/14 September 1998
I can't think of a better way to start WCW Monday Nitro than to give me
THE NITRO GIRLS! along with a TV-PG-DV ratings box and a closed captioned
symbol. Oh, but yes, tonight Goldberg faces Sting, because Diamond Dallas
Page won WarGames last night at Fall Brawl. Huh?
WE ARE LIVE from the BI-LO (You know, I'm from California - but I hear the word on the street, and the word is that BI-LO is A Great Place to Shop) Center in Greenville, SC, as WCW presents Monday Nitro 14.9.98. FIREWORKS!
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and thelivinglegend Larry Zbyszko, in a throwback to the early days of the two-hour Nitro's. (Of course, they're not sitting at ringside as in those early days). Larry heard someone say his name, so he stood up to find out who it was. Mike Tenay is absent, as he is out trying to get the scoop - that the Nature Boy Ric Flair just MIGHT show up tonight. Since we haven't heard the name "Ric Flair" for about six months or so, this is a big deal when they say it. Yeah. Diamond Dallas Page is congratulated for his WarGames performance - make your own joke - and let's turn to the REAL news as an incredibly loud "We want Flair" chant starts up.
Cut to Mike Tenay, who's at the Greenville airport. He tries to stop the white limo driving away, and is unsuccessful. He runs to a (Lear jet?) plane, and is shot down again. He begs us to stay tuned, when he'll have some real dirt later, no, really, honest! Was this really live? Wouldn't it be a little darker just after 8? Oh well.
Opening credits - close enough.
This portion of WCW Monday Nitro is brought to you by VALVOLINE! Get lubed with Valvoline!
Let Us Take You Back to last week's THUNDER! where we Took You Back to a "WCW International Television" interview with the Armstrong brothers, where The Cat interrupted and reminded us that he is a three-time world karate champion(tm) by demolishing both Armstrongs (gee, THAT'S tough) and then making Norman Smiley pipe up with his high-pitched, British-accented voice. Let Us Take You Back to Fall Brawl last night, where the Cat and Norman Smiley have another bout with the security guys between them. In a shocking display, this Fall Brawl footage is NOT still photos.
DAS TANZENKIND ALEX WRIGHT v. VAN HIPPIE - Hammer is doing his Dude Love impersonation, but with that music, I can't help but think he's got a Stunning Steve Austin hairstyle. Jannetty should kick his ass and take back his theme music. What do you MEAN I should give you a blow-by-blow like I do for the RAW report? It's Alex Wright and Van Hammer. Do I have to spell it out for you? The name "Ric Flair" is said a couple hundred more times, which means they're really trying to catch up on six months of missed overkill for me. Tonight, Goldberg takes on Sting! Juventud Guerrera takes on Kaz Hayashi (like last Saturday?)! Looks like some wrestling might actually start here. Lockup - Wright with a double sledge off the ropes and Hammer's down. Kicking and stomping from Wright. Wacky high knee that goes nowhere when Hammer forgets to run into it, so Wright headbutts him in the gut. Wright with some chops (woooo!) and finally Hammer gets some offense after sidestepping a corner attack. Scoop slam. Bodyslam. Alex steps outside for a moment. Hammer follows. Here's THE CAT for no good reason. Wright back in the ring, Hammer with his back to the Cat, and there's a great big kick to the head and Hammer's down. Cat in the ring - Wright decides to leave (no contest? 2:52) Cat gets the mic. "Hey! Shut up! WCW, you gonna get somebody hurt around here! How many times do I need to tell you I'm the baddest man in the world! There's not ANYONE here that can beat me! That goes for all you rednecks out there! Now I'm gonna tell you this, I'm the greatest! I'm the greatest of all time! Somebody call my momma..." The crowd finally cheers, because DOUG DILLINGER and GREENVILLE'S FINEST are out to cuff the Cat and escort him to his ride home - or his home away from home, at least for tonight. The Cat continues with "I'm the greatest!" the whole time, too. Hey, I think I finally get it: he's trying to imitate MUHAMMED ALI! So THAT'S it! I was kinda hoping with this long walk, we'd see Norman Smiley waffle him, but all they do is pile him in a cop car and take an ad break.
I was just kidding. I didn't *really* pine for Norman Smiley.
Let Us Take You Back To Some Still Photos From Fall Brawl As I Capitalise Every Word In This Sentence - at WarGames, Bret Hart was injured at the hands of Hollywood Hogan and Stevie Ray, or so they say.
