Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WCW Monday Nitro 3/2/98
Not the greatest follow up to the PPV last week. It was not bad but they have focused the show for so long around Sting and Hogan and even got an extra two months out of it. They fucked up Starrcade but the aftermath was handled surprisingly well leading to some of the best shows in Nitro history. It will be interesting to see how they handle a non-Hogan title run and the continuing fractures within the nWo. Now is the time to make bigger stars, now is the time to keep pushing DDP and Booker T. To build up Benoit and Raven and Jericho and Guerrero. The WWF has closed the ratings gap but by having compelling angles and solid in ring work while elevating new talent along with keeping the old talent near the top then WCW can remain their for some time. It really is a transition era, and we will see how they handle it. WCW answered the promised Tyson appearance with a Sting and Savage tag team and the ratings showed with a whopping 4.8 off of hours of 4.8, 4.7 and 4.9. RAW was no slouch with a 3.8 off of hours of 3.7 and 3.8.
A limo arrives and a confident nWo departs and heads into the arena.
Match 1: Scotty Riggs v. Chris Benoit
Benoit is whipped front first into the corner but he back elbows Riggs and then clotheslines him. He gets two after a back suplex and then dumps him to the floor. He heads out and whips him into the railing. Lodi enters the fray and gets pummeled but Riggs hits Benoit from behind and stomps on him. Benoit is rolled back into the ring, choked and covered for a two count. Riggs goes for a suplex but cannot get him up and Benoit snap suplexes him. But Riggs is up first, clotheslines him and gets a two count. Now he applies a reverse chinlock. Benoit is whipped into the corner and clotheslined. He tries to fire back but gets kicked in the gut. Benoit has had enough and we get the triple German Suplexes and then the Crossface and Riggs taps.
**1/2 Decent go over match for Benoit.
Here comes Hogan and Bischoff and EB declares everyone knows who the real man is. I forgot to add they had a video package of Savage winning National Lampoons Manly Man of the Year. EB calls Savage a midget and Hogan calls him a piece of crap. Macho is not a man because he could not keep his marriage together (Karma, Hogan) and that he could not get on Leno or Conan. He is in the nWo for life and needs to know the pecking order. Also, he can beat Sting. Tonight he is going to tear off Macho’s phony wig and stomp him. He is going to maim him in the cage at the PPV. All the disciples know that Hollywood is just too sweet. Flex time….
Nitro Girls and Gene are on St. Joseph University.
Match 2: Chavo Guerrero v. Juventud Guerrera
A maskless Juve. They lock up and he applies an armbar and now they go back and forth with hammerlocks and exchange holds. Juve rolls through and trips up Chavo and they get into each other’s faces. Chavo puts him in a side headlock and is then run over. Now they go back and forth off the ropes and Juve flips out of a move and is struck with a lariat. Juve is back suplexed and Chavo gets two. Chavo runs him into the corner where he unleashes a chop. Whips him into the other corner and Juve lands on the apron, knocks him back with a missile dropkick and then in the other corner a springboard missile kick. After some chops he misses the running splash in the corner after the whip. Chavo leaps off the top and bounces Juve’s head off the top rope. Chavo has him by the head and goes for a tornado DDT from the top but Juve rolls through and Chavo is wrapped up and nearly pinned. Chavo knocks him down and has an ankle lock applied, Juve gets to the ropes right away. They tussle and Juve hits the Driver and now the 450 and it is over.
**1/2 Okay match. The ending was a bit sudden.
Match 3: Psychosis v. Prince Iaukea
Psychosis dropkicks him right when they get in the ring. Iaukea gets knocked to the floor and then baseball slides him into the railing. Psychosis leaps off the apron and gets all railing. Prince leaps from the apron and does not miss. Psychosis is rolled back into the ring but he ducks a blow and then kills him with a clothesline. Prince is rolled into the corner where he is sandwiched. Psychosis drives his shoulder into but misses a dropkick. Prince though strikes with a dropkick getting two. But the offensive does not last long as Psychosis knocks him around. Iaukea tries to fight back but is fended off. Psychosis misses the running leap into the corner but he does not miss he rolling kick and he gets a near fall. Psychosis dropkicks him in the back, places him up top and it is hurracarana time but Prince gets his shoulder up at two. Psychosis bodyslams him and claims it is over; he goes up and the guillotine legdrop finishes him, nope he pulled the head up and runs into a back elbow after the whip. Prince goes up and is dropkicked in the knees. Iaukea is set up, and Psychosis takes awhile to climb up on his shoulders and then just falls down with Prince on top and he gets the win.
