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WCW Monday Nitro 06-15-98

Live from Uniondale, NY

Airdate: June 15, 1998

Attendance: 14,254 (13,381 paid, sold out)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, “Iron” Mike Tenay, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

What’s up with the cage hanging from the ceiling? Who will be Sting’s fellow World tag team partner? Who makes a triumphant return? Who makes a rather gruesome exit? Your Nitro fix is right here. Dig in!

Match 1 (street fight): Public Enemy versus Barbarian & Hugh Morrus (w/ Jimmy Hart)


Rating: ½*

Summary: I’ll throw a ½* at the finish, but this was otherwise crap on a stick.

Earlier today, Tenay interviews some young wrestling fans about who will be Sting’s partner. Some ham’n’eggers shout “Ultimate Warrior,” but he’s not on WCW’s payroll.

We revisit last week when the Wolfpack recruited DDP.

The opening fireworks explode before heading to commercial.

Opening montage.

Nitro is sponsored by Valvoline.

At the entrance, the Nitro Girls dance in black as Zbyszko mentions an incoming Tygress. Meanwhile, a promo airs for Nitro party sweepstakes.

In the ring, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Savage who has a message for “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Savage wants DDP to prove himself TONIGHT in a STEEL CAGE.

We revisit the PPV in stills when Savage’s knee became the focus within both the tag and Piper matches.

Following a commercial break, we revisit stills of the Booker T-Finlay match.

Match 2: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit versus Fit Finlay


Rating: ***½

Summary: WCW, knowing that the Baltimore faithful wanted Benoit to win last night, didn’t disappoint the Uniondale faithful with another Benoit loss. While Finlay’s offense was plodding, Benoit’s intensity and tenacity paid off.

In the ring, Okerlund interviews Benoit who invites Booker T to join him. Both Booker T and Stevie Ray emerge and step into the ring. When Booker T questions his intentions, Benoit shakes his hand. They put each other over, and Benoit stands behind him. Taking offense, Stevie Ray stands up for himself as the man who stands behind his brother and refers to Benoit as “pipsqueak.”

Booker T is puzzled at his brother. When Benoit shakes hands with Booker T, Stevie Ray punks him out. Suddenly, MONGO returns! Holy schnikes! This is his first action since SuperBrawl VIII. Nevertheless, he pulls Stevie Ray off Benoit, but Booker T separates him from a heated Stevie Ray. The Uniondale faithful rings out a healthy “We Want Flair” chant. As Benoit grabs the microphone, he stands for (holds four fingers in the air). WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Following a commercial break, Okerlund remains in the ring and interviews DDP. Cutting a promo on Savage, DDP accepts the steel cage challenge. He turns his attention to “Hollywood” ‘scum’ Hogan and Dennis Rodman. Next, he mentions his newest partner although not by name and leaves through the Uniondale faithful.

We revisit last week when Hogan and Rodman attacked DDP with chairs, and Schiavone notes that Karl Malone may join WCW but cannot substantiate the “rumor.” The ink ain’t dry yet, folks.

Nitro Girls dance in the aisle in neon tops.

Back in the ring, Okerlund interviews “Rowdy” Roddy Piper who says when he worked in New York, the Statue of Liberty wore a kilt. HA! The Uniondale faithful shower him with a “rowdy” chant, and he makes the cage match official. Lastly, he will referee the match.

Match 3 (non-title): IWGP tag team champions Masahiro Chono & Hiriyoshi Tenzan versus High Voltage


Rating: ***

Summary: Good match, but the Uniondale faithful wasn’t buying it.

Rating: 3.3

HOUR #2!

We revisit stills from last night when Sting ultimately defeated Giant to become a World tag team champion. But who will he choose as his partner?

nWo Wolfpack minus Sting and Savage emerge and enter the ring to a raucous ovation. As Konnan, wearing a visor upside-down and backwards, spews his catchphrase, Nash touts Sting for winning the titles. He introduces Sting who appears. Bringing both belts to the ring, Sting heralds the credentials of the Wolfpack but will announce his partner later in the show. Holding your hand close to the vest, I see.

We revisit more stills from last night of the Kanyon-Saturn match.

Match 4: Kanyon versus Sick Boy (w/ Lodi)


Rating: **½

Summary: Showcase match for Kanyon with a game Sick Boy.

