Monday Nitro – April 5, 2014

Nitro #183
April 5, 1999
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
a new era (kind of) for WCW as tonight they’re unveiling a new set
and logo, making a change for the first time in several years. The
main story coming into tonight is some announcement by Sting, who
will be making his first scheduled appearance on the show since the
fall of last year. Let’s get to it.

open with a Sting video from the build to Starrcade 1997 to hype up
his announcement tonight.
new opening sequence (heavily featuring the Nitro Girls) shows off
the new logo.
is walking through the back with a tumbler full of what appears to be
names to be drawn.
announcers are now at ringside. Tony, now wearing a leather jacket
and with his hair a little messier, talks about Spring Stampede
coming this weekend. I must have had the dates wrong then as I
thought we had another week after this. Good grief they need to
hurry then.
brings out Goldberg for a chat. Goldberg still has the tumbler and
talks about how he’s been getting screwed over ever since losing the
title. He wasn’t at Uncensored and if it’s up to Flair, he won’t be
a Spring Stampede. Gene says we must be having the lottery that
they’ve been talking about. I’m not sure what lottery this is but I
doubt Gene knows either. The name Goldberg pulls out is going to be
his victim on Sunday but here’s Nash to interrupt.
comes out in a hockey jersey and warns Goldberg not to spear him.
Nash says that he’s been doing this for ten years and people will be
talking about him in another ten years because he stopped the Streak.
Goldberg tells him not to live in the past, so Nash makes the match
between the two of them at Spring Stampede. Goldberg says Merry
Anderson is on the phone in Flair’s office but can’t get someone on
the phone. Flair is upset and Arn leaves.
Rachman hypes the Hotline.
Hak vs. Kendall Windham
is a Singapore Cane match for no apparent reason. They duel to start
until Kendall gets in a few shots to the leg to take over. Hak’s
chuck Chastity nails Windham with a cane and Hak takes over. Windham
grabs a swinging neckbreaker for two but Hak puts him down with a
backdrop. For some reason he goes outside to yell at someone,
allowing Kendall to take over back inside. Some elbows have Kendall
in trouble and a big cane shot to the head drops him. The White
Russian legsweep gives Hak the pin.
D. Well that happened. This
hardcore stuff is getting boring already and I can see why they
switched over to the comedy stuff soon enough. Windham was only like
his brother in name only and I’m still not convinced Hak is a
wrestler. Thankfully they kept this on the first hour and short.
The canes didn’t mean much either.
on Meng.
goes in to see Flair and Anderson but they didn’t send for him. He
isn’t happy that Luger and Liz are in Flair’s office. Flair has a
big presidential seal on the wall now.
goes up to Nash at catering because Flair wants to see Nash.
on Konnan vs. Disco Inferno.
vs. Lizmark Jr.
go to the mat to start with Konnan rolling him by the arm into a
sunset flip for two. Lizmark
trips him up in the corner and nails a spinwheel kick for a near fall
of his own. A seated
dropkick gets two for Lizmark as Tony continues his heel schtick that
he started on Thursday. This time he claims that he’s the only
announcer that puts in any effort instead of just going home.
Lizmark takes him to the floor for an ax handle to the back. He’s
getting in a lot more offense than I expected here. Konnan avoids a
top rope splash and they trade rollups for two each. The
X-Factor sets up the Tequila Sunrise to make Lizmark tap.
C-. It’s always nice to see
some actual effort in a match like this. Konnan vs. Disco isn’t the
hottest feud in the world but at least it’s something that has been
given a story. Lizmark didn’t do much in WCW but he got to show off
a little bit here. This was a nice little surprise instead of the
and Flair get back to Flair’s office.
Steiner video.
and Flair are walking through the office area but go their separate
ways. Hogan sees Nash and asks what he was doing with Flair.
Apparently it was just business. Hollywood says it better be.
Nash is with Charles Robinson (in a suit), who apparently has 4Flair
license plates. Robinson leaves before anything can be said. Hogan
pops up again and asks what that was about. Apparently they’re
having issues over what Samantha said last week. In case you forgot,
it was over where or not the Fingerpoke of Doom was “real.” So
they’re fighting over whether or not a poke to the chest was a real
victory or staged? Am I understanding this right?
brings out Flair for a chat. Ric
talks about Goldberg wanting to be where the champ is now. Nash made
a match with Goldberg for Sunday like a man should. As for tonight,
Flair is in a good mood and is going to face Hogan tonight for the
World Title. This brings out a fired up Hogan who says he’d love to
beat up Flair right here tonight.
Ric threatens to cancel the match if Hogan touches him but Hollywood
is more than willing to let Flair go to the back and get ready.
yell at each other a lot until DDP comes out to interrupt. Page
doesn’t care for either of them but this is obviously a main event
match worthy of the MGM Grand. He has an idea though: let’s make it
a three way dance. Hogan is willing to make it a handicap match but
here’s Goldberg before anything can be made official. He
wants in the match and grabs Flair but the shirt but Ric gets away
and shouts that Goldberg is in trouble. Apparently it’s a four way
later tonight. Hogan and
Goldberg seem to make a deal, saying they’ll take out Flair and Page
respectfully and then go one on one.
