WCW: Monday Nitro (10.26.98)

WCW: Monday Nitro
October 26, 1998
Phoenix, AZ
America West Arena

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: Rick Steiner & ??? (10/25/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Chris Jericho (8/10/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (9/14/1998)

We start the program with EXCITING still shots of last night’s Halloween Havoc. What match were the still shots from, you ask? Hogan versus Warrior – only the BIGGEST rematch in the HISTORY of pro grappling? Nope, think again. Goldberg versus DDP? Good guess, but still wrong. It’s Sting versus Bret Hart. Looks like Bret murdered Sting last night with his own ball bat, which seems pretty important, but a weird way to start the show.

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

NITRO GIRLS~! Nothing like hot lady dancers to take your mind off the end of Wolfpac Sting. Tony does not sound like he gives two craps about what we’re about to see tonight. Maybe he’s not looking forward to the news he’s about to give explaining how 10-20% of the viewing audience did not get to see the end of the Hogan-Warrior match and the entire Goldberg-DDP match. He says there was discussion on GIVING AWAY THE ENTIRE HALLOWEEN HAVOC PPV FOR FREE which would thus screw over the people who already paid and would ultimately force them to provide refunds to everyone. In order to make this right, you’ll get to see last night’s Goldberg versus DDP main event in full at the 9PM EST hour. Tony feels the need to explain to the audience that going off the air early at Halloween Havoc and then showing the main event in full the following night isn’t a ratings ploy as it’s just a way to make up for the major screw-up for some of their fans. It’s a catch-22 situation all around. They screwed up by going too long and not alerting certain cable providers and had to somehow make it right. Tenay emphasizes this is a one-time-only deal. Larry Z blames the problem on technology instead of strictly bad communication. Speaking of technology, he mentions the Y2K bug that’s “looming” as something we should all fear.

  • Stevie Ray vs. Kenny Kaos

Vincent is “conspicuous by his absence” here. Stevie Ray runs wild on Kaos to start, but Kaos comes back and hits a springboard shoulderblock for two. Next thing we know, BUFF BAGWELL shows up to a CHORUS of boos. While Kaos channels his inner roid rage over Bagwell being out here, Bagwell tosses the slap jack to Stevie Ray to KO Kaos. He picks up Kaos and delivers the true SLAP JACK (Pedigree) for the win in 2:08. Yeah, so Stevie Ray has an international object called a slap jack and his finishing move is also called the Slap Jack. It’s a little confusing. RICK STEINER runs down and chases away the nWo boys. Tony announces that Rick Steiner singlehandedly won the WCW world tag belts last night at Halloween Havoc. Rick grabs a mic and wants to give Kenny Kaos a chance to be his partner tonight against the nWo. The crowd seems confused. Kaos lets Rick know he’s idolized him over the last decade and tells Rick what an honor it would be to team up with him tonight. Okay, so Kenny Kaos is a dang WCW world tag team champion. ¼*


  • Kanyon (w/Raven) vs. Prince Iaukea

Tony tells you that they won’t show us the end of the Hogan-Warrior match that some people missed because it was ABSOLUTELY DIGUSTING. Yes, Tony, that match was absolutely disgusting. Kanyon gets disappointed once again that us American crowds are so stupid that we don’t understand that nobody is better than him. Iaukea comes back on Kanyon with a sunset flip out of the corner, but then Kanyon grabs him for a swinging neckbreaker. Iaukea hiptosses Kanyon over the top rope to the floor, but misses a springboard dive. Whoops. Nevertheless, Iaukea backdrops away a piledriver on the steps. Raven is seen being creepy around ringside. Back inside, Iaukea springboard somersaults into Kanyon for two.  Hey look, there’s the FLATLINER from outta nowhere. (3:12) Kanyon declares he’s the “king of the world” while his buddy Raven is still on a losing streak. *

The NITRO GIRLS hang out by the nerds at the commentary table and they all act accordingly. Tony is loving Whisper dancing to him and says she’s welcome to hang out with him anytime as she’s mere months away from marrying Shawn Michaels.

