/13 April 1998
We open with Roddy Piper (from last week's Nitro) calling out Hogan.
It's Monday Nitro! LIVE from the Target Centre in Minneapolis 13.4.98 on TNT, and rated TV-14. Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Larry Zybzsko and Mike Tenay.
Hey look, it's the Nitro Girls! Larry talks about golf.
"What an opening bout it is going to be!" - Tony
Let's take a special look at Bret Hart, who is STILL crying about getting screwed, even while recognising that the fans are tired of hearing him cry about getting screwed. "If I see someone else getting screwed, that's my call..." no, that's too easy, I'll let you playing along at home make that joke.
Mean Gene Okerlund shills the hotline (only $1.69 a minute!) and interviews...NO ONE.
LENNY LANE v. ULTIMO DRAGON - I take time to notice the "VENTURA" campaign bumper stickers prevalent at ringside. Commentators talk about Hart. Tenay lets us know about the Calgary Hitmen's movement in the playoffs. Well, hell, if THEY'RE not going to call the match, you think I am? Lane takes control, ramming Dragon's head into opposite turnbuckles, then hitting a suplex for 2. Whip into the ropes, Dragon reverses with a sunset flip for 2. Dragon tries a (rana?) but Lane drops Dragon's throat across the top rope. Blatant rope choke! Whip and a lariat by Lane for 2. Man, Lane's killing him! I still don't think he'll win. Headlock which is broken when the fans fire up the "Lenny sucks" chant. Dragon does his headstand on the turnbuckle thing, then hits a dropkick, then gives Lane his special series of martial arts kicks. Dragon with a whip, but Lane ducks the kick and sends Dragon out with an elbow. Lane with a slingshot crossbody block, which pretty much misses. Dragon goes in and comes out with a kick. They're both on the outside and Lane slams him on the mat. Lane back in to play to the crowd. Lane again brings up a "Lenny sucks" chant while the commentators talk about how much time he's wasting. Dueling suplexes, Dragon comes back in on his feet, Lane turns a charge into a suplex for 2. Lane with a forearm, and a bulldog (!) for 2. You know, I'm ALMOST thinking Lane might have a chance here. Suplex, no, go behind by the Dragon for the Dragon sleeper. Whoops, I'm such a sucker. (5:11) Dragon says "(something in Japanese)"
Let's take a special look at Bret Hart. "All I care about is winning the world championship belt. All I want is a fair shot."
Get wired at www.wcwwrestling.com!
Promtional consideration paid for by Slim Jim, Dan Marino (for First Plus Mortgages), Croissant Pockets, America Online, and the Tootsie Candy Quiz (I passed).
For those of you that have been living in a cave, coming up at the big Spring Stampede is a "bat match"- where Roddy Piper & Giant team up against Kevin Nash & You Know Who in a cave filled with bats. Our hosts talk about this match for the better part of forever. Can you believe we've already blown a half hour of this show? Apparently, Piper's got something to say so let's go to the back.
Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Roddy Piper in the back (which leads me to question how live it might be). Piper does some talking until Hogan and the Disciple come in and attack him - oh, that's it - it ISN'T live. (Hogan's on the Tonight Show tonight hyping "3 Ninjas Experience Puberty") Disciple delivers the Stone Cold Apocalypse and apparently Piper is out. Somewhere in here, Piper announces a Nash/Hogan main event. A WHAT?
If only there were a Playstation game that captured the insanity of cable's most watched program - why, wait! There is! "WCW NITRO" for the Sony Playstation!
Mean Gene (now live) brings out Giant, who reminds us that he's in that big bat match at Spring Stampede - and if Piper can't make it, why, he'll just take 'em both on himself. He does get a good line in, calling the Disciple "a Grizzly Adams wannabe." If he gets the bat, someone is going to become ... a popsicle? Maybe he said "Pulp-sicle," that makes a little more sense. Oh, and he says "Chokeslam," yeah.
