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


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15 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:

I need a word for “oddity that isn’t like, some great piece of pro wrestling art, but is kinda fun in part because of its strangeness.”

might i suggest the phrase "charming uniquity"?


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Thunder Interlude – show number four  – 29 January 1998

"The WCW Gang updates the set already?!”

  • Well, this is a strange version of the opening, with the “Welcome to Hollywood (CA, not Hogan) sign,” and there’s a new set after three shows…Uh, this is certainly a sudden aesthetic choice…


  • Bischoff (via Tony S.) is still trying to get over referee intrigue for the Hogan/Sting rematch…Oh man, no…one…cares…


  • Sick Boy wrestles Diamond Dallas Page…I see we’re transitioning Page over to his feud with Raven and the Flock…Sick Boy’s getting a shot at the number two title in the company for whatever reason…This is a fun TV match…Page’s counter-counter-counter style, especially to open and close matches, is appealing…Opening a match (especially as a face), it establishes his wily nature and ability to dig himself out of any hole…Closing a match, it adds intrigue to the finish…And of course, it’s aesthetically appealing on top of all that…Page hits a pop-up Diamond Cutter for the win this time around…


  • Tenay interviews J.J. Dillon about Kevin Nash hitting powerbombs even though they are banned now…Dillon fines Nash 50K for hitting the Jackknife…It was nice when money mattered in pro wrestling…especially when cold, hard cash was an incentive for winning matches just as much as glory, building your legacy, etc…


  • Aw man, Hacksaw’s back…He’s wrestling Meng, who came out first, and who I was excited to see until I heard Duggan’s music…Meng had a surprisingly good match with Duggan on an early Nitro, but I’m not banking my hopes on a repeat…This stinks and Duggan stinks…At least when Meng no-sells, I believe it…Duggan actually has the temerity to try and throw punches to get out of the TDG unlike everyone else just going down…Meng wins, please leave Duggan off my screen from now on (I know it won’t happen)…


  • Raven and Marty Jannetty have produced a good TV match against one another before (even if it wasn’t the match they should have had)…Let’s see if they can do it now…Jannetty’s been really good during this short WCW run…This match is somewhere between their two (IIRC, maybe there were more on Action Zone or whatever) WWF matches…Raven introduces a chair that helps him both immediately upon introduction and later on down the road…An Evenflow DDT gets the pinfall for Raven…


  • Bill Goldberg comes out to crush Yuji Nagata…Goldberg and Nagata work some faux-MMA-ish stuff that I like…Goldberg rolls the dice, then it’s spear, Jackhammer, SPLAT…One stare from Goldberg sends Sonny Onoo running away…


  • Video of Savage and Hogan beefing from Nitro…I mean, it was inevitable that these fellas were going to beef…


  • Scott Hall comes out and conducts a survey…I think Memphis just loves pro wrestling in general…They cheer WCW and the nWo…Hall is irritated that no one even seems to care that he won the WW3 battle royal…He swears a little revenge on Piper and Dillon for not honoring his earned title shot at Slamboree…


  • Hall calls out Dusty Rhodes, I guess so Rhodes can explain this nonsensical heel turn he made at Souled Out…Oh, he basically uses something similar to Vince McMahon’s “poisoning my own creation” logic for joining the nWo, just w/r/t Turner buying JCP instead of Flair getting joint ownership of WWE…It’s still dumb, but okay, I can try to get there…What I can’t get with is adding beloved ‘70s and ‘80s Southern babyface Dusty Rhodes to a cutting-edge heel stable in 1998…It worked with Hogan specifically because of who he was and where most of his career success happened….Going back to that well again with Dusty is nonsense…


  • Hall sticks around to beat up Disco Inferno…Hall hits a chokeslam, does the Frankenstein’s monster, then sells a neck injury…Disco slides out of the Razor’s Edge and hits a Chartbuster (!!!)…Dusty pulls Hall from the ring at 2.9 to save him…Disco ain’t so lucky a second time…a beatdown followed by a Razor’s Edge gets three…


  • Nick Patrick is talking about how unfair his suspension is blah blah blah…Please let this DIE, Bischoff, no one cares about referee intrigue…The crowd doesn’t really care either, and they’ve been loud for pretty much everything tonight…


  • Saturn and Booker T. have a match for the TV Championship…This was never going to be less than solid considering the participants involved…Booker dumps Saturn into his own Flock at ringside at the commercial break…Book rolls when we come back...This draws the Flock onto the apron…Rick Martel comes out and onto the apron for the save…Booker runs Saturn into Martel while hitting a roll-up for three, then is shoved into Martel by Saturn post-match…Martel and Booker face off to tease a more adversarial relationship in the future…


  • More Nitro recap, this time of the main event…Sting rappelling down at just the right place to kick Savage off the top rope was as cool as it was logically improbable…


  • Chris Jericho and Eddy Guerrero are a tag team tonight…they face Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko….Again, this can’t possibly be worse than “solid TV match” on the strength of the competitors…Lots of chops and stomps and punches in this one…Eddy and Jericho struggle on the team-up stuff and Eddy gets crossfaced…Jericho breaks that up…Benoit and Malenko have more luck with a silly-looking combination that leads to a suplex…We get a suplex scramble with all four men in the corner that leads to the finish…Benoit hits the flying headbutt on Jericho and Malenko puts boots up on an Eddy frog splash attempt…Benoit locks the Crippler Crossface on Jericho, who taps out immediately…Yeah, that was the epitome of “solid”…


  • Benoit sticks around to cut a promo…It stinks…He lets us know that he’s done beating up Raven’s flock…he says, AND I QUOTE, “because of my political incorrectiveness here, and my affiliations, I don’t get the opportunities here”…Man, I know I harp on it, but this guy is ALL-TIME BAD at talking, give him a manager…Page comes out to talk insider bullshit about how the promoters were wrong about them both not being main event-level talent…Finally, he gets around to offering Benoit a shot at the United States Championship…The title match’ll be on the next Thunder…That's something to look forward to...


  • The nWo uses the Freebird Rule to insert Konnan as Kevin Nash’s tag partner tonight…They defend the WCW World Tag Championships against the Steiner Brothers…The Steiners show a bit of teamwork to knock Nash down early…Scott’s raging out on the apron while Rick is FIP…Buff comes down to pull Scott off the apron just as Rick finally gets around to maybe making a hot tag…Scott and Buff have a pose-off while Nash clobbers Rick with the belt to draw a DQ…then Nash lightly powerbombs Charles Robinson and yells I GOT A BAD HEART and PATSY when the cops come for him…Tony S. saying “Oh, he dropped him” when Nash hit the Jackknife probably directly fed into the “Jackknife Powerdrop” comments people would make about Nash’s powerbomb, huh…


  • This show was the epitome of inoffensive...I don't know about most of these promos, though…I give it a WOOO
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  • 2 weeks later...

Show #126 – 02 February 1998

"The one where Bischoff’s dumb ass (inadvertently?) tries to book Sting into oblivion”

  • When last we left Nitro, Randy Savage and the rest of the nWo were having a big ol’ breakup. I actually needed the recap this time since it’s been a minute or two from my last Nitro watch.


  • WCW is in Shawn Michaels’s backyard tonight, inside the cavernous Alamodome.


  • The occasion is so rare that we get a Sting match on free TV! Sting/Savage sounds pretty good, like I would have ostensibly paid for that match at the time it happened. I wasn’t quite old enough to have a job at time of this match, though, and employed teen Smugly is the Smugly that first bought a wrestling PPV.


  • I enjoy Psicosis TV matches and am glad to see him. He’ll face off with THA JOOOOOOOCY ONE. They have a loose, weak opening exchange that is interrupted by Raven’s Flock trooping through the crowd. Then, as things pick up, we hit a commercial break. Oof. We come back and they do some high-impact stuff that generally looks pretty good (that victory roll bomb or whatever you’d call it was kinda weird though) and pops a crowd that is open to high-flying luchadores. For this viewer at home, however, the whole thing was disjointed and pretty disappointing considering the workers involved. Juvi hits the 450 Splash to get the win. I think they knew they had to work around the break and it fucked things up a bit.


  • We get a recap of Diamond Dallas Page’s semi-shooty comments w/r/t Chris Benoit from the last Thunder, and Page comes out here to promote their upcoming Thunder match this week with a Gene Okerlund interview. Page says that it’s “obviously obvious” that everyone in San Antonio wants to see Benoit get a title shot and is drowning a bit here. He basically repeats himself about what a great wrestling prospect Benoit is and is pretty terrible. But he’s all like FEEL THE BANG at the end and he throws up tha-tha-tha ROC and the crowd cheers, so really, he’s over enough to just hit a catchphrase and everyone’s happy.


  • Promo package of the Giant chokeslamming fools and also the unfortunate Jackknife incident with Nash. Nash had cleanly powerbombed Giant almost a year before this, so it’s not like he hadn’t done it before. Anyway, these shows miss the Giant even though they haven’t used him correctly for the longest time. Then we recap Kevin Nash’s face turn as a rebel who powerbombs fools and gets arrested. Wait, I’ve been given a note: Uh, apparently, this isn’t supposed to be a face turn.


  • Ultimo Dragon and Billy Kidman have a match. It’s wild that Kidman, who is super-bland, got decently over just because of an iffily-executed SSP. Man, almost anyone could get over in the ‘90s. You just needed one good catchphrase or one unique move that people wanted to see. Dragon rolls Kidman early, and when Kidman tries a vertical suplex, Dragon hops over the top of Kidman and locks on a Dragon Sleeper. Lodi runs a distraction so that Saturn can clobber Dragon to break it, and Kidman takes over. Kidman gets two off a catapult legdrop, but is never convincingly in control. Dragon doesn’t have many problems countering Kidman to death, taking over, and eventually hitting a top-rope rana and locking on the Dragon Sleeper for the win. Post-match, the Flock runs in and beats down Dragon, allowing Kidman to drop an SSP.


  • Kevin Nash strolls on down to the ring. He rightly points out that in the previous match, Kidman used a Tiger Bomb (“Now, I’m not Mike Tenay,” he says before calling the move out by name, hahaha). He notes that no one arrested Kidman and thus, he feels like he’s being targeted, which is true! Then he says because of this, he’s powerbombing whomever he wants to. This gets a face pop. Then he hits his catchphrase while the crowd supplies the SWEEEEEET after he says “too.” So are we sure this isn’t a face turn?! Wait, I’m being handed another note: No, this still isn’t a face turn, somehow, I guess.


  • Chris Jericho grabs a mic before his match so that he can thank the “millions of Jerichoholics” who have made him a champion. Then he does a cheesy THHHHHHHHH-ANK YOU and pretends to be sorry about Rey getting injured during their match. He uses the passive voice so that he doesn’t have to mention exactly who injured Rey’s leg. That’s good heeling in his sentence structure. Super Calo is Jericho’s opponent in this match for the Cruiserweight Championship. Jericho works to ground Calo with impact moves and chinlocks. Even his chinlock is good because he wrenches his knee into Calo’s back and pulls at Calo’s lips, then bitches to the ref about having to break it.  Jericho follows up by targeting Calo’s knee.


  • Calo tries his best to get purchase in the match, but only really gets something going when he knocks Jericho from the top rope to the floor, though he summarily misses a senton splash to the floor. Jericho cries for help – HELLLLP MEEE – and oh man, this guy is SO GOOD, I am remembering why I became a fan. I forgot to mention that when Calo entered the ring and ran to the corner to pose, Jericho scurried away in fear. He’s too good at being cowardly because he’s genuinely funny, and people want to cheer the guy who makes them laugh. Anyway, Calo ends up getting countered into a Lion Tamer and losing. Jericho forces the ref to raise his hand in a precise way so that he can pose just as he likes. This guy is killing me right now, hahaha.


  • I’m somewhat surprised that Steven Regal is still in WCW. I thought he was in WWF for pretty much all of 1998. I made the same mistake with Big Boss Man, who I also thought left for WWF way earlier than he did. Anyway, Regal’s contesting Booker T. for the Television Championship. I liked this match because it was a show of contrasts. Regal is a crafty matworker with lots of tricks in his bag and more singles experience, but Booker has a clear power and athleticism advantage. I particularly enjoy a fight over roll-ups and La Magistrals that end with Regal getting a two-count, then getting back to standing and eating a kick. That segment pretty much summed up the contrast I’m talking about. Booker eats a couple of European uppercuts, walks through a third to hit a back suplex, and hits a jumping side kick for three. Yeah, I wouldn’t be dropping Harlem Hangovers every night anymore, either. I don’t think Book busted one out in his WWE run until he beat the Big Show during his post-Goldust-tag-team singles push, which is the right way to use that move – only in big spots in important matches.


  • We highlight Bret Hart, complete with a snippet of his promo last Nitro. Hart wants to be the champ, duh. It’s sort of his thing.


  • Konnan (with Vincent) heads to the ring to face Hugh Morrus. If you’ll recall, they used to be a tag team in the Dungeon of Doom before Konnan attacked Morrus and eventually ended up with the nWo. There is no initial hint that anyone remembers their past history with one another, which is fine since it was a very cold feud. Tenay’s the one who brings it up, actually! Of course he does. This match is fine, and it ends with a decent spot where Vincent distracts Morrus for long enough that when Morrus goes up for the No Laughing Matter. Konnan catches him and powerbombs him. Konnan follows up with a face crusher for three.


  • We get more nWo action as Scott Hall (with Dusty Rhodes) faces Jim Neidhart after a quick pre-match promo and survey. Said survey is inconclusive, IMO. Hall’s still big mad about Piper delaying his title shot at SuperBrawl. He suggests that he might be peeved at Hogan to tease some tension, and then Dusty cuts a very not-nWo-style promo about Piper being a doofus who makes bad decisions. The promo is not bad in and of itself, but it doesn’t fit with the nWo's whole oeuvre.


  • Louie Spicolli comes down to the ring and yells that Hall shouldn’t have to fight anyone until he gets his title shot; Spicolli swears to take Hall's place in his matches, but it’s all a ruse so that Hall can get the jump on Neidhart in what is surely some small measure of revenge for the KotR ’94 final. Suddenly, Neidhart puts a spike on his thumb and jabs it into Hall’s throat randomly, which almost draws a win, so Dusty jumps onto the apron and breaks the hold; Hall sneaks up behind Neidhart and hits a Razor’s Edge for the win. People love the Razor’s Edge, especially in San Antonio! Anyway, this was a strange fucking match. Davey comes to save Neidhart from a post-match Spicolli attack.


  • Lex Luger will be facing Randy Savage in a no-DQ match at SuperBrawl, and Luger has an interview with Gene Okerlund about that. Luger uses the phrase “lunatic on the fringe,” which works better for crazy-ass Randy Savage than it does for “shitty punches, a bunch of dumb facial expressions, and getting busted open makes for a good match” Jon Moxley/Dean Ambrose. There’s trying desperately to be crazy hardcore and then there’s legit being nuts, and Savage is the latter.


  • GOLDBERG steamrolls Mark Starr. Goldberg gets an anklelock and they do some faux-MMA/amateur wrestling stuff before we get a gorilla press into a front slam (COOL) and then a spear, Jackhammer, splat for three. Goldberg still rules hard.


  • We get a rematch of last week’s British Bulldog/Mongo McMichael match. So, when I was initially drafting this part of the review, I wrote Aw, this is a completely unnecessary rematch, but as it turned out, it was not! Mongo grabs a mic before the match and says that Texas has a saying: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, SHAME ON MEEEEEE.” I thought the version of that saying in Texas was Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, w-won’t get fooled again, but I guess not. These fellas have a clubberin’ brawl on the outside to start and they generally try really hard. This is certainly a better display from both men. They clear the steps and Bulldog hits a clothesline from the ring to the floor; eventually, the bell sounds for a double count-out as they brawl back up the aisle. Eventually, Mongo dumps Bulldog on the commentary set, clobbers Mickey Jay to a pop, and brawls back through the curtain. Honestly, this was REALLY GOOD for what it was trying to do, which is get the crowd hot and to massively improve on the match that started this mini-feud last week.


  • Noted ventriloquist Hulk Hogan comes out to toss himself off on the mic. Bischoff is here, too. This promo stinks. Moving on.


  • Disco Inferno probably isn’t getting past Raven tonight, but we’ll see. We get a big RAVEN SUCKS chant, but also an OHHH when Raven hits a slingshot crossbody to the floor on Disco. Disco eats a gross arm drag onto a chair, followed by Raven’s favored drop toehold to the chair seat. Raven then sits down in said chair and ponders the cruelties of the human condition. Disco fights back and hits a diving clothesline on a seated Raven, then gets two-counts on two consecutive rollups. He hits a swinging neckbreaker for another two-count, and a back suplex for another two-count. Both men trade back suplexes after that, and Raven tries yet another back suplex and it gets reversed into a Disco body press for two. Disco immediately tries yet another roll-up, but only gets two. I love Disco’s style here, which is in perpetual desperation mode because he perceives imminent danger from Raven. Disco covers Raven with his legs on the ropes for leverage, but that doesn’t get two either, and that’s his last chance to win. Disco ducks on a rope run and eats an Evenflow DDT for three. That was a good match on its face, but it was especially good in the context of these wrestlers and their characterization.


  • Tony S. promotes the WCW Nitro game on PSOne while the Nitro Girls dance. Tony gets a kick out of his kids telling him that he’s in the game and then matching him up against Bobby Heenan.


  • Kevin Nash is back in the ring, this time with Buff Bagwell. They’ll tag up against the Steiner Brothers. Oh man, this Steiner Brothers breakup is burning too damned slowly. Buff arm drags Scott and Nash ostentatiously guffaws from his spot on the apron. Scott gets control, but Scott’s irritated when Rick gets in the ring to taunt Buff. Really, this match is more of what we’ve been getting from Steiner Brother matches for the past bunch of shows. Scott’s in to start and he doesn’t leave the ring. Nash eventually sets Scott up for a Jackknife, but Rick breaks it up with a clothesline and then calls desperately for the tag from the apron. Scott has a chance to make it after hitting Buff with a lariat, but Scotty declines the tag and hits Buff with a Frankensteiner for a quick three instead. Nash was celebrating, thinking that Buff was the one hitting his finisher, and turned back around only to see the opposite. Rick and DiBiase are irate when they get in the ring after the match, yelling at Scott, who is just like Yo, I won this shit, fuck off before leaving. JUST BREAK ‘EM UP ALREADY.


  • Michael Buffer brings the competitors out for our main event between Sting and Randy Savage. He even throws some Spanish in there to ask the crowd if they’re ready for it. Well, I’d expect him to be bilingual at his cost. While everyone waits for Sting to come out of the catwalk, let me say that I wish they’d saved this for a post-Hogan Sting feud in which Sting finally gets some revenge on Savage for spurning the Sting-Savage-Page alliance against the nWo. That’s a hanging thread that could have been better exploited as a fuller feud.


  • Sting rappels down into the middle of the crowd, which is a very cool visual. Finally, Sting makes his way to the ring, gets jumped, and no-sells it. Savage decides that discretion is the better part of valor and heads back up the aisle, so Sting runs down and beats his ass. Sting gets Savage back in the ring and works Savage over a bit before Savage can escape the ring. Sting tries a Stinger Splash on Savage draped over the rail, and Savage hits him with something or dodges or whatever. It’s visually muddled. Savage unties a buckle for maybe later and beats Sting down, but Sting no-sells a piledriver and hits a Stinger Splash. He goes for a second, but whiffs and hits that untied buckle. Savage goes up top and drops a Savage Elbow before covering for what is a near three-count, but Hogan runs out and breaks it up out of jealousy. Um, what the FUCK are they doing with Sting’s booking? So you’re telling me that you’ll visually three-count Sting here so that Hogan and Savage’s beef can be augmented? Man, FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK this.


  • Luger runs out and chases off Savage, but whatever. It might just be me, but I think that the crowd’s loudness has been slightly dampened because, you know, they were hot for Sting and then just saw him visually lose, if not actually lose, his third match in three tries since he’s started wrestling again!


