Monday Nitro #197
Date: July 19, 1999
Location: Metrocentre, Rockford, Illinois
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're inching closer to Road Wild and we have a main event of World Champion Hollywood Hogan defending against Kevin Nash, who may or may not be a heel now. The main story for tonight though is Sting facing Ric Flair for control of the company, which is a more interesting match as I really don't remember where these stories go. Let's get to it.
Quick recap from last week and the opening sequence.
Here's Sid for an intellectual chat. He can feel the same thing the fans feel in his blood and wants Hogan's World Title. We get the usual catchphrases and I'm assuming that's our main event.
Jerry Flynn vs. Fit Finlay
Before the match Jimmy Hart pops up on screen to challenge Finlay for Road Wild, giving him a chance to get the trophy back. Finlay takes over to start and hammers on Jerry in the middle of the ring. Then he hammers him against the ropes and in the corner for good measure. A snapmare and elbow get two on Jerry but he pops up with his spinwheel kick to get a breather. The fans actually cheer for Jerry as he nails a top rope clothesline for two, only to walk into a jawbreaker.
They head outside for some shots into the barricade but the referee takes Finlay's chair away. We hit the chinlock back inside as Jimmy pops up on screen to cheer for Jerry again. Flynn comes back with his usual jobber offense and chokes against the ropes. He avoids a charging Finlay but walks into the rolling fireman's carry. Not that it matters though as Finlay leaves to go after Hart, only to get jumped by the First Family, including Flynn. I'm assuming it's a no contest.
Rating: D-. This is the match that's supposed to get people to stick with the show? Seriously? This is the best they can come up with? When you have Road Dogg, Bob Holly and Al Snow doing actually entertaining hardcore stuff, at least try to counter with actual hardcore stuff instead of two guys having a bad match. It might actually work. Ok not likely but it could.
JJ Dillon is in the back with Lenny and Lodi. Their contracts have been renewed by something went wrong. Apparently they're really brothers and should have signed as such. This story just reached a new level of creepy and stupid, which I didn't think was possible.
Hogan comes out, says he's going back to his old ways of listening to the fans and accepts Sid's challenge. Somehow this took five minutes.
Video on Flair vs. Sting.
Norman Smiley vs. Lodi
Lenny and Lodi hug before we get going. Lodi rakes the eyes to take over early on, only to get armdragged down. The spinning slam sends Lodi running to the floor though and it's time for another embrace. Smiley sends him into the barricade to keep Lodi in trouble though and it's time for the BIG WIGGLE.
Lenny seems to like the idea and does it too, allowing Lodi to get in a cheap shot to take over. Lodi rolls some suplexes for two with Smiley getting a foot on the ropes. Norman fights up but runs into an elbow to the jaw. We pause for a bit for a consultation between the brothers, only to have Lodi run into a boot in the corner. The Norman's Conquest goes on and Norman rolls Lodi up for the fast pin.
Rating: D. So we have brothers who.....you know what? I can't get through this sentence without feeling very wrong. It's a shock value story and isn't making me care about either guy any more than I did before. I can't picture it ending well either as it's going to get into some uncomfortable areas.
The brothers try the Big Wiggle post match.
Eric Bischoff jumps in on commentary. Yay.
Video hyping Sting vs. Flair. Basically Sting says Flair is corrupt (he is) and now Sting wants a match for control of the company.
Sting vs. Ric Flair
Bischoff goes on another rant about what he did wrong. I really don't know what they're trying to accomplish with these talks but it comes off like trying to make me care about Bischoff, which would work better if he actually DID something. Sting plants Robinson with a Scorpion Death Drop before the bell, meaning Mickie Jay will come out to referee. Flair looks terrified as reality begins to set in.
The gorilla press plants Flair to start and the chops have no effect. You would think ten years would have taught Flair a lesson already. Sting sends him into the corner but Ric nails a quick low blow to take over. He tries a suplex from the apron to the floor and I'm assuming you know how that turns out. Ric rolls outside and pulls Sting with him, only to eat a hard clothesline.
