Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WCW Monday Nitro 2/2/98
Jesus it is hard to see the same recap that you get on Thunder and not realize it is a different show. One thing for sure they have forever to build the PPV. Five hours, wow. Oh well, I should not bitch as long as it is good. It is three hours and I do not need to say much so I am just going to get this going. They are in Texas and claim this is there debut, 25000 in the Alamodome. Why not put a PPV in these big arenas. One thing for sure the ratings were huge with a 4.9 off of hours of 5.2. 4.6 and 5.0 while RAW got a 3.5 off of hours of 3.7 and 3.2.
They hype up Sting and Savage being in the main event.
Match 1: Juventud Guerrera v. Psychosis
They lock up and Psychosis shoves him down twice and the pan up to the Flock heading down to their seats. Juvie has him in a scissors and twists him over and holds onto his head. They go back and forth and Psychosis is sent to the floor.
Psychosis hauls him up and holds him in a waist lock, a kind of bearhug. Psychosis leaps from the top and is caught and given an inverted atomic drop and then he goes up and strikes with a flying headscissors getting the near fall. Psychosis is placed up top and he is flipped off and nearly pinned again. They exchange holds and moves, Psychosis bridges up and both fight for a backslide and Juvie is crushed with a reverse suplex and then kicked to the floor. Psychosis goes up and leaps right into a vicious dropkick and both men are down. Juve rolls him in and hits the 450 and it is over.
Good opener and the crowd is hot.
Gene calls out DDP. Gene points out the similarities between Chris and DDP and how deprived Benoit has been and DDP can change all that. DDP respects his work ethic and for that reason he called him out for the title shot. Gene reminds DDP that Benoit has crippled people before, and DDP agrees but then shifts to Benoit deserving a shot and that the fans want to see the match. More than anything else DDP wants it because Benoit is one of the best wrestlers on the planet and he wants to know if Benoit can feel the bang….this shit needs to be on Nitro or PPV.
They recap what happened to the Giant. He really just had a concussion and some internal bruises but damn that was a close call.
Match 2: Ultimo Dragon v. Kidman
Kidman kicks away immediately but falls for the handstand kick and then unloads kicks to the body and head. He kicks him in the back. The ref is distracted right as Dragon puts him in his finisher and Saturn intervenes. Kidman takes advantage and gets two after a springboard legdrop. Dragon though gets two after a sunset flip. Kidman is up first and takes him down and puts him in a rear chinlock. Kidman suplexes him and they exchange blows with Kidman coming out on top, Dragon is whipped into the corner but Kidman runs right into a kick. Dragon snap suplexes him, and turns him into a half crab and Kidman grabs the rope. Dragon snaps him over and puts him in a modified upside down scissors where Kidman’s head is buried. Kidman breaks free and hits him a few times, and he is kicked only to grab him and connect with a mini powerbomb, not the jacknife, but all were banned and the announcers do not call it that! And he gets two after a spinning DDT. Kidman clotheslines him and Dragon hooks the rope to save himself. Kidman goes up top and is crotched with a kick; Dragon heads up and on top of Kidman and Frankensteins him off and it is over after the Dragon Sleeper.
Actually pretty good.
Here comes the Flock, no Raven, and Dragon gives a good accounting but is torn apart by a Saturn German suplex and Kidman strikes with his shooting star press. Riggs tossed Lodi to the floor!
Here comes Nash to quite the pop. He is going to make this short and sweet, and he is sitting in the back waiting for his match against the Steiners. And he sees Kidman give a powerbomb…..I was not the only one who caught that. Nash may have had too many drinks but the problem is that it is not the move but the man who does it. WCW thought the Giant was their trump card and he was taken out. Nash is willing to pay any fine and Hogan will help out too, therefore he will do whatever he wants to do whenever he wants. He is too big, talented and sexy and too sweet.
Match 3: Chris Jericho (c) v. Super Calo
Jericho has the mic and talks about how he has apologized every week when in fact he should be thanking his Jericholics. He is sorry about what happened to Rey and hopes it never happens again.
