Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WCW Monday Nitro 7/6/98
Normally I do a little more research when there is a big Nitro like this, a big event. But time is sparse. I have read enough in the past that many believe they put the belt on Goldberg way too soon and there is some truth to that. Goldberg became champ too soon and too fast. Bischoff was so freaked out about the pasting in the ratings and then Hogan called EB before Thunder and said he should drop the belt. What this tells me, is that Hogan should not have had the belt in the first place. It should have been Sting or Hart with Savage in the mix. They should have held off as it gives Nitro only one victory for the next two months until the arrival of the Warrior. Now the hope is to create a buzz, I get that. They have slowly integrated Goldberg more and they could have done that through the Summer and Fall. I see the point that perhaps Goldberg could have cooled but a feud with the Giant and others would have kept him hot. The main issue about Goldberg is that he is a one trick pony and giving him the belt this soon could expose that as I doubt the focus will be off of Hogan and friends. Hogan was fucking worthless as champ the last two months and I will not beat that dead horse. I wonder if he was worried about being lumped in with the declining ratings as RAW surged. Well, for one thing it worked as Nitro wins tonight with a 4.8 off of hours of a 4.4, 4.5 and a whopping 5.6 while RAW received a 4.0 off of hours of 3.6 and 4.4. This does show that big time shows were possible and a Monday record was set with nearly 42000 fans in the Georgia Dome.
They start off by talking about the match.
Here comes Hogan and EB with Liz and the Disciple. Hogan talks about how he arrived in his Lear Jet and all his fans were waiting to kiss his feet and he promises to never let his fans down. Now to the business at hand, and he pauses for boos and chants of Goldberg. He has good news and bad news and the former is about the PPV, and this will be DDP’s last match and Malone will never play basketball again. The bad news, to those one or two Goldberg’s fans out there, the real bad news is that this match is not going to happen. Goldberg has only beaten a bunch of Jabroni’s and is not in the same league as Hollywood. He feels dissrespected by WCW for not contacting them and ponying up the money. But for the one or two fans, Hogan is allowing them to scream their lungs out tonight as he is bringing back someone who has not been seen in some time who is willing to take on Goldberg. If lightnening strikes or if Goldberg gets lucky then Hogan will grace him with his presence. The chant begins! Those Hollywood fans will eat up the one or two Goldberg fans as they are with the Black and White for life and our too sweet.
Match 1: Dean Malenko v. Booker T
They go back and forth, Dean drop toe holds him down but cannot keep him down. Dean rolls him up for one. He backs off and eyes Booker. Booker knees him and then bodyslams him. Booker pops him with his forearm, and they switch around with Dean getting back suplexed. Booker goes up top and misses the missile dropkick, and Dean goes for the Cloverleaf but is rolled up for two. Booker sends him into the corner where Dean heads to the apron, and Booker runs into the buckles and Dean leaps right into a spinebuster. Booker kicks him in the head and then pancakes him. Booker spins up and misses the kick and a crossbody from Dean sends them both to the floor. Jericho comes down with the mic and he is sick and tired of Dean following him week after week. He wants to settle this once and for all. This distraction allows Booker to finish him off.
**1/2 Could have been much better and Dean, while distracted, could have gotten in more offense.
Goldberg is exercising in the back.
Raven and the Flock are heading to the ring. Kanyon blasts them from behind.
Match 2: Raven v. Kanyon
Kanyon gets two after a swinging neckbreaker and then puts him in a sleeper and Raven reverses it. They tumble through the ropes and to the floor. Raven is flung into the railing and now is rolled back into the ring and Raven is spiked onto the steel chair. Kanyon delays the cover and gets two. Kanyone slowly goes up top, right by Lodi of course and gets crotched. Raven sets up the chair and superplexes him into it! He hammers Kanyon for a bit and then They tumble through the ropes and to the floor. Raven is flung into the railing and now is rolled back into the ring and Raven is spiked onto the steel chair. Kanyon delays the cover and gets two. Kanyon slowly goes up top, right by Lodi of course and gets crotched. Raven sets up the chair and then superplexes him right onto it! Saturn runs down and assaults Raven and Lodi runs in and he gets demolished. Kanyon gets it too! Saturn reaches under the ring and struggles to pull out a table. And now Saturn is spiked by Kanyon and both men are down.
