WCW Nitro 2/23/1998
Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WCW Monday Nitro 2/23/98
The PPV was decent. A lot of great matches then a lot of terrible ones too. Hopefully the follow up is better. I am sure the focus will be on the nWo and Hogan. But hopefully Sting gets some air time. Also, the Giant is supposed to show up. The ratings remained fairly strong with a 4.6 off of hours of 4.9, 4.3 and 4.6 and RAW stayed about the same with a 3.0 and 3.4 for a 3.2 total. Oh, and Piper? He sets up the match and never shows up again and not even on the PPV, just random and well I am sure he collected a nice paycheck and the fans got to see him so it worked oh and they did hype up one of his “great” shows.
I realized right after the below segment that about twenty minutes is cut off my DVD. Various wrestlers are sad that Scott Steiner turned heel and Bret makes reference to his own brother turning on him a few years back. Lex Luger fought Curt Hennig and I found the match.
Match 1: Lex Luger v. Curt Hennig
At least Lex gets a pop here unlike the loud boos at the PPV. The nWo music starts and then stops. Lex has the mic and he has some things on his mind; he congratulates Sting for winning the title. There is a black cloud over WCW and that is the “stinking” nWo. And that is poor Rick who is Lex’s buddy and he is pissed at Scotty who is no longer a brother to Rick and maybe he can beat some sense in him and calls out Scotty. Curt comes out instead and tells him that he will be facing him instead. They jaw and point at one another. They circle around and Lex puts him in a side headlock and off the push into the ropes runs him over. Now Curt chops him but he is whipped into the corner where he is armdragged. Hennig departs to the floor only to be pulled up by Lex and Curt hooks the ropes and here comes a now blonde Steiner and he gets a nice pop and he tears into Lex, gives him a belly to belly and continues to stomp on him. He chokes him out on the ropes. He poses for the crowd and now more boos than cheers. Lex ducks a clothesline and Scotty eats one and now the bionic forearm and a powerslam. Buff hits him from behind and Scotty joins back in. Rick runs down and unloads on Buff and he points at a back pedaling Scotty and Adams runs down and sledges him and now the entire “B” team is down and they unload on Rick and Lex. Sting rappels down and the nWo flees and now a slew of WCW wrestlers, all lower card, except for Booker and Benoit, come down to check on Rick and Lex.
*** This is for the entire opening segment. They covered the Steiner turn and Sting appeared, no “A” squad and the match was not great but it did the job of extending angles.
The second match was DDP versus Hammer, and DDP won with a DC from the top rope.
Hogan and Bischoff waste no time in coming out, well after talking to someone in a Limo and walking through the back but once they enter the arena they move a bit quicker, oh and Hogan does pose breifly. Hogan is sick of Sting and his cowardly acts. He claims he has beat him numerous times and had him beat last night. He is also upset with Nick Patrick for taking his money and not making the count and he was also not even the ref. Hogan declares Sting is small stuff and he is not going to sweat stuff, so tonight Hogan will take a step back and give Hall a shot at the title. Sting is not even the champ and Hall will prove that and he will bring the belt back to the family and give the title to Hogan. Speaking of family that no good Savage and after Hogan was dropped on his head and he was ready to get back to his feet and finish off Sting, Savage cheapshots him with a ten foot crowbar and therefore Hogan challenges him to a steel cage match at Uncensored and once and for all he will kick him out of the nWo. He claims Savage is afraid of him and we get an “Ohhhh Yeahhh” and some brothers, and he is up in the crowd and he tells Hogan that he is not kicking Savage out of the nWo but rather Hogan is being kicked out. He also likes the cage match idea. Hogan responds that he will bury Savage and kicks him out of the nWo. Savage declares himself too sweet and leaves.
Match 1: Kaz Hayashi v. Ultimo Dragon
Ultimo prances around and applies a side headlock, Kaz shoves him down but is put back in the headlock and then run over. They fly back and forth off the ropes, and Kaz scissors him over and then tosses him across the ring. Kaz is whipped into the corner and dodges a charging Dragon but of course is kicked in the back with the headstand kicks. He unloads some stiff kicks but Kaz gives it right back and then kicks him to the floor. He nails him with a twisting leap over the top. He rolls him back into the ring, gives him a backbreaker and then gets two after a moonsault from the top rope. They switch around and Kaz lands on his feet after the German suplex attempt. Kaz scissors him over and gets two. They struggle back and forth and Dragon takes him down and has him in a cross armbreaker scissors combo. Kaz gets two after a dragon suplex and slowly heads up top and Dragon kicks him in the gut and Dragon climbs up and Frankensteins him off and applies the Dragon Sleeper. Kaz kicks out so Dragon kicks him in the back a couple of times and reapplis it for the win.
