Monday Nitro – May 18, 1998: The More Things Stay The Same, The More Things Change
Date: May 18, 1998
Location: Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko
It’s the night after Slamboree and naturally we’ve got more NWO drama and not much else. The main story is that Sting and Giant won the tag titles due to Hall turning on Nash, apparently aligning himself with Hollywood Hogan and the Black and White, despite them keeping him off TV for months and Nash standing up for him. This would be the third (fifth if you include Konnan and Hennig) yet to be explained turn in less than a month if you’re keeping track. Let’s get to it.
This is a one hour show tonight due to the NBA Playoffs. On Thunder it was announced that we would get an hour before the basketball game and a second hour after, but the second hour was just a repeat of the first. I’m not sure if it was a last second change or WCW just making stuff up to get ratings, but at least it’s less nonsense for me this week.
We open with the stills from last night’s main event. I think that was Nash’s official face turn after being a face for at least a month now.
Here’s Eric in the ring wearing a red velvet crown and siting on a motorcycle. He says it’s good to be king and as he ponders his future in this sport, he has to look back at the past. His television record is 98-2 and now his in ring record is 2-0, having defeated Larry Zbyszko and Vince McMahon. He wanted to beat Vince in the ring, but apparently that wasn’t going to happen. Now he has to look to the future which holds a record better than Bill Goldberg’s. He’s going to chase a dream which started last night. What that is isn’t specified but the music plays and he’s done.
We get the video from Thunder with Saturn saying he hasn’t stolen the Cryonic Kick because it’s a basic side kick that has been used for thousands of years.
Saturn vs. Psychosis
Saturn pounds him into the corner to start but Psychosis slams him down for two. A dropkick knocks Saturn out of the air and a second one knocks him out to the floor. Psychosis hits a nice plancha to the floor but gets caught in a release dragon suplex back inside. The superkick and Death Valley Driver set up the Rings of Saturn for the quick submmission.
We get some stills from Bret vs. Savage last night, focusing on Hogan interfering, leading to Savage giving up to the Sharpshooter.
Here’s Piper with something to say. This isn’t likely to go well. He’s ticked off because of how much interference there was and he’d never do that job again. Apparently Liz was swearing a lot and it allowed someone Savage hit him in the back of the head (it was Hart). Piper wants Savage out here right now and here’s Macho himself. For once, Tony is logical here by saying Piper could watch the tape and see that it was Hart attacking him.
Piper says he isn’t a guy to apologize but if he was he’d apologize right now, but since he isn’t a guy to apologize he isn’t apologizing. He’s watched the tape and saw Hart hit him in the back of the head, so as Commissioner he’s naming Savage as the winner of the match via a disqualification. This is treated as the biggest news in the history of WCW but here’s Bret Hart to complain. He wants to fight but doesn’t want to do it two on one. Actually scratch that as he’s ready to go but Hogan and pals come out to stop him. The end result is a tag match at Great American Bash.
Buy the Randy Savage shirt!
Heenan replaces Zbyszko on commentary for the second half of the show.
The announcers talk about the Cruiserweight Title situation for a bit. We get a post match interview with Dean Malenko with Gene saying he can no longer call Malenko a loser. Dean says it’s water under the bridge because tonight was the beginning of his new quest. He isn’t done with Jericho because Jericho insulted his family. This title is for his dad. If Malenko has ever cut a better promo, I haven’t seen it.
Jericho freaked out after losing the belt last night.
Damian vs. Juventud Guerrera
There’s no opening bell but Juvy takes over with a quick spinwheel kick but charges into a boot in the corner for two. A dropkick sends Damian to the floor but he whips Juvy into the steps to take over. Damian dropkicks him from the apron but gets caught in a top rope hurricanrana back inside. Juvy gets crotched on top and Damian gets two off a kneeling Muscle Buster of all things. Juvy almost no sells it and gets two of his own off the Juvy Driver. The 450 totally misses but Juvy gets up and drops a quick elbow for the pin.
Rating: C-. Botched ending aside this was pretty fun. I prefer the elbow drop over pretending the splash worked because it was more or less two feet to Damian’s chest and certainly wouldn’t have kept him down. Also it’s nice that they’re mixing up the matches a bit with new names like Damian, even though he isn’t the biggest star in the world. It’s better than doing the same pairings over and over.
More Nitro Girls.
There seems to be some confusion as to what’s next. Tony says we’re going to Gene but here’s Goldberg for his match.
US Title: Goldberg vs. Glacier
Goldberg blocks a bunch of kicks to start and clotheslines Glacier down. Glacier misses an enziguri and it’s the spear and Jackhammer to make it 89-0.
Here’s DDP for his weekly interview. Gene lauds him for his win last night but Page doesn’t want to think about how he beat Raven. He did it for the fans who always jack him up, but now he has a new target. Page wants to be world champion and hopes he gets to take it off of Hogan because he hasn’t forgotten what Hogan has put him through for the last six months. Not much from DDP this week but it’s a new plot development.
Here’s the Black and White to close the show. Bret is with them but still in street clothes. Dusty is there too, despite ripping into Hogan last week on Nitro. Hogan talks about how great he is and laughs at the idea of anyone following Nash. Everyone is here tonight because of Hogan because he controls the money and the talent.
If there was any doubt to Hogan being great, here’s Scott Hall as the ultimate proof. Hall rubs his fingers together to symbolize money on the way to the ring, which is probably as good of an explanation as we’re going to get. Bischoff calls out Sting for his explanation. Giant comes up to Sting in the aisle and gets spat on, causing Giant to choke Sting down. Nash comes out with a pipe to scare
Overall Rating: C. This show continues to prove that three hours simply aren’t needed at all. This show covered almost every major story and gave us some watchable wrestling at the same time. The ending is all you would come to expect from WCW as we get about two minutes of storyline development which will lead to three hours of talking next week. Bischoff mentioning Goldberg is interesting though as it’s the first mention of him from the NWO. Page going after Hogan might be worth something too.
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