WCW: Monday Nitro (03.02.98)

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WCW: Monday Nitro
March 2, 1998
Philadelphia, PA
CoreStates Spectrum

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)

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

The nWo arrive at the Spectrum in their limo looking awfully confident. Schiavone notices that Randy Savage is nowhere to be seen. Tonight’s main event will be combining the UnCeNSoReD main events: Sting and Randy Savage takes on Hollywood Hogan and Scott Hall. Tony mentions this is the first time a member of WCW and a member of the nWo will be joining forces.

  • Chris Benoit vs. Riggs (w/Lodi)

Don’t remember seeing Nick Patrick looking so clean-shaven and straight-laced like he is here tonight. Normally, he looks like a heel referee and the look and attitude has seemed to have gone by the wayside. Benoit beats up Riggs in the ring with a clothesline and a back suplex. To the floor they go, Lodi interrupts Benoit and takes a couple chops. Riggs knees Benoit from behind, but Benoit didn’t seem to think he hit him hard enough or something and keeps going after Lodi. Riggs nails Benoit with a shot over the ear and puts the boots to him. Back inside, Benoit blocks a suplex and hits a snap suplex of his own. He can’t capitalize though as Riggs applies a chinlock. When Benoit escapes, he delivers the Rolling Germans into the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE for the win. (3:19) This had all the elements of a standard Benoit vs. the Flock match that we’ve been seeing on Nitro for the last several months, but something just seemed off about this encounter. Lots of stop and go action like one of them had the flu. ¾*

Well, this is something I haven’t seen before. Ric Flair appears on the split-screen right before the commercial break telling us not to change the channel and puts over tonight’s main event. He’s not even wrestling on the show tonight! Anyways, WOO!

Tony announces that Randy Savage has been named the 1998 Harvard Lampoon’s Real Man of the Year. He thinks this must really stick in the craw of Hollywood Hogan considering how much Hogan enjoys mainstream media attention. Larry Z thinks this could potentially change the pecking order of the nWo. They show clips of Savage accepting this award at Harvard University. Hilarious. Macho Man will be appearing tomorrow night on the late-night talk show called “Later” on NBC that airs after Conan O’Brien.

And as soon as this clip ends, Hollywood Hogan comes out with Eric Bischoff. He calls Savage a “piece of crap”. He wonders how Savage could be “man of the year” when he couldn’t even keep his marriage together. SNAP. As for Savage going into Hollywood, he thinks it’s fitting that he went on the C-level NBC late night talk show instead of putting him on Leno or Conan. He pronounces Conan’s name like he would Conan the Barbarian, which is hilarious. As for questioning the pecking order in the nWo, Hogan says Savage virtually hung himself. As far as being the man who put Sting over the top, Hogan tells us that everybody knows he could beat Sting any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Tonight, while Scott Hall will come out here to punk, dunk, and beat Sting – once again putting over tonight’s main event – Hogan plans to embarrass Savage and show the whole world that Savage couldn’t even carry his bags. He plans to finish off Savage in the cage at UnCeNSoReD because Hollywood Hogan is JUST TOO SWEET.

WCWwrestling.com – the only pro wrestling website that matters!

Gene Okerlund is at St. Joseph’s University right there in Philly creeping on the girls there for a Nitro Party. Once they get him away from the co-eds, the Nitro Girls come out on a stage and do their thing. Fyre just never gets enough camera time. What’s with these like 5-10 second shots of AC Jazz?! Nobody cares about her!

  • Juventud Guerrera vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

This is the first we’ve seen of Juventud without the mask on free TV. He brings a mask with him and sets it on the ringpost. Hammerlocks and headlocks to start. The Philly crowd is chanting something. Probably ECW related. The bunch of trolls. Chavo avoids a Rocker Dropper and drills Juvi with a clothesline. He delivers a back suplex, but can’t get the pin. Guerrera fires back with a pair of springboard dropkicks. Chavo moves away from a corner charge and snaps Juventud’s neck on the top rope. Guerrera shrugs off the Tornado DDT to lead to some awkward mat wrestling. Time to go home now. Juventud hits the JUVI DRIVER and lands the 450 SPLASH for the win at 4:00. *

More Nitro Party action. Gene takes a moment to hype the WCW Hotline.

