Previously on the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro: Hollywood Hogan saw a vision of the Ultimate Warrior in a dressing room mirror that only he, and everyone else in the world who isn’t Eric Bischoff, could see. How long would it take WCW to top something that stupid, you ask? Would you believe a week?
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 Halloween Havoc, brought to you by Halloween candy.
Up first, let’s see what happened on Thursday Night Dynamite.
The One-Page WCW Thunder Report For October 8, 1998
You can watch this episode on WWE Network here.
Bret Hart challenges Sting to a match at Halloween Havoc, and speaks his truth:
“Sting, you are so stupid. You know, if you just think about it for a second I was telling you all along to just listen to one little key piece of advice, and that was to not listen to all the stupid fans. And it’s the stupid fans that told you to trust me in the first place, and that’s what cost ya.
“Let me say something, Sting. I’ve waited for a long time for you. People have dreamed about Sting and the Hitman forever; well, it can happen. You know, I may be the United States Champion, but I’m gonna set everything aside, I’m not gonna wait for a challenge from YOU, I’m gonna issue a challenge right here and right now. In Halloween Havoc, you will get the opportunity to step into the ring with the Excellence of Execution, the greatest technical wrestler that ever put on a pair of wrestling boots. And if you people don’t like it … Sting, you bring every single thing you’ve got. You can bring the little teary-eyed fans, you can bring every single thing you can think of. You want a wrestling match? You want a fight? You want an all-out war? I will give it to you, but promise yourself one thing: The Excellence of Execution is gonna destroy you and everything you stand for, ’cause you suck.”
If that’s not enough of an ether for Sting, Tony Schiavone tries to answer on the Stinger’s behalf and Bret immediately shuts him down.
Tony: “I’m sure Sting will answer this challenge from you.”
Bret: “Yeah, tell him I hope his mascara doesn’t run.”
Damn, Bret, tell ’em how you really feel. Also, “in Halloween Havoc,” is the WCW version of Bret calling SummerSlam, “the SummerSlam.”
Also On This Episode
- Chris Jericho gets a “count-out win” against Goldberg, which doesn’t really count, because Goldberg’s not even there. Jericho still considers this his third consecutive victory over Goldberg, who he’s officially christened, “Greenburg.”
- Jericho also tells “Brian” that we love him and that we hope he comes back soon. Brian, of course, is Hildebrand, aka Mark Curtis, the greatest WCW referee of all time. Hildebrand had been diagnosed with stomach and bowel cancer in October of ’97 and had continued reffing as long as his body would allow him. Unfortunately he wouldn’t be able to beat it, and would pass a little under a year later on September 8, ’99 at the age of 37. He still managed to ref a match on the independent circuit a few days before he died, because he was a fucking warrior.
- The only other developments on the episode are El Dandy joining the Latino World Order, and Meng starting a clubberin’ contest with Wrath. There’s also a Disciple vs. Horace Hogan match, if you’d like to see how bad wrestling can be.
And now, the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro for October 12, 1998.
Worst: This Is The End, Friend
So it’s come to this.
This week’s A-story is the reveal that the mysterious laughter haunting Monday Nitro for the past several weeks isn’t a new star, a surprise for Halloween Havoc, or even a repackaged Hugh Morrus … it’s Chucky, a fictional My Buddy doll possessed with the soul of a serial killer via Haitian Vodou spell and star of the sort of popular Child’s Play series.
Charles Lee Ray reveals himself during a Rick Steiner interview, causing both Steiner and Mean Gene Okerlund to interact with him in real-time. If you’ve never seen it, please watch this clip in full, as it’s somehow actually maybe the worst thing that ever happened in World Championship Wrestling. Like, at least when Robocop showed up he appeared in person and provided a service. When Robert Wuhl showed up in character as “Arli$$” he was at least cross-promoting something involving WCW.
“I’m here to tell everyone that if they want to see a real pro at work, they should go and see my new movie Bride of Chucky, opening October 16!”
Chucky calls Steiner a, “genetic throwback who barks at the moon,” and drops the line, “I’m doing love scenes with Jennifer Tilly, and you’re callin’ ME a dummy?” He also threatens Rick with death and dismemberment if he doesn’t leave Scott Steiner alone. You see, Scott is the star of Chucky’s latest project, and he doesn’t want Rick ruining his … directorial career? Anyway, the best part is that Rick responds with, “bring your raggedy, rear-end down here!” as though the fictional murder doll was going to have someone hit his music and come stomping down the ramp. I WILL FIGHT YOU IN REAL LIFE, DOLL.
