Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WCW Monday Night Nitro 3/9/98
Nitro was better last week and Thunder improved on it. Already we have a go home show and hopefully it will be good. One thing for sure they have been building the PPV’s quite well since Starrcade. In fact since that relative debacle Nitro has been well above average. I meant to compare the two big shows last week but I watch them so far apart and watch so much that it sometimes seems to run together. WCW is taking WWF seriously and brought out their big guns to counter Tyson and it paid off especially with the great last hour. It is nice to see the WWF and WCW nearly going all out in competing especially as the ratings gap slowly narrows. The WWF is getting hotter and hotter, and WCW has not backed down. Nitro is far from perfect with their booking but at least it is the most interesting since the formation of the nWo and Sting finally has the belt and Savage is red hot. Hopefully, the trend continues….The ratings increased to 4.9 off of hours of 5.0, 4.8 and 5.1. RAW dropped to a 3.55 off of hours of 3.5 and 3.6.
Match 1: Ernest Miller v. Damien
Miller knocks him around but is whipped into the corner and sandwiched. Miller though kicks him and tries to get crowd support and cannot. Damien elbows him a few times, runs him into the corner and then sets him up top and then runs over and climbs up and Frankensteins him off. But the offensive is short lived and Damien is dropped, slammed and then Cat hits his finisher and gets quite the pop.
That was a random start going into a PPV….Anyway here comes Bischoff and Hogan. The more EB sees Hogan the harder it is to believe that anyone can get close to Hogan and what he means to the industry etc. Savage knows the truth and that if it was not for this man, Savage would not have a roof over his head and that his brother would be living in the street, and Savage would not be allowed in the building. Hogan declares that Savage has come out on a skinny little limb. Savage crossed the line when he brought his family into the equation. Savage brought Liz into the business and wanted her to act like the boys and even do the boys. Savage is the one out on a limb and the rest of the nWo will be getting a good laugh and will not be needed in the cage match. He is the real Macho Man and the real big Kahuna. There will never be anyone like him and Savage will take his place in history as another one who fell at his feet as Hogan is here for life. Flex time.
Gene is at Duke University. The crowd is fired up and the Nitro Girls are trying to get their cue and finally do and dance.
Match 2: Sick Boy v. Lenny Lane
Lane is knocked down but comes back with a hiptoss and scoop slam. Lenny hammers him in the corner but is shoved off. Sick dives out him and Lane ducks and out goes Sick Boy. Lane runs across the apron and leaps over the post and strikes with a nice looking somersault plancha. He nearly hit the post on that one. Lane connects with a springboard splash and gets two. Sick Boy comes back with a front suplex and then after some stomps gets two after a suplex. He snaps him over, pulls him up and whips him into the corner where he strikes with a running back elbow. Sick Boy bodyslams him and then misses the big elbow from the top. Lane wraps him up and gets a near fall, now he face plants him and Sick Boy reverses a whip but is dropped with a reverse crossbody for a near fall. Sick Boy goes over his back and knees Lane and Pedigrees him for the win.
**1/2 A bit long for an undercard match where neither will go anywhere but decent.
The fans erupt as Tenay calls out the Giant. Tenay tells him that he did not really wait until Uncensored and got a leg up on him. Giant responds that he may have a bad neck but Nash has a bad back. Giant has been here all day and looked for Nash and for the second biggest man in wrestling he could not find him. He calls him yellow and tells him that at Uncensored they will settle it. He and his buddies were in the back and they are willing to give Hogan what he wants tonight and just tells them to come out and here comes Sting and Savage. The fans just erupt. Savage has the mic and Hogan claims he is alone but he does not feel alone. Giant is about 8000 feet tall and the scary man over there is the heavyweight champion and he is known as Sting. The bottom line is that all three are the bomb brother. Sting bangs his bat against the turnbuckle and if Hogan thinks that he can get two goes in the nWo that will not stab him in the back he challenges them to a six man tag match from Hell tonight.
