Monday Nitro – September 28, 1998: That’s What They’re Doing Now? Ok Then.
Date: September 28, 1998
Location: Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, New York
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
We’re four weeks away from Halloween Havoc and things aren’t exactly looking up. The big news is Disciple joining Warrior to close out last week. I’m not exactly sure why that’s big news but Tony Schiavone said it was a huge moment in our sport and Tony would never lie to me. Let’s get to it.
The opening video talks recaps Warrior vs. Hogan and the One Warrior Nation revolution, whatever that was supposed to be.
Announcers and Nitro Girls open things up.
Here’s the NWO for their first interview of the night. Eric thanks the fans for all the money they’ve handed to him tonight. Hogan thanks them for laying on the ground so he wouldn’t have to touch the streets here in Rochester. He brags about making wrestling what it is today and greatly increasing revenue in towns like this.
Hogan made all the “good guys” think they were great but they really couldn’t hang with Hollywood. I’m not sure if he was referring to his friend of the month back in WWF or guys who weren’t all that talented. He’ll prove that again at Halloween Havoc when he beats the Warrior into the ground and moves a step closer to getting the title back around his waist.
He went out to “the hood” and all of his friends said he should slaughter all of the lambs he lead to slaughter (his words) so tonight he’s starting with Sting and Bret Hart. Hogan’s voice is cracking as he talks here and keeps referring to the Black and White as the Wood. You can even call him Woody because he’s just too sweet. Larry: “Did he say the boys in the hood think he’s Ed Wood?”
La Parka vs. Super Calo
La Parka has a sombrero this week. Calo blasts him in the head during the dance but La Parka comes back with what looked to be a low blow for two. The dancer is sent face first into the middle buckle and Calo hits a nice middle rope hurricanrana. A running charge misses and La Parka’s shoulder hits the post, setting up a BIG dive from the top to the floor by Calo.
Back in and La Parka quickly puts him in the Tree of Woe for a running spinwheel kick to the ribs. Calo gets his boots up to catch La Parka coming off the top but is almost immediately kicked to the floor. He pops back onto the apron and pulls La Parka off the top and drapes it on the top rope. Another hurricanrana gets two on La Parka but he comes back with an Alabama Slam and a corkscrew off the top for the pin.
Rating: C-. Not bad here and another example of the incredibly deep cruiserweight roster the company had. Super Calo hadn’t been seen in months but came back and had a nice match here. It’s nice to be able to hold back on the big names for once and let the other guys get the spotlight.
Calo blasts La Parka with the chair.
Here’s Bret Hart with something to say. He takes up Hogan on his challenge tonight and promises to have people watching his back to make sure it’s one on one. He’ll make Hogan a zero if the fans give him one more chance to be a hero. The fans really dug the speech.
Disciple vs. Sick Boy
No sunglasses for Disciple here and he comes out to the NWO music though he’s wearing an OWN vest. Sick Boy jumps him to start but Disciple no sells a suplex and chokes away. This time it’s Sick Boy no selling a gutwrench suplex but Disciple immediately no sells a neckbreaker and hits a big boot “to the face” (clearly missed) and the Apocalypse is good for the pin. I wonder how many people knew that was Brutus Beefcake. The only direct reference to it was a one off line from Warrior calling him a barber and he looked so different that it might not have been clear.
The announcers hype Hogan vs. Hart tonight.
We recap the battle of the Steiners and Scott and Buff faking all those injuries. Their match at Halloween Havoc will be No DQ.
Jericho has challenged Goldberg for a World Title shot tonight.
Nitro Girls. The song instructs the fans to say HO.
Lenny Lane/Nick Dinsmore vs. Scott Steiner
Steiner talks some trash about his brother before the match. Lane is quickly sent to the floor and Dinsmore gets tossed around with ease. Steiner’s dinner changes places and Lane is put in the Tree of Woe. Dinsmore is tossed into the steps and Bagwell gets in some cheap shots of his own. Scott suplexes Nick onto Lenny and a double Steiner Recliner is good for the win.
Scott feigns an injury post match and is walked to the back by a trainer.
Hour #2 begins.
