Previously on the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro: Lash LeRoux DeButed, Eric Bischoff spent the night in a barely functional dunk tank, and Scott Steiner almost killed Kimberly Page by standing near her when she gently fell over.
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 8, 1999.
One of the highlights of this week’s episode is the first appearance of Mysterious Blonde, aka “Samantha,” aka future WWE Hall of Famer Torrie Wilson. She appears in a series of segments that play like a first-person RPG, with her approaching and talking directly to and into a WCW camera like it’s a human face. We first meet her at a bar, where she tell us the guys we’re with are “so cool,” and that we are “so fine.” She then asks would you kindly step into her limo so she can drive you to her hotel room. Would you kindly come up to her room and have sex with her, silent camera man with camera eyes?
This creates the mystery of “who is this blonde and who’s she supposed to be talking to,” although anyone who watches WCW knows a character can only be called “cool” if they’re in the New World Order. The nWo has Nash and Hall and those guys. What’s WCW got, Jim Duggan and Ciclope? I doubt Torrie Wilson’s out here having love-at-first-sight booty calls with Meng and the Barbarian. Although honestly that would’ve been amazing. The only character in the nWo’s sphere of influence not accounted for on this episode is David Flair, who was supposedly getting jumped by Hulk Hogan and a biker gang at the end of last week’s show, but per a phone call to Flair from Arn Anderson on Thunder is at home, and totally fine. I’ll let you use your intense WCW sleuthing skills to piece this mystery together.
As a fun side note, the beginning of Torrie’s wrestling career is such a nightmare scenario for wrestling fans. As the story goes, she’d never watched wrestling before but randomly got backstage because her boyfriend took her to the show, and he was a big wrestling fan. When they were back there, Scott Hall saw her and was immediately like, and I’m paraphrasing here, “holy shit you are at least seven times too attractive to be seen anywhere near professional wrestlers in 1999, you wanna be somebody’s valet right now?” She did, and then next week Kevin Nash personally called her and asked her if she wanted to do an ongoing angle on prime-time television. Pretty soon after that she started dating Billy Kidman instead of her wrestling fan boyfriend. Two decades later she’s breaking up with famous multi-millionaires and still looking 23-years old while being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Pour one out for that guy.
Dear Hollywood, please consider the Torrie Wilson story for your next remake of A Star Is Born.
Bret Hart Goes Mad
On last week’s Nitro, Interim WCW President Ric Flair announced that Bret Hart would have to defend his United States Championship against Chris Benoit at SuperBrawl despite a groin pull the likes you’ve never seen in your entire life. Scott Hall wasn’t happy with Benoit getting the shot for “washing [Ric Flair’s] car,” so he got put into a number one contender match against Benoit. He won, because Benoit’s 8-feet-tall before he’s clutch.
This week, Flair basically proves Bret’s suggestion that he’s holding a grudge against Bret by making an ultimatum: Hart can defend the United States Championship on Nitro tonight, injured or not, or lay down the belt and “go back to Canada.” His opponent will be another undeserving Flair associate, too: Rowdy Roddy Piper, Flair’s homophobic and homoerotic frenemy and former group sex partner who rarely wrestles, has the physique of a sock monkey, and doesn’t technically work here. Hart, a jam up guy, is forced to accept. This shot really should’ve gone to Hypnosis, though.
As Bret’s leaving, he spots a familiar face in the crowd and tears up the fan’s sign. That fan? Mad TV star Will Sasso.
[sigh] This is a whole thing. Let’s start from the beginning.
Who Are You To Doubt El Asso Wipo?
If you were out shopping with your mom and asked her for Saturday Night Live and she told you no because you’ve, “got Saturday Night Live at home,” Saturday Night Live at home was Mad TV. Fox’s attempt at Saturday night sketch comedy was always sort of the Impact Wrestling to SNL’s WWE, but it ended up lasting 14 seasons (plus a 15th “revival” season) and includes notable alumni like Key and Peele, voice acting legend Phil LaMarr, and the “make 7UP yours” guy. They’re also responsible for Frank Caliendo, but we don’t like to talk about that.
Bret Hart was a recurring guest on the show, but his most famous appearance happened on February 6, 1999, only two days before Nitro. Hart was playing himself in a sketch alongside Will Sasso (as Jesse Ventura) when things got went “off-script” and got “out of hand.” Hart put too stiff an arm-bar on cast member Debra Wilson, apparently, which caused a “real” fight between Hart and the other comedians. Security got involved, Hart attacked Sasso with a steel chair, and Sasso caught a shoot Sharpshooter for his troubles. Not only did people think it was real in 1999, they think it’s real NOW. This despite the fact that Mad made an angle out of it, WCW made their OWN angle out of it, and it’s just a ’90s reboot of a then already 18-year old Andy Kaufman bit from Fridays.
