WCW: Monday Nitro (03.09.98)

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WCW: Monday Nitro
March 9, 1998
Winston-Salem, NC
LJVM Coliseum

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.

They replay the Hogan-Savage interactions from last week on Thunder.

  • Ernest Miller vs. Damian

Miller has gone from looking like a karate fighter to a Muay Thai fighter this week. Lots of kicks. He has the same finisher though with the SPRINGBOARD ROUNDHOUSE KICK at 1:58.

Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff head to the ring. I always enjoy seeing Hogan mouth the lyrics to “Voodoo Chile”. Anyways, Bischoff and Hulk get REAL personal saying things that if it weren’t for Hollywood Hogan, nothing good in Randy’s life would exist. His brother would be living out on the street. Savage wouldn’t be allowed in any arena across the country. Blah blah blah. Hogan brings up Elizabeth and says their marriage might still intact if he didn’t bring her in the locker rooms. He says she “did the boys” and all this nonsense. Hogan keeps referring to himself as the Big Kahuna which has never been cool. Right? After the cage match at UnCeNSoReD, everyone will know that Hollywood Hogan is here 4-LIFE.

We go out to Duke University with Gene Okerlund for the Nitro Party. Fyre isn’t dancing so I’m FUHFUHWID.

  • Sick Boy (w/the Flock) vs. Lenny Lane

No name given yet for who will become known as Reese. He’s just “that big guy who makes Hammer look small”. As Sick Boy retreats to the floor, Lane wipes him and Lodi out with a somersault dive from the apron. Back in, Lenny hits a weak missile dropkick for two. Sick Boy fires back with a variation of the F5. Lodi is all about the UNC Tar Heels winning the ACC tourney on Sunday. I guess that’s to piss off the Duke guys in Durham because Wake Forest lost in the quarterfinals to Clemson that year. Anyways, Lane hits an awful springboard botch for two. These two need to go home. Sick Boy hits THE CURE (better known as the Pedigree) for the win. (4:27) A little long for these two guys. It’s not like they are pushing the ratings needle any higher. ½*

Mike Tenay brings out the Giant to talk shop. Giant feels Kevin Nash that the playing field is totally even now that Nash has a bad back after the powerbomb he received last week. He can’t find Nash backstage, but tells him to show up at UnCeNSoReD to finally settle the score. Giant says he heard Hollywood Hogan talking smack out here earlier and wants to invite his two friends out to square everything up tonight. Here comes the world champ Sting and Randy Savage. The crowd goes NUTS for these two. Savage says that together they are the BOMB, brotha. Sting rips off his trench coat and starts beating a turnbuckle pad with his bat. Larry Z – “He hates turnbuckles!” Savage sends a challenge out to Hogan that if he can find two guys who won’t stab him in the back, they want a six-man tag main event tonight. Balls in your court, nWo.

  • Bill Goldberg vs. Barry Darsow

Remember back in February when Goldberg was having good matches with Brad Armstrong? We’re now in March and he just had a good one with Darsow. Right from the beginning, Darsow who is pushed as a C-level WCW wrestler by 1998 comes out through the curtain showing his heel personality being a loud-mouthed jerk and effectively getting heat from the ringside fans. When they brawl to the floor, Goldberg misses a clothesline up against the ringpost. It’s a turning point moment where you think Darsow may be onto something to end this win streak, but then Goldberg being the monster that he is NO-SELLS his hurt shoulder being run into the corner. He yells out to psyche himself up and turns around to run Darsow down with a spear to set up the JACKHAMMER for the win. (2:36) And the crowd goes wild.

Over at Duke University, Gene Okerlund hypes the WCW Hotline. Kimberly stops by to tell us about the Nitro Girls Bikini Breakout section on WCWwrestling.com. It’s a chance to get a sneak peek on what the girls will be wearing at Club La Vela in Panama City next week. Kim says they won’t be wearing much more than a tan. I highly doubt that.

Scott Hall comes out wearing a “Hollywood Hogan Rules” t-shirt which is either his way of showing solidarity with the Big Kahuna or his way of mocking Hogan over their backstage issues. There’s no time for a survey tonight because he needs to settle some problems in the nWo. Hall puts Hogan over as the man. He tells Savage to just learn to deal with it. Hall tells Hogan to count him in as his teammate later tonight. As for the world champ Sting, he will have to prove to him at UnCeNSoReD that he’s the better man and Hall doesn’t think Sting can do that. He leaves telling Hogan that he’s got his back.

