WCW Monday Nitro
January 5th 1998
Ric Flair is in the house!
Tony Schiavone: Ladies and Gentleman, I apologize that we can’t properly introduce the show tonight. Ric Flair came down to the ring during our opening theme and is soaking up a massive applause from the audience here in Atlanta Georgia!
Flair is wearing a suit, and for the first time in a long time, sunglasses.
Ric Flair: “Ladies and Gentlemen, woooooooooooo!”
This opening statement was all he needed to say to send the crowd into frenzy. Georgia is, and always will be Flair country, with Flair’s ties to Georgia Championship Wrestling and the Jim Crockett Promotions.
Ric Flair: “I have to say…. That will NEVER get old. Wooooooooo! I have a major announcement, and I was supposed to come out a little later, but I wooooooo am wooooo just woooooooo so damned excited…. Wooooooooo!”
Mike Tenay: “I was wondering when the Nature Boy was going to do this!”
Tony Schiavone: “Do what?”
Ric Flair: “I have been sitting back, watching Chris Benoit struggle in his battle against Raven, and his Flock. Last week, I decided to stick my nose in Raven’s business. I found out quite a bit about Raven in a short amount of time. Raven, I’m talking to you now. You’re sick. You feed of off people’s hopes and dreams and you channel it into your own personal gain. That’s why I am here. Raven you're RUINING the young talent here in WCW.”
Tony Schiavone: Raven, of course leading a sinister group, known as the Flock. I just wonder what does Ric Flair care?
Mike Tenay: We all should care, Tony!
Ric Flair: “I was at home last Sunday watching Starrcade, and I saw Raven make his lackey, Saturn do his dirty work. I say that’s crap. I’m no Saint, but I always do my own dirty work, but I always have a little help. I talked to Chris and Dean, and decided that when it comes to what it takes to help WCW get back to the level it needs, we got to go back to our roots. When I think about roots…”
Flair holds his hand into the air, four fingers held high.
Ric Flair: “I think about the Four Horsemen!”
The Horsemen’s music fills the now scorching arena. Benoit and Malenko come onto the stage, also wearing suits. The come to the ring, and stand beside Flair.
Ric Flair: “I know, I know, I know… its not 4. But there is another on the way! And I’m issuing a challenge Raven. Your Flock against My Forsemen! At Soulded Out! Woooooooooo. And when we’re done with you, Raven, woooooooo, you are going to regret the day you messed with Chris Benoit.”
The Four Horsemen’s theme hits the P.A. again, and the three exit the ring.
Tony Schiavone: What an announcement! The Horsemen want to face the Flock at Souled Out!
Mike Tenay: I just can’t believe that the Horsemen are back, but regardless, it looks funny not having Arn Anderson around.
Match One: Chris Jericho vs Goldberg
. Goldberg got attacked by Jericho last week, and gets a shot at revenge here. Jericho is quite a bit faster and more agile than anyone Goldberg has faced to date. These two, and Disco Inferno will face off in a match, at Souled Out for the Television Title. Goldberg finally grabs Jericho by his hair, and is tossing the Lionheart all over the ring. Jericho is able to come off the ropes and hit a cross body, but Goldberg is up quicker than he is. Goldberg goes for the spear, but Jericho uses his athleticism to jump over him an goes for a roll up, but Goldberg doesn’t allow the ref to even start a count. Jericho goes out of the ring to collect himself, but Goldberg follows, and the Beast gets his hands on Jericho and starts to punch his lights out. Jericho is rolled back into the ring, and Goldberg goes to pin him. Jericho is able to get ahold of his leg, and goes for the Liontamer, but Goldberg is just too large. Jericho is freaking out. He can’t sit still, and his hesitation allows Goldberg back to his feet, and Goldberg goes for a second spear. Superkick!
Even Jericho is shocked it worked. Goldberg took it right off the chin and falls to the ground on his back. Jericho looks around, like he just stole all the candy in the store. He goes for the ropes and hits a Lionsault. Jericho is going to end Goldberg’s streak. 1…..2……
NO! Goldberg kicked out. Jericho throws a tantrum. He is screaming at the ref. “Faster! Faster! Faster! Three count junior!” He turns into a massive spear, that seemed to move the ring. A Jackhammer ends his misery, but Jericho has proven he isn’t a cruiserweight anymore, he is the real deal!
