Craig Wilson & Jamie Lithgow
‘Monday Night Wars’ continues with the episodes of Raw and Nitro from 28 December 1998. The year 1998 ends with The Corporation and DR still going at it. Over on Nitro it is the night after Starrcade and Goldberg is no longer WCW Champion and has suffered his first defeat.
All this and more as Monday Night Wars continues…
The show opened with footage of Mankind beating on Shane McMahon last week followed by footage of Kane joining the Corporation. Backstage Shane McMahon is asking Vince McMahon why he didn’t fire Shawn Michaels last night. Vince stated that he wanted to humiliate Michaels but the immediate priority was Mankind. The Corporation were shown hunting for Mankind until he attacked Kane but was quickly overpowered. We learn that Commissioner Michaels has arranged a Hardcore title match pitting Road Dogg against Val Venis, which is first up.
Road Dogg starts with his usual spiel before the challenger made his way out. Half way through this short match: Test, Ken Shamrock, Bossman, and Kane came to ringside. As Val gyrated over Road Dog, Test hit him with a bulldog before the Corporation attacked Road Dogg promoting X-Pac, Bad Ass, and Hunter ran to the ring for the save. Vince came out and told Road Dog he’ll be defending the Hardcore Title again later on versus Mankind. He then told X-Pac for Bronco Busting his son last week, he’ll get payback.
Backstage Al Snow threw Head, whose mouth was taped shot, into a crate backstage. Snow was covered in the blood-like substance from last week’s show. Vince was then seen talking to Kane backstage. He told him he did a good job on X-Pac then demanded he bring another head of a DX member to him during Raw.
Another short match next between Edge and Al Snow. This ended when the latter attacked Edge with his new Head. When Christian and Gangrel made the save, the rest of the JOB Squad attacked the Brood.
They showed Sable warming up backstage for her WWF Women’s title match before footage from earlier on in the day aired of Dennis Knight, “formerly of Southern Justice,” talking to X-Pac.
Before Sable’s match could start a woman entered the ring, who Cole referred to as “a fan”, and gave Sable a flower. Security entered the ring and escorted her out of the ring. Spider Lady ran to the ring and whipped Sable with a belt before the referee even officially began the match. The Oddities ran to the ring to save Sable. Spider Lady unmasked herself to reveal it was Luna Vachon.
X-Pac’s “payback” was next when he took on the Big Bossman. Bossman dominated early before X-Pac made a comeback near the end. Late on, Test walked out and distracted Pac which drew Venis to ringside and he attacked Test. Bossman left to make the save and X-Pac followed him out resulting in a no contest.
A skit then aired of Vince McMahon training for the Rumble with Shane providing a pep talk, and raw eggs for his father to drink.
Tag action next with Jeff Jarrett teaming with Owen Hart to take on the duo of Steve Blackman and Goldust. This ended with Blackman pinning Hart after he was distracted by the returning Dan Severn, complete with neckbrace.
Backstage we see Dennis Knight attacked by Bradshaw and Farooq and bundled in the back of his own car and driven off.
Hunter Hearst Helmsey then defeated Ken Shamrock via DQ in a match that, rather predictably, finished with DX and the Corporation Brawling. After the match, The Outlaws helped Triple H to the back as Michael Cole wondered how bad Hunter’s injury was.
In the back Kevin Kelly caught up with one of the Outlaws, ‘Bad Ass’ Billy Gunn, who said the IC Title should be his. Shamrock got in his face briefly.
Mark Henry and D-Lo Brown then made their way out. Henry got on his knees and begged Chyna for forgiveness. Jackie and Terri came to the ring and told Henry to get back on his knees where they like him. D-Lo told them to keep away from Henry after what they did to him last week. DX’s music interrupted and out walked Chyna. She told Terri and Jackie to stay away from her man, then pointed at Henry. She grabbed Jackie across the throat and shoved her to the mat and told her “ext time I’m not going to be so ladylike.”
Before cutting to a commercial, they showed Vince, Pat, Jerry, and Shane having a conference backstage. Then the Corporation are shown backstage looking for somebody. We then see Kane attacking The Godfather as the rest of the Corporation cheering him on.
Next up was Billy Gunn versus Ken Shamrock. Or at least that’s what we thought… Instead Shane came out and said there was a change of plan and it would be Kane that Gunn faced. Throughout Shamrock attacked Gunn at ringside including applying the Anklelock. Eventually X-Pac hit the ring and knocked Kane off the top rope causing the a DQ.
In the main event the Hardcore title would be defended with Mankind challenging Road Dogg for his title. Before the match started, The Rock came to ringside and joined in on the announcing. Before the bout begins, we finally see Shawn Michaels arriving at the arena. After a break, we join the match in progress. This was a wild brawl which saw the duo fight up the rampway with a littering of table and chair shots thrown in. They eventually fought into the crowd and Mankind drove the Hardcore champion through a table. The Rock, though, hit Mankind with the Rock Bottom leading to Road Dogg getting the win. However The Road Dog saw a replay on the TitanTron and yelled, “I don’t want to win like that.”
After the main event, Vince McMahon came to the ring. He challenged Michaels to come to the ring, which the Commissioner duly did. McMahon told Michaels he gave him a second chance but while Shane was getting beaten up last week HBK was laughing and holding back Team Corporate from making the save. McMahon told Michaels, “As commissioner, you suck” and fired him. This prompted Michaels to give McMahon “Sweet Chin Music” before he danced over McMahon until the Corporation hit the ring.
