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WCW Nitro 3/23/1998

Written by: Kevin Kindelberger

WCW Monday Nitro 3/23/98

Shit I really do not remember. I am so inundated with wrestling right now. Savage and Hogan still have feud and and Savage will take on Sting at the next PPV. Giant cleared out Hall and Nash last week and I wonder if anything else will happen with the feud. You know what I am just going to watch and go from there. Nitro received a 4.6 off of hours of a 4.9, 4.7 and a rare drop in the third hour to a 4.4 which does not bode well. While RAW got a 3.6 off of a 3.6 and an increase to a 3.7 off the strength of the Austin main event.

I am going to add this to the top of my card….an edit if you will. This is why Vince McMahon is a douche. Editing shit. Fucking hate that. I know Benoit is a murderer but you cannot erase him from existence. This is the problem with WWE 24/7 and a monopoly.

Match: Chris Benoit v. Booker T (c) for WCW TV Title

They lock up and neither can get the advantage. The second try leads to Booker putting him in a side headlock. Benoit pushes him off but is run over. Booker goes towards him and is kicked and then Benoit just unloads on him in the corner stomping a hole in him. Now he follows up with some chops. Booker reverses the whip, but runs into a boot in the corner, Benoit runs at him and is powerslammed. Both men are up and circling one another, and Benoit turns a full nelson into a hammerlock but it is reversed by Booker T. They move into a test of strength and Booker tries to push him down but Benoit is back up only to be droped with a sidekick. Booker whips him into the ropes and levels him with a clothesline. He whips him again but Benoit grabs the ropes and Booker kicks nothing but air. Benoit ducks behind and kills Booker with a release German suplex. He drops him off the whip with a back elbow and he maybe gets two after the cover. Benoit follows up by applying a rear chinlock. Booker gets to his feet but languishes against the ropes and eats some stiff chops. Booker has had enough and whips him into the ropes and now it his turn to kill Benoit this time with a spinebuster and now the sidekick. He goes up top but Benoit is right there and superplexes him off and both men are down. They are up and both miss a shot and now Benoit has him hooked with the rolling German suplexes and achieves the trifecta, but Benoit is down too. The ref stops the count at eight as Benoit gets to his feet, but Booker is able to duck the blow and spike him but he too is down. Booker lays his arm over Benoit and gets two. He pulls him to his feet and the exchange blows until Booker whips him into the ropes but misses the kick and gets hung up on the ropes. Benoit takes him down and gets two and they continue to exchange shots and the bell rings and the fans boo loudly. The TV time has expired and Booker keeps the belt…um it was not quite ten minutes unless they count entrances.

***1/2 Good match. Oh and fuck you WWE.

Here comes Piper! Gene is waiting for him in the ring and tells Roddy that he had heard that Piper had been pontificating in Oregon. Piper jokes he was constipated and then makes some terrible Louisville Slugger (they are in Kentucky) jokes. He has been brought back as a consultant, as the nWo and WCW have been out of control. Therefore he has banned bats until the PPV where a bat will be hung up and he is going to get a partner, the Giant and they will face Nash and Hogan in the first bat match. He declares the Giant has to learn to get nasty and he is going to teach him to get nasty and have him bash Nash. Nash and the Giant claim they are both the real giant and Nash swims to Cuba after leaping into a pool last week and still claims he is the real giant so those two will solve it tonight. Now to Savage who many say is outta control and Piper wonders if they are ex lovers. He does not care who leads the nWo as all he remembers is being handcuffed to a cage being beaten by Savage. He does not want to wait as he is the guy who spent the night in Alcatraz so he wants to face Savage tonight and when he is good he is good but when he is bad he is better!

Sting will defend his title against DDP tonight.

