Monday Nitro – April 12, 1999: It’s A Classic For A Reason
Date: April 12, 1999
Location: Valley Sundome, Yakima, Washington
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
We’re past Spring Stampede now and DDP has finally become World Champion. The other interesting, and arguably more important, part of the main event was Hollywood Hogan going down with a knee injury. That’s going to be very damaging to the NWO going forward and might even be the death knell for the team. Let’s get to it.
We open with Page in catering when Gorgeous George and Savage come up, saying Page owes Randy the title. Scott Steiner comes in and nails Page with a chair and crushes him with a table leg. Steiner shouts that he’s going to be champion.
Ricky Rachman now has DJ Ran with him. The two pests bring out the Nitro Girls for some dancing.
The announcers talk about Page winning the title and his first defense against Steiner tonight.
We look at Steiner throwing Kimberly out of the car a few weeks back.
Here’s Sting with something to say. He talks about the many people that have tried to put him out of action over the years but no one will ever be able to do it. A lot of wrestlers have heart, but none of them are Sting. He’s the man that built WCW because he’s been here since day one. This is his house and his turf and if anyone can say they built this house, it’s Sting. Diamond Dallas Page didn’t build this place, so Sting wants some of Page tonight.
Stills of Mysterio vs. Kidman.
Cruiserweight Title: Juventud Guerrera vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Rey is defending. Juvy takes him down by the leg but Rey comes back with some forearms to the head. A hurricanrana attempt is countered by a Guerrera powerbomb and they actually stay on the mat for a bit. With their legs tied together, they stand on their heads and slap each others’ faces. That was different. Rey gets back up but gets caught in a DDT. Juvy makes the mistake of posing instead of covering though, allowing Rey to get back to his feet.
A headscissors gets two for Juvy and Mysterio rolls out to the floor. Juvy follows up this time with a big plancha and sends Mysterio face first into the steps. Back in and Rey hammers away in the corner before countering a Liger Bomb with a hurricanrana. Juvy tries the Juvy Driver but has to settle for a successful Liger Bomb. Mysterio is able to get up and stop the 450 before hitting the top rope hurricanrana, but the Horsemen run in for the DQ.
Rating: C-. This picked up near the end but it really wasn’t anything interesting until the last minute and a half. You don’t expect these two to stay on the mat and it made the match feel disappointing as a result. Then again, maybe both guys were spent after last night. That’s not really an excuse but it’s a possibility.
The Horsemen destroy Rey until Raven and Saturn make the save. Mysteiro doesn’t seem to want their help.
Jimmy Hart and Hugh Morrus are excited to face the new King of Hardcore Bam Bam Bigelow tonight. Hak comes up nails Morrus in the head with a cane to demonstrate how to beat Bigelow. Morrus smiles and beats up a technician. Good grief I’m tired of this angle.
Video on Scott Steiner.
The announcers talk (and casually plug Surge) about Bret quitting and show us a clip of him on an NBC talk show. He talked about WCW screwing up his debut and thinks they mismanaged the last year of his career. This is spliced together with clips of Bret’s promo ranting about how much better he was than people like Flair and Hogan. We also see the Goldberg spear into the metal plate. Bret insists that he’s done and says it’s a shame how bad both companies treated him.
We get stills from the hardcore match last night.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Hugh Morrus
This is a kendo stick match so Bigelow throws in some tables before the bell. They hit each other with canes and Bigelow slams him down. Bam Bam takes FOREVER to get to the top and misses a moonsault, only to have Morrus do the same. A table is set up in the corner and both guys are whipped through it.
Jimmy Hart trips Bigelow so Morrus can beat on him with the stick. Morrus takes a stick to the middle rope and tries to stab Bigelow but the stick hits the mat and goes up into Hugh’s chin. The announcers talk about making a Hardcore belt like a Swiss army knife. Morrus sets up another table and loads up the moonsault but only his feet hit Bigelow in the face. Bigelow’s top rope headbutt ends this mess.
Rating: D-. I have no idea what I’m supposed to say about this nonsense. They’re trying to put comedy spots in there now and it’s not making things any better. I don’t know how but somehow this is getting even less interesting to sit through. WCW really was shortsighted enough to think this is what made ECW work. I’m no ECW fan but that’s one of the dumbest things they ever did. I hate this nonsense.
Kidman says he was at a personal appearance and couldn’t be there to help Rey. If he was there, he would have helped of course.
Main event stills from last night.
Here’s Page for his first comments as World Champion. He says he wasn’t supposed to happen and either he’s dreaming or he really won this last night. Page tells Hogan sorry about the leg but Gene gets on him for not being serious. The champ corrects him because he would have loved Hogan to be in the ring for the win. As for Sting, he deserves a title shot but first up is Scott Steiner. He promises to show Steiner that size doesn’t matter, even though Steiner has heard that before.
