Monday Nitro #186
Date: April 26, 1999
Location: Fargodome, Fargo, North Dakota
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Things are shaking up with less than two weeks to go before Slamboree. The two people in the upcoming World Title match have flipped sides and allegedly Flair has flipped his lid, even though he really hasn't done much to back that up. I have a bad feeling about some of the stuff we're going to have to sit through tonight. Let's get to it.
In Memory of Rick Rude, which they actually spell using his real name.
We open with a recap of the major points of last week's show with a focus on the Piper/Flair stuff and the ending with what I guess you would call a double turn.
Now we're at the mental hospital and this can't end well. A doctor and nurse have the most painfully scripted conversation you can imagine, talking about how Flair is treating this place like a hotel. The nurse tells the patients that there will be no Nitro tonight when Flair's music comes on. He struts in wearing his robe and University of Florida boxers, talking about how this is his hotel. Flair watches the TV, meaning he's watching himself in theory. He dances with the nurse who eventually walks away disgusted. I can't say I disagree.
JJ Dillon is with Charles Robinson and says that Robinson is Vice President of WCW. Since Flair is out of action, Robinson is in charge and above the Commissioner. This is going to be a LONG night.
Tenay is filling in for a sick Heenan. He and Tony are fine after weeks of bickering before the announce teams were split.
Here's Piper to get things going in the arena. Piper thinks he's in charge now with Flair gone so Randy Savage is reinstated and getting a US Title shot tonight. He mentions Page which brings out the champion to a loud chorus of boos. Piper wants Page to defend against Sting tonight but Page doesn't seem to thrilled with the idea. Roddy goes to leave and then makes the match for 9pm sharp.
Konnan vs. Brian Adams
This is fallout from the Black and White attacking Konnan last week. After some catchphrases, Konnan quickly takes Adams into the corner for ten punches, only to get caught by an atomic drop and clothesline. An elbow to the back of the head has Konnan in trouble and a gorilla press gutbuster gets two. We hit a bad looking reverse chinlock on Konnan. Dude at least crank on it or flex a bit. Adams crotches himself while trying to jump on Konnan's back but stops the comeback with a powerslam. Konnan comes right back with the usual and hooks the Sunrise but the NWO runs in for the DQ.
Rating: D-. What else were you expecting from something like this? Neither guy was exactly a ring general and the moves they were using ranged from sloppy to just bad looking. I guess the Black and White was trying to prove a point but this was a rather dull way to go about it.
Video on Sting.
The announcers talk about Page vs. Sting.
The Horsemen have attacked Kidman and Saturn, making the next match a handicap match.
Scott Armstrong/Steve Armstrong vs. Raven
After ranting about fat women in operas, Raven quickly escapes a double team attempt in the corner and bulldogs the brothers down. It's already chair time with both Armstrongs taking the drop toehold onto the steel. Steve finally gets in a shot on Raven but winds up hitting his brother a few seconds later. Both guys take ten right hands in the corner but Scott finally nails a superkick to get a breather. The breather is short lived though as his second superkick hits his brother, allowing Raven to DDT Scott for two. Scott pops up and nails Raven with the chair though and actually gets the upset pin.
Rating: D+. This was short and energetic, but was there any real need to have Raven lose here? The Armstrongs are about as low level of a tag team as you can have in this company but they get a pin over a guy getting a title shot in a few weeks? This is more of the odd booking this company has been using lately.
Raven beats up the Armstrongs again post match, making the booking even more head scratching.
Flair calls Robinson to yell about Piper having power. He wants the National Guard called in to deal with this and yells at other patients to stop touching his robe. Flair hangs up and walks off with a very muscular nurse.
We look at the same package that opened the show.
Gene brings out Charles Robinson for a chat. He says that Piper has no authority here but we'll still get Sting vs. Page tonight. This brings out Piper to call him a leprechaun, causing Robinson to slap him in the face. Security comes down to arrest Piper and Robinson fires him for good measure. The match with Flair is still on at Slamboree of course.
WCW World Title: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Sting
Page is defending. Sting is wearing white wraps on his feet and a necklace of all things. The champion is quickly shoved down to start but he comes back with a big right hand. Sting easily wins a slugout and knocks Page back to the floor for a breather. Back in and Page drives in the shoulders but Sting sends him outside again. This time Sting goes after him and rams Page face first into the announcers' table.
Back in and the Stinger Splash connects but Page makes the ropes to avoid the Scorpion. Page bails again and gets some water before heading back inside where Sting hammers away. The champ slows things down with a hammerlock and a big clothesline. They head outside and up the aisle with Sting dropping him throat first across the barricade. A slam in the aisle has Page in trouble but the referee reminds Sting that he can only win the title in the ring.
Sting takes him back inside for some right hands in the corner but a low blow and hot shot stops Sting cold. A belly to back suplex drops Sting again but he comes back with the shoulder block and falling low blow. Page is up first though and rakes the paint off Sting's face. Some slaps fire Sting up again but Page grabs a swinging neckbreaker for two. The champ hits a low blow of his own and chokes away in the corner.
