Monday Nitro – March 8, 1999: This Company’s Soul Has Died
Date: March 8, 1999
Location: DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
This is another request and the ultra rare Nitro request on top of that. This show is another three hour show from WCW and the first hour is considered one of the worst hours of wrestling TV ever. This is also the go home show for Uncensored which has a main event of Hogan vs. Flair. There’s some innovative thinking. Let’s get to it.
We open with a video of the special cage (the Cell) being built for the main event on Sunday.
We get a clip from Thunder with Arn Anderson talking to Flair, trying to console him about David Flair turning on his dad. Flair talks about how he’s got Hogan to worry about so he can’t worry about David right now. It’s David’s responsibility and that’s not Ric’s problem anymore. Anderson says that David is young and making mistakes. Ric says that’s not his problem right now. He says the Horsemen are back on top if he wins the title. Anderson says he hopes this is just a game face and that he really is concerned. Flair basically says screw that, it’s my time. Anderson doesn’t like it. This goes on for like seven minutes.
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The Nitro Girls are in Rhode Island at some kind of Nitro Party with competitions and such.
We go to a live Nitro Party in Providence, Rhode Island. They’re at a university apparently. There’s a spring break special and a guy here (last name Kazarian) won a trip to it.
We get introduced to Nitro Girl AC Jazz and see one of their practices.
Hogan talks about how everyone hates him but he did it for the money or something. This is tied into David Flair joining the NWO. Ric is only obsessed with the belt and power and doesn’t care at all about his son bailing. Hogan would NEVER do that but he’s willing to give Flair another shot, but he wants Flair’s career vs. the title. This also runs 5 minutes.
We’re over 20 minutes into this show and we haven’t seen the arena yet.
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Back to the Nitro Party after a presumed commercial. Konnan is at the party too.
Here’s a Konnan rap video to make sure we don’t get any wrestling.
Another NWO video, this one of Hogan and Nash watching a Flair promo. It’s basically them riffing on him as Flair talks about coming back to WCW and seeing his son leave him for the NWO. Hogan and Nash make Buddy Landell jokes that maybe 2% of the audience will get. The NWO says they’ll regroup.
Video on Lex Luger.
Scott Steiner is pulled over while driving a Hummer limo. The cops recognize him and Bagwell……and make them cops. We get a montage of them “stopping crimes” after starting them in the first place while calling each other Starsky and Hutch.
Back to the party with the girls dancing. Kidman is there now and thinks Mysterio can beat Nash.
Video on Mysterio. The NWO took his mask so this Sunday he can get revenge.
Torrie Wilson is shooting a gun at a shooting range when Hogan and Nash come in. They go in to see her and the camera would be right in the path of her bullets. The guys suggest she sleep with David to get him back on their side. They plan to meet for dinner later.
45 minutes in, no arena yet. Keep in mind that this was the hour they had unopposed by Raw. Raw would be having the final push to Mania 15, meaning Austin vs. Rock/McMahon. AND THIS IS WHAT THEY GIVE US. Is anyone surprised they went out of business?
And uh, here’s the dinner. They talk about destroying Ric Flair and plan about David.
See, apparently at this point there were four dark matches going on in the arena. We’re getting this hour of stuff instead. Looking at the card though, this might be more entertaining. Looking at Torrie Wilson with a dress that comes to her upper thigh is never a problem. She says there’s another hot girl she knows. The girl is some chick named Denise who I don’t recognize. Her last name is Robinson, meaning we get Graduate jokes. Apparently she’ll get 20 grand for taking care of David. So she’s a whore. Got it.
Now we get the theme song. SO WHAT WAS THAT FIRST HOUR???
We go to the arena…for an interview. Well of course we do. Gene calls out Goldberg for a chat but we get Torrie and David instead. David wants to talk to Ric man to man tonight. Goldberg’s music hits….and we take a break. Back with Goldberg in the ring, talking to David about respect. He isn’t going to take care of things like he usually would. That’s good. It might be entertaining.
David needs to respect what his father has done for the business because it’s more than David and his friends could ever do. David also needs to respect Goldberg because this is his time. David shoves him and gets choked, so here comes Ric. Flair sprints down and chops Goldberg once before turning to David, who is running away. Press slam to Ric (who is president at this point) and Naitch is in trouble. Flair makes Goldberg vs. himself tonight. Goldberg says Flair is crossing the line so Flair yells some more.
Raven vs. Hak
Falls count anywhere. Neither gets an entrance. Raven has a chair and Hak (Sandman) has a cane, but as the bell rings….they hug. Oh never mind as Raven pounds him down almost immediately. HARD cane shot to Hak’s head and they head to the floor. Bam Bam Bigelow will join these two at Uncensored in a triangle match. Hak puts him on the guardrail and hits a leg to the back ala RVD minus the spin.
They go up the ramp with Raven hitting a suplex onto the steel. Bird Boy busts out a table on the stage. He climbs the scaffolding to put Hak through it and here’s Bigelow, who isn’t in the match. He beats up Hak anyway as the fans chant for Goldberg. The bell rings and I guess the match is thrown out to HUGE booing.
