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Thread: The Fingerpoke... OF DOOM~!

  1. #221
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    Re: The Fingerpoke... OF DOOM~!

    Alright, better late than never - let's do this.

    Nice attention to detail to mention this being up against the Post-WM edition of Raw. I can't remember if they were as huge "can't miss" type shows back then or not but still smartly done.

    And kicking off with Sting returning to the ring is a good attention grabber for sure. Yeah, it's a nothing match where the finish was never in doubt, but it's still STING back in the RING! Setting the tone for a big night.

    Oh, Hogan at his glorious best with the way you write him. Loved Hogan's monologue here and hitting on his issues beyond setting up the match with Benoit. Also love the continued Flair/Clinton parallels with the sexualization of his intern and Hogan mentioning Flair would be impeached...HMM.

    Nice retorts from Nash here to continue the tension between them and continue to make me wonder how legit this beef is.

    Fine enough tag match with the cruiserweights though I feel like it's become a bit formulaic here between Kidman/Rudo. Lots of tag team stuff and the likes, I do like Garza walking out as that at least adds to the tension but I do find myself getting a little bored of the Garza/Kidman program as it seems like it's been going on for some time now. Ready for Garza to get the final win presumably at Spring Stampede and move on to something else.

    Using Flair and Arn to pump in the charisma to keep the hype train alive for the Main Event is smart enough.

    Not surprising that the first meeting between Hak and Raven in WCW would be more of a tease than anything. Fine with the way this plays out as it continues the story for now.

    Still pretty curious about where this Jericho stuff is going but it certainly has my attention. Jericho demanding to be added to the DDP/Hogan match seems like something that is super unlikely to actually happen (reminds me of all the times Jericho would call out Goldberg). Yeah, it's a drastic shift in direction for him but one I like as long as it's kept realistic enough.

    ICE ICE ICEBERG! Never thought I'd pop for Stevie Ray interference, but here we are. Also love Divine Lineage acting as though either of those teams were competition for them...they need something meaningful to do as tag champs, but at least that was an entertaining spot for them.

    I'm somewhat surprised Jericho's desire to be in the title match even made it's way into the nWo promo here. But I do like Hogan's reaction.

    DDP/Steiner again, I'm good with this. Not surprised this one ends up overbooked either and man, busy night for Stevie Ray! Obviously Page wasn't losing here with his match with Hogan on the horizon, but this was a good way to continue some other stories as well.

    As a stand alone promo, I loved this Bret Hart/Goldberg interaction. I loved Hart playing up the home town crowd and I loved the use of the hockey pads as well. But overall, I feel like both of these guys have been kind of deflated from where they were earlier in the BTB. As I believe I've said before and Wolfy brought up again - Goldberg has been overall underwhelming for a guy who should've been going staight for Hogan after the Fingerpoke. At first it seemed like a slow play to get to a PPV of meaning, but now that he's completely ventured away from the nWo due to his issues with Hart. Meanwhile, I am a little disappointed that the direction of Hart from those passionate Arn Anderson promos has just lead us to this as well. I mean yeah, Goldberg/Hart on paper is a huge match (barring errant Savate Kicks), but the way we got here just doesn't feel right overall to me as I think both should be doing something else right now. I was still entertained by the segment overall, but I just find myself wanting more for both guys which is a weird thing to say when it's not like it's not a high profile program. Okay, odd rant over.

    And now the moment that we've been waiting for...I mean I don't think anyone thought Benoit was winning here, but the question was how much would Hogan ACTUALLY sell for the guy and make him look good? Thankfully, Benoit does actually get the chance to look strong here prior to and even after the inevitable ref bump/mass run ins. I'm somewhat surprised Benoit actually got the visible pin on Hogan after the Swandive AND the visible tap out, that in itself is huge for The Crippler (ok yes, Hogan had the visual first...but that was to keep it from being super unrealistic, I know!)

    But g'damn you Kevin Nash. Never trust a nWo break up angle. NEVER. EVER. EVER. Sadly, the whole Nash teases turning on Hogan only to help him in the end is old hat though the fact that Nash wasn't actually in the ring celebrating with Hogan after the match says there may be more to this story and most likely everything still isn't hunky dory for Nash/Hogan.

    Another strong outting, I worry about your burnout and hope that you push through because it's always so much authentic WCW fun for me.

  2. #222
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    Re: The Fingerpoke... OF DOOM~!

    One last show to post before the end of August! September will be another slow month of updates, maybe I'll get Spring Stampede up by the end of it, but who knows with how I've been going lately, and judging to drain my soul. This show is where I've tried to start dialing it back a bit with the matches.

    WCW Thursday Thunder
    Richmond, Virginia
    April 1, 1999

    It’s the second best wrestling show on Thursday nights, Chris Benoit is the NEW World Heavyweight Champion, and Hollywood Hogan is going to be in action tonight! Oh, it’s what day?? APRIL FOOL’S~! This is Thunder of TBS: The SuperStation, it is 8:05PM EST… and this is the number one rated Thursday show in professional wrestling! Tony Schiavone, Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, and especially ‘The Professor’ Mike Tenay are going to call all of the wrestling action, and well, they have a show for you! Just three nights after being SCREWED out of winning the World Heavyweight Championship by Kevin Nash, ‘The Crippler’ Chris Benoit will be in our featured bout as he teams with ‘The Ice Man’ Dean Malenko to take on Buff ‘The Stuff’ Bagwell and ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger! ‘Big Poppa Pump’ Scott Steiner will be in action too because he’s going out for revenge against the man who had a chance(?) to join the nWo last week, Wrath! Plus, we’re going to hear from Diamond Dallas Page, Goldberg is in action and he’s in a foul mood after Nitro, and while Hollywood Hogan is not in the building after retaining the World Title on Nitro, the man who made it happen - Kevin Nash - is here tonight, and he’s going to have a live mic! But FIRST!

    Billy Kidman, Blitzkrieg, Chavo Guerrero Jr, & Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. El Dandy, Evan Karagias, Hector Garza (w/Dawn Marie), & Psychosis

    The cruiserweights! It’s a big surprise they’re starting the show, I know. There’s some tension pre-match between the Cruiserweight Champion and Psychosis, Tenay reminding us how The Rudo walked out on his fellow Luchadore on Monday Nitro against Kidman and Blitz. El Dandy’s not looking like a huge fan to be paired up on the heel side tonight either, while Evan Karagias just looks happy to be on TV yet again. Kidman is the common link for his team in this match, having been boys with Mysterio when Rey was a regular in the CW division, while now he’s been boys with Blitzkrieg. While that’s some of the story here, the match itself is exactly what you would expect it to be: a straight out Lucha sprint spot fest. There’s a lot of quick counters, springboard and slingshot based attacks, and death def(l)ying flips throughout this one. It should come as no surprise either that Blitzkrieg decides to be the best highlight reel when he goes with a Slingshot to the third rope, springboards and spins in the air, lands back on the third rope facing the other way… and then lands the ASAI MOONSAULT to the outside!

    While the action is super fast throughout the contest, hardly ever slowing down, it is actually the face team who gets more of the offense. With Karagias a rookie, and neither one of Hulk de Increible or Psychosis wanting to team with Garza much, it throws the team off balance. It also means that The Rudo is prone to taking a fair amount of offense during the contest as well, all four of the faces getting their shots in on Garza. Even though Mysterio and Chavo have little in the way of history with Garza, they enjoy getting their licks in on a Champion, Mysterio getting a near fall with his MysterioRana where he lands on Garza’s shoulders, and then twists to hit the Hurricanrana. Guerrero goes for the combo, driving The Rudo out of the corner with a Monkey Flip and then immediately snatching him up to hit a Saito Suplex.

    Despite taking a fair amount of offense in the match, Garza turns the tides with a Tilt-A-Whirl Backbreaker to Blitzkrieg, and makes a tag to Karagias later on in the contest. However, Garza can’t help but give Psychosis and El Dandy stick for not doing more to help him when the opposition was doing a number on him. The argument shifts the focus to the heel corner instead of the action between Chavo and Karagias, with Garza fiery shouting in Spanish at the two Luchadores… until Dandy has enough of it! Hulk de Increible uses his strength to work the rope to surprise the Cruiserweight Champion and flip him into the ring! With the two legal men still fighting, Dandy then drills Garza from the apron with a hard right hand, and Psychosis gets into the ring to plant The Rudo with a Sitout Gourdbuster!

    Having had more than enough of Garza, and Karagias and Chavo even stopping their battle to watch the action, Dandy and Psychosis motion to Karagias to tag Garza back into the match… and force him to get some further comeuppance! Afraid of getting a beat down like Garza just recieved, Karagias does tag in Garza… and Dandy and Psychosis walk out on the match! While Dawn Marie shrieks in rage at the pair, and Karagias as well for being too timid to do anything but stand on the apron, it means Garza’s night is about to get worse. And it does. Chavo spikes him with a leaping Tornado DDT, Kidman lands the Rydeen Bomb, Mysterio a Springboard Leg Drop, and the masked rookie gets to cap it all off with a fun exclamation point - in the form of the PHOENIX SPLASH! And not only that, but with Karagias still showing no interest in helping out his partner and Dawn Marie still shrieking a God-awful scream, young Blitzkrieg pins the Cruiserweight Champion!

    Winners: Blitzkrieg, Billy Kidman, Chavo Guerrero Jr, & Rey Mysterio Jr. at 12:11

    Karagias just sheepishly retreats to the back after the match, not making any eye contact with the screaming Dawn Marie, while the faces all celebrate the victory. Tenay carries the bulk of the commentary here - because cruiserweights - talking up how Hector Garza has been claiming for the past two months to be the greatest cruiserweight around, and his arrogance has cost him here! El Dandy and Garza have had several battles so there’s no love lost there, and after The Rudo walked out on Psychosis in their match on Nitro, a receipt was served tonight! The crew do put over Blitzkrieg’s pinfall victory over Garza as well, and spin it into how Garza’s arrogance is making him any enemies in the Cruiserweight Division. “He may have the love and affection of the beautiful Dawn Marie, but at this rate, he’s not going to have the gold much longer!” - Mike Tenay.

    It is after the first match that the opening video and music for Thunder airs, and we then shift back over to the three man booth to again put over the key points for tonight. A featured bout of the Four Horsemen taking on Buff Bagwell and Lex Luger; Scott Steiner clashing with fellow big man machine Wrath; Goldberg in action; and after costing Chris Benoit the World Heavyweight Title on Nitro against Hollywood Hogan, ‘Big Sexy’ Kevin Nash is here in Richmond! But up next, let’s shift things to the ring where ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is standing by!

    All In

    You always have to have at least one interview segment with Mean Gene in the ring, and before he gets to it, he talks up the past two main events of Nitro - DDP winning the Four Corners Number One Contenders Match and Hollywood Hogan retaining the World Heavyweight Title over Chris Benoit, meaning we now know our Spring Stampede main event in ten days time: it’s Champion versus Champion, Hollywood Hogan defending against this man, Diamond Dallas Page! “Self High Five” brings out the reigning United States Champion, as usual through the cheering crowd. The Richmond crowd absolutely loves Page, and he has no problem playing it up to them during his entrance and once in the ring, flashing up the Diamond Cutter symbol from the second turnbuckle.

    With the gum chewing Page wrapping an arm around Mean Gene’s shoulders, Okerlund goes into overdrive to start hyping up DDP versus Hogan for the PPV… and Page is more than happy to get in on the hard sell. “I was rootin’ for Benoit on Nitro, Mean Gene. GOOD GAAAWD did I want to see The Crippl’ah win the World Heavyweight Title; it’s why I was out there ta’ fight off that nWo SCUM when things got dicey. Benoit, ya’ got done wrong by that greasy jag-off Nash, but know that when I make Hogan feel the Bang at Spring Stampede… mah first defense is gonna be against you, pal!” After Okerlund questions him more, Page does admit though that he selfishly is glad that he’s getting to face Hogan on the PPV. “Oooh Mean Gene, there ain’t no one whose got more SCUM in their veins than Hogan. Havin’ that jabroni walk around with The Belt that symbolizes bein’ the flagship of this company? All while doin’ everything he can to kill WCW!? That’s somethin’ that’s fixin’ to change, and you’re lookin’ at THE FACE whose gonna bring it!”

    Mean Gene talks about the history of Page fighting against the nWo, as well as the two celebrity tag team matches Page had last summer against Hogan - teaming with Karl Malone against Hogan & Dennis Rodman, and then with Jay Leno against Hogan & Bischoff - but now at Spring Stampede he will get his one-on-one title match against Hogan, “and you could leave Tacoma, Washington as a double Champion!” Page corrects Okerlund by saying he will be a triple Champion, adding that he’s the People’s Champion as well. “It’s funny you say triple champion, Page… because Spring Stampede should have THREE Champions facing off in that main event, daddie-o!”

    There’s an increase in noise from the Richmond crowd as Okerlund’s interview is getting interrupted… by the man making waves in professional wrestling lately, Chris Jericho! His hair not looking ridiculous anymore but just straight down, Jericho is walking out from the back, down the aisle, mic in hand. As Okerlund lets out a typical, “now wait just a minute, young man! This isn’t your interview!”, Jericho is still ready to talk. “You’re absolutely right that this isn’t my interview, Mean Gene, but my days of standing by and letting everyone get their turn is done, baby! DDP, you’ve had plenty of time, and we both know you’re gonna keep getting more of it too because of who you are, and what you do in that ring. But Chris Jericho?? I don’t think so.”

    It’s safe to say the US Champion isn’t looking too thrilled at the interruption by the TV Champ, but he’s at least not looking like he’s ready to throw down or anything like that. Instead, he even makes it clear he’s cool with Jericho joining him in the ring, perhaps accepting it was going to happen anyways. “I’m sure you heard the little gauntlet I laid down on Nitro, Page, but in case you somehow weren’t like the several million people around the world who pay attention when Chris Jericho talks now, allow me to reiterate. Spring Stampede, it’s World Heavyweight Champion versus United States Champ; Champion versus Champion. But if Ric Flair and WCW are gonna make such a marquee match, I think it’s only fitting that the man who defends the TV Title anywhere in the USA, the great country of Canada, or anywhere else around the world… should be in the match too! While it’s no surprise that somehow my challenge has gone without any sort of answer from Ric Flair, JJ Dillon, or the Championship Committee… I’m comin’ right to you, Page! I’m done playing nice; I’m rockin’ the boat, daddie-o!”

    It’s absolutely true that Jericho has been creative shockwaves in pro wrestling the last few weeks - on camera, in the ratings, on the internet - and it is definitely why there is a pop at Jericho’s words. Page even smiles at Jericho being so brash. Still trying to moderate despite the interruption, Mean Gene asks DDP what he has to say to that. “Listen here, kid. I’m all for a guy wantin’ ta’ buck the system, not take no for an answer. You’re lookin’ at a guy who din’t take no for an answer! If DDP took no for an answ’ah, I wouldn’t be standin’ here right now. Heck, I wouldn’t even be a wrestl’ah! So Jericho, I get you’re tired of bein’ on the sidelines, havin’ ta’ act like a goof just ta’ get that mug on the camera. But you bett’ah recognize somethin’: ya’ mouth is writing checks that your ass ain’t gonna be able to cash with all this wreckless talkin’ you’re doing!”

    That gets a sneer from Jericho in response at DDP verbally stepping to him, which draws a smirk from Page. “Get used to it, kid! You wanna start steppin’ up to the big dogs, then you’re gonna find out that we all bark back a whole lot too. But hell, I like this brash bark you got goin’ on. You wanna go big or go home, right? Ready ta’ go all out?” Jericho raises his eyebrows like what Page is saying is obvious, and nods his head. DDP grins in delight. “Good, that’s what I was goin’ for. If you’re gonna go big or go home, then let’s go big, pup! I’m all for that gauntlet you laid out… if you earn it.

    That gets the interest of both Jericho and Mean Gene, both men wanting to know exactly what the US Champ means. “You can talk this big game about makin’ Spring Stampede Champ versus Champ… versus Champ… but let’s not forget somethin’ here, kid: I earned mah match against Hogan! I’ve beaten darn near EVERYONE in WCW! I pinned Nash last week, I earned this match… so if you want in, earn it, jabroni! I know Flair ain’t gonna approve this match ta’night - heck, he might even laugh in our faces with how you’ve been actin’! - but I say we leave this ring, go talk to the boss… and have Chris Jericho versus D-D-P… next week on Monday Nitro! If you can beat the King of Badda Bing… then in mah opinion, you’ll have earned your way in!”

    Of course the challenge gets a cheer from the crowd, and Okerlund is all about getting an answer to it. “Now that is some challenge by Diamond Dallas Page! He’s been a fighting United States Champion, and now he’s fighting to give you, Chris Jericho, the chance to make it a triple threat match at Spring Stampede for the World Heavyweight Title! I think what we need to do is take this party back to President Flair’s office, and see just what he thinks about DDP’s challenge! You’ve talked a big game, Chris Jericho, you’re rocking the boat… and now you just might get your wish!” Okerlund’s closing words there sign off the interview segment as Thunder fades to a break, Jericho and Page staring one another down, Schiavone shouting, wanting to know what President Flair will have to say about this “groundbreaking challenge.”

    When Thunder does return, we get a short clip of the action in President Ric Flair’s office, although we don’t get to hear any of the dialogue. However, Flair is clearly listening to Chris Jericho and Diamond Dallas Page present the challenge, Gene Okerlund, the Four Horsemen, and Torrie Wilson all present for it. What’s the answer from Flair? Guess we’re finding out later!

    The action then switches to the ring where Stevie Ray is already in the ring - not wearing the black and white singlet associated with his nWo days, but not in the red fire of Harlem Heat either, awkwardly in a silver singlet - for a singles match. Van Hammer gets an actual entrance next, walking out from the back in his ripped jeans and tye dye tank top, carrying his flower. We all know he’s got no intention of actually competing… although tonight it’s because he gets jumped from behind! Raven absolutely blindsides Hammer in the aisle, Kanyon and Idol joining in on the attack as well! The three men put the boots to Hammer, Tenay exclaiming, “This must be because Raven blames Hammer for ending up in that match against Hak on Nitro! Hak took Hammer’s place, and Raven got his butt kicked because of it!”

    He’s a pacifist by nature anymore so Hammer probably wouldn’t have done much in a fight here anyways, but the three men make mincemeat out of Van Hammer, Raven capping the attack off with a Russian Leg Sweep into the guardrail! However, any ideas of Raven and co leaving there are interrupted by Stevie Ray on a mic in the ring. “You couple a’ Fruit Booties wanna come out here n’ throw down, right!? Well I’m in this ring, sucka! You took out mah opponent, so one of you Fruit Booties oughta get yo’ punk behind in ‘dis ring right now, n’ lets knuckle!” Probably because Fruit Booty is obviously the worst thing one man can ever be called, Raven shares a look with Idol and Kanyon… and he starts walking to the ring! He’s accepting!

    Raven (w/Beulah, Idol, & Kanyon) vs. Stevie Ray

    Schiavone is certainly surprised to see Raven show such bravery to walk into this match against Stevie Ray, but The Brain is always on point. “Are you kidding me? When was the last time you saw Stevie Ray win a match, Schee-A-Vone? Stevie Ray’s lost so many times he even got kicked out of the B-team! Raven’s got the momentum, he’s got the help outside, he’s got the girl, and he’s got the money! All Stevie Ray has is a bunch of losses and a gap in between his teeth!” Damn Brain, tell us how you really feel. One thing he didn’t include though is that the former Harlem Heat certainly has had some, ahem, fire, returned to his game, showing plenty of aggression during the contest. Stevie Ray keeps it even with the surprised Raven as a result, the trust fund kid struggling to come to grasp with the fists of fury from Stevie Ray.

