Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, “Iron” Mike Tenay, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
What special announcement does Piper have for us? Can DDP defeat Sting to become World champion? How will Benoit fare against Booker T? And what does Jericho have in store for us? Let’s find out!
In the cold open, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews “Rowdy” Roddy Piper who proclaims “God bless Harry Caray.” For those unaware, Caray died in February 1998, so Piper namedrops him to be “hip.” He then declares “no more bats in…WCW…at all…until (the PPV)” when he and Giant have a “bat match” against Nash and Hogan. Next, he books Giant versus Nash TONIGHT. When he turns his attention to Savage, he refers to his relationship with Hogan as “ex-lovers.” HA! Finally, he books himself against Savage. Wow!
At the entrance, the Nitro Girls dance in silver and black.
While Schiavone details the goings-on within WCW, Zbyszko stands up to appreciate his kudos.
Match 1: Chavo Guerrero, Jr. (w/ Eddie Guerrero) versus Ultimo Dragon
Dragon quickly unleashed a handspring elbow causing Chavo to seek refuge on the floor.
When Dragon mule kicked Chavo, he skinned the cat back into the ring but ate a kick during a plancha.
Back in the ring, Dragon uncorked an Asai moonsault and got 2.
Chavo then countered a victory roll with a German Suplex and a bridge for 2.
As Dragon reversed a cross corner whip, he ate boot on his follow-through.
Chavo then hooked a Northern Lights suplex for another 2.
After he slammed Dragon, Chavo mounted the top turnbuckle.
Dragon crotched Chavo much to Eddie’s chagrin.
While Dragon joined him, Chavo nailed him and attempted to suplex him back into the ring.
Dragon escaped and trapped Chavo in a Dragon sleeper.
When Chavo tapped, Dragon won in 2:11.
Summary: Showcase match for Dragon. According to Meltzer, Dragon hadn’t been thrilled about his status within WCW, so they threw him a bone.
After the match, Okerlund interviews Eddie and Chavo. Eddie is “embarrassed” about Chavo and apologizes for him. As he instructs Chavo to “apologize to Grandma,” Chavo reluctantly complies.
Nitro is sponsored by Valvoline.
Bischoff leads Hogan to the ring, and Hogan cuts a promo on Giant and Piper while adding himself to the Giant/Nash match.
At the entrance, Okerlund shills the hotline.
Match 2: “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner (w/ Buff Bagwell) versus Wayne Bloom
As Scott made his entrance, his new nickname was plastered on the back of his singlet.
Scott delivered a Steinerline, admired his right bicep, and followed with an elbow drop.
When he gave Bloom a cross corner whip, Scott ate boot on his follow-through.
Bloom then supplied Scott with an inverted atomic drop and a ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
After he suplexed Scott, Bloom got 2.
Scott rebounded with a double underhook slam, hoisted Bloom atop the top turnbuckle, joined, and scored with a super Samoan drop.
While he applied a Steiner Recliner, Scott won at 3:05.
Summary: Showcase match for Scott.
Nitro Girls dance among the younger Louisville faithful, and Schiavone shills the Nitro Party contest.
Match 3: Psicosis versus Lodi
When the Louisville faithful chanted “Lodi sucks,” Psicosis escaped a tilt-a-whirl and clotheslined their nemesis for 2.
Psicosis then gave Lodi a cross corner whip but ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
As Lodi celebrated on the ropes, Psicosis dropkicked him down to the floor.
Psicosis then mounted the top turnbuckle and uncorked a corkscrew moonsault onto Lodi. Woohoo!
After Psicosis PLANTED him with a sitout gourdbuster, he mounted the top turnbuckle and unleashed a guillotine leg drop.
Psicosis won at 2:56.
Summary: Showcase match for Psicosis. According to Meltzer, Lodi legitimately broke his ankle during the moonsault. OUCH!
Castrol sponsors the replay.
Match 4 for the WCW World title: Sting (champion) versus WCW US champion Diamond Dallas Page
With Austin in the opening segment of RAW, WCW counter-programmed with a blockbuster.