Rating: 4.1

At the entrance, “Ravishing” Rick Rude explains his and Curt Hennig’s heel turns by taking the “big cash flow” from “Hollywood” Hogan. He cuts a promo on Konnan and Goldberg and puts over Hennig. While the Uniondale faithful chants “Gold-berg,” Hennig runs down Page, the Four Horsemen, and Konnan. He teases dissension with Rude, but their Minnesota connection is too strong.

We revisit stills from last night as Goldberg defeats Konnan. The “Gold-berg” chant continues, but I don’t believe that it’s being supplied by the Uniondale faithful. A taped chant, WCW? C’mon!

Speaking of Goldberg, his mother had surgery, so he won’t be available tonight.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews JJ Dillon holding the Cruiserweight belt. Stills from the Jericho-Malenko match are shown, and Dillon confirms that Jericho won the match and, in effect, the title. Emerging to a solid ovation, Jericho demands his belt. In response, Dillon insists Jericho “defend the title within 30 days against Dean Malenko.”

Jericho retorts by insulting Malenko who hammers him from behind. As the fight heads backstage, Malenko rams Jericho face-first into a wall and into a catering table. Next, he clotheslines Jericho into a plastic cart, dumps him, and empties a trash can over him. WCW Security restrains Malenko while Jericho runs away terrified.

Rating: 4.6

Match 5: Giant versus “Gentleman” Chris Adams


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Giant. Poor Adams.

We repeat the destruction of DDP at the hands of Hogan and Rodman.

Eric Bischoff leads Hogan along with Disciple to the ring and holds up a “McMahon Bite Me” sign. As Hogan belittles the Wolfpack, he cuts a promo on DDP and dares him to find a partner to face Rodman and him at the PPV.

In the ring, the Nitro Girls dance in neon outfits while Schiavone shills the Nitro Party contest.

Rating: 4.2

HOUR #3!

Sting returns to the ring by himself and announces Nash as his tag team partner. Rumors that he would choose Luger have been debunked. While Nash conducts a survey, he cuts a promo on Hennig.

Match 6 for the WCW World tag team titles: Sting & “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash versus Harlem Heat


Rating: **½

Summary: Since the titles were fresh for Sting and Nash, Harlem Heat had no chance in winning. Also, it would make no sense to continue Booker T in a tag role because that would diminish his singles accomplishments.

Rating: 4.3


We replay the clip where Big Poppa Pump meets Carl Weathers thanks to Hogan who’s made up for his role in Assault on Death Mountain. Shannon Tweed makes a cameo.


At the entrance, Bischoff interviews BPP, and they exchange word play with thespian and Ellen DeGeneres. They discuss BPP’s heel turn against Rick, and BPP cuts a promo on him.

Rating: 4.0

At the entrance, the Nitro Girls dance with their black bottoms again. Don’t get too excited. They had their tops on too.

Nitro is sponsored by Wendy’s.

Rating: 4.4

Match 7 (cage): “Macho Man” Randy Savage versus Diamond Dallas Page


Rating: **

Summary: Neither the Uniondale faithful nor I was impressed with this match, but the importance of it is in the aftermath.

With all of nWo Hollywood inside with Piper, Savage, and DDP, the cage lowers again. While Hogan blasts Savage with a chair, Sting tries to enter by climbing the cage. Nash runs backstage and notices a stagehand OUT COLD. Locating the remote control, Nash raises the cage, and Schiavone mentions that Savage is “seriously hurt.”

Rating: 4.42

Conclusion: Seven matches in three hours! That’s cringeworthy, folks. I realize without Goldberg, WCW had to stretch out a segment or two, but only having seven matches is rather inexcusable.

In Savage’s case, his knee required major surgery, and he wouldn’t return for months.

Unless you need to witness both the return of Mongo and the demise of Savage, skip this show.

POINT OF ORDER: The reason that WCW solidly beat the WWF in the ratings war for most of the last two years was due to their star power. With Flair out due to an unreasonable suspension and Savage on the shelf recovering from knee surgery, WCW’s going to have to find a different person or method to maintain its audience. What’s on RAW is WAR?

Final TV Rating: 4.03

Stay tuned for RAW Is WAR 06-15-98!

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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