    Even though Raven could have help from from either one of Kanyon or Idol if the match looked in danger of being lost, it is The Cubpack who play the pivotal role in the contest’s end. Disco Inferno and Norman Smiley have had plenty of issues with Stevie Ray, some would even attribute Stevie Ray being canned from the B-Team because of them, and the loud mouthed Disco has no problem catching Stevie Ray’s attention when he shows up at ringside, banging on the apron and shouting condescending insults at him. The obnoxious Disco succeeds in taking Stevie’s focus off the match, so that when he finally turns back to Raven, it’s right into a Drop Toe Hold… into the second turnbuckle! That turns the tide fully in Raven’s favor, and from there, it’s only a matter of moments until the Evenflow DDT finishes Stevie off, condemning him to yet another defeat, despite his best efforts here tonight.

    Winner: Raven at 5:21

    Smiley and Disco are right into the ring to stand over the fallen Stevie Ray and mock him for yet another loss, while Raven has his hand raised in victory by his lovely girlfriend, Beulah. A man who always enjoys watching others get hurt, Raven smirks and hoists himself up onto the top turnbuckle, placing Beulah in between his legs, and watches on as Smiley and Disco add insult to injury by laying the boots to Stevie Ray. And if that’s not enough, Raven motions to Kanyon and Idol to join in! It’s a 4-on-1 attack on the guy who just cannot ever catch a break it seems…

    ...but help is on the way! Perry Saturn & Hak come sprinting out from the back, both men wielding Singapore Canes! Whether it’s to help Stevie Ray or just to get a chance at Raven and his goons, it doesn’t matter for the two extremists. Raven sees it coming early, and he and Beulah escape quickly from the action. Kanyon and Disco are able to get out just in the nick of time, but the same cannot be said for Norman Smiley and Idol - Saturn cracks Smiley across the back with the Cane, and poor Idol takes it right over the skull! Saturn gets two more shots with the Singapore Cane to the back of Smiley before the Brit falls through the ropes to the outside, Disco hoisting his partner up to his feet and away to safety. Idol is pulled to safety by Kanyon after the overhead strike drops him into wonderland, Raven’s group also scurrying up the aisle and away from the danger of the Hak and Saturn. The Gargoyle eventually help Stevie up to his feet the rest of the way, showing some cookie cutter good guy attributes at least, but Hak only has eyes for Raven, shouting all the threats at his rival to come back for more…

    The Following Announcement Has Been Paid For

    It’s the standard black and white nWo vignette, but there are only three men being featured tonight - Buff Bagwell, Lex Luger, and Scott Steiner. It’s the same vibe as normal though, the “Rockhouse” theme playing low in the background, the balck and white tint to the screen, and a whole lot of jump cuts going on. Big Poppa Pump is the first man up to be featured tonight. “Another night of action, another night of ass kickin’ for Big Poppa Pump! I want you to know somethin’, Wrath; don’t think for a second that last week the n-Dubya-o actually wanted your punk ass to join us! You must have known it since you didn’t take the offer, so congratulations for not actin’ as stupid you look! No matter what though, you made a big mistake in sidin’ with that piece a’ trailer trash DDP, so now you got yourself in Big Poppa Pump’s crosshairs!”

    There’s a fun jump cut of Steiner flexing his massive bicep and kissing the tip of it, and Bagwell touching the muscle and acting like it’s so hot it’s burnt his hand. “So what I’m gonna do ta’night is choke you out like the lil’ BITCH I know you ta’ be, Wrath! ‘Cause I’m Big Poppa Pump, and you’re nothin’ but a chump! I choke bitches out, ‘cause I’m the one with the clout! It doesn’t matter if you’re a mullet-wearing idiot like you Wrath, my favorite punchin’ bag Stevie Ray - oh yeah I ain’t forget about you yet eith’ah! - or even you, Dick Flair! There ain’t nothin’ finer, than Scott Steiner! So after I choke you out, Wrath, I want all my freaks in Richmond, Virginia to know… if you’re lookin’ to hump, look no further… than Big Poppa Pump!”

    More posing of the massive arms by Steiner, and a jump cut to the focus being on Buffy Bagwell. “Oh WAAAHHH! WAAAHHH! All I’m hearin’ is a lot of crying go around here lately! Whether it’s Chris Benoit cryin’ about getting his face smashed in by Kevin Nash on Monday, or Dean Malenko crying ‘cause he’s just too short… or now you got guys like Chris Jericho cryin’ and demanding all the attention be on them. Well I got news for all of you - Buff Bagwell is the one with all The Stuff… that the girls can’t get enough! That’s why Buff Daddy gets all the attention ‘round these parts, not any of your crybabies! You boys better watch yourselves, ‘cause if you talk bad on mah Lord and Savior, Hollywood Hogan… then Buff Daddy will make you pay for the sin! So stop your cryin’, oh I ain’t lyin’, ‘cause Buff Bagwell is the truth!”

    Another jump cut after Bagwell does ridiculous poses and faces, but when the cut goes to The Total Package, all of the pomp and circumstance is completely gone. “There’s a lot of reason to be happy and celebratin’ for, but forgive me for not being in the partying mood. Everywhere I turn now, I have to hear people whispering the loudest lie: I fear Sting. Let’s set the record straight: I fear no man! Especially Sting!”

    Jump cut of Luger glaring right into the camera to look intimidating. “You can talk a whole new talk about no more Mr. Nice Guy, and you can point that bat all you want… but I’m not buying it, Stinger! You’re still the same guy I’ve always known you to be. Gullible! All talk! Weak. I could’ve ended your career ten times over by now, Stinger… but out of the goodness of my heart, I’ve let you last - until now! Spring Stampede! I want you, Stinger. In the ring, one-on-one… and not only am I gonna put the lies to rest, I’m gonna put your career to rest too.” The vignette then ends with Luger still giving the camera a death glare, all fired up about his rivalry with his former long-time best friend…

    NON-TITLE: Divine Lineage © (w/Bobby Duncum Jr.) vs. Ice Ice Iceberg

    Perhaps spurred on by the fact that this match is only a non-title match, the World Tag Team Champions are extremely cocky and nonchalant as the match gets underway, Hennig especially having fun by mocking the “Ice Ice Baby” theme and entrance that Glacier and Ice Train came out to beforehand. That lackadaisical approach by Hennig comes back to bite him right away though because the 320 pound Ice Train beats the hell out of the second generation talent, capping it off with the All Aboard - his version of a Running Avalanche in the corner! It’s an absolute embarrassment for Hennig, just barely getting a shoulder up on the ensuing pin, Ice Train almost winning the match for his team inside sixty seconds.

    Windham is able to slow the pace down for the Champions and help to get the momentum in their corner, but the still new team are persistent, working well as a unit to stay in the match. Glacier finds himself isolated still in the middle of the match, at least until the Sub Zero wannabe fights his way out of a seated Chinlock from Hennig, fires off the ropes after Hennig shoves him, and takes him down with a Leaping Shoulderblock. With a big head of steam, Ice Train gets the hot tag and goes on a tear, scoring a series of knockdowns on Windham, the best coming by showing his impressive agility with a Standing Dropkick!

    The action ends up breaking down when Hennig blindsides Ice Train as he runs off the rope looking for his big Running Splash, bringing Glacier into the contest as well. Glacier ends up sending both him and Hennig to the outside with a Running Clothesline, while Windham looks to take advantage of Hennig’s cheap shot - BIG BOOT is caught by Train! The 320 pounder spins Windham around into a waist lock, runs him into the ropes - and rolls him up with an O’Connor Roll… and nicks the win! It’s a combination of underrated agility and 300-plus pounds of pressure pinning Windham to the mat, and he kicks out a second too late! What an upset!

    Winners: Ice Ice Iceberg at 5:54

    It’s by far the biggest win in the career of Ice Train - as a team or as a singles man - but he has no time to celebrate it… BIG BOOT by Bobby Duncum Jr nearly beheads Ice Train! The rookie cowboy didn’t get involved in the finish of the match, probably because he never saw it coming, but he’s making himself known now! Duncum mounts Ice Train and pummels him with a flurry of right hands, and while Glacier tries to get into the ring to help his partner… Hennig pulls his foot out from underneath him, and smacks face first off the apron! Windham joins Hennig on the outside to double team Glacier, and the Champs use their combined efforts to whip Glacier - face first into the ring post! In the ring, Duncum yanks Ice Train back up to his feet to bring an exclamation point to his beatdown, and that he does - Full Nelson Front Slam!

    The finishing maneuver from Duncum caps off his cheap attack on Ice Train, and despite scoring the monumental upset on Divine Lineage, the victors are left looking very much not the part! Schiavone naturally condemns Divine Lineage for being poor losers and having no class at all, furious that they have ruined what has been the biggest win in either man’s career! While Hennig and Windham grab their belts as they leave the ringside area, Mike Tenay makes a point as he says, “Divine Lineage clearly underestimated the fun loving Glacier and Ice Train tonight, Tony. And if they do that again after what we just witnessed, we’re going to have new World Tag Team Champions!” You’re God damn right I’m not afraid to push 1999 Big E and a Rip Off Sub Zero makeshift team that come out a Vanilla Ice song, bay-BEE!!!

    Big Sexy, Big Role

    Since the start of the broadcast, the talking heads have promoted the fact that Kevin Nash would be appearing to speak about his actions from Monday Nitro when, despite having yet another explosive argument with Hollywood Hogan, the 7-footer plastered Chris Benoit with the World Title Belt to hand his nWo-ite the victory. Well, “Wolfpac” has hit the sound system, and that means if the Militia rip-off is playing, Big Sexy is on his way out. Dressed in jeans and a Wolfpac hockey jersey, Nash makes his way out to the ring solo, with Hogan taking the night off (and The Disciple as a result), Eric Bischoff probably with him, the rest of the group preparing for their night, and Scott Hall… well, you can come to your own conclusions why Hall would not be on a show he was advertised for. *Hint* the answer includes his last name as the last syllable for the reason.

    There is always a portion of the crowd that will cheer Nash for the many cool heel trademarks of his, and that section of the crowd is a little louder than usual tonight since he is on his own, although there are a lot of boos as well for Big Sexy. Leaning on the top rope in his nonchalant way of his, Nash gets things started. “You know… usually me and the Medium Sized Mang would start this shiznit off with a survey… but Scotty’s got some other stuff to attend to tonight, and it kind of works out, ‘cause I’m not actually been in the partyin’ mood lately myself.” Nash runs his hand through his hair to flick his long mane back over his head, and stares out into the crowd to milk his camera time. “I’ll be the first guy to admit, that 1999? It ain’t been too kind to Kevin Nash. I’ve had Goldberg kick my ass not once, but twice… although I’m wearing a hockey jersey on tonight, so Goldie Boy may not wanna try me tonight, huh Hitman? Scotty n’ me? Dropped the ball at winning the Tag Titles. Tried and failed at Spring Breakout to be the Number One Contender. You name it, I failed it.”

    Contorting his face and biting on his tongue, Nash scowls at it all. “Now I know all you people were hoping to see my frustrations boil over this past Monday night by clockin’ ol’ Hollywood right in between the eyes with the Title. Hell, I even kind of foreshadowed it a bit on Monday, didn’t I!? But the thing each and every one of you need to recognize real quick… is that I’m a pretty smart guy. I don’t bite the hand that feeds me, and I certainly don’t bite the hand that signs my checks. Ric Flair may be the guy in charge of the ‘Dubya-See-Dubya’... but I know where the money is. It ain’t with Old Man Flair pretending he’s Slick Willie in the Oral Office; it’s with Eric Bischoff and the n-Dubya-o. ‘Cause let’s be honest for just a second, Virginia: I ain’t a Dubya-See-Dubya guy. Never have been, never will be. You think I would’ve been welcomed with open arms by the Four Horsemen if I handed Chris Benoit the strap on Nitro? While I hear they’re still lookin’ for a new Enforcer, and I’ve been told I do a pretty good Arn Anderson impersonation… somehow I don’t think I’m what Slick Ric is looking for.”

    For the fans who pick up on the reference of when Nash impersonated Double A right after Arn retired, it gets big boos, especially since it was a pretty tasteless impersonation by Nash. “I’ll be the first one to admit that Hogan? We ain’t friends. I tolerate Hollywood, and even that ain’t somethin’ I can do some nights. But you know what Hogan and I do have in common? Power. Money. Greed. And one other key attribute, and this is a bit of a big one: we both share the common goal of seein’ Dubya-See-Dubya run completely by the n-Dubya-o. It’s why we got the band back together! Me and Hogan breaking up and having the two nWo sides go to war? That wasn’t achieving the goal, now was it? All that did was let Ric Flair actually be important for the first time in five years and get some stroke back. And I din’t sign on the dotted line with Eric three years ago to live in Ric Flair’s company. I came here to live in my company! I came here to be my own boss, and trust me when I say… I’ve had a taste of it already here, and I’m looking to have that permanently.”

    That is absolutely a veiled comment about his time as being the booker at the tail end of last year, but it’s (thankfully) not an obvious one. “So for anyone who was waiting for Kevin Nash to come out here and give a big, ‘gotcha!’ moment and swerve ya’ to say Hogan and I are really best friends, and we tricked Ric Flair and the Horsemen all over again? Shucksdeedoodle for you, kid. And if you’re somehow expecting Kevin Nash to show up and reveal this big personal vendetta against Chris Benoit, perhaps blaming his win against The Outsiders back in the Tag Tournament as the start of my downfall? Well then you can really think again, because I don’t sweat you, Benoit. Not for a second, Crippl’ah. You could’ve been any other maple syrup wonderboy in that ring on Monday as far as I’m concerned, ‘cause at the end of the night, I know what’s best for business: it’s the New World Order keeping a stranglehold on the World Heavyweight Title Belt.

    There’s more of an empathic delivery from Nash with that, and it even gets him to stop leaning on the ropes and stand up straight, looking right into the camera now. “Naitcha Boy… I LOVE knowing how much we pissed you off when Hollywood and I made a mockery of the tradition of your precious World Title back in January. We pissed all over your tradition, and it drives you crazy. But we’re not stupid. We know how much that belt means to you and this company. We got the gold? We still got the power. So it doesn’t matter if it’s Benoit on a Nitro… Diamond Dallas Page at Spring Stampede… of even if you try to be the hero and win the gold, Flair… Kevin Nash knows what’s best for business. Kevin Nash knows where the money is, and Kevin Nash knows what the end game is. I’m making sure the World Title stays with The Elite of this sport.”

    Nash looks to get ready to leave at that, walking towards the ropes, only to turn back into the ring. “But since I know I love to walk away with a buzz, let me just stoke the flames this one little bit though. Hogan?? I made sure you left Canada as Champion, and understanding that I know the score. But I just wanna make sure you know too that while Big Sexy’s gonna make sure that nobody from Dubya-See-Dubya takes that gold off your waist… it doesn’t mean that I still won’t take it from ya’ either, Cueball! As long as the World Title’s in the hands of The Elite, and the n-Dubya-o is takin’ over this company and making it ours… then Mission Accomplished.” There’s a cocky wink into the camera from Nash at that, sending a clear and obvious message/threat to The God before the Wolfpac rap hits. It means Nash is climbing over the rope and making his exit, and Thunder is also cutting to a break - but stay tuned because when we come back on The SuperStation, Schiavone and co. will break down Nash’s promo, and Big Poppa Pump takes on Wrath!

    Schiavone, Tenay, and Heenan indeed are talking about Nash’s promo when the broadcast returns, with it coming as no surprise that Schiavone and Tenay want to blast Big Sexy as nothing more than a heartless mercenary who cares about only two things: his bank account and his ego. Heenan, while not pro-nWo but not a WCW ass kisser, is right to point out that Nash does have a point though: with Ric Flair holding the power as President of WCW, it’s never been more imperative to the nWo’s mission of taking over the company as their own to maintain possession of the World Heavyweight Championship. The talking heads bicker and argue from there until the great music fees allows “Runnin’ With The Devil” to bring out the 6’7” 300lb Freak of Nature, Wrath!

    Scott Steiner (w/Buff Bagwell) vs. Wrath

    Even though The Stuff is in action in tonight’s featured bout, you can almost always count on the nWo to come out in numbers, especially when the opponent is a guy like Wrath, one of the few men in World Championship Wrestling who can match up in size with the massive Big Poppa Pump. The crowd is honestly red hot for this contest; this could legitimately be on PPV instead of Thunder with the noise they’re making. It means that this match features a lot of jaw jacking from both men, a lot of lock ups and test of strengths, and not too much in the way of going all out with the action in case they do save this for a more marquee event than a lowly Thunder.

    While there is a lot of stalling and crowd play during this, there is still more than enough time for these guys to get some of their key moments in. Steiner makes sure to taunt Wrath like only he can with push ups after taking him to the canvas with a Scoop Slam, and you just know ya’ boy has time to hit the Elbow Drop after flexing and kissing the roided tip. Wrath can match Steiner with strength though, getting a HUGE reaction from the crowd - and Steiner and Bagwell - when he hoists Big Poppa Up into the air… scoring with a GORILLA PRESS SLAM! The one added benefit that Wrath has over Steiner is his incredible agility as well, and it puts him on the verge a potential huge victory when he leaps from the apron - SLINGSHOT SPINNING BACK ELBOW STRIKE! Wrath is smartly right into the cover as well, but Steiner kicks out at two!!

    Having stared defeat right in the face, Scott Steiner isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to turn the tides of the contest. Wrath tries to land a big impact move with the Death Penalty, his version of a Urinage. Big Poppa Pump though gouges the big man’s eyes to prevent it, blinding Wrath… and the Pennsylvania native inadvertently strikes referee Scott Dickinson because of it! He doesn’t get all of the referee, but the ref bump does the damage… and allows Buff Daddy to play a pivotal role in the end. Knowing Dickinson is down, Bagwell reacts quick, grabbing a steel chair while Steiner and Wrath slug it out. The Freak of Nature staggers Steiner with a hard right and hits the ropes for his Pump Kick - but Bagwell WHACKS him across the back with the chair when he does! It sends the big man staggering right into the waiting arms of Steiner - and he lands his SPINNING BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX!

    Thinking that won’t be enough to put the big man down though, Steiner has Bagwell slide the chair into the ring, and with Dickinson still down, Big Poppa Pump capitalizes - lining Wrath up and delivering the STEEL CHAIR SHOT! That is the killer blow as the chair dents around Wrath’s cranium. The chair gets disposed of by Steiner as Bagwell helps to revive the official, and Steiner steals the victory, despite a very impressive effort by Wrath during the contest.

    Winner: Scott Steiner at 6:26

    You just know Steiner acts like he won the match all on his own and without any kind of help from Bagwell or the steel chair, gloating and posing after hurrying Dickinson to raise his arm in triumph. Big Poppa Pump smirks and laughs his way up the aisle with Bagwell from there as Wrath starts recovering from the chair shot(s). Schiavone is furious on commentary, adamant that if it wasn’t for Steiner downright cheating to win this match, Wrath was on his way to scoring the biggest victory of his career!

