Monday Nitro – March 15, 1999: The Plan Continues To Continue

Monday Nitro #180
Date: March 15, 1999
Location: Firstar Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay

We’re past Uncensored and a lot of stuff has changed in WCW. Above all else, Flair won the World Title with the help of Arn Anderson, but it seems to have taken place with a double turn. Hogan was definitely wrestling like a good guy but Flair was somewhere in the middle. Other than that Booker T. is now the TV Champion and Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko picked up the Tag Team Titles as they should have three weeks ago. Spring Stampede is in four weeks so let’s get to it.

We open with David Flair checking into a hotel when the Denise chick from last week shows up. She recognizes him from TV and tries to make some small talk but David isn’t interested.

Tony recaps last night’s events.

Stills of Whipwreck vs. Kidman.

We go to the University of Cincinnati for the Nitro Party with….Lodi?

Stills of the Jerry Flynn match. I really wouldn’t remind people that they’ll be paying for that when they buy a pay per view.

Here’s a press conference with Sonny Onoo and Ernest Miller. Ernest insists to only be called The Cat from now on. He insists that he’s undefeated here in WCW and knows he’s the greatest. This keeps going as Cat challenges a member of the media to a fight.

Meng vs. Jerry Flynn

Meng goes right at him and hammers away but misses a charge into the corner. Flynn comes back with a spinning kick to the head, but since Meng is a monster, Flynn is quickly flying through the air. A clothesline has no effect on Meng but a powerslam puts him down. Flynn’s ankle lock doesn’t get him anywhere and Meng gets two off a piledriver. A shoulder breaker gets the same but Flynn comes back with a cross armbreaker. Meng powers out of it and the Tongan Death Grip gives Meng the win and a BIG ovation.

Rating: D. Thank goodness this was the end of Jerry Flynn’s push. Meng has a way longer shelf life than Flynn could ever hope to and the match made him look like a killer. Flynn looked so one dimensional out there and it was really hard to sit through. When Meng is outshining you, you know you’re in trouble.

Clip of a movie called Ravenous.

Nitro Party stuff.

Clips of Beach Brawl on MTV, a show with WCW wrestling and music.

Denise gets into the elevator with David Flair and David still doesn’t want to talk. After a break, her room key won’t work and she goes into his room to use the phone. David is getting annoyed.

Stills of the hardcore triple threat last night.

Raven is at the Nitro Party and the annoying host asks about Chastity betraying him last night. Raven understands since he set her hair on fire when she was six. Family functions suck and he only goes for the money anyway. He’s going to crush her and Hak like Jerry Falwell at one of Saturn’s bondage balls.

Chris Adams vs. Rick Steiner

They trade forearms to start with Rick taking over via the powerslam/suplex. I’m still not sure which it actually is. A belly to belly puts Adams down and they slug it out again. Adams snapmares Rick into a sleeper before nailing the superkick for two. Rick catches him in another belly to belly followed by the Steiner Line and Steiner Bulldog for the pin.

Rating: C. Considering I was expecting a total squash, this was a really nice surprise. Adams was on for this one and got to show off a little bit, which isn’t something you see that often as he never meant anything in WCW. Rick isn’t doing much at this point as he doesn’t have much of a story other than wanting to fight his brother.

Tenay tells us to call the Hotline.

Disco Inferno comes up to the announcers’ desk and asks why he isn’t getting a music video. He’s tired of seeing Konnan’s music video over and over again (preach it brother) but here it is again. However, we have a swerve: it’s a parody video with Disco dancing badly and singing the song (off a paper and still getting it wrong). This was actually funny.

Konnan t-shirt ad.

Back to the hotel but with Nash and Sam watching from a remote location. Denise tries to seduce him again but David says he’s in love with someone already. We even get the shot of her leg on a bed and David saying “Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?” To be fair they did say her last name was Robinson last week. Sam seems taken aback by David’s words so Nash gets a bit testy with her. He says he got her out of some situation in Detroit and Torrie says she’s paid him back for some of that. Nash doesn’t think it’s been enough. Things never got heated but Nash was clearly annoyed.

