WCW: Monday Nitro (11.23.98)

WCW: Monday Nitro
November 23, 1998
Grand Rapids, MI
Van Andel Arena

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Bill Goldberg (7/6/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Diamond Dallas Page (10/26/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Rick Steiner & Kenny Kaos (10/26/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Chris Jericho (8/10/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (11/22/1998)

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

NITRO GIRLS! Hey, where’s Fyre?

Tony announces that Kevin Nash has won WW3 to face Goldberg at Starrcade. Hollywood Hogan will be appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno for an announcement on Thanksgiving night. They take us back to last night to see EXCITING STILL SHOTS of the three ring battle royal. Despite still not being employed by WCW, Bam Bam Bigelow gets some airtime to show us he made an appearance.

  • Lex Luger vs. Mike Enos

Schiavone lets us know there will be a confrontation tonight between Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair. Headlocks and shoulderblocks to start. Luger delivers a hiptoss, a slam, and a back elbow to send Enos to the floor. Back up on the apron, Enos rakes the eyes and snaps Lex’s neck on the top rope. He drops Luger throat-first on the top rope and runs him down with a clothesline for two. Enos delivers a PILEDRIVER for 1-2-NO! It’s chinlock time. Luger elbows out, but runs into a powerslam for another two-count. More chinlockage. Luger punches back, but charges the corner and eats an elbow. Lex fights off a superplex and hits a flying clothesline (!) followed by a series of running clotheslines. Now Lex returns the favor with a superplex to show him how its done. That gets two. WHOA! Enos grabs Luger for a jawbreaker and runs him down with a clothesline. Now he’s calling for the end, but Luger catches him for a powerslam and delivers the TORTURE RACK for the win. (6:04) Decent showing from Enos here. *

A limo pulls up outside the building. It’s GOLDBERG. We catch Kevin Nash and Konnan coming out of a second limo. Nash and Konnan yells “NEXT” to the world champ. Goldberg tells Nash that “next” isn’t the safe place to be – just ask your girlfriend. SNAP.

Gene Okerlund brings out the new WCW cruiserweight champ Billy Kidman. Apparently, Kidman got laid last night. Is he talking about Torrie here? Anyways, Kidman brings out Rey Mysterio Jr. for a talk. Now that Rey has left the LWO behind (like he wanted to be there in the first place), Kidman grants Rey a CW title shot for later tonight. They shake hands and may the best man win. Hold up, EDDIE GUERRERO and Spyder pop out. Apparently, Rey signed a contract to be in the LWO. WHAT? He makes Rey wear a 6XL LWO t-shirt for some reason. Okay then.

  • Chris Benoit vs. Norman Smiley

Smiley picked a BAD match to start being charismatic. He does his signature cabbage patch and big wiggle dances. Benoit chops and stomps the shit out of him in the corner. YES. Smiley catches him with a kitchen sink knee and hits that big swinging slam he does. Here comes the Hat Trick of Germans followed by the SWANDIVE HEADBUTT. There’s the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE for the submission. (3:11) He ain’t smiling now, folks. ¾*

NITRO PARTY: We get a party video from somewhere in Indiana. Looks like some backyard wrestling going on here. Hmmm.

Out comes the nWo Wolfpac to the ring: Kevin Nash, Konnan, and Lex Luger. The Wolfpac is in the house. I don’t know if you’ve heard. Konnan thinks Grand Rapids is bowdy-bowdy and rowdy-rowdy. Luger calls Nash the next world champ. Nash points out that his crew has been targeted since day one – the nWo B&W has taken out Randy Savage and Sting, but last night at WW3 proved there’s nothing that can be done to stop them. Whether you like it or not, Nash is NEXT. Oh boy. There’s “Goldberg” chants going up. The bottom line is, Nash will be the “1” behind that “190”. All of a sudden, Nash seems super motivated to be here. Hmm.

Backstage, Gene Okerlund stops Kevin Nash to ask him about Scott Hall. He wants Hall to be his friend again, but Hall will have to prove to him that’s what he wants to do. Next thing we know, Goldberg lets Nash know he doesn’t have to worry about him hitting Nash from behind because Goldberg wants to see the truck that runs him over. Nash is soooooo scared. He tells “Bill” to cut back on the caffeine as we go to commercial.