  • This show got quite good after starting out slowly, and that should count for more than what was a completely botched main event, but I find myself with a metaphorical taste of ashes in my mouth after that last segment. Oh man. Hell, this is my scoring metric and it can be whatever I want it to be, and I can’t give a bunch of Stinger Splashes to a show that continues to shittily book the guy who does the Stinger Splash. 3 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmUgly
See below, dammit
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23 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:

Show #127 – 02 February 1998

  • Calo tries his best to get purchase in the match, but only really gets something going when he knocks Jericho from the floor to the top rope


  • Tony S. promotes the WCW Nitro game on PSOne while the Nitro Girls dance. Tony gets a kick out of his kids telling him that he’s in the game and then matching him up against Bobby Heenan.

oh man, i am dying trying to picture a big enough shot that could knock someone all the way to the top rope from the floor. amazing.

also, Schiavone was in WCW Nitro? i don't remember that at all. wow, i just looked up a list, and there are a lot of crazy unlockable wrestlers. i would say that i should play that game again (i do still own it, after all), but nah. it's just not a good game.

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20 minutes ago, twiztor said:

oh man, i am dying trying to picture a big enough shot that could knock someone all the way to the top rope from the floor. amazing.



(For real, I need to hire a better editor.)

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Thunder Interlude – show number five  – 05  February 1998

"The WCW Gang can't book one freaking main event properly"

  • I've got tacos, Topo Chico, and time, so let's kick back, enjoy life, and watch some Thunder...


  • Lee Marshall using a Smothers Brothers reference to describe the Steiners is another example of why he's not GRRRRRRRRREAT in this color role on a pro wrestling show in 1998...


  • Everyone loves La Parka...Even after he threatens folks in the crowd with a chairshot...Can he carry Hugh Morrus to something decent tonight?...No since it's a Morrus showcase, though I enjoyed Parka's antics...I'll never get what anyone saw in Morrus to let him squash Parka like this (or get a huge push in 2000)...Post-match, Parka clobbers Morrus with a chair and then climbs on said chair and dances because he rules…


  • Goldberg hype video followed by Goldberg killing Jim Powers...The crowd is very into Spear-Jackhammer-Splat because it never, ever gets old and is always fun...


  • Billy Kidman (w/Flock, who didn't bother to buy tickets to this show) wrestles Juventud Guerrera next...This is a sweet TV match, mostly based around Kidman trying desperately to stuff Juvi's high-end offense...Juvi hits a Frankensteiner to Kidman on the apron and flips Kidman into Lodi standing at ringside, in one notably awesome spot...Kidman is established as improving, but clearly two levels below Juvi, the in-ring story supported through Heenan's commentary...Juvi hits a Juvi Driver, but Lodi distracts him when he goes up top...that leads directly to Kidman hitting a springboard bulldog and an SSP for the win...Fun as hell, worth firing up on Youtube, IMO...


  • DDP comes out to cut yet another promo about how much Benoit deserves a title shot, this time with Tenay…This is a pretty crude way to try and get Benoit over at that level…Just have the match and let Benoit hang with Page, damn…It’s just so forced, Page coming out each show and pointedly talking about how great Benoit is and how he’s definitely at that U.S. Championship level…


  • Silver King and the Villanos work Lizmark Jr., Chavo Guerrero Jr., and Super Calo in a trios match…It’s fine, but I just saw a singles match where Juvi busted out all sorts of fun shit while at the same time achieving the goal of establishing levels for both him and his opponent…This match doesn’t have any spots as good as that match and doesn’t do anything but fill time…Chavo hits Silver King with a tornado DDT that should get three, but Psicosis runs in and hits Chavo with a guillotine legdrop, then flips Silver King over onto Chavo…Psicosis/Chavo will probably produce at least one or two notably good matches, so I’m happy with that feud pairing…


  • Recap of the Savage/Hogan/nWo beef…I’m interested to see when the Black and White/Wolfpac split actually happens considering Bischoff’s propensity for incredibly slow burns…


  • Speaking of slow burns, the Steiner Brothers come out for a tag match against a couple of nWo members (Buff Bagwell and Konnan)…Dusty comes over to heel on commentary, which is certainly not the best use of him in 1998…He did replace Lee Marshall, though, so it’s not all bad…Buff and Konnan double back and jump the Steiners in the aisle…At least Scott’s wrestling Buff at SuperBrawl, so maybe we’ll get the heel turn there…Rick gets worked over before there is an actual Steiners' hot tag for once to Scott…The ending is weird…The bell rings for a DQ, I guess, but there’s not really a DQ-able offense…Hall pushes Rick off the top rope and into Scott when they’re trying for the super bulldog…Ooh, tensions are (still, forever, eternally) high…


  • Glad to see Marty Jannetty back on WCW television…He’s once again got Raven for a dance partner tonight…This is a low-key excellent pairing…They have natural chemistry with one another…They have a decent TV brawl…Raven puts on a shitty Crippler Crossface because he’s still heated about Benoit beating him…Raven has chair-based offense both go for and against him…Nice finish where Jannetty tries a Showstopper Rocker Dropper and Raven rotates him back around into an Evenflow DDT…


  • The Giant chokeslam/botched Jackknife promo from Nitro plays once more for those who missed it on Monday…


  • Disco Inferno matches up with Saturn…These fellas have had multiple excellent TV matches as opponents, too…Good early opening in which Disco barely escapes a Rings of Saturn attempt…Disco scratches out a Chartbuster toward the end of a tightly contested match, but Kidman saves Saturn by sticking Saturn’s foot on the ropes…Weird spot where Kidman pushes Saturn onto Disco, the latter of whom is lying on his stomach…Silverman starts to count a pin before realizing Disco’s position…Finally, Saturn just locks on the Rings from that position for the win and keeps it on until Booker runs in for the save…The match was great, but the finish was ugly…


  • Nick Patrick prattles on about some bullshit and no one cares…


  • Scott Hall (w/Louie Spicolli, but unfortunately not for much longer) talks surveys, SuperBrawl, Steiners (and offering them a title shot on the upcoming Nitro), and substitute wrestlers…On that note, Spicolli subs for Hall against Jim Neidhart…Hall jumps in and saves Spicolli early on, drawing a DQ…Bulldog comes out for the save again, hitting Spicolli with a running power slam…Marshall keeps trying to get “flounder” over as a derisive nickname for Spicolli because he’s an idiot, get him off color…Mongo runs out and jumps Bulldog, but Davey Boy fights him off…


  • Finally, we get to the Page/Benoit main event, but it’s going to be under ten minutes long after entrances, which is a bummer…All those forced hypin’ promos, and you’re not even letting them go at least fifteen-plus?...This match is adequate (not good, adequate) in a vacuum, but is quite rushed…I expected something other than what I got…Both guys have their finishers countered early on…The Flock runs in eight minutes in and jumps both guys…Page hits a few cutters, but this was a wet fart of a match…I guess this proves that it’s not just the overexposed main eventers whom WCW struggled to book well when booking main events…


  • Most of this show was good…Nick Patrick showed up, and the rest of it was kinda bad…I give it a WOOOO…I hope I get to give out a WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO at some point, but this is Thunder, so I have low hopes/expectations for that possibility…
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Show #127 – 09 February 1998

"The (first?) one that Chris Jericho sorta saved with his performance”

  • Last week’s ending of the main event match, which we see to start the show, was bad. We can’t get to SuperBrawl quickly enough. This is some awful build.


  • Alas, there are two more Nitros and two more Thunders, so let’s hope for improvement in said build!


  • Bischoff and Hogan start the show fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck this, man.


  • The promo sucks, but I guess we’re getting Hogan/Savage out of it tonight.


  • Savage does respond and gets a huge pop for threatening to beat Hogan from El Paso (where we are tonight) to Juarez. Then he says that after he wins that match, he wants Hogan’s place in the SuperBrawl main event.


  • This is a slow opening. Lots of talking, lots of Nitro Girl dancing, and lots of recapping. Now, we’re watching clips from Mongo/Bulldog on Nitro two weeks ago, followed by clips of Mongo talking and Mongo/Bulldog from last week. I’m wondering what was on RAW at this time. Let’s see: Austin/Michaels confrontation, followed by Road Warriors/Windham and Jarrett. Yeah, I would be flipping over to USA Network in real time.


  • Glacier is in the ring to face Mongo McMichael next. Glacier’s a heel now, I guess. He does a weak beatdown in the corner, but Mongo just gets up and clubs him in the head anyway. Louie Spicolli, who sadly isn’t going to live to participate in the upcoming SuperBrawl PPV, sets up a match for that show against Larry Z. by coming to the desk. Larry Z. isn’t here tonight – weird! – and Spicolli shows up with Larry’s luggage – even weirder! – while Mongo and Glacier have an okay-ish match in the ring. Glacier gets two on a Stun Gun, but is otherwise generally ineffective. Mongo hits a couple tackles and drops Glacier with the Mongo Spike for three.


  • Post-match, Mortis runs in and jumps Mongo. You know, some of that recap time they used earlier would have been nice for explaining what the fuck’s been up with Glacier and his evolving relationship with Mortis/Wrath/Vandenberg. Anyway, Mongo recovers and Mongo Spikes Mortis to a huge pop from this crowd of partisan Texans. Mongo grabs a mic and promises to do the same to Bulldog.


  • Holy shit, the Quebecers were back in WWF in early 1998? I didn’t remember that whatsoever! I enjoyed my AFCs matches on Nitro and will miss those fellas.


  • Spicolli, who is pretending to worry about Larry Z.’s whereabouts on commentary, pretends not to be able to hear Tony S. asking him a question over the loud LOUIE SUCKS chants. Heh.


  • NORMAN FUCKIN’ SMILEY IS ON NITROOOOOOOOOO! Push this man! Push him now! Unfortunately, Smiley’s out here to job to Konnan. That’s a bummer. They have a somewhat awkward opening that Smiley ends up winning. Most of this match is a bit clunky. I just think these fellas have a clash in styles that reveals the seams of the work. Sometimes that works in the favor of a match because that clash can feel more like a legit struggle, but this just feels off. Spicolli getting mad at Tony S. for not calling moves properly is pretty funny, though. Smiley gets two on a nice Northern Lights Suplex with a bridge, but Konnan hits the 1-8-7 cradle DDT and locks on the Tequila Sunrise for the win.


  • Tenay talks in a pre-tape to some due from their motorsports team. No offense to the racing fans, but this is boring to me and I don’t care. What next, you gonna give me some ice hockey updates?


  • Nick Patrick and J.J. Dillon are in the ring now, aw FUCK. This Nitro fucking SUCKS.


  • More ref drama, Patrick won’t shut the fuck up already. FU U U U U CK! The competing RAW didn’t have a match that went over five minutes, but I absolutely would rather watch it right now.


  • It’s Yuji Nagata up against Disco Inferno. This might be pretty decent. Nagata opens up with a litany of strikes and even gets a two-count off a forearm. Disco takes advantage of a duckdown to come back and gets two off a spinning neckbreaker, but a throat thrust puts Nagata back on top. Disco tries another comeback, but gets capture suplexed, then gets overhead belly-to-belly suplexed off another comeback attempt. Nagata’s going for the Nagata Lock, but Sonny Onoo yells at Nagata to give Disco more punishment. Of course, this backfires; Nagata misses a fistdrop and summarily eats a Chartbuster for three. Disco celebrates with a dance, so La Parka comes down, clobbers Disco in the back with a chair, and dances in his place. Then Parka hits Nagata with the chair for good measure. Have I mentioned lately that La Parka rules?


  • Lex Luger is big mad about Savage wrestling Hogan tonight when Luger and Sting are just on the outside looking in, I guess. Luger says that Hogan should be at home training for that SuperBrawl match instead of here fighting Savage. Uh, I bet Sting’s fine with Hogan focusing on Savage instead of on Sting with only two weeks remaining to prep for the SuperBrawl match. Luger’s also mad about Savage and yells about him and wants to fight him tonight, too.


  • That first hour was one of the worst I’ve seen during this watch, and yet I know it gets much worse in the next two-plus years! But at least there will be more Norman Smiley on those shows.


  • Eddy Guerrero gets, like, half a pop here in El Paso. He and Chris Jericho tag up against Dean Malenko and Chavo Guerrero Jr. Eddy goes right at Chavo and they brawl at ringside for a bit before they get back into the ring. They have a nice sequence in which Chavo outworks Eddy at every turn. Eddy begs off and tags Chris Jericho in. Jericho’s still got his Cruiserweight Championship on and reluctantly gives it up so that he can wrestle. Jericho wins a shoulderblock, but Chavo gets him back with a headscissors and a springboard bulldog.


  • Malenko comes in and dominates. Jericho gets a boot up on a corner charge, but jumps right into a Texas Cloverleaf; Eddy saves Jericho by hitting a missile dropkick to Malenko. Eddy tags in and gets EDDY chants as the crowd has made their decision to get behind both him and the face tag team. Nobody likes poor Jericho, though. The heels work a leveraged abdominal stretch spot for a bit, then hit a double-shoulderblock that gets a two-count. Jericho, now legal, continues to work over Malenko, followed by Eddy tagging back in and hitting a tope con hilo. There’s another quick tag and Jericho springboards over the top with a splash for two.


  • It's so refreshing to watch a fun match on this show! Malenko makes his comeback, but doesn’t get a chance at a hot tag because Eddy illegally hits a guillotine legdrop before Malenko can make a move toward his corner. The heels do a double leg grapevine that gets an audible OOOH. Yeah, that’d shoot pulverize your sac. So, there’s a bit more control from the heels until Jericho whiffs on a move and Chavo gets the hot tag. That gets stuffed pretty quickly, and the heels put the boots to Chavo. They go for a double-team move, but Eddy gets caught by Malenko. There’s a busy, visually-interesting finish that ends up with Eddy shoving Chavo as Chavo sets up for a top-rope move. Chavo hits the mat and Jericho locks on the Lion Tamer for the win. That match was a fantastic match, particularly for television. If you have three hours for your shows, there should be one match a week that lets your midcarders do great in-ring work for fifteen-ish minutes.


  • El Dandy and Juventud Guerrera match up next. Juvi’s gotten much more comfortable with the dimensions of a WCW ring or something because he’s way cleaner hitting his stuff. It all looks quite spectacular. Dandy does nicely in this match as a base for Juvi’s stuff, and even though there is a blown La Magistral spot in there, it’s not too distracting or anything. Juventud hits the Juvi Driver and follows up with a 450 for the win.


  • Huh, Jericho runs right back out after this match to attack Juvi, who fends him off. Jericho immediately grabs a mic and is upset that Juvi rejected his “congratulations” for winning the match. Juvi responds in Spanish, and I catch about 25% of it, and it pops the crowd. Jericho says that “I'm not only the greatest Cruiserweight Champion of all-time, but I’m a multilingualist” LOL. Jericho translates Juvi’s words and says that Juvi wants a title shot, but Jericho calls Juvi a one-hit wonder like Dexys Midnight Runners, then says Juvi doesn’t have anything to offer him for a title shot other than a “rusted-out ’68 El Camino,” GODDAM. So, Juvi responds and I understand way more of it – he says he’s got a lot of heart and fire and offers up his mask in a mask-vs.-title match. That’ll happen at SuperBrawl.


  • Not gonna lie, Jericho really has saved this show. He’s been around way too long and is tiresome and up his own ass in 2023, but he really was that good in 1998.


  • We get that Goldberg video package again. Then we get Goldberg up against Steven William Regal in what I think is the match where everyone was like HAHA REGAL CONFUSED GOLDBERG WITH HIS WRESTLING SKILLS and then you watch this match and it’s fine. People just make shit up sometimes. Goldberg walks through some strikes and Regal desperately tries to use his joint manipulation skills to wrestle him down. That’s the story on commentary, too! What the fuck were people going on about? This match actually feels like a legit struggle. Goldberg does his typical roll-through leg bar spot, they look like they’re working for openings, and Goldberg overcomes all the mat stuff Regal tries and gets the spear and Jackhammer. This match looks different from the last few one-minute squashes, so I guess people just read it differently…and incorrectly. I can see Bischoff being irritated that Regal took so much of the match, though I think Goldberg having to struggle just a bit to beat an established vet who we know has a lot of little tricks that he uses to get control at this point is interesting and shows his progression when he fights through and wins.


  • Hey, Louie Spicolli is out here in his gear now. Someone has a Tatanka/nWo sign in the crowd. Um, okay. Spicolli’s up against Chris Adams tonight. They have a decent TV match that is interrupted by shots of Raven’s Flock heading to ringside. Adams hits a superkick, but Spicolli crawls over to his corner, grabs Larry Z.’s briefcase, and waffles Adams with it for a DQ. Larry Z. runs out and chases Spicolli out of the ring and into the ring and out of the ring and eventually to the back. I guess Spicolli sent Larry Z.'s limo to the wrong arena and Larry struggled to get to the right one because, and I quote, “I can’t speak Spanish.” You idiot, there are plenty of English speakers in El Paso. What a dumb fuck. Larry probably just spoke his weird broken Spanish to anyone with brown skin. I need-o a taxi-o to the college-o arena-o. Andale! Arriba! What a doofus. Why does anyone cheer for this idiot?


  • We get a Booker T. hype video. Glad to see all the hype videos for the guys they want to push.


  • Then, we get Ultimo Dragon vs. Saturn. I like that Saturn properly sells the Dragon headstand here. Most people turn around and just look at him in awe. Saturn doesn’t turn around. He just smirks because he thinks that he’s backdropped Dragon to the floor and ends up getting double boots to the back. Saturn counters Dragon into an STF to grab control and hits a variation of the Garvin Stomp. Saturn keeps Dragon on the mat, mostly tied in knots. Dragon gets a flash pinfall attempt in there, but quickly eats a thrust kick and is put in an armbar. Dragon finally flips out of a back body drop and hits a kick, then hits a seated-on-the-top Saturn with a springboard dropkick, followed by a top-rope Frankensteiner. They fight over a Dragon Sleeper, and Saturn escapes twice, then kicks out of an Asai moonsault at two. Dragon looks in control, but in a very nice finish, Dragon goes for a vertical suplex. He gets blocked, and Saturn tries his own vertical suplex. Dragon flips over the top of that suplex and turns it into a Dragon Sleeper, but Saturn ducks and rolls through the sleeper to get three on a small package. That was a complex finish that looked great! It looked like a natural sequence of moves that could have been a shoot, rather than a segmented set of obviously choreographed counters (which was something that regularly plagued modern WWE style last I consistently watched it seven years ago).


  • Recap of DDP/Benoit on Thunder. That was a pretty disappointing affair.


  • Raven and Booker T. are supposed to, but do NOT have a match for the WCW Television Championship next. Raven cuts a promo in which he recounts the various ass-kickings he’s given Benoit not only on that Thunder last week, but on the WCWSN last week that I did not watch. He would prefer that Booker just hand the TV title to Saturn, but fuck it, the Flock’s jumping in and beating Booker’s ass. The Flock tries, and it doesn’t go particularly well! Booker takes a short beating before fighting off Raven’s flunkies (minus Saturn). Raven jumps in at that point and puts the boots to Booker. Booker Spinaroonies up, hits a sidekick on Raven, and knocks Hammer off the apron before Raven catches a distracted Booker with an Evenflow DDT and Saturn comes in to lock Booker in the Rings of Saturn.


  • A Savage-goes-bananas-on-the-nWo video plays to hype tonight’s main event. Or maybe not the main event? Bischoff and Hogan are back out here already. We have a little over thirty minutes to the end of this show, and they ain’t going thirty out here. Savage runs out and jumps Hogan in the aisle, then knocks out Bischoff. Savage tosses Hogan in the ring and throws a bunch of strikes, then chokes Hogan with Hogan’s own t-shirt. They end up having a slow-ish brawl in the ring that’s fine, I guess.


  • I’m pretty bored by this, so I want to opine on Hogan, who I give credit to for working hard in that year-and-a-half he was champ (less the week that Luger was champ). I just think at this point, heel Hogan’s juice has run out, and on top of that, he hasn’t been in a main event that I'd classify as "good" in at least a half-year. I’d have to go back and see what my favorite Hogan match was, but it’s been awhile. And I can’t say he doesn’t try! Here, a chair gets involved and Hogan takes a few of them to the back. But man, he needs to be off TV and he needs to be re-packaged again, and I don’t mean as the typical red-and-yellow unbeatable machine.


  • Savage hits the Savage Elbow and gets a visual pinfall before the nWo runs in and pulls the ref from the ring. Savage takes a chair to the head and then to the back after the beatdown. However, as the nWo leaves, Savage gets up and attacks Hogan in the aisle. This wasn’t BAD. It was, functionally, solid as a segment, and Savage looks like a legitimate title threat now, so that’s something. I just think that this nWo breakup is moving at such a slow pace that it already feels played out.


