juvy comes out with a sweet Liger Bomb out of the corner. This
brings out Eddie and the LWO to surround the ring as you can feel the
screwy ending coming from here. Rey kicks himout of the air and
nails a nice springboard moonsault for two, only to get caught by a
quick cross body. A dropkick to the knee puts Juvy back down and a
guillotine legdrop gets two more for Mysterio.
Back
up again and Juvy avoids a charge into the corner and drapes Rey over
the top rope. Mysterio shrugs it off and runs into a boot in the
corner to put him right back down. A bulldog gets two more for
Guerrera but Rey catches him coming off the ropes, only to get caught
in the Juvy Driver. The 450 takes too much time being set up though
and Rey crotches Juvy to set up the hurricanrana, only to have the
LWO run in for the REALLY annoying DQ.
Rating:
B-.
They were starting to rock out there until the LWO had to do their
thing. Mysterio and Guerrera are two of the best in the company at
this point and I’d love to see either of them against Kidman, but
having to put up with the LWO is getting really tiresome. At least
we got a solid match before the run in though.
Kidman runs out to save
Rey from the beatdown.
We see Giant talking
trash about DDP from Nitro.
Lodi vs. Booker T.
Booker destroys Lodi
like the comedy jobber he is to start before hitting the forearm and
ax kick. Here’s Stevie Ray for no apparent reason though to ask
Booker what he’s doing. Lodi tries to remember what planet he’s on
until Stevie blasts him with the slap jack to give Lodi the DQ win.
Kanyon vs. Chris
Benoit
Kanyon does his schtick
before the match and thinks the fans say everyone is better than him
to make him mad. Speaking of being mad, Kanyon is mad at Raven
because the depression is starting to bring Kanyon down as well.
“What about me? What about Kanyon?” The fans still don’t seem
to care.
The match starts with
Kanyon grabbing a quick armdrag and celebrating like he just broke
Goldberg’s streak. Benoit takes him down by the arm with ease and
grabs a headlock. Kanyon reverses into a neckbreaker but gets caught
in the Rolling Germans. He’s able to break it after the first suplex
though, only to have his chest knocked off by a chop. Benoit hammers
away in the corner before taking Kanyon up for a nice superplex. The
overwhelmed Kanyon rolls to the floor but Benoit follows him out for
even more chopping.
Back in and Benoit
stays all over Kanyon with an elbow to the jaw and some hard whips
across the ring. That stiff clothesline drops Kanyon again but
Benoit misses a charge into the corner. A Russian legsweep puts him
on the mat and Kanyon hits a sweet slingshot elbow for a two count.
Benoit fights back in the corner and stomps the heck out of Kanyon,
followed by a backbreaker for two. The fans actually chant boring at
this for some reason.
Kanyon comes back with
a rake to the eyes and a middle rope Fameasser followed by a
chinlock. The fans chant boring again despite these two beating the
tar out of each other for the last seven minutes. I think they’ve
earned a breather. A fireman’s carry pancake gets a close two on
Benoit. It’s so close that Kanyon loads up another, only to have
Chris counter into a rollup for two. The Swan Dive is broken up but
here’s Raven with a can of paint to knock Benoit silly for the DQ.
Rating:
B-.
Egads did Russo start booking already or something? These DQ’s are
getting really annoying when you have solid matches going before
them. The match was solid for the most part though with Benoit being
all intense as only he can. Kanyon’s offense was stuff we’ve seen
before but it’s so different from anyone else’s that it’s still very
entertaining.
Kanyon yells at Raven
and gets Crossfaced for his efforts.
Vincent/Horace/Stevie
Ray vs. Konnan/Lex Luger
We’re
ready to go after a bunch of catchphrases and a commercial. I guess
Nash was too busy to make the match. Luger locks up with Stevie to
start as Konnan plays cheerleader. A shoulder puts Stevie down and
there’s the big muscle pose from Luger. Stevie gets him into the NWO
corner where all three are knocked around with right hands and
forearms. Konnan is fine with letting his partner fight them all
off. Vincent of all people finally gets in a cheap shot to slow
Luger down and Horace takes over.
Horace
hammers away but misses a legdrop, allowing for the lukewarm tag off
to Konnan. House is cleaned for a bit until Horace knees Konnan in
the ribs, allowing for a tag off to Stevie. The Black and White
double teams Konnan and gets to make it a triple team when Luger
tries to come in. Vincent gets in some ring time for a change with
the generic offense you would expect from a bodyguard. Back to
Horace who gets two off a splash with Luger making the save.
Stevie
comes in again and chokes a lot before throwing Konnan to the floor.
Vincent gets in a few more shots and Luger yells at the referee about
it, allowing Horace to help with the assault. Back in and Horace
nails a suplex to set up a chinlock for a few seconds before a double
clothesline puts both guys down. A double tag brings in Luger and
Stevie with Luger taking over via the usual. The Rack to Stevie is
broken up by a Vincent jawbreaker but here’s Scott Hall to break up a
slap jack attempt. He knocks Stevie into Luger who puts on the Rack
for the submission.
Rating:
D+.
Just a boring handicap match here but they followed all of the usual
formulas. At the end of the day though, it’s Vincent, Horace and
Stevie Ray on one team which isn’t exactly a team I can get behind.
Hall coming in fuels his feud against the Black and White but it’s
still not the most interesting story in the world. Konnan and Luger
were their usual selves here.
Overall
Rating:
B-.
