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Thunder Report

From the Top Rope...

Opinion by Joseph Holt

WCW Monday Nitro: The Live Event

Live Show report by Jason Long


Volume 3, Issue 382 - November 13, 1998
Editor's Note: In my review of the movie "HITMAN HART, Wrestling with Shadows" I made a factual error. At the end of the article I stated that Bret was watching RAW "the very next night" and saw the skit featuring the mini-wrestler in a Bret Hart costume. In fact, that incident took place two weeks after the events in Toronto. This error was due to my own faulty memory and not a result of any impression that was given by the film makers. My apologies for the error.

WCW Monday Nitro: The Live Event

by Jason Long

I was all excited.

I had been looking forward to the event all day long. I was going to see WCW Monday Nitro live at the Nassau Coliseum. I had my ticket, and I was on my way into what is said to be the most exciting three hours on television. It was said to start at 7:30, so I showed up at 7:00. I reached my seats in the third tier of the Coliseum. There wasn't many people there, but I wasn?t worried. It was said to be a sell out. I sat and waited patiently for 7:30.

I was amazed. The seats that we had were great. I was on the side of the ring where the cameras were, so we got all of the action. I was also one section to the right of where the crowd camera was, so maybe you saw me when the camera panned the crowd (I was wearing a Yankees shirt-- anyway) The ring was pretty cool. I am a staging buff, so I noticed all of the lights and the rigging, and I was impressed.

Well, 7:30 rolled around, and nothing happened. At about 7:45, the ring announcer hopped in the ring and started to hype the event. One of the first things that he said was that we were going to get a treat, a fourth hour that they were going to tape for the special Tuesday edition of Nitro. With that, the crowd went wild. He continued to hype the card, stating who was going to show for the event and that the undefeated champ Goldberg was going to defend his belt tonight. Once again, the crowd went wild, including myself. The announcer then introduced the broadcast team to the crowd, with The Living Legend getting the biggest pop. The other two actually got booed! He announced that the show was going live in a few minutes. Once the show went live, the crowd was sitting in suspense.

We were shown part of what was going on on the big screen, but it was hard to see, and we had no clue what was going on. The television audience saw it all, while we got to sit by and wait for the first match. Then a commercial break. Coming back from the break, the announcer tried to get the fans off of their feet to show the home audience what the excitement was like at the real show. He then introduced the first match, Juventud Guerrera against Kaz Hayashi. I thought that it was going to be a high flying, fast-paced match. My mistake. Oh well, at least there was some action. Then a commercial and more hype.

After the Nitro Girls did their little thing, another commercial and more hype about the main event, not yet known to us yet. After that, there was more scenes from past Nitros, and again we were not shown the action. Around this point, the fans. like New York fans do, got bored and started chanting their feelings. And then, we actually get another match. And what a great match too. Barry "Jobber 4 Life" Horowitz against Alex Wright. Horowitz gets in a few shots, and then a great surprise. The Wolfpac. This is what was needed to get the crowd back into it. Nash, K-dog, and Luger do their thing, make the challenge, then we get Bischoff's response. Hopefully they can get a good main event for us.

Gee, then we get a great match, Scott Norton against Lodi. It was supposed to be an IWGP title match. Maybe Norton should defend in Japan and against some real competition. And how did Lodi get a title match anyway? Just what I wanted to see next, an interview with the Disciple. He rants, gets beaten, then saved by his good pal Warrior. Both need to get out of the sport. Neither are too talented or too bright, for that matter. Great way to bore the people.

And now ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States... oh, it?s only Hogan, once again the crowd chants "boring". Some even start to chant "I want a refund" More commercials and Nitro Girls and some of Konnan's music video. Follow that with more commercials. Really trying to keep the fans in the arena into it.

Oh great, Bret Hart. More fun. He does his thing, and then more commercials. I seem to have left out the ring announcer trying to hype up the crowd during commercials. Oh well, they forgot that they have paying fans in the crowd that would like to be entertained.

