May has been an exciting month for yours truly. I've found the most beautiful girl in the world, and I got cable put on in my bedroom. This allows me to access Nitro, Raw and Heat plus WCW pay-per-views on my TV.
As the second Saturday in May comes around, the first wrestling show that I will be able to view will be on. WCW Monday Nitro. I have heard that the show is not as good as it used to be, but I am the eternal optimist and I'm looking forward to it. My first full wrestling show that I've viewed in over two years!
Nitro starts poorly. The TNT announcer promotes the event by saying "The Nitro Girls are still in good form on Nitro, check them out next here on TNT." Great, I've just paid my hard earned money to watch dancing girls! I sincerely hope that there will be some wrestling on tonight!
We start with Flair and friends in a car, Flair obviously is waiting for a cue to start talking, (is sports entertainment that bad?). We then see the bus with Flair's co-inmates at the mental hospital. Great! Then to highlights of last week's show (more like a soap opera isn't it!) and then to a guy named Ricky Rachmann. Obviously we all want to see the fans and some guy with a microphone more than some action, I knew my reasons for getting cable were wrong! Silly me thinking that there would be some wrestling on tonight!
When Rachmann finishes we go to the ring, OK! We're going to get some action at last. Oops, silly me, Nitro Girls. If I want to look at beautiful girls I'll look at my girlfriend thank-you.
Some talk from the announcers. I can kind of hack this because they actually know something about wrestling (I think)! We get a video of a girl named Gorgeous George and they aren't kidding! The video flashes very quickly but the killer shot is the fourth one, where she is leaning over a barrier and then arches her back and throws her head in the same direction. I can see a lot of young boys getting their first crush on her! Anyway, there's a commercial, let's get to the action!
We come back to Rachmann and a car driver in the Winston Cup. I prefer V8 Supercars myself, so this doesn't get my attention. Where exactly is the skill in driving in a circle anyway?
A match? About time! The set is new to me. Well, much water can pass under a bridge and I suppose WCW can upgrade their image! Wrong, here come the Armstrong's! No image upgrade has occurred! A couple of things I notice as the Tag-Champs come out to play. The music seems more guitar based! And there are entrance videos, just like WWF, only really, really poor.
The Armstrong's evidently won a match last week, well; beating one guy can't be that hard! You know when a promotion is doing badly when jobbers get to do some talking (Salvatore Sincere springs to mind!). An ordinary match is finished by a stunning move by Rey Misterio Jr. Many people enter the ring and beat each other up. I've never understood why they are allowed to do this. Oh well, one match down, and a top class finisher. If they got that one wrong we'd have needed the medic's out there! More ads, great!
Buff Bagwell is next, so this is an easy match to predict as Bagwell has a match at Slambouree. Finish when Oono comes into the ring and hits Miller rather than Bagwell (funny, I thought that a manager in the ring caused an automatic DQ!). Not a very exciting match. Come to think of it, it hasn't been an exciting card, so far!
What the..........., a DJ at the wrestling? Come on!!
Flair's next - excuse me while I fall asleep here, Okerlund is up for the interview, Mean Gene is only there I believe because they paid him too much and signed him to a contract that was too long. Anyway, the interview only gets interesting when Macho Man comes out. This is good for three reasons.
Savage makes his way to the ring with GG, Medusa and Debra McMichaels, sorry, that's Miss Madness '99. The last time that I saw a woman in a long dress wearing a pageant sash was Debra. It actually gets real interesting when Sting and Goldberg get it on. Heenan actually says something intelligent when he say that the two should be left alone and get it on. I agree. It's been best action of the night.
Flair want's Kevin Nash taken out, by the NWO B-Team. Who exactly constitutes the A-Team??
Hardcore match between Hak and Bam Bam next. Forgive me as I turn off as this action repulses me severely. I cannot believe that this can be classed as entertainment. I come back to TNT, with Bigalow out of it. I suppose WCW Hardcore matches are anything goes and no DQ, but Nick Patrick is no dummy and correctly stops it. One day one of the big promotions doesn't get up because we have a serious injury, or perhaps worse. We can all relax though because it's only entertainment!
Konnan comes out next to face Horace. Another change I've noticed is that the Mexican's have lost their masks and are dressing as late '80's homeys! A good standard match but when Konnan puts on the Tequila Sunrise he lets it go and gets up, WITHOUT looking to see if anyone was coming. I've since learnt that he did the same thing last week. Either he has good peripheral vision or it was in the scripts, but that can't be true can it?
Flair gives his son a match against Meng, this is obviously a payback for when his son signed him to the nut house, Flair Senior couldn't beat Meng!
