Monday Nitro – September 21, 1998: You Can See The Cliff From Here

Monday Nitro #155
Date: September 21, 1998
Location: Fleet Center, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 15,144
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko

So the Horsemen returned a week ago and three days later they were outsmarted by Bischoff and Bagwell in an arm wrestling match on Thunder. Due to that loss, Flair is never allowed to wrestle again, which I’m sure will hold up. Other than that we’re coming up on Halloween Havoc and Nitro has turned into a bad horror movie with Warrior kidnapping Disciple last week. Let’s get to it.

Hall arrives and yells at Doug Dillinger about wrecking his car while holding a bag which sounds like it’s full of bottles.

Nitro Girls.

The announcers do their opening chat, mainly talking about Page vs. Goldberg.

The ring fills up with smoke and Disciple is unconscious on the mat. This brings out the Black and White but more smoke fills the ring and the NWO can’t just walk through it and grab his body for some reason. Warrior appears in the rafters under the Warrior Signal with the unconscious Disciple. Hogan says come and finish what you ran away from eight years ago and to tell the people that Warrior lives in fear.

Warrior says he’s been running to reappear and take away all of Hogan’s valuable possessions. Tonight he starts with the Disciple, who kneels beside him because he hasn’t been instilled with the Warrior powers. Warrior promises that the plot will thicken tonight. I know the blowoff match is horrible, but the build for it is somehow even less interesting.

Opening sequence.

Finlay vs. Barry Darsow

They circle each other until Darsow hammers him into the corner but Finlay uppercuts him back. We hit an early nerve hold on Barry followed by a simple pull of the face but Darsow comes back with choking and a chinlock. Finlay counters a piledriver attempt and the tombstone is enough to pin Barry.

Rating: D. Pretty boring brawl for the most part here with Darsow not being interesting at all. Finlay was a decent enough midcarder but he needed more to work with out there. I’ve never understood the mentality behind booking these meaningless matches in the first hour. You have an uncontested hour with no Raw and this is how you use it?

Clips of Flair returning last week.

Clips of Warrior’s speech from earlier because wrestling fans can’t remember something from fifteen minutes ago.

Nick Dinsmore vs. Wrath

Dinsmore is more famous as Eugene. Wrath throws him into the corner to start and sidesteps a dropkick. Meltdown ends this squash quick.

More Flair clips.

Video on Goldberg vs. Page which plays up a battle of the finishers. The match is for the WCW/NWO World Title, making me shake my head all over again.

Rick Fuller vs. Rick Steiner

It’s a brawl to start with Steiner pounding Fuller down to the mat. Steiner catches a jumping Fuller in a kind of belly to belly, setting up the bulldog for the pin in less than a minute. That was a dominant squash.

Steiner gets on the mic and says Goldberg is 146-0 but he’s 9000-0 against his brother.

The evil laughter starts up again.

Here’s the Black and White to continue the nonsense. Hogan wants to take it to the streets with Warrior so he says come to the ring and face him like a man. Warrior appears on the stage and says follow him if you have the courage. The Black and White goes after him and after pausing for the smoke, goes into Hogan’s locker room and finds a burning Warrior symbol and Disciple unconscious in the bathroom. Smoke fills the bathroom and Disciple disappears.

We look at Saturn telling the Flock to go their own ways last week.

Kanyon/Raven vs. Los Villanos

Raven says loyalty is dead and someone has to pay before blasting the Villanos in a fast start. Kanyon loads up a powerbomb on IV with Raven adding a neckbreaker, only to drop IV on the back of his head, causing the match to stop immediately. Raven was checking on IV and looked terrified so I can’t imagine this was fake.

The trainer comes out to check on IV and you can hear the fans gasp as replays are shown. Thankfully it looks like it was his shoulder that landed first. IV is able to sit up and very slowly walk away from the ring, getting a nice ovation from the crowd.

We see Disco Inferno trying to make weight for a Cruiserweight Title shot tonight.

Hour #2 begins.

Alex Wright comes out and shouts in German before saying we’re dumb Americans. He speaks very slowly for us, saying that he can’t stand America and Diamond Dallas Page is even worse.

Alex Wright vs. Diamond Dallas Page

Page is taping his hands up on the way to the ring. Alex stomps him down in the corner to start and knocks him back with a dropkick. A missile dropkick puts Page down again but Page counters a whip into the corner and loads up a belly to back suplex. Wright backflips out but walks into the Diamond Cutter for the pin. I think Page was supposed to catch him during the backflip but couldn’t get his hands up in time, which is hardly a criticism as that would have been very difficult and the way they did it looked fine.

Post match Page says he and Goldberg are different animals with Goldberg rocketing to the top while Page took forever to get there. He’s bringing everything he has at Halloween Havoc and will make Goldberg feel the BANG.

The Nitro Party winner of the week is from a bunch of guys who forgot to include their names.

More Nitro Girls.

