Monday Nitro – February 15, 1999: ……Wow. Just Wow.

Monday Nitro #176
Date: February 15, 1999
Location: Entertainment Hall, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko

It’s the last Nitro before SuperBrawl and things are starting to get a bit more insane. The main stories coming out of last week are Roddy Piper winning the US Title and Hollywood Hogan being especially evil. Also of note is the Tag Team Title tournament, which has a lot of teams left and only two shows to go before the finals on Sunday. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page with Steiner going after Kimberly and throwing her out of a running car last week.

The announcers tell us that Kimberly is recovering at an undisclosed location.

Nitro Girls.

Tony updates us on the tag team tournament. For Benoit and Malenko to win, they’ll have to win five times in a row this week. Hennig and Windham are already in the finals on Sunday.

Arn Anderson destroys Disco Inferno in the back but security takes him out in handcuffs.

Eric Bischoff is a chauffeur this week. Flair and some businessmen like his little hat. Bischoff has to open the door for them.

Opening video.

We look at Piper winning the US Title last week.

Jerry Flynn vs. Saturn

Saturn is still in the dress. Tony keeps talking about the tournament. Benoit and Malenko will face Dave Taylor/Fit Finlay with the winners facing Mike Enos/Bobby Duncum Jr. later tonight. They trade hammerlocks to start until Flynn fires off some kicks to take over. Saturn comes back with a modified ax kick for two before putting on a leg lock, sending Jerry running into the ropes. Off to a modified ankle lock but Jerry makes it to the ropes again. Saturn doesn’t let go so Jerry crawls up the ropes and kicks Saturn in the head to escape.

They slug it out until Saturn kicks him down again but can’t follow up. A legsweep puts Saturn down again and Jerry puts on a cross armbreaker. Saturn stands up to break it and the fans still aren’t all that interested. A springboard cross body gets two for Saturn but he gets caught by a spinwheel kick in the corner. Saturn hammers away in the corner but Scott Dickinson gets on the apron for a distraction. Jericho comes in with a kendo stick, only to walk into a suplex. Flynn spin kicks Saturn down for the upset pin.

Rating: D. Why is this feud still going and why in the world am I supposed to care about Scott Dickinson? The match was more of Flynn using all of his kicks and not being interesting and then it’s about a crooked and suspended referee. Why is that supposed to be interesting? I’d love an answer to that question. WWF is coming off Rock vs. Mankind in a last man standing match and Big Show debuting to break up Austin vs. Vince the previous night, and WCW stars with a freaking referee story while having Saturn wear a dress and fight Jerry Flynn. This company makes my head hurt.

Speaking of stories that haven’t died for some reason, Bischoff is still being tortured by bad acting from the “businessmen”. This is used as a tie-in to Will Sasso from MadTV wrestling Bret Hart tonight. Flair gets a call about Arn getting arrested. With the privacy screen up, Bischoff calls his “guys”, saying he’ll be there soon.

Clip of Mongo getting blinded last week.

Clip from MadTV, which we saw last week.

Juventud Guerrera/Psychosis/Blitzkreig vs. Super Calo/El Dandy/Hector Garza

Lucha rules, meaning rolling to the floor counts as a tag. Larry doesn’t like the rules changing but Tony says rules don’t matter anyway. Blitzkreig works on Calo’s arm to start but Calo sidesteps a moonsault and elbows him in the face. Tony tells us about Rey Mysterio getting beaten up by Lex Luger before the show came on the air as the fans chant for Goldberg.

A double tag brings in Garza to face Psychosis with Hector nailing a nice superkick. Garza misses a top rope cross body but reaches out and grabs Psychosis for an armdrag. It might have been an armdrag all along but it looked awesome. Juvy and Dandy come in to trade slaps before Dandy takes over with a hard right hand. Juvy comes right back by rolling up Dandy’s body into a faceplant as everything breaks down for a few seconds. In the melee, Calo gets in a cheap shot to Guerrera, allowing Dandy to hook a chinlock.

Garza goes to the corner but gets slammed down, triggering another triple teaming to the fans’ delight. Blitzkreig comes in and avoids a splash in the corner as we take a break. Back with Psychosis holding Calo in a leg scissors on the mat. Juvy comes back in with some dropkicks but he knocks Calo into his corner for a tag to El Dandy. The jam-up guy goes after the leg before it’s off to Garza for more of the same.

Hector misses a charge into the corner and it’s off to Blitzkreig who stomps Garza into the corner for a tag to Calo. Psychosis comes in as well and takes Calo down, setting up a powerbomb with Juvy adding a simultaneous guillotine legdrop for two. Calo rolls to the floor so it’s back to Garza who ges Stunned across the top rope, followed by a springboard missile dropkick for two. Dandy is knocked to the floor but Guerrera botches Air Juvy.

