The Best And Worst Of WCW Monday Nitro 2/15/99: Field Of Screams

Previously on the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro: Bret Hart lost the United States Championship because he beat up a guy on MadTV, Kimberly Page got thrown from a moving vehicle while wearing a suspicious amount of thick clothing, and a first-person blonde eventually known as Torrie Wilson debuted as a girl at a bar who wants to have sex with you the second she sees you. It doesn’t matter that it’s the middle of the day and you’re the only two people at the bar.

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. Follow along with the competition here.

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And now, the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro for February 15, 1999.

Worst: Driving Bisch Daisy

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This week’s WCW Monday Nitro contains two equally important stories:

  • Bret Hart continues his feud with a sketch comedian
  • WCW’s President is kidnapped and driven out into field where 10 masked men mercilessly beat him with weapons and leave him for dead

We should probably talk about the second one first, huh?

Over the past several weeks, 90-day WCW President Ric Flair has been doing everything he could think of to emasculate Eric Bischoff and take him down a peg. He’s made him work ring crew, be an arena janitor, sell merchandise, and sit outside the arena in a dunk tank. Bischoff responded by (respectively) helping the nWo win a match with a wrench, helping the nWo win a match with a bucket of bleach, helping the nWo win a match with a plank of wood with a foam finger on the end, and luring WCW into a false sense of security so Hollywood Hogan and one of the Hell’s Angels could stalk Ric Flair’s Adult Son David. Despite literally none of these plans working out the way he’d predicted and every one of them ending with an nWo beat-down, Ric Flair decides it would be a good idea to make Eric Bischoff his chauffeur and blindly trust him to drive him around in the middle of the night without incident.

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Flair flies in with some television executives for, and I quote, “a big night in Tampa.” This is the WCW Monday Nitro that’s Too Big For Just One Night®! Bischoff is in a full limo driver uniform, hat and everything, and Dick Flair’s like, “hey man, I know I’ve been punishing you for a straight month, thanks for being a good dude and driving me from the airport to the wrestling show while I casually berate you in front of my friends.” It’s only after they’ve been driving for a few segments that Naitch starts to worry that something might be wrong. If the helicopter circling overhead and shining a spotlight on the limo to film where it’s driving isn’t enough of a red flag, maybe the multiple vehicles that have pulled up and started following along in the darkness are.

The limo parks and is immediately jacked by a group of impossible to identify men in ski masks, including this 7-foot tall thug with luxurious hair and this other one with a bristly blonde mustache. Did somebody new world order a woodland assault?

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So, as mentioned, 10-or-so masked men work to send the Nature Boy back to nature and leave him for dead in some meadow in the middle of the night. Incredibly, this isn’t the only time Flair is driven out into the wilderness to be murdered by a heel faction … it’s not even the only time it happens to him this year. By October, the Filthy Animals are out trying to bury him alive in the desert. I don’t want to cast aspersions on a man’s job performance, but if you’ve been attacked by a group of co-workers and abandoned in the wild twice in an eight-month span, you either need to get a new job or start being nicer to people.

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Back in the arena, this bewildering man of mystery unmasks to reveal himself as — gasp — Kevin Sullivan. He’s formed a new Dungeon of Doom dedicated to ending Horsemania. [checks notes] Wait, no, sorry, it turns out to be Hollywood Hogan, somehow, and he’s given himself the clever masked nickname Hollyhood. Between “Wood” and “Hollyhood,” Hogan was working overtime trying to “Black Mamba” himself.

Hollyhood magnanimously offers to give Ric Flair his SuperBrawl title shot here tonight. Incredibly, WCW chose to have the announce team not see any of the Flair beating segments, despite them taking up about 20 minutes of the show, so they’re all just like, “wow, I wonder where Ric Flair is?” If the announce team didn’t see what happened, what were they watching? What was going on at the arena for those 20 minutes? You could’ve run 10 Goldberg matches in that time. Flair doesn’t answer Hogan’s challenge, shockingly, so the referee starts a 10-count to count him out … until Rowdy Roddy Piper appears at 8, uses his lingering commissionership to sub himself in for Flair, and also

whoops it’s for the World Heavyweight Championship.

It’s like their meticulous rankings system is MEANINGLESS!

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Yes, it ends in disqualification about four minutes in when Piper has Hogan dead to rights in a sleeper, already, and Scott Hall jumps in to shock-stick Piper in the ribs. The Hot Rod, felled by a hot rod. It’s like poetry, they rhyme. Hall puts on Piper’s kilt and gives us a curtsy as if to say, “hey yo, things aren’t going to get better.”

