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WCW: Monday Nitro (01.18.99)

WCW: Monday Nitro
January 18, 1999
Columbus, OH
Schottenstein Center

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (1/4/1999)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bret Hart (11/30/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions:
Vacant (1/7/1999)
WCW World Television Champion: Scott Steiner (12/28/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (11/22/1998)

We begin Nitro with EXCITING STILL SHOTS of the WCW Souled Out PPV – more specifically of the Ric and David Flair versus Barry Windham and Curt Hennig match. I don’t think Tony actually mentions that the Flairs won the match (just that Arn Anderson helped out the Horsemen) because he immediately pivots to talk about the nWo Wolfpac’s appearance – beating up young David while his father was handcuffed to the middle rope and forced to helplessly watch it all go down.

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Larry Zbyszko. Read the rest of this entry

WCW: Souled Out 1999

WCW/nWo: Souled Out
January 17, 1999
Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston Civic Center

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (1/4/1999)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bret Hart (11/30/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Vacant (1/7/1999)
WCW World Television Champion: Scott Steiner (12/28/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (11/22/1998)

WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM FOR A WCW SPECIAL REPORT: They have created some sort of room to resemble a white house press office with a POWCW seal behind the POWCW Ric Flair. There’s the U.S. flag (despite being WORLD Championship Wrestling), and the old purple and yellow colors on a WCW flag on either side of the podium. This is SURREAL. How do you interrupt your own program with a special report? Ric Flair quiets the applause and begins his speech when the video feed seems to be messing up. He tells whoever will listen that WCW is unified and will reign supreme over the nWo. This is how we start the SOULED OUT PPV – and the 1999 PPV season, according to Tony.

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Bobby Heenan. CALL THE WCW HOTLINE~! You’ll notice the nWo on the PPV logo has been X’d out in red. Read the rest of this entry

WCW: Monday Nitro (01.04.99)

WCW: Monday Nitro
January 4, 1999
Atlanta, GA
Georgia Dome

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Kevin Nash (12/27/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bret Hart (11/30/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Rick Steiner & Kenny Kaos (10/26/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Scott Steiner (12/28/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (11/22/1998)

Oh boy, I’ve been dreading this one. Remember – this card is supposed to have the Kevin Nash versus Goldberg rematch.

We get a video package that makes you feel pretty bleak about the future as they show us what happened in the Goldberg and Kevin Nash match from Starrcade with Nash’s hand held high and WCW world title over his shoulder in the end.

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Larry Zbyszko. Read the rest of this entry

WCW: Starrcade 1998

WCW: Starrcade
December 27, 1998
Washington, D.C.
MCI Center

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Bill Goldberg (7/6/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bret Hart (11/30/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Rick Steiner & Kenny Kaos (10/26/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Konnan (11/30/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (11/22/1998)

I’m not sure where I want to stick this paragraph, but I think its important to understand before we get started where WCW is at here at the end of 1998. If you’re looking at the lineup on this card and scratching your head as to why it look like this, you’re not crazy. This is touted as the “biggest show of the year” by our esteemed commentators all the time and it sure doesn’t look that way. I mean, how many guys that are under contract are missing from the card due to injuries or renegotiating contracts or for no understandable reason?

For starters, let’s begin with the champions that are not on the show: the WCW U.S. champion Bret Hart and who we understand to still be the WCW tag team champions for better or worse Rick Steiner and Kenny Kaos. Bret’s contract is certainly fine, but he’s apparently out with a groin injury. Why was he given the belt if he wasn’t going to be active? Why not leave it on DDP and make this match with the Giant a title match? Rick Steiner is out after having shoulder surgery and Kenny Kaos is arguing with ex-partner Robbie Rage, so who cares.

There’s also nWo stars that are not on the card: the obvious one being Hollywood Hogan who has “retired to pursue the avenue of becoming the POTUS” to outdo Jesse Ventura, Scott Hall doesn’t have a match, Scott Steiner doesn’t have a match despite being the new leader of the nWo B&W, Buff Bagwell is still in recovery over his neck issues, Curt Hennig is injured, Lex Luger just isn’t wrestling tonight, Sting has been AWOL since Halloween Havoc, and nobody cares about Stevie Ray or Horace.

As for major WCW talent, Booker T who doesn’t seem to have gotten his mojo back since returning from his knee injury, Nash ended Wrath’s win streak, RODDY PIPER (who just left after Wargames), Chavo Guerrero Jr., Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Raven, Kanyon, Meng (you wouldn’t want to see him rip into somebody?).

