Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WCW Monday Nitro 3/30/98
WCW knows that the WWF is hot off the heels of WrestleMania and that RAW is live. Therefore it will be interesting to see what WCW does to counteract. They are now throwing a potential Hogan/Nash rift into the equation, which goes back to last year and also delves into their real life issues, as they have had arguments about main eventing etc and will continue to do so throughout most of this year. Savage and Sting has now become a hot feud. DDP and Raven continue to have a solid feud too. Other than that most of the other one’s play second fiddle. Bret Hart is still MIA and Luger is floating about aimlessly. Nitro had its usual strong opener with a 4.6 but fell below RAW as fans tuned in to see Austin and Vince square off to a 3.9 while RAW got a 4.0 (an ominous sign for WCW and the WWF will probably see this and run with it) but RAW slipped to a 3.6 while Nitro went up to a 4.1 for the final hour.
If you have read last week’s Nitro be sure and go back as I added the Benoit/Booker T match.
They show the issues between Nash and Hogan on Thunder.
Match 1: Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom v. High Voltage
Bloom and Rage start off and Rage takes him down with a knee but is grabbed and whipped into the ropes where he is kicked in the gut. Rage counters by going pulling up on the arm. It is Enos who started out and not Bloom….who cares. Rage takes him down, tags in Kaos and they doubleteam him. Kaos snaps him over and puts him in a arm hold. Rage is tagged back in and Enos reverses the whip but is picked up and dumped over. Bloom is knocked off the apron. But Enos grabs Rage, holds him and Bloom is tagged in and he nails him with a double axe and gets a one count. Bloom slams him and tags Enos back in. Rage is placed up top and tossed back in a fall away slam and he gets one. Both men are down and they each make the tag as the Giant comes down to the ring. It is a scrum in the ring as the Giant lumbers over the top rope and grabs Enos and chokeslams him and does it to Bloom too. Now Rage gets one too as does Kaos!
** All for the Giant chokeslamming them.
After the break Gene is in the ring with the Giant and brings out Piper. I forgot to mention that Piper’s promos are getting quite old. It is fine seeing him back but good God are his promos long and rambling. The Giant is not in the ring, during the break he must have gone to the back as he comes out with Piper. A lot of exercise for the big man! Gene wants to call Piper Commissioner and Piper gives him permission to do so. Now the God bless Harry Carey sense unlike last week in KY. He tosses his Cubs hat into the crowd. He has himself a mean Giant right now for a bat match. There will be no more bats, of any kind until the PPV when they have the World Series. Now Nash thinks he is a giant but so does the Titantic; this is going to be a night….pauses and does not like to wait and talks about Thunder and how Nash and Hogan had to sign a pre-nup and that they are lovers etc. Nash will get back into the ring tonight and pick a partner who is not Hogan to face Luger and Sting again. Piper continues that he was wrong and it was not Savage stirring up trouble but Hogan, and now he runs down all the names that Brutus Beefcake has gone by in WCW! His real name is E. Harrison Leslie and he is not waiting for the PPV as he is taking on Hogan tonight in the ring.
They show the Hogan and Nash promo from Thunder.
Match 2: Saturn v. Fit Finley
Raven comes out with the US belt…this should be a good match if they get a few minutes. Here we go. Fit takes him down and puts him in a facelock. Saturn gets to his feet, kicks him a few times and then sends him into the corner but runs into a boot and then kicked some more. Finley lays him over the ring and drills him in the throat with his elbow. He takes him to the corner and just works him over by raking the face etc. Saturn fights back but gets his legs taken out and Fit goes to work on the leg. Saturn gets to his feet and whips Fit into the ropes and gets two after a belly to belly suplex. Fit comes right back with a big clothesline, whips him into the corner and runs into him with his head and then picks him up and drives him back down into the mat. He gets a two count, whips him back into the corner and this time Fit misses and Saturn applies the Rings and Fit tap.
