/15 June 1998
First, a little teeny tiny editorial (well, all right, the whole report is
usually an editorial, but this section especially so): Why do I get so
mad about Nitro? Consider this. Two weeks ago on Saturday Night, Mike
Tenay told the world that Nitro would feature the return of Rey Mysterio,
Jr. I was rather looking forward to this. Three hours went by last week
on Nitro - three hours of interview after interview. Point/counterpoint
featuring Hogan, Hart, Nash, Konnan, Big Poppa Pump, Bischoff kissing Miss
Elizabeth, Savage, Piper, Rodman, the Booty Man, the Yeti, and the
Leprechaun. And last Wednesday MiCasa told us that the reason Mysterio
*didn't* appear was that Hogan needed more interview time so he got
scratched from the lineup. Now, I ask you: Can this company suck any
And now, this week's report, proving that suckers like me will always watch.
Before we do ANYTHING, we immediately start off with a Big Apple Brawl...
HUGH MORRUS & THE BARBARIAN (with Jimmy Hart) v. THE PUBLIC ENEMY (with Table) - lots of weapons, garbage cans, garbage wrestling, and I nipped out to get a grape Slurpee. Barbarian is apparently pinned to the wreckage of a table following a table/wreckage spot. (About 5:40?)
LIVE from the Nassau Colesium in Uniondale, New York 15.6.98, it's WCW Monday Nitro! It's rated TV-PG-V, as are your hosts, Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Larry Zbyszko. Tony mentions a historic 1980 Shea Stadium match involving the Living Legend, which, oh by the way, wasn't a WCW match. Harrumph.
Mike Tenay was dispatched "earlier today" to find the one guy grilling hamburgers and chat up the fans. Look, there's Fiona Apple! Maybe not. Tenay says "Is New York ready for Nitro" about a MILLION times. Speculation is that Sting's partner is either Lex Luger or Diamond Dallas Page, if the fans are to be believed (and They Are Not).
Let us take you back to last week's Nitro, where the Wolfpack recruits Diamond Dallas Page. Let me once again praise the continuity checker who showed Randy Savage having a problem with asking DDP to join the Wolfpack.
Opening credits! Eleven minutes late, but ok.
WCW Monday Nitro is brought to you by VALVOLINE! Now in thirteen flavours!
Hey, look! It's the Nitro Girls!
New plea for Nitro Party videotapes, wherein the foam be goin' straight to your brain ja ja.
"Mean" Gene Okerlund introduces Randy Savage, who isn't limping as much as you think he shoulda been. He even is nice and bats a beach ball back into the crowd! Savage wastes no time (well, a little time) issuing a challenge to Diamond Dallas Page - apparently, the Wolfpac is a collection of individuals so it's cool that Savage doesn't have to like Page. Anyway, if Page is up for it, Savage wants him in a STEEL cage, and if Page wins, he won't stand in his way to join the Hole in the Wall Gang.
Let us take you back to last night's still photos from the Great American Bash, where Hart & Hogan destroyed Savage's knee and secured the victory. Then, we see Piper putting Savage in a figure four because Savage isn't smart enough to let Piper get away without the match.
Promotional consideration paid for by Slim Jim, Super Soaker, America (ha) Online, and Push Pops (the ULTIMATE Pop!)
Let us take you back to the Great American Bash, where more still photos show Booker T. once again regaining the World Television Title from Fit Finley.
CHRIS BENOIT v. FIT FINLEY - forgotten in the whole mess, of course, is that Benoit lost AGAIN last night at a PPV. One would think Benoit would tend to take out his frustrations of Finley tonight. Lockup, to the corner and there's a "Finley sucks" chant - geez, I thought New York was an Irish-lovin'-kinda town. Headlock by Finley, Benoit tries to get out but Finley pulls the hair. Headlock takeover by Finley and they're to the mat. Tenay speculates that this might be a good #1 Contender's match. Finley to the arm wringer. Benoit punches out but Finley uses the Stooges eyepoke and kicks Benoit to the mat. Elbow drop by the Belfast Bruiser. European forearm. Headlock takeover into a rear chinlock and we slow down again. Benoit is back up, whip out, Finley with a shoulderblock and down goes Benoit. Whip into the ropes, Benoit with tilt-a-whirlneckbreaker. Now they're out and Benoit is chopping (woooo!) away. Back in, Finley is begging off in the corner, but Benoit will have none of that. Kick, chop (woooo!) and Finley is back to the rake of the face. Big lariat. 1, 2, foot on the rope. Scoop and a slam and now - not-a-camel-clutch-chinlock. Benoit stands up with Finley on his shoulders and falls backward. As Finley whips Benoit into the corner and follows with a spear, we take an ad break. What's up with that?
