Previously on the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro: Bret Hart continued his concurrent path of injurious rage and doctor’s note-related avoidance, Kenny Kaos became Tag Team Champions for a week, and Scott Armstrong wore the smallest singlet in human history. You couldn’t fit a guinea pig into that thing.
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 battle royal featuring more wrestlers than you regularly employ is a great idea!
Up first, let’s see what happened on the show where nothing happens.
The One-Page WCW Thunder Report For November 6, 1998
You can watch this week’s episode of Thunder here.
The best development of the week in WCW-related weather is the return of the homie Glacier, who answers an Ernest Miller open challenge to inform him of something very important: their similarities as KARATE MEN.
“Hold on, Ernest, I’m not here to fight you. But I am here to alert you to something. You see, WCW’s never going to give a break to guys like you and I, not like we deserve, because we were KARATE MEN first! You and I, we’ve got the same skills, same dedication, same discipline. All I’m here to say is, in this world, in this day and time, you’ve gotta have somebody watching your back. Especially around here! I just want you to know, from one KARATE MAN to another, if you ever need somebody, I’ll be there for you.”
KARATE MAN. Of course Ernest Miller’s response is shouting I DON’T NEED NOBODY I’M THE GREATEST, but (1) Glacier is back, which is an instant Best from me, (2) he appears to be getting involved in an actual program with one of his former Blood Runs Cold running mates, and (3) the way they’re doing it makes it look like Thunder’s suddenly Lady Snowblood. Or that Brady Bunch episode where they make a documentary about the First Thanksgiving and have to use fake snow. I’m BRC for life, don’t @ me.
Also On This Episode
Lots of things that affect the following Nitro, including:
- Eddie Guerrero is pissed that Rey Mysterio Jr. won’t just give into peer pressure and join the Latino World Order, so he fights him about it. They have a match where if Mysterio loses, he has to join, and Guerrero has him in an inescapable submission when the time limit expires. Guerrero thinks he’s got a new member, but Rey gets out again on a technicality.
- Konnan debuts his music video, which, oh my God, you’re gonna hear about for like the next three months
- The rest of the episode’s solid but largely uneventful, from the Lex Luger vs. Scott Steiner main event and Scott Hall squashing Disco Inferno to Chris Jericho and his increasingly ridiculous hair managing to keep the Television Championship away from Prince Iaukea’s undeserving ass for another week.
And now, the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro for November 9, 1998.
Worst: President Evil II
This week’s Nitro begins with the poor man’s version of one of those WWE Memorial Day Americana video packages, and Tony Schiavone sharing some important news about what could be the Greatest Night in the History of Our Nation.
“Over the past few weeks in this grand country, never before has professional wrestling and politics gotten any closer! And tonight, on a historic night of World Championship Wrestling and WCW Monday Nitro, Hollywood Hogan will official throw his name into the arena, throw his name into the hat, Hollywood Hogan has said that he will run for the President of the United States in the year 2000! Get ready for an exciting night of WCW Monday Nitro, and a night that you’ll never forget, as we come to you from this great country of the red, white, and blue, from the Nassau Colosseum in Long Island, New York, get ready for WCW Monday Nitro!”
As soon as that’s over, the announce team discusses some unrelated show news:
“You talk about excitement that we’re having tonight, not only do we have three hours of the greatest wrestling action in the world, but we understand, are you ready for this, that en route to the Nassau Colosseum is the PRESIDENT HIMSELF, who will join us tonight for the festivities!”
“The President of the United States?”
“What other President do you think I’m talking about? That was the information I was given!”
They throw it back to Mean Gene Okerlund, who’s standing in the parking lot waiting for the President to arrive and is dressed like the Ninja Turtles when they want to see a movie. Okerlund tries to quickly top “karate man” for the best descriptor of the week by introducing Bobby Heenan, and shares some crucial information:
“Back in the docking area here in the Nassau County Coliseum, I am accompanied by Bobby Heenan part of our Nitro broadcast team and in every sense of the word, a broadcast journalist. Word that we get from the nWo Black and White, get this, the President of the United States will be here tonight.”
So at … at no point did you guys hear that Hollywood Hogan was going to “run for President” and get news from nWo Hollywood that “The President” was going to be at Nitro — not Bill Clinton by name, mind you, but “The President” — and think that it was just going to be Hulk Hogan? You don’t have to be able to see math equations floating in the sky around your head to figure out this mystery, guys.