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That’s not the end of the story, though. Abandoned in a clearing in the middle of the night with only a helicopter’s lights and several WCW camera men, Flair recovers enough to stumble to a road and get picked up by a passing tow truck. It drives him back to the arena (instead of a hospital), and a barely functional Ric falls out (pictured) to grab an axe handle and stagger back in for revenge. Bobby Heenan helpfully asks if Flair’s drunk. Remember, none of the announcers saw the segment, so to them Flair just missed work, bailed on a match, and then showed up at the end of the night stumbling around with his shirt open and bruises all over his face. The nWo pulling up wearing ski masks and loudly bragging about how they’ve dominated Ric Flair doesn’t clue anybody in, I guess.

In case you were hoping at least THIS part had a happy ending, no, of course it doesn’t. This is WCW Monday Nitro. Much in the same way that Piper sticking up for Flair ended with Piper being shocked and beaten by 10 guys, Flair returning to stick up for HIMSELF ends with Flair and the remaining Horsemen being, uh, shocked and beaten by 10 guys. The show goes off the air with Scott Hall addressing our mystery First Person character, who has apparently taken a break from his week-long Torrie Wilson hotel sex bender to participate in an nWo attack. Hall hands over the taser, adding, “Now you see how it’s done? Don’t mess it up.”

I don’t want to spoil the payoff for you, but it involves another impossible to identify masked man with the ring presence and agility of a newborn fawn.

Wait, What Were The Other Horsemen Doing?

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Having technical difficulties. Mongo is gone forever thanks to Hollywood Hogan curing his coronavirus, Arn Anderson got kicked out for beating the boogie fever out of Disco Inferno with a tire iron, and Benoit and Malenko are stuck in a WCW Tag Team Championship tournament that makes almost no sense, is topped by the nWo despite weeks of the nWo insisting the tourney would never happen, and requires them to win two matches on the same night to make it to the finals. I’m sure there’s a structured bracket I’m missing somewhere across WCW’s handful of weekly shows, but it seems like they’re just throwing out random jobber pairings and saying, “SORRY THIS IS ALSO THE TOURNAMENT, GO DO IT.”

To put it another way, they have to defeat the legendary tandem of Mike Enos and Scotty Riggs (tag team name Michael Scott), but only after defeating a Team of Daves, Dave Taylor and Fit Finlay. That one’s good enough to be the Nestle Pretzel Flipz Pretzel Flip Of The Week. You’re nothing in this business until you impress the ’90s candy magnates. We’ll see if they’re able to win the tournament at SuperBrawl*, and whether or not that will qualify to win the Melody Pops Whistle On A Stick Of The Week.

*They’re the Four Horsemen! Of course they won’t win. What are you, new?

Worst: Failure Of The Will

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Now that we’ve covered the assassination of WCW’s President, we can talk about The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever™ — sorry, Edge vs. Randy Orton — pitting Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart against MadTV cast member Will Sasso. You may remember him from such unforgettable characters as crazy Kenny Rogers, crazy Bill Clinton, and future Sting rival Señor Bag of Crap. Will Sasso really loved getting put in the Sharpshooter, huh?

In case you haven’t been following along with the column, Hart was a guest on MadTV because he works for WCW and is therefore never busy wrestling. The conceit of the bit is that Bret put an arm bar on cast member Debra Wilson and “really hurt her,” causing the sketch to go wrong and leading to Hart attacking Sasso with steel (flimsy plastic) chair. A shocking amount of people thought (and still think) that it was real, even though it was just a pro wrestling reboot of what Andy Kaufman did on Fridays 18 years earlier. Sasso showed up in the crowd at Nitro and ended up not only distracting Bret during a match, but full-on helping Roddy Piper win Bret’s United States Championship. So now Bret’s out for REAL LIFE BLOOD, and the only way he can do that is by winning a televised wrestling match against a non-wrestling comedian.

Sasso shows up in a football jersey and gym shorts with “MAD TV” on the butt, and does about as well as you’d expect Curly “Hulk Hogan” Howard to do against BRET GODDAMN HART. Sasso’s entire offensive output is participating in a Greco-Roman knuckle lock that immediately gets him kicked in the stomach. Still, because this is WCW, they couldn’t just have Bret kick the guy’s ass and pin him; no, they had Debra Wilson accompany Sasso to the ring as his manager just to reveal that it’s been a swerve all this time, and Debra Wilson teamed up with Hart to work Sasso because she’s nWo for life. No, seriously. Here she is preventing Bret from hitting him with an actual steel chair so SHE could hit him instead. It feels like you could’ve just thrown hands at him at your own job, but sure, whatever.