Title Tournament Semi-Finals: Scott Steiner vs. Meng
could be interesting. Steiner
rips on DDP a bit before the match because that feud just won’t die.
If Page wanted a piece of
him, why didn’t he enter the US Tag Title tournament (that’s what he
said) for the US Title? Steiner brings up the 30 days stipulation
from SuperBrawl before talking about a rollercoaster of love. He
only needs one night with Kimberly to have her for the rest of her
life. If Page wants
revenge, he has to give up Kimberly for one night.
pounds away in the corner but Meng nails him with a superkick to send
him outside. Back in and Meng superkicks him again, knocking Steiner
back into the corner. Scott asks for time out but comes back with a
belly to belly. Both guys
head outside with Meng going face first into the barricade. Back
in and a slow motion backbreaker gets two on Meng but he fights out
of a superplex and nails a middle rope clothesline. More
clotheslines and a dropkick get two on Steiner. There’s the Tongan
Death Grip but Steiner goes to the eyes. A low blow and belly to
belly suplex are good for the pin (the feet on the ropes didn’t hurt
C. Again I liked this better
than I was expecting with both guys getting in some good looking
power stuff. Steiner’s push to the stars continues, even though he’s
been the same worker for months now. Meng did
his stuff here and went a little bit above and beyond with that
middle rope clothesline and dropkick looking good.
#2 begins.
see a man in a trenchcoat in the rafters but it’s just a worker.
Sting video that opened the show.
yells at the cameraman for filming him.
on Jim Duggan returning from cancer.
Duggan vs. Lenny Lane
hides in the corner to start but gets in a cheap shot to the ribs.
Duggan slugs him down and head outside with Lane being sent into the
post and announcers’ table. More
slugging ensues back inside and Duggan nails a suplex for two.
Duggan finally drops a big
knee to end this.
D-. This went on far longer
than it should have and wasn’t entertaining. Duggan coming back is a
good story but that doesn’t mean he’s someone interesting to see in
the ring anymore. At least it was someone worthless like Lane taking
the loss instead of a bigger name.
talks about the Hotline again.
of Hogan making the battle royal for control of the Black and White.
Brian Adams, Stevie Ray, Horace
it’s a four man battle royal and we have to sit through full
entrances for everyone. Norton is left out for no apparent reason.
It’s a brawl to start with everyone hitting everyone else. The crowd
is silent and it’s not hard to see why. There’s nothing but bunching
and kicking to go with the lame elimination attempts so far. Vincent
is finally thrown out after nearly four minutes of brawling.
suplexes Stevie down and stops to look at Horace. Stevie knocks both
of them down and hammers away as this just keeps going. Horace clips
Stevie from behind and Adams nails Ray with a clothesline. Adams and
Horace get in an argument over who eliminates Ray so Adams nails his
former friend with a backbreaker. Adams takes too long trying to
slam Horace out, allowing Stevie to clothesline him to the floor.
Horace charges into a backdrop to give Stevie the win.
F. A four man battle royal that
took seven minutes to get through. I think you can figure out why
this is a failure.
of Saturn and Raven costing the Horsemen the tag belts last week.
Team Titles: Rey Mysterio Jr./Kidman vs. Raven/Saturn
champions are now in matching undershirts. Saturn shoves Rey into
the corner to start but gets taken down by a hurricanrana. Raven
comes in without a tag and helps his partner with a Doomsday Device
with Saturn hitting a cross body instead of a clothesline. There’s
no cover though so Saturn hits a middle rope legdrop for two.
Mysterio avoids a top rope
legdrop and the hot tag brings in Kidman. A sitout Pedigree drops
Saturn and a bulldog puts Raven down for good measure. The
champions hit stereo top rope splashes for two on Saturn and we take
a break.
with Saturn in control of Kidman and hitting a wicked overhead
release belly to belly to send Kidman to the floor. Raven brings in
a chair for the drop toehold and two. A
gordbuster from Raven sets up a top rope splash from Saturn as the
challengers are dominating. Raven
misses an elbow drop and it’s off to Rey for the springboard seated
spinwheel kick puts Raven in the corner and it’s
a Bronco Buster for Saturn. Raven blocks his with a raised boot.
Kidman’s lifting powerbomb gets two on Saturn as everything breaks
down. Mysterio dropkicks
Saturn into the referee as Kidman takes Raven outside. Saturn
catches a springboarding Raven in the Death Valley Driver but here
are the Horsemen to lay out Raven and Saturn. Dean puts Rey on top
of Saturn for the pin.
B. This was getting really good
near the ending, which doesn’t make perfect sense. I get why Benoit
and Malenko would want to cost Raven and Saturn a match, but wouldn’t
they want them to have the belts going into their match on Sunday?
Either way, this was the best match on Nitro in a few weeks and a
much needed pick up after the battle royal mess.