Match 1: Ultimo Dragon v. Chavo Guerrero

Jesus Tony does not shut up about what they have in store for us. He does get annoying. Okay, the two exchange some kicks but Dragon knocks him to the floor and kicks him into the railing. Eddie is cheering on Chavo as Dragon leaps out and barely gets grazed by a kick but sells it anyway. Back in the ring they tussle and Dragon gets two after a springboard moonsault. Chavo returns the favor with a near fall but is sent into the ropes only to get the boot up and gets another near fall after a fisherman’s suplex. Chavo goes up top and gets his legs swiped, Dragon goes up after him but is elbowed off. Chavo tries to suplex him into the ring but Dragon lands on his feet and puts him in the Dragon Sleeper and finishes him off.

** Nothing much but advances the Eddie and Chavo angle.

Gene asks Eddie something and Eddie interrupts and wants to know if Gene has ever had a family member who is an embarrassment. Chavo is upset, and Eddie reminds him that he was supposed to do everything he said. Eddie is going to apologize for Chavo and does so and apologizes to his mother and forces Chavo to apologize to their grandmother. Eddie is going to face another Japanese wrestler tonight and will show Chavo how to get it done.

Here comes Hogan and Bischoff. EB loves the crowd and Hogan declares no one is afraid of Piper or the Giant with or without the bat. And when Piper comes out in his sister’s mini-skirt and challenges Hogan in front of all his nWo-ites and they with him for life. He and Nash love the idea of a bat match, Nash being the real giant and Hogan with the biggest guns in the world and he can swing with his left hand and his right hand. In fact Rupert Murdoch who is trying to buy the Dodgers has been begging for tips. He has always been a champ and all his friends have been champs and he gives pause to the chants that he sucks and declares that a few of the fans may be turned on by Piper’s legs. Nash is going to grab the bat and take out the Giant and Hulk is taking out Piper. Hogan is upset by the giant v. giant match tonight and wonders what Piper is up to, and EB wonders that too. Hogan proclaims that Nash and himself are like brothers and so they are going to take out the Giant and it is going to be just too sweet. So both are going to take on the Giant tonight.

Match 2: Scott Steiner v. Wayne Bloom

Here we go and Scotty goes out and confers with Buff. Scotty gets back in the ring, takes him down and chokes him out on the ropes. He finally lets go and hammers the back, pulls him up and off the whip drops him with a clothesline, drops the elbow and does some push ups. Wayne is sent into the corner but he gets the boot up, gives him an inverted atomic drop, and follows up with some headshots to the turnbuckle and after a suplex he gets a two count. He telegraphs the backdrop and gets nailed with a double underhook powerbomb. Steiner poses for the crowd, picks up Bloom, places him up top and drapes him over his shoulders and drops down. And it is over after the Recliner.

*1/2 Squash.

Match 3: Lodi v. Psychosis

Tony discusses how Nitro is captivating people from all over…Thank God the bell rings and Lodi places Psychosis in a side headlock. He cinches it in and is pushed off but Lodi runs him over. Lodi has him in the headlock again and is pushed off again and Lodi misses and is nearly pinned after being killed with a clothesline. Psychosis runs into a boot, goes upstairs and talks to the crowd and gets kicked off and crashes to the floor. Psychosis goes up and crashes into him with a corkscrew moonsault. Lodi is rolled back into the ring and he front suplexes him, goes up top and finishes him with the guillotine legdrop.