*** Fun match and Kaz is pretty damn good.
Raven is waltzing to the ring and Benoit screams his name and Raven turns into a chop. This is a match and it is on. Raven fights back but is flung headfirst into the railing and the bell rings. Benoit rolls him into the ring or had right before the bell rang. He takes off Raven’s jacket and chokes him out with it, snap suplexes him and takes too long going up and misses the diving headbutt. Raven goes for the pin and gets two. Raven stomps on him, tosses him to the floor. He throws a chair into the ring and brings Benoit back in. The chair is set up and he crushes his head with a running bulldog and Raven gets a two count. Raven tosses him through the ropes, sets up the chair and baseball slides it into his head. Raven rolls out after him, and rolls Benoit back in the ring as the fans chant that Raven sucks. He has the chair and goes up top after a long delay and he leaps and Benoit uses his palm to drive it back into Raven’s skull. Benoit is up first and chops away and then takes off his head with a clothesline. Benoit has the chair and wedges it in the corner. Benoit chops and kicks him and then literally runs him right into the chair. It is German suplex time and is going for his third and connects getting a two count and here comes Kidman who attacks him and he gets launched and Lodi is suplexed. Sick Boy misses and Riggs does not and Raven goes for the DDT but DDP runs down and Benoit accidentally hits him and now they slug at Raven and hit each other some more and then they toss out the Flock. They nearly go at it again but the Flock gets up on the apron and they knock them off instead and then DDP departs.
***1/2 Close to a four stars because the match was great but the ending was odd as Raven’s Rules precludes no DQ and yet that is what it was…..
Chris Jericho comes down wearing Juve’s mask! He tells everyone that he is still the champ and he was going to wear Air-Quasi’s mask tonight but his face is too pretty and he knows that four million tune in to see him and he wants to change the name of Nitro to Monday Jericho and JJ Dillon is 84 percent sure he will change it.
Match 3: Lenny Lane v. Chris Jericho (c) for WCW Cruiserweight Title
Jericho is still reluctant to take of his belt, finally does and shows it off to the crowd. They lock up and Jericho shoves him into the ropes. The fans chant that he sucks and Jericho pitches a fit. He whips him into the ropes and knocks him down. Lane comes back with a dropkick, and kicks Jericho in the back. Jericho makes a comeback with a series of kicks of his own. Jericho suplexes him getting two. Jericho is knocked over the ropes and he pulls himself back in. He celebrates and is clotheslined to the floor. He leaps on him and then back in the ring where he hammers him in the corner and then mic checks him. He rolls up Jericho and gets a near fall. He tries to roll him up again but is put in the Tamer and he taps.
** Short but okay.
Match 4: Vincent v. Rick Steiner
Rick goes right after him with knees and kicks to the head. He bites his head and keeps after him. He tosses him around with a one armed throw and then Steiner Bulldogs him and uses his knee to pin him.
** Squash. Poor Vincent.
Rick spits and kicks him a couple more times.
Match 5: Yuji Nagata v. Saturn
They lock up and both go down and they roll around with Saturn getting a one count. They are both up and Nagata connects with some lethal kicks, and Saturn grabs him and then suplexes him back. Saturn knocks him down and Sonny grabs his leg and this allows Yuji to toss him over and now he goes after the leg and knee with kicks and stomps. He starts to twist it around. Saturn gets to his feet, Nagata shakes off a blow and takes him down again but Saturn gets back up, clotheslines him. But Nagata grabs the leg, takes him down again and works over the knee. Saturn rolls over and nails him with a series of right hands. Saturn is too slow to follow up and he gets his legs kicked out from under him and Nagata gets two after an over the back suplex, Saturn blocks the whip and dumps him head first onto the top rope, hits a belly to belly and gets a near fall. He then bridges the suplex getting another two count. Nagata dumps him on his back and goes for the Lock but Saturn shoves him into the ropes. A series of reversals leads to Nagata going into the corner and he is tripped and finished with the Rings.
** 1/2 Nice back and forth match and the fans got behind Saturn.
Match 6: Renegade v. Booker T (c) for WCW TV Title
Renegade who has been gone for quite some time gets in his face and they lock up with Booker being shoved into the corner. Booker counters with a series of forearms and kicks getting two after a spinkick. Renegade gets up and shoves him into the corner. He pounds him for a bit only to be grabbed and spinebusted. Renegade though ducks a blow and hangs him up on the top rope and then chokes him out. He bodyslams him and then chokes him out some more. He pump handle backbreaks him and holds it in. Booker is unceremoniously shoved off, placed up top and Booker blocks the superplex and he knocks Renegade off with some forearm shivers, and Booker nails him with a missile dropkick getting a two count. It is axe kick time and Renegade kicks out at two, but he gets sandwiched in the corner and Renegade goes for a handspring elbow and Booker tries to catch him with the Harlem Sidekick but clearly misses. Renegade sells it but at least Booker finishes it off with another Harlem Sidekick.
