WCW: Monday Nitro (02.23.98)

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WCW: Monday Nitro
February 23, 1998
Sacramento, CA
Arco Arena

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Sting (2/22/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Diamond Dallas Page (12/28/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (2/22/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Booker T (2/22/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho (1/24/1998)

We get reactions from DDP, Booker T, Ric Flair, and Bret Hart concerning Scott Steiner not just turning on his brother but also joining up with the nWo.

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

Gene Okerlund tries to get some comments from Rick Steiner as he enters the building. Rick brushes him off and walks on by. No Ted DiBiase either.

  • Lex Luger vs. Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude)

Lex’s abs are still taped from the nWo attack last Thursday night. He vents about Scott Steiner and calls him out for a fight. Instead, Curt Hennig and Rick Rude come down to the ring. Headlocks and shoulderblocks to start. Hennig takes a hiptoss out of the corner and bails out. As Luger goes to suplex Hennig back inside, a well-developed bleached blonde-haired gentleman makes Luger stop by pounding on the ribs. It’s obviously Scott Steiner, but our commentators don’t seem to realize it until his glasses fall off after a suplex. (1:30) Hennig and Rude leave Scott behind because he seems to be doing fine. That’s when Luger starts hitting clotheslines, drills him with the Bionic Forearm, delivers the powerslam, and you know what’s coming next. Buff Bagwell joins Scott Steiner and attacks Luger. Rick Steiner comes out and decks Buff. He goes over and confronts his brother. No punches are thrown as the rest of the nWo B-team save the day. They hold up Rick as Scott kicks him square in the nuts. HERE COMES STING FROM THE TOP OF THE ARCO ARENA. He scares off the nWo as various WCW wrestlers come out to check on Rick and Luger. No rating.

NITRO GIRLS~!

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Championship: Diamond Dallas Page (c) vs. Hammer (w/Lodi)

Lodi gets more heat than all the Flock members combined. Hammer does a cool spot slipping out of a slam and giving DDP a reverse suplex onto the ropes. You don’t see that move very often. In a match like this, you’re just waiting for the Diamond Cutter to happen. You know Hammer has no chance of winning here. DDP crotches him in the corner and brings him off the ropes with the DIAMOND CUTTER for the win. (3:49) DDP fights off the other Flock members, but gets nailed from behind by Raven. He puts the boots to DDP until Chris Benoit makes the save for his buddy.
Raven is just so on point since his comeback in January. ¾*

Outside the building, Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff arrive in a black limo. When they see the cameras, they tell someone else in the car to stay put for now. Once in the building, Vincent walks over to Hogan and whispers something to him and Hogan seems pretty upset storming off to wherever he needs to go.

After we go to the commentators for more speculation, we go back to Hogan and Bischoff who are still just WALKING.

We see Hogan and Bischoff finally head through the tunnel to come down to the ring to talk about last night. Hollywood vents about how many times he’s beaten Sting. He is no longer an issue anymore and just to prove to all his nWo-ites that he’s the true champion, Scott Hall will beat Sting tonight for the WCW world title and return his title back to the family. Speaking of family, Hogan brings up Randy Savage. He says just when he was about to come back and beat Sting, Savage hit him in the back of the head with a ten foot long crowbar (well, it was more like a spray can). He challenges Randy Savage for a cage match at UnCeNSoReD. He wants to end Savage once and for al and kick him out of the nWo. At UnCeNSoReD, Savage will be fighting 4 *YOUR* Life. OHHH YEAH. Well, Randy Savage shows up in the balcony with Elizabeth behind him. He tells Hogan that he’s not kicking him out of the nWo because Savage is kicking him out of the nWo. Savage agrees to the cage match at UnCeNSoReD. 4 LIFE. TOO SWEET. A CAGE MATCH AT UNCENSORED.

