Monday Nitro – January 18, 1999: Yes They Can
Date: January 18, 1999
Location: Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan
We’re past the first pay per view of the year and nothing has really changed. Last night Goldberg beat Scott Hall in the tazer match but Hall wound up knocking him out to end the show. The other main event saw the Flairs beat Curt Hennig and Barry Windham when David got a pin thanks to Arn Anderson. Hollywood Hogan came in and beat up David after the match as Ric had to watch, which should set up SuperBrawl. Let’s get to it.
We open with stills from last night of the tag match before going to the back to see Flair freaking out and throwing trash cans. Hogan will pay for what he did.
The NWO limo arrives and the Horsemen attack it with tire irons but the limo pulls off.
Flair comes out to the arena and rants about how Hogan works for him. The title match is made official for SuperBrawl. Flair says that it’s not him challenging because Hogan is going to have to kill him to keep the title. Hogan may have kids of his own, but he isn’t man enough to do anything by himself.
That brings Flair to Bischoff, who he knows is behind everything that happened last night. Bischoff comes out to the stage and has a mic of his own. Ric says Bishcoff has the chance to do something promoters have wanted to do for years, but we have to wait for the fans to boo Bischoff out of the building first. Tonight it’s Flair vs. Bischoff but Eric doesn’t seem to think it’s happening. His contract doesn’t say he’s a wrestler but Flair offers to put up his hair. That’s not enough for Eric and the match still isn’t on. Flair ups the ante and says Bischoff can have control back.
Now Eric is interested but David Flair comes out and yells loudly about what Bischoff did last night. David wants to fight Bischoff tonight and Eric is really interested. Now the deal is Bischoff vs. David with Flair’s hair and control of the company on the line. Bischoff leaves so Ric throws in Bischoff’s hair as a bonus stipulation. That was quite the rapid fire exchange.
Stills of the main event and Cruiserweight Title match from last night.
More stills of the ladder match.
Chris Jericho vs. Booker T.
This was set up last night when Jericho interrupted a Booker interview. Booker raises the roof to start and Jericho gets annoyed. A wristlock into a clothesline puts Jericho down and he complains about whatever he can think of. He ducks a second clothesline but walks into a spinning kick to the face for two instead. A missed dropkick lets Booker catapult Jericho into the buckle and a belly to back gets two. Jericho sends him outside for a springboard dive to take him down.
Jericho grabs a suplex of his own for the arrogant two but the spinning sunset flip out of the corner gets two for Booker. We hit the chinlock by the Canadian before a knee sends Booker outside again for some choking. Back in and a nice springboard forearm gets two before Jericho goes after the back for a bit.
To the shock of no one, the announcers have ignored the match almost entirely to talk about Flair vs. Bischoff. Jericho goes up for the jump into a raised boot spot, allowing Booker to hit the side kick and spinebuster for two. Chris comes back with a flapjack but Booker spins up and hits another kick, followed by the missile dropkick for the win.
Rating: C+. This is what would help a lot of WCW’s problems: a nice, back and forth wrestling match. Booker continues his steady rise up the card due to staying away from all of the main event nonsense. It’s very nice to see him getting a push like this as he puts on some of the most consistently good matches week in and week out.
JJ Dillon suspends Scott Dickinson for thirty days. Also we’re getting Hall vs. Goldberg vs. Bigelow tonight. Dillon makes the Flair vs. Bischoff match official because apparently it wasn’t earlier.
We recap the opening segment and the announcers talk about it for awhile.
Gene is having a sitdown interview with Rey Mysterio Jr. and asks him why he hasn’t shed the LWO colors. Rey says the red, white and green are his brown pride and it’s not his time yet. Gene asks if the mask means the same thing it meant when he debuted and Rey says of course it does. The mask will never come off because it’s who he is. That question came out of nowhere. Also Rey isn’t intimidated by the NWO and will face Lex Luger anytime.
Here are the same stills of the Flair match that opened the show.
David Flair vs. Eric Bischoff
This is going much earlier than I expected. David comes out on his own here for some reason. We get an old school weapons check and now we’re ready to go. Some light kicks put David down and Bischoff walks over his back. Back up and David hits Bischoff with a roll of quarters for the pin, despite Bischoff’s foot being in the ropes and David pouring the coins over Bischoff after the match.