The lights go out and we get Warrior Speak over the announce system. Warrior says he and his fans have a message for Hogan: ever since Warrior returned, Hogan has only shown him a pittance of what he used to be. Warrior won’t make himself less than what he is until Hogan becomes what he needs to be. That’s the most coherent he’s been in years.
Here’s Buff to talk about Steiner’s injury earlier. Scott is on his way to the ambulance but Gene doesn’t buy it. The evil laughter cuts them off and Buff wants to know where it’s coming from. Back on subject, Buff doesn’t know if Scott will be ready for Halloween Havoc or not.
The Cat vs. Psychosis
Miller does his five seconds schtick but Psychosis doesn’t understand. This ticks Miller off so he kicks the masked man in the face. Psychosis comes back with some kicks of his own and sends Cat to the floor. Back in and a missile dropkick puts Cat down for two and it’s off to a figure four neck lock. Miller blocks a spinwheel kick into a slam but walks into a slam of his own. The guillotine legdrop misses though and Miller’s Feliner hits the shoulder for the pin.
Rating: D. Some of Miller’s kicks looked good and that’s about all there was to see. Psychosis wasn’t bad but he needed something better than Miller to work with. At least it’s better than having another battle of the karate guys. Hopefully the accuracy of the kicks get better as the night goes on.
Alex Wright insults the crowd and the British Bulldog. Who thought we needed to build to that match?
Disco Inferno vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Feeling out process to start until Disco takes over with a hiptoss but stops to nearly break Pepe the stick horse in half. Chavo goes NUTS and takes over with right hands before throwing Inferno to the floor. Back in and an atomic drop and clothesline get two on Disco but he slams Chavo down. A dancing middle rope elbow gets a two count and Chavo makes his comeback, only to have Disco jab him in the throat with Pepe for the pin.
Rating: D+. This was more of a story than a match with Disco proving that he can hang with the cruiserweights but not being legally allowed to compete in their division. Chavo has toned down the insanity in recent weeks and is becoming a more well rounded wrestler as a result.
Juvy comes out to yell at Disco and gets a piledriver for his efforts.
Cool Horsemen video.
Here are the Horsemen for their awesome promo of the week. Before they can start we’ve got Bischoff, Stevie Ray and Doug Dillinger to interrupt. Flair kneels down and bows to “god” but cops snap him back to seriousness. Apparently Stevie is claiming felonious assault against the Horsemen for attacking him on Thunder. Dillinger is getting thrown out as well for allowing it to happen. Bischoff rips on Flair for missing the taping six months ago for his son’s wrestling tournament and mocks southern people. This would be the second time that Bischoff has made the Horsemen look weak while he gets to stand tall.
Video on Goldberg vs. Page.
WCW World Title: Chris Jericho vs. Goldberg
Jericho has a shirt saying “Jericho – 1, Goldberg – 0.” Chris does the long walk from the back and calls this a match for the WCW World Television Unified Championship.” Goldberg comes through the entrance with the Mini-Goldberg on his shoulder. Jericho’s security takes the spear and the one that isn’t Ralphus gets the Jackhammer as Jericho runs.
Here’s DDP for his regular chat. Page says he’s an incredibly competitive wrestler but he isn’t getting in the ring with someone he hates. It’s not Savage or HOLLYWOOD SCUM HOGAN but rather about good competition. He’s getting jacked, the Horsemen are back and he’ll be for real at Havoc.
Scott Hall vs. Billy Kidman
Hall actually looks sober here. The toothpick toss cracks him up but Kidman won’t back down. Hall takes Kidman into the corner for some loud chops but goes for a drink, allowing Kidman to get a quick rollup for two. A sunset flip gets the same but Hall jacks Kidman’s jaw to take over again. Vincent still won’t let him have a drink so Hall stomps away in the corner.
We hit the abdominal stretch as Kidman is getting crushed. Billy tries to speed things up but walks into a chokeslam followed by mocking the Giant. Why Hall would mock his World Tag Team Championship partner is beyond me. Hall goes to the floor for a drink but Kidman takes out Vincent and gets in some shots on Scott. A missile dropkick and high cross body are good for two. Kidman counters an Outsider’s Edge attempt but the second attempt is enough for the pin.
Rating: D+. This was a glorified squash and I’m sure there was no other cruiserweight except for the champion. Kidman got in a few shots and the fans were into him but cruiserweights aren’t allowed to be competitive outside their weight class in this company for reasons that I’ve never been able to fathom.