MEAN GENE OKERLUND brings out BRET HART, who comes out with no music and to a cascade of boos - it's Okerlund's fault because he called him "Canadian Superstar Bret Hart." Bret is limping and has a bandage in the right knee/shin area. He's not wearing a Hogan shirt, rather a basic black. Zbyszko calls Hart "another victim of WarGames" which is insulting on many levels. "Well first of all, I just wanna say that ... for the longest time, I've made a complete jack(mute) of myself. You know, you start listening to all the wrong people, and Hulk Hogan, you are full of (mute - rhymes with rap) You know Hulk Hogan, Hollywood Hogan, he ran from me and he ran from me and he made promises to me, but you are scum - and what you did last night - what Stevie Ray tried to do, they tried - and I guess they succeeded 'cause it looks like my doctors are telling me that it's gonna be a long time before I wrestle again. And this United States Championship - I never earned it, and I don't deserve it, I don't know what I'm doing with it in the first place - but all I'm gonna do is make one promise, that Hulk Hogan, I'm not finished, that I will be back, and I promise that I'm gonna make your life a living hell, and I don't blame these fans for losing all respect in me..." Out comes ROWDY RODDY PIPER to muck up what was working out as a fine interview. "...I'm not gonna come out here and beg for forgiveness or anything." Piper, edited: "You know, I come out here two weeks ago and I told you in front of God and everybody what a jerk you were being! About you hanging around with Hogan - you hanging around with Hogan - you laughing with Hogan - you hurtin' people's careers... about hurtin' little kids, the ones that looked up to you...hurtin' your mom and dad...you know what? You are not the first one to get conned by Hulk Hogan, that piece of slime. And if your dad...was to see you know, talkin' honest to these people now, he'd be doggone proud of you. Your dad was one great fighter, and so were you...but the last thing I want you to do is bury yourself in your own pity now, I want you to soar with the eagles, prove to these people what you are and what you have been, don't let 'em down again! And I'm sure...if we in America can fight it right now in our hearts to forgive Bill Clinton, we sure in the heck can find it to forgive Bret Hart." Crowd boos, because Piper forgot that South Carolina is a Republican state. Hart: "I gotta see what's gonna happen, but I just want you people to give me another chance, that's all." Ladies and gentlemen, we have a face turn. I guess. So is he vacating the US Title?
Lee Marshall narrates the Starburst Fruit Chews Pin on a Map Road Report. Nitro hits the Fleet Center in Boston next Monday and you will give it some juice!
Promotional consideration paid for by Slim Jim, Motel 6 7/8, Lean Pockets, America (ha!) Online, and Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Roll Pops.
Let Us Take You Back To Fall Brawl, where still shots tell the story of how Saturn defeated Raven in the only decent match of the show - Kanyon was handcuffed to the ringpost, the Flock came out, Kidman turned on Raven, causing the Flock to chase him away. Ref knocked out, Kanyon grabs key and Flatlines Saturn, Saturn wakes up, DVD's Lodi on the table, ko's Raven and scores the pin.
(perry) SATURN (old siren, new music) v. KENDELL WINDHAM (new first name?) - I dunno, I smell a squash. Windham starts out in charge, culminating in a slam. Two missed elbow drops. Elbow by Saturn. Belly-to-belly overhead suplex by Saturn. Right hand, right, three kicks, whip into the opposite corner, superkick. Windham goes out. Tonight, Goldberg/Sting, Guerrera/Hayashi, will Ric Flair show up? Back in, Windham to the kicking. Chop (woooo!), chop (woooo!), whip into the ropes, back elbow, step on the head. Armbar by Windham. I STILL think Saturn wins tonight. Twist on the arm. Saturn with the takeover to break the hold. To the top rope - big splash misses. Windham drops the knee. Saturn tossed outside. Windham drops an elbow from the apron to the floor. I STILL think Saturn wins tonight. General pounding from Windham and we're back in the ring. Chop (woooo!), Saturn reverse and punches away until Windham hits a Stooges' eyepoke. Snapmare from Windham. Legdrop. 