Previously on the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro: In one of the biggest moments ever in our sport™, the Ultimate Warrior kidnapped and brainwashed Hollywood Hogan’s Disciple until it reversed the initials on his leather vest. In response, Hogan threw a chair at a mirror.
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.
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Up first, let’s see what happened on Thunder. Spoiler: not much.
The One-Page WCW Thunder Report For September 24, 1998
You can watch this week’s Thunder here.
This week’s Thunder’s biggest highlight is a Four Horsemen promo that starts with Arn Anderson smashing Stevie Ray in the face with a tire iron, as promised — more on that when we talk about Nitro — and ends with some creepy gangbang fan-fiction. You know, like wrestling promos do. Here, Flair mentions that, “While the cat is away, the mice are gonna play,” noting that Miss Elizabeth is “tied up at the Hilton as we speak,” and that after Thunder, Dean Malenko, the “man of a thousand positions … I mean, a thousand holds,” is gonna “show her why he’s a Horseman.” Benoit makes sure to add that if Liz rides Space Mountain (read: Ric Flair’s penis), her pass is good for, “all other e-rides.” Cool, gross!
Mongo properly escalates the drama by adding a proposed home invasion:
“LISTEN ERIC BUFFOON! YOU GONNA TELL US WHEN TO SHOW UP, AND WHEN NOT TO SHOW UP? WHAT ABOUT IF WE JUST COME TO YOUR HOUSE IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT, KICK YOUR DOOR DOWN, AND BEAT YOU UPSIDE THE HEAD WITH A TIRE IRON IN FRONT OF YOUR WHOLE FAMILY! HOW WOULD YOU LIKE THAT, BABY? BECAUSE JUST LIKE THE BIBLICAL PROPHECY SAYS, I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU DO, THE HORSEMEN ARE COMIN’!”
If you thought ERIC BUFFOON was lame, Benoit’s burn is even worse: “Judging by the decisions you’ve made lately, you ought to change the first half of your last name!” I can’t believe Eric would show his face on television after that one.
Also On This Episode
- Kanyon tries out his first survey, asking the crowd WHO BETTA than him. He’s immediately murdered by William Scott Goldberg (see above), but the seeds have been planted. Soon he’ll stop being a skeletal pit fighter turned Raven lackey and fully transform into his Best Self.
- Alex Wright insists that he’s the best wrestler to ever come out of Europe and challenges the British Bulldog to prove it. Bless their hearts, they’re trying to push Alex Wright again.
- Villano V tries to get revenge on Raven for breaking Villano IV’s neck on Nitro. He fails, but I have to at least give them credit for thinking he might have had a problem with it.
- Other blockbuster matches like The Cat vs. Nick Dinsmore and “Humorous” vs. Rick Steiner!
And now, the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro for September 28, 1998.
Hilarious, Unintentional Best: Hollywood Hogan’s New Nickname
If you know anything about Hulk Hogan, it’s that he’s very popular with the African-American community. This week’s Nitro starts with him in the ring telling an incredible, believable story about how he went “down to the hood,” and “all the brothers and the sisters” told him to beat up Sting and Bret Hart. They also gave him a new nickname he’s trying out: WOOD. I legit didn’t remember this and laughed my ass off when I realized what he was saying. How have we not exclusively called him “Wood” for the past 20+ years?
Here’s the quote, with a healthy dose of, “why does that suddenly sound so sexual” Monday Nitro charm:
“But simply because Hollywood is on a mission, I went down to the hood, and when I went to the hood, all the brothers and the sisters said, ‘Hollywood, why don’t you take back over? Why don’t you slaughter the lambs you’re about to … slaughter?’ And as I said, ‘brothers, you’re right,’ they said, ‘Wood, do it for us.’ They said, ‘Wood, take ‘em out one at a time.’ And the two biggest crybabies in the WCW … that no good Sting, and that no good Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, I’ve got Wood’s warbonnet on tonight, and I challenge both of ‘em, if they both want a piece of wood, I’ll take ‘em, right in the center of the ring!”
Hollywood Hogan is going to defeat Sting and Bret Hart FOR THE CULTURE.
Bret Hart, embiggened by Hogan’s pseudo-sexual threats of racial violence, accepts a match with him for later in the night. Hart escalates the sexual frustration as well, saying he’s going to get revenge on Hogan for, “all the guys who tried to get me from behind,” and that, “you and me are gonna be alone to settle something that has been building and building and building for years.”
Nitro spends three full hours promoting Hollywood Hogan vs. Bret Hart as the biggest and most important match in the show’s history. If there was even a 1% chance it was going to happen as promised and wrestle itself to completion, I’d allow it. If you’re reading this and thinking, “I bet Hollywood Hogan vs. Bret Hart ends up making Sting look like a stupid wimp somehow,” congratulations on paying attention!
When it’s time for the match, Hogan not only completely kicks Hart’s ass, he out-wrestles him. If you ever wanted to see Hulk Hogan doing wristlocks and cross arm-breakers on Nitro, this is your episode. Mess with the Wood, and you get the splinters.
