Monday Nitro – October 19, 1998: It’s…..Good?

Monday Nitro #159
Date: October 19, 1998
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attendance: 15,722
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Lee Marshall, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone

We’re FINALLY up to the go home show for Halloween Havoc after what seems like months of buildup. Tonight is likely going to focus on Flair getting Bischoff thrown out of the United Center last year, which likely means it’s time for Bischoff to get one up on the Horsemen. Other than that we’re probably going further into the Hogan vs. Warrior mess as it continues to not really have any business on a wrestling show. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Bischoff getting ejected by the owner of the United Center last week in favor of the Horsemen.

Nitro Girls.

The announcers do their intro and former AWA star Larry Zbyszko gets a bigger reaction than usual. We get another package on Bischoff and the Horsemen from last week.

Kenny Kaos vs. Saturn

Kaos takes an early advantage with a hard clothesline but Saturn comes right back with a quick swinging neckbreaker. A spinning springboard forearm gets two on Kaos but he drops Saturn over the top and out to the floor. Back in and Kaos hits a nice gutwrench suplex for two followed by a gorilla press slam. Kaos isn’t looking bad but he’s favoring his elbow after that press. Saturn is sent into the corner and kicked in the back, only to come back with some roundhouse kicks to the head. An overhead suplex puts Kaos down and a falcon’s arrow sets up the Death Valley Driver for the pin.

Rating: C. This was much better than I was expecting with Kaos putting in a nice performance. Apparently some other people thought the same as we’ll be hearing some more from Kaos in the very near future. For the older fans out there, does this victory over Kaos make Saturn a Control agent?

Tenay polls fans about last week’s show.

Halloween Havoc ad.

Normal intro.

Gene brings out Ernest Miller for a chat. Miller says he hates this town and its’ kids in particular. He threatens Gene until Okerlund gets out of the ring and invites anyone to get in the ring for a challenge. A “fan” jumps the barricade and is stopped by security but Miller says let him in. The fan gets destroyed as you would expect and now security takes him away. We get a better look at the fan and it’s none other than future WCW Tag Team Champion Chuck Palumbo.

We recap Nash chasing Hall around for the last few weeks.

Nitro Party video.

Nitro Girls.

Scott Steiner says he was the real success of the Steiner Brothers and he had to overcome Rick’s weaknesses.

Speaking of Rick Steiner, we see his incident with Chuckie last week and the announcers analyze it like it’s a match.

Video on Goldberg vs. DDP.

Damien/Psychosis/El Dandy/Hector Garza vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr./La Parka/Ciclope/La Parka

The former team is LWO and they have their own music now. Damien goes after La Parka’s chair before the bell and gets kicked in the head. Serves him right. This is under lucha rules so going to the floor counts as a tag. Lizmark hammers on Damien in the corner to start and gets two off a hurricanrana before it’s off to La Parka vs. El Dandy with La Parka chopping him in the chest and back. A big enziguri puts Dandy down and it’s off to Ciclope and Garza.

The LWO comes in for a four on one beatdown until Damien snaps off a top rope hurricanrana for two. Garza comes in with a missile dropkick to the back and it’s off to Chavo for the first big pop of the match. Chavo quickly dropkicks him down but things quickly break down.

Psychosis misses a charge into the post but Ciclope comes in with a missile dropkick. Everyone misses something off the top before La Parka and Chavo hit some dives. A Hart Attack with a springboard dropkick from Lizmark gets two on Psychosis but La Parka comes in to clean house with the chair but knocks out Ciclope, giving Psychosis the pin.

Rating: C+. This was the usual fast paced lucha match which was almost impossible to keep track of a the end. La Parka’s chair shot seems to turn him to the LWO which is fine as the team needs some bigger names. The match was able to fire the crowd up as well as advanced the LWO story so nice multitasking WCW.

Post match Eddie comes out and gives La Parka a shirt. So the way to prove you’re united with the other luchadores is to hit another with a chair? Chavo seems happy but walks off, telling Pepe he doesn’t need a shirt.

We look at Bret’s history with Sting and turning on him, leading to the brawl two weeks ago.

