WCW: Monday Nitro (09.14.98)

WCW: Monday Nitro
September 14, 1998
Greenville, SC
BI-LO Center

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Bill Goldberg (7/6/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bret Hart (8/13/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Giant & Scott Hall (7/20/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Chris Jericho (8/10/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Juventud Guerrera (8/8/1998)

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko. Goldberg versus Sting over the WCW world title – TONIGHT! They announce Diamond Dallas Page won Wargames.

Mike Tenay becomes our resident Michael Cole as he’s out “getting the scoops” tonight. We go to see Tenay checking for Ric Flair who is set to return tonight at the Greenville Airport. There’s a limo pulling away from an airplane, so it could only be Ric Flair, right? Umm, the limo driver ignores Tenay and continues on his merry way. Tenay then hustles over to a private jet and asks one of the pilots if Ric Flair was on the plane, but of course the pilot isn’t allowed to comment.

  • Alex Wright vs. Van Hammer

So Hammer left the Flock a while back and now he’s become a hippy. I’m guessing this gimmick is strictly due to his massive cannabis consumption. When Wright gets cornered, Hammer tells him to just be cool, man. Like, yeah. Wright sells the boos coming at him and uses the anger to beat up Hammer. Wright misses a corner charge drawing a sloppy comeback from Hammer. Wright bails out as “The Cat” Ernest Miller comes down and kicks Van Hammer in the head for a random DQ. (2:55) Wright leaves the ring pissed and lets Miller do more of his Muhammad Ali shtick. Doug Dellinger brings Greenville’s Finest down to arrest Miller for annoying the shit out of everybody. Can you imagine WWE arresting a black man in 2021 for doing a run-in and cutting a promo? ¼*

We get some still shots from last night’s Wargames at Fall Brawl.

Gene Okerlund is slow to get to the ring, but how can you ever be mad at Gene? He brings out Bret Hart who gets BOOED out of the building. Maybe they just want Ric Flair to come out. The U.S. champ comes out limping to the ring. He seems repentant for what he’s done for the last several months. Hart calls out Hollywood Hogan for being full of crap and that he’s scum. He doesn’t feel he deserves the U.S. title and promises Hogan he’s not finished. When he returns from his knee injury, he will make Hogan’s life a living hell. That brings RODDY PIPER and he looks PISSED. He chastises Bret for not listening to him when he told him he was being a jerk every which way. Piper reminds Bret that he’s not the first one to get pawned by Hollywood Hogan. Roddy tells Bret that Stu Hart would be proud of him for being honest with the people. He advises Bret not to bury himself in his own pity, but instead prove to the people who he is and who he has been. DON’T LET THEM DOWN AGAIN, BRET. Roddy had the people in the palm of his hand until he says the line, “If we can forgive Bill Clinton, we can forgive Bret Hart.” Here comes the BOOS. You’re in a red state, Roddy. Piper then lets Bret take it from there and heads back to the locker room. Bret asks the people for another chance to close out the segment.

We get some still shots of the Raven versus Saturn match from Fall Brawl that freed the Flock with Tony explaining what went down.

  • Saturn vs. Kendall Windham

Kendall is wearing the black glove just like his father and later his brother would wear. Windham actually chops and kicks at Saturn to start. He misses an elbow drop and Saturn rocks him with a belly to belly suplex. Saturn connects with a series of kicks of his own. Windham makes him give chase and gets back into the ring first to take back control. Wow. This is not the match Saturn needs after last night. Saturn fights out of an armbar, but misses a flying splash. Onto the floor, Windham delivers a flying elbow off the apron. Back inside, Kendall continues to run things. Saturn tries escaping a chinlock, but it takes forever. Gutwrench suplex by Windham gets two. A big boot from Windham misses by a mile. Kendall delivers a back superplex, but Saturn rolls away from a flying elbow drop. Saturn comes back with a T-bone suplex and hits a flying elbow of his own for two. Kendall counters a suplex with a swinging neckbreaker, but then Saturn pulls him into a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER for the three-count. (9:08) Holy crap that was awful. Who really thought it should take Saturn – hot off his match at Fall Brawl – NINE MINUTES to beat Kendall Windham? CRAP

