WCW: Monday Nitro (06.08.98)

WCW: Monday Nitro
June 8, 1998
Auburn Hills, MI
The Palace

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (4/20/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bill Goldberg (4/20/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: vacant (6/4/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Fit Finley (5/4/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko (5/17/1998)

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

Michael Buffer asks us if we’re ready to rumble as they bring out not just the world champ Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff and the Disciple, but also DENNIS RODMAN. This is the infamous appearance by Rodman where he blew off practice in the middle of the NBA FINALS to come to Nitro. After beating the Utah Jazz by 42 points the night before in Salt Lake City for game three, you could say the Chicago Bulls were feeling pretty confident they would win their third straight championship. You can imagine that really got ESPN talking, but the problem was that WCW couldn’t hype his appearance. For skipping out on practice to be at a wrestling show, Rodman was fined $10,000 by the NBA and an undisclosed sum by the Chicago Bulls, which no matter what the Bulls fined him that he still came out in the black on the deal. Hollywood Hogan threatens Randy Savage and Roddy Piper to come after them tonight. He is feeling GOOD tonight. Rodman takes a break from smoking his stogie and grabs the mic and gets 50/50 cheers and boos. He works the crowd a little bit. Pretty funny stuff. Hogan gets back on the stick and tells us all there’s no stopping nWo Hollywood because they are 4-LIFE.

Let Us Take You Back: Monday Nitro, 6/1/98. Sting fakes out nWo Hollywood and joins the nWo Wolfpac.

NITRO GIRLS!

We go to some footage of Mike Tenay wasting time with some Detroit fans tailgating out in the parking lot from earlier in the day. Get a job, losers!

Out comes the nWo Wolfpac to the ring. They screw up the entrance themes at first. That’s so WCW. Kevin Nash wants to recruit Diamond Dallas Page to the nWo Wolfpac. The vote in the crew was ALMOST unanimous (looking at you, Randy Savage), but overall they still want him to be part of the nWo Wolfpac. Wouldn’t Curt Hennig (and presumably Rick Rude as well) have a problem with DDP being in the group too? Nash, Konnan, Sting, and Lex Luger would still have the majority, but you know. That wouldn’t make it that close. Anyways, Nash’s mic screws up and we hear Hollywood Hogan’s voice calling out to Nash to stop with the lies. We then look up to see Hollywood Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Dennis Rodman, and Bret Hart who have taken over the soundboard and pyro controls. They screw around with the show and Hogan has a good laugh. This is Hogan’s way of pointing out who has all the power around here. Hulk is losing his voice and we’re only 25 minutes into the show.

After a break, Konnan confronts JJ Dillon backstage wanting to know if Hollywood Hogan can continue doing what he just did. JJ Dillon doesn’t really seem to care about nWo Wolfpac problems.

  • Yuji Nagata (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Jerry Flynn

The announcements during the match are much more entertaining than the actual match, so here they are. Because he’s doing the CRAZY gimmick now, we learn that Chavo Guerrero has challenged Bill Goldberg for tonight. The WCW public relations office will have Tony make an announcement this week on Thunder. Yes, the PR department. Nagata gets to the ropes to escape the Cross Armbreaker. Oono distracts Flynn as Nagata dropkicks the knee. A back suplex leads to the NAGATALOCK to wrap this one up in 4:12. Meh. ½*

Tony Schiavone brings out Chris Jericho for an interview. He’s got a registered letter from the higher power Ted Turner and reads it on air:

“Dear Mr. Jericho, after reviewing your request regarding a final decision on your grievance with World Championship Wrestling, I have reached the following conclusions. Firstly, let me commend you on your recent performances within WCW. Your work has been incredible, your dedication has been remarkable, and your tenacity has been second to none. As a matter of fact, I see in you a lot of what made a young Southern man into the billionaire media maven he is today. You even receive high praise from my lovely wife Jane, who incidentally sends her regards…I enjoy my summer’s fishing in your homeland of Canada as I equally enjoyed watching your father excel in the National Hockey League. So, in regards to your legal search for justice, I only have this to say. After reviewing the tapes of the Battle Royal at Slamboree as well as the subsequent match, I agree that the circumstances leading to your loss were less than by the book, therefore DEAN MALENKO SHOULD NOT BE THE CHAMPION! However, your incessant whining and complaining has sickened me, so I must agree with WCW President J.J. Dillon in saying ‘tough luck.’ The decision stands – Dean Malenko is the undisputed Cruiserweight champion. As far as your legal precedent goes, this is the WCW, so your little-known codicil will remain unused, undisclosed, and unfortunate, similar to your wrestling career. Signed, Uncle Ted Turner.”

