WCW: Monday Nitro (01.26.98)

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WCW: Monday Nitro
January 26, 1998
Fort Wayne, IN
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Vacant (1/8/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Diamond Dallas Page (12/28/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (1/12/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Booker T (12/29/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho (1/24/1998)

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, and Bobby Heenan.

  • Ultimo Dragon vs. El Dandy

This is the first one-on-one contest on Nitro for the lucha libre star El Dandy. The crowd is too enamored with the Flock finding a seat that they bought and paid for in the front row. No Raven. Not a lot to talk about here. DRAGON SLEEPER ends Dandy in 2:37.

We head down to UT Chattanooga where Gene Okerlund and the Nitro Girls are LIVE and having a Nitro Party at a frat house. Apparently, these boys are “grand prize” winners. ARE YOU HAVING FUN? WE’RE ALL HAVING FUN.

  • Bill Goldberg vs. Brad Armstrong

Now this was a fun Goldberg squash. Even though Armstrong gets owned, he does a great job of pretending like he’s in total control of Goldberg. First, he throws his jacket in Goldberg’s face at the bell to get the jump on him. That doesn’t work for long as he bails to the floor, but then he’s the first man in the ring and gets the jump on Goldberg that way. He avoids a corner charge and looks real cool and confident about it, but then he turns around into the spear and the JACKHAMMER for the win. (1:47) I would assume Armstrong’s talent shining through here got him the Superbrawl VIII appearance where these two had a rematch. Loved this squash.

Mike Tenay is on Gene Okerlund duties tonight. He sets up the Ganso Bomb move we saw the Giant receive at Souled Out at the hands of Kevin Nash. All of it was an accident turned into an angle. Luckily, the Giant was okay after Souled Out. They pulled off the powerbomb just fine at Superbrawl last year, but since then Nash had a knee injury and Giant had put on some significant weight as well. I don’t know if the coffee in the ring had anything to do with the slip up or not too. JJ Dillon puts over the severity of what happened to the Giant. Tests have been done on him and it’s not looking good. Every other major sports organization has made adjustments for the more powerful athlete of the 1990s, and now Dillon is going to do something about it. The Jackknife Powerbomb is now barred from WCW. If Nash or anybody else does that move or any variation of the move, they will be DQ’ed and heavily fined. If Nash specifically does the move, he will be DQ’ed, fined, and carted out of the building by police. Dillon even goes as far as to say he would seek criminal prosecution. Whoa!

  • Konnan (w/Vincent) vs. Jerry Flynn

Flynn frustrates Konnan to start, but Vincent helps to distract. Now we get some Konnan stuff like the Rolling Lariat and pulling on his crotch shouting Spanish phrases. To the floor, Flynn pescados onto Konnan. Back in, Flynn tries to string some moves together, but Konnan finds the TEQUILA SUNRISE for the win. (4:30) Not a very strong outing for Flynn here. ½*

One more replay of the Ganso Bomb.

  • Rick Steiner (w/Ted DiBiase) vs. Buff Bagwell (w/Vincent)

Tonight’s debut of Davey Boy Smith gets mentioned. He faces Steve McMichael later in the show. Rick backdrops and suplexes Buff all over the place. He runs Buff into the corner and then shows off his biceps. Ten count corner punch ensues, but Buff counters with a hotshot. He throws Rick out to Vincent, but Rick punches Vincent down. That guy is useless. Back in, Steiner avoids the BUFF BLOCKBUSTER and hits a powerslam. Top rope Belly to Belly Suplex connects on poor Bagwell. Vincent though trips up Rick into a swinging neckbreaker, which causes Scott Steiner to head down and help his brother by beating the crap out of Vincent. After Rick hits the STEINER BULLDOG on Buff, Scott throws Vincent in the ring on top of the pinfall for some reason for the DQ. (5:14) Scott sends Vincent back to the floor and shoves the referee down. Ref Mickey Jay says this will cost him five grand, so Scott looks to DiBiase and tells him to pay the fine. WHAT. Besides the dumb finish, this was pretty fun. Buff always had good chemistry with the Steiners. **

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, and Bobby Heenan.

Eric Bischoff brings out Kevin Nash to respond to JJ Dillon’s ban of the powerbomb. Bischoff feels Bill Clinton’s pain by being ‘singled out’. They have been targeted by WCW. OF COURSE YOU HAVE. YOU ARE THE ENEMY, DOOFUS. Nash is here to give us the real story on what happened Saturday night. During the match with the Giant, he needed a pick-me-up because he couldn’t go any more, so Nash gave him some coffee to help him continue. When that didn’t seem to do the trick, he gave the Giant a low blow. Nash compares Giant to Old Yeller at that point and feigns sincerity about putting the Giant out of his misery. Nash tries to be a good guy, so he stuck Giant on his skull. In closing, from now on call him Big Sexy the Giant Killer. If you want to send him some fan mail, send it to the van down by the river. Just a fantastic heel promo by Nash.

