Monday Nitro – July 13, 1998

Monday
Nitro #145
Date:
July 13, 1998
Location:
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance:
10,765
Commentators:
Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
past Bash at the Beach and there isn’t much new to report on.
Goldberg retained the title and Hogan/Rodman won the NBA match.
We’re only a few weeks away from Road Wild now and it’s not clear
where we’re going. Hopefully the good midcard stuff gets some more
focus because the main event stuff is getting less and less
interesting every week. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Goldberg winning the title last week.
Opening
sequence.
The
Nitro Girls do a long showgirl style dance.
Larry
is in a Goldberg shirt but has to thank the crowd before bragging
about the new champion.
We
recap the entirety of Goldberg’s night last week.
Here’s
the Black and White with something to say. Hogan promises that the
Goldberg propaganda ends soon and he’ll prove that Goldberg is just a
flash in the pan. That brings us to NWO business, meaning Hogan has
to prove that he loves some of his brothers. They’re bonded for
eternity, but sometimes you have to take care of a few things. Hogan
blames Hall for the title loss and has been hearing Hall talking
about taking over the NWO when he thinks no one is listening.
Tonight
it’s Hogan vs. Hall so Hollywood can teach him a lesson. Hall says
he’s done everything Hogan told him to do because he needs the money,
but the match is on tonight if Hogan wants it. Hall reminds Hogan
that it was him that got pinned for the belt. Hogan: “So wax up
your ponytail Little Bo Peep because I’m the big bad creep.”
Hollywood gets on Bischoff for chuckling and makes him the referee
tonight. Disciple breaks it up as Hogan threatens Hall but Disciple
takes the mic. He didn’t like that chair shot from Page last night
and wants a match with him tonight.
Stills
from the tag match last night.
Barbarian
vs. Horace
They
trade clubbering in the corner with Barbarian taking over, allowing
Jimmy Hart to get in some choking on the mat. A Lodi distraction
lets Horace get in a shot with the stop sign for two before going
after Jimmy. Barbarian kicks the stop sign into Horace’s face for
the fast pin. That’s a pretty overly booked two minute match.
The
Flock comes in to beat down Barbarian but Meng comes in for the save.
He cleans house but puts Barbarian in the Tongan Death Grip.
Stills
of Goldberg beating Hennig last night.
Here
are Rude and Hennig with something to say. Rude talks about Hennig
having a bad leg from Minnesota because his flight was canceled. He
blames Goldberg and Hennig says he’s figured out Goldberg’s weakness.
Another match has been made for tonight and Hennig says he’ll go it
alone, which is cool with Rude.
Here’s
JJ to bring out the new Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio. Before
anything can be said though here’s Jericho with a rulebook. In
short, since Malenko was suspended and showed up anyway, the match
last night is null and void. JJ, the spineless jellyfish that he is,
agrees and names Jericho champion again. Jericho demands that Ron
Mysterio Jr. give him the belt back and here’s Malenko to say he’ll
get the belt back. Chris laughs this off and says Mysterio can face
Malenko for a title shot down the line. The match is on.
More
Nitro Girls.
Nitro
Party winner video.
We
look at Savage having his knee injured in the cage a few months ago.
Jim
Duggan vs. Rick Fuller
Duggan
gets shoved from behind to start but quickly comes back with those
big right hands of his. A clothesline sends Fuller out to the floor
before Duggan pounds away in the corner. The three point clothesline
and the Old Glory knee drop are enough for the pin on Fuller. WCW’s
battle plan in the Monday Night Wars: win one week with Goldberg,
then a Jim Duggan squash.
Hour
#2 begins so the announcers hit the recap button.
We
look back at Buff Bagwell returning last week and saying how much he
loved his mama.
Here’s
Buff again this week with his doctor. Gene has been hearing from the
people in the hotels and airports and they want to know if Buff is
NWO or WCW. WHAT AIRPORTS DO THESE GUYS GO TO??? Buff says he’s
going to rehabilitate his neck before he goes to see Rick Steiner.
He has to get something off his chest so Rick Steiner needs to come
out here right now.
Here’s
Rick with his arm in a sling but Hogan and the Disciple come out to
say he can’t stand a couple of cripples. Hogan threatens Steiner
with another broken leg (just go with it) before telling Buff to be a
man. We get an actual evil act from Hogan as he shoves the
wheelchair over and walks out.
Stills
from Booker vs. Bret last night. Apparently Booker T has torn a
meniscus and will be out 4-6 weeks.
Fit
Finlay vs. Bret Hart
This
should be interesting. Bret comes out to NWO music now. Finlay
grabs a headlock to start but Bret drives him into the corner for
some right hands. A European uppercut puts Bret down for two and a
clothesline and knee drop do the same. They head outside with Finlay
scoring with another uppercut but being sent into the steps for his
troubles. Bret hits some right hands but gets poked in the eye and
slammed down. We hit the chinlock for a few seconds before Bret
charges into a boot in the corner. Hart comes right back with an
atomic drop and a clothesline to set up the Sharpshooter for the win.