    Coked Up Pissed Off Flair

    The commentators complaining about the New World Order cheating and scheming is perfect because up next, we’re backstage in the Presidential Office of ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair! He’s still got Arn Anderson and Torrie Wilson on either side of his desk, the two competing to see who can look at Flair with more affection than the other. However, dressed and ready for combat are also Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko, and The Nature Boy is focused on his two Horsemen for this one. “Havin’ to watch Kevin Nash stand in that ring - MY RING! - and spew all that BULLCRAP… OOOOO mah blood is boilin’, boys! Kevin Nash… he’s the reason you’re not CHAMPION, Benoit! CHAM-PEE-WOOOO!-YUN! You should have that Belt I made famous, Crippler! NASH HAS GOT TO PAY! HOOOGAN’S GOT TO PAY! They ALL gotta pay, and it STARTS… TO-NIGHT!”

    Flair is red in the face. He was already fired up about Nitro to begin with, but then Nash’s promo fired him up even more. Torrie and Arn continue their silent competition, each putting a hand on the shoulder of Flair closest to them. Benoit and Malenko both crack their necks and rub their wrists, preparing for war in the tag team match. Wanting to keep taking more of a focus, Benoit actually speaks next. “Nash can say all he wants Monday wasn’t personal for him… but he made it personal for me! Nitro was MY SHOT! My moment! And that seven-foot jackass took it away from me! So Ric, we’ll get payback! Dean and I are gonna get ours tonight, but that’s not enough! Not this time! Nash took my moment; I take his arm! You book the matches ‘round here now, so give me Nash at Spring Stampede!”

    Flair is already WOOing up a storm and shouting at Benoit that he’s got the match, but surprisingly, Dean Malenko wants to vanilla it up more. “Not so fast, Naitch. We already say what happened on Monday, Chris. nWo has numbers. You go against Nash at the pay per view? And Scott Hall’s gonna be right there to recreate Nitro. I say, we beat them together before… and we’ll do it again, at Spring Stampede.” Malenko gives his icy glare of silent confidence in what he’s saying, and all it takes is one look between the two best friends for Benoit to nod his head in agreement for the match. That’s all that Flair needs, telling them they’re on - Spring Stampede, it’s Outsiders vs. Horsemen! The Enforcer then leads Benoit and Malenko out to finish the prep for the featured bout tonight, especially with them more fired up than ever now after this segment. It leaves just Flair alone with his intern, and the blonde uses it to massage both shoulders instead of one. “You know, boss, while I do like to see you get so… passionate... you do have to make sure you loosen up. But then again, isn’t that why you have me?” A chuckling Flair says nothing in response, instead just grinning as his intern works his shoulders over…

    When the action cuts back to the commentators, Schiavone shills the new marquee match made for Spring Stampede by President Flair, and then adds that President Flair has also sent word to him through his headset that he HAS made a decision regarding Chris Jericho and Diamond Dallas Page - next week on Monday Nitro, the Television and United States Champions will collide! If Chris Jericho beats DDP, Spring Stampede’s World Heavyweight Title match will become a triple threat match! Schiavone and Tenay both plug the huge match made by President Flair, with Tony adding that he’s hoping somewhere, wherever Hogan is vacationing at this week, he will be fuming when he hears that he may have to defend the World Title against against not one, but two men! However, the focus completely shifts to the backstage for a moment - Head of Security Doug Dillinger is by the door of Goldberg. It’s time! Hit “Invasion” and let’s get ready for El Squasho~!

    Goldberg vs. Hugh Morrus

    Let’s be honest here. Goldberg is Da Man, and he’s pissed off like a motherfucker after Bret Hart played him like a hockey puck, tricking him into giving himself a concussion on Nitro. Despite the ‘concussion’ he received, he’s wrestling tonight and in no mood for anything other than destroying Morrus. It’s why there’s some combination strikes, a few shoulder blocks, Savate Kick, Gorilla Press Powerslam, and then… you know. Spear. Jackhammer. Splat. Thanks for coming, Hugh, hope you had a laugh along the way.

    Winner: Goldberg at 1:47

    In true Goldberg fashion, Da Man doesn’t bother with having Randy Anderson raise his hand in victory, just snarling around the ring looking pissed off as ever… and he’s gonna verbalize it! Goldberg’s got a mic from a stagehand, and he walks right up close to the corner camera! “BRET HART~!” There’s a huge pause from Goldberg afterwards as he just glares and snarls into the camera, looking so incredibly irate. “You think you’re pretty smart or somethin’, huh!? You took the COWARD’S WAY OUT on Monday! You’re not smart, you’re a COWARD! You hear me!?” More pausing for more snarling and intimidating. Rawr. “I don’t want you, Hitman! You get that!? I want Hogan! I want my Title back! But you, I know you, Hart! You won’t stop! So you wanna be my LAST DISTRACTION!? Then Spring Stampede… YOU’RE NEXT~! One last long pause for snarling. “And HOGAN~! Win or lose at Spring Stampede… I’m comin’ for you! I’m tired of the distractions! I’m tired of the wait! You’re! Still! LAST!

    As Goldberg throws the mic down and walks back up the entrance aisle, it allows the commentary team to talk about the “historic” main event that took place last Monday on Nitro - a match Schiavone literally calls “featuring one of the greatest technical wrestlers today versus the greatest wrestler in history” because well, he’s clearly an apostle for The God. It means it’s time for a video recap of Hogan versus Benoit, getting all the great Hogan clips, and of course the winning end. When the video ends, the commentary team shifts focus to another nWo member, Lex Luger. The team talk about The Total Package sending the challenge out to his longtime friend to a match at Spring Stampede. “Well fans, Sting has heard that challenge… and he’s responded! Our production team just received this!”

    The Scorpion, The Crow, The Sting

    The pre-recorded vignette airs and while it’s not in full black and white like the nWo, there’s definitely a greyed tint to the screen. While you can’t tell for certain because the shot doesn’t scroll up/down at all, it looks like Sting is in his favorite place - the rafters. It’s a close up shot of The Stinger though, only his face and upper torso visible. “Lex Luger… The Total Package, FLEXY LEXY… the man I called a friend for over a decade! We’ve had our ups and downs, the whole wrestling world knows it ‘cause they’ve seen it! But you’ve reached a new low, Lex. Not only have you sold out your heart and your morals for Eric Bischoff’s money and to kiss Hogan’s BUTT, not only have you lied to everyone… but not you’re lying to yourself.”

    The vignette cuts to a shot just a little bit farther out, so you can see more of Sting instead of just his face now, and also what is in his hand - the black baseball bat. “You can tell yourself all you want that you don’t fear this bat, Lex. But you’re lyin’ Lexy! You do fear this bat… and you should… fear this bat. I’ve changed, Lex! The Stinger’s gone through many changes over the years, the whole world has seen the hair and the paint… but you can’t see this change, not yet at least!” Sting uses the bat to slap himself in the chest thrice, and then keeps tapping the top of the bat over his heart, followed by his tapping it to his temple.

    “I’ve changed here, Lex! This war against the New World Order… all my time staying silent… watching all the BULLCRAP that has gone on in Dubya-See-Dubya for the last three years… I’m finally thinkin’ like everyone else in this war… and I’m done wearin’ my heart on my sleeve, being played over and over and over and over again by guys like you, Lex. I got a whole ot to say now… and some people ain’t gonna like it! And you’re one ‘em, Lex.” Sting now points the bat straight out, right into the camera.

    “Flex all you want, Lex. Flash the muscles, boast that you don’t fear Sting. It’s not gonna matter because come Spring Stampede - oh yes, I accept your challenge! - it’s not just gonna be SHOWTIME anymore, folks! You’re gonna see it first hand, Lex, that it’s time for the bat… to attack. That incredibly early 90s Sting level of cheese finishing line is met with a look of absolute intent from Sting as he points the bat into the camera like a weapon he very much intends to use. He’s said he’s no more Mr. Nice Sting, and at Spring Stampede, he’s going to use that bat to show just how much he means it...

    When the vignette returns, you know what it’s time for? Final hype for our featured bout and, you guessed it, main event fireworks!

    Buff Bagwell & Lex Luger (w/Elizabeth & Scott Steiner) vs. Four Horsemen (w/Arn Anderson)

    It’s made clear what kind of mood The Crippler is in when he starts this match by walking right up to Bagwell as he’s still grinning, posing, and yukking it up… and rocking his shit with a Headbutt! Benoit starts the match with fire and keeps the fire burning from the rip, just pounding the ever loving crap out of Bagwell with massive forearms and side elbow strikes to Buff Daddy’s face and echoing knife edge chops to the chest. His partner is the much more methodical of the pair tonight, mixing in his usual expert technical wrestling holds and submissions when he can on Bagwell, although when The Total Package enters the ring, so stops a lot of the selling from The Wolfpac. Instead, Luger helps to put the nWo in control of the match, using his “world renowned strength” (thanks Tony) to catch Malenko’s Springboard Crossbody attempt, and then show off his impressive and ever improving moveset by sending Malenko flying with a Fall Away Slam!

    Because of who he is and who is in this match, Malenko unfortunately is forced to serve as the face in peril in the match, taking the brunt of Bagwell and Luger’s offense, allowing the two big men to not only get in a lot of offense, but also a lot of muscle posing/flexing, and a lot of trash talking in Bagwell’s case. Malenko gets several moments where he creates the space to make the tag, but the nWo always seems to have an answer to make sure Benoit can’t get back into the match. Even the one time Malenko does get the hot tag, referee Mickey Jay misses it, thanks to Big Poppa Pump making his presence known and making sure Jay is dealing with him instead of witnessing it. However, Malenko makes sure no doubt is left in the pivotal tag after somersaulting to his corner and tagging Benoit in one fluid motion after popping himself off of Luger’s shoulders to escape the Fireman’s Carry position.

    Primed and ready, Benoit puts the work in on the unsuspecting Luger, using the same strike and move strategy he tried to implement against Hogan on Monday, making it so The Total Package cannot keep up with the hard strikes and quick movements of The Crippler. Bagwell wants to get involved, but Benoit knocks him right back to the outside with a Dropkick and then takes to the air - SUICIDE DIVE drives Buff Daddy into the guardrail! Scott Steiner tries to get involved with the action breaking down, but thanks to quick coaching from Double A, Dean Malenko is on hand to make the save - a PLANCHA from the top turnbuckle sees Malenko crash land on Steiner!

    The momentum is purely in the hands of the Four Horsemen, but with Malenko and Bagwell continuing action on the outside of the ring and Scott Steiner out there as well, it allows Mickey Jay to be distracted by the chaos. Benoit keeps his huge momentum going back inside the ring on Luger by again using his speed to miss Lex’s FOREARM SMASH and drop him on his head with a Release German Suplex… but get up right into a BIG BOOT...

    ...yet again from Kevin Nash! It’s the second time in a week that Big Sexy makes his presence oh so very known to The Crippler, making the run in and capping it off with a Jackknife Powerbomb to boot! Nash makes it out just in time to avoid Mickey Jay turning his attention back to the ring, and with Jay having his eyes on the ring, it also means he misses Steiner adding to the cheating by hitting Malenko with a double sledge from behind so he can’t get back into the ring. It’s all a bust for Benoit as a result because instead of being on the way to a victory here tonight, a recovered Total Package is able to lock on the Torture Rack on Benoit… earning a victory by TKO on The Crippler!

    Winners: Buff Bagwell & Lex Luger at 8:12

    Despite being the man to make it so The Wolfpac are victorious tonight, Big Sexy doesn’t join the victors in the ring. Instead, the smirking Nash watches his boys from the bottom of the mini entrance ramp at the bottom of the Thunder stage, clearly satisfied with having yet again knocked Chris Benoit down a peg. Arn Anderson can only shake his head in disappointment at seeing his boys take the L tonight, checking on Malenko on the outside of the ring while Benoit eventually rolls out of the ring and joins them, at least avoiding a post match beating and tagging while still recovering from the Jackknife and Torture Rack. The three nWo men all celebrate in the ring alongside Elizabeth as Thunder comers to a close, the commentators doing one part to shame Kevin Nash and the New World Order, and another part to plug next week’s Monday Nitro - it’ll be six days before Spring Stampede, and it’s United States Champion versus Television Champion with a chance of a lifetime for Chris Jericho to book his place in a World Heavyweight Title match at the PPV!

    Confirmed Card for Spring Stampede - April 11, 1999
    WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hollywood Hogan © vs. Diamond Dallas Page
    Grudge Match: Bret Hart vs. Goldberg
    Grudge Match: Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Nash
    Grudge Match: Lex Luger vs. Sting

    WCW 99: The Fingerpoke of Doom
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  3. #223
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    Re: The Fingerpoke... OF DOOM~!

    Sorry for the lateness mate, you know I was so excited for this episode of Nitro. A few thoughts.

    I thought the opening was fantastic, the idea of Sting rolling out to open the show when taking on post-mania Raw is a fantastic idea particularly given it is his in-ring return. Sting taking the win is obvious but I like that he didn’t just roll through it in seconds and it had a bit of substance to it.

    Well, pulling out all the stops early on aren’t we. Big opener, big sell for the main event and then the nWo front. What even is post-mania Raw?

    This whole thing smells a bit fishy to me, I’m really intrigued by the direction Nash is going in. He’s apparently well over Hogan… but is he really? Nash was outstanding here, the 7 footer line was outstanding and even got a rub from the writer �� I want Benoit to win tonight but after this, I just think some shit goes down and he’s no chance.

    Tag Match was fair enough. I’m not really interested in Garza, so don’t care that he left. Haha.

    Loved the little part with the horsemen. Flair was brilliant. Served its purpose wonderfully.

    PLEASE change his fucking name. Just do it. Enjoyed this little interaction though, the way you booked it with Van Hammer was cool. Smart decision in relation to the outcome of the match for mine – you couldn’t have any gone any other way and we will get Raven v HAK on the pay per view.

    Loved this from Jericho, obviously it won’t happen but still a fantastic way to get him over tonight in a big way.

    The tag match was the first bit of down time for the evening to be honest because not really interested in any of them.

    Don’t rock the titanic you say? Interesting stuff with the desire for Nash to get in there and apologise, safe bet to say that won’t happen… and wanting to can the match because his “BEST FRIEND” is angry at him lol. “VANILLA MIDGETS” “WHICH ONE IS HE AGAIN ANYWAYS” FUCK ME haha. Put the shovel down. This really builds further intrigue with the direction you’re going here because you’ve had a couple of them ride Hogans dick, and then ultimately Hall and Bischoff put him back in his box. Interesting stuff.

    DDP going over is the logical solution here given what he’s up to. Having him beat a credible opponent like Steiner is only going to add to his build into his big title match. The ending of it is interesting since the main event is no doubt set to be a circus as well.

    I absolutely loved the Bret Hart promo. Particularly mentioning that he’d beaten everyone in WWF and named them. It’s Post-Mania night and Bret’s just named all their stars and run them well down. I thought Bret was just magnificent in the way that he played to being the home town hero. Plus the use of “THE WCW” continuously was hilarious. Rehashing the use of the steel plate was an interesting choice but I loved it. Great segment. Topped of with The Berg not wanting to know about the doctors was great.

    Main Event time. How good. Really enjoyed it. The referee bump had to happen but as soon as it did it was pretty clear what was going to happen. Loved the double low blow spot into the title belt shot to Eric. THREE COUNT for the Headbutt! No ref. Fuck. You cunt. Hogan tapping out now, but no ref still. Obviously shit that he’s not winning the belt here but Benoit is looking a million bucks. AND here’s Big Sexy. Title belt to Benoit and that’s all she wrote. Unbelievable match, awesome ending and in Canada. How good would this have been. Just magnificent. Nash showing no emotion and just leaving adds further intrigue to all of this. Interesting point with the satisfied smirks right at the end though. So good.

    Great show mate, again, sorry it took so long. Pissed Benoit lost but he was always going too but you had him look a million bucks.

    Thunder, well.

    Eight Cruiserweights to open the show = MONEY. Fun match and the right team wins. Start to do something with Mysterio and Chavo.

    It’s a damn shame you didn’t save the DDP/Jericho promo for Nitro. Really really good stuff. I love what you’re doing with Jericho. It would be outstanding if the nWo somehow screw DDP in this one and Jericho finds his way into the title match.

    Dunno why Raven took 5 minutes to beat Stevie fucking Ray. The most match was a nice yet obvious way to further this little issue between Raven and THE MOTHERFUCKING SANDMAN.

    Another enjoyable little segment with Steiner/Bagwell/Lex. I hate Bagwell so much but I actually lol’d at this.

    Really interesting stuff from Nash here. So keen to see where you take this. The prospect of Nash/Hogan is better than ever now but I’m not sure if you’ll pull the trigger on it. Unfortunately this probably proves that DDP isn’t winning at the PPV either as Big Sexy will make sure it doesn’t happen.

    Steiner wins. Fair enough. Wrath stays looking strong. Good decision. All fine.

    Wow… Benoit/Malenko v The Outsiders… that’s a big one. I would’ve preferred Benoit v Nash though. That would’ve been great but hopefully done the track. This little segment ends in typically seedy fucking fashion.

    The Berg does what The Berg does. Fair enough. Nice little segment to get him on the show. Typically intense.

    Sting v Luger is booked. Nice little promo from Sting. No way he loses to Lex.

    Benoit in action for the second main event in a row. I get what you did with Nash costing The Horsemen for the win for the second time in a row, and it makes perfect sense for Nash coming out looking powerful after his promo earlier but I feel it would’ve been a great move to get Benoit back in the winners circle after the title match. Yeah you protected him and all that, but a win here and a different involvement for Nash would’ve done the world of good for Benoit for mine.

    Anyway, good episode of Thunder. Plenty happening for a B Show. Plenty of which could’ve found it’s way onto Nitro and you probably did a disservice to a couple of segments by not having them on the top show. Jericho/DDP segment especially.


  4. #224
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    Re: The Fingerpoke... OF DOOM~!

    Look who the workhorse is! Benoit right back in action after his loss on Nitro! Steiner vs. Wrath too? Oooh.

    While I liked the writing here to explain why Garza wound up losing – due to being a big headed jerk – I can’t get behind Blitzkrieg getting the pinfall. That smacks to me of a way to transition into Garza vs. Blitzkrieg at Spring Stampede despite Garza and Kidman being the long term program over the title. If that’s the direction, or if it’s a way to shoehorn Krieg into the picture for a triple threat and hold off on Kidman getting his one on one rematch, I’m disappointed to be honest. Dropping the fall to Kidman; this is great. Anyone else – especially with Kidman IN the match and locked into this program with Garza? Not a fan.

    Jericho vs. Page on Nitro? Good set up for it here, and as I’ve said countless times before, you write this babyface DDP character so unbelievably well. This was another case in point. No backing off from a challenge, and instead presenting one to Jericho. As fun as a triple champion match sounds, Jericho has no business being part of the Spring Stampede main event; it’s all about DDP/Hogan for me. No need to water it down.

    But still, him just rubbing shoulders with these guys and forcing things to happen is a notable leap for him as a character and competitor within the company. Should be a fascinating match to see unfold and how you book it on Nitro.

    Good follow up on the Nitro situation and Raven getting payback on Van Hammer for making him face Hak. Nice to see when things like that aren’t just forgotten. Raven accepting the challenge from Stevie was interesting too, as we’ve come to expect Kanyon and Idol to do all his bidding. Protecting Stevie Ray in a loss to Raven!? You’re the fruit booty, Zoom!! Felt like a few issues got some air time here with Hak and Saturn making their presence felt in the post match. All decent stuff to keep these feuds moving along.