Kanyon vs. Scott Putski

We get the Who Better Than Kanyon bit before the match. Kanyon: “You guys just don’t get it.” They fight over hammerlocks and headlocks to start until Scott scores with a few slams. A belly to back suplex gets two on Kanyon but he comes back by sending Putski into the corner and hammering away. Kanyon hits a middle rope Fameasser to send Putski outside and drops him face first onto the apron while standing on the steps. Back in and Putski hits a release overhead belly to belly but gets caught in a fireman’s carry pancake. The Flatliner is enough to get Kanyon the pin.

Rating: C-. Kanyon was fun to watch as always and Putski wasn’t bad either. I still don’t get his choice of attire as he’s an eye patch short of being a pirate from 1638. The match wasn’t bad though and it was a good way to keep Kanyon around. Why can’t we get stuff like this on Thunder?

Video on Hogan vs. Warrior.

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Here’s Scott Steiner to start the second hour. He talks about being cold, having freaks and being your hook up. Last week he beat up Buff Bagwell and calls out any Minnesota Vikings here tonight. Instead he gets Rick Steiner who is ready right now if Scott wants a fight. We have a referee down here but Scott says Rick is too easy.

Scott actually gets in and asks if this is going to be a fair fight. Rick says no and decks Scott in the head before pounding him into the corner. Scott charges into a boot as the announcers play up the idea that they know each other so well. A low blow stops Rick and Scott gets a chair as the bell rings. It never rang in the first place so this wasn’t a match. Buff runs out and takes the chair from Scott before nearly killing him with a big swing.

Nitro Girls video.

Nitro Girls in the ring.

We get a clip of a Goldberg autograph signing for charity.

Davey Boy Smith vs. Fit Finlay

Finlay takes him over with a headlock to start but walks into a slam for two. We hit a chinlock from Smith for a few seconds before another slam gets another two count. Finlay comes back with a clothesline and rips at Smith’s face before missing a charge into the buckle. The referee gets poked in the eye, allowing Alex Wright to run in and hit a quick missile dropkick to knock Bulldog into the tombstone from Finlay for the pin.

Rating: D. This was just a filler match and it didn’t do much to fire up the crowd. The King of Europe storyline wasn’t anything interesting when there were only a handful of people involved and they were just trading wins. This was Bulldog’s last appearance on Nitro as he would go to the hospital for a staph infection from breaking his back at Fall Brawl. Bischoff would fire him via FedEx while he was laid up.

Here’s Jericho with Ralphus at his side to brag about beating Greenberg three times in a row. Goldberg wants the sheet writers to think he’s the best but everyone knows that’s nonsense. DDP comes in and calls out “Jerkicho” for his lies and a match is made for later.

Hall is shown at a bar wearing his title belt and wrestling gear. Nothing else to the scene than that.

Wrath vs. Tokyo Magnum

Clothesline, chops and stomps, flying shoulder and the Meltdown are enough for the squash by Wrath.

More charity stuff from UNICEF.

We look at Buff saving Rick and cut to the back to see him throwing away his NWO shirt. Insert your own sarcastic response here.

Disco Inferno/Alex Wright vs. Silver King/Super Calo

Silver King and Calo say not so fast because they have replacements.

Disco Inferno/Alex Wright vs. Dean Malenko/Chris Benoit

An annoyed Bischoff comes out to commentary as Dean cranks on Wright’s wrist. Eric goes on a rant about how there are four people not getting paid tonight: “Those two Mexicans, Arn Anderson and…..make it five!” Dean hammers away on Wright’s head but gets pulled down to the mat. Disco comes in and walks into a suplex, only to pop up with a clothesline to take over. Inferno dances a bit and turns around to get chopped and stomped by Benoit. Everything breaks down and the Crossface quickly ends Disco.

The Horsemen yell at Bischoff who shouts about breach of contract.

Hall is still at the bar.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chris Jericho

Non-title of course. A shoulder puts Jericho down and he claims a hair pull. Page drives in his shoulders before they fight over hiptosses. That goes nowhere so DDP takes his head off with a left arm clothesline. Page tries to hammer away in the corner but gets dropped down onto the top turnbuckle to change control.