Hogan drags Hart to the outside of the ring, atomic drops him knee-first onto the security railing, and starts grinding and wrecking him with kneebars like he’s Dean Malenko. This is the same knee that Hart previously injured, so Sting — the other person Hogan had challenged, and Bret Hart’s best friend for the past week or two — shows up to stop the beating. The Wolfpac tries to get Hart to leave the ring on a stretcher, because the three minutes of getting his ass beat by Hulk Hogan was THAT BAD, and Bret is doing prayer hands BEGGING Sting to let him keep wrestling. Sting, pro wrestling’s moral authority and SMARTEST MAN ALIVE, sends Bret away and wrestles in his stead. Oh, Sting.
Sure enough, two mysterious “doctors” attack the Wolfpac before Hart can get into the ambulance. It’s Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell, of course, because they bought a gross of surgeon Halloween costumes at Party City last year and have to get their money’s worth somehow. The announce team doesn’t seem to think it’s fishy that a limping Bret Hart is able to get away from their attack unharmed, and assume he’s staggering back to the ring because he wants to keep wrestling, or support Sting, or something not very obvious.
You know how this goes.
They kick stupid Sting’s ass for several minutes while the crowd throws garbage into the ring. Eventually Sting’s good friend who’d never turn on him like this, Lex Luger, arrives for the save. The show goes off the air with Luger helping a hobbled Sting to the back while Hogan sits in a chair making crybaby faces, and Hart massages his shoulders. That’s what you all get for going to Monday Nitro expecting to enjoy it!
Worst: Mild Horses
If you’re wondering where the Four Horsemen were (as they’re another group of dudes who’d NEVER swerve Sting and beat his ass), they, along with WCW Security Santa Doug Dellinger, were removed from the building by local police by Eric Bischoff due to the charge of a “felonious assault” on Stevie Ray on Thunder. He also probably should’ve told them about what happened to Liz? Is she still tied up at that Hilton? Are Bischoff’s children still in danger? The Horsemen have to listen to him, because police.
But yeah, this is where we’re at with the Four Horsemen reunion for pretty much the remainder of its existence; there’s only so much a group of wrestlers can believably do when the guy who legitimately runs the company, on-screen and off, also runs the anti-company bad guy team, thereby controlling everything. It’s similar to how the McMahons can’t ever get comeuppance on modern day WWE TV. They own all the brands, and they own the branding, and the only “checks and balances” in real life or on TV are each other. So good luck trying to get back at them with match stipulations, or whatever, they can just say “sike” and punish you anyway.
Wither The Warrior?
Maybe the Warrior could’ve helped out here? He shows up earlier in the night to cut a promo, announcing, “I REFUSE TO MAKE MYSELF LESS THAN WHAT I AM UNTIL YOU, HOGAN, FIND WHAT YOU NEED TO BE,” and promises that the version of him Hogan faces at Halloween Havoc will be “full-blown.” Get, in the ring with him! This time, he’s going full force!
“Showing up to help out” isn’t really the Warrior’s style, as you might’ve imagined. Sure, the guy he’s trying to destroy just orchestrated a successful swerve to get all the show’s top good guys either kicked out or injured on the same night, but use this free time to plan next week’s Brutus Beefcake magic trick. THAT‘ll show him.
Worst: Kids Incorporated
The Wolfpac was already having a bad night before they all got embarrassed into submission by Wood like a bunch of Golden Age Green Lanterns.
With Doug Dellinger gone — for real, apparently — fans just start jumping the rail to do whatever they want. Here’s Kevin Nash’s entrance getting interrupted and overshadowed by some random kid. The announce team just kinda plays it off, but when Lex Luger and Konnan show up for a tag team match that same kid runs up to too-sweet Lex. The camera has to pull away from him really quickly, presumably so you don’t wonder why they kept the kid corralled by the announce booth instead of ejecting him.
The only thing I can think of is that in the middle of the show, British Bulldog mentions that he’s got his 11-year old son in the back, so maybe this is a young Davey Boy Jr.? He was born in ’85, though, so either that’s wrong, or his dad didn’t know how old he was. Either is believable. Also believable: WCW was paying any attention and people could pretty much do whatever they wanted if they committed to the bit.
It’s not a great night for the Wolfpac outside of the random kid interference. Nash vs. Adams ends with Stevie Ray showing up and smashing him in the back of the head with a slapjack, because when the evil general manager runs the promotion AND its competition, you can do the same shit someone else gets sent to jail for. This causes Scott Hall to show up, pour out his drink in a sign of alcoholism awareness, and punch Nash in the face until Luger and Konnan make the save. The best part of all of this is that instead of just staying in the ring for the next match, Luger and Konnan go back to the back, put on their entrance gear, and RE-enter. Meanwhile their opponents, Hugh Morrus and Barry Darsow, are already in the ring. I’ve never seen a shit this tight!
Best: The New Mission Impossible Looks Awesome
Before they cosplayed as doctors, Buff Bagwell accompanied Scott Steiner to the ring for a handicap match and debuted a top hat with his face airbrushed on the top. Buff can’t get enough of this, from pretending its his actual face (above), to posing beside it for comparison, to putting it on a jobber’s head and saying they’re handsome. Buff puts this hat over more than he ever did Riggs.