*** A sudden ending but still a good match.
Here comes the nWo. Hogan is flexing in the ring. EB has the mic and proclaims that he has nothing but love for the house that Hollywood built. Hogan declares that he and his disciples are in this for life. He and his nWo brothers were in the back listening to that sissy Piper and he has something to say to him. He mocks Piper and if he wants some of Hollywood then come on down as he has something for him and that sissy little skirt of his. He nods at the crowd and he tells Piper to listen to the crowd as that is the noise of all the people who worship him and that makes Piper doomed. He brings Leslie over to him and declares him the Disciple, the number one man who worships him. He is sick of all of Piper’s games and verbiage. He is tired of dealing with backstabbers and all the Disciple does is make sure that there is a level playing field. Now to the family issues, and he knows that Nash is grumpy and he has been talking to his brothers in the back and he also does not trust Nash and so go and get another partner. They want to see what Nash is made of and here he comes. Hogan tells Nash that he is not using him as a partner tonight or any brother from the nWo. Nash mocks Hogan’s “brother” phrase. He tells Hogan that the people right behind him would not hesitate to stab him in the back like Savage claimed, but he will shoot him right behind the eyes. Hogan reminds him that he will have his back at the PPV and if they have an issue after they can deal with it but good luck finding a partner tonight. Nash informs him that he has already found one and Hogan can spend the rest of the night guessing who it is “brother” and then leaves a befuddled Hogan behind.
Match 3: Chris Jericho (c) v. Marty Jannetty for WCW Cruiserweight Title
Jericho has the mic and wants to dedicate this match to Dean Malenko; Dean let a lot of people down when he quit after losing to him. Dean was not the first person to submit to the Liontamer but was the first to take his ball and go home crying. He is kissing him and his career goodbye.
Marty shoves him into the corner and hammers him. He takes Jericho down, and drops the elbow. Jericho tries to get to his feet but cannot, so Marty helps him and powerslams him off the whip. He gets a two count, and then runs Jericho in the corner headfirst, Jericho reverses a whip but telegraphs the back drop and gets bulldogged, however Jericho makes a comeback and puts him in the Liontamer and just like that it is over.
** Poor Marty but a nice squash for Jericho.
Jericho has the mic again and he thanks the crowd, and since he took care of Jannetty so quickly he came prepared; sips his water and then states that since Malenko claims to be a man of a thousand holds and really only knows 60. Jericho claims he knows 1004 and starts to go over all the holds he knows….
He is up to hold 700 something and repeats armbar! He still goes as they go to the pyro for hour number two. He is still going as they announce the next match!
Match 4: Prince Iaukea v. Glacier
Jericho is still going and is not happy about being interrupted. Prince is upset for Jericho dishonoring Dean’s memory and the ref helps give Jericho his list and he finally departs whining that he still has 200 left.
Glacier! They lock up and Glacier is pushed off but runs over Prince and does it again. Glacier back suplexes him and then goes for crowd support and gets none. Prince puts him up on his shoulders and dumps him back. Glacier kicks him in the corner a few times but misses the front kick and is dropkicked in the back. But Glacier comes back with a foot to the face, but Prince blocks his next blow and takes him down. He goes off the ropes with a sprinboard and gets powerslammed. Glacier goes up top and leaps, but Iaukea grabs and finishes him with the bridge Northern Lights Suplex.
*1/2 Jericho gets Prince Iaukea?
Match 5: Juventud Guerrera v. El Dandy
They shove each other, Dandy slaps him and Juve sends him into the ropes but gets kneed in the face after telegraphing the backdrop. Juve makes a comeback, scissors him to the floor but Dandy dodges the baseball slide, and back in the ring Dandy clotheslines him. Dandy jaws at the crowd, starts to pull him up but stops, and then decides to pull him up by his hair and drop him down. Dandy sends him into the corner and Juve tries to float over but is caught and crotched on the ropes. Juve jumps off and lands on Dandy getting a two count. Dandy smacks him in the chin, delays the cover and gets two. Dandy sends him into the ropes, drop toe holds him and then kicks him in the chest getting a two count. Dandy whips him into the ropes again but this time misses the blow and is finished with the Juve Driver.
Match 6: Kaz Hayashi v. Chavo Guerrero
Chavo puts him in a side headlock, Kaz pushes him off but is run over. Kaz leapfrogs him off the second whip and then headscissors him over and puts him in an armbar. Chavo is able to counter with a back suplex and follows up with a European uppercut. He dropkicks Kaz and gets a two count. He pulls Kaz up and drops him with an uppercut, snaps him over and puts him in a rear chinlock. He breaks the hold, hits another belly to belly suplex gets another two count and goes back to the rear chinlock. Kaz is able to counter with a jawbreaker but that is it as Chavo goes back on the offensive; he goes for a powerbomb but Kaz flips free and they go back and forth, Kaz goes up top and takes him down with a missile dropkick. Kaz gets two after bridging the German suplex. Chavo is up though and as Kaz goes upstairs again he is caught and nailed with a Tornado DDT and it is over.