Rating:
D+. This didn’t have the time
to go anywhere. In perhaps the most telling reason why Bret Hart
never caught on in WCW, this was his tenth televised match since
joining the company in November. Of those ten, two were against
Brian Adams and this one was against Fit Finlay. Again, this guy was
WWF Champion nine months ago. How could they screw this up so badly?
Nitro
Girls again.
Stevie
Ray vs. Rick Martel
Stevie
has the TV Title with him for reasons not yet explained. This is
Martel’s return match after being gone since February with a knee
injury. Martel cranks on the arm to start as the announcers talk
about the NWO. Stevie sends him to the floor where Martel grabs his
knee. Someone who might be a trainer comes down the aisle as we take
a break. Back with Martel on the mat but getting two off a sunset
flip. Rick stomps away but keeps leaning on the ropes.
A
dropkick gets two on Ray and Martel puts on an armbar. Back up and
Martel charges into a World’s Strongest Slam but Ray misses an elbow
drop. A back elbow out of the corner staggers Rick and a kick to the
face puts him down. Martel comes right back with a belly to back
suplex and there’s the Quebec Crab. Here’s Bret Hart for no apparent
reason to blast Martel with a chair. Stevie hits the Slap Jack on
the unconscious Martel for the pin.
Rating:
D+. This would be the last
match of Martel’s career as he injured his knee again and called it a
day at 42 years old. Stevie with the TV belt was an interesting idea
that would be better suited on anyone but Stevie Ray. Martel having
to go out this way is kind of a shame as his comeback was very
entertaining.
Ray
says there’s no deal with Bret Hart. Booker has given him power of
attorney to defend the title against anyone that wants a shot.
Documents are promised next week. Allegedly the Martel match was for
the title.
We
get stills of the two minute bonus match from last night with Konnan
beating Disco Inferno thanks to Wolfpack interference.
Barry
Darsow vs. Konnan
Sting
is with Konnan here to ensure this is a squash. Darsow jumps Konnan
to start and chokes on the ropes for awhile. Konnan avoids a charge
in the corner and the rolling lariat sets up a seated dropkick.
Tequila Sunrise ends Darsow a few seconds later.
Here’s
DDP to accept Disciple’s challenge and the match is right now.
Disciple
vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Page
jumps him to start and takes Disciple down with a belly to back
suplex, only to be stopped with a low blow. Disciple slowly punches
a lot and hits a slow motion piledriver for no cover. Rick Rude
comes down to ringside. Page comes back with a clothesline and goes
up, only to be crotched by Rude. Page rams the NWO guys into each
other and pins Disciple off a very sloppy rollup in another short
match.
Hogan
and Vincent jump Page with a chair while he leaves.
The
announcers talk about Goldberg again.
Raven
vs. Kanyon vs. Saturn
This
is before the triple threat became the most overused gimmick match of
all time. Raven jumps Kanyon in the aisle but Saturn jumps both of
them as the bell rings. They get in the ring with Saturn t-bone
suplexing Raven down, only to be caught with a neckbreaker from
Kanyon. Saturn kicks at Kanyon’s head in the corner but some Raven
interference allows Kanyon to catch him in a face first electric
chair drop.
Kanyon’s
fireman’s carry into a pancake puts Raven down and Saturn misses a
charge to put him on the floor. That’s fine with Saturn as he pulls
out a table. Kanyon is pulled to the floor and laid out on the table
for a cool looking top rope splash. Raven tries to suplex Saturn
back inside but gets kicked in the head.
Saturn
goes up but gets crotched by Kanyon but Raven avoids Kanyon’s top
rope splash. He can’t avoid Saturn’s though, giving Perry a two
count. Kanyon goes to the corner but gets caught in a belly to back
superplex from Saturn, who is caught in a belly to back suplex from
Raven at the same time. Raven gets two on both guys but walks into
the Flatliner from Kanyon for two as Saturn saves. The Death Valley
Driver lays out Raven again but this time Kanyon saves. Kanyon and
Saturn fight to the floor and we get a bell for I believe a double
countout, giving Raven the win.
Rating:
B-. Really fun match here with
everyone moving for the entire match. This was before the triple
threat matches became a collection of the same spots in every match,
meaning this was something very unique at the time. I’m curious to
see where this feud goes as everyone is awesome at the moment.
Hour
#3 begins so we recap the Cruiserweight Title situation.
Dean
Malenko vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Winner
gets a shot at Jericho at some point in the future. Dean works on a
hammerlock to start as the announcers bicker over breaking rules.
Rey fights free and both guys try dropkicks to give us a standoff.