Gene Okerlund brings out the Four Horsemen (sans Steve McMichael) to the ring. Flair explains Mongo is missing in action after three nights in Las Vegas, but thinks McMichael will be here in Phoenix before the night is over. Okerlund hasn’t noticed Eric Bischoff trying to keep Flair and the Four Horsemen out of the building tonight. Flair thinks Bischoff has fallen on hard times lately trying to keep the Four Horsemen off TV but the fact of the matter is that the Four Horsemen are here to stay. Out comes Eric Bischoff. He pulls a mic out of his ass and admits he was wrong about how much Ric Flair means to all the wrestling fans. There’s no doubt in his mind people want to see Flair wrestle again. To show he wants to bridge the gap between he and Flair, Bischoff agrees to let Ric Flair wrestle tonight on TV. Flair gets excited, but no opponent is mentioned.

It’s “Nitro Party” time.


We get some EXCITING still shots from Halloween Havoc of the Kevin Nash versus Scott Hall match.

  • Alex Wright vs. Barry Horowitz

Tony lets the fans know the Havoc main event is coming up on Nitro in a few moments. Horowitz starts to come back on Wright, but takes a dropkick off the top rope allowing Wright to hit the REVERSE NECKBREAKER for the win. (2:42) It’s one of my least favorite reverse neckbreaker finishers I’ve seen. This is a move that needs a setup. Rick Rude was the king of this move and understood that. ½*

Lee Marshall handles the “On the Road Report” (brought to you by Snickers).

We get some EXCITING still shots from Halloween Havoc of the Hollywood Hogan versus Warrior REMATCH of the CENTURY! No “still shot” of the fire ball – because it’s a fire ball only fit for PPV!

  • Wrath vs. Sick Boy

Wrath – the man who stopped Meng. He shows off with a slingshot shoulderblock on Sick Boy for two. Sick Boy tries a neckbreaker on Wrath, but Wrath goes the way of Goldberg and pops up to run down Sick Boy with a shoulder tackle. The crowd pops for the MELTDOWN and that’s all she wrote in 2:52.

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

It’s 9PM EST so it’s time to air the Halloween Havoc main event between the WCW world champ Goldberg and #1 contender Diamond Dallas Page in it’s entirety. It’s easy to find the recap. I’m not going to repost it here as it’s really not part of the show. The match does a 7.18 rating – the best ever rating during the Monday Night Wars to this point. The most-watched match on cable television at the time was the Ric Flair-Sting 45 minute time limit draw from Clash #1 with a 7.8 rating. On the other side, RAW was taped this week and the opening quarter hour had Vince McMahon out in his wheelchair reflecting on what had happened to him last week with Steve Austin to garner only a 3.31 rating, which at the time would have been considered disastrous.

To compare it to broadcast television at the time, ABC’s NFL Monday Night Football – this week’s game was the 4-2 Pittsburgh Steelers versus the 4-2 Kansas City Chiefs – had the highest rating of any TV show that night, which was a 14.5 rating, which means Nitro had nearly half the viewing audience of the NFL’s biggest game of the week. That’s pretty impressive.

Gene Okerlund is backstage hoping to talk to Kevin Nash. Big Sexy welcomes him and the cameraman into his dressing room to talk about what happened last night. Wait, how did SCOTT HALL get in here? Nash tells Hall that the reason he didn’t pin him last night at Havoc was because it wasn’t about winning or losing. Hall confesses to Nash that he hit a wall last night and realizes he needs to get his life figured out. Nash seems convinced that Hall is going to change his ways and extends his hand, but that’s when THE GIANT shows up and helps Hall throw Nash – THROUGH A WALL. I thought that wall looked phony. Ha, I get it now. Hall “hit a wall” last night.

NITRO GIRLS music video sets up a live performance.

There’s a weird “trick or treat” UNICEF commercial. Where are these kids supposed to be at?

The nWo Hollywood crew head to the ring led by Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff. They welcome Horace Hogan to the new World order and arm him with an nWo B&W weightlifting belt and an nWo B&W wife beater. It’s not for eternity, it’s 4-LIFE. The crew is looking pretty slim these days. Tonight, Hogan has Stevie Ray, Horace Hogan, the Giant, Scott Hall, Scott Steiner, Vincent, and Buff Bagwell in his crew. Brian Adams, Scott Norton, Curt Hennig, and Rick Rude are all missing. Adams and Norton are heading to New Japan while Curt Hennig is on a sabbatical and Rick Rude goes where Curt Hennig goes.