Quick scenes then occur, Flair talks to a guy who looks like he's on steroids. Dancing girls who can't dance, dance to music that went out of fashion in 1985, and Lex Luger starts a press conference but is snowed over by a bad cable feed that was obviously generated from the control room. Pretty poor guys!
Flair Jr. Vs Meng, oh please!
Okerlund earns his big bucks when he interviews DDP. Has anyone else noticed that the only two guys in pro wrestling who use the Diamond Cutter/Stone Cold Stunner are the World Champs? There's something to think about when you start your pro career. Page obviously doesn't like being booed, he just has to be though so he can be champ at this stage. More girls, more poor dancing.
A good match up for the TV Title match is next, until Stevie Ray and Rick Steiner come in and prematurely finish the match. I wonder when someone's going to decide that too many matches are stopped through interference and every match will be either a cage match or there will be a second ref outside the ring. How about using a video ref?
The night ends with a title match between Flair and DDP. It is sad to see how Flair's skills have remained so 80's, and it's also sad to see DDP, make Flair look good. I start the BBQ during the match as Flair is throwing so many chops, he must have done it at least 20 times! A sad ending when Page has to use Brass Knuckles to win. He could have finished that match in a heartbeat!
So the action ends 27 minutes early. Either I've missed ads or action and I certainly hope it was ads that I missed. I've been force fed WWF Superstars for the past year now and I must admit, though that though it's the best of Raw is War, it absolutely kicks Nitro's rear end. I am not surprised that Nitro's ratings are down because the show was pretty B-Grade!!
Will I tune in next week? Sure, I've been starved of wrestling for two years now and I'm not about to bypass 2 1/2 hours of entertainment in a hurry. But it had better improve in the next few weeks of else I'll go find some action somewhere else.
What channel is Raw on again? Stuart Capel is a regular reader of Solie's newsletter who lives in Black Rock, Victoria, Australia. A university student who works part time at Brisbane Lions Football Club, Stuart an avid fan of wrestling who, until recently, could only get Superstars editions with the phone sex advertisements. He desparately hopes the Cleveland Indians can win the world series.
By Nate Albaugh
This is the 3rd time WCW has been here since 1997. The attendance for this show easily surpassed the past few shows, and there is just more and more people watching wrestling than you could ever believe. The place was pretty pumped up. Local news was here capitalizing on wrestling. Here is a recap of my night:
My brother and I had front row tickets, due to my dad standing in line for a lottery drawing. He had a great draw, getting us the good tickets (there wern't many people there. 10:00 on a Wednesday morning). We invited my two cousins, who are also huge pro wrestling fans (one's a huge dumb mark, the other one, is well a mark--but a horseman fan!). We headed for Vets at about 6:15 and arrived at 6:30 to a sea of Wolfpack, Sting, Goldberg and even Austin 3:16 tee-shirts. We took our seats at about 6:45 or so. In case you have never seen Pro Wrestling in person, the ring is much smaller than how it appears on TV. I think Sting is easily more popular than Goldberg right now--or so it seems. We talked to an event staffer. He told us we can stand up before and after the match--not during. We asked him about any surprises to the card, he said yes. Turned out a few DJ's from Lazer 103.3 radio station. Lazer is a local station here that plays Mancow in the morning. There DJ also runs wrestling parties at Hooters every monday night, and sponsors some PPV parties. Dave Penzer came out at about 7:35 or so and got us ready.
The local radio DJ's pumped the crowd, Penzer said the usual rules, and the action started. "Penzer is a pimp" "Penzer is a fag" chants. LOL, us Albaugh's and Agan's.
Match 1: El Vampiro vs. Chris Adams - I got to slap high fives with Adams. Adams played the heel throughout the match. Stalling, smiling, playing the crowd were some of the things Adams attempted to do. Of course we heckled (why not--we did have first row seats. In fact, we heckled all night). See saw action. Vampiro had a chance to win it, but to no avail. Vampiro would do a Juvy Driver, but Adams kicked out at 2 1/2. A lot of near falls. Adams scored a win with a Super Kick. Vampiro shrugged it off after the match, and said the ref was counting slow. Match went about 10-12 minutes.
