Previously on the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro: Macho Man Randy Savage won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Spring Stampede thanks to interference from Kevin Nash, but lost it a day later on Nitro to Hollywood Hogan via Bret Hart interference. Also, Raven won the United States Championship at Spring Stampede thanks to HORACE Hogan interference, and lost it a day later on Nitro thanks to Goldberg being impervious to interference.
Click here to watch this week’s episode on WWE Network. You can catch up with all the previous episodes of WCW Monday Nitro on the Best and Worst of Nitro tag page and all the episodes of Thunder on the Best and Worst of Thunder. Follow along with the competition here.
Remember, if you want us to keep writing 20-year-old WCW jokes, click the share buttons and spread the column around. If you don’t tell them how much you like these, nobody’s going to read them. These are my favorite things in the world to write, and we’re only a pay-per-view cycle away from Chris Jericho’s all-time best WCW moment.
Up first, let’s recap an (unfortunately) important Thursday in the WCW Universe.
The One-Page Thunder Recap For April 22, 1998
The finish of the Vicious and Delicious vs. Lex Luger and Rick Steiner match is supposed to be by-the-numbers WCW/nWo bullshit. Steiner’s supposed to hit the Steiner Bulldog off the ropes and cover Buff Bagwell, allowing Scott Steiner to sneak into the ring, bash him with a steel chair, and pull Bagwell on top of him for the pin.
Instead, the move knocks Bagwell down like it’s supposed to but Rick doesn’t get a lock on the head, and ends up inadvertently bulldogging Bagwell into his back, causing Buff’s head to compress down into his own shoulders like a turtle hiding in its shell. If reading that doesn’t make sense, here’s the GIF.
Thanks to the grace of God, who I’m still assuming is Scott Norton, Bagwell walked away with a bruised spinal cord. Here’s what he had to say about the moment when he was a guest on the Steve Austin Show:
“At this point, I am 100% convinced, and that is a big, big statement, I’m convinced I’m paralyzed. I swear to God, my mind went, ‘you know what, you can do what Christopher Reeve is doing. You can go to schools.’ I really turned a negative situation into a positive situation in a matter of seconds…We got [to the hospital] and they wheeled me out and I was all drooped over the wheelchair and as soon as I got into the waiting room, I popped up with a double bicep! And they were like, ‘oh my God! What happened? Why are you okay?’ and at that stage, they realized I had a bruised spinal cord.”
It’s good to know that Buff makes a full recovery and comes back (so WCW can completely squash the mega-babyface run he should’ve had for coming back in the first place that everyone at the time wanted), but man, at the time it was chilling and disheartening to see 30 minutes of the live wrestling show dedicated to watching nWo Vincent and WCW security try to figure out how to get an almost paralyzed guy out of the ring without full-on paralyzing him.
Also on the show:
- Macho Man Randy Savage reveals that Hollywood Hogan is “scum” — not much of an insult after Hogan called him “the scum that crawls in the river in Hell” — and announces that Bret Hart is the “biggest conman ever to walk the face of the Earth”
- The newest member of the Flock gets an official name: Horace Boulder. His debut match against future Three Count member Evan Karagias gets “boring” chants from the crowd despite it being about 30 seconds long and being the first wrestling after half an hour of watching a guy be paralyzed
- The Barbarian valiantly defeats Prince Iaukea
- We learn that when Sting cuts a promo after wrestling now, he looks like someone hit him in the face with a pie
And now, the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro for April 27 (and April 28), 1998.
A Quick Note About Why This Show Is Going To Seem So Weird
This week’s WCW Monday Nitro is actually two episodes of Nitro stitched together on WWE Network; a one-hour edition aired on Monday, April 27, and a two-hour edition aired the following night on Tuesday, April 28. The reason? The 1998 NBA playoffs, friend, and Tony Schiavone suggests we “check our local listings” to see how Nitro’s going to air next week. Plus, there’s no Thursday show this week, which is unusual, because nowadays when Seattle’s basketball team makes the playoffs there’s only a Thunder.
Also, shout-out to the Utah Jazz for ultimately losing to nWo member Dennis Rodman and the Chicago Bulls in the finals and causing a Mormon kid’s mom to get abused.
Best: Alex Wright Is A Huge Dick
Wait, does that say is?
This week’s episode(s) feature a few familiar faces returning*, none more familiar than Das Wunderkind Alex Wright, who openly complains about being pulled away from a vacation in his “beautiful home country of Germany” and being forced to teach the lazy people of Norfolk, Virginia, how to dance. If you’re wondering, nobody asked him to. There are few Nitro dialogues I enjoy more than Alex Wright and Mean Gene Okerlund’s, because Wright still isn’t very good at speaking or understanding English, and even most native English speakers don’t get Gene’s dated-ass phrasings and colloquialisms. Wright: “NOBODY TELLS ALEX WRIGHT WHAT TO DO, OR WHEN TO DO!”
He gets thrown out twice in three hours; once when he refuses to stop dancing beside Gene, and once at the top of the show when he interrupts a jump-rope routine from the Nitro Girls.
They’re both pretty funny, but the best part is him still trying to show everyone the one dance he knows while being escorted away by security. I missed you, you living Eggplant Emoji.