** Nice put over match for Booker, and Renegade got a little TV time.
Match 7: Konnan v. Lizmark Jr.
They switch around with Konnan rolling him up for two and then rolling him up again and now Lizmark is able to roll him up twice. Konnan nails him with his rolling clothesline. Konnan kicks him in the back and then stomps him mercilessly before the ref calls him off. The fans give Konnan a nice pop. Lizmark flips of the top rope but is kicked in the gut as he turns around. Lizmark kicks him and does some more handsprings and kicks Konnan to the floor. Lizmark gets two after a springboard missile kick. Konnan sends him into the corner and Lizmark tries to float over but he is faceplanted and Konnan delays the pin cover and only gets two. Now Lizmark rolls him up for two. He does it again for two more. Konnan strikes with a cradle DDT, and it is Tequila Sunrise time.
*1/2 Okay, Konnan needed a win.
Konnan grabs the mic and mocks Juve for losing his mask and that he had a chance to join the nWo and did not do so. He does all his catchphrases over and over…..the fans did get behind him though.
Match 8: Buff Bagwell and Scott Norton v. High Voltage
Where the fuck did Voltage come from? Buff and Rage start off, and Buff goes after the arm and dumps him over. Buff then flexes, and they lock up again and Rage is hip tossed and we get more flexing. Another lock up and this time Buff punches him a few times only to be run over with a forearm. Rage dropkicks him and follows up with a gorilla press slam and now he flexes. Buff slaps him and in response Rage clotheslines him. Now he headbutts him and tags in Kaos who goes after the arm but gets his eyes poked. Norton is tagged in and he connects with a flying shoulder block but off the whip he is powerslammed. Norton is picked up and weakly given a guillotine leg drop from Rage. Norton comes back and misses the charge after the whip into the corner. Buff comes in and bodyslams him, hits Rage and then goes back to Kaos and tosses him to the floor. Norton rolls him back in and Kaos goes for a sunset flip and gets pasted and Rage leaps from the top and bulldogs him. Buff makes the tag as does Kaos and Rage goes off on both. He kills Buff with a release suplex. They go to double suplex Norton but he reverses but he cannot quite get them up and they more or less fall down. But Buff hits the Blockbuster and it is over.
** Not bad, some good back and forth.
Match 9: Eddie Guerrero v. Disco Inferno
As Disco jives Eddie lays up in the corner and chills. Eddie does some mocking moves after the bell rings and the fans remind him that he sucks. They exchange waist locks and Eddie grabs the arm, and works it over. Eddie runs him over and then mockingly dances. Eddie puts him in a full nelson but Disco goes behind only to be nailed with an atomic drop, but Disco comes right back with a clothesline. Now they exchange blows in the corner with Disco giving the better of it and he whips him into the corner and nails him with a spinning suplex. Eddie though clips the knee and now works it over. Eddie takes his time, heads up and disco is right there and goes up but is shoved off and Disco finally tosses him off. Disco gets two after a swinging neckbreaker. After a front suplex he gets another near fall. Eddie swipes the leg out from under Disco and then chokes him out with his boot; he slingshots over the top and nails the knee. Eddie goes up top and missile dropkicks him. He goes up and finishes him with the Frog Splash.
*** Disco comes off a big PPV win and loses but Eddie needed a victory and badly.
Gene is with JJ Dillon and he reminds everyone that there is a new WCW champ. JJ mentions Nick Patrick and warns the nWo not to file a suit as Nick Patrick was the ref on call and his decision is binding. He wants Nick to come out. JJ calls out Nick and congratulates him and the back pay issues has been cleared up and he is all happy and shakes JJ’s hand and he heads to the ring to ref the next match.
Match 9: Brad Armstrong v. Ric Flair
Brad takes him over, puts him in a headlock and then knocks him down again. Now Flair is up and he kicks him. Brad makes a comeback but is knocked down. Brad bodyslams him and then grabs the head and takes him down via a headlock. Flair is up and pushes him in the corner, gouges the eye and it is chop time. Now they exchange chops with Armstrong going off and he back body drops him. Flair backs up into the corner and is mounted but he grabs and gives him an atomic drop. Flair struts around and goes for a back suplex but Brad lands on his feet and clotheslines him and he gets two after a Russian leg sweep. Brad runs up top and missile dropkicks him and runs up top again and Flair moves and Brad eats all canvas. Flair kicks him in the nuts and it is Figure Four time and it is over.