*** Fun match but far too short but it was angle advancement.
A Limo pulls up on the outside and it is Buff Bagwell with a neck brace and the fans cheer and welcome him as he is wheeled inside.
Here comes DDP and Malone. Gene talks about the mainstream media and all the eyes that will be on the match. DDP ignores that and shouts what is happening Hotlanta, and the fans respond loudly. DDP chants echo as he stops speaking. As far as he is concerned this will be the worst week of Hogan’s life. He has painted himself in the corner, because it does not matter who he pits against Goldberg because he is next. He will be bruised up and at Bash at the Beach he will be banged up, as will Rodman. The Mailman has a special delivery for Rodzilla. He is going to whip him like Madonna did and then beat the paint out of his hair and he will be a Rodzilla Killa. They do the Bang thing.
Match 3: Scott Putski v. Riggs
They lock up and Riggs knees him a couple of times. Riggs knocks him around and then dropkicks him. Putski makes a comeback and gets two after a spinning slam and puts him in a rear chinlock. Riggs is up and guillotines him off the top rope, and then sends him for the ride and runs into him with an elbow to the jaw. Both men are on the floor as Riggs clotheslines him to it. Putski is run into the railing and then rolled back into the ring. They collide and both men are down. They exchange shots and Putski drops him and nails him with the Polish Hammer and even gets the crowd behind him and the delay is costly and is given a jawbreaker but Putski is able to finish him off.
**½ Actually not bad.
Another Limo has arrived and it is Scott Hall and he will be Goldberg’s opponent.
Here comes Jericho. He introduces himself and then stops himself as the fans all know who he is. Tonight he has to face Dragon and that Dean is not the number one contender as it is really the young and sassy Rey Mysterio Jr. He is upset that Jo Jo keeps following him. Jo Jo babbles about Jericho and his antics. Dean runs down and wants a piece. Jo Jo declares that if either touch one another they are suspended. Jericho taunts Dean and makes fun of Dean, stating his mom wears combat boots, and that he is a jobber and then mocks his dead dad. Jo Jo calms Dean down and to not fall for it, and no it is a no DQ match. Chris understands and claims they have a lot in common such as both their dads were not around growing up and then finished by saying if he has ever wondered why he does not look like his dad! Dean snaps. Beats the shit out of Jericho and takes a slew of security guards to hold him back.
Match 5: Chris Jericho © v. Ultimo Dragon for WCW Cruiserweight Title
Dragon takes him down but is put in a head scissors but Dragon escapes and nips to his feet. Jericho runs him over, and Dragon slides under a couple of times and then goes behind and dropkicks Jericho into the corner and it is headstand kick time. Jericho is stomped on but Dragon then runs right into a clothesline and is dropkicked in the back of his head. He vertically suplexes him and gets two. Dragon fights back and Dean has come out and beats on Jericho some more, yanks him around by hair and pummels him and security is back out!
**½ Angle advancement.
Dean is cuffed and stuffed!
Here comes Johnny Swinger! He asks the crowd who he is, and what he is and that is the hottest commodity in wrestling!
Match 6: Johnny Swinger v. Chavo Guerrero, Jr.
Chavo is wearing a hardhat, and he gets some crowd support and Tony just got the attendance wrong, first time they underestimate! Just over 39000 when it was 3000 more. Swinger knocks him around a bit and Chavo finally fends him off. Swinger kicks him a few times until he is finished off with a Tornado DDT.
** Actually could have been better.
Chavo has the mic and he has just noticed something and that is Swinger has split ends and he has some scissors and cuts a little hair and declares that was for Eddie. So, I missed Eddie trying to cut Chavo’s hair on Thunder and so it is a hair v. hair match at the PPV.
More of Goldberg exercising.
Tokyo Magnum gets in the ring with Wright and Disco and dances. They stop and glare at him.
Match 7: Disco Inferno and Alex Wright v. Public Enemy
PE backdrops both men. Rock flings Wright back into the ring after they retreated. Grunge gets the tag and the both plant him. Disco gets the tag and is kicked and dropped with a double elbow. Wright is back in and he body slams Grunge and then Vader Bombs him. Disco goes to the middle rope and promptly misses after the tag. He is DDT’d and both men are down. Rock gets the hot tag and clotheslines both men but is hip tossed by Wright, and Grunge runs in from behind and double bulldogs them. Wright is taken out and put on the table and Magnum pulls him off and so they put him on the table and he goes after them and is hit by PE and now the tables are stacked and Tokyo is placed on top. Tokyo is plowed through both tables and Wright and Disco run in from behind with garbage cans and lids and get themselves DQ’d.
