Monday Nitro #198
Date: July 26, 1999
Location: Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're less than three weeks away from Road Wild and the top of the card is starting to come into focus. Nash took a very sharp heel turn last week, seemingly for no reason other than Hogan vs. Nash needed to be face vs. heel. On top of that, Thunder actually set some stuff up for tonight, such as Nash/a mystery partner vs. Hogan/whomever he can find, plus Hennig vs. Goldberg. Let's get to it.
We open with a long recap of last week's major events, including Sting winning control back and Rodman attacking Savage.
Recap of Hennig challenging Goldberg from Thunder.
Video on Goldberg.
Gene brings out Hogan for an opening chat and brings up Nash's challenge for the tag match tonight. Hogan doesn't have a partner, but he does have the title. Cue Nash, Steiner and Sid to beat Hogan down until Sting makes the save.
Back from a break with a recap of what we just saw.
Psychosis/Juventud Guerrera vs.Kendall Windham/Bobby Duncum Jr.
Juvy wants to start and springboards in, only to dive into Bobby's boot. The Rednecks take over to start with their slow Texas pummeling until Duncum charges into a boot to the face. A missile dropkick sends Bobby into the corner for the tag off to Kendall, who knocks Guerrera into the corner. Juvy doesn't tag for some reason, allowing the Rednecks to beat him down even more. Bobby misses an elbow to the jaw and Juvy finally tags out.
It's Psychosis in with some fast kicks to the face followed by a springboard missile dropkick from Guerrera. Kendall comes back with a hot shot and BIG lariat to take Psychosis down as the Rednecks regain control. Duncum gets two off a shoulder breaker, setting up a Windham belly to back superplex for two on Psychosis. An attempted tag to Juvy goes nowhere and a double bulldog is enough for the pin.
Rating: C. The ending here was kind of awkward but the luchadors put on a decent effort. This is the weaker half of the Rednecks and it's getting a bit annoying to see the team out there getting cheered when we're supposed to be booing them because WCW doesn't understand its own fans. Nice little match though and that's a step up for WCW.
Country singer Chad Brock will be performing live in two weeks.
Madusa and Miss Madness will be having a match at Road Wild but they can still insult Gorgeous George. Ignore the phone ringing during this segment.
Vampiro vs. Rey Mysteiro Jr.
Non-title because the Cruiserweight Title means nothing anymore. The Insane Clown Posse is in Vampiro's corner because they think they're wrestlers. Vampiro easily shoves Rey down to start and nails him with a clothesline. Rey finally gets up and dropkicks the knee out before a regular dropkick puts Vampiro on the floor. The Clowns have a quick meeting with Vampiro outside before he heads inside for a Rock Bottom to plant Mysterio again.
Rey ducks a spinwheel kick though and nails a Fameasser in the ropes. The Clowns offer a distraction though and the Nail in the Coffin knocks Rey silly. Vampiro goes up though, only to get crotched. We're not done with the Clowns though, as Jay holds Vampiro's legs to prevent a super hurricanrana, allowing Vampiro to powerbomb Rey off the ropes for the pin.
Rating: C. Again the match was fine and it's nice to see someone new getting a bit of a push, even though it has to be thanks to the Clowns. That being said, this was a nice change of pace as the underdog good guy was fighting big odds and lost to cheating heels. That's wrestling 101 and it's going to work every time. Granted it helps that these wrestlers aren't my grandparents' age.
Eddie runs out to save Rey from a beatdown.
Vincent vs. Stevie Ray
Well you knew the good stuff wasn't going to last forever. Vincent, with Horace in his corner, rips on Stevie for having a heart about his brother before jumping Ray on the way into the ring. Ray shrugs him off and nails a hard elbow to the face, setting up a Flair Flop. A powerslam puts Vincent down again but he comes back with a low blow, which is totally legal anymore in WCW. Horace tries to interfere but Ray whips Vincent into him to knock Sergeant Nepotism (David Flair would be the Captain of course). Ray loads up the Slap Jack as Booker comes out to cut off Adams. The Slap Jack (move) is enough to end Vincent.
Rating: D. If this is what it takes to finally end the NWO, I guess I can survive it. It's still not a good match or anything, but at least they kept this under four minutes. Unfortunately it means we have to see Booker T. get dropped back into the tag team scene instead of moving up the card like he should be. Granted, that's probably a good thing at this point.
Sting goes into Hogan's dressing room.
Post match here's President Sting to say that he's made his first decision as boss: he's going to be Hogan's partner tonight. Hogan comes out and says he's not Hollywood anymore and promises not to stab Sting in the back. Sting says that's fine, but if Hogan does screw him, Sting will “getcha”.
