Saturday, May 8, 2010

Canon Wrestling Review: WCW Monday Nitro: October 26, 1998

Earlier today, reader Ben W. and I were reminiscing about the time preliminary wrestler Kenny Kaos was suddenly given one half of the Tag Team Titles by Rick Steiner on an episode of Nitro. I liked thinking about it so much that I decided to watch that very show when it happened. So strap up and hold on tight, as we review the October 26, 1998 version of WCW Monday Nitro.

We start with dancing from the Nitro Girls and some fireworks. The usual gang of idiots are here, but before the show starts, Tony Schiavone has some bidness to take care of. See, the night before was WCW Halloween Havoc, and due to the fact that they went 20 minutes over schedule, some people did not get to see the conclusion of the show, which was the conclusion to that God-awful Hogan-Warrior match and the entire main event between Diamond Dallas Page and WCW Champion Goldberg. So, out of the kindness of their hearts, WCW has decided to air the entire main event unedited during the broadcast. According to Schiavone, the competition is claiming that this is a ratings ploy, but to prove those bastards wrong, the match will air at 9:00 eastern at the beginning of the second hour. Oddly enough, that's when the competition is supposed to start their show. Coincidence? Larry Zybszko says that technology is not perfect and if you think this is bad "wait until the KY2 bug hits in the year 2000". That sounds awful, thank goodness that didn't happen.

DANGER! HIGH VOLTAGE! Out comes Kaos to no reaction. He faces off against Stevie Ray of the nWo, who the announcers decry for having the gall to refer to himself as the "enforcer" of the nWo. Hey, that's Arn Anderson's name, come up with something else. Ray beats up Kaos both inside and outside the ring, and says something incoherent into the camera. Kaos comes back with a springboard clothesline, which brings out Buff Bagwell. Bagwell throws Stevie Ray his slapjack and distracts the referee long enough for Stevie to nail Kaos with it. Stevie than hits his finisher, also known as the slapjack (double underhook facebuster). How odd. Ray gets the three and the nWo puts the boots to Kaos. That brings out Rick Steiner with a T-shirt underneath his singlet to chase them off. Rick grabs a mic and says, hey Kaos, mind being my partner in defending the tag titles tonight? Kaos, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, accepts. Of all the people Steiner could have chosen, he chose a guy that already got beat down by the nWo and hasn't won a match in about two years unless its against Lodi or somebody like that. Now the fans are treated to two Kaos matches in one night. That will bring in the ratings.

Next is the late, great Kanyon taking on the still living but merely average Prince Iaukea. Kanyon asks the crowd, "Who's better than Kanyon?" which gets a lot of responses but not the one Kanyon was looking for, so he kicks Iaukea in the gut and starts the match in anger. Kanyon is on offense for most of the match, but Iaukea gets a couple of moves in, including a backdrop out of an attempted piledriver on the stairs by Kanyon and a springboard senton on a standing Kanyon. Of course, the announcers are too busy talking about how Rick Steiner won the Tag Team titles last night against three men by himself. Kanyon could have taken a leak in the middle of the ring and they'd still be talking about Rick Steiner or the great decision made to air the DDP-Goldberg match on this show. Kanyon counters a backslide into the Flatliner, and pins his opponent for the three count. He then proclaims himself the King of the World, a la Leo DiCaprio in Titanic. Decent enough match, although not enough time was given to make it worthwhile.

The Nitro Girls are dancing around the announce table, which causes Tony and Mike Tenay to react like they've never seen a woman before. Gene Okerlund is in the ring, and he introduces the Four Horseman, which causes Tony to yell in the mic in approval. There's no Mongo McMichael here for some reason, but Ric Flair assures us that he'll be here later. Well, let's hope not. Flair goes on about how Eric Bischoff will fail in his attempts to block him from wrestling, which brings out a rather pale looking Bischoff. Bischoff says that he's made a mistake, that he's underestimated the fans love of Ric Flair and that we will see Ric Flair wrestle tonight. Flair says Hell yeah, bring out anybody and he'll take them on. The announcers are optimistic but cautious of Bischoff's true intentions.