They lock up and Calo is shoved into the ropes and the ref calls for the break. Jericho has him in a headlock and turns it into a hammerlock and then goes for a suplex. Calo slips behind and dropkicks Jericho, and Calo misses the clothesline off the whip and is dropped throat first on the top rope. Now Jericho hits the big vertical suplex. He works over the neck, lets him up and Calo pounds him but is dropkicked in the knee. Jericho slams him and slingshots on top of him getting a two count. Jericho kicks him over and over as Calo staggers around the ring and the fans boo. The ref calls for the break. Jericho has him in a headlock and turns it into a hammerlock and then goes for a suplex. Calo slips behind and dropkicks Jericho, and Calo misses the clothesline off the whip and is dropped throat first on the top rope. Now Jericho hits the big vertical suplex. He works over the neck, lets him up and Calo pounds him but is dropkicked in the knee. Jericho slams him and slingshots on top of him getting a two count. Jericho kicks him over and over as Calo staggers around the ring and the fans boo. Calo is chopped in the corner, but whips Jericho to the other one only to run into boot and Jericho clotheslines him. Jericho goes up top and is kicked off and lands hard on the floor, Calo dives out and strikes him. Jericho screams for help! Calo struggles but is able to suplex him back into the ring, and Calo nearly gets the win after a missile dropkick. Jericho is placed on top and he muffs a hurracarana from the top and Jericho lands on his feet and just finishes him off with the Liontamer.
He may not have muffed it but the match was pretty good. It was a title match too.
Match 4: Steven Regal v. Booker T (c) for WCW TV Title
They lock up and turn in circles with Booker shoving him into the corner. Jesus, Regal has gotten doughy! They lock up again and Booker has the arm and works it over. Regal reverses, takes him down for a one count. Booker nips up and shoves him down in a test of strength….Larry makes fun of his weight gain too! Regal escapes but is put in a headlock and he escapes that too but is taken over and nearly pinned after a forearm smash. Booker works him in the corner and the ref gets in between and Regal gouges the eye. Now Regal unloads with some forearms, headbutts the gut but he is placed in a headlock, Booker rolls him up for two after being shoved into the ropes. Regal spins and twists and wraps him up for two. Booker though cracks him with some blows, strikes with the Harlem Sidekick and now the axe kick and he gets a two count. Regal blocks a blow and shoves him in the ropes but is knocked down and Booker misses the flying forearm. Regal flexes! Now some European uppercuts, Booker has had enough and just picks him up and back suplexes him and he spins up and all over with the Harlem Sidekick.
A bit sudden and Regal a bit slow but still fun.
The announcers talk about Bret Hart and how he is going to be involved in the title hunt this year….try the end of 1999!
Match 5: Konnan v. Hugh Morrus
Morrus starts strong and gorilla slams him, and Konnan wisely retreats to the floor. Konnan is energized as he comes back in and hammers Morrus, slamming and knocking him around. Vincent helps out too. Konnan chokes him out on the ropes, but Morrus reverses a whip only to miss the kick an Konnan takes him down. However, Morrus dodges the elbow and drops some of his own, whips him into the corner and powerslams him. Vincent gets on the apron and is knocked of and Morrus takes forever to go up and is powerbombed off! Now he faceplants him and it is over.
Okay, but Konnan got a much needed win and he got a nice pop from the crowd too.
Here comes Hall with Dusty Rhodes and it is survey time and the reaction is missed after the “Hey Yo.” A lot of boos for WCW! Jesus, it is clearly nWo country as they arena shook! He states it is strange times in wrestling, and they are heading into SuperBrawl and the guy who won the battle royal gets their shot at that PPV but instead some guy in a skirt dictated differently. Hall is not sure who he should be mad at: Sting or Hogan. He asks Dusty. Dusty waxes poetic about nonsense and stands in counsel for Hall and something about partying and it never ending….I swear no one has had the title shot at SuperBrawl, Savage did not and neither did the Giant….
Match 6: Scott Hall v. Jim Neidhart
Poor Anvil! Got a decent start and will now be fodder. Now WCW would be smart to send out Bret Hart if shenanigans occur as they should but I am sure that will not happen. Louie Spicolli runs down and tells Hall he was robbed and that he will fight for him and goes after Anvil who turns his back on Hall and gets blindsided with the mic. Now Hall stomps away. Hall pulls him up and hammers Jim in the corner, whips him into the other one but runs right into an elbow and Anvil just unloads, and knocks down a punch drunk Hall. Anvil has something on his thumb and drives it right into his neck and down goes Hall. Dusty is on the apron, and Anvil heads towards him and Dusty backs off allowing Hall to recover who wobbles to his feet and Edges, barely off the middle buckle.
Okay, but why not have Hart make the save like he did against Flair?
Spicolli drops some elbows and Davey Boy runs in and tosses him to the floor and he gets a pop. At least someone came out.
