The Best And Worst Of WCW Monday Nitro 11/2/98: No Hart Feelings

Previously on the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro: The nWo Liars Club put James J. Dillon in a very dramatic Steiner Recliner, Hogan and Warrior briefly continued their war of ass-trition, and Kenny Kaos lost a singles match to become one half of the Tag Team Champions. [shrug]

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. It’s almost time for WCW World War 3 1998! Building a pay-per-view around one 60-man match is a great idea!

Up first, let’s see what’s crackin’ on Thunder.

The One-Page WCW Thunder Report For October 29, 1998

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You can watch this week’s episode here.

(What About) Raven and (Who Betta Than) Kanyon decide to slump-bust Raven’s losing streak by sending him into an “anything goes” singles match against a 7-foot tall, 550-pound guy. It goes about as well as you’d expect. I know it’s about 10 years too early for Raven to realize this, but if you want to defeat The Giant in a tables match, you’ve gotta trick him into stepping through one. It’s a real Mister Mxyzptlk situation.

Also On This Episode

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  • You know WCW’s put a lot of effort into booking a card when they send out TUFF TOM with MEAN MIKE to take on The Disciple, aka BORING BRUTUS. Highlights include Tuff Tom turning into Michelle Tanner when Disciple no-sells his neckbreaker, and Disciple breaking whatever the opposite of the land speed record is with the slowest Stunner ever.
  • There are actually a couple of decent matches on the card, like Chris Jericho vs. Disco Inferno and an Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko match ruined by a random Latino World Order run-in.
  • Also on the card: The Cat vs. Villano V, Scott Hall vs. STEVE ARMSTRONG, and Wrath picking on a jobber his own size in a match against Heavy Metal Van Hammer, now more accurately described as Placid Jam Band Van Hammer.

And now, the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro for November 2, 1998.

Killin’ Dillon

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There’s no Hogan or Warrior on this episode, which is great, but it also makes the “most important story of the week” a little less clear. It’s hard to know what WCW truly cares about if it isn’t prefaced by Hollywood Hogan kissing Eric Bischoff on the side of the head, and concluded with an nWo beatdown.

Anyway, the most important story of the week appears to be the middle-management revenge of James J. Dillon, head of the mysterious WCW Executive Committee, following his gently uncomfortable Steiner Reclining. Dillon tries to make the announcement early in the show, but a straight-up roid-raging Big Poppa Pump chases him to the back. When J.J.’s finally able to make the announcement, it’s that WCW is fining Steiner $100,000 (and Buff Bagwell $50,000) for the attack. Steiner shows up, angrily chases him off again, and then goes to the ring for one of the first “Scott Steiner is off his rocker and has a live microphone” promos, a late-era Nitro speci-ality.

The highlight, if you can call it that:


If there’s anyone on the WCW roster I’d assume would be deeply unhappy about being on “Queer street,” it’s Rowdy Roddy Piper. There’s literally no differentiation between how Scott Steiner says “Rowdy” and “Roddy,” by the way, so it’s definitely RODDY RODDY PIPER. “Roddy Roddy” is right behind “Rickety Dragon Steamboat” on my list of easily-pronounceable wrestler names nobody remembers to enunciate. Lots of legends on the Dub-dub-ee Network.

Buff Bagwell tries to calm things down by inviting new WCW Tag Team Champion Kenny Kaos to the ring to let him know nobody thinks any of this is his fault. Kaos, being a stupid fucking idiot, comes to the ring to hear him out. They immediately kick his ass and laugh at him for being so stupid. You know you’re doing badly when you’re teaming with the guy who tried to start beef with Chucky from Child’s Play and YOU’RE the dumb one.

Best/Worst: Increased Risk Of Hart Disease

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The other important story of the week revolves around Bret Hart, who lost the United States Championship at the end of the previous Nitro and is supposed to main event this one against Lex Luger. Bret’s now claiming a “severe groin injury” and says a doctor told him he can’t compete, despite Mean Gene Okerlund’s anecdotal evidence of seeing him walking around like normal backstage. Luger shows up and wants answers but Bret keeps giving him the doctor’s note runaround, so Luger clotheslines him. The highlight here is absolutely Mean Gene “bumping” for Luger’s clothesline, which involves him throwing up both of his arms, flopping to the ground despite it never actually touching him, and desperately rolling out of the ring. It’s funnier the longer you watch it:

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If this announcing thing doesn’t work out for you, you’ve got a bright future in the NBA, Gene-o.

