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Everything posted by SirSmUgly

  1. Well, I wanted to give you Disco Inferno vs. Saturn on the 12/8/97 Nitro, but that's not easily findable online in full, and I don't know if you have Peacock/WWEN. On that note, here's a match that stood out to me above your typical young lions match in WCW: Title vs. mask, Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera. https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3vei7t
  2. Duggan explicitly ran "Terry" down in multiple interviews for changing and threatened to beat the prima donna out of him Leslie said nothing, and the Nastys openly said that they had no problem with Hogan for doing what he did and flirted with joining the nWo.
  3. Uncensored ‘98 Notes: When you have a PPV that looks like it might stink, it’s a good idea to give viewers a bit of hope by leading with something good. On that note, Eddy Guerrero (w/ a bummed out Chavo who is now Eddy’s weird wrestling mindslave or something) faces Booker T. for the TV title in the opener. Eddy seems tentative early on for a guy who was sure he was going to win. He ducks in and out and tries to get the jump on Booker, but it doesn’t work, and we commence with lots of pace and explosive offense. Stalling doesn’t work, so Eddy tries suckering Booker in with a handshake. That also doesn’t work. More explosive offense happens. Eddy decides to bug off. That gets him slammed in the aisle. We get powerslams and press slams and side slams that Booker spins around on before dropping Eddy. Eddy finally gets control when Booker tries to kill him off with a Harlem Hangover early and gets caught. This doesn’t last at all, though. Booker tries an axe kick for the kill next, but Eddy ducks that and goes after Book’s knee, which Booker sells as hyperextended after that whiff. Eddy does some dynamic knee work, mockingly raises the roof, lectures Chavo at ringside, and then does somewhat less dynamic knee work. Booker makes his comeback with a front slam and throws an axe kick while hobbling. Booker hits a spinebuster, is able to land on his feet after Eddy dives out of the way of a missile kick, and gets crotched on a jumping side kick. Eddy goes up top and tries to hit a superplex, but Booker shoves him off the ropes and drills a picture-perfect missile dropkick for three. That was a pretty good match, but I do think that Eddy should have won his control segments through far more overt cheating since he had Chavo out there to show him how things are really done. Post-match, Chavo and Eddy shove each other, and Eddy pretends to let it go. He doesn’t let it go. He beats up Chavo for awhile in the aisle. Juventud Guerrera and Konnan are next up. This match is fine. It’s reminiscent of Konnan’s match against Rey Misterio Jr. from Road Wild ’97, in that he bullies and smothers a smaller high-flyer. Konnan tries to make things interesting; he even has a weird neck wrench from a fireman’s carry position that I haven’t really seen used. The crowd is very quiet, desperate to burst when Juvi gets any control and starts throwing offense at lightning speed. Juvy avoids another submission and hits a face crusher, but can’t hit the 450. Konnan hits a cradle DDT, but makes a lax cover and only gets two. That comes back into play a few seconds later, as Konnan hits a Samoan drop and makes the same lax cover; Juvi rolls him backwards over onto his shoulders for three. Juvi’s triumphant! And by “triumphant,” I mean that Konnan beats the shit out of him almost immediately after the bell. That’s a bummer. J.J. Dillon is here to announce that the powerbomb is LEGAL for Nash/Giant tonight. He tells us the whole fucking procedure of how it became legal instead of just saying that it’s legal and leaving to a rousing cheer. Ten seconds, that’s all the time you needed to talk, Dillon. Dean Malenko/Chris Jericho is the other match besides Booker/Eddy that I was really looking forward to on this show. Heels ripping up signs is great, and it never gets old for me. Jericho kindly takes a JERICHO RULES sign from a front-row fan, pretends to admire it, rips it apart, and then yells I’M TOO GOOD TO BE THAT GUY’S ROLE MODEL. I appreciate the embarrassed reaction of the fan, who weakly gestures at Jericho as the people around him laugh at him. In 2023, that fan would be more likely to appreciatively applaud this dastardly act. Jericho is especially chatty tonight. Examples: I’M THE MAN OF A THOUSAND-AND-FOUR HOLDS, (applies armbar) THIS IS HOLD NUMBER SIX FORTY-THREE, and general yelling at the crowd and the ref. The dude’s even got 1,004 written on the seat of his tights. That’s dedication to a bit. Jericho struggles to get a foothold in the match, and the contrast of a grim Malenko silently beating down an overly loquacious Jericho is striking. Jericho finally catches Malenko with a spinebuster on a leapfrog and commences a slow control segment with lots of mugging and chattering. Jericho gets two on an Asai moonsault, then throws a tantrum when the ref tells him that Malenko’s boot was on the ropes. The crowd explodes when Malenko explodes on a comeback, but Jericho goes back to his kicks, chokes, and disrespectful slaps-based offense. I get the idea here, which is that Jericho keeps cutting off Malenko comebacks – he does this a couple minutes later with a nice gourdbuster – but he’s got to turn up the ostentatious heeling and jawing at the crowd if he’s going to have a slow-paced control segment like this. Malenko gets a couple 2.9s off reversals into pinfalls in there. Jericho dodges a dropkick and tries for a Lion Tamer, but Malenko gets into the ropes to a solid pop. Shortly after, Malenko counters a super Frankensteiner with the super gutbuster, a move that absolutely rules. It gets 2.9. Malenko tries a leg lariat, but Jericho catches him, dumps him, and locks on the Walls of Jericho/Lion Tamer (I’ll just use them interchangeably). Malenko almost gets to the ropes, but Jericho drags Malenko back to the center of the ring and kneels down on the hold, inducing a Malenko tap out. The finishing run was very good, and the hot start for Malenko was very good, but Jericho’s still working out how to effectively heel while slowing a match down, I think. Anyway, Jericho’s excited to boast about how much he rules to an advancing Gene Okerlund, but Okerlund ignores him to go into the ring and tell Malenko how badly Malenko choked away what should have been a sure victory, HAHAHAHAHA. This guy’s a total piece of shit. Okerlund and Schiavone: top heels. Okerlund just pops off at this dude, notes that he’s 0-4 in his last four PPVs, and says YOU ARE A BONAFIDE LOSER. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Malenko, who has been emotionally beaten down by Okerlund after that physical beatdown from Jericho, declares that he’s going home and Okerlund scoffs: HOME? HOME?! Seriously, this guy Okerlund is a mega-heel. Truly an awful guy in WCW kayfabe lore. Lex Luger and Scott Steiner are next up. Steiner commences with a beatdown, which is no surprise in a match where Luger's the babyface, but at least Steiner throws a couple suplexes in there. Lex makes a quick comeback and goes for the Torture Rack, but Steiner throws a back kick into Luger’s junk and puts the Steiner Recliner on while half of Luger’s body is underneath the ropes. For some reason, head referee Nick Patrick fails entirely to notice this ostentatiously illegal positioning and just lets Steiner leave the move on. So, the finish is Scott getting a chair, Rick Steiner coming down and distracting him, and Luger hitting Scott with the metal forearm for three while Scott Norton jumps Rick outside the ring. Then, Rick comes in and backdrops Scotty Steiner out of the ring after Scotty charges him with a chair. Meh. I actually think the triple jeopardy match could be solid, but I do think it’s hard to have good triple threats already, and I also don’t think that DDP and Benoit have exactly had great singles matches together. Adding Raven might be what this match needs to liven it up. Then again, the match type is just so hard to get right. I think the first one of these matches in a major company, the triple threat in 1994 ECW, is still one of the best ones just because of the challenge in getting this right. This one is okay, but it has the unfortunate trope in which one wrestler lays around so two wrestlers can have a one-on-one match, which is sort of the modern WWE approach (or was; maybe that approach has changed in the last seven-ish years). Now, it would be unfair to say that how the match gets to that point is illogical! It actually makes a ton of sense. After all three guys break up pinfall attempts and switch control of the match rapidly, Raven and Benoit decide to just get rid of the champ and fight it out themselves. They destroy Page and toss him through the lit-up Uncensored sign, which is a cool visual. So the narrative by which we get a one-on-one match for most of the middle of this thing makes perfect sense. What’s happened is that I’ve seen enough of these matches in WWE style that I retroactively am bored by that trope and demand more creativity. And in truth, specifically putting the popular defending champ in peril by yeeting him into a bunch of light boxes is more creative than “put one guy through the announce table and spend the next eight minutes having a one-on-one match,” especially in 1998. But yeah, I didn’t love the match that much even though I understand that at the time, this was an interesting layout. Still, there are cool spots, like the header DDP took through the Uncensored sign, or when Raven grabs Lodi’s sign that says USE MY SIGN on the front. He obliges with the sign’s directions and then rips off the signboard to reveal that it’s actually a stop sign underneath. The stop sign gets used liberally after that. The finish sees Page knock Benoit to ringside as Benoit sets up to superplex Raven through a table; Page then hits a super Diamond Cutter through the table. Well, more like onto it because it barely breaks. That gets three and was another nice visual. This match had some nice visuals and cool spots, but it wasn’t much more than that. Benoit shows respect to Page post-match. I think Kevin Nash versus the Giant holds intrigue, but I’ve watched enough WCW in this era that once we get to the semi-mains, I assume that the booked finish will involve some fuckery that I hate. I think the repetitive Nitro and Thunder mains that never end clean (or have endings at all) have really gotten to me. That and the Sting/Hogan booking for Starrcade and SuperBrawl, I should say. My argument is that Giant is very over as a face, got dumped on his neck at Souled Out, and should score a clean victory here to get revenge and give him a boost/have him win the feud against a shithead heel who cheats and throws coffee in people's eyes and does mock crane kicks in the ring to show how agile he is (that last one, he does early in this match). The match itself stinks because Kevin Nash has a dull control segment. Everyone wants to see more of the Giant exploding with offense, but we get like one cool lariat before Nash settles in and bores me to death. Well, that’s not fair entirely, as when Nash wants to be entertaining, he is. He headbutts Giant and sells it as more harmful to himself in a nice spot. I like Nash in-ring, which doesn’t seem to be the consensus online, so I have expectations for him that maybe others don’t. Meanwhile, Giant sets Nash up for a powerbomb and, oh look, Crush comes down and hits Giant with a foam baseball bat for the DQ. Fuck off. Giant chokeslams Crush and the two other nWo members who run in, but Nash catches Giant with a second baseball bat. The Giant has a freakout and the nWo bails. This sucked. How about a clean finish, you fucks? I guess we’ll probably get a clean finish in Bret Hart/Curt Hennig (the latter with Rick Rude at his side), but that’s just a midcard feud that no one asked for. Ric Flair should be on this show against Hennig, dominating him in a no-DQ match that closes that feud off entirely. Bret could and should be doing something else. Anything else. Speaking of the Hitman, he comes down in one of those dope Calgary Hitmen jerseys. Hockey jerseys are some of my favorite jerseys, aesthetically. Those and basketball jerseys are the best-looking jerseys, IMO. I