JOHNNY GRUNGE v. CHAVO GUERRERO, JR. (with Eddie T-shirt but without Eddie) - Lockup, to the corner, reverse, and Chavo breaks. Grunge offers the handshake but clobbers him instead - Chavo, clearly, is still not listening to Eddie. Chavo tries to come back but gets an eyepoke. Chavo finally comes back with a drop toehold and an armbar. Grunge tries to run out but Chavo drops him still holding onto the armbar. Grunge gets out and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Chavo's head meets the turnbuckle, but not a second time. Grunge's head, instead, repeatedly hits the turnbuckle. Tony: "You know, watching this great action, I have to wonder - the announcement by Piper - whoops here's a cover..." (sigh) Chavo with a nice neckbreaker, and he's up on the turnbuckle for a monster Sunset flip - only nobody told Grunge, who sits on him for the 1, 2, 3. (2:33) - hey, I'm as shocked as you are! I guess if Chavo were listening to Eddie, he wouldn't be losing to the likes of Johnny Grunge...
Let's take a special look at Bret Hart - he doesn't like Nash and Hogan, and wants to see them beat each other up. Well, that's nice to know.
WCW comes this week to Mankato, Duluth, Fargo for THUNDER!, and Sioux Falls.
Hey look, it's the Nitro Girls, dressed as Easter Bunnies! Only Easter was yesterday - I guess that means the candy was half price. Is it just me or are there only five Nitro Girls this week?
Time for the Starburst Fruit Chews road report. Mean Gene voices over a map of the continental US with a pin stuck in Fargo, North Dakota - where THUNDER! will emanate on Thursday. And don't you DARE call it "the sticks!" Everybody knows MANKATO is the sticks!
Kevin Nash walks to the ring and gets the mic. "There's a lot of things going on here tonight - I just watched my good friend Hollywood Hogan run out the back door, 'cause Hollywood knows ... he wants no part of Big Sexy. It looks to me like it's gonna be a long night for Piper - Hogan got a hold of him, and the law got to his buddy George Michael last week. But the real mystery to me is where the Macho Man stands in all this - I thought I'd see him tonight, but I haven't seen anything of the Macho Man - the way I see things, since Hogan's not in the building, and I know Sting is..." (pop) "...and since I just gots to know...if Hollywood wasn't there last Monday, I have a feeling I'd have the gold around this sexy waist right now." Out comes Sting with a bat (I thought those were outlawed?) - almost as fast, J.J. Dillon comes out (wow, that IS fast, for Dillon) Sting takes the mic (he TALKS!) and says he has no problem with a title match taking place tonight, for an encore, he hands Nash the bat. Dillon says that WCW makes the matches, so they better not fight right now. The main event is fine, though. For a *second* encore, Sting demands that the powerbomb be legal for the match. Dillon reluctantly goes along with it. Which begs the question: what exactly is Sting smoking? Or is he just so sure of an eventual screwjob he has no problem piling on these stipulations that favor Nash?
GLACIER v. CHRIS BENOIT - you know, we can see kicks, and we can see chops, but for me, the only thing that can make this match is a big ol' "Glacier sucks" chant. And the crowd complies. It's such fun to hear Larry Zbyszko lay into Glacier after waxing poetic about "the combination of hard and soft styles" about a year ago when everybody LOVED this guy. I know everybody thinks Benoit is God and all, but this match bored me to tears. Crippler crossface after what seems like forever, but is really only (4:21).
Last Thursday on THUNDER! Buff Bagwell bragged about his 5-1 record against Lex Luger. That rerererererematch will open hour two, right after this break!
Hour number two! Fireworks! Sting/Nash coming up tonight!
Let's take you back to THUNDER! one more time. It's Luger, and Steiner, and Bischoff, and that other Steiner, oh, and Arn Anderson. I guess the point of this clip was to see Bischoff get slammed by Rick Steiner, I dunno. Hey, where is Flair, anyway?
BUFF BAGWELL (with Eric Bischoff) v. THE NARCISSIST - Bagwell takes the mic and says that he would rather have challenged Rick Steiner instead of Luger - oh, THAT'S what that clip was about. "Nobody puts their hands on one of the most dynamic men the wrestling world has ever seen! (referring to Bischoff) You got a beatin' comin' mah friend." He goes on to promise to beat up Luger. Bischoff lets us know that Hogan will be on Leno tonight (duh, he's there right now!) Let's take an ad break!
Macho madness captured in a T-shirt! Buy it!