** 1/2 Chavo got a win and that is nice.
Chavo helps him up and bows…
Raven is in the ring with the belt, and informs us that there have been some complaints about his large vocabulary. He will put it in simple terms for people and especially Page to understand. DDP should understand his problems because he knows about them. Raven whines that he was unpopular and that Page was the first person to pick him up from rehab. When Page was fired and no one thought he would amount to anything Raven listened to him on the phone. So what about him, what about Raven? Raven spent three years in barbed wire city and DDP could have made one call and got him in WCW but he was scared that Raven would become bigger. Therefore Raven will show him….
Match 7: Raven v. Buff Bagwell
They lock up and Buff hiptosses him. Buff poses and Raven takes advantage of that but it does not last as Buff takes him down again and gets some crowd support for taking it to Raven and perhaps for his poses too. DDP comes out of the crowd with security in tow and Raven runs for his life with DDP giving chase!
DDP takes Heenan’s seat at the announce table. Tony tells him to put the headset on a couple of times. He puts it on then takes it off and Tony shrugs and tells him he is the champ and can do whatever. DDP has a mic now; he admits that Raven helped him out, but in reality poor Scotty (Levy) had a silver spoon in his mouth and grew up in a 20000 square foot mansion (nice) and wore all the best clothes. He starts to talk about Raven’s daddy issues but changes the subject to his own dirty laundry. Page’s mom had 3 kids before 20 and was divorced and some fans call him a liar! Page had to bounce from family to family. He is fine with that because he turned negatives into positives and Raven does the opposite. Raven has no idea what hardships are, and then discusses jobs from 9-5 that people hate, all to make ends meet. What Raven is going through is a bunch of crap and he tells Raven to think about it.
Match 8: Disco Inferno v. Kidman
Disco goes after him but is taken down and pummeled. Disco reverses a whip and launches him straight up and then clotheslines him getting a two count. Disco is relentless and starts to stomp a hole in him. Kidman is sent into the ropes; they both block hiptosses but Disco’s second attempt sends Kidman over the top rope. Disco bounces his head off the side of the ring, and then gets back into the ring. Kidman slingshots into him, follows up with a bulldog and gets two. He bodyslams Disco, then nails him with a guillotine legdrop, instead of going for the cover he poses for the crowd. He goes back after Disco and after hitting him a couple of times Disco is able to get two after a sunset flip. Kidman stomps on the back of his head and then uses the ropes to choke him out. He sideslams him and slowly goes upstairs and misses the splash. Disco is up and gives him an inverted atomic drop; he gets two after drilling him with his elbow and another two count after a swinging neckbreaker. Disco bodyslams him goes up to the middle rope and misses the double axe, Kidman is up first kicks him in the chest and whips him into the corner but runs into the boot. Disco charges him but is tackled and nearly pinned. After some back and forth Disco piledrives him and it is over.
**1/2 Fun match but it is clear it is just filler.
Match 9: Curt Hennig v. Jim Neidhart
Curt makes sure he cannot get in the ring and on the second attempt he keeps him at bay with a knee. Finally Jim pulls him to the floor and works over the back with clubbing blows. He rolls him into the ring and sledges the back and then points at Rude saying it was for him (Rude is at the announce table). He whips Curt into the corner and keeps pointing and jawing at Rude. Curt scoots away from Jim as his back keeps getting worked over. Neidhart easily catches up to him and bodyslams Curt, but Curt mounts a comback with a few blows to the gut. Jim rakes the eyes, but Curt fights back only to be whipped into the ropes and put in a bearhug. Here comes Rude and he runs to the ring, shoves the ref down and Jim puts him in the bearhug! But Curt nails Jim and now Rude and Hennig beat him down, cuffing him to the rope. Davey runs down and helps out Jim but Brian Adams comes down and gives Davey a piledriver. Rude is choking out Neidhart with his belt. Ref is up and calls for the bell but gets taken down again! Here comes Bret Hart and he starts to clear the ring, and mounts and pounds Rude but Adams grabs him but Bret falls on him and pounds him too. Curt grabs him and an inverted atomic drop sends him scurrying. Bret has a mic and states that someone is not paying attention as this type of stuff is going to stop, and he knows what it is like to be screwed. He is going to take out the nWo brick by brick and Hogan’s time is coming.
