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Smelly watches every Nitro-era Nitro, Thunder, Clash, and PPV while sitting and sometimes maybe standing


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Bash at the Beach 1998 Notes:

  • This opening video is very bad in a distinctly ‘90s way. It’s hard to explain. Just, you’d know what I mean if you saw it. Maybe it’s like if one of those AKI WCW or WWF intros was directed by Craig Leathers.


  • San Diego, the location of this show, does have some dope beaches. Coronado. Mission. La Jolla is okay, I guess.


  • You know, the Bash at the Beach PPVs have a really good hit rate, now that I look at the list. I have fairly high hopes for this show.


  • They do this thing where Gene Okerlund explains all the main storylines and shills the hotline, but I just want some hot pro wrestling action, man.


  • Yeah, Saturn/Raven is quite the opener! Saturn meets Raven in the aisle, per what usually happens lately when Saturn spots Raven standing anywhere near the ring, and a good ‘90s brawl begins. Raven takes some excellent bumps into the guardrail. Is Raven the best “’90s wandering brawl” guy? It’s got to be him, right? No offense to ol' Stone Cold.


  • Anyway, we even get some wrestling moves in there, like Saturn hitting a leg sweep into an ankle lock that was smooth as hell. Saturn finally whiffs on a guillotine legdrop to allow Raven some offense. Actually, we don’t get much wandering brawl for the middle part of this, as most of ths match is in the ring. Saturn takes a beating, with only a little space after crotching Raven on the ropes. Finally, Saturn breaks a Raven sleeper with a jawbreaker. Saturn throws strikes, hits a capture suplex, and then grabs a chair and just waffles Raven with it. We also get a springboard legdrop onto the chair, which is on Raven’s face, but that somehow only gets two. That should really get three, come on now.


  • Lodi and Riggs figure that they’ve waited long enough to get involved, but Saturn suplexes both of them at the same time. He then lines up Raven for a springboard move, but Raven moves the ref into the way and Saturn springboards a boot right into Nick Patrick’s face. That signals the re-start of the wandering brawl. Saturn bulldogs Raven into the stairs, then puts Raven on a table…and stands a table above Raven. So, in what is a fucking STUPID spot, Saturn tries to drop an elbow on the top table, sandwiching Raven between the tables as he hits it, but Kanyon runs out and pulls Raven off the table; Saturn splatters himself on the floor.


  • Kanyon pretends to be helping Raven and raises his arm in the ring, but then he hits Raven with a Flatliner into a chair that’s in the seated position. Raven’s out, but the recovered Flock members roll Saturn back in and roll Raven onto Saturn, and it gets a surprising 2.9. I thought that was the end. After some more violence, Saturn looks like he’s going to win after superkicking a chair into Raven’s face, but Riggs breaks the pin up. That leads to the finish; Riggs sacrifices himself by getting DVD’d (no VR’d), but this gives Raven time to run up and immediately Evenflow Saturn for three. That match fucking RULED, man, it was GREAT. I love a good opener that gets me fired up for some more hot pro wrestling action.


  • Gene Okerlund talks to Eddy Guerrero before Eddy’s hair match against Chavo Jr. Okerlund notes that Chavo Jr. has to fight Stevie Ray first, which they did set up on Nitro, but which must have been cemented on a tertiary show because Eddy says that he knows Chavo is whacked in the head for challenging Stevie to a match before his match with Eddy. I did not see and have no recall of said challenge being made. Eddy is certain that he’s going to beat the crap out of Chavo after Stevie is done with him, basically.


  • We get a Kidman/Juventud Guerrera match that wasn’t advertised ahead of time. This is going to be good because these two can’t have a bad match together as far as I can tell. They actually start this one throwing fists and fighting over a headlock, which is a nice little change to the usual “Juvi starts jumping around immediately” deal. They do fly around and stuff, but there’s more physicality to this match than their past matches. It’s unfortunate that Juvi hits some chops that get WOOs and then the crowd immediately starts a WE WANT FLAIR chant, but you  know, it happens.


  • Lodi grabs a rope-running Juvi and drags him outside, but when he holds Juvi for a Kidman plancha, Juvi moves and then hits a springboard plancha on both guys. Kidman digs himself out of trouble by killing a Juvi rollup attempt and gets to work on his opponent. Kidman does a fine job of hanging Juvi over the guardrail by flipping him backward out of a powerbomb. These fellas have their own little brawl outside, but it feels different from the one that happened the match before. Juvi successfully hits a sunset flip powerbomb, or as Tony S. calls it, “a sidewalk slam from the inside out” because everything is a fucking sidewalk slam to this guy, I’m not a "NAME THE MOVE CORRECTLY Nazi," but come on, man. Also, wow, Kidman got powerbombed.


  • Back in the ring, Kidman low blows Juvi as Juvi sets up for a top rope rana and then hits a super spinebuster for 2.9. That move had some serious impact. Tony S. calls the move spectacular and then calls it a “sidewalk slam or spinebuster or whatever you want to call it” and I’m pretty sure he’s just fucking with me from the past. I’ve been taught a lesson; it really doesn’t matter if you NAME THE MOVE CORRECTLY. I get your point, Tony. Anyway, the wrestlers in the ring exchange two counts before Juvi does a sweet Hamrick bump to the outside. This match gets five snowflakes from me just for including a Hamrick bump, I think.


  • There are all these other moves that I think should get three, like a Juvi rana to a hung-up-on-the-ropes Kidman and then a Juvi overhead belly-to-belly that looked nasty. They fight over a backslide, and Kidman thinks he’s German suplexed Juvi, but Juvi lands on his feet and hits a Juvi Driver for two. Juvi runs into a sidewalk slam (I mean, I have to call a move that at least once, right? Hmm, do I even know what a sidewalk slam is?) and then goes up for the SSP, but he whiffs badly and has knocked out his wind, which makes it easy for Juvi to go up and drop a 450 for the victory. This match also ruled. I think these two actually had a Nitro match that I’d class as slightly better than this, but this was a whole lot of fun and really nailed the competitive back-and-forth balance that a match like this should have between two guys where one guy is just a small level above the other.


  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Lee Marshall is interviewing Konnan backstage for Compuserve or whatever and HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Marshall says, at high speed, like the Micro Machines ad guy from the ‘90s, “It’s like somebody switched on a switch and it’s like everybody wants to hang with K-Dogg and everybody wants to be rowdy rowdy and ‘bout it ‘bout it but then I know everybody can’t hang with you” and he grins and looks so proud of himself for opening up with this linguistic marvel of a run-on sentence and HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I’m kind of proud of this doofus too.


  • Bonus: Konnan seems to be about to invite Lee to a post-show party in Tijuana, just across the border from San Diego, but he isn’t a fan of Lee’s floral pattern shirt (“That’s a sweet shirt you have on, man. *scoffs* Did Skittles have a shirt giveaway?”). Lee is surprised that Konnan doesn’t recognize the shirt because he bought a bunch of them from some dude in East L.A, HAHAHAHAHAHA. Then Konnan lets us know his grandma is selling fish tacos in the parking lot, and I’ll take three, please. Anyway, this was MAGNIFICENT. I forgive Lee Marshall for every crappy announcing gig he's done, every bad Road Report joke he's cracked, all of that, just for this one little segment.


  • This PPV is pretty much perfect so far and can only get worse from here, really, but perfection isn’t actually possible, or if it is, it’s extremely fleeting, so I’m okay with that. Stevie Ray comes to the ring ready to kill a sucka. Chavo comes to the ring wearing a floaty and holding a Super Soaker. Yeah, that seems about right. Eddy comes onto the ramp holding a pair of scissors and looking expectant. Chavo grabs the mic after the bell rings and dedicates the match to his favorite wrestler, the "lil’ trooper" Eddy Guerrero. Chavo ducks a Stevie grab and hits a double-biceps pose to a pop, and man, the comedy on this show is working for me. Chavo cabbage patches and tries to pass the move over to Stevie, who is deeply, deeply irritated. Then, Chavo offers a handshake. Stevie actually shakes it, which seems to go against his whole street code, and Chavo sells that Stevie’s handshake is so strong he has to immediately tap. That is genuinely funny. Eddy is irate on the outside. Stevie is irate that he didn’t get to beat a sucka down tonight. Eddy is mad at Stevie, but when Stevie gets in his face, he backs off. Then, as Stevie walks away, Eddy kicks and swings angrily at him, making sure to come nowhere close to actually hitting him. I repeat: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.


  • After that, we get Chavo/Eddy immediately, and it only takes thirty seconds for Chavo to bite Eddy’s butt. Some kids in the crowd are LOVING this comedy, too, as I can hear right near at least one of the mics. I mean, if you’re going to do wrestling comedy, this is way up there. Chavo tries to have a dance contest by doing that Kid ‘n Play move where you grab your leg and pull it back. You know the one I mean. Eddy is so put off by Chavo being unserious, that he angrily kicks the bottom rope…and hurts his shin, which he grabs and pulls back in an exact replica of the dance move. This is, and I am not being hyperbolic when I say this, one of the finest comedy spots I’ve ever seen in a wrestling ring ever. I think Chavo’s joy that he somehow convinced serious Uncle Eddy to cut loose and bust a move is what caps that spot.


  • Eddy gets a chair and puts it in the ring, but Chavo grabs it, sits down, and looks bored. Eddy’s at the end of his rope and has to try something new, so he attempts a handshake. Chavo, who has actually learned from Eddy, takes Eddy’s hand and suckers him in for a lariat. We get some spots that end with Eddy crawling over to Charles Robinson and hugging him around the waist for protection. Chavo crawls over and bites Eddy’s butt again. Heenan: “Do you know what it feels like to get bitten on the butt?” Tony S. is shocked and wonders how Heenan knows what being bitten on the butt would feel like. Tenay, in an attempt to get Tony S. to fess up: “C’mon Tony, it's pay per view. You can come clean.” When a non-Dusty, non-Stevie Ray WCW announcing team is making me laugh, it’s like everything is coming together just perfectly.


  • Finally, Eddy gets to work on Chavo, targeting his back. Eddy hits a NASTY dropkick to Chavo’s back as Chavo is draped in the corner. Chavo bent in an unnatural way. Eddy is hitting some very explosive offense, yeah, including a nice dropkick to the back of Chavo’s head after he suplexes Chavo. Eddy mauls Chavo inside and outside the ring. It’s when Eddy finally tries a suplex on the concrete (a callback to his attack on Chavo that sparked this hair match challenge in the first place) and gets reversed that Chavo gets back into things. Chavo immediately hits a slam and goes up top, but Eddy crotches him and superplexes him. After the standing ten count, Chavo gets Eddy down again and goes up top again, but he gets Eddy’s knees when he drops a Frog Splash, and Eddy hits Chavo with a Tornado DDT. Instead of just, you know, dropping a Frog Splash or pinning Chavo, Eddy goes for the scissors and tries to cut Chavo’s hair prematurely. The ref stops Eddy, which of course means that when Eddy finally tries a Frog Splash, he misses. Chavo hits a Tornado DDT and then makes the same mistake Eddy did: He goes for the scissors, and as Charles Robinson stops Chavo from using them, Eddy grabs Chavo in a desperation small package for three.


  • Post-match, Eddy shaves Chavo’s head. No, wait, Chavo grabs the clippers and shaves his own head while laughing maniacally. Chavo’s the real trooper, dammit. He tries to get Eddy to cut his hair so they can be twins, but Eddy’s good with interacting with Chavo at this point and leaves. I loved this match, and this Stevie match, and the aftermath. I loved it all dearly. This is bolted on for my great matches list. It’s a top comedy match/series of matches as far as I’m concerned. Chavo shaves his armpit hair to laughter while the crowd chants CHA-VO. I love it. I love all of it. We should give Chavo his flowers for being awesome while he’s around to get them. What an underappreciated talent he is.


  • On the replay, as Chavo happily shaves his head, Charles Robinson shakes his head in awe that Chavo is willingly fucking up his own hairline. It happens in slow motion. There’s something poignant about that.


  • Bring on more show! This is legit one of the best wrestling PPVs I’ve seen at this point.


  • Disco Inferno (w/Alex Wright) comes to the ring. Penzer: “Formerly from Brooklyn, New York, he now resides in FUNKYTOWN, the Disco Inferno!” OK, that might be one of the greatest entrance calls ever. Yes, I admit that might be hyperbole, but I love it. Oh no, Disco and Alex try to say Konnan’s catchphrases to show they’re hip with Latin American culture and botch them horribly; then Disco makes me burst into laughter by calling San Diego “San Dawg.” I’m not sure the last time I’ve laughed this much at a pro wrestling show that was actually trying to get me to laugh. So, I guess we get Disco/Konnan next, but first Disco proclaims that he “really [doesn’t] know what the hell all that [slang] means” before calling for his music and getting the Wolfpac theme instead. 10/10 pre-match mic work, no notes.


  • Konnan (w/Luger and Nash) heads to the ring to a big pop. Nash calls it “San Dawg” and it sounds somewhat more legitimate than when Disco did it. He shouts out the West Coast and generally looks like a man who watches contemporary TV and film. And listens to contemporary music, for that matter, as he quotes a popular Big Pun song. This actually ends up being a mic battle between Disco, Alex, Nash, and Konnan before the actual match, and that was good enough that even if this match is kinda poop, I don’t care.


  • The match is fine, however, even if I can clearly hear Konnan call half of it. Disco pretty much gets rolled, which is what the crowd wants to see. Disco does punch his way out of a 1-8-7 attempt, and Alex Wright gets some blows in on Konnan before Luger walks over and racks him. The ref is distracted by that, so Nash gets in and Jackknifes Disco; Konnan wraps Disco in a Tequila Sunrise for the easy victory. That was a nice palette cleanser where all the really over dudes hit their catchphrases and their finishers to the joy of the crowd. A dude in the front row wearing a Wolfpac shirt is having the fucking time of his life, man. I think it’s Antoine Carr, actually, a ‘90s NBA player who I hadn't thought of in years before Tony S. pointed him out. I approve of this segment and match wholeheartedly.


  • The Giant and Kevin Greene are up next. Greene’s wearing a white shirt that says ALL PRO on it in red letters. That is a throwback "made at a shop in the mall for five bucks" t-shirt of the kind that someone in the territories would wear. I love it. Greene dodges Giant a couple times to Giant’s irritation. Giant tries to corner him, misses a strike, and then Greene disrespectfully slaps him. Greene’s cat-and-mouse game is actually pretty danged good layout. He runs Giant in and out of the ring, then kicks the top rope into Giant’s junk when Giant’s stepping over the ropes. Greene leaps onto Giant with punches a couple times, but on the third time, he gets caught and hit with a big spinebuster. Giant drops a big elbow and chokes Greene with the bottom rope.


  • The Giant is in control and sort of relaxing a bit too much, kind of like when he thought he had Luger dead to rights at Starrcade in 1996. Greene shows some fightback, but Giant stays on top. Out of desperation, Greene leaps at Giant in a crossbody and maneuvers Giant into position for a neck snap on the ropes. Greene tries to punch his way back into the match, but Giant blocks it and hits a nice headbutt that knocks Greene to the floor. Giant tries to bash Greene’s head into the guardrail, which has been getting a nice workout as a weapon tonight, but Greene reverses it and sends Giant into the rail and then the post. Giant irritatedly shoves Greene away and gets back in the ring, but Greene hits a sweet flying forearm from the top rope that gets two. That looked and sounded good.


  • Greene next tries to clip the Giant’s knee out with three-point stances and kicks. He backs Giant into the corner, but hits the three-point stance and runs himself right into a goozle. One chokeslam later, and the Giant is your winner. Solid little match, but man, I’d be kind of kayfabe mad if I were Greene and Goldberg decided to split off to defend the gold against Hennig when he wasn’t required to.


  • Lee Marshall talks to Hennig back at the computer room, and this is unfortunately not as good as when Marshall was back there with Konnan. I do appreciate Marshall smirking at Hennig’s insistence that he’s got a bead on Goldberg’s weaknesses, though.


  • We get some recap of the Jericho/Malenko feud leading into whatever fuckery Jericho’s going to get into tonight. The champ comes out first, and as he promised on Thunder, he’s ready to put on a show! I mean that literally. He’s carrying a cane and wearing a top hat. This is too much for me, man. This man actually begins a vaudeville routine before J.J. Dillon shows up and stops it. Dillon admits that he’s “made a mistake and misjudged [Jericho],” which obviously means that this is going somewhere bad for ol’ Jericho. Dillon butters Jericho up by saying that all the millions of Jericho fans are sad that Jericho’s not defending. Jericho agrees. Dillon says he found a local guy who would be open to wrestling Jericho. Jericho unfortunately doesn’t know that a certain Misterio is from the area, so he agrees and even stumps for the match to remain no DQ. Misterio is pretty built! He’s not WWE-on-roids built, but yeah, he looks pretty good. He also spent quite a bit of time on the beach. Unfortunately, San Diego is not as excited as one might hope for Rey’s return, but he’s been off of television for awhile and isn’t that big a star stateside yet.


  • Rey immediately initiates a beatdown of Jericho, getting two off a springboard legdrop early on. Rey sends Jericho into the poor abused guardrail, but back in the ring, Jericho halts on a rope run and throws a shoulderblock right into Misterio’s braced left knee. Jericho goes to work, but misses a corner charge and lands outside. This (somewhat surprisingly to me) initiates a tiny bit of wandering brawling around the beach set. Misterio gets up on the lifeguard stand and hits a leaping Frankensteiner to Jericho on the sand. Misterio follows up by throwing sand in Jericho’s eyes besides.


  • They make it back to the ring, where Jericho takes over and hits a top-rope powerslam on Misterio that looks cool. Jericho then rips Penzer’s chair away and clobbers Misterio’s left knee with it. He then sets it up for a Pillmanizer, but Rey moves and Jericho’s knee just hits the chair. Rey grabs the chair and hits Jerich in the back with it, then sets it up against Jericho’s leg and dropkicks the chair. Misterio follows up with a facebuster and tries the springboard rana, but Jericho dumps him and locks on the Walls…but Misterio makes it to the ropes.


  • That’s the point at which Dean Malenko walks down to view the proceedings. This throws off Jericho, who tries the Walls again, but gets reversed and rolled up for three. Misterio is the champ, but Jericho’s too busy running away to care. Jericho runs backstage where Arn Anderson (!) blocks his path for long enough that Malenko can catch up and beat Jericho’s ass. That wasn’t really the comeback match Misterio needed nor the end of the Jericho title reign that that reign needed, but it was definitely solid. Jericho’s reign has been much more about the mic work and skits than the matches since the Ciclope incident, though, so I’m fine with that.


  • This show has been so hot that I feel like San Diego is a bit tired, and I feel a bit tired, too. That’s the best sort of “tired” to feel when it comes to a wrestling show. Bret Hart comes to the ring to wrestle Booker T. for the Television Championship. This feels like the beginning of what will be a long dark period for Booker until about two years from this show, but maybe I’m wrong and Book gets some good feud material before Ahmed Johnson shows up and takes his initial away from him. Bret is craftier but Booker has a lot of explosiveness. Book gets two off a flying forearm, then another two off a back kick; after that, he hip tosses Bret to the floor.


  • Booker takes it outside, and would you believe it, he smashes Bret into the guardrail. Bret immediately finds a way to use the guardrail himself by draping Book’s throat across the rail when Booker takes too long to follow up. Bret takes over and starts to hit his signature moves. He drops a headbutt on Book’s abdomen and controls until Booker reverses an Irish Whip and hits a spinebuster for two. Bret’s back up and able to lariat Book to the floor, though. Bret decides that the rail is a really effective tool tonight, so he uses it again before wrapping Booker’s back around the post.


  • Back in the ring, Bret targets Book’s back. He gets a backbreaker, follows up with the second rope elbowdrop, and gets two on the cover. Bret follows up with more 5MoD, but only gets two on a side Russian. Bret eye rakes Booker and throws a few lifted uppercuts in the corner; he goes for an Irish whip, but Booker leaps over and struggles to roll him up out of the corner, which he eventually does for two. However, this starts a comeback for Book, who hits a roundhouse kick and then an axe kick. Book hits a pancake and a Spinaroonie, then goes up for the missile dropkick which he drills…but Bret’s near the ropes and gets his foot on them to break the count. Bret’s done with all this fucking wrestling shit after taking that dropkick. He rolls outside, grabs a chair, and waffles a diving Booker with it, then keeps up the chair attack post-match, bashing Booker’s braced right leg with the chair.


  • Ooh, then we get a rare Ringpost Figure Four! I love that move. Is anyone doing that move right now? It rules and someone should steal it. Oh, by the way, I note that Stevie Ray is in the back not giving a fuck for most of this, until eventually he saunters out and Bret vacates the premises. Then Stevie waves off the doctors and makes Booker limp out. When Book accepts the support of the doctor in limping out, Stevie shakes his head disgustedly. Man, Stevie’s a real asshole! That was a solid match, by the way.


  • Goldberg goes on second-from-the-top. There are still fifty-ish minutes left on this show, which makes me think that the tag main event will be entirely too long. I think ten minutes for each match is enough, but that would leave thirty minutes of promo time/entrances, so I know that’s not going to happen.


  • I still think Goldberg/Hennig for the gold was a booking mistake. There’s no need to break up the tag match, and I’m certain that the tag match would have been better than these two individual matches. Bonus: You have Goldberg and Giant avoid each other for most of the tag match, and after Goldberg kills Hennig to win, you set up Goldberg/Giant on the next PPV with the Giant claiming that Goldberg dodged him in the tag match. Whatever, I shouldn’t be complaining about the booking on this show that much with how good it's been so far. Goldberg stands in the sparks, bleeding from where he apparently bashed his head into a locker before coming out, which is quite the visual. Goldberg rules, man. Except for when he kicked the HitG.O.A.T. square in the skull and legit retired him. Otherwise, though, he rules.


  • I will give Hennig credit for doing all his typical wild bumping in this match, which is perfect for Goldberg just physically destroying him. Hennig throws a few chops, and Goldberg is like real fuckin’ irritated at that shit, man, so he rolls through on a leg bar, though Hennig escapes an ankle lock and bails. Hennig puts boots up twice on a Goldberg corner charge, but that merely staggers the big man. Hennig uncharacteristically goes up top, but is easily caught and pressed into a powerslam. Goldberg is thinking about ending it, but Hennig trips him and works the knee a bit, which is novel. So, I do actually appreciate this match indicating that Goldberg is now stepping up a level in talent and strategy with his opponents from that U.S. Championship run. The issue is that he should have been beating guys at the level of Hennig during that run, not the World Championship run.


  • I digress. Hennig actually hits a PerfectPlex, but Goldberg kicks out, hits a lariat, spears Hennig, and drops him with a Jackhammer for three. That was a Goldberg showcase that successfully gets across that he’ll be up to the challenge of wiping out a stronger talent level than he previously had to face. I guess Goldberg killed like three dudes between Nitro and now because I’m pretty sure Tenay had him at 108 wins after Nitro and now he’s saying Goldberg’s won 112. Why does WCW insist on counting Goldberg’s wins instead of just noting that he’s undefeated and leaving it at that?


  • I now consider that we never got a Goldberg/Stone Cold match, which I cannot state enough is one of the biggest disappointments in my pro wrestling experience.