Jericho is in tears and still claims there’s a conspiracy against him. So is JJ Dillon the PRESIDENT of WCW or the CHAIRMAN of WCW or both? Good grief.

  • Horace & Reese (w/Raven and the Flock) vs. Van Hammer & Juventud Guerrera

Juventud wants some of Reese, but Hammer tries to explain to him that’s a bad idea. When Van Hammer is your voice of reason, you need to sort yourself out. Horace dumps out Guerrera so he and Reese can double-team Hammer. When their double-team fails, Juventud springboards into Reese who trips over Horace. That spot looked real bad considering how out of position Horace was. Anyways, that takes Reese off his feet so that Juventud can put the boots to him. As the Flock regroups, Hammer pitches Guerrera at them from inside the ring and then pitches himself at them. Back inside, Horace dominates Hammer for a while. Hammer cobra clutch slams Horace so he can tag in Juventud for a springboard legdrop. Horace quickly takes control of the match though and abuses Guerrera for a while. It looks like he’s about to do Reese’s own finisher when Guerrera counters into a headscissors. Over in the corner, Juventud falls back on Horace to stop a back superplex. Hot tag to Hammer, he is one ugly awkward wrestler. He finally takes Reese down to the mat with a whole bunch of clotheslines and dumps himself and Horace on the floor. In the ring, Juvi tries a flying headscissors only to be caught and drilled with the TREE SLAM for the W. (8:04) It’s surprising that this got so much time and yet it’s not. *½

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

We move to the luxury box where nWo Hollywood (and several whores) are holding down the fort. Hollywood Hogan rambles on about Kevin Nash and then says that he’s called his lawyer Henry Holmes to get reimbursement for all the powerbomb payments he made earlier in the year. In other news, they will be introducing us to the “second biggest man in Hollywood” later. This just seems like Hollywood Hogan trying to get his groove back that he lost to the nWo Wolfpac, amirite?

Tony Schiavone is standing by with the Chairman of WCW JJ Dillon for a word. They recap what happened on Thunder over the WCW world tag titles. Seeing as how the Giant and Sting don’t get along, they will square off at the Great American Bash and the winner will pick a new partner to become the new tag champs.

  • Eddie Guerrero vs. Scott Putski

Eddie says on the way to the ring that he looks to have Sunday off after Goldberg takes care of Chavo tonight. Putski shows off his Polish power to start, but Eddie turns things around with a drop toehold and a dropkick to the head. He then snapmares Putski over to step on his face. You know, VINTAGE EDDIE! Putski escapes an abdominal stretch and takes Eddie over with a release German suplex that possibly gave him a concussion as he landed funny. Nevertheless, Guerrero bounces back and hits the Hilo. Putski comes back with power moves, but Eddie slips out of a press slam and grabs a sleeper. As Putski breaks loose, Guerrero dropkicks the knee and starts putting the boots to Putski as Chavo Guerrero comes down and runs Eddie out of the ring for the DQ. (4:34) Putski doesn’t appreciate Chavo getting involved in his match. Chavo apologizes and then as Scott looks over at Eddie, Chavo drills him and runs away. HA! ¾*

In the back, Kevin Nash and Konnan provide counterpoint for Hollywood Hogan’s comments earlier. They’re selling enough Wolfpac t-shirts to pay Hogan back. Nash makes fun of the
“fifteen skeezers sharing one bottle of Dom”. Oh snap, Nash bringing the HEAT.

After the break, we go back to the luxury box where Eric Bischoff interviews the Giant who compares Sting to a bug and talks about ripping off his limbs.

More talking. Tony Schiavone brings out Konnan, Rick Rude, and Curt Hennig. Rude talks, Hennig talks, and Konnan talks. None of it matters though as the crowd was too busy chanting for “Goldberg”.

