New E-Book: KB’s Complete Monday Nitro Reviews Volume IV

We continue through the history of one of the biggest wrestling companies of all time with the second half of Monday Nitro and Thunder from 1998. It’s a bad time for WCW as the Monday Night Wars are starting to swing in the other direction. Monday Night Raw started winning again in April 1998 and WCW has been scrambling for a way to get back on top. However, their strategy seems to be a combination of quick fixes and going back to ideas that worked before. These methods don’t have the most successful track records in wrestling history but maybe they’ll work here.

In this book, I’ll be looking at every Monday Nitro and Thunder from July 1998 through December 1998, breaking down each show match by match and segment by segment. This is a very important time in WCW’s history and it should be interesting looking back and seeing what was working, what wasn’t working, but most importantly why it wasn’t working. As usual I’ll be providing play by play, context and analysis of every show.

The books is my longest ever at over 400 pages on a Kindle and only costs $3.99, or the equivalent in other currencies. If you don’t have a Kindle or e-book reader, there are several FREE apps you can use to read it on pretty much any electronic device. You can find those from Amazon here.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here.

From the UK Amazon here.

From the Canadian Amazon here.

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon page, just search “KB Nitro Volume 4” and my book will be the first thing that pop up.

Also you can still get any of my previous books on the WWE Championship, Monday Night Raw from 1997, 1998 and 2001, Monday Nitro from 1995-June 1998, In Your House, Summerslam, Starrcade, ECW Pay Per Views, Royal Rumble, Saturday Night’s Main Event, the WWF and WCW pay per views from 1998, Wrestlemania and Clash of the Champions at my author’s page here.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.

Thomas Hall

New E-Book: Only On Pay Per View: 1998

The Monday Night Wars is one of the most discussed periods in the
history of professional wrestling. Over the years, the WWF and WCW did
battle every Monday night for supremacy in professional wrestling. Books
have been written about it and WWE produced a long documentary series
on the subject. However, there’s another aspect of the battle that
doesn’t get nearly as much attention.

While the more publicized war was taking place on Monday night, there
was another war being waged once a month on Sunday night. Every month,
both companies produced a three hour pay per view special where the
really big matches and blowoffs to the stories took place. These were
just as important as the TV shows and had more than their share of great
matches and moments.

In this book, I’ll be looking at all twenty four pay per views from
1998, one of the most pivotal years of the Monday Night Wars. I’ll be
breaking down every match, segment and show as a whole. As usual I’ll
be providing play by play, historical context and analysis of every
show. The reviews are all new and never before seen.

The books runs over 340 pages on a Kindle and only costs $3.99, or the
equivalent in other currencies. If you don’t have a Kindle or e-book
reader, there are several FREE apps you can use to read it on pretty
much any electronic device. You can find those from Amazon here.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here.

From the UK Amazon here.

From the Canadian Amazon here.

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon page, just search
“KB Only On Pay Per View” and my book will be the first thing that pop
up.

Also you can still get any of my previous books on the WWE Championship,
Monday Night Raw from 1998 and 2001, Monday Nitro from 1995-97, In Your
House, Summerslam, Starrcade, ECW Pay Per Views, Royal Rumble, Saturday
Night’s Main Event and Clash of the Champions at my author’s page here.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.

KB

Monday Nitro – December 28, 1998

Monday
Nitro #169
Date:
December 28, 1998
Location:
1st Mariner Center, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Starrcade
is gone now and the main story coming out of the show is Nash
stopping Goldberg’s winning streak last night and winning the World
Title. Other than that we saw Bischoff beating Flair in the big
match of their feud, because Heaven forbid Bischoff’s ego not get
stroked at the biggest show of the year. We close out an up and down
year tonight so let’s get to it.

We
open with the announcers talking about the big matches from last
night and get to see Eric’s Greatest Hits, which is basically Eric
kicking Flair in the head.
Nitro
Party winner.
Here
are Miller and Onoo to talk about how he’s going to whip somebody.
This brings out Jericho and Ralphus of all people, but they’re just
here to introduce Cat’s real opponent.
The
Cat vs. Shiima Nobunaga
Jericho
and Ralphus are in Shiima’s corner. Chris: “COME ON DO SOME
KARATE!” Tony points out that Nobunaga doesn’t speak English which
makes this funnier. Miller and Jericho have mics during the match
but don’t say much of anything. Cat kicks Shiima in the face and
catches him in a powerslam. The Feliner is good for the pin in less
than 90 seconds. I’m not sure what the point of this was.
Stills
of Goldberg vs. Nash last night.
Clip
of Flair having a heart attack, even though that wasn’t a focal point
of the match at all last night.
Chavo
Guerrero Jr. vs. Norman Smiley
They
circle each other to start until Chavo goes to talk to Pepe. Norman
grabs a wristlock as the announcers talk about Nash not seeing Hall
interfere. A clothesline puts Chavo down and it’s time to dance.
Chavo comes back with a dropkick to put Smiley on the floor and rides
the horse around the ring. Back in and Norman takes him down again,
setting up the Big Wiggle. There’s the swinging slam and Norman
fires an arrow into the air. Chavo gets caught in a chinlock before
dancing out of a sunset flip.
Larry
officially christens the dance the Big Wiggle to make this show
historic. Now it’s time to dance with Pepe but that’s just going too
far and sends Chavo into a frenzy. The fans don’t mind but it’s a
nice idea at least. A middle rope bulldog drops Smiley and it’s time
for Chavo to dance. Norman runs him over and grabs the horse, asking
it who’s your daddy. Smiley gets crotched on the top rope and
slapped in the face, but the horse distraction lets Norman slap on
the Conquest for the win.
Rating:
D. For dancing of course. The
match was nothing special with the dancing taking up WAY too much
time. It’s fun to see it happen once but they hit about seven or
eight times. That’s just way too much and it stops being funny after
about two. At least Norman won though as his moderate push
continues.
Clip
of Raven leaving last week.
Booker
T. vs. Fit Finlay
Finlay
doesn’t feel like waiting and blasts Booker during the posing on the
buckles. He hammers away and they head outside where Booker nails a
quick kick to the face and whips Finlay into the barricade. Oddly
enough there’s no talk of Finlay’s match last night. It’s almost
like it meant absolutely nothing at all and even Finlay’s mom
wouldn’t have wanted to watch it. Back in and Finlay grabs a quick
slam for two and we hit the chinlock.
Booker
fights up with some elbows and a clothesline before nailing the side
kick. Some knees to the ribs have almost no effect on Finlay as he
comes back with a jawbreaker and European uppercuts. Booker
is sent into the corner but comes back with the spinning sunset flip
for two. Finlay nails an
atomic drop and sends Booker outside, only to have Booker come back
with another sidekick and the missile dropkick for the pin.
Rating:
C-. Not bad here but Finlay has
really fallen back to earth after his nearly worthless TV Title reign
over the summer. It’s the best match of the night so far though,
which is likely due to who was in the ring. I still can’t get my
head around the fact that Booker didn’t make Starrcade but Finlay
did. Finlay is definitely talented enough but it didn’t make any
sense.
Here’s
Flair with some luggage for
the first important moment of the show. He
says he doesn’t deserve this kind of a welcome because Bischoff beat
him last night. Last night he went back to the hotel, called Arn,
got drunk, then called his wife because it was over. He got on the
plane and the flight attendant asked him what he wanted. Well Flair
wanted to go to Baltimore so he’s right here tonight.
Now
Flair wants Bischoff to hear him out for the very last time. Flair
rips off his jacket and shirt, takes out another suit from the
luggage and throws it down. There’s a third suit with ties to match
but Flair is ranting about living the life of a king because the
people have allowed him to. Now he unbuckles his belt, saying it
cost him $2,000. There’s a $30,000 Rolex to match and now he’s
ripping up $100 bills.
A
shoe is launched into the crowd and there go Flair’s pants. He
struts around in boxers and drops a knee on the mat before screaming
that he isn’t leaving until he and Bischoff get something straight.
Flair offers his house, cars and every dime he has to Bischoff if
Eric will fight him one more time tonight. One
more condition though: if Flair wins, he’s in charge for ninety
days. Why wasn’t THIS the
match for Starrcade?
Flair’s
first act if he wins: detatch Eric’s head from Hogan’s censored. Ric
goes on another rant about WCW vs. the NWO before going to his last
piece of luggage. This time it’s handcuffs and he attaches himself
to the ropes. We go to a break with Flair still yelling for
Bischoff. If the camera goes off, he’ll be naked when it comes back.
Back
with the boxers still on and Flair saying WOO. He goes off on
Bischoff again and now Eric is on his way. Eric laughs at the
handcuffed Flair who can’t reach him at all. Bischoff talks about
all the things he’s done to Flair recently and takes the money from
the mat. He says Flair is
going to die of a heart attack. Flair: “When I die of a heart
attack, it’ll be on your girlfriend pal!” The challenge is
accepted for later tonight.
Nitro
Girls calendar.
Nitro
Girls.
Barry
Windham vs. Prince Iaukea
Windham
goes right after him to start but gets caught by a dropkick and some
lame right hands. That’s fine with Barry as he pops Iaukea in the
jaw and suplexes him down for two. Back up and Windham no sells some
more right hands and hits his old jumping DDT. Instead of covering
though it’s a belly to back suplex on Iaukea before Barry throws him
outside to continue the beating. Back in and Iaukea’s comeback goes
nowhere, setting up Windham’s bulldog for the pin.
Rating:
D. Total squash here with Barry
never even breaking a sweat. Iaukea has done almost nothing in a
year and is really just filling in a spot on the card. Yeah he’s a
former TV Champion, but he’s still one of the least interesting
people I’ve ever seen on a wrestling show. Barry didn’t look great
but it could have been worse.
A
security guard talks about the stun gun Hall used last night being
very powerful.
Souled
Out ad.
DDP
comes out and brags about beating Giant last night. He talks about
the two main matches from Starrcade and that’s really about it. He’d
love to work for Flair.
Konnan
is arguing with Disco Inferno when Nash and Luger come in. After
yelling at Disco even more, Nash offers Disco a deal: if he can beat
Nash’s handpicked opponent tonight, Disco is on the team. Nash
says he has to go and make things right.
Eddie
Guerrero/Juventud Guerrera vs. Billy Kidman/Rey Mysterio Jr.
This
should be good as it’s
fallout from the two Cruiserweight Title matches last night.
Guerrero, Guerrera and Mysterio are in the LWO but Rey doesn’t want
to be. Mysterio comes out
with his LWO shirt folded in his hand. Kidman
is Cruiserweight Champion. Eddie
throws Juvy into the corner just after the bell but Guerrera backs
away without fighting back. Rey
and Eddie get things going with Eddie running him over and
then suplexing Rey to the mat.
Back
up and a Japanese armdrag sends Eddie running into the corner to
cower in front of the referee. Guerrero brings Guerrera into the
ring with a slap to the face but Juvy backs away from Kidman. The
backing off doesn’t seem necessary as he clotheslines Kidman down but
Eddie doesn’t feel like coming back in. Kidman avoids a charge in
the corner though and suplexes Juvy down before tagging Rey back in.
There’s the Bronco Buster in the corner as Eddie is lounging in his
team’s corner without looking concerned.
Juvy
crawls over and tags Eddie in with Guerrero going nuts to take over.
Everything breaks down with Eddie and Juvy taking over, only to have
Rey nail a springboard dropkick to knock Juvy into Eddie, sending
both of them to the floor. Rey and Kidman hit stereo flip dives to
take everyone out. We take
a break and come back with Juvy holding Kidman in a chinlock but
getting caught in a bulldog out of the corner.
Back
to Rey vs. Eddie with the masked man taking over but going after
Guerrera instead of the legal man, allowing Eddie to get in a cheap
shot to take over. Everything
breaks down for a few seconds and Guerrera grabs a powerbomb to put
Mysterio down to get control. The match settles down again and it’s
Eddie chopping away in the corner. Something
like the Eye of the Storm into a neckbreaker gets two on Rey with
Kidman having to make the save.
In
an awesome double team move, Eddie loads up Rey in a powerbomb and
Juvy adds a springboard legdrop to drive Rey down even harder.
Somehow Rey is right back up though and whips Guerrero into
Guerrera’s boot, only to have Juvy break up a tag attempt. Eddie
is already back up and hammers on Rey, but the LWO heels collide and
Kidman comes in off the hot tag.
The
champion cleans house and holds up Eddie for a powerbomb as Rey adds
a springboard seated senton to drive Eddie down even harder than
Mysterio was driven down earlier. Juvy makes another save and
everything breaks down. Eddie’s
powerbomb attempt to Kidman goes badly (of course) but Guerrero is up
at two. The BK Bomb puts Guerrero down again and a facebuster does
the same to Juvy. Eddie throws Rey to the floor for a big dive from
Juvy, allowing Guerrero to nail the Frog Splash for the pin on
Kidman.
Rating:
B. This is one of those matches
that you couldn’t screw up. You took four guys and let them fly
around the ring for fifteen minutes while having a story involved as
well. What else was going to happen but some awesome work? Those
double team powerbomb spots were really cool looking with the
powerbomb Eddie took being a big highlight.
That
would be about it for the LWO though as Eddie Guerrero would be
involved in a car wreck on New Year’s Day, putting him out of action
for several months. There would be some closure to the team and
we’ll get to that in a few weeks.
Here’s
the Wolfpack for Nash’s victory speech. He
doesn’t seem too happy though as he’s seen the way the match ended.
Nash was there last night for money, power and respect, but
apparently money is the root of all evil. He suddenly veers off
course to say Disco is facing Bam Bam Bigelow tonight and if Disco
wins, he’s in the Wolfpack. Back to Hall, who Nash thinks was doing
him a favor. Nash respects Goldberg so much that he’s willing to put
the title on the line again next week in Atlanta. The new champion
points out that the belt still has Goldberg’s name on it, just like
it will going into their match next week. There’s
the setup.
Disco
Inferno vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Bigelow
hammers away to start and throws Disco into the corner with ease.
Another whip into the corner is followed by a splash and a big slam
but Disco avoids the top rope headbutt. The swinging neckbreaker
puts Bigelow down and Disco actually nails the Chartbuster for two.
Bigelow pops back up and hits Greetings From Asbury Park (over the
shoulder reverse piledriver) for the pin in less than three minutes.
Nitro
Girls.
Bischoff
is warming up with Curt Hennig.
Flair’s
physician says, in a lot of
medical terms, that Ric
didn’t have a heart attack, but did have toxins in his body, meaning
he may have been poisoned. This sounds like backtracking to me,
though it does explain a few things. If nothing else it makes WCW
look a lot less negligent about the health of its wrestlers.
Bischoff
calls the doctor a quack. It
sounds like he’s nervous that someone would suggest poison.
TV
Title: Konnan vs. Scott Steiner
Konnan
is defending. Bagwell runs
his mouth before the match but Konnan uses the distraction to lay out
the NWO Referee. WCW referee Scott Dickinson comes out to referee
instead but Konnan has to save him from a Steiner attack before the
bell. A quick clothesline sends Steiner rolling to the floor but
Buff gives him a pep talk. Back in and Konnan gets planted with a
release tiger bomb before Steiner takes it outside. That goes
nowhere so Scott throws him inside again and hammers away. Scott
stays on him and spits on the Wolfpack t-shirt for good measure.
Konnan
is put in the Tree of Woe so Scott can work on the leg a bit before
Buff gets in some choking of his own. A belly to belly suplex sets
up the push-ups from Steiner but Konnan counters a powerslam into a
reverse DDT. The champion hammers away and hits the X-Factor before
putting on the Tequila Sunrise. Bagwell tries to make the save but
Luger runs out to stop him. The distraction breaks the hold though
and Steiner is back up. Luger knocks Bagwell into the ropes and
causes Konnan to fall to the floor, allowing Steiner to put on the
Recliner for the title.
Rating:
D. So why in the world wasn’t
this match on Starrcade? I’m glad Jericho got on the show, but you
would think this would be a better option for the biggest show of the
year. Granted it’s not like it matters as it’s just more trading
wins between the NWO, which really gets annoying after awhile. That
awhile was roughly four months ago.
The
announcers think Luger is up to something with Steiner.
Nitro
Girls.
No
Thunder this week due to New Year’s Eve.
Brian
Adams vs. Scott Hall
Before
the match, Scott agrees with Kevin. There are three things that are
important in life: money, money and money. He handed Nash the title
and then Nash didn’t even invite him to the victory party? Hall
isn’t the man Nash used to know, but Nash isn’t the man Hall used to
know. The fans chant for
Goldberg before we get going.
Adams
decks Hall to start and hits a nice backbreaker for two. Hall
comes back with right hands but ducks his head and gets caught in
what was supposed to be a piledriver but came out more like a
pancake. Instead of covering though, Adams messes with his hair and
puts on a bearhug. A belly to belly puts Scott again but there’s
still no cover. Brian finally hits a big boot for two and we hit the
nerve hold. The fans think this is boring so Adams just lets the
hold go. Hall makes a comeback but can’t get him up for the Edge.
Instead Brian press slams him, only to pose on the corner. Scott
grabs the Edge for the fast pin.
Rating:
D-. Nothing here again but at
least Hall got a pin instead of being treated like the loser he’s
been for so long now. He’s still stuck in the middle of this never
ending story with Nash and the NWO but that’s the case for almost
every big name in WCW. It’s nice to see Adams lose like the jobber
to the stars he should be.
Ric
Flair vs. Eric Bischoff
Flair
being in power for 90 days vs. all of Flair’s possessions. There’s
no Bischoff though as we see him in the back saying no way. Eric
comes into the arena to get to an exit but the Horsemen are waiting
in his limo to carry him to the arena. Nice move. The bell rings
and Flair hits Bischoff low before chopping away in the corner.
There’s another low blow and some choking as the referee counts
especially slow. Not that it matters as Flair throws Charles
Robinson down anyway.
The
NWO tries to run in but the Horsemen are waiting for them in the
aisle. Flair drops some elbows as the Horsemen cut off another group
of NWO guys. The Giant finally comes out as the Horsemen are busy
fighting and a big headbutt drops Flair. Anderson, Booker
T., Konnan and Page come out
as a JACKED Randy Savage and a good looking blonde come out in Black
and White gear. It’s a swerve of course as Savage hits Giant low and
clotheslines him to the floor. Flair suplexes Bischoff down and
slaps on the Figure Four to become the boss for three months.
Rating:
N/A. This wasn’t a match but
the angle worked very well. This felt like a big moment and a game
changer for WCW. That being said, the question should be obvious:
why in the world did Bischoff need to get the win at Starrcade?
Either have this match last night or have it be a no contest of some
sort. This moment taking place is fine, but how many people remember
this compared to Bischoff getting the win at Starrcade?
This felt like running back to fix an error and
it worked to a degree. However,
a lot of the damage was already done due to the fans feeling like
they had been punched in the stomach the night before.
Tony,
Dusty and Larry come to the ring to celebrate as Tenay plays this up
as a huge moment. Flair puts on another Figure Four to end the show.
Heenan: “I CAN HIT HIM UP FOR A RAISE!”
Overall
Rating:
C+. This was a hard one
to grade because of the first hour. It took me out of the show after
wanting to see where things were going after Starrcade last night.
The show wasn’t terrible and the ending was especially good, but
opening with Ernest Miller followed by Norman Smiley and then Fit
Finlay just wasn’t the right way to go here and it really hurt the
opening part of the show.
On
the other hand there’s a lot of good stuff here too. Savage coming
back was a great surprise and Flair winning control of the company
was a change they needed to make. Bischoff being in charge just
wasn’t going to work and it’s nice to see WCW FINALLY getting
something to work right. The
cruiserweight tag match was good too. This would have been an
awesome two hour show if they had switched the order of some stuff,
but as a three hour show it’s just slightly
better than ok.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Starrcade 1998

Starrcade
1998
Date:
December 27, 1998
Location:
MCI Center, Washington, D.C.
Attendance:
16,066
Commentators:
Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s
the biggest show of the year and I don’t know how many people know
about it. I don’t remember the same show feeling so different just a
year later. Last year Starrcade felt like an event rather than just
a wrestling show. This year it feels like it could be a Clash of the
Champions TV special instead of the biggest show of the year. I have
a very bad feeling about what could be coming here, especially now
that I have a fresh memory of how the buildup went. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video is all about Goldberg vs. Nash, even though it’s
arguably not even the main event.
Tony
and company tell us that the Horsemen have been banned from the
building tonight as per Eric Bischoff’s orders. They talk about the
rest of the card for a bit to kill some time.
First
up tonight: a commercial for a QVC special later in the week.
Call
the Hotline!
Cruiserweight
Title: Billy Kidman vs. Juventud Guerrera vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Kidman
is defending and has been trying to defend the title against Mysterio
for weeks, only to have the LWO interfere. Juventud is there as the
former champion wanting a rematch and LWO leader Eddie Guerrero’s
hand picked challenger. Rey stomps on his LWO shirt on the way to
the ring. Juvy gets double teamed to start, much to the fans’
delight. He tries to fight back against Kidman but gets caught in a
tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Mysterio. Kidman whips Rey into the
Bronco Buster, even though Juvy was a foot in front of the buckle and
had the back of his head driven hard into the corner.
The
good guys start slugging it out before nailing Juvy at the same time,
only to go at it again. Juvy misses a top rope cross body, allowing
Kidman to slam Rey onto Juvy’s chest for two. Guerrera comes back
with Mysterio’s sitout bulldog to both guys at the same time before
telling the cameraman he’s got it. Mysterio can’t hook a German
suplex on Juvy but Kidman clotheslines Guerrera down for two instead.
Kidman
is sent to the floor and Juvy backdrops Rey on top of the champion,
setting up a big dive to take out both guys. The fans didn’t seem
interested for some reason. Back in and Juvy dives again, only to
get double dropkicked out of the air. Heenan talks about Bill being
here tonight. Tenay: “Clinton?” Heenan: “No Bill Schwartz, an
old friend of mine from Cincinnati.” West Coast Pop gets two on
Juvy but Kidman comes back with a headlock takeover out of the corner
on Juvy with a dropkick to Rey at the same time.
Mysterio
is still down as Kidman dives into Juvy’s boots to the face, allowing
Rey to pop up and get two on the champion off a slingshot moonsault.
Juvy is stood on the apron, allowing Rey to hit a hurricanrana off
the top to put both guys down on the floor. Back in and Kidman gets
two on Juvy with a layout powerbomb. Juvy hooks an over the shoulder
backbreaker for the same on Mysterio before he seds Juvy and Kidman
out to the floor. Rey hits a HUGE top rope Asai Moonsault to take
both guys down but he can barely follow up.
Juvy
gets taken down by a springboard hurricanrana from the masked man but
walks into a bad looking Juvy Driver for two. Kidman makes a diving
save before planing Juvy with the BK Bomb for two. Mysterio is the
only one on his feet but he takes Juvy to the floor with another
hurricanrana. Kidman has to keep up with the others, hitting a great
looking Shooting Star to the floor, taking out both guys in the
process. Eddie Guerrero comes out to the ring and pushes Juvy
forward to counter a sunset flip. Rey comes in and dropkicks Juvy
back into the sunset flip, giving Kidman the pin to retain the title.
Rating:
B. Awesome opener here as all
three guys were going nuts out there. That Shooting Star looked
great and the other two were their usual awesome selves. Eddie
getting involved makes me think a fourway would have been a better
option, but there’s nothing wrong with three guys flying all over the
place and firing up the crowd to open up a show.
Post
match Eddie yells at Rey and Juvy, saying they’re not LWO material if
they can’t beat a creampuff like Kidman. Eddie shoves Juvy down and
keeps ripping into Kidman. The champion comes out and offers Eddie a
title shot RIGHT NOW. Eddie says let him go get his gear on but
Kidman doesn’t want to wait. The match is on, making me wonder what
was going to get this spot originally.
Cruiserweight
Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Billy Kidman
Eddie,
in street clothes, decks Kidman to get things going and hammers away.
A powerbomb gets two on the champion and we hit the abdominal
stretch with Juvy helping from the floor. Mysterio breaks that up
twice in a row, drawing Eddie to the floor for a jawing session with
Rey. Kidman comes back with a slingshot ankle scissors for two
before dropkicking Guerrero down.
Eddie
nails a chopblock to take over again and puts on a modified leg lock
while pulling on Kidman’s arm at the same time. Kidman makes a rope
and Rey tries to give him a pep talk. It works well enough as Eddie
is sent into the barricade to give the champion a breather. Back in
and Kidman hits a quick bulldog before hammering away in the corner.
Kidman is on instinct and fumes here, allowing Eddie to counter a
weak sleeper with a jawbreaker.
The
referee goes to talk to Rey for some reason, allowing Eddie to take
off his boot and blast Kidman in the head for a delayed two. The
brainbuster looks to set up the Frog Splash but Kidman pops back up
with a superplex. Guerrero is up first and dropkicks the knee out
again, setting up a leg lock which doesn’t put much torque on the
knee. Mysterio and Juvy get in a fight on the floor over Eddie’s
shoe and the distraction makes Billy break the hold.
Kidman
fights out of a powerbomb and stomps Eddie as hard as he can. A
slingshot legdrop gets two but Eddie counters a top rope
hurricanrana. Now it’s Eddie putting Kidman on top, only to get
shoved down. Eddie’s bodyguard distract the referee, allowing Juvy
to crotch Kidman down. Rey does the same to Eddie though, setting up
the Shooting Star to retain the title.
Rating:
B. Another awesome match here
with the story coming through much stronger than in the opening
match. Kidman fighting out of desperation was an awesome story with
Eddie not being able to back up his months of talk making it even
better. All four guys looked good in their matches, but it’s eaten
up a lot of time.
Nash
vs. Goldberg video. This
brings us to one of the biggest problems of the evening: time. We’re
at forty minutes into the show, leaving us with about two hours to go
and only three announced matches left. Keep that in mind as this
show is about to start its downward spiral.
Norman
Smiley vs. Prince Iaukea
Yes
on Starrcade, in a rematch of something we just saw on Nitro twice
this month already. Norman was getting a push around this time but
that doesn’t mean you give him a match against the same guy he’s
beaten twice in less than three weeks on PPV. Iaukea takes over to
start and sends Norman to the floor for a dive off the apon. The
announcers ignore most of the match to talk about Flair vs. Bischoff,
making this match seem all the more pointless.
Back
in and Norman takes control with his amateur stuff and works on
something resembling a Kimura. Off to a short arm scissors as Tony
talks about Flair’s promos (his word) and the recent heart attack.
Smiley drops him ribs first over the top rope but stops for the Big
Wiggle. There’s the swinging slam for two before he dances too long,
allowing Prince to get a sunset flip for two.
The
fans think this is boring so Norman double stomps Iaukea and puts on
a seated abdominal stretch. That goes nowhere so Norman dances on
the mat a bit. A delayed butterfly suplex gets two on Iaukea and
it’s back to the arm. More dancing follows and Prince suplexes the
distracted Smiley down for two. Norman puts on a series of freaky
looking arm holds before hitting another double stomp.
Prince
comes back with what might have been a low blow but Norman rakes the
eyes. More dancing ensues and Prince springboards in with a cross
body, only to have Smiley roll through for two. Neither guy can get
a backslide so Norman slips behind him and puts on the chicken wing,
now dubbed Norman’s Conquest, for the submission.
Rating:
D-. Smiley was his usual fun
self but this belongs on Thunder or Saturday Night. It got nearly
TWELVE MINUTES, or more than Eddie’s match got. Norman is a rising
star but what good does it do him to have a boring match that he’s
won twice already this month? Somehow, this isn’t the oddest choice
of a match so far.
Here’s
Hall with something to say. I’ve heard he was scheduled to face
Bigelow on this show. That makes sense given what happened recently
on Nitro, but I never heard it announced on television. Unless it
was announced on Saturday Night, that might have been a rumor or
dirtsheet announcement. Either way, Hall comes out with an Outsiders
shirt on and the fans seem very pleased with the idea.
Scott
talks about how 1998 has been a bad year for him in and out of the
ring. Tonight his old buddy Kevin Nash has a shot at the biggest
title in wrestling. The two of them used to ride the roads together
and talk about what that would mean. A little while back, Nash told
him to prove himself to Big Kev. Hall doesn’t think he should have
to do that, but he does have to prove something to himself. 1999 is
going to be his year.
Video
on Bam Bam Bigelow, who isn’t wrestling tonight either. This
transitions into a video on the threeway betweeo Bigelow, Nash and
Goldberg. We’re over an hour into this show now and this is the
third video on the main event.
Perry
Saturn vs. The Cat
This
one isn’t so much strange as they’ve been feuding for awhile now, but
who in the world wants to see this match? Miller of course has to
give his usual speech and Saturn of course jumps him. Cat runs to
the floor for some stalling before teasint walking to the back. He
tries to slide back in to go after Saturn but falls at Saturn’s feet
instead. Now the beating is on but Miller bails to the floor to
stall again. Back in and Cat sweeps the leg and chokes a bit as the
fans are dying in a hurry.
Saturn
can’t hook the Rings so he wrestles Miller down to the mat. That
also goes nowhere so Miller kicks him in the face and walks around a
lot. Saturn comes back with a pair of suplexes for two and a
swinging neckbreaker for the same. A top rope ax handle misses and
Saturn gets kicked in the face for no cover. Back up and Miller
kicks him again but asks Sonny Onoo to come in. Sonny kicks Miller
by mistake, allowing Saturn to hit the Death Valley Driver for the
pin.
Rating:
D-. I’ve watched a lot of
wrestling in my day but I will never understand some things about
WCW. For one, why in the world did Sonny Onoo keep a job for so
long? Miller could at least talk and got decent later on, but why is
he getting this spot on this show? At least Saturn won, finally.
Gene
brings out Flair to talk because we haven’t wasted enough time yet.
Flair says he’s going to
beat up Bischoff and lists off what he’s going to do to every body
part.
This
sets up a LONG video on Bischoff’s history in WCW since the NWO
arrived, his abuses of power and his feud with Flair. Again, we’ve
already paid for the show so why do we need to get fired up for the
matches? This eats up over three minutes and I believe is the exact
same video we saw on Nitro.
Scott
Steiner and Buff Bagwell come in and threaten Konnan but Lex Luger
makes the save. Luger vs. Steiner was another rumored match for this
show like Hall vs. Bigelow.
And
now, perhaps the most random wrestling match in the history of pay
per view.
Brian
Adams/Scott Norton vs. Jerry Flynn/Fit Finlay
During
the video, Tony has been given word that the main event will be No
DQ. Adams throws Finlay around to start but Fit nails him in the
ribs. Off to Norton who snaps off a powerslam on Finlay and a double
clothesline to both opponents. Flynn kicks him in the chin and it’s
back to Adams to slow things down. Adams kicks him down and stomps
away but gets kicked right back, allowing Finlay to come back in and
hammer on Brian.
Adams
pops back up with a piledriver as the fans are just SILENT. Norton
comes back in and cranks on the neck before hitting a splash in the
corner. The NWO takes turns on Finlay with the only interesting move
being a gorilla press gutbuster from Adams. Fit makes the ice cold
tag to Flynn and everything breaks down. Flynn is distracted by
Vincent, allowing Norton to powerbomb him in half for the pin.
Rating:
S. For Starrcade, not Saturday
Night. Get your shows right for your nine minute squashes.
Here’s
Bischoff for ANOTHER FREAKING INTERVIEW. Eric says hi to the
Clintons and imitates a Bill Clinton speech by saying how profoundly
sorry he is for the pain he’s caused the Flair family. He feels
sorry for Flair’s heart attack but the reality is Ric has to fight
tonight because he can’t save a dime. Flair
paid for all those jets and limos but Bischoff got his boss to pay
for his limos and jets.
TV
Title: Konnan vs. Chris Jericho
Konnan
took the title from Jericho in November but Jericho stole the belt
itself on Monday. Jericho
gets in a few decent jokes about Konnan not keeping his pants up. He
also calls himself the man’s regret, every woman’s pet, the man with
the voice and the Jericholics’ choice. We’re
treated to part of Konnan’s rap video before we’re ready to go.
Feeling
out process to start with a shoulder putting the champion down.
Konnan comes right back with a seated dropkick but walks into a
regular dropkick from Jericho. Chris goes up top but Konnan grabs
his own crotch for a distraction. They head outside with Jericho
sending Konnan into the barricade to take over. Back in and Chris
poses a lot before getting two off a suplex and the Arrogant Cover.
We
hit the chinlock on the
champion for a bit before
Jericho goes up top and dives into the boot. The rolling lariat and
a jackknife cover get two on Jericho before Konnan throws him out to
the floor. Jericho is sent ribs first into the steps for two but
Jericho counters the X Factor into a Liontamer attempt. The referee
gets bumped and Jericho hits Konnan with the belt for two. That goes
nowhere so Konnan hooks the Tequila Sunrise for the submission to
retain.
Rating:
D. This felt like they were
painting by numbers, going through the motions or whatever other term
you prefer for a match that was as basic as you could ask for.
Konnan was all talk at this point and the matches just weren’t
backing it up at all. Jericho knew he was leaving in 1999 at this
point and really didn’t care at all.
Giant
is ready for Page tonight and threatens Lee Marshall with violence.
Ric
Flair vs. Eric Bischoff
Bischoff
immediately heads to the floor but Flair gets his hands on him
against the barricade. The beating is on quickly and they head
inside for some choking in the corner. There’s the knee drop to the
head and a right hand, which Flair says is for his wife. Ric
goes after the knee in the corner but Bischoff gets in a kick to the
head that knocks Flair all the way to the floor. He sends Flair into
the barricade as Tony gets in the semi-infamous line about how anyone
that follows tournament karate knows that Bischoff is a force in that
sport.
Flair
is busted open as Eric hammers away in the corner. Ric Hulks Up but
another kick to the head puts him right back down. It’s nothing that
a low blow won’t stop though as Flair takes over. Two more low blows
put Eric in the corner and Ric chops away before shoving the referee
down. Shattered Dreams has Bischoff screaming and a pair of suplexes
make it even worse. The Figure Four goes on but here’s Curt Hennig
to nail Flair with an object, giving Bischoff the pin, thereby
killing the audience deader than dead. I
mean they go SILENT.
Rating:
F. For failure. That’s what
this match was: a complete failure. This match went against the
basic idea of wrestling: the villain runs his mouth and then gets
beaten down by the hero at the end of the day. How does this help
anyone other than Eric Bischoff? It ticks the fans off, doesn’t make
the villain look right, and makes Flair look stupid. That’s fine
once in awhile, but it’s the problem for WCW: the hero almost never
got his day. It was always a screwjob of some form and the hero was
supposed to fight another day. Eventually the fans got tired of
waiting though and these moments stopped meaning anything.
As
for the match itself, there’s really no logic to it either. Bischoff
had WAY too much offense here as a single kick was enough to knock
Flair all the way out to the floor. Last year Larry Zbyszko was
staggered by some of his kicks but didn’t go out to the floor as a
result. The heart attack angle was mentioned in passing by Tony and
nothing more, making that almost entirely pointless. But hey, people
think Eric Bischoff is a tough guy so everybody is happy right?
We
recap Giant vs. Diamond Dallas Page, which is really just an offshoot
of Page vs. Hart. Page of course has bad ribs coming in, due
to a chokeslam off the stage a few weeks back.
Diamond
Dallas Page vs. Giant
They
spit at each other to start before
Page drives in some shoulders. An early Diamond Cutter attempt goes
nowhere but Page does clothesline him out to the floor. The offense
is short lived though as Giant clotheslines DDP down with ease. A
headbutt puts Page into the crowd but he finds a trashcan to blast
Giant in the head. Again the advantage is short lived though as
Giant whips him into the steps and then the post.
Giant
throws him back inside and Page bangs his knee up on the landing.
The big man lays on the leg to slow things down as the fans just do
not care after the result of the previous match. Page
rakes the eyes to escape but gets crushed in the corner to stop his
comeback cold. We hit the
bearhug as this match is dying right in front of my eyes. Giant
plants him with a powerslam but pulls Page up twice in a row. Back
to the bearhug for a bit before Giant picks him up for a double choke
backbreaker.
Giant
still won’t cover though and gets caught in a running DDT to put both
guys down. The referee gets bumped as well, drawing out Bret Hart
who hits Giant with a chair by mistake. That’s only good for two as
Giant easily kicks out. Page scores with a pair of top rope
clotheslines, only to dive
into a choke. Giant takes him to the corner for the super chokeslam,
but Page dives at him into a swinging Diamond Cutter for the pin out
of nowhere. Page’s shocked look when he hit it is great.
Rating:
C-. The match was boring but
the ending helped it a lot. That jumping Diamond Cutter is one of my
favorite endings ever in WCW and it still holds up really well. I’m
not sure why this wasn’t Page vs. Bret for the title, but to be fair
we had seen that match several times before so it was kind of nice to
see something new.
Yet
another Goldberg vs. Nash video.
WCW
World Title: Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash
Goldberg
is defending and it’s No DQ. Nash won the shot by winning World War
3. They’re treating this like it’s a big showdown ala Hogan vs.
Warrior in 1990 but it just doesn’t work with these guys. They
pose at each other to start with the fans pretty split. A lockup
takes both guys into the corner and the referee splits them up. They
circle each other some more until Goldberg ducks a right hand and
suplexes Nash, sending him out to the floor.
Back
in and Nash takes him into the corner for all of his usual stuff but
Goldberg just shoves him down. The champion chokes away but Nash
tries a freaking cross armbreaker of all things. Goldberg laughs his
way out of that and tries his ankle hold, sending Nash to the ropes
for another reset. Goldberg knocks Nash to the mat with right hands
but gets pulled face first into the middle buckle.
The
spear connects out of nowhere but Goldberg can’t pick him up for the
Jackhammer. The delay allows Nash to hit him low and both guys are
down again. A bad looking side slam gets two for Nash and he hammers
in forearms to the back. The swinging neckbreaker puts Nash down
again and there’s the superkick for good measure. Goldberg muscles
him up into a powerslam for two but here’s Disco Inferno to distract
the champion. That goes as well as you would expect so here’s
Bigelow to get beaten down as well. Scott Hall of course sneaks in
with a tazer to Goldberg’s chest, setting up the Jackknife to give
Nash the title.
Rating:
D+. The match wasn’t the worst
thing in the world but it feels like such an anti-climactic way to
end the Streak. After all that, it’s an ending that doesn’t make a
ton of sense and almost makes Nash look like a heel, even though the
fans popped for the ending. I’d assume it’s because it’s a big
moment but they still liked Nash no matter what. It felt like a
pro-Nash pop rather than an anti-Goldberg one as the fans weren’t
booing Goldberg throughout the rest of the match.
Nash
isn’t sure what happened. He didn’t see Hall do what he did and Hall
was out of there immediately after.
Overall
Rating:
D-. Where
do I even start? While last year’s show was decent with a bad
ending, this one was just bad for the last two hours. This show
ranged from bad to downright stupid at times, with some of the most
random matches I can ever remember seeing on a major pay per view.
Consider the following list of people who either didn’t wrestle or
appear on the show.
Bret
Hart, Scott Steiner, Booker T., Scott Hall, Chris Benoit, Dean
Malenko, Lex Luger, Wrath, Bam Bam Bigelow, Kanyon, Raven, Buff
Bagwell
All
of those guys have gotten significant television time in the weeks
leading up to the show, but none of them could get on the card.
Instead we had guys like Jerry Flynn, Scott Norton and Prince Iaukea
wrestling instead. The opening two matches are good, but there’s
really no reason for one midcard story to eat up forty minutes of an
under three hour card. That leaves you two hours for six matches,
but then they wasted even more time on the constant videos and
interviews.
That’s
all before the booking of the show. I can understand the Nash move
as the streak had to end somewhere. I don’t care for it for the most
part, but there could have been far worse ideas for them to go with.
Nash winning the title isn’t a stretch as he’s been one of the
biggest starts in the company since the day he debuted. Yeah he
booked himself to be champion, but at the end of the day it’s not
like Glacier just broke Goldberg’s streak.
Then
there’s the white elephant in the room. I really don’t know how you
can argue that Bischoff should have gone over Flair no matter how you
look at it. That should have been the biggest layup of the year but
instead it’s the exact opposite of what it should have been. Yeah
things would change in the near future, but the idea of getting the
win later doesn’t matter. It should have been at Starrcade with the
two having been built up for months. Instead it made Bischoff look
good with Flair coming off like a raging lunatic that can’t get the
easiest win in the world anymore.
Overall
the show was only a step above a disaster. The worst part is that it
wasn’t even all that bad, but it was painfully dull. Most of these
matches just don’t line up with the stories they’ve been showing on
television and it feels like we’re supposed to get to the big show
later on. It’s not even that the show is bad, but it just doesn’t
work at all, save for two pretty meaningless matches to open the
show.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Monday Nitro – December 21, 1998

