Hey everyone! Welcome to the latest issue of Monday Night Recall. After the votes were tallied you all decided we’d be heading back in time to 1998. This week we’ll be going over an episode of Nitro from 9/28/98. This is a three hour Nitro for what it’s worth, pray for me. With that said, let’s get into the action!
The show comes to us from Rochester, NY which is just a few hours away from where I’m writing this! We kick this off with a recap video of the Warrior’s debut in WCW and his instant feud with Hollywood Hogan and the NWO. Tony tries to recap all the antics between Warrior and Hogan with Larry, but The Living Legend is over as all hell in Rochester and he goes to be with the fans.
And just like that, the familiar guitar of the world famous NWO blares over the loudspeakers and we get our first glimpse of Hollywood Hogan. Bischoff is getting booed right out of the building as he kicks the promo off. Hogan is preaching about how he made all the stars in the business, made the WWF what it was and salvaged WCW.
We are in the lead up to the infamous Halloween Havoc 1998 match between Warrior and Hogan. A rematch years after their original match and long beyond either guy being in their prime. But name value is a hell of a drug and both garnered attention thanks to their earlier match. Hogan challenges both Sting and Bret Hart and also warns WCW that Scott Hall and Brian Adams will also be on the prowl.
Match 1: La Parka vs. Super Calo
The in-ring action is getting started with some high flying Lucha action courtesy of the cruiserweights! At this point in WCW history, La Parka is the Chairman of the Board. Yup, you read that right. As per usual for the cruiserweights of the era, lots of fast-paced action in that trademark car crash style.
Plenty of back and forth with neither luchador getting the upper hand. Calo connects on a Frankensteiner followed by head scissor. But La Parka is able to slow down Super Calo’s momentum with an Alabama Slam and a corkscrew moonsault for the big win.
Fun match, typical for this era to have the cruiserweights kick the show off to get the crowd hyped. Nothing to write home about but also not awful either.
Match Score: 3/10
Super Calo pummels the living hell outta La Parka after the match and ya know what, I gotta bump that score up!
* Match Score: 4/10*
Bret Hart Promo:
Hart is out to a great ovation being in WWF country. He talks about how he and Sting agreed that HArt would get the first crack at Hogan. Bret then cuts a scathing promo on Hogan going back to their WWF days. The fans are loving this promo and Bret is showing some great fire, honestly, WCW wasted such a great chance when they had Hart.
Match 2: Disciple vs. Sick Boy
Sick Boy gets the early advantage and even grounds Disciple. Just as it looks as if Sick Boy may run away with this one Disciple starts to get the offense. And just like that, Disciple hits his version of the Stunner known as the Apocolypse.
The Disciple is like a new man now that he’s under Warrior’s guidance. Nothing great here though, very clunky and awkward. It was a step above a squash match.
Match Score: 2/10
We get a recap of Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell turning on Scott’s brother Rick Steiner at Fall Brawl.
Match 3: Scott Steiner (w/Buff Bagwell) vs. Lenny Lane & Nick Dinsmore
Steiner is out here to murder these poor kids and look good doing it. I know I mentioned a squash match above, but this is the definition. Nick Dinsmore a few years later would become Eugene in the WWE. But this is all about Big Poppa Pump lookin’ good for all the freaks out there.
Steiner is just toying with these poor guys. Even Bagwell would get involved clocking Lane. Steiner powerbombs Dinsmore onto Lane and then puts them into a double Steiner Recliner. After the match Scott is showing signs of a back injury but based on his recent actions, I don’t fully believe it.
Textbook squash match to make Steiner look great going into his match with his brother Rick. So not only did we get better action than the above match but also story advancement. I gotta score it a notch higher than the previous squash.
Match Score: 3/10
“Speak to me warriors! Hogan, I know who you are and I know who I am!” Warrior starts his promo with a powerful message. Warrior begins to speak to how Hogan is no longer the man that he once was. Warrior is bringing back memories of the previous Ultimate Challenge and how it forever changed Hogan. Actually not a bad Warrior promo, short and sweet. He wasn’t allowed to ramble on nonsensically as he had done in his WCW debut and for many years in the WWF.
Buff Bagwell Promo:
Mean Gene calls Buff back out to get an update on the condition of Scott Steiner. As Buff is trying to praise Big Poppa Pump and his physique going into his match with Rick, a laughter breaks out over the PA. Everyone is skeptical of Scott’s actual condition and the laughter is not mentioned again until the commentators later on.
Match 4: Psychosis vs. The Cat
So we have here one of the greatest cruiserweights and luchadors of his generation going against a wannabe Karate Kid. I have zero energy for The Cat. The Cat is cutting a promo, it makes no sense, and I don’t care, and neither do the fans in the arena. Cat gets pissed when he realizes that Psychosis doesn’t speak English and goes on the attack.