Riggs, Horace, Sick Boy, Lodi, and Kidman head down to the ring. Raven screams from the crowd (with Kanyon behind him) that the joke is over and they have had their 24 hours of freedom. He calls out to the former Flock members to return to him, but Saturn tries to encourage them to figure out their lives without Raven. He reminds Riggs he used to be a tag team champion and can be great again. Horace stomps his stop sign and heads back to the dressing room. Saturn lets Sick Boy know he’s a “fine young talent” and could be a star on his own. He wishes Lodi “good luck”, but that’s all the encouragement he’s got for Lodi. According to Saturn, Kidman is the most talented of all the Flock members and tells him to go get the Cruiserweight title. Did Saturn just let the cat out of the bag? Raven continues to call out to his Flock members like the creepy cult leader he is. Lodi is the only one who considers returning to Raven, but Kidman pulls him back. Go follow your dreams, guys!

  • Wrath vs. The Renegade

Wrath is just too powerful and ON FIRE right now. Renegade hits the Handspring Elbow in the corner, but Wrath NO-SELLS and runs him down. The MELTDOWN ends Renegade in 1:28. WHO CAN STOP THIS MAN? Nobody is mightier than the pen, Tony. N/R

Hollywood Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Elizabeth (wearing leather chaps!), and the Disciple interrupt the show and head down to the ring. Bischoff is quick to inform us that he’s here and Ric Flair isn’t. Hollywood says there’s two things his nWo-ites can’t stand: cowards and sissies. As for that coward Bret Hart, he and Piper can go sit on the porch together because they can’t hang with Hollywood Hogan. Speaking of cowards, Hogan tells Warrior he can fool some of the people some of the time, but everybody saw Hogan beat up the Warrior in Wargames. He’s now mad that Warrior robbed him from being able to get his hands on Bill Goldberg. Now Hogan challenges the Warrior at Halloween Havoc. After he’s done beating Warrior, he’s going after Goldberg. Next thing we know, smoke fills the ring and then disappears. No Warrior, but the Disciple is now missing. Hogan freaks out and does his best Captain Kirk screaming for WARRIORRRR!

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

  • WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Juventud Guerrera (c) vs. Kidman

It’s announced Kaz Hayashi is conveniently injured and Kidman will be replacing him in this Cruiserweight title match. I mean, Kidman seems to no longer itch, so he clearly has earned himself a title shot. Juvi’s tights say “Sweet Surrender” for some reason. He doesn’t exactly strike me as a Sarah McLachlan fan. After some quick counters, Juvi hauls off on Kidman with a big chop. Ten-count corner punch leads to a missile dropkick from Guerrera. Now Kidman takes a breather on the floor and Juventud decides to wait for his return. Back in, Kidman delivers a slingshot headscissors and counters a leapfrog into a powerslam for two. He slows the action down with a chinlock. Back up, Guerrera gives Kidman a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, but gets yanked into the corner. To the floor they go as we take a commercial break. When we come back, Juventud is fighting out of a chinlock, but runs into a dropkick, Meanwhile, Mike Tenay joins us for the rest of the show and says he heard from an “anonymous yet reliable” source that Ric Flair’s leer jet (WOO!) was in fact scheduled to arrive at the Greenville airport, yet he can’t confirm that Ric Flair will definitely be in Greenville tonight on Nitro. He just can’t commit to such a statement. THEN WHY SAY ANYTHING AT ALL, TENAY? Why even get our hopes up? Oh yeah, the match. Juventud escapes another chinlock, but runs into a BK Bomb (not to be confused with the Burger King Bomb, which is actually a 7000-calorie burger that can serve a family of four! Never heard of it? Well that’s because it was a joke) for 1-2-NO! Here’s where the crowd turns completely over to Kidman’s favor. Wheelbarrow suplex scores another nearfall and the crowd is vocal in their disapproval of the ref not counting to three. Clothesline in the corner gets two. Juventud counters a slam and hits a release German suplex for two. Flying Headscissors from Juvi gets 1-2-NO! There’s a Juvi Driver attempt, but Kidman counters into a reverse suplex. Cover, 1-2-NO! Kidman sets up for the SHOOTING STAR PRESS, but Guerrera crotches him and brings Kidman down with a hurracanrana. Juvi takes too long gearing himself up for the 450 SPLASH as Kidman is back on his feet. Guerrera flies down anyway into another BK Bomb. That’s enough to stun Guerrera long enough for the SHOOTING STAR PRESS for the 1-2-3. (10:43 shown) We’ve got a new cruiserweight champ. Good match, but they seemed lost in certain spots. Almost as if this match were booked on the fly. Nah, couldn’t have been. Still a solid effort and the Greenville crowd made it special as they made a star out of Kidman. Saturn comes out and applauds Kidman’s victory. ***