** 1/2 Just nice to see Flair back in action.
Gene calls out the Giant. He comes out in a neckbrace and is really slow coming out. Gene tells him that he gets queasy when he sees the replay and wants to know what the doctors have to say. He had no idea what Nash was going to do and he barbarically tried to break his neck and it did not work. There are consequences and he has to pay for it and everytime he has neck pain he thinks of Nash. He has news for everyone: He will wrestle again and when he gets his hand around his neck Nash will feel the ride of his life, and he better be afraid as he has a bad case of the Giant all over his back. It does not matter to the Giant that the powerbomb is banned as Nash needs as much practice as possible because he is going to break him down.
Gene is still out there and wants to introduce the newest member of the nWo and calls out Brian Adams. Gene does not know what he is doing with the nWo and wants to know what Hart ever did to him. He calls Gene an amoeba. He does not like the fact that Gene is so pro-WCW and threatens to smack him around. He is here to join the most elite force in wrestling and that is the nWo. Everyone knows that the nWo is the measuring stick. Now to Bret Hart who is probably sitting in his igloo because he is too yellow to be here. He would not break a sweat and he would not go off his feet because he is not good enough and here comes Bret Hart and he is unbuttoning his shirt. Bret gets in the ring and does not know what kind of beef he has with him and he does not need to atttack him from behind. Adams goes to hit him but Bret blocks it and lays waste to him. Adams grabs him and gives him an inverted atomic drop and then slams him. He misses the elbow drop and Bret pulls the jersey over and it is Sharpshooter time. He holds it in and Hennig hits him from behind and Bret turns it around and goes off on Hennig. Rick Rude attacks him and now the numbers game takes over and Flair comes down to help Bret Hart and they clear the ring and the fans love it. Flair has the mic and hypes up Bret Hart and welcomes him to WCW for life. In Flair’s lifetime the Hogan’s and Nash’s always try to get their way. Flair tells Bret that he will be the best someday and that he basically has Bret’s back especially after Arn had to retire and he went home after their PPV match and Bret did not tear him down and called him the man and so Flair wants to shake his hand and if Bret ever needs some help Flair would love to walk that aisle with him. Bret admits he has been on the shelf for too long and he promised to dismantle the nWo brick by brick and he is going to start with Hennig at Uncensored and Flair grabs the mic and thrusts his crotch at a fat nWo fan!
Match 10: Scott Hall v. Sting (c) for WCW Title
Poor Hall, he gets his big title shot on Nitro! Hogan comes out first with his crew in trail and there is no Hall yet. EB has the mic and states that it is time and mentions Sting and they know what he is all about. Hogan has forgiven him and is bored with him and tonight belongs to Scott Hall, a man who has worked hard and is committed and who will take the title away from Sting and bring it back where it belongs. Sting needs to come down and put the title on the line and give Hall his just due and he promises that the nWo will leave and here comes Sting. He stops part way down and glares at the ring. Now another Sting comes out and Sting is confused and he hits Vincent and turns into the other Sting who is Hall in a mask and he blasts him with a bat. Now the entire nWo is dismantling him. Hall nails him with the fall away slam. It is Edge time and Hall stands over him. Hall has spraypaint and starts to spray nWo and here comes Savage and he is quickly overwhelmed. Hall is busy choking out Sting and Hogan is whipping him and Savage with the leather belt. Now Savage is spraypainted and a lonely Luger comes out with a chair and clears the ring…..
Um, no match here. Talk about disappointing. It would be nice to schedule the actual match. But WCW is on top and can tease the match as much as possible. It would have been nice to see the Giant and Bret Hart come down as they promised to dismantle the nWo and then in the next segment do not! Or at least Bret Hart.
Missing the first twenty minutes hurts that is for sure. But that is life. I will give the show *** despite missing that. There was some decent wrestling and the Hart promo was good. And at least Sting got some air time. I thought they would forget about Sting and the show did focus a bit too much on Hogan as usual and he did his typical promo blaming everyone and calling himself a God and while those promos are still classic they are beginning to wear a little thin. If anything the show just expanded on SuperBrawl and little else and that is fine as they have so many hours in the week to keep things going. A by the numbers show but still entertaining. But after watching the beginning and all the WCW midcarders that came out, too late of course, where were they at the end of the show? A bit odd in its inconsistency but oh well. Oh and they have a new bearded guy in the nWo they showed at the end: The Booty Man! YES!!!! Now WCW will win the ratings war.