Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
How will Dillon deal with Nash and the powerbomb that incapacitated Giant? And how will Savage interact with the rest of the nWo? There’s a wrestler returning to WCW? Who is it and who will he face? Let’s find out!
Match 1: Ultimo Dragon versus El Dandy
After each wrestler made his entrance, Raven’s Flock was yet again casually late.
Dandy scored with a back elbow and got 2.
When Dandy gave him a cross corner whip, Dragon performed a headstand on the top turnbuckle.
He then mule-kicked Dandy while the Ft. Wayne faithful were mesmerized by Raven’s appearance.
As Dragon unleashed a series of kicks, he gave Dandy a cross corner whip but whiffed on a handspring back elbow.
Dandy then slammed Dragon, mounted the top rope, and delivered a flying elbow drop for 2.
While Dragon landed on his feet after a back drop, he launched an enziguri to Dandy.
Upon receiving a cross corner whip, Dragon used momentum and leverage to put Dandy atop the top turnbuckle.
Dragon then joined, but Dandy shoved him down to the mat.
After he mounted the top turnbuckle, Dandy leaped, but Dragon dropkicked him in mid-air. Nifty!
Dragon then hit an Asai moonsault and applied a dragon sleeper.
When Dandy tapped out, Dragon won in 2:37.
Summary: Showcase match for Dragon.
From Chattanooga, TN, “Mean” Gene Okerlund and the Nitro Girls are hanging out at the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity house. Okerlund enters the house but fails at picking up a co-ed. D’oh!
Match 2: Goldberg versus Brad Armstrong
As he made his entrance, Armstrong wore an “Armstrong Curse” sweatshirt. For those unaware, Brad originated this curse as it had affected him and his brothers Steve, Scott, and Brian.
Armstrong attacked before the bell to no avail.
When Goldberg military-pressed him, he finished with a powerslam.
He then lifted Armstrong in a standing choke and tossed him like a rag doll.
After he gave Armstrong a cross corner whip, it looked like he could come up empty, yet he hit the brakes.
Goldberg then speared Armstrong and delivered the Jackhammer.
Goldberg won in 1:43.
Summary: Showcase match for Goldberg. The Ft. Wayne faithful also subscribe to this man’s newsletter.
Nitro is sponsored by Valvoline.
At the entrance, “Iron” Mike Tenay reveals footage of the botched powerbomb by Nash at the PPV. Chairman of the Executive Committee J.J. Dillon joins Tenay and declares that the powerbomb is BARRED. Any wrestler using it will be disqualified and fined. Passionately, he warns Nash that he will be ejected and possibly prosecuted criminally.
Match 3: Konnan (w/ Vincent) versus Jerry Flynn
Flynn hip-tossed Konnan and followed with a spin kick.
When he clotheslined Konnan, Flynn got distracted by Vincent.
Konnan then launched a somersault clothesline and a seated dropkick.
As Konnan leapfrogged him, Flynn rebounded with a spinning heel kick.
Konnan sought refuge outside the ring, but Flynn delivered a plancha allegedly knocking Konnan sill(ier).
After Flynn powerslammed him, he got 2.
He then landed a knee drop, reversed an Irish whip, and clotheslined Konnan.
While Flynn missed a reverse enziguri, Konnan hooked a Tequila Sunrise.
Flynn tapped out, so Konnan won in 4:30.
Summary: Showcase match for Konnan.
Promotional consideration paid for by the following: Slim Jim.
We return to Chattanooga, and Okerlund interviews the lucky fraternity brother who sent in last fall’s Nitro Party tape. In case you’re hungry, he’s wearing a Krystal t-shirt.
At the entrance, Tenay interviews Mongo who dismisses “all those guys up north.” Subtle, Steve. Suddenly Davey Boy Smith joins the interview to challenge Mongo. The challenge is accepted with plenty of bravado.
Match 4: Rick Steiner (w/ Ted DiBiase) versus Buff Bagwell (w/ Vincent)
Bagwell attacked Rick before the bell, but Rick rebounded with a back drop.
As Rick clobbered him with a pair of Steinerlines, he delivered a T-bone suplex.
He then supplied Bagwell with an atomic drop and sandwiched him in the corner.
When he provided Bagwell with a ten-punch count-along, Bagwell countered with a face full of turnbuckle.
Bagwell then hit a back elbow, tossed Rick down to the floor, and distracted referee Mickey Jay.
That allowed Vincent to give Rick the business, but Rick retaliated by KNOCKING HIM THE FUCK OUT.
