Monday Nitro – March 1, 1999: When All Else Fails, Call Some Canadians

Monday Nitro #178
Date: March 1, 1999
Location: Student Activities Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Attendance: 17,852
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko

Maybe this will be a better month. With two Nitros to go until Uncensored, we don’t have anything set for the show. Given how short the time span between the shows, I’m assuming we’ll be getting a lot of rematches at Uncensored. That’s fine in theory and hopefully we get the right endings this time, but the damage has already been done. Let’s get to it.

We open with an In Memory Of graphic for Rick Wilson, more commonly known as the Renegade. The bell tolls in his memory.

David Flair and the Blonde are in a limousine where David plays messages from Ric, asking to see him. They play four or five messages and Ric gets more serious each time as David and the Blonde laugh. David says it’s time Ric retire. The fact that this is over fifteen years old and Ric is still running around makes my head shake.

Tony tells us that Ric has a huge announcement tonight.

Clips of Scott Steiner vs. Goldberg last week and Rick Steiner returning.

Tony thinks we’re going to this week’s Nitro Party at the University of North Carolina but instead Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell come out. After saying Page isn’t here tonight, Steiner talks about his physique as the fans chant for Goldberg. Bagwell says we’re in UNC country, but he and Steiner are Duke fans (UNC’s big rival). Tonight, they’re calling out Rick Steiner and Goldberg.

Off to the party at UNC.

Clips of WCW doing stuff at UNC this week.

Opening sequence, now featuring Booker T.

Here’s the Wolfpack with something to say and Liz is holding a shirt. Luger talks about his arm injury and Larry gets in a good line by saying Luger only suffers from narcissism. Now for the announcement: Nash is offering Rey Mysterio a spot in the Wolfpack. There’s no Mysterio, so Nash calls him on a cell phone but Rey declines the offer.

Video on Booker T. pinning Bret Hart last week. Booker gets a US Title shot at Uncensored.

Cruiserweight Title: Psychosis vs. Kidman

Kidman is defending and takes him down with a hurricanrana. Psychosis nails a clothesline and the fans aren’t pleased. Another hurricanrana sends Kidman outside and a baseball slide knocks him into the barricade. Back in and Kidman backdrops Psychosis over the post and to the floor, followed by a huge dive to take him down again. Psychosis nails a shot to the ribs and we take a break.

Back with Kidman being sent ribs first into the ropes with a drop toehold. The guillotine legdrop to the back sends Kidman to the floor and into a cameraman for a nice crash. Kidman comes back with a clothesline and a springboard off the barricade into a hurricanrana. Back in again with Kidman slipping while trying a superplex and settling with a slam off the top. The BK Bomb gets two and a bulldog out of the corner gets the same. Kidman counters a powerbomb (of course) and the Shooting Star retains the title.

Rating: B. This was REALLY good with Psychosis continuing his roll. I can understand why you don’t give him the title at this point but he had a great performance in trying. Kidman is looking unstoppable at this point and is firmly in the top level of cruiserweights. He still has to deal with Mysterio though.

We look at Benoit/Malenko attacking Windham/Hennig last week.

Arn Anderson comes in to see David Flair and the Blonde. She says Flair and the Horsemen couldn’t get someone like her but Arn says he wouldn’t get down in the gutter with her. Anderson reminds David of the problems he warned David of when he started wrestling and says the NWO is just using David. This is called jealousy and David says the Horsemen are all old.

Hogan gives Vince permission to knock Stevie Ray out if he complains anymore.

More UNC party stuff. They’ll be at Brown University next week.

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

They circle each other to start until Bigelow LAUNCHES him across the ring ala Spike Dudley. Bam Bam misses a charge in the corner and Mysterio hammers away, only to get caught in something like a World’s Strongest Slam. Bigelow picks him up and throws Mysterio onto a bunch of security guards. Back in and the slow destruction continues with a big boot putting Rey down.