    Well, you fucked up your own colour scheme, and that’s what you get for choosing to use different colours for each guy talking!! Big Poppa Pump spitting bars here I see, and as much as I love Steiner – especially when you write him – any nWo featurette minus the original crew always feels a little lacking. Bagwell is a brilliantly written dick though. Oh, and Luger is getting fucked by Sting for sure.

    Good lord. You’re really pushing Ice Train Glacier for a tag team title push!? Is this really happening!?

    High point of the show here. Kevin Nash’s recent arc has been pretty god damn sexy, and the underlying tension between him and THE GOD has been brewing beautifully up to him teasing the screw job on Nitro, only to stay loyal to the Hulkster. This one hit all the right notes, from the comments about wearing his hockey jersey in a dig at Goldberg, and I got a chuckle at his line about not being a Horseman despite doing a good Double A impression. What a prick.

    But what I especially enjoyed about this is that it wasn’t a case of Nash and Hogan being buddies all along. Nash’s issues with Hogan are legit, but he helped him in order to keep the belt out of WCW hands. That makes the bogus finish on Nitro much more palatable for me, and as an explanation it fits. Nash has always been about hurting WCW, so it makes sense he’d still side with Hogan against WCW, even if he may still have designs on the gold himself. Really, really excellent promo.

    Oh, and Scott Hall not showing up for work because of the alcohol? Love that, lol.

    I know Steiner isn’t seen as a massive big guy like a monster, but Wrath still pressing him over his head is super impressive. This could’ve easily been a mid card PPV match imo, or even a Thunder main event, so getting it mid way through a Thunder? Zoom-E, you’re spoiling us! Felt like a set up for a potential rematch anyway, given the screwy ending and Steiner using the chair.

    I’m here for the underlying Arn/Torrie feud. Outsiders vs. Horsemen at Spring Stampede is a good addition, provided Hall is in any fit condition to perform… could see that being used as a reason for Hall to do a job at the PPV again, punishing him for his lack of professionalism. Not sure how Benoit could rebound by losing back to back big matches against the nWo like that, just when he felt primed to be a big player. Fascinating dilemma you might have there. And yeah, Torrie Lewinski is gonna bring a heart attack on for Flair.

    Goldberg doing Goldbergy things. Bit of an odd shift from him here just giving a passing comment to Bret before stating his real focus is on Hogan. Just seems weird as I’d imagine he’d be completely hell bent on Bret right now after that stunt on Nitro.

    Well, you said it, some stinky cheese out of Sting there, lol. Bat on the attack. He should run over Luger at the PPV really.

    Wow. Didn’t expect that finish to the show. For sure thought Buff and Lex were there as nWo fodder for the Horsemen to stamp over (or beat in a competitive match) so the finish took me by surprise. That might actually be the first thing Luger has really done in this thread, and I guess that was required in order to make him seem like some kind of threat to Sting at Spring Stampede. With the interference of Nash and Steiner, the Horsemen surely have to fight fire with fire and get down and dirty with the nWo going forward?

  5. #225
    Zoom E | Szumi | Old Man
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    Re: The Fingerpoke... OF DOOM~!

    Hey, good news! I only have 2 more segments of Nitro to go - maybe I'll finish it tonight! If not, it will be soon as I should have more writing time coming up.

    WCW Saturday Night
    April 3, 1999

    It’s 6:05 PM - I think! - and it is time for the best C-show in all of wrestling! Don’t pay attention to the fact that the WWF’s C-show beats us in the ratings, we’re a wholesome family show and not named after a GUN! GUNS KILL PEOPLE! Ahem. Anyways… wholesome family show here, even though we have (S)Mark Madden in the booth with Lee Marshall and Scott Hudson to call all of the action, so unplug those yellow, red, and white cables from the TV, get it on The Superstation, and let’s get ready to watch 2 hours of undercard wrestling, and a lot of recap footage from Nitro and Thunder that won’t be mentioned in this write up! But you know what will be? How about Chris Jericho defending the Television Title against Scotty Riggs in tonight’s featured bout! We also have Perry Saturn and Hak teaming up for the first time on Saturday Night, and a lot more!

    Lash Leroux vs. Silver King

    Tonight’s curtain jerker features the Power Plant graduate with the coolest growing sideburns in wrestling against the masked Luchadore. The two men don’t get the chance to have a competitive singles match often, so they go all out and entertain the heck out of the fans in attendance for the taping here in Ontario. The crowd appreciates Silver King’s Plancha from the top turnbuckle to the outside, and they definitely love it when Leroux counters King whipping him into the guardrail by leaping up onto it, and immediately flying off to crash land on the Luchadore with a Moonsault press! These two keep going fast as can be the whole time, and it is the rookie Leroux who scores his first meaningful victory in WCW tonight. As the two men go lightning quick with pin reversals, Lash ends up springboard off the second ropes, flying back into the air and landing on King’s shoulders, and rolling him up with a Victory Roll! It’s an impressive ending sequence, and the rookie is beside himself in happiness at getting the win.

    Al Greene vs. Scott Norton

    This match is rough as fuck, but thankfully not very long. Al Greene is employed by WCW still purely because he is friends with Kevin Nash, and not because he’s a talented wrestler. The two men honestly just potato the hell out of each other throughout the match, and it’s almost nonstop punch and kick. But it also sees Norton knock Greene silly with a massive Lariat, and that allows him to connect with the coolest finisher in wrestling today - The Heart Headbutt - and give the gaijin the victory he deserves.

    How is Stevie Ray Involved in So Many Feuds?

    It’s time for a ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund ringside entrance aisle interview, but you just know he first is plugging The Hotline - 1-900-909-9900, just $1.69 a minute, kids have your parents permission before calling! - and all of the scoops that he has! But then, it’s time to bring out a man that Mean Gene wants to hear more from given how much he’s been caught up in lately - Stevie Ray! The former Black & White member comes out dressed in fly street clothes; I can’t accurately describe how awesome he looks, but just know, it’s ahead of its time and superb.

    Mean Gene does a brief recap of some of the important events that’s been going on with Stevie Ray over the past few months: he tried and failed to recruit his brother to the nWo, he wasn’t included in The Elite’s plan for the unification of the nWo, he was relegated to a back-up member for the group, he’s been blamed for the failures of the B-Team, he’s had The Cubpack trying to instigate him, and he’s had Scott Steiner attack him on several occasions. However, judging by these past few weeks, one thing is certain: Stevie Ray is done with the New World Order! He asks the hard questions though: was this departure what he wanted, or what the nWo made happen!?

    Sneering in the best mean mugging way possible - seriously, Stevie Ray knew how to mean mug a camera better than you remember - he explains to Mean Gene in his urban slang that it don’t matter what the n-Dubya-o had ta’ do or say ta’ him, ‘cause Stevie Ray was over n’ done wit’ it, ya’ feel? “The n-Dubya-o wa’nt no team, Mean Gene! I know a team! Harlem Heat, sucka! 7-times Tag Team Champions! I ain’t no sucka, no Uncle Tom! I wa’nt gonna keep hangin’ ‘round, carryin’ bags… suckin’ up ta’ The Elite like them Cubpack Fruit Booties! And I certainly ain’t gonna just roll ova’ n’ take it from Scott Stein’ah!” Stevie continues to go off on Big Poppa Pump especially, making it clear that Steiner’s going to pay for the attacks on him.

    Mean Gene focuses on what’s next for Stevie Ray now since he is officially out of the nWo. Is he going to go after The Cubpack? Brian Adams and Vincent? Steiner? After more mean mugging, Stevie Ray makes it clear that they’ve ALL made his hit list. “Dat Disco Inferno got a Harlem style butt whoopin’ comin’ to him, Mean Gene, beli’e dat! But Scott Stein’ah! You up first, sucka! I want you on Nitro, in dat ring! We gonna knuckle, we gonna knuckle! You goin’ learn dat you ain’t as big nor as bad as you think you are, sucka! I’m gonna be the one slappin’ his Fruit Booty backside around, Gene! I ain’t got no shackles no mo’, n’ they all about ta’ see the real Stevie Ray! Ya’ he’rd!? It of course leads to Mean Gene awfully repeating that he “heard'' and wrapping the interview up.

    The Cubpack vs. Rock n’ Roll Express

    The veteran team are still getting paid by WCW, so you know what that means? Job duty! Of course Ricky Morton also sells like it’s nobody’s business for Disco Inferno and Norman Smiley as well throughout the match to let the nWo wannabees look as strong as possible. While Robert Gibson’s hot tag almost gets the RnR Express partying like the 80s again, a well timed intervention from Disco - from behind - halts his momentum. While Disco takes care of Morton, it allows Smiley to then finish the job on Gibson, making him tap out to the Norman Conquest submission hold, better known as a Crossface Chickenwing. Don’t worry, there’s Disco Dancing and the Smiley Spank afterwards, because everyone loves to watch one man disco dance while the other pantomimes scoring from behind.

    Bobby Duncum Jr. (w/Divine Lineage) vs. Prince Iaukea

    Obviously the rookie cowboy needs the help of the World Tag Team Champions to put away the barefoot, supreme talent that is Iaukea, right?? Of course not. While Windham and Hennig are here to support their charge on, the roughneck Texan doesn’t need much help to dispatch the cruiserweight tonight. Iaukea bumps around for Duncum throughout the match, with the best one absolutely coming when Duncum somehow doesn’t decapitate Iaukea with a Lariat to swat him out of the air when the Prince tries a Springboard from the apron into the ring. It sets up the Full Nelson Front Slam for the victory moments later, understandably enough.

    Wrath Gon Give It To Ya

    Because he is a star absolutely worth our time, the commentators air a not-yet-seen interview that took place during Thunder but was not on the broadcast! The segment is a backstage interview with Saturday Night commentator Scott Hudson catching up with the man who lost to Scott Steiner earlier in the night, Wrath. Big surprise here, but Hudson mainly focuses on that match, and Wrath taking the loss. Considering how he lost ‘tonight’, Wrath is certainly pissed off too. “Big Poppa Pump, huh!? Nothin’ finer than Scott Steiner, right!? Yeah right! Scott Steiner is a CHUMP, more like! Scott Steiner couldn’t handle the HEAT of my Thermonuclear Meltdown, and that’s why he had to take the cowards way out! Buff Bagwell, steel chair… that’s the only way you were beatin’ me tonight! But that’s how the nWo does business, I guess; win at all costs, who needs integrity!?”

    Hudson also brings up Steiner saying earlier in the night that The Wolfpac was never serious about wanting to recruit him into the group, despite making the offer the previous week during his match against DDP. Wrath makes it clear he doesn’t care one way or the other if the offer was valid because no matter what, he wasn’t joining the nWo. “The nWo couldn’t handle havin’ a guy like me on their team, Hudson! All those wannabe TOUGH GUYS would get too jealous too quick at MY POWER! I’m TOO STRONG for the nWo, and I’m definitely bigger, badder, and a better athlete than Steiner or Buff!” However, despite throwing shade at the nWo, Wrath deflects away from the group as well as he tells Hudson that his number one focus in WCW is still to win himself his first piece of championship gold, and he won’t stop until he gets it, no matter what title it is. He still brings it back to the nWo at the end though, as he warns, “but if anyone in the nWo gets in the way of me achieving my goal!? Well, then they’re gon’ feel MY WRATH~!. Oo, scary.

    Disorderly Conduct vs. Hak & Perry Saturn

    Everyone loves to see career enhancement talent like Mean Mike and Tough Tom on Saturday Night; that’s why this show exists still! Needless to say, this match is obviously nothing more than a showcase match for the still new team of the former Sandman and The Gargoyle. The extremists show off their impressive blend of styles in the match, Saturn complimenting the drunken punches of Hak with his impressive array of suplexes and aerial maneuvers. And yet, despite Saturn breaking out things like a T-Bone Suplex on the big Tough Tom and a Slingshot Elbow Drop to Mean Mike, it is actually the Rings of Saturn submission hold that scores the victory for the team tonight, just further showing off the excellent versatility of The Gargoyle.

    WCW TELEVISION TITLE: Chris Jericho © vs. Scotty Riggs

    The commentators, of course, spend much of this match shilling Monday Nitro’s big match against Diamond Dallas Page for Jericho, and using this match to bring into question if it will even happen, should Riggs score the upset victory tonight. No mention, however, is made of the fact that Jericho is here without Ralphus or The Rhino (the two characters clearly stuck in limbo given the abrupt and unexpected character change for Jericho) nor that Riggs is without his partner in International Beauty, Scott Putski (someone just no showed a house show, and that means that since he’s an undercard talent, he gets suspended for the month… whereas certain established stars *cough*nWomembers*cough* get away with this all the time because, lol Bischoff).

    This is the first match where Jericho is wrestling essentially as a face, and he’s made even more of a face because of the fact that this taping took place in Ontario, Canada. The crowd is over huge for him, which makes this match seem even bigger as a result. Jericho uses high flying maneuvers to pop the crowd as a result, hitting a Triangle Dropkick to knock RIggs off the apron to the outside, and follows it up with a Pescado for a bigger pop. The Ayatollah of Rock n’ Rolla has no problems even playing himself up to the crowd as well, getting bigger pops for it. He also has no problems winning the match and retaining his Title, a true shock, I know, given his current out of nowhere big push. Jericho knocks Riggs down to the canvas with a Running High Knee to the face, and then the Lionsault off the second rope makes it a second successful title defense for the Canadian star. It also does mean, shocker, that Monday Nitro’s featured bout will be the Television Champion taking on the United States Champion… and if Jericho beats DDP in forty-eights hours time, it means Spring Stampede will see the World Heavyweight Title match be a triple threat match! Can Jericho push his way through the glass ceiling to face both DDP and Hogan at the PPV!? Find out on Monday Nitro!

    Confirmed Card for Spring Stampede - April 11, 1999
    WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hollywood Hogan © vs. Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chris Jericho???
    Grudge Match: Bret Hart vs. Goldberg
    Grudge Match: Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko vs. The Outsiders
    Grudge Match: Lex Luger vs. Sting

    WCW 99: The Fingerpoke of Doom
    Now Playing in BTB Section!

  6. #226
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    Re: The Fingerpoke... OF DOOM~!

    I’m an advocate for the Chris Jericho out of nowhere big push as you are well aware.


  7. #227
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    Re: The Fingerpoke... OF DOOM~!

    Hey it's a multi-man cruiserweight match to start the show - it must be THUNDER! I do like the story being told here especially after what Garza did on Nitro that Garza got a bit of comeuppance, but all that matters is that he's still da champ!

    The sudden shift from Jericho is definitely cool and I'm all for him being elevated - but it's kinda odd to have The Rhino disappear so quickly after his debut as Jericho's muscle. But this DDP/Jericho was some good back and forth to build up to their clash on Nitro. Still think there's no chance in Hell Jericho is getting added to the Title match but it will be interesting to see how the story plays out for sure.

    Lol, Van Hammer. Nice use of Raven here - love the payback. Effective enough match to further the Stevie Ray/Cubpack stuff and the Raven/Kanyon/Saturn/Hak plot as well.

    Wrath vs. Steiner - I'm pumped.

    What?! ICE ICE ICEBERG? PINNING THE CHAMPS? I think you've officially lost it, Zooms. I am all for plucky underdog teams, but this may a bit much, lol.

    Really good stuff from Nash to highlight his recent internal struggles. I like that his allegiance remains with the nWo but still is his own man and ultimately wants to get the title back. You captured Nash beautifully here.

    Would've loved to see Wrath pull off another big showing and beat Steiner, but at least it wasn't clean. Hopefully this leads to more - would love to see these two get a PPV spot together.

    Outsiders vs. Horsemen at Spring Stampede, awesome!

    Man, Hugh Morrus falls to Goldberg again! I've voiced my thoughts on Goldberg/Hart overall but I am still looking forward to the match at Spring Stampede.

    Big win for Luger and Bagwell, kind of needed even if it means Benoit is taking two loses in a row - but again, it was thanks to Nash and further fans the flames for the PPV and as Wolfy mentioned, Luger needed a little heat behind him for the match with Sting as well. So I'm fine with this.

    Compared to some past episodes of Thunder, this one felt like a pretty loaded "B-Show" - really good story development and only two squash matches, we're bordering on A-Show territory here! Just another really fun outting and I look forward Nitro, especially to see how you book Jericho.

  8. #228
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    Re: The Fingerpoke... OF DOOM~!

    Totally don't think this format is sticking for promos.

    What WCW: Total Access Told Us About Tonight’s Monday Nitro: How about that Spring Stampede is only 6 nights away, and this company still hasn’t told us our main event for the show!? We know the World Heavyweight Title will be on the line and that Hollywood Hogan will defend against the United States Champion, Diamond Dallas Page. BUT, will the Television Champion be able to be added to that match as well!? Chris Jericho has his chance to define his career tonight - all he has to do is beat DDP in tonight’s featured bout to make it a triple threat at Spring Stampede! The God is sure to be watching tonight’s main event with a curious eye, but there’s more action tonight, and it’s more in the war of WCW versus nWo!

    For just the second time since returning at Uncensored, Sting will be in the ring as he teams up with ‘The Crippler’ Chris Benoit to take on Buff ‘The Stuff’ Bagwell and ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger! Sting and Luger will clash at Spring Stampede, while Benoit will be out for revenge after losing last week on Thunder, thanks of course to Kevin Nash. Big Sexy will be here tonight too, which means Nash and Hogan will be face-to-face for the first time since the 7-footer helped The God retain the World Heavyweight Title! Is the tension still there? Have the two made peace? We’ll find out!

    There’s a grudge match tonight too as Stevie Ray will take on the man who has enjoyed tormenting and bullying the former Harlem Heat man right out of the nWo Black & White, ‘Big Poppa Pump’ Scott Steiner! Can Stevie finally win the big match, or will it be another defeat for the down on his luck ex-Tag Team Champion? We also will find out Hector Garza’s challenger at Spring Stampede because 4 men with issues against The Rudo - Billy Kidman, Blitzkrieg, Hector Garza, and Psychosis - will face off in an Elimination match! We have Wrath in action, and a tag team match between Perry Saturn & Hak against Idol & Kanyon! All this, and more, on...

    WCW Monday Nitro
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    April 5, 1999

    Total Access switches to the MGM Grand where there’s thousands of screaming fans ready for the next edition of Monday Nitro, and the lovely Nitro Girls getting the (Turner Standard & Practices approved) T&A in for the show from the rip, with the leader Kim getting a lot of the face time, but young Zoom is making sure that Spice gets the camera time too for this meaningless moment! Schiavone and Tenay reiterate the quick highlights of why you’re watching Nitro tonight - Chris Jericho versus Diamond Dallas Page in a chance to make it World Champ vs US Champ vs TV Champ at Spring Stampede; Sting & Benoit versus Luger & Bagwell; Scott Steiner versus Stevie Ray; Bret Hart and Goldberg in the house! - and of course, we’re kicking the show off with this man…

    The Sultan of Smack Talk (aka King of Awful Dad Jokes)

    He’s coming out solo tonight - well, as solo as he’ll allow it - so it’s “Voodoo Child” bringing out the reigning World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hogan to kick off tonight’s broadcast proper! Hollywood is in full pomp and circumstance tonight in his Wolfpac tank top, playing along to Jimi Hendrix with the World Title Belt, talking himself up something fierce into the camera as only he can. Hogan’s best friend The Disciple is of course right behind The God, while the man who has something of an after thought since Uncensored, Eric Bischoff is also present for tonight’s opening segment. From being the President of WCW to holding the mic for Hogan, it’s been an awkward month for Easy E. The crowd of course heckles Hogan before he can start talking, but it’s all just smirks and grins for Hogan, clearly in a good mood tonight.