  • Psychosis vs. Prince Iaukea

Tony announces that we’ll be seeing the debut of a new music video by the Atlanta-based rap metal group called Stuck Mojo for the title track off their new album called “Rising” that will be released tomorrow in stores. It’s 1998 so rap metal was a thing. If you google the album, you may notice that the WCW U.S. title is pictured on the cover. It’s only fitting that DDP will be featured in that video. Psychosis pearl harbors Iaukea to start. Iaukea slides underneath Psychosis and out to the floor, but turns around into a baseball slide. Psychosis charges Iaukea from the apron and takes a wild dive to the guardrail. Iaukea then springs off the top and dives onto a wobbly Psychosis. Back inside, Psychosis misses not one but TWO dropkicks. He comes back with a spinning heel kick and dropkicks Iaukea in the back of the head. Over to the corner, he delivers a flying headscissors that dumps Iaukea on top of his head. Cover, 1-2-NO! He follows up with the GUILLOTINE LEGDROP, but Psychosis lifts Iaukea off the mat at the two-count. Iaukea avoids a corner charge and heads up top. Psychosis goes to meet him and tries a super victory roll, but Iaukea counters and hooks the legs in the ropes for the three-count. (5:01) The crowd was silent the entire time. Nevertheless, WCW once again tries to push Iaukea as a top cruiserweight contender as if they have NO ONE ELSE on the roster. *

  • Raven’s Rules: Raven vs. Disco Inferno

Naturally, the Philly crowd seems happy to see their former ECW guy. Tenay announces that Raven will be facing DDP on Thunder over the U.S. title. Disco shows us some piss and vinegar in this match that we don’t normally see from him. Once Raven brings the chair in the ring, Disco smashes Raven’s face off the chair. The problem though is that Raven seems to be enjoying himself. While he’s choking Raven with his wrist tape, Disco turns him around and delivers a reverse neckbreaker for two. Raven reverses a whip in the ropes and the drop toehold sends Disco face down on the chair. EVENFLOW DDT! That’ll do at 2:47. *½

Earlier today, St. Joseph’s University kids get autographs from PUBLIC ENEMY. Not the rap group, but the tag team. Gene bothers some more people with useless interviews.

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

  • Philadelphia Street Fight: Public Enemy vs. The Barbarian & Hugh Morrus (w/Jimmy Hart)

There’s some tables and Rubbermaid trash cans in the ring. PE clear the ring and get their hands on Jimmy, but of course Morrus and Barb help out their manager. Tony finds out nearly a minute into this that this is street fight rules. Jimmy continues to get physically involved here. We see some heel miscommunication between the former DOD boys. Jimmy gets flipped into the ring and put on a PE table, but Hugh Morrus stops Rocco up top. While Barb saves the day and pulls Jimmy off the table, Morrus puts Rocco through the table with a superplex. More DOD miscommunication ensues. Grunge gets Barbarian out of the ring while Rocco splashes Morrus through the table. You can see the table start to bend at the cut as soon as Morrus is put on the table. Oh boy. Rocco covers Morrus for the win. (3:12) Is the crowd booing the entire show? They just seem dead or when they do make noise, it’s boos. Every time they come to Philly after ECW gets going, they have to hijack the show like a bunch of losers. This might be the worst example I’ve seen from these people. ½*

Randy Savage and Elizabeth come out to drop some work-shoot comments on Hollywood Hogan. He says the only dark cloud he has hovering over him is the fact that he’s been carrying Hogan for all these years. When the nWo says 4-LIFE, Hogan needs to be real glad because without the nWo, Hogan wouldn’t have a life anymore. Tonight we’ll find who’s lying and who’s dying – because as Hulk always says, it’s only business. The only way he and Sting could get Hollywood Hogan and Scott Hall in the ring together was if they joined forces for one night only. When Savage says Sting is going to do business his way, the world champ Sting comes out to meet his partner. Sting gets on the mic to talk about Scott Hall. Survey says, Scott Hall – YOU’RE DEAD. Now back to Macho Man, Sting doesn’t forgive or forget. To respond to what Savage said earlier, Sting tells him that he only does business his way and walks out.

