WCW Monday Nitro 1/5/98

TO THE BACK. Limos arrived. Hogan, Virgil, and Konnan are in the first. Macho Man, Rick Rude, Curt Hennig, Scott Hall, and Eric Bischoff are in the other. There must be another one since the rest of the group is there. Tension in the air. Long faces. A sad day for the NWO! BUT WHO IS LIMO?!

A brand new year, a brand new WCW! The first show of 1998 and it is in the home base of the Georgia Dome.

We’re shown the end of last week’s show. Sting and Hogan in a rematch from Starrcade the previous night. The show went off the air with the match still on going. However, due to a court injunction, the footage can not be shown. What? Why? They did the same shit after Starrcade 1996. Anyway, Sting is still the champ and the NWO are grumpy. Bret Hart is here. Lex vs Macho Man tonight!

TO THE MEAN GENE. Mean Gene is with JJ Dillon. JJ is the Executive Chairman of the Executive Committee. JJ clears up that Sting is still the champion and apologizes for having to go off the air last week. There was a near riot in Baltimore last week. OMAR COMIN’, YO! The good news is that the footage will be released in 24 hours and will be shown in full on the debut show of Thunder. We’ll also see actual footage from Starrcade on Thunder.

Chris Jericho vs DDP WCW US Championship

Before the match, Jericho comes out with a chair and a suit. Last week he snapped, threw Penzer, and smashed a chair against the ring post. He apologizes for his actions last week and gives Penzer a new jacket and chair. This is a great way to start out the new year. DDP is MEGA over. The whole Georgia Dome is doing the Kanyon Cutter sign. They do some chain wrasslin and leap frogs. Handshakes after each spot. And then Jericho pulls DDP down by his hair. He’s sorry and offers a handshake, but SWERVES him with a Fujiwara armbar. Jericho goes for a kick and KANYON CUTTER! BANG! Crowd lost their fucking minds. DDP wins. OUTTA NOWHERE! DDP is super duper over and Jericho is starting his heel turn. After the match, he throws another fit.

Mean Gene is at the bottom of the ramp with WCW Executive VP Nickel Ambrose. Dean’s older, WASPier brother. He’s also legal council. He looks like Kidman and Michael Scott had a baby. He announces that all wrestlers caught violating any policies will be subject to suspension, fine, or termination. This goes for nWo members as well.

Goldberg vs Stevie Ray

Goldberg is still Bill Goldberg and is over, though not the crazy over he’d be the next time they were in the Georgia Dome. Chief Jay Strongbow is in the crowd tonight. We’re about to see a YAK Attack. Goldberg attacks before the bell. Stevie hits a back suplex and diving clothesline. His offense doesn’t last long. Goldberg is green as shit. Big powerslam and a jumping knee drop. From Goldberg? Weird. Stevie is back on offense. I don’t remember anyone getting offense on Goldberg and Stevie Ray is tearing him up. Spear and Jackhammer for the win. Crowd went nuts for the jackhammer.

TO THE NITRO GIRLS. Nitro Girls do some dancing in classic high waist 90s Daisy Dukes.

John Nord vs The Barbarian

John Nord is the former Berzerker. He was also known as The Barbarian. This is going to be confusing. The Flock are hanging out in the crowd. Nord does a diving shoulder block that sends Barb over the top. Then he does a fucking plancha. The fuck?  Nord chases Jimmy Hart and gets caught. They brawl on the floor. They take turns whipping each other into the railing. Samoan drop from Nord, which Tenay calls a fall away slam. He’s the one who is supposed to know the god damn moves. Barbarian decides he’s going to kick Barbarian’s face off. Nord hits an elbow to the kidneys from the second rope and then tries a camel clutch that turns into a botched Romero special. Barbarian taps out. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I saw Meng tap out in about 3 minutes at the Wrestle Kingdom 10 battle royal.

TO THE MEAN GENE. He brings out his guest, the man who lost WCW Nitro: Eric Bischoff. I forgot about Bish’s mullet. He put on a TON of weight in just 2 years. He had to have put on at least 40-50 pounds between here and the reboot. He insists there are no problems with the nWo. He’s pissy about the crowd and is claiming the reason the tape isn’t being show is because it shows that Hogan won. He gets mad and walks out of the interview. Or more accurately, it just kind of stopped.

Psychosis vs Juventud Guerrera

Sweet. And both guys still have their masks and therefore still have their magical lucha powers. And their hideous faces are covered. It’s a win for everyone. Starts out with some normal lucha stuff ending in a spinning head scissors from Juvi. He follows that with a springboard dropkick to the back that sends Hypnosis to the floor. He then hits some twisty plancha thing and bangs his face on the floor in the process. Maybe that's why he ended up so ugly. Juvi gets crotched on the ropes and Hypnosis hits a wheel kick to back of the head. He then hits the powerbomb into an X-Factor move that I really thought was made up for the AKI games. Only gets 2. He misses a guillotine with Juvi laid out on the ropes. Juvi hits a springboard dropkick to the knee. Sitout gourdbuster from Hypnosis. He tries another powerbomb, but Juvi chops out of it. Powerbomb to DDT counter, which was Juvi's special in Revenge. 450 for the win. There were at least 3 AKI finishers in this match.