Match 3: Barry Darsow v. Goldberg
Goldberg trips him up, hammers him and then side slams him. Goldberg back drops him. Barry backs into the corner, is whipped into the other corner and he strikes with a drop toe hold. Barry escapes the headlock and is short clotheslined. Barry heads to the floor; Goldberg goes after him and shoves him into the railing and then into the post. Barry dodges and Goldberg hits the ring post and is hit and then rolled back into the ring. Barry hammers him and chokes him out with the ropes and the fans are raising the fucking roof chanting Goldberg. Goldberg is shoved into the corner and he screams, spears him and the Jackhammer finishes it.
**1/2 They tried to show off some more of his moves….still a bit stiff and green but explosive.
Back to Duke University. There is going to be a Nitro Girls Bikini Breakout on the Internet.
Here comes Hall. He is booed but does the Hey Yo but there is no time for a survey. He has to get down to business. He does not like Savage talking bad about Hogan because he knows deep down that Savage knows Hogan is the man. Hogan can count on Hall being his teammate. Now a word to WCW’s champ, at Uncensored he is going to come out of the rafters and into the ring and prove he is better than him and he does not think Sting can.
Nash comes out to a bigger pop. He tells Savage runs his mouth and if they want a war tonight they got one. Hogan’s enemies are his enemies and Hogan will never have a friend like him. Nash tells the Giant that he has not forgotten about Philly as he still feels the pain in his back. They say pain can be very cleansing. Giant is essentially going down, the DVD skipped a beat.
Match 4: Kidman v. Dean Malenko
They lock up and Kidman gets him into the corner but is whipped into the other one. Kidman gets his boot up but is grabbed and slammed. Kidman kicks him in the face and gets two. He hammers him in the head and suplexes him. Kidman gets two and puts him in a reverse chinlock. Malenko gets to his feet and back suplexes him. Malenko gets two but Kidman is right by the ropes. Dean hits him in the head but Kidman ducks and pushes him back into the corner and stomps away. Kidman covers him after a guillotine legdrop but Dean has his foot on the rope. Kidman keeps after him and after some punches chokes him out on the ropes. Kidman is whipped into the ropes and sandwiched. Dean leapfrogs over him but but is grabbed and slammed and nearly pinned. Now Dean is sent into the corner and off the rebound he is clotheslined. Jericho has come out and the crowd jeers as Kidman plants Dean getting two. They go back and forth and now he has Kidman up top and it is super gutbuster time and the Cloverleaf is applied and Kidman taps. Jericho exhorts the Flock to get in the ring and help Kidman and yells at them to help. They get in the ring and Jericho goes to charge Dean with them in tow but he realizes he is on his own and turns and yells and they beat him up. He retreats finds himself face to face with Malenko and flees the area.
*** Just because of the classic ending. The match itself was subpar.
Here comes Hogan and Bischoff again. Bischoff calls Macho the dumbest human on the planet, Hogan had to draw straws to get partners. Hogan responds that Savage would have had been in the plush nWo locker room, and Hogan checked his house and everything is fine but then again Savage does not have a home. The nWo is stronger than ever, and he had to pick two of the brothers and he calls Hall and Nash the true giants of the nWo, one to be champ and the other the true giant and he knew they would never stab him in the back. All the nWo-ites will see is Savage begging for mercy and wanting back into the nWo but he and Sting and his old lady can hit the road. Flex and pose time.
Match 5:Brian Adams v. Kaos
Adams hammers him right at the bell; Kaos is able to whip him into the ropes but gets pile driven. Adams stomps and kicks him. Kaos tries to go behind but is shrugged off and slammed. Kaos hits him in the gut a few times but gets mauled. Adams takes his time and waltzes over and gives him a belly to belly. He follows up with a gorilla press slam and just holds him up there for some time before slamming him down. Rage grabs the ankle and this allows Kaos to strike with a flying clothesline and he gets a two count. Kaos whips him into the ropes and punches him in the gut and then back suplexes him. Rage goes up top and gets crotched and Adams tosses him off. Adams then finishes off Kaos with a tilt a whirl powerslam.
