WCW Monday Nitro 7/13/98

Lol, the opening doesn’t even mention the PPV that happened last night. A giant PPV with two celebrity matches. It’s all about Goldberg winning the title last week. And they’re going to show it again tonight. 

TO THE NITRO. I guess they’re going right into showing the whole match from last week. Or maybe not. Just a highlight package. But they said they would play the match in full, so why are they showing highlights? Does this mean they won’t be showing the match in full? It would allow me to skip 10 minutes of the show if they did. 

nWo Hollywood come to the ring. Hall is with them. I wonder if he’ll get to talk. No Crush, no Giant, and no Dusty. I wish Dusty was the leader of the nWo. I’d much, much rather hear 15 minutes of Dusty rambling per show than Hogan and Bischoff. Hulk loves his brothers, but sometimes, love hurts. He blames Scott Hall for Goldberg getting to face him in the first place. He thinks Hall has been running his mouth in the back and wants him in a match tonight. Hall has done everything Hulk asked because he needs the money, but if Hulk wants him, he’s got him. “Wax up your pigtail…little…Bo Peep, because tonight I’m the big creep.” Lol, what? Hogan is also pissed at Bischoff and decides to make him the ref for tonight. Holy shit, Beefcake gets to talk! He claims that DDP hit him with a chair and he needed 47 stitches in his head. I question that. He challenges DDP to a match. Great. He’s got to be the luckiest dude in wrestling history to happen to break in with Hogan. Also, Tony claims that this is the most tension and dissension in nWo history. What about the first 5 months of the year when the nWo actually split into separate factions? 

Barbarian vs Whoreass

Horace isn’t that bad, and I do enjoy seeing Barb beat people up. He hits a pretty nice underhook suplex, the Gangrel kind, not butterfly. Lodi distracts the ref and Horace uses the stop sign. Superfly splash. Jimmy gets hit. The stop sign again comes into play, but this time Barb kicks it back into Horace’s face for the win. The Flock hit the ring and get beat up by Barb for a while until the numbers overcome him. Kidman is wearing a clean white shirt. It’s MENG! He has returned. He knocks the shit out of Lodi in particular. Has Lodi done a shoot where he was asked about guys taking liberties with him? Meng puts Barb in the Tongan Death Grip. SWERVE! 

Highlights of Goldberg vs Perfect

TO THE MEAN GENE. Gene brings out Hennig and Rude. Gene wants to know where Rude was last night. Rude claims that his plane ticket was cancelled, so he had to watch from home. Curt wants a rematch with Goldberg, and he wants Rude to not be at ringside again, because he now knows Bill's weakness. Or Rude is a weakness. Something is weak.  

TO THE MEAN GENE. JoJo is his guest. They bring out the new Cruiserweight Champion, Rey Mysterio Jr. Jericho also came out with the WCW rulebook. On page 257, the rule states that a suspended wrestler must be kept away from the arena, and if he interferes in a match, then the match must be declared null and void. Since Dean interfered (which he actually didn’t, he only got involved after the match), the belt is being returned to Chris Jericho. Dean Malenko also comes out. Jericho suggests Dean and Rey have a match and the winner will get a title shot. So Dean was only suspended for the rest of the show that night and that night only? Have some balls, Jojo. 

They recap us on Hogan/Bischoff taking Savage out of action a month ago. The first time it has been mentioned since the Thunder after that.

Jim Duggan vs Rick Fuller

Might as well be Konnan in here as far as I’m concerned. 

Recap of Buff and Judy making an appearance last week.

TO THE MEAN GENE. It’s Buff! No Judy, though. Gene wants to know where Buff stands on the nWo business. He doesn’t give an answer to that, but he says he’s going to rehab and he has to talk to Rick Steiner. Rick comes out. Rick is also recovering from an injury. Hogan and Beefcake come out before anything can be said and shits on “cripples” and tells Rick to back off or he’d get another leg broken. Rick has his ARM in a sling. Not a leg injury. He tells Buff to stop being a pussy, calls him “Creampuff Bagwell”, and then PUSHES THE WHEELCHAIR OVER. God damn, Hulk is going full heel tonight. That's the most heelish thing Hogan ever did.

Fit Finlay vs Bret Hart

Fuck, they spelled his name right for a few shows. More importantly. BRET HART VS FINLAY. Someone is going to eat a STIFF uppercut in this. These rubes in Vegas have no idea what kind of dream match this is. Bret backs Fit into the corner and lays in the boots. Eye rakes. Then a headbutt. Fit comes back with an eye poke of his own. European uppercut. Stomp to the hand. I’d like a good technical match between these two, but I’m okay if they want to be old dick head wrestlers to each other. It goes to the floor and Fit hits another uppercut. Bret with a low blow. 5MOD already. NO. I want this to go at least 10 minutes. Bret rocks Fit with an uppercut. Finlay comes back with another eye poke and then his wacky slam. Bret runs into a boot and then a clothesline. Bret hits a big atomic drop. Finlay backs into the ropes, where they do his silly rope assisted powerbomb thing right into the Sharpshooter. It was fun while it lasted, but I wish this had gone on as long as Bret vs Benoit from a few weeks back.