  • We get a hype video for the Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman vs. Karl Malone and Diamond Dallas Page match. Then, we cut to Michael Buffer, and I think to myself, is this match really going to go a half-hour?! Really?! We’re 38 minutes from the end of the feed! I think at least three or four more minutes should have been apportioned to the Rey/Jericho match to give more time to Rey being in danger of losing and Jericho going at his knee. We could have taken it from this. Even after the longer entrances, we have thirty minutes left on the clock. I am baffled as to why they’d book this match for that long. I think it’s got potential to be good, but there is zero chance that I’m booking a tag match with two non-wrestlers and 1998 Hulk Hogan for thirty minutes. When Rodman wrestled his last match, it was a) shorter, b) Page and Luger were the steady, solid workers as his opponents in the match, and c) 1997 Hulk Hogan was a pretty clearly better worker than he’d end up being just a year later. I’ll get over it, but this really is baffling to me.


  • Rodman has been doing nothing but drinking and smoking in the offseason because he’s wrestling in a t-shirt. Look at Malone over on the other side of the ring shirtless and in tights, looking fantastic. That guy understands that wrestling is an upper-body business. Malone wants Rodman in the center of the ring, so they start, and Rodman ducks under the ropes and begs off. Malone clearly is having the time of his life, chasing Rodman and feinting punches at Hogan on the apron. The crowd actually pops when Rodman and Malone lock up. Rodman gets a headlock, but gets sent to the ropes and bails out. Rodman is actually good at stalling. Did he get in some work with Larry Z. before the show? Hahaha, obviously he didn’t because he was in Vegas doing blow with high-end sex workers. But it looks like he spent time getting in work with Larry Z. before this show!


  • I’m not going to say much about the opening of this match, which is slow and perfectly cromulent for a non-worker working another non-worker or 1998 Hogan. The stuff like Malone slamming Hogan gets the big pops that you’d expect. Page is just here to glue all this shit together so that it works. Now, I do note that a BORING chant starts early on, which wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t have 25 more minutes of this match to get through. Again, they should have made this match ten or twelve minutes and reversed it with the Goldberg match, whether or not they kept Goldberg's match a tag match or split them apart. It’s not horrible or anything, but the crowd is understandably a bit bored with the slower pace after all the stuff they’ve seen earlier in the night.


  • Rodman does a leapfrog, but fucks up the spot where he crashes into DDP after he lands. I think the crowd wants to explode, but because of how the match needs to be laid out considering the participants, the action is so stop-start, they feel a little frustrated, and so do I. There are only so many hammerlocks I can get up for on a modern show. I bet there’s an awesome wrestler or three out there who can do an awesome twenty-plus minute match centered around hammerlocks, though. I love old school WoS, so if this were a WoS show, I’d be primed for two guys working multiple hammerlocks. This just comes off as action-less compared to the rest of the card, and it’s sort of killing the crowd.


  • I must note that Rodman’s natural scumbaggery comes through nicely. Malone plays FIP for what feels like twenty or thirty years before he dodges an elbowdrop and gets a hot tag to DDP. Page’s attack gets snuffed when Hogan reverses an Irish whip and Rodman sticks a knee into his back from the apron. Hogan’s weight belt makes an appearance! Then we go back to a boilerplate heel control segment, except with Page as FIP.


  • This match just needed massive editing. I’m not going to knock the whole show for the mistake of putting this match on last and making it so long because the rest of this show was near-perfect to me, but yeah, this just isn’t the right way to book or lay out this thing. There is finally another hot tag to Malone, who hits a few lariats and body slams on Hogan and Rodman to what is a big pop – see, these people just want to see some action – and then hits a double noggin knocker on the nWo Hollywood members. Malone calls for the Diamond Cutter, but hits a pretty nice big boot first. Then, he tags in DDP who actually nails Hogan with a rebound Diamond Cutter and covers. Rodman runs in and Malone cuts him off with a Diamond Cutter, but then, and get this – GET THIS – the GODDAM DISCIPLE runs in. No, wait, the GODDAM BOOTY MAN runs in and hits a Stone Cold Stunner on Page. Hogan covers for three because of course this fuckhead can’t lose twice in one week. DISGUSTING BOOKING. Malone hits a Diamond Cutter on Booty Man, then follows with one on Charles Robinson for not catching the interference. Yeah, that’s what we needed, nWo Hollywood celebrating to end the show. Eat a sack of diseased bull testicles, WCW Booking Committee. Also, fire Eric Bischoff. Uh, and also fire Hulk Hogan, while you're at it.


  • BatB 1998 is a PPV maybe a small bit behind Beach Blast 1992 and Spring Stampede 1994 - IF you just cut it off before the main event. So do that. Do NOT watch this show after Goldberg rolls out of the arena still wearing the gold. But do be sure to catch what might be the best (U.S.?) comedy match(es) and bridge segment between those matches of all time. 
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I was shocked at how good Eddy/Chavo was. It feels like a forgotten feud in general, but especially their BatB performances were both amazing. 

What'd you think of the Saturn/Raven match? I very much liked it, and more than I think was the consensus at the time.

I said a long time ago that this show was where I started to lose my interest in closely following WCW, but I wonder if the main event just did me in that bad when I watched it with friends who also disapproved because the rest of the show is that good, IMO. 

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Raven/Saturn was great! I was a big fan of both guys when I was a kid* and this really hit the nostalgia button for me. Saturn had such cool offense that didn't become a real 'thing' until the workrate days of the early oughts. You see somebody bust out an Exploder or a Death Valley Driver back then, it was special. And Raven was great at selling and making a lot out of the least. Terry Funk mentioned that once, that guys like Scotty and Jake were the smart ones because they managed that while the guys that went all-out, like himself, were the dumb ones. This would have been ten times cooler if Scotty bladed off the bulldog into the corner of the steps, or if Saturn had crushed the table (laying there with the table over him was hilarious), but as it is it's great. Crowd was absolutely eating this shit up too! Bonus points for Nick Patrick taking what looked at first like a kick but on replay a running high-impact boot scrape/facewash. 

* I remember in school there was this kid Joe, nicknamed Jo-Jo, and while we were looking up wrestling pictures on the dial-up internet at school he told me about Raven putting somebody's eye out, which was a big deal to us. This is one of the reasons why I started watching WCW matter of fact, along with the hype about Goldberg. Before that I was strictly a WWF kid. 

EDIT: There's something I get now that I don't think I did when I was a kid and that's Saturn always looking like he just walked in from a leather bar. Beyond the piercings and tats, it was definitely the mustache. And how many copies of that damn Suicidal Tendencies shirt did Raven own?

Edited by Curt McGirt
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Show #149 – 13 July 1998

"The one with Hulk Hogan still working through his loss to Goldberg by being the top guy in the company even though he doesn’t have the gold”

  • Folks, let’s Nitro.


  • The previous four shows were great, barring the main event of Bash at the Beach. Can we stretch it to five?! (Editor's note: NO.)


  • The Nitro Girls dance while Tony S. swears that this past week was the biggest week in the history of WCW. Question to those of you who read this and are inclined to respond: What do you think was actually the biggest week in the history of WCW? Let’s leave out the obvious answers of “When it was established” or “When Jamie Kellner axed Nitro and Thunder” and focus on wrestling angles.


  • Mike Tenay puts over last Nitro as the most watched wrestling program, and he puts over Hogan vs. Goldberg as the most watched pro wrestling segment in cable history. Ah, the 83 weeks have been over for awhile now, and Bisch needed to get his mojo back, huh? I love that Mick Foley putting together a “This Is Your Life” segment for The Rock will actually end up being the most watched pro wrestling segment in cable history, IIRC. Goldberg/Hogan is good, but Mick Foley and The Rock together on the mic is another level entirely, to be fair.


  • I had the time to opine on this because of the long Goldberg/Hogan recap from the last Nitro. Weirdly, other than Goldberg/DDP, the thing I’m most interested in/excited about after last week’s Nitro is the U.S. Championship tournament that’s likely coming up. I have no idea what’s going to happen with that belt.


  • “Rockhouse” hits. A bunch of nWo Hollywood members who I don’t want to hear from come to the ring. Also, Scott Hall is there, in what is entirely the wrong nWo faction for him. Liz looks fantastic in that dress, though. I’m trying to take the good things as I can get them. Hogan rambles on about for a long, long, LONG time. I only pay any attention when Hogan blames Scott Hall for losing to Goldberg, which he has decided is the actual reason he lost his gold. On the one hand, I’m hoping this gets Hall into the Wolfpac ASAP. On the other hand, it’s more “nWo internal politics intrigue” shit, and that's been boring for a long while now. Let’s hope this mini-feud ends quickly and with Hall in the Wolfpac. (Editor's note: It didn't.)  Hall responds and is actually entertaining! Hall’s like Dude, I turned against my pal Nash, how are you questioning my loyalty in this group? I need the money I get from our whole nWo arrangement too much to mess it up. Also, you couldn’t even beat Goldberg after I gave him a light workout and while you were still fresh, chump.


  • Hall totally washes Hogan in this mic battle, of course, and the crowd is roundly behind him because the crowd is roundly behind Hall, Nash, and Sting every week they show up. Anyway, Hogan challenges Hall to a match, Hall accepts, and a paranoid Hogan forces Bischoff to be the special guest ref. Hogan lost last week and therefore couldn’t even drop a match to Malone and DDP five days later, so I think I know how this match will end. So anyway, this bitch-ass motherfucker Disciple is mean mugging Hall and then is allowed to speak, what the fuck, shut the fuck up, Leslie. He challenges DDP to a match. Disciple sounds like an asshole while he jabbers on to the point that Hall gives up and leaves the ring while he talks. I do like that Hennig is the one to try and remonstrate with Hall, his former co-AWA tag champ. That’s a nice touch.


  • I sure hope Hogan leaves to shoot another straight-to-video crapfest soon. He has no value as he is right now (and he won’t have any value in wrestling again until 2002). It’s too bad that he was too self-conscious to drop the Goldberg, Malone/DDP, and Hall matches all in a row, have his “worst week ever,” and then have a whole angle built around becoming fearful and paranoid that he’s losing it. Then again, he’s actually shoot fearful and paranoid that he’s losing it at this point, so I guess it would take a much more secure guy than Hulk Hogan to run that sort of storyline.


  • Yeah, Barbarian! He’s facing Horace Hogan, who is an adequate worker and tries hard every time. These fellas have a perfectly acceptable clubberfest, with the bonus of Jimmy Hart throwing punches at a fallen Horace. Barb hits a trap suplex, so Lodi runs a distraction and Horace clobbers Barb with a STOP sign. Horace takes over for a bit, but Jimmy Hart distracts Horace on a Horace pinfall attempt. Horace clocks Hart; the ref looks at Hart selling and misses Horace grabbing the sign and eating a Kick of Fear while the sign’s in front of his face for three. The Flock jumps Barb post-match, though Barb holds his own for awhile until the numbers are too much for him. That’s when THA MONSTA MENG comes down for the save and blows away the whole Flock. He thrust kicks Lodi to a nice pop. Now, if you’ll recall, Barb and Meng broke up messily a few months ago, so as Hart celebrates the Faces of Fear coming back together as a team, Meng is like FUCK ALL THAT and Tongan Death Grips Barb. Aw, I wanted these two crazy kids to find a way to be together again.


  • Oh great, Gene Okerlund is interviewing Curt Hennig and Rick Rude. Rude did not second Hennig to the ring at the PPV, which I guess they’re going to make a big deal out of. Rude swears that Goldberg somehow canceled his flight to the show, which is why he couldn’t make it. At least we’re not getting Rude/Hennig “are they splitting up?” intrigue. Let me knock on wood. So, Hennig wants a return match against Goldberg because he’s sure that NOW, he knows Goldberg’s weakness. Hennig wants to do this by himself and asks Rude not to join him at ringside tonight. *whispers* I think it’s a ruse. (Editor's note: It wasn't) 


  • J.J. Dillon is the next guy to talk to Gene Okerlund. Stop booking multiple Okerlund interviews in the same hour. Dillon brings out Rey Misterio Jr., the new Cruiserweight Champion, to take a victory lap. Before Misterio can even do that, Jericho comes out toting the ol’ WCW rulebook. Oh no, Jericho actually found a good, reasonable rule that applies to the match that he lost last night – page 257 of said rulebook reveals that if a suspended wrestler is in the arena and affects the outcome of a match, the match itself is thrown out and any titles that were on the line must be returned to the champion. Jericho insists on calling Misterio “Ron” as he demands the belt. Dean Malenko has seen about enough of this shit, so he comes down and swears that Jericho won’t get away from this. Jericho says that Misterio and Malenko should fight one another to try and become the number one contender, and I’m sure that he will sit in the back and watch the match play out without trying to cause a double disqualification or no contest or anything like that.


  • We are subjected to a Hacksaw Jim Duggan/Rick Fuller match next. It’s not terrible, and it’s short. That’s the best that I can say about it. You know who wins with which move.


  • Recap, recap, recap. It’s Buff and Judy! Now, we're live, and it’s Okerlund again, interviewing Buff. Buff’s wheeled out by a (shoot, I’d guess) doctor. Buff is as confused by this convoluted nWo split stuff as the rest of us viewers are, hahaha. OK, that’s pretty funny. Buff is less worried about nWo internal politics and more worried about beating up Rick Steiner as soon as he possibly can. Apparently, Rick Steiner’s here too even though he’s also injured. Wow, WCW really did send plane tickets to everyone in the company regardless of if they were able to work, huh? So, before Buff and Rick can face off and talk about their issues with one another, Hogan and Disciple come out here and ruin a segment that I was interested in. Hogan is like Buff, you bitch, you can't just sidestep nWo internal politics, you’re nWo for life, you soft lil’ bitch. Then he pushes Buff’s wheelchair over, which is the first entertaining thing Hogan’s done all night or really, since last Nitro when he whipped off the weight belt and put it to Goldberg. The wheelchair shove is such a solid heel move that it actually spurs a huge HOGAN SUCKS chant. Wow, Hogan getting heel heat for being a good heel, who’da thunk it? I guess he didn't ruin this segment somehow. Good for him! 


  • Fit Finlay walks to the ring to face Bret Hart, which, man, 2007 Finlay vs. 1994 Hitman would be the best. Tenay says that Booker is out for four to six weeks with a knee injury, which is a work, I guess? I don’t know. Booker’s style definitely could have led him into a short-term injury that the Bret Hart attack at BatB is covering for. The Hitman opens up with strikes, chokes, and a rope burn. Finlay counters with an eye poke and strikes. I want to consider Bret’s WCW run so far, which has been pretty shitty and has resulted in zero (0) classic matches. Do you realize that Vincent K. McMahon robbed us of Bret Hart vs. prime Rock? FUCK. This TV match is fine. I think every Finlay transition into an offensive spurt is sparked by an eye poke. The finish is actually pretty fun, as Bret unloads with offense, tries the Sharpshooter, and then when Finlay scrambles to the ropes, whips him away from them violently and locks it on for the submission. How has it been this long and we haven't gotten a Sharpshooter vs. Scorpion Death Lock challenge?


  • Stevie Ray is, uh, I guess defending Booker’s TV title in Booker’s stead? OK, I see we’re heading into a dark age for both the TV title and also Booker T.’s career. Hey, it’s Rick Martel! I thought he was totally done in WCW after that MCL tear. I didn’t realize that he came back for a bit. Stevie is all like I don’t even know who this guy is, who the fuck is he to be getting a title shot at my belt that isn’t my belt, but I stole it from my brother while he was drugged in the hospital and undergoing surgery and possession is nine-tenths of the law.


  • I think I pretty much hate most “tag team breaks up and beefs” angles. Like, it works sometimes (the Rockers, obviously), but I wish we got more stuff like from one of Booker’s other tag teams, the one with Goldust. Goldust amicably parting ways with Book and rooting for Booker to fly high and win the big gold was so nice. That should have happened with Stevie and Booker. Martel’s knee has him moving awkwardly to my view. We get a commercial break in this match. We come back to a tepid affair that goes on too long even with the break. Martel does some mediocre arm work. A fan in the front row has a WOLFPAC NEEDS VAL VENIS sign. No the fuck they don't. Martel tries to go for the Boston Crab, stumbles as he tries to lock it on, and gets clobbered over the head with a chair by Bret Hart. The ref misses the whole affair, and Stevie Slapjacks Martel for the win. That match felt like it went on for a full one of the three hours of this show. Okerlund interviews Stevie post-match, and Stevie swears that Book gave him power of attorney to defend the TV title. Stevie’s actually pretty entertaining in this interview (and he ends it with a “it was your pleasure, as well as the pleasure of all these idiots out here” that makes me guffaw), but this TV title angle stinks and I hate it, too.


  • Barry Darsow threatens to punch Wildcat Willie on his way to the ring. Darsow is hilarious. His mustache twirling never fails to get a chuckle out of me. Konnan (w/Sting) is his opponent for tonight. Man, I dig the Wolfpac theme so much. Darsow chokes Konnan and yells STINKIN’ a lot and actually tries to set up for his finisher, which is an armbar that shares a name with an ECW PPV. This match is cow dung from a mechanical standpoint, but Darsow and Konnan are entertaining characters, so it’s ultimately watchable enough. Also, it's mercifully short. Konnan hits a burst of offense after Darsow misses a corner charge and locks on the Tequila Sunrise for the win.


  • Gene Okerlund hits a Monsoon line (“They are literally hanging from the rafters!”). Alas, people in the crowd are merely figuratively hanging from the rafters. Anyway, Okerlund’s in the ring to interview Diamond Dallas Page, and oh boy, I don’t want to hear Page talk. Sorry. He really sucks at this as a babyface. Page talks about the trials he’s been through and then demands that the Disciple come out and immediately trade blows with him. The Disciple does. Page is fired up, but Disciple gets some offense after punching page in the junk. If I were booking this, Page would have won in fifteen seconds with the Diamond Cutter. Disciple chokes. Disciple punches. Disciple absolutely SUCKS. He hits a terrible-looking piledriver on Page. Rick Rude wanders to ringside to observe, and he cuts Page off when Page goes up top after hitting a jawbreaker. Then, get this – GET THIS – Page wins not by dominating with a Diamond Cutter, but by throwing Disciple into Rude on the apron and getting a flash schoolboy for three.


  • Yeah, I think it’s safe to say that the streak of good shows has been broken.


  • Hogan and Vincent jump Page with a chair as Page leaves the ringside area. Boy, I’m thrilled to see Hogan out here again! And with Vincent, too!


  • Forgive me for the aside here, but I went into the AEW forum because I wanted to read about Toni Storm (who I’ve heard of, but never seen in the ring) doing what is apparently a Norma Desmond gimmick and dropping absurd lines in her interviews and commentary. While I was there, I saw the AEW Navel Gazing Thread, and I read through some of it and saw Technico Support indicating a preference for not having older vets who peaked last millennium/early this millennium going fifteen or twenty in openers on AEW  television. For my money, and having watched so much WCW over the past couple years, my issue is not old dudes with years of TV time being on TV, but the placing of old dudes in spots they don’t warrant. Why the actual fuck is Ed Leslie all over my TV screen in 1998? I can live with Rick Martel having average ten-minute midcard matches in the TV title division, but I can’t countenance Hulk Hogan being in the main event of PPVs over Goldberg, the hot new act and the fucking champion. But the biggest issue I see is that these old dudes in 1998 WCW are mostly one-one hundredth of the workers that guys like Dustin Rhodes and Christian are today. Hacksaw Jim Duggan hitting crappy kneedrops is a bad time. Christian working as a sneaky heel is not. I wish WCW’s old guys were on balance even half the worker of some of the old guys in AEW. Shit, I think Edge sucks and has always sucked unless he’s hitting people with, or being hit by, plundah, and even he’d probably be an upgrade on most of the old dudes who have been on TV for 12+ years on this show, particularly in 1999 when gimmick matches become a constant thing.


  • (I have a lot of other thoughts about AEW and modern pro wrestling in general that I won’t broadcast to you here, but that you probably can guess if you’ve read any posts I’ve made in the past five years about wrestling, or if you note that at this point, I only write about and consume wrestling that happened before the new millennium.)


  • Raven jumps Kanyon in the aisle as Kanyon comes down for a match. Saturn jumps Raven as Raven jumps Kanyon in the aisle as Kanyon comes down for a match. Hey, I guess this is a triangle match! They could have sold me this match on PPV, honestly. Kanyon is fun enough with all his offensive moves, and Raven and Saturn are two of WCW’s best workers in 1998. Kanyon and Saturn brawl in the corner while Raven watches and laughs at the carnage he’s caused in these men’s lives. Kanyon hits an electric chair facebuster on Saturn, and Raven jumps him from behind. You know what, I am going to give some more of my thoughts on modern wrestling: Kanyon is one of the guys who ruined pro wrestling and made so much of modern pro wrestling unwatchable, full of good athletes who have no idea how to put on a compelling wrestling match beyond “what if we do a lot of 2.9s?” I understand why he took the approach to wrestling that he did; he’s not a talker and needed a calling card, and his gimmick is “cool offensive wrestler doing a cool offensive wrestling showcase.” But man, too many modern wrestlers picked up on that and ruined pro wrestling. Don’t worry, I also blame Shawn Michaels, ECW, and PWG for how awful modern pro wrestling is. I’m an equal opportunity blamer.


  • Anyway, Saturn splashes Kanyon through a table, and eventually, both guys are back up and trying to splash Raven. Kanyon misses, but Raven rolls right into Saturn’s path. Saturn’s splash gets two, but Kanyon breaks it up. This is just a spotfest, really, with a tower suplex spot. If your match has a tower suplex spot, I immediately stop taking it seriously. In fairness, there is a story to this match beyond KEWL MOVEZ, which is that both Saturn and Kanyon want to be the one to pin Raven, so they drill him with all their best moves, but whichever one is pinning Raven has it broken up by the other one. Eventually, Saturn and Kanyon brawl to the back while Raven lies in the ring, dead from eating a billion moves, as the winner by count out. See, that’s pretty clever booking. OK, I will take this match seriously even though it had a tower suplex spot. There are always exceptions.


  • I sort of blame Dean Malenko for ruining modern pro wrestling, too, but actually he’s been in a couple of classic angles that have worked around his extreme limitations as a talker or personality, so he at least has that. Malenko/Misterio Jr. is next. This match will be solid at worst, but I admit to really being interested in the post-match angle. Malenko and Misterio have wrestled one another so many times that they anticipate one another’s moves, which is a nice touch. Malenko does some cursory arm work, and we have a little mat work that Rey at least makes meaningful by working for a pinfall attempt out of it.


  • Back to standing, Malenko gets two by killing a Misterio headscissors attempt and hitting a side slam. Misterio gets control right back by hitting a somersault plancha, but he whiffs on the springboard rana and gets caught with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Malenko tries his finisher, but Misterio rolls him up, and they trade small packages for two. I think the truncated nature of this match works for it, especially since both guys just want to get a win and get their title shot. Misterio tries to sprinboard to the top corner, but he’s rusty and whiffs it badly. It at least allows commentary to claim that Rey’s knee might have been re-injured on the spill, These fellas trade counters and pinfall attempts for a little while more before Malenko counters a top-rope rana attempt into a super gutbuster. That’s when Chris Jericho comes out and whips his title belt into Malenko’s kidney behind the ref's back. Rey gets an academic three-count off that belt shot. Well, from a storyline standpoint, I get it: Jericho just wants to avoid Malenko at all costs and wasn’t willing to risk facing him by causing a no contest.


