Torch Flashbacks 5 Yrs Ago: WCW News - Attempt made to set Nitro rating record
Mar 1, 2003 - 5:13:00 PM
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The following is a reprint of the Torch Newsletter WCW Newswire from five years ago this week.
-Jason Powell, Torch assistant editor
* * *
Torch Newsletter Archive
By Wade Keller, Torch editor
Originally published: Pro Wrestling Torch Weekly newsletter #480
Cover dated: February 21, 1998
NITRO STRIVES FOR RECORD RATING
In the much-hyped TV main event of the Feb. 16 Nitro in Tampa, Fla., Sting & Lex Luger teamed up against the respective SuperBrawl opponents, Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage. Savage and Hogan attacked Sting and Luger on their way to the ring. At 2:30 into the match, Savage went to tag Hogan for the first time, but Hogan was having a conference with Eric Bischoff at ringside. Savage ended up tagging Hogan on the back, forcing Hogan to enter the ring. Sting got a hot-tag at 3:30 and went for the Scorpion Death Lock. When he applied it, Luger signalled that he was going to rack Savage. The rest of the NWO ran in at 4:30 for the DQ. Bret Hart and Ric Flair, who shook hands earlier in the night, ran out to help Luger and Sting. With all of the hype that Hogan and Savage would battle, the lack of angle in that regard might be considered a letdown by viewers. The brevity of the main event probably didn't help viewer satisfaction once the program ended, either. Ratings for Nitro were not available as of deadline due to the President's Day holiday, but with such star-power in the main event, WCW was hoping to peak at 6.0 (because Raw was pre-empted) and average well above 5.0. Check the line above your address printout on pg. 12 for possible late inclusion of the rating.
ON THE ROAD
Feb. 14 in Kansas City, Ks. at Memorial Hall (sellout): Goldberg beat Mongo in the opener. The crowd popped big for Goldberg and chanted his name during the match. Bobby Walker beat Yuji Nagata with a powerslam. Rick Steiner beat Flyboy Rocco Rock with a top rope bulldog. The crowd cheered Public Enemy until they called Kansas City the "crappiest city they've ever wrestled in." When Rick Steiner came out without his brother Scott as originally scheduled, Doug Dillinger flipped a coin to see who was going to wrestle Rick and it was Rocco. Diamond Dallas Page beat Buff Bagwell. Page got the biggest pop of the night. During the match Page pulled Buff's trunks down and Bagwell jumped around mooning the crowd. Buff gestured the crowd with the finger and the crowd gestured back. David "Fit" Finlay beat Prince Iaukea. During intermission ring announcer Dave Penzer announced a "big surprise for Kansas City." He said WCW would bring Nitro to Kemper Arena on May 11. The crowd popped huge. Saturn beat Chris Benoit with the Rings of Saturn. The crowd seemed shocked by the finish. In the main event, Lex Luger beat Scott Hall with the torture rack. Before the match Hall surveyed the crowd. During the match Bagwell came to ringside and pranced around the ring and distracted Luger. Luger had Hall in the torture rack. Ref Randy Anderson was knocked down. Bagwell jumped into the ring and gave Hall a pair of brass knuckles and KO'd Luger. Anderson came to and counted to three. Harley Race then walked to the ring and told Anderson what happened. He grabbed brass knuckles from Hall, showed then to Anderson, and Anderson ordered the match to continue. Bagwell went after Race, so Race nailed Bagwell. Hall went after Race. Fans chanted "Harley, Harley." Race punched Hall and Luger put Hall in the rack for the win. [Bruce Grummert]
Ric Flair appeared on the CBS affiliate in Tampa, Fla. hyping Nitro. The interview allowed viewers to phone in with questions. All but one or two callers asked Flair if he had plans to leave WCW for the WWF. Flair replied that he has no plans to leave and he he plans to be in WCW for the rest of his career. When asked how long he planned on wrestling, he said for one or two more years. The local sportscaster asked him what injury he was nursing now. Flair said that he wasn't injured. "I'm just fine.," he said. One caller asked about Bret hart and whether he planned on tagging up with him in the future. Flair said he respected Bret as an athlete and he is a tremendous asset to WCW. He said the only thing he doesn't like about Bret is that Bret thinks he's a better wrestler than he (Flair) is...
Authorities arrested two men, Isaiah Booth Jr., 43, and Perry Gaines, 39, at the Midland College Chaparral Center for selling unauthorized WCW merchandise at the wrestling event. The FBI said they will be launching an investigation since copyright and trademark infringement are violations of federal law (which includes violation of newsletter copyrights in addition to wrestling merchandise)...
U.S. Olympic bobsled racer Chip Minton is also a part-time WCW wrestler. The Baltimore Sun featured an article on him where he said the U.S. bobsled team will "kick some European butt, Japanese style." He joked about his cross-sport participation. "Everybody lays basketball and football. Nobody does wrestling and bobsled. Not even Deion Sanders." Minton has yet to win a match in WCW, but has trained at the WCW Power Plant for two years. His regular full-time job is a state prison guard...
With David Finlay back on the road, whatever the fears were about his health have apparently been alleviated...
Lodi's name came from Billy Idol's last name spelled backward...
As quoted in the Charleston Post and Courier, two years ago Rick Rude said during an AOL WWF chat regarding Eric Bischoff: "I have a picture in my mind that I can't seem to bring words to explain. I know in my opinion Bischoff is lower than a snake and not half as pretty." Regarding Hogan, he said, "I never had that high of an opinion Hulk because I feel that he has taken more from the business than he has given"...
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