Now a match, and what I hope to be a good one. Eddie Guerrero against Rey Misterio, Jr. Starts out good, and it seems the fans are into it. Looks like Rey hurt his knee again. But then they blow it, with the LWO interfering. At least it started out good. Then we get Konnan's video in full and more commercials. There is a shower of boos coming from the crowd. Now, by this time, the crowd is pretty well pissed off at the whole thing. Some people are even leaving because it is so bad. And then we get Big Papa Pump and Buff the Stuff. There is supposed to be a match, but the ref won't stay. So instead we get Buff and Papa ranting. Great. Oh, here comes the opponent, Chris Adams. Big squash coming. Rick Steiner to the rescue. He rants, and, what's this? A tag title match? Wow, finally a decent match. Wait, never mind. Here comes Judy Bagwell with Rick Steiner. No match tonight, but at World War Three later in the month. Well, my hopes were up, for a little bit anyway.

Time for one of the main events. The Hitman hits the ring, does his little thing, and then Wolfpac music hits. A few people react to the music, but that is about it. The crowd is really dissatisfied. Once Konnan hits the ring, the crowd was on its feet. That wasn't because of the match. There was actually a fight in the crowd between two groups of fans. That was the most exciting thing of the night. Oh, and the match is over, Hitman uses the chair on his opponent again. Then he tries to take him out. "Boring, Boring, Boring". Next please. I would like to get this over with sometime tonight. I have an early class in the morning.

Great, Chris Jericho and his fat buddy. More fun. Again we hear the boos from the fans. The folks at home might not have heard it, because the crew was pumping fake crowd cheers over the PA system all night. Oh, now some excitement, the second most exciting thing to happen. Goldberg storms out of his dressing room after Jericho. Jericho gets speared for his troubles. Not to bad. They finally got the fans off of their butts and onto their feet.

Now Michael Buffer is out to announce the main event. He gets a bigger pop than either of the two tag teams. Not surprising, seeing the way this night has gone. Starts out to be a good match, but ends with Hart again. It would be nice to see matches finish with a pin every now and then. More boos from the crowd. These are not aimed at the Hitman though, but at the whole thing. The whole event was one big, boring, commercial break after another with some Nitro Girls dancing and a little bit of action. Pretty disappointing if you ask me.

Onto the fourth hour, which is going to used for the Tuesday taped version of Nitro. Has some good matches, but by this time, the crowd is more than half gone, while the rest are really pissed off. And again, Rey Misterio, Jr, wrestles and his knee seems fine. Wow, he must really have been hurt earlier. And, like earlier, there is LWO interference and Eddie offering an LWO shirt to Misterio. This time, Kidman makes an appearance and accidentally missile drop kicks Rey Jr. in the back of the head. A little excitement, but again, boring. The only reason why the people stayed for the fourth hour was to see Goldberg. But before that, we get... more Nitro Girls. This time, the crowd boos all the way through the routine. After they are finished and hear the boos, one of them actually turns her rear end to the crowd and gestures for the crowd to kiss her rear. The Girls must have been pretty pissed off.

Finally, we get Goldberg. He battles Meng. A three second match. The crowd was some what into it, until the quick end. More boos. As soon as the Champ gets the pin, people leave their seats, including myself. I turned back just as I was about to go down the stairs to the lower level to see Goldberg at the top of the ramp of the entranceway, holding up his belt. Too bad noboby got to see it. What I thought was going to be a great night of action turned into one big night of disappointment, not only to me, but to the rest of the fans. I would only go see another live event if it was a pay-per-view event or a non-pay-per-view event that was not going to be live on t.v. At least there would only be a few breaks in the action, and in the case of the PPV, there would be good matches. Non of the matches , hopefully, would feature a member of the Job Squad.

Maybe if they paid me to go see another Nitro, then I would go.

Jason Long is a regular Solie's reader and a student in college on Long Island where he majors in Business Management/Audio Recording He also works as a salesman at a local electronics store. He says he is very interested in histories of wrestling and histories of different federations.


From the Top Rope...

by Joseph Holt

Things that make you go hmmm...