  • Bill Goldberg vs. Sick Boy

Tony is still flabbergasted that Sting would talk on the microphone. The crowd seems to wake up a little bit for Goldberg though. A press slam occurs and Goldberg walks away to let him hit the mat. Sick Boy slips trying a springboard which cuts this match a little short. Not that it was going to last much longer anyways though. He gives Sick Boy the Spear and the JACKHAMMER for the win at 1:38. Of course, Tony calls this the biggest night in professional wrestling history.

They air the Stuck Mojo video that was discussed earlier in the show. The Flock attacks the band and DDP saves the day. At the end of the video, Raven and DDP have a staredown and nothing gets settled.

Mike Tenay brings out the US champ Diamond Dallas Page for an interview. They act like the appearance of the Flock at the set of the music video was a shoot. DDP basically says he plans on banging Raven this Thursday night around 9:45 PM EST and leaves through the crowd.

When we return, Hammer comes out and gets on the microphone and calls out DDP. He comes back down through the crowd and goes after Hammer for our next match.

  • WCW U.S. Championship: Diamond Dallas Page (c) vs. Hammer

Hammer softens up DDP for about ninety seconds before Page hits the DIAMOND CUTTER. Before DDP can pin Hammer, Raven jumps in the ring and attacks him for the DQ at 1:39. While Raven puts the boots to DDP, Chris Benoit comes down for the save and starts the Rolling Germans. When Benoit goes for the third suplex, DDP goes to slug Raven and hits him by mistake. So now all three of these guys are slugging on each other until we go to commercial.

More Nitro Party shenanigans. Fyre actually gets some quality airtime here! She’s looking for three things when she gets to Panama Beach: walking on the water (awesome!), laying on the beach, and looking for some men. Gene should have done the “I almost dropped my microphone” routine. Okerlund goes to talk with Kimberly and I tune out. Something about food at Hard Rock Café? I don’t know.

Mike Tenay brings out Bret Hart to talk about his upcoming match with Curt Hennig at UnCeNSoReD. Bret says he didn’t come to WCW to make money, he came here to make a difference. What he plans to do with Curt Hennig is prove that he’s the best there is, was, or ever will be. Talk gets real personal as Bret says Larry Hennig never beat his father Stu. That’s as deep as this feud goes? Tenay asks Bret about Brian Adams. He will pay for stabbing him in the back – tonight.

  • Davey Boy Smith vs. Scott Norton

We are at the 9:30 PM EST mark and Bobby Heenan has joined us for commentary. I wish they would stop putting Davey Boy against these super heavyweights. I know they are wanting to put over his power and strength, but I think he can do that better with smaller opponents so he can have better matches. After some brawling, they go to the floor where Norton moves the steps and tries to powerbomb Davey Boy Smith into the ringpost, I guess. When the ref Mickey Jay pleads him not to do it, Norton piefaces him down for another DQ. (1:47) It doesn’t happen as DBS backdrops Norton away and they brawl up the aisle. Didn’t they just do this same thing with Mongo?

  • Konnan vs. Super Calo

Konnan calls out to the crowd like he will do as a babyface when he joins the nWo Wolfpac and cuts a promo on Juventud. He’s mad that Juvi went and lost his mask after Konnan went to all the trouble of getting him the job here in WCW. Konnan declares that Guerrera is no longer “raza”. Another poorly executed squash up until Calo sells the heck out of the Rolling Lariat. Tenay announces that DDP, Chris Benoit, and Raven will settle the score at UnCeNSoReD in a “Triple Jeopardy” match. No information on what the rules are for that match just yet. The 187 and the TEQUILA SUNRISE taps out Calo in 2:06. After the bell, Konnan tries to unmask Calo. He’s stopped by Juventud who comes out for the save. They jib-jab with each other setting up a match for next week on Nitro.

They replay Brian Adams turning on Bret Hart from two weeks on Nitro and revealing he’s now a member of the nWo. While Bret is being attacked by the nWo B-Team, Ric Flair comes out to save the day.