We hit the chinlock followed by a Dominator and headbutt but Bigelow pulls up at two. Bam Bam misses a top rope headbutt and Rey nails a missile dropkick. A middle rope X-Factor gets two but Bigelow crushes him with a clothesline. We return to a stupid idea of setting off fireworks to start the second hour when a match is going on. Rey gets sent into the buckle and falls head first between Bigelow’s legs. Mysterio goes up and grabs a victory roll for the surprise pin.

Rating: D+. This was a way to continue Mysterio being the giant killer, which is fine for an idea, except for one thing: Mysterio is the greatest cruiserweight in WCW history and it shouldn’t be the biggest upset in the world when he beats a big guy. This theory that cruiserweights are nothing compared to heavyweights doesn’t hold up but WCW kept going with it for years.

Mysterio says he’s standing up for all the small people when Luger comes up for a distraction. Nash sneaks in and jumps him while shouting about Rey wasting the chance of a lifetime earlier.

Bigelow, Raven and Hak have a hardcore brawl in the back.

Ric Flair arrives in a long white limo and we go to a commercial. We just went to a commercial after the brawl!

The Wolfpack tells Stevie Ray to beat up Vince. DOES NO ONE WATCH THE SHOW???

Nitro Girls.

Here’s Jerry Flynn with something to say. Seriously. He’s tired of Ernest Miller issuing all these challenges and wants to challenge Miller to a fight right now. We cut to the back where Scott Norton tells Miller that Flynn is calling him out.

Ernest Miller vs. Jerry Flynn

Miller comes out to James Brown music with Glacier’s lasers. He dives at Flynn but hits the referee’s feet instead, allowing Jerry to hammer away in the corner. A running spin kick staggers Miller but he trips Flynn down and chokes a lot. Miller misses a charge and hits the post before they trade some more kicks. Flynn gets the worse of it and Miller puts on a chinlock. The fans think this is boring and the guys head outside with Miller still in control.

Flynn kicks him into the barricade before they go back inside for a big kick from Ernest. A superkicks puts Flynn down for two but he comes back with kicks and a belly to belly for two. Then they kick each other at the same time and are both down. The referee decides that the first person to his feet is the winner, so Miller distracts the referee while Sonny Onoo kicks Flynn down to give Miller the win.

Rating: F. When the referee is so bored by a match that he’s willing to end a match that quickly, you can tell it’s a failure.

Flynn chases both guys off post match.

Video on Steiner vs. Page at SuperBrawl.

Hugh Morrus vs. Perry Saturn

Saturn hammers away to start but Jimmy Hart trips him up to give Morrus control. Tony announces Hak vs. Raven vs. Bam Bam Bigelow and Windham/Hennig vs. Malenko/Benoit for Uncensored. Morrus charges into a boot in the corner and Saturn suplexes him down. A Fameasser puts Hugh down but another Hart distraction lets Morrus nail a clothesline. Back in and Morrus gorilla presses him down for two before cranking on a chinlock.

A clothesline gets two more for Morrus as the fans are just dead here. Back to the chinlock for a bit before Morrus goes up, only to jump into a northern lights suplex for two. There’s a t-bone suplex to put Morrus down but Chris Jericho comes out with I think a chain to lay Saturn out. No Laughing Matter gives Morrus the pin.

Rating: D. What a dull match. I have no idea why they started doubling the length of TV matches but it’s very annoying when they have boring matches like this filling in all that time. This really didn’t work as about three minutes were spent in a chinlock. The Jericho vs. Saturn feud needs to die already.

Bagwell and Steiner are still trying to make it to Spring Break.

Konnan music video.

More Nitro Party stuff from UNC.

Clip of Meng on Mortal Kombat the series.

We see Hennig/Windham refusing to defend against Malenko/Benoit. This is pointless as the rematch has already been announced.

Chris Benoit vs. Bret Hart

I think this might pick things up a bit. Bret takes over with some forearms to the back and a running clothesline before taking Benoit into the corner for some right hands to the jaw. Benoit elbows him to the floor before taking Bret down with a chinlock. Thankfully it doesn’t last long and Chris gets two off a clothesline. A DDT gets two for Hart and a piledriver gets the same. Bret is definitely in full heel mode here as he’s taking his sweet time between moves.