Gene calls out Luger who looks like something ripped from the pages of a Skinemax movie, a gay one (not that there is anything wrong with that)! I love the ripped Village People denim shirt and porn music. He tears it off and flexes….sweet! Gene talks about the issues with Savage on Thunder and they will face off again at SuperBrawl. Lex is counting the days and hours to the showdown. Lex no longer admires him and tells him that he does not have a friend in the world therefore this will be a no DQ match. Gene reminds Lex how outta control Savage is, and Lex is ready for that and does not want to worry about DQ’s. Lex’s competitive juices are flowing after the elbow being dropped on him and spit on and it will be time for the Rack and he gives one more flex!
Match 7: Mark Starr v. Goldberg
If they are smart they put him on TV each week. This guy is getting over with squashes and no talking; I guess Bischoff can market someone in black tights! They still call him Bill Goldberg.
Starr attacks him and kicks him but the legs are grabbed and taken down. Starr counters out but is dropped and Gorilla press powerslammed and the fans erupt. Starr is whipped and speared, damn that looks painful and I hear it really was as he was pretty damn green!. Jackhammer time and game, set, match.
Goldberg gets a lot of criticism but his skills are not terrible and he is not doing much and getting over. He shoved off the ref….and I wonder what they will do with him next or just have keep squashing people as that seems to be working.
What the fuck did I miss last week? Davey Boy interrupted Mongo’s interview and is happy to be in WCW and challenges Mongo to a match. Mongo agrees and tells him to get on his tights….so his debut was not too bad though the match was botched but then again Mongo sucks.
Match 8: Steve McMichael v. British Bulldog
Mongo is screaming about this being Mongo’s backyard and trying to act like Flair as this is San Antonio by God Texas. He tells Davey to get down here (uh oh, jobbing him out this quickly or at least set up a blow off match at the PPV).
Davey slowly makes his way down and pulls Mongo out and gives him an atomic drop, Mongo rolls back in and Davey follows and is greeted with a series of stomps. Davey fires back with some forearms and then clotheslines him to the floor. Mongo makes a comeback and Davey is flung into the steps and now they brawl up the ramp, the bell rings as both have been counted out. The fans are loving it as they tear into each other! They head to the broadcast area and the ref gets in between them and now Davey is tossed onto the announce stage and Mongo decks the ref and slams the chest of Davey. He pulls him up and knees him but Davey shoves him to the back.
Holy shit that was actually pretty fun!
Hogan slowly makes his way to the ring. EB, his sychophant, is trailing behind like a good Muslim woman. EB introduces him as the champion, and then discusses all the injustices heaped upon the nWo by WCW and JJ Dillon and they make him go berserk. He holds the mic for Hogan who calls this the last stand for WCW. He then calls Nash the real Giant and that money is not a problem. Now that the Giant has been put out to pasture, he is 1.5 million in the black. And with the fine being only fifty grand the powerbombs will be worth it as Nash will take everyone out. EB is not happy with the ref situation,and Hogan reminds everyone that he beat Sting twice. He is fine with facing him one more time and with all his disciples behind him he will beat him again. He too is upset with the ref situation and proclaims that Nick Patrick calls it down the middle and he and the rest of the nWo, minus Savage, all vote for Nick to ref. EB agrees and brings up Clinton and now to Savage. Hogan reminds him that he is on his own. Savage will not receive pointers to help him defeat Sting, and tonight he will realize what he meant by the pecking order and Sting will eat Savage alive and then Hogan will eat the Stinger. When you are with the nWo you are with Hogan and the nWo for life.
Match 9: Disco Inferno v. Raven
Raven comes down to a decent response. He sits in the corner and discusses his life and all his hardships and remembers two things: There are no rules and one must feel the DDT….okay then.
He just throws Disco to the floor and then leaps right on top of him. Raven climbs in and grabs a chair and meets Disco with a kick, sets up the chair but Disco hits him and whips him into the ropes but Disco is armdragged right into the chair and then a drop toe hold bounces Disco’s head right off of it. Raven sits on the chair for a moment, pulls Disco up but telegraphs the back drop and Disco now unloads and clotheslines him into the chair and rolls him up twice for near falls. He strikes with a swinging neckbreaker but is slow to follow up, but is able to get another near fall after a back suplex. Now Raven fights back with a stiff looking back suplex. Raven puts him in a headlock but he too is back suplexed! Both men are down, Disco is up first and does some sort of slam, gets two and then holds the jeans on the roll up for two more. Raven grins as Disco kicks him over and over, Raven whips him into the corner and runs into a kick and Disco uses the ropes to get the pin but Raven kicks out. Raven counters a move and finishes him off with the Evenflow DDT.
Not bad, I like Raven, too bad he is not getting a push.
