Monday Nitro – August 3, 1998

Monday
Nitro #148
Date:
August 3, 1998
Location:
Denver Coliseum, Denver, Colorado
Attendance:
7,697
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the go home show for Road Wild and up to this point there are only a
few matches announced. One of the matches that hasn’t been
officially announced yet is the main event, which presents even more
problems for the mess that WCW is in at the moment. The Leno match
will draw money, but you need a lot more than five days to promote a
match like that. On top of that, we still don’t have a match for
Goldberg and the potential battle royal between the NWO camps has
only been mentioned. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Goldberg’s HUGE 20 second speech and run-in to
close out the show last week, only to see him get chokeslammed by
Giant.
Opening
sequence.
Nitro
Girls.
Heenan
is on commentary to start things off for some reason. Apparently
Larry is in a meeting with Time Warner executives.
We
get a clip from the Tonight Show on Wednesday with Hogan and Bischoff
taking over. Page and security chased them off a few seconds later
and Leno/Page vs. Hogan/Bischoff is official for the PPV. Publicity
on NBC is a great thing, but having it announced a week or so earlier
would have helped a lot.
Here’s
DDP with something to say. He had to twist Leno’s arm a little bit
but Jay will be in the ring in Strugis. There won’t be anything left
of Scum Hogan and Sleazy E after Road Wild because Leno will clean
house with Bischoff.
Barbarian
vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Apparently
Barbarian came out here for a match with an unnamed opponent but
Jimmy Hart issues a challenge. Page starts with a swinging
neckbreaker and a hiptoss but Barbarian slips away from the Diamond
Cutter. Jimmy distracts the referee and Barbarian gets in a low blow
to take over. Page comes back from some choking in the corner with
rights and lefts, only to have Barbarian pound him down again. A
clothesline drops Barbie but he shoves the Cutter away again. He
blocks it a third time but Page finally pulls him down for the pin.
Rating:
D+. The match was nothing to
see but the ending was a nice idea for a change. I kind of like
someone just shoving Page off instead of going down, especially when
it’s someone you would expect to get pinned in a few seconds. This
actually wasn’t a glorified squash, much to my surprise.
More
fake Hogan on the Tonight Show.
Larry
has taken Heenan’s place and talks about the meeting with Time
Warner. Short version: nothing has changed at all.
We
look at every major match last week as this seems to be another recap
heavy show.
Travis
Tritt Road Wild promo.
Another
Tonight Show clip with Hogan and Bischoff coming out to yell at Leno
for his jokes.
And
now…..NWO Nightcap. You get the idea here: band, stupid jokes,
Leno impressions, threat to Kevin Eubanks, Monica Lewinsky jokes, Jay
Leno jokes, Monica Lewinsky and Jay Leno jokes. The guest is Hogan
of course and we look at more Tonight Show clips of Hogan and
Bischoff storming the set to yell at Leno. Kevin Eubanks came to his
rescue but the NWO took over the show anyway.
Hogan
calls that the shove that changed history and threatens Page a bit.
NBC wants Hogan and Bischoff to take over the Tonight Show after Road
Wild. We get even more trash talk as this just keeps going. They
kept it short this week and only ate up 13 minutes. Remember that
when you see who isn’t on the show tonight.
We
look at Hogan shoving Leno again before we go to break.
To
keep the trend going, here’s a video on Bret Hart.
Tokyo
Magnum vs. Psychosis
This
is supposed to be Psychosis vs. Disco Inferno but he swaps out for
Tokyo instead. Psychosis is cool with that and stomps on Magnum in
the corner but Scott Norton comes in to beat them both up after about
15 seconds.
Norton
issues an open challenge to anyone in WCW for a fight later this
evening. Hugh Morrus comes out to answer the challenge and gets
powerbombed about four seconds later.
Another
video from last week with Bret talking about his respect for Sting
and refusing to fight him later in the night. The promo confirmed
that Bret is officially not part of the NWO.
Hour
#2 begins as I feel sorry for the crowd for the second week in a row.
Nitro
Girls in gold.
Nitro
Party Pack winner. They showed what the Party Pack for once and it
appears to be a bunch of plates and napkins with the Nitro logo.
That would certainly make me want to film a big party let me tell
you.
Time
for more Goldberg talking. Goldberg says Saturday is payback time
for the Giant because the champ is going to enter the NWO battle
royal. He’ll fight anyone to get to Giant, including Sting. That
brings out Sting himself for a showdown but Giant and the Black and
White show up on the stage. Goldberg runs through the goons and
chases Giant off as Bret Hart walks out. Some papers have fallen
from the ceiling, saying “Goldberg, you’re next!”
Back
from a break with Sting in the back, looking over an unconscious Lex
Luger. Sting leaves as soon as medics show up.
Brian
Adams vs. Jim Duggan
Duggan
slugs away and hits some bad looking clotheslines to send Adams to
the floor. Back in and an ax handle to the chest puts Adams down
again but he forearms Duggan in the head. We hit the chinlock on
Duggan before he makes his comeback and crotches Adams on the ropes.