    Hollywood Hogan: Well ya’ know somethin’ my n-Dubya-o brothers!? Life certainly is feeling pretty great for the World Heavyweight Champion, jack! After The ‘Wood put the fear of God in that Maple Syrup Midget last week, beating Crooked Flair’s right hand man in the process to once again remind all you loser Dubya-See-Dubya fans that Hollywood Hogan has, is, and always will be better than your precious Nature Boy… I’ve been livin’ the good life on vacation in tropical paradise this past week, dude! And Easy E, look at how lucky The God is to find out that tonight’s Nitro is taking place in one of my favorite places ever, Sin City, brah!? It’s like I got some kind of divine knowledge or somethin’, jack!

    The Las Vegas reference actually gets a cheap pop, while all three men laugh at Hogan’s awful joke about him having divine knowledge since he’s a, you know, God.

    Hollywood Hogan: And Las Vegas, when you’re runnin’ with the n-Dubya-o Wolfpac Elite, you can always bet on both black AND red and know that The God says you’re walkin’ away a winner, brah!

    Hogan again laughs at his joke(?) while Bischoff tries not to reveal how stupid he thinks Hogan is for saying that, since it made absolutely no sense whatsoever. But hey, Hogan is laughing at his own line, so you know Ed fucking Leslie is too.

    Hollywood Hogan: So while last week ended up with that Maple Syrup Midget flat on his back doing his JOB and losing to The God as I always knew he would, it’s comin’ up triple sevens for Hollywood tonight… and at Spring Stampede in six nights, jack! Because let me tell you somethin’, brother! Diamond Dallas Page, you are absolutely nothin’, brah! All you are is just another non-believing pariah in The One True God of Wrestling, jack! You think you’re Mister Cool with your witty insults and trash talking, but the truth of the matter is, dude, only Hollywood Hogan is The Sultan of Smack-Talk! So you might as well roll those bad jokes of yours up into a ball, and use it like the roll of toilet paper that it is… and wipe your butt with it, haha hah!

    Yes, that is the self-proclaimed Sultan of Smack-Talk, trash talking DDP’s game, with an absolute lame joke, as you would expect. The Disciple joins on with the complete over the top laughter… but “Self High Five” hits just moments later! Diamond Dallas Page is on his way out to the ring, and the Las Vegas crowd is popping big for the reigning United States Champion! Normally entering through the crowd on his way to the ring, Page instead just walks through the steel scaffolding entrance and walks down the entrance aisle, stopping at the end of the aisle so he is only feet away from Hogan, but not entering the ring, where the numbers are obviously against him. Hollywood is obviously not pleased by the interruption.

    Hollywood Hogan: Now just what is the meaning of this, brother!? This is Hogan’s time, jack! You do not get to come out here and interrupt Hogan’s time on the stick, especially when The God is dropping Gospel out here!

    While Hogan is scoffing and looking all kinds of offended, Page is smirking, happy he’s gotten under Hogan’s skin.

    Diamond Dallas Page: Ya’ know somethin’ HoSCUM… brother! It’s fitting you wanna talk toilet paper, ‘cause there ain’t no one who spews more CRAP than you! You can try to lie to all these people about being The God and that you’re out here ‘dropping Gospel’ but ScumWood, the biggest lie BY FAR, is absolutely you trying to say that you’re able to talk more trash than the King of Badda Bing, monkey!

    Easy cheap pop, even though both men are by far two of the lamest trash talkers in the game.

    Diamond Dallas Page: Now if you wanna throw words tonight instead of hands, we can do that… but just know that DDP’s gonna prove words do hurt, and I’ll have you cryin’ “Mommy” into Disciple’s chest quicker than you can say bald headed, orange skinned little BITCH… jabroni!

    That gets another cheap pop, despite not being any worldly insult. It’s super effective in getting the classic oversell reaction from Hogan though, mouth agape and shaking his head in incandescent fury while The Disciple naturally mimics his leader. Thankfully, Bischoff is the man holding the mic and can save face for Hogan.

    Eric Bischoff: You got jokes, Page, oh yeah, you’re a real funny guy, jabroni. But here’s the difference between you and Hogan, DDP: this Sunday at Spring Stampede, jokes are all you’re going to have… whereas Hogan, he’s gonna make a joke out of you! ‘Cause once you enter this ring with Hollywood, and the World Title is on the line, you are facing off with the greatest wrestler this sport has ever seen! NOBODY is on Hogan’s level! No one ever has, and no one ever will! And besides, maybe you should stop worrying about Spring Stampede since you talked your way into a match with Chris Jericho tonight like an imbecile! You’ve been singing the blues for MONTHS about never getting a one-on-one match with Hogan, and now that you have it… that big bad mouth of yours might just talk your way right out of it being just you and The God.

    It’s safe to say that Bischoff’s monologue here helps Hogan to regain his cool after DDP’s verbal bashing, and now Hogan has his swagger back.

    Hollywood Hogan: Yeah, haha hah… you think you’re sooo funny and cool, Page, but now you might make our one-on-one title match at Spring Stampede a triple threat match, brother! I guess you saw how gracious and humble The God was by giving one Maple Syrup Midget a title shot you wanna do the same, but whether it’s The God versus DDP, or The God versus DDP versus this Jericho kid, my Divine Creed is this: I could beat any wrestler that Dubya-See-Dubya has to offer, jack! Hollywood Hogan is professional wrestling, brother!

    Page isn’t impressed by Hogan’s ego, to say the least.

    Diamond Dallas Page: Man, I don’t even know where to begin with that CRAP, HoSCUM! But I will say this: yeah, I’m puttin’ my probably ONE SHOT at a one-on-one match with you on the line tonight, and it’s because that “kid” earned it… and the kid’s name is Chris Jericho! You can downplay him all you want, but the “kid” is makin’ waves, and all that does is just piss you off ‘cause it means he’s stealing your thunder, cue ball!

    Hogan vehemently fires off mic that he isn’t bald, yanking at the hair he does have.

    Diamond Dallas Page: And if I lose tonight and we make Spring Stampede World Champ versus US Champ versus TV Champ… then so be it! That means Jericho EARNED his title shot, and that’s the difference between you and me, Hogan! If I think someone’s earned a shot at glory, I want them to have it. You, you’ll do whatever you can to hold onto the spotlight, onto that Belt, no matter what it takes or who you gotta put in the ground to do it! It’s why these people have been DYIN’ ta’ see Hogan versus DDP for ova’ TWO YEARS, and they’re just now gettin’ it! And they’re only gettin’ it ‘cause you and Bitch-off ain’t got the pow’ah anymore!

    DDP’s getting amped up now.

    Diamond Dallas Page: I’ve been waitin’ for over two years for this moment, Hogan, and trust me, I ain’t about to let it slip outta mah fingers now! Not this close to game day, baby! ‘Cause Hogan, you’ve denied me for too long, you POS! I know how you think, just like Lord knows how many otha’s! You take one look at Diamond Dallas Page and see some scrappy piece a’ trailer trash who started wrestling when he was too old, too late in the game. You looked down on DDP because he didn’t train like you did, he didn’t look like you did! When you were 35 years old, you were a World Champion and the biggest name in this business; I was just finally having my first match at that age!

    Pause as Page takes a few punctuated deep breaths, huffing and puffing a bit as he stares fire at Hogan.

    Diamond Dallas Page: You can look down on me all you want though, Hogan, for how I got into this business, for how old I was when I broke in. I don’t care, ya’ scumbag! Because guess what!? All that means is that I’ve trained HARDER than anyone else to make up all that lost time! I’ve worked HARDER than anyone else to get to where I’m at today! United States Champion! People’s Champion! Numb’ah One Contend’ah to your World Title! And since we’re talkin’ numbers and age… as of this very day, DDP’s 43 years old. I don’t care how many World Titles you had at that age ‘cause as of Spring Stampede? This birthday boy is gonna achieve not the childhood dream, but the 35 year old dream! I’m gonna shut ya’ trap up, I’m gonna send all these people cheering like crazy, and YOU, Hulk Hogan, are gonna FEEL! THE! BANG!

    The crowd finishes the catchphrase along with Diamond Dallas Page, many of them throwing up the Diamond over their heads as Page would normally do… but tonight, there’s no extras from DDP, not in this moment at least. DDP is all kinds of fired up as he stares one of the most intense looks he can muster right at Hogan, who is looking absolutely spooked by the fire and intensity from his challenger. “Self High Five” hits as the two men stare one another down, DDP just straight fire while Hogan continues to look fearful of that fire from Page. Schiavone is going into overdrive selling Spring Stampede, screaming and shouting about the match as the opening video and credits for Nitro finally rolls…

    After the credits and commercial breaks that follow, Nitro returns to competitors making their entrances for our first match of the evening - a Four Corners Elimination Match to determine who will face Hector Garza for the Cruiserweight Championship this Sunday at Spring Stampede according to Mike Tenay. That’s all he gets in though because Schiavone is right back to plugging Hogan vs DDP for the PPV, with of course the added question of: will it be World Champion vs United States Champion, or will the TV Champ be added to make Spring Stampede a triple threat match. “World Champion versus United States Champion is already on task to be one of the biggest matches in the history of our sport, but if Chris Jericho defeats Diamond Dallas Page tonight… all three Champions colliding in the same match? That would have to be thee biggest match in the history of our sport, guys!” Schiavone is selling and shilling tonight’s featured bout and Spring Stampede, with added focus on the passion from DDP shown to start the show.

    #1 CONTENDERS ELIMINATION MATCH: Billy Kidman vs. Blitzkrieg vs. El Dandy vs. Psychosis

    Struggling to get a word in on commentary early on in this match, The Professor gives reason why each man not only deserves this match, but also why they want to get their hands on Garza in specific, talking up Psychosis and El Dandy walking out on Garza on Thunder after The Rudo did the same thing to Psychosis here last week on Nitro, while Blitzkrieg has been targeted multiple times by Garza over the last month and more. Kidman is obvious, folks. With the match being every man for himself, the friendship of Kidman and Blitzkrieg is out the window tonight as they show right away that they both want the big PPV opportunity on Sunday, with the masked rookie getting the jump on Kidman by surprising him with a Running Hurricanrana early on!

    It’s probably a good thing for Tenay that Schiavone and Heenan want to talk about Hogan as well as DDP versus Jericho later tonight because well, this is four men fighting all at once, in the ring, outside of the ring, and all kinds of flips and twirls from the ring to the outside and vice versa. Psychosis runs and leaps off the apron onto Hulk de Increible to land an incredible Swinging Hurricanrana early in the match, Kidman almost eliminates Blitzkrieg when he goes from apron to ring with a Slingshot Springboard High Knee strike, and then of course, there’s Blitzkrieg, doing Blitzkrieg things… RUNNING CARTWHEEL into a jump over the ropes TWISTING MOONSAULT! It’s not a Blitzkrieg match unless he does something absolutely ridiculous!

    Everyone has a chance to do something big and bold during the contest, and it is no surprise of course that El Dandy uses his strength to try and counteract the crazy speed of all of his challengers, and he gets a great standout moment as well. Hulk de Increible lifts Psychosis up onto his shoulders in a Fireman’s Carry and looks for a high impact spot as Blitzkrieg springboards off the ropes with a Cross Body - and Dandy catches him! Holding up two men is one thing but then he does something even more incredible - DUAL FALLAWAY SLAM & SAMOAN DROP! It’s a spot that will wake up any crowd because it’s absolutely insane, but unfortunately for the Hulk, he’s eliminated just moments later. Dandy looks for a knockout blow on Blitz with the HULK BOMB but as he hoists the rookie up in the Gorilla Press, Blitzkrieg pops himself up in the air to escape, twirling himself down and rolling El Dandy up with a modified Sunset Flip style pin… and eliminates El Dandy at the 7 minute mark!

    While El Dandy is of course angry at being eliminated in a shocking fashion, he doesn’t lash out on the rookie, instead accepting his elimination like a good sport. The match just continues on at full throttle once down to three men, with each man still trying to get the next elimination. Kidman is the freshest after that great Dandy spot and he looks to plant Psychosis with the RYDEEN BOMB moments after the elimination, but the masked Weird Al escapes and lands on his feet on the spin. With Kidman thrown off by not planting Psychosis with the modified spinning Sitout Spinebuster, he lands a hard knee to Kidman’s face! Blitzkrieg then comes charging in at breakneck speed for another Running Hurricanrana, but the veteran Luchadore reverses mid-move with a Powerbomb! Psychosis folds Blitzkrieg up - but the masked rookie kicks out! He’s still down though so the Luchadore heads up top for the GUILLOTINE LEG DROP!

    ...but Kidman pushes Psychosis off the top turnbuckle! The ex-Champion could’ve easily let the Luchadore finish Blitzkrieg off, but there’s a friendship between Kidman and the rookie, and Kidman puts that friendship over competition despite the every man for himself clash. Kidman is then quick up to the top and capitalizes - SHOOTING STAR PRESS right onto Psychosis, and the masked Luchadore is eliminated now as well! It puts the contest down to the two friends, the ex-Champion and the rookie that he’s taken under his wing, and it has Bobby Heenan vehemently jeering Kidman, hoping he loses now for putting friendship over sport.

    The two men actually take a breather for a few moments with chain and mat wrestling once it’s back to the two of them, The Professor still trying to decipher why Kidman essentially saved Blitzkrieg from elimination and if it will come back to bite him. The action of course ends up picking back up quick with the two cruiserweights, the pair counter wrestling with a host of reversals and counter reversals, at least until Blitz ducks another missed Kidman clothesline and springboards off the second rope, changing his attack in midair to land a Springboard Spinning Roundhouse to Kidman! It’s incredible agility and athleticism on display again from Blitzkrieg, and while Kidman kicks out of the pin, the rookie looks to finish his friend off with the PANZER STUNNER right afterwards! It connects, but Blitzkrieg skips the pin and is heading up top! This is his moment, and he wants to seal the deal… PHOENIX SPLASH... finds only the knees of Kidman! Billy gets his knees up as Blitzkrieg lands hard, and Kidman immediately cradles him over into a pin… and wins it!!

    Winner: Billy Kidman at 12:11 to become the Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender

    Bobby Heenan is of course disgusted that despite showing friendship for Blitzkrieg in the match, it didn’t come back to bite him in the backside. Holding his neck in pain, Kidman is slow to get himself up to his feet, but happily lets Charles Robinson raise his arm up in the air to show he is victorious. As Tenay puts over the great match by all four men and the excellence of Kidman, the fatigued victor finds himself looking right at the sultry - and scandalously dressed - Dawn Marie! The newcomer in a micro skirt and very revealing mini top is on the apron looking right at Kidman pouty lips, shaking her head for some reason at Kidman. Still trying just to get his breath back at this point, Kidman is confused by Dawn’s presence… but it’s just a distraction for her boyfriend to attack Kidman from behind! TITLE BELT to the back of Kidman’s head by Hector Garza!

    Kidman never saw it coming! The Rudo is looking to get an early advantage ahead of their rematch at Spring Stampede, and he yanks Kidman right up to his feet - Leg Trap Hammerlock DDT spikes Kidman to the canvas! The Rudo is all grins as he stands over the fallen Kidman… when Dawn Marie is on the lookout for Blitzkrieg. She’s got eyes where Garza doesn’t, and it gives The Rudo just enough time to evade the charging Blitzkrieg, the rookie trying to help his friend despite just getting pinned by him. Garza has the advantage over the winded rookie, and he spikes him too! Leg Trap Hammerlock DDT to Blitzkrieg as well! With both men put out of commission by The Rudo, it allows Garza to raise the Cruiserweight Title Belt high up into the air… at least until he and his lovely girlfriend have a fiery make out session, much to the chagrin of Schiavone… and jealousy of Heenan.

    I’m Aware You Probably Hate This Program

    Monday Nitro cuts backstage where ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is standing by behind a brand new Monday Nitro tarp backdrop, allowing the show to save some time from having so many ringside or in-ring interview segments. Okerlund is of course initially here to hawk Spring Stampede - contact your cable or satellite company to order now! - and all of the scoops for his Hotline - that’s 1-900-909-9900, just $1.69 a minute, kids have your parents permission before calling! - but he then wants to talk about something more specific for Spring Stampede… the World Tag Team Championship. Enter Divine Lineage - Barry Windham, Curt Hennig, and their rookie protege, Bobby Duncum Jr.

    Both Duncum and Hennig have their belts proudly around their shoulders, Windham again wearing his best Canadian tuxedo of denim jeans and sleeveless vest, while Duncum equally looks like a cowboy, but his sleeveless vest not in denim (but he has a cowboy hat, so ha!). Hennig is in much more normal street clothes, and happily chewing on gum as he wraps an arm around the less than thrilled Okerlund, asking the legendary correspondent about the kind of praising questions he wants to ask the perfect Champs tonight. Squirming out from underneath Hennig’s arm, Okerlund retorts, “First off, Mrs. Okerlund just pressed this suit today, so I’d ask that you keep your grubby paws off it, thank you, Mister Hennig; those hands aren’t as flawlessly clean as you think they are pal! And while I have questions to ask you three gentlemen, I have a feeling you’re not about to like them. That is, of course, because I am here to ask you about the World Tag Team Championships just six days away from Spring Stampede.”

    Either playing dumb or truly ignorant, Hennig responds that Okerlund must mean about the fact that they’re going to have the show off, “because let’s just be honest and face the truth: Bobby Windham and I were born for success in this sport. The rest of the tag team division in WCW? Not a single team even comes close to matching up to Divine Lineage. So we’re left to assume that until Ric Flair or the Championship Committee finds some teams that can at least maybe make us get out of first gear, we’re getting Spring Stampede off!” Windham adds in quick response that while WCW can bring in the best from around the world, they still won’t match up to he and Hennig, one thing is still for certain: no team in WCW deserves a title shot this Sunday.

    “Well there’s a certain saying about what happens when you assume, Curt Hennig, and I for one would not like to be made a donkey out of tonight, thank you very much,” Mean Gene coolly responds. “And for all of your talk, gentlemen, about your beliefs on the state of the WCW Tag Team Division, let’s ‘face the truth,’ to use your wording. Last week on Thunder, you two men were defeated clean as a whistle by the team of Glacier and Ice Train! And you are my guests at this time because I have just spoken to J.J. Dillon of the Championship Committee, and he and President Flair have just decided together that this Sunday at Spring Stampede, as a result of that match last week, Glacier and Ice Train will be challenging you two men for the World Tag Team Titles!”

    Naturally, Hennig and Windham are both absolutely incredulous at this reveal, furious at the decision. “This is preposterous, Gene! How can you stand here with a straight face and deliver this news!? This is an outage, a farce! Barry and I having to degrade ourselves to face those two morons is not only an insult to ourselves, it’s an insult to Bobby, the Duncum family of wrestling, the Windham bloodline, and an insult to my family’s heritage in this sport! I won’t have it, no way! This match is not happening!”

    While Hennig throws a tantrum over it, Okerlund is always ready to reason back. “Well gentlemen, I’m no authority figure in WCW, but I’m inclined to believe that if you refuse to defend the titles against your assigned challengers, President Flair and J.J. Dillon would be left with no other option than to strip you of those titles! And for as much as you say about this team - Ice Ice Iceberg, they like to call themselves, you know - being less than you, surely you wouldn’t have any problems facing them this Sunday!”