  • Ultimo Dragon vs. Kaz Hayashi

This is the Nitro debut of Kaz Hayashi – one of the Ultimo Dragon’s students. He wrestled Dragon in a dark match last night at Superbrawl VIII. Hayashi is 24 years old here. Just a doughy kid at this point. After Dragon controls with headlocks and shoulderblocks, Hayashi busts out a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and a lucha flying armdrag. Dragon does the headstand in the corner and mule kicks Hayashi away. After the Kick Combo, Hayashi fires back with some (weak) kicks of his own and sends Dragon to the floor for a twisting tope. Back inside, he lands a flying moonsault (!!) for 1-2-NO! Hayashi completely flips out of a German suplex and hits a hurracanrana for two. Dragon tries a La Magistral-esque cradle, but can’t get Hayashi’s shoulders down. Hayashi delivers a Dragon Suplex for 1-2-NO! He heads up top, but gets crotched for the Dragon Hurracanrana followed by the DRAGON SLEEPER for the win. (4:17) A really good debut for Hayashi. He will remain with WCW until the end of the promotion. *

Gene Okerlund takes a moment to plug the WCW Hotline: 1-900-909-9900.

When we come back, Tony shows us a Nitro Party video.

  • Raven’s Rules: Raven vs. Chris Benoit

Benoit is right behind Raven during his entrance and beats him to ringside. He throws Raven into the guardrail and BENDS the guardrail. In the ring, he removes Raven’s jacket and chokes him. Snap suplex sets up a Swandive Headbutt, but Raven sits up and lays back on Benoit for 1-2-NO! Raven brings a chair in the ring and bulldogs Benoit on the chair. More chair abuse comes for Benoit until he punches the chair back in Raven’s face much like what we saw on Thunder last week. Benoit chops the crap out of Raven and throws him into the chair in the corner. The Rolling Germans gets two. In comes Kidman to jump Benoit for the DQ? Huh? (4:21) So you can do all kinds of spots with a chair for four minutes, but don’t you dare interfere! Benoit takes out members of the Flock, but gets blindsided by Riggs allowing Raven to set up for the EVENFLOW DDT. Before he drills Benoit, DDP makes the save. All three of them start punching each other and we’ve got a bit of a mess on our hands now. When the rest of the Flock attack again causing Benoit and DDP to work together clearing the ring. **½

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

NITRO GIRLS~!

  • WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Lenny Lane

Because he’s the best, Jericho comes out wearing Juventud Guerrera’s mask. Lenny Lane here looking like a gayer Chris Jericho. He cuts a promo saying he was going to wear the mask tonight as a tribute to Air Quasimodo, but he can’t cover up that face. He announces that he wants the name of this show changed to Monday Night Jericho. Go ahead and get that t-shirt machine ready, boys. Jericho gets distracted when the crowd chants how much he sucks and lets Lenny take over. He baits Lenny to chase him on the floor and kicks him in the head when he comes back inside the ring. Big suplex by Jericho gets two. Jericho skins-the-cat and gets dumped out anyways. Back inside, Lane gets a few nearfalls on Jericho. He does a nice springboard sunset flip move, but Jericho rolls through and locks in the LIONTAMER for the submission. (3:41) More decent action. I’m wondering if WCW is getting concerned about their mid-carders (Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko specifically) being unhappy about never getting a chance to climb up the card, so they are trying to build up some newcomers starting here tonight. Hmm. *

The commentators recap what happened in the opening match tonight concerning the debut of “White Thunder” Scott Steiner.

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

The DFG gets his hands on the lowest of the low on the nWo totem pole. He takes out Vincent quickly with the STEINER BULLDOG for the win in 1:35.

Here at the 90 minute mark, Bobby Heenan replaces Larry Z at the table.