*The other familiar face returning is THE LAUGHING MAN “HUMOROUS”. He was last seen in a Philadelphia Street Fight against Public Enemy several months ago, and returns in a match against the Public Enemy. Career advancement! Here’s a screenshot of them looking like a Keith Haring painting.
Worst: Konnan Defects From nWo Hollywood, Causes The Show To Be Edited, Immediately Forgets
This week’s big announcement from former Macho Man Randy Savage (wearing a gigantic knee brace, because he’s got a torn ACL and is just trying to ignore it back to health) and Kevin Nash is that “the Wolfpac is expanding” to add new members. The first new member is Savage, obvs, and the second new member is, drum roll please … Konnan. Please, try to compose yourselves.
Konnan debuts the first portion of his Road Dogg-esque new catchphrase parade, accidentally writes AJ Styles’ future WWE entrance theme, and then … hard cut to the crowd. Watching this on WWE Network I couldn’t remember why there was such a jarring edit to the end of the segment, so I did a little investigative reporting — wasting time on YouTube — and found out.
Please enjoy Konnan sexually taunting Hollywood Hogan with Timbaland and Magoo’s 1998 classic, ‘Luv 2 Luv Ya.’
I just wish they’d held on the promo long enough for Konnan to hit the lines, “I’m comin baby like the big black kahuna, I wish you woulda humped me just a little sooner/Now rich, like silver-spooner, now here’s the finger now I got you moonin.” There should be more promos about people threatening to put their finger in Hogan’s ass.
Nash could’ve followed up with the even better Magoo lines, “You so absurd, I thought you heard, if you don’t know, the bird is the word, yes the bird bird bird, the bird is the word, the bird bird bird, the bird is the word.”
That was Monday. On Tuesday, Konnan’s part of a six-man tag alongside Scott Steiner and the most nWo Hollywood man of all time, Brian Adams. I guess it’s not as big of a deal since the Wolfpac isn’t “the black and red” yet and they’ve only really split socially, but it’s still weird to see Konnan show up in “hour one” as a defector who only takes orders from Savage and Nash, and then show up again in “hour three” as one of Hogan’s minions against The Giant, Lex Luger, and Sting.
They don’t even lose that match, by the way, they just leave because they’re getting their asses kicked. When Vincent’s at ringside and you’re already the three lowest ranking members of the New World Order, there isn’t a second gang of nobodies ready to run in and clubber for your honor.
Yet, I mean.
Best: Two Chris Jericho Segments On Two Consecutive Nights
Monday: Chris Jericho brings out his framed Dean Malenko portrait and tripod again, only this time he attempts to interview it. He’s just holds the microphone up to the picture of Malenko like it’s Viggo the Carpathian and is going to answer his questions, then he jokes that Dean’s “more talkative than usual.” His questions:
- “So Dean, how does it feel to be the number two wrestler in the entire world, next to myself of course? Speak into the mic, Dean.”
- “Congratulations on being the new fry cook at Harry’s Burgers in Tampa Florida.”
- “How does it feel to be sitting at home, a quitter, after you were beaten by your role model, your hero, your idol, Lionheart Chris Jericho?”
So happy Dean got the Harry’s job. Jericho faces Chavo Guerrero Jr., here, and Chavo gets a great fall by shoving Jericho into his Uncle Eddie and rolling him up for a 2.999. After the match, Eddie gets in Jericho’s face about the miscommunication, then immediately believes him and turns on his nephew when Jericho says it’s all Chavo’s fault. Which it was, but Eddie’s complete 180 is hilarious.
Note: Eddie and Chavo invert their dynamic in hour three, with Chavo pointing out that Eddie’s trying to pin Television Champion Booker T with his feet on the ropes. Eddie gets mad that his nephew has an inconvenient conscience, and 9-foot tall breakdancing super machine Booker spin-a-roonies up and crescent kicks him in the brains.
Before a match with Psicosis, Jericho debuts his Dean Malenko impersonation, which involves some heavy wrist work and open, uncontrollable sobbing about how he wants to go home.
Worst: Trust Me, Buddy, You’re Gonna Want To Go Home Too After This Psicosis Match
I don’t know if Psicosis did a ‘Wild n’ Crazy Kids’ dizzy bat race before this match or what, but this is one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen him have. It’s like Super Calo versus that 1997 babyface Jericho who couldn’t stop almost breaking his own neck.
They try a creative spot where Jericho’s going to go for a Lionsault, but Psico’s supposed to pop up, dropkick him in the legs, and leave him tangled up in the ropes. Psicosis has been doing that awkward guillotine leg drop to someone supporting themselves on the middle of the second rope lately, but it’s going to look even worse when you pop up too late, do a jumping high knee to nothing, and then a one-footed dropkick to the air. Jericho has to pretend like he got kicked in the legs anyway, and the announcers (to their credit, I guess) try to justify it by saying Psicosis dropkicked the rope. Best case scenario, an atom on the end of his boot grazed it.
