WCW Monday Nitro 1/12/98

TO THE BACK. The nWo arrives in limos. BUT WHO IS LIMO?! Gene asks Nash about knocking Savage down. Nash says that Savage don’t want none of him.

Jerry Flynn vs Bill Goldberg

God damn, that is one aggressive mullet on Flynn. Goldberg gets a big pop. He doesn't have pyro or anything yet. Flynn immediately takes Bill down with a knee bar and they go full on Pancrase trading holds. Goldberg ends up a Rampage bomb. In 1998! Spear and jackhammer for the win. 

TO THE NITRO GIRLS. In the crowd. HBK’s wife was making her debut that night. Steiners vs Outsiders tonight!

Black Cat vs Marty Jannetty

Marty! He has the Hollywood Blonds theme music! Black Cat is another NJPW guy. Crowd is really hot on him for some reason. He has a nice flapjack. Not a Flapjack Norton, though. Super kick! Cat hits a pretty gnarly Impaler. Marty wins with the Rocker Dropper, which is now called the Showstopper. 

TO THE BACK.  Gene is outside when another limo arrives with more nWo guys. BUT WHO IS LIMO?! Gene stirs the shit between Randy and Nash. 

Dean Malenko vs Chris Benoit

Hell yes. Benoit was super over. A whole lot of super snug and solid chain wrasslin. Things change when Dean hits a big belly to back suplex. Benoit hits one of his own moments later. Benoit does the Backlund lift to get out of a short arm scissors and the crowd loves it. Snap suplex. A series of reversals ends in a no doubt brain damaging release German. Dean goes for the cloverleaf, but Benoit counters into a small package and tries for the crossface. Dean went for a victory roll, got dropped, and taps out to the crossface. Raven runs in and hits a DDT on Benoit. Saturn attacks Dean and puts him in the Rings of Saturn. I had to do a restraint once and the guy was over a full foot taller than me, so I definitely put him in the ROS just to be able to keep his arms in place. 

TO THE MEAN GENE. JJ is with Gene at the ramp. He explains his fines against Luger, Savage, and Scott Steiner. $5000 like it is a huge deal to dudes making $800K and up. Divas get fined more than that for pushing a ref. Savage comes flying out telling JJ to take it back. Bischoff comes out to stop Randy from hitting JJ and says he’ll pay the fine. Gene is shit talking Randy again. He’s about to get his mustache knocked straight.

TO THE NITRO GIRLS. I don’t think there are any real boobs in the entire group.

TO THE MEAN GENE. This time in the ring. DDP is the guest. I hope he says scum. DDP/Lex vs Nash/Savage is booked for Thunder. He didn’t say scum. 

Saturn vs Booker T WCW TV Championship

1998 was the prime or close to it for so many guys. Saturn, Benoit, Malenko, Rey, Juvi, Booker, Raven, DDP. And more. Booker dominates the first few minutes. The Flock have been removed from ringside. Saturn comes back by launching Booker with a pumphandle throw and then a t-bone. Saturn steals a win with his feet on the ropes. New champion! Rick Martel runs out and convinces the ref that Saturn cheated, so the match is restarted. Book hits the ax kick, side slam, and finishes with the Harlem Hangover for the win. Book thanks Rick and gives him a title shot. These arenas are huge. I can’t believe they ran TV shows in places this big. WWE would be lucky to fill these places up on a non-WM PPV. 

TO THE MEAN GENE. Gene brings The Giant to the ring. Giant has Nickel Ambrose with him. Nash/nWo must post a $1.5 million performance bond for Souled Out. And if they don’t come up with it, Nash will be suspended for a full year. Also, Bischoff has been cut off and can no longer spend Turner money. Hogan, Nash, Bischoff, and an nWo lawyer come out. They accept the demands, but require that WCW/Giant match the same amount and guarantee that Giant will not touch Nash before Souled Out. Nash comes in and gets right in Giant’s face to provoke him. 