This was the best Thunder in a long time even though it had some very
frustrating problems. First and foremost, we had two solid matches
and far less time being wasted as a result. The DQ’s got very
annoying but it’s something you have to get used to in WCW. This was
a very nice surprise and an easy two hours to sit through instead of
the usual drek.

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Monday Nitro – December 7, 1998

Monday
Nitro #166
Date:
December 7, 1998
Location:
Astrodome, Houston, Texas
Attendance:
32,067
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
less than three weeks away from Starrcade and Nash vs. Goldberg
hasn’t really started to heat up yet. If I didn’t know better I
would think Goldberg would be squashing Bam Bam Bigelow at the PPV
based on what we’ve seen in recent weeks. Other than that we’re
getting ready for Flair vs. Bischoff which I’m sure will be a
classic. Let’s get to it.

Goldberg
vs. Bigelow in a non-title match tonight. The guy isn’t signed but
he can wrestle in a match against the champion?
We
look at a clip from earlier today of Scott Steiner attacking the
Wildcat mascot due to reasons of insanity.
The
Hogan retirement video from last week airs again to shot him beating
up Ric Flair.
Nitro
Girls.
Scott
Steiner comes out to say the only things that come out of Texas are
steers and something censored that rhymes with steers. He demands
that we give Hogan a standing ovation before demanding another match
with Scott Hall tonight.
Nitro
Party winner.
Nitro
Girls.
Kendall
Windham vs. Diamond Dallas Page
We’re
nearly half an hour into this show counting commercials at this
point. Page gets slammed down to start but trips Kendall to the mat
just as easily. A swinging neckbreaker does the same but Windham
comes back with a low blow. Not that it matters as Page comes back
with punches and a big clothesline followed by the Diamond Cutter for
the pin. This wasn’t much but the fans are awake now.
Profile
on a Nitro Girl.
Goldberg
vs. Bigelow package.
Norman
Smiley vs. Prince Iaukea
The
dancing non-Islander takes over to start with a slap to the face and
a nice shoulder block followed by that spinning slam of his. A
delayed double underhook suplex gets two on the Prince and it’s time
for more dancing. Iaukea’s kick to the ribs is caught but Smiley
stops to dance some more, allowing Prince to kick him in the face. A
Samoan drop and top rope splash get two for Prince but Norman calmly
puts on a cross face chicken wing for the submission. This was a
fairly packed match for under three minutes.
We
see the interview from Thunder where Mysterio vs. Guerrera was
announced for next week’s Thunder for a future shot at the
Cruiserweight Title. Eddie Guerrero comes out to and says Silver
King will deal with the selfish Mysterio tonight.
Silver
King vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Rey
takes him down with a headscissors to start and they trade what would
evolve into the 619. They wind up on the apron and Rey snaps off a
hurricanrana to send him to the floor. Back in and King counters the
sitout bulldog before hitting what would become the Eye of the Storm
for two. Rey sends him into the corner before going up himself and
TOTALLY botching a hurricanrana. It wound up looking more like a
spinebuster from Silver King than anything else. Mysterio sends him
to the floor and hits a great looking flip dive to make up for it
before a top rope bulldog is enough for the pin.
Rating:
C-. This was Mysterio bouncing
around the ring for about four minutes which is all you need most of
the time. The botch in the middle really hurt it though as there was
no way to cover up something like that. Thankfully they went home
almost immediately after that so it wasn’t a crippling spot in the
middle of the match.
Hour
#2.
Goldberg
and the championship committee arrive but Nash comes up to meet them.
Nash says the match against Bigelow isn’t happening tonight because
Goldberg isn’t supposed to fight before Starrcade. Goldberg says he
dreams of taking Nash apart.
Wrath
vs. Renegade
Renegade
comes out to what would have been Marvelous Marc Mero’s music around
this time. Must be public domain. Wrath takes him into the corner
for some knees to the ribs as the announcers talk about Goldberg vs.
Bigelow. A side slam puts Renegade down but he comes back with some
kicks to the ribs. Wrath easily shrugs them off and drives in some
elbows. Renegade’s handspring elbow is just shoved away and a
clothesline to the back of his head leads to the Meltdown for the
pin.
Rating:
D. I hate to say it, but it’s
over for Wrath. Yeah the Meltdown still looks cool, but it was clear
that there was nothing more for him after he got beat in his one time
moving up the ladder. Just a few weeks ago the announcers were
making him out to be the hottest thing in the world and now he’s
squashing jobbers again. This is Renegade’s final appearance with
the company. How in the world did he survive this long?
Roger
Clemens of baseball fame is here.
Chavo
Guerrero Jr./Disco Inferno vs. Horace/Stevie Ray
Before
the match, Disco asks Konnan com come out for a surprise. Apparently
Kevin Nash has approved Disco as the newest member of the Wolfpack.
Konnan just rolls his eyes and walks away so the squash can begin.
Horace pounds on Chavo to start with the usual power brawling style
of his, only to walk into a dropkick followed by a rope climbing
bulldog for two. Disco and Stevie come in with Ray easily winning a
slugout, only to walk into a swinging neckbreaker.
Disco
gets two off a top rope ax handle but is easily thrown outside for a
beating from Horace. The announcers at least changes things up a bit
here by talking about Hogan’s retirement. Horace comes in legally
and misses an elbow drop, allowing
Chavo to come in and clean house. The tornado DDT gets two on Horace
as everything breaks down. A spike piledriver catches Chavo out of
nowhere and Stevie gets an easy pin.