There's a video shown of this week's winning Nitro Party, with a bunch of dumb wannabe frat boys acting like Konnan and Bagwell while watching Nitro. Stills are shown of last night's Kevin Nash vs. Scott Hall match, where Nash just walked away after powerbombing Hall twice. We go to the entrance ramp, where Alex Wright comes out to face Barry Horowitz. The announcers spend most of the match talking about what nice guys they are for showing last night's PPV Main Event. Wright, to the surprise of absolutely no one, is in control most of the match, although Horowitz counters a top rope dive from Wright. Horowitz does his patented pat on the back, before messing up his own top rope move. Wright hits the Rude Awakening on Horowitz and gets the victory. He then celebrates by doing his stupid dance. Match was short and not that great.

Lee Marshall announces the location of next week's Nitro, which I don't care enough to remember, and then we get a recap of last night's Hogan-Warrior match, which I believe was named the worst match of the year. The announcers have decided that the match was too graphic to show on the air even though some people didn't see the ending. It also sucked on ice. Anyway, Horace Hogan helped his uncle win a week after his uncle brained him with a steel chair, leaving 11 stitches on Horace's head.

Sick Boy comes out to be squashed by Wrath, who actually gets quite a good reaction from the fans. Sick Boy gets almost no offense in, and Wrath gets to show off his skills, including a slingshot shoulderblock and a bunch of power moves. Wrath sets up Sick Boy for the Meltdown (pumphandle slam), which gets a HUGE reaction from the fans. Wrath gives the fans what they want and gets the victory to the delight of the crowd. Match was a squash, but man these people were really digging Wrath at this time. Too bad he had to rug pulled out from under him a few weeks later.

The announcers remind us that Ric Flair will wrestle and that now is finally the time to show the Page-Goldberg match. Michael Buffer does the ring announcing for this match, noting that Page is from the Jersey Shore by way of the school of Hard Knocks, just like The Situation. Page comes through the crowd, while Goldberg comes out accompanying by a 10 man security force for reasons that are unknown to me even to this day. Match starts, and each man can't get an advantage, although it's clear that Goldberg is the superior athlete. Goldberg does a backflip to counter a Page leg sweep, which impresses everybody. For the first few minutes, Goldberg seems to be targeting the arm of Page, presumably to prevent him from using the Diamond Cutter. Goldberg retains control until Page does a headscissors out of a power slam attempt. Didn't think Page could do that move. Goldberg side kicks Page in the chest, backing him into the corner. He then goes for the spear, but Page moves and Goldberg slams his shoulders into the ring post. Goldberg's hurt his arm, which allows Page to hit a flying clothesline and then counter a spinebuster into a tornado DDT. Page calls for the Diamond Cutter, but Goldberg has none of that and spears Page to the ground. But it's with his bum shoulder. The two slowly get up, and Goldberg goes for the Jackhammer, but hasn't the strength to do it. He finally gets Page up, but Page counters with the Diamond Cutter! The crowd explodes after that, but Page doesn't have enough energy to make the cover. Page finally gets the cover, but only gets a two count. Page then tries a suplex, but unfortunately for him Goldberg is able to counter and use the Jackhammer on Page. Goldberg gets the win in what was his best match to date at this point, and may be the best match of his career. Great match, I would recommend it to anyone if you want to see good wrestling.

Now back to the crap. Gene catches up with Kevin Nash in his dressing room, which has two couches and a bathroom for some reason. Gene asks Nash why he didn't pin Scott Hall, but wait a minute, Hall is in the room as well. What's going on? Nash just wants his friend back, and Hall admits that last night he "hit a wall" and realized some things. Just when you think the two will become friends again, The Giant sneaks in and beats Nash up. Hall joins in, and eventually they pick up Nash and throw him through a wall. I guess Nash was the one that hit the wall after all.

A video of the Nitro Girls is shown, before we go back live to see the Nitro Girls dance. That was unnecessary, but I don't mind. The nWo Hollywood contingent comes out, with new member Horace Hogan. Somebody forgets to turn up the mic, so Bischoff repeats this stupid line three times: "Life is good when you're with Hollywood". Hulk Hogan gets the mic, says that when you wear the black and white you do it for life and that in order to do so, you must prove your loyalty by stabbing yourself in the heart in the name of Hollywood. The hell? Which brings us to Horace, as he "passed the test" last night and is given the nWo T-shirt and a nWo weightbelt. Hulk calls Horace the "most important, most valuable member of nWo Hollywood". It must be opposite day for the nWo. Strange promo.