  • Kanyon vs. Tokyo Magnum

Raven stops Kanyon during his entrance. Kanyon tells Raven he needs to stop blaming his mom for his troubles and leaves him behind. He decides not to do his pre-match bit because the crowd will get it wrong anyway. His mind is clearly with Raven. Magnum takes advantage and schoolboys Kanyon for two. Kanyon stops a ten-count corner punch and gives Magnum a SUPER RUSSIAN LEGSWEEP for two. Both guys get quick nearfalls, but Kanyon finds the FLATLINER for the win at 2:02.

NITRO GIRLS! Ahh, there’s Fyre.

Send in your Nitro Party videos! They definitely watch each and every one of them!

  • Bobby Duncum Jr. vs. Glacier

Stiff tie-up to start. They trade shots on each other, but Duncum holds onto a headlock. He knocks Glacier to the floor and grabs his bull rope. We get some ringside violence. Back in, Duncum connects with a flying clothesline for two. Glacier catches Duncum with a kick out of the corner and chokes him on the mat. Duncum fires back with a big boot and connects with a lariat. Pump splash elbow gets two. Glacier catches Duncum with a powerslam, but telegraphs a backdrop and eats a DDT. Crowd is DEAD. He grabs the bull rope again, but the ref Billy Silverman stops him again at the pass. Glacier punches back, but misses one and Duncum delivers a Skull Crushing Finale on Glacier for the three-count. (4:32) I like Duncum just fine, but he’s just in the wrong decade. *

Gene Okerlund brings out the Giant to the ring. Giant is mad he got eliminated at WW3 and feels there was a conspiracy against him. He calls Kevin Nash a coward and claims everybody around here has “chicken-itis”. He challenges Goldberg to a WCW world title match tonight so he can get to Nash at Starrcade – if Goldberg has got the balls.

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

  • Perry Saturn vs. Silver King

Saturn wants to meet Ernest Miller man-to-man – if Miller has the guts. Silver King still isn’t in the LWO, which is a shame. Schiavone says Saturn’s face is a little bit swollen thanks to Miller as if anybody could tell. Saturn is fired up to start, but Silver King rakes the eyes and charges Saturn in the corner. He delivers a spinning heel kick and a somersault legdrop for two. The moonsault fails and Saturn runs Silver King down with a clothesline. A springboard legdrop connects. Saturn stomps a mudhole and walks it dry. He hangs Silver King out to dry and superkicks him to the floor. ERNEST MILLER and SONNY OONO appear on the ramp. Miller calls Oono the “Killer Midget” and that Saturn can’t hang. He starts to tell the audience to kiss his big black ass, but Oono pulls the mic away just in time because this is the 1990s. Meanwhile, Saturn hits a series of suplexes and finishes with the DEATH VALLEY DRIVER for the win. (3:46) Saturn chases after Miller and Oono to end the segment. ½*

Schiavone confirms we will see Goldberg versus the Giant tonight – and there must be a winner.

  • WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Billy Kidman (c) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

