Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WCW Monday Nitro 3/16/98
Well we will see the fallout from the PPV. After over two months of changing things up a bit and adding some spice to the nWo angle along with better feuds with solid wrestling I fear WCW is getting stuck in a rut. I could be wrong but call it a gut feeling. A feeling I hope is wrong. They have been filling up the nWo with new members. It is as if they are unsure of what to do with certain wrestlers like Adams and Steiner and throw them in the nWo. Or get Rude and Rhodes in it and barely use them. The PPV ultimately disappointed despite the solid undercard. The drama from the main events is missing as you know it is going to be marred by constant interference or some other bullshit. It is late and let’s roll, and another side note we are in the same place where three years later the last Nitro will be held….Nitro got a huge 5.6 off of hours of 5.6, 4.8 and 6.3 as RAW was preempted and that got a 4.2.
We get stills from the main event. Oh and Schiavone declares it the greatest PPV ever!!
Here comes the entire nWo and EB declares that everyone thought that there was going to be a split in the nWo and there was not. As usual Hollywood saved the day. Hogan repeats family and loves his family and calls Nash the real giant. The nWo, the boss and Hollywood have been behind Nash the whole time. Despite the Giant cheating Nash beat him in the center of the ring and they all bow to him. Now to Savage and he loves him as much if not more than anyone else in his life; the way he tested Hogan and pushed the limits and even though Savage was beaten within an inch of his life he is back in the fold and back with the nWo and everyone knows it is for life. Now that they are all back together as one, the boss has signed a match with Savage and Hogan v. Sting and Luger and now is his chance to prove he can carry the load. Hogan knows he can but Savage has to one more time so he can look in the mirror and the nWo is just too sweet. EB reminds Sting that there are no rafters and he cannot hold his breath and so it is a level playing field. Although the main event has been signed Hogan tells EB that Sting will not be here tonight as Savage beat him up just for Bischoff.
Here comes the Flock. Saturn is chilling on the pool chairs. Lodi is wearing a swim mask and floatie! Now the Goldberg chants start!
Match 1: Lodi v. Goldberg
They have officially dropped the “Bill.” Lodi is dancing with a sign that says Goldberg is a Meathead. He is goozled and gorilla slammed and then speared! Jackhammer time and it is over!
Kidman comes in and gets speared. Sickboy runs in and hits him to no effect and now he is speared. Saturn is on the apron but thinks better.
Match 2: Fit Finley v. Ultimo Dragon
Fit pushes him into the corner and clubs him in the chest. He spears Dragon in the other corner after the whip. Dragon reverses a whip into the corner and then nails him with the headstand kick. This makes Fit irate and he charges him but he gets kicked numerous times. Fit backs of and they lock up with Fit taking him down and applying a nerve hold. He lets him go; they exchange chops and down goes Dragon after getting raked in they eyes. Fit drops him throat first onto the ropes and gets two. He punches him in the head a few times and gives him an uppercut but Dragon fires back only to get gouged in the eye. He back drops Dragon but he lands on his feet. Dragon is dropped again and nips up and kicks Fit to the floor. Dragon leaps after him but Fit moves and gut punches him. Fit is back in the ring and as Dragon gets in he spikes him into the mat. He gets two and then double stomps the gut. He uppercuts him but is grabbed and put in the Dragon sleeper but Fit escapes only to be kicked in the back but Fit clotheslines him and takes him down but Dragon grabs him and puts him in the sleeper and finishes him off.
*** Fun match.
Match 3: Scott Norton v. Chris Adams
They lock up and Adams has him in a headlock but is pushed off and runs into Norton and bounces back. He tries it again but is knocked back again. He is caught an slammed but Norton misses the elbow drop. Adams kicks him in the skull but that is his last offensive move as he is getting crushed. Tossed around and to the floor. Buff rolls him back in and Norton squishes him in the corner and then kills him with a short clothesline. He chops him in the corner and then whips him into the other one. Norton misses the charge and is hiptossed and Adams goes up top, Buff swats at him but Adams leaps for the missile kick but is swatted aside and finished with the shoulderbreaker.
* Way too long of a squash. Dull too.
Highlight of Spring Break and Ms Nitro 98. Even PE made a cameo!