Garza dives onto Dandy for no apparent reason before Psychosis dives onto Garza and Guerrera, allowing Blitzkrieg to hit a springboard spinwheel kick for two on Calo. Bliztkrieg is sat on the top rope but Calo falls off the corner. Back in and Calo hurricanranas Blitzkreig out of the corner but Blitzkrieg doesn’t flip and just jumps down to the mat while Calo goes flying. A Phoenix Splash from Blitzkrieg is enough to pin Calo.

Rating: D. What the heck was THAT? This match ran nearly twenty minutes and might as well have been a 1970s six man tag for the first fifteen or so minutes. The ending started to pick up a bit when they weren’t hitting their own partners or botching spots. Why in the world would you have luchadors do a bunch of mat wrestling? It’s like hiring LeBron James to paint your house. You’re wasting the talent. Also the lucha rules were used like twice. This was a mess and more confusing than anything else.

We’re in the hotel where the Blonde is in a towel and asks the cameraman to get her fresh towels and lunch. She’s much less sweet here.

A helicopter spotlight is on a limo, presumably carrying Flair, the businessmen and Bischoff. Some Hummers are following the limo but Flair tells the businessmen that it’s fine. The limo pulls over and two men in black clothes and ski masks (one is tall with long perfect hair sticking out of the back, meaning it’s probably Nash) carrying a pipe come up to the door. Another guy, clearly Hogan, tells the businessmen to get out. Flair hits Hogan but backs off from Nash with the pipe.

The spotlight is on them as the Hummers circle around them. Hogan gets back up and nails Flair as five other guys all in black get out and beat up Flair. Hogan whips Flair with the NWO weightlifting belt as some of the other guys hold him. They all put their fists together and Hogan says Flair isn’t making it to SuperBrawl.

One of the guys takes off his mask to reveal Buff Bagwell. Nash holds Flair so Hogan can hammer away as Stevie Ray and Vincent have taken off their masks too. The beating just keeps going and Hogan has hurt his hand. Everyone gets in a shot and Nash puts on Flair’s tie. More whipping ensues and Hogan again says Flair isn’t making it to SuperBrawl. Flair is left laying after this went on for over ten minutes.

Nitro Girls. The announcers make no mention of what we just saw, which is the rule of thumb anymore with these segments.

Same video on the tag team tournament. This includes talking about teams that have already been eliminated. The SuperBrawl graphic at the end also says that the show is “tomorrow, February 21.”

Tag Team Title Tournament: Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Fit Finlay/Dave Taylor

The winners face Mike Enos and Scotty Riggs tonight and the losers are eliminated. Yes Scotty Riggs, as the tournament has been changed again. Assuming the winners of that face Adams and Horace on Thunder, Van Hammer and Kaz Hayashi have been eliminated with just one loss. Finlay drives a shoulder to Benoit’s ribs in the corner to start before cranking on somehting like a Crossface.

Benoit fights back with a headlock before hiptossing the Irishman down. A double tag brings in Malenko vs. Taylor with absolutely nothing happening before it’s back to Benoit who gets his arm worked on even more by Dave. Back to Finlay who drops Benoit throat first across the top rope and out to the floor where Taylor gets in some shots of his own. Malenko comes back in and suplexes Finlay down. It’s strange to have the commentators not mentioning what happened before the match started.

We take a break and come back with Taylor suplexing Dean for two. Taylor rips at his face a bit before Finlay slams Dean face first onto the apron. He drops Dean throat first across the barricade like he did to Benoit with the ropes earlier. Benoit tries to come in, allowing Finlay to get in some shots of his own. Finlay misses a charge into the post and the hot tag brings in Benoit. Chris cleans house with the running clothesline and snap suplex for two. Finlay picks him up for a tombstone but Dean breaks it up with a dropkick. Malenko comes back in sans tag and avoids a Taylor charge in the corner, setting up the Cloverleaf for the submission.

Rating: C-. This felt a step off the whole way through. It didn’t help that the winners were pretty obvious given that Windham/Hennig are waiting in the finals already. The match was long again but these guys are more capable of filling in a match that long. Still not great but this show has been off all night.

Goldberg video.

We see Kimberly being thrown out of the car again last week.

Back from a break with the Nitro Girls standing at the announcers’ desk to talk all serious about what happened to Kimberly. Heenan: “Are they going to dance?”

We recap Bret losing the US Title last week thanks to Will Sasso. This sets up the following.