Rating:
D. Nothing match here for the
most part and I’m not seeing a reason why Chavo and Disco were paired
together. Disco wanting to join the Red and Black simply can’t end
well but that’s the case for a lot of stuff involving the NWO. It’s
also not a good sign that the yet to be christened B-Team is now
getting squashes on Nitro.
Nash
comes out and says that tonight it’s a three way between him,
Goldberg and Bigelow.
Nitro
Girls again.
Glacier
vs. Saturn
This
is supposed to be Miller vs. Saturn but he’s claiming an ankle
injury. Glacier hits a quick Kryonic Kick to start and stomps away
in the corner instead of covering. Another kick stops a Saturn
comeback and a tilt-a-whirl slam sets up even more kicks. Aside from
all the other reasons, it’s becoming clear why Glacier never went
anywhere. Glacier tries to spice things up a bit with a legdrop but
misses an ax handle.
Saturn
grabs a quick atomic drop followed by a cross body. He hits his VERY
high top rope elbow drop but Sonny Onoo distracts the referee because
someone has to try and make this horrible angle interesting. The
fact that Sonny is one of the reasons it’s awful doesn’t make things
much better though. Anyway, Miller hits Glacier by mistake and of
course the referee sees that because Saturn needs to lose to another
horrible guy.
Rating:
F. I think that’s my official
rating for every time Saturn jobs to some waste like Glacier or
Miller.
Saturn
beats up Glacier and the referee.
Lex
Luger vs. Emery Hale
Hale
is a big muscular guy that ran around WCW forever but never got over
due to not being very talented. They
circle each other for awhile to start with no one going anywhere off
a shoulder. A harder shoulder puts Hale down and he heads outside to
yell at some fans. Back in and Hale takes over with a hard lariat
and a big legdrop gets two. Hale pounds on Luger’s back for no
effect but a suplex puts Lex on the mat. Hale misses a good looking
top rope splash and it’s the forearm into the Rack to give Luger the
submission.
Rating:
D. Hale had a very good look
and could have been a solid midcard monster with some more seasoning
and a gimmick. The match was nothing terrible but it’s hard to get
excited about Luger doing the same match we’ve seen him do with far
more talented people. Not much to see here but Hale didn’t embarrass
himself.
Ad
for Starrcade.
Chris
Jericho vs. Bobby Duncum Jr.
Here’s
a match we’ve seen far too many times now. Before the match Jericho
makes fun of cowboys, causing Duncum to jump him from behind to
start. A hard shoulder and clothesline put Jericho down as Bobby is
all ticked off about the cowboy stuff. For the life of me I will
never understand so many grown men being obsessed with looking and
acting like cowboys.
Anyway
Jericho comes back with a quick belly to back but is thrown to the
floor for his efforts. After a whip into the barricade, Duncum
throws Jericho back inside but gets his throat snapped across the top
rope. The missile dropkick has little effect as Bobby nails a
bulldog and another lariat (as all good cowboys should do). Jericho
crotches him on the top and scores with a superplex before grabbing a
rollup and the rope for a cheating pin.
Rating:
D+. Did I mention I’m not a fan
of the generic cowboy characters? Jericho is another talent being
wasted in meaningless feuds like this one after dropping the title to
Konnan so it can be used in the endless NWO war. Nothing to see here
for the most part, even though Duncum is another big guy with a good
look that could be something in a better gimmick.
Hour
#3 begins.
Giant
vs. Scott Putski
Chokeslam,
pin.
Post
match Giant challenges Page for Starrcade because Page’s fans are all
rednecks.
Konnan
wants a piece of the NWO Referee.
Chris
Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Kanyon/Raven
And
there’s no heel team as Kanyon is looking for Raven in the back.
Raven refuses to go wrestle because Kanyon is a geek. Kanyon points
out that Raven has driven away everyone that has tried to help him,
including Piper, and blames his recent losing streak on Raven. In
the arena, Kanyon refuses to wrestle because he has no partner. For
some reason he pushes Arn Anderson and has to run away from a
crowbar. Benoit dropkicks him to the floor and Kanyon runs off with
no match.
Video
on Bischoff/Flair.
After
a break the Horsemen are still in the ring and here’s their leader.
Ric tells Bischoff to get off his girlfriend and listen to what he
has to say. He says the
dictatorship is about to end and rants about the history of Texas
wrestling while dropping his usual names. Flair is going to choke
Bischoff and rip his throat out at Starrcade. He’s looking redder
than usual here and runs around the ring looking for something to
chop. At Starrcade, Flair promises to chop Bischoff until he says he
respects Flair before taking his job, his girlfriend and his dignity.
Totally insane Flair here but it worked for the most part.
Konnan
video.
TV
Title: Konnan vs. Booker T.
They
shove each other to start with Booker taking over via some forearms
and kicks. Konnan comes back with a rolling clothesline and dropkick
of his own before they head outside. Back in and Konnan scores with
a bulldog but gets caught by an ax kick. Stevie Ray comes strolling
down as Booker dances to his feet. The side kick connects but Stevie
comes in and jumps Konnan for the DQ.
Booker
yells at Stevie post match but Stevie says Booker should be going
after Konnan.
Scott
Steiner vs. Scott Hall
There’s
no referee and Steiner blames Hall for him missing. Hall hammers on
Steiner and we see the NWO Referee wrapped up in tape (Konnan
threatened to do that earlier). Mickie Jay runs
down, shoves the NWO Referee down, and
comes in to count two off Hall’s fall away slam. Steiner
yells at the referee and Hall gets two off a rollup as the NWO runs
in to end the match.