Match 10: Kevin Nash and Buff Bagwell v. Steiner Brothers
Nash just stares at Buff as he prances around and flexes, rather amused at him.
Scotty and Buff start off and Buff hits an armdrag and Buff flexes and Nash taunts Scotty. Scotty has a side headlock on but is pushed into the ropes and kicked in the gut. Buff kicks him and then steps on the throat. Scotty blocks a move and armdrags him following up with a Steinerline and then a double underhook slam. Rick runs in and flexes, mocking Buff as Scotty looks baffled. Buff gets tossed around but he is able to whip Scotty right into a big blow from Nash and off the rebound Scotty is clotheslined by Buff. Now Nash gets the tag and is greeted by cheers, and he does his normal offense in the corner, longer than normal too as each elbow takes about twenty seconds! He tags Buff back in who gets a two count after some stomps and then puts him in a reverse chinlock. He slaps him upside the head and jumps on his back, Nash gets the tag and nails him with a side slam and Rick makes the save on the cover attempt. Nash takes off Scotty’s head with a big boot. Buff leans him over the apron and bashes him. Buff is now in, and he snaps him over and puts him in a reverse chinlock (odd choice of move as Steiner is getting demolished). He elbows him and then stands on his head after breaking the hold. The ref keeps warning him, so Nash is tagged back in and he twists the head around. The fans explode as Nash goes for the powerbomb but Rick comes in and levels Nash with a clothesline. Nash is able to make the tag and Scotty clobbers him, and Scotty is up and clotheslines Buff. Scotty can make the tag and does not and turns into a blow but he is able to Frankenstein him square into the canvas and get the pin. That looked painful and Buff rolls to the floor. Now the Steiners argue with Nash egging them on.
A bit long just to advance the Steiner angle….
Match 11: Randy Savage v. Sting
Savage makes Buffer hold up the mic and tells Lex to watch what he does to Sting and that he does not want any of this. Jesus, it is nearly three minutes later before Sting rappels down! Now another minute to get out of the crowd and unhooked, so we are almost seven minutes into the main event and nothing. He is finally unhooked and Savage attacks him and Sting no sells and Savage runs to the floor and then dares Sting to follow or not as he just turns his back and allows Sting to hit him from behind. Sting bodyslams him, and runs him back into the ring, Savage runs at him but the blow is blocked and one punch sends him down and so does another one. Savage rakes the eyes and just rolls out; okay, he pulls him out by the legs only to be run into the steel post and then into the railing. Sting hits the Stinger splash against the rail but Savage has something and down goes Sting, Savage tosses it back to Liz. Savage unhooks the turnbuckle and then strikes with a double axe out on the floor. Sting is thrust into the post and Savage is relentless in his pursuit as he pounds him around the ring with a series of blows. He rolls Sting back into the ring and piledrives him but Sting is up and Savage flexes and turns right into a series of chops. Sting whips him into the corner and a Stinger Splash and now into the exposed corner, but Sting misses the splash and gets all steel buckle in the corner. Savage hits the elbow but delays the pin. He covers him and Hogan runs down and this time Sting would have kicked out but the announcers claim otherwise. Hogan is upset with Savage and tells him he wants to finish off Sting. Sting pops right up and as Hogan and Savage jaw. Lex runs down and pulls Savage out as Sting heads for Hogan, the nWo run down but are knocked off the apron by Sting and they all run off with Luger and Sting standing in the ring.
Final Thoughts: See the WWF would not take their hottest face and keep having him nearly lose. I know Savage needs to look strong but he has jobbed and looked bad not that long ago. Savage did get in some offense and Sting dominated most of the match and Savage needed chicanery to nearly win. Sting was going to kick out and I understand also that the idea was to keep the Hogan/Savage jealousy and the cracks in the nWo going. However, he should have came down right at the elbow drop and maybe that is why Savage delayed because Hogan did. I do not want to get into conspiracy theories but Sting has not looked hot in his matches, for some reason the nWo turn superhuman in matches. Nash dominated Scotty Steiner etc. Now those minor issues aside, or not so minor in Sting’s case the show was entertaining, a really fast three hours and right now Nitro continues to be on a roll. There were some nice long matches, Jericho and Raven had decent matches. Juve and Psychosis started off with a solid match. Goldberg got a squash and Nash continues getting hotter and hotter after several months rarely showing up. Davey and Mongo had a shockingly good brawl; no Bret Hart or Ric Flair and that is rather baffling and disturbing and everytime WCW does so many things right there are things that hamper the show that do not need to happen.