WCW Nitro 4/20/1998
Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WCW Monday Nitro 4/20/98
This is going to be a night of big changes. It is unclear that this will be for the good. I fear they are going to dump a shit load on us to regain the ratings lead. Clearly Raven will not be champ and unfortunately neither will Savage and he should be for at least a month or two. Now as long as the changes bring some storyline advancement with the nWo and so on then I am for it but I just hope they do not panic. The PPV was solid and they have a lot to build on and I do not think drastic changes are necessary as Goldberg does not need a belt and Raven has a plenty of steam left as does DDP. Savage having the belt causes drama and can be a good thing but so did Sting having the title. My guess is that Hogan gets it back and it will cause even more drama in the nWo….oh and where is Scott Hall? Rehab again? The ratings did increase to a 5.1 off of hours of 5.2, 5.0 and 5.1 but the Playoffs are beginning and a lackluster RAW show fell to a 4.4 off of a 4.4 and 4.3 though that is not a necessarily a bad rating….
Okay we get some aftermath. Nash and Savage are getting beaten down by the nWo and of all people who takes the title from Hogan it is Scott Norton and declares that it is back in the fold and forces him to back off (Well in reality Norton could kick some serious ass!).
Here comes Hogan with EB trailing ten paced behind! Oh and the Disciple. Bischoff feels the love and now Hogan tells everyone that he is for life. The belt is Hogan’s and Savage is scum. He accuses Savage and Nash from swerving him and taking the belt. The nWo-ites will not allow them to leave and Savage would not have won the belt without the help from his Big Sexy girlfriend and wants a shot at the title and the fans let him know that he sucks. EB asks him what he is going to do with that midget Nash. Hogan declares Armageddon has happened and the nWo has finally split. He is going to take that ratty haired Savage and get his belt back. And even though the nWo is split we will see you follows Hogan and who is dumb enough to follow Nash and Savage. He tells Nash that if he sticks his nose in Hogan’s business while he is beating up Savage then the Disciple will deal with him.
They show Goldberg getting ready….
Savage comes out to a big pop. He grabs the mic and the crowd responds to his “Ohhh Yeahhh” and he did not come here to gloat but rather to fight. There is only one coward and he is from Hollywood, CA and he is in big trouble. It is no secret anymore that he despises Hogan and also he is the nWo champ. Hogan had a lot of people snowed from the beginning but Savage found someone with a lot of guts. A lot of people think that Savage’s main objective was to lead the nWo but that was not so, in fact Hogan is not the man and his end is coming. Hogan was the wheelman in the Viper but that does not matter as nothing would stop Savage from facing him tonight. He is going to shock the world as this is live TV and no one can stop him from saying something and he runs down a list of those who cannot stop him. He is going to put the world in a state of shock and introduce the new leader of the nWo and it is Kevin Nash and here he comes! Nash has the mic and claims step one is complete as Hogan’s career is over and he is no longer the head of the nWo. It will be complete after Savage beats him tonight. And if that wannabe biker gets in his way he will be jacknifed and he warns Bischoff that he stuck him once and wants to do it again (powerbomb) and tells Hogan that it is over!
Raven is in the showers repeating 74-0 and he will not be 75 and he is the champ, beating DDP and he will do the same to Goldberg.
Match 1: Konnan v. Chris Adams
They lock up and Konnan is taken down. Adams remains on the offensive and Konnan is forced to retreat to the floor and Vincent gives him some “sage” advice. Konnan gets back into the ring and he pokes Adams in the eyes and it is rolling clothesline time. Konnan works him over for a bit but Adams rolls him up getting two, snaps him over for another two count. He then sets him up on the ropes drills him with an elbow and runs at him only to miss and Konnan spikes him and finishes him with the Sunrise.
*1/2 Konnan needed this victory badly.
Goldberg pacing the dressing room and prepping again.
Match 2: Barbarian v. Wayne Bloom
Wayne is actually getting in some offense, well one move and he eats a big boot and it is over.
DUD Squash. Barbarian is going nowhere.
Goddamn Jericho is fucking great. He comes out and has a picture of Dean and tells us he has an interview at a Burger joint and is done for as a wrestler and then calls him little trooper.
