Monday Nitro #130
Date: March 9, 1998
Location: Lawrence Joel Memorial Veterans Coliseum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
It’s the go home show for Uncensored and the card is almost entirely set. Tonight is going to be about finalizing everything for Sunday with the focus likely being on Savage vs. Hogan instead of Sting vs. Hall. Other than that there might be some time spent on Page vs. Benoit vs. Raven but it’s going to pale in comparison to Age in the Cage. Let’s get to it.
We open with a clip from Thunder of Savage saying he’s the real man and Hogan’s wife knows it. Hogan freaking out over possibly being thrown out of the NWO is a nice bit of storytelling.
The announcers hype up the show and Larry gets a very nice response from the crowd.
Ernest Miller vs. Damien
Damien is unmasked here which I don’t think was always the case, although it might have been face paint. Miller is in shorts instead of his usual attire and it’s a striking contest to start things off. Damien puts him on the middle rope for a hurricanrana but dives into a kick to the chest. Miller runs up the ropes and hits a spin kick to the face for a quick pin. This was an odd choice for an opener but the kick to end it looked great.
Here are Bischoff and Hogan with something to say. Eric sucks up to Hogan, saying that no one will ever be half of what Hogan is now. However, Bischoff wants to talk about ingrates like Randy Savage. If it wasn’t for Hogan, Savage’s family would be out of a job and out on the street, so it’s now time for Savage to pay the price. Hogan talks about Savage dragging Liz into this business and implies she did everyone in the locker room. That draws a big gasp from the crowd. Hogan goes on about how great he is until it’s time to pose.
Gene is at Duke University with the Nitro Girls.
Lenny Lane vs. Sick Boy
Lane’s music starts when he’s halfway down the aisle. Lenny hits some basic stuff to start but the much taller Sick Boy comes back with some right hands. Lodi has the words Go Heels on his back. Lane dives over the top to take both Flock members down and gets two off a missile dropkick back inside. Sick Boy comes back with a layout F5 and some right hands to the head.
A running elbow in the corner puts Lane down but he avoids a top rope elbow. Lane gets a rolling cradle for two followed by something resembling a Skull Crushing Finale. Back up and Lane horribly botches a standing Lionsault, making it more like a springboard back clothesline. There was no rotation at all and they’re lucky Lane didn’t land on his head. Thankfully Sick Boy rolls over Lane’s back and hits a quick Pedigree (the Cure) for the pin.
Rating: D. Lane was trying but he was in over his head with the moves he was going for. Sick Boy’s size got in his way here as he wasn’t able to do much against the much smaller Lane. The match would have been better with a better pairing, but with the two guys we had it was bordering on a disaster.
Here’s Giant, still in a neck brace, with something to say. Giant has been looking for Kevin Nash to get a head start on Sunday’s match but he’s nowhere in sight. He mentions having buddies, which brings out Savage and Sting, FINALLY holding the belt. Savage says he doesn’t feel alone because Giant is about 8,000 feet tall and Sting is the world champion. Sting beats on the ropes with the bat as Savage challenges Hogan and any other two guys from the NWO to a six man tonight.
Goldberg vs. Barry Darsow
Darsow is more famous as Smash from Demolition or Repo Man. He’s just Barry Darsow, guy in trunks here though. Goldberg immediately takes him down by the leg before running Barry over with a shoulder block. A lariat sends Darsow to the floor and Goldberg rams him into the barricade and post. Goldberg misses a shoulder into the post though and Darsow goes after the arm. The arm is sent into the buckle but Goldberg snaps awake and hits the spear and Jackhammer for the quick pin.
Gene is still at Duke University.
Here’s Hall with something to say. There’s no survey tonight, because he needs to talk about Savage running down Hogan. If Hollywood needs him, Hall is in his corner tonight. As for Sting, Hall will prove he’s better on Sunday. Thanks for throwing in something about your first WCW World Title shot. Nash comes out and says he’ll have Hogan’s back as well and Giant will get what’s coming to him too.
Dean Malenko vs. Kidman
Dean quickly takes him down and tries the Cloverleaf but Kidman rolls to the ropes. A dropkick gets two for the itchy one and he kicks Malenko in the head a few times. Dean misses a dropkick and it’s off to a chinlock. Kidman shoves Malenko chest first into the buckle and stomps him down in the corner in a surprising show of aggression. A slingshot legdrop gets two on Dean and a middle rope bulldog gets the same. Here’s Jericho to watch Malenko as Kidman slams Dean down for two. Kidman goes up top but gets caught in the middle rope gutbuster. The Cloverleaf is good for the submission.
Rating: C. Not bad here and the gutbuster is always cool to see. Jericho didn’t really do anything here but his presence alone is usually entertaining. Dean is a great foil for Jericho with the serious vs. goofy natures battling each other. Kidman is good but he’s almost playing his gimmick too well as the lack of interest makes for less than thrilling matches.
Jericho and the Flock gets in to stare down Malenko but the Flock beats Jericho down instead. Chris and Dean escape separately.