Stevie Ray vs Rick Martel WCW TV Championship

Stevie is now defending for Booker, since Bret put Booker out of action last night. “How in the world did he get a belt?” You mean the guy who has been a tag champion like 8 times? The Model is back! I didn’t know he came back from that injury. I thought it was the end of his career. I’m actually not sure if this is a title match or not. Sucks that he had to come back against Stevie and not someone he could have a good match with. Stevie should have jumped to the booth years before he did. It was his true calling. Martel hits a flying lariato. Stevie takes it to the floor and we’ll be back after this commercial break. Which featured Jon Lithgow playing basketball. Slow motion sunset flip only gets a 2 count. World’s Strongest Slam! Model puts on the Boston Crab. Bret comes out and hits Martel in the back of the head with a chair. Some how the ref missed it. Slapjack for the win. Gene catches up to Stevie and wants to know what the deal is. Stevie has power of attorney to defend the title. 

Barry Darsow vs Konnan

Tony tried to claim that Konnan beating Disco last night was a huge win. That’s kind of like Cole saying that Christian beating Heath Slater is a huge win for him. A win over the Repo Man is even less of a big win than a win over Disco. At least Disco wins matches once in a while. Darsow is full on enhancement talent. 

TO THE MEAN GENE. DDP ain’t got time for Beefcake’s bitchin’ over some stichin’. He’s gonna get BANGED! Right now, I guess.

DDP vs The Disciple

Think about this: WCW, at the absolute peak, was running matches with Barry Darsow, Jim Duggan, and Brutus Beefcake. All 3 are a solid 8-10 years past their primes, if Beefcake ever even had a prime. And now he’s beating the shit out DDP, who isn’t the top face, but is right up there with Sting and Nash. Rude comes out and trips DDP while he’s on the ropes. DDP wins with a roll up OUTTA NOWHERE. Couldn’t even get a real win over Hulk’s shadow. Speaking of Hogan, he and Virgil attack DDP with a chair as DDP was heading to the back. 

Unrelated to anything, but I was watching Unsolved Mysteries recently. I didn’t realize they continued or had a revival after Robert Stack died. I thought it was weird that it wasn’t Stack, and then I realized it was Dennis Farina. It was awkward.

Kanyon vs Saturn vs Raven

Oh shit. Let’s do this. It starts in the aisle. Raven gets hit with a t-bone in the ring. Kanyon hits a neck breaker on Saturn. They fight each other while fighting over Raven. Electric chair to Saturn. Fireman Flapjack Norton on Raven. Saturn gets a table. Maybe he’ll jump on it when no one is on it and he’s had plenty of time to adjust. Well, Kanyon was on it this time and this table wasn’t Japanese. Lodi rolls Saturn in the ring. Raven goes for a superplex and gets reversed. Kanyon then trips Saturn up on the ropes. Now he goes up top. Kanyon misses his splash, Saturn hits his. Kanyon goes for a super belly to back. Raven does an electric chair at the same time, but it didn’t look good at all. Flatliner to Raven. BANG! Saturn breaks up the pin and hits the DVD. Raven has been clearly beaten at least 5 times, but the other guys break it up to fight each other. Saturn and Kanyon brawl away and get counted out. In a no DQ match.

Dean Malenko vs Rey Mysterio Jr.

I’m always down for these two, unless they have 50 matches in 6 months like Juvi/Kidman. They do some smooth lucha into an indie respeck stand off. Dean counters a head scissors with a side slam. Rey sends Dean to the floor and hits a big tope con hello. Tiltawhirl backbreaker from Dean. Cloverleaf is countered into a small package, which is also countered into another small package. Dean pops Rey up to the top, but Rey slips and gets his bad leg caught tied up in the ropes. Super gutbuster! Jericho comes out and hits Dean in the back with the title while the ref was checking on Rey. Rey makes the pin and is the number one contender. 

Dancing Fools vs Kevin Nash/Lex Luger

I guess this isn’t a title match, since none of the Wolfpac even have the belts with them. I mean, I’m not imagining that Sting won the titles in a singles match a month ago, then picked Nash as his partner, then decided to defend the titles with Lex, am I? That all happened, right? So where are the belts? Lex and Wright start out and I have to lol at Alex completely tooling Lex. Sting and Konnan beat Alex up on the floor and no way the ref didn’t see it. He didn’t even care. Wolfpac of course wins. The Wolfpac are really like proto-WWE dick head faces. They’re kind of like Cena, but separated into a group. Nash is the one who buries gimmicks and has the smirk, Sting is the one to pop up and no sell everything for the past 10 minutes, Konnan is the guy who can’t figure out how to do holds, and Lex is the one to be all muscled up and bump weird. And they’re all dicks. But they are having fun and seem to enjoy each other's company, which is a far cry from nWo Hollywood.

