WCW: Monday Nitro (07.06.98)

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WCW Monday Nitro
July 6, 1998
Atlanta, GA
Georgia Dome

The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (4/20/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bill Goldberg (4/20/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Sting & Kevin Nash (6/14/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Booker T (6/14/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho (6/14/1998)

We have come to the fifteenth anniversary of Goldberg’s big WCW world title win over Hollywood Hogan. This was a special night at the time for me as a wrestling fan because I rarely got to stay up for the third hour of Nitro. There was magic in the air, the rumblings of change was there, all the cliches you can think of spouting out. Going into this show though at the time, I did not know Goldberg was getting a title shot until I turned on the program. I was on a road trip with my folks and my brother and had missed the Thunder and any Saturday programming leading up to this show.

Let Us Take You Back to Thunder 7/1/98. JJ Dillon announces that #1 contender Goldberg will indeed face Hollywood Hogan in the Georgia Dome on the following Nitro.

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, and Mike Tenay.

Out comes Hollywood Hogan with his buddies Eric Bischoff, Liz, and the Disciple. Hogan is here to tell us about the nWo B&W leer jet he flew in on to be here. He’s also got some good and bad news to tell us. The good news is he and Rodzilla have their plan set in stone for Bash at the Beach when they battle DDP and Karl Malone. As for the bad news for those one or two Goldberg fans, Hogan says Goldberg has beaten no one but jabronis (what about Raven?) and does not deserve a WCW world title shot with somebody as great as Hollywood. However, if he can beat his handpicked nWo-ite that we haven’t seen in a while, then he’ll face him and send this Goldberg guy packing. The nWo B&W is 4-Life and 2 Sweet. Hit the music and pose, brother.

Throughout the night, fans at the Georgia Dome get a chance to cut a promo on Hollywood Hogan in support of DA MAN Bill Goldberg. This first one is the best. He tells Hulk this ain’t Madison Square Garden, and it ain’t 1985, it’s 1998, baby!

  • WCW World Television Champion Booker T vs. Dean Malenko

They trade shoulderblocks and drop toeholds to start. Booker stops that with a slam. Back suplex connects, but Booker whiffs on the Missile Dropkick. Texas Cloverleaf is countered with an inside cradle for two. Malenko flies down from the top into a spinebuster. Spinning Heel Kick leads to a flapjack as Booker hops up with the break dancing move up off the mat. He misses the Harlem Side Kick and they both tumble to the floor. Out comes Chris Jericho with a microphone to bug Malenko. With Booker inside, he catches Malenko with the AXE KICK on the way back inside for the 1-2-3. (3:44) Jericho rejoices and heads to the back. *

Somewhere in the back, Goldberg is doing pushups using two chairs.

Elsewhere, Karl Malone talks to a camera and says he’s so disappointed that Dennis Rodman didn’t show up tonight. At the Bash at the Beach though, he’ll *have* to show. He doesn’t know *that* much about wrestling then, does he?

  • Raven (w/Lodi) vs. Kanyon

I don’t know why Kanyon is still carrying the Mortis mask. Hasn’t he been unmasked for months now? Anyways, they meet in the aisle for a fight. Inside the ring, they trade sleeper holds. Kanyon goes to counter with a back suplex and they both go over the top rope to the floor in a sick bump. We get some guardrail action and a chair gets involved. Kanyon delivers a flapjack out of a fireman’s carry onto the chair! Cover, 1-2-NO! He lays the chair on Raven’s face and heads up top, but Lodi trips him up. With Kanyon up top, Raven folds out the chair and brings Kanyon down on the chair with a superplex. Goodness gracious. Next thing we know, Saturn is out to beat up Raven for the DQ. (3:12) Saturn is in a bit of a blind rage as he takes out his partner Kanyon with a Death Valley Driver. In the aisle, Saturn sets up a table and tries to splash Raven through it. Oh, but the table doesn’t break! That’s got to hurt. Saturn crawls back in the ring clutching his ribs to take a FLATLINER from Kanyon! What is going on here? Commercial time. ¾*

We’ve got a limousine outside. Is it Hogan’s mystery opponent? Nope. It’s Buff Bagwell with his mother Judy. He’s recovering from a horrible neck injury he suffered back in April. I’m sure we’ll hear from him later here in his hometown.