  • Lex Luger comes to the ring and grabs a mic. So, Luger called out Savage earlier tonight as part of that earlier interview, and now he expects Savage to come down and fight him. Liz comes out and is a distraction so that Savage can run through the crowd and attack him. Honestly, Savage is coming off like a badass tweener and Luger looks like a punk for calling out Savage after Savage had already agreed to fight Hogan (and then fought him). What is up with this booking? So, Sting comes down and saves Luger, hitting Savage with a Scorpion Death Drop as the nWo comes down to watch. Then, in what is a fucking STUPID visual, holy shit, it’s dumb, the nWo drops a net on all three guys in the ring and it traps them like a goddam Looney Tunes short, and the nWo stomps the guys under the net out. What sort of crackhead booking is this? I mean, not just the Bugs Bunny gag with the net, but elevating Savage at the cost of making your faces, Sting and Luger, look like dopes.


  • Nitro is brought to you by the excellent Alex Proyas film Dark City. If you’ve never seen it, you should watch Dark City.


  • I forgot that on the last Thunder, Hall challenged the Steiner Brothers to a WCW Tag Team Championship match. That’s a worthy main event. Oh man, PLEASE just fucking turn Scott Steiner tonight. I guess that won’t happen since he's still supposed to be wrestling Buff Bagwell at SuperBrawl, but this burn has been not just slow, but glacially paced.


  • Hall and Nash come down and do a survey which is quite favorable to the nWo. Nash shouts out Syxx and is hopeful for his return soon. Well, he is returning soon, so that’s the good news, Nash! Now about where he’s returning to…


  • The Steiners come to the ring and the match starts. The match is solid, but I’m much more interested in the finish. Rick and Scott do make a tag here, and Scott ends up as FIP. Scott suplexes Hall and decides not to make a hot tag and just win the match himself, but then Hall grabs Scott and tosses him into Rick. Randy Anderson considers that a legal tag, which Hall and Nash totally miss, and Rick drops Hall with a top-rope bulldog while Hall tries to hit Scott with a Razor’s Edge. The Steiners win the titles, but Scott’s not entirely excited about it! I guess this is fine, and funny enough, it’s finally a clean win for the Steiners in which they beat Hall and Nash for the titles, like fourteen months after they first started feuding. It won’t last long, though. I get a kick out of Bischoff needing a way to slow-play the Scott Steiner turn even more than he already is, so to do that, he finally gives the Steiners a clean title win over Hall and Nash, which he previously was slow-playing for over a year.


  • Gosh, this show wasn’t good in the first hour and it had some confounding booking in the third hour. I don’t like where the main event booking is going, and I’m not in love with the upper card stuff in general. There are some interesting midcard acts going, and generally, they are saving these shows. I’m not sure that was true in 1997, but it feels true in 1998, like that’s the point where the midcarders were obviously the best parts of these shows. It’s early, and we’ll see if it changes any, but it’s a bummer because there is juice in these upper-midcarders and spot main eventers.


  • And can I say how wild it is that Ric Flair hasn’t been on TV, Bret Hart hasn’t been on TV, Sting shows up and gets punked every week, Luger barely does anything and looks like an asshole this week? The Giant’s hurt, so he has an excuse not to be featured, but the WCW-aligned guys at the top of the card have been served so poorly by the booking. I hate that I’m sitting here complaining at the end of this show, which had some bright spots, but it just wasn’t very good. It wasn't a disaster, but it wasn't very good. 3 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


Edited by SirSmUgly
Twiztor catches the errors that Smugly don't!
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1 hour ago, SirSmUgly said:

Show #128 – 09 February 1998


  • Raven and Booker T. are supposed to, but do NOT have a match for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship next.


  • I don’t like where the main event booking is going, and I’m not in love with the upper card stuff in general. 


  • Nitro is brought to you by the excellent Alex Proyas film Dark City. If you’ve never seen it, you should watch Dark City.

i know Raven won the WCW Light Heavyweight title at some point, but i don't think 1998 Raven is making the CW limit. 

and if you think the main event scene is bad now, just wait for Piper to return in a couple months!

also, i love to read your complete hatred for Nick Patrick segments. You are completely correct in that they aren't entertaining, necessary, or over, and yet i find a certain charm in them that i can't quite explain.

and i second the love for Dark City. 

Edited by twiztor
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Thunder Interlude – show number six – 12 February 1998

"The WCW Gang makes a surprising number of timely political allusions"

  • Oklahoma City shamelessly stole my basketball team, so they retroactively deserve this show to start with Bischoff and Hogan coming out to yammer on and on and on and on…and on and on...it’s mostly stuff about WCW officials and Sting and Savage and how great Hogan is, it’s the same thing every week…Notably(!), Hogan also sets up a feud with the Hitman, and boy am I glad that I remember enough about the time period not to get excited about this…


  • Hogan does invite Savage out for an in-ring meeting, which will at least move all that nWo breakup stuff along, hopefully…Hogan got worked over by Savage on Nitro and decides to give an apology in his way…and as wordily as possible…Hogan asked for a tag match teaming with Savage on the next Nitro against Luger and Sting as a make good…Hogan doesn’t even do one of those non-apology apologies, he just tells Savage that Savage sucks and actually Savage should apologize to him for sucking at the venerable art of pro wrestling…Savage apologizes for not doing THIS sooner (punches Hogan in the face) and the crowd wants rebel tweener Savage to kick some ass…


  • Why is Lee Marshall on color and Mike Tenay on interview duty every Thunder?...Switch the two, obviously…Hey, at least Louie Spicolli joins commentary and replaces him for the next segment…


  • It’s a Prince Iaukea sighting…He wrestles KidmanSpicolli admonishes Tony S. for describing the nWo in-fighting/upcoming Nitro tag match by the word “bombshell” in Oklahoma City, GODDAM Spicolli…Tony S. just lets that one pass (wisely)…Iaukea controls the match for the most part…We go backstage to see Raven send Riggs to find HammerMortis comes into the room and asks to join the Flock, so Raven makes fun of his costume and basically breaks down Kanyon’s ego as an effective cult leader should…Raven requests that Kanyon beat DDP tonight if he really wants to join the Flock…Back in the ring, Iaukea’s still dominating and gets a close two-count when he counter-powerslams Kidman off a top-rope crossbody attempt…Iaukea misses a guillotine legdrop shortly after and eats a springboard bulldog and SSP from Kidman for three…What we saw was quite good, and Iaukea is actually a pretty fun midcard talent…


  • There’s a review/hype video that recaps the Steiners/Outsiders match from Nitro…


  • Meng is out with Jimmy Hart…Meng's wrestling Hugh Morrus tonight…Meng gets two on a top-rope splash that looks great…Morrus gets a chance to drop a No Laughing Matter, but Hart rolls Meng out of the way…Meng locks on the TDG for the win…meanwhile on commentary, Spicolli freaks out when Tony S. announces that Spicolli’s been booked against Larry Z. at SuperBrawl…Barbarian has to come out to get Meng to let go of the TDG, but then Meng TDGs the Barbarian and throws a kick at Jimmy Hart…the crowd approves and wants rebel tweener Meng to kick some ass…


  • Vandenberg apparently watches the show just like we do because he comes to the ring already pleading with Mortis not to go Flock himself…DDP comes down and the Jersey Triad PRE-EXPLODES…Honestly, Vandenberg has been an excellent manager and Mortis has been a fuck-up, so Vandenberg should cut his losses from a kayfabe standpoint…The crowd is super into Page’s bursts of offense…Mortis hits a dope hanging neckbreaker for two, then a facebuster for another two…Page recovers and hits a rebound Diamond Cutter for the win…That was a good TV match…


  • Raven’s Flock comes down post-match and Hammer carts Kanyon away like he carted Riggs away weeks ago…Hammer drops Kanyon at the top of the ramp so that Raven can come up and hit Kanyon with an Evenflow DDT…


  • I am so confused about why every show, we get all these recap videos of Bulldog/Mongo…They keep showing that awful running powerslam from their first Nitro match, too…Just have these fellas brawl once a week to build to the SuperBrawl match that’s inevitably going to happen…


  • Mongo McMichael vs. Jim Neidhart would have ruled if it were in 1983 Mid-South, but I’m not sure it’s going to be very good in 1998 WCW…Then again, Neidhart enters  the ring with a catapult shoulderblock, so maybe I should check myself…Neidhart sends Mongo into the steps and ringpost, then throws him back in the ring and yells NOW LET’S PLAY SOME FOOTBALL…he whiffs on his three-point stance and charge and Mongo hits a shoulderblock out of his…oops, I was wrong, this does rule for a free TV match…Bulldog runs in a little late and stops Mongo from slamming the stairs onto Neidhart…they brawl into the break…Well, being publicly wrong is what I get for pre-judging this match…


  • Chris Adams and Buff Bagwell are up next…This match is fine and there’s a piledriver in it, so that’s good…Vincent runs a distraction and eats a superkick so that Buff can apply the Blockbuster for three…


  • Chris Jericho tries to establish his authority when he shows up to face Chavo Guerrero Jr. and gets backed down by Billy Silverman…We’re at the point where I genuinely laugh at least once during each Jericho appearance…They have an entertaining TV match, which is no surprise…I’ll never not laugh at Jericho’s tortured AAAAGH PLEASE HELP ME when he’s getting beaten up…Jericho dumps Chavo on a headscissors attempt and locks on the Lion Tamer, then won’t unlock it until Juvi runs out and challenges him…Jericho goes after Juvi’s mask, but gets kicked in the head and back body dropped to the floor…For all the guff I’ve given the booking team about their builds to these SuperBrawl matches, the build to Jericho/Juvi has me excited for their match…


  • Sick Boy comes to the ring alone…He’s up against Davey Boy SmithLee Marshall came back to the desk after the Meng match, but now he’s run off by Eric Bischoff…Bischoff claims that there’s a right-wing conspiracy against the nWo headed up by J.J. Dillon and Kenneth Starr (!!!), and TBS playing a Roddy Piper movie (They Live, a Movie for Guys Who Like Movies[tm]) after Thunder is proof of said conspiracy…I genuinely did not make any of that last part up, that’s really what Bischoff said…in the ring, Bulldog and Sick Boy have a cromulent short match that Bulldog wins with a running powerslam…Mongo runs out to continue his brawl with Bulldog…Tony S. calls Mongo and Davey “two brahma bulls,” and somewhere The Rock stops feuding with Faarooq and Ken Shamrock at the same time to raise a single eyebrow…


  • After some DDP/Benoit recap, Benoit comes to the ring…I’m looking forward to that rematch at SuperBrawl in spite of the build…Raven jumps Benoit in the aisle and commences with a beatdown…Raven dominates, but Benoit comes back…Benoit takes a header into a chair when Sick Boy drags Raven out of the line of his charge…Benoit still gets back up and hits a bunch of rolling German Suplexes…That’s when the Flock comes in…Benoit manages to Crossface Kidman, but catches the beats shortly after…DDP comes in for the save and clears the ring…


  • GOLDBERG is here…He’s going to squash Glacier tonight…Goldberg ducks a high kick and backflips over a leg sweep because he fucking RULES…Goldberg hits a swinging neckbreaker, no-sells some Glacier strikes, and hits a spear and Jackhammer…That was sixty seconds of pure unadulterated wrestling fun…


  • Ric Flair is randomly back on TV with little fanfare to face Lex Luger in the Thunder main event…If people regularly read this thread, they know I’m not exactly the biggest Flair fan, but even I am bewildered at how poorly he’s been handled for almost the past year…It’s kind of a weird match because Luger is a still-over face, but the crowd also wants to cheer for Flair…They run through their signature spots, mostly, though I really like the superplex Luger delivers late in the match…Luger goes to rack Flair and swings Flair into the ref…Flair chopblocks Luger while Luger checks on the ref and locks on the Figure Four, but Luger turns it…Savage runs in to beat down Luger, and he punches Flair when Flair gets in his face…Hogan and the nWo run in to beat down everyone…Sting runs down to make the save…Luger beats up Savage while Sting beats up Hogan as the crowd goes nuts…


  • I liked this show an awful lot…Even the Hogan/Bischoff promo had a couple of new things in the midst of the boring old stuff…Maybe this is the best Thunder so far…I also want to note that Louie Spicolli passed away on the Sunday after this show, so this was his last performance on a WCW show...He killed it on commentary and at least, in this small slice of his life, went out on a high...It's a WOOOOOO for me...





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Louie Spicolli on Nitro was so great, I remember him when he did the announcing and something along the lines of "I don't know what the name of that move is, but it was awesome" in a very sincere Chris Farley-esque manner that really worked for his character. And then he went and died suddenly from drugs.

Has the WCW racing segment had the NWO turn yet? One of the many many awful tie-ins over the decline of the once mighty WCW.

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6 hours ago, JLowe said:

Has the WCW racing segment had the NWO turn yet? One of the many many awful tie-ins over the decline of the once mighty WCW.

Yeah, there was an nWo car in one of these segments at one point. I much preferred the Dinner and a Movie guys doing an nWo heel turn on Clash 35, though. 

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Show #128 – 16 February 1998

"The one where the nWo gets watered down beyond saving when it adds Crush to its ranks”

  • It’s the go-home Nitro before SuperBrawl when Sting finally gets crowned. I don’t remember anything about that PPV's main event, so I sure hope that the finish is definitive!


  • We get a ten-bell salute for Louie Spicolli before the show. As I remember, Larry Z. is a bit too beholden to kayfabe when talking about Spicolli’s passing later in this show (post-show quickie-edit note: If he was, I missed it, and I'm fine with that).


  • Lots of recap to hype the Hogan/Savage vs. Luger/Sting main event tonight, and it is an intriguing main event, especially if the nWo breakup gets more progression.


  • Here come Bischoff and Hogan. If anything notable is said or done during this segment, I’ll let you know.
    • ·         Notable: Hogan brings a bunch of nWo members down for backup/emotional support. They even dragged Rick Rude out of mothballs for this.
    • ·         Barely notable: Hogan’s been doing a stupid letter-themed framing for his generic dumb heel threats that he started in his promo on last Thunder and continued tonight. It’s patently awful.
    • ·         Notable, I guess?: Savage comes out and swears to beat Sting and Luger by himself tonight, then he swears to follow up by beating down Hogan and demanding an apology of his own.
    • ·         So obvious as not to be notable, but I’ll write it anyway: This segment was too long and it sucked.


  • Steinbrenner’s in the building!


  • Jimmy Hart comes out and accosts Hugh Morrus as Morrus goes to the ring. Hmm. Anyway, Morrus is getting a rematch with GOLDBERG. Goldberg no-sells a second-rope diving clothesline, punches, boots, and knees before flipping out of a suplex attempt and spear-Jackhammer-splatting Morrus. The crowd was VERY into this. I was also VERY into this. I just want to see this dude join with Sting to dismantle the nWo, then beat Sting for the big gold.


  • A Steiner Bros. hype video plays, which apparently doesn’t please the Outsiders. They walk out to the set so that Nash can complain about…having to wait six days to get a return match for the tag titles instead of getting a shot on this Nitro. O……kay. They taunt Larry Z. a bit and leave while Larry stands up, looking peeved.


  • There is too much talking in this first twenty minutes. We got a minute-long Goldberg squash, and that’s it. Now we’re watching Hogan’s letter-themed promo from Thunder. Come the fuck ON.


  • Wow, another wrestling match! Sick Boy comes to the ring at the 23-minute mark for the second match of the night. I’m not against an overload in talking if the talking is good – throw me an Austin in-ring promo, a Rock backstage interview, Mankind balancing humor with a sad sense of naivete, and DX yelling questionable slogans over fifteen or twenty minutes, and I’m generally cool with that.


  • Anyway, Sick Boy works Mark Starr in what is basically a squash. Starr gets a little shine in on Sick Boy, even getting a couple of two-counts off a dropkick and a small package, but Lodi interferes because he can. Sick Boy botches a rope run before hitting a Pedigree Slapjack for the win. Not the best squash match, unfortunately.


  • The Outsiders are back out (w/Dusty Rhodes). Larry Z. makes fun of Dusty’s rotund figure while Dusty and the Outsiders consider going back over to harass him. Hall grabs the mic to do a survey, but I’m sort of done with all the jibber-jabber, none of which has been good. When I’m rolling my eyes at guys who I typically look forward to on the mic like Hall and Nash, it’s time to do a wrestling thing instead.


  • So, Public Enemy is still in WCW, I guess? They’re Hall and Nash’s opponents tonight. Ew, Hall’s toothpick gets stuck in Johnny Grunge’s beard. It is as funny as Hall and Nash pantomime that it is, actually. PE actually gets fired up after that and dominates the early going. Eventually, Nash has to run in to save Hall from a double-clubbering in the PE corner. That turns the tide, as Nash big boots Rocco Rock and Hall chokeslams Grunge. It also signals a breakdown in the match itself that leads to what is a somewhat fucking WILD finish. Nash is warned against hitting a Jackknife on Rocco, so he breaks it for just long enough to re-position and powerbomb Rocco OVER THE TOP ROPE and onto a prone Grunge and the table that Grunge is laying on. Nash almost dumped Rocco on his head, too, damn. Then Nash modifies a Hannibal Lecter quote, complete with Anthony Hopkins impression, to celebrate what he just did, and it had me falling out with laughter. What a dumbass. Nash gets arrested and carted out, but I think he should be freed just for being entertaining.


  • I’m going to restrain myself w/r/t this Nick Patrick interview. He and Gene really struggle with enunciating the word “conspiracy,” though. That’s funny!


  • Mike Enos is still hanging around and drawing a paycheck. Good for him! He’s wrestling a match straight out of 1992 Superstars against Barry Horowitz, whose gimmick is that he’s Jewish. Pro wrestling, everyone! Anyway, this is an inoffensive three-minute TV match that ends with an Enos powerslam.


  • Mongo McMichael calls Davey Boy Smith a “pumped-up English mongrel” in the back, LOL, and then is angered by Bulldog violating the cultural no-no of sipping coffee WHILE A MAN’S TALKIN’ TO YA. Boy, I’m surprised that I don’t get in more fights myself over this, being a coffee-lover myself. They brawl into the break.


  • Hey, it’s La Parka! Push La Parka, idiots! La Parka clobbered the shit out of Yuji Nagata in a post-match incident on last Nitro, and they'll match up next. Both men trade kicks early, and Parka hits a diving crossbody onto Nagata, who is standing on the floor. He gets another crossbody from the top on Nagata in the ring, but Nagata rolls through for two. The two men trade moves until Parka hits a corkscrew dive and goes for his chair. Sonny Onoo grabs it from ringside, drawing the ref over, and Disco Inferno runs in and gets a measure of revenge from last week by hitting Parka with a Chartbuster behind the ref’s back. Nagata gets an easy win with the Figure Four Nagata Lock shortly after. This was fine. I hope this Disco/Parka feud goes somewhere good.


  • More recap! Bret Hart and Ric Flair are in the building! These idiot interviewers keep mentioning that letter-based framework that Hogan used for his shitty promos from the last two shows! Tony S. keeps saying THE D! He wants to talk about THE D!


  • Billy Kidman comes to the ring, and unless I miss my guess, Ultimo Dragon will be his opponent tonight, considering that Dragon’s music starts and then suddenly stops as Kidman enters. Dammit, Craig Leathers! The desk talks incessantly about the nWo while Kidman and Dragon wrestle a perfectly-cromulent, mostly fast-paced TV match. It’s back and forth, there’s a giant swing in there somewhere, and we get a nice end run after that. There’s a complex pinning combination contest, a big bulldog from Kidman, and a number of two counts. Kidman hits a powerslam and goes to the top, but Dragon crotches him and hits a Super Frankensteiner. Kidman escapes a Dragon Sleeper attempt with a desperate thumb to Dragon’s eye, eats a kick, then escapes another Dragon Sleeper attempt with a couple of wild knee strikes to Dragon’s face. Kidman gets back to standing and hits a desperation Falcon Arrow, but it only gets two, and Kidman gets caught in a Dragon Sleeper when Dragon hops over a follow-up suplex attempt that ends the match. That was a solid match with a nice opening and a torrid finishing run.


  • Diamond Dallas Page comes down to wax poetic about how great Chris Benoit is and how much Page respects him. Page does fire a shot at the Flock while doing so, which is notable, but otherwise, this has been Page at his corniest over the past couple of weeks, and not in the typically enjoyable way that Page usually pulls off/gets away with. Page also would like to throw down with Raven and Saturn, and he and Benoit have convinced J.J. Dillon to book them in a tag match against those two Flock members on Thunder. Said Flock members are sitting in the front row and get in the ring to face off with Page, but Benoit runs in and the Flock members scatter.