  • Saturn vs. Yuji Nagata (w/Sonny Oono)

No Lodi since we already have a heel manager out there. Of course, he gets *no* heat whatsoever from the crowd, but anywho. They throw each other around to start. Sonny Oono grabs Saturn’s ankle as he comes off the ropes allowing Nagata to drill him and take Saturn over with a T-Bone suplex. Nagata spends the rest of the match wrenching on the knee setting him up for the Nagata Lock. When he tries the hold, Saturn immediately grabs the ropes and comes back with the RINGS OF SATURN for the win. (6:36) I don’t think anybody in the crowd gave two craps about this match. ¾*

  • WCW World Television Championship: Booker T (c) vs. Renegade

We haven’t seen Renegade on Nitro now in almost a year. He actually thinks he’s going to win back the TV title tonight. Of course we never thought he would beat Arn Anderson, but here we are. Tenay puts over Booker T’s back to back wins last night over Rick Martel and Saturn. Showcase match for Booker. Renegade works a backbreaker, but doesn’t do much else. Booker shoves down a superplex and hits Renegade with a missile dropkick for two. The Axe Kick gets two as well. Renegade tries a handspring elbow in the corner, but Booker nails him with the Harlem Side Kick to mess that up. Another Harlem Side Kick puts Renegade on his back for the three-count. (4:22) Booker continues with his winning ways here. ¾*

  • Konnan vs. Lizmark Jr.

Lizmark comes back on Konnan with a series of kicks, but Konnan doesn’t seem to take topes from his AAA boys. Back inside, Lizmark gets a nearfall from a springboard missile dropkick. He tries a floatover in the corner and gets caught with an Alabama Slam. He tries to get Konnan with a couple cradle pins, but can’t make it happen. Konnan blasts him with the 187 to set up the TEQUILA SUNRISE for the win. (3:38) After the bell, Konnan gets on the mic and tells Juventud Guerrera he is nothing without the mask. He had his chance to join the nWo and he blew it. Daaaang. *

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

NITRO GIRLS~!

  • Vicious N Delicious vs. High Voltage

Buff and Rage start us off here. As he has been known to do, Buff poses after each basic move. Rage comes back on him with a press slam and shows off his physique. Bagwell takes offense and slaps him, but Rage slaps him back. Tag to Kaos, Norton runs him down. However, Kaos comes back around with a powerslam. High Voltage delivers a side slam/legdrop double-team on Norton. Buff nails Kaos from behind turning the tide in their favor. Bagwell stops a sunset flip and takes a second to pose over him. Rage has enough and springboard bulldogs him down. Awesome. Hot tag to Rage, he throws Bagwell around. High Voltage tries a double suplex on Norton, but he counters and nearly kills Kaos. Norton picks up Rage and Bagwell comes off the top with the BUFF BLOCKBUSTER for the three-count. (5:19) Fun little match. Felt like something you might see as a feature bout on Saturday Night. **

  • Eddie Guerrero vs. Disco Inferno

The best wrestler in the world right now just is not happy right now. You’d never know it from his work though. Wristlocks and shoulderblocks to start. Disco catches Eddie with an inverted atomic drop and clotheslines him down for two. They trade blows in the corner. Disco gets off a vertical suplex. Eddie flips out of a back suplex and clips the knee to start work on that area of the body. Eddie sucks chants begin. Disco throws Guerrero off the top and hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. Gourdbuster gets two as Eddie gets his foot on the bottom rope. Guerrero cowers into the corner so he can cheapshot Disco and come down on his knee. The missile dropkick to the knee incapacitates Disco as Eddie easily hits him with the FROG SPLASH for the win. (5:14) Probably seems like a meaningless match right now, but they are building to Eddie getting a TV title shot at UnCeNSoReD and now he’s got himself a clear win over a recent TV champ. *½

NITRO GIRLS~!

Gene Okerlund meets with JJ Dillon at the edge of the ramp. He tells us that he was the one who sent ref Nick Patrick out to count the pinfall on Hogan. He announces Sting as the undisputed WCW world champ. Dillon brings out Patrick to show his appreciation for what he did last night. His next assignment as referee is waiting for him in the ring. Patrick shakes JJ’s hand and says they will get along just like PB&J from now on. No mention of back pay?