Vincent comes in with the board and the distraction lets Adams
piledrive Duggan down for the pin.
Rating:
D-. When Brian Adams is the better worker you have in a match, you’re
not having the most interesting outing in the world. Was Jim Duggan
really popular enough to warrant getting this many TV appearances?
At least he’s only jobbing and not out there taking away anyone’s
heat.
Bret
Hart comes out of the trainer’s room. He denies having anything to
do with Luger being attacked before offering his services to Sting as
a replacement partner in Luger’s place tonight.
Gene
is on a motorcycle and talks about riding to Sturgis.
Video
on Raven, talking about a lack of joy.
Here’s
the Flock to say Sick Boy vs. Kanyon isn’t happening tonight because
Kanyon is nowhere to be fine. Raven suggests that Kanyon has joined
the Flock. If that’s the case, Saturn is in big trouble on Sunday.
Raven breaks Lodi’s fingers for fun until Saturn makes the save. He
helps Lodi up but Lodi shoves him away, earning a Death Valley
Driver.
Bret
Hart is caught in the back with Scott Hall.
More
of Hogan shoving Leno.
More
Nitro Girls.
There’s
even MORE talking as we’re halfway through the show. This time it’s
JJ Dillon who asks to speak to Dean Malenko. Dean says the loss last
week was last week and he’s not going to cry about it. Jericho was
the better man last week and if he was here, Dean would tell him to
his face. Now a good heel would be out there immediately to make
Dean say that to his face.
Thankfully
for us, Jericho is an awesome heel so here he is to gloat in person.
Jericho goes on a rant about how he was unstoppable last week and
says Malenko will never get to face him again. Dean says that’s not
entirely true. JoJo says that since Jericho has a history of
cheating, there will be a guest referee. Jericho somehow doesn’t see
it coming and says he doesn’t care. The referee of course: Dean
Malenko.
Eddie
Guerrero vs. Juventud Guerrera
The
announcers talk about Sting leaving the building at some point in the
last half hour and Heenan sounds BOMBED. Juvy offers a handshake to
start but gets slapped in the face instead. Guerrera doesn’t take
kindly to that and dropkicks Eddie in the chest. Jericho vs.
Guerrera for the Cruiserweight Title is official for Road Wild due to
Eddie costing Juvy a title shot over the weekend. That took WCW
about 10 seconds to explain and also gives us a reason for this
match. Why is that so hard for modern wrestling companies to do?
Juvy
blocks a superplex attempt and hits a top rope spinwheel kick to send
Eddie outside. A suicide dive sends Eddie into the barricade. The
drunk Heenan gets in a good line about David Letterman betting
against Leno at the PPV. Back in and Juvy’s charge in the corner
sends him into the buckle but he counters a powerbomb into a DDT for
two. Guerrera’s straps come down but Eddie counters the Juvy Driver
into a shoulder breaker, setting up the Frog Splash for the win.
Rating:
C. It was nice to see an actual
wrestling match on this show but the booking makes me shake my head.
Who in the world thought that Eddie, who isn’t even on the PPV this
weekend, needed a clean win over a guy getting a title shot? That’s
modern WWE style booking and it’s just stupid. Tenay pointing out
that Guerrera’s momentum is all gone now doesn’t help.
MORE
Tonight Show stuff.
Gene
is on his motorcycle again.
TV
Title: Stevie Ray vs. Lizmark Jr.
Lizmark
comes out to what I believe became Norman Smiley’s music. This week
Stevie has a notarized statement making him the official TV Champion.
Gene sees nothing official on it but Stevie insists. In some comedy
you couldn’t make up if you tried, Tony says you can’t fool WCW
commentators.
Total
squash here with Stevie knocking Lizmark around like the
cruiserweight jobber he is. A kick to the chest sends Lizmark into
the barricade and a World’s Strongest Slam puts him down again.
Stevie loads up the Slap Jack but here’s Chavo with a fake notary
stamp. Chavo thinks he can make his own marriage license now and
Stevie chases him off for the countout. The fans spent most of the
match shouting about how much this match sucked and how bored they
were, which is a completely acceptable feeling at this point in the
show.
Travis
Tritt ad.
Hour
#3 begins.
Curt
Hennig vs. Konnan
There’s
a new Wolfpack shirt with a red wolf’s head on the front. I wanted
one of those so bad when I was a kid. Hennig tries to jump Konnan to
start but Konnan hiptosses him and clotheslines Hennig to the floor.
Scott Norton distracts the referee so Hennig can get in a cheap shot
to take over but Konnan hits another hard clothesline to take over
again. A basement dropkick and an X Factor set up the Tequila
Sunrise but a Norton distraction breaks it up. Hennig chokes Konnan
with his singlet straps and the PerfectPlex gets the pin. Another
short match.
Nash
comes out to chase off the Black and White post match.
More
Tonight Show stuff.
Chris
Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Non-title.
Jericho gets in a cheap shot to start but Rey comes back with a
springboard missile dropkick to send him outside. A flipping seated
senton takes Jericho down again and we take a break. Back with
Mysterio hitting what looked like a moonsault press for two. Jericho
catches a springboard cross body and puts Mysterio down with a
shoulder breaker. Mysterio rolls to the floor and gets dropkicked
into the barricade.
