WCW Nitro 5/17/1999
Written by: Bob Colling
World Championship Wrestling presents Nitro
From: Cedar Rapids, IA
Outside, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Charles Robinson, Asya and former WCW World Heavyweight Champion Diamond Dallas Page get out of the limo.
Backstage, Robinson changes the title of the Presidents locker room from Piper back to Flair.
Mean Gene calls out Ric Flair for an interview. Flair makes his way down to the ring with his friends. Anderson talks first saying that Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit will bring the WCW World Tag Team Championships back to the Horsemen later tonight. Flair talks about being the president and says that Bischoff doesn’t have any right to make decisions about his company. Flair tells Ted Turner that if Bischoff isn’t moved, he is going to have Jane Fonda ride Space Mountain. Ric books himself and Charles Robinson in a match against Randy Savage and Gorgeous George. Ric also books WCW World Heavyweight Champion Kevin Nash against Diamond Dallas Page for the championship. DDP comes down to the ring and praises Flair for booking the title match. DDP believes he got screwed at Slamboree. DDP reveals that he has his own backup as he calls out Bam-Bam Bigelow to end the segment!
A special interview with Eric Bischoff is aired. Bischoff talks about Slamboree and doing what it right for WCW. He mentions how WCW was on top for eighty eight straight weeks. He believes that when things got more competitive he got complacent. He has learned from his mistakes and apparently knows what it takes to make WCW number one again.
The announcers talk about Rick Steiner turning heel at Slamboree and we also get a special look at Bret Hart. Kevin Nash challenged Hart to a match to happen on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
We go back to the special interview with Eric Bischoff. Bischoff says he did what he felt was right when it came to the Flair/Piper and Page/Nash matches. He mentions that Nick Patrick did what he thought was the right thing as well. Bischoff says that change is coming to WCW and the company will be rebuilt.
Outside, a limo pulls up to the arena. Roddy Piper exits the limo with Eric Bischoff.
Mike Tenay tells us that Bret Hart is aware of Nash’s challenge and will be on the Tonight Show tomorrow night to respond to the challenge.
Opening Contest: WCW Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Evan Karagias: Karagias sends Mysterio chest first into a corner and they have a few awkward moments. Karagias misses a springboard twisting cross body and Mysterio gets a two count following a split legged moonsault. Karagias stops Mysterio with a clothesline and a springboard cross body for a near fall. Mysterio avoids a shoulder attack in the corner and hits a bronco buster. Karagias gets crotched on the top rope after shoving Mysterio away. Mysterio connects with a top rope hurricanrana to earn the win. (*. Well, that was pretty quick. Karagias got a little bit of offense in but not enough to truly judge if he is worth a spot in the Cruiserweight division. Crowd seems kind of dead, by the way.)
Backstage, Ric Flair is talking to Buddy Lee Parker. Flair promises Parker an office with a secretary. He mentions that every promoter pushes their kid. He is going to do the same thing and do it until the fans love David. Parker agrees to lay down for David tonight.
Mean Gene calls out Booker T for a promo. Booker issues a quick challenge to the new WCW Television Champion, Rick Steiner. He isn’t worried about his brother Stevie Ray. He believes that he is the true people’s champion.
Second Contest: David Flair defeated Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker: Parker misses a top rope knee drop and Flair ends up winning the bout with the figure four leg lock. As long Flair doesn’t go over quality wrestlers, I don’t see anything wrong with this. They wouldn’t be dumb enough to have Flair beat good wrestlers, right? RIGHT?!
Third Contest: Randy Savage/Madusa defeated Ric Flair/Charles Robinson: Madusa and Robinson start off the contest. Robinson arm drags Madusa and struts around the ring. Madusa puts a wrist lock on Robinson and leg trips Robinson. Savage and Flair enter the ring to have a standoff while Robinson flips out. Robinson springboards off the middle rope to arm drag Madusa! Madusa slams Robinson out of the corner and leg drops Robinson on his thighs. Savage gets tagged in. Savage comes off the ropes with a shoulder to knock Flair off his feet. Savage hammers away on Flair in the corner several times causing Flair to fall flat on his face. Flair low blows Savage while be choked. Robinson tags in and goes to work on Savage, who sells the attack. Savage ends up tossing Robinson across the ring and Madusa tags in to snap mare Robinson several times. Madusa plants Robinson with a sit down pile driver for a two count. Flair enters the ring but is stopped with a drop toe hold. Madusa gets on Flair’s back and rides him around the ring! Madusa backdrops Flair but Flair takes her down with a back suplex. Flair drops an elbow and begins to work her left knee. Flair goes for the figure four but is rolled up by Madusa for a two count. She almost pins Flair with a school boy! Flair with another back suplex and puts the figure four on right in the middle of the ring. Savage enters the ring and saves Madusa by breaking the hold. Madusa tags in Savage who cleans house with clotheslines. Savage stops Flair on the top rope with a power slam and does the same to Robinson. Flair flips over the corner and to the floor, and Robinson is clotheslined on the apron! Madusa kicks Flair on the floor while Savage scoop slams Robinson and heads to the top rope. Savage leaps off and hits a flying elbow to win the match! (**1/2. I’m quite shocked that I actually enjoyed this match. I do think it’s pretty sad that Madusa didn’t give up to the figure four leg lock, though. For me, that would kind of kill that finisher. Not to be sexist or anything, but if you can’t make a woman tap out to your submission move, any guy that does would look pretty weak. Anyway, it was an entertaining bout. I’m still in shock.)