1, 2, no. Commentators turn to the match and hype Windham. Headlock by Windham. Commentators return to wondering where Mike Tenay is between here and the airport. Saturn powers out of the chinlock but runs into a knee. Chop (woooo!), whip, huge lariat for 2. I STILL think Saturn wins tonight. Punch to the head. Small package by Saturn but they're in the ropes. Windham with another punch to the head. Tonight, Goldberg/Sting! Chinlock by Windham and crowd tries to cheer in the hopes it'll bring on the ending of this match. Nothing doing. Kick to the head from Saturn breaks the hold. Gutwrench by Windham for 2. Punch. Saturn punches back. Rake of the face by Windham. Whip, kick to the head that misses by a mile but Saturn still falls to the canvas. Punch, trading blows, now it's all Saturn. Golotta by Windham, which draws a warning from referee "Blind" Mark Curtis. GOD this is a boring match. To the corner. Chop (woooo!), Saturn sat on the top turnbuckle - Death drop! Tony says "Nature Boy," followed by Larry saying "Flair." Windham misses an elbowdrop from the top rope. Saturn picks up the feet and Windham hits 'em. Windham hits the turnbuckle and Saturn rolls him up for 2. Slam by Saturn, lariat. Bodyslam by Saturn. Are we CLOSE to over? Saturn to the second rope - big elbowdrop for - 2?!? Saturn appears to be limping. Attempt blocked - swinging neckbreaker by Windham. Tony returns to talking about Sting and Goldberg. Spicolli driver (finally!) - 1, 2, 3. (9:09) Just for kicks, here's the ANTI-FLOCK (since they're not the Flock anymore). And RAVEN is up in the stands with a mic demanding the Flock return. Saturn gets a mic and tells them that they're free and they don't HAVE to join him. "Come on Riggs, think! You used to be a tag team champion! Do something with yourself! Horace! Brother you and I worked out together - you're an athlete! Throw away that sign, get yourself a pair of trunks, and be a STAR!" I think Saturn just wants to see his legs again, if you catch my drift. "Lodi! How's your neck, bro? Sick Boy! You're the finest young talent in wrestling today! Go on your own! Be a star! Kidman! Good luck, Lodi. Kidman, you've got more talent than anybody in this ring! Get your head together, win the cruiserweight title, come on! Just leave! You're free!" Inspired, no? Raven tells them to step over the railing and come back to Raven. Lodi starts to go - but Kidman grabs him and pulls him away. Riggs and Sick Boy walk back to the back, and Kidman (with Lodi) follow - Lodi keeps pointing back. Saturn: "Raven, the bottom line is it's mind over matter - they don't mind, and you don't matter!" Lodi: "What about the boss? What about the boss?" as we fade out.
That segment took up practically an entire quarter hour. I guess I should just be glad it was in the first hour and I won't have to deal with it.
By the way, I'm BIASED. Let me save you having to write me a letter and telling me that.
Goldberg T-shirt ad.
(GRAPES OF) WRATH v. FORMER WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION THE RENEGADE (no entrance) - Look, I just transcribe a nine minute Kendall Windham match, I've served my penance. Not only is Wrath referred to as a "thermonuclear man," he is also referred to as a "Man on a Mission." Did you read what MiCasa said about Renegade? That's hilarious if it's true. Meltdown for the pin (1:28) and at least it was mercifully short.
Hey, the smell of Voodoo Chili hasn't wafted through the air in quite a while - I was worried the clearance rights had expired or something. Here's CRACKA EAZY-E, LIZ (hey! Liz is back!) leading the way for YOU KNOW WHO and of course the BOOTY DISCIPLE. Bischoff pauses and shows off a sign that says "Eric Bischoff's Pen is Bigger than Vince McMahon's" - now I will point out three things about this sign. 1) It was the only professional looking sign in the entire section, 2) the guy holding it didn't look to have the skill to make such a sign, and 3) even if I deride it as a plant, I'm still giving it attention and column space, so I'm just a WCW tool that is used as the suits see fit - there's more than one way to manipulate an Internet geek even if we think we're not being manipulated. Yeah, I know it. So there. Of course, I'm supposed to be transcribing Hogan's words, but I won't do it. I can sum this interview up with five words, and they are "Damn, Liz still looks hot." Oh, and Bischoff says "I'm here, and Ric Flair isn't!" or something like that - and my spider sense is tingling JUST ENOUGH to think that maybe we won't see Flair at all tonight, 'cause it's the sort of weasel thing WCW might do. Oh, Hogan challenges Warrior for Halloween Havoc, then that eerie smoke fills the ring, and the next thing we know, Disciple has disappeared. Hogan gives a Captain-Kirk-crying-Khan-esque "War-yr!" as we fade out.
WCW comes to Boston for Nitro! Tickets go on sale for Columbus, Minneapolis for Nitro, and El Paso.
Here's the sceond TV-PG-DV hour FIREWORKS! Tonight, Sting and Goldberg one-on-one for the Championship (I can SMELL the screwjob!), will Flair return and the Horsemen reunite? (not yet!)
Schiavone tells us that Kaz Hayashi is out tonight, injured. Kidman will take his place (you can almost see Saturn's influence, can't you? Err, can't you?)