Back
in and Rey suplexes Jericho down in the closest thing you’ll ever see
to a power display from Mysterio. Chris comes right back with a
bizarre looking submission hold which can best be described as an
Octopus Hold but from his back. Rey makes the rope but gets
clotheslined down yet again. Jericho launches him into the corner
but Rey lands on the middle ropes and headscissors Jericho down for
two. A springboard split legged moonsault gets the same but Jericho
hits a quick bulldog to get a breather.
Jericho
tries his springboard cross body to the apron but crashes to the
floor instead. Rey hurricanranas Jericho back inside but gets caught
in a butterfly backbreaker. Mysterio gets back up again and tries a
springboard move, only to have Jericho pull the referee in the way.
Rey can’t stop his momentum and hits something like a seated senton
on Mark Curtis. Jericho powerbombs Rey down and loads up the
Liontamer but Rey counters into a rollup. There’s no referee but
Dean Malenko runs out to count the pin.
Rating:
B. I really liked this match
even though it was a different style than I was expecting. It’s an
impressive feat when you can have two guys work a match the opposite
way than they usually would and still get something this
entertaining. The ending ties things in to Saturday’s match and gave
us an entertaining match at the same time. You can’t ask for more
than that.
Same
Tonight Show package for I think the third time tonight.
Nitro
Girls.
We
look back at Buff Bagwell and Scott Steiner talking about Buff’s
injuries last week and JJ Dillon making the battle of the Steiners
for Road Wild.
Here’s
Scott Steiner with something to say. He talks about having black and
white blood in his veins but something has changed his thinking. On
Monday he got a phone call from his mom, telling him that the blood
in his body is the same as his brother’s. Scott takes off the NWO
shirt and says he quits. He asks Rick to come out here for an
apology and the announcers think this is a nice moment. Instead
here’s Buff Bagwell in a Rick Steiner costume and acting like a dog.
But I thought you couldn’t fool WCW announcers. Anyway Scott makes
fun of Rick until the real Rick comes out and WACKS Scott with a
chair.
Tonight
Show clip, literally for the tenth time tonight.
Road
Wild ad.
Nitro
Girls again.
Tony
promises a bonus Travis Tritt concert if you buy the show, meaning
the PPV will be longer than usual.
The
Black and White corner Kimberly before she can get out of the ring
and say she looks good for trailer trash. Kimberly slaps Eric and
here’s DDP for the save but the numbers are too much for him. A long
beatdown ensues with Bischoff talking trash and making sexual jokes
about Kimberly. The Goldberg chants get no response as this just
keeps going. A chokeslam leaves Page laying.
The
announcers go into serious mode to talk about what we just saw before
directly transitioning into plugging Travis Tritt’s new CD.
We
look at Goldberg’s challenge for the battle royal again and him
calling out Sting.
Tag
Titles: Scott Hall/The Giant vs. Sting/Bret Hart
Hall
and Giant are defending. For some reason Sting comes from the
rafters to his old music with the white paint. Hart and Hall get us
started in a Royal Rumble 1993 rematch. Feeling out process to start
with Bret not really wanting to go after Hall. Eventually Bret
cranks on the arm a bit before offering a tag to Sting but Sting’s
arm doesn’t move from the ropes.
Sting
tags himself in and hits a running clothesline and the bulldog but
Hall bails to avoid the Scorpion. Back in and Hall scores with a
clothesline to bring in Giant. A Russian legsweep drops Sting to
give Hall a two count and a fallaway slam gets the same. Bret
finally extends an arm for a tag as Sting shoves Hall into the
corner, but the impact knocks Bret to the floor. Sting fights both
champions off and ducks a bat shot from Hart which hits Hall, giving
Sting the pin and the titles.
Rating:
D. The match was your usual
junk with no time to go anywhere for the most part. This would be
another annoying example of two guys who don’t get along teaming
together to win the titles even though it’s the same story almost
every time. At least Hall and Giant lose the titles as they never
quite fit as champions.
Bret
takes the tag belts and leaves Sting to get destroyed. Goldberg
comes out to end the show and there are no new champions due to the
bat shot, even though the referee didn’t see it.
Overall
Rating:
D-. Literally the only
reason this isn’t a failure is Jericho vs. Mysterio. This was
another awful show and a good example of WCW’s biggest booking
problem over the year: they kept putting the entire company on one
match instead of spreading things around. If you don’t like the Leno
match, there is no reason for you to buy the PPV at all. The battle
royal was mentioned in the Goldberg promo and a one off line from
Tony and that’s all.
It’s
a stretch to call Road Wild a two match show but other than that
there’s nothing there. The other problem: just like last month it’s
for nothing but bragging rights. Hogan’s career doesn’t change at
all either way and he still has showdowns with Page and Goldberg
coming up, at least in theory. This was a horrible show as this all
talk and almost no wrestling style gets harder and harder to sit
through every week.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
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