Luger
and Konnan run in but Giant comes in to take them out. Page hits the
ring and nails Giant with a chair to get rid of the NWO. Well the
Black and White that is. In
an amusing visual, the NWO Referee is still down at the entrance.
Bret
Hart comes out and says Page is a coward. He’s proven himself and
that’s about it. Gene says people should go see Wrestling with
Shadows.
Goldberg
vs. Kevin Nash vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Bigelow
comes out with no music. Nash hits the ring to go after him before
Goldberg arrives. Here comes the champ and the brawl is on. All
three guys slug it out until security comes out to break it up as the
fans pelt the ring with garbage to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D-. This was one of the
worst Nitros in a long time as almost nothing happened. We’ve got
two episodes before Starrcade and Bigelow is still deeply involved in
the main event scene. There are some matches set for the card, but
the TV Title, US Title and Tag Team Titles aren’t being mentioned,
guys like Luger, Jericho, Saturn, the Horsemen and Raven/Kanyon have
no matches yet, and the main story has a third guy added who probably
won’t be on the PPV either. Sadly enough, this is going to be their
last coherent PPV for a very long time.

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Thunder – December 3, 1998

Thunder
Date:
December 3, 1998
Location:
Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the last month of 1998 and things are starting to pick up for
Starrcade. The main story coming out of Nitro is kind of hard to pin
down. Hall seems to be going to war against the NWO while Goldberg
vs. Nash is just kind of happening in the background despite being
allegedly the biggest match of the year. Let’s get to it.

Tony
recaps some of the NWO stuff from Nitro and calls Dusty a great man
for swerving Bischoff. Flair vs. Easy E is set for Starrcade.
Since
Hogan has “officially retired”, we get a retrospective on his WCW
career. Looking back….Hogan wasn’t all that good around this time.
We
see Scott Steiner challenging Scott Hall from Nitro.
Here’s
Scott Steiner with something to say. Steiner talks about going to
Graceland and says he’s getting more women than Elvis could ever
dream of now that he’s the head of the NWO. After insulting the
fans, Steiner brags about Hogan passing the torch because they both
have big arms. This brings him to Scott Hall because Steiner wants
to hurt him. I’m assuming that’s the main event tonight.
Eddie
Guerrero vs. Ciclope
Eddie
takes out the knee to start and nails the slingshot hilo before
sitting on the ropes to yell at the fans. Ciclope slides through the
legs to the floor before coming back in with a mostly missing missile
dropkick for two. Not that it matters as Eddie hits the
brainbuster….and asks for the match to be stopped. The bell rings
and we’re done with I think a no contest.
The
LWO comes out and Eddie offers Ciclope a shirt, giving us a new
member of the LWO.
We
see Konnan winning the TV Title on Monday.
We
see Page losing the US Title back to Bret Hart.
Renegade
vs. Giant
Giant
shrugs him off, shrugs him off again and then chokeslams Renegade off
the top for the pin in a minute.
Post
match Giant talks about beating up two imposters in one week. This
brings DDP out through the crowd with a chair to lay out Giant. If
the Giant Scum wants some, come get some. I guess that’s another
Starrcade match.
Mike
Enos vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Chavo
has an early chat with Pepe before dodging a charging Enos and
nailing him with a dropkick. A gorilla press goes as badly as the
charge and Chavo dropkicks Enos to the floor, followed by a baseball
slide and plancha. Enos shrugs it off and whips him into the
barricade though before yelling at a fan about Goldberg. Back in and
Mike works over the arm for a bit but gets caught by yet another
dropkick.
Guerrero
takes him to top for a hurricanrana, only to have Enos counter into a
SWEET top rope powerbomb. That’s not enough for a cover though so
Enos takes him up top again for a top rope fall away slam as Chavo is
in big trouble. Since Mike isn’t that bright though, he picks Chavo
up at two. Enos goes over and grabs Pepe for no apparent reason and
lays him on the mat. He sets up a powerbomb onto the horse but
Guerrero rolls him up for the pin out of nowhere.
Rating:
C. Well this was a surprise.
Enos was a good choice for a power guy that throws small people all
over the place and then gets pinned because he’s not all that bright.
Chavo actually looked like the weaker worker in the match which
isn’t something you often have to say about him.
Konnan
music video.
Rey
Mysterio Jr. vs. Villano V
Rey
is sent into the corner to start but avoids a charge so Villano slaps
him in the mask. A dropkick
sends Villano out to the floor, setting up a great looking flip dive
to take him down again. It
works so well that Rey tries another one, only to be slammed down
onto the concrete. Back in and Villano hammers away with a knee to
the head and a backbreaker before slapping him in the face again.
Rey reverses a whip into the
corner but charges into the post. Villano’s
top rope splash misses and
it’s the Bronco Buster into the West Coast Pop for the pin for Rey.
Rating:
C. Take Rey and any other high
flier and let them fly around the ring for awhile. It’s one of those
ideas that is always going to get a nice reaction and this one worked
almost as well as anything else. It’s nice to have a match without
the LWO stuff getting in the way too.
Post
match Eddie comes out and says he’s tired of Rey wanting the title.
It’s Juvy that should be going after the Cruiserweight Title and
that’s what the LWO is going to do, but Tony says it’s Rey vs. Juvy
next week for a shot at Starrcade. Eddie freaks out of course. I
still have no idea what the idea of this story is supposed to be.
