Monday Nitro – April 12, 1999

Nitro #184
April 12, 1999
Valley Sundome, Yakima, Washington
Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

past Spring Stampede now and DDP has finally become World Champion.
The other interesting, and arguably more important, part of the main
event was Hollywood Hogan going down with a knee injury. That’s
going to be very damaging to the NWO going forward and might even be
the death knell for the team. Let’s get to it.

open with Page in catering when Gorgeous George and Savage come up,
saying Page owes Randy the title. Scott Steiner comes in and nails
Page with a chair and crushes him with a table leg. Steiner shouts
that he’s going to be champion.
Rachman now has DJ Ran with him. The two pests bring out the Nitro
Girls for some dancing.
announcers talk about Page winning the title and his first defense
against Steiner tonight.
look at Steiner throwing Kimberly out of the car a few weeks back.
Sting with something to say. He talks about the many people that
have tried to put him out of action over the years but no one will
ever be able to do it. A lot of wrestlers have heart, but none of
them are Sting. He’s the man that built WCW because he’s been here
since day one. This is his house and his turf and if anyone can say
they built this house, it’s Sting. Diamond Dallas Page didn’t build
this place, so Sting wants some of Page tonight.
of Mysterio vs. Kidman.
Title: Juventud Guerrera vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
is defending. Juvy takes him down by the leg but Rey comes back with
some forearms to the head. A hurricanrana attempt is countered by a
Guerrera powerbomb and they actually stay on the mat for a bit. With
their legs tied together, they stand on their heads and slap each
others’ faces. That was different. Rey gets back up but gets caught
in a DDT. Juvy makes the mistake of posing instead of covering
though, allowing Rey to get back to his feet.
headscissors gets two for Juvy and Mysterio rolls out to the floor.
Juvy follows up this time with a big plancha and sends Mysterio face
first into the steps. Back in and Rey hammers away in the corner
before countering a Liger Bomb with a hurricanrana. Juvy tries the
Juvy Driver but has to settle for a successful Liger Bomb. Mysterio
is able to get up and stop the 450 before hitting the top rope
hurricanrana, but the Horsemen run in for the DQ.
C-. This picked up near the end
but it really wasn’t anything interesting until the last minute and a
half. You don’t expect these two to stay on the mat and it made the
match feel disappointing as a result. Then again, maybe both guys
were spent after last night. That’s not really an excuse but it’s a
Horsemen destroy Rey until Raven and Saturn make the save. Mysteiro
doesn’t seem to want their help.
Hart and Hugh Morrus are excited to face the new King of Hardcore Bam
Bam Bigelow tonight. Hak comes up nails Morrus in the head with a
cane to demonstrate how to beat Bigelow. Morrus smiles and beats up
a technician. Good grief I’m tired of this angle.
on Scott Steiner.
announcers talk (and casually plug Surge) about Bret quitting and
show us a clip of him on an NBC talk show. He talked about WCW
screwing up his debut and thinks they mismanaged the last year of his
career. This is spliced together with clips of Bret’s promo ranting
about how much better he was than people like Flair and Hogan. We
also see the Goldberg spear into the metal plate. Bret insists that
he’s done and says it’s a
shame how bad both companies treated him.
get stills from the hardcore match last night.
Bam Bigelow vs. Hugh Morrus
is a kendo stick match so
Bigelow throws in some tables before the bell. They
hit each other with canes and Bigelow slams him down. Bam Bam takes
FOREVER to get to the top and misses a moonsault, only to have Morrus
do the same. A table is set
up in the corner and both guys are whipped through it.
Hart trips Bigelow so Morrus can beat on him with the stick. Morrus
takes a stick to the middle rope and tries to stab Bigelow but the
stick hits the mat and goes up into Hugh’s chin. The
announcers talk about making a Hardcore belt like a Swiss army knife.
Morrus sets up another table and loads up the moonsault but only his
feet hit Bigelow in the face. Bigelow’s top rope headbutt ends this
D-. I have no idea what I’m
supposed to say about this nonsense. They’re trying to put comedy
spots in there now and it’s not making things any better. I don’t
know how but somehow this is getting even less interesting to sit
through. WCW really was shortsighted enough to think this is what
made ECW work. I’m no ECW fan but that’s one of the dumbest things
they ever did. I hate this
says he was at a personal appearance and couldn’t be there to help
Rey. If he was there, he would have helped of course.
event stills from last night.
Page for his first comments as World Champion. He
says he wasn’t supposed to happen and either he’s dreaming or he
really won this last night. Page tells Hogan sorry about the leg but
Gene gets on him for not being serious. The champ corrects him
because he would have loved Hogan to be in the ring for the win. As
for Sting, he deserves a title shot but first up is Scott Steiner.
