Monday Nitro – November 30, 1998: What Exactly Is The Big Story Here?

Monday Nitro #165
Date: November 30, 1998
Location: UTC Arena, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone

We close out November here with a fairly big show. The main event for tonight is Page defending the US Title against Bret Hart despite being banged up as usual. Other than that we’re heading towards Starrcade so we’re likely to get more build between Goldberg and Nash, which hasn’t really set the world on fire yet. Let’s get to it.

No Tenay tonight due to illness so Tony and Larry talk run down the card, including a contract signing for Nash vs. Goldberg. This brings us to Hogan on the Tonight Show on Thanksgiving night where he officially announces he’s running for President. He likes a flat tax apparently.

We go to the back and see the NWO limo arriving with Scott Steiner leading the way. They come out to the ring where Bischoff declares Scott Steiner as the new leader of the Black and White. Steiner says Hogan made it official in LA and talks about his physique for a bit. Tonight the first order of business is taking care of Scott Hall, so it’s Hall/a parnter vs. Steiner/Horace.

Nitro Girls.

TV Title: Chris Jericho vs. Konnan

Jericho is defending. Konnan sends him to the apron to start and Jericho immediately complains about a hair pull. Back in and we hit the armbar on the champion before Jericho comes back with a running clothesline. Konnan will have none of this being on defense stuff and hits a seated dropkick, only to be caught in a hot shot. A springboard dropkick puts Konnan on the floor and Chris follows him out with a great looking plancha.

Back in and Jericho dives into Konnan’s boot before a fisherman’s suplex gets two. The Lionsault gets two for the champion but the Liontamer is too close to the ropes. With nothing else working, Jericho tries to cheat by bringing in the belt. Ralphus’ distraction doesn’t work though and an X Factor onto the belt gives Konnan the title.

Rating: D+. Not much here but a title change is always a good way to fire up a crowd. It’s about time the Wolfpack got some gold. That being said, it’s a bad idea overall with the midcard scene picking up and now another title is locked into the NWO stories. Jericho didn’t do much here and unfortunately that’s likely to be a trend for him in the coming months.

The Wolfpack comes out to celebrate and we see Konnan’s music video.

Gene brings out Flair for a chat. Flair is in serious mode tonight and says that he’s talking like a man so Bischoff will hear it. Just because someone gets old doesn’t mean that they’re great. Flair lists off a bunch of names like Hogan, the Andersons, the Road Warriors and Wahoo McDaniel made Bischoff the man he is. Now Flair is mad at Windham for what he did last week, but he hates Bischoff. Flair wants a piece of Bischoff anytime anywhere.

Nitro Party winner.

Here’s Hall in an Outsiders shirt to say that he’ll fight the NWO on his own tonight. Kevin Nash comes out and says if Hall needs a partner, he’ll be Scott’s Huckleberry.

Raven/Kanyon vs. Scott Armstrong/Steve Armstrong

Raven is sitting in the corner to start against Scott and we appear to be in an angle instead of a match. Kanyon and Raven argue about Raven’s mom for some reason but Kanyon gets jumped from behind by Scott to really get things going. The brothers’ advantage is short lived though as Kanyon fights back with a nice faceplant but stops to argue with Raven. A Flatliner lays out Steve but goes to yell even more, allowing Scott to roll Kanyon up for the big upset.

Hour #2 begins.

Here’s Bret Hart for a chat with Gene. Bret says he’s badly hurt tonight and can’t face Page for the US Title tonight even though that’s what Bret wanted to do. This brings Page out through the crowd to say the word SCUM a lot and call Bret a liar because Bret issued the challenge in the first place. Hart doesn’t have his gear so he insists on it being a No DQ match tonight. Page agrees to what sounds like a ruse.

Cruiserweight Title: Billy Kidman vs. Eddie Guerrero

Kidman is defending. Feeling out process to start until Eddie makes the mistake of slapping the champion and gets dropkicked for his efforts. A headscissors puts Eddie down again and a dropkick sends him to the floor. Kidman is sent into the steps to give Guerrero his first advantage and crushes him between the steps and post for good measure. Back in and the slingshot hilo gets two as we take a break.

