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Monday Nitro - May 4, 1998

Monday Nitro #135
Date: May 4, 1998
Location: Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It's another two hour show this week instead of the usual three hours due to the NBA Playoffs. My response: God bless the NBA. We're closing in on Slamboree and the main story is the NWO civil war. Nash, Savage and Konnan have officially formed the Wolfpack who will have their own everything very soon. Let's get to it.

We open with a recap of Konnan joining Nash and Savage.

Opening sequence.

Nitro Girls.

The announcers talk about the NWO's troubles. Brian Adams has officially sided with Hogan.

Now for a change of pace, we get a recap of the Wolfpack forming and Nash wanting a piece of Hart. We also see Konnan joining the team for the second time in less than six minutes.

Here are Eddie and Chavo for a match. Before the match, Eddie says he's going to be a good example for Chavo. The announcers go nuts on Eddie as he calls out Scott Norton.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Scott Norton

Surprisingly enough, Eddie doesn't send Chavo in instead immediately. He actually waits about thirty seconds before “hurting his knee” and sending Chavo in to face Norton. Norton slugs away on Chavo in the corner and press slams him down before going after Eddie. Chavo uses the opening to dropkick Scott's knee a few times. Norton comes right back with a powerslam and the shoulder breaker for the pin. Squash.

Ultimo Dragon comes in to check on Chavo but Eddie tells him to get away.

Scott Putski vs. Kidman

Tenay talks about how Putski's dad, Ivan, was more of a power guy. Larry: “Let me put it another way. Ivan was stupid.” Putski slams Kidman down and drops an elbow for two but Kidman hits a running bulldog out of the corner to take over. Scott comes back with a sitout spinebuster as the Wolfpack comes through the crowd, complete with the red and black NWO logo shirts. They storm the ring to take out Putski for the fast DQ.

Nash says this is how things are going to be from now on. The Wolfpack is very hungry, so they're going to pick Sting and Giant's bones at Slamboree. Nash refers to the team as the red and black attack and says it's about to be a war between them and Hogan's crew. Savage says that Hogan's new friend Bret Hart won't get screwed unless that's something he wants.

Nash brings out the newest member of the Wolfpack: Curt Hennig. Bryan Adams comes out to ask Hennig what he's doing but Curt blows him off. Hennig takes off the black and white to reveal the Wolfpack colors. Konnan challenges Adams for later and Nash wants a piece of Sting, so why not have Nash vs. Luger to show Sting what he's in for.

Video on Raven, talking about being alone. He wasn't allowed to play ball with the other kids but they wouldn't have let him play anyway.

Here's Jericho with the picture of Malenko again. We also get a video featuring Malenko talking about his dad passing away. Jericho says Dean's dad Boris must be rolling in his grave over how much of a failure Dean is. Jericho dedicates his career to someone who is much better than Dean and knows far more holds: Bore-Us Malenko.

Chris Jericho vs. Bore-Us Malenko

Malenko is a tiny guy in Dean's gear and this is about what you would expect. Jericho pulls Bore-Us on top of him for two before making a comeback and taming the Bore-Us lion for the win.

More Nitro Girls with Alex Wright interrupting them again.

We get Hogan's comments from last week which didn't really say anything.

Hugh Morrus/Barbarian vs. Public Enemy

This is a street fight which is probably the best idea all around. Grunge whips Morrus with a big rope as Rocco blasts Barbarian in the head with a trashcan. Morrus comes back with a trashcan lid to Johnny's head as Barbarian crotches Rocco on the top rope. It's amazing how often one guy on a team making a comeback triggers the same comeback from his partner. Everyone gets inside for the first time, including Jimmy Hart to get in some stomps of his own. Barbarian misses a dive through a table but Morrus slams Rocco through one to make up for it. Hart hits Morrus by mistake and gets splashed by Grunge for the pin. Ok then.

Bryan Adams suggests that everyone here have a glass of shut up. Are you telling me that Rock was ripping off BRYAN FREAKING ADAMS??? After my mind is blown by that line, Adams tells us all that Hulk Hogan made wrestling and is the reason we're here tonight. He'll fight Konnan tonight too.

Video on Chris Benoit vs. Booker T, making it look like a big time rivalry. Benoit swears he made Booker tap out but Booker says he was reaching for the rope. The video isn't conclusive enough to tell either way. Another match is set for Slamboree.

Heenan joins commentary.

We look at the end of last Tuesday's show with Hart not explaining his actions.

Hour #2 begins.

Saturn vs. Hammer

Kidman says this is a loser leaves the Flock match. Hammer sends Saturn into the steps to take over and gets two off something like an airplane spin. Saturn comes back with a superkick and some chops in the corner followed by a Cactus Clothesline to take both guys to the outside. We look at Raven's dressing room to see the Flock watching the match. Saturn dives into a powerslam for no cover and a delayed superplex gets the same lack of cover.

Hammer goes for the legs but gets kicked into the ropes, setting up a top rope legdrop from Saturn. Saturn brings in a chair which is legal here it seems. A springboard dropkick using the chair knocks Hammer into the corner but a second attempt hits the referee. Saturn hits something like a Van Daminator and loads up the Death Valley Driver, only to have Kanyon come in dressed as a beer vendor. One beer case to the head is enough to knock Saturn out of the Flock.