(billy) KIDMAN (no music) v. JUVENTUD GUERRERA (no surrender) for the WCW World Cruiserweight Championship - yet another TV-PG-DV box just for kicks. This is like the sixth time these guys have fought - commentators note Kidman's not scratching so much now. Kidman kicks and pounds and the crowd seems to like it. Juvi with chops (woooo!), whip, reverse, leapfrog, leaprfrog, counter, counter, counter, duck, chop and Kidman goes down. Another chop - fast as always. Juvi with the ten punch countalong - Juvi sitting on the top turnbuckle, now he runs - hair slam - to the top turnbuckle - missile dropkick and Kidman takes a powder. Guerrera invites him in and parts the ropes. Kidman stalls. Tonight, Goldberg/Sting! Kidman with a headbutt on the way in. Nice almost-rana by Kidman. Now Kidman stomping away. Whip into the ropes, reverse, Kidman catches him in a powerslam for 2. Kick to the head. Why do Guerrera's tights say "Sweet Surrender" now? Chinlock by Kidman. Legdrop. Return to the chinlock. 1, kickout. Whip into the ropes, Juvi ducks, flying head scissors by Guerrera but Kidman drives his head to the turnbuckle. Whip to the opposite corner, feet up. Kidman against the ropes, crossbody by Guerrera and both men tumble to the outside. Tony says "Ric Flair." Chop by Guerrera. Ad break? Not to harp, but we got nine minutes of Saturn and Windham without an ad break...
When we come back, Guerrera is getting out of a chinlock - elbow, repeate. fun, duck, inside cradle by Juvi for 2. Dropkick by Kidman. Oh, Mike Tenay has finally made it. That was apparently supposed to be Ric Flair's Lear jet - but Tenay got no confirmation. You can feel it in the air, though. Bodyslam by Kidman, outside the ring, guillotine legdrop. Snapmare and AGAIN a chinlock. Tenay has no information and takes several paragraphs to convey that fact, but ends with "stay tuned." They better produce, the better. Kidman with a release suplex but Guerrera lands on his feet, so Kidman hits a Tigerbomb for 2.9. Whip into the ropes - slam I forgot the name of for 2. (Belly-to-back release fallaway slam?) Another cover for grins - 1, 2, no. Kidman with a stomp on the head. Head to the turnbuckle. Kidman continues to kick away, to the chagrin of referee "Blind" Charles Robinson. Whip to the corner, follow lariat. Elbow smash for 2. Head to the turnbuckle. Suplex - countered the attempt - German suplex with a release by Guerrera - only 2. Juvi to the top rope - hurracanrana - 1, 2, no! Crowd doesn't seem to want Guerrera to win - me neither. Whip to the rope, Kidman misses a splash - Juvi driver attempt is countered - reverse suplex - 1, 2, no! Crowd boos with authority. Slam by Kidman. Kidman climbs the ropes - shooting star press? No, Juvi crotches him on the top turnbuckle. Both men slow to do anything. Top rope Frankensteiner (did Juvi land on his head?) - in position for the firebird splash - Kidman walks away - catching him in another powerbomb. Kidman climbs the ropes - SHOOTING STAR PRESS! 1, 2, 3! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new world cruiserweight champion! (13:12) Juvi gets a shove in but we cut to a shot of SATURN looking on. Saturn starts to applaud, and the crowd starts to cheer again.
Mean Gene Okerlund, in the back, catches up with J.J. DILLON, resplendent in tuxedo, who is walking with Doug Dillinger and other security folk - Gene O.'s looking for Tenay's scoop. "Gene, this is gonna be a momentous occasion - this is gonna be a night like I can't ever remember before and I've waited an awful long time for this one - and Gene, because of the utmost respect that I have for you, and because of our long-standing friendship - I'm not gonna tell you 'cause I want you to be surprised, too." Dillon has the classic textbook definition of "shit-eating grin" on, by the way. Dillinger says Gene's not getting behind that door.
Larry introduces a clip of JACKIE CHAN, who plugs "Meals on Wheels" - his show right after Nitro. Whatever.
Backstage, we see EDDIE GUERRERO and CRACKA EAZY-E in a heated discussion - Guerrero wants out. Bischoff says no, and by the way, he's got to go work Tokyo on his daughter's birthday. Commentators fail to hear the bit about his daughter's birthday and completely blow their explanation. But I'm just an Internet geek. A VERY BITTER INTERNET GEEK.
BARBARIAN (with James Hart) v. BRITISH BULLDOG - God help us all. Bulldog's "thumbs up" signal brings to mind good old Bob Backlund. I sure miss him. Bulldog ducks the Kick of Fear and hits an alleged powerslam for the pin (3:44), then looks like he hurt his back. Snickers sponsors the replay. Why yes, Jimmy Hart DID get a KO punch, thanks for asking.