Match 2: Silver King and LaParka vs. Super Calo and Dandy - The crowd was pretty much only interested in LaParka's dancing, and oh yeah, I can't forget the ring girls. We had the same one right in front of us before the matches all night long. She was extremely hot and pretty cool as well. She would only be down a few minutes before every match, but hey, don't you just love those black skin tight pants :-) She told us she doesnt watch wrestling, but Goldberg's "The man". Calo and Dandy played heels, and often tried to start a chant---it didn't work. No one cared about the two of them. On the other hand, Silver King and LaParka were pretty over. Parka and Silver King took the match. Chants of "Silver King" during the match as well--not much though. Calo and Dandy complained after the match, as LaParka strutted some more. A little over 10 minutes again. More talking to the ring girl :-)
Match 3: Jerry "Lightning Foot" Flynn vs. Hugh Morrus - This is the only match I didn't take pictures during. This is also the match that I barely saw. I went to the concession stand (it seems like a lot of people in the place had the same idea) and bought a "Hot Dog Combo". A hot dog, fries and a medium pop for 4 dollars!!!! Morrus won the match with a "no laughing matter" moonsault from the top rope. Didn't seem like there was a lot of heat for either man.
Match 4: Raven vs. Hak (Hardcore Match) - Hak entered first. No Chastity. He cried about not having his cane. He cried and cried some more. It came off pretty lame. He said Raven was responsible for his missing cane. BTW, he was wearing a Sandman shirt (I presume a shirt sold in ECW). Raven came out to a rather large ovation. Sandman told Raven he stole his cane "because I have your sister". Raven said that's ok "because I had your mom". LOL. Match was decent. Raven used a mop a lot. Hak took out a ladder, a guard rail, and other devices. They threw each other on a lot of things, and a steal chair was used. Raven won the match with an even flow DDT. They kind of seemed uninspired. Maybe it's because they have to wrestle the same way night after night. Nonetheless, it was pretty entertaining.
Intermission. About 20 or 30 minutes. Talked to some people in the crowd. Saw my boss from work. Chatted with the event staff again. Noticed how poorly WCW's lineup card was for the show. On the slip of paper it said "Tag Team Action" featuring Chris Benoit vs. Dean Malenko vs. Rey Mysterio Jr vs. Kidman. Also a lucha libre tag featuring LaParka, Jerry Flynn and Lizmark Jr vs. Psychosis, Hugh Morrus and Silver King. LOL. The new issue of WCW magazine is pretty good actually. Sting is on the cover and it goes over Sting's entire career dating back to tag teaming with the Warrior, forming the Blade Runners. Seems like Jericho, Disco and K-Dawg have a little feud going on in the magazine as well :)
Match 5: Konnan vs. Disco Inferno - Disco got huge "Disco Sucks" chants. Disco played the crowd awesomley as a heel. "I judged a beauty pagent today with Des Moines finest women, and the highest score was a 0. You suck!". Disco tried dancing about 5 times, but the music was cut off. Huge heat for Disco!! "Fine, you don't get to see the Disco Inferno dance---your loss". Konnan came down, BTW, I'm digging his music. He did the usual. "Your gonna bow down, toss my salad and peal my potatoes". The ring girl cracked up. Huge heat in this match! Disco sucks chants were huge! Disco took a fans beer during the match and was about ready to chug it (ala Stone Cold) but Konnan didn't allow it. Beer on the crowd, went to the right of me. Konnan won using Disco's chartbuster. The security guard gave the fan a tee-shirt in compinsation for there beer. I think it was a Wolfpack shirt.
Match 6: Rey Mysterio Jr and Kidman vs. Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko w/Arn Anderson - Solid face heat for the faces. Horseman got healthy heel heat. A lot of "Hoseman Suck" chants. Anderson played the crowd well. BTW, Anderson's last match was in Des Moines in the January 1997 Nitro. He tagged with Mongrel against the Amazing French Canadains. AA and the Horseman wouldn't even acknowledge the people holding up the 4 fingers of excellence, but hey, they were staying in character :) Mysterio had his son with him--it was his birthday. He promised his son he would kick the horseman's ass! Anderson told Mysterio's kid, it may be your birthday, but it's going to be your daddy's funeral! Good stuff. Hot match. Kidman was pounded a lot, before he made the hot tag to Mysterio. See saw action with a number of close falls. AA was cheating for the horseman. Kidman and Benoit were fighting in front of us, as Mysterio made a quick pin on Malenko. I missed it! Real good match! Seemed like about 15 minutes.
Match 7: Sting vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair - "Whooooooooooooooooo" chants all night long, especially during this match. Charles Robinson was the referee. He played the crowd very well. Big pop for Sting, and for Flair. Pretty good match. Flair called people "Fat boy." He told people "I'll make a woman out of your wife!". Sting and Flair did the usual. Flair was tossed over the ring post, then clothslined onto the floor. One time in the match, Flair bumped into Robinson, Robinson fell down, and Flair responded "get your ass up right now!" Sting had a flying body press and a pin, but Robinson faked a shoulder injury. Sting with another pinfall, but "Lil Naitch" would not count. Sting would give Robinson the death drop. Referee Billy Silverman came in, as Sting hit the death drop on Flair for the 1-2-3. Sting wins. A kid who looked about 8 years old at this point threw a cup with ice in it at Flair (he was wearing a Sting shirt). Security starting getting on the kid's father.