Here are Hogan and Bischoff with something else to say. Bischoff says Hogan has had to draw straws to pick his partners. Hogan talks about Savage being cool with the NWO for a long time before everything fell apart. The NWO is better than ever without Savage though, which brings us to tonight. Hogan has picked Hall and Nash as his partners (shocking) because they would never stab him in the back. This didn’t need to be done in the arena.
More Gene and the Nitro Girls. Are these segments supposed to be interesting?
Bryan Adams vs. Kaos
From Bret Hart to this for Adams, which is much more appropriate for a guy of his caliber. Adams jumps Kaos to start and lays him out with a quick piledriver. A kick to the shoulder puts Kaos down again and a gutbuster gets two. I’m leaving out the walking around between each move to avoid redundancy. Kaos comes back with a jawbreaker and a clothesline for two before his partner Rage goes up top. Adams fights Kaos off with ease and kicks Rage down before hitting a tilt-a-whirl slam on Kaos for the pin.
Rating: D. WAY too long here with Adams showing how limited his offense is at this point. That flat out shouldn’t be the case for someone with the kind of experience that he has. Adams didn’t look good out there other than the tilt-a-whirl finisher, but at least it was against a jobber and not anyone of value. Also what was up with High Voltage trying to double team like that? It came off like Adams was the good guy fighting off cheaters here.
Post match Adams hits the tilt-a-whirl on Rage for a pin as well.
Here’s Konnan who talks a lot of trash about Juventud Guerrera and says he has an opponent for him of the same size and weight. If Juvy can beat this guy, he can have a match against Konnan.
Juventud Guerrera vs. Scott Norton
Juvy tries to dive on Norton and just bounces off. Chops have no effect either and we head inside. Norton launches him into the air for a great looking crash. Guerrera comes back with a missile dropkick but a springboard spinwheel kick is caught into a backbreaker. Off to a bearhug followed by a full nelson to make Juvy scream. Guerrera will not give up and Norton lets him go, only to hit the shoulder breaker for the pin.
Rating: D+. What in the world was the point of this? Juvy can’t beat a guy he shouldn’t be able to beat and Konnan gets to laugh a lot? Guerrera not giving up was a nice idea, but having him destroyed by a shoulder breaker a few seconds later doesn’t make him look that great. This didn’t do much for anyone.
Video on Raven vs. Page vs. Benoit.
Chris Benoit/Diamond Dallas Page vs. Perry Saturn/Raven
This should be good. Benoit and Saturn slug it out to start and Perry gets two off a northern lights suplex. Chris takes him into the corner and makes the tag off to Page for a swinging neckbreaker. Raven gets the tag but Benoit tags himself in before Page can get himself a piece. Benoit runs Raven over and Saturn is knocked to the floor as well as we take a break.
Back with Page being double teamed in the corner….which has switched for some reason. As in the teams have switched corners during the break. Raven snaps Page’s throat across the ropes for two but Page comes back with a sunset flip. No count though as Benoit is making a save, allowing Raven to put on a front facelock. Page fights his way over to Benoit but the referee is with Saturn so it’s no good. Saturn comes in for a bearhug on the bad ribs which lasts for a good long while.
Page finally breaks free but Saturn trips him up, allowing Raven to stop the tag. A great looking guillotine legdrop gets two for Saturn but an elbow drop misses, allowing for the hot tag off to Benoit. The Canadian cleans house but Raven breaks up the Rolling Germans with a low blow. The Evenflow is countered into the Crossface but Page Diamond Cuts Saturn onto Benoit to break the hold. Page and Benoit get in a fight and brawl to a countout.
Rating: B. For once this is the right ending as it builds up to the PPV match perfectly well. This was a really solid tag match which followed the formula to perfection and had the fans losing their minds for the hot tag. It’s another example of what should be the first rule of wrestling: when things start to go bad, have a good wrestling match and things will get better in a hurry.
Goldberg and Disco Inferno went to Duke University hospital earlier today.
Gene gets some Dominos Pizza as the Girls keep dancing.
Hour #3 begins.
Konnan vs. British Bulldog
Konnan starts a USA chant in a funny bit. The Bulldog rolls and spins out of a wristlock and hooks a chinlock a minute into the match. Konnan fights up and takes Bulldog down with a clothesline and a back elbow to the jaw for two. A low dropkick gets two on the Bulldog before he gets up and…..rolls himself up for two? Bulldog was the one doing the move but rolled onto his shoulders with his feet in the air before kicking out. Odd indeed. Anyway Konnan comes off the ropes but walks into a horrible powerslam for the pin by Bulldog. This was really, REALLY bad while it lasted.
Here’s Flair and remember we’re in North Carolina. Flair talks about how the last time he was in this city, Curt Hennig slammed a cage door on his head. This time though, it’s Hennig’s turn to take a beating. Tonight Hennig will be Carolina Dreaming. Flair didn’t have much to say here.