Tony talks about all the big names here while pointing a Surge at the camera.
Gene brings out Flair with something to say. The President if flanked by Anderson and referee Charles Robinson in I believe his first official affiliation with the boss. Flair says the title is being held up for reasons he doesn’t have time to explain because here are Savage and Gorgeous George. Randy has a piece of paper in his hand and says he’s going to lay the smackdown for Flair right now.
The executive committee and President gave him power in the match last night so Page is still champion. Flair says Savage is never going to wrestle again because he’s going to sit at home and get a check. After tonight, Savage isn’t in the picture at all. Flair rips up the paper and Robinson says Savage isn’t a qualified referee. He makes the mistake of calling George a bimbo and gets one of the best slaps I’ve ever seen.
Savage says he wants to wrestle and has an idea: at Slamboree it’s Robinson vs. George for Savage’s career. Robinson agrees and Flair says Charles will win with the Figure Four. Macho thinks George will win with a big elbow. This brings out a running Sting who says that since Diamond Dallas Trash is ducking him, how about Sting vs. Flair tonight? Anderson accepts for Flair, which is cool with Sting.
La Parka/El Dandy vs. Master Blasters
I really don’t think these are the original Master Blasters but that’s just a hunch. Both guys have stockings over their face so I can’t make out either of them. They’re both very muscular though and have Jimmy Hart in their corner. Dandy starts with #1 and is easily shoved down. A belly to belly suplex puts Dandy on the mat again and it’s off to La Parka. Not that it matters as here comes Nash (rather appropriate), of course drinking a Surge. Nash beats everyone up and the match is thrown out.
Nash shows us a clip of he and Flair talking last week and Hogan not being pleased with it. Back in the arena, Nash says the business he and Flair talked about was him getting a title shot at Slamboree if Flair made it out of last week’s show with the belt. He wants Page to make it to St. Louis (Slamboree location) with the title because what Page did to Hogan was wrong. Page will pay the price Wolfpack style.
More DJ Ran nonsense.
Psychosis vs. Kidman
They start slow with Psychosis grabbing a headlock followed by a running dropkick to the side of the head. Kidman comes right back with a hurricanrana and some right hands in the corner. Psychosis launches him into the air for a big crash and the fans are all over him. Another dropkick puts Kidman on the floor and Psychosis follows him out with a huge dive.
Back in and a missile dropkick gets two on Kidman while the announcers are arguing about fraternities or something. Psychosis sends him back to the floor but his dive is blocked with Kidman’s first dropkick. They head inside again with Psychosis nailing a great looking top rope hurricanrana for two. Kidman misses a splash in the corner but Psychosis makes the eternal mistake of trying a powerbomb. The faceplant sets up the Shooting Star for the pin.
Rating: C+. This was a better match than I was expecting and a good reminder of how good Psychosis can be. Even though he didn’t use much besides dropkicks, he still looked great out there and made the match work. The division is really starting to fill out and it’s making shows much easier to get through.
Stills from Goldberg vs. Nash.
Gene brings out Goldberg for a chat. Goldberg talks about how awesome he is and says that he’s waiting for Bret to come back. Okerlund brings up Luger and Goldberg is ready to knock his face off. Finally, he commends Page on his title win but says it doesn’t make Page immune to Goldberg. He’s coming for the title and no one can stop him.
DJ Ran again. How does this make me want to watch the show?
TV Title: Rick Steiner vs. Booker T.
Booker is defending of course. Rick takes him down to the mat and drives in a few forearms to the back of his head. A suplex sends Booker flying and the announcers ignore the match to insult Mike Tenay for some reason. Back up and a big spin kick drops Steiner and a running forearm does the same. He loads up the side kick but Rick is mostly standing so it’s a superkick instead.
Another superkick puts Rick on the floor for a bit and the champion is in control. Back in and a clothesline puts Booker right back outside. Rick hooks a kind of powerbomb for two followed by his powerslam for the same. There goes the referee but he’s right back up as Stevie Ray comes out to slap jack Rick. Booker didn’t see it and nails the Harlem Side Kick to retain.
Rating: D+. This didn’t do much for me as it was a lot of slowly going back and forth as they waited for the run-in at the end. Stevie Ray and Booker getting back together wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world but I’d really rather see Booker keep going with his singles run. Rick didn’t look good out there tonight as his timing was off and he wasn’t doing anything besides power moves.
Here’s Scott Steiner with his own mic and something to say. He runs down Page for his lack of muscles and calls him white trash. Steiner will take Kimberly too because that’s still a thing.
DJ Ran. Tony: “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!”