Zbyszko is replaced by Bobby Heenan, and Tony wastes no time in expressing his displeasure about it. Watching these old Nitros is somewhat interesting now just because of the thinly-veiled comments both Tony and Bobby have for each other, as you can really feel the hatred between the two. Try watching a Nitro from say, 97 onward, and you'll be able to pick up on that rather easily. Anyway, Perry Saturn comes out, with a new vest that looks, um, interesting. He is followed by Eddy Guerrero who was the leader of the lWo at this time. This should be a good match, but Eddy at this point was burnt out, so we shall see. Saturn uses an overhead belly-to-belly early on, but Guerrero gains the advantage after dropkicking Saturn's knee. Guerrero then continues the attack on the leg. Guerrero does his trademark slingshot somersault, this time on Saturn's knee. After a few more moves, Saturn is able to gain the advantage after turning a tornado DDT into a Northern Lights suplex. From there, Saturn starts throwing around Eddy with his T-Bone suplex and a Falcon Arrow, which of course the announcers don't know the name of. Saturn signals for the DVD, which brings out lWo members Damian 666 and Hector Garza. Saturn has little problem fighting them off, overhead belly-to-belly suplexing both of them quite nicely. This brings out the rest of the lWo, including a guy who nobody knows. The unknown man, who btw is Eddy's close personal friend Art Flores, uses a sweet brainbuster on Saturn, setting him up for a frog splash by Eddy. The lWo celebrates the beatdown of Saturn. Decent match, could of been better if given more time, but what can you do.

Gene-O is at the entrance ramp, he brings out Judy Bagwell. The crowd is on the edge of their seats with anticipation over what Buff's mom will say. Judy is tired of Buff's actions, and says that he has disgraced the Bagwell name. Brother Jeff is pissed at Buff, I am sure. Mrs. Bagwell goes on to say that she loves Marcus with all of her heart, but she's had enough of Buff. Me too, and he's only been on the show for a minute thus far.

The Giant and Stevie Ray come out representing the nWo against the newly-minted tag team Champions Rick Steiner and Kenny Kaos. Just because Kaos has to wrestle twice doesn't make it okay to subject us to two Stevie Ray matches in one night. Where's Bryan Adams when you need him? Predictably, the nWo beats up Kaos something fierce, or as fierce as the 550 pound Giant can at this point. To call him unmotivated is an understatement. Rick gets tagged in, hits a Steinerline for what looked like a three count but was only two, but the nWo take over again. Double team coming, but Kaos distracts the Giant, allowing Steiner to backdrop Stevie Ray. Steiner then hits a dangerous looking bulldog off the top on Stevie Ray and the champs retain. Good for them, although things would get worse once Steiner decided to make Judy Bagwell a tag team champion a few weeks later. Match was awful, however it was short at least.

Fireworks go off to signify the third hour of Nitro and to wake up the crowd after that last match. Eric Bischoff has replaced Tenay on commentary, which is a lateral move as far as I'm concerned. Bischoff says that he is a man of his word and we will see Flair wrestle, and he delivers, sort of. Instead of a live match, we get clips from Flair vs. Hulk Hogan at Bash at the Beach 1994, with all of the clips shown to make Flair look bad against the Hulkster. Well, technically, Bischoff didn't lie, but it's still crap. Mr. T and Shaquille O'Neal were there at ringside and Hogan wins with a legdrop and celebrates with the two. Bischoff says that this just shows that Flair will always be second best to the Hulkster. He asks the announcers how Flair looked, and Heenan says not too good, which causes Tony to scream at him. I bet Heenan just wanted to pop Schiavone on many days.

The Cruiserweight Title is on the line in this next match, as Juventud Guerrera takes on the champion, Billy Kidman, whose normally white shirt is now an ugly shade of gray. Wash your shirt, Kidman. This match was quite fun, as they start out fast and just pick up speed from there. A lot of two counts and great looking manuevers by these two wrestlers packed into six minutes. The end comes after Juvi learns you can't power bomb Kidman, as he counters with a Tiger Bomb, setting him up for a Shooting Star Press, which he landed perfectly for once. Kidman gets the win and the crowd shows its appreciation. Back to the announce table, where a Sting and Macho Man video are both plugged. Heenan tries to steal one of the videos, but Tony catches him in the act.