Clip of Ernest Miller being arrested last week.

The Cat vs. Lenny Lane

Lane is given five seconds to leave without getting beaten up and actually takes Miller up on the offer. Cat stops him and kicks Lane in the chest before talking even more trash. Another kick to the face drops Lenny as Scott Hall staggers down the aisle. Miller has a chinlock on Lane as Hall says it’s party time Boston style. Dusty Rhodes returns from wherever he’s been for the last few months to yell at Scott, saying he’s throwing his career away. The Feliner ends Lane to wrap up the stuff in the background. We only saw about 45 seconds of the match.

Disco is exhausted and covered in sweat but has made weight. So Matt Hardy in 2003 was ripping off Disco Inferno?

Back from a break with more evil laughter.

We look at Jericho getting lost over and over again. Last week Jericho thinks Goldberg is scared of him and declares himself a unified world champion.

Jerry Flynn vs. Saturn

Saturn easily takes him down before hitting a Thesz Press and a quickly broken choke. Flynn tries a leg lock but Saturn is in the ropes before too much damage can be done. Saturn kicks him in the head a few times and loads up a table on the floor. Flynn hits a nice dive to take Saturn out but walks into a northern lights suplex, which Tony says is out of Curt Hennig’s playbook. More kicks from Flynn set up a cross armbreaker but Saturn rolls out. They head outside and Flynn accidentally kicks the post twice in a row, setting up a splash through the table and the Death Valley Driver for the pin.

Rating: D+. WAY too much offense from Flynn here, especially so soon after Saturn’s big win over Raven. It was nice to see Flynn do anything other than kicks, but at the end of the day he’s still the same stupid mullet wearing karate guy he’s always been. Why the table spot wasn’t a DQ is never explained.

Monday Night Jericho ad, featuring voiceovers talking about people becoming Jericholics. The lights come on to reveal that it’s Jericho himself in a funny bit.

Here are Bagwell and Scott Steiner to brag about their physiques and make fun of Boston for losing everything. They’ve been sent here to find out where Bret Hart stands and demand that he come out here right now, fake knee injury or not. Bret comes in for the showdown but the NWO guys beat him down until Sting makes the save. Rick Steiner sneaks up on Scott and gets in a few good shots as Bagwell runs.

Cruiserweight Title: Disco Inferno vs. Kidman

Disco is defending but is already tired coming in. Kidman has no sympathy and dropkicks him down for a fast two and a slingshot legdrop gets the same. A nice running clothesline gets two more but Disco grabs a headlock to get a breather. They run the ropes and Disco collapses from exhaustion. Kidman hooks a chinlock and drops another middle rope legdrop for his fourth two count before we take a break.

Back with Kidman still in control as Lodi comes to the ring with signs saying they need to reform the Flock. Disco uses the distraction to hit a quick jumping piledriver but takes too long to cover and only gets two. He slams Kidman down but stops to dance, wasting even more energy. A middle rope elbow misses and Kidman comes back with a middle rope bulldog for two. Disco comes back with a neckbreaker but stops to dance before trying a powerbomb, allowing Kidman to counter into a faceplant. Kidman scores with sitout spinebuster and the Shooting Star for the pin.

Rating: B-. Nice match here with a good one night angle to back it up. It wasn’t anything original or ground breaking but it gave the match an extra dimension and made Disco look a bit better. It also helps that Kidman was only in trouble once off that piledriver which only connected because of a distraction.

The evil laughter starts up again as Disco is still in the ring.

Nitro Girls with Tygress getting a solo.

More Flair stuff from last week.

Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Konnan

Konnan does his schtick and Chavo does the same thing, showing that he’s as loveable as Konnan is. Chavo thinks he should be in the Wolfpack too and wants to talk to Nash about it. Instead it’s Konnan taking him down with a pair of clotheslines and scoring with the low dropkick. Chavo bails to the floor for a meeting with Pepe before coming back with a very elaborate arm wringer before pulling on his trunks.

Konnan gets taken down by a dropkick and Chavo stops for a ride on Pepe. The delay lets K-Dawg come back with a gorilla press drop before sending him face first into the buckle. We hit the chinlock for a bit but Chavo fights back with a running forearm in the corner. Now it’s Chavo with a chinlock for a few seconds until we take a break.

Back with Konnan still in the chinlock as Heenan is talking a mile a minute. Chavo cranks on Konnan’s arms before missing a charge into the post to change momentum. Konnan takes him outside and whips him into various metal objects before bulldogging him down for two. The usual stuff finishes for Konnan.

Rating: D+. This match died after the break with both guys laying around and resting far too much. That’s the problem with having a guy like Konnan go long when he mainly wrestles in squash matches. Not a terrible match due to the comedy at the start but it didn’t work for the most part.

We see Eddie being sent to Japan last week.

