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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

Monday Night Wars Edition: Part 1

Nitro Report

Bret Hart Returns to Action

The Way I See It...

Opinion by Earl Oliver

Volume 4, Issue 416 - January 25, 1999

Nitro Report

We open with a scene from Thunder - Vincent insists on being called "Vince" from now on. He can't swallow the RAW eggs and he's being watched...

The announcers show us a tape of Curt Hennig abd Stevie Ray conferring about something, then they are confronted by the rest of the B-Team - Stevie is dressed like "The Rock" in a $500 shirt and plans to have a statement concerning the Wolf Pack later. Cut to Ric Flair at one of the concession stands where he is putting Bischoff to work selling T-shirts. He wants him to go out and sell stuff in the arena as well. Cut to some Nitro Grrrl action, then to the opening montage, then to commercial.

Nitro is live tonight from the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. Tony talks about Kimberly's problems with Scott Steiner and then takes us to a video review of the situation. Back to the nWo B-Team still arguing among themselves.

Al Green vs. Disco Inferno - Green starts out aggressively with his superior size and power then is clotheslined to the floor. He mounts the apron then turns back to confront the crowd. Disco knocks him onto the railing. Back in the ring, Disco has the advantage from the get-go. Green finally comed back with a butterfly suplex then charges into the corner and misses. He charges to the center of the ring and misses again - Disco hits the chartbuster and gets the win. Back to the B-Team - trying to sort out some transportation to th arena for the Wolf Pack. Hogan and company arrive in a Lear Jet. Stevie talks to them and they, in turn, attack Curt Hennig, with the B-Team's assistance. They head out in a limo, followed by compact models for the B-Team. Cut to commercial.

More byplay with the nWo then cut to the arena where Bam Bam Bigalow is toting a ladder to the ring. He sets it up and then starts a rant about wanting a piece of Goldberg - but first he wants to get his revenge on Scott Hall for using the tazer on him. He eludes to his tour of ECW, calling himself "Hard Core" and "Extreme" - he wants to have a ladder/tazer match with Hall. In the back the nWo are having a good laugh. Cut to the concession stand where Bischoff is trying to short change a customer. Doug Dillenger sets it straight. Cut to commercial.

Mean Gene welcomes President Ric Flair to the ring. He reiterates his challenge to Hogan for the SuperBrawl card. He mentions what the Horsemen did to Horace last week and then turns his attention to Bret Hart and announces that Hart will have a Title defense at SuperBrawl...but first he will face Booker T tonight. He announces that there will be another Tag Team Tournament match tonight and says there will be a "wall of wrestlers" to prevent the Outsiders from interfering. Then he sets a six-man match tonight with the Horsemen vs. Hogan and two partners. As we go to commercial we see suspended referee Scott Dickenson sitting at ringside with a faraway look on his face.

Scenes from Souled Out - Bigalow gets "tazed"

Scott Hall and Disco Inferno come out carrying a ladder between them. Hall also has his shock stick. They set up the ladder in the aisle and climb it together. Then they climb down and continue to the ring. The hook descends from the rafters then Hall gets the mic. He accepts the ladder match for tonight.

Scott Hall vs. Bam Bam Bigalow - Tazer/Ladder match - Hall throws his toothpick in Bigalow's face and gets clobbered for his trouble. Hall comes back with a flurry of punches, catches Bigalow rushing into the corner then bulldogs him. Bigalow comes back with a headbutt then gets tripped by Disco on the second go round. The referee ejects Disco for interfering with Bigalow in pursuit. Hall blindsides him and they fight in the aisle with the ladder getting involved. Bigalow gets the upperhand and sets the ladder up - but when he tries to fling Hall into it he is reversed. Hall returns them, and the ladder to the ring and flings Bam Bam into it - but then Bigalow rushes out of the corner and bowls Hall over. Hall falls out of the ring and is prevented momentarily from re-entering. He finally gets back into the ring and turns the table. He is punishing Bam Bam with the ladder as we cut to commercial.