Rating: D+. This was better than I expected and it's nice to see the Flock have a story outside of whatever Raven is doing at the moment. Saturn leaving the Flock is interesting, but he's always been the rebel of the group. Nice match here though and it should set the stage for more interesting stuff in the future.

Raven is mad and comes to the ring, only to have Page storm into the locker room with a stop sign and a bullrope around his neck for no apparent reason. Page drags Raven around the back and into the ring. Pyro goes off as Page comes down the ramp and scares everyone to death. The guys are tied by the neck but Raven comes back with a low blow to drop Page. DDP counters the Even Flow and hangs Raven over the ropes, drawing in security as we take a break.

More Nitro Girls as Tony tells us there's no Thunder again this week. Well if he insists.

Sick Boy vs. Juventud Guerrera

Is this Flock Night or something? Sick Boy jumps Juy in the corner to start and stomps him down in the corner. An elevated Pedigree gets two for Boy but Juvy comes back with a spinwheel kick for two. The ring is soaked from Kanyon's drinks so they keep slipping out there. Juvy is sent to the apron for a springboard missile dropkick and there's the Juvy Driver. Horace breaks up the 450 and that's a quick DQ.

Juvy gets out of the double team but the seven foot Reese is too much for him. He isn't however too much for Goldberg who makes the save and Jackhammers Reese.

Here's Rick Steiner for a chat with Gene. Rick wants his brother to come out here right now and tell him whether the Steiner Brothers are getting back together or if one of them will be left laying. If Scott has any guts, he'll be out here right now. Scott does come out, but on crutches.

Scott says he's lost friends and their parents aren't talking to him the same. Sometimes bad things happen like what happened to Bagwell, but Scott doesn't want something like that to get between the Steiners. Rick says they either fight it out right now or walk to the back together. Scott denounces Hogan and the NWO, saying he wants to reform the tag team.

Rick, somehow the smartest guy in the room, says he can't trust Scott, even as he appears to be on the verge of tears. The intelligence is short lived though as Rick says he'll give Scotty another chance, but if Scott stabs him in the back, Rick will hunt him until he dies. They hug and here's Adams with a ball bat. Scott is of course fine and cheers Adams on, confirming his loyalty to Hogan's camp.

Bryan Adams vs. Konnan

Konnan goes right at Adams to start and clotheslines him down. Can we please get Konnan some fitted pants? All that tugging must get annoying. Adams comes back with a bad looking piledriver (Tony says it was the jumping variety despite the complete lack of jumping) and sends Konnan to the outside. Cue Bret Hart to get a cheap shot on Konnan and send him back inside. Adams gorilla presses Konnan down but Nash comes in for the DQ.

Adams gets jackknifed.

Nitro Girls again, this time in silver.

We look at the Nitro Party winner of the week.

TV Title: Fit Finlay vs. Booker T

Fit takes him into the corner to start and hits a hard kick to the champion's back. Finlay cranks on the leg as Tony is thrilled to have Nitro back to three hours next week. Booker fights up with a good looking spin kick to the face before backdropping Finlay to the floor. Back in and Finlay hits a hard clothesline, only to be taken down by a running forearm. The ax kick puts Finlay down and the whip spinebuster does the same. There's a flapjack from the champion as Benoit saunters down to the ring. The distraction lets Finlay tombstone Booker down for the pin and the title.

Rating: D+. Nothing special here but it furthers the Booker vs. Benoit feud, which has already had developments since the last time we saw them. Over the last week, Booker and Benoit traded the TV Title at some house shows, but neither of Benoit's two wins were acknowledged tonight. Instead we need Finlay to get the title. That's not a knock on Finlay, but he hasn't done anything of note in months and he gets a title?

Kevin Nash vs. Lex Luger

We have less than five minutes of air time left during Luger's entrance. Luger pounds away in the corner to start but a Konnan distraction allows Nash to kick him in the face. Nash fires off elbows in the corner and does the foot choke to really expand the offense. A running clothesline hits Luger in the corner but a second one runs into Luger's boot. Savage and Konnan get taken down but Nash gets in a cheap shot to take over again as the Wolfpack comes in for the fast DQ.

Sting and Giant come out to break up the Jackknife and start a fight. Adams comes out but Bret stops him from hitting the ring, wisely saying let them fight to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This is an interesting case for Nitro. On one hand, this was a story driven show which did the last thing WCW needed: put even more focus on the NWO. The silver lining for this show though was the length. It's amazing how much easier it is to sit through Nitro when it loses that third hour. There's a lot of good stuff in WCW, but the extra time is always given to pad out the bad stuff, dragging the show down in the process. Not a bad show here, but the bad is going to take over in a hurry.

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  1. I still remember wondering WTF was going on with WCW inserting Finlay into the TV Title picture. I'm all for new contenders and everything, and Finlay IS a good worker (especially at the time), but the Booker/Benoit program was finally starting to catch fire. It didn't really make sense to throw a 3rd guy into the mix.

    Guess that's just WCW for you.


  3. Especially with the promo for another title match at Slamboree earlier in the night.

  4. Finlay's Title win felt out of nowhere because he'd never even really LOOKED strong on TV up to this point. But in that sense, it was kind of ideal for the "unpredictable" nature both shows tried to present- it's nice to shock everyone once in a while. Plus, it at least furthered the Benoit/Booker thing without making either guy look like shit, PLUS gave a good worker something to do.
    It's sad how into the Wolfpac I was as a younger kid. I legitimately thought Konnan was awesome as fuck.


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