guess this is okay? You’re not getting KotR 1993 or SummerSlam 1991 out of this, of course, but it’s fine. Bret locks on a Sharpshooter early, but Rick Rude breaks it up with a right hand. Hennig works the knee after that, with some light cheating from Rick Rude outside the ring sprinkled in. Bret turns it around, locks on the Sharpshooter for the submission victory, and then gets attacked by Rude and Hennig post-match. Rude hits a swinging Rude Awakening and then Hennig drops the chair on Bret while trying to hit him with it. Actually, I’m revising this: The match was kinda shit. Hennig's leg work to nowhere + the aftermath of this match = kinda shit. Dusty Rhodes seconding Scott Hall gives me Jose Lothario seconding Shawn Michaels vibes. Hall and Sting for the WCW Championship is second from the top. Hey, this match should get a clean finish; Hall is clearly here to lose and doesn’t need to be protected. This match is decent enough, though Sting sells way too much and needs to look more explosive after struggling against Hogan twice in two PPVs. He even has to kick out at 2.9 on a Dusty Rhodes elbowdrop at one point. Whatever. We get a ref bump on a Sting comeback so that Hall can use a loaded fist or another 2.9. Heck, the crowd’s into it, so who am I to complain? Sting drops out of a Razor’s Edge attempt and hits a Scorpion Death Drop for three. Then he crotch chops Dusty Rhodes. I’m not sure it needed all the gaga; just have Sting win a match in which he is clearly a level or two above Hall without all the misdirection. The Being Hulk Hogan champ, Hulk Hogan, comes out to take his rightful place in the main event, as the Being Hulk Hogan champ should receive. He’s up against Randy Savage in a cage. I’m going to argue that Hogan’s clearly having a physical breakdown at this point and isn't able to maintain the level of main event work that he was showing in 1996. He can’t go long anymore without a lot of woo woo or an electric atmosphere (a la the Rock match at WM 18). Savage is doing his best to be the Savage of ten or even five years ago, but yeah, these fellas need to be special attractions at this point. It’s a dull, plodding affair in the cage, though I appreciate the weight belt being used. That’s one of my favorite illegal weapons in pro wrestling. I’ll also give Savage a ton of love for coming of the top of the cage with a double axehandle. That was a great visual. But the rest of this match besides that and the weight belt is a low-energy bore-fest. Even worse than that, the finish involves the Disciple running in. Sting rappels down for the save. *sigh* well, at least Sting’s in the main event, I guess. Oh, wait, he’s here to get jumped by Savage and piledriven. Then, Savage leaves. WCW’s faces look like complete assholes all the time. I said in a recent show review that Sting and Luger helping Savage out doesn’t make sense because he’s not opposing Hogan to support WCW, he just wants to run the nWo…and oppose WCW as its leader rather than as Hogan’s second. Could maybe WCW’s top faces also realize this very obvious flaw in supporting Savage and look like they have some brains for once? Oops, no, I guess not. This show was bad, but not bad in an entertaining way. Avoid it EXCEPT for Jericho/Malenko and the post-match, the latter of which elevated a mildly disappointing, but still pretty good bout into something nearing transcendence and a textbook example of how to be a mega-heel.
  4. That's a good rule; indeed, I would guess that correct semicolon use shows a writer's exceptional skill and intelligence.
  5. Oh, sure. Streaming isn't really a thing at all until what, 2010-11 with Netflix's small, but growing catalog of shows and films? But that's the thing about streaming; it actually didn't take that long at all. By 2016, just fifteen years later, there would be a clear need for something like WCW as live programming became exponentially more important to cable channels. It's why AEW exists. That was a very fast fifteen year period, is what I'm saying. TNA/Impact did just about everything it could not to position itself in the place that AEW currently exists within
  6. If Kellner could peek into the streaming future in which live TV with a built-in audience is especially valuable, it might have begun to look like a reasonable idea.
  7. Hulk Hogan in character said he lived 32 hour days and slammed Andre on five different continents in one of those days. If Hulk Hogan were talking about his penis size, ten would be low for him. He'd boast of a fourteen or sixteen incher at least.
  8. Thunder Interlude – show number ten – 12 March 1998 "The WCW Gang should consider retiring those Sting harness spots” We go into an Uncensored that is shaky on paper…We come out of a Nitro that was more than shaky…My hopes that maybe one of these Uncensored shows breaks out and is genuinely good (or better) are falling… The capital of Louisiana is ready for some hot wrestling action…The commentary desk’s opening spiel is interrupted by the Giant strolling down… He cuts a dorky promo calling out Kevin Nash…then he pledges to fight the whole-ass nWo by himself, which would be cool in gauntlet form, but not in typical nWo mob beatdown form… Macho Man comes down and joins Giant in the ring…Savage is still nWo, remember, but he’s not here to fight Giant…He actually appreciates the possibility of Giant beating up (the rest of) the nWo so he can get some room to take out Hogan…Then he wants to get the big gold…That brings Sting out…Sting’s all like This big gold is mine and Savage is like Don’t make me get all mad with the madness and Sting is like I’ll fight you right now for it, chump and Savage is like OH YEAH but not literally, he just says “let’s do it” instead…The Giant stood around watching these dudes yap during his TV time, just standing in the background like a doofus…He should have served a main course of chokeslams for these dudes cutting in on him… Brad Armstrong faces Raven…Raven’s like I don’t want to beat your ass tonight, Brad, you’re a sad little guy…Raven reels off all of Brad’s successes before calling him mediocre in '98…It’s nice of Raven not to remind Armstrong that he beat him for the Light Heavyweight Championship on top of all that…Raven goes inside baseball and says that WCW’s bookers hate Brad’s dad and have stalled Brad’s career as a result…It’s basically a pitch for Brad to join the Flock, except that Raven just boots BA and hits the Evenflow for a quick three instead…A visibly thirsty woman in the crowd has a sign about feeling Raven’s pain…and by “pain,” I think she means “penis,” maybe… Chris Jericho cuts an interview with Tony S. at ringside…Jericho wears Juvi’s mask during the interview…Jericho goofily offers Dean Malenko a Cruiserweight Championship shot tonight instead of making him wait until Uncensored…Jericho wants Malenko to put up a prize against his title…He says that when he wins this match with Malenko’s own finishing move, Malenko will have to change the name of that move to the Canadian Jericholeaf…So yeah, it’s 1998 in WCW and Chris Jericho is on one, basically… Kendall Windham comes to the ring looking like the third Blu Brother…I guess we’re going to watch this dude wrestle Hacksaw…This is an ugly match with one of the worse attempts at a beal toss you’ll ever see…It’s really Windham’s fault there, I think…Hacksaw ends it with a clothesline and a kneedrop…Baton Rouge digs this guy, remembering him fondly from his Mid-South days, I’d imagine… Scott Steiner’s still working out how to mash up his Superstar Graham tribute act with a vile Attitude era persona…I’m going to enjoy watching him work this out (and push corporate’s boundaries)…Johnny Grunge faces Steiner in singles action tonight…This is about as good as you can get from this one…Both guys try hard…Grunge gets going in the match until Steiner hangs him up on the ropes and knocks him through his own table on the outside of the ring…Steiner rolls Grunge back in the ring and scores a win with the Steiner Recliner… Eddy Guerrero is next up to interview with Tony S….Eddy doesn’t even have time to talk shit about Booker, he’s so sure he’s going to win at the PPV…Eddy’s more interested in shitting on Chavo…Chavo is displeased with said shitting and comes out to face off with Eddy…This has been a really slow burn, this feud, come to think of it…Has it been going on since 1996 in some form, maybe?...I need to check back as I do final edits to these entries and see…Eddy challenges Chavo to a match and says that when he wins, Chavo’s gotta lie, cheat, and steal like he does…Chavo agrees as long as Eddy has to follow Chavo’s less dishonest way of wrestling life if Chavo wins…Eddy agrees and Chavo’s ready to have that match now… Eddy and Chavo have a nice little TV bout… Both men stop early on with the punching and chopping and commence with the bomb-throwing…Chavo skins the cat and hits Eddy with a headscissors, then hits a sweet plancha to Eddy on the floor…Chavo gets 2.9 on a lovely-looking Tornado DDT, but Eddy grabs the ropes…Eddy cheats his way out of trouble and hits a brainbuster and a Frog Splash for the three…Chavo’s gonna try to learn the ways of scumbaggery without descending into insanity, and I’m here for it... Well, we got 37 minutes into this thing before Bisch and Hogan decided to cut their typical shitty promo for the show…Hall’s here with them, so this could be less bad than it normally is…Bisch holds up a McMAHON WORSHIPS BISCHOFF sign that someone brought in the crowd…Stone Cold’s about to become champ and Vince is the biggest heel in his company, so maybe not so much…They accept the Giant’s challenge from earlier tonight…They talk for a longer time than they need to, but Hall at least made some of this not annoying… Konnan (w/Vincent) matches up with Lizmark Jr….Sign: GOLDBERG IS A NO LIMIT SOLDIER…No, I think you’ve got him mixed up with Swoll…Konnan’s one of those guys who I think is pretty shitty mechanically, but is always doing something like working the ref or making interesting facial expressions…He can have a shit match, but he can also make a match that should be shit kind of fun…This match is the first type, though, as these fellas have very little chemistry…We get a weird crowd cut that makes me think someone is bleeding, but probably they just fucked up in the truck…Konnan wins with the cradle DDT and the Tequila Sunrise…Konnan tries to unmask Lizmark and is kicked from the ring by an onrushing Juvi…Konnan circles around the ring and knocks Juvi down…Konnan hits a muscle buster-ish sort of deal and commences with a beatdown… Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude) swaggers to a ringside interview…Tony S. looks like the kinda dude these two stuffed into lockers in high school together…Rude claims that he showed up in WCW originally to “collect a bounty on [Bret Hart’s] head from some chumps up in Connecticut”…OK, I’ve decided that it’s now canon that Rude came to WCW to finish off the Hitman at the behest of his old employers in DX…Rude says it’s more fun to make money in the nWo and to pal around with Hennig…Rude actually cuts a pretty engaging promo on Bret…Well, that made me want to see Rude/Hitman...Unfortunately, that’s not the match at Uncensored… Saturn and Disco Inferno consistently have awesome bouts together, so I’m here for another one tonight…Saturn just beats the fuck out of Disco in the corner…Saturn dropkicks Disco to the floor, where Lodi stomps him…Disco strikes back with a clothesline to Lodi and summarily eats a dive from Saturn…Back in the ring, Disco finally gets an offensive move in on a sunset flip, but misses an elbowdrop and gets overhead pumphandled into the lights…Saturn hits a Falcon Arrow, but goes up top instead of covering and eats a boot and a roll-up on a dive…The roll-up only gets two, but Disco is now desperate to get out alive and gets two on a roll-up with his feet on the ropes…Disco follows up with an inverted atomic drop and a lariat for two…Saturn gets a small package for two, a superkick for two, and eats a spinebuster and a swinging neckbreaker in return for a Disco two-count…These fellas trade control one more time, as Saturn shrugs off a jawbreaker and drapes Disco’s throat on the ropes…an overhead suplex and the Rings of Saturn end a very pacey match that fits right in with the rest of the good matches these