Eddie forces Rey into the group he formed to keep Eric from
controlling them and now Eric (or WCW in general) is giving Rey what
Eddie doesn’t want. What does Eddie get out of keeping Rey on the
team here?
We
look at the contract signing from Nitro.
Chip
Minton vs. Wrath
Minton
was an Olympic bobsledder and wrestled a bit as well. Wrath easily
throws him into the corner and stomps away before throwing Minton out
to the floor. A suplex onto
the concrete keeps Chip in trouble and a slingshot clothesline gets
two. Minton comes back with a weak looking sunset flip for two and
that’s about the extent of his offense. Wrath hammers away in the
corner even more and the Meltdown (BIG pop) is good for the pin.
Rating:
D. This was WAY longer than it
needed to be and most of it was spent talking about Minton’s Olympic
background (nothing wrong with that) and Wrath bouncing back from his
loss. The whole appeal of Wrath was the undefeated streak and that
just went away a few days ago. There isn’t much left to him now and
going back to the squashes isn’t going to do much good.
We
recap the Flair/Bischoff/Malenko stuff from Nitro.
Chris
Benoit/Steve McMichael vs. Raven/Kanyon
Before
the match Raven sits in the corner while Kanyon grabs a mic. Kanyon
yells at him for putting his head through a window tonight and talks
about Raven’s mother. The fans actually get tricked as Kanyon asks
who is NOT better than Kanyon before we go to Arn Anderson leading
the Horsemen to the ring. Benoit runs Kanyon over to start but gets
caught in a sweet rollup for twp. They trade wristlocks until Kanyon
takes him down and chokes away out of anger at Raven.
Kanyon
stops to call the depressed Raven an idiot, allowing Mongo to run him
over out of a three point stance. Steve misses a boot in the corner
though and gets caught in something like a neckbreaker. The Horsemen
take over with Benoit chopping the skin off Kanyon’s chest before
stomping him down for good measure. Raven doesn’t do much so Benoit
goes over to yell at him before Kanyon gets double teamed some more.

A
backbreaker gets two for Chris but he charges into a boot in the
corner. Not that it really matters as he takes Kanyon down with a
dragon screw leg whip, only to miss the Swan Dive. Raven still won’t
tag so Kanyon hits a powerbomb into a faceplant for two as Raven
walks away after being tagged. That’s a countout as Benoit puts
Kanyon in the Crossface.
Rating:
C+. The idea here worked pretty
well with Raven’s downward spiral into depression continues with him
walking away from his only friend. Other than that the Benoit stuff
was very good, but Mongo just wasn’t working out there for the most
part. Thankfully he won’t be around much anymore.
We
see Konnan winning the title again for some reason.
TV
Title: Konnan vs. Disco Inferno
Before
Konnan comes out, Disco says tha the and Konnan should hook up to
make a music video of their own. Konnan comes out and does his
catchphrases in retaliation. Feeling out process to start with
neither guy being able to get the advantage. A fsuplex gets two for
Konnan and the seated dropkick sets up a pull of the champion’s
pants.
Disco
gets back up and hammers away before getting knocked out of the air.
A DDT sends Disco to the floor but he snaps Konnan’s throat across
the top rope. Back in and the piledriver is easily countered with a
backdrop, setting up the 1-8-7 for two on Disco. Konnan blocks the
Chartbuster and an X-Factor sets up the Tequila Sunrise to retain the
title.
Rating:
D+. The ending was never in
doubt but Disco was his
usual decent self. Konnan was there for little more than to give the
Wolfpack some popularity but he was only ok at best in the ring. The
match wasn’t terrible but it was nothing I’m going to remember in
about five minutes.
Scott
Steiner vs. Scott Hall
The
NWO Referee is calling this one. Hall jumps Steiner during the
entrances to send him out to the floor. Back in and Hall stays on
offense but the NWO Referee grabs the leg to give Steiner control. A
takedown gives Steiner a few fast near falls before he just hammers
away on Hall in the corner. Hall takes a pumphandle
slam for two and the NWO
Referee keeps up with the fast counts.
Steiner
plants him with a tiger bomb for two with his foot on Hall’s chest
before throwing on a sleeper. As expected Hall fights out of it and
grabs a sleeper of his own but gets countered into a belly to back
suplex. Both guys are down
but it’s Hall up first and hammering away. The top rope bulldog gets
a very slow two and it’s Outsider’s Edge time. Not that it matters
though as the referee makes the save and takes the Edge in Steiner’s
place. Steiner pops up and lays Hall out before putting on the
Recliner as we go off the air with no winner.
Rating:
D. This was more of a “we’re
out of time so here’s something we promised without either guy having
to do a televised job” thing than a main event. You knew something
was up as soon as you saw the NWO Referee out there so it wasn’t like
the ending came as a big shock or anything.
Overall
Rating:
C-. This was one of the
decent episodes but it means next week is probably going to be
horrible. The tag match was actually solid as they let the good
workers run the match and just had Mongo in there to do basic power
stuff and then leave. Not much to see here but it’s a pretty weak
time for WCW.

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Monday Nitro – November 30, 1998

Monday
Nitro #165
Date: November 30, 1998
Location: UTC Arena,
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Commentators: Bobby
Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We close out November
here with a fairly big show. The main event for tonight is Page
defending the US Title against Bret Hart despite being banged up as
usual. Other than that we’re heading towards Starrcade so we’re
likely to get more build between Goldberg and Nash, which hasn’t
really set the world on fire yet. Let’s get to it.