  • I guess the Boogie Knights are informally being called the Dancing Fools at this point, but I’mma go with Boogie Knights because I like it better. The Knights are challenging the Wolfpac to a tag match based on the results of the Konnan/Disco match at BatB. Disco cuts a dumb promo, oh man, it’s stupid. He calls his opponents “the red-and-black stab you in the back attack” and he calls himself and Alex Wright “the lemon and lime, step on a dime, bust a rhyme, it's your duty to shake your booty dance party.” Magical. You can keep your six-star matches with guys doing cursory selling so they can get up and do contrived gymnastic feats of athleticism; give me a dopey midcard heel cutting a hilarious promo before getting powerbombed into oblivion instead. Boy, I really lied about not commenting on modern pro wrestling; sorry about that. I got all worked up, I think is what happened.


  • I would argue that the Wolfpac is actually getting sidelined on these shows. They are super-over, but nWo Hollywood gets multiple segments every show, and the Wolfpac gets one, maybe two. Luger and Nash decide to kill off the Boogie Knights tonight. Luger flexes in Disco’s face, and Disco immediately turns around and tags Wright, HAHAHA. I want to give Luger credit; he has no problem selling for the young guys. He sells surprise at Wright working a complex armbar counter that ends with Luger getting armdragged. Armdrug? Wright and Disco think about leaving, but Konnan stops them. Konnan tosses Wright into the guardrail, where Sting hits Wright with a Stinger Splash, and back in the ring, Disco gets powerbombed into oblivion while Wright gets racked. See? That was very entertaining to me.


  • You know who’s got his mojo back? Eddy Guerrero. He won a match the night before this show and tells the camera that he's feeling like he can start a winning streak of his own tonight against Mongo McMichael. Eddy goes right at Mongo and hits that dropkick to his opponent’s back that Chavo sold so well the night before. Mongo reverses an Irish whip and hits a back suplex, then drops Eddy with a nice vertical suplex…and guess who shows up? It’s Chavo Jr., wearing a cowboy hat and riding Pepe. Mongo is coasting to victory until he’s distracted by the moron on the hobby horse, at which point Eddy dropkicks Mongo in the leg and goes up for the Frog Splash. Nick Patrick tries to get Chavo out of the ring, but Eddy dropkicks Chavo into Mongo and then Mongo hits Chavo with a Mongo Spike as Patrick calls for a no contest. I really don't get what that match was supposed to accomplish.


  • Michael Buffer’s picking up a paycheck to introduce the Scott Hall/Hulk Hogan match. Bischoff comes out here first in a Hulk Hogan t-shirt, which would seem to indicate that maybe Bisch isn’t going to be the most even-handed ref. Scott Hall comes out, and this guy stayed over the whole time he was in the company. Shoot, they eventually sent his ass home for good, and he still got a pop when Booker T. uncovered his picture in that “belt in a box” match he had against Jeff Jarrett a couple years from now. Hall tosses his toothpick into Hogan’s face, then pulls out a second one to toss into Bischoff’s face. Hogan opens up with some crappy offense, but Hall bites Hogan’s hand. We get some more uninspiring work, and Hall paintbrushes Hogan to a pop. Hogan scores a lariat, then hits some mediocre strikes.


  • So, there’s some more crap, the Disciple gets involved, Bischoff ignores the interference, Bisch almost avoids Hall being in the ropes on a pinfall, but decides to stop counting, Bischoff basically tilts things for Hogan. I really don’t care about this, and I really don’t want to see Scott Hall sell for Hulk Hogan. I’m just going to skip talking about this work and just skip to the finish. Finally, DDP comes in and clears out Hogan, Disciple, and Bisch…oh, wait, the numbers game gets to him after he hits Bisch with a Diamond Cutter. Finally, Kevin Nash comes down and clears up the rest of the nWo Hollywood rubbish to a big pop. This crowd probably thinks they're about to see Hall and Page join the Wolfpac. Nash immediately forgives Hall for turning on him a few months ago, but Hall attacks Nash before Nash can hit Hogan with a Jackknife. NOBODY WANTS THIS. There was a huge pop when Nash and Hall looked to be making up. Bonus: We get Hogan, Hall, and Disciple standing tall to end the segment. This absolutely SUCKS, man, it SUCKS.


  • The Curt Hennig/Goldberg return match is our main event for the night. The cops escort Goldberg to the ring. Why does Goldberg need a police escort? The man is his own police escort. Hey, whatever, it looks cool. I never got to see Goldberg’s WCW main eventer entrance in person, and that bums me out. Hennig slaps Goldberg, which seems like not the brightest move? I mean, yeah, considering that Hennig immediately gets speared and Jackhammered, it was in fact not the brightest move. You know what? They should have this guy Goldberg on TV more often, maybe in an angle or something!


  • This show was headed for mere mediocrity rather than something that was kinda shitty. Of course, that was until Hogan got fifty segments and only did one memorable thing in any of them (shoving Buff to the ground). You know what might fix this problem? Firing Eric Bischoff. 2.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
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Aw, but that would involve putting Goldberg in an angle, and we can't have that.

Though thinking of Rikishi as the car-driving Jeff Gilooly to Triple H's Tonya Harding is pretty hilarious, so thank you for that. 

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Danny Garcia just put Buddy Mathews in a figure four around the ring post last night on Collision (his finisher is the sharp shooter)

and Ditto all the praise for Chavo and the match/feud with Eddie, I've long felt his only crime is not being as good as his uncle who's on my short list for best ever

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Thunder Interlude – show number twenty-five – 16 July 1998

"The WCW Gang is buoyed by Konnan being charismatic”

  • The show starts with Kevin Nash being very sad about Scott Hall being a total dick…Tenay asks Nash the most probing of questions w/r/t his relationship with Hall…This is a bit work-shooty as Hall noted that he would stick with nWo Hollywood because he needed the money badly, and now Nash alludes to Hall’s personal problems…Nash has no problems with anyone getting that paper, but he was under the agreement that they’d get that paper as a duo…Nash uses his serious voice to be bummed out about Hogan and Bischoff using Scott Hall as a weapon against him and says that Hall’s on strike two and that a third strike is going to get an adverse reaction from Nash...


  • The Wolfpac theme hits and Konnan, the superworker of the Wolfpac (I mean, he is at this point if you’ve noticed), comes to the ring…He’s chattering all the while on the mic…Konnan Speaks on This and “This” is mostly A Bunch of Catchphrases…Konnan is going to have a semi-competitive squash victory over El Dandy tonight…Actually, I take back that “semi-competitive” part…It’s a barely competitive match at best…Konnan scores the win with a Tequila Sunrise…The crowd seems pleased…


  • Ultimo Dragon faces off with Lizmark Jr. next…There’s lots of pace in this one…Dragon pretty easily outfoxes Lizmark to open…Lizmark finally hits a floatover powerslam that gets two… …Lizmark spends quite a bit of time in control and is able to slow it down and score a number of two counts…Once Dragon gets the pace of the match back up and is able to force Lizmark into a switch-and-counter type of match, he finally finds a counter dropkick on a flipping Lizmark…Lizmark tries a suplex and gets countered into a Dragon Sleeper for three…Lizmark looked good in this short match…This Oakland crowd sucks, by the way, and at one point in this solid bout, there was dead silence except for one cornball in the crowd yelling BORING…


  • DDP comes to the ring to cut an interview after we are reminded of his run-in with Curt Hennig last week on Thunder…Page cribs a Flair line to insult Hulk Hogan…Oh yeah, that Flair guy…I personally don’t think he’s necessary to my enjoyment of WCW at this point, but the crowds still love him…Page cuts a crappy promo, obviously…He’s so corny that I’m not sure how crowds didn’t quickly turn on his babyface run…All his babyface promos are missing is a bunch of vocabulary words that most people don’t use in regular conversation, and he’d be Seth Rollins status on the mic…I guess Page/Hennig is happening tonight…


  • Wow, I guess there won’t be another Thunder after this one until the Thursday after Road Wild…I think I prefer Thunder to Nitro because of the lack of bloat, so that makes me kinda sad…Thunder was definitely a solid show for its first six months…The Boogie Knights come to the ring…Also, Tokyo Magnum comes to the ring…Magnum joins the dance while Disco and Wright wave him off…Public Enemy come to the ring in Raiders shirts…Aw, both the Raiders and Athletics have gotten mentions tonight…I’m not understanding why teams are moving to Las Vegas, a city that probably won’t exist in any real way in the next two or three decades because of the ever-lowering water table and Nevada's water rights issues w/r/t the Colorado River…Las Vegas is a stupid city that probably shouldn’t have ever been founded…


  • But, uh, anyway, back to wrestling…Wright outfoxes Johnny Grunge, proudly walks over to tag Disco, and Disco waves off the tag because he’s disinterested in putting himself in harm’s way at this point…Wright takes a beating, but gets control back and finally convinces Disco to tag in…Disco immediately runs into a tilt-a-whirl slam and gets his ass kicked, haha…Tokyo Magnum runs a distraction and eats a punch so that Disco can re-take control…Disco misses two elbowdrops…He misses pretty much every elbowdrop he tries and should probably take that move out of his arsenal…A double-clothesline leads to a Johnny Grunge hot tag…The match breaks down and PE hits a double hot shot…Rocco Rock does the weirdest-looking rope-assisted headscissors to Disco, and it’s kinda cool…PE sets up a table, but Magnum saves Alex Wright and flips the table on its side so that Grunge slams his face into the table’s edge…That draws a DQ, but I guess the original use of the table itself did not?...Okay…The heels dance away…I genuinely want this company to put the belts on these fellas and have them barely survive a few title defenses before getting crushed by a dominant babyface tag team…


  • Dean Malenko interviews with Tony S….We’ve really been cursed with shitty promo work tonight…Nash was solid, but Page and Malenko do not inspire me to root for them…Malenko promises to finish Jericho off at some point in the future…He’s more concerned tonight with scoring a meeting with Arn Anderson, though…Lots of Flair/Horsemen teasing from the babyfaces on this show…


  • It's Road Block!...This guy is easily one of my favorite WCW jobbers…His appearance somewhat eases the pain of hearing Hacksaw Duggan’s music…Duggan legitimately is the second-most over guy on this show so far after Page…Duggan even got a bigger pop than Konnan, who consistently gets big pops…This match actually starts out pretty hot and the opening segment ends with Duggan clotheslining Road Block to the floor…This is a nothing match, but I did enjoy it for what it was…It’s because they both sort of tried, I guess, or upped the intensity…I like that these guys hit a lot of shitty strikes, but then fire off a nice lariat or elbowdrop in there too…They even do some floor brawling just for the fuck of it…Road Block tries a rope-assisted moonsault from the apron to Duggan laying inside the ring and whiffs…Duggan hits the old Mid-South football spear, but it actually looks good this time…An Old Glory kneedrop gets three…


  • There are only three guys who I am happy to see when “Rockhouse” hits…One of them, Bret Hart, comes to the ring…Bret cuts a promo…He doesn’t like the scumbag fans…He’s pretty disaffected, man…He notes that he’s beaten Flair (hmmm), Piper, and Savage…He claims that he put Benoit and Booker T. out of wrestling too…Then he’s SUPER racist and mocks Booker by taking on a blaccent that I find entirely unacceptable from a Canadian who just a year prior cut passionate promos about racism being a U.S. thing and not a Canada thing…Someone fires an egg at Bret and whaps him right in the shoulder, but he ignores the fuck out of it and keeps talking his shit…That egg was an egg against racism, dammit!...You can’t be out here in Oakland of all places doing a mock blaccent and not expect a response…


  • Perry Saturn is pretty much the best here in 1998…Kanyon is okay, too…I feel like re-running permutations of Kanyon/Saturn/Raven on TV is not the best for this feud…Let’s keep these guys away from each other in official matches until Road Wild…Anyway, they have a standard solid match…Kanyon hits a nice Northern Lights after catching Saturn on a dive…Kanyon follows up with an elbowdrop for two…They switch control back and forth as Kanyon scores more pinfall attempts…Saturn gets two off a small package, then another two off a superkick…I think the issue with this match, as solid as it is, is that it’s another “let’s trade KEWL MOVEZ” match that involves these two, but they’ve had some combo of these over the past few weeks, so it has diminishing returns…The crowd is bored and chants for Ric Flair…This isn’t bad, but I do think it’s not as compelling as it could be…Saturn dropping Kanyon with a DVD does get a pop, though…Solid match, and I hope Saturn moves on from Kanyon and we get a big gimmick match between Saturn and Raven at Road Wild…Kanyon should move on to other things…


  • It's always good to see Psicosis…Ooh, and he’s opposing Eddy Guerrero tonight…Psicosis scores some offense, the crowd chants for CHAVO, and Eddy looks shook for a second…Eddy gets aggressive and throws chops and uppercuts at Psicosis…Psicosis flips out of a tilt-a-whirl and gets two on a lariat…Man, Psicosis rules…He sends Eddy outside, fakes a plancha, then hits a crossbody from the top…Back in the ring, Eddy works Psicosis’s arm…Psicosis is able to hit a corkscrew splash and goes up top to finish Eddy…Chavo, wearing a mask, rides down on Pepe…Psicosis dives onto Chavo instead for whatever reason…Eddy jumps Psicosis…Psicosis gets boots up on a charge and sets Eddy up on top, then lands a top-rope Frankensteiner…Psicosis drills a Falcon Arrow and goes up top again to finish it…Chavo is aggrieved at the previous attack and swings Pepe at Psicosis, whiffs badly, then just shoves Psicosis off the top rope instead…Eddy quickly lands a Frog Splash for three…Chavo rides away as Eddy stalks him to the back…Absurd stuff and entertaining to be sure, but where is this angle going now?...


  • We get a replay of the Nash interview from earlier in the night…Unnecessary…


  • There are only three guys who I am happy to see when “Rockhouse” hits…One of them, Scott Hall, comes to the ring…Hall cuts a promo…He doesn’t see the need to conduct a survey because he’s confident that the nWo is quite popular…Hall calls Nash a whining 6’10 goof…Ouch…Hall is like basically, My wife left me and/or I got sued for assaulting someone or crashing a car into something and so I lost a lot of cash and the only dudes who paid me were Bisch and Hogan and not you Nash, you broke bitch…Hall declares himself “Medium Sexy the Nash Killa”…Hall says something about getting some tough love from Nash and being handsomer than ten movie stars…I will leave you to take that line entirely out of context on your own…


  • OK, there’s a fourth guy who I’m glad to see when “Rockhouse” hits…Scott Norton (w/Vincent) is pretty good, man, I enjoy him a whole lot in his role as a midcard gatekeeper…He’s back from Japan and looks to be in improved shape…Norton beats up Ciclope in a quick squash…He also upgrades from a shoulderbreaker to a powerbomb as his finisher…I like it…


  • Tony S. interviews Stevie Ray…I do think the concept of Stevie being jealous of Booker and then taking the chance to snatch Book's gold while Book is in the hospital recuperating is actually pretty funny…But I don’t really love the execution…Though Stevie is fucking hilarious in this promo, spinning a web about Booker handing over the title and admitting that Stevie was right…He says that Booker looked up at him from the gurney with “those big brown eyes, so cute, just like a little brother” and it got me going…Oh man, we gotta get this guy on color ASAP…Tony S. wants to see the legal documents that Stevie says Booker signed to give Stevie power of attorney…Stevie brings a handwritten note that looks like someone wrote it on the back of a shopping list in Crayola…Why wouldn’t the WCW Championship Committee step in and address this?...Stevie wrote down ten cupcake opponents who he plans to face and says that Booker was the one who picked these opponents out…I guess according to Stevie, Damian 666 was on Booker’s radar…This match is nothing, but Stevie’s pretend humbleness and sportsmanship is pretty funny…It’s just a huge comedown from the hot TV title feuds from the first half of this year, you know?...Though Stevie hitting a powerslam and then somberly telling the crowd THIS IS FOR MY BROTHER also made me chuckle…Stevie’s so naturally funny…Stevie wins with a Slapjack after minimal struggle…


  • Curt Hennig and Rick Rude come to the ring (w/Scott Hall and Vincent) to cut a promo on DDP…Is this necessary?...This Thunder is longer than normal…And the extra thirty-plus minutes of time is being used poorly…Rude cuts a mediocre promo and Hennig cuts a worse one than that…Konnan pops in on this segment because has beef with these guys…He actually ignores Hennig and Rude, promising to get them back later…That’s because he wants to call Hall a “punk mark buster,” which obviously gets a huge pop…Hennig leans through the ropes and Konnan slaps him after Hennig tries to insult him…Wow, Konnan absolutely saved that segment…I guess I’ll just go ahead and formally declare myself a Konnan fan…He’s perfect for this era of pro wrestling especially…Though I also loved his wrestling don gimmick he worked in TNA and LU…


  • Juventud Guerrera faces off with the number one contender to the Cruiserweight Championship, Rey Misterio Jr.…Obviously this is super-pacey…The first big spot of the match involves Juvi dropkicking a springboarding Rey out of the air…Juvi manages two off a springboard legdrop…Jvui slows it down with a chinlock…Rey is able to score two off a schoolboy, then manages a headscissors and a running legdrop for two…This match is fine, but I expect better from these fellas…Juvi hits a springboard dropkick for two…They struggle while fighting in the corner, and Rey hits a top-rope Frankensteiner…There’s lots of lovely flippies, but it’s all somewhat disjointed in the bigger picture…In a cool spot, Rey tries a springboard moonsault, but gets caught and dropped in a Juvi Driver for two…Juvi tries to set up the 450, but takes too long and gets crotched on the top rope…Misterio sets up for a springboard rana, but Bret Hart runs in with a chair, clobbers Rey off the ropes, and hammers Juvi with the chair…Bret locks Juvi in the Sharpshooter…He only takes it off to punch Mickey Jay in the face…Finally, he locks the ringpost Figure Four on Rey…I mean, I guess they’re doing something with Bret…Unfortunately, what they’re doing is some heel shit that I think SUCKS…


  • Barbarian and Hugh Morrus are a tag team again tonight…They face off with the odd couple tag team of Chris Adams and Marty Jannetty…These are two random tag teams that I find interesting…After some okay back-and-forth, Jannetty’s the first guy to hit a superkick…The match breaks down once Jimmy Hart hops on the apron…Barb lariats Adams to the outside…Barb and Morrus hit a Kick of Fear/No Laughing Matter combo on Jannetty for the win…Meng shows up post-match and jumps Barb, then fights Morrus for fun…Meng is like FUCK YOUR NUMBERS GAME…He beats them both down, blocks a Kick of Fear, and locks the TDG on Barb while Morrus crawls around in pain…Hart gets involved and only avoids a big boot by using the ref as a shield…Hart runs away with Meng right behind him…Meng rules…


  • Dean Malenko is back out and asks Arn Anderson to join him in the ring for a public convo…Mongo comes out to join the conversation, too…Malenko is like Benoit is my dude, I’d do anything for him, like even basically be his low-level drug dealer if he needed me to. He works real hard and so do I. You, Arn, got me a job here and I thank you for that, but I know that you wouldn’t have got me a job here if you didn’t think I had the stuff. Benoit, Mongo, and I think you still have the stuff, too. Be our version of J.J. Dillon, except with charisma of course LOL, and throw up the four fingers with us.


  • Arn’s response is basically like Don’t make me slap the shit outta you for trying to make yourself a Horsemen and throwing up the four fingers Dean, you have to be a truly neglectful father and husband to really have the stuff to be a Horseman. I still have the fire to neglect my family so I can wrestle every night, but *takes shirt off* they reconstructed my whole-ass neck, so please stop asking me about bringing back the Horsemen because it hurts not to be able to neglect my family and ride up and down these roads wrestling every night. I mean, Arn said it way better than my summary of his promo and you should watch it yourself…Dean, on the other hand, well, I think my summary was a reasonable substitution for what he said…


  • Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude and Scott Hall) meets Diamond Dallas Page in our main event of the night…Konnan, the clear MVP of the show tonight, comes back out to back DDP up…Well, now this match is a tag match pitting Hall and Hennig against Page and Konnan…I wonder if Hall and Hennig still have that AWA magic, or if they somehow lost it after opposing one another in that Survivor Series ’92 tag match…Page catches Hennig with a swinging neckbreaker and then looks for a Diamond Cutter, but Hennig backs off and tags Hall…Hall and Konnan lock up…Hall paintbrushes Konnan, who hits a lariat and paintbrushes Hall right back to a pop…The crowd is actually awake for something tonight, nice…Konnan hits a sitout facebuster, then ping-pongs Hall between himself and Page with punches…The match breaks down and gets kinda weird as Hall I guess blocks a couple Diamond Cutter attempts, but I don’t get the psychology behind the blocks or Hall’s selling of the cumulative effects of the blocks…


  • The match gets back in order and Hall hits Konnan with a fallaway slam to spark a Konnan FIP segment…Konnan takes a beating, but manages to eke out a double-clothesline…Konnan gets a hot tag, and Page goes bananas…Hall runs enough of a distraction that Hennig is able to clock page and get 2.9…He does it again after a standing dropkick and gets another 2.9…There’s one final commercial break…We come back to Page throwing fists at Hennig in the corner, but Hall is apparently the legal man and jumps Page from behind, then hits a fallaway slam for two…Hall works an abdominal stretch on page, with leverage assistance from Hennig…Finally, Hall locks on a sleeper, but Page trades sleepers with Hall before getting back suplexed…There’s another hot tag, this time to Konnan…The finish is very busy, as Rude runs a distraction, Hall clocks Konnan from outside the ring, and Page splatters Hall with a Diamond Cutter on the floor…Hennig, though, takes the opportunity to hit a PerfectPlex on Konnan for three…The match was fine, but nothing to write home about…And it furthered two angles (Page/Hennig, Hall/Wolfpac) that I’m not into, so it didn’t work for me from a storyline standpoint…


  • This was a forgettable episode of Thunder that, other than a couple of sparks of fun, was pretty boring…Inoffensive, but boring…WOOO


Edited by SirSmUgly
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On 1/20/2024 at 12:45 PM, SirSmUgly said:
  • Kanyon is one of the guys who ruined pro wrestling and made so much of modern pro wrestling unwatchable
  • I also blame Shawn Michaels,
  • ECW,
  • PWG
  • I sort of blame Dean Malenko for ruining modern pro wrestling, too

look out folks, Smelly is SHOOTING~!

unrelated to the above, i don't know what the biggest week of WCW is. off the top of my head, i'd probably start by looking at Nitro 100 where Luger racks Hogan.

15 hours ago, DJ Hero Morganti said:

I wonder if thats the show I was at. If it was the dark match was Goldberg/giant.  I should look it up.

according to https://thehistoryofwwe.com/wcw-results-1998/ that would indeed be the one! also you would have been treated to a pre-Thunder dark match featuring Blitzkrieg's first WCW appearance!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p81Sg45Rs_g&pp=ygUeYmxpdHprcmllZyBhbWVyaWNhbiB3aWxkIGNoaWxk

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I'm a complaining old man who needs to get with the times or STFU. That's why I post in my little thread about Nitro when pro wrestling was WRESTLING and such.'

Also, I insult crowds that DVDVR members happened to be a part of, apparently. I'm obviously so with it. 

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  • SirSmUgly changed the title to Smelly watches every Nitro-era Nitro, Thunder, Clash, and PPV while sitting and sometimes maybe standing

Show #150 – 20 July 1998

"The one with the biggest indicator yet that Eric Bischoff should be fired immediately”

  • I’m more slowly than expected making my way through the master list of matches, promos, and segments that I’m putting together. Unfortunately, I’m still back in February of ’97 on this list. I’m thinking that I’ll try to time it so that by the time I’m through 1998’s shows, I’ll have the list updated through 1998 as well.


  • Scott Hall comes to the ring to do something rare in ’98 WCW – cut an enjoyable promo. I appreciate that he’s cut out the surveys because he’s heeling. Weirdly, he references Gilligan’s Island to insult Kevin Nash. That’s a Vinnie Jr. move. He gets real personal about how much he dislikes his old friend Nash, calling Nash’s manhood into question and such.