Rather than give us action, we get the pose business. OK, Bagwell is all over Luger, who reverses and delivers a big shoudlerblock. Bagwell complains of a big closed fist buried in that shoulder. Side headlock, Luger knocks Bagwell down. Bagwell up quick, duck under, nice dropkick. Lousy pose. Luger is unhappy that he was knocked down. Lockup, kneelift by Bagwell, big blows, Luger is down, Bagwell with another blow. Dueling hiptosses, Luger wins. Bagwell runs into a big slam. Luger big-clotheslines Bagwell out of the ring. Bischoff quickly runs over to check on his man, then deliver a pep talk. Luger does a big pretty damn funny Bagwell impression. Bagwell, fuming, re-enters the ring and receives a clothesline for his troubles. Big atomic drop by Luger. Tony: "Here comes the package!" Luger goes up to deliver the big ten punch count along but Buff counters at 3 with a stun gun and swinging neckbreaker. Blatant choke by Buff. Kick to the gut. Choke on the middle rope. Buff with a right to the chops, than one to the back. Luger goes down and we have a camel clutch. Luger could probably grab the ropes but doesn't think about it. Bagwell goes to the eyes for good measure. Bagwell and referee "Blind" Charles Robinson have their daily chat while Bischoff puts the bad mouth on Luger. Scoop slam for Bagwell. Bagwell tries for the blockbuster, but misses. Luger storms back with two big clotheslines, a big back body drop, a big ACE Hardware forearm shiver, and the big rack. Bischoff comes in and delivers those trademark martial arts kicks (DQ 5:53) but they don't affect Luger. Bischoff gets the big rack. Out comes (Big) Poppa Pump, who turns the tide. Bagwell, Steiner, and Bischoff tripleteam Luger until Rick Steiner comes out so they can all hide. Woof woof woof!
Let's take a special look at Bret Hart. "I can give Randy Savage one piece of advice - lose Hogan, lose Nash, be your own man. When you play with pigs, you're going to get dirty." DAMN I am losing interest in Bret Hart by the minute.
Hey look, it's the Nitro Girls! Don't forget to send in those Nitro Party tapes!
Tony says they've received literally "hundreds of thousands of tapes." You buy that?
SUPER CALO v. CHRIS MONDAY JERICHO for the Cruiserweight title - Jericho takes the mic and accuses Calo of being Prince Nakamaki. Calo denies it by ALSO mispronouncing "Iaukea." Jericho asks referee "Blind" Scott Dickinson to remove the mask and check to make sure it's Calo. Calo actually consents, but as he turns to Dickinson, Jericho hits him from behind. This starts out as the classic Jericho match - Jericho dominates, "arrogant" cover, crowd chants, face hits one move for 2, Jericho with a headlock (for a twist, he wrenches Calo's opposite arm behind his knee). Jericho outside, slingshot splash for 2. Gutwrench. Shin on the throat, and when Dickinson fails to count, Jericho throws a "tantrum" (which means he jumps up and down loudly). Calo gets in a nice dropkick from the top (where he almost falls over the top rope - this guy scares me sometimes). Calo also does a GREAT plancha from the top to the floor. Jericho comes back by crotching Calo on the turnbuckle as he attempts another high-risk maneuvre. They fight on the top, Calo throws him to the mat and follows by trying a rana (big miss). Jericho puts the Liontamer on and refuses to release it until Prince Iaukea rushes the ring to make the save. (4:52)
Let's take a special look at Bret Hart. "I respect Chris Benoit, the Giant, DDP. The guy I respect the most is Sting for how he's taken on the NWO. If you ever need me, please just call me, 'cause I'll be there."
The WCW Power Plant IS the #1 Wrestling facility in the world!
(van) HAMMER v. (perry) SATURN - this just in, THUNDER! will be on Wednesday next week. Kidman enters the ring to try to keep these two from fighting, but they BOTH grab his hair and take him down. Apparently, the story is that Saturn's unhappy that Hammer was keeping him from Goldberg, or something. Would YOU wrestle with a nipple ring? I'm sorry, I can't watch this. We all know that Saturn's going to hit the Rings of Saturn for the win anyway, don't we? Oh, Saturn has a setup move now - the "Gargoyleplex." Saturn wraps his arms around the opponents' neck (one under an arm), sidewalk slam style, links his fingers, and souffles him. OK, NOW cue the Rings. (3:17) Saturn: "Next time, stay out of my fight!"
Spring Stampede is Sunday! No bull!