They follow that up with an even worse spot, which is supposed to be Jericho’s normal “counter a headscissors attempt off the ropes into the Liontamer,” but ends up looking more like Jericho Zangief piledriving Psicosis from five and a half feet up. Psico is completely out of it after that, and Jericho has to try to get him into the Liontamer while he’s unconscious. Not a great time for anybody.
Worst: Two Bad Goldberg Moments On Two Consecutive Nights
Hey, want to see Goldberg — seen here giving Extreme Eskimo Kisses — tap out to Scott Norton clean on Nitro?
That’s what he does on Tuesday. The old, “wrestler doesn’t know or doesn’t realize that Ken Shamrock and Taz changed the way people submit in wrestling in 1997 and still thinks quickly slapping the mat with one hand over and over is a way to get the crowd into it” chestnut. The announcers ignore it and he just gets up and spears Norton anyway, but yeah, I’m counting that as two canon losses for Goldberg during his undefeated streak so far. Don’t forget when Mongo technically ended The Streak eight matches in back at World War 3.
On Tuesday, our man William Scott gets a rematch with his favorite can, Jerry Flynn. The entire match is supposed to be Flynn attacking him at the bell, whipping him across the ring, Goldberg ducking a flying kick and coming off the ropes with a spear. Instead, Goldberg clips Flynn’s leg as he’s running over him and knocks him down, causing this not-at-all awkward interaction:
I wish he’d just thrown a spear anyway and gone flying through the middle rope into the crowd. Goldberg wins both matches, of course, because WCW’s mid-card currently operates on a theory of supply and Da Man.
Worst/Best: Wack, A Flock Enflamed
It’s not a good couple of days for our friends in Raven’s Flock. They’re still reeling after last week’s brow-and-everything-else beating from Goldberg, so Raven doesn’t even show up — he insults Diamond Dallas Page via pre-taped video package — and the rest of the Flock is in shambles.
Billy “heroin addict gimmick the announcers still haven’t picked up on” Kidman loses a match to Juventud Guerrera, who WCW is suddenly going all-in on. He gets videos about how he’s an Aztec Youth Warrior who Never Gives Up, and it takes the combined efforts of Kidman, Sick Boy, Horace Boulder (lol), and even The Artist Formerly Known As A Butt-fucking Himalayan Ice Mummy (Reese) to put him down. Imagine Bad-era Michael Jackson walking onto the set of The Warriors and just kicking everybody’s asses.
As for that Raven/Page interaction, Page tells Raven the Flock to learn about his “Big Bang Theory,” which is either an invitation to a grunge rock orgy or DDP’s request to have a laugh track added to all of his matches. Sick Boy and Kidman wander out for absolutely no reason to watch the Raven video in the ring with Page, and then whoops! Sick Boy gets a Diamond Cutter. They don’t even kind of come up with a reason for them to be there.
Anyway, here’s the good news: as Page is escaping out through the crowd (as he does), a MYSTERIOUS FAN bounds out of the crowd and clotheslines Kidman over the ropes before Security Santa Doug Dellinger and his khaki assault team subdue him. If you’re wondering why the camera knew to pan slightly to the left to catch the fan getting into the ring, it’s because it’s the official on-screen debut of Chris Kanyon, who you may know better as “Mortis, if he grew skin.” If you aren’t familiar with his work, don’t worry; pretty soon you’ll be asking, “who betta?”
Oh, also, Perry Saturn wrestles Marty Jannetty in front of a crowd so quiet you can hear a Baron Corbin promo being radio’d in from the future. And no, Marty doesn’t come anywhere close to landing this fist drop. He lands on his feet and has to fall the complete length of his body and arm to touch hand to forehead.
Worst: Bret Hart Explains It All, Which Is Nothing
On the Monday episode, Mean Gene Okerlund looks for answers from Canadian Benedict Arnold Bret Hart, and gets something you could describe as a “promo” in response. You could also say that Bret did a bunch of uppers and downers and thought he was Alex Jones.
In the promo that is supposed to explain why Bret Hart of all people would help Hollywood Hulk Hogan win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship again, Hart declares that there’s “no room for guilt or innocence in the world of wrestling,” because it’s a “long, cruel, muddy trench; a plastic hallway full of pimps and thieves, and a place where good men die like dogs.” Get that creative writing degree, boy! He says that Savage is “half troll and half lizard” (?) and crawled out from under a rock to challenge him. He uses the promo where he’s supposed to explain his motivations to say he’ll be here tomorrow to explain his motivations. You okay, man?
The next night, Hart uses his promo time to say that Hollywood Hogan is the most recognized athlete in history. He’s also wearing a Hollywood Hogan shirt. As soon as he’s actually about to say something of consequence, Lizard Troll Randy Savage runs down and gets in his face. That leads to a 3-on-1 beatdown, Lucha House Rules style, and the show “running out of time” and going off the air before Bret explains himself.
Things are going really great for WCW, you guys.
- Dean Malenko’s dad debuts, kind of
- a second generation superstar from the WWF debuts for WCW (don’t get excited about it)
- a title changes hands! (also don’t get excited about it)
- a LOSER LEAVES THE FLOCK match happens (same)
- Bret Hart still doesn’t explain a goddamn thing
- really just get excited about the Malenko bit