It was a pretty good show. May not seem like it on paper--but solid. Some pretty entertaining stuff. Show went until 10:00, so about 2 1/2 hour show. Good time. A lot of marks in the crowd, of course. I really dug that ring girl :-)
Of course, the pop-o-meter:
Biggest Face Response:
Biggest Heel Response:
Most Heat overall:
RAW is WAR should be here sometime this summer, if the trend from 1997 and 1998 holds. Look for another sell out, and another report :-)
Nate Albaugh is a longtime reader of Solie's Vintage Wrestling. Currently a Sports Forum Assistant Manager on the Microsoft Network, mainly monitoring the Pro Wrestling Discussion Board, and chatting with the fans as time permits, Nate writes for his school newspaper and desires to be involved with Journalism in his adult life. He lives in Des Moines.
Thunder was pre-taped in Wichita, Kansas.
Mike Tenay opens the show then throws it to Mean Gene at the foot of the ramp. Okerlund calls Buff Bagwell out for an interview. He notes Bagwell's new attitude. Bagwell says he wasn't surprised by Scott Steiner's perfidy but Rick's heel turn was a shock. He also addresses the Macho Man - challenging him to a match tonight. That should be fun. Cut to a video montage from Slamboree then to commercial.
More video replay of Slamboree - the Rick Steiner heel turn is explored. This followed by footage from the TV Title rematch that didn't happen on Nitro.
Rick Steiner vs. Scott (the Putz) Putski - TV Title match - Steiner wears a Wolfpac t-shirt to the ring. This match is a throw-away for Steiner. Putski would be way over-matched against the Road Dogg - let alone the Dogface Gremlin. Steiner just mauls the youngster for several minutes without even trying. After about 16 two-counts, Rick finally hits an off-the-top bulldog then applies an elbow-lock submission hold to take the win. Cut to commercial.
Some of the Horsemen are holding a conference as we return. Ric Flair calls Barry Horowitz over and tells him to job to David tonight. He says David will use a figure four to win - in return he gets a long term contract with WCW. Barry seems a little hesitent until Flair suggests that Benoit and Malenko might come back and "talk to him" in the dressing room. David is being groomed as a Horsemen according to Flair.
Juventude Guerrera vs. Kidman - Tenay announces that Hollywood Hogan will make an appearance on Nitro this Monday night as the wrestlers enter the ring. Both guys start out pretty cautious - probably a good idea since they are almost evenly matched. Guerrera is playing up his "tweener" status, showboating a lot to counter Kidman's babyface attitude. After the first couple of exchanges they begin to fly. Juvey is the first victim, getting knocked to the floor and then splashed as we cut to commercial.
Kidman is still in charge as we return. He gets a suplex and a two count. He grabs a reverse chinlock for a moment then releases him for a whip. Juvey wins that encounter then turns to showboat some more. He stands Kidman in the corner and pounds down on him until Kidman turnsd it into a powerbomb. Juvey roars back and knocks Kidman to the floor. Kidman slowly rolls back in, Juvey goes for a piledriver (or maybe a powerbomb) but gets back dropped instead. Juvey again surprises us by coming right back. They struggle for position and Kidman ends up on the apron and is neck-snapped to the floor. Juvey follows him out and rolls him back in then goes to the top. He flies and is drop-kicked out of the air. More move and counter-move then Juvey is placed on the top corner. Kidman climbs up but is knocked back down. Juvey stands but is upset by Kidman then slammed to the mat. Kidman gets a two count and we are firmly in see-saw mode until Juvey gets a missle drop-kick to the back of the head of his opponent. He tries to climb again but is caught and powerbombed. Again he roars back and thinks he has a Juvey driver - but Kidman wiggles free and gets a cradle and a surprise pinfall. Great match. Cut to commercial.
Kaz Hayashi vs. Rey Misterio, Jr. - Cruiserweight Title match - right...this guy has beat who to earn a title shot..? We just had a terrific battle between two top Cruiserweights - then this clown in the Glacier suit gets the title match... Rey is outweighed slightly in this one and he does his best to make Hayashi look good while the crowd boos every move the challenger makes, and wildly cheers Rey's every counter. Randy Savage appears in the middle of the match with his female entourage. He rants at Rey as he approaches the ring. Meanwhile Rey is caught in a chinlock. Savage climbs onto the apron then goes back to the floor. He reminds us that Misterio beat Kevin Nash a while back and then states that he wants Rey on his "team". He queries his companion, Miss Madness, about whether Misterio is "the man". She agrees that he is. In the ring Hayashi is still dominating the action as we cut to commercial.