Mike Tenay welcomes Ric Flair out to the ring for a word. Being the company man he is, Flair says he’s here in the Spectrum to see the main event instead of being at St. Joseph’s University partying. Curt Hennig and Rick Rude head down. Flair makes a hockey reference that I don’t understand because I’m from North Carolina. Hennig tries to create some doubt in Flair’s mind over his newfound respect for Bret Hart. While Flair came down and helped Bret, Hennig tells Flair that Bret won’t come out to help him if he and Rude were to step through the ropes and beat him up. Flair challenges Hennig to a match and they sell each other’s chops. WOO! Flair takes the Ray Stevens corner bump out to the apron. He ducks the shot from Hennig and returns the favor. Oh. There’s a low blow. Flair starts kicking at the knee as Hennig bumps around the perimeter of the ring. When it’s time for the Figure-Four, that’s when Rick Rude strikes. The HENNIGPLEX connects and Rude comically takes his time counting the faux three-count. This might be the most action we ever see out of Rick Rude as Hennig’s manager. He’s throwing punches and everything. If I saw a Rude Awakening, I would lose it. Bret Hart is a little bit late on the save, but he runs Hennig and Rude away once Flair is left for dead.

Is the crowd just so pissed off after a lousy ECW PPV from the night before? Good grief what a dead audience. To think this is a SELLOUT plus the overflow in the CoreStates Center next door has people watching on CCTV for $10 a head!

In case you didn’t know about the main event, Rick Steiner hypes the main event. They are really concerned about the Mike Tyson appearance and rightfully so.

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

Back over to St. Joseph’s for more Fyre jiggling while Gene Okerlund tells us about future Nitro Party locations. He talks to the St. Joseph’s eagle mascot who doesn’t talk. This is in the 10-10:15PM EST quarter hour where on RAW, Mike Tyson was revealed as a member of D-Generation X and this is what’s happening on Nitro. And yet, WCW STILL MANAGED TO WIN THE QUARTER HOUR (by a slim margin, but still).

  • Scott Steiner vs. Jim Duggan

It’s announced that Steiner will be facing Lex Luger at UnCeNSoReD on March 15. Steiner won’t sell Duggan’s clotheslines until he takes a third one out to the floor. Back in, Duggan gives Steiner a big slam. Steiner catches him telegraphing a backdrop and hits a butterfly slam. Duggan makes a comeback until Steiner cuts him off with a low blow. He tries a flying sunset flip on Duggan, but Duggan stands tall and slugs away. Duggan misses a corner charge and falls out to the floor for some guardrail action. Back in the ring, the Spinning Belly to Belly Suplex sets up the STEINER RECLINER for the submission. (4:08) After the bell, Steiner scares the ref out of the ring and kisses his bicep. ½*

  • Booker T & Dean Malenko vs. Eddie Guerrero & Chris Jericho

This is the last time Guerrero and Jericho will team up at least on WCW TV. If these two were allowed to stick together, they would easily be the best tag team in the US. It wouldn’t even be close! This is a return match from Thunder when Guerrero was able to pin Booker. Jericho and Booker start the match even though all of Philly is chanting how Eddie sucks. They go through a headlocks and shoulderblocks routine. Jericho fires off a missile dropkick from the second rope and tags Eddie. Jericho whips Guerrero into Booker, but Booker launches Eddie into the corner. Jericho misses a swing at Booker and collides with Guerrero. Booker hits Jericho with a Side Slam while Malenko delivers a dropkick to Eddie. The heels start running on their knees to each other in the middle of the ring to console one another. The crowd loved that bit. Back in, Eddie tries to jump Booker and begs off. Guerrero gets sneaky and dropkicks the knee to take control. Tag to Jericho, he slams Booker for the Hilo from Eddie. Booker comes right back with the jumping forearm smash. Malenko tags in for the first time in the match. He backdrops Jericho, but Eddie lands on his feet avoiding the move. He seems pretty pleased with himself until Booker comes in and wipes out Eddie with a superkick. Malenko gets knocked to the floor. Jericho tries the Lionsault on Booker, but Malenko pulls the middle rope down and Jericho goes flying through the ropes. Guerrero misses the Frog Splash on Booker, but rolls through. Booker does the SPINAROONIE and misses the Harlem Side Kick. Eddie charges into Booker’s arms and they go flying over the top rope so that Schiavone can put over the “over the top rope” DQ rule that has been thrown out. Booker holds Guerrero out on the floor while Malenko submits the cruiserweight champ with the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF for the win. (4:47) Easily the best match of the night, but it needed more time to breathe. **½