Jason freaking Hervey joins the broadcast booth to make up for the bad taste Arliss left on him last week.
Prince Iaukea vs. Lash Leroux
Iaukea grabs a quick armdrag to take Lash down but slaps him in the face. Not that it matters as Savage and George come out to beat up both guys for the no contest less than a minute in.
Savage babbles about running for President until Madusa and the former Miss Madness come out to insult George. Madusa is on Savage's side in this, but George is the real problem. In the distraction, Dennis Rodman sneaks in and kidnaps George.
KISS is coming.
Savage is looking for George.
Goldberg comes out, says he's going to hurt Hennig, and that's about it.
The Cat vs. Evan Karagias
Miller makes his usual offer as Hervey plugs some movie he's in with DDP. Of course he doesn't mention the name of the movie or when/where we can see it but he does mention it. Cat takes Evan down with a clothesline to start and we appear to be in squash mode, which makes me think there's a swerve coming. Kicks abound, broken up by a dancing elbow from Miller.
A sunset flip doesn't get Evan anywhere so Ernest dances and kicks him in the face. Evan comes back with a forearm and a nice springboard cross body. Cue Onoo for a distraction so Miller can get the shoes, but he finds bunny slippers instead of the ruby slippers. Bagwell pops up on stage with the red shoes, allowing Evan to get a rollup for the pin.
Rating: D+. Somehow this was tolerable as Miller is starting to get the hang of being a heel. He's still nothing to see in the ring but at least he's starting to find something other than just kicking all the time. This is a waste of Bagwell, but at least he might get a win out of the thing.
Mikey Whipwreck vs. Steven Regal
The announcers explain that Finlay has injured his leg in a hardcore match last night and may never wrestle again. During Regal's entrance, a fan jumps the barricade but is quickly taken down by security. As you would expect, Regal takes it to the mat to start and easily rides Whipwreck. Back up and Mikey tries to quicken the pace with some armdrags and a headscissors, sending Regal over to the warm cuddling arms of Dave Taylor.
Regal gets back in and takes Whipwreck down again before cranking on the arm. That goes nowhere though because Hart's First Family (about as over as anyone all night) comes out to say the Brits can get the Hardcore Trophy back at Road Wild. We get an Andy Kaufman reference, allowing Hervey to try to sound intelligent, making him all the ore annoying.
The distraction lets Whipwreck grab a quick rollup for two and a nice pinfall reversal sequence doesn't get anyone anywhere. Regal drops a leg for two but gets rolled up for the same. Now it's Mikey taking him into the corner for the top rope hurricanrana, only to have Taylor blast him with the Union Jack, setting up the Regal Stretch for the submission.
Rating: C. They're actually bringing some decent wrestling tonight, perhaps due to letting talented people get a few minutes in there. The match wasn't anything great, but it was nice to see some wrestling going on. You know, in between the various interference that this match just had to have. I'm still not quite sure why Mikey was hired, unless it was so that he couldn't work for ECW.
Mike gets covered by the Union Jack.
Here are David Flair and Torrie for a chat. David does all his dad's catchphrases (including saying to be IN the man) and has Torrie say he looks good. Short version of this is David will be champion as long as he wants.
Savage swears a lot and storms into Rodman's trailer with the censor missing an F bomb.
Shane Douglas is here to help his friends and cut out the cancer called Ric Flair. I really don't like it when you hear wrestling angles called cancer.
Goldberg vs. Curt Hennig
Hervey brags about having access to WCW clips and how great a job Goldberg does. Hudson: “I don't think Goldberg does jobs at all!” I chuckled a bit. Anyway Goldberg throws Hennig around with ease and slams him out to the floor. The Rednecks offer a distraction so Hennig can nail Goldberg with a cowbell for no cover. Goldberg pops back up and powerslams Hennig down, drawing in the Rednecks to be quickly dispatched. Curt grabs a chair but backs down instead, giving Goldberg a DQ win due to the interference. They couldn't have Hennig get pinned by GOLDBERG?
Goldberg spits on Hennig post match to draw him back in, only to knock Curt right back to the floor.
Video on Hogan vs. Nash, featuring a big backstory on the NWO. I'll give them points for making it feel like a big deal, but making it face Hogan vs. heel Nash has really hurt my interest in the match.
Patty Stone Grinder vs. Madusa
Stone Grinder is former WWF Women's Champion Lelani Kai as a biker. Hervey spends the entrances bragging about being a network actor, making him better than Arliss. Patty jumps Madusa as she gets in the ring and chokes her with a chain. Some bad looking knees have Madusa in trouble as Hudson runs down upcoming Nitro dates. Patty drops her with a butterfly suplex but Madusa comes back with a clothesline to knock Grinder to the floor for a big dive. Back in and the German suplex ends Patty to end the Wrestlemania X rematch.