The nWo music plays for the 293rd time tonight, and this time Scott Steiner and son of Judy Bagwell come out. Steiner asks if the ladies love him for his mind or his body, and to that I say what mind? Bagwell is angry at his mother, and says that women belong at home cooking and cleaning. Buff than implores his dad to put Judy back in her place. So now Buff hates all women? Steiner than calls out J.J. Dillon to set up a match between him and his brother. Dillon comes out, says something about it being late in the show so you can't have your rematch. Steiner then says that he's an honest man but he has lied. Okay. Instead, Steiner has two questions for Dillon. One, why did the referee that started the match last night didn't finish the match, and two, well we never get that far as Dillon gets beaten up for failing to answer the first one correctly. Security tries to break it up, but Scott puts Dillon in the Steiner Recliner while Buff runs interference.

The Warrior's music plays, which the announcers act like they've never heard before even though the dude's been in the company for three months by now. Warrior gets a pretty good reaction from the crowd, and then proceed es to speak about how Hogan is a chicken or something. Warrior proceeds to drop an S-bomb during the interview. I don't think you can do that. He says Hogan has opened the door to Warrior's hell, and that he is the gatekeeper. Well good for you Warrior. Hogan comes out, followed quickly by Horace and Bischoff, and not so quickly by The Giant. Horace attacks first but gets clotheslined out of the ring for his trouble. The Giant comes in, but sufferes the same fate, but that allows Hogan to clubber on Warrior from behind. Warrior recovers, delivers a flying shoulder tackle to Hogan, and the Warrior stands tall in the ring. He wouldn't be in WCW much longer after this, however.

There's a commercial for WCW Bashin' Brawlers that is shown. Hey, I used to have some of those. They would scream out whenever you put pressure on a body part, for example, if you twist their arm, they would say "OW, you're hurting my left arm" They only made one for the big names, like Page, Savage, and Hogan. If only they made one for Van Hammer. The nWo music plays yet again, bringing out Scotts Hall and Steiner. Lex Luger and Konnan come out, and we have a tag match that quickly degenerates into an all-out brawl. Luger squares off with Hall while Steiner and Konnan fight. It's interesting that whenever one pair goes to the outside, the other pair go back to the inside of the ring. Well, maybe not interesting. Eventually, Luger hits Hall with the bionic forearm and signals for the Torture Rack, but Steiner comes to stop that with a low blow. Konnan brings a steel chair, and crushes Steiner on the head with it. Luger than jabs Hall with the chair. The two teams keep fighting until commercial, and the match is eventually declared a no-contest. Meh.

Michael Buffer is here to announce the main event, a match for the U.S. Title between DDP and the Champion Bret Hart. Buffer gets Hart's name right this time, something he has struggled with before. The two trade moves for a while, and it's a good back-and-forth affair between the two. Hart starts to take control after a Russian Leg Sweep and a DDT on DDP, which the announcers seemed to find funny. Hart gets a two after the DDT, and starts freaking out on Mickey Jay, which gives Page the opening to hit the Cactus Jack clothesline and a pancake. Page goes up top, but Hart catches him and superplexs his foe down to the mat. Only two, Page small packages Hart for two, but the Hitman regains control with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Flying elbow off the second rope by Hart, but Page gets out at two, which causes Hart to call Mickey Jay's mother a whore or something. Page takes Hart down with a Fujiwara armbar, but instead of holding on, he just lets go. That was awkward. Page gets Hart in the corner, bashes his head into the turnbuckle, but Hart manages to mule-kick both Page and the ref in the jewels. Hart digs out some knucks, revives the ref, but Page suddenly catches him with the Diamond Cutter. On this night, that would be enough, and we have a new U.S. Champion. This does not please Hart, as he gets a chair and starts attacking Page's leg with it. He puts DDP in the sharpshooter, which cause Page to scream in agony. Hart eventually tires of that, and goes back to bashing Page's leg with the chair before Goldberg comes out just as the show was ending. Good match, not great, but good.

Overall, this show was made a lot better due to the airing of Page-Goldberg, but even so it was still just an average show. At least there were two good matches in the final hour in Kidman-Juvi and Hart-Page, but all the nWo stuff was either boring or just plain dumb. I'll give this show an overall score of 4.89 out of 10. Tomorrow at The Canon Review, we pay tribute to Kenny Kaos, for no good reason whatsoever. But until then, if you have any better ideas for reviews, than send them to me either by leaving a comment or by e-mail at Here's some videos from this episode of Nitro.

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