British Bulldog vs. Alex Wright
At least it’s not on PPV. Before the match Bulldog says suck it in German. Bulldog shoves him against the ropes before they trade hammerlocks. Apparently Hall has been celebrating a lot in the back and Tony lets us figure out the details for ourselves. Bulldog puts on a surfboard and bends him back for a two count but Wright pounds on Smith’s chest to take over. A slingshot splash gets two for Alex but Smith comes back with right hands in the corner. The powerslam takes Wright down but the referee got bumped. Another referee comes down as Alex hits the German suplex and it’s the old double pin ending.
Rating: D+…….seriously? With everything WCW has going on right now they pick this to continue? It wasn’t a terrible match or anything and Wright could use more TV time but I see no reason for them to fight again. Bulldog wasn’t long for the company due to his back injury flaring up but he didn’t look bad here.
Nitro Girls with the very cute Spice getting a solo.
Video on Kevin Nash.
Brian Adams vs. Kevin Nash
Some kid jumps the rail and runs up the aisle at Nash who seems oblivious to him. Feeling out process to start until Adams takes over with a nice middle rope clothesline. Nash is knocked to the floor but he sends Adams into the steps to take over again. Back in and Kevin hits the big boot and loads up the Jackknife but Stevie Ray comes in with the slap jack for the DQ.
Hall comes down with a cup but pours it out to pound on Nash. Luger and Konnan make the save.
Lex Luger/Konnan vs. Hugh Morrus/Barry Darsow
As we come back we see the exact same section of the crowd for the fourth time tonight. You can see the same Hulk Hogan Wrestling Buddy and a few signs that have been on camera multiple times earlier. Konnan and Luger do a full entrance despite being in the ring just four minutes ago. The Wolfpack take turns pounding on Darsow to start but it’s quickly off to Morrus who misses a running splash in the corner. The rolling lariat sets up Konnan’s low dropkick but Barry breaks up the Tequila Sunrise. A bad looking X Factor puts Darsow down and it’s back to Luger for a quick Rack and the submission.
Hollywood Hogan vs. Bret Hart
Bret comes to the ring with no music and a slight limp. Feeling out process to start with Hogan actually scoring with a takedown but Bret easily takes over on the mat. Hollywood takes over again with a cross armbreaker of all things but Bret is too close to the ropes. Bret avoids three straight elbow drops and they head to the floor with Hogan going shoulder first into the post.
Back in and Bret is pulled to the floor again and the knee is in trouble. Hogan drapes it over the barricade and bends it around the post before putting on a spinning toehold. This brings out Sting to pull Hogan off as the Wolfpack comes out to help Hart. Bret shouts at Hogan to take on Sting and you can see the swerve from here.
Rating: D+. This should have headlined Starrcade and instead it’s a five minute match that is pretty clearly setting up a screwjob to close the show. Nothing to the match of course but seeing Hogan trying technical stuff is always bizarre. One thing though: assuming Hart is with Hollywood, why would Hogan do that much damage to the knee?
Hollywood Hogan vs. Sting
They slug it out to start as Bret is being taken out on a stretcher. A belly to back puts Sting down for two and Bret is nearly in an ambulance. Two medics jump Konnan and Luger before unhooking Bret. It’s Bagwell and Scott Steiner pounding on the Wolfpack as Bret limps back to the ring. Back in the arena Sting avoids the legdrop and hits the Splash but Bret comes in to DDT Sting to block the Deathlock for the DQ. Tony is of course in shock that someone would pull a swerve in WCW.
Bret puts Sting in the Sharpshooter with the knee looking fine. The NWO does a number on Sting’s leg until Konnan comes out and can’t do anything. Luger gets down there and pulls Sting to safety. The lights go out to end the show.
Overall Rating: D. This is a difficult one to grade. For one thing they kept the Warrior stuff confined to the earlier part of the show and we didn’t have any smoke hijinks tonight. On the other hand though, none of the matches were anything special and the swerve into a heel turn is just dead anymore. Actually Hart didn’t so much turn here as much as he dropped the charade with Sting. Either way, there’s nothing to see here and I dread the eventual burial of the Horsemen to make Bischoff look good more and more every week.
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