Scotty and his gross Akira body defeat Lenny Lane and the future Eugene, Nick Dinsmore, with a double Steiner Recliner. Afterward, he acts like he’s thrown out his back so he can have an excuse to maybe ditch out on another Rick Steiner pay-per-view match. That’s probably ruined by him pretending to be a doctor later in the episode, but I like to believe Scott faked the injury so he’d get taken to a hospital, where he and Buff could attack a couple of comparably sized surgeons, steal their clothes, and drive back to the arena in an ambulance for the main event swerve.
Best: RIP Jerichoholic NInja
The highlight of the show is probably Chris Jericho trying to have another match with a Goldberg mini so he can change his t-shirt to read JERICHO -2 GOLDBERG – 0. Instead of the mini showing up, Actual Goldberg walks out with the mini on his shoulder and destroys Jericho’s entire crew. As a fun note, Jericho has added a third member of his crew this week: a fat guy in a shirt that says VIVA LOS JERICHOS, presumably because Ralphus isn’t in any physical condition to take a bump.
The new guy gets the worst of it, actually, as his feet clip the ropes when he’s going up for a Jackhammer. Old Goldberg would’ve collapsed and bled from the face due to the pressure, but Young Goldberg powers through it and throws him at the ground rib cage-first. Brutal.
Worst: Brutus Beefcake Matches Aren’t Getting Any Better
Oh God, I’d forgotten about this.
So the idea is that The Disciple is going to wrestle his first match as the second member of the One Warrior Nation (don’t ask) against Sick Boy. You know it’s off to a bad start when the anti-nWo guy enters to the nWo music, because they forgot to give him a new song. If that’s not bad enough, the new gimmick for the Disciple is that he’s imbued with the “power of the Warrior” or whatever, so he completely no-sells everything. I’m talking full-on “get right up and pound your chest because nothing hurts you” no-selling. Here’s him “selling” a neckbreaker, for example. After about five of these, Brutal Beefcake wins the match with a big boot that misses by like a foot (pictured) and his terrible version of a cutter, where he can’t decide if it’s supposed to be a Diamond Cutter or a Stone Cold Stunner, so he does something in the middle. Minus five stars.
Also On This Episode
Scott Hall defeats new Cruiserweight Champion Kidman for some reason, but not before some drunk shenanigans. Hall want a drink the entire match, but nWo Vincent won’t help him out. Besides carrying a drink around at ringside, I guess? Regardless, when Hall’s firmly in control, he forces the drink out of Vincent’s hand and dribbles most of it down his chest. Kidman sneaks up and punches him in the stomach, causing him to mist the entire front row with gross Scott Hall mouth juice. Good times!
On Thunder, Disco Inferno won a match to challenge for the Cruiserweight Championship but had the decision reversed when snitch-ass Juventud Guerrera showed up with forged documents and a scale, demanding Disco be weighed. Disco, claiming 220, weighed in at 231. On Nitro, Disco defeats Chavo Guerrero Jr. by jabbing him in the throat with his own hobby horse. Snitch-ass Juvy shows up to rat him out again. Disco piledrives Juventud to thunderous applause, because snitches get stitches. Way to have me rooting for the Disco goddamn Inferno to infiltrate the cruiserweight division and kick everybody’s ass, WCW.
The Cat gives a long speech to Psicosis about how his hands and feet are registered, and how he could rip out his heart in five seconds so he should probably avoid the match and leave now. He’s legally bound to inform his opponents that he’s a three-time World Karate Champion who could kill them for real. The joke is that Psicosis doesn’t understand English. He loses via The Cat’s finisher, which has a real early Trouble in Paradise vibe where it either misses by a mile or connects for real and really hurts you.
The latest chapter of the legendary Super Calo vs. La Parka feud picks back up. It’s a lot gentler on Super Calo than usual, as they seem to have had a conversation between the last time we saw them and now, although it DOES feature La Parka putting Calo in the tree of woe and then spinning wheel kicking him in the balls. Old habits die hard, I guess.
The post-match sees Calo attack Parka with his own chair, hopefully setting up 10-15 additional La Parka matches where he beats the shit out of Super Calo for real.
Finally we have a continuation of the “best wrestler from Europe” story, with a clearly needing-to-go-to-the-hospital British Bulldog struggles his way through a match with Alex Wright. Here’s Bulldog telling Wright to “suck it,” because even people who are on Monday Nitro are watching Raw right now. To extend the feud even further, they do a “classic” bit where the original referee gets bumped, Wright hits a German suplex, and then two referees count simultaneously. Each ref sees a different man get his shoulder up at the last second, causing a split decision. Raise your hand if you want to see Alex Wright have another match against a guy with a life-threatening spinal condition he’s trying to work through!
A young Kurt Angle debuts!
Sorry, that’s actually Reid Flair making his Monday Nitro debut at the age of 10. We’ll talk extensively about that, plus it’s the Nitro you’ve been waiting for: the one where the Ultimate Warrior debuts his SPOOKY MIRROR POWERS. All this and Scott Hall getting his head stuck in a toilet at a local bar — no really — next week! See you then!