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Monday Nitro - April 6, 1998

Monday Nitro #134
Date: April 6, 1998
Location: Miami Arena, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

This is the first time WCW has gotten together since last week and as usual, the focus is all on the NWO. In this case it was Nash accidentally kicking Hogan in the face, ticking Hollywood off as we're getting closer to Spring Stampede where they're teaming up together. In other words, as usual, the NWO drama overshadows everything else on the show despite the fans getting bored with it. Let's get to it.

We open with, you guessed it, NWO DRAMA! Savage is down outside the arena and about to be loaded into an ambulance. We go to the arena to hear from the announcers a bit before going back to see Savage still down.

Psychosis/El Dandy/La Parka vs. Judo Suwa/Shiima Nobunaga/Tokyo Magnum

Tokyo starts with Psychosis and a quick distraction allows for triple teaming on Magnum. They all drop elbows on Tokyo for two before Nobunaga comes in for a save. He gets triple teamed as well but Suwa makes the save. Psychosis hits a missile dropkick to an elevated Suwa for two before it's back to La Parka vs. Tokyo. Magnum finally takes over and side steps a low blow from Psychosis, sending the boot into La Parka's groin instead.

A top rope hurricanrana gets two on La Parka before it's off to Nobunaga to catch Dandy in the jaw with an elbow. Suwa sends La Parka to the floor and everyone launches dives to the floor. Shiima gets two off a top rope spinwheel kick to Psychosis, only to miss a dropkick, allowing Psychosis to drop the guillotine legdrop for the pin.

Rating: C+. Very fun opener here which is exactly what an opening match is supposed to be. As usual the formula of take six guys and let them fly around the ring for five minutes works like a charm with Miami eating it up. You indy fans might know Nobunaga better as Dragon Gate USA star Cima.

More of Savage being looked at in the back.

Opening sequence.

TV Title: Disco Inferno vs. Booker T

Booker beat Disco to win his first title I believe. Disco turns his back on the champion to start and is promptly drilled in the back. A forearm to the head gets two for Booker and we hit the armbar. Back up and a hiptoss puts Inferno on the floor but he comes back with a belly to back suplex. Disco stomps Booker down in the corner and gets two off a running clothesline. We hit the chinlock for a bit before they trade near falls, leading right back into the chinlock. A middle rope fist misses Booker entirely and the champion comes back with a flapjack. Booker's two kicks set up a snap spinebuster and the missile dropkick to retain.

Rating: C-. Disco continues to be perfectly acceptable out there which isn't how many people remember him at all. Booker was his usual smooth self and the ending made him look dominant after two straight draws against Benoit. It's very nice to see a perfectly decent match to fill in the gaps between the Savage drama.

The Nitro Girls dance with a Latin theme.

Video on Hogan vs. Savage vs. Nash.

Lenny Lane vs. Kidman

Kidman takes over with a quick dropkick and a clothesline to take over. A slam sets up a slingshot legdrop followed by a jawbreaker for two on Lane. Kidman sets up a bulldog, only to be crotched on the top to stop him cold. Lane hits a snap powerslam for two before launching Kidman into the air for a nice crash. Lenny goes up top for a slow motion Whisper in the Wind for two more but he walks into a sitout spinebuster followed by the Seven Year Itch (shooting star) for the pin by Kidman.

Rating: D+. This was a spot fest but not a very entertaining one. Kidman had to slow down his offense so much for his gimmick that it makes his matches less interesting than they should be. Lane was just a jobber at this point so no one cared about him due to having no real reason to yet.

JJ Dillon (loudly booed) says there's tape of the Savage attack but we can't see it yet because it's an ongoing investigation. He doesn't know anything about Spring Stampede yet but promises to keep us updated. Well this was totally pointless. Yeah there's a tape apparently, but either give us a time frame on when we'll see it or don't mention it yet. The fans groaned when JJ said we weren't seeing it, which could have been avoided if they didn't mention it. Then again that might make too much sense.