Another fan cuts a promo and loves Goldberg. Shocker!

Nitro Girls time! I might be in love with Fyre – not for the right reasons, mind you.

Let Us Take You Back to Last Week’s Nitro, 6/29/98. When the nWo B&W hear that DDP and Karl Malone are heading to the arena in an eighteen wheeler, they arm themselves with chains and crowbars. When DDP and Malone actually show up to meet them (sans Hogan and Bischoff), they get scared and run away when they hear the horn. Really? Once they scatter, DDP and Malone hop out the truck wielding chairs. They head straight to the ring where Hogan and Bischoff are jabbering on about stuff. Next thing they know, DDP and Malone clang the chairs together to scare Hogan and Bischoff. Malone drops the chair and locks up with Hogan. Cue the flashbulbs. He slams Hogan. More flashbulbs than before. Malone drops Hogan with a pair of clotheslines and we are back to live action.

What’s up with *this* sign?

With all that shown, Gene Okerlund introduces DDP and Karl Malone. They got their lame entrance routine all figured out and everything. DDP feels Hollywood “Scum” Hogan is about to have the Worst Week Ever. Tonight Goldberg will tear him apart and then Hogan gets BANGED this Sunday at Bash at the Beach. Malone gets on the stick and says that he’s going to whip Rodman like Madonna should have whipped him. DDP pops for everything Karl does. Malone calls himself the “Rodzilla Killa”. That’ll do, Karl. Get ready to feel the bang, Hogan and Rodman.

Steve McMichael says things in a rather dark room. He talks about being a Horseman and a Chicago Bear. Mike Ditka puts him over, too. What’s the point of this? I wasn’t really sure because I zoned out, but Tony tells us afterwards that he wants Arn Anderson to bring back the Horsemen. Trust me, Mongo. Everybody’s going to get what they want come September.

  • Scott Putski vs. Riggs

Hard to believe this is what they put on right before Raw comes on the air. Back and forth clotheslines and dropkicks to start. Putski hits a nice sitout tilt-a-whirl slam on Riggs for two. Riggs fights back with a hotshot and tosses out Putski for a clothesline off the apron. Back inside, they both try crossbody blocks at the same time for a collision. Putski mounts his comeback hitting the Polish Hammer. Riggs hits a jawbreaker and tries for his Crossface Chickenwing finisher, but Putski runs him into the turnbuckle and lands his PUTSKI BOMB for the win. (4:16) Tony calls this Putski’s biggest win in WCW. Not that it’s much of a feat, but I’d have to agree. ¾*

Let Us Take You Back To Nitro, 9/22/97. Goldberg gets his first win over Hugh Morrus. He looks at the camera and says, “That’s number one.” You think they had the streak planned out that far in advance? I don’t.

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay.

The nWo B&W go to meet a limo and out pops Scott Hall. The party is here. He ain’t scared of you, Goldberg.

  • WCW Cruiserweight Champion Chris Jericho vs. Ultimo Dragon

Before the match, Chris Jericho comes out and declares that Dean Malenko will not get a Cruiserweight title shot at Bash at the Beach because he feels he is not the #1 contender since he never beat him. Instead, he feels that Rey Mysterio is the #1 contender since a Rey Mysterio midget beat him last week on Thunder. JJ Dillon comes out and lets Jericho know otherwise. He will face Malenko at BATB in a no-DQ match. Out comes Dean and he is hopping mad. However, they must keep their hands off each other between now and the PPV, or the match is off. Since Jericho has a mic and he’s darn entertaining, he tries to goat Malenko into punching him. Well, it escalates, people. Jericho goes as far as to tell Malenko that his brother Joe is from another mother. Well, that is all Malenko can stand, because he swarms Jericho and punches his face real good to cost himself his cruiserweight title match. Security takes care of Malenko while Jericho sits back and laughs – knowing he got the best of Malenko and that he no longer has to wrestle him.