While Gene’s talking, two limousines speed into the parking lot. Okerlund and Heenan think this might be the President, because the Clintons definitely Tokyo Drift their motorcades into wrestling show parking lots like this, but it turns out it’s just a limo carrying nWo black and white, and a limo carrying the Wolfpack. They start fighting as soon as the doors are open, and Big Scott Hall, always taking great care to control how his character is portrayed on television, gets thrown into a garbage can. We’re off and running with one of the most important and exciting nights in the history of our sport, Living Legend.
After that false alarm, the show formally begins and everyone’s on their toes waiting for Bill Clinton to show up. It’s important to note here that WCW just had Buff Bagwell dress up as Bill Clinton for literally no reason at Halloween Havoc, and that only three months earlier the World Wrestling Federation had advertised and promoted an appearance from Clinton on their show, only for that one weird Bill Clinton impersonator they always bring in for some reason to call in and do an impersonation over the phone. Lots of “THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE OF OUR LIVES ARE INTO WRESTLING” fishing going on lately.
During the early portion of the show, they have “Secret Service” members start showing up and “scouting” the wrestling ring, as though they’re going to learn something strategic about an elevated, fake-fighting platform surrounded by children and drunk New Yorkers in the center of a 10,000 seat arena. Pictured above is a Secret Service guy showing up during an Alex Wright vs. Barry Horowitz match, presumably there to see what that German is hiding in his shorts. Also, yes, this is part of WCW’s “Alex Wright wants to be the best wrestler in Europe” story, and yes, someone was like, “Barry Horowitz is Jewish, right? Israel’s close to Europe, isn’t it?”
Later in the episode, Gumshoe Gene Okerlund is back in the “docking area” of the arena with his finger in his ear, awaiting the arrival of the Actual President. A motorcade actually shows up this time, and by “motorcade” we mean the same two limousines as before, only now they’ve stuck some American flags on the front. It’s also surrounded by a police escort, causing Gene and Bobby to get kicked out of their own arena bowels. Serious Journalist Gene Okerlund is like, one bad comment away from getting bum-rushed by security and tossed into a gulag.
“Gentlemen, what’s going on here? What’s going on? Secured area? Well I can stay here, right? I certainly would think so … What do you mean we’ve gotta go back, they can’t throw us out of here, we’re doing a television show! Who’s here? Who’s in these cars? Don’t tell me it’s a restricted area!”
The situation gets so serious that the “Secret Service” and the police escort start coming at the Nitro cameras like zombies in Night of the Living Dead, yelling GET BACK GET THOSE CAMERAS OUT OF HERE GET BACK. It’s enough to almost make you suspend belief enough to believe that the actual, active President of the United States of America might’ve ridden from D.C. to New York in a motorcade to check out hours two and three of Nitro despite never being advertised or confirmed by name. Almost.
‘Hail to the Chief’ starts playing — a song that’s been used in so many Presidential parodies and scenes like this that it almost feels like a fake comedy song — and whosoever should enter the arena off an nWo Hollywood tip but HOLLYWOOD HOGAN, the guy who runs nWo Hollywood and clearly mentioned to everyone that he expects to be the next President. WHO KNEW.
So, okay, the thing you need to know to establish context here is that the 1998 Minnesota gubernatorial election took place six days before this, and saw Reform Party candidate (and, importantly, pro wrestling legend) Jesse Ventura defeated both the state’s Republican and Democratic candidate. Inspired by his ongoing need to take everything Jesse ever did for himself and pretend he’s better at it, Hogan decides that if Ventura gets to be Governor, Hogan should be President. Eric Bischoff says that Hogan’s running in the year 2000 because, “it’s time to move on to much bigger, and much better things.”
Hogan: “We shall rock the world, like Jesse did.”
“Well you know, Mean Gene, the bottom line is, the first thing I wanna do is congratulate Jesse ‘The Mind’ Ventura, brother. He is a true American. Minnesota got tired of the plastic politicians, Minnesota set a standard for the United States of America, they voted for a real man to solve real problems, no political groups to sway to the left or to the right, they voted for Jesse the Mind Ventura to put Minnesota back on track, and Jesse The Body, Jesse The Mind, Hollywood Hogan and the wrestling world salute you, brother. You have set a new standard for the new millennium. God bless you, Jesse.”