  • Saturn vs. Eddie Guerrero

Bobby Heenan joins us at the commentary table for the rest of the night. Schiavone is still hyping the return of Ric Flair to the ring tonight. There’s still no mention of an opponent or anything. The LWO are conspicuous by their absence. Why doesn’t Eddie have anybody come out with him? Seems like it would help get the crew over. Saturn explodes on Guerrero with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Eddie cuts low with a dropkick to the knee and goes to town on the knee with a Hilo. Man, Eddie is so awesome. Guerrero is uppercuts and chops from here. Saturn gets off a suplex, but his knee bothers him and Eddie jumps on the knee again. Now Saturn tries a press slam, but Eddie escapes with an armdrag and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Saturn stops a wheelbarrow armdrag with a faceslam for two. Eddie stops a corner charge with an elbow and tries a tornado DDT, but Saturn blocks with a bridging suplex for two. Eddie counters a vertical suplex with a sunset flip for two, but then gets pulled into a T-bone suplex. The Falcon Arrow connects and Saturn calls for the Death Valley Driver. Hey look, it’s the LWO charging in for the DQ. (4:41) Well, not the entire LWO – just Damien and Hector Garza. They prove to be nothing more than glorified Flock members as Saturn fights them off. More LWO members (including a new member!) run down to help out their leader and the numbers game wins over Saturn. They hold Saturn in place for a FROG SPLASH from Eddie. Okay, well they left Saturn laying. That’s good. I was worried for a second there. Decent match as you would expect. **¼

We catch Gene Okerlund interviewing Judy Bagwell about her evil son. She loves Marcus, but has had enough of Buff. WCW got one pop for her in South Carolina and now they can’t quit her.

Check out the weird World War 3 PPV promo. Can you say, CREEPY? The PPV is scheduled for November 22!

  • WCW World Tag Team Championship: Rick Steiner & Kenny Kaos (c) vs. The Giant & Stevie Ray

Tenay says Giant weighed in at 552. I don’t know, man. He looks pretty lean to me. He also says so many people have compared Rage and Kaos as the late ’90s version of the Steiner brothers, so you can believe what you want to believe about what Tenay says. But hey, good for Kenny Kaos. He’s in the ring with some rather big WCW names. He looks strong against Stevie Ray to start – even though he still looks pretty green. Giant kicks Kaos in the back of the head from the apron and that staggers Kaos into a superkick from Stevie Ray. The tide has turned, folks. Tag to Giant, he chops the shit out of Kaos and applies a bearhug. He tries to ear clap his way to Rick Steiner and it actually works for the tag. Oof, this is bad. Giant corners Rick in the completely wrong corner. Rick stops a corner charge and comes off the top with a STEINERLINE. That gets two. Stevie Ray goes after Rick on the floor. This is a mess. Kaos interrupts an nWo double-team and Giant boots him out to the floor. As Giant goes after Kaos, Rick backdrops Stevie Ray and hits the STEINER BULLDOG for the win. (3:18) This was not good – not good at all. By the way, this is also the last time you’ll see Rick Steiner and Kenny Kaos together as a team. Because Bischoff is bad at promoting and understanding tag team wrestling, the tag belts won’t even be officially vacated on TV until January – if you can BELIEVE that. CRAP

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

When we come back from commercials, Eric Bischoff is sitting in Mike Tenay’s seat to let the world know he’s a man of his word. He promised the world Ric Flair would wrestle on TV tonight and by golly it’s going to happen. Heenan smells some bologna here. He then explains that Flair represents himself really well in the VIDEO FOOTAGE we’re about to see. Schiavone pushes the issue saying he was under the assumption Flair was going to wrestle, but Bischoff jokes he didn’t think Flair could pass a physical. They roll footage of Hulk Hogan winning the WCW world title from Ric Flair at the Bash at the Beach PPV in 1994. Bischoff has had someone edit this match down to Hogan looking completely dominant over Flair and Hogan picking up the win in about 4 minutes. So on the one hand, you’re telling your audience that you care about them and don’t want to screw them over by airing the Goldberg versus DDP main event in full, and then 1-2 hours later you go back to screwing them again with a bait and switch. Cool. Back over to Bischoff, he explains that Flair always has been and always will be playing second fiddle to Hollywood Hogan. Shouldn’t Flair be pissed about this or is he still looking around for Steve McMichael hoping he’ll show up?