Match 3: Chris Jericho (c) v. Juventud Guerrera for WCW Cruiserweight Title
Juve runs out and just fucking annihilates Jericho. He scissors him over and then spikes him after a springboard. He applies a rear chinlock but Jericho is up and knocks him down. Chris struts his stuff and Juve tries to fight back with some chops but is dropped with a clothesline. Jericho goes for a springboard blow but Juve dodges and Jericho crashes to the floor. Now it is Juve’s turn and he strikes with a somersault plancha. Back in the ring Jericho is nearly finished by another springboard splash. Juve comes right back with a DDT but Jericho gets his shoulder up, and Jericho tries to fight back and Juve leaps at him but is caught and put in the Liontamer. Juve refuses to tap. He passes out and Jericho acts concerned that he killed Juve!
*** Short but good…too short.
Goldberg is working out and it is a bit creepy.
Goldberg is getting the Buffer treatment!!
Match 4: Goldberg v. Raven (c) for WCW US Title
The fans are fired up and WCW is putting this up against the beginning of RAW. So Buffer does not know his hometown….He played football and they have told us this for months so it is clear where he is from. Poor Raven.
Raven lays down the belt and Goldberg gets in his face and Raven charges and tackles him into the corner. Raven dropkicks him and tosses Goldberg to the floor. But the whip is reversed and Raven is whipped into the railing and it happens again. He rolls Raven back into the ring and takes him down working over the leg in a submission move but Raven gets to the ropes. Goldberg whips him into the ropes and reverse kicks him in the face and Raven wisely rolls to the floor. Goldberg goes after him but Raven has a chair and he uses it to his advantage. All three are in the ring, and the chair is set up and Raven drop toe holds him into the chair and it is bent. Raven gets a two count, cracks him with the chair and now applies a rear chinlock. Goldberg gets to his feet but Raven sends him into the corner and sandwiches him there and now punches away but it has no effect. It is spear time! The fans explode. Here comes the Flock and they all get dismantled, a stop sign does not stop him and Reese is Jackhammered. Raven tries to leave and the fans pick him up and toss him back into the ring! (Clearly rigged but awesome) Raven is speared and Jackhammered and it is over and the fucking roof is fucking exploding….Holy fucking shit. I mean this place is unglued.
*** Now Raven should be the champ for a couple more months, would have been better for WCW but this match set the house on fire and gave Nitro the ratings they wanted instead of waiting a month or three and doing it on PPV but it worked for the short-term as it was a fun match.
Match 5: La Parka v. Ultimo Dragon
They go back and forth and La Parka sends him to the floor, goes up top striking with a plancha. Both men are laid out. They get back to their feet, get back into the ring and La Parka kicks him gets a two count. After he applies a rear chinlock, releases the hold and whips him into the corner but runs into a boot only to come right back with a clothesline and he gets another two count. La Parka slams him for yet another two count. Dragon is able to rebound, lands on his feet on the back drop attempt and sweeps the legs of La Parka only to be sent to the top and it is headstand kick time. He follows up with his series of stiff kicks. The Guerrero’s come down and Chavo is forced to shove Dragon off the top rope and Parka leaps and lands on Dragon getting the win.
**1/2 Not bad.
Match 6: Curt Hennig v. Chris Benoit
Benoit unloads on him with shots to the knee, and he stomps away on all parts of Hennig who limps to the other corner. Hennig tries to fire back but is kicked in the knee and chopped some more. He calls out Rude who heads to ringside. Benoit after beating Curt some more turns and taunts him. Benoit goes back to work but is sent to the floor and Rude dumps him throat first onto the railing. Benoit is rolled back into the ring and Curt pulls him up, and holds him in for the Plex for an hour but is taken down and it is Crossface time! Rude runs in and attacks and this causes the DQ. Rude and Hennig beat him down and out comes Booker and the heels flee. Booker looms over Benoit and then leaves.
** Angle advancement….the match sucked but it was the overall package.
Benoit chases down Booker and screams at him to stay out of his business and Booker goes to walk away and Benoit does not like that so the brawl is on!
Mean Gene! He calls down Piper and proclaims that Piper lost the battle but not the war as the nWo is splitting. Um, he lost and the match was a clusterfuck. Piper fires up the crowd and has some stipulations for the match: No DQ (helps Hogan) no run ins, and he is not allowed to leave the ring and the fight will continue all night if necessary as there has to be a winner. After Savage is done with Hogan then he is Piper’s and he is going to teach him misery.