Match 4: Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom v. Jim Neidhart and Bulldog
Neidhart takes down Enos and then swings him by his hair and pulls him up and slams him down by it. Davey is in and he kicks him in the gut but is caught and given a neckbreaker. Bloom gets the tag and he is immediately run over and then hiptossed. Davey vertically suplexes him and he gets a two count. Jim is tagged in and he is whipped into Enos who was not paying attention but does hit him. Now they spike piledrive im and Enos covers him for one as Davey makes the save. Bloom is back in and he hits Jim in the side of the head and then unloads on him with punch after punch. Enos is in and he sledges the back and dumps him throat first over the top rope. Anvil is hooked but he counters with a back body drop. Bloom covers him. I lost a minute there….oh well, and Bloom snaps him over and drops the legs getting two. Enos is in and has him in a bearhug, bodyslams Jim and the fans are turning against the match. Bloom is tagged in and leaps right into the canvas. Enos missed. Davey gets the hot tag and Bloom is tagged in and Davey powerslams him off the ropes and Enos makes the save and Mim tosses him to the floor and goes after him. Bulldog runs into the boot but whips Bloom into the corner and then powerslams him and it is over.
*1/2 Way too long. And why are Davey and Jim reduced to wrestling these guys?
Zybszko is rambling about Julius Caesar and Tony and Tenay are baffled.
Here comes Savage with Liz and EB is acting like an airplane buzzing around them. EB has the mic and is really happy. EB states it has been a tough couple of months for everyone but what is important is that the Madness is back in the nWo. And Hollywood had to beat him within an inch of his life to bring him back and Savage is irate and shoves EB, and claims he never left the nWo. What he did at the PPV was for himself and not for Hogan or EB. It was for the entire nWo too, as it is for life. He is going to predict the future for EB and he is going to beat Sting for the belt, and he is going to control the nWo and then the world. Hogan is then going to know what it is like to be at the bottom of the pecking order and Savage leaves a stuned Bischoff behind.
Raven is in the ring and is upset at Benoit for costing him the US title and the fans yell for him to shut up and chants that he sucks. Raven is fired up and he calls Benoit a brave and valiant warrior, and unfortunately for him this feud has to end and it is time to feel the Evenflow. As for Page it did not have to be like this as they could have ruled wrestling together but DDP chose his path and the Snake is watching.
Match 5: Raven v. Chris Benoit
Right at the bell Benoit kicks a hole in Raven. The ref has to push him back. He hooks Raven from behind and destroys him with a German suplex and Raven falls to the floor. Benoit baseball slides into him and Benoit stalks him on the outside as they are on the bridge over the pool and in the fan area where Benoit chops him a few times. He leads him back to the ring, stomps the chest and after a stiff back elbow he gets a two count. Raven fights back but is knocked back down and stomped. Raven heads to the floor and Benoit goes after him.
They are at poolside, and Benoit hauls him up and Raven tries to fight back but gets whipped into the WCW sign. Raven is brought back into the ring and kneed multiple times in the head and tears off his head with a running lariat. He gets two after a bridge suplex. Benoit smacks him in the head as he taunts him, and pushes him into the corner where he rips off his shirt and unleashes a stiff chop and taunts him some more. He pulls him up and gives him another one. He stomps on him and then gives him a back suplex. Benoit slaps him in the face and looks around at the crowd before chopping him again. Raven is getting demolished and is back body dropped. Benoit covers him and gets two. Benoit strikes with three straight snap suplexes and goes up top, slowly and misses the diving headbutt. Raven rolls out and tosses in a chair and he sets it up in the middle of the ring and bulldogs Benoit’s forehead right on top of it. Benoit blocks the whip and Raven’s kicks cannot break the grasp. Benoit goes for the Crossface but drops down on the chair and Raven Evenflow’s him into the chair.
***1/2 Fast paced and stiff match. Raven took a lot of punishment and now he and DDP can have a blow off match at the PPV. Not sure where Benoit goes from here.
Match 6: Yuji Nagata v. the Cat
After some back and forth the Cat jump kicks him in the head. Nagata grabs the arm but Cat reverses it and it is reversed right back but Cat puts him in a cross armbreaker and Yuji gets to the ropes. Nagata blocks a kick and tosses the Cat over the top and stomps away. He grabs the foot and bends it, but Cat hits him in the head as the fans chant “boring.” Nagata snaps him over and puts him in a rear chinlock. Cat tries to get up but is driven back down. Yuji breaks the hold and keeps after him and uses his foot to choke him out. Cat is up and whips him into the corner chest first and kicks him in the head off the rebound. Yuji goes for a leapfrog but just lands on him instead as he cannot get high enough. Cat slams him and hits his finisher and it is over.