  • Aw, we don’t get a U.S. Championship tournament. The WCW Championship Committee just declares that DDP and Bret Hart are the #1 and #2 contenders to the title, so they will wrestle for the gold tonight. I love a good title tournament and feel cross that I’m not getting one here.


  • Lots of recap of the Hall/Hogan/Page/Nash stuff from last week. I somehow missed telling you that Hogan wanted to see “who rules and who drools” between he and Hall when demanding their match last week. That is unbelievably terrible mic work.


  • Stevie Ray is not defending and does not possess the TV title belt tonight and he has a whole explanation why that he shares with the camera on his way to the ring. Basically, he’s trying to figure out how to get a legal document to defend the gold and is lying about it, and it’s funny. He squashes a dude named Johnny Boone. Wait, hold on, Chavo is out here with Pepe and the TV title, which I guess was not left back at the hospital with Booker T. as Stevie declared it was on his way out to the ring. Chavo exposes Stevie’s lies, and after Stevie hits a Slapjack, he grabs the belt from Chavo and tries to hide it behind his back like an idiot, LOL. This was all pretty dumb, but in an entertaining enough way.


  • We get lots of “Hogan shoves Buff” recap to get to the current segment in which Gene Okerlund tries to have a conversation with sentient chunk of rancid mayo Rick Steiner. This interview is an acceptable enough one for Rick Steiner; Rick challenges Scott to a match at Road Wild. This thing does go on about sixty seconds longer than it needs to, though. Why does Gene have so many questions for this idiot?


  • Finally, Buff gets rolled out here so that something entertaining can happen, maybe. Rick sorta-apologizes to Buff for the injury. He does one of those things where he doesn’t say I’m sorry I did that, instead opting for I’m sorry that happened to you. I suppose that’s fair; after all, Ricky Steiner does mention that he was trying to win the match, not kill the guy. So, Buff goes so far as to grab Rick’s hand and hug him, which gets a pop. That’s the point at which Scotty Steiner comes out and clobbers Rick with a chair. Buff tries to stop Scotty. Oops, no, Buff takes the chair from Scotty and hits Rick with it, then rips off his neck brace and celebrates. You know what would be cool? If Dr. Schiller or whoever would summon Eric Bischoff to Atlanta and fire the hapless dope.


  • Okerlund’s still out here, this time to interview Chris Jericho. Jericho cuts a zero of a promo in which he basically accuses Malenko of doing all the stuff to him that he’s actually done to Malenko. I get a minor chuckle out of Jericho getting mad that Malenko spoke about Jericho’s dead father when we saw Papa Irvine, alive and well, calling his boy a sissy or whatever a few weeks ago. But yeah, Jericho is pretty annoying tonight, and not in the “good heel” way. But I can’t flip the channel and watch RAW or whatever, so I sit here while Jericho gives Malenko one final title shot on an upcoming show and swears that if Malenko doesn’t win, that’s it for giving him any more title shots.


  • Scott Hall crashes the desk, harasses Larry Z., and I think, wow, we are a half-hour in and have had one (1) three-minute match that involved Stevie Ray and a jobber. This show is fucking awful so far. Hall basically, and I am paraphrasing a bit, says this: Kevin Nash is crying like a woman, a weak woman as we all know women naturally are, amirite fellas, and I bet Kevin Nash has a metaphorical and also maybe a literal vagina that he must treat for various infections and such with Monistat ™ brand products. Monistat – When You’re Diggin’ Your Yeast the Least, Use Monistat ™! I hated it. Show me a wrestling match already. A good one, too.


  • Well, now Bischoff sends out two cruiserweights to get the action going on this show! Alright! Oops, no, it’s just Sick Boy. I love Mongo McMichael, but I just saw Stevie Ray clubber his way through a squash and don’t feel like watching Mongo clubber his way through a semi-competitive squash is really giving me the variety that I want. This is how the WWF won the MNW - by forcing Nitro into playing RAW’s game. Nitro needed to win the argument that the best wrestling show should be centered around wrestling, but they got suckered into competing with RAW over which show could center talking the best. WCW has now, and has always had, great talkers, but that talky, promo-focused approach to putting on a pro wrestling show was just not WCW’s specialty. Even in the JCP era, in the early days of Saturday Night where the Four Horsemen, Cornette, and Dusty would have multiple entertaining studio promos, the real treat was watching great wrestlers figure out a way to destroy a geek or two in their weekly squash, followed by the occasional good match between two names who could go that got you hyped for the big shows. Anyway, Mongo wins in a couple minutes with the Mongo Spike so we can go into another recap.


  • There’s a recap of the Dean/Mongo/Arn stuff, and then…


  • Eric Bischoff repeats a Jay Leno monologue on a mock Tonight Show set while canned laughter plays in the background. Bisch is gonna get fired over telling a PG-rated joke about it being so hot that everyone’s pool boys actually did their jobs that day instead of, presumably, fucking some kept wives and probably a few kept husbands as they normally do. He didn’t use the word “fuck,” obviously, it was a benign shitty Leno monologue joke. Anyway, this is going right on the ABSOLUTE DIRT WORST list. Fire this fucking moron Bischoff already, please. Put me out of my fucking misery already. Also, I like Tony S., but maybe put him on probation for indignantly yelling: HEY I SAW THE TONIGHT SHOW ON FRIDAY, HE IS RIPPING OFF JAY LENO’S MONOLOGUE. I bet Vinnie caught this segment while trying to counter-program and immediately called his accountants to free up enough of his capital so he could eventually purchase WCW.


  • We are now in hour number two. Tony S. declares that hour number one was “wild.” ON. PROBATION. We start hour number two with a fucking interview because of course we do. We see video of that Nash interview with Tenay yet again. Fuck. Me. Halfway through, the interview cuts out, and we see Scott Hall has jacked the tape from Craig Leathers and Co. Kevin Nash is back there at the production truck just standing around watching Hall, I guess, and Scott Hall throws the tape at him and they fight. Nash wins for awhile, but Hall’s Hollywood buddies burst out of a nearby production trailer and jump Nash. The Wolfpac arrives for backup and we have a donnybrook, a pier six brawl, a veritable slobberknocker.


  • GODDAM, now Bret Hart is out here at the set yelling for DDP to fight him right now. OK, at least the Hitman wants to have a fucking wrestling match. We cut to the back, and Konnan is upset; he’s standing over DDP, who has been attacked by someone else offscreen. I cannot express to you how bad this show has been. I can’t emphasize it enough. Did RAW have a bunch of fifteen-minute-long matches tonight or something? Does errant counter-programming explain what is some of the worst formatting of a show I’ve ever seen in my life?


  • J.J. Dillon comes down to talk to Bret Hart. Fucking awesome. Meanwhile, RAW had D’Lo Brown beat Trips for the European title and had a Rock/X-Pac match that almost went ten minutes, which is pretty much about a thirty-minute match if you adjust for the time period. I would have flipped to USA and never flipped back a long time ago if I were somehow transported back to 1998.


  • Oh wow, a wrestling match! Saturn is here and will probably get something decent out of Yuji Nagata. I’ve been calling Tatanka “league average” because he’s a wrestler whose match quality is completely, 100% dependent on how good his opponent is. He’s not going to drag a match down or anything, but he’s also not going to do anything to elevate a match. His match quality is entirely dependent upon the talent level and mood of his opponent and the booking of the match itself. I mention this because Yuji Nagata is another league-average wrestler. If he was a baseball player, he’d be worth 0 WAR every year. League-fucking-average. Saturn is very good and busts out some good offense, so this match is fine.


  • Saturn gets control and is rolling when Sonny Onoo runs a distraction and Raven runs in. Raven drops Saturn with an Evenflow DDT; Nagata locks on the Figure Four Nagata Lock and gets a pinfall victory since Saturn is KO’d. The rest of the Flock runs in and attacks Saturn. Kanyon runs down for the save and, rather than punching dudes off of Saturn, does a lot of contrived offense to each Flock member one by one that takes forever to set up while the rest of the Flock stands around and looks at him. Oh, Kanyon. You’ve got your one thing that you do really well, so you do it in every situation. I mean, the moves are nice! There’s that, at least. Kanyon goes over to help Saturn up, but Saturn hits him with a DVD (no video review) because Saturn is an anti-social dick.


  • Hey, it’s another match! Two in a row?! Wow, getting crazy with all the wrestling here! It's a tag title match between Nash/Sting and Giant/Hall. Tony S. hyped this incessantly during the previous match, but I think any excitement that I’d normally have for this matchup has been beaten out of me by this show. I’d feel worse for this crowd sitting through this thing, but they’re Jazz fans, so fuck ‘em. Finally, the crowd has something to get hyped about – Nash and Giant locking up. They pop huge for Nash hitting Giant with a big boot. Sting is wrestling in an nWo tank, black denim, and boots. He does some crotch chops and, again, looks like a complete fucking asshole, what is he doing looking like this, even? There’s a break in this match after Sting crotch chops Hall.


  • We get back and Sting and Giant face off. Sting slaps Giant, and Giant misses a corner charge. Man, these fellas are so good together. Sting hits one Stinger Splash, but gets booted out of mid-air trying another one. There’s a huge GIANT SUCKS chant as Sting tries a crossbody and just bounces off of Giant’s chest. This match is good, because of course it is. Everyone in this match knows their business. Sting gets worked over in the FIP role for awhile, but he reverses a Hall abdominal stretch and scores a hot tag to Nash. Nash works over the Giant, then works over Hall for a bit. They work a nice sequence where Hall avoids a Snake Eyes, but eats a big boot while trying to throw a punch. Nash goes for a Jackknife, but Giant breaks it up and the match breaks down. Sting hits Giant with a low blow and a second-rope bulldog, then gets back on the apron so Nash can make a tag to Sting. Sting drills Hall with two Stinger Splashes, then locks Hall in the Scorpion Deathlock. Nash clears the Giant out, but Bret Hart comes down, gets in Sting’s face (probably about the whole Scorpion Death Lock/Sharpshooter thing, I’d bet), and runs enough of a distraction that Hall catches Sting in an Razor’s Edge and scores both a three-count and the tag titles. Excellent match. Not enough to save this redeem this garbage show, but excellent match.


  • Note that the Wolfpac and Goldberg are the most over acts on the show, but nWo Hollywood dominates the TV time and seems to win at every turn, still. Hell, I haven’t seen Goldberg on TV in awhile, come to think of it. He wasn’t on the previous Thunder and hasn’t been spoken of so far tonight.


  • The Boogie Knights come to the ring – good! – to face Chono and late ‘90s Muta – bad! I am over “Rockhouse.” Enough with the “Rockhouse.” I look forward to late ’00 when I think, finally, mercifully, the nWo as a going entity is basically dead in WCW. If I’m remembering wrong, I suppose I’m in for quite a lot of shock and dismay! Anyway, this match is perfectly cromulent and Chono/Muta are more active than I expected. I do wish that the Boogie Knights weren’t essentially squashed here, though. Muta gets Disco to tap to a legbar after about three minutes, and then Scott Norton comes down and destroys Wright and Disco after the match.


  • So, there’s a Nitro Girls routine with three Nitro Girls including Kimberly, and it makes me laugh because a trainer comes back and takes Kimberly to the back (remember, DDP got his ass beat earlier). The other two Nitro Girls don’t even stop the routine – they just keep going, all enthusiasm. It’s like when Michelle tripped during a dance routine with the rest of Destiny’s Child on BET and Beyonce and Kelly Rowland were just like TOO BAD FOR YOU SIS and plowed on through. That was a classic moment. BET didn’t always have the best programming, but they had some classic music programs back in the day. I think that whole thing happened on 106th and Park if I recall correctly. Anway, what was I talking about, now?


  • Ultimo Dragon and Tokyo Magnum go at super-speed so we can have more time for Hollywood Hogan and Company to come out here and kill this show dead on the mic. Hey, we didn’t even see Magnum foolishly try to run in and save his dancing buddies last segment. Dragon dropkicks Magnum out of the air, then hits a brainbuster and locks on a Dragon Sleeper in a semi-competitive squash victory.


  • Scott Norton (w/Vincent) is back out to squash Jim Powers. It’s fine. Norton wins with the powerbomb.


  • Next up: An nWo hype video about what a brilliant amazing badass Hulk Hogan is. Fuck off.


  • Next up after that: Hogan, Bischoff, and Disciple lead a bunch of Hollywood members to the ring to yak. Fuck off.


  • I guess finally at least someone mentions Goldberg, who you know, is the fucking WCW WORLD CHAMPION. Can you imagine Stone Cold being left off two straight 1998 RAWs so that Vinnie could stand around in the ring with Bob Backlund talking about how they’re changing the face of wrestling together? I mean, Backlund is an infinitely better heel promo than Hogan, but you get my point. Anyway, Hogan cuts a dreadful promo as usual. It’s longer than most of the matches tonight.


  • I genuinely think that Vince Russo’s bad shows will be better than Eric Bischoff's bad shows in the sense that they might cross over into being so dumb, they’re somewhat fun to snark about sometimes on a Rifftrax type of level. This show just stinks in a deeply boring and shitty way. I’m probably going to be proven wrong about this, though.


  • Konnan (w/Antoine Carr) faces Eddy Guerrero next. This match is very short, and I think if this show were properly formatted and booked, it could have been something good. Konnan goes with using his size advantage to overpower Eddy, and it makes for a nice contrast in style with the speedy Eddy. Konnan gets two off a back suplex, so Eddy goes with the highly technical “forefinger to the eye” move, but he just gets kicked and hit with a sit-out facebuster for another two count. Chavo comes out dressed like a vato, doing Konnan’s schtick and riding Pepe. It’s pretty funny. Meanwhile, Eddy’s getting mauled in there until Konnan is distracted by Chavo. Eddy takes that opportunity to hit Konnan a suplex, but then he’s distracted by Chavo. What happens is Eddy grabs Pepe, tries to hit Konnan with the poor horsey, and gets back bodydropped way the hell up and over the top rope. The bell rings for a no contest. I feel a bit ripped off.


  • I just watched WM IX, at which Lex Luger and Curt Hennig had a boring match. Now I watch Nitro and…oh come on, these assholes booked this match again? FUCK. Actually, I thought the WM IX match was better than the previous time that I saw it, and it wasn't terrible, but it wasn’t what you’d call good. Maybe “adequate” is the best that you could say about it. Maybe. This match isn’t terrible either, but it’s worse than the WM IX match. Hennig does some boilerplate heel control before Luger comes back and accidentally tosses Hennig into the ref. Rude interferes and Luger racks him. Hennig jumps Luger from behind and hits the PerfectPlex while Rude holds Luger’s leg down; that gets three. Good thing, too, as nWo Hollywood really needed that win to stay over. Boy, Hogan lost the gold and he and Bischoff really booked this show around making him feel okay about that loss, huh? Speaking of “booking a show around an egomaniacal Hogan’s emotional needs,” did I mention earlier that I just watched WM IX?


  • Bret Hart and DDP are the main event, and they really aren’t going to have Goldberg come out here while the cameras are rolling for the second straight show, huh? Anyway, the main event is just DDP coming out and working his tough-luck babyface gimmick. He's badly injured and fights the pain, but is beaten by a Sharpshooter in about three minutes. I am genuinely flirting with giving this show the ol’ negative number. Let me think about it.


  • OK, here’s what I think: As I said earlier, I liked the tag title match, but that wasn’t enough to save the rest of this shitshow. The only thing the tag title match saved this show from was a negative score. 0 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
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Show #151 – 27 July 1998

"The one with negative numbers (for the very first time)”

  • I’d say it can’t get worse than the last Nitro, our first ZERO Stinger Splash Nitro on this watch-through so far, but it can because I am definitely adding negative numbers of Stinger Splashes to shows worse than that one. Imagine going to see a Sting match live and not getting even one Stinger Splash, and then Sting just wins with a small package or a schoolboy. You’d feel robbed of something, right? Just like a negative numbers Nitro is robbing me of my joy for wrestling.


  • I didn’t realize that they went from Hogan and Bischoff feuding with Karl Malone right into Hogan and Bischoff feuding with Jay Leno. Then again, of course this makes sense when more closely looking at the timeline of Bischoff’s first tenure as Nitro show-runner.


  • We get a long video package about how nWo Hollywood was the most dominant faction in pro wrestling history last week. The only good thing about it is that Scott Hudson shows up on the voice over.


  • Wow, Goldberg is going to be on this show! He’s giving Crush a title shot for some reason, but look, baby steps here: The World Champ will on WCW’s flagship television show!


  • We start the show with "Rockhouse," unfortunately, but at least Hall and the Giant are here and not Hogan and Bischoff. Then again, CrushHennig and Rude are also out here, but again, baby steps.


  • Hall is still mad that Nash is upset over their friendship ending. He challenges the Wolfpac to some sort of multi-man match, but I’m not sure what type of multi-man match he's calling for. Honestly, it sounds like he’s challenged them to a War Games match, but he made the challenge for Road Wild and not Fall Brawl. Hall notes that they have all the belts except one (well, two, but I guess the Cruiserweight Championship doesn’t matter to them if Syxx isn't around to win it, I guess). Then Hall really gets heelish with it by giving the mic to fucking Crush. He is awful, cuts a promo like it’s 1988, and uses the “cup of warm shut the hell up” line like the cornball he is. He keeps saying his own name, all “Brian Adams, Brian Adams, Brian Adams,” but this cornball is Crush until someone finally does what they should have done all along with him and finally put him back in a tag team with a more talented partner. Until then, Vinnie named him Crush, I'mma call him Crush. 


  • They keep showing clips of Bisch doing his shitty Leno impression last week as if they want me to dislike this show.


  • Raven and the Flock get a jobber entrance, in fact, so that we have more time to re-live last week’s black hole of a Bischoff segment. Raven’s sitting down and complaining that nobody likes him, but Saturn jogs down. Saturn is also sick of his former best friend’s crying, much like Scott Hall. Saturn wants to fight Raven, but Kanyon randomly walks up behind Saturn and gets suplexed. Saturn then goes after Raven, but Kanyon saves Raven from a DVD and hits Saturn with a Flatliner. Raven walks off calmly. We get it, we got it with the triple threat match that you had two weeks ago that neither man can get the advantage on Raven because they’re distracted by one another. Move the angle along already.


  • Barbarian tries to get something good out of Hacksaw Duggan. Barb tries to match power with Duggan and loses out to a clothesline. Duggan swings a whole lot of Polish hammers to knock Barb down again. Barb takes over when Duggan ducks down, and he and Jimmy Hart hit Duggan with a bunch of ineffectual strikes. I’ve spent too many words on this match already, which I will note is NOT a hot cruiserweight match to get the show started off with some action. Let’s just get to the point where Meng shows up already…ah, here it is: Barb misses a Kick of Fear on Duggan and instead boots Hart, who is holding Duggan. Duggan gets a rollup for three off the whiff; Hugh Morrus comes into the ring to attack Duggan, and Meng comes in for the save. Duggan tries to shake Meng’s hand, but Meng hits him with the ol’ Tongan Death Grip. Of course, unlike pretty much anyone else. Duggan fights it with a bunch of punches before going down.


  • Sweet fuck, there’s going to be another Tonight Show rip-off segment. What’s on RAW?


  • Well, no match on tonight's competition went over eight minutes and one of them was a Brakkus squash. Uh, what’s the MNF matchup? Oh shit, it’s still the off-season.


  • There is one good thing about this Tonight Show segment and it is Liz in that gray dress. I mean, WOW. Inspirational. You don’t tell me to settle down! I tell you to settle down! You know what’s not inspirational? Making fun of Monica Lewinsky. She was a twenty-something intern! Make jokes about the leader of the free world preying on a twenty-something intern instead! Or, you know, don’t make jokes about that because it’s a fucked up situation. This black hole of a segment is going to definitely cap this show at a max number of Stinger Splashes. Two? Can a show with a long segment of this low quality ever earn more than two Stinger Splashes? I have to think about this.


  • Bischoff being so self-indulgent at this point, when RAW is beating the crap out of Nitro in the ratings regularly, is certainly, um, a direction to go in for him.


  • Wait, this is going to take up multiple segments? We have a monologue, but now, Bischoff sits at the desk and does the “silly headlines” thing. I thought that was a Letterman thing? I did watch Letterman as a pre-teen and teen sometimes. The crowd finally starts chanting BO-RING, which is a surprising amount of patience for this sort of thing. The San Antonio crowd was actually expending energy booing for awhile for some reason.


  • Now Bischoff calls Hogan out to the couch so that he can cut a terrible promo. Is the Jay Leno match happening at Road Wild? They really haven’t set anything up for that card, and it’s in two weeks. It’s gotta be happening at Fall Brawl or Havoc instead, right? Goldberg is the champ and Hogan is out here having tag matches with random non-wrestlers in the main event spot of these PPVs.


  • I’m excited about Bischoff getting fired so that Kevin Nash can book this show into oblivion. Can’t wait!


  • Thirty-five minutes into this show: One (1) match and Jim Duggan was involved in it.


  • Gene Okerlund talks to a sentient ball of support tape that is heavily tattooed and wearing blue jeans. No, wait, that’s just Diamond Dallas Page. Okerlund asks a useful journalistic question: Who jumped you last week? Page claims that Hogan was the one who did it. He also cuts a mediocre babyface promo, and I have scientific evidence that he does because he uses a favored line of another mediocre promo cutter, babyface Shawn Michaels: “Don’t hunt what you can’t kill.” Hey, we’re in San Antonio tonight! Now, that’s mediocre promo-cutting babyface synergy.


  • "Rockhouse." Hall, Norton, and Dusty Rhodes appear. Oh yeah, Rhodes is in nWo Hollywood for no reason. They crash the desk. I guess the nWo is reigniting a feud with Larry Z., except this time between Zbyszko and Dusty Rhodes. In 1998. This segment is making me hate Scott Hall and Dusty Rhodes as performers. Imagine how shitty this must be for me to type that. There’s some nonsense about a gag order because Larry Z. is unfair to the nWo or something, then they leave.


  • Minute 44 of the show (not counting commercials in real time) and we get our second match, a thirty-second squash of Jim Neidhart by Scott Norton. Neidhart gets powerbombed and pinned, and then he immediately books it out of there holding the back of his head while Norton yaps to the camera.


  • At this point in the show, you could send Stone Cold and the Rock out here in the middle of WCW’s ring to cut a promo on one another, and I’d be like FUCK THIS, SHOW ME A SUBSTANTIVE WRESTLING MATCH.


  • Dellinger and his mooks knock on Goldberg’s locker room door, but they don’t get a response. They open it up, and the nWo has spray painted it and turned over all the furniture. Dellinger posts a cop at the door, and Larry Z. rightly points out that it’s a little late for that. Also, Goldberg doesn’t need police protection, I’m sure he’s fine.


  • That was one of the worst hours of a pro wrestling show that I’ve ever seen in my whole life.


  • Bret Hart (w/terrible theme that sounds like someone tried to write his WWF theme on a broken Casio keyboard) comes to the ring. He’s not dressed for action, so I can only imagine that we’re getting another talking segment. Oops, no, I don’t need to imagine it. We’re getting another talking segment. The Hitman loves that modified Hunter S. Thompson quote about the television business, and he hits it again to lead into what is admittedly a solid heel promo that I just have zero interest in hearing right now. I do like that they’re finally running a Hitman/Sting feud. That’s good! Anyway, Bret is like I like Sting, he’s cool, but it was his fuck-up last week at the end of that tag match since I didn’t even touch him. Actually, he and I should be friends because the fans don't appreciate us and also both our companies turned their backs on us. OK, sure, let’s see how this angle/feud goes.