Sting rolled up DDP and got 2.
As Sting attempted a Scorpion death lock, DDP blocked it.
Sting made a second attempt, but DDP made the ropes to escape.
When Sting attempted a hip toss, DDP countered with a swinging neckbreaker for 2.
DDP then tried a Diamond Cutter, but Sting shoved him away.
After DDP pancaked him, he got 2.
He then provided Sting with a ten-punch count-along, but Sting countered with Snake Eyes.
While he clotheslined DDP, Sting got 2.
DDP escaped a rear chin lock, but Sting caught him with a lariat.
As DDP reversed a cross corner whip, he hooked a belly-to-belly suplex for 2.
DDP then attempted another pancake, but Sting countered with a back drop.
When Sting kicked him in the midsection, he rammed DDP face-first into the mat three times.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle, attempted a splash, but ate knees.
After DDP rallied with a flurry, he tried another Diamond Cutter.
Sting blocked it and countered with a Scorpion death drop. Innovative!
Sting retained at 10:57.
Summary: Fantastic match with plenty of psychology, and the Louisville faithful ate it up with a spoon.
TV Rating: 5.4
After the match, Sting picks DDP up off the mat, props him up in the corner, and offers the Louisville faithful the Diamond Cutter sign. He and DDP then embrace to punctuate a heckuva title match.
Nitro Girls danced at the entrance in white, and Michael Swiggler from Broken Arrow, OK is this week’s Nitro Party pack winner.
Match 5: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Rick Fuller
I’ll bet Jeff Jarrett is on RAW right now.
When Luger countered a hip toss with one of his own, he slammed Fuller.
Speaking of Fuller, he clotheslined Luger and followed with a big boot for 2.
He then gave Luger a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
As Luger provided Fuller with a series of clotheslines, he scored with a forearm smash.
He then hooked Fuller in a Torture Rack and won at 3:15.
Summary: Showcase match for Luger.
Match 6: Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chavo Guerrero, Jr.) versus Kaz Hayashi
As Chavo joined Eddie during his entrance, he wore the same t-shirt as last week.
Eddie clotheslined Hayashi and followed with a back elbow.
When Eddie suplexed Hayashi, he got 2.
He then hoisted Hayashi atop the top turnbuckle but got sent back down to the mat.
After Hayashi righted himself, he attempted a moonsault but ate a dropkick in mid-air. Nifty!
Eddie then delivered a release German suplex, but Hayashi landed on his feet.
While Hayashi sent Eddie over the top rope down to the floor with a flying headscissors, he followed with a corkscrew plancha. Wow!
He then tossed Eddie back into the ring, mounted the top turnbuckle, and launched a missile dropkick for 2.
As Hayashi hooked a belly-to-back suplex, he mounted the top turnbuckle and leaped.
Eddie caught and supplied him with a backbreaker.
When Eddie provided him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, he attempted a suplex.
Hayashi blocked it initially but succumbed to one immediately afterward.
After Eddie dealt him a pumphandle backbreaker, he got 2.
The Louisville faithful chanted “Eddie sucks,” and their nemesis hoisted Hayashi atop the top turnbuckle.
While he superplexed Hayashi, Eddie mounted the adjacent top turnbuckle and scored with a frog splash.
Eddie won in 5:07.
Summary: Hayashi may have some dazzling high-flying moves, but Eddie’s got the whole package.
After the match, Eddie makes Chavo raise Eddie’s arm. Dragon checks on Hayashi and shakes his head about the family drama.
TV Rating: 4.5
Video airs featuring Bret.
Prior to the next match, a vignette highlighting Konnan airs. Meanwhile, I get some popcorn.
Match 7: Prince Iaukea versus Konnan (w/ Vincent)
Iaukea reversed an Irish whip and leapfrogged Konnan.
When he evaded a shoulder block, Iaukea dropkicked Konnan.
Speaking of Konnan, he landed a somersault clothesline and followed with a seated dropkick for 2.