** Not sure what to make of this. Psychosis pulls him up? Moves took to long to develop but there were some decent ones.
Match 4: Raven v. Disco Inferno
They go at it right away. Disco reverses a whip and pounds on him and after a swinging neckbreaker sends him to the floor. Raven is whipped into the railing and Disco walks around him glaring at him. But after some headshots into the side of the ring he is whipped into the railing. Raven tosses some chairs into the ring. He sets on up in there and goes back out to bring Disco back in. They go at it by the chair and Raven gets his head planted into the chair. Disco unwinds some tape and chokes him out with it and he gets a two count. Raven reverses a whip and a drop toe hold sends him into the chair and the Evenflow finishes off Disco.
**1/2 Pretty fun for a short match as it was action packed.
More Nitro Party stuff.
Match 5: Hugh Morrus and Barbarian v. Public Enemy
They go at it at the bell and Morrus and Barbarian are sent to the floor. PE goes after Jimmy Hart who escapes to the floor. They go aftter him but are met with a plastic garbage can. Jimmy gets involved and whips Grunge. Rock ducks and Morrus and Barbarian collide. Rock sets up the table, and Grunge places him on the table but Morrus saves him or does not as Rock is superplexed into the table and Barbarian pulls him to safety. Barbarian holds Grunge and Morrus goes up top and Grunge moves and down goes Barbarian and he is dumped to the floor. They set up the second table and Morrus bends it! Therefore the guillotine legdrop does not have as much as an impact. Morrus is pinned.
**1/2 I like tables! PE’s first win in months and months.
Macho’s music starts and out comes a ravishing Liz first and acho right behind. He calls Hogan pathetic and that the only dark cloud hovering over Savage is that he has been carrying Hogan for years. Without the nWo Hogan would not have a life. Tonight we are going to find out who is crying and dying and it is only business. For one night only the Macho Man and Sting are going to do businesses because that was the only way to get you two cowards into the ring. He and Sting are going to do business, Macho’s way and out comes Sting. Sting has a mic! He tells Macho to hold on and “Hey Yo” he calls out the working man, Scott Hall. Hall told him to bring it last week and Sting brought it. Survey says, Scott Hall you are dead. Now to Macho and brother, brother, brother. For sixteen months he saw Hogan’s face with Savage’s and he does not forgive or forget and he only does business his way and finishes with “ohhhh yeahhh” and walks off leaving Savage befuddled.
Match 6: Sick Boy v. Goldberg
Right away, Goldberg kicks him and then gorilla slams him. Sick Boy goes for a springboard blow and Goldberg dodges and clotheslines him. Sick pokes him in the eye and muffs the springboard and holds his back. Sick is then kicked a few times. Sick Boy hits him back but is speared, Jack Hammered and it is over.
There is some sort of Music Video by Stuck Mojo (no idea) that DDP ia a part of. They are some shitty metal/rap band. And they are singing in the ring and the Flock is there too. This is AWFUL. DDP comes in with a wooden chair and unloads on a big dude and now takes out the Flock knocking them into the crowd. Okay I did a little research and they are actually a pioneer for the rap/metal combo, I know that Limp Bizkit did not get back until around this time. The song got a bit better and it the album came out the next day.
Tenay calls out DDP and they discuss the video for a moment before DDP calls him a baby who hides behind his Flock. So this Thursday he is going to quote the “Bang.”
One of the Flock are in the ring calling for Page. He wants him to listen as he acts stoned and now DDP comes out. He comes out through the crowd and dives into the ring and the match is on. It is Hammer.
Match 7: Hammer v. DDP (c)
Hammer clubs his back over and over as DDP slides into the ring. He whips him into the corner where he continues the punishment. After the whip DDP is powerslammed. Hammer chokes him out but DDP hops back up and goes after him, only to be knocked backed down and then after the whip DDP nails him with the Cutter. Raven runs down and stomps away on DDP. Benoit comes from behind and gives Hammer two German’s and then DDP accidentally hits him. Then they hit each other a couple of times until Raven struggles to his feet and they turn and hit him and we go to break.
** Angle advancement.
Gene is chillin’ with St. Joseph students and doing games and eating and hanging out with babes, and some fat chicks. Oh, the hot one is a Nitro girl.
Tenay calls out Bret Hart. He asks about the Curt Hennig match….Jesus WCW, Curt Hennig? Bret is looking forward to wrestling Curt and nWo is filled with the thugs and changes his December tune and now he is starting to go after the nWo brick by brick rather than start at the top. Curt’s dad never beat Stu and he wants to kick his butt. Bret has a match with Brian Adams tonight and he will pay the price tonight.