  • Oh wow! A wrestling match! And one that I want to see! Chris Jericho/Dean Malenko for the Cruiserweight Championship is up next. Hey, remember how Rey Misterio Jr. made his triumphant return three weeks ago and now we haven’t seen the guy since that one Nitro where Bret Hart hit him with a chair? This fucking company.


  • Jericho knows that he needs to start off hot and dropkicks Malenko as Malenko enters the ring. Jericho hits a chop and WOOOOOs into the camera as everyone but commentary continues to leave breadcrumbs that Flair might just be back on WCW TV someday soon. From there, they counter and roll through on a number of moves until Jericho gets a Walls of Jericho on Malenko (Tony S. notes the lack of angling on the move, so it’s a Walls). Malenko gets to the ropes and rolls outside, where he’s hit with a plancha by Jericho; we go into a commercial break.


  • We come back to Jericho still in control as Tony S. promises that WCW will torture me with a fucking Travis Tritt concert at Souled Out. No offense to country music fans – Cash, Parton, and Burnett are cool, and Elvis was a far better country singer than he was gospel or blues – but country music is mostly hot trash. Especially the overproduced crap of today that I hear whenever I’m unlucky enough to be in the chair while a dental assistant who loves modern country is cleaning my teeth. I guess the country cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is decent, but the original by Chapman is way better. Wait, where are we? Oh yeah, this match, which is quite entertaining. Again, we get a counter-counter-counter until Jericho hits a Lionsault for two. Then we are back to standing, and there are another series of counters until Malenko hits a double-underhook suplex. He goes for the Texas Cloverleaf and, though Jericho fights, Malenko turns Jericho over…and Jericho grabs the ropes.


  • Malenko goes to the top, but Jericho hits the ropes and crotches him, then follows up for a superplex attempt. Malenko blocks it and turns it into a top-rope DDT, and yeah, that was cool as fuck. Malenko turns over and gets a cover for a 2.9 – the crowd counts ONE, TWO, THR—OHHHHH, which only enhances the 2.9. Jericho rolls outside and loads his fist, then rolls back in and tries to hit Malenko when Malenko accidentally elbows the ref in the face. He misses, gets hit, and drops the knucks that were on his fist. Malenko picks up the knucks, loads them, and punches Jericho to a HUGE pop…and the ref sees that action and awards the match to a KO’d Jericho by DQ. That is amazing. This match was great, too. These two were stellar tonight. I was sure we were seeing a title change, but no, they continue to string out Chris Jericho surviving by the skin of his teeth, and that’s quality television, too.


  • "Rockhouse." FUCK. Hennig and Rude come to the ring. SHIT. Rude’s facial hair is awful. His barber should be tried for an actual crime. Mongo McMichael is Hennig’s opponent tonight. You know who I miss? Debra. She was so great during her time in WCW. Mongo comes out hot and a series of nice moves culminate in a powerslam. He goes over to jaw at Rude, who grabs his ankle, and um, Hennig just hits him once, grabs him from behind, and drops him with a PerfectPlex for three. That’s it?! (Editor's note: There was a reason for this finish, but the match still could have been a little longer and more competitive instead of having Mongo uncharacteristically go down to a weak distraction and one move.)


  • "Rockhouse." FUCK. Bischoff, Hogan, and Disciple come to the ring. SHIT. Tony S. is like, Hey, we’re going to show you the only bad match at our previous PPV that was otherwise an all-time great wrestling PPV other than it. Wonderful! Hogan promises to fuck DDP tonight, or maybe fight him, I don’t know, it’s hard to tell because the nature of pro wrestling is to tend toward homosocial behavior and that behavior is sometimes tinged with eroticism. Then we have to watch this shitty Bash at the Beach main event from a few weeks ago instead of the stellar rest of the card. Go see my Bash at the Beach ’98 notes entry for more on that show, and also, definitely watch at least the first half of it if you haven’t seen it before (or in a long time).


  • I can’t believe they showed this whole match again on a fucking Nitro when I could have been seeing good live wrestling matches that don’t involve Hulk Hogan instead. By the way, I can only score this from the future, as someone who has easy access to BatB ’98 and therefore wouldn’t have been excited to get a free PPV match on TV – though I think I would have felt the same way in ’98 as I went in on this PPV with some friends and saw it live.


  • Goldberg gets escorted out for an interview. The crowd is very excited to see him. I wonder what they got to see in the spot where we were forced to watch blessed to see the BatB ’98 main event. Anyway, Goldberg speaks! Hey, did we ever get Goldberg vs. Angle? Goldberg vs. tweaker Angle would have been a hell of a show. Anyway, Goldberg cuts an okay promo, but unfortunately, he’s a lot more impressive when he’s just killing dudes and twitching uncontrollably. Still, it’s a solid enough killer babyface promo, and it’s short and sweet as it should be when Goldberg is talking.


  • Gene Okerlund is still fucking talking. We’ve had four matches on this show, not counting the PPV replay, and only one of them was anything good or substantial. Look, Arn Anderson’s a great talker, but I have no interest in it right now. Then again, credit to Arn: He grows my interest in his interview as he talks about how Malenko et al. made things too personal when calling for the Horsemen to re-form. He touches on how he’s upset about Flair being stuck at home without saying Flair’s name. Then he notes that Malenko and Mongo blew it in the ring tonight and didn’t exactly make a case to him for change his mind. He’s especially annoyed that Mongo didn’t find an extra gear against Curt Hennig, who, if you recall, blew up the Horsemen in the first place because for some reason, those idiots wouldn’t settle for Jeff Jarrett as a member. I mean, yeah, good recall! Mongo did come out on fire in his match, though. He’s just dumb and apparently easily knocked out by the PerfectPlex. Anyway, Arn is definitely not bringing back the Horsemen after tonight’s sorry display. Or so he says.  


  • Scott Hall challenged Sting earlier tonight in one of his promos, and we get that match next. This is going to be a decent match at worst as long as they give it some time. Scott Hall neutralizes Sting’s energy early, winning strikes and then a fallaway slam on a Sting crossbody attempt. Sting reverses an Irish whip to the corner and hits a couple of Stinger Splashes, then a third when Hall stumbles into another corner of the ring. Sting then hits a Scorpion Death Drop and locks on the Scorpion Death Lock, but here comes Bret Hart.


  • Sting breaks the hold and leaves the ring to throw strikes at Bret. Bret doesn’t fight back, but Curt Hennig and Vincent run down and jump Sting. That whole match took like three minutes, so no, they didn’t give it some time. Luger and Nash run out for the save, and Nash Jackknifes Vincent to a huge pop. Boy, the crowd just wants to see some powerbombs. Nash goes to Jackknife Hall, but Hall hits a low blow and stomps Nash out. In the ring, Bret helps Sting up, but Sting hits his own low blow and goes for the Scorpion Death Drop; Bret wriggles away and heads for the back while Sting yells at him.


  • It's another Okerlund interview, yay, I love these. Scotty Steiner wheels Buff out and they fake a wheelchair crash even though we already know that Buff is well again. OK, whatever. Look, I love Scotty and Buff, and Buff showing the scar where they cut to fuse his vertebrae and talking about it with some intensity is good, but I am done with all the talking, and I just don’t love Buff going right back to being a heel. It is what it is. I do get a kick out of Scotty and Buff’s total bro energy though. They really are a good heel pairing. Also, Scotty says that Rick’s problem is that “[he has] what I don’t have – compassion.” Then he calls the location for Road Wild “the Sturgis.” Hilarious. And if he thinks a scumbag like Rick has compassion, then just how sociopathic is Scotty? True heel shit. J.J. Dillon comes out all mad and stuff and promises to finally book Scotty vs. Ricky at some point. Scotty and Buff seem cool with that idea. 


  • Goldberg comes to the ring to defend his gold; Crush unloads on Goldberg early and gets two off a flying shoulderblock from the top rope, then two on a vertical suplex. He goes for another vertical suplex, though, and that’s where Goldberg blocks the move, spears Crush, spears an onrushing Vincent, and spears Crush again. One Jackhammer later, and Goldberg has mowed down another nWo Hollywood member. This guy is literally the only guy who can beat anyone in nWo Hollywood right now, which actually would be the basis for a good storyline about WCW rallying behind Goldberg as the point of their spear against Hollywood. You could even have the Wolfpac, desperate to kill off their nWo rivals, temporarily align with WCW. Nash might to do that until nWo Hollywood is destroyed, and then WCW could go into that Nash/Goldberg feud and have Hall running around with a taser like an asshole at Souled Out or whatever after nWo Hollywood is destroyed at Starrcade ’98. Whatever, it’s very easy to book something better than what we got, but the booker has to be willing to send Hulk Hogan home and pay him all that money not to be on TV, pledging not to use him beyond how much he contractually must be used. No one who got into power in WCW other than Vince Russo would have been even willing to chance that.


  • Hulk Hogan vs. DDP is the main event. They have a short match, like all of the triple-main event for Nitro has been, so they’re not going to replay their miracle match on Show #112. For what we get, this is pretty good, though. Page and Hogan just work really well together, I guess. Hogan dominates, but it makes sense because Page is getting very good at working up from underneath and is selling all those injuries. Hogan hits a big boot, then picks Page up and goes for a slam, but Page slips out and hits a Diamond Cutter. The ref counts to two before nWo Hollywood completes their run-in and attacks Page. The Wolfpac run down for the save and everyone brawls. Then, as the show goes to black, Goldberg trots out and I want to see him kill some guys before the show ends. Hooray, we do get to see him kill some guys before the show ends! The Giant jumps Goldberg at the very end, though, and rocks him with a chokeslam. That’s definitely a feud I want to see, so I’m excited about that. But…


  • …this show was bad, and unlike the previous show, there was too much for one awesome match (Jericho/Malenko) to overcome. The Tonight Show knockoff shit got two whole segments and the show before Jericho/Malenko dug so much of a hole that unless that triple main-event got long matches with at least one or two clean finishes, it was just never going to get to the positive side of the ledger.


  • And so, after it took 150 shows for a Nitro to earn a zero score, it only took one further episode for Nitro to be so bad that I feel like I’ve seen something worth fewer than zero Stinger Splashes. And there were three actual Stinger Splashes on this show, so that’s saying something! -0.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
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21 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:

Show #151 – 27 July 1998

  • We have a monologue, but now, Bischoff sits at the desk and does the “silly headlines” thing. I thought that was a Letterman thing? 
  • Hey, did we ever get Goldberg vs. Angle? Goldberg vs. tweaker Angle would have been a hell of a show.

i thought Letterman was more of the top 10 lists? i definitely remember Leno doing his headlines bit.

not that i recall. during Goldberg's first WWE run, Bill was on Raw while Kurt was on SD! and this was in the first year after the brand split, where they stuck pretty close to the separation. i think Angle had mainly retired (? maybe he was just still in TNA?) by the time Goldberg made it back.

also, yes. Bret Hart's WCW theme is not good. it would sound better if somebody was trying to make a legally-distinct version of his WWF theme using unpracticed kazoo noises.

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Show #152 – 3 August 1998

"The one with extreme whiplash and a Jericho/Misterio Jr. masterpiece”

  • I’m not anticipating a good Nitro, or at least not until Road Wild is over and all this Leno/Tonight Show shit is done with.


  • Goldberg video package. Dancing from the Nitro Girls. Heenan at the desk because Larry Z. is on GAG ORDA, BABY. Whatever.


  • We start the show with our first appearance of Blitzkrieg on WCW television as he faces Rey Misterio Jr.! No, actually, I’m mistaken. Let me clean my glasses here so I can make out the screen. Ah, that’s better. Let me correct myself: It’s DDP cutting an annoying babyface promo with Gene Okerlund holding the mic. Page tries to get this Page/Leno vs. Hogan/Bischoff match at Road Wild over, bless him, but no one’s getting this thing over. Well, maybe Jake Roberts or The Rock could get it over, but that’s about the list of wrestlers who could. I should note that the crowd loves DDP even though he keeps saying SLEAZY E and HOLLYWOOD SCUM HOGAN all the time. Oh man, please turn this guy heel again.


  • The Barbarian (w/Jimmy Hart) is going to have a wrestling match, and only eight minutes into this show! How early for a wrestling match on this wrestling show! Hart grabs the mic and calls DDP out for an impromptu match. See, now this is the way to start a show. Page avoids Barb’s power moves, strikes, and chokes; he hits a swinging neckbreaker and a discus clothesline early. Page immediately tries to fire off a Diamond Cutter, but Barb blocks it and then forearms Page in the balls a few seconds later to take control. The front row chants JIMMY HART SUCKS, so Hart does the proper thing and throws fists at Page behind the ref’s back. Somehow, those fists don’t do much because Page fires up immediately after, but Barb fires a kick to Page’s ribs to regain control.


  • Barb keeps Page in the corner, firing off punches and chops, but when he tries to fire Page into the other corner and follow up with offense, Page dodges and scores with a clothesline. Page splits off to punch Jimmy Hart to a big chop, which allows Barb to get in on him. They have a great little finishing sequence where Barb whiffs a Kick of Fear and then Page tries gamely to catch Barb with a Diamond Cutter. Barb blocks the second attempt of a Cutter, so Page disengages and tries again from a different position. Barb tries to fight it off by getting low and using his center of gravity, but Page yanks him up and into a Cutter for three. So, Scott Hall was supposed to be doing this “low center of gravity” counter to the Diamond Cutter a couple weeks ago, but he didn’t even try to get low, so it looked dumb. Barb did it right, squatting and widening his stance in a way that made visual sense of what was happening. Anyway, perish the thought of starting the show with a fun, semi-competitive match like this. Wow, maybe this is something Nitro should do more often!


  • Larry Z. is back at the desk in place of Heenan, and he's ready and willing to talk about corporate complaints to Time Warner w/r/t his announcing, and oh, who cares. You don’t care. I don’t care. Larry Z. did threaten to walk out and golf on Mondays instead if Time Warner didn’t keep the nWo from running up on the set, and hopefully Time Warner is neglectful about that request.


  • Can you imagine if they just had Goldberg kill off nWo Hollywood one by one, beating them so badly that they disappear from television, and then killing off Hogan at Starrcade while in the semi-main, Nash annihilates Hall? That would have been so good. What we have now is Goldberg beating nWo midcarders to little long-term storyline effect.


  • I mention this because of all the recaps of the last couple weeks’ worth of angles with both Goldberg and DDP that play after Larry Z. is done gabbing.


  • Bisch gets fired from his job and then also out of a cannon tells bad blowjob jokes that Jay Leno already told on his shitty late night show a couple days earlier. It goes on forever.


  • I bet all the double entendres got this bum called up to Time Warner offices, but the bad taste of picking on Monica Lewinsky is what should have got him called up there.


  • Hogan cuts an awful promo in the midst of this segment. It’s better than Bischoff’s monologue, so that’s something.


  • Now we get a Bret Hart promo package. Wonderful. Can we get a Bret Hart wrestling match instead?


  • Heh, a Psicosis/Disco Inferno match is the sort of thing I want more of on television. Disco cuts the music to introduce Alex Wright. Wright’s music plays…but Tokyo Magnum comes to the ring instead. I guess Disco was here to introduce Magnum as Psicosis’s opponent, actually. OK, I’m here for it! And so, because I really want to see this match, we're literally fifteen seconds in before Scott Norton comes out and destroys both competitors with powerbombs and then grabs a mic to talk. *sigh*. He makes an open challenge to all of WCW. Hugh Morrus answers the call. *sigh*. Norton powerbombs him immediately and leaves. *sigh*.


  • Look, I like Scott Norton, and I think he’s a useful gatekeeper, but they do a way better job of building Barb and Meng as gatekeepers. They go way too far with Norton busting into matches like this. I can’t believe that I was genuinely excited for this match and this is how it ended up. Or considering the quality of Nitro lately, maybe I can believe it.


  • Yet another video recap, this time of Bret Hart talking about Sting. FUCK.


  • Nitro is awful at this point. The small string of pre-BatB '98 Nitros that were good feel like they happened years before this show, not weeks before.


  • There are more video packages, then an interview with Gene Okerlund and Goldberg. I hate to compare Goldberg and Steve Austin beyond that they were flagship wrestlers for their companies in 1998, but I do think that the comparisons everybody made back then really hurt Goldberg because Goldberg’s not a talker. Not that he has to be; he’s super-intense, so what he says is just fine. But he’s not nearly as loquacious as Austin, and so he (unfairly) was considered a copycat lesser Austin. He challenges the Giant to a match at Road Wild and threatens anyone who gets in his way on his path to the Giant, including Nash and Sting, who I’m sure wouldn’t mind him beating the shit out of Giant. Sting doesn’t like Goldberg having Sting's name in his mouth and comes out to get nose-to-nose with Goldberg to a huge pop. That’s cool, but Giant comes out like two seconds after that and calls out Goldberg, who runs through a few nWo Hollywood lackeys and chases Giant away. Bret Hart comes out and tries to talk to Sting in the aisle, but Sting blows him off. That was a busy segment that didn’t work because there was too much stuffed into it, but Goldberg/Giant is a dream matchup for me right now, so I’m glad that we’re getting it at the PPV, even if it’s gotten fewer than two weeks of build (!!!) going into Road Wild.


  • We come back from break and Sting’s backstage, standing over Lex Luger (apparently, as we don’t see his face) in the back; Luger has been knocked out. Sting stalks off when Doug Dellinger and the Kops hit the scene.


  • Crush (w/Virgil) faces Hacksaw Duggan. *sigh*. I see why I remember nothing about Road Wild; I definitely stopped watching by this time, and maybe I saw some of this on a rewatch a decade-plus ago, but maybe I skipped ahead over it, too. Anyway, I don’t remember it for good reason. This is a barely passable match that ends when Duggan gets distracted by Virgil’s attempt at interference and is piledriven by Crush for the loss. The crowd was really into this. I judge them harshly.


  • I guess there was supposed to be a Sting/Luger vs. Hall/Giant tag titles match in the main event, but now Luger’s out of the match. The Wolfpac sucks at being like an actual wolfpack. They’re always getting picked off and jumped. Bret Hart rolls on up to Okerlund as Okerlund tries to get into Sting’s dressing room for an interview about all this. Hart barely even denies that he was the one who jumped Luger, and then offers himself up as Sting’s tag partner for the main event. I hope that even Sting is not gullible enough to believe the Hitman’s assurances that he’ll be a trustworthy partner for the Stinger.


  • Okerlund’s sitting on an ugly-ass Harley knockoff to promote both the knockoff brand and to promote Road Wild. Eric Bischoff is one corny motherfucker.


  • Sick Boy (w/Lodi and a clearly-annoyed Raven) is up next to face off with Kanyon. No, wait, Raven gets a microphone and cancels that match himself. Raven insinuates that Kanyon isn't here tonight because he got his ass beat or stole the rest of the Flock from Raven, one or the other, but man, this feud needs to end. And happily, it will! Saturn/Raven/Kanyon is on for Road Wild. Lodi grabs the mic to threaten Saturn too, so Raven slaps Lodi and breaks Lodi’s fingers for such an unforgivable transgression. Saturn’s had enough of that shit after about two fingers and walks out, which runs Raven and Sick Boy off. Saturn tries to help Lodi up, but Lodi shoves him away, so Saturn mangles Lodi’s already-mangled fingers some more and hits him with a DVD. It wasn’t a bad segment, but I’m over this feud, and I’m not sure any of this was necessary to building to the triangle match at Road Wild.


  • Gene Okerlund almost trips over his microphone cord when he’s hanging out near Sting’s dressing room and happens to catch Bret Hart and Scott Hall having a conversation about something. I kinda wish the old bastard had taken a pratfall for my amusement.


  • Wow, more Gene Okerlund! Great! And he’s got elite mic workers J.J. Dillon and Dean Malenko with him! Malenko says he’s going to tell Chris Jericho face-to-face that Jericho was the better man last week. Jericho comes out here to peacock (heh) a bit and, of course, to walk right into a trap that plays on his vanities. Basically, Malenko and Dillon combed through the rulebook and found a rule that WCW has the right to name a special ref for Jericho’s future matches. They bait Jericho into agreeing that he is totally out of control and cannot be contained by mere, run-of-the-mill incompetent WCW referees before dropping that rule on him. You see where this is going: Jericho has to defend his title at Road Wild against Juventud Guerrera (first I’m hearing of this, by the way, and in the next segment, I find out that this was only decided on the previous WCWSN in a number-one contendership match that Jericho influenced the outcome of). Dean Malenko will be the guy keeping control of things in that title defense. This was a good segment, especially considering 2/3ds of the guys talking in it, but there’s just been too much talking tonight, so its positive effect on me as a viewer was somewhat blunted.


  • Speaking of Juvi Guerrera, he and Eddy Guerrero are next up in a singles match. We are halfway through the runtime of this video on Peacock, and this is only the third wrestling match of the show and the second one that has potential. Juvi wants to shake hands to start; Eddy slaps him disrespectfully. Then, they go right at each other. Juvi hits a few knife-edged chops and dropkicks Eddy out of a press attempt. He runs again, but gets caught in a sick tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to start Eddy’s control segment. Eddy beats Juvi down, but lets Juvi start running the ropes, which is a mistake. Juvi counters another tilt-a-whirl attempt with a flying headscissors, then counters a superplex attempt with a top-rope wheel kick. Eddy rolls outside and gets hammered with a dive; he looks like he’s in a whole lot of trouble, but back in the ring he kills a Juvi rana attempt by flinging Juvi backward into the buckles. Eddy tries to follow up, but Juvi blocks a powerbomb attempt with a DDT that gets a convincing 2.9. Juvi hits a springboard dropkick and the signals for the Juvi Driver. Eddy flips out of it, though, and hits a shoulderbreaker and a Frog Splash for three. Good match, and if Juvi wins the gold at Road Wild, Eddy is set up for number one contendership and we can run this back in a longer bout at Fall Brawl.


  • Okerlund’s back on the bike doing more promotional shit. The bike is made by a company named American IronHorse. A quick Wikipedia check shows that they went out of business about a decade after this show. I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.


  • Stevie Ray “defends” the TV title against Lizmark Jr. Wait, before that, Gene Okerlund pops back into the aisle to ask Stevie why he’s got the TV title with him. Stevie has a document with him to indicate that he’s been given power of attorney to defend the belt, but I guess he didn’t notarize it…what the fuck man, this makes for a dumb part of the angle. Why wouldn’t J.J. Dillon have stepped in at this point at the very least? This is a game crowd, though. They chant WE WANT BOOKER and STEVIE RAY SUCKS at Stevie for a bit. Stevie throws soupbones and fists at Lizmark Jr. in response. This is a reasonably entertaining squash match, mostly because Stevie is actually a solid squash match worker when he wants to be and because Lizmark Jr. is a good bumper. I feel like at some point during this little run as a "defender" of the TV title, Stevie should steal the spot Ernie Ladd did where Ladd knocked out Magnum T.A. with a chain, then pulled a KO’d Magnum on top of him and kicked out at two to make it look like the match was still competitive. Stevie can pull that spot off with Rick Fuller or Ciclope or someone like that. 


  • I digress; Chavo Jr. comes out with a mic and asks Stevie if he can borrow a) Stevie’s gloves and b) a notary stamp, both of which he found in Stevie’s bag backstage. Chavo, about the notary stamp: “Hey, I can make my own driver’s license now! I CAN FINALLY DRIVE!” Ahahahaha! Stevie chases Chavo down the aisle for possession of said stamp and gets counted out. Heh heh, that was pretty entertaining. I sure hope Chavo Jr. ends up winning the TV Championship off of Stevie somehow to really send this angle into clusterfuck territory.