Page wraps the knee around the post but Sting kicks him into the barricade. Now things speed up with Sting's shots to the face and bulldog followed by the top rope splash for two. They head outside again with Sting being sent into the barricade. Page grabs something like a Diamond Cutter across the top rope but Sting comes back with ten face rams into the buckle and the last one onto the mat.
A sitout powerbomb gets two for the champion and a big lariat drops Sting again. Back up and Sting grabs a piledriver but kneels down like a tombstone for two. Now he tries a regular tombstone and finally plants him for a VERY close two. The fans are totally behind Sting here. Page comes back with a jumping floatover DDT for two more but Sting blocks the Diamond Cutter out of the corner and grabs the Death Drop for the pin and the title.
Rating: B+. This took awhile to get going but the last few minutes of this were awesome. As is almost always the case, there's no substitute for a long, good match and that's what we got here. This is actually a bit ahead of the Goldberg match for Page which is quite the accomplishment. Really good stuff here and the best main event style match WCW has had in forever. Also, how nice was it to not have any commercials in this?
More Flair yelling at Robinson with Ric telling him to make Sting vs. Goldberg for Slamboree. One of the inmates is now called AAA.
Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psychosis
Psychosis is defending for a change. The champ grabs a headlock to start and takes Rey down to the mat, only to miss a Stinger Splash in the corner. Psychosis counters a headscissors by dropping Rey throat first across the top rope. He lifts Rey up for a powerbomb and drops his face onto the top turnbuckle in a vicious looking crash. A reversal suplex drops Rey over the top rope again and a dropkick sends him to the apron.
Psychosis charges at him but they both fall to the floor with Rey taking over for the first time. Rey's superplex is countered into something like a falcon's arrow. The Horsemen come out to grab the Tag Team Titles but Rey dives on both of them. Psychosis gets in a cheap shot to take over but Rey comes back with a tornado DDT out of nowhere for the pin and the title.
Rating: C-. What in the world was the point of this? Rey is now a five time Cruiserweight Champion and Psychosis' seven days as champion is the only break from Mysterio, Kidman and Guerrera as champion since August. It's ok to let someone else in there for a change and I don't see why Psychosis had to lose the belt this fast. Let him beat a few low level guys to give the division a chance to breathe a bit.
The Horsemen destroy Rey post match.
Nash comes out and says he's been told his title shot at Slamboree has been turned into Goldberg vs. Sting. That's not cool with him but he'd like a four way tonight with Page, Goldberg and Sting, winner takes all.
Flair calls Robinson and says make the four way. He hits on the nurse a bit more and they try some amateur wrestling stuff until the nurse from earlier comes up to glare at them.
Erik Watts vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Please make it quick. Thankfully there aren't any weapons in sight for this one. Bigelow misses a charge in the corner and gets caught in a springboard bulldog. Erik tries a hurricanrana but winds up backdropping Bigelow instead. It's somehow worse than it sounds. Bigelow pops up with a big clothesline followed by the Swan Dive and Greetings From Asbury Park for the pin. At least it was short.
Sting comes out sans belt but with fresh paint. He's up for a four way tonight.
TV Title: Booker T. vs. Meng
Booker is defending. A hard shoulder puts the champ down but he comes back with a forearm and dropkick. Booker shrugs off some forearms and slams Meng a few times, only to walk into a powerslam for two. That gets Meng nowhere as Booker nails his pair of kicks but the side kick sends Meng into the referee. This brings out Stevie Ray as the ax kick takes out Meng. Booker crotches himself on the ropes after missing another kick. There's the Tongan Death Grip but Stevie nails Meng with the slap jack, giving Booker the pin.
Rating: C-. This didn't have enough time to go anywhere but Meng was just there to give Booker someone to beat up to retain the title. The Stevie Ray and Booker T stuff needs to go away. The team is done and Booker is on his way to becoming something big in the singles division. Stevie is just kind of dragging Booker down at this point and that's not good.
Post match Rick Steiner of all people comes out and beats on Stevie until Booker pulls him off. Booker and Steiner yell at each other, likely setting up Booker's next challenger.
Video on Nash.
We get a special look at Hogan's knee surgery. Bischoff had to talk him into getting it done because Hogan wants to beat up Page.
Video on Goldberg.
Back to the hospital where Flair tells Robinson to make Steiner vs. Booker T. for Slamboree and make the main event tonight No DQ. Flair teaches some patient to dance....and here's Scott Hall in patient clothes to throw a toothpick at Ric. Naturally, no one talks about this or ever brings it up again.
Brian Knobbs vs. Hardcore Hak vs. Horace vs. Mikey Whipwreck
This is hardcore and the winner of this gets Bigelow at the PPV. Everyone has a kendo stick and Hak stays on the floor to start. He finally gets in and all three guys beat him down with the sticks. Knobbs brings in a ladder to splash onto Hak for two. We actually take a break in this match and come back to see Horace hitting Knobbs with a Surge barrel.
Brian nails Hak with a ladder but Hak knocks him to the floor. A table is set up on the floor but Knobbs uses the weapons cart on Hak. Back in the ring and Horace kicks Mikey in the face as Knobbs chairs Hak. Mikey drops a leg onto a chair onto Brian's head as the table has been bridged between the apron and barricade.