Gene O. is again out with J.J. DILLON. "I don't know what you're talking about," he says, when Okerlund refers to the tux. Turning to last night's crappiest, lamest "swerve" ever, Dillon announces that since the Steiner/Steiner match had no conclusion, it's been scheduled AGAIN for Halloween Havoc. Where's my piggy bank? Gene calls Dillon a "paragon of virtue."
As we appear to go to an ad break, the lights go out - maniacal laughter rings out through the PA system and the lights flicker. Could it be - THE RETURN OF DOINK? Probably not.
Hey look, it's the Nitro Girls! This leads into our Nitro Party Pack winner (Tony nails the Mug slogan) and the video from ... whatever.
The WCW Power Plant is the Harvard of professional wrestling!
Closed captioning where available sponsored by Jolly Time popcorn! With a BLAST OF BUTTER!
Bobby Heenan takes over for Zbyszko. He wastes no time saying "Ric Flair."
JIM YEAHBABY "THE ANVIL" YEAHBABY NIEDHART YEAHBABY v. EERIE SMOKE - the NWO theme plays, but no one comes out. When the smoke clears, what do you know. MR. DESTRUCITY has appeared with the fallen body of the BOOTY DISCIPLE. I guess Anvil cashed his cheque, he's outta there. Apparently, Disciple was Anvil's opponent. Here's NWO HOLLYWOOD come out to find out what's up. "You missin' something, Hogan? Stand your ground boys. You know Hogan, in our lives we can choose to live as Waryrs or live as ordinary men, and at WarGames, your actions as an ordinary man - has only ingrained the purpose of OWN revolution upon the minds of those Waryrs who will find the courage!" Huh? "As you can see, Hogan, a Disciple who stands behind a mindless dictator cowers in fear in the face of a leader!" The NWO contingent surrounds the ring. "As for your challenge, Hogan, at Halloween Havoc, I accept!" The crowd goes mild! "But remember this, Hogan, remember this: the graveyards are full of cowardly crumbling, conquerable (eerie smoke starts) MEN! Feel the power!" Of course, when the smoke clears, the NWO is all alone...the Disciple is once again gone, along with Warrior.
SILVER KING & THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC NORMAN SMILEY v. SUPERSTAR SCOTT STEINER (with Buff Bagwell) in a Handicap match - This match roughly runs like this: Steiner kicks Smiley, Steiner kicks Silver King, repeat until I change the channel. Buff does a little interference to boot. This match is so boring, the camera wanders over to Bagwell for an extended period of time because whatever he's talking about is more exciting than the match. Finish is Steiner powerbombing Silver King onto Magic, then attempting a double Steiner Recliner (which looks like a choke to me, but I'm not the ref) and they race to see who can give it up first (2:50) - Buff takes the mic and does a David Penzer imitation, and adds some stomping for an encore. "Hey Norman, are ya smilin'?"
Hey look, it's the Nitro Girls! Here's the address to send your Nitro Party tapes. Tony can't miss on the Mug tagline. The foam's gone straight to his brain! He even manages to zing Heenan before the ad break! Go Tone!
Let Us Take You Back To THUNDER! where Eric Bischoff TV-PG-DV finally says the verboten word "Flair" and causes Arn Anderson to choke him out. Unfortunately, he doesn't finish the job - all he causes Eric is a bad case of overacting. Bischoff says that if he wants Flair and the IV Horsemen back, all he has to do is beat Bischoff in an arm wrestling match - with his bad arm. Hey Eric, it's "benevolent." Try it - roll it around a few times. "Benevolent."
THIRD HOUR FIREWORKS GoldbergStingFlair?
The Awesome 3 haven't seen Arn Anderson since the brutal attack on his arm last night at Fall Brawl - who knows if that arm wrestling match will even happen on THUNDER! ? (We do - the taping results was on wrestlemaniacs.com - oops, said too much)
NO-SMOKIN' GIANT v. MENG - not only do Meng & Barbarian still have the same music, Meng insists on still wearing Faces of Fear tights. Hey, wasn't this PPV caliber quality matchup doing on free television? (Goldberg vs. Sting later tonight.) Lockup, Meng with the palm thrusts, sumo style. Giant with chops (woooo!). Meng with kicks to the back of the leg in an attempt to chop down the big tree. Back and forth brawling and the crowd is kinda diggin' it. Kick of Fear by Meng but Giant's still on his feet. Singlet down! Choke - no. More back'n'forth. To the corner, Giant with some chops, which Meng no-sells. Kick by Giant. Meng returns with the sumo slaps and a Giant headbutt only seems to wake up the big Tongan. I'm thinking screwjob tonight. Lockup, headbutt by Giant. Punch to the face. No. Kick by Meng, Giant wobbles. Tongan death grip? No, Giant has a bigger reach. Chokeslam. 1, 2, 3. (2:32) Wow. Call me crazy, but I kinda liked that match.