  • We get video of Meng going nuts on the last Thunder, and now we get Meng facing off with Barbarian (the latter with Jimmy Hart) as the Faces of Fear EXPLODE! Barb hits a belly-to-belly and then these big dudes punch and chop and kick and punch one another. The selling is minimal; the moves are mostly strike-based with a suplex thrown in here or there. This is CLUBBERIN’ baybee! I love a good clubber-fest. These men have a headbutt-off, then a clothesline-off. Jimmy Hart cracks a chair over Meng’s head and gets briefly Tongan Death Grip’d before Barb kicks Meng/the chair around Meng’s head like eight times to get the pinfall. That was brainless stupid clubberin’ fun. Every wrestling show should have two big dudes clubber each other while barely selling. EVERY. WRESTLING. SHOW.


  • Saturn and Disco Inferno have had good matches; they’ve had good competitive matches and good extended squash matches before. But tonight? Disco doesn’t make it halfway down the aisle before La Parka runs down, hits Disco with a chair, and cabbage patches. This guy is amazing. La Parka lays in a few more chair shots and dances before a cadre of refs come down to back him away.


  • Saturn just wants to be given the win right there, but Rick Martel comes to the ring and takes Disco Inferno’s place. I guess the WCW Booking Committee is cool with this? Martel is supposed to be wrestling Booker T. for the TV Championship later tonight, so this is a pretty dopey move on his part. I’m vaguely remembering a weird deal where all three of these guys were in a mini-tournament for the TV title now that I re-watchthis. Was this at SuperBrawl or the month after? They had Booker wrestling weird combinations of dudes for the TV title for most of 1998, and I think at least a couple times on PPV he had to wrestle multiple times/compete in mini-tournaments for the TV title. Oh yeah, the match! It’s perfectly fine, but no one cares about Rick Martel at all. I dig Martel’s fiery babyface act, but it’s very ‘80s, like Marty Jannetty pumping his arms in the air as a taunt/celebration. It feels anachronistic.


  • Martel is able to work a spinebuster onto Saturn, but the Flock runs a ref distraction and Riggs jumps Martel before Martel can lock on the Quebec Crab. Saturn quickly locks on the Rings of Saturn after Riggs’s attack and gets the submission win. I think this indicates that Booker’s going to lose later tonight.


  • I realize that Curt Hennig has also not been on TV very much lately, much like his second for tonight Rick Rude. That U.S. Championship run of Hennig’s was a black hole that sucked in any entertainment and left us only with a bunch of unmemorable title defenses and a weak feud-ending loss to DDP. Hennig versus Bobby Eaton sounds like a hell of a match if we’re in 1991! We’re in 1998, though, so we get a generally inoffensive TV match, as is probably the ceiling for this matchup at this point. Hennig wins with the Perfect Plex after about the only thirty seconds of Eaton offense in the match.


  • Wade Boggs is also in the crowd tonight, and I want to see him drink fifty beers and then go 2-for-4 with a dinger, but alas, we get a Vicious and Delicious match instead. They wrestle the Steiner Brothers, who are still together, and if we are lucky and Bischoff decides to progress a major storyline for once, they’re in the last week of their existence as a tag team. Rick and Scott work together solidly in the beginning, throwing forearms and hitting suplexes first on Buff, then on Norton. It’s enjoyable enough!


  • I keep waiting for someone to be FIP, but the Steiners control the match for a long time. Rick spends tons of time in the ring, and eventually Norton dumps Scott to the floor and a bunch of nWo members run in and stomp out Rick. They only leave when Scott comes in with a chair, entirely avoiding a beatdown himself. Hmmm…


  • We see a replay of Saturn throwing Martel through the Barber Shop window arena's back entrance doors from a few weeks ago on Thunder before Martel comes back down to wrestle Booker T. for the TV title. The crowd really loves raising the roof. Tenay lets slip a “former member of the tag team Harlem Heat” while introducing Booker. Hmmm…


  • Martel jumps Booker before the bell and stomps him down. This is fine, but Martel acts like a goofy ‘80s babyface most of the time and an aggressive tweener at what feels like random. It’s 80/20 ‘80s babyface/aggressive tweener. My hot take is that this Martel WCW run that people remember fondly hasn’t really been that great in real time. Book gets a MARTEL SUCKS chant going after overcoming Martel’s early flurry. Booker dominates the next portion of the match; in true heel fashion, Martel bails and stalls as much as he can. This match is fine, but has a slow point after that flurry until Martel hits a desperation Stun Gun and takes over. Martel’s control segment is perfectly acceptable; Martel dodges a desperation dropkick and puts on the Quebec Crab, but Booker grabs the ropes. Booker makes a comeback and the ref takes a bump when Booker hoists Martel up for a body slam. Saturn runs down and hits Martel on a rope run; Booker side kicks Saturn off the apron, but catches his legs on the ropes. That causes an unfortunate kayfabe injury and allows Martel to slip the Quebec Crab back on for the submission victory and the gold. This was fine? I don’t know; let’s see if we get something good out of Martel against either Saturn or Booker (or both) at SuperBrawl. I’ve been underwhelmed by this run, though maybe I overhyped it in my own head.


  • Bret Hart comes down for an interview with Gene Okerlund. Look, Bret Hart in WCW has been a depressing affair so far. It’s just not right that he’s exiled here. Bret is psyched about Canada’s men’s hockey team and its (entirely expected) Olympic success. The Hitman is finally getting his chance to set up a feud with Hulk Hogan and does okay at it. It’s the most spirited he’s been since he’s come over, mostly because he IRL thinks that Hogan has been running and hiding from him for years…and he says “Hogan, you’ve been running and hiding from me for years” in this promo like it’s just kayfabe, but we know better! Then fucking Crush comes down, what the fuck? He interrupts our hero and talks like a robot while giving Bret some support. This dude Brian Adams is uncharacteristically wearing a long leather coat; what could he be wearing under that coat? Mayhaps his old Kona Crush outfit? Demolition-era chainmail and leather? No, it’s an nWo t-shirt (and some pants! He’s got pants on, thank God). Adams holds the handshake he’s offered Bret so that the nWo can run down and get a free shot, followed by Hogan coming down to throw a few punches. The crowd wants Sting, but Ric Flair comes down for the save, which is just about equally as acceptable to the crowd. Flair clears the ring and then he and Hart show each other a respect that is DEFINITELY just kayfabe.


  • Get Adams and Clarke together ASAP, please. Adams by himself on the nWo B-team is torture for any proper-thinking viewer.


  • J.J. Dillon comes down to address the TV title fuckery. Booker was originally scheduled to defend the TV title against Saturn at SuperBrawl. OK, Booker’s not the champ anymore, so just have Martel do it. No, wait, for some wild reason, Booker gets his rematch at Martel at SuperBrawl FIRST; then, the winner of that match wrestles Saturn to defend the title on the same show. So you’re putting the champion, Rick Martel, at a disadvantage? I get that Martel wrestled twice tonight (as Tenay notes), but he lost one of those matches! Dillon’s such a dope.


  • Chris Jericho comes down wearing a Montreal Canadiens jersey even though he’s from WINNIPEG, YOU IDIOT. Rock the vintage Jets jersey, you turncoat bum, or at least a New York Rangers jersey in honor of your pops. IDK, the elder Irvine could have played for Montreal, but come on, I know he was a Ranger and I don’t give two shits about ice hockey, so there. Jericho and Guerrero tag up against Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko tonight because somebody figured out that there was a lot of talking and like very little WERKRATE on this show so far. I’m not a werkrate pig or anything, but other than Kidman/Dragon, we haven't had much in that vein tonight. No Psicosis, no Juvi, Rey's hurt again, maybe? Anyway, I like those matches in doses, as part of a larger carousel of wrestling match styles.


  • Anyway, I’m not even going to try and follow this match beat-by-beat. I do note that early on, Dean sends Eddy crashing into Jericho on the apron, knocking Jericho into the guardrail throat-first. I don’t know if that will matter later in the match, but Jericho’s hoarse *huh* *huh* Go on Eddy, I’m okay as he sold his throat injury had me laughing. There’s lots of pacey counter wrestling; Jericho and Benoit fight outside while Eddy drops Malenko and hits a Frog Splash. Benoit makes the save by hitting Eddy with a flying headbutt at a two-count and breaking up the pinfall. Malenko tries to get the pinfall off that, but Jericho breaks it up. Eddy planchas Benoit from the top to the floor while in the ring, Malenko and Jericho hit a series of roll-throughs and counters that end with Malenko wrapping the Texas Cloverleaf on Jericho for the submission win. That was a solid little bit of action after a lot of talking.


  • Eric Bischoff walks back out here to some weird generic music that’s covering up licensed music that WWE didn’t want to pay the rights for. OK, Bischoff makes me laugh because he squares off with some fan who is hamming it up, putting his dukes up, and when Bischoff finally turns away, he snorts and rolls his eyes like a surly teen thinking Yeah, whatever. But then he gets in the ring and ruins it by talking about a “right-wing conspiracy” against…uh…a group of white dudes. And Vincent, I guess. It’s dumb and bad and yes, I get that as a company with Southern fans, the idea is to align the nWo’s tactics with those of Bill Clinton's abuse of his power and influence over a young woman whom he committed adultery with, but these fans don’t really care about this connection or buy into it as a heel approach. Now, you make a country song that incorrectly complains about how awful rap is, and that connects with a whole bunch of these rubes. These fans want simplicity! Anyway. I got off topic here and I didn’t really register what Bisch said. It’s probably not important enough to go back sixty seconds and watch.


  • We have seven minutes of time left on this video and Buffer is just out here to announce all four tag team participants in the main event. FUCK. I was looking forward to this, and we’re going to get an angle, I guess, and not even a lengthy match before the angle. Savage runs down and jumps Luger in the aisle before Sting and Luger even make it to the ring, and Buffer yells theatrically LET THE MATCH BEGIN. That is one of the funniest things I’ve heard in awhile. I don’t know why, but I’m sitting here laughing through this lukewarm ringside brawl at Buffer’s pronouncement. He'd be great at announcing the Wild Rumpus. After a couple of minutes, the match turns into a proper match, but Savage looks for a tag and Hogan (who came out of the crowd to attack Sting earlier) is on the floor talking to Bischoff instead of supporting his tag partner. Forty-five seconds later, Savage slaps Hogan hard on the back and gets his tag. Hogan goes to work on Luger and gets a two-count off of three straight elbowdrops. He whiffs on the legdrop, though. We get a hot tag off this abbreviated FIP segment and Sting gets in, hits Hogan with a couple of Stinger Splashes, and locks on the Scorpion Deathlock. The nWo runs in and Luger and Sting fight them off while Hogan and Savage go at it on the side. Flair and Hart run down to help Sting and Luger; WCW clears the ring. I am underwhelmed.


  • That show was too long and had an unsatisfying main event; there was also too much talking. I’m glad I’m through it, though, as I’m genuinely looking forward to Thunder, and I’m curious about SuperBrawl and will be excited to review that one. This Nitro was not really a hype-maker for me when it comes to either of those shows outside the promise of Page/Benoit against Raven/Saturn. Still, there were good things: Meng! Goldberg! Kidman and Dragon! Nash, Bischoff, and Buffer cracking me up! It was just spread sorta thin throughout this one. 3 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmUgly
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Thunder Interlude – show number seven – 19 February 1998

"The WCW Gang puts on a way better show than the nWo Gang”

  • SuperBrawl is just about here, thank goodness…Hopefully, they give Benoit/DDP vs. Raven/Saturn decent time tonight…Sting/Savage is the main event tonight, and maybe Sting won’t look like a doofus for once, I hope…


  • We get a pre-tape in which Mike Tenay starts an interview with Chris Jericho outside the building that is immediately interrupted by the nWo running past and jumping Lex Luger and Randy Savage as they talk/have a confrontation/IDK what they’re doing in the parking lot…Aw, we didn’t even get ten seconds of Jericho being (kayfabe) delusional on the mic…


  • Fit Finlay makes an all-too-rare appearance on a major WCW TV show…He’s going to look up at the lights after Goldberg gets done with him…Finlay beats Goldberg with his shoulder plates at the bell, which should be a DQ for him…the ref says FUCK IT though…Goldberg hits a press slam to take over…Finlay’s forearm shots have no effect…Goldberg is just like RAAARGH because he is a beast…Finlay tries a sleeper and gets tossed over Goldberg’s head and Fujiwara armbar’d…spear…Jackhammer…SPLAT…aw, yeah…


  • I’m always pleased to hear Psicosis’s entrance music…Psicosis draws Chavo Guerrero Jr. as his opponent tonight…The desk is excited about the Savage/Luger parley in the parking lot…IIRC, this eventually leads to Luger and then Sting joining the Wolfpac, which I absolutely DO NOT want to see…This is an enjoyable little TV match, focusing on that instead of the Luger/Savage stuff…Chavo does the whole fiery babyface thing as well as he does the grizzled heel vet thing…That is to say, he does it very well…Psicosis whiffs on a shoulder charge and eats post on his way outside, then eats a tope from Chavo for dessert…Psicosis takes over and controls with a variety of offense, including a  running dropkick on the apron…Chavo catches a diving Psicosis with a dropkick back in the ring to turn the tide…Psicosis takes his signature wild bump off the ropes and absorbs a lot of damage, but ekes out a guillotine legdrop for three after countering Chavo while seated on the top rope…


  • Hogan and Bischoff are here for a self-indulgent chat with the crowd that will barely move any angles along…At least Hogan’s not working through the rest of the fucking alphabet tonight, as boring and repetitive as he once again is…


  • Curt Hennig and Ric Flair are having another match on WCWSN, which seems WILD since Flair never did get a definitive win over Hennig during that feud….They wouldn’t dare blow that whole thing off on SN, would they? (Editing note: Flair beat Hennig by DQ and punked Vincent post-match)...I think even someone as eternally over as Flair probably needs a definitive win in a big spot at some point soon, so maybe Flair finally finishing off his grudge with a victory over Hennig at SuperBrawl would have been a decent idea…


  • Booker T. wrestles Scotty Riggs next…Riggs jumps Booker to start and ends up getting two off a pair of elbowdrops early on…Booker comes back with a flying forearm and a back kick for two…Riggs takes a powder after taking a spinebuster, but Book follows him outside and presses his advantage…Lodi runs up and distracts Book for long enough that Riggs hits a crossbody on Booker…Book finally makes a sustained comeback after Riggs misses a second-rope elbowdrop…The crowd is very behind Booker…They love the Spinaroonie and raising the roof…Book wins with an axe kick…Lee Marshall gets cut off by the break while making a stupid comment about Saturn (THIS GUY’S FACE HAS MORE HOLES THAN A DUNKIN’ DONUTS)…never have I been so happy for an ad break…


  • Mike Tenay tries to interview Lex Luger while Luger’s being taped up on a table backstage…Luger pitches a fit when Tenay tries to ask him questions about the parking lot rendezvous with Savage…Tenay runs away like a chump…


  • Billy Kidman has had a string of fun TV matches over the past few shows…Juvi is a good dance partner for him and is his opponent tonight…Lodi is having a rough night because Juvi rolls Kidman for a lot of this match, and when Lodi tries to help, he gets his wires crossed and Kidman crashes into Lodi accidentally…Kidman does finally take over for a bit, but misses a corner splash and is punished with a Juvi Driver…Juvi follows up with the 450 for a fairly dominant victory…Chris Jericho runs in and attacks Juvi post-match (while wearing the Cruiserweight Championship like a jackass)…Jericho tries to take off Juvi’s mask and does, but Juvi has one on underneath…Jericho celebrates and then turns back around into a missile dropkick…That match and aftermath were both quite entertaining…


  • Dusty Rhodes escorts the Outsiders to the ring while Marshall references something from like 1967 w/r/t decoder rings on commentary…Dusty in the nWo looks wrong and is wrong, no amount of tortured “WCW, you killed my baby, and its name was JCP” logic they use to try and justify this…I would have forgotten Dusty in the nWo entirely except that in WCW/nWo Revenge, Dusty is Hall’s second in Hall’s entrance…Survey time (it’s mixed)…Nash grabs a mic and wonders where the Giant is…He wants the Giant to admit that Nash has officially retired him…He cryptically shouts out Syxx


  • Hall and Nash are here to squash the fucking Beverly Brothers (!!!)… Beau and Blake Enos and Bloom are back together, baybee…Hall chokeslams Enos and does the Frankenstein’s Monster taunt, which is never not funny to me…Enos and Bloom work Hall over for a bit…Nash gets a tag and goes to work on Bloom…Clotheslines, shoulderblocks, big boot…Nash pops the ref and Jackknifes Enos…They’re really trying to farm nWo-breakup tension from Hogan agreeing to pay all these 50K fines for each powerbomb…However, the actual thing they’ve accomplished with Nash thumbing his nose at the corny-ass WCW authorities is that the crowd is cheering for him…


  • We see a replay of that goof Brian Adams helping the nWo jump Bret Hart on the previous Nitro…You’d think Adams would have improved on the mic with all the chances he’s been given up to this point…


  • Curt Hennig, Brian Adams, and Rick Rude hit the ring…Rude cuts a promo on the Hitman…Oh no, are we getting a Hennig/Hart mini-feud?...Please, no…Leave the memories alone...Thunder is better the fewer times that the nWo shows up on it…Hennig runs down Bret on the mic, so Bulldog and Neidhart come to the ring to respond…It’s not good…We get an impromptu tag match…Rude liberally jumps in where he can…It’s basically a tornado tag, which is a match type I love, and which is also really dull in this case…Please just get the Hitman down here to clean house, as both I and this vocal crowd demand… Here’s the bell…I guess it’s a double-DQ because they just never formed into a typical tag match structure?...Why was I subjected to this?...Security came out during the break to subdue the melee, which I guess was so important they had to show us when we came back…


  • Mike Tenay interviews the Steiner Brothers…Aw man, Rick’s talking…and talking (about their SuperBrawl match)…Scott didn’t even say anything!...I feel robbed…


  • Video of the pre-taped beatdown that we saw a scant hour ago…More speculation about the same angle of the kid that’s been going on ALL NIGHT…


  • La Parka!...Super Calo is Parka’s opponent, which seems good…Calo is nuts and might end up in the twelfth row or eating a wild chairshot or something…Tony S. "[doesn’t] want to take away from this great match," but he is going to keep ignoring it to talk about goddam Savage and Luger as best he can anyway…You know what this announcing issue is, it’s like modern cable news…They get one story and then over-analyze it (using morons who are bad at analysis) for multiple segments, sometimes hours at a time…Meanwhile, other important things are happening in the world that might as well not exist…Look what happened...At his point even I’m not talking about Calo/Parka, and I blame them for this…The match is perfectly fine…The two men work around a series of second rope spots that ends with Park dancing on the second rope and getting summarily crotched by Calo…Calo does a springboard into a double-boot to Parka’s chest, then into a plancha…That was cool…Disco comes in and (kayfabe) botches his attack on Parka, who hits a corkscrew moonsault on Calo for three and then clobbers Disco with a chair besides…


  • Recap of DDP/Benoit, followed by Chris Jericho coming to the ring…He wants the crowd to love him…He thinks Juvi is ugly and compares him to Quasimodo, who is at least pure at heart (in the Disney film)…Dean Malenko is Jericho’s opponent…Jericho really does not want to take his Cruiserweight title off…Tenay swears that he saw Jericho wearing it while eating lunch across the street…Heenan: “[Jericho told the server] I won’t give you a tip, but I’ll let you touch the belt”…Come on, that is funny…See how when these fellas focus on the wrestlers in the ring, they can add to the characterization and motivations those wrestlers have?...Jericho grabs control and slows the pace…The story of the match is that Jericho is in control when the pace is slower, but when Malenko can pick up the pace, he counter-wrestles Jericho nearly to death…Jericho gets the last definitive counter, though…He rolls through a roll-up attempt and locks on the Lion Tamer for a desperation victory…These match layouts are doing a heck of a job of positioning Jericho to survive every match he wins by the skin of his teeth…


  • So, Craig Leathers was nice enough to help DDP out in this recap of Page calling out Raven and Saturn on Nitro…when Page did it live, he got confused and mentioned Benoit as both his partner and one of his opponents…Good Guy Leathers edited that out quite seamlessly…


  • Raven and Saturn against Benoit and Page is next…We have sixteen minutes of showtime left, and we have this match and Savage/Sting to go…uh-oh…Raven is certainly over as a heel at this point…Man, this crowd is HOT for this thing…Page belly-to-belly suplexes Saturn, and then Benoit and Page clean house…Things settle down and Saturn takes over on Benoit going into a break…


  • We come back, and Benoit starts to chop his way out of trouble, but summarily takes a capture suplex…Benoit gets a flash Crippler Crossface on Saturn that Raven breaks up…Benoit gets a hot tag that the crowd is very into…Riggs grabs a chair and uses it to break up a Diamond Cutter attempt behind the ref’s back…Saturn hits Page with a Falcon Arrow for 2.9…The crowd thought Page was cooked there…Raven and Saturn hit a high-low for another two-count…Raven and Saturn work Page over for awhile…Kidman distracts the ref and causes him to miss a successful hot-tag…


  • Raven sets up a chair, which becomes useful when Page starts another comeback…Raven hits a desperation drop-toehold on Page, knocking him headfirst into the chair…Saturn fails to take advantage by whiffing on a follow-up moonsault and hitting the chair…Page makes the hot tag to Benoit…Both Flock members eat the chair in different ways…Benoit gets two after hitting Raven with a snap suplex onto the chair…We have a very active finish where Saturn hits a low blow to avoid a Diamond Cutter, then applies the Rings of Saturn on Page…Benoit breaks that up with a flying headbutt…Raven looks for an Evenflow DDTon DDP, but gets backed into the corner by Page and then Diamond Cutter’d…Benoit comes over and puts a still-hurt Saturn in the Crossface for the submission victory…GODDAM that was fun as fuck…My worries about this match not getting the time it needs were totally averted…


  • So yeah, no Sting/Savage match here with the four minutes left in the show…The nWo parades Savage out in a Sting mask after having beaten him up off-camera…So yeah, we just get Hogan talking some more…Bait-and-switch ass bullshit, Bischoff…This is a real downer segment to have as the last one before SuperBrawl…Sting runs down to fight off twelve dudes…Everyone stands around letting Sting take his shots at them…Sting finally gets overwhelmed when the nWo gets the bright idea to attack him all at once…Luger runs down for the save…


  • All the main event stuff stunk…the nWo (mostly) stunk…commentary (mostly) stunk…But I loved the heck out of everything else…Gonna err on the side of giving more love to this show based on how good it was than giving less love based on what I didn't like...WOOOOO...
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SuperBrawl VIII (’98) Notes:

  • The icon for this show on Peacock has a visual spoiler, and even though what’s in the spoiler is something that’s been foreshadowed massively for like the past three months, still! Have some propriety, Peacock.