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

Tenay is back in his seat hole. So even though Juventud lost to Disco Inferno at Halloween Havoc for a shot against Kidman, and Disco then had to wrestle Kidman later in the PPV on maybe 15-20 minutes rest for the CW title, now Juventud gets a CW title shot anyways 24 hours later without having to beat anybody. Life just seems to work out for that guy. They run through some sweet back and forth counters coming off the ropes until Guerrera finally connects with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Out to the apron, Juventud grabs Kidman for a whole bunch of turnbuckle smashes. They battle up top as Juventud sends Kidman down and then connects with a flying headscissors for two. Nice brainbuster by Juventud gets two. Kidman fights back with a back suplex that he turns around into a cool slam. Guerrera finds a Rocker Dropper for two, but then Kidman overpowers a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and levels Juventud with a wheelbarrow suplex. Awesome. That gets a nearfall. Juventud comes right back with a wheelbarrow bulldog. Flying body press by Guerrera scores another two-count. He heads up again and flies down into a dropkick from Kidman. It could be time for the Shooting Star Press, but Juventud jumps up to his feet and crotches Kidman. The crowd GASPED. Juventud brings Kidman down with a spinning hurracanrana for 1-2-NO! Juventud just won’t learn. YOU CAN’T POWERBOMB KIDMAN, but it’s then swapped for the BK Bomb. That puts Guerrera into position for the SHOOTING STAR PRESS as Kidman retains. (5:55) Solid back and forth match as these guys are starting to put together how well they know each other and I think we’ll see more of that in the future between these two as Kidman and Guerrera is one of the top rivalries of 1998. ***¼

Tony introduces the first two videos in the “WCW/nWo Superstar Series” video series – Sting: UNMASKED and “Macho Man” Randy Savage: THE MAN BEHIND THE MADNESS. Sting is actually without his face paint in the video. Both were pretty cool back in the day as these were a worked-shoot type of video making it seem like you’re getting real insight into these people’s lives. The VHS boxes are sitting right in front of Heenan which of course he tries to steal the Sting video. Schiavone was on the case however. Tenay continues to sell the videos because of all the new fans watching wrestling that have no idea how we got here. GET THEM IN VHS STORES EVERYWHERE~!

Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell come out to the ring. For two solid weeks now, Scott has been going strong putting girls down and making them tell him who their daddy is. Weird! Do you love Scott for his mind or his body? I love your suplexes, honestly. That Frankensteiner move you used to do is pretty sweet, too. To all his freaks out there, BIG POPPA PUMP IS YOUR HOOKUP – HOLLA IF YOU HEAR HIM. Now for Buff, Scott thinks he’s the best setup man in the biz today. Not only are they nWo 4-LIFE, they are friends 4-LIFE. Like, totes BFFs, ya’ll. Buff sends a message out to all the mothers in the crowd. When you come out on national TV and complain about your son, remember you’re supposed to be in the kitchen. Buff tells his dad to set his momma straight when she gets home tonight. Back over to Scott, he wants JJ Dillon to come out because he wants a rematch with his brother. Okay then. Here comes JJ to the ring. Did somebody just try to throw a hoodie on him? Dillon isn’t interested in a rematch. Scott claims there’s some bias towards Rick. JJ says he’s always liked Rick, but he’s got nothing against Scott. Well, Scott isn’t buying it and claims he’s got two reasons why he believes JJ Dillon is biased against him. Scott asks why the Steiner match last night at Havoc ended with a different referee than the one who started the match. Dillon doesn’t own up but says had he been in the situation, he would have been the guy to send out the second ref. Scott then kicks JJ Dillon and Buff clubs him from behind. The STEINER RECLINER gets applied until Doug Dellinger and some other security guys get Steiner off Dillon. Oh boy. Heenan – “THE MAN IS WEARING GLASSES!”