  • Curt Hennig (w/Scott Norton) comes out. His opponent is Konnan (w/nobody at all because the Wolfpac sucks at running together, like I said). Konnan takes a microphone and requests the opportunity to discuss important matters. He would like his wider Latin family of brothers and sisters to thrive, and then he indicates that he is certainly ready for a fight and will get quite aggressive with the fisticuffs. Konnan indeed does come out hot and blows Hennig away; Hennig eats a lariat and escapes the ring to regather himself. This is a well-worked match, actually. Konnan is on fire, understandably trying to finish off Hennig for turning on him a couple months ago. Hennig is able to bump wildly, which is his best quality as a wrestler. Konnan basically blows Hennig away, but Norton gets on the apron when Konnan attempts a Tequila Sunrise; Konnan breaks it to go after Norton and soon is caught by the numbers game and eats a PerfectPlex for three. Kevin Nash comes out to back Konnan up after the bell rings, so uh, a little late there, big guy.


  • Chris Jericho wrestles Rey Misterio Jr. in a non-title match, and Misterio Jr. is not pleased because on the last WCWSN, Jericho interfered in his match against Juvi Guerrera for a title shot at Road Wild. They get right to it, with Jericho trying to slow things down with chops and getting countered and eventually hit with a seated springboard senton splash – say that five times fast – on the floor. Back in the ring, Jericho begs off and gets dropkicked, then hit with a Waltman legdrop as we head to break.


  • Back from the break, Rey gets two off a springboard moonsault. Jericho catches Rey on another springboard and presses him into a shoulderbreaker. Jericho follows up by celebrating, then about thirty seconds after the move, goes for a pinfall that obviously wouldn’t work in kayfabe against a competitor the caliber of Misterio. Jericho dropkicks Rey from the apron to the floor, then attempts a missile dropkick that looks pretty sweet and hammers Rey backward and into the guardrail. I liked that spot a whole lot. Jericho sells a leg injury as he gets Rey back in the ring and tries a vertical suplex, and maybe that hurt leg allowed Misterio to block and reverse the suplex attempt. Rey follows up with another springboard moonsault for two, but Jericho is out and up quickly and fires off a lariat that scores. Jericho then goes for a stump puller (!!!) and even though it looks kind of ugly and he should do it more like Borne Doink, I love the idea.


  • Jericho is very good tonight, I have to give it to him. He hammers Misterio in the corner, whips him into the opposite corner, and follows with a running lariat to the back of the head. He tries it again, but Rey escapes, catches himself on the ropes when Jericho tosses him backwards on a rana attempt, and hits Jericho with a headscissors and then a Hot Shot.


  • OK, I have to pause here to talk about why this sequence was so effective to me. Note that Jericho interfered in the WCWSN match between Juvi and Rey so that he could game the match and get Juvi as his opponent. This match and the Juvi/Eddy match from earlier show exactly why he did that! Juvi tried a rana and Eddy countered by flipping Juvi back over his head and into the corner; Juvi couldn’t catch himself and slammed his head into the buckles. When Jericho tries to do the exact same thing to Rey in this match, Rey catches himself, balances, and hits Jericho with a headscissors. I know these fellas got together and planned this out based on the personalities involved, don’t ask me how, I just know it. For a viewer who is paying attention, that viewer can see in two similar spots in two different matches why Jericho would prefer to face Juvi, who isn’t as good as countering his opponent’s counter moves as Rey is. Impeccable match logic to explain Jericho’s actions in tilting the WCWSN match between Rey and Juvi in favor of Juvi. This is why I love pro wrestling.


  • Back to the match, in which Rey has completely exploded back into control. Rey does that dope bouncing seated springboard moonsault thing he does that is just insane on the athleticism scale. It gets two, and so Rey follows up with more running of the ropes. Jericho grabs Rey as Rey slides under Jericho’s legs and hits a release German that flips Rey all the way onto his face for two. This match is absolutely fantastic, let me tell you, a work of true art. Jericho whips Rey to the corner and over the ropes, but misses badly on his corner springboard dropkick. Rey ranas Jericho from the apron and back into the ring. He presses his advantage and gets caught in a double-arm underhook backbreaker. Jericho has such success by leveraging his power advantage, but his hubris leads him to letting Rey run. He stands Rey up and whips him to the ropes; Jericho lifts Rey into the air, but Rey grabs Jericho’s head and counters with a facebuster.


  • Rey thinks that Jericho might be cooked and tries the springboard rana, but Jericho grabs the ref and pulls him in the way; Rey tries to stop, but he’s already bouncing on the ropes and the momentum sends him crashing into the ref. Jericho tries running with Rey again and this time catches him on a run and powerbombs him, then transitions into the Lion Tamer, but Rey hooks Jericho’s ankles and flips him over into a pinning combination. There’s no ref until Dean Malenko runs out and counts the three, and I guess Malenko is an official ref from now through Road Wild because it counts as a win for Misterio. Jericho throws a tantrum, yells DON’T TOUCH ME at a bunch of front row fans who respond by flicking him off, and then apparently punches Penzer and takes his title belt back. I can’t express enough to you how great this match was. I can’t believe they gave this thing away for free. Holy shit, what a match. It could be the best TV match I’ve seen during Nitro’s run, honestly.


  • I think the run from the Jericho/Malenko/Dillon interview segment through that last match has absolutely saved this Nitro from a super-low score no matter how bad it gets on either side of that run of segments. Not to be negative about this run of great segments, but Nitro should be able to do this all the time, whenever it wants! Bischoff and his booking team have such an array of talent, and they pair that array of talent with such limited creative vision that it’s a real shame.


  • Scott Steiner is allowed to have a mic in the middle of the ring on live television, so let’s see where this goes! Scotty’s so vascular that his veins have veins. He does the whole thing where he acts contrite and says that his parents called him and lectured him about having humility and class. He pretends to leave the nWo again. See, this is what I’m saying about the booking committee. They’ve done this already, like two or three months ago. At least this time Buff comes out dressed like Ricky rather than Ricky getting suckered again, but this is so ineffective because no one believes that Scotty’s serious about turning face again. Well, some of the slowpokes in this crowd seemed to buy it, but the rest of us didn’t. Buff comes out, pretends he's a dog, does tricks, and gets a treat. I love Scott and Buff, but this doesn’t get a chuckle out of me at all. Ricky finally comes down with a chair, clobbers Scott with said chair, and escapes as nWo Hollywood comes down. He yells YOU LITTLE PUSSY at Buff, which I didn’t know you could say on TNT without getting bleeped on the recorded version of the show considering their execs at the time, and then launches the chair at the ring.


  • The Nitro Girls do a routine, but nWo Hollywood runs everyone off so Bischoff can harass Kimberly. Kimberly hits a Stephanie McMahon-style slap on Bischoff, and Page runs down and immediately gets smothered. This is boring and shitty and I think we’ll be better off when Eric Bischoff gets fired, which I am heavily anticipating. Bisch is like LOL U R A SLUT KIMBERLY and proceeds to cut what I think might be one of the worst promos ever in which he role plays what he thinks both Kimberly and Page are thinking right now. I’m not wanting Bischoff to get his comeuppance. I want Bischoff off TV forever. Can we talk about how bad Bischoff was as a TV personality in WCW? The guy is terrible on camera in a heel role and barely made the grade as a nominally babyface color commentator. Hogan beats DDP down and Giant hits Page with a chokeslam while Hogan crows on the mic and I think, hey, what’s on RAW right now? I like that tag title match, but I think Kai-en-tai’s probably what would have been on at this time looking at the listings. Heck, I like them, too. Hogan offers to fuck Kimberly the next time she needs some loving - ick - and then everyone mercifully leaves.


  • This show has certainly had its whiplashes in quality!


  • After more recap of shit we saw earlier tonight, the main event is upon us. Who are the contenders in this thing? I have zero idea. Scott Hall and the Giant come out first. Hall tries to do a survey in which he insults Nash, kinda botches it, and oh man I’m disinterested in Hall being on my television. How did we get to this point? I thought it'd be impossible to get to this point. Bret’s music hits next. Michael Buffer works through the unscheduled entrance like a pro. There’s a break, and on return, Sting’s music plays. Not the Wolfpac’s music, Crow Sting’s music. Sting rappels down from the ceiling. It’s actually Sting, too, not a dummy or a double.


  • Hall and the Hitman pretend to try and wrestle for a bit. It’s not exactly their ’93 Rumble match, let me tell you. Hart actually wrings Hall’s arm and tries to tag, but Sting doesn’t tag him. Hart eventually has to tag Sting himself; Sting comes in and rolls Hall, but Hall escapes a Scorpion Deathlock attempt and then hits a lariat when Giant is able to hit a rope-running Sting from behind. Sting is FIP for awhile. I just want to hurry up and get to whatever the show-ending angle is. Commence with the run-ins or whatever, let’s move it along.


  • Sting tries to tag Bret and accidentally runs Hall into him, which gives Bret the chance to tumble very ostentatiously from the apron to the floor. Sting makes a comeback by himself anyway, and eventually Mickey Jay is distracted by Giant. That allows Bret to grab Sting’s bat and swing for the fences at Sting…who ducks down and causes Bret to hit Hall. Mickey Jay turns around and sees Sting cover Hall while Bret looks on in consternation. So, uh, I guess Bret and Sting are champs? I don’t know, Mickey Jay calls for the bell after Giant attacks Sting post-match. Tony S. says that the match finish was reversed because Jay saw a baseball bat on the mat, but who knows? Bret takes the tag belts and walks off; Goldberg runs in and spears the Giant. This was a mess. Just a total fucking mess. There’s no intrigue here because the cliffhanger is muddled by the uncertainty of what we actually saw. That was awful, awful television and a low point for some good wrestlers involved in this sorry attempt at an angle.


  • I am struggling with a score for this show big-time. It had what might legitimately be the best TV match in the history of Nitro alongside two of the worst segments (Tonight Show knockoff segment, nWo Hollywood attack on DDP and Kimberly) in the history of Nitro and really, the history of all televised pro wrestling. This is such a hard show to score because there was a forty minute-long block in the middle of it that started out entertainingly and ended up at pro wrestling transcendence, and the rest of it was a flaming trash heap.


  • Let’s do it this way. The stuff from the Malenko/Dillon/Jericho feud through the Jericho/Misterio match is worth about 4.5 Stinger Splashes. Everything else is worth -2 Stinger Splashes. Therefore, this show improbably scores 2.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes, but I implore you to only watch that middle chunk of the show and maybe Barbarian/Page if you revisit this one.
Edited by SirSmUgly
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Thunder Interlude – show number twenty-six – 5 August 1998

"The WCW Gang mercifully drags itself into Road Wild ‘98”

  • It’s the Thunder before Road Wild…Weirdly, I’m just glad to be watching Thunder…In its early days, I think it tended to be a wrestling-focused show that offered higher-profile and more meaningful matchups than WCWSN, but that would also touch on major angles from Nitro without letting them dominate the show…And of course, Hogan skipped this show quite a lot in the first few months, which helps…


  • Tony S. says something about a battle royal at Road Wild that Goldberg will also be in…I hope this doesn’t keep us from Goldberg/Giant


  • Lots of Nitro recap, but not any of the good stuff…Actually, a lot of recap of the really bad stuff…Not a great start!...


  • “Rockhouse” plays…The Giant heads to the ring…He squashes Lizmark Jr. in about fifteen seconds…Tony S. mentions that Road Wild battle royal again and says the Giant will be in it…Wait a minute, I feel like I got baited and I’m going to get switched for the second time in two PPVs with a Goldberg match…Giant cuts a forgettable promo on Goldberg post-match…


  • There is a whole lot to be said about how badly the Wolfpac have been booked even though they're the second-most over thing on the show behind Goldberg…They have been eviscerated by nWo Hollywood at just about every turn…I think the booking as of late has been so bad because Hogan is well aware of how low on the pecking order he really is…Lex Luger comes out here in a pack with his buddies alone…He cuts a forgettable promo on nWo Hollywood…He calls out a few actual pack members to join him…Sting and Konnan come out…Luger challenges Hall and two other nWo members to a six-man tag…


  • Dean Malenko comes to the ring, but is cut off by a gabbing Chris Jericho…Jericho complains about Malenko being the guest ref for his Cruiserweight Championship match at Road Wild…I see, Malenko is going to get some refereeing practice in tonight…Jericho demands to see Malenko call tonight's match exactly as he sees it, in those specific words, to prove that he’s a fair man…Tony S. is fine if Malenko is an unfair ref toward Jericho, by the way…Malenko refs a meeting between Juventud Guerrera and Psicosis…Fun little back-and-forth match here…Psicosis is being horribly misused in general…Lee Marshall calls a Juvi counter-DDT a Juvi Driver, and I just ask the man to do a tiny bit of homework in between VO jobs for the Frosted Flakes account…Juvi lines Psicosis up for a dive and Jericho hammers Juvi with his belt while Malenko is counting to ten on Psicosis…Malenko knows something fishy happened, but counts the three anyway after Psicosis lands a guillotine legdrop…Well, Jericho has closed off another avenue to wriggling out of a loss at Road Wild because he’s helped prove that Malenko is a fair adjudicator…


  • I praised Thunder for avoiding most of the garbage that gets centered on Nitro…That was a mistake, because this nWo late-night knockoff sketch has invaded Thunder…I actually rewound this, but only because I was looking down while Bisch did some of the worst heeling ever and I missed someone pelting him with a beer…That beer spot was easily the best thing in any of these sketches over the past few weeks…The second best thing is DDP busting in on the set and beating the shit out of Bisch after one too many shitty jokes about Kimberly, which is the thing that finally ends what has been a dismal, abysmal series of sketches…Unfortunately, the payoff wasn’t worth it, and why the heck are cops stopping this run-in beatdown, but not any of the many run-in beatdowns that nWo Hollywood perpetrates?...This is real dumb…Giant shows up and lugs Bischoff to the back…


  • Tony S. announces that Hulk Hogan saw this on TV and is bringing some of his biker buddies to the show to annoy the shit out of us with a bad promo…I deserve this for being hopeful about Thunder as a haven from awful Nitro shit…


  • Meng comes to the ring!...I’m not even that mad about Hacksaw Duggan being his opponent because Meng and Duggan have had a couple of decent matches on TV in the Nitro era…This match isn’t good, though…I can’t believe Duggan is going to be on television for a major company into, IIRC, the year 2000…That is wild…Anyway, there’s a shitty double-clothesline spot and then Hugh Morrus and Barbarian come to the ring to clear out Duggan and beat down Meng…Jimmy Hart, who is the best, climbs to the top rope and smashes the 2x4 over Meng’s head…That just irritates Meng, though…Duggan gets his 2x4 back and smashes Morrus and Barb with it…Duggan and Meng face off, but Meng decides to chase the rump Dungeon of Doom members to the back instead of TDG’ing Duggan again…


  • Most of nWo Hollywood comes to the ring…Hall has Virgil hide his drink…Oh yeah, aren’t we going to get Scott Hall being an alcoholic in kayfabe as well as real life at some point?...They cut a promo against Goldberg and the nWo Wolfpac that is bad enough that I won’t forget about it as quickly as I’d like …Hall calls the Wolfpac women, insinuates that Luger is a gay, does some light racism, and then finally accepts their challenge from earlier in the night…I’m not against a heel saying shitty things…They’re a heel, after all…But Hall’s promo had no art to it and went for the lowest hanging fruit…I hated it…


  • These dudes at the desk are updating us on Hogan’s whereabouts like anyone with any taste in pro wrestling angles would care…


  • Stevie Ray comes out to do whatever it is he does with Booker’s TV title against Mongo McMichael…Hey, that whole “get the Horsemen back together” angle abruptly got sidelined…I guess now Stevie is the legitimate stand-in champ, at least according to Tony S., but whatever, they’re now booking their secondary belts into oblivion in preparation for booking the big gold into oblivion across 1999 and 2000…This match is quickly interrupted by Chavo Jr. coming out and bringing a form he notarized himself with that stamp from last week...The form declares that Chavo is now the TV Champion…He takes Stevie’s belt and then, when Stevie confronts him, hammers him with it…Mongo wins by count-out and attacks Stevie in the aisle as Chavo cheers…


  • Tony S. interviews Rick Steiner…Forgettable promo against Scotty, blah blah blah, you know the drill…


  • Just as I mention that the Horsemen angle was sidelined, there’s an Arn Anderson hype video and the announcers talk about Arn and the Horsemen while Saturn comes to the ring…We’re ostensibly getting Saturn/Kanyon again, but at least we get an angle instead of just another Saturn/Kanyon matchup, as aesthetically pleasing as those are…Kanyon doesn’t show up for this match, much as he didn’t show up on Monday…Raven comes onto the ramp instead…He says that he knows where Kanyon is, and it ain’t here…Then he sends Riggs and Sick Boy out to wrestle Saturn in a handicap match, which I guess is fine with the WCW Matchmaking Committee…Saturn rolls these fellas and stomps on Lodi’s broken fingers besides…Saturn locks on a cross-arm breaker (called correctly by Tony S.!!!) and that allows the Flock members to get control because one of them breaks up the move…I forgot which one did that about two seconds after it happened, sorry, not going to rewind…Saturn makes a comeback with suplexes…He gets rid of Riggs and DVDs Sick Boy for the win…Raven confronts Saturn and uses a Riggs distraction to Evenflow Saturn…This was solid stuff…


  • Disco Inferno comes to the ring…I would be all in on Disco and Alex Wright reluctantly accepting Tokyo Magnum as their initiate and putting him through a bunch of crap to become one of them…Wright must be injured because Tokyo Magnum once again comes out to Alex Wright’s music….Disco is matched up against Eddy Guerrero…This match is a short one, but fun…Disco gets 2.9 off a piledriver, but doesn’t have the best cover…Disco gets two more off a swinging neckbreaker…Eddy’s slow out of the gates tonight, but Disco goes to the second rope, dances, and whiffs on a forearm smash…Eddy takes over by picking up the pace and hitting a back elbow…Eddy hits a shoulderbreaker…Tokyo Magnum gets up on the apron and dances…Eddy is distracted, but not distracted enough to step aside from a charging Disco, who smashes into Magnum…Magnum doubles the mistake after Eddy hits a brainbuster and goes to the top by shoving Eddy off the ropes, but in the direction of Disco…Eddy uses the momentum boost to really Frog Splash the shit out of poor Disco, who doesn’t kick out…Ah well, he’s a young initiate, that Tokyo Magnum, he’ll learn…


  • Buff Bagwell calls in on the phone…Rick comes to the desk to listen in to the call…I don’t know why because it’s an unremarkable promo…Rick and Buff have a repartee over the phone…Buff claims that Scotty is unable to wrestle at Road Wild because of Rick’s chair attack on Nitro…Scotty dodging Ricky for the past fourteen years or whatever it’s been has sucked…Hey, Ricky says IT AIN’T MY FAULT in the exact way he does on WCW SuperBrawl for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System…That was the only thing that I perked up about in this segment…


  • Hogan, Bischoff, and Disciple are bad at promos…I forgot this promo against DDP immediately after it was done, but only because I pretty much disengaged as soon as I saw them walk out…


  • Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, and Crush come to the ring for the main event…They face Lex Luger, Sting, and Konnan…Six-man tags are such a good match type…You can hide guys in them and have them work in a way that emphasizes their best aspects and lessens their worst ones…So of course, this six-man tag gets five minutes instead of fifteen or twenty and means nothing…It breaks down immediately…Luger gets Hall in the ring after a couple of minutes…A match happens and at least gives the fans some joy watching the Wolfpac dominate…Konnan plays FIP for a minute or two…Hot tag to Sting…Hall gets beaten up a lot…The match breaks down again…Konnan wraps Crush in a Tequila Sunrise, though neither man is legal…that gets broken up by Hennig, but Konnan schoolboys Crush for three though, again, neither man is legal…This was steaming hot doodoo…


  • I expect Road Wild to be terrible, but the build was legendarily bad, and that includes this Thunder…Outside of a couple segments involving guys who are almost always good (Psicosis, Juvi, Jericho, Disco, Eddy), watching it was like being hit in the temple with a ball peen hammer numerous times…It gets an OWWW…
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Road Wild ’98 notes:

  • I long for Mayhem to replace Road Wild. I yearn for it.


  • This main event angle would have been more effective if WCW had been allowed to show Leno’s responses to Hogan and Bischoff on the Tonight Show. Not much more effective because it fucking STINKS, but at least there would have been more context to the back-and-forth trash talking.


  • Gene Okerlund has GONE BIKER everyone! He’s totally GONE BIKER! It’s wild.


  • Barbarian and Meng open the show. It’s two entertaining vets clubbering and mixing in bomb attempts. Barb super belly-to-belly suplexes Meng and like none of the bikers in this crowd even care. Jimmy Hart eventually gets on the apron to run a distraction after Meng gets two on a big suplex, and that’s almost certainly not the last we’ll see of a guy who might just be my G.O.A.T. wrestling manager in this match. It’s one of the Harts who I think is the best: Jimmy or Gary. It’s hard to choose between the two. Maybe Gary’s the best because Jimmy as a babyface manager does nothing for me. Anyway, Barb actually uses this chance to get on top and load his boot for a Kick of Fear, but Meng shrugs off a Barb back bodydrop and locks on the Tongan Death Grip for a pinfall victory. Jimmy Hart jumps in and attacks Meng post-match; Hugh Morrus runs down to help. Meng eats the short end of a three-on-one attack once Barbarian gets back up, and Hart goes up, nearly slips off the ropes, and hits a splash (!!!). That wakes Meng up, and he fights back before being clobbered down by all three guys. Next up: Morrus hits a No Laughing Matter. That's when Duggan runs down a little late and clears the ring of Morrus and Barb. Hart runs away and then Meng eyes Duggan warily while Duggan plays to the dopes in the crowd. Fun opener!


  • Why are Public Enemy on this show and wrestling the Boogie Knights? I guess this was a feud that was happening, but I forgot about it because it hasn’t been on TV in probably two or three weeks’ worth of shows. I need to check, but it’s been a minute! Disco opines upon the hygiene routines of the folks in the crowd for a bit. This match is solid. I will give this to PE; they pretty much always work hard and, if they’re working a team that brings the ring action, they will put something on that is entertaining. Tokyo Magnum introduces a trash can that Alex Wright uses on Johnny Grunge, but that’s a mistake; PE is much better at this sort of thing than the Knights are, and now they also have open season on using weapons. The desk is confused about if the match was a street fight match or not because Bisch doesn’t tell them a damn thing to help prep them. It’s been said many times before, but that badly hurts their credibility as a commentary team.


  • Anyway, Rocco Rock gets a ladder and clears out PE, and the Boogie Knights are good with all that ladder shit and leave. Tokyo Magnum is disgusted that his boys left and calls them back, and they come back out holding a big table. I don’t get this; why not make it a street fight from the jump instead of having this dead spot with no action? I guess it’s now a street fight because Mark Curtis is cool with it being a street fight, so we get cookie sheet shots and even a mailbox weapon attack. There are tons of weapon shots and Tokyo Magnum gets involved since it’s no DQ. He eventually misses a forearm shot and hits Alex Wright on accident. The second this match became no DQ, it went from decent to not very good. Wright and Magnum both walk out in anger; Disco tries to take a ladder seesaw spot, but he wisely ducks out of it a bit and doesn’t get his face exploded Joey Mercury style. Disco eats a table bump on a pretty spectacular spot for the loss; They stack three tables on top of one another, put Disco on the top table, and Rocco climbs the stage scaffolding and drops an elbow on him through all the tables. In a funny little spot, Tokyo Magnum does come back for the save, but whiffs on a splash attempt and hits Disco, then gets tossed before PE completes the pinfall. The match layout was a mess, but whose fault it was depends on how involved the road agent(s) were.


