How you people can focus on small matters like the Royal Rumble and RAW Is Lesnar is beyond me when there are so many bigger things afoot. For example, did you know it was 17 years ago that we were right in the middle of the hottest feud burning the wrestling world to the ground?
Cena/Rock ain’t got nothing on DDP/Johnny B Badd. Sure, the “highest grossing” feud of all time makes for nice talking points, but I didn’t see John Cena put up no $13,000,000 of his personal wealth to get himself a title shot and maybe a chance to win Mickie James back.
LIVE on TNT are ERIC BISCHOFF, BOBBY HEENAN, MONGO MCMICHAEL, and PEPE THE FERRET. This is the MOST exciting Nitro in the history of Monday Nitro according to Eric Bischoff, with Flair and Hogan on tap, PLUS The Giant gets a world title shot.
RIC FLAIR (with Jimmy Hart) vs. HULK HOGAN (with Woman, Two Sluts, and Elizabeth)
Well this is quite the opener. This match would wind up on the Best of Nitro special WCW aired in May of 1999. Hogan gets the super extended entrance complete with ear cupping that lasts for days. Finally Flair has enough, gets in the ring, and gets shoved to the ground repeatedly. Hogan gives the superman pose – and the crowd is positively rapid for the Hulkster tonight. Hogan no-sells the chops, and backdrops Flair across the ring. A clothesline sends Flair sprawling to the floor, where Jimmy Hart is on hand for some words of encouragement. Hogan decides to head out to chase, but gets a thumb to the eye and a whip to the guardrail. He opts not to sell either move, and decks Flair, who heads back to the ring for safety. The referee tries to stop Hogan from pounding on Ric in the corner, so Hogan goes to attack HIM, giving Flair the chance to chop block him, and we take THIS time for an ad break.
We come back, and Mongo informs us that Hogan’s had no offense during the break. Flair’s in the process of heading up top, where Hogan catches and slams him. Hogan throws some meaty fists, but a back elbow drops him. Hogan pops right back up while Flair poses, and clotheslines Flair to his ass. Hogan bites Flair’s face in the corner, because he’s all role model, and sends him to the outside. Hogan follows, and uses his back rake of death. Back in, Flair gets control and sends Hogan right back out. Jimmy Hart is all over Hogan, choking him out with a belt. Flair starts to work over the leg, and slaps on the Figure Four. Hogan fights with the cheers and reverses the hold, and Flair is beside himself. Hogan blocks a couple of suplex attempts, and reverses into a vertical of his own. Flair tries the chops, but those are being no sold as Hogan puffs out his cheeks like a squirrel storing acorns, so Flair drops him with a back elbow to the face instead. Backdrop suplex from Flair, and the man is feeling it, strutting all over the ring. Flair goes for a lax pin – but Hogan tosses him off and Hulks Up. We have the punches, we have the boot, we have the Legdrop – and we have Jimmy Hart-erference. ARN ANDERSON hits the ring, but Hogan blocks a brass knucks shot. Jimmy Hart grabs Liz’s shoe, tosses it to Flair, who hits Hogan in the eye and scores a rare pin over Hogan at 11:56. *** RANDY SAVAGE heads down to cradle his friend lovingly, and Liz’s cleavage hangs over it all.