The Surge container comes back in and Hak slides in another table. Horace beats on Hak with the weightlifting belt on the floor as Chastity sprays someone with the fire extinguisher. Hak dives over the top but only hits table but pops right up to nail Knobbs with a stick. Not that it matters as Knobbs sends Hak to the floor and drops the ladder on Mikey for the pin.
Rating: F. When half of the people in your match have jobs because of Hulk Hogan, you can tell it's not going to be much to see. This was the usual hardcore mess with nothing interesting save for some product placement from Surge. These are getting less and less interesting and it's going to get even worse in the future.
US Title: Randy Savage vs. Scott Steiner
Steiner is defending and has something to say before the match. He doesn't like a lot of what Piper does but he does like this match with Savage. Randy comes out with an unnamed woman in a gown wearing a sash like a beauty pageant contestant. Steiner wants one more stipulation though: if he wins, he gets to spend some time with George. Robinson is refereeing in most of a suit. They circle each other and do a lot of pointing for a minute or so before finally locking up. Steiner shoves him into Robinson....and that's a DQ.
Post match the three girls strip Robinson down to his University of Florida boxers, just like Flair.
Video on George training. This is exactly what you would expect.
WCW World Title: Sting vs. Diamond Dallas Page vs. Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash
Sting is defending after having won the title earlier tonight. The match begins after a break with Page off in the crowd, leaving Goldberg and Sting to beat on Nash in the corner. Now it's Goldberg getting double teamed before the champion has to fight off both monsters. Goldberg suplexes Nash but Sting breaks up the cover. Page is back at ringside as Goldberg has knocked both guys down. A powerslam drops Sting for two as Page still hasn't come in.
Goldberg loads up the spear but Page breaks it up from the apron and comes in with a neckbreaker for two. Nash DIVES to break up the pin and thankfully there isn't a quad laying on the mat as a result. Sting gets jumped from behind by Nash but comes back with right hands to the jaw. Goldberg and Page are both down until Page goes to the corner, earning himself a Stinger Splash. The other two get Splashes of their own and Sting is the only man standing.
Nash pops back to his feet and cleans house by booting them all in the face. Goldberg breaks up a Jackknife on Page before choking Page on the mat. He sends Page to the floor but gets taken down by Sting. The champ hammers away on Nash in the corner until Page comes back in with a low blow for the save. Now it's Goldberg slamming Page but taking a Stinger Splash. Nash keeps trying to steal pins in a smart move.
There's a side slam to Sting for two and Goldberg superkicks Page down to give Nash the same. Goldberg dives at Page but rams his head into Page's knee to scramble his brains. Nash chokes Sting in the corner but misses a big boot. He gets caught in the Scorpion but Sting lets go, only to get speared down by Goldberg. The Jackhammer plants Sting but Savage breaks it up for no apparent reason. Savage throws Page some knuckles to knock Nash out before a Diamond Cutter (Nash turned to the side so it was half Cutter and half neckbreaker) gives Page the belt back.
Rating: C+. Dang it's a good thing Savage joined up with Page. We almost had more than two top good guys in the whole company (I don't think Piper counts when seemingly no one can stand him). This was energetic with Nash doing more work than I've seen him do in years. Page winning the title back is odd but it's pretty tame given some of the stuff WCW has done in recent weeks.
Page runs through the crowd to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Much like last week, the wrestling is more than good enough to make this a watchable show. However, the stories are so out there that they drags things back down. Basically we're right back where we were when Nitro came on the air last week, other than Flair being in a mental hospital with Scott Hall. Mysterio has the title back, Page is still champion, and we're still looking at Page vs. Nash for the title at Slamboree.
That's why these title changes make me shake my head at WCW. They had an idea that could have drawn a good rating with Page vs. Sting and it makes sense to put it on right when Raw starts. What doesn't make sense is giving that match about fifty minutes of build. That could have easily headlined a big PPV but instead they decided to give it less than an hour?
If that's not enough, we have a big gimmick match for the title which also could have headlined a PPV, so it gets about ninety minutes of build and most people probably didn't hear about it. This impatience is maddening when you could build this stuff up for weeks instead of minutes. They're pouring away what could be millions of dollars in PPV money for the sake of maybe beating Raw for one night. The fact that this show had a bigger gap than the week before or the week after should have been a hint but WCW never seemed to learn.
Let's go back to something mentioned earlier: Ric Flair is currently in a mental hospital and happened to run into Scott Hall. Nothing is mentioned of this again, Scott didn't say a word, and I highly doubt we'll see Scott again for several months. That's not something you should be able to just see and walk past, but WCW apparently doesn't feel the need to address this and thinks we'll just kind of go along with it. It comes off like a joke and that's not the kind of thing you should be seeing on national TV in a segment that is stupid already.
Overall this was a good show, but the stupid stuff is REALLY stupid and drags down the rest of the show. This also needs to be an hour less which is standard for almost all wrestling shows. They just do not need to be three hours and the extra hour always hurts things. You make this two hours and have Flair at the arena in a suit instead of being in a hospital and the show is about twice as good.
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