Tony Schiavone: Despite what you might think about Jericho, he just showed that he is exceptionally talented in the ring. He was millimeters away from ending the streak.
Mike Tenay: That may be true, but Jericho still has to be able to keep his emotions in check if he is ever going to win the Television title, especially with Goldberg breathing down Disco Inferno’s neck!
Jericho again starts to tear up ringside, hitting the posts with a chair, and throwing the ring mats around. He is screaming at the ref, and saying he can beat Goldberg. Schiavone notes that Goldberg has already left the ringside area, or else Jericho might not be so vocal.
Second Match: Scott Steiner and Ric Steiner vs Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) for the number One Contendership of the WCW Tag Team Titles.
Harlem Heat dominates the early part of the match, but Booker T does the heavy lifting. Stevie Ray hasn’t been on TV for a while, and doesn’t have the stamina for the match. Booker and Stevie make a lot of quick tags, keeping Scott isolated. Ric is pacing back and forth, but the Dog Face Gremlin will have to wait. Booker and Scott exchange blows, and end up in the center of the ring. Booker kicks him in the stomach and goes for the Axe Kick, but Steiner catches his leg, and locks on an Ankle Lock submission. Booker screams in pain. Scott tags in Ric, who is chomping at the bit to get into the ring. Ric knocks Stevie off the apron and turns around right into a leg lariat by Booker. Booker goes to his corner but Stevie was knocked to the floor. Booker and Ric go round and round for a minute. Scott, still gassed, goes to one knee on the apron.
Booker gets Ric into a wrist lock and goes for the tag. Stevie comes in, and puts Ric off the ropes, and hits a spinebuster. He tags Booker, who goes up-top for a diving elbow. Stevie, exiting the ring, accidentally bumps the rope, sending Booker over Ric, and right into Scott, who has entered the ring. Scott hits a Belly-to-Belly Suplex, and then lifts Booker onto his shoulders. Ric heads to the top rope. Stevie charges across the ring, and takes Booker, Scott, and himself over the top rope, and the force of the move sent Ric to the floor, aswell. The ref starts the count. The two teams exchange blows, and the refs count has reached 8. Scott Steiner quickly rolls into the ring, and the ref’s count reaches 10.
Tony Schiavone: I’m not sure what we just saw there….
Ring Announcer: “Ladies and Gentlemen, I am being told that this match has ended in a double countout!”
Scott and Ric lose it. They beat down Harlem Heat and go after the ref, who explains that Scott was not the legal man, so his entering the ring didn’t break the count, therefor it is a tie.
Mike Tenay: Well what does this mean for the Tag Titles match at Souled Out?
Tony Schiavone: I don’t know, Professor, but Scott and Ric are livid! WCW Monday Nitro will be right back!
Backstage: Raven, Kidman, and Saturn
are coming to the ring!
The Flock Responds:
*WCW Souled Out Commercial*
“An Ordinary Man” (a picture of Surfer Sting is shown)
“Who does extraordinary things” (clips of Sting vs Rick Rude, Sting vs Ric Flair, Sting vs Vader are shown)
“Pushed to the brink, by an evil” (nWo clips)
“forced into the shadows” (Crow Sting is shown in the rafters)
“only to re-emerge to defeat evil, he is no longer ordinary, and he is here to defeat all those who have SOULED…OUT”
(Shots of Sting winning the title, and hitting people with bats are flashed across the screen)
*WCW Souled Out. Sunday January 24th, 1998. Live, and only on PPV!*
Raven enters the ring, Kidman and Saturn in tail. Stevie Richards has been M.I.A. for a few weeks, mention the announce team.
Raven: “Ric Flair and Four Horseman do not scare me. I am not the problem, I am a solution. The issue springing up around WCW is lack of direction and that is what I provide. Direction, in exchange for protection. Now, I am not afraid of anyone, but some people don’t like to play fair. Chris Benoit, for example, likes to make sure that the odds are in his favor before he attacks. Tell you what Ric. You want a match at Souled out… fine! You can have it. You get four, I got four. You put one of ours in the hospital, we put one in the morgue. Quote the Raven, nevermore.”
The fans’ caught the subtle shot at The Horsemen’s catchphrase and boo. Raven slumps into the corner and the bell rings, Kidman has a match!