They start to play Rey’s theme music, but it changes over to the LWO theme. Rey is still wearing the 6XL LWO t-shirt. Makes sense. Lots of cool back and forth counters as they run the ropes. Kidman tries his headscissors out of the corner move, but Rey sees it coming and slam dunks Kidman on his feet to set up the Bronco Buster. Kidman fires back with the shoelace headscissors. They both end up crashing on the floor with a headscissors by Rey. Mysterio uses the guardrail to give Kidman a headscissors, but then Kidman counters another headscissors by dropping Rey face-first onto the apron. Awesome. Back in, Kidman lands a slingshot legdrop for two. Mysterio elbows out of a chinlock and dropkicks Kidman down for a springboard legdrop for another nearfall. Flying body press by Kidman gets another two-count, but he misses a charge up against the ropes and falls to the floor as Rey delivers a somersault plancha. Back inside, Kidman stops a springboard move from Mysterio with a dropkick. AWESOME back and forth stuff here. Kidman keeps Rey grounded with an ab stretch on the mat. Rey escapes and tries to come back with a springboard moonsault press. Kidman catches Rey in mid-air, but Mysterio shoves him off into the corner. With Kidman staggered, Rey manages to deliver a sunset flip into a bulldog. WHAT. Cover, 1-2-NO! Tenay – “Now how do you do that?” Zbyszko – “I don’t know and I’m a legend!” LOL. Kidman comes right back by sending Rey into the corner for the chest first bump and coming off the ropes with a clothesline. Rey blocks the BK Bomb with an X-Factor which looked pretty badass. Over in the corner, Mysterio manages a sunset flip powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Kidman lands a tornado bulldog and heads up top, but Mysterio stops him for a superplex. Here comes the Springboard Hurracanrana, but Kidman counters with a BK Bomb. EDDIE GUERRERO and JUVENTUD GUERRERA head down to ringside. While Kidman goes after Eddie to get the referee’s attention, Juventud jumps in the ring and spikes Mysterio with a JUVI DRIVER and then sneaks back out to ringside. The referee Charles Robinson never saw a thing. Kidman gets back to business and lands the SHOOTING STAR PRESS on Rey for the win. (9:47) Kidman is the man, but this is the most Rey Mysterio match we’ve seen in 1998. ***½

When we come back, Gene Okerlund is standing by with Eric Bischoff in the ring. It’s time for Bischoff to finally confront Ric Flair man-to-man. Before Ric comes out, Bischoff makes it clear that he’s the boss around here. Out comes Ric Flair all by himself.  Bischoff wants Flair to admit that he runs WCW, but Flair says all he’s willing to admit is that even Ted Turner makes a mistake every now and then. Talk turns to Barry Windham. Bischoff reminds that he doesn’t have the power to hire or fire anybody employed by WCW – including Barry Windham. To iron this out, Bischoff brings out Barry Windham. Oh boy. Bischoff tells Flair that his running buddy Barry Windham is the same guy who is going to knock him flat on his ass tonight. Flair reminds Bischoff that Windham was and always will be a member of the Horsemen and that Windham believes in tradition. Well, Bischoff reminds Flair who has all the power around here and slaps Flair across the face. Flair staggers back, but then runs over and corners Bischoff for a beating. Before Bischoff gets beaten up real bad, Windham grabs Flair and saves Bischoff. Not ever fully trusting Windham, Flair fights back and chops Windham in the corner. Windham does a double leg takedown and drops a knee into Flair’s thigh. He slugs Flair one good time and holds him in place while Bischoff kicks at Flair. They continue to do a number on Flair as the rest of the Four Horsemen run down, but it looks like the nWo B&W are right behind them to intercept. Crowd wants Goldberg to save the day, but nah. Lots of heat for this angle even though you had to see it coming a million miles away. Is Barry Windham going to be Bischoff’s Big Boss Man now?

  • Booker T vs. Konnan

Interesting match here. You don’t see the nWo Wolfpac wrestling WCW babyfaces very often at all. Headlocks and shoulderblocks to start. Konnan busts out the Rolling Lariat. Booker T fires back with a lariat and a back elbow before grabbing an armbar. Konnan escapes and hits a floatover bulldog for two. There’s the K-Factor. Booker comes back with his usual series of kicks. The SCISSORS KICK connects and just as it looks like Booker is about to put down Konnan, STEVIE RAY appears and blatantly slapjacks Konnan for the DQ. (4:50) Booker gets in between his brother and Konnan. Stevie Ray grabs a mic and yells at Booker saying he beat Konnan in three minutes at WW3. Booker wants Stevie Ray to stay out of his business and starts to walk away. Stevie Ray tells Booker he better figure out what’s happening.

Gene Okerlund brings out Bret Hart to the ring. When Gene reminds Bret of his loss last night, Bret says he didn’t sleep very much last night and can’t believe DDP would call that cheap win at WW3 a victory. Bret wants a rematch with DDP to get his U.S. title back and then points out that Dean Malenko has a bad leg thanks to the nWo beatdown earlier. Bret feels *real* sorry for him, but he’s going to rip Dean’s leg off and throw it into the crowd because he’s going to beat the hell out of Dean Malenko. Bret says he’ll continue to beat the hell out of people until DDP gives him a title rematch.

