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Going Retro: WCW Monday Nitro Review Jan 4 1999

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I got hold of all the WCW Monday Nitro episodes from 1999, going to review the momentus Jan 4 Nitro. 1999 was in many ways a weird year for WCW, it was the year the WWF pulled away from WCW in the ratings for good, WCW top talent seemed to be turning face/heel regularly, the nWo quietly disbanded then got back together at the end of the year. It was to be the last full time run of Randy Savage and the sheer array and variety of talent still blows the mind, Hennig, Steiner, Nash, Hall, Bigelow, Hogan, Flair, Piper, DDP, Benoit, Malenko, Mysterio, Kidman, Booker T, Jericho, Saturn, Eddie Guerrero, Luger, Sting, Sid, Goldberg, Raven and many more!

With the company beginning to lose a lot of money, in came Russo/Ferrara writing team in October and a salvageable situation was put beyond recovery imho.

JAN 4 GEORGIA DOME REVIEW

First off, the set still looks cool. The low tech entrance rig with its moody lighting and the WCW towers on either side is an iconic look, I like the way the WCW logo is on the ring apron too. The Georgia Dome looks huge and its a hot, capacity crowd in attendance. Schiavone/Bisch/Zbyszko on commentary, with Heenan taking over from Zbyszko half way, I really rate Schiavone as the number one play by play commentator of all time, he has a great voice and presence, builds the excitement nicely and has a good banter with co commentators. I know I'm in the minority but I've always preferred Shiavone to JR.

Chris Benoit v Horace Hogan

Hey maybe Horace Hogan is not as bad as I remembered, its a good opening bout which includes a jump through the mid ropes to the outside by HH, Austin Aries style lol. Weird how young and fresh faced Benoit looks, love his kicks and punches, so intense compared to a lot of sloppy work you see around. After a brawl around outside, Benoit hits the diving headbutt, which is still mighty impressive, but you can't help but think of the affect that move had on his neck/head over the years. Benoit wins via the crossface.

Backstage we see Goldberg being put under arrest by a team of cops, good acting by Goldberg bad mouthing the cops, Nash shows concern as he is driven off, Hogan has a good laugh.

Perry Saturn v Chris Jericho w Ralphus

Forgot about the fat Ralphus bloke wearing the half t shirt with Jericho Personal Security written on it, quite what security he could provide we don't know! Liked Jericho back in these days as the arrogant heel, does the arrogant cover with one foot on Saturn while doing the Hogan pose lol and he's playing with the crowd the whole time. Saturn is impressive with Steiner like variety of suplexes during the match. Saturn is disqualified when Jericho pulls the ref into Saturn's path and Jericho kisses the refs ass after saying how talented he is.

Goldberg charged with aggravated stalking of Miss Elizabeth.
The Nitro Girls do a routine by the entrance way, lovely ladies.
Liz is interviewd by the cops and claims Goldberg is 'everywhere'.

LWO vignette where Eddie Guerrero is the master of ceremonies showing us how the LWO boys have a good time with the ladies, in a low rider, playing cards, dancing (hilarious seeing a masked La Parka dancing with a mamacita). Eddie appears to be pissing off El Dandy using him as a servant and segment ends with Eddie on a car bonnet in front of an adoring crowd of ladies and LWO! Bizarre

Kidman & Rey Mysterio Jr V Psychosis & Juventud Guerrera
Love Kidmans entrance theme and the LWO entrance theme, fast paced match, I mean super quick I don't know how they manage to do it, its like poetry, this is what Nitro was all about. Rey jumps off the top rope into a hurricanrana, wow. Psychosis and Juventud win when Kidman dropkicks Rey from the top rope by mistake.

Mean Gene brings out new champ Kevin Nash, who says Goldberg was screwed at Starrcade and calls out Hogan for a match..President Flair comes out and makes the match.

Gene calls out Hogan who comes out to Voodoo Child in a suit and is mostly booed. Mentions his presidential run lol, puts down the Wolfpac and says he owes the fans another match, its on!

The famous Mick Foley putdown is aired and Schiavone really sounds half assed when he calls it.

Scott Steiner w Buff V Konnan
Steiner was in his prime here, crowd in the palm of his hand and comes out with his cheerleader Buff Bagwell. Steiner asks the women in the crowd if they're fed up with being with their fat, out of shape, gas pumping redneck and want to be with a real man, Big Poppa Pump is your hook up holla if ya here me! Forgot how popular and cool Konnan was a this time, still a member of the Wolfpac and wearing his underpants outside his pants lol. Bit of a sloppy smash mouth style match, K Dawg was putting the Tequilla Sunrise on Steiner when Buff comes in and hits Konnan with a chair. Konnan wins by DQ. Post match beat up by Steiner/Buff on Konnan.

Wrath v Bam Bam Bigelow
Wrath is quite good on the mic and calls out anyone in the back, out comes Bam Bam to no music. They have an entertaining big man knockabout brawl that ends in a double count out.

Liz wasting police time and now changes her story and says she was mistaken and it wasn't Goldberg stalking her.