Lee Marshall narrates the Starburst Fruit Chews Pin on a Map road report - Philadelphia is Thursday's host city for THUNDER!
When we come back, Finley is still in control. Out of the ring, back in the ring. Benoit is doing that Wolverine thing, lots of kickin' and choppin' and Finley once again goes to the eyes. Fireman's carry into a hot shot - or is it a stun gun... Uppercut forearm for 2. Finley whips Benoit in to the corner but there's nobody there when he follows. It's Benoit's turn - double rollin' German suplex. Whip into the ropes, Benoit with a clothesline to take Finley down. Snap suplex and thumb-'cross-the-throat sign. That usually means it's diving headbutt time - Finley rolls away though, and Benoit hits nothin'. Finley with a bodyslam and a Vaderbomb (!) for 2. Going for another, but Benoit dropkicks him in the booty and Finley goes outside. Trying to get back in, Benoit punches, then suplexes him in. To the corner, whip out, Benoit follows but hits a knee. Finley with his forward-roll slam. Finley reaches for the Tombstone- but Benoit takes the arm and next thing you know, it's the Crippler crossface, and a submission (12:17). Not bad, not bad at all.
Gene O is in the ring - after the grueling series with Booker T is over, he must have a lot of respect for the other man. "Respect? The Crippler leaves no business unsaid or undone. Booker T, I know you're back there watching, it's time for me to do something I should have done at the beginning of this series - I want you to come out and face me man to man and nose to nose - we have business to discuss." Out comes HARLEM HEAT (yeah, both of 'em!) "you want me? Here I am." And Benoit - shakes his hand! And RAISES it! That is also cool. Now there's a mutual admiration society happening here, and I'm getting sick. So's Stevie Ray, apparently. Benoit offers to back up Booker T whenever he wants - and Stevie Ray interrupts, saying that T ALREADY has a partner. Benoit tries to finish his sentence, twice - "all I'm saying is if you need a man in your corner that you can rely on, I'll be there for you." Booker T says that he appreciates that, and goes to shake his hand - and then Stevie Ray NAILS Benoit. T tries to hold back his brother, but Stevie's on a mission. The save is made by, of all people, STEVE "MONGO" McMICHAEL, who waffles Stevie Ray until Booker T can separate them. We divide up into our respective racial groups, with Booker T telling his brother that this isn't a great idea and let's take off. Oh, by the way, Sting and his new partner will take on the Harlem Heat tonight in a tag team title match, yup. THEN, Benoit takes the mic. "I'm not here for the black and red of the NWO, I'm not here for the black and white...I'm only here for one thing..." and he slowly raises four fingers. The crowd goes absolutely nuts. Tony is too afraid to say "IV Horsemen" so as the "We want Flair" chant gets too loud to ignore, we take a quick ad break.
Wow. All that good stuff and it will probably be forgotten by the fortieth time Hogan carts his ass out tonight...
Gene O brings out DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE, who flew a chartered jet from last night's NBA finals (missing the pay-per-view, huh) to be in New York tonight. "It ain't about red and black to me, it's about Savage sayin' I gotta prove things to him...if these people here wanna see me and you in a cage, you got it! ...when I'm done with you Savage, I'm coming after Hollywood "Scum" Hogan, AND Dennis "the Worm" Rodman! See, I despise people like you two. To me, you're both somewhere in between a cockroach, and that white stuff that accumulates in the corner of your mouth when you're really, really thirsty. So while I was out, I got myself a partner..." and he doesn't come out and say Karl Malone but we're all supposed to know that already, I guess. Upshot is, we have an acceptance and a cage match tonight. Page walks out through the crowd.