Bret Hart vs. Will Sasso

This is also due to Hart “breaking character” when filming MadTV and attacking Sasso. I’ve seen the clip a few times and I thought that was the joke. Thankfully Tony told me what the real idea was supposed to be because it was really badly explained. Sasso, from MadTV mind you, is overweight and comes out with another cast member named Debra Wilson. Bret destroys Sasso to start and gets a chair to sit down in the middle of the ring. Sasso gets beaten up on the floor but Wilson takes the chair from Hart…..and turns on Sasso by hitting him with the chair. Back in and the Sharpshooter ends this.

Rating: F. What the heck am I even watching anymore? What purpose did this serve? Better question: how does this make me want to buy SuperBrawl? This was Bret Hart beating up a fat guy with help from an actress I’ve never heard of. I don’t remember MadTV being a big deal at this point, but did it ever warrant this kind of time on a wrestling show?

No one comes out to save Sasso or confront Hart, making this even more meaningless. Unless I missed it on an earlier show, the time and date of Bret’s appearnace on MadTV was NEVER mentioned.

The NWO arrives with Hogan still wearing the ski mask. They come in through the crowd and over the barricade so Hogan can talk about being from Hollyhood. He sends the rest of the team to the back to have a party and finally lifts the mask. Hogan is willing to give Flair his title shot tonight because Flair is in the back covering up the gray in his hair. He counts to ten and of course Flair doesn’t make it out.

At eight though, Roddy Piper answers the count and says he’s Hogan’s reality check. Hogan is fighting him instead and the match is on right now with the World Title on the line.

WCW World Title: Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper

One might suggest that this is a match that should be announced more than five seconds in advance. Then again one might suggest that this show has been a huge mess but that’s a much bigger problem to solve. It’s a brawl to start with Piper very slowly driving down to the mat. As in I thought something was wrong with the video. Hogan is knocked to the floor and Piper follows him out with right hands before sending him into the post.

Back in and an atomic drop has Hogan in even more trouble before a right hands gets two for Piper. Hogan goes for the leg to take Piper to the floor for some choking. A hard chair shot to the back has Piper in even more trouble and Hogan whips him over the back with the weightlifting belt. Even more choking ensues but Piper comes back with belt shots to take over. Roddy puts on a sleeper but Hall comes in with the tazer for the DQ.

Rating: D. This was exactly what you would expect from Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper in 1999. It lasted less than five minutes and was a bunch of non-wrestling before the NWO came in for a disqualification. That’s a great way to treat your US Champion a week after he won the title, because Scott Hall of all people needs the title match coming up right?

Piper gets beaten up and Hall puts on the kilt for a little dance.

Over an hour later, someone in a cowboy hat finds Flair in the field and carries him to his jeep. The guy doesn’t look like anyone in WCW so I guess we’re supposed to believe he’s just a random guy.

Scott Steiner is suing Diamond Dallas Page for $1 million.

Luger and Liz talk about Konnan and say nothing of note.

Video on Piper vs. Hall.

Tag Team Title Tournament: Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Mike Enos/Scotty Riggs

Losers are eliminated. Riggs stomps on Malenko in the corner to start but Dean stomps away back in the other corner. Scotty comes back with his dropkick and a running corner splash. Off to Enos vs. Benoit with Chris easily taking him down with a drop toehold. The Horsemen take their turns on Mike until he drives Dean into the corner to take over. Riggs puts on a chinlock followed by a knee to the ribs. Enos comes back in for his own chinlock before Riggs changes without a tag and puts on the third chinlock in about ninety seconds.

We take a break and come back with the guy that saved Flair working on his engine. Flair tries to get out of the truck but the driver puts him back in.

Back with Benoit stomping away on Riggs’ leg before it’s off to Malenko for more of the same. Enos gets in a cheap shot to take over as this boring match continues. Malenko goes up top but dives into a powerslam for no cover. Instead it’s back to Riggs for the two count and everything breaks down. Riggs gets another near fall off a forearm to the back of Dean’s head followed by a belly to back suplex for the same. The fans seem really bored by this. Riggs misses a dropkick and the hot tag brings in Benoit. The Horsemen whip them together and Benoit counters a suplex into the Crossface to advance.

Rating: D+. The match wasn’t bad but it was incredibly boring. At the end of the day, I need someone better than Riggs and Enos to make me interested in a match, especially when it’s obvious that the Horsemen are going to win. Benoit and Malenko work well together, but I really wish we could just have a regular tournament so they don’t have to waste so much time getting through these horrible opponents.

The truck keeps going. The announcers haven’t mentioned any of these videos all night.

A much more cheerful Blonde is in a short robe on a bed and says next time will be better than this one.

Buffer comes out to announce the main event, even though there are no matches left scheduled. The NWO comes out in street clothes and Hogan tells Buffer to get out. He says Flair is hiding in his dressing room, but he’ll give Flair a twenty count to get out here. The referee counts and Tony sees the truck pulling up and Flair falling out of the door.