Rating: D+. This was stupid. I guess they were previewing the PPV match but it didn’t make me want to see it. Also it’s Raven’s Rules so how can that be a DQ? Stupid match with a stupid ending. The table spot and the cane shot weren’t bad, but what was the point of this?
Apparently the bell was inadvertent so we’re going to continue this in the same match we’ll see on Sunday. Great.
Hak vs. Raven vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
They’re fighting in the back with Hak being thrown all over the place. Hak comes back and fights up to an ambulance. Here’s Raven again and it’s just random brawling. There’s a trash cart and Hak goes for a ride in it. They fight over to Flair’s limo and Raven DDTs Hak on the hood, only to get crushed by Bigelow.
He hits Raven in the groin on the hood and they’re all exhausted. They keep beating on each other and you can hear the boring chants. The problem here is they’re just laying around, doing a spot, then laying around more. They all just walk away to end it. No rating because it wasn’t really a match, but this was STUPID.
Now we get clips of the three guys fighting last week. Ok then.
Lizmark Jr. vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho (WITH RALPHUS!) comes out wearing a dog collar. Jericho grabs the mic and welcomes us to Monday Night Jericho. Tony: “Hey we’re talking here fellow!” Chris wants to talk about Perry Saturn, who has challenged Jericho to a chain match on Sunday. Jericho is a master of the chain match though, after training on mountain tops in Nepal. He’s a Swami you see. This match is going to be a chain match. Tony: “There’s been too much talk and not enough wrestling here.” I think I just died because of that line.
The bell rings so let’s talk about Flair some more. I think you win by pin or submission here. Jericho steps on the chain to pull Lizmark in to start and chokes with it. He wraps the chain around the knee and drops it in a unique spot. Lizmark gets tied up with the chain as Tony talks about the chain match at Starrcade 83. Can we watch that instead? It’s a MUCH better match than anything that’ll be on this show. Lizmark chokes him a bit but walks into a kind of spinebuster and the Liontamer for the tap.
Rating: D+. There were some nice moves in this from Jericho but it was just a squash. Jericho has said he had more or less made up his mind that he was gone soon after this and in fact he would be in the WWF by I believe August, where things would go MUCH better for him. Lizmark never quite meant much in WCW.
Here’s Steiner to say he’s well built and all that. The fans are all fat. Buff Bagwell says Booker is too stupid to back out of the match tonight.
TV Title: Scott Steiner vs. Booker T
Steiner is TV Champion. The announcers talk about how great the NWO has been at what they’ve done. We’re two and a half years into the plan so far and it still hasn’t worked but whatever. Feeling out process to start and Booker hits a spinning forearm for two. A hook kick knocks Steiner to the floor and Tony complains about Steiner taking a break. Larry goes into some weird environmental speech about breathing clean air before Tony cuts him off.
Back in the ring and Booker rams him into the corner a few times before Scott kicks him low to take over. Out to the floor again and we get a steroids chant. We take a break and come back with Booker hitting a forearm for one but getting taken down by a clothesline. Spinning belly to belly puts Booker down and Steiner keeps pounding away at the back. He pounds Booker down in the corner with punches and gets two off a backbreaker.
Steiner keeps up the power with a slam and chokes Booker in the Tree of Woe. Booker escapes another slam and hits a neckbreaker to break up Steiner’s momentum just for a second. Ax kick out of nowhere puts Steiner down and there’s the Spinarooni. Booker goes up but gets crotched by Bagwell. There’s the Recliner and Booker’s arm drops twice. He holds it up for the third drop so Steiner drops him….which counts as the third arm drop and Steiner wins by knockout. At least it’s over.
Rating: C-. Not a horrible match here but Steiner just wasn’t over yet. That didn’t stop the company from shoving him down our throats of course but when did it ever? Bagwell was beyond annoying here and did the match no favors. Still though, it was nice to see a match get some time as opposed to what you were expecting with Raw at this time.
Steiner hits Booker in the back with a chair post match.
We see the Flair vs. Goldberg showdown earlier.
The Nitro Girls dance as Tony talks about upcoming house shows (his words).
Jerry Flynn gets promo time for some reason. Before he talks, Sonny Onoo (one of his opponents on Sunday and minus his accent) comes up but Jerry grabs him by the shirt. Ernest Miller, the other opponent, kicks Flynn in the back of the head and they cut off his mullet.
Scott Norton vs. Rey Mysterio
I think you get the idea here as Mysterio has Nash on Sunday. Norton is looking old here. Rey gets knocked to the floor and is holding his back. There isn’t much to say at all here. Mysterio charges at Norton, Norton knocks him down, Rey lays around a lot, Norton hits him some more, Rey charges at Norton and we repeat it again.
Norton throws him out to the floor and Rey’s back is hurt. Rey counters the shoulderbreaker but gets dropped on the buckle to stop the comeback. Norton kills him with a clothesline but picks him up. He does the same off a one handed press slam. Ok that was cool. Then Rey kicks him low and a fast count pins Norton. Seriously, that’s it.