Psychosis gets the advantage after some strikes and a top rope crossbody to the floor. Psychosis also has a dope as hell Power Rangers looking outfit. The Luchador nails a missile dropkick for a two. The Cat finally nails Psychosis with a roundhouse kick for the win. He then gets back on the mic and nobody cares.
Match Score: 3/10
Alex Wright Promo:
Das Wunderkind is here and he is speaking a mix of German and English. Wright is no longer the happy dance machine he once was, he’s just so angry. He’s going for the cheap heat and insulting Rochester. He isn’t quite getting the reaction he wants as it’s more go away heat than actual heel heat. Wright then insults and calls out British Bulldog and dances.
Match 5: Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Disco Inferno
This is a rematch from last weeks Nitro as it’s being said Disco wasn’t at the official weight to be in the cruiserweight division. Chavo is still pretty early in his career and he has his best friend by his side, Pepe the Horse! Disco gets a quick advantage and then goes after Pepe but Chavo is able to rebound.
Disco has full control of the match and he’s got Chavo right where he wants him. Disco gets a two after a middle rope forearm. Chavo won’t go away easily though and he keeps fighting off Disco. Disco uses Pepe as a weapon as the ref is distracted and picks up the win through some creative cheating.
Juventud comes out and fights off Disco after the match. But as Juventud is checking on Chavo, Disco rushes back in and nails Juvie with a piledriver. Disco advances in the cruiserweight tourney to face either Juventud or Kaz Hayashi.
Match Score: 4/10
Four Horsemen Segment:
It all kicks off with a retrospective video about the Horsemen and ends with their reunion form a few weeks ago. Mean Gene calls out the Horsemen to a great ovation. In my opninion, the Four Horsemen are the greatest faction of all time. My personal favorite is the original: Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, and Tully Blanchard with JJ Dillion. A close second is the version that had Barry Windham swap in for Ole.
Right is Ric gets on the mic, Bischoff, Stevie Ray and Head of Security Doug Dillinger show up. It’s well known now and was felt back then that Bischoff and Flair had a strong hatred for each other and it was quickly worked into a story for TV. But much of what they put on the screens every week wasn’t too far from reality.
Bischoff has the Horsemen escorted from the building for their assault on Stevie Ray last week. Bischoff actually used Ric’s son Reid in the promo. Ric has told the story that he had to miss a Thunder taping due to Reid having a wrestling tournament and Bischoff attacked him for being unprofessional.
Match 6: Chris Jericho vs. Goldberg
Jericho makes his entrance with his loyal Jericho Personal Security by his side. He’s also sporting a shirt letting everyone know that he has the wins advantage over Goldberg. Also, the WWE Network has dubbed over his old WCW entrance music with his WWE branded song. I believe this is due to the fact that Jimmy Hart owns the WCW music but I may be off on that.
Goldberg marches to the ring and he is carrying Gillberg on his shoulders half dead. Jericho throws his security at Goldberg and then runs from the ring. The World Champion then decimates Jericho’s guards to the crowd’s delight! The match never actually gets started though.
Match Score: None
Page is out and the crowd explodes. DDP has a date with Goldberg at Halloween Havoc for the World Championship. This match is a bit of a legend as right as the match was still in progress the PPV providers cut the feed as the event ran long. So for many that last match they saw was the awful Hogan/Warrior match.
This caused fans to call into their cable providers to demand refunds which would eventually cost WCW hundreds of thousands of dollars. They would, however, air the match the following night on Nitro to 5 million homes. Page would cut a great promo to get the fans ready for Halloween Havoc.
Match 7: Scott Hall (w/Vincent) vs. Billy Kidman
Hall starts the match with his trademark toothpick throw to the face of the Cruiserweight Champion. We are also in the midst of the “Alcoholic Scott Hall” storyline. Sadly a storyline that would, later on, become a reality for the former Razor Ramon.
Kidman is flying around trying to utilize a stick and move offense to cancel out the size disadvantage. Hall is just pummeling Kidman and it is fully one-sided. The announcers keep alluding to Hall “looking better than he has in weeks.” They’re basically saying he’s not shitfaced in the ring. Scott has admitted he would party but never before the match. So he basically had to act hammered each night, and again sadly years later, it’d be the truth.
Hall ignores Kidman as he goes to ringside to steal a beer from Vincent. Kidman crushes Vincent with a crossbody and then goes to work on Hall. Kidman with a big top rope crossbody on Hall for a close two. Hall hits the Last Call on Kidman and follows it with what was supposed to be an Outsider’s Edge. Kidman counters I guess? It didn’t really look like it, more like Hall couldn’t finish the move. But he hits it on the second attempt for the win.
great showing from Kidman against the bigger man and with the numbers game against him. It’s tough watching Scott in these matches just a few years removed from his classics with Shawn Micheals. This score is more for Kidman than it is Scott.