    With Hennig still furious and unable to string together words, Windham steps in. “Of course we wouldn’t have any problems facing those imbeciles, and don’t call either of us three ‘Shirley’! My friend and partner is not apoplectic because he fears Glacier and Ice Train, he is overcome at the disrespect WCW management is showing us by having to face a team so beneath us for our titles!” Okerlund naturally reminds the pair again how they lost to this team, which just reignites Hennig’s anger.

    “Yeah Gene, and sometimes a snowball doesn’t melt in hell! Flukes happen, and the only thing more crazy than those two beating us last week is the fact that they even have jobs in WCW in the first place! Glacier and Ice Train don’t belong in our sport, and them challenging us at Spring Stampede is an insult to our families! So Gene Okerlund, you can go find those two dancing idiots and let them know that they can sing along to that fakester Vanilla Ice all they want; rap is crap… and so are they! They’re just as fake of a team as their entrance music, and come this Sunday, we’re gonna show them - and the world - just that! Consider this interview over; I can’t handle another second of disrespect to my family’s name!” Shaking his head still in angered disbelief, Hennig storms out of the scene, Windham and Duncum quickly following behind, Okerlund left to recap the big news of the newest addition to the Spring Stampede card - Divine Lineage defend the World Tag Titles against Ice Ice Iceberg!

    As Nitro transitions to back to ringside for the entrances for the next match, the talking heads provide a quick storyline recap for this upcoming grudge match “that could easily be live on pay per view this Sunday, but Stevie Ray is angry, and he wants payback here tonight!” Okay Tony, sure. Heenan also accurately remarks that Stevie Ray is also all alone for this match, the commentators pointing how Stevie has been unceremoniously kicked out of the Black & White team, and finds himself a man all alone with Scott Steiner having enjoyed bullying him, The Cubpack trying to instigate him, and his former B&W brethren none too happy with Stevie Ray speaking out against the group either. “There’s one guy I know I wouldn’t want to be tonight, and it’s Stevie Ray,” Heenan concludes, considering the numbers against him.

    Scott Steiner vs. Stevie Ray

    It’s worth mentioning that Buff Bagwell actually comes out alongside Big Poppa Pump for this match, but the ever confident Steiner chuckles and sends Bagwell to the back, clearly wanting to take care of the ticked off Stevie all on his own. The former Harlem Heat man comes out swinging from the get go for this match, all passion and rage as he throws heavy haymakers at Steiner. The Wolfpac member wasn’t expecting such aggression from Stevie, underestimating just what he would bring into this match. Stevie’s big blows knock the smirk right off of Steiner’s face, especially when he sends Big Poppa Pump up and over the top rope with a Clothesline! Stevie Ray is all kinds of fired up, and Big Poppa Pump is damn near throwing a tantrum on the outside at what’s transpired in the early rounds of this match!

    The early run by Stevie Ray brings both Bagwell and The Cubpack out onto the small Nitro stage, although an infuriated Steiner demands that they don’t come to the ring. Having spent the first two minutes of this match with egg on his face, it’s a different Big Poppa Pump when he gets back into the ring. While Stevie Ray continues to provide a spirited effort against his foe, it’s safe to say that the disparity in talent levels becomes obvious. Once Stevie starts missing on some of his haymakers, that gets him both off balance and soon winded, and Steiner showcases what he does well: out power anyone in the ring with him. Steiner lands his various Suplexes, and of course showcases his arrogance once he gets his swagger back with the Kiss the Peak Elbow Drop and a round of push ups to boot. Despite Stevie Ray’s best efforts here, a Gorilla Press Drop puts Stevie right on his torso, and in prime position for the STEINER RECLINER to serve its purpose in choking out Stevie Ray until he is forced to tap out for the submission victory.

    Winner: Scott Steiner at 4:39

    Now that Scott Dickinson has Steiner’s arm raised in triumph, he’s fine with Bagwell, Disco Inferno, and Norman Smiley coming down and joining him in the ring… so they can all put the boots to him afterwards! Schiavone and Tenay are furious that the nWo and Cubpack will, quite literally, kick Stevie Ray while he’s down, but that is exactly what they’re doing! Steiner lets Disco and Smiley take the heavy kicking as he and Bagwell pick their shots, best evidenced when Big Poppa Pump has The Cubpack hold Stevie Ray up on his knees by his arms… so Steiner can first slap Ray across the face, and then sock him with a straight right hand to the jaw!

    The disrespect is paramount from Big Poppa Pump, and as the four men look to continue to rub salt on the wound of the beaten Stevie Ray, help is coming in the form of a 6’7” 300lb Freak of Nature - Wrath is sprinting down the aisle! The big athletic man has had his own issues with Scott Steiner, and he is looking to get him some while doing the right thing at the same time - SPRINGBOARD CROSS BODY to The Cubpack! Wrath starts unloading big right hands to Bagwell and Steiner, and then leaps off his feet to clock Disco with a Standing Dropkick! The big man is coming to the rescue here… until Steiner lands a double sledge from behind!

    While the run in showed such promise, the cheap shot from behind by Steiner allows the four men to regroup and start using the numbers advantage on both Wrath and Stevie Ray now… but the unmistakable sound of “Rap Sheet” distracts them all! He has been out injured since Uncensored, but here he is dressed in jeans and a turtleneck - and Booker T is rushing down to the ring! The crowd pops big for Booker T’s return from his forced short absence, and he throws his first right hand from the apron, clocking Smiley! Booker gets into the ring and starts throwing big right hands at Bagwell and Disco… and when Steiner tries to blindside him like he did Wrath, Booker moves out of the way - and clocks BPP with a HARLEM SIDEKICK!

    Steiner hits the mat and rolls out of the ring on impact, and Booker keeps going, slugging away at Bagwell and Smiley, while Wrath does his part, grabbing Disco by the back of the head and FLINGING him over the top rope to the floor! Bagwell rolls out himself after getting knocked down by another right hand from Booker T, and Norman Smiley ends up taking a massive MELTDOWN from Wrath as well! Steiner and Bagwell are tucking tail and back pedaling up the aisle while Disco pulls the smashed Smiley out of the ring so they can recuperate on the outside… allowing the focus to switch purely to the fired up Booker T in the ring. Book first just shares a look with Wrath and a mutual head nod in respect, and then his eyes are only on one man… his estranged brother. Stevie Ray is only to his hands and knees, but help is there for him to get up to his feet in the form of a hand from his brother!

    Stevie Ray sees the hand in front of him, and even though he knows who it is, there’s still that moment where he does the slow, long glance up to see his brother staring down at him, hand outstretched to help him back up to his feet… and Stevie takes it! The brothers from Harlem reunite with a hug! Schiavone is as delighted as the crowd at seeing the brothers finally reunite after Stevie defected to the New World Order last summer! While Wrath still awkwardly remains in the ring as the two brothers embrace, the commentators are naturally hyping up Booker T making his first priority upon return to help his brother from the New World Order! “I guess Stevie Ray isn’t alone anymore, guys!” chuckles The Brain.

    When Monday Nitro returns from a commercial break, we’re treated to a video package playing, and it’s all about one thing: last week’s segment between Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and Goldberg! After showing highlights of Hart’s big tirade on Goldberg last week, we get the Spear by Goldberg into Hart that knocked him out cold thanks to Hart’s steel plate under his shirt, and Hart’s challenge for Spring Stampede to prove just who ‘The Best’ is in (the) WCW. As the video ends, the commentators of course confirm that the match has been signed and sealed for Spring Stampede this Sunday, so contact your cable or satellite provider to order now!

    Lukewarm Still, I’m Sure; I’m Sorry

    This of course is all just to segue perfectly into having ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund in the center of the ring to shill both The Hotline and the match between Hart and Goldberg for Spring Stampede… and then bring out the man who has had the world talking after last week, Bret Hart! “Hitman in the House” does indeed bring out The Hitman, again sporting his brand new ‘The Best’ t-shirt with The Best on the front, and then ‘There Is’ ‘There Was’ and ‘There Ever Will Be’ on the back (well, the leather jacket is still on over top). It’s a very mixed reaction for Hart from the Las Vegas crowd, as despite Hart making waves with last week’s segment, the crowd isn’t quite sure of what to make with Bret Hart anymore, such is his characterization right now.

    Gene Okerlund: Mister Hitman, you have had the world abuzz after your actions last week. You finally told us what the reason for your interaction with Goldberg has been over the past month, and it is because you want to face the former World Heavyweight Champion in a match! As I’m sure you know by now, Goldberg has accepted your challenge, President Flair has signed off on the match, and in six days time, it will be - for the first time ever - Bret Hart versus Goldberg! So now that you have your match, I do have to ask, why all of the subterfuge, Mister Hitman? Why didn’t you just be upfront with Goldberg from the get go!?

    Hart flashes his trademark wry smile, and shrugs his shoulders slightly.

    Bret Hart: You know, Gene, I’m sure I could’ve been a real jam up guy and just walked up to Goldberg, told him I wanted this match, and I bet I probably would’ve gotten it too. But doing that? That doesn’t get the Goldberg I need to face on Sunday at the Spring Stampede.

    Mean Gene doesn’t understand.

    Gene Okerlund: The Goldberg that you need to face? Just what is the meaning of that!?

    Bret Hart: It’s actually pretty simple, Mean Gene, but it needs some explaining. If I just challenged Goldberg to a match, yeah he would accept it because I think that’s just who he is, but that’s not the match I want. I don’t just want Goldberg in the ring. I want the best possible version of Goldberg when we step in this ring on Sunday… because for the first time since I’ve joined The WCW, you’re gonna see the best possible version of Bret Hart. You’re gonna see The Hitman. The Excellence of Execution. The Best.

    Hart pauses to flick his long hair behind his head again.

    Bret Hart: What I did to Goldberg last week, it wasn’t personal. Believe it or not, I’m sure Goldberg is a real swell fella, Gene. But I had to play him like a fool last week to get him fired up, to get him pissed off. To get his focus off the New World Order… and onto me. I knew that I could get under Goldberg’s skin last week, and make him act impulsively. It’s a weakness I exploited, and it worked, Mean Gene. Now, I know that when Goldberg steps into this ring on Sunday, he’s going to be pissed off. He’s going to want to break my ribs with a Spear! He’s going to want to kick my head in! He’s going to be focused solely on beating Bret Hart, not on whose Next in his crusade against the New World Order. Because Spring Stampede isn’t about Goldberg versus The Wolfpac, or nWo versus The WCW. It’s about Bret Hart being The Hitman. It’s about the greatest wrestler this sport has ever seen… taking on Da Man that everyone says is the best in The WCW today.

    I had to get in a comment about kicking his head in, couldn’t resist.

    Gene Okerlund: While you say that your verbal attack on Goldberg last week wasn’t personal, with all due respect, it sounds incredibly personal, Bret!

    Bret Hart: I need you to differentiate between myself and Goldberg, Mean Gene. Me goading Goldberg into Spearing me, knowing it would just knock him out? It wasn’t personal. Me wanting Goldberg in a match at Spring Stampede? It’s not about a personal vendetta against him. It’s a match that’s personal for Bret Hart, but it’s got nothing to do with who Goldberg is as a person, Mean Gene. It’s about who all of these people claim Goldberg to be as a competitor. It’s about how much Goldberg is hyped to no end by every other athlete and staff member backstage as The Best. It’s about the 173 consecutive matches Goldberg had in The WCW where he walked out a winner. It’s about -

    Whatever else it’s about, we’re not going to yet find out because the booming drums of “Invasion” is cutting The Hitman off! Goldberg is here, and he’s power marching right down the aisle and into the ring! And boy does he look pissed off! Goldberg is in jeans and one of his own signature shirts as well, and his eyes are laser focused on Hart the whole time, snarling and growling as only he can.

    Gene Okerlund: Goldberg! This is certainly not on the menu for this segment, but after your last week, I can’t say I’m surprised to see you out here, Goldberg!

    Goldberg isn’t looking interested in responding to Okerlund, instead still glaring right at Hart. The Hitman still is looking interested in talking though, and he is doing it with utmost cheek.

    Bret Hart: Don’t worry, Goldberg, you got nothin’ to fear tonight, big man. I got no tricks up my sleeve, or up my shirt. See?

    Hart lifts up his shirt to reveal his bare abdomen and torso, clearly calling back to last week by showing he has no chest plate underneath. While Goldberg remains laser focused on Hart, the Canadian smirks at his cheeky comment.

    Bret Hart: What? No smile? No laugh? I was really hoping you’d be able to laugh last week off, and admit that I got one over on you, Goldberg.

    Goldberg just remains laser focused in his glaring at Hart. It’s effective in making sure that the sarcasm from The Hitman is gone, and he too gets serious again.

    Bret Hart: Listen, Goldberg: I get it. I’m sure you’re pissed off at me after some of the games I’ve played at your expense, at making sure it’s not you taking on Hogan at Spring Stampede for the World Heavyweight Title. I know you want revenge against the nWo for what happened to you at the start of the year. Believe me, if there’s one guy who can understand getting screwed by a couple of jerk offs… I think we both know you’re looking at him.

    Goldberg continues to just glare at Hart.

    Bret Hart: I’m not saying what I did was right, I’m just saying… it wasn’t personal. But after spending weeks of listening to Arn Anderson ask me what kind of guy I wanted to be, what shirt I wanted to wear… it’s like I said, I wanted to wear this shirt, the one that says Bret Hart is The Best. Because Goldberg… it’s time I start being the best again. And whether you have the World Title or not… these people all think you’re the best in The WCW.

    That gets an easy cheap pop from the crowd.

    Bret Hart: Personally? Heh, there’s that word again… I don’t believe in the hype, Goldberg! While I just wanted to get under your skin last week to get you to act impulsively - which I did - I do mean a lot of what I said. Goldberg… I think you’re overhyped. I think you’re protected. I think when you step in the ring with me this Sunday at the Spring Stampede… I’m gonna expose you. I’m gonna prove that you can’t go toe-to-toe with a real wrestler. That you can’t keep up with The Excellence of Execution. That you’re NOT… The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be.

    Hart gently takes the microphone out of Okerlund’s grip so he can step closer to Goldberg.

    Bret Hart: And Goldberg, believe me when I say this with all due respect… after I prove that I’m The Best here in The WCW, I’m going to keep proving it, and I’m gonna do it by taking over your little crusade. Not because I have any desire to be buddy-buddy with Ric Flair and fight alongside him and the rest of The WCW, and not because I’m looking to defeat the New World Order. I’m takin’ your spot… because I want the same guy you want too, Goldberg. I want Hogan too! He’s got the World Heavyweight Title, and after I prove that I’m better than you at the Spring Stampede, that I’m The Best… I’m gonna take back my other mantle: World Champion!

    While Hart hasn’t been too clean cut in this feud, he just showed some straight babyface fire, and it absolutely gets a response from the crowd in kind! The crowd cheers for Bret Hart laying down the gauntlet for what his plans are in (the) WCW: beat Goldberg, and then set his sights on the World Heavyweight Champion. Now it’s Hart who is laser focused on Goldberg, the two men having a heated staredown for several seconds. Sensing that finally he might have something to say, Hart hands the microphone out so Goldberg can take it if he wants… and Da Man indeed snatches it up! Speaking in his trademark growl, Goldberg is still glaring right at Hart, but he’s finally addressing Hart back.

    Goldberg: I’ll give you this, Bret. You were right about at least one thing tonight: you’re damn right you pissed me off!

    Hart can’t help but smirk as the crowd pops.

    Goldberg: You executed your plan as excellent as I should expect from you last week… but if you think that anything from last week is gonna change your fate at Spring Stampede: THINK AGAIN!

    Heavy breathing from Da Man, along with some snarls.

    Goldberg: I don’t give a DAMN about your little personal journey you seem to be on, Hitman, let’s make that very clear! You wanna be The Best!? Well you can put it on a t-shirt, but it doesn’t make it true! You can say I’m overhyped, or whatever other CRAP you wanna say about me… but THIS SUNDAY… you’re gonna be JUST ANOTHER TALLY! Just another win!

    Goldberg’s eyes narrow as he tries to pierce right through Hart, while the crowd pops at his line.

    Goldberg: I’ve beaten anyone that’s stepped in this ring with me, Hart, and you’ll be no exception! The only way I’ve been beaten is by a DAMN STUN GUN! Call me Da Man, call me The Best, call me overhyped! It doesn’t change the fact that this Sunday!? Spring Stampede!? I’m gonna do to you like I’ve done to over 200 others! Spear! Jackhammer! SPLAT! And then you can go back to whining and crying like you’ve done the rest of your time in WCW… while I do EXACTLY what I’ve been saying I’m gonna do! HOGAN! Whether you win at Spring Stampede or not… YOU’RE LAST… and that means YOU’RE NEXT TOO!

    The two men have a huge staredown as Goldberg finishes his spiel, the microphone slammed to the canvas by Goldberg so it can’t hear the trash talking the two men start spewing instead… and Hart and Goldberg are going nose-to-nose! The tension is getting ready to spill over now after they both have taken shots at one another, and as the two men jaw jack one another, Mean Gene is already calling for Doug Dillinger and his security team to get out here before things get ugly! Security is out in the ring quickly as the two men keep trash talking the other nose-to-nose… but that’s all this confrontation is going to be because security is on the scene and in the ring, separating the two men! The Hitman just shakes his head and again proffers a wry smile at security arriving, but he begrudgingly walks away with Dillinger and two security guards as several more stay in the ring with Goldberg, hoping that he doesn’t pursue Hart. Da Man doesn’t, instead just continuing to glare daggers at the back of Hart’s head as he walks to the back, Schiavone of course doing the hard sell for the match on Sunday’s PPV.

    Nitro is right back to in-ring action when the show comes back from a commercial break, but we still get the entrances for the upcoming match because, hey, Bischoff likes paying those sexy music licensing fees! “All About The Benjamins” brings out the quartet of Raven in his Khaki slacks and tonight a striped polo (the hair of course in the man bun), hand-in-hand with girlfriend Beulah in her sleeveless sweater and micro skirt, Kanyon dressed for action in his black tights, and of course, Idol. The former Lodi is money as always, literally, as he has green biker trunks with a yellow $ sign right over the crotch (his name’s on the back at least), and carrying a massive check for a sign that reads To Me and then underneath it instead of the money amount, it says Victory Cuz I’m A Winner Now (Already Raven Rich). The entrance of Hak and Perry Saturn isn’t as exciting in terms of awesome signs, but Las Vegas is absolutely interested in the blaring sounds of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” bringing the pair out. He can’t use the Sandman name because of trademark issues, but he’s got the music, he’s got a Singapore Cane, and hey, tonight Hak even has a lit cigarette in his mouth! Fitting that’s he allowed to smoke on TV since WCW is in Vegas, where there’s smoke filling up the air in every casino around.[/I]

    Hak & Perry Saturn vs. Idol & Kanyon (w/Beulah & Raven)

    The continuing war between these two sides continues tonight, with Schiavone of course suggesting that Raven wants no part of this match considering how Hak manhandled him last week in their match on Nitro when the brawler replaced always flaky pacifist Van Hammer. While he can’t rough up the new millionaire, Hak has no problem using the match to throw his wild left hooks at Raven’s two lackeys in this contest. His partner does most of the heavy lifting in the match though, trying to outdo Kanyon in who can be the most innovative during the match. The Gargoyle puts himself on display in the few minutes he gets tonight, tossing Kanyon across the whole of the ring with an incredible release Capture Suplex… and then taking flight to the outside later in the match with a second turnbuckle to third rope Triangle Springboard Somersault Senton!! It’s incredible agility by Saturn, double jumping to hit the move, and pulling off succinctly to take out Idol after tossing him through the ropes to the outside.