Mean Gene calls out Roddy Piper for an interview segment. Piper calls himself the President of WCW and ends up calling Bischoff down to the ring. Piper doesn’t buy into Bischoff’s apology and talks about all the bad things he has done to WCW. Randy Savage’s music hits and he comes down to the ring. Savage demands a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match against Kevin Nash. Piper tells Savage that he has to wait his turn. Gorgeous George hits Piper with a crutch and Savage pile drives him. Savage ends up slamming Bischoff and goes up top for the elbow drop. However, Kevin Nash runs down to the ring and Savage jumps off the top to leave the ring. Savage wants Nash to hand over the belt like he did to Hogan. Nash ends up accepting Savage’s challenge. That was a quick heel turn for Savage.
Fourth Contest: Hak fought Fit Finlay to a no contest in a hardcore match: I really don’t understand the love for booking hardcore matches that end in a no contest. Brian Knobbs comes out to cause the no contest after he sends both Hak and Finlay through tables. They end up brawling to the backstage area.
We were supposed to see Rick Steiner vs. Booker T for the WCW Television Championship but Booker has been laid out in the backstage area. So, Rick issues an open challenge to anyone in the back. Sting answers the challenge and brawls with Rick. This turns into an actual match, by the way.
Fifth Contest: WCW Television Champion Rick Steiner fought Sting to a no contest: Sting sends Steiner into the guard railing several times. Sting hits a running bulldog in the ring but misses a splash in the corner. Steiner rams Sting gut first into the turnbuckles and punches Sting several times. They go to the floor where Steiner sends Sting into the ring post head first and lifts up some padding. Sting connects with a snap suplex on the padding. Steiner recovers by ramming Sting head first into the announcers table and choking him with a television cord. Sting counters a DDT with an atomic drop and hits several clotheslines. Sting leaps off the top to hit Steiner with a clothesline. Rick bails to the floor as Scott Steiner makes his way down to ringside. Lex Luger runs into the ring to stand by Sting’s side while the Steiner’s stand on the apron. Nothing happens as Nitro goes to commercial. (1/2*. Honestly, this was an awful brawl.)
Sixth Contest: Curt Hennig defeated Konnan: Konnan with a quick clothesline and a bulldog. Konnan comes off the ropes to hit a seated Hennig with a dropkick and hammers away on Hennig in the corner. Hennig bails to the floor to regain composure. Hennig enters the ring and begins to chop Konnan several times in a corner. Konnan sends Hennig to the floor following a chop and Hennig talks to Heenan about his new boots or something. Back from a commercial, Konnan chops Hennig but Hennig comes out of a corner with a running clothesline. Hennig continues with several right hands and stomps followed by a rolling neck snap. Hennig works on Konnan’s legs for quite some time until Konnan hits Hennig with a rolling lariat; however Hennig ends up taking the referee out on accident. Konnan face jams Hennig as Randy Savage comes back out and distracts Konnan. Hennig sends Konnan to the floor and Savage sends Konnan into the ring steps. Hennig connects with the Hennig Plex to win the bout. (1/2*. This was a pretty bad match that really didn’t keep my interest. Is it really necessary to have Savage in so many segments?)
