WCW Monday Nitro 06-01-98
Live from Washington, DC
Airdate: June 1, 1998
Attendance: 12,768 (10,523 paid)
Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, “Iron” Mike Tenay, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Will Sting choose a side this week? If so, who will he choose? What will be the outcome of match #4 between Benoit and Booker T? How will Jericho try to convince Dillon to reinstate his championship reign? Also, Goldberg, Raven, Eddie, and another WCW wrestler returning from a long hiatus. What else can happen?
Video of Sting opens the show.
As a white limousine bearing the WCW logo on the dashboard arrives backstage, JJ Dillon, DDP, Booker T, and Goldberg emerge. Hey! It’s team WCW! I believe it’s a first.
Next, we revisit Thunder when Luger pleaded Sting to “take that step.”
Nitro is sponsored by Valvoline.
At the entrance the Nitro Girls clad in black each dance a solo.
Match 1: Ernest “The Cat” Miller versus “Lightning Foot” Jerry Flynn
Summary: WCW Saturday Night material with this one. Why would you put this in front of a hot DC crowd?
Backstage, a black limousine arrives, and Elizabeth, Rick Rude, Curt Hennig, Kevin Nash, Lex Luger, Konnan, and Randy Savage emerge. I’m surprised the limousine wasn’t red.
nWo Wolfpack’s new anthem plays, and they head to the ring. In the meantime, Hennig hobbles on crutches due to either working with Rheingans or jobberitis from working with Goldberg. Nash makes me proud wearing an NC State hat and conducts a survey resulting in his faction’s favor. As Luger takes the microphone, he calls out to Sting again and wants a tag match between the nWo factions TONIGHT.
Match 2: Raven & Saturn versus Public Enemy
Summary: Extremely solid tag match that combined storyline, tag team psychology, and high-flying to invigorate the DC faithful.
After the match, Raven grabs a microphone and states that Kanyon’s been fired. Huh? Oh, he also mentioned that Dillon rehired Kanyon despite his “sneak-attacking” Raven. Notwithstanding Saturn’s objections, Raven rehired the Flock. In addition, Saturn will meet Kanyon at the PPV.
In the aisle, the Nitro Girls dance in white. Schiavone announces that Dr. Lee and Alice Tracy from DeWitt, AR are this week’s winners of a Nitro Party pack. Next, their video plays.
Match 3: Chavo Guerrero, Jr. versus “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright
Summary: Solid return match for Wright, and the crazed persona of Chavo got a reaction from the DC faithful.
After the match, Wright and Chavo continue to scrap, and Eddie heads to the ring. He separates Chavo from Wright and grabs a microphone. As he offers familial praise, Eddie “releases” Chavo from his responsibilities; however, Chavo “wants to wrestle” Eddie. Chavo believes he can beat him, so Eddie backtracks out of the ring in utter disbelief.
In the ring, Schiavone interviews Savage, but Piper’s music plays. Oops, The Wolfpack anthem begins as Savage and Elizabeth emerge. While Savage calls him out, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper inserts a Full Metal Jacket quote. Savage wants a piece of Piper after the tag match at the PPV. In rebuttal, Piper will “meet (him) at the railway station.”
In one of the funniest lines in Nitro’s history, Piper asks if Savage’s parents built him a swing set facing a wall.
Nevertheless, Piper tries to convince Savage that it’s a con game orchestrated by nWo Hollywood. He drops a Marion Barry reference to an “ooh” reaction and believes that Bret’s not a true member of nWo Hollywood. Despite all of that, Savage walks away.
At the entrance, Schiavone interviews Dillon. Where’s “Mean” Gene? Regardless, Dillon pleads for Sting to remain with WCW.
Backstage, another black limousine arrives, but we don’t get to see who exits.
Following a commercial break, “Hollywood” Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Giant, Disciple, and the “American Nightmare” Dusty Rhodes emerge from the limousine and head to the ring. The remainder of nWo Hollywood joins them minus Big Poppa Pump, and Hogan spews his usual jargon.
Next, the DC faithful showers Hogan with a “Hogan sucks” chant while he accepts Nash’s challenge. Afterward, he runs down Savage and Piper before questioning Bret’s allegiance. Bret unbuttons his shirt to reveal a Hogan t-shirt in lieu of an nWo one. Lastly, Hogan sums it up with “a t-shirt’s worth 1,000 words.”
