Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WCW Monday Nitro 5/11/98
No Thunder again this week. But Nitro is back to its normal time slot, but many may be unaware, and also next week it is pre-empted. This has given RAW a chance to hook not only new viewers but Nitro viewers too. RAW will nearly get a 4.8 while Nitro’s audience will diminish by the hour, getting plastered 4.9 to 4.1 on the final hour and get a 4.35 total. Of course that is not bad by any means as recently Nitro had garnered two of the highest quarter ratings in history, though RAW got the highest rated show while Nitro was pre-empted. Now when the chips are down, and they are really not, is where WCW should step up its game. It has split the nWo, given Goldberg and Hart a more prominent role and we will see if this pans out. But it could minimize Sting and Hogan also has the belt and honestly he should not. Right now, seeing as Savage did not opt for surgery, he should be feuding with Bret and pass the belt to him for a couple of months. And they could go two routes: The smart one, have him feud with Sting for the remainder of the year and have some great battles. The perhaps smarter one: Feud with Hogan and the nWo and set up their match for Havoc. Or the less intelligent one but not a terrible move: Drop the strap to Goldberg down the road. Either way Goldberg would have to win it at Starrcade. But they will not do this and it is baffling. I am starting to wonder when the panic will set in. They will start bringing in celebrities and then the Warrior. Raven and DDP had at least two or three more months left in the feud so Goldberg, and I know I have made this point numerous times, does not need the belt. He needs no belt until getting the title at Starrcade. Have him run over the Flock for another month and then start dismantling the nWo. He can feud with the Giant and Nash and so on….I am not trying to play fantasy booker here, well I am, but it is difficult not to. They have so much fucking talent. Jericho is fucking great and needs to move up to the TV and US title. Benoit too, and Booker as well. Scott Steiner is getting into his heel role more and more. It is a shame with Flair as this shows the stress that many are under. Flair has been booked terribly…Hennig anyone? His feud with Hart could have gone on for another two months or more. WCW does some great things and then abruptly ends it or books the wrong winner, not all the time but often enough and fans want to see those they cheer for eventually win and Benoit and Guerrero and Raven among others have enough of a fan base or generate enough heat to get to that next level….
We get a long recap of the main event last week.
Gene calls out Bret who is booed lustily. Gene states that Bret arrived with great fanfare but seems to have sided with Hogan. At the PPV he will face Savage for the first time. Gene thinks he cost him the title but then states he has been in the ring with him before. Bret responds that Savage is a chicken and has been ducking him for years. He climbed out from under his rock to challenge the greatest technical wrestler in the world. He tells the crowd that the truth hurts. He continues that Savage claimed he was the best but Hart was always standing in his way. Savage slinked South to WCW to escape him but now Bret has arrived and he has nowhere to run. Bret is booed and he declares it is hard to be a hero especially in WCW so he will not try to be. They go back to the Sharpshooter on Monday and he brags that Savage’s pencil legs snapped! He is looking forward to the PPV…..as he looks away and Gene finishes he looks uncomfortable.
After the break Gene welcomes the Nitro Girls.
Match 1: Barry Horowitz v. Disco Inferno
Barry puts him in a side headlock but is taken down. Disco allows him to get up and they lock up again and Disco is nailed with a jawbreaker. Barry face plants him and then gives him a backbreaker for a two count. He drops the knee for another two count. He drops the knee again and only gets canvas. Disco gives him a weak looking atomic drop and then pins him with a swinging neckbreaker….poor Barry.
*1/2 Thankfully it was short.
Here comes Savage! He gets a great ovation. Here is the deal, if it was not for Bret Hart Hogan would not have his Wolfpac nWo title around his waist. At Slamboree if he thinks that he can put that Sharpshooter on him again because if he can’t do it he will die trying. Tonight he cannot wait for Slamboree or making much sense for that matter! He wants to challenge someone and it is Hogan. In the midst of Hogan sucks chants Savage wants him one more time and calls him a baldheaded reject from the glue factory, as well as a prima donna, carrot dangling and then stops and declares he wants his title back. Not only is he going to take back his title he is going to take that carrot and it is going to feel like a cactus as he shoves it where the sun does not shine.