Monday
Nitro #168
Date:
December 21, 1998
Location: TWA Dome, St. Louis, Missouri
Attendance:
29,000
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the go home show for Starrcade and the top part of the card is set.
Unfortunately even after Thunder, I’m pretty sure only four matches
have been announced. The main idea for tonight will probably be just
tying up loose ends before we get to Sunday, meaning there isn’t
likely to be much of note tonight. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a LONG recap of the NWO forming and Bischoff joining them a
few months later. This sets up Flair vs. Bischoff at Starrcade.
The
announcers do their thing.
Fit
Finlay vs. Scott Putski
Feeling
out process to start with neither guy really wanting to do anything.
Finlay takes him down to the mat and cranks on a headlock with Larry
pointing out how the forearm is right in Putski’s jaw. A hard back
elbow is enough to put Putski down again and Finlay cranks on an
early chinlock.
The
announcers talk about how Flair has Bischoff running scared. The
heart attack isn’t mentioned at all, making me think it’s going to be
completely wasted and forgotten about in just a few weeks. To be
fair that’s probably not the worst thing in the world. Finlay shifts
over to a leg lock and we take a break. In this match? Seriously?
Back
with Putski fighting back with some forearms but being taken down
again with a knee to the ribs. We hit the headlock again as this
match has already been going far longer than I would have expected it
to. If nothing else the announcers get to ignore the match even
longer than they would have in normal circumstances.
Putski
fights up again and starts his real comeback. He nails a nice middle
rope dropkick and a running clothesline as the announcers actually
pay attention here for a few moments. This match has to be ending
soon as it’s been going for over ten minutes already. I can’t
remember the last time a main event got that long. As I say that,
Putski misses the Polish Hammer and walks into the tombstone to give
Finlay the pin.
Rating:
D. We’re coming up on the
biggest show of the yere, there are four matches announced for the
show, and the first commercial break is during what is probably the
longest match Scott Putski ever had on TV. Who in the world thought
this was something we needed to see?
Recap
of Flair vs. Bischoff.
Here’s
Ernest Miller to run his mouth about the same stuff he always runs
his mouth about, but Santa Claus is in the aisle with presents.
Chavo
Guerrero Jr. vs. Kaz Hayashi
Kaz
jumps Chavo at the bell but Chavo easily sends him into the corner
and stomps away to take over. Some forearms in the corner sets up an
armbar from Guerrero. Hayashi fights back with a quick dropkick but
misses a charge into the corner and gets taken down by the tornado
DDT for a fast pin.
Video
on Goldberg vs. Nash vs. Bigelow from last week.
Nash
comes out for the hard sell on Sunday, which isn’t something he’s all
that great at but hey, he’s booking the company so it must be the
right move. He talks about being World Champion for a year and
defending the title 197 times in that span. While Goldberg is out
doing movies and TV Guide, Nash has been getting ready. On Sunday,
he’ll become the man by beating the man (yes he acknowledges it’s a
Flair line).
Kanyon
tells Gene that Raven has been in therapy for years. Raven thinks
his mom was here last week to get fifteen minutes of fame like Judy
Bagwell and hits Kanyon for making fun of him. This brings in
Raven’s mom who finally convinces Scotty (Raven) to come home and get
some help.
Here’s
Bischoff to run his mouth. He says his usual stuff about Ric and
Flair’s family, but we cut to the back to see the Horsemen beating
down Scott Norton with a pipe. Flair heads to the ring and Bischoff
takes off. Ric says he’ll kill Bischoff if he gets his hands on him
tonight. The fans were WAY into this.
Video
on Page vs. Giant.
Wrath
vs. Lizmark Jr.
Wrath
shoves the luchador down to start and easily shoves him into the
corner for some knees to the ribs. Lizmark’s dropkick has no effect
as he gets caught in a side slam for two. A back elbow puts him on
the floor and Wrath follows him out to continue the beating. We hit
a chinlock for a few seconds before Wrath misses a charge into the
corner. Not that it matters as he comes back with a Rock Bottom and
the Meltdown for the pin.
Christmas
Nitro Girls.
Nitro
Party.
Rey
Mysterio Jr. vs. Eddie Guerrero
Eddie
rants a bit more about Rey screwing with the rest of the LWO. They
start fast with Rey monkey flipping Eddie into the ropes and
dropkicking him out to the floor. Rey tries a dive but flies into
the barricade to give Eddie control. Eddie whips him hard into the
steps before taking it back inside to yell at the fans. We hit the
Gory Stretch as Tenay tries to figure out why Eddie keeps Rey in the
LWO.
A
neckbreaker drops Rey again and Eddie puts on a modified Sharpshooter
while also pulling on Rey’s arm. Rey reverses a suplex to take Eddie
out to the floor but Eddie comes back with a top rope hurricanrana.
The crowd is almost dead here for some reason. We hit a camel clutch
with Eddie ripping a hole in Rey’s mask around the eye. The referee
makes him break so Eddie nails a great looking release German suplex.
Rey
comes back with a springboard headscissors to send Eddie to the floor
but a shot to the bad knee puts him right back down. Eddie wisely
goes to the knee and cranks on it with a basic hold. We hit an STF
from Eddie before taking a break. Back with Rey reversing an
inverted Gory Special into a cradle for two but Eddie reverses into
one of his own for the same.
The
brainbuster looks to set up the Frog Splash but Eddie has to roll
through when Rey gets to his feet. Mysterio avoids a charge in the
corner to make Eddie crotch himself against the steel. A big dive
sends Eddie into the barricade but he’s able to sidestep a
springboard missile dropkick back inside. They slug it out in the
corner with Rey taking over off a double leg Fameasser. A top rope
hurricanrana sends Eddie to the apron and a baseball slide into an
ankle scissors drags him to the floor.
The
announcers are actually talking about the Cruiserweight Title match
on Sunday if you can believe that. Back in and Eddie takes over with
a flapjack and a stiff powerbomb for two. A second attempt is
countered and another headscissors gets two on Guerrero. The referee
is knocked to the floor and here’s the bodyguard to the apron. Rey
avoids a dropkick to send the guard to the floor as well but here’s
Kidman on the apron. He loads up a forearm on Eddie but hits
Mysterio by mistake, giving Guerrero the pin.
Rating:
B. This is one of those
pairings that is going to work no matter what they’re doing together.
It even worked here here
where they slowed things down a bit due to Eddie wanting to hurt Rey
for all the problems Mysterio has caused and
Mysterio having to fight back with whatever leverage move he can. On
top of that we get some build for Sunday. Good stuff here.
Here’s
Scott Steiner to brag about being in the state of St. Louis,
Missouri. He’s here to recruit Mark McGwire to the NWO and brings
out….Bagwell dressed as McGwire. I think you can figure out this
one for yourselves. Bagwell says he loves the NWO, takes some andro
(a then legal substance that McGwire took in the year he broke the
single season home run record) and says he’d be nothing without it.
Steiner burns the Cardinals hat and jersey while insulting the city.
Total filler.
Norman
Smiley vs. Prince Iaukea
Oh….joy.
Iaukea goes right after Smiley to start and grabs a rollup for two.
Norman comes back with an elbow and it’s time to dance! The Prince
rakes his eye and hits Norman rather low before getting two off
something resembling an Angle Slam. Not that it matters as Norman
comes back with the crossface chicken wing for the fast submission.
Nothing much here.
Barry
Windham vs. Van Hammer
Windham
takes over with chops in the corner followed by a suplex but here’s
Flair before things go too far.
Ric
fires away chops of his own and knees Windham low to put him down.
Barry is thrown to the floor and into the barricade before another
low blow puts him down again. Ric goes after the eyes and hits
Windham low two more times. He fishhooks Barry’s mouth and hits him
in the head before taking it back inside. Flair loads up Shattered
Dreams but has to deal with Vincent. This brings out Arn Anderson to
help out and stomp Vincent to pieces. Benoit and Malenko stop Horace
and Adams and they all brawl to the back. Security mace and cuff
Benoit and Malenko but leave the NWO guys alone.
Back
in the arena Flair is all fired up and has a mic. He rants (would
you expect anything else?) about Bischoff trying to break his career
and life, but then one day Flair’s son Reid asked why Flair didn’t
just beat Bischoff up and wrestle again. This brings out Bischoff
who is acting apologetic, causing Anderson to almost have to hold
Flair back. Security stops Flair and handcuffs him, but Flair still
promises to kill Bischoff on Sunday. The heart attack stuff was
barely mentioned at all here.
Booker
T. vs. Jerry Flynn
I
don’t see this being very competitive. Booker nails a quick forearm
to start but eats a spin kick. Flynn hits a knee and elbow, only to
walk into the ax kick. That modified spinebuster sets up the
Spinarooni and the missile dropkick is enough to pin Jerry in less
than two minutes.
Lex
Luger vs. Kenny Kaos
Kaos
doesn’t have his title belt with him. Seriously, why put it on him
in the first place? Luger hiptosses him down to start but walks into
a hard slam and some posing from Kenny. Back up and Luger grabs a
slam of his own, only to be raked in the eyes. Kenny hammers away
with basic offense before a middle rope legdrop gets two. Tony
finally mentions that Kaos is half of the Tag Team Champions as Luger
makes his comeback with the usual stuff. Rage comes out and
distracts Rage, which makes absolutely no difference as Luger was
about to Rack him anyway for the submission.
Rating:
D. They don’t even remember to
bring the title belt out while the jobber champion is getting
squashed. There’s so much wrong with that statement that I don’t
even know where to start. For the life of me I do not understand the
thinking behind putting the title on Kaos. I could probably come up
with two dozen people that would make more sense and be a better
option than he was and somehow that’s not an exaggeration
High
Voltage argues post match. Again, why in the world did Kaos need to
be a Tag Team Champion?
TV
Title: Konnan vs. Alex Wright
Konnan
is defending so we get to see part of his rap video. Before the
match we’ve got Disco Inferno coming out and warning Konnan that
Wright is crazy. Konnan says get out of his face before being taken
down by Wright with an arm wringer. That goes nowhere so they trade
some rollups for two each, followed by armdrags from Konnan and a
break.
Back
with Wright in control and working on the leg. That goes nowhere so
Konnan is sent to the floor, only to come back in and throw Wright to
the floor. Back up and Konnan hits the rolling clothesline and the
low dropkick as the fans are really bored with the match. The X
Factor sets up the Tequila Sunrise to retain Konnan’s title.
Rating:
D-. This was just bad as the
two didn’t connect at all. Wright didn’t do any of the interesting
stuff he was capable of doing and Konnan was keeping it in cruise
control the entire match here. Also I don’ think the fans bought the
idea that the title was going to change this close to Starrcade.
Wright
snaps post match and pounds on various things with a chair ala Chris
Jericho right before he turned heel a year and a half or so back.
Speaking of which, here’s Jericho to blast Konnan in the back of the
head with the TV Title. He puts the belt on Konnan’s head for the
Lionsault and poses over top of him. “ARRIBA LOS JERICHOS!”
Here’s
Disco Inferno in a Wolfpack shirt to call out any member of the Black
and White. “Maybe Horace?” That’s not quite who he gets.
Disco
Inferno vs. Giant
Giant
no sells everything Disco tries to start and knocks him to the mat
with a big right hand. Disco keeps trying to fire away to even less
effect before Giant headbutts him down with ease. The Chartbuster is
thrown away and a chokeslam off the top gives Giant the easy pin.
Post
match Giant calls out Page, who will be a dead man at Starrcade.
Page is in the crowd, scum is discussed and that’s about it.
Goldberg
vs. Scott Hall
Non-title
of course. The entrances combine to take nearly four minutes so we
barely have any time left. A lockup goes nowhere so Hall grabs the
arm for the driving shoulders. Goldberg puts him down with a
fireman’s carry and a shove to put Hall on the mat. Nash comes out
to the ring as Goldberg counters a slam into a powerslam. Goldberg
is distracted by the shine of Nash’s hair, allowing Scott to jump in
from behind. The fall away slam has no effect and there’s the spear,
but Nash pulls Hall to the floor as Bigelow comes in to jump Goldberg
as the show goes off the air.
Overall
Rating:
D. What in the world
was that supposed to be? It wasn’t a go home show and it wasn’t a
regular episode of Nitro. Just what was this supposed to be? The
show ends with an attack by someone not even on the card on Sunday?
There are still four matches announced for Starrcade and one of them
should be a five minute squash.
There’s
no Thunder on Thursday due to Christmas Eve so this was their final
chance (save for Saturday Night) to get people to care. I have no
idea what this show accomplished, other than a very good Mysterio vs.
Guerrero match. Starrcade has the potential to be an absolute bomb
and I don’t expect much more at this point.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
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Thunder – December 17, 1998

Thunder
Date: December 17, 1998
Location: Independence
Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Lee
Marshall, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It hasn’t occurred to
me that there are only ten days until Starrcade and it doesn’t seem
like WCW knows either. There aren’t very many matches made for the
show yet and one of the only matches has its only wrestler sidelined
with a heart attack. It’s almost like this company isn’t thinking
for the future at all and is making this up as they go. Let’s get to
it.

We open with the
announcers talk about Flair’s heart attack on Nitro before going to a
clip of Scott Steiner offering Luger a spot in the Black and White.
Konnan vs. Kenny
Kaos
I
think this is non-title. Konnan comes out first for some reason. Oh
my goodness I had completely forgotten Kaos was half of the Tag Team
Champions at this point. Seriously, when was that last mentioned?
Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell storm the announcers’ desk and demand
to know why Luger vs. Hall is happening tonight. Steiner says he’s
here to keep an eye on Luger and to get Lex’s career back on track.
He’ll be helping Luger beat Hall tonight. The camera is staying on
the commentators for most of the match but as we cut back it’s Konnan
basically squashing Kaos. Kenny comes back with something we don’t
see and getting two off a middle rope legdrop. Konnan shrugs it off
and wins with the Sunrise.
Here’s Kaos’ regular
partner Rage with his arm still in a cast. He wants to know what’s
up with Kaos teaming with someone else but Kaos says he has to make a
living while Rage is out. None of this is on a microphone so the
fans chant about wanting Flair.
Ric Flair’s family
(minus Ric) arrives.
We see Flair having a
heart attack again with the audio screwing up.
Fit Finlay vs. Mike
Enos
Now the video is
messing up as well. Finlay hammers away with a series of strikes in
the corner, capped off by some European uppercuts. A splash gets two
and Fit nails a clothesline to set up a chinlock. We head to the
floor a bit so the beating can continue with Enos being sent into the
barricade and down onto the cement. Back inside and we hit the
sleeper on Enos before he fights out and nails a few clotheslines.
The fans are bored and I can’t say I disagree. A nice shoulder
breaker gets two for Mike and he follows it up with a nicer powerslam
but he stops to gloat and gets rolled up for a fast pin.
Rating:
D+.
The match wasn’t bad but it certainly wasn’t interesting. This is
the problem that comes with Thunder so often: these guys never do
anything of note so why would I care to watch a just ok wrestling
match between them? It’s one thing if you have Juvy and Kidman
having meaningless matches that amaze the fans but seeing two power
brawlers beat on each other for four minutes doesn’t cut it.
Enos beats Finlay down
post match.
Bischoff wishes Flair
the best in his recovery.
Here’s Hall in street
clothes with something to say. He’s ready for his match with Luger
tonight and knows Luger will bring his best because Luger is a world
class athlete. Hall is all alone with no friends or family and now
all he has is wrestling. He wants to be on top of the world and is
ready to go through Luger to get there.
Tony and pals announce
Kidman defending against Guerrera and Mysterio in a three way at
Starrcade. We get some clips showing Kidman defending against both
and dealing with the LWO.
Rey
Mysterio Jr. vs. Prince Iaukea
Before the match Eddie
Guerrero comes out and says Prince isn’t wrestling tonight. The LWO
surrounds Iaukea and the Prince is given a choice. He wisely walks
to the back instead of dealing with this horrible gimmick, allowing
Juventud Guerrera to replace him in the match.
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs.
Juventud Guerrera
Mysterio
scores with a quick shot as Juvy gets in before sending him to the
floor with a headscissors. Back in and both guys slip out of slams
before Juvy grabs the namesake Driver out of nowhere for two. A
tilt-a-whirl slam gets the same on Mysterio and they trade rollups
for two each. The announcers of course ignore the match to talk
about everything else. Juvy catches a charging Rey on his shoulder
and drops him down for Snake Eyes. Eddie is coming to the ring and
we take a break.
Back
with Juvy still in control but getting caught in a tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker from Mysterio for two. Mysterio misses a middle rope
splash and gets caught in something resembling a bulldog for two.
Juvy goes up for a dropkick but gets dropkicked out of the air in a
nice counter. Not that it matters as Juvy comes back with something
like a Liger Bomb. The distraction allows Eddie to sneak in with a
Frog Splash to give Juvy a cheap pin.
Rating:
C+.
That’s pretty much the baseline for these two but this wasn’t much
better than most of their stuff. The problem with the LWO angle is
it’s dominating the division but there’s nothing for them to fight
over as Mysterio is on the team as well, despite not wanting to be
there and causing Eddie a ton of issues.
Post match Iaukea comes
back out and tells the referee what happened. The referee buys it
for no apparent reason and Rey wins by DQ. Iaukea and Mysterio run
from the LWO before getting a bad beating.
Scott Steiner and Buff
Bagwell come in to see Lex Luger (man alive did WCW love
alliteration). They want to know what’s up with the main event
tonight and if he’s joining the Black and White but Konnan comes in
to say Lex is Wolfpack. Konnan leaves and we hear sounds of an
attack. Luger goes outside and sees Scott Hall. Lex yells at Hall
and checks on Konnan.
Shiima Nobunaga vs.
Disco Inferno
That’s
quite the random opponent. Disco comes out in a Wolfpack shirt and
howls before the match. They trade armbars to start until Shiima
hits a pair of dropkicks and cranks on an even better armbar. Disco
fights back with an atomic drop and clothesline to send Shiima out to
the floor. Shiima takes over with a Stunner across the top rope but
charges into an elbow to the jaw. The middle rope ax handle from
Disco sets up a chinlock before Shiima fights up and hits a quick
reverse powerbomb (as in Disco’s face hits the mat) for two. A top
rope cross body misses and Disco grabs the Chartbuster for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
What was the point of having Nobunaga in this one? I can’t imagine
this show had a huge audience and it’s not like there weren’t dozens
of guys that could have done this job just as well. The match wasn’t
bad but we’re at the point where Disco Inferno is winning squash
matches. That can’t be a good sign.
Remember the Flair
Family arriving earlier? Here it is again.
Jerry Flynn vs.
Norman Smiley
Great,
a Jerry Flynn match. Of course he starts by firing off kicks so
Norman grabs the leg to take over. Smart man that Smiley. The
spinning slam puts Flynn down but he comes back with a belly to back
suplex. Jerry tries a sunset flip but Norman stops to dance,
allowing Flynn to pull him down for two. More kicks have Norman in
trouble and Flynn puts on an ankle lock. A dropkick puts Jerry
outside and it’s BIG WIGGLE time! Back in and Jerry fires off more
kicks but gets caught in a sunset flip for another two count. Norman
escapes a slam and puts on the chicken wing for the win.
Rating:
D.
I like that someone talented like Smiley is getting a push, but I had
to sit through a Jerry Flynn match to get here. He’s another guy
whose consistent employment boggles my mind. He was just a step
above Glacier in ring work and had nothing interesting at all about
him, but he kept a job for years.
We see Bischoff wishing
Flair the best again. He promises to do the right thing.
Chris Jericho vs.
Perry Saturn
This should be more
entertaining. Jericho tries to get in a cheap shot in the corner and
gets slapped upside the head for his efforts. They hit the mat for
some technical stuff and Jericho gets one, meaning it’s time for an
overblown celebration. The fans think Jericho sucks and Saturn eggs
them on, so Jericho makes the referee cover his ears. Yep it’s
better than the previous two matches already.
They fight over control
again until Jericho gets tired of it and nails Saturn with a
clothesline. Another celebration allows Chris to pop up and
superkick him to the mat. The spinning legdrop gets two for Saturn
and a swinging neckbreaker does the same. Perry goes off on Jericho
in the corner but misses a charge, only to come back with a release
belly to belly suplex.
A top rope forearm
sends Jericho into the referee and you can smell Miller and Onoo from
here. Saturn hooks the Rings and here’s Miller to break them up. He
suplexes both Jericho and Miller but the numbers catch up to him,
allowing Ernest to kick him in the head. Jericho puts on the
Liontamer and the referee drops Saturn’s arm three times for the win.
Rating:
C.
The match was indeed more entertaining for multiple reasons, but the
biggest is that we’ve been given a reason to care about these two.
Rather than just having people who we occasionally see lose
elsewhere, these are two guys who have had success in the past and
it’s interesting to see them interact. Granted it was a way to push
Ernest Miller even more but you can’t win them all.
Side note: Jericho’s
eye got busted open off that forearm and there’s blood on the side of
his eye. It looks borderline terrifying.
Bischoff again. It’s
not the same promo but it’s the same idea.
The Flair Family is
brought out, Ric’s wife hugs Tony, and that’s it for them tonight.
So glad we spent so much time on this one.
Video on Nash vs.
Goldberg.
Scott Hall vs. Lex
Luger
Hall
comes out with no music as has been his custom lately. Disco comes
out to wish Luger luck but is ordered to the back. They fight over a
lockup to start with Luger easily shoving him down and flexing. Hall
grabs a headlock and here are Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell down the
aisle. Luger takes Hall down by the hair, much to Steiner’s
approval.
Bagwell
starts a Luger chant as Hall puts Luger down with a clothesline and
puts on the double arm crank. As in Hall is grabbing Luger’s wrists
and bending Luger’s arms behind his back. To really show the
stupidity of this show, Luger spins it around so that Hall’s arms are
behind his own back. Hall stays in the hold for several seconds
instead of LETTING GO OF LUGER’S WRISTS. A low blow gets two for
Hall but Lex comes back with right hands. There’s the forearm and
Luger calls for the Rack, drawing in Steiner and Bagwell to attack
Hall for the DQ.
Rating:
F.
For that arm thing alone. I can’t get over that. The match was
nothing of note.
Post match Konnan comes
out and says Steiner and Bagwell jumped him earlier. Wait, so he
didn’t tell Luger this earlier in the hallway? Luger had like 40
minutes to get ready for his match and NEVER ASKED? How stupid are
the people in this company?
Tony
calls out Reid and David Flair to close the show. He’s about to talk
to David but here’s Bischoff to interrupt. Eric says he doesn’t want
any trouble and is so sorry for what he’s put the family through. It
must have hurt David the most as the oldest son. Eric says David
wants to be a wrestler and apologizes that David’s dad had such a
weak heart. A shot to the back puts David down and sends Reid after
Eric’s leg. This brings out Brian Adams and Barry Windham to easily
hold Reid back and beat up David. Eric leaves and kisses Flair’s
livid wife before WOOing to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+.
There’s a lot to talk about here. First and foremost, I really
question the logic of having Flair taken off television this close to
Starrcade. With no Thunder next week (Christmas Eve), Monday is the
go home show for the biggest show of the year and the main attraction
of the second biggest match on the card isn’t on TV? Come to think
of it, the second biggest name wrestling at Starrcade on the show
tonight was Rey Mysterio. They’re doing a really lame job of setting
up Starrcade, especially with a main event that isn’t the hottest
thing in the world.
Second,
this is Thunder arguably at its worst. It’s not that it’s bad
wrestling as the matches certainly aren’t horrible and some of it is
actually good. The problem is that most of it isn’t interesting. Of
the matches tonight, three of them have people the fans would care
about. We’ve seen Rey vs. Juvy a bunch of times, Hall vs. Luger was
more of an angle than a match, and Jericho could have been any given
wrestler against Saturn as the match was there to further another
feud.
Finally,
and this is a mild spoiler (for a show that aired over fifteen years
ago so I think it’s ok): a lot of this stuff isn’t going to mean
anything at Starrcade. Luger, Hall and Steiner won’t be wrestling on
the show, making their entire story pretty worthless. You know who
will be wrestling on Starrcade? Jerry Flynn, Norman Smiley, Fit
Finlay and Prince Iaukea. The lack of common sense or logical
wrestling booking knowledge in this company continues to astound me.
That’s it for Thunder
this year as the next two weeks are Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Overall, Thunder in 1998 was…..pretty freaking dreadful most of
the time. There’s the occasional good match between the
cruiserweights, but more often than not it’s a totally worthless show
that adds almost nothing to WCW. Most of the guys on here are on
Thunder because they’re not important enough to get on Nitro most of
the time and their matches on Thunder aren’t much better. The show
just doesn’t need to exist and it’s not getting any better as time
goes on.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
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Monday Nitro – December 14, 1998

Monday
Nitro #167
Date: December 14, 1998
Location: Ice Palace,
Tampa, Florida
Attendance: 13,187
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyzsko, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re less than two
weeks from Starrcade and again you would think Bam Bam Bigelow was
involved in the title match and that Flair vs. Bischoff is the real
main event. To be fair though that’s a far more interesting story
than Nash trying to break the Streak. Other than that it’s time for
more NWO civil war and another three way with Nash, Bigelow and
Goldberg in the main event. Let’s get to it.

We get clips from the
fifteen second main event last week.
Nitro Girls.
Announcers intro.
Nitro Girls calendar
ad.
Scott Putski vs.
Raven
Before
the match, Raven rants about being in a place of pain and the sweet
smell of latex. He didn’t get an instruction manual for life and had
to rely on his mother’s charity. However, her reality checks were
all bouncing and she was never there for him. This brings out Kanyon
who tells Putski to leave because there’s not going to be a match
here. Kanyon says he’s sick of Raven getting all this airtime
without ever wrestling and everyone is sick of it.
Raven
says he had a miserable childhood but Kanyon has some history for us.
Raven went to an Ivy League school and has a degree in Pre-Med. He
had a $3.2 million trust fund and grew up in Palm Beach, Florida.
His parents had a Mercedes for him on his 16th
birthday. Raven says his mother didn’t love him and walks out as
Kanyon says Raven had it too easy. Kanyon asks where Raven is going
but Raven walks out.
Opening sequence.
Eddie Guerrero vs.
Villano V
Villano takes over to
start and takes Eddie down with a big armdrag and dropkick. Guerrero
bails to the floor but gets taken out by a suicide dive. Back in and
Eddie elbows him in the jaw to take over before planting him with a
suplex. The slingshot hilo (called a slam by Tony) connects and we
hit a seated abdominal stretch from Eddie.
Off to a leg lock
instead but Villano fights up and snaps off a powerslam. Villano
hooks a surfboard to the loudest reaction you’ll ever hear for a
Villano match. He goes up top but Eddie’s bodyguard crotches him
down, allowing Guerrero to hit a superplex and the Frog Splash
for….two, as Eddie pulls him up. Instead Eddie calls out the LWO
and the bell rings as they come down the aisle. No contest for some
reason I guess.
Rating:
D+.
I’m wondering why the surfboard got such a big reaction as you would
think Villano got a fluke pin. The string of no contests or DQ
finishes or whatever this was is getting annoying as you used to be
almost guaranteed clean finishes in cruiserweight matches. The match
wasn’t much but Villano was game at least.
Post match Villano
joins the LWO as Rey shakes his head.
Nitro Party stuff.
Al Green vs. Wrath
Wrath powers him into
the corner to start and hammers away until he misses a charge. Al’s
offense has about as much effect as you would expect so Wrath knees
him to the floor. A hard whip into the barricade has Green in even
more trouble before Wrath throws him back inside for a good looking
top rope clothesline. Wrath fires off a bunch of elbows to the face,
knocks him down again with a shoulder and nails the Meltdown for the
pin.
Rating:
D+.
Still not a good match as neither guy is capable of going more than a
few minutes but the fans are still into the Meltdown. I’m sure
that’s why Wrath has now been doing the same thing over and over
again with his only push towards the top of the roster resulting in
Nash easily beating him. But hey, Nash got another push to a match
that isn’t thrilling most of the fans and that’s what counts right?
Recap of Bischoff vs.
Flair.
Here’s
Bischoff to talk about how awesome he is at karate and how his right
hand hits hard but the left hand even scares him. I’ve heard some
MMA guy say that somewhere before but I can’t remember where. This
brings out Flair at a charge but Bischoff bails to the floor.
Bischoff tries to sprint up the ramp and gets away around the
announcers’ desk as Flair walks back to the ring.
Ric takes some signs
from the fans that talk about the Horsemen before dropping elbows and
knees on the mat. He rants about how important wrestling is in Tampa
and how how awesome Eddie Graham was. After some more insults, Flair
does the Flair Flip in the corner, rants some more and then falls
down, holding his left arm. Oh I forgot about this episode.
Arn
Anderson and a trainer come out with Dusty Rhodes and I believe David
Crockett of all people to check on Flair. Eventually a stretcher
comes out and he’s taken out as the announcers go into their serious
voices. Flair is taken out on the stretcher and the announcers think
it’s an arm or shoulder injury. As you may have guessed given that
this is being written about a month after Ultimate Warrior’s final
appearance on Raw, it wasn’t a shoulder injury.
Bam Bam Bigelow walks
past the ambulance and runs into Scott Hall. Scott laughs at him for
no apparent reason and gets beaten up. Nash comes in and Bigelow
wants to fight him too. Here’s Goldberg to make it a three way fight
but Terry Taylor comes in and makes a real three way match for
tonight. Like last week right?
Gene
wants to talk to Kidman. Now Kidman wants to talk to Mysterio. Rey
comes out and takes off the LWO shirt, which is enough for Kidman to
give him a Cruiserweight Title match RIGHT NOW. Mysterio of course
accepts and promises no LWO interference.
Cruiserweight Title:
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Kidman
Feeling out process to
start with Mysterio taking over off an armdrag. Rey goes up top but
Kidman is right there with him, resulting in Kidman getting crotched
on the buckle. Mysterio’s spinebuster is countered into the top rope
Sky High and both guys are down. Back up and Rey scores with a
hurricanrana to send Kidman outside, followed by a cross body from
the apron to send both guys into the crowd.
Back
in and Kidman scores with a dropkick to knock Mysterio out of the
air. They head up again with Mysterio winning again and scoring a
bulldog from the top turnbuckle. The Bronco Buster sets up a split
legged moonsault but Kidman avoids a swanton. We get an update on
Flair, saying he has chest pains and shortness of breath. A dropkick
puts Mysterio on the floor and Kidman hits a nice dive, followed by a
slingshot legdrop back inside. Not that it matters as the LWO runs
in for the DQ.
Rating:
C+.
Remember what I said about the cruiserweights getting interfered with
too often? It’s really getting annoying as it’s happening nearly
every week now with fewer and fewer matches getting to go to a
finish. That was one of the few things you could count on from WCW
and now we don’t even get that.
We see the triple
threat match being set up again.
Here are Jericho and
Ralphus with a white board. Jericho says he wants to reenact his
match against Konnan so here’s a very skinny guy in Konnan gear.
Using the board, Jericho illustrates Konnan hitting him with brass
knuckles, a chair and a shovel. After all that, Jericho’s shoulders
were counted down while he was in the ropes. Jericho claims to be
too legit to quit and beats up the Konnan imposter. It’s much
funnier than it sounds due to Jericho making jokes.
Nitro Girls, during
which Tony talks about Flair having a heart attack.
Emory Hale vs. Barry
Windham
Hale hammers away to
start but misses a charge, allowing Barry to take over with a belly
to back suplex. They head outside with Windham still in full control
and slamming Hale down before dropping an elbow. Back in and Barry
nails a big boot followed by a bulldog and the superplex for the easy
pin. Squash.
Perry Saturn vs.
Norman Smiley
They fight over a top
wristlock to start until Saturn grabs a rollup for two. An armdrag
puts Saturn down but he comes back with another rollup. Smiley gets
tired of these near falls and runs Saturn over with a clothesline
followed by some chops against the ropes. Saturn gets all ticked off
and hammers away until the referee tries to pull him off. Saturn, in
a disturbingly calm voice: “Please keep your hands off of me.”
He calls for the Death
Valley Driver but Norman bails to the outside. Back in and the
swinging slam sets up the Big Wiggle as Sonny Onoo and Ernest Miller
are here. The referee goes down as well but Miller gets up and
superkicks Saturn down. Scott Dickinson comes in as a replacement
and can see all of it, he counts three as fast as he can in
retaliation for Saturn attacking him last week.
Rating:
C-.
Not a bad match here but the Miller vs. Saturn stuff was old when it
started. These are guys that could have a good match if they have
the time and a better finish, but instead we get to have a crooked
referee dragged into the feud to make it even worse. I’d love to
know who thinks this is a good use of TV time.
Here’s Bret Hart with
something to say. Gene asks him about Flair’s condition but Hart
starts talking about all the people he’s injured recently. Despite
being injured, he’s willing to defend the US Title against Page
tonight. This brings out DDP and of course the Giant pops up behind
him to blast Page with a chair. Giant throws him through the back of
the set and chokeslams DDP off the stage in a huge crash.
TV Title: Konnan vs.
Stevie Ray
Konnan
is defending and has Florida Marlin and a Tampa Bay Buccaneer with
him. After the catchphrases from the champion, Stevie Ray calls out
to someone from the back. This brings out Booker T. who is told to
watch Stevie’s back. Stevie takes over to start but misses a charge
into the corner, allowing Konnan to hammer away.
The rolling clothesline
and seated clothesline send Ray out to the floor where he yells at
baseball superstar Wade Boggs. Back in and Stevie pounds him down to
set up the Slapjack but gets sent into the corner. Stevie blasts
Konnan in the head and loads up the slapjack (weapon) but Booker
shouts at him. The distraction lets Konnan hit a quick X Factor to
retain the title.
George
Steinbrenner is here.
Here’s a shaken looking
Bischoff to say how tonight was something real that happens in
wrestling. Bischoff says he’s sorry to Flair’s friends and family
and hopes Flair is back soon. No swerve, no punchline, just a
commercial.
Booker T. comes out
with something to say. After wishing Flair the best, he says he
doesn’t know what’s going on with Stevie Ray. This brings out his
brother, who takes credit for every bit of success that Booker and
Harlem Heat has ever had. It was Booker that made Stevie join the
NWO and there’s a place for him there. Stevie hands Booker a shirt
and leaves. Booker isn’t sure what to do.
A woman in nice clothes
is here to look for her son Scott. Since that gives her about 19
options on the roster, she clarifies that he goes by Raven. Kanyon
comes out and says he’ll take her to Raven for $50. That goes
nowhere so Kanyon takes her to find Raven.
Scott Hall vs.
Horace
The
toothpick to the face earns Hall a slap but he calmly grabs the arm
and starts in with his driving shoulders. A clothesline has little
effect on Hall as he comes back with a quick chokeslam, only to be
thrown out to the floor. Back in and Horace hits a string of basic
power moves, such as a clothesline, powerslam and splash for two.
A Hogan legdrop sets up
a sleeper but Hall quickly hits a belly to back to escape. As you
would expect, the announcers spend most of the match talking about
Flair. Hall hammers away with his usual stuff and loads up the Edge,
but, say it with me, the NWO runs in for the DQ. Were you really
expecting anything else?
Rating:
D.
My kingdom for a finish in more than two matches. Do I even need to
talk about this any more? It’s Horace vs. Hall in a match that means
absolutely nothing because the NWO war is going on and on with Hall
not even being on a side at this point. That’s what so much of this
year has been: WCW spinning its wheels and nothing important
happening at all because no one has to job.
The NWO beats Hall down
until DISCO FREAKING INFERNO runs in for a save. It goes as well as
you would expect with Norton destroying him with a powerbomb.
Scott Steiner vs.
Van Hammer
Hammer goes after Buff
for no apparent reason and gets jumped from behind. Steiner
annihilates Hammer and beats him in less than ninety seconds with the
Recliner.
Steiner puts his
sunglasses back on and calls out an elite athlete, which translates
to Lex Luger. Steiner points out all of the times the Wolfpack
hasn’t been there for Luger, including Nash eliminating him from
World War 3. He offers Lex a Black and White shirt and Luger doesn’t
seem to hate the idea. Lex leaves without saying anything though.
Goldberg vs. Kevin
Nash vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Non-title
of course. The referee just lets them fight as Nash steps into the
corner. Goldberg runs Bigelow over and superkicks him down but Nash
is right there for a save. Goldberg gets double teamed in the corner
and can’t fight out of it this time. That doesn’t last long though
as a double clothesline drops Nash and Bigelow with ease.
Nash takes both guys
down with clotheslines and gets one on Goldberg. A side slam gets
two on the champ but now it’s Bigelow dropping a headbutt on Goldberg
for two. Bill fights back with a suplex and spear to Bigelow but
Nash breaks up the Jackhammer. Goldberg spears Nash down and kicks
Bam Bam to the mat as well but here’s Scott Hall for the DQ.
Rating:
D+.
The match wasn’t horrible but it was just there. It didn’t have
anything interesting, it wasn’t particularly hard hitting and the
match doesn’t change anything. You knew Goldberg or Nash wasn’t
doing the job, so of course the answer was just to have someone run
in for a DQ/no contest because that’s only happened FOUR TIMES
TONIGHT.
Nash and Goldberg brawl
to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D.
This was the worst kind of show you can have: a dull one that changes
nothing and doesn’t set up anything for Starrcade. The interesting
thing is they’re acting like the Starrcade card is set, but there are
only three matches announced for the show with one of the being Flair
vs. Bischoff. While it’s a selling point, it’s not a very strong one
and the show doesn’t feel like it’s soon at all. But hey, at least
we got more Miller vs. Saturn stuff.
Then
there’s the Flair story. I understand what they’re trying to do and
that they’re doing it to give Bischoff a chance in the match, but
that brings about the bigger problem: Bischoff shouldn’t have a
chance. The match should be a total and complete destruction of
Bischoff, lasting about 7 minutes and ending with Flair breaking
Eric’s leg in the Figure Four. Instead, WCW is trying to make this a
story that no one is interested in, presumably so that Bischoff
doesn’t get killed. Because WCW of course.
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Thunder – December 10, 1998

Thunder
Date: December 10, 1998
Location: Mid-South
Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Lee
Marshall, Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s a taped show
because I must have done something horrible in a past life to earn
this punishment. We’re getting closer to Starrcade but most of that
won’t mean anything here as they can’t let anything significant
happen on a taped show. There is actually an announced match though
as Rey Mysterio will face Juventud Guerrera for a shot at the
Cruiserweight Title at Starrcade 1998. Let’s get to it.