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

NITRO GIRLS!

  • Kevin Nash vs. Wrath

Oh boy, it’s time for *this* match. Wrath is starting to get over. He’s got signs in the audience. People seem interested in a mid-card type of way. Our esteemed commentators talk seriously about Hollywood Hogan having a chance to be the POTUS after the 2000 election. Anyways, Wrath and Nash go nose-to-nose. Wrath tells Nash “up yours” and Nash tells him to “suck it”. The Kliq really do rule the wrestling world right now. Wrath corners Nash and buries some knees into him. Nash comes out of the corner with some elbow attacks, but Wrath comes off the ropes with a bicycle kick that looked like it KO’ed him. He then dropkicks Nash over the top rope to the floor. It looks like Nash is taking a page from Scott Hall’s playbook. Back in, Nash corners Wrath and levels him with the elbows. He goes for the Snake Eyes, but Wrath slips away and delivers a back suplex. Wrath catches Nash with a flying clothesline for two. A couple elbow drops and Wrath gets another two-count. Nash kicks away a charging Wrath out of the corner and Side Slams him for two. Jumping shoulder tackle by Wrath scores another two-count. Nash reverses a corner whip and clotheslines Wrath before nailing the Big Boot. DOWN COMES THE STRAPS! There’s the JACKKNIFE POWERBOMB and the end of Wrath’s undefeated streak which means now he’s coming for Goldberg. (4:45) Not a bad match because Nash didn’t bury him – he actually made Wrath look pretty decent here which is what I mean by taking a page out of the Scott Hall playbook. He didn’t beat Wrath into powder, but Wrath’s push is coming to an end here. He still wrestles on your Nitros and Thunders, but it’s never the same again. His last match of any note that I can recall is against Bam Bam Bigelow at Souled Out in January. **


Gene Okerlund brings out the WCW TV champ Chris Jericho to the ring. Jericho’s hair is all sticking up on the top. Tenay wants somebody to call the “hair police”.  He feels like he’s been slighted by the fans lately because they haven’t been cheering as loud as they used to. They know the only reason he’s their role model is because he’s better than each and every one of the people in the crowd. Not me, but them. Jericho has a real hard time saying “Duncum” and puts down cowboys again. Next thing we know, Duncum comes out through the tunnel with Ralphus tied up and hog-ties him in the aisle. Ralphus is working hard for the money! Jericho goes over to help Ralphus and it looks like Ralphus has contracted some sort of rabies. I’m not sure. He can’t speak English – he’s just like AHHHHH.

After the commercial break, Jericho is still trying to help Ralphus get untied. They are trying to keep the show going, too. Scott Hall comes out with the nWo B&W theme, but then tells the producers to cut the music halfway down the aisle. Hall heads to the ring and does one last survey. Either way, the fans have come to see the nWo. We KNOW. Of course, there’s two nWo’s and he explains he’s been kicked out of the nWo B&W for good. That’s fine with him. On the other side, there’s the nWo Wolfpac. He knows he still has to prove some things to Kevin Nash and maybe the fans feel he’s got something to prove to them as well, but he only cares about proving things to himself, and he’ll start with Alex Wright. WOW.

  • Scott Hall vs. Alex Wright

Who’s idea was this? Tony and Mike discuss that Hall has “cleaned up his act”. Hall throws the toothpick at Wright, but then gets walked all over. When he decides to dance, Wright turns around into a series of right hands and a clothesline to the floor. He suckers Hall out to the floor for some ringside violence. Crowd chants “USA” and we’re back in the ring. The Missile Dropkick connects, but he doesn’t cover him. A spinning heel kick connects for two. Hall and Wright trade shots. Naturally, Halls wins and lands a discus right. The Fallaway Slam sets up the OUTSIDER’S EDGE for the win. (3:23) That’s that. *

NITRO GIRLS!