Bigalow is in charge as we return but Hall turns the tables again almost immediately. He sets up the ladder and climbs it in the corner then drops himself (and the ladder) onto his opponent. Then he sets the ladder up for the climb but Bigalow overturns the ladder before he can get to the tazer. He scoop-slams Hall then sets up the ladder off center, climbs up[and drops a headbutt. he hurts Hall but also his own back. Hall drops him again with a low blow then starts up the ladder. he has to kick out at Bogalow, then drops an elbow from halfway up. Hall sets the ladder up again - the ladder is very wobbly. Bigalow catches him halfway up and suplexes him off the ladder. Now it is Bigalow trying to make the climb, but Hall drop-kicks the ladder and Bigalow tumbles to the mat. Hall is reeling as he ties to position the ladder once more. Hall actually touches the tazer but Bigalow pulls the ladder out from under him. Bigalow climbs the ladder and gets the tazer - but Disco is there and gives Hall a second tazer! He retreats ponly to run into Goldberg in the aisle. Disco is speard then Goldberg runs to the ring and gets a hold of both tazers and shocks both competitors! Scott Norton hits the ring, and Goldberg. The thugs make there getaway before Goldberg recovers. We see Chick Norris at ringside as we cut to commercial. That was a pretty good ladder match - better then the one at Souled Out, actually.

Mean Gene interviews Bret Hart in the locker room. He objects to having to wrestle Booker T tonight - calls him a "loser". He says that El Dandy is more deserving of a Title shot. He also mentions Psychosis. Then he turns his guns on Dean Malenko, saying that his (Malenko's) injury is a phoney one. The "wall of wrestlers" strolls out to the ring to protect the Tag Team Title tournament. It's a bunch of jobbers and mid-carders, of course.

The First Family (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Fit Finley/Dave Taylor - Tag Team Title tournament match - Barbarian starts with Finley and dominates the first exchange then gives up the initiative. Finley beats him down and gets a two-count. Meng comes in and runs right over Finley. Finley finally turns the tables and tags Taylor in. They double clothesline him to the mat then Taylor continues the assault. Meng turns the tables again and tags the Barbarian in. Taylor gets pounded. Finley tries to interfere but is ineffective. Meng tags in and Taylor is in real trouble. No sign of the nWo yet. In the ring, Taylor is trying (and failing) to take Meng down with a sunset flip. Finley comes in and gouges the eyes to turn the tables. He makes the mistake of pounding on Meng's head and is overwhelmed again. Barfbarian comes in and is knocked to the floor where the "wall of wrestlers" grab him and roll him back in. Tayler tags in and falls victim to his opponent's double headbutt. Jimmy Hart throws his own body into the corner to save the Barbarian, who repays the favor by demolishing Taylor and getting the pin. Cut to scenes from the Tournament match on Thunder - Brian Adams and Horace win by virtue of Vince's inteference. Cut to commercial.

Nitro Grrrrls on the platform.

Video of Saturn wrestling Al Green in a dress (Saturn, not Green...)

Norman Smiley vs. Perry Saturn - backstage, security has been delegated to keep Scott Steiner out of the Grrrls dressing room. Saturn still wears his little red number. Dress or no dress, Saturn dominates the action in the early going. Smiley suplexes his way out of a side headlock and turns the tables for a while. He turns to taunt the crowd and gets blindsided but Smiley hangs in there and gets a powerslam. He applies a rear chinlock. Saturn is fighting out of it as we cut to commercial.