After Bagwell slammed Rick, he mounted the second turnbuckle but whiffed on a Buff Blockbuster.
Another Steinerline preceded a powerslam by Rick.
While he hoisted Bagwell atop the top turnbuckle, Rick joined and launched a belly-to-belly superplex. Outstanding!
Rick then planted an elbow drop, but Vincent tripped him coming off the ropes.
As Bagwell took advantage by scoring with a swinging neckbreaker, he got 2.
Abruptly, Scott came to the ring for his brother’s sake and ASSAULTED Vincent. Seriously, Vincent needs to get the license plate of that bus that ran him over.
Bagwell gave Rick a cross corner whip but ate yet another Steinerline.
When Scott made Vincent HIT THE POLE, Rick mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a top rope bulldog.
Since Scott could not control his rage, he tossed Vincent into the ring and joined him.
Jay then called for the bell to disqualify Rick.
As a result, Bagwell won in 5:13.
Summary: The Scott storyline continues while Rick and Bagwell had a decent match going. Oh well.
After the match, Scott tosses Vincent over the top rope to the floor and Jay down to the mat. That’ll cost ‘im! He then leaves yelling that he hates referees. Good to know, but he didn’t mention Mondays.
Nash and Bischoff stand at the entrance, and Nash has a beverage. While Bischoff believes Nash has been “singled out,” Nash offers his unique version of last night. He then equates Giant to “Old Yeller” and states “I stuck him on his skull!” To finish the interview, he asks to be called “Big Sexy, the Giant Killer.”
Match 5: Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart versus Wayne Bloom
Bloom suplexed Neidhart on the floor but botched a gutwrench suplex.
When he mounted the top turnbuckle, Bloom delivered a double axe handle for 2.
He then slammed Neidhart but missed an elbow drop.
As Neidhart gave Bloom a cross corner whip, he ate boot on his follow-through.
Bloom then scored with a back elbow and remounted the top turnbuckle.
After Bloom leaped, Neidhart caught and powerslammed him.
Neidhart won in 2:44.
Summary: Is this how Neidhart’s supposed to debut his wrestling skills in WCW? As a lucky power guy? I fear for his resume in WCW. Bloom carried the match while the Ft. Wayne faithful sought popcorn.
Schiavone shills Boston Brawl on 1/31.
Following a commercial break, Tenay interviews Ray Traylor who calls out Nash for a match tonight. I fear for Traylor’s “skull.”
Match 6: Psicosis versus Chavo Guerrero, Jr.
Psicosis gave Chavo a cross corner whip followed by a dropkick.
As he guillotined Chavo with the top rope, Psicosis got shoved into the corner and HIT THE POLE.
Chavo then clotheslined and took Psicosis down with a flying headscissors.
When he scored with a victory roll, Chavo got 2.
He then delivered a springboard bulldog for another 2.
After Psicosis hoisted him atop the top turnbuckle, he CRASHED down on the floor thanks to Chavo.
Speaking of Chavo, he launched a somersault plancha to Psicosis on the floor. Woohoo!
Chavo then mounted the top turnbuckle, but Psicosis caught him.
While Psicosis joined him, he attempted a belly-to-back superplex; however, Chavo used momentum to land on top for 2.
He then hooked a German suplex with a bridge for another 2.
As Psicosis leapfrogged Chavo, he hit a spinning heel kick.
Psicosis then mounted the top turnbuckle, but Chavo dropkicked him causing Psicosis to crotch himself. OUCH!
When Chavo joined him, he attempted a top rope superplex.
On the other hand, Psicosis blocked it and countered with a front suplex down to the mat.
He then landed a guillotine leg drop and pinned Chavo in 4:47.
Summary: There must have been a long line for refreshments ‘cuz the Ft. Wayne faithful wasn’t buying this one either.
TV Rating: 4.2
Castrol GTX sponsors the replay.
Prior to the next match, Hall performs his survey. As per usual, the Ft. Wayne faithful favor WCW yet still chant “nWo.” He then announces Dusty Rhodes as the newest member and rallies behind Spicolli. Where is Dusty?
Match 7: Juventud Guerrera versus Louie Spicolli
Guerrera delivered a spinning heel kick but got vaulted to the apron.
When he launched a springboard dropkick, Guerrera ate a vertical suplex.
Spicolli then landed a knee drop while “Macho Man” Randy Savage arrived by rental car.
As we returned to the ring, Guerrera hit a missile dropkick sending Spicolli to the floor.
Savage then stormed the ring and ambushed Guerrera.