Title Tournament Semi-Finals: Chris Jericho vs. Booker T.
is back in due to Curt Hennig being injured. They
trade arm work to start with Tony talking about how sharp Jericho
looks tonight. As he says that, Booker dropkicks his head off and
takes over. Another kick to the face sends Jericho down but Booker
misses a side kick and gets crotched on the ropes.
springboard dropkick has Booker reeling but Chris makes the mistake
of slapping him in the face. The Lionsault hits feet though and
there’s the ax kick. Booker
nails the 110th
Street Slam for two and Booker Spinaroonis up. Scott Steiner comes
in with a chair but gets it kicked back into his face. Booker
backdrops Jericho WAY over the top as the bell rings for a DQ due to
Steiner’s interference.
C-. And that’s it for Jericho
in WCW. Unless he has some promos coming up, he won’t be appearing
for them again. I can’t say I blame him either as he was a prop here
to set up Steiner vs. Booker in another title match on PPV. Jericho
is another case of a guy with talent that never got to rise past the
midcard scene because that’s how WCW worked.
Bagwell vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
that’s alliteration! Buff
poses at him to start and is sent into the buckle for his efforts.
Some clotheslines and kicks to the ribs have Bigelow in trouble and a
big clothesline sends him out to the floor. Back
in and Bam Bam chokes in the corner but charges into a boot. Buff
faceplants him, only to get headbutted in the ribs to put him down
again. A slam drops Bagwell
again but Bigelow misses what looked like a Swanton. Buff nails a
running clothesline but the referee gets bumped. This brings out Hak
and Chastity to nail Bigelow with a Singapore cane and blast him with
a fire extinguisher. Buff hits the Blockbuster for a pin.
C-. I knew Bagwell would work
as a face. This wasn’t a bad match until the more complicated than
necessary finish. This sets up Bigelow vs. Hak on Sunday, but
shouldn’t Bagwell have a match set up? There
isn’t much of a midcard act set for Sunday save for Konnan vs. Disco
and a Bagwell match would fill that in nicely.
on Nash vs. Goldberg. Very impressive of them to get that ready in
two hours.
World Title: Ric Flair vs. Goldberg vs. Hollywood Hogan vs. Diamond
Dallas Page
is defending, Nash is on
commentary and Goldberg comes out last. Everyone
is in the ring at the same time but Goldberg and Page fight to the
floor to start. That leaves Hogan to run over Flair with a bunch of
clotheslines as he’s wrestling like a hero early on. Hogan
gets two off one of those clotheslines with Page making the save.
Now it’s Goldberg beating
Flair up on the floor but
all four are quickly back inside.
lasts all of eight seconds as Hogan and Goldberg fight up the aisle
and Page clotheslines Flair off the apron. They trade off again and
Hogan slams Flair from the top to keep up tradition. The
weightlifting belt comes off for some whipping to the champ’s back.
Ric low blows Hollywood as the fans chant for Sting. Everyone gets
back inside again and Hogan clotheslines Goldberg for two. They
trade small packages of all things for two each as Flair puts Page in
the Figure Four.
trade sees Hogan and Page going to the floor as Goldberg press slams
Flair. Hogan comes back in to save the champion but gets to fight
Goldberg for his efforts. Page can’t quite crotch Flair against the
post as Goldberg is choking Hogan on the mat. All
four head outside and Flair is thrown over the announcers’ table.
Page and Goldberg head back inside and it’s not quite Halloween
powerslams him down as Hogan suplexes Flair on the floor. All four
are back in again but Flair quickly falls back out. Page
follows him out as Goldberg suplexes Hollywood. Both guys no sell a
bit and Goldberg superkicks him down. DDP comes back in with a
discus lariat for two on Goldberg, earning him a Jackhammer.
breaks it up but Flair goes after his knee. There’s the spear to
Page and one for Flair as well. A third spear takes Hogan down but
he kicks out at two. Goldberg
hits the Jackhammer on Hogan but Nash misses his cue to break it up
so Hogan kicks out at two. That
wasn’t Hogan’s fault and thankfully the announcers didn’t acknowledge
it. Nash comes in and
that’s a no contest,
just as Sting repels from the ceiling.
C+. This was very energetic but
the miscues at the end hurt it. They needed someone else in there to
help map the match out though and it became a problem near the end.
I get why they couldn’t have someone get a clean pin but the no
contest is such an annoyance when it happens so often.
points around the arena and we get a video with Randy Savage’s voice
announcing another fourway at Spring Stampede with Flair defending
against Hogan, Sting and Page with Savage as the referee. Because
C. This is a show that
would have been one of the best ever had they not had
the third hour. If you cut out stuff like Kendall Windham vs. Hak,
the NWO battle royal (that could have been solved in about a dozen
different ways, such as the match they already had last month) and a
bunch of the filler stuff, this is a really good show. The Tag Team
and World Title matches were both good to very good and that’s enough
to carry it, though not to greatness. I’m also not wild on Spring
Stampede yet but this show did help.
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