Let us take you back to last week's Nitro, where Hogan and Rodman work over Page with a couple chairs - right before Page makes an important decision. Hey, wouldn't it have been nice if Page had finished THAT sentence in the previous interview?
Tony says that there have been rumours of Karl Malone joining WCW, even Bob Costas mentioning it last night (well, he did, but it wasn't that positive - not that Costas isn't an egotistical, pretentious jerk, oh sorry Bob, I know you're reading because you LOVE wrestling, and the Internet). Anyway, they (Tony) can't confirm those rumours, but there might be an announcement later tonight - so stay tuned!
Hey, look! It's the Nitro Girls!
Gene O brings out RODDY PIPER - by the way, take a drink every time Gene tells you how great it is to be back in New York or mentions the Islanders to pump up the crowd. Following my standing policy of ignoring most everything Piper says, I will summarize by saying that Piper has no problem with the cage match, but he can't find a referee, so he might as well do it. Well, knowing Piper's stellar history of officiating, this match CAN ONLY END IN SCREWJOB.
(masahiro) CHONO & (hiroyoshi) TENZAN (with IWGP Tag Team Titles) v. HIGH VOLTAGE - for those of us who can't be bothered to remember (which includes just about everybody), Chono and Tenzan represent NWO Japan (which is still black'n'white) - and yes, my friends, this IS the first match in about half an hour. As if that wasn't bad enough, we take an ad break less than two minutes in! Not that this is the kind of match where it matters if we're watching or not...
Goldberg - shirt - buy - shirt ...
When we come back, High Voltage is in control, which just goes to show that wrestling is fake. For those of you keeping score, both Rage and Kaos have removed their shoulder straps. "We want Flair" chant rises up from the bored crowd. Tenzan with a jawbreaker, then some doublethrusts to knock down Rage. Tag to Chono. Double gut shot. Neckbreaker for 2. Snapmare and tag. Boot to the head by Tenzan. Trying for a suplex, Rage counters with an arm bar - Chono comes in to break it up. Now all four men are fighting - and STILL no one cares! Rage with a slam - and NOW Kaos is tagged in. Forearm, whip, reverse, Tenzan with spinning heel kick, tag to Chono, who gives Rage a shot to distract the ref. Suplex attempt is blocked, again, Tenzan comes in to pound on Kaos. Ref separates everybody and Kaos hits a suplex. Tag to Rage. They do their doubleteam move but Chono makes the save. Boston crab into guillotine doubleteam move. Kaos hits his own man when Chono ducks. Crowd is totally engrossed in something happening out of camera range. Tenzan headbutt and Chono covers Kaos for 2. Chono with the Yakuza kick (says Tenay) and Kaos is covered for 3. (10:01) Oh, look, NWO Japan won. Wotta shock.
It's time for hour two! (well, it was fifteen minutes ago, anyway) Fireworks!
The Treacherous Three talk about (This Is) Sting, who defeated Giant last night to win the Tag Team titles. Still shots from last night's PPV confirm this. Who will Sting pick as his partner? Zbyszko says Luger would be the logical choice (as if logic matters).
With a howl, out come the Wolfpack - rather, KEVIN NASH, KONNAN, and THE NARCISSIST. It's Nash with the mic. "Long Island, New York...Wolfpac in the hoooouse!" Konnan: "<unintelligible> bowdy bowdy rowdy rowdy..." This must be the DX technique - repeat the same crap every week... Nash: "You know, life is full of ironies - how ironic that the last member to join the Wolfpac would be the first one to bring home some gold! So without any further ado, Long Island, and the Nation, we welcome to you the man...called...STING!" As the Wolfpac theme starts up again (man, I miss that cool old music - any of 'em). Out comes (THIS IS) STING while the commentators fail to mention that he was WCW's last best hope only a few short months ago. "Wow, this is a red'n'black crowd if I've ever seen one. (pop) That was a Wolfpac reception, thank you very much, New York! As far as my tag team partner goes, Big Sexy Kevin Nash the Giant Killer - now that right there is credentials. Total Package, he's had every belt known to mankind, that is a credentials! K-Dawg, now this is for real, comes from some of the toughest barrios in Cali - (something) Mexico - that's credentials! I can't go wrong with any choice I make..." which means we won't find out what choice he makes until match time. Anybody wonder where Savage is during all this? Anybody wonder why Curtrick Hennigrude's defection back to NWO Hollywood isn't mentioned? Anybody care? Let's take a short break!