  • Jim Neidhart vs. Wayne Bloom

Looks like the Beverly brothers are back in WCW. This is the Nitro in-ring debut for both guys. Kind of a mess of a match with plenty of flubs from Bloom. Neidhart looked better here than he did at any point during his 1997 stint in the WWF. He catches Bloom coming off the top rope for a powerslam and picks up the win. (2:44) While he doesn’t really do much of note in WCW, Neidhart is a featured guy and Bloom is jobbed out over the next several months until he just retires. ½*

Mike Tenay brings out Ray Traylor for an interview. He’s still running down the nWo like always. He puts over the Jackknife Powerbomb as death and how other guys are afraid to sign on the dotted line with Kevin Nash, but nevertheless he’s looking for a fight and always wants to get his hands on anybody in the nWo.

  • Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Psychosis

Back at Souled Out, Chavo got the win in that eight-man lucha libre match by pinning Psychosis, so that might explain why this is happening. Chavo is in charge to start trying to get quick pins in between holds. He hits a nice springboard bulldog on Psychosis for a nearfall. Psychosis takes a nice bump onto the steps from the top rope. With Psychosis staggering, Chavo delivers a somersault plancha. Back inside, Psychosis fights back with a spinning heel kick. He stops a superplex though and lands the GUILLOTINE LEGDROP on Chavo to pick up the win. (4:47) Even in defeat, this is one of Chavo’s better Nitro matches to this point. **½

  • Juventud Guerrera vs. Louie Spicolli (w/Scott Hall)

Hall does the survey early tonight since he’s in the main event. It’s pretty even because people like to chant things, but Hall gives it to the good guys. Hall announces Dusty Rhodes as the newest member of the nWo. Louie wants in, too. Why? Because when you’re nWo, you’re just – too – SWEET. Knowing each other from their AAA days, these two go back and forth with one another for about a minute or so. In the back, we see that RANDY SAVAGE IS HERE. He is also very mad. Savage runs down to ringside, beats up Juventud, and gives him a PILEDRIVER. Umm, 3:00ish?

Savage says the only reason he lost at Souled Out against Lex Luger was because of his goofy friends. It appears he wants out of the nWo! He wants a no-DQ match with Lex Luger tonight. Louie gives Guerrera the SPICOLLI DRIVER and goes to shake Randy’s hand. Not a good time, bro. Savage knocks him out. Elizabeth is now at ringside. She looks very concerned. Well, out comes the new World order. Hogan, Bischoff, Nash – everybody. Bischoff tries to cool things down, but Savage realizes that Bischoff doesn’t care about his loss. He’s sick of everybody in the nWo – Hollywood Hogan in particular. Hogan responds telling Savage that he wasn’t exactly “leading the dance” against Luger at Souled Out, so they came down to show their nWo love and support for him hoping their presence would turn things around. If Savage doesn’t want the nWo leading him all the way to victory, then he can go on his own. That’s exactly what Savage wants. Three things – Savage *was* in control of Luger, the nWo’s interference is just plain uncoordinated, and Hogan isn’t much of a leader without the gold around his waist. Well, that went too far. Hogan says he’ll have the gold back at Superbrawl VIII. If Savage has a problem with that, then they have a problem. As Hogan and the rest of the nWo start to corner Savage, he slides out and grabs a chair. They leave this segment as Savage tells Hogan to let him take of Luger and worry about beating Sting and getting the gold back to the “family”. Imagine “Stone Cold” Randy Savage leading WCW against the nWo to put a nail in the coffin of this period. Elizabeth leaves with Savage while the other nWo guys prance and pose in the ring.

More Nitro Party nonsense from a frat house at UTC.

  • Raven’s Rules: Raven vs. Mortis (w/James Vandenberg)

Raven has a bandage on his forehead after that war with Chris Benoit at Souled Out. While Raven is sitting down in the corner, Mortis rushes him and dropkicks Raven in the balls. Out to the floor, Mortis gives Raven a Rocker Dropper on the steps. Back inside, they take turns burying knees into one another. To the floor again, Raven runs up the steps and knees Mortis down – not once, but TWICE. Back inside, Mortis catches Raven with a hotshot and takes over. Vandenberg tosses Mortis a chair and talks with the ref while Mortis misses the chairshot and takes a devastating EVENFLOW DDT as Raven gets the three-count. (5:32) Fun little match there. Raven and Kanyon would wrestle quite a bit in 1998 starting here. **

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Diamond Dallas Page vs. Wrath (w/James Vandenberg)

Vandenberg is 0-1 tonight and I feel his other protégé is about to get BANGED. DDP stuns the big guy with a Russian legsweep, but immediately gets taken down with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Wrath chokes and stomps DDP down in the corner as the crowd chants for DDP. I mean, you’d think Wrath had been getting 5-10 minutes of heat there. Flying Clothesline from Wrath gets 1-2-NO! Another tilt-a-whirl try, but DDP counters with a headscissors. DDP catches Wrath with the discus clothesline and calls for the DIAMOND CUTTER. As Mortis heads to ringside wielding his creepy jester cane, Vandenberg gets knocked off the apron and DDP runs Wrath into Mortis. DIAMOND CUTTER! Cover, 1-2-3. (4:44) DDP is soaking in that pop. Holy crap, this dude is so freaking over. Felt like a main event on a typical Saturday Night. **

HOUR NUMBER THREE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, and Bobby Heenan.