So yeah, what the heck, WCW? Concerning the constant change of plans over this show, Meltzer writes from the 1/4/99 Observer:

“WCW has changed plans [for Starrcade] so often that many original plans for whatever reason didn’t take place. Most, like Dusty Rhodes as ref for Flair vs. Bischoff, or Miller vs. Saturn being a kickboxing match, were in original formats, but never actually announced to the public. There were WCW produced advertising listing Flair vs. Bischoff as Flair’s career against control of the company, which was the original plan, although that stipulation was also never announced on television. In Japan, they had hyped a Norton vs. Van Hammer IWGP title match, which never took place to the chagrin of the audience watching on PPV there, but to everyone else’s pleasure. While at one point there were plans for Lex Luger vs. Scott Steiner, Luger nixed that match and it was never announced on television although it was on the WCW Hotline. Scott Hall vs. Bam Bam Bigelow was announced on the WCW Saturday Night show, and it also didn’t take place, nor was it ever acknowledged during the broadcast despite being hyped on TV as a last minute special addition to the show. Hall actually suffered a twisted knee at Nitro six days earlier and it was questionable whether he’d be able to wrestle, but was advertised on the Saturday show anyway.”

What a mess. I hope to have more to share on my overall thoughts on 1998 WCW. I think Vince McMahon might have broke Eric Bischoff’s brain.

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Bobby Heenan. Due to Eric Bischoff’s request, the Four Horsemen are banned from the MCI Center. Read the rest of this entry

WCW: Monday Nitro (12.21.98)

WCW: Monday Nitro
December 21, 1998
St. Louis, MO
TWA Dome

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Bill Goldberg (7/6/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bret Hart (11/30/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Rick Steiner & Kenny Kaos (10/26/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Konnan (11/30/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (11/22/1998)

We start with a way too lengthy Eric Bischoff character piece. They go back to the start of the nWo angle and show bits and pieces of seemingly every heel thing he’s done. Of course this is to promote his match with Ric Flair, but there’s only about 20 seconds of his involvement with Flair shown. Maybe they will show a video package on Ric Flair later in the show?

NITRO GIRLS!

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Larry Zbyszko. Tony announces that Scott Hall will face GOLDBERG in tonight’s main event. Read the rest of this entry

WCW: Monday Nitro (12.14.98)

WCW: Monday Nitro
December 14, 1998
Tampa, FL
Ice Palace

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Bill Goldberg (7/6/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bret Hart (11/30/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Rick Steiner & Kenny Kaos (10/26/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Konnan (11/30/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (11/22/1998)

Before we get going, there’s a huge note from the 12/21/98 Observer to be mentioned:

Eric Bischoff had another meeting with talent before Nitro on 12/14. He officially told talent that Kevin Nash and Diamond Dallas Page would be joining in the booking team with himself, Kevin Sullivan and Dusty Rhodes, and that Terry Taylor would be moving over to production. Bischoff heavily stressed all the wrestlers being easy to find at least two segments before they go on television for any fine-tuning of what they need to do, and the need for wrestlers to hit their time marks better since it’s a live television shoot. He, without saying names, talked about people doing interviews or matches for longer than they are scheduled and how it messes with the timing of the show. He spoke about big changes coming in January with the company. He said that they are going to re-invent wrestling early next year, claiming they did so once and will do it again and told everyone he didn’t want them attempting to compete on a vulgarity level with WWF. He claimed that he watched both shows on 12/7 and he believes WCW has a better television show but that WWF is gaining attention of teenagers because it’s more vulgar (the point he’s missing is that WWF is gaining the attention of teenagers to a huge degree for its shock value and swearing, but it is also the better television show most weeks, particularly from a storyline standpoint). He really emphasized not tolerating changing finishes, and he got to put his foot down on 12/14 when Stevie Ray complained about doing a job for Konnan. Ray went up the ladder to complain, and when it got to Bischoff, he totally put his foot down about it.

We get a video package highlighting the HATE triangle including Goldberg, Kevin Nash, and the third wheel Bam Bam Bigelow.

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Larry Zbyszko. Read the rest of this entry

WCW: Monday Nitro (12.07.98)

WCW: Monday Nitro
December 7, 1998
Houston, TX
Astrodome

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Bill Goldberg (7/6/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bret Hart (11/30/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Rick Steiner & Kenny Kaos (10/26/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Konnan (11/30/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (11/22/1998)

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Larry Zbyszko. Tony says this has already been a “draining day”. The WCW championship committee met today and Mike Tenay reports that Goldberg cannot defend the WCW world title between now and Starrcade when he meets Kevin Nash. Goldberg has demanded a battle with Bam Bam Bigelow, but it will be a non-title bout – for TONIGHT. Tony and Larry are PUMPED. By the way, there’s announced 31,110 people in the Astrodome tonight. Remember that for later. Read the rest of this entry

WCW: Monday Nitro (11.30.98)

WCW: Monday Nitro
November 30, 1998
Chattanooga, TN
UTC 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 and Larry Zbyszko. Read the rest of this entry

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. Read the rest of this entry

WCW: Monday Nitro (11.16.98)

WCW: Monday Nitro
November 16, 1998
Wichita, KS
Kansas Coliseum

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 (9/14/1998)

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Larry Zbyszko. Read the rest of this entry

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