two have had… A handful of nWo members come to the ring…The Giant still doesn’t have any entrance music…This is nonsense, they’re not even trying with my dude Giant…Hall’s in with the Giant first and gets bullied…This is a tag match, I guess…Hennig’s in next, with Hall, Crush, Konnan, Norton, Scott Steiner, Vincent, and Hogan as team members…Now everyone’s in the ring…Giant fights them all off, powerbombs Konnan, and sends the rest of the nWo scattering…OK, maybe they’re trying a little bit with my dude Giant, but give him some dope entrance music, at least…the nWo exhorts Doug Dellinger to chain up the Giant and frog march him out of the arena, which Dellinger does…Now Kevin Nash chooses to show up and throw some coffee in Giant’s face…Giant breaks the chains and chases Nash to the back…Giant rules, man, book him like a beast more often… Jericho wrestles Dean Malenko…Jericho’s still masked up…Jericho is on top early, but stops to sell the JERICHO SUCKS chants…This gives Malenko an opening to hit strikes and a leg lariat…Jericho screams shrilly as Malenko grabs him, suplexes him, and locks on the Texas Cloverleaf for the quick Cruiserweight Championship victory…Too quick, as you might guess…Malenko rips off Jericho’s mask, but actually, it was Lenny Lane under the mask…I really should have noticed the misdirection earlier, honestly…Anyway, Lane is a walking decoy so that Jericho can jump Malenko with a belt shot and lock him in the Walls…I thoroughly enjoyed this fuckery…I remember being overjoyed when Malenko finally fucked this dude Jericho up and am looking forward to feeling those feelings again in the next months… Lex Luger faces Scott Norton…Typical Luger TV bout in which he’s dominated, but comes back in a flurry late…Norton does some solid offense, at least, and a big blocky man doing a diving clothesline is always fun…Luger hits a total of three forearms before deciding to go for the Rack…Those three forearms are his sum total of offense in this whole thing…Scott Steiner comes down to draw the DQ win for Luger…Rick Steiner runs down for the save…All four men end up mixing it up as the timekeeper hammers the bell…The babyfaces win that battle… Well, considering that we’re five minutes out and Sting/Savage hasn’t even had entrances, I’m just going to guess that this main event barely/doesn’t happen…I really wish WCW would stop with the big TV main event matchups that don’t even go longer than six minutes most of the time…I get that you don’t want to give away clean finishes to money matches on free TV, but get creative with the booking at the very fucking least…Tony S. insinuates that his wife refuses to STFU like the total dickhead that he is…Tony S. is one of the biggest heels on these shows, I reiterate… The match starts with three-and-a-half minutes to go in the telecast, so I’m just bored by everything except the rapidly approaching finish…Even money odds on the nWo running down and commencing a beatdown on everyone…Sting locks on the Scorpion Deathlock, which is when Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan enter the ring and spark a DQ win for Sting since Hall attacks Sting first…Hogan and Hall call for reinforcements…Sting wrestled this whole match and the aftermath in his longcoat…Sting and Savage zipline the fuck out of here…It takes forever for Sting to clip them both in while Hogan and the nWo just stand around watching them do it instead of attacking…That was very dumb, par for the course for the WCW main event scene… I liked parts of this show, and even most of the crappy parts were weirdly entertaining…except for the putrid main event feuds…I give it a WOOO…
  9. I'm sure that Vinnie has enough money and connections to get wind of warrants or indictments coming down a few weeks ahead, too. Hey, I said it was 50/50 (charitably)!
  10. The absolute first thing I thought of when I saw that news. This absolute CARNY. (Seriously, there's a 50/50 chance he scheduled the spinal surgery after sussing out that he might get a warrant from the Feds. I think I'm being generous about this possibility, too.)
  11. Yeah, I got a Motiv Venom and a plastic for shooting it hard and straight at single pins. I just like to go and shoot a few games to clear my mind. There's something about the singular focus on the pins and making my best shot every time that is a big de-stressor for me. It's too bad that bowling alleys are going out of business left and right, though. I have to drive a ways to get to the lanes.
  12. I was a Surfer Sting hater as a kid, so I rooted hard for Vader against him. I remember Vader/Cactus and those "Lost in Cleveland" vignettes, which I found dumb even as a kid who thought that Papa Shango causing Warrior to have black blood drip from his head was cool. I just remember thinking "I hope these two weird violent dudes beat the crap out of each other for my entertainment, no matter who wins."
  13. I'm doing the same thing right now! I was shooting 195 last time I bowled league, but it's been over a decade. Now I'm back. Been watching a bunch of '80s PBA tournaments and modern-day P-League, too. It gave me the itch.
  14. Show #132 – 09 March 1998 "The one that Konnan unexpectedly saves from complete oblivion” This is the last Nitro before Uncensored, which Bischoff is getting out of the way like two weeks before WM XIV, give or take a couple of days. We start with lots of nWo intrigue recap, but I just want said intrigue to get resolved already. Ernest Miller works a faux-kickboxing match against Damian 666. Larry Z. thinks that unstability is a word. I’m not against coining new words. Language is ever evolving. However, we already have a good word for what Larry is describing – instability. Now, if you want to codify words like whelmed or gruntled in Webster’s, that’s a whole other thing. Get on this bandwagon with me. Damian gets a good run of offense, but gets kicked out of the air and then Feliner’d for three. That was too short to be offensive, but it was also too short to be any good. Do you like wastes of time? If you do, Hogan and Bischoff are here. If not, thumb through a book or maybe go get the dishes you left in the sink rinsed and put away in the dishwasher because they’re starting to stink up the kitchen. Nobody says anything of note except for Hogan saying that the locker room ran through Liz, but even that’s not really of note because that’s just wrestler dudes talking shit about other wrestler dudes’ women, which is basically par for the course at this point in wrestling time. Anyway, if Mach was okay with it, let them live, and if he wasn’t, uh, well, that would have been better discussed in the counseling sessions that I know Macho, being an award-winning Real Man, would absolutely not have agreed to go to. Yet another Nitro Party, this time in Durham, North Carolina. Poor Kimberly got booed over this thing back on Thunder. Some kid holds up a STEPH 3:16 sign in the back, and another dude has a KRZYZEWSKI 3:16 sign. Wrong show, fellas! Sick Boy comes to the ring followed by a few Flock members. Lodi makes fun of Wake Forest only getting an NIT bid. No one has rooted for the Deacons since Tim Duncan left, Lodi, and no one cares. Sick Boy wrestles future Lodi partner Lenny Lane. Lane does a senton to the floor that hits Lodi and Sick Boy because he’s really trying whatever he can to get over. He busts his ass every time he gets TV time. Then he busts out the worst missile dropkick I’ve ever seen with my own eyes, so maybe he should try harder. Sick Boy is probably so disgusted by that dropkick that he's fueled to take over and hits some mediocre offense for the next couple of minutes. He whiffs on a top-rope elbow and we go into the finishing run, which includes awful full-nelson face crusher from Lane, and after that, he blows a springboard moonsault and generally looks awful today. Sick Boy eventually catches Lane on a duck down and hits him with the Cure for three. Nah, fuck you, it’s a Pedigree. When Stevie Ray does it, it’s a Slapjack. When Sick Boy does it, it’s a Pedigree. The Giant cuts an interview with Mike Tenay in the ring. The Giant thinks Nash is ducking him in the back tonight. Nash probably just had a wine tasting that conflicted with the opening of this show. Giant also calls down Sting and Randy Savage, who he apparently has parlayed with in the back. They have a challenge for Hogan and two of his friends. Savage says that the three men in the ring are “the bomb, brotha.” OK, Savage. Stop sounding like the refrain in a Something for the People song and talk like you would normally talk instead. Savage wants Hogan to find two dudes who don't secretly want to depose him as head of the nWo and have a six-man tag with them in the main event tonight. I’m not quite sure why Sting and Luger are so open to helping Savage, who merely wants a regime change in the nWo and not to tear the nWo down. Is this just me being too logical for a fucking pro wrestling show, or am I onto identifying something here that keeps this angle from working? Repo Man Blacktop Bully Smash Krusher Kruschev oops, no, just plain ol’ Barry Darsow comes to the ring to get murdered by GOLDBERG. This match isn’t particularly competitive, obviously. Goldberg hits a nice gutwrench suplex. Tony S. calls Goldberg a “phenom,” which Larry Z. scoffs at. I agree with Larry – has Goldberg ever used his zombie powers to sit up from a severe beating? I didn’t think so. This is a little longer than a typical Goldberg squash as it goes to the floor, where Goldberg’s beating of Darsow is only interrupted by Goldberg swinging for the fences and hitting the ring post. That’s a nice wrinkle so we get Goldberg in a bit of trouble, ostensibly, but also Goldberg almost immediately shrugs off a turnbuckle bump to spear, Jackhammer, and splat Darsow with little actual trouble. Gene shills the WCW Hotline. I think he teases a Paul Orndorff interview, but more importantly, here’s Kimberly! She shills the Nitro Girls having a pictorial in bikinis on WCW's website. Yeah, I’m more interested in that last one? The bikini one? The one that Kimberly says will show the Nitro Girls wearing “not much more than a tan?” Sometimes I think the internet was a mistake, but then I’m reminded that there are good elements to this crazy world wide web, too. Scott Hall enters the ring and talks for a bit. He eschews the weekly survey to defend Hogan from Savage’s spurious claims of being better than Hogan. Hall agrees to be one of Hogan’s trios tag members tonight. Then, Hall has a few words for Sting of the insulting kind. Kevin Nash enters the ring and talks for a bit. He eschews the jokes and offhand current event references to defend Hogan from Savage’s spurious claims of being better than Hogan. Nash agrees to be one of Hogan’s trios tag members tonight. Then, Nash has a few words for the Giant of the insulting kind. Might Billy Kidman and Dean Malenko make this show at least somewhat entertaining? Eh, kinda. They work with some pace early on and Malenko is a nice base who does powerslams and launches Kidman into the air so that Kidman can counter-dropkick him. Then the middle of this match is slow and full of mediocre strikes. Kidman gets two off a guillotine legdrop and goes back to languid mudhole stomping and rope-assisted chokes. This is a real low-energy Nitro so far. The pick up the pace a bit and after a series of counters, Kidman gets two off a springboard bulldog. Chris Jericho comes to ringside to check the action out; Kidman scores a couple more two-counts. The crowd, bored by everything mid-match, focuses on chanting about how much Jericho sucks for a bit. Finally, Malenko busts out that dope top-rope super gutbuster that we haven’t seen in awhile. That almost made this match worth it, honestly. Malenko gets the win with the Texas Cloverleaf while Jericho tries to rally the Flock to help him jump Malenko. It goes poorly for old Jericho, and he has to escape after the Flock punches him around for a bit. Hogan and Bischoff are back out here to start hour number two! What the fuck? Am I gonna have to break out a Stinger Splash score below 2/5 again? I think I’ve only done it once so far, but by God, I’ll do it again! I was hoping that we’d have no more than one of those before 1999, but Bischoff is really trying my patience tonight. These dudes waste another fucking segment cutting