Back in and Sting nails a big superplex for two as Anderson makes the save. Sting nails Arn but here's Sid to attack Sting and give us a mini Horsemen reunion. Flair slowly stomps away on Sting and puts on the Figure Four. The ropes are grabbed and Sting gets back up to no sell some more chops. He charges into an elbow though, allowing Flair to go up top. After the required slam off the top, Sting nails some clotheslines but Ric pulls the referee in front of the Stinger Splash. Anderson and Asya come in but are quickly dispatched, allowing Sting to put on the Scorpion. Bischoff comes in and accepts Flair's submission.
Rating: C+. This was just the greatest hits from Sting vs. Flair, which is fine given that they almost always have a good match. That being said, this felt more about Bischoff's redemption, even though no one was really interested in seeing him be redeemed anyway. The fact that these two have had what is likely to be the match of the night tells you all about the match selection on this show.
Post match Sid comes in and nails Sting before powerbombing Bischoff. Hogan runs in for the save.
TV Title: Horace vs. Rick Steiner
Let's get this over with. Steiner hammers away on Horace to start with his usual array of brutally bad offense. Horace pulls him out to the floor but misses a splash on the barricade ala Sting. Back in and Steiner slugs Horace down again with hard shots to the face before putting on a chinlock. Horace fights up with a big boot to knock the champ outside. The referee doesn't seem to mind the chair shots to Steiner's back. Kevin Nash seems to mind though as he comes out to send Horace into the steps. The Steiner Bulldog retains the title.
Rating: D. Someone lock Steiner in a room so he can't hurt any more matches. This was the usual dreadful mess with Rick in there beating up whomever he's against and barely selling a thing. Horace isn't much but he's light years ahead of Rick, who somehow used to be a good hand in the ring.
Nash and Steiner touch fists post match, drawing out Hogan to ask what's going on. Kevin says it's personal and that's that.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Psychosis
We continue the search for Eddie's wallet. Psychosis misses a charge to start and crashes into the corner, allowing Eddie to baseball slide him out to the floor. Back in and Eddie nails a quick slingshot hilo, only to eat a clothesline from Psychosis. A headscissors and tilt-a-whirl backbreaker get two Eddie and we head outside again.
Eddie is sent into the barricade to work on the ribs so Psychosis throws him back in for a waistlock. A top rope spinwheel kick drops Eddie for two and a top rope hurricanrana gets the same. Eddie blocks a tornado DDT though and grabs a quick neckbreaker, followed by the Frog Splash for the fast pin.
Rating: C-. Psychosis doesn't get the respect he deserves as he's actually better than people remember. He may not have been as good as the elite members of the division but he's still more than able to hold his own in the ring. Eddie continues to look sharp since his return, but this wallet thing needs to wrap up soon so he can go somewhere else.
Villano V and La Parka run in to beat down Eddie post match until Rey Mysterio comes out for the save. Naturally former issues are forgotten and they shake hands.
In the back, Stevie Ray asks Vincent and Brian Adams to watch his back against the Triad. Adams isn't interested because Ray should be worried about NWO business. He has a point there. Squashing Prince Iaukea on weekend C shows is serious business.
Kanyon vs. Stevie Ray
The Triad does their usual stuff but throws in some Your Mama jokes about Stevie. Ray storms the ring and destroys Kanyon with a big shoulder followed by a gorilla press and big boot. He's wrestling like a total face so far. Kanyon ducks a corner clothesline though and hammers away, only to be thrown to the floor with ease. Stevie continues to defend his mama's honor by sending Kanyon into the barricade and then the steps as this has been almost one sided.
Back in and Kanyon grabs a quick slam, followed by a middle rope legdrop for two. A swan dive misses though and Stevie plants Kanyon with a powerslam. The rest of the Triad comes in but Stevie fights them off with relative ease. Stevie totally botches the Slapjack, nearly falling onto Kanyon instead of jumping. Not that it matters as Page comes in for the DQ. Actually scratch that as the referee says it was a pin, even though Page hit him before the three. Ok then.