Match 2: Kidman v. Juventud Guerrera
Here we go! They lock up and go back and forth, and Juve knocks him to the floor. Juve springboards into him but he hits more concrete than Kidman! He is up though, pulls up Kidman and after a chop rolls him back into the ring and then gets two after a springboard legdrop. Kidman is up and reverses a whip and goes for a powerbomb or someone does and is bulldogged. Both are staggered but Kidman recovered quickly so it may be Kidman who connected. Anyway he goes up top and leaps into a dropkick. Juve follows up with a spinwheel kick and he gets another near fall after a springboard crossbody. Juve is sent into the corner but floats over and after a standing switch he strikes with a German suplex. They go back and forth and Juve hits the Driver but Kidman kicks out! Juve is stunned and as Kidman holds the ref Reese chokeslams him and Juve is finished with the Seven Year Itch!
*** Fast paced but too short and hopefully this leads to a PPV match as both are fun to watch.
Reese picks up Juve and carries him to the back.
Here comes Bischoff riding a Harley. He takes his time making his way to the ring. He has the mic and feels nothing but love from each and every one of the fans. He knows how the fans feel but wants to know what Vince is thinking when he sends his cronies. EB mocks Vince because he is sending his men to do his dirty work when he knows EB will not be there. And as for Waltman he will not apologize. He went to CNN Center on a Monday afternoon when he knew he would not be there. He knows that Waltman is only doing what Vince told him but tells Sean that as for his apology he can bite me (I guess there was no apology, Waltman is hard to understand because he is high most of the time). He turns his attention to Vince and tells him that he is going to be in his backyard for the PPV on Sunday: Worcester, MA. He has one hell of an idea, and if Vince wants him and he can consider this an open invitation if Vince shows up then they can fight. He is ready for Vinny but does not think he has the guts to show up but he will be waiting for him if he does show.
Alex Wright is cuffed and stuffed for interrupting the Nitro Girls again….um, if he is not employed how does he keep showing up?
Match 3: Yuji Nagata v. Scott Norton
Tony and Tenay speculate whose side Norton is on and they think he is still with Hogan. Norton runs him down for a minute but Yuji nails him with a German suplex but Norton shakes it off and it takes three or four kicks to drop Norton back down. Norton is up and he runs over Nagata and slams him a couple of times and it is shoulderbreaker time and it is over.
*1/2 This deserved more time as both are solid. The fans though gave Norton a solid pop.
Match 4: Hugh Morrus v. Jobber
Morrus is kicked a few times right before the bell but he reverses a whip and powerslams the man. He goes up top and hits his finisher and it is over…it was Jim Powers.
DUD. I mean Morrus is going nowhere and are just preparing him for the PPV only to bury him again.
Here comes Nash and Konnan through the crowd. Nash has the mic and reminds us that he and Hall formed the nWo. Hogan was up in some mountain making a movie, saw the train leaving and decided to jump aboard. The nWo has had some good times but lately not so good and there is only one nWo and that is the boys wearing the Black and Red. Nash mocks EB and Hogan being pumped the last ten days because they took some Viagra but it will not be so easy anymore. Konnan broke into his office and found out Hogan’s itenerary and he knows that he is coming tonight. Nash wants him to come down to the ring tonight, and apologize telling Nash that he is bigger, stronger and sexier. Oh and if you want to know what Godzilla looks like he is looking at him. (Another Godzilla reference, too bad the movie bombed but I did not mind it but then again I am a nerd). Konnan shows Hogan how to say “for life” and Nash shows him how to say “too sweet” and the music blares and Konnan shrugs and states “I guess we are getting cut off!”
Match 5: Ultimo Dragon v. Scotty Swinger
Dragon goes behind and then trips him up. Swinger is sent into the corner and he dodges Dragon and it is handstand kick time. Dragon follows up with a flying crossbody, and a series of kicks to the chest but Swinger picks him up by his legs and flattens him into the mat. After the two count he back suplexes him and gets another two count. Swinger side slams him and goes up top as Chavo comes down and Dragon gets to his feet and crotches him. He almost fucks up the hurracarana from the top and then finishes him with the Dragon Sleeper.
*1/2 Not much here.
Chavo gets in the ring and wants to shake hands. Eddie runs down and yells at him. Chavo slaps him and Eddie gets on his knees and tells Chavo to strike him and instead is put in the Dragon Sleeper. Chavo helps him get out and he talks to Dragon as Eddie leaves in a huff.