The announcers talk
about how awesome the Mysterio vs. Guerrera match will be. We also
get Black and White vs. Black and Red tonight! Be still my beating
heart.
Chris Jericho vs.
Bobby Duncum Jr.
Bobby
runs him over to start as the announcers talk about Ralphus more than
for the rest of his career combined. A chinlock has Duncum in
control as we take a way too early commercial. Back with Jericho
getting his head taken off by a hard clothesline out of the corner
but he catches Bobby with a drop toehold to send him throat first
into the ropes.
Now it’s Jericho with a
double arm crank but Bobby turns it around, only to have Jericho flip
forward and kick Duncum in the chest in the process. Nice counter.
Off to a backbreaker from Jericho as he bends the Texan over his knee
in a rare power display. The Lionsault misses and Bobby scores with
a hard slam for two. Instead Jericho grabs a rollup and puts his
feet on the ropes for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Much like most feuds that go on for too long, we’ve seen all of this
before and I had no desire to watch it again. Duncum could have been
something interesting if used better, but having him fight Jericho
over and over wasn’t going to get him there. Jericho was going to
steal the spotlight from anyone he worked with through sheer talent
and that’s what’s happening here.
Post match here’s
Konnan to tell the referee what happened so the match restarts.
Jericho tries a rollup but Konnan hits him in the head with the belt
to give Duncum the pin.
Video on Bischoff vs.
Flair.
Glacier vs. Saturn
The ice dude takes over
with a quick kick to the ribs but won’t follow up, which is enough to
make Heenan stop talking about Goldberg for a second to complain
about Glacier. They hit the mat for a decent wrestling sequence
before Saturn goes after the leg with a few holds. Can’t blame him
for bad psychology at least. Back up and Saturn fires off chops in
the corner and Glacier heads to the floor, only to be sent hard into
the barricade.
Back in and Sonny Onoo
is here in a neck brace to help Glacier because what would WCW be
without him. Glacier takes over with a suplex and elbow to the jaw
for two before totally missing a kick to the face. Saturn sells it
anyway and we hit the chinlock. Saturn fights up and hits a nice
t-bone followed by a middle rope knee for another near fall as Onoo
is freaking out in a bad stereotype. They trade standing switches
into the Rings of Saturn, drawing in Sonny for the DQ.
Rating:
D+.
The match was acceptable but good night can we please have Sonny sent
ANYWHERE else? He’s been doing the same schtick for like three years
now and is just annoying. I can see why he sued WCW over his
character as well given how it’s as stereotypical of a Japanese
tourist as you can get.
Post match Saturn beats
up Onoo while avoiding an attack from Glacier. He suplexes Ice Boy
to the floor and stands….not very tall actually.
Kaz Hayashi vs.
Norman Smiley
Norman
stalls to start before easily taking Hayashi to the mat with a
headlock, meaning it’s DANCE TIME. Back up and Hayashi punches
Norman in the face and takes him down with a headscissors. Kaz’s
offense is short lived though as Smiley launches him into the air and
lets Kaz crash down to the mat. A bunch of stomps in the corner set
up the spinning slam followed by a butterfly suplex for two.
Smiley is acting far
more heelish than I remember him doing recently, including stopping
to yell at some fans. Kaz gets caught in a belly to back suplex
followed by a surfboard before Norman sends him to the floor.
Instead of following up though, it’s time for more dancing. Back in
and Hayashi scores with a kick in the corner followed by a nice dive
from the top. They trade some rollups but Smiley grabs the crossface
chicken wing for the submission.
Rating:
D+.
Norman is another guy that could have been something interesting for
the TV Title but too bad because there’s no way it’s getting out of
the NWO anytime soon. Hayashi was a good enough guy in the ring but
there were too many people who could do what he did much better than
he could.
We
see part of the main event on Nitro which was barely a match in the
first place.
Here are Ernest Miller
and Sonny Onoo with something to say. Miller brags about how awesome
he is at karate and challenges any fan to come try him. Sonny is
annoyed at him for not being there when Saturn attacked him on
Monday. They tease fighting before Miller goes to the back to get
Saturn. Just let them fight already so Saturn can move on to
anything else.
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs.
Juventud Guerrera
They
lock up to start until both guys hit the mat for a bit. The feeling
out continues as Juvy takes Rey down with a shoulder block before
scoring with a Rocker Dropper. Rey is taken into the corner for some
chops and whipped into the ropes, only to come back with a
headscissors for his first advantage. Juvy bails to the floor and we
take an early commercial break.
Back
with Rey hitting a splash in the corner and stomping away before
hitting the Bronco Buster. Mysterio hammers away in the corner but
Juvy comes out with a sweet Liger Bomb out of the corner. This
brings out Eddie and the LWO to surround the ring as you can feel the
screwy ending coming from here. Rey kicks himout of the air and
nails a nice springboard moonsault for two, only to get caught by a
quick cross body. A dropkick to the knee puts Juvy back down and a
guillotine legdrop gets two more for Mysterio.
Back
up again and Juvy avoids a charge into the corner and drapes Rey over
the top rope. Mysterio shrugs it off and runs into a boot in the
corner to put him right back down. A bulldog gets two more for
Guerrera but Rey catches him coming off the ropes, only to get caught
in the Juvy Driver. The 450 takes too much time being set up though
and Rey crotches Juvy to set up the hurricanrana, only to have the
LWO run in for the REALLY annoying DQ.
Rating:
B-.
They were starting to rock out there until the LWO had to do their
thing. Mysterio and Guerrera are two of the best in the company at
this point and I’d love to see either of them against Kidman, but
having to put up with the LWO is getting really tiresome. At least
we got a solid match before the run in though.
Kidman runs out to save
Rey from the beatdown.
We see Giant talking
trash about DDP from Nitro.
Lodi vs. Booker T.
Booker destroys Lodi
like the comedy jobber he is to start before hitting the forearm and
ax kick. Here’s Stevie Ray for no apparent reason though to ask
Booker what he’s doing. Lodi tries to remember what planet he’s on
until Stevie blasts him with the slap jack to give Lodi the DQ win.
Kanyon vs. Chris
Benoit
Kanyon does his schtick
before the match and thinks the fans say everyone is better than him
to make him mad. Speaking of being mad, Kanyon is mad at Raven
because the depression is starting to bring Kanyon down as well.
“What about me? What about Kanyon?” The fans still don’t seem
to care.
The match starts with
Kanyon grabbing a quick armdrag and celebrating like he just broke
Goldberg’s streak. Benoit takes him down by the arm with ease and
grabs a headlock. Kanyon reverses into a neckbreaker but gets caught
in the Rolling Germans. He’s able to break it after the first suplex
though, only to have his chest knocked off by a chop. Benoit hammers
away in the corner before taking Kanyon up for a nice superplex. The
overwhelmed Kanyon rolls to the floor but Benoit follows him out for
even more chopping.
Back in and Benoit
stays all over Kanyon with an elbow to the jaw and some hard whips
across the ring. That stiff clothesline drops Kanyon again but
Benoit misses a charge into the corner. A Russian legsweep puts him
on the mat and Kanyon hits a sweet slingshot elbow for a two count.
Benoit fights back in the corner and stomps the heck out of Kanyon,
followed by a backbreaker for two. The fans actually chant boring at
this for some reason.
Kanyon comes back with
a rake to the eyes and a middle rope Fameasser followed by a
chinlock. The fans chant boring again despite these two beating the
tar out of each other for the last seven minutes. I think they’ve
earned a breather. A fireman’s carry pancake gets a close two on
Benoit. It’s so close that Kanyon loads up another, only to have
Chris counter into a rollup for two. The Swan Dive is broken up but
here’s Raven with a can of paint to knock Benoit silly for the DQ.
Rating:
B-.
Egads did Russo start booking already or something? These DQ’s are
getting really annoying when you have solid matches going before
them. The match was solid for the most part though with Benoit being
all intense as only he can. Kanyon’s offense was stuff we’ve seen
before but it’s so different from anyone else’s that it’s still very
entertaining.
Kanyon yells at Raven
and gets Crossfaced for his efforts.
Vincent/Horace/Stevie
Ray vs. Konnan/Lex Luger
We’re
ready to go after a bunch of catchphrases and a commercial. I guess
Nash was too busy to make the match. Luger locks up with Stevie to
start as Konnan plays cheerleader. A shoulder puts Stevie down and
there’s the big muscle pose from Luger. Stevie gets him into the NWO
corner where all three are knocked around with right hands and
forearms. Konnan is fine with letting his partner fight them all
off. Vincent of all people finally gets in a cheap shot to slow
Luger down and Horace takes over.
Horace
hammers away but misses a legdrop, allowing for the lukewarm tag off
to Konnan. House is cleaned for a bit until Horace knees Konnan in
the ribs, allowing for a tag off to Stevie. The Black and White
double teams Konnan and gets to make it a triple team when Luger
tries to come in. Vincent gets in some ring time for a change with
the generic offense you would expect from a bodyguard. Back to
Horace who gets two off a splash with Luger making the save.
Stevie
comes in again and chokes a lot before throwing Konnan to the floor.
Vincent gets in a few more shots and Luger yells at the referee about
it, allowing Horace to help with the assault. Back in and Horace
nails a suplex to set up a chinlock for a few seconds before a double
clothesline puts both guys down. A double tag brings in Luger and
Stevie with Luger taking over via the usual. The Rack to Stevie is
broken up by a Vincent jawbreaker but here’s Scott Hall to break up a
slap jack attempt. He knocks Stevie into Luger who puts on the Rack
for the submission.
Rating:
D+.
Just a boring handicap match here but they followed all of the usual
formulas. At the end of the day though, it’s Vincent, Horace and
Stevie Ray on one team which isn’t exactly a team I can get behind.
Hall coming in fuels his feud against the Black and White but it’s
still not the most interesting story in the world. Konnan and Luger
were their usual selves here.
Overall
Rating:
B-.
This was the best Thunder in a long time even though it had some very
frustrating problems. First and foremost, we had two solid matches
and far less time being wasted as a result. The DQ’s got very
annoying but it’s something you have to get used to in WCW. This was
a very nice surprise and an easy two hours to sit through instead of
the usual drek.

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Monday Nitro – December 7, 1998

Monday
Nitro #166
Date:
December 7, 1998
Location:
Astrodome, Houston, Texas
Attendance:
32,067
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
less than three weeks away from Starrcade and Nash vs. Goldberg
hasn’t really started to heat up yet. If I didn’t know better I
would think Goldberg would be squashing Bam Bam Bigelow at the PPV
based on what we’ve seen in recent weeks. Other than that we’re
getting ready for Flair vs. Bischoff which I’m sure will be a
classic. Let’s get to it.

Goldberg
vs. Bigelow in a non-title match tonight. The guy isn’t signed but
he can wrestle in a match against the champion?
We
look at a clip from earlier today of Scott Steiner attacking the
Wildcat mascot due to reasons of insanity.
The
Hogan retirement video from last week airs again to shot him beating
up Ric Flair.
Nitro
Girls.
Scott
Steiner comes out to say the only things that come out of Texas are
steers and something censored that rhymes with steers. He demands
that we give Hogan a standing ovation before demanding another match
with Scott Hall tonight.
Nitro
Party winner.
Nitro
Girls.
Kendall
Windham vs. Diamond Dallas Page
We’re
nearly half an hour into this show counting commercials at this
point. Page gets slammed down to start but trips Kendall to the mat
just as easily. A swinging neckbreaker does the same but Windham
comes back with a low blow. Not that it matters as Page comes back
with punches and a big clothesline followed by the Diamond Cutter for
the pin. This wasn’t much but the fans are awake now.
Profile
on a Nitro Girl.
Goldberg
vs. Bigelow package.
Norman
Smiley vs. Prince Iaukea
The
dancing non-Islander takes over to start with a slap to the face and
a nice shoulder block followed by that spinning slam of his. A
delayed double underhook suplex gets two on the Prince and it’s time
for more dancing. Iaukea’s kick to the ribs is caught but Smiley
stops to dance some more, allowing Prince to kick him in the face. A
Samoan drop and top rope splash get two for Prince but Norman calmly
puts on a cross face chicken wing for the submission. This was a
fairly packed match for under three minutes.
We
see the interview from Thunder where Mysterio vs. Guerrera was
announced for next week’s Thunder for a future shot at the
Cruiserweight Title. Eddie Guerrero comes out to and says Silver
King will deal with the selfish Mysterio tonight.
Silver
King vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Rey
takes him down with a headscissors to start and they trade what would
evolve into the 619. They wind up on the apron and Rey snaps off a
hurricanrana to send him to the floor. Back in and King counters the
sitout bulldog before hitting what would become the Eye of the Storm
for two. Rey sends him into the corner before going up himself and
TOTALLY botching a hurricanrana. It wound up looking more like a
spinebuster from Silver King than anything else. Mysterio sends him
to the floor and hits a great looking flip dive to make up for it
before a top rope bulldog is enough for the pin.
Rating:
C-. This was Mysterio bouncing
around the ring for about four minutes which is all you need most of
the time. The botch in the middle really hurt it though as there was
no way to cover up something like that. Thankfully they went home
almost immediately after that so it wasn’t a crippling spot in the
middle of the match.
Hour
#2.
Goldberg
and the championship committee arrive but Nash comes up to meet them.
Nash says the match against Bigelow isn’t happening tonight because
Goldberg isn’t supposed to fight before Starrcade. Goldberg says he
dreams of taking Nash apart.
Wrath
vs. Renegade
Renegade
comes out to what would have been Marvelous Marc Mero’s music around
this time. Must be public domain. Wrath takes him into the corner
for some knees to the ribs as the announcers talk about Goldberg vs.
Bigelow. A side slam puts Renegade down but he comes back with some
kicks to the ribs. Wrath easily shrugs them off and drives in some
elbows. Renegade’s handspring elbow is just shoved away and a
clothesline to the back of his head leads to the Meltdown for the
pin.
Rating:
D. I hate to say it, but it’s
over for Wrath. Yeah the Meltdown still looks cool, but it was clear
that there was nothing more for him after he got beat in his one time
moving up the ladder. Just a few weeks ago the announcers were
making him out to be the hottest thing in the world and now he’s
squashing jobbers again. This is Renegade’s final appearance with
the company. How in the world did he survive this long?
Roger
Clemens of baseball fame is here.
Chavo
Guerrero Jr./Disco Inferno vs. Horace/Stevie Ray
Before
the match, Disco asks Konnan com come out for a surprise. Apparently
Kevin Nash has approved Disco as the newest member of the Wolfpack.
Konnan just rolls his eyes and walks away so the squash can begin.
Horace pounds on Chavo to start with the usual power brawling style
of his, only to walk into a dropkick followed by a rope climbing
bulldog for two. Disco and Stevie come in with Ray easily winning a
slugout, only to walk into a swinging neckbreaker.
Disco
gets two off a top rope ax handle but is easily thrown outside for a
beating from Horace. The announcers at least changes things up a bit
here by talking about Hogan’s retirement. Horace comes in legally
and misses an elbow drop, allowing
Chavo to come in and clean house. The tornado DDT gets two on Horace
as everything breaks down. A spike piledriver catches Chavo out of
nowhere and Stevie gets an easy pin.
Rating:
D. Nothing match here for the
most part and I’m not seeing a reason why Chavo and Disco were paired
together. Disco wanting to join the Red and Black simply can’t end
well but that’s the case for a lot of stuff involving the NWO. It’s
also not a good sign that the yet to be christened B-Team is now
getting squashes on Nitro.
Nash
comes out and says that tonight it’s a three way between him,
Goldberg and Bigelow.
Nitro
Girls again.
Glacier
vs. Saturn
This
is supposed to be Miller vs. Saturn but he’s claiming an ankle
injury. Glacier hits a quick Kryonic Kick to start and stomps away
in the corner instead of covering. Another kick stops a Saturn
comeback and a tilt-a-whirl slam sets up even more kicks. Aside from
all the other reasons, it’s becoming clear why Glacier never went
anywhere. Glacier tries to spice things up a bit with a legdrop but
misses an ax handle.
Saturn
grabs a quick atomic drop followed by a cross body. He hits his VERY
high top rope elbow drop but Sonny Onoo distracts the referee because
someone has to try and make this horrible angle interesting. The
fact that Sonny is one of the reasons it’s awful doesn’t make things
much better though. Anyway, Miller hits Glacier by mistake and of
course the referee sees that because Saturn needs to lose to another
horrible guy.
Rating:
F. I think that’s my official
rating for every time Saturn jobs to some waste like Glacier or
Miller.
Saturn
beats up Glacier and the referee.
Lex
Luger vs. Emery Hale
Hale
is a big muscular guy that ran around WCW forever but never got over
due to not being very talented. They
circle each other for awhile to start with no one going anywhere off
a shoulder. A harder shoulder puts Hale down and he heads outside to
yell at some fans. Back in and Hale takes over with a hard lariat
and a big legdrop gets two. Hale pounds on Luger’s back for no
effect but a suplex puts Lex on the mat. Hale misses a good looking
top rope splash and it’s the forearm into the Rack to give Luger the
submission.
Rating:
D. Hale had a very good look
and could have been a solid midcard monster with some more seasoning
and a gimmick. The match was nothing terrible but it’s hard to get
excited about Luger doing the same match we’ve seen him do with far
more talented people. Not much to see here but Hale didn’t embarrass
himself.
Ad
for Starrcade.
Chris
Jericho vs. Bobby Duncum Jr.
Here’s
a match we’ve seen far too many times now. Before the match Jericho
makes fun of cowboys, causing Duncum to jump him from behind to
start. A hard shoulder and clothesline put Jericho down as Bobby is
all ticked off about the cowboy stuff. For the life of me I will
never understand so many grown men being obsessed with looking and
acting like cowboys.
Anyway
Jericho comes back with a quick belly to back but is thrown to the
floor for his efforts. After a whip into the barricade, Duncum
throws Jericho back inside but gets his throat snapped across the top
rope. The missile dropkick has little effect as Bobby nails a
bulldog and another lariat (as all good cowboys should do). Jericho
crotches him on the top and scores with a superplex before grabbing a
rollup and the rope for a cheating pin.
Rating:
D+. Did I mention I’m not a fan
of the generic cowboy characters? Jericho is another talent being
wasted in meaningless feuds like this one after dropping the title to
Konnan so it can be used in the endless NWO war. Nothing to see here
for the most part, even though Duncum is another big guy with a good
look that could be something in a better gimmick.
Hour
#3 begins.
Giant
vs. Scott Putski
Chokeslam,
pin.
Post
match Giant challenges Page for Starrcade because Page’s fans are all
rednecks.
Konnan
wants a piece of the NWO Referee.
Chris
Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Kanyon/Raven
And
there’s no heel team as Kanyon is looking for Raven in the back.
Raven refuses to go wrestle because Kanyon is a geek. Kanyon points
out that Raven has driven away everyone that has tried to help him,
including Piper, and blames his recent losing streak on Raven. In
the arena, Kanyon refuses to wrestle because he has no partner. For
some reason he pushes Arn Anderson and has to run away from a
crowbar. Benoit dropkicks him to the floor and Kanyon runs off with
no match.
Video
on Bischoff/Flair.
After
a break the Horsemen are still in the ring and here’s their leader.
Ric tells Bischoff to get off his girlfriend and listen to what he
has to say. He says the
dictatorship is about to end and rants about the history of Texas
wrestling while dropping his usual names. Flair is going to choke
Bischoff and rip his throat out at Starrcade. He’s looking redder
than usual here and runs around the ring looking for something to
chop. At Starrcade, Flair promises to chop Bischoff until he says he
respects Flair before taking his job, his girlfriend and his dignity.
Totally insane Flair here but it worked for the most part.
Konnan
video.
TV
Title: Konnan vs. Booker T.
They
shove each other to start with Booker taking over via some forearms
and kicks. Konnan comes back with a rolling clothesline and dropkick
of his own before they head outside. Back in and Konnan scores with
a bulldog but gets caught by an ax kick. Stevie Ray comes strolling
down as Booker dances to his feet. The side kick connects but Stevie
comes in and jumps Konnan for the DQ.
Booker
yells at Stevie post match but Stevie says Booker should be going
after Konnan.
Scott
Steiner vs. Scott Hall
There’s
no referee and Steiner blames Hall for him missing. Hall hammers on
Steiner and we see the NWO Referee wrapped up in tape (Konnan
threatened to do that earlier). Mickie Jay runs
down, shoves the NWO Referee down, and
comes in to count two off Hall’s fall away slam. Steiner
yells at the referee and Hall gets two off a rollup as the NWO runs
in to end the match.
Luger
and Konnan run in but Giant comes in to take them out. Page hits the
ring and nails Giant with a chair to get rid of the NWO. Well the
Black and White that is. In
an amusing visual, the NWO Referee is still down at the entrance.
Bret
Hart comes out and says Page is a coward. He’s proven himself and
that’s about it. Gene says people should go see Wrestling with
Shadows.
Goldberg
vs. Kevin Nash vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Bigelow
comes out with no music. Nash hits the ring to go after him before
Goldberg arrives. Here comes the champ and the brawl is on. All
three guys slug it out until security comes out to break it up as the
fans pelt the ring with garbage to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D-. This was one of the
worst Nitros in a long time as almost nothing happened. We’ve got
two episodes before Starrcade and Bigelow is still deeply involved in
the main event scene. There are some matches set for the card, but
the TV Title, US Title and Tag Team Titles aren’t being mentioned,
guys like Luger, Jericho, Saturn, the Horsemen and Raven/Kanyon have
no matches yet, and the main story has a third guy added who probably
won’t be on the PPV either. Sadly enough, this is going to be their
last coherent PPV for a very long time.

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Thunder – December 3, 1998

Thunder
Date:
December 3, 1998
Location:
Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the last month of 1998 and things are starting to pick up for
Starrcade. The main story coming out of Nitro is kind of hard to pin
down. Hall seems to be going to war against the NWO while Goldberg
vs. Nash is just kind of happening in the background despite being
allegedly the biggest match of the year. Let’s get to it.

Tony
recaps some of the NWO stuff from Nitro and calls Dusty a great man
for swerving Bischoff. Flair vs. Easy E is set for Starrcade.
Since
Hogan has “officially retired”, we get a retrospective on his WCW
career. Looking back….Hogan wasn’t all that good around this time.
We
see Scott Steiner challenging Scott Hall from Nitro.
Here’s
Scott Steiner with something to say. Steiner talks about going to
Graceland and says he’s getting more women than Elvis could ever
dream of now that he’s the head of the NWO. After insulting the
fans, Steiner brags about Hogan passing the torch because they both
have big arms. This brings him to Scott Hall because Steiner wants
to hurt him. I’m assuming that’s the main event tonight.
Eddie
Guerrero vs. Ciclope
Eddie
takes out the knee to start and nails the slingshot hilo before
sitting on the ropes to yell at the fans. Ciclope slides through the
legs to the floor before coming back in with a mostly missing missile
dropkick for two. Not that it matters as Eddie hits the
brainbuster….and asks for the match to be stopped. The bell rings
and we’re done with I think a no contest.
The
LWO comes out and Eddie offers Ciclope a shirt, giving us a new
member of the LWO.
We
see Konnan winning the TV Title on Monday.
We
see Page losing the US Title back to Bret Hart.
Renegade
vs. Giant
Giant
shrugs him off, shrugs him off again and then chokeslams Renegade off
the top for the pin in a minute.
Post
match Giant talks about beating up two imposters in one week. This
brings DDP out through the crowd with a chair to lay out Giant. If
the Giant Scum wants some, come get some. I guess that’s another
Starrcade match.
Mike
Enos vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Chavo
has an early chat with Pepe before dodging a charging Enos and
nailing him with a dropkick. A gorilla press goes as badly as the
charge and Chavo dropkicks Enos to the floor, followed by a baseball
slide and plancha. Enos shrugs it off and whips him into the
barricade though before yelling at a fan about Goldberg. Back in and
Mike works over the arm for a bit but gets caught by yet another
dropkick.
Guerrero
takes him to top for a hurricanrana, only to have Enos counter into a
SWEET top rope powerbomb. That’s not enough for a cover though so
Enos takes him up top again for a top rope fall away slam as Chavo is
in big trouble. Since Mike isn’t that bright though, he picks Chavo
up at two. Enos goes over and grabs Pepe for no apparent reason and
lays him on the mat. He sets up a powerbomb onto the horse but
Guerrero rolls him up for the pin out of nowhere.
Rating:
C. Well this was a surprise.
Enos was a good choice for a power guy that throws small people all
over the place and then gets pinned because he’s not all that bright.
Chavo actually looked like the weaker worker in the match which
isn’t something you often have to say about him.
Konnan
music video.
Rey
Mysterio Jr. vs. Villano V
Rey
is sent into the corner to start but avoids a charge so Villano slaps
him in the mask. A dropkick
sends Villano out to the floor, setting up a great looking flip dive
to take him down again. It
works so well that Rey tries another one, only to be slammed down
onto the concrete. Back in and Villano hammers away with a knee to
the head and a backbreaker before slapping him in the face again.
Rey reverses a whip into the
corner but charges into the post. Villano’s
top rope splash misses and
it’s the Bronco Buster into the West Coast Pop for the pin for Rey.
Rating:
C. Take Rey and any other high
flier and let them fly around the ring for awhile. It’s one of those
ideas that is always going to get a nice reaction and this one worked
almost as well as anything else. It’s nice to have a match without
the LWO stuff getting in the way too.
Post
match Eddie comes out and says he’s tired of Rey wanting the title.
It’s Juvy that should be going after the Cruiserweight Title and
that’s what the LWO is going to do, but Tony says it’s Rey vs. Juvy
next week for a shot at Starrcade. Eddie freaks out of course. I
still have no idea what the idea of this story is supposed to be.
Eddie forces Rey into the group he formed to keep Eric from
controlling them and now Eric (or WCW in general) is giving Rey what
Eddie doesn’t want. What does Eddie get out of keeping Rey on the
team here?
We
look at the contract signing from Nitro.
Chip
Minton vs. Wrath
Minton
was an Olympic bobsledder and wrestled a bit as well. Wrath easily
throws him into the corner and stomps away before throwing Minton out
to the floor. A suplex onto
the concrete keeps Chip in trouble and a slingshot clothesline gets
two. Minton comes back with a weak looking sunset flip for two and
that’s about the extent of his offense. Wrath hammers away in the
corner even more and the Meltdown (BIG pop) is good for the pin.
Rating:
D. This was WAY longer than it
needed to be and most of it was spent talking about Minton’s Olympic
background (nothing wrong with that) and Wrath bouncing back from his
loss. The whole appeal of Wrath was the undefeated streak and that
just went away a few days ago. There isn’t much left to him now and
going back to the squashes isn’t going to do much good.
We
recap the Flair/Bischoff/Malenko stuff from Nitro.
Chris
Benoit/Steve McMichael vs. Raven/Kanyon
Before
the match Raven sits in the corner while Kanyon grabs a mic. Kanyon
yells at him for putting his head through a window tonight and talks
about Raven’s mother. The fans actually get tricked as Kanyon asks
who is NOT better than Kanyon before we go to Arn Anderson leading
the Horsemen to the ring. Benoit runs Kanyon over to start but gets
caught in a sweet rollup for twp. They trade wristlocks until Kanyon
takes him down and chokes away out of anger at Raven.
Kanyon
stops to call the depressed Raven an idiot, allowing Mongo to run him
over out of a three point stance. Steve misses a boot in the corner
though and gets caught in something like a neckbreaker. The Horsemen
take over with Benoit chopping the skin off Kanyon’s chest before
stomping him down for good measure. Raven doesn’t do much so Benoit
goes over to yell at him before Kanyon gets double teamed some more.

A
backbreaker gets two for Chris but he charges into a boot in the
corner. Not that it really matters as he takes Kanyon down with a
dragon screw leg whip, only to miss the Swan Dive. Raven still won’t
tag so Kanyon hits a powerbomb into a faceplant for two as Raven
walks away after being tagged. That’s a countout as Benoit puts
Kanyon in the Crossface.
Rating:
C+. The idea here worked pretty
well with Raven’s downward spiral into depression continues with him
walking away from his only friend. Other than that the Benoit stuff
was very good, but Mongo just wasn’t working out there for the most
part. Thankfully he won’t be around much anymore.
We
see Konnan winning the title again for some reason.
TV
Title: Konnan vs. Disco Inferno
Before
Konnan comes out, Disco says tha the and Konnan should hook up to
make a music video of their own. Konnan comes out and does his
catchphrases in retaliation. Feeling out process to start with
neither guy being able to get the advantage. A fsuplex gets two for
Konnan and the seated dropkick sets up a pull of the champion’s
pants.
Disco
gets back up and hammers away before getting knocked out of the air.
A DDT sends Disco to the floor but he snaps Konnan’s throat across
the top rope. Back in and the piledriver is easily countered with a
backdrop, setting up the 1-8-7 for two on Disco. Konnan blocks the
Chartbuster and an X-Factor sets up the Tequila Sunrise to retain the
title.
Rating:
D+. The ending was never in
doubt but Disco was his
usual decent self. Konnan was there for little more than to give the
Wolfpack some popularity but he was only ok at best in the ring. The
match wasn’t terrible but it was nothing I’m going to remember in
about five minutes.
Scott
Steiner vs. Scott Hall
The
NWO Referee is calling this one. Hall jumps Steiner during the
entrances to send him out to the floor. Back in and Hall stays on
offense but the NWO Referee grabs the leg to give Steiner control. A
takedown gives Steiner a few fast near falls before he just hammers
away on Hall in the corner. Hall takes a pumphandle
slam for two and the NWO
Referee keeps up with the fast counts.
Steiner
plants him with a tiger bomb for two with his foot on Hall’s chest
before throwing on a sleeper. As expected Hall fights out of it and
grabs a sleeper of his own but gets countered into a belly to back
suplex. Both guys are down
but it’s Hall up first and hammering away. The top rope bulldog gets
a very slow two and it’s Outsider’s Edge time. Not that it matters
though as the referee makes the save and takes the Edge in Steiner’s
place. Steiner pops up and lays Hall out before putting on the
Recliner as we go off the air with no winner.
Rating:
D. This was more of a “we’re
out of time so here’s something we promised without either guy having
to do a televised job” thing than a main event. You knew something
was up as soon as you saw the NWO Referee out there so it wasn’t like
the ending came as a big shock or anything.
Overall
Rating:
C-. This was one of the
decent episodes but it means next week is probably going to be
horrible. The tag match was actually solid as they let the good
workers run the match and just had Mongo in there to do basic power
stuff and then leave. Not much to see here but it’s a pretty weak
time for WCW.

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Monday Nitro – November 30, 1998

Monday
Nitro #165
Date: November 30, 1998
Location: UTC Arena,
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Commentators: Bobby
Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We close out November
here with a fairly big show. The main event for tonight is Page
defending the US Title against Bret Hart despite being banged up as
usual. Other than that we’re heading towards Starrcade so we’re
likely to get more build between Goldberg and Nash, which hasn’t
really set the world on fire yet. Let’s get to it.