Members of the nWo led by Kevin Nash, Buff Bagwell, Scott Steiner, Konnan, and Dusty Rhodes come out to the ring. Steiner grabs the mic and tells his brother that when he joined the nWo, it was for the both of them. So sacrificing your brother was the only way it could have happened? Scott wants to induct his brother Rick into the nWo. They give him a second and Rick comes out with Ted DiBiase. Rick does the Wolfpac sign to the nWo boys and of course Nash presents him with a t-shirt, but then Rick throws the shirt in Nash’s face and starts punching away. WHO KNEW. Since its four-on-one, Rick clearly has no chance and gets beaten down. DiBiase and Rhodes do nothing. Nash thinks about powerbombing Rick, but sees Doug Dellinger and decides against it. OH WAIT, he turns his back to Dellinger and tries the powerbomb. Rick backdrops him over even after all the stomping he took from the other nWo boys. The Giant while still wearing the collar comes out to save the day. The other nWo boys leave Nash behind as they finally face off. Giant gives Nash a headbutt and Nash actually takes a decent bump. With the nWo watching from ringside, Giant gives Nash a POWERBOMB. Okay then, is he going to be fined and sent off to jail? Nahhhh. Giant sells the neck and embraces Rick.

When we return from commercial, the Giant was about to be arrested, but the handcuffs won’t fit so security lets him go. WHAT.

  • Bret Hart vs. Brian Adams

This is the first Nitro match for Bret. Adams BUM RUSHES THE SHOW here and presses Bret into a gutbuster. They do some ringside brawling and head back into the ring with Bret in control. Bret hits the Russian Legsweep and follows through with the clothesline and the backbreaker. Adams tries to block the flying elbow with his feet, but Bret sees it coming and attempts the Sharpshooter. He headbutts Adams in the groin instead. Adams stops Bret with a clothesline and delivers the TOUR OF THE ISLANDS. He takes off a turnbuckle pad and tries to smash Bret’s face, but Bret turns the tables on him and locks in the SHARPSHOOTER. Here comes Hennig for the DQ. (4:31) Hennig and Bret brawl up the aisle until we go to commercial. ¾*

  • Sting & Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Scott Hall & Hollywood Hogan (w/Eric Bischoff)

Hall wears a Syxx t-shirt out to the ring. The nWo attack right from the start. Hogan and Bischoff both try and smash Sting’s face on the turnbuckle and fail. Hogan tastes the turnbuckle and Bischoff gets punched away. This leads to Sting taking Hogan all around ringside for a beating. Meanwhile, Savage and Hall are doing their thing. Sting takes off Hogan’s weightlifting belt and whips him. More ringside brawling from Sting and Hogan while Savage uses the belt against Hall. Finally, we get some order as Sting and Savage take turns working over Hall. There is absolutely no dissension between these two nullifying the earlier dispute and making this a standard faces versus heels tag match. This continues until Hogan whacks Savage over the back of the head with a foreign object. It looked like a spray can when he dropped it under the apron. Anyways, Hogan comes in and chokes Savage for a bit. Hall hits the Fallaway Slam for two. Hogan catches Savage with the Big Boot. Since Savage doesn’t take the bump like normal, Hogan has to slam Savage to put him in position for the LEGDROP, which he misses. Hot tag to Sting, he gives Hogan a pair of Stinger Splashes. As Sting goes for the SCORPION DEATHLOCK on Hogan and Savage heads up top for the MACHO ELBOW on Hall, the nWo hit the ring for the DQ. (7:28) The Disciple returns and drops Savage with the APOCALYPSE. If I’m not mistaken, Disco Inferno has been told not to use the Chartbuster anymore as his finisher because that’s the Disciple’s finish now. He then helps Hogan (and only Hogan) out of the ring while Sting keeps the nWo at bay. DDP is out here as well doing nothing of note. The Giant comes back out (even though his neck is hurting) and scares away the nWo for good. Sting is shown kneeling down checking on Savage as we close the show. **

Screw you, Philly. Yeah the wrestling wasn’t on point tonight, but you did nothing to make it *more* fun.

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
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Championship: DDP (c) vs. Chris Benoit vs. Raven
WCW World TV Championship: Booker T (c) vs. Eddie Guerrero
WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Dean Malenko
Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig
The Giant vs. Kevin Nash
Lex Luger vs. Scott Steiner
Juventud Guerrera vs. Konnan

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