Here comes Dusty Rhodes. He has the mic and assures everyone that Nash will put Hogan in his place. They are not doing right with the nWo. He mocks EB for firing Syxx and wants to know why Hall is not here. He took Hall under his wing and not heaping scorn onto him. He may have personal problem and he is going through them right now and he will solve them (that is funny). He will be at the PPV. He wants Savage to stop bitchin’ as there is no pecking order in the Wolfpac and he talks about Hall and Hogan. Nash will be in Hogan’s ugly mug before the night is over….damn he was all over the place.
Match 6: Goldberg (c) v. Glen Detton
I think that is his name….Glen runs into a boot. He tries to fight back but is dropped and pummeled. Goldberg whips him into the ropes and spears him: Jackhammer and match, but he held him up for a long time before finishing him.
Gene brings out JJ Dillon and Raven is not far behind him. Raven has filed a grievance with WCW after being assaulted by a random person over the past couple of weeks. JJ admits that DDP may have stepped over the line with the rope and on MTV last week. JJ is honest when he tells him that he does not like Raven and continues to bad mouth him. JJ though does admit that it has been an unsafe working environment and he has a case. Gene states that it is low for Raven to get an attorney (Jesus Gene) and JJ will supply him with Riot Police and Gene cannot believe it. Here comes the police and clearly one of them is either DDP or the assailant. Raven calls out the Flock and he will find out who the assailant is. He may have stated he would never face DDP again but he feels he has too and will face him in a cage at the PPV and DDP will feel the Evenflow. The final issue is the internal strife within the Flock and they will settle it tonight. Raven asks if he has anything to say and Kidman mocks Saturn for losing as he makes his way to the ring. They attack Hammer though and Saturn is told to spike him and does so…..Jerry Flynn runs in and attacks Saturn! It is the next match and he is hammering Saturn and makes the cover as the ref clears the ring….
Match 7: Saturn v. Jerry Flynn
After the ring is cleared Saturn tosses him back and then clotheslines him. According to Tony it was supposed to be Hammer and Flynn….Saturn finishes him quick with a kick to the head and then finished off.
Match 8: Fit Finley (c) v. Rage for WCW TV Title
They go back and forth and Rage tosses him around for a bit but Fit takes him down and goes after the knee. Fit releases the hold and then stomps on the knee. He elbows him as Rage lays over the apron and Kaos unwisely gets involved and is clotheslined. Back in the ring he slams him but Kaos distracts him and he turns into a powerslam. Rage slams him again and connects with the big splash but Fit gets his shoulder up. Rage argues with the ref instead of following up and Kaos goes up top and Booker runs down to push him off the top rope and Rage turns into a Tombstone and it is over….
** Short and to the point.
Benoit runs down and he and Booker brawl. JJ Dillon comes down and he is not happy with all their interference. Both men were scheduled for matches but now those are canceled and they will face each other and the winner will face Fit at the PPV for the title….I just want to point out that Tony had already given that away!
Match 9: Lenny Lane v. DDP
They finally lock up and Lenny is taken down. They lock up again and DDP works the arm but he is pushed down and he jumps up and slaps Lenny and then side slams him. However, Lenny counters by bouncing his throat off the top rope. Lenny chokes him out in the corner and then poses for the crowd only to be assaulted by DDP and pounded in the corner. Lenny though comes back and drops him but he is too slow to cover and only gets a two count. He argues with the ref and is rolled up and nearly pinned. Now it is DDP’s turn to take charge and he finishes him with a Diamond Cutter off the top.
** All action and to the point.
DDP has the mic and wants the music killed. DDP is apparently going to Bang him at the PPV, I need to get my mind out of the gutter and he wants to Bang him tonight. Raven comes out to the top of the ramp with the police and then turns and leaves.