Match 8: British Bulldog v. Scott Norton
The two big men lock up and Norton shoves him off and then does it again. Now the third time Davey is sent into the ropes and they collide twice with neither moving. Now Davey trips him up and powerslams him twice. Norton gut punches him and then clotheslines him to the floor. Norton goes out and runs his head into the steel steps and then wants a powerbomb and he shoves the ref and Davey back drops him and runs him into the post. Norton fires back and like with Mongo the brawl heads to the back….
**1/2 Angle advancement; if they are going to have a feud that is.
Match 9: Konnan v. Super Calo
He goes after Juve about a lack of heart and courage, therefore he will have to pay the price and he is no longer raza! (That must hurt his feelings, not being raza).
They go back and forth, Calo grabs his arm and climbs up and drags him across the ring. Konnan comes right back with a rolling clothesline and then he stomps away. Calo makes a comeback, takes him down and gets two after a missile dropkick. Konnan drops him and then spikes him with a Cradle DDT. And finishes him off with the Sunrise
**Um, Calo is capable of having longer matches and it is a shame they did not. But Konnan is on a quasi roll.
He tries to take of the mask and Juve runs down screaming about who is raza as Konnan ignores him and then challenges him to a “Who is Raza” match next week (I made the quote part up).
Recap of the Adams/Hart incident.
Tenay calls out Flair. The Nature Boy is in town and ready to go. Flair wonders why Gene is in St. Joseph and not Naitch but then describes it is because of the big main event tonight. Flair then tells how he hopes Bret does right against Curt Hennig who comes out with Rick Rude. Curt calls himself Eric Lindross as they want to talk to him (They are in Philly). Curt calls him a 14 time loser, about his titles, and threatens to have Rude beat him up and that Bret Hart would not come down and help him out. Flair responds that if it is just he and Curt then he will not need Bret. Curt obliges and gets into the ring where he is promptly plastered by Flair. Flair hiptosses him out of the corner, basically into the other corner! He chops him until he gets his eyes gougred and now Curt tears into him with chops and knees to the head. Flair is sent upside down into the corner and out onto the apron but he ducks a clotheslines and gives one of his own and then nut shots Curt. He continues to assault him and goes for the Figure Four and while he saw Rude he still gets clobbered and now Perfect and Rude go off on him, he gets nailed with the Plex and after some more blows Hart runs out and runs off the heels.
Match 10: Scott Steiner v. Jim Duggan
The rare showing of Jim Duggan and to be fodder for Scotty. Who decks him from behind as Duggan waves the flag. Duggan hits him with some stiff clotheslines and Scotty just jaws at him but on the third one Steiner backs up and allows himself to be clotheslined over the top. He runs back in and is clotheslined again and punched a few times. Steiner hits the double underhook slam and puts him in a rear chinlock. Duggan fights to his feet gets in a couple of blows but is then slugged by Scotty. Duggan does his no selling and goes after Steiner only to be kicked in the nuts. Scotty goes up to the middle rope and goes for a sunset flip but cannot get him over and is punched a few times. Duggan then mounts and pounds him in the corner. Duggan whips him into the corner and Steiner dodges the charge, sends him to the floor where he whips him into the railing and side of the ring. Back in the ring it is belly to belly suplex time and he has the Recliner on and Duggan gives up.
**1/2 Actually not that bad.
Match 11: Eddie Guerrero and Chris Jericho (c) v. Booker T (c) and Dean Malenko
Jericho is all excited about his Jerichoholics and Monday Night Jericho and his first guest is the incomparable Eddie Guerrero.
The bell rings and Jericho and Booker start off. “Eddie Sucks” echoes and Jericho comforts Eddie. Booker runs over Chris twice but then runs into a boot and is dropkicked. Now Eddie is in and both hammer him in the corner. Eddie is whipped into him and launched into the turnbuckle and Chris accidentally runs into him. Malenko comes in and joins the fun and the heels flee the ring to regroup. Eddie gets in the ring and begs for mercy and Booker grabs and squeezes his hand. He whips him into the ropes, Eddie goes low and gut punches him. Jericho is tagged in and they both hit him with a running shoulder block. Jericho slams him and Eddie strikes with a springboard splash. Eddie is in now and he gets dismantled by a running forearm. Malenko and Jericho get the tag and Dean dropkicks him and then slams him. Booker is kicked by Booker as Jericho tosses out Malenko. Jericho goes over and helps out Eddie and he wants the Lionsault but Dean pulls the ropes and out he goes. Eddie leaps on Booker but Booker pops right up and misses a Sidekick but then leaps on him and both fall to the floor. Now it is Jericho and Dean and the former is kicked in the back and put in the Cloverleaf and he taps.