So, Hart and his heretofore unseen-in-your-life groin pull defend the United States Championship against a 44-year old man with a replacement hip and the build of a cartoon turtle. During the match, Hart loses focus and decides to pull Sasso over the railing and start wailing on him, because if he has to see another Ms. Swan sketch this year he’s going to fucking kill himself. Unfortunately for Hart, this turns Sasso into Piper’s manager, I guess, and Sasso gets involved to keep Bret from cheating to win. They get into a tug of war with an unconscious referee body, as you do, and Sasso Stretch Armstrong pranks him into a roll-up for three.
Yes, folks, Rowdy Roddy Piper is the new United States Champion instead of [vaguely gestures] anyone who actually works here and might benefit from it, thanks to interference from a second-tier Saturday night sketch comedian. Imagine if Goldberg had won the Universal Championship from The Fiend thanks to a run-in from Bobby Moynihan. That’s kind of what we’re dealing with, here.
The Hart vs. Sasso feud will be continued on both Saturday’s Mad TV and next Monday’s Nitro, which proves even sketch comedy worked shoots during the Attitude Era needed Vince Russo swerves. I assume Raw counter-programs this with The Undertaker putting the Depressed Persian Tow Truck Man through the stage with the Last Ride, but I don’t remember. As for the United States Championship, the title match at SuperBrawl is suddenly Scott Hall versus Rowdy Roddy Piper, and you’d need to be a real psychic to predict how that one ends.
A Hogan Always Pays His Debts
This week’s chapter of nWo red and black’s Lucifer Effect experiment on the B-Team involves Hollywood Hogan going full Tyrion Lannister. Remember when Tyrion wanted to find out who he could trust on the Small Council, so he gave Varys, Littlefinger, and Grand Maester Pycelle different stories about who he’d lined up for a marriage with Princess Myrcella to see which one would blab to Queen Cersei? Hogan does that on Nitro by individually asking every member of the nWo B-Team to step up and be the group’s leader, with his blessing. That’s him in the image above, still struggling to say he’s related to Horace Hogan in fewer than 50 words.
As you might imagine this causes the legendary nWo PECKING ORDER to break down, which we see almost immediately when Stevie Ray and Vincent both try to interfere in Horace and Brian Adams’ Tag Team Championship Tournament match against likeminded country music fans Curt Hennig and Barry Windham. I don’t know if this has ever come up in wrestling before, but it turns out holding back your opponent’s arms so a third party can bop them in the top of the head with a foreign object is a bad idea, as your opponent might move at the last second, or your friend might miss and hit YOU instead. I feel like I can count on one hand the amount of successful attacks have begun with someone holding back the arms like that.
This sets up the best of the clandestine meetings with Hogan, wherein this exchange happens:
Hogan: “On the QT, look at these guys like they’re your children. We’re gonna lead ’em to them water and make ’em drink.”
Vince: “I’M THE DADDY.”
Hogan: “You are the daddy.”
Note: He is not The Daddy.
Secondary Note: Stevie Ray’s “Cool S” Cosby sweater is more interesting than your entire life. Stevie was low key WCW’s drip king.
Ernest Miller, as he is wont to do, issues an open challenge to anyone who thinks they can get into the ring with a 3-time World Karate Champion. He, he says, is the greatest. I decided to type out this promo, which also might as well be a Big Poppa Pump promo. Just raise it a couple octaves.
“LEMME TELL YA FAT BOY, IF YOU CAN GET OVER THAT RAIL I’LL WHOOP YOU TOO. NOW SITCHO FAT TAIL DOWN. YOU PEOPLE KNOW I’M THE GREATEST, I WILL WHOOP ERRBODY. ERRWEEK I COME OUT HERE… YOU NEED TO CUT YOUR HAIR, THAT’S WHAT I NEED TO TELL YOU CAUSE I’M THE GREATEST, YOU GET IN THIS RING I’LL WHOOP YOU TOO. I AM THE GREATEST. I WILL WHOOP ANYBODY. ERRWEEK I COME OUT HERE I BEAT THESE CHUMPS LIKE THEY WAS GOING OUT OF STYLES. RIGHT NOW I WANT YOU PEOPLE TO SHUT UP AND SIT DOWN. FAT BOY DON’T MAKE ME COME OUT THERE, YOU HEAR ME. I’M GON WHOOP YOU AND YOUR GIRLFRIEND, SO SIT DOWN. YOU PEOPLE NEED TO RECOGNIZE GREATNESS, AND I AM THE GREATEST. I’M THE BADDEST MAN IN THIS BUILDING, SOMEBODY LOCK ALL THESE DOORS, I’M WHOOPIN ERRCHUMP IN HERE TODAY. I TELL YOU WHAT, COME IN THE RING, I’LL SHOW YOU WHO SUCKS. COME ON IN HERE, ANYBODY. BECAUSE I AM THE GREATEST, GET IN HERE.”