FLYBOY ROCCO ROCK v. (bill) 71-0 GOLDBERG - I'm just trying to figure out how that table's going to come into play... Lockup, Goldberg, picks up Rock and throws him. Lockup, shoudlerblock by Goldberg. Rock with the badmouth, Goldberg clobbers him with one punch. Whip into the corner, Rock with a shoulder, Goldberg is unfazed. Blatant choke into a toss across the ring. Rock outside, Goldberg follows. Rock with an eyepoke, Goldberg hits the post. Rock dropkicks Goldberg into the STEEL steps. Rock puts the table into the ring and sets it up. Goldberg wakes up and spears Rock into the table (which, surprise, breaks). Time for the Jackhammer. 1, 2, 3. Well, at least it lasted longer than two. (2:39) PE is 1-1 tonight, but more importantly, they APPEARED. Saturn comes out, and so does Raven, who stops Saturn. Meanwhile, Kidman and Sick Boy get speared. Says Goldberg, "Saturn's next. You're next brother!"
Don't forget - Sting/Nash with powerbombs reinstated for the match! TONIGHT!
Let's take a special look at Goldberg. "60 Seconds with Goldberg" video package. Is it just me, or does he look kinda goofy when he screams? Of course, if he were standing in front of me, you can be darn sure I wouldn't say that to his face.
Promotional consideration paid for by David sunflower seeds, SuperSoaker CPS 2500 & 3000, Simonize, Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops.
It's hour three! It's FIREWORKS! It's TV-14!
Hey look, it's the Nitro Girls! Let's look at a Nitro Party from, I guess, a frat house. Is that the BEST they can do? Wouldn't you hate to sit through the LOSING videos?
I haven't mentioned it earlier, but Bobby Heenan has come down to take Larry's headset, yeah.
YUJI "HAND TO HAND" NAGATA (with Sonny Onoo) v. CURTRICK HENNIGRUDE - We are spared Rude on the headset by the presence of not only Larry Hennig at ringside, but Dick Rude (Rude's father). Nagata tries to attach Hennig before he enters the ring but comes up short. Hennig with a nice dropkick. Nagata goes out and Rude beats him up in front of the fathers. Back in, Hennig with some clubbing blows. Hennig walks into a suplex. Rude up on the apron, Nagata is distracted and down he goes. Hey, shouldn't Sonny Onoo be doing something here? Big wooo chops and a headbutt from Hennig. Hennig with a (lariat? punch?) Instead of a suplex, he drops him down to the mat for Rude - who offers him to the Axe, who remoevs his sweater to reveal a "HENNIG RULES" Tee. I was thinking we'd get the Axe taking a shot at him, but no. Back in the ring for a Hennigplex and it's over, 1, 2, 3. (2:53) Rude and Hennig continue the assault, complete with handcuffs - hey, where's Sonny Onoo during all this? Finally, Jim Niedhart (huh?) comes out and chases off Rude and Hennig. Oh, look, there's Sonny, finally. No, wait, he's running away. OK. I guess this is what Bret Hart meant about taking the call when guys were getting screwed...?
LA PARKA (with Chair) v. BOOKER T. (without Stevie Ray) for the World Television Title - La Parka with a punch and a chop, Booker T with a back body drop and a shout ("aaahh!"). A whip and a forearm shiver for 2 by Mr. T. Arm drag, reverse, arm drag, reverse, big kick by T. forearm, chop by La Parka, clothesline by T and Parka goes out. T follows and throws him back in. As he goes between the ropes, La Parka kicks the rope, crotching Booker T. La Parka with a big punch. Whip, as they both fly off the ropes, they butt heads and go down. Both up. Booker T with the spinebuster (or as Tony likes to call it, the "sidewalk slam"). Booker T with the axe/scissors kick. Booker T with a pancake and a breakdance, a Harlem side kick, and a missile dropkick - 1, 2, 3 (3:27). La Parka grabs the chair, but before he can keep referee "Blind" Billy Silverman from holding him back, Chris Benoit comes out and takes out La Parka. Booker T offers the handshake, but Benoit pushes him down instead. So we get the big staredown, nose to nose, which Benoit punctuates by pushing his head forward, headbutt style.
A video montage highlights the Raven/DDP feud.
RAGE (with Kaos) v. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE for the US Title - I think Kaos gets more action out of this match, serving as the distraction, than Rage does. Rage gets a NICE springboard splash for 2, but that's about all I can get out of this match. BANG! (3:01) No sooner does referee "Blind" Nick Patrick put down the three count than we cue the "What about me?" Raven spiel. Raven leads the entire flock to ringside - rather, the flock goes to ringside and acts as the buffer. For a bonus, ANOTHER fan jumps Raven, ruining the angle (this happened on THUNDER! last Thursday, too). I think in the meantime, DDP gets through the flock to chase after Raven, but the mass of security guys holding down the fan captures my attention.