Let us take you back to last night's PPV where Kanyon and Saturn fought, Raven dressed up as Mortis while somebody else dressed up as Mortis, the Flock got involved - oh, I give up.
KANYON v. SICK BOY (with Lodi) - for some reason, the commentators play up similarities between Kanyon and Juventud Guerrera (because they both have Flock issues). Kanyon DOES get to do some neat moves, but there's no flow to this match at all. Finish is a Flatliner (reverse Russian leg sweep) and the fans are - complacent. (3:27)
The NWO Hollywood theme fires up and - oh boy! Nitro rolls on with CURTRICK HENNIGRUDE. Rude does manage to call Nash "Big Slimy" which is funny. Apparently, they jumped ship for the money. Lots of Goldberg talk. Hennig brings us up to date on his year - swerving DDP, the four Horsemen (hmm, there's that Horsemen thing again), the "street smart" Wolfpac, but he'll never swerve NWO Hollywood, and he'll NEVER swerve Rude - then Rude and Hennig stare at each other and walk away. Huh?
Let us take you back to the PPV where still photos show Goldberg defeating Konnan, and Hennigrude also defeating Konnan.
The WCW Power Plant is the Harvard... it's kinda like saying Hardee's is the Harvard of fast food preparation.
Gene O is out with JAMES J. DILLON, who is holding the WCW Cruiserweight title. Still photos from last night's PPV show Dean Malenko getting himself disqualified after Jericho says something about his father. What's the status of the title? Dillon talked it over with the ref "Blind" Billy Silverman - it WAS a disqualification (apparently, Malenko decked Silverman whilst snappin') and since there WAS no champion at the beginning of the match - and before that sentence is finished, out comes CHRIS MONDAY JERICHO, crooning Queen's "I am the Champion" - okay, he's paraphrasing. Dillon says there's one condition with the belt - a mandatory title defense against Dean Malenko. Jericho says uh-uh, he went to the Library of Congress and knows that he doesn't HAVE to face just anybody (can another exciting Jericho/Lenny Lane match be far behind?), and *besides* he's beaten Malenko so many times already , and I believe Jericho says something bad about Malenko's father again, because out comes DEAN MALENKO, who basically does to Jericho what he did last night, brawling all the way to the back. Oh, by the way, Chris Jericho is once again Cruiserweight Champion - even if he never got his hands on the belt.
Bobby Heenan has joined the commentary team, yup.
CHRIS ADAMS v. SMOKIN' GIANT - hey! This is a no smoking facility! It runs like this: Adams: "C'mon, let's fight!" Giant: "Wait, I'm smoking." Adams: (punch kick) Giant: (KO punch) "Wait 'til I'm done smoking, dammit!" Adams: (weak attempt at a superkick) Giant: (chokeslam) - cool to see him keep the cigarette in his mouth while he's doing the chokeslam! (:42ish)
And, even during that last match, Tony Schiavone STILL managed to say "Karl Malone" THREE times in the midst of his non-commentary.
Let us take you back to earlier tonight - where we took you back to last week's Nitro, where Rodman and Hogan did that thing to Page that they did.
If they're serving up the Voodoo Chili, it must be time for tonight's waste of time by YOU KNOW WHO, accompanied by CRACKER EAZY-E and the BOOTY DISCIPLE. Bischoff, of course, just *can't resist* showing off an anti-McMahon sign on their way to the ring. Hogan takes no time at all stealing "Big Slimy" from Rick Rude. Well, NOW it's not cool any more. Hogan eventually meanders his way to Diamond Dallas Page, daring him to step up to the plate and do something about himself and Dennis Rodman. Bischoff is covering his mouth so I can't watch him mouth along, well THAT'S no fun. Man, this is just a big pile of no fun here.
Promotional consideration paid for by David sunflower seeds, Motel 6, Simoniz car care, and 1-800-USA-FIND (how bad can you want to find them if you lost them in the first place?)