Back with Eddie cranking on the champ’s arm and wrapping it on the top. He gets crotched loading up the frog splash but blocks a top rope Frankensteiner. Back down and Eddie’s powerbomb is countered into a faceplant (duh) followed by the lifting powerbomb for two. Cruiserweights use a lot of powerbombs the more I think about it.

Guerrero comes back with a tornado DDT but ANOTHER powerbomb is countered into another faceplant. The champ drops Eddie with a superplex but the referee goes down at the same time. This brings out Juvy to help his boss but Mysterio comes out to dropkick Eddie (also his boss) in the back, setting up the Shooting Star to retain the title.

Rating: C. Good stuff as usual from these guys but I’m not sure where this story is going. We get that Mysterio hates being in the LWO and Eddie knows that Mysterio hates being in the LWO and will cost the LWO matches, so why does he insist on Rey being in the LWO and not use the LWO army to destroy Mysterio? At least the matches are good though.

Bam Bam Bigelow is here with a ticket.

Here are Eric Bischoff and Barry Windham with something to say. Eric talks about going to Cody, Wyoming where he heard a lot of people wanting Hogan to be President. We get a little campaign speech before Bischoff calls out Dean Malenko. He gets the Horsemen minus Flair on the stage and Malenko alone in the ring. Tonight it’s going to be Malenko vs. Windham and if Dean wins, Flair gets to face Bischoff. Dean says it’s on but Eric has one more idea: Dusty Rhodes is going to be guest referee. Big Dust comes out but Malenko won’t shake his hand.

Nitro Girls and Heenan at the booth.

Wrath vs. Bobby Blaze

Total squash with Wrath winning in less than a minute but the magic just isn’t there anymore.

Bigelow is still in the crowd.

Here’s Ernest Miller, flanked by Sonny Onoo, to issue his open challenge to the crowd. This brings out Perry Saturn who says that he’ll have a try. Miller says that Saturn is clearly weak due to losing to Sonny on Sunday, so he’ll have to beat Sonny to get a piece of the Cat.

Perry Saturn vs. Sonny Onoo

We get the karate poses from Onoo but Saturn plants him down with a powerbomb, only to have Miller break up the pin. The distraction lets Glacier run in with a Cryonic Kick to Saturn to give Sonny two. Miller throws in a chain to Onoo but Sonny takes the Death Valley Driver. Somehow he slips the chain into Saturn’s tights though and the referee sees it for a DQ, giving Sonny the win. Someone tell me why putting Saturn in this feud is a good idea. I’d love to hear this rationale.

We see Goldberg get out of a limo and come to the ring for the contract signing with Nash. Both guys sign with no issues and Goldberg doesn’t have to defend until Starrcade. Bigelow tries to jump the railing but it doesn’t go anywhere.

Mike Enos vs. Booker T

Booker easily takes him down to start and nails the forearm and a superkick. Enos catches him charging into a hot shot though before knocking Booker out to the floor with a clothesline. Another hot shot onto the barricade has Booker in trouble but he comes back inside with a spinwheel kick, the ax kick and the Harlem Sidekick, followed by a kind of spinebuster for the quick pin.

Bigelow is in the parking lot and wants Goldberg to come fight him.

Brian Adams vs. Lex Luger

Feeling out process to start as Tony talks about the Mark Curtis Benefit Show last night. Luger runs over Adams with ease a few times but gets his neck snapped across the top rope to give not-Crush the advantage. A clothesline puts Luger on the floor so Vincent can earn his paycheck for the night. Back in and Luger makes a quick comeback and nails the forearm but Adams’ feet take the referee down as he’s loaded into the Rack. The NWO nails Luger with a chair and spike piledriver for two before we get Lex’s real comeback. He knocks Adams into the chair despite Adams putting the brakes on, setting up the Rack to win.