That’s certainly not opportunistic of Hulk! Didn’t even give Jesse a week to be Governor-Elect without going on national cable television and screaming ME TOO BUT MORE AND BETTER. He also may be the first person to announce his intent to become President while wearing a feather boa, alien glasses, and a New York Yankees beanie. Oh, and get this; if Hogan had ended up actually running for President, one of his potential running mates, according to him, would’ve been Bubba the Love Sponge. Bubba would always have your back, and would never pull an Access Hollywood and leak any incriminating audio!
“If I could find one good American to run next to me, one other American that the people trust, whether it be Iacocca, whether it be Oprah, or my brother Bubba, whoever it may be, Hollywood tonight on Nitro is here to announce my candidacy for the highest office in the land, the Presidency of the United States, and brother, if I can get America behind me, just like Minnesota got behind Jesse, we shall turn the page, we shall give America a brand new start, and Hollywood, and all my people that love America, shall take us into the new millennium on a brand new start. I am here not only to serve, but to protect my country!”
motherfucker you can’t protect horace
Oh, oh God, let’s talk about THAT.
The Disciple gets some mic time to explain why he abandoned nWo Hollywood to be the second guy in a team called “One Warrior Nation” alongside a guy called “Warrior.” He’s confronted by Horace Hogan and the lowest ranking representatives of the club — Stevie Ray and Virgil … super weird that there was no advancement opportunities for the African-American guys on Team Hogan — and they beat him down 3-on-1. The one warrior from the One Warrior Nation shows up to make the save, singlehandedly dispatching three total chumps and proudly raising the OWN shirt over his head. And then he never appears again.
Yes, folks, this is the final appearance of the Ultimate Warrior in WCW, and his final appearance on any mainstream pro wrestling show until WWE brought him back for the Hall of Fame in 2013. In fact, the only match Warrior had between 1998 and 2013 is a 2008 bout against Orlando Jordan, of all people, for Spain’s Nu-Wrestling Evolution. Warrior won the Nu-Wrestling Evolution World Heavyweight Championship in that match and then immediately vacated it, encapsulating his 13-year wrestling career in one night. See you never, Jim.
Eric Bischoff’s PATH OF RAGE
Ear-ic Bischoff (™ Mean Gene) returns elsewhere on the program to protest James J. Dillon’s fine of Scott Steiner (for attacking him and sitting on him like a backwards chair) by bringing WCW’s accountants to the ring and killing them with stone cold karate. Eric Bischoff is KARATE MAN, just like Glacier and Ernest Miller. SELF-LOATHING KARATE MAN.
But seriously, look at these extras sell for Bischoff’s gentle kicks like he’s the goddamn Iron Fist.
Worst: The Boys Who Cried Wolf
In other Bischoff news, he shows up to address the night’s show-opening limo fight by arranging a sumo battle between souped-up limousines on the roof of the arena. Just kidding, he says there’s gonna be a tag team main event, because “opening segment sets up underwhelming tag team main event with a dumb ending that just keeps things going” is the only language modern pro wrestling speaks.
Kevin Nash is super into calling Bischoff’s masculinity into question tonight, by the way, calling him “princess,” and TWICE calling him “estrogen boy.” Surprised he didn’t add, “Eric Bischof is on Queer Street and LIKING IT!”
Oh, since we’re speaking so tangentially about Steiner …
Worst: Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot On You
Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell randomly show up after this, and Steiner is now fully formed, dropping his “Big Poppa Pump is your hookup, holla if ya hear mayyyyy” catchphrase to great success. I assume he’s your steroid hookup? Steroids and Shoney’s buffet. HOLLA IF YOU WANT SOME HEAT LAMP SAUSAGE THAT’LL MAKE YOU THROW UP AFTER CHURCH!
The story now is that WCW referees refuse to work any of Steiner and Bagwell’s matches, because (1) those matches are always total bullshit, and (2) they often lead to referees and/or WCW Executive Committee members being forearmed in the back and choked out in front of everybody. Steiner and Buff throw out an open challenge for a fight, which gets answered by Gentleman Chris Adams. You know you’re doomed when you walk into an unsanctioned, 2-on-1 fight against a pro wrestling rancor like Scotty Steiner and his best friend, Salacious Crumb in an airbrushed top hat, and your nickname is “Gentleman.” Adams gets destroyed, which brings out Rick Steiner.
Since Kenny Kaos is already completely worthless as a tag team partner, Rick, presumably still worried about being alone at work when a doll possessed with the spirit of a serial killer is hanging around and threatening him, says he’ll find a NEW partner and face the two of them in a Tag Team Championship match right here tonight. His partner?