As Iaukea reversed an Irish whip, Konnan provided him with a DDT.
Konnan then applied a single-leg crab, but Iaukea wouldn’t submit.
After he suplexed Iaukea, Konnan got 2.
He then guillotined Iaukea with the second rope and hooked a lazy suplex.
While he tied Iaukea up like a pretzel, Konnan uncorked a release German suplex.
Iaukea reversed a third Irish whip but forgot the script.
When Iaukea repeated the spot, he secured an inside cradle for 2.
Konnan then countered a gutwrench suplex attempt with a rolling cradle for 2.
As Konnan leapfrogged Iaukea, he attempted a 187.
Iaukea escaped and trapped Konnan in a Northern Lights suplex.
Iaukea won at 5:44.
Summary: UPSET city as Iaukea’s momentum keeps going forward.
TV Rating: 4.3
Prior to the next match, Jericho, wearing a WCW Monday Jericho t-shirt, wishes Stanford success against the Kentucky Wildcats to generate heel heat. Lane enters the ring and distracts Jericho. While Lane informs him that Jericho owes him $1000 for the stunt against Malenko on Thunder back on 3/12, Jericho accuses him of stealing some of his gear along with his Loverboy tape. HA! He then advises Lane about owing him $1000 because he “can’t get the smell out.” HA! Lane slaps Jericho to begin the match.
Match 8 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho (champion) versus Lenny Lane
Lane backdropped Jericho and followed with an atomic drop.
As Lane charged, he ate boot.
Jericho charged, but Lane powerslammed him for 2.
When the Louisville faithful informed Jericho that he indeed “sucks,” their nemesis avoided a leap frog and countered with a spinning heel kick.
He then supplied Lane with a double underhook backbreaker and began to hook a LionTamer.
On the other hand, Lane countered with an inside cradle.
Do we have a new champion?
After Lane scored with a Stroke, he got another 2.
Jericho reversed a cross corner whip, caught Lane mid-float-over, and delivered a spinebuster.
While he hooked a LionTamer, Jericho retained at 2:48.
Summary: Showcase match for Jericho whose charisma is off the charts.
TV Rating: 4.4
Match 9 (handicap): Giant versus “Hollywood” Hogan & “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash (w/ Eric Bischoff)
Methinks Tyson may be on RAW right now.
When Hogan attempted a slam, Giant blocked it and slammed him.
He then gave Hogan a cross corner whip followed by a boot to the midsection.
As the Louisville faithful informed Hogan that he “sucks,” Giant provided their nemesis with a backbreaker.
Nash tagged in, gave Giant a cross corner whip, and followed with a corner clothesline.
After Giant reversed a cross corner whip, he supplied Nash with his own corner clothesline.
Hogan came in, and the nWo double-teamed Giant.
While Giant knocked them down like a 7-10 split, Disciple stormed the ring and attacked Giant from behind.
Referee Mark Curtis called for the bell, and Giant won by DQ at 6:23.
Summary: Mere appetizer for the bat match at the PPV.
TV Rating: 4.8
After the match, Disciple attempts an Apocalypse, but Giant blocks it. Bischoff unleashes some kicks, but they don’t faze Giant. When Disciple hightails it, Giant chokeslams Bischoff to a HUGE ovation.
At the entrance, Nitro Girls dance in white.
Match 10 for the WCW World TV title: Booker T (champion) versus the “Crippler” Chris Benoit
Booker T reversed a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
As Benoit charged, Booker T powerslammed him.
He then unleashed a leg lariat and clotheslined Benoit.
When Benoit hooked a release German suplex, he provided Booker T with a back elbow for 2.
Booker T reversed an Irish whip and flapjacked Benoit.
After he performed a Spinaroonie, Booker T followed with a Harlem side kick.
Booker T then mounted the top turnbuckle, but Benoit caught him.
While Benoit joined him, he delivered a top rope superplex. Yowza!
Benoit then hooked a trio of German suplexes but couldn’t make a cover.
