Monday Nitro – July 12, 1999: This Is The Upgrade

Monday Nitro #196
Date: July 12, 1999
Location: Jacksonville Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
Attendance: 7,945
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

We’re past Bash at the Beach and the woman beater is World Champion. In a match that totally ignored the whole “Sting can pin Nash” rule, Randy Savage pinned Nash with the help of Gorgeous George, who turned on Savage and Nash in the span of about ten minutes, to win the World Title. Bash at the Beach was one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen so things have to pick up here. Let’s get to it.

Video on Bret Hart’s speech last week and Goldberg returning. I wouldn’t show highlights from last night either.

Gene brings out the new champion to open the show. Savage actually comes out alone for once. He talks about how some people just can’t accept what’s right in front of them. Gene asks about Sid and the girls but Savage says he’s a self made man and had to do this himself. The fans want Goldberg as Savage issues an open challenge to anyone but Kevin Nash.

With the fans clearly making their choice clear, here’s Hollywood Hogan and you can see it coming from here. Hogan wants to take him up on the challenge but Savage says Hogan is in the same category as Nash. Somehow Hogan has already confirmed the match so Savage finally agrees.

Savage video.

Nitro Girls.

I Hate Rap video. Good grief we get it already.

Vampiro vs. Konnan

Konnan gets jumped during his catchphrases and Vampiro kicks him down with ease. Heenan actually gives us some backstory, explaining that these two hated each other down in Mexico. Granted he doesn’t say why but that’s more than you usually get. Vampiro stomps away as Tony keeps hyping up Hogan vs. Savage. Ok to be fair, that’s actually a big deal. Konnan avoids a top rope flip dive and hits the rolling lariat. A powerbomb gets two on Vampiro and a DDT gets the same. The X-Factor plants Vampiro and they head outside so Vampiro can pelt a chair at Vampiro for the DQ. Tony of course thinks it’s a double countout.

Rating: D+. I still don’t get the appeal of Vampiro but at this point pushing anyone new is a good thing. Konnan and his stupid catchphrases getting beaten up is always a good thing and the fact that his buddies weren’t with him was even better. Nothing match due to the time but it’s a sign that they’re trying someone new.

Vampiro plants him again with the Nail in the Coffin (Michinoku Driver) post match.

Stills of Flair vs. Malenko last night. Dean gets the better one later on.

Here’s Cat for some dancing and to insult Buff Bagwell. Are you kidding? Bagwell pins Flair, has to beat Piper in a boxing match because of whatever nonsense reason they couldn’t have a wrestling match, and now he gets ERNEST MILLER? Anyway, Cat makes fat jokes about Buff’s mom, drawing Bagwell out for a rather tame response. They fight, Bagwell beats him up, Miller kicks him with the red shoe and Sonny counts a pin, complete with a bell.

Nitro Girls.

Dean Malenko vs. Ric Flair

Bischoff comes out for commentary. So Ric was too injured to wrestle last night but can wrestle tonight? That’s rather convenient. Dean has Benoit and Saturn with him as Bischoff compares David Flair to Erik Watts. Ric orders Benoit and Saturn ejected and we’re ready to go with Dean erupting with right hands and clotheslines. Ric’s chop is no sold as Bischoff actually says Nash was ripped off last night. Malenko shoves Little Naitch away and whips Ric over the corner and out to the floor.

Ric backpedals just far enough for Anderson to run Dean over with a clothesline. Another volley of chops has no effect but Arn comes into the ring for a double team. Now the chops work as Ric hammers away in the corner. Robinson looks away so Flair can get two off a low blow. Dean fights back with right hands but Ric kicks him low again. A big vertical suplex gets two for Flair and an atomic drop stops Dean’s latest comeback attempt.

Malenko backslides Ric but Anderson distracts Robinson. Same thing happens off a small package so Dean clotheslines Flair into a Flop. A missile dropkick gets a delayed two and Dean clotheslines Arn for good measure. There’s a sleeper from Ric but Dean rams him into Robinson. Another referee comes in as Flair hooks the Figure Four. Malenko turns it over but Asya kicks the referee. Robinson gets up and gives it to Flair via submission, even though Dean’s music plays.

Rating: C. More angle than a match here as the disappointment in the old vs. new feu…..it’s not really a feud anymore so we’ll call it “the old guys beating up the new guys out of paranoia and short sighted thinking” continues. Flair is one of the few guys willing to put someone over but this nonsense continues. At least the action wasn’t bad.