Match 6: Hammer v. Saturn
Saturn attacks him from behind, sticks him and wails away. Hammer fights back only to be whipped into the side of the ring and then into the steel steps. Now they enter the ring and the bell finally rings. Saturn leaps off the ropes and nails Hammer. After some give and go, Hammer gets the edge and he chops the chest a few times but Saturn tosses him and then chokes him out. Saturn unleashes a few kicks and after the whip into the corner back elbows him. He connects with a belly to belly suplex and takes his time so he is caught and given a spinebuster. Hammer though is slow to get up too. Hammer is up and charges at Saturn but kicks all turnbuckle and is tossed to the floor. They go back and forth out on the floor and Saturn is dumped throat first onto the railing. Saturn works over the arm bashing it against the steps and now the brawl continues up the aisle towards the back and finally the bell rings for the countout. Hammer drops him onto the steel grating and Saturn counters out of a suplex and they continue beating each other.
**1/2 Fun brawl I just hope Saturn is not stuck with this for the next few months.
Match 7: Public Enemy v. Buff Bagwell and Scott Steiner
Grunge starts off against Buff and gets hiptossed. Buff struts around and mocks PE doing their dance. Grunge does not appreciate that he mocks Buff after a big backbreaker. Rock gets the tag only to get punched in the head and Steiner is tagged, Rock leapfrogs him but turns right into a punch and is press slammed. Scotty’s whip is reversed and he is put in a sleeper. He turns Rock around and crushes him with a belly to belly suplex. Scotty whips him into the corner only to run into an elbow, Rock gives him a swinging neckbreaker and Grunge is tagged in but Buff kicks him in the back and Scotty suplexes him. Buff is tagged in and chokes him out and now clubs the back with a series of rights. Scotty is back in and poor Grunge is hung upside down and mauled with forearms and choked out for good measure too. Buff gets the tag and Grunge gets a second wind and Buff stops any momentum with a lariat. Scotty is in and he knocks Rock off the apron and now they take it to the floor and Grunge is placed onto a table and Steiner was going to use the chair on his head but Rock makes the save and belts Steiner. For some reason he rolls Grunge back in and wants the tag instead of beating them down on the floor. He is able to get the hot tag but is dropped. However Grunge lends a hand and places Buff on top of the table but he moves but still gets caught up a bit in the table being broken by PE. Rock is brought back in the ring and Scotty is about to put on the Recliner but Buff wants the Blockbuster and Scotty obliges and it is over.
**1/2 Okay. The flexing gets old and the teased issues between the two heels like what is happening in the nWo are just filler…if that makes sense, I am getting tired.
Match 8: Psychosis v. Booker T (c) for WCW TV Title
Booker starts off with a series of knee lifts and then slams him. Booker keeps after him, works over the arm and gets a two count. Booker sends him for the ride and Psychosis tries to block a hip toss but is clotheslined and another one sends him to the floor. Booker heads out after him and bodyslams him, and then rolls him back into the ring and Psychosis greets him with a series of stomps, runs him head first into the corner and low kicks the knees. Psychosis goes up top and gets a near fall after a thrust kick; he slows things up with a chinlock and now pulls back on the arms. Booker gets to his feet is whipped into the ropes and Psychosis catches the knees and down goes Booker and he puts him back in the chinlock. Booker fights to his feet and slugs free, whips him into the ropes and down goes Psychosis after a forearm to the head. Booker side slams him but misses the knee drop. Psychosis goes back to work on the knees and wraps it around the post, and he continues to work over the knee and jumps on it. Psychosis gets two but Booker reverses a whip and demolishes him with a spinebuster and follows up with a big forearm smash, and now pancakes him. He tears off his head with the Sidekick and goes up top and finishes him off with the missile dropkick.
***1/2 A really fun match. Booker keeps getting better and the fans are loving it and I hope WCW does not fuck it up.
Match 9: Brian Adams v. Lex Luger
They lock up and each tries to get the upperhand as the circle about the ring. Brian headbutts him and then knees him. Lex though comes back with a hiptoss and picks him up and gives him an inverted atomic drop. Lex mounts and pounds in the corner but Adams grabs and gives him an inverted atomic drop that is no sold and Lex clotheslines him and a third one sends him to the floor. Lex leaps off the apron but right into a fist, but Lex fires back by sending him into the steel steps. They take the fight back into the ring and Adams takes command with a series of stomps and he holds him up in a gorilla slam and drops him into a gutbuster getting a two count after. Adams goes for a suplex but Luger goes behind and nails him with a neckbreaker. He keeps it up for a moment but is distracted by Vincent but he gives Adams a powerslam anyway. Vincent gets in the ring and is Racked and Konnan runs down and he is Racked. Adams runs at him, misses the boot and is finished with the bionic forearm….
*1/2 Not a great match. It could have been better but to job Adams with a forearm? Poor guy….