  • The opening video claims that “the battle was won” for WCW at Starrcade, and I would like to argue that Sting is coming into this PPV as not-the-champ and the nWo is still a thing, so no, it really wasn’t.


  • Booker T. faces off with Rick Martel for the TV Championship in the opener. The winner’s doing double-duty and defending against Saturn later in the show. This crowd is pretty hot, which I hope is generally sustained throughout the night. Martel struggles to get anywhere early on, as Booker comes out being an energetic fiery babyface who won’t be denied.


  • Maybe he’s a little too energetic because he beal tossed the fuck out of Martel and sent him flying into the ropes. Honestly, it didn’t look that bad, but it clearly fucked Martel up since I’m pretty sure he stops wrestling entirely after this. I replayed this beal like three times and it looks only about a tenth as bad as Booker crushing this dude with a Harlem Hangover that I’m pretty sure had to hurt a few weeks ago. Anyway, it sucks that Martel was so badly hurt! I haven’t really enjoyed his run very much and wish that Marty Jannetty was in his spot instead from an in-ring standpoint, but it was cool seeing this dude have a late-career revival in a major company.


  • The match is decent, made better by the crowd being loudly behind Booker and giving some juice to this thing. Martel hits a spinebuster and locks on the Quebec Crab, but Booker’s right near the ropes and gets a break. Booker gets a couple of counters for two-counts, eats a lariat, then comes back with a flying forearm, an axe kick, and a spinebuster. Book goes up top and whiffs on a crossbody. Martel goes up himself and tries a second-rope double-axe, but jumps right into a Harlem Side Kick for three. Saturn wastes no time, as he runs in and jumps Booker, then locks on the Rings of Saturn…


  • …and the ref just starts the follow-up match now? What the fuck? Booker gets zero recovery time? So wait, why didn’t Saturn get DQ’d for jumping Booker before the bell? Oh, WCW.


  • Saturn dominates, with Booker getting a flash pinfall attempt early that only gets two. Saturn gets Booker out of the ring and liberally uses the guardrail as an offensive weapon; he also works Book’s shoulder by smashing it against the ringpost. Book reverses an Irish Whip to the rail in desperation, but Saturn’s right back up and on him. As the match goes on, however, Booker gets a bit of a second wind and gives Saturn more trouble. He catches Saturn on a leap and hits a front slam, for example. Saturn takes the match back outside and hits a tope, then a springboard moonsault that must have been MURDER on his knees. Geez, my man. You have to walk when you’re fifty.


  • Speaking of random wild wrestling spots that must hurt, Booker completely wipes on a corner splash and bounces off the top buckle and onto his upper back. Holy shit. Saturn follows up with a super back suplex, and this match suddenly got dumb with the moves and the bumps. Saturn goes back to that well and tries a superplex, but it gets blocked and Booker sends Saturn to the mat below, then follows up with a great-looking missile dropkick. That starts Booker’s comeback, but Saturn stuffs it with an attempt at a full-nelson suplex that is blocked and then turned into a wheelbarrow suplex. Hey, this match has been REALLY good.


  • Saturn only gets two off that suplex. He tries a belly-to-belly, but only gets two again. Saturn fires off an Asai moonsault, but it jars him as well as Booker. All the bombs that Saturn has fired off since going back outside that second time, he’s sold as accumulated damage for himself, which is really good work. Booker, who’s been going for like 22 minutes, slips on a springboard moonsault attempt, but deftly turns it into a crossbody that Saturn ducks anyway. Tenay notes that Martel tore his MCL (on that beal toss!) and that bums me out and also impresses me. I know that you can walk on an MCL tear, but Martel worked eight more minutes on it! That’s wild.


  • Booker makes another comeback, hits an axe kick and a side slam, and goes up top for the Harlem Hangover…but misses. Saturn follows up with a Northern Lights Suplex and a bridge for two, then a German Suplex with a bridge for two. He tries another suplex, but Booker hops out of it and lands a Harlem Side Kick for three. I mean, except for that unfortunate beal toss, this was a heck of a performance for Booker, and Booker/Saturn is legitimately a wonderful contest in which Saturn throws bombs that Booker has to endure and outlast.


  • La Parka and Disco Inferno continue what has been a feud that I have enjoyed and would like to see more of even after this show. Give Disco a mic and let him cut a promo or two around this thing on Nitro/Thunder. This match starts with Parka just throwing his chair right at Disco, so that’s good! Parka does not appreciate disco dancing and shows it with a mocking version of Disco's dance. These guys hit powerslams and lariats early and it’s sorta physical! I was not expecting this. Parka knocks Disco outside with a wheel kick and then hits a corkscrew plancha to follow up. They’re really going full bore here, so I guess this match might be short.


  • Then again, it slows down and basically becomes a back-and-forth longer, slightly slower contest after the hot start. That doesn’t mean that it’s bad! It’s genuinely interesting because I have no idea who’s going to win this thing from a booking standpoint, and the way it’s worked evenly feeds into that. Disco dodges a shoulder charge and works into a swinging neckbreaker for two. He looks on the ascendancy, but the ref catches a fist as Disco swings wildly at Parka in the corner. This gives Parka a chance to use the chair. He sits Disco in it and goes up top, but Disco blocks Parka and tries a superplex. That gets blocked, and there’s all this tension over who will eat the chair and how. It ends up being Parka, who is just pulled down and launched into the chair, followed by a Disco Chartbuster for three. I liked this quite a bit!


  • We take time on this fucking PPV for J.J. Dillon to reinstate Nick Patrick, but you know what? It’s almost worth it for Patrick’s celebration. He not only does an Owen Hart- style YES with his arms raised, but he hugs Dillon and then kisses Okerlund on the cheek. Hahahahahaahahaaaaaa, that genuinely cracked me up. Patrick’s not the official for the main, though, so he’s heated again, whatever. But he’s even more mad about not getting an official ruling on his back pay from when he was suspended. Patrick was actually funny here, so this was easily the best one of these Nick Patrick-focused segments from the past year.


  • We need to squeeze Goldberg on the show, so he’ll be murking Brad Armstrong (w/ Armstrong Curse shirt that ignores his way-more-over bro on the other show). Well, at least Armstrong got a PPV check! I’d like to quibble with Goldberg’s booking a bit in that they could have set up a mini-feud for him that culminates at this show while also having him mow dudes down. Goldberg hits an aesthetically pleasing release belly-to-belly in there. He also no-sells Armstrong’s side Russian Leg Sweep before hitting an EVEN MORE aesthetically pleasing overhead release pumphandle suplex, then a spear and Jackhammer. That ruled.


  • The Juicy One (w/ ominous JUVI 4-EVER tights) comes down to defend his mask against Chris Jericho’s Cruiserweight Championship. Jericho goes out of his way to rip up some fan’s I’M A JERICHOHOLIC sign after feigning that he wants to hold it up to the audience. Now THAT’S how you heel. I do note that there is more than one sign about being a Jerichoholic out there, along with a couple of signs aping Jericho’s insults about Juvi. Early on in my Nitro reviews, I mentioned how Jericho has kind of ruined modern wrestling and was entirely self-indulgent and not a strong candidate for a top-of-the-card main eventer. I stand by that, but I think at the same time, it’s important to understand why I thought differently for so long. It’s this string of heel performances that he puts on for the next sixteen-ish months. It’s so good.


  • Jericho fakes being hurt after Juvi dumps him outside and tries to just get a countout loss so he can leave with his title. He keeps peering around before faking dead, which has the fans right in front of him cracking up. He’s almost too good at this; it should be heel work, but we’re on the forefront of fans just appreciating cleverness in their wrestlers regardless of characterization or face/heel alliance.


  • There are crazy spots in this, too, like Jericho using the steps as a springboard to dive at Juvi and getting draped across the rail, or Juvi doing an Asai moonsault that gets caught in mid-air so that Jericho can spike Juvi with a Tombstone. Jericho throws his single-footed muscle-pose pin attempt in there, too. He’s doing a little bit of everything and doing it exceptionally well tonight. This is another match in which the explosive face has his bursts of offense stuffed by a wily heel, and it works really nicely as a structure. When Juvi does a big move, it feels as though he’s earned it.


  • Juvi slips a counter-Juvi Driver in when Jericho tries leapfrogging him and then pops off a 450 for three…except no, Jericho grabs the rope at 2.9. The crowd is pissed at the ref indicating that Juvi didn’t actually get the win (except for the small cadre of Jericho fans). Jericho jumps Juvi from behind and puts in a ton of work as both guys try to finish one another with big bombs and flash counters. They go move for countermove and have a couple of false finishes that even I bite on until finally, Jericho counters a rana attempt into a Walls of Jericho for the win. GODDAM THAT WAS GREAT. Jericho grabs the mic and celebrates his hard-won victory, thanks the Jerichoholics for their support, and dedicates his win to them – oops, that gets a small pop. It’s a bummer that Bischoff wants to unmask all his luchadores, though. That he couldn’t see the marketing possibility in awesome lucha masks is somewhat staggering. Even Vince McMahon, who is extremely provincial about pro wrestling and what it should be, understood the concept of selling Rey Misterio masks to fans. There’s zero excuse for Bischoff failing to understand any of this.


  • This show has been a minor classic so far.


  • As I say that, Mongo McMichael’s music hits. Not that I don’t like him! It’s just that unless there is liberal ringside brawling in this match pitting him against the British Bulldog, it’s going to probably be pretty rough going. Then again, I just saw Jim Neidhart have a really fun five minute TV match with Mongo, so maybe if it’s short and somewhat violent, we got a shot. They actually start out working with some pace and work a sequence that ends in a Mongo tilt-a-whirl slam, so that’s good! Then Bulldog works Mongo’s leg and puts on a shitty Sharpshooter, which is less good! This match isn’t bad, but the last few weeks, they did a bunch of pull-apart brawls with one another that had energy, and this match should have followed up on that energy.


  • By the time they make it out to ringside, the energy is entirely dissipated and the brawl can’t get it back (though Mongo swings wildly at Bulldog and punches the post, which is a cool spot. That hand injury leads to the finish, as Bulldog follows up and works the hand so that when Mongo goes for the Mongo Spike, Mongo can’t lift Bulldog. Davey Boy immediately follows up with an armbar that eventually coaxes a submission out of Mongo, though after the match, Mongo shoves the ref and denies that he ever submitted at all. Sure, why not pretend that you were saying “I live” instead of “I give” or whatever? You have to preserve your ego somehow, Mongo. That was an inoffensive match, and hey, we did need a comedown match between Juvi/Jericho and…


  • Chris Benoit/Diamond Dallas Page. After the feeling out process, Page starts to use his size advantage to win the advantage, shoving Benoit around and hitting a big gutbuster. The gutbuster just pisses off Benoit, though, who drapes Page across the ropes on a front suplex. Benoit goes for the Crossface, but is too near the ropes. Both guys have built their finishers as flash finishers that can come at any time very effectively, which adds considerable drama to the match. Also, these guys wrestle like they’re always ready to start a brawl, which they do with disrespectful slaps that lead to punches. This match basically is some very entertaining counter-wrestling with an extra edge of heatedness. Page busts out big power moves; Benoit works holds and throws tons of strikes.


  • Benoit tries a Million Dollar Dream at one point, then a sleeper at another; Page tosses him over the top rope blindly to break the second one, then follows up with a superplex that gets a standing ten count. Page is back up and in control, but gets flash countered into a Crippler Crossface again. It’s again too near the ropes to win the match. Page continues to press his power advantage, but only gets two on a belly-to-belly. Benoit responds with three rolling Germans that gets 2.9 (and part of the crowd boos at what I guess they think is a slow count).


  • After all those impact moves, the finish can’t be far away. Page gets two on a leaping DDT, then calls for the Diamond Cutter. Benoit blocks it, turns around, hooks DDP’s arms, and tries a backslide. Page leans forward and uses his power advantage to induce Benoit to flip backwards and over Page’s head, and as soon as Benoit lands in front of him, he applies the Diamond Cutter and gets three. That wasn’t quite a classic match, but it was very good! Benoit is clearly on or near Page’s level after that match, which since Page is threatening to be a World title contender, means that this match was pretty big for his card positioning in the future.


  • The Giant will be back on Nitro the night after this show! I missed the big lug.


  • Savage and Luger have their no-DQ match next. Randy Savage is over as a babyface in front of this crowd, which yeah, might as well turn him babyface at this point. Maybe let him be a tweener who tends to attack heels more than faces. Luger comes out with his ribs all taped up. Everyone’s curious about the relationship between Luger and Savage because of their parking lot meeting on the Thunder previous, but eh, I just want to see a good brawl. The storyline element doesn’t grab me. Luger immediately signals that his ribs are too hurt to do a press slam, so that’s probably not great for Luger’s “lift a guy in the air”-based offense! It might be time to depend on the metal forearm as your big move, Luger.


  • So, yeah, Savage targets the ribs in a mostly plodding ringside brawl that is sort of a bummer? Savage has really found some new life as a performer working as an on-the-edge tweener over the past couple months, IMO, and I think he brings a lot of energy to this, but it’s just a wandering brawl in which Luger sells a lot. I mean, Savage even turns around and looks like he’s going to fight a few fans until Doug Dellinger cuts him off – Savage is trying his best to bring some real intensity to this.


  • So, yeah, Luger gets his ass beat for ages, but makes a comeback that no one buys, and gets Savage up in the rack. The crowd boos. Liz runs in and rakes Luger’s eyes, causing him to drop Savage. The crowd pops HUGE. OK, Savage and Liz as tweener renegades! Yeah, that’s it! That’s what we want! I want it, too! I agree with the Cow Palace on this one! So, the nWo runs out and feints at Luger, but runs at Savage to divert Savage completely. Luger is able to slip the Torture Rack back on a distracted Savage for the win, and the crowd is not pleased with this, and neither am I. I guess you gotta turn Luger full nWo after this one because that’s the only way it works. Luger looks like a chump and Savage looks like a damn beast. But Savage is my second-favorite wrestler ever behind Bret Hart, so I am PSYCHED about being excited to see what he does next again!


  • The Outsiders come out and Kevin Nash is announced as being from “North Scottsdale, Arizona.” So, at least at the time, South Scottsdale is where all the day-laborers lived. They all worked for the wealthy financiers, execs, athletes, and pro wrestling stars in North Scottsdale. Nash sure made a very precise request for his announced hometown. You can just say “Scottsdale” and people think you’re wealthy, no need to be specific for the WCW fans in Maricopa County.


  • Yeah, so the Outsiders are with Dusty Rhodes, and they’re facing the Steiner Brothers for the WCW Tag Team Championship. This match was the one that was spoiled by the screen cap for the show. Then again, I’d be waiting for what is an obviously telegraphed heel turn all match anyway, so maybe it doesn’t matter so much about the spoilery screen cap. Rick starts the match and about three minutes in, Rick clears the ring and then does that HOO HOO HOO dog thing where Scott Steiner stands above Rick while Rick barks. Scott takes this opportunity to wink at Hall and then double axehandles Rick. Scott Steiner suplexes Rick and punches Ted DiBiase. Dusty posts DiBiase at ringside while Scott trades too-sweets with Hall and Nash. The crowd, of course, pops huge for this. Oops!


  • Hall goes straight into a cover, but Rick kicks out at two and even fights back a bit, so Scott Steiner runs a distraction that allows Nash to clobber Rick. Hall takes two tries, but finally gets Rick up for a Razor’s Edge that does get three. Bonus: DiBiase’s probably off TV now! Seems like it’s almost a face turn for ol’ Scotty in this household! I guess you can forgive a man for running you off the road and nearly killing you if you get annoyed enough at having to spend most of your time with your slowpoke moron brother.




  • It’s main event time. Let’s finally put the gold on Sting with a proper finish. Please. Sting charges the ring and Hulk Hogan already has his weight belt off. He whips Sting with it, then chokes him. OK, that was cool. The match doesn’t really pay off that violent start, though. We get…another boring wandering ringside brawl, two matches after the last one. I would argue that Mongo/Bulldog demanded some ringside brawling because of the build to the match, and maybe Savage/Luger needed some since it was no-DQ and Savage is the ringside brawler type, but this match did not need that. The weight belt spot was great, but we’re doing an extended Hogan beatdown out of the ring for the first couple of minutes. Seen it, don’t feel this match needs it.


  • The other issue is that Sting should dominate this. He should have dominated the Starrcade match, actually. Someone mentioned in a post earlier in this thread that the match probably should have been shorter and akin to a slightly extended squash, if I’m paraphrasing that person correctly. This match has the same issue. Hogan dominating for the first five minutes sucks, man, Sting’s supposed to be this nigh-unbeatable avenger of WCW, not a dude who sells a bunch while Hogan runs through okay offense. Sting does get a pop for getting back up after that extended beating and kinda no-selling it at the end, but I didn’t want to see Sting do a bunch of selling before that Sting Up.


  • Sting returns the favor with the weight belt. You know, that weight belt is a great prop. The weight belt spots in this match remind me of a lesser (but still successfully executed) version of the weight belt spots in Hogan/Rock. Man, Hogan/Rock was so good. I digress. Sting does dominate the next segment of the match, and he locks on the Scorpion Death Lock, but Hogan’s at the ropes. Whatever. That should have been the finish. But no! We get a fucking ref bump. Fuck off.


  • So, we get the ref bump in order for Nick Patrick to come down and properly count a two-count after a Hogan Legdrop. I do have to say that the look Hogan gives Patrick for counting properly is HILARIOUS. Holy shit. That could easily be a custom emoji, useful for replaying with anytime someone says something suspect (or batshit insane). But the downside is that the story of the next segment of the match is the GODDAM REDEMPTION OF NICK PATRICK. Holy shit, this sucks. Sting was an afterthought in both of these title matches.