a shitty promo. In a hilarious segment, a couple of black dudes in the Nitro Party crowd start rubbing Gene’s bald head, and then everyone does it, and then Gene accuses everyone of being pickpockets. I mean, look, there are so many reasons that this is funny, I can’t go through all of them. I bet anyone reading this understands. Crush strolls to the ring. He’s facing off with one of the High Voltage members. Rage is clearly better than Kaos, so of course, it’s Kaos that Crush faces. Well, Crush hits a piledriver, so there’s that. I mean, piledrivers are cool. Otherwise, this is a boring squash, just dull as the lighting in a bomb shelter. I should appreciate Adams gorilla pressing Kaos for a good ten seconds more than I do. Kaos has a comeback due to Rage’s interference. Rage yells at some ham-‘n-egger in the crowd, then tries to intervene again. It doesn’t work, and Kaos eats a tilt-a-whirl slam for three. Crush does the same to Rage after the match. So Juvi comes to the ring to wrestle some guy Konnan picked for him, I guess, except the way Konnan made it sound, Konnan was going to fight some dude who is roughly Juvi’s size to prepare for his match against Juvi at Uncensored. Anyway, this is dumb. Scott Norton comes down. I think if the show were better and/or Konnan’s promo was a bit clearer, I’d be more open to what is a smaller dude trying to persevere against a bigger dude. As it is, I am not interested in watching Juvi sell a Norton bearhug or a Norton full nelson. Usually, what happens is that these Nitros have a fun undercard that generates my goodwill enough to get me hyped for a main event that invariably fails to live up to expectations. In this case, the show has been so bad that what is objectively a reasonable idea for a match to build to Juvi/Konnan doesn’t do anything for me…and even less when Norton basically rolls to a win. Uh, Juvi needed to win that with a flash pin or through guile and a 450 to make this whole thing work. Him beating Norton would put a scare into Konnan and build Juvi as a guy that might have lost the Cruiserweight Championship, but is a dangerous competitor who never gives up and can pull out a victory on anyone at any time. Having him get rolled with little resistance doesn’t build him as a serious competitor for Konnan. I mean, maybe I’m overreacting a bit, but I think this Nitro has been very bad. The U.S. Championship Triple Threat Jeopardy match set for Uncensored gets a video package that uses the same stock music that the Nitro Girls usually jam out to. DDP and Benoit tag up against Raven and Saturn. There’s some good intensity here as Benoit and Page mostly work well together, with maybe an aggressive blind tag thrown in there, into the break. We come back to Page as FIP. Saturn and Raven divert the ref to keep Nick Patrick from catching Page making legal tags or getting flash covers that get visual threes. This is all fine, though these fellas work a long bearhug spot in there for some reason. We just had a long bearhug spot in the last match. Saturn, do something more interesting than a bearhug. The problem is that as much as the people in the bearhug sell pain nicely, the dudes doing them don’t work them well enough to make them look painful. Norton especially could have been more active in shaking Juvi around and cinching it in and stuff. Anyway, Saturn gets some height on a guillotine legdrop and that looks great! He whiffs on a moonsault, though. We get a hot tag to Benoit that the crowd is WAY into, and good for them that they have something to get hot for. Benoit hits Raven with two rolling Germans, but Raven nut-shots his way out of it. Raven goes for an Evenflow, but Benoit turns it into a Crossface. Meanwhile, Saturn goes up top to dive onto Benoit, but Page stops him and hits an avalanche Diamond Cutter. Unfortunately, they both crash into Benoit on landing, and Benoit gets up and fights to the back with Page, giving Raven and Saturn (laid out in the ring) the victory by count-out. Well, it was certainly hot! There’s that! I should note that we’re back in Winston-Salem for the first big show since Fall Brawl ’97. I wonder if Ric Flair will do something tonight. I also wonder if he’ll get some shine if he does. Konnan’s back out (w/Vincent) to wrestle the British Bulldog. Well, I guess the benefit of this is that we get a Nitro-ass Nitro match. I guess Bulldog and Max Moon didn’t cross paths in late ‘92/early’93 WWF since Bulldog had his first ill-fated WCW run at that time. I am going to give Konnan some credit for selling a Bulldog headlock in a way I’m not sure I’ve seen before. He coughs violently, trying to sell it as a choke, and reaches desperately out for the ref’s hand to place it under Bulldog’s elbow, trying to get the ref to understand that he's coughing because it's a choke. That’s pretty good! I appreciate the little things, like a dude making a regular ol’ headlock visually interesting. We also get a decent finishing sequence in which Bulldog leapfrogs over an onrushing Konnan and then powerslams him off the rebound. It was short and these fellas tried, particularly Konnan. This was approaching charming uniquity status (tm Twiztor). Well hey, Ric Flair will do something tonight! He comes to the ring to a huge pop and cuts an interview before he wrestles Curt Hennig tonight. Oh please, oh please let Flair annihilate Hennig. That’s the only move to possibly make. Come on, Bischoff. Flair cuts a promo promising revenge for the last time he and Hennig were in Winston-Salem. There’s only one viable option here, Bisch. You know what to do. Disco Inferno against Chris Jericho is a match that I’m interested in. Disco continues wrestling with a little bit of desperation since he’s basically a babyface now. He became a babyface through perseverance, actually. He might have had the best executed push/character growth of any of the undercard guys from ’95 through ’97, all told. Disco tosses Jericho over the top rope so that the desk can tell everyone who doesn't watch Thunder that the over-the-top rule is dead. Jericho gets control shortly after that to a cacophony of JERICHO SUCKS chants. Disco finally breaks that control with a pop-up spinebuster. These fellas just go-go-go, wisely contrasting their pace with the pace of almost every other match on this show. A Disco swinging neckbreaker gets 2.9, and that’s as close as he gets to a win. Jericho floats over on a rope run and hits a double-underhook backbreaker, then locks on the Walls of Jericho for the submission. That was fun stuff, worked at double-speed, and this show needed that change of pace badly. Gene’s completely done with the college kids at this point in the night. It’s pretty funny. Chavo Guerrero Jr. comes down to wrestle Booker T. for the TV title. Eddy’s still trying to get his cousin to break bad, which Chavo sort of did on Thunder last week. Eddy comes down to get in Chavo’s face and gets excited when Chavo jumps Booker and works him over. Eddy’s notably less excited when Book turns it around with a roundhouse kick, an axe kick, a spinebuster, and a sweet-looking missile dropkick in short order, the last move of which gets three. Eddy sneaks up behind Booker, but ends up taking his wrath out on Chavo when Booker leaves the ring without incident. It was like two minutes, but I liked what I saw. Maybe give these guys eight minutes or even ten minutes next time? While Curt Hennig (w/ Rick Rude) comes to the ring, a savvy fan uses his erasable whiteboard to get on TV by quickly writing out WE THE CAMERAMAN in black Expo marker. Flair comes out hot and dominates until Hennig finagles a back body drop and throws a bunch of chops in the corner. Flair does his signature corner bump and Rude follows up by posting Flair. Flair just sort of turns around the match, wins a chopfest, and takes over. Hennig really struggles, whiffs on chops and punches, and then whiffs on a dropkick. Flair points the ref over to Rude so that he can pummel Hennig’s junk. Flair decides to say fuck it all and grab a chair, then in true ECW style, he puts the chair over Hennig’s face with Hennig in the tree of woe position and thrusts his junk at Rude. Before we get whatever’s going to happen, though, the nWo runs in *sigh* and beat down Flair until Bret Hart hits the ring late to stop Hennig from his own chair-pummeling of Flair. Well, at least the Hitman gets a nice pop for saving Flair. But you know what would get a nicer pop? Flair destroying Hennig finally, fuck. With seventeen minutes left, the nWo's music hits and I think we’ll finally get ample time for a Nitro main event! Then I see two of the three nWo Scotts (Steiner and Norton) come out and remember that oh yeah, there was supposed to be a match between these guys and Lex Luger/Rick Steiner tonight, and they mentioned this back when Norton came out to wrestle Juvi. Rick Steiner drags out a dog that does NOT want to be here in this arena. I hate this whole thing already. Rick dominates Norton early as Scotty avoids Rick like the plague. Well, Scotty avoids Rick like the plague until Norton finally gets the drop on Rick a couple minutes in. Rick comes back and Scotty tags out frantically to Norton. The Rick/Norton stuff is at least good for beefy elbowdrops and slams, but they rush through all their spots – how is two hours and twenty minutes of airtime not enough to fit in everything you need to fit in? Oh yeah, Hogan and Bischoff give themselves TWO SEGMENTS to shit up the screen with bad talking. Anyway, this ends in a double countout as everyone fights to the back. The trios tag main event begins without taking shape or form. Giant’s kayfabe uncleared, but he comes out here in street clothes and a neck collar, headbutts Nash out of the ring, and strolls around the apron like a boss. Everyone else? Having wild fistfights. Giant? Strolling around like an aforementioned boss because it only took one headbutt to dump Nash. Giant should have been a bigger star than he was, dammit. Eventually, Hogan dominates Sting for a few minutes until Sting makes a comeback. Sting gets two after smashing Hogan’s head into the buckles. Winston-Salem is such a good wrestling town because they’ve stayed hot through what has been a doo-doo show. So Giant gets in and Hogan stumbles backward into Nash, which is a tag. Hall and Hogan jump in as a diversion and get double-bearhugged (the only good bearhug in this whole fucking show) before Nash jumps Giant from behind. The nWo throws a bunch of blows to Giant’s neck. I want to see the Giant kill dudes and not to see him work as FIP, but whatever. It makes perfect sense. It’s just not what I want out of this match. It doesn’t help that the neck work is boring and involves lots of Hogan headlocks in which he does work them, but in a goofy way. He shakes cartoonishly from side to side as a way to show how much he’s cranking this thing. Just cinch up on it and crank it a bit, you clown! Finally, Giant explodes out of the corner and gets a hot tag to Randy Savage, who faces off with Hulk Hogan while Kevin Nash runs away. The face-off quiets a crowd that was READY for Savage popping off. Anyway, Giant stalks Nash to the back while everyone else left behind fights it out. Savage and Hogan are left in the ring alone, which is when the Disciple hits the ring and drops Savage with the Apocalypse for three. Nah, fuck you, it’s a Stone Cold Stunner. When Disco does it, it's a Chartbuster. When the Disciple does it, it's a Stone Cold Stunner. Hogan covers Savage for three. That was complete ass. Fuck off trying to get Ed Leslie over in 1998, and double fuck off for doing it with a move Leslie stole from Steve fucking Austin. I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but Konnan/Bulldog kicked off a small patch of wrestling action that saved this thing from a sub-2/5 score. What in sweet fuck? 2 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
  15. Booker wins it at BatB '00, if I recall correctly. As I remember, I was VERY into that, having been a fan of the guy for years, but I was not into all the title switches with Jarrett and Nash that happened after that. The New Blood thing didn't grab me, but I also wasn't fiending for Billy Kidman versus Hulk Hogan. There was a way to do that feud, but it needed a) the Hogan types to lose matches cleanly and b) not to lead with guys like Billy fucking Kidman.