On the latest episode of RAW 90210, we actually got to see something that intrigued me a bit. In fact, for a brief moment, it brought back some fond memories of past wresting days. I'm almost afraid to admit it but as it stands right now, and I absolutely reserve the right to change my opinion later, the Shane McMahon twist looks like it may bring some sense of excitement back to the WWF that doesn't include sex or simulated felonies. I'm glad to see a McMahon with a soul.( Don't misunderstand me though. There are still the issues of the middle finger which has become a plague in the WWF but for the sake of making my point I shall overlook this infraction.) For the most part Shane has become the anti-Vinnie in the WWF. The Austin/Vince feud has become somewhat stale and we needed a new turn of events to keep things interesting.

At first, the cherished son of Vince had come to aid his father in the operations of the Federation and the demise of the evil Stone Cold. Then as fate would have it, lightning struck from the clear blue sky giving young Shane a brain. For some reason he had yet to have figured out what kind of person his dad was until he "fired" Austin. I'm not real clear as to why, but Shane decided the Rattlesnake was to valuable to the success of the WWF to let him go, so against his father's wishes he resigned him. If this wasn't enough, he also guaranteed him a title shot. This, of course, enraged Vince who then disowned his son and continued to be the jerk-off we have all grown to love.

Perhaps it was an attempt to release some regressed anger but the locking Bossman in the cage with Vinnie's stooges was a good move. We all want to see Moe, Larry and Curly, oops I mean Brisco, Slaughter and Patterson get smashed a bit. If that wasn't enough, Austin runs in to make the save. Austin saving the stooges? Is the SOB turning soft on us? No matter though because soon enough Austin is getting the smashing. Enter referee Shane McMahon. Now this in itself was enough to set the stage for future conflicts and bring more intensity to existing ones but something happened that few people noticed ..

When Shane confronted the Bossman it wasn't like Vince confronting Austin. There was no fear in the young jedi's mind. (Just had to throw that in there considering the good son/bad father scenario is reminiscent of the Star Wars saga.) The scrappy youngster wanted a piece of the Bossman. There was no running away, no hiding behind anyone else, no using the McMahon name to shield himself from a possible royal butt-kicking, nothing to prevent the smash fest to turn on him. Here is the part that probably slipped by many viewers. Little Shane knows how to fight. I don't mean the WWF version of wrestle either. I mean go home crying to your momma cause you just got a hole stomped in you fight. See, I have been involved in martial arts for the past twenty years. I have taught it to children and adults for the past 7 years. In those twenty years one thing remained a constant. Once a person has committed his/her training to memory it becomes second nature. It can't be taught or learned it just happens. When Shane stood his ground with his knees slightly bent and lifted his pant legs just a bit it was evident this man knew how to take care of things. There were other subtle little things that hinted towards actual ability but I wont bore you with details.

Then before we could see what Shane was made of, Vince called it off (there is good in you father...I can feel it). Was this because he didn't want Shane to get hurt or because he didn't want Bossman beaten down by someone half his age? As we all learned on the special on NBC exposing wrestling's greatest secrets, that it all is an act. (I say this with great sarcasm simply because that program was crap) Nonetheless, a match with Shane and Austin against McMahon and Bossman would be something for the ages. It would at least be better than McMahon vs. the Rock which is a cheap imitation on the Austin/Vinnie feud. I would close by saying maybe Shane could add some class to the WWF but then he had to go out with that finger thing I mentioned earlier. So much for the class but at least Shane can add a new dimension to the stagnant WWF........

Joseph Holt is a freelance writer in the Ft. Worth Texas area and a regular contributor to Solie's.


Thunder Report

Tony, Bobby and Lee welcome to this edition. Konnan vs. the Giant will be the main event. They are still talking about this ridiculous Hogan for President thing.

Glacier vs. Chris Adams - Glacier makes a speech before the match. He is back on his "Cryonic Kick" kick again, claiming to have invented the side-kick/Super Kick, etc. Glacier outweighs his opponent and is quite a bit younger as well. He dominates the early going and then Adams hits him with a surprise insuguri. He beats a little on Glacier and then gets levered out to the floor. Glacier follows him out and hits him again then rolls him back in. Adams comes back by ducking an axe handle then gets his Super Kick! He would have the pin except that Sonny Oono suddenly runs out and pops up on the apron. The referee is distracted, meanwhile Ernest Miller leaps to the top rope and springboards into one of his flying kicks, taking Adams out. Glacier waits for Adams to rise then slaps an Oriental Spike on him to put him out. Cut to commercial.