After the break, we get Ultimo Dragon. Quick action to start with headscissors and shoulderblocks. Dragon flips out of a backdrop and does his headstand on the top turnbuckle before kicking Jericho back. He tries a crossbody out of the corner, but Jericho steps out of the way. COME ON BABY suplex and boot cover gets two. Jericho misses a dropkick and here comes Dean Malenko out to put some more hurting on Jericho for the DQ. (2:14) Malenko goes as far as to yank out some of Jericho’s golden locks. Eventually, security and ATL’s finest handcuff Malenko. ½*

More Nitro Girls.

  • Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Johnny Swinger

Johnny Swinger is here to show and tell us who he is and what he is. Just ask him, he’ll probably ask you the same question. To explain why Chavo is wearing a hard hat to the ring, his uncle Eddie cut out a chunk of his hair last week on Thunder, so he’s trying to hide the bald spot. Ref Charles Robinson will not let him wear the hat during the match, so he covers the spot with his hand pretty much at least in the beginning here. TORNADO DDT puts away Swinger in just 1:57. Chavo cuts a little bit of Swinger’s hair after the bell. He then challenges Eddie to a hair match at Bash at the Beach.

Let Us Take You Back To Nitro, 12/29/97. Goldberg’s 25th win was over Glacier

  • Public Enemy vs. Alex Wright & Disco Inferno (w/Tokyo Magnum)

The man who becomes Tokyo Magnum (or Magnum Tokyo) follows the Dancing Fools out to the ring. They don’t seem to care for him though. The PE wear ATL Braves jerseys and bring two tables with them. They dominate to start with brawling tactics and such. Tokyo causes a distraction and allows Wright and Inferno to fight back. Slingshot splash out of the corner by Wright onto Grunge gets two. Disco misses a flying elbow drop, which causes the HOT TAG TO ROCCO! The Dancing Fools stop a Double Noggin Knocker and then hits Rocco with a double hiptoss. While they are just standing there though, Grunge runs in with the double bulldog. When PE decide it’s time for the tables, they bail and leave Magnum to go through the double stack! The Dancing Fools return with trash cans and beat up Public Enemy until the bell rings. (5:03) Longest match of the night so far. Yep.

Gene Okerlund brings out Buff Bagwell and his mother Judy. Buff can’t tell us how much it means to be here now and how he feels about the fans, yet he continues to talk about it for a good long while. Buff Daddy loves Atlanta. Too bad they had to swerve the people, because he could have been a great babyface. How much does his mother mean to him during his recovery? Well, I tell ya. There’s no way Buff could tell you how he feels about her.

What’s Goldberg’s 50th win, you ask? Rick Fuller, back on Thunder 2/26/98.

HOUR NUMBER THREE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay!

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Bill Goldberg (106-0) vs. Scott Hall

This is Hall’s first match on Nitro since the end of March. Who better than Hall though to set up Goldberg for Hogan who has credibility, but probably one of the few nWo members smart enough to know that sometimes it’s okay to lose. This is a mess to begin with as they don’t seem to click. I don’t know if Goldberg is a little too excited and used to just throwing guys around by himself or what. When Hall gets into trouble, he calls down the troops: the Disciple, Vincent, and Curt Hennig. DDP and Malone come out with the assist to take them out with steel chairs. On the apron, Hall snaps Goldberg’s neck on the top rope and puts him down with a clothesline. Now he’s calling for the OUTSIDER’S EDGE, but Goldberg backdrops out. Spear and the JACKHAMMER follows for the win to meet Hogan later in the night. (5:57) The crowd is just unbelievable here. They were with Goldberg on every step he took. *

Time for the Nitro Girls to molest the announce table set!