KONNAN (with Vincenzo) v. RICK STEINER (with Ted DiBiase) - Konnan and Vincent mock the classic Steiner Brothers pose - I missed Konnan doing the dog peeing pose, if he did it. Somebody mentions that Vincent and DiBiase have past history for the millionth time. Vincent and K-Dog do the doubleteam until DiBiase answers my prayers by slugging Vincent (the crowd loves it too!). Back in the ring, Konnan with a snapmare and a dropkick to the prone Steiner. Konnan with a submission hold, but he's not giving up. Steiner catches Konnan coming in after a whip, slam for 2. Steiner with a powerslam. Big clothesline. Steiner climbs the ropes, Vincent tries to get to him, DiBiase slugs Vincent AGAIN (big pop) and Steiner hits the bulldog for the 1, 2, 3. (3:32)
This portion is sponsored by Starburst fruit chews. Need a burst? Give it some JUICE!
Tony Bobby and Mike talk about Savage (and let's give out some props - they haven't been doing it as much during the matches this week). Let's take you back to last week's Nitro where a red Viper with yellow rims speeds away from Savage. Vincent and the Disciple, yeah, Elizabeth, yeah, neck brace and back board, ambulance, hey, we've already SEEN it, got it. Tenay says there was a concussion and some leg injuries. Everybody thinks Hogan was in the Viper - I don't get it - aren't his colours black and white now? Could they not borrow a black Viper? Coming up tonight, by the way, Sting and Nash, powerbombs legal. There's a power struggle atop the NWO - Hogan, Savage, and Nash (hey, where's Scott Hall? Har har har.)
Video montage of Savage, Hogan, and Nash, in case we didn't grasp what Schiavone was just telling us.
KEVIN NASH v. (THIS IS) STING for the WCW Heavyweight Title - Michael Buffer gets a chance to use the EXACT SAME RING INTRODUCTIONS he used last week. Nash makes that cool "I want the belt" gesture on his way to the ring. After a brief tussle over the actual belt, Sting takes charge with the ten punch countalong. Sting with a clothesline but Nash doesn't go down. Punch, whip, reverse, Sting jumps up but Nash catches him and gives the snake eyes. Nash with the Boss Man straddle. Nash with a measured right and Sting goes down. Nash with a foot on the throat as Sting stands in the corner. Nash whips sting in and follows him with a short clothesline. Sting falls to the mat. Nash with repeated big knees to Sting, who is again stuck in the corner. Punch to the head by Nash, kick to the head. Nash picks up Sting and again puts him in the corner for some elbows. Headbutt by Nash. Finally, Sting remembers to come back, but makes the mistake of trying a slam - he falls under Nash. 1 , 2, no! Nash gets back up and delivers a measured elbow for 2. Nash slows it down (even more?) with a head vise. Sting gets up and elbows out, but runs into a Nash elbow to go back down. Nash picks up Sting and delivers a powerbomb-like slam for 2. Nash motions for the Jackknife, but instead whips Sting into the ropes, then catches him for the sidewalk slam. 1, 2, no! Sting hasn't moved off the mat. Nash picks him up again, whips him into the ropes, and catches Sting in a bearhug. The crowd goes mild! I almost wonder if they're rooting for Nash here...Arm falls once, arm falls twice, arm doesn't fall thrice. Big clap to the eardrums, again, again, again. Sting with a punch and another. A third right hand and Nash is in the corner. Stinger splash! Nash to another corner, another Stinger splash! Dropkick! Nash isn't down! Third Stinger splash! SAVAGE is walking to the ring! As Sting tries to put on the Sharpshooter, Liz has distracted the ref. Savage hits Sting with his cast! Nash groggily covers - 1, 2, NO!!! Nash motions for the powerbomb - and HITS it! 1, 2, ref is pulled out by BRET HART? Man, screw this. (8:23) Bret Hart goes after Nash, but I can't bear to watch. There isn't ENOUGH trash that you could throw into the ring. The rest of the NWO comes out...well, you've heard it all before. At least Nash gets one more powerbomb on Sting before he makes his leave. As Hart destroys the NWO, we're out of time, and I'm out of patience. See you next week!