  • Best of 7 Series – Match 6: Booker T (2) vs. Chris Benoit (3)

The tension is peaking here between these two. They shove each other back to start. Once they start wrestling, hammerlocks are traded. Booker tries to catch Benoit with the Hook Kick out of it, but Benoit ducks. Back to the hammerlocks, Booker avoids a back elbow and gives Benoit a back suplex. Benoit does the bridge out of the test of strength, but Booker surprises him with the Hook Kick anyways. He tries the jumping forearm and misses as he crashes and burns into the ropes. This crowd is cheering and booing something. I can’t make out what’s happening. I know the Red Wings are getting set to play game one of the Stanley Cup Finals. Benoit buries a knee into the gut and hangs Booker out to dry on the top rope. He delivers the Snap Suplex for two as well. Benoit takes Booker from corner to corner working on the back. Backbreaker gets two. SWANDIVE HEADBUTT connects! Benoit sells the impact of the move quite a bit and covers him for two. Cue Stevie Ray out to ringside. Benoit basically stomps Booker over to Stevie Ray who pulls Booker out and tries to get him going. Benoit doesn’t have time for any shenanigans and tosses Booker back inside the ring. He gets the Bridging German Suplex for 1-2-NO! Through sheer tyranny of will, Booker comes back with kicks and the 110th Street Slam. Here comes the Flapjack. There’s the SPINAROONIE, but Benoit doesn’t find that cute anymore and throws Booker into the corner. Awesome. Benoit puts the boots to Booker and whips him across into the other corner, but Booker floats over and twists around to catch Benoit with the fancy sunset flip for the win. (11:14) The crowd is 50/50 on this decision. Benoit kicks Booker down and starts working him over until Stevie Ray shoves him away. Benoit then spits at Booker and walks out. Tony says he doesn’t know if the final match will occur on Thunder or on Saturday Night – and I’m 90% sure that’s a shoot knowing how WCW works. This was the best of the six matches. The last two wins for Booker weren’t exactly strong efforts that he could convincingly beat Benoit, so the seventh and final match should allow them to let it all hang out with plenty of time. I know I have seen the seventh match years ago, but I hope it’s filled with moments where they know what the other is going to do before they do it and just look for the other guy to make that first mistake. ***½

NITRO GIRLS! Well, three of them. Apparently, the other four are at a Nitro viewing party in New York City.

NITRO PARTY! Some crew out in Oklahoma wins the party pack this week.

The luxury box is empty – except for Hollywood Hogan and Bret Hart. Hogan does a decent Savage imitation, implies that Nash is gay, and then does some more of that talking stuff that seems to be all the rage in 1998. The next thing we know, Miss Elizabeth is sitting between Hart and Hogan! Liz kisses them both on the cheek! WHOA. Oh, Randy Savage can’t be happy about this.

They take us back to ten minutes ago when Booker T won match #6 against Chris Benoit. The seventh and final match will take place on Thunder. PLUS, we’ll hear from WCW’s PR department!

  • WCW World Television Championship: Fit Finley (c) vs. Norman Smiley

The crowd could not care less for this match. They are chanting more Red Wings things, chanting “boring”, and doing the wave. The Wave is never a good sign. Since it’s the only type of match these two can really pull off, it’s a technically-sound match. Our esteemed commentators do the best they can to entertain us during this swing and a miss. The Finley Roll meets the TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER for the win in 5:43.

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

Tony Schiavone brings out Sting to the ring for an interview. They probably could have hyped this segment up a little bit more, but Sting may not have much to say. Despite the red and black face paint, he’s still wearing the white and black tights. He’s gone back to talking like the old Sting. He insults the Giant saying he needs to take a shower. He also gives Giant some advice that he needs to get off the champagne, stay away from whores, and stop smoking cigarettes because he’s looking out of shape. He keeps calling himself a “seasoned veteran” which nobody does. He says he’s got the Giant’s number and will either hook him in the Scorpion Deathlock or will Scorpion Deathdrop him. Either way, he will own the Giant at the Great American Bash. It’s like he watched “The Mask” with Jim Carrey over the weekend and was like, “Yeah, I’ll do that.”