Tony Schiavone: Kidman will be taking on Eddy Guerrero, and it will be a non-title match.
Mike Tenay: Well, since Raven won’t leave the ring, how could we possibly have a Title Match!?
Third Match: Billy Kidman vs Eddy Guerrero
is barely underway, when Raven, still in the corner declares this a “Raven’s Rules” match.
Guerrero goes insane. He says that’s not fair, Raven isn’t in charge. The lights in the Arena go out, and when they come back on, Mortis is standing directly behind Eddy. Mortis lifts Guerrero high over his head in a Gorilla Press Slam and drops him onto his chest. Saturn puts Eddy into a armbreaker, as Kidman heads to the toprope. Kidman hits the seven year itch, and the terrified referee counts to three.
Winner: Billy Kidman
Tony Schiavone: Well I assume that Mortis will be the Fourth Member of the Flock at Souled Out, who will the Horsemen choose?!
Mike Tenay: Well they have 19 days to figure it out, Tony. I hope they find someone who can even the score, because this Mortis is a monster!
The Flock beats down Eddy, while Raven just watches on. Benoit, Malenko and Flair make their way to the ring, and clear house. Flair looks concerned looking at Mortis.. The Horsemen may be in trouble.
Diamond Dallas Page
is coming to the ring, holding the United States title. He has a mic, and something to say.
DDP: “Yo, it’s me. It’s me. It’s me. It’s D…D…P… Curt Hennig tried to cheat at Starrcade to keep this gold. He tried everything. He failed. I ain’t claiming to be no master technician, but I would like to think I *perfectly* executed that Diamond Cutter to win that match, and the one on the ramp last week, was another thing of beauty. Back to business though, Curt Hennig and Hollywood Hogan took me out last week, and I am not down with that. I don’t know what Hall and Nash are up to either, but guys, it don’t look good. You leave the nWo and then do THAT? What did Bret Hart do to deserve that? Tell ya what. I’m all about second chances, so why don’t you guys come on out and explain yourselves?”
DDP looks up the ramp, but no one comes. He starts to pace the ring, this apparently is no good to the United States champion.
*Ne-Ne-Ne-New World Order*
Tony Schiavone: I told you, Professor! The Outsiders are still members of the nWo! Those bastards are out to destroy WCW still.
Mike Tenay: That is NOT the Outsiders!
appears on the entrance ramp.
Curt Hennig: “Well, well, well. Diamond Dallas Page wants to see if his friends are with him or against him. Let me remind you, that it was YOU who turned your back on them! You were the one who decided that you weren’t nWo, you were all about you. Look”
Hennig shows a clip on the TurnerTron from January 13, 1997, when DDP accepts an nWo shirt, and then Diamond Cuts Scott Hall and dumped Kevin Nash to the floor.
Curt Hennig: “See Page. You don’t want the Outsiders, and the nWo, needs them. Back to business, at Souled Out, You and I will be back in that ring, and trying to win that title. MY title!”
DDP: “Ha! Hennig, you don’t even know what you’re saying. The WCW has all but eliminated the nWo and while it’s true that you NEED the Outsiders, but Scott Hall and Kevin Nash will do what’s best for them, and that is get off the sinking ship.”
Curt Hennig: “You have no idea Page. The nWo is as strong as ever…. Remember ‘once you’re N.W.O. You’re N.W.O. for lifeeeeeee”
New World Order blares through the arena again, and Hennig disappears leaving Page in the ring to debate what he was just told. Page looks directly at the camera, and seems to have some amount of concern.
DDP: “Nash, you and I go way back, bro. I’ve managed you, and I’ve wrestled you, and I respect you and Scott. You need to make a decision here, and make it the right decision, get off the sinking ship.”
Page drops the mic and exits the ring, while his music hits. Page looks almost defeated as he stumbles to the ring area and Nitro cuts to the backstage area.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff is shown talking to J.J. Dillon.
Hogan is in the background, listening intently.
Bischoff: “J.J., you and I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, but I agree that Sting and Hogan needs to happen at Souled Out, in a No-DQ match. What I don’t understand is why Sting is holding the title belt, and not Hollywood? Hogan was the Champ, and Sting STOLE the belt!”