Sting comes out to save Dean and says Flair has been holding people down for ten years, even though Space Mountain is on Viagra. Now Sting is going to take up the fight for WCW and wants a match with Flair for control of the company. Ric says Sting has to beat David to get the match he wants, which Sting is of course fine with. So to recap: everything in the last few weeks of Bagwell, Malenko, Benoit and Saturn have been used to set up Sting vs. Flair to continue a feud that has lasted twelve years. Such is life in WCW.

Stills from the junkyard match.

Steve Regal vs. Kidman

This could be really interesting if it had the chance to have a clean ending. Regal has Finlay and Taylor with him as the announcers list off a ton of injuries from the hardcore match last night. Regal cranks on the arm to start but has to roll away from a wristlock. A nice headscissors and dropkick set up a headlock on Regal as they stay on the mat for a bit. Kidman cranks on the headlock but has to kick out of some rollups.

Back up and Regal LAUNCHES Kidman over the top for a beating from his buddies. Regal suplexes him down and puts on a chinlock as we take a break. We come back with Regal putting on a surfboard before it’s off to a hard chinlock with a forearm over Kidman’s face. Kidman fights up and counters a powerbomb (which Regal uses SO often otherwise) before getting a few rollups for two each.

Some nice dropkicks have Regal in trouble but he launches Kidman into the referee by mistake. Cue the Europeans for the beatdown but Finlay accidentally hits Regal with a chair. Kidman cleans house and loads up the Shooting Star but hits the top rope by mistake. Bischoff gets in to check on him but Kidman is goldbricking and rolls Regal up for a fast pin with Bischoff counting the pin.

Rating: C+. I was digging this match until they had the screwy ending. Was this whole thing just about setting up Bischoff doing the right thing? If that’s the case….well ok I guess, even though I’m not sure why I’m supposed to be interested. The story keeps starting and stopping, even though it could be used for someone a bit more important.

Regal yells at Bischoff post match but nothing comes of it. Eric sits down and says Kidman was setting Regal up for the small package but a replay shuts him up. This was kind of odd all around.

Nitro Girls.

Sid Vicious vs. Kenny Kaos

Bischoff hypes up future appearances by the Insane Clown Posse, Dennis Rodman and KISS. You know, because Megadeth did so well. The match is exactly what you would expect: big strikes, no sold offense, a camel/cobra clutch, the chokeslam and powerbomb for the pin in less than two minutes.

Post match Sid wants Sting.

More Nitro Girls.

We see Sting and Flair’s talk from earlier.

Sting vs. David Flair

Non-title. The Stinger Splash hits in about four seconds and the Deathlock goes on but Robinson won’t even look at David. Sting doesn’t care and beats up everyone in sight with Ric’s shots having no effect whatsoever. Ric hides behind Asya in the corner but she takes a Splash of her own. No match for all intents and purposes.

Recap of Hogan and Savage.

Gene brings out Finlay for the presentation of the Hardcore Championship Trophy. Finlay puts over Northern Ireland and insults America until almost everyone from the junkyard match runs out for a big brawl and Jimmy Hart steals the trophy.

They screw up the stills package by showing the bad tag team match before showing the actually good one.

Booker T. vs. Diamond Dallas Page

After the Triad’s catchphrases, Page sends them to the back to make this a fair fight. That’s quite nice of him. Feeling out process to start with Booker nailing a dropkick before they head outside for a chase scene. Back in and Booker nails the flying forearm and a superkick to take over again. The big side kick misses though and Booker crotches himself on the ropes, allowing Page to grab a suplex as we take a break.

Back with Page hitting a quick clothesline followed by a sleeper, only to have Booker fight out with his usual stuff. The Diamond Cutter is blocked but the referee gets bumped, allowing the Triad to come back out for a beatdown. A Flatliner from Kanyon gets two so he tries powder, only to have it knocked back into his own face. Not that it matters as Bigelow comes in for the DQ.

Rating: C. Another match that was just ok and should have been better given who was in there. Booker REALLY needs something to do right now as he’s just been hanging around for months. That being said, I’d much rather have him here than in Bagwell’s spot where he has to get beaten up by James Brown meets Dorothy Gale.

Post match the Triad tapes Booker into the corner for a beating. We cut to the back to see the NWO making fun of Booker, causing Stevie Ray to grab a chair and run out for the save. As annoying as a Harlem Heat reunion would be, it’s better than nothing.