  • Bret Hart vs. Dean Malenko

Malenko limps out to the ring with a taped left knee. BAD NEWS BEARS, folks. Immediately, Bret goes to the knee. This is their one and only meeting. Didn’t Bret say in his book he thought Dean Malenko was too “mechanical” to be called a great worker? Bret delivers some lifters in the corner as Malenko fires back with right hands. He corners Bret and stomps him with his good leg, but he has to use his bad leg to stand on and that kills the attack. They go to wrestling on the mat and wind up in the ropes. Commercials! When we come back, Malenko manages a ten-count corner punch and clotheslines Bret in the corner before delivering a vertical suplex. His bad knee prevents a faster pin attempt though. Malenko tries several times to get a pinfall, but can’t get the three-count. Bret chokes Malenko in the corner and hits a backbreaker, but misses an elbow drop off the second rope. Malenko finds a sleeperhold. Bret hits a back suplex, but Malenko will not release the hold. Looks like Bret bends back Malenko’s fingers to get free. The crowd seems BORED as they yell to somebody to “show their tits”. Malenko gets fired up to bring the fans back into the match. Bret cools Dean off with a few kicks to the bad knee. Time to go to school. Malenko comes back with a desperate enziguri kick. He’s able to put Bret up on the top buckle for a superplex, but Malenko pounds him off the top buckle and kicks him out to the floor. Bret takes his time getting back inside the ring. Malenko hits the jumping knee kick and then sells the knee before applying the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF. Oh, but immediately Bret is in the ropes. Malenko drags him back to the center of the ring to reapply the hold, but Bret rakes the eyes and they both go crashing to the floor as Bret falls on Malenko’s bad knee. Bret grabs a chair, but Malenko jumps him and we head back in the ring with the chair in play. While Bret and ref Charles Robinson play tug of war with the chair, Malenko comes off the top rope with a missile dropkick to Bret. WHAT ABOUT YOUR BAD KNEE? Cover by Malenko, 1-2-NO! Bret gets throw into the ropes and as Malenko does a leapfrog, Bret’s shoulder runs into Dean’s bad knee. Bret then drags Malenko over to a ringpost for some REAL damage. Heenan brings up Joe Theismann. In the ring, the chair comes back into play, and Bret gives Malenko a DIAMOND CUTTER on the chair for a DQ. (16:10 total) Bret pushes the ref down as well. Looks like Bret wants to PILLMANIZE Malenko, but that brings out DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE from the crowd. Bret was waiting for him to show up and he attacks DDP with the chair. Bret misses with a chair jab to the knee and DDP punches him down a few times. He goes for the Diamond Cutter, but Bret is between the ropes. Instead, DDP punches him to the floor and dares Bret to come get some more. DDP answers Bret’s challenge and agrees to bang Bret Hart – NEXT WEEK. **½

  • WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Goldberg (c) vs. The Giant

Giant is already in the ring so we must be short on time. These two have wrestled each other one-on-one on two other occasions over the WCW world title on Nitro: the first meeting was on August 17 which ended in a DQ schmoz and the other was on October 12 which ended in a countout schmoz with Goldberg of course winning both matches. However, tonight – THERE MUST BE A WINNER. Giant wastes no time cornering Goldberg and leveling him with a clothesline. Hold up, he hits Goldberg with the CHOKESLAM and Goldberg kicks out at two. WHAT. I don’t think Giant knows what to do once Goldberg starts to NO-SELL. He buries some knees into the Giant and whips him into the corner for the Spear. HERE COMES THE JACKHAMMER OF ALL JACKHAMMERS for the win. (1:37) BAM BAM BIGELOW jumps Goldberg at the bell until WCW security and Grand Rapids Finest keep them separated. ½*

With Bigelow carted out, KEVIN NASH shows up for a showdown with Goldberg and we get another cool pull-apart as the crowd erupts.

NITRO XTRA IS NEXT!

Until then, so long for now.

WCW/nWo PRESENTS STARRCADE
LIVE ON PPV from the MCI Center in Washington, DC on Sunday, December 27!
MAIN EVENT: WCW World Championship: Goldberg (c) vs. Kevin Nash

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