** Okay. Neither are going anywhere.

Match 4: DDP (c) v. Sting (c) for WCW Title

The bell rings and they stare at one another, and DDP charges and they lock up and fall to the floor still locked up. The ref breaks it and tells them to get back into the ring. They oblige and DDP sits in the corner and pulls himself up, and they lock up and Sting has the arm works it over rolls him up and gets two. He goes for the Deathlock but DDP shoves him off and now he goes for it again and gets it turned over but Page gets to the ropes. DDP takes a breather sitting in the corner. He is back up and they circle one another and finally lock up again and Page has him in a headlock but is pushed off into the ropes and each block a hiptoss and Page strikes with a swinging neckbreaker and gets two. DDP goes for the Cutter but is shoved off. They circle one another and lock up again, DDP backs him into the corner and the ref goes to break it up and DDP knees him and then pancakes him getting another near fall. He has Sting in a rear chinlock and he has it locked in. Sting fights to his feet, breaks the hold but is kneed, driven into the corner where DDP mounts and pounds him but at number seven Sting slides free and drops DDP headfirst on the buckle. Sting takes him down and gets a two count. He now applies a rear chinlock. DDP is laid out as the chinlock is still applied. Nick counts and DDP gets the arm up. He is still laid out but DDP shows some life and fights to his feet and elbows free only to run into a flying clothesline. But DDP counters with a belly to belly suplex and gets a near fall. DDP goes for a piledriver and Sting back drops him, and now the go toe to toe exchanging shots. Sting comes out on top and bulldogs him twice and now a third time. Sting goes up top and leaps right onto DDP’s knees and both men are down. Both are up and DDP has him in the corner and goes for Cutter twice but Sting holds onto the ropes and is able nail him with the Deathdrop and it is over.

***1/2 Fun back and forth match with a lot of drama. Shows that DDP is ready for the big time.

Sting helps up DDP and Sting gives the signal of the Diamond Cutter and then they embrace….ahhhh that is sweet!

Match 5: Lex Luger v. Rick Fuller

They lock up and neither gets the advantage, and they lock up again and Luger is shoved off and they collide and off another whip Luger hiptosses him and then bodyslams him. They lock up and Fuller pushes him into the corner and runs him into the other one headfirst, Fuller gives him an open handed slap to the chest and then clotheslines him. He chokes him out, and Fuller works over the back. Luger is up but is brought back down with a big boot, and Lex is whipped pillar to post but runs into a boot and now it is clothesline and elbow and forearm time. The crowd erupts as he is able to Rack him.

*1/2 Just so we do not forget about Lex I guess!

Match 6: Eddie Guerrero v. Kaz Hayashi

Eddie grabs the arm and short clotheslines him. Eddie whips him into the ropes and nails him with a rolling quick, dumps him over his back and gets a two count. Kaz is placed up top and but he elbows Eddie off of him and he attempts a moonsault but is dropkicked! he goes for a German suplex but Kaz lands on his feet and he sends Eddie to the floor and crashes into him with an over the top suicide dive. Eddie is rolled back in the ring and Kaz gets two after a missile dropkick. Kaz back suplexes him, and slowly goes up top and leaps right into a kind of a backbreaker and now Eddie follows up with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Kaz blocks the suplex but so does Eddie and he snap suplexes Kaz. He stands on his head and gives it some stomps. He tells Chavo this is how you do it. He turns a pump handle slam into a backbreaker. Eddie stomps away, places him up top and superplexes him off and goes up and finishes him with the Frog Splash.

*** Good match for Eddie and basically angle advancement, wherever they are going with it.

Dragon enters the ring and bumps into Eddie, Chavo is slapped and told to open the ropes and Eddie yells at the fans to shut up.

We get a video package of Bret Hart and now Konnan.

Match 7: Konnan v. Prince Iaukea

Off the whip Prince dumps him over and then dropkicks him, and Konnan retreats to the floor. He gets back in and rakes the eyes and strikes with Rolling Thunder. He stomps on him, snaps him over and gets two after a seated dropkick. He takes him down with a dragon arm twist, and hooks the arm and the leg. Konnan breaks the hold and says some of his catchphrases and goes back to work on the Prince by placing him in a half Crab. Konnan suplexes him for a two count. Prince fires back but gets popped in the eye, and then his throat is bounced off the top rope. Konnan knife edge chops him in the corner, tosses him back in a fall away slam and ties up Iaukea in a type of standing Figure Four. He has him down and rubs his face into the canvas and smacks him upside the head. He releases the hold and Prince is able to come right back and takes him down and then lets Konnan right up and cradles him for two. Konnan now rolls him up for two. Konnan catches him but Prince counters with a bridge German suplex for the win!