Rating: D. Just a dull match here without anything of interest. This is the same as the LWO but slightly less confusing. What exactly are we heading to with this NWO war? They’ve been fighting for over six months now and there’s nothing changing about any of the fights. At least Luger is beating the guys he should be beating though.

Barry Windham vs. Dean Malenko

If Dean wins, Flair gets Bischoff at some point. NWO member Dusty Rhodes is referee, Barry is in jeans and Dean is coming in with a bad knee. Dean wins an early slugout and we head to the floor for a chase but Dusty yells at Dean for a distraction, allowing Barry to take over. A gutwrench suplex and elbow to the jaw drop Malenko and Dusty is right in his face to ask if he wants to give it up.

Dean avoids an elbow drop and heads up, only to be slammed right down onto the bad knee. Some elbows to the knee have Dean in even more trouble and Barry slams the leg down on the apron. Barry stays on the leg with kicks to the thigh as Dean is in the ropes…..AND THAT’S A DQ??? Dusty calls for the bell and raises Dean’s hand as the announcers are in shock.

Rating: D+. The match didn’t have time to go anywhere but was much more about the angle than the action. It’s nice to see someone finally changing over to WCW as at times it seems WCW doesn’t even exist anymore other than as a place for the NWOs to fight each other. Also Dusty being in the NWO just didn’t work.

Post match Bischoff runs out to fire Dusty as the Horsemen come out to beat the tar out of Windham. Eric gets out before Flair can get to him.

Horace Hogan/Scott Steiner vs. Outsiders

The Outsiders do the Rock Paper Scissors to determine who starts against Horace. The NWO referee is in there as well. Hall nails the driving shoulders and puts on an armbar, only to walk into a hard clothesline. A hiptoss is countered into a chokeslam from Hall but it’s off to Scott Steiner. It’s Steiner with a muscle clothesline and a fast count is good for two. A butterfly suplex gets the same for Steiner on the other Scott but Steiner charges into a boot in the corner.

The middle rope bulldog gets two for Hall but the referee counts VERY slowly. Steiner comes back with a low blow but Nash saves Hall from some Horace choking. Back in and Horace stomps away and gets two off a backbreaker and splash. We hit the front facelock for a bit until Hall fights up and makes the tag to Nash. The NWO referee doesn’t count it but Nash comes in anyway and cleans house until Hall hits the Edge on Horace. No count of course so Nash Jackknifes the referee and a WCW referee comes in for the pin. Nash walks out as soon as the pin goes down.

Rating: D+. Another angle instead of a match here and Nash running off was interesting. I’m not sure where Steiner went after the hot tag but it fits the idea of the NWO wanting to run away from a real fight. The fans were really excited about the idea of the Outsiders being back together again, which is why I doubt it’s going to keep happening.

Goldberg barrels through the doors and heads outside to fight Bigelow. They go at it in the parking lot until security breaks it up. That’s not good enough for Goldberg though as he fights away and spears Bigelow down.

US Title: Bret Hart vs. Diamond Dallas Page

Bret is challenging and this is No DQ. Hart is in street clothes and isn’t sure about locking up to start. Page takes him into the corner but lets him go, allowing Bret to get in a low blow to take over. Choking and eye raking ensues until Page sends him into the corner for a hard stomping. Bret gets caught in the Figure Four around the post until the Giant makes the save. A chokeslam puts Page down in the ring and a chokeslam from the top rope (pretty much the same as a regular chokeslam) sets up the Sharpshooter for the knock out win, giving Bret the title back.

Rating: D+. This is a hard one to rate as it was exciting while it lasted but the match isn’t even four and a half minutes long with Giant being out there for about a minute and a half of that. Not much to see here though as this feud just keeps going. Hopefully this wraps things up though.

Overall Rating: C-. This was a show about setting up matches for the future which is what matters as we head into the biggest show of the year. The contract signing was nothing though and it felt more like the Outsiders reunion was bigger than anything with Goldberg. Flair vs. Bischoff looks more like the main event for Starrcade, despite it not even being official yet. It’s not a bad show, but it sets up stuff for the future which is a rare thing in WCW.

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