  • Lee Marshall talks to ref Dean Malenko backstage. I am sad to report that it’s not nearly as good as Lee Marshall getting a kick out of talking to Konnan.


  • The Saturn/Raven/Kanyon triple threat is up next. The thing here is that Raven is pretending that he’s got Kanyon to join his Flock and is going to play a psychological game with both of them so that he can avoid as much punishment as possible and then get a pinfall. It’s a solid idea. As a bonus, it also avoids the cliché “one guy lays around after taking a move so we can have a one-on-one match” by making it into “Raven sits around manipulating Saturn and Kanyon so they fight and ignore him.” The payoff is that about four minutes in, Saturn and Kanyon realize what’s happening and dropkick Raven in the balls as he sits in the corner. They do have disagreements over who should get the pinfall on their hated enemy, though, which keeps the drama of the match going.


  • Saturn and Kanyon hit Raven with TOTAL ELIMINATION, which is cool, and basically they unload a bunch of cool offense on Raven, who plays their crash dummy. However, they just can’t agree on who should be allowed to get the pinfall, and that leads to them going at each other. That allows Raven back into the match with a double chairshot. We get a wandering brawl that moves up onto the stage, and it’s good because these guys are creative and willing to do some cool stuff. Raven hits a dropkick that causes Kanyon to roll down the ramp in a neat bump that I especially like. Saturn hitting a Hot Shot on Kanyon that sends Kanyon smashing into the raised edge of the ramp is also pretty great.


  • We get our second scaffold climb of the night from Kanyon, who puts himself out of this match by missing a scaffold splash on Raven when Lodi yanks Raven out of the way. Raven tries to follow up by Irish whipping Saturn in the ring, but Saturn reverses that into a DVD and only gets two when Lodi breaks it up. Horace Hogan runs out with his STOP sign and prepares to hit Saturn, but Lodi gets his wires crossed when trying to powder attack Saturn and hits Horace with the powder instead. With the comedic timing of a solid Looney Tunes sketch, Horace and Lodi commit to a string of fuck-ups on their interference, which ends with Horace smacking Raven with the stop sign, followed by Saturn getting rid of Horace and applying another DVD to Raven for three.


  • Psicosis gets a PPV match like a man of his talent deserves. He faces Rey Misterio Jr. for a future shot at the Cruiserweight Championship. This is a good match, of course, but WCW is doing something it always does, which is to rely on putting two excellent workers in the ring who can deliver with no build so that they can sacrifice any build time on their TV shows to try and keep Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff over. And ultimately, at least for me, you can have two excellent workers go at it every week, but without build, without stakes (though at least this match has that, in fairness), and without conflict between the personalities that goes beyond “we want to win the match,” what happens is all these great matches blend together and mean nothing.


  • Anyway, Rey once again gets over with this crowd through his work. I think it’s safe to declare him the MVP of Road Wild as a show even though we have one more year of the show left to go. Psicosis stuffs a rana attempt with a powerbomb to get some control, and he uncharacteristically slows things down with a nerve hold. Then again, Rey on the run is dangerous even for a guy like Psicosis, so it makes sense. Rey works back to his base, gets it moving again, and gets a couple of two counts himself. I love a Psicosis move where he hits a spinebuster out of a pancake and Tony S. calls it “almost a Jackknife powerbomb” to enhance my enjoyment of this move. Shortly after, though, Psicosis tries to splash Rey against the ropes, does his wild bump onto his head as he misses, and then lands on his head again when Rey springboard moonsaults him for three. Not their best match, but a solid one that was more than enjoyable.


  • Chavo Jr. (w/Pepe, fake notarized contract) faces Stevie Ray (w/TV Championship, fake notarized contract). Chavo grabs the mic before the match and says that he should have the belt because he wrote up the contract to give himself the title and then he stamped it with, and I quote, “this notary…stamp thing whatever.” This guy kills me. I’m pretty certain that coming out of this whole watch, and I mean once I finally finish up through March of 2001, Chavo Jr. is going to be the guy who shoots up my personal G.O.A.T.s list. Stevie comes out and a bunch of bikers raise the roof, which, uh, that’s a visual I didn’t expect.


  • Chavo tries to negotiate for possession of the TV title using his fake contract, but as Stevie doesn’t comply, Chavo agrees to wrestle him, but only if they have a ceremonial pre-match handshake. Also, Chavo calls Stevie “big trooper,” which got a guffaw out of me. Stevie doesn’t want to shake Chavo’s hand, so Chavo pretends that his hand is trying to choke him. Chavo finally mixes it up with Stevie. He tries to win with strikes that Stevie just stands there and eats for brunch. Chavo has the right idea to get on his wheels, but the wrong idea to try and strike in between all his bouts of running. When Stevie catches him, Chavo rakes the eyes, which really pisses Stevie off.


  • This is another entertaining comedy match, though I don’t love at all that Stevie rolls Chavo; Chavo continually runs away, so finally, Stevie just stands his ground and lets Chavo circle back to him, then kicks him and hits him with a Slapjack for three. Why are they jobbing Chavo to Stevie Ray in a squash? What a miscarriage of justice, as Gorilla Monsoon would say. Stevie grabs the mic and promises to beat Chavo down some more, but Eddy runs and backs Stevie off before going to check on Chavo Jr. Eddy seems to genuinely want to help Chavo out, but Chavo doesn’t trust him, which is quite understandable! I don’t remember what happened with Eddy between now and when he left to be a Radical in the WWF, but I have a vague remembrance of the lWo being a thing, so I know that happens at one point.


  • At the Compuserve desk, Jericho craps on every other Cruiserweight and barely lets Lee Marshall get a word in edgewise while he does it.


  • Rick Steiner vs. Scott Steiner is an angle rather than a match. Scotty pretends to be crippled while laying on a stretcher while the crowd chants BULLSHIT, which, in fairness, it obviously is. I get a minor kick out of Scotty wearing a respirator and mumbling unintelligible answers to Buff’s questions about his injuries and how he’s feeling. J.J. Dillon is out here to tell the crowd that they’re not getting this match tonight, fuck off, pay for Fall Brawl if you want to see that shit. Dillon says that if Scotty doesn’t wrestle at Fall Brawl, he’s going to be barred from wrestling for life. Rather than take this opportunity to fake injury for another month and then go get a WWF contract, Scotty gets mad, jumps off the stretcher, and then pushes it down the ramp at his charging brother before running away.


  • I’m not sure why Mongo McMichael vs. Crush is on this show, but it is. I like Mongo, but this is a match for Nitro or Thunder. This match isn’t good at all and has an unnecessary ref bump aside. Do we really need to protect Crush by having Vincent botch a chair shot attack meant for Mongo? No, we don’t. Mongo wins with the Mongo Spike after said chair shot.


  • Jericho wears a whole flowing robe that he probably stole from Prince Iaukea’s locker, and it makes me wonder, hey, where is that guy? Injured? Touring Japan? He was improving into a decent little TV worker last I saw him. Jericho faces Juventud Guerrera for his gold, and as a reminder, the ref is in fact Jericho’s big rival Dean Malenko. Jericho grabs the mic and lets the crowd know that he rode a Honda into Sturgis and then calls the crowd a bunch of weekend warriors. I mean, he pitched that bit of heeling perfectly for the crowd. I wouldn’t ride a motorcycle, but I do like those Honda sport bikes. Remember Road Rash? That Shuriken TT 250 bike was dope. I’m pretty sure that was patterned on a Honda or Kawasaki IRL bike. Anyway, here’s the match!


  • Jericho’s reign of terror with the Cruiserweight Championship started way back at Souled Out of this year, and while I think Rey coming back around and ending it after Jericho started it by beating him in January would have been cool, Juvi winning it after being unmasked in February at SuperBrawl works, too. The bonus of Dean Malenko being the guy to count the three would be nice. So yeah, Juvi is willing to splatter himself to win, and he hits a wild splash off the stage onto Jericho against the guardrail. His landing is iffy, but he’s okay as he takes it back inside and hits a springboard legdrop for two.


  • Jericho gets a boot in a little while later and takes control. He locks on a chinlock so he can chatter with Malenko and with the crowd. If you’re locking on a chinlock, you’d better be doing some type of work, so I respect it. Eventually, Juvi makes a comeback and gets two on a wheel kick from the top. We get a great sequence in which Juvi tries to slide under Jericho on a rope run, gets caught, backflips out of a suplex attempt, and gets caught and double powerbombed after following up with a rana attempt. Jericho follows up with a springboard shoulderblock that knocks Juvi from the apron to the floor. The desk has a good conversation about the slower pace of the matches and the difference between being outside in a warm environment and inside an air conditioned arena. See, that’s good commentatin’ right there.


  • Juvi hits a tornado DDT counter when Jericho lifts him and gets two. He hits a Juvi Driver and gets another two count. He goes for a 450, but Jericho crotches him. Jericho follows up with a big superplex, and this match is good when it picks up. Now, though, it’s not picking up because it’s a standing ten count until Juvi rolls over on Jericho even though he took the suplex. It gets two. Back to standing, Jericho blocks a rana attempt with a Lion Tamer, but Juvi half blocks it and gets to the ropes. Jericho argues with Malenko that Juvi quit, gets mad about Malenko being like NO HE DIDN’T, and then gets poked in the eye trying to break Jericho’s corner punches. Jericho uses that distraction to clobber Juvi with the belt and to remonstrate with Malenko to count it, but the delay only gets 2.9, and that’s about it for Jericho’s title reign because...


  • …Malenko pulls Juvi off of Jercho in the corner again and Jericho takes a cheap shot at Malenko with a boot to the chest while sitting on the top rope. Dean turns around and Juvi is running right at him; he reflexively counters Juvi’s run by boosting him backward over his head, which is the same powerbomb counter that Juvi whiffed on last week, but this time Juvi catches Jericho with his legs and hits a super Frankensteiner instead of bonking his noggin, and that gets three. See, Juvi learned from his loss last week and Jericho fell prey once again to the “launch a charging luchador backwards over your head to counter a rana attempt” move. The match wasn’t the best you’ll ever see between these two and well short of their SuperBrawl match, but there were some spots that really worked. Now let’s see if this title change actually sticks!


  • There’s a battle royal for some reason. I don’t know why. What is the point of this? Some nWo Hollywood guys are in it. All of the Wolfpac guys are in it because they are a tiny group, especially with Randy Savage out. Only one WCW guy is in it for whatever reason. Look, I just wanted Goldberg/Giant. Why not have a proper six-man tag between Nash/Sting/Luger and Hall/Hennig/Norton with Konnan and Vincent seconding these teams and then Goldberg/Giant? Whatever. Konnan gets a bunch of bikers to yell ARRIBA LA RAZA and rev their bikes when he declares that he and in fact everyone in the Black Hills is ‘bout it, bout it and rowdy, rowdy.


  • As I mentioned earlier, Goldberg is the only WCW guy in the battle royal, and you know what, this is so stupid, so, so stupid, and I just can’t get up for a battle royal that is booked for no reason instead of what the obvious booking path was. Goldberg eliminates Hall early, and Nash eliminates himself to go out and beat Hall up some more. We have a boring battle royal just to get to Giant/Goldberg anyway. Giant hits a chokeslam and Goldberg hits the Undertaker sit-up, a spear, and a Jackhammer. It rules. I guess you can pin people in this match because Goldberg does that for three. But yeah, this was extremely underwhelming.


  • The main event is next up. This show has been pleasant enough, absolutely not the dumpster fire that you might expect from the television that led up to it, but that’s basically because the midcard is doing some insanely heavy lifting. Now, I want to note to anyone who says that Goldberg was only capable of working short matches that they gave matches with Karl Malone, Eric Bischoff, and Jay fucking Leno twenty-plus minutes in the last two PPVs, and I don’t care that they were tag matches. That’s still insane.


  • I guess there’s nothing else left to say about how they’ve sidelined Goldberg and not given him a fucking main event on PPV (and then when they do and he has a career match in said main event, it gets cut off because they went over time on Hogan’s match that came right before it), but it’s still infuriating in 2024!


  • I’ll say this about Kevin Eubanks: He is thrilled to be here.


  • I’ll also say this about Kevin Eubanks: He’s kinda jacked.


  • Hogan and Page are capable of having a good match even as Hogan rapidly physically declines into late ’98. If that’s the semi-main of this show along with Hall/Nash and maybe Luger/Sting vs. Hart/other nWo Hollywood member, this is a much better show. Look at me re-booking this show instead of talking about this shitty match which, and I probably don’t need to say this, is pretty shitty. The problem is that the Page/Hogan parts are solid, but they’re buttressed by a bunch of garbage. Can you believe Hulk Hogan selling for Jay Leno as much as he sells for Goldberg? Man, fuck this shit.


  • There is one thing that I kinda like about this, which is Kevin Eubanks doing nWo-style fuckery on the outside at every opportunity. This dude really loves being out here. His joy at working outside the ring is the thing that makes this match bearable. What I really don’t like, though, is that the match is centered around Leno finally getting his hands on Bischoff and not Page getting his hands on Hogan or Bischoff for their heel behavior toward him. Page is sort of sidelined in all of his recent feuds. What I kinda get a kick out of is Kevin Eubanks being the guy to jump in and hit Bisch with a Diamond Cutter so that Leno can get the pin. Kevin Eubanks: The most effective manager in wrestling history?!


  • Hogan, Bisch, and Disciple jump the winning team post-match, so Goldberg runs back down to make the save. Wow, Goldberg is in the main event, somewhat, kind of!


  • Thankfully, they didn't bother to add this Travis Tritt abomination concert to the video. 


  • Will this show be worse than SummerSlam ’98, which I remember as being super boring? It’s gonna be a close call, I bet!
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Show #153 – 10 August 1998

"The one with five title matches, two title changes, and still, a sense that everything is just running in place”

  • We venture deeper into the WCW era that I remember the least. As Mike Tenay and Larry Zbyszko both act shocked that Tony Schiavone cannot possibly show us the footage from Road Wild's main event (!!!), I wonder exactly when it all falls apart for Bischoff in his first run as Nitro showrunner. What’s the first marker of concrete trouble? Raven walking out of the company? Hell, we haven’t even got Ric Flair back on TV yet, so we probably still have some time before any of that happens.


  • I did perk up when I heard that Goldberg/Meng would be a match later tonight.


  • Barbarian wrestles Hacksaw Duggan in the opener. This show is in South Dakota, which appears to be a land that time forgot, so Duggan is as over here as he was in 1987 everywhere else. This match is what it is, but Barb and Jimmy Hart do their thing and Hacksaw Hacksaws up and this crowd, which I wouldn’t call particularly discerning when it comes to their pro wrestling taste, eats it up. Who am I to complain? An unentertained fan, that’s who. Oh yeah, the finish: Duggan wins with a rollup, Hugh Morrus runs down and jumps Duggan, and Meng pops in for what I guess starts out as a save even if it doesn’t end up that way. Meng TDG’s the fuck out of everybody, and I mean everybody; Doug Dellinger tries to calm the carnage down, so Meng TDG’s him. Duggan tries to stop him and Meng TDG’s him. Meng TDG’s some more security, but one security guy is lucky enough to just eat a side kick instead of a TDG. Wow, will Goldberg be able to avoid or maybe even break Meng’s Tongan Death Grip later tonight?!?!


  • (Yes. Yes he will.) (Editor's note: No? No he won't?!)


  • Lots of Wolfpac recap, mostly about Lex Luger getting jumped last week. Or a guy in a crappy blond wig because Luger had the night off. Whatever. Anyway, Luger walks out to the ring to cut an interview with Gene Okerlund. Luger claims that Bret attacked him even though Scott Hall claimed he was the one behind the attack on Thunder. Bret all but took credit for it on Nitro. Well, you can’t expect honesty from heels, so who knows? Now, Luger and Bret are signed for a U.S. Championship match on Thunder, but Luger’s trying to fast-track that match for tonight. Bret storms out, denies having attacked anyone, and says that it was probably just some vendor. Actually, Bret is pretty funny in this promo, deflecting challenges and pretending that he and Sting vibe with one another more than Sting and Luger do. I wonder if we got some Hart/Narcissist Luger on a Coliseum Video. I’ll have to check for that at some point. Anyway, after a bit of repartee, Bret agrees to give Luger a title shot tonight instead of on Wednesday or Thursday or whatever day Thunder is showing this week because honestly, it moves around on the schedule quite a bit.


  • The Boogie Knights lead out Tokyo Magnum. The latter is facing Eddy Guerrero in a match next. Magnum has less energy than normal, probably because he had what can only be described as a rough night at Road Wild. The crowd offers a little pop for Wright, a heel, yelling YOU STUPID LITTLE JAPANESE at Magnum. South Dakota, come on, folks, come the fuck on. The Boogie Knights tell Magnum he’s on his own tonight against Eddy. Eddy’s having his own inner turmoil lately, so he tries to work it out by chopping the hell out of Magnum, but that just sets a pace where both guys do a lot of running, and while it’s all part of a very brief match, it’s pretty enjoyable. Eddy quickly kills Magnum’s pace with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, and he kills Magnum off entirely with a brainbuster and a Frog Splash for an easy night’s work.


  • Saturn’s up next. His 1998 has been wonderful. Apparently, he’s wrestling Kanyon tonight to close off that part of the feud (hopefully) since Kanyon didn’t show up for matches the last couple of weeks. They open with strikes, but Saturn catches a wild Kanyon swing and turns it into a belly-to-belly. This match is really strike-heavy early. Kanyon gets control and hits a second-rope leg lariat for two, then a facebuster for another two-count. It’s the facebuster where Kanyon stands with his opponent’s head between his thighs and then just falls forward. Does that facebuster have a standardized name? Anyway, this match is fine, but well below the standard of what you’d expect from these two. They trade sleepers, they trade counters, and eventually Kanyon takes a lot of time going up for a swerve strickland killshot. That’s a mistake, as Saturn catches him. They struggle to get their footing on a top-rope belly-to-belly, but they catch their balance even after slipping and pull it off. See, these guys just feel a bit off tonight, and that’s an example of why. Unfortunately, Raven is still feuding with Saturn even after the months of feuding that has already happened; Lodi runs out, distracts the ref, and allows Raven to make an appearance from the other side of the ring. Raven Evenflows Saturn; Kanyon is almost out, but he's got the wherewithal to roll over onto Saturn for three. I don’t see where this feud can go from the point it’s at.


  • Meng is walking around backstage TDG’ing everyone he can find. This is pretty great, actually!


  • Lodi leads out Sick Boy; Mongo faces said Boy Who Is Sick in a short match. Lodi runs a tiny distraction to start, which allows Sick Boy to control the match early. Sick Boy somehow doesn’t slip on an ugly-looking springboard dropkick, so good for him on that. Mongo does way too much selling for fucking Sick Boy, like way the fuck too much. Mongo finally reverses an Irish whip in what might be the most aesthetically unpleasing way possible, hits a clothesline, hits a tilt-a-whirl slam, and looks like he’s about to win with a couple of chop blocks. He hits his head on the second chop block and Sick Boy goes for his finisher, but Mongo backdrops Sick Boy out of it and hits the Mongo Spike for three.


  • Other than Meng TDG’ing everyone in the arena except Goldberg, this show has been quite boring. That’s better than it being awful, though. “Boring” is an upgrade on Nitro lately.


  • It’s like I curse myself all the fucking time. After the commercial break, Hogan, Bischoff, and Disciple come to the ring. See? See?! I was happy with “boring!” Well, not happy, but you know, content? Accepting of it? Okay with it? Anyway, Hogan’s not getting the belt back until the Fingerpoke of Doom, I know that, so what the fuck are they going to have this guy doing for the next four months? Maybe we get lucky and this bum goes off to shoot a couple of B-movies that you find in the back of the Blockbuster, away from the good stuff. Hogan does challenge Goldberg for the title in this interview, but I assume something veers him away from actually doing that for awhile. I cannot remember what it might be, though, and I'm watching these shows again without reminding myself what happens next to preserve a bit of surprise and intrigue where I can. I mean, it could be that he leaves to shoot a movie, but I bet that I don’t get that lucky. Bischoff says that nWo Hollywood will provide ringside security for the Goldberg/Meng match to make sure that Meng doesn’t TDG everyone at this show. Sure, it’s disingenuous, but it’s also plausible. Meng is a beast.


  • Tony S. gets some breaking news: The Wolfpac is also going to provide ringside security for the Goldberg match. It’ll be a whole-ass donnybrook out there, I bet.


  • Stevie Ray is now billed as the WCW World Television Champion on the chyron. J.J. Dillon really doesn’t give a single solitary fuck about that belt. No wonder Hacksaw ended up digging it out of a trash can. Chavo Jr. gets a return match against Stevie for the gold, but Chavo’s pressed because Pepe is missing. But luckily enough for Chavo Jr., Chris Jericho found Pepe! Oops, no, Jericho had a mic in his hand as he waved Pepe around, so we could hear as he lured Chavo to the back and, after sounds of a struggle, walked back out with a broken stick horse and a look of satisfaction on his face. Jericho I guess is just going to take this TV title shot from Chavo. Sure why not? No one cares about this fucking title. Just make it the 24/7 TV Title. Jericho cuts a dumb boastful promo and Stevie accepts the challenge.


  • Jericho can’t match power with Stevie, so he uses quickness to hit a basement dropkick to Stevie’s knee. Then, he goes back to trying for power, which is a mistake. Stevie is the defacto babyface tonight because everyone hates Jericho that much. Jericho is such a good heel that he turned a) another heel and b) a black man into a babyface in small-town South Dakota for one night. You can’t say this guy isn’t at the height of his powers. This match is actually pretty decent because of the contrast in strategies, with Jericho having to take risks to have a chance and Stevie stuffing risky Jericho moves with power counters and clubbering. Jericho counters a Stevie power move with a dropkick, then backs Stevie into the corner before “accidentally” kicking the ref in the junk. Stevie regains control and sets up for the slapjack, but the Giant runs down for whatever reason and attacks Stevie, then plants Stevie with a chokeslam. Jericho wakes up the ref and locks a cursory Lion Tamer on a passed-out Stevie for the win and the gold. OK, I didn’t expect any of that. Huh.


  • Bischoff is back out here (w/Liz) to show some stills of the Road Wild main event, but of course, all the stills are only of Hogan or Bischoff scoring offense. This little canard where Hogan and Bischoff selectively show stills or video has been old since the end of 1997. I subjected myself to listening to Bischoff on an episode of 83 Weeks to hear what he thought about Bash at the Beach ’98 even though I’m entirely sick of his voice at this point, and you know what? He’s got good taste in pro wrestling matches. I mean, if you can parse all the diplomatic verbiage he talks so he doesn’t insult any of his wrestler friends, and you get down to him talking about what he likes about wrestling, he’s got great instincts for what makes good wrestling. Meltzer on the other hand, geez, Conrad reading Meltzer’s reviews of some of this stuff gets me going more than it gets Bischoff going. You know, maybe Dave Meltzer and his extremely narrow idea of what makes for good pro wrestling is actually the most to blame for the sorry state of pro wrestling aesthetics in 2024.