Ric pulls an axe handle off the back of the truck and staggers into the arena as Tony is completely lost. Heenan thinks Flair is drunk. Tony actually uses his brains and sees the bruises, saying Flair looks like he’s taken a horrible beating. Flair gets in the ring and swings the handle until Benoit and Malenko come in and try to help. Hogan and Bagwell beat Flair down on the floor as the rest of the NWO subdues the Horsemen.

Hall goes through the curtain and says “now you see how it’s done. Don’t mess it up” before firing up the tazer to end the show.

Overall Rating: Agoobwa. This show was such a mess that I have no idea how to rate it. How could ANYONE have looked at this show and said it was a good idea? I knew things were going to get bad but this show sent the company flying off a cliff, bounced as it hit the ground and lit on fire, setting of an explosion to send its crispy remains into orbit where aliens blasted them into the sun. I don’t even know where to start with the problems this show had.

For one thing, WHY DIDN’T THE ANNOUNCERS SEE WHAT HAPPENED? How does that make things more entertaining or interesting? We saw the whole thing and know what happened (which I’ll get to later), but the announcers have no idea? They don’t see the Blonde in the hotel either, but at least that (presumably) isn’t stuff that’s happening live. It doesn’t add anything because the fans live are just as confused as they are (assuming the videos aren’t shown in the arena, though that would add even more insanity to this) and the TV audience knows what’s going on.

The lack of wrestling was a major problem tonight too. There were six matches on the entire show. Two of them were glorified extended squashes with Benoit/Malenko having to go through two teams that had no chance. Another match saw Hogan vs. Piper and set wrestling back ten years. Bret Hart beat up an actor which led nowhere, Jerry Flynn won a match and the luchadors wrestled a technical, mat based match until the last three minutes. This is also ignoring all the time being wasted, including a ten minute beatdown which could have been covered in about two minutes.

How in the world WCW thought this was a good idea or would make people want to buy Sunday’s show is beyond me. Over on Raw, the Rock and Mankind were having a good ladder match for the WWF Title. In case you’re wondering, Raw beat Nitro by two full points in the ratings for the worst drubbing Nitro had ever received when it was three hours compared to Raw’s two. If this isn’t the worst Nitro to date, I can’t remember the one that tops it. Absolutely horrible show that felt nothing like how the show is normally presented and that’s not a good thing.

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  1. MWeyer says:

    This had to be the moment when Bret was thinking “maaaaaybe I wasn’t that bad off in WWF after all.”

  2. whosnext98 says:

    Part of the problem was that Bischoff forbade the announcers from mentioning the videos…..which of course had the effect of making the announce team look like total morons. The other part of the problem was the announcers weren’t even shown some of the videos and often had no clue what was going on anyway. Heenan hadn’t seen the video and legitimately thought Flair was drunk. Somewhere along the line Bischoff got the “genius” idea that it would be really cool to not only work the audience but to work the talent as well. Completely asinine.

    Another JC quote comes to mind that’s appropriate: “Eff you Eric Bischoff for helping to ruin the wrestling business…..I hope you catch fire and die!”

  3. Heyo says:

    Here’s the million dollar question. The one we(OK, just me) were all asking ourselves after seeing the Agoobwa rating.

    Have you finally found THE Nitro that’s worse than NWO Nitro?

    And to MWeyer, it’s so ironic that for all the crap that Vince gave Bret, and the way he kicked him out the door, it’s so funny that Bret was MILES better in WWF than in WCW. Listening to his shoot comments, you can tell that Bret is extremely bitter about what happened to him there.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Oh my young friend. You know not of what you speak, for it is coming.

    Heyo Reply:

    …it gets worse, doesn’t it?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    When is a wrestling show not a wrestling show?

  4. Heyo says:

    Now I just feel bad for you. When you’re finished with 1999 WCW, you really need to reward yourself somehow for managing to get through that hellhole of a year. Most of us would have gone insane.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I kid you not, as soon as that show was over I had to throw on the Network, just to clear my head a bit. Between that and the ECW e-book, I’m not sleeping much lately.

  5. Jerichoholic94 says:

    This was ridiculous just by reading it. I’m still genuinely surprised agoobwa is making a rare eating appearance though.

  6. MWeyer says:

    You’re going to need so, so, SO much more to help you as you go through the year. Let’s not forget, we’re still months from the horror of Russo.

  7. alan says:

    Was there any reason that goldberg wasnt there, as seems like he just been on holiday last 2 months.

    whosnext98 Reply:

    Because if you were over with the fans you weren’t allowed on TV as that would take attention away from Hogan-Nash-NWO. Anybody who got hot was pretty much guaranteed to get an unexpected “vacation” to try and kill their momentum with the fans……And if that didn’t work they got buried in the mid-card and made to look like a loser.