The Horsemen come out and we get the shaving. Bischoff’s hair goes from jet black to gray in front of our eyes. Eric wakes up and of course freaks out. It’s nice to see Bischoff get what’s coming to him, but just like the match three weeks ago, how many people remember this as compared to the Starrcade match?
A replay shows that Randy Anderson slipped Flair the roll of quarters. Schiavone, the most biased announcer of all time, is totally fine with this.
Jericho is with JJ Dillon in the back and makes it clear that Saturn has to wear a dress all the time when he’s in the arena, not just in the ring. Saturn comes up and says he’ll do it.
Here’s Konnan with something to say. Konnan talks about his former teammates being traitors and being in cahoots with Hogan since the team started. Nash and Luger got him back on his feet when his life was falling apart and then they turned their backs on him. When they did that, they turned on these people who put him here tonight. Konnan is going to be on them like a pair of tight jeans. He’ll get whatever help he needs and is coming for every member of the NWO he can. This was actually a really solid and serious promo from Konnan, which isn’t something you expect.
Stills of Luger vs. Konnan. Makes sense.
Stills of the Flair match from last night. Egads we get it already.
World Tag Team Tournament First Round: Bobby Duncum Jr./Mike Enos vs. Faces of Fear
In case you weren’t bored enough by the first go around on Thunder where the NWO interfered. It’s a brawl to start until we get down to Meng vs. Bobby. Duncum takes him down and dives over the top rope to take out Barbarian as well. Back in and everything breaks down again with a spike piledriver planting Barbarian and the Kick of Fear from Meng knocking Bobby on top for two.
Meng kicks Enos down as well and the Faces of Fear take over. A nice double top rope headbutt have Enos in big trouble and the standing version of the same move makes it even worse. Meng loads up a backslide of all things as everything breaks down again. The referee lets it go on far longer than you would expect before Meng plants Enos with a piledriver (not a tombstone Tony) and we cut to a split screen to show the NWO arriving. Hogan is ticked off about Bischoff’s hair and the NWO is coming to the ring. After some more brawling, the Red and Black comes in for the no contest.
Rating: D+. This started off as a fun brawl but went on WAY too long. The Faces of Fear are like the Nasty Boys: if you let them do their trashy brawling they’re fine, but when you try to make them have a wrestling match, things get bad in a hurry. Duncum’s dive at the beginning was good but he almost vanished after that.
Nash reiterates that there won’t be a tournament. Hall says the hair cut is Armageddon for WCW and shows us David’s blood on his weight belt. The title match is accepted for SuperBrawl and that’s about it.
Package on Goldberg vs. Hall vs. Bigelow.
Disco Inferno vs. Wrath
The dancer has the Wolfpack shirt and is wearing red and black tights. Wrath shoves him around to start and hits some hard chops. Tony talks about Alex Wright not showing up to be in Disco’s corner for reasons not explained. Hall sneaks out with the tazer as Wrath drives knees into the ribs. Disco comes back with the swinging neckbreaker and dancing elbow for two before we hit the chinlock.
Some shots to the knees have Wrath in more trouble but he backdrops Disco with ease. A hard dropkick puts Disco on the floor and Wrath follows up with a slingshot elbow to the jaw back inside. The Death Penalty looks to set up the Meltdown but Hall uses the Tazer to distract Wrath, allowing Disco to hit the Chartbuster for the upset.
Rating: D+. And that’s it for Wrath meaning anything at all. As soon as the first loss happened you could tell his career was going down, but this is a big fall down for him. This isn’t one that you can say he’s going to bounce back from either. Wrath’s push is officially dead in the water and he’s another talent wasted in WCW.
Nitro Girls but Scott Steiner interrupts. Scott hits on Chae but switches over to Kimberly to insult DDP a bit. End segment.
Scott Steiner vs. Perry Saturn
Non-title but Steiner doesn’t even have the belt with him anyway. Steiner rants about seeing Saturn in a dress in the back and wanting to beat some sense into him. Steiner makes sure to throw in a gay slur before getting punched in the face. Saturn hammers away for a bit and knocks Steiner to the floor, only to get kicked low back inside to stop the momentum.
Now it’s Saturn being knocked to the floor and sent into the barricade. Steiner takes a Michigan hat from a fan to really tick off the crowd but Saturn comes back with a suplex and right hands. A dropkick sends Steiner to the floor and a big dive puts him down as well. Back in and the top rope splash gets two as Saturn has to lay out Bagwell. Buff breaks up the Death Valley Driver and a belly to belly suplex lets Steiner put on the Recliner for the win.