** Not bad but hard to rate it higher because neither are going anywhere.
Match 6: Scott Steiner v. Ray Traylor
Where the fuck did he go? Makes the big return and is buried but he did get some PPV matches. Traylor points at Steiner who is on the floor and flexes at Ray. They lock up and Ray spins him into the corner. Scotty ducks under the ropes and after the break Ray is kneed and driven headfirst into the corner where he is battered and given a belly to belly suplex. Steiner kicks him in the head and shoves him to the floor. Back in the ring Scotty puts him in a bearhug, Ray tries to punch free and then decides to bite him and that works. Off the ropes they go and Ray eats a big forearm and a kick to the ribs sends him to the floor. Ray is driven into the steel steps.
Steiner runs into the boot and Ray goes to the floor and pulls his legs and crotches him into the post. The fans are erupting and do so more as Scotty is clotheslined into the pool! Ray brings him back towards the ring and introduces him to the post. Back in the ring, Ray slides to the floor uppercuts him and back in the ring he mounts and pounds him. Traylor wallops him with an uppercut and goes up top, and hits the flying clothesline and he gets two. He plants Scotty and goes up top again and Buff comes down and crotches him and Scotty goes up after him and Frankensteins him off and it is Recliner time and it is over. Buff is in the ring with a leather belt and whips away and chases off the ref
*** Surprisingly good!
Eddie is reminding Chavo he has to do what he says and wants him to put on a shirt. Chavo is angry and shoves him but is forced nonetheless to put it on. It says my favorite wrestler is Eddy Guerrero. On the back “Cheat to Win!”
Match 7: Chavo Guerrero v. Booker T (c) for WCW TV Title
Booker feels for poor Chavo and wants the shirt off and Chavo refuses and shoves Booker and gets a clothesline in return and now a knee to the gut; he snaps him over and has the arm and sidekicks him in the head. Chavo goes into the corner and begs off but is pounded with a series of hard rights. Chavo is sent into the corner but gets his boot up, only to run right into a powerslam. Chavo escapes to the floor, but Booker rolls him back in and Booker talks to the fans and is kneed and knocked off the apron. Chavo leaps off the apron with a double axe, and then stomps away. Booker is sent into the side of the ring, Chavo gets back in the ring looking for crowd support and gets none. Booker is back in and gets stomped some more and dropkicked. Chavo works over the back, snaps him over, pulls him up and off the whip Booker sunset flips him for two but Chavo comes right back with a dropkick. He puts in a rear chinlock. Booker is up and flung into the corner and he is stunned with a running back elbow, and he snaps him over again going back to the chinlock. Booker is up and knees free but is hit, but he reverses the whip, sidekicks him and now it is axe kick time and a huge spinebuster. He hits the Hangover and it is over.
***1/2 I really enjoyed this; perhaps a breakthru match for Chavo? I hope so.
Highlights from Spring Break.
Match 8: Reese v. DDP (c) for WCW US Title
Reese knocks him into the corner, rocks him with some blows but DDP fires back only to have Reese turn it around and hammer in the corner. Reese picks him up and front slams him, and picks him up again and drops him with authority again. He yells at the crowd instead of going for the cover. He stalks DDP and hits him but DDP swings around him and finishes him off with Diamond Cutter.
** Short and to the point.
Match 9: Chris Jericho (c) v. Juventud Guerrera for WCW Cruiserweight Title
Jericho welcomes us to Monday Night Jericho and goes over his trophies: Rey’s injury, Air Quasi’s, and Malenko’s dignity. He is not going to be an icon but a legacy. He is going to rechristen the Cloverleaf and call it a Mapleleaf and that will be hold 1005!