To no one’s surprise, referee Mickey Jay called for the bell disqualifying Spicolli at 2:26.
Summary: More storyline than match as you will see.
TV Rating: 4.7
Afterward, Savage piledrives Guerrera, exits the ring, and grabs the microphone. He then calls out Luger while Elizabeth comes to the ring. Meanwhile, Spicolli provides Guerrera with a death valley driver. Savage angrily requests his withdrawal from the nWo and CREAMS Spicolli.
Meanwhile, the nWo saunters to the ring while Savage raves about Luger. As Savage informs “Hollywood” Hogan that he makes him sick, Hogan dresses him down. Savage rebuts that his match with Luger wasn’t finished when the nWo came to ringside. Also, he describes their efforts last night as “uncoordinated.” Lastly, he makes fun of Hogan for not being World champion.
Menacingly, Hogan promises to regain the World title at the PPV and tries to intimidate Savage. Instead, Savage exits the ring to grab a chair as the egomaniacs go their separate ways.
Back in Chattanooga, the Lambda Chi Alpha brothers perform the limbo with help from the Nitro Girls. Okerlund emcees a “pin the tail on the Nitro Girl poster” with Daniel Hunt, and Kimberly judges a Sting look-a-like with a “2.”
Match 8: Raven (w/ the Flock) versus Mortis (w/ James Vandenberg)
With Raven sprawled in the corner, Mortis dropkicked him down I-69 SOUTH.
He then scored with a knee lift that sent Raven to the floor.
As Mortis joined him, he sent Raven shoulder-first into the steps.
He then sent him flying into the steel railing, positioned the steps, and delivered a Rocker Dropper on them. YEE-OUCH!
When he attempted a leg sweep, Raven hooked the ropes to counter.
Raven then reversed an Irish whip and put a knee into Mortis’ midsection.
After Mortis reversed an Irish whip, he supplied Raven with a taste of his own medicine.
On the floor, Raven used the steps as a springboard for a high knee twice.
Mortis then reversed a cross corner whip and dropped Raven face-first on the top turnbuckle.
While he landed a flying back elbow, Mortis dropkicked Raven.
He then delivered a death valley driver for 2.
As Mortis rolled him up, he got another 2.
He then hooked an inside cradle but couldn’t get 3.
When he requested a chair from Vandenberg, Mortis missed a chair shot.
Instead, Raven hit a DDT.
Raven won in 5:32.
Summary: Mortis used a lot of offense, but Raven survived and won.
Match 9 (non-title): US champion Diamond Dallas Page versus Wrath (w/ James Vandenberg)
DDP hooked a side-Russian leg sweep, but Wrath reversed an Irish whip and delivered a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.
When Wrath distracted referee Mickey Jay, Vandenberg gave DDP the business. SNEAKY!
DDP then gave Wrath a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
As he slammed DDP, Wrath mounted the top turnbuckle and scored with a lariat for 2.
DDP rebounded with a flying headscissors and followed with a clothesline.
After Mortis came to ringside, Vandenberg distracted Jay.
DDP then reversed a cross corner whip sending Wrath into Mortis.
While DDP launched a Diamond Cutter, he pinned Wrath at 4:42.
Summary: Showcase match for DDP. Get out the salt shaker, ‘cuz Wrath needs more seasoning.
After the match, Mortis helps Wrath to his feet but suffers a Death Penalty for his troubles. Vandenberg reads him the riot act, but Wrath chases him away. I smell a breakup.
TV Rating: 5.1
In the ring, Tenay interviews Bret who gives Flair his accolades. In addition, he wants to be World champion no matter who wins the title at the PPV.
Nitro is sponsored by Burger King.
Back in Chattanooga, Okerlund takes a survey and WCW wins by a landslide. The Nitro Girls finally dance while Okerlund shills Spring Breakout ’98 in Panama City Beach, FL.
TV Rating: 4.2
Match 10 for the WCW World TV title: Booker T (champion) versus Saturn
Saturn clotheslined him, but Booker T reversed an Irish whip, leapfrogged him, and delivered a flying forearm for 2.
As Booker T reversed another Irish whip, he clotheslined Saturn.
He then scored with a leg lariat that sent Saturn to the floor.
From the apron, Saturn guillotined Booker T with the top rope.
He then hit a leg drop, exchanged some counters, and followed with a T-bone suplex for 2.
When Booker T rebounded with a somersault rollup, he got 2.
Saturn clotheslined Booker T again and cradled him for 2.
After Booker T blocked a suplex, he provided Saturn with one of his own.
Saturn then hooked an inside cradle for 2.