** For the table spot.
Bagwell is wheeled out by his mother. Gene welcomes him and Buff says hi to Atlanta and gets cheered. Buff discusses almost losing his life twice. Everyone across the nation kept in touch with him and he loves them for it. He was going to be Steiner’s costar this week but has had thought long and hard and needs to go his own way and reiterates his love for the fans. Now Gene asks about his mom, and she means a lot to Buff. He is Buff and still the Stuff!
Match 8: Scott Hall v. Goldberg
Fuck the fans are FIRED up. Hall taunts him with a shove and some juking and jiving, and gets shoved down with ease. Hall has the arm and paintbrushes him but is taking down by Goldberg who hops up and glares at Hall. Hall teases a test of strength and kicks him a couple of times. Goldberg thrusts him into the ropes and wants a clothesline but Hall buckles and Goldberg gives him a slight choke and they slap around for a moment and Hall gets body slammed. Hall slowly gets up and Goldberg stalks him and Hall spits on him and locks up and is shoved down and it happens again. They get confused and so Hall kicks him in the gut only to have a whip reversed and Goldberg misses the charge in the corner and Hall back suplexes him for a one count. Hall kicks and hits him. Goldberg is up and the blows have zero effect and Hall is grabbed and tossed over and then arm dragged and then another one. Hall wisely retreats to the floor and calls for the troops! Here they come. DDP and Malone come up from behind with the chair and end that. Hall is on the apron and gets his throat guillotined off the top rope, Goldberg does, not sure if I said that, and then Hall clotheslines him and goes for the Edge but is tossed back across the ring! Hall limps up and is speared!! The fans are up as Hall goes up and then down and it is over.
*** I am overrating it but it was great despite the typical Goldberg botches and with Hall involved it may have been him. Good, dramatic stuff.
Match 9: Psychosis v. Juventud Guerrera
Psychosis charges him and knees him. But the offense is short lived and as Juve scissors him over and then Juve goes up top and scissors him again. Psychosis falls to the floor and Juve dives over the top and awkwardly hits him. Back in the ring Psychosis blocks a sunset flip and then catapults him over the top. Psychosis goes up top and back splashes down on top of Juve! Fuck. He rolls him back into the ring and gets a two count. Juve floats over on the suplex attempt but is chopped a few times only to run right into the Juve Driver. Juve is slow to drag him to the corner and the Flock is slowly heading towards the ring but Juve still gets the win after the 450.
*** Short but solid.
The Flock descends on poor Juve and stomp a hole in him.
Match 10: Jim Duggan v. the Giant
Duggan attacks but is shoved back and gets a boot to the face. Giant kicks him in the gut a few times and then backs into him as Duggan wallows in the corner. Duggan escapes on the fourth attempt and goes for a body slam but is clubbed in the back. Giant body slams him. He misses the big elbow and then knocks the Giant off his feet with a the three point tackle. He then jumps right into a fist from the Giant and is picked up and choke slammed and it is over.
** Nice to see Duggan get in a bit of offense.
Giant grabs the mic and calls Greene yellow and punk. He continues how he is going to beat him up. Greene comes down, spits on him and then the Giant waits so he can be clotheslined to the floor and he lands on his feet and walks off.
Malone in a pre-recorded interview taunts Rodman and his facial expressions are awful.
Match 11: Jim Neidhart v. DDP
Not sure why they turned Jim and Davey into jobbers. They started strong and would work well together, become tag champs instead they are getting hosed. They lock up and circle around and Jim pushes him into the corner where he knocks him to the mat after a series of blows. He stands on his throat. The hold is broken and DDP grabs him and returns the favor with some added stomps for good measure. Jim nuts him, DDP drops like a rock. Jim works over the back and then bites him. Jim pulls him back up and puts him in a full nelson but DDP back kicks him in the nuts and motions for the Cutter and hits it and it is over.