No Tenay tonight due to
illness so Tony and Larry talk run down the card, including a
contract signing for Nash vs. Goldberg. This brings us to Hogan on
the Tonight Show on Thanksgiving night where he officially announces
he’s running for President. He likes a flat tax apparently.
We go to the back and
see the NWO limo arriving with Scott Steiner leading the way. They
come out to the ring where Bischoff declares Scott Steiner as the new
leader of the Black and White. Steiner says Hogan made it official
in LA and talks about his physique for a bit. Tonight the first
order of business is taking care of Scott Hall, so it’s Hall/a
parnter vs. Steiner/Horace.
Nitro Girls.
TV Title: Chris
Jericho vs. Konnan
Jericho is defending.
Konnan sends him to the apron
to start and Jericho immediately complains about a hair pull. Back
in and we hit the armbar on the champion before Jericho comes back
with a running clothesline. Konnan will have none of this being on
defense stuff and hits a seated dropkick, only to be caught in a hot
shot. A springboard dropkick puts Konnan on the floor and Chris
follows him out with a great looking plancha.
Back in and Jericho
dives into Konnan’s boot before a fisherman’s suplex gets two. The
Lionsault gets two for the champion but the Liontamer is too close to
the ropes. With nothing else working, Jericho tries to cheat by
bringing in the belt. Ralphus’ distraction doesn’t work though and
an X Factor onto the belt gives Konnan the title.
Rating:
D+.
Not much here but a title change is always a good way to fire up a
crowd. It’s about time the Wolfpack got some gold. That being said,
it’s a bad idea overall with the midcard scene picking up and now
another title is locked into the NWO stories. Jericho didn’t do much
here and unfortunately that’s likely to be a trend for him in the
coming months.
The
Wolfpack comes out to celebrate and we see Konnan’s music video.
Gene
brings out Flair for a chat. Flair is in serious mode tonight and
says that he’s talking like a man so Bischoff will hear it. Just
because someone gets old doesn’t mean that they’re great. Flair
lists off a bunch of names like Hogan, the Andersons, the Road
Warriors and Wahoo McDaniel made Bischoff the man he is. Now Flair
is mad at Windham for what he did last week, but he hates Bischoff.
Flair
wants a piece of Bischoff anytime anywhere.
Nitro
Party winner.
Here’s
Hall in an Outsiders shirt to say that he’ll fight the NWO on his own
tonight. Kevin Nash comes out and says if Hall needs a partner,
he’ll be Scott’s Huckleberry.
Raven/Kanyon
vs. Scott Armstrong/Steve Armstrong
Raven
is sitting in the corner to start against Scott and we appear to be
in an angle instead of a match. Kanyon
and Raven argue about Raven’s mom for some reason but Kanyon gets
jumped from behind by Scott to really get things going. The
brothers’ advantage is short lived though as Kanyon fights back with
a nice faceplant but stops to argue with Raven. A Flatliner lays out
Steve but goes to yell even more, allowing Scott to roll Kanyon up
for the big upset.
Hour
#2 begins.
Here’s
Bret Hart for a chat with Gene. Bret says he’s badly hurt tonight
and can’t face Page for the US Title tonight even though that’s what
Bret wanted to do. This brings Page out through the crowd to say the
word SCUM a lot and call Bret a liar because Bret issued the
challenge in the first place. Hart doesn’t have his gear so he
insists on it being a No DQ match tonight. Page agrees to what
sounds like a ruse.
Cruiserweight
Title: Billy Kidman vs. Eddie Guerrero
Kidman
is defending. Feeling out process to start until Eddie makes the
mistake of slapping the champion and gets dropkicked for his efforts.
A headscissors puts Eddie down again and a dropkick sends him to the
floor. Kidman is sent into the steps to give Guerrero his first
advantage and crushes him between the steps and post for good
measure. Back in and the slingshot hilo gets two as we take a break.
Back
with Eddie cranking on the champ’s arm and wrapping it on the top.
He gets crotched loading up the frog splash but blocks a top rope
Frankensteiner. Back down and Eddie’s powerbomb is countered into a
faceplant (duh) followed by the lifting powerbomb for two.
Cruiserweights use a lot of powerbombs the more I think about it.
Guerrero
comes back with a tornado DDT but ANOTHER powerbomb is countered into
another faceplant. The champ drops Eddie with a superplex but the
referee goes down at the same time. This brings out Juvy to help his
boss but Mysterio comes out to dropkick Eddie (also his boss) in the
back, setting up the Shooting Star to retain the title.
Rating: C.
Good stuff as usual from these guys but I’m not sure where this story
is going. We get that Mysterio hates being in the LWO and Eddie
knows that Mysterio hates being in the LWO and will cost the LWO
matches, so why does he insist on Rey being in the LWO and not use
the LWO army to destroy Mysterio? At least the matches are good
though.
Bam
Bam Bigelow is here with a ticket.
Here
are Eric Bischoff and Barry Windham with something to say. Eric
talks about going to Cody, Wyoming where he heard a lot of people
wanting Hogan to be President. We get a little campaign speech
before Bischoff calls out Dean Malenko. He gets the Horsemen minus
Flair on the stage and Malenko alone in the ring. Tonight it’s going
to be Malenko vs. Windham and if Dean wins, Flair gets to face
Bischoff. Dean says it’s on but Eric has one more idea: Dusty Rhodes
is going to be guest referee. Big Dust comes out but Malenko won’t
shake his hand.