  16. I will do it if people don't mind me assigning random Nitro, Thunder, and WCW PPV matches that I liked, but I think people don't really talk about or remember.
  17. I think the consensus is that Nitro was generally very good/great from '95 through '97, shaky (but still with pockets of goodness) through '98, bad in '99 (as all major American pro wrestling was, IMO) and most of '00, and then slowly coming along and pretty fun from around the last three months of '00 all the way through its death in early '01. I watched a lot of, but not all of Nitro, on first run. I watched a chunk of it on re-watch maybe a decade or so back. My take was in line with the consensus both times, and it seems to be holding for me on this re-watch as well. Generally, the midcard is pretty much good enough to carry these shows by 1996 until it gets gutted once Vince Russo shows up and decides that wrestling matches with actual wrestling in them are for chumps. Eddy, Benoit, Malenko, Saturn, and Jericho leaving for the dub doesn't help, either.
  18. Thunder Interlude – show number nine – 05 March 1998 "The WCW Gang truly stinks it up for the first time on Thunder (but not the last time)” The show starts when the nWo announcer introduces a video package of Macho Man getting his Harvard National Lampoon Real Man of the Year Award…Do you think the nWo announcer is conflicted about doing work for both Hogan and Savage?...I guess not since he announces that this ad was paid for…I bet all this dude cares about is getting a bag from somebody, anybody to do these intros and outros… The crowd in Columbus seems ready for some hot pro wrestling action…These Midwestern crowds have been quite hot the last few weeks… Hogan, Bischoff, et al. come out to ramble…There is zero reason to give these dudes all this time to talk every show…Hogan tries to do some sick burns, but he is very, very bad at heeling…Now Crush is talking, and I don’t know why…Crush is still heated about Macho Man not saving him from Yokozuna four years ago, I guess…And then losing that WM X grudge match…Crush wants to fight Macho tonight…He says he’s doing it for Hogan, but he’s really doing it for himself...To paraphrase Bad Place Janet, this sucked…real…bad… We are twelve minutes in, and no enjoyable wrestling action yet…Then we do get a match, and the nWo music hits, and it’s Vincent…What did I do to deserve this, I’ve been praising Thunder lately…OK, he’s just gonna get killed by Goldberg, this is acceptable…Vincent gets in like five punches before it’s spear, Jackhammer, SPLAT…Goldberg is mad over in this arena (and everywhere, really)… Prince Iaukea and Eddy Guerrero sounds like a little bundle of pro wrestling fun…Eddy claims that his hair was pulled and demonstrates said hair pull on the ref to the derision of the crowd…Iaukea continually outsmarts Guerrero, who seems off his game tonight (in kayfabe, of course)…Eddy has to use a ref diversion to get control…He works over Iaukea’s knee, including with a spinning toehold(!)…Iaukea comes back with a flurry of two-counts, including on a lovely Northern Lights Suplex with a bridge…Eddy attacks the knee again and hits the Frog Splash after using that knee attack to gain the advantage…See, that was a little bundle of pro wrestling fun… Kimberly is here…Also, there’s the one with the slasher smile and the bottle redhead with the Southern-ish accent…Kimberly shouts out Duke University and its highly-ranked basketball team in front of a bunch of Ohio State fans…Kimberly gives a shout-out to the Blue Devils and gets booed…No one likes the Blue Devils outside of Durham, sis… El Dandy heads down the aisle, stopping for a second because maybe someone in the crowd said something out of pocket that he didn't like…Juventud Guerrera is his opponent…We get to watch the Flock walk to their ringside seats and nearly miss the start of a Juvi comeback…Juvi does the ol' ten punches in the corner spot, except the tenth strike is a dropkick(!!)…Juvi hits a suicide dive that gets a pop and looks aesthetically gorgeous…Dandy has some nice strikes and good-looking suplexes, but Juvi survives those…They have a complex series of reversals that doesn’t look great, much too choreographed, and it’s a shame as this has been a fun match otherwise…Dandy gets on Juvi’s shoulders in the victory roll position and gets dumped on his face…Juvi’s 450 ends it after that…Konnan comes down and has a mic exchange with Juvi that isn’t awful or anything, but isn’t necessary… Randy Savage comes to the ring and is quite over as a babyface-leaning tweener…He calls down Hogan and Brian Adams (who I gotta stop reflexively calling Crush)…Savage claims that a bunch of nWo members want to join him and dump Hogan from the nWo…I sure wish we could have done this all in one segment…Cut down on Hogan’s blathering and have Macho respond to him right in that first segment…He finally accepts the Adams match…Savage: “And after I get done CRUSHING Brian Adams,” heh heh heh…Anyway, Savage wants to beat up Hogan right after he beats up Adams tonight…Hogan is back to stealing Macho Man’s catchphrases again…He must be feeling desperate… Video package to hype the Lex Luger/Scott Steiner feud…Meh…Scott Steiner comes to the ring to face some jobber…Ah, it’s Chase Tatum…This is not Scotty’s best squash, but it’s acceptable…Scotty wins with a mid-looking Steiner Recliner… A video shows Giant powerbomb Nash over and over…That was cool…Mostly because I got to see that powerbomb, and that was a dope powerbomb, as I’ve previously written… Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude) comes down…His opponent is Jim Neidhart…Poor Neidhart can’t get them to spell his name right on the ol’ chyron…Neidhart dominates with some dull offense…Rude clobbers Neidhart with a 2x4 after four-ish minutes of a bore-fest…Hennig hits the Perfect Plex (his only offensive move in this match if I was paying enough attention) right after that for the three…We get a post-match beatdown until Davey Boy runs down for the save…That stunk… Raven has interview time with Mike Tenay…Commentary has been pretty bad all night, and I think their banter as Raven walks to the ring encapsulates that…Confusion over Raven’s Rules, Tony S. yammering on like a dope…Now Raven cuts a hilariously teen emo promo…He’s mad at Page because he helped Page back in the day when Raven was still just Scotty Flamingo…Raven’s mad that Page didn’t get him a friggin’ job and that he was stuck in ECW for years…This is strongly implied, but not explicitly said, of course…I appreciate the backstory provided here to give context to this feud…If I had a "WCW workers allowed to cut a promo” list, Raven would be on it… So would Chris Jericho, who cuts a promo as part of a video package…At points, the video contradicts his promo words…Jericho talks about how much people love him, the video cuts to the crowd booing him…Jericho wants to be your hero, but you have to show him the proper respect, basically…Jericho comes to the ring after this, telling everyone in the crowd that he loves them…Oh man, Jericho declares that he knows four more holds than Malenko…We’re getting into his best material already, I see…Jericho’s opponent is Ciclope, which seems prescient considering his trolling of Malenko…Jericho controls until he eats a kick to the throat and a brainbuster…Jericho regains control shortly, but misses a corner splash…Jericho is way out of position for a Ciclope dive…Like, not even fucking close to him for the catch…We get a Walls of Jericho shortly after for the win…Jericho keeps the move locked on after the bell, so Malenko comes down and beats him up, complete with Texas Cloverleaf… Scott Norton comes out to murk Renegade…Norton does indeed murk Renegade…We’re in the midst of what is a boring squash when neck-brace Giant comes to the ring…If we’re getting Giant powerbombing Norton, that’s cool…We get Giant powerbombing Norton, which is indeed cool…Renegade is mad about that even though he was getting wiped out, so Giant gives him a chokeslam just for the sweet fuck of it all…This sucked until the Giant got here, which shouldn’t be a shock since the Giant rules…Norton is fine, but Renegade doesn’t exactly rule…Giant cuts a short little promo talking smack about Nash…Dellinger brought a whole set of chains out to wrap around Giant’s hands…This seems inhumane… Raven and DDP have their U.S. Championship match next because apparently Savage/Adams is the main event…Page wants there to be zero ref in this match and sends Nick Patrick away…I guess it's just win by KO or something…We get a brawl outside the ring in which both men eat a lot of guardrail…They summarily brawl toward the back, where Benoit attacks both men…This was an angle, not a match…Boooooooooo…Everyone brawls for longer than they have to really…Actually, I get that they’re previewing the shifting alliances of a triple threat (or triple jeopardy, as Tony S. calls it) match for a crowd that doesn’t understand the match concept…So from that perspective, maybe it's just about as long as it needs to be…Reese runs in and attacks DDP…That allows Raven to Evenflow DDT Page while Saturn runs in and puts the Rings of Saturn on Benoit…Cool spot with Raven hitting Evenflow DDTs to both Uncensored opponents on the propped-up guardrail…But ultimately, this was a very long angle progression that is different from what I expected/hoped for... Brian Adams (w/Hulk Hogan) comes to the ring seven minutes before the show ends to face Randy Savage…Liz looks inspirational tonight…I’m in the process of settling down…Savage semi-uncomfortably talks about his evolving relationship with Liz…But no matter what their relationship is, Liz asserts that Macho is a real man unlike Hogan…She said so herself, Mach didn’t say it for her…That’s how you know she means it…I guess Savage is just gonna talk Adams into submission…Savage then insinuates that he’s fucked Linda Hogan (ew!), which of course sparks a two-on-one brawl…Savage dominates both dudes…Savage steals Hogan’s weight belt and whips these dudes…Was it smart to do back-to-back ringside brawls that are angle-development segments rather than the matches they were promoted to be?...That is a rhetorical question, of course, because it was not…Liz eye rakes Crush (nevermind, I'mma call him Crush up until he becomes useful and forms KroniK) and diverts Hogan so that Savage can control…Finally, the Booty Man Zodiac Dizzy Hogan the fucking Disciple runs in and we get a beatdown…The rest of the nWo comes out too…Disciple and Disco both doing the Stone Cold Stunner as their signature moves is overkill…Sting (w/ baseball bat) runs in and clears the ring… This show was AWFUL…So, obviously, I use WOO(OOOOOOO) for good shows, with more O’s added the better the show is…But what about when a show is putrid, as this was?...Even the matches with good workers mostly stunk or were actually just angles and not matches…Well, it’s about time for our first inversion of the WOO…Which is fair, since this show made me feel like I missed a nail with the hammer I was swinging and hit my thumb instead…This show gets an OWW ☹…