Kenny Kaos vs. Goldberg
Goldberg works on a wristlock to start before taking him down into a legbar. Kenny goes to the eyes and takes him into the corner for no effect. A gorilla press into a powerslam plants Kaos but he pops back up with a slam of his own. He goes to the apron for a springboard shoulder….and totally misses. Goldberg just stands there and watches Kaos fly past him into a crash. A pumphandle throw sends Kaos flying and the spear and Jackhammer end the destruction.
Rating: C-. This was somewhat competitive for a little bit but that missed shoulder was hysterical. Goldberg may not have been the most versatile wrestler in the world but there’s something cool about watching him just run over people and throw them around the ring like a bag of flour. Fun stuff here as usual.
DJ Ran, AGAIN. Rachman talks about the World Title match to kill even more time.
Sting vs. Ric Flair
Robinson is referee and Sting has big white wraps around his feet. Flair gets shoved down a few times to start and the gorilla press puts him down again. Sting: “For old times’ sake!” There’s another gorilla press and Flair rolls outside to scream in pain. Sting carries Flair back to the ring but gets his eyes raked to give Flair a break. Back up and a sunset flip gets two on Ric and of course the trunks go down.
Flair easily loses a test of strength but pulls Sting’s hair to take him down. Sting nips up every time and clotheslines Flair back to the floor. Almost total dominance by Sting so far. Ric sends him into the barricade to take over before going after the knee back inside. Sting blocks a knee drop and puts Flair in the Figure Four. Ric shouts that he gives up but Robinson won’t call for the bell. He finally gets to the ropes so Sting hammers away in the corner and gets in a shot on Anderson as well.
Arn gets back up and pulls Flair out of the way of the Stinger Splash to give Flair his first real advantage. Robinson conveniently turns his head so Flair can hit Sting low. The announcers are actually paying attention to and calling the match. Sting slams him off the top and takes Flair’s head off with a running clothesline for two. Another low blow in the corner slows Sting down but a vertical suplex has no effect.
The chops don’t work (I love Flair never learning in twelve years) and Sting scores with a superplex. Here comes the Scorpion but Anderson gets on the apron for a distraction. Another Stinger Splash misses and Flair gets the Figure Four. Flair grabs Anderson’s hands but Savage comes out to take Arn out. Sting turns the hold over to break and reverses another suplex into the Death Drop for the pin after threatening Robinson with violence.
Rating: B. This is one of those matches that is almost impossible to screw up. It’s the classic story of the schooled technician vs. the charismatic natural and it’s going to work every time they do it. The match was given time and told the story that works every time. There was no major interference, the pin was clean, and there was no stupid DJ to shout about getting up. It was such a refreshing change and proves the theory that good wrestling is always going to make things feel better.
Anderson tries to come in but gets the Scorpion as well.
WCW World Title: Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Steiner is challenging. Before the match we get an appearance from Roddy Piper to do commentary. Kimberly makes her return in Page’s corner. Page debuts his ever stylish wear the belt backwards look. It’s a slugout to start and Steiner is knocked out to the floor where Page nails a plancha. Steiner is thrown over the announcers’ table but punches Page up the aisle as we take a break.
Back with Scott suplexing Page down and hammering away in the corner. Page gets two off a belly to belly of his own but can’t hook the Diamond Cutter. Steiner shoves him off the ropes and drops an elbow for two. The announcers are back to form by talking about Flair and Savage rather than the World Title match in front of them. Page gets tied up in the Tree of Woe and choked upside down in a Steiner signature spot. A top rope Frankensteiner gets two and the fans finally react to something.
Page comes back with a discus lariat as Piper accuses Page of injuring Hogan’s knee on purpose. A swinging neckbreaker gets two on Steiner and Page sends him into the buckle ten times. Steiner blocks the Diamond Cutter and the referee goes down again. He heads outside and pulls some bolt cutters off the back of the US Title and unhooks a buckle.
Page goes face first and then back first into the buckle before Steiner loads up the Recliner. He won’t put the hold on though with no referee up so Page takes him down with a running DDT. Steiner low blows his way out of another Cutter attempt but Page blocks the Recliner. Kimberly nails Steiner with a chair and the Diamond Cutter retains Page’s title.
Rating: C. The match was fine if not a little bit overbooked. It was annoying to have the commentary barely paying attention until the last two minutes but that’s modern wrestling announcing for you. Kimberly helping to knock Steiner out was a good ending and made sense given their history. It’s a good first defense and sets Page up for the big match with Nash at Slamboree.
Overall Rating: C+. There’s a lot of good stuff in here but the bad stuff really brings it down. First and foremost, the DJ Ran stuff is just annoying. You’re at a professional wrestling show and WCW thinks you need a DJ to fire you up? The matches were good for the most part, save for whatever Hak vs. Morrus was that is. Slamboree should be decent enough and this was a good start to the build. There are some problems in the show though and cutting it down to two hours would solve a lot of them. Unfortunately they seem to be leaning towards the stuff that causes problems rather than the good parts.
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