Please enjoy Debra Wilson’s Royal Rumble ’99-level chair shots to Will Sasso with her entire boob hanging out, because Bret Hart needed help to defeat pre-Crisis Frank Caliendo.

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It’s only then that Hart’s able to lock in the Sharpshooter and make Sasso tap. You know, sometimes I’m happy that WCW’s not around anymore. What a crazy company, am I right? You’d never catch WWE having one of their top stars fight a late night sketch comedian in a football jersey at the expense of one of their biggest shows of the year, and they definitely would never have one of that comedian’s co-workers agree to go to the ring and then bail on him.

On the plus side, Sasso learns his lesson after getting beaten up by Bret Hart and Sting and decides to start throwing other cast members at the wrestler guest-stars instead of fighting all those battles himself.

Worst: Car Pay Diem

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Remember when Scott Steiner spent several weeks stalking Kimberly Page only to throw her to her death from a moving car? Here’s Scott’s very real lawyer who is NOT a local independent wrestler to inform us that Steiner will be suing Diamond Dallas Page for ONE MILLION DOLLARS for, “assault and battery resulting in bodily injuries with resulting disability and impairment; mental, physical, and emotional pain and suffering; loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life.” These losses are,”permanent in nature, and that he will suffer these losses in the future.” DDP’s getting pulled in front of a grand jury and is expected to be indicted on felony charges, followed by up to 15 years in prison.

Looking back, it’s a shame that Diamond Dallas Page’s career had to end so soon, and that he had to go to jail because one of his co-workers tried to sexually assault his wife on several occasions over several weeks and then made her tuck and roll against her will in a wrestling arena parking lot. Nitro Girl Spice, accompanied by all Shawn Michaels wants to do 24/7, gets mic time (!!) to say how much all the girls miss Kim, and how they can’t wait until she’s back doing what she loves most: dancing poorly between Norman Smiley matches.

Worst: Lucha Ouch Party

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When I tell you this week’s episode had a 20-minute trios match to put over Blitzkrieg, I need you to know will the full love of WCW cruiserweights in my heart that it is big horrible. Blitz is awesome, sure — here he is breaking out a freaking picture-perfect Phoenix Splash in the middle of a 1999 Nitro because WHY NOT — but, as you may have noticed from that GIF, Super Calo’s also out here to balance things out. Here’s Cal doing a double springboard into a hurricanrana and just slipping off and landing on his head. STOP WRESTLING IN SUNGLASSES MY DUDE.

I can’t put all the blame on Calo, though. It’s 20 minutes long, sure, but the first 15 are a weird Lazy Susan of ground-and-pound attacks and super boring commercial break offense, and when things finally start to pick up, nobody can hit their moves. For example, here’s an often reliable Juventud Guerrera going for an almost always reliable Air Juvi and basically hip-tossing himself spine-first into the ring apron. It’s a bad time, which is a shame because you know somebody backstage was like, “tonight we’ve got a Will Sasso match, a Roddy Piper match, and like half an hour of Ric Flair getting Last Housed On The Left, throw a 20-minute lucha libre six-man in there to make up for it, it’ll be fine.”

Worst: A Lifetime Of Missed Opportunities

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I’m sure you’re interested in my analysis of Perry Saturn vs. Jerry Flynn with a Scott Dickinson distraction finish, but I’ll put it to you bluntly: On Sunday night, the World Wrestling Federation put on a show featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin beating Vince McMahon bloody and throwing him off the wall of a steel cage, Big Show jumping ship from WCW to debut in what appeared to be an immediate WrestleMania program, and Mankind defending the WWF Championship against The Rock in a Last Man Standing match. World Championship Wrestling’s big response to that in the opening segment of the following Nitro is Perry Saturn wrestling in a dress and losing a match to karate fightin’ JERRY FLYNN due to a referee distraction caused by a different referee. I’ve seen Jackson Pollock paintings with a clearer narrative than whatever WCW was going for at this point.

Next Week:

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It’s finally time for SuperBrawl IX, featuring:

  • Hollyhood vs. the corpse of Ric Flair, animated by spiteful rage and completely oblivious to the Machiavellian plans of his mannequin son
  • Kevin Nash doing Rey Mysterio a huge favor wink wink nudge nudge by taking his mask
  • Rowdy Roddy Piper in another title match with another bad ending
  • Diamond Dallas Page hoping to avenge the loss of his wife and a million dollars by winning the TV title, which he doesn’t
  • the Four Horsemen trying to win the WCW Tag Team Championship twice, which they don’t

It’s the kind of fun and catharsis you’ve come to expect from World Championship Wrestling. See you then!