Rating: D+. This was a bad clash of styles as Saturn works a more athletic style as compared to Steiner’s brawling. It didn’t work that well and the match was all over the place. Saturn was trying, but the dress looks more out of place here than I thought it was going to. Not a terrible match but it was an odd pairing.
Nitro Girls again.
Clips of Luger attacking Mysterio last week.
Here are Nash, Luger and the now augmented Liz with something to say. Nash: “Yo yo yo let me speak on this. OIL OF OLAY!” He heard what Konnan said but even Konnan knows that without the Wolfpack, he’d still be jerking the curtain. Konnan has no heart, endurance or soul and can talk about salads and potatoes all he wants, but all that matters is the money. Luger says he’ll take Rey’s mask if they get in the ring together tonight. He’ll even let Rey off if Rey hands the Wolfpack the mask in advance.
Scott Steiner goes into the Nitro Girls’ locker room but security runs him off.
Psychosis vs. Juventud Guerrera
Psychosis chops away to start and takes Juvy down with a quick swinging neckbreaker. Juvy comes back with a headscissors and we take an early break. Back with Psychosis taking Juvy down and we hit the chinlock. A running dropkick puts Juvy on the floor and a bottom rope suplex brings him back inside for two. Juvy quickly goes up but gets dropkicked out of the air for another two count. Psychosis fights out of a superplex attempt by crotching Juvy to send him outside.
It’s Psychosis hitting the big dive to send Guerrera into the barricade before a missile dropkick to the back of the head gets two on Juvy. Back up and Psychosis tries a German suplex but Juvy backflips out. Now obviously Psychosis should know Juvy flipped out as he could feel Juvy escape and also he didn’t hear Juvy hit the mat. Therefore, why he stood with his back to Juvy and celebrated is anyone’s guess. Why he turned around when Juvy was shouting JUVY DRIVER is due to general stupidity.
Thankfully he spins out and hits a reverse suplex for another two count. Juvy has been watching his Kidman tapes as he counters a powerbomb into something resembling a DDT. The 450 is countered with another crotching but he does the same to break up the guillotine legdrop. A superplex is countered into a top rope sitout gordbuster, setting up the guillotine legdrop to give Psychosis the pin.
Rating: B-. Well that was rather surprising. It’s nice to see a little curve thrown in there every now and then to keep things from getting too predictable. Thankfully that gordbuster wasn’t wasted on another near fall as Juvy should have been out cold for about a week after something that big.
Lex Luger vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
The bell rings and Luger asks for a mic. He offers to let Mysterio leave in exchange for his mask and shirt. Rey says no and gets pummeled for his efforts before Luger throws him around with ease. Lex misses a charge into the corner and Mysterio hammers away before getting two off a split legged moonsault. Luger comes right back with a powerslam as Nash comes out. A press slam draws cheers from Big Kev and there’s the running forearm for good measure. Luger wants the mask and Rey gets all fired up but Nash comes in for the DQ.
Rating: D+. This was more of an angle than a match but I’ll give them points for having Rey in there with some far bigger names for a change. It’s like they’re actually trying someone else out in a higher level instead of having him run around in cirles for months on end. Imagine that.
Post match Luger and Nash hammer on Rey until Konnan makes the save with a chair. Logical story progression.
We see Diamond Dallas Page at the ground breaking of the Nitro Grill in Las Vegas.
Steiner follows Kimberly into a bathroom but security intervenes again.
Scott Hall vs. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Goldberg
Bigelow and Goldberg double team Hall to start and the fans chant as you would expect them to. Goldberg gets jumped by the other bald guy but he knocks him down with ease. Now it’s Goldberg being double teamed but he spears both guys down at the same time to fire the crowd up again. Hall breaks up the Jackhammer on Bigelow so Goldberg hits it on him instead, only to have the NWO come in for the no contest. Too short to rate but Goldberg dominated most of it.
Goldberg is in trouble but the Horsemen come out with Flair chasing off the entire A-Team on his own. He catches Hall and chops him down before chasing the limo off to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. It’s not a great show but it’s WAY better than the stuff they’ve been doing lately. This show had some good wrestling on it and some nice, logical story progression to cap it off. Hogan vs. Flair is the logical match for the next pay per view main event and thankfully they’ve got a lot of time to set up the match instead of having to fly through the build like they did for Souled Out.
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