Saturn has a sleeper as we return. Smiley suplexes out of that one as well. He puts the boots to Saturn then executes his wind-up slam and gets a two count. Saturn comes back with a roll-up and gets a two count of his own. Smiley turns the tables with a clothesline then starts throwing punches and forearms. A whip and they collide head-to-head. Both are down. Smiley recovers and puts Saturn down again. He stops for the big wiggle then puts on a verticle suplex. Another two count. Smiley stands Saturn up at the ropes and uses his butt for the big wiggle. Bad idea... Saturn explodes all over him and gets a knee drop off the top. Now Saturn does the wiggle...then puts on the DVD and gets the pin. Another glimpse of Scott Dickenson, still looking out of it.

Mean Gene goes over to talk to Scott Dickenson. He disputes his suspension - says it was bogus. Dickenson abruptly stands up and splits. Cut to commercial.

There's Hershel Walker in the crowd. Cut to tape of Ric Flair's statements regarding Bret Hart.

Bret Hart vs Booker T - non-title match - Booker looks serious as he approaches the ring. There is bad blood between these two from previous run-ins. He chases Hart out of the ring. Hart comes back and wants to shake hands. Don't hold your breath... Booker is all over his opponent from the get-go. Hart rolls out to collect himself. Back in the ring, they lock up for a test of strength. Booker wins it but then is caught rushing into the corner. Hart is methodical and goes right to work. He tosses Booker to the floor then follows him out and continues the assault. He uses a camera cable as a weapon. Back in the ring and Booker is still on the receiving end. Booker comes back with a Harlem Side kick for a two count. Hart counters with a Russian leg sweep. Now he is working on the leg now, setting up for the Sharp Shooter. He grabs a figure four leg lock. Booker guts it out, refusing to submit. He is turning it over as we cut to commercial.

Hart re-applies the figure four as we return. Booker rolls out of it again but Hart is right on top of him. Booker comes back with a flying forearm off the whip then gets a big scissors kick. He follows with a verticle suplex then another Harlem Side Kick. A sidewalk slam is followed by a Harlem Hangover attempt that misses. Hart fgoes out to get his title belt, climbs the corner and tries to drop it on Booker, but gets a mouthful of boot instead. The fight goes to the floor where Booker keeps the initiative and pays Hart back for the TV cable bit earlier. He even brings it into the ring! Hart gets hold of his belt and waffles Booker with it to get the win. Another great match.

There's Jean-Claude Van Dam in the audience as we cut to the same tape of Scott Steiner from last week as we saw earlier. Followed by the same tape of DDP warning Steiner to stay away from Kimberly. Cut to commecial.

Bischoff is shown hawking foam fingers in the stands.

Scott Norton vs. Goldberg - Goldberg immediately man-handles Norton into a fireman's carry then applies a cross-arm breaker. Norton heads for the ropes to escape. Goldberg gets a powerslam then Norton returns the favor. But Goldberg pops right up and gets a side kick. Norton falls to the floor followed by Goldberg who is caught dropping from the apron and slammed into the railing. Norton picks Goldberg up and tries to ram him into the post - but Goldberg wiggles out of his grip and sends Norton crashing into the post instead. They trade punches then Norton gets a clothesline. He runs Goldberg onto the railing again then rolls him back inside. Norton comes in with a shoulder block off the top turnbuckle and gets a two count. Norton bulls his opponent into the corner and chops him good then flings him to the opposite corner. He goes for a powerbomb but Goldberg thwarts it and then spears him. Goldberg gets the Jack Hammer and the pin just before the nWo B-Team swarms. He cleans house with ease. The celebs climb in from ringside to congratulate the former Champ. That was a one of Goldberg's better outings. Cut to commercial.

Nitro Grrrrls on the platform as Scott Steiner invades the announcers' position. He takes a seat as the announcers nervously move away. Steiner gets up and leaves as the Grrrrls finish their routine. Cut to commercial.

Micheal Buffer introduces the main event.

The Horsemen (Flair/Benoit/McMichaels) vs The Wolf Pack (Hogan/Nash/Steiner) - six-man tag team match - this match is introduced with 20 minutes remaining in the program - a highly unusual occurence. Nash and Steiner do their usual schticks then Hogan rants way too long - also as usual. We cut to commercial before the Horsemens' entrance.