After the break, Kevin Nash comes out by himself and puts on the same style Hogan t-shirt Hall was just seen wearing. Nash says he’ll be the third man tonight. If Savage, Sting, and the Giant want a war – THEY GOT ONE. He tells Hogan that he’ll find another friend like him. Boy, Nash sure doesn’t look happy. As for the Giant, he still feels the pain in his back from that powerbomb last week. Pain can be very cleansing and at UnCeNSoReD, Giant will feel like he has been detailed. When you challenge the nWo, all you do is unify us that much more. When you’re nWo, you’re nWo 4-LIFE.

  • Dean Malenko vs. Kidman

Here we have a rematch from Saturday Night to close out the first hour. Kidman gets to control much of the match doing his moves on Malenko. Chris Jericho comes out with about a minute left in the match to screw around. Kidman hits his springing bulldog out of the corner and gets two. Michinoku Driver gets two as well. Over in the corner, Malenko brings Kidman down with the fireman’s carry gutbuster from the middle rope. TEXAS CLOVERLEAF gets the tapout. (5:02) After the bell, Jericho is shown ordering the Flock to attack. When they get in the ring and don’t do what he asks, Jericho shoves Lodi back. Riggs sees that as an issue and decks Jericho. As the Flock boys start throwing punches at Jericho, he decides it’s time to retreat. *½

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

Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff head out to answer the Macho Man’s challenge. Hogan acts like he picked Scott Hall and Kevin Nash as his partners, but announces them as the partners of his choice. After tonight, Hogan says Savage, Liz, Sting, and the Giant can all hit the road because he’s done with them 4-LIFE.

Carl Torbush – the new head coach of the UNC Tarheels football team – is in attendance. And after all this Duke University talk too! What a trooper.

More Nitro Party shenanigans from Duke. Be careful in the dark there, Fyre! It is Duke University after all.

  • Brian Adams vs. Kaos (w/Rage)

Adams shows off one of his terrible piledrivers in this one. Besides that, he’s all power moves on Kaos. Rage considers double-teaming Adams and fails. Although Tony is of course fine when you cheat so long as it’s used against the nWo. Adams puts Kaos away with the TOUR OF THE ISLANDS at 4:20, man.
After
the bell, Adams gives Rage the Tour of the Islands as well and Robinson counts him out as well. What? ½*

Konnan does his bit on the mic and the crowd doesn’t bite. Why are his shades always crooked? Anyways, he goes on a tirade about how WCW doesn’t respect Mexican talent, tradition, or culture. Well, I’m pretty certain that’s a shoot. Konnan has an opponent for Juventud Guerrera tonight. If he wins, he can face Konnan.

  • Scott Norton vs. Juventud Guerrera

Yeah, it’s an nWo cruiserweight, says Heenan. You can imagine how this goes. Juventud gets a few springboard hope spots, but it’s not going to work. Norton catches him and drills Juvi with a backbreaker. He applies a bearhug and then a full nelson to Guerrera as Konnan talks crap to his face. Nasty SHOULDERBREAKER puts Juventud away at 3:38.

They air a DDP-Raven-Benoit hype video leading into UnCeNSoReD.

  • Diamond Dallas Page & Chris Benoit vs. Raven & Saturn

FINALLY. Something interesting. Benoit and Saturn get rough with each other to start. Tag to DDP, he settles Saturn down with a swinging neckbreaker to tag out to Raven. Benoit gets a tag and drills Raven with a clothesline. As Raven and Saturn bail, we take a commercial break. When we return, DDP is *your* US champ in peril. For some reason, it appears the teams have switched to opposite corners. Not sure why that happened, but anywho. When Raven and Saturn try to double backdrop DDP, he surprises Raven with a sunset flip. Saturn holds onto Raven to keep him from going down until Benoit bowls over Saturn. While ref Nick Patrick is busy with getting Benoit out, DDP has the pin on Raven and the crowd is going crazy. No count though. They do a false tag spot to build more heat. DDP cradles up Saturn and Patrick is over with Benoit. Saturn applies a bearhug and DDP’s arm goes down once, twice, but not three times. Saturn cuts off the tag though and reaches Raven to elbow drop DDP. Back to Saturn, he comes off the top rope with a flying legdrop and nearly lands his hip bone on DDP’s chest. That would have been BAD. As Saturn covers, Benoit makes the save. Saturn misses a moonsault off the second rope and reaches Benoit for the hot tag. He’s all chops on Raven. Here comes the Rolling Germans, but Raven low blows him to stop the third suplex. Raven calls for the Evenflow DDT and Benoit counters into the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE. Saturn plans on lowering the boom on Benoit, but DDP is there to crotch him for a DIAMOND CUTTER. The only problem is he lands Saturn on top of Benoit and Benoit thinks it was dastardly and intentional. Now they start fighting and their fight takes them up the aisle and backstage to award the match to Raven and Saturn via countout. (8:08 shown) Fun while it lasted. It’s unfortunate that they took a commercial break though. Winston-Salem went ballistic for the hot tag. **½

Earlier today at Duke Children’s Hospital, Disco Inferno and Bill Goldberg stopped by to visit the kids.