  19. Show #131 – 02 March 1998 "The one that sets up the great Raven/DDP MTV spot" I have a busy autumn, and I know I’ll fall behind (heh) on these, so with an eye to the future (and a goal to be done reviewing these shows by Q4 2025/Q1 2026 if I can swing it), I’m here to watch me another Nitro. We’re in Philly! Here’s a limo! It’s the nWo! The “vehicle arrives” trope stunk after about the first three months of use in this era, IMO. It should be done sparingly to preserve the excitement of wondering who is inside. A few Flock members come to the ring to support Scotty Riggs in his in-ring endeavors. I give him little chance against his opponent, Chris Benoit. Benoit does a lot of crisp moves that look great. Riggs is a solid midcard/lower-midcard talent, too. I think at some point, I’m going to seek out all the Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling that I can find just to check out how he worked as a main eventer in a small indie. I don’t know what’s out there online because I’ve never tried to search it, but hopefully, enough is out there for consumption. Riggs ekes out a bit of control, but Benoit makes him fight for everything he gets and eventually ducks a lariat and hits the rolling Germans, then transitions into the Crippler Crossface for three. The crowd pops HUGE for that finish. This was entertaining TV wrestling. Flair’s out here hyping Nitro’s tag team main event that he’s not even a part of. We can’t give this guy something to do other than hop on the Hitman’s feud coattails and hype other dudes’ matches? Come on now. The desk hypes Hogan and Savage media appearances while also talking about how egotistical they are to also hype their feud. Also, Randy Savage was the Harvard Lampoon’s Real Man of the Year, which is, in fact, an appropriate choice. Hogan and Bischoff waste perfectly good time and oxygen with an in-ring promo. I will note that Hogan does make some quasi-worked shoot comments about Mach’s failed marriage to Liz, which seems like living on the edge considering that he’s married to Linda Hogan and also is legit nutty in the head his own damn self. There’s a Nitro Party at St. Joe’s, and nothing says dope college party like Gene Okerlund and a bunch of college kids who look like the nerds in that one episode of Futurama that references Animal House. ROBOT HOUSE! We’re twenty minutes in, and it’s awfully nice of Bischoff to give us another wrestling match. I mean, we’re farther in than that if you were watching live because the commercial breaks are included in the live tally, but you know what I mean. Chavo Guerrero Jr. and an unmasked Juventud Guerrera start slower than you might guess, fighting over armbars and going for flash pinfalls. Chavo acts like an irritated veteran rudo in this match, and it gives me something to look forward to because he ruled at this in 2000/2001, if I recall correctly. He was also a pretty great rudo in LU, especially because he was a vet who found out almost every week that while he was still wily in spirit, it wasn’t enough to compensate for all the technicos who would dive off the top of an office roof to beat him. I digress. Chavo does a nice throat-crusher and rolls through into a good-looking legbar, but he ends up eating a Juvi Driver and a 450 for the competitive loss. This was another decent match. Also, Juvi’s English is definitely improved, as he yells THIS IS NOT THE END, THIS IS THE BEGINNING, BABY while pointing at his mask after the match. Aw, I’m so glad for him because Okerlund was a real shithead to this dude while he was still getting comfortable with his English a bunch of Nitros back. You’re supposed to help the guy you interview, not shit on them as they drown. Prince Iaukea has improved into a decent little TV wrestler, and Psicosis is very good, so this next match should be solid. And it is! Psicosis jumps Iaukea and wins the opening sequence with a nice baseball slide. He immediately whiffs on a dive and hits the guardrail after that, but you know, the stuff before it went really well for him. Iaukea drops down and gets caught, though, and Psicosis goes lariat crazy for a bit. He then misses a dropkick and splats himself. Psicosis is on my shortlist of wrestlers who are best at making every whiff look perilous. In fact, shortly after, Psicosis does his wild signature corner bump, but lands facedown on this one. It still looked rough. You’d have to give some kayfabe credit to Psicosis for eating damage and relentlessly coming back: He gets a 2.9 off a super-rana and puts Iaukea in position for the guillotine legdrop. He hits it, but pulls Iaukea up at 2.9 because he’s feeling cocky. By the laws of pro wrestling, Psicosis should lose (as he’s not a giant dude killing a little guy, which is a noted exception to this law). He in fact does lose after an okay-ish looking finish in which Iaukea stuffs a top-rope victory roll attempt for three. Raven versus Disco Inferno is absolutely the sort of match I’d want to see on a random Nitro, and I’m pleased that I’m getting to see it. I’m also pleased that we stopped all the talking and watching people walk around backstage and have hit a patch of good wrestling matches all in a row. If the talking was at least good, I’d feel differently, but it almost never is on this show, at least lately. Disco jumps Raven and goes right at him. The match spills outside and Raven gets whipped hard into the guardrail; he turns an Irish whip around on Disco and gives him a trip into the guardrail right back. This match is a ton of fun because Disco is working this like he knows he has to kill off Raven before Raven gets a chair and starts doing some real damage. Everything he does feels extra motivated for this reason, so when he reverses a facebuster into a chair, the crowd pops because he means business. Disco uncharacteristically unwraps his wrist tape to choke Raven with it, then hits a tape-assisted neckbreaker for two. I cannot believe how intense this match is. Raven has to hit a drop toehold in desperation that sends Disco face-first into the chair; Raven follows up by snapping off an Evenflow DDT for a three that he was lucky to get! That was fun as hell. These Nitro party clips are so cheesy, man, so cheesy. Meng and Barbarian are still beefing, so Barb gets Hugh Morrus to fill in as his tag partner against Public Enemy tonight. Well, that’s a downgrade. It’s a garbage match in which people get hit with literal garbage and PE tries to strip Jimmy Hart, so Hart takes off his belt and whips Johnny Grunge. Morrus and Barb don’t have any tag experience together, so they whiff on a double-lariat and hit each other. Jimmy Hart gets attacked and put on the table, but Barb saves him as Morrus super-plexes Rocco Rock through the table. That gets two because Grunge breaks up the pinfall. Unfortunately, Morrus and Barb misfire on a double-team move again as Morrus hits Barb with a diving forearm accidentally. That leads directly to Rocco Rock hitting a Senton Splash from the top on Morrus and through a table that had a little too much sawdust applied to it beforehand. This move gets three, and this was quick and more focused than the typical PE wandering brawl. It was this dumb, fun little experience. Randy Savage comes out to retort to Hulk Hogan on the mic. Nothing of note was said, but Savage is super-over with this crowd! Oh, wait, Sting comes down now. Is he gonna say something? I mean, say something other than MAMACITA? Yes, he is! He cuts a promo on Scott Hall. It’s short and sweet. He also asserts his dominance in terms of who’s running their tag team later tonight. Sick Boy is gonna get killed by Goldberg tonight. It feels like Philly’s a little less excited for Goldberg than other towns, oops, Goldberg does a big press slam and everyone loves it, never mind. Goldberg catches a Sick Boy springboard and chokeslams the dude. Then poor Sick Boy slips on a springboard and hits the deck while Goldberg looks at him. Rough night for this dude, and of course it ends with a spear, Jackhammer, SPLAT. So there’s a band named Stuck Mojo, I think Tony S. said (and yes, DDP says it in this video), and honestly I may have heard of them before? Maybe? Anyway, that’s not my type of music even if they are of my era. I was listening to hip-hop, R&B, and re-discovering the music my parents listened to (so a lot of Motown). They do have a rapper in the group, though, this Stuck Mojo! Anyway, DDP and Raven’s Flock are in the video for this song. This song sounds like an alternative band got married to Cypress Hill and had a baby, and they named the baby Stuck Mojo. Hey, this actually is something that is pop culture related that doesn’t also make WCW look sort of corny, so good for them! WWF really cornered the market on “pop cultural ties that made them look cool and relevant” in their war against WCW, lo those many Monday nights. Speaking of Diamond Dallas Page, here he is to interview with Mike Tenay. Ooh, DDP will be on MTV programming soon, says Tony S., which leads to another very cool pop culture moment that WCW is involved with. It’s one of my favorite little wrestling things of this era. But that’s for later. For now, Tenay sells that Raven and the Flock just showed up to the video shoot, I guess, just because they heard that Page was invited to cameo. Then the fight in the video was supposed to be kayfabe? Oh no, that’s a stretch that I can’t really get with. I’m going to pretend that they didn’t try to explain these two being on the same set like that. Anyway, Page threatens Raven and promises to Diamond Cut him on Thunder, then leaves through the crowd. Van Hammer snatches Dave Penzer’s mic and calls DDP back out for a fight, I guess. He just yells his name a lot for awhile, and thankfully Page’s music cuts him off because this was going nowhere. Page turned right back around and came back down the stairs. They had a good match on the previous Nitro. This one isn’t as good as that one. It mostly exists so that Page can demonstrate how dangerous the Diamond Cutter is, as he takes a beating, but