Rating: D. You know, I had a big rant set up about how this is the best WCW can do to compete with the WWF's women's division, but then I realized that Fabulous Moolah was about three months away from winning the title again. However, that at least had some nostalgia and charm to it. This was Madusa beating up whatever relic WCW could find who could work a passable match. It's really all the proof you need that they didn't care about this division and just put it together for the sake of saying they had one. To be fair though, that's basically what WWF did with the light heavyweight division around this time.
Shane Douglas vs. Scott Putski
Scott actually gets the first blows in with some clotheslines and a snap suplex for two. A backdrop has Shane in even more trouble but he finally grabs a neckbreaker to take over. We actually get a reference to Shane's WCW tenure back in 1992. Shane piledrives Putski for two and we hit a chinlock. Way to show WCW that fire you're bringing with you Douglas. Putski fights up like a jobber should and walks into the Pittsburgh Plunge (fisherman's buster) for the pin.
Rating: D+. So to recap, Shane Doulgas is back from ECW to cut out the cancer known as Ric Flair for holding Shane down in ways he never has the time to explain and he starts by having issues beating Scott Putski. I've never been a Douglas fan and this is yet another reason of why I feel justified in that thinking.
US Title: Chris Benoit vs. David Flair
Little Naitch is refereeing and Benoit is challenging of course. Benoit easily takes him down to start and rips David's chest off with chops to send the champ to the floor. David tries to leave but Robinson tells him to keep going. Back in and more chops have David screaming, followed by a backbreaker and Liontamer. The champ taps but Robinson just lets him suffer. The Swan Dive sets up the Crossface, only to have DDP come in with a belt shot to give David the pin.
Rating: D. Do I need to explain this one? Again, I actually like the idea behind Flair as they're openly acknowledging that he's horrible and only there because his dad was the boss but.....wait why can they still get away with this cheating with Sting in charge now? Shouldn't that have stopped immediately?
Malenko, Saturn, Douglas and the rest of the Triad run in for a big brawl.
TV Title: Chase Tatum vs. Rick Steiner
Tatum, a No Limit Soldier, comes out to heavy metal. Steiner just mauls him in the corner with right hands and knees to the back. A shoulder drops Rick for a few seconds but another suplex sets up the Steiner Bulldog to retain.
Hollywood Hogan/Sting vs. Kevin Nash/Sid
Of course it's Sid, because that's the least logical option outside of Randy Savage. Somehow that means this could be worse if you can actually believe that. Hogan doesn't bring the belt with him for no apparent reason. Speaking of no apparent reason, there is no reason for either of these teams to trust each other given their recent and distant histories. Again, Sid tried to MURDER Nash a few months back and it's just forgotten here. By the way, average age of the people in this match: 43, with Sid as the young pup of the group at 38.
Sid tries to take Hogan into the corner to start but Hollywood takes him in instead with a series of right hands. An atomic drop puts Hogan down but Sid is nice enough to help him up. Hogan and Sting get Sid caught between them for a barrage of right hands but Sid blocks a slam. It's Sid slamming Hogan though, only to miss an elbow drop. Everything breaks down and the good guys clean house.
Back in and Nash slows things down but misses the framed elbow. Sting tries to jump over Nash in the corner but gets caught in Snake Eyes. It's back to Sid who rakes the eyes to stop Sting's comeback and we hit the chinlock. Sting fights back again but his splash hits knees and it's back to Nash. Another comeback is quickly stopped though as Nash knocks Hogan to the floor, leaving no one for Sting to tag.
Nash sends him into the corner and Sting tries another jump, only to have Nash stay in the middle, leaving Sting to just crash into him. Now we get the hot tag to Hogan as everything breaks down again. The referee takes the Stinger Splash by mistake so here's Rick Steiner to blast Sting with a chair. Hogan cuts his forehead, starts bleeding, and then gets hit in the head to bust him open, giving Nash the easy pin.
Rating: D. Were you expecting anything else here? This was your standard main event tag but the things like Sting just crashing into Nash or Hogan clearly blading in the middle of the ring and bleeding before anyone hit him in the head took away any fun this match could have had. Also, anytime Rick Steiner gets closer to the main event, the match loses more of its value.
Goldberg comes out for the save but gets beaten down as well to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This show wasn't horrible actually as the wrestling and story advancement carried it to a decent enough performance. Things have actually settled down over the last few weeks and a lot of the insanity has gone away. Unfortunately a lot of the ability to remember plot points from week to week has gone away as well, making a lot of the story developments mean absolutely nothing. At least the wrestling helped things out here though, which is better than what you get most of the time anymore.
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