Match 10: Hollywood Hogan v. Randy Savage (c) for WCW Title
Hogan clears out when Savage comes down and gives the Disciple some instructions. Savage is trying to get to Hogan but the ref is keeping him back. Savage is stalking around the ring and takes a swipe at the Disciple. They lock up, Savage goes off the ropes and takes down Hogan. They lock up again, Hogan drives him into the corner and hammers him with a series of rights and down goes Savage. Savage gut punches him but gets his eyes raked and then pummeled in the corner. Savage staggers out and gets dropped with an elbow and Hogan chokes him out. He breaks the choke and does it again and then distracts the ref so the Disciple can choke him out. Hogan back suplexes him and gets a two count. Hogan drops him again and Hogan rubs the heel of his boot into Savage’s head and then dumps Savage to the floor. The Disciple runs him into the railing and Hogan grabs a chair and belts him with it. Savage is sagged against the railing getting punished, Hogan rolls him back into the ring but Savage starts a comeback and he knocks Hogan with a forearm. He kicks Hogan but sells the knee and Hogan takes advantage and he goes to work on the bum knee. Now the Disciple goes to work on the knee, Hogan continues to go after the knee. The fans get behind Macho as he punches out of the corner but walks right into a kick to the gut. Hogan stays after him and tosses him to the floor. He goes out after him and whips him with his leather belt. He hauls him back into the ring and uses the belt to choke out Savage. Hogan follows up by stomping on his hand and takes his sweet time and misses the legdrop and now Savage has the belt and he unloads on Hogan. He bodyslams Hogan and goes up top and the fans erupt and he connects with the big elbow! But he sells the knee and cannot make the cover. Hogan is up first and goes back after the knee. A punch sends Savage down and now Hogan starts to bend and twist the knee. Hogan applies the Figure Four. Savage makes it to the ropes and even though it is no DQ Hulk breaks it and chokes him out. He pulls Savage up who tries to choke out Hogan while limping, and he tosses Nick Patrick down. The Disciple comes in and gives the ref a neckbreaker and now goes after Savage. Both men go after the knee and wrap it around the ringpost. Disciple has the title belt and hits his finisher on it. Now Nash finally comes down and EB grabs him from behind and he gets hammered but he clears out the Disciple and goes for the powerbomb and despite EB’s attempts to stop him Hogan is powerbombed and Nash places Savage on top of Hogan but here comes Bret Hart and he has the title belt and nails Nash and places Hogan over Savage and Nick makes the count….Piper is stunned and runs or actually hobbles down demanding and explanation and Bret does not have one and finally decks Piper and we fade with Hulk as the champ….
*1/2 Not a good match; another Hogan dominated match, now Savage was really injured and they play off of this but at the same time he should have gotten in more offense.
***1/2 Giving the title back to Hogan this quickly is not wise, having Savage the champ seems to be the smart move (assuming Sting is not going to be champ in this scenario) as it could play off the split in the nWo and make Hulk desperate or it could lead into his summer matches with Rodman and Savage could lose it back to Sting or Hart (seeing as he was having surgery) and keep it fresh. Now I am going to try and put politics aside, obviously Hogan pulled some of his stroke here. At the same time it just proves that the nWo cannot be reconciled and makes Hogan even more hated and willing to do anything to be the champ and be in charge. I am not sure how I feel about it. My gut instinct says bullshit. To all of a sudden turn Bret heel seems absolutely asinine. He was over in January and they took him off TV and just randomly had him face Hennig and then disappeared again. He should have faced Hogan and he should have been champ, get back something on your big ass investment. See if he can get over in WCW, and let him run with it for a bit as the nWo splits and bickers and he can take on both factions if necessary after taking out Hogan. Instead they pull a half-assed and shoddily planned turn. This show would have ranked higher had it not been for the lackluster ending. There is a lot to digest here, almost too much and I hope this does not become a pattern. A sudden panic and clear change in mid-stream to try and garner attention as that is not always a good thing. Goldberg is clearly over but I stick by my original assessment in saying he does not need the title. Just let him tear through opponents and allow Raven, who is over as a heel, to continue and do his thing. It was a promo heavy show at the beginning and I am baffled as to why Nash did not come down from the beginning to counter the Disciple. And I swear the nWo was barred from ringside….it is minor shit like this that pisses me off and takes me out of the show, as this crap is unnecessary and correctable. I feel that this is a game changer and it does not feel all that positive and I hope I am wrong and that WCW does not ruin the fairly good thing they have going right now.