Mike Tenay brings out Bret Hart for a word. Bret considers the chapter with Ric Flair closed and looks to go after the world title. Even though it’s between Sting and Hollywood Hogan right now, it looks like he wants the winner. And yet, he won’t have a match at Superbrawl VIII. Weird.

Even more Nitro Party shenanigans from UT Chattanooga. There’s been quite a bit of looks from the camera guy on Fyre this week, which is A-OK with me. Gene is thinking about hyping future Nitro events while this is happening.

  • WCW World Television Champion Booker T vs. Perry Saturn (w/Lodi)

Wait a minute, I thought the Flock are still banned from ringside? Both guys trying to catch the other with that first big blow to start. Booker hits the flying forearm smash and grabs an armbar. Hook Kick connects and Saturn rolls to the floor so he can snap Booker’s neck on the top rope to take over. T-bone suplex gets two. Saturn starts working heel stuff like chokes and kicks and saying WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT to the camera. Booker randomly will get a small package on the man, but eventually seizes the moment with a spinning heel kick. SPINAROONIE! Harlem Side Kick leads to the SCISSORS KICK. Side Slam will set up the HARLEM HANGOVER, but Hammer jumps the rail and pushes Booker down to the mat for the DQ. (7:19) While the Flock put a beating on Booker, Rick Martel runs out and makes the save. It comes down to just Saturn, Booker, and Martel in the ring. Being that Saturn is the guy who threw Martel through the glass window, Saturn backs down from these two and leaves to fight another day. This was high level stuff for a TV match. **½

Mike Tenay introduces us to the *new* WCW Cruiserweight champ Chris Jericho. He’s wearing a Rey Mysterio t-shirt because he’s a dick. Sounds like the crowd is chanting “faggot” at Jericho. He sarcastically dedicates his title win to Rey Mysterio and says he would never – EVER – hurt Rey Mysterio on purpose. He hopes his knee gets better real soon. Jericho fake cries over pointing out how he couldn’t have won the cruiserweight title for a third time without his great fans. He wants Rey Mysterio to know that we all of the Chris Jericho disciples will want to know the status on his knee because no one wants to see him come back quicker than Chris Jericho. Jericho concludes telling us he is our hero – our role model – our champion. Tenay is absolutely disgusted.

  • Davey Boy Smith vs. Steve McMichael

Nothing special about Davey Boy’s theme music. How is “Rule Britannia” not free for everybody? The song has got to be 250 years old. Mongo nails Davey Boy as he heads through the ropes and doesn’t let up. He hits a couple slams on Bulldog and calls for the MONGO SPIKE, but Davey Boy is up and runs him down with a clothesline. Hourglass Suplex gets two. Bulldog has some trouble lifting big Steve up, but he manages a little bit of the RUNNING POWERSLAM for the win. (3:04) Such odd clumsy debut opponents for both Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart. And yet they thought this matchup was so good for some reason, that they put it on PPV! ½*

  • Kevin Nash vs. Ray Traylor

Big Kev brings a cup of coffee with him to the ring. He throws the coffee in Traylor’s face, gives him a low blow, and delivers the JACKKNIFE POWERBOMB for the DQ. (0:31) In an age where bad is good, Nash gets a huge pop for breaking the rules. A fleet of refs and Ted DiBiase check on Traylor while Nash willingly allows Doug Dellinger to cuff him and stuff him. ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA!

  • Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall

Hall gets back on the mic and tells Larry Z that he must have felt like a pervert wearing a raincoat at a peep show because he got EXPOSED. Hahahaha. He thinks Zbyszko has no wrestling talent and should go back to the tar pits of India with the rest of the dinosaurs. Zbyszko leaves the desk and threatens Hall, but Doug Dellinger holds him back. That guy is busy tonight. Commercials!

After the commercial break, Lex makes his entrance and takes his time getting into the ring. This is all Luger. He puts the boots to Hall, pounds him up in the corner, hits the powerslam, and hoists him up in the TORTURE RACK. Before he gives up, Randy Savage runs down with a chair and breaks up the hold for the DQ. (2:43) He blasts Luger with a chair to the back and slams him for a MACHO ELBOW. He heads up top for a second one, but Sting lowers from the rafters and kicks Savage off the top on the way down! WHAT. Sting enters the ring and starts dishing out Stinger Splashes. He locks in the SCORPION DEATHLOCK while Hollywood Hogan joins Scott Hall at ringside. They walk over and start taunting Savage instead of saving the day. When Sting realizes what’s going on, he lets go of the hold and points at Hogan to close out the show.

TOTAL BELL-TO-BELL TIME: 48:32.

13270 - logo nwo superbrawl wcw

WCW/nWo Superbrawl VIII LIVE ON PPV premieres February 22 from the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA.
MAIN EVENT for the vacant WCW world title:
Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan

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