Gene Okerlund is backstage and he catches up with JJ Dillon who is wearing a TUXEDO. Yeah, that’s not fishy. Okerlund wants to know if Ric Flair just entered a nearby locker room and if so, he wants to be the first to interview him. Dillon decides he wants everybody to be surprised – including Gene. Hmm, well that seems to give it all away. Gene promises to get back with Tony if anything breaks back there.

That’s right Larry, Jackie Chan’s “Wheels on Meals” will air after Nitro. He’ll be starring in “Rush Hour” which debuts in theaters everywhere Friday September 18.

After the break, Eddie Guerrero is backstage arguing with Eric Bischoff. If Guerrero doesn’t want to work here, he can miss his daughter’s birthday since he’s now being booked on a trip to New Japan. That doesn’t really seem like a punishment to me and even the commentators agree.

  • Davey Boy Smith vs. The Barbarian (w/Jimmy Hart)

Holy criminy, what is Davey Boy doing here? Does he even know where he is right now? Big brawl as Barbarian dumps Bulldog on the floor and runs him into the steps. To make matters worse for Davey Boy’s back, Barb runs him into the post. Back inside, Barbarian gives Bulldog the BIG ENDING (or a botch maybe, I don’t know) for two. This is all Barbarian until he misses a corner charge and gets lifted in the air for the Running Powerslam. Jimmy Hart climbs the apron and grabs Barbarian’s leg to prevent the slam. Davey Boy drops Barb and decks Jimmy. Barbarian runs down Davey Boy and loads up his boot for the Kick of Fear, but the British Bulldog ducks the kick and “powerslams” Barbarian for the weak win. (3:43) Boy, that was rough. ¼*

Next thing we know, Gene Okerlund is in the ring with JJ Dillon. Gene seems to think JJ is a little overdressed, but Dillon plays coy. The ending of the Steiner brothers match at Fall Brawl was unacceptable, so the WCW executive committee books a rematch for Halloween Havoc. As the segment ends, the lights start to flicker and we hear a creepy laugh throughout the arena. Oh man, was that the Chucky laugh?

NITRO GIRLS! Some guy in Buffalo NY wins this week’s Nitro Party pack.

Bobby Heenan takes over for Larry Zbyszko. He gets grilled over any developments that would signal the return of Ric Flair.

Jim Neidhart comes out apparently to face the Disciple. Smoke fills the ring again. Jim Neidhart bails out while the Warrior and the Disciple are in the ring. Disciple is on his knees looking unconscious. Out comes Hollywood Hogan with the Giant, Buff Bagwell, Scott Steiner, Vincent, Eric Bischoff, and Stevie Ray. You know, the nWo B&W Express. He babbles on about Hogan being a coward at Wargames, which fuels the One Warrior Nation revolution. He accepts Hogan’s challenge for Halloween Havoc. Warrior reminds Hogan that graveyards are full of cowards. The smoke fills the ring again and by the time the nWo B&W boys are in the ring, Warrior and the Disciple are GONE.