We are "treated" to yet another replay of Hogan's political announcement. I'm going to take a pee... Oh yeah...cut to commercial.

Kendall Windham vs. Kenny Kaos - funny thing - I thought Kenny was one-half of the tag champs, but then he got beat up by the nWo one night and I guess that's all it took to remove him from the team. Who replaced him? uh...Judy Bagwell..? Kaos starts strong in this one. He dominates the big Texan for several exchanges. Then he knocks Windham out to the floor and gets caught following him out. Windham gets in a few shots then tries to run Kaos into the steps - but Kenny blocks it. Back in the ring, Windham re-asserts his initiative for a while then Kenny comes back strong once again. He gets a couple of pin attempts - no cigar - then Windham hits a swinging neck-breaker - no small feat considering that Kaos has no neck! Kaos comes back with a belly-to-belly suplex then springboards off the top rope to hit a lariet worthy of a Windham. He gets the pin. Pretty good match, actually. Cut to commercial.

Jerry Flynn vs. Stevie Ray (w/Horace/Vincent/Scott Norton) - The odds don't look good for young Mr. Flynn. Stevie proceeds to pound him into the mat then stands him up and mows him down with a clothesline. Before very long Horace is getting involved but that just seems to fire Flynn up. He lays into Stevie with martial arts kicks and ties him up for a minute or so. Then he gets knocked to the outside and punked. Back in the ring, a shaky Flynn is grabbed in a bearhug. He rings Stevie's bell to escape then gets in a couple of more kicks before Stevie employs his own talented feet then gets a Slap Jack and the pin. Cut to commercial.

Juventud Guerrera vs. Rey Misterio, Jr. - Cruiserweight Title contenders' match - the two sportsmen shake hands before the match. This is one of the few opponents that Guerrera outweighs. On the other hand it is one of the few opponents who doesn't outweigh Misterio by all that much. Both are wrestling cautiously, on the mat to start. When that doesn't seem to benefit either of them they start trading forearm blows then Juvey suplexes his opponent onto the top rope. Now they start to open up - Rey takes to the air and gets a flying headscissors take down that sends Juvey tumbling out to the floor. Juvey is struggling to rise as we cut to commercial.

Back in the ring, Rey Misterio is putting the boots to Juvey in the corner as we return. Juvey comes back with an Atomic Drop then hits a back round kick. On the mat, he puts a surfboard on Rey. Rey escapes, they criss-cross and both go for a tilt-a-whirl and block each other's efforts. Misterio finally gets the move but Juvey comes roaring back and gets a suplex of his own. Juvey hesitates just a moment and blows his opportunity for a pin. Afterward he pauses, disgusted with himself. Rey is on the move again and they struggle with his attempt at a Frankensteiner, Rey finally gets the move on but Juvey kicks out immediately. Rey slaps on a head scissors on the mat. Juvey escapes and rolls out to the floor. He is clearly frustrated. Rey feints a baseball slide but reverses his momentum at the last moment as Juvey moves aside. Juvey wanders a round for a moment then returns to the ring. The match is going great guns again when the bell rings. The time limit has expired. The referee declares overtime and off we go again. Rey starts out with multiple forearm shots then bounces off the ropes and right into a tilt-a-whirl back breaker. Rey roars right back and gets a takedown then climbs the corner. He hesitates - is Juvey playing possum? He launches a leg drop...and misses. The match see-saws and goes out to the floor then right back to the ring. Rey is out on his feet so Juvey mounts the corner, and Rey is right behind him. He comes up under Juvey who reverses the field and gets a sunset-flip powerbomb. He goes for a pin but no cigar. Moments later he gets the Juvey Driver but then he stops to pose and takes way too long to climb the corner. Rey gets up and upsets his balance. Then he positions him on the top turnbuckle, climbs up and Frankensteiners him to the mat. Misterio gets the pin and the Title shot. Great match! Cut to commercial.