Norman Smiley is at the Nitro Party and tries to teach the host to dance.

Stills of Hogan vs. Flair.

Tony says next up is Monday Nitro Live. I have no idea what the Live thing is supposed to be, unless Tony is bragging about the show being how it’s been almost every week for three and a half years.

Opening sequence, so either the first hour was taped in advance (why?) or they’re calling the last two hours Monday Nitro Live.

Nitro Girls.

A bandaged Ric Flair shows up, accompanied by some ladies, Arn Anderson and Charles Robinson. They come out to the ring for a chat with Gene and the fans seem very happy to see him. This is the start of the second hour so at least WCW is FINALLY starting the head to head period with something interesting.

Gene brings up the questionable officiating but Arn cuts him off and says Gene needs to congratulate all three new champions. As for Robinson, all he’s doing is dressing a little bit more professionally and he called that match like the professional he is. Gene says it was a fast count last night, which is true to a degree but Hogan was out cold so it didn’t make a difference.

Also, there are WAY bigger problems with that match than the speed of the count. Like, there being a count in general. Robinson says he called the match fairly and Flair’s wounds were superficial. Hogan on the other hand was a badly beaten man and Flair had given him discretion to make the call.

Anyway, Flair says he is the most powerful person in WCW and the sport of wrestling because he’s both the President and the World Champion. This brings out Goldberg of all people and Flair asks if he’s here to congratulate him for being the champion or the boss. Goldberg says he had Flair begging and pleading for his life last week and Ric is looking at the #1 contender. He wants a title shot tonight but here’s Kevin Nash to object.

Nash says he should be the #1 contender because Flair robbed Hogan of the title. Goldberg gets in his face but Nash says that he’s the one loss on Goldberg’s record. Flair says cool it and Anderson says Goldberg wouldn’t have won what he did if the Horsemen had been a factor but Goldberg threatens him with a spear. Nash says he should get the shot but here’s a ticked off Hogan to interrupt. He says he got stabbed in the back last night because he should still be champion.

Flair says he and Anderson have a party to go to but Hogan says Flair bought his women. Hollywood wants a shot and says Nash can slap old baldie around a little bit. Flair tells them he’s leaving again but Nash suggests a tag match. Goldberg and Flair stare each other down and Goldberg nails him. Hogan throws Goldberg a mic and the monster says he’ll be Flair’s partner to get the belt. Goldberg leaves and Flair makes the match. This was a REALLY good segment but was screaming for the announcement of a fourway.

Vince yells at Horace for screwing up last night. They yell at each other and both declare themselves the leader of the Black and White.

Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Kidman

Kidman is defending and this really should have been saved for Spring Stampede. Kidman quickly sends him into the buckle and nails a clothesline but misses a charge, sending him out to the floor. Rey hits a nice running hurricanrana off the apron but gets dropkicked out of the air on a springboard attempt. They’re already back on the floor with Kidman nailing a springboard plancha as we take a break.

Back with Rey headscissoring Kidman out to the floor before hitting a huge running flip dive to take the champion down. Kidman comes back in and slams Rey down, only to get crotched on the top for a huge Frankensteiner to give Mysterio two. A faceplant and BK Bomb get two each for the champion but the Shooting Star misses. Rey nails a springboard hurricanrana for a very hot near fall. Kidman comes back with a Bodog but gets crotched when loading up another Shooting Star. The sitout bulldog off the top gives Rey the title back.

Rating: B+. This was really good stuff with both guys looking like equals out there. I would have loved this to go another five or even ten minutes as the commercial cut out almost half of the match. Mysterio taking Kidman down is fine as Kidman didn’t have anyone in the division left to beat. Awesome match.

They shake hands post match.