*1/2 Overlong squash. But Adams is a big guy that can move.
He does the same to Rage and the ref counts the pin!
Match 6: Juventud Guerrera v. Scott Norton
Konnan is trying to get the crowd behind him and it fails. Konnan turns on the audience as well as WCW for not respecting Mexican culture. He is the biggest Mexican wrestler of all time. If Juve can beat a random wrestler appointed by K-Dog who claims he is the same size as Juve then he can face him at the PPV. It is Scott Norton, so much for the same size….
Juve leaps out and bounces off of him. Juve then chops him to no avail and gets shoved down. Inside the ring Norton launches him straight up, but Juve ducks the clothesline, pokes the eyes and strikes with two dropkicks. A springboard kick rocks him and Juve goes to the well one too many times and is caught and slammed. Norton goes after the small of the back and then chops him in the corner. Norton whips him into the corner and off the rebound Juve is put in a bearhug. Norton releases the hold and puts him in a full nelson. Juve will not give up and the announcers keep reminding us of his new moniker “Never Surrender.” Juve ducks a blow after the whip and he goes after the legs but Juve is grabbed and finished with the shoulderbreaker.
*1/2 Um, Juve is facing him anyway at the PPV, I guess just to soften him up. He did not look really good here but he did get in a few offensive move here and there.
Match 7: Raven and Saturn v. Chris Benoit and DDP (c)
Benoit and DDP argue who goes in first and it is Benoit starting against Saturn. Benoit takes it to him, knocks him down and tags in DDP. Saturn has the arm but is run over and then nailed with a swinging neckbreaker. Raven gets the tag and Benoit tags himself in; Benoit is kneed and then takes down Raven and Saturn runs in and he is knocked to the floor by DDP.
DDP is double teamed in the corner by Raven and Saturn; they thrust him into the corner a couple of times. Raven snaps him over, tags in Saturn who nails him and gets a near fall. DDP is choked out on the ropes, and Raven guillotines the throat off as the ref is distracted. He is doubleteamed again and this time Benoit runs in and knocks both over and DDP has Raven rolled up but Nick Patrick is not in position. Raven has him in a front facelock and DDP gets there to make the tag and Nick did not see the tag and forces Benoit back to the corner and he does not see the DDP roll up of Raven. Now Saturn is in and has him in a long bearhug, meaning it has been locked on for some time. Page comes to life and hammers the back but is dropped with a toe hold and Raven gets the tag; Raven drops the elbow and gets two. Saturn is back in and he bodyslams DDP. Saturn kills him with the guillotine legdrop from the top and Benoit makes the save. Saturn tries for a moonsault and Page moves a bit and Saturn basically gets all knee. Benoit gets the hot tag and Benoit unloads on Raven (who got the tag) and Saturn is knocked to the floor. He gives Raven two German’s and then is nutted but Raven is put in the Crossface! Saturn is up top but is crotched and DDP hits the Diamond Cutter from the top rope and he lands partially on Benoit disrupting the move. Benoit gets to his feet and knees DDP and then slugs him and it is on. The two fight their to the back and are counted out.
*** Not as good as their previous matches but still fun. The brawl at the end sets up the PPV that there are no friends, though the fans who exploded at the hot tag, and Crossface and were a bit deflated when they brawled but it should lead to a classic PPV match.
Gene is at Duke and Dominoes has delivered some pizza and the Nitro Girls are dancing.
Match 7: Konnan v. British Bulldog
Davey has his arm and Konnan tries to escape but cannot and gets clotheslined. Davey snaps him over and puts him in a rear chinlock. Konnan gets up and escapes, down goes the Bulldog and he is stomped and then nailed with the rolling clothesline and after some of his fucking catchphrases he gets a two count. Davey is snapped over and then strikes with a seated dropkick for another two. Bulldog makes a comeback and after some leapfrogs he powerslams Konnan and it is over….I mean it is over, just a powerslam.