This seems embarrassing now, but I can’t possibly overemphasize how disappointing and embarrassing this was at the time. Wrestling is never worse than when it makes you feel stupid for watching, and one half of the greatest tag team in company history getting into a shouting match with a horror Muppet is as stupid as it gets. Like, imagine if Road Warrior Hawk had left the World Wrestling Federation because Paul Ellering’s greaser mannequin Rocco came to life and stabbed him to death. Why do so many great tag team legacies end in puppetry?
Worst: Blade Runners 2049
The actual A-story of the episode isn’t much better, as it builds to the only 30 seconds of wrestling The Warrior ever did on WCW television. Early in the show, Warrior shows up to give Sting a “Warrior’s respect” or whatever and ask him to form a tag team against the imposing menace of Wood, who owns pro wrestling, and Bret Hart, who clearly owns Sting.
This should’ve been SUPER important, as Sting and Warrior legitimately began their careers together in the mid-80s as two of the four members of Red Bastien’s hilariously named Powerteam USA. They’d end up as a tag team in Memphis’ Continental Wrestling Association where they were billed as the FREEDOM FIGHTERS, JUSTICE AND FLASH, and got future endeavored for being garbage bodybuilder types who couldn’t stop hurting everyone. After that the migrated to Bill Watts’ Mid-South Wrestling, later the UWF, and become “Rock” and “Sting,” The Blade Runners, either a sincere copy or an intentional parody of the Road Warriors, depending on who you ask. They still weren’t great, so they split up half a year later. “Rock” would head to World Class to become the baby-eating (?) Dingo Warrior, with Sting sticking around in the UWF to sit under Eddie Gilbert’s learning tree and become one of the biggest babyfaces in pro wrestling. Warrior wouldn’t get his shit together until joining the World Wrestling Federation and going “ultimate” in 1987, assuming Warrior’s shit was ever “gotten together.”
They wouldn’t reunite until THIS EPISODE OF MONDAY NITRO 12 years later, now as two of the biggest stars in the history of the business. Going up against two more of the biggest stars in the history of the business, Bret Hart and Hulk goddamn Hogan. The first person to suggest this should’ve seen the heavens open up and start raining down sacks of money with dollar signs on the front, but somehow WCW made a complete mess of it.
How did they do that, you ask? I mean, do you even have to ask? They have Sting wrestle 99% of the match and take the latest in a never-ending string of ass-beatings from Hulk Hogan, have Warrior tag in long enough to hit three (3) clotheslines on Hart, and then the nWo runs out for a disqualification. That’s it. Warrior’s mailing it in so hard that he keeps his entrance jacket on the entire time. The show ends with Sting still having to do all the heavy lifting, and the New World Order burying Warrior’s teleportation gimmick by just tossing him to the floor as soon as the ring starts filling up with smoke.
I’m starting to think a fictional murder doll showing up to brag about having sex with Jennifer Tilly’s somehow not the worst part of this episode.
In Slightly Happier News, At Least The Four Horsemen Don’t Get Embarrassed This Week
In this shot borrowed from Triumph of the Will, Eric Bischoff informs security and police officers in and around the Allstate Arena in Rosemont that he’s going to completely flip a whole bitch if Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen get inside the building tonight. Bischoff has been driven to madness after being humiliated by “The Nature Kid” Reid Flair — their words, not mine — and lacks Vince McMahon’s ability to see the bigger picture, both as a character and as the real-life owner of the company.
Sure enough, Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen show up and try to get in, and they’ve brought along a surprise: General Bruce Wirtz MacArthur, Vice President of Chicago’s Wirtz Realty Corporation and a member of the Joint Venture Board of Directors of the United Center. He’s the wrestling fan in the Wirtz/Reinsdorf alignment that owns pretty much everything sports-related in Chicago. I assume this is the guy you can thank for Dennis Rodman and Mongo.