Bash at the Beach will by Sunday, 12 July! Order it now! Now! NOW!
Hey look, it's the Nitro Girls! It's another Nitro Party plea! It's another case of foam going straight to a brain and some ... FIREWORKS! Hour number three ACTUALLY starts on time!
And it's TV-PG-V.
We start right off with the World Tag Team Title Bout. (THIS IS) STING approaches the ring alone and grabs the mic. "Before I announce who my partner is gonna be tonight, lemme just say that there's one guy in the back who I'd LOVE to have as my partner, and Piper I looked in his eyes, Macho Man's crazier than you are. Page, you've got a lot to think about too. And now - my partner - BIG SEXY KEVIN NASH!" Nash comes to the ring and HE needs some mic time, of course. "Hey yo...survey time...blah blah blah...Hennig, last night you made the biggest mistake of your life..." well at least they remembered to bring that up.
(THIS IS) STING & KEVIN NASH v. HARLEM HEAT for the Tag Team Championship - In their infinite wisdom, the WCW graphics people put "BOOKER T STEVIE RAY" on the screen instead of their tag team name. Grumble. Harlem Heat ALSO didn't coordinate their outfits - one wearing red and one wearing black. They discuss who will start, and it's T and Sting. Stevie Ray yells at Booker T until he spits out his gum. Lockup, side headlock by T. Sting powers out, T with shoulderblock, leapfrog, duck, Sting with a hiptoss and T leaves the ring. He's also favoring the knee now. Back in. Hammerlock by T, elbow by Sting, T ducks a clothesline and punches Sting. Back to the corner, Stevie Ray is unhappy with T's performance and asks for the tag. Stevie with a lotta pounding and Sting takes it like a man. Stepping on his neck and using the ropes, he holds out for most of the five count and T seems to think that bending the rules suddenly isn't cool. Sting manages to turn the tide and now there's a tag. Why yes, it IS punch and kick fest time. Nash takes the boot to Ray's neck. Stevie Ray actually powers out and slams Nash. But then he misses an elbow drop. Nash takes Ray to the corner and tags Sting. This is as good a time as any to take an ad break, I guess.
When we come back, Nash is taking it to Booker T. We hear that Sting and Nash have had their way for most of the break. Big boot by Nash. Sidewalk slam coming up (Tony doesn't call it because he knows I'll get on his case for calling it something else) 1, 2, no. Toe to toe, Nash's punch sends T to the corner. Tag to Sting. Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick. Body slam by Sting. Big elbowdrop. Another bodyslam. Vaderbomb (wow, two of those tonight!) 1, 2, no. Sting goes for a splash but T brings his knees up. Tag to Nash, who stands between Booker T and the corner. Clothesline and a glare for Stevie Ray. Booker T draped over the middle rope and Nash puts his knee in the shoulder blade, then does the Bossman straddle. Tag to Sting. Sting stands on the throat. Boot to the head. Belly-to-back suplex. Tag to Nash, who goes for Snake Eyes but Booker T powers out and tries a pin, only getting 2. Tag to Sting. Kick to the gut. To the corner. Whip into the opposite corner, Stinger splash misses. Spinebuster (also not called by Schiavone, no doubt out of fear). Tag to Stevie Ray! And, wouldja believe it? After all that, the crowd has NO reaction to the hot tag! Clothesline by Stevie Ray! Powerslam! Now he'd rather trash talk Nash AND his own partner than try for the cover. Turning to Nash, he ends up falling into a Scorpion Death Drop. 1, 2, 3. Wotta joke. (12:16) I'll bet you're thinking that some kind of angle develops out of all this. Well, NOT TONIGHT! Must be running low on time...
Relive Spring Stampede with WCW/NWO Magazine! Uh....when was that again?
The Awesome Three talk about Diamond Dallas Page while the crowd chants "Goldberg" until they get bored (which isn't very long!) - Goldberg isn't here tonight, by the way - he's visiting his sick mother. As he should. Now they're STILL talking about Page & Savage. And for an encore, they turn to Scott Steiner.