* Um, was that planned? Davey looked a bit baffled for a split second and Konnan just rolled out of the ring. I mean this in no way helps Konnan who has been trying to portray a tough guy image.
Tenay calls out Flair and reminds him of Curt Hennig turning on the Horemen and then slamming his head into the cage door. Flair is all excited about being lie on Nitro and soon Curt Hennig will be brought down that aisle and it will not be to style and profile but to get the whippin’ of his lifetime. When Naitch gets down and he comes down to a crowd like this he gets fired up and tonight Curt will be Carolina Dreaming.
Match 8: Disco Inferno v. Chris Jericho (c) for WCW Cruiserweight Title
Jericho comes out wearing Juve’s mask. They lock up and Jericho runs him down but off the second whip he is hiptossed. Jericho grabs him and then pulls him into the top buckle, Jericho clocks the ears. Disco uses Jericho’s momentum to send him over the top rope. Disco leaps at him and does so right into a dropkick. Jericho gets flustered due to the “Jericho sucks” chants, and Disco rolls him up for two. But Jericho comes back by dropping the throat on the top rope; Disco whips him into the corner after a tussle but runs into a boot. Jericho charges at him and gets caught in a kind of spinebuster. Disco follows up with an atomic drop and then stomps a hole in him. He gets a near fall after a swinging neckbreaker. Jericho floats over and turns it into a double underhook backbreaker and the Liontamer finishes it.
**1/2 Disco is really not that bad in the ring. A bit of a sudden ending but Jericho making the ref put the belt back on him is a nice touch!
Gene is getting crotchety with the Duke students as they keep mugging for the camera.
Match 9: Chavo Guerrero v. Booker T (c) for WCW TV Title
Eddie had come out with Chavo and gave him some “advice.” Booker is upset with Eddie and shoves him and this allows Chavo to attack him from behind, and he dumps him to the floor where he works him over. He rolls him back in the ring, slams him and has a rear chinlock applied but Booker gets up and hits him with the Sidekick but pretty much misses the axe kick. Chavo is hit with the spinebuster and then the missile dropkick and it is over.
*1/2 Poor Chavo, got in some offense but still a bit quick. Now Eddie and Booker have a match at the PPV. I guess there was some build with the tag matches.
Eddie gives poor Chavo a brainbuster.
Match 10: Curt Hennig v. Ric Flair
Flair has the mic and mocks Curt about being in NC. The fans jeer Curt in response and the bell rings. They lock up and Curt knocks him down but a hiptoss from Flair sends Curt to the floor. Flair pulls him into the ring by his hair and chops away at him. He continues to punish him into the corner but Hennig reverses a whip into the corner and off the rebound back body drops him. Now it is Hennig’s turn to chop away at him. Flair is sent to the floor and Rude runs him into the post. Curt goes out after him and rolls him back in and now they just paste each other with a series of blows. Curt swings wildly and down he goes, and Flair continues the flurry just mauling Hennig. He tosses Hennig, gets a chair and brings it into the ring. Hennig is hung upside down and places the chair on his face and dances around and now the “B” team runs down and along with Rude they all start hammering Flair. They hang Flair upside down and now the fans explode as Bret Hart comes down and decleats a running Hennig and clears the ring now he and Curt stand toe to toe and exchange shots and the fans are loving it as Curt is tossed to the floor….
**1/2 This could have been longer; Flair will never really get revenge but the hot crowd proves that Bret could get over in WCW if they booked him properly.
Match 10: Scott Norton and Scott Steiner v. Lex Luger and Rick Steiner
Rick brings out a dog with him. Rick and Norton, who is doing double duty start off. Norton misses the splash in the corner and is nailed with a belly to belly. Scotty backs away from his brother. Luger gets the tag and connects with double axe from the middle rope. Norton pokes the eyes and Scotty gets the tag and he hammers Luger who ducks a clothesline and strikes with one of his own. He hits another one and tries to pull him over to Rick but Scotty escapes and runs off; Rick gives chase but falls and is then leveled by Norton. Norton clotheslines him and this time does not miss the standing splash. Scotty now wants the tag and he hammers him with fists and boots but Rick fires back and so Scotty dives for safety and now Norton is back in and his first move is a clothesline. Rick dumps him over, drops the elbow after the lariat and he goes up top and Scotty shoves him off into Norton. Luger chases Scotty down and beats him up towards the ramp and now they head into the back and all the rest give chase…..double countout.