WCW World Title: Hollywood Hogan vs. Randy Savage

Savage is defending and Hogan comes out to the Wolfpack music. Savage rakes the eyes to start and man alive do these guys look old. Some lefts and rights in the corner have Hogan in trouble but he won’t be rammed into the buckle. The champ is sent to the floor so the girls come in, only to have Hogan ram Madusa and Miss Madness’ heads together. The girls get into it on the floor but get dragged away by security.

We keep going after a good bit of stalling with Hogan hammering away in the corner. There are the ten punches in the corner but Hogan ducks his head, allowing Savage to kick him in the face. Hogan of course pops up and takes it to the floor before this breaks down into a wrestling match. Savage goes into the barricade and steps before Hogan blasts him a few times with a chair.

Now it’s over to the announcers’ table as the brawling continues. Savage hides behind George and nails Hogan in the face to take over. They head back inside for a whipping and choke with the weightlifting belt. More slow punching and whipping follows before Savage slams him down to set up the elbow. Hogan isn’t interested in no selling and just rolls away before Hulking Up. Cue Sid to jump Hogan but that’s still not a DQ. George hands Savage a chain but Sting runs in to break up a powerbomb attempt. The chain knocks Hogan out but Nash breaks up the cover and Jackknifes Savage to give Hogan the title.

Rating: D. The match actually wasn’t the worst in the world but it was a lot of standing around waiting on something interesting to happen. These two know each other so well that they’re going to have something above a disaster, but that’s really not saying much. At the end of the day, Hogan may be the same thing we’ve seen a million times, but he’s more interesting than Nash or Savage.

Post match Hogan celebrates but Nash grabs the mic. He welcomes Hogan back and asks him for a title shot, presumably at Road Wild, since he’s handed Hogan the title twice now. Hogan says it’s on to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This could have been much worse and is such a huge upgrade over last night. It’s still certainly not a good show or anything like that, but it’s enough to keep me from wanting to jump off a building like I did at Bash at the Beach. Hogan vs. Nash may not be the most interesting match, but it’s something new that doesn’t involve Randy Savage again.

However, there’s another major problem to deal with in WCW: following up on new developments. Look at stuff like Bagwell again. He’s feuding with the top heels and even pins one of them, then is losing to the curtain jerking nitwith Ernest Miller? Seriously? Or Goldberg, who returned last week and now is nowhere to be seen? Same goes with people like Torrie, who sided with Nash willingly, then ran back to David like nothing ever happened. And where did Luger go after returning for like a day?

So many stories start and are just dropped with no reasoning given, making it hard to get into anything new. This company needs a big chart or something with a reminder of who has something going on at the moment. They’re just starting and stopping stuff on a whim and it’s making it harder and harder to keep track of what’s going on around here. Granted I barely care after all the nonsense they’ve put me through but it’s still not easy.

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1 comment

  1. Gillberg!!! says:

    And they did a whole angle to get the belt on Savage and make him the scum of the earth…and he loses it the next freaking day?? He tries to kill Nash, he hides behind women and eventually beats them, he’s breaking up cruiserweight matches for no freaking reason, he (via Sid) steals the belt from the legitimate champion and he FINALLY gets to beat Nash and set up a reign of terror before someone puts him out of our misery…and it’s ONE DAY??

    No, no, no, a thousand times no. You make this guy a scumbag, you have to build to the PPV and get people to pay $$ to see him go down. Let him duck Nash this week, let Nash get his rematch (with Sid [and anyone you might like to heel, such as Sting or Luger] cheating Nash out of his chance, maybe injuring him) next week, let Savage boast there’s nobody who can stop him…and THEN you bring out Hogan, let the fans want to see Hogan get a shot, make it for the PPV (after Randy tries to avoid it, but Hogan somehow forces Flair to make the match…maybe he threatens to go after David instead?) and now Hulkamania returns to glory (not really) where the money is. And then the NEXT month is Nash saying he helped Hogan and he deserves the next shot, blah blah blah.

    Hell, let me make this simpler. The Triumphant Return of Goldberg should involve his actually returning at some point. The Triumphant Return of Hulk Hogan should have a longer build to his regaining the title than a couple of hours. Pinfalls should be counted by referees, not random broadcasters or the heel’s own manager. If you’re getting pushed to the extent that you’ve beaten Ric Flair and Roddy Piper, you shouldn’t be buried by a comedy curtain-jerking heel. And when you’ve had two prime pieces of evidence that nobody is watching this show for the musical guests (Master P, Megadeth) maybe you shouldn’t be bringing in MORE talent from the Warner Records (I assume) stable.

    Good God.