Norman Smiley vs. Konnan

Konnan grabs the arm to start but gets flipped over in a nice leverage move. Another armdrag sends Konnan to the floor for a conference with Vincent. Back in and Konnan stomps on his foot to take Norman down, allowing for a choke from Vinny Bald. Tony is told about Sting vs. Nash for the title tonight, meaning it's time to ignore the match in the ring. Konnan ducks his head and gets kicked in the jaw, followed by an abdominal stretch. Norman misses a dropkick and gets caught in a half crab even lamer than the Tequila Sunrise. Back up the Konnan hits the 187 and the Tequila Sunrise for the submission.

Rating: D. Nothing match here to give the announcers a reason to talk about the main event. Smiley was very smooth in the ring and could have decent matches when given the chance. Naturally the idea was to push him as something that didn't showcase those talents whatsoever. Konnan was his usual self here but very over with the Miami fans.

Apparently Savage has just been put on the stretcher.

More Nitro Girls.

US Title: Buff Bagwell vs. Diamond Dallas Page

Bagwell quickly takes him down with an armdrag and poses, only to be taken down via a shoulder block. Buff's low elevation dropkick is practically no sold and Page scores with a neckbreaker. Page pounds away in the corner but Buff sneaks in a low blow to take over. Buff hits some really basic shots to the back for two and we hit the chinlock. Back up and Page tries a quick powerbomb, only to have Bagwell land on his feet and hit something resembling a neckbreaker for two. Page comes back with right hands and the Pancake for two. Here's Raven in the audience with the belt, drawing Page out for the countout.

Rating: D. Bagwell isn't very good and that's as simple as I can put it. He can't do anything above bare bones and screwed up something as simple as a swinging neckbreaker. Also, we can't even have an NWO guy do a job for the US Champion? They really have to be protected that much?

Bagwell demands to be called the new champion but turns around into a Diamond Cutter. Again, Page can knock the guy out cold with one move but Bagwell can't job for some reason.

Hour #2 begins.

Here's some of the Savage footage. It's a red Viper speeding away with Vincent and Disciple saying this is NWO business and Disciple saying “he's not so Macho now is he?” Again, why not mention this was coming to start the second hour instead of saying “well we can't show it now and we won't say when we're showing it.” If nothing else say you're airing it at some point tonight and give the fans an extra reason to stick around.

Here's the NWO with something to say. Hogan says there's no survey tonight because he was caught in traffic on his way to the show. Ok then. Anyway he's here now and talks about how he and Nash will dominate Giant and Piper at the PPV. Tonight however Nash is going to win the title and bring it back to Hollywood and the NWO. At the pay per view (Hogan won't say Spring Stampede for some reason) though, they're going to kill Giant and Piper with one stone. Isn't it with one bat?

Buy the Macho Man caged madness shirt. I always liked that one.

Video on Goldberg.

Hammer vs. Goldberg

Nothing out of the ordinary here other than Goldberg hitting an Attitude Adjustment on Hammer. The spear and Jackhammer end this in about a minute and fifteen seconds.

Post match Goldberg scares off the Flock so Saturn puts the Rings of Saturn on Hammerl. Kidman tries to break it up and gets shoved down.

Heenan is on commentary and drooling over the Nitro Girls and the future Mrs. HBK in particular.

Here's Roddy Piper with something to say. Piper talks about swinging a bat here in the home of the World Series champions before talking about being in a bat match with three giants. He's in full on ramble mode tonight. Piper mentions beating up a transvestite named Goldust and talks about beating up Hogan with a bat. He's coming after Hogan with a bat tonight and next week in Minneapolis because there isn't enough room in the sport for both of them. Hogan will be auditioning for Rupaul after Piper gets his hands on him. When Piper gets off track it can be one heck of a train wreck.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Ultimo Dragon

Before the match, Eddie yells at Chavo for being such a failure that he's gotten Grandma's menudo thrown out of a cooking competition. Therefore, Chavo is taking Eddie's place.

Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Ultimo Dragon

Chavo blocks a quick rollup to start and hits a quick belly to back suplex for one. Off to an early chinlock from Chavo followed by an abdominal stretch. A pumphandle backbreaker gets two for Guerrero and it's right back to the chinlock. Back up and Dragon flips over Chavo into a rollup for two with Chavo countering into one of his own for the same. Eddie has a towel over his head and his back to the ring. Dragon escapes the tornado DDT but Chavo escapes La Majistral, only to get caught in the Dragon Sleeper for the submission.

Rating: C. Nice match here and I'm digging this Guerrero story. If nothing else it's hilarious every time Eddie talks about Grandma. Chavo is rapidly maturing through this story and it's bringing him up to a new level. Imagine that: a veteran helping out a young guy instead of holding him down.

More Nitro Girls, in the same outfits and doing pretty much the same routine they did the last time.

We look back at Malenko losing to Jericho at Uncensored and Gene brow beating him down. Gene: “You didn't win at Starrcade, Super Brawl or Souled Out.” Two things: he only wrestled at one of those shows and man WCW started a lot of shows with the letter S.

Barry Darsow vs. Lex Luger

Sign in the crowd: Gordon Solie Rules. Amen brother. Luger shoves Darsow into the corner as Tony hypes up some Flair interview on Thursday. Darsow comes back with a belly to back suplex and clubbing forearms to the back. Barry works on the arm for a bit and punches Luger in the face for good measure. Luger backdrops out of a piledriver and hits his usual stuff to set up the Rack for the submission.

Rating: D. Typical Luger match, Darsow was his usual self and there's nothing else to say here at all.

Hour #3 begins.

We recap the Bulldog/Neidhart vs. Hennig/Rude feud.

Curt Hennig/Bryan Adams vs. British Bulldog/Jim Neidhart

Rude joins commentary again. It's a brawl to start with the NWO quickly being dispatched to the floor. We start with Neidhart vs. Hennig and the fans are all over Rude. Jim slams him down by the hair and brings in Bulldog to face Adams. Bulldog suplexes Adams down as Heenan sucks up to Rude. A middle rope shoulder from Neidhart takes Adams down and we hit the chinlock. Neidhart lets him up and gets caught in the heel corner with the NWO taking over. Adams ducks his head as Rude leaves to watch at ringside.

We take a break (yes, in this match) and come back with Adams working on Bulldog's ribs. Adams lifts him up for a three rep gorilla press before it's back to Curt for a spinning toe hold. The fans get distracted by something in the crowd so Adams puts on a front facelock. Now the fans are bored as Neidhart gets the ice cold tag. Everything breaks down and Rude knees Neidhart in the back, setting up the PerfectPlex for the pin.

Rating: D-. From a quality standpoint it was passable at best, but there's just no interest in this feud at all. It's clearly there to tie in to Hart's feud with the NWO (which barely exists anyway) but Neidhart and Bulldog aren't interesting at all. The fans clearly don't care but this feud just keeps going due to a lack of anything better to do with them.

Bret finally comes out for the save and says, again, that he's not letting the NWO screw people.

Cruiserweight Title: Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera

Jericho dedicates this episode of Monday Night Jericho to Dean Malenko. He begs Dean, the second greatest wrestler in the world today, to come back. Jericho asks why Prince Nakamaki is getting the title shot at the PPV when he doesn't even own a pair of boots. Juvy takes over with some hard chops to start before blocking some tiger suplex attempts. A suplex puts Jericho down for two and we hit the chinlock.

Chris comes back with an elbow to the face and the fans are all over him. A hard clothesline sets up the arrogant cover for two followed by three straight backbreakers. Jericho stops to pose before covering for two and Juvy comes back with a victory roll for the same.

Chris comes back with an elbow and gets two off a middle rope splash, only to be dropkicked down for two as well. A Jericho powerbomb is countered into a DDT for a VERY close two. The Juvy Driver looks to set up the 450 but Jericho crotches him on top. Jericho catches a cross body and counters a hurricanrana into the Liontamer with Prince Iaukea coming down to throw in the towel for the submission.