Jericho throws him outside and whips Page into the barricade for two. Page comes back with right hands and the discus lariat followed by a belly to back suplex for a near fall. Jericho grabs a quick jawbreaker and the Lionsault almost gets the upset. A low blow breaks up the Diamond Cutter but Page counters the Liontamer. Page calls for the Diamond Cutter but Goldberg comes in to spear Jericho for the DQ.

Rating: C+. Better match than I was expecting here as Jericho got in a lot of offense and wasn’t entirely beat at the end. They had to do something to give Page and Goldberg a real issue and this was as good as anything else they could have done. It’s always nice to see a champion not do a clean job too.

Page is ticked and the brawl is almost on until referees make the save.

Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Billy Kidman

Rey is returning from an injury to challenge for the title here. They feel each other out to start until Kidman takes him down to the mat in a front facelock. Back up and Rey snaps off a standing hurricanrana before backdropping the champion to the apron. Kidman comes back in with a slingshot headscissors and a hard dropkick gets two. We hit the chinlock for a bit on Mysterio before Kidman sends him into the corner for a running forearm which looked like a blown spot.

Mysterio takes his head off with a spinwheel kick and a high cross body for a very close two. Rey tries his sitout bulldog but gets countered into a wheelbarrow slam, sending Rey to the apron, only to get suplexed out to the floor by the masked man. Back in and Kidman shrugs it off and hits the lifting powerbomb for two. We hit the chinlock on Rey but he fights up and takes Kidman to the floor with a hurricanrana. Rey is favoring his knee but hits a nice flip dive to take Kidman down.

Rey takes too much time going up top and Kidman gets up, only to be dropped stomach first onto the ropes. A legdrop to the back of the head gets two but Rey is too banged up to cover. Kidman slams him down and misses a frog splash, allowing Rey to go up for a top rope seated senton and two.

Tony calls it a Thesz Press and Tenay doesn’t correct him. Mysterio hits a double leg Fameasser for two but gets caught in a powerbomb from the champion for two more. Mysterio crotches Kidman to break up the Shooting Star before taking Kidman to the mat with a hurricanrana for two. A jumping Killswitch gets two for Mysterio and he goes up top, only to dive into a dropkick as the bell rings for the time limit at about thirteen and a half minutes.

Rating: B+. This was one of the best matches we’ve had on Nitro in weeks with both guys countering a lot of stuff but still getting in their own big moves. Mysterio’s knee messing up was fine for a story and Kidman more than held up with the cruiserweight legend. I’m not sure how you can have a legend for a division about two years old but Tony kept using that term.

The Minneapolis mayor comes out holding a proclomation to huge booing and a Jesse chant. She brings out future Baseball Hall of Fame member Kirby Puckett and future NFL Hall of Famer John Randle but the fans still aren’t impressed with her. Maybe it’s the very loud and grating voice? Anyway she brings out Ric Flair and declares it Ric Flair Day in Minneapolis.

Flair is thrilled but here’s Bischoff to complain. He doesn’t need some three named mayor to ruin his show but the mayor says this is her town. Randle and Puckett get between them and cops tell Bischoff to stay back. Apparently Bischoff has some unpaid warrants and has 20 minutes to get out of the arena. Eric promises to be back and walks out but sees his car being towed away.

Nitro Girls.

Scott Norton/Scott Hall/Stevie Ray vs. Konnan/Kevin Nash/Lex Luger

Norton comes out wearing the IWGP Title. Hall staggers out after them and his partners aren’t pleased. That’s actually better than Nash who is nowhere in sight. Luger is back in trunks instead of pants. Konnan does his thing and we cut to the back where Nash is staggering around and dropping a cup.

The bell rings and Kevin slowly comes into the arena. Konnan and Stevie get things going but the Wolfpack asks Nash what’s going on. Kevin tries to get in but Luger and Konnan won’t let that happen. Nash keeps drinking until Luger takes the cup away. Stevie and Konnan get things going with Ray in control until Konnan comes back with the rolling clothesline.