Chavo Guerrero, Jr. (w/Pepe) vs. Kidman - Cruiserweight Title match - Kidman has little patience with Chavo's horsey nonsense. He goes right to work on the left arm. He bars the arm and hangs on as Chavo tries repeatedly to throw him off. Chavo finally escapes and now it is his turn to pour on the action. He grabs a headlock and gets a snapmare takedown, lays in some heavy shots in order to ground his high-flying opponent. He executes a powerslam but fails to get a pin. Kidman is out of it for the moment so Chavo decides to go ride Pepe for a bit as we cut to commercial.

Guerrero is still in charge as we return - he uses Pepe as a weapon which serves to fire Kidman up. Kidman turns up the heat and wins the next few exchanges then runs right into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Chavo slaps on a reverse chinlock. He releases the hold after a moment and smashes Kidmans face in the corner pad. Then flings him to the opposite corner and catches him on the rebound with a high knee lift. He applies a modified STF for a bit then releases that hold and goes for a whip and a back elbow. The match see-saws as each man takes to the air, then Chavo causes Kidman to miss a drop-kick. He has the advantage but Chavo is riding his horse again. He stops long enoug to deliver a drop-kick to the prone Champion. Kidman recovers and is back into the fight - it's back in see-saw mode. Kidman gets a powerbomb but can't really follow up because he is exhausted. Chavo comes back with a flying bulldog but doesn't get the pin. Kidman is on his feet and ready to mount the top when the LWO hits the ring and starts to attack him. Chavo is up and lending a hand but they are being overwhelmed. Eddie hits the ring and gets between his nephew and the thugs. Rey Misterio also shows up and accidently drop-kicks Kidman (much as Kidman hit him by mistake on Monday night). They clear the ring together but still haven't acknowledged each other's presense as we cut to commercial.

Kanyon (w/Raven) vs. Dean Malenko - the sole wrestling member of the Horsemen (Mongo brawls) makes his entrance and then we cut to commercial.

The bell sounds as we return. Malenko chain wrestles to grab the initiative and keeps to the strategy as the match progresses. Raven just looks depresses at ringside as this goes on. Kanyon starts taking shortcuts to turn the tables then backs it up with several heavy shots. Malenko is struggling now on the receiving end. Kanyon grabs a sleeper but Malenko suplexes his way out of it. Both guys are down. Malenko recovers and starts putting the boots to his opponent in the corner. He switches to forearms the Kanyon escaps the barrage and delivers another suplex. He applies a rear chinlock - sleeper. Malenko sinks to his knees the struggles back up again. Kanyon gets a swinging neck-breaker and a two-counts. He hesitates in his climb to the top, throws a splash...and misses. Malenko connects with a drop-kick then a corner whip. He whips to the opposite corner then rushes into a boot. Kanyon is in control again but then is distracted when Raven walks away. He goes for the Flatliner but Malenko blocks it and goes for the Texas Cloverleaf. Kanyon scoots to the ropes to avoid the turnover. The match see-saws again and Malenko almost gets the Cloverleaf - but Lodi jumps up on the apron and distracts him. Kanyon and Lodi attack in concert then Chris Benoit runs in and clears the ring. Cut to commercial.

Konnan vs. The Giant - considering the beating Konnan took the other night, and the size differential - this has to be a squash. Konnan is formidible but...pleeeease! The Giant dominates him from the opening bell. Konnan gets a a little offense by ducking a big shot but then he tries to pick the Giant up - and gets fallen on. The Giant executes a Russian Leg Sweep that had to hurt. Konnan rolls out to the floor. The Ginat follows him out and keeps the pressure on. He manhandles him with authority then slams him on the saftey mat. Now he has a table and sets it up by the corner post. He stands Konnan up and rushes him. Konnan ducks away and the Giant destroys the table. Konnan grabs a chair and lays into the big guy with a vengence. He goes back to the ring as the Ginat struggles to his feet, then splits when his opponent re-enters the ring. Engaged Giant chokeslams the referee and we fade to black.

I'll be back Sunday for Survivor Series with the Interactive PPV Report. Until then...

At least that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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