Benoit reverses a suplex into a small package for two but Bret stomps him down again. A backbreaker gets two for Bret and we hit the chinlock. Benoit fights up with a belly to back suplex but the Swan Dive only hits mat. There’s the Sharpshooter but Benoit counters into the Crossface, only to have Bret make the ropes. Sweet sequence.

We take a break and come back with Benoit making a rope to escape a Figure Four. The middle rope elbow gets two for Hart and he hammers away in the corner. Benoit wakes up and kicks Bret in the ribs before driving a knee into the stomach. A big running elbow drops Hart and the Swan Dive connects but Benoit can’t cover.

He finally gets two before they clothesline each other down. It’s Benoit up first with a sleeper but Bret suplexes both of them out to the floor in a SCARY crash. They both get up and Bret heads inside but Windham and Hennig come out to nail Benoit with a title belt. Bret puts on the Sharpshooter and Benoit makes the rope, but Hart doesn’t let go, drawing a DQ.

Rating: B. Remember people: WCW thought Scott Hall vs. Roddy Piper was a better option on pay per view than this. The match took a little while to get going but eventually started cranking up with about ten minutes to go. There was almost no way this wasn’t going to be an awesome match and it didn’t disappoint.

Windham and Hennig go after Benoit but Malenko makes the save.

Nitro Girls.

Here’s some of the NWO for a chat. Hogan talks about David Flair slicking his hair because he’s got the flair. He heard Ric begging for mercy and asking Hollywood to not do anything else to him. As he’s talking, Stevie Ray and Vincent get in a fight. Nash breaks it up and Hogan keeps talking about how Flair is going to retire tonight.

Gene brings out Ric Flair for his big announcement. Flair says he’s going to let his one build for awhile. He’s been sitting at home for two weeks and hearing everyone ask how David Flair could do this. Ric talks about how everyone is in the NWO before going on about a blonde that he met in Charlotte twenty years ago that changed his life. Now she’s at home waiting on Daddy.

Flair reminds us that we’re LIVE in North Carolina tonight. He’s the President for twenty eight more days and now his target is Hogan. It’s ending at Uncensored with the title on the line inside a fifteen foot high steel cage with no door and barbed wire on top. After Uncensored, people will want to be like the Nature Boy instead of Mike.

Rick Steiner/Goldberg vs. Scott Steiner/Buff Bagwell

Rick and Buff get things going with Bagwell nailing a dropkick. Rick no sells a suplex and powerslams Buff down. It’s off to Goldberg so Bagwell crawls over to tag in Scott. They lock up against the ropes before Goldberg easily runs him down with a shoulder. Scott nails him with a hard elbow to the face before hammering on Goldberg in the corner. That’s fine with Goldberg as he gorilla presses Scott over his head for an insane seven reps before dropping him to the mat.

Rick comes in to face his brother but Buff trips him up, allowing Scott nail a suplex. Buff comes in legally and hammers away as Scott cuts the turnbuckle pad off. Rick is sent into the steel a few times before Scott nails him with a clothesline for two. Choking ensues as you can feel the hot tag to Goldberg coming. A low blow keeps Rick in trouble and it’s back to Buff for a clothesline. Scott cranks on the leg but Buff’s splash hits knees. There’s the hot tag to Goldberg and house is thoroughly cleaned. Everything breaks down and a double Steiner Line drops Buff and Scott. The spear and Steiner Bulldog take care of Bagwell.

Rating: C. This was your standard main event tag match and that’s fine. I like that they let the heroes stand tall for a change as it’s barely happened since the end of last year. Rick Steiner is decent as a power guy and seeing him vs. Scott is always interesting since we couldn’t get a clean match between the two of them. This was a nice way to send the fans home happy.

Overall Rating: C. If not for the Flynn and Morrus matches this would be a lot higher. This had two REALLY good matches on it which goes to show how WCW can do things right when they’re given the chance. Flair’s announcement wasn’t anything mind blowing but it gives WCW a chance to make up for some of its disasters. This show flew by and was really easy to sit through, which is the first such episode in a long time.

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