**1/2 That was sudden….and odd. A solid match but why is Konnan losing all the time?

Match 8: Chris Jericho (c) v. Lenny Lane

He welcomes the crowd to Monday Night Jericho and he speaks for everyone when he yells Go Stanford. Lenny Lane comes down and Jericho wants to know why is here. Lenny claims that Jericho owes him a thousand dollars. Jericho mocks his voice and then claims that Lenny stole his gear and mask, and his Loverboy tape is missing. Jericho claims that Lenny owes him a thousand dollars and that he cannot get the stench out from the gear so he cannot wear it. Lenny keeps asking if he wants it and Jericho does and so Lenny reaches in his tights and smacks him and the match is on….

Jericho is still wearing the belt and he is back body dropped. The ref gets the belt off of him and then Jericho is powerslammed. I guess it is for the title. Jericho comes back and knocks him down, pushes him with his foot and then gives him a double underhook backbreaker. He goes for the Liontamer and Lenny wraps him up and gets a near fall. Lenny trips him up and gets two more. Jericho sends him into the corner and Lenny tries to float over but he is grabbed and spiked and Jericho finishes him with the Liontamer.

** The pre-match shenanigans were the best part.

Match 9: Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash v. the Giant

Jesus has the Giant gained some serious weight! The bell rings and Hogan tells him he is going to toss him to the floor. Tony asks how this can be made a handicap match and Tony dusts off an old ass stipulation from Fall Brawl 96 where they can negotiate contracts or matches (Uncensored too). Um, that just opens an entire can of worms and basically could dictate that they could challenge Sting anytime all the time. Don’t confuse yourself Tony and us and try not to think too deeply on this as the flaws are exposed!

Hogan pushes the Giant and then goes off the ropes and bounces off the Giant. Hogan takes his time and he hooks up with the Giant and tries to pick him up but cannot and Hogan is bodyslammed. Giant is enjoying dismantling Hogan as he destroys him in a test of strength and gives him an overhand chops to the chest and uses his boot to choke him out. Hogan rolls to the floor after getting his head bounced off the top buckle. Hogan gets back in the ring and knees the Giant in the gut and, and gets in a couple of blows but the Giant grabs him and side slams him. Hogan rolls to the floor again and confers with Bischoff. Nash wants the tag and Hogan teases it and then finally makes it. Here comes Nash. They lock up and tussle back and forth, Giant moves him into the corner and Hogan comes in and hits him from behind and this allows Nash to hammer him. Giant is whipped into the corner and sandwiched but the Giant returns the favor and drops him with a big headbutt. Giant kicks away on Nash in the corner but Hogan comes in and rakes the back and they doubleteam him as the ref looks on….Giant has had enough and shoves them down; he takes down the strap and points at both, he grabs Nash and the Disciple runs in and causes the DQ and tries to pull the Giant down but cannot; Bischoff attacks the Giant from behind and after the Disciple is shrugged off Bischoff is chokeslammed.

**1/2 They made the Giant look strong, whether or not that goes anywhere is another question but it does help set up their PPV match.

Match 10: Curt Hennig v. Bulldog

They look at each for a moment, sizing one another up before locking up. Rude is on commentary. Davey knocks him over off the whip and Curt gets to his feet and Davey grabs the leg and takes him down but Curt pushes him into the ropes but Davey sidesteps him with a cartwheel. Test of strength time and Davey gets the upperhand pushing Curt down. Curt though counters and down goes Davey and goes after the leg, Curt misses the jump onto the leg, and this allows Davey to clothesline and he gets a two count. Rude leaves the announce table and heads back to the ring.

Commercial.