He wants to “shake” hands but Juve pops him and then nails him with a rolling kick. He kicks away at him in the corner but is sent into the opposing corner; Jericho misses and of the rebound is clotheslined and nearly pinned. Jericho sends him to the apron but Juve flies in after him but is caught and his head is spiked into the canvas and nearly pinned. Jericho waits for him to get up but also does not like the fan response, runs over and stomps him back down. Juve is put on the apron and vertically suplexed back in and Jericho stands on him flexing getting a two count. Juve is chopped but escapes the whips and tries to go on the shoulder but is grabbed and given a type of side suplex, Jericho follows up with two backbreakers and holds the second one down. Juve is up and chops at Jericho but runs into a boot, and Jericho makes the belated cover only getting two. Jericho smacks him around, and sends him into the corner and goes for an over the head suplex but Juve lands on his feet and scissors him over and gets a near fall. Jericho is whipped into the corner and he tries to float over but is grabbed and given the Juve Driver; Juve takes too long going up and is hit but he pushes Jericho off and leaps on him getting two. Jericho goes for a powerbomb but Juve counters with a DDT and nearly gets it. They brawl for a moment and Jericho grabs his belt and wallops Juve and then puts him in the Cloverleaf and the match has been tossed.
***1/2 Fun match, minus the ending but Juve is in the midst of a small push so they need to keep him strong; for now.
Here comes Hall and Nash. Hall does a quick survey and the crowd is divided but there is a vociferous nWo crowd. Hall talks about partying on Spring Break (Hell he might be quite buzzed right now). Nash is given the mic and reminds everyone that fat girls need love too. Page just got done killing one Giant and last night at the PPV, where millions watched, the Giant got killed. He continues that the Giant does not have the guts to show up at SB and he and Hall want to give him the beating of his life. They mockingly call for him to show up, and now he comes waltzing out and Nash claims that if he did not have his flip flops on he would give him the beating of his life. The Giant stalks them and Nash calls himself the 1998 cannonball champ and leaps into the pool. Hall tries to run off and trips! He is picked up and gorilla pressed into the pool! The fans erupt. Awesome segment.
Match 10: Hogan and Savage v. Sting and Lex Luger
Hogan is yapping at Savage who is not listening. EB is trying to be the peacemaker. EB declares that Sting is not coming out and Lex will be all by himself. Tonight just for Hogan and Savage he presents just by himself and they look up and Sting is in helicopter. Now this is badass; expensive I am sure but badass nonetheless! Sting is rappelling out of the helicopter! Hogan screams that Macho did not get the job done. Hogan and EB practically get blown out of the ring! Savage had decked Hogan and the Disciple blocks his exit and Hogan belts him from behind. Savage is rolled into the ring, and Sting beats him down. He slams him and goes up top and nails him with the big splash. Sting drops him with a blow to the head and then turns and clocks Hogan. Lex gets the tag, whips Savage into the corner and then the other one. Lex holds him up in a vertical suplex and sends him crashing down. Savage is hung over the ropes and jumped on. Lex works over the back and gorilla slams him after holding him up for a bit. Sting gets the tag and he hits Macho in the ribs and then kicks him in the back. EB is jawing at him from the apron after Sting spit at Hogan. Savage is getting mauled; just demolished as he is run from pillar to post and then given and inverted atomic drop. Lex is in and he gives him an inverted atomic drop now, and now some clotheslines and the bionic forearm. Savage hits Lex and slaps Hogan on the back but Savage is rolled up and the ref still counts the two! Hogan leaves and Savage sledges him on the back and rolls him in the ring. Now he and the Disciple are brawling. Of course Hogan goes on the offensive, and knocks Luger around and slams him only to miss the legdrop. Sting gets the tag and after a knee, he strikes with two Stinger Splashes and the Disciple rolls Savage back into the ring and now all four are in; Luger has Hogan in the Rack as Sting beats on Savage. The Disciple runs in and breaks up the Rack and now the nWo run down piecemeal and the brawl is on. Sting and Lex are fighting them off as Hogan and Savage are going at it poolside and we fade…..
**1/2 Nice brawl and still leaves lingering questions about Savage and the nWo. The helicopter stunt was great too. Shit I am all for window dressing….
**** I am going to rank this show fairly high. I was not keen on Savage being back a part of the nWo but it was teased and it is obvious that he is not….yet. I do feel as if some of this is booked on the fly, like after Starrcade. However, there was some good wrestling tonight, Jericho and Juve, Raven and Benoit. Fit had a fun match with Ultimo and I enjoyed the Giant segment as well as the closing main event. There was enough done to keep everything going, and it followed up the PPV well. I am still worried about WCW being stuck in a rut but so far they are handling it well and we will see where they go in the next couple of months. I am sure WCW loses gate money by having the show at a club, but I like the atmosphere and the vibe. The fact that WCW connects with college campuses does build inroads for garnering a bigger audience down the road. Overall, I was impressed with the show and while some of the matches were filler but for three hours that will be expected but should not be the norm.