No Tenay tonight due to
illness so Tony and Larry talk run down the card, including a
contract signing for Nash vs. Goldberg. This brings us to Hogan on
the Tonight Show on Thanksgiving night where he officially announces
he’s running for President. He likes a flat tax apparently.
We go to the back and
see the NWO limo arriving with Scott Steiner leading the way. They
come out to the ring where Bischoff declares Scott Steiner as the new
leader of the Black and White. Steiner says Hogan made it official
in LA and talks about his physique for a bit. Tonight the first
order of business is taking care of Scott Hall, so it’s Hall/a
parnter vs. Steiner/Horace.
Nitro Girls.
TV Title: Chris
Jericho vs. Konnan
Jericho is defending.
Konnan sends him to the apron
to start and Jericho immediately complains about a hair pull. Back
in and we hit the armbar on the champion before Jericho comes back
with a running clothesline. Konnan will have none of this being on
defense stuff and hits a seated dropkick, only to be caught in a hot
shot. A springboard dropkick puts Konnan on the floor and Chris
follows him out with a great looking plancha.
Back in and Jericho
dives into Konnan’s boot before a fisherman’s suplex gets two. The
Lionsault gets two for the champion but the Liontamer is too close to
the ropes. With nothing else working, Jericho tries to cheat by
bringing in the belt. Ralphus’ distraction doesn’t work though and
an X Factor onto the belt gives Konnan the title.
Rating:
D+.
Not much here but a title change is always a good way to fire up a
crowd. It’s about time the Wolfpack got some gold. That being said,
it’s a bad idea overall with the midcard scene picking up and now
another title is locked into the NWO stories. Jericho didn’t do much
here and unfortunately that’s likely to be a trend for him in the
coming months.
The
Wolfpack comes out to celebrate and we see Konnan’s music video.
Gene
brings out Flair for a chat. Flair is in serious mode tonight and
says that he’s talking like a man so Bischoff will hear it. Just
because someone gets old doesn’t mean that they’re great. Flair
lists off a bunch of names like Hogan, the Andersons, the Road
Warriors and Wahoo McDaniel made Bischoff the man he is. Now Flair
is mad at Windham for what he did last week, but he hates Bischoff.
Flair
wants a piece of Bischoff anytime anywhere.
Nitro
Party winner.
Here’s
Hall in an Outsiders shirt to say that he’ll fight the NWO on his own
tonight. Kevin Nash comes out and says if Hall needs a partner,
he’ll be Scott’s Huckleberry.
Raven/Kanyon
vs. Scott Armstrong/Steve Armstrong
Raven
is sitting in the corner to start against Scott and we appear to be
in an angle instead of a match. Kanyon
and Raven argue about Raven’s mom for some reason but Kanyon gets
jumped from behind by Scott to really get things going. The
brothers’ advantage is short lived though as Kanyon fights back with
a nice faceplant but stops to argue with Raven. A Flatliner lays out
Steve but goes to yell even more, allowing Scott to roll Kanyon up
for the big upset.
Hour
#2 begins.
Here’s
Bret Hart for a chat with Gene. Bret says he’s badly hurt tonight
and can’t face Page for the US Title tonight even though that’s what
Bret wanted to do. This brings Page out through the crowd to say the
word SCUM a lot and call Bret a liar because Bret issued the
challenge in the first place. Hart doesn’t have his gear so he
insists on it being a No DQ match tonight. Page agrees to what
sounds like a ruse.
Cruiserweight
Title: Billy Kidman vs. Eddie Guerrero
Kidman
is defending. Feeling out process to start until Eddie makes the
mistake of slapping the champion and gets dropkicked for his efforts.
A headscissors puts Eddie down again and a dropkick sends him to the
floor. Kidman is sent into the steps to give Guerrero his first
advantage and crushes him between the steps and post for good
measure. Back in and the slingshot hilo gets two as we take a break.
Back
with Eddie cranking on the champ’s arm and wrapping it on the top.
He gets crotched loading up the frog splash but blocks a top rope
Frankensteiner. Back down and Eddie’s powerbomb is countered into a
faceplant (duh) followed by the lifting powerbomb for two.
Cruiserweights use a lot of powerbombs the more I think about it.
Guerrero
comes back with a tornado DDT but ANOTHER powerbomb is countered into
another faceplant. The champ drops Eddie with a superplex but the
referee goes down at the same time. This brings out Juvy to help his
boss but Mysterio comes out to dropkick Eddie (also his boss) in the
back, setting up the Shooting Star to retain the title.
Rating: C.
Good stuff as usual from these guys but I’m not sure where this story
is going. We get that Mysterio hates being in the LWO and Eddie
knows that Mysterio hates being in the LWO and will cost the LWO
matches, so why does he insist on Rey being in the LWO and not use
the LWO army to destroy Mysterio? At least the matches are good
though.
Bam
Bam Bigelow is here with a ticket.
Here
are Eric Bischoff and Barry Windham with something to say. Eric
talks about going to Cody, Wyoming where he heard a lot of people
wanting Hogan to be President. We get a little campaign speech
before Bischoff calls out Dean Malenko. He gets the Horsemen minus
Flair on the stage and Malenko alone in the ring. Tonight it’s going
to be Malenko vs. Windham and if Dean wins, Flair gets to face
Bischoff. Dean says it’s on but Eric has one more idea: Dusty Rhodes
is going to be guest referee. Big Dust comes out but Malenko won’t
shake his hand.
Nitro
Girls and Heenan at the booth.
Wrath
vs. Bobby Blaze
Total
squash with Wrath winning in less than a minute but the magic just
isn’t there anymore.
Bigelow
is still in the crowd.
Here’s
Ernest Miller, flanked by Sonny Onoo, to issue his open challenge to
the crowd. This brings out Perry Saturn who says that he’ll have a
try. Miller says that Saturn is clearly weak due to losing to Sonny
on Sunday, so he’ll have to beat Sonny to get a piece of the Cat.
Perry
Saturn vs. Sonny Onoo
We
get the karate
poses from Onoo but Saturn plants him down with a powerbomb, only to
have Miller break up the pin. The distraction lets Glacier run in
with a Cryonic Kick to Saturn to give Sonny two. Miller throws in a
chain to Onoo but Sonny takes the Death Valley Driver. Somehow he
slips the chain into Saturn’s tights though and the referee sees it
for a DQ, giving Sonny the win. Someone tell me why putting Saturn
in this feud is a good idea. I’d love to hear this rationale.
We
see Goldberg get out of a limo and come to the ring for the contract
signing with Nash. Both guys sign with no issues and Goldberg
doesn’t have to defend until Starrcade. Bigelow tries to jump the
railing but it doesn’t go anywhere.
Mike
Enos vs. Booker T
Booker
easily takes him down to start and nails the forearm and a superkick.
Enos catches him charging into a hot shot though before knocking
Booker out to the floor with a clothesline. Another
hot shot onto the barricade has Booker in trouble but he comes back
inside with a spinwheel kick, the ax kick and the Harlem Sidekick,
followed by a kind of spinebuster for the quick pin.
Bigelow
is in the parking lot and wants Goldberg to come fight him.
Brian
Adams vs. Lex Luger
Feeling
out process to start as Tony talks about the Mark Curtis Benefit Show
last night. Luger runs over Adams with ease a few times but gets his
neck snapped across the top rope to give not-Crush the advantage. A
clothesline puts Luger on the floor so Vincent can earn his paycheck
for the night. Back in and Luger makes a quick comeback and nails
the forearm but Adams’ feet take the referee down as he’s loaded into
the Rack. The NWO nails Luger with a chair and spike piledriver for
two before we get Lex’s real comeback. He knocks Adams into the
chair despite Adams putting the brakes on, setting up the Rack to
win.
Rating:
D.
Just a dull match here without anything of interest. This is the
same as the LWO but slightly less confusing. What exactly are we
heading to with this NWO war? They’ve been fighting for over six
months now and there’s nothing changing about any of the fights. At
least Luger is beating the guys he should be beating though.
Barry
Windham vs. Dean Malenko
If
Dean wins, Flair gets Bischoff at some point. NWO member Dusty Rhodes
is referee, Barry is in jeans and Dean is coming in with a bad knee.
Dean wins an early slugout and we head to the floor for a chase but
Dusty yells at Dean for a distraction, allowing Barry to take over.
A gutwrench suplex and elbow to the jaw drop Malenko and Dusty is
right in his face to ask if he wants to give it up.
Dean
avoids an elbow drop and heads up, only to be slammed right down onto
the bad knee. Some elbows to the knee have Dean in even more trouble
and Barry slams the leg down on the apron. Barry stays on the leg
with kicks to the thigh as Dean is in the ropes…..AND THAT’S A
DQ??? Dusty calls for the bell and raises Dean’s hand as the
announcers are in shock.
Rating: D+.
The match didn’t have time to go anywhere but was much more about the
angle than the action. It’s nice to see someone finally changing
over to WCW as at times it seems WCW doesn’t even exist anymore other
than as a place for the NWOs to fight each other. Also Dusty being
in the NWO just didn’t work.
Post
match Bischoff runs out to fire Dusty as the Horsemen come out to
beat the tar out of Windham. Eric gets out before Flair can get to
him.
Horace
Hogan/Scott Steiner vs. Outsiders
The
Outsiders do the Rock Paper Scissors to determine who starts against
Horace. The NWO referee is in there as well. Hall nails the driving
shoulders and puts on an armbar, only to walk into a hard
clothesline. A hiptoss is countered into a chokeslam from Hall but
it’s off to Scott Steiner. It’s Steiner with a muscle clothesline
and a fast count is good for two. A butterfly suplex gets the same
for Steiner on the other Scott but Steiner charges into a boot in the
corner.
The
middle rope bulldog gets two for Hall but the referee counts VERY
slowly. Steiner comes back with a low blow but Nash saves Hall from
some Horace choking. Back
in and Horace stomps away and gets two off a backbreaker and splash.
We hit the front facelock for a bit until Hall fights up and makes
the tag to Nash. The NWO referee doesn’t count it but Nash comes in
anyway and cleans house until Hall hits the Edge on Horace. No count
of course so Nash Jackknifes the referee and a WCW referee comes in
for the pin. Nash walks out as soon as the pin goes down.
Rating:
D+.
Another angle instead of a match here and Nash running off was
interesting. I’m not sure where Steiner went after the hot tag but
it fits the idea of the NWO wanting to run away from a real fight.
The fans were really excited about the idea of the Outsiders being
back together again, which is why I doubt it’s going to keep
happening.
Goldberg
barrels through the doors and heads outside to fight Bigelow. They
go at it in the parking lot until security breaks it up. That’s not
good enough for Goldberg though as he fights away and spears Bigelow
down.
US
Title: Bret Hart vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Bret
is challenging and this is No DQ. Hart
is in street clothes and isn’t sure about locking up to start. Page
takes him into the corner but lets him go, allowing Bret to get in a
low blow to take over. Choking and eye raking ensues until Page
sends him into the corner for a hard stomping. Bret gets caught in
the Figure Four around the post until the Giant makes the save. A
chokeslam puts Page down in the ring and a chokeslam from the top
rope (pretty much the same as a regular chokeslam) sets up the
Sharpshooter for the knock out win, giving Bret the title back.
Rating: D+.
This is a hard one to rate as it was exciting while it lasted but the
match isn’t even four and a half minutes long with Giant being out
there for about a minute and a half of that. Not much to see here
though as this feud just keeps going. Hopefully this wraps things up
though.
Overall Rating: C-.
This was a show about setting up matches for the future which is what
matters as we head into the biggest show of the year. The contract
signing was nothing though and it felt more like the Outsiders
reunion was bigger than anything with Goldberg. Flair vs. Bischoff
looks more like the main event for Starrcade, despite it not even
being official yet. It’s not a bad show, but it sets up stuff for
the future which is a rare thing in WCW.
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Monday Nitro Extra – November 24, 1998

Monday
Nitro Extra
Date:
November 24, 1998
Location: Van Andel
Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This is a special one
hour episode on a Tuesday. I guess three hours a week isn’t enough
for all of the AWESOME action that you get on a Nitro so we get a
bonus tonight. Hot dog indeed. Anyway there aren’t any announced
matches and Tony just casually mentioned this so I can’t imagine it’s
going to be much to see. Let’s get to it.

Nitro Girls.
Scott Norton vs. Kaz
Hayashi
Chop, powerbomb, pin on Hayashi.
Disco Inferno vs.
Scott Putski
The dancer takes him
down with an armdrag but stops to dance, allowing Putski to hit a
quick powerbomb for two. Inferno comes back with his usual array of
neckbreaker, atomic drop and clothesline followed by the top rope ax
handle for another near fall. Two sleepers get Disco nowhere and
Putski nails a nice overhead belly to belly. Not that it matters as
Disco pops up and hits the piledriver for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Disco was a decent in ring worker and actually got something
resembling a passable match here against Scott Putski of all people.
It’s nothing great or anything like that but at the end of the day,
why not try to make something happen here? Unfortunately no one is
watching this though so it means nothing at all.
Chavo Guerrero Jr.
vs. Tokyo Magnum
They
trade lockups into a wristlock from Guerrero before some standing
switches get us nowhere. Chavo puts on a headlock and gives Tokyo a
wet willie to really make me feel stupid for watching this. A nice
dropkick puts Tokyo down and it’s time to ride Pepe a bit. Tokyo
comes back with some strikes and the Hennig necksnap before taking a
dance break.
Magnum gets two off a
moonsault but Chavo comes back with right hands and dancing of his
own. A springboard bulldog and belly to back get two for Chavo and
he hammers away even more. They strike it out again with Tokyo
taking over, only to have Chavo block a hurricanrana and hit a good
looking tornado DDT for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was an ok match but at the same time it was a lot of comedy that
only some people were going to find funny. Tokyo was talented in the
ring but the dancing gimmick was going to put a hard ceiling above
his head. Chavo is continuing to get better in the ring though and
that’s the most important thing of all.
Stevie
Ray vs. Van Hammer
They stare each other
down and hammer away in the corner as we’re firmly in power brawl
mode here. Now they trade clotheslines with Stevie getting the
better of it and throwing Hammer to the floor for a beating from
Vincent. Hammer comes back in with a powerslam and belly to back but
Stevie just kicks him in the face and hits the Slap Jack for a quick
pin. Nothing match.
Prince Iaukea vs.
Juventud Guerrera
Both
guys fire off chops until Juvy takes over with a headscissors
takeover. The Prince comes back with an elbow and legdrop as the
uninspired wrestling continues tonight. Guerrera fights out of a
headlock and quickly gets up top for a springboard missile dropkick
to take over again. Back up and the Prince grabs a powerslam and
belly to back for two more and they trade rollups. Guerrera blocks a
dive with a boot to the face and they trade more rollups. Iaukea
gets crotched and taken down by a hurricanrana, but here’s Mysterio
to break up the 450 and allow Prince to hit a quick kick to the face
for the pin.
Rating:
C-.
The back and forth stuff was nice here and FINALLY we get some
storyline stuff on this show. Not that it’s going to mean anything
but it’s better than just sitting there watching uninteresting
matches. As you may have seen before, Iaukea does nothing for me at
all and I’m getting sick of seeing him.
Horace vs. Wrath
They slug it out again
to start until Wrath misses a charge in the corner. The brawl heads
outside with Wrath taking over again before heading back inside where
he nearly drops Horace on a sidewalk slam attempt. A Vincent
distraction lets Horace get in a chair shot but he gets caught with
his feet on the ropes. Horace takes too much time going up top and
misses a splash, setting up a top rope shoulder and the Meltdown to
end things.
Overall
Rating:
D.
What in the world was the point of this? Seriously, there was
practically no important storyline development, the biggest start to
appear was….Juventud Guerrera maybe? It’s just a nothing show that
could have been the C level show on the weekend like Main Event or
something. Nothing to see here and I really do want to know why this
existed.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
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Monday Nitro – November 23, 1998

Monday
Nitro #164
Date:
November 23, 1998
Location:
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
on the road to Starrcade now with a main event of Kevin Nash
challenging Goldberg for the World Title. The other main story
coming out of last night was Hogan not appearing in the big battle
royal for reasons that weren’t explained. Other than that we didn’t
get the two big midcard matches we were promised because this is WCW
and giving us angles instead of delivering advertised matches is a
great idea. Let’s get to it.

The
announcers talk about the battle royal last night and tell us to tune
in to the Tonight Show on Thursday to see why Hogan wasn’t in the
battle royal.
We
get some stills of the battle royal as well.
Lex
Luger vs. Mike Enos
They
circle each other for a bit to start until Luger runs him over with a
shoulder block. A headlock sends Enos to the floor as the announcers
talk about everything other than the match. Back in and Mike drops
him throat first across the top rope and nails a piledriver for two.
We hit the chinlock on Luger followed by a nice powerslam for two
more. Back up and Mike can’t hit a superplex, allowing Luger to hit
a top rope clothesline and a superplex of his own. A powerslam sets
up the Rack for the submission from Enos.
Rating:
C-. Enos didn’t look all that
bad here and Luger was actually doing more than just the usual for a
change. It’s still not all that entertaining but it was better than
a lot of the dull matches with guys like these two on Nitro. I’d
still like the Wolfpack to actually do something of note instead of
just having random matches of no consequence.
Goldberg
shows up in a limo, followed by the Wolfpack in their limo. Konnan
tells Nash that he’s next but Goldberg says that’s not a safe place
to be. “Just ask your girlfriend.”
Gene
brings out Kidman to talk about the situation last night where Rey
Mysterio helped him win back the Cruiserweight Title. Rey
comes out and Kidman offers him a title shot tonight due to Mysterio
being back to his old style. Wasn’t he only away from his old style
for six days and by force? They shake hands and say may the best man
win but here are Eddie and his bodyguard to interrupt. Eddie says
Rey is still a contracted member of the LWO so he needs to put the
shirt back on. Guerrero pulls out a gigantic shirt that Rey is
forced to put on, but he promises to make this right later.
Norman
Smiley vs. Chris Benoit
Benoit
is actually taken down pretty easily and kicked in the back, only to
have him pop up and slap Norman in the face. They hit the mat for a
bit until Benoit takes him into the corner and stomps away, only to
charge into a knee to the ribs in the other corner. Smile does that
spinning slam of his but Benoit comes right back with Rolling
Germans, the Swan Dive and a Crossface for the fast submission. This
was better than expected.
Nitro
Party.
Stills
of Hall vs. Nash which wasn’t a match.
Here’s
the Wolfpack to celebrate their victory. Luger doesn’t like
finishing second in anything but at least it was to another Wolfpack
guy. Nash takes the mic and says he’s next and will be the 1 in
190-1. So Heyman stole his big promo from Kevin Nash? The Wolfpack
leaves but Gene follows to ask about Hall. Nash can’t trust him
because of what’s happened already, which makes sense. Goldberg
comes by and says he’ll be the truck that runs Nash over. Nash: “Lay
off the caffeine Bill.” Nice to see Big Kev so serious before his
title shot.
Kanyon
vs. Tokyo Magnum
Before
the match we see Kanyon trying to get Raven to come out with him but
Raven says Kanyon wouldn’t understand. Once in the arena, Kanyon
yells at Raven to come out, allowing Tokyo to grab a rollup for two.
A bulldog gets the same but Kanyon snaps off a Russian legsweep to
take over. Tokyo gets two each off a sunset flip and small package,
but a hiptoss is countered into the Flatliner to give Kanyon a fast
pin.
Nitro
Girls.
Glacier
vs. Bobby Duncum Jr.
The
cowboy takes him into the corner to start and shrugs off some kicks
before nailing a headbutt to the ribs. More
power shots such as a clothesline and shoulder drop drop Glacier and
we head back outside for even more punishment, including a hard whip
into the barricade. Back in
and a top rope clothesline is good for two on Ice Dude but he comes
back with his usual variety of kicks. A powerslam gets two for
Glacier, only to have Duncum come right back with a running DDT.
Duncum’s attempt to use his bullrope doesn’t work so he hits a Skull
Crushing Finale for the pin. That’s not a good finisher for him.
Rating:
D. Duncum is trying, but him
going after the cowbell and bullrope shows how stupid WCW could be at
the time. I know they’re a southern based promotion, but I got so
sick of their OBSESSION with cowboys. Yeah we get it you have a
bullrope and a big hat. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!
Giant
comes out to talk about the battle royal last night. He wanted a
piece of Nash but Nash needed an army to take him out since Big Kev
won’t fight him one on one. Since that’s out of the question, Giant
wants to know if Goldberg has the guts to face him tonight.
Hour
#2 begins.
Saturn
vs. Silver King
Before
the match, Saturn tells Ernest Miller to jump him if he wants to.
Why is this feud still a thing? A
hard shoulder takes Silver King down to start followed by a drop
toehold. Back up and a few kicks drop Saturn, setting up a slingshot
splash for two. Saturn is bored by selling and nails a clothesline
and superkick to send Silver King outside, only to draw out Sonny
Onoo and Ernest Miller. After some lame trash talk, a German suplex
and the Death Valley Driver end Silver King.
Cruiserweight
Title: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Kidman
Kidman
is defending. Feeling out process to start with Rey sending him into
the corner for an early Bronco Buster to a bit of a mixed reaction.
Maybe the huge shirt is
offputting. They trade headscissors takeovers with Rey’s taking both
guys over to the floor. Back
in and Rey hits a quick dropkick to the knee followed by something
like a Fameasser for two.
Kidman
is sent to the apron but comes in over the top with a top rope cross
body for two of his own. The
champion charges at Rey but Mysterio uses what would become the 619,
sending Kidman flying out to the floor in a cool spot. A big
springboard flip dive takes Kidman down but he’s able to dropkick
Mysterio out of the air as they come back in. Kidman powerslams him
for two before getting caught in the sitout bulldog for another near
fall. That’s FINALLY enough
to get the announcers to care about the guys in the ring instead of
Nash vs. Goldberg.
Rey
comes back again with a sunset bomb out of the corner but Kidman is
right back as well with a running bulldog up the corner. The masked
dude hits a superplex but
West Coast Pop is countered into the short powerbomb in a great
counter. Juvy and Eddie come out for a distraction with Kidman going
after the latter, allowing Guerrera to hit the Juvy Driver on Rey,
setting up the Shooting Star to retain the title.
Rating:
C+. This was a
nice back and forth match between these two but the LWO continues to
go nowhere for the most part. It’s nice of
them to have some kind of a story, but there’s only so much that they
can do against each other. I’d love to see them get out of the
division for a change, but this
is WCW so that’s a very rare thing to see.
Here’s
Bischoff for his weekly Horsemen address. He understands that Flair
isn’t going away and asks
for him to come out here right now for a showdown. Flair comes out
for the staredown on his own and says he’s humbled by the reaction
he’s getting here in Grand Rapids. Bischoff actually says Flair
deserves this before saying they have to acknowledge that Bischoff
runs the company. Flair will admit that Ted Turner is a great man
but made a mistake in hiring Bischoff.
Eric
brings up Flair bringing in Barry Windham but Flair has no authority
to hire anyone. This brings out Barry who immediately hugs Flair.
Bischoff thinks that Barry is going to turn on Windham, which might
be an accurate prediction. Bischoff slaps Flair and gets jumped,
only to have Barry hit Flair low. The NWO jumps the Horsemen as they
try for a save and Horace works over Dean’s leg. Eric makes Bret vs.
Malenko tonight.
Stills
of Booker saving Stevie Ray from Konnan last night.
Booker
T. vs. Konnan
Tony
tells us that Horsemen have left the arena other than Dean. Nice
teammates they are. Booker takes over to start with a wristlock but
walks into the rolling clothesline. A clothesline and back elbow to
the jaw drop Konnan and a pair of kicks but Stevie comes out and
nails Konnan in the head with a slapjack for a DQ.
Stevie
asks Booker where his head is but Booker says he doesn’t need his
brother.
Gene
brings out Bret Hart for a chat. Bret says that punk DDP stole a
cheap win last night and wants a rematch. He’ll destroy Dean’s knee
until Page accepts the challenge.
Nitro
Girls.
Wrath
vs. Kevin Nash
The
idea here is simple: Nash is facing the ultimate streak at Starrcade
so he’s challenging a smaller streak here. Wrath drives in knees in
the corner and nails a bicycle kick to drop Nash with ease. A
dropkick sends him over the top and out to the floor as it’s all
Wrath to start. Nash comes back in with right hands and elbows in
the corner but Wrath easily suplexes him down. Wrath gets two off a
top rope clothesline but he charges into a boot in the corner. Side
slam is good for two on Wrath and a shoulder gets the same on Nash.
Kevin comes right back with a big boot and the Jackknife to end Wrath
once and for all.
Rating:
C-. The match actually wasn’t
all that bad but the booking is pretty questionable. I fully
understand the idea of having Nash beat a winning streak, but Wrath
was a guy with potential and they just burned through it here. On
top of that, Wrath dominated the match and Nash hit like two moves
for the win in less than five minutes. This should have been a
bigger deal than it was.
Gene
brings out Chris Jericho for a chat. Jericho’s hair looks like he’s
been subjected to static electricity experiments. However Jericho
wants to be serious tonight. The Jericholics have disappointed him
lately by not cheering loud enough. He’s their role model because
he’s better than every single one of them. Gene brings up Bobby
Duncum Jr. and Jericho can’t pronounce his last name. As Jericho
makes fun of cowboys, Duncum walks out with a hogtied Ralphus.
Jericho: “GET AWAY FROM HIM! HE’S A TRAINED KILLER!”
Scott
Hall vs. Alex Wright
Jericho
is still trying to untie Ralphus during Hall’s entrance. Hall says
cut the NWO Black and White music. Tonight is going to be the final
survey because the fans are all here to see the…..something I can’t
make out. There are two factions in the NWO and Hall doesn’t care
for either one of them right now, so send out Alex Wright so Hall can
destroy him. After the toothpick throw, Alex flips out of a belly to
back suplex but gets punched in the jaw and clotheslined out to the
floor.
Alex
actually pulls Hall outside for some right hands as the fans chant
USA. Back in and a missile dropkick puts Hall down again but it’s
time to dance. Heenan is LIVID over this as you can hear the manager
in him trying to come back out. They slug it out a bit until Hall
levels him with a clothesline and the Edge is good for the pin.
Rating:
C. Far better match here than I
was expecting as Wright got to show off here in a bit of a surprise.
Hall being serious is a good thing though as I really didn’t care for
the drunk angle. Hall is talented enough to put on entertaining
matches with almost anyone so it was a waste of his talent to use
that kind of a gimmick.
Nitro
Girls.
Bret
Hart vs. Dean Malenko
Dean
is favoring his knee after the attack earlier. Bret goes right for
the knee to take over and kicks away but Dean gets in a right hand
and some stomps to take over. Dean tries a rolling cradle but the
knee gives out and they roll to the floor. We take a break and come
back with Tony telling us about a special bonus Nitro tomorrow with
another hour. Oh freaking JOY.
Dean
tries a suplex and the knee holds up for the most part but he can’t
follow up. A small package
is good for two on Hart as Tony actually gets a fact right: Windham
wasn’t an original Horseman. Dean comes back with a sleeper which
Heenan points out allows him to rest the leg. Bret fights out of it
with a belly to back but Malenko keeps the hold on. They
head outside for a few seconds before Dean chokes with the boot in
the corner.
Bret
goes right back to the knee to take over though and snaps the bad leg
down. He grabs the leg again but gets enziguried down to give Dean a
breather. Back up and Dean
slams him into the buckle while hobbling across the ring. Nice
touch. A superplex doesn’t work but Bret goes down to the apron to
keep Malenko out of trouble. The leg lariat sets up the Texas
Cloverleaf but Bret is right in the ropes.
They
fall to the floor with Dean landing on the leg to keep him down.
Bret tries to bring in a chair but the referee takes it away,
allowing Malenko to nail a missile dropkick for a very close two.
Malenko tries a leapfrog but can’t get the elevation and goes down
again. Bret wraps the leg around the post a few times and nails a
Diamond Cutter, causing the referee to stop it.
Rating:
B. I was really liking this one
and the ending actually makes it better. Malenko doesn’t have to do
a clean or even dirty job here and goes down fighting the whole way.
His comeback was great with the knee being sold the whole way
through. But of course we couldn’t have Dean move up the card long
term or anything like that as a result of a great performance like
this.
DDP
comes in to save Malenko’s knee but gets beaten down with a chair.
Bret misses a chair shot to the knee but gets away from the Diamond
Cutter. Page calls him Hitscum Hart as Bret walks away. We get a
challenge for a rematch for the US Title next week.
WCW
World Title: Giant vs. Goldberg
They
fight into the corner to start and Giant kicks him in the side of the
head. Chokeslam gets two and Goldberg hammers away with some kicks
to the ribs. Spear and a delayed Jackhammer retain the title.
Bam
Bam Bigelow runs in post match but Nash comes out for the save.
Goldberg goes after Nash and security separates them to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C-. This was an
entertaining enough show but I’m not interested in Starrcade so far.
Goldberg vs. Nash just doesn’t feel like a big showdown main event
but it’s what we’re getting no matter what. The Jackhammer to Giant
was very impressive and Malenko’s match was good so it’s a watchable
show but in a bad time for WCW.
Remember
there’s the extra Nitro show Tuesday and no Thunder this week.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books under $4 at:
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World War 3 1998

World
War 3 1998

Date:
November 22, 1998
Location: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit,
Michigan
Attendance: 17,670
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby
Heenan, Mike Tenay 
Reviewed by Tommy Hall 
This
is one of those shows that has only been hyped for the last week or
so leading up to it. The main events here are Bret Hart vs. DDP for
the US Title and the three ring battle royal, which I don’t remember
any wrestler actually talking about so far. The winner gets a World
Title shot at Starrcade against Goldberg, because Goldberg isn’t even
in action tonight. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a typical video focusing on the two main matches without
saying anything. WCW never put a ton of effort into these things.
We
see Goldberg arriving “earlier today”, despite it being pitch
black outside.
The
announcers tell us that Hollywood Hogan isn’t here. This is shocking
as Hogan just started the big President angle on Monday.
Gene
hypes up the Hotline, saying we can hear Heenan’s recorded message of
who he thinks will win tonight.
Wrath
vs. Glacier
Unannounced
match. Tony does a good job of hyping up Wrath’s hot streak and make
him sound like a killer. We even hear a bit about their history as
Tony is actually thinking tonight. That gets messed up very quickly
though as he names picks the middle ring as Ring #1. Glacier is
thrown to the floor with ease and the stalling begins. Back in and
Wrath no sells a dropkick before hitting a hard knee to send Glacier
to the floor.
Another
whip sends Glacier into the crowd and Wrath chops away at the chest.
Heenan picks Wrath to win the battle royal tonight to start the
running joke. Actually Wrath wouldn’t have been the worst option in
the world to make a run in there. Tenay says Hollywood is catching
on to Wrath and he’s up for roles in movies. They really are making
him out to be a big deal.
Back
in and some hard elbows to the chest have Glacier in trouble as
Heenan lists off reasons why Wrath’s body is perfect for wrestling.
A hard clothesline drops Glacier for two and even throws his feet on
the ropes for some extra leverage. Outside again so Wrath can choke
Glacier with a cable. Back in one more time and we hit the chinlock
on Glacier. Wrath misses a charge into the corner and gets
superkicked in the shoulder. Glacier’s Ice Pick hold (thumb into the
neck) is easily blocked and the Meltdown ends things.
Rating:
D. This would have been a good
choice for an opening match if they hadn’t taken so long with it.
There’s no reason to have Wrath take nearly ten minutes to beat
Glacier. Cut this match down by about five minutes and things are so
much better. I’ll give them credit for how much they hyped Wrath
though. They were treating him like a huge deal and it sounded
really good.
Video
on Bret injuring a lot of people. It’s all their fault though. Why
this is filmed in front of a hockey goal isn’t exactly clear.
Konnan
vs. Stevie Ray
Unannounced
match #2. It’s a posedown to start as the announcers rip on Stevie
for calling himself the Enforcer. Ray pounds Konnan down in the
corner twice in a row but Konnan comes back with a running
clothesline. We hit a seated abdominal stretch less than two minutes
into the match as Heenan jumps to Konnan for the battle royal.
Stevie fights up and hits an awful looking clothesline for two before
we head outside.
After
some cheap shots from Vincent and a discussion of the slapjack
sticking out of his pocket, we head back inside for a chinlock on
Konnan. Stevie misses a
running elbow and Konnan makes his comeback with the usual. A
Vincent distraction works for a bit but he accidentally hits Stevie
with the slapjack. Konnan hammers on Stevie until the DQ though in a
stupid ending.
Rating:
D. We’re half an hour into this
show and I’m already longing for a Thunder rerun. I have no idea why
we couldn’t get a pin before Konnan went off on Stevie. Also, why
did Konnan do that in the first place? It was a normal match up
until that point and then he just went nuts.
Booker
T. immediately hits the ring for the save but Stevie wants nothing
from him.
Sonny
Onoo/The Cat vs. Kaz Hayashi/Saturn
Why
Saturn was paired with Hayashi and why this match is getting ANY kind
of focus was never explained. Heenan
makes things a bit more interesting by saying people are talking
about World War 3 in correctional facilities
around the country. There’s
actually a story here as Sonny used to manager Kaz but jumped to the
Cat. That’s fine in theory, but Hayashi has never been anything more
than a low level guy in WCW so it’s not the most interesting story in
the world.
Cat
and Hayashi get things going with Miller (Cat) doing the five seconds
deal. Hayashi uses the time to tag in Saturn who quickly sends
Miller running to the floor. Back in and Cat slams Kaz down a few
times before it’s off to Sonny for the first time. The kicks have no
effect so Sonny offers money, only to have it knocked out of his
hands. Heenan: “BE RIGHT BACK!”
Off
to Saturn vs. Miller with the Cat taking him into the corner for some
hard stomping. Sonny comes in, kicks Saturn once, and is right back
out. Saturn takes Miller down with an STF attempt but it’s quickly
back to Kaz who is kicked in the corner by both villains. Cat saves
Sonny from an atomic drop with a kick to the back of the head. Kaz
rolls away from some Onoo chops and makes the tag off to Saturn for
almost no reaction. Saturn chops and suplexes Miller a few times as
everything breaks down. Cat nails a big kick to Saturn’s head,
allowing Sonny to fall on top for the pin.
Rating:
D-. This is a good example of
why WCW never made any big stars. Saturn was hot after the Raven
feud and should have gone after a title, but instead he’s thrown into
a low level feud that had no interest at all and gets to job to a
manager. Why? What good comes out of this? A worthless manager
gets to brag in the two minutes of TV time he gets every two weeks?
But hey, at least the NWO guys get to look good.
Chris
Jericho isn’t worried about Bobby Duncum and getting hogtied again
tonight. Why is Duncum getting this feud instead of Saturn?
Cruiserweight
Title: Kidman vs. Juventud Guerrera Jr.
Champion
Juvy comes out in an LWO
shirt, which ticks Rey off. Apparently this is why he got the title
shot last Monday instead of Rey, who won the title shot in the first
about ten days ago on Thunder. Eddie
tells Rey that they need to go in the back so Eddie can explain the
idea of sacrificing the needs of one for the needs of the group. At
least the match almost has to be better.
Juvy
grabs a headlock to start before they slug it out with forearms and
chops. Guerrera comes right back with something resembling a
Fameasser but stops to pose on the ropes. Kidman comes back with a
suplex and a slingshot legdrop for two of his own but Juvy nails him
with an Alabama Slam for two. We hit the chinlock for all of eight
seconds on Kidman before he explodes out of the corner with a
clothesline.
Guerrera
hits a Stunner across the top rope but gets dropkicked out of the air
for two. A nice plancha to the floor takes Juvy out again and they
both get up slowly. Juvy is up first though and tries a springboard
hurricanrana, only to land on the apron instead of the floor in a bad
looking botch. Back in and Guerrera nails a brainbuster for two
before knocking him to the floor with a springboard missile dropkick.
The champion hits a springboard plancha of his own and both guys are
down again.
Back
in again and a guillotine legdrop gets two on Kidman before they head
over into another ring. Juvy lands a double springboard into the
other ring into a dropkick (which landed low) for two, which really
shouldn’t count when you think about it. Kidman misses a charge into
the corner but is able to crotch Juvy to break up a 450 attempt. A
bad looking headscissors (the legs wound up under Juvy’s arms) brings
them back into the original ring and a springboard cross body gets
two for Kidman.
Juvy
backdrops him into the only ring they haven’t been in yet and nails a
hurricanrana for two. The
Juvy Driver connects but Juvy can’t cover. The 450 doesn’t work but
Juvy counters the lifting powerbomb into a hurricanrana for two. A
wheelbarrow suplex looks to set up the Shooting Star but Juvy
crotches Kidman down. Juvy loads up a top rope hurricanrana but
Mysterio holds Kidman’s belt to keep him on the top. The Shooting
Star is enough to get the title back on Kidman.
Rating:
C. The match was watchable but
it’s the definition of a spot fest. There’s almost no transition
between the moves and the spots took a good amount of time to set up.
Still though, it’s FAR better than anything else we’ve seen tonight
and the spots woke up the bored crowd a little bit.
Eddie
and the LWO come out and yell at Rey. Guerrero says make a decision
if you’re in or out and Mysterio rips the shirt off. The chase is on
and Rey runs away from about ten guys at once. So let’s recap here
for a minute. Ten days ago, Rey won a Cruiserweight Title shot
against Kidman which he still hasn’t received and was hated by Eddie
for not joining the LWO. Now it’s ten days later and Rey has a
Cruiserweight Title shot against Kidman and Eddie hates him for
leaving the LWO. I’d so glad WCW used the last ten days so wisely.
We
recap Kevin Nash not attacking Scott Hall on Nitro.
Scott
Steiner vs. Rick Steiner
I’ll
put the over/under for this one at 90 seconds. Buff and the NWO
referee are out with Scott. And
there’s no Rick. We cut to the back to see the NWO attacking Rick
until Giant carries him to the ring. Scott beats on him for a bit
until Goldberg runs out for the save and
throws the referee from one ring to another.