Luger ends up Torture Racking Hart until referees pull him away, which causes the groin pull to make its way up Bret’s back and creates a full-on Brazzers scene with the doctor in the back. The Giant has to step in to take Hart’s spot against Luger in the main event. Which is extra funny because when a Dean Malenko vs. Raven match devolves into the Horsemen fighting off Kanyon and Lodi, Bret jogs out for seemingly no reason and randomly attacks Chris Benoit for fun. Benoit turned down a spot in the nWo a while back, you see, so Bret has to Kimura Lock him about it months later. Luger shows up to make the save like, “WTF,” so Bret rolls into the ring and starts clutching at his various injuries. GOAT 🐐

How does that Giant vs. Luger match end, by the way? I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED.

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Why, with Bret Hart running in and attacking Luger with a … baby gate (?) for the disqualification. That’ll break your leg AND keep your dogs out of the bedroom! With Sting injured, Kevin Nash recently thrown through a wall, and Konnan preoccupied — more on that later — it’s up to WCW World Heavyweight Champion William Scott Goldberg to make the save. Only, you know, Goldberg’s got the spacial and deductive reasoning of a laundry hamper and accidentally spears Luger instead of Hart during the melee. First of all, he’s not your bro, bro.

In Other nWo News

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Remember when Booker T was attacked and injured backstage and Stevie Ray just kinda stood around in golf pants watching it happen? Booker returns to Nitro to inform us that his opponent for the night, Scott Hall, is the one who attacked him. As for also New World Order member Stevie Ray: “My brother Stevie Ray, I ain’t got nothing but love for you, you do your thing, and I’mma do mine.” Gene Okerlund is rightfully like, “when you were hurt this dude put on your title belt and lied about you saying he could defend it,” and Booker says the situation is “obsolete.” I mean, all right, but you could probably connect a few dots here if you thought about it for five seconds. See, this is how members of Harlem Heat end up losing the last letters of their names.

Booker has a match with Scott Hall, which gets called off when Hall pulls referee Billy Silverman in front of him to eat a missile dropkick (pictured). Billy Silverman is easily the most fragile of the referees, which is kinda like being the hungriest starving person. Charles Robinson has to sprint out and call for the bell, because Silverman’s gonna be comatose and unresponsive until at least Thursday.

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In case you ever wanted to know what it’d look like if Virgil held the IWGP Championship, there you go. He’s the normal-sized guy inside the Bob Sapp mech.

But yeah, no, there’s an actual IWGP Championship match on this episode of Nitro. It’s between the champion, Scott Norton, and Van Hammer, who has done absolutely jack and shit to earn a shot at anyone’s title. Here’s Flash Norton just murdering him with, as Tony Schiavone puts it, “his version of the Jackknife powerbomb!” I guess ol’ Heavy Metal isn’t going to be invited to the January 4 Dome Show.

This Week In Pretty Good Matches With Bad Endings

Might as well call it like I see it.

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Eddie Guerrero and Perry Saturn decide to have the same … uh, “radical” match Guerrero and Malenko had on Thunder, complete with the Latino World Order disqualification run-in at the end. This time, though, Konnan shows up dressed like the business casual Disco Inferno, and he and Guerrero get into an argument over who is and is not “raza.” Konnan’s argument is that Guerrero’s not raza because he’s just “using these boys,” and isn’t really their friend. Guerrero tells Konnan to go hang out with his, “anglo punk Wolfpac buddies.” Pretty funny of former Dungeon of Doom and nWo Hollywood member Konnan to tell someone the right reasons to form a pro wrestling faction. “Destroying Hulkamania? That’s fine. PRESERVING Hulkamania? That’s fine, too. Trying to get La Parka more TV time? YOU RACIST SON OF A BITCH.”

The lWo returns later in the episode to pose at ringside while Psicosis defeats Rey Mysterio Jr., now using his more recognizable rap theme in favor of the MARCH OF DEATH. Hypnosis (™ Bret Hart) pinning Rey is probably an upset, because Psicosis only seems to exist in WCW so Rey can have someone to pin, but it helps get over the gang morale of the lWo empowering and powering up its members. Don’t worry, they’ll be recruiting Rey soon, which will lead to him becoming the only loyal member, and eventually set up the formation of the Filty Animals.