JJ Dillon: “Eric, the truth is, Sting didn’t cheat, and he didn’t steal. He brought the title belt back to WCW and Bret Hart was right….. (pause for the crowd to pop at Hart’s name) Hogan cheated time and time again to reta-“
Dillon is cut off by Hogan, who is becoming incensed.
Hogan: “Dillon, I am the biggest superstar in wrestling history, brother. They were flocking to see me up north, and they flock to see me down here. I am your biggest star! I can beat anyone, anyone, just name him, I’ll give him the beat down, brother.”
Dillon: “Eric, if it is alright with you, I would like to make a match for tonight.”
Bischoff is clearly concerned with this, but looks toward Hogan, who nods his head in approval. Hogan KNOWS he can beat anyone, well he used to, but without his usual N.W.O. cohorts, it might be tricky, but he’s Hulk Hogan for crying out loud.
Bischoff: “I don’t, uh, see any problem with that”
Dillon: “Good! Tonight, you, Hollywood Hogan will be taking on Bret “The Hitman” Hart! One-on-One.”
Hogan and Bischoff turn to leave, but Dillon quickly stops them.
Dillon: “Oh and Hogan…. If you lose, you lose the title match at Souled Out”
Fourth Match: Randy Savage (with Elizabeth) vs Lex Luger.
This is Savage’s first match since leaving the n.W.o. and he is wearing his more traditional ring gear, as opposed to black and white n.W.o. gear. Luger dominates the match, and continually looks towards Elizabeth while Savage attempts to recover on the mat. Savage can see what is going on, but the Total Package doesn’t allow him back into the bout. Luger gets Savage into the Torture Rack, but Savage squirms out. He slides down Luger’s back and locks in a headlock. Luger is starting to pass out rather quickly. Elizabeth gets up on the apron, and looks on in concern. The ref is trying to check Savage’s elbow to see if Macho Man has a choke hold locked on, but Savage turns everytime the ref gets close enough to see. Elizabeth realizes what is going on and starts to yell at Savage, Savage scowls back at Elizabeth, as Luger finally passes out and Savage releases the choke hold. The ref calls for the bell, and Savage is the winner, but the ref is trying to get a word with Macho Man to remind him about the difference between Chokes and Sleepers. Elizabeth enters the ring and checks on Luger. Savage is distracted by the ref momentarily, but once he sees what is happening, he loses it.
Winner: Randy Savage by K.O.
Savage grabs Elizabeth by the arm, and drags her away from Luger. Luger has made his way to his knees, and is gasping for air. He looks down the ramp, almost longingly at Elizabeth. Savage is pointing at Luger and telling him that he is going to KICK HIS ASS!
Backstage: Bret Hart
is watching the “pin” by Hogan on Sting at Starrcade, the camera turns to show Hart as he rewinds and plays the clip over and over. Finally he raises an eyebrow. It appears the Hitman has found something!
*Hitman in the House*
comes to the ring, wearing his ring gear. The Excellence of Execution soaks up the cheers from the crowd, he looks proud of himself as he almost forgets to take off his glasses and give them to a kid in the front row. He hops back onto the apron and into the ring. The crowd is searing now as Hitman’s every move.
Bret Hart: “So I was in the back watching tape of my opponent tonight, Hollywood Hogan. I watched Hogan and Sting’s match from two weeks ago, and something popped up that I didn’t notice before. Sting KICKED out of Hogan’s leg drop. That and the fact that Hogan had a fist full of the Stinger’s tights says that Sting is the rightful champion. JJ Dillon, I made the right call! Watch the footage of the ending of Starrcade!:
Everyone in the crow looks toward the Turner Tron.
*Ne-Ne-New World Order*
Hogan storms down the ramp and into the ring, Hennig and Bischoff at his side.
Hollywood Hogan: “Listen, brother. I don’t care who you are, or what you think you are doing, but I am going to kick your ass!”
The crowd gives a little bit of heat to Hogan, but don’t really want to boo.
Bret Hart: “Hogan, you’ve been too afraid to face me until now. You knew that I was the hungrier one, the one with something to prove. Now, you’re the one with everything to prove, and I’m proven. I promise you this Hogan, if we do face off tonight, I am still as hungry as ever. I am the Best There Is, There Best There Was, and the Best There Ever Will Be!”
The crowd goes wild at Hart decimating Hogan on the mic. Hogan stands there, mic upto his lips, but no words come out. He finally starts to speak, but something cuts him off.