The following announcement, which we also saw last week, was paid for by the New World Order. It's Hogan and Steiner on the set of "Shadow Warriors"
Wow, they erected that cage pretty quick. Before we do anything with it, it's time for the Eric Bischoff show - the guest is SUPERSTAR SCOTT STEINER. He spends what seems like an awful long time comparing New York and Los Angeles. Give Steiner credit, he knows a thespian from a lesbian, even if they can't seem to pronounce the word correctly. Steiner takes great delight in being able to pull the wool over Gene Okerlund's eyes, which probably isn't as hard as it used to be. Ha! Scott makes fun of Rick, who's sitting at home with his arm in a sling. "I gave you two chances to join the NWO...we will NEVER let you join [now]!" The cage match is next, we are promised...
MICHAEL BUFFER does his bit and I keep saying "Two man enter, one man leave" in a cool accent which makes this more entertaining. Piper comes out. Savage comes out. (Is it just me or does it sound like they've dubbed crowd noise into the Wolfpack theme?) Hey, I just realised - it's a good thing they just *happened* to have a cage lying around when Savage made his challenge tonight!
This portion of WCW Monday Nitro is brought to you by WENDY'S!
Cage the madness - buy the shirt!
Page comes out - he's all taped up AGAIN. Yee-haw. Page climbs the cage and stands on the roof to pump up the fans.
RANDY SAVAGE v. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE in a Steel Cage match - Feeling out. Page with the arm drag. Savage to the ribs (he's smart!) - Savage runs Page into the cage. Savage runs Page into the corner. Fists-a-flyin'. Savage runs Page into the cage again, Page comes back and returns the favor. Bodyslam by Page. Page climbs the corner (and ducks due to the cage roof) and Savage manages to crotch Page on the turnbuckle. Savage runs at Page - and Page backbody drops him into the wall of the cage - Savage slides down (ugh) the wall. Page to the attack. Stomp, pound, stomp, stomp, stomp. Head meets cage wall. Page stays on him - 1, 2. Heenan has a rare lapse when he says "I don't know how often he's been in a cage" when we just SAW him in a cage with Raven (didn't we?) a few PPV's back. Savage, favoring his knee, comes back and does a lot of head to the cage moves. "ECW" chant has started as Page comes back and does HIS head to the cage moves. Page with a punch. Savage - no, whip, shoulderblock and both men go down. Piper puts on the count. Savage attempts a cover at 6 - slow two count by Piper. Savage kicks Page in the ribs. As Savage puts a knee to Page's back, with a rope across his throat, and Piper works to separate them - Hmmm, one more ad break.
When we come back, Savage takes a gut shot from Page. Page does the Iblockyourpunchyoudon'tblockmine. Lotsa punches and a clothesline. DDP signals for the Diamond Cutter - but Savage hits him in the jewels. Savage with a bodyslam. Savage climbs the ropes - and HITS the big elbow! But his knee hurts. 1, 2, no. Is the crowd chanting "Sable?" Piper and Savage argue the count while an "ECW" chant starts up. Now thre's a heated discussion - Savage relents - then waffles Piper from behind. Piper gets a piledriver. Savage picks up Page - but Page reverses and hits a Diamond Cutter! All three men down - no ten count - finally Page makes the cover, but it's not happening, no ref. Crowd is chanting "Goldberg." Into the corner, Page is on fire - Piper walks up, and for some reason, Page decks PIPER, and now *Piper and Page* are fighting. Savage takes a shot after Page is out, but Piper takes care of SAVAGE as well. Now Piper is sending BOTH men into the wall of the cage. The cage has been raised about two feet - which leaves JUST enough room for NWO Hollywood to come in - then the cage is relowered. The Wolfpac is out now - but Sting can't get in - he's on the roof. Bret Hart takes care of Piper - Bischoff whacks Savage in the knee - Hogan works over Page. There are lots of other people around. Finally, Nash goes back and finds an unconscious stagehand, which must mean cage controls are nearby - he emerges from the darkness with a switch, which must be the cage remote control - he raises the cage - NWO Hollywood clears the ring - and we end the show.
Ummm, yeah. Let's call it (no contest 12:12).
Hey, no Rey Mysterio THIS week either. Bastards.