Here are Liz and Bischoff with the latter being way too happy given what was happening with Disciple. Bischoff brags about building an empire and being responsible for everyone being in their seats tonight. He built up everything you see here and none of the credit can go to Ric Flair. Eric talks about all the mistakes Flair made last week and reminds Flair that just because he has a contract, it doesn’t mean he has the right to wrestle. Flair and Anderson should never wrestle again since this is Bischoff’s company and he gets to make the decision.

This brings out the Horsemen in black (save for Arn in stripes) to the AWESOME galloping horse music. Security stops the Horsemen in the aisle but Flair has a quick chat with Doug Dillinger and the Horsemen get to come to the ring. Flair can’t talk due to the ovation at first which brings a smile to my face. Bischoff lied when he said Flair wasn’t here and lied again when he said the Horsemen were dead. Flair goes through every member of the Horsemen and why they’re all great but says Bischoff gets to live tonight.

Only Anderson wants to get his hands on Bischoff worse than Ric does, and on his worse day he could roll Bischoff up, smoke him, then stomp on him like a cockroach. Bischoff offers Flair a free shot. Ric: “Yeah I want it and she wants Space Mountain but she’s not getting it tonight.” Flair says the only reason he won’t hit Bischoff is he doesn’t have another two million bucks.

Ric brings up Reid’s wrestling tournament that caused the original suspension (never mentioned on TV before I don’t think) so Bischoff can suck it. Bischoff has said that the Horsemen are too old but Flair says he’s just too good. Flair says he didn’t save his money but he made it by being the best. The only reason Bischoff is living like he is now is because of people like Flair, Sting, Luger and Dusty Rhodes.

Ric keeps ranting about selling out arenas from coast to coast while Bischoff was in a bathroom buying his first condom. Space Mountain may be the oldest ride in the park but it still has the longest line. While Bischoff is puffing his chest, why doesn’t he tell the people who introduced him to Hulk Hogan.

Bischoff says it was just because Flair wanted to carry Hogan’s bag. Ric calls Hogan a guy that went on fourth every night to beat the crowd and says the Horsemen will be in Norfolk for Thunder but Bischoff warns them not to show up. The Horsemen back Bischoff into a corner and show him the fingers to end the segment. No one can rant like Ric Flair, period.

Giant/Stevie Ray vs. Kevin Nash/Lex Luger

The graphic says Stevie Ray/Scott Hall which is due to Giant subbing in for the drunk Hall. Stevie and Luger start us off and do very little before Hall comes up to the announcers’ desk and wants to know why so many people want to see him fight Nash. Scott says there’s no alcohol policy in WCW and his back hurts from carrying Nash this many years. Luger stomps Stevie down in the corner as Hall nearly falls down while talking.

Hall comes down and gets on the apron before throwing the referee to the floor. Nash gets the tag as Tenay plugs a boxing show tomorrow night. Hall tries a right hand and falls down, allowing Giant to come in and beat down Nash. Luger cleans house with a chair and the match is thrown out. No rating due to the lack of action as this was more storytelling than wrestling.

Hall wants to fight Nash but falls to the floor on a charge. Nash is disgusted by what he’s seeing and says that he’s lost his best friend because he doesn’t know who Hall is anymore. Scott yells that he’s lost everything and Nash wasn’t there but Nash says he won’t fight for free. A challenge is thrown out for Halloween Havoc and I guess Hall accepts.

Here’s the Black and White for the final Warrior showdown of the night. Hogan says get Warrior out here so he can send him back to the promised land. Warrior shows up in the entrance and Disciple is behind him. Hogan is thrilled but Disciple turns around to reveal an OWN vest, sending Hogan into a rage as we go off the air.

Overall Rating: D. This was pretty much a throwaway show with one good match out of ten. Even modern day Raw can give you a better ratio than that. The best part of the first hour were those right hands that Rick Steiner threw at Fuller. Let that sink in for a minute: some right hands, the most commonly used move in wrestling, were the best things in an hour of wrestling.

The Horsemen segment was good with Flair explaining his issues with Bischoff to the crowd who probably didn’t know most of the details. However, Bischoff didn’t come off as scared or intimidated in the slightest. He was defiant, bold and standing up to Flair, which makes the Horsemen look far less intimidating than they should. That’s the problem with Bischoff at the end of the day: he almost never got any punishment for what he did, save for the occasional moment like losing to Jay Leno or Larry Zbyszko about ten months earlier. Other than that, Bischoff gets to be this big macho guy who never gets what’s coming to him.

Finally there’s the big story of the week. Based on what we’ve seen since Fall Brawl, it’s very clear that the real main event of Halloween Havoc is Hogan vs. Warrior and Goldberg vs. Page is about five notches lower on the card. I understand the concept of a dream match being bigger than the world title once in awhile, but this is the fourth straight PPV (meaning every one since he won the title) where Goldberg isn’t in the featured match. The title is being treated like it’s an afterthought and that’s not good at any time. This company is on the verge of big trouble and the signs have been there for months.

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