hits a floatover Diamond Cutter out of nowhere. Raven jumps Page before Page can cover, and Benoit comes out and jumps Raven. Now, you’ll be shocked to find out that when Benoit hits two rolling Germans and holds Raven up so Page can hit him before the third, Raven ducks, Page hits Benoit, and all three dudes start beefing. Perfectly fine match and segment here that accomplished what it set out to (which is to set up a triangle match for Uncensored, as Tenay informs us will happen later in the show). More Nitro Party footage. I’m stepping out for refreshments. I step back into the room and Bret Hart comes out to interview with Mike Tenay. Bret cuts a boilerplate promo. I don’t want to see Hart/Hennig at Uncensored. Book Bret better, Bischoff. Hey, Bret’s wrestling on Nitro for the first time in his WCW career tonight! Aw, he’s wrestling Brian Adams. Regarding Adams, Bret quotes the O’Jays (!!!) and leaves. Scott Norton/British Bulldog have an okay, very short power-based TV match. If you can’t get any joy out of one beefy dude powerslamming another beefy dude, maybe the concept of joy itself isn’t for you. Norton takes a backdrop on the floor after teasing a concrete piledriver, and Mickey Jay calls for the bell. Is it because Norton shoved Jay before trying the piledriver? Is it because both men had been outside of the ring for more than a count of ten? Who knows? Who cares? We got a beefy boy powerslam. Konnan comes to the ring and grabs a mic. He runs down Juventud Guerrera. He claims that he got Juvi his job in WCW and that Juvi losing his mask was an affront to him. Wait a minute, a year ago, Konnan had disowned the luchadores! I remember this! I was there! He beat up Rey Misterio Jr. a lot over this issue! Konnan hits as many examples of Black American slang as he’s heard on No Limit Records releases while talking, then wrestles Calo in a match that is fine, just fine. Konnan’s rolling clothesline looks good and gets a bit of the crowd’s interest. Not much longer after that, Konnan hits the cradle DDT and wraps on the Tequila Sunrise. Konnan tries to take off Calo’s mask, and Juvi runs out and challenges Konnan to a match. Konnan agrees to one next week on Nitro, and then implies that he will castrate Juvi and send him looking for work as a dancer with the Nitro Girls, which is a misunderstanding because gender identity is not one-to-one with sex or sexual organs, but basically implies that the match will be VIOLENT, YEAH. We get video of Brian Adams and his longcoat being a dickhead toward Bret Hart, and I don’t know why this is happening. Even if Sting and Hogan are tied up, and Savage is tied up, there’s got to be something better to do with the Hitman. I’m also not thrilled that the best they have for Flair is to tag along with Hart against a bunch of nWo B-Teamers. He comes down to the ring to cut an interview with Tenay next. Hennig and Rude come down and say Flair must be a fourteen-time loser, considering that he was a thirteen-time champ. No, I think that would be thirteen title wins, thirteen losses max (only twelve if Flair was currently the champ). You can’t lose the title more than you’ve won it. Then Flair makes a hockey reference that I don’t really understand before unloading on Hennig. At least Flair and Hennig might finally have a decent ending to their feud? I hope? Rude jumps Flair when Flair’s about to put Hennig in the Figure Four, and Hennig hits a Perfect Plex while Rude counts the three. They continue to beat Flair up until the Hitman runs in for a late save. Hennig and Rude claimed that Bret wouldn’t come out to save Flair, and now I’m worried that we’re going to get Bret and Flair beefing AGAIN, except over late saves. Rick Steiner cuts a truly annoying promo on the outro regarding tonight’s main event. More Nitro Party stuff. I have some good news for you and some bad news for you. Good news: Scott Steiner’s here. Bad news: Jim Duggan is his opponent. And I know Hacksaw is wily enough not to piss Scotty off or he’ll get launched into the ether, so we won’t even get Hacksaw being a dick and Steiner spiking him on his head. Actually, these dudes just hit each other really stiffly! Hacksaw throws a lariat with some pop in it, even! OK, wait a minute, I’m open to this being enjoyable. Scotty struggles a bit, but gets a double-underhook suplex in. I want more suplexes, but Hacksaw took one, and that’s probably halfway to his limit, so we get a chinlock instead. Duggan Hacksaws up, so Steiner kicks him in the balls. Steiner tries a sunset flip, which is out of character, and he gets punched a ton. OK, so Hacksaw’s taken a lot of this match, and Steiner even tried to call for a timeout. Not quite what I want out of a heel Steiner match. But I give Duggan credit. He takes a corner bump to the floor and seems to be actually trying. Steiner gets Duggan back in the ring, hits a belly-to-belly suplex, and debuts the Steiner Recliner for the submission victory. That was better than I would have expected. Eddy Guerrero and Chris Jericho have a return match from the previous Thunder against Booker T. and Dean Malenko. That Thunder match was some good weekly TV show wrasslin’, so I hope this will be good too. Jericho grabs a mic and introduces Eddy Guerrero as his first guest of honor on Monday Jericho. Eddy, while clapping just off mic: C’MON, LET’S HEAR IT FOR JERICHO. These two, man, these two. I think this crowd chants EDDY SUCKS just because they want to see him freak out. This match goes at quite the pace, so I’m not going to get close to covering everything. Let’s just list spots that I like. Booker and Malenko knock Eddy and Jericho down in the ring, after which they rush to hug each other in consolation before bailing. Jericho and Eddy have a short, but nice control segment against Booker. Booker gets the hot tag and Malenko comes in, after which he hits a nice drop toehold on Eddy before Book kicks Eddy from behind. Booker rolls away from a Frog Splash and Spinaroonies up, which looked cool. Book and Eddy tumble outside, and Dean Malenko is left alone to wrap Jericho up in the Texas Cloverleaf as Book holds Eddy back. The faces win this time, and for the second time in a row, one of the current champs loses the matchup cleanly. This was not as good as the Thunder match, but was still a good time! Most of the nWo walks out. Scott Steiner grabs the mic and declares that Rick will be down shortly to join the nWo. I don’t know about that, Rick seemed pretty wedded to watching Sting’s - and thus WCW's - back in that outro earlier tonight. Maybe you hit mute while it was on, Scott. That’d be understandable. It was a terrible promo. Rick comes down to the ring with Ted DiBiase and pretends to join, then throws soupbones at nWo members until Buff chop blocks him. Rick isn’t the brightest, you know. He gets stomped out and appears not to have any backup. Nash decides that he doesn’t want to pay a fine or get arrested, so he doesn’t to a Jackknife at first, but then he’s like, Eh, fuck it. Rick backdrops Nash out of it, and that’s when the Giant decides to stroll on down and chase everyone away. Nash is a bit slow to recover from the backdrop and thus does not leave the ring in time. The Giant faces off with Nash, headbutts him, and delivers a SICK powerbomb, why didn’t the big man powerbomb everyone all the time once he got to WWF? Powerbombs > chokeslams. The Giant sells that doing the move hurt his neck, but just have him drop the selling of a neck injury and get him in the ring for a powerbomb-off with Nash. During the break, Dellinger tried to arrest the Giant for that powerbomb, but the handcuffs didn’t fit, so Dellinger had to quit. Trying. To arrest the Giant. I think the WWE Network Conversation thread, along with my own random re-watches of old wrestling shows, have led me to the inexorable belief that Crush SUCKS and has always SUCKED and the reason that it took me so long to realize this is that the Cranium Crunch and the Heart Punch both rule. That, and Kona Crush’s theme music was flames. The Hitman is going to have to coax something decent out of this dude, who desperately needs to be in a tag team with a better worker. This match is fine, but I just want to see Bret dispense with selling Adams’s mediocre beatdown so that he can do the 5MoD and wrap on the Sharpshooter. Bret comes off the top with the elbow, so Adams sticks up a boot, but Bret catches himself and goes for the Sharpshooter, then drops the dangerously-close-to-illegal headbutt to the abdomen when Adams gets the ropes. Adams has another burst of offense, but he tries to cheat by exposing a buckle. This backfires when he eats the buckle instead, and the Sharpshooter that follows is merely academic. This draws Curt Hennig to the ring before Adams can tap, and Hart and Hennig have a ringside brawl until Adams recovers enough to toss Hart away. Meh, give Bret someone interesting to work. Buffer introduces our main even combatants: Hogan and Hall wrestle Sting and Savage. We get another sub-ten-minute main event, which is a bummer. Just barely under ten minutes, but still. It’s worked like a tornado tag for the first couple minutes, then settles down into a conventional match in which Scott Hall basically gets his ass beat for half of it. Finally, Savage plays FIP for a bit, then gets a hot tag so that Sting can hit a couple Stinger Splashes on Hogan. Sting wraps up Hogan in the Scorpion Death Lock and Savage prepares to hit a Savage Elbow on Hall, so of course the nWo runs in and draws a DQ because we can’t have nice things in a main event on any WCW show, apparently. Page runs out to help the faces, and the Disciple runs out to save Hogan and get him out of the line of fire. The Giant, who did not get arrested after that earlier powerbomb, which is something that Kevin Nash surely noted, also comes down to help clear the ring for the faces. I sure wish WCW would stop hyping main events that don’t get anywhere near living up to the hype. This was another solid TV show with a wet fart of an ending. 4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
  20. Very much the Bray Wyatt problem of a great entrance, but then the guy had to wrestle after that.
  21. Nah, you remember correctly. Everyone wanted Rock to turn face and he teased a face turn going into Deadly Games, then re-established himself as a heel after that. I think it only worked for as long as it did because he was allied with Vince McMahon, who at the time was such a mega-heel that he had the ability to poison the Rock for just enough time to keep him heel through WM XV.