The tables have turned as we return. Rey hits a Frankensteiner off the top and takes the pin. Savage enters the ring and makes a speech telling Rey he has a very important decision to make. He wants Rey to join him in plotting the downfall of the WCW World Champ. Rey appears to consider it seriously and then tells Savage how much he admires him but "no thanks..." Savage asks him to reconsider. Rey stands firm and gets clotheslined. Rey comes back with a shoulder to the sternum then a springboard drop kick. GG jumps on his back then Savage hits him again. Kidman runs in and knocks Savage down but then Medusa kicks him in the head. Savage piledrives him. Now Konnan runs in and knocks Savage down again. GG attacks him (she certainly is a feisty little thing...), Medusa lends a hand (even MM drops an elbow but misses) - Savage gets him with the big elbow and we cut to commercial. Savage-3, everybody else-zip.
Video from the Tag Team title match on Nitro this week. That just may have been the best Nitro match of the year. It was certainly the best match on Monday night this week.
Horace/Vincent vs. Raven/Saturn (w/Kanyon) - World Tag Team Title match - what is this...jobbers' title shot night? (I'm looking forward to Silver King's World Title shot against Kevin Nash later...) As usual, the Tag Champs' teamwork is superb. The competition all muscle - and not enough of that...except maybe between the ears... In the middle of the match - Kanyon changes places with Raven! The referee blythly allows this inanity. Saturn and Kanyon seem equally comfortable with each other but then Raven reclaims his place on the apron after one exchange. By now the nWo guys are making a little headway which can't possibly last. Horace holds the advantage by the skin of his finger (in Saturn's eye) then hands it off to Vincent. They manage to isolate Saturn for a moment or two then toss him to the floor for some railing shots. Back inside Horace grabs a sleeper which Saturn reverses but is knocked down. He gets the tag to Raven who cleans house. Kanyon passes in a chair which Raven uses in his usual fashion but fails to get the pin. Horace tries to use the chair but brains his partner instead. Saturn gets a DVD and takes the pin. Cut to commercial.
Video clips from Nash's and Bret Hart's appearances on the Tonight show. They will meet in the ring on the Tonight show stage this coming Monday night. More commercials.
Back to Nitro - President Flair instructs Buddy Lee Parker to throw the match against David and he does...
David Flair (w/El Presidente) vs. Barry Horowitz - as with the last such "contest" - Horowitz seems determined to win the match but, at the appropriate moment, he runs his knee into the corner and sets himself up for the figure four. Tenay is telling us that Charles Robinson was hospitalized overnight with a collapsed lung after taking a Savage elbow drop on Monday. I heard that that story is true - Savage has been protecting his bum wheel during his flying elbows and consequently has been actually hurting people with it. Cut to commercial.
More Nitro footage. Savage confronts Piper and Bischoff with his demand for a title shot then punks them both. Later he interfere's in DDP's match with Nash then paints the Champion's face with lipstick. Cut to commercial.
Disco Inferno vs. Curt Hennig - this match is ripe for another Randy Savage attack. The Macho Man interfered in Hennig's match on Monday with Nash's apparent friend Konnan. Disco is, as Tenay reminds us, one of the few remaining Wolfpac members still active. Hennig needs no help here, however. He easily outwrestles the "Dancin' Fool" early on. Disco gets a little offense then walks right into Hennig's knee lift...yep - here comes Savage and Co. He walks right into the ring and is attacked by Disco. Hennig just stands aside and watches as Disco is surrounded and creamed. Savage exposes the concrete floor then rubs Disco's face into it then rolls him back into the ring. Before he can finish his dirty work, Buff Bagwell runs in and attacks from behind.
Buff Bagwell vs. Randy Savage - the two crips get it on. Bagwell holds the initiative at first by dint of his surprise appearance (to nobody but Savage...) As usual Bagwell can't string two moves together without stopping to pose. Not a good idea against the Macho Man. His lack of focus eventually lands him in hot water. Medusa hits him a couple times to distract him and Savage is right on his injured neck. The fight goes to the floor where the Macho Man is busily taking Buff apart as they are counted out. Medusa passes a chair to Savage who uses it on Bagwell's neck. The girls hold the chair over Buff's throat for him as he climbs the corner - but Security guys rush in a prevent him from lauching himself. He is laying into the goons as we fade to black.
I'll be back on Sunday. Please join me for the Interactive Over the Edge Report. Until then...
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.
Copyright 1999 - Jump City Productions