Promotional consideration paid for by David sunflower seeds, Moen faucets, Total Hair Fitness, Compu$erve, and Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops.
Wolfpack T-Shirt ad. Only one hour to go...
This portion of WCW Monday Nitro is brought to you by Starburst Fruit Chews!
SCOTT HALL (with Vincenzo and a 40 - hey, maybe "Hard Work" Bobby Walker was right!) v. THE NARCISSIST - remember when these two guys were heels and had matches at house shows for the WWF in 1993? I remember the promos so well, rRazor called Luger "horse face" and that was like, the LOWEST insult ever recorded from the look on Luger's face. The reason I take you on this stroll down memory lane is that Hall is doing the survey and also trying very hard to get over the fact that he's pretending to be drunk. We take an ad break after Hall's spiel and before the Total Wolfpackage enters.
THUNDER! ad. This week, on a Thursday!
The bell rang a minute ago and there's STILL no contact. Toothpick of Doom by Hall. Tony says "Flair" again. Lockup - no, it was a fake. Hall does his "Giant" imitation but pretends it's Luger because he's friends with Giant now. Hall is now actively avoiding a lockup. Finally a lockup almost two minutes in. Break. Hall complains that Luger is oiled up. Lockup, headlock, go-behind, Luger slips away. Hall leaves the ring to get a sip of whatever's in the cup. Back in and Hall does a comical trip on the bottom rope. You know, I liked this the first time I saw it - WHEN IT WAS ROAD WARRIOR HAWK. Come to think of it, I didn't like it THAT time either. Come on now. Luger with a big headlock - Hall powers him away, dueling hiptosses and they end up at a rope - Hall laughs hysterically and Luger looks - let's say quizzical. The only thing holding this match together is Tony's commentary - just kidding. Luger knocks down Hall, who falls to his back, and rolls to the outside, still laughing. Vincent checks on him with concern - Hall back to the cup. Tony claims this ISN'T a match - everybody make a joke along with me. Referee "Blind" Charles Robinson does the ten count while Hall visibly counts along, then jumps in just before 10. Luger takes him to the corner and "shoots." Here comes BISCHOFF who will probably do something else that's supposed to make me think it isn't a work. Bischoff and Hall have a "private" conversation (of course, the camera is there, with a mic running). KONNAN & KEVIN NASH are out now. Nash turns to Hall, who gives the "where were you when my life was falling apart?" drunk speech. Finally, to make this even better, Hall "pukes" on Bischoff. Boy oh boy, I sure am cynical to not appreciate any of this - I'm sure it was custom made for all the Internet geeks. Let's take a break (no contest, about 7:00)
WCW/NWO Magazine ad - featuring pictures from BASH AT THE BEACH!
J.J. DILLON is making his way to the ring, dressed in a tuxedo, Tony is about to burst. "We want Flair" chant. Dillon: "I would like to ask the Enforcer, Arn Anderson to come to the ring!" The Horsemen theme plays, and here's ARN ANDERSON, nattily attired in a black suit with black shirt. Actually, that's almost a priest outfit there. Dammit, if they don't give me Flair in this segment, I'll quit right now, I mean it. I'll never watch another episode of this show. "I had a private conversation with you since you and I last appeared publicly in a ring such as this, and I feel that I owe it - I owe it to you, I owe it to all these great fans, and I owe it to myself to share with them publicly what I said to you privately, and that is the fact that I owe you an apology for the things that I said to you, though my intentions were good, I meant well, quite frankly a friend doesn't say to another friend the things that I said to you, or put you in the position that I put you into, and for that I owe you an apology and hope that you will accept my forgiveness." So YOU forgive HIM? I'll let that go. Arn: "Can you smell it, JJ? Take a breath - can you smell it? When fifteen thousand people blow the roof off a place, that's what a pop smells like. Take a bow. What you said to me is what all those people have been saying to me for a year and a half, and only a true friend would say that. They said 'Arn Anderson, stand up and be a man, like you've always been!' And I couldn't hear those words, 'cause something was in the way and I'm gonna start at the beginning, because you have to start at the beginning because tonight IS a new beginning, for the four Horsemen. Now when I was a kid, like all kids, people ask you 'what do you wanna be when you grow up?' There was no grey area for me, I always knew I wanted to be a wrestler. And when that finally happened for me, it was the proudest day of me life, and in 1986 I started coming to these towns, just like Greenville, South Carolina, as a Horseman. And my life changed forever, and the doors it opened for me I had never dreamed of, and wrestling the greatest wrestlers in the world in a town like this and all across this country showed me who I was, and every day that I woke up since them I tried to uphold the standards that we, you and I and the rest of us set for ourselves. And about a year and a half ago, I laid down on an operating table and when I woke up, Arn Anderson the wrestler was dead, and I thought to myself how could I be a horseman if I couldn't be a wrestler. Well, the