Back to Rey’s arm with Dean taking him to the mat and putting on a
headscissors to supplement the armbar. Rey escapes into a cover for
two and we get another stalemate. Dean sweeps the legs out for two
but gets sent to the outside, setting up a BIG flip dive over the top
from Mysterio.
Back
in and Dean hits the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker but they trade rollups
for two each. Rey charges at Dean and gets launched to the top rope
but slips off, hurting the knee in the process. Mysterio pops back
up with a hurricanrana but gets caught in a powerbomb for two. Rey
loads up the top rope hurricanrana but Dean counters into the super
gutbuster. The referee checks on Rey but Jericho sneaks in with a
belt shot to Dean, giving Mysterio the pin and the title shot.
Rating:
C+. Good stuff here as you
would expect from these two. The Jericho story is still rolling but
eventually he has to get his comeuppance. That’s going to happen
eventually and it’s still entertaining but they’re running the risk
of the story going on too long. Malenko getting screwed over again
is good but something needs to give at the title match.
Kevin
Nash/Lex Luger vs. Disco Inferno/Alex Wright
Disco
goes on a long rhyming rant against the Wolfpack for interfering last
night but gets cut off by the howl. Sting (with REALLY bright teeth)
and Konnan are here as well. Luger starts but the dancers argue over
who has to face him. Lex cranks on the arm to start but gets
armdragged down, setting up dance time. Both dancers are
clotheslined out to the floor and Luger poses. Konnan doesn’t let
Wright and Disco walk out and Sting adds a Stinger Splash to crush
Wright against the barricade. The Jackknife to Disco and the Rack to
Wright get the win. Is this really what the Wolfpack is being used
for?
Mongo
still wants to reform the Horsemen. I believe this is the fourth
time we’ve heard this promo from him. We also see Anderson’s promo
before his match with Flair at Fall Brawl 1995 again.
Eddie
Guerrero vs. Steve McMichael
Eddie
jumps him to start as we hear about Heenan throwing out the first
pitch at an Oakland A’s game. Mongo comes right back with something
like Cena’s spinning belly to back slam but here’s Chavo on the
horse. He says he wants to be a Horseman and the distraction lets
Eddie dropkick Mongo’s knee out. Chavo comes in and that’s a DQ
despite there being no contact.
Eddie
dropkicks Chavo into Mongo so McMichael beats up Chavo.
We
recap Hogan challenging Hall from earlier.
Scott
Hall vs. Hollywood Hogan
Bischoff
is guest referee and we get an old school weapons check. Hall throws
toothpicks in Hogan and Bischoff’s faces so Hogan punches him to
start. Hall bites Hogan’s fingers and drives his shoulder into
Hogan’s. A slap to the face annoys Hogan even more so he
clotheslines Hall down and pounds him in the head. Choking in the
ropes gets no reaction from Bischoff and Hall comes back with right
hands. Disciple gets in a cheap shot and Bischoff still does
nothing.
Hogan
rolls up Hall for two despite Hall being in the ropes the entire
time. Scott comes back with a clothesline in the corner and more
right hands followed by a chokeslam but Bischoff won’t count. Hogan
puts on a choke but Bischoff still does nothing. Hall reverses into
a sleeper which is broken up almost immediately.
A
Hogan low blow gets a “that hurt” response from Eric as Heenan
thinks Bischoff is one sided. Tony to Heenan: “Welcome to Nitro!”
There’s the big boot but here’s Page to beat up Hogan and Diamond
Cut Bischoff. Nash comes in for the save and does Too Sweet with
Hall. Nash loads up the Jackknife but Hall decks him, which we’ll
call a heel turn. Maybe? Hogan and company stand tall.
Rating:
D-. I’m not sure what to say
about this. Hogan is a jerk to Hall, Bischoff treats Hall like an
enemy in the match, Nash saves Hall, but Hall is still loyal to Hogan
and Bischoff. I get that Hall needs the money, but do you have to
make him look like a nitwit along the way? At least give it longer
than ten seconds between Hall seemingly turning face before jumping
Nash. The match was all about the angle of course.
Hogan
hugs Hall to apparently welcome him back into the family.
WCW
World Title: Goldberg vs. Curt Hennig
Hennig
takes forever to get to the ring for some reason. Goldberg gets the
full entrance, complete with police escort. The entrances are nearly
six minutes combined and Hennig bails to the floor. The match on the
other hand is less than a minute and literally is just the spear and
Jackhammer. Given the long entrance and the lack of anything in the
match, I’m thinking Hennig might have been in no condition to perform
here.
Goldberg
poses to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C-. This is another
hard one to grade as there was some good action at times to go with
Hogan being genuinely evil for the first time in forever. That’s
been missing from him for so long and it’s a nice return to form for
him. Other than that though it was your usual time filler show with
stuff like Barbarian vs. Horace and Fuller vs. Duggan wasting our
time. It was entertaining at times though and that’s what WCW needs
right now.
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