You didn’t think we could have a Nitro in Arizona without the Warrior, did ya? Well, here he comes. Warrior gets a lot of hometown love and only a smattering of boos. Warrior calls bullshit on the whole match with Hogan last night and says there’s a difference between beating up a man and genuinely beating a man. He feels the bull(BEEP) pinfall last night doesn’t change anything. Hogan has now opened the door to the Warrior’s hell (huh?) and Warrior is the gatekeeper. The time is near, SAME WARRIOR TIME, SAME WARRIOR PLACE, SAME WARRIOR CHANNELLLL. HOLLYWOOD HOGAN comes out ready to fight again. HORACE HOGAN tries to reason with Uncle Terry. THE GIANT and ERIC BISCHOFF talk Hogan down off the apron. Meanwhile, Warrior gets to destroy Horace and dump him out. In comes the Giant, he takes a clothesline over the top rope as well. Hogan jumps Warrior from behind and levels Hulk with a jumping shoulderblock. While not perfect, this is much more entertaining than last night – FOR SURE. Bischoff even takes a shot off the apron. Feel the power of the WARRIOR. Despite the rumor that Warrior had signed a new deal that would take effect when the original deal expires, this is the last we see of the WOYAH in WCW.

This might be more like what Warrior’s hell looks like:

  • Lex Luger & Konnan vs. Scott Hall & Scott Steiner

Big brawl to start as Hall pairs with Luger while Konnan battles Steiner. They are inside the ring and outside the ring and everywhere in between. Luger hits Hall with the Bionic Forearm and calls for the Torture Rack, but Steiner interrupts. There’s a 2-on-1 beatdown on Luger until Konnan brings a chair into the ring. While Hall throws out ref Scott Dickinson, Konnan whacks Steiner and goes after Hall. Luger grabs the chair and uses it on Hall. After a crash on the back, Luger grabs Hall for the TORTURE RACK. Steiner gets away from Konnan and causes Hall and Luger to tumble. Commercials! AND WE’RE BACK! Hey wait, what happened to the match? I THOUGHT YOU CARED ABOUT THE FANS! Let’s call it a no-contest. (4:30) That was actually a fun little PG brawl for what it was. *

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Championship: Bret Hart (c) vs. Diamond Dallas Page

Some hammerlocks exchanged to start. DDP catches Bret with a swinging neckbreaker for two. DIAMOND CUTTER is blocked and Bret hotshots Page to cool him off a little. Headbutt to the groin connects. DDP fights back, but runs into a boot in the corner and gets wiped out with a clothesline. Bret stomps the stomach and follows up with a Russian Legsweep for two. He cheats using the ropes during a chinlock while our esteemed commentators discuss Sting’s condition. DDP fights out of the chinlock, but then gets dropped with a DDT. Bang. That gets two. Bret argues with ref Mickey Jay about it, which triggers a DDP comeback with a 360 lariat. Pancake Slam gets 1-2-NO! Bret crotches DDP as he heads up top and brings him down with a BEAUTIFUL superplex! Slow cover gets two. He stays on DDP with a Backbreaker and the Vertical Flying Elbow for two. He goes over for another aggressive conference with Mickey Jay that goes nowhere. Bret kicks DDP around on the mat before going for a suplex, but DDP counters into the armbar takedown that he does for two. DDP tries some turnbuckle smashes, but Bret puts a stop to that with a mule kick that wipes out DDP and the ref. With everybody else down, Bret rolls out and pulls out some taped knux. Too bad it doesn’t work as he walks right into the DIAMOND CUTTER for the win. (10:49) So DDP regains the U.S. title as a consolation prize for giving Goldberg the best match of his career. Even so, Hart gets to use his taped knux after all and takes out both DDP and Mickey Jay. He finds a chair and starts to dismantle DDP’s knee until GOLDBERG runs down for the save just as we’re outta time. One could call this the best Nitro main event of 1998 which sounds like a bigger accomplishment with the business being so hot than it really is. ***

Did we ever hear about whether or not Kevin Nash was able to escape the drywall he was just thrown through?

Until next time, so long for now.


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