Brian Adams w Vincent V DDP
The nWo boys Adams and the always unimpressive looking Vincent come out, DDP comes through the crowd and gets a big pop, his great Nirvana rip off theme tune playing. Adams and DDP have a good chemisty and its a good match, Adams doing his big man shtick and DDP pulling off a good variety of different moves. DDP gets the win with a jump off the 2nd rope into a diamond cutter, leaves through the crowd.. the peoples champ!

Goldberg is released from the Police Station and tells the cops GET ME BACK TO THE DOME!

Michael Buffer introduces the main event of the evening..
Hollywood Hulk Hogan w Scott Steiner V Kevin Nash WCW Heavyweight Champion w Scott Hall

Hogan comes out in a t shirt and pants with Scotty Steiner. Nash comes out to a great swirling pyro, followed by Scott Hall (who helped him win the title at Starrcade with a taser shot to Goldberg) and they embrace on the entrance ramp, a reunion for them two after feuding through the 2nd half of 1998.
Nash and Hogan circle each other and the capacity crowd is electric. A few shoves by each and Hogan backs off to the turnbuckle, Nash beckons Hogan toward him, Hogan limbers up and delivers the FINGERPOKE OF DOOM for the 1..2...3 and the swerve is pulled off Hogan new WCW World Heavyweight Champion.
All 4 men embrace and celebrate till Goldberg comes out, takes out Steiner, Hall and Nash. Hogan hits Goldberg with the belt, Goldberg recovers to hit Hogan with the spear.
Luger comes out to back up Goldberg, Goldberg goes to take Hogan up for the Jackhammer and Luger turns on Goldberg with a double axe to the back. All hammer down on Goldberg, Luger gets Goldberg in the torture rack, then they all celebrate, spraying nWo on Goldbergs back and a red nWo on Hogan's title for good measure, Buff is now also out at this point and the nWo elite is formed, not to be confused with the nWo B team jobbers!

Conclusion
I know its now popular opinion that this episode spelt the end of the ratings war and ushered in WWF dominance and the start of the downfall of WCW...but i really enjoyed the episode. The crowd was hot throughout, the Goldberg stalker story with the Liz kept rolling along nicely through the episode culminating in him coming out to confront the nWo, Hogan returned for 'one last retirement match', swerving us all and there were numerous entertaining bouts, with a good variety of wrestler styles on show.
As for the fingerpoke of doom, i think it makes sense, sure it was bad for the live capacity crowd but from a storyline perspective, reunite the 2 warring factions of the nWo into an nWo Elite & trim the fat from the group, Goldberg will slowly work his way through the nWo till he regains the title from Hogan. Problem was Luger & Hall got injured shortly after, then Hogan and the plan never came about. This Nitro gets a 8 out of 10 from me.​

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Updated 07-31-2013 at 07:34 AM by tommytopographic

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Comments

  1. JohnnyV123's Avatar
    I wasn't reading it all very closely so I missed that this was not a PPV. It's a solid card for a Monday Nitro. Usual WCW garbage back then of having so many free matches end in DQ's or countouts though. The Fingerpoke of Doom is one of the worst moments in wrestling, but it didn't have to be.

    Nash vs. Hogan with Hogan getting pinned after the fingerpoke of doom would have made complete sense. I thought NWO Wolfpack was cool but it was kind of weak mostly due to injuries...and Konnan. Nash could have pinned Hogan and reformed the NWO with him and then you are building a real feud between Goldberg and Nash.

    Stories you could have worked from there. Sting, Savage come back and want to get revenge especially on Luger. Hogan not being the star of the NWO starts to bother him and eventually breaks off from the group, but not turning complete face. He then feuds with either Nash or a suddenly in command Scott Steiner (if Nash lost the title again) to prove he is above the group and what made them in the first place. Slow Hogan face turn.

    The fingerpoke of doom was only terrible booking because the title changed hands and it made no sense that Hogan had to be champion instead of Nash. Hogan being champion AND the NWO reuniting was too much same old same old even with a new hero in Goldberg to face them. That's when I started watching Raw every week.
  2. tommytopographic's Avatar
    Yeh i see what you mean about same old faces, unfortunately Hogan was never going to be happy with anything other than the main event but he was still a sizeable draw at this time.
    Personally I think they should have elevated Booker T, Scott Steiner & possibly Raven to being headliners around this time, fresh faces at the top of the card both young(then), good wrestlers and good talkers with charisma. Probably could have never happened because the boys club at the top were too worried about holding their spots but Bischoff should have put some new faces in at the top in '99.
  3. Joker's Avatar
    I thought it was a brilliant swerve that ended up going nowhere. The plot of Goldberg being arrested was just dumb. You can't arrest and detain someone for suspicion of stalking.
  4. tommytopographic's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Joker
    The plot of Goldberg being arrested was just dumb. You can't arrest and detain someone for suspicion of stalking.
    It was definitely a bit daft but I've seen much worse, watching back I was genuinely impressed by the quality of acting throughout the saga!
  5. billythekid's Avatar
    IMHO the swerve was stupid and took prestige of the title, although on the next episode when hogan and nash are saying it was a classic match and set new standards was funny, i recently watched all the nitros and ppvs from 1995-end of 1999 and to watch it go from exciting and entertaining to desperate is pretty saddening

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