I’d
LOVE the explanation for why these two weren’t allowed to fight, even
in their home state of Michigan. There
was no bell so the match never even started. This would be three
months of teasing this and the longest we’ve gotten so far is about
five minutes ending with the fake Bagwell injury. It’s
as basic of a story as you can ask for but for some reason they just
never did it. That’s something that drove me crazy in WCW and it
wasn’t just this match. Page vs. Hogan never had a big singles
match, even though it easily could have headlined a PPV.
Scott
Hall vs. Kevin Nash
The
same NWO guys that attacked Rick are here with Hall. Bischoff comes
out and does the survey, saying that Hall is out of the NWO. The
beatdown is on and here’s Nash for the save. Heenan:
“This reminds me of the Outsiders!” In
one of the only emotional moments you’ll ever see in WCW, the fans
LOUDLY chant for the Outsiders. Hall
holds up the Wolfpack sign but Nash shakes his head and walks away.
To
recap, we had time for a Kaz Hayashi match and a Stevie Ray match,
but the Steiners and Outsiders exploding couldn’t have real matches.
Good to see those priorities being straight WCW.
The
announcers talk about what we’ve just seen. So we can have the
segments and the recaps, but not the actual matches? Again, I would
love an explanation for this.
TV
Title: Bobby Duncum Jr. vs. Chris Jericho
This
is Duncum’s second match in WCW and I have no idea why he’s getting
this spot instead of a ton of the talented guys they have on the
roster. Duncum isn’t even that bad but he just doesn’t need to be in
this spot yet. As I said, have Hayashi ask him to be the partner
(since we NEEDED that Kaz Hayashi match) and give Saturn this spot.
Duncum does have an awesome look. He’d
get a job in a heartbeat in today’s WWE if he were still around.
Jericho
is quickly shoved to the mat and out to the floor for a hug from
Ralphus. Back in and Jericho takes him down as the announcers talk
about Hogan and something being up with the NWO. Heenan asks if Hall
is still a member of the NWO. Tony: “Of course not!” Heenan:
“Why not? They put thirteen stitches in Horace’s head and gave him
a t-shirt.” Tony: “Uh……”.
Duncum
takes Jericho down and puts on a chinlock with a knee in Jericho’s
back. Back up and they
awkwardly collide before heading outside. Jericho hits a clothesline
off the barricade followed by a springboard missile dropkick for two.
We hit the chinlock from the champion now but Bobby comes back with
a shoulder breaker for two of his own. A hot shot sends Duncum
across the top rope and a springboard dropkick knocks him into the
barricade.
Jericho
whips him into the steps and puts on a front facelock back inside. A
running clothesline gets two on the champion and he launches Jericho
into the air for a big crash. They trade clotheslines and the
Lionsault gets two for the champion but Duncum comes back with a
belly to back superplex for another near fall. The Liontamer is
countered and Bobby hits a Vader Bomb elbow drop for two more.
Ralphus offers a distraction, allowing Jericho to hit Bobby (and
clearly the referee as well) with the belt for the pin.
Rating:
C. This was getting good until
the lame ending. The match
wasn’t bad for the most part but like I said, there was just no
reason for Duncum to be in there. I’m not entirely sure why Duncum
never did anything in WCW, but I’d assume it had something to do with
him having a good look, size and skill in the ring.
World
War 3
Chris
Adams, Chris Benoit, Bobby Blaze, Ciclope, Damien, El Dandy, Barry
Darsow, The Disciple, Disco Inferno, Bobby Duncum, Jr., Bobby Eaton,
Mike Enos, Scott Hall, Héctor Garza, The Giant, Glacier, Juventud
Guerrera, Chavo Guerrero, Jr., Eddy Guerrero, Hammer, Kenny Kaos, Kaz
Hayashi, Horace Hogan, Barry Horowitz, Prince Iaukea, Chris Jericho,
Kanyon
Billy
Kidman, Konnan, Lenny Lane, Lex Luger, Scott Hall, Lizmark, Jr.,
Lodi, Dean Malenko, Steve McMichael, Ernest Miller, Chip Minton, Rey
Mysterio, Jr., Kevin Nash, Scott Norton, La Parka, Sgt. Buddy Lee
Parker, Psychosis, Scott Putski, Stevie Ray, The Renegade, Scotty
Riggs, Perry Saturn, Silver King, Norman Smiley, Scott Steiner, Super
Caló, Johnny Swinger, Booker T, Tokyo Magnum, Villano V, Vincent,
Kendall Windham, Wrath and Alex Wright
Those
names are in alphabetical order and the wrestlers are randomly
assorted into the rings. Three
rings, twenty men per ring, you can be eliminated by being thrown out
of the ring through any ropes, pin or submission. You know, because
a BATTLE ROYAL needed to have its rules altered. Once they get down
to twenty men they’ll all be moved into one ring for the final
showdown. The entrances take a LONG time as you would expect and
Heenan changes his pick to Benoit.
There’s
a very good chance I’m going to miss some of the eliminations as
they’re only showing one ring at a time. There
is however a counter on screen to keep things a bit more organized.
We almost immediately get
confused as WCW calls the far right ring #3
after Tony has called the middle ring #1 all night. Kevin
Nash starts firing out people very early, eliminating Norman Smiley,
Super Calo, Lizmark Jr., Scott Putski, and some others that the
camera miss. Lenny Lane, Tokyo Magnum and Johnny Swinger are all
out. Nash dumps El Dandy and we’re already down to 44.
Van
Hammer baseball slides Mike Enos out but gets caught by some knees in
the ribs from Big Sexy. They’re the only two men left in ring #3 and
Hammer is tossed very soon, leaving us with Nash alone in ring #3 and
39 people left. That’s one
less ring to have to jump to at least. We miss three more
eliminations until we see Hall hit the fall away slam to eliminate
Psychosis. Things are already calming down as Kanyon crotches
himself on the top, allowing
Kidman to throw him out.
Kaz
Hayashi is out as well as Harlem Heat shrugs at each other. Giant
shoves out Horace and Disciple to get us down to 30. A
big group of guys go after Giant but all six of them can’t get him
down. He says bring it on and it’s Disco Inferno wanting to run
things. Benoit will have none of that and goes after Inferno
instead. 27 left now with ring #2 having far more people in there.
We miss yet another elimination and we’re somehow at 24. Scott
Steiner dumps Juvy before putting Konnan in a leg lock. 21
to go until Rey misses a baseball slide to eliminate himself and get
us down to the final twenty.
The
final grouping is Nash, Benoit, Saturn, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Eddie
Guerrero, Giant, Disco Inferno, Norton, Konnan, Luger, Hall, Booker
T., Scott Steiner, Wrath, Malenko, Wright, Kidman, Miller, Ray and
McMichael. Miller and Saturn get in a fight before everyone is in
the ring and go outside to eliminate both guys and get us down to 18.
The NWOs are in different corners while everyone else fight. Chavo
hits a running cross body to Wright and both guys are out to drop the
number to 16.
Kidman
dropkicks Eddie out and Giant throws both Kidman and Disco out to get
us to 13. Nash and Giant go at it to a BIG reaction but Scott
Steiner picks Nash off to give Giant a break. Giant accidentally
chops Norton and Steiner actually puts Mongo in a chinlock. Tony
sums up WCW in a nutshell by saying Booker T. and Wrath are the only
unaffiliated men in the ring. Apparently WCW doesn’t exist and the
Horsemen are a separate entity anymore.
We
go to a nice camera shot looking down at the ring (at
an angle, not directly overhead)
which I hope they stick with for the rest of the match. Naturally
it’s gone before I can finish typing that sentence. Nash and Giant
go at it again to another big pop and this time Hall helps Nash out
to really get the crowd into it. Norton saves Giant from an
elimination attempt as Luger dumps Stevie Ray.
Mongo backdrops Norton out but Nash dumps him as well to get us down
to 10.
The
final ten are Giant, Nash, Wrath, Booker T., Benoit, Konnan, Hall,
Malenko, Steiner and Luger. The count goes down to 9 without an
elimination as Bam Bam Bigelow comes in through the crowd. Everyone
goes after him to knock him back to the floor and the fans chant for
Goldberg. They get what they want as Goldberg runs out for the
fight. The match has completely stopped to watch the fight.
We
come back to the ring to see 8 left. Tony thinks Steiner was thrown
out but needs to wait for a confirmation. The idea of looking around
the ring and not seeing Scott Steiner is too complicated for a guy
like Schiavone I guess. We
go to the shot looking down on the ring again and see Benoit,
Malenko, Booker T., Nash, Giant, Luger, Konnan and Hall remaining.
Goldberg and Bigelow are finally pulled apart and Bigelow is
handcuffed.
Booker
is quickly tossed out as everyone circles Giant. He says bring it on
as Tony says Konnan, Nash and Luger are the only two members of the
Wolfpack remaining. I get that he says some stupid stuff but he
can’t even count? Giant shrugs everyone off as Konnan misses a
charge and eliminates himself. Nash tells Luger, Hall, Malenko and
Benoit to go after Giant and they’re able to get him out to get us
down to five.
The
Horsemen go after Hall but he knocks them back, allowing the Wolfpack
to dump Malenko and Benoit and get us down to three. Luger and Nash
bump fists but go to different corners. Everyone hits everyone and
it’s Hall going down in the corner. He comes back with chops to Nash
and the forearm puts Kevin down. Luger Racks Hall but Nash dumps
both of them to win in the same ending from 1996.
Rating:
D. It’s a battle royal so it’s
not exactly the easiest thing in the world to rate. That being said,
this really wasn’t all that interesting. Nash winning isn’t a huge
shock and he’s certainly not the worst choice in the world for the
title shot. I’m sure we’ll get more into that at Starrcade and a
certain Nitro though. The biggest problem here was the camera work.
They kept going for closeups instead of either the usual shot you get
watching a wrestling match or that awesome overhead shot where you
could see the entire ring easily.
US
Title: Bret Hart vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Bret
is challenging. The brawl
starts on the floor with Bret being whipped into the barricade and
steps. Hart is whipped out of the ring again and goes face first
into the barricade a second time. He finally comes back by snapping
Page’s throat over the top rope and takes over in the ring. A DDT
gets two for the Canadian and the match is already going slowly. We
hit the chinlock to make things even worse.
Back
up and Page grabs a swinging neckbreaker for two before they head
back outside. Page is sent into the barricade to put Hart back in
control. A Russian legsweep gets two back in the ring but DDP
reverses a tombstone into one of his own for the same. Bret escapes
a German suplex but walks into a belly to belly for two. The discus
lariat drops Bret again and the Pancake is good for another near
fall.
A
Cactus Clothesline from Hart sends both guys outside and Bret pulls
out a foreign object. Not that it matters as Page comes back in with
a springboard clothesline to knock it out of his hands. Bret drops
the object and the referee puts it in his pocket as Page puts on an
AWFUL looking hold. The announcers call it the Sharpshooter but
that’s not a Sharpshooter no matter how you look at it.
Hart
comes back with a low blow and it’s time to go after the leg. Bret
wraps the leg around the post and puts on the Hart Breaker as well.
He cannonballs down onto the
leg and puts on the regular Figure Four (wrong leg of course) until
Page makes the rope. Another cannonball is countered by Page kicking
Bret over the top and out to the floor. Now it’s Bret going into the
steps and Page puts on a Hart Breaker around the post as well.
Page
brings a chair into the ring but the referee takes it away, allowing
Bret to knock Page into the referee to put both guys down. Bret
takes the foreign object back as the NWO Referee comes in. Page gets
decked and is out cold, setting up the Sharpshooter. The NWO Referee
calls for the submission and the announcers shout that this isn’t
going to stand. Another WCW referee comes in and says not so fast,
allowing Page to hit the Diamond Cutter on Bret with the original
referee counting the pin.
Rating:
D+. This was just long. The
overbooked ending works here but it felt tacked on. It easily could
have been five minutes shorter and been a much better match as a
result. Also that’s not really a good use for Bret (shocking I know)
after the weeks of hurting so many people. Then again, it’s not like
Bret was ever used properly in WCW at all.
Overall
Rating:
F+. The TV and
Cruiserweight Title matches were acceptable but that’s about it for
the night. This was a good example of a show where they clearly
weren’t trying and put almost no effort into things. WCW is at a
very bad point here as there’s no energy at all in the promotion and
there’s nothing to get excited about. Nash vs. Goldberg doesn’t do
anything for me at all but it’s Nash’s company to run at this point
so what different does my
opinion make?

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Thunder – November 19, 1998

Thunder
Date:
November 19, 1998
Location:
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Commentators:
Lee Marshall, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the go home show for World War 3 and we really don’t know much about
the PPV. They haven’t played up the battle royal all that much and
the events on Nitro and Thunder have dominated the discussion rather
than the show that’s three days from now. Hopefully Thunder can pick
things up a bit……yeah we’re in trouble. Let’s get to it.

We
open with Larry Zbyszko on commentary instead of Heenan. As always
we hear about all of the goings on at the moment, including Nash,
Page and Hart.
We
see Bret attacking Malenko and Benoit on Nitro.
Booker
T. vs. Norman Smiley
We
actually get a handshake to start and Booker breaks clean in the
corner. Smiley takes him into the corner and pops Booker with some
uppercuts before slapping him in the face. A slam sets up a chinlock
on Mr. T. but Booker fights up and hits his running forearm and some
kicks to the face. Smiley avoids an elbow drop and dances a bit,
only to get nailed with the Harlem Side Kick, setting up the 110th
Street Slam for the pin.
Rating:
D+. Booker continues to be a
good opening act but there’s only so much he can do in three and a
half minutes against a guy not taken very seriously by the fans. The
match wasn’t terrible and at the end of the day it’s the opening
match on a show that means nothing at all.
We
see Page challenging Bret on Monday.
Opening
sequence.
We
see Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell beating up “Mrs. Steiner” from
Nitro.
Disco
Inferno vs. Scott Hall
Hall
throws the toothpick in his face to start and shoves Disco into the
corner for a vicious hair rub. It’s actually enough to fire Disco up
though as he nails Hall with a clothesline and the swinging
neckbreaker for two. Hall comes back with a discus punch though,
setting up the fall away slam and Outsider’s Edge for the pin. Not
much here.
We
look at Scott Steiner beating up Chris Adams for no apparent reason.
World
War 3 ad.
Here’s
Jericho to make fun of Bobby Duncum Jr. before their rematch for the
TV Title on Sunday. He claims that he was going to be called Cowboy
Chris Jericho from Casper, Wyoming so now he hates cowboys. This
brings out Duncum to hogtie Jericho because that’s what cowboys do.
Kaz
Hayashi is looking for a tag partner for Sunday.
More
clips of the TV Title match from Nitro.
Kidman
vs. Rey Mysterio
Before
the match Kidman says he wants a match with the real Rey Mysterio,
not the LWO version. Eddie Guerrero comes in and says Rey is LWO by
choice but Mysterio wants to know why he didn’t get his title shot
after beating Juventud last week. Eddie says he isn’t thinking
straight so tonight it’s Guerrero vs. Kidman.
Kidman
vs. Eddie Guerrero
Eddie
stomps away in the corner to start but Kidman comes back with a quick
dropkick for two. Guerrero bails to the floor before dropping to his
knees to ask for some mercy back inside. Another dropkick sends
Eddie back to the apron and Kidman stomps away instead of buying into
the waiting any longer. Eddie uses a jawbreaker to escape a sleeper
but the second attempt works a bit better.
This
time Eddie suplexes his way to freedom but gets superplexed off the
top when he tries the frog splash. Like many a schmuck before him,
Eddie gets faceplanted out of a powerbomb. Kidman loads up the
Shooting Star but dives on the bodyguard and Rey Mysterio instead.
Larry: “WHY DID HE DO THAT???” A powerbomb gets two on Guerrero
but the bodyguard distracts Kidman, allowing Eddie to get a rollup
pin with his feet on the ropes.
Rating:
C. The match was decent enough
but at the same time it was almost all about the story instead of the
wrestling. The LWO story
isn’t the most interesting thing in the world but it’s the only way
Eddie and company are going to get anything more than random
cruiserweight matches. If nothing else it’s a nice break from all
the dull squashes we usually get on this show.
The
announcers mention that Kidman has a return clause and will get the
shot on Sunday. We see Kidman losing the title to Juvy on Nitro as a
bonus.
Clip
of a new game coming soon: Ocarina of Time.
Video
on Hall vs. Nash.
Scott
Norton vs. Scott Putski
Speaking
of dull squashes, we have this by the numbers squash. Vincent
interferes to start, Norton destroys him with various power moves
including clotheslines and headbutts, setting up the powerbomb for
the pin in less than two minutes.
We
see Hall vs. Nash from Nitro.
We
see the Hogan campaign stuff from Nitro.
Kaz
Hayashi tries to get Disco Inferno to be his partner on Sunday when
Saturn comes in and offers to do it instead.
The
Cat vs. Super Sensei
Sonny
Onoo says that Sensei is a two time World Karate Champion so this
should be an easy workout for Miller. Before the match starts, Kaz
Hayashi runs in and gets beaten down until Saturn makes the save.
Who decided this feud needed so much TV time?
We
get a quick history of World War 3.
Alex
Wright vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Before
the match we get a rant from Alex demanding respect from the crowd.
The bell rings and Wright quickly armdrags Chavo down before
hammering away in the corner. The announcers start talking about
Bigelow being a career mercenary as Chavo takes over with an armdrag
of his own and a dropkick.
Chavo’s
bulldog takeover out of the corner is shoved off and Wright stomps on
him a bit. We get outside for a slam to Guerrero and some dancing by
the German. A slingshot splash gets two for Alex and the match slows
way down. Alex goes up top but dives into a boot to the jaw,
allowing Chavo to get two off a clothesline. The neckbreaker is
countered but Wright grabs a rollup and flips forward for the pin.
Rating:
D. This was a long and very
boring match which felt like it went on forever. It was really just
two guys doing moves to each other for about seven minutes and then
one guy got the pin. That really doesn’t make for an interesting
match and the thing just kept going. Both guys are usually better
than this.
Prince
Iaukea vs. Kanyon
After
Kanyon does his usual schtick, Iaukea jumps him on the floor to get
things going. They head inside with Kanyon nailing something
resembling a reverse powerbomb before stomping away. The middle rope
suplex back inside gets two for Kanyon and a bulldog is good for the
same. Prince comes back with a sunset flip but Kanyon just plants
him with a double leg Fameasser for two. Iaukea grabs a quick Samoan
drop but has a suplex countered into the Flatliner for a fast pin.
Rating:
C-. It’s not great but at least
it had some cool looking offense from Kanyon. Iaukea continues to be
one of the least interesting wrestlers I can remember in a long time.
It’s not even that he’s bad in the ring or anything like that. He
just isn’t interesting in the slightest and it’s a chore to sit
through his matches.
Saturn
vs. Wrath
This
could be interesting. Saturn grabs an armdrag into an armbar to
start followed by a nice springboard kick to the face. Wrath heads
to the floor for a bit but Saturn is right on top of him with a nice
dive. Back in and Wrath just pounds on him before nailing a
tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Some hard right hands and stomps have
Saturn down in the corner and a belly to back suplex gets two.
A
flying forearm sends Saturn flying into the ropes and Wrath chokes
away. Back up and Wrath misses a charge into the corner and walks
into a t-bone suplex. Cue Sonny Onoo and Ernest Miller as Saturn
nails the frog splash for a close two. Sonny offers a distraction
and Miller kicks Saturn down, setting up the Meltdown for the pin.
Rating:
C+. Better match here with
Wrath getting arguably the biggest win of his career. That being
said, WHY IS SATURN IN A FEUD WITH SONNY ONOO AND KAZ HAYASHI??? He
just came off the good feud against Raven to free the Flock and now
he’s in a story involving the lowest of the low on the totem pole.
Such is WCW.
We
look at Bam Bam Bigelow debuting on Nitro.
Bret
Hart vs. Konnan
After
Konnan hits all of his catchphrases, they slug it out in the corner
with Konnan taking over. They quickly head outside with Hart being
rammed into the steps and barricade. Back in and Konnan gets beaten
down, only to have Stevie Ray get in a shot with the slapjack. A low
blow headbutt has Konnan in even more trouble and the Sharpshooter is
good for the win for Bret.
Rating:
D. Whatever man. Just end this
awful show already.
Post
match Bret goes to Pillmanize Konnan’s leg but DDP makes the save to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D-. They hyped up some
of the stuff for Sunday, but other than that there was NOTHING to
talk about here. At the end of the day, I need more than just clips
of matches on Monday to get me wanting to see a PPV and that’s about
all we got here. This is one of those shows that is absolutely
terrible and it’s clear that they didn’t try at all.
One more note: there’s no episode on November 26 so the next show is from December 3.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
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Monday Nitro – November 16, 1998

Monday Nitro #163
Date: November 16, 1998
Location: Wichita
Coliseum, Wichita, Kansas
Attendance: 13,981
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s the go home show
for World War 3 and most of the card isn’t known yet. We’ll get the
battle royal and Mysterio vs. Guerrera for the Cruiserweight
Title…and that’s about it. My guess is we’ll get a bunch of
rematches from Halloween Havoc, but thankfully Hogan vs. Warrior III
isn’t going to be one of them. Let’s get to it.

The announcers welcome
us to the show and run down the card.
We see a motorcade
coming up, meaning it’s time for more Hogan For President stuff later
on. I’ll give them this: it’s something different.
More from the
announcers.
Cruiserweight Title:
Billy Kidman vs. Juventud Guerrera
Apparently
Judy Bagwell is in the hospital and has sent in a tape which we’ll
look at later. Juvy takes him down with some headscissors to start
but Kidman nips up and grabs a headlock. Juvy counters into one of
his own before rolling Kidman up for two. The short powerbomb (Sky
High) puts Guerrera down for two and he rolls out to the floor for a
breather. A suplex back inside sets up a slingshot legdrop to give
the champion a near fall.
We hit the chinlock on
Juvy for a few moments before Guerrera pops up and grabs a
hurricanrana out of the corner. A nice looking headscissors puts
Kidman down again and Juvy rains down right hands in the corner. The
crowd is WAY behind Juvy here. Kidman sends him to the apron but
gets caught with a Stunner across the top rope. A high cross body
gets two for Guerrera but Kidman dropkicks him out to the floor to
get a breather.
Kidman follows him out
with a plancha and we hit the chinlock back inside. Juvy fights up
and rolls Kidman to the floor, setting up a dive off the top. Back
in and Juvy hits a springboard legdrop but hurts his back, allowing
Kidman to kick out at two. A sitout bulldog gets two more for the
challenger but he tries a powerbomb like a dolt.
The faceplant gets two
for Kidman and he counters another sitout bulldog into a wheelbarrow
slam for two more. Juvy nails the Juvy Driver out of nowhere for two
and takes him up top but Kidman hits an uncharacteristic low blow. A
sitout spinebuster off the top gets a VERY close two but Juvy breaks
up the Shooting Star. The 450 (mostly hitting knees) is enough for
the pin and the title.
Rating:
B+.
This was AWESOME with both guys doing everything they could with
Kidman even cheating a bit near the end. Juvy has been tearing the
house down lately so there’s nothing wrong with him getting the title
here. If nothing else it sets up Mysterio vs. Guerrera again on
Sunday and that’s never a bad thing.
Kidman teases hitting
him with the belt post match but just hands it to Juvy and raises his
hand.
Opening sequence.
We look back at Judy
Bagwell in the Tag Team Title match last week.
Wrath vs. Raven
Before the match Raven
says that WCW isn’t his mother and can’t tell him what to do so he’s
not wrestling tonight. Kanyon begs him to change his mind and offers
to take his spot. He does the usual stuff with the crowd, only to be
laid out by Wrath. The Meltdown destroys Kanyon, whose scheduled
match is next.
Kanyon vs. Glacier
Glacier comes out to go
after a downed Kanyon but Wrath doesn’t think that’s fair. There’s a
Meltdown for Glacier as well and we go to a commercial. Back with
both guys down and the referee counting until Kanyon covers Glacier
for two. They’re selling the heck out of those Meltdowns.
They head outside with
Glacier nailing a suplex but takes too long to follow up, allowing
Kanyon to hit a Fameasser onto the steps. Somehow that only gets two
so Kanyon goes up, only to jump into the Cryonic Kick for another two
count. This time it’s Kanyon kicking Glacier down but coming off the
top into a northern lights suplex. Not that it matters as Glacier
walks into the Flatliner for the pin. It wasn’t long enough to rate
but it was more about Wrath than either guy.
Nitro Party winner.
We look at the Hogan
For President stuff from last week.
Hogan, Bischoff and
company were on Imus in the Morning for a charity thing.
Sonny Onoo vs. El
Gringo
Let’s get this over
with. It’s fairly obvious that Gringo is Kaz Hayashi under a mask.
Gringo blocks a Sonny kick and Onoo says this isn’t what they
planned. Sonny gets shoved down as Gringo unmasks as Kaz Hayashi.
Not that it matters as Ernest Miller comes out to kick Hayashi in the
head, giving Onoo a pin with his foot on Kaz’s chest. Amazingly
enough, NO ONE CARES ABOUT THIS STORY.
Nitro Girls.
Horace/Stevie Ray
vs. Dean Malenko/Steve McMichael
Horace takes Dean into
the corner to start and chokes for a bit before being dropped by a
belly to back suplex. After a bit of leg work it’s off to Mongo who
tries to fight both guys at once with the results going as badly as
you would expect. Ray comes in but charges into an elbow followed by
a kind of suplex from McMichael.
Dean gets the tag but
can’t hook the Cloverleaf. The NWO beats Malenko down until a hot
tag brings in Mongo and everything breaks down. Vincent breaks up
the tombstone on Horace and gets destroyed by Arn as a result.
Stevie nails McMichael with the slapjack but Arn pulls out the trusty
tire iron and knocks out every NWO member in sight for the DQ.
Rating:
D+.
Malenko tried but he can’t carry three other guys on his own. Horace
wasn’t even terrible but he’s just so uninteresting that there’s
nothing to him. McMichael really should be better by this point and
Stevie Ray was Stevie Ray. I can always go for some old AA
bludgeoning though.
Doug Dillinger comes
out to take the tire iron but Arn says no.
Back from a break with
Arn being taken away by security and Mongo going to the hospital.
Gene brings out Ric
Flair for a chat. It’s true that Arn is going to jail and Mongo is
hurt but Flair doesn’t seem too shaken up by these developments. He
rants about tradition for a bit before saying he wants Bischoff in
the ring, so he can “chop him so hard he’ll be on Ripley’s Believe
It Or Not as the man with four nipples.”
As for tonight, Flair
has a surprise for us so here’s Barry Windham of all people. Barry
and Flair hug before Barry talks about how right it is to have the
Horsemen back in WCW. Bischoff comes out to say Barry doesn’t have a
job here and Flair has no authority. Flair says that’s true, but
Barry can tear up Bischoff’s girlfriend tonight.
Eddie Guerrero vs.
Rey Mysterio Jr.
Again
if Rey loses he has to join the LWO but Eddie will leave him alone if
Rey wins. Eddie has an unnamed enforcer with him who has been seen
in recent LWO attacks. A headscissors and hurricanrana put Guerrero
down and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker send him crawling to the referee.
Back up and a nice armdrag takedown puts Eddie on the mat and we hit
the armbar. They go to a test of strength but Mysterio climbs the
ropes and moonsaults into a DDT in an AWESOME counter.
Rey tries something
resembling a Whisper in the Wind but complete misses and comes up
favoring his knee. Not that it matters as he’s able to backdrop
Eddie to the floor and hit an Asai Moonsault. A dropkick to the back
of the head drops Eddie again but the bodyguard trips Rey down.
Guerrero nails a powerbomb but Juventud runs out to even things up.
His springboard legdrop hits Rey by mistake though and Eddie adds the
Frog Splash for the pin.
Rating:
C.
This didn’t have time to reach their usual level but it’s still an
entertaining match. Juvy adds a new wrinkle to the story and having
Eddie get what he wants through these means is a smarter move than
giving him a clean win. These two getting time in the ring together
is never a bad thing.
The
LWO puts a shirt on the unconscious Rey.
The announcers talk
about Judy Bagwell for a bit before taking us to a video of her in
the hospital. She can’t believe Buff would let this happen and makes
it her mission to bring Marcus back where he belongs. Only in WCW
people.
Scott Putski vs.
Chavo Guerrero Jr.
They pose at each other
to start until Putski takes over with a nice slam. He throws Chavo
into the air and lets him crash down to the mat. Chavo comes back
with some forearms in the corner but gets caught in a suplex. Now
for something a bit more interesting as we go split screen to see
Gene watching a Cadillac arrive. Bam Bam Bigelow of all people gets
out and goes through security, screaming for Goldberg to come fight
him. Gene tries to talk to him as we’re on a single screen now.
Bigelow comes to the arena and destroys both guys with a powerbomb to
Putski and a gorilla press to Guerrero.
Bigelow demands that
Goldberg get out here right now but Eric Bischoff, JJ Dillion and an
army of security come out instead. Bischoff and Dillon say get out
of here but Bigelow doesn’t go. Instead here’s Goldberg and A LOT
more security to try to keep them apart. Bischoff yells at JJ and
wants to see him in the back.
After a break Eric
yells at JJ and fires him. JJ says no way because he quits.
We look at the brawl
again.
World War 3 ad.
Konnan vs. Saturn
This
is due to Konnan coming out last week to save Saturn from an LWO
attack. Saturn didn’t want the help and wants revenge. Konnan does
his usual stuff but Saturn jumps him in what is becoming a tradition
in WCW. Saturn fires off some kicks in the corner and hits a jumping
clothesline. A rolling clothesline misses Saturn but he misses the
superkick as well, allowing Konnan to nail a clothesline of his own.
The LWO comes out as Konnan hits the seated dropkick and puts on a
chickenwing.
We
cut to the back and see Bischoff saying Bigelow will not be at World
War 3. Goldberg comes up to Bischoff, grabs his face and demands
Bigelow tonight. Back in the ring with Saturn nailing a superkick
but walking into a spinebuster for two. The announcers have given up
any pretense of talking about the match to hype Goldberg vs. Bigelow.

Splash Mountain
(Razor’s Edge into a sitout powerbomb) gets two on Saturn but he
comes back with a northern lights suplex. A double clothesline puts
both guys down until La Parka gets up on the apron and holds Saturn.
Konnan will have none of that and lays out La Parka instead. The LWO
beats up Saturn as a result and that’s a DQ.
Rating:
C+.
I’m glad the backstage stuff only went on for a few moments as this
was an entertaining match for the most part. It was always nice to
see two different styles work together out there and the match worked
fairly well. The LWO isn’t doing much for me but it’s nice to see
them doing something.
Konnan goes to help
Saturn but Saturn will have none of that. The LWO leaves them alone
to fight.
Hour #3 begins.
Nitro Girls.
We look at Hall vs.
Nash.
Here
are Scott Steiner, Buff Bagwell and their own referee. By referee, I
mean a guy with a whistle and hat running all over the place. Buff
talks about how WCW won’t give them a referee right now so the NWO
has their own. He has the referee demonstrate how to do a very over
the top three count before Scott insults the women here in Kansas.
He talks about the NWO being stronger than blood, which is why it’s
ok for Scott to go attack Buff’s mother.
Scott
says Buff can return the favor, so here’s an old “lady” called
Mrs. Steiner. Buff beats her up and the referee counts the pin until
Rick Steiner runs in to clear the ring. He rips the wig off to
reveal a man and says that’s not his mother. Thanks for that Rick.
Scott Norton sneaks up on Rick and lays him out so Buff and Scott can
come back in to beat Rick down. The referee counts a pin with all
three guys covering Rick.
TV
Title: Chris Jericho vs. Bobby Duncum Jr.
Jericho
is defending. Duncum is a tall guy who looks like a cowboy and is
making his WCW debut. He’s wrestled for a few years elsewhere
though. Jericho grabs something like a surfboard before letting it
go for a senton backsplash. Heenan: “A senton?” Tenay: “Yes a
senton.” Heenan: “Senton? SENTON? A senton? It’s a senton.”
Jericho hits a nice belly to back (Heenan: “THE SUPER SENTON!”)
but Duncum grabs the boot to block the Arrogant cover.
A hard clothesline puts
Jericho on the floor and another one off the apron sends Chris into
the barricade. Back in and Jericho nails a dropkick as Heenan says
this match has been going for twenty minutes. I know Heenan can
embellish time once in awhile but stretching a four minute match to
twenty minute be a new record. Duncum grabs his bullrope and chases
Jericho off for the countout.
Rating:
C-.
Duncum looked good and could move well for a bigger guy but much like
Kaos, there’s not much interest there. The annoying thing is Jericho
vs. Goldberg was built up for over a month now and it seems like
Jericho getting speared last week is the end of their story. As
Jericho has mentioned before, I see no reason why Jericho couldn’t
get squashed on PPV or even Nitro.
Here comes the Secret
Service and it’s time for Hogan. He comes out to Hail to the Chief
and the announcers swear that Hogan is serious about this. Hogan is
by himself here with the white feather boa around his neck. A huge
American flag comes down in front of the entrance as red, white and
blue balloons fall.
Hogan
gets in the ring as confetti falls as well. He talks about what a
great week this has been due to the fans embracing his vision for the
country. Tonight he’s introducing his official intern and of course
it’s a woman that looks like Monica Lewinsky complete with a blue
dress and hat. She congratulates him and makes a cigar joke before
giving her a long hug.
Hogan
invites the NWO out here because the campaign trail is just as solid
as the NWO. Eric comes out and looks ticked off but sucks up to
Hogan a bit anyway. Hogan makes light of Eric being worried about
Goldberg and the wrestlers’ safety due to Bigelow. Scott Hall comes
out and says they’re NWO for life. He wants to know where Bischoff’s
head is at though. Eric says that’s ironic coming from Hall and says
they’ll take care of this later on. Hall decks Eric so Hogan goes
after Hall until Nash makes the save. Scott leaves and Nash says
he’ll see him in Detroit. There’s another match for the PPV.
Bret Hart vs. Chris
Benoit
Non-title.
Benoit nails a hard elbow to start before firing off chops in the
corner. A snap suplex gets two and Benoit stomps away in the corner.
Bret comes back with a shot to the throat before stomping down on
Benoit for good measure. The backbreaker and middle rope elbow are
good for two and Bret catapults him throat first into the bottom
rope.
Chris charges into a
boot to the face but comes back with a great looking superplex. The
Swan Dive connects for two and Benoit clotheslines him out to the
floor. Bret grabs a chair but runs away for some reason, allowing
Benoit to punch it into his face back in the ring. Hart hits him low
and crushes Benoit’s arm with the chair for the DQ.
Rating:
C.
This was more about setting up the angle than the match itself and
that’s fine. Heenan saying that Hart just didn’t care anymore is
very accurate. It’s clear that there’s no fire in him anymore and
he’s just out there because his contract says he has to be. Also did
we really need another face to be taken out?
Post match Malenko
makes the save but Bret sneaks up on him and hammers away. DDP makes
the real save and taunts Bret with the US Title. He’ll keep getting
back up and will defend the title against Hart at World War 3.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs.
Goldberg
Bigelow jumps Goldberg
in the aisle and they fight by the entrance way until security breaks
it up to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C.
This was a better show as it felt like there was an actual effort
being put into things this week. As stupid as it sounds, I can
actually go with the Hogan For President stuff. Yeah it’s totally
stupid, but I’d much rather watch something over the top and goofy
than something deadly serious and horrible. The rest of the show was
fine and bringing in Bigelow to put over Goldberg isn’t the worst
idea in the world. It’s still not a good show but it was a nice
change of pace.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Thunder – November 12, 1998

Thunder
Date:
November 12, 1998
Location: Roanoke Civic
Center, Roanoke, Virginia
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
another taped edition which means I’m probably about to lose all will
to live. The main story is still Bret attacking people and being a
loose cannon, which is completely different from Scott Steiner
attacking people and being a loose cannon. WCW is in desperate need
of some top faces as Goldberg has been nowhere near the top story for
months, Flair isn’t wrestling, and all the other faces are being
injured by Hart. Let’s get to it.

  

The announcers run down
the card as is their custom.
Glacier vs. Chris
Adams
Before the match
Glacier says he invented the Cryonic Kick, which I believe he told
Saturn a few months back. At least he’s consistent. They lock up a
few times with no one getting an advantage until Glacier grabs a
wristlock to take over. Glacier takes him down and hammers away with
right hands, already making him more interesting than most Ernest
Miller matches.
Adams
gets back up and nails some right hands of his own after a kick to
the face. They head outside for a few seconds before getting back in
so Adams can kick Glacier out of the air. A powerbomb sets up the
superkick from Adams but here’s Sonny Onoo for the save. When I say
save, I mean the referee takes forever to count because Sonny missed
his cue. The distraction lets Ernest Miller come off the top with a
kick to the head, allowing Glacier to drive his thumb into Adams’
neck for the submission.
Rating:
D+.
This was actually better than I was expecting. Glacier has gotten a
lot easier to sit through by just adding in some moves beyond kicks.
He’s still not entertaining or someone I care about now, but I’d
rather watch this version of him than the one that got a big push a
year or so ago.
We look at the big
Hogan Presidential announcement from Nitro.
Kenny Kaos vs.
Kendall Windham
Kaos
is billed as part of High Voltage despite being half of the Tag Team
Champions with Rick Steiner. Or wait are the two of them still
champions after the Judy Bagwell thing on Monday? And Kaos is ok
here but was too hurt to wrestle Monday? You can see the confusion
already setting in for this company. Kaos grabs a hammerlock to
start but Kendall goes into the ropes.
Windham slugs away but
gets caught in a wristlock and it’s already time to talk about the
battle royal in a few weeks. Kendall heads outside to sucker Kaos in
and take over with shots to the back. He misses a middle rope knee
drop though and Kenny takes over with a clothesline and powerslam.
Kendall grabs a quick swinging neckbreaker but runs into an elbow to
the jaw. After heading to the apron, Kaos comes back in with a
springboard clothesline for the pin.
Rating:
C-.
As is always the case around this time, the question is the same: why
Kenny Kaos? It’s nice to see someone new pushed, but at the same
time there are better choices out there than Kaos. To this day it
doesn’t make a ton of sense but Kaos didn’t do a horrible job in the
role.
Video on Lex Luger.
Stevie Ray vs. Jerry
Flynn
Norton, Vincent and
Horace are at ringside. Stevie actually needs Vincent to offer a
distraction so he can take over to start. He works over Jerry with
as basic of a power offense as you can think of, though he still
finds time to work in a SUCKA or two. Flynn gets pounded down and
sent into the buckle where Norton gets in some choking from the
floor. Flynn comes back with some kicks and choking in the corner
but gets sent to the floor for a beating from the NWO. Back in and
we hit the bearhug from Stevie before he kicks Jerry in the face and
hits the Slap Jack for the pin.
Rating:
D.
This match is a good example of why the NWO stopped mattering.
Norton, Vincent and Horace never meant much in WCW, but we have to
sit through them being on screen and act like they matter because
they’re wearing an NWO shirt. Look at all the people that could use
this spot to get a rub, but instead these guys are out there and
never getting anything out of it because the top guys in the NWO
weren’t going to go anywhere.
Rey
Mysterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera
Winner
gets a shot against Kidman at the PPV. They shake hands to start
followed by Guerrera grabbing a wristlock to take over. Rey drops to
the mat and nips up into a spin move to escape. Mysterio’s wristlock
is countered with a slam and Rey bails to the floor for a second.
Back in and they trade headlocks before actually slugging it out. A
slingshot suplex drops Mysterio but he pops up and takes Juvy into
the corner to hammer away. Rey misses a charge into the corner and
gets taken down by a headscissors as we go to a break.
Back
with Rey hammering Juvy down for the Bronco Buster before slapping on
a headlock. Juvy comes out with a nice atomic drop before putting on
a surfboard for a bit. He can’t hold Rey up though so it’s off to an
armbar instead. Rey fights up again and hits a tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker followed by a moonsault for two. Juvy gets back up and
nails a quick powerbomb for two of his own but walks into a
hurricanrana for the same.
Rey
misses a charge into the corner and Juvy tries to go up top for the
450 but Mysterio grabs his feet for the save. Juvy kicks him away,
only to miss a top rope legdrop and get caught in a figure four
headscissors. That goes nowhere so Rey throws him to the floor.
Juvy teases walking out but comes back in and nails a brainbuster as
the time limit runs out. We’re going to keep going though because
the title shot is on the line. Imagine that: wanting a winner to get
a title shot.
We’re
in overtime now with Juvy missing a charge into the corner. Rey
slams him down but misses a top rope legdrop to give Guerrera a two
count. Mysterio rolls to the floor and gets caught by a big old dive
over the top. Back in and Juvy hits the Juvy Diver, only to have Rey
break it up and nail the top rope hurricanrana for the pin and the
title shot.
Rating:
B-.
This is another match that is really hard to screw up. Rey is the
best high flier WCW had and Juvy is probably right behind him. Both
guys looked good here despite the lack of high spots. It’s an
encouraging sign when they can mix up what they do out there to make
the match feel different.
Cruiserweight Title:
Billy Kidman vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Kidman is defending and
it’s face vs. face here. They lock up a few times to start until
Chavo grabs a headlock. That goes nowhere until Kidman sends him
into the ropes and nails a dropkick. The champ grabs an armbar and
Chavo can’t even slam his way out of it. Chavo eventually shakes
Kidman off and scores with a clothesline and belly to back suplex for
two. A powerslam gets the same but Chavo grabs Pepe until we take a
break.
Back with Chavo still
in control but he stops to talk to Pepe. Kidman can’t capitalize
though and has to kick out of a German suplex at two. We hit a camel
clutch on the champion before Chavo shifts over to an Indian
deathlock with a crossface. The crowd audibly gasps on that one and
I can’t blame them. That move always looks awesome.
They get back up and
Chavo avoids a dropkick before getting two off an elbow drop. Time
for more Pepe, but this time Kidman is able to get up for a high
cross body and a two count. Guerrero comes back with a pair of
rollups for two each but has his suplex countered into a powerbomb.
Back up again and Chavo wins a battle of the forearms before walking
the corner for a bulldog. He makes the eternal mistake of trying a
powerbomb and gets slammed face first down into the mat. Kidman
loads up the Shooting Star but here’s the LWO for the DQ.
Rating:
C+.
Another good cruiserweight match which got the time to go somewhere.
Chavo’s character is starting to come into form by being a very
talented guy who keeps getting distracted by the horse. It’s a
better gimmick than being completely insane and is a logical
evolution for the character as he’s done with Eddie now and has no
reason to play as many mind games.
World
War 3 ad.
Dean
Malenko vs. Kanyon
Malenko
doesn’t care to hear Kanyon’s catchphrase so he easily takes Kanyon
down and slaps on an armbar. Back up and it’s off to a headlock from
Dean before he runs Kanyon down with a shoulder. Kanyon tries to get
in a cheap shot off a lockup and Dean is all ticked off now. Dean
gets warned by the referee and Kanyon gets in a few cheap shots to
take over. He hammers away on Malenko and chokes away before hitting
the middle rope Fameasser.
A sleeper is countered
by a belly to back from Malenko but he gets rammed into the buckle.
Kanyon grabs a suplex of his own and gets two off a slingshot elbow
drop. Dean gets taken down with a swinging neckbreaker but is still
able to avoid a top rope splash. Kanyon is able to get his boot up
in the corner and throws Malenko outside but Raven doesn’t do
anything. Raven walks to the back to distract Kanyon, allowing
Malenko to break out of the Flatliner. Dean takes him down and loads
up the Cloverleaf but Lodi runs in for the DQ.
Rating:
C.
This wasn’t as good as I was expecting but it wasn’t a bad match.
Kanyon was using most of his usual stuff here but he was so different
than most of what anyone else was doing so it still looked unique.
Malenko didn’t look on his game here but he’s still perfectly fine
while being off a step.
Konnan vs. Giant
Much like Dean, Giant
doesn’t want to hear what his opponent has to say so he shoves Konnan
to the side. Konnan bails to the floor but it doesn’t do him much
good as Giant hammers him down again. Giant misses an elbow in the
corner but falls on Konnan in a slam attempt. A Russian legsweep
drops Konnan and Giant chucks him to the floor. Giant follows Konnan
outside and just mauls him like Konnan isn’t even there. A table is
set up against the steps (drawing an ECW chant) but Konnan moves to
send Giant through it instead. Konnan grabs a chair and blasts
Giant, drawing the lame DQ.
Rating:
D+.
There’s something about Giant throwing large men around that
entertains me. Of course it could be that most of Konnan’s talking
makes me cring and I enjoy seeing him get beaten up. This was your
usual “we’ve got no time left but this show needs some star power
so here you go” main event.
Giant shrugs it off and
chokeslams the referee for yelling about the table to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+.
The C is for cruiserweights here as they carried this show on their
backs. I got tired of the disqualifications but at least we got some
long entertaining matches leading up to them instead of the garbage
we usually get before the DQ. There wasn’t much storyline
development, which is going to become a problem as the PPV is in ten
days.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Monday Nitro – November 9, 1998

This was written over a year ago so I might miss a few details from previous shows.  I need the extra time to get ready for Wrestlemania though so it’s a lucky break.
Monday
Nitro #162
Date: November 9, 1998
Location: Nassau
Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan
This is another request
and I have no idea what it was requested for. This would be a few
weeks after Halloween Havoc and about two weeks before World War 3.
Goldberg is world champion but the top feud is Bret Hart vs. the top
faces he hasn’t injured yet. The bottom hasn’t fallen out yet for
the company but you can see them standing on the cracks. Let’s get
to it.