fact is I couldn't in my mind..." ["We want Flair" chant it loud and strong] "Trust me, everybody's gonna get what they want tonight, Bischoff. Eric Bischoff. So when I thought I could no longer be a Horsemen, Chris Benoit came to me first and said 'this can all happen' and with that prelude, I would like to bring the other three Horsemen out right now. Steve 'Mongo' McMichael, come on down." His music plays, and STEVE "MONGO" McMICHAEL, formally attired, walks to the ring. "Chris Benoit, come on down!" His music plays, and CHRIS BENOIT, similarly dressed, walks to the ring. "Dean Malenko, come on down!" DEAN MALENKO, also in a tuxedo, joins them in the ring. Everyone's embracing. "Now, before we go any further. Chris Benoit, you got this thing rolling, and I'm gonna go on record as saying, if there's a finer wrestler in all the land than you I don't know who it is. Your intensity, the first time I saw you wrestle, made you something special. You are something special in my eyes, you knew what it meant to be a Horsemen. You will carry that tradition way past the year 2000. Mongo McMichael, you're a hard-headed, lotta times you're hard to be around, but the fact is in my eyes, you're all man, you're certainly All-Pro, and when this is all said and done, if I've got anything to say about it, you will mean to this sport what you've meant to the sport of pro football. Now Dean Malenko, I've been out hear yakking for the last ten years about what it meant to be a Horseman: work ethic, respect for the business, respect for each other, respect for the people that came before us, and while I was yakking the last year, and the last couple of months, you were out there fighting the fights for the Horsmen. You exemplify what a Horseman has always meant: overachievement. Being the very best you could be, each and every day of your life whether you were sick, or hurt, or whatever the case may be, and it makes me proud, now I'm gonna say one more time, I've said that you didn't get it; well, *I* didn't get it, because if there was ever a Horseman it makes me a little misty-eyed and real proud to call on this day the finest thing you can be in this sport of professional wrestling, that's a Horseman. Ladies and gentlemen, through the year 2000, we're gonna do exactly what all of you across this nation have asked: 'Arn Anderson, bring back the Horsemen!' But I feel it fair to tell ya, I'm not gonna be responsible for what happens next. 'Cause we don't wear white hats, we're not nice guys, and I can tell you this: heads are gonna roll! So, I've said it: Be careful what you wish for, because now you have it! Ah, whatagoof! Whatagoof! You know, I get accused of gettin' racked in the head a few times and having a little touch of Alzheimer's...my God! I almost forgot the fourth Horseman, Ric Flair! Get on down here!" "Thus Spake Zarathustra" plays over the PA - a cry erupts in the crowd - and gets louder - and louder - and it is the Man - RIC FLAIR is in the building. As he walks to the ring, you can't help but feel that for this day, for this moment, everything really IS okay, and everything CAN be all right. Flair hugs each person in the ring - first Dillon, then McMichael, Benoit, Malenko. When he hugs Arn the cheers continue and there can't be a dry eye in the house - there CAN'T. "Greenville, I give you the Champ." Another wave of cheering engulfs the house. Fifteen thousand people, and I guarantee you not one of them is sitting. I'm getting chills right now. "My God...thank you...thank you very much...I'm almost embarrassed by the response, but when I see this, I know that the twenty - five years that I've spent trying to make you happy every night of your life was worth every damn minute of it. Now, somebody told me that the Horsemen were having a party tonight in Greenville! Could that be true that the most elite group that Eric Bischoff said was dead is alive and well? Bischoff, this might be my only shot, and I gotta tell ya, I'm gonna make it my best. Is this what you call a great moment in TV? It's wrong, because this is REAL! This is not bought and paid for! It's a REAL - LIFE - SITUATION! Just like the night in Columbia, South Carolina, when you looked at me - tears in my eyes - and said 'God, that's good TV' - it was real! Arn Anderson passed the torch - it was real, dammit! You think Sting was crying in the dressing room like I was on TV if it wasn't real? This guy, my best friend, is one of the greatest performers who ever lived, and YOU - you squashed him, in one night. Then you get on the phone and tell me, 'disband the Horsemen, they're dead.' Disband the Horsemen, me. You know what, I looked at myself in the mirror the next day and I saw a pathetic figure that gave up and quit! And for that, I owe you, the wrestling fans, I owe these guys an apology. Because it won't happen again! [Bischoff is coming out.] Bischoff, whatever you think...no, you're an overbearing asshole! That's right! You're an obnoxious, you're an obnoxious, overbearing ass! Abuse of power! You! Abuse of power! Cut me off! Come on! It's called abuse of power! You suck! You, I hate your guts. I hate your guts. You are a liar, you're a cheat, you're a scam, you are a no good son of a (mute). Fire me! I'm already fired! Fire me! I'm already fired!" Flair's coat is off but Bischoff has already walked back. Cut to black.