While he clotheslined Booker T a third time, he got another 2.
The Ft. Wayne faithful began to call out for some wrestler named “boring,” and Saturn gave Booker T a cross corner whip and springboard clothesline. Unfortunately, that couldn’t earn him a pin.
As Saturn secured an Oklahoma roll, he got yet another 2.
He then gave Booker T another cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
When Saturn powerslammed him, he still couldn’t get 3.
Booker T rebounded with another leg lariat, missed an elbow drop, but enlightened us with a Spinaroonie. Woohoo!
After he connected with a Harlem sidekick, Booker T landed a scissors kick.
He then planted Saturn with a sidewalk slam and mounted the top turnbuckle.
Ultimately, Hammer jumped the steel railing and knocked Booker T down to the mat.
Referee Charles Robinson called for the bell to disqualify Saturn at 7:18.
Summary: Seriously, Booker T needs interview time on either Nitro, Thunder, or both because WCW is cultivating him based solely on his wrestling skill. His interviews would enhance the live crowd’s involvement with him.
After the match, the Flock storms the ring to decimate Booker T. Nevertheless, Rick Martel hits the ring to clear it. With the odds against him, Saturn chooses to save his own skin.
TV Rating: 4.6
At the entrance, Tenay interviews the NEW Cruiserweight champion—Chris Jericho. Still wearing a Mysterio t-shirt, Jericho feigns crying and concern for him.
Match 11: The “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith versus Mongo McMichael
Mongo attacked Smith before the bell and unloaded some elbow smashes.
When he delivered a sidewalk slam, Mongo powerslammed him for 2.
He then hit a three-point stance tackle, but Smith rebounded with a clothesline.
As he scored with a back elbow, Smith hooked a vertical suplex for 2.
He then gave Mongo a cross corner whip but ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
After Mongo gave Smith a cross corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
Smith then struggled to lift Mongo and barely succeeded with a running powerslam.
Smith won in 3:02.
Summary: Showcase match for Smith but a terrible return to WCW after five years.
Promo #2 for Boston Brawl on 1/31.
Match 12: Kevin Nash versus Ray Traylor
At the onset, Nash offered Traylor a handshake.
Traylor rebuffed him and summarily took a cup of coffee to the face.
As Nash leveled him down SOUTH, he powerbombed Traylor.
Nonetheless, Traylor won by disqualification at 0:30.
Summary: Just an angle so that Nash can break the new no-powerbomb rule.
After the match, Nash laughs while officials and DiBiase check on Traylor. WCW Security Director Doug Dillinger arrives to handcuff Nash, and Nash offers up an “Attica” while being taken into “custody.”
TV Rating: 4.3
Nitro is sponsored by Twix.
Prior to the main event, Hall grabs the microphone and runs down Zbyszko. Not to be besmirched, Zbyszko leaves the broadcast table, but WCW Security stops him and escorts him backstage.
Match 13: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Scott Hall
After Luger took a lap around the ring, Hall ambushed him.
He then reversed a cross corner whip and followed with a corner clothesline.
When Luger supplied him with a ten-punch count-along, he reversed an Irish whip and powerslammed Hall.
Luger then hooked Hall in the Torture Rack, but Savage stormed the ring again to kick Luger.
As a result, Luger won by disqualification at 2:41.
Summary: Waste of time in order to get to the main event storyline.
After the match, Savage WALLOPS Luger with a chair before referee Randy Anderson swipes it away and heads for safer ground. Savage then tosses Hall down to the floor, slams Luger, and mounts the top turnbuckle. Next, he hits a big elbow.
When Savage attempts a second big elbow, Sting repels from the ceiling knocking Savage down from the top turnbuckle. How convenient! Sting then enters the ring and unleashes a pair of Stinger splashes to Savage. While Hogan joins Hall at ringside, they cavalierly watch Sting wrap Savage in a Scorpion death lock. Hall then restrains Hogan while Sting stands proudly in the ring.
TV Rating: 3.9
Conclusion: WCW makes it perfectly clear that Hogan-Sting III will be happening at the PPV. In addition, Savage is none-too-thrilled with any of them. Nash becomes the quintessential antagonist by purposely breaking the new no-powerbomb rule.
Now let me reflect…if you’ve not read my RAW is WAR reflection, please do so now…
OK…now that you’ve seen what amounted to a clip show by the WWF, WCW knew what was in the can and didn’t do much beyond what they needed to do to advance a few storylines. Let’s hope that Thunder is better than this show. What’s on RAW is WAR?