Cruiserweight Title: Disco Inferno vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho grabs a headlock to start but Disco takes him down with a hiptoss. Disco sends him over the top and out to the floor but Jericho blocks an ax handle from the apron with a dropkick to the ribs. Back in and Disco gets two off a sunset flip but the champ drops him throat first across the top rope. Disco catches a charging Jericho in something like a spinebuster for two. A swinging neckbreaker gets a VERY close two but Jericho comes right back with the double underhook backbreaker and the Liontamer retains the belt.
Rating: C. This was better than I was expecting with Disco continuing to impress in the ring. Jericho was playing it straight tonight and came up with a decent match as a result. The match with Malenko on Sunday is getting overlooked for some reason but it should be good as well. Nice match here.
Remember how Gene was at Duke University with the Nitro Girls? He’s still there.
TV Title: Booker T vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Eddie follows Chavo out and tries to talk some reason into him before the match. Booker yells at Eddie, allowing Chavo to get in a cheap shot before the bell. A dropkick to the leg takes Booker down but Eddie has the referee during the cover. Booker hits the spin kick to take Chavo down but the ax kick mostly misses. The missile dropkick is good for a quick pin for Booker in an abrupt ending.
Post match Eddie gives Chavo a brainbuster for losing.
Curt Hennig vs. Ric Flair
Before the match, Flair tells Hennig and Rude that he’s going to do this for every Horseman ever. Flair hits a quick hiptoss to send Curt to the floor and the fans freak out. Back in and Curt fires off some chops before sending Flair out to the floor for a beating from Rude. Ric gets back in and slugs it out with Flair knocking Hennig down to the mat. A low blow has Hennig in even more trouble and Flair brings in a chair. He puts Hennig in the Tree of Woe and picks up the chair but the NWO runs in for the DQ.
Rating: C. This didn’t have the time to go anywhere but Ric in North Carolina is always worth a look. Flair vs. Hennig had gone on for months and then just stopped cold for the sake of a DDP vs. Hennig match at Starrcade. It’s good to see them bring things up again but the fire was gone at this point.
Post match the NWO runs in for the beatdown but Bret makes the save.
Scott Steiner/Scott Norton vs. Rick Steiner/Lex Luger
For the sake of simplicity, Scott Steiner will only be called Scott, Scott Norton will only be called Norton and Rick Steiner will only be called Rick. Rick comes out with a bulldog (Heenan: “He brought his sister!”) and chases off the NWO before the bell. We start with Rick vs. Norton and the NWO member being thrown down with a belly to belly. Scott bails to the floor from a glare from his brother and it’s Luger coming in with an ax handle to Norton’s shoulder.
Off to Scott who is run over by a few clotheslines and it’s time for the brothers to fight but Scott bails to the corner. Norton runs over Rick and it’s finally time for Scott to come in and pound away. Rick gets in a single right hand to the ribs and Scott bails to the corner. A backdrop puts Norton down but Scott breaks up the Steiner Bulldog. Luger beats Scott up the aisle and apparently it’s a double countout despite not hearing the count at all.
Rating: D+. This was storyline development as we build towards the eventual Steiner showdown. Luger and Scott have a match on Sunday which was barely mentioned here but at least they fought to end things. Norton was the odd man out and I’m not sure why they had him work twice tonight.
Hollywood Hogan/Outsiders vs. Sting/Randy Savage/The Giant
Thankfully Sting actually wears the belt again. Giant is in a neck brace and street clothes but goes after Nash anyway. It’s a big brawl to start with the three pairs fighting all over the arena. Sting and Hogan get things going with the champion pounding away and getting two off a right hand. Hogan sends him into a few corners and hits Sting in the back but the champion blocks a ram into the corner to get control back. Hall and Nash have their arms stretched out but Hogan doesn’t seem interested in tagging.
Giant gets the tag and Hogan staggers away, falling right into Nash which counts as a tag. Hall and Hogan try to jump Giant from behind but he picks both of them up AT THE SAME TIME in a double bearhug. That guy is so strong it’s unreal. Nash breaks it up though and Giant is in trouble. The NWO goes after Giant’s bad neck and the beating goes on for a good while. Hogan puts on a front facelock but can’t get the brace off.
Sting finally comes in without a tag to give Giant a breather but the brace has been removed. A triple beatdown has Giant in trouble but he shoves all three guys down and makes the hot tag to Savage. Giant gets back up and Nash runs off as Savage pounds on Hogan. Sting and Hall finally have some contact with the champion hitting a few Stinger Splashes before they fight to the floor. In the melee the Disciple comes in with the Stunner on Savage to give Hogan the pin.
Rating: C-. Not a terrible match but it was much more hype than actual substance. I’ll let the shock of a Nitro main event fitting that description sink in for a minute. Anyway the Sting vs. Hall match continues to be given less attention than even the TV Title match but any other solution might take some of the spotlight of Hogan vs. Savage and we couldn’t have that.
Overall Rating: C. This is an interesting show as they covered most of if not all the matches for Sunday but I really don’t care to see the PPV. At the end of the day the card just isn’t all that good and the Hogan vs. Savage issue does nothing for me. A lot of the other matches sound ok but not good enough to want to watch the show. The wrestling on here was ok but the storylines that dominated things dragged it down.
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