Nitro
Girls and Heenan at the booth.
Wrath
vs. Bobby Blaze
Total
squash with Wrath winning in less than a minute but the magic just
isn’t there anymore.
Bigelow
is still in the crowd.
Here’s
Ernest Miller, flanked by Sonny Onoo, to issue his open challenge to
the crowd. This brings out Perry Saturn who says that he’ll have a
try. Miller says that Saturn is clearly weak due to losing to Sonny
on Sunday, so he’ll have to beat Sonny to get a piece of the Cat.
Perry
Saturn vs. Sonny Onoo
We
get the karate
poses from Onoo but Saturn plants him down with a powerbomb, only to
have Miller break up the pin. The distraction lets Glacier run in
with a Cryonic Kick to Saturn to give Sonny two. Miller throws in a
chain to Onoo but Sonny takes the Death Valley Driver. Somehow he
slips the chain into Saturn’s tights though and the referee sees it
for a DQ, giving Sonny the win. Someone tell me why putting Saturn
in this feud is a good idea. I’d love to hear this rationale.
We
see Goldberg get out of a limo and come to the ring for the contract
signing with Nash. Both guys sign with no issues and Goldberg
doesn’t have to defend until Starrcade. Bigelow tries to jump the
railing but it doesn’t go anywhere.
Mike
Enos vs. Booker T
Booker
easily takes him down to start and nails the forearm and a superkick.
Enos catches him charging into a hot shot though before knocking
Booker out to the floor with a clothesline. Another
hot shot onto the barricade has Booker in trouble but he comes back
inside with a spinwheel kick, the ax kick and the Harlem Sidekick,
followed by a kind of spinebuster for the quick pin.
Bigelow
is in the parking lot and wants Goldberg to come fight him.
Brian
Adams vs. Lex Luger
Feeling
out process to start as Tony talks about the Mark Curtis Benefit Show
last night. Luger runs over Adams with ease a few times but gets his
neck snapped across the top rope to give not-Crush the advantage. A
clothesline puts Luger on the floor so Vincent can earn his paycheck
for the night. Back in and Luger makes a quick comeback and nails
the forearm but Adams’ feet take the referee down as he’s loaded into
the Rack. The NWO nails Luger with a chair and spike piledriver for
two before we get Lex’s real comeback. He knocks Adams into the
chair despite Adams putting the brakes on, setting up the Rack to
win.
Rating:
D.
Just a dull match here without anything of interest. This is the
same as the LWO but slightly less confusing. What exactly are we
heading to with this NWO war? They’ve been fighting for over six
months now and there’s nothing changing about any of the fights. At
least Luger is beating the guys he should be beating though.
Barry
Windham vs. Dean Malenko
If
Dean wins, Flair gets Bischoff at some point. NWO member Dusty Rhodes
is referee, Barry is in jeans and Dean is coming in with a bad knee.
Dean wins an early slugout and we head to the floor for a chase but
Dusty yells at Dean for a distraction, allowing Barry to take over.
A gutwrench suplex and elbow to the jaw drop Malenko and Dusty is
right in his face to ask if he wants to give it up.
Dean
avoids an elbow drop and heads up, only to be slammed right down onto
the bad knee. Some elbows to the knee have Dean in even more trouble
and Barry slams the leg down on the apron. Barry stays on the leg
with kicks to the thigh as Dean is in the ropes…..AND THAT’S A
DQ??? Dusty calls for the bell and raises Dean’s hand as the
announcers are in shock.
Rating: D+.
The match didn’t have time to go anywhere but was much more about the
angle than the action. It’s nice to see someone finally changing
over to WCW as at times it seems WCW doesn’t even exist anymore other
than as a place for the NWOs to fight each other. Also Dusty being
in the NWO just didn’t work.
Post
match Bischoff runs out to fire Dusty as the Horsemen come out to
beat the tar out of Windham. Eric gets out before Flair can get to
him.
Horace
Hogan/Scott Steiner vs. Outsiders
The
Outsiders do the Rock Paper Scissors to determine who starts against
Horace. The NWO referee is in there as well. Hall nails the driving
shoulders and puts on an armbar, only to walk into a hard
clothesline. A hiptoss is countered into a chokeslam from Hall but
it’s off to Scott Steiner. It’s Steiner with a muscle clothesline
and a fast count is good for two. A butterfly suplex gets the same
for Steiner on the other Scott but Steiner charges into a boot in the
corner.
The
middle rope bulldog gets two for Hall but the referee counts VERY
slowly. Steiner comes back with a low blow but Nash saves Hall from
some Horace choking. Back
in and Horace stomps away and gets two off a backbreaker and splash.
We hit the front facelock for a bit until Hall fights up and makes
the tag to Nash. The NWO referee doesn’t count it but Nash comes in
anyway and cleans house until Hall hits the Edge on Horace. No count
of course so Nash Jackknifes the referee and a WCW referee comes in
for the pin. Nash walks out as soon as the pin goes down.
Rating:
D+.
Another angle instead of a match here and Nash running off was
interesting. I’m not sure where Steiner went after the hot tag but
it fits the idea of the NWO wanting to run away from a real fight.
The fans were really excited about the idea of the Outsiders being
back together again, which is why I doubt it’s going to keep
happening.
Goldberg
barrels through the doors and heads outside to fight Bigelow. They
go at it in the parking lot until security breaks it up. That’s not
good enough for Goldberg though as he fights away and spears Bigelow
down.