  • Scott Steiner (w/Buff Bagwell) vs. Norman Smiley & Silver King

Is Scott Steiner even ready to wrestle yet with his back injury? Kick to Silver King, kick to Norman Smiley, and then pose. Smiley takes a press slam. Silver King gets planted onto Smiley with a butterfly slam. With both guys stacked on top of each other, the DOUBLE STEINER RECLINER wins in 2:52. Buff gets on the mic and mocks everybody. Hilarious. N/R


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

  • The Giant vs. Meng

Wow, no build to this one, huh? Seems like a big miss to me. Meng does some sumo stuff and kicks at the Giant’s leg trying to get him down. They start CLUBBERIN’ on each other. This is our BRAWL FOR ALL, folks. Meng won’t sell anything the Giant throws at him. Like, NOTHING. Eventually, Meng actually makes Giant sell a kick to the face, but the Giant’s arm is longer than Meng’s, so the Giant is able to goozle Meng and CHOKESLAM him for the win in 2:32. Well, that was awesome, I don’t care what you say. This was a great idea – it just needed some buildup. *½

  • Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall (w/Vincent)

Hall has a cup of something strong with him. Vincent is carrying a brown paper bag I’m guessing for refills. It’s survey time. Of course, the people came to see the nWo Wolfpac, but it’s one more for the good guys. Hall tries to act inebriated and stalls as he’s mocking Luger’s physique. The tooth pick goes flying into Lex’s face. More stalling from Hall. He takes a drink of liquid courage and falls through the ropes coming back into the ring. Man, that’s some STRONG booze. They counter hiptosses across the ring until they wind up in the ropes. Hall starts laughing and Lex backs away. They go to lock up and Hall takes a bump rolling over onto his stomach. Umm. Hall rolls out and grabs another drink. He does the same bit he did the night before at Fall Brawl standing on the ring apron counting along with the ref until they get to a nine-count. Luger backs Hall into a corner and lets him know he’s going to hurt somebody getting into the ring drunk. Eric Bischoff comes out to talk Hall into going back to the dressing room with him. Kevin Nash and Konnan head down to ringside. Nash tells Hall he’s worried about him, but Hall takes offense thinking nobody cares about him. Next thing we know, Hall throws up on Bischoff and the cameraman. Hall then gets back in the ring and taunts the nWo Wolfpac. No contest, I guess. Thinking about real life situations like Jeff Hardy being too pilled up to know what he was doing at the TNA PPV years ago, I think this whole period of Scott Hall or Road Warrior Hawk being drunk on TV just really does not hold up well at all. Then again, it was distasteful then, and it’s distasteful now. N/R