  • So yeah, more Hogan control, more ringside brawling, another Sting Up, and eventually, a match that is at least ten minutes too long finally ends with Sting hitting two Stinger Splashes and a Stinger Death Drop…and there’s ANOTHER ref bump so that Sting can fight off B-Teamers…and so that Savage can now be the focus of the story and hit Hogan with a spray paint can…and Sting STILL can’t get a simple clean win over Hogan…What THEE fuck….


  • This was a good PPV ultimately, but my advice is to either a) stop watching it after the high point of Juvi/Jericho or b) stop watching it after the Scott Steiner heel turn, which is acceptable but clearly signifies that the show is on a downward slope. Bischoff, it’s so simple. Just have Sting kill off Hogan in six or seven minutes! Actually, go further: Have them face off at Starrcade and have Sting hit two Stinger Splashes and lock on the Scorpion Death Lock right at the bell and win it inside of a minute.


  • But to have TWO, count ‘em, TWO matches in which Sting doesn’t get a clean, no fuckery involved win over Hogan after a year-plus of set-up! TWO! Fire Bischoff now please. But don’t hire Russo! Just fire Bischoff.
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Show #129 – 23 February 1998

"The one that seems determined to waste Bret Hart in a bunch of feuds and matches that already happened in early '90s WWF”

  • SuperBrawl was an all-time great WCW show halfway through, a good one up through the semi-main, and then a confounding and disappointing mess once the main event was over.


  • DDP thinks one of the big lows of SuperBrawl was Scott Steiner backstabbing his bro Rick. Nah, that was pretty good. Now, the main event…eh, let me leave it. Book thinks that Scott Steiner sold out. He’d never turn on Stevie like that. Well, uh, did anyone ask Stevie this question because I’m not sure he’d say the same?! Ric Flair thinks that Rick will get revenge on Scotty. Bret Hart empathizes with Rick because, without dropping his name, he notes that Owen did the same-ass shit to him a few years back. He thinks that it’ll hurt more people than just the two involved. I mean, Bret knows something about family feuds in both kayfabe and shoot life, and I trust his insight as I do on all matters even tangentially related to pro wrestling.


  • I hate it when people call this place “the Left Coast,” stuff it, Tony S.


  • Gene Okerlund catches Rick Steiner entering the building and asks him the hard-hitting questions that a journalist would think to ask, but us normies at home would never even come up with. For example: “Rick, what’s going on with you and your brother Scotty, is there a break-up?” It’s not quite his masterclass interview of a limping Madusa fifteen seconds after she lost her career in a career vs. title match, but man, it’s something!


  • I find it a bit strange that we open with a lot of Steiner stuff and very little about Sting being the world champ. Maybe that’s just me.


  • Lex Luger opens the show in the same arena where he was unveiled as the Narcissist a scant five years (and change) ago. The nWo music starts randomly, and Luger has to put his hands up and signal it to stop so that he can talk. He congratulates Sting on his victory last night and is also heated at/disappointed in Scott Steiner like everyone else. Then he calls Steiner out for a fight, which probably is gonna lead to…yeah…there’s the nWo theme, totally on cue. Fuckin’ Craig Leathers.


  • Well, we don’t get Scott Steiner out here. We get Curt Hennig coming down alongside Rick Rude. That’s less exciting, especially because about five years ago, give or take a month, these two had a crappy match at WM IX. And they’re five years older. And I think Hennig’s WCW run has been, maybe not shitty, but definitely mired in mediocrity. Hennig didn’t even have a fun match with Kanyon. That’s a bellwether right there. Hennig kinda sucks now. This is barely a match, but the fun part is Scotty running in looking like a living Superstar Billy Graham tribute (which he is, TBH) to attack Luger. Wait, he just takes Hennig’s place in this match? What the fuck? Luger comes back with a lariat and a metal forearm, then a powerslam, but Buff Bagwell runs in and jumps Luger and now I guess the ref can call for the bell, whatever. Rick Steiner runs in for the save, but a bunch of B-Teamers jump him when he squares up with Scott. Sting rappels down to chase off the B-Teamers. The crowd was into all the run-ins, so that’s cool. I thought this was not so great, but the Sacramento crowd is lively tonight. 


  • Hammer’s going to wrestle a match on Nitro, huh? The whole Flock comes down to ringside with him. Oh, this explains the whole Flock being here: His opponent is DDP. This is a decent TV match with a handful of cool counters, including a surprisingly cool one where Hammer hops out of a vertical suplex attempt and suplexes Page backwards over his head and across the top rope. As I recall, Hammer could be a fun TV worker at this point in his career, which he never was in that first run. Page hits a nasty lariat and, after catching a jawbreaker, crotches Hammer on the top rope and hits a Diamond Cutter from that position for three. Solid stuff. Page has to fight off the Flock post-match, but Raven catches him from behind and is only run off when Benoit hits the ring for the save.


  • Hogan and Bischoff show up and angrily talk to Vincent and I…don’t…CAAAAAAAARE.


  • Oh, we’re going to watch them walk-and-talk, like an Aaron Sorkin show. This is more the quality of a walk-and-talk in The Newsroom than in The West Wing, IMO.


  • Hogan is big mad and is going to take his weekly TV time to cut a bad promo as usual. Hogan wants a cage match against someone, Sting or Randy Savage, at Uncensored. I wasn’t paying attention. No, wait, it's Savage he challenges. Savage responds from the stands and tells Hogan that instead of Hogan kicking him out of the nWo, Savage is kicking Hogan out. I love Savage’s shirt, which is him behind bars, his hands gripping said bars. I want one of those. The crowd wants Savage to take over the nWo and honestly, this dude kinda rules again. So I guess that match is on for Uncensored. Also, Sting and Scott Hall wrestle tonight. Maybe Hall’s title shot from WW3 gets blown off here?


  • It's our first Kaz Hayashi sighting on Nitro! Kaz is taking on Ultimo Dragon, who is wearing a sweet get-up in the colors of the Mexican flag. Kaz hits a dope twisting Sukahara to the outside that gets an OHH because, man, that was a beautiful dive. Kaz follows up with a backbreaker and a pretty moonsault from the top. It only gets two, and Kaz gets another two off a Frankensteiner shortly after. I’ve noticed that Dragon is really nice about letting some of these wrestlers with no shine get a lot of their best stuff in on him in these TV matches. Kaz hits a Dragon Suplex with a bridge for two, but gets caught taking his time to get up top. Dragon follows up with a top-rope rana and a Dragon Sleeper, but Kaz throws a kick behind his head to break it. Dragon just does a face twist and a nasty kick to the spine, then re-applies it for the win. Quite enjoyable!


  • Gene shills the WCW Hotline and teases an exclusive Mike Tenay interview with a man who walked out of SuperBrawl with gold. He notes the “deplorable conduct” of this man. Well, if we look at the champions right now, Jericho and the Outsiders are the heel champs, and the Outsiders probably aren’t having a sit-down with Mike Tenay in kayfabe, so, uh, no need to get all secretive about who it is.


  • Nitro Party video from dudes in some Ohio dorm.


  • Raven wanders out by himself, which is bad news for him since Chris Benoit follows him out and jumps him to cheers from the crowd. This is actually the next matchup, but I guess Benoit’s been noticing that you can jump a dude before the bell and the ref’s just like, EH, FUCK IT, WE’LL JUST RING THE BELL WHENEVER YOU’RE READY TO TOSS YOUR FALLEN OPPONENT IN HERE. I guess this is probably a Raven’s Rules match anyway, even if that stip hasn’t been mentioned in a while, so whatever. Benoit dominates, but Raven dodges a diving headbutt and gets two off an immediate cover. The match spills back outside, then Raven gets a chair and sets it up in the ring. He hits a running bulldog on the chair for two. Tony S. mentions that this is a Raven’s Rules matchup, actually. Raven hits more chair-related offense, particularly a baseball slide into the chair/Benoit’s head, and then garners a big RAVEN SUCKS chant. I can see why he was so (shoot) tense and shitty to Stevie at this time; he probably (somewhat rightfully) feels like he’s on the cusp of a potential main event run in a big company.


  • Anyway, Raven dives off the top rope with the chair and Benoit strikes it into his face, then starts his comeback. Raven takes a bump into the chair, set up in the corner, and hangs himself over the middle rope. Benoit hits the rolling Germans, which are now a signature spot for him, and Raven kicks out at two. The Flock has seen enough and runs in; Kidman hits the ring first and draws a DQ win for Benoit. Benoit fights these dudes off until Riggs attacks Benoit from behind. The crowd starts chanting for DDP, and they get their wish. While Page tries to make the save, Benoit swings wildly and hits DDP, and then Page, Benoit, and Raven all start fighting one another. I smell a triple threat match! Benoit and DDP fight off the Flock, but also think about fighting one another, maybe.


  • Chris Jericho is RUDE and wears Juvi’s mask after winning that mask-versus-title match the previous night. It was a FANTASTIC match and worth a (re-)watch if you haven’t seen it in a minute (or ever). Jericho celebrates his victory on the mic before wrestling Lenny Lane. Jericho thinks he’s gorgeous and should take off the mask for the Jerichoholics in the arena and at home. He demands that this show be called Monday Jericho, and he says he talked with J.J. Dillon and Dillon is “83% sure that they’re gonna change the name.” This idiot has me cracking up.


  • Like Raven, Jericho is also very over as a heel in front of this crowd. Jericho eats a dropkick to the mush, screams AAAAH, takes a lariat, screams AAAGHAHAGG, then rolls out of the ring and runs away from Lane. I’m glad I’m watching Jericho during this period again because man, I forgot why I was so high on him once. He really was that great as a despicable, deluded heel. I think he nails the balance and that his heeling is incredibly entertaining, but not entertaining enough for me to actually root for him, though some fans are just going to go straight to “entertaining = I’m cheering for him,” which is a shame.


  • Jericho skins the cat like his hero Shawn Michaels, but it goes poorly for him since Lane just clotheslines him over the top rope, then follows up with a somersault dive. Jericho finally gets some room and tries a Lion Tamer, but Lane flips Jericho over for a 2.9. Lane follows up with a springboard sunset flip, but Jericho rolls through and manages to lock the Lion Tamer on for the win this time around. That was so much fun. Jericho demands that Charles Robinson raise his hand in victory multiple times because of course he does.


  • We see the new-look Scott Steiner work over Lex Luger again as the desk talks about his villainous turn some more. Also, the desk teases someone being in the limo that Hogan got out of. I can’t imagine who it might be if it gets followed through with, and I don’t think I care. (EDITOR'S NOTE: I was right not to care.)


  • Vincent comes out for a match. He talks shit to the camera about the Steiners. I do like his shit-talking, which basically is this: There were two Steiners who wanted to be known as the Steiner Brothers, but now there is only one! And after this match, when I whoop Rick’s ass, there won’t be any. Now that’s how you talk shit. Rick Steiner comes out, Ted DiBiase behind him. So, you’ll be surprised to learn that despite his boasts, Vincent actually spends all of his time in this match getting his ass beat. Well, at least he made a good boast even if he didn’t back it up. Rick gets the win after Vincent very obviously stumbles into position for a Steiner bulldog from the top. Rick has a freakout after the match and plays Tyson to Vincent’s Holyfield.


  • Yuji Nagata’s still kicking around WCW and Sonny Onoo’s still kicking around with Nagata. The sirens hit and Saturn comes out alone to face off with Nagata. There’s some mediocre mat stuff that leads to a standoff. Nagata gets the advantage with strikes. Saturn hits back with a full nelson suplex. Onoo interjects himself to help Nagata gain control again. “Control” in this case amounts to some boring leg work. I mean, this is a lot of boring leg work. It goes on for-fucking-ever, it feels like. Saturn finally frickin’ makes a comeback and gets two off a belly-to-belly. Just please end this thing and get to something more interesting. I do like Nagata’s belly-to-back suplex, though. Nagata goes for the Nagata Lock, but both guys are in the ropes, and Saturn capitalizes by getting to standing and then getting the Rings of Saturn on after a drop toehold. That was not good, and it’s mostly because of Nagata.


  • It's, uh, Renegade? And he talks to the camera. He’s just a dude with a ‘stache and a Southern accent now. No running, no face paint, no shaking the ropes. Booker T., the new TV Champ, comes down to defend his title against a man who, you know, I guess is a former TV Champ himself. Yeah, sure, that kayfabe explains this title shot. When we last saw Renegade on Nitro, he was screwing over Joe Gomez a lot, and that was actually pretty funny. Wow, Book sticks this dude with a nice lariat. Book hits his spinebuster, which apparently is the 110th St. Slam, but I thought the 110th Street was a big side slam? Eh, I don’t know. Except for a brief, boring heel control spot, Booker just busts out a lot of his offense, and it looks good, and man did that missile dropkick look great and pop the crowd, and Book misses his Harlem Side Kick as Renegade somersaults through it, and he has to hit it again for three. That sentence was more breathless than the action in this match was.




  • Song time is over because ad time is over, and Konnan is here to face off with Lizmark Jr. This match is okay. Lizmark hits a nice springboard dropkick in there. Konnan counters a corner headstand with a flapjack that looks great. There are worse ways to spend five minutes in front of your TV, basically is what I’m saying. You get a 1-8-7 and a Tequila Sunrise, after all. That’s pretty good! Post-match, Konnan cuts a promo on Juvi and runs him down as a maskless chump who failed to join the nWo when Konnan invited him.


  • Vicious and Delicious take on surprisingly fun underneath tag team High Voltage. It starts out a boilerplate, perfectly fine tag match. Buff celebrates. Buff talks to the camera. Someone holds up a sign that says BUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON on one side and BUFF 4 PRESIDENT on the other. Buff slaps a dude and gets a receipt for it. You know, same ol’ same ol’. High Voltage busts out at least one cool move, per usual. This one is a combo guillotine legdrop/side slam on Scott Norton. There’s one funny spot where Buff hits a move on Kaos, turns around to pose, and gets top-rope bulldog’d by Rage. Geez, then Rage deadlift belly-to-belly suplexes Buff. OK, this isn’t quite boilerplate anymore. It’s actually something above that. Hey, now we get a super Blockbuster to finish it. This was pretty fun stuff for a random TV match.


  • Eddy Guerrero is very surly. Disco Inferno is very excited to dance. Man, it’s so much fun to do your own mock disco dance when Disco’s music hits. Haha, Eddy lounges in the corner while Disco dances and when Disco stops, Eddy gets down and asks ARE YOU DONE? Wow, what a party pooper this dude Eddy is! This TV match is a reminder that Disco can go if he really needs to. Eddy’s a pacey wrestler and Disco stays with him. Eddy and Disco trade offense; Disco gets two off a vertical suplex. Eddy flips out of Disco’s next suplex attempt and chop blocks Disco, though.


  • Eddy does a bit of knee targeting. It’s not too interesting, but it’s also not too long. Eddy looks for a Frog Splash and gets caught; the men fight over corner control, and Disco tosses Eddy to the mat and catches him with a swinging neckbreaker. A Disco front suplex gets two. Charles Robinson forces a break in the corner, and Eddy trips Disco and goes back to the knee. He drops an elbow on it while leaping over the ropes, then missile dropkicks the knee. That leaves Disco totally cooked; Eddy follows up with a Frog Splash for three. This got less pacey at the end, but it was decent TV wrestling no matter the pace.


  • The Nitro Girls dance. They peel off their t-shirts and reveal tiny tops underneath. The crowd pops. The desk pops. I didn’t pop, but it wasn’t the most unpleasant thing I’ve ever seen on a wrestling show, let’s say.


  • Gene Okerlund talks to J.J. Dillon. Dillon takes like two whole minutes to tell us that Sting is the champion and the decision from last night will stand. Yeah, we know, stupid. Now Dillon calls out Nick Patrick. How do the refs decide which one will run down to spell a hurt ref in the ring? Do they draw straws? Do they just set an orderbeforehand? Does the most senior ref still available run down? Anyway, Patrick talks for long enough to indicate that the Nick Patrick, Dodgy Ref angle is finally FUCKING over, praise the wrestling gods. This thing started shortly before Clash 34, to give you an idea of how long it’s gone on.


  • Brad Armstrong was revived after getting his ass beat by Goldberg for just long enough to get out there and get his ass beat by Ric Flair the next night. Pro wrestling is a rough way to make a living. Armstrong actually gets in a lot of offense and wins a fairly intense chop battle. He gets two off a side Russian leg sweep. He even hits a pretty good missile dropkick! But all it takes is a Flair ball shot to lead to the Figure Four. Flair was nice to Bullet Bob’s kid with all the offense-taking stuff, but I think the crowd just wanted to see more Flair domination.


  •  That one Giant/Nash promo with the gross powerbomb plays again, and…


  • …the Giant comes down IRL while wearing a neck brace. The Giant cuts a pretty intense promo about how Nash was trying to spike him in that match and how the pain from said neck spike that he feels every day reminds him to maybe murder Kevin Nash for that spike powerbomb at some point. The Giant is all like, Man, fuck the doctors and their suggestions that I should retire and tells Nash that he will fight him anywhere for a chance at destroying him. He’s not even worried about Nash trying to powerbomb again. Fuck it, he just wants to kill this dude. Now, that’s some good talkin’!


  • Gene Okerlund conducted that previous interview and sticks around through the break to do another interview with one of the nWo's "latest additions." I vainly hope for Scott Steiner, but I know it’s Brian Adams. It’s Brian Adams. Adams cuts a goofy promo, but the crowd pops for Adams’s threats to physically harm Mean Gene. I get it, I sympathize and even empathize with this crowd. But this promo STINKS, let me tell you. It also seems to set up a mini-feud between Adams and Bret Hart, which I do not want at all. What is this, 1994 WWF? Fuck off.


  • Bret comes down to the ring to beat this chump’s ass, but he should send Neidhart because fuckin’ CRUSH isn’t worth his time unless Ax, Smash, or Clarke is with him. Hart gets knocked around a bit, but he does that cool hockey fight spot where he pulls the guy’s shirt over his head and punches him a billion times. Has CM Punk stolen that yet? If not, he should. Bret locks on the Sharpshooter, and Curt Hennig jumps him from behind. I want to see Hart/Hogan and Hart/Sting, not Hart/dudes he wrestled in WWF in 1992 – 1994. Hart wins that Hennig fight, too, but Rude jumps in and Ric Flair has to come down. Flair and Hart don’t have any trouble clearing the ring, and the crowd is admittedly hyped to see Flair and Hart beat up a bunch of nWo jabronies. But [imagine me vocalizing this in the same way that Big E would say it about wanting to see five-star matches as a young wrestling fan] NOT ME.


  • Flair gets a mic and is basically like, Hey Bret, you beat me in a match, so now we’re friends. Don’t you hate Hulk Hogan, too? He sucks, huh? I like you and you really are the best there is and was sometimes at least, but I’m great too, and we’re both great. Flair is real misty-eyed about Arn Anderson retiring, still. He appreciates that Bret called him "the man" after beating him at Souled Out. Flair is super-excited about maybe beating up Curt Hennig some more alongside Bret. Then, Bret’s like, Man, I should wrestle more often actually, yeah, I want to fight the nWo. And I’m like, will he challenge Hogan now? And Bret’s like, I challenge you Hennig, at Uncensored. DAMMIT. Flair thrusts his junk at a portly fan in an nWo shirt at ringside. Bret doesn’t disapprove, exactly, but he doesn't look like he's into all the junk thrusting.


  • So, Scott Hall’s supposed to be out here to cash in his title shot and wrestle Sting for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, but the whole nWo comes to the ring except for Scott Hall. Also, by the time Bischoff starts jabbering on, we’re under five minutes to the end of the show. Sting walks down because he doesn’t care, whatever, he’s probably got a better shot at fighting all of the nWo at once compared to just Hogan based on the last year-plus of results. We get Scott Hall in the Fake Sting getup running up behind Sting and hitting him with a bat so that we can get a gang beatdown in what is a disappointing, but not surprising bait-and-switch move. Savage runs in to get at Hogan more than to save Sting, but he also gets jumped. BOOK SOMETHING DIFFERENT, ERIC.


  • Oh wow, Ed Leslie is back with a beard and a vest, and I guess he’s the Disciple now because pro wrestling is kind of bad, sometimes?


  • Luger brings a chair and cuts off the beatdown/spray painting of Savage and Sting. The desk is like WHO DID HE COME OUT TO SAVE, and no, that’s not getting any traction, fellas.