As Booker T rebounded with a 110th Street slam, he got 2.
Benoit ducked a leg lariat attempt and hit a Northern Lights suplex for 2.
When they exchanged chops in the middle of the ring, the time limit expired.
Summary: Bogus finish aside, this match told a great story with workrate and psychology.
TV Ratng: 4.5
Match 11: Curt Hennig (w/ “Ravishing” Rick Rude) versus the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith
Rude joined the broadcast table for this match.
When Hennig attempted a monkey flip, Smith evaded him with a cartwheel.
He then clotheslined Hennig for 2.
As Rude left the broadcast table, Smith clotheslined Hennig for another 2.
Following a commercial break, Smith attempted a running powerslam.
Rude tried to stop him, but Smith stomped on his hand.
After Smith hit the running powerslam, Rude got up on the apron.
Smith grabbed him, but Rude handcuffed him to the top rope. Nefarious!
While referee Scott Dickinson called for the bell, Smith won by DQ at 5:38.
Summary: More storyline than match as Hennig and Rude attack Hart family members.
After the match, Hennig and Rude double-team Smith until Bret hits the ring to save his brother-in-law. Upon providing Rude with an inverted atomic drop, Bret locks Hennig in a Sharpshooter. Brian Adams sprints to the ring along with Konnan, Norton, and Vincent. While Bret fights them off, WCW Security Director Doug Dillinger unlocks the handcuffs. Bret then grabs the microphone, rebuts the “Bret screwed Bret” argument, and seeks justice for everyone.
Nitro is sponsored by Starburst.
We revisit Thunder when Goldberg came to Rick Steiner’s aid.
Match 12: Goldberg versus Renegade
According to Tenay, Goldberg is 59-0.
Renegade reversed a cross corner whip and POTATOED Goldberg with a handspring elbow.
As Goldberg speared him, he followed with a Jackhammer.
Goldberg won in 0:42.
Summary: Showcase match for Goldberg.
TV Rating: 4.2
Match 13: “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth) versus “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
The brawl was on when Piper entered the ring.
When Savage had Piper in the corner, Elizabeth held Piper by the boot. How dastardly!
Piper unloaded a Popeye-style punch before whipping Savage with a belt.
As Piper clotheslined Savage with the belt, Savage sought refuge on the floor.
Savage then dragged Piper to the floor and tried to make him taste the steel railing.
After Piper blocked it, he sent Savage flying into the front row.
He then exposed the concrete floor and attempted a piledriver.
To counteract this behavior, Elizabeth SCRATCHED Piper’s back. Evil!
He then grabbed Elizabeth and kissed her.
While Savage delivered a double axe handle, Piper hooked a sleeper.
Elizabeth got up on the apron, so Savage tried to sandwich Piper between them.
When that didn’t work, Elizabeth went down in a heap on the floor.
Savage then countered the sleeper with a jawbreaker while referee Mickey Jay checked on Elizabeth.
As Hogan came to the ring, he sent Jay flying into the steel railing.
Jay called for the bell to throw the match out at 3:55.
Summary: More storyline than match as the Hogan/Savage feud continues.
TV Rating: 3.9
After the match, Nash joins Hogan with a bat and tries to clobber Piper. Hogan stops him, and a shoving match ensues. While Sting joins the fray with his own bat, the nWo cowers in the corner.
Suddenly, Savage attacks Sting from behind, and they fight on the floor. Hogan and Nash double-team Piper in the ring until Giant arrives to even the odds. Giant rips the bat away from Hogan and Savage, so the nWo scurries away to end the show.
Conclusion: Batter up! And I don’t mean fried chicken. To celebrate the beginning of baseball season, WCW is having a bat match at the April PPV. Say what you want about Piper, but he brings eyeballs to the program with his unparalleled charisma.
In the meantime, the Sting-DDP match is must-see. Also, the Eddie-Chavo storyline along with the Benoit/Booker T match offer great entertainment this week. What more could you ask for?