Match 10: Ultimo Dragon v. Psychosis
They go back and forth, and Dragon is taken down and Psychosis gets a two count. Dragon leaps back off the ropes and now he gets two. Psychosis comes back with a back elbow but misses the leap in the corner as Dragon moved. Psychosis is placed up top but he knocks Dragon off and to the floor. Psychosis leaps on him. Kidman is there now and he and the Flock take it to him. Dragon lends Psychosis a hand and they fend off the Flock.
Angle advancement at least I think…..
Match 11: Ray Traylor v. Goldberg
Goldberg immediately takes him down. They lock up again and the ref forces the break. Goldberg tells him to bring it. They lock up and tussle back and forth, and jaw at each other until Goldberg clotheslines Ray and he retreats to the floor. He gets back into the ring and Ray works him over and then nails him with a spinebuster but Goldberg does not sell it and he hops right up and spears him. He finishes him with the Jackhammer and it is over.
** Squash. Ray’s time has come and gone and has been fodder since returning.
Saturn wants a piece of him as the Flock holds him back….Goldberg though wants a piece too.
Match 12: Chris Benoit v. Booker T (c) for WCW TV Title
Not sure if this is the right order as WWE deleted this match….I have the actual DVD but too lazy to dig it out and this will work but from now one not using WWE 24/7.
They lock up and circle around with Benoit pushing him into the corner. The ref calls for the break and they circle around one another. Benoit pushes him down but Booker escapes and gets to his feet. They lock up and Benoit has the arm and takes Booker down and now Booker is up and they are circling one another. Benoit shoves him into the corner and chops the chest, and a series of stomps sends him to the mat. Booker reverses the whip and spikes him with a spinebuster and he gets two. He follows up with a scoop slam, and now he cracks him with his elbow off the whip. Booker stomps on him and Benoit rolls to the corner and the ref forces Booker to stop. Benoit is up and now he reverses a whip sending Booker into the corner and he catches him and gives him a release German suplex. Both men are down and Benoit is up first and gets two after a snap suplex. Benoit destroys him off the running forearm and he gets two. Benoit whips Booker into the corner but he gets the boot up and charges Benoit only to get caught with a drop toe hold; Benoit delays the pin and only gets two. Benoit follows up with a backbreaker, gets another two count and applies a chinlock but then pulls back on the arms in a type of surfboard hold with his knees in the back. Benoit slams him and gets a two count, and now it is rolling German suplex time but after the second Booker knees him twice, whips him into the ropes and they collide as both try crossbody’s. Both are down and at eight they are up and Booker ducks a blow, back suplexes him and connects with the Harlem Kick. Booker takes too long getting up top and Benoit crotches him and strikes with some knife edge chops. He goes up too but gets knocked off and Booker misses the leap and it is Crossface time! But Booker is at the ropes and they are now slugging it out and the bell rings and Booker does not care and keeps hammering him, Benoit fires back and down goes Nick Patrick and he finally gets them separated. The fans are chanting bullshit as the match is announced a draw.
**** Better than last weeks. This could turn into something….Oh and fuck you WWE. Fuck censorship you royal douches. Benoit is murderer and thank God he did us a favor by killing himself (too bad he did not do that first) but you cannot erase the past….
Here comes Nash. Heenan has informed us that he has switched dressing rooms. Well, he informed us earlier.