  22. Thunder Interlude – show number eight – 26 February 1998 "The WCW Gang glimpses into multiple possible futures” I’m weirdly enjoying Thunder more than Nitro at this time…that two-hour runtime (which comes to about an hour-twenty in real time) is a big reason why, I think…lots of good matches and not too much yappin’ or filler… Lee Marshall says that he talked to Scott Steiner and was like, What are you going to say to poor old mom and dad back at home?...He reports that Scott was like, I still love that doofus Rick, I’ll bring him over to the nWo…By beating his ass and humiliating him?...I see a flaw in that plan… Chris Jericho and Eddy Guerrero tag up tonight against Booker T. and Dean Malenko…This has potential…These moron heels cover each other’s ears in anger as the crowd chants EDDY SUCKS, hahaha…Cedar Rapids pops for a Booker shoulder block on Jericho…They are excited for some live pro wrestling, I think… After a very early break, we come back to Eddy working over Malenko…Cool spot where Malenko slides under Eddy to the floor below and hits a baseball slide on a wandering Jericho, then yanks Eddy off the apron…Malenko ends up as FIP, though…This crowd is very excited to be here and tries to cheer Malenko on as he struggles for a hot tag…An aside: Tony S. reveals that the over-the-top-rope DQ has been eliminated by the WCW rules committee, which is fine with me…While solid workers can work around limitations like that and great ones can weave them into their matches (see Watts’s top-rope-move ban as another example), it just limits most matches… Booker gets sick of all the double-teaming and does a bit of his own, kicking Jericho in the back of the head on a Lion Tamer attempt…he gets the hot tag and throws a nasty lariat at Eddy, then hits a gorilla press…Booker dodges a Jericho elbowdrop as he pins Eddy to the crowd’s delight…Seriously, I’m enjoying this crowd…Eddy hits Booker with a Frog Splash for the clean win while Malenko has Jericho tied up in the Texas Cloverleaf… Booker and Eddy are wrestling for the TV Championship at Uncensored…Jericho and Malenko are wrestling for the Cruiserweight Championship at Uncensored…Uncensored looks pretty good right now even though I know everyone thinks that all of them stunk… Diamond Dallas Page is scheduled to wrestle Chris Benoit again later on this show…Page has an interview with Mike Tenay right now…It’s all respect, respect, respect regarding Benoit…Raven doesn’t get any love from Page, though…Raven cuts in on the segment and wants some damn attention and love because he’s a depressed Gen-Xer…Also, he wants a U.S. Championship shot…Page is cool with that and offers him a shot right now…Raven declines because he wants to be in the main event on Thunder, at the very least…Raven suggests next Thursday on Thunder...Page agrees to this… Finlay against Brad Armstrong seems like a fun time…Finlay outwrestles Armstrong on the mat early…They spill outside, and back in the ring, Finlay controls with European uppercuts…The thing I like most about Finley is his mean offense, like stomping on Armstrong’s fingers…Armstrong does get control and earn a couple of two-counts…Armstrong misses a corner charge and gets drilled by a Finlay Tombstone that ends the match… Dave Taylor walks out to class up the joint…The fan with the SPACE FOR RENT sign made me laugh, I don’t care how dumb a sign gag that is…His opponent is that fookin’ yobbo from Leeds, Davey Boy Smith…Taylor probably went to Eton…Bulldog went to [DDP VOICE] the school of hard knocks…I guess Mongo has an injured arm and Bulldog is credited with injuring it, don’t know if it’s a worked injury or not, but it seems like Mongo's out for a bit…Bulldog wins a short one after little resistance from Taylor by hitting his running powerslam… Curt Hennig cuts an interview with Mike Tenay…Tenay thinks that Hennig’s problems with Bret Hart go back as far as Hart declining to join the nWo…Well, I mean, you could at least allude to a history between them longer than that because that is a nonsense assertion to make…But maybe 1998 WCW fans don’t know much about 1991-1993 WWF…Hennig re-hashes the “my dad beat his dad” issue from KotR 1993…This promo is a thing that happens, and neither sucks badly nor entertains greatly… Rick Fuller comes out. Someone hits the nWo music, which plays over the top of his music…Leathers, you clueless fuck, get your production truck in line…Goldberg comes out to kill this dude Fuller off…Fuller actually hits a pretty nice big boot, but it just pisses Goldberg off…Spear, Jackhammer, SPLAT… Raven and the Flock come to their ringside seats…Raven is booked against Kevin Nash later tonight, which I cannot imagine will actually happen… La Parka’s got to try and get something decent out of Yuji Nagata tonight…This is, in fact, decent, though Nagata does his part…Parka does a chair-assisted springboard splash, but Nagata has to stand there waiting for the impact a bit too long, I think…It's a crack in the illusion that very briefly takes me out of the match...Parka gets a cover off a twisting Sukahara, but Sonny Onoo draws the ref over…Disco comes down and Chartbusters Onoo on the floor…Nagata wins a fight over the chair in the ring and uses it on Parka, followed by a match-winning Figure Four Nagata Lock… I wonder if Scott Hall actually cashed his title shot in on a chance to jump Sting in the aisle on Nitro…Let’s find out if that WW3 win ever gets paid off…The crowd pops big when Hall gets in the ring and serves up a HEY YO…As large as the cheer for WCW is, the nWo gets a massive pop…I think Cedar Rapids just loves pro wrestling…Ah, they’re going to do Hall/Sting at Uncensored, but not as the main event probably since Hogan/Savage in a cage is happening at that event…Hall cuts a promo on Sting that’s pretty good… AHAHAHAHAHAHA somebody in the crowd heaves a NERF football that hits Lee Marshall…Tony S. says “Make sure you catch that football next time” and just keeps on talking…Hilarious…Tony announces that Sting and Savage have agreed to tag up against Hogan and Scott Hall in the next Nitro’s main event…Sounds decent, but maybe have them wrestle for more than six minutes before the fuck finish this time… Buff Bagwell comes to the ring and does a takeoff on Michael Buffer that is markedly worse than Road Dogg’s takeoff on Michael Buffer…He introduces Scott Steiner…Oh yeah, they called him White Thunder for a bit before settling on (the superior) Big Poppa Pump…I forgot about that early nickname…Marty Jannetty is Steiner’s opponent…Steiner cuts a pre-match promo in which he hews much closer to Superstar Graham’s verbiage than he would later down the road…I prefer so-roided-he’s-unhinged heel Steiner to this version of heel Steiner…This dude is out here comparing colleges with Luger, like get outta here… The match is a brief showcase of Steiner killing a dude…I really like Steiner Oklahoma slamming Jannetty into the Tree of Woe position and then clubbing him with forearms from there…Steiner threatens Mickey Jay…Yeah, be more hair-trigger angry, please…Steiner hits a top-rope Frankensteiner for three…He’s so massive that he probably needs to switch to the Steiner Recliner ASAP… Curt Hennig is back out to face Jim Neidhart, which Hennig mentioned in his earlier promo would happen…Neidhart’s name is spelled JIM NIEDHART on the chyron…Anvil hits a couple of moves early so that Hennig can bump and sell ostentatiously…Scott Steiner comes up on the desk and takes Marshall’s headset so that he can threaten Tony S. for trying to foment a rift between he and his brother…Scott talks to Rick and says he’s coming to see him later that night to convince him to join the nWo…Again, maybe it was a shitty idea to attack the guy first and sell dual nWo membership later, Scott?... In the ring, Vincent runs in to draw a DQ and gets beaten up until Brian Adams runs down and starts a three-on-one beatdown…Bulldog comes out for the save, but not Bret…Geez, Bret, no wonder everyone turned on you, you don’t give any backup at all…Wait, let us assume that the Hitman is a generally good man and supportive friend who just wasn’t in the arena tonight instead of assuming the worst… Nash cuts a promo on the Giant in one of those old black-and-white nWo announcements that we haven’t seen in awhile…There’s a part of this promo in which Nash laughs that has been somewhat immortalized as a reaction GIF… Raven comes down and is irritated that WCW is making the Flock and the nWo kill one another off with this match booking…Raven reminds us of Raven’s Rules and then decides that Raven’s Rules call for a battle royal-style match tonight…This is just a chance for Nash to chuck dudes a bunch, whatever…Said chucking of dudes gets Nash face pop...It must be nice for Nash to be the guy, for once, who has dudes run at him one by one so they can get launched…Hammer gets in a big flying clothesline from the top, but summarily eats a big boot and gets eliminated…Nash and Saturn square off, but Nash opts to Jackknife Lodi instead and summarily gets handcuffed and carted out… I feel cheated, sort of?...I knew this match wouldn’t happen, but I don’t like what did happen…before getting cuffed, Nash hits Lodi with another powerbomb, and now is up to 350K in fines for powerbombing dudes…Oh wow, Nash is over as a rebel tweener after powerbombing dudes in defiance of WCW's suits, who would have guessed?...They have to turn the Giant heel and do a double-turn as part of this feud to salvage this, IMO…I know the Giant turns nWo again at some point, so maybe this is around that point…Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense what they’re doing with Nash… Chris Benoit and Diamond Dallas Page are the main event again on Thunder…Both men fight over armbars early…They wrestle this match evenly, though the crowd seems to prefer Page having the advantage…The men jaw at one another, slap one another, and fight over a lockup…They end up in the crowd, throwing strikes at one another…Nick Patrick is the ref and has shaved his facial hair to signify that he is finally a babyface again…Benoit hangs Page out to dry back in the ring…Benoit has long control and someone must be bleeding because we get a pan out…Yeah, Page is gushing…Must have been hardway somewhere in there, but I missed it…Raven comes to the ring and attacks both guys for the no contest…Page and Benoit don’t have much in-ring chemistry together, as good as they both are…I enjoyed the SuperBrawl match quite a bit, but the Thunder matches were just okay… Thunder was mostly fun again this week…This show was a glimpse into what would be and what might have been…If a competent booker cycles Hogan, Savage, Nash, Sting down the card by 2000 and cycles Goldberg, Eddy, Booker, Scott Steiner, Jericho up the card in that same time frame, WCW has enough of a talented front to at least be hot enough not to get canceled…Or maybe it was inevitable that they’d be killed off considering the executive changes at AOL Time Warner…That fresh talent is so entertaining, though, and in some universe where WCW hired a booker who’d push them and cut costs, I bet the company's still going strong today…This show gets a WOOOOO…
  23. I feel like 2023 Dwayne Johnson is too fragile to play the part of a deluded movie star that he did as Hollywood Rock, mostly because he is now IRL a deluded movie star.
  24. Hollywood Rock in general was so good that basically, they had to turn the guy face almost immediately after they had initially turned him heel because the crowd was sick of him as a face. He was a heel for the short Hogan feud in February, through WM, and then like the month after that, like after Backlash, he was a face again. Him shitting on Toronto, "Leavin' Sacramento," his mini-feud with the Hurricane, all of it was solid gold IMO.
  25. IIRC, and I think I do, all these fellas ended up opposing Hogan together...in the nWo Wolfpac. Poor old WCW. Will no one defend her honor?!
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