The B-Team tries to convince Vincent that he should go out and handle Miller. Like last week, Vince attempts to delegate gopher duties to Disco Inferno, but Disco wises up and tells him to do it himself. You know your group’s struggling when Disco Inferno is the voice of reason. Forced to go it alone, Vince answers The Cat’s challenge and, after botched interference from Sonny Onoo which at this point should be accepted as a feature instead of a bug, wins the match. Goddamn Virgil, of all people, is the one to shut up Ernest Miller. AND HE DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO. Outstanding.
Worst: The Horsemen Get Cleaned Up
At the top of the show, we find out that the Outsiders have beaten down Arn Anderson in the locker room, and left him at the cruel mercy of the Disco Inferno’s revenge. In response to this, Ric Flair makes Eric Bischoff be the janitor all night and clean up poo-poo and pee-pee. We get comedy bits where Larry Zbyszko leaves the water running until it spills on the floor, and where Bischoff’s mad that the Faces of Fair are taking dumps at work. Flair should’ve dragged that dude out into the parking lot and beaten him to death with a golf club, especially after every other menial task punishment Flair’s given Bischoff has blown up in his face, but I guess the Horsemen have to look as bad as possible as much as possible.
The reason I bring this up here is because the main event tag team match of Flair and Steve McMichael versus Hall and Nash ends with — are you sitting down? You’re going to want to be sitting down when you read this — Bischoff’s janitorial punishment blows up in the Horsemen’s faces. During the match, Hollywood Hogan grabs Bischoff’s mop bucket and, in a moment of true malice, splashes Mongo in the face with mop water.
The dirty mop sludge proves so effective that not only does Mongo remain incapacitated for the rest of the match, he remains incapacitated forever. This is Steve McMichael’s final WCW appearance, giving him one of the most hilariously unceremonious outros in wrestling history. Your ex-wife getting too popular on the other channel? BLEACH TO THE EYES! Mongo wouldn’t return to wrestling until almost a decade later, when in 2008 he showed up to ref a match in TNA with a three-count so slow it could’ve been directed by Terrence Malick.
Never mind that shit. There goes Mongo.
Wet Hot American Steiner
On this week’s episode, Diamond Dallas Page attempts some corporate synergy by guest starring on forgotten generational classic Friday Night, formerly known as Friday Night Videos, and inviting its host, Rita Sever, to Nitro. She “cuts a promo,” which is to say she remembers the three loosely related wrestling catchphrases they told her about when she got there.
“HOLLYWOOD SCUM HOGAN YOU ARE GOING DOWN! OH YEAH! WAAOOOOH!!!! FEEL THE BANG!!!”
Page’s response lets you know that he’s either going to try to throw it in Rita Sever later, or murder her, or both. “She’s a little scary but uh [looks directly into camera] I like it, heh heh heh.” And yes, sharp-eyed viewers will spot The Wonder Years star and Dolph Ziggler’s biological father Jason Hervey there between them, doing an, “I’m BUSY because it’s the 90S and I’m on a CELLULAR TELEPHONE,” bit. In case you weren’t aware, Jason Hervey (1) was an executive producer for WCW, (2) created the Latino World Order, and (3) is Terry Funk’s Godson. Incredibly, one of those things are lies.
So while Page was winning Kenny Kaos matches on rookie difficulty and hanging out with Rita Skeeter and this butthead, what was Kimberly doing? Why, being vehicularly manslaughtered by Scott Steiner, of course! Here she is in a suspcious full body suit, being abducted by Steiner and then angrily thrown out of a moving car Wet Hot American Summer-style.
Kimberly gets put into a neck brace and taken away to a Local Medical Facility while DDP paces around, wondering how the past month of an enraged muscle-man stalking his wife at work could’ve possibly led to such a tragedy. Tony Schiavone calls it, “one of the most frightening scenes ever,” and yes, a Nitro Girl failing to tuck and roll is the wrestling equivalent of the Winkie’s scene from Mulholland Drive.
DDP will try to get revenge for the systematic harassment and attempted murder in a wrestling match at SuperBrawl, which in WCW terms means of course he’ll get humiliated and lose. Hey, I’m one of the biggest WCW homers and apologists you’ll ever meet, but even I’m not going to pretend late ’90s WCW didn’t get nihilistic as fuck. Friedrich Nietzsche could’ve booked these shows and it wouldn’t have been as routinely soul-crushing.
Best: Blitzkrieg Debuts
Sorry, [squints] BlitzCREIG debuts. What is this, Superstars?