US
Title: Bret Hart vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Bret
is challenging and this is No DQ. Hart
is in street clothes and isn’t sure about locking up to start. Page
takes him into the corner but lets him go, allowing Bret to get in a
low blow to take over. Choking and eye raking ensues until Page
sends him into the corner for a hard stomping. Bret gets caught in
the Figure Four around the post until the Giant makes the save. A
chokeslam puts Page down in the ring and a chokeslam from the top
rope (pretty much the same as a regular chokeslam) sets up the
Sharpshooter for the knock out win, giving Bret the title back.
Rating: D+.
This is a hard one to rate as it was exciting while it lasted but the
match isn’t even four and a half minutes long with Giant being out
there for about a minute and a half of that. Not much to see here
though as this feud just keeps going. Hopefully this wraps things up
though.
Overall Rating: C-.
This was a show about setting up matches for the future which is what
matters as we head into the biggest show of the year. The contract
signing was nothing though and it felt more like the Outsiders
reunion was bigger than anything with Goldberg. Flair vs. Bischoff
looks more like the main event for Starrcade, despite it not even
being official yet. It’s not a bad show, but it sets up stuff for
the future which is a rare thing in WCW.
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Monday Nitro Extra – November 24, 1998

Monday
Nitro Extra
Date:
November 24, 1998
Location: Van Andel
Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This is a special one
hour episode on a Tuesday. I guess three hours a week isn’t enough
for all of the AWESOME action that you get on a Nitro so we get a
bonus tonight. Hot dog indeed. Anyway there aren’t any announced
matches and Tony just casually mentioned this so I can’t imagine it’s
going to be much to see. Let’s get to it.

Nitro Girls.
Scott Norton vs. Kaz
Hayashi
Chop, powerbomb, pin on Hayashi.
Disco Inferno vs.
Scott Putski
The dancer takes him
down with an armdrag but stops to dance, allowing Putski to hit a
quick powerbomb for two. Inferno comes back with his usual array of
neckbreaker, atomic drop and clothesline followed by the top rope ax
handle for another near fall. Two sleepers get Disco nowhere and
Putski nails a nice overhead belly to belly. Not that it matters as
Disco pops up and hits the piledriver for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Disco was a decent in ring worker and actually got something
resembling a passable match here against Scott Putski of all people.
It’s nothing great or anything like that but at the end of the day,
why not try to make something happen here? Unfortunately no one is
watching this though so it means nothing at all.
Chavo Guerrero Jr.
vs. Tokyo Magnum
They
trade lockups into a wristlock from Guerrero before some standing
switches get us nowhere. Chavo puts on a headlock and gives Tokyo a
wet willie to really make me feel stupid for watching this. A nice
dropkick puts Tokyo down and it’s time to ride Pepe a bit. Tokyo
comes back with some strikes and the Hennig necksnap before taking a
dance break.
Magnum gets two off a
moonsault but Chavo comes back with right hands and dancing of his
own. A springboard bulldog and belly to back get two for Chavo and
he hammers away even more. They strike it out again with Tokyo
taking over, only to have Chavo block a hurricanrana and hit a good
looking tornado DDT for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was an ok match but at the same time it was a lot of comedy that
only some people were going to find funny. Tokyo was talented in the
ring but the dancing gimmick was going to put a hard ceiling above
his head. Chavo is continuing to get better in the ring though and
that’s the most important thing of all.
Stevie
Ray vs. Van Hammer
They stare each other
down and hammer away in the corner as we’re firmly in power brawl
mode here. Now they trade clotheslines with Stevie getting the
better of it and throwing Hammer to the floor for a beating from
Vincent. Hammer comes back in with a powerslam and belly to back but
Stevie just kicks him in the face and hits the Slap Jack for a quick
pin. Nothing match.
Prince Iaukea vs.
Juventud Guerrera
Both
guys fire off chops until Juvy takes over with a headscissors
takeover. The Prince comes back with an elbow and legdrop as the
uninspired wrestling continues tonight. Guerrera fights out of a
headlock and quickly gets up top for a springboard missile dropkick
to take over again. Back up and the Prince grabs a powerslam and
belly to back for two more and they trade rollups. Guerrera blocks a
dive with a boot to the face and they trade more rollups. Iaukea
gets crotched and taken down by a hurricanrana, but here’s Mysterio
to break up the 450 and allow Prince to hit a quick kick to the face
for the pin.
Rating:
C-.
The back and forth stuff was nice here and FINALLY we get some
storyline stuff on this show. Not that it’s going to mean anything
but it’s better than just sitting there watching uninteresting
matches. As you may have seen before, Iaukea does nothing for me at
all and I’m getting sick of seeing him.
Horace vs. Wrath
They slug it out again
to start until Wrath misses a charge in the corner. The brawl heads
outside with Wrath taking over again before heading back inside where
he nearly drops Horace on a sidewalk slam attempt. A Vincent
distraction lets Horace get in a chair shot but he gets caught with
his feet on the ropes. Horace takes too much time going up top and
misses a splash, setting up a top rope shoulder and the Meltdown to
end things.
Overall
Rating:
D.
What in the world was the point of this? Seriously, there was
practically no important storyline development, the biggest start to
appear was….Juventud Guerrera maybe? It’s just a nothing show that
could have been the C level show on the weekend like Main Event or
something. Nothing to see here and I really do want to know why this
existed.
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