Here comes EB with Hogan and the Black and White crew. EB sucks up to Hogan telling everyone that no one can touch him. He knows that Hogan is busy making movies and that he is a busy man. Hogan has the mic and he is happy to see all that Black and White on all those that worship him. Hogan is on the top of the mountain; he has a movie in theatres, and he is the champ and he is also spending a lot of Ted Turner’s money while in Vancouver BC making another Assault on Devil’s Island movie. He continues that once you are nWo you for life and that goes for Nash, Konnan and Curt. His version of the origins of the nWo was that Hall and Nash came to him as they needed him because they could not make it on their own. They were going to go back to wrestling school as Hogan was on top of the world. He is going to take out Macho tonight and finish him off for the one-two-three and then jet out to his movie set. Now back to Nash and when the man is out the skinny mice play. He calls Nash old and gray haired and tells him to get his skinny legged but out here. Here comes Nash as Hogan taunts him. Nash enters the ring and Hogan asks how he is doing. Nash responds that he wants Hogan to take off his wife’s sunglasses and Hogan mentions something about Nash’s sister and Nash wants to know why he is checking him out. Hogan wants to get down to business and that the Black and Red is not the way to go. He wants an apology as when he was away Nash subverted Curt and Konnan. He wants him to beg to get back into the nWo. Nash steps up and is surrounded by Adams, the Disciple and Vincent. Nash chuckles and tells Hogan that he could easily take them out. Hogan responds that he came with a big gun and has to repeat it! And here comes the Giant wearing the Black and White. Nash goes after those already in the ring and the Giant enters the ring and takes off his head with a clothesline and motions for the chokeslam but Hogan stops him and wants him to spraypaint him first. Here comes Konnan, Macho and Dusty and the others back into the corner of the ring. Macho points at Hogan who is hiding behind the Giant…..what the fuck is going on and why is the Giant a part of the nWo?
Gene is in the ring with Jericho. Jericho has Juve’s mask and welcomes the crowd to Monday Night Jericho and he wants Gene to call him by his proper name the Lion of something and the Aytalloh of Rock and Rolla. Jericho brags about all his trophies and shows fake leg pretending it is Rey’s. There is no one left for him to face and after tonight he will retire the belt. JJ comes out and calls the retiring the belt a bit premature. JJ agrees that he has faced everyone and beat them. But there will be a Cruiserweight Battle Royal at the PPV and the winner will face Jericho that night. Jericho loves those odds. He shows off the picture of Dean and it is defaced and Jericho acts shocked. Here comes a guy who looks like Malenko and Gene yells “Hey it is Joe Malenko!” Jericho tells him his problem is not with him. Joe stumbles over his words and demands respect for those that have retired. Gene asks about what he said about his father and Jericho claims everything was misconstrued and he can take the picture and leave. Joe goes to take it and is beaten with the leg!
Glacier! Why? He is in the back and claims that he came in with a lot of hype and lived up to it. Then he warns anyone who uses his finisher….and that is it.
Match 10: Sick Boy v. Glacier
Glacier whips him into the ropes but Sick Boy ducks only to be run over on the second run by. Sick Boy comes back with some blows but is kicked in the head and the ref falls and Glacier sells being hurt and then connects with the Cryonic Kick and makes the cover but no ref. Saturn runs down and hits the same kick and puts Sick Boy on top and he covers him and the bell rings but the ref says it was only two. Glacier finishes off Sick Boy and now Saturn comes in and destroys him.
DUD Not even sure what the fuck this was and why it was on TV.
Gene welcomes Luger. Gene wants to know what to make of Scotty. Lex is tired of everyone jockeying for power. Lex is tired of it all and all he does is wrestle and he wrestles top guys and every one in between. He does not ask for much and he demands to face Brian Adams and Scott Steiner at the PPV, one or both of them.
Match 11: Booker T v. Chris Benoit
Right after the bell rings Benoit stomps a hole in him. He sets him up against the ropes and unleashes some chops, sends him down and stomps on him some more. Booker though gets to his feet and side kicks him and follows up with a big back body drop. He hoists him up and then just tosses him down with authority. Benoit goes to the floor and Booker goes after him, rolls him back into the ring and unloads on him with a flurry of forearms. But Benoit ducks under and crushes him with a release German suplex. After a delay he gets two after a snap suplex. Benoit goes after the leg in the corner but then runs into a boot after the whip to the other corner. Booker charges out and clotheslines him; he is slow to get up but follows up with a back elbow and he gets a one count. He whips Benoit into the ropes who grabs them and Booker goes for the Harlem kick and hangs himself up on the ropes. Benoit grabs him, gives him a backbreaker and gets two. Benoit takes his time and lets him up and goes for the German suplex but Booker tries to fight him off but is back suplexed. Benoit takes his time but does connect with the diving headbutt. Benoit crawls on top and only gets two. He pulls up Booker and gives him an open hand chop but Booker reverses the whip and Benoit sets up the axe kick for him and Booker obliges. He has Benoit up and spikes him with a spinebuster and follows up by faceplanting him. Booker wants the Harlem kick but Benoit ducks and pushes the ref but he is not hit. Booker checks on him and is grabbed and finished with the Crossface.