* Val Venis defeated WWF Hardcore Champion the Road Dogg via disqualification
* Edge defeated Al Snow via disqualification
* WWF European Champion X-Pac fought the Big Bossman to a no contest
* Steve Blackman & Goldust defeated Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett via pinfall
* Triple H defeated Ken Shamrock via disqualification
* Kane defeated Billy Gunn via disqualification
* WWF Hardcore Champion the Road Dogg pinned Mankind
24 hours after Starrcade we found ourselves in Baltimore for the last Nitro of 1998. Despite the end of Goldberg’s undefeated streak at the hands of new WCW Champion Kevin Nash, all the hype as Nitro kicked off was focussed on Eric Bischoff’s tainted victory over Ric Flair. To fully bring you up to speed, Nash handed Goldberg his first defeat and captured the title after plenty of outside interference, with Scott Hall’s use of cattle prod proving to be the straw that finally broke the camel’s back – I should point out that Nash is still a babyface, and was unaware of Hall’s involvement in the match. Elsewhere, Curt Hennig returned to help Bischoff beat Flair – the rest of The Horsemen were banned from the building, otherwise this would likely not have happened. Kidman held onto his Cruiserweight Title by first defeating Rey Mysterio and Juventud Guerrera in a triple threat match, and then besting Eddie Guerrero in an impromptu bout directly afterwards. Konnan held onto his TV Title, Diamond Dallas Page hit a top rope Diamond Cutter to defeat The Giant and the rest of the card was pretty shit. Rather than WCW’s version of Wrestlemania, Starrcade 1998 felt more like an above average episode of Nitro.
Anyway, let’s see what went down on 1998’s last Nitro…
Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller cut his usual promo about being “The Greatest” and again made an open challenge. Oddly, fellow heel Chris Jericho answered the call. However, Jericho brought out Shiima Nobunaga as the man to face The Cat. The guy whose name nobody – apart from Mike Tenay – could pronounce lost swiftly and decisively.
Raven’s intervention continued. Footage was shown of his mom taking him (and Kanyon) back to his parent’s mansion. Essentially Raven behaved like a spoilt ten year old, while Kanyon was his polite friend. In the end they both got ham sandwiches and club sodas… despite Raven’s protests.
In what was – by this stage – becoming a weekly occurrence, Ric Fair cut a very passionate and heartfelt promo on Eric Bischoff. Or, in other words, he emptied all his bags and his wallet, stripped to his underwear and handcuffed himself to the ring ropes. Why? Because he wanted one last match with Bischoff. The stipulations were that if Flair lost he would hand over his house, his savings and everything else to Bischoff. However, if Flair won he would get to run WCW for 90 days. Bischoff then appeared, tossed out some insults and accepted the challenge. The match was booked for later in the broadcast…
A cop came out and told us about cattle prods. It was actually very interesting…
DDP cut a promo and voiced his support for Flair…
Disco Inferno received a telling off from Kevin Nash for pretending to be a member of The Wolfpac and for interfering (unsuccessfully) in the Starrcade main event – Disco, Hall and Bam Bam Bigelow got involved. Some good news for Disco was that Nash was willing to let him join the group, but only if he could win his next match…
Nash, Konnan and Luger then hit the ring so Big Sexy could cut a promo. He was not appreciative of Scott Hall’s help the previous evening and was not happy about the way he won the title. Nash also said that he respected Goldberg. Thus, Big Sexy suggested a rematch next week. Oh, he also named Disco Inferno’s opponent… Bam Bam Bigelow.
Bam Bam easily defeated Disco, thus drawing a line under that angle – interestingly the commentators reiterated that Bam Bam was not a member of the WCW roster. One has to wonder why he was allowed at the show despite being barred from WCW events for repeatedly causing disturbances. He even had entrance music.
Konnan lost his TV Title to Scott Steiner. Prior to the match K-Dogg wiped out the nWo Hollywood referee, thus bringing out a real ref. However, Buff Bagwell’s constant interference brought out Lex Luger, who somewhat half-heartedly tried to watch Konnan’s back. Unsurprisingly it didn’t work, and Steiner captured the belt.
Scott Hall – wearing a Goldberg shirt – cut a promo on Kevin Nash. He didn’t appreciate that Kev didn’t appreciate his help last night. The phrase “you’ve changed” was used…
Okay, bear with me here, here’s how the main event went down…
Bischoff got cold feet and tried to leave the arena, but The Horsemen carried him back to the ring. As you can imagine, it was a very one sided affair. Thus the shit members of nWo Hollywood tried to get involved, only to be fought back by The Horsemen. Slowly but surely higher ranking nWo members appeared, as did DDP and Konnan to help out the good guys. There was so much carnage outside the ring that by the time The Giant showed up he was able to just walk passed everyone, get into the ring and head butt Flair. Then – having not been seen since June – Macho Man Randy Savage returned wearing a black and white nWo shirt. He stepped into the ring to celebrate with The Giant, but swerved the big idiot and nailed him with a low blow. Upon exiting Savage ripped off the nWo shirt. In amongst all this chaos Flair scored the win when Bischoff submitted the Figure Four Leg Lock. Flair, The Horsemen, DDP and Konnan celebrated as Nitro went off the air.
* The Cat defeats Shiima Nobunaga
* Norman Smiley defeats Chavo Guerrero Jr.
* Booker T defeats Fit Finlay
* Barry Windham defeats Prince Iaukea
* Eddie Guerrero & Juventud Guerrera defeat Kidman & Rey Mysterio Jr.
* Bam Bam Bigelow defeats Disco Inferno
* Scott Steiner defeats Konnan (c) to win the TV Title
* Scott Hall defeats Brian Adams
* Ric Flair defeats Eric Bischoff in an Everything On The Line Match
Raw: 4.9 Nitro: 4.6