Rating: F. What in the world did this accomplish? Rey looks like a ragdoll, Norton looks like an idiot, I have no reason to believe Rey can beat Nash fairly or have a chance against him, and the match was boring because Norton did little more than stand around the whole time. What was this supposed to accomplish?
More Nitro Girls.
The same cage building video from earlier is shown.
Van Hammer vs. Bret Hart
O……k. Apparently there are more stipulations for Flair vs. Hogan but you have to check the WCW website for them. Egads. Feeling out process to start and Bret is sent to the floor to cool off a bit. Back in and Van Hammer works on the arm but Bret nips up into an arm hold of his own. Van Hammer takes him right back down into a wristlock. He takes Bret into the corner and has been in control most of the match.
Bret is like screw that and hits Hammer low to take over. It’s time to work on the leg so Bret goes through his usual sequence of wear down stuff. Figure Four goes on (the wrong leg) but Van Hammer makes the rope. In a nice heel move Bret won’t let go and spends a long time explaining to the referee that it’s because Hammer is laying on his leg. Small package gets two for Hammer.
Hammer hooks the slowest motion backslide ever for two. Bret goes back to the knee with a cannonball down onto it. The leg gets wrapped around the post and a DDT gets two for the Hitman. Back to the floor and Bret tries to ram the leg into the post again, only to get pulled into it face first. Back in and Hammer suplexes him for no cover. Van Hammer’s cobra clutch slam gets two. An enziguri misses and it’s Sharpshooter time. You know that ends it.
Rating: C-. Not bad here but why would you wasted a 12 minute Bret Hart match on freaking Van Hammer? This is where WCW never made a ton of sense (I know, I know): they had no clue what to do with Bret as he was in the midcard for most of his time there, especially after the first few months where he didn’t do much of anything.
Bret hits the leg with a chair post match.
Hogan and Nash come to the commentary booth and run off Heenan and Tenay.
Ric Flair vs. Goldberg
You know you might think this should be saved for a PPV. That would make too much sense I guess though. Nash brings up a good question: why does Flair wear his knee pads below his knees? Flair gets taken down quickly and is shoved down a second time. Shoulder block doesn’t work at all for Flair. A second does even less. A third results in a gorilla press powerslam to have Flair in agony.
Flair tries to walk up the aisle but Goldberg drags him back. Nash talks about some really strong dude from the Emerald city but he isn’t sure what happened to him. A low blow puts Goldberg down (popular move tonight) and chops don’t work. Another low blow puts Goldie down for an easily broken two count. Goldberg stars a comeback but Flair kicks him low a third time. Refereeing in this company sucks.
Time to go after the legs and after a single shot it’s Figure Four time. That gets powered out of so Flair fires off some kicks. Goldberg no sells them and sends Flair to the corner for the Flair Flip and out to the floor. Flair gets slammed down but the spear misses and he hits the buckle. Goldberg no sells a suplex and spears him down. The NWO D-Team runs in for the no contest.
Rating: C+. This was getting really good until the bad ending. See, here’s what I don’t get. What was the point in the NWO coming in? Hogan is facing Flair on Sunday so wouldn’t they want him to get hit with the Jackhammer to hurt him more? Goldberg didn’t have a match on Sunday and wasn’t on the show at all, so why would they attack him? That’s a basic plot problem.
Hogan and Nash come in also and it’s a big NWO beatdown to end the show.
Overall Rating: D-. I know the expected thing is to say that this is the worst show ever and all that, but it really isn’t. Don’t get me wrong: it’s bad and this was a chore to sit through, but it wasn’t the worst show ever. This was just dull for the most part. Considering I didn’t have to pay much attention at all to the first hour, this was just a bad Nitro. That being said, the show still sucks, but I’ve seen far worse shows. The lack of energy or anyone caring at all is really evident though.
Here’s Uncensored if you’re interested:
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If this isn’t the worst Nitro you’ve ever seen, then what is?
NWO Nitro is WAY up there.
Man, Nitro at this point was getting worse and worse, and just like the Death of WCW book said, “it seems every week you would get a candidate for worst wrestling show ever”. I didn’t even bother to check out the first hour of this show when it aired, and that night, I do recall flipping to see the Flair/Goldberg confrontation (more on that later), but other than that, Raw got ALL of my attention, like it always did. I want to make some additional points also:
*KB, you mentioned “Keep in mind that this was the hour they had unopposed by Raw. Raw would be having the final push to Mania 15, meaning Austin vs. Rock/McMahon.” Unopposed by Raw? Yes. The final push to Mania 15? Not quite, and that wouldn’t come until March 22, which is the show where Rock, Vince, and Shane were sprayed by Austin with the beer truck.
*They absolutely had NO idea what to do with Bret Hart (as you mentioned), and putting against Van Hammer showed that.
*Flair vs. Goldberg had money written all over it and with the proper build, it could’ve been something special, but in true WCW fashion, they give it away on Nitro. SMH.