He promises to show Steiner that size doesn’t matter, even though
Steiner has heard that before.
talks about all the big names here while pointing a Surge at the
brings out Flair with something to say. The
President if flanked by Anderson and referee Charles Robinson in I
believe his first official affiliation with the boss. Flair
says the title is being held up for reasons he doesn’t have time to
explain because here are Savage and Gorgeous George. Randy
has a piece of paper in his hand and says he’s going to lay the
smackdown for Flair right now.
executive committee and President gave him power in the match last
night so Page is still champion.
Flair says Savage is never going to wrestle again because he’s going
to sit at home and get a check. After
tonight, Savage isn’t in the picture at all. Flair rips up the paper
and Robinson says Savage isn’t a qualified referee. He
makes the mistake of calling George a bimbo and gets one of the best
slaps I’ve ever seen.
says he wants to wrestle and has an idea: at Slamboree it’s Robinson
vs. George for Savage’s career. Robinson
agrees and Flair says Charles will win with the Figure Four. Macho
thinks George will win with a big elbow. This brings out a running
Sting who says that since Diamond Dallas Trash is ducking him, how
about Sting vs. Flair tonight? Anderson
accepts for Flair, which is cool with Sting.
Parka/El Dandy vs. Master Blasters
really don’t think these are the original Master Blasters but that’s
just a hunch. Both guys have stockings over their face so I can’t
make out either of them. They’re both very muscular though and have
Jimmy Hart in their corner. Dandy starts with #1 and is easily
shoved down. A belly to belly suplex puts Dandy on the mat again and
it’s off to La Parka. Not that it matters as here comes Nash (rather
appropriate), of course drinking a Surge. Nash beats everyone up and
the match is thrown out.
shows us a clip of he and Flair talking last week and Hogan not being
pleased with it. Back in the arena, Nash says the business he and
Flair talked about was him getting a title shot at Slamboree if Flair
made it out of last week’s show with the belt. He wants Page to make
it to St. Louis (Slamboree sight) with the title because what Page
did to Hogan was wrong. Page will pay the price Wolfpack style.
DJ Ran nonsense.
vs. Kidman
start slow with Psychosis grabbing a headlock followed by a running
dropkick to the side of the head. Kidman comes right back with a
hurricanrana and some right hands in the corner. Psychosis launches
him into the air for a big crash and the fans are all over him.
Another dropkick puts Kidman on the floor and Psychosis follows him
out with a huge dive.
in and a missile dropkick gets two on Kidman while the announcers are
arguing about fraternities or something. Psychosis sends him back to
the floor but his dive is blocked with Kidman’s first dropkick. They
head inside again with Psychosis nailing a great looking top rope
hurricanrana for two. Kidman misses a splash in the corner but
Psychosis makes the eternal mistake of trying a powerbomb. The
faceplant sets up the Shooting Star for the pin.
C+. This was a better match
than I was expecting and a good reminder of how good Psychosis can
be. Even though he didn’t use much besides dropkicks, he still
looked great out there and made the match work. The division is
really starting to fill out and it’s making shows much easier to get
from Goldberg vs. Nash.
brings out Goldberg for a chat. Goldberg
talks about how awesome he is and says that he’s waiting for Bret to
come back. Okerlund brings up Luger and Goldberg is ready to knock
his face off. Finally, he
commends Page on his title win but says it doesn’t make Page immune
to Goldberg. He’s coming for the title and no one can stop him.
Ran again. How does this make me want to watch the show?
Title: Rick Steiner vs. Booker T.
is defending of course. Rick
takes him down to the mat and drives in a few forearms to the back of
his head. A suplex sends Booker flying and the announcers ignore the
match to insult Mike Tenay for some reason. Back
up and a big spin kick drops Steiner and a running forearm does the
same. He loads up the side
kick but Rick is mostly standing so it’s a superkick instead.
superkick puts Rick on the floor for a bit and the champion is in
control. Back in and a clothesline puts Booker right back outside.
Rick hooks a kind of powerbomb for two followed by his powerslam for
the same. There goes the
referee but he’s right back up as Stevie Ray comes out to slap jack
Rick. Booker didn’t see it and nails the Harlem Side Kick to retain.
D+. This didn’t do much for me
as it was a lot of slowly going back and forth as they waited for the
run-in at the end. Stevie
Ray and Booker getting back together wouldn’t be the worst thing in
the world but I’d really rather see Booker keep going with his
singles run. Rick didn’t look good out there tonight as his timing
was off and he wasn’t doing anything besides power moves.
Scott Steiner with his own mic and something to say. He
runs down Page for his lack of muscles and calls him white trash.
Steiner will take Kimberly too because that’s still a thing.
Ran. Tony: “YEAH! YEAH!
Kaos vs. Goldberg
works on a wristlock to start before taking him down into a legbar.
Kenny goes to the eyes and takes him into the corner for no effect.
A gorilla press into a
powerslam plants Kaos but he pops back up with a slam of his own. He
goes to the apron for a springboard shoulder….and totally misses.