Stevie yells at Horace but Horace says he’s the NWO boss. Stevie decks him and Disco comes in, wanting to know what happened. Disco is told to find out what’s going on from Hollywood and Stevie leaves. Horace says he wants Stevie in the ring tonight.

Gene brings out the new Tag Team Champions for a chat. The belts look bigger than usual and really stiff. Benoit says their win last night was a testament to the trust and confidence they have in each other. Malenko says they’re ready to defend the titles tonight.

Tag Team Titles: Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Hugh Morrus/Barbarian

Benoit stomps Barbarian into the corner to start but Barbarian comes back with kicks of his own. Off to Morrus as the First Family takes over on the Canadian. Benoit will have none of that and chops away as everything breaks down. The Horsemen double team Morrus into Benoit dropkicking him in the face for two. Malenko suplexes him down for two and drop toeholds Barbaian for two more.

Dean is sent to the floor and Hart gets in a few cheap shots before it’s back to Barbarian for a side slam. Back to Morrus who hooks a kind of seated abdominal stretch before Barbarian comes in for some heavy stomping. We hit the chinlock for a bit before it’s back to Morrus for a chinlock of his own. Barbarian puts on a front facelock and we get the referee misses the tag spot. Morrus misses a top rope elbow and now we get the hot tag to Chris. The Crossface goes on but Barbarian makes an early save. Dean gets taken down by a gutbuster but Barbarian’s Kick of Fear hits Morrus, setting up the Swan Dive to retain.

Rating: C. This went on a bit long but followed the tag team formula pretty well. Malenko and Benoit piling up wins over lower level teams is a good idea and will make them look like a dominant team as they should. Morrus and Barbarian didn’t seem to have enough variety to make it through a nine minute match.

The Horsemen want the Outsiders.

Nitro Girls.

Here are Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell so Scott can complain about Cincinnati sports teams being terrible. He’s the best athlete in the city and has the finest mind to back it up. Last night, somebody made a mental error and he’s talking to Buff. Steiner says he taught Buff how to train his body but his mind hasn’t followed. Since Buff hurt his neck, maybe he doesn’t hold up anymore.

Buff says look at the crowd and see all their Buff Daddy signs. Bagwell has been making Steiner look like a million dollars, but maybe Scott is getting jealous. Steiner says Buff was nothing without the NWO and will be nothing without it again. Buff tries to defuse things and they shake hands, but Steiner suplexes Buff out of the NWO. He nails Bagwell with a chair a few times and slaps on the Recliner. It came off like a face turn for Buff, which should be the easiest idea in the world after his injury. Therefore, I doubt it has much of a chance.

Horace vs. Stevie Ray

Horace jumps him to start and the brawl heads outside with Stevie hammering away and sending Horace into the barricade. The announcers debate whether Lexington on Thursday will be as hot of a crowd on Thursday as the crowd tonight in Cincinnati. Back in and Horace stomps away but walks into a side slam. Vince comes out with a chair and stands on the apron, telling Horace to ram Stevie into steel. Instead Stevie knocks Horace into it and grabs a rollup for the pin.

Rating: D. Didn’t we cover this last night? What’s the point in having these guys around if they’re just going to keep fighting over who is in charge? Hopefully the team doesn’t last that much longer as there’s no need to keep them around. Unfortunately Norton, the only guy that I kind of like out of the team, is being lost in the shuffle.

Disco Inferno vs. Konnan

You would think this would get a longer build. Konnan starts with a wristdrag out of the corner as Tony talks about how awesome it is that WCW is stacking the deck against the NWO. I do love hypocrisy in my announcers. Konnan stomps away but Disco snapmares him down and gets two off a middle rope elbow.

A chinlock doesn’t last long but it’s time to dance. Konnan comes back with the 187 for two and Disco goes to the floor to check his hair. We take a break and come back with Disco stomping away as Luger and Liz come to the ring. Konnan hits the rolling lariat and an X-Factor but Liz distracts the referee. Luger gets in a cheap shot and the Chartbuster gives Disco the pin.