  • This show was fine, but the main event scene is crap, which I probably say too often. 3.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmUgly
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16 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:

Show #130 – 23 February 1998

  • Luger brings a chair and cuts off the beatdown/spray painting of Savage and Sting. The desk is like WHO DID HE COME OUT TO SAVE, and no, that’s not getting any traction, fellas.

well how about that? the original trio that tried to fend off the nWo's arrival. 19 months later, i'd say it's fair to say that they failed miserably. but maybe the coming weeks and months will show WCW standing tall against Hogan and his cronies?

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3 hours ago, twiztor said:

well how about that? the original trio that tried to fend off the nWo's arrival. 19 months later, i'd say it's fair to say that they failed miserably. but maybe the coming weeks and months will show WCW standing tall against Hogan and his cronies?

IIRC, and I think I do, all these fellas ended up opposing Hogan together...in the nWo Wolfpac. 

Poor old WCW. Will no one defend her honor?!

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Thunder Interlude – show number eight – 26 February 1998

"The WCW Gang glimpses into multiple possible futures”

  • I’m weirdly enjoying Thunder more than Nitro at this time…that two-hour runtime (which comes to about an hour-twenty in real time) is a big reason why, I think…lots of good matches and not too much yappin’ or filler…


  • Lee Marshall says that he talked to Scott Steiner and was like, What are you going to say to poor old mom and dad back at home?...He reports that Scott was like, I still love that doofus Rick, I’ll bring him over to the nWo…By beating his ass and humiliating him?...I see a flaw in that plan…


  • Chris Jericho and Eddy Guerrero tag up tonight against Booker T. and Dean Malenko…This has potential…These moron heels cover each other’s ears in anger as the crowd chants EDDY SUCKS, hahaha…Cedar Rapids pops for a Booker shoulder block on Jericho…They are excited for some live pro wrestling, I think…


  • After a very early break, we come back to Eddy working over Malenko…Cool spot where Malenko slides under Eddy to the floor below and hits a baseball slide on a wandering Jericho, then yanks Eddy off the apron…Malenko ends up as FIP, though…This crowd is very excited to be here and tries to cheer Malenko on as he struggles for a hot tag…An aside: Tony S. reveals that the over-the-top-rope DQ has been eliminated by the WCW rules committee, which is fine with me…While solid workers can work around limitations like that and great ones can weave them into their matches (see Watts’s top-rope-move ban as another example), it just limits most matches…


  • Booker gets sick of all the double-teaming and does a bit of his own, kicking Jericho in the back of the head on a Lion Tamer attempt…he gets the hot tag and throws a nasty lariat at Eddy, then hits a gorilla press…Booker dodges a Jericho elbowdrop as he pins Eddy to the crowd’s delight…Seriously, I’m enjoying this crowd…Eddy hits Booker with a Frog Splash for the clean win while Malenko has Jericho tied up in the Texas Cloverleaf…


  • Booker and Eddy are wrestling for the TV Championship at Uncensored…Jericho and Malenko are wrestling for the Cruiserweight Championship at Uncensored…Uncensored looks pretty good right now even though I know everyone thinks that all of them stunk…


  • Diamond Dallas Page is scheduled to wrestle Chris Benoit again later on this show…Page has an interview with Mike Tenay right now…It’s all respect, respect, respect regarding Benoit…Raven doesn’t get any love from Page, though…Raven cuts in on the segment and wants some damn attention and love because he’s a depressed Gen-Xer…Also, he wants a U.S. Championship shot…Page is cool with that and offers him a shot right now…Raven declines because he wants to be in the main event on Thunder, at the very least…Raven suggests next Thursday on Thunder...Page agrees to this…


  • Finlay against Brad Armstrong seems like a fun time…Finlay outwrestles Armstrong on the mat early…They spill outside, and back in the ring, Finlay controls with European uppercuts…The thing I like most about Finley is his mean offense, like stomping on Armstrong’s fingers…Armstrong does get control and earn a couple of two-counts…Armstrong misses a corner charge and gets drilled by a Finlay Tombstone that ends the match…


  • Dave Taylor walks out to class up the joint…The fan with the SPACE FOR RENT sign made me laugh, I don’t care how dumb a sign gag that is…His opponent is that fookin’ yobbo from Leeds, Davey Boy Smith…Taylor probably went to Eton…Bulldog went to [DDP VOICE] the school of hard knocks…I guess Mongo has an injured arm and Bulldog is credited with injuring it, don’t know if it’s a worked injury or not, but it seems like Mongo's out for a bit…Bulldog wins a short one after little resistance from Taylor by hitting his running powerslam…


  • Curt Hennig cuts an interview with Mike Tenay…Tenay thinks that Hennig’s problems with Bret Hart go back as far as Hart declining to join the nWo…Well, I mean, you could at least allude to a history between them longer than that because that is a nonsense assertion to make…But maybe 1998 WCW fans don’t know much about 1991-1993 WWF…Hennig re-hashes the “my dad beat his dad” issue from KotR 1993…This promo is a thing that happens, and neither sucks badly nor entertains greatly…


  • Rick Fuller comes out. Someone hits the nWo music, which plays over the top of his music…Leathers, you clueless fuck, get your production truck in line…Goldberg comes out to kill this dude Fuller off…Fuller actually hits a pretty nice big boot, but it just pisses Goldberg off…Spear, Jackhammer, SPLAT…


  • Raven and the Flock come to their ringside seats…Raven is booked against Kevin Nash later tonight, which I cannot imagine will actually happen…


  • La Parka’s got to try and get something decent out of Yuji Nagata tonight…This is, in fact, decent, though Nagata does his part…Parka does a chair-assisted springboard splash, but Nagata has to stand there waiting for the impact a bit too long, I think…It's a crack in the illusion that very briefly takes me out of the match...Parka gets a cover off a twisting Sukahara, but Sonny Onoo draws the ref over…Disco comes down and Chartbusters Onoo on the floor…Nagata wins a fight over the chair in the ring and uses it on Parka, followed by a match-winning Figure Four Nagata Lock…


  • I wonder if Scott Hall actually cashed his title shot in on a chance to jump Sting in the aisle on Nitro…Let’s find out if that WW3 win ever gets paid off…The crowd pops big when Hall gets in the ring and serves up a HEY YO…As large as the cheer for WCW is, the nWo gets a massive pop…I think Cedar Rapids just loves pro wrestling…Ah, they’re going to do Hall/Sting at Uncensored, but not as the main event probably since Hogan/Savage in a cage is happening at that event…Hall cuts a promo on Sting that’s pretty good…


  • AHAHAHAHAHAHA somebody in the crowd heaves a NERF football that hits Lee MarshallTony S. says “Make sure you catch that football next time” and just keeps on talking…Hilarious…Tony announces that Sting and Savage have agreed to tag up against Hogan and Scott Hall in the next Nitro’s main event…Sounds decent, but maybe have them wrestle for more than six minutes before the fuck finish this time…


  • Buff Bagwell comes to the ring and does a takeoff on Michael Buffer that is markedly worse than Road Dogg’s takeoff on Michael Buffer…He introduces Scott Steiner…Oh yeah, they called him White Thunder for a bit before settling on (the superior) Big Poppa Pump…I forgot about that early nickname…Marty Jannetty is Steiner’s opponent…Steiner cuts a pre-match promo in which he hews much closer to Superstar Graham’s verbiage than he would later down the road…I prefer so-roided-he’s-unhinged heel Steiner to this version of heel Steiner…This dude is out here comparing colleges with Luger, like get outta here…


  • The match is a brief showcase of Steiner killing a dude…I really like Steiner Oklahoma slamming Jannetty into the Tree of Woe position and then clubbing him with forearms from there…Steiner threatens Mickey Jay…Yeah, be more hair-trigger angry, please…Steiner hits a top-rope Frankensteiner for three…He’s so massive that he probably needs to switch to the Steiner Recliner ASAP…


  • Curt Hennig is back out to face Jim Neidhart, which Hennig mentioned in his earlier promo would happen…Neidhart’s name is spelled JIM NIEDHART on the chyron…Anvil hits a couple of moves early so that Hennig can bump and sell ostentatiously…Scott Steiner comes up on the desk and takes Marshall’s headset so that he can threaten Tony S. for trying to foment a rift between he and his brother…Scott talks to Rick and says he’s coming to see him later that night to convince him to join the nWo…Again, maybe it was a shitty idea to attack the guy first and sell dual nWo membership later, Scott?...


  • In the ring, Vincent runs in to draw a DQ and gets beaten up until Brian Adams runs down and starts a three-on-one beatdown…Bulldog comes out for the save, but not Bret…Geez, Bret, no wonder everyone turned on you, you don’t give any backup at all…Wait, let us assume that the Hitman is a generally good man and supportive friend who just wasn’t in the arena tonight instead of assuming the worst…


  • Nash cuts a promo on the Giant in one of those old black-and-white nWo announcements that we haven’t seen in awhile…There’s a part of this promo in which Nash laughs that has been somewhat immortalized as a reaction GIF…


  • Raven comes down and is irritated that WCW is making the Flock and the nWo kill one another off with this match booking…Raven reminds us of Raven’s Rules and then decides that Raven’s Rules call for a battle royal-style match tonight…This is just a chance for Nash to chuck dudes a bunch, whatever…Said chucking of dudes gets Nash face pop...It must be nice for Nash to be the guy, for once, who has dudes run at him one by one so they can get launched…Hammer gets in a big flying clothesline from the top, but summarily eats a big boot and gets eliminated…Nash and Saturn square off, but Nash opts to Jackknife Lodi instead and summarily gets handcuffed and carted out…


  • I feel cheated, sort of?...I knew this match wouldn’t happen, but I don’t like what did happen…before getting cuffed, Nash hits Lodi with another powerbomb, and now is up to 350K in fines for powerbombing dudes…Oh wow, Nash is over as a rebel tweener after powerbombing dudes in defiance of WCW's suits, who would have guessed?...They have to turn the Giant heel and do a double-turn as part of this feud to salvage this, IMO…I know the Giant turns nWo again at some point, so maybe this is around that point…Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense what they’re doing with Nash…


  • Chris Benoit and Diamond Dallas Page are the main event again on Thunder…Both men fight over armbars early…They wrestle this match evenly, though the crowd seems to prefer Page having the advantage…The men jaw at one another, slap one another, and fight over a lockup…They end up in the crowd, throwing strikes at one another…Nick Patrick is the ref and has shaved his facial hair to signify that he is finally a babyface again…Benoit hangs Page out to dry back in the ring…Benoit has long control and someone must be bleeding because we get a pan out…Yeah, Page is gushing…Must have been hardway somewhere in there, but I missed it…Raven comes to the ring and attacks both guys for the no contest…Page and Benoit don’t have much in-ring chemistry together, as good as they both are…I enjoyed the SuperBrawl match quite a bit, but the Thunder matches were just okay…


  • Thunder was mostly fun again this week…This show was a glimpse into what would be and what might have been…If a competent booker cycles Hogan, Savage, Nash, Sting down the card by 2000 and cycles Goldberg, Eddy, Booker, Scott Steiner, Jericho up the card in that same time frame, WCW has enough of a talented front to at least be hot enough not to get canceled…Or maybe it was inevitable that they’d be killed off considering the executive changes at AOL Time Warner…That fresh talent is so entertaining, though, and in some universe where WCW hired a booker who’d push them and cut costs, I bet the company's still going strong today…This show gets a WOOOOO
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Show #130 – 02 March 1998

"The one that sets up the great Raven/DDP MTV spot"

  • I have a busy autumn, and I know I’ll fall behind (heh) on these, so with an eye to the future (and a goal to be done reviewing these shows by Q4 2025/Q1 2026 if I can swing it), I’m here to watch me another Nitro.


  • We’re in Philly!


  • Here’s a limo!


  • It’s the nWo!


  • The “vehicle arrives” trope stunk after about the first three months of use in this era, IMO. It should be done sparingly to preserve the excitement of wondering who is inside.


  • A few Flock members come to the ring to support Scotty Riggs in his in-ring endeavors. I give him little chance against his opponent, Chris Benoit. Benoit does a lot of crisp moves that look great. Riggs is a solid midcard/lower-midcard talent, too. I think at some point, I’m going to seek out all the Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling that I can find just to check out how he worked as a main eventer in a small indie. I don’t know what’s out there online because I’ve never tried to search it, but hopefully, enough is out there for consumption.


  • Riggs ekes out a bit of control, but Benoit makes him fight for everything he gets and eventually ducks a lariat and hits the rolling Germans, then transitions into the Crippler Crossface for three. The crowd pops HUGE for that finish. This was entertaining TV wrestling.


  • Flair’s out here hyping Nitro’s tag team main event that he’s not even a part of. We can’t give this guy something to do other than hop on the Hitman’s feud coattails and hype other dudes’ matches? Come on now.


  • The desk hypes Hogan and Savage media appearances while also talking about how egotistical they are to also hype their feud. Also, Randy Savage was the Harvard Lampoon’s Real Man of the Year, which is, in fact, an appropriate choice.


  • Hogan and Bischoff waste perfectly good time and oxygen with an in-ring promo. I will note that Hogan does make some quasi-worked shoot comments about Mach’s failed marriage to Liz, which seems like living on the edge considering that he’s married to Linda Hogan and also is legit nutty in the head his own damn self.


  • There’s a Nitro Party at St. Joe’s, and nothing says dope college party like Gene Okerlund and a bunch of college kids who look like the nerds in that one episode of Futurama that references Animal House. ROBOT HOUSE!


  • We’re twenty minutes in, and it’s awfully nice of Bischoff to give us another wrestling match. I mean, we’re farther in than that if you were watching live because the commercial breaks are included in the live tally, but you know what I mean. Chavo Guerrero Jr. and an unmasked Juventud Guerrera start slower than you might guess, fighting over armbars and going for flash pinfalls. Chavo acts like an irritated veteran rudo in this match, and it gives me something to look forward to because he ruled at this in 2000/2001, if I recall correctly. He was also a pretty great rudo in LU, especially because he was a vet who found out almost every week that while he was still wily in spirit, it wasn’t enough to compensate for all the technicos who would dive off the top of an office roof to beat him.


  • I digress. Chavo does a nice throat-crusher and rolls through into a good-looking legbar, but he ends up eating a Juvi Driver and a 450 for the competitive loss. This was another decent match. Also, Juvi’s English is definitely improved, as he yells THIS IS NOT THE END, THIS IS THE BEGINNING, BABY while pointing at his mask after the match. Aw, I’m so glad for him because Okerlund was a real shithead to this dude while he was still getting comfortable with his English a bunch of Nitros back. You’re supposed to help the guy you interview, not shit on them as they drown.


  • Prince Iaukea has improved into a decent little TV wrestler, and Psicosis is very good, so this next match should be solid. And it is! Psicosis jumps Iaukea and wins the opening sequence with a nice baseball slide. He immediately whiffs on a dive and hits the guardrail after that, but you know, the stuff before it went really well for him. Iaukea drops down and gets caught, though, and Psicosis goes lariat crazy for a bit. He then misses a dropkick and splats himself. Psicosis is on my shortlist of wrestlers who are best at making every whiff look perilous. In fact, shortly after, Psicosis does his wild signature corner bump, but lands facedown on this one. It still looked rough.


  • You’d have to give some kayfabe credit to Psicosis for eating damage and relentlessly coming back: He gets a 2.9 off a super-rana and puts Iaukea in position for the guillotine legdrop. He hits it, but pulls Iaukea up at 2.9 because he’s feeling cocky. By the laws of pro wrestling, Psicosis should lose (as he’s not a giant dude killing a little guy, which is a noted exception to this law). He in fact does lose after an okay-ish looking finish in which Iaukea stuffs a top-rope victory roll attempt for three.


  • Raven versus Disco Inferno is absolutely the sort of match I’d want to see on a random Nitro, and I’m pleased that I’m getting to see it. I’m also pleased that we stopped all the talking and watching people walk around backstage and have hit a patch of good wrestling matches all in a row. If the talking was at least good, I’d feel differently, but it almost never is on this show, at least lately.


  • Disco jumps Raven and goes right at him. The match spills outside and Raven gets whipped hard into the guardrail; he turns an Irish whip around on Disco and gives him a trip into the guardrail right back. This match is a ton of fun because Disco is working this like he knows he has to kill off Raven before Raven gets a chair and starts doing some real damage. Everything he does feels extra motivated for this reason, so when he reverses a facebuster into a chair, the crowd pops because he means business. Disco uncharacteristically unwraps his wrist tape to choke Raven with it, then hits a tape-assisted neckbreaker for two. I cannot believe how intense this match is. Raven has to hit a drop toehold in desperation that sends Disco face-first into the chair; Raven follows up by snapping off an Evenflow DDT for a three that he was lucky to get! That was fun as hell.


  • These Nitro party clips are so cheesy, man, so cheesy.


  • Meng and Barbarian are still beefing, so Barb gets Hugh Morrus to fill in as his tag partner against Public Enemy tonight. Well, that’s a downgrade. It’s a garbage match in which people get hit with literal garbage and PE tries to strip Jimmy Hart, so Hart takes off his belt and whips Johnny Grunge. Morrus and Barb don’t have any tag experience together, so they whiff on a double-lariat and hit each other. Jimmy Hart gets attacked and put on the table, but Barb saves him as Morrus super-plexes Rocco Rock through the table. That gets two because Grunge breaks up the pinfall. Unfortunately, Morrus and Barb misfire on a double-team move again as Morrus hits Barb with a diving forearm accidentally. That leads directly to Rocco Rock hitting a Senton Splash from the top on Morrus and through a table that had a little too much sawdust applied to it beforehand. This move gets three, and this was quick and more focused than the typical PE wandering brawl. It was this dumb, fun little experience.


  • Randy Savage comes out to retort to Hulk Hogan on the mic. Nothing of note was said, but Savage is super-over with this crowd! Oh, wait, Sting comes down now. Is he gonna say something? I mean, say something other than MAMACITA? Yes, he is! He cuts a promo on Scott Hall. It’s short and sweet. He also asserts his dominance in terms of who’s running their tag team later tonight.


  • Sick Boy is gonna get killed by Goldberg tonight. It feels like Philly’s a little less excited for Goldberg than other towns, oops, Goldberg does a big press slam and everyone loves it, never mind. Goldberg catches a Sick Boy springboard and chokeslams the dude. Then poor Sick Boy slips on a springboard and hits the deck while Goldberg looks at him. Rough night for this dude, and of course it ends with a spear, Jackhammer, SPLAT.


  • So there’s a band named Stuck Mojo, I think Tony S. said (and yes, DDP says it in this video), and honestly I may have heard of them before? Maybe? Anyway, that’s not my type of music even if they are of my era. I was listening to hip-hop, R&B, and re-discovering the music my parents listened to (so a lot of Motown). They do have a rapper in the group, though, this Stuck Mojo! Anyway, DDP and Raven’s Flock are in the video for this song. This song sounds like an alternative band got married to Cypress Hill and had a baby, and they named the baby Stuck Mojo. Hey, this actually is something that is pop culture related that doesn’t also make WCW look sort of corny, so good for them! WWF really cornered the market on “pop cultural ties that made them look cool and relevant” in their war against WCW, lo those many Monday nights.


  • Speaking of Diamond Dallas Page, here he is to interview with Mike Tenay. Ooh, DDP will be on MTV programming soon, says Tony S., which leads to another very cool pop culture moment that WCW is involved with. It’s one of my favorite little wrestling things of this era. But that’s for later. For now, Tenay sells that Raven and the Flock just showed up to the video shoot, I guess, just because they heard that Page was invited to cameo. Then the fight in the video was supposed to be kayfabe? Oh no, that’s a stretch that I can’t really get with. I’m going to pretend that they didn’t try to explain these two being on the same set like that. Anyway, Page threatens Raven and promises to Diamond Cut him on Thunder, then leaves through the crowd.


  • Van Hammer snatches Dave Penzer’s mic and calls DDP back out for a fight, I guess. He just yells his name a lot for awhile, and thankfully Page’s music cuts him off because this was going nowhere. Page turned right back around and came back down the stairs. They had a good match on the previous Nitro. This one isn’t as good as that one. It mostly exists so that Page can demonstrate how dangerous the Diamond Cutter is, as he takes a beating, but hits a floatover Diamond Cutter out of nowhere. Raven jumps Page before Page can cover, and Benoit comes out and jumps Raven. Now, you’ll be shocked to find out that when Benoit hits two rolling Germans and holds Raven up so Page can hit him before the third, Raven ducks, Page hits Benoit, and all three dudes start beefing. Perfectly fine match and segment here that accomplished what it set out to (which is to set up a triangle match for Uncensored, as Tenay informs us will happen later in the show).