Tony taunts the nWo and we go to footage of the nWo having problems all the way back in the Spring of 1997. They came in separate groups tonight and seem to not be on the same page. The split is being set up.

TO THE NITRO GIRLS. This time in the ring in more normal gear.

TO THE MEAN SUCKA. Booker T is the guest. He won the TV Championship last week. Feels like there has been a lot of Gene so far, but it probably isn’t any more than what the WWF was doing. WCW just did theirs in front of the audience instead of in the back. I always wondered why the WWF stopped doing them that way. The only times I can remember it being done that way in the past 15 years was explicitly to set up an angle. Book will have his first defense against the Prince tonight.

Booker T vs The Artist Futurely Known As TAFKAPI WCW TV Championship

Bleh. Prince sucked even more than he would a few years later. The best part was Brain saying that Kramer could be the TV Champion next week. Booker retains with the Harlem Hangover. That didn't stop Prince from trying to destroy Book's knees with a terrible dive to the floor before that, though. Fuck TAFKATFKAPI. 

Buff Bagwell/Konnan/Scott Norton vs Steiner Brothers/Ray Traylor


Oh shit. I think this is going to have at least one really great punch from Boss Man and someone is going to get dumped on their dome. Boss Man and Konnan start things out. Rolling lariat needs a second one from behind to take Boss man down. Konnan went for a DDT, but Scott knocked him on his ass. Buff then bumped for Scott’s spittle. Press slam to Konnan and the other two get knocked out of the ring. WCW dominating here. Rick and Buff do a pose off. It ends with Buff on his ass. Norton and Boss Man brawl for a few seconds and Rick hits a top rope Steinerline. Norton comes back with a shoulder block. Things break down and there are about 4 clotheslines over the top. Scott picks Konnan up for the super bulldog and just dumps the dude right on his head, then picks him up and hits the Screwdriver for the win. Could not have happened to a shittier dude. 

TO THE NITRO GIRLS. This time in the audience, dancing with underage boys.

Brad Armstrong vs Rick Martel

Interesting that they’ve mentioned Martel being a former WWF Tag Champion a few times, but no mention of being a former AWA World Champion. I never really thought Martel was very interesting in the WWF, but I do remember being impressed with his short WCW run. There is some nice chain wrestling that ends in a Saito suplex from The Model. Second rope lariat. Brad comes back with a suplex of his own. BA BA: Bad Attitude Brad Armstrong. Spinebuster! Would have made Arn proud. Martel follows right into the Boston Crab for the win.

Chris Benoit/Mongo McMichael vs Saturn/Riggs

Benoit and Saturn start out. Mongo comes in and beats some ass. Chop blocks for all. Saturn hits a t-bone and the Flock hits a lariat/legsweep combo. Saturn comes back in. Fujiwara arm bar. Everyone in this match and the Flock has aged so strangely. Saturn is fat and has a Mike Tyson face tat, Mongo is a hippo, Benoit is a skeleton, Riggs looks like a creepy gay porn star past his prime, Lodi looks similar, Kidman looks like he ate the Kidman of 1998. Charles Robinson is the only guy that looks normal today. Benoit gets back in and starts chopping the shit out of folks. Kidman distracts the ref, which allows Raven to come in and spike Benoit with a DDT. It’s a shame it was on a wide shot, because it looked like a gnarly DDT.

TO THE MEAN BY GOD GENE. The guest? Ric Flair! He congratulates Sting on being the champion and then says he takes offense to Bret Hart saying he’s the best there is. This brings Bret out. Ric says that people want to hear Bret say his little saying while Ric Flair is in the ring with him. Bret adds a WHOOOO at the end of it. Ric claims he’s probably the best example of premium USA manhood. Lol. Ric says 10 years ago, he could go out there with a broom, but now he needs someone with a heart beat. I’m hyped for this match.

Lex Luger vs Randy Savage


Nick Patrick is the ref. JJ Dillon won’t allow it. Bischoff runs to the ring and argues. Buff and Norton attack Lex before the match. Macho dominates for the first few minutes. Lex makes a comeback, only for Savage to use Liz to distract him. Lex wins with a small package in about 5 minutes. This was definitely a WCW main event. Savage throws Lex into the ring post and is about to hit him with a chair. Eric Bischoff grabs the chair, and Macho decks him. Hogan comes out and argues with Savage. Savage slaps Hogan, and Nash hits Savage from behind. Lex wants to fight everyone. STING HAS ARRIVED. WE'RE OUTTA TIME! TUNE INTO THUNDER!

So ends a prime WCW show.  Interesting that there were zero backstage segments.  All interviews and promos were done in front of the crowd.