Davey is drilling him with forearms as well as some uppercuts. He has Curt draped over his shoulders, Rude has the leg but Davey breaks free and powerslams Curt. He goes over and grabs Rude and for some reason allows himself to be handcuffed and after the match is tossed Rude and Hennig lay waste to him. Here comes Bret! He runs down and clears out Rude; snaps over Curt and pounds him. He turns him over and puts him in the Sharpshooter. Brian Adams runs down and Bret breaks it and unloads on him too. Vincent and Konnan and Norton all get pasted.

** Angle advancement, but it was odd to hear Rude say that Curt and Rick’s dad are up watching them wrestle and in less than a year Rick will be dead and in a couple more, so will Curt. Another telling fact: Bret is facing the “B” team!

Bret has the mic and he knows what it is like to be screwed over. Bret did not screw Bret, so he wants to make it real clear that from here on in that whenever he is in the building and he sees any injustice that no one has to go through what he had too….I will believe it when I see it.

They show Goldberg demolishing the nWo on Thunder.

Match 10: Renegade v. Goldberg

Renegade claims he knows how to beat him and is promptly kneed and then headbutted. Renegade reverses the whip and strikes with his handspring elbow, but decides to celebrate and so he is speared, and the Jackhammer finishes him off.

** Squash.

Match 11: Macho Man v. Roddy Piper

Piper charges most of the way into the ring and Savage is right there to greet him and he hammers him with a series of blows. Liz holds his leg, and this allows Savage to get in a few more blows. Piper shakes free and takes down Savage and uses his belt to whip Savage repeatedly. He clotheslines him with it and then chokes him out. Savage is shoved to the floor and Piper finally takes off his kilt, grabs Savage by the hair but Savage counters by grabbing the legs and pulling Piper to the floor. Savage goes to ram him into the railing but Piper tosses Savage over and brings him back over and removes the protective mat and goes for a piledriver and Liz rakes the back. Piper has had enough and grabs Liz and then kisses her! Savage belts him from behind. Piper is rolled back into the ring, and Savage goes for the slam but Piper floats behind and is put in the sleeper, Savage struggles to the ropes and Liz is knocked off the apron and out. Savage breaks free with a jawbreaker and both men are out as the ref checks on Liz. Hogan is out and he runs the ref into the railing. Nash has the bat and Hogan points at Savage and as Nash goes to hit him, Hogan pulls the bat away and asks what he is doing and now points at Piper. Nash shoves him and so Hogan returns the favor and Sting enters the fray and Nash backs into the corner and points at a wary Hogan who does not know where to turn. But Savage runs in and blindsides Sting and they take it to the floor. Now Piper is getting demolished by Hogan and Nash. Nash is choking him out with the boot as Savage is beating on Sting. The Giant has arrived on the scene and has both bats, Nash and Hogan wisely run off. Sting takes out Savage and the faces stand tall in the ring as Nash, Hogan and the Disciple look on. Savage runs by them and points at the three and then heads to the back.

**1/2 Good for a decent a brawl and setting up the PPV.

*** 1/2 It was enjoyable but nothing spectacular. It was a by the numbers show, and it basically showed that Bret’s words were hollow as he did not come out in the end and he continues to be used very unwisely. The show did a fine job of prepping for the next PPV as the animosity between Sting and Savage continues as well as the Giant and Nash. And the teased splits still continue, or apparent rifts and issues within the nWo occur. The undercard with Eddie and Jericho remains strong, there was no Benoit or Flock. DDP had a strong match with Sting and that helped the rating as Sting made DDP look great and vice/versa. At times it seems as if WCW is stuck in neutral as the the same angles play out but with different participants. However it is still entertaining, Hogan has put on some solid promos, Savage has been great even though the Uncensored outcome was underwhelming and the Nash/Giant feud is still maintaining my interest. It would be nice to use Flair and Bret Hart more and Lex Luger seems to be on the decline. I worry that they are dragging this out a bit too much but at the same time it has not grown stale yet but they need to pull the trigger on something in the next month.

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