***Not as good as their other matches but still fun.
Here comes the nWo. Steiner says tonight is their lucky night, as they saw him wrestle and his brother will join the nWo. And the nWo gets stronger. Nash has the mic and calls him down. Here comes Rick along with Ted. Rick gets in the ring and they do the nWo salute with the fingers. Nash tells the crowd you can buy the nWo shirts at the concession stand. Now he is family and is honored to induct him into the nWo. Rick knocks down Nash and Konnan just waits. He goes after Scotty and then Buff clips him from behind and now the stomping begins. Nash teases the powerbomb and lets him go and more stomping. Now he goes for it again and Rick back drops him. Now some more stomping. The Giant gets in the ring and Nash slowly gets to his feet and tries to hit him but is blocked and headbutt sends Nash crashing to the mat. He then POWERBOMBS him! Dusty gets in the ring and acts like he wants some as does Konnan but they think the better of it and stay on the apron as he helps up Rick.
Now I do not want to be one of those guys that states they should have saved the powerbomb spot for a PPV. Have a match at Uncensored or Spring Stampede; a hyped rematch and get some buys. Nash is over and a rematch would have garnered some serious interest. Still it was a cool spot….
During the break, Giant just brushed by security.
Match 12: Brian Adams v. Bret Hart
Hart’s Nitro wrestling debut! Brian waits for him to get into the ring and then unloads on him with kicks and punches. He gorilla slams him and then kicks him to the floor. Adams goes out after him, works him over but Bret blocks going into the post and Adams eats it instead. Bret’s turn to punish him; he rolls him back into the ring and pounds him in the corner. He mounts and pounds him with a series of fists and then stomps on him. A side Russian leg sweep followed up by a legdrop, and Brian reverses a whip but is dropkicked after the missed clothesline. Bret gives him a backbreaker, and it is time for the elbow from the middle rope but Adams gets his foot up but Bret sees it coming, grabs the leg and goes for the Sharpshooter but Brian grabs the ropes so Bret drops the legs near the nut area. Adams counters a hiptoss and slams Bret and then connects with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Adams gets the boot up after the whip reversal. He tears off the turnbuckle pad. Bret blocks going into the steel buckle and Brian’s head gets plowed into it. Sharpshooter time! Hennig finally comes out and Bret hits him and the brawl goes to the floor. Curt misses a chair shot as the brawl up the ramp. Adams grabs Bret from behind and slams him back…..commercial.
Match 13: Hollywood Hogan and Scott Hall v. Randy Savage and Sting (c)
Savage and Sting waste no time and the brawl is on. EB stays in the ring and helps out Hogan but Sting blocks them and takes both men down. Savage sends Hall into the corner as Sting and Hogan go at it on the floor with Sting using a chair on the back. Hogan is run into the railing and then into the ring where Sting uses the leather belt to whip him. Savage hits Hall with the double axe. Savage chokes him out and Sting enters the ring and then goes to his corner. Macho taunts Hogan but then turns and takes out Hall, whips him into the corner and nails him off the rebound. Sting uses the ropes to splash him on the back and he gets a two count. He tags Savage back in and they both doubleteam him with a double clothesline. Sting drops a big elbow and he gets a two count. Sting gets up and decks Hogan. Savage then goes out and rams his head into the railing. Sting is working over Hall and now Savage lends a hand and he gets a two count. Hogan runs in and goes after Savage, choking him out. Hall gets a quick tag and does the same and now Hogan is back in and he rabbit punches him in the had and then sandwiches him in the corner. Hall is in and it is fall away time and he gets a two count. Hogan is tagged in and he pounds the back, shoves him into the ropes and then whips him, connecting with the big boot. Savage is bodyslammed and Hogan misses the legdrop and Sting gets the hot tag and it is Stinger Splash time and another one. Savage runs in and takes Hall down. He goes up top as the Deathlock is applied. Here comes the nWo and Sting takes out most as Savage is laid out. Sting rips into Hall and Vincent and Konnan. The Disciple pulled out Hogan. DDP had come down and more nWo comes down. The Giant gets in the ring and it really clears out!
***Good set up for the PPV. They just teased the two matches coming up. There should not have been a winner here. Nothing fancy just angle advancement.
***1/2 It is the final hour that really saved this show. I loved the Flair promo and brawl. The Bret Hart match was good and the main event did the job. The main issue I had were the too short matches. Thirteen or so are far too many. In a three hour show about nine or ten nice long matches with an obvious Goldberg squash. Also, matches like Konnan and Calo should have gone on a bit longer. Still the show set up the PPV and did all the right things by keeping certain people strong and moving the angles along. The Giant powerbomb was questionable if cool, but that means there will be no rematch in the near future (politics) and Bret Hart not facing a Nash or Hall? Or setting up a Hogan or Sting feud? Well, I guess Hennig is still capable of some fun matches and this one should be decent, hopefully. But I need to resign myself that Bret will not be in the title hunt for quite some time.