Match 13: Kevin Nash and Mystery Partner v. Sting (c) and Lex Luger
Sting and Lex come out right after Nash and we do not know who the partner is…..wait Savage runs up from behind and belts Sting and Luger and goes right after the former. He piledrivers him into the floor as Nash chokes out Luger with his boot. Savage uses the belt to whip Sting with. Nash points at Savage and the fans pop. Savage is tagged in and he goes off on Luger, stomping and kicking away. He tags Nash in and Savage goes out and continues beating Sting. He goes back to the apron and Nash tags him back in. Savage runs in and chokes out Luger and tags Nash back in so Savage can head back and continue beating Sting. Nash takes Luger down and covers him for two and then does his usual offense in the corner. Meanwhile Savage is kicking the crap out of Sting on the floor. Nash sandwiches Luger in the corner. Savage is busy choking Sting out against the railing and picks up a chair and jabs him with it in the gut. Nash drills Luger with an elbow and Savage is ready for the tag and he whips Luger into the corner and drops him with a back elbow. Savage gets a two count, meanwhile Nash takes it to Sting out on the floor. Luger gets one offensive move in and that is a whip in the corner but he misses the charge and is dropped. Nash gets the tag and Luger is slumped against the ropes; Nash slowly strolls over and chokes him out with his boot. The camera pans and Sting is up and he is also fired up. Savage is down and Sting starts pounding him. Nash turns and stares, takes a step towards them but Luger belts him from behind. Sting gives Savage the trifecta with inverted atomic drops and then clotheslines him. Sting is sent into the ropes but back drops a charging Savage to the floor. Luger is buys striking Nash with clotheslines and bionic forearms. Hogan has run down and goes after Sting. Lex has Nash Racked! The Disciple runs in and punches Lex in the gut and then gives him a neckbreaker. Hogan is distracting the ref and Nash is able to get his arm over Lex and get the pin…..um, the ref clearly saw the interference. Hogan is heading up the ramp but here comes Piper and he is whipping him with a leather belt. The Disciple makes the save and Hogan now takes it to Piper, wraps the belt around his neck and leads him to the back….
*** For angle advancement purposes mostly, and now the addition of Hogan adds another element. Probably not a really good one though.
Match 14: Hulk Hogan v. Roddy Piper
The music stops and the announcers are speculating that they are brawling in the back. Now they have come back into the arena with Piper blasting Hogan with a blow after blow. He turns and works over the Disciple and leads both back to the ring hammering both men. He rolls both back into the ring but the Disciple rolls out. Hogan gets to his feet and Piper spits on Hogan who puts up his dukes and Hogan hits him and Piper wants him to do it again and Hogan obliges. Hogan hits him a couple more times and Piper is wobbly and fires back. He sends Hogan to the floor by thumbing the eye. He bashes his head into the steps and then slings him into the Disciple and then rolls Hogan back into the ring. Hogan begs for mercy but Piper bites his fingers instead and then unloads a flurry of rights and lefts and down goes Hogan. Piper follows up with a running stomp. Hogan gets to his feet holding his throat and Piper claps his ears. He winds up and decks him but Hogan is able to nut him and Piper falls back. Hogan does it again and now they are on their knees slugging it out. Hogan gets the upperhand and chokes out Piper. He helps Piper and up and keeps after him, choking him out on the ropes, and follows up with a series of kicks to the chest. Piper makes a comeback, but Disciple trips him up and pulls him to the floor and then runs him into the side of the ring. He rolls Piper back into the ring and Hogan nails him. Hogan whips him into the ropes but Piper counters with a sleeper. Disciple runs in and clobbers Piper. This causes the DQ, and the Disciple gives him a jawbreaker and they start the beatdown but here comes Nash. Everyone holds their breath wondering what is going to happen next and Nash picks up a woozy Piper and holds him for Hogan but of course Piper ducks and Hogan clocks Nash. Now the shoving match commences and the Disciple tries to be peacekeeper and here comes the Giant! The nWo clears out and Nash and Hogan bicker until we fade….
** The match was a typical slow moving brawl but the end continues the tease started last Monday.
***1/2 Basically on the strength of the great Booker and Benoit match and the classic Jericho promo. WCW hauled out the big guns and you can kind of get a sense of desperation as RAW closes the ratings gap. Last year the nWo made sporadic appearances and the main events were extremely short affairs and the other matches were just not that great. Now we get longer main events and they trot out the nWo all the time. I am not complaining as that makes it a more interesting show, a better one. The downside is the burn out factor. Fans may get sick of seeing the same thing every week and the same type of matches with no real resolution. So far it has worked out decently but we are nearing the three month mark teasing the demise of the nWo. It is time to pull the trigger or make something bigger happen instead of just bickering. Now it is Nash who is unhappy but that is really it. I understand taking your time, seeing what works etc as the nWo is a huge moneymaker but then again something needs to be done. They are certainly taking their sweet time about it but Savage and Sting and Nash and Hart and now Goldberg can easily carry the mantle. I predict something will happen in April and hopefully it is something positive and not the same old tired thing. On a positive note Piper was not as annoying!