  • Lizmark Jr., Psicosis, and Rey Misterio Jr. have a triple threat match. I guess WCW’s not trying to get “triple jeopardy” over as a name for this match anymore. It’s been standardized as “triple threat.” The alliteration makes this obviously the better choice. I’m not a huge fan of triple threat matches, so I’m a bit lukewarm on this. There are creative spots, like Psicosis hitting Rey with a missile dropkick and using the momentum to senton splash Lizmark at the same time, but the spots generally feel contrived and artificial. That’s really the problem with triple threat matches. I await a pack of workers figuring out a way to work these with a different philosophy than “one guy lays around outside so two people can have a one-on-one match” or “Third guy stumbles into position for no clear reason so that they can take a contrived double-team move from an opponent.” Rey and Lizmark agree to a makeshift alliance and just beat the piss out of Psicosis; they even try to double-cover the guy before Lizmark realizes that only one person can win. They confront one another and then make up before Psicosis rolls through a Doomsday Device attempt while sitting on Lizmark’s shoulders, and Rey misses his target entirely. That stops all the teamwork, and shortly after, Psicosis accidentally monkey flips Rey up onto Lizmark’s shoulders for a makeshift springboard rana that ends the match. That spot could have looked pretty contrived, but it was pulled off fluidly. Credit to these fellas.


  • Luger/Hart is on earlier than I thought it’d be. Hart gets blown away on a collar-and-elbow and bails to reconsider his strategy. His strategy is to, um, attempt a test of strength. That’s neither an excellent plan, nor is it executed particularly well, but at least he breaks the test of strength and locks Luger’s arm up. Luger breaks away with an elbow and hits a lariat, which sends Bret outside to grab his belt and walk off. Luger breaks the count and brings Bret back to the ring. Charles Robinson, in what I think is maybe an instance of a Chekhov’s Title Belt and definitely an instance of kayfabe poor reffing, grabs the belt and puts it down in the corner of the ring.


  • This match is okay, I guess. There’s a commercial break when Bret gets control and goes to the boot choke. We come back to some punches. There are more punches. Then some kicks. Luger does most of those, but Bret punts Luger in the junk. Charles Robinson is like, I think it was actually a boot to the stomach, not the nuts. Someone get VAR on the case. If I were the ref in the VAR truck, I’d call Robinson over to the monitor on that one. Bret hits some aesthetically pleasing offense for a series of two-counts. Bret also cusses, which like is his favorite thing to audibly do these days. This time, after beating down Luger, he yells GET UP YOU PIECE OF SHIT, which gets a tiny pop from that part of the crowd that hears him. What the hell?


  • Bret targets Luger’s back to set up for the Sharpshooter. He goes up for the second-rope elbow drop and eats a boot to the mush, though. Luger makes his comeback with a pair of atomic drops and a series of clotheslines/metal elbows. That last one, the metal elbow, gets 2.9. Luger tries for the sleeper, but Bret escapes it by running Luger backward and sandwiching Robinson into the corner in the process. Bret takes the opportunity to load his fist, but he whiffs on the haymaker and Luger racks Hart and gets a submission and, by rights, the U.S. Championship. Huh, the belt didn’t come into play in the finish even though it was prominently laying there on the hard camera side. Also, I do vaguely remember this match because I was shocked at Bret Hart submitting. I mean, yes, young me did remember him as a tag team heel, but most of my life, he was a never-say-die babyface, so even heel Bret submitting was notable to me. As I recall, I saw this match after the fact because I heard Bret had submitted and had to see that for myself. Anyway, the Wolfpac comes to the ring to celebrate with Luger. This match was entirely passable.


  • Juventud Guerrera and Billy Kidman reignite their rivalry. These fellas have excellent chemistry with one another. Kidman’s in a clean shirt! That’s something. That's progress. Juvi is the new Cruiserweight Champ and is trying to avoid a third-straight title change tonight. Juvi starts out hot and sends Kidman outside; Kidman dodges a baseball slide and hits a dropkick to take over. Kidman then sinks in a chinlock back in the ring. Grounding Juvi is a perfectly fine thing to do, but be interesting about it, please. Juvi gets back to his feet, and we get a couple of counters leading to a Kidman floatover powerslam for two. We get another sequence that ends with a Juvi rollup for two. Shortly after that, Juvi is able to crotch Kidman on the ropes, hit him with a springboard Frankensteiner, and then crush Kidman with a 450 for the win. Not their best work, but perfectly acceptable television.


  • Bret/Luger for the U.S. Championship is still on for Thursday Thunder, which makes me think we’re getting another title switch. I think we’re descending into late- ‘90s frantic title switch mode here in WCW. At least in WWF, they treated the World Championship somewhat responsibly.


  • On that ep of 83 Weeks I mentioned, Bisch said he didn’t see Raven as a top guy in a company as big as WCW, and I agree with that, but I do think he’s been running in place here for a few months in a way that I think isn’t up to the level of booking he should get. He’s such an effective cult leader gimmick, you know? Bisch doesn’t totally get the character and seemed a bit put off by the hardcore style and the grunge look, which is a shame. I mention this because Raven comes out with the Flock, berates them, DDTs Riggs for being a fuckup, and tries to slap Horace Hogan. Horace stops it, so they have an impromptu match in which Raven dominates. It’s only when Horace hits a desperation STOP sign shot that he gets some control, and Horace hits a suicide dive to follow up. I genuinely think ol’ Horace Hogan is alright as a midcard bruiser who leaves his feet once or twice a match to great effect. Horace uses the STOP sign as a weapon some more, but misses a splash onto Raven after body slamming Raven on the sign. Raven gets a chair from Lodi, opens it up to a seated position, and rings Horace up with a drop toehold into the seat. Kanyon comes into the aisle to confront the rest of the Flock, which - in a callback to the finish of the earlier Kanyon/Saturn match - allows Saturn to run in from the other side of the ring and hit Raven with a DVD, then roll Horace on top for three. We continue to run in place with this feud, but at least the match was a fun little TV event.


  • Curt Hennig and Konnan resume their feud. Does it need to be resumed? No. But they’re going to do it anyway. Konnan is extremely over tonight. This crowd is into everything, but even considering that, they’re especially into Konnan. Konnan and Hennig have another match where Konnan just unloads early. It’s a little sloppy, but come on, it’s a Konnan match. The crowd chants WOLFPAC and maybe the Wolfpac should be booked more dominantly, just maybe? As I mention that, Hennig takes control and is boring while in it. Konnan makes a comeback and hits a sit out facebuster, but misses a lariat and eats one in return. Hennig grabs one of Konnan’s chains, but Konnan obtains it and chokes out Hennig with it for a DQ loss. OK, so we have to have another one of these matchups at some point? Is that what’s happening?


  • Scott Hall and the Giant defend the tag titles against Kevin Nash and Sting, which should be good! Hall does a survey. WCW does about as well as nWo Hollywood in this survey, which is to say that it does pretty poorly! The Wolfpac, on the other hand, gets a massive pop. They should be pushed better. I wish I could pull a Sam Beckett and jump back into Eric Bischoff’s body in 1998 so I could book this company from now up to Starrcade, get a hearty congratulations from Al for saving WCW, and then jump back and watch how good my booking of this period is on Peacock. Or on whatever streaming app WCW has scored a deal with, considering that they still exist.


  • Anyway, the match; Nash works Hall early and looks for a Jackknife, but Hall escapes. I do like the idea that the big payoff is Nash at some point finally powerbombing Hall, who has escaped that fate at a number of turns so far. Hall tries to get cocky with the paintbrushing on an arm wringer and gets decked by Nash. This causes him to tag the Giant, which seems reasonable. Nash easily controls Giant, who tags right back out to Hall after only a few seconds. Nash has no issues with Hall; he frames the elbow in the corner and goes to the boot choke, which is when Giant runs a distraction so that Hall can hit Nash with a low blow. That finally allows the tag champs to get a bit of offensive control in this match. They keep it for a handful of tags, but Nash is able to duck a Giant strike and hit a big boot, which sparks a hot tag. Sting dominates, as one does when they’re the babyface on a hot tag. Sting eventually hits three straight Stinger Splashes on Hall and wraps Hall in the Scorpion Deathlock, so the Giant saves the gold by grabbing the ref and threatening him with a chokeslam if he doesn’t call for a DQ. Scott Dickinson calls for a DQ, but Giant chokeslams him any-fucking-way because that’s good heelin’. This was fine. At least the whole Wolfpac got onto TV this week in multiple segments!


  • Goldberg/Meng is up next. Let me just write the finish here before Buffer starts talking: Meng gets Goldberg in the TDG; Goldberg breaks it. Spear, Jackhammer, SPLAT. Everyone at ringside fights one another; Goldberg murders someone or other, maybe a few someone or others. OK, now back to the present: I’m so happy that Meng got at least one Buffer intro. The match finally starts and Meng throws a Hundred Hand Slap, so that rules. Goldberg responds with a forearm and a side kick. Meng uncharacteristically decides to take a powder. He does this to the wrong side of the ring and has to roll back in, then back out again so he can end up where he was supposed to, near nWo Hollywood.


  • Back in the ring, it’s just two hosses throwing blows at one another. It’s not good by the standards of a pro wrestling match, but it’s entertaining to me. Anyway, Meng side kicks Goldberg outside near Hollywood, who beats on him and tosses him back in. Meng gets the TDG on Goldberg, actually takes him down, and releases it, thinking he’s won. He hasn’t won. Spear, Jackhammer, SPLAT, but the layout was ultimately ineffective because Goldberg should have explicitly broken the TDG, not had Meng break it himself. Post-match, Hogan grabs a chair and hits Goldberg from behind. Nash snatches the chair away and sends Hogan out of the ring, but Goldberg turns around, sees Nash with the chair, and spears him as the show ends.


  • I think the booking in WCW is roundly uninspired, but the show wasn’t full of a bunch of really bad nWo Hollywood sketches, so that’s good. The work was a notch or two below what I’d normally expect from the workers on this show, which is a shame, and boy did I not like how they built up the unbreakable TDG to have Goldberg be the one to break it and then…not have Goldberg break the TDG. But *thinks about the three weeks of shows leading up to Road Wild ‘98* it could have been worse! 2.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
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Thunder Interlude – show number twenty-seven – 13 August 1998

"The WCW Gang has a show full of wrestling(!!!), but the catch comes at the very end of this Thunder”

  • It’s time for some Thunder…I wonder where we’re going with this whole Fall Brawl thing…War Games could be interesting considering the three-way feud between WCW and the two nWo factions…


  • Scott Hall comes to the ring…Hall scores a date with an ardent fan for after the show, points to his crotch a lot, and then does a survey…Everyone confirms that they came to see the nWo, which is good for Hall…But they came to see the Wolfpac, which is bad for Hall…Hall promises to beat down his opponent Konnan tonight…Konnan responds to Hall’s chatter with some mic work of its own…He and Hall go to a stalemate in the dueling catchphrase contest…The wrestling contest stinks…I like both these fellas, but this match isn’t any good…Konnan goes into his 5MoD after a few minutes…Hall kicks Konnan in the junk out of desperation and looks to set up for a Razor’s Edge…Konnan avoids it with a small package for two, but Hall kicks out, hits a lariat, and sets up for his finisher again…Hall hits it for three…Wow, a clean finish!...


  • Raven is doused with a beer about halfway down the aisle…Wrestling fans continually overstepped their bounds with WCW-era Raven…Raven grabs a mic and sits down…He’s still irritated at Horace Hogan fucking up while trying to interfere in his Road Wild match…We’re getting a return match in which Raven is doubly angry because Horace Hogan won their Monday match due to Saturn’s interference…Raven destroys Horace and goes to get the STOP sign, but Lodi stops Raven from using it…Horace is able to big boot the STOP sign into Raven’s face as a result…That gets a 2.9…Horace gets 2.9 off a top-rope splash…Horace uses the STOP sign to effect on Raven’s back…Horace gets another 2.9 off another top-rope splash, except Raven is sandwiched between Horace and the sign…


  • Horace goes for a back splash into Raven in the corner…Raven moves and then tosses Horace to the floor, where Raven goes to work…Back in the ring, Raven demands that Lodi attack Horace…Lodi hesitates and gets slapped…Raven demands that everyone else in the Flock attack Horace…They do until Saturn comes down and gets them to back off…Saturn faces off with Raven, and Horace gets up and hits Saturn with a lariat from behind…Saturn eats a beatdown until Kanyon runs down for the save…There’s an interesting story here about the Flock members getting deprogrammed that doesn’t need Kanyon involved at all…But I’m not sure they’re going to tell that story with any effectiveness…


  • Stevie Ray cuts an interview with Tony S….Get Stevie on color already…He challenges the Giant to a match for next week…He’s also working Eddy Guerrero tonight…That’s definitely a WCW-ass WCW matchup right there…


  • Chris Jericho is now the WCW Television Champion, but unfortunately for him, it’s a lot harder to dodge title defenses every week when you’ve got a television title…Jericho defends against Chavo Guerrero JrPepe has a bandage on his snout…Poor guy…Chavo uses his quickness and agility to avoid Jericho’s ability to leverage his size…He goes nuts with strikes on Jericho in the corner while Jericho screeches in fear…Jericho prefers holds and power attacks early…Jericho hops over Chavo on a rope run, but Chavo just stops, turns around, and takes a chunk out of Jericho’s cheeks…Chavo biting dudes on the ass always makes the kids laugh…Chavo gets a huge pop after Jericho bails post butt-biting and Chavo rides Pepe around the ring…Chavo rules…


  • There’s a commercial break at this point…That’s a good place for a break in this match…We get a close-up of Pepe’s injuries before panning over to see Chavo miss a dropkick…Jericho follows up with an Asai moonsault for two…Jericho hits a nice stalling suplex and gets two off that move and a wimpy pin…Jericho starts to grind Chavo down again with holds and chokes…when he runs, that’s when Chavo can get a boot up or dodge a move…Jericho regains control immediately after Chavo sticks a boot up on a corner charge…But he loses it again when Chavo runs the ropes and scores a counter lariat…Chavo hits a dope Superman Punch (!!!) that looks awesome…Chavo follows up with a springboard bulldog for two…That obviously wasn’t going to be the finish, but it feels like it should have been…What a move combo…I am rooting for Chavo to win this thing so much…Jericho destroys Pepe and rolls an infuriated Chavo up for 2.9 when Chavo charges him…Chavo’s got another Pepe hidden under the ring….This Pepe has his head on a baseball bat…Chavo loads up, swings, and connects…Unfortunately, Charles Robinson is standing there watching the whole thing…Aw, I wanted TV champ Chavo…Great match, though…


  • Recap of Lex Luger winning the United States Championship off Bret Hart on Nitro…Bret Hart comes out and is upset that Lex Luger won the United States Championship off him on Nitro…He blames the fans and promises that they will not get joy from his downfall…The Hitman says the word SOAR-RY…That’s one of my favorite regional pronunciations of a word…I’m not SOAR-RY he said that…


  • The Boogie Knights (w/Tokyo Magnum) come out here and wrestle Public FUCKING Enemy again…Bisch and his booking team pioneered the “endless rematch” approach that WWE television would take to new heights in the aughts and New Tens…I am fine with PE, but I don’t need to see them having this same matchup…And maybe I shouldn’t complain because Wright and Rocco have a really nice exchange to begin…Wright backdrops Rocco to the floor, beats him down out there, and gets caught going up top, but hits a front suplex from the seated position…Wright and Rocco keep going with some effective counter-wrestling…Rocco hits an inverted atomic drop before he and Grunge continue to punish Wright’s pelvis…I think I’ve seen enough PE to say that Rocco Rock is the clearly better worker in that team…Another note: Alex Wright is legitimately good at this point in his development…Johnny Grunge tries to sandwich Alex Wright between himself and a table standing in the corner…Wright pulls Tokyo Magnum, who is trying to help him, in the way…Wright quickly uses the diversion to hit Grunge with a neckbreaker for three…Post-match, Meng runs out and destroys everyone with TDGs…Barbarian and Jimmy Hart run out to attack Meng…They are ineffective…Meng TDGs Grunge and Rocco at the same time and uses his free legs to kick the security guys who come to break it up…Meng is pretty great!...


  • Kevin Nash comes out to chat with the Wolfpac faithful in the crowd…He’s got some thoughts about Goldberg spearing him out of his boots a few days ago…Nash is like, Dude bought me a beer after the fact, he’s cool, in fact, he can totally join the Wolfpac if he wants…That’s pretty diplomatic for a professional wrestler’s promo after someone mistakenly attacked him, actually…They shouldn’t put Goldberg in the Wolfpac because it’s not a fit, but if they did do it, the initial pop for it happening would have created enough energy to power a thousand homes for a full year’s time…


  • Oh, I see…Hall got a win over a Wolfpac member who is lower on the pole earlier…Now Nash is getting that win back by doing the same to a Hollywood member who isn’t at the top of the card…Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude) comes to the ring after Nash is done talking…Hennig tries a go-behind, which just gets him backed into a corner and beaten with elbows and knees…Hennig overelaborates his bump on a beal and it just looks stupid more than it make it seem that Nash really launched him…Hennig decides that he’s had enough of Nash using his knee and boot to attack him and works the leg after Nash whiffs on a running big boot…Hennig’s leg work is somewhat effective as Nash sells it while hitting a Snake Eyes, a running sitout splash, and a big boot…Rick Rude sees the end coming and jumps in the ring, knocks out the ref, and squares up to Nash…This allows Hall to come to the ring and jump Nash from behind…Luger eventually makes the save and disperses the three-on-one beatdown…The Wolfpac barely ever wins…I think the Hitman losing the U.S. Championship to Luger is one of maybe two or three times that the Wolfpac has beaten Hollywood…This match was solid until the non-finish…


  • I expected the main event now, but Stevie Ray heads back to the ring instead…I forgot that he’s wrestling Eddy Guerrero…Well, that means Hart/Luger is going under fifteen minutes for sure and maybe (probably?) under ten minutes…Eddy looks ornery tonight…He tries strikes, but that doesn’t work…He tries running the ropes, but eats a shoulderblock…Eddy goes to the unorthodox moves…He hits an armdrag out of a strange position and goes to the corner punches, but gets tossed when Stevie misses a kick, but grabs him anyway…Scott Hall and the Giant come out to watch Stevie lock on a bearhug…They need to imbibe whatever’s in those red Solo cups they’re carrying to make watching Stevie apply a bearhug seem even remotely entertaining…Stevie does some plodding offense, then hits a press slam that is less plodding than the stuff that came before it…Stevie is just killing Eddy here, which I frankly think sucks, and I like Stevie well enough…Eddy makes a brief comeback while Giant and Hall whisper to one another…These dolts in Fargo start a weak EDDY SUCKS SHIT chant…Run all those idiot fans through a woodchipper…There’s an ugly counter that leads to a big boot and a Slapjack…Stevie gets a three-count…That match stunk…I’ve never seen Eddy Guerrero have less in-ring chemistry with someone than I just saw him have with Stevie…


  • The bell rings on Bret Hart/Lex Luger at just under eleven minutes before the video feed is over…I didn’t think they had a great match on Nitro, but I still think this should get fifteen-plus…At worst, they have another okay match and at best, they improve on their Nitro bout…This match is like the Nitro match in that Luger just takes a lot of offense and yells AUGH while Bret hits him with offense, and at either end of the match are Luger’s bursts of offense…Bret uses a Billy Silverman rope break to hit Luger with a Hot Shot…I like Bret’s offense quite a lot, so this is fine, but I feel that even though 1998 Lex Luger is past his peak as a worker by a few years, they still have something better in them…


  • Bret runs through his 5MoD…Well, not quite, as he misses on the second-rope elbow…But Hart stays in control anyway after that whiff…Luger makes his comeback shortly after, though…He hits two Irish whips, a lariat, a metal forearm, and another lariat that sends the Hitman to the floor…Bret grabs a chair and brings it back in the ring…Luger hits another clothesline…Luger grabs the chair, but the ref pulls it away…Bret takes the chance to shove Luger into the ref, who gets smashed in the corner…Hart quickly attacks Luger and hits him with a DDT on the chair, then revives the ref…Silverman crawls over for the count, but Luger (surprisingly, to me) kicks out at 2.9…Bret is irritated at the ref, but he just goes back to Luger and locks him in the Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring…Luger passes out rather than submit…Man, Luger stays winning title belts off the nWo and then losing them right back a few days later…The second Goldberg gave up the United States Championship, I guess the company decided to book it into oblivion…


  • There are two young fans dressed up as the Ultimate Warrior in the front row…They snort and raise their hands to the heavens as the camera lingers on them before the show ends…OH FUCK, WARRIOR IS COMING IN…Shit, I remember now…There’s that dumb “I can’t see him in the mirror” spot with Hogan and Bischoff even though Bisch is the only one who can't see him in the mirror…The fire paper spot that fails miserably…NOOOOOOOOOOOO…


  • This Thunder was perfectly acceptable…I didn’t need the reminder that Warrior’s on his way, though…Oh no, doesn’t Warrior kidnap Ed Leslie and also maybe fuck him into submission and make Leslie his lackey instead of Hogan’s through the power of fucking a la how Warrior fucks Santa Claus in WARRIOR, the comic book series?...Or something similar to that?...I have a vague memory of Hogan/Warrior in WCW, and all of the angle around it was dumb and creepy in equal measures…Welp, this show gets a WOOOO for being wrestling-centric, even if the wrestling wasn’t always that great or even that good…But the end with the Warrior fans really has me unhyped for Nitro…
Edited by SirSmUgly
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On 2/11/2024 at 6:25 PM, SirSmUgly said:

Thunder Interlude – show number twenty-seven – 13 August 1998

  • There are two young idiots fans dressed up as the Ultimate Warrior in the front row…They snort and raise their hands to the heavens as the camera lingers on them before the show ends…OH FUCK, WARRIOR IS COMING IN…Shit, I remember now…There’s that dumb “I can’t see him in the mirror” spot with Hogan and Bischoff even though Bisch is the only one who can't see him in the mirror…The fire paper spot that fails miserably…NOOOOOOOOOOOO…
  • This Thunder was perfectly acceptable…I didn’t need the reminder that Warrior’s on his way, though…Oh no, doesn’t Warrior kidnap Ed Leslie and also maybe fuck him into submission and make Leslie his lackey instead of Hogan’s through the power of fucking a la how Warrior fucks Santa Claus in WARRIOR, the comic book series?...Or something similar to that?...I have a vague memory of Hogan/Warrior in WCW, and all of the angle around it was dumb and creepy in equal measures…Welp, this show gets a WOOOO for being wrestling-centric, even if the wrestling wasn’t always that great or even that good…But the end with the Warrior fans really has me unhyped for Nitro…

oh, how i have waited for this realization every time you mention that you're not sure where Fall Brawl/War Games is going. i knew it would be fantastic as it dawns on you that any promise that this wcw/nwo/wolfpac angle had was immediately going to be spiraled down the drain. looking forward to your review of Warrior's 15+ minute soliloquy. 

i'm sure that will be what sways to into joining the One. Warrior. Nation.

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I don't know how I forgot Bisch bringing Warrior in so that Hogan could get his win back eight years later. I did remember WCW showing Goldberg/Page on Nitro because the card ran over and the PPV cut off exactly at ten past the hour or whatever, and I vaguely had a sense that Hogan was involved, but it wasn't until I saw the Warrior fans that I realized that we're getting six-ish weeks of Hogan/Warrior build in 1998. 

At least Warrior is so bad that he swings back around and can be kinda fun, which is more than I can say for either Hogan or Piper. 

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