Seventh Contest: WCW World Tag Team Champions Raven/Saturn defeated Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko to retain the titles: Saturn and Malenko start the title match. Saturn trips Malenko to the mat and they trade hammerlocks. Saturn knocks Malenko off the apron to the floor and super kicks Benoit. Saturn takes Benoit out with a cross body on the floor! The champs hit a leg sweep/clothesline combo and Raven nearly pins Malenko. Malenko tags in Benoit who stomps away on Raven briefly but Raven battles back with right hands and backs Benoit into a corner. Raven big boots Benoit in the corner and connects with a clothesline for a two count. Saturn tags back into the match and hits a cross body on Benoit while he is on Raven’s shoulders. Benoit bails to the floor where he regroups with Malenko and Anderson. Benoit clotheslines Saturn and tags in Malenko to help keep control of Saturn. Saturn takes Malenko over with an exploder suplex and tags in Raven. Raven knee drops Malenko for a two count. Saturn big boots Malenko and maintains the advantage with a sleeper hold. Saturn knee lifts Malenko and Raven tags in to work on Malenko with a chin lock. Benoit tags in but Raven connects with a series of snap suplexs for a two count. Raven slams Benoit and Saturn hits a top rope leg drop for a near win! Back from commercial, Raven nearly pins Malenko with a roll up but the Horsemen control Raven. Benoit gets a two count following a snap suplex. Saturn gets a hot tag and hammers away on Benoit hitting an exploder suplex as well. Benoit drops Saturn gut first across the top rope but accidentally baseball slides Malenko on the floor! Malenko dropkicks Saturn after Benoit connected with a drop toe hold. Malenko begins to work on Saturn’s left leg and tags in Benoit who drives Saturn knee first into the mat. Saturn manages to tag in Raven after several moments of having his knee worked on. Raven cleans house and smashes Malenko head first into a chair following a drop toe hold. Raven hits a front slam on Malenko and Saturn hits a top rope frog splash. All four men are now brawling in the ring and Benoit clotheslines Saturn and Raven clotheslines Malenko. Benoit heads to the top rope but misses a diving head butt as Raven rolls out of the way. Malenko drives Saturn down to the mat with a double under hook power bomb! Arn Anderson enters the ring to hit Raven with a tire iron but Raven and Benoit fall to the floor. Saturn catches Malenko and hits the Death Valley Driver to win the bout. (**1/2. This was better than the previous tag match since this was graded on actual wrestling and the Savage tag match was on entertainment, mainly. It seemed like they focused too much on brawling and not doing actual wrestling moves and whatnot. These two teams could have produced a much better wrestling match.)
Backstage, Bam-Bam Bigelow warns the tag team champions that he might just find himself a partner to come after the titles.
Main Event: WCW World Heavyweight Champion Kevin Nash defeated Diamond Dallas Page by disqualification to retain the title: They open the bout trading right hands until Nash gets the better of Page and knee lifts him in the corner followed by a few elbow strikes. Nash clotheslines Page over the top to the floor. Nash hammers away on Page while Bigelow has come down to the ring. Nash hits the snake eyes and a short arm clothesline for a two count. Bigelow hits Nash while on the apron but Nash fights Bigelow off. Page clotheslines Nash for a two count. Bigelow begins to choke Nash while the referee is distracted by Page. Page chokes Nash with some wrist tape behind the referees back and nearly gets a three count while using the ropes for leverage. Page leaps off the top to hit a clothesline and goes for a cover but Nash kicks out at two. Nash begins to power out of a sleeper hold but Page plants Nash with swinging neck breaker for a two count. Page gets another two count following a side Russian leg sweep. Nash sends Page into Bigelow on the apron and nearly rolls Page up for the win. Nash clotheslines Page but only gets a two count. Nash big boots Page but Bigelow enters the ring. Nash big boots Savage and goes back to Page but Randy Savage runs down and attacks Nash to cause the DQ.
After the match, Nash is triple teamed by Savage, Page and Bigelow. Bigelow big splashes Nash and Savage tosses the referee out of the ring. Savage has some lipstick from one of his ladies and rubs some of it on Nash’s face! A fan enters the ring and is tackled by Savage and several security guys. Savage heads to the top rope and hits the top rope elbow drop! Savage goes to the floor and flips out at the announcers to close out the show. (**1/4. You know what this wasn’t all that bad up until the typical DQ finish. I thought both men were energized and put on a decent main event. By all accounts, I would say this was better than their Slamboree match. I’m sure the cut in time would have a big impact on that, though.)
Final Thoughts: There seemed to be two focuses for this show. First, Bischoff admitting that the product is not as good as the WWF and secondly to hype up their next main event feud between Nash and Savage as much as possible. For me, I didn’t care for either one of them. Why someone would openly tell the consumer that they should spend their time and money on someone else is beyond stupid. I get the whole “I want to be honest with the fans” deal but that isn’t going to make you any money or gain any kind of popularity. Turning my attention to the Savage/Nash feud, they advanced the feud quite a bit here. They could have dragged it out over the course of the next few weeks but since they have three hours to fill, I guess that treat each hour as a week. They did the heel turn with Savage, issued the challenge to Nash and attacked the champion. I think that is quite a bit for one feud.
Was this a good week for Nitro? I guess there were three decent matches this week, but does that make it a good overall show? I don’t think so. There really aren’t any angles I am all that interested in and they seemed to only focus on a couple of feuds instead of the whole card. That being said, this week’s Nitro gets a thumbs down from me.
Thanks for reading.