*** Pure set up for the PPV and it worked fine.
Match 11: Hollywood Hogan and the Outsiders v. Macho Man and the Giant and Sting (c)
They get in the ring and the brawl is on. Hogan tosses out Savage and Sting tears into Hall. Savage is being run into the rail. Giant tosses out Nash, and Hogan tries to help Hall but Sting turns and knocks him down and then mounts and pounds him ten times. He winds up and decks him. Hogan begs off and so Savage slaps him upside the head! Sting gives him an inverted atomic drop and then clocks him in the chest and throat area and he covers him getting two. Hogan rakes the eyes and then rakes the back and now Hogan hammers him; after the whip he sandwiches him in the corner and then rabbit punches him. Hall is screaming for the tag and Sting makes a comeback and drops him nearly getting the pin. Sting has the arm, winds it up and clotheslines him. The Giant is in and he immediately backs into the corner and no one knows who was tagged and the ref insists it was Nash and Hogan is distraught. Hogan and Hall attack him from behind and he turns and hoists them up and Nash hits him a few times as Sting and Savage just watch. Savage made an attempt to get in the ring. A bunch of fast tags as they continue to unload on the Giant with shots to the head and neck. Nash is drops him down to his knees and now it is Hogan’s turn. The ref pulls back Sting as the Giant chokes out Hogan on the ropes. Hall gets the e tag and still all three are beating on him….um ref. Savage know tries to get in the ring as Hogan pulls back on the neck. Sting runs around the ring and that forces Hogan to let go. Meanwhile Nash gets in a few blows and then tags in Hogan who connects with a double axe from the middle rope and goes back to work on the neck. One punch sends him flying into the corner. Sting again runs around to try and give the Giant some respite but instead the neckbrace has been torn off. Now he is triple teamed some more. Giant has had enough and hucks all three off and staggers around the ring. Nash hits him but Savage gets the tag and he ignores Nash and points at Hogan, Nash just books to hsi corner and Giant slowly lumbers after him as Savage points at Hogan. Nash runs off with the Giant tossing the ref aside and giving chase. Savage goes after Hogan, drops him with a back elbow and then chokes him out with his foot. Sting flies into the ring and bulldogs Hall. Sting nails him with a Stinger Splash in the corner as Savage keeps after Hogan. Sting hits another Stinger Splash and then pops him in the head, Savage scoop slams Hogan. Sting and Hall go to the floor and EB gets knocked off the apron by Savage but the Disciple runs in and nails Savage and this allows Hogan to get the pin.
**1/2 Angle advancement and nothing more. Most of the match was spent with the Giant getting punished in the corner. It clearly could have been better but going into the PPV the nWo had to be quasi-strong. Nash had to get the upperhand before being chased off and Hogan needed to look strong going in, as Savage has made him look rather chumpish as of late though I guess it has been a good back and forth. Hopefully though this does not lead to a clean Hogan win at the PPV, I do not foresee Savage winning and I am sure there will be some sort of DQ or shenanigan because there is no way the big three nWo will lose at the PPV, so that means the Giant will probably be the odd man out, which would be unfortunate…
***1/2 Another solid Nitro, not the greatest ending but the final few matches did their job in preparing for the PPV and that is all that really matters. The wrestling was not great but everyone going into the PPV had some air time. But there was less wrestling this week than last and more fleshing out of the storylines. They are starting to have matches with those feuding in order to build up a blow off match and that is not a bad idea. Usually they would throw things together but there are still some random feuds that need to be connected better and hopefully the blow off feuds are booked properly….