DAME JUDY BAGWELL, seen here wearing a WCW Tag Team Championship belt. Because some guy’s mom is now one half of the best tag team in the world. And here she is laying out her son with one palm strike to the jaw, like she’s Katsuyori Shibata.
Steiner and Bagwell flee, and the teams (?) agree to have that Tag Team Championship match at World War 3. Raise your hand if you think they’ll actually have a tag team match as announced at World War 3. Anybody? Anybody?
PLEASE ENJOY KONNAN’S NEW MUSIC VIDEO
To clarify, this is actually the first of two Konnan music videos, with the much more often remembered ‘Bow Wow Wow’ coming later. ‘Bow Wow Wow’ is the one that goes, “Órale, all day EVERY day!” and got WONDERFULLY parodied by the Disco Inferno. ‘Psycho’ (or ‘Psyko,’ depending on which website you’re looking it up on) is the one that goes, “ashes to ashes, and back to dust … before I go, fool, BELIEVE I’M A BUS.”
Note: he’s saying “I’m going to bust,” as in he’s going to shoot you or whatever, but I like to believe it’s a song about a guy who is so crazy with rage that he beleives he’s going to transform into a school bus, Moonwalker stye. He is a Mad One going psycho, after all.
That’s The Best Moment Konnan Will Have All Night
Bret Hart is deeply, sincerely dedicated to crippling everyone in the nWo Wolfpack, and considering he’s one dude doing the job of a 20-person Hulk Hogan posse, he’s doing great. He’s already put Sting out on a stretcher and is sarcastically wishing him a speedy recovery. Last week, he took out Lex Luger’s knee with a baby gate. This week, he purposefully loses a match to Konnan by disqualification in favor of just hitting him in the leg with a chair until he dies …
… and interrupts the main event to jump up and down on Kevin Nash’s bird legs until they break in half.
Bret Hart’s out here playing Captain Levi while the rest of nWo Hollywood hangs around and gets eaten by Titans. Both professionally and on a much grander scale. Please, Hart; don’t hurt ’em.
Also On This Episode
Not much development from KARATE MANS on Nitro, but Ernest Miller does convince Sonny Onoo to finally, officially kick Kaz Hayashi to the curb, literally and figuratively, and cost him a match against Juventud Guerrera. It’s this week’s GLOVER Thing From The ’90s You Forgot Existed Of The Week This isn’t going to any great places story-wise, but it does help inform the Jung Dragons’ future decision to spend all day hanging around backstage trying to fight Ernest Miller and get on television.
IWGP Championship challenger Lodi — no, seriously — promises no more jobs in 2018.
Here he is jobbing to Scott Norton in about 15 seconds.
Eddie Guerrero continues trying to goad Rey Mysterio Jr. into the Latino World Order, and they have a rematch from Thunder. This time, instead of being saved by the bell, Mysterio is saved by the random appearance of Chavo Guerrero Jr., who either doesn’t want to be in the Latino World Order despite everyone wanting him to be, or DOES want to be in the group but isn’t wanted, depending on which episode you’re watching. I’m not complaining about a series of Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio matches on my antiquated wrestling programs.
Chris Jericho shows up again with his most bonkers-ever hairstyle to throw some more shade at Bill Goldberg, who is not his bro, bro. Goldberg actually arrives to the arena (like 2/3 of the way through the show) in time to see the end of Jericho’s promo, and is so MASCULINELY ENRAGED by it that he destroys his locker room, stomps out to the stage, and spears Jericho so hard they can’t even capture it on screen. It’s so good. Honestly, feeling how I felt then and knowing what I know now, Goldberg should’ve just rolled through his competition and destroyed everyone as champion until like, Spring Stampede of ’99, when you have Jericho upset him and win the championship. And then you spend the next six months having Jericho use every trick in the book to avoid Goldberg at all costs, while Goldy works out his rage issues on everyone else.
Or you just have Goldberg lose to a guy via illegal electricity and forget Jericho exists so he can go be a star somewhere that’s gonna stay in business. One or the other.
Here’s the Nitro GIrls at ‘The Attic’ in the most ’90s moment of the show, because I guess we’re airing full-on commercials for the dancing girls who dance for the live audience during commercials.
Next week: Sonny Onoo wrestles, and Mongo takes on Stevie Ray AND Horace! BE THERE OR BE SQUARE MY FRIEND.