    Kanyon is able to get in some of his fun offense as well, hitting an Argentine Neckbreaker to Hak after ducking a wild clothesline attempt from Hak. When he finds himself in the ring with Saturn again, Kanyon wins the duel this time by hoisting The Gargoyle up onto his shoulders in a Fireman’s Carry, and tossing Saturn into a beautiful Sitout Facebuster! That move allows Kanyon and Idol to isolate Saturn for a small period of time, slowing the pace down and working him over with a plethora of rest holds. It’s really all just a set up for the eventual hot tag to Hak, and the extremist again shows how effective of a brawler he is, knocking Idol silly with a series of lefts and rights… until he ups his game with a Bionic Elbow to Idol’s cranium and then a Discus Punch! Kanyon comes in to try and save his partner, but just charges right in to a Back Body Drop. The Innovator of Offense gets back up to his feet, only for Saturn to take him out with a Slingshot Clothesline from the apron! That sends Kanyon rolling to the outside, so The Gargoyle goes for the highlight again - PESCADO onto Kanyon as he gets back up to his feet!

    That leaves Hak alone in the ring with Idol, who is staggering at this point from the wicked lefts of Hak, and the haggard extremist lines him up for a Knock Out Left... SINGAPORE CANE to the back of Hak’s head brings about a disqualification ending instead! Raven was patient on the outside the whole match, but with Saturn preoccupied taking it to Kanyon on the outside, the rich sociopath strikes, cracking Hak with his own weapon!

    Winners: Hak & Perry Saturn via DQ at 5:39

    Clearly caring nothing about the actual result for his lackeys, Raven is instead dishing out a beating on the man who has been a thorn in his side for the last few weeks. Hak drops to all fours from the first Singapore Cane strike, so Raven keeps going - second Cane strike, this time an overhead shot to the back! A third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh Cane shot from Raven to put Hak face down on the canvas! Perry Saturn finally sees what’s going on, and having put Kanyon down from his work, he tries to come to the rescue of his friend. Raven is ready for him though, and he swings the Cane directly into the ribs of Saturn! That doubles him over, and Raven unloads on Saturn’s back as well! Raven is relentless, swinging away until he drops Saturn to the mat as well!

    He has a new look, new outlook, and definitely new money, but Raven is showing that same vindictive penchant for violence he has always shown, and as he coldly stares down the two men as they try to recover from the fury of strikes, Raven twirls the Cane in his hands, sizing both men up for the knockout blow to the face. Raven waits and waits for Hak to slowly pull himself up to his knees so he can swing away… a hand grabs the Singapore Cane! Raven can’t swing the Cane forward… because Van Hammer grabs the top of the cane!?

    The tye dyed pacifist who hasn’t actually wrestled a match in months, and who also got his ass handed to him by Raven on Thunder, runs down to the ring during the onslaught, prevents Raven from the knockout blow… and he wrestles the Cane away from the shocked Raven as well! And the former Flock member boots Raven in the gut to knock him back - CANE SHOT to Raven! Right in the torso! Idol decides to finally do something, and he takes a shot right to the skull! There’s the knockout blow! Kanyon gets up onto the apron after recovering on the outside, but Hammer brings the hammer down on him - Singapore Cane right to the side of the head! Kanyon crashes right back down!!

    He’s no pacifist anymore! Van Hammer has the Singapore Cane in hand, and the former Flock man has not been afraid to use it! Idol is down and out in the ring, Kanyon is out on the outside… but Raven smartly has rolled out of the ring after the first shot to the torso dropped him. Hammer opts to smash the Cane off the top turnbuckle pad as Raven scurries up the aisle with Beulah, leaving his lackeys to recover on their own, the now angry and raging Hammer swinging the Cane until he breaks it into pieces! It is only then that a fired up Hammer turns to Saturn and Hak, extending a hand to help them both to their feet! “It’s been a 3 on 2 this whole time for Raven and his goons, but now look at this! Saturn and Hak have found their third man, and who would’ve guessed it be another former member of Raven’s Flock!? Van Hammer has shown a whole new side to him tonight!” is the call from Tony Schiavone, and while Raven is able to escape relatively unharmed again tonight, there is an absolute death glare directed at him from all three men in the ring…

    The commentators switch focus as the camera cuts to the talking heads at their elaborate commentary booth up by the entrance stage. It’s again time to hype Spring Stampede as it is just six days away - contact your cable or satellite company to order now! - with the focus of course being mainly on the World Heavyweight Title match. Tony shills how we still will only know the definitive answer as to who will be in that match at the end of tonight’s broadcast because the Television Champion, Chris Jericho, has the chance to make it Champion versus Champion… versus Champion! “All this young man has to do tonight is do something that no one has been able to do in 1999: beat Diamond Dallas Page! It’s the biggest match of his young career tonight, and our own Scott Hudson is standing by with the Television Champion right now!” You know he is, so let’s cut to it!


    Scott Hudson is indeed standing by with the Television Champion, and Chris Jericho is again alone in his absence, the creative team still not sure what to do with his alliance with Rhino and Ralphus considering the decisive change in his character. The wild hair of Jericho is gone as it’s pulled back in a ponytail, he’s got a Monday Night Jericho shirt on, and he looks ready to wrestle.

    Scott Hudson: Thank you, Tony, I am indeed here with Chris Jericho. It is just only a little under an hour away that you are scheduled to take on Diamond Dallas Page, a man on the biggest hot streak of his career, the United States Champion, Number One Contender to the Heavyweight Championship of the World. If you win tonight, it’s a three-way at Spring Stampede this Sunday. No one would have saw this coming just a few weeks ago.

    That’s all Jericho needs to get firing.

    Chris Jericho: No one saw it coming because no one has ever believed in Chris Jericho. Even still now, I hear what so many backstage here are saying about me. I haven’t earned this match tonight, I just talked my way into it. I don’t belong in the main event of Spring Stampede. But that... that is where they are all wrong.

    Scott Hudson: Care to elaborate?

    Chris Jericho: I didn’t just talk my way into this match. I earned it by being one of the most entertaining men in this business. No matter what I have done since I stepped foot into WCW, I have entertained… and that’s a lot more than many can say in this company, no matter how bloated their egos - and their guts - tell themselves otherwise. You give me a live microphone? I have those people eating out of the palm of my hand, and I definitely have them drinking the Jerichol. Take one look at the ratings, just listen to the sound of the buzz my name gets! And in that ring? Let’s get something straight. I conquered the Cruiserweight division! I’m a two-time TV Champion… and I’ve only achieved these accolades because I haven’t been given the chance to win more!

    Jericho sneers slightly, but he is still fired up.

    Chris Jericho: So tonight? The challenge to beat DDP and get myself a World Heavyweight Title shot against both him and Hollywood Hogan? I earned it because I stopped waiting for some President or Championship Committee to say, “here’s your opportunity,” - I made my own, against their will! Because I’m no goofball trying to get a few laughs for some applause and praise. I’m done acting like a stupid idiot with the stupid hair, the stupid shtick, the stupid antics! Now the world’s going to know the real Chris Jericho. They’re going to know the guy who is more than just the life of their party by being the most charismatic man to appear vi-a a television set… but a wrestler worthy of a main event spot on Pay Per View! A wrestler worthy of beating Diamond Dallas Page tonight, and then beating both him and Hollywood Hogan at Spring Stampede!

    Deep breath by Jericho, followed by a smirk.

    Chris Jericho: The world is about to know the real Chris Jericho, and in six days, I’m going to know the world… the World Heavyweight Championship.

    Jericho keeps his smirk, his intensity having fired him up into confidence ahead of tonight’s huge match. Hudson does the professional thing and wishes Jericho luck as he wraps up the segment by doing one more big hype for the featured bought - Jericho vs. Page, tonight!

    Hugh Morrus vs. Wrath

    Tony Schiavone uses this match to mainly talk about Hogan and who his opponent(s) might be at Spring Stampede this Sunday - you can only find out by staying tuned throughout this broadcast! - while Tenay at least tries to talk about the story at hand, pondering if the New World Order or even the Cubpack might show up in this match after Wrath’s arrival earlier in the night to try and thwart Big Poppa Pump from his unnecessary attack on Stevie Ray after their match. However, it seems the combined forces of the Athletic Freak and the returning Booker T have caused a regroup, as there’s no interference in this match. Instead, it’s a match between two big men, one with momentum… and one with none. It goes exactly as it does, serving just to give Wrath another spotlight match, using his excellent combination of agility and strength to dazzle against his fellow 300-plus pound opponent. Wrath hits a Gorilla Press Slam on Morrus to showcase his strength, and then heads to the apron for the agility - slingshot into a Springboard Shoulder Block! Needless to say, the Meltdown finishes Morrus off moments later, the thunderous Pumphandle Powerslam more than enough to put his opponent away.

    Winner: Wrath at 3:09

    As Wrath gets to celebrate to the real “Running With The Devil” music in the ring, looking powerful and monstrous as ever, Schiavone is still focused on plugging tonight’s featured bout and Spring Stampede, of course until the dramatic finger to the earpiece! “Fans, this is a moment we need to see! I have just been told that only moments ago, our cameras witnessed - for the first time since last week here on Nitro when he helped him retain the WCW’s World Heavyweight Championship - ‘Big Sexy’ Kevin Nash and Hollywood Hogan backstage! We have to roll that footage!” Of course we do, Tony, of course we do.

    Best Friends Forever!!!

    We are indeed capturing this incident from earlier in the night, shot inside the of course always luxurious and decked out locker room of the New World Order. The entire Wolfpac is already in the locker room except for two men, and it’s no surprise who those two men because they walk into the locker room seconds into the clip beginning - Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. The Bad Guy somewhat sheepishly stands behind his 7-foot best friend, having been awkwardly caught in the middle of the drama between Hogan and Nash.

    The tension in the room immediately escalates at The Outsiders’ arrival. Buff Bagwell and Lex Luger immediately stop their pre-match warm up they’re doing with Scott Steiner, while Hogan pierces his gaze right at Nash. Next to him, Eric Bischoff can only shift uncomfortably in his seat, unsure if he wants to watch the staredown between Hogan and Nash, or look anywhere else in the room. There’s initial crickets, no one unsure of who wants to make the first move, prompting a snicker from Nash, which then turns into the whole group breaking out into mass laughter for several seconds.

    Kevin Nash: Sheeze, guys! Some of you looked like I was coming in here strapped and ready to unload on the room!

    More laughter from the group, things seemingly back to normal.

    Kevin Nash: I mean, c’mon guys - it’s me! If there’s one thing you can always count on Kevin Nash for, it’s to look out for the money, baby! And this right here… this group is money, boys.

    And yay, more awful, obnoxious laughter within the group. The feel good sentiment created by Nash has a huge effect on Hogan, who gets up to his feet clapping his hands together, grinning from ear-to-ear.

    Hollywood Hogan: Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about, brother! We can always count on my best friend Big Sexy here to be a part of The Family, brah! This is Tony Soprano right here, a true power player in the hierarchy of this money train!

    Hogan’s boisterous as ever, and even claps Nash on the chest. It immediately brings an end to the happy face of Nash, becoming deadly serious and glaring first where Hogan touched him at, and then at Hogan, who immediately takes two steps backwards. The whole room grows uncomfortable again, Hall and Bischoff especially on a knife’s edge.

    Kevin Nash: We’re best friends now, huh??

    Gulp of fear from Hogan, while Nash half smirks as he cocks an eyebrow.

    Kevin Nash: Well if we’re ‘best friends’, then ya’ know… I think there’s a couple of declarative statements - phrases really - you owe me… seeing how as my ‘best friend’ has spent a lot of time lately talkin’ a whole lot of smack about me, and then hasn’t said a word to me even after I showed up and made sure he won his World Title match last week.

    Hogan totally looks around the room at his fellow nWo-ites and starts to say “Whose been telling” but immediately shuts himself up, making it way too obvious that Hogan has been saying a lot of stuff behind Nash’s back in private as well, even though - thanks to a quick look from Bischoff - Big Sexy meant the things Hogan has been publically saying about Nash, in the ring. As the bulb clicks on for Hogan, he shuts himself up, and shifts uncomfortably.

    Hollywood Hogan: Oh… yeah… erm… I guess what I should be saying, is… uh… I’m sorry? Erm, uh… brother.

    Hogan, the greatest apologizer ever, sheepishly extends a hand out to Nash to shake on it. Nash raises his eyebrows as he looks down on Hogan, not convinced.

    Kevin Nash: I’m not some low man on the totem pole, Hulkstah. This ain’t my first day, I ain’t no jobber. I’m a 7-foot ass kicker. I’m a former World Champion, and I’m just as big a star as you are. You’ve flapped your gums a whole lot about Kevin Nash not being able to cut the mustard as of late, but you got that Belt right now because I saved your ass last week. I know your ego doesn’t wanna hear it, but tough noogies, brother. So if you wanna shake my hand, you better use the other hand to get a fork, and start eatin’ some humble pie.

    It’s incredibly obvious that Nash isn’t going to just let the issue drop. He wants the acknowledgement from Hogan for last week, for his role in the New World Order, and he’s sticking to it. Both Hall and Bischoff give Hogan the ‘you need to know your worth and do it’ look, and Hogan closes his eyes for a moment to prepare himself for having to put his precious ego aside.

    Hollywood Hogan: You’re right, Big Kev. I was wrong for what I’ve been sayin’, brother. I’m sorry.

    Nash still doesn’t shake his hand, but he’s grinning at this point.

    Kevin Nash: And are you thankful, or maybe welcoming, the fact that I helped you last week.

    Nash has Hogan on the hook, and he’s enjoying reeling him in, nice and slow, ‘cause Hogan has to go along with it.

    Hollywood Hogan: ...Thank you for last week…

    The groan and dropped voice from Hogan in his delivery says it all, and Nash fucking loves it.

    Kevin Nash: Aw, that wasn’t so hard, was it Hulky!? Now put that hand away - we’re brothers! And brothers don’t shake hands; brothers gotta hug!

    The Tommy Boy quote in the bag, Nash then pulls Hollywood into a back crunching hug, as the rest of the nWo laugh and make fun of the two. Once the pair finally release their embrace, Hogan awkwardly smiles, not sure what the hell is even going on anymore, while Nash still has some thoughts.

    Kevin Nash: And now that we got the band back together, the family all happy, or whatever campy crap we wanna say… let’s get back to the real business at hand. We got the World Title. No matter what, that Belt stays with us. That keeps us still with power… because Ric Flair? He’s got almost all the power in WCW. So let’s get back to the end game: getting Ric Flair out of WCW… one way or another, once and for all.

    The message from Nash is received loud and clear, the whole of the nWo looking unified and in support of it, the mood much more serious instead of celebratory as the video ends…

    The commentators are of course talking about Nash and Hogan as the focus shifts back to them, but they can only get so much talking in - because it’s time for entrances for the next match! Whose in the match? Just look below - I’ve already written more than enough on this show dammit!

    Buff Bagwell & Lex Luger (w/Elizabeth & Scott Steiner) vs. Chris Benoit (w/Arn Anderson & Dean Malenko) & Sting

    While The Total Package has made claims he doesn’t fear the new, angrier Sting, it’s telling that Lex Luger makes no efforts to start the match when Sting is the man in the ring. It leaves Buff Bagwell to take the Stinger on, and well, it serves to make sure that Sting gets all of his spots in early, pounding away on Bagwell with big right hands and a whole lot of energy… shown best when Sting just no sells the moment Buff gets in some offense and starts pounding his chest, yelling right in Bagwell’s face! Sting’s offense keeps pounding away at Bagwell until he kicks it a little old school, heading up to the second turnbuckle after a Scoop Slam. He lets out a howl while he waits for Bagwell to stagger up to his feet, and then connects with his DIVING DDT!

    The move only gets a near fall for Sting, and it allows The Crippler to get his turn in on the offense as well, going right to work on Bagwell with quick submissions and holds. However, Benoit’s offense only lasts until he runs off the ropes too close to the nWo corner, allowing Luger to land a cheap shot to the small of Benoit’s back! With Benoit (big shock) in the match to become the face in peril, it allows the talking heads to spend the heat period discussing the matches coming up at Spring Stampede involving these men - with The Outsiders vs. Benoit & Malenko getting a lot of focus since Luger and Sting are already in this match right here. While Benoit takes a beating, he has his coach and The Ice Man on the outside watching and scouting, trying to shout him tips to help him turn the tides. It eventually pays out too, as Benoit is able to telegraph a Bagwell back body drop, hitting the brakes and dropping him with a Swinging Neckbreaker… allowing him to make the hot tag to Sting!

    The hot tag sends Las Vegas into a huge frenzy as Sting explodes into the ring, again taking it to Bagwell, thanks in part to Luger opting not to take the tag from Bagwell, still not trying to go one-on-one with The Franchise! Instead, Luger stays on the apron as Sting starts knocking Bagwell down again and again… and then sends him high up into the air with a Back Body Drop! It’s all Stinger on Buff Daddy, especially when he hoists Bagwell up into the air (with great visual selling by Buff as he does) with a GORILLA PRESS SLAM! After a near count, Sting whips Buff into the corner and sets up for the STINGER SPLASH... finally prompting Luger into the ring, blindsiding the charging Sting with a pseudo-Pounce kind of move!

    That brings a recovered Benoit into the ring as the contest breaks down, but Benoit enters in his own way, leaping off the top to drill Luger with a MISSILE DROPKICK! The match completely breaks down in the ring with all four men in there, and it gets a little bit more chaotic when The Outsiders stroll out from the back into the entrance aisle. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall want to take a better look at their opponents for Spring Stampede this Sunday, but they get a much closer look than they were bargaining for because when they get to the end of the aisle they’re in perfect striking distance - Benoit hits the ropes, ducks a Bagwell clothesline attempt, and takes flight - SUICIDE DIVE takes out both men! And Dean Malenko is sprinting over as well, vaulting off the ring steps to land a modified Plancha as well! Benoit wants revenge on Nash for costing him the World Heavyweight Title, and he can always count on his best friend to have his back!

    Referee Randy Anderson could - and maybe should - throw the match out with the chaos happening, but instead tries to focus on the ring action… and Sting is now left on his own against Bagwell and Luger! The odds may be against him, but Sting is a new man indeed, firing off strikes against both men - old school spot time! Sting bashes their heads together… and then hits the ropes to land a leaping Double Shoulderblock! Luger hits the canvas and rolls to the outside, while Bagwell staggers into the corner - Stinger Splash! Running One Handed Bulldog!! He could go for the cover, but instead Sting just yanks Buff right back up to his feet - SCORPION DEATH DROP! Sting makes the cover, Luger is back on his feet and could totally make the save… but stays on the outside and it means Sting gets the victory!

    Winner: Chris Benoit & Sting at 7:12

    Sting had eyes fixated on Luger during the pin fall, and he keeps it that way as he gets back up to his feet for Anderson to raise his arm in triumph. Luger is totally shook on the outside, looking incredibly hesitant at the aura and presence of Sting. Even Big Poppa Pump isn’t happy with what he just saw, giving Luger crap for letting Bagwell just take the loss like that. Luger doesn’t even respond to Steiner barking in his ear, instead just transfixed on Sting staring him down, looking incredibly nervous at the sight before him! The camera doesn’t even bother to focus on the brawl between the Horsemen and The Outsiders though - Doug Dillinger and his security team are already out there to separate the two teams. It’s pretty easy to do too because Kevin Nash and Scott Hall are backing out of it at the first chance they can! “It looks like Lex Luger isn’t the only New World Order member wanting out of a fight! Kevin Nash and Scott Hall may be one of the most decorated teams in wrestling, but look at them tuck tail, gentlemen! Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko took the fight to them tonight, and they look relieved to see Doug Dillinger and his men out there to break that scuffle up! The Four Horsemen look ready to ride at Spring Stampede!” Schiavone on the call.