  • Ric Flair vs. Brad Armstrong

February 27 will be Ric Flair Day in the state of Minnesota. Heenan says he heard Curt Hennig is upset about this since he’s the man who made Minnesota famous. I’m assuming Armstrong is being rewarded here for the great job he’s done with Goldberg over the last couple weeks. Tony mentions the Flair/Armstrong match from 1996 where Brad almost upset Flair when he was the world champ. Armstrong works off a side headlock to start. Flair gets him in the corner and thumbs him in the eye to take over with chops. Armstrong gets fired up and stalks Flair back into a corner only to take an atomic drop. Armstrong flips out of a back suplex and tries an O’Connor roll, but Flair grabs the ropes. Armstrong rolls back and clotheslines Flair down. RUSSIAN LEGSWEEP! Cover, 1-2-NO! A missile dropkick connects, but then Flair baits Armstrong into trying a flying body press and misses. He asks the ref to check the time so he can kick Armstrong in the dick. WOO! FIGURE-FOUR! It’s all over. (3:56) Armstrong is so underutilized during this era. *

They replay the clip of the powerbomb that injured the Giant. Gene Okerlund brings him out the big guy for an interview hoping to get an update on his condition. He’s wearing a neck brace of course. He’s always got Kevin Nash on his mind. The doctors are telling him he may never wrestle again, but he’s coming back for Kevin Nash. Name the time. Name the place. He’ll be there. Pretty standard revenge interview there.

After a break, we get more Gene Okerlund interviews. He brings out Brian Adams who accuses Gene of being pro-WCW. Well, DUH. Adams tries to be a bully and I think it made the crowd like him. Concerning Bret Hart, he wouldn’t break a sweat or leave his feet in a match. Well, here comes Bret Hart to the ring and he’s coming out of his street clothes ready to fight. Bret calls his bluff, but Adams shows he’s not bluffing with a big inverted atomic drop and a big Tour of the Islands. Bret avoids an elbow drop and pulls Adams nWo shirt down over his face and starts to beat on him. He applies a SHARPSHOOTER with his back facing the entrance ramp. Bad idea. Curt Hennig hits the ring and blasts Bret. As Bret trips up Hennig and starts pounding him, Rick Rude comes down to the ring to make it 3-on-1. Now Ric Flair appears and helps Bret clean house on the nWo. WOO! Flair gets on the mic and tells Bret that *today* he’s the best there is, was, or ever will be. People are just waiting for him to stab Bret in the back, but it won’t happen. He says he appreciates the show of respect Bret had for him after Bret’s win over him at Souled Out. If Bret needs some help here in WCW, Flair would love to walk down that aisle for him. Bret says he’s been on the shelf for too long and wants to take the nWo apart brick by brick. He challenges Hennig to a match at UnCeNSoReD looking to finish him off once and for all. Bret drops the mic and starts to walk away, but Flair wants to mess with the fat boy in the front row who has been following him around for decades. WOO!

"Guess where it is? It's right here, boy! WOO!"

“Guess where it is? It’s right here, boy! WOO!”

  • WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Sting (c) vs. Scott Hall (w/the nWo)

No match. Hollywood Hogan is waiting for Sting in the ring like he’s going to get another rematch. During Sting’s entrance, Hall appears as a fake Sting for some reason and blasts Sting with a bat. If you’re going to jump Sting from behind anyways, WHY DO THE FAKE STING BIT AT ALL? That makes no sense. Are we to assume it was Scott Hall who was in the nWo limo dressed as Sting all night long? Everybody stands around while Hall gives Sting the Fallaway Slam and the OUTSIDER’S EDGE in the ring. Hall spray paints “NWO” on Sting as Randy Savage hits the ring. He gets beaten down due to the overwhelming numbers and whipped by Hogan. We see a new face in the ring who we will all come to know best as the Disciple. He just stands there in the corner and doesn’t do anything. Savage gets spraypainted as well before Lex Luger chases the entire nWo away with a chair. Heenan wants to know who Luger came out to save: Savage, Sting, or both?

Fans, we’re outta time. Until next time, so long for now.

unc_98

WCW/nWo UnCeNSoReD LIVE ON PPV premieres March 15
from the Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, AL.

MAIN EVENT
Cage Match: Hollywood Hogan vs. Randy Savage

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Sting (c) vs. Scott Hall
Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig

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