–Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan are in the Mall of America for the last WCW telecast before the debut of Monday Nitro. Heenan continues to rant about how Steve McMichael should not be in the announce booth.
–Opening Contest: Kamala (w/Kevin Sullivan) (10-2) beat Barry Houston after a splash at 2:14:
Kamala beats up Houston to build him up as a big threat to Hulkamania at Fall Brawl. He still has not learned that you cannot pin a man when their chest is on the canvas, though.
–As part of the Fall Brawl Control Center, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson cut dueling promos that recap their history and that the better man between them will come out on top at the pay-per-view.
–Bischoff and Heenan hype the Flair-Sting match that is booked for tomorrow night.
–Bischoff and Heenan go into Players Sports Bar to ask a bartender if he has heard about Monday Nitro. The bartender looks a lot like Lanny Poffo and says he has heard of the show and looks forward to it.
–Winner Faces Jushin Liger on Monday Nitro: Brian Pillman (29-4) defeats Marcus Bagwell (3-5) when Bagwell misses a missile dropkick at 6:54:
Bagwell is growing in a goatee for a new gimmick as his run as “Made in the USA” Marcus Bagwell is coming to an end. Pillman beat Bagwell prior to The Clash of the Champions last month in a fun blitz match. This bout is given more time and Pillman and Bagwell exchange mat-based and aerial offense because both men were “high flyers” before that term went to another level when the Mexican cruiserweights arrived in mass the next year. There is a nice spot where Bagwell counters Air Pillman with a powerslam, but he only gets two. Bagwell then tries a missile dropkick, but Pillman does his own dropkick off the canvas and Pillman’s leg ends up on top of Bagwell’s chest during a double KO, leading to the referee counting Bagwell’s shoulders down because Pillman is on his side and his shoulders are not on the canvas. The ending was weak, but the action built well throughout the bout to that point. Rating: ***¼
–Bischoff hypes Steve McMichael’s football background, causing Heenan to go off again.
The Last Word: This show did a good job building up Monday Nitro, with the broadcast originating from the Mall of America venue and Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan giving attention to two of the three matches on the card. It would have been nice to have a Hulk Hogan promo mixed in just to sell his main event against Big Bubba Rogers, but having Hogan show up and wrestle on live television was enough to draw in viewers because he did it so rarely.
Backstage News*: Vader and Paul Orndorff got into a fight before a WCW Saturday Night taping at Center Stage Theater in Atlanta on August 30. The fight was triggered by Orndorff yelling at Vader to appear for interviews with Gene Okerlund. After exchanging curse words, Orndorff dared Vader to make a move, with Vader knocking Orndorff down with a palm blow to the chest. Orndorff, who was in sandals, then went to tackle Vader and as the two men were being pulled apart, Orndorff landed a left hand that decked Vader and landed kicks to the head as Vader moved into a defensive position. When Vader recovered, he then went to Orndorff’s office with the two trading blows again and both men looking worse for wear. After this, WCW sent Vader home from the tapings and in the days afterward both men were apologetic and ready to move on, but WCW might not want Vader back as he is making upward of $750,000 per year through 1998 or 1999.
*There are rumors that Time Warner is looking to purchase Turner properties. This could create issues for WCW since it is losing money, albeit not as much as it was a few years ago.
*In talent relations news, there are rumors that Jerry Lynn might be brought into the company to work with Eddy Guerrero. The chances of bringing in 2 Cold Scorpio again appear to be dead, though.
*Backstage news provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for September 11.
Up Next: Monday Nitro for September 4!