Recap of Mongo trying to get the Horsemen reformed.

Eddie Guerrero vs Steve McMichael

I appreciate that Tony was just doing his job, but even he had a hard time spitting out that BATB was one of the best shows…ever… He stuttered on it. Eddie goes right after the legs. Chavo comes out with a cowboy hat and riding Pepe. This actually distracts Mongo, not Eddie. Chavo gets in the ring as Eddie is on the ropes. Nick Patrick calls for the bell, even though Chavo hasn’t touched anyone. Eddie bumps Chavo into Mongo, which makes Mongo think Chavo attacked him. Tombstone to Chavo.

Hollywood Hogan vs Scott Hall Special Guest Referee: Eric Bischoff

I actually am interested in this match. The idea of it is a lot more intriguing than Hogan vs Nash. Not even in terms of in ring ability, but personalities. Hogan and Bischoff get the tooth pick. Hogan tries to stuff his bandanna down Hall’s throat, but gets bit. Hall ruffles what little hair Hogan has. Axe boombbaaah in the corner. Bischoff is the worst ref. He counts while Hall is in the ropes. Fall away slam. Bischoff doesn’t make the count. He lets Hogan do a choke sleeper, but won’t let Hall do it. And doesn’t say anything about the low blow from Hogan. Big boot. DDP hits the ring. Kanyon Cutter to Bischoff. BANG! Lol at the sound guy hitting the sound effect for it, too. They did that when Malone slammed Hogan a couple of weeks back. Nash hits the ring to help DDP. Or maybe Hall. It looks like they made up. Nash goes to powerbomb Hogan, but Hall attacks him. SWERVE. Leg drops on DDP. Hogan and Hall hugged during the break. So what was the point of all of this? Was this all just to SWERVE Nash? Is Hall cool with Bischoff clearly favoring Hogan, or was that just part of an act?

Goldberg vs Curt Hennig WCW Championship

Hopefully Perfect takes as awesome of a bump as he did last night. By the time Goldberg gets to the ring, there will only be 3 minutes left. Not even, actually. And it didn’t even go 2 minutes. It might not have even gone one minute. 

It’s pretty clear WCW has no direction right now. They’re doing or at least teasing another nWo split, after it already split into two groups, and spent 5 months on that. They hot shot the title onto Goldberg because of his popularity, but clearly didn’t have anything planned for after that. There really isn’t even anyone for him to feud with since the Wolfpac has 2-3 of the biggest faces, Hogan is tied up with DDP, Savage is out, and Bret is doing TV Championship stuff. There's nothing for him to do besides killing nWo or Flock guys, which is what he’s been doing for months anyway. He could have kept doing that with the US Championship until they came up with an angle for him. 

There is no overall story anymore. It used to be WCW vs nWo, with unrelated side stories. Now it is nWo vs nWo vs Flock vs WCW, but all of them are unrelated side stories. There is no cohesion to the shows. It’s been creeping up for at least a month, but now it is pretty clear that they aren’t planning much and just running on momentum. 

Guys vanish from the shows for weeks at a time with no explanation given. Piper hasn’t been on for a full month and it hasn't even been mentioned. He was last seen reffing the DDP/Savage cage match. Actually, none of the Wolfpac members have made any reference to Savage being put out of action. And then Nash was gone for 3 weeks and no one said why. He just wasn’t there. Bret Hart has gone through a few of those this year. One week he says he’s in WCW full time, then he shows up for the PPV and is gone for a month and a half. Various nWo guys have been MIA, as well. Giant was no where to be found or mentioned on this show, Crush has been showing up once or twice a month, Norton I assume is in Japan, but no one made that clear.

Ted DiBiase hasn’t been around for months, even before Rick got hurt. Dusty returned to join the nWo, then joined the Wolfpac, then went back to Hollywood, then vanished. Luchadors won’t get used for weeks at a time. Benoit hasn’t been on the last few shows. Wrath made one appearance and hasn’t been heard from again. Where is Norman Smiley? Remember John Nord getting a push? Vampiro showed up and won’t be back until 1999. Those are just the more known guys. Tons of true undercard guys would make one or two appearances and never be seen again.

It just got really clear in a hurry that they had no idea where to go from that peak. They couldn't even plateau. They’re going down the cliff in a hurry and it is actually visible on the shows.