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Speaking of animals whomst are filthy, here’s Aerial Artist Billy Kidman “hitting” a shooting star press on Chris Jericho. Jericho’s supposed to get his knees up to continue the match, but Kidman comes down with his crotch and thigh and knee in Jericho’s face, so they have to improvise a low blow. How did the one guy who can’t do a shooting star press end up with the shooting star press? Kidman could shooting star press off a cliff into the Grand Canyon and somehow land on top of the visitor’s center.

This one ends up being a time limit draw, as they’ve booked the Cruiserweight Champion against the Television Champion and need a way out of it. No, Jericho cannot powerbomb Kidman, if you’re wondering. Jericho’s still emptily feuding with Goldberg, though, and has started adding fingerless gloves to his gear because he’s an asshole who loves to look as ridiculous as possible at all times. On Thunder he wore dramatic, elbow-length fingerless gloves. He’s going to be so happy when he discovers scarves, fedoras, and spiked leather jackets.

Everything Else

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Alex Wright continues this dominance over the like, five wrestlers in WCW from Europe by defeating Norman Smiley. As previously mentioned, Smiley and Wright look like 1P and 2P when you choose the same character in an SNK fighting game. The only time anyone makes noise during the match is when Smiley does a weird little Cabbage Patch dance, giving him a great idea for what to do for the entirety of his matches for the remainder of his career. In retrospect, the condescending hip-thrusts guy with the huge dong and the guy who’s always trying to happily pretend to butt-fuck you are natural enemies. If Wright tried to do the Big Wiggle to people it’d end up looking like that kiss from Species.

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Also competing in the European Division this week is Ireland’s Fit Finlay, who scores a big win over Scott Putski from Poland (Texas). Putski continues to look less like a human being and more like a Men in Black alien wearing a human skin suit, as seen above. It’s like Chris Benoit and 2019 Sammy Sosa had a baby. I don’t understand [gestures] anything going on.

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Wrath defeats Kendall Windham by jamming Kendall’s arm up his own butt. No, I’m not tired of making my only Wrath joke. Don’t worry, Windham’s material will open up considerably when we find out his opinions on rap music. Spoiler alert: they aren’t positive.

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Disco Inferno defeats Kaz Hayashi, accompanied to the ring by Sonny Onoo, still looking like a bell hop in the Grimace wing of the McDonalds Hotel. Onoo is still disappointed in his native Japanese wrestlers, and is leaning more and more toward the black guy with the thick Georgia accent who wears leopard-print jackets and kicks everybody he knows in the throat.

Speaking of The Cat, this week his challenge to whoop “any and/or err-body in here” is answered by Scott Armstrong, who shows up wearing the tiniest yellow singlet ever.

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Did he buy that thing when he was 13? Jesus Christ, Scott, Alex Wright’s in the back watching this like, “you should put on some pants.”

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Finally, we get another installment of “you want to see Ric Flair wrestling on Nitro? Here’s Ric Flair ‘wrestling’ ‘on Nitro.'” This time out it’s edited footage from Halloween Havoc ’94, with Hogan effortlessly kicking Flair’s ass inside a steel cage. I’m honestly surprised Hogan stayed in a cage that long, as his favorite thing in the world is signing up for a cage match and then fighting a bunch outside it. It’s not any better in edited form. The “isn’t Hulk Hogan great” tour of 1994 is the worst WCW ever was, and yes, I’m including Vince Russo and those bewildering late-era Nitros.

The Horsemen show up afterward and cut long promos about how Eric Bischoff can’t earn their respect because he’s not a wrestler, and how no amount of edited disrespect will stop them from showing up and trying to kick his ass about it. I’d argue that since Bischoff’s had a few matches at this point he’s as much of a legendary wrestler as Mongo, at least, but that’s beside the point. They conclude by talking about how they’re gonna go out and party and dry-hump the locals, which always sounds oddly threatening coming out of Chris Benoit’s mouth. Maybe just go relax and read your art books?

Next Week:

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LODI challenges for the IWGP Championship, Konnan’s music video finally debuts, and Hollywood Hogan returns dressed like a complete asshole (pictured) to announce that he’s running for President. Like they’d ever let an old self-obssessed, orange racist with connections to Vince McMahon be President!

See you next week!