Enough of these sick kids – let’s get back to where the NITRO PARTY is at! The Nitro Girls are giving the guys Domino’s pizza. WOOOOOOO PARTY!

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

  • Konnan (w/Vincent) vs. Davey Boy Smith

They do some British-style wristlockage to start. Konnan fights out of a chinlock and fires back on DBS with the rolling lariat. Crowd chants boring for a few seconds, but then Davey Boy catches Konnan for a powerslam and gets the three-count. (2:48) Huh? Something was definitely off there. And why have Konnan job to Davey Boy Smith six days before a PPV match?
½*

Mike Tenay brings out Ric Flair for an interview. All Flair has to do is come out and talk to the people. He gets a very warm response from Winston-Salem and that’s all he needs to perk up and become the NATCHA BOY, WOO. Anyways, in just a little bit, Curt Hennig is going to get the Carolina butt whooping he’s got coming to him.

  • WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Disco Inferno

Jericho is wearing Juventud’s mask out to the ring. He also has a Monday Night Jericho t-shirt made. Disco actually gives it a go here looking strong against Jericho. He throws Jericho over the top rope to the floor, but dives off the apron into a dropkick. Back inside, he hits some hope spots on Jericho in between Jericho working him over. Jericho charges out of the corner into a spinebuster. Disco follows up with a running atomic drop and puts the boots to him down in the corner. Swinging neckbreaker gets a strong nearfall. Realizing he’s in trouble, Jericho quickly floats around Disco and delivers the butterfly backbreaker to set up the LIONTAMER for the tapout. (3:33) And that’s that. *

More Nitro Party stuff.

  • WCW World Television Championship: Booker T (c) vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Eddie Guerrero (without a shirt, but wearing jeans) follows his nephew out to give him some advice. Chavo BUM RUSHES THE SHOW on Booker, but that doesn’t last long. Eddie remains about ringside here. Booker hits him with the usual and the MISSILE DROPKICK sends Chavo to the showers at 1:48. After Booker leaves, Eddie picks up Chavo and gives him the Brainbuster. What a dick.

  • Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude) vs. Ric Flair

I was reading on another website for the recap of this show where the writer mentioned this was like 1993 RAW. We’ve seen Repo Man, Ric Flair, Mr. Perfect, Crush, Johnny Polo, Diesel, Virgil, Razor, Hogan, Beefcake, Okerlund, Savage, and Heenan. In the next match, we’ll see Lex Luger, the Steiners, and Ted DiBiase! That’s SEVENTEEN guys! Flair says this match is for Winston-Salem, for WCW, and for every Horseman who ever walked the aisle. WOO! It’s headlocks and shoulderblocks to start. Flair catches Hennig with a hiptoss and he’s ready to chop, but Hennig bails. Flair pulls him back into the ring by his hair and starts chopping to set up more hiptossing. Hennig fights back with a backdrop and chops away. The Flair Flip sends him crashing on the floor. Rick Rude runs Flair into the ringpost. Back in, Flair keeps chopping and turns Hennig punch drunk until he stands back up into another chop. Winston-Salem is LOVING this. They are screaming at every blow. Flair avoids a dropkick and points over to Rude to distract the ref. While the ref isn’t looking, Flair field goal kicks Hennig in the nuts. For Winston-Salem! He ignores the ref’s warning and hiptosses Hennig away to go find a chair. In a callback to Fall Brawl and Halloween Havoc from last year, Flair puts Hennig in the tree of woe and threatens to stomp the chair on Hennig’s face. Before he goes that far, Flair struts away and gives Rude a personal variation on the middle finger. Unfortunately for Flair, Konnan and Vincent arrive. They are rendered useless as they immediately get chopped down. Rude ends up blindsiding Flair as the ref calls for the bell. (4:03) Since Flair is totally outnumbered, Hennig orders the B-team to put Flair in the tree of woe to stomp the chair on his head. As Hennig runs towards Flair, BRET HART slides into the ring just in the nick of time and pops Hennig to stop that from happening. Bret knocks out Konnan and Vincent. Rude gets out of town before he has to lay a finger on Bret. Hennig and Bret have a showdown and trade punches until Bret backdrops Hennig over the top rope to the floor. Seems like a minor angle, but the crowd made this much more awesome. *½