THE FACES OF FEAR vs. THE ROAD WARRIORS
Animal and Barbarian start, in what we hope is a brief meeting of two of the worst wrestlers in the history of the sport. Barbarian drops Animal with a kick to the face, but Animal comes back with a powerslam. Both men tag out. Meng throws 800 consecutive punches, all of which hit, and drops Hawk with a spike piledriver. Hawk then POPS RIGHT BACK UP, in a spot that is beyond ridiculous and totally exposes the business. Animal comes in and wrings at Meng’s arm. Meng throws him into Barbarian who gets a knee into Animal’s back. Both guys come off the top with dual flying headbutts – which is a gorgeous spot and should have been the finish. It gets 2. Barbarian’s backbreaker gets 2. Meng tries a camel clutch, but Animal won’t tap. Barbarian throws Animal into the barricade, and slams him back first to the ring post. A dropkick from Meng right to the jaw gets 2. Meng tries a choke, and releases at 4. Barbarian flattens Animal with a powerbomb, and despite all the moves on Animal’s back, it only gets 2. Barbarian goes up top, and hits a flying clothesline that somehow, Animal sells by falling into the move? Barbarian goes for a second, but Animal hits a clothesline of his own this time, and gets the tag to Hawk. He clotheslines both members of the Faces of Fear – neither of whom go down. A double clothesline works, however, and flattens both guys. Meng gets up and keeps fighting because he’s fantastic. Barbarian puts Hawk on top, but Animal catches him and Hawk goes up for the Doomsday Device. Meng stops it by shoving Hawk off the top. Meanwhile, Barbarian kills Animal dead with a piledriver, but Hawk then comes off the top with a clothesline and gets the win at 9:06. **
It must be the shank of the evening, because “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND has KEVIN SULLIVAN and HUGH MORRUS in the ring. Sullivan is in a mood because of their deal with the Horsemen that isn’t being honored, which brings ARN ANDERSON and BRIAN PILLMAN down. Anderson is ordered to control Pillman or suffer the consequences. Anderson lectures Pillman that he’s part of a team, not an individual. He tells Pillman that there’s some tough love coming his way, and removes his belt. However, before he can strike, Sullivan and Morrus attack Anderson! What the hell? Pillman ducks to the outside, but Sullivan follows with the belt and whips him SQUARE IN THE FACE as well as the back. That HAS to smart, kids. Anderson drops Morrus with a DDT, and chases off Sullivan. Back in the ring, Anderson is livid, and tells the executive committee to sign a match between the Horsemen and the Dungeon immediately.
After a quick break, Gene’s still in the ring, now with SISTA SHERRI. As we recap the wedding, MADUSA scales the ropes and jumps Sherri from behind. Somehow a referee is on site, and we have ...
SISTA SHERRI vs. MADUSA
Sherri wraps Madusa’s legs around the ringpost, but when they head out to the floor, Madusa throws Sherri into the ringsteps. Sherri takes a snap suplex right on the floor, but Sherri pops right back up and palm thrusts Madusa in the throat. Back in the ring, Madusa kicks Sherri in the head repeatedly, but Sherri gets back to her feet and drops a leg right on Madusa’s cooter. Sherri heads up, where Madusa catches her, but as they fall off, Sherri rolls through and gets the pin at 1:47. Madusa plants Sherri with a German suplex immediately after the match, and slaps the shizzle out of her. This was actually insanely intense – and if all women’s matches had this much energy I probably wouldn’t mind them. 1/2*
THE GIANT vs. RANDY SAVAGE (with Woman, 2 Sluts, and Elizabeth) (for the WCW World Heavyweight Title)
While the ladies enter and wave Savage into the ring, Savage actually comes through the crowd and attacks The Giant with the belt. The referee calls for an immediate disqualification at 0:00. RIC FLAIR comes to ringside and drags Savage to the floor, whipping him into the guardrail and beating him with a chair. Flair throws him back in, where Giant hits Savage with a huge standing vertical suplex, while Flair struts. Giant delivers repeated backbreakers, while Bischoff laments nobody is in the building who can save him because Sting and Luger are off, and Hogan’s dealing with his eye injury. The Chokeslam is followed with a kneedrop to the face, and I guess HULK HOGAN has finally found his cajones. Face wrapped like a mummy, he blasts Giant 3 times in the face with a chair to send him to the floor. ONE MAN GANG, KEVIN SULLIVAN, HUGH MORRUS, and MENG attack – and Hogan takes them all out with chairshots to the face. Flair goes nuts by the announce booth, ranting and raving about blood, sweat, and tears while the fans chant “HOGAN”. Flair hilariously promises to take Elizabeth from Savage again, then chases off the announcers (except Heenan) to take over the broadcast. Hogan carries Savage to the back in his arms, and we end with that.
Great edition of Nitro, even the Faces of Fear and the Road Warriors delivered a moderately entertaining match. Back with Prime tomorrow.
While never a part of booking committees that I am aware of, he apparently had plenty of creative ideas during his hey day in WCW. As mentioned above, I have also seen shoots by Shawn, Russo, and Nash where they talk about how creative he was.