Rating: D+. Stevie looked like a monster out there but at the end of the day, there's only so much he can do in the ring. That Slapjack was just horrible, especially when it doesn't fit Stevie's style. He's a power guy but it's really not a power move. If the skinny version of HHH can hit it, how powerful can it be?
The Triad beats Stevie down until Booker makes the save. To be fair they made fun of his mama too.
Robert Wuhl of Arli$$ joins commentary. I've never seen the show so I'm assuming he's in character and doesn't really sound this annoying.
Randy Savage vs. Kidman
There's no Madusa with Savage for some reason. Before the match, Savage says he wants his title back and that he's running for President in 2000. Sure why not. They trade wristlocks to start with Savage looking a bit frustrated. Savage kicks him in the ribs as Arliss is already getting on my nerves, talking about how amazing Dennis Rodman is. A headscissors and dropkick send Savage to the floor where he grabs a chair and blasts the announcers' table.
Back in and Savage hammers away, only to get backdropped out to the floor for a big crash. That's fine with Savage as he pulls Kidman out to the floor and chokes on the table......WITH A SLIM JIM! Ok that made up for a lot of the problems in this show. Back in again and Kidman eats an elbow to the jaw as Arliss STILL won't shut up about Rodman. Miss Madness accidentally dropkicks Savage (at least it wasn't the Molly Go Round) to give Kidman two. Savage pops up and piledrives Kidman into next year, setting up the big elbow.
He pulls up at two though and decks the referee, only to drop another referee. Cue Rodman in semi-drag to hit Savage in the back with his hat, sending Savage to the floor and Arliss into the ring to celebrate. I'm assuming the match was thrown out but the fans eat Rodman up because this is Chicago Bulls country.
Rating: C-. This summed up a lot of WCW's issues in a nutshell. We had a watchable match going on, but between Arliss on commentary, Rodman coming in and the girls brawling afterwards, it was almost impossible to care about the match. On top of that, this was all to set up Randy Savage vs. Dennis Rodman? That's the best idea they can come up with for a pay per view? Decent match ruined by WCW being unable to stop messing with things.
Security (and Tony Schiavone for some reason) comes in to break it up as Arliss makes a challenge for Savage vs. Rodman at Road Wild. Madusa comes out and brawls with Miss Madness
Clip of Vampiro beating up Konnan last week.
Konnan vs. Vampiro
Konnan babbles about cheddar before the match and slaps Vampiro in the face before the bell. Vampiro quickly takes over and suplexes him down for two before stomping away on Konnan. A spinwheel kick drops Konnan as Heenan sounds bombed. The kick to the ribs and X Factor set up a clothesline to knock Vampiro outside. Back in and a horrible looking takedown called a bulldog sets up the rolling lariat, only to have the Insane Clown Posse come in to stomp on Konnan for the DQ.
Shaggy 2 Dope drops a terrible looking “legdrop” on Konnan which seems to hurt him way more than it should. Raven is out with the clowns too. Rey tries to come in but gets laid out for a moonsault from Violent J. Let's see: NWO, Team Savage, Rednecks, Triad, No Limit Solders, First Family, Vampiro and company and you could argue Regal/Finlay/Taylor. When you're reaching enough factions to hold a factions tournament, it's time to cut things down a few dozen notches.
Nitro Girls with DJ Ran.
Clip of Hogan winning the title last week.
Here's Buff Bagwell dressed as the Cat to continue this stupid feud. I'll gloss over the small guy with him in an Asian face mask and the fact that Buff has brown makeup on. His impression is good at least and he rips on fans for being fat. Buff promises to whip all of the Jacksons and wants to click his red shoes together three times to get out of Rockford. Eh point for a funny line. This brings out Cat and Onoo for a red shoe to the head and a Moonwalk elbow. So long Buff. It was nice having you in credability land while it lasted.