The Horsemen hit the ring and mayhem breaks loose immediately. The fight goes right to the floor. Flair chases Hogan back into the ring and has to contend with Nash and Hogan. But Benoit evens things out before the Horsemen are ejected. Things sort out to Benoit vs. Steiner. Steiner uses his weight advantage to mow Benoit down then press slams him onto his face. Benoit comes back and sidesteps a rush to the corner. He beats on Steiner then drives him from the ring. Steiner returns and tags in Nash. Benoits stands his ground and gets creamed. Nash drives his knee into Benoit in the corner but then he rushes in and gets posted. Mongo comes in and scoop slams Nash then drops an elbow. He tags Benoit who drops a headbutt from the top then goes for the pin. Hogan breaks it up. Benoit is put down by Nash and Hogan is tagged in. He taunts Flair who enters the ring for a moment. Steiner comes in and works on Benoit who is out of it. Nash tags back in and drops a big elbow on Benoit. He gets a sidewalk slam and goes for the pin but Mongo makes the save. Hogan tags in and puts a belly-to-back on Benoit as we cut to commercial.

Hogan is still working on Benoit as we return. Steiner comes in and mows him down then tries a cover with one foot on Benoit's chest. No cigar. Nash comes in and taunts Flair to get him to enter the ring again so they can doubleteam Benoit - but Flair gets too Nash and downs him! He is ejected from the ring and Benoit is still in trouble - now in the enemy corner. Hogan removes his belt and starts whipping Benoit who lies in the ring. Flair is livid and screaming. Hogan puts a verticle suplex on Benoit then chokes him on the mat. Nash tags in and stands Benoit in the corner so he can jam a boot into his throat. benoit gets a breather and heads for a tag but is cut off by Steiner who applies a bearhug then turns it into an overhead suplex. Hogan comes in for the cover but can't put Benoit away. He slams him and drops an elbow. Still no pin. He slams him again and then misses the leg drop. Benoit kmakes the tag to Flair who attacks Hogan only pausing to deliver a low blow on Steiner. Eric Bischoff shows up ringside with a foam finger concealing a 2 X 4. Nash waffles Flair with it. Bichoff has a set of hair clippers but doesn;t get to use them because suddenly WCW wrestlers swarm into the ring and drive the thugs off. As the Wolf Pack retreats they encounter Goldberg on the ramp and don't seem to be able to fight their way past him as we fade to black.

That was the best Nitro all year.

The Way I See It...

I received the folowing email message, from Solie's reader Bill Lawrence, immediately after the Royal Rumble PPV last night:

There were others that argued along the same lines.

I suppose it was inevitable, with the change in wrestling that tilts it more toward soap opera, that we would eventually get to a result such as the end of last night's Royal Rumble. In case you didn't see it, or read about it here (shame on you!! :-), Vince McMahon won the match.

Some would point to Hollywood Hogan's domination of the WCW World Title picture over the last 2 1/2 years as a harbinger of this trend, although to be fair, Hogan at least has defended (and even lost) his title occasionally...and always against top talent.

Mr. McMahon, by sitting ringside for most of the match and then stepping back into the ring right at the end, brought to mind the antics of Jerry "the King" Lawler a few years ago when he disappeared under the ring while a half dozen competitors came and went only to be outed and eliminated by Bret Hart. The difference was that Lawler's actions were meant to be seen as comic relief. He was never thought of as someone who would actually win the event.

In my opinion, McMahon's win last night serves to trivialize the athletic accomplishments of great performers like Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and even Ric Flair, who all entered the Battle Royal early on and then stuck it out to the end for their wins. Is it any wonder that the mainstream press tends to catagorize pro-wrestling as something other then sports?

At the very least he could have allowed one of his other "superstars" to collect the bounty on Stone Cold (and I don't mean the Rock...)

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter

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