More interviews. Out comes Roddy Piper to talk to Tony Schiavone. Piper gets the cheap pop calling Detroit the “Home of the Stanley Cup”. I live in North Carolina so I’ll just nod and say “sure”. He makes more local sports team references comparing them to what he’ll do to Hollywood Hogan and Bret Hart at the Great American Bash. He makes fun of Dennis Rodman wearing plaid and having green hair. He either then makes a gay joke directed at Rodman or makes a Karl Malone reference. I’m not totally sure. Piper mentions how nuts Randy Savage is and here he comes. This is the last guy Piper wants to hear from right now. Savage says he isn’t buying what Piper is selling thinking Piper will stab him in the back at the PPV. Piper replies that he isn’t trying to sell anything to Savage – but after he and Savage beat Hogan and Hart, Savage’s ass belongs to him. As Savage thinks they ought not wait until Sunday to get it on, Hollywood Hogan interrupts from the soundboard. Bischoff, Bret, and the Disciple are all there as well. He calls them sissies and then gives Miss Elizabeth to Eric Bischoff. He tells Bischoff to do what Randy Savage couldn’t do. Now Bischoff and Liz start to make out. Hogan says they don’t need any Viagra™ up at the soundboard, brother. Savage says he got over Elizabeth a long time ago, but he’ll NEVER be over Hogan. He then says he’s damn sure not over Piper and then clocks him! While nWo Hollywood laugh their butts off, Piper fires back at Savage. As Savage rolls out, he grabs a chair and boy this is getting out of hand!

They replay the latest on the Chris Jericho situation from last week’s Nitro and Thunder.

  • WCW World Cruiserweight Championship: Dean Malenko (c) vs. Disco Inferno

Malenko looks super aggressive here trying to put away Disco as quickly as possible. Disco tries to stop him though with a swinging neckbreaker and an atomic drop. That’s about it though as Malenko catches Disco with the jumping heel kick and slaps on the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF for the tapout. (2:22) Afterwards, Malenko yells at the camera in the corner to Jericho. ¾*

NITRO GIRLS!

More Hollywood Hogan time up in the luxury box. The whores are back now, too. He introduces us to Scott Steiner. Wasn’t he already a member of the nWo? From the set of “Shadow Warriors”, Hogan is shown introducing Steiner to Carl Weathers, Shannon Tweed, and others I don’t recognize. Back to the luxury box, Steiner walks out and sits down amongst the whores. He doesn’t say a whole bunch and then toasts with some Dom.

GOLDBERG VIDEO PACKAGE!

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Championship: Bill Goldberg (c) (98-0) vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Someone has been watching Bugs Bunny cartoons today. Chavo does a Elmer Fudd impression on the way to the ring. Hilarious. Chavo lunges at Goldberg who catches him and throws him across the ring. Fallaway gutwrench suplex. Gorilla press powerslam. Chavo still motions to bring it on. Here comes the SPEAR. Eddie Guerrero has appeared at the entrance way and is laughing hysterically. There’s the JACKHAMMER for the win. (1:21) Is Goldberg over or what?

It’s main event interview time! Out comes the nWo Wolfpac as they await DDP’s decision to join their crew. Is it just me or does Nash look pretty wasted? Tony Schiavone meets DDP in the aisle to keep them separated. DDP sucks up to the nWo Wolfpac and their ability to bring in some of WCW’s top talent. Just as it looks like he’s going to join the group, Hollywood Hogan and Dennis Rodman show up to waffle DDP with steel chairs! The nWo Wolfpac run off Hogan and Rodman as Tenay wraps up the show!

Thunder is next! Until then, so long for now!

Castrol Syntec presents WCW/nWo: The Great American Bash
Sunday, June 14, 1998 from the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, MD @ 7PM EST
MAIN EVENT: Hollywood Hogan & Bret Hart vs. Randy Savage & Roddy Piper
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Championship: Bill Goldberg (c) vs. Konnan
WCW World Tag Team Championship: Sting vs. The Giant
WCW World Television Championship: Fit Finley (c) vs. Chris Benoit/Booker T
Eddie Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

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