We open with a montage
of Hogan saying he’s running for President. He announced this on the
Tonight Show and I’m just going to move past it. It’s a montage of
his pictures and that’s about it. Think the Real American video but
not as impressive.
Gene and Bobby are in
the back waiting for Hogan and here’s a limo. Make that two limos.
It’s both NWO teams and they immediately brawl. Hall gets thrown in
a trash can. Why do I have a feeling that isn’t the first time
that’s happened to him? Konnan holds off Giant with a pipe and
that’s about it.
We get some clips of
Bret hurting DDP and Sting for some reason.
Kaz Hayashi vs.
Juventud Guerrera
Things speed up
immediately and here’s Bischoff to the announce desk. He says that
the President will be here tonight and Gene needs to stay where he
is. I’m so glad we stopped looking at a fast paced match to look at
Bischoff’s back as he talked. The fans chant various curses at
Bischoff as Juvy takes over with some kicks in the corner. He goes
up but jumps into a dropkick from Kaz. Hayashi is one of those guys
that was talented but never went anywhere for various reasons.
Tenay points out that
the NWO battle in the parking lot did in fact take place in the
parking lot. Thanks for that Professor. After a quick trip to the
floor, Kaz takes him back inside and pops Juvy in the head. Juvy
tries a dive of some sort but Hayashi moves, sending Juvy through the
ropes to the floor. A BIG springboard dive takes Juvy down and Kaz
is in full control. There’s a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a
dropkick to the ribs as Kaz focuses on the back and ribs, hence why
he used a move to each of them.
The idiot fans think
this is boring for some reason. Off to a rib stretching hold by
Hayashi but it’s quickly broken up. The fans are still chanting
boring for some reason. They chop it out and man those things are
HARD. Kaz chops him into the corner and we actually get a commercial
break in this match. Back with Juvy kicking Kaz down and diving to
the floor to take both guys out.
Back in and Kaz
clotheslines Guerrera down and the match slows down a bit. Kaz
stands around too much and gets caught in a sunset flip for two. A
brainbuster puts Juvy down for two. Juvy kicks him in the ribs but
his powerbomb is countered into a rollup for two. Here are Sonny
Onoo and Ernest Miller to watch as we continue this amazing Onoo vs.
Hayashi feud. As the camera is on Miller, we can see Guerrera
hitting a hurricanrana in the background. You know, the unimportant
stuff. Juvy Driver is countered and Kaz rolls up Guerrera, only to
have Miller distract the referee. Sonny kicks Kaz in the head and
Juvy rolls him up for the pin.
Rating:
B-.
Bad ending aside, this was a pretty solid TV opener. How often do
you see a cruiserweight match with guys of this name value get twelve
minutes on Nitro? If this is the result I’d be fine with it
happening more often. Good fast paced match here, even though the
ending was designed to set up a tag match at the PPV.
We get clips of Nash
getting beaten up by the NWO from a few weeks back. They’re really
pushing the random videos tonight for some reason.
Alex Wright vs.
Barry Horowitz
Yes that Barry
Horowitz. Wright makes sure to tell the ring announcer that he does
not want to hear ANYTHING from the crowd during the match. You know,
because Barry Horowitz requires perfect silence to beat. Barry jumps
him but Wright takes him right down to the mat. Horowitz comes back
with a European Uppercut to show up the German but Wright gets up two
feet in the corner to stop a charge. We see what looks like a Secret
Service guy as Wright hits a dropkick for two. They head to the
floor and the Wolfpac howl goes off. Here they come and the match
just kind of ends. Too short to rate but it was nothing.
Konnan does his usual
stuff and Nash quotes Popeye, saying that he can’t stand anymore.
That’s an image I never thought I would see. He talks about the
brawl earlier with the Black and White and says the Wolfpac is never
going to back down. Nash issues an open challenge to ANY combination
of the Black and White for later but he wants Hall in it in some
form. Luger says he wants Bret, who injured him a few weeks ago, and
Konnan rambles incoherently. Cue Bischoff who calls Nash Estrogen
Boy. They’ll get the Black and White tonight and just wait in the
ring. Nash calls Bischoff Estrogen Boy to close it out. Ok then.
Lodi vs. Scott
Norton
Wasn’t the Wolfpac
supposed to stay in the ring? Apparently it’ll be Hall/Giant vs.
Luger/Nash later. Chop, powerbomb, pin, Norton wins. This was
nothing, again.
Here’s Disciple of all
people for a chat. He says he’s his own man but here are Stevie Ray,
Horace and Vincent. Gee what a threatening group. Horace gets to be
the mouthpiece and it’s instantly clear why he NEVER got to do that
more than once. Disciple argues back and there’s the three on one
beatdown. Horace whips him with a belt but Disciple fights back.
The beating continues until Warrior comes out for the save and a big
reaction. There’s an OWN shirt shown and that’s it. No literally
that’s it, as Warrior was never seen in WCW or any major company
again until he would be brought back for the WWE Hall of Fame.
Gene and Bobby are in
the back again and are apparently waiting on the arrival of Bill
Clinton. We get a shot of a motorcade arriving and some people in
suits, who are supposed to be Secret Service agents (now that guy
from earlier makes sense), tell Gene to leave. There are two limos
here at least. The cameramen are shoved back and we cut to the arena
with some Presidential music playing.
Of course it’s not
Clinton, but rather Hogan with a bunch of boas around his neck. The
announcers tell us that Hogan will announce his running mate here
tonight as well. There’s a huge American flag being lowered from the
ceiling and Bischoff is here too. Is this some kind of big joke
because of Jesse Ventura? It’s not the worst idea in the world.
Hogan talks about how
Jesse the Mind Ventura is steering Minnesota in the right direction
and how proud he is of Jesse. Hogan says his phone has been ringing
off the hook and he’s decided that he’s running for President with
Bischoff as the campaign manager. No party is mentioned but we do
get a Monica Lewinsky cigar joke.
Buy WCW/NWO Revenge!
No really, that game was good, and it’s only $70 from WCW!
Here’s Bret Hart for a
chat. As he’s coming to the ring we get a clip from last week with
him injuring DDP in the Sharpshooter. Bret says Luger was lucky to
escape with his life last week and that Sting needs to get well
because there’s more where that came from. As for DDP, he’s in a
hospital thanking God that his career isn’t over. Bret says just
send him the belt and everything will be cool. Tonight he’ll beat up
Konnan and that’s about it. It never ceases to amaze me how much
they wasted Bret in WCW.
Eddie Guerrero vs.
Rey Mysterio Jr.
Rematch from Thunder
where the time limit ran out. Eddie is the leader and wants Rey
involved but Mysterio wants nothing to do with them. Eddie offers
Rey a shirt before the match but Rey holds up his own shirt in
response. Rey trips up a charging Eddie and pounds away on the
ropes. Guerrero bails to the floor and comes back in on his knees.
That’s a new way of begging for mercy. Well new to wrestling at
least.
A headscissors puts
Eddie back on the floor so it’s time to change strategies. Eddie
takes Rey’s knee out and stomps away at it and Mysterio is in
trouble. Eddie’s powerbomb is countered into a sunset flip but Eddie
rolls through into a leg lock. Rey is put on the apron and Guerrero
cannonballs down onto the leg over the top rope. Back into the ring
and it’s another leg lock but Rey rolls him up for two.
Leg lock number three
goes on and things slow down a lot. Rey gets to the ropes and
manages to climb the ropes and hit a springboard headscissors to put
Eddie down, but his knee slows him down. Eddie dropkicks him back
down and it’s time to go to the knee again. A slingshot hilo lands
on the knee and we head to the floor. Eddie dropkicks the steps into
Rey’s knee which is up against the post. Mysterio is in big trouble
at this point.
Back to the leg lock as
things slow down again. The fans look at something on the left hand
side of the ring and even Eddie stops to look at it. Rey avoids a
charge in the corner and hits the Bronco Buster. A slingshot
moonsault gets two for Rey, followed by a jumping X Factor for no
cover. The layout bulldog gets another two for Rey but Eddie
suplexes him down to take over again. Eddie puts on another leg lock
but here’s Crazy Chavo. Eddie yells at him, allowing Rey to roll him
up, botch the rollup, and then roll Eddie up again for the pin.
Rating:
B-.
This falls firmly in the category of pairings that you can’t screw
up. The leg work here was fine and while I’m not wild on the ending,
the match worked fine. It was also a different style than you would
expect from these two but it still worked well. Good stuff here and
that’s a sign of talent, as both of them were out of their element
with this style.
Rey saves Chavo from an
LWO beatdown post match.
Here’s Bischoff who
says that he’s still the boss even though he’s Hogan’s campaign
manager. Flair is still not wrestling because of a failed physical.
I believe that’s the first explanation for why he hasn’t been in the
ring. Eric talks about JJ Dillon overstepping his bounds by fining
Buff Bagwell and Scott Steiner. Some attorneys come out and waste
more time before cracking some jokes and getting beaten up by
Bischoff. Joseph Park they are not.
We get a LONG recap of
Dillon fining Steiner and Bagwell from last week. The two of them
came out and terrorized Dillon and destroyed the announcers’ desk.
Steiner says no one can control him and they called out Kenny Kaos,
who was Rick Steiner’s interim tag title partner. Being the idiot
that he is, Kaos gets beaten down and laid out. Then on Thunder Nick
Patrick got beaten down as well.
Scott and Buff come out
with Scott saying his usual stuff, including a rant on Piper being
the commissioner and a coward. Apparently no referee will work a
Steiner match so Buff is going to do it. Scott demands an opponent
so here’s what we get.
Scott Steiner vs.
Chris Adams
Uh…yeah. There’s no
match here as it’s a double beatdown. Rick Steiner runs out for the
save and says he’ll find a partner and put the titles on the line
tonight.
Tag Titles: Scott
Steiner/Buff Bagwell vs. Rick Steiner/Judy Bagwell
Yes, it’s Buff’s mama.
Buff tries to hit his mom to start but she ducks and knocks him to
the floor. This is for the world tag team titles. Rick knocks Buff
to the floor and Buff says he’s not fighting. Scott insults Judy and
there’s a challenge for a match at the PPV. Judy says she’ll do it
at the PPV and get paid this time. Only in WCW people.
Konnan vs. Bret Hart
This has to be better.
I mean, it’s impossible for it to not be, even though it’s another
battle of the NWO. Konnan immediately takes him down in the corner
and stomps away. Out to the floor we go and Bret is sent into the
barricade. Bret comes back with a rake to the eyes and we head back
inside. A bit of trivia for you: Konnan is credited as the man that
taught Bret the Sharpshooter. Bret nails the Russian legsweet but
the elbow hits a boot. Well the boot hits Bret’s jaw but you get the
idea.
Konnan comes back with
some choking which doesn’t give me a ton of confidence in his chances
of winning here. Bret gets pounded down in the corner but when
Konnan goes after the referee, Bret takes Konnan’s knee out. You
know it’s not going to take much to get Bret to go after an injured
limb and Konnan is in big trouble. The fans want Sting as Konnan’s
leg is wrapped around the post. Bret hits the knee again and then
grabs a chair to beat on it for the DQ.
Rating:
C-.
This was all about adding another body to Bret’s hit list and that’s
fine. The match was nothing of note as Konnan wasn’t in Bret’s
league but he was a big enough name for this to mean something.
We’re waiting on the big return to face Bret and it’s going to be a
big reaction when it happens.
Luger makes the save
and Konnan goes out on a stretcher.
Gene asks Jericho to
come out here. Jericho says this is where he was born and he’s glad
he left because this place sucks. Jericho asks “Greenberg” to
come out because he’s 4-0 against him so far. Ralphus says Goldberg
isn’t here but we see Goldberg in the back wrecking Jericho’s stuff.
Jericho has his back to the monitor and has no idea this is going on.
Cue Goldberg, who sneaks up on Jericho and spears the tar out of
him. He talks some trash and leaves Jericho laying.
Kevin Nash/Lex Luger
vs. Giant/Scott Hall
Main event time. Hall
tosses the toothpick but Nash counters with some spit. Classy guy
there. Nash pounds him into the corner and hits the framed elbow and
long leg choke. I don’t think we’ll see much besides signature stuff
here, as is the custom for main events. Hall escapes Snake Eyes and
pounds away but Luger makes a quick save. Hall bails from some
deadly posing and Luger beats on him a bit, again with just signature
stuff.
Scott finally rakes the
eyes and gets Giant in and it’s the same monster vs. any sized guy
stuff you’ve ever seen: Giant beats on him, Luger punches to no avail
and then Luger chokes. Hall comes in illegally and Luger has to beat
both of them up at once since Nash is looking for hair care products.
Giant finally hits Luger low to break the momentum and uses his
fattness to take over.
Back to Hall who chokes
in the corner as the fans chant for the Wolfpac. Has Nash just
fallen off the face of the earth or something? I know he’s in the
corner but I haven’t seen him do anything for about five minutes now.
Giant breaks up a tag to Nash and chokes Luger on the ropes, being
aided by Hall.
The Black and White
take turns for a few minutes with as basic an offensive set as you
could ask for. The fallaway slam looks to set up the Outsiders’ Edge
but Lex backdrops out of it. Nash FINALLY gets the tag and cleans
house, hitting Snake Eyes on Hall and big boots for both guys. And
never mind as here’s Bret attacking Nash’s knee for the DQ.
Rating:
D+.
This was pretty dull but for a main event tag it wasn’t the worst
match in the world. Hart coming in was a bit of a surprise so it
didn’t come off as a cliché or anything like that. The NWO war
would go on for months until the point where no one could keep track
of who was on which side, nor would anyone care.
Bret, Hall and Giant
work over Nash’s knee until Luger makes the save with a chair to end
the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+.
While nothing great and still too long at three hours, this was a
pretty entertaining show. They let the cruiserweights do their thing
out there and the show worked far better as a result. It was a
bright spot in a pretty weak time for WCW, but the lack of Hogan vs.
Warrior is making this much easier to sit through.
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Thunder – November 5, 1998

Thunder
Date: November 5, 1998
Location: Roanoke Civic
Center, Roanoke, Virginia
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
World War 3 is a few
corners away and things aren’t all that interesting at the moment.
Monday wasn’t the best show in the world but it was nice to have a
breather from the Hogan vs. Warrior nonsense. Bret vs. Luger seems
to be building up soon but we still have to deal with all the people
Bret has injured recently. Let’s get to it.

Tony and the gang
welcome us to the show before congratulating Jesse Ventura for being
elected Governor of Minnesota. This of course transitions to Hogan
wanting to be President and officially announcing his candidacy on
upcoming Nitro.
Kanyon vs. Barry
Horowitz
The usual Who Better
schtick gets the usual reaction so Kanyon takes out his frustration
on Barry with some shots to the head and a choke. Barry’s sunset
flip is countered by a right hand to the head but he avoids an elbow
drop. We hit the chinlock on Kanyon for a few moments before he
fights up and runs Horowitz over with a shoulder.
Barry comes back and
rams him into the corner, only to be thrown into the air for a crash
down onto the mat. A Rocker Dropper gets three straight two counts
but Barry gets a near fall of his own while Kanyon yells at the
referee. Horowitz scores with a powerbomb and some clotheslines for
two, only to miss a third and get Flatlined for the pin.
Rating:
C-.
Shockingly decent squash here with Barry putting up a better fight
than you usually see in a match like this. Kanyon was a bit lower
than his usual standard here but the match was still entertaining
anyway. At least the focus wasn’t on Raven being depressed the
entire time as usual.
Back
from a break with Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell coming to the ring.
Scott says the two of them have gone from the penthouse in LA to the
outhouse here in Roanoke. The women here are stuck next to their
redneck boyfriends and Steiner is the way out, but the crowd doesn’t
seem interested in him being their hookup. JJ can fine them all he
wants but there’s no stopping Scott Steiner. The Red and Black is
nothing but a bunch of copycats and Scott will take all of them out
on his own, starting with Lex Luger tonight. There’s your main
event.
Wolfpack shirt ad.
Savage/Sting video ads.
Alex Wright vs.
Raven
Raven sits in the
corner to start so Alex yells at him in German before calling Raven
an uneducated American. Alex talks about how great and clean shaven
he is for over a minute until Raven hits him low to start. Wright
bails outside so Raven sits in the corner again. That’s the opening
Wright needs and he stomps away before stopping to dance. Raven
fires back with right hands but Wright nails him with a jumping kick
to the face. Wright misses a charge into the ropes to put both guys
down.
Lodi comes out but
Disco Inferno, in bright green, runs out and nails him in the face.
Kanyon appears as well to punch Disco but gets suplexed by Wright.
Raven heads outside for the brawl but gets rammed into the barricade
and apron (Marshall, as Raven’s hands are on the ring apron: “We’re
back to two people but they’re nowhere near the ring!”). Back in
and Raven goes up top, shoves Wright down…and walks away for the
countout.
Rating:
D+.
This was much more story development than wrestling. Normally that’s
fine but this story is getting overly complicated in a hurry. To be
fair that’s what happened with Raven and Saturn earlier this year and
things worked out pretty well. This was barely a match but a fired
up Raven was interesting.
Tony
brings out Jericho for another chat. Jericho names his personal
security guard as Ralphus and says he’s the most dangerous man alive.
Tony has accused him of disrespecting Greenberg, but he’s just a
better champion than Goldberg. He’s the TV Champion and a lot of
people watch TV, making him the better champion. Jericho claims a
4-0 record against Goldberg and challenges Goldberg to break that
streak. Again, this is as easy of a payoff as you can ask for.
Fit
Finlay vs. Booker T
They
circle each other for a good while before Booker takes over with a
headlock. He takes Finlay down with a shoulder block but gets taken
down into a reverse chinlock. Some European uppercuts from the
European give him control and he hammers on Booker’s chest for a bit.
Off to a chinlock until Booker fights up and hits the forearm and
kick to the face for two. A spinwheel kick followed by a belly to
back suplex set up the Harlem Sidekick but Finlay breaks up the
missile dropkick. Fit sends him into the corner but gets caught in a
spinning sunset flip for the pin out of nowhere.
Rating:
D+.
Not much here but it keeps Booker back on the screen after his return
on Monday. A win over Finlay doesn’t mean all that much but it’s
better than beating a jobber. Booker is in a weird place here as
he’s too big for the TV Title again but the US Title is firmly in
NWO/main event land and there’s no way he’s getting there anytime
soon.
The announcers preview
the rest of the show and introduce Konnan’s music video.
The Cat comes out for
an open challenge and is answered but Kaz Hayashi but Glacier returns
to answer it instead. Actually scratch that as Glacier says he’s
here because he has Miller’s back. No one in WCW is going to take
them seriously because they’re karate guys, but he takes Miller
seriously. Oh joy indeed.
Horace vs. Norman
Smiley
Smiley doesn’t even get
an entrance. Horace pounds on him in the corner to start before
nailing a hard shoulder and elbow drop. Another shoulder puts Norman
on the floor so Vincent can get in a few shots. Back in and a belly
to back suplex sets up a brainbuster to squash Norman.
Eddie Guerrero vs.
Rey Mysterio Jr.
Before the match Eddie
offers Rey a spot in the LWO for a third time but Mysterio still
isn’t interested. However Rey is forced to join if he loses tonight
for no specified reason. Heenan brings up a good question: what good
is it to have a man in your organization if they don’t want to be
there? Rey speeds things up to starta nd hits a nice headscissors
followed by an armdrag. Eddie backdrops him to the apron but gets
sent into the corner by another headscissors.
Mysterio rams him into
three buckles but gets caught in an atomic drop, allowing Eddie to
dropkick the knee out. He puts on a leg lock as we take a break.
Back with the hold still on as it looks like nothing has changed at
all. Eddie ties Mysterio in the Tree of Woe but misses a charge to
crotch himself against the post Curt Hennig style.
Rey pulls himself to
the top and hits a seated senton off the top to the floor. He comes
up limping even more but is still able to hit a tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker. Rey heads to the top again for a top rope hurricanrana,
only to injure the knee again. Guerrero takes Rey’s knee brace off
and puts on a leg hold as the LWO walks to the ring. Not that it
matters though as the time limit expires at about seven minutes.
Rating:
C+.
It’s not quite Halloween Havoc 1997 but it’s still Guerrero vs.
Mysterio. These two had a natural chemistry together and the matches
were almost always a success. This worked quite well with Rey trying
to fly but the knee just not holding up well enough. Eddie having a
hold on before the time limit ran out was a nice touch as well.
The LWO wants to attack
Rey but Eddie holds them back.
Ad for World War 3.
TV Title: Prince
Iaukea vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho
is defending of course. The announcers ignore Iaukea taking over
with a clothesline to talk about the Hogan For President stuff, which
to be fair is more interesting for a change. They trade quick
takedowns until Iaukea nails a palm strike to the chest. The referee
isn’t cool with that for some reason and the argument allows Jericho
to take over with a hot shot. A suplex sets up the Arrogant two
count and we hit the chinlock.
Jericho nails a seated
dropkick but charges into a foot in the corner. The announcers
actually acknowledge the match for a bit before talking about
anything else. A superkick drops Jericho again but Iaukea misses a
dropkick. Jericho loads up the Lionsault but hits knees and gives
the Prince two. Back up and Iaukea nails a Samoan drop and a
slingshot hilo, only to have a victory roll countered into the
Liontamer to retain the title.
Rating:
C.
Better match than I was expecting here with both guys looking good
for the most part. Iaukea certainly wasn’t bad in the ring most of
the time but he just wasn’t interesting at all. Even when Jericho
was going after him with the Prince Makamakey stuff it only worked to
a degree. Nice match here though.
Scott Hall vs. Disco
Inferno
For once in his life,
Disco shows some intelligence by running from the five NWO members
around the ring. Giant stops him from running though and Disco
panicking is rather amusing. The big man sends Disco back into the
ring and Hall just destroys him with his signature stuff. He hooks
the abdominal stretch and messes with Disco’s hair, which is actually
enough to fire Disco up. Inferno comes back with a running
neckbreaker but Norton trips him up, setting up the Outsider’s Edge
for the pin.
Tony
brings out the Horsemen for a chat to really wake the crowd up. No
Mongo in sight however. Anderson sums up the NWO in a nutshell: it
just took six of them to beat the Disco Inferno. He lists off some
of the NWO members and all of their talents, but it makes him wonder
why Bischoff is being silent. Let’s stop the waiting and have the
NWO vs. the Horsemen in the fight everyone wants to see.
Dean
says he hasn’t been in Roanoke in twenty years but he remembers
watching his father wrestle in this building. Right now the Horsemen
need to make Chris Benoit healthy again so he can get back in the
ring. Benoit says Roanoke is a great Horsemen town and tells
Bischoff to quit prolonging reality. He needs to wake up from the
dream world of this, meaning the NWO hand signal, when it’s about to
wake up to the reality of the four fingers (it looked far cooler when
you can see the hand signals).
Flair
goes on a rant about Jesse Ventura becoming Governor and how Jesse is
all about respect. If Flair has to waltz around the ring with Aretha
Franklin, she’ll sing Respect to Bischoff. Flair tells Bischoff to
look at his girlfriend and makes some suggestions involving pelvic
thrusts. It’s another awesome Horsemen promo, but it needs to lead
to something soon.
Scott Steiner vs.
Lex Luger
It’s after 10pm so this
isn’t going to last long. Before the match, Scott gets in Nick
Patrick’s face and yells at Nick for what he did at Halloween Havoc.
Patrick says he was just doing his job and gets beaten up for his
efforts. Scott wraps Nick’s leg around the post but Luger runs out
for the save. They brawl for a bit as the medical staff comes out
with a stretcher. Scott sees what’s going on and heads outside to
beat on Patrick even more.
Luger gets sent into
the barricade and Buff chokes Luger with his own shirt. Steiner
stays on Lex with various choking techniques but Lex finally makes a
comeback. He hits his usual stuff before Racking Steiner, drawing
out Mickey Jay as a replacement referee. Not that it matters as Buff
breaks things up, allowing Scott to beat up Mickey as well. Rick
Steiner runs out for the save to end this mess as well as the show.
It wasn’t really a match if that wasn’t clear.
Overall
Rating:
C.
I’ve seen worse episodes but this didn’t do much for me. We’ll go
with right in the middle as this was such a middle of the road show.
There were good and bad matches, but nothing was really advanced.
Much like most episodes of Thunder, there’s no need to watch this at
all.
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Monday Nitro – November 2, 1998

Monday
Nitro #161
Date:
November 2, 1998
Location: National Car Rental Center, Sunrise,
Florida
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Things
actually aren’t that bad for WCW right now as we’re heading into
World War 3 and then Starrcade. The main stories at the moment are
of course more Warrior vs. Hogan and Bret vs. Page for the US Title.
The execution of the stories last week wasn’t horrible and the
episode was much easier to sit through than usual. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a World War 3 ad, which I believe is the first mention of
the show.
Alex
Wright vs. Norman Smiley
Norman
gets caught in a wristlock and something resembling a northern lights
suplex for no cover. Smiley pops back up and gets one off a cross
body followed by a wind-up slam. Back up and Wright hits a nice
running forearm but stops to dance instead of following up. We get a
Tree of Woe from Alex so he can stomp at Norman’s chest before
missing a charge into another corner. The announcers talk about
World War 3 as Norman hits a nice delayed butterfly suplex. A
legdrop gets two on Wright and Norman goes up, only to get
superplexed down. Wright adds a neckbreaker for the pin.
Rating:
D+. It’s the same story we’ve
seen multiple times now and it’s still going nowhere. At the end of
the day there are only about five European wrestlers on the WCW
roster at this point so beating them over and over again doesn’t
really do much for Wright. Not a terrible match but it doesn’t mean
anything.
Opening
sequence.
The
Nitro Girls dance with WCW Revenge boxes. That game rocked.
Disco
Inferno vs. Kaz Hayashi
Kaz
doesn’t care for dancing and hammers away to start, only to have his
head taken off by a hard clothesline. Disco misses a charge in the
corner and gets taken outside by a nice headscissors followed by a
great looking dive. Back in and Kaz gets two off a high cross body,
only to walk into a suplex for two.
The
dancing elbow gets the same but a second attempt misses, allowing Kaz
to nail a dropkick followed by a moonsault for two. Sonny Onoo comes
down the aisle. Disco goes up top, only to get caught in a nice
superplex. Onoo distracts Kaz and gets chased, only to have Disco
catch him coming back in with the piledriver for the pin.
Rating:
C-. Far better match than I was
expecting here though I’m not sure why we’re supposed to care about
Sonny Onoo. He’s left Hayashi and is hanging out with Ernest Miller
at the moment, which doesn’t exactly have me on the edge of my seat.
Hayashi’s big dives looked good here though.
Gene
brings out the returning Booker T to a nice ovation. Booker is glad
to be back but needs to talk about Stevie Ray joining the NWO. He
loves his brother and respects his decision, but it’s Stevie’s
decision alone and Booker won’t be joining. Booker calls out Scott
Hall for a match tonight, saying it was Hall that put him out of
action a few months ago. Actual continuity. I’m stunned.
Scott
Putski vs. Fit Finlay
Basic
stuff to start with Putski taking Finlay down with a hiptoss. Finlay
avoids an elbow and they head outside with the Irishman dropping
Scott with a clothesline. A knee drop keeps him in trouble and they
head back inside. Putski scores with some right hands and a
powerslam but he misses the Polish Hammer (double ax handle to the
chest). Finlay nails the rolling fireman’s carry and the tombstone
is good for the pin on Putski.
Raven
whines about his losing streak when Kanyon comes in. He asks if
Raven is going to jump off a building but Raven sends him away.
We
get clips of Jericho beating “Goldberg” over the last few weeks.
Ernest
Miller, now with Sonny Onoo, comes out to make an open challenge to
anyone in the back.
Ernest
Miller vs. Scott Armstrong
Armstrong
jumps the Cat two seconds into Miller’s five count and nails him with
a dropkick. Not that it matters as Miller whips him into the corner
and hits the Feliner for the pin at maybe 35 seconds.
Post
match Miller chokes even more until Steve Armstrong comes out for the
save, only to get kicked down as well.
Wrath
vs. Kendall Windham
I
don’t picture this lasting long. Wrath takes him into the corner and
hammers away before no selling an elbow to the jaw. A side suplex
drops Kendall and Wrath no sells a neckbreaker. Wrath drills Kendall
with a shoulder block and the Meltdown is good for the pin.
Video
on Bret injuring DDP and Sting recently.
Here’s
a limping Bret for a chat with Gene. He’s had fun hurting people
lately but he’s suffered a pulled groin and won’t be able to fight
Luger tonight. Gene claims to have seen Bret moving around just fine
in the back but Bret cuts him off and calls this a blessing for
Luger. Lex himself comes out to the ring and calls Bret a liar
before clotheslining him out of the ring. Gene gets taken out as
well before Luger pulls Bret back in the ring for a Rack.
Tony
complains about having to see Flair humiliated last week. However,
Eric is making him show clips of Bash at the Beach 1994 with Hogan
beating Flair in a title vs. career match.
Here
are the Horsemen in the ring. Arn is tired of hearing Bischoff’s
garbage and the NWO vs. Horsemen has to happen soon. Bischoff
wouldn’t understand any of this because wrestling is a man’s game.
Anderson wants to fight right now but first Ric has something to say.
Bischoff can play all the tapes he wants but Flair will get every
bit of the respect when he walks down that aisle. Malenko is in the
back getting ready for a match so Benoit and Mongo get in their own
jabs at Bischoff as well.
Hour
#2 begins.
Nitro
Girls video.
Nitro
Girls.
Nitro
Party winner.
Scott
Norton vs. Van Hammer
Norton
chops him into the corner and nails a splash before sending Van
Hammer to the floor with a splash. Back
in and Van Hammer grabs a quick Cobra Clutch slam, only to walk into
a Samoan drop and a powerbomb to give Norton the pin.
We
get a clip of JJ Dillon getting beaten up last week.
Bret
Hart gets his ribs taped up.
Back
in the arena with Saturn calling out Eddie Guerrero so
he can prove he can beat Eddie after last week.
Saturn
vs. Eddie Guerrero
Guerrero
comes out but gets stomped down into the corner. Saturn hits a face
first wheelbarrow slam as we have a referee in now. A quick
brainbuster drops Saturn but he’s able to run up the ropes and suplex
Guerrero down for two. Saturn nails a top rope legdrop and a
falcon’s arrow but the LWO runs in for a fast DQ.
Konnan
comes in to break up the fight but pulls Saturn back as well. He
says Eddie is just like Raven with the Flock and not worth it. Eddie
says he’s Raza and calls out Konnan for hanging out with the Anglo
Wolfpack.
Scott
Steiner vs. Kenny Kaos
No
match as JJ comes out and says not so fast. Scott freaks out and
shoves him, sending JJ running to the back.
JJ
comes back out and says he has something to say…..and we
immediately go to a break. What the heck was that?
We
come back with a video on the Nitro Girls.
Psychosis
vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
The
announcers talk about having to control Scott Steiner and
make no mention of what JJ was going to say.
They circle each other to start until Rey takes him down with a
wristlock. Psychosis comes back with a wrist drag until they slug it
out. Rey cartwheels onto Psychosis’ shoulders and sends him outside
with a hurricanrana. Back in and Rey hammers on the horned
masked man in the corner but gets countered into a sitout powerbomb
to change control.
Rey
is sent outside and a BIG slingshot legdrop crushes him even more.
Back in and we hit the chinlock from Psychosis for a bit before he
throws Mysterio in the air for a big crash. Rey avoids a charge in
the corner and comes back with a springboard seated senton for two.
Psychosis nails a sitout front suplex for two of his own followed by
a top rope Frankensteiner for the same.
After
avoiding a dropkick, Rey ties Psychosis’ legs into the ropes and
bounces off the top rope into a moonsault onto the elevated
Psychosis. Cool looking move. Psychosis tries to throw him into the
air again but gets pulled down into an X Factor. The LWO is in the
aisle for a distraction, allowing Psychosis to counter a middle rope
Frankensteiner into a powerbomb for the surprise pin.
Rating:
C+. This was your usual take
two cruiserweights and let them fly around for a few minutes. Both
guys were on their game out
there and the match worked very well. It’s also nice to see the LWO
get a pin over a big name instead of just running in for a DQ like
they’ve been doing for the last few weeks.
Jericho
comes out to rant about Goldberg a bit. He respects the champion and
has a very successful football career of his own. Gene: “You do?”
Jericho: “Details later.” Jericho makes fun of Goldberg’s
football career and wishes him the best in the future. Funny as
always.
Hour
#3 begins.
Raven
vs. Dean Malenko
The
announcers talk about Raven’s losing streak as he allows Dean to hit
him in the face. You don’t have to ask a Horsemen twice so Malenko
hammers him down into the corner. A low blow slows Dean down but he
drives Raven through the ropes to counter the Even Flow. Lodi comes
out to ringside but Mongo runs out to beat him with a belt and chase
him off. Back in and Raven hits the drop toehold into the chair for
a delayed two.
Raven
loads up the chair in the corner but Dean sends him into the corner
instead. Dean recovers but Raven doesn’t seem interested in getting
up. Some suplexes put Raven down and a spinebuster breaks up another
Even Flow attempt. Kanyon comes out but Dean whips Raven into him
for two. Benoit comes out to chop Kanyon but the “injured” Bret
Hart comes out to beat up Benoit, allowing Kanyon to run in for the
DQ……in a Raven’s Rules
match where a low blow and chair were legal just a few minutes
earlier.
Rating:
C-. The match wasn’t bad and
Raven has some interesting stuff going on with the depression over
losing the Flock. Bret running in didn’t help much but heels lying
in WCW is what you expect anymore. I’ll give WCW credit for one
thing though: they managed to have four people run in during a six
minute match.
Bret
put Benoit in a hammerlock until Luger comes out for the save. Hart
immediately claims injured ribs but the Giant comes out to save Bret.
Giant says he’ll fight Luger tonight.
TV
Title: Billy Kidman vs. Chris Jericho
Only
Jericho’s title is on the line here so I’ll only refer to Jericho as
the champion. Jericho takes
him into the corner to start and waves to the crowd before the trade
wristlocks. That goes nowhere so Kidman dropkicks him out to the
apron before cranking on the arm again. Jericho whips him out to the
floor and Kidman lands hard on his back. A suplex gets an Arrogant
two but Jericho is whipped hard into the corner and a clothesline
puts him down.
The
champion doesn’t seem to mind as he throws Kidman into the air and
slams him face first onto the mat in a big crash. Jericho bends
Kidman’s back across his knee before
nailing a running dropkick in the corner. Chris goes up but dives
onto Kidman’s feet to give Billy control. A lifting powerbomb gets
two on Jericho but Chris counters a victory roll into a Liontamer
attempt.
That
doesn’t work so Jericho catapults Kidman face first into the buckle.
Jericho’s powerbomb is countered into a facebuster but the Shooting
Star mostly hits mat. Kidman comes right back with a rollup for two
before just pounding on Jericho’s back. Chris bails to the floor but
gets caught with a plancha to put both guys down. Back in and Kidman
hits a high cross body as the time limit runs out at about eight and
a half minutes.
Rating:
B-. Another good match here as
you would expect from these two. Kidman is just awesome right now
and Jericho is Jericho. I’m not sure why only the TV Title was on
the line here but it let Kidman throw everything he had at Jericho
because he had nothing to lose. Fun stuff here but it’s probably
just a one off match.
Here
are JJ Dillon and Kaos with something to say. JJ has fined Buff
$50,000 and Scott $100,000, which brings out an angry Scott. So how
can you tell if it affected him or not? Scott goes on a rant about
how no one can stop him and demands Kaos get out here right now.
Kaos comes down and Buff barely bothers with the sincerity nonsense
before the NWO lays him out. More WCW people looking stupid here.
Scott
Hall vs. Booker T.
This
is Booker’s return after being out with a knee injury. Hall does the
survey and attacks Booker as he gets into the ring. Booker shrugs it
off and hits a quick forearm followed by a hot shot. A side kick
sends Hall to the floor but his eyes are clear this week. Back in
and Booker scores with a clothesline followed by a back elbow to the
jaw. Booker hits his hook kick out of a wristlock but walks into a
fall away slam.
They
head outside with Hall in control. He rams Booker back first into
the apron and they’re quickly back inside. Booker’s right hands
stagger Hall for a bit but he misses a dropkick to put Scott right
back in control. A sleeper goes nowhere so Hall clotheslines Booker
down, only to duck his head and get caught by an ax kick. Back up
and the side kick nails Hall again but he pulls the referee in the
way of the missile dropkick. The Outsider’s Edge is countered but
another referee runs in to call for the DQ, giving Booker the win.
Rating:
C-. Not a horrible match and
it’s nice to see Booker win, even if it’s not by pin. The fact that
he came back and got a match with a big star like Hall instead of
dropping down the card is a really good sign for his future. The
match wasn’t great or anything but it gives me hope for the future.
Giant
vs. Lex Luger
As
mentioned, Giant is substituting for an “injured” Bret Hart. We
open with a posedown before Giant takes him into the corner. Luger
avoids a chop and hammers away but Giant shoves him down and drops a
huge elbow. A Russian legsweep drops Luger, prompting Tony to talk
about what wrestlers think of Russian legsweeps. Is that something
wrestlers regularly talk about in the back?
Giant
stands on Luger’s throat as the fans chant for Goldberg. Luger’s
throat is snapped across the top rope as the match is in slow motion.
Giant shoves him around but Luger starts getting fired up. The
clotheslines stagger Giant and Luger slams him down. There’s the
forearm but Bret runs in with a piece of barricade for the DQ.
Rating:
D. I didn’t get into this one
as it felt like they were just filling in time. Based on everything
we’ve seen tonight it was obvious that Bret would be running in and
it didn’t make for a good match to sit there waiting on the
interference. Luger didn’t get to show off his power either which is
the best thing about his matches.
Post
match Bret puts Luger in the Sharpshooter but Goldberg comes out. He
spears Giant and loads up one on Bret but hits Luger instead to end
the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+. There are some good
matches on here but the show felt like a filler episode. That’s
likely going to be the case for the next few weeks as a battle royal
can only have so many stories during the buildup to the show. Hogan
and Warrior being gone was a nice break though and one that has been
needed for a long time.
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Thunder – October 29, 1998

Thunder
Date:
October 29, 1998
Location:
Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Commentators:
Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Halloween
Havoc is over and the main story coming out of Monday is Bret Hart
losing the US Title to Diamond Dallas Page. Unfortunately this is
one of those taped Thunders so we’re not going to get much of
anything as far as high level storyline development. God bless the
midcard I guess. Let’s get to it.