The Nitro Theme song comes on the P.A. system and brings out WCW Commissioner JJ Dillon. Dillon has a big smile on his face. Apparently, he has good news.
JJ Dillon: “I tell ya what. WCW is getting better and better every day. I just got off the phone with Mister Ted Turner, and he informed me that WCW is headed in the right direction, and he is determined to keep it that way. Turner told me to tell EVERYONE that starting with January 25th 1998 WCW Nitro will be three hours long!”
The crowd starts to applaud the announcement, but the 4 in the ring are all tense. Dillon didn’t come out NOW, just to say that… did he?
JJ Dillon: “Now to you in the ring… I just re-watched the ending from Starrcade, and… Bret Hart, you were right. Mister Hogan did grab the tights of Sting, and despite this, Sting kicked out just before the 3 count. This means that Hogan isn’t obligated a rematch. He must earn one!”
Hogan is now pointing at Hart in the ring, Hart just made Hogan’s life a lot more difficult, and with their match next, Hogan will be as focused as ever.
JJ Dillon: “So we have a dilemma. Who is the Number One Contender to Sting’s World Heavyweight Championship? I think that can be best settled with a match, that I already set. Bret Hart vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan. The winner faces Sting at Souled Out.”
Bischoff snatches the mic from Hogan’s hands and tries to plead his case.
Bischoff: “Dillon, I’m still the Vice President here, and I am ordering you that this match will not be happening. It can’t, Hollywood hasn’t had enough time to prepare. This is an ambush!”
As the word “Ambush” comes out of Bischoff’s mouth, Sting
drops down from the rafters. He nails Hennig in the back with his bat, and tosses Bischoff over the top rope. This leaves Hogan, Hart, and Sting alone in the ring. Sting nods at Hart and drops to the floor. The bell rings, and a ref sprints down the ramp into the ring.
Match Five: Bret Hart vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan for the Number One Contendership to the WCW World Heavyweight Title.
The two have a feeling out period, where both are afraid of losing an edge early. Sting is on the outside the ring, watching intently. Hogan and Hart finally get deep into the match, Hogan pummeling Hart into a corner. Hart finally blocks one and punches his way into the middle of the ring. Hogan throws a wild haymaker, which Hart ducks and is able to hit a belly-to-back suplex on Hogan. Hart goes for a pin, but Hogan kicks out at one. Hart holds the upper hand for a few minutes, and is able to hit a patented forearm smash on Hogan’s skull. Hogan is slow to get up, when Hart hits a basement dropkick and pulls Hogan to his feet. Hart is going for the Piledriver, when Hogan is able to dump Hart over his back and onto the mat. Hart is gasping for air, holding his side and trying to breathe. He appears to have the wind knocked out of him. Hogan goes for the Leg Drop, but Hart sees it all the way and rolls to the floor. Sting helps Hart to his feet, but Hart is disoriented and strikes Sting with enough force to send the Champion back two steps. The ref is paying attention to Sting and Hart, and doesn’t see Hogan pull the brass knuckles out of his trunks. Sting and Hart have a tense moment,, but Hart extends his hand to Sting. Sting shakes his head no, and a clearly upset Hart rolls back into the ring, and right into a tough right hand from Hogan. Hogan looks ecstatic as Hart falls to the mat. Sting looks enraged and steps onto the apron. The ref stops Sting from entering the ring, but can’t make the count on Hogan’s pin. Hogan stands up and goes to deck Sting. Hart stumbles to his feet and runs full steam ahead at Hogan and ends up drilling Hogan into the ref and Sting. Sting falls to the ground, Hogan bends over, and the ref falls to the mat. Hart nails a pile driver on Hogan and locks on the Sharpshooter. Hogan is taping feverishly, but the ref is out. Sting gets into the ring, and tries to help the ref to his feet. The ref looks to see Sting standing with Bret Hart and Hogan out on the mat, and calls for the bell.
Hogan is declared the winner by disqualification.
There is mass confusion as Nitro goes off the air.
Mike Tenay: “I.. don’t even know what to say”
Tony Schiavone: “Professor, it appears that Hogan was beat, and found a way to squeak out another victory… even if it wasn’t the most clear cut win, Hogan will face Sting at Souled Out! That is all for tonight Folks, remember to join us every Monday at 8 here on TNT!”