Match Score: 5/10
Match 8: Alex Wright vs. British Bulldog
Well folks here we are, Wright wanted the Bulldog and he’s gonna get him! Bulldog tells Wright to suck it in German. Sadly, that’s probably gonna be the highlight of this match. Bulldog gets Wright in a surfboard and Wright is able to counter into a two count.
Bulldog lifts Wright up for the Running Powerslam but knocks the ref out in the process. Charles Robinson comes down to take over for the fallen ref and the original ref wakes up. We got pure shenanigans here folks as each ref says the other wrestler won. Classic Dusty finish. We think we get one winner but not so fast! Both wrestlers got their shoulder up before three and each ref saw it for one of the combatants.
Match Score: 2/10
Match 9: Kevin Nash vs. Brian Adams
Before the match can even start a fan runs in and makes the entrance with Nash! Big Daddy Cool is gettin’ the crowd all riled up with a pure babyface promo. We got ourselves a big fella hoss fight here between these two big men. Nash gets the early advantage but it doesn’t take much for Adams to get back on top.
The two giants are now brawling at ringside. As the match is back in the ring, Stevie Ray charges and attacks Nash. The match is thrown out as both NWO Hollywood and NWO Wolfpac are brawling in the ring.
Match Score: None
Match 10: Lex Luger/Konnan vs. Barry Darsow/Hugh Morrus
The Wolfpac is in action in our TENTH match of the episode. Luger gets the quick upper hand on the former Repo Man and tags in Konnan. Konnan nails a beautiful rolling lariat on Morrus and then clocks Jimmy Hart off the apron. Konnan goes for the win with the Tequila Sunrise but Darsow breaks it up.
Lex gets the hot tag and puts Darsow right in the Torture Rack and just like that it’s over. Another squash to make the Wolfpac look strong. Both sides of the NWO have been built up heavy tonight to keep the rivalry strong. Fun and quick tag, the lesser team didn’t get much action but were able to get a couple shots in.
Match Score: 3/10
Main Event: Bret Hart vs. Hollywood Hogan
This is the first time that these two have met in singles action. It isn’t too unbelievable as when Hogan was on top Bret was a tag specialist. And by the time Bret really made a run for the WWF Championship, Hogan was either on his way out or gone. Bret’s able to maneuver Hogan into the corner to a ref break, Hogan follows it by hitting a shoulder block. Neither man wants to budge.
Hogan is going to a ground game and is trying to outwrestle Hart on the mat. Hogan is showing that slick mat training from Hiro Matsuda and is doing well against Hart on the ground. Hart avoids three elbow drops and sends Hogan to the floor. a rake of the eyes by Hart followed by a shot to the ring post to Hulk.
Hollywood isn’t above cheating and if Hart is willing to go there Hulk will gladly follow! Hulk throws Hart to the outside using Bret’s own singlet. Then follows that by dropping Hart injured knee first into the railing. Hart is effectively crippled and Hogan isn’t stopping at all, he’s wrapping Hart’s knee around the post.
Hart is in a seriously bad way as Hollywood saw his opening and he is taking full advantage of it. Hogan is just torquing on the knee of Hart and is wreaking havoc. Sting makes his way to the ring and gets right into Hulk’s face to stick up for his friend Bret. Other members of the NWO Wolfpac have made their way ringside to aid Hart.
With Hart seemingly out of the match, Sting takes his jacket off and squares up with Hulk. He challenged both men at the open of the show and now he’s paying for it. Bret Hart is escorted to an ambulance by the Wolfpac where they’re attacked by Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell!! Hart is able to avoid the attack and is limping back to the ring to face Hogan.
Sting locks in the Scorpion Deathlock as Hart cheers him on, but right as Sting turns it over Hart plants him with a DDT! Hart puts Sting in the Sharpshooter and his knee looks absolutely healthy as all hell. Hart has been aligned with the Red & Black but it looks like he’s jumped ship to the dark side!
Bret Hart wasn’t injured at all and this has been a long con the entire time by Hogan and the Black & White! Since this was really two matches and a hell of a story being told, this is the highlight of the entire episode.
Match Score: 7/10
Overall Show Score: 3/10
So the overarching story from this Nitro was to get us ready for Halloween Havoc. Not too many great things to talk about here as there were so many matches, none of them got any actual time to tell a story. Seriously, 11 matches on this episode of Nitro. Why? It didn’t give any true reward other than the main event. Some I couldn’t even rate as they weren’t anything.
My overall score for the show gets killed by the insane number of matches and a pure lack of quality. Oh yeah, we never got that Juventud match that they advertised at the beginning of the show! What a damn mess.
Well folks, this sure was something haha. Thanks for voting and keep your eyes posted to our Twitter account for next week’s poll!