Goldberg just stands there and watches Kaos fly past him into a
crash. A pumphandle throw sends Kaos flying and the spear and
Jackhammer end the destruction.
C-. This was somewhat
competitive for a little bit but that missed shoulder was hysterical.
Goldberg may not have been the most versatile wrestler in the world
but there’s something cool about watching him just run over people
and throw them around the ring like a bag of flour. Fun stuff here
as usual.
Ran, AGAIN. Rachman talks
about the World Title match to kill even more time.
vs. Ric Flair
is referee and Sting has big white wraps around his feet. Flair
gets shoved down a few times to start and the gorilla press puts him
down again. Sting: “For old times’ sake!” There’s another
gorilla press and Flair rolls outside to scream in pain. Sting
carries Flair back to the ring but gets his eyes raked to give Flair
a break. Back up and a sunset flip gets two on Ric and of course the
trunks go down.
easily loses a test of strength but pulls Sting’s hair to take him
down. Sting nips up every time and clotheslines Flair back to the
floor. Almost total dominance by Sting so far. Ric
sends him into the barricade to take over before going after the knee
back inside. Sting blocks a
knee drop and puts Flair in the Figure Four. Ric shouts that he
gives up but Robinson won’t call
for the bell. He finally gets to the ropes so Sting hammers away in
the corner and gets in a shot on Anderson as well.
gets back up and pulls Flair out of the way of the Stinger Splash to
give Flair his first real advantage. Robinson
conveniently turns his head so Flair can hit Sting low. The
announcers are actually paying attention to and calling the match.
Sting slams him off the top
and takes Flair’s head off with a running clothesline for
two. Another low blow in
the corner slows Sting down but a vertical suplex has no effect.
chops don’t work (I love Flair never learning in twelve years) and
Sting scores with a superplex. Here
comes the Scorpion but Anderson gets on the apron for a distraction.
Another Stinger Splash misses and Flair gets the Figure Four. Flair
grabs Anderson’s hands but Savage comes out to take Arn out. Sting
turns the hold over to break and reverses another suplex into the
Death Drop for the pin after threatening Robinson with violence.
B. This is one of those matches
that is almost impossible to screw up. It’s the classic story of the
schooled technician vs. the charismatic natural and it’s going to
work every time they do it. The match was given time and told the
story that works every time. There was no major interference, the
pin was clean, and there was no stupid DJ to shout about getting up.
It was such a refreshing
change and proves the theory that good wrestling is always going to
make things feel better.
tries to come in but gets the Scorpion as well.
World Title: Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page
is challenging. Before the
match we get an appearance from Roddy Piper to do commentary.
Kimberly makes her return in
Page’s corner. Page debuts
his ever stylish wear the belt backwards look. It’s
a slugout to start and Steiner is knocked out to the floor where Page
nails a plancha. Steiner is
thrown over the announcers’ table but punches Page up the aisle as we
take a break.
with Scott suplexing Page down and hammering away in the corner.
Page gets two off a belly to
belly of his own but can’t hook the Diamond Cutter. Steiner
shoves him off the ropes and drops an elbow for two. The announcers
are back to form by talking about Flair and Savage rather than the
World Title match in front of them. Page
gets tied up in the Tree of Woe and choked upside down in a Steiner
signature spot. A top rope
Frankensteiner gets two and the fans finally react to something.
comes back with a discus lariat as Piper accuses Page of injuring
Hogan’s knee on purpose. A
swinging neckbreaker gets two on Steiner and Page sends him into the
buckle ten times. Steiner
blocks the Diamond Cutter and the referee goes down again. He
heads outside and pulls some bolt cutters off the back of the US
Title and unhooks a buckle.
goes face first and then back first into the buckle before Steiner
loads up the Recliner. He won’t put the hold on though with no
referee up so Page takes him down with a running DDT. Steiner low
blows his way out of another Cutter attempt but Page blocks the
Recliner. Kimberly nails Steiner with a chair and the Diamond Cutter
retains Page’s title.
C. The match was fine if not a
little bit overbooked. It was annoying to have the commentary barely
paying attention until the last two minutes but that’s modern
wrestling announcing for you. Kimberly helping to knock Steiner out
was a good ending and made sense given their history. It’s a good
first defense and sets Page up for the big match with Nash at
C+. There’s a lot of
good stuff in here but the bad stuff really brings it down. First
and foremost, the DJ Ran stuff is just annoying. You’re at a
professional wrestling show and WCW thinks you need a DJ to fire you
up? The matches were good
for the most part, save for whatever Hak vs. Morrus was that is.
Slamboree should be decent enough and this was a good start to the
build. There are some problems in the show though and cutting it
down to two hours would solve a lot of them. Unfortunately
they seem to be leaning towards the stuff that causes problems rather
than the good parts.
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