The
announcers talk about how great Nitro was and tell us of two title
matches tonight.
Wrath
vs. Van Hammer
It’s
strange to see Wrath in there with someone his own size. Wrath
shoves him into the corner and hammers away with various strikes.
Hammer blocks a whip into the corner by putting his boot up to stop
himself. An elbow to the jaw drops Hammer and they head to the floor
with Wrath sending him into the barricade. Back in and Wrath hits a
top rope forearm but Hammer comes back with chops and punches in the
corner. A powerslam gets two on Wrath but he Hulks Up and hits the
Meltdown for the pin.
Rating:
D. I guess Van Hammer is an
upgrade for his size but Wrath is still just squashing jobbers. Why
he got one shot at Jericho and never did anything else with him is
beyond me but the Meltdown looked good. Wrath is getting stronger
and stronger reactions from the crowd so points for WCW for making
something work.
Clips
of Alex Wright vs. Finlay.
Finlay
vs. Alex Wright
Because
the world was waiting on the third match in this series. Wright
hides in the ropes until Finlay goes over and gives him a clean
break. Finlay cranks on the
arm but Alex comes back with some uppercuts and a slingshot belly to
back suplex. Some dancing allows Finlay to take over with his own
European uppercuts before working on the legs as this is already
dragging. The announcers
pick things up a bit by talking about Finlay breaking Alex’s father’s
leg back in the day.
Alex
tries to run but Finlay easily catches him and wraps the leg around
the post. Back up and Wright falls down so we hit the leg lock
again. A knee drop and kick
to the leg in the corner have Wright in trouble but he cartwheels
away from a whip. Why don’t more people use that instead of getting
whipped across the ring? Alex bails outside but snaps Finlay across
the top rope and scores with a missile dropkick. Since this match
hasn’t gone on long enough, Finlay is knocked into the referee….but
he grabs Wright for a tombstone and Nick Patrick counts the pin.
Rating:
C-. The leg work was good as
the announcers pushed the idea that Finlay
was trying to do the same thing to Alex that he did to the father.
Unfortunately at the end of the day this is the third match these two
have had in two and a half weeks and any interest in that story is
long gone.
We
look at JJ getting beaten up on Nitro.
Tuff
Tom vs. Disciple
Oh
yeah they’re not even trying tonight. Disciple throws him to the
floor to start but has to deal with Mean Mark. Shame it’s not Mean
Mark Callous to make this the slightest bit interesting. Back
in and Tom hits a neckbreaker on Disciple for no effect. After a
slam it’s the world’s slowest Stunner to pin Tom.
Eddie
Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko
Feeling
out process to start despite these two knowing each other so well.
Eddie grabs the arm before switching to the leg and taking Dean to
the mat. We get the always cool lightning fast technical exchange
with both guys getting near falls and trading quickly broken holds.
That leads us to a stalemate and we take a break.
Back
with Eddie escaping a monkey flip but getting slammed down and
chinlocked. Guerrero fights up and scores with a headscissors and
dropkick to the side of the head. Dean pops back up and suplexes
Eddie down and right into the chinlock again. Guerrero fights up
just as easily as he did the first time and hits a belly to back
suplex of his own. The
control doesn’t last long again as Dean just throws Eddie into the
air for a big crash down to the mat. A Cloverleaf attempt sends
Guerrero running outside and the match takes a breather.
Dean
hammers on Eddie in the corner but gets sent into the corner to
change control again. A brainbuster puts Dean down but Eddie spends
too much time yelling at the crowd and gets superplexed down to put
both guys on the mat. Eddie
is up first and sends Malenko to the floor. They trade whips into
the barricade before heading back inside for a quick surfboard from
Eddie. That goes nowhere so we hit the quick rollups again. Dean
hammers away in the corner but here’s the LWO for the DQ.
Rating:
B. This was getting awesome at
the end but the stupid ending hurts it. At least we got a solid
match with some length here, even though we had to miss three and a
half minutes of it for the commercial. Van Hammer, Finlay and
Disciple get full matches, but these two get their cut. Naturally.
The
Horsemen come out for the save.
TV
Title: Chris Jericho vs. Disco Inferno
Disco
is challenging and grabs the mic before the match. He reminds
Jericho that he’s a former two time TV Champion and Jericho needs to
respect that. Therefore, Jericho should just wrap the title around
Disco’s waist right now and be done with this. Jericho pulls the
belt back to hit Disco in the face but winds up putting it around his
waist instead. He raises Inferno’s hand and then clotheslines him
down to get things going.
The
referee takes the belt away from Jericho and Disco grabs a
neckbreaker and rollup for two each. Jericho comes back with a hot
shot and suplex for an Arrogant two. We hit the chinlock on Disco as
the announcers talk about Chavo Guerrero challenging Kidman tonight.
Disco gets up a boot in the corner but Jericho does the exact same
thing a few moments later. The champion goes up but dives into a
boot, giving Disco one more chance. A middle rope clothesline gets
two on Jericho but he counters the piledriver into the Liontamer to
retain.
Rating:
C. Both
guys looked decent out there and they were able to get the crowd
going with their various antics. Disco still isn’t much to see but
he was amusing enough. Jericho is still acting a bit more like a
face out there and he’s still working as well as you would expect him
to.
Cruiserweight
Title: Kidman vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Chavo
is challenging. After Chavo
spends a good deal of time talking with Pepe, he asks the referee to
check Kidman for foreign objects. Chavo gets checked as well and
doesn’t seem to mind before we’re ready to go. Feeling out process
to start until Chavo dropkicks Kidman out to the floor and celebrates
with the horse. Back in and
Kidman takes over with a headscissors and stomps away in the corner.
Things are picking up so the announcers start talking about Horace
turning on Warrior.
A
running clothesline out of the corner gets two for the champion and a
springboard legdrop gets the same. We hit the headlock on the
challenger for a few moments but Kidman charges into a boot in the
corner. Chavo nails a good looking spinwheel kick and gets two off a
German suplex, only get caught in the lifting powerbomb. Back
up and Chavo dropkicks Kidman into the ropes before hitting a middle
rope bulldog for two. They trade forearms to the jaw and Guerrero
goes up for a sunset flip but Kidman escapes into a rollup for the
pin to retain.
Rating:
C+. Another nice match here
with both guys looking crisp out there. Chavo was good at balancing
the insanity with the in ring work to make for an entertaining match.
He would be even better once he dropped the horse nonsense but it
wasn’t bad for the most part. Kidman was great as always.
Post
match the LWO runs in and destroys Chavo until Eddie says his nephew
has to earn his LWO colors. The LWO leaves and Chavo wants to start
the PWO.
We
look at Warrior talking about the pinfall meaning nothing at
Halloween Havoc.
Villano
V vs. The Cat
Miller
does the five seconds thing and gets dropkicked at the count of five.
The control lsts all of a few seconds until Miller superkicks him
down. Villano gets choked and sidekicked again but comes back with a
knee to the ribs. A quick backsplash gets two on Miller but he comes
back with the Feliner for the pin.
Scott
Hall vs. Steve Armstrong
No
Survey tonight but we do get the toothpick toss. Steve takes him
down to the mat with a nice leg trip and grabs a headlock. Armstrong
escapes a hammerlock and slaps Hall in the face. Hall takes him into
the corner for choking and stomping as the match becomes what you
would expect. Two straight Outsider’s Edges are enough for the pin.
Rating:
D. Not much for this one here
as you would expect. Hall wasn’t playing drunk here so it wasn’t as
uncomfortable as usual. I’m not sure how much there is to this, but
one report I read on this show says Armstrong actually won the match
and then this ending was filmed. I’d assume it was just something
special for the live crowd and the editing covered up any changes
they made.
Clips
of Page taking the US Title from Bret.
Giant
vs. Raven
Kanyon
doesn’t want Raven to do this but Raven isn’t listening. Giant
throws Raven around with ease but misses a charge in the corner. Not
that it matters as he kicks Rave out to the floor. The average sized
guy gets Giant to chase him and scores with a baseball slide but his
plancha is caught in midair. Raven manages to escape and send Giant
into the post before blasting him in the back with a chair. Kanyon
slides in a table and Raven kicks Giant low as he gets in the ring.
Giant shrugs it off and chokeslams Raven through the table for the
easy pin.
Overall
Rating:
C+. This was a much
better show than usual as the wrestling easily carried the night.
It’s not a great show or anything and there was no storyline
advancement but that’s ok for a change. When you get so much stuff
on Nitro, it’s nice to have a basic and well done wrestling show
instead.
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Monday Nitro – October 26, 1998

Monday
Nitro #160
Date:
October 26, 1998
Location:
America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Halloween
Havoc is over and not a lot has changed. Hogan beat Warrior in one
of the worst matches of all time, Goldberg kept the World Title in a
good match over Diamond Dallas Page, Rick Steiner is still an idiot
(though he won the Tag Team Titles in one of the only changes) and
Nash walked away instead of beating Hall. We’re four weeks away from
World War 3 which will set up Starrcade. Let’s get to it.

We
open with stills of Bret vs. Sting from last night.
Nitro
Girls.
Tony
talks about the overrun from last night, saying about 10-20% of the
houses didn’t see the end of Hogan vs. Warrior or the title match.
WCW has held meetings all day and came up with two options. One
would be giving away the replay for free. Quote: “No. A lot of
fans bought the show and saw all eleven matches. We don’t want to
give the whole thing away for free.” Nice to see them just say “we
want your money instead of making it right.”
Therefore
tonight at 9pm we’re going to see the World Title match in full.
Tony insists this isn’t a ratings ploy and proves it by saying the
match will start at 9pm rather than the end of the show. Why not
have a meeting to find out who decided Tony should say this on air
and have them listen to how stupid it sounded? Larry says sometimes
technology is out of control and just wait until the KY2 bug hits.
Alex
Wright vs. Stevie Ray
Stevie
has dubbed himself the enforcer of the NWO. He runs over Kaos to
start and yells at the camera before kicking Kenny in the face.
Stevie misses an elbow drop as Tony drones on about the technical
issues. Kaos hits a springboard shoulder block for two but here’s
Buff to throw Stevie the Slap Jack. Kaos is knocked out and the Slap
Jack is enough for the pin.
Rick
Steiner comes in for the save as Tony says Rick single handed won the
titles. “It’s one of those things you only see when you watch a
WCW pay per view.” I wouldn’t be bragging about what you get when
you watch a show at this point Tony. Rick grabs the mic and says he
has to pick a partner, so if Kenny is interested in some revenge, he
can be a partner if he wants. Kaos says his partner is out with an
injury and it would be an honor to defend the titles with Rick. This
was always a bizarre choice to me as Kaos just lost a match and had
no history at all, so let’s make him a champion. Even the replay
shows him getting pinned.
Opening
sequence.
Kanyon
vs. Prince Iaukea
Raven
is with Kanyon as Tony talks about the World Title match replay for
about the 6th time so far. However, even though it was
cut as well, we’re not going to see the end of Hogan vs. Warrior
because “it was too disgusting to show on television.” He’s
talking about Hogan failing to light Warrior on fire (the second time
he couldn’t get it to work if you’re counting), which happened after
the match. These jokes are writing themselves tonight.
Kanyon
does his schtick before the match and jumps Iaukea when he doesn’t
get the response he wants. Tony says they can’t show you the ending
to the Hogan match and Tenay adds that it’s not up to TNT standards.
Kanyon gets two off a rollup and puts on a chinlock until Iaukea
sends him to the floor. The Prince goes up top and dives at Kanyon,
despite him standing four feet from where Prince aimed. Prince
backdrops out of a piledriver on the steps to get the announcers
talking about the match for the first time. Back in and a
springboard flip attack gets two on Kanyon but he grabs the Flatliner
for the pin.
Rating:
D+. This was better than I was
expecting but at the end of the day, Prince Iaukea isn’t going to win
a match on Nitro at this point. The flip dive did look cool but
there are a ton of guys on this roster that can do the exact same
thing. It’s always nice to see Kanyon get a win as well.
The
Nitro Girls are at the announcers’ desk.
Gene
calls the Horsemen to the ring. There’s no Mongo in sight and Flair
says he was a casualty in Vegas but will be back by the end of the
night. That’s an odd statement. Gene finds it interesting that
Bischoff isn’t trying to keep the Horsemen off TV but here’s Bischoff
in person. He says he’ll admit if he’s wrong, and he underestimated
how much Flair means to all of these people. The fans clearly want
to see him wrestle and that’s what Flair will be doing tonight.
Flair says line them up and he’ll be ready in ten minutes.
Nitro
Party winner from Hampton, Virginia.
The
announcers talk about some of the other big matches last night and
show us stills of Nash vs. Hall.
Alex
Wright vs. Barry Horowitz
Wright
takes him down with ease to start but charges into an elbow in the
corner. A jumping kick to the face puts Barry down and Alex goes up,
only to jump into a boot. Barry
gets dropkicked off the top and a great looking neckbreaker gives
Wright the win.
We
look at stills from Hogan vs. Warrior. Of course this is ok to talk
about but Heaven forbid we show it.
Wrath
vs. Sick Boy
Sick
Boy actually drops Wrath with a spinwheel kick but Wrath chops him
back into the corner. Wrath puts on a chinlock before throwing Sick
Boy out to the floor. A slingshot shoulder block gets two on Sick
Boy but he comes back with a suplex into a swinging neckbreaker.
Wrath completely no sells it to complete the squash.
Hour
#2 begins so here’s Goldberg vs. Page. I don’t feel like watching
this match twice in four days so this is copied and pasted from the
Halloween Havoc review.
WCW
World Title: Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Page
charges right at him a few times and is easily shoved away. An
armdrag frustrates Goldberg and they lock up before falling to the
floor without breaking it up. Back in and Page tries a legsweep but
Goldberg does a standing backflip to avoid it. Men his size should
not be able to do that. A bad looking cross armbreaker has Page in
trouble and Goldberg shoves him out of the ring to block the Diamond
Cutter.
Back
in and Page takes him down into a hammerlock but a hard shoulder
block puts him on the floor. Page is able to snap Goldberg’s throat
across the top rope and he follows up with a swinging neckbreaker. A
Russian legsweep gets two and we hit a front facelock. Goldberg
knees his way out of it and hits a spinning neckbreaker to put Page
down. A hard hiptoss puts Page down and a side slam gets two for the
champion. Back to the cross armbreaker but Page makes the rope.
A
superkick sends Page flying but he sidesteps the spear, sending
Goldberg hard into the post. Page gets two off a flying clothesline
and the running DDT puts the champion down as well. He calls for the
Diamond Cutter but Goldberg nails him with the spear. It injures his
arm though and Goldberg can’t get the Jackhammer. Page slips behind
him and grabs the Diamond Cutter but both guys are down. The fans
are suddenly WAY into this as Page gets a very close two. Page tries
a suplex of his own but Goldberg counters into the Jackhammer to
retain the title.
Rating:
B.
It’s not a masterpiece but it’s definitely Goldberg’s best match
ever. The fans were buying into Page as a threat at the end of the
match and that’s more than can be said about the vast majority of
Goldberg’s opponents. To put it simply, this was a good wrestling
match. You can’t often say that about a WCW main event but that’s
what you had here.
Goldberg
helps Page up post match and poses to end the show.
The
announcers praise the match.
Gene
goes to Kevin Nash’s huge locker room to ask him about leaving Hall
laying last night and walking out on the match. Hall himself comes
in and Nash says it wasn’t about winning and losing. He’ll win when
Hall is his friend again. The audio keeps cutting in and out. Hall
says something I can’t make out but they shake hands, only to have
Giant sneak in (unless there’s another door to that room, Giant was
somehow hiding in there
and Nash never saw him) and help Hall throw Nash through a wall in a
good visual.
Nitro
Girls video.
Nitro
Girls dance.
WCW
likes UNICEF.
Here’s
the NWO with Hogan looking thrilled. Bischoff talks about how great
his life is and presents Horace his shirt as the newest member of the
team. Hollywood throws in the weightlifting belt and it’s a big
celebration. Somehow this
takes almost six minutes.
Eddie
Guerrero vs. Saturn
Feeling
out process to start until Eddie takes him down by the arm. Saturn
comes back with an armdrag but Eddie complains of a hair pull. The
distraction lets Eddie take him down and stomp away at Saturn’s knee.
A backbreaker gets two for Eddie but he gets caught in a sitout
wheelbarrow slam for two by Saturn. Eddie’s tornado DDT is countered
into a northern lights suplex for two more but Eddie escapes a
vertical suplex into a rollup for yet another near fall. Saturn
comes back with a t-bone suplex and a brainbuster but the LWO runs in
for the DQ.
Rating:
C+. The match was entertaining
as expected and the ending actually does something with the LWO for a
change. Until now they’ve all just been wearing the same shirt
without actually accomplishing anything. I’d like to see more of
this pairing and a finish but this advanced something.
The
LWO, including a new unnamed member, lay out Saturn so Eddie can hit
a frog splash.
Judy
Bagwell is here to talk about how bad her son has been lately. Gene
goes through the horrible things Buff have done lately and the
Bagwell Family is tired of it. She loves Marcus but is tired of
Buff. This was received about as well as you would expect.
Tag
Team Titles: Kenny Kaos/Rick Steiner vs. Giant/Stevie Ray
Steiner
and Kaos are defending. Kaos goes after Stevie to start but Giant
adds in a kick from the apron. A superkick drops Kenny and the NWO
takes over. Off to Giant for a bearhug but Kenny gets over to the
corner and makes the tag to Rick. Giant splashes Rick in the corner
and chokes with a boot but charges into a boot from Rick. A top rope
shoulder gets two on Giant but he launches Rick to the floor on a
kickout. Stevie gets the tag and Kaos distracts Giant long enough
for Rick to bulldog Ray for the pin to retain.
Rating:
D. At the end of the day, Kaos
just doesn’t fit in here. It’s like they drew a name out of a bowl
and made him a Tag Team Champion. The match wasn’t any good either
as it was Kaos being treated like the jobber that he was and Rick
hitting a quick move to keep the titles.
Hour
#3 begins.
Eric
Bischoff has replaced Tenay on commentary and promises the best of
Ric Flair tonight. He has a video package of Hogan beating up Flair
from Bash at the Beach 1994 for the title. Tony praises Hogan and
calls Flair a coward but is embarrassed by what he said. Bischoff
says it’s proof that Flair will always play second fiddle to Hogan.
Cruiseriweght
Title: Kidman vs. Juventud Guerrera
Kidman
is defending. Neither guy can get control off a wristlock but Juvy
fires off elbows to the head and sends Kidman into the buckle. Juvy
goes up top and shoves Kidman down before getting two off a missile
dropkick. A brainbuster gets two more for the challenger and we hit
the chinlock. Kidman fights
up but gets caught in a Rocker Dropper for two. Juvy’s headscissors
is countered into a wheelbarrow slam for two more.
Kidman
tries a belly to back suplex but gets countered into a sitout
bulldog, followed by a cross body for two. Juvy goes up but gets
dropkicked out of the air, setting up the Shooting Star. Guerrera is
able to get to his feet and crotch Kidman, followed by a top rope
hurricanrana for a VERY close two. Kidman counters a powerbomb into
the sitout powerbomb and the Shooting Star retains the title.
Rating:
B-. This started a bit slow but
the ending sequence was great. Juvy looked great in the ring and
Kidman was in over his head for most of the match. The counter to
the powerbomb looked good and the Shooting Star was even better.
Kidman is nailing the division right now and having solid match after
solid match.
Ad
for Sting and Randy Savage tapes.
Here
are Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell to brag about their physiques.
Bagwell says this is for the women: your job is to cook and clean and
take care of your man. Scott wants JJ Dillon out here right now
because he wants a match with Rick tonight. JJ comes to the ring and
Scott accuses him of thinking Rick is the better brother.
Dillon
says he has no favorite but Scott wants to know why the new referee
came in to help Rick win because he thinks JJ had something to do
with it. JJ says buy the replay to see what happened. Scott stays
on it and JJ says he didn’t send the referee but would have if he had
the chance. Steiner kicks him in the gut and puts him in the
Recliner until security
makes a save.
Here’s
the Warrior because this hasn’t gone on long enough. Hogan had the
chance to face a challenge last night but failed again. Last night
will haunt Hogan forever (understatement of the year) because there’s
a difference between beating someone up and defeating them. Warrior
beat Hogan up last night and the bull pinfall doesn’t change it.
Warrior calls himself a gatekeeper and says the time is near on the
same Warrior channel.
Hogan
comes out and Warrior is ready to go but Horace stops his uncle from
getting in. Horace gets beaten up and sent to the floor. Giant
comes in and gets the same so Hogan gets in. Warrior ducks a big
boot and hits a shoulder to the ribs. Bischoff
is knocked off the apron and the NWO runs.
Lex
Luger/Konnan vs. Scott Steiner/Scott Hall
It’s
a brawl to start as the Wolfpack is out for revenge for Nash. Konnan
and Steiner fight to the floor with Konnan getting caught in the
Recliner outside. Steiner adds a chair to the ribs as Luger and Hall
fight in the aisle. I don’t think a bell ever rang so this isn’t
even a match. Steiner beats on Konnan in the ring but Konnan comes
back with a clothesline.
All
four guys go to the floor and Konnan gets laid out again. Luger gets
double teamed in the ring and a chair is brought in. Konnan comes in
for the save as there’s no referee in sight. Luger nails Hall with
the chair and Racks him but Steiner breaks it up and we take a break.
Not a match but a fun segment.
US
Title: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Bret Hart
Bret
is defending and gets a quick two after countering a slam. They
trade arm work until Page gets two off a rollup of his own. A
neckbreaker gets two more for Page but Bret knees him in the ribs.
Bret hammers away at the ribs and chokes on the ropes as the
announcers talk about Sting’s injuries last night. We hit the
chinlock on Page for a good while but he fights up with a jawbreaker
for two.
Page
gets crotched on the top and Bret brings him down with a gorgeous
superplex. Hart misses a charge into the buckle to give Page two but
Bret scores with the legsweep and middle rope elbow. Page is up at
two and Bret is getting frustrated. Another jawbreaker has Bret in
trouble and Page rams him into the buckle. Bret counters with a low
blow that takes out both Page and the referee. The champ pulls out a
foreign object but Page ducks a big swing and hits the Diamond Cutter
for the pin and the title.
Rating:
C-. This really didn’t do it
for me but it wasn’t horrible. It felt like they just wanted to get
the match over with but had to fill time. It’s nice to see Page get
a clean(ish) pin for a title and to take it off Bret who just didn’t
care at this point. The match didn’t work though as it just jumped
into the Bret control with very little beforehand.
Bret
goes off with chair shots post match and works over his knee before
putting on the Sharpshooter. Page’s screams really make it that much
better. Bret works the knee over with the chair even more until
Goldberg makes the save to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+. You can see things
getting in trouble from here as the earlier matches were nothing to
see and the rest of the show felt like they were trying to figure out
what to do next. There was
some fallout from Halloween Havoc, but at the same time it was like
they had no idea where they wanted to go. That’s a problem going
into a big battle royal show as there’s no story to a match like
that. The show had good points but it didn’t work for the most part.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Halloween Havoc 1998