Rating: C. I get the idea they were going for with the ending but Juvy has a legitimate complaint with Prince here. He was crawling towards the rope when Iaukea threw in the towel so the match wasn't over yet. Why the title match at the PPV isn't Juvy challenging for the belt is beyond me as I don't think anyone cared that Iaukea was getting a shot.

We look at the Savage footage again.

Scott Steiner vs. Sick Boy

They had said Steiner was facing Giant later tonight. Vincent brings in a trophy for some reason. Steiner takes Sick Boy down with ease and chokes on the ropes a bit. Sick Boy is caught in the Tree of Woe for more choking followed by the elbow drop into the pushups. The Recliner ends this squash.

WCW World Title: Kevin Nash vs. Sting

Nash comes to the ring in a Savage t-shirt to further stir the pot. He says he heard Hogan's view of what was going on around here but now it's time for his view. Nash says that Viper that sped away earlier was red and yellow, which is why he's wearing a Savage shirt tonight. He gets in a jab about Syxx's firing by saying if he wears this shirt too long, Savage will get fired. If Nash wins the belt tonight, it's going around around his waist and not into Hollywood's hands. Also, if Hogan keeps it up, Nash will be him up with the bat along with Giant and Piper.

After a lot of walking around, Nash shoves Sting into the corner and fires off some knee lifts and right hands. Some elbows to the head stagger Sting but the champion scores with some clotheslines. A middle rope clothesline drops the big man and a dropkick sends Nash to the floor. Sting goes out to get him but gets caught by a beating from Konnan. Nash and Konnan take turns choking and it's time to work on the champ's back.

A backbreaker sets up a chinlock with the knee in the back. Sting fights up but walks into a knee to the ribs to slow him down again. Kevin chokes with the boot but misses a kick in the corner, giving Sting a target to go after. There's the Scorpion but Konnan helps pull Nash to the ropes. Nash's leg is of course fine enough to hit the side slam for two and an elbow drop gets the same. Kevin pounds away and it's back to the neck crank.

Sting fights up for his second comeback as Konnan comes in for no DQ. Sting hits three straight Splashes in the corner but Nash shrugs them off and loads up the Jackknife (wouldn't that be a DQ?) but his back gives out. Not that it matters as Hogan comes in to attack Sting for the DQ.

Rating: D+. The match had some decent action but there's only so much Sting can do when Nash won't sell anything. This didn't do much to help a world champion who has already had his wings clipped. I've seen worse matches but this felt like we were waiting on the interference ending, making it like every other Nitro main event for about two years.

The NWO comes in for the beatdown but Piper and Giant make the save to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This was very much like last week's show: good stuff from the guys in the middle of the card and nothing interesting from the top guys. Savage's title shot at the PPV was glanced at but nothing more while the bat match got three promos and the closing spot on the show. Then there's the issue of Roddy Piper. Someone in the comments mentioned how bad he was on these shows and it's absolutely right. There's no real reason for him to be involved in this but he's getting a lot of TV time anyway. Throw Luger in there to give him something to do and you eliminate the horrible promos we have to sit through.

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  1. Wait until you get later into the year. Piper just gets worse. Piper in WCW was just bad

  2. That's part of the fun of doing these: I watched every episode as they aired but you forget a lot of the details in 15 years.

  3. What's friggin' weird to me is that I scarcely remember A SINGLE THING about Piper's WCW run aside from the time when Bischoff turned heel on him. And that one time he wrestled a Jobber and Earthquake and let them join his team, only to dump them all a week later. And yet here he is all over these shows.

    Just goes to show you how bad & unmemorable all of his stuff was. Probably also goes a long way to explain why WCW's ratings started faltering right around this time.

  4. He was completely useless in 98. Im watching 98 currently, after finishing 97. He was pretty much a non factor in 98


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