Off to Luger and Norton with Lex throwing him around like he’s nothing. The running forearm puts Norton down but Stevie offers a distraction and the Black and White takes over. Nash is kneeling on the apron, cup in hand. Hall is asking for a tag but Ray and Norton just ignore him. Luger and Norton clothesline each other down and crawl to the corners where Hall and Nash tag themselves in. They make a drunken toast to each other but Nash has an empty cup. The fight is on and Hall gets his clock cleaned until the match is thrown out.

Rating: D. This was an angle instead of a match and that’s fine. The Hall vs. Nash idea is fine but I was hoping for it to be an actual match rather than the whole drunken Hall thing. I’m also not sure why it’s on a stacked Halloween Havoc card when it could have headlined a lower PPV card if treated well.

Hogan vs. Warrior promo.

Hollywood Hogan vs. Horace

Raise your hand if you think this is actually happening. Hollywood comes out to the wrong music at first and tells Michael Buffer that this isn’t happening. Horace comes out and admits that he’s Hollywood’s nephew which I thought was public knowledge before this. Hollywood says they’re blood so he calls the NWO out here to see what blood means to him. He’s proud of Horace and loves him before taking his shirt off.

Hollywood talks about the sacrifices you have to make to be in the NWO and says this is his sacrifice. He blasts Horace with a right hand and goes off on him, saying imagine what he’d do to Warrior if he’d do this to family. A chair shot puts Horace down and everyone but Norton leaves Hollywood alone.

Hogan rants about how Warrior is going to admit Hollywood rules the universe and tells him to say his prayers and take his vitamins. The NWO gets back in the ring and here’s Warrior with a ball bat. He cleans house as Hogan bails to the floor. Giant shrugs off a bat shot and chokeslams Warrior down. Hogan spray paints Warrior’s chest and drops some legs. The crowd has almost no response to this at all. They’re not booing or cheering and just kind of sit there for the whole thing.

Here’s Bret Hart to make a challenge. He runs his mouth about how he has no fans but his cat and calls Sting the worst there is, was and ever will be until Sting comes out for a fight.

Sting vs. Bret Hart

It’s a brawl to start with Sting in full control and hammering away. They head outside with Bret being sent into the barricade. All Sting so far as they head back inside with the big jumping elbow actually connecting for two. Bret gets in a kick to the ribs and drops a headbutt to the abdomen. He rakes Sting’s eyes across the top rope and hits the backbreaker but Sting blocks the middle rope elbow. There’s the Scorpion but Bret makes the rope. Sting doesn’t let go and it’s a DQ. “You might as well go get help because I’m not letting go.”

Rating: D. Again there was nothing to the match but that wasn’t the point. I’m not sure why you would have an actual match between them before Sunday, especially with Sting dominating the whole thing with ease. At least it wasn’t a clean finish or anything so there’s a reason to watch the match Sunday.

Referees can’t get the hold off so Stevie Ray and Vincent come out to pound on Sting. He still won’t leg to as he no sells everything before letting it go on his own. Bret limps away to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This was better than most Nitros lately and actually has me wanting to see the show on Sunday. There was entertaining wrestling and all of the major matches for Sunday got screen time. What else can you ask for from a go home show? Also Warrior finally got beaten up and the crowd just didn’t care at all. Good show actually.

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3 comments

  1. “C+. This was better than most Nitros lately”
    Does this mean WCW’s decline had already begun in 1998 (with about 3 years still to go in the Attitude Era) or did they bounce back and have some months of good content too in the next couple of years?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It was going downhill around this time but there was a brief resurgence in the second half of the year. 1998 was a good year for the most part but when it went low, it went REALLY low. 1999 and on was just horrible though.

  2. chad says:

    i would have to disagree about 1999 being all horrible though, the beginning was pretty good, the finger of doom COULD have worked very well and the ratings for jan and feb of 1999 show that the fans were interested in the storyline. the momentum could have been kept up had Goldberg ran through the new nWo and gotten a Hogan rematch for the World title at a PPV and beaten him clean.