He explains that he’s going up to his skybox to party all night (and party a little longer) with the Horsemen whether Bischoff is leasing the building or not, because this is America, and if your family worth reaches double-digit billions you can do whatever the hell you want with no fear of consequences. Bischoff keeps flipping out as the Horsemen get ushered through security and let into the building, leading to this incredible moment where Chris Benoit lands not one, but TWO consecutive ’90s catchphrases:
“Boo-yah! Our party is hella good! As if!” — Dean Malenko
Bischoff ends up storming up to the skybox to try to stop the party, ends up shoving MacArthur, and gets SWARMED by arena security. Flair comes old man-dancing out of the box and orders them to throw him out of the building. This would be pure, happy fan service, but again, WCW. They apparently didn’t practice where Bischoff was supposed to go before the show or how they were going to film him, so the first time we see security “throwing Bischoff out of the building,” they’re still walking him to the set. So everyone seems lost, and you hear security guys telling WCW camera men that they’ve gotta go wait by the elevators. It’s so weird.
We cut back to the announce team stalling for time until the shot’s actually ready, and then we see Bischoff being triumphantly marched into the parking lot, placed in a rental car with a police siren on the dashboard, and taken out of the arena. Nailed it.
Also Kind Of Important This Week
WCW Heavyweight Champion William Scott Goldberg tries to make it 150-0 against the Largest Athlete In The World® The Giant, and … kinda loses?
All right, so the match is made no disqualification, right? So when Goldberg’s about to hit the spear on Giant, Stevie Ray shows up and fwacks Goldie with a chair. Goldberg no-sells it but falls for the distraction, allowing Giant to chokeslam him in the middle of the ring. Before Giant can make the pin, Diamond Dallas Page comes trotting in and drops an elbow on Giant’s back, breaking it up. DDP hits a Diamond Cutter on Stevie, but is about to get chokeslammed himself until Goldberg makes the save with a spear. At this point, The Giant just … walks to the back, and the match is over.
So in an interesting turn of events, upcoming pay-per-view World Heavyweight Championship challenger Diamond Dallas Page saved Goldberg’s title run and streak so he’d be the one to end it, I guess? It actually adds some gravity to the match besides Mike Tenay asking the local trailer park who they think will win, and suggests that maybe the 7-foot tall guy who can throw dropkicks and has 15 dudes watching his back at all times might be better suited as champion than either of them.
Hidden highlight: This extremely Chicagoan fan reacting to the camera being on him by inflating himself, for some reason. Great joke, unc!
Worst: Drunk History
Kevin Nash shows up in a sleeveless FUBU baseball jersey that couldn’t have been more 1990s if it tried and explains that before he was a wrestler, he was a bouncer, so he knows how to handle drunks. He calls out Scott Hall for “last call,” and Hall staggers out long enough to say that he’ll wrestle Nash. Where? Down there. Nash gives record-breaking slow chase, because even in 1998 Nash’s legs were just scarecrows stuffed into fringed leather pants, and he gets to the parking lot just in time to see Hall hanging out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride, trying to holler at him.
The pub crawl continues, and Hall and Nash will finally go one-on-one at the upcoming WCW The World’s End.
Best: Judging Judy
Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell get into an argument and eventually a fight over Buff’s mom, Judy, and how Buff’s become a real “mama’s boy.” Literally the only people on the entire goddamn Earth who believe Scott and Buff are truly at odds and not working on a scheme to screw with Rick Steiner are Rick Steiner, Tony Schiavone, and Mike Tenay, but it is what it is.
I gave this a best for two reasons:
- Scott Steiner getting Judy Bagwell’s attention with, “HEY YOU OLD BAG,” which is only topped by-
- “MARCUS, YOU DON’T GET HER OUT RIGHT NOW, I’LL PUT THIS OLD SCALLYWAG ON THE MAT, YOU GOT THAT, JACK?
Fucking hysterical. Big Poppa Pump’s brain is set to a different from, but equally powerful to frequency as our greatest orators. At least when he’s tossing around insults. Instead of bringing in the actual voice of Chucky, they should’ve had Scott do his voice and improvise all the dialogue. Or Teddy Ruxpin’d him with a cassette of Scotty’s greatest hits. Would pay $49.99 to see Rick Steiner wrestle a Teddy Ruxpin.
Worst: Dale Torborg Is The Pits
If you’d like to see one of the very worst matches in WCW Monday Nitro history, check out Kendall Windham versus Dale Torborg, the artist eventually known as the KISS Demon, from this episode. It’s rough, man. The crowd doesn’t know who either guy is, one of them looks like the Trevor from GTA V version of Barry Windham, and the other’s wrestling in the ugliest NASCAR pit crew jumpsuit you’ve ever seen. Not that I wouldn’t buy a Chalkline replica of that exact outfit and wear it out in public, but regardless.