Hugh Morrus vs Lex Luger

I wonder if Hugh had his weird sexual training in WCW. Pretty short match. Lex wins with the Torture Rack. Liz came out after the match. She’s upset and crying at Lex. It was all a diversion for Savage to ambush Lex. Liz slapped the shit out of Lex. Heel Liz is the best Liz. DDP runs them off. A fan grabs his hat, but then gives it right back when DDP threatens him.

TO THE NITRO GIRLS. In the ring, dancing to what would be Stacy’s music a few years later. The announcers talk about the Steiners seemingly not being on the same page lately. 

Chris Jericho vs Steve McMichael

Jericho gets a mixed reaction. I really want to play WCW/NWO Revenge. It’s my favorite of the AKI games. No Mercy and VPW2 made a lot of improvements, but I have always felt like Revenge captured the look and feel of the era the best. Jericho hits a super frankensteiner. On Mongo! Mongo comes back with some chop blocks and big back suplex. Jericho then goes to work on Mongo’s knee. Mongo wins with the tombstone.. After the break, Jericho is screaming on the mic. One of the refs tells him they’re back on the air and he changes his tune. 

Rey Mysterio Jr vs Juventud Guerrera WCW Cruiserweight Championship

Jericho was still in the ring and wouldn't leave. He attacks Rey with a press slam into a back breaker, followed by the underhook back breaker, and the Liontamer. Juvi comes out to help, but botches jumping into the ring. The crowd laughs and he just looks at them. Juvi then attacks Rey and the match is on. Rey tries a moonsault, gets caught in the Juvi Driver, and then hits the 450 for the win. That Jericho is a cunt. I wanted to see this match.

Recap of the title being vacated on Thunder. 

Hogan and Eric come to the ring. He talks about calculations and beating Sting. More lawyer stuff and the nWo is taking WCW to federal court. His music started playing him off so he had to rush to the finish of the promo. I lol’d. 

TO THE MEAN GENE. Gene brings out Bret Hart’s brother in law….Jim Neidhart. People were clearly bummed it wasn’t Bulldog. Anvil can’t believe what Flair said about Bret. This brings Ric out. Ric basically tells Jim he must be pussy whipped to say that Bret’s the better wrestler. We’re going to have the Anvil vs Flair next! Flair goes back to get his gear and then decides to come right back out, still in his suit. 

Jim Neidhart vs Ric Flair

Flair had the weird WCW/NWA version of brass knuckles (which I think is tape wrapped around foil or something) and decks Jim. He then decks the ref and does some ball crushing. Ric does the ring post figure four. This brings Bret out, who chases Flair. He gets a hold of him, but Flair gets to the aisle way. 

TO THE NITRO PARTY. Dudes chanting for the Nitro Girls and eating pizza. 

Steiner Brothers vs The Outsiders WCW Tag Team Championships

The Outsiders had bogus tag titles and claimed they were the real champions. This should have ended in a ladder match. Rick’s facial hair makes me feel so emasculated. It’s probably the most aggressively manly thing I’ve seen in my entire life. Hogan is out with The Outsiders. The Scotts start it off. Tiger bomb. Nash comes in and eats a double suplex. Savage is also now out. Hogan has to keep him away from Nash. Nash gets tagged in and starts tagging Rick. Big powerslam on Nash. Hall hits a chokeslam and taunts The Giant only to turn around into a belly to belly. Nash appears to hurt his knee picking Rick up for snake eyes. Rick went for the bulldog, but Hogan knocked him off the ropes. Nash accidentally boots Hall, who bumps into the ref and Scotty. Hogan knocks DiBiase out on the floor. Nash makes a pin on Rick. Savage attempts to drop the elbow on Nash, but he moved and Savage hit it on Rick. The Outsiders are the new champs! Nitro ends with Hogan trying to keep Nash and Savage apart. 

This is what I remember out of 1998 WCW. Thunder was more recappy and filler than Smackdown is today.