Halloween
Havoc 1998
Date:
October 25, 1998
Location:
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance:
10,663
Commentators:
Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
FINALLY here after six weeks of buildup. It’s a double main event
with Warrior and Hogan in the battle for Hollywood’s sanity and ego
as well as Diamond Dallas Page challenging Goldberg for the World
Title. However the show is remembered far more for something that
had nothing to do with the wrestling. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video hypes up the big matches on tonight’s card with the
overly dramatic music playing in the background. This really is a
stacked card.
The
set looks AWESOME with a giant demon holding an inflated pumpkin with
the Halloween Havoc logo. WCW always did nail their sets unlike
today where you’re lucky to get a few props.
The
announcers hype up the double main event. By this I mean they
mention Goldberg vs. Page in one sentence and then talk about Hogan
vs. Warrior for two minutes. Thankfully Tenay actually talks about
the World Title match and how different Page and Goldberg’s paths
have been to get here.
We
open with the Nitro Girls in the ring. Since most of you probably
know what’s coming, I’m going to keep track of the time being wasted
on segments like this. The ongoing total will be listed in
parentheses at the end of each segment. (1:10)
Tony
lists off three matches added: Disco vs. Juvy with the winner getting
a title shot later in the night and Raven challenging for the TV
Title.
Gene
brings out Rick Steiner for a chat as we wait on the first match.
Rick says this isn’t brother vs. brother tonight because he sees
Scott as just another opponent. Buff Bagwell comes out sans NWO gear
to say he’s had a real change of heart. Everyone is sick of Scott
Steiner and he knows the NWO doesn’t work one on one. Therefore,
Buff should be in Rick’s corner tonight and he barks to prove his
loyalty. Rick doesn’t know if he can trust Buff but goes along with
it anyway. (4:37)
TV
Title: Raven vs. Chris Jericho
This
could be good. Side note: I’m watching this on the WWE Network
(praise be its name) and Break the Walls Down is swapped in for
Jericho’s WCW theme. My head snapped up when I heard that instead of
his regular song. Raven complains about his losing streak and asks
What About Me.
He
went to bed at 11am this morning and then arrived at the arena to
find out he’s in an unscheduled match. Well he doesn’t feel like
wrestling tonight so he gets up and leaves. Jericho doesn’t want to
wrestle either but all of the Jericholics are here to see him because
Jericho equals buyrates and rock and roll. He was really looking
forward to facing an icon like the leader of the Flock, but there
wouldn’t be much of a challenge because Raven is a LOSER. That’s
enough to get Raven inside for the opening bell, nearly thirteen
minutes into the show.
Jericho
jumps him coming in and whips Raven with his leather jacket, setting
up the arrogant cover for two. Raven gets his hands on Jericho and
they fall over the top and out to the floor. Jericho gets suplexed
ribs first onto the steps and comes up holding his knee. A dropkick
off the steps puts the champion down again. Jericho: “HELP ME!”
Back in and Jericho hits a quick Stun Gun before the springboard
dropkick sends Raven into the barricade.
Chris
follows him out with a dive but Raven steps aside and Jericho goes
head first into the barricade as well. It’s Raven’s turn now as
Jericho whips him into the steel again before they head back inside.
Raven bites Jericho’s face before throwing on a quickly broken
sleeper. Jericho hits a backsplash and takes the turnbuckle pad off
but Raven blocks the whip into the corner. A standing hurricanrana
is countered into a powerbomb by Raven before he catapults Jericho
face first into the buckle for two.
Jericho
is oddly unharmed by being sent face first into steel but Raven
catches him in a belly to belly for two. Back up and Jericho sweeps
the legs to put on the Liontamer. Raven is quickly in the ropes and
hits the Even Flow out of nowhere for two. A low blow lets Chris hit
a German suplex for another close two as Kanyon runs out and gets on
the apron. Jericho immediately knocks him off and reverses another
Even Flow attempt into the Liontamer for the quick submission.
Rating:
B+. Why does no one bring this
up as a great match for either guy? They meshed the hardcore and
wrestling stuff together here and got a great match as a result.
Jericho was wrestling like a face here for the most part and it
worked just as well as his awesome heel run. The announcers played
up how Raven has been submitting so quickly after passing out from
the Crossface with a smile earlier in the year. Nice touch of
continuity to go with a great match.
Here
are Hogan (in an NWO Nitro t-shirt) and Eric Bischoff with a goatee
and haircut. Before the actual promo starts, Hogan says he beat up
everyone in wrestling because he loves Eric so much. Eric is always
asked what he admires the most about Hollywood. Since there’s so
much, it’s that he represents the family values of this millennium.
Hogan
says he could be long winded out here but he knows the NWOites all
love him and worship the ground he walks on. He goes on about how he
attacked Horace to prove a point and we get clips because just
talking about it isn’t enough. Hogan says he went a bit too far but
it was drawing a line on what it meant to be an NWOite. Tonight,
Warrior will know exactly what it’s all about and he’ll get beaten up
real bad for life. Since that’s not enough, Hogan spends another
minute talking into the camera as the music plays. (10:07)
Meng
vs. Wrath
The
fight starts on the floor with Wrath sending Meng into the steps and
taking him down with the flip dive off the apron. They
head inside with Wrath getting two off a middle rope clothesline.
Meng rolls forward to escape the Meltdown and the Kick of Fear gets
two. A gutbuster gets the same but Wrath comes back with knees to
the ribs in the corner. Meng gets two more off a belly to back
suplex but misses the Death Grip. A Rock Bottom is good for two on
Meng before the Meltdown gets the pin for Wrath.
Rating:
D+. The match was a decent
power brawl and it gets Wrath a his biggest win to date. They’re
actually building him up strong and it’s very nice to see for a
change. You would think putting the TV Title on him would make sense
as Jericho doesn’t need it and the US Title simply wasn’t happening
for Wrath at this point.
Kidman
is ready to face either Guerrera or Disco Inferno tonight. I
won’t count this as a waste of time because it was like fifteen
seconds long.
Disco
Inferno vs. Juventud Guerrera
Winner
gets a Cruiserweight Title shot against Kidman later tonight. Disco
stomps away in the corner to start but grabs a side slam for two.
Juvy lands a LOUD chop to take over and does some quick dancing of
his own. Guerrero tries the backflip out of a Fameasser position but
just falls to the side. A second attempt at a Fameasser works a bit
better and Disco gets monkey flipped over the top. Juyy baseball
slides into a headscissors and both guys go down for a few seconds.
Back
in and Disco takes over with an atomic drop and clothesline before
stopping to dance instead of cover. We hit the chinlock with no
cranking on it at all before Juvy slides to the apron to take Disco
down with a Stunner. Disco heads outside again and turns his back on
Guerrera, allowing him to be taken out by a nice plancha. They head
inside again and Disco grabs a swinging neckbreaker but lays on the
mat instead of covering.
Disco
counters a sunset flip with a right hand but stops for a Macarena.
He busts out a giant swing of all things but dizzies himself. It
doesn’t turn out all that badly though as he falls head first onto
Juvy’s groin. Referee: “Juvy are you ok?” All three announcers:
“NO HE’S NOT OK!” Disco takes forever to get up top so Juvy can
nip up and grab a top rope hurricanrana. Now it’s Juvy on top with a
spinwheel kick (his hip hit Disco so Tony’s “flying body attack”
description is more accurate) for two and the sitout bulldog gets the
same. Juvy loads up a victory roll but Disco shoves him off and
nails the jumping piledriver for the pin.
Rating:
B-. Shockingly good match here
with Disco wrestling a normal style against the high flier in
Guerrera. I’ll give Disco this: he turned a ridiculous gimmick into
a successful career and had some solid matches throughout. That
jumping piledriver looked great as well and made things even better.
Nitro
Girls again, this time with hats and chairs. Kimberly’s complete
lack of emotion is more disturbing than anything else. (11:05)
Here’s
Scott Steiner with something to say. He’s been going for thirty days
with a freak on his left, a freak on his right and one in a box. Big
Poppa Pump is in town and ready to pound so here’s a catchphrase. He
beat up Buff in front of his brother, so why not make this match
interesting tonight, and have Buff/Rick vs. Giant/Scott? We’ll make
it even more interesting and make it for the World Tag Team Titles.
Giant comes out and agrees.
JJ
comes out and asks if they’re serious. If they’re willing to do so,
let’s make it even MORE interesting: if the titles change hands, Rick
gets to face Scott in a fifteen minute match. You know, LIKE THEY
ALREADY ADVERTISED. Scott says deal. This makes potentially five
matches added to the card already tonight. (15:42)
Fit
Finlay vs. Alex Wright
Heaven
forbid we don’t see this match again after they fought on Nitro two
weeks ago (and again this coming week on Thunder). Finlay
drives him into the corner to start as the announcers immediately
start talking about Hogan vs. Warrior. Wright does three straight
nip ups and climbs the corner to escape a wristlock. I guess just
spinning Finlay’s arm around was too passe for a European. They
trade European uppercuts with Wright taking over and stomping away as
the boring chants start up about two minutes in.
A
catapult into the bottom rope has Finlay in trouble but he comes back
with a catapult of his own, sending Wright chest first into the ropes
so he falls back onto Finlay’s knees. They head outside with Wright
taking over and slamming Finlay onto the floor. Finlay comes back by
dropping Wright’s throat across the barricade out of a fireman’s
carry. Back inside and they tumble right back down again. Wright
comes back inside and misses a missile dropkick. Finlay’s charge
hits the post and Alex hits a neckbreaker for the pin.
Rating:
C. The match was fine but this
was already done on Nitro and the story isn’t interesting in the
first place. Wright has won most of the matches between the
participants so far and it hasn’t really done anything for anyone
involved. This is a good
example of a match that just didn’t need to be on the PPV.
Ernest
Miller talks about being great on WCW.com but Lee Marshall points out
that all his nicknames are already taken. Kidman at least had a
match tonight. (16:42)
Lodi
vs. Saturn
This
is added match #5.
December to Dismember only added four. Lodi has little pieces of
chains on his trunks which jingle every time Saturn does anything.
Wait stop the match! SOMEONE IS TAKING LODI’S SIGNS! Thankfully
Lodi gets out of the ring and chases the guy down, demanding that he
leave the signs at ringside. Back in and Saturn takes him down with
a leg sweep, sending Lodi to the floor again. Lodi has to save his
signs again and tries to
leave but Saturn throws him back in and destroys him with the usual,
setting up the Death Valley Driver for the pin.
Rating:
D. It’s a comedy match which is
the only way you could do a Lodi vs. Saturn match. That being said,
what was the point in adding this to the card? To give the audience
a breather from between the big matches that could be on Thunder and
whatever comes next? At least Saturn got to look dominant.
The
announcers talk about what’s coming. We also get a recap video of
the Bagwell vs. Scott feud, which at least sets up a match later so
I’ll count it as mattering.
Nitro
Girls, looking very nice in leather pants and cut off tops. (19:00)
Cruiserweight
Title: Kidman vs. Disco Inferno
Disco
is challenging and is quickly dropkicked down to the corner. A drop
toehold sets up an armbar from the champion before he just stomps a
mudhole on Disco. Kidman gets a bit too cocky though and gets sent
throat first into the ropes, followed by a neckbreaker for two.
Disco tosses him outside but Kidman climbs up the steps for a bulldog
down to the floor. Back in and the champion misses a top rope splash
to give Inferno a two count.
We
hit the chinlock on Kidman but he quickly gets up and hits a hard
clothesline. Disco avoids a charge in the corner and stomps Kidman
down before talking a lot of trash. A middle rope elbow misses after
Disco wastes too much time dancing. He’s able to avoid a dropkick
though and hit the jumping piledriver for a delayed two count.
Kidman reveres a suplex but can’t hit his bulldog out of the corner.
Instead it’s Disco getting two off a gordbuster but taking too much
time trying the Macarena Driver. Kidman counters with a faceplant
and the Shooting Star retains the title.
Rating:
B-. Not as good as the Guerrera
match but it still worked quite well. Kidman was awesome at this
point and could have a good match with anyone (except Scott Hall of
course) as the division is really getting awesome again. Thankfully
the LWO wasn’t a part of this as it just isn’t catching my interest
so far.
Konnan’s
music video (edited off the Network). (21:30)
Tag
Titles: Scott Steiner/Giant vs. Rick Steiner/Buff Bagwell
Hall
and Giant are the real champions but it’s NWO Rules. The rules state
that if the NWO loses, Rick and Scott will face each other for
fifteen minutes. Not in a fifteen minute time limit match, but for
fifteen minutes. Bagwell is in street clothes. We stall a bit more
before the bell, but Tony is immediately plugging Bride of Chucky as
soon as the bell rings. Giant chops Rick in the corner to start and
Scott says stay on him instead of making a tag.
After
a few belly to back suplexes it’s off to Scott with some forearms to
the back as Buff plays cheerleader on the apron. Scott stays on him
for a few moments before he gets caught with an atomic drop. A
Steiner Line (not a lariat Tenay) puts Scott down and it’s off to
Buff who of course turns on Rick because THAT’S WHAT BUFF BAGWELL
DOES. Seriously, it’s all he’s done for most of this year. It’s
like the bad movie sequel when they’re just doing the same plot again
but this time it’s the same people.
Buff
runs off to make it a handicap match as Scott kicks his brother low.
The fans LOUDLY call this bull as Giant comes in and stands on Rick’s
chest. The beating keeps going with a slam from the Giant as the
announcers speculate about Judy Bagwell being in on this. Back to
Scott as Rick fights back but gets stopped by another low blow. Tony
says the WCW rules committee needs to look at that move. Wait so
it’s not a DQ already? Giant goes up for a missile dropkick of all
things (looked good too) but lays out Scott by mistake. Rick hits
the top rope bulldog for the pin and the titles because oh why not.
Rating:
D. Do I really need to explain
this one? The match wasn’t entertaining and the swerve surprised no
one, but the announcers of course treat it like some award winning
performance. What’s the point in having a setup and the swerve in
the span of an hour and a half? I know WCW thinks its fans are
stupid but come on. But hey, at least we have WACKY Tag Team
Champions now.
Rick
Steiner vs. Scott Steiner
Scott
tries to run and Giant is still down in the ring. Rick brings Scott
back to the ring but has to run from Giant. Scott gets sent into the
steps and begs off in the ring but Rick pops him in the mouth. Rick
gets a boot up in the corner and drives him upside down into the
corner for one. Another low blow puts Scott in control again and the
crowd just dies. After some choking, Scott gets caught in a belly to
belly for two. And now we have Buff Bagwell in a Bill Clinton mask
(I don’t get it either) with the slap jack to knock Rick and the
referee silly for the DQ.
Actually
scratch that as the match just keeps going despite the bell. Buff
puts Scott on top of Rick and picks up the referee’s hand for the
count. Rick kicks out at two as Scott hits the Frankensteiner out of
the corner for another two count. Buff throws the referee to the
floor but Rick comes back and hits the bulldog on Scott as Nick
Patrick slides in for the pin. Buff:
“ANYBODY SEEN MONICA???” Seriously what was up with the Clinton
stuff?
Rating:
F.
JUST LET THE STEINERS HAVE A MATCH!!! Why
is that such a horrible idea? There’s a built in story and it would
probably be an entertaining power match, but for some reason WCW
keeps dragging it out longer and longer until no one is going to care
anymore. And again, WHAT WAS WITH THE BILL CLINTON STUFF??? Yes I
know he was on trial around this time, but why is Buff in a Clinton
mask supposed to be funny?
We
recap Hall vs. Nash. These guys split up at Slamboree in May and
they’re having their first match five months later. Somehow that
puts the Steiners to shame. Hall
turned on him because he needed money which Hogan and Bischoff were
willing to give him. It’s a lame story but it’s better than nothing.
Scott
Hall vs. Kevin Nash
Hall
comes out with a cup in hand as Tony gives us a disclaimer about Hall
needing help. Scott throws
the drink in Nash’s eyes and hammers away to start, knocking Nash out
to the floor. Scott chokes him with a camera cable and blasts Nash
with a big right hand while still wearing the vest. It’s time for a
mid match promo as Scott asks how the world looks through foggy eyes.
Back
inside with Hall hammering away even more, dropping Nash with a
series of right hands. A discus punch sets up the crotch chop as a
loud Wolfpack chant starts up. Nash doesn’t feel like taking the
Outsider’s Edge this early so he makes his comeback with the right
hands and side slam before collapsing from exhaustion. They slug it
out from their knees, which would have more impact if we were over
five minutes into the match.
It’s
Nash up first but Hall bails to the floor to avoid a Jackknife
attempt. Hall comes back in for some more punches before driving in
the shoulder blocks. Nash
fires back with some right hands and the running crotch attack
against the ropes. Some knees in the corner have Hall in trouble and
the framed elbow knocks him down. Nash drives in knees in the other
corner while asking Hall if he wants another drink. Hall’s punches
have no effect at all so it’s a big boot, pull of the straps and two
powerbombs before Nash walks out on the match.
Rating:
D+.
It wasn’t exactly good, but after watching whatever the Steiners
thing was, this was a masterpiece. At least it was a match and had a
story with Nash just wanting to beat some sense into Hall instead of
beating him. Why is that so hard for Rick and Scott to do? Anyway,
not a great match, but there was something here at least.
Nitro
Girls, now in rainbow colored wigs. (22:30)
US
Title: Sting vs. Bret Hart
Bret
turned on Sting a few weeks back after turning on him a few months
back for reasons still not explained. Sting is challenging
and sits in the ring with the bat as Bret circles around on the
floor. The chase is quickly on outside but they’re nice enough to
come in for the bell. Bret immediately heads outside again but Sting
finally tosses him inside to get going. He rains down right hands in
the corner and hits an atomic drop for two.
Bret
fights out of the corner with right hands and headbutts followed by a
DDT for two more. A legdrop gets two for the champion and an elbow
gets the same. This match is almost in slow motion. We hit the
chinlock for a bit before Bret stomps on the chest. Bret
misses a dropkick and Sting
tries the Scorpion to wake the crowd up but Bret is in the ropes
before it goes on. Sting
hammers away and ducks a leapfrog but Bret injures his knee. Somehow
Sting falls for it and Bret loads up a foreign object. A clothesline
knocks it out of his hand but the referee takes it from Sting,
allowing Bret to get in a low blow.
The
Five Moves of Doom have Sting in trouble and Bret throws him outside.
Back in and Sting accidentally nails the referee with an elbow but
Bret drops a very intentional leg to keep him down. Bret kicks Sting
low again (what is with all these low blows tonight???) but Sting
crotches him on the top for a superplex. Everyone is out but Sting
hits a Stinger Splash, only to knock himself out on the post. Bret
hits him with the bat about five times, including once to the throat,
before putting on the Sharpshooter for the TKO win.
Rating:
D. This was long and boring
with nothing a stupid ending. Sting is probably going on the shelf
now as the Wolfpack takes yet another hit. Bret winning with the bat
is out of character for him, but then again so is being this bored in
the ring. There’s nothing here again and the match was really slow
and dull.
Sting
goes out on a stretcher after
a long time.
Hollywood
Hogan vs. Warrior
Here
we go everyone. This has been called the worst match of all time and
I’m curious to see how bad it really is. Hogan says he can kill the
Warrior and then threatens to murder the bum. Warrior tells Hogan to
get in the ring and immediately drills him with a right hand at the
bell. Hogan takes over with a knee to the ribs and shots to the back
before putting on a wristlock. Warrior counters into one of his own,
sending Hollywood bailing to the floor.
Hogan
refuses to do the test of strength and takes Warrior into the corner.
Now he’ll do the test with Warrior in trouble and we get the
recreation of the famous sequence. Warrior keeps trying to fight up
but Hogan switches to another wristlock, setting up the criss cross
so Hogan can slam Warrior down. It’s not sold at all but Hogan is
kind enough to sell for Warrior’s slam A clothesline puts Hogan over
the top and out to the floor where Warrior rams him into the
barricade.
Back
in and the referee gets bumped with Hogan kneeing him in the head as
well. Hogan runs Warrior over and calls in the Giant who
accidentally kicks Hogan in the head. Warrior knocks Giant, Vincent
and Stevie Ray to the floor but gets caught by a belly to back suplex
for two. We get the workout belt whipping followed by one of the
more impressive screwups I can ever remember. You know the spot
where a heel drops elbows but the other guy keeps rolling away? They
try that here but Warrior rolls the wrong way and knocks Hogan over.
IT’S LEFT AND RIGHT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
Anyway
Warrior misses the splash (zero reaction) but comes back with a right
hand and hits him with the workout belt. The referee yells at
Warrior so Hogan pulls out a magic kit. It’s a plastic bag with some
paper and a lighter inside which is supposed to be used to make a
fireball but Hogan can’t get it to work and throws the paper at
Warrior before some of it lights up between the two of them. Thank
goodness Warrior doesn’t sell it and hammers away on Hogan.
A
top rope ax handle (with Warrior’s hands coming apart about 10 inches
before making contact and lightly grazing Hogan’s shoulders but
somehow busting Hogan open. There’s ANOTHER low blow and the legdrop
(still no reaction) before Horace comes out with a chair. Hollywood
misses another legdrop and Warrior fires off some clotheslines as
Bischoff distracts the referee. Horace hits Warrior with the chair
to give Hogan the pin and soothe his fragile ego.
Rating:
F. Oh yeah it’s bad and it’s
not even in a funny way. This is bad in a pitiful way and doesn’t
get any better at all. Ignoring the traditional illogical turn at
the end by Horace (Hogan said something about passing a test), this
was a long and horrible match with no one looking good.
The
original idea with the fireball was for Warrior to make a big blind
comeback which even Hulk has said was a bad idea in retrospect. This
was much more embarrassing than anything else with Warrior showing
how he had nothing at all anymore and that Hogan was just a joke
anymore in the ring. I think everything that can be said about this
match has been said at one point or another so I’ll leave it at that.
The
Hogans pour lighter fluid on Warrior but Doug Dillinger stops the
matches from being thrown.
It
would be about 10:59 at this point but it’s World Title time.
WCW
World Title: Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Let’s
stop it here for a second because this is where it all fell apart.
See, WCW decided that this show should be extra long and asked the
PPV companies to give them an extra thirty minutes. Unfortunately
this was 1998 and not that simple, so a lot of feeds went off
somewhere between the end of the Warrior vs. Hogan match and the
start of the title match. Yeah WCW gave them some advance notice,
but that doesn’t put WCW in the clear. If you look at this show,
they EASILY could have cut nearly an hour out but WCW just couldn’t
let that happen.
Overall
the show ran roughly three hours and twenty minutes, so cutting out
say 25 minutes would have made this fit the time slot. As
I mentioned, we had over 22 minutes of segments that weren’t needed
or Nitro Girls (certainly not worthless but not necessary). On top
of that there was the Juvy vs. Disco match, Wrath vs. Meng, Finlay
vs. Wright, Saturn vs. Lodi
and the Tag Title match which all could have been on free TV instead
of here. WCW never advertised the show as running longer than usual
as far as I know so it’s not like the fans would feel ripped off.
It
comes off as a combination of stupidity and somewhat arrogance as the
company just figured their plan would work and they just HAD to be
bigger than WWF. What did most of the stuff they added here help?
What does a Saturn vs. Lodi comedy match (probably six minutes with
entrances and a post match replay) do to help the card? It ticked
off the fans and cost them a lot of money, but at least they got the
Buff Bagwell swerve and a Konnan music video on PPV.
And
now, the match. Page’s music is edited on the Network. Page
charges right at him a few times and is easily shoved away. An
armdrag frustrates Goldberg and they lock up before falling to the
floor without breaking it up. Back in and Page tries a legsweep but
Goldberg does a standing backflip to avoid it. Men his size should
not be able to do that. A bad looking cross armbreaker has Page in
trouble and Goldberg shoves him out of the ring to block the Diamond
Cutter.
Back
in and Page takes him down into a hammerlock but a hard shoulder
block puts him on the floor. Page is able to snap Goldberg’s throat
across the top rope and he follows up with a swinging neckbreaker. A
Russian legsweep gets two and we hit a front facelock. Goldberg
knees his way out of it and hits a spinning neckbreaker to put Page
down. A hard hiptoss puts Page down and a side slam gets two for the
champion. Back to the cross armbreaker but Page makes the rope.
A
superkick sends Page flying but he sidesteps the spear, sending
Goldberg hard into the post. Page
gets two off a flying clothesline and the running DDT puts the
champion down as well. He calls for the Diamond Cutter but Goldberg
nails him with the spear. It injures his arm though and Goldberg
can’t get the Jackhammer. Page slips behind him and grabs the
Diamond Cutter but both guys are down. The fans are suddenly WAY
into this as Page gets a very close two. Page tries a suplex of his
own but Goldberg counters into the Jackhammer to retain the title.
Rating:
B. It’s not a masterpiece but
it’s definitely Goldberg’s best match ever. The fans were buying
into Page as a threat at the end of the match and that’s more than
can be said about the vast majority of Goldberg’s opponents. To put
it simply, this was a good wrestling match. You can’t often say that
about a WCW main event but that’s what you had here.
Goldberg
helps Page up post match and
poses to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+. Oh my where do I
start? As is almost always the case, a good effort by lower card is
wasted by most of the main event stuff. Look at the World Title
match for an example. It’s the only good main event match on the
show, but it’s the third thing people remember after Hogan vs.
Warrior and the feed cutting out. Those things overshadow good
efforts by guys like Jericho, Raven and even Disco Inferno.
On
top of that, look at how much of the card was announced the night of
the show. That’s common with some nothing matches, but there were
three title matches announced during the show. I’m not saying one of
them would have been enough to sell a PPV, but I’d certainly think
Raven vs. Jericho, a Tag Team Title match and a Cruiserweight Title
match in addition to everything else already advertised might have
sold a few extra shows. But
again, they just don’t mention it and add it on here.
This
should have been a huge night for WCW but it turned into one of the
moments they’re remembered for in a bad way. The card was one of the
most stacked lineups I can ever remember WCW having but it’s
remembered for two huge failures more than anything else. It’s still
definitely a good show with the opener, main event and cruiserweight
stuff outweighing the three bad main event matches (Hall vs. Nash is
bad but not terrible) but the bad is really hard to ignore.

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Thunder – October 22, 1998

Thunder
Date:
October 22, 1998
Location:
Tingley Coliseum, Albuqurque, New Mexico
Commentators:
Lee Marshall, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the very last show before Halloween Havoc and we’re actually coming
off a good show on Monday with every major PPV match getting some
focus. Nothing has been announced for tonight but that’s usually the
case coming into Thunder. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of videos on the
two main events though. Let’s get to it.

The
announcers talk about Hogan attacking Horace on Monday and call it a
horrible act.
We
look at Goldberg and Page nearly brawling after Goldberg cost Page a
match against Jericho.
Super
Calo vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Calo
takes over with some kicks to the ribs to start and gets two off a
shoulder block. A missile dropkick gets the same and Calo hooks a
seated abdominal stretch to slow things down. Back up and Calo
throws Rey to the apron before sending him to the floor for a big
dive. Totally one sided so far. Back in and Rey climbs corner to
hit a nice headscissors followed by the yet to be named 619 back
inside. Calo gets caught in the ropes and the top rope legdrop to
the back of his head gets two. Super gets to his feet and goes up,
only to get crotched and taken down with a hurricanrana for the pin.
Rating:
C-. Nice fast paced match to
start things off here but there wasn’t much to it. It’s nice to see
Mysterio back and mostly healthy though as no one could keep up with
him when he was at even 85-90%. Calo looked better than usual here,
but that doesn’t really say much as he isn’t one of the better
luchadores.
Post
match Eddie and the LWO comes out to offer Rey a spot but he throws
the shirt back at Eddie and leaves. Chavo
watches with a smile on his face from the entryway.
Video
on Page vs. Goldberg.
Here’s
Page for a quick chat. Monday was nothing but intensity and it makes
him think of Goldberg as even more of a champion. The Diamond Cutter
is enough to beat him though because he’s next. On Sunday, Goldberg
will feel the BANG.
Ad
for the Mastercard.
Alex
Wright vs. Johnny Swinger
Wright
cranks on the arm to start and puts Swinger down with a fireman’s
carry takeover. Johnny comes back with an armbar of his own and a
Russian legsweep has Wright in trouble. A spinwheel kick puts
Swinger down and Alex drapes him ribs first over the top rope.
Swinger comes back with a hard shot to the chest but gets dropkicked
out of the air, setting up a neckbreaker to give Wright the pin.
Rating:
D+. Just a squash here with
Alex looking good as almost always. I’m still not sure why he never
got a huge push but the thick accent might have had something to do
with it. Or maybe that this is WCW and it’s a good day if they can
tie their shoes properly. Swinger never did anything for me but he
was fine for something like this.
We
look at the Steiners brawling on Monday.
Video
on Sting vs. Hart closing Nitro. Tony accuses Heenan of being a
snitch for the NWO. Heenan: “I am not!” Tony: “That’s true.
You’re a liar, a traitor, a coward and a snitch.”
TV
Title: Kanyon vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho
is defending and this has some serious potential. Kanyon does his
Who Better bit with Jericho putting bunny ears up behind his head.
Chris takes the mic and says the real question is Who Better Than
Jericho. Kanyon doesn’t take kindly to gimmick infringement and the
fight is quickly on. Jericho knocks him to the floor with a shoulder
and we take and early break.
Back
with Jericho getting two off the Lionsault as we see Raven for the
first time, looking on from the apron. Jericho does his long stride
and Kanyon sends him face first into the buckle to take over. The
superplex from the middle of the rope (not the corner) puts Jericho
down for two as the fans get distracted by something in the audience.
Jericho counters a suplex into a reverse suplex for two but Kanyon
comes back with a swinging neckbreaker for the same.
The
announcers talk about Raven looking distracted as Jericho scores with
a gutbuster but can’t get the Liontamer. An electric chair into a
flapjack gets two on the champion but Jericho fights out of a
superplex. Jericho tries a missile dropkick but hits the referee
(Billy Kidman according to Tony and Lee) which draws in Raven. The
Even Flow is easily countered into the Liontamer and Raven taps,
which is good enough for a submission win for Jericho.
Rating:
C+. Good while it lasted but
the match was more about Raven than anything else. It’s nice to see
Jericho get a win for a change, even if he was acting more like a
face while doing so. The Raven story is interesting as he’s lost his
edge without the Flock and could have some good stories as a result.
Clip
from the new Kurt Russell movie Soldier.
We
see Hogan beating up Horace and Warrior on Monday
Saturn
vs. Norman Smiley
A
lockup goes nowhere so Norman makes his chest dance to entertain
Saturn. Apparently Saturn is more of a song than dance man as he
throws Smiley down with a beal before dropping him with a t-bone
suplex for two. Norman picks the ankle but Saturn is quickly in the
ropes before anything can be done. A neckbreaker sends Smiley to the
floor but he comes back in with a nice sunset flip for two.
Since
this is a pretty good technical match so far, the announcers are
talking about Horace. Saturn slams him down but misses a top rope
splash, allowing Norman to take over with some uppercuts. A tiger
bomb gets two for Smiley but Saturn drills him with a superkick.
There’s a belly to belly to Norman followed by the Death Valley
Driver for the pin.
Rating:
C. The match didn’t have time
to go anywhere but it was nice while it lasted, much like the
previous match. Smiley is a very sound technical guy and could
actually keep up with Saturn on the mat. Saturn’s superkick always
looked good though and it nailed Smiley in the jaw here. Nice little
match.
Lex
Luger vs. Scotty Riggs
Feeling
out process to start until Luger remembers he’s fighting Riggs and
runs him over with some clotheslines. Riggs snaps Lex’s throat
across the top rope and chokes away a lot before scoring with a
dropkick. Luger quickly breaks out of a chinlock as the announcers
say no one anticipated seeing Hogan vs. Warrior again eight and a
half years later. A few running knees in the corner have Luger in
trouble but he comes back with a suplex. Luger comes back with all
of his usual stuff and finishes Riggs with the Rack.
Rating:
D+. Not the worst squash in the
world here as Riggs looked decent out there. That’s rather
surprising as Riggs is usually one of the least interesting wrestlers
on the roster. Luger was his usual self here, meaning he was
charismatic but used the same moves he’s done for ten years now.
We
takes yet another look at Bischoff being thrown out of the United
Center. It really wasn’t that big of a deal.
Juventud
Guerrera vs. Prince Iaukea
They
trade takedowns to star until Juvy charges into a boot in the corner.
Iaukea gets two off a snapmare and breaks up a sunset flip attempt.
We hit the early chinlock on Juvy followed by a suplex and chops in
the corner. It’s Chinlock: The Sequel followed by another suplex
attempt but Guerrera counters into a Fameasser. A top rope corkscrew
dive puts Prince down and sets up the 450. Disco runs out to break
it up but Juvy dives off with the 450 for the pin just in time.
Rating:
C. Short but fine as Disco vs.
Juvy continues to build. I’m not sure how good of a match that’s
going to be when we get there but it’s nice to see them doing
something in the cruiserweight division that doesn’t involve the
title. Prince wasn’t bad here but the bald head doesn’t make him
more interesting.
Clips
from Nitro of Bischoff being thrown out by cops and the mayor of
Minneapolis.
Konnan
vs. Scott Armstrong
After
the usual intro, Konnan hits the rolling clothesline just after the
bell. There’s the seated dropkick and Scott bails to the floor,
holding his shoulder. Back
in and Scott uses his bad arm for a test of strength and rakes
Konnan’s eyes to take over. A few basic moves later and we’re in the
chinlock. Konnan fights up with some elbows to the ribs but gets
dropped by a clothesline. A bulldog and rollup get two on Scott
before Konnan kicks him in the ribs, hits the X-Factor and hooks the
Sunrise for the win.
Rating:
D. These squashes are getting
weaker as we’re approaching the end of the show. Konnan was always
better on the mic than he was in the ring and this match proved it
for the most part. Scott was the least interesting of the Armstrong
Family but he wasn’t that bad out there.
Clips
of Bret and Sting’s rivalry.
Horsemen
video.
Kendall
Windham vs. Dean Malenko
Kendall
says he knows the Horsemen and can prove Dean doesn’t measure up.
Dean hammers away in the corner to start but runs into a big boot. A
lariat puts Dean down again but he grabs a sunset flip. Windham
punches the mat instead of Dean’s head, allowing Malenko to hit a
quick kick to the leg, setting up the Cloverleaf for the win in less
than 90 seconds.
Dean
grabs the mic and says that’s why he’s a Horseman. The rest of the
team comes out and Arn has a mic. He says it’s obvious why the
Horsemen are here and calls Bischoff a vicious coward. Bischoff has
been making fun of Arn’s physical shortcomings but he’s not even half
the man Anderson is. If Bischoff ever makes fun of his family again,
Arn will do things to Bischoff that his family should never be
allowed to see. Flair says that this is the Horsemen’s party and
names each individual member. He’ll be running this company one day
and Bischoff will be working for him.
Sting
vs. Giant
Giant
misses a charge and Sting hammers away but misses the Stinger Splash.
The big man steps on his chest and pounds on him in the corner, only
to miss a big elbow. Three straight Stinger Splashes set up a slam
but Scott Steiner runs in with a chair to the leg for the DQ before
the Deathlock.
The
NWO lays out Sting until Rick Steiner and the Wolfpack makes the save
to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+. It’s still good and
a different kind of show from Nitro. This is one of the most
frustrating things about WCW. It’s clear that they can put on
entertaining shows but we get the garbage that they put on so often
anymore that it’s barely worth watching half the time. Good
show tonight with some entertaining squashes and small build to the
PPV on Sunday.
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Monday Nitro – October 19, 1998

Monday
Nitro #159
Date:
October 19, 1998
Location:
Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attendance:
15,722
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Lee Marshall, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
FINALLY up to the go home show for Halloween Havoc after what seems
like months of buildup. Tonight is likely going to focus on Flair
getting Bischoff thrown out of the United Center last year, which
likely means it’s time for Bischoff to get one up on the Horsemen.
Other than that we’re probably going further into the Hogan vs.
Warrior mess as it continues to not really have any business on a
wrestling show. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Bischoff getting ejected by the owner of the
United Center last week in favor of the Horsemen.
Nitro
Girls.
The
announcers do their intro and former AWA star Larry Zbyszko gets a
bigger reaction than usual. We get another package on Bischoff and
the Horsemen from last week.
Kenny
Kaos vs. Saturn
Kaos
takes an early advantage with a hard clothesline but Saturn comes
right back with a quick swinging neckbreaker. A spinning springboard
forearm gets two on Kaos but he drops Saturn over the top and out to
the floor. Back in and Kaos hits a nice gutwrench suplex for two
followed by a gorilla press slam. Kaos isn’t looking bad but he’s
favoring his elbow after that press. Saturn is sent into the corner
and kicked in the back, only to come back with some roundhouse kicks
to the head. An overhead suplex puts Kaos down and a falcon’s arrow
sets up the Death Valley Driver for the pin.
Rating:
C. This was much better than I
was expecting with Kaos putting in a nice performance. Apparently
some other people thought the same as we’ll be hearing some more from
Kaos in the very near future. For the older fans out there, does
this victory over Kaos make Saturn a Control agent?
Tenay
polls fans about last week’s show.
Halloween
Havoc ad.
Normal
intro.
Gene
brings out Ernest Miller for a chat. Miller
says he hates this town and its’ kids in particular. He threatens
Gene until Okerlund gets out of the ring and invites anyone to get in
the ring for a challenge. A “fan” jumps the barricade and is
stopped by security but Miller says let him in. The fan gets
destroyed as you would expect and now security takes him away. We
get a better look at the fan and it’s none other than future WCW Tag
Team Champion Chuck Palumbo.
We
recap Nash chasing Hall around for the last few weeks.
Nitro
Party video.
Nitro
Girls.
Scott
Steiner says he was the real success of the Steiner Brothers and he
had to overcome Rick’s weaknesses.
Speaking
of Rick Steiner, we see his incident with Chuckie last week and the
announcers analyze it like it’s a match.
Video
on Goldberg vs. DDP.
Damien/Psychosis/El
Dandy/Hector Garza vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr./La Parka/Ciclope/La Parka
The
former team is LWO and they have their own music now. Damien goes
after La Parka’s chair before the bell and gets kicked in the head.
Serves him right. This is under lucha rules so going to the floor
counts as a tag. Lizmark hammers on Damien in the corner to start
and gets two off a hurricanrana before it’s off to La Parka vs. El
Dandy with La Parka chopping him in the chest and back. A big
enziguri puts Dandy down and it’s off to Ciclope and Garza.
The
LWO comes in for a four on one beatdown until Damien snaps off a top
rope hurricanrana for two. Garza comes in with a missile dropkick to
the back and it’s off to Chavo for the first big pop of the match.
Chavo quickly dropkicks him down but things quickly break down.
Psychosis
misses a charge into the post but Ciclope comes in with a missile
dropkick. Everyone misses something off the top before La Parka and
Chavo hit some dives. A Hart Attack with a springboard dropkick from
Lizmark gets two on Psychosis but La Parka comes in to clean house
with the chair but knocks out Ciclope, giving Psychosis the pin.
Rating:
C+. This was the usual fast
paced lucha match which was almost impossible to keep track of a the
end. La Parka’s chair shot seems to turn him to the LWO which is
fine as the team needs some bigger names. The match was able to fire
the crowd up as well as advanced the LWO story so nice multitasking
WCW.
Post
match Eddie comes out and gives La Parka a shirt. So the way to
prove you’re united with the other luchadores is to hit another with
a chair? Chavo seems happy but walks off, telling
Pepe he doesn’t need a
shirt.
We
look at Bret’s history with Sting and turning on him, leading to the
brawl two weeks ago.
Kanyon
vs. Scott Putski
We
get the Who Better Than Kanyon bit before the match. Kanyon: “You
guys just don’t get it.” They fight over hammerlocks and headlocks
to start until Scott scores with a few slams. A belly to back suplex
gets two on Kanyon but he comes back by sending Putski into the
corner and hammering away. Kanyon hits a middle rope Fameasser to
send Putski outside and drops him face first onto the apron while
standing on the steps. Back in and Putski hits a release overhead
belly to belly but gets caught in a fireman’s carry pancake. The
Flatliner is enough to get Kanyon the pin.
Rating:
C-. Kanyon was fun to watch as
always and Putski wasn’t bad either. I still don’t get his choice of
attire as he’s an eye patch short of being a pirate from 1638. The
match wasn’t bad though and it was a good way to keep Kanyon around.
Why can’t we get stuff like this on Thunder?
Video
on Hogan vs. Warrior.
Buy
WCW Magazine!
Here’s
Scott Steiner to start the second hour. He talks about being cold,
having freaks and being your hook up. Last week he beat up Buff
Bagwell and calls out any Minnesota Vikings here tonight. Instead he
gets Rick Steiner who is ready right now if Scott wants a fight. We
have a referee down here but Scott says Rick is too easy.
Scott
actually gets in and asks if this is going to be a fair fight. Rick
says no and decks Scott in the head before pounding him into the
corner. Scott charges into a boot as the announcers play up the idea
that they know each other so well. A low blow stops Rick and Scott
gets a chair as the bell rings. It never rang in the first place so
this wasn’t a match. Buff runs out and takes the chair from Scott
before nearly killing him with a big swing.
Nitro
Girls video.
Nitro
Girls in the ring.
We
get a clip of a Goldberg autograph signing for charity.
Davey
Boy Smith vs. Fit Finlay
Finlay
takes him over with a headlock to start but walks into a slam for
two. We hit a chinlock from Smith for a few seconds before another
slam gets another two count. Finlay comes back with a clothesline
and rips at Smith’s face before missing a charge into the buckle.
The referee gets poked in the eye, allowing Alex Wright to run in and
hit a quick missile dropkick to knock Bulldog into the tombstone from
Finlay for the pin.
Rating:
D. This was just a filler match
and it didn’t do much to fire up the crowd. The King of Europe
storyline wasn’t anything interesting when there were only a handful
of people involved and they were just trading wins. This was
Bulldog’s last appearance on Nitro as he would go to the hospital for
a staph infection from breaking his back at Fall Brawl. Bischoff
would fire him via FedEx while he was laid up.
Here’s
Jericho with Ralphus at his side to brag about beating Greenberg
three times in a row. Goldberg wants the sheet writers to think he’s
the best but everyone knows that’s nonsense. DDP comes in and calls
out “Jerkicho” for his lies and a match is made for later.
Hall
is shown at a bar wearing his title belt and wrestling gear. Nothing
else to the scene than that.
Wrath
vs. Tokyo Magnum
Clothesline,
chops and stomps, flying shoulder and the Meltdown are enough for the
squash by Wrath.
More
charity stuff from UNICEF.
We
look at Buff saving Rick and cut to the back to see him throwing away
his NWO shirt. Insert your own sarcastic response here.
Disco
Inferno/Alex Wright vs. Silver King/Super Calo
Silver
King and Calo say not so fast because they have replacements.
Disco
Inferno/Alex Wright vs. Dean Malenko/Chris Benoit
An
annoyed Bischoff comes out to commentary as Dean cranks on Wright’s
wrist. Eric goes on a rant about how there are four people not
getting paid tonight: “Those two Mexicans, Arn Anderson
and…..make it five!” Dean hammers away on Wright’s head but gets
pulled down to the mat. Disco comes in and walks into a suplex, only
to pop up with a clothesline to take over. Inferno dances a bit and
turns around to get chopped and stomped by Benoit. Everything breaks
down and the Crossface quickly ends Disco.
The
Horsemen yell at Bischoff who shouts about breach of contract.
Hall
is still at the bar.
Diamond
Dallas Page vs. Chris Jericho
Non-title
of course. A shoulder puts Jericho down and he claims a hair pull.
Page drives in his shoulders before they fight over hiptosses. That
goes nowhere so DDP takes his head off with a left arm clothesline.
Page tries to hammer away in the corner but gets dropped down onto
the top turnbuckle to change control.
Jericho
throws him outside and whips Page into the barricade for two. Page
comes back with right hands and the discus lariat followed by a belly
to back suplex for a near fall. Jericho grabs a quick jawbreaker and
the Lionsault almost gets the upset. A low blow breaks up the
Diamond Cutter but Page counters the Liontamer. Page calls for the
Diamond Cutter but Goldberg comes in to spear Jericho for the DQ.
Rating:
C+. Better match than I was
expecting here as Jericho got in a lot of offense and wasn’t entirely
beat at the end. They had to do something to give Page and Goldberg
a real issue and this was as good as anything else they could have
done. It’s always nice to see a champion not do a clean job too.
Page
is ticked and the brawl is almost on until referees make the save.
Cruiserweight
Title: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Billy Kidman
Rey
is returning from an injury to challenge for the title here. They
feel each other out to start until Kidman takes him down to the mat
in a front facelock. Back up and Rey snaps off a standing
hurricanrana before backdropping the champion to the apron. Kidman
comes back in with a slingshot headscissors and a hard dropkick gets
two. We hit the chinlock for a bit on Mysterio before Kidman sends
him into the corner for a running forearm which looked like a blown
spot.
Mysterio
takes his head off with a spinwheel kick and a high cross body for a
very close two. Rey tries his sitout bulldog but gets countered into
a wheelbarrow slam, sending Rey to the apron, only to get suplexed
out to the floor by the masked man. Back in and Kidman shrugs it off
and hits the lifting powerbomb for two. We hit the chinlock on Rey
but he fights up and takes Kidman to the floor with a hurricanrana.
Rey is favoring his knee but hits a nice flip dive to take Kidman
down.
Rey
takes too much time going up top and Kidman gets up, only to be
dropped stomach first onto the ropes. A legdrop to the back of the
head gets two but Rey is too banged up to cover. Kidman slams him
down and misses a frog splash, allowing Rey to go up for a top rope
seated senton and two.
Tony
calls it a Thesz Press and Tenay doesn’t correct him. Mysterio hits
a double leg Fameasser for two but gets caught in a powerbomb from
the champion for two more. Mysterio crotches Kidman to break up the
Shooting Star before taking Kidman to the mat with a hurricanrana for
two. A jumping Killswitch gets two for Mysterio and he goes up top,
only to dive into a dropkick as the bell rings for the time limit at
about thirteen and a half minutes.
Rating:
B+. This was one of the best
matches we’ve had on Nitro in weeks with both guys countering a lot
of stuff but still getting in their own big moves. Mysterio’s knee
messing up was fine for a story and Kidman more than held up with the
cruiserweight legend. I’m not sure how you can have a legend for a
division about two years old but Tony kept using that term.
The
Minneapolis mayor comes out holding a proclomation to huge booing and
a Jesse chant. She brings out future Baseball Hall of Fame member
Kirby Puckett and future NFL Hall of Famer John Randle but the fans
still aren’t impressed with her. Maybe it’s the very loud and
grating voice? Anyway she brings out Ric Flair and declares it Ric
Flair Day in Minneapolis.
Flair
is thrilled but here’s Bischoff to complain. He doesn’t need some
three named mayor to ruin his show but the mayor says this is her
town. Randle and Puckett get between them and cops tell Bischoff to
stay back. Apparently Bischoff has some unpaid warrants and has 20
minutes to get out of the arena. Eric promises to be back and walks
out but sees his car being towed away.
Nitro
Girls.
Scott
Norton/Scott Hall/Stevie Ray vs. Konnan/Kevin Nash/Lex Luger
Norton
comes out wearing the IWGP Title. Hall
staggers out after them and his partners aren’t pleased. That’s
actually better than Nash who is nowhere in sight. Luger is back in
trunks instead of pants. Konnan does his thing and we cut to the
back where Nash is staggering around and dropping a cup.
The
bell rings and Kevin slowly comes into the arena. Konnan and Stevie
get things going but the Wolfpack asks Nash what’s going on. Kevin
tries to get in but Luger and Konnan won’t let that happen. Nash
keeps drinking until Luger takes the cup away. Stevie and Konnan get
things going with Ray in control until Konnan comes back with the
rolling clothesline.
Off
to Luger and Norton with Lex throwing him around like he’s nothing.
The running forearm puts Norton down but Stevie offers a distraction
and the Black and White takes over. Nash is kneeling on the apron,
cup in hand. Hall is asking for a tag but Ray and Norton just ignore
him. Luger and Norton clothesline each other down and crawl to the
corners where Hall and Nash tag themselves in. They make a drunken
toast to each other but Nash has an empty cup. The fight is on and
Hall gets his clock cleaned until the match is thrown out.
Rating:
D. This was an angle instead of
a match and that’s fine. The
Hall vs. Nash idea is fine but I was hoping for it to be an actual
match rather than the whole drunken Hall thing. I’m also not sure
why it’s on a stacked Halloween Havoc card when it could have
headlined a lower PPV card if treated well.
Hogan
vs. Warrior promo.
Hollywood
Hogan vs. Horace
Raise
your hand if you think this is actually happening. Hollywood comes
out to the wrong music at first and tells Michael Buffer that this
isn’t happening. Horace comes out and admits that he’s Hollywood’s
nephew which I thought was public knowledge before this. Hollywood
says they’re blood so he calls the NWO out here to see what blood
means to him. He’s proud of Horace and loves him before taking his
shirt off.
Hollywood
talks about the sacrifices you have to make to be in the NWO and says
this is his sacrifice. He blasts Horace with a right hand and goes
off on him, saying imagine what he’d do to Warrior if he’d do this to
family. A chair shot puts Horace down and everyone but Norton leaves
Hollywood alone.
Hogan
rants about how Warrior is going to admit Hollywood rules the
universe and tells him to say his prayers and take his vitamins. The
NWO gets back in the ring and here’s Warrior with a ball bat. He
cleans house as Hogan bails to the floor. Giant shrugs off a bat
shot and chokeslams Warrior down. Hogan spray paints Warrior’s chest
and drops some legs. The crowd has almost no response to this at
all. They’re not booing or cheering and just kind of sit there for
the whole thing.
Here’s
Bret Hart to make a challenge. He runs his mouth about how he has no
fans but his cat and calls Sting the worst there is, was and ever
will be until Sting comes out for a fight.
Sting
vs. Bret Hart
It’s
a brawl to start with Sting in full control and hammering away. They
head outside with Bret being sent into the barricade. All Sting so
far as they head back inside with the big jumping elbow actually
connecting for two. Bret gets in a kick to the ribs and drops a
headbutt to the abdomen. He rakes Sting’s eyes across the top rope
and hits the backbreaker but Sting blocks the middle rope elbow.
There’s the Scorpion but Bret makes the rope. Sting doesn’t let go
and it’s a DQ. “You might as well go get help because I’m not
letting go.”
Rating:
D. Again there was nothing to
the match but that wasn’t the point. I’m not sure why you would have
an actual match between them before Sunday, especially with Sting
dominating the whole thing with ease. At least it wasn’t a clean
finish or anything so there’s a reason to watch the match Sunday.
Referees
can’t get the hold off so Stevie Ray and Vincent come out to pound on
Sting. He still won’t leg to as he no sells everything before
letting it go on his own. Bret limps away to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+. This was better
than most Nitros lately and actually has me wanting to see the show
on Sunday. There was entertaining wrestling and all of the major
matches for Sunday got screen time. What else can you ask for from a
go home show? Also Warrior finally got beaten up and the crowd just
didn’t care at all. Good show actually.

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