If case you weren’t aware, Blitzkrieg — aka “Fabulous Blitzkrieg” — is a 5-foot-6, 170-pound cruiserweight in an Electro and Harley Quinn mash-up costume whose entire career from beginning to end took place between 1995 and 1999. He debuts in WCW on this February episode of Nitro and was retired by October. He never won any championships, and he rarely ever won at all. And every single WCW fan LOVES him. I’m talking loves him loves him. It’s hard to find anyone who knows who Blitzkrieg even is that doesn’t follow that acknowledgement with, “I really liked him!”
If I had to explain it, I’d say he just felt different from the other cruiserweights. He was a little ahead of his time, too, wrestling like a pre-Jack Evans Jack Evans; Evans idolized Blitzkrieg and took over the gimmick in 2004, even, but quickly dropped it because he couldn’t see out of the mask and kept falling on his head. Dude showed up looking like Tom Holland Spider-Man in a homemade suit and popped off top rope springboard corkscrew feints and Skytwister Presses. I think he cemented his legend by getting his soul Juvy Driven out of his body at Spring Stampede, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
“Blitz Craig” could’ve done a lot worse than having Rey Mysterio as his debut opponent, as well. In fact, I think he’s the only guy small and unimportant enough to get HOSSED AROUND by little ass Rey-Rey. Here’s Rey murdering him with a powerbomb and rolling through him with a big lariat. I can’t wait to spend the next eight months telling you how great this guy is, and then never seen him again. Again.
Best: Super Mark Sweep
This week’s strangest development is in the ongoing “Raven goes home to rehab and live with his mom” story, which suddenly decides it wants to be a sitcom, complete with Raven looking into the camera to address the audience. Raven invented Jim Halpert. Here’s the collection of this week’s segments, which I recommend watching as I’m not sure I can properly do justice to their devil-may-care absurdity.
Raven and Kanyon go to the bank to get a thousand dollars in ones, carry the money around in canvas bags while driving around in a convertible like they’re 1970s bank robbers, and, and this is the best part, go on a Versace shopping spree. Yes, there’s a “trying on clothes” montage. Yes, it’s amazing.
… is that one of The Rock’s shirts? Anyway, WCW calls up Raven’s mom and tells her they want Raven back at work, and so ends our magical quest into Raven’s privileged, terrible, fourth-wall equipped family life. No, you’re never finding out what those Roddy Piper clippings from several weeks ago were about.
Also On This Episode
Booker T defeats Fit Finlay in a match so important WCW cuts away from it to air an entire Horace and Hulk Hogan conversation and the first episode of the Eric Bischoff janitorial comedy hour in the middle of it. Added to the commercial break that means they just decided to ignore like, eight minutes of wrestling.
Bam Bam Bigelow bring what appears to be a laminated clipping from USA Today to illustrate how Bill Goldberg’s not taking his responsibilities as a former champion (or whatever) seriously. The headline, in case you can’t make it out, is “Brawler sickened by animal fights.” The eloquent response from the Bammer: “LISTEN, ANYBODY THAT GOT HIS MIND ON COCKFIGHTS AND BULLDOGS AND RIPPING THEIR THROATS OUT, HE SHOULD HAVE HIS MIND ON SUPERBRAWL” … Should he, though?
Bigelow escalates the situation by mentioning Goldberg’s family, which any WWE fan will tell you is the worst thing you can possibly do. Bammer: “HE VOWS TO MAKE EVERYBODY IN THE WCW ADOPT AN ANIMAL THIS YEAR. WELL HELL, I’LL TAKE HIS OLD LADY, AND I’LL PUT A LEASH AROUND HER, AND I’LL WALK HER ONCE OR TWICE, AND I’LL FEED HER SOME ALPO, WHATEVER IT TAKES, WHATEVER HE WANTS.” You could’ve stabbed Goldberg in his kidneys with a rusted bayonet and he would’ve shrugged it off, but if you say he’s got a WIFE and it’s not GREAT he will KILL YOU FOR REAL.
Finally, you know what’s a really good idea? Doing a month of stories about how you can stalk and hospitalize a Nitro Girl and not face any consequences for it, and thenhaving hundreds of wrestling fans go on a cruise with the Nitro Girls. The commercial for it sounds like it’s going to end with a request for you to call now to speak to your area’s sexiest singles. REAL WOMEN ARE WAITING, THROW THEM OUT OF MOVING CARS NOW.
Next week’s episode features such highlights as Disco Inferno getting the shit kicked out of him in a parking lot (finally), the Mysterious Unnamed Blonde ending her full week of hotel sex with a mute WCW camera man, and a special message of hope from Nitro Girls Spice and Whisper. Plus, last week saw Lash LeRoux debut and this week had Blitzkrieg and Torrie Wilson, so we’re keeping the streak going by debuting another of 1999’s hottest rookies …
See you then!