* Jesus, at least allow him some ring time and a decent match instead of some punches and a Diamond Cutter and they are randomly heels too.
Wolfpac time. Nash is back, hope his heart is okay! Nash gets the crowd fired up and Konnan does his thing. Sick Boy and Kidman interrupt the proceedings but are slow to come down.
Match 12: Sting and Lex Luger v. Kidman and Sick Boy
Flock enters the ring and just get plastered. I mean it is already over, a Stinger Splash and Deathdrop along with the Rack.
NR Dude, give the young guys some moves. Kidman is good in the ring and the Flock has been reduced to jobbers.
Match 12: Goldberg v. Hollywood Hogan © for WCW Title
The Goldberg chants echo! He is walking through the back with security flanking him. I do not think these chants are piped in; I wish I never read that as it takes away some of the mystique but this place is rocking, and I am sure it does not happen until later. Hogan arrives after the break and is game, he stares at the crowd as they chant for Goldberg and locks up and is promptly put in a headlock. Hogan uses his forearm to free himself and goes off the ropes only to be knocked down. He backpedals and takes his time as Goldberg waves him on. He puts Goldberg in a front facelock and Goldberg lifts him up but Hogan holds on and is put back down. Goldberg pushes him into the corner and now a test of strength that Goldberg wins with ease. Hogan is on his knees and gets to the ropes in order to break the hold. Hogan goes on the attack with a kick and some punches; he rakes the eyes and then the back. He takes off his belt and whips him with it! Goldberg yanks it away and then throws it to the floor! They square off and lock up, Hogan has a hammerlock applied but is put in a full nelson and he escapes with a back kick to the nuts. Hogan rakes the eyes and rocks him with some blows and then runs him over with a clothesline. He then chokes him out and threatens the ref after being told to break the hold. Goldberg is body slammed and Hogan misses both elbow drops. Goldberg is up and Hogan falls to the floor after a lariat. Hogan paces on the floor, puts his belt back on and gets up on the apron amid chants that he sucks. He is back in the ring and lock up, Hogan pushes him into the corner and Hulk knees him a few times and then tosses him to the floor. Hogan heads out after him and bashes his head into the railing and hits him with the chair three times. Goldberg is rolled back into the ring, and body slammed. He hit’s the leg drop of doom and another one! Curt Hennig comes down with DDP and Malone right behind him. Hogan covers him but only gets two as Malone Diamond Cuts Hennig! Of course Hogan is distracted and turns right into the spear; Goldberg has him up and Jackhammers him! The fucking crowd is standing and counts along and let the explosion begin!
**** Wrestling wise, not much but the spectacle baby, the spectacle and it was as long as a PPV match would have been. Now Hogan being distracted is a bit annoying but that is life. Goldberg still won cleanly and a new era has begun.
****½ Yes I am overrating this show but the crowd was FIRED up for all three hours. There was some decent wrestling involved and Bischoff still knows how to put together a big show. They trotted out the big guns, and delivered on everything they promised something that is so damn rare in wrestling. I mean wow, the entire show had a big time feel and a PPV like spectacle, which always made me wonder why they did not put PPV’s in bigger arenas. Now Hogan clearly may have had his own motives as he is the master at politics and perhaps wanted to be the one to end the Streak down the line. However, he gave up the belt and gave a new guy his moment. Now it could have paid off in a PPV and the buyrate for Starrcade could have been enormous. However, the point is to create a buzz and get that audience back from RAW and it worked for a night. Also, the Warrior was returning, just not sure when his debut was going to be so he was going to be feuding with him for a bit. I am sure they hoped for a few months or the rest of the year after he comes back and so having the belt would have been useless so it serves that purpose as Warrior did not need it so it should have been passed along. That does not change my feelings that he NEVER should have had the title in the first place. Sting and Hart would have been a great feud after Savage left, they could have traded the title for months as Hogan fought Warrior and this could have set up Goldberg at Starrcade or even SuperBrawl and kept WCW afloat longer, as the Wolfpac and Black and White feud could have had a proper blow off too. The Elite could have been delayed for months and I believe the downfall too. All this is speculation and for the moment WCW put on a great show and if done right could build momentum for Nitro and Goldberg needed to be in the limelight, he did not need the belt and it could have been built up for a couple more months. But they way he has been booked he can now plow through all challengers and is now made for life.