***1/2 Not as good as there earlier matches and the ending while clean should have been cleaner but it looks like Benoit will finally get a title.
Match 12: Randy Savage v. Hollywood Hogan (c) for WCW Title
Hogan takes an hour getting to the ring. Why doesn’t a member of Savage’s crew come down as the Disciiple does for Hogan? Hogan turns his back and Savage goes after him. He attacks him and uses Hogan’s shirt to choke him out. Finally the ref pulls him off and Savage thought about decking him. He pulls Hogan to his feet and hammers him with a series of fists to the head. Hogan begs off but is elbowed but he stops the momentum with a thumb to the eye. Hogan pounds him, sandwiches him in the corner and then chokes him out with his boot. Savage falls to the floor and Hogan goes out after him damn is he slow…..Hogan runs him into the railing and then post. He rakes his back and then rolls him back into the ring. Savage is clotheslined and then choked out, and Savage crawls to the ropes but he is catapulted into the bottom rope. Savage gets up but an uppercut sends him down. Savage is back up and he staggers around the ring and Hogan punches him and then rakes the face taunting Savage and then choking him out on the ropes. Savage back kicks him in the buts and down goes Hulk. Savage though cannot follow up and runs into the big boot. Hogan pulls him up and bodyslams him but misses the legdrop, which took an hour. Savage bodyslams him and slowly goes up top and the Disciple shoves him off the top rope. Here comes Bret Hart and as Savage goes to piledrive Hogan Bret Hart runs down and hits him with the belt and he puts Hogan on top and he gets the win. Hart is drenched with a soda and yells at a fan to fuck off! Nash finally runs down and the heels flee. Piper comes down and assures Nash he does not want a fight. He is sick of Bret Hart and even Savage as both have beat him up. Piper goes on a long ass monologue about how he is going to be the guest referee and how he will not screw Bret and will call it fairly. He will break up any shenanigans and Jesus he is still talking about being the real deal and how the PPV match will be a fight. The Giant comes down and Nash wants a piece and Hogan starts to talk the Giant downa and he fade.
*1/2 I will not blame Savage as he has a bum knee. But holy shit is Hogan hobbling. It is the same shit everytime he wrestles and the big time feel has worn off long ago because every fucking match is the same fucking thing. It really gets tiresome when he wins the same way everytime. And like Chyna, sweet Jesus get someone down there to counteract the Disciple.
** It feels like WCW is panicking. There was too much going on. The show felt disjointed and out of sorts. There was way too much filler as well. Just focus on the main angles and get some long matches in. Glacier should not wrestle. The Giant turning with no explanation is just fucking stupid. Who decided that? Jesus the guy is over so let it play out a bit longer. They are jumping the gun with title switches and random heel turns. It is shit like this that pisses me off. Instead of playing to their strengths and rising to the occasion they are trying to hotshot a bunch of shit together and it does not make much sense. Let the angles play out, last week and the week before were decent but then when they are back on at their normal time they feel like they have to go all out and make numerous unnecessary changes that only hurt the product. Hopefully they settle back down but I feel as if they will not. This is the absolute wrong time to panic and make drastic changes, what they were doing was working and if they are not careful the WWF will take the ball and leave them in the dust. The Bischoff promo was okay and may fool some into getting the PPV but it was a fairly tepid response as he did not do a great job in selling it. Even the same Hogan promo sounded tired and long winded as did Piper’s, everything about this show just felt overbooked and overdone as a lot that was said made zero sense and I know I am fucking tired but it was really bad and I think I overrated the show. I hope that WCW sees these rating and realizes that people do not want too many changes and the same main event….but I doubt it.