  • Juventud Guerrera vs. Psychosis

Something to cool the crowd down with here. They both miss corner charges to start. Juvi hits a couple headscissors to take Psychosis to the floor. We get a plancha by Guerrera. Back in, Psychosis rolls through a springboard sunset flip and catapults Juvi over the top rope to the floor. As if that’s not bad enough, Psychosis flies down onto Guerrera with a senton! Holy crap. Back in, that gets two. Juventud scores a Juvi Driver and hits the 450 SPLASH for the win. (3:12) Afterwards, the Flock heads down and puts the boots to Juventud. He faces Reese at Bash at the Beach. *½

Goldberg’s 75th win. He defeats Raven and wins the WCW US title, Nitro 4/20/98.

We get over two minutes of a buildup video package for the main event at the PPV.

  • The Giant vs. Jim Duggan

What is this doing here? This is some Saturday Night action, if YOU WEEELLL. Duggan is good to go on the Giant, but can’t slam the man. Giant gives him a slam, but misses an elbow drop. Three-Point Stance connects, but Giant brings up his fist to punch Duggan in the face to stop the OLD GLORY knee drop. Down comes the strap. CHOKESLAM! (2:09) Afterwards, Giant gets on the mic and calls Kevin Greene a coward and the like. Well, here comes Kevin Greene. He clotheslines Giant out of the ring and grabs Duggan’s 2×4 to get him at bay. We’ll be back! ¼*

  • Diamond Dallas Page (w/Karl Malone) vs. Jim Neidhart

This is like one of those Randy Savage matches where he takes a beating the whole time, but then quickly comes back with the Flying Elbow. DDP gets caught in a full nelson and low blows Neidhart to escape. DIAMOND CUTTER! It’s all over at 2:23.

Goldberg’s 100th win. At the Great American Bash, he pins Konnan with (surprise!) the JACKHAMMER.

  • Sting & Lex Luger (w/Kevin Nash & Konnan) vs. Kidman & Sick Boy

Oh boy, this doesn’t look for the Flock. Stinger Splash to both guys. Kidman eats the SCORPION DEATHDROP while Sick Boy feels the TORTURE RACK for the submission win at 0:28. Somebody must have gone long. Probably that Buff Bagwell character.

  • WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hogan vs. Bill Goldberg (107-0)

Literally out of nowhere with very little build, WCW decided to capitalize on Goldberg’s overness and take the biggest money-making match they would ever have and throw it away on free TV just to beat Raw in the ratings for a week since Raw was finally starting to beat up Nitro with its ratings-grabbing Austin/McMahon feud. To be fair, it was in front of over 40,000 people in the Georgia Dome with a near million dollar gate, but just think of the PPV buys it could have garnered. This had most everyone in the world baffled, but nevertheless here we go. Hogan shoves off a headlock, but he’s run down with a shoulderblock. Oh how the tides have turned. Goldberg pushes Hogan off into the corner when he tries a front headlock. Now they do a test of strength and Goldberg wins that until Hogan goes to the ropes. Hogan rakes the eyes and starts whipping him with his weightlifting belt. Goldberg grabs the belt…and throws it away? He wants to win ‘fair and square’, says Tony. Okay, but that’s not ‘rasslin. Hollywood low-blows out of a full nelson and takes Goldberg down for some choking. Goldberg rolls away from some elbow drops and clotheslines Hogan to the floor so he can put his weightlifting belt back around his waist. Hogan takes Goldberg to the floor and bashes a chair all over Goldberg. Back in, Hogan slams Goldberg and connects with not one, not two, but THREE LEGDROPS! Enter Curt Hennig. He’s followed by DDP and Karl Malone – armed with steel chairs! Meanwhile in the ring, Hogan covers for 1-2-NO! Hogan points behind Hennig where Malone is waiting to give him a DIAMOND CUTTER! That takes care of Hennig. In the ring, Goldberg is poised and ready for the SPEAR! JACKHAMMER comes next and we have a NEW WCW world heavyweight champion! (8:11) Another great mark-out match, but another sign that WCW wasn’t going to be around forever since it became obsessed with merely defeating the WWF as opposed to making the right business decisions. **

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