The lights dim in the arena and there’s a spotlight on the ring. JJ Dillon comes down and introduces Arn Anderson to the ring. He’s got his left hand in his pocket. Is he selling the attack from Fall Brawl? Doesn’t seem that way. Dillon apologizes to Arn for some of his comments about getting the Four Horsemen back. He hands Arn the mic and lets everybody know this is what a pop smells like. All JJ Dillon did was tell Arn what everybody was telling him for the past year and a half. He couldn’t hear them, but now he hears them because tonight is the new beginning for the Four Horsemen. Arn says he always wanted to be a wrestler and in 1986, he started coming to towns like Greenville as a Horseman. The opportunities he then received were bigger than he could ever dream of, and he always tried to live up to the standards of a Horseman. A year and a half ago, he laid on an operating table, and when he woke up, Arn Anderson the wrestler was dead. He wondered how he could still be a Horseman if he couldn’t wrestle, but he couldn’t in his own mind. Crowd is starting to get bored of this and just wants Flair. Arn handles it perfectly: he tells the people that everybody will get exactly what they want tonight. You hear that, Eric Bischoff? Chris Benoit was the first to say the return of the Four Horsemen can happen, and now we have it. Steve McMichael, Chris Benoit, and Dean Malenko get their own entrances. Arn lets them know how he feels about each man. Crowd still wants Flair. Arn feels he should remind us that the Four Horsemen aren’t nice guys who wear white hats. We really should be careful with what we wished for, because now we have it. Oh crap, Arn forgot to mention the fourth Horseman. RIC FLAIR, GET ON DOWN HERE. Oh man, what a reaction. There was just over THREE MINUTES of the crowd going insane for Flair. The only thing close to this that I’ve seen is Hulk Hogan appearing on that Smackdown in Montreal in 2002. When Flair finally gets the people quiet enough to talk, he thanks them for the love because it lets him know every night he worked to entertain the people was worth every minute of it. He then switches gears and turns into the NATCHA BOY. Despite Eric Bischoff’s best efforts, Flair finds the Four Horsemen not to be dead, but very much alive and well. This isn’t a great moment in TV, Bischoff, THIS IS A REAL LIFE SITUATION. This is no different than the night Arn gave Hennig his “spot” a year ago. If this wasn’t a real life situation, why would STING be crying in the dressing room? He lets Bischoff know he’s still pissed about him allowing the nWo to parody the Four Horsemen (specifically Arn Anderson in the way it was presented) without allowing any retribution. Bischoff even got to the point of telling Flair the Four Horsemen had run its course, but Flair realized he had quit on the fans, and he apologizes to them and the Four Horsemen for doing that. The crowd then starts to boo as Bischoff heads down to shut the whole thing down. However, Bischoff doesn’t have a mic. Flair does. Flair calls him a bunch of names. The tuxedo jacket comes off. Oh man. Flair points at Bischoff and screams, “ABUSE OF POWER!” Since there’s nothing Flair could say or do at this point that would top what he’s about to say, he goes out on a high note yelling at Bischoff, “YOU ARE A LIAR, YOU’RE A CHEAT, YOU’RE A SCAM – YOU ARE A NO GOOD SON OF A BITCH.” Crowd goes absolutely ballistic again. He then yells something about being fired, but in his mind he’s already fired so it doesn’t much matter what he says to Bischoff at this point. Flair got his money’s worth so to speak. One of the premiere promos in WCW history without a doubt. Some of Flair’s next six months of promos in my opinion are in the same ballpark with the top WWF guys like Mankind, Steve Austin, and the Rock.

Diamond Dallas Page – the winner of Wargames – finally makes an appearance. He takes Bobby Heenan’s seat and so Bobby just stands there. I guess nobody thought to get him a seat.

  • WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Bill Goldberg (c) (143-0) vs. Sting

Goldberg wastes no time with Sting as he nails him with a press powerslam. Sting avoids a corner charge and running slams Goldberg into the corner. Vertical suplex by Sting, but Goldberg NO-SELLS. Sting decides to head to the floor to rethink his stuff. Back inside, Sting starts trading blows which is a bad idea. Goldberg pounds him down and drills Sting with a shoulderblock. Sting hits a dropkick, but Goldberg gets right back up and delivers the rolling kneebar into the ropes. Goldberg gives Sting a back suplex to get out of a headlock, but Sting holds on tight. Goldberg shoves off the walk up the ropes and they seem to forget what to do. Goldberg wins a knucklelock battle and they’re back to square one once Sting makes it to the ropes. Sting reverses a tombstone into one of his own. Goldberg has to pull himself up in the corner, allowing Sting to hit a couple Stinger Splashes. Goldberg refuses to fall out of the corner, so Sting hits another Stinger Splash! One more? No! He charges out, but Sting moves and Goldberg runs into the ringpost! Sting clips the knee and grabs the SCORPION DEATHLOCK! Goldberg tries to power out, but Sting does all he can to keep the hold going. That is until Hollywood Hogan comes in and kicks Sting in the head. Ref Billy Silverman is completely blind because there’s no way he missed that. Hogan sulks back down to the floor while Goldberg regroups, hits the Spear, and the JACKHAMMER gets the win. (8:08) Hogan attacks them both, but a one-legged Bret Hart makes the save for the good guys. Crowd is PISSED considering this was probably the closest anybody had come to beating Goldberg. **½

Thunder is NEXT! Arn Anderson meets Eric Bischoff in an ARM WRESTLING CONTEST. Until next time, so long for now.


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