I love when crowds roar like that along with every blow. It creates the most enjoyable atmosphere for me. I don’t know if it’s the way WWE controls the noise we hear coming from the crowds, but you never hear it pronounced like it was here. Maybe too many people in the crowd think they are “smart” and stand there with their arms folded instead of having an emotional reaction to what they are seeing. Who knows. I just know it’s not like *this* anymore.

Another note I would like to make – WITH A TEAR IN MY EYE – is this is Ric Flair’s last match we will be recapping until we hit December 1998. He has some contractual and lawsuit problems with WCW and doesn’t appear on any “big shows” until he reforms the Four Horsemen in Greenville, SC on September 14, 1998. That’s right – I knew the location and date without even looking it up. Until then, I believe this is my last WOO! I will surely miss him.

  • Lex Luger & Rick Steiner (w/Ted DiBiase) vs. Scott Steiner & Scott Norton

Rick drags a Rottweiler by his collar to the ring. If you watch closely, that dog is definitely getting DRAGGED. Heenan – “Oh no! He’s brought his sister!” Rick wants his brother of course and Scott doesn’t want Rick, so Norton works much of the match. When Luger gets downed, Steiner tags in and pounds on Lex. Luger hits a series of clotheslines and the Bionic Forearm. Lex tries to pull Scott towards his corner to tag Rick, but Scott runs away and tags out. Norton drills Rick from behind to stop him from chasing White Thunder. Once Norton avalanches Rick, he tags in Scott. He pounds on his brother, but Rick fires back. Scott quickly tags out to Norton and falls through the ropes. The DFG powerslams Norton and hits a Steinerline and elbow drop. Rick goes up for the Steiner Bulldog, but his brother Scott pushes him down into Norton. Whoops. Luger beats Scott Steiner up the aisle and back to the locker room. Norton, Rick, and DiBiase all chase after them for the double-countout. (3:51) Well, that’s one way to get out of a finish. It’s weird that they have tried deflecting the Steiners breakup by saying it was about Scott joining the nWo, not turning on his family. And yet, here he is running away from Rick the whole match because he’s afraid to face his brother, which seems to me like something you would do when you’re building to a family feud. ¾*

  • The Giant, Sting & Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Hollywood Hogan, Scott Hall & Kevin Nash (w/Eric Bischoff)

The feuds break down into a brawl to start. Hogan goes to stop Sting from pounding on Hall, which turns out to be a big mistake. Sting backs Hogan into a corner and gives him the same treatment. Inverted atomic drop on Hogan gets two. Sting howls and punches Hogan down, but then Hollywood goes to the eyes. Corner clothesline by Hogan is followed by more punches on the mat. He goes to smash Sting’s face into the turnbuckle, but no dice. Sting puts on the brakes and returns the favor a whole bunch of times. Tag to Giant, Hogan freaks out and falls back into his corner to tag Nash. Once Nash circles around the ring to turn Giant’s back to Hogan and Hall, they attack him from behind. Giant turns around and picks them both up for what Tony refers to as a DOUBLE BEAR HUG! With Giant wearing a cervical collar, the new World order corner him and beat on his head and neck. This continues on for some time while it drives Sting and Savage nuts. Eventually while all three are pounding on Giant, he shoves them all away and makes the HOT TAG TO SAVAGE! All he wants is Hogan. Meanwhile, Giant chases Nash to the back. While Savage is choking Hogan with his boot, Sting is nailing Hall with Stinger Splashes. They clear out and the ref follows them for some reason. Inside the ring, the yet-to-be-named Disciple – better known as Brutus Beefcake with a beard – jumps in the ring and nails Savage from behind. He gives Savage the Stone Cold Stunner, which Hogan spouts the camera is called the Apocalypse. Disciple then disappears as ref Charles Robinson shoots back inside the ring to count the 1-2-3 on Savage. (9:39) Are you people aware that Randy Savage NEVER PINNED Hulk Hogan? Not in the WWF or the WCW. Never. Not once. Not even in a house show that nobody but the people in the arena saw. Insanity. You should know that Billy Kidman has a pinfall win over Hulk Hogan. BILLY. KIDMAN. And hey, I like Billy Kidman. He ain’t Randy Savage. **

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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