The match, which gets five whole minutes on a show where the Ultimate Warrior portion of the main event they’ve advertised for three hours gets 30 seconds, ends in spectacular fashion with Torborg trying to pull off a bicycle kick, only connecting with Windham’s shoulder, and blowing out his own knee.
He turned a Brogue Kick into a ‘Borg Kick. I bet this would be a lot better if he was in cat makeup and platform shoes.
Best: Good, Good Lucha, Lucha Things
The best match of the night because oh my God of course it is is a six-man lucha libre tag team match teaming La Parka, Villano V, and Ciclope versus Psicosis, Chavo Guerrero Jr., and Super Calo. In case you read that and are wondering, yes, the match features at least one instance of La Parka obliterating Super Calo with extreme, hateful prejudice.
Chavito wins with a tornado DDT on Ciclope just in time for Uncle Eddie to show up with his unmasked Latino World Order buddies. Eddie tries to convince everyone that Bischoff’s still making them wrestle each other because he doesn’t respect them, their style of wrestling, or any of their traditions, and offers the winning team lWo shirts. Psicosis accepts, becoming the team’s first actually masked member, but Chavo walks out on them, presumably to start lWo Manada de Lobos.
Shopping Advice Of The Week
Interested in buying, “autographed collectables, t-shirts, and diecasts … and a whole lot more?” Then tune into QVC — “Quality Value Convenience” — for their new WCW/nWo program, premiering this Tuesday (21 years ago) at 8 PM. Diamond Dallas Page tells us, “it ain’t gonna be no jewelry show, but you might see a Diamond Cutter!” before hitting said move on a dude from QVC.
How will you be able to afford a $40 t-shirt from QVC, you might ask? Why not use your WCW/nWo Mastercard?
One of the hidden gems of this episode is the recap of WCW visiting Wall Street to help Capital One launch the WCW/nWo Mastercard, featuring all the stars you see here. Can you imagine using a Nitro Girls Mastercard to pay for dinner? After the event, the wrestlers went to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, because if there’s anyone you want giving you financial advice, it’s the stars of WCW in 1998.
The best part is that the entire segment is set to some ’90s stock music you might recognize:
It makes me wanna dance!
Anybody know if Mastercard will give me enough credit to lease a mansion in North Carolina and buy like 40 dirtbikes?
Also On This Episode
Alex Wright continues his quest to be Europe’s best-ever pro wrestler by challenging Fit Finlay, the man who “ended the career” of Wright’s father, Steve. No, not that one, the wrestler. This ends with Alex Wright getting his feet on the ropes for leverage to pin Finlay, which is extremely unfair, as Wright’s the only guy in wrestling who can get his feet up like that and still have his crotch touch the ground.
Afterward, British Bulldog attacks Wright on behalf of Finlay, and I’d give WCW credit if I thought they were illustrating the war history of Ireland, England, and Germany through pro wrestling. Jim Duggan should’ve jogged out there and made the save for Bulldog and Finlay at the last minute, and then spent the next quarter-hour unnecessarily destroying Yuji Nagata to make himself feel better.
How to not get me interested in a Juventud Guerrera vs. Billy Kidman match: have the build to it center around Disco Inferno and Prince Iaukea. Juvy wrestles Iaukea on this episode, because we’re still trying to make fetch happen with shitty Rocky Maivia, I guess. Disco keeps getting involved, leading to Kidman showing up and punching him to the back. If you’re wondering, Prince used his time away from television to get his hair cut, but not to practice wrestling.
Finally, Wrath defeats Lodi in a 90-second barn burner to set up more post-match Wrath and Meng clubberin’. Good old Meng, always around to be invulnerable for a few weeks when you need to feed a new “monster” character. Lodi is still sucking up to the John Boy and Billy Show, by the way, because it’s still 1998 and nobody realizes how hard the Internet’s going to destroy television and radio.
Can WCW continue their epic string of embarrassing episodes while Raw is hotter than ever? We’ll have to wait and see, but I’ll tell you that it involves Scott Hall drunkenly picking up women at a bar for three segments, Eric Bischoff gets his car towed, and they do Bret Hart vs. Sting in full a week before the pay-perview. Things are going great! See you then!