Schiavone shills the Nitro Party contest, and the Nitro Girls return to dance in white.
Match 4: Konnan versus Lenny Lane
Summary: Showcase match for Konnan.
At the entrance, Schiavone interviews Hennig with Rude. After Rude dismisses Schiavone, he announces that Hennig will challenge Goldberg at the PPV. Hennig states his doctor has advised him to take 10 days off. When he requests Konnan to join him, Hennig asks him to replace him on the road against Goldberg. Konnan accepts, and Hennig will be ready for Goldberg and runs him down.
TV Rating: 3.1
Match 5 for the WCW World TV title: Fit Finlay (champion) versus Eddie Guerrero
Summary: This match had serious potential until the abrupt ending.
Afterward, Chavo taunts Eddie all the way back to the locker room.
Nitro Girls dance in the ring while wearing black.
Video airs featuring Jericho in DC trying to locate a precedent to return the Cruiserweight title to him.
First, he tries the US Capitol without any luck. Second, he consults the Capitol Police who instruct him to leave the premises. Third, he holds a “Conspiracy Victim” over his head while DC traffic passes by him. Fourth, he heads to the US Supreme Court where Jericho states he spoke to Judge Clarence Thomas’ law clerk who will forward his message. HA! He probably considers Jericho an abortion and wants nothing to do with him.
Fifth, he pleads his case to a woman on the street.
Sixth, he heads to the White House where he believes President Clinton is a Jerichoholic. HA! As you’d expect, security denies his access. Seventh, he heads to the Library of Congress where he may have located his precedent.
Prior to the next match, Jericho grabs the microphone and calls out Dillon. When Dillon doesn’t answer, Jericho pleads to the people for his reinstatement.
Match 6: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho versus Juventud Guerrera
Summary: Good match with a screwjob ending to both keep Jericho on a winning streak and pit David and Goliath against one another at the PPV in the form of Guerrera versus Reese.
TV Rating: 3.3
Prior to the next match, highlights of the prior three matches in the series are shown. Benoit holds the series lead at 2-1.
Match 7 (best-of-seven #4): The “Crippler” Chris Benoit versus Booker T
Summary: Fantastic match that kept the DC faithful engaged using psychology, workrate, and high-flying. Booker T has quite a mountain to climb if he’s to win the series.
Video that aired at the inception of the telecast is shown again.
Match 8: Diamond Dallas Page versus Riggs (w/ Sick Boy)
Summary: Showcase match for DDP.
After the match, Sick Boy attempted a full nelson, but DDP escaped and flattened him with a Diamond Cutter to a big ovation.
Nitro is sponsored by Starburst.
Match 9 for the WCW US title: Goldberg (champion) versus La Parka
Summary: Showcase match for Goldberg. According to Meltzer, La Parka’s knee was “legit blown out (torn ACL).”
After the match, the DC faithful continues to ring out a “Gold-berg” chant.
Match 10: “Hollywood” Hogan & Giant (w/ Bret “Hitman” Hart & Disciple) versus the “Total Package” Lex Luger & “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash
Summary: Once again, WCW holds a main event purely for name value and not wrestling ability.
TV Rating: 4.31
Afterward, Hogan pitches Robinson from the ring while he and Giant double-team Luger. Suddenly, Sting repels from the rafters, climbs into the ring, and unveils an nWo Hollywood t-shirt. As Hogan and Giant celebrate, Hogan hugs Sting. Following that, Sting clotheslines Hogan, slams the 513 lb. Giant, rips off the t-shirt, and reveals…
WE’RE OUTTA TIME!
an nWo Wolfpack t-shirt much to the delight of the DC faithful. The remainder of nWo Hollywood restrains Hogan and Giant from getting their butts kicked, and nWo Wolfpack celebrates. Nitro takes a few minutes to milk the ratings.
Conclusion: The payoff for the entire show is Sting choosing which t-shirt to wear.
Actually, Sting joined the babyface faction of the nWo making WCW look even weaker than it had been.
Also on the show, Benoit took a 3-1 series lead with a great match. Jericho took a tour of DC just to make himself look like a fool. Raven rehired the Flock. Alex Wright returned, and Goldberg as well as DDP rocked the house.
This was a very hit-and-miss type of episode. It has its moments here and there.
What’s on RAW is WAR?
Final TV Rating: 3.72
Stay tuned for RAW Is WAR 06-01-98!
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