Rating: D+. Not much to see here and I’m not sure where Konnan goes from here. My best guess would be a rematch with Disco as Luger is still hurt, but it’s kind of a stupid idea to have them fight this early. It didn’t help that the match really wasn’t all that good. Disco getting another win isn’t the worst thing in the world either.

Nitro Girls.

TV Title: Booker T. vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho, sporting bad ribs, is challenging and there’s no Ralphus. Some elbows to the jaw have Booker in trouble and Jericho runs him over with a shoulder block. Booker comes back with an armbar before kicking Jericho in the face. There’s a side slam as the announcers talk for the fifth time about a party they went to with Flair last night. Jericho sends him out to the floor and rams Booker into the steps.

We take a break and come back with Booker avoiding a dropkick before catapulting Jericho face first into the buckle. Jericho comes back with a rollup for two as the announcers talk about the territory system and how it’s easier to win World Titles now. The Lionsault gets two for Chris but it hurts his ribs again. A spinwheel kick nails Jericho and there’s the spinebuster for two. The ax kick connects but Jericho pulls the referee in the way of Booker’s missile dropkick for the DQ.

Rating: C-. It’s clear that Jericho just does not care at this point and can you blame him? He’s been doing the same stuff for months now and hasn’t gotten any advancement after the awesome year he had in 1998. The match was nothing special and Jericho was just going through the motions. He would be gone soon.

Kevin Nash/Hollywood Hogan vs. Ric Flair/Goldberg

Goldberg comes out last and Robinson is the guest referee. Goldberg gorilla presses Flair to start and Nash plants him with a side slam. It’s already off to Hogan to pound on Flair in the corner. The Flair Flip puts the champion on the apron for a big boot from Nash. After a quick beating on the floor, Flair comes back in and tags in Goldberg for the showdown with Hogan.

Goldberg counters a suplex into one of his own and Hogan pops up. He runs Goldberg over with a clothesline but it’s Goldberg back up and nailing Hogan to take over. They slug it out and Hogan can’t seem to hurt Goldberg. Hollywood blocks an Irish whip and hammers away but gets nailed in the jaw.

Nash gets in a cheap shot from the apron and now the NWO takes over. Now it’s a ticked off Nash coming in and pounding Goldberg down in the corner but it’s back to Hogan after maybe 45 seconds. That goes nowhere so here’s Nash to loudly tell Goldberg to powerslam him. Goldberg does exactly as he’s told but Flair won’t tag in. Hogan comes back in for a belly to back suplex before bringing Nash back in. A low blow stops a Goldberg comeback and Hogan slugs away in the corner.

Goldberg nails a big shoulder and Flair does the clap for a fake tag which Robinson allows, even though Goldberg says it didn’t happen. Hogan no sells the chops and Hulks Up to the big fan reaction. A big boot drops Goldberg but he’s right back up with a superkick to Nash. There’s the legdrop to Hogan but Robinson shakes his head no. Hogan lays out the crooked referee but gets speared down by Hogan as we’re out of time.

Rating: C. This was better than I was expecting as Hogan was doing his old tag team formula very well for a change. Hogan turning face again would be fine any other time, but he’s been done so much to Flair that the double turn isn’t working. Then again, this is WCW where logic goes out the window for the wrestlers’ wishes.

Overall Rating: B-. If this was a two hour show, it’s one of the best Nitros of all time. The first hour and the rest of the show drags a lot of the really good stuff. The Cruiserweight Title match was good and the fourway promo with Flair and company had me wanting to see them go at it at Spring Stamped. Unfortunately there’s a lot of stuff changing between now and then. Still though, this was a really solid episode, assuming you forget the waste of a first hour.

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1 comment

  1. Dmxfury says:

    Was as this event, really fun time and I still have it on tape. The reaction to the Hulk Up was awesome