    Flair Fluff - Gotta Hype That PPV!

    After a commercial break, Nitro is once again focused on ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund for another interview segment. There’s some Hotline plugging, of course, but I’ll skip that part.

    Gene Okerlund: With Spring Stampede just six nights away, there is much to fight for in this ever continuing war between World Championship Wrestling and the New World Order. However, with the balance for control always up for grabs, we can at least remain satisfied that at this event, there will be no match to determine who the President of this company is, not again! We know who that man is. You know him, I know him, so Las Vegas, give him the ovation he deserves - The President of WCW, The Nature Boy, Ric Flair!

    “Also Sprach Zarathustra” does indeed bring out The President of WCW, dressed in a sharp tan suit and white button down. Flair’s got his hands on his waist under his coat, and a big ear-to-ear grin on his face as he walks out from the back to join Mean Gene on the stage. Whether he’s grinning because of the thunderous ovation he receives from the Vegas crowd, or because he’s got the young and lovely Torrie Wilson right by his side in a stunningly tight dress, is up for debate. She sure catches the eye of Mean Gene at least.

    Gene Okerlund: Mister President, it is always an honor to have you out here for an interview!

    It wouldn’t be a Ric Flair interview without him having time to ham it up, at least for a little.

    Ric Flair: MEEENE - WOOOOO! BAH GAWD! - GEEEEENE! Oh does it feel GOOD to be in one of my favorite cities! SIN - WOOO! - CIT’AY! It’s a city that never sleeps, a city where the party lasts all night… just like Space Mountain and the NAITCHA BOY!

    Ric Flair-isms and Vegas love; it’s all kinds of cheap pops.

    Ric Flair: I promise you this, Mean Gene! There’s a party happening tonight, and just like always in this city… what happens in Vegas… ha hah… stays in Vegas!

    As Flair laughs at himself having a good time, his young intern can’t help but grin and give her boss a mischievous look, although it is one that he does not see, considering she is just behind and to the side of him.

    Gene Okerlund: Now Mister President, while I will be sure not to call you until after 5 o'clock tomorrow night given how long you’ll be partying tonight given your track record, we do have a very important show coming up this Sunday in Spring Stampede. The New World Order has made it very clear how important it is that they retain possession of the most prized trophy in our sport, the Heavyweight Championship of the World. Hollywood Hogan will enter this Sunday’s pay per view as Champion. But depending on how tonight goes, he could find himself losing to either one of Diamond Dallas Page or the young upstart, Chris Jericho! Mister President, is this Sunday the night we finally see someone end this reign of terror from the man who has the audacity to actually call himself The God of this sport!?

    The Nature Boy sneers in absolute contempt for Hogan throughout Okerlund’s speaking, shaking his head as well at the question. He hates Hogan, and he’s struggling to control that notorious temper of his. However, if only for the time being, Flair is calm and collected.

    Ric Flair: I am a big believer that THIS SUNDAY… SPRING STAMPEDE… just SIX - count ‘em, six! - days away… it is a reign of terror indeed, Mean Gene! Hollywood Hogan has made a mockery of that title! He’s tried to treat it like a prop! He’s tried to treat it like his own personal possession, that Hogan and ONLY HOGAN… can have. Well THAT… that’s gonna change in six nights! It should’ve ended last week, let’s not forget that, Mean Gene!

    Gene Okerlund: I definitely haven’t forgotten that, Mister President! Chris Benoit was moments away from defeating Hollywood Hogan last week here on Nitro, and if it wasn’t for Kevin Nash hitting The Crippler with the Title Belt, we would indeed have a new World Champion!

    More sneering from Flair, indignant about the bad memory of last week.

    Ric Flair: I’m a firm believer that Chris Benoit’s best days are ahead of him, Mean Gene! I may not have an Enforcer in that ring anymore, as much as I wish I could see my best friend Arn Anderson in that ring each and every night ‘cause Lord knows I would love to see him be the man to punch Hogan’s face in and be the next World Champion! But what I do have, is a Crippler, and that man’s name is Chris Benoit! HOGAN! You got off lucky last week, but make no mistake about it: next time you’re in the ring with Chris Benoit, he’ll make sure he lives up to the nickname, FAT BOY! And Kevin Nash!? You best watch out, ‘cause you might be the next man to get crippled by a Horseman this Sunday night!

    Flair’s starting to get that crazy look in his eye…

    Ric Flair: Oh yeah, Big Sexy! Chris Benoit is comin’ for you this Sunday! And I promise ya’, big man, the only thing that’s gonna be sexier than Chris Benoit ripping your shoulder outta socket is that while he’s doing that, The Ice Man - WOO! - DEAN MALENKO… he’s gonna get you in that Texas Cloverleaf so hard, the doctor’s not gonna know what to operate on first: YOUR SHOULDER… OR YOUR KNEE!

    Flair’s giving the camera that perfected crazy look of his.

    Gene Okerlund: You’re in the business of making predictions it sounds like, Mister President! This is Las Vegas after all, so are there any other bets you want to take a gamble on for Spring Stampede?

    That’s an ice breaker that helps to get Flair’s anger stifled, getting a laugh from the Nature Boy.

    Ric Flair: I know one thing’s for certain, Mean Gene! The n-Dubya-o wears red and black so when the Naitcha Boy walks over to the roulette tables tonight, you can bet EVERY LAST DOLLAR… that the NAITCHA BOY… he ain’t bettin’ on black or red! I’ll spin my luck on the GREEEN, MEAN GENE! WOOOO!

    Gene Okerlund: Zero and Double-Zero!

    Flair’s doing a little dance and strut at that.

    Ric Flair: I’ll bet on the zeroes instead of n-Dubya-o colors, which is funny ‘cause after all… Eric Bischoff is a big fat ZERO too!

    Ric Flair laughs at his, admittedly awful, joke, but then gets serious again.

    Ric Flair: Here’s my big bet for Spring Stampede, Mean Gene! HOGAN! Yesterday’s news! We’re gonna see a NEW CHAMPION crowned this Sunday! ‘Cause Mean Gene, the n-Dubya-o… she’s a Titanic, baby! Sinking ship! The n-Dubya-o empire is CRUMBLIN’ DOWN! That’s the ONLY GOAL of my Presidency, Mean Gene! To take the New World Order down! It’s gonna start with Hogan losing the World Heavyweight Title, Mean Gene; bet on it!

    Flair looks ultra confident at his words, nodding his head along with it, as the puff piece gets ready to wrap up.

    Gene Okerlund: Well Mister President, I for one hope that not only does your bet win for this Sunday at Spring Stampede, but that you make good on your campaign goal and END the New World Order… once and for all. We’re all counting on you to do it, Nature Boy! But that is all the time we have for tonight, Mister President. Up next we have the big match to determine just what our Spring Stampede main event will be! It’s Chris Jericho versus Diamond Dallas Page - Television Champion against United States Champion - and then, Mister President, you are going to be living in sin here in Las Vegas!

    Okerlund plugging tonight’s featured bout seems to give Flair an idea.

    Ric Flair: Ya’ know somethin’, Mean Gene… tonight’s main event is a big one! Career defining chance for Chris Jericho! He talked a big game these last few weeks, and he’s talked himself into some big opportunities. Some people may not like that, but the Naitcha Boy? Hah, if anyone knows about flapping his gums to get an opportunity, it’s The Dirtiest Player in the Game! WOOOO!

    Gene Okerlund: Is that why you signed off on this match tonight, Mister President?

    Ric Flair: I signed off on this match ‘cause Diamond Dallas Page said, “Slick Ric, this is a match the people wanna see! I don’t back down from a challenge, so let’s see what the kid’s made of!” So Chris Jericho, we’re about to see what ‘cha - WOO! - made of! And Mean Gene!? I remember the n-Dubya-o ruining a match I tried to make before, so tonight? There MUST BE… A WINNER! I’m talkin’ NO COUNT OUTS! NO DISQUALIFICATIONS! They fight until one man gets a PIN… or until one man QUITS!

    That gets a bit a pop from the crowd.

    Ric Flair: And HOGAN!? You get involved tonight, you get in that ring… or any of your FAT BOY CRONIES… start throwing punches, then you can count on THE NAITCHA BOY… ta’ be there throwin’ hands back! WOOOO!

    “Also Sprach Zarathustra” hits again as the puff piece ends, Flair having been trotted out to do the sell for Spring Stampede while putting over the WCW vs nWo feud, of course…

    The Featured Bout, But First!

    It’s about time for the main event, but before we get our final commercial and that match, the camera is back in the nWo locker room again. Just in time too, because Hollywood Hogan is seen getting up off the couch abruptly, getting a seemingly confused reaction from Eric Bischoff. They’re the only two men in the room, no one else back yet from the match that took place just a few minutes prior. “Get the boys rounded up, Easy E. I think The God’s gonna take a closer look at this match comin’ up next.” There’s an absolutely devious smirk on Hogan’s face as he says it, that hideous smarmy face the last shot as Nitro cuts to its finest commercial break of the night…

    Both men get cheers when they make their entrances for this featured bout, Jericho coming out first and of course not getting anything like the reception Diamond Dallas Page gets when “Self High Five” hits and the United States Champion does his usual entrance through the Las Vegas crowd. The crowd still seems a bit unsure of what to make of the Television Champion. He’s got the kind of new look, the definitely new attitude, but it’s all so sudden that the crowd isn’t quite sure how strong they want to cheer him, especially here in Vegas, where the crowd definitely has some people here on comps from the casino. One thing is for certain though: Jericho looks primed and ready for this high stakes contest…

    ...but both men can’t help but find themselves distracted at “Wolfpac” bringing out New World Order Wolfpac Elite! It’s not the whole gang - The Outsiders are missing in action - but it’s more than enough to get Jericho and Page throwing their heads to the entrance stage. However, the smirking Hollywood Hogan and co. stay firmly up on the entrance stage, Hogan saying into the camera that he’s only here to watch, he heard “my boss” loud and clear. “The nWo is out here to try and ruin this match, aren’t they!?” bemoans an indigent Schiavone. “This is a big match, Brain! If Chris Jericho wins this match, he’s making the World Heavyweight Championship match at Spring Stampede a triple threat match! It’s a career-defining match for this youngster, and Hogan just wants to watch this match? Watch, my butt!” Heenan accurately adds that this is just Hogan trying to challenge Flair’s authority, but opines that as World Champion, he does have the right to be out here to scout this match, so long as he stays where he is and doesn’t go against Flair’s decree.

    Chris Jericho vs. Diamond Dallas Page
    If He Wins, Jericho’s In Spring Stampede World Title Match

    The TV Champion doesn’t want to let the nerves get the better of him in such a major match, but the presence of the World Heavyweight Champion (and Bischoff, Bagwell, Steiner, and Luger) certainly has him off guard a bit. The more veteran Page isn’t as thrown off - he’s more than used to the nWo numbers game - and it helps him early on against Jericho, landing early forearm strikes and punches to the still distracted Jericho. The United States Champion has no desire to let the younger, quicker opponent use that speed advantage, first hitting a series of shoulder blocks after trapping Jericho in a wrist lock, and then just powering him with a series of whips into the turnbuckles. Just as the commentators wonder if this match is showing Jericho is in over his head, the TV Champion comes good. Page whips Jericho into the corner again, but the Canadian runs up the turnbuckles and back flips over them instead, surprising Page as he lands behind him… and dropkicks through the ropes! DDP lands on the apron, but Jericho hits the second turnbuckle - Triangle Dropkick sends Page to the mats! And a great follow up as Jericho connects with a SUICIDE DIVE!

    The high flying from the TV Champion helps to both get him some offense and impress the crowd. Jericho scores some simple offense on the outside to cement his control before getting the match back into the ring, opting to keep the match clean despite the rules Flair gave of no DQs and no count outs. The TV Champ alternates between strike and move offense to keep Page on his toes and struggling to cope with the pace of Jericho, and then once he knocks DDP down, going to work with holds and locks to showcase his mat game as well. If there’s one thing Page is known for though, it’s his resiliency. He can take a beating and always come back, and it’s what he does here, finding his moment when Jericho hits the ropes and charges in, taking him down with a Tilt-A-Whirl Slam! The Trip to the Diamond Mine not only gives Page a near fall, it also puts the veteran back in control of the contest.

    With both men still operating as faces, it not only puts a bit of a damper on the crowd reaction, it also means the match doesn’t have a proper heat period. Instead the two men keep working back and forth to gain an advantage, still operating within the confines of the rules despite President Flair’s earlier decree. Page’s offense is highlighted best by a Gutwrench Gutbuster for another near fall, but when he hoists Jericho up for his Spinning Diamond Bomb a few moments later, Jericho flips right out! The TV Champ lands on his feet in front of Page and reacts quickest, vaulting up Page’s body to land an Enziguri! Jericho again utilizes holds and locks to grind down Page when the opportunity arises, even trying for the LION TAMER after a Snap Suplex to put Page on his back. DDP is ready for it though, booting Jericho away, and then catching him off guard with a Swinging Neckbreaker!

    While the two men are doing everything they can to sprint to a great contest, Hogan and The Wolfpac continue to watch intrigued at what’s going. Schiavone continues to wonder if the nWo is going to try and interject themselves into this match - as they have done in the past, most notably the big Goldberg versus Savage match from two months ago - as the group watch on, doing nothing as Page scores yet another near fall with his Diamond Clash (Belly-to-Back Inverted Mat Slam). The Professor notes the resiliency that Jericho is showing in this match to keep kicking out of Page’s big hit moves. He’s going to have to kick out of another though to keep this match alive because Page has his hands up! DIAMOND CUTTER... Jericho oh so intelligently grabs the ropes to block it! Only Page hits the canvas as Jericho stays upright! DDP gets up confused, and right into Jericho charging at him - RUNNING HIGH KNEE! Both men are down!

    Senior Referee Mickey Jay doesn’t bother to start a count since Flair said there must be a winner… but both men down has prompted that Hogan has had enough of watching. He’s going to test Flair’s authority, as he’s known to do! Hogan is walking down the entrance aisle, and Bagwell, Steiner, and Luger are following behind! “Hogan is going to ruin another great match between two WCW competitors! He doesn’t care about Spring Stampede! He doesn’t care about what President Flair had to say! He’s going to do what he wants, when he wants!” It’s incredibly accurate because the four men each get on a side of the ring… but it’s as Page and Jericho are getting up to their feet. The two men look at one another, but are to see themselves surrounded… and do the right thing! Page whips Jericho… right into Hogan!! Jericho plants Hogan with a Running Forearm! Page is throwing fisticuffs too!

    It’s mass chaos and the Las Vegas crowd loves it! Bagwell, Steiner, and Luger are able to get into the ring amidst Jericho clocking Hogan, and they’re able to start throwing overhead shots at the two men! They’re attacking Page and Jericho, but there’s nothing for Mickey Jay to do about it! He’s been told there must be a winner! But Ric Flair said if Hogan got involved, he’d be there to punch him in the mouth, and The Nature Boy is leading the charge down the aisle! The Four Horsemen are right there with him as always… it’s about to get crazy!

    As Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko sprint past Flair to dive into the ring to try and clear the ring of the nWo, Ric Flair surprises Hogan by turning him around on the outside, and SOCKS him right in the mouth! The two of wrestling’s greatest icons are going at it on the outside while the Horsemen are trying to help let Page and Jericho get back to their fight… and that’s made all the harder by The Outsiders making their way into the mix as well! Kevin Nash and Scott Hall are able to attack their Spring Stampede opponents from behind, but now STING is coming out again too! The Scorpion makes a beeline for Lex Luger, who never sees it coming… Clothesline over the top rope by Sting to Package!

    The ring starts getting clear of the wreckage as The Outsiders and the Horsemen somehow end up out of the ring and over the barricade to fight in the crowd, while Sting starts throwing hands at Luger on the outside. Hogan and Flair are fighting in the entrance aisle, but Eric Bischoff LOW BLOWS Flair from behind, allowing Hogan to slam Flair into the guardrail! Hogan makes his way back to the ringside area as Jericho and Page slug it out in the ring with Steiner and Bagwell… and finally get the upper hand! DDP knocks Bagwell through the ropes, and moments later, Jericho is able to dropkick Steiner through the ropes as well… as Page turns to spot Hogan on the apron again! Page and Hogan throw right hands, and Jericho looks to join in on the fracas - WHACK~!

    Jericho gets thumped in the back of the head with a steel chair from Buff Bagwell! Jericho never saw it coming! Bagwell is out of the ring by the time Jericho staggers into the back of Page, throwing DDP off guard. It allows Hogan to hop off the apron as Page looks on confused at Jericho leaning up against DDP and the ropes, only upright because of it. Page has no idea what just happened, but he does know that he finally has his opponent - and only his opponent - in the ring… and hesitantly plants him to the canvas with a DIAMOND CUTTER! He’s got a bad feeling about it, from the look on his face, but he still doesn’t know Jericho took a chair shot from Bagwell… and he gets the victory. It’s just DDP versus Hogan on Sunday!

    Winner: Diamond Dallas Page at 9:06

    There’s still wild and crazy shit going on as Sting and Luger are fighting outside of the ring, The Outsiders and Horsemen are brawling in the crowd, and Hogan is walking right back into the ring to challenge Diamond Dallas Page! DDP doesn’t want his hand raised, he wants Hogan! The God slowly enters the ropes, waiting to see if Page is going to jump him, but DDP is just waiting for a fair fight… while Hogan is waiting for Big Poppa Pump to blindside him! Scott Steiner blindsides Page, allowing Hogan to enter the ring and start throwing shots at DDP as well! Bagwell pulls Jericho out of the ring and starts beating on him… while a recovered and enraged Ric Flair is back in the ring! The Nature Boy and Page are teeing off on Hogan and Steiner! There’s chaos everywhere! Doug Dillinger and security are rushing out to try and control the chaos, but it’s absolutely everywhere! “This is chaos, this is pandemonium! WCW and the nWo are fighting everywhere in Las Vegas; they’re bound to end up on The Strip at this rate! President Flair! Hollywood Hogan! Diamond Dallas Page! The Outsiders and the Four Horsemen! Sting! It’s everyone and anyone… and oh goodness no! We are out of time, fans! We have overrun our program, and I am being told we must end the program here! We’re going to keep the cameras rolling, we will have to show the action on Thunder on a one-time special night this Wednesday on TBS! That’s this Wednesday, same time as usual!The war is raging on, guys! It’s Spring Stampede only six nights away, and we have an ABSOLUTE WAR!” That’s no implication of War Games, it’s just a state of the chaos that this show is, and it’s how Monday Nitro abruptly ends, with everyone just fighting everywhere in the MGM Grand Casino…

    Spring Stampede - April 11, 1999!
    WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hollywood Hogan © vs. Diamond Dallas Page
    WCW World Tag Team Championships: Divine Lineage © vs. Ice Ice Iceberg
    WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Hector Garza © vs. Billy Kidman
    First Time Ever: Bret Hart vs. Goldberg
    Grudge Match: The Four Horsemen vs. The Outsiders
    Grudge Match: Lex Luger vs. Sting

    WCW 99: The Fingerpoke of Doom
    Now Playing in BTB Section!

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