  • More Nitro Party footage. I’m stepping out for refreshments.


  • I step back into the room and Bret Hart comes out to interview with Mike Tenay. Bret cuts a boilerplate promo. I don’t want to see Hart/Hennig at Uncensored. Book Bret better, Bischoff. Hey, Bret’s wrestling on Nitro for the first time in his WCW career tonight! Aw, he’s wrestling Brian Adams. Regarding Adams, Bret quotes the O’Jays (!!!) and leaves.


  • Scott Norton/British Bulldog have an okay, very short power-based TV match. If you can’t get any joy out of one beefy dude powerslamming another beefy dude, maybe the concept of joy itself isn’t for you. Norton takes a backdrop on the floor after teasing a concrete piledriver, and Mickey Jay calls for the bell. Is it because Norton shoved Jay before trying the piledriver? Is it because both men had been outside of the ring for more than a count of ten? Who knows? Who cares? We got a beefy boy powerslam.


  • Konnan comes to the ring and grabs a mic. He runs down Juventud Guerrera. He claims that he got Juvi his job in WCW and that Juvi losing his mask was an affront to him. Wait a minute, a year ago, Konnan had disowned the luchadores! I remember this! I was there! He beat up Rey Misterio Jr. a lot over this issue! Konnan hits as many examples of Black American slang as he’s heard on No Limit Records releases while talking, then wrestles Calo in a match that is fine, just fine. Konnan’s rolling clothesline looks good and gets a bit of the crowd’s interest. Not much longer after that, Konnan hits the cradle DDT and wraps on the Tequila Sunrise. Konnan tries to take off Calo’s mask, and Juvi runs out and challenges Konnan to a match. Konnan agrees to one next week on Nitro, and then implies that he will castrate Juvi and send him looking for work as a dancer with the Nitro Girls, which is a misunderstanding because gender identity is not one-to-one with sex or sexual organs, but basically implies that the match will be VIOLENT, YEAH.


  • We get video of Brian Adams and his longcoat being a dickhead toward Bret Hart, and I don’t know why this is happening. Even if Sting and Hogan are tied up, and Savage is tied up, there’s got to be something better to do with the Hitman.


  • I’m also not thrilled that the best they have for Flair is to tag along with Hart against a bunch of nWo B-Teamers. He comes down to the ring to cut an interview with Tenay next. Hennig and Rude come down and say Flair must be a fourteen-time loser, considering that he was a thirteen-time champ. No, I think that would be thirteen title wins, thirteen losses max (only twelve if Flair was currently the champ). You can’t lose the title more than you’ve won it. Then Flair makes a hockey reference that I don’t really understand before unloading on Hennig. At least Flair and Hennig might finally have a decent ending to their feud? I hope? Rude jumps Flair when Flair’s about to put Hennig in the Figure Four, and Hennig hits a Perfect Plex while Rude counts the three. They continue to beat Flair up until the Hitman runs in for a late save. Hennig and Rude claimed that Bret wouldn’t come out to save Flair, and now I’m worried that we’re going to get Bret and Flair beefing AGAIN, except over late saves.


  • Rick Steiner cuts a truly annoying promo on the outro regarding tonight’s main event.


  • More Nitro Party stuff.


  • I have some good news for you and some bad news for you. Good news: Scott Steiner’s here. Bad news: Jim Duggan is his opponent. And I know Hacksaw is wily enough not to piss Scotty off or he’ll get launched into the ether, so we won’t even get Hacksaw being a dick and Steiner spiking him on his head. Actually, these dudes just hit each other really stiffly! Hacksaw throws a lariat with some pop in it, even! OK, wait a minute, I’m open to this being enjoyable. Scotty struggles a bit, but gets a double-underhook suplex in. I want more suplexes, but Hacksaw took one, and that’s probably halfway to his limit, so we get a chinlock instead. Duggan Hacksaws up, so Steiner kicks him in the balls. Steiner tries a sunset flip, which is out of character, and he gets punched a ton.


  • OK, so Hacksaw’s taken a lot of this match, and Steiner even tried to call for a timeout. Not quite what I want out of a heel Steiner match. But I give Duggan credit. He takes a corner bump to the floor and seems to be actually trying. Steiner gets Duggan back in the ring, hits a belly-to-belly suplex, and debuts the Steiner Recliner for the submission victory. That was better than I would have expected.


  • Eddy Guerrero and Chris Jericho have a return match from the previous Thunder against Booker T. and Dean Malenko. That Thunder match was some good weekly TV show wrasslin’, so I hope this will be good too. Jericho grabs a mic and introduces Eddy Guerrero as his first guest of honor on Monday Jericho. Eddy, while clapping just off mic: C’MON, LET’S HEAR IT FOR JERICHO. These two, man, these two. I think this crowd chants EDDY SUCKS just because they want to see him freak out.


  • This match goes at quite the pace, so I’m not going to get close to covering everything. Let’s just list spots that I like. Booker and Malenko knock Eddy and Jericho down in the ring, after which they rush to hug each other in consolation before bailing. Jericho and Eddy have a short, but nice control segment against Booker. Booker gets the hot tag and Malenko comes in, after which he hits a nice drop toehold on Eddy before Book kicks Eddy from behind. Booker rolls away from a Frog Splash and Spinaroonies up, which looked cool. Book and Eddy tumble outside, and Dean Malenko is left alone to wrap Jericho up in the Texas Cloverleaf as Book holds Eddy back. The faces win this time, and for the second time in a row, one of the current champs loses the matchup cleanly. This was not as good as the Thunder match, but was still a good time!


  • Most of the nWo walks out. Scott Steiner grabs the mic and declares that Rick will be down shortly to join the nWo. I don’t know about that, Rick seemed pretty wedded to watching Sting’s - and thus WCW's - back in that outro earlier tonight. Maybe you hit mute while it was on, Scott. That’d be understandable. It was a terrible promo.


  • Rick comes down to the ring with Ted DiBiase and pretends to join, then throws soupbones at nWo members until Buff chop blocks him. Rick isn’t the brightest, you know. He gets stomped out and appears not to have any backup. Nash decides that he doesn’t want to pay a fine or get arrested, so he doesn’t to a Jackknife at first, but then he’s like, Eh, fuck it. Rick backdrops Nash out of it, and that’s when the Giant decides to stroll on down and chase everyone away. Nash is a bit slow to recover from the backdrop and thus does not leave the ring in time. The Giant faces off with Nash, headbutts him, and delivers a SICK powerbomb, why didn’t the big man powerbomb everyone all the time once he got to WWF? Powerbombs > chokeslams. The Giant sells that doing the move hurt his neck, but just have him drop the selling of a neck injury and get him in the ring for a powerbomb-off with Nash. During the break, Dellinger tried to arrest the Giant for that powerbomb, but the handcuffs didn’t fit, so Dellinger had to quit. Trying. To arrest the Giant.


  • I think the WWE Network Conversation thread, along with my own random re-watches of old wrestling shows, have led me to the inexorable belief that Crush SUCKS and has always SUCKED and the reason that it took me so long to realize this is that the Cranium Crunch and the Heart Punch both rule. That, and Kona Crush’s theme music was flames. The Hitman is going to have to coax something decent out of this dude, who desperately needs to be in a tag team with a better worker. This match is fine, but I just want to see Bret dispense with selling Adams’s mediocre beatdown so that he can do the 5MoD and wrap on the Sharpshooter. Bret comes off the top with the elbow, so Adams sticks up a boot, but Bret catches himself and goes for the Sharpshooter, then drops the dangerously-close-to-illegal headbutt to the abdomen when Adams gets the ropes. Adams has another burst of offense, but he tries to cheat by exposing a buckle. This backfires when he eats the buckle instead, and the Sharpshooter that follows is merely academic. This draws Curt Hennig to the ring before Adams can tap, and Hart and Hennig have a ringside brawl until Adams recovers enough to toss Hart away. Meh, give Bret someone interesting to work.


  • Buffer introduces our main even combatants: Hogan and Hall wrestle Sting and Savage. We get another sub-ten-minute main event, which is a bummer. Just barely under ten minutes, but still. It’s worked like a tornado tag for the first couple minutes, then settles down into a conventional match in which Scott Hall basically gets his ass beat for half of it. Finally, Savage plays FIP for a bit, then gets a hot tag so that Sting can hit a couple Stinger Splashes on Hogan. Sting wraps up Hogan in the Scorpion Death Lock and Savage prepares to hit a Savage Elbow on Hall, so of course the nWo runs in and draws a DQ because we can’t have nice things in a main event on any WCW show, apparently. Page runs out to help the faces, and the Disciple runs out to save Hogan and get him out of the line of fire. The Giant, who did not get arrested after that earlier powerbomb, which is something that Kevin Nash surely noted, also comes down to help clear the ring for the faces.


  • I sure wish WCW would stop hyping main events that don’t get anywhere near living up to the hype. This was another solid TV show with a wet fart of an ending. 4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmUgly
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Here's the clip from MTV. It took some looking to find the date, but it looks like it airs after the 3/16 Nitro but before the 3/19 Thunder. it's only a 2 minute segment, but worth watching. it probably gets replayed on Nitro or Thunder anyway, but here ya go.


relatedly, i just watched a clip from DDP talking about Dave Grohl being upset at how much DDP's theme song was "inspired" by Nirvana. DDP was saying that Grohl was mad, but didn't say a word when he met him in this moment. had he even heard it before it playing around him? who knows?

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Thunder Interlude – show number nine – 05 March 1998

"The WCW Gang truly stinks it up for the first time on Thunder (but not the last time)”

  • The show starts when the nWo announcer introduces a video package of Macho Man getting his Harvard National Lampoon Real Man of the Year Award…Do you think the nWo announcer is conflicted about doing work for both Hogan and Savage?...I guess not since he announces that this ad was paid for…I bet all this dude cares about is getting a bag from somebody, anybody to do these intros and outros…


  • The crowd in Columbus seems ready for some hot pro wrestling action…These Midwestern crowds have been quite hot the last few weeks…


  • Hogan, Bischoff, et al. come out to ramble…There is zero reason to give these dudes all this time to talk every show…Hogan tries to do some sick burns, but he is very, very bad at heeling…Now Crush is talking, and I don’t know why…Crush is still heated about Macho Man not saving him from Yokozuna four years ago, I guess…And then losing that WM X grudge match…Crush wants to fight Macho tonight…He says he’s doing it for Hogan, but he’s really doing it for himself...To paraphrase Bad Place Janet, this sucked…real…bad…


  • We are twelve minutes in, and no enjoyable wrestling action yet…Then we do get a match, and the nWo music hits, and it’s Vincent…What did I do to deserve this, I’ve been praising Thunder lately…OK, he’s just gonna get killed by Goldberg, this is acceptable…Vincent gets in like five punches before it’s spear, Jackhammer, SPLAT…Goldberg is mad over in this arena (and everywhere, really)…


  • Prince Iaukea and Eddy Guerrero sounds like a little bundle of pro wrestling fun…Eddy claims that his hair was pulled and demonstrates said hair pull on the ref to the derision of the crowd…Iaukea continually outsmarts Guerrero, who seems off his game tonight (in kayfabe, of course)…Eddy has to use a ref diversion to get control…He works over Iaukea’s knee, including with a spinning toehold(!)…Iaukea comes back with a flurry of two-counts, including on a lovely Northern Lights Suplex with a bridge…Eddy attacks the knee again and hits the Frog Splash after using that knee attack to gain the advantage…See, that was a little bundle of pro wrestling fun…


  • Kimberly is here…Also, there’s the one with the slasher smile and the bottle redhead with the Southern-ish accent…Kimberly shouts out Duke University and its highly-ranked basketball team in front of a bunch of Ohio State fans…Kimberly gives a shout-out to the Blue Devils and gets booed…No one likes the Blue Devils outside of Durham, sis…


  • El Dandy heads down the aisle, stopping for a second because maybe someone in the crowd said something out of pocket that he didn't like…Juventud Guerrera is his opponent…We get to watch the Flock walk to their ringside seats and nearly miss the start of a Juvi comeback…Juvi does the ol' ten punches in the corner spot, except the tenth strike is a dropkick(!!)…Juvi hits a suicide dive that gets a pop and looks aesthetically gorgeous…Dandy has some nice strikes and good-looking suplexes, but Juvi survives those…They have a complex series of reversals that doesn’t look great, much too choreographed, and it’s a shame as this has been a fun match otherwise…Dandy gets on Juvi’s shoulders in the victory roll position and gets dumped on his face…Juvi’s 450 ends it after that…Konnan comes down and has a mic exchange with Juvi that isn’t awful or anything, but isn’t necessary…


  • Randy Savage comes to the ring and is quite over as a babyface-leaning tweener…He calls down Hogan and Brian Adams (who I gotta stop reflexively calling Crush)…Savage claims that a bunch of nWo members want to join him and dump Hogan from the nWo…I sure wish we could have done this all in one segment…Cut down on Hogan’s blathering and have Macho respond to him right in that first segment…He finally accepts the Adams match…Savage: “And after I get done CRUSHING Brian Adams,” heh heh heh…Anyway, Savage wants to beat up Hogan right after he beats up Adams tonight…Hogan is back to stealing Macho Man’s catchphrases again…He must be feeling desperate…


  • Video package to hype the Lex Luger/Scott Steiner feud…Meh…Scott Steiner comes to the ring to face some jobber…Ah, it’s Chase Tatum…This is not Scotty’s best squash, but it’s acceptable…Scotty wins with a mid-looking Steiner Recliner…


  • A video shows Giant powerbomb Nash over and over…That was cool…Mostly because I got to see that powerbomb, and that was a dope powerbomb, as I’ve previously written…


  • Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude) comes down…His opponent is Jim Neidhart…Poor Neidhart can’t get them to spell his name right on the ol’ chyron…Neidhart dominates with some dull offense…Rude clobbers Neidhart with a 2x4 after four-ish minutes of a bore-fest…Hennig hits the Perfect Plex (his only offensive move in this match if I was paying enough attention) right after that for the three…We get a post-match beatdown until Davey Boy runs down for the save…That stunk…


  • Raven has interview time with Mike Tenay…Commentary has been pretty bad all night, and I think their banter as Raven walks to the ring encapsulates that…Confusion over Raven’s Rules, Tony S. yammering on like a dope…Now Raven cuts a hilariously teen emo promo…He’s mad at Page because he helped Page back in the day when Raven was still just Scotty Flamingo…Raven’s mad that Page didn’t get him a friggin’ job and that he was stuck in ECW for years…This is strongly implied, but not explicitly said, of course…I appreciate the backstory provided here to give context to this feud…If I had a "WCW workers allowed to cut a promo” list, Raven would be on it…


  • So would Chris Jericho, who cuts a promo as part of a video package…At points, the video contradicts his promo words…Jericho talks about how much people love him, the video cuts to the crowd booing him…Jericho wants to be your hero, but you have to show him the proper respect, basically…Jericho comes to the ring after this, telling everyone in the crowd that he loves them…Oh man, Jericho declares that he knows four more holds than Malenko…We’re getting into his best material already, I see…Jericho’s opponent is Ciclope, which seems prescient considering his trolling of Malenko…Jericho controls until he eats a kick to the throat and a brainbuster…Jericho regains control shortly, but misses a corner splash…Jericho is way out of position for a Ciclope dive…Like, not even fucking close to him for the catch…We get a Walls of Jericho shortly after for the win…Jericho keeps the move locked on after the bell, so Malenko comes down and beats him up, complete with Texas Cloverleaf…


  • Scott Norton comes out to murk Renegade…Norton does indeed murk Renegade…We’re in the midst of what is a boring squash when neck-brace Giant comes to the ring…If we’re getting Giant powerbombing Norton, that’s cool…We get Giant powerbombing Norton, which is indeed cool…Renegade is mad about that even though he was getting wiped out, so Giant gives him a chokeslam just for the sweet fuck of it all…This sucked until the Giant got here, which shouldn’t be a shock since the Giant rules…Norton is fine, but Renegade doesn’t exactly rule…Giant cuts a short little promo talking smack about Nash…Dellinger brought a whole set of chains out to wrap around Giant’s hands…This seems inhumane…


  • Raven and DDP have their U.S. Championship match next because apparently Savage/Adams is the main event…Page wants there to be zero ref in this match and sends Nick Patrick away…I guess it's just win by KO or something…We get a brawl outside the ring in which both men eat a lot of guardrail…They summarily brawl toward the back, where Benoit attacks both men…This was an angle, not a match…Boooooooooo…Everyone brawls for longer than they have to really…Actually, I get that they’re previewing the shifting alliances of a triple threat (or triple jeopardy, as Tony S. calls it) match for a crowd that doesn’t understand the match concept…So from that perspective, maybe it's just about as long as it needs to be…Reese runs in and attacks DDP…That allows Raven to Evenflow DDT Page while Saturn runs in and puts the Rings of Saturn on Benoit…Cool spot with Raven hitting Evenflow DDTs to both Uncensored opponents on the propped-up guardrail…But ultimately, this was a very long angle progression that is different from what I expected/hoped for...


  • Brian Adams (w/Hulk Hogan) comes to the ring seven minutes before the show ends to face Randy SavageLiz looks inspirational tonight…I’m in the process of settling down…Savage semi-uncomfortably talks about his evolving relationship with Liz…But no matter what their relationship is, Liz asserts that Macho is a real man unlike Hogan…She said so herself, Mach didn’t say it for her…That’s how you know she means it…I guess Savage is just gonna talk Adams into submission…Savage then insinuates that he’s fucked Linda Hogan (ew!), which of course sparks a two-on-one brawl…Savage dominates both dudes…Savage steals Hogan’s weight belt and whips these dudes…Was it smart to do back-to-back ringside brawls that are angle-development segments rather than the matches they were promoted to be?...That is a rhetorical question, of course, because it was not…Liz eye rakes Crush (nevermind, I'mma call him Crush up until he becomes useful and forms KroniK) and diverts Hogan so that Savage can control…Finally, the Booty Man Zodiac Dizzy Hogan the fucking Disciple runs in and we get a beatdown…The rest of the nWo comes out too…Disciple and Disco both doing the Stone Cold Stunner as their signature moves is overkill…Sting (w/ baseball bat) runs in and clears the ring…


  • This show was AWFUL…So, obviously, I use WOO(OOOOOOO) for good shows, with more O’s added the better the show is…But what about when a show is putrid, as this was?...Even the matches with good workers mostly stunk or were actually just angles and not matches…Well, it’s about time for our first inversion of the WOO…Which is fair, since this show made me feel like I missed a nail with the hammer I was swinging and hit my thumb instead…This show gets an OWW ☹…


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22 minutes ago, SirSmUgly said:

This show was AWFUL…So, obviously, I use WOO(OOOOOOO) for good shows, with more O’s added the better the show is…But what about when a show is putrid, as this was?...Even the matches with good workers mostly stunk or were actually just angles and not matches…Well, it’s about time for our first inversion of the WOO…Which is fair, since this show made me feel like I missed a nail with the hammer I was swinging and hit my thumb instead…This show gets an OWW ☹…

I have never watched enough full episodes of Nitro but reading your thoughts on some of these episodes I am honestly surprised that Nitro got positive numbers of Stinger Spashes.

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12 hours ago, DangerMark said:

I have never watched enough full episodes of Nitro but reading your thoughts on some of these episodes I am honestly surprised that Nitro got positive numbers of Stinger Spashes.

I think the consensus is that Nitro was generally very good/great from '95 through '97, shaky (but still with pockets of goodness) through '98, bad in '99 (as all major American pro wrestling was, IMO) and most of '00, and then slowly coming along and pretty fun from around the last three months of '00 all the way through its death in early '01. 

I watched a lot of, but not all of Nitro, on first run. I watched a chunk of it on re-watch maybe a decade or so back. My take was in line with the consensus both times, and it seems to be holding for me on this re-watch as well. 

Generally, the midcard is pretty much good enough to carry these shows by 1996 until it gets gutted once Vince Russo shows up and decides that wrestling matches with actual wrestling in them are for chumps. Eddy, Benoit, Malenko, Saturn, and Jericho leaving for the dub doesn't help, either. 

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