It will never get better than this. Never.
The Awesome 3 are ready to get me off this high - Tony says this was the greatest moment in the history of the program, bar none. Now if he hadn't said that every week, those words just MIGHT carry some weight. Granted, it is the greatest moment in the history of the program, but coming from Tony, who could apply that phrase to last week's Scott Putski/Goldberg matchup with the same sincerity...but I need to just let that slide away for now.
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE joins the commentators as we see stills from last night's WarGames - Page wins with the Diamond Cutter on Stevie Ray. He's also going to provide colour commentary for the title match tonight. Does this mean he's taking Heenan's place for now? Nuts. Let's take another ad break.
Halloween Havoc ad. It's really scary until you see the SNICKERS logo!
Halloween Havoc ad. I'm feeling deja vu!
MICHAEL BUFFER is ready to bumble. "The tradition continues..." What's that, the tradition of another spectacular screwjob? Are you ready? At least Heenan got his headset back.
(THIS IS) STING v. (bill "143-0") GOLDBERG for the WCW World Heavyweight Title - Apparently, Page brought Goldberg to the Power Plant. I don't think we needed Page on commentary to tell us that. Especially when he says things like "He's getting JACKED!" Lockup, Goldberg with a knee to the gut, repeat. Whip into the ropes, slam. To the corner, whip into the opposite corner, Sting ducks out of the way, Goldberg stops himself. Sting with a kick, picks him up, and tries to tie him to the tree of Woe! Suplex! Goldberg pops up like it's nothing. Sting goes outside to take a breather. "Goldberg" chant? We're in the fourth hour! Lockup, to the rope, knee by Goldberg, whip, Sting with a kick coming off. Punch by Sting, no. Punch by Goldberg, repeat, Sting is down. Elbow to the back of the head. Whip into the ropes, reverse, shoulderblock by Goldberg. Whip, leapfrog, dropkick by Sting, both men up quickly. Kick to the gut by Goldberg, leg scissors into an anklelock - Sting grabs the rope. Match is now longer than Goldberg's entrance. Lockup, headlock applied by Sting. Goldberg picks him up and drops him down - but Sting keeps it on! Wrenching it in, Goldberg can't get the elbow off. To the turnbuckle, Sting climbs the ropes but falls off and the hold is broken. Standoff. Test of strength and Goldberg wins. Knucklelock - to the corner. Goldberg breaks at 4. Ref is "Blind" Billy Silverman, by the way. To the centre of the ring, lockup again. To the corner, but Goldberg with the knees instead of a clean break. Piledriver attempt? Sting reverses it and lets a piledriver of his own! Goldberg gets up a little more slowly. Stinger splash to his back! Stinger splash as he turns around! Sting tries to take him out of the corner but he doesn't budge. Another Stinger splash! Stings backs up for a fourth time but Goldberg runs for Sting - but Sting sidesteps the spear attempt and Goldberg hits the post! Sting with the chopblock! Sting's attempting the Scorpion Deathlock! Still hasn't turned him - he's GOT IT! Goldberg powers out - wtf? No, Sting clamps it back on and sits down. Goldberg won't give up. Crowd is going ballistic. Aw, shit, YOU KNOW WHO is out to screw up this match. Kick to Sting's head. Ref missed it, of course. Here's a spear. Sigh. Page has let down his headset, I wonder if he's going to the ring. Jackhammer. 1, 2, 3. (entrance 3:10, match 8:08) Hogan takes it to Goldberg immediately - save is made by BRET HART of all people. On one leg! I don't know WHAT happened to Page. Hart tells Goldberg what happened. Goldberg's music plays as Hart and Goldberg try to roust Sting. Goldberg helps Sting to his feet and we're gone.
Does the best twenty minutes ever of Nitro erase six months of what Bischoff's put Flair through?
I'm not sure I can priase Eric for letting Flair back on tonight, knowing the manner in which Eric GOT Flair to tonight.
But I'm biased.