Road Wild ad.
Chris Benoit/Perry Saturn vs. Curt Hennig/Barry Windham
This could be good. Hennig takes Benoit into the corner to start but has his whip reversed so Benoit can hammer away. A dropkick to the knee puts Curt down and it's off to Saturn for a double suplex. Back to Benoit very quickly for a double clothesline before the Crippler goes back to the knee. Kendall finally trips Benoit up to give Hennig a breather, allowing Curt to nail a clothesline and tag in Barry.
Windham hits a clothesline of his own and we take a break. Back with Barry superplexing Benoit for two as Saturn makes the save. Off to Curt for his usual, only to miss a charge in the corner. The hot tag brings in Saturn but he has to fight off all four Rednecks. Hennig rakes the eyes to get out of the Death Valley Driver but gets caught in the Crossface, drawing in the Rednecks for the DQ.
Rating: C. The match was ok while it lasted but I'm getting tired of these heel groups that keep interfering to end matches. We had it for years with the NWO and now we have it with the Triad and the Rednecks. I'm glad that they're giving so many people something to do, but come up with something fresh. Also, did a six and a half minute match really need a commercial?
Malenko tries to make the save but gets beaten down as well. Instead SHANE DOUGLAS makes his return and cleans house. He grabs the mic and says these guys are the backbone of the company and won't be held down like he was for years. Where he comes from, if someone is trying to stop your career, you bash them in the head with a stop sign. He's going to take the cancer out of WCW starting tonight. Hopefully this lights a fire in the old vs. new story even though it's already dying of frostbite from being so cold. Also, when Shane Douglas is your best hope, you might want to just pack it in now.
Clip of Hogan winning the title last week.
Road Wild ad.
WCW World Title: Sid Vicious vs. Hollywood Hogan
Hogan is defending of course. Heenan doesn't think these two have ever had a match before. Even Hudson corrects him, saying they may have but not in a WCW ring. They circle each other for a bit before Sid drops outside. Back in and Sid shoves the champion down before Hogan does something similar, though Sid doesn't go off his feet. A test of strength goes nowhere and Sid is sent outside again.
We're almost four minutes into the match already and a LOUD boring chant starts up. Back in and Sid kicks at the recently injured knee but Hogan blocks a weak ram into the buckle. A bunch of right hands have Sid reeling and Hogan rains down ten punches in the corner. Hogan rakes the eyes but can't slam him with the bad knee giving out. Sid grabs a chinlock before wrapping the knee around the post, but the TNT feed goes out for ten seconds for no apparent reason.
We come back without the announcers acknowledging the break so I can't imagine it was intentional. Back in and Sid puts on a cobra clutch of all things but lets it go and boots Hogan down, only to miss a legdrop. Hulk Up time and he slams Vicious, only to have Nash come in for the DQ.
Rating: D. Here's the current dilemma for WCW: their options range from trying something “new” with Nash vs. Savage and having the matches be disasters or trying something old with Hogan vs. a monster, which will be more tolerable due to Hogan being able to do that match in his sleep, but still nothing we haven't seen a thousand times. Yes those are our only two options, because we're not getting anyone new in the main event anytime soon.
Sting comes in for the save until Rick Steiner comes in to beat Sting down. Goldberg FINALLY returns and cleans house, sending the villains to the floor for a big staredown to end the show. Of course Nash is totally cool with Sid, who was involved in attempting to murder him about a month ago.
Overall Rating: D. I know I said they needed to get back to something more basic, but could they move past 1988? We're really sitting through Hogan vs. tall monsters and Sting vs. Flair in 1999. That's in addition to all the lame celebrity appearances and the ridiculous amount of factions. This wouldn't be so bad if there wasn't an army of young talented guys that are just spinning their wheels in nothing feuds while the old guys do whatever they feel like doing because no one is going to tell them no.
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